Saturday, August 29, 2015

Thoughts

So it was recently brought to my attention that I may need to reconsider my approach to writing; not only in style, but in overall how I think and feel about the projects I produce. This may result in a change of how I deal with the blog and respective website. You might not see updates for a day or two, however I'll let you know what comes of this brainstorming.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Daily Writing Prompt 08.28.15






"You've dedicated what little time and resources you
have left to constructing a portal to take yourself back in
time. It's absolutely imperative that you go back and
change what has happened...what will happen to you..."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Picture from the Airshow


    Porn.
    Junk.
    Cat Video.
    Junk.
    Another Cat Video.
    Adam leaned back in his chair with mouse in hand. Slowly, almost absent mindedly, scrolling through the website, looking for absolutely anything that might amuse him.
    So far no luck.
    With the exception of his mouse hand and the occasional keyboard usage, he hadn’t moved for hours. Even worse, he had spent his entire day like this. The sun had risen and set again while he wallowed his time away doing nothing short of occasionally “Liking” or “Reblogging” something that gave him a mental chuckle.
    Picking up the glass at his side, he noted for the fifth time in the last half hour that it was empty and set it back down.
    He didn’t bother getting up to refill it.
    He’d do it eventually.
    Another hour passed like this in utter silence. Scrolling. Staring. Clicking. The only light in the room was from his monitor. After a good four hours of relative inactivity, his bladder demanded relief.
    The trip to the restroom was just as unpleasant as ever. His medicine had worn off and it felt like someone slipped a blade into his back. The pain was horrible, but he mentally ignored it. It wasn’t exactly a new thing.
    Finally up and about, Adam made his rounds through the empty house. He refilled his glass. Grabbed a bag of chips. Popped two pills. A few minutes later, he was all settled in to continue wandering the internet.
    Before he could get comfortable though, his phone rang.
    Dad.
    He stared at the phone as it rang, considering whether or not he dared to pick it up.
    He didn’t.
    A few seconds later, the phone beeped telling him he had a voicemail.
    “Hey…Adam. Look, I know that we haven’t spoken in a while but something’s come up. I don’t really want to leave this on your voicemail, so could you call me back as soon as you get this? It’s really important.”
    He didn’t call him.
    The next day passed much like the day before. Long periods of absolutely nothing, mindlessly scrolling through websites or watching videos, eating when he was hungry and drinking when he was thirsty. The sun rose and fell while he rotted away in his chair.
    Much to his surprise, the phone rang again.
    He didn’t pick up.
    “Hi Adam. I’m sure you’re busy with work and school, but can you call me back as soon as you get this? I…Well…I’m in the hospital right now. It would seem that I’m sick and the doctors are worried that it might be bad. I know we’ve had our differences but I would really like to talk to you if I can. Sorry to bother you. I lo-…. Call me back.”
    He didn’t call him.
    After a few hours of sleep and a day of work that passed like molasses, Adam was once again back at home. Alone in the darkness of his room, face lit up by the computer screen. His mind began to wander to his father.
    He had never gotten along with his Dad. He was by no means a nice person and Adam didn’t agree with many of his political and personal views of which his father was QUITE vocal about most of the time. They hadn’t spoken in years.
    Why should I start now?
    As if on cue, the phone rang again.
    Straight to voicemail.
    To his surprise, it was his stepmother.
    “Adam, it’s Cindy. Your father asked that I try to reach you again. He’s going into surgery tomorrow and wanted to see you before they took him down. They’ve found some kind of growth that they need to remove. Give us a call back. We’re at the hospital on Fair Oak.”
    A growth?
    His mind was reeling. On the one hand, all Adam had ever felt for his father the last few years was bitter resentment. Hatred of his choices. Hatred of his demeanor. Hatred of the way his parents and split up. Hatred for everything that his father represented.
    Hell, he had such disgust for his father that he used “Adam” instead of his real first name.
    No.
    Another night of drinks and drugs, chips and internet.
    The next day, sometime around noon, his phone rang again.
    Voicemail.
    “Son. I…I… I’m going to be going down to surgery now. I just wanted to talk to you before-hand. The doctors are going to be removing something from my lungs. They said it’s pretty risky so I…”
    It sounded like his dad was going to start crying.
    “…look. I’ve made some mistakes. Saying it doesn’t make up for what I’ve done, but I just…I want you to know that I love you, son…”
    Adam’s father hadn’t said I love you in over six years.
    “I really want to talk to you before I go. I want to apologize for everything. I just want you to k-k-kn-nnn…*beep*”
    The call was dropped.
    Adam sat frozen, phone to his ear, staring at his computer screens.
    Maybe it was hearing his father breaking down on the other end. Maybe it was the call dropping and not being able to hear what was said. Maybe it was just having his father call him more in the last four days than he’s heard from him in the last few years.
    He called him back.
    Straight to voicemail.
    “Dad. It’s Adam. I just got your call but it sounds like there are reception issues. Cindy told me you’re at the hospital on Fair Oak so I’m gonna try to drop in and see you. Give me a call when you get this.”
    For the first time in a few days, Adam showered off and dressed down. He stopped by a flower shop and got a “Get Well” gift for his dad. A couple of hours later he was at the hospital being direct up to a little room on the fifth floor where his father had been staying.
    Walking into the little room, he found his stepmother in a little plastic chair. Her face was buried in her hands and she was sobbing uncontrollably.
    “Cindy?”
    Cindy looked up and did a double take through puffy red eyes.
    “A-Adam…I…I…”
    He looked around the room. The bed was gone. The room was empty except for her.
    “What’s wrong?”
    “Your father…he-he…”
    “Calm down…” he set the flowers down on a little side table.
    She swallowed a sob and looked up at him.
    “I’m g-g-glad you came.” She said, sniffing back tears. “But your father…he… he passed away on the operating table…”
    Adam felt as if the air had been knocked from his lungs.
    “He tried to call you again…but he lost service when they took him back…”
    All at once, every hateful thing he’d ever said. Every frustration and upset and bit of anger and resentment suddenly came into sharp relief. Everything felt so petty.
    “He…asked me to give this to you….if you showed up…”
    It was only then that he realized she was holding a small picture in one hand. It was wallet sized and looked very old and battered. She handed it to him.
    It was a picture of him and his father and sister. They had gone to an airshow when he was eight and there was a hanger and planes in the background. They were all smiling and happy. The picture looked damaged and abused and quite old.
    “What is…?”
    “It’s the picture he kept with him in his wallet…He took it out today before the surgery.”
    “Why?”
    “He told me ‘This is what I’ve had to remember him. He might need it to remember me now.’”
    Tears welled up in my eyes.
    My world came crashing down.
    All his hate. All his anger over petty differences. It all meant nothing.
    He was gone forever and he died loving me while I hated him.
    Adam took the picture and, for the first time in years, began to cry. All he wanted in that moment was to see him again and, because of his own arrogance and anger, he would never have that chance again. All he had was a picture.


(A Story inspired by a prompt from A Prompt a Day Keeps the Critics Away . This one was “Write a piece about someone’s past come back to bite them“. I’ve done a few horror pieces recently and it only seemed appropriate to change it up a bit. I hope you enjoy.)

Daily Writing Prompt - 08.27.15



It is discovered that cats have been orchestrating World Domination through the use of videos and pictures posted on the internet. But is it too late to stop them?!




(Trying something new here. I like the usage of pictures as it gives the post more pop, so I'm thinking of trying something like this. What do you guys think?)

Delay

Sorry about the delay guys, we ran into a few personal issues today and weren't able to post properly. We should be continuing without further issue. ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Daily Writing Inspiration - 08.25.15

One Word Story Starter

Ignite!


(Hey, quick heads up, I'm going to try to change the style a bit. Rather than always doing writing prompts, I think I might try to work different kinds of inspiration. This one in particular is a one word blast with a picture. I want to see what's more effective for our readers/writers.)


Monday, August 24, 2015

Shattered



    Elena set her purse down on the X-ray machine and stepped away. She tried not to watch it as it went, but her guts were in knots.
    Calm down. No reason to act suspicious.
    She went through the body scans without issue and moments later she was pulling her bag off the belt. The guards hadn't even given it a second glance. She was home free.
    "Got all of your stuff?" Kevin asked with a hearty smile.
    "Yep! Let's go, sweetie." She said, returning his smile and taking his arm as they walked towards the terminal.
    After a couple dozen feet, he looked over his shoulder at the security checkpoint. He let out a long, controlled sigh.
    "Shit...I can't believe we made it through."
    "Yea. We were lucky." She agreed. "Now we just have to get the sample back to the lab before anyone realizes its missing.
    Kevin nodded in agreement, but said nothing more.
    "Our plane should be here in an hour." She continued. "All we have to do is get back and we're home free. Then we can fully determine what it was they were cooking up."
    The very thought of what it was possible of scared her beyond reason. Even worse, they had to sneak it through security in a lipstick container so as to avoid suspicion. Had she had a choice, she would've kept it in a steel box with a dozen armed guards.
    "You're right." Kevin said with another nod. "We just have to get home."
    They took their seats in the terminal, but they were far from comfortable. The seats were hard and plastic. The airport was loud and noisy. Every minute felt like an hour.
    The waiting was unbearable.
    Elena found herself clinging to her purse, not daring to put it on the ground or take any risk that someone or something else might come in contact with it.
    "Calm down." Kevin said under his breath. "You're going to draw attention to us."
    "I CAN'T calm down." She stressed. "I will calm down when we have it back in the lab. Right now, CALM is not an option."
    "Say that all you want, but the last thing we need is an overzealous security officer thinking you're smuggling a bomb onto the plane. So, PLEASE stop holding your bag like it's going to fly away."
    She glared at him, but he was right. Her hands were shaking and her knuckles had actually turned white.
    She loosened her grip.
    "Thank you." he said softly.
    The next fifty minutes passed without incident and soon they found themselves loaded onto the Boeing 747 bound for the States. Despite the instructions earlier, Elena still found herself glued to her bag. She watched every person passing them in the plane like an enemy who was out to steal it.
    Finally, after everyone had loaded up, she relaxed slightly. The passengers were seated, the plane was taxiing, and the safety announcements were playing over the loud speaker.
    Someone tapped Elena on the shoulder. It was a stewardess.
    "I'm sorry, ma'am. But I'm going to need you to stow your purse before take-off."
    "I'd much rather hang on to it."
    "I understand." The stewardess said with a practiced smile. "But safety regulations dictate all carry-on items must be stored properly under your seat or above the cabin during take-off and landing."
    "I don't think my holding onto my bag is going to be an issue."
    "Please ma'am." The stewardess said, holding out her hands so as to take the purse. "If you're concerned about it going on the floor, I'll put it in the overhead for you until we're safely in the air."
    "I'm good." Elena responded sharply.
    Elena could tell the stewardess was getting annoyed and the people around her were starting to give her weird looks. Kevin softly elbowed her in the ribs.
    "It's fine." Kevin said. "We'll take care of it."
    The stewardess walked away and Kevin stood up, taking the bag from Elena. He stuck it overhead.
    "It'll be just for a moment."
    And it was.
    The plane took off without incident, flying out over the water and heading home. It shook and shuddered and bounced on turbulence as it ascended, but some fifteen minutes later, Elena was able to stand and retrieve the purse.
    When she opened the overhead bin, she wanted to scream.
    It would seem that sometime during takeoff, the bags overhead had shifted. She found her purse crushed under several other carry-ons and she actively had to move them aside in order to get to them. She picked it up with barely contained panic.
    "What's wrong?" He asked quietly.
    "I need to check it..."
    Slowly. Deliberately. She went through her purse. Bit by bit. Painstakingly careful. The "lipstick" was at the bottom of the bag looking no worse for wear.
    She had to be sure.
    Popping open the top of the lipstick container, she heard a tiny crinkle of glass. The vial had broken. A neon green liquid, poured out of the lipstick container and into her hand.
    Kevin had been watching her carefully search through her bag when she seemed to freeze in her tracks.
    "What is it?"
    Elena's eyes bulged and her mouth went slack.
    He looked at the other passengers around them and leaned over to try and see inside the bag. Her hands blocked his vision but it seemed like she had stopped searching.
    "What's wrong?" he whispered, a little louder this time.
    Elena growled softly under her breath.
    "Oh sh..."
    He never got to finish the swear. Elena turned on him, grabbing him by the head and shirt and taking a bite out of his throat as cleanly as someone might bite an apple. His blood sprayed across the window and the seats. Screams filled the cabin.
    Thirteen minutes later, the plane crashed beneath the waves. While it had managed to sound out a mayday, the plane and its passengers were never recovered.
    It was for the best.
    The zombie virus "Z28" that Elena had smuggled out of the country was the incredibly potent but, luckily, the only viable sample that had existed. Had any "survivors" been located, the world as we know it would be changed forever. Who knows...maybe they'll find them yet somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, still thrashing against the seat belts that hold them in their watery tomb.



(Another flash fiction inspired by a prompt from A Prompt a Day Keeps the Critics Away. Today's prompt was "What's the worse thing that can break inside a purse?" I guess I was still feeling spooky so I went with a zombie theme. I do hope you enjoyed! Feel free to tell me what you think!)

Daily Writing Prompt - 08.24.15



All conflicts, even petty everyday squabbles, are
solved with a ritual battle to the death. 

 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Locker


    Clunkclunkclunk!
    He ran as fast as he could down the empty corridor. His boots clunked and clanked on the hard metal of the catwalk below. The sound bounced and echoed off every surface.
    Aside from his heart pounding in his throat and ears, it was the only sound he could hear.
    Diving around a corner into a side hall, he slid along the wall and looked back the way he came.
    Nothing.
    The hall was eerily quiet. Nothing moved except for steam that hissed from a severed valve.
    Still, he waited.
    Just as he started to move again, he saw it. It was huge and black, like a shadow come to life. It slithered out of an air vent and, just as quickly, disappeared down into the hollow below the catwalk.
    Aric ran.
    His legs couldn't carry him fast enough. His lungs burned and his heart thrummed in his head. Pins and needles started to splinter up his thighs and his fingers tingled. His body rebelled against this rare attempt at physical activity, but he had no choice.
    The barracks were not far away. Maybe just under a hundred yards through the halls, Aric's breath was catching in his chest when he finally arrived.
    He didn't dare look behind him.
    Cracking open the front panel of the door lock, he quickly went about rewiring the electronics. He didn't know the code.
    Why would he? He wasn't a soldier. He was just a damned computer tech. He was there to make sure that the ship ran like it was supposed to, not fight monsters.
    CLANG!
    He jumped and flattened himself against the door surface, his eyes scanning frantically for the source of the sound.
    The corridor remained empty.
    "Comeoncomeoncomeon!" He said, turning back to the panel.
    It was a hardy military grade electronic security system, meant to be encrypted against insecure access. Luckily for him, he was the one who installed the system.
   Finally, he found the right cord. He snipped it and rerouted it. The door slid open with a whoosh.
    Hiiiiiissssssssssssss.
    Aric dove forward instinctively. He felt himself stop in midair as something got hold of his shirt.
    RIIIIIIIIIIP
    He hit the ground hard. His head was spinning, but he had enough forethought to turn around and slam the control pad. When he did, he saw the creature standing there in the door, his torn shirt in hand.
    The door closed in its face.
    Standing, a wash of nausea hit him, followed quite promptly but severe vertigo. The room was spinning. Reaching up, Aric touched his head where it had hit the floor. It came back red and glossy, covered in wet and sticky blood.
    "Gotta..." he said to no one, turning and looking around the barracks. They were empty, void of any human life, but he could see his target.
    Taking a step towards the lockers on the far wall, he stumbled.
    Head...
    Concussion?
    With another groan, he weakly made it to the far wall and soon found the one he was looking for.
    Sgt. R. Sanchez
    His fingers fumbled with the lock, trying to remember his lover's combination. He had only been told it once before and the fall had left his thoughts muddled.
    "If something ever happens." Rick had said. "Get into my locker. I always keep a second set in there."
    He fumbled with the lock, but it wouldn't budge. He couldn't remember the combination.
    "Don't talk like that." Aric replied. "Besides, it's not like I'd even know what to do with it."
    CLANG!
    Something fell at the far end of the room...
    "It's not rocket science. You just point and pull the trigger."
    What was the combination? He tried Rick's birthday. Another failure. The locker wouldn't open.
    "I hate guns, Rick..."
    There was a skittering sound at the far end of the barracks.
    "Too bad. There's too much bad shit out in the galaxy to be a pacifist."
    Aric didn't dare look. He had to get into the locker.
    "Fine. What's the combination? I'll write it down."
    There was a click as the combination was accepted. The lock gave and Aric ripped open the front of the locker. Inside, there was a full set of armor, two handguns, and an assault rifle along with a picture of the two of them together.
    "It's our anniversary. Just remember that."
    He reached for one of the pistols when pain exploded through his chest. Looking down, he could see the large, black point sticking out through a gory red hole. His vision started to blur and he felt himself fall backwards into darkness.
    "That should be easy to remember." Aric had said with a smile.


(Inspired by the Aliens franchise along with a writing prompt from http://apromptadaykeepsthecriticsaway.tumblr.com/)

Daily Writing Prompt - 08.22.15




One of your childhood toys has come to life in your home.
Are you even aware? And is it a good thing or a bad thing?

 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Daily Writing Prompt - 08.20.15




You have become psychically linked to someone on the
other side of the world. You are both aware of it and can
even see through each others' eyes, however thoughts
and words are much more difficult to understand
due to language barriers.

 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Daily Writing Prompt - 08.19.15



Without even meaning to, you've helped a relatively
unknown but surprisingly powerful deity. How do
they reward you for your services?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Writer's Reference - Implications



I wanted to take a moment out to talk about one of the more irksome things that will pop up during writing - implications.

Now, this sounds like a very STRANGE topic to cover. I'll agree with you in that it is. The reason, however, that I wanted to bring it up is that if there is one thing that might mess with your writings, it is implications. This is PARTICULARLY true regarding fiction writings who are attempting to create their own worlds, whether it be fantasy or sci-fi.

So. What do we mean by implications?

Implications refer to any thing, whether it be dialogue, a happen stance, an event, or any other item that can drastically and unintentionally change an intended reality or meaning within your writing. To put it another way, implications are something that are often reader created out of contextual consideration of established realities.

What the hell does that mean?

Let's use Rocket Raccoon from the Guardians of the Galaxy series as an example.

Now, in this series, it's established that Rocket has been created through the use of illegal experimentation on lower life forms. Based on this description, we can easily summarize and consider that Rocket was abducted from the planet and experimented on to become a rather unique creature. Additionally, Rocket, in his travels, has stated that he's never come across another Raccoon. Makes even more sense.

However, there is a line stated by the character Drax "I recognize this animal. We'd roast them over a flame pit as children!" At it's face, this seems like a funny line and is just an aside. But, the IMPLICATIONS of this statement are huge. One of two major implications can be drawn. One, somehow the VERY alien Drax lived as a child on Earth. Two, Raccoons are, in fact, an intergalactic species and somehow were able to spread to multiple planets within the universe. If the second is the case, it raises even more questions. How did they get there? Why are they there? What happened to the majority of them if Rocket has not encountered them BUT encountered Drax's species before.

Makes sense?

Now, the main problem with implications...most of them are completely unintentional. As we mentioned earlier, implications are generally reader created with context understanding of the world itself. They are often skipped over or missed by the writer themselves because the writer sees them as unimportant or perhaps just a quick one-off (whether it be funny or dramatic or whatever)...so what's the cure?

There isn't one.

That's "write", there's no easy way NOT to run into this. The best we can recommend is to simply consider what you're writing and try to think of it within the realm of your universe. Does it make sense? Does it have any overbearing weight to it? Have you considered if it will reflect on any one thing in particular? Consider questions like these while you edit your works and you should be able to get rid of any major or glaring issues.

Almost every writer will run into this at one time or another, particularly when creating something new or different. So, don't let it discourage you. Keep up the good work!

Daily Writing Prompt - 08.18.15



If at first you don't succeed...you're probably
going to lose a kidney.



Monday, August 17, 2015

Daily Writing Prompt - 08.17.15



Without warning, everyone in the world stops
speaking to you. Friends, family, strangers...
no one will acknowledge your existence.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Writer's Reference - Descriptions



Today I wanted to take a moment and discuss something that I've found incredibly important to remember while you're writing. That is: remembering the importance of description or the lack there of.

Allow me to explain.

One thing that I see pop up time and again, particularly with young writers, is a term that has been often called "info dump". This can refer to any number of things including background information, exposition, or the descriptions regarding nouns (i.e. people, places, or things). It's very common especially in those younger writers because the writer in question has a number of fantastic ideas about how something looks or acts or seems in their head and they want to get it out on paper for all to enjoy. While this is all well and good, it presents some notable issues.

1) Heavy description breaks the flow of the story.
 - Consider that you've been reading this fantastic tale following an individual on their quest to find a holy sword. Or perhaps you've been reading about a young woman who's been reminiscing about old times. You've had a solid flow of storyline that has brought you from place to event and so on and so forth. However, each time you have a brand new character introduced, they have two to three paragraphs of descriptions. Observe:

   With a sigh, she put down the book. She couldn't read anymore. Her thoughts were swimming and she didn't know what to make of it all. She turned to look out the window and saw a man standing at the base of the poplar tree outside her window.
    He was white. He looked to be maybe 6 foot tall or so. He was wearing a black jacket with a red shirt and blue jeans that stopped just short of a pair of black military boots. His hair was cut short and she could just make out the shine of green eyes from underneath his glasses. He wore a beard that was cut short along his neckline and formed up into a simple goatee. A little silver earring hung from his left ear and a necklace with some kind of a pendant hung around his throat. He was dashingly handsome and clearly well muscled.


Yea...Little distracting ain't it? Having to read everything about this guy? Let's try it another way.

   With a sigh, she put down the book. She couldn't read anymore. Her thoughts were swimming and she didn't know what to make of it all. She turned to look out the window and saw a man standing at the base of the poplar tree outside her window. He was strikingly handsome and seemed strangely out of place.

See the difference? While it may SEEM important to put in all that description, you must ask yourself "Is it?" Does the color of his shirt or his jewelry make any difference in the story? Probably not. Does the fact that he's muscled or wearing military boots. Possibly (if it is within the context of the story). You have to consider what is important and what is it so as to keep the description to point.

The other major problem with heavy description is that it...

2) Discounts the importance of imagination
 - Reading and writing are, at the end of the day, a very heavily imaginative medium. The power of imagination is what fuels the story and removing the twists and turns of the human psyche can have devastating effects on the story at large. Consider the Xenomorph from the "Alien" saga that we have pictured above. It's no doubt that it is definitely a freaky looking monster, but let's consider this in the context of a written story versus a visual medium like movies.

    The beast reared it's ugly, banana shaped head. It seemed to have been ripped straight from the nightmares of a mad-man. It was pitch black, the color of gleaming obsidian, and every inch of it seemed almost bio mechanical in nature. Standing at least a foot or two above her, it sported massive claws on both hand and foot and a long, viscous looking tail that came to a point with a barbed stinger. Drool billowed down from parted teeth and, deep inside its mouth, she could make out a second set of jaws that laid in wait.Now, this is not particularly bad. It paints a solid image of a beastly creature that is going to freaking MURDER the main character. Scary? Consider a separate description that focuses more on elements then finer details.

    It slunk from the shadows and stood to its full height before her. She was dwarfed in comparison. It was nearly impossible to make out in the darkness and seemed to be made of the tubes and wires of the walls itself, like the shadows itself had come alive to take her. A horrible visage of teeth and claws that let out a threatening hiss as it slid towards her.


Quite a different image isn't it? By utilizing less direct descriptors and instead allowing the imagination to fill in the holes, the mind can run away with it. Now, anyone who has SEEN the "Aliens" franchise can simply imagine the Xenomorph and fill in the blank. Consider those that haven't...What did they see in their imagination? I'll bet it's more intimidating than any single monster any person can dream up. An individual horror, specific to the individual, that has meaning only to them.

Additionally, this same power of imagination isn't limited to the act of "horror" writing. Allowing an individual to fill in THEIR own meaning and THEIR own creation will allow you more leeway and power than any one single thought or character description you will ever create because it will have more meaning to the reader than anything else.

Just a few things to consider.

Now Accepting Submissions



I was recently inspired by the wonderful people at http://apromptadaykeepsthecriticsaway.tumblr.com/ and, as such, have decided to implement the ability for individuals who have been inspired by the Daily Writing Prompts to submit THEIR stories for everyone to enjoy!

If you read one of our Daily Writing Prompts and are inspired to write about whatever the subject is that day, simply submit it to us for quick review (to make sure nothing too extreme or naughty is hidden within) and we will repost it for all to appreciate.

Any submissions can be sent directly through a private message here on Facebook or simply go to our Tumblr at http://sinsunwritten.tumblr.com/ and hit the Submit button found at the top.

- Rob

Daily Writing Prompt - 08.15.15




Late one night, you receive a phone call from an 
unknown number. The caller informs you that
"Your ride will be there shortly."
Not two minutes later, a car pulls up and waits
for you to get in.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bishop at the Gates - Chapters 4 through 6 - Added to Patreon

Hello all,

This is just a quick announcement. With the public release of Chapter 1 for Bishop at the Gates, I've decided to release Chapters 4, 5, and 6 as well. These chapters are currently available to any Patrons who support us through Patreon.com. If you have an interest in giving them a read, feel free to donate as little as a dollar and you'll be given free access to any updates we provide from Bishop at the Gates or otherwise for as long as you are a Patron.


We hope you enjoy and thank everyone who has an interest in helping support us!

~

Bishop at the Gates - Chapter 1





Chap 1

    Kalia shifted her stance to allow the blood to rush back into her leg. They both ached terribly, but she did her best to ignore it. Instead, she focused on the slaughtered deer that lay in the clearing before her.
    It was about a hundred yards ahead. It was a small alcove in the forest directly in front of a large limestone cave thrust up out of the ground. She’d sat in the freezing rain all day and night watching the cave. She had planted the deer there, hoping to draw something out.
    While she had not yet seen it, she was convinced that her prey lurked inside.
    At first, she doubted the villagers’ stories. They had been convinced that some kind of “troll” had set up shop in the nearby forest and was now terrorizing their little hamlet every night. Not only had people disappeared from their beds, but it would seem that some had been lured into the forest by some unknown magic.
    She took the job, but knew better than to think it was a simple troll.
    No… she told herself. This was something else.
    Kalia knew that trolls were slow, lumbering idiots. They tended to wander the countryside with the relative stealth of a runaway boulder. When they did happen across a town, they left a wake of damage behind them.
    Instead, whatever did this had left almost zero trace. Whatever had been kidnapping the villagers seemed to do so by attracting its victims rather than taking them forcibly.
    It was really blind luck that she had stumbled across the cave.
    The smell was what hit her first. A pungent, rotting smell that stunk of death and hung in the air. It stuck to the back of her throat. Made her gag. It permeated everything and clung to her clothes and her skin.
    Further investigation revealed that the area surrounding the limestone ridge was completely dead. No birds. No insects. No creatures of any kind. Walking into the clearing was like walking into a void. Nothing but silence.
    A hundred yards away she still couldn’t escape the stink. All she could do was grip her bow and focus on the deer ahead.
    Something moved.
    Barely a flicker of motion. A shadow across the cave wall.
    She drew her bow and waited.
    Seconds passed like hours as she strained her senses. Looked for any sign. Listened for anything.
    It was impossible to hear over the damned rain. It came down with the force of a typhoon and drowned out anything useful.
    Crick.
    Behind.
    Kalia threw herself forward hard as she could and spun in the air.
    She drew. Fired. And Missed.
    In the dark of the night, against the pouring rain and shuddering leaves, the split second she had to aim overshot the monster by an inch and whizzed harmlessly past the beast’s head.
    Well, at least I was right about it not being a troll.
    It was a Wendigo.
    The monstrous beast was huge. At least 9 foot tall with freakishly long arms and claws and a twisted rack of antlers atop its head. Deep gray skin was pulled taut against muscle and bone. Jagged, blood covered fangs were bared from behind lips that had long been chewed off. Its sunken in eyes were barely visible in their black pits.
    It followed after her, plowing through leaf and branch with a deafening crash.
    It hit the ground moments after her. Kalia rolled just a second before the Wendigo grabbed for her again. Catching cloth and arm alike, it tore away half her cloak and splattered crimson blood across the ground and trees as she retreated.
    The pain was like a fire in her veins, but her focus was stronger.
    The bow was ready in an instant. This time, the arrow found its mark. The first silver arrowed lodged itself deep into the monster’s through with a sickening gurgle. It was followed by four others, each in a vital mark.
    The Wendigo staggered, but only for a moment.
    It wasn’t enough.
    It reached her a moment later. Closing its claws around her throat and lifted her from the ground, she dropped her bow in favor of a slender, silver dagger that she drove into the beast’s eye socket before he could get a fatal grip on her.
    The Wendigo let loose a gurgling yowl as it choked on its own blood. Its grip slackened.
    Planting her feet firmly on its chest, Kalia kicked backwards, knocked her out of its grip. Now free, she turned to the offensive once more.
    She slammed all of her weight into the monster. It did little more than knock it off balance slightly, but it was enough. Staggered, she stabbed it again and again in the chest. The beast fell back with each blow. With each hit, it stumbled more.
    Finally, it fell.
    It wouldn’t be long before the beast regained itself. She went to work unclipping a small bottle from her belt and breaking it over the monster’s body. The blackfire and its alchemical flames made short work of the creature.
    After the temporary inferno calmed, Kalia gathered up the beast’s antlers and retreated to the entrance of the nearby cave to inspect her own wounds. She dared not go any further lest she find the remains of any poor sod dumb enough to have followed a Wendigo into the woods.
    She was liberally covered in black, viscous blood. Her own blood was flowing freely down her left arm from several large gashes. The sleeve had been completely ripped away. She touched it gingerly and felt another flash of searing pain.
    After cleaning and wrapping the wound, she allowed herself a heavy drink the narcotic elixer from the bottle she kept with her. The medicine eased the pain along with her senses and she soon found herself in a restless sleep on the hard stone ground.


    Kalia woke several hours later. Her head throbbed and she could still feel the after effects of the drug, however her arm no longer hurt as much. She gathered up her belongings and ventured out into the freezing rains.
    The dark was a comfort to her. With the monster slain and nothing more dangerous to stalk her path, the trip was a pleasant one despite the circumstances.
    The town of Summerlea was a small one. It was little more than a dozen or two homes along with some main essentials like a market and a blacksmith. A small inn stood at the far end of town along the road. Kalia walked to the largest home on the road and knocked.
    A few moments later, a man opened the door. He was big, fat, and balding, with little more than stubble atop his sweat covered head. Kalia grimaced just from looking at him.
    “You’re back.” He said, surprise in his tone.
    “Yea…” she glared daggers as she held the antlers out to him. “I’m back. And I brought you a present.”
    “The fuck are those? We hired you to kill a troll. Not go deer hunting.”
    She chuckled dryly.
    “Yea. About that. I would have killed a troll if I found one, Saul. But as it turns out, I ran into a fucking Wendigo.”
    His fat face twisted into a look of confusion.
    “A what?”
    “A WENDIGO, SAUL!” She pointed the tip of the antlers threateningly at him. He cowered back in surprise.
    “Tell me.” She continued. “Has anyone disappeared in those woods recently? Perhaps a small group of people?”
    “I-I d-don’t…I-I…Y-yes. I mean. That’s why we hired you.”
    “No you idiot! Before that. Probably a year or two ago.”
    “Uh…Y-yea. There was the Fergeson boy. Him and a friend went out hunting and disappeared. But I don’t know what that’s got to do with anything.”
    “A Wendigo is a monster created from cannibalism. A ravenous beast of gluttony born most often from starvation. It’s incredibly fast, smart, and strong and a LOT more threatening THAN ANY DAMN TROLL.”
    “You owe me,” she continued. A LOT more than we originally agreed on.”
    “B-b-but we’re a little town. We don’t have that much to give.” He straightened himself, seeming to try to regain his composure. “Besides, isn’t it your job?”
    “No.” She snapped, flinging the antlers to the ground. “MY job is ACTUALLY in Oakmoore because the Royal Guard PERSONALLY summoned me. THIS job is just a piddly shit side note that I should have ignored and let the damn Wendigo eat every last one of you.”
    She advanced on him. Nose to nose.
    “You’re going to pay me everything you can and courier the rest to Oakmoore so I can get it when I’m done with whatever job the King has for me. Otherwise, Gods help me…” she placed her hand over her hip pouch threateningly.
    Saul yelped as if struck. He had no idea what was in the pouch, but he doubted it was good if a Hunter was threatening him with it.
    After being paid by a broken and shaky Saul, Kalia made her way back to the Unbroken Road.
    Once there, she had to stop and laugh.
    “Oh my god, that was too fucking funny.” She said between fits of laughter. “God, I love these fucking bumpkins. They’re so easy to scare.”
    It wasn’t far to the next real civilization. Grayridge was decently populated and only a few hours walk from Summerlea. She reached it as the sun was rising over the mountain’s edge, piercing black clouds. The rain had just stopped.

(As I will be soon releasing several more chapters via Patreon for paid members, I've decided to release Chapter 1 of Bishop at the Gates for Public enjoyment. Hope you like it and, if you want more right away, you can enjoy it immediately for as little as a dollar!)