Thursday, November 27, 2014

Undead Online 15-18 FINAL

Okay, the 27th is pretty far from the 20th(What do I know? I don't math), but whatever. Life happens. Total word count is a little over 29k, which, once again, is not 50k. But whatever. I'm currently planning an extension with the goal of bringing it up and over 55k. I'll talk more about that - and the rest of the TruDive Universe - later. Right now, we have the final four chapters. So, without further ado:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Undead Online 8-14

Okay, got another seven chapters done. 21k words so far, and I only have four chapters left to write, so I'm assuming it'll be about 30k words by the time I'm done with it. A far cry from 50k, but considering I'm hoping to have it done by the 20th, it's nothing to laugh at. And of course then I get to figure out what I'm actually going to do with it. Well, enough chit chat.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Undead Online 1-7

Well, we're a fair way into November so far, and I think it's about time to put up what I have so far. Right now, I'm seven chapters and 9k words in. I doubt I'm going to hit 50k this year, as the chapters are ending up much shorter than I thought they'd be. But 40k's looking pretty sweet right now. Keep in mind, this is almost completely unedited, and things of this length and scope can be pretty rough. So, with that, lets get right in.

Undead Online

Chapter One

Storm clouds covered the sky, lightning crackling in a spray of digital wonder, illuminating the forest. Three shadows were revealed darting through the trees. As thunder sounded and the lightning came again, one peeled away, taking his position. The others continued, hunting their target.

Carrion Carriall stopped, leaning on a tree as he caught his breath. His friend and fellow Hunter, Sasa, did likewise. Carrion jerked his head toward a clearing, got a nod in response. They crept closer, peering through the darkness and trees.

A mass of bodies swayed in the clearing, an occasional collective moan breaking the silence. It was the usual mob of zombies that accompanied their real targets, the Rogues. A single one would be nothing, but at least thirty milled about the open patch, shuffling in randomized paths. Clothes hung in tatters from their bodies. For the most part, they were plain enough. Undead Online didn't focus on the horror aspect of the zombies, preferring that the regulars, as most players called the randomly spawned zombies, remain cannon fodder. It gets scary enough, mind you, when you're trapped under a pile of them. But they weren't terrible to look at.

“I'm ready.” The voice came through perfectly clear over their comms application. Frosty, their sniper, was in position. Carrion and Sasa didn't know where, exactly, but it didn't matter. Frosty knew what he was doing.

“Got it.” Carrion replied. “What's the plan?”

“Kill things?” Sasa replied sarcastically, fumbling a cigarette from his pocket.

“Well, obviously. But I don't think you can just walk in there.” Carrion waved at the spear hanging from Sasa's back. Six feet long and ending in a brutally curved blade, it was the only weapon he used. Of course, it isn't the kind of weapon you want if you plan on fighting in the middle of that many enemies, even if they are only zombies.

“Yeah, yeah.” Sasa mumbled around the cylinder of tobacco. A cloud of smoke drifted into the air. “Fine. Usual thing?”

“Yeah, sounds good. Can you handle that many?” Carrion asked.

“Sure. Shooting's hard, kiting's easy.”

Carrion was tempted to point out that that wasn't true at all, but he didn't. “Whatever. Break in five.”

They took their positions just inside the line of trees. Carrion counted the seconds on his fingers.

On the third, lightning flashed.

On the fifth, the thunder struck, rumbling through the clearing as, with a hellbent scream, Sasa tore into the clearing.

Carrion had to admit, it was a pretty sight. Sasa handled the spear with ease, cleaving through one of the zombies with a single swing before spinning to bisect another. But then his presence washed over the mob and they turned toward him. They began their strange shuffle-walk, slowly ambling toward him before picking up speed. Sasa was forced to retreat, running away from Carrion, half the crowd following him while the other half remained in place. The lot of them disappeared into the trees. In just a few seconds, the number of zombies in the clearing had been halved.

“Going in.” He said to thin air, knowing Frosty and Sasa could hear him. No reply came, so he took it as a sign to start his run. He grabbed his MP5K submachine gun with its shorter barrel for more maneuverability and walked into the clearing, pulling the trigger in short bursts.

The gunfire was loud in his ears as his bullets tore into the remaining regulars. Blood sprayed from them as they fell, the fluid turning to sparkling pixels like water in sunlight. Dropping any zombie that came too close, he made it halfway through the clearing toward his target, a copse of trees where he knew the Rogue was waiting. The entire time, the boom of sniper-fire echoed through the trees as Frosty let loose, hitting zed head after zed head without a single miss. Carrion reached the middle of the clearing.

And a new wave of zombies ran from the copse, vectoring straight toward him. He brought his gun around, jamming his finger down on the trigger, a withering stream of bullets ripping into the crowd. But it took only a second for his gun to click dry.

“Fall back, Kerry. Get out of there!” Frosty shouted over the comms, his gunfire doubling as he tried to thin the crowd.

But there were just too many. Carrion spun in place, trying to find a way out. But the two groups of zombies had him sandwiched, and he had nowhere to go. He was still looking for escape when a zombie ran into him, throwing them both to the ground.

“Dammit!” Carrion shouted, slamming his fists into his attacker, trying to throw him off. But before he could even budge the zombie that was on him, the others were piling on. Desperate sniper fire echoed through the forest, but it didn't stop the horde. A dozen pairs of teeth scissored into him, pain flaring as a dull tingle across his entire body.

It took what seemed like an eternity, but seconds later the world of flailing limbs was replaced with darkness as Carrion Carriall died.

2034, The City

Kerry Ascher slapped the TruDive helmet off his head, his neck length brown hair flopping into his eyes. He let his head fall backward onto his bed as he groaned. His heart was still pounding with adrenaline as the visions of teeth biting into him slowly faded, game over never a fun experience.

He grabbed a chunky keyboard off the floor next to his bed, flicking the on button and selecting a name from a menu.

I'm so bad at this game. He typed in exasperation.

The reply took a second to filter in as his brother, Dallas, 'Frosty' in-game, thought-typed a response. still inside UO.

Gimme a sec. I got you.

Undead Online was a game with two main things to kill. You had the usual zombie fare, obviously, but you also had Rogues, zombies born when a player dies. Rogues are controlled by a specialized AI that spends its days watching the player, learning how to play, think, and fight exactly like them. These are infinitely more dangerous than the cookie-cutter crowds of zombies, and as a result are important targets. Kerry, Dallas, and, to a certain extent, Sasa were Rogue Hunters, players who do nothing but hunt down other players after they die.

Kerry could imagine the scene as his Rogue rose from the ground, a groan falling from its lips. He could feel the crosshairs on his head as Dallas sighted, heard the boom of the sniper rifle and the THRACK-SKASH as the bullet tore through him.

You're good to go. Log back in.

Kerry sighed and settled back onto his bed, putting the TruDive back on. The whir of fans and processors was loud in his ears as he thought-clicked Undead Online from a list of games. Another half second passed, then the world slipped away.

Chapter Two

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Shade Within, and Undead Online

Well, it's been a few months. I had actually written a story a little more than a month ago with the intent of putting it on here, but it ended up being probably the most depressing story I've ever written, so I never did anything with it. Finally I got up off my lazy butt and wrote something else. This will probably be the last thing I post here until early November. I'm taking part in National Novel Writing Month this year(Again, but we'll not talk about last year, as it's forever tainted in my mind), and will be attempting an Action Semi-Sci-Fi by the name of Undead Online. I will post at least the first chapter here when I get the chance, and quite possibly up to chapter six. But, that's for a month from now, and for now, I have a short story.

Without further ado, this is:

Shade Within

The summonings had pecked into their target. Bhaskara was able to tell from the way the darkness quivered around him, the magic words echoing into them, transformed into sound in ears far, far away. It took less than a minute. His foe melted from the deepest shadow, one inky and black and somehow solid.

The city lived on around them, lights twinkling in windows visible from their rooftop like stars in a night sky, distant, but seemingly within reach. But Bhaskara knew in a few minutes they wold be out of reach forever. Itzal silenced the lighted panes with a wave of his hand, the entire city suddenly dark around them, its inhabitants immediately terrified, in fear of being infected with the darkness, the madness of the shade. But there was no need. Though Itzal could take them all in an instant, that wasn't what he was there for.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Shadow

Got another story here. This one's one that I've been planning on writing for a while but never really got around to writing. In the typical method of inspiration coming from strange places, the idea for this one actually arose while I was watching Pewdiepie playing a horror game in which he was being chased by a dark cloud. I said something along the lines of, "If I made this game then this would be like this....." And the idea developed from there.

Without further ado, this is:

The Shadow

I wake with something approaching surprise. A headache pounds through me, seemingly running through my whole body before retreating back into my cranium and finally fading to a dull ache in my right temple.

For a second, something seems to fill my hand. Something heavy, not just with physical weight but emotion as well. Then I clench my hand, and it's gone.

I glance around. Sepia tones surround me, like an ancient photograph brought to life. I lay in a nondescript bed, surrounded by others, all perfectly made with something approaching agonizing detail. And all unoccupied. Tables with sharp implements shine, as best they can in the strange light, underneath lamps that do nothing to light my space. I flick the switch on one, then inspect it to find the bulb broken.

What has happened? The last thing I remember is...

What is the last thing I remember?

Friday, April 4, 2014

The second story I'll post utilizes an idea even older than Watcher's, an idea so small it was pretty much two sentences. It was so small I'm not even going to explain it. But, I was going through my notes and decided I could develop it pretty well into a one-shot story, so I sat down and wrote for about an hour and a half and this is what I ended up with. And yes, I realize this post will be higher up on the blog than the first and so it doesn't make much sense to call it the "second story", but I don't know what to do about that other than do the posts backwards, which makes even less sense to me.

Anyway, without further ado, this is:

The War Of Brothers

Itzal Walker sat on his knees, arms held out to the sides as shadows twined themselves around and around his supple form. He did not flinch or shiver as the shade attached to both itself and him, slowly, laboriously forged and spun by his assistants. The two demi-lords, Ascobal and Ascoran, ran their hands up his bare arms and the dark followed, until he was weighted down by the gloom that had collected into spikes and plates that were harder than even steel forged in will-fire and quenched in vampire blood. The making of his ceremonious armor was an honor, although it was one all his own. By the end of the next night, the twins would almost certainly be dead, their blood seeped from their bodies, and their work undone by their passing.

They stood by his flanks, and his army by them. The moon hung high in the dusk, directly overhead and a little in front, as if it were the line between him and his foes. Across this imaginary, soon to be broken, line, these enemies stood as if he were looking in a mirror. At their head, one that he recognized all too well. He thought to call out, the familial bond strong within his heart, but decided they would meet sooner than he wanted already. He sighed as the moon itself seemed to swell, ticking and throbbing with the beat that would soon reach a crescendo and call the war to open. Then the night's calm, something he wished could last forever, was broken by a battlecry, then shattered further by an answer from his own side. And then the night itself was lost in battle.

First off, I'll post something that I finished rather recently. For this one, the original idea was someone who puts themself into a coma, waiting for the day they're needed. And that was literally it. I had no idea what to do with it because I wanted to develop it into a novel. But then I, quite recently, read a collection of short stories titled Bone Diamond by a very good writer named Michael John Grist. This book completely changed my view on short stories and inspired me to err a little farther away from full length novels and come back to my roots in short stories with a new, fresh style. I absolutely recommend reading his work and visiting his blog at:

Now, without further stalling for the ninjas to close in on your house, this is:


Blue sky.

Silver water. Stretching away for eternity, cool, glistening, soft around his ankles.

Her. Next to him. Gold hair soft as silk. Red lips like warm fire on pale sand.

He leaned in, reaching for a kiss. Their lips touched and...

He woke.