Volleyball 2015-16

Discussions about writing, peer reviews, word games, and writing contests (re: "volleyball") for amateurs.

Moderator: Ghost

Volleyball 2015-16

Postby Kahrey » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:13 pm

[Genre - General Fiction]

The young woman sat at the bus stop, staring blankly before her, her thoughts frozen. She seemed unphased by the three young Hispanic children that ran circles around the bench, screaming at the top of their lungs, and the mother who yelled at them in Spanish, but had her hands too full of groceries to stop them. She didn't even flinch when one of the children plopped onto the bench and fell over onto her. She appeared comatose.

The bus finally arrived, and she boarded. Her movements were slow and steady and while she was looking, she seemed to be looking nowhere at all.

The sun had risen that morning. The crisp, cool air had felt new, but how was she supposed move on? Maybe this was supposed to be her new beginning, but to her, it just felt like she was dying. She couldn't imagine the ache would ever go away. She still couldn't even process what had happened.

After a few stops, the bus started to fill up with all kinds of people. The noise grew, it became hot, a mixture of scents filled her nose. She recognized one, and terror set in. Her eyes widened, and she continued to stare forward, despite the urge to look around. Could it really be, could this happen right now? As tears started to well, she slowly moved her eyes over the people and...
"Life is trial and error. Those who succeed are those who survive their failures and keep trying." - LE Modesitt, Jr.
Kahrey
Fairy Tale Heroine - aka "Cinders"
 
Posts: 3577
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:07 pm
Location: Five Points, AL

Re: Volleyball 2015

Postby clong » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:23 pm

[genre - alien invasion]

... she spotted it with a quiet gasp. A Plune right here on the bus? It must have gotten on at the last stop. It was sitting four rows behind her. Despite the crowded quarters, all of the seats in its vicinity had been vacated. Its acrid scent was subdued but unmistakable.

Our new alien overlords were seldom obvious about enforcement. But you rarely had to look far to find one watching. Their rules were not overly intrusive, but people who disobeyed the rules inevitably ended up disappearing for a while. And when they returned they seemed different. More subdued. And perfectly obedient.

Some people were said to be informants. It was hard to believe, but she had certainly seen cases where by all appearances people had benefited from the sudden disappearance of a seemingly innocent rival or even someone who was just a bit different. Horace had been suspicious of her friend Cassandra, had felt that she wasn’t to be trusted…that had been one of the few things they had ever argued about. Until yesterday! she thought as the tears once again welled up in her eyes

She still couldn’t believe it that he was gone. He had left to follow a rumor. A rumor of organized resistance. Didn’t he realize that resistance was futile? And he had asked her to come with him, but she had been afraid.

She glanced back. And started. The Plune was staring right at her! She took a deep breath and worked to empty her mind. Some people said that they were telepathic. That they could read minds. Surely that couldn’t be true she told herself. Suddenly she was frightened. Noticing that the doors had just opened for the next stop, she made a quick dash for the exit, and found herself suddenly standing at the curb in …
User avatar
clong
Blade Runner
 
Posts: 9247
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:48 am
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Volleyball 2015

Postby Kahrey » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:43 am

[Genre - Sci-Fi]

...a place she had never seen before. She halted, as she had burst through the bus doors and into the street so suddenly, and when she turned to look for the bus, it was gone. It was as if nothing had been there. There was not even a street. Her mouth fell open and she looked around wide-eyed. Things seemed to be changing before her eyes. There was a yellow glow on everything, which, upon looking up, she determined was because the sky was yellow. She continued to look about, and finally things seemed to "settle."

She looked quickly to her left, as a strange humming sound was approaching, and spotted the three Hispanic boys. They were now dressed in blue body suits with glasses atop their heads, apparently eye protection, and they were being just as loud and obnoxious as before. Their transportation was what she could only compare to a three-person motorcycle. The oldest of the three, or perhaps just the larger, was driving. As they passed her, they slowed and stared at her. All three at once. It felt eerie.

There were lots of buildings, and she seemed to be right in the middle of them. She started towards one, but then stopped. She started towards another, but stopped again. Where was she? And how could she find out? I mean, there were people around, but they were all dressed so strangely and in their strange vehicles. She was kind of afraid to speak to anyone.

She finally decided on a smaller building and started walking. As she approached there was a sign ahead, but it was clearly not in English. It was a series of lines and circles and squiggles. She let out a sigh, frustrated.

Then it hit her.

Cassandra...

A few months earlier they had gone to an art show downtown, and it was cocktail-dress attire. Cass' dress had cut low in the back, revealing most of her spine, and it was the first time she had seen that she had a series of tattoos down her spine. She remembered complimenting her on them, but hadn't asked the meaning (she had just read an article that talked about people's tattoos and how you should never ask what they meant).

The symbols were the same.

Had Horace been right? Was Cass a...?

"Yo, ma'am," came an awkward voice.

She spun around to see the three Hispanic children. They had parked their bike (or whatever it was), and walked a few yards to her.

"Umm...you're lookin' outta place." She couldn't help but notice his words seemed so forced. Like he didn't usually talk that way.

When he noticed she wasn't going to reply, he began again, in a more mature tone. "I think you should come with us."

"Why should I do that? Why should I trust you?" The Plune on the bus, the symbols, Horace... She was horrified. She didn't know if she could trust them, but at the same time, she didn't even know what this place was.

"Asioutorieon... We believe he is after you. We need to speak. In private."

"Who is -"

"We need to hurry. You've been in the open too long."

She looked back to the sign with all the symbols, but...
"Life is trial and error. Those who succeed are those who survive their failures and keep trying." - LE Modesitt, Jr.
Kahrey
Fairy Tale Heroine - aka "Cinders"
 
Posts: 3577
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:07 pm
Location: Five Points, AL

Re: Volleyball 2015

Postby clong » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:35 pm

[genre - private detective]

…I grabbed her hand and forced her to looked back at me.

“Follow us, please” I whispered insistently. “Horace sent us.”

The dame looked confused. Real confused. Like she had never seen a place quite so exotic as Koreatown or a person quite so exotic as me. She was standing there, in the middle of an alley, batting those big doe-eyes at me in a way that screamed “won’t you, kind member of the male species, come to the aid of a lady in desperate need of assistance?”

It had all started the prior night. Vinnie, Guido and I had been enjoying some of the fine libations at Chelsie’s, celebrating our success in getting the goods on a two-timing insurance executive who would soon be hearing from his wife’s attorney. We had found ourselves interrupted by an urgent young man with a wad of cash and a proposition. Horace had been his name, and he had furtively explained that he was looking for some muscle to watch out for his gal. A friend of a friend had pointed him in our direction. The cash had gotten our attention all right, and the promise of more when the job was done had sealed the deal. So that morning, decked out in the new Mini-Mariachi outfits, we had picked her up at the bus stop.

The picture he had given us hadn’t really done her justice. Short dark hair framed big brown eyes and a little button nose. She had legs that kept going and going, and modest curves in all the right places. At the moment, however, she was looking pretty fragile, like another cloudburst of tears was imminent.

“Look Miss, I don’t think you want to wander these neighborhoods unescorted. Horace said that this guy Asioutorieon, who is big bad news around here, might not be too friendly to you.” The guy in the bar had almost whispered the name last night, and it didn’t take a genius to recognize it as belonging to one of the leaders of the local protection racket. Mr. A was bad news whose attention was to be avoided at all costs.

Still looking confused, she let me take her hand. Vinnie had found an unlocked door that promised escape from the open alleyway, and was beckoning us to follow him into a dark interior. I dragged her through it and he shut the door behind us. Guido had apparently just found the light switch, for the room was suddenly bathed in bright white light which revealed…
User avatar
clong
Blade Runner
 
Posts: 9247
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:48 am
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Volleyball 2015

Postby lazerthecat » Sun May 24, 2015 11:07 am

[ Genre: Spy ]

...what looked to be a normal car to any average Joe, but was anything but that.

The woman stared. She, clearly, was not involved in any secret organizations or underground . She was an average American woman, and her boyfriend, husband, whoever he was, was nothing special, either. Anyone who was involved in the organization would recognize immediately that this car was equipped with all the modern technology--on the inside, there was a button here for immediate oil slicks, and there for a little boost of speed that could help anyone get away from bad news.

"...Horace paid you to give me a car?" she asked, raising an eyebrow--she no longer looked as if she would burst into tears; rather, her confusion had overtaken any previous emotions.

"Miss, anyone could pay anyone to get you a car. This ain't any old car, you see," I replied. How her man had figured out that we were more than the average trio of private backing was a mystery to us (one that would be investigated thoroughly once all of this was over), but he had paid well. Maybe too well.

"But--you're children," she said. Now, it was Vinnie's turn to sigh.

"Listen, just 'cuz we're small doesn't mean we're children, okay?" he said. (In reality, we were teenagers--the youngest to have ever been a part of the world of spying.)

"Your man paid us well. He said that you needed protection, but we can't be on your back 24/7, y'know," I said. "We've got things we gotta do." While he was important to the public eye, Asioutorieon was nothing more than a man with an inflated head who liked to get in arguments with people who couldn't stand up to him. We had more important things to deal with, such as keeping the world from immanent destruction by a woman with a name that rang as sweetly as she was dangerous--Cassandra.

"But that's...a car. How's a car going to protect me?" she asked, an eyebrow raised in...could that be doubt? We weren't to be doubted. We were, quite possibly, the best trio of spies that anyone could pay to protect someone.

"If you've seriously not realized that this is more than a car by now, then you might wanna screw your head back on right," Guido said. He wasn't much of a talker, but when words did come out, they were usually crude. Now, she looked like she wanted to cry again, lip pouting out so quickly she looked more sad than a kicked puppy.

"This car has everything you need to keep safe, miss," I said. "Again, we can't be on your back all the time, but we can give you the next best thing. This car is the answer to anyone's dreams." (Especially men who cared more about engines than other people.)

She looked as if she wanted to say something, but kept her mouth closed. At least the pout was gone.

I would have continued, but I was interrupted by...
"Regret nothing, until it is too late. Then, regret everything." --Welcome to Night Vale
User avatar
lazerthecat
Bookworm
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:53 pm
Location: It's hard to keep track of.

Re: Volleyball 2015

Postby clong » Sun May 24, 2015 1:51 pm

[genre - Children's rhyming story a la Dr. Seuss]

and then something went BUMP!
how that bump made us jump!
we looked!
then we saw him step in on the mat!
we looked!
and we saw him!
the rat with a bat!
and he said to us,
'why do you sit there like that?'
'I know you are scared
and your tummies feel woozy.
but we can have
fun!' he said, pulling an uzi.

'I know some good games we could play,'
said the rat.
'I know some new tricks,'
said that rat with a bat.
'a lot of good tricks
I’ve been practicing lately,
A few broken bones will not bother you greatly.'

then Guido and I
did not know what to say.
our Sector Chief was out of the house
for the day.

but Vinnie said, 'no! no!
We are not going to play!
Get that girl in the car
And you drive her away!.
he should not be here.
he should not be about.
he should not be here
so you get that girl out!'

'Now! now! have no fear.
have no fear!' said the rat.
'my tricks aren’t so bad,'
said the rat with a bat.
'why, we can have
lots of good fun, if you see,
with a game that I call
smash your kneecap in three!'

'Get her out' muttered Vinnie.
'this is no fun at all!
Get her out!' shouted Vinnie.
Commencing to brawl.

'can’t you hear?' asked the rat.
'i will not let you flee.
We just want to talk to you,
Asioutorieon and me.”

But I grabbed her with one hand,
In the other the key,
And we jumped into the car,
Making ready to flee.
I stepped on the gas,
and turned the ignition,
And then we were free,
To go on with our mission…
User avatar
clong
Blade Runner
 
Posts: 9247
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:48 am
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Volleyball 2015

Postby Kahrey » Sun May 29, 2016 2:16 pm

[Genre: Haiku, kind of]

Engines approaching
A flash of metal - cocking
Bang! Bang! No silence

Reverberating
Ears ringing, glass shattering
Cowering in fear

Bullets, shells flying
The car swerving to and fro
Bang! Bang! Then a hit

The blood is running
Bathe in the warm setting sun
Eyelids fall heavy
"Life is trial and error. Those who succeed are those who survive their failures and keep trying." - LE Modesitt, Jr.
Kahrey
Fairy Tale Heroine - aka "Cinders"
 
Posts: 3577
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:07 pm
Location: Five Points, AL

Re: Volleyball 2015-16

Postby clong » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:23 am

[Genre - opening monologue and first scene for 70s television pilot]

For quite some time I had been trying to remember. I wasn’t entirely sure what I needed to remember, but somehow I knew it was important. I had a sense that something very important to me was missing, but I couldn’t remember what it was.

I remembered being in a car going very fast, and then suddenly an explosive bang, a wrenching sense that what had been down was now up, and then no more.

Sometime later I once again became aware of the unchanging dim redness. This time there was something different. The redness remained the same, but something was changing. After some time I remembered what that something was—noise. I was hearing sounds in the redness. But sounds were not the important thing I needed to remember.

The next time was different. My eyes drifted open and the redness was gone. In its place was a blinding brightness. And eventually I could focus on a face, a familiar face. Horace. That was the thing I needed to remember. He was saying something, something that seemed important, but all I heard was noise. I smiled and suddenly sleep beckoned once again.

The next time there was a woman. She was dressed like a doctor. She spoke, and this time I could understand. “It was touch and go there for a while, but it looks like you’re going to make it, miss. Our first success. The resistance has been trying for a long time to build a weapon. Someone more than human--someone who can stand up to the Plunes and help us get our planet back. You’re going to find, miss, that much of your body isn’t yours anymore. We have the technology to make the world's first bionic woman. You will be that woman. We have made you better than you were before. Better, stronger, faster…”
User avatar
clong
Blade Runner
 
Posts: 9247
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:48 am
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Volleyball 2015-16

Postby Kahrey » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:14 am

[Genre - Mystery]

"Better. Stronger. Faster." The man spoke slowly, with exaggerated enunciation. His eyes did not pull away from the glass as he swirled the scotch in its glass and took a swallow. The overhead light flickered slightly and made his grays appear to sparkle for a moment and played perfectly with the sheen of his suit.

"Yes, sir."

He continued sitting cross-legged, completely still, staring into the glass. Every few moments he would sip on the scotch. Shouldn't he be happy? Shouldn't he count this a win? What was this guilt he was feeling? It was alien to him, and he wanted to push it down, but no thoughts were helping him succeed. Bridgette's life was changed, nothing could ever be the same. She could never go back. While she had starved for such a "new start," he knew this is certainly not what she had wanted. He thought of her despair upon realising these things for herself and he was filled with despair also, even regret.

"Sir, we can consider phase two complete. This is cause for celebration. This was the one phase which we had no "plan b" to fall on. Everything was riding on this. Now it is complete and we no longer have to concern ourselves with the possibility of changing the entire operation. Bridgette's life as she knew it was...useless, it was -"

"Enough, Asioutorieon," he interrupted, putting his hand up in authority. "You are speaking out of line."

"Apologies, sir." He bowed slightly and then stood quietly.

"Have you report of the boys? Vinnie, Guido, and Miguel? What is their condition?"

"Miguel is still in critical, sir. Vinnie and Guido have been treated successfully and remain sedated. They are being kept so until you inform the nurses otherwise."

"And ours?"

"As of last update, only one remains, and it doesn't bode well for him. He is not expected to make it past morning."

He pursed his lips and sighed. He'd hoped to avoid casualties, but such is the cost of war.

A knock sounded on the door behind him, and Asioutorieon turned and answered.

"More Scotch." Came a female voice, simple, yet sultry in tone.

Asioutorieon opened wide for her to enter, and she walked slowly to the table and replaced the empty bottle of scotch with the new one.

"Thank you," the man smiled warmly as he gazed at the woman. He handed her his glass, and she filled it before kneeling beside his chair and placing a hand on his arm.

"I know this isn't exactly the way you wanted it, the way we planned. Even though we had expected these casualties, it's still hard to swallow, losing thirteen men. And Bridgette...she wasn't exactly supposed to be this way."

"No my dear, she wasn't."

The woman looked down briefly, then squeezed his arm. "We'll figure this out. I know her reintegration isn't part of our operation, but I will figure something out, Horace."

He smiled at her, and then stared back to the glass. Back to Bridgette.

The woman glanced at Asioutorieon briefly, and then walked out of the room. Asioutorieon looked as she walked down the hallway, staring at the black tattoos running down her spine that shone through her sheer dress.

"Asioutorieon."

"Yes?"

"I need to see her."

"Sir, I do not think that would be wise."

"I need to see her now!" Horace yelled loudly, and Asioutorieon flinched, caught by surprise. Horace was on his feet, inches from the glass, watching as Bridgette discovered she wasn't herself anymore. As she burst into tears. As she started screaming.

Asioutorieon left the room, closing it behind him. He stared at the key in his hand, knowing he was supposed to lock Horace away. That was deal. It's what he'd agreed to, and doing so...
"Life is trial and error. Those who succeed are those who survive their failures and keep trying." - LE Modesitt, Jr.
Kahrey
Fairy Tale Heroine - aka "Cinders"
 
Posts: 3577
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:07 pm
Location: Five Points, AL

Re: Volleyball 2015-16

Postby clong » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:20 pm

..., he next went to check in on the status of Miguel, Vinnie and Guido. They were in fact doing much better than he had admitted to the all too easily manipulated Horace.

[Genre = Rodgers and Hammerstein musical]

Scene: Vinnie, Guido, and Miguel in a hospital recover room. Vinnie squirms fitfully in a wheelchair, one arm in a sling, while Guido tentatively practices walking on crutches. Miguel, immobilized in bed in a full-body cast; and is just awakening as the lights come up.

(Sung to the tune of “How do you solve a problem like Maria?”)

(intro - alternating)
She dozes on the morning bus
Oblivious to fear
She hides her thoughts from prying minds
When Plunes are coming near
But underneath her innocence
Her toughness has no peer
She even knows to not believe Cassandra.

She didn’t come with Horace
But her determination’s real.
She’ll have to learn to beat on Plunes
And not be so genteel.
I'm very glad to say it,
That I very firmly feel
Brigita'll be an asset to the movement

I'd like to say a word in her behalf
Brigita... will… kick…ass

(chorus - alternating)
How will they solve a problem like Brigita?
All of their plans she’s going to confound
How will they find a word that means Brigita?
A superagent! A bionic miss! Renowned!

Many a thing her strength will let her do now
Many a Plune will find itself unmanned
Oh soon she will make them pay
and then they will run away
The invaders’ sway no longer on our land!

Oh, how will they solve a problem like Brigita?
Our overlords she’s going to confound!

(verse - altenating)
When they chase her they’re confused
Out of focus and bemused
Those Plunes'll never know exactly where she’s gone
Inescapable as weather
She'll be uncatchable as aether
She's a darling! She's the bomb! Sine qua non!

She could outsmart any Plune
Make it look like a buffoon
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She’s got muscles! She is wild!
She's so fast! She's not mild!
She's can hear them! She's an angel!
She's the bomb!

(repeat chorus- all together)
How will they solve a problem like Brigita?
All of their plans she’s going to confound
How will they find a word that means Brigita?
A superagent! A bionic miss! Renowned!

Many a thing her strength will let her do now
Many a Plune will find itself unmanned
Oh soon she will make them pay
and then they will run away
The invaders’ sway no longer on our land!

Oh, how will they solve a problem like Brigita?
Our overlords she’s going to confound!

Closing the door quietly, Asioutorieon made a mental note to tell the nurses to up their sedative dosages. He was troubled by this latest development. Everything was going to plan, but for the first time in a long while he was starting to question whether...
User avatar
clong
Blade Runner
 
Posts: 9247
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:48 am
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Volleyball 2015-16

Postby Kahrey » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:56 am

[Genre - Fantasy, of some kind]

...or not Horace would work. When he had Sought him, he had fit the necessary type: strong character, leader, but emotionally weak, prone to break. His Senses indicated Horace was hardening. He sighed and his stomach sickened slightly as he considered what he may very well have to do.

He headed down the hallway with a sigh, deep in thought, towards his office. As he neared, his stomach dropped—something was wrong. Very wrong. He looked up and was immediately overtaken by fright. His office door, which he had closed and locked, was slightly ajar, and a thick, black smear was barely visible on the floor, a streak leading into his office.

He paled, froze. Stopped breathing.

He caught movement ahead—a young woman approaching him from the end of the hallway. He rushed to his office and stood in the doorway, and she nodded and smiled as she passed by. She didn't seem to notice his paleness, how strange it was that he had rushed to the door, only to stand there unnaturally, nor the sweat that built on his forehead, or how violently his hands shook. She exited into the stairwell a few hundred feet away. He swallowed, and quickly slid inside, closing the door, keeping his back turned. Terror was overtaking him further.

"Asioutorieon." The voice was deep and low, quiet even.

"Your—your highness..." He did not turn around.

"Look at me when you speak to me, slave!" The voice quickly took on a tone that boomed and shook the room, and was laced with disdain and hatred, which pulsed through Asioutorieon, nearly paralyzing him.

He turned slowly, keeping his head lowered, but he could see the figure, still, and he was barely able to move. Tears streaming down his face, he raised his eyes to meet the creature's, and it felt as though his eyes were on fire and his blood was thickening in his veins.

A loud, guttural laugh erupted from the hideous form. "Oh, Asioutorieon. Such a weak bastard, you are." There was a long pause as the creature regained his composure, which seemed more to shame Asioutorieon than actual amusement. "I give you all the tools at your disposal. I give you instruction. I give you Gifts that men only dream of. Yet, still, you manage to be a disappointment."

Asioutorieon had fallen to his knees with his head bowed. The mere presence felt like death, and had he an appropriate tool he would have ended his suffering then and there. But he also knew that would have only brought a new level of suffering.

"'I will prove my worth,' you said. So determined to overcome your childhood. Shall I remind you?"

Images flooded his mind, the worst of the worst, and he fell to the floor, a crumpled heap. Nothingness.

"You're not worthy of your name, no. You are Alexei. You're just a battered child, better off dead."

There was silence for a long while.

Finally, the creature relinquished the pressure of his presence over the room, and Asioutorieon gasped and wheezed, as though he had just been dragged ashore and had nearly drowned. He slowly got to his knees, but knew he couldn't stand. His head hurt so badly he could scarcely see—for which he was almost thankful. He wiped the tears, snot, and spit from his face, and continued breathing deeply. The stench of the creature still hung about, but no longer crushed him as badly.

"Your highness, I am grateful for the Gifts with which you've so graciously blessed me. I thank you for allowing me to remain with the living. I beg you to excuse my failures, for they can still be made successes." His voice shook, despite his efforts to steady it.

"Yes, they can. You must kill Horace."

His stomach turned. Horace was a good man. He wasn't supposed to die. This wasn’t the plan.

"Alexei," the creature started, "Do you remember how I found you?"

His thoughts were forced back to that winter night three years ago in Perm. He was 19. He had escaped his father, but he had trailed after him, drunk, the usual. But this night was different. Alexei had broken free of his father's Bind. There was hope. He could escape this time.

His drunken father hobbled behind, yelling obscenities, and Alexei was nearing the end of the alley, toward freedom, when a shot rang out and he fell to the ground. Heat exploded through his body, he wasn't even sure what had happened. Then he felt it. Blood spilled over from his thigh, covering it. And before he knew it, his father was on top of him with the gun to his head, pulling back on the hammer.

Alexei didn't think. He swiftly slipped the knife from his father's belt out of the sheath and stabbed his father in the side of the neck.

In moments, Alexei was covered in blood, he was shaking violently, and his sight was failing. His father lay over to the side, dead, then Alexei spotted a knife sticking out of his side. His father’s second knife he always carried.

He was covered in so much blood. His face fell to the side, and he watched the blood as it spilled out, staining the snow, freezing in rivulets.

"I can save you." Alexei had heard, just before blacking out.

When he awoke, he appeared to be in an asclepeion, and all he could remember was blood freezing in the snow.

"Alexei, you're finally awake."

He looked to the side to see just an ordinary man.

"Where am I? Who are you?" He asked weakly.

"You're safe."

"What is this place?" Panic began to wash over him.

"I've brought you to my refuge in the Urals. I am Frughkosnik."

Alexei was terribly confused and his head began to hurt.

"You've been out for twenty months."

"Twenty months?"

"Yes. You were unable to be saved…traditionally. I had to use my own methods. You'll find you are not the same…"

Asioutorien recalled the rest of the story. How the ordinary-looking man had transformed into a hideous creature. How he learned he had Gifts. How he had been aged by seventeen years, how he was alive, yet a slave.

"You have endured much, Alexei.” His thoughts returned to the present. “But for all that, I can bring you more misery than even you can imagine. And don't forget—I am not bound by Death. Wherever you go, I can find you."

The creature disappeared in a flash, and Asioutorieon felt immediate relief, followed by debilitating dread. He dropped to the floor, in misery, agony. It seemed as though that was to be his life. For all his efforts to better it, he was always bested.

A knock came at the door, and, drained of will, he remained quiet, hoping they would go away. The knock persisted.

"I can help." Came a voice, quietly.

No, he was done accepting help.

"Asioutorieon—Alexei—I can defeat Frughkosnik."

His eyes widened, but he lay frozen still, intrigued, yet terrified. Wanting help, yet terrified. Just simply terrified.

He stared at the door, still lying on the floor, and noticed...
"Life is trial and error. Those who succeed are those who survive their failures and keep trying." - LE Modesitt, Jr.
Kahrey
Fairy Tale Heroine - aka "Cinders"
 
Posts: 3577
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:07 pm
Location: Five Points, AL

Re: Volleyball 2015-16

Postby Aunflin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:21 am

...the light playing around the doorframe, a silver-white luminescence coruscating and sharp in the darkness of the room. He squinted. It hurt his eyes to look too long. He turned away, closing his eyes. Bright afterimages danced like miniature suns glaring. Alexei groaned and curled into himself, tightening into a rictus ball of bone, muscle, and tendon. No! he thought. No more. I cannot... But the thought drifted away to nothingness.

Who am I? whispered the voice in his head, the voice that sounded so much like him but at times seemed like a different entity altogether. What strangeness is this? He looked back to the light, flickering and dancing, intense motes drifting like dust. Another knock echoed, a hard tap-tap-tapping on wood, a hollow sound. "I can help, came the words again, the voice soft, distant and indiscernible. Alexei could not tell if a man or woman spoke--or something else entirely.

"I can help," repeated the voice. But Alexi screamed silently into his mind: NOOOO! No more help. I just want to die, to end it all. He thought of his father and the knife and the blood. There was so much blood, an endless river, crimson and flowing. The stench of iron and salt hung heavy. He could smell it, almost taste the sharp tang on his tongue. Revulsion filled him. His stomach turned. He retched until spewed the contents of his stomach onto the floor. He retched again at the burning, acid taste, as his noise ran with thick streams of snot and his eyes watered. His head pounded. Thud! Thud! And his heart raced at a frantic pace.

The door handle rattled and more knocks reverberated, harder and harder, insistent, not to be denied.

Alexei's heartrate quickened until it seemed his heart would burst from his chest. Visions danced in his thoughts, intermingled with the dancing points of light assaulting his eyes. Sibilant voice whispered amidst the tolling of dreadful bells and fires surged with sudden unexpectedness. The stench of sulfur flooded the room, cloying and thick. Alexei gasped. It seemed he was choking, noxious fumes strangling.

And the door juddered and shuddered as someone attempted to break through. What is going on? Alexei could not tell if he screamed the words aloud or raged like a madman in his thoughts. Fear pulsed and throbbed, terror beating like a vast gong. Numbness dragged at him, paralytic despondency. I am trapped. I am unworthy. I am...

But Alexei could not complete the thought. Suddenly, the hard floor was no more, having dissipated to nothingness. And he was falling and falling. He screamed, a silent agony reverberating and echoing, a soul-cry of terror. Dark and cold cloaked him, dread winds dragged at him, whipping about his frame as he spiraled down and down into oblivion...

He hit something hard, the breath whooshing from his lungs. Pain flared and he screamed, his voice ragged and raw. Sharp agony shot through him, pins and needles, swords and spears riving from the unseen maelstrom of shadows cloaking him. Heat washed over him, reeking and molten, followed by the frigid breath of ice, blowing over him like the ice winds of winter.

After a time--an eternity, a moment--reality coalesced and the darkness dissipated, liquid shadows pulling up and away, forming a vast wall surrounding him. A new reality stretched out before him, hellish and terrifying but all too real. Jagged peaks towered in the distance, purplish clouds coiling and angry overhead. The skies were reddish and streaked with occasion flashes of lightning, titanic detonations echoing. And the air hung heavy with rot and death, decay ever-present, a constant reminder of the futility of existence.

Alexei forced himself to sit up, teeth clenched against flares of pain wracking his body. He squinted against the glare. "Where am I?" he asked himself, his throat raspy and raw. His face twisted in distaste. The memory of vomit was still on his tongue.

A vast shadow suddenly blotted out the grayish-red light of Hell. Alexei looked up and froze in terror. He did not know what it was, but the flying creature greatly resembled a black dragon, charcoal scales glittering with darkness, reddish-orange light emanating a soft glow from between over-lapping scales and jutting spikes and ridges.

The black dragon swooped down, vast pinions snapping in the wind. It focused its golden, glowing eyes on Alexei, intent and sharp, and opened its fang-filled jaws, emitting a horrific blast of sound, followed by trailers of fire. Smoke wreathed its massive head, coiling around and about, and the great dragon came on and on, intent upon Alexei...
"A writer's chosen task is to write well and professionally. If you can't keep doing it, then you're no longer a professional, but a gifted amateur." L. E. Modessit, jr.
Aunflin
Legionnaire
 
Posts: 3768
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:23 pm
Location: Maryville, MO

Re: Volleyball 2015-16

Postby clong » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:17 pm

As the creature grows near, it gradually becomes apparent that it is not so much a dragon as a dinosaur. And not so much black as a rather strange shade of purple.

[genre – an episode of Barney and Friends]

Alexei: *sighs* I wish that I would have friends to have fun with.

Barney: I'd be happy to be your friend!

Taylor: Barney!

Barney: Hi Alexei, Oh boy oh boy! I'm so happy that you survived plummeting through the sky. Welcome to Muspelheim!

Taylor: Muspelheim? Shuspelheim! I haven’t had a very good day today… it’s been terrible.

Barney: Oh what's wrong?

Taylor: Well I haven't made any friends yet.

Barney: Oh that's a shame

◾Barney spots three Hispanic boys playing jump rope

Barney: Maybe I can help..Come with me Alexei.

◾Barney grabs Alexei's hand as they walk towards the jump rope. We hear singing .

Vinnie, Guido, and Miguel:

…I've no time to wait and sigh
No patience to wait 'til by and by
Kiss me quick, I'm off... Goodbye!
Pop! Goes the weasel

◾song ends.

The three kids notice Barney and greet him.

Vinnie, Guido, and Miguel: Barney!

Barney: Oh hi guys! How are you all doing today?

Vinnie, Guido, and Miguel: Good!

Miguel: Barney, we were playing outside would you like to join us?

Barney: Oh I'd be happy to..but I have a friend I want you to meet. Everyone meet a good friend of mine, Alexei.

Alexei: Hi everyone.

Barney: Alexei, meet Vinnie

Vinnie: Hey!

Barney: Guido,

Guido: Nice to meet you.

Barney: and Miguel.

Miguel: The giant fire demon Surtr told me that there was a new boy in Muspelheim today..it's a pleasure to meet you, Alexei.

Alexei: Will you all be my friends?

Kids: Sure.

Barney: Did you know that we get to do something very special today?

Kids: No

Alexei: What are we going to do that's so special, Barney?

Barney: We get to learn about Muspelheim: The Land of Fire

Alexei: Fire! That sounds hot, Barney.

Barney: It is, Alexei. Muspelheim is a burning hot place, filled with lava, flames, sparks and soot. Muspelheim is the home the of fire giants, fire demons and ruled by the giant Surtr. He is a sworn enemy of the Aesir. Surtr will ride out with his flaming sword in his hand at Ragnarök “the end of the world” Surtr will then attack Asgard, “the home of the Gods” and turn it into a flaming inferno.

Kids: Really ?

Barney: Yep.

Vinnie: What do we do?

Barney: Well first we need to see if you’re ready for the end of the world..can you all show me your weapons?

◾they all smile and look at Barney. Vinnie picks up a fabulous magic sword, Guido a golden battle axe, and Miguel a rather vicious looking spiked battle hammer. Alexei looks in his pockets, but they are empty.

Alexei: I don’t have any weapons!

Barney: Well if you're happy I just might take you to go get one, but if you’re sad you can pucker up your lip or maybe even cry and that will mean a time out. Are you happy?

◾"I Can See It on Your Face" begins to play

Alexei:

Sometimes I feel happy and that's just fine with me.
I think feeling happy is my favorite way to be.
You can tell I'm happy by the smile on my face.

◾song ends.

Kids: Yay! Alexei is happy! Let’s go get him a weapon!

Barney: Ok, everyone…close your eyes and click your heel together three times and repeat after me “Let’s go someplace fun!”

Kids close their eyes, click their heels together, and say: Let’s go someplace fun!

Fade to black. After a momentary sense of displacement, we rejoin our four intrepid friends in a new setting…
User avatar
clong
Blade Runner
 
Posts: 9247
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:48 am
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Volleyball 2015-16

Postby Aunflin » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:04 pm

Alexei sucked in his breath, a dreadful wheeze like an old man dying. Reality swirled before his eyes, light and dark refracting. Something moaned and groaned, dragging at his body, frigid and harsh. Several moments passed before he realized it was the wind, harsh and bitter. He shivered despite himself, the memories of Russian winters forever lingering in his soul. But this was a different cold, more terrible and complete...and alien.

Reality righted itself and Alexie's vision stabilized. He gasped at what he beheld: a vast ice field glittering in darkness, knife-points of stars stabbing down with white intensity. Great peaks loomed in the distance, glittering and hazy. Liquid shadows flowed across the ice-choked 'scape amidst refracting light sparkles twinkling and flickering.

Alexei turned slowly, examining this strange new world. A sense of alienness hung upon the air, a weirdness he could neither explain nor deny, for the air was clear and far off things seemed at hand whilst close-seeming objects were hazy, indistinct, as if they were not quite so real as they seemed. What is this place? he asked himself, thoughts whirring and buzzing.

Then he realized he was not quite himself. Something seemed unutterably off. I am too tall and large. The revelation was startling to say the least. Alexei ran his hands across his body. Yes. I am me but not me, trapped in a new form, a body alien and strange.

A distance thought pulsed, yet it was close at hand, intimate and strong. A name awakened, with it a visual image. I am Dhar Thrakhis Enkyial, Lord of Nhor-ha-jaar and Master of the Khliin'mahaanhi Clan, and with that distant/near utterance arrived a self-image: an imposing figure garbed in white and silver and gray, lean and tall but well-muscled and strong. Long hair, silver-white and fine, flowed like gossamer threads, and his eyes glowed with cobalt flames from a face shining like time-worn alabaster.

Alexei looked to his companions: Vinny, Guido, and Miguel. They too were bound within alien forms, humanoid yet strange enough to be obviously not human, or a species of human Alexei had never encountered. The three of them loomed, gigantic and twisted, gnarled horrors bound in servitude to Dhar Thrakhis Enkyial. Each bore the aspect of animal and human twisted as one, feral and beastly apparitions, shadows flowing and writhing about their unnatural figures. Their eyes shimmered like red-orange coals, emanating rage and hatred and fear of their Lord and Master. There was also confusion and a sense of wonder Alexei could not deny. They are scared and confused, as I am, as anyone would be. I...

But Alexei's mind blanked. He could not finish the thought, for the mind of Dhar Thrakhis Enyial intruded, powerful and enraged. Who are you spirit, contaminating my thoughts with your weakness? Alexei cringed at the words. He wanted to flee, to hide, be anywhere else but here. But he was trapped, bound within the chains of another being's soul and will. Dhar Thrakis Enyial snarled, a wolf-like wail, a howl echoing and reverberating across the ice-scattered land.

I am a man from Earth, replied Alexei, his voice a trembling whisper. I do not know how I came to be here. Desperate, Alexei tried to pull away from the alien Lord of the North. But Dhar Thrakhis Enyial would not be denied. Mental bands wrapped around Alexei, binding him in place, invisible and unbreakable, or so it seemed at the time.

Who are you, demanded the Lord of Nhor-ha-jaar and the Master of the Khliin'mahaanhi, did my nemesis Khraath Thraeghor send you to bind me to his cause? Anger burned with the words, raging flames slashing, invisible whips tearing as they cracked and rended. Alexie could see a visualization of a bloated figure, pale and blue-tinged and hideous to behold. Strange energies played about the grotesque being, whatever it was. And it did not resembled Dhar Thrakhi Enyial but was of an different race entirely. The Zjoor Tahaagdha. The name dribbled forth, overwhelming, and Alexei experienced all the hatred the Lord of the North held for the Ice-slugs who dwelled in the slow shadows of Dja'havrem Tchjol.

I know nothing. I am no one, a man not of this place. I am of the Earth--THE EARTH! I don't know where this place is, why I am here, or how! Just let me leave, free me from the shackles of your will, Great Lord, and I will seek out a way back to my world.

Dhar Thrakhis Enyial laughed, a barking howl, harsh and despondent and carrying a hard edge. Perhaps, I will, thought the Lord of Ice and Shadows. But not today, for I have a long journey yet: to the Lhirrha Tahar-dannial. Alexei just took in the words, shrinking further into himself. I seek the Zerash Mhorr and the Wisdom of Years...
"A writer's chosen task is to write well and professionally. If you can't keep doing it, then you're no longer a professional, but a gifted amateur." L. E. Modessit, jr.
Aunflin
Legionnaire
 
Posts: 3768
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:23 pm
Location: Maryville, MO

Re: Volleyball 2015-16

Postby clong » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:16 pm

But then, suddenly, everything suddenly faded to black…and then GAME OVER started flashing in red capital letters across his field of vision. “Dammit!” Horace mused to himself, “I almost made it all the way to Lhirrha Tahar-dannial! I’ve never made it that far before.” He removed his sweaty VR goggles with a sigh. The injuries he had sustained in the battle with the fire demons must have been worse than he had realized.

Horace and several of his friends had been playing Plune Invasion off-and-on for about four months now. It was addictive, in the way that the very best new games tended to be. This had been the first time he had survived the perilous Barney level.

Well, he would try again next week, if he could scrounge up the extra cash. Rent was coming due soon, and he hadn’t been getting enough hours recently at his part-time job at the downtown library. Of course, some people (like his parents and his ex-girlfriend Bridget) thought he had been spending too much time at the VRcade lately. But, then playing Plune Invasion had proven to be just about the only thing that took his mind off of their breakup. The fact that he was spending so much time (and money) on VRMMORPGs instead of getting serious about looking for a full time job had probably been the biggest factor leading up to their last big argument. Bridget had given him a choice…a future with her or his stupid games, and he guessed the stupid games had won.

He reclaimed his backpack from behind the counter, and made his way through the heavily shaded sliding glass doors. It was pitch dark…he often ended up leaving the arcade very late after a gaming binge. He unlocked his bike-lock, retrieved his bicycle from the rack, and started peddling for his apartment.

“Why did Bridget have to be so unreasonable?” he asked himself. He missed her.

As he turned onto Woodside Drive, Horace noticed that the late night coffee shop was still open, and he decided to stop. He could use a shot of caffeine, and besides Bridget’s best friend Cass worked there, and occasionally she had proven a source for intelligence on what Bridget was up to in the post-Horace era.

He secured his bicycle to the side rack, and headed for the front door, thinking that he was pretty sure that Cass was usually on the late-night shift on Sundays. As he pushed open the door, he was confronted by a rather surprising sight…
User avatar
clong
Blade Runner
 
Posts: 9247
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:48 am
Location: Rochester, NY


Return to The Quill & Fountain

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron