#FlashFriday – Vol 2 – 36 : The Emissary

Jacob watched the lightning light up the sky as the thunder rocked the canyon walls. He knew the river raged along the canyon floor and once more stripped his wife’s flower garden from the ground.

The Embassy cut into the rock of the canyon wall. The only access was by air, to the small helipad a hundred feet above him. It was one of the concessions the Dragons had made with people, to save the human race, and all life on the planet.

Briefly, the thunders voice became more of a roar. He knew the Dragon emissary was near. His eyes spotted the black dragon as it drifted effortlessly through the dangerous air currents the storm caused. The Dragon effortlessly landed on the balcony. “Greetings, Jacob.”

“Greetings.”

“I am afraid, my friend, your spouse will have to replant her garden.”

“Indeed,” Jacob smiled, “Let’s walk.” It was time for the weekly meeting between Dragon and man to begin.

158 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Volume 2  Week 36 (Vol 2 – 36) of FlashFriday! Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.


#FinishThatThought 40 : A War Begins

Merlin stood in the cave entrance, unable to believe what he saw. Angels soared above the trees, up the mountainside, toward his home. He did not want to fight them, but they were leaving him no choice.

The Angels had taken up arms, hunting and killing fairies and dragons gifted with magic. They’d destroyed entire villages and towns to rid the world of magic.

Merlin was the Black Magic Dragon, The dragon of legend that nearly destroyed the fairies. The ancient dragon, from the Northern Ice. He’d known the Angels would come for him someday, but their audacity surprised him. He walked into the clearing outside his cave. “If they want a war, then they shall have one.”

Merlin screamed, filling the sky with the sound of sheets of metal being torn apart. He flexed his wings, and took to the sky, leaving his cave behind. Upon spotting him, the Angels left the mountain, heading into the sky, chasing him, exactly as he knew they would.

Merlin’s black magic was useless against the Angels, they were immune to it. But they were not immune to his talons and his teeth. He changed direction, racing toward the sun. The Angels followed. Merlin accelerated. He possessed speed the Angels could not match. He could have easily escaped them. But they would find him again. They’d given him no choice but to stop them.

He plunged toward the ground, directly at the Angels, with talons fully extended and teeth barred. He sliced through the Angels, his talons stronger than the finest steel, sharp enough to slice through rock, cleaving Angels in half. Dead Angels rained from the sky.

Merlin screamed, the sound of metal rent asunder echoed through the sky.

Thus began the war between the Dragons and the Angels.

296 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 40 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

#FlashFriday #19 : Good With Ketchup

Shasta sat on the ground, the remains of a human male on the picnic table in front of him. He reached down with his right arm, and sliced off what was left of a leg, which he dipped into the vat of ketchup before consuming it like a French Fry. “Ummmm. Tasty,” he proclaimed, as he smacked his beak-like lips together.

I picked up what was left of a tiny female, dipping her top half into the ketchup. “It seems the old saying is true.”

I used my tongue to lick the ketchup off my face, then I belched, “Excuse me.”

Shasta started on the other leg of the human. “What old saying?”

“Something the humans say. Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.”

Shasta nearly choked on his ketchup covered leg, “That’s a good one!”

“I thought so when I first heard it.” I finished off the tiny female. She was, in fact, crunchy, and good with ketchup. Not that we’d interrupted the wedding in the park to test the saying. Instead,  wedding party was just what we’d needed after our flight across the Atlantic.

There was a dragon on the rampage in West Virginia, starting fires, burning townships to the ground. His actions were threatening to reveal our presence to the world. The Elders couldn’t allow that, so they sent us to stop the rogue.

Now you might think a pair of dragons having a wedding party for lunch would be a problem, and would not help us hide our presence from the humans. But, that wasn’t actually the case. Shasta and I would eat all the remains of the dead humans, and leave no trace of our presence. It would be like the humans had just disappeared.

We hadn’t killed everyone, letting three or four escape. They’d run for their lives, screaming like crazy. The funniest one had been the slightly plump bride. It was so cute to watch the way she jiggled and bounced as she ran for her life in that white wedding dress of hers.

And of course, the survivors would all tell the same story. “Dragons! Dragons attacked us! They flew from the sky, and killed almost everyone! We’re lucky to be alive!”

Humans had a way of ignoring such claims, searching for the truth that fit into their understanding of the world. They’d believe it was something everyone ate, or something in the park that caused a mass hallucination. They’d send the survivors to counselors where they’d come to accept the hallucination idea. They’d determine the missing had left the country, and were hiding for some reason.

Shasta and I finished our meal. The ketchup added just the right zest to the humans, enhancing their flavor. We then cleaned the park, leaving no sign we’d been there.

“West Virginia, here we come!” Shasta roared as we took to the sky.

488 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Rebekah Postupak‘s #FlashFriday, Week 19. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #Flash Friday. They are good reading.

#FlashFriday #17 : We Have To Correct History

The floodlights we’d set up to illuminate the castle’s ruins were scattered everywhere. I guided the robot to the center of the ruins, where the others turned on the time machine. The robot faded away.

Legends said the castle fell before fire breathing dragons and hordes of orcs and goblins. We were sending the robot back in time to learn if there was any truth in the legends. The good thing about sending a robot back in time was you didn’t have to bring it back. Time would do that for you.

When the castle fell, our robot dug a trench and buried itself at a specific Latitude and Longitude. We went to that specific point and dug it up, recovering the recorded information.

When we analyzed the data, we were stunned. The castle had been besieged by a Chinese army. The dragons were flame throwers. A combustible gas was forced through a pipe under pressure, exiting the pipe over a flame, erupting into a sheet of fire twenty or more feet long. The flame throwers were decorated as Chinese Dragons.

We also learned there were a lot of mistakes in our recreation of our history. Dragons. Who would have thought of that?

203 Words
@LurchMunster

 


I wrote this for Rebekah Postupak‘s #FlashFriday, Week 17. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #Flash Friday. They are good reading.

The Next Big Thing : Cylinders

I have been nominated to take part in The Next Big Thing, by The Last Krystolos (Lisa Shambrook). The Next Big Thing asks ten questions about a current Work In Progress, and I answer them as best I can. As Lisa did, I’ll use my NaNoWriMo 2012 story as the basis for the answers to the questions.

Q1. What is the title of your Work in Progress?

Other than “Not finalized at this point”, I have a working title. Cylinders.

Q2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea came from a lot of ideas, spread over 11 years. It started with an idea I shared with a friend back in 2002, or 2003. Of machines that took over the galaxy, and gradually caused the extinction of the human race. The machines realized they’d lost something when the humans were gone. Some intuition. Some emotion. They couldn’t define it. So they couldn’t recreate it. So, the recreated humans.

That though led to so many others. At one point, the humans themselves turned into machines, through genetic manipulation, breeding humans for specific purposes. The ideas kept flowing, especially in the past 2 years.

After NaNoWriMo 2011, it occurred to me to try something different with the concept of the machines. Battlestar Galictica always refers to the Cylons as the children of the human race. And I had this world filled with humans, fairies, dragons and magic, and this idea for machines that were intelligent, and had grown their technological abilities far beyond what we have today.

That whole idea collided with the divisions I see happening within our society now. The multiplicity of religions, sexual preferences, personal beliefs, and ways of life, and how divisive these differences have become.

Q3.  What genre does your book fall under?

I’d call it Science Fiction/Fantasy. I’m trying to remember what several others have called it. Something like Gothic Science Fiction, as I recall.

Q4.  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Well… They’d be voices for the characters. This would have to make use of CGI. A lot. As for what voices I’d like for the main characters? This is gonna take a while. I’ve never thought about it at all… So this is very tentative… (as in, I had to write something…)

Mystica – Famke Janssen
Merlin – Alan Rickman
Scream – James Marsden
Sword – Chris Hemsworth
Rose – Amy Adams
Dream – Kirsten Dunst
Musica – Mandy Moore
Sunshine – Scarlett Johansson
Chrissy – Kristen Bell
Lilly – Zoe Saldana
Flora – Jennifer Lawrence
Fauna – Rose McGowan
Miss Hooters – Catherine Zeta-Jones
The Machines – James Earle Jones

This one took me a while… And I can change it all around, and use lots of other names…

Q5.  What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

The story of the world of Cylinders, where humans and their children, the machines, merge together, and fairies, dragons, and magic come to life.

Q6.  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

More than likely, self-published. I’m planning to ask several people some questions about that. My doctor also thinks I should self-publish. So, I’ll have to look into that. Of course, now, I haven’t got any plan to publish. Somehow, I think that will be changing in the coming weeks and months.

Q7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

28 days. 1 November 2012 through 28 November 2012. At that point, it was just a process of pulling the story out of my head where it had grown for over a year.

Q8.  What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

I don’t read much, you know. I mean. I don’t read a lot of fiction. I think I’ve read for books this past year. And two of those were collections of short works of fiction. I don’t count reading technology texts. Nor do I count reading science texts. Or the tons of news, science and technology I read all the time from the Internet.

I can safely say it does not compare to any of those. As for other works of fiction it compares to. I like to think of it as me recreating such works as Battlestar Galictica, Star Gate (all 3 series), and Babylon 5. I also think of it as an anti-Terminator, or anti-Matrix type of work.

Q9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Oddly enough, NaNoWriMo 2011. That’s where I wrote the first chapter in this epic I find myself in the middle of.

Q10.  What else about your book might piqué the reader’s interest?

I took something Arthur C Clarke wrote (Any sufficiently advanced technology will appear as magic), and went with it.

That brings me to the end of the questions. Now, I am supposed to nominate five others for The Next Big Thing. This is my list of those five others. Tried to pick five I haven’t already seen listed on this. Hope any of them can respond. (:

Robin Sturgeon Abess
Miranda Boers
Sarah Aisling
Susi Holliday
Rebecca Grace Allen

Have fun. I did.

Mark.

#NaNoWriMo 2012 – Week 4 Clip – Dragon Knight

[My father wrote to me, after reading the chapter this clip came from. “I like Scream best of all.” How can I argue with that? So, I’m sharing a little clip with Scream in it. The last clip I’ll put up from NaNoWriMo 2012. Enjoy it in all its unedited glory.]

Scream heard Merlin’s words. “It’s time.” He knew what Merlin meant. The dragons had spread the word of the fairy Fauna’s death. Every dragon knew what the invaders had done. Every dragon knew of the loss of one of the White Witch’s daughters. Every dragon knew the end of the war was approaching. The White Witch would soon strike.

Every dragon knew it was time. Dragons everywhere turned away from defending towns and villages. They turned, and attacked the invaders and their landing ships. Dragons would fall in battle. It was the way of war. No dragon would fall without honor.

Scream looked to the sky. He screamed. His scream echoed across the Southern Plains. Before the echo faded, Scream took to the sky. His wings fully spread. Every fairy in the kingdom saw him leave. Every fairy  knew where he was headed.

Straight at the enemy. A dark gray streak across the pale blue sky. Before Scream reached the horizon, the fairies of the Castle Guard all stood, as one. Took up their swords, shields, bows and arrows. And lifted to the sky. They followed after Scream.

Scream was the Dragon Knight. He was one of them. He would not face the enemy alone.

Fairies : For Rose (Part 1)

Six months after Mystica, her daughters, and the dragons had returned Sword to Oceana and her ocean realm, Oceana knew it was time to ask. She knew from Sword’s behavior what was wrong with him. Why he lacked the focus he’d once had. Why he had been that way for the past six months.

Oceana sighed, in her room, and knew what she would do the next day.

When the sun rose above the horizon, the Oceana’s realm came to life again. The other ocean fairies and the mere-people woke from their rest, and began to carry out their day-to-day lives. That’s when Oceana spoke to her messenger. “Have Sword come before me.”

The messenger had raced from Oceana’s home beneath the ocean to Sword’s lands. Sword was the young prince. Son of Oceana. Heir to the kingdom of the seas. He had a special magic. The magic of the sword. With the ability to swing his arms, as if holding a sword. And the air, and sea both would cut what he swung at as if he’d struck it with a sword.

He was already among the greatest warriors of the ocean realm. And he was only a boy.

The messenger informed Sword of Oceana’s command. And Sword happily complied with his mother’s wish, visiting her in her home. When he arrived, Oceana embraced him, as a mother does her son. And then, she asked him, “Do you wish to visit Mystica and her daughters where they live by the lake in the woods?”

Sword almost leaped for joy. “Yes! I would love to visit them!”

Oceana wasn’t through with questions, though. “My son. Is there anyone there you especially wish to visit?”

Sword’s eyes shined in their brilliant ocean blue. “Yes, mother. There is.” And Sword, the brash prince that he was, actually looked at the floor, and stared at his feet. As if searching for words. As if afraid to speak. “I miss Rose.”

Oceana smiled. It was as she’d always known. Since the day he saw the little girl named Rose, and the way Sword behaved around her, she’d known. She’d also known that Sword and Rose were too young to know. But Oceana knew. She could see it in the way they two of them behaved when they were together. She knew each was the missing half of the other. That one day, each would make the other whole.

“Then, my son, it is time you began your journey from boy to man. We will contact Mystica, and let her know of your wish to visit. Then, you will make the journey to their home on your own. So that all will know this was your decision. And your wish. And all will know that I would not deny your wish to you.”

So it was that Oceana summoned her fairy magic, and called for Mystica. The water before Oceana shifted, and Mystica’s shape gradually appeared. Oceana smiled. “Mystica, of the White Magic.”

“Oceana, of the ocean realm. How may I help you on this day?” Even as she spoke with Mystica, she felt the white magic building. And in a few simple heartbeats, the image of Mystica became  Mystica herself. Mystica couldn’t help but notice the questioning look in Oceana’s eyes, and felt drawn to explain. “Yes, Oceana. I had this ability to travel great distances in mere moments when I traveled to the ocean realm to rescue Sword.”

“Yet, you did not use it. Why?”

“I have only used it rarely. And at those times, it left me nearly exhausted, and very weak. Merlin has explained to me that with time, I will grow stronger, and using the magic of travel will become easier. But for now, it’s difficult.”

Oceana smiled. “I understand. I can only imagine how much effort it takes to travel such distances in such short times.” And both laughed. They talked briefly, Oceana asking about Mystica’s adopted daughters, and Mystica sharing stories of her daughters, and how they had grown in the past six months. Especially tiny Dream. They also talked of the wild magic the girls possessed, and of the way they were learning to live with it. And control it.

Then the topic drifted to why Oceana had called Mystica. “Sword has asked to visit your home. He misses you and your daughters.”

Mystica smiled. “And we all miss him. Especially Rose.”

And so it was that Sword would make the journey from the ocean realm to Mystica’s home on his own. Scream and Merlin would talk with the dragons, and the dragons would watch over Sword on his journey. They would help Sword if he needed help. And Mystica would watch over him from the lake in the forest. If Sword needed help, and the dragons were not able to help, Mystica herself would help.

Mystica and Oceana embraced, as if they were sisters. And then, Mystica simply faded away.

The next morning, Sword started the six-day journey to the lake. As ordered by Oceana, he went alone. This was one more step as he grew from boy to man. The ocean kingdom was so proud that the prince was growing up, taking the next step toward becoming a man. They knew he would one day soon become the great warrior he was born to become.

Fairies : Scream Waits

Scream was silent. He glided down from the sky, to the trees. Landing silently. Gracefully. He was much smaller than he’d once been. And far more deadly. With more speed than he’d ever had in his younger days. With a dragon fire that was hotter, and more accurate than it had ever been. He was a full-grown dragon. Second only to Merlin in all of dragon-kind.

Fiver other dragons were with him. Each dragon landed in the trees surrounding the village. A village of humans. Innocent humans. Humans that lead simple, honest lives. Caring for their neighbors. Helping each other when help was needed. Caring for their sick. Raising their young. Teaching them all they knew about the world.

They didn’t know. The people of the village didn’t know about the machines of the world called Cylinders. Didn’t know the machines protected them. Kept them safe. Didn’t know the machines had been on Cylinders for more than 25,000 years. Didn’t know the machines had created the fairies, the elves, the dragons. Didn’t know about the quantum mechanics the machines used to perform magic tasks. No. The humans only knew that there was magic in their world.

Scream’s heart ached. For he knew the humans would learn. Soon enough. They would learn everything. When the invaders arrived. And the war touched their lives. That’s why Scream was there. Outside that village. To fight the invaders.

Merlin had let everyone know when the invaders had arrived. Landing in their space ships. Bringing their weapons with them. Intent on extending their empire to another world. In the belief they were bringing order to the chaos of the galaxy.

The machines of Cylinders could have simply wiped the invaders out. Erased them from existence. But they didn’t work that way. Instead, they left fighting the invaders to the people of Cylinders. The dragons. The fairies. The elves.

Scream and his dragon friends took up their positions. And waited. The invaders would arrive. In the dark of the night. In the hours before the dawn. When the people of the village were asleep. That’s when Scream and his brothers would engage them. And destroy every one of them. They would protect the village. They would protect their world. The invaders would soon learn that Cylinders was not what it seemed.

And the people of the village would be safe. But forever changed. And that caused Scream’s heart to ache. Scream found fire burning in his soul. Ignited by the knowledge that the village would be forever changed. The world would be forever changed. It’s innocence lost.

For that, Scream would fight the invaders to his dying breath.

A Clip From Chapter 20 of JuNoWriMo 2012…

As the sun began to set, the two girls grew tired. They pulled up some hay, and made a soft spot on the ground. Then they both curled up on it. And went to sleep. They both slept soundly on that night.

With five dragons watching over them.

That night, the fairies had attacked once more. This time the second pair of dragons had acted. The first dragon had blown wind. He took a deep breath, and looked at the fairies flying in the night, and he blew his breath out right at them. The flying fairies were caught in a tempest. Winds far stronger than any they had ever flown in. It blew them backwards in the air. Carrying them for miles. It was like they were little leaves from trees that had fallen on the surface of a mountain stream. And the stream carried them away.

The second dragon had looked at the fairies gathering at the wall to attack again. His eyes had glowed bright red. And fire had lanced out of them. Striking the wall. Knocking the fairies off of it.

The fairies had retreated. They didn’t try to attack again. Enough of them had been injured in the attacks they’d tried so far.

The dragons didn’t sleep that night. They didn’t need to. Dragons only had to sleep once in a while. They could go for days, and some of them for weeks, without sleep. They stayed awake, and watched over the girls all night.

A Clip From Chapter 19 Of JuNoWriMo 2012

Eyela and Stephan sat at a table, in the meeting hall of the castle. And they spoke. There had to be a way to save the girl. So she would not be abandoned. There had to be a way to prevent Scream from attacking the kingdom. There had to be something they could do.

That’s when Stephan suggested, “Talk to Scream.”

Eyela spoke into the air, “Scream! Scream! Can you hear me! I need to talk with you!” And Scream heard. He answered.

“Yes. Eyela. I hear you.”

“The people want to abandon Verdant Green.”

“I know. I can hear them.”

“I can’t let that happen. I won’t let that happen.”

Scream was very calm. “I know what to do. I know how to take care of Verdant Green, and calm your people.”

Stephan stood, and like the King and soldier that he was, he demanded, “Tell us what you know.”

Scream explained. “Have Musica come outside to visit me. Then, have two soldiers escort Verdant Green out of the kingdom. Through the castle gates. Have the soldiers return to the castle. Leave Verdant Green outside. And then close the gates.”

Scream knew the King and Queen would be concerned. This was not abandoning Verdant Green in the wilderness somewhere. She would be in sight of the kingdom. She would be where the fairies could throw things at her. Or shoot arrows at her. Where they could call her names. And abuse her.

“Eyela. I promise. I will take care of her. We will take care of her.”

As promised, at the end of the two hours, Eyela met with the people once more. Standing on her balcony. Soaked to the bones. Not looking, and not feeling, like a Queen at all. “I will have two guards take Verdant Green outside the castle walls. There, Scream has said he will take care of her.”

Musica was only too happy to escape the mobs of people in the kingdom, to the calm outside the gates. Where there was only Scream. And underneath his wings, it was dry, and warm. And she played her flute. And laughed. And sang. Beautiful little tunes without any words at all.

Then, Eyela had two soldiers escort Verdant Green from the castle. Through the gates. Where they left her. The gates were locked behind her.

Verdant Green panicked. She was being thrown away! She was being punished! She was being told to leave! She screamed. She cried. She ran to the gates and pounded on them. The weather went insane. The wind howled. It screamed through the streets of the kingdom. The rain struck out at everything. Beating on houses, and stores. Beating on the castle. Pounding on everything, as if it were saying, “Let me in!”

It was Scream that stopped the storm. He walked across the gap from where he stayed, to the castle gates. Where he put a wing between the gates and Verdant Green. He was so gentle. He didn’t want to her the little girl. And he spoke with her.

“I told you that you were my friend. That I like you very much.”

“But my daddy’s dead because of you!”

“I know. Oh, how I know. And I would go back in time and change that if I could. I’m so sorry.” Scream looked very much concerned for Verdant Green. “We must get you away from the castle gates. The people are getting ready to shoot arrows at you. They may shoot arrows at all of us before this day is done.”

He gently picked up Verdant Green, and walked back to the place he stayed. Outside the castle walls. When Musica and Verdant Green were safe and warm beneath one of his wings, he looked up to the sky, and screamed.

It was a scream that split the sky. The loudest scream that anyone had ever heard. Then Scream was silent. And he waited. Protecting the little girls, as he’d said he would.

The day passed. And as the sun began to set, the people of the kingdom heard the screams of other dragons. Five of them soon arrived. In a rainbow of colors. All of them a different size. And Scream spoke to them. But every person in the kingdom heard the words he said. “Protect these children while I’m gone. They are blessed with wild magic. I won’t let the fairies hurt them. Keep them safe, no matter what, while I go to the Northern Forest. I’ll bring the White Witch here. She’ll know what to do.”

And with that, Scream used his wings to hurl air at the ground. And in just a few strokes of those wings, Scream rose into the sky. And was gone.