What Really Grinds Your Gears? - Page 6


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Thread: What Really Grinds Your Gears?

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
    I got that, too. When I was researching Billy the Kid, virtually every source I checked had him born as Henry McCarthy, and later took the name (for no good reason) William H Bonney. But one book supposedly written by a guy who rode with him started off by saying he was born to Martha* Bonney, therefore his real name would have been Bonney, not McCarthy. Kind of makes sense, cos if your name is William you're more likely to go by Billy than if your name is Henry. Then again, he seemed anxious to erase his father's memory, so maybe. But apart from this one, seemingly authoritative account, EVERY OTHER source (including his official history website and museum or something) says no, Henry McCarthy. So I don't know what to believe. You're right though (not withstanding your own discoveries that the facts were correct) - biographies should not have incorrect or conflicting information in them. If you don't know, say so, or don't write the damn thing.

    * May not have been Martha, not sure, but definitely Bonney.
    For this, I would ask myself a few questions about the author who supposedly rode with the guy. Questions like how well he knew Billy and how he felt about him. If he had a grudge, or just straight up hated him, he probably most definitely would make up bullshit when writing about him as a big 'F-you'. Also, how late in his life did he write the book? Whether he hated Billy or not, the ravages of time may have done wonders to erode his memories so while he wrote, his brain filled in the gaps not knowing if it were accurate or not (and Billy, obviously, wasn't around to verify, what with him being dead and all.)

  2. #52
    Music Guru Trollheart's Avatar
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    In my case it wasn't hugely important. I just wanted the Devil to keep calling him Henry, and Billy to be saying "my name's Billy. Why do you keep calling me Henry?" Then the Devil would say "I tend to prefer to use the name people are given at birth. That's why I call myself Lucifer." etc. But if he wasn't born Henry McCarthy then that wouldn't have worked. In the end, I decided to go with it. After all, it's just a story and the perceived and accepted wisdom is that Henry McCarthy was his birth name, so if it got published I was more likely to get stick from people saying "but he was born Henry McCarthy, not William Bonney!" than otherwise, and in the case of the latter, ninety percent of my research backed that fact up.
    Come away, human child to the waters and the wild
    With a faery hand in hand.
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. - WB Yeats "The Stolen Child"

    I drink to forget, but I never forget to drink.

    "If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


    The most destructive force on the planet is not nukes or global warming...it is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
    In my case it wasn't hugely important. I just wanted the Devil to keep calling him Henry, and Billy to be saying "my name's Billy. Why do you keep calling me Henry?" Then the Devil would say "I tend to prefer to use the name people are given at birth. That's why I call myself Lucifer." etc. But if he wasn't born Henry McCarthy then that wouldn't have worked. In the end, I decided to go with it. After all, it's just a story and the perceived and accepted wisdom is that Henry McCarthy was his birth name, so if it got published I was more likely to get stick from people saying "but he was born Henry McCarthy, not William Bonney!" than otherwise, and in the case of the latter, ninety percent of my research backed that fact up.
    Right. :3 I do think your novel sounds interesting. Let me know when it's ready to be published so I can read it.

    As for my thing with Louis, well, now I finally got the basic facts down (i.e., his dad and Mr. Dumbass McDickwaffle who wouldn't have even been the director of the Royal Institute in 1821) so that's good. As far as the character Denise goes? Well, that raises another question. If she weren't real, then that means she was the fictional product of that biographer who wanted to give Louis a love interest. Which means if I borrowed her and had her be Louis' girlfriend, I'd be committing theft. Guess my options for that are either to not include a girlfriend, or give that person another name. Or remove the love interest and put in Louis' buddy, Pierre Foucault. They would've had to have known each other since their childhood days in the Institute. Possibilities!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre...ictor_Foucault

    Hmm... *conducts more research*
    Last edited by The Green Shield; October 2nd, 2019 at 02:34 PM.

  4. #54
    Music Guru Trollheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Green Shield View Post
    Right. :3 I do think your novel sounds interesting. Let me know when it's ready to be published so I can read it.
    It's not a novel, just a short(ish) story. About 20,000 words I think, or close anyway. I'm nearly finished it, just a few things to tie up, but if you want, here's an extract. Glad to hear what you think of it. By the way, sorry about the spacing and indents; that happened when I copied it into Google Docs and I couldn't get it sorted. Real headache.

    II: Between the Devil and the deep blue sky

    Without looking back, he snapped his fingers in the air and to Billy’s amazement they were no longer on Boot Hill surrounded by tombstones and the smell of death, but high on a mountain, the sky as blue as Billy could ever recall seeing it. Nor was it night any more; the sun shone brightly in the hot summer sky, the wind whistling in his ears, the air chill but very fresh. Over to the southeast, a golden eagle wheeled in the sky, its wings effortlessly manipulating the updrafts to allow it to glide through the air. As he watched, the predator dipped below one of the lower hills and was gone. Following its path with his eyes though showed him how high up they were, and his stomach lurched as his feet involuntarily scrabbled for purchase.

    How – how in the hell did we get here?” The gasp that was torn from his throat was the more ragged due to the effort it took to get the words out, given the thinner air up here in what almost seemed the very sky itself. The Stranger, far from being disoriented or throw off-balance, had his hands thrust into the pockets of his jacket and was standing very close to the edge, looking over the steep precipice with a sort of casual interest.

    Precisely,” he grinned, which made no sense to the Kid. He did, however, feel compelled to warn his companion of the danger, about which the black-garbed man seemed oblivious.

    Watch your footing there, mister. It’s a long way down.”

    A short bark of laughter issued from the man’s throat; Billy didn’t quite get the joke.

    Oh, don’t you worry about me, Henry,” he assured the Kid. “I’ve fallen from a far greater height than this, oh yes. This?” He waved an expansive arm out over the cliff, in the kind of sweeping motion that might have sent a less sure-footed man plummeting over the edge. “This is nothing, believe me.”

    Feeling less than reassured, Billy asked “Wh-where are we?”

    The height was indeed dizzying. He could not recall ever being at such an elevation; mountains were for hiding from posses, not for climbing for sport. The wind whistling around the face of the cliff they stood on seemed like some sort of elemental monster, anxious to pluck him from the mountainside and hurl him over the edge. Dream or no dream, he felt his heart quickening in his breast, and sweat stood out on his forehead, dripping down his back and soaking his already wet shirt.

    They call this the Sierra Nevada,” the Stranger told him, hands thrust deep into his pockets as he looked out over the edge with as little caution as if they stood on some old low stone wall, where falling would be nothing more than the merest inconvenience and would occasion no harm except perhaps a slight loss of footing. “Know what that means, Henry?”

    The Kid nodded. “I got me a little Spanish, mister,” he affirmed. “Sierra’s mountains, and nevada is... snow, I reckon?”

    The Stranger nodded, grinning. “Snowy mountains,” he agreed. “You can see some of it way up there, on the higher peaks there in the distance.”

    Billy craned his neck upwards, his stomach suddenly flipping as he realised that, despite the great height at which they stood, they were not at the top of the range. The upper peaks, which he could just about make out, wreathed as they were in low-hanging cloud, were indeed dusted with a frosting of snow which sparkled and flashed and reflected the morning sunlight. He briefly wondered what it might be like to stand at such a towering height, looking down on the world below.

    I ain’t much for geography, mister,” Billy told him slowly, “but from what I recollect, the Sierra Nevada’s in California. That’s a hell of a ways from Fort Sumner.”

    Details, mere details.” The Stranger waved his hand dismissively. “Don’t waste time worrying about how we got here, Henry, or how you appear to be alive when you know you’re quite definitely dead. Look over the edge, and tell me you don’t find that view breath-taking!”

    There was no doubting the vista was awesome, but Billy’s natural sense of self-preservation, even in a dream, kept him from coming close enough to the edge to properly observe the panorama spread out below him. Reluctant to show fear in front of any man, he resorted to irritation, snapping at his companion “Why in tarnation do you keep calling me Henry, mister? That ain’t my name!”

    Ah.” The Stranger raised one finger, wagging it gently at him. “But it was, once, was it not?”

    I was born with that name, sure.” Billy seemed a little uncomfortable discussing it. “But I left it behind long ago, like I left my old life behind.”

    And you took the name William Bonney. Yes, I’m acquainted with your past, Henry,” the black-garbed man told him, performing a sort of slow one-legged dance, such as Billy had once or twice seen the dancing girls do in something they called a ballet. Except those ladies did not execute such a delicate manoeuvre many thousands of feet up in the sky, on the edge of a mountain! The Stranger did not seem concerned, suddenly jumping high into the air and landing on his tiptoes, almost at the very extremity of the cliff. Instinctively, Billy closed his eyes, thinking the man had leapt to his doom, but on opening them again he was both relieved and amazed to see that the Stranger was still with him, and describing increasingly dangerous movements closer to the precipice. It was, thought Billy, as if he was taunting death, and the Kid watched in a kind of rapt bemusement.

    But you see,” he explained, “it’s my belief that a man’s true power, his heart, even his soul if you will, is in his name, and so I tend to prefer to use the name for a man which he was born with. After all, I have many names by which I’m known, but I prefer the one I was, if you will, born with. My original name. It means “light bringer,” you know. Or some translate it as “morning star.”

    What does?” Something Billy had once heard – he had no idea where – was scratching at his brain, closing icy fingers around his heart, hole and all.

    Why, Lucifer, of course.” The Stranger beamed. Billy took a step backwards, realised that his feet were about to take him over the edge, but realised this too late and went sprawling out into space, his arms windmilling as he fell.

    Oh dear.” Instead of plummeting to his death (or, more likely, being shaken awake from this awful dream) Billy found himself rising. Something had him in an almost claw-like grip, and the sound of beating wings was loud in his ears. He didn’t dare look up to discover their source, lest his suddenly fragile sanity shatter altogether, but a moment later he was back on the mountain, feet firmly on solid ground, and the black-clad figure was standing before him, just as before, smiling, a wicked glint in his (red?) eyes.

    On reflection,” Lucifer noted, as if talking to himself, “perhaps not the best environment in which to reveal my identity to you. My apologies, Henry.”

    Billy, his legs having given out and he now on his knees in the dirt, struggled to his feet and, reacting naturally for him, went for his gun.

    Get thee behind me, Satan!” he growled.

    Oh dear,” said Lucifer again. “Why does everyone insist on using that name? You should know, I really hate it. And after all, I’ve done you the courtesy of using your true name, why can you not do me the same honour? At any rate,” here the grin broke out on his face again, “I thought you were the kind of man who preferred an enemy to be in front of, not behind him. Apart from which, I’m not your – now stop that! That’s just silly! What do you think that’s going to accomplish?”

    This last followed the discharge of the Colt in Billy’s hand and the subsequent ineffectual impact of six bullets, fired off in rapid fashion, none of which penetrated Lucifer’s body. One did, however, have some effect, knocking off his hat and sending it over the side. This elicited a dark scowl from the Devil.

    Mighty unfriendly act, that,” he grated, his eyes definitely flashing red now, though outwardly there had been no change in his appearance. “You ain’t got no call to be deprivin’ a man of his hat.”

    He snapped his fingers in irritation, and another hat appeared on his head. It was identical to the one he had just lost, minus the bullet-hole Billy had drilled in it. Seeing his gun was of no use to him, the young gunfighter fell back to his knees.

    Lord God Almighty!” He threw down the revolver, pressing his hands together and raising them to the sky. “Save my wretched soul! Saints in Heaven, preserve me!”

    Lucifer gave him a disgusted look. “Oh don’t do that, Henry! Don’t be one of those people! Don’t be a sheep!” He lowered his voice, turning away as if talking to someone else. “Why do they do this?” he asked. “What is it that makes them think that no matter what they’ve done, praying is going to make God come to their rescue?”

    He turned back to face the now-sobbing Billy the Kid. His face was twisted in a sneer of derision as he looked down on the desperado. “You think He hears you?” He shouted and pointed up at the sky. “You think He cares? What is it about you mortals that makes you think you have some sort of open-line connection to the Almighty? That all you have to do is ask, and He will answer? You think He’s listening, watching you? He has a whole universe to run! He’s a busy man! He don’t care about you, Henry. He ain’t gonna rescue you. He ain’t gonna banish me or send flights of angels to sing you to your rest.”

    Softening his tone a tiny bit, Satan hunkered down beside Billy, just as he had done beside the gravestone of the unlucky cowboy whose only name was Jonah. The Kid’s head was bowed, bowed in prayer, bowed in fear, bowed in supplication. Lucifer tilted his head up, forcing him to look into those deep, dark, fiery eyes.

    You’re already damned, Henry,” he informed the Kid. “You’re lost to Him, even if He cared, which He don’t. You ain’t never gonna see Heaven.” He frowned, genuine puzzlement on his features, which somehow were more terrible in their ordinary humanity than they would have been had he manifested as a snarling red-skinned demon. “Surely you must have known that, deep down?”

    Wiping his eyes with the back of his sleeve, angry at having been so unmanned, Billy snuffled and nodded. “Reckon I always knowed I was bound for Hell,” he admitted. “But those preachers, they always said that if you was to repent on your deathbed...”

    Lucifer nodded, cutting him off. “And do you repent, Henry?” he asked gently, almost like a parent trying to get their child to admit to wrongdoing. “Are you sorry you killed all those men? Really, in your heart, in your soul, can you say you regret what you did?”

    Billy was silent, and his silence told its own tale. He knew everyone he had killed – he had heard folks had run the number up to a score or more, but it was only eight in all – had deserved it, or had been about to kill him. Joe Grant, he had been warned that the guy was out to get him, but Billy got him first, jamming up his revolver and then shooting him in the head. Bob Olinger and his deputy James Bell, well they had been holding him prisoner, prior to his hanging. All he did was break out, killing the two of them in the process. And nobody who died in the Lincoln County War at his hands deserved the slightest iota of sympathy; they had killed the only man who had ever come close to being a father figure to him, and every one of them paid for the death of John Tunstall.

    So no: there was no repentance in his soul for killing any of those men. They didn’t deserve it.

    Lucifer nodded. “Makes no never mind anyway,” he drawled. “I’m not sayin’ there’s not room for forgiveness in Heaven, mind you now, it’s just there ain’t no-one there to dole out that forgiveness. Shoot! Most times there ain’t even a welcoming committee for the newly-dead, and Saint Peter just sits there with a book, waving the souls through without a word. Not like it used to be, no sir. They sure have let standards slip.”
    Come away, human child to the waters and the wild
    With a faery hand in hand.
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. - WB Yeats "The Stolen Child"

    I drink to forget, but I never forget to drink.

    "If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


    The most destructive force on the planet is not nukes or global warming...it is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

  5. #55
    I am not happy about how bi-weekly means both twice per week and once every two weeks. Same with bi-monthly.

  6. #56
    Incels. They give such a terrible name for socially awkward or anxious people, and reading about their antics on Reddit enrages me like little else. I'm thankful I haven't met one in real life, and I can't guarantee I won't try to punch them out if they have the complete misfortune of spewing their misogynistic crap within my earshot.

    On a lighter note, crowds of people who bimble along a walkway at half the average person's walking speed, thus blocking the path for everybody else. Also, people who use the phrase 'cultural Marxism' for anything. While we're on the latter topic, general ignorance too.

  7. #57
    Board Moderator J.T. Chris's Avatar
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    Impatient drivers irritate me. Relax buddy, you'll get there.

    On the contrary, slow drivers also annoy me. I clearly can't be pleased.
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  8. #58
    Families with small children out panhandling. WTF are they doing having all those kids if they can't support them? And why do they need to have the words "GOD BLESS" on their signs? Does that increase their yield?

  9. #59
    The book I am reading jumped from page 134 to 156, bound perfectly, they have not been ripped out, but left out by the publisher. It was very good on the peninsular war, but the return of Napoleon and Waterloo just aint there. Grrr.
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
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  10. #60
    What really pisses me off?
    When the orange idiot abandons people who have been our allies for more than a decade, people who have been paramount in fighting ISis, the Taliban, and AlQuaida.
    He just abandoned them, knowing full well that Turkey is going to roll in there and murder them.
    All because he has two buildings in Istanbul.
    So to protect his own fortune, the stable moron has left the Kurds to be slaughtered.
    America no longer has any credibility among our allies.
    I hate that draft-dodging, rapist. It amazes me that so many people still endorse him.
    They say half of the world has an IQ below 100.
    Now we know who they voted for.

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