Howdy Howdy

to Dr. Rob Rob, welcome and thanks for the "follow!" (This guy knows his coffee).


The Abduction

“Where did your father go?”

“I don’t know,” said Francisco.

As the three unkempt little children turned to go back into the church on August 13, 1917, a man in a crisp suit stepped from a portico and lit a cigarette. They must have passed right by him when they came out and now he was blocking the doorway. The children pretended not to notice him but even with their heads turned away they couldn’t escape his gaze. They felt it on their backs as they crept tentatively back down the stairs.

Before reaching the bottom, they heard the clopping of hooves on the street. The horse whinnied as the driver pulled back stiffly on the reins, stopping the carriage right in front of them.

The man in the suit was suddenly standing right behind them.

“Come on, children! I’ll give you a ride,” he said in an unconvincingly friendly voice.

“We can’t, we've an appointment and my father is walking us,” Francisco said bravely, carefully backing away.

“Yes, your father’s asked me to take you. Let’s go! You don’t want to keep the lady waiting!”

The children hesitated but when the man picked up Francisco and plopped him in the front seat, the two girls reluctantly climbed in. As the man hopped on, the driver cracked the whip and the horse bolted ahead. The carriage turned onto the main road leading out of town.

Francisco cried out, “This isn’t the way! Where are you taking us?”

The man leaned over and whispered in the boy’s ear.

I’m going to boil you all in oil...

Arturo Santos, mayor of the Ourém Municipality in Portugal, would release the three children of Fatima the next day, after unsuccessfully trying to scare them into recanting their tale of visions of a heavenly lady.


Welcome Again!

SAMULI16 has rashly decided to "follow" here - Thanks! More to come this weekend!


Jason is here

Thanks for the "follow!" I don't know why new "followers" tend to arrive here in threes but you are the third, sir, welcome!


Another New Face!

Welcome to The Other Faces, thanks for "following!"

Son of the Dragon

His heart matched the tumultuous times into which he was born, for it had the blood of a Dragon coursing through it. Every two minutes, a black and venomous fluid oiled its way through his body and returned to the heart, more hateful and fouler than when it left. It poisoned him and sustained him. He fed on death.

As a child, his heart had not yet grown dark and he absorbed all the duties of a Christian knight. Wladislaus was taught by his father to trust in no man. At the age of thirteen he learned the truth of that lesson: that “no man” included his father. He was sent along with his younger brother to Adrianople as hostages to the Sultan in return for Turkish support of his father’s ambitions.

But he wasn’t a willing guest and he refused to accept his role. In chains, he watched the traitorous conversion of his brother to Islam. In prison, he learned of his father’s betrayal by his boyar allies and his subsequent murder by the Hungarian king. These things pained him infinitely more than the daily beatings and torture he accepted from his hosts.

He’d prayed for peace but none came. Only more hate. He longed for good but found none anywhere in his life and his hatred extended for having just been born. “Trust no man” became “trust no one.” Only “he” would ever again be the arbiter of justice, of good: his good. He remembered every face, every place, and every name that would someday pay at his hand for their treachery.

And then, around December 2, 1448, just after his seventeenth birthday, the door opened to his sunless cell and he was freed. The story of the remade Wladislaus - Vlad the Impaler, Dracula - would begin.


How do, Becca?

Girl Met Dog. Thanks for the "follow!"


The Right Stuff

First, the characters...

The resin came by U.S. Mail from Lufkin, drawn from the piney woods of east Texas. The rubber came by ship from the Philippines, tapped at a plantation in Mindanao. The calcium carbonate came by train from a limestone quarry in Ontario, Canada. These ingredients all came together at a manufacturing plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin and left again in a cardboard box in the back of an eighteen-wheeler.

A thrilling beginning to our tale...

The semi unloaded the box at a distribution center in Orlando, Florida, and there it sat for several weeks before being loaded onto another smaller truck. That truck drove east for an hour through the gator-filled swamps and delivered the box to a small hardware store in Titusville. The box was opened there and the innocuous contents placed upon a shelf.

The plot thickens...

A handyman working at Merritt Island soon stopped into the store and put a few of the items from the box into his basket. When he came back to work, he tossed them into the janitor’s closet. There they sat until a young supply clerk came along with his clipboard. He took one of the items and dropped it into a toolbox which he then loaded onto a jeep that was driven out to a lone tower, its base shrouded in steam. On April 11, 1970, the mundane little item began another journey, this one a long and nearly disastrous one.

...and then it twists...

NASA still lists duct tape on the inventory sheets of every space-flight made. However, the instruction manual states that it’s to be used to restrain someone suffering from severe psychosis, not to jerry-rig a carbon-dioxide filter to save the lives of three freezing, oxygen-deprived astronauts aboard a crippled Apollo 13 lunar command module.