Story a Day

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What Came Before

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« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2013, 01:37:49 am »
Quote from: Callan S.
Ah jeez, feel like rebounding off Saajan again!

~~~

When I died, I felt like mercury on glass, yet darting back and forth on a perfectly flat plane. But not long and then the tilt, the ones the chasm churches warned us about - split, no purchase, into hell.

Air an acid, tearing at skin. A unimaginably large furnace, blasting all with malignance from above. Filth for a mouth. Pinned to the earth with a hideous weight. Cast into sickly flaking flesh, bone stabbed through the very undermeat. Staggering across dead and scarred landscapes.

No perfection of eight reaching limbs, no watery sky to fly into, no landscape of life layered upon life. No worship of the two holy, shimering moons.

The worst torment, how this pitiful anchoring slab of tortured flesh thought it normal. Stood in the blast radius of a nuclear nightmare and called it 'a nice day'. Soul twisting, nailed to this thing uncomprehending, its obliviousness the ultimate torture.

What Came Before

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« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2013, 01:37:57 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
It's only natural for my storyteller charisma to draw people in.

"I say many things. I have a beautiful voice."

=-=-=

Sci Story #16

We write messages to our dead. The sending of 17 terabytes worth of messages requires the power of a star's heart beat.

As such, many spend a not considerable amount of time trying to say what they need to say within the span of the allowed character limits which change with the tidal shifts in administrations and parties.

Poetry is the international past time.

Me, I keep it very simple, for I am among the few permitted to look beyond the Veil, to see the place where virtue and sin are incarnate, where the echo of one's actions is made known.

One message, delivered to all the friends, family, lovers and teachers who battered the blossoming shape of my life:

"You couldn't have known. I forgive you."

In all but the smallest sampling I'm relatively certain the first sentence is a lie. The veracity of the latter changes every year, much like the shifting of the tide reshapes the sands of the shore.

/Story

What Came Before

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« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2013, 01:38:04 am »
Quote from: Francis Buck
-----

It was spring when the Holy Men first came from the south. They appeared at the village gates, black-robed and white-beared. They bore with them a number of chilling artifacts, namely a large carving made from hickory that depicted a naked man nailed to a post. The townsfolk whispered rumors of their strange faith; that they ate the flesh and drank the blood of their god to give them eternal life, and that all the knowledge and secrets of their religion were kept in a single tome, written by ancient prophets from some distant desert land. The plague did not affect the Holy Men, and they said it was because their god protected them.

It was not long before the villagers began worshipping that god as well.

-----

What Came Before

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« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2013, 01:38:12 am »
Quote from: Callan S.
Quote from: sciborg2
It's only natural for my storyteller charisma to draw people in.

"I say many things. I have a beautiful voice."
Yo! And great quote - it's from a serial killer, isn't it?  :twisted:

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« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2013, 01:38:22 am »
Quote from: Madness
I'm actually curious, sciborg. Conphas or the second Sarcellus?

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« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2013, 01:38:30 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
second Sarcellus. :-)

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« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2013, 01:38:38 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
By the way - Nice one Francis, short and sweet.

Sci Story #17

Stomach rumbling, hunger tumbling
My thoughts are stumbling
This shit's so humbling

Yesterday was laughing,
Gaffing,
At how nothing in here is food
So little young me understood
I'm a damn fool, starving now,
I see clearly that I was acting out

Ten blocks from home and I forgot the wallet
Have to trust to the 5 dollars left in a shirt pocket
Ten blocks might be ten miles 'cause I'm too tired to walk it
So gonna grab a bite in Micky D's
So sorry I mocked it.

/Story

What Came Before

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« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2013, 01:38:47 am »
Quote from: Madness
Lol, I've been writing some rhymes recently too, sciborg. If I ever get through a whole verse I'll post it. Though if it's something we could throw around maybe we'll make another thread. Looks like I'll have sometime to dedicate to my weekly's tonight after work. I got a couple ideas for this thread. Congrats, sciborg. Writing everyday is the surest way to get better.

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« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2013, 01:38:54 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
Definitely post rhymes! We may even have to stage a battle...

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« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2013, 01:39:02 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
Sci Story #17

The last of the horizon's golden rim fades away, driven into the sea by the indigo charge of the star speckled night.

With the full moon staring down at the march walked by the village, a parade thrown in my honor, shadows pantomime us on the rich verdant grass. Vanguard dancers shake and clang their percussion heirlooms, behind me singers fill the air with their songs.

Those before part when we arrive at the temple, allowing me march undeterred to my cutting. I offer only a hiss and the old priests separates me from my foreskin, I don't even scream as I'm cleansed with salt water.

But vestigial tears do come unbidden, in spite all of training. I wipe my eyes only to find the world before has became a stage for madness. The skin, it stretches like taffy, a sheet cut in twain by a ceremonial knife carved wholly from amethyst. It's pulled over antlers that are themselves stretched and distorted as if cold air could make them as malleable as molten glass.

Then they're behind me, and I can't see what they're doing, so I only feel the twin thrusts made into my back. Everything is blurring now, the torch fires are hurting my eyes. I'm panting, and it's too much to pay attention to the world when all my will is given to pride, to the making of my legs into pillars of stone, as if my knees were knots of marble rather than joints that bend when an initiate is broken.

The next time I'm truly aware of the world is when I've been kicked off the cliff side and am already flying.

/Story

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« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2013, 01:39:11 am »
Quote from: Curethan
Wut!?  They made wings from his foreskin?  :lol:
----
Anyway, I have another.
----

Wailing and snarling, I attacked.  His eyes narrowed and he backed off, careful to maintain the distance.
I feel rage pushing my limbs as my limbic system takes over.  Inside, I whimper and weep.  Outside, I spit and roll my eyes – fists swinging, stamping forward.
He dodges the first dangerous momentum, then blocks or absorbs the questing flurry of blows that follow.

Like walking into a wall, I jar and re-align, my face has blocked his knuckles as he jabbed at my brain.
My body makes a decision.  My heart squeezes blood to every muscle as I leap grab tear smash.  Rage tears breach my eyes, squeezed shut.
Far away, trapped be-hindsight, I know what this means. 
I will regret this…

My mouth and nose are crushed by dirt and blood.  His foot is on the back of my head.  I taste the impotence of rage.

What Came Before

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« Reply #41 on: June 02, 2013, 01:39:18 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
I like it - I was thinking fight and sex scenes are rather conducive to flash fiction. I may try to write a longer tale, maybe a remake of #2, but right now these mini-tales are all I can seem to manage.

Sci Story #18

He stands over the corpse, doing his best, but it feels like he is struggling to reroute the tides.

He looks around, at all the noble children who want him to go home, who want him dismissed from the School. He glances down and it seems even the sea ravaged cadaver is impatient for him to be gone.

The face of Professor Joren is a mask, an emotional visage frozen in what might as well be rigor mortis.

(Our hero refuses to look into the eyes of the youngsters with blood as base as his own, all those who are depending on him to pave the way for their own egalitarian dreams.)

A shadow falls over them. Someone is on the balcony. He looks up and into the pale green eyes of Princess Marencia. Only Royalty would be allowed the freedom to intrude upon an examination. They might have barred her still, if a noble were being tested, but what was the point of peasantry if not for show?

(Yet here the keepers of the gilded gates have erred, for Marencia had confessed her love to our hero just two nights past!)

He looks down again, at the corpse, tethering the nercomantic ethers as best as he can. He tugs again, as hard as all his failed attempts, but this time he tugs not with his shame but his heart.

The corpse on the table coughs, and if not for its stench and fished pecked flesh one would believe he'd saved the man from drowning. The peasants cheer and even the noble children give our hero their grudging respect as the dead sailor begins to dance a jig.

(Everyone knew the Headmaster had selected the old corpse against Prof. Joren's wishes - First Years are supposed to be tested on peasant babes whose souls have been freshly disavowed from their flesh due to crib death.)

The princess is already gone, but our hero knows he will see her later. For now he enjoys the accolades of his peers. Already he dreams of children born to Marencia, little ones born too high to be touched by the Smog.

The corpse, settled back onto the slab, is perfectly still now, but the recaptured soul within it is screaming in horror.

/Story

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« Reply #42 on: June 02, 2013, 01:39:26 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
Monday's story was posted late. Here's Tuesday's -> Sci Story #19 is from my Planescape shit:

=-=-=

The Object of Infinite Mercy

We found him, by which I mean the Object of Infinite Mercy, on a cube in Acheron. Whether the Jade Emperor's former servant was a man or thing by this point I leave it for you to judge:

There is wire caught flesh at the center of this hexagonal hollow, seven layers deep in this great iron die that will never, ever turn in the name of Chance lest the End of Days is sounded.

A web of hot metal thread glows in an incandescent cat's cradle, weaving through organs and bone, each entry and exit wound leaving a circle of black char on the skin. The air wavers, trembling with heat and the weighty scent of pork, while the tiniest flakes of ash fall to the ground beneath the Object and his inscrutable possession of an arachnid's silent stillness.

Our footsteps trod on a carpet of black and grey, and days from now Guvner Mathematicians would confirm the fractal patterns in the skin-snow. Snow that would, for some years hence, contain the impressions of our boots.

Unless, of course, the Emperor found the tracks of our hasty retreat too disorderly to bear.

=-=-=

No mortal can stumble upon the Object. Our encounter with him necessitated nothing less than a miracle.

My crew and I are not ones for pilgrimages of this sort, but the machinations of Estevan allowed our conversion from operatives to commodities. It's a long story in and of itself, but let me say that somehow someway I intend to make the ogre (or whatever he is) pay for delivering us into the services of Sun Chiang.

Without the thief god's involvement, we would never have found our way to the Object. He provisioned us, gave us our destination, and into my flesh his own incarnate hand traced the Compass Rose that left flattened patches of scar tissue where nipples once graced my pectorals.

The rose suckles directions in place of water and sunlight. You see, when thief-turned-god had us sail into Acheron we had a destination but no route and no hope of a map.

We were lost. The prisoner could be anywhere, and our every movement would thus be predicated on nothing but whims and intuition. Chaos, born of the Jade Emperor's hand, the very thing that is anathema to the Celestial Bureaucracy's Lord. That is the impetus of the rose's arcana, taking shears to the very idea of directionless wandering.

As possibilities were cut away before they could metastasize, it was only a matter of months before we found ourselves at the geometries that bound hi- that bound the Object of Infinite Mercy.

=-=-=

Sun Chiang had used the intent of his Emperor as the skeleton key, the addiction to order as impetus to our arriving at the vast iron hexagon. Stolen possibilities, places we might have gone and people we might have bee - met...

All thrumming like desperate blue bottles under my skin where the canvas of my chest and abdomen were traced with the burned in Compass Rose. All sacrificed to the redirection of time and place, in accordance with Acheron and its demand for an economy of exchange.

The Rose blazed with the light of a new setting, painting over the deck of the ship on which we stood until, in the span of three heartbeats, we found ourselves as visitors and witnesses to the man turned to exhibition by Shang T- by the Jade Emperor's hand.

=-=-=

We came with no gifts in hand, no offerings of relief with which to bribe the prisoner. Sung Chiang had assured me that the sight of the Compass Rose, with its eight arrow-petals, would be enough to guarantee the Object's compliance.

"Tell us the story of your sin, how you betrayed Law for the love of Law."

I expected the threaded figure to raise its head, to somehow mouth a story despite what I presumed to be the agonies of his entangled person. Instead when h- when it spoke the voice came from all around us, made us feel the tale like a lover's sighed breath on our skin.

=-=-=

I lived for perfection, a proxy of the Celestial Bureaucracy. I was made to worship it. To demand it in myself and in those beneath me. I worked to ensure those in my service submitted to the Law, that they let Order pith their minds and their hearts.

As for above, there lay both my Sun and my Measure. Shang Ti, the god who made me with slivers of poetry and a breath passed through woodwinds.

I carved myself from the wood of my follies, chiseled myself from the marble of my wayward emotions, in hopes of bringing myself to heel so that I might be as perfect as that god whose Being was a mirror to clockwork majesty of our home.

Even then I knew this to be an impossible striving. Had my name not be struck from the pages of history, preserved only in my Lord's innermost thoughts, it would have engendered itself into an adjective used to describe the punishment of that other who was condemned in an echoing manner, that boulder rolling king who once served the pantheon of Olympus.

Ages passed, and I knew the bliss of the mountaineer who seeks not the peak, the sailor who has no destination in mind. Was this not proof of my very self, my very soul, that there was always sin to slough off, always more fat to be cut from the bone?

Secretly I believed it was the effort that made us more than the modrons around us, that it was our Will to Order that would conquer the Chaos beyond the Mechanusian gears.

I was content to endure my eternal refinement, to struggle forever with my soul as my Purgatory, until I came to find that the grace that could never be won could be given.

Even now I cling to my blasphemy: Salvation as absence in the shape of a woman, porcelain faced and aglow with light...

=-=-=

Many hours passed in the telling of its Fall, and every word of the man's descent into Object was caught on the scar tissue of the Compass Rose. The first days of the Parai at court. How the steel haired women had seduced him with their synchronous motion, how in the darkness of the Emperor's corridors he'd made plans to steal away with them. How he'd actually been allowed to leave, on a supposed reconnaissance mission. How he'd been dragged back to palace, his old form reconstituted, shamed and sentenced before the proxies and gods of the Emperor's court.

An example had to be made, of course, from the one who'd lost a shard of the Most Divine.

It might have gone quicker, had the Object not peppered his speech with self-pitying lamentations and confused rationalizations for exegesis. Eventually our task as pirate-bards was done, and all that was left was the pilgrimage through the labyrinth that lay between us and the ship docked beyond these accursed prison walls.

Yet one thing remained, something our employer had not requested but I believed was the heart of the tale to any thief...or at least, the heart that blossoms like a blister once any of us filchers are caught.

"Is it not agony, to be interwoven with threads of hot metal?" I asked. There was a pause, a near silence broken only by the sound of sizzling meat.

Sometimes. It was clear the Object did not wish to speak on the matter, and had I not endured the transformation of its life story to long winded oratory I might have been content to let it drop in the name of compassionate courtesy. Instead:

"Explain."

Near silence and the sharp whisper of steak held over flame.

"Remember the power of the Eight Petaled Rose."

Invisible - yet definitively impotent - anger curled around my frame. This poor thing couldn't scratch the zits from my face.

My Lord allowed me the power to leave my flesh, and so I did the moment the threads were touched with heat...

Yet once I was on the other side of my skin, I found my soul still clinging to grooves I had spent eons carving into it when I was the Jade Emperor's proxy. All the cues I'd used to measure my adherence to Law were still sought by my spirit, and so I yearned to breathe without lungs, demanded a heartbeat despite the lack of heart, wished to blink my eyes with all the faithful timing of the metronome....

Madness built inside me, and I knew I must return to my flesh, knowing I would once again break and depart...But it had to be...regular. Both entry and exit, for all Time. Like the meeting of gear-teeth.


"Fair enough. And why do you bear this name? Why are you the Object of Infinite Mercy?"

Justice would have meant throwing me into the Chaos of Limbo, as Chaos is the thing I most abhor. It is the opposite of all that is in me, all that Shang-Ti made me to be and all the Parai refashioned me to despise. Yet to do so would have been a victory for the likes of Ygorl and Ssendam, whereas my crime was the belief that I might decide my own place in the Law.

"And this eternity you endure. This is what the Jade Emperor calls 'Mercy'?"

Did you not hear me? Have I not spoken of the soul's limitless nature? My own soul's dedication to Order, how I am twice born of Law?

"Yes, but --"

Is not sparing me from exposure to an immeasurable anathema by its very nature an act of Infinite Mercy?

It occurred to me then that despite Sun Chiang's reassurances my crew and I were most definitely trespassing in a prison erected by a god whose heart was chiseled perfection, a divinity who had either never felt pity or had excised it from his being long ago.

Sun Chiang had promised a portion of the rewards Shang Ti would shower on him, once the information in the Rose allowed him to prove to his worth to the Emperor's court as one of the Multiverse's ultimate thieves.

Yet it seemed to me in that moment than any reward would be a finite, and thus paltry thing. It would not do to dally here any longer, and with this in mind me and my crew began our hasty retreat.

Before we are through the maze, we hear the Obj- we hear him screaming. The sound is a raw, staccato thing that marked the quarter notes of an unheard music.

=-=-=

eta: change "quarters" to "quarter notes"

What Came Before

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« Reply #43 on: June 02, 2013, 01:39:35 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
Sci Story #20

"Not much for public speaking...but I didn't want to leave without saying something...be chicken to leave without a few words..for me anyway...not saying everyone's gotta come up here..

So.

Okay.

Ruhalt was warrior down to his marrow, he led the charge and was the last one to leave the field. I didn't know him before the War, didn't even meet him until halfway through the campaign...but in talking with many of you here today, some of you who have spoken at this podium before me, it seems like that was just the kind of man he was, on or off the field on either side of the ocean...

That he had the same compassion and courage in all parts of his life. Husband. Father. Son. As to the last, Ma'am, Sir, I just wanna thank you for bringing up such a fine specimen of Atlantean....

Rulhat was the kind of man who knew how to be hard, but also how to be kind. The kind of man that some say is dying out, but seeing his son here standing proud I don't think we have to pay that kind of talk any mind...

...Sorry, just give me a second here...

Rulhat, Sir, I think I speak for all the men and women who served under you when I say... you kept our insides inside and got us through Hell....I think we'd all agree that you're worth ten of us, but hopefully we can still do your proud when we return to the field...Thanks for everything...

Well now, we all know Sir was a man of few words, so I'm just gonna stop now.

...Yeah, think I said enough right there...

Goddess bless Sir, Goddess bless y'all, and Goddess bless Atlantis."

/Story

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« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2013, 01:39:43 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
Early story for tomorrow -> Sci Story #21

I wake up, and there's an itch on my chest that I can't reach.

I think I'm in handcuffs. I open my eyes. Yup, handcuffs.

This apartment is really tiny. Clean, nice, but wow is it tiny. Also...the occupant reads a lot of something called Warhammer.

Interesting.

Guy comes out of the bathroom, smiling. Weird, figured it'd be a girl since my ass doesn't have any post-coital looseness. I don't usually play pitcher, but hey whatever.

He's happy to see me, or at least it really looks that way. Thank god, this seems like a no-money kinda thing. Gerry always likes to make the rounds with sex workers.

Not that we're not lookers...I mean, the face is good. The body could use a little work but that's more due to Gerry's need for sweet shit all the goddam time. *I* have a gym membership.

Still, handcuffs? We're going have to talk about this, guy bending down to give me a blow job or not.

Gerry's gotta remember when he's fucking he's fucking for two.

/Story