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"Halloween" Horror Special 2016: Choose One!

Part 1: A Thing I Do Not Know
- 0 (0%)
Part 2: The Tree of Tears
- 1 (33.3%)
Part 3: The Tusked Mask
- 1 (33.3%)
Undecided
- 1 (33.3%)
i hate all of them
- 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 3


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Author Topic: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories  (Read 10931 times)

BlackDragonSlayer

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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2014, 08:06:36 AM »

BDS you rotten cliffhangerer
Oddly enough, this is still true.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 08:08:20 AM by BlackDragonSlayer »
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2014, 08:22:12 AM »

Halloween Horror Special 2014 part 3
Cold is the Night of Revenge

     The first murder was his ex-girlfriend- the act started as nothing more than a vague idea, but as time went on, David became certain of the plan. They would start with those who had wronged him. Then... everybody else.

     The autopsy said that she died instantly when she was hit by an 18-wheeler; the conditions were perfect for the murder- she was walking late at night, and the truck just happened to be driving by. Angel was an efficient killer... the autopsy of the driver said that he was killed when he was flung from the cab and hit a tree. Then there was the matter of the witness... it was deemed a suicide. The three deaths occurring at the same time did raise some suspicions, but... the conditions were absolutely perfect. They could not deny that it was merely a gruesome coincidence. Oh, if they only knew how wrong they were.

     After a week, everybody forgot about the murders, but David was patient- he would wait longer, to ensure that nobody would even begin to suspect him.

     His parents died in a house fire. Police came to his house to question him, but, of course, it was deemed as just a tragic accident- David lived way too far away to be involved at all, they concluded... not that he was a suspect at all, though. The deputy kept referring to him as "Henry." A week later, the deputy and his family drowned while on vacation- the boat they were on unexpectedly sank.

     Next were his old teachers- three of them. It was deduced so cleverly that the crime was a result of gang violence- possibly former students with a grudge. They weren't exactly far off.

     As the months dragged on, David and Angel killed more and more people. Every kill seemed to give Angle more power, more finesse... even between the murders, Angel kept himself busy: David noticed several piles of bones and organs lying around the warehouse. He tried to clean them up as best as possible- he didn't want anybody wandering in while they were away... that would be unfortunate.

********************

     One day, David felt different; he was in pain and vomited a few times. When he looked in the mirror, he saw that his skin was strangely yellowish. Painfully, he made his way over to Angel's warehouse- even though he wasn't feeling well, being with Angel always comforted him in a strange way: it was true that they were both alike, for they both felt the same way and enjoyed many of the same things... Angel understood him. As he walked, he felt weaker and weaker. He approached the door, and moved to pull it aside, when... he felt faint... the world was spinning; he swung his arm out to grab onto the wall, but missed it completely. Even though he tried, he could not keep himself standing upright any longer; he fell on the ground and began convulsing. He tried to cry out for help, but all that came out were grotesque gurgling noises. The last thing he heard before he passed out was his name being called...

********************

     He woke up in the hospital, completely dazed and confused. He darted out of the bed and lashed out at the closest person he could find. Even after several security guards were brought in to restrain him, David was still on edge. With a hint of desperation, he demanded to know what had happened.

     The doctors told him he had cancer. They theorized that it might have started in his lungs, then spread to his stomach, liver, and brain. It was too extensive and too late to treat it, they said. They gave him less than four months to live. The news made him deeply angry on the inside, deeply frenetic, once again filled with an extreme bloodlust. Calmly, holding back all his inner feeling, he said a single word.

"Alright."

     It was then he hatched his final plan- his true pièce de résistance, his magnum opus. It was full of wickedness, wretchedness, and unadulterated, pure hate. No more would his murders be so carefully planned, so carefully executed, so brilliantly done... it was time for the end, for all of them to die, at last.

     He left the hospital and went back to the warehouse, invigorated with new energy. The room was dark, but when he entered, he could see Angel open its eyes and stare at him longingly, sadly, and with respect, all simultaneously. Angel knew. The moment their eyes locked, Angel knew. A thin grin overtook Angel's mouth as it slinked his way. Angel knew that it was time.

********************

     There were thousands dead, all across the country, in but a month; all were declared freak accidents. Nobody could fathom, or even begin to consider, the truth- that a mentally deranged monster and an alien were doing all this. If this were even considered, nobody said anything- they denied it to themselves and they denied it to others. Funny thing, David thought: people deny what they are afraid of, what lies in the realm of their deepest, shadowy fears... even when their fears are right on their doorsteps. He could kill in broad daylight, sweep through broad city streets on a murderous rampage, before people would even suspect.

     The second and third months, David felt weaker, but he knew he must carry on, for Angel, for the grand goal. It was not enough- thousands of people dead weren't enough to quench his thirst. But, alas, he... they, alone were not enough. The fourth month passed, as David clung on to life. At the end of the fifth month, David had all but given out- he had wasted away, and now, could eat nothing without violently spewing it up soon after.

     Once more, he returned to the warehouse with Angel. He fell to his knees, his entire body finally giving out. His hand reached up, brushing against Angel. He half-scowled, half-smiled as he let out a vicious, guttural laugh.

"It wasn't enough, Angel! I'm sorry, but... I've failed!"

     The past few months were harsh on his body, and he could feel it. He coughed, and with each cough, bright blood came forth and coated the ground in front of him. Finally, he lay down, his head resting against Angel. The creature gently wrapped its arms around him, lowering its head closer. David felt a tingling sensation reverberate through his body. Something was happening.

"There there, David..."

     A cold, yet wonderfully warm feeling overtook him; for once, he felt a great joy in his heart. David did not know Angel could speak- he had not heard Angel speak at all- yet somehow, he was not surprised, in this blissful state of being. He knew not what was going on, but he didn't care. Eventually, all he knew was that he was leaving his body... now, truly...

     They were one.

WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR HALLOWEEN
THE END
...until next year...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 02:19:41 PM by BlackDragonSlayer »
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2015, 02:20:35 PM »

Halloween Horror Special 2015 part 1
The Love Which We Deny Him

     Recently, I have had a terrible fright in my life. I feel a need- a strange compulsion- to write my experiences down, partially as a warning to others who may encounter something of a similar sort, partially to get my feelings of repulsion and utter horror off my chest. Within the past year I have come into contact with a pair of dreadful, hellish monsters, devoid of all human feelings. This is the tale of how I came to learn of these monsters…

********************

     At the time of the beginning of this incident, my wife had recently passed- God rest her soul- and being an older man, I decided that I needed to downsize; not only would a smaller neighborhood be more quaint and welcoming for my mellowing mood, but I had no need for a house as large as my old estate. Going into this, you should know that I come from a fairly wealthy background, having a fair bit of success myself, and thus settled on moving to a recently-vacated bungalow in a well-to-do neighborhood halfway across the country.

     The sale went through much quicker than expected; although I had already informed my future neighbors that I was to move in within the upcoming weeks, because of this unexpected advance, I decided to move as soon as possible, since I was already prepared for the shift. Thusly, I was met with no hurrah or, in fact, even a little squeak of welcoming. Doing a quick survey of the street, I found that there seemed to be no one at home in any of the houses, bar the house directly across from me. Perhaps I had picked an area that was too quaint, or perhaps these people were so fabulously overjoyed by their mild wealth that they were away at their wild “social events” or whatnot. “Pah,” I had thought, in a bit conceited and irritated manner, “If only they knew how I spent my time and wealth!” Then again, it was about the time school dismissed… ahh, nevermind.

     Whatever the reason, I made my way across the street to my new neighbor’s house, which was a nice two-story building with a small covered porch out front; several windows adorned the upper floor, but there seemed to be nothing more than a few measly squares on the lower. A knock at the door was met shortly by a young, blond-haired woman, who was, for some reason, sweating. After a brief explanation from myself about my situation, she cordially invited me inside. She welcomed me to the neighborhood and ushered me into a sitting/dining room of sorts. Hastily darting in and out of the room, she brought in a small plate of biscuits- appeared to be homemade- and set them down on a small table between the chairs we were sitting.

     “Sorry for the leftovers,” she murmured, “Tea will be in shortly. My husband’s out back. He practices tennis with some of his business partners. We have a court out back, you know. I was just out there, but I had to come in to prepare dinner.”

     She droned on this way for many minutes- which isn’t to say I wasn’t genuinely interested in her conversation, just that… I did much more listening than speaking- until a curious thing happened. Just then, a short, imp-like being sauntered into the room carrying a pot of tea; it was dressed in formal clothes, like a butler would wear. Indeed, I would have merely assumed it was a normal person with a slight deformity was it not for its face: grey, wrinkled- as if stuck permanently in a grimace- and, as I said, very imp-like. Its hair was a dark black, neatly combed, further highlighting the discrepancy. But, even as it scrambled back out of the room, sans teapot, my host said nothing about it, and seemed not phased at all, so I left the matter alone, surprised as I was.

********************

     Despite this little… issue, the family seemed nice, and after that day, I continued to visit them. Much of the time, the husband was busy with business or sports or thus like, which the wife would usually retreat from shortly before my arrival to do one thing or another. In my time here, I have only seen the husband twice; he is a tall, handsome man, with very vivid dark brown hair- if I may say so, reminiscent of myself in my days of youth. Anyway, upon these visits, I would usually resign myself to the role of listener, from which I learned a great deal- quite unwillingly, I must regretfully say- about their lives. They had a young son, school age, of whom she sang praises. I saw nothing of him, either, but I suspected that he, too, was consumed with some activity, like his father. Whenever food was served, I might add, the butler was quick to deliver it and then retreat.

     Over time, I came to familiarize myself with my other neighbors as well. They were not as bad as I had originally mused. Their social events were more of the mild luncheon variety, of which I attended one for the sake of trying to integrate myself in the community. Oddly enough, I found, the family across the street had not been invited to the luncheon; they once had, I was told, but none of the local community seemed greatly fond of them, and they often distanced themselves from the rest of their neighbors, the reason for this I knew not. This sparked an almost devious curiosity in me: was there some secret, unspoken event which caused a rift in their interactions? Did it have to do with that imp butler?

     To this end, I begun a search: quiet and subtle, at first. I asked the children what they knew of the boy- absolutely nothing- and cautiously questioned the adults about their history with that family. Again, nothing. Was this family locked inside the whole day, in some void in which only the necessary business was conducted? There had to be someone who could tell me more about this mystery! Were I to live here any longer, I had to clear the air! Then, my covert actions were sent into a frenzy with an event which sent a horrid chill down my spine. One night, as I was peering out the open window of my bungalow, I saw a dim light in one of the upper-story windows of the house across the street. My vision is not as clear as it used to be, but I knew- KNEW- what it was up there! A tiny thing staring back at me, locking eyes with me silently, perhaps with as much curiosity as I, or perhaps with more sinister intent! From then on, my visits to the house found me acting twitchy, on edge. When once I glimpsed the imp passing through a side hallway, I nearly leapt from my seat! I hastened to leave at that point. Outside, I waited, hidden, and cornered a trio of businessmen leaving the house, no doubt fresh from a meeting with the husband. I interrogated them, asking pryingly about what had happened. Though they appeased me for a bit, they swiftly brushed me off.

********************

     At last, I could have no more! I went to the house, again and again, waiting for the butler to rear his demonic head in the room once more; one night, it happened. I had not prepared for it, not intended it to be, as that particular visit was but an accident. But, as I had decided before, as soon as it left, I let the question I desperately needed an answer to slip from my lips, in the form of a tiny utterance.

     “If I may say, your butler is a strange fellow.”

     “Oh, hahahaha!” she laughed, as if amused by my reaction, “That’s not our butler! That’s our son!”

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2: I THINK I MIGHT DIE HERE
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2015, 08:39:45 PM »

Halloween Horror Special 2015 part 2
I Think I Might Die Here

     I woke up, my body sore, my eyes weary. It was dark, and I still felt groggy. Sluggishly, my mind caught up to the moment. Oh dear lord, how I wished for atonement! I knew not where I was, and this I feared. And just then, my mind cleared. I heard noises in the background, noises of pain and torment… A horrible noise, like some corpse, I mused, being into pieces rent! I heard mumbling, vaguely of a woman, and then I remembered my night on the town. Was she not the one with which I had been around? But what then had happened!? I felt terrible, terrible, terrible, much saddened…!

     Because I couldn’t remember her name.

     Then, there was another voice, like metal being ground against metal. Argh- the noise drove me near mad, even in my still-stupefied state; was this here the devil? It spoke, evil, cold, loud, relentless. “PICK A NUMBER, ONE TO TEN; PLEASE DO HURRY, FOR I AM QUITE RESTLESS.” I heard a whining, definitely the woman. During this time, more ripping sounds again…

     “F… f… f… four!”

     To this end, I heard maniacal laughter. I do not enjoy relating what happened after. A sound like a blade being drug across metal, then a horrible scream! This repeated thrice more, though never-ending it would seem! Then there was silence. I knew what could only await me was violence.

     I was afraid.

     The door swung open; the beast came in, its feet clanking! I was not much of a sight, I believed, for I must have, with my body numb, looked like I was planking. I grabbed me with its metal claws, even colder than the voice, and drug me across the floor. I tried to fight, but again, I was numb; my face merely smacked against the door. Urrrr! I do say this was quite a rough transfer. As it moved me, my face flopped around, and I could see the body of the beast- alas, a robot! Though, I suppose it could have been a boggart. Finally, my body was hauled upwards… toward… A strange metal device, with straps, almost like a board. It took almost half an hour, I think, to attach the restraints fully. Once done, the whole thing was hoisted by pulley. Was now my doom to be beginning? How I now regret my lifetime of sinning!

     Then the question.

     “PICK A NUMBER, ONE TO TEN; PLEASE DO HURRY, FOR I AM QUITE RESTLESS.” “Uh,” I groaned, “my memory, could you kindly refresh?” “NO.” “Ummm… let’s see, uh, well… zero?” “UFUFUFUFUFFUFU; THAT IS NO NUMBER BETWEEN ONE AND TEN, WHICH ARE MY CONSTRAINTS- JUST PICK SOMETHING, LIKE THE NICE NUMBER SEVEN.” “Well then, if you say so… how about eleven?” “NONONONONONONO; THAT’S JUST MEAN MEAN MEAN MEAN MEAN. AND WEIRD, LIKE THOSE JUMPING BEANS. PICK A NUMBER, ONLY ONE THROUGH TEN. THEN, YOUR LIFE I WILL END!” “H… how about two hundred and sixty-five?” At this comment, it quite literally exploded; no longer was it, if it had ever been, alive. My fear and my dread was finally over, I had thought… But then I remembered my tight restraints; it was all for naught. I became quite distraught.

     I think I might die here.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 3: I KNEW A MAN
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2015, 10:05:08 AM »

Halloween Horror Special 2015 part 3
I Knew a Man

     “I’m all alone,” I kept repeating to myself, over and over again, whimpering all the while, “I’m so fraking screwed.” The thing that shot Edmur out of the sky was out there, and it would just as soon kill me without hesitation. I could either stay in here and wait for it to come to me, or I could try to get to the control room, which might offer some safety. I weighed my decisions; figuring that death was to come either way, I reached toward the door…

********************

     Edmur and I worked for the central government, ferrying supplies back and forth from Maximus to military bases all over the most remote places in the galaxy. This time, we had just gotten back from the base on Reel, and were heading to the capital planet to await new orders. It was like this most of the times: get orders, go through empty space for a few hours, drop off the supplies, go back through space, then wait a few more hours to get more orders. It was tedious, but we were paid well.

     We had gone to Reel before, and that time, we had used the standardized route to and from Maximus, but this time, I had decided to take an alternate route. It hadn’t been completely mapped, and there weren’t any habitable planets along most of the area, but it cut our time down by almost two hours, which, in my book, was another two hours of guaranteed sleep. Edmur objected.

     “You can’t go through desolate space! You might encounter…” he hesitated.

     I had known Edmur since we were young. He was a nice guy, but he was quite superstitious, and his main flaw was that he wouldn’t risk his own life to help you. At just over five feet tall, he was considered unusually large for his species, but he was still much shorter than I.

     “Encounter what?” I probed.

     “Sakar Obelith,” he whispered, if in great fear.

     “Uff!” I groaned, “You do know that’s just a tale they tell to children? Big scary monster who steals the souls of naughty children to the edges of the galaxy? Sometimes the incarnation of Death itself? Sometimes,” I couldn’t help but laugh at bringing up a story thousands of years old, “taking the role of Father Christmas? It’s not like we haven’t done this before!”

     “No, no, it’s true! I knew a man who went through desolate space once. He said…” he paused to take a drink, “He said that as soon as he rematerialized out of transfer, he saw a big black ship out of the corner of his eye, gone almost as soon as he noticed it!”

     “Well… big black ships aren’t exactly easy to hide, now are they?” I derided him for a few more minutes until the dematerialization drive had warmed up, and I flipped the switch to start the transfer…

********************

     Ten minutes later, we were conscious again as we rematerialized. Repeated jumps over the years had gotten me used to the nauseating effects of transferring, but I could never get used to the disorienting initial jolt; it was like you’d just been in a coma, and were sudden launched out of bed, awake. Even disregarding this feeling, I knew something was wrong right off the bat: not just the unusually empty, blank feeling, but… that something was there that shouldn’t have been. It took me a minute to notice it.

     There was a shadowy ship looming along the edge of the control pod’s screen, distinguishable from the rest of space by its glowing purple lights. Instinctively, I jammed the transfer switch forward, but it did nothing- it would be a few minutes before the dematerialization drive was ready to work again. So much for the upgrades.

     “Tell me I’m not just seeing that,” I groaned over the comm.

     “I see it clear,” Edmur replied from his adjacent control pod, “If it sees us, we’re f…”

     The ship rocked, cutting him off mid-sentence.

     “It’s shooting at us!” he shouted.

     “I just noticed that. Any plans? Try and contract them? Maybe they’re just part of the military?”

     “I don’t think they want to talk. If we don’t get out of here right now, we’re dead; I think we have enough backup charge in the control pods for a five-minute jump. We might be stranded, but at least we’ll be away from here.”

     “Ready the eject.”

     “On three: One, two… three.”

     The doors sealed and the spare boosters attached themselves to the control pods. I slammed on my eject button a split second after Edmur did. Behind us, the ship started to crumple under the barrage. Just after our release from the ship was noticed, the fire shifted abruptly in our current direction.

     Edmur’s pod was immediately torn apart. If I had hit my button any sooner, my fate would have been the same; because Edmur’s pod took the full force of the attack, it gave me just enough time to begin the transfer…

********************

     When I emerged from the transfer, I saw a red giant that consumed the entirety of the right half of the screen. Toward the left, there was something nearby, drifting aimlessly. I set my path toward it, and as I got closer, I realized it was a Derelict: these were interplanetary space stations that were popular at one time, long before I was born. Although they were used for a decade or two, people quickly became tired of living on the stuffy, cramped things- they much preferred being on one of the many inhabitable planets. Thus, the stations were just dumped out wherever the former inhabitants got bored of them. They were popular targets for salvagers and sometimes served as temporary bases for smugglers and pirates.

     I checked my map: I was currently on the very edge of mapped territory. Maybe if all the station’s power systems were working, I could send out a focused distress signal. Certainly, if it hadn’t been ransacked already, it would still have this capacity.

     As soon as I was safely on the station, I got my bearings. The central control room wasn’t too far from where I docked, although it would be quite a walk through the winding structure of the Derelict. Then, as I was sprinting along an exterior corridor, I glanced through a window. The sight was gut-wrenching: as if some occult hand had dragged it across the cosmos, the black ship was back, following me. I charged away as fast as I could. My plans quickly changed: I had to start up the ship’s dematerialization drive (which had doubtlessly deteriorated over the years), and get the hell out of here.

     Checking the station’s map again, I found the technician’s room. Here, I could assess the damage across the station, and hopefully find a way to fix anything that would obstruct a transfer. I booted up the viewscreen, slow from its disrepair, and nearly fell back when it started. The startup screen showed a camera a little bit away from one of the docking bays, and on it, I glimpsed a dark shape passing swiftly past. Twitching, I shuffled through the cameras- no severe exterior damage, severe damage in the housing sectors, engine diagnostic seemed positive…

     I flipped open the hatch of the drive, and rummaged around. It wasn’t completely fried, at least, and the parts I had brought along should be enough… but would I have the time? There was noise outside, and I cowered in the corner.

********************

     Now was the time. I had just as much a chance at death either way, so I might as well try to get to the control room and hope my hasty repairs had been enough to get the drive working. Slowly, silently, I opened the door. As I started to walk out, I made no noise; even as I picked up the pace, I even stifled my breathing. I couldn’t risk having it hear me when we were so close… I just had to get to the end of this corridor, then…

     There was a sudden sound, like a dull thud of something striking the ground forcibly. I took another step, but was stopped. I felt a firm hand gripping my shoulder. My body froze, and I could not turn. Even if I could, the hand would have held me still. That moment seemed to go on forever, as if time had stopped utterly and completely; perhaps, for me, it had. The voice boomed.

     “Good afternoon, captain. Or, is it evening? It is quite hard to tell out here.”

WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR HALLOWEEN
THE END
...until next year...
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2016, 01:23:46 AM »

Chilling Winter Tales #1
My Little Christmas Miracle

     I had been away at college for three years when it happened. I got the call a couple of days before Thanksgiving.

     “Your mother is dead.”

     She died after a surgery to remove a malignant tumor in her brain. I didn’t even know she had cancer. No one ever told me.

     Over the following days, I languished from my despair. Not only had I been unable to see my mother one last time before her death, but she had been taken away from me just before Christmas! It was always her favorite time of year, when she was just a little more sweet than she always was, when, despite everything, she would bring the family together, as all families should be.

     There is one thing I must make clear: Science was my passion. Death was, before this point, a mild fascination; now, however, it was personal. Perhaps I could change things with an unearthly pursuit of- dare I say- necromancy? Perhaps I would be the one to conquer death, if only for a moment, to have a final goodbye with my beloved mother? I considered myself a current-day Frankenstein, though I sought not to create life but to bring someone back from the dead (and, as I reasoned, more responsible). For weeks I labored in my task, studying all that predecessors had accomplished, if anything. Where science gave no answer, I turned to the occult.

     I balanced my usual studies precariously with my work. To make time for my nightly struggles, I shut myself off from my friends- they thought I was only grieving. If only they knew.

     It came to a conclusion the night of Christmas Eve. To the graveyard I flew, shovel in hand. With the knowledge I had accrued, surely I could not fail! My mother’s recently entombed corpse lay before me now. Decay had begun to engulf her body, but that did not worry me. I would make everything better. Hastily, always at the risk of discovery, I set up my equipment. I inserted my needles, placed my jars and vials, and commenced my ritual. In a moment, it was done. I shook in the cold, eager to see my results.

     There was a stirring. A sound.

     She groaned as I clutched her close, her eyes once more opening to see the dreary moonlight that washed over the grave. “Please… please…” she muttered, “I am in pain… please… let me die.” I ran my hand across her hair reassuringly.

     “I know, mama...” I gave a loving smile, content with what I had done. “But it’s not your time yet.”

WE HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR VALENTINES DAY
STAY TUNED FOR MORE...
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 11:12:44 PM by BlackDragonSlayer »
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2016, 11:58:34 PM »

Chilling Winter Tales #2
Looking Sallow

     So I had a work e-mail for like a year before that, but I didn't use it much. Like, almost never. I finally decided to get a personal e-mail because having access to more of the world wide web, I figured, would help ease my technophobia. I had it about a week before it happened: one day, I was checking through my e-mails- there were about a dozen of them- when suddenly, a new one pops into my inbox! I was so surprised, because never before had I gotten a new e-mail while I was online! And it was my first junk mail. I didn't think much of the thing at first- just random spam- but I glanced at the subject before deleting it. "Feeling Sallow?" it read.

     I looked in the mirror. Yeah, I was looking a bit unhealthy, I guess, but not too sallow. And how would they know? Pfff.

     As I said, I thought nothing of it at first. It was just ordinary garden-variety spam to me... that is, until it came back. I was reading some more e-mails, when I saw the number of messages in my inbox increase. I didn't think I had any reason to be concerned; actually, it was a few more minutes before I went back to see what the message was. And there it was again. "Feeling Sallow?" I wondered if I had forgotten to delete it, or it somehow made its way back to my inbox. I checked the "deleted" folder, and there was the old message. So, I clicked on the new message. If these people really wanted to get into contact with me so much, I might as well see what they had to say. The message... I can't really describe it. It was... just a bit uncomfortable, but it didn't really bring up any red flags. The only thing suspicious about it was that the website link led to a "Bad Gateway" error.

     Having nothing else to do, I deleted the e-mail. Then my webcam light flicked on. I forgot it was even plugged in, actually... as I said, I wasn't too well acquainted with technology. That really startled me. I ripped the thing out and tossed it in a big box in the corner of my room. 'What had just happened,' I thought.

     I got another message. "Looking Sallow," it said. It saw me. Something saw me.

     I didn't even bother to delete it this time. I just shut down the whole computer. "Screw this," I said to myself, "I'll just go back to good ol' paper and pencil any day!" Then I heard a loud noise and a shatter of glass. In my house. I grabbed a baseball bat (Please? Don't snicker like that! You know you'd do that too!) and scurried out to see what had happened. I was already on edge before then, but when I got to the hallway window, I quite frankly felt like a little kid again. It looked like someone had thrown a rock at the window. Or, like, a boulder, except there was no boulder there.

     I bolted back to my room and locked the door. I frantically started to boot the computer up again. At that point, I'd have done anything. I'd buy any treatment, jump through whatever hoops, let God-knows-what on the other side ogle me for as long as it wanted, do whatever that damn e-mail told me to do. I had just started to log on when it jumped down at me and grabbed me by my head.

********************

     So that's how my face got like this. When other people first saw me, they got creeped out, but people seem to be a lot more accepting after hearing how I got this way. You know, I actually feel a bit more energized now- like I sleep better, maybe? And it didn't cost me anything, except a little trip to the hospital!

HAVE A GOOD DAY TODAY
STAY TUNED FOR MORE...
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2016, 10:20:57 AM »

Chilling Winter Tales #3
The Lazarus Tree

     Y'wanna know 'bout the Lazarus Tree, huh? That's why yer here, inn'it? Well, I'll tell ya the story, if you sit 'n listen, but I ain't gonna tell ya any more than I tol' anyn' else. Don't think I'm like those other senile geezers.

     It happened many a year ago, when I was on one a' mah natures walks- th' Doc said they's was good for mah arthritis and lungs- an' I took a wrong turn on th' trail; now, normally, I'm one of those folks that'r good with directions 'n stuff, but I swear, it was my destiny to take this wrong turn. After walkin' for right 'bout ten-er-twenty minutes on that path, I realized I was lost! Now, I was tired an' aching all over by then, so I hobbled over to the nearest tree an' practically collapsed at th' foot of it. At that point, I feared I was dead- couldn' walk, nothin' to eat, not a soul knew I was out there- but when I awoke, I felt so rejuvenated like I's imbued with a bran' new spirit, and I fel' so happy 'n pious, like I's saved by the very hand o' the lord. Now, I looks up at the tree I 'as under, an' I see it's all gnarled and decayed like it 'as barely even a tree. I felt so joyous that i just went to my knees an' prayed so deeply at the foot o' that there tree, praisin' th' good lord for givin' me a miracle. An' 'fore I left, I made a small notch like a cross in th' bark.

     Now... I went on mah walks again, but I never went past that tree in fear ah collapsin' again- it was a ways away from my us'al route- but weeks later, mah ol' dog died. I thought it'd be good tuh bury the lil' felluh under the tree, blessed the spot as it be. An' I did this, brought mah shovel out an' all, an' had a private little funeral for mah faithful pet. But th' tree was a bit differen' this time, like it wan'nt so old or dead-like, now. And boy, did the biggest miracle I ever seen happen th' vury nex' day. I's going on a walk past the tree 'gain, just cause the sentiment 'n all, an' I hear a barkin' off in the distance! I though I was gone mad, bein' distraught an' all, but as I went on, I feel a little wet nose against mah leg! An' I look down, an' there was th' lil' thing, all fresh an' good as new! It 'us a veritable worl' shakin' miracle, I cried aloud.

    An' quickly after this, I told a few'f my friens, and from there, th' rumor spread like wildfire. Sure 'nough, ever' time there 'as a death, them in the know came to me for help. But this blessin' couldn' be abused. I knew it had tuh be kept hidd'n, an' guard it with my life I did. Now, this here tree didn' grant no immortality, no siree. I foun' out that the miracle only worked once per person, and this... this made many a person mighty mad for a time. But they came to live with it. Af'er all, who else 'ud they have to go to? I dun know of no preacher who'cn do what mah precious tree did.

     But one day, somethin' changed. There 'us a vicious storm blowin' across the town fer a number uh days, like one none'f'us 'd'ever seen afore. I couldn' go out to the tree, and I lay mighty anxious in my house waitin' for it to go away. Part of me won'ered if I'ud done sometin' wrong by sharing mah blessin' with all the other folks, but deep down inside, I knew this was only a little flare 'uh evil from Satan. Th' righteous'll persevere, I repeated. Th' righteous'll persevere.

     Now, af'er the storm calmed, I went straight out tuh the tree. I 'us distraught tuh see its condit'n; It 'us all charred 'n singed 'n tilty like it got th' worst of th' weather... and then, for a moment, I nearly broke down in sobs. But, I tol' myself... the tree was still 'ere. It could be fixed, af'er all. So I went right away to chippin' all the burn off the tree. And what'a'ya know, the beauty worked good as new! Miracles 'r miracles, I say, 's long as ya don't mind comin' back wit' some burns!

WE HOPE YOUR WINTER HAS BEEN CHILLY
SEE YOU NEXT WINTER...
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2016, 07:01:12 AM »

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT TIME!!!

After so many years, I have finally started to rewrite one of my older stories, as promised so long ago (motivated by a literal shower thought; ty to showers for giving me so much inspiration). Read it here! I think it's no longer as awkward, dull, and cringeworthy as it used to be, and I feel it's off to a promising start, especially with my new vision for the story.
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2016, 10:35:39 PM »

Hey y'all! I'm in the process of writing a story for my school's creative writing magazine, and if it gets accepted (or... y'know... doesn't; not like I have anything better to do with it) I'll be sure to post it here (should be around Spring next year, IIRC).
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2016, 12:01:48 AM »

Just in case anybody worried/cares about it, the Halloween Horror Special 2016 is technically not cancelled, but just delayed a number of months. Though I've tried to uphold this as a yearly tradition, I'm afraid that putting effort into other things means that the stories I would have posted this time around are not able to be posted at the current moment. They do exist, though!

EDIT: Still haven't heard anything back yet so I'm posting them now. One every other day or so. Wooooo. just pretend this happened back in october 'cause i started/finished writing these around then
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 07:48:52 AM by BlackDragonSlayer »
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2017, 07:53:56 AM »

Halloween Horror Special 2016 part 1
A Thing I Do Not Know

     It pulsed. He could hear the thumping on the other side of the wall. He stood absolutely still, frozen in the silent, nondescript hallway; he knew that if he moved too much, it might hear him back. Breathing wasn't an issue, as long as he took short, shallow breaths, but when it was this close, if he so much as shifted his weight too much in the wrong direction, it would doubtlessly hear the creaking of the floorboards. By now, it had learned to tune out most of the ambient noises in its surroundings—the current of air blowing through the ducts, the ticking of clocks, humming of electronics, and all the like—but its hearing was still imperfect. He just might be able to escape, if he could find an open door or window. It didn't like being outside for too long, for some reason. He didn't know how it even got in here in the first place, but it was in here. It seemed to come out mostly at night. There were stories of the building being haunted, but everyone "knew" that they were just superstitions. The previous week, he had thought he saw something large pass through his line of sight a little after sunset, a time when very few people passed through the building. But he was different: he liked being alone; he liked the silence; he enjoyed humming to himself as he strolled along the scenic route back to his room. Now, he was trapped in here with it.

     Should he risk bolting for the second floor and just break open a window? He assumed a fall from that height wouldn't kill him, and if he could recover fast enough after that, he would be scot-free. But what did they make the windows out of? Could he break through with just his body? It would be far too risky and take far too long for him to rummage through the classrooms or the janitorial closets to find something sufficiently heavy.

     He didn't hear it any more. It was probably safe to keep walking. It would most likely be meandering along this path in a few minutes anyway, and that would be worse than being heard by it; he knew because he had been... felt by the creature's long tendrils, and barely got away after realizing his mistake. It was pretty slow, actually. You couldn't outrun it at a walking pace, of course, but a swift sprint would usually be more than enough to escape.

     He started to move forward. All was well. Then, he heard a slamming noise behind him. A chill ran down his neck and through his spine. He went forward, pace by pace, cautious to avoid alerting the thing, but also mindful that it may be coming up from the back at any moment. He turned his head, but saw nothing. He let out a sigh of relief. Then, the door in front of him slammed shut.

********************

     He remembered why he came to Pettermont College: it was that word again—alone. The fact that there was only one road out of the valley where the campus was situated meant that the college was about an hour away from all other traces of civilization. Isolation. He liked that word better; to him, it brought a certain degree of tranquility, security, and ease of mind. It had all started when he was young. He didn’t think that he really hated people, just… people didn’t really like him much, so over the years he had gotten used to shutting people out wherever he went. He didn’t like it when other people excluded him, so one day, he decided to take the first step and make the decision to simply sequester himself from others. People were just the same everywhere, he had reasoned, so why bother anyway? Nobody had ever shown themselves to be any different. Even when he had left home to start a new life: to other people, he was always just an afterthought. A burden, even. He had gotten used to doing everything himself, and to a certain degree, it made him a more resourceful and independent person. Perhaps, as he had begun to tell himself, it made him a better person all around. If he could do anything he ever dreamed to accomplish by himself, why did he even need anyone else’s help? He also thought it would mean that he didn’t have to worry himself about other people getting in his way.

     And now was a time when he had to get himself out of a pickle. Hunted, pursued, he would have to use his own ingenuity and physical endurance to save his own life. Even if he got out alive, nobody would ever care about or believe what had happened here tonight. They never did.

********************

     He knew he was screwed. Desperately, he hugged the wall. He could hear the gross, slimy noises it made, slowly inching toward him. It didn't know he was here yet, but shortly, it would. Twitching and fearful, he, too, slowly continued on his path toward the door. If it wasn't locked, he might be able to slip through and just make a run for it; the door should hold it for a minute or so, and it's not like he had any better options at this point. To make this work, he had to gauge just how close it was to him. He turned his head to look behind himself once more. With a fright, he jumped back and crashed into the door. It was right there behind him. He scrambled to pry open the door. It rattled noisily and shook on its hinges as he attacked the knob in desperation. All the while, the creature slid forward with all its might. The stench from its mouth was beginning to waft into his eyes and nose, unsettling his entire body.

     Then, he got the door open, just in time; but no time to close it, as the monster had just stuck out one of its tendrils to grab him. He ran, and it kept after. It was faster now, as if it wanted him so badly it would exert itself to no end to get him. Grasping for breath, he continued to run until he, at last, saw the exit in sight. With one last burst of strength filling him, he zoomed to the door in victory. As he hit the door, he charged through with the power of a raging bull. Unlocked, the door gave way and released him into the open air. He paused to take in a fresh breath of air, then turned to again look behind himself. It was not over yet.

     He ran, more and more, away from the building that had been the location of his night of horror. He kept running, but it kept going too. He ran, and he ran, but he could not escape it ever. No matter how fast he ran, no matter how far he went, he could not escape his greatest fear, because it was a beast he had created himself.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2: THE TREE OF TEARS
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 04:06:39 AM by BlackDragonSlayer »
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2017, 04:20:38 AM »

Halloween Horror Special 2016 part 2
The Tree of Tears

     Once upon a time, there was an adventuring man who was injured by malicious spirits while traveling through the Forest of Spirits. Tired, in pain, and unable to go on, he collapsed at the foot of a tree hollow that was home to a small creature of the woods. This creature took pity on him, and used its natural talents to help the man. He spent many months living around the tree hollow, recovering his strength and befriending the creature, whom he called Little One. Then one day, when the man had healed enough to go about his way, he left, promising to return to see the Little One whenever his travels brought him near the forest.

     Time and time again, the man had opportunities to visit the Little One, but each time, he found a reason not to.

     “There are spirits there who hate me and will try to keep me away or injure me again,” he thought once.

     “I don’t like traveling through forests very much,” he told himself another time, “maybe I’ll muster up the will to go into the woods after I take a trip to the mountains.”

     Years passed, and the man did not visit the Little One. The creature knew in its heart that the man wanted to return, and every day, it was certain that that would be the day where the man came to see it. Sometimes, it thought the man had abandoned and forgotten about it, but it reassured itself with the tender memories of the time it had spent with the man. It knew he was not the type of person to forget a promise. Then, one year, the Little One got sick, and died. Though the man did not hear of its death, many months later, he suddenly felt compelled to return to the forest. This time, he disregarded all his concerns, and was determined to see the Little One.

     When he got to the tree hollow, he did not see the Little One at all. He searched around until he found it, lying where it had died in the middle of a sunlit grove. In grief, he fell to his knees beside it. He stayed here for many weeks, and his tears ceaselessly poured down to the earth below. Unbeknownst to the man, from deep within the ground, watered by his mournful tears, a tree began to grow. Even as it breached the surface and began to grow to phenomenal heights, the man did not notice. Only when the tree had grown so tall and wide that it began to block out the sun did the man take notice. For a moment only, he stopped crying. But when he gazed upon the tree, he became very angry: how could life grow in spite of the death in front of him? It was a mockery that the spirits of the woods set before him, to taunt him for his inadequacies and his mistakes!

     So, the man took his axe in rage, and for many long days and nights, chopped at the tree. Even as he struck the tree again and again, his tears continued to fall, making the tree grow taller and stronger. On the sixth sunrise after he began, the tree fell. When it crashed to the ground, a great path of destruction was left through the forest. But the man was not happy. The forest had done this to him, to the Little One who was taken away in all its innocence. He decided it had to pay. He took a torch and ran through the forest, lighting everything on fire as he passed by it. With no delay, the forest went up in flames. Everything in the forest perished—birds, creatures, and woodland spirits alike. When the fire eventually died down, the man returned to the spot where the tree had fallen. All this destruction had been for a purpose, but he was still not satisfied. Nothing could change what had been done.

     As the man continued his mourning, he began to sink into the barren ground, until he wasted away in his grief and became nothing but a stone statue, sticking out from the ground from the waist up. And to this day the forest remains in ruins, the tree of tears remains fallen, and the man remains a statue, a testament to the love that became grief, the grief that became anger, and the anger that wrought futility.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 3: THE TUSKED MASK
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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #43 on: March 28, 2017, 07:59:04 AM »

Halloween Horror Special 2016 part 3
The Tusked Mask

Debunking the Legends, Volume 1 by Neet Chipbarton

     We all know the stories: Many of us were told them as children; some might pass a book or film store and unknowingly glimpse a work containing one such story; untold numbers of video games and holosims have been made with references to the tales even within the last decade; Ultranet writers from all corners of the galaxy might hold them in their minds when they weave their own plots of monsters, demons, and the horrors from within the human mind; superstitious spacers hold fast to the standardized space routes in fear of wandering into what they call “desolate space.” The accounts differ from writer to writer—a number of which share key plot elements from stories originating from humanity’s history on Earth—but the one thing that is definite is a name: Sakar Obelith. None know what it means, but there are as many accounts purporting to be the real ones as there are limbs on a Glaarnor plant.

     To return from the world of fantasy for a moment, we turn to the suggested origins of these tales; currently, all known reports of attacks attributed to this “Sakar Obelith” have been tied by declassified government investigations to space pirate raids, and in fact, the Secretary of Records Office reports that space pirate activity is at an all-time high from the past century due to unchecked expansion of outer colony planets. According to these records, there is only one living survivor of an attack that matches the profile: a John Doe of unknown age, who is also recorded as having repressed memories of the incident. All other survivors, regardless of the extent of their injuries, have perished shortly after being recovered and evacuated from the site of the attack. In the brief time these survivors live after occurrence of the event, they have given vivid but somewhat inconsistent details of “Sakar Obelith”; the most consistent details are as follows: A towering beast, over ten feet tall—sometimes on two feet, other times on four—with tusks on the sides of its night-black face, glowing purple eyes, and a wide mouth of silver teeth from ear to ear.

     This image of terror sticks in the mind of many, but it is, of course, not the only one. Embellishments of the original stories have turned Sakar Obelith into a wide variety of characters, each filling distinct and vastly different roles: An ancient being from the edge of the galaxy and kidnapper of misbehaving children, a monster who hunts evil, an incarnation of Father Christmas, and even a god of death...


     Neet was running his hand over different parts of the recorder device in order to make these words appear, soon to be saved to his memory cloud. At present, he had paused. For many long years, Neet had been one of the two star newsrecorders at Maximus Prime News, but only months earlier, he had requested a transfer to the “Sensationals” department; though he knew he was past his prime, he only begrudgingly made the decision—the choice boiled down to the fact that he would rather save face and take a smaller role than be overshadowed by his much younger colleague and slowly fade into obscurity by means of grim, inevitable obsolescence. The Sensationals usually dealt with celebrity and political rumors, fringe scientific or technological discoveries, and impassioned opinion pieces, but urban legends were not entirely out of its wide-reaching range; though few were willing to restrict themselves solely to this area of the organization, the topic he was currently dealing with was of enough interest to Neet to sate his ever-wandering mind.

     Hunched over his desk, he scanned the dark room of his apartment. There was no light except from the dull, glowing recorder in front of him, but there wasn’t much to see in the room anyway. He tapped his fingers on the desk in frustration. His mind had blanked, and he worried deep in his mind that what he was writing simply would not be enough—after all, Neet told himself, though no longer was he the man of the hour in the world of news, he didn’t want to make himself into a complete journalistic laughingstock; some degree of integrity and discernment would doubtlessly be required. He wasn’t entirely satisfied what what he had so far, either: in his mind, it dragged on needlessly while not really giving concrete details, and was lacking something rather… gripping. This piece would not fit in with the Sensationals if it wasn’t sensational at all. He had to go out in the field, maybe… visit some government offices, perhaps go to locations of interest. His thoughts raced at the possibility of once more experiencing some of the excitement that had attracted him to his newsrecorder job in the first place. It was the dead of night now, but in only a few hours, the sun would rise, and the capital would be bustling— the perfect time to get a ticket off-planet…

********************

     The next day found Neet deep in the public archives of the Government Records Office. A boring task, yes, but a necessary one; Neet had done things far worse and far more unbearable before—it was part of the job, after all, and no big deal for a former star newsrecorder. With these thoughts, Neet pressed on. Though he had a 4 o’clock ticket to Marillia, he had to find out what his next step would be after he reached the famed port planet. Something in here would be likely to give him a juicy lead—here were completely unclassified, firsthand reports from investigators of alleged Sakar Obelith attacks, going back almost forty years. If he could find the right one, discern the best places to start, he might just be able to conduct his own personal investigation of destroyed settlements that hadn’t been touched in decades—perhaps not even since the dates of the investigations themselves!

     He pulled out a folder and skimmed through it. A few quick taps on his handheld computer and he had established key details that would help his search; this would be quite suitable. He pulled out papers from the folder and took took them over to a table, running a copier over the documents. One lead down, he thought, but he still had a full day ahead of him before he had to leave. Maybe if he had some time left over and a bundle more of leads, he would head over to the Grand Library to start an extensive catalogue of the history of Sakar Obelith fiction.

     However, this is not what the day held for Neet. The fleeting hours slipped away from him, and before he knew it, his time was up, left with a mere spattering of viable information. It was off to Marillia for him, and from there, he had concluded, his best option was to head to an old colony planet that went by the common name of Thresk. The world had once been home to a small mining and farming community of about 150,000, but a little over twenty years ago, all of its inhabitants were reported as having been killed in some sort of attack. When the authorities arrived, the ruins—houses, mines, and all—were still burning. Craters marked various spots across the city, signs of an orbital bombardment using military-grade tech. The controversy that surrounded the investigation was brief but heated; many, especially friends and family of the numerous deceased, wondered how simple space pirates would have gotten such equipment—posited that the government itself had ordered the destruction of the colony—but after the military disclosed a raid, a week prior, of a military base in the sector, any opposition quietly died down—the incident was never spoken of again, never so much as reaching front-page news before all was said and done. Faced with this information, Neet had been intrigued: might there actually be a dark conspiracy in the works? Perhaps the swath of muddled stories, blended into preexisting fairy tales, was deliberately engineered for the sole purpose of hiding heinous crimes of genocide from the public?

     Neet took in all the sights of the destroyed colony from a vantage point on a hill about half a mile away. He heaved a heavy sigh. Though over the years he had hardened his heart to the pain of others, death was something that always made Neet emotional. No matter how, people had died here. They deserved an answer. Even if the story was, on the surface, no more than speculation about an old urban legend, there was indeed a dark backstory behind it all. Neet vowed to scrape away the muck with his own two hands, like he used to do, like… his thoughts trailed off. Maybe if he did this, maybe he could convince people that he still deserved a spot in the limelight, maybe he might…

     Neet denied himself any further thoughts that would distract him from his mission. He couldn’t afford to be selfish now. He had made his decision already. There was nothing wrong with that. Heading down to the settlement itself, Neet ran his hand against the aged, dusty stone that used to make up an archway leading into town. Untouched for ages, it left a layer of sediment and ash on his hand. Burned out homes greeted him next, their fronts drooping down as if in pain, crying out for inhabitants who would soon meet grisly fates, whose bodies would forever…

     A chill ran down Neet’s spine as the realization came upon him. In the report of the investigation, there was not a single picture of a body. Earlier, he was not keen enough to note this, but much later, here, it had suddenly hit him while lost in thought. No coroner reports, either. For all anybody knew, the dead had simply gotten up and walked away—had simply vanished. Of course, there were no bodies here now, no remains of any kind, nor any signs of death bar the destroyed town. Even in the warm daylight, it was all so unnerving: a picture of disaster frozen in time. Absentmindedly, Neet flicked his fingers across his recorder, putting down rough thoughts and pages full of little notes to himself. His experience made this somewhat of an unconscious habit, and he wasn’t fully aware of what he was writing down. Later, he’d figure that out, turn it all into something much more cohesive, into something he’d be proud of.

********************

     Time passed, and by night, Neet was ready to depart. This day had been both physically and emotionally draining. In hindsight, he should have been prepared, but he thought that nothing would have quite prepared him for the sight—no, he mused, it’s something you need to see for yourself, in person, to understand. He wondered why not a single person in the entirely of the galaxy had known of this before—how nobody, not a single person, a single person among many trillions, had stumbled upon these barren grounds of massacre. He hadn’t even put much thought into it until this moment, busy, too concerned with his own life and his career as he had been. He had been too absorbed into his job, Neet admitted to himself: too busy to even fall in love, start a family, go out to the poor regions of the worlds and do something tangible—he was a hollow, empty drone locked on one sole purpose in life. Was it just him? Did others feel this way about themselves? Did they go about their lives for years and years before realizing this?

     Neet suddenly felt a lot worse about himself. He hadn’t anticipated this type of reaction at all. He was growing older, yes, but he wasn’t that old, even—not old enough to have a sudden existential crisis and regret the entirety of his past… not old enough where he couldn’t still do something. He left the atmosphere of the planet tense and on-edge. Perhaps he wouldn’t go all the way back to Marillia today; he might find some inhabited space colony or moon and rest there for tonight. He weighed his options, and was about to carry on in his voyage, when a quick, loud noise filled the cockpit of his vessel. For not more than a few seconds, time enough only for him to notice, a green blip appeared on his info screen. From his years of piloting, he knew what it was: the start of a distress call, cut short. In a moment, he had brought up maps, calculators, and infographics. It looked as if the message came from the direction of a planet about an hour away—an unremarkable rock Neet had missed as he passed by it on his way to Thresk. Only three pieces of information were recorded about the planet: its name, Ilnadaan; its population, zero; and its terrain, mountainous over much of the surface. Everything else was blank. No attempts at habitation, only one scientific venture, but nothing else at all. His fingers twitched slightly as he considered his next course of action. With the weak tech aboard his ship, any messages he sent from out here would likely not be picked up for many hours, at best. He could go into more inhabited territories to fetch help personally, but by that time, it might be too late; while he had the brief signal fresh on his mind, he would be able to find the crash site quickly, but if he came back later, it could take longer to find it—precious time that could mean the difference between life and death for the people down there, the ones who sent the signal. Maybe their equipment had survived the impact, and maybe he could even send a better distress call from the surface… quickly making his choice, Neet reassured himself and headed to the planet.

     He guided the ship around to where he had set himself on going. He judged that he probably had enough space in his cargo hold for six humans, and medical supplies for four; hoping this would be enough, he eased the thrusters up in anticipation for atmospheric reentry. But just then, it all went wrong. There was a sudden jolt from the side, as if some debris has crashed into the vessel. All the instruments went wild for a moment, as the ship spun around wildly, mid atmosphere; panicked, nauseous, and disoriented, Neet desperately tried to right the ship, or at least get to a position where he could ease the ship to a gentle crash landing.

********************

     That didn’t exactly happen. Neet awoke leaning halfway outside the shattered windscreen of his ship. A small piece of the controls had broken off and lodged itself into his body, just above the hip. Though he was reassured by the fact that he could stand without much trouble, he worried about the injuries he could not feel. The back end of his ship—and his supplies—had emerged relatively unscathed, much to his relief and good fortune. He might be able to patch himself up a bit, though regardless, his current state meant he would not be able to carry as much food or water. He cursed aloud. Some rescue mission.

     Gathering what he could, Neet set off. At this point, he figured that finding the other ship that had crashed was his best bet at survival, even if doing so would be more troublesome now that Neet didn’t exactly know where he was going, but it’s not as if he had any other options, he decided.
He surveyed his surroundings. Mountainous, indeed. A huge peak loomed ahead of him, and about 50 feet in each of the other directions was the edge of a giant chasm. Even if there were routes in and out of the chasm, heading down would not be practical, whereas there would doubtlessly be some manageable trails on the faceted surface of the mountain. Beyond that, the massive mounds of stone spread out and overtook the chasm as the dominant terrain; on the opposite edge of the pit behind him were stretches of hills, the chasm continuing on either side of the landmass. As he watched the horizon, Neet could barely make out the tip of a mountain rising above the hills, and beyond that, and thin, fleeting wisp of smoke. His whole body seized. He knew not how long the trip around the chasm would be, and, as he had decided earlier, going into the deep canyon itself would certainly mean death.

     Hobbling forth, Neet started his trek. The treacherous route took him many days to traverse, and with each passing day a new wave of dread overtook the seasoned traveler. By night, he slept, but sleep did not come easy, afflicted by both the cold and his own state of mind. By the time he reached the hills he had run out of supplies, though walking was easier for him on the gentler slopes. A day after reaching the hills, he rested, certain he would die that night; though worn in both the body and the mind, Neet’s resilience prevailed. By morning he had done more attending to his injuries, and though the journey was still painful, the going was not as arduous on his body. It took him another day to get past the mountain he had seen prior, all the while facing the perils of the daytime heat; beyond that was a ledge overlooking a valley, which, to Neet’s wonder and relief, held the wreckage he had been searching for, a crashed haven—a mighty behemoth torn from the sky—constantly releasing the smoke signal he dreamed would bring his salvation. There was a narrow but passable route down; he hurried along it, panting furiously and chest heaving. He slid on his back the last couple yards, so eager was he. He sprinted to the ship, shouting the whole way: his mouth dry, it came out mostly as screeching wails, a pitiable sound that begged for mercy. His gaze darted around. There was nobody around outside the ship, no signs of encampments hastily set up, no response to his cry. He slowed to a stop, the body of the ship towering over him, casting its judging shadow, the thing that would decide his fate.

     Distraught, he entered, and wandered among the hollow of the ship. It was rather expansive—might’ve had a crew of twenty, at most—and appeared to have an equally impressive crew of robots: their bodies were strewn across the ruin, bits and pieces of them all over. A few appeared to be still functioning, to some degree, withering away in their robotic death throes; in life, so-to-say, these robots served to quickly carry out tasks aboard vessels that humans used to in the past, greatly reducing the number of required crew members.

     He kept walking around the wreckage; even though the ship had landed rather diagonally, most of the floors were accessible simply by walking. As he gently slid down a tilted catwalk, he happened to notice an open door, one of the first he had seen: meandering back up to the door, he peered inside—filled mostly with darkness, there was a dim, flickering light within that provided a gentle aura of vision across the interior. As the light went on, then off, then on again, he could barely make out the features of a human body. Gradually, he drew nearer to the figure, cautious not to trip over the various stuff that had gotten spilled across the floor; closer observation showed it was but a corpse—copious amount of blood had been splattered over the area, and the body itself was in rather poor shape. Though, Neet questioned to himself, it didn’t exactly appear as if its injuries were entirely consistent with those sustained from a crash. He paused, weak from hunger. Perhaps there would be food aboard, or… or, perhaps…

     Neet glanced at the corpse. He couldn’t, not yet. He wasn’t quite that desperate… the idea still somewhat revolted him. He didn’t even know if he would ever be willing to sideline that part of his humanity.

********************

     His search ending fruitlessly, Neet left the ship, back onto the wide expanses of the valley. The sun was beginning to set as he climbed back up to the rim. Swallowing, as if trying to suppress his helplessness, he moved his body and head from side to side, futilely trying to spot another soul. As he reached the ledge his eyes fixed on a rock a short distance away, jutting out from the ground like a blemish; though it was dark, he thought he could make out another shape there atop the rock. He scampered forward, stopping on a slow, deliberate step.

     “H...hhhh…” the words would not come to him. “W… wwwhoo…?”

     It turned! It was something breathing, living! Maybe it was a member of a group of survivors working on a way to get off this blasted rock; even if if was but a single man, even if he were to die on this desolate hellhole, he would die with someone to share his misery with.

     He edged closer. He was almost at the rock. But something was not right. The figure ahead, though it was the shape of a human, was far too large to be one: from a distance, he had not noticed this irregularity, but as he drew nearer and nearer, he realized that it dwarfed even the rock it perched upon. Neet faltered. His feet stiffened; his arms locked at his sides. A pair of deep purple eyes returned his stare.

     Solid. Unrelenting.

     Neet turned and screamed. He heard it move. He ran. He ran. He ran along the ledge with great fear and swiftness just as large. Every time his feet pounded the ground, he could feel his teeth rattling in his mouth against his gums. He did not think once about stopping or slowing, even as he saw the path getting more and more narrow in front of him, even as he felt the earth behind him falling away, down into the canyon; though he knew he would be unable to find his way back along that route—indeed, he was fully aware he might become trapped along the sides of the cliff—all he cared about was getting away from it, the devilish tormentor he had witnessed. He knew what it was, what had come to deliver to him his finality. At last, he collapsed to the ground, his chest burning, pounding—his mouth drier than ever. The ground he was on currently was unstable, but nearby and downward was a ledge that reached deep into the wall of the chasm. If needed, he decided, he could wedge himself in it. Finding this the preferable option, he leapt down. In here, his last resort, he waited for hours. Sleep came to him on and off, even as he tried to fight it in fear of it being his death, halting his escape from the monster. He would not submit to it, he pledged; he would flee and flee until exhaustion and starvation took over and rendered him lifeless. Or, he would fling himself into the shadowy depths below before he was ever caught.

     He craned his neck out, probing for knowledge, seeking a hint that could save him or commit him to the inevitable. For a minute, it was oddly silent; this tentative ease was then replaced by blaring screeching, emanating from above. Neet choked on his despair. He took off again in some direction, stopping only when he could hear nothing else, even as he felt like releasing his will to delirium and simply sinking to the floor, defeated by the wear on his very spirit. At this time, he shouted out to the heavens.

     “GODDAMN YOU, MONSTER! I’VE DONE NOTHING TO EARN YOUR WRATH, NOTHING WICKED TO SUFFER A DEATH LIKE THIS: ALONE, AFRAID! LEAVE ME BE!”

     But there was no response. Nothing but the vast emptiness: the sound of silence, lingering, full of seething dread.

********************

     Neet didn’t know how much time passed after that. Whether it was an hour, a day, a minute, it mattered not in this hell of anguish. Misery continually scratched at his every waking thought. He even mused about turning back. Maybe Sakar Obelith was a nice fellow after all. Maybe he just wanted to give him a gift. After all, maybe the splayed corpse in the ship was just an unhappy coincidence! Perhaps he had nothing to do with the death; in fact, there was no reason he should even correlate the two encounters!

     He laughed aloud, thrusting his arms out and spinning in a circle. Yes, that might be a nice idea after all.

     Neet trudged on. He was walking through some mountains now: they all looked the same. Now, he heard something again, behind him. He didn’t stop, he didn’t turn; he didn't run either. He just kept his course, walking endlessly toward death.

     In front of him, it stood. A hulk of a man, a beast that had to be seven feet tall at the least. Two black tusks framed the helm it wore, a mask the color of the boundless night. Solid purple eyes, without feeling, made its face, and along with these, a metallic grate of dull silver over its mouth.

     And for him, it was a god of death.

WE HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR HALLOWEEN
THE END
...until next year...
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And the moral of the story: Quit while you're a head.

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Hero of Trains

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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #44 on: March 28, 2017, 04:15:30 PM »

I like the story! Slightly confused as to why it's a Halloween special in February, but I'll take it! Did you have any specific reason for the names? They seemed rather unusual.
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See guys? Trains isn't nice all the time.
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