Author Guest Post!: “The Uh…. Game” by Mark Morrison, Author of TwoSpells


Author: Mark Morrison
Published February 21st, 2018

About the Book: TwoSpells is a magical tale about a set of teenage twins, Sarah and Jon, who find out that they’re heirs to an ancient, magical realm containing an enchanted library that can transport a reader to anywhere or anytime the author has written into the story. They soon realize that moving through multidimensional worlds isn’t the safest or wisest of choices.

They’re immediately pulled into an inter-dimensional war erupting between goodness inherent within her kind and new evil forces flowing from parallel universes now looking to claim the library’s unique magical enchantment as their own portal to besieging and conquering their world and all realms outside their own.

Along the way, the twins meet astonishing and fascinating characters of a wide variety of species, both Regulars and Irregulars, who can do amazing things. Some are good and some are of unspeakably horrific creations bent on one thing: destroying the two strange intruders who have entered and disrupted their sacred two-dimensional domain.

Sarah and Jon have left behind their much simpler life as Regulars and embrace their new positions as successors to a very special kingdom designed for their kind only, the Irregulars.

Excerpt: Chapter 12

THE FRONT DOOR LAY FLATTENED, hinges bent and twisted and the sliding bolt-lock contorted. The door jam was broken and splintered.

“What is this?” Grandpa roared, waving his walking stick at the mountainous intruders. “Which one of ya’ is gonna pay for all this?”

The dust settled and the two ominous figures stood just outside the doorway, the bright moon blazing behind them. Tattooed across their pale blue foreheads were the numbers thirty-seven and thirty-eight. Each was stuffed into a suit two sizes too small and busting at the seams, barely able to contain their hulking, muscular bodies. Black, wraparound sunglasses hid their eyes from view and Sarah could tell that something strange lay behind them. One muttered into a small microphone curled toward his lips and the other stared straight ahead.

Grandpa rolled up behind them. “Collectors!”

“Collectors?” Sarah whispered to Jon. He shrugged.

“You know why here,” Thirty-seven grunted, flipping one side of his jacket open and exposing a peculiar gold badge attached to his belt. It was a cluster of mechanical gears embedded with astrological symbols and a mechanical winged dragon clinging to a peculiar orbs.

“We do not!” Grandma shouted, leaning on her walker.

“Overdue book,” the other one boomed, holding out a six fingered hand.

“I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about ya’ thug,” Grandma said, rolling her walker closer. “Who’s gonna fix me door?”

The Collectors muttered something in another language to one another.

“We haven’t even been ta’ the bloody library in years,” Grandpa argued. “Ya’ have that written in your records?”

Thirty-seven moved closer, his hand out again. “Special text overdue.”

Sarah and Jon eased backward a little. The tone of its voice sounded threatening.

About the Author: Mark was born number seven of eight children in a small town in Ohio. His family moved to Florida where he grew up, met an incredible women, got married and raised four fantastic children, three boys and a girl. Many years later an empty nest left him to his true calling, storytelling. His first remarkable story is about a heroin whose courage and unrestrained personality, like his daughters, breathes passion and fervor into this adrenaline packed fantastical story.

Author Guest Post: 

“The Uh… Game”

Hello Everyone,

I’m Mark Morrison. I’m originally from a teeny-tiny town in Ohio called Salem. My father used to say that it was the armpit of the country. Peeuuw! I have seven brothers and sisters, a slew of nieces and nephews and a couple dozen great nieces and nephews. I now live in Florida with my loving wife, four children and two beautiful grand-babes. It’s hot down here, but it’s just a sticky, obnoxiously wet heat. Hahaha.

My father used to say that I was an uneducated genius. I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that. I suppose he thought that because I spent most of my time in school more involved in sports and art classes than mathematics, history or science. I did, however, sneak in several elective credits as a librarian’s assistant. That was a whole lot of fun and I was able to read a ton of awesome books.

As a boy I grew up reading things like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries, and classics, like Huckleberry Finn and Charlotte’s Web. I topped those off with some outstanding comic books and MAD magazines. But as I got older my taste changed. I was really into Isaac Asimov, George Orwell and Edgar Allen Poe. And I watched a lot of television as well. Star Trek, Dark Shadows, The Twilight Zone, Dr. Who, Andy Griffith, Mary Tyler Moore, the Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island rounded out some dull afternoons when I didn’t have a book in hand.

As most folks with large families know, board games are an inexpensive way to entertain ourselves. We’d always get a batch of new board games at Christmas along with a new pair of socks and underwear. On one particular low budget Christmas, my father introduced us to a game he claimed he’d invented called, “Uh!”

Our family would gather in the living room and Dad would elect one of us to start the game. The starter would have to create a totally fictitious story out of thin air using heavy inflection and hand gestures to embolden the story. After a sentence or two they’d pause mid-sentence and let the next player take over from there. This continued around the room until someone hesitated or said “uh” while trying to think of an idea. That player was out and the game continued until only one person was left. The stories were extremely creative and often incredibly strange, because each player was attempting to make the next in line chuckle and fumble. It was an awesome game of improvisation and I credit my love of storytelling, and wild hand gesturing while I speak, to that silly game.

Picture this scenario: A teacher in a room full of school children chooses an order to play a really fun and improvisational game. The teacher determines the first to play, a child in the front row seat was chosen and starts a story with a simple partial idea like this, “Once upon a time there was a young giraffe by the name of George who woke up one morning and realized he had lost his spots and…”

The child next in order adds to it, “Cried because he felt naked and embarrassed that all the other giraffes still had their beautiful spots and he didn’t. He searched the plains where he lived for hours on end, even searched the nearby forest with no luck at all. His spots had seemed to have just disappeared in the night. He decided somebody must have…

The next in order has to add to that, “Stolen his spots while he slept. Being the tallest creature in the neighborhood so continued his search further from home. He scanned the new surroundings until he saw what he thought were his missing spots on a creature perched on a tree limb in the distance. The creature was called a…

The next in order continues, “Leopard. George was furious that someone would take his precious spots. He ran to the tiny leopard and cried out….uhhhhh…”

That child slipped up and paused, therefore they’re eliminated and the game continues on from there to the next player rounding the room over and over until every child is eliminated except one.

The stories can turn into some very bizarre abstract worlds full of nonsensical ideas but hilarious sometimes. My family would have a ball for hours and hours playing UH! And for free. It was a fantastic way to teach us how to think fast and improvise. I lend that game to my ability to pretty much create a story out of any idea thrown at me in an instant.

Thanks for listening!

And thank you, Mark, for sharing your story!

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