Friday, 20 December 2013

Within The Church

Within the Church, by Josh Loomis, Jon Jefferson, Courtney Cantrell, Josée De Angelis and Mozette.

Josh wrote (201 words):
“This is never going to work.”
The witch looked over her shoulder as she drew the pentagram on the wall with red chalk. “If you have a better idea, Father, I’m all ears.”
“Believe me, I wish I had a better idea than drawing these things on the walls of my church.”
“Do I need to remind you that you’re the one that called me?”
“And if my Bishop knew, he’d probably excommunicate me faster than you can say ‘Martin Luther.’”
“He might react that way if he knew about all of the guns on the premises, too.”
Father Benjamin looked up from the shotgun he was loading. “This is America, Miss Crenshaw. Everybody has guns. Even the clergy.”
“Those are the shells we discussed?”
“Silver buckshot soaked in holy water? Yes.”
Crenshaw looked up as the pounding began on the doors. “I knew I should have started there…”
“At least they’re only coming from one direction.” Benjamin worked the shotgun’s pump action as he moved towards the door. “Finish what you’ve started. I’ll hold them off.”
“What, and let you fight it alone?” Abigail Crenshaw dropped the chalk, drawing the silver sword from her dark scabbard. “Not a chance.”
Jon wrote (198 words):
“This is as good a time as any,” Father Benjamin said. He grabbed the handle of the door and gave it a turn. He rammed his shoulder into it and slammed the door into the hall against the creatures in the hall.
They shambled as their bones clacked together. Skeletons, creatures of dark magic mobbed the hall. They weren’t just science experiments gone wrong. The bones assembled at the point of convenience.
Some had three and four arms, others had leg bones growing out of their skulls. A hodge podge of dark evil waited for Father Benjamin and Abigail to join them in the hall.
He burst into the hall blasting rounds from the shotgun into several of the skeletons near the doorway. Their bones exploded in a spray of powdery bone shards. Abigail followed his lead. Her silver sword swung in a wide arc severing bones as it swept through the group.
“Back to back,” Benjamin yelled. “Don’t let them through.” Another blast of the shotgun brought them closer to clearing out his side of the hall.
“Having fun yet deary?” she asked. The silver of her sword flashed through the skeletons that charged her en masse.
Courtney wrote (204 words):
Father Benjamin grinned. “Just like my seminary days.”
Two skeletons darted beneath sword and shotgun, circling to attack from the sanctuary end of the hallway. Abigail lunged at them.
“Crenshaw! Wait!” yelled Benjamin.
Too late. A third skeleton slid between the witch and the priest. Then a fourth. Abigail shrieked as the first two surrounded her. Benjamin took aim, but his gun gave no more than a click. Empty.
With a roar, he reversed the gun and slammed the stock into one skeleton’s head. The skull shattered, but the bones dragged at him as he thrust the barrel against the still-standing skeleton. Abigail took the head of one hellspawn pinning her to the wall. But the last one kept coming, and more poured into the hall behind Benjamin.
“I warned you not to get in my way,” said a voice.
All around them, the skeletons froze. Abigail’s cry echoed in the sudden quiet as she thrust her swordpoint through her final attacker’s skull. Together, she and Benjamin turned toward the end of the hall.
Beyond the motionless horde stood a figure in purple robes. A hood hid the face, but the skeletons’ puppetmaster was unmistakable.
“Hello, Gillian,” said Abigail.
“Hey, Abby,” came the answer.
Josée wrote
 “Long time no see” Abigail said, still holding her sword ready for attack.
“Yeah, sorry about that. You know, I’ve been busy, or I would’ve called… How’s Mom?”
“Mom?!” This from Father Benjamin. He turned sharply to Crenshaw, his prayers forgotten, his fingers loose around his cross.
“You didn’t know this, Father? Abby and I go way back. To the womb, actually.”
Gillian took a step forward. “But don’t worry. Just move away, let me get the stone and I’ll go on my merry way.”
“You were never a good loser, Gill. My spells are stronger now.” Abigail advanced, her sword held high, her other arm at her back for balance.
“This changes everything!” Benjamin cried out.
Abigail, not changing her stance, directed her words to Father Benjamin behind her but kept her eyes on Gillian: “What do you mean? Why?” Gillian chuckled. Yes, she chuckled, a frosty, chilling chuckle. Her skeletons waited for her orders.
“There’s a reason why I asked you here, Ms. Crenshaw. It had to be a Crenshaw witch for this to work. Now I know why.” Gillian’s cold, loud laugh shook the hall and the skeleton bones rattled.

Mozette wrote 262 words

Benjamin glanced at the remaining skeletons.  They waited for their next command from Gillian, but he wondered if Abigail could also command them.

“Oh put down that piece of metal, sister.  We can work this together.” Gillian’s eyes sparkled, “After all we are twins.”

“Yeah… you’re right.”

Did he hear Abigail correctly?  She lowered her weapon to her side slowly, placed it into its scabbard, smiled at the priest and muttered an incantation under her breath.  A moment later, all the skeletons exploded into dust as though he had shot them all.

Gillian’s eyes widened, “No!”

“Like I said, my spells are a lot stronger than they used to be.” She smiled, “And, unlike you, I can walk either path of wicca – dark or light – so if you want to play… let’s play.  But you leave the stone here.”

Fear skittered across her sister’s face, “And if I want it?”

Father Benjamin and Abigail exchanged a knowing look as she spoke, “Well, you’ll have to kill me.  And you know what will happen if you do…”

Her sister’s face paled, “Oh, shit, the stone isn’t a thing, it’s a person.”

“Not exactly.” Father Benjamin shook his head, “It’s twins…sisters of opposing powers.”

“So, do you really want to collect the stone, when, by supernatural laws, we’re not even supposed to be breathing the same air unless we’re in a church?” Abigail challenged.

Gillian groaned, “Fine… I’ll leave.” She raised the hood of her cloak again and faded from sight.

Benjamin turned to Abigail, whispering, “Did we lie to her?”



Saturday, 14 December 2013

A Gifted Wizard - Part 4

Part 1 by  Andrew Linder - Part 2 by  Caitlin McColl
Part 3 by - Hana Frank  - Part 4 by yours truly

Mary loved Christmas because it was the comfiest holiday. Sitting on the floor before a modest pile of gilded presents, surrounded by family, sipping hot cocoa—hot cocoa!—she was experiencing true, Christmas bliss. She pet the cat beside her as it nuzzled her knee. Her brother handed her a perfectly wrapped gift. She reached for it, but he yanked it away, laughing. She laughed too. This happened every year. “Mom!” she said, directing her voice toward the kitchen, “Danny’s being a jerk!” But she snatched the present from him anyway and pulled at the ribbon.
Then the front door burst open and a gaunt, bearded man in ripped jeans and no shirt stumbled in. He had a large, pointy hat on his head. He glanced around at the startled faces, settling on Mary’s. She knew him, and stuttered, “U-u-uncle Martin?”

He nodded. “There’s magic afoot, niece…You’re a wizard, Mary”. Seeing her confusion, he pointed at the cat. “Look, the cat can talk now.”

She looked down at Bubbles. Bubbles looked up. “Hey,” Bubbles said.

Mary stared. “Hey.”

Uncle Martin pulled a folded up hat, like his own, from his back pocket. “Here! Take this wizard hat and follow me.”

Mary jumped up and with a glance over her shoulder at the confused faces of her family, she followed her uncle out into the crisp fall air. She wondered how he could be wandering around without a shirt when she was wearing a long sleeved sweater. Maybe wizards generated internal heat? "Wait! Hold up!" She jogged to catch up to him. "You can't just throw a crumpled pointy hat from a cheap halloween costume at someone, make the cat talk, then leave again! I have questions. Lots of them!"

"I'm sure you do," Martin said nodding with brief glance at Mary as he kept walking.

"Like, did everyone else just hear Bubbles talk back then? Or do they think you're crazy for bursting in like that. They probably think I'm crazy now too!"

"No, they can't, just you can. ‘Cuz you're a-"

"You're a wizard Harry!" Mary said in her best mock-Hagrid voice. "I'm not friggin’ Harry Potter, Uncle. I’m a thirty three year old nursing student from Portland, not some kid in a story book with a magic wand!” She grabbed Martin’s arm and turned him to face her. “Seriously, Uncle. What’s going on?”

"There's a problem. And we need you."

"Me?" Mary let go of his arm. "Look, whatever this is about, I'd love to help. Really. But shouldn't you get a more experienced wizard?"
Martin didn't answer. His eyes were lifted to the sky. 

The faint sound of jingling bells made her turn and look up. Huge clouds parted to reveal a team of reindeer pulling a red sled. The animals drifted down, landing beside Mary with the grace of ballet dancers.  

The head reindeer nodded at her then jerked its head at the sled. "Hey Marty. We've gotta go. Like right now dude."

"Mary." Her uncle's voice was a plea. She stood frozen, staring at the reindeer, her fingers crushing the paper wizard hat.

"The great Wizard Claus needs our help." Martin shook his head. "Something went wrong and now he can't get back into Real Time."

"Tell her about it on the way dude." This from one of the reindeer at the back.

"Yes. Yes of course." Martin held her arm, gently steered her towards the sled steps. "We've only got an hour left Mary."

Well, she decided, talking reindeer and a sled were way cooler than the magic cars Harry Potter flew in.

(My addition)

Uncle Martin didn’t wait for her to sit down as he grabbed the reins and snapped them gently, urging the eight reindeer to take flight as gently as they had landed; pushing her back into her seat.

“So, what’s the big emergency you need me for?” she heard herself ask as he steered the team up into the sky and above the cloud cover.  The sun shone blindingly bright and made the cloud tops look like meringues fresh and ready for the oven.

“Well, like Comet said, Santa is stuck in there, he’s lost his way.” He muttered, “And right now, he’s holed up in a psych ward.  He knows who he is, but the doctors are trying to make him not believe…” he looked over at her briefly, “… and you know what will happen if he stops believing in who he is, don’t you?”

Her gut turned cool, “Oh, god… Christmas will disappear forever for all the children around the world.” Her eyes wandered to the reindeer and over the gorgeous sleigh as tears pricked her eyes, “Okay, what do I have to do?”

His eyes glimmered, “Good, you’re with me on this.”

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Flash Fiction - 200 Words Part Three - The Contract

This week, it's part 3 of the Chuck Wendig flash fiction challenge.  This time I've had to pick somebody else's work yet again... thus isn't not Delmar's Fiddle... no, this one is called 'The Contract'.  Totally different genre too - sci-fi fantasy; something I used to write a million years ago! 

The link is above... just run you mouse over it, and you'll find it.  It's got part one in there too.  This link will take you straight to Urbanspaceman's site... a great writer.  He's very cool blogger in his own right too.

“How does five thousand sound?” his eyes flicked around the tavern uneasily, watching for any changes in the atmosphere.
Toops watched him carefully, knowing he would pay more if she kept quiet, “Who is after your sorry ass first, then we can see how much it’ll cost you.”
“Well…” he looked to the table, but before he could say anything else, the doors exploded inward with an explosion of light!  Four fireballs, lit the whole tavern into daylight as everyone seated fell to the floor.  Tables overturned and people scrambled for cover.  Toops didn’t fall when everyone did; instead she stood, spread her arms wide, hands open-palmed away from herself standing over her customer and their table where his body guard and I had crouched as well, “Dammit, they found me.” The man muttered.
I was so close to changing it wasn’t funny, but I had promised Toops I wouldn’t, “Exactly who did you cross?”
He looked at me horror filled his face.  My eyes were giving me away as to what I was, “Um…” he looked away without answering me.
“A Warlock.” His body guard said.
“Well, no shit.  Who?” I asked, “We need a name.”

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Delmer's Fiddle - Part Two

Seeing this week is going to be a very busy one for me... I thought to finish this exercise now instead of forgetting about it  and regretting I hadn't done it.

Delmer's Fiddle - Part One

Okay... here's the thing:  you can't see the link above with the black background.  Just move your mouse over the gap between the first paragraph and this one, and you'll see it .  Now, we're on the same page - so to say - you can now read parts one and two at your leisure. So, here's the first 200 words I chose of somebody else's work.  I don't like the content, but it grabbed me immediately and my imagination wouldn't let it go. 

Six months passed by and Little Delmer was confined to his wheelchair, forever staring.

The doctors told his mother he’d be a vegetable for life.

She felt so much guilt about what she had done she began to drink.

Her sadness could be heard from his bedroom at night as she’d drink herself to sleep, but it wasn’t that which bothered him.

It was her crying… it sounded like a howling coyote… and Delmer would mimic her softly as he laid in his specially-designed bed unable to sleep in the deep of night.

During the day, he was situated in front of the television with it going on all the children’s shows all day. 

But he never watched it.

Delmer’s gaze would move slowly from the dancing figures on the screen to a box next to the mantle… his violin.

And he’d stare at it all day longingly…

…moving his fingertips in time with the music playing inside his head.

All day, Delmer would practice his violin in his head…

…while physically he couldn’t move a muscle.

He wanted to die…