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9 years agoexniner
9 years agoexniner
9 years agoexniner
"How do you determine who lives and who dies? Good or evil has little overall presence in your mind when the sword is dancing under your power and the battle-lust is upon you. You have about as much power over who you strike down in the heat of the moment as the stars do over whom they shine down upon. Foe? Friend? Kin? Yourself? In that moment can you comprehend the power that comes at the blade's edge? Can your mind behold the countless strands of time's web that shift in the moments of a sword falling? Or perhaps a sword held back. A merciful hand with an opponent may cost an ally their life at a future date. A slain foe can preempt your hopes of peace. By what do you judge the edge of your blade: is it by the number of enemies felled or the number of innocents saved?" - From "The Blood of a Savage"
"We learn to forget at around age thirteen and it gets worse with age. We forget about the places in the dark and the things that creep within them. A terrible thing, forgetting." - From "The Shadowed Corner", a short story in "Just Before Dawn"
9 years agoexniner
That link is my book on Authonomy.com. I need traffic at the site. I need people to read the book. I need ratings. I need to get noticed to be taken seriously. The first 10 chapters are up. More coming within the next couple of days. Help a brother out? Go there. Spread the word.
Thanks RvBers. I appreciate it.
9 years agoexniner
The forces met on a field of green
within the Valley of Fayre
the forests edge was burned and torn
black smoke filled the air.
The hills between the forces two
were low and rolling on
the grass was wet, the ground was soft
the air hot from the sun.
The force atop the western hill
did goad their leader forth,
innumerable men did stretch to the south
as well as to the north.
A man in armor boldly strode
atop his ochre steed
and with his sword held high o'erhead
he spake, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This land we need!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Its fields are rich, its waters pure
its mountains rich with ore,
these people here are not as good
as we, we need it more!Ã¢â‚¬Â
The force upon the other side
were farmers, merchants, priests
They carried pitchforks, mattocks, scythes,
they trembled in the heat.
They were in numbers great like sand
but warriors they were not
the people of the land of Nod
their warlike past they forgot.
Their leader was a learned man
upon an elder gray
a sword he carried at his side
his books were put away.
His people looked to him in pride
their leader he was strong
but a warrior he was not,
the weapon, it felt wrong.
He trembled as he so stepped forth
The man called Teacher John
and though the foe was fierce
he knew he must march on.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We of Nod,Ã¢â‚¬Â he so began
Ã¢â‚¬Å“are men of peace, not war
But the greed of men, it has no bounds
their hearts are tempted sore
Ã¢â‚¬Å“So we will fight to keep our rights
to hold the tide of greed,
Heroes will be made this day
in our time of great need!Ã¢â‚¬Â
The men of Nod they cheered and shouted
though fear it filled their heart
for in the battle ere to be met
blood and life would part.
Then from the northeast came a horn
the men of Nod did turn
for down the road did a small troupe ride
for battle they did burn.
They bore a banner high and wide
A field of green, a boar of black,
the leader he was tall and strong,
blade and axe across his back.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“These brigands from the land Sarl
the battle 'gainst must be won,
and who better to fight at your side
than Bulvyf Alricson!
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My Savages may number few
but vicious are we all,
and for the land of Nod we'll fight
'Till one by one they fall!
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our Lady gives us strength to fight
our blades are sharp and strong
For Nod is not the stronger here,
And those of Sarl are wrong!
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Us Savage few, we know the ways
of battle tried and true
And for Nod we'll kill and slay
'Cause that's what Savages do!Ã¢â‚¬Â
The men of Nod they stomped and shouted
and for the Savages cheered
But Teacher John found Bulvyf's side
saying, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We've not battled in years!
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have not the numbers, nor the skill
to fight this Sarlian horde!Ã¢â‚¬Â
But Bulvyf just began to laugh
saying, Ã¢â‚¬Å“That's why I have me sword!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Not waiting for the men of Nod
the twenty Savage's marched
and like the grass before the wind
the men of Nod did part.
The Sarlian horde watched Savage few
ride out to meet their fate
and though their leader was sore afraid
his mouth spoke only hate.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bring twenty men to slay these dogs
twenty for sure will do,
for man for man we are as strong
as these Savage few!Ã¢â‚¬Â
The twenty men each drew their blades
and charged to prove their worth,
and twenty singing Savage greats
were ready for the hurt.
They met in battle on the field
shouts of challenge made
And Bulvyf's weapon ran steel on steel
the first blood wet his blade.
The warrior had been full run through
And with a Savage yell
Bulvyf's Savages fought on
and twenty Sarlians fell.
Not one of the Savage few
had felt a Sarlian blade
And the Sarlian host did shake
at the challenge made.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I Bulvyf am the Savage King
from a land so far and cold,
we fight and make our Savage ways
and raise our children bold.
None will walk across this land,
this place we now call home,
that dare to trample o'er the weak
for sake of wanted gold
So come on then, come and fight
we'll take you one and all,
and know this, that if you charge,
all of you will fall!Ã¢â‚¬Â
The leader of the Sarlian host
in anger did he cry
The charge was ordered, the host did ride
these Savages would die!
And so the Savage warriors stood
weapons in their hands,
their twenty looking just as great
as a pebble on the sand.
But on they sang their Savage songs
waiting for the charge
and as the twenty waited still
they seemed to grow more large
Those of Nod watched Savage few
admiration one and all
and as the Sarlian host attacked
no Savage did he fall
The Sarlian host did ring the few
and brought their warriors in
But the Savages, they struck out
before the Sarlians could begin!
Soldiers fell before the might
of the few of Savage Horde
and twenty Savage warriors fought
with hammer, axe and sword!
Though numerous were the Sarlian soldiers
the Savages were strong
The Savage song grew louder still
with each felled within the throng
But the Savage skill, 'twas not enough
even for the Horde
and the first among the Savage kin
fell to a Sarlian sword.
Bulyf pulled his clansman back
and with a mighty heave
the axe he carried on his back
did the enemy cleave
But another fell by arrow shaft,
another still by spear
But on the seventeen Savages fought
nothing did they fear.
Horses screamed and soldiers wailed
for 'twas a bloody fight
But on both sides, both host and few
fought on with all their might.
The Sarlians fell unto the earth
but so did Savage few
and after many minutes passed
there were only two
Bulvyf and his standard bearer
stood back to back with pride
and Bulvy called out, Ã¢â‚¬Å“If I die,
It will have been with pride,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“For Sarlian soldiers lay around
cast off by Savage blade,
and though my men have all gone on,
a message I have made!
The Sarlian dead are piled high,
their wounds are fierce and deep,
and never will their living soldiers rest,
for we will haunt their sleep!
And when ever the horn does sound
they'll feel a terrible fright,
for Sarlian men will continue to fall
as long as I can fight!Ã¢â‚¬Â
The standard bearer waved the banner
of the Boar so high,
that all the host, and men of Nod
could see it in the sky
9 years agoexniner
Another one of mine
The Shadowed Corner
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The first time I thought there was something under the bed I was five. My screams woke my father. He ran into the room with a baseball bat to save me. I didn't know it at the time, but there had been a series of missing kids in the area at the time, and my dad nearly panicked to hear me scream like that. He yelled at me for being scared of nothing even though he still checked under the bed and in the closet for good measure. But I knew that night with the explicit understanding only children are capable of that there had been a monster under my bed. I lived in fear for the rest of my prepubescent childhood. Night time was not a pleasant time. I tucked my blankets in hard under the mattress to keep my covered legs from drifting over the bedside and there was a flashlight under my pillows at all times. I screamed at shadows. I often thought I could hear it breathing underneath my bed, only a thin layer of wood, metal springs and the fluff of my mattress between it and me. And no one ever believed me.
Then I hit that magical time of puberty, when girls and comic books overtake the fears of childhood. I found friends that, like me, had once feared the boogeyman and now laughed at the children who were still afraid. I stopped sleeping with the lights on. I stopped hearing the breathing. I forgot about the images I had, until then, sworn I had seen against the wall. I had begun the process of growing up.
We learn to forget at around age thirteen and it gets worse with age. We forget about the places in the dark and the things that creep within them. A terrible thing, forgetting.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Peter looked at the screen of his monitor with growing apathy. The soft glow of the flat screen was the only light in the small apartment made all the more dark by the rain clouds outside. Peter sighed and plopped his head down into his waiting hands. This blog was getting him nowhere. At first when it was still new and shiny among the hundreds of other blogs on the internet he had gotten good traffic on the site. People had been interested in his book reviews. They read his journals and thoughts, commenting back to him with the kind of ingenious remarks only people online could make. For a short time he had been worshiped. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Shadowed CornerÃ¢â‚¬Â had had the kind of fans that found him at conventions and brought him books and fan-art. They had brought him things to sign, papers to read and new ideas for his blog. He had even had full on groupies on two different occasions, both times helping him destroy the monotony of everyday life, even if only for a night.
But that was all gone now. Or mostly gone at the very least.
When he had first started this thing Peter had believed it a good idea, even if nothing came from it. Suicide had been one of his primary thoughts at the time. Women and he had not had a good track record, and the life he had led up to that point had been wracked with disaster. He had gone and seen a therapist sometime after the most recent heartbreak and had been told to write down his feelings. To talk to someone, to let them into his world. A friend of Peter's had told him about blogging, and Peter thought that there was his out. He would talk. If no one listened, oh well.
But someone had listened. They read about his suicidal thoughts and commented back. They told him how they had never read anything like what he wrote. They told him they understood, that they felt the same way. Peter had felt almost like a Ã¢â‚¬Å“somebodyÃ¢â‚¬Â. He wrote on, about his life; his philosophies. Then he had progressed to his ideas about different subjects; the dark arts, movies, books, TV shows, religion and the paranormal. People started to donate to his site. His words were paying his way through life. Two years he had made his living from what he thought, and for two years he had been treated like Ã¢â‚¬Å“somebodyÃ¢â‚¬Â. But it didn't last. Peter knew it never did.
For three months traffic to his page had slowed. Web-chats with those remaining of his devoted fans had petered off to almost none. He still kept the camera on most of the time he was writing, but he mostly treated it like it wasn't there.
9 years agoexniner
Here's a story I call Dirt
The sun beat down on the dirt road hard enough to feel like strong hands pressing down on his shoulders. Charles Woodlock looked up at the cloudless sky, one hand rising to rest on his brow in an attempt to shield his eyes from the glare of the all too bright sun. Behind him the corn seemed to crackle in their husks as the ears grew more and more dried out from the constant sun. The field rustled as if by a breeze but Charles knew better than that. It was the heat, and only the heat, that set them moving so. As the water continued to be sucked dry by the killing waves of the sun the plants had begun to weaken and break, creating the illusion of breeze blown motion. It had been almost painful the first time he had heard it, so did he long for moving air. He had gotten a breeze once, but it had been so hot it had almost stung his skin to instant dryness. Still, Charles would have killed to feel it again.
He wiggled his toes in the sand. The tension in his legs and feet had grown into a pervasive ache, breaking his chain of thoughts. The wiggling helped, just not enough. He looked down and saw the dirt of the road covering the darker than chocolate hue of his skin. It looked odd, and he had to pause to wonder why. It hit him before too long; his toe nails were completely clean. He didn't know why it was odd, just that it was. Charles wiped the sweat from his brow, careful not to get it on his sleeve. He leaned forward a bit, his head slowly looking both directions down the road, searching for something. A ride, perhaps.
Charles leaned down and wiped the dirt from his pant legs. It wouldn't do to look too disheveled if someone were to come along. It wouldn't do at all. He turned and picked up his hat from the oblong stone he had sat it on. It was an odd stone, completely out of place from this rolling expanse of corn fields with a single dirt road cutting it in two. The stone was too smooth, too strange. It could have been a mile marker, maybe, but whatever it had been was now forgotten.
Just like himself.
He dusted the dirt off of his white top-hat and put it on. Perhaps it would give him some help in this heat. He knew he had to look odd on the side of the road in his white suit, top-hat and all, bare foot in the dirt. It couldn't much matter though because he hadn't seen a person drive by yet. He looked up at the sun again, wondering how long before it set. He hoped soon, but it seemed stuck at noon and angry about it too.
Then it came to him, floating on the air like some god given drink of water, the sound of an engine. Charles leaned forward and looked down the road. A cloud of dust had risen up, obscuring the vehicle. Charles wiped down his suit again, trying to be as presentable as possible. He held up his thumb and smiled. The car drew closer and Charles nearly died from the anticipation of it.
Before too long an old Ford pickup rumbled to a stop in front of Charles. It was an old beast, Charles judged it to be a '59, if not older, the color of rust and primer. The engine gave the clean purr of a well maintained machine and the driver reached over and pushed open the passenger door. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Need a ride son?Ã¢â‚¬Â a voice drawled in a semi-southern accent. Charles leaned forward and saw an older white man smiling at him from behind the wheel. He wore glasses that were a bit too thick, overalls and red plaid shirt. His skin was wrinkled and weathered and his hair was white, strands of it tempered with the bleached-yellow of sun exposure over the years. Charles smiled at him and gave a nod. The old man jerked his head in a Ã¢â‚¬Å“come hereÃ¢â‚¬Â gesture and Charles hopped in and slammed the door. The old man jerked the truck into gear and they were quickly going down the road with a bump jarring them only occasionally.
The bench seat was like heaven to Charles' back, even though the foam had long since aged to the point it felt more like stone than foam. His back and feet ached from his stand in the dirt and they tingled with the feel of it. He wanted to clean off the bottom of his feet but thought it would be rude to dirty the otherwise immaculate cabin of the old man's truck. He took off his top hat and sat it beside him on the bench and the old man gave it a look. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Headed to the dance up north, eh?Ã¢â‚¬Â the old man asked as he took a second look at Charles. Charles gave him a questioning look, unsure how to answer. The man shook his head and returned his attention to the road. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just thought you were,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, you becoming ya and were drawn out until it sounded more like wuur. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I mean, what other reason would you have to be dressed like that 'cept to go to a costumed dance?Ã¢â‚¬Â the old man laughed. It was an infectious sort of laugh, and Charles found himself laughing along.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I guess I am,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Charles, Ã¢â‚¬Å“though I've been waiting for a ride long enough to have forgotten it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yup,Ã¢â‚¬Â the old man nodded sagely, as if that explained everything. Charles waited for more, but none came. Silence sat between them like a third body as the engine rumbled, driving them on. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think some of the young folk from back a ways were headin' that way,Ã¢â‚¬Â the old man said with a one handed gesture behind them. Ã¢â‚¬Å“All dressed up for the dance like it was the end all,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said with a chuckle, and he turned and gave a conspiratorial wink to Charles. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We know some'at more than that, don't we son.Ã¢â‚¬Â Charles smiled back, unsure of how to respond. It was another few seconds before the old man spoke again.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well son, it looks like you done lost your shoes.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not sure when,Ã¢â‚¬Â Charles said with a wiggle of his toes, Ã¢â‚¬Å“but I wish I hadn't.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Would'a been the devil's time trying to walk from where you were to town I reckon,Ã¢â‚¬Â the old man said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Had you done much walking 'fore I got to you?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“No sir,Ã¢â‚¬Â Charles said, wondering how long a drive it was going to be.
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