Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I think it's dead, Michael...
you can eat it now.
It’s day #3 of the Blogger Book Fair, and I’m psyched to be joining the gnarly Michael Brookes:

“Michael, thanks so much for joining me today. I know that you must be pretty busy, so I appreciate you giving us this opportunity to get to know you better. We're we interrupting anything?”

“No problem and no, you're not interrupting anything.  I've only just arrived here myself so I'm still working out the lay of the land. You best keep your head down though, the Garden isn't the peaceful place it used to be.”

“Yea... I got that vibe too. So, with all the chaos and hectic hustle-and-bustle around here, how do you find the time to write a word? Do you have any special way of keeping your wits about you when it comes time to put ink to parchment?”

“Discipline and routine. No matter what's going on, whether it be milestones for work, a print deadline for community magazine I volunteer at, or a millennia long war between Heaven and Hell, I always make sure I find time to write every day. It doesn't have to be much, my ideal is to write a chapter a day, but I rarely hit that unless I'm in the groove! This is also where my love of writing drabbles helps. Drabbles are stories that are exactly 100 words long, they're a fun writing challenge.”

“Damn! That sounds like some intense mind-over-matter training,” Nathan smirks and leans in, whispering, “Between us, are you a Jedi?” The Literary Dark Emperor raises an eyebrow for an uncomfortable moment before continuing, “Anyway… you’ve got me intrigued with the concept of these ‘drabbles’; the effort it must take to tell a story with not only so few words but work to maintain an EXACT word count must truly hone your mind for not only the art, but the mechanics as well. I don’t suppose you have one of these that you’d like to share, would you?”

“Sure, here's one of my favourites and was the first one I wrote:”

Don't turn around
I felt its breath, chill against my neck. I knew what stood behind me. Only on this night it possessed the power to achieve its justice. I must not look at it. Only in its sight could it harm me.
I walked forwards, along the cobbled street. If I could reach the village church I’d be safe for another year, until the return of this dread date.
Its footsteps echoed mine as I walked, my gaze kept low. I stumbled, looked up and caught the reflection in the window. Too late I tried to avert my gaze.
Too late.

“I find them a good way to hone my writing, you learn the value of individual words as well as focusing what you are trying to say with the story.”

“Astounding! To pack so much story and emotion into such a short piece… I’m truly impressed,” Nathan looks around nervously, “I don’t suppose you have survival suggestions for this place that might allow us to escape that character’s fate, would you?”

“In truth the Garden has seen better days. It was created to fill the void between Heaven and Hell after the Fall. Once it was a lush paradise crafted to welcome human souls and ease their transition from life. Since then it has become a battleground between the archangels Michael and Lucifer for control of Heaven. Unfortunately for us humans have become fodder for that eternal war.
“Although not for much longer. Over the years humans have grown into their own force, we're making the Garden our own. Now our foes have combined forces to wipe us out and return to the old days, before our creation. These are are dark times indeed. Earth itself is about to be dragged from the universe to here, every living thing will be extinguished and consumed in this final battle.
“But there are rumours that one has come among us. One who can save us all.” Michael frowns and shifts uncomfortably, “We should leave this place, you see that vortex of twisted energies coming towards us? That's one of the Fallen, searching for the freshly dead to press gang into Lucifer's army. We can find cover in that blasted grove over yonder.”

Biting his lip nervously, Nathan hurries after, “So what exactly is the greatest danger out here? I mean, it’s clear that there’s a lot of threat… but if somebody should be keeping their eyes open for one thing in particular, what would that thing be?”

“The biggest threat are the angels, Fallen or Loyalist. Luckily they're easy to spot, as they can't hide their energy. Most hate humans and see us as fit only for servitude, but there are rumours of a few sympathetic to our plight. Although most of us now stand together. The real threat is more insidious, unfortunately humans do not all stand together. Some refuse to join any side and follow their own path. A few of those paths are dark paths indeed and they lust after tormenting their fellow souls. These you must be wary of as they are not so easy to spot.”

Nathan frowns, “Sounds lovely. So how do you survive that sort of ordeal?”

“Numbers are the key to our survival, or they were while Michael and Lucifer were battling each other as well. With them combined I don't see how we can win. We outnumber them many thousands to one, but a weak angel can battle that many alone. We do have a few tricks up our sleeve though. Some of us have been here long enough that they can mold the reality around them, the same way that angels can. We best move from here, there's a sulphurous smell getting stronger. We need a better place to hide. If we're lucky there should be a tunnel around here somewhere...”

“Wait… sulfur?” Nathan pauses, “Like demons?? Here?” he beams, looking around excitedly, “Do you think they’d answer a few of my questions?”

“No demons, they're all dead. Besides the eradication of humans that was something Michael and Lucifer did agree on. After the Fall they hunted all of the true demons down and destroyed them. There is a rumour that one remains, but how that would be possible I can't explain. What you smell are some of the Fallen, they took the human descriptions of Hell and its denizens a little too literally. You could try asking them questions I guess, but it's usually the other way round.”

“The other way around? What do you mean?” Nathan shakes his head, “Are they gonna want to interview me or something?”

“Over there is a tunnel entrance, they're usually better hidden, so we should be careful when we go in. They won't interview you in the sense we're talking at the moment, it's more an interrogation. Even torture has a purpose, they'll want to know who you belong to and woe betide you if you don't belong to anyone, that makes you fair game for whatever they want to do to you. Here's the tunnel entrance. I don't like the smell of it, but we don't stand a chance in the open with a demon pack hunting for us.”

The two enter the tunnels—ancient catacombs that have been dug over the millennia by humans trying to escape—in an effort to seek refuge like so many before them. As they hurry deeper, a chittering sound in the distance grows louder and louder with the source’s approach.

Michael’s eyes widen at the sound, “Oh god… RUN!!”

Startled by the sudden outburst, Nathan turns to face the source of the sound…

The Literary Dark Emperor’s remains have yet to be found.


Is it the rebirth of an ancient evil in a new realm? Or something much worse?
A sexy looking avatar grants wishes for people across the web, but nothing is truly free, and for those who accept, what price must be paid?
Sarah Mitchell must discover the truth of this creature and stop it while it can still be stopped, but why is a mysterious lawyer dogging her every step?

Faust 2.0 is the first book in the new Mitchell & Morton series.
Available now on Kindle:
Amazon (UK):
Amazon (US):

About Michael Brookes

Michael Brookes is an Executive Producer with a leading UK games developer. Working in games and writing are two of his life passions and he considers himself fortunate to be able to indulge them both. He lives in the east of England, enjoying starry skies in the flattest part of the country. When not working or writing he can sometimes be found sleeping. Which is good as that is where many good ideas come from.

Other Books by Michael Brookes

The Cult of Me

The first book in ‘The Third Path’ trilogy.
For too long he dwelt apart, watched those who passed him by. With his unique abilities he entered their minds and inflicted terrible suffering upon them. They didn't even know who he was. The game has lasted for years, but now the game has become stale. On an impulse he decides to make a final and very public last stand. After surrendering himself to the police he enacts his plan to seize the prison for his final bloody act. There he discovers that he's not as unique as he once thought.
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Conversations in the Abyss

The second book in ‘The Third Path’ trilogy.Stealing Lazarus’s miracle gifted him immortality. Combined with his natural ability of invading and controlling people’s minds this made him one of the most dangerous people on Earth.But the miracle came with a price. His punishment was to be imprisoned within the walls of an ancient monastery and tormented by an invisible fire that burned his body perpetually. To escape the pain he retreated deep into his own mind.There he discovers the truth of the universe and that only he can stop the coming Apocalypse.
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An Odd Quartet – Drabble Enhanced Edition

A quartet of dark short stories (10,000 words total) each with a twist in the tale. The drabble enhanced edition also contains some of my favourite drabbles (100 word stories):
The Yellow Lady
This Empty Place
Forced Entry
The Reluctant Demon
Grave robbing is a dirty business, in more ways than one. When he disturbs the grave from a childhood scary story he discovers it's not always treasure to be found.
At the heat death of the universe, Death contemplates his existence.
Terrorists seize an average suburban house. A Special Forces hostage rescue team is sent in and encounter more than they were trained for.
A young demon prepares to take his possession exam.
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