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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 10681 times)

BlackDragonSlayer

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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2017, 06:10:13 AM »

I like the story! Slightly confused as to why it's a Halloween special in February, but I'll take it!
As I said in my previous posts, the original plan for Halloween Horror Special 2016 was scrapped because I was putting most of my efforts into writing The Tusked Mask/A Thing I Do Not Know. So, I figured that, because The Tusked Mask was definitely finished before October, A Thing I Do Not Know was started in October (I wrote the first part of it for shadowkirby's TWG; lol), and The Tree of Tears was written in November. Plus, all of them are generally spooky/depressing in some way which fits the overarching theme anyway.

Quote
Did you have any specific reason for the names? They seemed rather unusual.
Out-of-universe justification is that it's science fiction and it just kinda sounds right. Also, I'm bad at thinking up normal names. :P I knew I wanted the protagonist to be named "Neet," but I just randomly gave him a weird surname as well.

In-universe justification is that humans have been out of the Milky Way galaxy for at least a thousand years and come into contact with a number of other species, and the vocabulary of the English language has inevitably changed to reflect that (the name "Sakar Obelith" is supposed to be words from an alien language that entered common usage in its romanized form). This is a setting I'm particularly interested in (so if it seems like I have a lot of little plot details mapped out behind the scenes, I probably do :P), which is why I feel super excited to write stories like this and I Knew A Man that offer little slices out of it from the perspective of ordinary characters.
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BlackDragonSlayer

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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2017, 05:21:17 PM »

The Man Who Left Our Earth

     Tobias Matthews slogged down the streets, looking around himself in fear and filled with despair. As he continued his walk, he was met with hostile, uninviting glances from all those around him. His awful, arduous days at work were bad enough, but each and every day, to be surrounded with such a level of disdain from people he didn’t even know? He thought he wasn’t too bad of a person—he just wanted to live his life and, maybe, if he could, help a fellow person out—but when he went out into the world at large he felt like an outcast and a monster. He was unwanted, unneeded, unloved, and completely, entirely alone in a world where he could not trust and where the truth was but a phantasm to his prying, desperate grasp.

     Shaking, he opened the door to his apartment. The walk back from work had drained so much from him. He slammed the door and bolted it closed. He collapsed on his sofa, the strain finally overcoming him: tears streaming from his eyes, he grasped the cushions as inanimate objects of support. After some time, he lumbered off the couch and into the bathroom. He opened the medicine cabinet and locked his eyes on the bottle of dwindling antidepressants. A muffled cry gurgled from his throat as he clutched the bottle and downed all of its contents. He skimmed the cabinet for more, and finding an older prescription of something else, hastily downed all of it too. He quickly began to feel queasy and in pain. As he collapsed to the ground, he let out a scream of agony. He reached his hand up to grab onto the sink, but to no avail: he was quickly fading. He pleaded to the heavens above.

     “Please, please God… do something… save me…”

     Then he lost consciousness.
 
********************

     In a fuzzy recollection of the past, visions of his childhood entered his mind. From a young age, he was an orphan; it was not until age eight that he was adopted. His life before that time was far from pleasant, yet his life after that point was not ideal either. He could think of a million things that had scarred him, messed him up, or otherwise simply broken him throughout his years; maybe it was his fault for not being able to cope with any of it? After all, though he could not control his circumstances, he could control how he responded to them… couldn’t he? His life now, in the present… nothing good could be said of it either. A dead end life at a dead end job, and… it was just a whole mess, wasn’t it? Everything about it was. Both his adoptive parents had died years ago, and nobody else even wanted to deal with him, so he had spent almost the last decade of his life trudging through the heap of muck his entire life had built up to. But maybe there was more he could do if he really wanted. He could devote his life to helping people. Even if he wasn’t appreciated, what would it matter if he knew he was doing good? Isn’t that what it’s all about, really? Doing good?

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

     And then, he was awake. Gasping for breath, awake. Blood gently dribbled from his mouth and ears. He felt very ill and unsettled. He tried to stand up once more, and with effort, he managed to get up. He inched his way back out, but by the time he had reached the table, it became more and more difficult for him to remain standing. He struggled toward the sofa and collapsed once more.

     And then, again, he was awake. But now, he felt better. Felt a little… different, even. Outside, it looked like it was early morning. He didn’t know what else to do, so he decided to get ready for work once more, like he did every day.

     The day at the office started like any other. As his walk to work ended, he felt the sun’s rays burning down on him, the miserable heat of the summer at its peak. For once, he couldn’t wait to get inside. Once he left the elevator up to the floor where he worked, he passed his boss.

     “How are you doing today, sir?” Tobias asked rather quaintly.

     “Mediocre.” His boss continued to walk onwards.

     Tobias was somewhat surprised. His boss usually refused to speak with him—or many of the other workers on the floor, for that matter—even declining to answer a simple greeting. But today, something was different. Tobias shuffled over to his cubicle. After a few minutes, he still could not concentrate, his mind so focused on both last night’s events and the events this morning. He peeked over the wall of his cubicle to look at his coworker.

     “George… do you think there’s anything different going on around here lately? Like, maybe something strange with the boss?”

     “No to both those questions,” George answered bluntly.

     Tobias lowered himself back into his chair. Another thought popped into his head, and he got up once more.

     “George? Do you like me at all? Like as a friend? As a coworker?”

     “I don’t care much for you or your existence, to be honest. I’d rather you leave me alone right now.”

     Tobias sunk down, part baffled and part ecstatic. Something was different, after all, and he had a pretty good idea what it was. He rose suddenly and made his way to his boss’s office. The door was ajar, and he walked right in.

     “Do… do you think I deserve a raise?” he questioned his boss.

     “Of course you do. Ya work like a slave.”

     “But… but will you give me a raise?” he inquired once more.

     “Of course not. Everyone around these parts knows how stingy I am.” Then, after a moment of awkward silence, his boss recoiled somewhat, as if it had just dawned on him what he had just said. “Just… go. Get back to work.” He shook his head as Tobias left, as if emerging from a trance.
 
********************

     That night was different. Tobias lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, contemplating this apparent newfound power. If it really was true, like he thought it was, the implications were profound: now, for once in his life, he could be certain of at least one thing. Even if the things he heard from now on—the opinions about himself, especially—were not positive or soothing in any way, simply knowing that he could learn the infallible truth was somewhat of a comfort to him. The power of this, he contemplated, could even reach far outside his own self; it could, potentially, be used as a tool of ultimate accountability. Yes, perhaps that was what he’d use it for—maybe even what he was meant to use it for. For once in his life, Tobias felt as if he had a place in the world and a purpose in life.

     The next morning, instead of going to work, Tobias set out on a journey. Along the way, he used his mysterious new ability to connect with strangers of all walks of life and to solve any conflicts he came upon; he found that, sometimes, establishing trust and openness between two people was often the best way to make people see that they might not be too different after all. He traveled for many days and met many people until he reached Washington D.C. This was his destination, and he imagined that it would quickly become the focal point of his mission. Though he was finally beginning to run out of money, he supposed that once he made his move, he would have little trouble gaining support one way or another. His first act would be a bold one that would doubtlessly receive a lot of attention.

     He spent many minutes walking and scanning the area. At last, from a distance, he spotted a man with greying hair and a neat trimmed beard, a man he recognized from many a televised speech. As he approached him, he began to shout.

     “Congressman Steward!” The man turned his head to look at Tobias as he approached, “I’m a constituent of yours, and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions.”

     The man, though visibly annoyed, nodded and let out a gruff noise that vaguely resembled a “yes” in compliance.

     “People say that in recent years you haven’t had the interests of the state nor its people in mind. Is it true that you’ve been screwing over your constituents for almost the last decade of your political career?”

     Something snapped in the congressman, as if a switch inside his head had been suddenly flicked on, and he began his tirade, loud and clear for all around him to hear, “Well, yes, of course that’s true. You know all of what I have to gain from it. What people don’t realize, however, is that I’ve been in it for personal gain from the very beginning. Let me make that very clear.”

     Tobias’s face twisted into a mischievous grin. People around them had already stopped in shock and began pulling out their phones to record as the congressman’s impromptu speech continued on.

     “Well, no sir, I’m not quite sure I do know just what you have to gain from your self-interested behavior. Would you care to elaborate on the extent of your malicious actions?” Tobias prodded, hoping to dig even deeper into the web of deceit.

     The congressman continued, on and on, question after question. He could do nothing but be painfully honest. No lie, no transgression would be left untold. From now on, things would be different for everybody, starting here.
 
********************

     To say that a purge had begun was an understatement. Footage of the events that had transpired between Tobias and Congressman Steward flooded the internet and seized every media outlet in a way that seemed almost without end. People across the country and even around the world wondered who this mystery man was, and were simultaneously in a fierce, fiery uproar at what has escaped from the congressman’s lips. When Tobias tried the same thing again, he was almost arrested; yet, the officers suddenly let him go when, confronted by Tobias, they all agreed that they had no moral or even logical grounds upon which to arrest him and that he was “probably” doing the right thing. He quickly became a well-known and well-loved face in the area, as well as an overnight celebrity throughout the nation.

     Politicians everywhere feared that he would come for them and force them to expose their darkest secrets and unravel the lies they had spun in order to both keep themselves in power and take full advantage of the “benefits” of their positions. And indeed, that’s just what Tobias intended to do. Eventually, a protest formed outside the U.S. Capitol building. “Let Tobias in,” they cried, day after day. People from every state continued to pour in to express support for the man from which no truth could be hidden. At long last, and with much reluctance from the opposition, they got their way.

     And so the burning interrogation began. One by one, they began to fold under an onslaught of both their own naked words that betrayed them, revealing the ugly truths they sought to conceal, and a torrent of scathing criticism from the outside, a world looking upon them in disgust tinted with an unfortunate but inevitable dose of hypocrisy. At last, the true enemy would show itself, dragged from the darkness in which it lay. At last, they had nowhere to hide—no veil with which to mask the ugliness underneath, the horrid selfishness and secret lust for power with drove them; a lust for control.

     Only a few escaped with their reputations wholly intact, alongside a handful more who were deemed to be not quite as bad as the rest. Upon their exit, the majority were met with screaming mobs full of hatred at the numerous and nigh uncountable transgressions, political, personal, or otherwise, divided between so many people, that had been allowed to be committed for years; so many long years had passed without justice and truth reigning supreme as it should, but here, now, things could be different for once. In so many days, there were so many deposed so ungracefully. Like an unstoppable wave towering tall enough to block the very sun, this movement spread and consumed. In many places, violence erupted on unimaginable levels, but in others, more peaceful transitions awaited.

     And at the front of this movement was one man. For a time, Tobias was happy and wholeheartedly proud of himself. Raised on a pedestal, to all those around him he became the paragon of all virtue itself, a champion of justice and truth, and the beacon to a better future. All those who sought to lead nations would no longer be held accountable simply by a fallible system and judged by their own unreliable words. Now, each and every one of them had a very real threat dangling over their heads. For once, faced with the fear of legions of burning eyes and bloodthirsty mouths of the people of the world, the people with power did, time after time, the right thing. There would be no more deception. No more exploitation of the masses for the sake of greed. The era of hoodwinking, it seemed, was truly coming to an end. For once, each and every one was pushed to, as the saying goes, plant trees of whose shade they would never see in their lifetimes; to do what was in the best interest of not just themselves, but of as many people as they could reach with their influence.

     But this man, he was but one man, and a man still. Even after everything he had done, everything that had been accomplished, he still felt empty. Though he had a purpose—a place that he always desired in the world that had once rejected him—though he had truly made a difference, though he thought he was motivated by the good and his heart and his desire to make the world a better place… even though from now on, he would live his life free from fear or from physical want… he still felt… awful. Even as many more years passed, and his powers were called upon less and less frequently, but being just as revered regardless, he did not feel any better, nor any worse. Once more, he was stuck in a rut, a void of isolation and of sheer, inexplicable terror.

     So, on the evening of December twenty-first, Tobias Matthews looked in the mirror. Tears streamed from his eyes. He looked at his reflection, and opened his mouth to speak.
 
********************

     On the morning of December twenty-second, Tobias Matthews was found dead in his apartment. Though foul play was initially suspected, the cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his temple. His body lie in front of a mirror. For ages after, people questioned what would cause him to do such a terrible thing to himself. But truly, it was not quite a surprising thing, you see: everyone Tobias Matthews ever spoke to always told the truth, for better or for worse.

THE END
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BlackDragonSlayer

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Re: BlackDragonSlayer's Short Stories
« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2017, 01:55:53 AM »

The Fall of the Renegade Eclipse

     Panic. There was no conceivable way anything should have gone wrong on this mission, let alone everything that mattered. A hardware malfunction, perhaps, was expected, but all the top engineers and technicians had assured the captain and the crew that the vessel was fully functional and ready for the final phase of its testing—a complete cruise around the galaxy. But this? A full-on ambush? Nobody in their wildest dreams had expected this, let alone an attack so seemingly well prepared and executed. Though it was supposed to be absolutely top secret, somehow, their mission had been ousted and tracked down to the inch. It would have taken no less to have seamlessly and successfully transported a ship—let alone two, for that matter—straight between the Renegade Eclipse and its two escorts, one on either side. Beyond all belief, it seemed as if the enemy had outsmarted them and was using technology that rivaled, if not surpassed, theirs. The Renegade Eclipse had been designed to be the most advanced military ship in the entire galaxy, but now, it was helpless floating in the void. If they unleashed their powerful weaponry on their enemy, they had just as great a chance of unintentionally blowing their own allies out of the cosmos along with them—its state-of-the-art artillery had never been tested out in the field before, and now was certainly not the time to risk messing up even more. And without backup, who knew what else was to come? Could they withstand a second assault so soon after the first, which they would barely have survived in the first place?

     Then, rather late, the ship’s alarm started up, bathing the hallway in a glowing crimson light. He stopped to peer out the nearest window and survey the scene outside. Though he was but the lieutenant commander of the ship’s ground forces, he knew a thing or two about space battles from his training. This alarm was not one for a direct attack or breach of the ship’s hull. No, the enemy invaders still had their cannons locked onto the escort ships, which were desperately wriggling around to reach an angle where they could fire back without hitting the Renegade Eclipse as well. The sound of the alarm gave it away: this alarm indicated that they were being boarded. Somehow, amidst the chaos, another hostile ship must have slipped through past the forward cannons and connected with the lower docking bay. To do so, it must have been quite small in comparison with the others, though regardless, that did not bode well for them; it was yet another factor to worry about in this already bleak situation. They did not—could not—know what they were dealing with, and that worried him even more. And if their weaponry was as advanced as their ships, things certainly did not look very good for their survival.

     Another message blared up. “ALL CAPABLE HANDS TO YOUR NEAREST ARMORY. PREPARE FOR COMBAT.”

     He scrambled so he could fall in with the nearest group. Strength in numbers was the last advantage they had left; though it was exceedingly unlikely that they could rally together the entirety of the ship’s forces in time for the first confrontation, they certainly stood a better chance using group tactics.

     “Sir,” another soldier nodded with him as he joined in and ran along with a group of ten others.

     “Good,” he thought to himself, “here’s something to work with, at least.”

     Upon reaching the armory, they quickly grabbed everything they could carry. After a short while, it seemed like they were the only group on this level who was going to be using this armory, so it didn’t matter how much they took: they armed themselves to the teeth. Aside from the standard sidearm energy pistol and knife, they each took a pulse rifle, a shotgun as a backup, several grenades, and enough ammunition to fend off a small army. One of the soldiers even took a sniper rifle for herself, “just in case.” After their preparations were finished, he gave the order to move out. There was a nearby corridor that would serve as a choke point between two vital means of transportation through the ship; sooner or later, this meant that if the invaders weren’t stopped soon enough, they would doubtlessly be coming through this way, through one end of the hallway or another. Four soldiers positioned themselves on either side, and two in the center with the commander. Tensely, they waited. For a moment, his communication device flared up with noise, but was quickly silenced. It startled and unnerved him, though he mentally assured himself that it wasn’t as bad as he thought it could be.

     Noise at one end of the passageway. He could hear the group positioned there start to pull back for cover. As he turned, he saw in the corner of his eye one of them being struck with a bolt from the attackers. As it struck through, a jet of crimson spurted out the other side and against the wall. The man fell forward to his hands and knees, stunned and injured by the blast. Several more followed in the blink of an eye, and he dropped dead, practically ripped apart by the onslaught. Then, more noise from the other side of the hallway.

     “Shit!” he thought, “they weren’t supposed to be attacking from both sides! Had they already cleaned out the whole ship by now? And how the hell was that even possible? He didn’t think that even the most elite of strike forces could be that efficient.” He thought he heard the first group yelling about the ineffectiveness of their pulse rifles. “Switch weapons!” he shouted to the other group, “Shotguns!”

     The second group seemed to be somewhat more effective at holding back the intruders, though only marginally. The two men who flanked him had already rushed forward to provide support to the first group, who were almost literally on their last legs. Even as he continued to bark orders to both groups, it seemed inevitable at this point that they would be overrun before long. In front of him, energy bolts of varying colors continued to stream forth with increasing intensity against the faltering troops, and behind him… well, he assumed it wasn’t going much better. The last thing he wanted to do was turn around and get shot in the back. If he was going down, he was going to fight to the end.

     At last, the first group and its reinforcements finally fell. Their corner of the room was heavily stained with gore, from which it was clear that the enemy was using much more volatile weaponry then they were. It was not a pleasant way to go, though at this point, he didn’t have much of a choice; he swore not to die a coward.

     From around the corner, several insectoid-type aliens charged forth. Some of them had blades for hands, resembling a mantis, with stubby, thin fingers up top, while others had almost humanoid hands. He fired his shotgun at the one that had come around first, and it visibly recoiled at the attack, though it was but injured. He shot again, though this time was different. His blast was intercepted by a stream of black that flew around the corner. This was followed by a looming figure, a man—or what he thought was a man—clad in heavy armor and a flowing cape clasped to his shoulders—the thing he had seen dart around the corner, somehow. The titan stood almost six and a half feet tall, with inhumanly-wide shoulders. As he got closer, he motioned the aliens to his side. The commander was frozen in absolute fear of what he saw: his powerful features and even the absolutely striking way he walked. His eyes soaked up the sight before him: the figure’s pale grey skin and oppressive purple eyes. Even as the beast holstered his own weapons, the commander’s fear failed to fade. This man—no, monster—had such an absolutely terrifying presence. He knew this thing was perhaps entertained by the sight of the commander standing, weapon drawn, frozen in absolute terror. He could hear more creatures creeping up from behind, but he could do absolutely nothing. Nothing at all.

     The beast reached forward and wrenched the weapon from his hands. It gave way with no resistance. His throat dried up, and coughed out something resembling a plea before the man stepped forward once more and hoisted the commander off his feet with little effort. He could feel the cold wall against his back and neck, and, looking down and all around him, he was more afraid than ever. He thought that he could see the figure’s mouth move, just slightly, as if speaking.

     “I’m sorry,” he thought it said, as a flat blade ignited from its wrist, crackling with a low heat.

THE END
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