Secrets of the woodlands.

DISCLAIMER: This story was written and published in 2012 and has been kept up to show the writer’s growth. It is not intended as professional quality

I am about to tell you a simple truth…elves are real. The stories you’ve heard about them are true…most, at least. Every now and then you may see a glimpse of one, a vision or a ghost..but many centuries ago, they lived…they lived and thrived…in their last days, however, they were at war…the light elves and their leader Holun, who wanted to live in peace with humanity, and the dark elves, and their leader Glendring who wanted nothing more than to grind the human race to dust…the story I am about to tell you is true…and it is the elves last days on Earth.

Holun was watching his kingdom with eyes keen enough to count the flaps of wings on a fly. He scanned his kingdom from his thrown, when he saw something that disturbed him…one of his kind fell to the ground, blood gushing from his throat. Holun swiftly rose from his throne, and rushed to call his troops to arms.

He was interrupted, however, by his best friend Kramen, who came flying through the doors.

“MY LORD!” cried Kramen, “THE DARK ELVES ARE ATTACKING!” With that, he collapsed to the ground, revealing an arrow in his back. He let out a cry of pain and agony.

Holun rushed to his aid, swiftly snatching the arrow from Kramen’s back. He examined the blade, turning it this way and that. An ominous glow shrouded it. “Enchanted.” he remarked.

“Forgive me…my friend.” Kramen whimpered.

It was as soon as those words were spoken that a loud boom was heard, as Holun’s foe Glendring marched through the door.

“HOLUN!” he cried, “THE LIGHT ELVES SHALL FALL TODAY!” He unsheathed his sword, which glimmered in the light. Holun did the same. He took a quick moment to scan the area around him to find that outside his castle the dark elves attacked his brethren. The woodlands fell and trees toppled. He grimaced with anger as his fist clenched.

With a loud “clang!” the swords met, attacking with uncanny speed and reflexes. The enchanted blades clashed again and again. Strikes were blocked, and sparks flew from friction. A swish of a sword missing it’s target was heard, as metal scraped flesh, and Holun let out a cry of pain.

“HA! ALREADY YOU WEAKEN!” Glendring mocked. The swords clashed, and Holun could practically taste the stench of Glendring’s breath. The stink of evil.

“You don’t understand, Holun.” he whispered. “It is our place to rule these humans…have not they conquered other beings? Did they not conquer natives in other countries? DO THEY NOT KEEP ANIMALS AS PETS?!” The two swung their blades with amazing strength, clashing and clanging against each other. “WE ARE THEIR MASTERS!” Glendring cried to the heavens. Lightning flashed behind him as he summoned a great storm. The woodlands fell, erupting into flames. A bolt crashed through the roof and connected with Holun, sending him flying across the room. He wiped the blood off his lip, yet Glendring gave him not time to react. He was upon him in seconds, swiftly drawing blood from his foe. He cut him like a butcher. He was a piece of meat to him that’s only purpose was to be slaughtered. Weakly, Holun lifted his blade in defense, yet it dropped from his hand. Blood splashed upon Glendring’s face and spattered across the floor. “THE ELVEN PEOPLE WILL BE UNITED UNDER MY RULE!” Glendring proclaimed.

Meanwhile, Kramen grabbed hold of the enchanted arrow that had struck him down, gripping it tightly. He knew his immortal life would come to an end soon, yet he had to do something to help his friend. Silent as the night, he strung his bow, and silently the arrow sailed through the air. With remarkable accuracy it plunged through Glendring’s chest, popping out the other side.

In a desperate move, Holun grabbed his sword and made a clean cut across Glendring’s neck, and it toppled from his body and rolled across the floor. His headless body collapsed to the ground, and all at once, time began to slow.

Holun looked across his kingdom. Kramen had fallen, and his son and brother were wounded in the invasion. Dark elves fell, and light elves fell. He knew there was only one thing to do.

“The battle will devastate the planet…” he marveled.

Taking hold of ancient runes by his throne, he made a circle of spells. He summoned the sacred words, and in a flash of light, he commanded the elves be banished to the “Otherworld.”

And thus, the race of elves was no more. We see them every now and again. Somehow, elves have managed to break the banishing spell, appearing as spirits haunting the night. Yet Holun’s spell protects the world from the threat of the dark elves…all is safe…yet progress has been made…and the spell may soon be lifted…

The Renegade

DISCLAIMER: This story was written and published in 2012 and has been kept up to show the writer’s growth. It is not intended as professional quality

Darkness.

It’s what separates the living from the dead…the darkness envelopes them and they are no more…a few months ago, the darkness nearly claimed me, if it were not for a top secret American government agent known as Agent Jones, I would have been enveloped by the darkness…maybe fate made me this way, maybe it was my decision. I have no idea.

I guessed I owed him something and hell if it isn’t a way to make up for past sins.

So here I am, submerged in a pool of strange crimson liquid, strapped to a cold metal table that sends chills up my spine. An oxygen mask is strapped to my face, and helps me breathe.

The blurry outline of Agent Jones comes into my field of vision. He talks to me, but I’m only able to hear a few things

“…bench press a mountain.”

“…fly”

“…manipulate matter.”

I hear him say the process will be painful. I cringe a bit at the thought of it. A quick looks to both sides tells me he has no idea what pain is. The stumps that were once my arms and legs showed me the meaning of pain…this is going to be nothing. He gives me final advice, his raspy voice penetrating the liquid I’m submerged in.

“Try to relax.”

My thoughts float about the red liquid, and I find myself a few months younger, and in Afghanistan…..

The sun baked on my head, my skull felt like it’s been in a pressure cooker. Colonel West probably felt the same way. He’s only been here in a few months…yet he knew hell more than most rookies.

The night was silent, as many of the Taliban operatives slept. Flashlights penetrated the darkness in beams of light. A quick motion sent the troops converging on the building. Silently we entered, and soundlessly we crept.

General Adam withdrew his knife, prepared to take down any Taliban operatives scouting the area. The sound of metal scraping flesh told me he found someone. Our mission was simple: gas the fuckers and leave. Yet I made a mistake. I slipped up. Because of me, my platoon is dead.

A Taliban operative snuck up behind me, dealing me a severe blow. He slammed my head into a guard rail, and blood flew from my face, dragging behind me as me head was peeled back. He withdrew a knife, and in my panic, I pulled a gun and shot him through the head. Blood and brains spattered against the ceiling and wall, as he fell backwards and stumbled to the floor.

Because of me…my platoon is dead.

My shot rang out in the room, waking the Taliban. They struck us with blind fury. I’ll never forget the first kill.

I was back to back with Corporal West. He was fighting like a true soldier. Anybody who moved in front of him got lead between the eyes. Then it all happened. I heard a cry in the darkness, and all at once, the whole place lit up. I saw the body of Corporal West burning like straw. He was cooked like a piece of meat. His bone chilling screams pierced the night, and in my pity, I shot him dead.

I was blind fury by that point, fury burst of lead spiraling into bodies. The unmistakable sound of General Adam’s baritone voice crying out in the night assured me he was dead too. One by one, all of us fell. One by one, the Taliban fell as well. Finally, I knew there was only one way out.

Every explosive I could find went into my effort. First a grenade, then matches that added fuel to the fire. Smoke billowed through the air and choked my lungs. My dinner wanted out immediately, and I took only a moment. I knew there was no way out.

More explosives. I put the whole nine yards into the base. In a deafening explosion the darkness left the night, fleeing from the light, and I found myself caught like an ant in a fire hose. I found myself thrown around, and before I know it, three days later I’m in the hospital. I knew something was wrong…

My arms and legs were gone…freshly amputated stumps took their place.

A few weeks later, Agent Jones came to me with an offer.

And so here I am, not even noticing the pain, it’s an itch compared to real pain. And finally, all at once…

It stops.

My arms and legs are back. They feel like brand new….something out of a sci fi movie. I twist my hands, making a fest and turning them this way and that. I clench my toes. All my senses tell me it’s real, yet I don’t believe it. When did America get this kind of technology?

I pull myself out of the strange liquid, and the crimson fluid pours down my bangs and into my eyes. I’m naked and soaking wet, yet I feel better than I ever have in my life. The room begins to vibrate and shake uncontrollably. Someone asks if it’s an earthquake…Agent Jones tells them no.

It’s me.

I pause, and try to get control myself….and the shaking stops.

“How do you feel?” Agent Jones asks me.

I pause and I let the feelings soak in…all at once, everything becomes clear.

“I’m great.”

The Monster Within

DISCLAIMER: This story was written and published in 2012 and has been kept up to show the writer’s growth. It is not intended as professional quality

My name is Jason Harrow. I am 21 years old, and I’m currently on vacation with my Fiancé, Mary. We moved in together two years ago, we’re going to have a son in six months and we’re due to be married. I would be the happiest man alive…

…if it were not for my secret.

I awake in the morning to the fresh smell of coffee on my bedside table. The apartment has freshly made the bed opposite mine and the room has a warm soft feel too it, making it all too welcoming.

I gently grab the handle of the coffee, and pull it up to my face, taking slow gulps. The taste splashes in my mouth and I feel it cooling down inside me. As I wake up and become attuned to the world, I hear the splattering of water. Mary’s showering. As I slowly lean out of bed I find myself eating a breakfast she had prepared for me earlier. Within minutes, she’s out of the shower, fully dressed. God, she’s grown to be so beautiful. I push my spectacles up the brim of my nose to get a better look at this woman I love. Her brown sandy hair, the perfect freckles around her cheeks…this woman I will be marrying in just a few weeks. “Hello, honey.” she greets, as our lips meet. “I’ve missed you.” She swings her arms around my shoulders, her gentle hands soothe the pain I have inside…my secret escapes my mind…for the time being.

As the day progresses, we spend each passing hour together; enjoying each other’s company. It’s all we really ever need.

Everything goes awry around ten o’clock in the morning when she starts to read the paper. I notice her glaring intently at a familiar face whose past is known only to me. The stubble upon his chin, the cold, emotionless, uncaring eyes, his square jawed chin, and his broad shouldered frame…It’s him all right.

“Oh, God.” she whispers, “Jason, honey, did you see this?” she covers her mouth while reading the text. She’s shocked, and after all, who wouldn’t be? “A man known only as ‘Caligula’ has killed his eightieth victim today…why would someone do that?”

I do my best to drown out her words.

“—listening to me?” she asks, “You’re a psychologist, wouldn’t you know these things?” Her words go on and on, and slowly I am lost in my thoughts. My secrets come flooding back to me. Her voice echoes through my skull and reminds me of past sins and transgressions.

The twitching starts at the face, and starts to move down my body slowly. Finally, I can contain it no longer.

“ENOUGH!” I cry. “I’VE HEARD ENOUGH!”

“What…what did I say?” her voice is like a frightened puppy dog.

“Mary…it’s time I told you the truth.”

My words drift off, and the story seems to tell itself.

I’m a psychologist; a leading one at that and one of the best in the country. I know how every bit of the human brain works. So much so…

I was able to create my own.

That’s right. I managed to replicate my own brain. I cloned my brain and put it inside a test subject—

At that point she stops me. “Where did you find a test subject?” the only reason she hasn’t left the room yet is because she’s in shock. I see it on her face…it seeps through her body and adulterates her.

“You don’t want to know.” I state. Emotion is lacking from my voice. Telling her this, telling her my secret is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

It was a paradise at first, I tell her. It was perfect to have someone to talk to with the exact same hobbies and interests as me. For all intents and purposes I was talking to myself….

Three weeks later he stopped wearing clothes. He refused to eat cooked food…it only became worse from there. Within a month, I had asked him how he was doing, and he threw my head into a cabinet. He nearly beat me to death…at the time, I had no idea why.

By now Mary’s face is pure shock….she doesn’t know what to think…what could she think? I’ve just told her an unbelievable story. She’ll probably leave me soon.

“That man,” I tell her, “the man in the paper is me. I created him.”

Her eyes swell up, and she swallows saliva. “But then why isn’t he like you?”

“That’s where I went wrong…I never introduced him to society.” I’m at my moment of truth. My theme of my story. “Society keeps us sane. Even when we’re born, we’re told what to do. We have to change ourselves to fit into society…we have to become something we’re not, lest we be mocked by the common bully. This thing is me without the rules of society…this is me without my moral code….deep down inside us…lies a monster.”

As I see her face, my stomach sinks down to my testicles. I don’t know what words I can say to comfort her. For hours, we simply stare at each other…there is only silence…a never ending void of silence.

Finally I stand up.

“Where are you going?” she asks me.

It’s a fair question

I don’t give her an answer.

“Take care of the baby for me, okay?” I tell her.

And with that, I walk away…out the door, I leave the hotel. I can never see anyone again…I can never see her again. My wife…my life….is gone.

The words ring through my ears, over and over again like a bell that won’t stop ringing. I know there’s something wrong, yet I can’t do anything about it. My head starts to hurt, yet I keep walking. I become a prisoner in my own body…for a moment I forget who I am…then I see it. I know why I’ve been walking. I see Caligula…blood on his hands, watching me from afar with cat like curiosity.

And then I blink. He’s gone.

I convince myself it’s just my imagination…

The Vampire’s Visit

DISCLAIMER: This story was written and published in 2012 and has been kept up to show the writer’s growth. It is not intended as professional quality

The horse galloped along the stone-paved road winding slowly up the hill and increasing ever faster until, finally, Alistair arrived at his house. With a great leap he jumped off his horse and landed in a crouching position. The rain pattered down on his face…it was like a baptism

And he hated baptisms…

He stood up, slowly and wiped the water from his face. His sandy blonde hair draped down to his shoulders and was drenched with water, and his clothes clung to his skin…yet he was not cold. His frame was wiry yet strong, and he was quite a pale man. He made his way up the steps with remarkable speed, seeing only by way of two protected torches illuminated in the night.

It was at that moment, that Nat heard a rather loud rasping at the door. She swiftly made her way towards it and opened it apprehensively.

“Alistair!” Nat cried, embracing him tightly. Her body was curved like an hourglass, having a similar, yet more feminine build than him. Yet she shared the same paleness of the skin.

They embraced each other with a passionate kiss like lovers that had not seen each other in years. It was then, all at once, that Nat opened her eyes, realizing something amiss. She pulled herself away from him. “Alistair, where are the others? Where is the pack?” she cried.

At that moment, Alistair’s head sunk low, as he let the rainwater flow down his face and drip of his chin. “They’re dead.” he stated, simply.

Nat backed away, shocked. “What-what happened? she stuttered.

“The townspeople caught us in the middle of a feast. John Burns lead a revolt…I always told the pack to be wary of him…only I made it out alive.” he took a moment to pause and reflect. Images flickered across his mind like a slide show. He wanted to melt into the ground, as his brothers and sisters did. “My love,” he whimpered, “they caught us feasting…attacked us. Everyone is dead. My brother…the first of the pack…Ducard is dead.”

“NO!” cried Nat, who burst into tears. “NO! It can’t be!”

It was then that a loud commotion was heard, as a powerful pounding sounded at the door. With a third strike it flew off its hinges and dropped to the floor below with a thud.

“ALISTAIR!” cried a townsperson! “FACE ME AND ANSWER FOR YOUR CRIMES!”

Alistair put a finger to Nat’s lips, summoning her to be silent; never one to listen to reason, she charged out, sheering flesh from bone and gnawing away with teeth that could penetrate skin. Her rampage tore apart bodies as if they were made of cotton. Her rage could not be bottled or controlled. She was no longer of this world…she was rage.

“MURDERERS!” she cried to the heavens. Lightning stuck around the household as she threw her arms up to the sky! “ALL OF YOU ARE MURDERERS!” She continued her rampage, killing anyone she could get her hands on. Alistair watched from afar. Just then, he noticed a piece of jagged wood flew through her chest. Blood dripped from her mouth, spilling down her chin. Her body turned to flakes, and blew away in the wind, crumbling in the rain.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” cried Alistair, who grabbed a bookcase by the edges. With uncanny strength he lifted it over his head and threw it towards the killers as if it were weightless. Most were instantly crushed by it and others would suffocate; pinned underneath it. The sheer devastation from the throw knocked a chunk of the wall out, revealing a much larger army outside. Alistair let out a cry of agony and despair as if it had been he himself who had been impaled and hissed as if he were a snake, as he charged into the crowd with remarkable speed. He ripped men apart. He clawed at their faces and ate their very flesh. He tossed them aside like ragdolls. “BURRRNS!” he hissed. “JONATHAN BURNS!” he cried to the heavens, “REVEAL THYSELF, MURDERER!” He tore through the crowd, searching for his enemy. His eyes, filled with fury itself, had turned blood red from his rage. A simple stare set men on fire, as he killed and wounded the army that had dared to amass outside of his own home. Finally, he found his target.

Jonathan Burns was a fat old man who was graying at the temples, who had an outdated sense of righteousness from the Revolutionary War. He grabbed Burns by his neck and hoisted him up into the air. He squeezed slowly, choking him. Alistair said almost nothing, but simply asked,

“Why?”

Through choking sounds, Burns managed to get the words out “You were killing off this town! I won’t let you kill me too! You killed a young boy when we found you! He had only just turned twenty—.”

His accusations were interrupted as Alistair pulled him close, as he spoke, saliva spewed from his mouth onto Burns’ face. “And yet…” Alistair said, his words tiptoeing to the next, “Your family was killed by a murderer. You hunted him down and killed him.” Even closer, Alistair pulled him, until he could almost taste the flesh on Alistair’s breath. “Did you stop to think for a second?” Alistair asked him, his head tilting slightly to one side, “that if you killed me and my pack…do you think I would ever stop?”

“Go….die!” choked Burns.

“I have survived since the ides of March! The death of Julius Caesar was my birth! You do not think I can survive?” He paused for a moment. “Should I wish to?” he finished.

“You…have brought nothing but misery to this town.”

Alistair looked at him with catlike curiosity. He was a pet examining a new master. “I only do what I must to survive…as I do now.” Blood trickled down Burns’ forehead as Alistair squeezed from both sides. Burns let out a cry of agony as he began to push harder. “Do you feel that Burns?!” he howled into the night. “Do you feel the inevitability of death!? It’s the only thing in this world that you can count on.” Alistair finished, and let what was left of the limp body slump to the ground with all the others.

At that moment, Alistair’s attention turned to the East…He noticed his first glimpse of the sun rising beyond the horizon…his first glimpse of the sun in his entire life. He slowly began to crumble, as each layer of skin flaked off. He let out his last words of his long life…

“Beautiful.”