Posts Tagged ‘Short story’

For those who have been around here for a bit, you know what ‘Natural Selection’ is (the rest of you should look at the list over there, and catch up). I have mentioned that I wanted to do another one, but slightly different. While I have been trying not to put too much thought into it while I”m presently working on finishing a novel, I did try doing at least one story for it that I was going to try to put together for a mag submission. But, I never really got anywhere with it. I started it, but then just completely lost the direction to get it where I wanted it to go. What I have I think is at least somewhat interesting, but not what it’s supposed to be at all. It doesn’t tie in right with the universe I created so far for ‘Natural Selection.’ Although the character concept I have in this will probably be what I’m keeping, except for a slight timeline change, everything else would most likely get changed. And yes, I started writing this back during last year’s seemingly unending ‘Snowmageddon.’

Fallen Snow

English: Fallen leaves in snow.

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another snowfall—at least “snow” is what we called it. I’m of the last generation who would remember when snow reflected memories of child play and laughter—but now the word “snow” was simply what we called it hoping we didn’t think of what it really was. Hoping that memories of the sweet smell of frozen rain would replace the bitter stench so thick that you had no choice but to taste it—and always know what it really was.

The ashes of the fallen lay thick in gathered piles.

The snow came less frequent than it used to, but that only meant there were fewer of us left.

They have been hunting us throughout this world since I was a child. I remember when they first came—the ground was covered with real snow then, from a real snow fall the night before. I was excited to see it, as any child would have been—no school, snowmen and snow forts fully armed with snowballs to build—but I barely left my front door when the ground shook casting the loose snow through the air. The sky opened up as if a gaping hole was being torn open, and the whole of what was the sky became filled with a mass so large that it appeared to have no edges.

I had no idea what I was seeing; I had no idea how I was supposed to react to it. I stared in wonder, like one the many science fiction novels I’ve read just came to life before me. Everyone was outside, staring upward, as uncertain as I was—my mother was there holding my little sister, but I barely registered their presence as I was enthralled by the mass that just replaced the sky.

I don’t know how long after its arrival it was ‘til it made its first move, for when it was first seen, time didn’t seem to move in a normal fluctuation anymore, but eventually, its mass began to slide apart miles across, and revealed a cavern as dark as its own mass. And from the darkness of that cavern they dropped down like a disturbed swarm from a hornet’s nest.

We ran as those who didn’t run fast enough became scorched bones and ash. Eventually we gathered and mass a means to fight back, but the strategies constantly failed against their forces only to eventually evolve only in learning to hide as they tore this whole world apart. Fear became the normal state of being.

After they cut through the masses of us, rumors started that they were capturing some of us. No one knew why, but many had their own ideas, from past stories of creatures from the beyond collecting us to experiment on. The stories were always seen as only stories, until now when so much of them were already beginning to look so true.

The years went by, and the fighting slowed, but mostly because there we so few of us now that it was easier for them to take their time, and simply pluck out the stragglers for sport.

And so the snow falls. I survived it all long enough to reach an age where my grandparents used to predict the weather through the pain in their bones—my pain is constant and sharp.

This was originally written to be the prologue to something, but I have no idea what. It basically came from one of my many moments where I was reading something and thought, “I can do that better.” And even though I like it, I sadly have no idea what to do with it. I thought maybe making it something for D’arc Lyte, but since I can’t figure out what to do with him either, it sits and does nothing. But, it’s in the notebook that I’m writing ‘Stiym’ in, so it keeps staring at me, and telling me to do something with it… so this is me doing something with it. It might get reused elsewhere, but for now, it’s here…

English: Chest of drawers in the Herkimer Hous...

English: Chest of drawers in the Herkimer House in Danube, Herkimer County, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A smell fills my mind—the memory of a sweet perfume. It calls to me, it rumbles in my mind like a long starvation. My hunger for the flooding tastes of the salty, sweetness with its lasting trace of iron.

I look at my chest-of-drawers—the place where it slumbers. The image of it burns like a glowing ember. It calls for my hand—it calls for my feet—it calls to run free. It calls…

The memories telling me it’s wrong—scolding me to shame as I curl up tighter. I shut my eyes to ignore the burning, but it’s still there to blind me beneath my eyelids, demanding to be served. The memories scold me…

I curl ‘til I feel myself floating—falling. Down into the deep depths of the darkness—my god, the darkness…

It lulls me into submission like a siren’s call—it drowns the memories that tell me “no,” it smothers them as they gasp to silence. And my body responds and I rise…

My existence floats to the chest, slides the drawer where it waits to be brought from its slumber. The objects that hide it are shifted, and I move a false back away revealing its small casket of a box. It creaks as I raise its lid.

I believe it smiles at me as it sees me… and it knows… it’s time to feast.

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The empire was at war, once again. The docking platforms were lined with gun-clad airships, loading to the brim with soldiers and merchs alike.

As I trudged towards my own transport of destruction, I viewed a display of two love-torn kids putting on a drama for the whole place to catch a show. I’ve seen the type before—the boy, so young, he probably never even touched a loaded pressure-rifle before, and would be lucky if his trembling hands don’t blow his own head off the first time—but he read the penny-store novels and rags, and his mind was filled with the idea of battle’s glory.

He tore himself from the girl’s fingers, one-by-one, with such a caricature of love-lulled look on his face. I was too far to hear, but I already knew the lines as if they were reading them off an offstage cue-card.

“I’ll think of you every night,” he’ll say.

“I’ll cry myself to sleep, worrying about you,” she’ll say, while whipping up alligator-tears to make sure it was believable.

And then he’ll say, in some off iambic pentameter, “Good-bye, my love, I will long for the day I will return to you, and feel your touch again. For now, my empire calls…”

He’ll be puking in a corner, crying for his mommy at the sight of the first battle flare.

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Doctor Who: Return to Earth

Doctor Who: Return to Earth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m back. I know, I was gone longer than I said I’d be, but it was necessary.

The Quantum Short was turned in, it got a 4.6 from 5 votes (looking at most of the entries’ ratings, that’s pretty good), but it didn’t make the shortlist.

I didn’t get a submission put together for ‘Cogs in Time,’ because it fell victim to my priority list, and simply wasn’t something that ended up happening. But, the release is Jan. 9, and you should buy it. It is packed with short stories and poems from many talented wordsmiths.

My ‘Dark Crystal’ story was completed and submitted and I am simply trying not to think about it too much until I get a response… so, let’s just leave it with that’s a thing that happened, for now…

Now, we’re in a new year, and new things are to come. I promised you a couple ‘How I Write’ posts that got pushed off by the priority list, but lucky for you, that one didn’t fall off altogether. I saw a couple movies by way of Amazon Instant, so we might have some reviews coming for those… I might even take a moment to shed some tears over Doctor Who (let’s just take a moment of silence for now). Recipes should be forming, at least a couple… tried redesigning my rum balls for Christmas—no pictures were taken… um… it’s still a work in progress.

Story projects to come… I am going to be finishing ‘Stiym’… shut’up… yes, I know I’ve said this before, but I mean it this time. The mess with ‘Dark Crystal’ and other crap has given me a considerable kick in the ass that has me extra determined to get some shit done. I estimate only a month or two of plunging into it, and it will be a finished manuscript ready to get mutilated by proof readers. After that, I will probably try throwing it at Baen, Orbit, and/or Ace, pretty much the Lionsgate and Relativity of the publishing world types, and if they say ‘no,’ then it’s getting self-pubbed (Stiym has been sitting around too long, he has only so much patience left). Then while ‘Stiym’ is in the thralls of waiting for responses, I’ll be working on finishing ‘Ravenblood.’

And then, there are the stories for you loyal blog-dwellers. I started doing flash stories before leaving without even bothering with explanation to why I was doing those—some of it was just to unclog my brain, so I could write, plus it was to give something to keep the blog moving… so I could write. Although, they were for the most part random, I will see about giving them a bit more structure and making a bit more of a thing out of them, since some of you seemed to like them. About the only rules I had for them so far were what I had for the Flash-round (minimum 100 words, maximum 300 words), but with the usual flash rules of being a complete story (contains beginning, middle, and end), and their inspirations come from different things, some of which were songs, or single lines, or a single word, or emotion… but yet, that part is what needs structure most.

And ‘Natural Selection’… I know I said it was dead, but damn’it I really liked the thing. I won’t be doing it the way it was before, and I’m still working on figuring out how it’s going to be done. What I can tell you about it so far though, all canon so far stands… all of it… even the last one. As it is, I need ideas from you people… I need names, just throw names at me (if you’re a follower already and know my usual naming scheme for NS, then you’re a winner in my book, but even other names are good—I’ll redesign them myself)—and I need weapons… pistol-blades, rifle-axes, and pistol-cannons are still a thing, but I need new stuff. Also, titles… I have a title in mind that I kinda like a lot, but throw yours at me, I might like yours more. As it is, I won’t be touching any of this until at least Feb. so I can work on ‘Stiym’ (NS would be too distracting).

And last but not least… St. Jude Warriors… I have $10 so far… this, G+, FB, and Twitter… I have only $10. The money for St. Jude Warriors is in no way for me… at best, I end the Warrior Dash with a shower, which I would be just as ok with being covered in mud. The money is for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and, even though I’m only setting a goal of $300, I would have expected to get that and more by now. But instead, I have only $10. You have no idea how completely disappointed I am right now. I hear many people asking for help with this project and that for themselves, and I do everything I can, even if it’s giving what few dollars I can spare… but here I ask for you to help, not me, but children, and this is the response. I greatly appreciate the contribution that came from Astrea Baldwin, and I will promote the living shit out her book when a publisher finally bites and puts that thing in stores where it belongs… but for everyone else… I’m just very disappointed. Please… everyone that can spare anything at all, please donate what you can.

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A modern reenactment of a Viking battle

A modern reenactment of a Viking battle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hear the thunder approaching from all around, as the rising clouds of murder caw for the field of feast.

Drenched in blood, over blade and body, and covered in even more fatigue, fighting on against the coming horde is only motivated by the roars of the warriors beside me. They strike down their final prey, and take their trophies of flesh, and stand and wait with a fury filling their eyes that can only be quenched by the clashing of swords, and the brandishing of axes.

The thunder rolls toward like raging heartbeats, and the explosion of battle begins again. I surrender to the chaos, let the gods guide my hand, cast my blade to the throats of their desire, and spill the blood in their honor.

The thunder cracked and rang through my being as a hammer slammed to my shield. Stunned, I lay confused in the mud of dirt and blood, as my brothers of arms continue the dance of war around me.

The barer of the hammer came for me again, and I just barely rolled aside, raising my blade up and diving through his helm.

The thunder dies, and the clouds of murder drape the field.

Lightspeed

Lightspeed (Photo credit: i be GINZ)

I push the throttle to full and plunge through the void as existence blazes past me as no more than a perpetual glowing wall.

I have no idea how much of a lead I have on them, I’m mostly running on hope that I have any legitimate gain at all. The more I think about it, the more I get the sickly paranoid feeling that they’ve already caught-up, and if I went back to the cargo hold, I’d see them slithering through the shadows.

I don’t even know for certain where I’m going, and moving at these speeds without a destination isn’t normally considered safe—the navigation computer has been blaring its warning alarms at me since I entered into the jump.

I need time to think—I need to find somewhere to stop and hide, and come up with a plan. But nowhere is safe—not even for a minute’s rest.

I swear I can feel their miasmic breath across the back of my neck. I look despite sense, and see nothing but the empty cabin and my own reflection across the panels—staring back at me—mocking me with my repeating questions of fight-or-flight.

They killed her—she’s dead—and all I can do is run for my own life—running into oblivion fueled with cowardice.

I look down at the navigation, and see the Return Home on its menu—it would take me headlong back to them. Chances of getting out alive pretty much don’t exist, but I could sure as hell make them feel my pain.

I hit the return, and the warning alarm finally calms. I flip open the red panel, smash the glass below, and flip the switches that begin the count-down.

I sit back in my chair, and wait.

Samurai Duel

Samurai Duel (Photo credit: warpafx)

I unsheathed my sword with a fluid movement and presented its sheen as a warning towards my opponent, “Come for me!”

With my taunt fueling him, he shot from his spot, and I charged from mine. Our blades struck and found flesh, drawing lines of blood.

I fingered at the wound that stretched up my right bicep, and he, wondering if I just removed his appendix for him.

“Draw!” We heard in slurred voice from the side-line, our only available witness to the duel.

“Draw?” my challenger questioned, “Well, what the hell are we supposed to do with that? Who hit who first, you drunk old fool?”

The witness narrowed his eyes at the assigned label, “I told you, boy, it was a draw. You both drew your bloods at the exact same time. Now if ya want, you can both hack at each other all night, but I imagine we’ll all be sober before that gets us anywhere and completely forget what the point was.”

My opponent threw his arms out and looked more defeated by the witness than me, “Well… what…” He looked at me with increasing exasperation, “What the hell are we doing, then? Are we gonna go again, or what?”

I just looked at him, and with barely a thought, I drew my dagger, and draped the blade across my opposite bicep, creating a sting of red.

“There,” I said sheathing my blades, “My blood is drawn, now let us go back in and drink before the feeling sets in.”

My opponent stared, stunned and at a continued loss, “But… you insulted… my wife, wasn’t it? That can’t go… you-know-what, screw it…” He finally said and sheathed his blade while walking back towards the pub, “You’re buying the rounds—I did win after all…”