Monday, December 16, 2013

Further continuation of Kate Bakers masterpiece....

Continuation of Kate Bakers masterpiece….worth a read…then I added to it?
by hpetterson. So this is my addition to the story...(glshade)

Here is the link back to Chuck Wendig's Terrible minds blog so you can read all the rest of the stories from this week...

We are always meant to be pregnant; we daughters of Queens. We mothers of Queens. We are destined to hold a screaming infant upon our breasts, bloodied and exhausted from delivery and rooting for sustenance. We are meant to swaddle, cuddle and coo down at our future rulers. We, the perpetual regents. 

The first daughter set foot upon Winter colony, shielded against new and foreign elements in a sealed white suit and gold-plated helmet. In the older, rarer reels, she mimics a kiss through the raised, visor, touching the glass with thickly padded and protected gloved fingers. Unfastening the bulky suit, slender and still protected hands settle upon the United Agencies logo which adorns her chest and the sewn-on identification patch. Commander Eridana has landed in her new home. In the glare of sunset, the one photographer who accompanied the journey is unable to mitigate the fading light but captures the silhouette of a now noticeable pregnancy.

We will never be called “Princess”, nor inherit any throne. Should our perfect Queens fall, we simply produce another. Some have written us into our history holos as drones, reminiscent of ancient Apis mellifera.  We are the enduring members of a hive, feeding our potential matriarchs with the royal, nanotech jelly, occasionally coveting a taste but wary of the price. 

Free of the suit, she walks to her balcony. The doors open as she nears the threshold and she paces to the edge.  A slight movement to her right catches her eye.

“Mir…there you are.” She murmurs holding her forearm aloft. The Kestrel adjusts its flight and performs a lazy chandelle, then arcs to land on her offered perch. Mir flies by the offered arm and instead circles the room slowly. The first daughter turns and just catches the disturbed image of her hawk. Mir continues and lands on her forearm, and stares into her eyes.

Yes I did notice it Mir. She looks demure showing no notice of the fact there is a invisibly cloaked person in her private chamber. A guard would be executed for such a breach.  She deftly releases the meter long microbe thin spool of nano-wire from her wrist communicator. And remembers her father’s last words.

“Your child is first, your people are second, and you are always tertiary darling….You are a Kestrel…in name and spirit. Although you are a bird in a gilded cage, never show mercy on anyone who thinks you are a songbird daughter…you are a Kestrel…a raptor of the sky….fly daughter…fly.”

Eridana knows what duty demanded feeling the weight of the garrote anchor in her palm, the off balancing weight of the child queen in her belly. Inthe periphery of her vision the cloak rustled and revealed in the passing flight of Mir settles and shifts. An assassin would have already struck, then some other princess would carry the future queen not her. Somewhere the photographer was still capturing the moment, this moment for posterity. Regent protector Commander Eridana alone in her guilted home in the ice facing the cold clean winter and an unknown assailant. Drama for the future ruler to know about herself and the woman that she would call mother. 

You are tertiary her fathers voice rang again in her head as she shook Mir away and spun in a graceful pirouette given her condition and het the weight fly. Refusing it kill was her choice. Come spring she would have enough blood on her hands. This pawn she did not want to kill. The distortion changed as the anchor sailed into it and contacted rather then passed through. Hand protecting her belly she glared at where the recording photographer was, a pose for the eyes upon her. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Joe's bar part three...

 Chuck Wendig flash Friday round robin story....

I added the part three section below to the story started by Paul is the link to the blogpost...

Fiction: Joe’s Bar (Part 2 of 5)

Part Two of Chuck Wendig’s Latest Flash Fiction Challenge. A continuation of Mr. Urban Spaceman’s story: Joe’s Bar.

“Buy me a drink,” he said, bloodshot eyes meeting mine from further down the bar, “and I’ll tell you how I broke the world.”

I gave a snort, took a long swig of my G&T, and turned my attention back to the game being shown on Joe’s decrepit TV.

“Go on,” he insisted, in a voice ravaged by years of strong alcohol. “It’ll be worth it.”

Glancing around, I looked for help, but none of the other patrons of the grotty bar were paying attention to me being pestered by the old loon, and the bartender was very focused on cleaning a glass. The old man’s eyes bored into me from beneath his dirty mop of hair, and in the dim light of Joe’s Bar I saw the dark red stains on his grey trenchcoat.

“Alright.” The game was dull anyway. “What’s your poison?”

“Scotch on the rocks.”

I nodded at the barkeep, and the old man watched hungrily as the amber nectar was poured.

“Go on then,” I prompted him. “Tell me how you broke the world.”

He took a sip of his drink, gave a happy sigh, and looked up at me with those bloodshot eyes.

“It all started in 1939…”

Part 2

“Wait,” I said. “1939? That was over two hundred years ago!”

“This is the story you paid for,” the old man grumbled. “Let me tell it.”

I nodded for him to continue.

“I could see what was coming,” he said after another sip of his scotch. “It was obvious. So I did what I did to cut it short.”

He shuddered. “I forgot about consequences. No, that’s not right; I thought about consequences, I just didn’t think they’d be this.” He waved behind us.

I glanced at the only unique feature of Joe’s–the window–and jerked my head back. Everyone looks out that window, and no one can stand the sight of the shattered planet hanging above the lunar surface for more than an instant.

I drained my drink desperately and waved at the bartender for a refill. He cocked his head at the old man and I nodded for his refill too.

“Do you believe in magic?” the old man said quietly.

“No, of course not,” I said.

He jerked his head at the window.

“That’s not magic,” I said, “that’s just physics we haven’t discovered yet.”

He snorted his derision. “That’s what everyone says, but no one has yet explained the physics.”

Part 3

Like no one has ever said that before I thought. 'So how did this start in 1939?' I regret the question once its out of my mouth. The crazy eyes catch mine over the drinks the epinomius Joe set in front of us which I coughed up for. He was the third Joe that I knew of here and the first I knew by name actaually was named Joe.

The physicists today said that in some thousands of years the old moon now home to the local remnants of humanity would have a ring of what used to be earth. A ring system that might locally rival that of Saturn.

'Physics like magic ain't a fixed point' he took a sip of his drink this time rather then downing it; scotch wasn't cheap to make so I hope he'd get to the point before my spending limit was met.

'And what's that supposed to mean?' I followed his lead and only took a sip of my drink and hoped this would at least be an interesting fantasy, one I could use he next time I was the lost one at the bar sharing bullshit for a ver needed high he at the ass end of the human race.

'Recall when the astronomers found that the universe was expanding faster then it sould have been, exponentially faster, sometime last century?'


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Last sentence .... Chuck Wendig challenge...

The demon blade no longer at his hip Yoritomo sat again looking at the white glowing eyed gaijin seated across from him, reached out and poured the demon or sorcerer sake inclined his head and smiled; the white man rolled the runed rifle shot and smiled back accepting the drink.

The challenge was to write the final sentence to a piece of flash fiction.... I have a story in mind and tries to leave enough hunts to its nature. ... I liked the challenge and it got me thinking of all kinds of things,...thanks for the inspiration Chuck...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mist Ghosts and etched arabesques.....

Hello everyone here is a bit of a story that I have honestly not finished but plan to ... Its a Dying Earth comedy with a couple elements inspired from the TerribleMinds blog frm the amazing Chuck Wendig.... Here ( )


The cold would have woke me had Juddah not been there to do it. The sun had fully set leaving the ever persistent dull brown red glow on the curve of the world. Glaring at the buzzing saucer person hoving in my face I wished it has a clue what my expression meant. 

"You need to activate the field again Cloto, I don't rightly know why you won't tell me the spell to start the rotates and heating elements"

"Yeah, yeah, how many time we been over this flying carpets don't own land no more."

I thumb the trinket in the pouch at my side as Juddah pulled away from me and took a place blotting out the ruddy sliver of the moon out making it look like there was a bloody smile just at the bottom of his bronze shell.  Thought a moment about pulling the little trigger to see what the trinket did again but ever the coward I'll still have time yet to find out its purpose.

Rolling to the side on the bedgrass I pushed myself into seated position and called up the map of the field into my thoughts. It fluttered and twisted as I called it into view and nearly expurgated last nights meal and the bottle of fine liquor. Both inner and put world spun or perhaps that was just Juddah floating off towards the vines giving things that impression. Went from sitting to a bent over catlike crouch without willing it there. I look to the side and think you know the kind of crouch. Had no audience here at the vineyard edge so swallowed both gorge and pride as I sat back down as the field machines came  into view. 

' ctun fthagt 347' the command come out of the mageside of the brain and activated the warming plants, the fans and heaters that world keep the plants alive during the long night here in the depths of third winter. 

Standing I brushed the accumulated dewice from the jerkin, kilt, pouches and scabbard I wore and walked off the now dying bedstead hoping it would seed again for the bulbs now that I went and let it freeze long enough.

"Juddah" I called, I may dislike the saucer a bit but some audience is better then none while I set out a time and let the citizens forget Cloto the jester, Cloto the actor, Cloto the singer and well also Cloto the sad, mad drunk.  Around the deep purple hillside of the valley beneath the growing ice crowd cover that came with season set here the rings of the heaters ignited feet above the orchards. Humming lowly in the thick brass ring the cycling orange fanbelt sent of wafts of harmed air and moisture, he looked forward to seeing it in the cool air as it misted and formed clouds that looked a bit like faces and people at times bent over the vines much like the migrant machine laborers that would arrive in the next picking season. 

I walked into the rig of the heaters so as not to freeze now that the moon as not constantly under the softly dying sun.

"Juddah, I ever tell you I like the moon the way it is now when you an see the blasted crater and the debris ring spreading from it...", the saucer was far across the field it once owned before all the war nonsense I could make out the silloette of it against one of the far heating globes that hovered over the field in certain spots.  Waving in front of my face I dismissed the mech-spell and cleared my third eye to see the valley more clearly. 

Motion catches my attention. "Look there, yeah right over there my hearties," I look over my shoulder expecting, well expecting my mates or and audience but its just dying grasses and growing ice behind the ring . "Ok look, me look me over there." So look I do and see the mist ghosts tending the nearer vines placing their needed moisture. One of the workers, a particularly voluptuous one twists at the waist as she bends and I see Monique there in her features before ther head lays back adainst a vine and bursts into a much less appealing shape looking moe squidly then alluring now. 

Mutely I walk on towards the home that will just have to do till the sun is pulled back into the sky again hopefully no dimmer as Hypoliom draws it on promising no harm. I mutter a prayer to the god of continuance and think about the pattern of observance here and hope I did it at the proper time. Seems I've only just gotten back here but I know I've been here longer then I intended. Pulling the trinket from my hip pouch I look at it in the dim moonslight and take a quick peek for my partner here on the farm.  A brief movement at the edge of the field says I'm free a glimpse of the supposed arsenal, Monica's consoling gift to me. Cold silver with plain engraved patterning arabesques that waver and never meet. It has no bolt or bullet, no sight nor oriface just a curved palm sized boxy affair with a trigger.  I raise it to my head and mime pulling the trigger careful to to.

Mists swirl around me tentacles at me feet and ankles and I wonder if Monica came back as a octopod somewhere, they were not unheard of.  Think again about the trigger and put the thing away before I'm tempted to see its effects up close. 

Juddah is approaching the door from the wrong angle when I reach the cabin. 

"Weren't. You ," I say leaving the participle hanging then look to the sector I'd thought I'd seen movement. There are more mist women there one motions to me. I scoff and say "I've been alone with you too long old ball."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Shared Curses....

Jun rushed across the polished wood floors, the same ones her mornings are spent bent over on her knees washing, and did the best to quiet her steps as she reached the partition. Back to it she breathed a quick breath to settle herself. Tray held before her she slid the rice paper partition aside and backed into the parlor. On the table there was a scroll unrolled and hanging from. Both sides of the table and the priestess head bowed mutters over the yellowed roll and its inked swirls.

Hair lacquered to a shine as deep as their best serving bowls the priestess had been sitting at the table and reading the scrolls in a low monotone since Jun had finished with the floors before sunrise. The pretty heart shaped face rose and the violet eyes looked through her. Her eyes were shot with red and they pointed to a position on the table away from the roll open on the table. Jun bowed quickly and placed the tea without the usual ceremony even for the devout of the faith. Jun bowed deeply was the violet bloodshot eyes focused not he hiragana of the page and the low breathy mutter returned. Jun backed to the screen and slid it shut with all ceremony.

The hall filled with the sounds drifting in from the outside. Looking to the entrance a cart stacked high with barrels was rolling by and cast a shadow down the short hallway and the bellow for Jun came from the other side of the roadside inn. She ran to the alley side exit and looked to see where her grandmother was standing near a bundle of clothing covered in brown stains. Baba slated at her and merarly pointed with the business side of her pipe and motioned away down the alley while holding her eyes on the girl.

"What obaaasan, I did not..."

She did not even look back just waved the pipe again at the pile and said something about not needing the attention the garbage would bring. Adding "let not one see you with it"

Jun wondered at the importance of a bundle of rags snatching up getta to keep her feet from getting too filthy in taking care of yet another worthless task. Get more scrolls from the temple and bring them, don't look at the soldiers, don't mention the priestess to the villagers, let me sleep, cook, be glad your not a boy, be glad your not pretty." Jun scowled at her grandmother back and crouched to gather the stained pile of fabric.

Damp from the morning dew and the rains of last night she wrung the cottn between her fingers and brownish metallic smelling water dripped from it and something within dropped to the mud. Jun held it away from her body and thought Bitch about her grandmother looking at the mud and grime on her hands.

Their little town was situated beside a fast flowing stream that lead to a river nearby and while leaving by the short Main Street she passed three ashigaru carrying a litter with a fourth with arrows stuck in his writing body. The spears they usually used to kill with had been made into the poles for the litter gleaming metal tips sticking out the ends. The one carrying the for side turned his head towards her his coned helm hiding all bet his mouth and the bottom of his nose from view. Minutes after passing the soldiers who had become so common a sight in the village these last few weeks she got to the wooden bridge crossing the stream and looked at the brownish bundle she held. Jun did not realize she had rubbed it against her yu kata but her hip was now wet, hair was wrapped in the bundle as if someone had cut a away tangled mass. She dropped it into the stream and walked down to the water to rinse her hands.

In her bright robes the priestess was outside the in when Jun returned up the street, the ashigaru were standing around her watching her pray over the still form of their fellow warrior. Samurai did not come into the village with their lackered ornate armor and perfect blades but shed seen lots of the peasant soldiers. One of them held his coned straw helm in his hand head bowed the others just stood heads bowed. At least the guy on the litter was not writhing anymore Jun thought and went to the alley.

She scalded her hands while trying to get the stains from her fingers and under her nails. When she checked on the priestess her grandmother was sitting with the woman who for once in the days seemed quiet if not at pease.

"I'll take it girl" was all baba said and the finer woman looked up to her. Jun caught the red stained lips of the priestess in motion, not done with the jabber just whispering. Jun's baba reached forward and snatched the scroll away from the priestess who's hand caught her quick as a snake. The fingers on that hand were stained with both black squid ink from the pot on the table and from the worlds of the ashigaru she had tried to save outside. The violet eyes pierced through her grandmother and through her. The woman's lips never stopped their motion forming unspoken words.

"Yes, I do have to baba said and tore her arm away from the much younger woman; jun saw redness and scratches on her baba's arm before the yukata she wore fell to cover it. The scroll in her hand now was covered with not writing but a painting in blacks and whites. Jun catches a glimpse of kitsune on the page and something else that may have been hair like the braid she saw in the rags. Her grandmother looks her in the face and scowls. She then kisses her on the forehead pulling the girl down to the level to do it with way more force then Jun had ever known her to use.

Jun slept fitfully that night dreaming of the men fighting in the valley to the south of them, of the samurai and ashigaru standing against a force of decayed and moving deadman who shine in the moonlight. She is one of the men; the one worth the bow and straw helmet she had seen in the town she is he shooting forked arrows into the approaching army of the unliving. Waking with a start as they get within arms reach.

The inn is quiet in the violet pre dawn and there is a short message written in her baba's hand. All it says is sorry granddaughter, go to your aunts to the south. I'm not as strong as the priestess though and her curse is now mine. Hunger is taking me. Run.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Song and Engine

(Flash fiction Friday attempt. Genre Mashing assignment via Chuck Wendig's Terribleminds blog.

Water still plonked in the distant puddles and reached her in the dimness of the great hall. Crow had pushed into the darkened cavernous room not lit like the hallways because here walls had not crumbled or buckled inwards allowing the cold moonlight inside. The doorway here had even been hung with complete tapestries with great stone figures and of the gods or heroes of the age embroidered upon them, she had stopped to feel the ancient visual texts of the Mages wondering at the meaning they may have had to them.

The shadows in the depths of the great gallery perhaps throne room if there ever was a king of such a place seemed to eat her sight; her hand reached into the pouch at her hip to stroke the Mage engine and calm her as it had the previous night when the wails from the desert winds woke her under the shattered dome. The steady thrum, the humming whispers and the vibrations from the whirling device though remote and ancient had kept her company since splitting with Rhas years back. She stopped padding and her foot fell loud enough for her to hear it as something scraped beneath her heel

It was like that moment in the forests when birds had fallen silent was they often did as she approached or when in the tavers she frequented with Rhas right before someone would throw a punch or sink a dagger into a stranger. Crow pulled it from her hip setting the bone cloak Rhas had given her that she wore as a skirt to clattering filling the space. Crow reached into the pouch grasped the engine bringing and stared at it. It did not warm her chilled hands or give off any of its regular purplish glow. She realized then that the whispers and hums had been silent as was the soft song from the rune carved blade at the small of her back. She spun facing back and wondered when everything had gone quit.

Crow stood like the statutes she had passed in the broken dome. The great faceless shapes that once might have been the great heroes of the golden age of peace worse over time by the winds themselves. In the silence she though glanced around trying to see into the depths of the dark room catching glimpses of more statues here not in pieces but whole and not the massive towering shapes but like herself and just as immobile. Her eyes adjusting to the dark in  the way Rhas said he needed but she never had being made rather then born.

Spinning back the luminance came from deeper in the cavernous area casting shadows from pillars between her and the source. She padded cautiously towards it caressing the motionless engine that allowed her to cast bolts of lightning, call down falls of fire and bring statues to life. It no longer spoke to her, her hand that normally would hold or rest on she song blade stroked the inert stone concentric ringed globe feeling the ridges of the rings that grade up its body. Water plinked closer then in the distance, maybe from unseen cracks in the grand dome she could just make out above.

Crow passed statues in mid motion, one in a run towards the tapestries hanging the entrance, a trio to her right in meditative pose facing one another. The click and clack of the bone cloak rung from the depths of the room behind and around her echoing and she heard the shiver and hum of the jade dagger again...
Rhas has told her the stories of Drossal and the riches taken from it. The fallen city had been of the other side of the wailing desert calling to treasure hunters searching the wonders of the age when magic had been easy. It was the era her Mage engine had been made she thought. She had never shared it with anyone. Before getting knifed in that tavern over an insult she suffered, before bleeding out on that bare wood floor before she leveled the rotted place and everyone in it with the power in her hidden treasure there had been more then just the two of them. Chela had died to the fires of one of the other made people, the lava dweller her green body and leafy crown withering in the heat of its anger. Maxis had been devoured by the swarm of beetles, centipedes and other insects that came out of the tomb where they gathered the jade dagger from. Its song kept her company in the way his songs poems and traveling stories had.
The jade song has changed timber since it returned, it was wobbly and higher in pitch a bit as if it was unsure of the tune for once. Her shoulders tense relaxed as the companionship of her artifacts returned. The gallery must contain something of great power and antiquity to affect them so. The rings of the engine were moving in her hands as she rand her fingers along them. Crow cupped it in her palm holding her other hand over it closed her here and tried to hear its regular vibration and hum along with the blade song that was gaming strength and regularity.
She did no notice as she passed under the broken stone arch that might have been the foundation of a massive ring since she had closed her eyes trying to hear the regular hum. She maneuvered around arches of stone and metal for the clacking of the bones echoes now straining to find the power to cast a simple light spell. Plops of water told here there must actually be some great holes somewhere above was they filled the silence between strains of the warbling song.
Crow opened her eyes was the vibration returned and stared into the flat features of a tall statue, her head just at its shoulders. Its arms were outstretched to the sky as closed in as everywhere here in the dimness up there. She felt the vibration from this figure and places her hand against it seeing the separate rings and silvery core of her engine fall from her hand. This thing had stolen her engine, the power was in this thief. Its torso vibrated with the hum of her engine, her treasure, her power. The song stopped and she snatched the dagger from her back. It was still whole, feeling the runes along its blade they were still there. Had the statue, had this place taken the song too. She slammed her fist against the mans stone body now glowing a violet colour and screamed herself raw pounding against it.
Once the echo of her fury and frustration dies away she was kneeling at the feet of the statue picking up the pieces of her Mage engine, the ones she could find in the light now cast be the form at her back. She turned her hack to the statue and leaned against it. She vaguely felt the gentle hum of her companion. She dropped the blade in her lap and caressed the rings of the tiny artifact.

There was nothing to take here. There was no treasure to steal no artifacts to find and or evils to kill. Crow sat at the feet of a blank faced statue its smooth features seeming to follow her in her motions. Se settled herself against its feet hearing the clack of the bone cloak as the blade song came back again but warbling as catching was if choked by tears, along with the song there was echoes of her weeping. The last echoes of the bone cloak faded fast. The plink of the water and the hum of the song continued though coming from her.