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Of The Sunset World
A Sample of the First Book
© 2011 James LaFond

Note: Of the various exerts below the first is a scene that revolves around a shoplifting incident. The only thing fictional about this piece is what is going through the mind of the protagonist. This is a composite of six actual shoplifting incidents I researched in the late 90's.

From Chapter 2

...It was a dreary, April day in Baltimore and Charlie hated the rain. Yes it was necessary. Rain, though, made him sad, and he wanted desperately to be happy. The work though, it was going well. That should make him feel happy, but it just wet his appetite for more work. He was six months from candidate selection for his life's work and he should be happy. Twenty-eight years old and he was the director of a major program. He had latitude, private funding, a hand-picked staff —and was not a government stooge! He wasn't schlepping for the CDC or slaving away for the Military Industrial Complex. He was a cerebral super-stud. He was even having weekly sex!

How can I be in such a funk?

The produce section was just not doing it today. He was headed for the junk food.

Look out humble grocery clerks I've got an unjust hunger. He started running through the aisles with his cart and managed to get a smile out of another customer. Ten minutes until they close. I suppose I appear to be having mercy on the humble denizens of this particular corporate node, who no doubt thirst for their imminent albeit temporary freedom from their thankless drudgery.

Having selected his delivery systems for sodium, sugar and caffeine he arrived at the register—operated by a pleasing little woman - with six minutes to spare. The manager was locking the door while Charlie observed his transaction. He was holding a hip-hop-honey magazine so that he would appear hip but was actually playing his check-out game. He projected the time it would take his order to scan. For every second the cashier beat his projection he tipped her a dollar. It was always an express order. If the cashier failed to meet his projection he would ask her out on a date. Now that's slumming it my friend.

As he was picking up his order, the bag boy - some thirty-year-old Neanderthal with no hair - dropped a heavy bail of paper bags on the back of the register and destroyed his concentration. He meant to fix the creature with a demeaning stare, but its attention was drawn to the taught voice of the manager who was attempting to stop an apparent shoplifter - that would be the big smelly customer in the three-year-old wind-breaker and twenty-year-old dreadlocks.

"Sir, stop! Sir!"

The manager made a sickening grunt as his wiry body arced over a shopping cart and landed at an unnatural angle across the handle bars of a handicapped scooter parked right behind the bag-boy. The cashier screamed as the huge smelly man tried to run past the bag-boy, an extremely muscular average-sized man.

The hulking, smelly, homeless shoplifter began to sprint with surprising speed but the bag boy launched himself like a missile into the huge man's side and they plowed into the table at the back of the register with such force that the entire unit screeched into the back of the register to Charlie's right. The metal housing - or was it the huge miscreant's bleat of pain - groaned like a wrecked truck. As the two customers behind Charlie, a middle-aged Korean man and an elderly Black woman, rubber-necked to either side of him, the cashier remained paralyzed with terror.

Yes, we are but tiny raptors adrift in our doomed habitat gazing upon the titanic struggle between T-Rex and Triceratops.

The great greasy paw of apex-shoplifter cuffed the Neanderthal bag-boy on the side of the head. This simply angered the brute who literally tore the be-slimed wind-breaker in half with one savage heave, causing T-bone steaks to fly in every direction. The bag-boy then slammed the giant greasy head into the register lane pole, which bent in half with a mournful creak.

This is looking more and more like a case of opportunistic predation.

The Korean was now holding both of Charlie's elbows close to his side so he could peak around at the action. The elderly woman on the other hand, seemed to become motivated by the steaks scattered about. Because she picked them up gingerly, stacking them on the register belt in the next lane as the little savage beat out a dreadful tune on the large man's body. The giant would take one long swipe - always ducked or brushed aside - and the smaller man would fire back an almost too-fast-to-see flurry that sounded like... Yes, all the cheap steaks Mother ever tenderized with that square stainless-steel hammer condensed into a fraction of a second.

The manager continued to hang limply from the handicapped cart, as - Oh no, this is too rich - the short obese milky-white security guard finally made his appearance on the other handicapped cart, pulling up just close enough for a ringside seat! As the rent-a-cop un-wrapped an ice cream cone and began to munch, the violence took a more sinister turn. The big man raked the face of the bag-boy with his filthy nails. Bag-boy responded by escalating to a hip throw which sent the six-foot six-inch biohazard to the floor face first; blood and snot squirting from the smashed nose a good two feet to foul the front end of the rent-a-cop's cart.

The rent-a-cop quipped, "Beat 'is ass, bro."

Not to be left out of the event grandma piped up, "You gettin' it now chump! Gettin' what the good Lord delivers to a low-down thievin' so-in-so who drive up prices in the city market so a body can't afford the market on a fixed income."

I must come to market more often.

Just then the blood-spewing giant let out a gurgling bellow and drew a large utility knife from the waistband of his filthy sweat pants and attempted to lurch forward in a seated sprawl to cut his tormentor...

From Chapter 32

He meant to give the boys instructions. Instead he heard the wolf snarl. Time slowed, every sound came to him with clarity - and he was paddling like a crack-head. He dragged the canoe on shore with the boys still in it and rolled it over, dumping them onto the stones. He pointed for Strut to grab Arrow Holder and help him, and motioned for all three of the boys to head up the steep bank behind them.

Within seconds he was behind the fallen tree, with the canoe propped up as a vertical shield. His claymore and spear thrust into the stony ground, an arrow knocked, three in his bow-hand, and was letting loose. The men were small fellows wearing coonskin caps, bison hats, eye makeup, and buckskins. They were armed with bows, war clubs, tomahawks, knives, and a couple of spears. Two men worked fore and aft paddles in each canoe, with an archer sitting center. The two rear canoes had cargo instead of shooters. Four shooters - Three... The archer in the lead canoe had already taken one in the face before Jay finished his first scan of the group. Three arrows struck around him; into the stones, the log, and glancing off of the canoe. Lay down fire dummy. Catch them coons sitting.

Jay stepped up onto the log behind the canoe and fired, taking the second seated archer in the chest. An arrow thudded into the upright canoe ahead of him and another tore through his left tricep, and stopped when it hit the lat muscle. He sighted along the well-aimed arrow that was sticking out of him and let fly an armor-piercing one that fishtailed clean through the enemy archer's head, pulling him back overboard. He then kicked down the canoe - which was obstructing his aim on the last archer - and buried a broad-head in his belly. Six canoes were now within 30 seconds of hitting the stony beach. He turned the first canoe into a coffin with two head shots, and then sunk two belly shots into the men paddling the second canoe.

Fall back dummy.

He slung his bow across his back, Stepped back off the fallen tree and hefted his claymore left and spear right, and headed up the mountainside after the scampering boys. He could feel the canoes scraping bottom on the rocks, and hear the buckskin covered feet pouncing on the shore as war cries went up behind him. For a fleeting instant he felt like a fleeing, frightened, hunted animal - like the big cat. Oh no. No dude, not today. How dumb can one hillbilly be!?!

He heard a sickening roar. It did not sound human. It did not sound like an animal. It sounded like a chainsaw cutting through raw meat. The sound echoed off the hillside, and for a moment, there were only the sounds of a snarling, salivating wolf and of feet on stone. As he bounded up over the fallen timber there were four men facing him frozen in a semi-circle. He could hear two men on each side circling behind him.

As he hurdled the trunk he looked straight ahead at the larger man in the bison hat, and hurled his spear at the man to his right. The shivering squirting sound accompanied by the dropping of a man's bowels sounded grotesquely off to his right as he charged at the chief, who waited with a shield and raised club. The other two warriors closed in on him swiftly from the left, one with an enlarged hickory paddle with serrated edges, the other with a shield and tomahawk.

He ignored the men to his left as he charged the chief, right into their trap. As he raised his blade to cleave the chief and the man with the war paddle did the same, he just rotated the claymore around in a hanging roof block to his left and took the paddle blow. The claymore shivered and sung from the force of the blow, which was deflected into his left ass cheek - bitten hard and bruised to the bone by the heavy toothed paddle. He was buckling and the two shield fighters were closing and the strong man with the paddle was yanking it out of his ass for another chop...

From Chapter 54

..."I promise to guide and protect you My Lady. I think that medicine and magic are more important here than on Mother Earth. If this is so then the fact that I am so small and weak should not be such a terrible barrier to our progress as it might otherwise be."

The three of them were then off down the road, hand-in-hand.

Wrath of the Thunderbeast

Three-Rivers decided to lead them down to a stream below for a drink. As they picked their way down over the grassy hillside they heard a screech and a thud on the main trail up behind them. When they stopped to listen they heard the angry roar of a thunderbeast. Three-Rivers had to investigate this, so they hurried, hand-in-hand, up to the hard, wide, black trail above.

When they reached the path of small broken stones on the side of the trail they stood above a slain doe, her hind quarters smashed by a thunderbeast. He felt the tug of the vision-sickness. But thanks to his friends he stayed within. We must show kindness to this slain doe. "Thrush, My Lady, let us kneel and recite the Prayer for Slain Doe."

This they did. The prayer went well with the exception that his voice continued to crack, and Thrush began falling asleep. They stood and began to retrace their steps, when a loud, low, and long thunderbeast roared up, with a dirty-looking Whiteman seated behind its transparent forehead, and three little White boys behind and next to him. The beast crawled up beside them and the clear top part of its mouth on the weak side opened as the boys climbed out of the mouth on its strong side. The man spoke, sounding a little like DeathSong when he was excited, "Dis yer doe folks?"

"No, pray slain doe."

"Y'all alright? Ya lost? Didn't even know we had a Native-merican festiville 'round 'ere."

Three-Rivers was attempting to answer when he was interrupted, and distracted by the three boys, who seized the body of the deer and slung it across the moon-stone nose of the thunderbeast. The oldest boy yelled, "Got'er Paw!"

With that, the boys all three hopped onto the bloody nose of the rumbling beast, and the man spoke a kindness, staring wide-eyed at The Lady all the while, "Well, y'all got to 'er firs'. Sure would be rude ta jus snatch'er. Why 'onchya all jus' gedin. Come on 'round."

Three-Rivers and The Lady were afraid and Thrush was oblivious, so he decided to take charge and trusted to his experience conversing with DeathSong, and did what he could to mimic his friend's dialect, "Mucho tanks dude."

They walked around the rumbling beast hand-in-hand as the boys and man all eyed them quizzically. When they came to the open mouth and looked in, there was a padded place to sit next to the man, who had his weak hand on a dream-catcher in front of him, and his strong-hand on a war-club next to him. He noticed their hesitation and he took his hand off the war-club and pulled forward the back of the soft sitting board next to him, so that they could all climb in behind him. After they all climbed in the man sounded mildly upset, "What'cha'all Amish Indians?"

He then yelled out to the youngest boy, "'Ey Joebob, ged dat door shut!"

The boy then hopped down, slammed the creaking mouth of the beast shut - this was surely an elderly beast - and hopped back up onto its snout. With that the beast rumbled and began to move.

"Lady, the mouths of the beasts are called doors."

The Lady had been making her own keen observations, "And they use them like we use curtains and shelter-flaps. I think perhaps they dwell in these beasts Three-Rivers. Look at all of the empty drinking gourds around our feet. Look, the man controls the beast with that war-club, and guides it with the dream-catcher!"

"This is amazing my Lady. This man seems simple and rude, yet he has more medicine-power than Foxberry or WhiteSkyCanoe. Can you imagine how powerful their prophets are? No wonder Burnt Man possesses influence over Thunderer and travels freely between worlds."

As they crawled along inside the thunderbeast, with the boys on its snout clinging to it and the slain doe, other thunderbeasts crawled by, at even greater speeds, snorting at their thunderbeast, perhaps acknowledging this thunderbeast and its master as great hunters. The man responded rudely though, "Fug y'all. Man's godda eat ya Goddam bleedin' 'art libral cum-catchers!"

Three-Rivers had little hope of accurately translating this statement for The Lady, though he did his best. However, he did memorize it for later dialectical studies.

Broken Dance Sample
Pillagers of Time
blue eyed daughter of zeus
book of nightmares
the gods of boxing
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