Sundance

Sundance, an ancient art. A ritualistic fusion of primal dance and doped adrenaline escapades into the mind. A scent more foul than ancient sewers assaulted my nose, along with a mixture of acrid flesh and boiling water.

I had been bound, held without regard on charges only these tribesmen know. What was left of the rest of my expedition crew lain in course piles on the ground. The thunderous, rolling beats of their drums scared off all other creatures, nary a single flap of a wing could be seen through the clear, bright sky.

I wondered, maddened by my surroundings, at what fate I had in store. I had gave up my god days ago, months of capture proving how prayer never worked. I begged forgiveness, now, as the sharp, shrill cry of a blade to stone called out through the rest of the cacophony.

May you all burn in hell, I thought, as the spear tip raised from stone and pointed towards me.

May you all burn in hell.

Image source: Roberto Pazzi/Daily Mail UK

Faded

Today, I faded.

Fell, more like, as if my body no longer kept my soul. It fell to the ground, a sharp crack as the neck snapped from the sudden impact. I wanted to stand there. I wanted to believe that it couldn’t have happened the way it did.

But it did.

And here I slip, as the world goes grey around me. Thoughts became fleeting things, no longer bound by will or the need to conserve precious resources. Memories abound of my life, of things I had forgotten or things that had never seemed quite right. And then, nothing spun. Nothing moved, not even my thoughts. I stood stock still in black twilight, void of feeling, of remorse or love. Everything was gone. And I hoped that, soon, I would be gone too.

I heard a whimper, a whispered moan of sorrow. It enveloped me, pulling my limited existence in all directions until I stood behind the source. What had only been moments had been days, at the least, as I saw my mother crying before a casket in a dark room. I could hear her voice call my name, giving me my memories of her back as if they had never left. I felt sorry. I wished to have been able to console her, to hold her in my arms and tell her that it would be okay.

But soon the sobbing stopped, and I lost track of everything around me.

That was the day I faded, pulled beneath death’s wing, to never know what else I could have been.

The Charred Rose (Fire Fights Fire 3)

“Damn it to hell!”

I run down the destroyed hallway, through the guts and charred remains of my partner’s body. I had to.swallow the bile that came up as I took the corner back to where the female murder machine came from before whipping around. She stood at the edge, her revolver held up menacingly in my direction. I fire another short burst, five rounds speeding her way. She rolled and dodged to the right, firing a round herself mid tumble.

My heavy training as a black ops member began to kick in, curving and turning my body to dodge the speeding bullet. It was my turn to bring out the big guns. I pulled a grenade with my left hand, flipping a toggle switch from auto-detonate to magnetic mode and tossed it. I heard the audible click of the electromagnetic tube turning to lethal mode halfway down the hall, and fired two more short bursts at the crazed witch.

She popped off a round herself, but not towards me. As expected, the grenade burst into an intense flame as her round shredded through the hull, knocking us both backwards. I managed to my feet and dove behind cover before another two rounds came speeding past.

“Not bad, little man! But if that’s the last of your tricks I’ll be putting the next six rounds through your skull!” Six. She had already fired all of her first set of rounds!

I pop out from behind the corner, staring down the sights as I aimed at her. Even her reloading the revolver was elegant, even if she was doing it one-handed. As she slipped the shells into their place, I began firing. She jump and spun in the air, landing on the opposite side of the hall as I kept raining bullets in her direction. Then my magazine clipped, chiming in annoyingly mocking tones that it had run dry.

Blood pooled from several tears in her left arm, her good one, and the revolver was left on the ground. The bullets she had so expertly tried to load had strewn themselves on the ground. “Bravo, soldier, you win this round!” I hastily switch out mags but before I could aim again she was gone. All that remained was a charred rose, laying on the ground beside her beloved revolver.

I still have that revolver to this day, seeking an end to the Death Rose.

K

“I have this letter for you, sir.”

A letter, now that was rare. I hoped it was from my dear aunt May from England. But holding the letter, there was no addresser. But curiosity caught hold, and i opened the envelope and pulled the single vellum sheet from within.

“Dear Michael Kent Warchester III,”

“I regrettably write to inform you that your dear aunt, Mariland Warchester, has passed. It happened quickly, in her sleep. Her will demands your immediate arrival and attention, as you are the last known living relative.”

My aunt had passed. I swallowed the heartache and continued reading.

“If you do not arrive by the end of summer, all items and estates will be delegated to a suitable person. Such person is a rival of your family and mine. Hurry, please.”

All that was undersigned was an elegantly written “K”. I knew I needed to depart immediately. I shove the letter into my jacket pocket, kept my pain swallowed, and thanked internally this mysterious K.

Written for the A to Z 2016 Challenge.

Grade

“Hoping for a good grade, ya know?”

I smile at her, then let it fade as the teacher stepped in. She went straight from the door to her desk at the front of the class. In her arms was a bundle of papers, presumably the previous day’s test.

“There was only one person who passed this test.”

The entire class grew very quiet. That was never a good thing. That meant either a retest or a different grading scale. And neither were an option for most of the class.

I had spent the day before the test drinking with a friend. I knew I shouldn’t have, because I was still very hungover when I did the test. I pulled myself out of my thoughts as the teacher started slapping papers onto desks. Her slams were harder or lighter with each different person and as she slid the paper on my desk, she made hardly a noise. The rest of the class continued with the louder patterns of sounds. I was almost afraid of what my grade was.

As I take the paper and flip just part of it over, I nearly fainted with what I saw.

“110%”

Written for day 7 of the A to Z 2016 Challenge.

Abstraction

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Logic rules the world. Everything has been simplified down to edible arrangements of knowledge that predicates reality. Those who abolish this brainwashing are known as abstracts.

Abstract run and hide from the logical forces of boring intelligence. They ponder beyond what is handed down by the law, what is beyond the walls they built. Cities are full of abstraction, pulling away the modern walls to view the world as it once was, to see the beauty of art long hidden. The abstracts show the world what it means to live.

Are you the logical, or will you wake up and be the Abstract.

Written as part of the A to Z 2016 Challenge.
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Full list of posts written for this or other challenges is located here.

Darkened: A Storm’s a Brewin’

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Image credit here

“A sudden change in wind patterns has brought a severe thunderstorm warning for this area…”

Douglass looks up from his fifth glass of whiskey. He could feel the storm coming in his bones. Surrounded by other patrons, he keeps his smile as he orders one more. The bartender nods, then Douglass continues his lighthearted conversation with a man to his left.

“They say it’ll be a bad one this time. Boss is cutting down by…”

“You ever hear of that crazy red-haired hero that was on TV the other day…?”

Conversations came and went but still he felt the presence coming. He stopped paying attention as the storm’s first roll of thunder could be felt in the air. He wondered why this particular one caught his attention. Storms come and go, he knows. He lays down the glass in his hand, running the other through his long black hair. Deep, peering green eyes fall on the empty glass on the bar, considering if he should have another or pay out for the night.

The stool to his right emptied, and another body slumped into it. After the new arrival ordered a drink, she turned to face Douglas and smiled. “Good to see you again, stranger.”

Douglass smiled, but it shortly faded as he felt the storm broil even stronger. The lady to his right caught the quick change in expression, her own changing to worry. “What’s wrong, that not even my being here isn’t lifting you up?”

Douglass was caught off guard for a second, then gave his usual mischievous grin. “Honestly, been wondering what Nordic god is coming my way. I pissed a lot of them off.”

This caused the woman to laugh, thinking the man was merely joking with her. After a few short seconds, her laughter subsided before she replied. “I thought the heathen gods were dead?”

Douglass smiled. She wasn’t far off, for most of them were, and an even larger number of older legends that history never told about. But he nodded his head, then smiled.

“I must be off, before the night grows too long. Same time tomorrow?”

The woman nodded, and Douglass left after paying his tab.

* * *

Just outside the door, lightning flashed. The sudden light showed something deeper than his slightly tanned white skin. The more the lightning flashed, the more the cracks behind his mask showed. He removed his heavy cloak as he slipped down a dark alley, despite the rain pelting down on him. With the coat removed, the spell on him broke, and large, black leathery wings shone in the intermittent flashing of lightning.

His wings lifted him straight into the air, his hair growing longer until it reached the middle of his back. The mask began to crumble away as a pale, cracked and scarred face began to show. The only thing that even resembled the man before was his deep, bright green eyes, though the whites were pale yellow.

He landed heavily on the top of a skyscraper in the center of downtown,
His eyes scanning the swirling black clouds that blocked all light from above. He could feel the presence from within the storm, one that felt akin to a lightning god he once faced. The swirling clouds intensified, forming a large funnel cloud that sped in his direction.

He takes flight, barely escaping the whirlwind that came for him. Where the funnel touched the stone a body formed, the clouds around it disapating as if they were never there. Douglass knew instantly who it was, a form that he had seen far too often throughout his life.

There stood his most hated enemy, a sorcerer whose power he had never been able to match. The sorcerer’s face was shrouded in black, his head hooded and body clothed in a heavy black and red robe. Deep from within the hood a voice called out, calling him by his true, demon name.

“It’s good to see you once more, Dark.”