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Jack Collier: Omnibus Edition

Instead of linking to the old post, I thought I'd make a fresh post with all the Jack Collier stuff.

If you don’t know about the Jack Collier stories, they’re a series of detective stories that I wrote and posted on this journal.The main character is a Troy, Michigan based detective who lives in a world where holidays, organizations and concepts are all people. I really tried to keep too many fantasy elements out of these tales, trying to make sure that if I changed the names you’d just think they were some hard boiled detective fiction. They were posted in serial fashion, a few pages each day. I enjoyed writing them, and some people enjoyed reading them, even though reading lots of text on a computer screen is a pain in the patoot. I had intended to get the first four stories together into a book and get an on-demand publisher to print them, or something. That hasn’t happened yet because life happened and the editing of the manuscripts got pushed aside for a while. I’ll get back to that soon and you can all buy a paper version of the stories.

Anyway, here are the links to the stories themselves…

Christmas Noir
This story was an experiment. I’d never done first person with any kind of success, I’d never done anything outside the realms of sci-fi/ fantasy/ comic book style of story and I’d never really written much in the way of a holiday story. So I decided to make a hard boiled 30s style detective story which also reflected my feelings on Christmas and all that. This would set up Jack Collier and his world, and would lead to later stories. Things a re still a little rough in this story, but you can see where things are going. I liked this story enough to want to see the character again, so it was a successful experiment.

Day One
Day Two: The Fat Man
Day Three: History
Day Four: Lunch at the Mall
Day Five: The Car and the Agents
Day Six: Solstice Yule
Day Seven: Lunch
Day Eight: Mithras
Day Nine: Church
Day Ten: Cliffhanging
Day Eleven: Mr. Frost
Day Twelve: The Man in the Brown Corduroy Suit
Day Thirteen: Mr. Smith Goes to Hell.
Day Fourteen: Old Joe's Pawn Shop
Day Fifteen: Church in the Office
Day Sixteen: Dead?
Day Seventeen: Dinner And A Show
Day Eighteen: Standing in the Snow
Day Nineteen: Where have you been?
Day Twenty: I'm all out of clever titles
Day Twenty-One: No really, I've got no clever titles left.
Day Twenty-Two: Mr. Smith goes away
Day Twenty-Three: The Two of Us Alone
Day Twenty-Four: The exciting climax
Day Twenty-Five: The Last Day

This second story was supposed to be some sort of Easter story, but I dropped that idea pretty quickly and made it something else. This story is where Jack’s knack of being a total screw up was cemented forever. That might be a spoiler, but you don’t know how he screwed up yet so it should be okay. This story also solidified the use of literary and movie references. Specifically it set classic children's literature as the number one place for references to be drawn from.

Part One
Part Two: A Simple Job Goes Wrong
Part three: A Trip to Wonderland
Part Four: The Surprise Egg
Part Five: Awaken Dream Child
Part Six: Aiding and Abetting
Part Seven: The Hotel
Part Eight: Alice in Wonderment
Part Nine: Trying to get the story to end by part ten
Part Ten (a): Trail's End Part One
Part Ten (b): Trail's End Part two

Liberty's Child
This is probably my favorite story. This is the most reference heavy of all the stories, because I decided to make it a contest. This story turned out to be the most action oriented of all the stories. Jack doesn’t so much solve the mystery as much as follow a marked out trail. Still, that’s okay because he more or less falls into things in all the stories anyway. This is also the place where I really started to explore my feelings that Jack shouldn’t be the kind of person you want to hang out with. I made parts of the story deliberately cringe worthy, just to make sure everyone would know that Jack isn’t some kind of white knight.

Day 1: June 20th
Day 2: Coming Home
Day 3: Stately Freedom Manor
Day 4: Major Freedom
Day 5: Liberty and Me
Day 6: The Flower Garden
Day 7: Beethoven and The Bird
Day 8: Between Action
Day 9: Video
Day 10: Eddie The Bear
Day 11: Piggy, Mok and Griff
Day 12: Well, that was easy
Day 13: Or Not
Day 14: Five Long Minutes
Day 15: Six With One Blow
Day 16: Church's Return
Day 17: Dee's Office
Day 18: The 18th chapter!
Day 19: Piggy's End
Day 20: Columbia and Heart
Day 21: Aftermath
Day 22: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Day 23: The Hudson Super Six

In the Cabinet
This was meant to be a little more E.A. Poe and EC Comics then the other stories had been. If I were going to do a page one re-write of one of the stories, this would be it. It’s not that it’s bad, but it really wants to have more room to stretch out. This one is also the least reference heavy of all the stories, so it feels lesser.

Day One: The Check
Day Two: Sam Hain, Magician
Day Three: The Rest of the Cast
Day Four: The Show
Day Five: Becky, The Goth Punk Princess
Day Six: Hewie Homunculus, The Emo Assistant
Day Seven: The Office
Day Eight: Eddie the Bear and his Friends
Day Nine: Dr. Calgary, a medical doctor
Day Ten: Knock, The Mountain Troll
Day Eleven: Jack The Cat and the Murderer
Day Twelve: The License Question
Day Thirteen: Would the last one to leave please turn out the lights?

Jack & Jill
This was an experiment with trying to tell the same story through two points of view. Here we start with Jill starting the story, then Jack starts telling the story. Jill's segments don't come as often as I'd first thought, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Part One: Meet Jill
Part Two: Jack, Without Pail
Part Three: Just a Room
Part Four: Ding Dong Bell
Part Five: King, Cole & Fiddlers Three
Part Six: The Mexicans
Part Seven: Jill Sees Jack
Part Eight: Jack Sees Jill
Part Nine: Ambush
Part Ten: Another Long Minute
Part Eleven: Hospital
Part Twelve: Jack’s Ride Home
Part Thirteen: Jill’s Ride Home
Part Fourteen: Cole King’s Confession
Part Fifteen: Home Again, Home Again
Part Sixteen: Purity
Part Seventeen: Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill

Debbie's Story
While Jack was deep in a coma, Debbie reminiced about an episode in her past in which she and Jack were first engaged with each other.

November 8th, These are Days
November 15th, I Kissed a Girl
November 22nd, Can’t Fight This Feeling
November 29th, Your Love
December 6th, The World I Know
December 13th, Follow You Down
December 20th, Mandolin Rain

Jack Collier: Private Eye
Jack wakes up, Jack gets up, Jack gets a new job and has to work everything out before the end. The longest and most complicated of the stories, maybe too much so. Who can tell.

Chapter One: Coming Up For Air
Chapter Two: The First of Three Former Lovers
Chapter Three: The Second Lover
Chapter Four: The Last of Three Lovers
Chapter Five: Learning to Walk
Chapter Six: Coming Home
Chapter Seven: Rising Up Back on the Street
Chapter Eight: Alice and the Looking Glass
Chapter Nine: Personal History
Chapter Ten: When Men Talk Beauty
Chapter Eleven: The Big Talk
Chapter Twelve: Working My Way Back to You Babe
Chapter Thirteen: Who Runs This Place?
Chapter Fourteen: Looking for Cole King
Chapter Fifteen: Found Him
Chapter Sixteen: Stone Cold
Chapter Seventeen: Taking Away
Chapter Eighteen: Out on the Ledge.
Chapter Nineteen: The Three Fairy Godfathers
Chapter Twenty: Who’s in Charge Here?
Chapter Twenty-One: Jill’s Last Day
Chapter Twenty-Two: Talking to Daddy
Chapter Twenty-Three: I Got a Man
Chapter Twenty-Four: Just Looking After You
Chapter Twenty-Five: California Dreaming
Chapter Twenty-Six: Trouble
CHapter Twenty-Seven: Countdown
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Meanwhile
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Then the Knight Saves the Princess
Chapter Thirty: Cavalry and Cavalcades
Chapter Thirty-One: Kidnapped Again
Chapter Thirty-Two: A Lion’s Den
Chapter Thirty-Three: Bullets Miss Me
Chapter Thirty-Four: Mister Temple
Chapter Thirty-Five: On the Road Again
Chapter Thirty-Six: Running Home
Chapter Thirty-Seven: Going to Grandma’s House
Chapter Thirty-Eight: In Which Jack Kicks Ass and Takes Names
Chapter Thirty-Nine: How far will they go?
Chapter Forty: My Man Will Come
Chapter Forty-One: Everything You Know is Wrong
Chapter Forty-Two: The Angriest Song Ever
Chapter Forty-Three: Holding Out For a Hero
Chapter Forty-Four: All For You
Chapter Forty-Five: Suspension
Chapter Forty-Six: Now Who’s Rich?
Chapter Forty-Seven: How You’ve Grown
Chapter Forty-Eight: Changing faces
Chapter Forty-Nine: She Gave Her Angels
Chapter Fifty: The Problem with the Check
Chapter Fifty One: Suspiciously Like a Happy Ending.

For Your Toys Only
This last one was meant as a bit of fun and shouldn't really be taken seriously. It’s a joke on action movie, James Bond and Jack Higgins for the most part. I don’t think it really did all that I wanted it to do though. Partly because I’d done an action story already and partly because my heart wasn’t really in it at the time. Still, it’s a bit of fun and you can amuse yourself by checking where everything came from.

Episode One: Gun barrel and Pre-credit Sequence
Episode Two: The Credit Sequence (song: For Your Toys Only)
Episode Three: Operation Thunderbutt
Episode Four: The Grunch
Episode Five: The Sound of Silence
Episode Six: Le Pétomane
Episode Seven: Pigalle
Episode Eight: Some Travel Budget
Episode Nine: Walk Right In
Episode Ten: Re-Teaching Lesson 101
Episode Eleven: The Collier Irritation
Episode Twelve: Parting Ways
Episode Thirteen: OkayGuys
Episode Fourteen: The Cinnamon Bear
Episode Fifteen: Raiders of the Lost Sleigh
Episode Sixteen: Saving Santa
Episode Seventeen: Escape from the Bad Guys
Episode Eighteen: Paranoia
Episode Nineteen: S Branch
Episode Twenty: The Italian Favor
Episode Twenty-One: Jack Came Back the Very Next Day
Episode Twenty-Two: Mrs. White
Episode Twenty-Three: The Thug, the Nice and the Naughty
Episode Twenty-Four: Family
Episode Twenty-Five: Post-Script


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