Jun 20, 2017

Chapter Six - Four to One

Once, in a time long gone and lost, The Wraith had faced a minor god. Wielded by an insane necromancer who'd used the lives of his followers to bolster up his strength, just to fight the god. In a battlefield littered with bodies like flakes of snow, the necromancer had challenged the god and the god's fury rained down upon the battlefield like a torrent of starlight on a dark night.

For a few moments no one could tell the difference between night or day and if any eyes in the field had been alive, they'd have gone blind in horror. Noise like the beating of death's wings, thunder like the screeching of dying banshees, and rain, oh, the rain.

And as the god's sword arm came down from the sky like a meteor gunning to destroy civilizations, The Wraith met it. The blade, infused with the souls of a hundred thousand dead, clove through the sword arm like the inevitability of certain death of everything in the universe. The necromancer rose from the battlefield on his own power and attacked the god with a rage that was unlike anything that The Wraith had experienced before. And he had been used by some pretty fucking angry individuals in the past.

When the god's head hit the ground, the necromancer also fell and used the wraith to carve out his own heart. As he ate his heart on the battlefield of a hundred thousand dead, he had tears in the eyes and he discarded the sword like it was some stick he had picked up on an evening walk.

In all, it was a glorious evening.

But it paled compared to the ruckus Sybil was causing right now.

She met the demon's swords with a ferocious speed and as the blades clashed, the sound of steel on steel filled the night air like the buzzing of a swarm of bees. The demon gave no quarter and the thing was relentless in its strikes, swipes, and shoves.

But Sybil was propelled by an anger and rage that someone threatened her family. She had everything to lose in this fight and the victory would only put her one step closer to whatever fuckery the thirteen cooked up for her next.

The blades in the demon's hands came at her like whirlwind of steel and she ducked, spun, jumped and met the blade with The Wraith. The blade in her hand, speaking softly in her mind and guiding her hands and movements for the maximum damage she could inflict.

Her attack pushed back the demon and it staggered for a moment. That was all that Sybil needed and she moved in within the range of blade and with a fell swipe chopped away the right arms of the demon. The demon let loose an almighty scream and the blades of the left arms came thirsting for her blood.

But Sybil had already moved from the path of the blades.

Then, with the precision of a surgeon, she set about dismantling the limbs from the demon. With four blades facing her, she might have had some difficulty, but as she lunged and struck her adversary, she knew the fight was falling in her favor.

That is, till the man on the horse decided to interrupt the battle.

---
I was gone almost a month from this. Sheesh, you guys, wake me up next time I am missing.


May 21, 2017

Chapter Five -- Try, she said.

"I was once wielded by a priest of the nameless order. He was a crazy motherfucker. Said he killed for religion but in fact, he only killed because he liked killing. Had a hardon for murder, that guy."

"Shut up."

"Then, there was this general. I don't remember how I landed up in his hands, but he used me to stage a coup and slit the throats of the whole royal family with my sharp blade. Pretty ironic that years later, he also died at my edge."

"Shut up."

"Did I tell you about the time I killed a god?"

"We're here. Stay sharp."

The sword sniggered at this.

"But you have to hear about this one time at a battlefield..."

Sybil walked into the clearing with the sword jibbering in her head. She needed to clear her head of thoughts if she was to handle what was coming for her. But the sword's chatter was non-stop. She thought about her son. Her husband. The things the thirteen would do to them if they got through her and her focus slowly returned to the task at hand.

They would send someone to negotiate first. Always sound and fury, them. Never the ones to confront. But she was counting on it.

Of the thirteen lights, one light broke away as Sybil walked towards them. It slowly drifted on silent air currents and floated to where she was standing. She gripped the sword a little tighter and rotated her shoulder to be ready.

The light materialized in a humanoid form as it came near her. It was a man. Dressed in white flowing robes. An angelic look on his face. His hair glowed with a golden glow and his face defied any attempts to decipher his age. 

He was smiling.

Sybil wanted to cut his head off.

"Sybil," the man thing spoke. "It's been a long time."

"Say your piece. I have no patience for pleasantries."

"Ah, well. Never the one for riff-raff. I'll come to the point then. Give us the boy and we'll lift the hold from your house and your life."

"Can't do that."

"Then we'll take the boy."

"Try."

A sliver of anger flashed across the man's face. Quick as it appeared, it was gone and the shark-toothed smile was back.

"You will regret this, Sybil."

"Not in a million years."

"As you wish. It's your family's funeral."

"I have a proposition for you, too."

The man smiled and raised his eyebrow.

"Fuck off from here with your cronies and I will not kill you all."

The man laughed. "Oh, Sybil. We're coming to take the boy, whether you like it or not. It's just you here. Who's going to back you up?"

"All hell will."

The man said nothing. He kept smiling and floated back to his circle of thirteen.

"Nice talk," The Wraith spoke in her head.

'I was taking their measure. They're afraid. If they'd the ability to take Jorah, they'd have done so already."

"They will come anyway and we'll have to handle them. My plan will hold."

"I sure hope it does. We don't have anything else to bank upon anyway."

"It'll be enough for these thirteen. That much I am sure of."

Above them, the lights started their slow dance, strobing and flashing in colors that made Sybil's eyes hurt.

"Don't look!" the sword warned her.

Lights broke away from the circle and clumped together in small pools like bacteria gathering around an idea or a thought. Through shut eyes, Sybil felt the dance of lights on her eyelids. The storm was a distant sound somewhere, but for a moment she thought she her a horse.

With a loud boom of thunder, the light show stopped. Sybil opened her eyes and what stood in front of her defined the word terror to the T. A behemoth of a figure, easily standing to the height of eight feet, arms holding mean looking blades of different shapes and sizes. The striking feature of the figure was two additional arms sprouting from its waist. Two more sharp blades were held by the hands of its extra arms. Its skin was a dirty green color, almost black and a single red eye shone in the middle of its head. It stood there. Observing Sybil as she took the thing's measure, too.

"Can I throw you at this thing's eye?" She asked the sword.

"And lose the opportunity to enjoy my stellar company? Bah!"

"Any idea on how to go about it."

"Engage and I'll think of something."

"Four blades against one."

"I've fought worse odds before. Did I tell you that story?"

"Ah, fuck it." Sybil said as she took a running start at the figure.

---
I need to write more!

May 5, 2017

Chapter Four -- Cold Steel

"Hello, Darling. Shall We Dance?"

The Wraith's voice sent frigid fingers of ice crawling down her spine. She had to grit her teeth to stop herself from screaming incoherently.

"Help me out. Just this once. And I'll owe you one."

"You? Owe me one?" The sword's voice was a sharp fingernail on the blackboard of her mind. "Listen, now. I was once a warrior. The best there ever was. I killed men, women, children, animals, tribes, and even one or two civilizations. And then I fucked with a god. A living god. Which is how I got here. I've seen suns set in places you can't even imagine and I've thrown away riches the kind you can't even dream to accumulate in seven lifetimes. I've won. I've lost. I've lived. Do you really think, I'd help you just because, you'd owe - me - one?"

"Please," Sybil begged. The fear and desperation almost drove her to the brink of her patience. Outside the house, the storm raged on while the 13 figures hung in the sky like satellites waiting to fall to earth.

"Ah, now how can I say no to a woman like you saying please to me?" The Wraith's voice calmed down from its shrill crescendo. "Fine. I'll help you. Update me on the situation here."

"They've come for my boy. There is a timestorm happening outside and the house is stuck in stasis. The clocks don't move. My son and my husband are asleep. I don't even know if they'll wake up again. I need to go out and face them. Parley with them, if I must. And if worst happens, I'll have to kill them all or die trying."

"A noble plan,  to die trying," the sword snorted. "Now shut the fuck up and listen to me. I have a plan and it just might work."

---

Outside the sphere of the storm, a man on a horse raced towards the storm as fast as his horse could carry him. The strong winds buffeted him and threatened to throw him off his mount, but the man dug in with his heels and the animal raced with foam hanging from its lips. He knew the horse was not going to make it, but he only needed to get as close to the storm's edge as he could.

The real struggle was after he reached there. He'd have to find a way to get inside the stasis.

A ragged tree branch flew towards him in the storm and he ducked to save his head from getting shorn off his neck. The branch crashed behind him somewhere with a loud bang. He didn't turn to look. Arcs of lightning lit up his path with random strikes to the ground. He could sense the horse's fear and tiredness, but there was no other way. He dug his heels in the horse's flanks once more to make the animal run faster. He had to be there in time. He prayed to any gods that would listen, to let him be there in time.

---

"That's a dangerous plan," Sybil told The Wraith.

"Safe plans are not worth the effort. It's all or nothing, Sy."

She took one look towards her bedroom where her son and husband slept like dead bodies. She closed her eyes and shook her head once.

"All or nothing," she whispered to herself.

With the sword in one hand, Sybil opened the door and walked out to face the 13.

---
Next: Showdown!

I am so sorry I didn't update this sooner. I've been busy, oh so busy. But I wanted to write this. 

Apr 3, 2017

Chapter Three -- Spirit Dance

The clock was stuck at 2:05. 


The night air was still around the house but at a short distance, the storm raged on. Lightning struck the ground, raising tufts of grass, filling up the air with the smell of ozone. Wind pulled up small trees and shrubs from the earth, taking it all up into the powerful swirl of the storm. 


Inside the house, Sybil breathed calmly. Her chest rose and fell, The Wraith in her lap hummed with an anticipating energy. She knew the sword would start talking soon. It had been dormant for too long. It would have a lot to say. About the things she should do. 


She swallowed spit in her dried up throat, thinking about the bullshit that was about to pour forth once the sword started to talk. Hopefully, the storm would be over before that. She looked outside. 


The drapes on her window didn't blow in the wind anymore. Everything around her house was still, but she could still hear the havoc raining down in the distance. 


Dirty tricks, she sighed. No one was going to knock on her door. They wanted to bring her out. She walked up to the door and raised the drapes on the window next to the door. In the darkness, glowing orbs were descending from the sky. 


The storm sounded like a cabal of banshee in the distance, but it was virtually calm as the orbs took humanoid forms. She counted thirteen heads. 13 pairs of glowing eyes, all focused on her small house. All challenging her to come outside of her sanctuary to face them. She had to go, otherwise, they'd wait. And morning would never come for her and her family.


She took a deep breath and unsheathed The Wraith. The blade sniffed at the darkness and the evil in the air and came alive. Its sound in her ears was loud as it started to speak gibberish. Spewing the years of collected garbage in a steady stream of bullshit. She focused and tried to drown out the noise, but it kept rising like a tsunami of chaos. 


Sybil fell to her knees. Her nose bled and she slammed her head in the floor trying to silence the noise. The shock wrecked through her body like a lightning strike. Her teeth clamped on her lip and blood mingled with spit dripped on the floor. 


"Not today," she groaned and slammed the sword point first in the floorboards. Leaning on the sword, she got up. The room swam around her but at least the noise was abating. And through the converging silence, she heard the old familiar voice like honey on fresh wounds. 


"Hello, darling. Shall we dance?"



---- 
Can you feel it? I can feel it. 

Mar 28, 2017

Chapter Two -- The Wraith

The air inside the house was charged with fire and a soft smell of brimstone. Sybil was busy pulling bags and things from under her bed, looking for the long case that contained the sword.

There were things coming for her son and she needed to be ready.

She was half under the bed, when she felt her son stir above her. She held her breath, like a thief caught in the act. He stirred some more, and then she felt him crawl closer to the sleeping form of her husband and he went back to sleep again.

Sybil released the breath she didn't know she was holding. She slowly picked up another bag and pushed it out of the way. The case was lying behind the bag. She hooked her finger around the strap and pulled it out as she crawled out from under the bed.

The kitchen was dark.

Sybil took a candle from a shelf and lit it. She placed the case on the kitchen table. Black and ominous. Last time she had opened the case, people had died. And this was when Jorah was but a twinkle in some star system that she didn't even know the name of.

The black case vibrated with an evil energy. She was almost scared of opening it, but the storm was picking up and soon she'd be the only defense her son would have from the things out there.

Sybil put her fingers to the opposite ends of the case, pressed them in. Felt the case confirming that it was her and not someone else.

And the black case fell open -- a flat black piece of cloth on the table. A sword pommel, ivory carved with the scene of an ancient battle, stared back at her. There was no blade. There wouldn't be one till it was needed. And when it was needed, it would appear.

She picked up the handle and tested its weight.

It felt familiar. The slight twinge of excitement that she felt in her belly disgusted her at the same time.

Sybil grabbed a chair and sat down facing the door with The Wraith in her lap.

She was ready. For whatever the fuck dared to knock on her door next.


---
She thinks she is ready. She thinks...

Also, cool sword name, bro!

Mar 27, 2017

Chapter One -- The Phantom

Sybil sees the entity standing in front of her. She knows her knife is useless. The transparent apparition floats a foot above the ground. She can see the night and the stars outside through the figure's white robe. If it's even a robe. Aren't apparitions dressed in clothes they die in?

"Can I come in?" the weak voice again. Sybil feels like saying yes, but she's seen and read enough bad fiction to know that's a no no.

"No," she says. "First state your purpose for knocking on my door."

"Dark forces are rising."

"I know. A storm is coming. But what of it? I can control the storm as much as I can control my husband. What does it have to do with me?"

"Not you. Your son. His life is in danger if she stays here while the storm is here, too."

Her grip tightens around the handle of the knife. "What the fuck did you say? How the hell do you even know about my son."

"Sybil," the apparition speaks again in the weak and tinny voice, "your son is important. Too important for the war that's coming. You need to let me take him to a safe place so that I can train him for the war that will put humanity's fate on the stake. Your son is the only person who can turn the tide in favor of humanity against the threats that we're going to face."

"Fuck you!" Sybil slams the door in the apparition's face. She takes long, deep, quick breaths to calm herself down. Her knuckles are white around the handle of the knife. Her hand shakes and her head is full of thoughts.

"Fuck this." She puts the knife back in the block and walks back towards the bedroom. Suddenly, the house feels colder, malevolent and she can't put her finger on what's wrong.

She reaches the bedroom and there is something standing next to her bed, bending over her son, slowly moving closer, like a figure swimming through molasses. She takes off running and slams her body into the figure standing over Jorah. It makes a sound like a bursting balloon. She punches and tears at the balloon man and there is nothing but a hiss of helium and black paper crunching in her fists. A dreaded stone settles into the pit of her stomach.

The wind howls like a hungry wolf outside and Sybil knows she won't be able to go to sleep tonight.

Her husband is still sleeping, just like his son, who only stirred a little when she made all the noise.

Her mind goes through all the options available to her and it zeroes in on the sword. 

Mar 25, 2017

Chapter Zero -- The Ghost Inside

"Mother, I cannot sleep."

Little Jorah, eight years of age, stands in the doorway of his parents' bedroom. His mother groggily wakes up from her fitful sleep. She pulls the covers aside and beckons the child to her. Jorah climbs in beside his mother. Comforted by the familiar shape of her posture, he closes his eyes and slowly falls into the quicksands of sleep.

Outside, wind whistles through the trees. A storm is brewing on the horizon. It will destroy the crops that are yet to be harvested. The family will have a hard winter. But maybe not.

Jorah's mother, Sybil holds tight to her son as her husband snores away, lost in his own dreams. She feels worried about the crops, but there is little she can do in face of the storm. Her thoughts often divert to the sons of the royals who'd come to her village and take their pick of fair maidens. She'd wanted to be chosen by any of them. Had it happened, she'd have never had to worry about mundane, pedestrian things like wasted crops and how to fill the bellies of her family in the season after the storm.

Her arm aches under the head of her son. She tries to move it, but the boy stirs and moans in his sleep. She decides to bear the discomfort for a little while longer.

The storm is picking up. Leaves, slapped by the wind and spray of water make sounds like ghosts trapped in their bone cages. Chained in responsibilities and customs of the world that forces them to live a civil life. Sybil thinks all this. She sighs and holds a little tighter to her son. She keeps drifting to sleep, but the sounds of the storm keep waking her up, too.

In a tiny moment of sleep, she dreams she is tied to a cross and a man in a crow's mask is hammering nails in her hands and feet. There is no pain, but her blood flows freely, staining the ground, her clothes, and painting the sky in bronze and ochre. Everything is bright with light, but the hammering doesn't stop.

She wakes up to realize the sound of hammering is from this world, and not the other. It could not be the wind making all this ruckus. Probably a traveler trapped by the storm. She lifts Jorah's head from her arm and softly puts his head back on the pillow. Like a thief, she steals herself from the bed.

On her way through the kitchen, she picks up the biggest knife in their house and holds it in an underhand grip so that the blade is shaded by her forearm. She twists a knob in one of the lamps and it glows brighter.

"Who's there?" She asks as she gets closer to the door.

"I need help," comes a low, weak voice. She's not sure if it's a man or a woman, but it doesn't sound dangerous.

She opens the door and her life changes forever.

---
Are you ready? Are you fuckin ready?

Jan 17, 2017

Never Been Tased

Kell02 pressed the button on the small taser and an arc of blue electricity leaped from the twin prongs with a sharp crackling sound. She had charged the small device last night, now all she needed to find someone who'd give her a taste of what she needed.

There was a time when Kell02 would spend hours on her phone looking through all the dating apps, just to find someone who'd be willing to tase her on their date.

"No hookups" her profile would proudly state. "I am here for one purpose only. I need to get tased. I don't care if you're a guy or a girl."

Mostly, guys would reply to her profile, asking if she was some kind of freak. Girls, well, girls knew crazy from miles away. She had talked to some boys at length, but they always backed out in the end. No one, so far, was willing to zap some sense into her. She had realized the fault of her approach soon. She was laying it all out on the table by being truthful and honest. She needed a new tact, something so stupid that it falls head over heels into genius category.

So, Kell02 put the taser in her pocket and walked out into the world looking for a man (or a woman) who'd tase her. She had no idea why this desire manifested so strongly in her, but it was something that she needed and wanted with all her heart and soul. She'd even offered money on online forums for someone to tase her. But what can an unlucky girl do? No one took her up on her offer.

These online bozos, all talk, she thought to herself and spat on the ground. She had walked quite a bit looking through the shops in the market. Looking for someone, even though she didn't know who or what she was looking for. She let serendipity guide her feet and oh, did lady luck love strong legs?

Night fell and Kell02 still kept on walking as the cars on the roads decreased in their numbers and creatures of nightlife slowly emerged from their cocoon, like moths straining to break free, spreading their wings to emerge as beautiful butterflies.

She walked the road near the lake as lights from the city danced on the rippling surface of the water, creating strange reveries as some kind of acid trip dream. She stood close to the railing of the lake and leaned on it, just looking at the lights on the water's surface, wondering all the time if she'd get to get tased tonight. Kell02 lit a cigarette and watched the smoke plume around her fingers as she took a drag, inhaled it in deep and blew smoke into the night.

She heard someone walking in her direction. It was a man wearing a sweatshirt with an oversized hood. She could hardly see his face under the hood. He was bigger than her and built like a brick house. His walk suggested that he was not the kind of man that people fucked with. He was the kind of man that fucked people up. But she was not afraid, she had her fingers wrapped around her taser.

"Excuse me," the man said. He had a small and gentle voice for a man so big. "Can I bum a smoke?"

She took out her packet of cigarettes and shook one out for him. He daintily took a cigarette and she offered him her lighter. He lit the cigarette and handed the lighter back to her. They stood there at the railing, smoking for a while, without speaking, without looking at each other. Just two absolute strangers in the night.

The man finished his cigarette and flicked the butt in the water. He started to turn and walk away, but he stopped for a moment.

"You know," he said, "it might sound weird, but can I ask a small favor from you?"

Kell02 shrugged. "Go ahead."

He put his hand in the pocket of his sweatshirt and brought out a taser that was a bigger and advanced model of the taser that Kell02 had.

"Would you tase me, please?"

--
Two lost souls, swimming in a fish bowl.

I think I should write more of these. Right?


Jan 8, 2017

2017. Plans that will fail.

Not a story, this.

Just the plain ol' me, talking to the plain old you. Maybe you're special, but I have no way of knowing that. I'll just assume you're reading and you're well, wherever you are.

2016, in review, was not that stellar a year creativity wise. I got busy with other things and I was not able to meet my writing goals and aspirations for this blog. But that's done and gone. No point in crying over spilled milk. We have 2017 on our hands and should I make promises about what I want to do with and on this blog in this year? Nah, I don't think so. Promises get broken and plans fail.

So we'll wing it. If we succeed in doing something amazing here, so be it. If we fail, then it won't matter because no one will know about it.

I finished the black card chronicles last year. There are a few other stories in the oven right now. Slow cooking in my brain pan.

I am going to edit and revise the black card story, add some chapters, flesh out the characters some more. I have some problems with the story and I need to improve it by adding and removing things from it. Once that is done, it goes on kindle and away from here. So, if you've read it, good for you, if you've not, then wait for a better version on Kindle.

Other than that, Project City is going on about 25,000 words. Yes. But that project is nowhere near completion and I need to devote some serious time to write that.

I am working on two new short stories. I swear when I was younger and I had no idea about writing, I could bang out these fuckers like it was going out of style. Now I obsess over the plot and narrative like I am some kind of pro-writer. No. I am just a hack. I have stories in my head, and I want to tell them. Just like the first story I wrote on this blog, just like the last story I'll write on this blog.

So, onwards 2017. Let's hope for more fiction and less talking.