Sticks and Stones

Latest chapters written:

Sticks and Stones

Music playing in the background while Apache and Weasel are navigating through the neighborhoods on patrol:
Sticks and Stones by CASS

The thumping bass of “Sticks and Stones” by CASS reverberated through the night air as Apache steered the old muscle car down the dark city streets. His friend Weasel rode shotgun, eyes darting to and fro, keeping watch. This was their nightly patrol through the sectors, keeping the peace where the police couldn’t or wouldn’t.

As Apache maneuvered in and out of alleys, the headlights illuminated something moving up ahead. A figure burst out from the shadows – a man wearing a trench coat, hunched over and screaming. He ran right in front of the car, then dashed away just as quickly. Apache slammed the brakes and jumped out, yelling “Weasel – call 911! He’s hurt!” 

Then he took off after the fleeing man. Tracking skills honed from years of reading scout manuals allowed Apache to follow the sporadic blood trail despite the encroaching rain. But suddenly, he was blindsided by a blow to the head. Dazed, he looked up to see the trench coated man raising a broken plank, arm bleeding from a gruesome stump. Apache braced for the blow, but instead heard the man yell “No, wait! I wasn’t going to hurt him!” 

Before he blacked out, Apache witnessed a hulking silhouette grab the man and chomp down on his other arm. 

When Apache came to, he was propped against a damp wall in the same alley. The trench coated man lay nearby, passed out and groaning. Apache’s head pounded from the hit. He checked the time – only 10 minutes had passed. Footsteps approached and Weasel’s scrawny form emerged from the shadows. “Apache! You okay bro?” He helped Apache to his feet. “Yeah, I’m alright. Where’s the…thing that attacked this guy?” 

Apache gestured at the unconscious man. Weasel shrugged. “No sign of it. I called 911 though, they’re on their way. Let’s bounce before they get here – cops ain’t fans of the Watch, ya know?” Apache nodded, steadying himself against the wall. 

As they turned to leave, he noticed something glinting on the ground. A silver pendant etched with a strange symbol. Apache picked it up and stuffed it in his pocket just as the wail of sirens pierced the night. Whatever happened here, it was far from over.

Enter The Hero

Vicki didn’t know what kind of meat she was eating, but it tasted just like chicken. She was famished, she could have eaten a horse. Well maybe not a horse, she loved horses, not a lamb either, but defiantly a chicken.

Being on a farm gave you a new way of looking at things. You didn’t take your food for granted. She never looked at a burger without thinking of the cow.

Most of the time she didn’t eat a lot of meat, though she ate a lot of fish. She cared about fish too, but somehow, they just didn’t seem like they were on the same level as a cow or a sheep. Even a chicken wasn’t all that bright, though she loved them anyway.

Maybe she wasn’t hungry after all, maybe she would have some chips and veggies. Her stomach felt queasy – like maybe she’d ate a friend.

You don’t look like your happy, is there something wrong with the food?
Vicki turned and met the gaze of the man she would one day marry.

No, it is fine. I am just, um well, usually mostly not a meat eater.
Not a carnivore huh?

Well maybe an omnivore – I eat meat sparingly. I sort of have a thing for animals.

Me too. I love them so much I want to make them a part of me. Uhhmm… so what did you say your name was, my friends call me Fang.

Night Watch

The Detective Directive

Dillon Russo wasn’t in the coffin, but there was a body, and it was dead. It looked like it was him, that was for sure, but not really. Maybe it was what he used to look like a little, but mostly it was just close enough to fool those who didn’t really know him. The telltale mark that let all his real friends know for certain that it wasn’t him, and that he was really still alive were his fingers. See, years ago before he was saved, he had tattooed hate across his fingers H-A-T-E but when he was saved that didn’t work for him any more so, he crossed them out and wrote love L-O-V-E.

Of course, if pressed they could always say they couldn’t tell for sure what was going on, because he didn’t do a very professional job of changing it, so they cleaned up the mess and made the original tattoo come out for the burial, but the truth was he wanted his friends to know that it wasn’t him, that the true Russo was still alive.  

No one in his family knew he had made detective. They all thought he was just this disabled mentally ill giant who hung out with the homeless people and brought them home with him all the time out of the cold and fed them in his sister’s house.  

The truth was he had been working with the police for years as an informant. Of course, it was never official, but he has helped them out when he could, and they brought him cases to solve. He had been instrumental in helping the police with several major cases.

Finally, he got involved in a major drug bust for the whole city. The drug lords didn’t like that and they wanted him dead. They tried to kill him and make it look like an accident, but Dillon fought them off. They tried to hit him with their car to stop him, and then force him to take drugs, but he wouldn’t do it. 

That night he told the police what had happened and the police arranged a way for him to escape and work on the coast for them as an undercover agent.  

He hadn’t been able to tell anyone, even his sisters or brother before he left and he didn’t want them to worry. But he couldn’t let them know. But by making this dollish corpse, maybe he could let them know he was alright, without blowing his cover. He just needed to move on to a new phase of his life, and a better one.  

The night before he left, he packed a bag to go and his sister didn’t want to let him go, but he told her he packed it for a friend. She begged him not to go, but she didn’t press the issue. She knew he wouldn’t listen to her; he always won these battles. She wasn’t his mother, just his sister, though she often acted like it. But Dillon knew it was because she loved him. He would miss her.  

The next day the police came to her door and told her he was found dead, and that he had overdosed, though they couldn’t be sure. Sometimes these things just happen they said.  

The police trained Dillon to be a detective. He wasn’t really all that book smart, but he had worked hard to qualify. He was smart though in his own way, but it was hard for him to study. Eventually by talking to the other officers though, he got though what he needed for the exams and had everything he needed in order to be an undercover detective – effectively and legally.  

But what he had that other officers didn’t have that qualified him most for the job was love. Love for others. Love for his fellow man. He came to the job with that.

Dillon had schizophrenia so he never really fit in with the rest of the world, but he had a heart as big as the earth. He found his place among the homeless and the cast out. You could find him always with them there, and he knew where they lived, and roamed among them freely.

But that was in city where he grew up, now he was moving to the coast.

He had lived on the coast before, but that was a long time ago when he was smaller, but he looked forward to coming back. But it would be to a whole new area so he would be starting from scratch where no one knew him. But that shouldn’t be a problem, because who would have known a drifter.  

He was off drugs now – hopefully for good. He had had enough of that. Drugs had robbed him of everything once. If he had to use, he would use sleight of hand, if possible (he learned how to do magic tricks), or if critical he knew God would understand. But he didn’t want to go down that road again. Next time might his last.  

He would just be honest. Hopefully that would do. He had become born again and given all that up, and would encourage them to do so too. Maybe they would.

When he met Vicki he didn’t know that they would become such good friends.  She was beautiful of course, and Dillon usually fell head over heels for anything with legs, and Vicki definitely had legs.  But they were pretty much just friends from the start.  At least that is what he intended.


The homeless were terrified – Dillion could feel it.  Of course, no one keep track of homeless people, the idea seemed ridiculous, but you get friends on the street, and when your friends don’t show up for a while you wonder.  The word was don’t be by yourself if you didn’t have to.  Stay in a group.  But the homeless didn’t play well.

By the Power of God

And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;

Mormon 9:24

Book of Mormon


Michael stood across from his missionary companion with their hands laid upon the mother.  She had found out from the doctors that her baby in her womb was going to have down syndrome.  She and her husband had been beside their self with misery over the problem and finally asked the Elder’s to give her a blessing.

In the New Testament they gave a blessing just like they did now, only they didn’t use quite as much olive oil on the crown of their head as they did in the Bible.  Then they would pray over them, and through the prayer of faith, they would recover.

However, it didn’t always work they way you wanted it to.  It was God’s will that mattered, not your own.  Michael had tried to force the blessing he gave before to say what he wanted instead of what God wanted, and he wasn’t sure he got it right.  But hopefully the old lady he gave the blessing to only heard what she needed to hear anyway, even if he was wrong.

It was very tricky to know if you were saying what you were supposed to.  One time the Prophet Joseph Smith had some priesthood holders go around in a circle blessing a man who had a broken arm waiting for one of them to bless they man and heal his arm.  It wasn’t until the third time around the circle before someone made the promise, and they man was healed.

It was hard to know what to say and know that you were really saying what they Lord wanted. 

Michael started.  By the power of the priesthood after the holy order of the Son of God, I lay my hands upon you head and give you a blessing as the Lord will direct.  The Lord loves you very much and knows how your heart has been troubled over the birth of your child.

At this time in the name of Jesus Christ…

Michael searched his feelings, worried that he might say the wrong thing.  This was important and meant everything to them.  He prayed in his heart that God would help him to say what he needed to say, not for his sake or for his pride, but for theirs, and so he could do as God commanded them to do as servants of Jesus Christ.

He paused for a moment waiting for God to prompt him.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you will be healed.

And your baby will be big!

He couldn’t remember what else he said, but later when the child was born, he was ok, and he was so big his mother had to have a Cancerian to give birth to him. 

Michael had lost track of the family after the blessing on his mission, but for all he knew the baby boy would grow to be 7 feet tall.

Now he was back from his mission and giving a blessing once again, but this time it was different.  The man he was blessing had been obsessed with evil thoughts, uncontrollable thoughts.  He sometimes lost control of his emotions and was even violent.

His family was distraught.  They had been dealing with his mental illness for years.

The man had also seen demons.  Was it part of his mental illness, or something more?

Michael didn’t know, but the man’s family asked Michael and the missionaries to come and bless him and see if they could help.

But was this mental illness – more than just a sickness?

Michael knew that sometimes the body is just broken, like having a broken leg.  Sometimes it was just a matter of something being wrong with the brain – a sickness.

However, he also knew of stories in the Bible about people who were afflicted with devils. 

After dropping a drop of blessed olive oil on the crown of the man’s head, they said his name out loud.  Then they said, In the name of Jesus Christ I anoint you head with this oil that has been set apart to administer relief to the sick and afflicted.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Now Michael had to give the blessing to the man.  Once again, he felt the weight of the responsibility he held.  It didn’t mater who gave the blessing, but the man motioned to Michael when asked who he would like to give the blessing, so they did as he asked.

The other priesthood holders huddled around the seated man in a circle, each placing his hands on the man’s head.

Would he have the faith to be delivered, even if it was God’s will that he be freed?  Would Michael have power given to him to help?

A calmness came over Michael.  He paused and said, in the name of Jesus Christ, and by the power of the holy Melchizedek priesthood, also known as the priesthood after the order of the Son of God, we give you this blessing by revelation.

We know that you have been troubled for all these many years with your sickness, and these years have been very hard on you.  At this time the Lord is going to give you a blessing.  Remember why he gave it to you, and who the servants were who gave you this blessing, for these are the servants of the God.

The afflicted man was not a member of their church – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but his parents had sought them out to give their son this blessing. 

His parents had heard about others who had been sick and healed by the power the missionaries and worthy members – who all received the power of the priesthood – if they were worthy.

His parents had faith their power had been given by God, so they hoped and prayed it could help their son too. 

It was important that they had faith that their son could be healed – it was by faith that miracles were performed. Faith by the recipient, by the elders giving the blessing, and by those who cared for those who get the blessing. Somehow all of it combined to help to make their desires a reality, instead of just a hope.

And so the blessing went…

The Depths

There was someone in the sea.

I sank deep into the water, and I thought I would drown, but death never came.

I plunged down and down, deeper, and deeper, until finally I crashed to the bottom of the ocean with the waves crashing down on me, all around me as the storm raged on.

I gasped for breath but all that entered my lungs was water, and I knew I was dying.

But I didn’t.

Suddenly a current from down below compelled me upward back to the surface, emerging in the rushing, crashing waves and gale force winds, and driving rain.

But then down I crashed again, and again, deep into the ocean, drawn by the current, and again I felt the pain of death but didn’t die.

This repeated, over, and over, both day and night, being tossed and thrown by the waves.

But after what seemed like eternity, he rose from his watery grave and came to the surface. He decided he must have been in the eye of a hurricane, because there was peace for a while as he floated on the surface of the water and finally got some rest from his torcher. What seemed to be his new lot in life that would never end.

But he knew, even then, that his suffering would never pay for his sin.