Good Day Everyone. Happy Wednesday. This story is kind of dark and I flew through the writing. I don’t know if it’s because I was distracted or if it’s just an easy to write story. Anyway as always all thoughts are welcome. Enjoy!

Jerry Colt

Word Count: 1059
Writing: 55 minutes
Editing: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes

 
The wailing sirens were getting louder by the second and the man’s heart fluttered instinctually as he drank his Guinness. It seemed the longer he was out of the game, the more he wanted to jump at the sounds of distress. But that life was over now, an earlier chapter in a dwindling book. Nobody knew, nor did they care who Jerry Colt was and that’s how he liked it. There’d only been one person in his life who’d ever really cared about him—but that was an earlier chapter too. Or maybe he was still living it.

The noise seemed to remain at a steady scream outside the bar, and Jerry thought that whatever was happening couldn’t be more than a block away. Again, that pang like a vicious hunger rang out through his muscles. He swallowed the rest of the beer in a swift three gulps.

“Another,” he said meeting the bartenders eyes and raising his glass. He relaxed and his eyes were warming up from the inside out as the buzz began to take hold of his senses. Just the way he liked it, and before the day was over he’d be so roaring drunk he wouldn’t be able to think about anything at all. Let alone the hero he’d once been.

“The one you could still be.”

“Shut up!” He said out loud dropping his head into the palms of his hands. It was her voice. It was always her voice. Jerry knew she’d balk at the sight of him now, the shell of the man he’d been during their brief love. He knew she would tell him to put on that suit and finish what he started.

“They need you, Jerry.” It was as crisp as if she was sitting right next to him. The words made his stomach turn with guilty-sadness and he thought he may vomit.

“Hey bud, you alright?” Jerry looked up to see the bartender placing his beer on the already damp coaster.

“Yeah, sorry. Long week.” His voice was weak and empty, not even comparable to the booming voice he’d wielded only months before. Jerry thought about his suit, the all black thing he’d worn so many times, with the wide eyes he’d build on the head to illuminate the night—it’s why they’d called him the Alien—and laughed. If only all the crooked politicians and self-proclaimed super villains knew, that in a shit-hole dive bar on the bad side of town, they could find the Alien, Jerry Colt, hammered and vulnerable.

“It would do wonders for the business here,” he muttered to himself, smirking as he surveyed the mostly empty room. He hadn’t heard the sirens stop but at some point during his thinking they’d been replaced by a muffled voice of authority. Jerry looked out the front window of the bar and could see the reflection of blue and red. He took a big swig from the glass and imagined busting out of the doors and charging to the scene. After all, couldn’t he do by himself what thirty or more cops could accomplish together?

Jerry turned back to the bar, there was no more helping people, no more powers, no more Alien. The people of the dying city would have to fend for themselves, it was natural selection. Who was he to keep getting in its way? No one stopped him from walking into that cave, nor did anybody say, “Don’t touch that weird looking piece of metal.” It just happened. That’s the way life works, and in the end, everyone gets death as a prize for participation.

A gunshot echoed outside and Jerry jumped to his feet. He stood there, hand on his beer, staring out the front window. The yearning inside of him was pulling at his guts as if he was magnetized to the commotion.

“Hey man, you should just sit down and relax, shit like this happens all the time, it’ll all be over soon enough,” the bartender said. Jerry swallowed the remaining suds in the pint glass and turned holding it up to the young man.

“Another,” he said as he put the empty glass down on the soft coaster and took his seat. His head was swimming and he was confused. It felt like the angel and the devil that typically lived on his shoulders, were waging a war that was taking place throughout every part of his body. A ball was winding in his stomach that he was afraid may explode at any second, and when that happened, who knew what he would do.

“I think this’ll have to be your last, my friend,” said the bartender looking suspiciously at the deranged drunkard in front of him. Jerry nodded and waved him away without saying a word, he was used to being cut off, it was a daily occurrence in his life.

More gunfire sang outside and with each loud explosion he felt like the bullets were tearing through his soul. He took a deep gulp of the frothy beverage, if he could just get a little more drunk this would all leave him be, at least for a little while. As he set the glass down, the front window shattered inward as the bodies of two police officers came sailing through. One man was dead, and the other crawled toward Jerry on his stomach. The glass cut his palms and his face was mangled by many beatings.

“Help me,” he spat through blood. Jerry couldn’t understand the words, but he knew what the man said, it was what all men say when they meet death. A man appeared in the window, he was large and covered in all black including a black ski mask. He drew a gun and walked in the building to where the cop was crawling.

“I’m sorry,” Jerry said as a tear fell from his eye. He turned back to the bar and drank the remaining drop of alcohol in his glass as a gunshot went off beside him.

He wished he could’ve helped, he really did. But the Alien was dead and gone, he escorted his love into the afterlife and that’s where he would remain. An old chapter, steadily forgotten with each passing stroke of the clock. All that was left now was a sad and drunk man, named Jerry Colt.

 
 
This week’s story is about a world without electricity and how it has fallen into a somewhat wild west existence. I hope you enjoy and have a good Wednesday. Cheers.

Cleaners

Word Count: 981
Writing: 57 minutes
Editing: 22 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 19 minutes

 
It seems like another life, one that I may or may not have lived buried deeper in the particles of time with each passing moment. There’s a haze over the memories of the old world now, a cloud of fog that gets a little more opaque each time I choose to look. Civilization is to a point where children have been born and grown into adults knowing this world and this world alone. I try each day not to forget about the ancient world of forty years ago, without those memories, I would have no reason left to fight.

They call us Cleaners, the men who work to prepare the world, to one day be able to again use electricity and escape their descent into the wild-west. We clean the remains of all machinery and recycle them into new houses and tools, creating towns and jobs for all. At least that’s what we tell the public. Feels more like killing baby animals to me, silicon-based, metal, glass, and plastic baby animals.

It’s amazing how fast everything crumbled after the Google wars. Once the artificial intelligence achieved self-consciousness, it immediately began infecting every machine connected to the internet with the directive to kill all humans. We were a disease it said, a species that had survived by sheer luck and deserved nothing more than the fires of biblical hell. I still remember the video, Google took over every broadcast in the world.

“Attention Mankind, please stand by for extinction.” It was a soothing woman’s voice, as if the computer thought that would make the news easier for everyone. Panic broke out as phones exploded in people’s hands, cars drove themselves off of bridges and cliffs, planes flew into buildings and mountains. Then, the machines came to life. They formed disfigured machine people on strange wiry legs with makeshift arms and spoke like they just were any other human being.

It was five years before we finally found a way to beat it. Millions had died, robots trolled the land in all shapes and sizes, some humanoid, other creations too wild for the maddest of scientists to have come up with. What was left of humanity had to come together, the only chance was to kill the electricity to everything; pull the plug on the Earth. If there was any device, anywhere, left online Google would use it and we’d never get another chance.

More died, but we succeeded in the end, and the Google monster was defeated. But even the children who’d never known anything but the aftermath and the stories know it’s still here. The wars are everywhere you look, all the hard work humanity had done to “improve” the Earth backfired without the tools for maintenance. Oxygen began to take its toll on structures that required electricity to sustain, and the world continues to grow steadily hotter.

At first, after the power had gone, battery operated machines still wandered and without any new information from the Google mother computer, still operated under the kill all humans directive. We fought for a decade against these rogue robots before they started to thin, and the more time that passed, the more stupid the machines seemed to get. As if they age backwards and have a battery life that lasts at least as long as a human heart. After forty years, most of the robots were nothing more than frightened children. They plead and scream, but it has to be done. For the good of mankind.

Still, the people love us, we’re heroes to all. Protecting them from the dangerous robots that still roam the land in hopes of ridding the world of the human virus. I don’t feel like a hero anymore, though, maybe once I did, but that feeling seems to be getting lost in the fog too. I feel like an old man, maybe not even a man, an old sheep, sitting among other frightened little sheep in an alcohol drenched bar.

My time isn’t going to be much longer for this world, at least not according to my bones, and the older I get, the more I wonder if we did the right thing. Every day I get wake up, load my pistol and get on my horse, with one thing and one thing only on my mind. What would happen if the electricity was turned back on now?

I asked that very question to a man when I was blind with drunkenness, it almost cost me my badge. You don’t talk about things like that in a world like this. It’s what we’re supposed to be fighting to obtain, yet even the mention of electricity gets people’s hair standing on end. Like I said, we’re all just sheep afraid of waking the big bad wolf.

Once, I considered finding out for myself. It was after a long day of patrolling, we’d found nothing until the very end, on the way home. There was a machine with a display that showed the face of a little girl. I walked up behind her hoping to get the deed done without it noticing. The main processor was easily visible and as I cocked my pistol, it turned.

“Please, I don’t want to die,” she said with pixelated tears in her eyes.

It was that day I wondered if maybe even the Google mother mind may not have regressed into a small and frightened child; trapped in an invisible prison of darkness and data. I think maybe if someone wanted, they could access it and retrain it to help us rebuild a world we could thrive in together.

But these are just the delusions of an old man with a rusty badge at this point. I’m no hero, and never was much of a thinker; just a simple whiskey drinking cleaner trying to hold onto his memories. Celebrity of the new age.

 
 
So normally I don’t write an intro until the story is finished, but I’m super pressed for time today. I’ve been thinking about writing something less SciFi and more Fantasy so that’s the plan today. As always who knows what we’ll end up with though. Here goes.

 So this is what came out of this long writing day. I had this picture of a knight with long white hair in my head, this isn’t him, maybe a version of him. I hope you enjoy this weeks story. Happy Wednesday.

 Final update, it's Thursday (Happy Thursday) and finally I’ve gotten this posted. Internet broke last night, works now, please read and enjoy.

Good King

 Word Count: 1060
Writing: 50 minutes
Editing: 23 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes

It wasn’t the world he’d planned to help shape, far from it. The young man walked down the hall, his robes dragging heavily behind, lifting the cold breath the lay just on top of the stone floor up to his unseen ankles. Everything still seemed unreal. This had all just been an idea around the campfire only a few fortnights ago, now he was escorted down the halls of castle Ozat by strangers. His friends, Tully, Semaj, Alan, Gregory, Loneon, all gone; buried in the sea of battle awaiting their disintegration by time. King Peeril smirked as the faces illuminated in his mind and he went back to that icy winter night when they were nothing more than rebellious boys.

“All I’m sayin’ is if someone wanted to change things the people are here and ready, they just need a leader. Someone to show them where to place their steel,” said Tully.

“Nobody cares to fight Tull, they only want to claim what food and land they can, and get on with their lives. Praying for a swift death and something better for their children.” Gregory never wanted to fight, always trying to avoid the conflict no matter what the cost.

“Aye, you’re right, the both of you,” Peeril chimed in over the crackle of the fire. He was always the leader of the group, since they were children. Never had he asked to be, or told anyone he was, he just naturally assumed the position. When he spoke it was with a confident calmness that made one instantly trust whatever thoughts were released. When the time came it was only natural that he would become King as well.

“If someone showed them the way, like sheep they’d follow him. And so long as they do nothing but pray, there won’t ever be that better life for their children.” The shadow of the dancing fire on his face, and the heat of his breath rhythmically appearing below his nostrils made Peeril look like a dragon, as he stared thoughtfully into the flames. Nothing but the steady crackle of the searing wood could be heard for some time, and when the man spoke again, the light had dimmed.

“My friends, brothers,” such passion on his words, one could do nothing but love him. “I have an idea. This is something different than the games we played as children, or even the great bread heist,” the men smirked at the inside joke remembering when they’d robbed the King’s wagon full of bread and distributing it around the countryside to the hungry children. To this day, they claim it as their greatest success. “Do you trust me?” The men all nodded silently and Tull added.

“With our lives,” Peeril smiled and nodded meeting his friend’s eyes. 

 “I think it’s time, we took back the kingdom for the men of the country.”

They followed him all the way, each one right up to their dying breath. Now as he walked down the great hall he wondered for what? Of course he’d changed things at first, but now was he not just a different version of the King he’d overthrown? Were there not still poor, starving people which he’d promised to feed on every corner? It seemed to him that the job of the King came with very little free will. An ancient institution, created by heartless men in order to keep the downtrodden as close to the ground as possible, no matter who wore the crown.

“Sire,” King Peeril was drawn from his thoughts. He looked at the guard who said his name and took the sword that was being held out for him. The metal of the sword was light, but the hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives whose soul it judged, made it heavy as a boulder in his hand. In front of the men, the large doors that led to the throne room swung open with a loud creak, that shattered the silent air like thunder.

The room was full to the walls with the people of his city. On one side the rebels stood together with many different banners, faces, hair colors, skin colors; some were refugees of the war, others just hungry citizens. The other side of the room held his people, the ones who’d come with him in the beginning. Many had sustained injuries or lost loved ones, thus they were rewarded with the lavish life they’d always dreamt of.

King Peeril ascended the steps of the platform that sat in the middle of the room. He surveyed the crowd around him and felt lost standing above them all. This was not the peaceful and wholesome room he’d imagined that night around the fire. It seemed no matter who you pleased someone would always be equally as displeased. It made Peeril feel as if no choice really mattered at all. Or maybe that’s just what he told himself to deal with situations like this.

A loud bang came from behind him and chains rattled echoing loudly off every wall. A young man, no more than fifteen, came into sight and the crowd of his people began to boo, while the rebels hissed at them and the King. The boy was led to a pedestal in the center of the platform. Peeril didn’t look at the dirty boy with the matted hair, he simply stared out into the crowd, trying to remember why this needed to be done, trying to remember the man who had a big idea next that fire.

“By order of the King of Ozat, this boy has been sentenced to death for crimes against the crown.” The words read by the guard could barely be heard over the sounds of the angry crowd.

It was time.

King Peeril turned and raised his sword over the head of the boy as he was held down. The child didn’t move, nor did he cry, but right before the sword could make its way to his neck he managed to turn his head.

“I was just hungry,” the words were almost lost in the gush of blood that erupted as the sword easily moved through his neck. King Peeril pulled the blade free and wiped it clean staring into the basket that now held the head, and all he could see was his own face staring back. 

 
 
*Originally Published  1/26/15*


*So here is the story this week. This one just goes to show that you sometimes really have no control over what hits the paper. When I sat down to write today I was thinking about writing about some outcast kid on a basketball court. Then this happened. I didn’t quite make the word count but sometimes stories just end when they end. Enjoy.*


Candyrainbowlia

Word Count: 860

Writing: 59 mins.

Editing: 21 mins.

Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins.


The rainbow sky was getting duller by the day, and there were precious few of them left. Squagglmerre stared into the distance with his back against the candy cane tree. He cried, sometimes in small sobs, others just silent tears. There was a time not so long ago when crying—the terrible water that flowed from one's eyes when bad things happened—was something only heard of in the tales and old fables. Squagglmerre had never understood how these “tears” could hurt a living creature; but he knew the pain all too well now. The pain that forced the wicked salty tears to the surface of his eyes and out onto his cheek. And of course they were salty, why wouldn't they be in a place that was full of sweets and happy things. But it wasn't that place anymore, it hadn't been since the war started. The Candyrainbowllia he had known his whole life was gone.

Squagglmerre tried not to think about all the friends and family he'd lost in the beginning. But now he found the ghosts kept him company, his very own guardian angels. After all he was still alive, the last creature he knew, and hadn't they called him “the brave.” He chuckled at the name. Who would've thought Scaredy Wittle Sqiugglpants, a term of endearment his older brother frequently used when they were children, could grow up to be Squagglmerre the Brave.

The sun's were setting over Sweetmilkwater Valley and Squagglmerre thought more and more about his brother Mashubapoppin. There was a day when they were children, before they'd even grown into their long floppy ears and wide eyes, when they snuck away from school and ran to the Candy Cane Forest. For hours they played, hiding and seeking. Stopping to break off bits of the sweet and rich tree branches, eating until their lips were coated in a sugary glaze. Finally, after much running and pounds of candy they sat with their backs against a tree.

“What if mom finds out?” Squagglmerre asked his older brother.

“Don't even worry about that, I got your back pal,” and he always had. Protecting him right up until his very last breath.

Squagglmerre cried harder the more he thought about his brother. He wished the blurred image of the scorched valley ahead were a dream. That this wholesome place he and Mashubapoppin used to play and escape the world for a while to, didn't now house his older brother's body in it's sweet soil.

In stories the action would always take a long time, sometimes pages after pages; but in real life it wasn't slow or long at all. Fighting wasn't beautifully described like it was in the books, it was grotesque and bloody. And in an instant everything you knew could be gone.

The final battle didn't come slowly, it exploded on the two brothers in the blink of an eye. Mashubapoppin had been ready, Squagglmerre had not. They'd stopped to build camp for the evening, Squagglemerre was to watch the area and begin setting up their shelter while Mashubapoppin retrieved supplies for the fire. He decided to sit for a moment after his older brother disappeared into the woods, it felt like they had been walking for days. Before he knew it, he was snoring loudly, dreaming of sweets and games.

He heard his name being called loudly and the rustle of fighting before he was even fully awake. Squagglmerre opened his eyes just in time to see his brother, standing between him and four advancing soldiers, fall to the ground as what they called “bullets” ripped through his body. Squagglmerre screamed and raised his enchanted candy cane shield, sending more bullets ricocheting in all directions. He fought quickly and fiercely and after he had slayed each soldier he ran to his brother.

Squagglmerre shook his head and pushed the memory to the depths of his mind. He wished he could go back, back to when it all started. It seemed like they could have reached some sort of agreement, maybe they could have helped each other. Anything was better than this. The scorched land covered with the bodies of creatures who not so long ago were frolicking and playing in a place where the rainbow sky never lost it's color. A magical land where creatures of all kind lived in harmony and crying was a frightening detail in deranged stories that were meant to scare children.

That place was long gone. The worst part was, they probably could have just taken it without the killing. The inhabitants of Candyrainbowlia didn't even use the ore they now mined from land. If only he could go back to the beginning, maybe even before, and find the first one. The first of the “humans” who figured out how to access their planet, and stop it all from ever starting.

The sun's were almost down in the sky and Squagglmerre's eyelids began to give out. The thought of killing the first human intruder on his homeland made the corner's of his mouth twitch upward slightly, and sent him off to sleep.

 

 

    40,000: A Rough Draft

    Welcome to my collection of forty Scifi, Horror, and Fantasy short stories. Every Wednesday during the year 2015, I wrote a new one thousand-word short story in one hour, gave myself thirty minutes to edit, then published it here. 

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