torsdag den 22. december 2011

Jonah

    The breastplate clattered onto the table, scattering parchment and writing implements. High Lord General Redwind stared at it, uncomprehending. A hand-shaped indentation in the armor stared back at him.
    'What's this?' he demanded, carefully putting aside his gold-filigreed quill.
    'That,' Jonah said, 'Belonged to a member of the Guard. He was killed this morning.'
    Redwind looked annoyed. 'I've told you to stop bothering me whenever a soldier dies!' he said. 'That's what they're-'
    'By that.' Jonah interrupted, indicating the breastplate. 'Witnesses saw a powerfully built bald man in white clothes deliver a single, openhanded blow to the guardsman's chest that. It killed him instantly.'
    'Now now, since when did you start believing in the rumors and hearsay of the common rabble, captain?' Redwind tutted.
    'Since that,' he said, pointing at the breastplate again.

Salazar's Men

    Rook blocked the wild sword swing with his bare forearm and slapped the man in the chest, crushing his ribcage and sending him flying through the air. The sword had been sharpened to a razor's edge, but there was no sign of the blow on Rook's arm.
    Rook picked up the unconscious Lume with a grunt and started pushing his way through the crowd. This was the third time in as many weeks that they'd been recognized by Salazar's men, and he was tired of running.
    It was only a matter of time before the man himself caught up with them.

torsdag den 8. december 2011

Writing Exercise #3: Shut Up

You meet a man in a bar in a strange town. He has a cat on his lap, and he orders a cup of coffee, slowly spoons sugar into it. He strokes the cat's black fur and says, "This contact is illusory. The cat and I are separated as though by a pane of glass, because man lives in time, in successiveness, while the magical animal lives in the present, in the eternity of the instant." What do you say back to him? And he to you? What does the cat do? What happened to this man before he came into the bar?

Shut Up


'What are you, leftovers from The Twilight Zone? It's way too early in the morning for talk like that, man.'
    The man's eyes gleam behind his horn-rimmed glasses. 'Ah, but is morning not just a frame of mind? Is it not always morning, always day and always night?'
    'Just... shut up. Drink your fucking coffee.'
    'But-'
    'No.'
    The man sips his coffee and puts it down with an unhappy expression. 'Too sweet,' he says.

torsdag den 1. december 2011

Writing Exercise #2: Sidewalks Can Suck it

The first writing exercises reappeared! Truly we live in a blessed world.


Write a reflection or short, fictional piece about this woman. Where is she? What year is it? What is she thinking? Try this in the form of an interior monologue.

Sidewalks Can Suck It

It's 5:30 in the morning, and the city is waking up from its drunken stupor, not quite ready to face another day. The sky is a nauseating shade of too-early-in-the-morning purple, the smog barely managing to shield unwary eyes from the dreadful thing. Agatha Lieberwitz (formerly Mrs Lieberwitz) is standing in her doorway, as she does every morning, contemplating the nature of sidewalks. Sidewalks! She scoffs in her head. Sidewalks indeed.
    A peppy-looking mailman approaches her with a handful of letters. She sends him a scowl with the consistency and stopping power of a mid-sized sedan, but he delivers the letters anyway. Mailmen are like that, the bitches.
    They're not as bad as sidewalks, but nothing really is. What kind of fascist psychopath invention is a sidewalk anyway? A designated place to walk. On the side. The cyborgs don't have to use a sidewalk. They get to walk wherever they damn well please. Especially true ever since they got their Pleasure Enhancement Chips (PECS) installed.
    An young Indian man approaches Agatha with the slow, shuffling steps of someone who hasn't slept for a while.
    Side. Walks.
    He pulls a bundle of keys from his jacket pocket and reaches through Agatha to unlock the door. He walks right through her, and Agatha's ghost dissipates. And with her, the strange feeling that sidewalks are somehow to blame for cellphones.
    Mr Shyamalan closes the door behind him and heads to bed, a crazy plot twist fermenting in his brain.

lørdag den 26. november 2011

Writing Exercise #21

Exercise 2-20 disappeared from the site, so I guess 21 and onward will do. 


Dream exercise: Write the recurring dreams of your four most significant characters.


    Jax sleeps, and he dreams of falling. He never gets used to it. He falls through the clouds, hurtling towards the ground so far below him. He screams for a while, terrified but unable to wake up. Birds and clouds flash past him, and eventually he stops screaming. He keeps falling, but he never reaches the ground. Eventually he gets bored of falling, and he realizes the absurdity of the situation. Then he wakes up.


    Jonathan Phrase sleeps, and he dreams of travelling. He travels, but his every step is harried by an enemy he can't fight: fate. Horses trip and break legs. Cars run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Trains arrive at the wrong station. Whenever he makes progress, he's is sent back to his starting point. He never knows his destination. 


    Rook sleeps, and he dreams of ghosts. Ghosts of friends and enemies. Some slain by his hand, some by others. He misses them all, even those who would kill him if they had the chance, and he can't explain why. He often wakes up with an arm outstretched as if reaching for something.


    Doctor Blitzmann sleeps, but dreams are inefficient, so he disposed of them years ago. Don't ask.

onsdag den 23. november 2011

Writing Exercise #1

I've decided to start doing some writing exercises I found at meredithsuewillis.com. Here's the first one.


Exercise #1


Describe what you see in this photo. Describe what you don't see -- the interior. Describe the person who comes out of the place. What does the person do? 


    In the midst of a far-away forest lies a would-be house. A massive iron-plated cube disguised as an old wooden shack. A facade of rotting wood and cracked windows gives the place an air of neglect and abandonment. But inside the walls, its true nature is revealed. A metal floor, plain and smooth except for a hatch in the corner, fills the single, empty room. Beneath the latch lies a maze of ladders, corridors, dead ends and unspeakable things best left in the darkness. A maze much bigger than the cube that contains it. 
    There's a gap around the cube - about a stride across - that is perhaps the most disturbing part of the whole thing. Anything - or anyone - that falls into gap is subject to an uncertain and uncomfortable fate. One moment they are there. The next, they aren't. The lucky find their way out of the maze and emerge from the hatch in the floor, wide-eyed and trembling. The unlucky ones never find their way out, stumbling around blindly until they join the other ones best left in the darkness.

fredag den 18. november 2011

Skyrim, Chapter 1: Seven Thousand Steps



   Howling winds tore at Dovahkiin, threatening to rip him off the mountainside and send him plunging into the darkness below. His blonde hair and braided beard - what could be seen of it from beneath his steel helmet - was encrusted with ice and snow. The cold burned every inch of exposed skin, and even the thick bear pelt draped over his shoulders gave little protection against the vicious temperatures that threatened to freeze the blood in his veins.
   He forced himself to keep moving through the knee-deep snow on cold-numbed feet. He was not the first to brave the Seven Thousand Steps in order to reach High Hrothgar, and he would not be the last, but many never made it back alive.
    He had to watch his step. Night and flurries of snow took turns blinding him, and one false step would send him to join his ancestors.
   Yet despite the weariness of his body, his eyes shone bright and alive with purpose behind the dark steel of his helmet. He was a Nord, a true son of Skyrim. No mountain would best him.
   A brief flash of color in the white curtain of snow was all the warning he had before a grey mountain wolf came hurtling out of the darkness, fangs bared in a vicious snarl.
   It went for his throat, as he knew it would, and he brought his shield around in a vicious arc to catch the creature mid jump. The metal rim of the shield cracked against the side of the wolf's head with a sharp crack, and it fell to the snow in a bloody heap. He spun around in time to dodge the second wolf that had come up from behind him. It snapped at his legs as it leaped past, but there was no real spirit behind the attack. The wolf was wary now.
    He knew there were more of them out there, hidden by the darkness, but they stayed back. They had recognized a predator. He looked into eyes of the wolf standing only a few feet away from him. Bright yellow eyes seeming to regard him as one might regard a bull.
    The wolf disappeared back into the snowy night, leaving behind only one of its dead, blood already frozen on its fur.

tirsdag den 27. september 2011

The Death of Jax

Jax lay on his back in the middle of the forest. He was dying.
    This was nothing new, of course. Jax was dying all the time, and he usually got over it. This time he was dying a little more seriously, though. Multiple bullet wounds in the chest kind of dying. He wasn't handling it well.
     'I don't want to d-die like this,' he sputtered through blood-flecked lips. 'I mean, what kind of man brings a gun to a sword-fight? That's cheating!'
    Jonathan Phrase's voice came a from a little ways away, outside of Jax's field of view.
    'Outrageous,' he said. 'Now stop talking. Hoo! And try to bleed less.'
    'I'm dying! I can talk all I want! And shouldn't you be cradling me in your arms, and telling me that I'll be alright?'
    'Would you like me to cradle you? Hoo!'
    'Not... really. What the hell are you doing over there, dude? What's with the hooting noises?'
    'You'll see in a minute. And don't call me dude.'
    'I'll call you whatever I want, brah. I'm dying!'
    'So you mentioned. Hoo!'
    Jax began to speak, but a sudden buzzing filled his ears, and dark, smoke-like spots grew in his vision. 'Heuuurgh,' he said as his brain shut down. The last thing Jax heard, as oblivion closed in, was the flapping of wings.

***

    The first thing Jax heard, as oblivion scampered off, was the snapping of fingers. He made a hooting sort of groan and slowly opened his eyes. Jonathan Phrase was leaning over him, a concerned expression on his weathered face. He snapped his fingers in front of Jax's eyes.
    'Did it work?' Jonathan asked. 'Are you in there, kid?'
    Jax tried to nod. His head made a bobbing motion. He frowned. 'What,' he began, but cut himself short when it came out 'Whoot'. He frowned again. 'What,' he said in a strange voice, 'Is going on?' 
    Jonathan straightened up - he seemed very tall - and cleared his throat. 'You're an owl,' he said. 
    There was a long pause.
    'I'm a what?'
    'An owl.'
    There was a longer pause. 
    'I'm an owl!?' Jax screeched and scrambled to his feet. At least, he would have done so if he wasn't an owl. As it was, he ended up rolling around on the ground in a tangle of feathers, flapping his wings madly and doing owl somersaults while screeching and hooting in outraged panic. 'WHY AM I AN OOOOWL!?'
    A feather settled on Jonathan's shoulder, and he casually brushed it off. 'I had to transfer your essence to another living vessel, and an owl was the only thing available. Side effects may include nausea, headaches and a strong desire to eat mice.'
    Jax just rolled, flapped and tumbled further into the forest, leaving a trail of feathers and hooted curses in his wake.

tirsdag den 6. september 2011

The Graveyard Diaries

For those of you clamoring for new stories (hah, as if you exist), I've just started a new project. It's called The Graveyard Diaries, and it's written as a first-hand account of the zombie apocalypse. You can find it at gravediaries.blogspot.com, and I hope to update it once per day.

If you like zombies, apocalypses or both, you should definitely check it out.

fredag den 2. september 2011

Meth Lab

    McKinsey cleared his throat, turned on the digital recorder and sat down opposite to Declan Beans.
    'Why did you blow up that meth lab?' he asked. Declan leaned back and let loose a smile full of rotting teeth and crippling halitosis.
    'You had best be more careful in your choice of words,' he rasped, 'Lest we come precipitously close to the point where I need to get a lawyer.'
    'Sorry,' McKinsey said. 'Allow me to rephrase: Please tell me what you think occurred yesterday evening in the desert a few miles east of town.'
    'I do believe there was a terrible accident involving a recreational vehicle, some illegal chemicals, a fire hazard and an accidental combination thereof.'
    McKinsey raised an eyebrow. 'Are you implying that you didn't mean to blow up that meth lab, Declan?'
    'I'm just makin' an observation about methamphetamine and its familiarity vis-á-vis combustibility and explosions and such, officer.'

søndag den 7. august 2011

Sanity

    Doctor Blitzmann never questioned his sanity. And even if he had, it wouldn't have been able to answer him with its tongue cut out and lips sewn shut. Its constant complaining was distracting him from his work, and that just wouldn't do.
    'Sanity is nothing but a bother,' he once told Ulrich. 'I can get rid of yours easily, if you want. No? It's a simple procedure, really.'

fredag den 29. juli 2011

Buster

    Once, there was a dog. Like most dogs, it started out as a puppy. It was small and black and white and grey. It had floppy ears, ink-black eyes and a tiny little nose. It had a brother called Thor (who was a chubby little guy), a sister called Freja (who was very eager for attention) and several other fluffy siblings that all ran around in their little patch of dirt.
    The puppy around whom this story revolves was chosen by a family. They picked him up and put him in the back seat of their car with their ten year old son and the puppy was so scared. Besides having lived right next to a busy highway for its entire life, the puppy proved to be completely terrified of cars. It would remain so for a very long time.
    When the family and their puppy came home, it proved too much for the little creature and it peed on the floor. The mother of the family didn't know much about handling small, scared animals, so she chased it around the house, yelling "Bad dog!" at it. It eventually squeezed itself under a tea trolley, shaking in fear.
This made their son cry. What right did he have to a dog? How could his mother - who had shown nothing but love for him - prove to be such a monster to a scared and confused puppy who needed the family to love him? Confronted with doggy snacks, the puppy forgave all, and the mother learned to take a gentler hand.
    They considered many names for the puppy. The boy suggested "Batman" and "Zorro". In the end, they settled on "Buster". Buster was very happy. Buster and the boy was very much alike. Just as the boy shied away from other people, so did buster shy away from other dogs. Neither of them were aggressive. Neither of them ate whatever was put on their plate. They both liked red meat, cold weather and fresh air.
    Buster grew up. He became a real dog with a gentle demeanour and a bark not unlike that of a very large wolf. He and a member of the family went for walks twice a day. In the summertime, Buster would trot along, tongue out and head down. During the winter, however, he was like a dog reborn. He would run and jump and roll in the snow. One winter it was so cold that every whisker and eyebrow It made the boy happy.
    Like all dogs, Buster had some problems. He ran away once or twice. He had a scrap with a local German shepherd that left him a little more aggressive. He contracted mange for a while and chewed himself bloody. He was absolutely terrified of water.
    He led a long and happy life. He barked at the mailman. He chased rabbits. He learned to fear cars a little less. His ears got pointy. He was petted and fed and loved. And in the end, he died.
    And I love him.

onsdag den 27. juli 2011

Jobs

    'Professional demon worshippers. For those who want the benefits of demon-worshipping but can't be bothered to go through the bothersome work of worshipping.'
    'No.'
    'Home-proofing against zombies, witches and werewolves. Complete with silver window frames, garlic in the door handle and AB guns.'
    'AB guns?'
    'Anti-Broom. For the witches.'
    'Ah. No.'
    'Golem-Enablers. For those golems who just aren't quite up to snuff.'
    'No. Can't we just get jobs as plumbers or something?'
    Ashford fixed his brother with a piercing stare. 'Don't be ridiculous.'

Love

Love, once afire, is a flame not easily snuffed.

fredag den 15. juli 2011

Bats

    It's twilight in the Yorkshire dales. A young man stands next to his father. They are surrounded by rolling hills that look gray in the dimness of early night. A cool breeze makes gentle waves in the leaves of a red beech. The young man is almost cold. Should have brought a jacket, he thinks.
    Bats (or is it only one?) flitter around the young man and his father. They are so small and fragile. He can just make out the flap-flap-flap of their tiny wings as they skim over his head. He desperately wants to touch one of them, but he knows he can't. They're too fragile. If he tried to grab one, he would probably hurt it. And that would break his heart.
    He is a little afraid.

søndag den 10. juli 2011

Names

    'Hello, I'm Jonathan Strange. What's your name?'
    'Fuck you!'
    'That's a weird name.' Jonathan slammed the man's bleeding face into the wall. 'Hello, I'm Jonathan Strange. What's your name?'
    The man spit out a couple of teeth. Blood dribbled from his mouth. 'Fuck you,' he said. His battered and bruised face did not make pronunciation any easier, so it came out fahk ooo. 
    'That's a weird name. Fahk Ooo, meet Wall. Wall, Fahk Ooo.' 
    Crunch.

torsdag den 7. juli 2011

Small Victories

    It was Saturday night, and Jax was afraid. To be sure, this is not an uncommon occurrence. Saturday comes around about once a week, and Jax tends to be afraid most of his waking hours.
    In most cases, he had good reason to be afraid. He had more enemies than anyone would rightly want, and trouble had a tendency to drop into his proverbial lap like a grand piano filled with dynamite and assassins. The noise that came from inside his house was his current cause of concern. He stood outside his house, back against his front door. From the other side came a muffled cacophony of sounds that seemed so inappropriate that the sensible part of Jax's mind had made a "Pfff" sound and thrown up its hands in defeat. It was the sounds of stomping feet, flashing blades, stampeding horses. Mostly, though, it was the sound of Mongolian war cries. 
    Jax wasn't sure exactly how the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan had ended up in his little suburban home, but he was glad that they hadn't quite grasped the concept of doors yet.
    Small victories, you know. 
    

mandag den 4. juli 2011

Phone Call, cont.

    'When you get asked to do a fucking job, you fucking do it properly. Did you forget the fucking rules? You do not make a mess. You do not leave any trace of yourself. And you definitely do not leave any fucking survivors!'
    Ramirez waited for Jack to answer. Jack didn't. As has already been established, Jack was the master of loaded silences.
    'I was reassured that you were the best of the best, that you've never done a half-assed job.' Ramirez said. 'Why the fuck would you start now?'
    'Well, pardner,' Jack began in his thick Texan drawl, 'I see that you're awfully upset, and for that I apologize.' He knew how Ramirez would react.
    'Apologize? You apologize? I'll f-'
    'But we both know apologies don't make no difference in the unique branch of the global business that we are part of. So consider the following: Perhaps I left a survivor for a reason. Perhaps I made him watch the hell-fire I wrought on them other goons. Perhaps I made him listen to their screams. Perhaps he'll bring those screams to his superiors. And won't you know it, perhaps I just handed the entirety of the eastern baronies to you on a shining silver platter.
    Silence.
    'You have a good day now.'
    Jack hung up.

søndag den 3. juli 2011

Phone Call

Jack's old rotary phone rang four times before he answered it. He wedged the receiver between his cheek and shoulder, leaning back in his chair and lighting a cigarette. He flicked the match across the room and breathed in his own personal kind of painkillers.
    'Yeah?' He said. Smoke curled out between his lips.
    'Is this line secure?' Ramirez, Jack thought. One of the local bosses.
    'I s'pose.'
    'The fuck does that mean? Is it secure or not?'
    'I s'pose.'
    A silence followed. Jack waited for Ramirez to give in. He knew he would. Jack was the master of loaded silences.

lørdag den 2. juli 2011

Chase

    Jax was in a chase that should for all intents and purposes be accompanied by Benny Hill music. Slipping in mud, running around the same tree four times in a row, stumbling into a badger-orgy, this chase had it all. But there wasn't any Benny Hill music. There was panicked breathing, muffled cursing and many, many gunshots.
    Jax shook a pair of wildly copulating badgers out of his hair before falling off a cliff. 'SON OF A B-' he said and crashed through the lake's mirror-like surface. His head smacked against something very hard, and suddenly he felt a little unconscious.

fredag den 1. juli 2011

Pier

    Under sickly green moonlight, Michael walks the pier. The boards creak and groan under his feet, and he secretly wishes that they would snap underfoot, sending him down to join those who already dwell in water. They don't. So he won't.
    He pulls his coat tight to ward off the ever-present west wind that carries with it the tangy smell of salt, smoke and corpses. Once there were people here, but now there are not.
    The waves lap at the shore. A pale and water-bloated body of a young child with empty eye sockets bumps against the base of the pier.

torsdag den 30. juni 2011

Madeleine 2

    She could feel its fetid breath on her skin. Long, soft gusts of warm air that nevertheless sent feverish chills rolling down her spine. Every time the creature moved, a dozen sharp clicks from popping joints followed. Madeleine realized that she was crying. She tried to stop, but seemed to have forgotten how.
    The glow from the covered window was shrinking and turning red. The sun was setting, and when it did, she was going to die. She knew this.
     Hours passed like minutes until there were just inches of sunlight left. At some point, she had run out of tears. A sliver of crimson sunlight clung to the bottom of the window like a bloody wound.
    Creak.
A shadow blocked out the sunlight for a moment. Was someone outside? A wild and desperate hope blossomed in her chest, melting away the barbed wire wrapped around her insides. She tried to cry out for help, but the words seemed to die before they reached her lips. Then the light disappeared. Darkness covered her and smothered her. Silence clicked its too many joints at her.
    Then a heavy boot crashed into the door, and it flew off its hinges. It landed inches from her head with a bang. A tall figure stood silhouetted in the doorway, coat billowing around him.
    'Alright,' the man growled as he raised a gun the size of a large hair-dryer. 'Let's party.'
   

tirsdag den 28. juni 2011

Madeleine

    Madeleine awoke with a gasp of pain. She was on the floor, lying on her side. The floor was very dusty, and there was blood on it. The room was dark, but the thin, glowing outline of a window told her that it was still daytime. Was this important? She couldn't remember. She thought it might be.

Creak.

Something moved in the shadows behind her.

Creak.

Something that Madeleine didn't want to see.

Creak.

    Something that was very, very hungry. A white and corpse-like limb with too many joints brushed her cheek. It reached slowly past her and traced a line through the blood and dust on the floor. It withdrew.

mandag den 27. juni 2011

Regrets


    Approximately twelve thousand feet above the Mojave Desert, Jax was regretting some of his recent life choices. He was regretting them in much the same way a dying soldier regrets going to war. The way a mosquito regrets feasting on a poisoned man's blood. The way a cheap pudding regrets living in England. He was regretting his life choices so much, in fact, that some of them were getting a little offended.
    Becoming involved with Zeke and Ugly Jack had been his first mistake. A mistake he wouldn't repeat if he - or gravity - had anything to say about it. His second mistake was going along with their brilliant and foolproof plan. His third mistake was not getting caught by the police. His fourth mistake was getting caught by the people who weren't the police. His fifth mistake was getting thrown out of a plane.
    Jax really regretted lighting his parachute on fire.

lørdag den 25. juni 2011

Writer

    The writer turned to the Internet with a triumphant glare in his eyes and a posture dripping defiance.
    'I'm back, you sons of bitches, and there's nothing you, you or you can do, to stop me from doing that which craves doing.' He said, pointing at YouTube, Twitter and 4chan in turn. His voice was like unto a god, and those under his proverbial feet - those crumbling pillars of distraction - would bow before his words like grass before a storm. His fingers wrote, and each letter was a clash of blades. Each word a crusade. Each sentence was Ragnarök.

torsdag den 23. juni 2011

Meh

    Most people exist in four dimensions: depth, width, height and time. Those are some good dimensions to be sure. Nothing wrong with them. But some people, a select few, also exist in a fifth.
    This fifth dimension isn't an alternate plane in reality, or the power of thought, or the home of an alien species known as the Kroolax. The fifth dimension is the reason why some people can sense things before they happen. The fifth dimension is what gives certain people almost supernatural speed and strength. When a mother lifts a car to free her trapped child, that's the fifth dimension.
    It's a source of incredible power trapped in the human mind. Through the ages, it's been called many things. Chi. Telekinesis. Magic. It manifests in different ways for different people. For some, it manifests as an extreme charisma; a subtle power that draws people to them like moths to a flame, but without all the burning. These people usually become actors. The fifth dimension can be formed and used to manifest almost anything if you know what to do.
    Some can create fire out of nothing. These people usually die from spontaneous self-combustion.
    The fifth dimension is dangerous.

tirsdag den 7. juni 2011

A Scrambled Pile of Mutterings and Brainwaves

    With a motion like a cobra striking, he whipped his guns from their holsters. They were lightning bolts, and the thunder that followed left death in its wake.

***

    Robert Mint was in his best chair, reading the paper and enjoying not being outside in the rain, when Death walked through the opposite wall. Robert lowered his paper. 
    'Absolutely horrid weather,' Death said and shook his heavy, black robes. Spectral droplets of water passed through Robert and landed on his carpet where they'd soon evaporate into ectoplasmic smoke. 'Sorry to come barging in like this,' he said, 'But it's freezing outside.' 
    'Tea?' Robert Mint inquired.
    Death made an approving "ooh" sound. 'Yes, please,' he said. Robert Mint shuffled into his little kitchen. The sound of softly boiling water soon filled the room. 
    'Mind if I prop my scythe up against the wall?' Death asked.
    'No no, feel free.' Robert Mint called from the kitchen.
    Death did so and made himself comfortable at the dining table. 'Ah, lovely,' he said when Robert handed him the small, steaming cup of tea. He took a sip and sighed. 'Lovely.'
    Robert Mint eyed death for a long while. 'So you're Death,' he said.
    Death nodded. 'That's right. Well, not Death Death.'
    'Death Death?'
    'I mean, I am a Death. Death Death doesn't really leave the office much anymore. He leaves most of the work to us.'
    'Oh,' Robert Mint said. They sipped tea for a few silent minutes.
    'This tea is excellent,' Death said.
    'Oh, thank you.'
    'Earl Grey?'
    'Lipton, actually. Biscuit?' He offered Death a small plate of biscuits. 
    'Thanks,' he said and took one. They sat around Robert Mint's dining table, drinking tea and eating biscuits for a few minutes. Finally, Death drained his cup and got to his feet, brushing biscuits crumbs off of his robes. 
    'We had better get going,' he said. 
    'Is it going to hurt?' Robert Mint asked.
    'No, not especially. A bit disconcerting is all. Bit of vertigo.'
    'Oh. Good.'
    'You should probably close your eyes.'
    Robert Mint did so. Death took Robert's hand in his, and together they walked into the rainy night.


onsdag den 25. maj 2011

Aftermath

    The air in the small room is thick. It smells like cigarettes and shit. A small drop of water clings desperately to an old, rusted pipe. It falls, existing for only a moment before becoming a part of the small puddle that has formed beneath it. A blind rat makes its halting way to the puddle and sniffs at it. A man groans and the rat scurries back into the shadows.
    The man's coat is thrown across his makeshift bunk, riddled with bullet holes. He throws the bulletproof vest next to it. There's blood on it that's not his own.
    'Fuck,' he whispers. His voice shakes. 'Fuck!'
    They'd been so close to uniting the gangs under one ragged banner. Stayn betrayed him. He balls his hands into fists and roughly wipes away the tears rolling down his hollow cheeks.
    'Fuck,' he sniffs.

tirsdag den 17. maj 2011

Interrogation

    Slate leaned back in the chair and gently massaged his temples. It was five in the morning and he could already feel the first headache growing at the top of his spine. The man on the other side of the table was called The Russian. He wasn't actually Russian, Slate knew. He was from Sweden or Finland or some such. When the team had brought him in, he'd looked very handsome. He'd smiled and laughed and joked. After three hours of interrogation by the hands of Slate and Dominic, he'd stopped looking handsome. He was still smiling, though. And laughing. And joking.
    Slate glared at The Russian through the haze of smoke that filled the dark room. His face was swollen and bruised. The lower half of his face was covered in blood.
    'Where's the fucking glove, Russian?' Slate asked for the umpteenth time. He wasn't expecting an answer.
    'Up mein ass,' The Russian said. 'How about you reach up und grab it?'
    Dominic appeared beside him and wrapped his big hand around The Russian's neck.
    'We're getting real tired of your bullshit, Russian.' He growled. 'And I get grumpy when I'm tired. Where's the glove?'
    The Russian laughed. 'I already told you,' he said. 'It's up my a-'
    Dominic pulled his fist back. For a moment the single naked 60 watt bulb in the ceiling sparkled crazily on his golden wedding ring. Then the fist pistoned forward and slammed into the side of The Russian's face. He was thrown sideways off the chair, landing in a pool of his own blood and shattered teeth.
    Dominic flexed his hand. Gurgling laughter came from The Russian's broken mouth. Slate took a deep pull on his cigarette. He held the smoke in his lungs for a long time before letting it snake out of his nostrils.
    It was going to be a long day.

torsdag den 12. maj 2011

Finals

It's time for the final exams, so updates will be scarce for the next few weeks.

Here's a picture of an alpaca defying the laws of gravity.

mandag den 9. maj 2011

Coming Home, pt. 28

    The pilgrim was struck dumb. 'Seven hundred...' he said, trailing off. 'How? How is that possible?'
    'Well, you know, seeing as I'm not really alive per se, it's not that crazy.'
    'You're not alive?' The pilgrim asked.
    'Not like you squishy humans, no.'
    'Squishy humans? What are you, Ripley?'
    'I'm a robot, buddy. Yup. One of the best robots in the world, in fact. Sassy, sexy and containing the collected knowledge of the entire Internet!'

lørdag den 7. maj 2011

Coming Home, pt. 27

    'Ah. You're a clever, aren't you?' Ripley said. 'Asking all the right questions like some kind of right-question-asking-machine from the planet Smartass. But I know where you're going with this, mister! You want to know who I am.'
    'There's no fooling you,' the pilgrim said, his smile returning.
    'You bet your ugly face. But I'll make you a deal: I'll answer your questions if you answer mine.'
    The pilgrim frowned in confusion. 'That sounds fine, but what could I tell you that you'd want to know?'
    'Oh, lots of stuff. Go on, you start,' she said.
    'How old are you?'
    'I stopped counting at seven hundred and eighty years.'
   

fredag den 6. maj 2011

Coming Home, pt. 26

    'Aperture Science built this cozy little cave for their employees. I think so, anyway. Can't really remember.'
    'You can't remember?'
    'Well it's been a while, innit?' Ripley said indignantly. 'Jeez Louise, mister criticism over here!'
    The pilgrim raised his hands in defense. 'Sorry, sorry, I meant no offense.'
    'Yeah, you better apologize. I'll mess you up, bro.'
    The pilgrim laughed. His laugh was low and raspy like dragging steps across dry earth. It made his cheeks hurt. Then a thought struck him and the laugh disappeared.
    'You said that it'd been a while...' He paused, searching for words. 'How long a while, exactly?'

torsdag den 5. maj 2011

Coming Home, pt. 25

    He lay stretched out on the floor, happier than he'd been in a long time and stripped of both hat and coat.
    'So tell me,' he said, between sucking his fingers clean of food, 'What is this place? Who's all the food for?'
    'Hoo, boy. That's a long story, bucko.'
    'Short version, then.'
    'Okay, see those labels on the food cans?'
    The pilgrim picked up one of the empty cans and looked at the faded, orange, friendly-looking letters on its side.
    '"Aperture Science Emergency Rations,' he read aloud. 'For use only in the case of environmental, social, economic or structural collapse. Does not contain traces of human."'

onsdag den 4. maj 2011

Coming Home, pt. 24

    With a pop of compressed air, he tore the lid off the nearest can, half expecting to find it filled with dust. The mouth-watering smell of pineapple made him gasp with its intensity. With shaking hands, he reached down and picked out a single piece of the glistening, yellow fruit and popped it into his mouth. He had never tasted anything so sweet.
    For a long time, the pilgrim simply ate and drank. Besides the pineapple, he found hundreds of different kinds of food. Bread, dried meat and every fruit and vegetable he could think of, all preserved in these fist-sized metal cans.
    He ate and ate until he felt like his stomach would burst. It was only then, when his hunger and thirst had been sated, that he took the time to really notice his surroundings.

tirsdag den 3. maj 2011

Coming Home, pt. 23

    Beyond the door lay a wondrous treasure, unlike any the pilgrim - if he could indeed still be called that - had ever seen. He cared little for gold, silver or any of the other shining metals so sought after by men of civilization. He was a man of the wild. He was a man of survival.
    The walls were lined with metal shelves. They were filled with hundreds - no, thousands - of shining metal cans from floor to ceiling.
    'Is that...' He began, almost afraid to put hope into words. As it was, he did not have to.
    'Damn straight,' Ripley said. 'Enough food and water to feed a small army for a year. Or the Numa Numa Guy for a week.'

Klopmog

Myself and a couple of buddies are creating our own language. It's called "klopmog". It's amazing.

mandag den 2. maj 2011

Coming Home, pt. 22

    'I've no idea,' he said and laid his hand on the door handle. He felt oddly pensive. He'd become accustomed to being lonely, hungry and thirsty; a pilgrim with neither friends nor means of sustenance. Something told him that beyond this door lay the means to undo all the things that he was. He feared that if he opened this door, he would seize to be the pilgrim.
    Ripley kept on talking, but her voice sounded distant and the meaning of her words were lost on him. 
    'Okay,' he muttered to himself and opened the door. 'Okay.'

torsdag den 28. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 21

    'There is much you say that I do not understand, Ripley.' The pilgrim apologized with an unfamiliar softness in his voice. She had sounded genuinely upset. The pilgrim often cursed himself for his lack of social graces. He knew that he came off as hostile, but he hadn't had a friend for many years, and he dearly wanted to make one. Ripley was a strange one to be sure, but she seemed genuinely friendly and cheerful. Cheer was something of a rarity those days.
    Ripley sighed. 'No, I suppose you wouldn't know about quality Television in...' She paused. 'What year is it again?'

onsdag den 27. april 2011

søndag den 24. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 20

    'What's behind the door?' he asked, once again holstering his gun.
    Ripley answered, but this time her voice was that of a grown man. Strange, haunting music played as she - now he - spoke. 'You unlock this door with the key of imagination,' she said. 'Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound. A dimension of sight. A dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You just crossed over into... The Twilight Zone.'
    The pilgrim blinked in confusion.
    'Come on!' Ripley said when no further reaction was forthcoming. 'That was spot on!'

lørdag den 23. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 19

    'Hidden speakers and mikes.' Ripley said simply. She went on when she saw the confusion on the pilgrim's face. 'Speakers are basically these flat, square things with... I'll just read you the Wikipedia entry, 'kay?'
    'I suppose,' he said, not sure what a "weekeepeedea" was.
    Ripley pretended cleared her throat with an "ahuhum" and started talking, her voice official-sounding and monotone. 
    'A loudspeaker - or "speaker" - is an electroacoustic transducer that produces sound in response to an electrical signal input. The term "loudspeaker' may refer to indiv-'
    The pilgrim interrupted her with a raised hand. 'Alright, alright.' He said. 'Save your breath.'

fredag den 22. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 18

    'Now look up. See that? That's a camera.'
    The pilgrim had no idea what a "camera" was, so he just nodded.
    'Alright,' he said, 'And what of it?'
    'The cameras down here serve as my eyes.'
    He stood on the tips of his toes, peering into the small, black lens above the door. 'Eyes,' he muttered.
    'Could you back off a bit, buddy? You're not exactly Sean Connery, know what I mean?'
    He didn't know what she meant, nor did he really care.
    'If this "cah-me-rah" is your eye,' he asked, 'What of your ears and mouth?'

torsdag den 21. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 17

    'Oh, what now?' The woman complained. 
    The pilgrim whirled about, gun in hand, his suspicions redoubled. 
    'What are you?' He asked. 'A spirit? A demon?'
    'Well, I certainly am spirited! Ha ha ha!' The woman laughed. The pilgrim didn't. 'Ha ha... ha... Uh, right. Okay. Clearly you're not used to cameras and such. Not to worry, I'll fill you in on the basics. Step one: Put the gun away, please.'
    'No,' the pilgrim growled.
    'Fine, mister grumpy pants, we'll skip step one. Step two: Make your angry way to the door.'
    Keeping his gun pointed at said door, he moved to stand in front of it. 

onsdag den 20. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 16

    The pilgrim ignored the comment and waited for his eyes adjust to the sudden brightness.
    'You okay?' The woman asked. 'You didn't go blind or anything?'
    'I'm fine. Just give me a moment.'
    He squinted his eyes and peered around the room. Three steps wide and ten deep, it wasn't as much a room as a hallway. At the far end of the room, a dozen yards away, a white door was set into the smooth, white wall.
    Not a threat in sight. But something niggled at the back of his mind. What was wrong with this picture? With a sudden rush of realization, he drew his gun. He was alone in the room. Where was the woman?

tirsdag den 19. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 15

    'I beg your pardon?'
    'Just bash the button with your gun!'
    Holding the gun by the barrel, the pilgrim did as the woman asked. As soon as the pommel struck, he felt something give way. A grinding squeal set his teeth on edge and a faint buzzing sound came from above him. With a series a clicks and zaps, a row of long, narrow lights switched on, flooding the room with pale light.
    'There we go,' the woman chirped, 'Now let's have a good look at y-... Oh.' She trailed off. 'Oh wow. You look like shit, buddy. Shit times crap. Divided by Willem Dafoe.'

__
Word of the day: "Nix"; 1. To make something become nothing; to reject or cancel. 2. To destroy or eradicate.

mandag den 18. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 14

    'Alright,' the pilgrim croaked and holstered his gun. 'I trust you, Ripley.'
    'Excellent! Now how about you press that itty bitty button right there, so I can get a good look at that handsome mug of yours?'
    'Do you swear upon your father's name that there
    'Yes! Jeez, trust issues all up in this bitch.'
    The pilgrim frowned. He understood very little of this strange woman's speech, but he got the sense that she meant him no harm. With an inward shrug, he pushed the button.
    It didn't budge.
    'Is it stuck? Just give it a whack with that big, hard thing of yours!' The woman giggled.

__
Word of the day: "Taciturn;" (adjective) silent; temperamentally untalkative; disinclined to speak.

søndag den 17. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 13

    The pilgrim had never heard anyone talk like that before. The woman spoke with an inflection and accent unlike any he'd ever come across.
    'How do I know I can trust you?' he yelled into the darkness.
    'Ah! He speaks! I was afraid you'd lost your tongue for a moment there. And I suppose you can't really trust me. My mom always told me that you can't trust someone if you don't know their name, so I suppose I'll have to introduce myself. My name is Ripley, and I'll be your waiter this evening. Would you like to hear about today's special?'

__
Word of the day: "Logogram;" (noun) A character or symbol that represents a word or phrase.

lørdag den 16. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 12

    How long had he been in this place of cold and darkness? He had hoped it to be his salvation, but now he couldn't help but wonder, if he had replaced a death under a blue sky with a death in darkness and cold. Hunger and thirst tore at his throat and stomach with burning fingers. He would cry, but there wasn't enough fluid in him to produce tears.
    The pilgrim went to descend another step, but found that the stairs seemed to stop. Had he finally reached the bottom? His hand brushed against something on the wall, and he jerked it back with a gasp. A trap? Wary, he reached out to place his fingers lightly on the thing. Careful not to press or shift anything, he traced his fingers over it. It was a box of some sort with a circle in the middle about an inch wide.
    He hesitated. He thought the circle could be pressed, but who knew what would happen if he did so.
    'It's okay,' a female voice said, startling him. 'You can press it.'
    By the time the cheery voice had finished talking, he had drawn steel. He remained motionless, stretching his senses to their utmost. Not a wind stirred.
    'There's no need for the cannon, buddy,' the voice laughed. 'It won't do you any good down here, especially not against me. Now press the damn button. Unless you're just a big chicken, in which case you can just scamper back up to the surface.'
    The pilgrim didn't move.
    'You know you want to...' she teased.
    When the pilgrim remained silent and unmoving, the voice let out an annoyed sigh.
    'The button just turns on the lights, alright? I ain't got all day, you know. Places to be, people to see.' The voice seemed to think this over. 'Well, place.' It said. 'And you're the only person I've seen in a while. So stop being a little bitch and press the fucking button.' 

--
Word of the day: "Piffle;" (noun) nonsense, foolish talk. 

onsdag den 13. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 11

    The very last thing he remembered was the blur of distorted air, the bullet growing in his vision until it was all he could see. He remembered jerking his head to the left and the sudden, intense pain as the bullet grazed his skull. Then darkness.

    He stopped walking. He'd lost count of how many steps he'd taken. He'd thought of his past many times during the years away from home, but the almost tangible darkness in the depths of this strange place made the memories seem all the more vivid. He ran his fingers through his hair, feeling the rough, hairless scar that ran from his temple to behind his ear.

__
Word of the day: "Agathokakological"; (noun) composed of both good and evil.

tirsdag den 12. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 10

    As the fourth man dropped, blood spraying from a wound in his chest, the remaining three drew steel. Their first barrage went wild, firing in panic before they had a chance to aim. The muzzle flash lit up their faces for a split second. Demons, he had thought. Demons in the shapes of men, come to sow the seeds of fire and corruption. Josiah downed another. The gunslinger had just enough time to be proud of him before the remaining two fired.
    The first bullet buzzed past his ear like an angry hornet. The second flew true. It felt like someone had punched him in the chest. A dull pain spread over his ribs and the breath was torn from his lungs. But he ignored the growing pain, praying only that the bullet hadn't gone through. That it hadn't hit Mariah.
    He dropped the sixth with a bullet through the throat. He could barely keep his gun - a massive thing of matte steel - steady. His vision was narrowing. His head was growing heavier.
    The final man fired and time seemed to slow. The gunslinger could hear the shot only as a muffled thump. The flash was a glimmer of light in the darkness.

søndag den 10. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 9

    The pistol grip felt smooth and cold under his fingers. His long coat stirred as a gust of wind rolled over them. He had six shots. Josiah had three. There were seven of them. He would have to be quick. Quick and smart. He looked Coon Junior in the eyes.
    'Think your father'd be proud of you, Junior?' He asked.
    'Ah think m-' Junior began.
    The gunslinger drew. Junior fell first, his head bursting like an over-ripe melon. His next shot caught a second man in the chest, hurling him beyond the light from the fire. Josiah's rifle roared, sending a slug through the gut of a third.

lørdag den 9. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 8

    The pilgrim proceeded cautiously down into the inky darkness. His footsteps made haunting echoes that never seemed to stop.
    He fell into his usual steady walking pace that he could keep up for hours. His consciousness turned towards dark and bloody memories.

    Flames roared and dances, turning his home to ash. The starry night sky stretched from horizon to horizon. The gunslinger faced the seven masked men, shielding Mariah and the newborn. His firstborn, still a child, stood next to him with the rifle his father had bought him last year. He had looked happy, then. Eyes wide in awe at the symbol of faith entrusted to him. Now he clutched the thing in shaking hands, face streaked with soot and tears.
    The gunslinger - not yet a pilgrim - stood tall and strong. His big hand rested on the wooden hilt of his gun. His first instinct was to tell his family to run. Tell them to head for Fort Rockdale. But he knew it would do no good. Mariah was too stubborn to leave him, and he would need Josiah's rifle if they were to stand any chance of surviving.
    One of the masked men had said something. He couldn't remember what. He only remembered that none of them had drawn their guns yet.

torsdag den 7. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 7

    The pilgrim got to his feet and started moving tentatively down the hallway, keeping one hand on the wall to support himself. A bright yellow line was painted onto the left wall. A dozen yards beyond the entrance, the hallway descended into a set of stone steps. It was getting cold. Cold. He'd almost forgotten what it felt like. He pulled his duster close around him and walked into the thickening darkness.
    The air tasted like he felt; dry and ancient. Small clouds of dust puffed up around his boots. He counted the steps and when he reached 30, he stood alone and afraid in almost total darkness.

onsdag den 6. april 2011

Do You Hear (I'm a NextUp Semi-Finalist!) VOTE FOR ME!

Coming Home, pt. 6

    He thought of his children. One a young boy with his father's eyes, the other a stranger. He thought of them growing up without a father. He thought of Mariah growing old, lying alone in bed every night. Something stirred within him. This wasn't okay. He couldn't let that happen. He wouldn't! He forced his aching heart to speed up. His arms and legs prickled as feeling returned to them, and he drew in a ragged, desperate gulp of air. He forced his eyes to open yet again.
    He was on his back in a cold stone corridor. Looking around, he realized that the door must have opened while he was busy dying. The falling sensation must have been him actually falling backwards into the corridor.

tirsdag den 5. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 5

    The pilgrim did so. Despite the choking heat, his feet and hands were cold. His heart was slowing down, but that was okay. He'd die here, sitting in the middle of a desert. That was okay too. Dark spots appeared in his vision, and he let his heavy eyelids fall shut. The darkness was nice. The only sound was that of his own shallow breathing. He felt himself drift into unconsciousness. It felt like falling backwards.
     He thought of Mariah, all gentle curves and tired smiles. He thought of the way her blonde curls would constantly fall into her eyes. He thought of the way she tucked them behind her ear.

mandag den 4. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 4

    The pilgrim let a bony finger trace the edge of the door. It lined up almost perfectly with smooth stone wall. He tried wedging his thumbnail between the door and the wall, but he could not. He braced himself and, summoning his last vestiges of strength, tried pushing the door. He strained and grunted, limbs shaking, but to no avail. It didn't shift an inch. Sighing, he slid to the ground, leaning against the door. He swallowed and a lance of pain shot from his right ear to his throat. I guess this is it, he thought. He might as well sit down and wait to die.

søndag den 3. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 3

    He kept his eyes fixed on the slowly growing dark spot. It was larger than he'd thought. As he came within a hundred strides of it, he realized that it was some sort of structure unlike any he'd ever seen. A square slab of gray stone stood 30 feet from end to end and twice the height of a man. As he stumbled into the cooling shade it provided, he looked in amazement at the stonework. It must have been carved from a mountain, he thought. To his right, a metal door was set into the stone with no obvious means of opening it.

lørdag den 2. april 2011

Coming Home, pt. 2

    Time passes.

    He felt the burden of the curse upon him still. The black mark, spreading across his chest like cobwebs, felt numb and cold to the touch. He could no longer feel his own heartbeat. The pilgrim let out a half-choked cough and spat a drop of grimy saliva on the dry and cracked soil. His last drink of water had been almost two day ago, and it was starting to show. His legs felt incapable of supporting his gaunt and corpse-like frame. His boots dragged on the ground. His mind seemed to try to escape from the confines of his sagging head. If he had been a romantic, he would have said that he could almost hear the angels calling his name. But he wasn't, so he didn't.
    A dark spot in the distance caught his attention. The distance was too great to make out what it was - if anything. Likely it was just another mirage. He'd seen plenty of those the last couple of days, his hopes crushed time and again.
    Didn't make much difference, really. He was still going to keep walking, follow the sun. Keep heading west, he told himself, and eventually he'll find his home.

***
Author's note: The 'Coming Home' stories are inspired by The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Credit where credit is due.

torsdag den 31. marts 2011

Coming Home

    The soft chugging of a locomotive reaches the pilgrim. He sits atop his white horse, overlooking the prairie. As he shields his eyes from the noon sun, he can just make out the flickering line of black train cars moving across the horizon, leaving black smoke in its wake. He rolls his shoulders to work out the stiffness. He has been away for a long time - too long, Mariah will say - and he doesn't know what's going to be waiting for him. He hopes it will be his family. He hopes it will be the child he hasn't yet seen.

onsdag den 30. marts 2011

Oh Sh-

2000 views! That's cool. Thanks for reading, guys.

A Boy pt. 2

    Danan soon left the village, fleeing into the shielding depths of the forest, unable to bear the sound of his mother's sobs. At first, he stumbled and cried out in pain with every step of his warped, uneven body. His body was transforming, and with it, his mind. As his bones mercilessly stretched and grew thicker, and his muscles swelled up, his mind degraded. The first thing he forgot was his name. He forgot his parents. He forgot his home and his friends. When his face stretched into that of a wolf's with dagger-like fangs under yellow eyes, he forgot everything.
    Everything but The Doctor.

tirsdag den 29. marts 2011

A Boy

    Once, there was a boy. His name was Danan. He liked that name. His parents told him it meant "beloved." For the first 11 years of his live, he lived up to his name. Until The Doctor came to town.

    The Doctor had seemed a strange sort. Short, bald and eccentric, he had kept mostly to himself. His white coat was ever spotless and his dark glasses that hid his eyes made him seem like some kind of insect. Danan had peaked through The Doctor's window one evening, when The Doctor was doing one of his experiments. He had seen a lot of strange things. Things he didn't understand. There had been a lot of blood.

    One day, Danan fell ill. Terrible pain wracked his small body. His screaming and crying kept his parents awake for weeks before they finally brought in The Doctor. He had offered to help them as soon as he'd heard of Danan's illness, but the parents had declined. After Danan had told them of what he'd seen, they hadn't trusted The Doctor. But in the end, their love for their son had overruled their fear. The Doctor had certainly seemed enthusiastic and eager to cure Danan. Perhaps too much so.

    Then came a night of gleaming knives, jagged saws and glowing potions. He can remember only shadowy half-memories from the night. A giant syringe embedded in his arm, his veins glowing blue. His chest cut open, his failing heart and heaving lungs drenched in blood and dancing in the candlelight. He remembers the strange sucking sensation of his lungs being torn out. He remembers waking up with the ears, eyes, lungs and heart of a wolf. He remembers the shouts and screams as the villagers chased The Doctor out of the village. He remembers the look of terror and revulsion on his parents' faces. He remembers his senses sharpening. His muscles growing. He remembers horns growing from his shaggy head.

    He remembers Hawktooth.

lørdag den 26. marts 2011

Argument

    Taylor and I had an argument. It came out of nowhere. One moment, we were trying to assemble a table from IKEA. The next, we were trying to crack open each others' skull with the lime-green table legs. He told me that the bendy thingamajig was supposed to go into the whatchamacallit. I told him that he was a liar, a bitch and Hitler. He disagreed and broke my arm. At this point, I was pretty confident that I was winning the argument. So I pulled a knife, stabbed him in the lung, and told him that his face was stupid.

fredag den 25. marts 2011

The Psych Man


    The Psych Man peered through the blinds, looking at The Prisoners gathering in the courtyard far below him. They milled around one man in particular. From so far up, The Psych Man couldn't make out The Agitator's features, but he knew them from memory.
    'Do you think this is something we should actually worry about?' The Warden asked from behind his desk.
    'No,' The Psych Man said. 'I can handle him. He wields nothing but misdirected anger.'
    The Prisoners formed a circle around The Agitator who raised his hands, motioning for silence. He pointed an accusing finger at The Psych Man.

torsdag den 24. marts 2011

Wrapping Up For The Day pt. 2


    As the bed disappeared into the floor with a hiss of pistons, adorable, bushy-tailed death flooded the room. Hundreds upon hundreds of genetically modified rodents poured over the shocked drow assassin. Steel teeth chewed through metal, cloth and flesh. Tiny, needle-like claws tore his eyes from their sockets. One of the squirrels chirped and tittered excitedly as it burst through the assassin's chest, painting the walls red with blood.
    He opened his mouth to scream, but before a single syllable could find its way past his lips, a trio of especially adorable and merciless squirrels forced their way down his throat.

onsdag den 23. marts 2011

Wrapping Up For The Day


    Doctor Blitzmann stretched and winced at the cracks and pops that erupted from his stiff back. It had been a long, productive day, and he was tired. He gathered his notes into a neat, little stack and tied it together with a length of string. Opening one of the many closets and drawers that lined the back room of his shop, he deposited the notes in front of the ones from yesterday.
    He walked through his store, snuffing out the candles as he went. He checked the locks on his front door; three deadbolts, two padlocks and a small keyhole were attached to it. Just to make sure, he had engraved a magical locking glyph of his own making into the metal-plated door.
    Content that his door was securely locked, he shuffled into his bedroom. To call it spartan would be an understatement. A thin mattress lay on a wooden frame and a single candle stood on a small, wooden table next to it. The flame sputtered as he lit it.
    He undressed, neatly folding his clothes and placing them on the table. He lay down on his back, naked except for his goggles and promptly fell asleep.

***

    The feel of cold steel against his throat jolted him awake. A dark figure loomed over him. He could see a pair of eyes glinting beneath the hood. The business-end of a narrow sword rested on his neck. 
    'We have you now, Blitzmann!' The figure said, his voice dripping contempt. 'Our vengeance is at hand!'
    'Oh,' Blitzmann said, relief evident in his voice, 'It's just another one of you guys. I was getting worried there for a second.'
    'Do not mock me, monster! Tonight you die by the hands of Undrek'Thoz!'
    'The problem is,' Blitzmann said, pulling the hidden lever behind his bed, 'None of you are prepared for the squirrels.'

søndag den 20. marts 2011

A Dark Room

    A cold breeze made the ripped and turn curtains stir, letting in a pale beam of moonlight for a moment before falling still again. If someone had been there to see (there wasn't, not any more), they would have seen a prone figure lying face-up on the ground. A man with graying temples and a dark stubble. His eyes were open. His heart was still and lifeless. He clutched a glass bottle in his hand, the dried remnants of wine still resting in the bottom. A half-burnt candle stood on his desk, long strands of wax hanging from its side. 
    An air of desperation and resentment permeated the piles of paper and black and white photographs. A shattered mirror hung on the wall. It had once been covered by a white cloth, but no more. Despite the man's precautions, something came through. Once he had realized what he had set in motion, he tried to stop it. He hadn't been strong enough. He had learned things he should not have learned. He had been a fool. And he had paid for it most dearly. 
    Now there was no hope for man. The Faceless One had entered their world. Soon it would be his.

fredag den 18. marts 2011

Jax At A Lake

    'Why are you out here?' she asked, rubbing her hands together to warm her frozen fingers. When Jax spoke, he didn't look at her.
    'Because this isn't the hospital. There aren't any of...' He made a vague hand gesture. 'Those people here. Just me and the lake.'
    She nodded. After a moment, Jax pointed at something floating on the still water.
    'And that duck,' he said.
    'Quack,' it said.
    'Yeah,' Jax muttered. 'Quack.'
    She sat down next to him. 'How's the new hands?'
    'They're alright,' he said, slowly flexing the metal fingers. 'Strong. Wish I could feel them, though.'

torsdag den 17. marts 2011

The Cracked Keg

    The door to The Cracked Keg swung open, revealing the black outline of Elyssa Tel'Dary. Her dark eyes scanned the room, locking eyes with anyone who dared look at her. The Cracked Keg was one of the toughest taverns in Strasa. Tough taverns attract tough crowds. This one was no different. A trio of orcs sat around a table, glaring daggers at her. Banor Blackbarrel, the proprietor, was standing behind the bar, cleaning a mug with a dirty towel. He wasn't having much success. He didn't care much.  A man was leaning against the far wall with his eyes closed. Elyssa was pretty sure that he was dead. A hand on the hilt of Uchehi-Kai, she walked up to the bar and leaned in close to Banor. He smelled of gristle.
    'I'm here to see Alyshandra,' she said. 'Open the passage.'
    Banor spat a dark glob of phlegm into the mug. 'Alyshandra don't come here no more, panther.'
    'I don't believe you.'
    'I don't care.'
    'Well, I do,' she said, smacking Uchehi-Kai onto the bar desk. Its black blade cast a strange, blueish light on them. 'I care very much. And if you don't tell me where she's hiding, I'm going to start breaking things.'

onsdag den 16. marts 2011

Kings and Cats

    The cat licked his fingers with its raspy tongue, and he scratched it absentmindedly behind the ear. It purred softly and leaned into his rough palm.
    'Our troops have breached the wall here, here and here,' his advisor said, pointing out the areas on one of the many maps scattered on the table.
    The king nodded, scratching the cat's chin. It let out a small sneeze, sending a bright gout of flame from its nostrils. The dry maps immediately caught fire and the advisor hurried to choke the flames.
    'Stupid magical cats,' he muttered.
    The king chuckled and kissed the cat between its ears.

mandag den 14. marts 2011

Cabin

    'We drove up north to get away from the city. We arrived at the cabin on the seventh. She was dead a week later.'
    'Any contact with animals?'
    'No - I mean, we lived in the forest for a week. So, I guess. Birds maybe.'
    'Did you come into contact with any other people?'
    'We spotted a couple of hikers, but they didn't come near the cabin.'
    'I see. When did you discover the bodies?'
    'Six days after we arrived. We were on our usual evening walk - she wanted to watch the sunset - when we saw something hanging from a tree.'

søndag den 13. marts 2011

Eight Laughing Figures pt. 2


    One of the eight figures - a man bearing the silvery eyes of the kalashtar - shivers.
    'Damn these cold nights,' he says, pulling his cloak tighter around him. 'Even ale can't warm me up.' He looks at his feet. 'Can't feel my bloody toes,' he mutters.
    The biggest of the eight figures - a great, hulking minotaur with fur the colour of earth and a pair of obsidian horns - speaks. His voice is slow and deep - like water falling from a great height. 'More fire, Flicker.'
    'Yes, father,' a bronze-skinned man breathes, sparks flowing from his mouth. Glowing lines cover his body and as he raises his hand, flames spring from them. The snow around his feet flash into steam, and the large logs in the campfire burst into flames with renewed intensity.
    Son of Hawktooth looks at his family and grins.

lørdag den 12. marts 2011

Eight Laughing Figures

    Deep in the forest of Maelgon lies a small camp. Four white canvas tents surround a roaring campfire. Around the fire sits eight laughing figures.
    'So I walked up to him.' One of them, a red-bearded dwarf, says. 'And chopped his legs off!' His companions howl with laughter. 'You should have seen him,' the dwarf laughs, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes. 'Flopping around on the ground! Blood spurting from his stumps!'
    One of his companions - a hard-faced woman with jet black hair - snorts in amusement and pulls the whetstone along the long, curved blade resting on her crossed legs. Next to her sits another woman, cheeks flushed from ale and laughter. 
    'Shain,' she says to the blonde elf next to her between peels of laughter. 'Give us another mug, eh?'
    The sharp-featured man smiles as he fills her mug with frothing ale. 'You sure you can handle it, sister? You're not built for heavy drinking.'
    'Says you, you skinny bastard!' she gasps in mock horror. 'I could drink your weight in ale, little brother!'
    'I'm sure,' he says, handing her the mug.

torsdag den 10. marts 2011

Grave

    A man sits in front of a grave. He is alone. He clutches a red, wilted rose. As his body shakes with quiet sobbing, a petal tears itself loose. It falls on the white marble slab set into the ground. Wiping his eyes with his sleeve, the man brushes the petal away. His hand brushes the engraved letters, and memories come flooding back. The pain makes him ball his hand into a fist. He thumps the slab of marble. It hurts. He thumps it again. The pain is good. It makes him forget. He thumps it harder, leaving a smear of blood.

onsdag den 9. marts 2011

Ulrich Bannon


    'My homeland.' Ulrich said, a shadow of a smile on his usually emotionless face. 'I'd almost forgotten what it looked like.' He looked back at his companion, waving him on. 'Come, doctor!'
    Blitzmann wiped the sweat from his brow as he clambered over the moss-covered rocks. He really wasn't meant for this type of terrain. His feet ached, his lungs burned and his mouth was dry. He made a mental note to take a second look at his Controlled Explosion Boots design. More control, less explosion, this time. But as he crested the top of the hill, he had to admit it was an impressive sight.
    Great, rolling plains with scattered islands of red moss covered the immense valley. Black mountains framed the horizon, snow-covered tips almost hidden in the clouds. The Morrowpeak Lions stood as they had for millennia, built by the gods of past.
    A peel of thunder rolled across the valley.
    'Do you hear?' Ulrich asked, peering into the sky. 'The mountains are forging the first breaths of war.'

tirsdag den 8. marts 2011

Deckhands

    Hands clasped behind his back, Blitzmann marched resolutely back and forth before the three deckhands. With their backs pressed up against the ship's railing, they formed in a line that was not quite straight. Blitzmann shook his head. This pitiful rabble was not the courageous crew he'd had in mind.
    'Now!' He said, making the three jump. 'What have you got to say for yourselves?'
    The man on the left hesitantly raised his hand .
    'Yes! Jonesy!'
    'Wha' 'ave we go' t'say fer wha', cap'n?' He asked, his toothless mouth making his speech almost unintelligible.
    Blitzmann could hardly believe his ears. 'The state of the Blitzkrieg!' He shouted. 'The state of you lot! That state of the harpoons, catapults and cannons!'
    The man on the right raised his hand.
    'Roblins!'
    'We don't... We don't have any harpoons, captain. Or catapults. Or cannons.'
    Blitzmann leaned close, so their faces were just inches apart.
    'Exactly!' He hissed. 'How can you call yourself pirates when you don't have any weapons!?' He stepped back, looking the men in the eyes. 'Well?' he said expectantly.
    The man in the middle raised his hook.
    'Mathews!'
    'We don't, cap'n.'
    'You don't what?'
    'We don't call ourself pirates. You ordered us not to.'
    Blitzmann frowned. 'I did?'
    'Yes, cap'n. You ordered us to call ourselves "The Marvellous Blitzing Corsairs Mark Two".'
    'Oh. Right.' He stared blankly into the air for a few moments, seemingly lost in thought. His eyes grew vacant as he recalled his old crew. Good lads. And such warriors! He shook his head. 'What was I talking about?' The deckhands shrugged. 'Right. Well.' He waved his hand. 'Dismissed!'
    The three men ran off; Jonesy clambering into the crow's nest, Roblins trotting down to the hold and Mathews staggering about the deck on his two wooden legs, a mop in his one remaining hand.

lørdag den 5. marts 2011

Excuse

    'This ship has entirely too little weaponry.' Blitzmann said, shaking his head disapprovingly. 'Not a single harpoon, cannon or firehurler in sight.' He whirled around, pointing an accusing finger at a deckhand swabbing the deck. 'You!' he called.
    The man froze like a deer caught in the headlights, eyes wide and panicky.
    'A-aye, cap'n?'
    'What's your excuse for this travesty?'
    The deckhand knew better than to question the doctor's mad accusations. Best to just play along.
    'I'm a halfway-retarded ogre spawn scarcely worthy of the pathetic brain in my inferior skull?'
    Blitzmann blinked, taken slightly aback. 'Correct,' he said. 'Carry on.'

fredag den 4. marts 2011

Goblins


    Son of Hawktooth smashed his armored fist into the goblin's face, sending it sprawling back to the mud. Its fellows gibbered and screeched in their strange, high-pitched tongue, jumping on the spot and brandishing their shoddy array of crude maces, rusty knives and small, pointy sticks.
    One of the small, grey creatures raised a sturdy-looking stick and, as it uttered a word of power, a flash of lightning arched from its schorched tip to the ground scarcely a yard away from Son of Hawktooth's feet. That gave him some pause.
    'Go-leave now-now,' the spellcaster screeched. 'Dog-man flee-run quick-fast or we kill-stab!'

torsdag den 3. marts 2011

Reset

    The monitor flickered to life. She squinted at the bright light, trying to find the right program through watering eyes. She was tired. So tired of everything. Tired of family and friends. Tired of strangers and enemies. Tired of civilization. Tired of nature.
    Her eyes adjusted, and she could see the little, green icons lined up in neat rows. She tapped one with a finger. With a chime, the picture turned black and a series of green letters appeared in the middle of the screen.

KING INDUSTRIES PRESENTS
RESETTER (C) 


RESET? Y/N

Without hesitation, she typed "Y" and pressed enter.

THANK YOU
THE WORLD (C) WILL RESET SHORTLY
PLEASE DO NOT TURN OFF OR DISCONNECT YOUR COMPUTER

onsdag den 2. marts 2011

Paint

    'Make the letters big!' Blitzmann called. 'And swirly!'
    'Aye, aye, captain!'
    'And write it in gold!'
    'Aye, aye, captain!'
    'And make the last "G" look like a dragon!'
    'Aye, aye, captain!'
    Blitzmann stood with crossed arms at the ship's railing, looking down at the deckhand dangling from a jumble of ropes and planks six feet above the water. He held a delicate, wooden brush, carefully spelling out the ship's name on its side.
    'B. L. I. T. Z. K. R. I. E. G.' Blitzmann yelled. 'I recommend you get it right the first time! Unless you fancy getting turned into chum.''

tirsdag den 1. marts 2011

Mount


    "I don't understand why you insist on using that ridiculous animal," Ulrich remarked. "A horse is faster, stronger and infinitely better suited for combat."
    "What you forget," Blitzmann said. "Is that horses are boring and camels are awesome. Genetically modified camels are doubly so."
    Blitzmann patted his trusty camel on its glorious mane of smooth, golden fur and sighed contentedly.
    "Truly, Richard, you are my greatest creation."
    Richard bleated happily and walked face first into the side of a building. After a moment's loaded silence, he bleated again, less happily.
    Ulrich raised an eyebrow.
    "Shut up," Blitzmann said. "Camels are awesome."

mandag den 28. februar 2011

Son of Hawktooth


    Son of Hawktooth tracked his quarry through the darkening forest. His loping, wolf-like gait carried him swiftly across the soft layer of pine needles. He raised his muzzle and sniffed the air. The man was close.  He could smell the acrid stink of  fear on him. This was going to be easy.
    An arrow caught Son of Hawktooth high in the shoulder, eliciting a yelp of pain. Fifty yards away, his quarry was already nocking another arrow.
    Son of Hawktooth launched himself at him. Another arrow pierced his chest. He descended on the man like a whirlwind of steel, teeth and horns.

søndag den 27. februar 2011

Amanda Seinfeld

    
    For Amanda Seinfeld, cleanliness and loneliness went hand in hand. Her friends had called her weird. Her parents had called her disturbed. Her doctors had called her a germophobe. She called herself pure. And in order to remain pure, she had to remove herself from the ones who were not. 
    She had isolated herself. She had created a fortress of sterility to keep out the great unwashed. The filth-bearing masses. The ones that carry the corruption. Her fortress was not one of stone walls and spiked parapets, but one of glass, steel and plastic. 
    For a while, her isolation had worked. Her episodes of hysteria had stopped. She no longer had to scrub her hands until beads of blood seeped through the torn skin. She had lived in white, stainless peace and sterile happiness until, one day, she started sensing the filth. There was not a speck of dirt to be seen, but she could feel invisible strands of rust and decay creep under her door, reaching out for the her. 
    From then on, things only got worse. She got every single hair on her body surgically removed. Her long, amber curls. Every single hour of having her follicles individually burnt out by IPL epilators had been excruciating. But that hadn't been enough. After several months of bloody scrubbing and fits of panic, Amanda had found the solution. If she could not remove herself from the filth, she would simply have to remove the source of the filth itself. 

***

    Twenty floors above the dark streets of the city, Amanda Seinfeld looked down at the disease-ridden beasts milling around like panicked ants in a collapsing hive. Piles of bodies filled the streets. Her plans were finally unfolding.
    Amanda folded her white, delicate fingers in front of her pale mouth and, for the first time in twenty years, she smiled. 

fredag den 25. februar 2011

Derpady

My mind is blank, empty and without a scrap of creativity. Also I'm lazy and tired. Double story tomorrow.

torsdag den 24. februar 2011

Paranoia

     'I'm telling you, Ulrich, my enemies are everywhere. Everything in here,' he jabbed Ulrich with a gloved finger. 'Literally every single thing in here, could be covered in poison.' 
     'I doubt that, Doc.'
     'Poison of the most lethal sort!' He insisted, grabbing a jar and brandishing it in Ulrich's face. 'Underdark Rattler extract!' He picked up a half-eaten chicken leg. 'Essence of beholder!' He grabbed a chair with both hands and lifted it over his head. 'CRIMSON DEATH POWDER!'
    'I think that Juniper girl made you paranoid.'
    'Paranoid?' he hissed. 'I'll show you paranoid!
    Ulrich sighed. 'I'd really rather you didn't.'

onsdag den 23. februar 2011

Poisoned

  

    His hands clawed desperately, snatching random vials and sending other crashing to the floor. He had to work fast. Faster than the poison coursing through his body. He banged his knee into the sharp metal edge of the table, but there was no stabbing lance of pain. He couldn't feel his legs. His arms were buzzing. His vision was almost gone. He was dying. He was outraged. No, he was beyond outraged. He was fucking furious.
    With gritted teeth, Blitzmann filled a syringe with six different kinds of adrenaline and pure liquid stubbornness and jabbed it straight into his struggling heart.
     

tirsdag den 22. februar 2011

Leaving

    Juniper leaned forward, her face so close he could feel her breath. It smelled like roses.
    'Ready?' she whispered. Blitzmann didn't flinch as she planted a soft kiss on his thin lips.
    She smiled broadly, two rows of white teeth uncannily like those of a wolf's. She turned gracefully, black locks of hair caressing his face, and sauntered out the door. When it had shut after her, Blitzmann allowed himself to move. He put a hesitant finger to his lips. A smile crossed his usually rigid face. Perhaps he should go after her. Perha-
    His lips had gone numb.
    'What the fupoison.'

mandag den 21. februar 2011

Assumptions

    Let us assume, for a moment, that everything we believe to be true is false. Assume that up is down, that light is dark, that good is bad. Assume that the very foundations we've built our world on are so corrupted and pitted with decay that they can hardly be called foundations at all.
    If you cannot do this, I ask that you stop reading. But if you can accept that things may not be as they seem – if you have the broadness of mind to listen and learn – I urge you to read on.
    Ready? Good, then let us begin.

søndag den 20. februar 2011

Explosion

  

    Juniper had expected violence. She had expected blood and a lost limb. She had not expected this. The axe bit into the drow's gut with a wet thud who took a sharp intake of breath through gritted teeth. She cringed and braced herself.
    'Wha-,' she began. Then the drow exploded with enough force to send Bloodfist crashing through the wall. Had it not been for the two-inch-thick barrier of solid steel between them, no doubt it would have done the same to her. Even so, the force of the explosion was horrifying. With a deafening roar, chunks of wood, iron and flesh rocketed across the room, painting the walls red. A piece of thigh landed between her and Blitzmann, spattering the doctor's white robes with blood. He didn't notice. Juniper turned her head and vomited violently.

*

    Blitzmann was a little disappointed. The explosion itself had been perfect. The subject was dead as could be. His assistant was being sick in the corner. All good, true, but the demon that stood before him was pathetic. He frowned down at the small, fat creature that was currently busy scratching its behind with a short, white claw.
    'You're pathetic,' he said.
    'Yeah,' it muttered.

fredag den 18. februar 2011

Bloodfist

Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast

    'Now, Mr. Fist,' Blitzmann called from behind the protective barrier, hands cupped around his mouth. 'I'd like you to pick up the axe.' 
    Bloodfist did so. The axe, though by no means small, looked positively tiny in his massive, dirty fist. He gurgled laughter. 'Y'call this lil' thing an axe?'
    Blitzmann frowned. 'I don't pay you to talk, Mr. Fist. I pay you to throw axes at assassins. Now...' He made an inviting gesture. 'Please do so.'
    'Whatever y'say, bossman.' He raised the axe over his head. 'Alley-oop!'
    Blitzmann turned to Jupiter. 'Now watch carefully, my dear,' he said, grinning broadly.

torsdag den 17. februar 2011

Ipso Facto

Image courtesy of Dr. Steel

    When Jupiter's pretty features paled in terror rather than flush in excitement, Blitzmann felt it best to explain.
    'I'll spare you the details,' he said. 'But here's the gist of it: a drow gets hired to assassinate me. He fails, and I perform a few experiments on him. Said drow's clan swears revenge, sends more assassins my way, yadda yadda yadda, long story short, ipso facto, I am now a sworn blood-nemesis of Clan Undrek'Thoz.'
    He couldn't help but notice that Juniper did not look reassured.
    'I use them as test subjects,' he said. 'Live bodies are hard to come by.'