“You’re not going to need that love potion”

This is Part I of “Princess for the Night.”

I had the idea of writing a sort of prequel to Up in Flames, one of the songs I wrote awhile back. If you don’t know the song, the dragon ends up falling in love with the girl and decides to let her choose if they should just run off together or if she wants him to kill them all.

And of course the album cover is based on that song.

Astral Eyes - Another Sacrifice Gone Wrong

Astral Eyes – Another Sacrifice Gone Wrong

So, you already know how this story ends. Which is neat. I’ve never done this before.

“You’re not going to need that love potion.”

Isabella looked up at her aunt and smiled. “You don’t think so?”

“No. He’s already crazy about you. Apparently everyone in the village knows this but you.”

Isabella sort of blushed. That’s a lot of emotion for Isabella, who’s more a thinking girl. Not your average feminine village girl.

Yes, she’s feminine. Don’t get me wrong. But atypical. In more than one way.

She and her aunt have been doing magic together since Isabella was a child. Isabella’s mother doesn’t know. Of course not. In this village, it’s not seen as something really bad. Not like some of the other villages where they actually burn people who practice it. But it’s still something to keep quiet about.

So you’re probably wondering about the boy in question. Tall, handsome, and the best kid with a sword around. He’d be called a prodigy if he were a musician.

Let’s put it this way. Peasants aren’t allowed to own arms. However, the Lord made an exception in this case. He knows Avery would make a good defender, and would train him himself if it weren’t for his shoulder.

Yes, Avery will soon leave the village to be a squire, then someday be a knight. And what a knight he will be! Fiercely gifted, the villagers knew from an early age that he could be the one to end the village’s curse.

Is Isabella the prettiest girl in the village? No, that would be Tonna. But Tonna is stupid.

Isabella’s a close second though. Plus, Isabella’s got a spunkiness that Avery quite admires.

Isabella smiles to herself as she puts enough of the potion’s ingredients into a tiny bottle. “Just in case,” she smiles to her aunt.

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Don’t worry – I’m still here

So have I been gone for a month? No, still chugging along.

I’m putting the pirate story on hold for now because something else came up. Something I’d rather work on right now.

I was thinking about how much I love the concept of Up in Flames. It’s the Astral Eyes song about a dragon that falls in love with the girl sacrificed to him, and they run off together.

Well, how about a prequel to it? Sounds like a good idea?

I think so.

Stay tuned…

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Why Opium Tales?

I am a Romantic. No, not the cheesy 20th century definition. I fucking hate how they took something awesome like Romanticism and turned it into something pretty fucking stupid.

opium creative abilities

I am a Romantic, 19th century definition. If you have no idea what I’m referring to, read the Wikipedia page on Romanticism.

Romanticism was an art movement. Musically, it died when World War I began, but was dying before WWI began. But then again, WWI began before WWI began. If you’re a historian, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Opium was the drug of choice for Romantics

Well, alcohol too. So opium and alcohol were the drugs of choice for the Romantics. However, Alcohol Tales has no historical context. It’s also meaningless. “A bunch of drunks telling stories? How fucking boring. I’d rather read the news”.

Opium also gave its users creative abilities. At a cost, of course. Like the Devil, you can have the item you desire. It will just cost you something later on.

Thus, Opium Tales makes sense. It has historical context. You know they’ll be unique. And you know at the very least, they’ll be interesting.

This won’t be the only medium you’ll see them

You’re reading a blog. However, this won’t be the only place you’ll see Opium Tales. You’ll also see them in my music. You’ll even see them somewhere else.

For that, I won’t go further as I’m currently in negotiations for some money.

Tootles.

Love,
Roman

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The Voodoo Sex Shop

Nobody fucked with Jack. Do you remember that old Jim Croce song about Leroy Brown? Yeah. Jack was the real life version of that guy.

Anyways, Jack liked to beat the shit out of other men who thought they were the toughest guy in the bar. He didn’t like it when other men stood tall around him. Best to just keep your head down. And don’t look at him, unless you’re handing him some money or some whiskey. He did like his whiskey.

Jack also liked women. He liked all kinds of women. Big women, little women, tall women, short women. He liked them all, but never kept one around. He’d do his thing, say some lovin’ stuff, then get on his way. He never stayed around that long. Jack would say something like the Law was looking for him and he best get on his way.

A lot of women liked that. He was a bad boy. And he could fuck. Or at least, that’s what the women told the other women. Best pure fucking they’ve ever had.

The Voodoo Sex Shop

So that’s Jack in a nutshell. That’s all you need to know about Jack.

Oh. Call him “Sir.” He likes that. You can look him in the eyes if you call him “Sir.” Then you’d be on his good side.

And buy him a drink if you’re anywhere near a bar. If you’re walking with Jack, and you happen to walk by a bar, say “Sir, let’s step inside and the first round is on me. Top shelf.”

Then find an excuse to leave. It’s best not to stick around when his fists start flying. Don’t worry, he’s not gonna hit you. But the other guy’s friend might punch you while Jack beats up his friend. That’s never a fun thing.

“Where are you going with this?”

Hold your horses! Jack deserved a proper introduction. That’s the least I could have done for the man. After all, I’m the only man he ever bought a drink for.

No, I’m not a tough guy. I’m a storyteller. And Jack liked me for it because I told his story when he’d hit the road and run from the Law. He did that a lot.

But he always snuck back here for personal reasons. This shit, I ain’t gonna tell you since it’s personal.

As I said, Jack liked women. A little bit too much.

Rumor had it Florida had a little whorehouse in a small town called The Voodoo Sex Shop. No, not New Orleans flavor voodoo. The Haitian kind, you know those guys who speak with an Afro-French accent. I wouldn’t have stepped foot in that place. But like I said, Jack liked women. A little bit too much.

So Jack checks out the place. And there’s this little skinny Haitian guy. Probably late 40s or 50s. Very cheesy looking joint and he’s got a top hat and a black suit in this heat.

“Hi Jack.”

“How did you know my name?”

“You got quite a reputation.”

“I’ve never been in this shithole town before. How did you know my name?”

“Well Sir, I know men. And when it comes to men, you’re like a King of men. And I know you like women. Lots of women. And we got women. Here…” The skinny pimp guy pours some whiskey into a glass, nods, and gives it to Jack. “On the house. To your health.”

Jack smiled. Like I said, he liked being called Sir. And he liked his ego stroked. And, he really liked it when someone gave him a good drink. “Oh. This stuff is smooth.”

“I provide only the best. That’s aged Tennessee whiskey. The maker’s a repeat customer. He gives me his best stuff.”

“God damn. This may be the best mother fuckin’ whiskey I’ve ever had in my life.”

“And you’re about to have the best time of your life, Jack. Two hundred fifty dollars, as many girls as you want, and take your time.”

Jack always had money

As well as I knew Jack, he always had money. I’ve never seen him work a day in his life. However, he always had money.

So he slapped down two hundred fifty dollars and the skinny man smiled and pointed with his wooden wand to the back. And bowed.

Yes, the pimp is that cheesy. Laugh all your want. But don’t underestimate people. What’s that saying? Don’t judge a book by its cover? Yeah. There’s a reason for that. Sayings that stay around for hundreds of years. There’s a reason for them.

More on that another day. Let’s get back to Jack.

Well, there may be children reading this. So I’m not going to go into explicit details. But Jack did everything a man can do with four women. And when I say everything, just open up your dirtiest thoughts and yes, he did that too.

Careful about those big smiles

He came out with a big smile. Four hours later, Jack had a big smile. Bigger smile than I’ve ever seen him have, even that time when five guys tried to jump him. Heh. That put a smile on his face. But I’m talking an even bigger smile.

So Jack was feeling really good about himself. And after he came out, the skinny Haitian pimp greeted him with a smile.

Jack decided to do something bad. “Are you the only man here?”

“Only living man, yes, I am.”

Jack looked around. And pulled out a knife. “You know the drill.”

“Not a good idea, Jack.”

“What are you going to do about it, Slim?”

“Me? Nothing. I’m not a fighter.”

Jack smiled again as he saw the pimp whip out hundreds of hundreds. And instead of handing it over to Jack, he started counting the hundreds.

“But they are.”

Jack dropped the knife in horror. The pimp definitely was telling the truth. He was the only living guy there.

This part, I’m not going to go into details because you might have just eaten. We’ll just say that it wasn’t that hard to dispose of Jack.

Afterwards, the pimp had a disappointed look on his face as he put the Closed sign up on the door and mopped up the blood.

Rumor had it that the pimp kept Jack’s heart because the heart of a strong man has a lot of power. I’m not exactly the resident expert in voodoo so I don’t know what that means. I just heard the rumors.

That was Jack. I never did know his last name.

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What’s in a name? Sometimes, everything

Dammit. I open up one of my old tales and it’s called A Pirate’s Tale. Written before Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series came out, one of the main characters was named Jack.

So no. Not going to keep that name for obvious reasons. Everyone will think I copied them. Complete, and quite unlucky coincidence.

Of course, I’ll now have to change the name.

As for the Disney movies, the first one was excellent. None of the sequels held up to the first. I know it’s hard to do. It’s like so many bands that have an excellent first album cannot live up to it. Same deal.

The Godfather was one of the best movies ever made. The Godfather II was slightly better. That’s extremely rare.

So, not going to harp on the PotC franchise. They have my condolences.

However, I still need a name

So, before I even begin, I need to come up with a new name for this pirate. Give me a little bit of time to ponder it.

I’ll also consult history.

The Death of Jean Lafitte

The Death of Jean Lafitte

Anyways, I got a lot on my plate. Once I get some of this shit resolved, I’ll work on that name, and get A Pirate’s Tale uploaded here.

For now, tootles.

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Siren’s Lament – What happened at the interview

If you haven’t read the first part of that senile old dragon rambling on about the man who broke Parthenope’s heart, click here. Then his story will make a little bit more sense. Don’t blame me for his ramblings though. I’m just the guy typing.

opium tales green the dragon wasn’t so hard to find if you knew what to look for. Had he been younger and less senile, there’s no way in hell I would have found him. He would have covered his tracks significantly better.

However, he’s old and quite senile. It’s pretty weird that he still has another 400-500 years left to live, unless of course we inadvertently kill him.

I’m guessing that’s what happens though. I’d put money on him inadvertently getting killed rather than him living to die of old age.

He already confessed about two of his family members deaths. St. George killed his wife. His son died in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. He didn’t specify which one.

I’m not a munitions expert, but I’ll rule out that he died when we firebombed Tokyo because if I’m not mistaken, we used more incendiary devices to cause fires rather than a bomb that would blow things up. A war historian can correct me if I’m wrong. I’m more an art and culture historian.

Dragons obviously aren’t going to die in a fire. They don’t burn, no matter how hot it gets.

How I found him

It’s easy if you know what to look for. Have you ever seen a person do something they shouldn’t have been able to do? Like all of a sudden, disappear? Change form? Lift something they shouldn’t be able to lift?

Usually when that happens, you think to yourself that your eyes are playing tricks on you and you don’t tell anyone because you’re afraid your employer would think you were taking drugs. So you go to your grave not knowing that you really saw a dragon or an Olympian. Yes, there are a few of the latter left too.

There was an old Star Trek episode where Olympians were from another planet and some of them came to Earth to act as Gods. If you’re wondering how accurate that is, well, that’s pretty much it. But it gets worse.

You see, us humans are way smarter than others give us credit for. In the past 100 years, we learned how to blow up cities with a single bomb, cure cancer almost half the time, build fake hearts, and walked on the moon. That’s how it all starts.

Stephen Hawking explains the speed of light pretty well if you bothered to read his book. You see, we’re getting closer than we realize to send things at light speeds.

Now the down side. Most intelligent species learn to destroy their native planets. So, they go elsewhere. Olympians and dragons and vampires and all those things aren’t magical. They know science better than we do. So they appear like magic to us. Nope. It’s science.

Some of them ended up here and blended in. Most of them ended up elsewhere on nicer planets and started over again.

That’s it. If you’re wondering how I found him, he was a goofy-looking man with a three hundred year old jacket and a hot blonde on each arm. You can’t get more cliché than that.

Oh, one more thing I want to clear up. I’ve heard him play the violin. He’s lying. Paganini would kick his ass.

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Siren’s Lament Part II

If you haven’t read the first part of that senile old dragon rambling on about the man who broke Parthenope’s heart, click here. Then his story will make a little bit more sense. Don’t blame me for his ramblings though. I’m just the guy typing.

Opium Tales Blue You again. Why do you keep asking me about Parthenope? I already told you that Odysseus never even encountered her and that was her younger sister that threw herself into the sea.

Oh. You wanted me to talk about the man who broke her heart recently. Right. Right.

But first, you know why I don’t like you, right? You remind me of George. Yeah, Roman. That George. You don’t look a thing like him. But something about you, you remind me of him.

You know he killed my wife, right? You didn’t know that? Yeah, that was my wife he killed. And then people made him a Saint?

Opium Tales a dragon storyteller

St. George and the Dragon (artwork circa 1390)

I really don’t like a lot of you, especially what happened in Japan.

What do you mean you don’t know what I’m talking about. Japan. 1945. My son was visiting there and the whole city blew up. He got blown to bits while a hundred thousand of your kind got incinerated.

No, of course he didn’t get incinerated. You can’t incinerate a dragon. He got blown up.

There’s not that many of us left nowadays. Most of us have left Earth.

Why am I here? Because I’m old. I only got about 400 or 500 years left to live. We’re not like Olympians that live hundreds of thousands of years. We only live for a few thousand.

What? You didn’t know Olympians don’t live forever? Of course they don’t. Half of them were already killed when they had that revolution against the Titans.

No, Gaia isn’t an Olympian.

Don’t you people know anything?

Oh, the Siren. Living forever? No, stupid. That’s just a story. They live even shorter than we do. No, there are no Sirens left. Parthenope got moved to the Caribbean Sea but she died of old age. She was long dead before all those pirate stories that you guys all exaggerate about.

The man who broke her heart? Wow, Roman. You’re gullible. No man could break her heart. I just wanted to make you type more.

No, she died of old age and her body long ago was eaten by the fishes. There is no story to tell you. I don’t like you. Leave me alone.

No, stop typing Roman. I said leave me alone.

My thoughts about all this

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Siren’s Lament intro

opium tales dragon forever is a very long time. You’ve heard that cliché many times. Yet, can you think of a single example of how it could be used in reality?

You see, you people get stories wrong all the time. Especially when they’re really, really old.

Like Parthenope for instance. You know this story. Parthenope, the beautiful Siren, fails to lure Odysseus to his death so she casts herself into the sea and drowns. And when her body’s washed up, they bury it.

Yeah, right! Like that really happened.

For one, Parthenope never failed to entice anyone. That was one of her less powerful sisters.

And for another, Parthenope can’t die. She’s like forever. Really, really old. Never aging. The Gods, well, they just move her around.

So yes, another Siren failed to lure Odysseus and got all bummed out and killed herself. I guess Sirens aren’t used to failing. Must be nice to have that kind of track record. Even the best of the best lose a lot of times.

I’m sure you can think of people more than I can. I’m tired and old, and kind of forget mortal names. The Gods? Yeah. I can name all of them. Their kids? Most of them. Their affairs? Yeah, I remember most of them.

Hell, I myself have banged a few Goddesses in my times. Goddesses love us dragons. We’re not quite on their levels, but I’m sure we’re way more exciting than you mortals. You all are boring and predictable. Plus, you die really soon.

What’s old to you in your 21st century? 70? 80? My Gods. I’ve taken naps longer than some of you losers have lived.

Stupid mortals. You’re all a bunch of fools. All, except a few of you.

Some of you I respect. Like Beethoven for instance. He wrote some good tunes. And Paganini. He could really play the violin. Not as well as I can. But still, I got to respect a man who played the violin so much that a Goddess pretended to be a mortal woman and mated with him.

Yes, there’s a little Paganini going around that’s going to live long enough to see you people colonizing the moon. Of course I’ll still be around. Most of you won’t. But I’ll still be around. (I’ve been to the moon before. You’ll have to bring a lot because there’s not much there).

And Genghis Khan. He was neat. Some of you reading this are his offspring. Of course, you pale by comparison. But you have his blood.

Now, what was I talking about again? Oh, yes. Parthenope. Beautiful, beautiful Siren.

Oh how I wanted to mate with her. Never did have the opportunity. Not like she’d say no or anything. I just haven’t gotten around to it.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, I can take your form. I do it all the time. I kind of like pretending to be you because of all the mortal creatures, you and whales are by far the most fun to pretend to be.

But back to Parthenope. A mortal broke her heart once. Now, as much as I don’t respect most of you, this guy, I respected. He was one of those “once in a century” guys. Like Genghis Khan.

Part II of Siren’s Lament is here

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All the King’s Horses

This is Part XIV, the final chapter of Humpty Dumpty. Part I of Humpty Dumpty is here. A slightly different version of this story was going to be the original pilot of the TV show I was working on in 2006. You can read about that story here.

opium tales several soldiers attempt to clean up what’s left of Humpty Dumpty’s body, but throw up whenever they get close.

“We’ve got to get him up, men!,” their leader shouts. “Before His Majesty gets here. We’ve got to bury him.”

Only his head and neck are intact. Guts dangle from what’s left of his midsection and worms crawl in and out. The grossly obese body is in pieces. The soldiers hold their noses, but still can’t get close enough to get past the stench and clean it up.

The ancient man continues his story to the little girl. “And all the King’s horses and all the King’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again. Some say they just let the flies, and rats, and the vultures eat what was left of him.”

The little girl’s father storms out of his cottage. “Bah! Get out of here you crazy old man with your crazy old lies!”

The ancient man turns around and leaves. In another cottage, the peasant with no hands, although considerably older, looks out the window and wipes a tear from his eye.

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“Who has come to kill me?”

This is Part XIII. Part I of Humpty Dumpty is here. A slightly different version of this story was going to be the original pilot of the TV show I was working on in 2006. You can read about that story here.

Opium Tales Battle Don Juan walks by Humpty Dumpty’s door but a guard sentinels the entrance. Don Juan pretends he forgot something and turns around forgetfully, then lunges quickly at the guard and slits his throat.

He catches his body before it falls to the ground and puts it down quietly. Then he sneaks into Humpty Dumpty’s room.

Humpty Dumpty has his back turned. “So, who has come to kill me?”

“It is I,” Don Juan answers.

“Don Juan? I did not expect you. Did my women not please you?”

“Alicia was my wife.”

“Oh.”

Don Juan whips out a bloody short sword. “I’ll give you five minutes to ask God for forgiveness.”

Humpty Dumpty finally turns around. “I don’t need forgiveness.”

“One last chance.”

Humpty Dumpty stares hard at Don Juan, then walks over to the sword on the wall and takes it down. He looks at it, swings it around a few times, then turns and faces Don Juan. “You were quite impressive. But those were mere mortals. If anyone needs to make peace with God before he dies, it’s you, my friend.”

Humpty Dumpty does some fancy solo sword work, then attacks first. In only three attacks, Don Juan disarms Humpty Dumpty.

Instead of finishing him off, Don Juan tosses his sword to the ground. Humpty Dumpty laughs.

Don Juan takes a few steps forward and jabs Humpty Dumpty in the face twice. Then Humpty Dumpty throws a pair of hooks which Don Juan avoids and counters with a solid right cross to the face.

Humpty Dumpty feels his face and feels wetness. He takes a look at his bloody hand, then his face turns mean, real mean.

Humpty Dumpty lunges at Don Juan but Don Juan does a wrestling flip and throws Humpty Dumpty over the wall. Humpty Dumpty falls down, down, and down, all the way down.

Don Juan’s back broke in the process. He reacted naturally, which was a mistake as Humpty Dumpty is the heaviest man in the Kingdom.

Don Juan falls to the ground. He cannot move his legs and starts bleeding from the mouth. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out Alicia’s crucifix.

“Now, we can both rest in peace, my love,” he says softly right before he dies.

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