So you can read my books

Tuesday, September 19, 2023



In which Major Richard Blaine learns that in war, you do not catch a break ... you catch flak.


“Your fate has not been written until you pick up the pen of ‘Today.’”

– Rabbi Lt. Amos Stein


I've always been impulsive. My thinking is usually pretty good, but I always seem to do it after I do my talking — by which time I've generally destroyed all basis for further conversation.

“Cloverfield!” I yelled. “Open the window and jump inside as far as you can.”


“Do or die … literally.”

He did … and I heard a string of profanities from inside that I hoped Rachel had not.

She frowned, “Bloody hell! Some of those words I haven’t heard since my convent days.”

So much for hope.

It is anticipation and recollection that fill the mind, never the sensation of the moment …that is fogged over by fumblings and fiasco.

Like now.

I looked down at Rachel. “Ready for the last great battle?”

“You are foolish to speak of last battles, Richard. The Last Great Battle is always the next one.”


The lock was picked. She started to open the door.

“OOFF!” went she.

Rachel scowled, “There’s something blocking us on the other side.”

“Three somethings, ah, someone’s on the floor opposite this door, melded into one enormous nightmare of a corpse.”


“When Reinhardt König triggered his devises, a breach in nearby contiguous realities occurred. Their differing laws of physics clashed with our own, resulting in disastrous schisms.”

Her translucent face was one big question mark, so I continued,

“Imagine a huge jar of water having three other jars of different colored thick inks dumped into it … and then swishing that mix about and throwing it onto a blank canvas. What would you get?”

She scowled, “A mess?”

“Now, imagine the water is not water, the inks are not inks … but all are volatile substances just waiting for a spark to ignite. And the immersion of these liquids is sparking as we speak.”


“Yes, and worse ….”

“There’s worse?”

“I have no idea how to put out the explosions to come or how many aberrations and resultant splintering’s of realities are fouling our world.”

Cloverfield cried out, “Would you two stop nattering? I have real issues in here!”

I smiled at her. “That tunnel that was not a tunnel transformed us into what Reinhardt König hoped would be the Master Race.”

“Did it?”

“We’re about to find out.”

With a push of my open right hand, I shoved open the door. Even before the tunnel, Sentient had boosted my strength threefold.

Wrapping my left arm around her waist, I hoisted her off her protesting feet and leapt over the monstrosity that once was three separate human beings.

They, at least, had the decency to be truly and irrevocably dead.

A very pale Cloverfield slowly approached us, keeping a wary and wise distance from the horror sprawled behind us.

“You could have at least warned me not to look at what remained of those two guardsmen by the window.”

“It would have only tempted you to look even more.”

He smiled like a wolf. “True enough. But you could have given it a go anyway. Now, I might take up drinking.”

Paler than Cloverfield, Rachel made a brave attempt at a smile. “You mean you don’t already?”

“Luv, all my life, I’ve gotten into so much trouble, I had to keep both wits and body sharp.”

Cloverfield looked all around at the blood-splattered walls with their humming and sparking devices and dials. “Love what König did with the place.”

Rachel cleared what obviously was a closing throat. “Then, your taste must run to Salvador Dali.”

“Alberto Vargas, actually, Luv.”

She smirked, “How not surprising.”

I realized they were both trying for humor to avoid the gruesome, elongated, inside-out steaming corpse of Reinhardt König … what was left of it.

“The King is dead; long live the nightmare he left behind,” I said low.

Sentient sighed within my mind:

‘The machinery of the world is far too complex for the simplicity of men.’

Then, because my day wasn’t fouled up enough, the strange radio on the wall crackled into life:

Oberführer Reinhardt König! König! Bist du da? Gib mir eine.  Antwort, du unbotmäßiger Trottel! Das ist General Verner!”

Sentient took control of my right hand, sweeping it up and around in an intricate pattern.

The mangled body of Reinhardt König slowly faded from sight. I recognized the way it disappeared. 

Sentient had nudged the monstrosity several layers back in time, leaving the command chair free from him and his blood and gore.

I sat in it, much to the dismay of both Rachel and Cloverfield. 

I reached up and switched the transmitter to “Send” and spoke in König’s voice, using immaculate German.

“Reinhardt König is no longer mere Oberführer. He has attained godhood, swine of a general.”

Rachel and James both choked, letting me know they understood German.

“What? You dare talk to me in that manner?”

“Feel honored that I talk to you at all.”

König, you blind, egotistical fool! You did it! You conducted your damn experiment!”

“Several actually. Sadly, all the villagers and all of my men did not fare so well as I. In point of fact, they died most horribly.”

“As will you, for along with SS Sonderkommando Dirlewanger, I have sent three Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H’s!”

“Three Tiger tanks will be insufficient, swine. And the less said of your pet psychopathic murderer and his inept rabble, the better.”

“You will die, König! Die!”

“We all die, General. Some sooner than others. But not me, swine. I have evolved. Have a miserable remainder of a life.”

With that, I switched the radio off.

Cloverfield stared at me. “You’re insane.”

I forced a smile. “Of course. I thought you knew.”


“Nothing is built on stone. All is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.”

- Jorge Luis Borges


  1. Goodness me, that was an unexpected turn of events.

    1. That is Blaine's life: unexpected ...

      which leads into the title of the sequel: INTERESTING TIMES.

      :-) Not to worry. The events of the sequel are some time away.

      Blaine has a few other obstacles to overcome before then.