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The Chase I hope everyone enjoys reading The Chase, by Brian Decker.  It clocks in at an enjoyable 1449 words.

Twitter: @BTDeckerAuthor

Spoiler for Hiden:
   Detective “Tiny” Kekoa pulled into the small driveway and put his Jeep in neutral.  He let the engine idle a minute before turning the key, his grandfather’s voice in his head.  Don’t ever leave your girl running hot.  You treat her right, she’ll be with you ‘til you die.  A small smile split the man’s lips.  His grandfather would always give a conspiratorial wink when he’d say this, and it wasn’t until years later that Tiny had realized his grandfather was speaking about more than cars.

   As Tiny’s solid bulk stepped down from the vehicle, another officer exited the small house and walked towards him.  “What do we have, sergeant?”

   Sergeant Sekioka replied, “Lone male, older ‘n sin, sir.  Don’t see how he’s our man, but if he is, he ain’t going nowhere.”

   Tiny raised his eyebrow, knowing he couldn’t have been wrong, but suddenly second-guessing himself.  “The man’s a magician when it comes to theft.  Don’t care what he looks like, I know this is him.”

   Sekioka shrugged.  “You’re in charge, sir.  Anyway, don’t think he’s gonna be a problem too much longer.  He’s coughing up blood, and there’s already a fair amount on the sheets.  Ambulance has been called, but it’s rush hour.  Waikiki traffic’s a bitch.”

   Tiny grunted as he moved towards the house.  As soon as he entered, he was met by another officer, Keniki Leinani, who stopped him with a small hand.  She looked at him, shaking her head as she spoke, “He said he’d confess, but only to you, and only alone.”  She paused, reading his face and knowing his answer, “I don’t like it, but I know you don’t care.  He’s in the bedroom, that way.”   She made a small gesture towards the back of the house.

   He smiled a controlled smile, then walked past her.  As he moved back towards the bedroom, he saw a number of unique items he recognized—from pictures only, before they had been stolen.  Other than the priceless artifacts, he could have been inside any of the small, indigenous homes that remained scattered throughout Waikiki.  The homes, the people, remained, ignoring the growing Haole hellhole that had grown around them.

   Tiny entered the bedroom, noted the two officers that were there watching the bedridden man.  He nodded his head—Take off—and a moment later he was alone with the man.  “Aloha Joe… it seems the chase is at its end.”

   The man raised his head—bald and covered in age spots—to look at Tiny.  “Ah, Detective Kekoa—“  A coughing fit wracked Aloha Joe’s body; blood and phlegm sprayed out over the once-white sheets.  A second wave of coughs hit before the man could get it under control enough to continue, “The Warrior has come, ready to end our game.”

   The doubts that had shadowed this moment in Tiny’s head disappeared as soon as the man opened his mouth to speak.  After more than eleven years of chasing Aloha Joe, he had his man.  “All games gotta end, Joe.”  He moved towards a chair—the only other furnishing in the room aside from the bed—and sat down, savoring the moment.  “Bein’ honest, it took a lot longer than I was expecting.  You led me all over the island—a merry little chase.”

   Joe’s chuckle quickly turned into another fit of coughing.  ”It’s probably not even worth arresting me.  I’m doing quite well at dying right here.”  Joe’s head sank back into the pillow with a sigh.  “I don’t suppose you’ve got a cigarette on you?”

   “Sorry, no.  Never picked up the habit.”  Tiny shifted in the chair, keeping alert just in case Joe tried one final trick.  He still couldn’t believe how rough the man looked.  He was expecting a much younger man, though truth be told, the man was thin as a stick, which gave each of his features a hollow, aged look.  There comes an assumed familiarity when you’ve chased someone as long as he had, even though he had never met Aloha Joe.  Finally being confronted with Joe in person—it was kind of a let down.

   “Damn shame, there.  Though I guess they will kill you.”  Joe inhaled a slow breath before he continued, the occasional cough punctuating his speech, “I guess we should get down to business, then.  I understand my rights, don’t waste what time I’ve got left reading me those.  My name is—“

   “Sorry, Joe, gotta do this by the book, just in case you ain’t as bad off as you seem.”  Tiny removed his notepad as he read the man his rights, watching Joe the entire time.  The man barely stirred except to acknowledge he understood.  Tiny half-expected Joe to button up, but that didn’t happen.  As Tiny clicked his pen, Joe began.

   “My name is Joe Embritch, also known as Aloha Joe.  I was stationed at Pearl Harbor before the war, aboard the mighty ship USS Arizona.  I was one of the few survivors of the initial attack on Pearl.  That moment caused me to reevaluate my priorities.  After I got out, I stayed on-island, deciding to live my life how I wanted.  With that in mind, I turned to a life of crime.”  A series of coughs interrupted him, more blood sprayed from his mouth.

   “Joe,” Tiny began after Joe had stopped coughing, “It’s a nice story an’ all, but you ain’t got the time to tell it all to me.”

   “Ah, Warrior, this moment has been eleven years in the making.  Do you really expect either one of us to not savor it?”

   Tiny caught some hint of something in the statement, but couldn’t pin it down.  Agitated, he gruffly replied, “I’ll savor it after you’re done—dead or in prison, either way works for me.”

   “So be it.  Then let’s begin in earnest.”  Joe raised his head, smiling at Tiny.  “I think you’re in for a surprise or two.”

-

   By the time Tiny exited the bedroom, he could hear thunderous booms in the distance.  He walked outside into darkness occasionally lit by a series of firework.  Friday evenings.  Tiny shook his head, silently cursing the tourists that had turned his little island into a show for their enjoyment.  He walked past Keniki without saying a word, intent on getting to his Jeep.

   Her following shout caused him to turn around, “That’s it?  You’re just gonna walk past and not say a word?”

   “He’s gone—dead,” he clarified, forestalling the follow-on question.  “But, I’ve got all my notes from his confession, which he signed, just to add insult to injury, I’m sure.  Hope the bastard rots in Hell.”

   “Then, is tonight a celebration?” she asked.  Tiny thought there might be more than one question being asked.

   “Not tonight, but soon.  I’ve still got the paperwork to file, and I want this completely closed before I celebrate.  It’s been too long of a chase to celebrate prematurely.”  Tiny turned back to his Jeep and opened the door.  He stopped with a leg still out.  “I’ll definitely let you know when it’s time to celebrate.”

-

   Tiny stood outside in the dark.  The fireworks had ceased some hours earlier, and he was left alone in near-silence—only the wind, waves, and the insects could be heard.  He pulled a newly purchased pack of cigarettes from his pocket and selected one.  He pinched off the filter before he put it to his lips, dropping the filter carelessly to the ground.  With a snap of his fingers and a single word, the tip of the cigarette flared up briefly before settling into a crimson glow.  He could feel the magic pull at the body’s energy, sapping a minute amount compared to what remained.

   He took a pull, savoring the flavor of the tobacco, then exhaled smoke into the night.  The cigarette was quickly gone and also flicked off into the night, and laughter began to bubble up from Tiny’s chest.  The big man burst into a raucous laughter, enjoying the moment for the first time in months.  He continued laughing until he was interrupted by a prickling that ran over his entire body.

   Tiny rolled his shoulders and shifted his body until the prickling subsided, comfortable once again.  “That’s the problem with new bodies,” he said, to no one in particular.  “You’ve always got to break them in.  They really… itch… the soul.”

   He turned back towards his new home, looking over the well-manicured landscaping and the bright blue exterior, visible in the light of the full moon.  Tiny had done quite well for himself.  Inhaling the sea air one final time, he walked back into the house.  It was time to settle in.

January 16, 2017, 10:24:07 PM
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Re: [Jan 2017] - Urban Fantasy - Discussion Thread Well, I just submitted my short story, so now the number sits at three. This is my first foray into UF (though this is only the third thing I've written), so it was interesting. I think the only thing I've read that's UF is Simon R. Green's Nightside series. But I love the monthly writing challenge, so I'm definitely entering the rest of these.
January 17, 2017, 12:07:44 AM
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Brandon Sanderson Writing Lectures at BYU I know that they are linked from his blog, but for those that don't necessarily read a lot of blogs, I would like to provide a resource that I felt was really helpful.  Brandon Sanderson was nice enough to post all 12 of his lectures given during his Creative Writing class at BYU.  They are helpful as he goes over (his perspective, but he also tries to be general) the writing process, styles of writing, world building, publishing, character development, magic, plot construction, and agents.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4ZDBOc2tX8&list=PLH3mK1NZn9QqOSj3ObrP3xL8tEJQ12-vL

January 17, 2017, 06:45:24 PM
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Re: Primer on Basic Warfare As a professional military man, I, too, would not be surprised by details cause a mission to fail.  You end up in a routine, and the first time that routine breaks down, all sorts of things are missed.  The first time I switched my after-lunch PT session to the morning, I dressed out in PT gear, grabbed my utilities, and left.  Turns out I neglected to bring my boots with me.  Something that on a normal day I wouldn't have even thought about turned out to be my downfall that day.
January 17, 2017, 07:07:35 PM
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Re: What are you currently reading? Currently finishing up Elantris, in the middle of Memories of Ice, and just started Dragon's Fire.
January 23, 2017, 01:47:21 AM
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Re: What are you currently reading?
Currently finishing up Elantris, in the middle of Memories of Ice, and just started Dragon's Fire.

How is Elamtris? I am currently contemplating whether I should buy the book. Lots of people said that its style was quite different from Sanderson's later books, with no action sequence and pretty deep about philosophy and other things. Is it still worth a read?

So, this is also in response to some of Nora's comments, just not going to quote them.  You are correct.  The book as a whole is much slower, and while it is different from most of his later novels—most likely due to his own development—you can still tell it's Sanderson.  I would say that the characters aren't clunky so much as more stereotyped (Prince that is beloved by the people that is good at what he needs to be in order to succeed, Princess that is opinionated and unlike the other women around her that is intelligent, good at manipulation/reading the people around her but has a low self-esteem/opinion of herself, trusty faithful sidekick, enemy that is crafty but goes through a transformation where he questions his own identify and motives).

That being said, I find it to be an enjoyable book.  Of the three viewpoints, there are definitely some that I prefer to read over the others, but it's still worth reading the book entirely.  No, it's not the best Sanderson novel.  No, it's not action-packed.  But, yes, it is worth getting.  This is actually the third time I've read the book, and I still enjoy it.

January 23, 2017, 05:56:50 PM
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Re: What are you currently reading? Warbreaker was the first novel I read by Sanderson, then Elantris, then Mistborn. I already knew I liked his writing before I read Elantris. I also enjoy reading L. E. Modesitt, Jr. books and all six of the original Dune books, so I don't mind slow books or books where a character is focused mainly on mundane things.  Honestly, a long as you go into Elantris expecting more politics and less action, I think if you've tag other things of his, you'll enjoy it. If Elantris it's going to be your first Sanderson novel, you may still enjoy it, but there are probably other novels better suited to start with.
January 24, 2017, 10:55:14 AM
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Better late than never! So, I'm joining this book club a little late, but I'll try my best to provide meaningful interaction.
January 25, 2017, 03:17:24 AM
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Re: Fantasy Plots we're SICK of, already
I'm going to join those who say that none of these plots bother them, if well done. Maybe it's because I haven't read enough of books with each of these plots yet? haha

One plot I might be sick of and isn't on the list, is the Prophecy. Sure, if well done, I'll probably enjoy it, but in too many stories I've read the prophecy seems to be too convenient. It's like the author needed good reasons to make the characters do this or that, and make them go to that cool place, and they couldn't think of any, so they thought they'd make a prophecy and it would solve everything.

I do actually dislike prophecy as well.  It removes some of the humanity of the story.  It always feels like an excuse for things to work out fine, and really lowers the tension when a character is in a tough predicament.

January 30, 2017, 07:08:57 PM
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Re: Help for a friend Done, done, and happily done!  The excerpt is a great read.  If anyone has interest in Sci-Fi, I'd recommend this.
January 31, 2017, 04:43:16 PM
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