Monthly Archives: January 2014

Legend of Elenmitis Part 4

“World, what do you think I should do now?” He asked his only companion.

“Aren’t you the god?  I have only a little power.”  The World responded, sounding a bit short.

Elenmitis nodded. “Yes, but you seem to know things.  The other worlds had things.  What were they called?”

“Animals?  You have a few, but they are pretty simple ones.  Maybe you should make more interesting animals, bigger ones, smarter ones, more unique ones?” The World suggested with a great deal of censure to its voice.

Elenmitis set about to take The World’s advice.  The whole time he would ask the world questions about each animal and what would complement it.  The World warmed up to the Elenmitis, and they shared a long time creating everything there was.

The better animals acted in exciting ways.  They interacted in unexpected ways, and even changed over time.  Elenmitis would make small changes here and there as time rolled by.  Eventually, the pleasure dimmed, and Elenmitis was dissatisfied.

The World noticed and spoke up.  “Aren’t there something called humans?  They are much smarter than other animals.”

Elenmitis thought back to his travelling day.  He did remember something like that.  They worshipped gods like him, they invented things, and they made art, and generally got into all sorts of trouble.  Yes, that might just be the thing to end his boredom.

He made them much like the one’s he’d seen.  Two eyes, four limbs, hands for five fingers, hair on their heads, and clever brains in their head.  He saw in other worlds the gods made all the humans look similar. That seemed awfully uninteresting to Elenmitis.  He gave them a variety of shades, shapes, and sizes.

They did amazing things.  The humans built homes, hunted the animals, made more humans, and debated the meaning about life.   Sometimes, they’d make works of art, and sometimes they’d war with one another.  As time rolled by he would modify their behavior a bit here and there.  And, slowly he grew bored with their somewhat predictable patterns.

“Well, once again I find myself bored.  I don’t understand how my creations can’t ever stay interesting.”  Elenmitis announced to The World.

The World let out a sigh that caused the winds to blow over everything.  “If you didn’t meddle so much, maybe you wouldn’t grow bored.”

“I wanted to make my own world, so I could meddle.”  Elenmitis pointed out.  “I found it extremely frustrating that I’d go to other worlds and they wouldn’t allow me to try out things.”

The World went silent for a bit.  “I think if you meddle less you’d be happier.  I say give them some of your power.”

“My power?” Elenmitis squawked. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

“If they all had a touch of a god, they’d surely do more interesting things.” the World pointed out.

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Flash Fiction: Bearskin Space Opera

This week’s flash fiction is to take a fairy tale and smash it up with another genre.  I went with Bearskin because it’s my favorite Grimm fairy tale of all time.  I rolled Space Opera. 

Time Isn’t a Straight Road

I stood outside the sealing chamber the scientist doing their last checks over the ring.  The one foot wide device had to be attuned to me before they broke it apart, freeing me from this reality to travel to another.

One stood apart, Melly, she watched me with downcast eyes.

“Melly, don’t worry, I’ll be back in a week, you’ll never miss me.”  I gave her a lopsided grin.  She was my heart. I couldn’t stand to see her sad.

Her lip quivered.  “Axer, don’t go.  Someone else can go.”  She jerked her eyes away.   “There is no guarantee you’ll come back.”

I took her hand and tipped her head back.   “I have to know.  A whole place, a whole existence, no human has ever seen, but I.   I can’t give it up.  Maybe, it makes me an egomaniac, but I can’t turn it down.”

The lead scientist tapped me on the shoulder.  “It’s time, if you’ll step into the chamber.”

I nodded and pulled Melly into my embrace giving her a deep kiss.  She let a cry and stepped inside the narrow cylinder chamber.  The science tugged the ring out of my hand.  It broke into two half circles and the door slammed down.

Light spiked up as I lost my vision.  Every cell in my body seemed to shake.  The stinging pain throbbed as my teeth rattled.  My eyes burned and I screamed.

My eyes fluttered open and I sat up.  The ring was still clenched in my hand.  The landscape was dark gray filled ebony spikes.  A crackling noise startled me to looking up at the deep blue sky cut by a green lightening.

Large, jellyfishes came into view floating in the air.  Their bodies glowed with random flashes of color.  As they drew closer I noticed a ring of spikes surrounded their heads.  Around them were semitransparent brightly colored fish that occasionally were getting caught in the jellyfish’s tentacles.

I rolled behind a spike to avoid the creatures.  As a jellyfish passed, three of the fishes floated toward me, one was vermilion, one was lime, and one was indigo.

My hand went to the baton at my side.  They were concerned that the gun may not be operated on the other side.  The three fish moved closer.  I lifted my weapon above my head warning them off.

Then an image appeared before me.  It was a man in an archaic dress from centuries ago with glowing eyes.  “Greetings, being, did you gate here?” The mouth didn’t move, but I heard an echo of three voices.

“No, we used a frequency to send me here.  What are you?”  Too shocked to really react I felt every muscle my body filled with tension.

“We are People of Many Skies.  We have travelled from one world to the next.  But, in our zeal to know we doomed.”  The image waved his hand outward.  “We allowed the Zoockie to come here.  They are mindless beasts.  They consume and consume.  They have eaten our world.”

I felt torn.  All this was so strange.  A part of me realized I had to embrace it to survive.  “If you can travel worlds why haven’t you defeated them?”

“We live in the mind, we have no physical minds.  The Zoockie have no minds.  They are only bodies.  Why are you here? What is your purpose?”

I debated how much to say.  They were creatures I’d never imagined.  What I revealed about myself was likely no threat to the human race.  And, I came to learn.  “To explore, to learn about new places.”

The figure shifted again moving closer to me.  The fish people moved closer as well.  “Can you return to your world?”

“I’m not sure.” A risk I’d more than willing to take.

“If you assist us, fellow being, we will help you return.  We will give you the metal that allows making sustainable gates.  You must stay until all the Zoockiee have been vanquished.  You are a physical creature, you can kill them.”

There wasn’t much choice.  I didn’t know if these creatures would attack me.  Nor, did I know if the retrieval would actually work.  I’d take the risk if they return trip worked correctly, it would automatically.  If it didn’t they owe me a favor.  “I’ll help you.”

I learned quickly that a swift baton to the body killed the Zoockie. They were frail creatures. However, I was one man against an invasion.  It was hard work.  The first year passed, and I wasn’t automatically recalled.

I continued to toil.  The years rolled by and I missed Melly.  By now, she’d think I was dead.  If their theory held I’d be a gone a week for every year I was here.  I wondered if I’d ever get back.  The fish people might say they’d help me, but who knows if they would.

Over time a spongy green moss plant started to grow back on the ground.  The spikes started to sprout leaves as I killed the Zoockie.  I devised ways for them to use their minds to smash the Zoockie into the spike trees.  Sparkling creatures started to appear, as brightly colored as the fish people.

One I day I rested under one of the strange spike trees.  The projected image returned.  “Fellow being, our invasion has been repelled.”

“Yeah, things are looking pretty good around here.”  As alien as the landscape was, I had grown a fondness for it.

“Your time to return home is now.”

Before I could get too excited a sharp pain pierced my skull.  A formula flashed in my mind. “This is the metal that allows for gates.  Return.”

The sensation hit me.  It was familiar to me.  The same one from when I was sent here.  The stinging pain cascaded through my body, I blacked out.  When I woke I was standing in the chamber, but my form was fuzzy.  I detached my half the ring from my back.  The door slide open.

Melly stood there.  Her eyes had bags under them, she looked pale.  “Axer, your half.”

I held up my ring.  A snick as they connected.  Again a jarring pain hit my body.  The fuzziness faded.  “Finally, I’m back in time.”

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Review: Mistress of the Empire

Mistress of the Empire by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurst

The conclusion to this story is fulfilling with the right amount of sacrifice, loss, hope, and triumph.  The only thing I could say as a negative is it almost ties off too many loose ends.  I like my stories a bit messy.  But, I know how much loose end drive a lot of people crazy.

The enemy is insidious and costs Mara more than previous novels.  Easily the darkest and most desperate of all the novels.  It showcases Mara’s steel spine and resolve.

Also, if you love her spy master as much as me you get to learn more about the character.  He is one of the most complex characters in the story.  If you don’t it never overwhelms the main plot more of a running subplot.

This installment is really all about trying to swim upstream.  Mara has had to challenge tradition to survive. She’s admired innovation, and other cultures.  The true test arrives.  She was willing to risk her family, her house, and her life to change Tsurani values.   It is one thing to find different way to do thing, another to be a catalyst.  There has been history who has dared to force society to wake up.  It is always an uphill battle with no guarantee of success.

Inequality is a conflict that speaks to a lot of people.  Everyone has seen some kind of injustice no matter how small.  We wanted it to be different. Here is a woman who does.  That’s a powerful feeling either way you look at it.

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Legend of Elenmitis Part 3

Long ago before time was measured, at least in our reality there was a god named Elenmitis.  His power was as such he could create anything.  Often, he would make things and destroy them once he ran out of materials.  For days innumerable he played with empty space around him.  Eventually, his enjoyment paled.   “This is fun, but I’ve created so many things, surely there is something else to do.”

Elenmitis spent time learning to travel to other realities.  When he did he realized they  had other gods, planets, the stars that sparkled in the sky.  Never before had Elenmitis seen such creations.  Elenmitis wanted to play with everything.  But, the gods of those realities didn’t want him to interfere.  They felt very protective of their creations.  For a long time Elenmitis watched learning all there was to see.  Eventually, this too grew boring.

He went home.  This time he thought, I’ll make a world.  A world that is mine alone.   Excited he went to work.  First, he made it a square.  The shape didn’t quite turn the way he wanted in the sky.   He thought back to the other worlds and he made a huge ball.  That was a bit better, but not quite right.  He squished it bit making it a bit longer at the top and bottom.  There now it spun in the perfect lazy turn he wanted.

For a while he watched his spinning planet.  It didn’t have any land or water.  Elenmitis decided that was the next step.  He made a flat piece of land in the middle of the planet and filled with water around it.  And with a flicker of power he gave the land life.

The world woke up.  “Who are you?”

“I’m Elenmitis.  I made you.”  Proud of his first attempt he practically crooned his words.

The World was unimpressed.  “Well since there are only you and me, I figured that out.  But, you didn’t make anything on me.  I’m a boring piece of land, surrounded by an empty ocean.”

A bit stunned Elenmitis stared at his creation.  “How do you know about all that?”

“I’m not sure.  Maybe you gave me the knowledge, or maybe is a part of what I am.  Either way, I know this is only the beginning of a world, not a final product.” The World responded.

Elenmitis waited for The World to continue but it didn’t.  Apparently, it wasn’t a very talkative planet.  Elenmitis decided to take its advice.  He conjured mountains, trees, valleys, fish, and insects.  After all that Elenmitis felt a bit winded and watched.  Living things were really interesting.  They fought, killed, and ate one another.  They were born, grew, and died.  After a while everything became a repeating pattern.

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Flash Fiction: Trailer Park Ninja

The challenge this week Who, Where, and the Uh Oh.  Roll a d10 out of each column and we had up to 2,000 words.  However, I didn’t even use a thousand.  

Trailer Park Ninja

The work cell rang. I didn’t answer instead I used coded login on my laptop. The caved in face of my handler clicked into view. “Carvell, you have an assignment. You need to retrieve a package from this address.” The address flashed on the screen it was in Hobgood, my home base.

“What’s the package?” Package was a pretty loose term meaning anything that I needed to bring back.

“A metal case imprinted with the roman numeral nine. Another hostile agent has it. Arm well, walk soft we don’t need anyone to know you were there.” His thick brows twitched.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be as silent as a ninja.” Already my mind ran through all the weapons to take, and how to strap them in.

Immediately, those brows flattened my handler wasn’t pleased. “We don’t need any dead bodies, if you can help it.”

“Why send an assassin to do a job that you don’t need bodies?” Legit question, I wasn’t sure if he’d answer.

My handler jaw tensed. A full twenty seconds ticked by before he answered. “You are closest one to the location. It needs to be taken care of ASAP.”

I fought the urge to let out a sigh. When wasn’t it needed to ‘be taken care of ASAP.’ “Understood, anything else?”

He shook his head. “No, and good luck.” The screen went blank.

I strapped on my vest, my guns, put in my extra clips. A few clicks and I brought up the location on my cell. The place was nearly on the outskirts of town. I double checked my weapons, my armor before heading down my disposable street vehicle and headed out.

As I arrived at the location my brows went sky high. “A trailer park,” I muttered before I could contain myself. The large bulky box houses with gravel strewn between them. Little spokes of grass sticking up every which way. My nose wrinkled as I could smell wet animal fur. How the hell would I find a case in here? The indicator light blinked to my right. Apparently, someone was keeping sensitive materials in a trailer.

With a casual swagger as I made it up the door. A creak gave me enough time to jump sideways as the door exploded. Shards of wood slashed at my clothes as I rolled on the wet ground. The mud smeared across my body as I came up gun in hand. Tension tightened my shoulders and I made a conscious effort to relax. Two set steps and I rested against the wall of the trailer. I dropped down as a noise behind me. My body coated in wet thickness as I saw a cat prance past me tail high in the air.

“Stupid cat.” Feeling more than a bit embarrassed I pull myself up and proceeded inside. The trailer looked like I’d expect Formica kitchen, old flower pattern worn furniture. The only thing that stood out was a ladder sticking out in the middle of the living room. The ladder stark and industrial standing in contrast to the surroundings.

I looked around for the case and the owner. All I found was neatly made bed, and a pristine bathroom. A glance at the tracker told me the item was moving away from me underground. I wanted to avoid the suspicious ladder, which clearly would be a trap. After looking down the brightly lit tunnel I didn’t see anything obvious. Since, I couldn’t put off the inevitable any longer I started down.

Each step rang in a disturbing echo- clang, clang. My teeth ground together. Announcing my presence like this was completely unacceptable. Nothing that I could do about it. I couldn’t handle it anymore and I took a controlled slide to the ground. As I hit the ground my knees jarred a bit.

A gun in my hands and I scanned the area. Plain metal hallway went in both directions. As far as I could see there were no doors. Keeping my eyes up I pulled up the tracker. The package was toward the south. The word trap bounced around in my skull step after step.

The corridor opened up to a massive room. I stopped stunned as I stared a flying saucer. Apart of my mind yelled at me to be careful check the area, but shock rolled over me. I always thought the UFO stories were crap. And here one sat sparkling in the artificial light. The stomping of boots drew my attention.

Yeah, I messed up. About ten men surrounded me guns in hand, steely looking their eyes. They stood up in the unvarnished black. “Drop your weapon and turn yourself in.”

I thought about it. But, it wasn’t in my nature. I dropped and attempted to roll. The air filled with gunshots as they hit my chest, my legs, and arms. They weren’t screwing around. Heaviness filled my chest as I settled on my back. “Guess I’m not much of a ninja after all.”

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Review: Servant of the Empire

Servant of the Empire by Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurst

Unlike the first book, this one starts on a light hearted note.  A bunch of foreigner slaves are tricking their masters.  The whole scene is extremely well done considering there is barely any dialog.  Now, this scene serves a very important purpose in the novel.  It sets many of the central themes of the novel.  One of which is Mara is an unconventional person, she likes wit, and doesn’t honestly care for the rules.  Two, she doesn’t see an inherent weakness in those of a lower station than her own.  Three, it begins the two men who pretty core  in the story to a strong highlight.

This book’s plot flows as well as the first.  Any hiccups are minor here as well.  The joint authors bring you into the world a bit more, and let you dig your teeth into.  Sometimes, I feel they over explain sayings that are pretty easy to interrupt, but I tend to think less is more.  For most people, this is probably a good thing.

Minwanabi, aka the bad guys, are not two dimensional or boring either.  They have their good points, and their bad.  Tasaio is to me, legitimately creepy, scary, and clever.  You gotta love a well done villain.

One of the main themes is really about the cultural differences between Kelewan and Midkemian.  The cultures are extremely different and hold up to an entirely different set of values.  And, the novel is good about highlighting that both have their positives and negatives.

This is what I love about the book.  There are thousands of cultures, subcultures, mixed cultures in the world.  And, in my opinion, they all have their pros and cons.  You can debate whether not how bad one is compared to another.  But, I want to know about other cultures, what they believe, and why believe in it.  To me this is fascinating and complex matter that always holds my attention.  That’s exactly what this book is.  What makes these two people different, when at their root they are all human?  And, what could make them better, what are their good points, what parts are bad?

It makes me wonder the way I define right and wrong.

Author’s Note-  Okay, so on Thursday was my 100th post.  I failed to realize this, because I was in the fourth phase of one my worst flus ever. Instead, yay, my 101th one post.  It’s been a crazy time, and it’s been fun.

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Legend of Elenmitis Part 2

Dorian blinked a few times.  He motioned for the man to follow.  “That’s good. It gets a bit boring on the road.  If your duties don’t tire you out, perhaps you could spin a few.”

“Of course, of course.” The man bobbed his head.  He grinned at each member of the caravan as they walked down the line.

“What’s your name?” Dorian felt a little ashamed he hadn’t asked the man earlier.

“Oh, you can me El,” The man replied eyes twinkling. They both came to a stop at final cart. El started to unpack his gear.

Dorian waved a few men over to help.  He headed toward the front.  “As soon as our new cook is done, we’ll be on our way.”  It didn’t take long before the caravan departed.

The next few days were grueling.  The mountain terrain even in high summer was rough going.  Everyone was too tired to do anything fun.  Dorian kept watch on El.  The man worked hard, and never complained.  He even took to the random friendly jibs with a smile.  And, his cooking, well, that was short of a miracle.  Not a single dish came out bad and most were truly delicious.

The day they finally crawled over the last bit of the mountains the whole caravan was far more upbeat.  He didn’t push for progress, knowing everyone was worn down.  As the evening approached they made a big fire and the men sat up talking.  El had made a filling stew and everyone relaxed on their bedrolls.

As El came to join them, Carn piped up.  “Old man, Dorian mentioned you were a storyteller.”

El gave a big, wide, sweet smile.  “Oh yes I am.  Are you hinting you want a story? Like a child before bedtime?”

Carn and everyone else laughed.  “I do.  Something epic and interesting.”

After he settled onto his own bedroll, El looked into the fire. “Do you know how the world began? That’s an epic story for sure.”

A chorus of no’s filled the air.  El gave a solemn nod.  “Then, I’ll tell it to you.”

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