Even In A Crazy World Where Impossibilities Are Daily, Stories Are Important As Keepers Of Fictional Accounts Of Real Terrors

I have uncorked the creative part of me today. I am not going to say the block I had is gone, nor am I going to say all is well in creative land in other ways, but given the reality of the world today, I am pretty happy that I can lose myself for twenty or thirty minutes writing something that other people may like and distract them from the nearly apocalyptic, dystopian hell-scape we find ourselves in presently.

So, in the spirit of social distancing and yet sharing my love for a thing, I wanted to throw ideas out in the void and see if any of them stick to anything. I am not asking for feedback per se, but if you see anything that you think you might like to read, let me know and I will see what I can do. Mostly though, this is to shake the shit out of my head that has been floating around my head for a few months now and see if any of it is worth writing at all.

This morning I started on the Card, which I think will be a fun little jaunt to some unexpected places. Plus, it has been a while since I wrote something really, hardcore, in my wheelhouse and let me tell you without telling you anything, this is REALLY in my fucking wheelhouse.

I have this other thought in my head where I would just pick a song and write a story using the “plot” of the song. For example, if I were to listen to Hammer Smashed Face by Cannibal Corpse, then perhaps, well, I would write a story about that very thing. That is a little too obvious, but I think the point I was going for definitely got across. I got the idea while I was listening to Turn Around, Look At Me by the Vogues/watching Final Destination 3 where the song is used expertly as a part of the storytelling framework. I listen to a range of music and I think it might be a fun thought experiment if nothing else.

Thanks to two wonderful women, I know how and I know what I am going to write for the book like thing I am going to write. The Help is going to get a rather significant addition (Probably 25-30K words) and I will flesh out the backstory as a whole as well as specifically with the delight Edward.

I have not forgotten about the Goddess Siobhan, our Priest friends, The Authority, or even the Eight Mothers themselves, I just will, especially for the latter, have to drastically rewrite a lot of things and it will take a long time to both have the time, even during the near Shelter-In-Place we find ourselves in, and the energy to go through hundreds of thousands of words and pull the good and cull the bad.

The rest of the ideas are one-off stories that for reasons only known to the internal workings of my brain I do not particularly like to write. I am much more of an episodic writer and I think I would have made a fair living as a pulp writer back in the day, maybe I would have even penned a decent penny dreadful or two farther back.

For now, I am going to go and try and see if I can get my head to wrap around the chaos that is the world and make sure I have done all the things I need to do to keep me, mine, and My Tribe in the limited ways I can, safe from this pandemic that sweeps across the world.

That would make a really good story if it wasn’t so damn real already.

With Hands So Gentle He Destroyed The World, With Bloodied Hands He Cradled A Babe At Rest

Fear. He knew the smell of it like he knew the paths of the world. He knew the ways of things that felt fear when they heard the Hunt Master was searching for prey. This was different, this was something he had never known. He walked in the soft snow of the lands surrounding the people he was to slaughter and he finally understood.

He was afraid. No, afraid was weakness compared to the overwhelming dread that hung over his mind and heart as he stalked the creatures to make sure all of them were accounted for before he set to work. Siobhan, the Dark Goddess, she had filled his mind with precisely what she would do to him if he failed her. He was shown the Darkness that Devours, he had seen It, It had seen Him, and he would never be able to escape from it. Even the fleeting memory of it made his blood run cold and his palms sweat.

Not now.

He nodded as he saw the last of the ones he was looking for. There was not going to be subtlety, there was not going to be traps and snares and the thrills of the hunt of a cunning prey. No, this time he had a different weapon that he rarely used, but it never failed him.

Cracking his neck from side to side slowly, he simply grew. Ten, then twenty, then thirty feet. Above the trees, at last, he looked down and could pinpoint each of them, their locations locked into his mind as he knew they still did not see him, for he did not want to be seen as of yet. He walked if moving aside trees could be called such until he stood in the center of the village. There was the white of the snow on the tops of the dwellings and they were surrounded by a crude fence, which he sighed in happiness about, it made his life so much easier.

He took a breath, whispering a prayer to the Dark Goddess herself that he finds success and at the moment he remembered the Darkness seeing him with Her, he appeared to them.

A giant, fifty feet tall with blood running in rivulets down his skin, the heat from his body melting the snow. No one moved, no one understood what was going on precisely, but they all knew it was going to be bad. He did not hesitate and, he bent his knees, lowering them to nearly the ground and took in a deep breath.

Looking around once more to make sure they were all there, he let it out in a shriek that was filled with neighing horses and the scream of the eagles. It was filled with the fear of the Hunt, and, most importantly, it was the heat of anger.

The fire instantly destroyed every building, tree, and every single one of the people there in an instant. A circle of destruction spread wider and wider and the Hunt Master let it grow to make sure that no one escaped. He k where the young lady was and she was in no danger at all. He had warded her earlier and placed her deep into a sleep so she would never know the sights of what needed to come next.

He opened his eyes wide, counting each charred corpse and reaching outwith long arms and plucking them from where they had fallen and placing them in a pile in front of him. He counted them, then counted them again, then even a third time and when he was satisfied he had completed the first task his Dark Goddess had set for him was complete, he sat down in the fiery waste of the village to do the part he was used to.

Cleaning the kill.

He sucked the marrow from the bones, ate the flesh off them, tore the clothing off with his teeth until he got to the skulls. Each one he carefully cleansed with a vial of a clear liquid that looked of water but ate away everything save the bone from the skulls. He polished and buffed each one, his workmanship noteworthy on a normal day, but there was so much more at stake.

Satisfied he had done this well, he stood again, the village an ashen heap beneath him. This would not do.

Again he took another deep breath and the scream that came next was clean, it was pure. It erased the village, replaced it with the trees and shrubs that had been there before. It buried their bodies and let the maggots feast and soon no one would be able to tell that there had ever been anything here other than the serenity of a wood.

He gathered the things he needed and walked in strides to where the wee lass lay against the river. Her body broken and so far past the hope of any save the one she would see next when she opened her eyes. He picked her up as delicately as an ice flower in midwinter and closed his eyes and whispered.

“Siobhan.”

The Hunt Master With Power Of Spirit And Righteousness Of Duty

There was a silence in the cavern after his name was said by the Dark Goddess. The power a thick and palatable thing in the air. It only lasted a moment before the singular sound of the drop was added too by the sound of a heavy footfall on the rocks.

Siobhan sat still and waited for the Hunt Master to come to her, she was contemplating all of the things that were going to be said to him, the fate of so very many depended on her exact wording. She had made him, yes, however she did not control him and she had designed it that way. Once the parameters of the Hunt were given, it would continue until the Hunt Master himself decided that it was over. He reported to Siobhan, worshiped her as the Goddess who created him, but in this, he was the absolute and ultimate source of power.

Raising her head from where she stared and casting a glance backward, the Hunt Master was revealed in the glory of what she had made him.

A giant, literal and metaphorical approached her. Cloaked in the blackness of shadow and cover, his head adorned with great antlers of a long-dead beast. He was on an eternal hunt that never ceased, never in the history of time and space would it stop. He approached Siobhan and bent his huge frame with uncanny grace, his knee touching the floor with virtually no sound as it did so. His head bowed low and his black hood and the very shadows themselves fell in front of a face she had never, and would never, see. No one can see when the Hunt is coming, it is the power in it, it is the source of the fear.

Siobhan turned fully, nodding to him, knowing he could see she greeting him as the equal he was in this respect.

“Hunt Master, I have called for you this day because there are beasts that disguise them as other things that need be captured.” As she spoke the images of a woman, bones shattered and mangled, sitting and sipping water that brought her life, or at least as close to life as she could maintain. The Hunt Master began to rise, his target, in his mind, chosen. “Stay your movements, Lord, there is a twist to the knife blade of this hunt that you need know. The Hunt Master froze in his movements and Siobhan spoke lowly and quickly, his mind filling with the sights, sounds and smells of each and every member of the tribe that had done this to the girl.

“All of them. Each one in the tribe save her. No mercy, no respite. They will be hunted, culled, slaughtered and collected. Each of their skulls you will bring to me, polished and I will make a throne of them for that young Goddess who does not know who or what she is just yet to sit upon and join me and mine in the governance of the world. On the Darkness that Swallows and Destroys All Things, I bind you to this task until it is completed. Should you fail me, you are Oathbreaker and your power will be broken and your pain limitless.

Siobhan turned away from the Master then, his rise was slow as he made the magic within himself to do what must be done. The wash of it over her was like hot and scalding water, his rage was hers, his anger from her own. She only cocked her head slightly as she heard the sounds of the great steeds enter, the ethereal beasts that carried him to collect the hunted and terrorize those that had not yet been collected.

“Your will be done Great Goddess, so it is I swear.” His voice was cracked, from the lack of use, the authority behind it, however, was unquestionable.

The Goddess felt the exit of the colossal amount of power as she was once again left alone, the singular drip of blood her only companion as her eyes sparked with fire and amethyst in pools of forever.

Patience Is Rewarded

Darkness filled the cave, not darkness that came from a lack of light, but a darkness that was made, formed, created. It was a tangible thing. Moving in it you could feel it like air currents pass over your skin and taste it in the air like copper and abandonment. There was a noise in the room, hard to decipher at first as the world was so dark and all sounds seemed muted in the velvet envelope of it. No, no there it was. A drip, a drop from a great height.

The dripping sound was constant. It had an echo to it, belying the size of the room it came into. It was neither pleasant to hear nor was it a bane on the eardrums. It was simply a drip. it happened once or twice every minute. A constant thing, never pausing for more than thirty seconds or so.

If one were to walk a little farther into the stifling darkness, it would get louder, the sound of it hitting something hard and unyielding obvious the first time that you hear it. Like water on a rock, but it was too thick for water, it had weight to it, the sound and the substance itself.

A flash as bright as the sun, a momentary one is all, and revealed is the great Dark Goddess, Siobhan. Queen and Creator of all that was and could be. She stared at the bowl-shaped indentation where the drip hit, had been hitting for as long as time had been. Her eyes were focused on the center of the valley in the rock. Her pink tongue sitting just outside her mouth, black lips surrounding it, amethyst eyes that illuminated all above them.

It was hard to read the emotions on her face. They were many at once, yet one was so very clear. it was etched in her as solid as if it had been carved on the rock She sat upon.

Hunger.

Siobhan could, and did, create anything at will, all her needs instantly and overwhelmingly fulfilled. Yet She looked at drop hitting the rock with its rhythmic thump and with every splash of it, her breath would catch the briefest moment before She relaxed and the cycle repeated.

Looking up, tot he vast height the drop came from a needle’s point of light entered the room. It disappeared with every new drop, ut as you watch the drop fall, as you watch the now obvious crimson hue of it as it cascades down towards its inevitable destruction, the life force that it was reflects in the scant light given off by Siobhan herself.

Blood.

It was easy to come by, blood. She had donors, slaves, willing participants, but it was not enough. She needed a thing She could not place her finger on just yet and so She stared with longing as the blood of the world slowly made its way to a single point and dripped into the underbelly of all that was and splashed into nothingness in front of the Greatest Mother, the Darkest Queen the Sweetest Goddess.

Each drip, each moment, endless.

Then, enlightenment.

The amethyst of the eyes slowly leaving, the cavern filling with the crimson color that dripped forever from above. The darkness about her total and complete as She uttered a sentence, a command.

“Summon The Hunt Master.”

Deliah

She awoke with a start, her heart racing in her chest. She swallowed several times to try and push the dust away and all she could manage was to cough weakly and try desperately to focus her eyes on anything, anything at all. Her body was numb, unfeeling in every way. Her eyes darted back and forth desperately trying to find…something. She had no idea what it was, who it was, just that she needed to find it because it was important. Yes, important, that’s what it was. With an extraordinary effort, she raised her back off the ground, her eyes finally settling, fixing on one thing.

Her arms, or at least what used to be her arms. Now they were not but mangled pieces of flesh-covered bone. They were broken, shattered in dozens of places. Some of them sticking out of the skin, others at angles that should not exist. There was no pain, none at all. She sat up farther, her back screaming as she did until finally, she was sitting straight. Then she saw her legs.

They were worse, so much worse, than her arms. They were at a dozen angels, flesh torn and blood dried where someone had left them to knit the way they were, not setting them in place where they should be, not caring that they would cripple her beyond hope.

Then it all came back to her in a flash.

Deliah, that was her name. She had been hanging for the slaughter of her friend, for reading the future, the reading that saw this very moment where she remembered everything while she was in a twisted and deformed pile of broken bones and twisted flesh. She did not know how she got to where she was, or how long she had been unconscious. Looking at her arms and legs both, it must have been weeks. The flesh had begun to heal over the breaks, the bones setting hard into place with calcified nodules exposed everywhere. Deliah took a deep breath, not a calming one, no there was no calm in the foreseeable future. She knew everything that was to come, and she knew that the next little while would be a hell, an agony that would make her want to live no longer, but the other side of it would be everything she had worked so hard on, a plan realized.

She looked around and saw what she knew would be there. All of the trying to remember what she was looking for was realized in that glance. She blinked back tears as her weak and crippled arm reached and, with a massive effort, picked up the stone beside her. She wept loudly, not wanting to do what must be done.

Even as she slammed the rock down with all of her force, breaking the broken over and over again, even then she did not lose hope no matter how much her body screamed, how much blood she lost, how much agony moving each bone back inside her caused her.

Never. Was. Hope. Lost.

——

Hours? Days? Time was meaningless through the pain. Every movement was agony, every breath was the weight of the world pressing down on Deliah’s chest. She looked over her body, or what was left of the old one. All the bones were in place, at last, even the memory of it made her close her eyes and nearly panic. They were where they should be and with time and a blessing from a deity she tried so very hard to despise, she would at least be able to walk again. Her arms were easier, the bones thinner, knitting faster than the ones in her legs.

She could not remember the last time she had been free of pain, had not been covered in blood and piss, snot and shit. She had made it, over days, to a small creek. She had greedily drunk from it when she could. The small fish that were too dumb or slow to get out of her hands had nourished her the best they could.

Anger flowed through her like blood. She was mad at creation itself and everything less than that. She knew it was coming, she knew every detail and yet she was still not ready for the agony and weight of it all. How dare some thing she did not see or know curse her with the ability to see the future the way she could. How dare this goddess in the darkness presume to make her do things. Why would anyone want to know the precise second they were going to die? Deliah could close her eyes and see the vastness of time in front of her and not be surprised by any of it. It was a burden she did not want, did not ask for, would try all she could o to rid herself of.

There was the future that she knew, but then there was the future that could be, and that single thread of hope is what kept her as sane as she was all this time as she sat in a pile of her own filth, most bones in her body broken, the shape of her body permanently disfigured. Why? Why was she punished for something that came from a Goddess they all claimed was all-knowing and loving?

She would have her answers, one way or the other the truth would come.