“Never piss off a writer. You’ll end up in the sequel!” — Sally T
Thanks, Sally. You opened up the door to let Loki whisper in my ear even more.
If you’ve been reading my posts over the last couple of weeks, you know that I’ve been having an issue with the company that is supposed to renew and keep my websites running. My Morning Sky Studios website has been down completely since February 17th. I’ve had no access to email there (growl!). I might as well be dead in the water there. The renewal has been paid for — the company is just not removing the on-hold status. I can’t even say they are refusing because they won’t respond to me at all.
I’ve asked for authorization codes needed to transfer my sites and they won’t issue those either. Again, zero response from them. I have 25 support tickets with them right now. I’ve also sent numerous emails to other email addresses they’ve sent emails to me over the years. I’ve been with this company since 2005, so they’ve had my business for quite awhile. But I’m to a point now where I need someone reliable — someone who will keep my sites running whenever a domain comes up for renewal, which has not been happening for the last few years.
I’ve put a lot of time and energy into trying to get a response out of them. I’ve taken the squeaky wheel approach — if I’m annoying, I will get what I want so they can get me to go away. It’s sad, but I really have no other leverage in this matter. Other methods of recourse will be long and probably expensive. I’d really not like to resort to them if I don’t have to.
I have really been on a roller-coaster of emotion. Quite frankly, last night I was ready to quit. Just be done. Just walk away.
I am watching one company tear down what I have built up for 13 years because they want to be a baby about losing business. Anyone with a professional bone in their body would have handed over the codes when first requested. I don’t know if I have the strength to rebuild. Everything I’ve done for over a decade has been tied up with my Morning Sky Studios name.
I’m not even sure I want to release this post. There’s part of me that just wants to release a big I QUIT! and go silent.
Loki had prodded me to write this story, so write it I did.
But I didn’t want to write a Loki story about this. A Jason story, however…
by Dawn Blair (? maybe.)
Jason entered the coffee shop for his usual morning meeting with Loki, who waited inside for him, two hot coffees on the table, both growing cold. One possibly faster than the other, and it wouldn’t be Loki’s cup. A little trick Loki liked to play when Jason was late. Today, he probably deserved it.
He hated having to bring Loki bad news.
Worse, this was news he really didn’t want to deliver at all.
He painfully wished that Odin’s eye had seen this incident and the All-Father of Asgard had just sent his ravens to poop on someone’s head before it had escalated to this point. However, for whatever reason, this had been allowed to happen and the aftermath was not summing up to be pretty. Fallout would be bad. Loki needed to know. Loki needed to intervene.
Jason found Loki sitting at their normal table. Loki looked about to open his mouth to let some snarky comment fall out as Jason pulled out a chair, but he stopped as Jason plunked down.
“What’s wrong?” Loki asked. Talk about being Mr. Perception. “Something’s wrong.”
“How did you guess?”
“I sensed a disturbance in the Force. Now out with it. Who died?”
“No one died, Loki. But your author is in trouble.”
At first, Loki looked like he might laugh. Then his face grew serious. “Dawn is in trouble? You’re not kidding, right?”
Jason shook his head. “Not kidding.”
“The woman’s not perfect, but she doesn’t let drama stick in her life. What could possibly be wrong?”
Jason picked up the cardboard cup closest to him. Yep, cold nearly as ice. Probably only the room’s temperature kept it as warm as it was. He took a sip anyway. He could probably use something a little stronger today. Dang this was hard.
“Well?” Loki prodded.
“Dawn’s publishing website has not been renewed by the company she paid to renew it. They’ve placed the domain name on hold. They won’t answer any of her emails. They also haven’t responded to her requests for authorization codes to unlock her domains for transfer.”
Loki sat back in his chair, seeming to consider all Jason had said. “Ymir’s bones,” he whispered.
“They are basically holding her websites hostage.”
“We’re good here, right?”
“Yes, Loki. Her blog is outside of that sphere.”
“Good, good.” Loki’s gaze shifted toward the table and his eyes lost focus as he contemplated everything.
“You know what this means, don’t you?” Jason asked, half afraid of what Loki would say in answer.
“I do.” Loki leaned solemnly forward over the table and smacked the flat of his hand against it. “They are messing with me!”
“Um, yes, I guess,” Jason stammered. “How do you figure?”
“That ought to be obvious! You mess with her, you mess with me. I know that if it were me, I’d be so driven and obsessive about it, I’d get nothing else done.”
“No, you’d bother me so much that I’d get nothing else done,” Jason said flatly, wishing that Loki would somehow hear the truth of his words.
“So something must be done.”
“I’m not sure –” Jason began.
But Loki interrupted, “Excuse me. I must go whisper in her ear for a moment.”
Before Jason blinked again, Loki had vanished. Jason swept his gaze around the coffee shop, wondering if any of the morning patrons had noticed his boss’ disappearance. He doubted anyone had. He seemed to be right.
Jason took sip of cold coffee and drummed the fingers of his free hand on the table. He waited. How long would Loki take?
He hated sitting here, not knowing what was going on, not knowing if Loki was really out there doing anything or just making Jason wait. A response would be nice.
His mind and his gaze began to wander.
“Does this company still have phone service?”
Jason snapped back as Loki barked the question at him across the table. “Yes, Loki. And Internet too. We wouldn’t want them to be incapable of responding.” As Jason sat there, he felt himself begin to shake from the startle of Loki returning.
“Right. Good thinking. They probably do need Internet access to fix her problem.”
“Plus they need a way to get the emails she’s been sending to them at least three times a day. Did you know that she’s been a good girl for continuously knocking at their door. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. I swear, she is learning to take after me.”
“Can’t be from you whispering in her ear all the time,” Jason said.
“It’s too bad we can’t get a bunch of brave souls to email a message to them, something like:
The power of Loki compels you: give Dawn Blair the authorization codes to transfer her websites as she has requested. You do not want to stand against the god of mischief. Ill fated luck comes to those sodden fools. Sincerely, Loki
“Don’t you think that would be good?” Loki asked. “It certainly would be funny to see their faces when they get all these emails from random people.” Loki nearly laughed just picturing it in his mind. There was something about seeing Loki entertaining himself that made Jason smile. Almost.
“Sounds like you’re trying to build an army.”
“Yes,” Loki practically shouted, swinging his index finger. “Loki’s Army.”
“I don’t know,” Jason responded. “It would take a pretty brave person to step out of the box like like.”
“Yes, but I must take care of my girl! Besides, my fans are awesome,” Loki grinned. “Maybe I can even talk Dawn into releasing that Fenrir story that she wrote as a reward when she has success.”
“You are incorrigible!”
“I’d rather be encouraging.” Loki leaned forward over the table. “Okay, that’s one plan. Do we have anything else? What else can we do to help Dawn get control of her domains? How about sending them a horse head? We can stick it in their bed, like they did in that Godfather movie. Or slap it on all of their computer screens.”
“I’m not sure she needs your nose in her business,” Jason said, finally able to get this thought into this conversation. “She’s already not getting anything else done without you whispering devious plans in her ear. She’s got Prince of the Ruined Land corrections to get done, Eggs at Play to set up in print format, Mystery of the Stardust Monk to revise as well as the cover to get done, the sixth Loki novella to edit and the seventh to finish, website updates as well as show applications and bookkeeping to do. Every day she fights with this, the further behind she gets.”
“Exactly! We must get her back to working on my novellas! We must make this all better!” Loki straightened in his chair, his face lighting up. “I know. I will ask Thor to strike with his hammer in Gulf of Mexico.”
“Wait, why? Loki?”
“This company is in Georgia. I will threaten them with a hurricane if they do not concede.”
Jason felt his patience waning. “A hurricane? Isn’t that a little extreme. How would they know that you were sending the hurricane. Plus, there’s a lot of innocent people that could get hurt.”
“Innocent? No one is innocent. Someone knows these evil doers and where they are. We will flood them out.”
“Wow, Loki, that is a little extreme, even for you.”
“She’s not working on my novellas!”
“I have a feeling Dawn just lost all of her readers in the southern United States.”
“Oh, she did not. In fact, they probably all love me for mentioning them.”
“Not in the same sentence as hurricanes.”
“Doesn’t matter. Do you know the sheer number of people we just made laugh?”
Jason stared at Loki. What was he to do with his boss?
Loki smiled. “Besides, we just made Dawn laugh. That’s the best medicine of all, and probably just what she needed right about now.”
“How do you figure? She still has the stress of not being in control of her domains. All she can do is hope that one day they decide to respond to her and give her the transfer codes.”
“Jason, as long as I am in Midgard, there is no place they can run. I do love messing with people. They just got an authorization code for mischief.” He paused. “If all else fails, we can always send Fenrir to eat their servers.”
Jason let the thought fill his mind and he found himself snickering to himself. No matter the outcome, it would be all right. Anger, irritation, and even bad days could not withstand the force of playful humor.
Loki sat back and crossed his arms. He gave Jason a wink. Jason almost felt sorry for the poor saps who now had Loki’s attention. Karma might be a bitch, but mischief was Loki’s undeniable domain. No transfer coded needed there and no mercy until he got what he wanted.
Jason took another sip of his cold coffee. At least the tricks wouldn’t be on him for a while. “So, about this horse head…”