Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hello guys, girls and whoever else has found their way onto my blog. I've finished another short story today (although it's more of a ritual than a story) but I will not post here. The same applies to all remaining short stories that will be included in my horror anthology. And yes, I know that the actual term would be collection, but I think anthology sounds better.

Anyway, with that done I will start editing A Decaying World tomorrow. I'm sure other writers would have advised me to let it rest for a month or so, but I simply can't wait that long. And I'm such a perfectionist that I will go over it multiple times anyway. Just have to find some beta-readers before the editing is done.
I did find someone for my short stories, though, and I'll have to read some other stories in exchange. But that won't take much of my time.

So yeah, I hope that I can release the book in the near future. I don't want to start the second part before the first is released. If anything I will write more short stories or begin working on the adaptation of my scifi-"movie" Loop.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

This version is horribly outdated.
Revision 2 is in progress.


Chapter 13: The Calamity

While Emily looked after Feyadal and the twins Maximilian and Drake returned to the battlefield, crossed the chasm and gathered the remaining soldiers in the forest. Then they cut apart a couple of trees and used them to built a temporary bridge into the village.
What happened hours later should have been a joyous occurrence, but Drake was slowly descending into a catatonic state and barely noticed the return of Arlin's inhabitants. Thanks to the timely arrival of the twins they had been able to evacuate the village right under Modera's nose. Erik and Rika took two villagers at once, carried them over the walls, evaded sparsely scattered enemy forces—Modera never expected Drake's group to strike from the back—and hid them in a nearby cave. Upon one of their return trips they were almost caught in the blaze that destroyed the mayor's building. They tried their best to save everyone, always hoping that Modera wouldn't notice the increasing amount of people scattered on the walls, but it turned out to be in vain. Some villagers were crushed by falling beams or caught fire right in front of their eyes, which is when they chose to abort the mission and escaped with everyone they had already evacuated.
More than 50 percent of Arlin's inhabitants survived the battle, but the twins never forgot the people they had left behind and trained even harder to make up for their incompetence—as they themselves put it. Together with the other villagers they erected a marvelous black marble tablet—sponsored by the king of Pagan himself—in front of Arlin to honor the dead. It also served as a gravestone to those that left no corpse behind to bury.
It should have been a nice gesture, but all that Drake could think about—at least during the few moments that he was actually lucid—was that his hasty attempt to save everyone had only led to more deaths.
It's not your fault! You did your best to save everyone and that is all that counts,” is how Emily tried to appease him, but it didn't help.
No. I got everyone killed. I should have accepted Modera's offer and defeated her together with Maximilian and my father. Why did I ever decide to play the hero?
Eventually Maximilian and his soldiers left the village. They promised to return with enough men to rebuilt Arlin as fast as possible. The twins remained behind to help clear the rubble while Feyadal had fallen into a coma that lasted two weeks. When he awoke at last he fled into the forest to hide his tears. He didn't care about the magic he had lost and even his longevity was barely worth a mention, but his connection to nature had also been severed, which made him no better than a mere human—a race that many elves despised.
About two months passed, a time span during which Drake barely felt alive. He awoke, ate breakfast with Emily, listened to her ramble on and gated at nothing at all until he went to sleep again. He had expected to be haunted by gruesome nightmares. Instead he was plunged into a dark abyss from which he resurfaced without dreaming even once. The only thing that disturbed his slumber was the sound of rolling thunder, which drew ever closer. But he forgot about it the moment he awoke. Only when a voice was trying to reach out to him did he slowly come to his senses. He could barely understand it at first and the most he got was: “Stop...wasting...ime. approaching. You have to fulfill...destiny, or...will end!”
Drake tried to call out to the Alp in an attempt to understand his message, but the only reply he got was an image of a hand sticking out of a wriggling mass of flesh.
One day he stepped into the light and heard the chirping of birds, mixed in with the pounding of hammers and the grating concision of saws. He was greeted by a couple of villagers, albeit cautiously, and responded with a wide smile—a smile too wide to be entirely genuine. He tried to strike up a couple of conversations, but they trailed off very quickly. All he managed to learn was that the twins and Feyadal had returned to Pagan and that Maximilian had done the same after he failed to rouse Drake from his “slumber”.
Eventually Drake left the village to go for a walk. He felt a headache approaching and hoped that the fresh morning air would help clear his mind. Shortly afterwards he found himself atop the hill where he had confessed to Emily. He closed his eyes and envisioned the scene once more, but the memory wasn't strong enough to wipe away his regrets. He propped himself against a trunk, stared at Arlin and listened to the rustling of the treetops and the birds singing within. Warm salty tears trickled down his chin as his consciousness faded.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Since I finished Neal Stephenson's Reamde earlier today (after starting it about half a year ago) I wanted to write a small article about exposition. It might not be one of my strongest suits, but I'm just getting started and have a lot to learn, whereas Neal Stephenson should know better. I've never read any of his other novels, though, therefore I cannot say if all of them are like Reamde or not.

Neal Stephenson

Anyway, it's nice to have a certain amount of exposition in a story, since it gives readers a glimpse into how your world works, how it looks, how your characters became who they are and so on. My stories might be a little bit lacking in that regard, but that amount of exposition is still better than what Reamde threw at me.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

This version is horribly outdated.
Revision 2 is in progress.


Chapter 12: Defying The Prophecy

After giving the map he found upstairs to general Armakal for safekeeping Drake returned to the second floor, where Illutia was busy trying to banish the mist. Her staff had been rammed into the ground and elongated all the way into he ceiling. She was apparently using the tower itself as a conduit for her spell, since its walls were glowing in the same rhythm as the staff. Whenever the brightness increased one could hear anguished groans coming the outside. Eventually the mist-beasts tried to break through the gates and the windows, but Modera appeared to have forgotten to remove the barriers she herself set up.
Since Illutia couldn't offer a definite time frame of when she would be done Drake began to pace and forth between the second floor and the ground floor, all the while trying to refrain himself from going into the basement, since he didn't want to face Emily without being able to set her free. That didn't stop Maximilian and the twins from visiting her, though. They hit it off very well and even managed to make her laugh, mostly because of the strange behavior Erika and Rika displayed. The men returned all by themselves after half an hour and Maximilian responded to Drake's inquiring looks with: “Rika forced us to leave the room. It appears she wants to have a heart-to-heart talk with your girlfriend.”
About what?” Drake scratched his head in confusion, as it seemed unlikely that anyone would confide in a person they barely knew. Must be something that only girls do...
If they wanted us to know they wouldn't have shooed us away. I do know the topic of course, since Rika forgot to shut me out beforehand.”
And?” asked Maximilian after a moment of silence had passed without any indication that Erik would elaborate.
Well, they're talking about love. My sister has never had a boyfriend, you know?”
How come? She's certainly cute enough to attract attention and some women would kill for legs like hers,” said Maximilian.
It's not that easy, not for us.” He scratched his nose and averted his eyes before continuing. “I might have even scarred her mentally during my one and only relationship, since I didn't know the extent of our connection back then.” He received nothing but perplexed expressions in return. “Imagine having a mental connection to a family member. A connection that you can only suppress when you are in complete control of yourself, which you might lose during more...” his eyes moved back and forth, as if hoping to find the right world lying on the ground.
Intimate moments?” asked Drake awkwardly. Erik nodded.
Is there no way to get rid of your connection?”
The young man looked offended but swallowed his anger. “There's only one way: by using magic. The change would be permanent, though. We'd lose our unique fighting style, which wouldn't be too bad, but it could also lead to severe mental repercussions, since we just aren't used to the silence in our heads. That's why we will never consider that option.”
I hope you find a solution eventually. Everyone should feel what love is like, at least once.”
Maybe...” Erik responded with a tinge of loneliness before he left the room.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

This version is horribly outdated.
Revision 2 is in progress.


Chapter 11: Where It All Began

Drake barely slept a wink. The message he saw inside the void continued to haunt him all throughout the night. Whenever he fell he asleep a harrowing dream was already waiting for him. He never remained for long, but it was more than enough to drain his bedsheets in sweat. That was the least of his worries, though, as the repeated descend into nightmares meant that his heart never came to rest. He suffered multiple infarcts without noticing them, but it was impossible to disregard the stinging sensation in his chest.
Shortly before dawn he made use of the bathroom and drowned himself in icy water to lessen the pain. Blood trickled from his lips as he gulped down an entire vial, but the substance proved to be entirely useless. All it got rid of was the inflammation that had spread across his chest. He probed the region for a while, but couldn't come up with a logical explanation of why the pain persisted. Eventually he gave up and leaned back in a desperate attempt to relax. He noticed a spiderweb in a corner of the ceiling and followed the impressive spinning skills of its resident with his eyes. It seemed to have a hypnotic effect on him as he actually dozed off without realizing it.
Sharp ripping noises echoed through the room as word after word was etched into the ceiling. Drake wanted to look away, but the water had frozen solid, trapping him in place. Even his eyes refused to move, since they were held in place by the legs of two humongous spiders that were resting on his shoulders.
The world fell apart as three loud knocking noises reached Drake's ears. He shot forward, breathing heavily, and gritted his teeth when he realized that his aching chest had taken on a reddish hue again.
Drake, it's time!” yelled Maximilian through the door. “I'm going to gather my men. We'll met on the bridge.”
Okay,” is what Drake tried to say, but his words were fainter than a whisper.
He slipped out of the bathtub, rubbed his body dry and got dressed. The clothes were nearly identical to his old ones, just a bit more expensive and sturdy. He moved towards the door but stopped when his hand came to rest on the doorknob. His vision blurred for a moment and he had to inhale heavily as a wave of pain rippled through his body.
He turned around, gazed at the balcony for a couple of seconds and ran. His hands grabbed onto the handrail, his legs flew over them and then he fell. To an onlooker it must have appeared as if he wanted to brag with his abilities, but all he wanted was a rush of excitement to oust the fatigue that plagued him. It also got his heart pumping, which seemed to drown the pain in his chest.
He landed only a feet away from a patrol and the guards screamed in surprise and fell over themselves since they couldn't decide if they should attack or escape. Drake ignored them and walked towards the meeting point, where he leaned onto the wooden handrail and stared at the water below. He took deep breaths, relishing in the freshness of the air. A storm had hit the city during the night, which could have been seen as a bad omen if it hadn't moved on already.
Maximilian arrived a few minutes later. Two men in their forties were walking besides him while a contingent made up of about a dozen soldiers followed them.
You shouldn't scare our guards like that. They aren't used to people falling from the sky. Why didn't you take the stairs?”
I just felt like it.”
I...see. Anyway, since I didn't get to introduce them properly yesterday: this is General Armakal.”
He pointed to the man on his left, who seemed quite scraggy since he barely reached the recommended weight for height, which made him appear much older than he actually was. The general wore a set of horn-rimmed glasses, had a crooked nose and a half-bald head. New recruits rarely wanted to be assigned to his unit—even going so far as to call him a scarecrow—but he was actually a very nice person and one of the most lenient generals in all of Pagan.
I'm glad to make your acquaintance”—he shook Drake's hand and showed him a radiant and genuine smile—“It's good to know that not all of your kind has fallen victim to the madness. Seems like the stories were true after all.”
What stories?”
Some records talk about a vampire kingdom that existed back in the Golden Age. It was a place that your kind could call home—a place where vampires and mortals lived together in peace and harmony. Most people don't believe those stories, of course, and who could condemn them?”
That's nice and all”—Maximilian interjected—“but we don't have time for chit-chat. Anyway, Armakal is our strategist. He will coordinate our man in the battle against Modera, but we will have to draw her out first. Fighting inside the tower would be suicide.”
Shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'll just blow a hole into the wall if I have to.”
We'll see about that when we get there.”
Maximilian was about to introduce the other general when he took the initiative and stepped forward. He grabbed Drake's hands with his paw-like ones and shook them wildly. That man was the total opposite of Armakal: big, burly and more muscle than flesh. His fist could have easily crushed the head of a normal person.
I'm jeneral Borado and I will squash Modera with my hammer if I jet the chance!” he bellowed with a strange accent and patted the small hammer on his belt.
I doubt she would even feel the impact,” replied Drake doubtfully.
Borado smiled and removed his weapon with a swift movement. It tripled in size, but the weight seemed to remain constant since he had no trouble lifting it.
Huh, nice enchantment. But isn't it a bit too slow for actual combat?”
The general lifted it above his head and twirled it around rapidly, nearly destroying the bridge in the process. The soldiers stared at him in astonishment. Most of them had never seen him use that weapon since one slap with his flat hand was enough to knock them out. Only a handful of trainees had ever managed to land a hit on him.
Enough with that!” said Maximilian, ”We shouldn't keep the others waiting any longer.”
And so the party moved on to the city gates. They would have aroused a lot of suspicion if it hadn't been so early. Not that it mattered after the spectacle of their arrival.
Somewhere along the way Drake asked Maximilian: “Do you really think that the soldiers will be any help? Borado seems like a nice addition and I suppose that Armakal could come in handy, but I'm not so sure about the others...”
It doesn't matter if they can help or not. They were the only ones brave enough to heed my call and that is all I need. Who knows, one of them might turn out to be the hero who will slay Modera.”
Drake raised an eyebrow but refrained from saying anything else.