Hey El Mochadores, Its I Sir Noel. 8 Bit Pulp is probably one of the most important things I have been apart of. It’s a Pulp Magazine in the grate tradition of Pulp, and short stories. I fill very comfortable here on Atomic Moo so I am gonna be kind of vulnerable for a moment. You see I am Dyslexic, and for most of my life I was picked on and bullied because I could not read. In fact I was 13 when I first leaned how to read. It wasn’t uncommon for my teachers to call me stupid. Now this is not therapy hour and I am not angry, I just want to give you a little insight. When people call you slow or dumb for years you begin to believe that your self. So for me to go from hating my self and dealing with my dyslexia to become a publisher of a book, is pardon my verbiage here but one hell of an accomplishment. You see I went from the kid who hated books and words because they did nothing but remind me of my weakness, to a man who publishes books.
8 Bit Pulp includes 9 Brand new stories from several different writers. It now available on Amazon for $9.99. if your more of a tablet kind of reader it’s available on the kindle for 5.99 and a no thrills versions is on the nook for 1.99. I am now going to leave you with a full story from 8 bit Pulp its called “How to kill a God”. Its my first published work as a writer, if you enjoy the story please buy a copy and support a dyslectic writer today.
How to kill a God?
This is my story to tell, but I am not even sure if it happened. My name is Adam Saint, and yes, I did have a couple of beers that night; but not enough to get drunk. This all started a couple weeks ago. I work for a small comic book company called Deadman Ink. I had been working in comics for about five years before I got my big break with Deadman. The meeting began, that Friday, like any other meeting. But then my boss gave me a job I just couldn’t do. He told me:
“Adam, we’re canceling Mr. Courageous. We think the book should have an ending, so you get to kill Mr. Courageous”
Every comic book writer has that one book they hope to one day write for, and this was the book for me. The problem was they wanted to me to kill me childhood hero.
That weekend, I grabbed my box of Courageous comics and I went to my family’s cabin in the woods. It was raining that night, and I just kept thinking to myself, “I can’t do this.” This is like shooting Mr. Rogers or going on a killing spree down Sesame Street. Courageous had always represented everything that was right in the world to me. Not only that, but every happy memory in my childhood goes back to Courageous in some way, whether it be roughhousing with my brother, playing hero and villain, or jumping off the roof with a towel tied around my neck.
When I got in the cabin, I was so depressed, I started in on those beers I told you about earlier. I laid all my old comic on the floor and I thought to myself, “Okay, old friend, how do you go out?” I began to thumb through some of the old comics and tried to figure out which one of his esteemed enemies would receive the honor of ending Courageous. However, the idea of the villain winning just kind of made me sick. So I thought back to some of the famous deaths in comic book history. Would he go out like Superman, fighting a monster to the death? Or what about like the Flash, going out saving the universe? The New Gods were killed by a time travailing bullet Captain America was shot on the stairs of a court house. which was kind of lame for a hero’s death. And all those guys were able to come back. When Courageous dies, I don’t think there will ever be any more considering. He was always a B-rated hero, except with me. To me, he was everything. There was a real good chance that this could be the very last Courageous comic ever published. By doing my job, I would be doing the one thing I never wanted to do – I would be ending my childhood. I got into comic books because I never wanted to grow up.
It was then that I picked up my comics and said, “No! I am not going to do it. Monday morning, I am going to walk into my boss’s office and demand a 12-issue run with Courageous. I am going to prove to him, and the world, that Courageous still has worth.”
This is were things get odd. A voice from behind me spoke up. “Oh, Hell no!”
Knowing that I was there alone, I began to worry. So, I slowly turned around and saw, standing directly behind me, a man dressed like Mr. Courageous.
His red cape hovered just above his ankles, with his bright boots planted firmly on the hardwood floor.
“WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?” I yelled out in my loudest big boy voice.
“I am Mr. Courageous,” he calmly answered in a gravelly and heroic voice.
“No, you’re not,” I replied, staring at the man who had obviously lost his mind. “You’re a brain tumor, or a crazed fan here to murder me.”
“I am not here to hurt you, Sir”
It was at that moment that I ran from the room, screaming in the most manly fashion. As I ran outside, I was fumbling for the key, only to realize that I had left the key inside. So, I began to run through the woods like a naked teenager in one of those Jason films. It began to rain, light at first, but then with a vengeance. It was a hot rain, and with every drop, I could feel the fear in my chest grow. I was running blindly with no idea where I was heading. The only thing I knew was I wanted to be as far away from that cabin as I could possibly get. The rain was coming down so hard, I couldn’t see more then a foot in front of me. Before I knew what was happening to me, and without the power or reflexes to stop myself, I slipped in some mud and began to tumble down the mountain. I could have easily smashed my head against a rock or been impaled on a tree. However, I landed flat on a round rock and the air shot out of me like a canon.
I laid there, gasping for air, unable to really move. It was only when I gasped that I noticed I was slipping off the rock, which I could only imagine would result in my own untimely death. I looked up and saw my childhood hero once more, and before I could form a coherent thought, I blacked out from the pain… The manly pain.
When I came to some hours later, I was back in the cabin and there was a fire going. My whole body hurt, though it was nothing serious. Just minor aches and pains. When my foot touched the floor, I felt an indescribable pain in the heel of my foot. Looking down, I noticed I was naked, except for a giant, red cape. I looked over to my left and on the chair was the crazed fan, reading some of my childhood comics.
“Oh, you’re awake. I have to admit, you gave me quite a scare there.”
It was then that I admitted defeat.
“Just get it over with. Go ahead and slice me up,” I begged in a defeated tone.
“Adam, you know me, and you know I am not that kind of hero. I leave that stuff for the guy with a skull on his chest.”
As I winced, I asked, “Who are you?”
“Adam, it’s me, Mr. Courageous. When did you lose that childish sense of wonder?”
“This can’t be.”
“I am the Spirit of Mr. Courageous. I am all he is and can be to children all over this world. Robert E. Howard claimed the spirit of Conan would come upon him any time he wrote a Conan story.”
“Yeah, but Robert E. Howard dropped acid. Oh God, I’m high on acid.”
Courageous walked over to me, knelt down, and said.
“Adam, you know me. I was there when your parents would fight late at night. I got you through those awkward teen years, and I was even there to help you relax in college. Adam, it’s me.”
I can’t explain it, but in that moment, I learned how crazy and vast reality truly is. If God does exist, he’s not afraid to bend the rules once in a while to help a writer in need.
“I should be terrified right now, but I am not.”
He looked right into my soul and he said, “Stop asking ‘why’ and start asking ‘why not?’.”
I looked up at my childhood hero and asked, “So, why do you want me to kill you?”
He smiled. Then, he said, “I am a joke. Aquaman sells more comics than I do. I have been in print since before you were born. I am over a hundred years old. It’s time for me to walk off into the sunset. Fictional characters don’t get to die. That might be great if you’re Sherlock Holmes or Superman, but for me, it’s been a lifetime of mediocrity. Hell, when they made the Courageous film in the 90’s, they didn’t even care about what I wanted. But you do, and for that, I am grateful. I am ready to pass. I protected those in my charge, I have done my duty, and I have faced robots, time traveling mutants, and the horrors of 1990’s comic book writers. I have nothing more to give.”
I thought about this for a few moments. Perhaps he was right. Perhaps he really did have nothing more to give. I looked at him and nodded slowly.
“Okay then. How do you want to go?” I asked, secretly hoping this spirit would lay the story out for me.
“I don’t have the slightest clue,” he replied. Damn. Not what I wanted him to say. So, I walked over to the fridge, opened two more beers, and handed one to Courageous. “You don’t happen to have any Grape Soda, do you?”
“I didn’t know you were a grape man.”
“No one ever asked before.”
“I generally don’t drink alcohol, but this one time won’t hurt, I guess.”
So, the two of us sat there like old friends, drinking our beers. And then I had a strange thought. I figured I might never have this chance again, and it just came out of my mouth. “So, did you ever sleep with Betty?”
“No. The Comics Code wouldn’t allow it.”
We both had a good lough.
After a couple of hours of beating around the bush, he asked the question I was too scared to ask myself. “So. How are you gonna kill me?”
I was shocked at first, but we both knew we had to talk about the proverbial elephant in the room.
“I can make it peaceful and quiet, if you like.” He shook his head.
“No. Heroes die in duty. We both know that.”
I was amazed at his bravery. I mean, if I could chose my death, A, it wouldn’t be at the hands of a writer – we’re sick people- and B, I would not want it to be painful. My mind went to Beowulf.
“You want to go out fighting a dragon?”
“Not my style,” he replied. Throughout the years, he traveled though time, fought Nazis, and for a brief, odd time in the 60’s, he was in outer space; and all I could think of was, “Not your style?” Oh, well. First rule of show business is, ‘Never offend your star.’ He had earned the right to have a hand in his end.
It was then that I tried to change the subject. “You know, this is gonna sound really fan-boyish, but when I was young, I would tie a towel around my neck and jump on my bed, just trying to get a taste of your life.” He smiled a half smile.
“My reality is a fictional one. Is that why you became a writer? You want to control the nature of reality?”
“No. I became a writer because I wanted to fly, like you.” He smiled a full smile then.
“There are advantages to the cape.” Then, he asked me something I wasn’t prepared for. He asked, “If you knew you were gonna die, what would you do?” I sat there, thinking for a little bit.
“I don’t know what I would do.” But that did give me an idea.
“Okay, let’s start here. Is there anything you want to do before you die?” I asked.
“Say goodbye to Betty, Johnny, and my entire support cast.”
“You’re not gonna make this easy for the writer, are you?”
“Nope. Besides, you know you want to say goodbye to as a fan.”
I took a swig of my beer and I had an idea.
“What about Doctor Servo? He was the villain in your first comic.”
“You want to know a secret?” Courageous one asked me. I nodded my head like a schoolboy. “Servo doesn’t actually like being the bad guy.”
“Come on. In a world of bright colors and anything is possible, why would anyone be full of that much hate?”
“Well, there has to be a villain that actually likes being the villain?” I asked.
“Killer Fang,” he said. “There is nothing good about that guy.”
Over the course of the night, we just talked, and I got know the stranger behind the mask, the man behind the cape. We talked like two school girls, gossiping about our high school friends. As the night turned into early morning, I finally called it a night and passed out on the couch. I woke up early the next morning and, to my disappointment, Courageous was gone.
I sat down at my laptop and wrote the best 22 pages of my entire career. I wrote a script where Courageous saved the day, was able to say goodbye to his loved ones, and Servo could prove to the world that he was typecast as the villain. Courageous would die in the course of those 22 pages. He was killed during an alien invasion. The aliens were some enemies he had made during the 60’s. It was the last three pages I was most proud of – after the dust had cleared and the world was being rebuilt. We see Courageous’s funeral. All of his friends took turns, telling funny stories or telling us, in their own words, why they were gonna miss Courageous.
On the last page was a scene of all of Courageous’s most vile and evil villains, sitting around, having a beer, and his most hated nemesis, Killer Fang, sat there and said, “I am going to miss Courageous.”
Now, some of you may be saying that I imagined that night, or worse, that I made the whole thing up to sell comic books. Well, let me tell you something. When I was done writing the best damn 22-page script I had ever written, I looked over to the couch, and I saw two things of great interest. One was the half drunk bottle of beer left by Mr. Courageous, and the second was his cape, draped over the back of the couch. Pinned to the cape was a note, written in Comics Sans, and it simply read, “Never stop trying to fly.”