Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Spring has Sprung... no, wait. Wrong end of the year.

It's September, not May. What a shock!

I guess it only feels like spring because of all the housekeeping I just did on the Abandoned Towers website.

A brand new review by Oddcube is up. This month, he review... Dungeon Keeper!

And a new article by Eric S. Brown. This month he delves into The Micronauts.

And there's a brand new site design too. The site was getting a little cluttered so I rearranged things. It should be, I hope, a lot more user friendly.

Now, for those of you that haven't been visiting us regularly, you're missing out on all kinds of goodies. But just to whet your appetite a bit, here's an excerpt from something posted during August:

Three Wishes in the Iraqi Desert

By Stephen Patrick

“Spider Hole, boss,” called out Patruno. He never looked back at Connor, but kept his eyes on the black hole in front of him. They were scouting the cold desolate mountains for signs of an Iraqi stronghold or a cache of weapons.

“Blow it!,” yelled Connors, never taking his eyes from the mountainside.

“Fire in the hole!”

Patruno called out for the others to take cover as he pulled a grenade from his belt. He pulled the pin and dropped the grenade into the small hole. The grenade fell for a few moments before striking bottom with the shrill plink of metal on stone. A second later, the grenade exploded and the ground beneath them shuddered. Smoke billowed from the hole and rose into the sky.

Conner moved over the hole and peered in. His flashlight illuminated the bottom, but he saw no signs of any life or any evidence that the hole had been occupied. Satisfied that it was not a hideout or stronghold, he made a series of hand gestures to his team and they moved on.

They continued this routine for the remainder of their twelve-hour patrol. They had worked the mountainous areas of northern Iraq with this same procedure for weeks, looking for evidence of hidden weapons or small cells of resistance hidden in the rocks. These multi-week missions allowed them to get into the most remote and inaccessible areas of the mountains, the most likely hiding places for an enemy intimately familiar with this terrain.

Late one Thursday in July, the team was making its way home down a steep, rocky face. Karow, their scout, was busy scanning the face of the opposite hill for snipers. His scope never fell on enemy soldiers, but he did find a series of small caves that could conceal an Iraqi stronghold. He radioed to Connor and the team made their way down the craggy mountain, across the sparse valley and up the other hill.

They approached cautiously and then found the caves Karow had spotted. There were three entrances to the caves. One was large and tall enough for a grown man to walk through. The second was a bit smaller and would require a grown man to crouch to enter. The last was so small that a large man would have trouble crawling through it.

Famosa, the demolitions expert, and Connor, the team’s leader, quickly cleared the two larger caves and found nothing. Karow stood guard over the third hole and thought he heard something echoing in the tiny cave. When the others finished their search of the other caves, Connor knelt at the opening to the third cave. The echoing was rhythmic, almost musical. He tossed a flare into the cave. The flare went about six feet into the mountain before striking the back of the cave and dropping out of sight into a deep hole. The flare echoed for some time, bouncing around as it fell down into the hill.

Of course, if you want to read the entire story from Stephen, you'll need to go visit Abandoned Towers magazine. You'll find it in the General Fiction section.

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