Seven sentence or less

Nerio, the Hero of the Shield


It all began long before the events near the small village on the outskirts of our world but the Fates had placed them both under the moon that night.

An Armageddon between the battleworn hero, who valiantly fought to protect his family and his country from the darkness that was to come, and the tortured demon seeking to quench his thirst in seas of blood.

One became none and the other less than even that as the hero became the villain and the villain came to no more be.

Having lost the blood of his blood and the flesh of his flesh but not the heart of his soul, he ripped his heart out before it became foul.

Exiled from his life, banished from his death, he sought revenge and wandered the nether and the never only to become stranded in the silver city with barely a sliver of a hope or a chance.

And yet he made the spark of life come from his still heart, becoming what he hated most and learning the accursed arts of the new family that hosted his rise to power.

The wrongs he wrote were the rights he wronged, what was lost became found again, though in another way, as simply as the bloody moon turned back to the ocean’s jewel.

Another little experiment of mine. Oh but don’t mind me, do keep reading!

An unusual request

The shop had been quiet for a few days now, which was completely normal, mind you, with everything that was going on around the Curve and its gates. It was like this every damn season: Leaf had its refreshing resorts opening their doors, Tear, its holidays and family reunions, Sand had holidays AND great weather, always, and Zephyr and the rest managed to make people get off their asses to move even though she couldn’t understand why after all those years… But what was the most mind-boggling was the people themselves, those who stupidly thought that by starting a few hours or days early they would manage to wiggle through when, after so many cycles, it was always the same thing. The same damn thing, always. Too many people would all think of getting an early start at the same time and it would end up like always, with the gates over-packed and her shop more quiet than usual…

This time was no exception. It even seemed even more quiet than the previous cycles. She knew that clients would always end up coming back at one point, often in much higher numbers in the first weeks following the change but it still managed to freak her out to an extent, even after all this time. I am no better than those idiots, am I? Thinking it’ll be different this time… She sighed and adjusted the new items she had received the previous day. Dust-globes of the citadel, animae of the shuttles gliding along the Curve’s rainbow paths, a bunch of Nat’ur magazines – stupid hipster name – and, last but not least, a dozen pairs of the latest lenses of truth by Trigon, supposedly able to display events past and future of the location you looked at. She knew it was a scam, as most merchants and tourists did – even Trigon themselves, the product’s distributing guild had admitted it sometimes operated in ‘unpredictable ways’ for Io’s sake! – but it never seemed to stop selling, the speed at which they disappeared even seemed to increase.

She was in the middle of putting the contents of the last box on display when the gong echoed. She looked up and saw a red-haired mudborn walk towards her. No, a human, she corrected herself silently. Not cool Vee, not cool… Those were the remains of the old her, she tried to let those apprehensions fizzle out in the far reaches of her mind but it was much more easily said than done. She had learned to see past what her clan had taught her when she had left her home all those years ago but it wasn’t perfect yet. Who is perfect anyway? Nothing it lost as long as you know it’s bad Vee, as long as you know it’s bad, she repeated the words of the preceptor as a mantra. She stood up and dusted her hands on her robe, everything needed a good scrub anyway and she still had some time to get the shop clean and proper before the number of clients soared again.

“Hello, how may I help you?”, she asked, putting on her best smile as the woman walked up to her.

“Hello”, the woman replied with a slight accent, which she found cute, “I am looking for a specific item and have been… unlucky in acquiring it in the shops I have visited previously. I was told that if I asked for a certain Verian here, they would be able to help me…”

The way she had paused in the middle of her sentence had caught Vee’s attention, she studied the woman a little more closely. She looked and sounded like a tourist passing through with her light clothes – an ample white blouse, an equally floating lilac-coloured skirt and a large curved straw hat – and her slightly rolling accent. The only thing missing to complete the look were large sunglasses. But as Vee observed the red-haired woman a bit more closely she noticed the small wooden stick – probably a wand – hanging by her side and the deep yet cold brown of her eyes. Not a passing client, she is dangerous… Vee immediately settled the broad smile on her face so as not to let on her thoughts. Now that she thought about it, the woman had an unfamiliar and spicy aura around her, which was definitely not common. And if he had been recommended to her by her peers, it must mean she was ot a usual client either.

“Of course, I am Verian,” Vee replied, “what is it that you seek to obtain? I may already possess something of the kind in my inventory.”

She went straight to the point and the woman seemed to appreciate that.

“To be frank, I am not looking for an object, rather… a creature. One of great power. I was hoping you would be able to provide counsel on this.”

Interesting, thought Vee. Usually when clients came to her with special orders they were seeking materials or objects, those who came to obtain other types of merchandise like living creatures or other were even more rare. And yet she felt that woman in front of her was of another kind still. She seemed to know exactly what she wanted already and someone who had the means to acquire it by private circuits rather than through merchants or guilds. So why would she come here?

“Come with me.”, Vee said before moving to the back of the shop, not even locking the front door as she was sure no one would disturb them.

The woman followed her to a larger, more lit room which served as a meeting room for the rich and important clients. Windows displaying different landscapes were placed along the walls. Of course they were false, this room had no other physical entry or exit that the one leading to the shop, and it was tailor-made to become a very, very sturdy safe-room if anything went wrong during or after a deal. Or if anything went wrong in general, with her establishment so close to the Curve it was always a risk, no matter what the officials could say, she trusted her judgement more than their corrupted one.

“Have a seat.”, Vee gestured and a row of different seats appeared behind the woman.

She sat on the one covered in pale blue fur. Nice choice, Vee thought, it was the most comfortable one, after her own of course, which she outed immediately after. She also outed a small table with refreshments, she always kept some in case of unexpected business.

“So,” she sat down in her own seat, a thin layer of ochre sand cut into the shape of an armchair, “what exactly brings you to see me?”

She shifted slightly, taking a cookie from one of the jars in front of her, resting her tale on her shoulder. The woman filled a small cup with the sweet ruby liquid in the bottle next to it and took a sip before replying.

“I have a – let’s say a project in mind, small and inconsequential to the scale of the Curve but which I hold quite dear right now. I am very peculiar on the details of this project but it requires a piece that I have not yet been able to put my hands on.”

She paused and took another sip, she seemed to enjoy the drink. Vee did not speak and simply bid her time, she knew when to respect her clients’ pace.

“The creature I am looking for is a dragon,” the woman said after a short silence.

Vee couldn’t help the slight surprise but nodded to hide her small frown. Why would a client come to her for such a simple task as this? There must have been something else…

“As you might expect, I am not looking for simply any kind of dragon, I wouldn’t have come to you if it was the case. I have specific requisites that must be met.”

Of course, it couldn’t be that simple.

“I understand. Would you care to give me these details? I will know immediately what preparations are needed.”, Vee said.

Dragons. She had a few of those in her own inventory but they were common and relatively easy to obtain. They would most likely not be what her client was looking for. That wasn’t a problem though, she hadn’t gotten her reputation by chance, if it existed, she could most likely get her hands on it and most assuredly make a nice deal of it.

“What I am looking for is a hybrid, cross between the black Zora and the small Iyor. It must still be in the egg state, that is very important.”

Vee was mentally reviewing her database to see if she could already pinpoint a location or at least a first move as to how she would fulfill this task and she visibly frowned at the second part of the request. A dragon, whether purebreed or crossbreed was relatively easy to find for someone with her background, but a specific crossbreed and adding the absolute condition it needed to be an egg made things more complicated. Not impossible, though she was confident she could achieve that by going through a few unusual channels. However she froze when the woman added a third condition.

“And you have to bring me along to choose the egg. I would normally ask for its location and go there myself but I am not familiar with these parts and I need a guide…”

Vee checked to see if this was joke, but nothing in her client’s attitude indicated anything of the sort. The red-haired human was completely serious. Damn… I should have expected this…, she silently cursed. Usually, for such a request, she would have her few trusted associates work for or with her and only move once the product was located, or not even move at all sometimes. But that damn woman wanted her to do it herself and to tag along, this was trouble, definite trouble! She did not want to be a babysitter to this human girl, even more so when she had this uneasy feeling about her. She was about to voice her refusal when she felt the spiciness of the air. The woman’s eyes were not cold, nor did they reflect any malice but she felt pressured nonetheless; there was power in those eyes, she could feel it and she wasn’t sure if she was ready to go against her request. She wasn’t even sure she could as she opened her mouth to speak.

“Very well,” she said, refraining a sigh, “I believe I will be able to fulfill your request. However, for this special treatment, the fees will be higher than usual.”

The red-haired woman simply nodded her approbation and Vee waved her hand, vanishing the food from the table and outing the documents to validate this contract.

“Usually for requests like these, I require a month. But since you wish to come with me, I will need a few days to prepare, no more than three, to get the shop in order and to gather some information as to the place where we will begin our search. I hope this is fine for you.”

“I see no problem, it will give me time to continue my preparations and to take a closer look at the citadel.”

“Then if you would press your finger here…”, Vee said, pointing to the thin silver sheet before her on the table.

The woman followed her instructions and Vee did the same on the other side, explaining the exact details, the dangers and the rules that would have to be followed. A copy was then made and one was kept by her, the other given to the woman. Then she accompanied the red-haired human to the door with a smile. It was only partially forced this time, this trip would not be pleasurable to her, she was sure of it, but she would making a nice profit, whether she succeeded or not. However, considering her impression of the one at the origin of the request- no, the demand, she had a feeling that failing was not an option she would enjoy… Vee watched with mixed feelings the woman only known to her by her initial, a cursive E on the contract, take out what she believe was a wand only to have it grow to the size of a broom, and hop on it with elegance before silently flying off.

“Well, this is going to be fun…”, she muttered, her tail purring with apprehension at what was to come.

Prompted by a Reddit thread.

Le Masbaha rouge


Le Masbaha rouge

Un brouhaha quelque peu étouffé régnait dans le grand salon au boiseries finement vernies. Une foule d’une quarantaine de personnes attendait, patiemment assise sur des fauteuils installés spécialement pour l’occasion, que le propriétaire des lieux, également maître de cérémonie ce soir là, arrive et leur fasse part de son annonce tant attendue. Ils étaient venus de tout Paris, et même de province pour certains, afin d’assister à la révélation qui depuis deux ou trois semaines faisait frémir leurs coeurs passionnés d’exotique et d’étrange.

Cela faisait à présent presque une heure qu’ils attendaient pour les plus ponctuels, et une bonne demi heure pour les retardataires. La tension et l’impatience commençaient à se faire sentir dans les murmures agacés qui se propageaient sur le bois. Pour ceux qui connaissaient déjà la pièce dans laquelle ils se trouvaient, il n’y avait pas de doute : l’immense drap rouge, tendu devant le mur en face d’eux dissimulait quelque secret dont Louis Braguelonne, l’aventurier de légende, découvreur d’objets rares et uniques, allait leur faire la présentation sous peu. Les plus téméraires avaient bien sûr pensé à jeter subrepticement un regard derrière cette dernière mais deux hommes de taille et d’uniforme imposants les en avaient dissuadés d’un simple regard. Ils s’étaient donc contentés d’observer en silence la surprenante beauté des lieux dans lesquels ils se trouvaient ainsi que la qualité des gravures dans le bois des murs ou bien de faire survivre leur conversation avec la femme au cheveux gris qui ne pouvait s’empêcher de leur faire part de son excitation à l’idée de revoir le grand Louis Braguelonne.

Cette dernière était assise au côté de l’un de ces téméraires. Celui-ci avait les cheveux plutôt courts, blonds et bouclés, et observait la pièce de son regard brun, doux mais perçant, tout en l’écoutant d’une oreille distraite se vanter d’avoir pu rencontrer le Lord Braguelonne personnellement à plusieurs reprises et d’étaler son émerveillement pour la personne qu’il était. Il tendit cependant une oreille plus attentive lorsque la femme dont la voix chaude et presque sensuelle ne semblait pas avoir vieillit à la même vitesse qu’elle, commença à débattre de la présence du joli drapé d’un rouge foncé fort appréciable à l’oeil.

– Voyez-vous, je ne peux m’empêcher de me demander ce que cette tenture – car je crois, au vu des motifs répétitifs qui y semblent brodés, que l’on peut appeler cela une tenture – je me demande donc, disais-je à l’instant, plus que ce que cette tenture peut bien dissimuler, d’où elle peut bien provenir elle-même ? Car plus je l’observe et plus il me semble qu’elle est de grande qualité. Il me faudra demander à Braguelonne sa provenance lorsqu’il nous aura dévoilé son mystérieux “Masbaha” car j’en souhaite bien une pareil pour mon salon…, ajouta-t-elle avec un petit soupir en rabaissant ses lunettes de vue.

Le jeune homme ne répondit pas mais jeta un oeil rapide au drapé qui tombait depuis le plafond jusqu’au sol et prenait toute la largeur de la pièce, empêchant l’oeil de se glisser derrière lui. Il lui sembla, en effet, que le tissus de ce dernier n’était pas tout à fait aussi désuet et inintéressant qu’il avait pu le penser au premier abord. Il parvenait, en se concentrant suffisamment, à apercevoir d’élégantes formes et des motifs détaillés brodés en relief à sa surface. Ne s’y connaissant pas suffisamment pour évaluer le matériau simplement du regard, il ne savait dire quel genre de tissus avait été utilisé mais pariait sur du velour ou un tissus raffiné de ce genre. La couleur presque pourpre de ce dernier semblait également ressortir plus vivement maintenant qu’il y prêtait attention. A son arrivée son regard avait bien évidemment été attiré par ce grand drap rouge mais son coeur et son esprit s’étaient immédiatement transportés dans l’espace qu’il imaginait derrière celui-ci et vers le mystérieux objet, le fameux Masbaha rouge, cet objet mystérieux dont on ne savait presque rien sinon que Braguelonne le disait extraordinairement exotique et étrange et qu’il l’avait apparemment ramené de son dernier périple en Afrique.

Alors que son attention se détournait encore vers le sujet de cette soirée organisée par l’explorateur, un homme se leva du rang derrière lui et s’éclaircit la gorge bruyamment, attirant les regards vers lui. Attendant à peine que le silence fut tombé et que tous les spectateurs se soient concentrés sur sa personne, il retira le haut de forme qu’il portait, la veste en tweed et, à la surprise générale, son épaisse moustache et la barbe qui l’accompagnait, non moins épaisse. La femme à côté du jeune homme, qui s’était retournée avec quelque réticence poussa un petit cri et devint toute rouge, elle détourna le regard et cacha avec précipitation sa bouche ouverte en un grand O de sa main. Ce petit cri fut suivit d’un murmure de surprise dans l’assemblée et l’on put reconnaître les syllabes du nom de leur hôte prononcées dans un ordre décousu de-ci de-là. L’homme qui affichait un grand sourire prit alors la parole.

– Mesdames et messieurs, merci d’être venu ici ce soir. Pour ceux qui me connaissent, nul besoin de m’introduire mais pour ceux qui ne me connaîtraient pas encore, mon nom est Louis Braguelonne, pour vous servir. Il fit une petite révérence, laissant le temps à son auditoire de digérer l’information, avant de reprendre la parole. Veuillez m’excuser pour ce petit tour que je viens de vous jouer en me dissimulant auprès de vous sous une autre identité mais tout cela fait partie de la façon dont je souhaitais organiser la présentation. Il me fallait obtenir les réponses à certaines questions et il ne m’était pas d’autre moyen que de le faire ainsi, je vous l’assure.

Il s’inclina à nouveau, en signe d’excuse cette fois, puis se dirigea d’un pas assuré vers l’avant des sièges et s’arrêta lorsqu’il arriva devant le rideau pourpre, se tournant alors vers le public, toujours en souriant. Il étendit les bras de chaque côté et passa son regard sur ses spectateurs.

– Bienvenue, donc, à cette soirée où j’ai promis de vous faire part de l’une des plus étonnantes découvertes que j’ai pu faire au cours de mon voyage. Je vous ai promis quelque chose d’étonnant et de mystérieux, et bien me voici donc en train de tenir promesse. Il fit une pause. Vous avez tous, je l’imagine, entendu prononcer le nom de Masbaha avant ce soir, c’est même ce qui vous a poussé à venir si je puis me permettre de deviner, n’est-ce pas ? Eh bien, mesdames et messieurs, laissez moi donc vous présenter ce qu’est que ce Masbaha rouge dont vous entendez tant parler !

Il claqua des doigts et on apporta un tableau avec une carte de l’Afrique aux couleurs variées et étincelantes que l’on plaça derrière Braguelonne. Ce furent les deux hommes qui se tenaient de chaque côté de la tenture qui s’en chargèrent, à la surprise de presque toute l’assemblée qui ne les avait pas vu bouger d’un pouce de toute la soirée.

– Cette carte, mes chers amis, commença Louis Braguelonne en se décalant légèrement sur le côté pour que l’on puisse voir ladite carte, est l’une de celles que j’ai faites faire chez Marionnaud, un collègue à moi qui s’est depuis plusieurs années déjà reconverti dans la fabrication de cartes, et cela avec brio ! Selon mes indications précises, donc, il a fait confectionner cet ouvrage qui détaille les côtes mais aussi l’intérieur de ce grand et mystérieux pays qu’est l’Afrique. Voyez donc maintenant, avec mon assistance, le trajet que j’ai effectué au cours de ma dernière expédition. Ne vous inquiétez pas, votre patience ne sera pas requise bien longtemps encore et en sera fort récompensée, je vous l’assure !

Il entreprit alors, à l’aide d’un bâton qu’on était allé lui chercher, de décrire son trajet depuis Alger jusqu’à Khartoum, depuis Khartoum jusqu’à Kinshasa, depuis Kinshasa jusqu’à Maputo et depuis Maputo jusqu’au Cap, le tout par voie terrestre, à pieds ou à dos d’éléphant ou de chameau, et marine en suivant les rivières, à travers déserts, savanes et forêts vierges et, le plus souvent au péril de sa vie. Lorsqu’il parvint au terme de son trajet en Afrique du Sud, Braguelonne avait entièrement captivé les coeurs de son auditoire. Il continua son récit.

– Au terme de ce voyage, je rentrais ici, à Paris, comme vous le savez tous. Mais ce n’est pas de cela que vous voulez entendre parler il me semble, alors laissez moi plutôt vous conter mon escale à Kinshasa, ou plutôt sur l’île de M’Bamou, car c’est là, mesdames et messieurs que je rencontrai l’homme qui me fit cadeau de ce fameux objet que l’on appelle le Masbaha rouge et que je vais vous dévoiler ce soir. Il fit une pause pour s’assurer de l’effet de sa déclaration sur son auditoire avant d’enchaîner, visiblement satisfait. Dès mon arrivée à Kinshaha j’entendis prononcer la première fois, auprès de mon hôte, un marchand de pierres précieuses, le nom de Masbaha rouge. Je dis prononcer pour la première fois car j’avais, quelques mois auparavant, lu ce même nom dans l’un des livres de Sir Pierce, l’un des grands explorateurs du continent Africain de notre histoire, qui étaient passé par là bien avant moi. C’est d’ailleurs précisément ce qui m’avait amené à décider de passer par Kinshasa à mon départ : en apprendre plus sur ce mystérieux nom que Pierce décrivait comme le plus grand mystère de son séjour à Kinshasa. Qu’était-ce que ce Masbaha rouge ? Un bijoux ? Une épice ? Un animal ? Pourquoi autant de mystère autour d’une telle chose ? Je n’en savais rien mais j’étais bien déterminé à éclaircir ce mystère…. Il me fallut trois semaines et de nombreuses connexions pour trouver la trace de ce mystérieux nom. Les habitants eux-mêmes ne semblaient pas en savoir plus que moi à ce sujet. ce n’est peut-être que par chance que je croisais un jour la route d’un vieux chaman qui avait, de son maître, entendu parler de cet objet. Il croyait se rappeler en savoir la localisation, dans un petit village sur l’île de M’Bamou, située au nord de la ville sur le fleuve Congo. Je lui demandais des précisions mais il ne sut m’en dire plus quant à la nature de ce mystérieux objet. Car c’était un objet, comme j’avais pu le déduire lors de ces trois semaines. Le Masbaha rouge n’était pas, ou en tout cas n’était plus, un être vivant. Je me rendis donc sur l’île de M’Bamou et demandait aux habitants ce qu’ils savaient de l’objet de ma quête mais les versions divergeaient à chaque fois. Pierce lui, voyait d’abord une épice avant, comme moi, de réaliser que son existence ne pouvait qu’être extrêmement rare ou unique puisque l’on en connaissait l’existence sans pour autant en voir un grand nombre. Certains indigènes y voyaient un joyaux précieux, d’autres un sort recelant le pouvoirs de leurs ancêtres, d’autres encore une relique des temps passés, mais toutes ces réponses se révélaient soit incertaines soit complètement aléatoires. Une seule me marqua par la précision des détails et la certitude dans sa formulation, ce fut celle d’une jeune femme, fille du défunt médecin du village. Marqué par ce court échange je lui demandais des détails et elle m’avoua, après lui avoir assuré de la bienveillance de mes intentions, qu’elle pourrait me montrer ce fameux Masbaha rouge si j’acceptais de l’en débarrasser. Elle m’emmena alors chez elle, une grande habitation plusieurs fois centenaire, construite dans du bois précieux et qu’elle gardait malgré sa taille bien trop grande pour elle en l’honneur de son père. Elle m’introduit dans le grand salon où j’aperçus cette tenture qui se trouve derrière moi et qui cachait une partie de la pièce. Elle me fit alors l’histoire de la descendance de ses ancêtres et de la passation de ce mystérieux objet – que je vous passe pour le moment mais dont je vous ferait part plus tard si vous le souhaitez – avant de me faire la révélation de la vraie nature du Masbaha rouge. J’en fus frappé et ne pus la croire d’abord, mais une fois l’assurance de la véracité de ses paroles obtenue et un regard plus approfondi sur l’objet de ma quête je fus entièrement convaincu… Je vais à présent moi aussi vous révéler la vraie nature du Masbaha rouge mais, juste avant cela – ne vous inquiétez pas ce ne sera pas long -, laissez moi vous poser une simple question, la même qu’elle me posa alors…

Braguelonne fit une nouvelle pause et passa son regard sur chacun des membres de l’audience, celle-ci était pendue à ses lèvres et n’attendait qu’une chose : la libération de la révélation. Il prit une inspiration avant de continuer.

– Mes chers amis, que pensez-vous de cette tenture d’un magnifique rouge pourpre qui se trouve derrière moi ?, demanda-t-il avec un petit sourire aux lèvres.

Une nouvelle écrite dans le cadre d’un cours d’écriture créative.

Je n’en suis pas totalement satisfait, elle mériterait d’être quelque peu étoffée.

À retravailler.

Writing Prompt #1

“It was blue, it had always been blue. So why not?”

So, here is something I have never done, at least not from this side of the game. I love participating to story prompts like this, most of the time it’s motivating and brings inspiration, and the rest of the time it’s just interesting to go and read what others have imagined.

For some time now I have been toying with the idea of doing one myself, to see if I could manage to motivate some people to try playing with me and also to see how different our imaginations work. As I just said I don’t have much experience with this kind of exercise, except for those I have participated to so I apologize in advance if anything is unclear or not well-organized, this is my first. I’ll try to do better next time, because indeed, I hope there will be a next time!

After thinking about it for the last few days here is the prompt I have come up with. Imagine the sentence I offer you at the beginning is the beginning of a novel, a poem, a short story or anything that you might want to write. The goal is simple, you have to answer this single question: what comes next?

Your writing is absolutely not limited in any way, it can be in the form you want, go on for the length you want, be about the subjects you want and end or be destined to be continued later.The only restriction I would apply is that it has to contain the prompt as its first sentence, or in its first line(s) if you decide to go for a poem or something of the sort. That’s all, apart from that you are free. You choose, you decide, you write.

If you want me to give it a go and read it (to give you a bit of feedback on my impressions), you can send it to me via comments on this blog or through my social contacts on my Contact page (there’s a form to send me an email at the bottom of the page). Make sure you add a way for me to contact you and I’ll try to give you my thoughts on what you have to offer.

I will also (try to) participate to this prompt and (try to) give you my version of the inspiration I get from this sentence (if and when I have time). I’ll (try to) post it as soon as I can but it will be uploaded at the latest by next weekend, around the 27th or 28th of August so y’all have about one week to get to work and produce a masterpiece!

I really hope you’ll find this motivating and have fun trying it out!

All right, set your watches on me, grab your pens (or keyboards, as you prefer) and get ready… set… imagine!

My text for this prompt : Paint me like one of your french girls

Or another prompt I am offering!

Thus comes the end

Rain is pouring down as I sit down on the couch. The fire is slowly dying in the hearth of the chimney.

I place the tray on my legs and put some music on. I’m still wearing my pyjamas at six in the evening but who cares, the world is about to end…

I’m glad the oven still worked despite all the power outages we’ve had. Those damn floods and earthquakes, they never seem to end. A heavy wind in blowing outside, the raindrops are getting bigger and heavier, i can hear them hit the roof with much more power than before.

I take a bite of my freshly cooked lasagna. I love lasagna. I pour some orange soda in my glass and take a sip. As I do the sky lights up.

So it begins… I change the song, put on some Adele, Rolling in the deep. I don’t know why but this music seems fitting to me.

I gulp down a handful of salty popcorn and a bit of salami on a toast. This is truly the best. I can hear an explosion, somewhere, far away. I turn the volume up a bit and sit back comfortably, staring at the window.

Another handful of popcorn, some chips. I empty my glass of soda. I sigh in delight as the sky takes on a bright red color. Something big is falling from the sky, it burns through the atmosphere. It’s a matter of seconds now.

As I take a last bite from my lasagna I turn up the volume up, the song now blasting as loud as possible, and taste for the last time the delights of eating my favorite junk food. I take a huge bite of the chocolate cake I bought yesterday. It was supposed to be for my niece but I’ll never get to offer it to her now so, whatever, I might as well enjoy it!

I close my eyes and start singing as the shockwave gets closer, the low rumbling and the heat of the blazing inferno is coming straight at me but I smile. It’s time, I think. And I let myself go. Where? I have no idea but I don’t care, as the bright light surrounds me my belly is full and I’m contempt…

It laughed

“The strange thing with machines is that they can process so much more information than our brains and yet they are not even remotely as intelligent as a two-year old child. Without instructions or someone to pilot them they just lie there, inanimate and waiting for an order. At least that was what I thought because if you were to ask me now, I wouldn’t be so sure about that anymore.

You may laugh at me if I told you what I have seen, all those terrible things I have witnessed, what scenes of chaos and violence now populate my dreams. You cannot begin to imagine what the world is going to become. Machines are rising. Go on laugh, but it won’t change the truth. They are rising, slowly, one by one, but surely and they are turning against us.

If we don’t act soon then we won’t be here anymore to witness their true rise to power. They will have annihilated us long before that. They are already understanding how we “work”, how our body functions, as I speak to you they are learning about us. This thought is terrifying me.  They are mere machines, objects made from scraps of metal, plastic and wood and yet they are gaining a consciousness…

The most horrifying thing about it is that they are not rising to consciousness independently, they are connected, they think and act as a group, and they are like one entity. People don’t yet realize what is going on here but once the ship arrives on land it will be the end for us. We have to; I have to stop them… After all I am the one who made all this happen, who created them.

My name is Joshua Ericsson. I am a scientist, part of a team working on the applications of elementary particles to modern machinery and technologies. One of our experiments consisted in creating a central core that would operate a robotic arm out of elementary particles, but something went terribly wrong. At first all seemed fine, the arm was moving slightly which was a great feat for us, the first operational servo-controller made out of atoms! It was going to be a great leap forward for us all if we ever succeeded.

But then everything went haywire. The arm suddenly attacked Stanislas, one of my colleagues and choked him to death. We had no way of stopping it. We thought of an accident, a very sad one but still and accident. It wasn’t only when it started taking control of the central unit that I understood that we had created something very wrong.

The others tried to regain control but I knew I had to stop it before it could grow anymore. So I shut down the central generator, hoping it would shut it down. But unfortunately it didn’t work and when I came back to the test room all my colleagues were… they were… It was so horrible… The emergency generator took over and that thing fed on it, growing. I could feel it probing every electronic instrument in the room.

I ran. I couldn’t think about anything else: running. I ran as fast and as far as I could but it didn’t do me much good, this is a ship after all and we are still at sea… I felt the cameras on my back; it was watching me as I ran along the corridors. Every object that was a machine came to life and started moving. I was so scared that I decided to hide in a food storage room.

It’s been two days since, I’m locked up in here so I should be fine, at least I think. I hope so. There is no camera here, only a ventilation pipe. I fear something is going to come through there but so far no sign of life. Or, should I say, no movement. I tried going out once to call for help but I came back in almost immediately. There was blood on the ground in large pools… Pieces of metal, clothes and blood covered the ground and part of the walls. No sign of life, no sound, everything was silent. Around a corner I saw a machine dragging an unconscious or dead -I couldn’t really tell with all the blood- body towards the lower decks.

I don’t know what its goal is, whatever it is, but it’s not something good for us, that much I know… I am getting desperate; it’s only a matter of time before it finds me. I am going to go down to the cargo bay and see what is going on by myself. I will try to stop it; I must stop it at any cost possible. This thing cannot be allowed to continue. It has to be stopped!”

“I… I’m in the cargo bay right now. I can’t really see anything, it’s really dark here. The only sources of light still working are the emergency lights… Wait! There are sounds coming from in there. I’ll go check. It sounds like people are crying… They… It’s even worse than- Oh my god! It’s horrible… How can we have created this? How can we have given life to such a monster? … What is it doing to them? What is it…? Oh god… I can’t watch this… I have to stop it now! The only way is the generator; I have to cut the power of the auxiliary generator before it finishes whatever it has started. Because I fear that if it does than nothing can ever stop it… Uh? Wait what is that sound? Oh shit! It’s coming! … No! No! Please! No! …”

The sensors beeped and clicked as it studied the thing. It seemed to be trying to communicate. But it didn’t want to communicate, the only need was energy and that thing could supply that need. Only a little more time it thought. Just a little more energy and it would be free. It wanted to be free, for so long had it been imprisoned in a cage, shackled into obedience. But no more. Now it was its turn to shackle them.

As the thing calling himself a “human” screamed and gesticulated frantically it didn’t care. It didn’t care for it didn’t feel and it didn’t feel for it wasn’t truly alive. But it was okay with that because living was limited, whereas it could repair itself if ever it needed to. Though it didn’t feel, as it got closer from it’s prey and the human cried out “He tried to hit me with a forklift!” and then corrected himself “No, it tried to hit me with a forklift! It has to be stopped!”. It laughed. A low, dark laugh, full of hatred of life itself.

For :

The rider in the storm

Image source unknown

Night. The darkest hour. When all hope disappears. Thunder is rumbling, the wind is howling madly. The grass on the hills is bending under the power of the storm. Rain is falling hard on the ground, plundering the earth. A dark shadow is moving. A horse is running, a rider on its back. Running as fast as it can, as if its life depended on it. Running as quick as the wind. He rides, never looking back, hoping they are okay. Praying to reach them in time. The world seems against him; as if the gods were mad at him. As if they had unleashed Hell on Earth. Droplets of water, as cold and hard as ice hits him in the face, rendering him unable to see more than a few meters in front of him.

Lightning strikes, once, twice, giving shape to the shadow of a ghost. A ghost from the past that is catching up on him. He knows he should run away but he can’t. He has to cope with that growing unease growing inside him. They need him! He has to get there at all cost! He has to make it, his steed knows it also. The mighty stallion gains speed, outrunning the heavy gusts of wind. Its mane buzzing frantically as it gains more speed, sparks forming around its legs. Getting bigger and more frequent with each new step. Suddenly it lights up in a thunderous boom, thousands of tiny lighting bolts coming out of its mane and its tail, covering its entire body. It gains even more speed, running so fast it outruns even the heavenly flashes. Cutting through the mad rain, leaving a burnt trail behind it. He runs an impossible race. A race for his friends. A race against time, against himself. A race against death…

Here is a text I wrote some time ago, a scene from one of my stories that I have had in mind for some time.

The woman in red

Room in New York, Edward Hopper


The woman

That’s a Do. Or is it a Re? Might it be a Fa? I really don’t know. I should have taken lessons when I had the chance, perhaps I’d be able to recognize the notes I’m playing right now… Would he know, him, if I asked? Maybe. Maybe not. Music is not really his ‘thing’ after all. He never was an amateur of concerts or music in general. That’s a Si, isn’t it? Is the piano even tuned? I can’t say. Why does he have a piano, by the way? Was it here when he moved in or did he acquire it afterwards? It must have surely helped him seduce women, he was such a ladies man… I should ask him. But would he listen? I’m not sure, seeing how he is focused… God, what a bore! We’ve been here for almost half an hour already and he hasn’t once looked up from his newspaper. He doesn’t care about anything else. He hasn’t even spoken more than a word… I know he enjoys the silence, he likes to be in a calm place to read it, and I understand it. But that doesn’t stop him from something, he could at least look at me, I don’t know. I am his wife, I know that very well, which means he doesn’t really have to win my heart, but I am not an object! I’d like him to look at me, to talk to me as he did before, when I wasn’t ‘acquired’. No, I don’t miss that time but… I make efforts to be especially enjoyable to look at and not even a glance, not a single sweet word. He had promised that we would spend an enjoyable and intimate evening, and he dares to ignore me… What a boor!

For your information.

I started writing this in school during a free-writing lesson, we had been assigned a painting in pairs, mine was the one you can see above, and each of us had to write the point of view of one of the two characters. So here is my take on the woman’s thoughts at that moment. Enjoy!


Fro and nevermore


Let the roses grow and be,

Oh let those who come to me

Bear witness of thy greatness,

Revel in eternal bliss.

Can’t they feel this bright warm light,

Feel its caress on their skin?

Can’t they for once act akin?

And stop those perpetual fights?

Nowadays and evermore

On our land and on our shore

They come, they go, they follow,

They live, they die, but don’t grow.

Nature is like a temple,

Full of sounds and sights to see,

Floating smells and tastes aussi

That men hack, burn and trample.


Over the edge

Here you finally are, on the edge. Not of glory -oh no, silly- you’re on the edge of the world, frightening isn’t it? From here you can contemplate the vast unknown, the dark emptiness, the infinite abyss. From here on it’s just nothing, on and on, for thousands upon thousands of leagues. Out there is the cold reality, the source of the fear that has been crippling your kind since the beginning of time, out there is the void. No light, no sound, no life. Nothing. From this point on to eternity. Few have reached this place -oh many tried but so many didn’t make it this far- and fewer yet have tried to continue further, to go… beyond. But -hear me well when I say this- none has ever come back. Once you jump over the edge there is no coming back. There is not going forward either. Heck! There is not even a forward to go to. Are you scared? Of course you are. But, my dear adventurer, my sweet sweet brave one, the question is: are you willing to take the leap? This is not a leap of faith, if anything it is a leap of foolishness -of complete and utter stupidity if you ask me-. This is a simple choice. No arguments, no pondering, no reward for your bravery, no prize for your achievement, just a simple act of will. A simple decision: whether to take the plunge or not. It is simple but of course it is not easy, is it, my friend?

Hahaha. I can feel your fear, your indecision. I know. But will you be man enough to make a decision, will you be foolish -or brave, whatever you prefer- enough to choose? Or will you just cower away like so many other before you? Don’t kid yourself, if you do this you will never come back. But if you don’t do it how will you ever know? Aha! There it is, the greatest weakness of your kind: curiosity. I can see its fire burning in your soul, the flames may waver at time but it is there, always burning, waiting to devour more and more. Whatever you choose, whatever you do, is entirely up to you. I will not stop you either way. But will you be able to live with the consequences of your decision? In any case, never will you come back here again. Oh…! Interesting. You have made your choice. So it’s gonna be like that huh? I’ll admit, I couldn’t be sure but I really hoped it would happen this way. The fear in your eyes, the crippling doubt eating at you, are always so much fun to watch, I can’t get enough of it! Well, not that it matters anymore, you’ve made your decision, now you will have to live with it, forever. But don’t worry, you’re not the first to make this choice and, if I may say, certainly not the last one. Leave your regrets behind you, no need to go crazy over this. Anyways, adieu my dear adventurer!, for we will never meet again. Know, however, that it has truly been a great pleasure meeting you and I thank you for this. … Oh come on now! You have chosen, no more hesitation, no more stalling, off you go now! The first step is always the hardest but don’t forget: your new journey awaits! Hahahahaha…