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Found 6 results

  1. I On a cold, crisp February night As I walked down the deserted Detroit street There I saw her, leaning Against the lamppost, wearing An olive-colored parka Around her neck was a mink scarf She looked like a starlet from the 1930s And when she smiled She warmed the air around me So much so that I had the urge To turn my jacket lapel back down The cold didn’t matter when she smiled II She said her name was Anastasia I introduced myself and took her hand I jumped, startled at the contrast With her warm summer smile Her hands were the hands of death As cold as frosted steel Ice cold despite her layers of fur III But she took my hand in hers And gripped me tight She said I would be warmer In her room at The Grandville I followed her, but the cold Would not go away Like she said it would IV I excused myself to go But she pulled me into a kiss Long, sensuous, and passionate Like a spider trapping its prey In its sticky web of doom Her lips were warm As warm as her gentle smile Fire against fire She turned off the lights And there we loved in the dark Tangled in a mess of hair, Sheets, arms, and legs Warm body against cold Raging fire against hard ice And then I felt a sharp pain In my neck, searing me Killing me, sending fire Coursing through my veins Filling me to the very core V I am changing—I feel it in me I thirst, an unquenchable An unholy thirst I drink water but it does nothing Only blood, warm crimson blood Could satiate this thirst It burns like the fiery pits of Hell I feel my teeth grow into fangs Fangs just like hers VI My vision is sharper My hearing clearer My sense of smell acute But I can no longer stand The light of day
  2. So I'm thinking of writing a reincarnation story. Jonathan Harker and company are reincarnated and they don't know why they have these memories. Should I have them keep the same jobs? Like, should Jonathan be a real estate agent (that's basically what he was doing--sort of)? I was thinking the reincarnated Jonathan should be a CPA. I don't know why I picked CPA, but yeah. But I think Mina should also be a teacher in her next life (as she was a teacher in her past one). Should I make Dr. Seward a psychiatrist or nah? What do you guys think? Thoughts? Should I do it or should I not, as it's been done before (i.e. giving Dracula a modern setting)? Is it trite and cliche and used? Should I not do it?
  3. Imagine... In the Kingdom of Avalon, a post-apocalyptic unified US and Canada after the War of Unification... The government has six military branches: Marine, Navy, Army, Airforce, King's Own, and Knights of the Cross. The King's Own is a body of soldiers dedicated to the safety of the king. They are the king's personal guard, the modern musketeers. The Knights of the Cross is a branch of the military that serves the church and answers to the Cardinal. These two groups often clash. Also, I imagine the King's Own will be wearing modern military dress uniform, complete with suit, necktie, epaulets, white gloves, and medals during ceremonies and full battle gear during combat. Members of the corps are given one pistol and one rapier for ceremonial/decorative purposes. Aramis will be a woman whose husband has been killed by a Knight of the Cross under orders from the Cardinal. In this post-apocalyptic age, a large number of women now serve the military, almost dominating it. I got the idea for the name from the Cardinal's line in the 1993 movie: "Like the Knights of the Round Table, the Musketeers have outlived their usefulness." Basically, a nod to the movie. Also, I imagine Avalon to be this peaceful paradise where Arthur rests. And after the War of Unification, the people were hoping for just that: a peaceful paradise, a utopia. So! What do you guys think?
  4. The account of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity by the Narragansett begins with their attack of the settlement she lived in with her husband Joseph Rowlandson, towards the end of what is known today as King Philip’s War. On the tenth of February 1675 (February 20, 1676 if one was to use the Gregorian calendar as opposed to the Julian), a band of Narragansett Indians attacked the town of Lancaster, their guns blazing, releasing a hailstorm of bullets, torching houses and barns. Many men fell defending themselves, their homes, and kith and kin from many foes. Many did not escape. As Rowlandson recounts, “...another there was who running along was shot and wounded, and fell down; he begged of them his life, promising them money (as they told me) but they would not hearken to him but knocked him in head, and stripped him naked, and split open his bowels.†(257)
  5. On the day set for the company to venture forth, Tobran rose from his bed before first light to offer up prayers to Iarus, seeking his blessing on their quest, as he had done for the past nine and thirty days. He asked Iarus to show him the way and asked for the strength to carry out this most sacred of tasks—that of saving his own people. He had refused to see Cristin, believing she might distract him and destroy his concentration. The brave shepherd was under intense preparations and he could not risk being swayed from it—not even by Cristin’s divine beauty. The sun was well up in the sky when Tobran finished his prayers and he was made aware of the clashing of swords. Rising from a kneeling position, he went out of his tent to see his Cristin and the young Prince Ronan engaged in mock combat, testing each other’s skills. Sweat glistened on Prince Ronan’s forehead and Cristin’s hair was plastered with sweat to hers as they continued their duel. “You fight like a girl, fair prince,†Cristin teased with a laugh as she blocked each of Ronan’s blows. Ronan threw his head back and laughed, its music sailing through the morning air. “Aren’t you a girl, my lady?†Ronan said with a smirk then a laugh. “There is a world of difference between a woman and a girl, young Ronan,†Cristin replied in kind. Ronan laughed, enjoying both the swordfight and the teasing banter between them. They were fast becoming friends. The match ended with a victorious Cristin, sweaty and out of breath. She had her sword pointed at Ronan’s heaving chest. The prince was sprawled on the ground, empty-handed, sword flung faraway from him, Cristin’s sandaled foot on his stomach. “What was it you were saying, Your Highness?†Cristin said with a smile and a triumphant gleam in her eyes. “I was saying you are a worthy opponent,†Ronan said, smiling up at her. “My thanks, fair prince,†Cristin said, offering her hand for the young prince to take. She pulled him up to his feet and he dusted himself off. King Tristan emerged from his tent and announced, “Take your breakfast! The company leaves in an hour!†“I must be off to bathe myself, then,†Cristin said, heading for the lake. A hooded man robed in black suddenly appeared, standing beside the shepherd. How he came there, or where he came from, no one knew. He noticed Tobran watching Cristin like a hawk. “She is beautiful, is she not?†the mysterious man said, a smile on his lips. “Why not take her?†As Cristin stood on the shore of the lake, she undid a knot on her left hip. After having loosened the material, she unclasped the brooches on her shoulders, first the right, then the left. Pushing the robe off her shoulders, she let it fall from her body and onto the ground, revealing her nakedness. Cristin’s robe pooled around her at her feet and she stepped out towards the lake. “Take her,†came the suggestion once more. “After all, you are a prince. You have the blood of the Old Kings in your veins. You can do as you please. No man stops you. Who knows? It may be long before you can have her. There will be no time on your journey. Why not have her now? Pleasure and passion are essential to life! It will strengthen you, keep you fresh and young! Alive!†“I have no room for pleasure, nor do I need it!†Tobran countered, drawing his sword and pointing it at his tempter’s throat. “The only pleasure I will allow myself is the pleasure of doing Iarus’ bidding. Nothing else matters!†Slowly, everything around him melted away like snow in the spring. The camp vanished. No more were the majestic colored tents of the kings and their generals and knights. His own tent was gone. The lake, and Cristin with it, was gone. Trees and rocks were now nowhere to be seen, no dew-kissed grass. Horses and men had disappeared. There was no sun, nor sky, nor clouds, nor chirping birds. Tobran whirled round, pointing his sword in every direction. Where was he? He was in Merodach’s palace, far away from his friends, from his wise old mentor, and from the woman he loved. “Come,†Merodach said, smiling, revealing rows of filed, sharp teeth. “Your new empire awaits you.†The sorcerer took the shepherd into a chamber containing nothing but a large-mouthed well in the center of it. It almost filled the room. From this well emanated roiling mist like that seen early on a cold morning. Merodach brushed the thick cloud away from the mouth of the well with his hand to reveal crystal clear water within it. This was no ordinary well, however, and these waters were no ordinary waters. With it, Merodach showed Tobran cities and kingdoms, including those even beyond the Nine Isles. “I offer you all this and more if you serve me instead of Iarus and your king,†Merodach said, his red serpentine tongue slithering between his cold froglike lips. “Forsake your people and their god and you will have all this. Swear. Bow to me. Pledge your allegiance to me!†“I serve only Iarus and his helper Nooma, my people, and my king!†the shepherd bellowed with a power that made even the great and terrible Merodach shake. “I bow to Iarus alone!†A flash of brilliant white light shone around them, and suddenly, Tobran found himself in the highest tower of Castle Kels, looking down on the servants and soldiers going about their business. “Go on,†Tobran’s enemy said. “Go! Call on your...Iarus. We shall see if he answers your plea! Isn’t it said of him that he will send you his messengers to keep you safe? You won’t even hurt your feet!†“Begone!†Tobran shouted. “Iarus is not a man that he should be trifled with, nor is he a pupil to be tested!†Merodach gave a loud, chilling laugh as the one he had given when he briefed King Shagah regarding their plans. The sound of his laughter died, carried by the wind, and then he was no more. Not a trace of him could be found. Tobran fell weakly to his knees and breathed heavily, his forehead damp with icy sweat and his eyes streaming with tears. If it was a test to prove his strength and his worth as the savior of Kels, he had passed. “My Lord Tobran!†Sir Drinian shouted, noticing the shepherd kneeling on the ground. Rushing to his side, the good knight raised him to his feet. “My lord!†Prince Ronan exclaimed. “Are you alright?†“I am well, thank you,†Tobran said with a smile, shaking his head. “There’s no need to fuss over me.†“Come!†Sir Drinian said, slapping the young shepherd on the back. “A feast awaits us! And then we ride! We leave in an hour.†* * * * * The feast consisted of roasted lamb, bread, eggs, fruits, pies, a deer on the spit, hot mead, and fresh cold water from the stream that fed the lake. Sir Dorian played his lute and sang as was his wont and the king’s sons spouted out jokes one after the other. Laughter rang through the whole long low table. “To wives and sweethearts!†Sir Drinian said, raising his goblet high. “To wives and sweethearts!†the company gathered at table echoed, raising their goblets. “May they never meet!†Prince Godfrey added, keeping his in the air. The knights laughed, raising theirs. “Today is another peaceful day,†King Tristan noted. “How many days have passed since the last attack?†the king’s brother-in-law asked. “Forty days,†Tristan replied. “Forty days of peace,†King Oweyn, nodded. “It seems as though there were no war to begin with.†“Indeed,†King Tristan returned. But all knew that there was war. And there was evil, if the dark clouds on the horizon were any indication. The enemy was closing in. Unless they closed in on him first. And this is where Tobran came in. Forty days of peace. But for the poor young shepherd, it had been forty days of turmoil and struggle. His thoughts were on those nights and early mornings spent in seeking Iarus’ strength, when Lucian rose to speak. “And now,†Lucian began. “The time has come for the man the gods have chosen to take this bitter cup I hold in my hand and to drink it.†It was wine made from the fermented juice of the jilail, a rare grapevine that produced a bitter sort of grapes. This wine was used mostly in poisons and sleeping draughts. When taken in small quantities, it was safe and used in sleeping draughts. Too much, and it became a poison. The jilail had many uses. If a woman desired to be barren in order to spite her husband out of hate, she would gather jilail roots and crush them to a fine powder, sprinkling it in her food or drink. Its effects were the same on a man. The man unfortunate enough to ingest the powdered roots would grow infertile. Its bark was used in divination. If a lazy child did not wish to learn his lessons for the day, all he had to do was to take a single leaf of the jilail and chew it. This would induce a high burning fever and he would be prescribed bed rest by the village doctor. But today, its purpose was to determine whether the hero of Kels had passed his test. “Iarus spake to me in a vision last night,†the seer continued. “He gave a sign. If the man to whom I give this chalice endures its bitter contents and lives, then he is the man chosen by Iarus and Nooma to save all of Kels and her allies. But if not, then we will know he is not the man.†After saying this, Lucian handed the cup to Tobran. The shepherd’s hands quaked as he received it, but only for a short while. He took a deep breath and calmed himself, his body taking on the rigidity that accompanies determination. He was resolute. He raised the cup to his lips and drank deep, the bitterness of the wine stinging his lips, tongue, and throat. A fire coursed through his bowels, down to the pit of his stomach. Still, he emptied the cup, draining it of its last dregs. He raised the empty cup in the air and the knights, kings, counselors, and princes held their breaths to see if Tobran would fall down dead. The poison usually worked quickly, taking effect within a minute of consumption. When five full minutes had passed without nothing happening to its drinker, those gathered at the table raised their cups and hailed their hero. Cristin breathed a sigh of relief. “He has passed his test!†Lucian shouted in triumph, taking Tobran’s hand and raising it in the air. Truly, this lowly shepherd was meant to be their deliverer. “Long live Lord Tobran!†the princes Rodrick and Owen shouted as one. “Long live Lord Tobran!†came the reply from the company. They were of one voice. “Long live Lord Tobran!†“I shall write you a song, m’lord,†Sir Dorian said. “I shall call it...Tobran of the Empty Cup!†“And we shall all sing it to our dying day,†Prince Ronan pronounced. “And so will generations after us.†“Long live Lord Tobran!†they shouted once more. “Long live Lord Tobran! Long live Lord Tobran!†“May all of Kels from now until the end of the world remember this day!†Prince Godfrey. After they had finished their breakfast and the table had been cleared, each member of the traveling company retired to their tents to prepare for the journey ahead of them.