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!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


a short story
Gary Baker, September 2014
(a practice piece in cross-chronological plotting)

A friend once told me there was nothing to lose, providing proper effort was given where it was due. This person also claimed nothing could get in the way of our dreams were they only strong enough to withstand the close of ages.

What she didn't tell me, however, was that consequences were completely indefatigable.

My breath came in ragged gasps, my back slapped wetly against a shadowed redwood or other deep in the northern woods. I didn't even know where I was anymore. With my head lain back against the bark I released another exhale high above myself into the misty night. The subsequent inhale brought in the crisp reality alongside tangy pine, rustic petrichor and the oddly salt-free taste of woodland fog.

Sweat dribbled across my brow and down my cheek. Moonlight flickered across my loosely closed eyelids with the pace of a breeze pushing branches up high.

I remember how she had summoned me over one day, calling me from the foyer. Poised behind her desk, brows drawn in consternation, she set to lay waste to my dreams. It was a practical battlefield that day in her office, all torn reality and woeful hopes burned at the stake as one regretful sibling to a rising lord seeking kingship. She said my words meant nothing, that no matter what I wrote it could never please her. That I could never please her.

After what felt like ages of resisting, I broke. I had worked my ass off for nothing. I had bore my heart and soul into my most recent article, working prose through fields of ghost-written sciences, never to see the light of day 'neath my own name. I remember the glitter of my tears as they fell.

I also remember how her scowl then morphed so wondrously into a gleam of coy awe. She then told me that any dreams I still had, anything at all that survived such abuse, were the only ones worth fighting for. She told me that any dream that could be broken by unknowing anger, instead of being strengthened, could never place the bread upon the table.

An echo of rushed movement clattered across my lap and I tore away from the tree with my heart in my hands. Feet raw from running, I knew I would be caught sooner than later. I was barely keeping ahead as is, did I really expect to survive this?

In seconds time I reached the pebble-strewn shore of an annual riverbed. The waterline had dropped mere feet, yet it left an island three times as wide as the river currently was. Moonlight on my shoulders, I raced. I aimed myself for the far shore where I could only wish for a place to climb out and into saving grace of darkness once more.

The water came like yet another smack to the face. Ice seemed to form around my very lungs themselves and I gasped for the solace of staying alive, were it only so easy.

She had come around. Leaning on her desk with an arm held out to hand me tissues, her eyes told me everything I needed to hear. She was my mentor. She was my friend. More than that, she was the one who paid me for my articles. She would connect me with scientists needing their experiments recorded and understood by their lesser-minded peers, the ones with the money, the ones who could either shut them down or add another dose of much-needed funding.

She told me the writer within me would benefit from what she had just done, that I should be grateful. I didn't believe her then, but later I discovered she had saved me while sending me off to my executioner all in one.

I thrust my arm above the water to take hold of roots extended into the riverside and came back empty. I fought to reach the surface and came up just enough to find that in a fraction of a moment's time I had drifted deep downstream. Already I had gone further than I originally planned and missed my chance at finding safety on the far shore.

Thinking back, even as the frigid sloshing tussled me in every which way, I chose to make the most of the moment. At least I couldn't be followed by the dogs from this point. Perhaps I could survive this after all.

So I turned into the current and used cupped palms to pull myself further. I swam like a frog, like a dog, I even kicked like a dolphin for a while, doing everything I could to keep warmth flowing through my limbs. When the current tore me around a bend I hit the first of several rocks and debris. Shortly thereafter I was losing consciousness and knew I was losing blood in much the same way.

When I had taken that last job I knew things were different. She had changed me. My will to write was stronger than ever and somehow it had broken barriers of writers block with all the excess energy that coursed within. The original job was to oversee a chemical experiment based on reactions deduced by the particle accelerator in Munich. I was to observe and record while science types tried and failed to reproduce chemicals known to have been used in abroad. For some reason the men and women at the lab I was sent to believed the chemical to have been falsified and, for all that I could tell, they were right on the money.

When things got boring for me, though, I chose to indulge myself. I escaped via a supposed bathroom run and instead began my exploration of the facilities.

I hit another rock as rapids began to form. I dropped several feet into a pool, peace lasting only hints of time until I was once again dragged along into white foam and jagged yanks to and fro. Those bastards, I figured then, might have missed their chance to kill me, but nature was sure as hell trying to do their work for them.

I remember jotting down a rough assimilation of a map, writing my story as I went in my head of how the chemical wasn't properly reproducible and thus disproved any subsequent experiments done with it. I remember altering words from experimental Latin-fused English to much more layman terminology when I found an open door. The door led to some shadowed, as yet unfinished portion of the facility, and from there to a massive basement.

It was like a horror movie turned real and still I pushed on. Suddenly nothing could sate my curiosity, not now that my desire to write, my desire to know, was so strong. What I walked into was the last thing I expected so deep within a chemical laboratory: there in front of me were the stooped forms of human experiments gone wrong.

Beakers upon beakers as large as tables, all stacked with sealed contents of everything from embryos and fetuses to full-grown men with bubbles and blisters formed along every imaginable inch of surface area each in varying degrees. My reporter instinct kicked in and my cell was out and set to record both video and audio in separate files. I cautiously walked the aisles looking over tabs of information and degrees of chemical composure.

Bonnie Jones, here, dosed with what I read as heroin and cyanide in a convoluted molecular solution, then injected into the bone marrow. In big red letters were stamped: Exp-Failed. Cringing, I moved on to the next, finding an illegible name with etches of acid formulas described as having been slowly increased in dosage since birth, grown in a test tube until the body of cells simply went haywire and somehow morphed into a human-sized mass of muscle and tissue. This one was marked as: Exp-InProgress.

It was still alive.

The experiments went on for whole sections of the gymnasium-sized room, when finally I freaked and bolted for the entrance. Immediately I ran headlong into someone on their way in. We fell to the floor with boxes of supplies dropped in the collision, and as I scrambled to rise I found there were others with this scientist. Guards loomed over us, guns in hand; massive guns. They shot their own man first, for what I can only pretend to know, and then began at me. From there I barely made it out alive. Shortly after I had dogs on my tail and leaves slapping my face.

I don't even remember getting out of the water, only that I was suddenly racing with sodden icy clothes into oncoming traffic when a cop hit me. Gun drawn he came at me as I lay roiling in pain on the ground before his beaming headlights. I remember looking him in the eye, how he then grimaced and shrunk back, and how he was then shot more times than I can commit to. His once white shirt was riddled with color, his eyes glossed over quickly and soon there were figures in black surrounding me.

This time I couldn't get away. My leg broken, there was no way I could run, walk, hell I couldn't even crawl my way out of this.

One of the figures then moved over me and placed a thick, heavy black boot on my wrongly-twisted knee. The pain was deafening. When he stepped down it was blinding. I came to again and my throat was hoarse, the cop still bleeding beside me, eyes completely glazed over, and my leg seemed nonexistent.

"I won't tell," I plead, hands raised as I tried to back away by pushing with my good leg. "Let me live and I'll forget this ever happened."

I felt cold metal place itself against the back of my head. From there I couldn't honestly say for sure what happened. It's like time just skipped over the following few years.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


an excerpt
Gary Baker, September 2014
(part of my Corporal Roi project)

First there was a reaction of particulates followed by a burst of photon energy sent forth from heavenly heat and sent careening out into the deep unending abyss. Then, after moments of hasty nothingness, came the reflection which subsequently hit receptors and a message was transcribed. From there energy was sent out once more coursing along minute pathways of similar individuals until it came to a stop within a tangled mess of a much greater number of somehow different individuals, was changed into another message entirely, and was once again sent out in another direction altogether. Again the message of energy coursed along until it struck a mass which then contracted as one, pulling the metal trigger and setting another series of events into play.

The sliver of smooth metal drew down a jagged rod that held back a sharp slab which then, with the haste of a tightly-wound coil snapping back to its proper shape, brought the spike tip careening into a metal wall. The wall then broke just so slightly enough to cause a burst of energy, igniting packed molecules of sulfur, charcoal and potassium nitrate into an explosive burst of an even greater form of energy. This new form then slammed heavily into a particularly-shaped piece of metal with such force as to send it flying.

The projectile form hit molecules of air hard, forcing itself through and through without regard whilst reaching a velocity of seven-hundred and seventy meters per second, followed by a concussive burst of resounding waves, soaring passed legs stomping through in this way or the other, leaving a wake of empty air through crimson mist and splashed mud, cauterizing newly-made holes in still-living leaves until finally it reached the end of its journey. The first layer burned on contact, baring plates of leather inlaid with thick mail-like wire which are subsequently split by the force of contact alone to allow the projectile deeper access. Then came the thick layer of metal sheets formed in a lab for better displacement and, while the momentum is lessened immensely, they too are breached until after a few more layers of fabric, the projectile hits skin and puckers as it passes into the soft cushion of fat and muscle.

With a hideous cry of alarm, Corporal Roi Anxo went down, barely able to reach safe cover behind a mass of shattered cement braced with steel and iron. In an instant he rolled onto his uninjured hip to peer over and survey the damage. His gloved hand came away matted with fresh blood, as though the throbbing fire in his ass wasn't enough to be sure. Adrenaline coursed through him as he tried to guesstimate how deep the bullet had gone, and was almost certain it had came millimeters from hitting bone. There was no way to tell how bad it was, yet he knew instantly that there was no way he could just get up and get to safety.

So he grabbed a morphine needle from his vest and quickly jabbed it under his armor into his side and released the chemicals. Right now he needed to focus on not dying, for that was the obvious detail. Despite that, he had a mission to complete and so he rolled back against the ledge while the numbness made its way through.

Roi hefted the rifle he'd thrown down just before falling and loaded an armor-piercing round into the bay. Nodding twice to himself for a count, he thrust himself up and over the ledge to drop the scope right in line with the invasion commander, a mass of bulbous purple flesh and teeth all over. The beast had already proven its resilience to bullets, and as far as Roi could tell had armor-like bones. The first round he'd sent earlier, just before being shot, had merely left a fractured crack along the creatures head, now lamenting a beautiful blue fountain of blood that only made the beast that much more intimidating.

This time Roi knew for sure that he could do it. One more bullet and the beast would go down, allowing temporary confusion among the invading forces.

He aligned the crossbars of his scope with the commanders head and clicked to zoom in. With some trepidation, the bars then aligned with the beasts missing eye and the crack in it's skull beneath all that blood. The corporal exhaled slowly as the world ebbed into slow motion. He pulled the trigger just before his inhale began and barely kept himself upright when the force of his shot struck.

For a heartbeat there was nothing after the crack of thunder, only emptiness. Then the bullet hit and the commander went from striding callously through the wreckage of bodies to kneeling with both hands upon its face. Even then the beast didn't fall. Suddenly it looked right at Roi with half it's head hanging by threads of muscle, navy blue blood fountaining everywhere as it rose one arm at the corporal and let loose an ugly bellow.

But it didn't falter. The killing shot gave the beast a slower stride, stumbling now and then, but the way that it picked up a fallen assault rifle and emptied the magazine at Roi with what could only be anger sent shivers down the mans spine. Two bullets to the head, one leaving half the skull hanging out to dry, and still the beast walked on deeper into the fray.