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B-Movie Night: Battles Without Honour And Humanity   Recently updated !

This five film series- based very loosely on a Yakuza member’s prison memoirs- traces gangland conflicts in Hiroshima and neighbouring Kure from teh late forties to early seventies. Shozo Hirono is the character based upon the author, but not the lead in every one of the films. Calm and honourable, he’s permanently being undermined by the hot-headed behaviour and back stabbing of Yakuza in his own and others’ families.

The Yakuza life, is presented as less than glamorous, shabby, even. Violence, when it breaks out, is realistically gritty, clumsy and brutal, more scuffle and brawl than bullet ballet. If, like me, you have problems keeping track of characters’ names, it gets tricky following exactly which factions are working with or against each other. But that’s just me.

The series is- Battles without Honour And Humanity, Hiroshima Death Match, Proxy Wars, Police Tactics and Final Episode. Special features on the Arrow Video releases include some interesting featurette documentaries, interviewing the series’ fight co-ordinator, one of the script writers and an assistant director, as well as revealing the ‘Piranha Army’ of bit players who kept the backgrounds full of activity.


1:32nd scale interior details for race and drift cars

Another new 3D product designed by me. I’ve got a bunch of 1:32nd scale car models in the to-build pile, many of them Japanese. So I’ve designed some interior parts inspired by drifters and Kanjo street racers. There are extended gear shifters (one based on a samurai sword), a hydraulic hand brake, battery isolation switches and digital data loggers.


Minor Birthday

“Happy Minor Birthday.” Seth held his shot glass up over the table.

Frankie raised her glass and clinked it against Seth’s. “One day, soon, I’m going to make you stop forcing me to celebrate this.” she said, wincing at the clumsiness of her declaration. They knocked back the spirits, throats burning and lips strangely numbed.

“Never! You’re a first. A trail blazer! A miracle! A….” Usually, Seth had to be much more drunk before he started describing her birth in these terms.

“Freak?”

“Not a freak. Never a freak. I mean, look at all the bag babies there are now. All those preemies who wouldn’t have lived before you. And you, the first of them.”

“The first to survive. All the ones before me died. There’s a reason my middle name’s Miracle. I know they would all have died anyway, they were so premature. But I have to wonder how I survived and they didn’t. Sometimes I imagine their ghosts looking at me, all angry because I got out alive and they didn’t.” Frankie turned her shot glass over and tapped the table top with it. “What is this stuff? Why’s it filling me with melancholy and misery?”

“It’s one of Will’s concoctions. He gave me the shots free for feedback. Wants to make up a batch and sell it across the bar. You don’t like it?”

“Maybe I’m just not in the mood. I need brandy.”

Seth turned in his seat and leaned on the bar. Will spotted him immediately, and navigated his way around the bar staff. “Well?” he asked.

Frankie unrolled her phone and checked her messages. She didn’t want to give her opinion on the drink. Seth’s hand waggled in the air, the wavering sign for so-so. Will hid his disappointment well. “Double brandy, and a pint of the Earl Grey lager, please.”

“Dinesh is stuck on a tram. Everyone else says they’ll be here in the next half hour or so.” Frankie told Seth when he put the tumbler of dark gold liquid down before her.

“Including the dishy Darius?”

Frankie blushed. “Can we not mention the Minor Birthday thing to him. I haven’t told him yet.”

“If he’s with the others, one of them will have blabbed already. And I may, maybe, have already mentioned it’s your Minor Birthday when I invited him. Just the name, not the full, gory explanation.” Seth turned to pick up his lager, avoiding her glare.

“Fucking wonderful. Everybody wants to know all about the procedure when they find out. ‘You were taken out of your mother’s womb how many months early?’ ‘Are those bags really see-through? Could you see the lab you were grown in?’ ‘What was it like?’” The voice Frankie put on got squeakier with each question. She picked up the tumbler and swirled the brandy around.

She wasn’t angry at Seth. He meant well. Sooner or later, with everyone she met, the subject of her birth came up. Everyone was interested in the process. Too many had an opinion on the ethics of bringing a baby to term in an artificial womb when they wouldn’t survive in their mother’s. The worst were the ones who thought she needed protecting.

Seth had a smile, that annoying one that meant he knew something she didn’t. “What?”

“Oh, nothing. I mean, I’ve already let out one person’s secrets today. I really shouldn’t do it.”

“What is it? Something about Darius?”

“Well, speak of the devil.” Seth pointed over Frankie’s left shoulder.

She turned quickly, and there was Darius, over by the door. He spotted them, smiled and waved. He was achingly gorgeous, about as beautiful as any man could be. Was he some sort of freak, just like her?

Oh, she hoped so. She really did.


Zombies vs Vampires, epilogue

The body that used to be Glenn dragged itself across the pavement. Even if its spinal cord hadn’t been severed, its legs were shattered, bashed almost to a pulp.

Somewhere, deep inside, there was a faint understanding of the situation. The boost that eating vampire had given him had made him able to reason, a little, for a brief period, and given him a glimmer of consciousness. He understood that this was not a good place to be, and that he needed to find somewhere to rest and hide. But, more and more, he wanted to eat.

His hands, skin worn through and torn off, found a crack in the pavement and clutched to it. He dragged himself forwards. There would be food, or shelter, somewhere near here.

Black shoes, the shine taken off them by blood and battering, stepped into Glenn’s vision. Food, he thought. He should drag himself toward it, but instead, pushed his body up to look at the owner of the shoes.

The food was pointing something at him. He could only make out the end, square, with a round hole in it. If he weren’t so hungry, he might understand what that thing was. He lifted his right arm, reaching out to the food.

The hole in the object flared white.

The slide of the Glock locked back, the magazine empty. David Wilson stepped back from the zombie ha had just shot and looked around. None of the many bodies around him were moving. He found one of the many magazines he had stashed abut his body, ejected the empty one and slapped the new one in. The slide snapped back into place, and he was ready.

There was movement, over by the tower. Wilson raised the pistol, and just as quickly dropped it. The three figures picking their way through the bodies were definitely not undead, no matter how much blood covered them. Two women and a man, carrying swords with the assurance of experts, they were kicking over the bodies and examining them.

“Armed Police! What are you doing here?” Wilson’s voice was a croak. There had been moments during the night when he had howled obscenities, or just unintelligible noises, and this was the first time he had tried normal conversation in a long time.

All three of the people raised their empty hand, non-threatening, but still ready to fight. “We just got out of the tower.” the man said. “We’re…. Looking for someone.”

Turning over bodies, looking for someone they recognised. Wilson didn’t like to think of what they hoped to find. They were just the first of a lot of people who would be doing the same over the next few days. If they were allowed. Whatever had caused this might mean all the bodies would be quarantined and burnt.

“That one.” the shorter of the women said, pointing at the body Wilson had just shot. They walked toward him. As they drew closer, Wilson spotted the bandoleer of throwing stars across the taller woman’s shoulders. The familiarity of their shape made him study the body. The star embedded in the spine was the same as them.

“Did you do that?” Wilson asked, pointing at the star as the woman knelt beside the body.

“Not directly.” she replied. The man put a foot under the body’s shoulder, lifting and turning it enough to reveal the face. But for the hole in the forehead, it was still recognisable.

“That’s him.” the man said.

“You know him?” Wilson asked.

“Not personally. We saw him last night. And I knew him by reputation.”

The women were back-tracking along the trail of scuffs and stains the zombie had left behind as it crawled. “They landed there.” the shorter woman said. “Maybe that pile of bodies broke their fall. That one wasn’t so mashed up he couldn’t crawl a good few metres.”

“But Terry’s not in the pile.”

The shorter woman put a comforting hand on the taller one’s shoulder. “Maybe he got away. There’s not many places he could go. If he’s not in them, I think he got away.”

“Yeah, but….” The taller woman glanced back at Wilson. Why was she so worried about him?

“Do you live in the tower?” Wilson asked the man.

The man looked up at the tower, all the way up to a smashed window on the top floor, that Wilson had only just noticed. “Maybe.” he said. “We might be able to now.”

“Err, yeah. They all seemed to be going in there. Do you need some help clearing it out?”

The man held up his sword, looking at it as if it was talking to him. After a moment, he nodded. “No. We’ve got the place cleared out. Maybe we’ll need help clearing it out later, though.”

The women had come back from the pile of bodies. “I don’t think we’re going to find him.” the taller woman said, her sadness showing. “We should go back inside, and see if we can look for him from there.”

“Okay. And there’s something I think we should try as well.” the man said. “Thank you, officer. We can look after the tower for now.”

The three walked away, down the ramp into the underground garage of the tower. Wilson wasn’t sure what had just happened. But at the end of this night, he wasn’t sure about anything any more.

* * *

He had patience, and He had been waiting several hours for Mistress’s reply. He didn’t like calling her Mistress, but she hadn’t accepted being called Heidi for over a century. He was almost getting used to it.

The screens in front and beside Him clicked and hummed as they were activated. About time. He straightened, checking the fit of his suit. He must always look his best, no matter who he was talking to.

The screens became lighter, and the image on the video connection became clearer. He wasn’t so sure what He was looking at, though. Then, He realised what it was.

For the first time in centuries, He felt a coldness that might be fear.

The screens were large, and the face he was looking at was many times larger than life. It slipped in and out of focus as it gurned at him.

“Heidi.”

The skin had dried, pulling taut in some places and wrinkling up in others. Somehow, the dead, empty eyes were still full, their surface wet enough to reflect light.

Slowly, He looked to the left, keeping his eyes on Mistress until the last moment. She didn’t move. She was gone.

The face on the screen to the left was one of the vampires Mistress had sired. He couldn’t remember the boy’s name. There was a crossbow bolt through the boy’s head. He made a low sound, not quite a growl.

Two faces were crammed into the screen on the right. Another two that Mistress had sired. All the vampires in the tower dead, apart from the one Mistress had just sired. How had that happened?

“Your little girl is dead.” a woman’s voice said. “She deserved it. A lot of other people are dead because of whatever it was she did.”

“I will destroy you! I shall find you and destroy you!” He raged at the screen.

“We’re in the tower. It’s ours now.”

“So is most of your money.” another woman’s voice cut in. “Your security’s for shit. It’s all good having a walled off network, until someone gets at one of the computers inside it.”

He looked around, desperately searching for the other computer in the room. Could they do what they said they had?

“You get very rich when you’re immortal, don’t you?” the first woman said. “The money is going to the families of everyone your girl got killed tonight. This tower is going to house the homeless she used to pick on. The ones that are left. And then we are coming to get you.”

“We’ve seen the swag your Mistress had in her cupboards.” a male voice said. “So I’m sure you’ll have plenty of running away money. It’ll be a challenge. But.” The blade of a sword, bright, reflective silver where it wasn’t stained with blood, slammed down and embedded in the table in front of Mistress’s head. He jumped in shock, something that hadn’t happened for a very long time. “We’ve found that these weapons can sense the undead. It’s going to be a challenge, but we will find you.”

The screens went blank.

* * *

It had taken a very long time, and a great deal of pain. But Leech had made it.

He had dropped the bag ahead of himself, letting it fall several floors at a time. Then, very, very carefully, he had followed it down. He had grasped the rungs tight, holding his weight as he moved his good foot down a few. He tried to move two or three rungs at a time, to make it pass faster. But then he would miss a rung, or his foot would slip, and he would cling to the ladder, terrified, until he found his footing again.

Now, he was at the level of the fire escape. He didn’t know quite how, but he had to find his way off this floor and on to the roof. Then, maybe, he could find a paramedic who would splint up his leg and he could get out of the hospital, with the bag and bounty, before anybody started asking questions.

Leech pulled the bag to himself, and lifted himself up onto his good leg. Some of those expensive watches might not be worth more than scrap value by now. He didn’t want to know how many yet. He shifted the strap onto his shoulder, adjusting it until it sat comfortably, then opened the door.

As the door opened, a strong hand closed over Leech’s wrist. With a jerk that almost dislocated his elbow and shoulder, he was pulled from the alcove and thrown against the opposite wall.

Leech bounced off the wall and collapsed to the floor, his leg bent at an unnatural angle under him. It hurt so much he couldn’t even get any volume to his scream.

Terry stood over Leech, looking down at him, hungry and angry. He was far from the pretty boy Mistress had turned not so long ago. His clothes were torn, almost completely gone, and his body was marked all over by bite marks. He bent down and picked Leech up by the neck, slamming him against the wall.

“Look what they did to me! Look what you left me to!” Terry hissed.

“I had to get Mistress to safety!” Leech lied. He could tell Terry didn’t believe him. He tried a different tack. “This bag. This bag is full of money and jewellery. You’ll need it after tonight. You’ll have to run after all this.”

“That’s going to be very useful.” Terry twisted Leech’s head, exposing his neck, and took a big bite.

When Leech was drained, Terry let him drop to the floor. He unhitched the bag from the dead man’s shoulder. Then, with a disappointed sigh, he pulled off the dead man’s clothes and changed into them. The trousers were short, but it was better than carrying on in his rags.

There were signs for the fire exit. He could follow them, but dawn was breaking, and it would put him out into daylight. He had found his way up here from the sewers, so that was where he would head now.

Sooner or later, he would come back up again. But now, he needed to disappear, and lay low for a while. He was good at that.

This is the first draft of Zombies vs Vampires, each chapter posted within a few days of being written. As a first draft, there will be continuity errors, and sections that will need to be deleted, moved, re-written or expanded for the final version. Please bear this in mind as you read it. If you spot something you think needs changing in any way, don’t hesitate to tell me in the comments. I’ll give you a shout out in the published version.

If you enjoy Zombies vs Vampires, you may also like other books in the Lost Picture Show series- Slashed (Amazon, Smashwords), Chosen Ones/Source (Amazon, Smashwords), or Pickers (Amazon).

Jumped in part way? Here’s a handy link to Part 1.


Zombies vs Vampires, part 43

Danielle had the briefest of moments to comprehend the new development and react to it. She tugged backwards. It didn’t pull her arm free, but the zombie did let his arm extend, growing the gap from his teeth.

The blur of movement resolved as it hit the zombie. Terry tackled the zombie, his momentum sending the three of them tumbling. The zombie’s grip on Danielle loosened, and she managed to break free. She even kept hold of the sword in her left hand as it was yanked free of skull. It scraped painfully across the stone floor as she tried to use it as a brake.

“You!” the zombie croaked out. It twisted in Terry’s bear hug, struggling to break free or bite.

Terry and the zombie stopped sliding across the floor. They parted, and Terry twisted and sprang to his feet as the zombie pushed itself up. It lunged at Terry, showing more coordination than any of its companions.

“Bastard!” Terry roared as he caught the zombie, stopping it in its stride. He pushed back with far more force, lifting it off its feet and charging with it to crash against the window.

The zombie hit the throwing star embedded in the glass. The vicious spike sticking straight out severed its spine just above the waist. But that wasn’t the only damage done. The blow dug the star deeper into the large pane. Cracks spread out along temper lines, leaping to the frame. Then shorter fractures joined up, and the window disintegrated.

For a long, frozen moment, zombie and vampire looked like the might pull back from the fall they teetered over. Then the zombie grabbed Terry, and leant its weight back as far as it could without the use of its legs. Terry’s hands shifted to its throat, a meaningless gesture as they both tumbled out of the tower.

Danielle watched as her brother disappeared. He had saved her, and she couldn’t get to him in time to return the favour. The sword in her hand gave her a warning, and she looked around to see the two remaining zombies from the lift heading for her.

They were reverting to the shuffling creatures all the other zombies were, driven only by their hunger, unable to think beyond the next bite. Danielle dodged, low around the first one, swiping with her sword, she severed the Achilles tendon on its left leg. It stumbled and tumbled forwards, head slamming into the jagged glass left in the bottom of the window frame.

Danielle sidestepped the last of the zombies, and sprinted to the katana. This time, she pulled it from where it was wedged. Slapping her feet flat on the floor, she slid to a halt, reversed her direction, and took the zombie’s head off before it had fully turned.

She wanted to rush down to ground level, to see if Terry had survived the fall. But first, there was work to be done here.

Siobhan and Esmerelda had all but finished destroying the zombies on their side of the room. Tom was methodically cutting his way through the larger crowd nearer the stairs. Mistress had seen Terry disappear out of the window, and was staring at the empty space where he had been. She held one zombie at arm’s length, distractedly moving it around to ward the others off.

Danielle joined Tom, and they made quick work of the crowd of zombies. Mistress roused from her reverie when she heard the fight nearing her. She looked back at the zombie she held, then the ones behind it, working their way around after being pushed back. She punched her zombie in the forehead, snapping its neck, then threw it at its friends.

And then it was over. The last of the zombies on the penthouse floor was felled. The floor was a mass of bodies, many of them missing the heads that had formed gruesome piles in corners or behind the tipped over table. Gore and thick, unhealthy blood covered the floor and their arms and legs.

Danielle studied the dark red liquid along the length of her katana. With an expert movement, she flicked most of it off.

Tom wanted to sheath his sword, but he knew that, without whatever force it possessed, he would find himself collapsing under the shock and horror of the situation. It was too soon for that. They were still sharing a room with a pair of vampires, the creatures that had caused this whole horrific episode, and who would happily kill them.

There was silence in the room, but sirens, cries and gunshots drifted in through the smashed window from below.

Esmerelda broke the silence. Grabbing Siobhan’s shoulders from behind, she said, “That was thirsty work.”
That urge to say something pithy was her undoing. It gave Siobhan just enough time to react. The sword twirled, impossibly fast, in her hand. Her grip reversed, she thrust it backwards into Esmerelda’s stomach.

The vampire made a sound somewhere between a hiss and a scream. She threw Siobhan away from her, launching her across the pile of corpses before them. Siobhan landed hard. She tried to roll, but mostly slid, smacking the wall with her right shoulder. With her back pressed against the wall, she appeared to be unconscious.

The sword was still stuck in Esmerelda’s body. There was a little wisp of smoke or steam rising from the wound, but she ignored it. “Little bitch. You’ve had this coming.” She ran up the body pile and pushed herself off the top, leaping for Siobhan.

Tom and Danielle had started toward the fight as soon as Esmerelda spoke. As soon as Esmerelda started moving, they knew they couldn’t get to her in time. Tom skidded to a halt and swirled around, sword raised. As he had suspected, Mistress had started moving after them. She halted well short of his sword tip.

Esmerelda flew across the gap to Siobhan, then came to a halt in mid air, just short of her. Siobhan’s left arm had shot up, punching Esmerelda in the forehead. The vampire’s own momentum drove the punch dagger through her skull. She dropped to the floor, arms out to catch herself in a crouch. “Oh.” was her last word.

Danielle finished the job with a swift stroke from her katana, severing Esmerelda’s neck.

Siobhan shook her hand, wobbling the vampire’s head around on the end of her fist until it worked loose from the punch dagger and fell to the floor. Danielle offered a hand and helped her up, then they rolled Esmerelda’s torso over so Siobhan could pull her sword from it.

Mistress watched, eyes wide and face empty. “My children.” she finally said as Siobhan and Danielle started walking toward her. “All my children, gone.”

Tom moved to the left, sword up to keep Mistress’s attention. Danielle and Siobhan came in from the right. “You want my head now.” Mistress said.

“Yes.” Danielle said.

“The easy way or the hard way?” Tom asked.

“Always the hard way with mortal scum.”

”Thought so.” Tom made a move toward Mistress. She rounded on him, ready to dive at him.

With a quick and easy move, Danielle decapitated Mistress.

Tom stepped back as Mistress’s body fell. Siobahn intercepted the rolling head, stopping it with a foot on the forehead. For her last moment, Mistress stared up at the young woman’s angry face. Maybe she even heard as Siobhan said to her, “Not that hard.”

This is the first draft of Zombies vs Vampires, each chapter posted within a few days of being written. As a first draft, there will be continuity errors, and sections that will need to be deleted, moved, re-written or expanded for the final version. Please bear this in mind as you read it. If you spot something you think needs changing in any way, don’t hesitate to tell me in the comments. I’ll give you a shout out in the published version.

If you enjoy Zombies vs Vampires, you may also like other books in the Lost Picture Show series- Slashed (Amazon, Smashwords), Chosen Ones/Source (Amazon, Smashwords), or Pickers (Amazon).

Jumped in part way? Here’s a handy link to Part 1.