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About woodsmoke

  • Rank
    "You're not worthy."
  • Birthday 09/09/1985

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  • Interests
    Video games, politics, philosophy, wildlife biology, history, science, "paranormal" events, SETI
  • More About Me
    I am Geek. Hear me r04r.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Sorry, go fish.

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  1. Sigh. Hard disk boots to server hub in mid-March. new printers installed smack in the middle of finals. My boss is great at doing things what need doing, but his sense of timing couldn't possibly be worse.

  2. And switching gears (if not necessarily genre; I have what probably borders on an unhealthy obsession for Celtic music): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMazwBCa9yU That and The Highwayman are probably McKennitt's most iconic songs, but I think my personal favorite is Lullaby.
  3. I defy anyone to listen to this song and not immediately want to go out and drink, dance and possibly fight. Doesn't matter how shitty my day's been, hearing the opening notes never fails to improve my mood. And one from Flogging Molly (whom I usually prefer to the Dropkick Murphys, but Shipping Up to Boston is just perfect). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDwlGbEcJ6Y
  4. One would think I'd handle rejection better considering how often I encounter it. One of life's little ironies, I suppose.

  5. A long time member of ex-c not afraid to take a lead pipe, a hammer to the insanity that is Christianity. Did I just rhyme?

  6. Q: What's brown and sticky? A: A stick. My family loves this one. I'm ashamed to admit it kinda' tickles my funny bone, too.
  7. No more at the moment, but I'll certainly be posting more as he writes 'em. If you're interested, you can go to the Trib website (www.sltrib.com) and find more of his columns under the Entertainment tab in Columnists.

  8. Hey Woody, was hoping you would have more Kirby articles...I love them! Very funny. Cheers.

  9. Hey woody! Just lurking...

  10. WWS ...before it got Jesu-fied. Courtesy of the WayBack Machine. Screw any kind of "savior" moment; that link is a much brighter beam of light into my world than virtually anything else could hope to be! ED, you're my hero. Should we ever find ourselves together in meatspace, I owe you a drink.
  11. NNNOOOOOO!!!! I was going to suggest a correspondent link relevent to the one HadouKen24 posted, but--but.... Not only has the domain for the funniest (and coolest, IMO) "wiccan" page on the net expired... It's been Christianized! *sob* The internet just got a little bit darker.
  12. Brownies, Scorchy, and now an artists' corner? Awww Dave, you shouldn't have! ......... ................ ........................ Really, you shouldn't have. I won't be able to leave for weeks! Anyway... Like I said in my blog, I'm working on a new story right now, but it's kinda' slow going. I know a few of you have already seen this one, but there's a good amount o' folks who haven't had the chance to look it over, and it'll give me some sense of accomplishment as a placeholder until I finish the new one. (As a sidenote, the title of this story is somewhat of a placeholder itself. I can't tell y'all how many times I've gone back and tweaked the story itself, sometimes putting whole paragraphs on the chopping block then reconstructing them from scratch like a literary Doctor Frankenstein. Yet for all this, I still haven't been able to think of a suitable title for the story. Figures, eh?) So without further ramblings... ==================================== Outside, the storm raged. The wind buffeted the little house, raining down an icy punishment, moaning and screaming through the trees at the indignation of the lone collection of wood which refused to bend to its will. From inside, perched on a windowsill, a little cat stared out at the futile tantrum of the elements. A single drop among thousands smashed into the window pane, and the creature's gaze followed every residual trickle down, never blinking, and never losing sight of a flow. The cat's tail twitched almost spasmodically, a random pattern which held no meaning to men. Inside the walls of the tiny cabin, the light of a merrily crackling fire coated everything facing it like a curtain of gold. Shadows danced across the floor and walls, harmonizing with the musical blaze. The flickering musicians cast their jubilation round about them, hopping from log to log, sending upon their crackles and sparks a gentle torrent of warmth, which caressed the feline with soft and loving fingers. Another fat drop hit the window, exploding into hundreds of little droplets like all those preceding and following it. The cat's ears pricked up, and its tail stopped twitching. It focused its eyes—huge, glowing orbs, drinking in every ray of light—on the darkness beyond. Its ears twitched again, and the cat jumped down from the sill, landing nimbly on the floor. It ran to the single door at one side of the house and sat, waiting expectantly. A minute went by, and nothing happened. The cat sat still, anxiously staring at the unmoving handle. Another minute ticked by, and the cat curled its head back, beginning to bathe itself. It licked its side, slowly and thoroughly covering every strand of fur. It moved down its body, washing from its back down to its feet. When it started washing its tail, the appendage flicked away, as if daring the rest of the body to respond and try to catch it. Out in the night, the storm raged on, throwing lightning in all directions, flaunting its power, and exclaiming its frustration at the little house in deafening peals of thunder. * * * Hunter let the truck coast into the driveway, stopping it over the oil patch. He turned the key, killing the engine, and sat for a moment, eyes closed and breathing deeply. The cold shortly began to seep into the cab, and a shiver animated his body. He rubbed his eyes, then opened the door and stepped out of the truck. In a few long steps, he was at the door of the house. Totally disregarding the rain which poured down upon him in thick, icy sheets, he dug into his pocket and produced the key for the door, which he slid home and turned. Opening the door only wide enough to allow himself entrance, Hunter closed it immediately behind him. He drew his coat from about his shoulders and shook it off, starting when the cat sprinted out from under him to avoid the small shower. He smiled wearily and hung the coat up on the rack. Hunter walked to the table in front of the fire and sat down. Picking up three logs from the woodpile, he tossed them into the embers and sat still as they ignited in flame. The cat finished cleaning itself and looked up, staring at Hunter as he gazed into the flames. Its tail flicked behind it and it twitched its head at something unseen. Rising, it crossed the floor toward where he sat and jumped up to his lap without a pause. Hunter started, surprised by the sudden weight of the cat on his legs, then chuckled as the creature settled itself comfortably into his lap. He scratched it behind the ears and under the chin, enjoying the loud purring that coursed through its body and the feeling of warmth on his legs. "Well, little cat, at least I've got you," he said, smiling down at it. The cat made no response, just kept rubbing it head against his hands and purring contentedly while alternately flexing its claws. Hunter sat back in the chair, enjoying the warmth coming from both the cat and the flames. His enjoyment was soon interrupted upon hearing a car pull into the driveway. The muffled thud of a car door shutting came from outside, then silence. Hunter made no move to rise. A firm knock sounded at the door. The cat paid it no heed, and Hunter barely more, acknowledging it only with a barely perceptible nod of his head. Another knock sounded. "It's time," he said to himself. A third knock came, followed by complete silence. Finally a voice spoke from the other side of the door. "Hunter, I know you're in there. Please, just open the door and we can talk about this." Hunter adjusted his position in the chair, but didn't rise. "All right," came the voice again, "If that's how you want it. I'm comin' in." The door opened, and a man in a brown jacket stepped through. He took in the scene in the small house; the fire blazing in the hearth, Hunter sitting in the chair, staring into the flames, and the cat, curled up in his lap, purring blissfully as Hunter stroked its fur. Hunter didn't turn to look at the man, he'd known who it was before the man had turned off his car. "Evenin', sherif. Heck of a night to be out, ain't it?" "You know why I'm here," the man replied. "Why'd ya' do it, Hunter? You've been clean for so long, what drove ya' to it now?" "Well sheriff, I won't lie to ya'. Those boys had it comin', an' you know it." "That's no excuse! Now I ain't sayin' they didn't, but that don't give you the right to go about handin' out justice! Damn it, that's what my department's for!" "Sheriff, yer not gonna' like this, but I'll say it anyway. Some things go beyond the law." "You're right, Hunter, I don't like it. And stop callin' me ‘sheriff.' We've known each other forty three years and you never used my title before, so don't start now." "I'm sorry, Jase; I jus' figured—" "You didn't figure, and that's what brought about this whole mess in the first place! Hunter, I'm tryin' ta' help ya' here! Don't make me the bad guy through some twisted little self-righteous plot in your mind." "I never said you were the bad guy, Jase." "Yeah, well ya' never said I was good, neither. What's wrong with you? I've never known ya' to do somethin' like this. A few bar fights here and there, maybe, but this is flat out assault and battery; with obvious intent, I might add. I know they must'a done somethin' bad as hell, otherwise ya' wouldn't'a roughed ‘em up half as much as ya' did. But if you don't tell me what it was, my hands are tied, and no one else can help ya' when yer standin' in front of Judge Axelford, you know that as well as I do." "Judge is a fair man, I know he'll do what's right." "Did you take a major blow to the head? No, I can see ya' didn't; though it prob'ly woulda' helped if ya' had. You're right Judge is a fair man, but that ain't gonna' help you in the courtroom and you know it. Everyone knows the Wilson boys are liars and scoundrels, but unless ya' can prove that to the jury, Judge can't do a thing about it, regardless of wether or not he knows you're tellin' the truth. You're lookin' at a minimum of two years in prison, damn it! Now maybe they did have a once-over comin' to ‘em, but you weren't satisfied until ya' put Derek in intensive care!" "I'm only gonna' say this once, Jason. I cain't tell you why I did what I did to those boys, but I can tell you that I had a damn good reason for doin' it." "Oh, that makes me feel a lot better!" Jason laughed bitterly. "Maybe I can include that in the message I'll have to send to Maggie, tellin' her that you're in the slammer for the long haul this time. The only way she'll be seein' you fer the next ten years is through bullet-proof glass." Hunter's reply was so low it was barely audible. "Jason, we been friends a long time. I know you don't really wanna' make Maggie cry, and I really don't wanna' have ta' whip ya'. Please, think this through 'fore ya' cause sum'm that neither of us want and we'll both of us regret." Jason stood for a moment, taken aback at Hunter's comment. Then understanding dawned in his eyes, and he looked straight at his seated friend. "That's what this is all about, idn' it?" He took off his hat and combed his fingers through his hair. "Christ, Hunter, why didn't ya' just tell me that in the first place? This changes the whole situation!" "I always knew ya' were too smart fer yer own good, Jase," Hunter replied. "I was hopin' I wouldn't have to do this. Before you leave, you promise me on all that you hold dear that you won't breathe a word o' this to anyone." "Hunter, what're you talkin' about?" "Promise me, Jason, or I swear on Maggie's honor that you won't make it two steps out that door." "That's exactly my point, Hunter! Maggie still has her honor! Everyone knows she'd'a had no desire to be part o' the Wilson boys' plans. She's clean! Just tell Judge what really happened—" "Enough!" Hunter stood up and carefully placed the cat on the chair where he had been. As it settled comfortably onto the warmed wood, he stared Jason directly in the eye. His gaze was savage and feral, and despite all their years of friendship and his unconditional confidence in his friend, Jason tensed in fear. "I've already told ya' once, you won't breathe a word o' this to anyone, not if I have to cut yer tongue out myself." Jason backed away and put one hand over the holster on his belt. Hunter paused, then directed his gaze at Jason's hand, and the gun underneath it. Seeming to come back from a daydream, he started slightly, his eyes widening at the—although defensive—obvious hostility implied by the position of his friend's hand. Unclenching his fists, which he hadn't realized he had closed, he rubbed his face and drew in a deep breath. "Jason, I—I'm sorry. I didn't really mean that. You know how I get when I think I'm protectin' Maggie. I'll try to control m'self." He drew in another deep breath and stood trembling, as if rooted to the floor. "You'd better sit down again," Jason said, moving toward him. He gently lifted the cat off the chair and sat his friend down, then placed the animal again in his lap. The cat, annoyed at being disturbed, flexed its claws a few times into the material of Hunter's jeans, then curled up on his thighs and resumed its nap. Hunter absently scratched its head, lost in his own thoughts. Jason stood still for a moment, then reluctantly shifted his weight. His movement brought Hunter out of his reverie. "I know ya' mean well," Hunter said, his gaze still directed at the dancing flames. "And I know that what yer sayin' makes sense and that ya' believe it. You're only problem is that yer too trusting. You just assume that, once the Wilson boys are put away, everyone'll forget about all this. And they might." "Of course they will! The only ones to come out o' this with a scar'll be the Wilson boys themselves." "Don't be naive, Jason. You could prove her innocence in every courtroom on Earth, and it wouldn't matter worth shit. People will talk, Jase. They always have, and they always will. Even if nothing ever comes of it, her reputation will never be the same." "But she had no control—" "D'you think they give a damn? Think back, Jason. Remember our junior year in high school. Remember Sally Graham." "Hunter, Sally had no choice, either. I think I know what you're tryin' to get at, but we're both still good friends with her." "Exactly. We are. How many others do we know who suddenly didn't know her as soon as it was discovered she was pregnant? How many worthless guys did she have to go through before she finally found Dan? Even after raising Nick the best he could, there are still some people who whisper about ‘the kid from the rape.' No matter how we tried to convince people o' her innocence, the talk all over town was, ‘Sally Graham, that poor child,' ‘Be careful o' Sally Graham, there's no way to tell how it affected her,' ‘Sally Graham, the one with the kid.'" "That's enough, Hunter! You're speakin' nonsense!" Hunter stood again, the cat held gently in his arms despite the aggressive volume in his voice. "Am I? Damn it, Jase, knock it off! I'm speakin' the truth, and you know it as well as I do! Open yer eyes, man! Jus' cause you refuse to see it don't mean it ain't there!" "Maybe so, but I fail to see what this has to do with what happened tonight." Hunter looked straight into Jason's eyes, quivering all over. Jason stepped back, amazed. Those eyes, in which he had never seen a single hint of pain or sadness, were now brimming with tears from both. His voice quavered unsteadily as the words rose from his throat. "What if....." he choked off. "I can't let that happen to Maggie, Jase. I'll die before I'll see any livin' creature hurt her, and if I have to come back from the grave to finish the job, I'll make sure they never get away with it. No man on this God-forsaken Earth is worthy o' her. She is an angel in the flesh, and what they did was the blackest sin ever committed by man. The law couldn't punish 'em enough, and I couldn't wait for God's justice, not for somethin' like this. They had to be punished for what they did." "So naturally," Jason said quietly, "you were the one to do it." There was no malice in the statement. The two stared at one another for a moment, neither saying a word. Hunter softly stroked the cat's head, scratching between the ears. The cat purred contentedly in response, pushing its head up into his hand and flexing its claws into the skin of his arm. Hunter didn't seem to notice. The silence was broken by the sound of cars stopping in front of the house. Jason looked at the radio on his belt and swore softly. "I was in such a rush to get out here and talk to you I forgot to turn on my radio. The boys probably think you were waitin' by the door with a crowbar as soon as I turned the knob." They heard several doors slam. Jason started to turn toward the door, but Hunter stopped him. "I know they're comin' for me," he said resignedly, "and there's nothin' you can do to stop ‘em. What I did to the Wilson boys was wrong by the laws and needs to be punished. I'm not gonna' give ‘em my reasoning, and you've promised you won't, either. It won't do no good to try to stop ‘em now." "You sure about this?" Jason replied incredulously. "I am." Another short silence passed, then Hunter spoke again. "I want you to do somethin' for me." "You name it, and if possible, it'll be done ‘fore the night's out." "Thanks, Jase. I knew I could count on you." Hunter drew a deep breath, then slowly held the cat out toward his friend. "I—I want ya' to find a nice place for Pred. I reckon he's been as good a friend as you to me, and he deserves better than some animal shelter they'll put 'im in when I go off to prison." Jason stood for a moment, not sure what to do. When the cat started to twist in Hunter's hands, disgruntled at the awkward position in which it was being held, he reached out and took it from his friend's hands, drawing it in close to his own chest. He scratched it behind the ears just as he had seen Hunter doing, and it responded by purring contentedly and flexing its claws into the leather of his jacket. Jason didn't say anything. Hunter only nodded slightly, a tear leaking from the corner of his eye. He held out his hand, and Jason grasped it firmly. They stood still, looking straight at each other, until footsteps were heard on the stairs outside. A fist pounded on the door, and a shout came from the outside. "Open the door, Hunter. Jus' cooperate and this'll all go real easy." The two men released their grip, and Jason turned around to answer the door. Hunter stood in the middle of the room, feet apart, head bowed, hands linked behind his back; awaiting the sentence he knew was coming. Fin
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