In Deed, Page 114 and Author’s Notes

The final page of the scifi/horror serial fiction project “In Deed” is complete.

Author’s Notes below:

This story has a long, long history. It is probably the story that’s been riding around in my head for the longest period of time. I don’t recall the original inspiration, but I do remember thinking: “I bet I can do for astronauts what Stephen King did for clowns”. Thus came the idea of an undead serial killer wearing something resembling a NASA space suit. The original title was “Spaceman”. All the characters were there, although in slightly different forms. Tandem was male, and black, and died horribly in the very first attack. Ethan wasn’t a spy; and the story focused a lot more on Captain Shaw than any of the versions that came after. I had just written the part where Tandem had gotten torn apart (literally) by *something* hiding in the dust cloud when… hell, I don’t know what happened. I guess I found some other idea more appealing and I put “Spaceman” on the shelf.

It remained on that shelf for years; until I found myself looking for the next story to get a visual treatment over on The Book of Dark Places. My “skill” with Poser had advanced to the point where I thought I could handle the heavy action scenes, so I figured why the hell not? I had to make some changes to fit within that format, not to mention within the limited number of Poser models I had on hand. That’s when Tandem became female, and the main villain became less of an astronaut and more of an armored soldier… literally because I didn’t have any astronaut models on hand. I started that version, and got as far into the story as “something’s not right here” when I put the entire Book of Dark Places project on permanent hold. It would have been interesting to see what that version would have been like. There were some significant differences in what I had planned to do there and what I ended up doing in the text version that followed. For instance: Tandem had a girlfriend. Technically, she DID appear in the text version in an altered form, though. That dead body stuffed into the power receptacles on Stryger’s ship? Yeah, that was her. In the comic they were going to find her alive (but insane) in the facility. She was going to last just long enough to tell them what was going on, and not one second longer. Tandem wasn’t being mind controlled in the comic version and she was going to go into full-on cyborg berserker rage when her sweety bit the dust. The end of the story would make a little more sense then, as Tandem would have a personal reason to do what she did… and keep doing it, presumably forever. Yeah, if you’ve read the final page already, the story was going to end like that even from the web comic days. There was going to be no “giant hand in the sky”, though. Instead, Ethan, Tandem, and the soldier were going to be fighting on the outside of the ship as Shaw tried to take off. Trust me, it would have been cool.

ANYWAY… that project died and “In Deed”, now a story about the sins of the past coming back to haunt the present, returned to text format. There were still more changes, and we ended up with the story you just finished (or are about to finish). I hope you enjoyed it as much (or more) as I enjoyed writing it. I did take yet another unexpected hiatus at the end, but I got over myself and hopefully you won’t let that lapse taint the tale. I am glad the story is over, though. I feel like a rather heavy weight has been lifted, and all the other stories in my head are beginning to see some daylight. Let’s see what grows…


  1. nate, August 15, 2011:

    Excellent ending. I’ve been waiting a long time for this story to finish, and I’m not dissatisfied at all for sticking around, even during the times of hiatus.

    The BODP experiment was, and is, a good place to revisit. I wish I had some way to download those flash stories in their entirety like I do with your written works, because I figure at some point in time that site might die. Each of those stories in itself deserves the text treatment, but I won’t hold my breath. Those stories have been told already, and I’m hoping there are more to come.

    Thank you for finishing out In Deed. It has been a wild and wonderful ride.

  2. Caber, August 16, 2011:

    Feel like I have been following this story forever, almost sad to see it finally end. Interesting to hear your ideas on how it originally played out in your head. I could see the plus/minus of being Tandem’s SO. on the one hand, she won’t talk much, that is a major plus, but God forbid you leave the toilet seat up.

    Curious to see which characters in your head are the most boisterous in demanding another story.

  3. nate, August 22, 2011:

    Don’t know when it’s DI’s birthday, but I bet he’d like one of these.

  4. epm, August 24, 2011:

    Of course I like how it ended (if you call ethernal torment an end), and thank you for a glimpse of your creative process.

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