Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Shadow

Got another story here. This one's one that I've been planning on writing for a while but never really got around to writing. In the typical method of inspiration coming from strange places, the idea for this one actually arose while I was watching Pewdiepie playing a horror game in which he was being chased by a dark cloud. I said something along the lines of, "If I made this game then this would be like this....." And the idea developed from there.

Without further ado, this is:

The Shadow


I wake with something approaching surprise. A headache pounds through me, seemingly running through my whole body before retreating back into my cranium and finally fading to a dull ache in my right temple.

For a second, something seems to fill my hand. Something heavy, not just with physical weight but emotion as well. Then I clench my hand, and it's gone.

I glance around. Sepia tones surround me, like an ancient photograph brought to life. I lay in a nondescript bed, surrounded by others, all perfectly made with something approaching agonizing detail. And all unoccupied. Tables with sharp implements shine, as best they can in the strange light, underneath lamps that do nothing to light my space. I flick the switch on one, then inspect it to find the bulb broken.

What has happened? The last thing I remember is...

What is the last thing I remember?

Friday, April 4, 2014

The second story I'll post utilizes an idea even older than Watcher's, an idea so small it was pretty much two sentences. It was so small I'm not even going to explain it. But, I was going through my notes and decided I could develop it pretty well into a one-shot story, so I sat down and wrote for about an hour and a half and this is what I ended up with. And yes, I realize this post will be higher up on the blog than the first and so it doesn't make much sense to call it the "second story", but I don't know what to do about that other than do the posts backwards, which makes even less sense to me.

Anyway, without further ado, this is:


The War Of Brothers

Itzal Walker sat on his knees, arms held out to the sides as shadows twined themselves around and around his supple form. He did not flinch or shiver as the shade attached to both itself and him, slowly, laboriously forged and spun by his assistants. The two demi-lords, Ascobal and Ascoran, ran their hands up his bare arms and the dark followed, until he was weighted down by the gloom that had collected into spikes and plates that were harder than even steel forged in will-fire and quenched in vampire blood. The making of his ceremonious armor was an honor, although it was one all his own. By the end of the next night, the twins would almost certainly be dead, their blood seeped from their bodies, and their work undone by their passing.


They stood by his flanks, and his army by them. The moon hung high in the dusk, directly overhead and a little in front, as if it were the line between him and his foes. Across this imaginary, soon to be broken, line, these enemies stood as if he were looking in a mirror. At their head, one that he recognized all too well. He thought to call out, the familial bond strong within his heart, but decided they would meet sooner than he wanted already. He sighed as the moon itself seemed to swell, ticking and throbbing with the beat that would soon reach a crescendo and call the war to open. Then the night's calm, something he wished could last forever, was broken by a battlecry, then shattered further by an answer from his own side. And then the night itself was lost in battle.

First off, I'll post something that I finished rather recently. For this one, the original idea was someone who puts themself into a coma, waiting for the day they're needed. And that was literally it. I had no idea what to do with it because I wanted to develop it into a novel. But then I, quite recently, read a collection of short stories titled Bone Diamond by a very good writer named Michael John Grist. This book completely changed my view on short stories and inspired me to err a little farther away from full length novels and come back to my roots in short stories with a new, fresh style. I absolutely recommend reading his work and visiting his blog at: http://www.michaeljohngrist.com

Now, without further stalling for the ninjas to close in on your house, this is:

Watcher


Blue sky.

Silver water. Stretching away for eternity, cool, glistening, soft around his ankles.

Her. Next to him. Gold hair soft as silk. Red lips like warm fire on pale sand.

He leaned in, reaching for a kiss. Their lips touched and...


He woke.


I'm back.

Yep. It happened. In fact, it probably happened a long time ago, I just didn't see the point in posting my stories where people could see them. But, it happened anyway. Blogger made an update that fixed the spacing problem that killed this blog before. So, I'm rebooting this blog. I could delete all the old posts and start fresh, and I still might, but for now I'll just leave them there for continuity. Just be warned, if you scroll down far enough, you'll find writing from about two years ago. In fact, if you do, I hope you'll see how far I've come in nearly two years.

In the last two years, I've developed pretty well as a writer. I moved from unpublishable gimmicky stories to planning novels and writing short stories that could actually be something. At some point I might start talking about what I'll be working on a few months from now, but for now I'll take it as it comes and just post some stories that I've worked on recently.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

....

Now that I've calmed down, I guess I'll explain what the problem is.

When I copy and paste my stories from Open Office into a post, it triples all the line spacing. So this:
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Becomes this:
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Now, that completely ruins the story, because it turns a ten page story into a twenty page story. It doesn't look like I want it to, and it's just plain annoying. And to make matters even worse, if I delete two of the lines, so that in the post it looks like I want it to, it could just end up with no lines at all between the two paragraphs when it shows up on the blog, which means I have to go back and fix it again. I'm basically telling the interface to give me a preview every two paragraphs so that I know what it looks like before I've done too much. All in all, it translates into anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour of work, just to get one post on here.

This has been going on since I started this blog, but before the last update I could at least predict how many lines I needed to delete to have it look good. Now it seems to be completely random. It definitely changes depending on how long the paragraph is, I know that for sure.

So, I'm leaving blogger, and starting a blog with some other service. I hate to do that, because it took me a week to get this one looking the way I wanted it to, but I just can't keep doing this. I'd wanted to finish and post AFV War in it's entirety on the one year anniversary of this blog, but with the way this has been going, there's no way in hell I'm spending three to five hours editing forty to fifty pages of triple spaces.

Maybe I'll come back in a few months to see if it's been fixed, but until then I'm going to try some other service. I'll post a link to the new blog when I have it up.

ENOUGH

EDIT: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ton of censoring...

I'm not even posting the second and third endings to the last story I posted. I'm not trying again. When I spend half an hour, twice, deleting all the extra spacings, only to have the damn browser crash when I'm not even halfway done both times, there's got to be some special agenda against me. I'm finding a new provider, and I'm transferring everything over to a new blog.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Struggles 1: Xadian and Fenix: Ending 1

Something I've been working on in my spare time. This is ending one, the shortest version of this story. Call it the pacifistic ending.

Contestants: Xadian Night-Shade and Fenix Fire-Slayer.

The room was thirty feet square, with half of it in darkness and the other half lit by burning torches. Xadian was standing in the darkness, which was shifting around him, as if happy to be with him. His pitch black eyes and hair offset Fenix's own, which were a deep red. As they stared each other down, the flames and shadows jumped, dancing and spinning. The torches did nothing to penetrate the darkness around Xadian, which simply grew darker as the tension between him and Fenix rose. They seemed to be fighting an internal war, the expressions on their faces growing darker and darker. Neither one wanted to make the first move.

Finally, Fenix's hand leaped to the side, hanging over one of the torches. He grasped something in the fire, pulling it out. A sword slowly emerged from the flames, which were still dancing on the blade. It was a scottish claymore, and was six feet long, almost as long as Fenix was tall, and a good inch taller than Xadian. It couldn't have weighed less than fifteen pounds. The flames crawled up the blade until they were centered around the tip, so that a trail of fire was left when it was swung through the air.

Xadian's sword, which had materialized in his hand from the darkness around him, was a more reasonable four feet long, and was a typical katana,with a slightly curved blade and an engraved disk separating the hilt from the blade. It was engraved with vague shapes that suggested shadows within darkness. There were shadows dancing along the blade itself, so that there was almost more shadow than metal. There was also a black diamond set in the blade, which was engraved with runes in some ancient language that the world had forgotten. It was known as a ShadeSword.

Both weapons enhanced their wielder's powers, almost to the point of insanity. The arcane magic in them acted as a focusing lens, projecting their power more fully onto this world than they would have been able to alone. The weapons had been forged by the Ancient Makers at the beginning of time, then requisitioned when Troso the Great had formed the Vampire council. Now, with almost all the Ancients and Old Ones dead, they were all that remained of an eon where power flowed like water throughout the world. There was one for every position on the Vampire Council, and were the ultimate symbol of power.

Xadian attacked, leaping towards Fenix with his sword thrust out to skewer him. Xadian was fast, mortal eyes wouldn't have been able to follow him. Fenix, however, sidestepped and his hand flew out to catch Xadian's. He threw Xadian into the wall and slammed the blade of his sword into Xadian's shoulder, pinning him to the wall. He stepped back for a second. Xadian tried to grab the hilt of the sword to pull it out but it remained just out of his reach.

Fenix backed up a step or two to get a running start, then kicked the hilt of his sword, embedding it deeper in Xadian's shoulder, almost to the handguard. He stepped back again, raising his hands. He moved them through the air and a series of fireballs formed in the air around him. They started spiraling through the air, forming a cone of fire with the tip directed towards Xadian.

Despite the sword embedded in his shoulder, Xadian didn't scream. He never screamed, he just came up with more inventive ways to kill people. Keeping in step with this, he jerked forward, tearing himself from the wall, the sword still embedded in his shoulder. He grabbed the hilt and pushed it away from his body, until the sword fell to the ground. He didn't pick it up. It was linked to Fenix's position as a Lord, and if anyone other than him tried to pick it up, the fail-safes would activate. At best, it would burn the offender. At worst, it would kill them.

Instead, Xadian held out his hand and his sword appeared in it. Fenix's cone of fire began to fly through the air, still spinning. Xadian raised a wall of shadow in front of himself, blocking the cone. The cone hit the wall and stuck there. Xadian stepped back, leaving the wall standing for a minute. He began to prepare a ball of shadows, but a noise interrupted him. The wall started to vibrate and break apart. The cone was still spinning.

On the other side of the wall Fenix had retrieved his sword and was moving it through the air. The ball of fire on the tip left lines in the air. He traced a circle and then geometric shapes inside. It was a mandala, a circle with magical power. He stepped back and jumped through the circle. When he came out he was on Xadian's side of the wall. His sword already coming down on Xadian's neck.

Xadian reared back, his sword flying to parry. The force from the connecting strikes almost threw him to the ground, knocking him off balance as it was. With his sword down and him teetering on his feet, nothing stopped Fenix from punching him, so hard that he flew into the wall and knocked his head into it. It was hard to daze a vampire, and Xadian was known for being able to take hits, he was a descendant of Troso after all. But he slammed into the wall at what seemed like a hundred miles an hour, and it would be hard for even him to come back from that. He stayed on his knees for a few seconds, trying to glare the spots circling his vision into going away.

Fenix, as opposed to his usual, “if they're down, kill them”, attitude, let Xadian rise to his feet again. They stared at each other for a second, like they had at the beginning of the fight. Then, Xadian relaxed. In an instant, the shadow wall separating them from the rest of the arena disappeared, and the fire cone,which had been acting as more of a drill for the last minute, zoomed through the air and into Fenix. It didn't hurt him, of course. He was the Lord of Intense Fire. But it still surprised him, and opened him up for Xadian to punch him. Fenix was big, and he was strong. But his punch seemed like nothing compared to Xadian's. There was a sound like a gunshot and Fenix flew all the way across the thirty foot room and into the wall, almost going right through it. As it was, he left a dent in it the size of a car. He was out for about as long as Xadian had been, but Xadian returned Fenix's favor by waiting for him to get up. Then, the black orb of shadow that had been orbiting his hand flew across the room. It was the size of a marble and went so fast Fenix's eyes could barely follow it. He threw himself to the side and it, unlike Fenix, drilled right through the wall, leaving a hole clean through. The wall was a lot thicker than it looked, at least a foot.

Sand started to drift in through the hole, bright yellow sand. From where he was standing, Xadian could see outside. What he saw started him thinking. How the hell did they get here?

Fenix picked himself up, surreptitiously drawing a knife from his shoe as he did so. Xadian approached him, fully aware of the knife, but not letting on that he was.

They circled each other warily, brandishing their swords. Xadian caught a look in Fenix's eye and brought up his sword, even as Fenix leaped towards him, sword outstretched. Their blades clashed and they held there for a second, blades grinding against each other. Fenix brought his knife up towards Xadian's ribs, trying to slide it in under his guard.

Xadian twirled in place, caught Fenix's knife arm, and twirled again, throwing Fenix into the wall. He pressed his knee to the center of Fenix's back, pinning him as he twisted his knife arm.

“Fenix, you know me. Why would you think I'd fall for that?” Xadian said as Fenix's knife dropped from his hand.

“Maybe, because that wasn't the trap.” Fenix smiled into the wall.

Fenix slapped his free hand against the wall, and flames exploded outward from it. Xadian was forced to let go of Fenix and step back to avoid being burned. Fenix twisted around and picked up his sword again. His plan had been reckless, but worth it. Now he had the initiative in the battle, and he wasn't let go of it again.

Xadian was still stepping back when Fenix started swinging, aiming high for Xadian's head. Xadian managed to get his sword up just in time, blocking the strike. But the impact almost jarred his sword out of his hand, and he had to keep moving backwards to get room to attack. He adjusted the way he was holding his sword, switching to a defensive stance. He moved his legs farther apart and held his sword out beside his head in a classic stance, one hand out in front of himself and his legs braced against the ground.

Fenix swung again, a savage blow that would have shattered any weaker blade. But Xadian's sword caught the strike, and he moved in closer, turning as he moved and bringing his elbow up. He slammed his elbow into Fenix's ribs, knocking him back a step. He completed the turn and punched him right in the center of his chest. Another few steps back.

Finally, Xadian brought his sword up and traced twin cuts up and down Fenix's arms, each slice flying faster than a mortal would have been able to follow. Blood started to drip onto the ground.

Fenix moved back again, yelling out a curse. He'd had the momentum in this battle, if only for a minute. And now he was on his back foot again, trying to parry every strike Xadian sent his way. He spotted his knife, still lying on the other side of the room. No help there. He felt his power, growing inside him, and felt the focal point on the tip of his sword, like an extension of his mind. He concentrated and the point grew to envelope the entire sword. He wouldn't have long before the effort drained his energy, but it might be enough. He concentrated.

Xadian swung again. He was swinging so fast he almost couldn't follow the blows, but Fenix's sword was long enough that he could use it almost like a staff, tilting it one way or the other to meet his strikes. Then, almost as their swords met, Fenix's burst into flame. The fire grew until it's tendrils reached the roof. Xadian jumped back ten feet. Even so he could feel the heat, as if the room was an oven. He couldn't imagine how much this must be tiring Fenix, but it didn't matter. If that sword came within three feet of him, it would bake him alive. He'd probably burst into flames himself.

Fenix resisted the urge to drop to his knees. He lumbered forward, his sword dragging on the ground behind him. He reckoned he had about fifteen seconds before the effort of keeping his sword alight left him helpless. He took another step, then another, building up speed until he was running. Xadian kept moving back, but he was already coming up to a wall. Fenix got within seven feet of him, then swung.

Xadian ducked the blow, rolling away. Just coming within two feet of the sword had made him break out in a sweat for the first time in more than a century. If it had touched him, he'd be dead. He moved a bit closer and swung his sword straight up, hitting the underside of Fenix's sword and flinging it upwards. The momentum and weight of the sword took it in a full circle and Fenix, in his drained state, couldn't keep his balance, falling backwards. He hit his head and the flames on his sword immediately went out.

Fenix blinked slowly, trying to regain his senses. He was dimly aware of Xadian standing over him, his sword pointing straight down. Straight at his heart. He feebly tried to move his legs, his arms, anything. He managed to twitch a finger. He sighed and waited for the end.



Xadian held his sword in both hands, the tip wavering slightly. He watched Fenix, wary of any attempts to attack. One of his fingers moved and Xadian raised his sword a little higher, ready to strike. But nothing happened.

For a brief second Xadian flashed on his relationship with Fenix. They had always had each others backs in any fights they'd gotten involve in. They'd been in the same class at the Academy. They hadn't been close at first, Fenix had been a typical bully. But they'd worked out an understanding. It was Xadian who had submitted the recommendation that Fenix be inducted into the Council. He made his decision.

He stepped back, sheathing his sword. He gave Fenix a second to recover before grabbing his arm and pulling him, unsteadily, to his feet.

“Thanks, Dian.”

“One thing. How the hell did this get started?”