Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Danger is Not My Middle Name #16

We may be taking a little break in the story over the next few days to bring you up to date on some VCD (Very Cool Developments).

As you may or may not know, Auto FX has just released the latest update to Mystical Lighting. It's available now at www.autofx.com. On the face of it,it appears to be a radical departure from the classic Mystical Lighting 1.0. I'll be taking a hard look at the demo over the weekend.

Good or bad remains to be seen. I use Mystical Lighting 1.0 frequently -- so do a lot of you. It'll be interesting to see if 2.0 is as vast an improvement on 1.0 as Mystical Tint Tone and Color 2.0 was on the "mostly useless" MTTC 1.0. MTTC 2.0 blew us away. Hopefully Mystical Lighting 2.0 will have the same effect. Time will tell.

I'm trying to line up an interview with Cliff Weems, from Auto FX about his latest creation and posting the interview here.

2010 promises a bumper crop of Photoshop releases. We're all looking forward to seeing what Adobe's going to do with the new CS5. Alien Skin is working on a new Bokeh update, which yours truly will be helping them with. We'll keep you posted.

Look for that interview...and a the last three episodes of STOKERS later in the week.

Now: Back to Mr. Diamond:


The darkness closed around me like an accountant’s fist and even when the door should have been just a few feet away from me – it loomed what appeared to be miles above.

Pungent scent filled my nostrils and made my eyes water. This didn’t matter a whole lot, I decided, because I could barely see anyway. Bogie would have had a flashlight or simply happened across a richly guttering torch. But this wasn’t a movie and there was nothing. As I moved forward I knew that a single misstep would send me tumbling down these stairs and who knew how far I would fall? Maybe forever. Maybe longer.

“Are you out of your freaking mind?” my heart snapped. “Do you realize what you are doing here? What you are risking here? You are like, going to get us killed, you freaking dumbass moron.”

“What else were we supposed to do?” my brain asked my heart coldly. “We have to know what’s down here.”

“We do?” asked my heart, dripping sarcasm. “Why is THAT?”

“Because we have to know,” explained my brain patiently. “We must experience...”

“Dork,” my heart hissed.

“Chicken,” my brain hissed back.

“Moron,” the heart cried – a little louder this time. “We’re in a black pit working our way deeper into darkness, blockhead.”

“You want us to stay where it’s safe and NEVER know what’s down here?” my brain responded, and then began casting about for an appropriate invective. “Mr. Poopypants.”

“That’s the best you can do?” began my heart.

“We think we should do whatever is safest,” chimed in my male orbs softly, speaking in unison.

It went on like that for a long time. My body parts have a long history of arguing with each other.

I continued down into the darkness, my hand carefully tracing a path along the wall. The light was closer now. I could see it moving on the wall with the oddly flickering dance that a fire throws.

It was then that I heard the first sound. It was a leathery step. Think of the sound two pieces of paper make when you rub them together.

“That’s it. We are like TOTALLY screwed,” my heart moaned.

My mind came to complete attention and began studying the darkness in front of me.

The sound came again. Closer. Coming our way. Definitely.

Very quietly, my male orbs went back into hiding while my heart gibbered incoherently and the figure on the stairs grew closer.

My heart pounded in my ears….and for a second I thought I was going to faint. For a second I stood peering into the face of the Abyss…alive with color and stars and things that moved with impossible speed.

Then the darkness took me and I knew nothing at all.

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