Sunday, 10 May 2020

Brennan and Riz - Pandemic Blues part 4

Greetings everyone! Sorry for the gap between the two parts here. Had to have a think about what was the best resolution to the last part... Still don't know what to think 😂

Anyway, let's check out the trio as they continue their own lockdown...

Brennan and Riz
Pandemic Blues


Day 6

This was the day we were going to find out what was in Riz’s drawer. I was anxious as hell. Valarie was her usual reserved, cool, calm and collected self. She laid on my bed, her head phones in listening to her phone. I didn’t want to intrude and ask what she was listening to, could have been an audio book or anything. I’ve heard her listen to all sorts before. 

This was her pre-job routine, something I had only been privy to a few times before. Most days we’d meet up after she’d done all this. She was aware of my gaze, as I caught her looking back to me, a sly smile still on her face, and with it, the memories of the things we’d been doing in this first week of lockdown. Actually, this was the longest I’ve spent with her uninterrupted. We may have been lucky and got two or three days, but one of us always had a job to do, or Riz would be an arse. Sometimes both.

In some strange way, this is what it felt like to have a normal life. One without the constant threat of the Others. Where what you saw, was what you got. From what I was aware of, people were still unused to living like this, but if it meant more time with her. I’d take whatever they threw at me. Just as long as I could throw Riz at them of course. Just to make it fair.

I didn’t know what the time was, and I should have been keeping track of it. As soon as Valarie gave the signal, that’s when we were to make our move, and I still didn’t know how she planned to take the rat out of the way, what method she’d use. I was about to find out. I had been at the window, looking out, my phone left on the wooden frame. It had been there for a day now, as I didn’t have much of a use for it in these circumstances, I wasn’t even expecting it to have power left in it. The surprise shook me as it started dancing on the surface, ringing and vibrating, the wood providing a nice material to work with. Valarie heard it as well, but the expression she had was one of knowing. She knew who was ringing, and so did I, well, I did as soon as I looked at the caller I.D. 

Alice. My blood ran cold, as every other thought left me head, I became worried that I’d missed a loan repayment date, that she was going to send her collectors after me, a threat that carried with it serious consequences. That was the threat she’d use to make Riz do her bidding.
“Aren’t you going to answer it then?” Valarie said. She spoke like the call was nothing, that the other person on the line was a harmless no one, instead of a very dangerous someone. I hesitated for another second, but Alice was still seeking my attention.

“Hello?” I called out as I answered.
“About bleeding time! You keep me waiting like that again and I’ll add a rudeness charge to your account!” Alice said, her words causing my knees to go weak, and my mind retreat to the distant past, to a comparable memory of me at the mercy of my year 4 teacher. Though, to be clear, Alice’s scare factor was much greater then  hers.

“N-No need to do that! I just....” I tried to think of an excuse. “Couldn’t reach my phone in time!” I wasn’t sure of it when I said it, but either it worked, or she just moved the conversation on for other reasons, but Alice came at me with a request.

“Put the rat on, I need to ask him for something.” I never moved so fast, well, not without my life being on the line some how. I reached my desk and banged on it, making Riz appear with a yawn.
“Wat do yer want? If yer ‘ere bout der poo in Val’s shoes, den dat wasn’t me, dat waz sum other rat.” 
“No one said anything about poo...”
“In dat case, ferget I sed nethin....” Riz said, making sure that Valarie wasn’t standing behind me. She’d stayed within my room, after all, she already knew the outcome of this call.

“Alice wants to speak to you.” I handed the phone over to him, and he snatched it out of my hands.
“Y didn’t yer tell me sooner! Ello?” He said, turning away from me, and lowering his voice so that only he and Alice could hear it. All I heard was a series of mumbles and half formed sounds. I fancied that I could make a few things out, but nothing definite. After five minutes of these mumbles, Riz hung up, and tossed the phone back to me.
“Rite, I ave ta go out.” It dawned on me here that this was Valarie’s plan, that she and Alice had orchestrated it. What Alice was going to get out of this was no one’s business.

“You can’t go out in a lockdown! You’re hardly a key worker.” I replied, not wanting to appear quite keen to get rid of him.
“Alice wants me ta get sumthin fer ‘er, nd she’s gonna take it off our debt! I’m not lettin did pass us by. I’ll only be gone fer a couple of hours ne way. Nd don’t worry, I’m not gunna brin der virus back fer yer nd Valarie. No matter how temptin it is.” Riz hopped down from the table and made for the door. “Besides, who’s gonna stop a rat? No one, dat’s who.” Riz added, throwing me a final smart ass look. 

“So what are you going to get?” Still playing along.
“Nothin yer wanna know bout, otherwise we’ll both be dammed.” I stopped asking when he said that. Anything with that kind of response is something I don’t want to be involved in.

Five minutes after he left, Valarie came in, dressed for the job, topping it off with a French style beret and gloves to hide evidence of her handiwork.
“Come on Bren, let’s see what the rat is hiding.” She said, walking past me. You may be thinking that this was an awful amount of work to do, just to see what was in a drawer. Surely we could have just asked Riz what was in there. Let me lay those concerns to rest. There was never, no way in hell that Riz would have just shown us the drawer. We’d have an easy time in getting him to part with stray coins he’d pick up off the floor.

Valarie bent down and looked at the drawer, she looked up at in surprise.
“Bren, I take it these locks weren’t on this when you moved into his place?” She asked.
“Locks? I got that desk from a charity shop when I got this place. It was the only think I didn’t have in a lock up. There wasn’t locks included.” I explained.
“Then explain this pair!” She said, moving back, allowing me to get a look in. Affixed to the front of the drawer were two circular plates, no bigger then a two pound coin. Each one looked like it was detailed with a tiny face. 

“When did he put them in?” I asked out loud, trying to think of when he would have had the chance to do something like this. This wasn’t traditional do it yourself work. I ran my finger over them, and almost lost one as the lock tried to take a bite out of it.
“Do you mind where you are sticking that extremity of yours? It is quite rude.” The opposite lock said, while the one that had wanted to eat me just laughed.
“Why’re you talking like that you pompous hack! This bozo just tried to fondle my mouth! Without even buying me dinner first! The cheek of these bastards...Wouldn’t have minded if it was the girl mind.” A pair of eyes appeared on the locks, even a monocle on one of them. One set shifted from looking at me, to looking at Valarie and back again, the other, just focused on Valarie. That was the one who just accused me of trying to fondle it’s mouth.

“Magical talking locks...Of course, what else would the rat have to guard his secret drawer!” Valarie said, face palming. She didn’t do it often, but when she did, it was serious business.
“Excuse me madam, but you trivialise us with that classification. We are Alchemy-level Security Talismans. I am Arthos. He is Aramis. Master Riz installed us for the security of his den.”
“Yeah, he didn’t want just anyone getting in, so he brought in the best! Though if you would like me to work with you my darling, I’m sure we can work something out...” Aramis didn’t get to finish that thought as Valarie stuck a twisted hair clip in his keyhole. I think she knew it wouldn’t work, I also think she didn't much care.

“Okay, that’s enough from you. Arthos was it? Since you seem to be the more civil and intelligent one of the two, maybe you can help us. See we want in. I know there’s a sure fire way to get in, but for everyone’s sake, I don’t think you’ll want me to do it.” I was aware of the plan that we were going to follow, but that revelation didn’t fit anything I knew.

“I’m sorry madam, it would break our very being for us to break the vow that we took when we were placed here. No one but Master Riz can enter here. We’ll give our lives to defend this vow, and in our death, no one can gain entrance.”  Arthos said stoically.
“We can’t open, even if you want to bare all to me love.” Aramis winked at Valarie. “As for you however mate. Fat chance. There’s nothing you can offer me to get in.” 
“Why did Riz choose such an arsehole to be a lock?” Valarie said, I could see in her eyes that she was trying to work out  a way in, despite this sudden setback. I was a bit disturbed by this as well. I mean, sentient locks? What kind of existence was that? Did Riz pay them for their service? Was this a magical form of punishment? These were only the tip of the iceberg in terms of questions I had at that point. Damned if I was going to get any answers. Didn’t seem the time to bring up anything existential. Valarie on the other hand... 

“Let me get this straight. You are locks with your minds, your own sentience. Yet you have to be locks to a perverts drawer?” 
“Hey! Don’t badmouth the boss like that! He’s great.” Aramis snapped back, completely ignoring the question in the defence of his master.
“Your questions are understandable but this is our life and we will attend to it as we see fit. We swore to serve Riz in whatever capacity he choose. We will continue to do so till our deaths.” If he had a body, I could have seen him standing proud, arms folded.
“Did you have a form before that of a Alchemy- Level Talisman?” I asked.
“I can neither confirm or deny that. We are who we are now, and that’s all that matters from here on in.”
“Or to put it bluntly, we’re not letting you in dick!” 
“Aramis! Do no be so vulgar!” This pair seemed to fight just as much as me and Riz. Or at least Riz and Valarie.
“So there’s no way you can just open and let us have a peek inside?” Valarie said, before sighing. “Though if you won’t I guess I’ll have to get the C4 out anyway.”
“No don’t do that!” Me, Arthos and Aramis said at once.

“Well, here’s the thing, I want to see in, you two locks won’t let me, so I’m going to have to blow a hole to see down into the drawer. It’s nothing personal”  Valarie started rooting through her bag, prompting more outcry.
“Please madam, reconsider, do you not value our lives?” Arthos pleaded.
“I said it’s nothing personal, I want to see in the drawer. It’s as simple as that.” Valarie then stopped. “Unless...You just want to give me a little peek, you know, not open fully. Just a tiny, tiny crack.” She used her fingers to illustrate her point. Aramis was the first to answer, much to his partner’s terror.
“Well, a crack is better then being blown apart. Rather see your crack mind...” He said, chuckling to himself as if he just told the wittiest joke. Arthos sighed, and I felt his pain, having been on the receiving end of Riz’s big mouth. 

“If that is truly your only recourse, then that compromise is agreeable. Our vow is only to stop you entering from force and from gaining access. We will not be opening it further enough for you to take anything in and out.” The defeatism in Arthos’s voice was heavy, heavy enough to make me question if we wanted to go through with this, but again, Valarie was way ahead of me.
“Open up!” She said with glee, and the drawer creaked open, and stopped just as quick. This crack was a tiny silver, a hair would have found it a tight squeeze. Valarie then looked at me and reached into her bag, picking up the most important tool she had for this job. Her micro camera. Carefully, she fed it into the drawer and attached the other end to her phone, allowing us to see what it saw.

“Hope it’s worth all this! I mean, it’s a rat’s hidey hole! What you expecting to find in there? The Mona Lisa?” Aramis joked, he wasn’t taking the situation anywhere as serious as Arthos. 
The screen flickered on and revealed a unnatural darkness in the drawer. The micro-camera had a light on it, so we should have had enough to illuminate the inside, but all we got was darkness. I should point out that there was a hefty amount of wire to this camera, and at first I thought it was overkill, yet there I was feeding more and more of it in, as the camera went deeper and deeper.

“What is going on here!” I said, looking for any sign on the feed that we were reaching the bottom of the drawer, something that was so small in physical space. Valarie, for once, was lost for words, and the two of us were absorbed by what was going on, enough so that we didn’t hear the door go.
“Yer both avin fun dere?” Riz said, tapping his foot.
“Riz!” I cried out in surprise.
“What the hell are you doing back so quick!” Valarie said, annoyed.
“Yer little errand waz child’s play. Didn’t yer think I wud know sumthin waz goin on wen Alice called me up ta sort it out wen she’s got yerself fer crap like dat.” Riz took glee in explaining it to Valarie.
He then hopped onto the table and peered over where we were stood, looking down into where the drawer was ajar.
“Oi Arthos! Aramis! How long did it take ‘er ta break yers den?” 
“Sorry master Riz. She threatened us with destruction, so this seemed like a good compromise.” Arthos said.
“Get dat stick outta yer arse. I don’t see wat der fuss is bout. I’m not angry since it’s a good test of my other security measures!” Riz laughed.

“Other measures?” I think everyone else said in unison.
“Wat? Did yer think dat I’d leave it just ta der locks?” As Riz spoke, I noticed a light move past the camera on the phone screen, it was swift and moving quickly. Then I saw the same light shoot out of the drawer like an arrow. “Dere’s one of dem now! Wat’s dat one do again?” Riz said, tapping his face with his paw. The light then made a beelne for Valarie, who smiled.
“Well, guess who saw this coming! Melezour!” Saw the word loud and a Rune she held in her hands broke apart, the light bouncing harmlessly off her...And headed straight for me. Bugger. I barely had the time to mouth the word shit before the light struck me, and everything went black.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Brennan and Riz - Pandemic Blues part 3

Greetings everyone!
Back with more from everyone's favourite trio of a man, woman and talking rat. The lockdown continues and things are starting to get weirder...

Brennan and Riz: Pandemic Blues part 3

Day 5

Things were ticking along fine, Riz and Valarie had entered a sort of stalemate situation where they just didn’t speak to each other, which suited me fine really. I could do without the agro they created. This morning though, Valarie stopped me from entering the office room, instead making me wait in the hallway, as she spied through the halfway open door. I could see in her eyes that she had mischief on the mind.

“Bren, by any chance, have you seen what the inside of Riz’s drawer looks like?” She asked.
“The inside? No, but I’m not sure I’d want to, I mean it’s a rat nest, it’s probably just a giant mess that even hardened cleaners would balk at.” I’d never peeked into his drawer for that reason, frightened at what new life might be growing in there. He was constantly taking food in, and once something went in, it only rarely came back out again. On saying that, there was an exception. Books. Books, once he’d finished with them, would be exchanged. Though depending on who the books belonged to, their condition differed.

“So you’re never curious on how big that drawer is? Yesterday, I saw him haul ten volumes of Grevel’s Testament, the Heraz Codexies, and that badly translated copy of the Necronomicon you have.” Valarie said, rolling her eyes.

“That copy is still valuable! So what if every other word is misspelled....” I said in my defence. “Still, yeah, I get that his drawer wouldn’t have enough space for those books, and just those books...But he doesn’t have it open long enough to have a look!”
“Can’t you just open it when he’s not here? Or asleep? He’s not a light sleeper you know. I could go in there and play the tuba full blast, and he wouldn’t even shudder. So I doubt he’d notice if you just went in and opened his drawer.”

“If you’re so sure about that, why are we stood out here?” I pointed out, and Valarie looked at me, then sighed.
“Because it’s early and I haven’t had coffee in twenty hours.” She said, raising another question.

“Why twenty hours? I got enough of that stuff in, you’re the only one who drinks that kind. Riz goes for that stronger stuff that Alice likes.” This may seem like we were going off on a tangent, and that’s because we were.

“I haven’t touched it since I saw Riz doing...You know what, that doesn’t matter, just know that I’ve swapped his coffee supply for the stuff I would have been drinking. I may have picked up a lot from Alice, but I certainly haven’t picked up her taste for that particular blend. I did try it once and I think I didn’t sleep for two weeks. After that long you think you can see through phases of reality.”

“So not fit for human consumption?”
“Did she ever give you anything that was?”
“Touché” Valarie then remembered what we were talking about in the first place.
“...Anyway, point is, why haven’t you gone and looked in Riz’s drawer?”
“Because he uses a magic lock on it, to keep people out.”
“Even on your desk?”
“Yup, he was quite explicit on having his own personal space where he could go.”
“Never took him for one to have his own safe space.” Valarie eyed back into the office, and my desk. Her mind was now probably unravelling the mysteries of Riz’s drawer, slowly tying me up into it all, which would only end up badly for me. “Well, can’t say I’ve ever came across a lock that I couldn’t break into.” She said smiling at the challenge.

“Problem is waiting till he’s not around. That tends to be when he goes off drinking with the old gods. I think even they are in lockdown, or at least the places they’d end up are closed because of it.”

“That is a problem...Must be something we can do, a way to get him to leave that drawer unoccupied.” The way she was going on, it almost seemed like there was an ulterior motive going on behind the scenes, driving her to want to uncover Riz’s secret space. Then I saw a twisted smile cross her face, no doubt an idea had entered her mind. She then went into my room, and looked at the calendar. “Perfect...” She muttered to herself. Then she turned back to me, her smile, her normal joyous one again. “I’ll take care of everything. Tomorrow, we’ll expose the secrets of that drawer, and whatever the rat is hiding in there.”

“Oh boy.” I absent mindedly muttered.
“What?”
“Just that every time you talk like that, it normally ends up bad time for me. Like that time with the Gnomes, or that time where you got us to take on that Demon. Not to mention all those other jobs where you’ve basically used us as bait.” I can still hear the calls of the Gnomes on those still days near a forest, where there’s a low wind, low enough to carry the voices of the little people.

“Did I or did I not pay you well for those jobs? Plus on some of those jobs, it was Riz who was the bait, you just stupidly put yourself between him and the danger. Can’t be blamed for that.” She shrugged.
“Well, yeah you paid very well, but my point is that, well, the smile of yours leads to trouble. Specially for me.”

“Come on Bren, I wouldn’t put you in any trouble I didn’t know if you could get yourself out of.” She said seductively, and I felt my temperature starting to rise, as she leaned forward. Let’s face it, we all know what happened here. Didn’t do anything to ease the bad feeling I was having about the impending drawer job...

Monday, 13 April 2020

Brennan and Riz - Pandemic Blues part 2

Greetings one and all!

I'm back today with the next installment of Brennan and Riz: Pandemic Blues.

Hope you enjoy!

Brennan and Riz: Pandemic Blues

Day 3

Well things didn’t last long. Yesterday consisted of me trying to keep the peace as thing escalated between Riz and Valarie. Starting off with small snipes at each other. Then I tried to separate them, which worked for maybe an hour, then I had a bright idea that sadly backfired. Dungeons and Dragons. I suggested that to pass the time, we start a game. My thinking had been that maybe taking them away from themselves would be the perfect way to get them along.

“Dungeons and Dragons? Yer kiddin me?” Riz asked pointedly. “Dis is really her idea isn’t it?” He said pointing at Valarie that was already deep in the player’s guide. She was still paying keen attention to what he was saying though, as evidenced by what she said next.
“Riz, if this was my idea, you’d already have a class chosen, the worse stats imaginable, and a way to force you into the game world to live like hat. I sadly don’t have that power so, you know, be thankful!” That should have been my first warning that something was going to go badly wrong with this idea. I was being too optimistic...
“Fine I’ll try it, jus don’t expect me ta cosy up ta her if she’s supposed to be my partner in dis!”
“That’s the beauty of this Riz, you can role play as a complete bastard if you really want to. I’d just rather you didn’t...” I said, unable to get out of the corner I knew I was backing into.

“Jus yer wait nd see...Ey! Giv me dat book!” Riz bounced onto the floor, then chased after Valarie to get the handbook off her.
An hour later, I’d gotten them both to do their character sheets. I was eager to get playing so I just wanted the essentials filling out. Riz insisted that his character was a rat who had been transformed by a wizard, for being too much of a hunk and sex god. He then went into great detail about his characters exploits, sounding like a kid who knew what sex was just because he’d seen a dodgy video down his mates house, on a black and white TV. It gets hard to humour him when he gets like this. So when they were both finally ready, I started them off on what I’d hoped would be their sprawling adventure. I went for a classic approach, easing them into things.

“You’re in a cave, it’s dark and dank. What do you do?”
“Well, I take my guns nd start firing wildly inta der darkness!”
“You can't do that!” Valarie said, tapping his crudely drawn character sheet. It would have taken handwriting experts years to have been able to decipher it, when I looked at it, I’d thought that Riz had deliberately wrote it that way so he could claim it said something different when ever he was challenged. I was half right.

“Of course I can do dat! I’m der Rivera Rat! Toughest desperado in dese lands! I can shoot bullets out of air.”
“You’re a rogue you twit! You made a big fuss over not having he right skills to steal so Brennan let you re-roll in the right class!” Valarie countered.
“I don’t care! I’m keepin ma guns, can’t be a desperado wit out dem!”
“Your not supposed to be a desperado anyway. We’re doing a swords and sorcery campaign.”
“Dat’s stuff’s borin. I’m tryin ta mak it interesting! If yer lived thru dat age you’d be doin der same as me!” There went Riz, off on a tangent that mattered to no one but himself. I face planted the desk behind the games master screen. All I wanted was a nice game with no arguments, but I wasn’t even going to get that.

“Riz your missing the point! Your supposed be someone you’re not, get a feel for what it’s like in someone else’s shoes! You know, so maybe you won’t be a massive arsehole.” Valarie said, idly playing with the dice.
“I know wat it’s like in other peoples shoes, I jus don’t care! I wanna play dis game my way, or I’m not playin.”
“If that’s your attitude then you can go get eaten by the first encounter for all I care.”
“Y wud I? Ave yer seen my gear, it’s der best! Nuthin is gunna get past me. I’ll show yer. Come on Bren! Get did party started!” At that, I jolted back up right.

“Oh we’re still playing? Great. So yeah, you’re in a cave and you hear the sound of feet coming up behind you.”
“Rite, I’m gunna turn around, nd take dem all on! You’ll see Val, I’ll blast dem all ta pieces.”
“Be my guest, I’m going to hang just behind, ready to clean up the mess.” Valarie gave me a sly look, I swear what happened next was a mix of luck, and frustration with Riz. How she knew any of that was going to go down, I’ve learned is one of life’s many mysteries.

“Okay, Riz, roll for your first attack then, I’m guessing you’re just going to fire as soon as you see the first creature.”
“Yer bet, I’m gunna hit watevar it is dead in der hed.” Riz picked up the dice, sniffed it, and rolled. He got a 1. Valarie’s laugh haunted me for the next few nights. “Wat’s dat mean?” Riz asked me, in his confusion.
“It means you screwed up. Roll again, for damage and we’ll see what the backfire does to you.” I said as calmly as I could.

“Alritey...” He rolled again, and rolled a twenty. Valarie was in utter hysterics. I had no choice but to work with this. I want to say that I had no bias in what happened next, but that would be an utter lie.
“Well Riz, your gun backfires and the bullet hits you point blank in the head, right between your eyes. You go down with a thud, as the two goblins trample you.”
“Wat?”
“Your dead Riz, and you have goblins dancing on your body.” Valarie tapped on the table to illustrate her point.
“Actually, the goblins weren’t hostile, they were running from something else.” I started to explain.
“I’m out, enjoy yer rubbish. Any game which I don’t win is pointless. I’m goin fer a nap.” With that Riz stormed off to his drawer, hopped inside and then slammed it shut.

“Well that was fun.” Valarie said.
“I know” As I looked over the now useless notes I’d made for the campaign that would never be played again.
“Cheer up Bren, maybe there’s some other kind of role play we could do...” Valarie said, with a wink that was a clear invitation.
“What did you have in mind...” I said.
“Why don’t you roll and find out.” I fumbled the dice as I hastily grabbed them, and then eagerly rolled. I got a 1. Crap.

To be continued...

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Brennan and Riz - Pandemic Blues part 1

Okay, so I've not been updating this blog as often as I should and perhaps I should explain where I've been. There's a lot that's happened (Harvey Duckman Presents volume 3, 4 and the Xmas special have all been released! So there is more stories to dive into there.) A Boy and a Rat is finished and now lies with the Publisher. I completed Nanowrimo within 18 days! (that was hard work but Valarie has a first draft of her solo Novella!) and I still haven't written any more of Orphan's War.

I promise that I'll round back to pick up on those things but for now, let me make if up to you all with... Some exclusive Brennan and Riz fiction, a little something I like to call Pandemic Blues...


The Strange Tales of Brennan and Riz
Pandemic Blues

Day 1

Waking up to the first day of Lockdown was just like every other day, except, you know, not being able to leave the office. I was lucky in the sense that we had just had a decent enough paying gig, so money wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t a boon, like we couldn’t get crazy and bombard Amazon with purchases but it would be okay. 

Getting up I noticed I was the only one awake, Riz had drunk himself asleep last night, on learning that the Lockdown was happening, and it was trapping him with me...and Valarie. Yeah, I probably should have mentioned in the first place, Valarie was stopping over, and with the Lockdown, it didn’t make any sense for her to go home, so with me she stayed. This led Riz to drink. We fled to bed early, as with Riz drinking came something even more heinous. Riz doing karaoke. If you ever loved the songs of the rat pack, never let him sing them to you. It’d be enough to make you tear your own ears off.

I was left alone for the first few hours of the day, Valarie was sleeping in, and Riz was sleeping off his excess. I started to work out what I was going to do to keep myself occupied for the time I’d be spending here. I had shelves that hadn’t been organised since I moved in, my book shelf really needed going over, and reading of course. A groan disrupted my train of thought, as Riz hauled himself from his drawer, like a zombie breaking through the earth.
“Sumone, ne one! I know sumone out dere owes me sumthin! Get rid of dis headache!” He called out.

“Hungover much?” I said teasingly. Seeing Riz like this, I guessed I should have been nice to him, but considering how much of a bastard he his when I’m ever in that state, being nice to him was the last thing on my mind. “Want me to play some nice soothing heavy metal? I heard Cradle of Filth is a good way to get rid of a headache.”
“You dare...Y did I drink like dis again?” Riz asked, his memory being shot to pieces by all the shots he did.

“Maybe it was because of little old me?” Valarie said, swaggering into the office room. Her finger on her lips as she feigned a sense of innocence.
“Sumone, ne one! Get me more booze ta put up wit dis!” Riz screamed out, holding his head in his paws.
“Oh come on Riz, maybe with all this time, we can finally bury the hatchet. I mean we are going to be stuck together for...” She started counting on her fingers, each one adding insult to injury. “Three weeks at least. Probably more.”
“Yer can of course go nd F-”
“Riz! I’m shocked and appalled that you’d use such language!” Valarie then turned to me, that mischievous glint in her eye. “Want me to wash his mouth out with some soap?” In order to survive this Lockdown, I was going to have negotiate some kind of ceasefire with these two, there was no way I could put up with this for three weeks. Or more.

“Look, you two are going to have to learn to get along! We’re all stuck here with each other till this virus calms down. So I don’t want either of you antagonizing the other okay!” I gave each of them a stern look, but I don’t know how much that stuck.
“Fine Bren, watevar yer say. If she screws wit me tho, I’m not swearin off startin war wit ‘er!” Riz said, pointing his finger at her. “Nd if we get dat far, I’m not afraid ta go nuclear!”
“I’m fine with that Bren, I can be reasonable and calm.” Riz’s outburst gave Valarie the perfect way to get back at him, and without looking like she was winding him up. Riz was going to respond, but I shot him a look, and he backed off.
“I’m headin bak ta bed...” Riz crawled back into his drawer, leaving Valarie the victory, though sadly, this was just the first salvo, in their little war.

A few hours later...

Riz did resurface, still grumbling about what was going on, but he wasn’t throwing himself in the lions mouth by hurling insults at Val. Naturally, discussion turned to the threat facing the world, one that for the first time in a while, wasn’t supernatural. That didn’t stop the conspiracy theories though.
“I don’t know which theory is more stupid.” I groaned, staring at my phone. “The one that it was a bio weapon but a pretty crap one. Or the one where it’s because of those 5G towers.” Riz rolled his eyes, and Valarie just laughed it off.
“Bren, you know people will look at things like that for comfort. In a world where people have control over very little, getting to blame something for the big things like this is a way for them to feel in control.” Valarie reasoned. “It’s no different then when people suffer awful coincidence and become convinced that someone is to blame for all their misfortune.”
“I know yer took dat job from us! Stop pretending yer didn’t!” Riz burst out.
“Riz, just drop it. The guy was an ass anyway.” I replied.
“But der money Bren! Jus think of der money it waz!” Seeing that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with that, Riz refocused on what we had been talking about. “Plus conspiracy theories help dem ta avoid der real truth, dat Mother Nature cud create sumthin dat cud wipe dem all out if she really wanted. Dis is jus ‘er messin around. Tho, bein a rat, I’m immune to it ne way, so...sucks ta be u guys.”
“The way you speak about Mother Nature, you make her sound like a real intelligence, instead of just a personification of the planet.” Valarie said, she was busy building a house of cards on the floor in front of the desk.

“Yer know, dere is sum Unseeley Fae who do believe dat. I’ve seen dem before prayin fer her ta tak action against ‘umankind. I’ve also seen sum who took dere faith a bit too far, if yer know wat I mean.” I said the worse thing here.
“No, I don’t know what you mean.”
“Well, wen a Fae is so stupid nd thins der planet loves ‘im, nd he loves der planet. He’ll get nekkid nd start ta..”
“Okay, I’ve heard enough. Stop it.”
“Gud call, jus thikin of der mental image is enuff ta giv me der creeps.”
“You are a creep Riz, so that means it must have been bad.” Valarie grinned.
“Don’t make me bite yer” Riz bared his teeth at her.
Seems like no matter what I did, these two were always going to find a way to get at each other...

To Be Continued.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Crossing The Tees 2019 Entry – A Post Mortem

Happy Blog Day Everyone!


So this weeks topic is a bit more...sombre. I felt like it was the right thing to do, meaning a post-mortem on my failed entry to the 2019 Crossing the Tees Short Story contest. It had been my original intention to post the story itself here as well, but given it’s 3000 word length, it would have made this blog even longer then it is now! Anyway, onto the Weekly Briefs.

Weekly Briefs


Harvey Duckman Presents…Volume 3


We’re now in September, and you know what that means...Volume 3 of Harvey Duckman is round the corner! Yes, Volume 3 launches next month in October, and I’ll of course be sharing pre-order information with you all when I have it. I will tease you all with a five word explanation of the story...

Brennan, Riz, Valarie hate clockworks...Mysterious eh?

Don’t forget, if you write Steampunk, Fantasy, Sci Fi or Horror (or a mix of the genres), then feel free to submit your work to this growing anthology! Click here for submission guidelines.

Brennan and Riz – A Boy and A Rat


With Chapter 26 finished, things are looking a little better for this to be finished before November as the story is virtually writing itself at this point. Which is a good thing as my workload keeps increasing!

Creator Chaos


Good news everyone! We record this coming Sunday! That is if all goes according to plan and we'll be accompanied by a special guest! Wonder who? Well my lips are sealed. Just know they are a wonderful strong person with two excellent books to her name...All with be revealed soon.

A reminder of who the rest of Creator Chaos are:

Me – I don’t think I need to explain myself…

Kelvin Rodriguez – Fans and followers of the #vss365 tag will recognize this fellow and his creations, a master of the pun. He also has a mighty fine singing voice.

Zack Brooks – Author of the ‘Charlie the Cupid’ shorts and ‘The Trials of Amaford” novellas, the audio book version of ‘How Not To Be A Rogue’ is out now! This is a perfect chance to get in on this series, with a great narrator. A great guy and the defacto leader of our rabble.

Pete Hartog – Author of the novel Bloodlines, and currently working on its sequel. A great guy with a great taste in music and a fantastic name. He also has a blog you can find here, give it a read! He’s currently working on a sequel to Bloodlines.

Click here to listen to all the podcasts so far and look out for us on Spotify and Apples Music Service!

Vector Unit Regen Orphan’s War


Did I say September? Silly me, I must have meant October! Finding time to work on this is very difficult at the moment. So I’m just going to go ahead and say, I’ll be working on it, when I’m working on it.

To catch up on the series so far, click here!

Brief Mention


Liking what you’re hearing about Brennan and Riz? Click here to look at the short story collection of their adventures so far!

Looking for newer stuff?

Click here to order ‘The Yeti in the Snow’, the standalone Brennan and Riz Christmas story. Only available on Kindle. It may be collected in a paperback version in the future.

Click here to order Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 1 which includes ‘A Walk Through The Pleasure Gardens’

Click here to order Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 2 which includes ‘The Black Cat on the Prowl’

Click here to find me on Goodreads

And now…time for our main feature presentation…

Crossing The Tees 2019 Entry – A Post Mortem


Have you ever had that cockiness that just because something has gone a certain way two years in a row, that it will a third year? That feeling where you don’t want to say it out loud because you know how much of an idiot it will make you look, but believe it anyway? Yeah, until the other day, that was me and the Crossing the Tees Short Story Competition. Ever since I handed my entry in, I’ve had the deeply rooted belief that I was going to get short listed, and that this year would finally be my year, and I may of actually won the thing.

Well, fate had other plans for me, and like Icarus flying too close to the sun, I came crashing back down to the ground. The email saying I didn’t make the short list devastated me more then I cared to admit. I laughed it off in public but was driven crazy in private.

Unable to see why I wasn’t chosen, I went back to the entry and read it again. This time, it’s flaws were open for all to see and my failings clear. The basic premise was a guy sets off from home one night, planning to kill himself by jumping into the River Tees. Before that though, he does a lap of honour of sorts, going to old locations from his life and seeing ghosts act out scenes. The scenes are childhood memories, forcing him to revisit old events. This has the effect of forcing him to change his mind about ending his life.

This was a very personal matter for me, and as such, the childhood events were ones that are based on my own, and it lays bare my desire, that at one point, I wanted to end my own life. You’d think that based one these factors that the story would have been a must read in the making, something that could life the lid on mental health awareness. Why didn’t it turn out that way?

Let’s break it down shall we:

First off, the draft as it was written, didn’t get a proper time in editing, because that draft was only finished a few hours before deadline. This should not happen. Ideally, you want to have the story finished a fair few days before it’s due to be in, in order to let you edit all the kinks out, and allow it to be the best draft it could possibly be. Would have finishing earlier helped this? No.

Next the story I started writing about a week before the deadline, was not the story I entered, it wasn’t even the second one. My first idea was similar but had a more of a ‘It’s a wonderful life’ vibe, with the main character going through with the plot and ending up in the afterlife were he revisits memories, in the first instances to prove his own points, and then another being using them to counter them, to ultimately prove that he has a life worth living. This would have then sent him back to the moments before he jumped off the bridge, allowing him to go home again. I just couldn’t get a grasp on the story, everything was feeling flat and it was just unworkable.

The next idea is one that I genuinely want to work on at some point, and that’s a story where social media has taken over the world. The problem I had while working on that story was, well, the story. There wasn’t one. This led me to abandon it, and look over the first idea again, but altering it. Of course this is how the story turned into the third draft, and it’s problems set into stone.
So what other problems did I have? Well the story...just isn’t good. Looking back at critically, it was amongst my weakest stories. The pacing is all over the place, the events unconvincing...even considering there’s ghosts involved. The ending as well, was rushed.

End of the day, I admit I wrote it, I’m never going to shy away from it. Instead I’ll keep going forward, and use what I learned doing this and from tearing it apart. This is the only way I’ll learn.

That’s all for this time folks, next time, I’ll have another short story set in the Drache Arm Luna universe, as I work to grow their world. Till then, keep writing!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Drache Arm Luna - Sand and Bone

Happy Blog Day Everyone!


So another fortnight rushes by, but with it, another short story exclusively to this blog. Once again it falls in my fantasy setting. Though elsewhere, I’m probably biting off more then I can chew in terms of how many things I’m working on. Aside from A Boy and A Rat, I’m also working on my Brennan and Riz Christmas story and a new short story for a Short Story competition that my publisher is working on. Then there’s the planning I’m doing for Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 4 and of course NaNaoWriMo, that omnipresent spectre in the background. I have to make sure Valarie is up for that. Am I crazy for working on all these? Possibly, but it keeps me busy, which can never be a bad thing. Anyway, without further ado, let’s move on to the Weekly Briefs.

Weekly Briefs



Harvey Duckman Presents…Volume 3


We’re now in September, and you know what that means...Volume 3 of Harvey Duckman is round the corner! Yes, Volume 3 launches next month in October, and I’ll of course be sharing pre-order information with you all when I have it. I will tease you all with a five word explanation of the story...

Brennan, Riz, Valarie hate clockworks...Mysterious eh?
Don’t forget, if you write Steampunk, Fantasy, Sci Fi or Horror (or a mix of the genres), then feel free to submit your work to this growing anthology! Click here for submission guidelines.

Brennan and Riz – A Boy and A Rat


Another chapter is finished for this, and by my reckoning (Which could be off by 2 either way) there’s about five chapters left, four for the prequel portion. The ending is insight and I’m terrified by how much from the planning this story had deviated. I let Brennan and Riz loose and this is what happens, they take my careful planning and toss it to the wind. Just to remind every one, it was chapter 25 that was finished, and that I’m a quarter of the way through chapter 26. I just hope everyone enjoys this, as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.


Creator Chaos


Wondering when our next episode records? It should be soon, a series of unforeseen circumstances have prevented us from recording as normal the past few weekends, and as a group we feel it better to record when all of us are present, not wanting to leave anyone out or left behind. We’re still together though, and still have plans for the guest writers, you’ll just have to be patient and bear with us a little while longer! It’ll be worth it.
A reminder of who the rest of Creator Chaos are:
Me – I don’t think I need to explain myself…
Kelvin Rodriguez – Fans and followers of the #vss365 tag will recognize this fellow and his creations, a master of the pun. He also has a mighty fine singing voice.
Zack Brooks – Author of the ‘Charlie the Cupid’ shorts and ‘The Trials of Amaford” novellas, the audio book version of ‘How Not To Be A Rogue’ is out now! This is a perfect chance to get in on this series, with a great narrator. A great guy and the defacto leader of our rabble.
Pete Hartog – Author of the novel Bloodlines, and currently working on its sequel. A great guy with a great taste in music and a fantastic name. He also has a blog you can find here, give it a read! He’s currently working on a sequel to Bloodlines.
Click here to listen to all the podcasts so far and look out for us on Spotify and Apples Music Service!

Vector Unit Regen Orphan’s War


Still on hiatus, but all being well I should be able to resume it September going forward. It’ll probably be a fortnightly release schedule but I do want to see this story finished.

To catch up on the series so far, click here!
 

Brief Mentions


Liking what you’re hearing about Brennan and Riz? Click here to look at the short story collection of their adventures so far!
Looking for newer stuff?
Click here to order ‘The Yeti in the Snow’, the standalone Brennan and Riz Christmas story. Only available on Kindle. It may be collected in a paperback version in the future.

Click here to order Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 1 which includes ‘A Walk Through The Pleasure Gardens’

Click here to order Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 2 which includes ‘The Black Cat on the Prowl’
Click here to find me on Goodreads
And now…time for our main feature presentation…

Drache Arm Luna – Sand and Bone


The desert sun seemed to stretch the land into a mirage of never ending sand. Adarnis led his camel over the dunes, seemingly going forward with no destination in mind, but he knew exactly where he was going. He’d come into this no mans land, for not one of the surrounding countries had claimed it as their land, pretending to squabble over it when other nations looked it over, finding it an oddity that there would be a place unconquered. It had been claimed though. Adarnis placed an open palm around the amulet that hung around his neck, a bone fragment with a crystal filling that glowed with the warmth of sands.

He had travelled this far, following a personal mission, and now he was going to return the amulet to it’s rightful place, as per the rules of the Bone Clan, the true masters of the region. Having hailed from Ar-Zan, he was well aware of the history of the region, the constant struggles to survive in the arid terrain, and how the ancestors survived through the power and protection of the Bone Drache. Then came the Drache Sundering and the region was separated into the three countries, Ar-Zan, Drachen, and Mir-Tain.

The outside world believed that these three nations, would sooner fight each other then look outward, but the truth was much different. Really, the Bone Clan held the reigns of control of the leaders of the countries and kept their homeland uncontested. Adarnis had to suffer many a trial before he was allowed to properly join the Clan, and prove himself worthy. He stopped the camel so he could gain his bearings and watched the mirages in the distance, the sands rising and falling like tides in the ocean. It was almost midday, the time when he would have thought about resting, but he wasn’t far now from the Tomb, his destination. As he got the camel to move, he spotted bones that had been bleached by the constant sunlight, all the flesh long since picked clean by carrion.

He made a sign of respect for the dead, and then examined it closer, traces of clothes clung to the body, but there was no sign of where they poor soul had come from but whoever it was, a motive wasn’t hard to guess. He heard the rumours himself, and chuckled at how outlandish some of them had been. Stories of evil Vizers leading rituals to raise world ending demons, child sacrifices, all manners of stories told be those who wanted nothing more then a reason to hate those from the region. Adarnis’s job as a mercenary for hire didn’t help these fears, and he knew he was walking in the stereotypes of all those in the Bone Clan. Yet this was what his people wanted. As it caused overs to underestimate them. This was evident when people from the other countries came to visit, and found not, savages and blood dealers, but cities and art, a culture whose work had already existed for a thousand years by the end of the Drache Age.

No one seemed to glimpse the reality of the Bone Clan behind fearsome warriors, that they would be capable of artists and poets, of builders and craftsman who had freedom to develop their talents. Adarnis himself was originally destined for a role as a trader, from a wealthy family, but turned his back on it, wanting to do something for fitting within himself. That is what led him to this land all those years ago, before the sand got into his weathered skin and fatigue and horrors of war turned his hair grey. How many times had he done this ritual now, he’d struggled to remember but this trek was always familiar to him.

Another hour passed but he finally stood in the shadows of a great rift in the ground, turning it into a canyon, which hid the most holy place for the Bone Clan. To illustrate this, it had but a simple name. Tomb. Although he had seen no one repeating his voyage or coming back the other way, Tomb was a hive of activity, as thousands prepared for war and praying accordingly. What he would do, like all others who had returned from war previously, would help the C;lan rise even higher. He made his way into the inner sanctum, and stood before colossal doors. He took off the Bone Amulet and held it aloft. The doors started to creak open and he slipped through, taking in the awe and majesty of the sight in front of him. Sitting on a stone throne, chiselled from the bedrock by people more skilled then anyone around today, sat the perfectly preserved bones of the Bone Drache itself. One of his hands reaching out, wanting to reclaim what was once lost.

Adarnis walked to the hand, and took off his amulet, and carefully placed it within one of the crevice inside the bony hand. There was a light and a surge that ran the length of the giant skeleton, and a pair of eyes that seemed to flash into life, before flickering off again. Adarnis had completely the task of returning each Amulet that is lent out, each one being part of the Bone Drache, and being integral to it’s resurrection. Adarnis then handed over all his treasure that he had accumulated, so that the elixir could be finally finished, and the Bone Drache could live again. What would seem like a tall story to most people, was a way of life here, and hence why so many heard the call to battle and threw themselves in to the fight, wanting to work towards their Drache, helping to secure a resurrection.

That’s what many people never realised about this land, and why so many died trying to uncover it. Just like the shifting sands, the people who lived here have done so for longer then any one knew possible. They had belittled the sand, thinking nothing of the hardships ahead, assuming everything is as it first appears. Yet, the sand was able to overcome the biggest obstacles, and hide entrances. Adarnis then made the offering of sand, pouring it the Bone Amulets. Like the sand, he would be back here soon, he could still fight, and there was much to do in order to win.
---
Well that’s all for this week, I don’;t know yet if we’ll be back on a weekly schedule net time or if it will be fortnightly but either way, have a good time and keep writing!

Friday, 6 September 2019

Drache Arm Luna – A Tale

Happy Blog Day Everyone!

While here I would normally talk about what...I’m talking about today...I thought it be best to explain last weeks absence and why this is going up on a Friday and totally not a Wednesday like I’ve lead you all to believe is the normal blog day. First off, I’m alive and this blog is alive so any talk (even if it is the hushed whisper of that nagging feeling that you should of read something on a Wednesday but didn’t) of me giving up the blog or shuffling off my mortal coil is scandalous lies. Instead I didn’t blog last week as I took a holiday, not a literal one as my personal life is a bit too hectic for that, but one where I sat back and enjoyed the chaos of the last week of the school holidays.

Now as for why this one is going up later, well it should have been up on the usual day but I had to go and have a panic attack which meant my better half sent me to hospital worried about how bad my breathing had gotten, so yeah...Rest assured I’ll be back up to full speed soon (or what passes for my full speed) There may be weeks where I won’t post a blog but that’ll either be due to my poor time management skills or because I’m nearing the end of a Boy and a Rat, and I really want that finished before NaNoWriMo turns up, as I’ve got a dozy of a project lined up this year...

Anyway, I’ve done something special for this weeks blog, I’ve written a short (emphasis on the short) story set in my Drache Arm Luna story setting, marking it as the first piece of fiction I’ve ever wrote for it (barring a couple of tweets), of course, we need to get the Weekly Briefs out of the way.

Weekly Briefs


Harvey Duckman Presents…Volume 3


We’re now in September, and you know what that means...Volume 3 of Harvey Duckman is round the corner! Yes, Volume 3 launches next month in October, and I’ll of course be sharing pre-order information with you all when I have it. I will tease you all with a five word explanation of the story...
Brennan, Riz, Valarie hate clockworks...Mysterious eh?
Don’t forget, if you write Steampunk, Fantasy, Sci Fi or Horror (or a mix of the genres), then feel free to submit your work to this growing anthology! Click here for submission guidelines.

Creator Chaos


So the new All About Me featuring Kelvin has been released and it seems to have done really well! If you haven’t listened to it yet then what are you waiting for?
Guest Writers have already been contacted to star in forthcoming normal podcasts, so you’ve got some great content to look forward to, we just need to sit down and record them!

A reminder of who the rest of Creator Chaos are:

Me – I don’t think I need to explain myself…

Kelvin Rodriguez – Fans and followers of the #vss365 tag will recognize this fellow and his creations, a master of the pun. He also has a mighty fine singing voice.

Zack Brooks – Author of the ‘Charlie the Cupid’ shorts and ‘The Trials of Amaford” novellas, the audio book version of ‘How Not To Be A Rogue’ is out now! This is a perfect chance to get in on this series, with a great narrator. A great guy and the defacto leader of our rabble.

Pete Hartog – Author of the novel Bloodlines, and currently working on its sequel. A great guy with a great taste in music and a fantastic name. He also has a blog you can find here, give it a read! He’s currently working on a sequel to Bloodlines.

Click here to listen to all the podcasts so far and look out for us on Spotify and Apples Music Service!

Vector Unit Regen Orphan’s War

Still on hiatus, but all being well I should be able to resume it September going forward. It’ll probably be a fortnightly release schedule but I do want to see this story finished.
To catch up on the series so far, click here!

Brief Mentions


Liking what you’re hearing about Brennan and Riz? Click here to look at the short story collection of their adventures so far!
Looking for newer stuff?

Click here to order ‘The Yeti in the Snow’, the standalone Brennan and Riz Christmas story. Only available on Kindle. It may be collected in a paperback version in the future.

Click here to order Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 1 which includes ‘A Walk Through The Pleasure Gardens’

Click here to order Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 2 which includes ‘The Black Cat on the Prowl’

Click here to find me on Goodreads

And now…time for our main feature presentation…

Drache Arm Luna – A Tale


The climb had been difficult but Noire had to see it to the end. He’d left his supply bag a few branches back, in the hopes that no wild beast nabbed it, so unburdened, he made his way further up. He couldn’t have told anyone why he decided to climb that tree today, he just saw how high it went through the canopy, and knew he had to see the view. Daring to look down, he gulped at seeing the speck that had been the foxes burrow, what first drew attention to the tree, it was barely visible through the foliage but there it was. He steeled himself and started again. Today was supposed to have been his Lunar Ascension ceremony, where all the village would come and honour the fifteenth anniversary of his birth, and mark his first step in understanding the Luna Drache, the patron dragon of his nation. He had blown it off though, as it had been forgotten in the rush of the news that the Prime Minster and his council were passing through, on their pilgrimage to the Crucible mountain range, supposedly the site where the Luna Drache first made contact with the native people of this land.

When the leaders arrived, everything else was to be forgotten and their needs attended to. It was their solution to just push his ceremony back to whenever it could land. Noire didn’t want to wait around and pretend to fawn over his erstwhile peers, so he came out to the forest north of his village, where he felt at ease, and knew he could shout out his anger. In deed there was a lot of shouting in the time between his arrival in the forest and him deciding to climb the tree.

His grip slipped and he fell backwards, but was saved by luck, his leg getting caught between two thick branches, he was in incredible pain, but he was alive at least. He just hung there for a moment, testing fate to see if his fortune was just momentarily but the branches held. He didn’t know how long it took for him to right himself and get back to where he fell, but the sun had shifted in the sky, getting lower to the west. It wasn’t quite sunset yet though. Keeping a better eye on his climb, he continued upwards till he reached the roof of the canopy, and pressed on beyond. The view had been worth it. He wasn’t fully clear yet of the other trees, but already he could see a carpet of green spread out around him, leading into the growing hills and the mountains beyond.

He steadied himself and looked around, a flock of small dragonlings flew past on their way to their roosting grounds in the peaks. He turned his gaze back to the south, towards his village, and spotted it easily enough, with smoke coming from the many chimneys, next to it, he saw the farming fields, barren from the recent harvest. This was his home, despite his parents claim that the nation of Lunaris was his home, no matter which house he lived in. Everyone he knew back in the village had settled there from some where else, and then expecting their kids to move on, spreading their community and linking the whole nation to each other. Strength through unity, that was the Lunar Clan’s motto, and was emblazoned on every town hall in every village as far as Noire knew. The tall steeple of the hall overshadowed all the other buildings, making it a beacon for those looking for a home.

Noire could have spent the whole night looking over the serene views but with Sunset imminent, it meant the temperature was also going to drop, and he hadn’t prepared for that, he thought he’d be home already. Taking one last look as the sun’s rays added an ethereal glow to the surroundings, he started to climb back down the tree, finding the decent to be just as tricky. By the time he retrieved his still intact bag, night was drawing near, and he remembered the old stories that his grandfather had told him, to make sure he didn’t play out too late, that of the Dusk Drache Gott, a dragon of night that brought darkness wherever it flew. His grandfather said that it lived as the shadows of the mountains during the day, taking flight when the sun moved. Dusk’s powers waned as the days got longer and it’s power grew in the reverse.

The stories often revolved around some unlucky hunter or cocky teenager, that dared stay out, wanting to see the Dusk Drache Gott, and were driven crazy by it. Being older now, Noire knew better then to believe in the tall tales that he had been told. He knew now why night came, and it wasn’t because of some legendary dragon that pretended to be made of shadows. Still, if ever he was out at this time, he couldn’t help but look in the direction of the mountains, always relieved that he didn’t see movement within the sky. He also knew better then to stay in the forest after dark, besides the crippling cold, as there was a few predators who adapted to the cold nights with thick fur and eyes that glowed in the dark to mesmerise and entrap their prey. Noire cut quickly down the path he trod to enter, keeping a vigilant eye behind him, not wanting to be surprised. He was almost out of the forest when there was movement behind him and golden eyes appeared, multiple sets.

He froze, and he tried to hold his breath otherwise he knew he would be panicking. The beasts got closer, he heard the thundering of their paws as they raced towards him, and then as they raced away from him. His would be predators had ignored him as they raced to get away. From what, Noire didn’t know, what he did know, was that he should probably be running as well. He was still frozen with fear though, especially when he heard the sound, a beating of wings and what light remained was drowned out by the shadow of something...something massive. The temperature drop was quick and he Noire’s body broke his fear as he hugged himself, to get some warmth. Then he looked up, and stared in to the face of something ancient, with large uncaring eyes that didn’t acknowledge Noire or his existence or probably, any existence other then it’s own.

The being then flew on, a strong wind in it’s wake. Noire fell to his knees, the enormity of what he had just seen, it had numbed him more then the cold. It was another hour before he collapsed inside his home, his parents getting ready to organise a search party of their own. Any sense they had of punishing him was forgotten as they looked at him and recognised a primal fear, one that few ever admitted to.

Noire didn’t say anything for the rest of the night, hoping sleep would rid him of the image of that visage looking down, looking through him. The Lunar Ascension ceremony was designed to help move the individual past their childhood, have them lose that innocence, if they hadn’t already, and bring them on the path to adulthood. Noire though, had lost that without needing the ceremony, whatever he’d seen took it and crushed it. Once more the tale of the Dusk Drache Gott came to his mind, and he knew his grandfather hadn’t been spinning a tale, he was warning him, and he also remembered the look on his face, something the young Noire had never taken into consideration before, that fear about the cosmic, about the powers they shared the world with, and how it was now etched on his own face. How could he have forgotten such a look? He knew well how, he didn’t want to see it in the first place.
-
Hope you enjoyed that, is this the start of something for my little fantasy universe? Maybe, I noticed that out of all my blog posts, they were very well received, more so then a lot of my other posts...Aside from my Yeti one...Till next time, keep writing!