Tidbits from Gary

Hello and welcome to Stories by Baker!

This just in: you can now find me on facebook under an official fanpage name!! YAY!

Anyways, and as always, enjoy if you will or don't if you won't!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Reaping

“The Reaping”
a short story
Gary Baker, October 2012

Nym shuddered. The well-dressed woman passed by without regard, phasing through him like a gust of wind. He rest his eyes on Lindsay with sudden fear mirrored over her features. "El," Nym began, reaching his hand out to her.

"No!" She swatted his hand away with physical ease and turned her back to him before realizing what had just happened. Her eyes then welled up with tears as she looked back over to him.

No one else seemed to even deign to notice as they passed with their daily haste and need to be on time or something similar. When at last the current of bodies lulled again, Lindsay spoke again in a mere whisper of horror. "Why me?" She trembled on the ledge overlooking a small copse of trees beside a duck pond just meters off, appearing cold despite the warming weather.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Valiant Pink Knight

"The Valiant Pink Knight"
a short story
Gary Baker, November 2012

[*This story is not following my normal posting routine, 
I know, but this is my Thanksgiving gift to all of you!*]

Murky brown water splashed outward in arcing waves onto the asphalt road as a pair of pink boots thrust through.

Knight-Princess Miera smiled, proudly standing in her hot pink windbreaker, and yellow rain pants, with fists on her hips. It was a perfect day, the sun nowhere to be seen, instead replaced by dark gray clouds and the occasional flash of blinding light.

A deep roar rumbled across her kingdom as Mr Thunder said hello, followed quickly by his assistant, Mrs Lightning. Miera nodded, and waved her arms frantically at the clouds where her two subjects awaited her approval, knowing that they would grow impatient and annoyed if she let them wait too long. Afterall, that was what Daddy had told her back when she had yet to assume her royal position, back when she feared the rain and it's friends, and thus had also been yet to admit to them their benevolently needed wave.

The skies wavered slightly and she knew her two subjects were happy. Though who wouldn't be in a storm like this?

"Miera!" Her mother called from the front porch, "time to come inside!"

"But mom," Miera responded, "I still need to save my subjects from the evil puddle monsters!"

Her mother shook her head and played obeisance. "Then I guess I'll just have to eat these cookies all by myself, now won't I?"

A smile lit itself upon Miera's cheeks. Cookies! A rightful princess' favorite treasure! "Wait!" She screamed, suddenly sprinting to the door, "mommy, I'm coming!"

Along the way she found herself blocked by a wide pool of muddy water held behind her Daddy's white slug bug. Grinning, Miera ran faster, charging the unsuspecting leader of the mighty puddle fiends with her magical pink boots tight and ready.

Princess Miera! The leader called with it's grindingly bitter voice, we meet again!

Princess Miera grit her teeth and readied her leap, her legs pounded the road as she galloped like a horse leading the assault. But she dared not respond to him, this was her nemesis, his evil always made it hard for Daddy to get to work on time during the rain and now he was bound for defeat. And now there were cookies awaiting her arrival, and there was no way that she would let this beast keep her from such beauties.

Miera! The fiend called again, gaining a sense of worry and fear in his voice, What are you doing? You cannot expect to beat me this time!

Mr Thunder called out to aid Miera, and it was seconds before Mrs Lightning agreed to help as well, but this was it, this was the battle that Miera had been born for. She would save the streets from one more devilish puddle beast, by taking out the faction's leader with her allies at her back.

"Yaaaaaaaaahhhh!" She let her voice reach a crescendo as she lifted high into the sky, her arms reaching up like Superman's to carry her higher, and moved her feet to face the leader's head. She plummeted like a meteor, her mighty magical pink boots set and ready to hit the puddle leader where it mattered most.

And then she hit him, causing a great splash. And oh, how it was such a wonderful splash.

Nooooo! The fiend screamed as his body was sent out in waves as high as Miera was tall. Miera! How could you! My one weakness--MAGICAL PINK BOOTS!!

The princess hit the road at the bottom of the puddle beast's body, and the water reached back for her, rushing back to grab at her knees.

"No!" Miera screamed with fear. The boots should have worked, he had even shouted in his dying last words that her boots had killed it!


"But how?!"

She darted for the safety of the sidewalk, struggling to reach it before the mystic maple leaves in the water could leech her power away. Her boots filled with the leader's liquid organs and he still came at her. The waves hit her then, reaching where her jacket armor wasn't able to protect from and soaked her shirt underneath. How had the puddle monster leader done this? How had her magical pink boots not worked?

Then it came to her as she reached the curb and jumped onto the part of the puddle that had overtaken the sidewalk: the fiend was even more powerful than she had thought. By the time she had reached the edges of the fiend's body as he recovered by mere magical wonder, the princess turned to face her foe. "No fair!" She screamed at him. "You can't use magic! It isn't fair!"

"Miera!" Her mother called again. "Are you still out there?"

Grumpily, Miera spun on her heels and darted across the flower garden, tracking muddy streaks onto the red brick walkway and toward the porch. "Mommy!" She cried, "Mommy the puddle monsters used magic!"

Her mother kneeled to catch her with a great royal hug on the wooden porch where an overhang of shingles and morning glories kept the rain at bay. Suddenly her mother pulled away and scowled. "Honey, you're soaked to the bone!"

Miera smiled, knowing that every drop was proof that she had valiantly fought off the beasts from taking over her kingdom--all except for their cheating leader. "But mommy it wasn't my fault!"

Her mother smirked with a curious glare, letting her sapphire eyes glint in the orange Porchlight glow. "Oh? And how," she tapped Miera's nose, sending the princess into fits of giggles, "might that be, little missy?"

Miera pulled away and pushed her lower lip out with a pouty face. "Well I was saving the kingdom from being flooded when I saw the leader trying to drown Daddy's slug bug! So I ran to attack it on the way back here and it didn't die by my boots!"

Her mother gasped, "no! It didn't die by your boots? But I thought they were magical!"

A great smile came upon Miera's face. "Mommy, they are! But the puddle monster used magic to fix it's boo-boo's!" Suddenly Miera's eyes went wide, "do you think that maybe my boots are out of magic?" She shook her head from side to side and found herself wanting to deny the possibility. "Maybe I defeated too many of the monsters and made my boots weaker against their leader!"

Her mother's arms wrapped themselves around Miera once more, and Miera was picked up into the sky as her mother stood up. "Well, then!" Her mother declared as she tossed her ponytail over her opposite shoulder, "I guess we're just going to need to have extra cookies to replenish your boot's magical power!"

Miera gaped. "Really?!" The valiant princess shook with giggles and cheerful excitement, kicking her dangling feet as she was carried into the kitchen. Her mother set her down at the table and reached to grab a steaming plate piled with nothing less than what must have been thousands of cookies! As she grabbed the largest of the pile, Miera began to rock back and forth in her seat, unable to hold in her glee.

"Cookies?!" Came a deep voice from behind Miera, "Now why didn't I hear about these?!"

Miera turned to see her daddy sitting on the sink counter with a white apron on over his business suit. "But Daddy, you silly," Miera laughed, "you made them!"

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Calypso; part 1

a short story
Gary baker, June 2012
(part 1 of around 12 total)

“And a five-three-four, she was walking out the door!” With a quick strum of the banjo, the lead singer slapped his band into a riotous upheaval of parade day new-age bluegrass. “She said: ‘Don’t let me go’, she jus’ wanna let you know!”

Watching from off stage, Elliot Nab smiled as the band kicked it up a notch and began rapidly fingering the banjo cords into a near-hillbilly version of improvisational street music with a gypsy vagabond twist. The man with the mic looked across the bobbing audience thoroughfare and waved at Elliot with a hat that reminded him of either the Of Mice and Men movie, or Oh, Brother Where Art Thou, and even a combination of both. The man singing, Elliot knew, was known around the area as Buzz “Barley” Benjamin, a fellow resident of Pelatama and a street music extraordinaire. He wore tight brown suspenders over a sweat-soaked white V-neck tee, and belted blue jeans with the rear right pocket worn enough to reveal where he always kept his wallet. Barley’s feet were bare, revealing black hair across his muddied feet, and the banjo in his hands looked just as dirty from the curbside view where Elliot was standing.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Train

"The Train"
a short story
Gary Baker, October 2012

Rae inhaled deeply, taking in the musky scent of coal smoke and steam, of weary metal and warm rails. His heart raced with the pace of the surrounding crowd's murmuring. Each time the train left the screams got louder, he could hear them echoing in from outside the sky-lit hall of departures. Each time, the train entered the dark tunnel ahead of it and the impending deaths of the many on board began, never leaving, never ceasing.

He stepped forward as more mindless bodies stepped on to the next opened platform, orphaned of any previous passengers, then stopped when a silver bar fell in front of him, greased with the hesitancy of the masses before him that had reached into such looming deaths of the man-made death trap, of the human slaughter machine. But the machine cleaned up good--almost no one noticed the darkness on the seats where surely someone must have sat less than mere moments ago, most assuredly having died in that exact spot with machinations to clean up the blood and lessen the panic for the next to die.

And he was next. Sure, there was a current train being loaded, but as soon as this one left the next, which was surely being cleaned as he stood there, would glide up with heavy screeches of metal on metal, with a clenching smell of brake fluid, and would beckon him on just as this one had the current dead-ees.

Then the whistle blew.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Song of the Julara

“Song of the Julara”
by Gary Baker, March 2012
(continual pieces to a larger project)

PART1: the surface
Hugh Donegan lifted his left hand, scrubbed it through his long, silky, blonde hair and pulled a few strands out from the tail hanging low on his neck. A warm breeze picked up, bringing the scents of mulch, rot, and the thick musty stagnancy of floor-level decay. Shaking his head lightly he pulled a small once-white cloth, soaked with sweat and dirt, and wiped it across the deep woody-bronze of his face mask and goggles.

He hated having to wear these contraptions, hated having to tromp through sticky mud and debris to get to the surface laboratory every day, and hated the fact that after seven long years they still had no clue as to how the humans might ever move back and repopulate the surface world.

It had been centuries upon centuries since the last human had ever stepped foot on these grounds, back then calling the terrain tropical--but the idea that humans had ever lived down here, Hugh assumed was no less than a fairy tale propagated by the various religions across the cloud cities. According to their myths: a great Cataclysm, aptly named just that by religious leaders, struck the planet like a vicious blow in the boxing ring, and sent humans high into the sky when a deadly toxin began to blanket the world. This toxin dramatically changed things in various ways, never quite killing right off the bat but