I wasn’t going to do this, but one of my friends inspired me to give it a shot this year. So here I am working on a novel… in a month. So far it’s been pretty liberating. I used to do snippets of prose in my journal all the time, but lately, my writing’s been tied up with tech documents and treatments and outlines and bibles. Even though some of it was fun, it had the crushing weight of work behind it. I don’t mind working at my craft, but sometimes, I just need to cut loose and play. To have some fun and some laughs. So this novel, it’s all play. I wanted to take a genre to extremes and put it so out there it became comedic. I had characters lying around to work with, and ideas weren’t difficult for me to track down. I just couldn’t decide on a genre.

So I went with two genres… horror (probably gonna be gorey horror) and romance novel. I haven’t really pushed any boundaries with those yet (as you’ll see below), but I’m getting back into the swing of prose writing… getting warmed up as I go.

Below is the first chapter of the story in all its unedited, non-proofed glory. With all the scary typos and all the cringe-worthy grammatical errors. Why am I sharing something this rough? Just crazy I guess (although it does give me extra motivation).

Dark Rhythms

Chapter One – The Cemetery Picnic

   Candi giggled as she felt a warm breath roll across her neck. Her ticklish response turned to anticipation as impassioned lips moved ever closer to her flesh. She closed her eyes eager for those lips to contact her flesh. They drew closer…and her muscles tensed.
   Closer still…and her heart skipped a beat.
   “I’m gonna beat that skinny ass of yours up-and-down this cemetery if you don’t stop teasing me like that,” said Candi as she peeked out of the corner of one eye.
   The lips stopped perched near enough to Candi’s skin to be felt. “Who’s being the tease now?” The tip of a tongue reached out landing lightly against Candi’s neck. Fingers slid their way gently through Candi’s short cropped hair as the tongue traced out the shape of a heart across heated skin. When lips finally pressed against her neck, Candi felt as if pins and needles danced across her body.
   The playful mouth worked up to the edge of Candi’s ear lobes and along a sharp jawline to the chin. The tip of a petite nose traced the outline of Candi’s lips as the kisses moved upward. One…soft…kiss…after…another.
   Candi glanced down at Simone. She soaked in her ivory skin, plum-colored lips, and the tattooed runes covering the outer edges of her ears. Candi couldn’t hold back any longer. She drove her fingers through Simone’s long raven hair and cupped the back of her head to pull the girl’s lips to hers. Her fingers then slid down through the long hair to the middle of her back where one hand stopped to pull their bodies close while the other gently teased its way down Simone’s back.
   Both girls’ hands explored and caressed as they continued their embrace. Simone let her nails scrape across Candi’s strong back muscles, and she dug her nails in as their bodies shifted on the blanket. They rolled to their sides knocking over a half empty bottle of wine and smashing what was left of assorted creme-filled pastries.
   Simone’s eyes sprung open…just in time to catch a dark silhouette dart behind the nearby tombstone. She kept her eyes open and alert as the girls continued their embrace. She watched the tombstone looking for any sign of movement. She stared at the tombstone so long, the epitaph kept rolling around in her head. Here lies Alex Tomari. 1983-2006 We’re just glad he actually died. It was the last bit that caught her attention. It always does. Lucky bast–
   The silhouette finally moved as it jumped onto the back of the tombstone revealing Osiris, Simone’s Siamese cat. He glared at the two girls and let out a hiss loud enough to reach the outer walls of the cemetery.
   At Simone’s command, the two girls rolled away from each other–hands reaching under the picnic blanket to pull forth hidden weapons. Candi tumbled forward onto her feet and a hatchet soared from her hand toward three figures charging out of the shadows. One was a giant of a man named Joey. He stood nearly a head and a half taller than Candi’s significant Amazonian frame. Aside from the skin showing the initial signs of rot and decay, he looked like he could play as a lineman for any professional football team. Beside him was Chandler who was more of the svelte athletic type. Your prototypical jock complete with varsity letter jacket, nice hair, and veins bulging from his muscles. Except these weren’t veins…they were ridges of bone scattered across his body–cavity-filled rivers of ivory oozing puss and gangrene. The last member of this trio was Ross. Thin, wiry, and nearly human in appearance. Well, as human as he could appear with jet black eyes, ancient runes tattooed all over his bald head, archaic piercings covering the the back of his neck, and 80s style yuppie clothing.
   Candi’s hatchet sunk deep into Ross’ chest. “You total bitch-freak. I just spent over two grand last week having my rib cage surgically reconstructed. I’m gonna–”
   A thud behind Candi caught everyone’s attention, and she spun to investigate only to find Simone lying face first in the grass. Her butt stuck up in the air covered only by a pair of plum-colored satin panties–her pants twisted up around her ankles. Candi’s lip nearly bled as she tried to refrain from laughing at the sight of her partner like that.
   “You undid my pants,” said Simone. “Why did you undo my pants when you knew we were out hunting?”
   “Sorry. Got carried away in the heat of the moment. I won’t let it–”
   Simone rolled over to a sitting position trying to kick off her pants as quickly as possible while Candi rose up off the ground lifted by Joey’s massive hand, which squeezed around her throat from behind. “Ya gots ta be kiddin’ me. These little B-movie girls are what everyone’s all worked up over? Hell, that one on da ground’s gonna die of shock and embarrassment before we even lay a hand on her.”
   Candi drove her elbow back into Joey’s arm to little effect. She kicked back into his gut to even less effect.
   “Living dead, remember? Without your weapons, you can’t do anything to hurt me.”
   Candi tucked herself up lifting her feet as high away from the ground as possible. “She…gak…can…urk.”
   A thunderous burst of sound echoed to the outer edges of the cemetery. Two large metal ball bearings connected by a strand of jagged piano wire exploded from the tip of Simone’s shotgun. The ball bearings spread apart flying past Joey’s knees. He looked down as the wire sunk into his shins. The bearings whipped around his legs digging the wire deeper and deeper into his legs until they cut through and popped the lower part of his legs out from under him. He fell forward dragged down by Candi as she twisted herself free. His massive frame crashed into the soft earth of the cemetery face first… with his butt sticking up in the air. He lifted his head spitting a mouthful of sod off to the side when something shimmering caught his eye. He glanced up and went cross-eyed staring at the barrel of the shotgun Simone aimed right at his nose.
   “I’ll guarantee you…it won’t be the embarrassment that kills you.”
   Joey’s friends turned their heads and cringed as another explosion rocked the chilled night air hanging over the cemetery. While Ross plucked bits of dead flesh off his shirt, noxious smoke drifted up from the rotted bones protruding from Chandler’s skin as deadly, vengeful thoughts lined up in his mind. Ripe with rage and diseased fumes, he charged the two girls.
   Candi stepped to the side as Simone took aim with the shotgun, but before she could pull the trigger, her eyes watered up and her face twitched up as she was bludgeoned a powerful scent like rotting corpses, six week old moldy dishes, never-washed socks belonging to a marathon runner, and baby diapers all rolled into one massive smell. She pushed through and focused on her target but couldn’t hold back the retching of her stomach, and soon found herself leaned over and vomiting.
   Seeing Simone incapacitated, he took a swing at Candi, but she stepped back into her defensive posture letting the punch fly harmlessly by before her eyes. She continued to evade his attacks while holding back the nausea from the fumes rolling out of the bone protruding from Chandler’s skin.
   “You’re some kind of stink demon, aren’t you?” Candi ducked another of Chandler’s punches and drove an elbow into his side… to little effect.
   Candi drove the steel toe of her leather combat boot into his shin. Still no effect. “Then, is there a reason for your smell?”
   “The demonic bones used to reanimate me produce that scent whenever they start purging my body of all the rot and decay associated with death. Sucks, but it keeps me going.”
   He finally connected with one of his punches sending Candi flying onto the picnic blanket Simone and her were sharing. She laid there unmoving with her back to everyone else. Chandler approached to deliver the finishing blow but stopped short as Candi speaks to him.
   “Did you ever stop to think about why I threw my only weapon away at the beginning of the fight?”
   “Nah, I just attributed it to stupidity.”
   Candi rolled over on the blanket holding a second axe in one hand. She carried the momentum of her spin into a strong swing of her axe connecting with Chandler’s crotch–tearing through clothing, slicing through flesh, and cracking through bones.
   “Well, now you can attribute it to me being prepared instead.” She pulled on the axe handle to lift herself up, and once she was upright again, she twisted the axe to the sound of hips cracking.
   But it didn’t come lose. “Stop… that… you… b–”
   She twisted again as Chandler’s eyes rolled back into his head, but the weapon still wouldn’t pull free. She placed her combat boot on his chest as she pulled with all her might. Chandler’s head lunged forward to the thud of metal on skull as Candi’s first hatchet bounced off to the side. She leaned to the side to glance around the unconscious creature to find Ross a dozen feet back with an empty hole in his chest. His eyes followed the hatchet as it ricocheted off a tombstone and fell limp to the ground.
   “That’s not as easy as it looks.”
   Candi tugged futiley at her axe to free it as Ross rushed toward her. She looked to Simone for help, but the poor girl was still bent over spilling the contents of her stomach onto the cemetery floor. Candi’s eyes found themselves drawn to Simone’s plum panties riding up on one side from all the fighting. Damn that girl. How can she make puking looks so adorable?
   Thoughts found a rude interruption as Ross’ forearm slammed into the side of Candi’s throat. Momentum carried Ross and Candi to the ground as they exchanged short, powerful blows with elbows, knees, and fists. They hit the ground grappling–legs intertwined, arms wrapped up, and each trying to get position on the other. A reflection in the corner of Candi’s eye drew her attention above them. Ross followed Candi’s eyes to where her now freed axe came spinning down toward them.
   They rolled off to the side as the edge of the weapon scraped along Candi’s back before sinking into the ground. Cloth tore as Candi continued the roll and slammed Ross’ back to the ground. Straddled over him, she pinned his arms down as they both eyed the nearby axe with a sigh of relief. Her eyes turned to his… but his seemed drawn to the cleavage revealed as the torn shirt hung loose off Candi’s body.
   She smashed her forehead into his and readied for a second headbutt when she paused… confused. She shifted her hips and curved her back up to look down to where their two bodies pressed together before looking back at him.
   “Are you getting–”
   “Yes. Yes, I am. Sorry… it’s the masochist in me.”
   The edge of Candi’s lips curled up into a grin… getting to tease, frustrate and inflict pain appealled to her inner dominatrix. “Try not to make too big of a mess then.”
   Candi arched back squeezing her hips together looking like she’s getting swept away in passion. She shifted her weight and drove her shoulder down into Ross’ chest grinding through skin, muscles and ribs torn open by her hatchet throw earlier. She pushed deep until she felt his heart splashing against her skin with each beat. She pushed further until she heard a gurgle in his throat as air raced out from one of his lungs.
   She pulled back as drops of blood, bits of muscle and chunks of bone plopped down onto Ross’ chin. She rubbed her pelvis against his examining his reaction. Judging the quality of her work by his growing excitement. Instead she felt something wet.
   The smell of smoldering denim attacked her nostrils as she jumped up off him. She grabbed the picnic blanket and rubbed furiously at the widening spot burning through her jeans underneath her zipper and down the inside of her leg… starting to sizzle away at her plum-colored spandex undershorts.
   Ross grinned as he lumbered to his feet. “I should have warned you about that.”
   “That you’re a premature ejaculator?”
   “No, that I have acid–
   Ross dived to tackle her, but Candi sidestepped him holding out the blanket to catch him across the neck and chest. She spun around to twist up the blanket and kicked him in the back driving him into the ground. She twirled up the blanket tightening it around his upper body–an impromptu vise compressing ribs and inflicting pain with each little turn.
   Holding onto the blanket and keeping him incapacitated, she leaned over to grab her hatchet.
   “This might take me a few chops.” Ross turned his head as far to the side as he could to see what she was doing. He squirmed and rolled trying to break free as the hatchet came flying down toward his neck.
   “But I know you’re gonna enjoy it. Hell, you might even have enough time to enjoy it twice.”
   Simone crawled up beside Candi as she hacked away at the demon’s neck.
   “Sorry, I wasn’t able to help. I was hitting the dry heave zone.”
   “No prob. I had fun with this one.”
   Simone noted the charred holes in Candi’s jeans and undershorts. “I don’t even want to know.”
   Simone’s eyes were drawn to the creature’s body as muscles tensed up. They held taut for a moment before convulsing–fleshy tremors rippling through its body. As the twitching muscles slowed their pace, Simone spotted smoke rising from his waist followed by an olfactory mix of burning grass and melting polyester.
   Candi looked back at the smoke. “Someone’s dying happy. You might want to back up a bit, sweetie… in case Mr. Acid Splurter here starts shooting wild.”
   Simone’s eyes widened as she scooched back from the body. She made it a few feet before the smell and realization of what’s happening sent her stomach into a relapse.
   Candi finally chopped her way through the neck and sat with a thump next to Simone who was on all fours spewing bile and stomach acid from her mouth.
   “It’s okay,” said Candi. “We’ll pick up some ginger ale on the way home and get that stomach all settled.”
   Candi reached over and slid a finger down the inside of Simone’s panties to straighten them out leaving a trail of smeared blood along the way. She paused to let her eyes caress Simone’s curves and let them slide their way down her strong, lean legs.
   “I think you should dress like this more often when we go hunting.”
   “I agree.”
   Candi turned to find Ross’ decapitated head eyeing Simone’s backside and licking his lips.
   “Shut up, you.” Candi smacked the demon head sending it rolling into a nearby tombstone. As its skull collided and sent chips of stone flying in all directions, Candi watched as its body came to life shuddering and spasming for just a second before going dead still again.
   More smoke rose from underneath its hips.
   “I think I’m in love,” said Ross.
   Candi jumped up with hatchet in hand and kicked the body over. She looked over at the head propped against the tombstone.
   “Sorry… already in a relationship.” Candi swung the hatchet with all her might at the body.
   Tears welled up in Ross’ eyes and his bottom lip quivered. “Not Mr. Wiggles.”