Monthly Archives: June 2013

Planet of Jirth, Part 18

I’d like to say Juin’s training was more interesting than mine, but I’m afraid not. His powers were somewhat weak, but strong enough to live a bit longer. A year progressed as I watched Viirra die, and Guin grow up.

I leaned up against one of the huge windows that stared into the black void of space feeling annoyed. The Council began to review my case, but they were progressing slowly.

Rilas,” Juin soft voice surprised me, as I lifted my head. A little bit of awkward youth clung to him, but he was on his way to manhood.

“Yes, my apprentice,” we both laughed. A joke we had, because officially I was only visiting, but everyone knew why I was here. “What did you need?”

“There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you.” He stared out at space.

I frowned, because he tended to be direct.

“I never realized before I came here how much you gave up.” He swallowed hard. I could feel an emotional storm springing passed his barriers. “Fighting to free the Einlari you gave up everything. And, how most of us talk, and think of you it must sting.”

One my shoulders shrugged as I forced myself to smile. “I understand why they do. I seem more like the Jirth than I do Einlari. Jirth scared me a bit when I first knew them.”

“Don’t pretend it never bothered you. I may not an Empath, but I know you.” A shift in his attitude as his eyes bored into my mine. “And, you didn’t have to deal with it. You could keep your mouth shut and played nice. The Jirth would have promoted you up the ranks, since Teacher’s often get promoted every few years. Or, you could have left Einndias and immersed yourself in Go On Don society. You could have even played down your abilities and lived quietly among us and died long ago. You never needed to carry the burden of freeing us. Why did you?”

The desire to dismiss it with a glib retort came and went. I didn’t like to talk about it.  My own feelings on the issue were muddled. I felt in many ways betrayed by the others. They never accepted me and called me a traitor. Would I feel resentful toward them if I didn’t think myself a traitor? I couldn’t answer that. Yet the idea of leaving them here with the Jirth turned my stomach. “I couldn’t.”

Juin hands pressed against my shoulders as he grinned. “That is what so amazing about you. I’m sure you sometimes regret staying. You gained nothing for it. But, you could never go. As unhappy as everything made you, the idea of leaving probably upsets more than all that put together.” Then, he did something I would never expect he leaned up and lightly kissed me on the lips.

I jumped back to banging my back against the window. “Juin,” was all I managed to say.

Red flooded his face as his head dropped down. “I had to tell you, I’m in love with you. I know what you say, you’re too old for me. I’m so young. All sorts of objections. None of it changes the reality.”

His devotion and love me I’d had been ignoring for months now. I still wasn’t sure how I felt about him. Viirra told me it was, as usual, my obsession with freeing the Einlari was all that consumed me. I didn’t dare raise the objections he so casually dismissed mere moments before. Yet, I couldn’t think of what else to say. Times like this when I was genuinely thankful that Juin was not an Empath.

A beep startled me. I tapped my communicator. “The council has reached its decision.”

A wave of relief swept through me. Regardless of what happened at least now it was over. “What is it?”

“The Council desires to deliver the message in person. Five members will arrive on Einndias in a few weeks. They will be escorted to the planet, and there they will give their pronouncement before an assembled crowd. The Jirth have been contacted with requests for accommodation and needs. You must assemble whoever is your leadership among your people and have them there.” The communication cut off abruptly.

“I have to get back to Einndias right away.” In a moment of pure joy I hugged Juin.

“What does it mean? Why come here? Did they judge in our favor or not?” He asked over my shoulder.

I spun out of his grip. “I have no idea, but either way I have work to do.” I rushed off and realized I managed to avoid his implied question. I felt a bit guilty about it, but for now I was happy to to avoid answering whether or not I loved Juin.

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Filed under Amon, Babblings, Rilas and Jirth, Story Chains

I Fade Into You

This week challenge at Chuck Wendig’s blog was a combination of choice and dice roll.  Pick your genres, and roll your requirements. I picked Dying Earth and Paranormal romance genre.  I rolled Forbidden Love, and a Feast.  

I tried out these genre’s because they are pretty unfamiliar to me.  I never write romance, and I end to never write anything about actual earth.  Though, sappy, and romantic I do like how it came out.  I hope you enjoy as well.

I Fade Into You

The Queen’s lecture still battered my ears. I, of course, was not interested in it. My love for the human girl, Charity, remained in full bloom. Hidden within the last, wondrous garden I watched her. Her shoulders heaved as she dug up dead, lifeless dirt.

Her blonde hair fell over her shoulder. Her lavender eyes peered in my direction. “Cadarn, come help me the soil bags are heavy.”

I pushed out of the carrot patch flowing upward to smile at her. “The soil feels dead to me, it is made with science, not with magic. To hold it is painful.”

I said it to see her roll her eyes, which she did with a flip of her hair. “It is not such thing. It is uncomfortable, not painful. You can’t laze around in the garden all day. Dad is barely tolerating you here as it is.” Her browned fingers pointed at the heavy canvas bags resting on the cracked ground.

A small casting tied up my hair in a long braid. I hauled up the bags filling in the trench with black soil. The land would no longer produce food naturally. The world was dying, and the Sidhe with it. The humans barely scraped by. “He does not like that I cannot help him with his science beasts.” I frowned. “He has little regard for magic. I find his attitude toward it quite distasteful.”

The golden laugh filled my heart with joy. “He’s a biochemist; he’s not going to appreciate magic. What did the Queen want to talk to him about anyway?”

My joy fled and a great winter settled over me. We were going to have a feast, the last feast. All of magic would be spent to have a lavish spread. Then all the Sidhe would fade back into the Earth. A year did not seem long enough to spend with beautiful Charity. But, I agreed I did not wish to slowly die. Go out in a blaze of glory, the Queen said. “The Queen wanted to throw a party to show her appreciation for helping take care of our people, and by having this lovely garden. Nature keeps us alive, we need nothing else.”

“Oh, so in a few hours my belly will be full for once?” Her whole being lightened like a spring cloud. Lying to her was worth it for that moment. One last magnificent dinner gazing into each other’s eyes before the end.

The Queen stepped out of the house. With Charity’s dad behind her. His voice carried with his exacting tones. “I don’t know. It seems like an unnecessary waste of resources. We are making progress, but who knows how long it will last?”

The Queen gave him a regal smile. “Devin, you worry so. It takes nothing to make the food except magic. There will be food enough for weeks, perhaps longer. You could conserve your own food.” Her eyes dropped down. She let her ginger hair to cover her eyes. “Do this for me, Devin. It is all I ask.”

Charity put a hand on her hip. “Dad…” She dragged the word out. “I’d like to enjoy a feast, we have been living off carrots, potatoes, and turnips for two months.”

“Fine, we’ll be there in an hour.” He snapped before rushing back into the housing. The sun radiated intense heat, and his skin crisped easily.

Queen lifted her head. Her gaze met mine. A question asked without words, ‘Did you tell her?’

‘No, I did not.’ My look carried equal weight.

The hour passed easily. Human company is lighter and more easy than Sidhe. Together we walked to the feast. I livened up the short journey with singing traditional music.

As we reached the small cavern filled with mushrooms, and moss Sidhe voices answered in reply filling the air with sweet music of the land. All of them stepped out in thin gossamer. The Sidhe were a vision of loveliness. “Come, sit, feast with us.”

Tonight, the cavern was alight with bright orbs, plants flickered with magic. Sing-in-Day voice drifted over us in time with the lights. The table filled with stuffed squash, fresh smelling bread, and fried vegetable cakes. The humans stuffed their mouths full, and found more food waiting. A young Sidhe filled tall glasses with a sweet wine heady with life. Devin, who frowned often at the Sidhe, laughed and it seemed his burdens had lifted.

Charity’s hand slipped across the table around mine. Her eyes sparkled and her skin glowed. The sun would have felt envy of her luminous perfection. She tugged on my hand. “Let’s dance!”

On this last night I would deny her nothing. I swept her up in my arms as we whirled on a luminescent moss. As our lips melded my magic, my life poured into her. I spun my love, desire, hopes, and dreams around her. My life would not return to the land, it would only go to Charity.

With a gulp she pulled away from the kiss. “Wow, what was that!” She wrapped her arms around me sighing contently into my shoulder. “Whatever it was, it was amazing.” Her body molded to mine.

Over her head I saw many humans dancing with the Sidhe. Their graceful dance was like petals floating in the wind. The dance sped up as Sidhe tossed the humans around with wild moves. The lights flared up brighter. The final stanza of the mourning song began, the end drew near.

Charity lifted her head to watch. “You aren’t thinking of tossing me around, are you?” Her voice teased me. She butted my chest with her forehead.

“When I forsake the Sidhe for you, I lost some of my magic, my love.” I replied my form started to pale, and disappear. I seized her for one last kiss. I lost my substance. All that was left was my voice. “I’ll love you until you are gone, until there is nothing left.” And then, my soul wrapped around the one who held my heart.


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Annabel’s Family

A very late post for Chuck Wendig’s weekly challenge.  My family vacation got me behind on all my writing.  But it was worth it.  This week’s challenge was to write about a bad dad, but make him sympathetic.  Since, I grew up with an abusive father, it was pretty hard for me to write, but I enjoyed it.  Wish the story was a bit more upbeat.  Check out the contest here

Annabel’s Family

“Annabel!” I hated the sound of his voice. It was too high pitched for a man, and gravelled like a long time smoker. He was drunk, again. Strangely enough, whenever he was drunk he called my mother Annabel, instead of Anna. He would never answer as to why when he was sober.

A sliding step, with a crash followed by a long string of profanity. He slipped on his bad leg falling into a small table by the door. I pushed aside my college textbook. The words were beginning to blur anyway. The heavy oak furniture had taken on dark tones since I only worked from one small desk lamp. I stepped outside the office to look at him balled up on the floor.

“Travis?” He squinted up at me. As he adjusted I noticed blood leaking down his nose.

“Yeah, Dad, I’m the only one here. You got yourself in the nose.” I managed to not mention it was a regular occurrence. In his state he’d just get defensive.

He pressed against his nose and blood spurted out. He pinched it tight and held his nose upward. “Sorry, I know I’m a mess.”

I felt a tinge of guilt. He didn’t mean to fall apart like this. I pulled him up with ease, he’d lost so much weight. “Don’t apologize to me. You are hurting yourself a lot more than you’re hurting me. I’m a big boy these days.”

He leaned into me. “You seem like a little boy to me still. Your mother always says you’ll never be a big boy to her.” It always seemed odd that he never slurred his words. Guess he wasn’t that kind of drunk.

His arm wrapped around my neck. Most his weight on me as we made the slow walk to his bedroom. The family pictures bright and happy. My mother had installed little LED above them that were light sensitive. She wanted to always be able to see them no matter the time of day. To this day it made me roll my eyes.

Lost in my own thoughts I didn’t notice my dad digging his heels in. He stood in front of a family portrait of us standing in front of Niagra Falls. “We loved it there.”

Before answering I thought of it. The spray of water and the majesty of the falls was unrivalled. Even as a small kid I understand the beauty of it. “Yeah, we did. I loved most of all our vacations. You picked the sights, and my mom made it all work.”

“Did you talk to your mother today?” He asked me nearly every day.

“No, I didn’t. Did you?” My same answer every day, I wish he didn’t ask.

He shook his head as he stumbled forward. “I forgot. I thought about her all day, but I forgot to talk to her. What kind of man am I? I made my son drag my drunk ass to bed, and I don’t talk to my wife.”

“Dad…” I started. He already felt bad enough; I didn’t need him to beat on himself more.

A twist of his shoulder as he fell into his door knocking it open. With a loud thump he landed on his bedroom carpet. “Enough, I need to man up. You know what today is?”

“I do.” As if I could forget. The sound of metal scraping and compacting together. Screams, and moans of hurt, and the dying. The flow of warm blood running down my arms. Even the smells burning flesh, and leaking oil forever imprinted on my mind. A year passed and the memories hadn’t even dulled.

He pulled himself up and switched on a hologram. My mother’s image appeared a placid smile on her lips. “Hello, Anna.”

The image said nothing. I tried to bite my tongue, but the words wormed their way out. “Dad, she’s dead.”

The room went dead still. It always went like this. He would shut down, he couldn’t deal with it. The desire to shout until he accepted it filled me. I beat it down, and went to step out the room.

“I know.” His voice low.

“What?” I turned to see his shoulder’s slumping.

His shoulders shook. “I know, Son. She’s gone, and she isn’t coming back. And, I’m useless to you. I can’t work, I can’t take care of myself, I serve no purpose anymore.” A cry escaped from him. “If Annabel was alive she be disgusted by me.”

I should have said something.  For a year it was all I wanted. For him to acknowledge she was gone. To stop pretending to talk to her every day. And now that it had happened I couldn’t absorb it. It felt like she finally died for me as well. My legs gave out and I landed hard on the floor. I buried my head into my hands and let out a sob.

A click noise caused me to lift my head. He held a gun pressed against his temple facing my mother. “I can’t do it, anymore. I hate myself, and what I’ve become. I love you, close your eyes.”

I jerked forward to shove him down. But, he was too fast. The sound seemed to explode outward to fill every crack and crevice. The wet, hot bits landed all over me. And his body slumped to the ground. I laid beside him for a moment. “You abandoned me, again.” I whispered.  I stood up, and headed to the phone to call the police.

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Planet of Jirth, Part 17

Juin and I travelled to a small base on a moon not far from Einndias. There were a few alien races, but I more than pleased to have Viirra join us. I let out a cry as she stepped into the sterile and empty main hall. “Viirra.” I wrapped my arms around her.

She let out one of her short laughs. “Oh, Rilas, you’ve aged. Then, so have I.”

“How were you able to leave the hive?” I asked as I pulled back to look at her. Her once sharp defined features blurred, and loose with age, and pink hair and eyes bleached to barely colored shades.

Viirra stepped back out of my grasp. “I won’t live much longer, I trained the one who would inherit and left the hive. Besides, I needed to see you one last time friend. We have spoken many times, but I wanted to see you with my eyes.”

I understood why she stepped back. She needed to distance herself from the Empath I was. Her emotions all a jumble, and she didn’t feel the need to drag them out in the open. “I glad I get to you see as well.” I remember Juin. “This young man is here to learn his talents, his named Juin.”

Viirra switched her gaze to him. “You are in wonderful company. Rilas is a strong, brave, and wise woman. Unfortunately, she’ll not handle your training directly; she and I are too old. But, she will be around any time you wish to talk. I already heard about this arranged to make sure they don’t try to get rid of her.”

None of it surprised me. My standing in the Go On Don did not go very high, and my association with the Jirth didn’t help me. Viirra’s ranking was quite high, and she didn’t take ‘no’ very well. “Thank you for this Viirra.”

“Oh, um, thanks. I’m glad I won’t be alone.” He glanced down a touch of pink to his cheeks. “I don’t know her very well, but Rilas seems very nice.”

Viirra sent me a thought. “What prompted you to help this boy, exactly?”

“I’m tired, Viirra. My life is lonely, my friends are nearly all gone, and my life is nearly over. I’d be nice to have one person to remember me fondly.” I let my emotions curl around the words.

Viirra patted me on the shoulder. “Let’s get you started young one.”

I followed both of them into the lobby. Like many of the Go On Don bases the lobby was filled with comfortable furniture in a variety of races could use. A race called the Tarvey stood waiting. The dark brown fur, large almond eyes, and feline faces unmistakable. He bowed. “Greetings Juin and Rilas. I’m Rerrro. Rilas will not able to train with you, Juin. If you need of comfort during our sessions or any other time I shall summon her. Does that suit?” The muddled accent told me he didn’t use a translator. He must have some ability that allowed to learn languages at an accelerated rate.

Juin shot me a look filled with apprehension the color drained from his skin. “I guess.”

I rested my hand on his arm. “You’ll be fine. I doubt you’ll suffer any. It might hurt on occasion, but no more than a needle.” I motioned toward Rerrro. “He’ll guide you, feel free to share anything with him. Or with anyone here, it is a safe place.” Go On Don could be ruthless, but with trainees they always gentle.

“Okay.” He swallowed hard. “I’ll talk with you later, after my session.”

Rerrro bobbed his head up and down. “Come now, young one we’ll test your abilities. You know enough about the world for us to do that now.” And, he let the young man away.

Viirra and I sat shared our sorrows, and emotions for a while without speaking. She grieved as much as I for At, and her companion had died some time ago. The wound of such a loss never healed. The centuries rolled by and we lost everyone we knew, and things we remembered. I’ll be the first to say there are benefits to a long life, but the sorrows weigh on a person. “How are At’s kin?” His children did not join the Go On Don so we hadn’t met.

She tugged a stray white-pink strand behind her ear. “Fine, thriving. Same for mine. I can tell you never had any your own. Why didn’t you?”

I considered the question. In the end I could never find any of my people who interested me enough to have children with. Not to say I never had any relationships, but they never led to any place deeper. “I could never find love, I suppose.”

Viirra gave me a look I couldn’t decipher her emotions said it was something between annoyance and amusement. “I doubt you truly looked either. Your only true love was the plight of the Einlari. Do not deny it.” She held up a hand to make sure I didn’t even try. “Now, you have done all you can. You still have around a hundred years to live, will you still do it alone?”

“It seems too late, I’m old now.” A memory surfaced about how I wasn’t likely to have children in my old age based my test long ago.

Viirra wiggled into her chair. “Your mind contradicts you. What about this boy? Are you interested in him?”

“No,” I hadn’t thought about it. Juin came around at the right time, and I was lonely.

Viirra smirked at me. Apparently, she sensed something I did not. “Oh, if you say so.”

Viirra.” I frowned at her.

“Oh, alright.” She narrowed her eyes in contentment. “I’m not sure why, but that boy is interested in you. I’m surprised haven’t picked up on it, as an Empath.”

“I worked to not read the emotions of Einlari. It unnerved them, and often it has been easier to not know how afraid of me they were.” A thought struck me, “Why would a young man be interested in an ancient thing like me?”

Viirra shrugged, and as her nature changed the topic. “Did you the bizarre choice for official Go On Don’s representatives’ outfits? I couldn’t believe my old eyes.” And the next few hours were filled with gossip.


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Planet of Jirth, Part 16

The process took a long time. The spaceport filled with aliens, and Einlari alike. I needed to distract myself. I ran into a young man who ran one of sprawling hotels. I had been drinking in the lobby, and reading some of the recent rulings of the Council.

“Teacher, do you need a refill?” Einlari called me Teacher most knew who I was, but didn’t know my name.

I glanced up at the boy. A flash of dark brows and eyes came to me. “I’m fine right now, thank you. What is your name?”

He frowned. “Einlari of Hotel Managment.”

Ko the Jirth and their title-names. “I meant your Einlari name. And, don’t forget I can read minds.” I couldn’t really, but most believed I could.

“Juin.” He seemed to relax the tension flowing out his shoulders.

“Nice to meet you Juin. I am Rilas. And may I ask why a manager is serving guests?” I’ll admit it, I didn’t enjoy reading reports anymore now than I had before the Jirth.

He shifted back and forth. “A lot of them are afraid of you. People worry you are on the Jirth side. I told them you’re not. But, they wondered why nothing has happened since you went to the Intergalactic Council.”  His emotions were a broad spectrum.  He seemed nervous, excited, and distrustful.

“They haven’t even looked at it yet. I managed to move it up in the priority. They look over a whole galaxy takes time. I suppose I went to the Intergalactic Council before you were born.” Twenty – five years didn’t seem to long to me anymore, but I understand when you would never see a hundred years it seemed a long while to wait.

A dark red blush hit his pale cheeks his gaze dropped. “My mother still carrying me when you went.”

I held my hands palms up. “I apologize, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

He sat down beside me and gave me an intense look. “I did want to ask you something, the other reason I came over here.”

“Oh?” curiosity piqued my interest. Most of the time my own people avoid me.

“Go On Don said I have latent abilities they could activate. I don’t know what to do. That is what happened to you, isn’t it? Should I go?” His dark eyes rounded into circles making him look young and vulnerable.

“In a way.” I didn’t feel the need to go into the far past. “Does it appeal to you to go?”

He dropped his gaze as twisted his lips together. “I’d be free of the Jirth. I wouldn’t have to manage this hotel anymore. I don’t like it. I kind feel like I don’t fit in. People like me well enough, but I never feel as if I belong.”

“I felt the same.” He jerked up his head eyes a bit wide. “I used to be a leader of a community long ago. I was a part of it, but never within it. If the Go On Don think you have the talent I would go.” The next words tumbled out of my mouth before I could think about it. “I’ll go with you, if you wish. My duties are fairly minor anymore. The Jirth don’t trust me.” It shouldn’t have surprised me, I knew I was lonely.

A light lit up his eyes. “You’d go with me? Really?”

“I thought you didn’t like me?” I couldn’t hide the amusement in my voice.

“But, you are Einlari. Maybe, Einlari like me.” The few, very few Einlari, who shared my bond with Go On Don were the closest to what I had as a true community. None of them could live as long as me. They faded with time, and I missed each one.

“Perhaps. Let the Go On Don know I will go with you, and when you leave, I’ll leave as well.” It would fill the time. Besides I hadn’t been back with the Go On Don since my meeting with the council. At died a few weeks afterward, and Viirra soon would die as well. I’d missed having companions.

Juin jumped up. “Thanks, I’ll do that.” I watched him walk away absorbed in my private grief.


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Filed under Amon, Rilas and Jirth, Story Chains

In a Day’s Work

Another weekly blog challenge  up.  I’m really glad I started doing them.  They are crazy fun, and really force me to try out new concepts for writing.  This weeks challenge was to A Meets B.  Mine partial one was The Stand meets the Godfather.  I’m not sure I got the themes well enough, but I tried.  

In a Day’s Work

I hated my shitty job and my shitty pay. I’d excuse my language, but it was so accurate I’d rather not. I pulled back my filthy hair, washed my face, and stepped out into the searing light. The earth had gone crispy. Little water remained, and little food, and every day I performed my thug duties. I’d come back to my shack and get paid in a gallon of water, and a plate of food. Before the Collapse hit I’d been a kick boxing trainer. I had nice dresses, and a skin care routine. Those things seemed like day dreams.

I headed out to the Wastes I passed more mud brick shacks. The huge, air conditioned tower loomed in the distance. My boss lived there. They processed the air to make water to feed a garden, and livestock to feed his slaves, or I mean employees. Because, I knew no one got up this early to greet the sun, I flipped the tower off. A petty mobster, and now the richest, cruelest man in the what was left of Arizona.

The high barbed wire fence gleamed causing me to block my eyes. Part of the complex was from a former state prison. A lot of the prison had been disassembled to build the tower. The guard sat in shaded hut. He was tense as he scanned the area carefully. The entrance was sealed magnetically, electricity wasn’t in short supply, and with a two door exit. Very little risk, but the boss made sure the fear of failure was impressed heavily on his staff.

Wolsey, my gun, staff, and hat please.”

The intense former military man eyed me. As if the he hadn’t seen every day for a year. He turned his back and pulled out the three requested items.

The gun had only one bullet left. The boss wouldn’t renew my bullet permit cause the last three bullets I shot didn’t hit anyone. I’d been trying intimidation, I didn’t like hurting anyone, but I needed to eat. The hat looked like something my grandmother would have worn a big, rimmed hat with a cheery floral pattern all over it. A bit dirty, but it kept the sun off my eyes. I kept the staff at my side. “You gonna let me out?”

Wolsey narrowed his dark eyes at me. “Maybe Nack. Why’d the boss penalize you on bullets?”

“’Cause I’m not as ruthless as he’d like, you already knew that.” Wolsey and I didn’t like working for the bastard, but we didn’t want to go hungry either. Hard choices in the post apocalyptic wonderland we lived in.

The door opened. I stepped thorough waiting for it close the other to open. Then, I was free the watching eyes. On the flip side I had to scoot over a local community and beat some people down for money and power. The walk took a few hours across desert. I could see a few mud huts ahead. I picked up my pace.

The leader already stood outside waiting for me. “We haven’t got the water.”

“The Boss wants it, Mic.” I didn’t need to say, Mic knew the shake down.

In the rough hewn windows I could see eyes peering out at me. Mic was the only standing outside. Damn, I hated this

Mic nodded. “I know, Nack. I don’t blame you. You are doing your job. Still, do you really want to beat me in front of my friends, and family.”

I’ll let you in on a secret, I didn’t. But, you know what else I didn’t want was to starve or for the Boss to shoot me in the fucking head. “Mic, personally I like you. Your a great guy. Your family has always been good for the community.” I tightened my grip on the staff. “I don’t want to die either.”

Mic spat on the ground. He was a big dude, broad as a barn, and tough as rebar. “And you rather stick with a petty drug lord who pays you in nothing, and asks you to do what you don’t believe in. You could live out here with us at the farm, and live by your morals.”

He was right. He mentioned it before. Always he failed to mention he lived at the whim of the Boss. Any time he could ride in here and wipe this place off the map. It’d be done. One time I had been there. And, I’d have to defend the community. Someone like me was always going to be used. I could fight like nobodies business. I was also a pretty good shot, and I knew how to maintain weapons. They didn’t get if you’re going to be somebodies pawn you might as well be with guys who had the most power.

I smiled stepped forward my stance loose. I could see the light of triumph in his eyes. In a flash I twisted my staff up bashing him in the head hard knocking him off balance. I shifted down swinging out taking out his legs. He landed in a cloud of dust. Before he could recover I put my foot on his neck and my staff above his crotch. “Mic, I can either kill you, or beat you. If you keep fighting, I will shoot your god damned ass, you hear me?”

“Do whatever you want bitch.” The hate started to fill his eyes. I knew I burned a bridge here. Over the years I’d burned plenty. Little communities would pop up, we’d get along, and they expect me to side with them.

I brought down the stick hard as he hollered. I moved it up and down his ribs with a thundering cracks eight of them in precise blows. My foot stayed in place until he stopped struggling so much. A whimpering groans emanated from him. “Sorry, Mic just in a day’s work.”

Walking backwards long enough to be out of range of any weapons before turning back toward the base. I’d get home drink my stale water, eat my plate of food, and hit my cot to wake up to another’s days work.

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Planet of Jirth, Part 15

I apologize for another lengthy post.  Hope everyone is enjoying the story.

Planet of Jirth, Part 15

The next few months wore on me. I spoke to frightened people all over my world. People I didn’t even know existed. I  tried to soothe them. I recorded how they lived, the technology they developed, and scanned any documents. Every time I finished my work they were taken away from their lives and put to work. My heart screamed at me telling me I betrayed them. I should have worked harder and longer to save them. My mind knew the truth, but my heart ached.

Some of people stayed on the planet building settlements in the strange round Jirth design. Most went into space to build a sprawling spaceport the Jirth planned. Only the young and very old were spared from labor.  The Jirth appointment me to teach the children, grudgingly. They blocked any attempt for me to teach them about their people. Priest of Jirth only response to the matter was, “They are Jirth.” They even named our planet Einnidas for us.

I extended my power outward. I kept my friends, At and Viirra, informed about what happened. I read book after book on Intergalactic Law, and read about its history. The years rolled on as I worked. All the Einlari I knew died, I still lived. Only At and Viirra survived my long life.

I stood in a room with twelve cameras trained on me. Tre was no decoration only bland metallic walls. The council would see my every expression, and motion.

“The Einlari of Einnidas have been enslaved to the Jirth for nearly six hundred and fifty standard years. This exceeds any previous attempt to control a lesser race by nearly a hundred years. In addition, our race was too young for the true consequences to be explained to us.” It took a long time to stand before the council and say those words. Politics on such a grand scale were even more of a mess than ones at home.

A computerized voice filled the air, “And, why should we reverse what has been ongoing for such a long period?” One the councillors asked, and I wasn’t allowed to know who asked. Some advantages I could not gain.

“A wrong shouldn’t be righted if discovered? I won’t believe in such a thing. My people are stifled, held down, unable to grow. The Jirth have put them in the lowest caste. They can’t be educated, they can’t make art, and they can’t grow. Would you condemn them  for another six hundred years? I have tried to show the Jirth the Einlari can be more than base larborers, the Jirth ignore my pleas, and arguments. If you don’t desire to free them, which would be the moral choice, then at least give them the freedom to educate their own lives.” As much as it pained me, I needed  to appear flexible.

A few minutes  went by before another question barked at me. “Do you want to remove all ties to the Jirth?”

A yes almost slipped past my lips. I knew a yes would condemn them. “No. The Jirth raised from a people who had very basic technology and limited understanding of their universe. However, now they are inhibiting our ability to evolve. I have transmitted research, and documents showing how adaptable my people are. Only a few generations would have passed before we could accept our new reality.” The Jirth allowed the Go On Don to conduct the experiments, I never mentioned they were my idea.

“And, what will you give the Jirth for losing a valuable monetary asset as your world has become? They use your spaceport as a very profitable venture.”  Only an ally of the Jirth would ask such a question. I expected it as much as it irritated me. My peoples’ freedom shouldn’t be broken down to simple commerce.

“Most of my people run the spaceport, and do most of the duties associated with it and the Jirth take the profit. I acknowledge the cost for the Jirth to set up the planet and train our people. I complied a financial document for the profit they made so far weighed against their cost. We have already paid the debt. I do agree to provide, for next three hundred and fifty years, ten percent of our profit to Jirth. Most of investment models went out to a thousand years we can compensate them up to then.” A thousand years of slavery penned into the Jirth’s government spending. I spent a moment to calm myself.

A screen turned on as an alien I’d never seen before appeared before me a featureless face with slits in the middle. “I’m a Daie. I wish to look at you while I ask a few questions.” Fear caused my heart to stutter. Daie stood as one of the two ancient races, the only one comparable were the Runnil, but the Daie had mentored them. “Why do you care if your people are free? You have worked hard to gain this meeting, it likely took you hundred of years to be a minority in a race who themselves are minor. The Jirth are not well regarded as I’m sure you realize. You are a Go On Don you could have left Einndias to struggle on without you. A life of freedom is open to you.”

A quiet voice told me I must be honest. I learned from Go On Don instincts always meant something and time taught me how to understand them. “Daie, I must. My mind told me to leave them. I might be an Einlari, but not really anymore. I never fit in, always the outcast. Among the Go On Don I found love and acceptance.” I let out a breath. “My heart is not so easily swayed. It remembers my mother telling me folk tales about monsters, and magical creatures. The smell of wood shavings from the local joiner who made all my furniture from scratch. The delighted eyes of children as I taught them. The taste of home made dishes from the locals who felt I wouldn’t have time to cook for myself. Time has blurred them, but they never left. They are individuals some horrible, some wonderful. They deserve to be free.”

The Daie’s head tilted a bit. “You aren’t free, why should they be?”

“These are chains of my own making. I resent them at times, but who would I be without them?” I shook my head. “Everyone is chained to something. They didn’t choose to be Jirth. They don’t even get to choose their jobs, or mates. Let them be free. Six hundred years is long enough.” I believed it with all my heart. Jirth used us long enough.

“And who should rule them? They no longer have a government it would be difficult to set one up.” I wish I could read the Daie expression. If it had been standing near me I could feel its emotions.

“I planned on using a structure similar to what the Jirth used. It would be more comfortable. They don’t remember how things used to be, only I do.” I winced as my tone dropped and I could feel the emotion well up. Be strong, I told myself.

Daie gave a tip of its head. “Understood. Thank you.” The face faded from the screen.

The digital voice returned. “Intergalactic Council will look over the proposal you submitted. It may be some time before we can give you any conclusions. Return to Einndias and you’ll be informed when we come to decision.”

I left with anxiety lacing in every vein. The Intergalactic Council moved slowly. I knew it, but I wanted an answer now. My head told me heart we did all we could, my heart said ‘not nearly enough’.

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Filed under Amon, Rilas and Jirth, Story Chains

Scarecrow, the Mint, and the Moon

Another blog entry for Chuck Wendig’s weekly fun contest. Check out the link if you want to read a pretty amazing blog, or enter the contest yourself.


Scarecrow, the Mint, and Moon

I felt my feet dangling above the wet dirt. I wondered what had awoken me from my slumber. Then, I saw it. A pack of double mint gum right between my swaying shaggy, worn boots. “Well great,” I muttered to myself internally. I wasn’t awake enough yet. A panic gripped me as I jerked my head upward, but it didn’t go anywhere. “Must not be a quarter moon. I’m safe. I can stay half awake all night hanging from this post.”

I heard a shuffle of boots as light broke across the my field of vision. The light tinged with reds, oranges, and yellows. Sunset, it was sunset. A few quiet whispers too indistinct for me to hear them or if it was more than one speaker.

A strong, girlish voice broke in. “Devin, this is stupid. You are stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.” Her tone went a pitch higher with every stupid she uttered. “Do you think a pack of mint gum, saying some dumb phrase is going to make McNalley’s scarecrow wake up?”

I have to agree with Devin’s girlfriend? Friend with Benefits? Girl who was ‘his friend’? That double mint gum, and some dumb phrase wouldn’t wake me up. But, a pack of mint gum under a quarter moon would. I wonder when some whispered code words got added to the lore. I thought about it, I’d only been asleep a few years. Perhaps, McNalley died, went crazy, or something worse.

“Trish, come on. I thought you wanted to see real magic. If we can get this,” He slapped my chest with his hand. “To get up, it would be real magic. Don’t chicken out.”

An annoyed feminine sigh responded with the cluck of the tongue, I assume this was Trist. “I’m not afraid. Check that, I’m afraid of looking stupid in the middle of a corn field.” A pause as I could hear her feet move. “Besides, I’m not sure if we should be hanging around McNalley’s place at night.”

Now, I was starting to become really concerned about McNalley. We were best friends. He turned me into a freakin’ magical construct, but only after I died. Typically, drunken farmer tractor sort of nonsense. But, had he died? I’d have to ask these kids once I was moving.

Devin went back to whispering. “Oh come and unveil yourself great nature spirit.”Wow, who’d been filling that kid’s head with nonsense.

I could hear Trish shuffle back and forth. I caught a glimpse of her tanned legs shooting of a work boot. The sound her skin rubbing made me think she was cold. “Stupid Devin, why didn’t he tell the poor thing to bring a coat.”

Irrationally, I attempted to jerk my head to the side. To my surprise, this time it worked. “Nice, thanks kids.” My voice was the same as I was alive. Cheery, but a big gravelled from all the smoking.

Both of them leapt back. Devin was a tall, gangly kid with brown eyes, and hair. He hadn’t grown into himself. Trish a tanned, hard working farm girl from top to bottom. “You scared now? Ha.” I hopped off the pole.

“Are you going to kill us?” Trish lip trembled. I noticed her hands wrapped around a bat. Yeah, she was the brains of this brainless operation.

I laughed. “Hell, no. What happened McNalley?”

Devin stepped forward blocking my straight path to Trish. “Didn’t you kill him?”

“He’s dead.” I felt myself fall back against the pole as I wiped a tear from my painted on eye. “That bastard. Who killed him?”

Devin’s shoulder lifted up and down. “No one knows. They found him in the basement, with a scary book, his own blood, and some candles.”

Together me and McNalley learned a lot about summoning and binding spirits. I needed to see in the house. I’d be able to sense what he was trying to do. “Grab the mints and let’s go.”

The kid grabbed it and trotted behind me. Apparently, reality sunk in and he threw them at me. Trish and Devin took off screaming and running out the field.

I knelt down picked up my soul anchor and continued to McNalley’s house. The place looked run down, the porch needed a new whitewash, and the whole place needed a good scrubbing. Nobody wanted to buy the creepy, old man’s house. I opened his hand carved door stepping right up to double set of stairs. One going up with hand carved rails, and one going into a dark, dingy dungeon. I went down, flicking on the light as I went.

The basement was an old storage cellar. The ceiling hung low, filled with old metal shelves, and one small altar. I walked over and saw he planned to do. Based on what he carved into the rock he was binding another spirit. There was only one other person he’d bother with. “Patricia.”

“How did you know? How can you hear me?” A voice like nails on the chalkboard.

I saw a thin outline of her older, scowling face, no body only a ghost. “He didn’t like anyone else. He called you and the backlash energy killed him. I’m magically delicious now, so I can see you. What killed ya?”

“Heart attack. I don’t want to be here. I want to go back.” Being trapped without a body, and no one to talk to sure had mellowed out her personality.

There was only one way I knew to free Patricia, but I’d be gone too. I didn’t really want to be here. I only agreed to the whole thing for McNalley. “I’ll free you.”

A few pokes and the secret compartment opened up. Inside was his focus, a fishbowl filled with thing he loved mints, Patricia’s perfume, a bit of corn, moonshine, and a page out of the bible. What a stereotype. I picked up the focus and shattered it against the wall.

Right away Patricia vanished. I felt myself unravel. I chuckled, maybe I’d see McNalley in the place we go after.


Filed under Babblings, Writing Challenges