Hestia, the fire elemental

The Hestia elemental walked slowly through the trees. Dontarius stared at the creature. It’s blackened, wood-laden form smoldering underneath a ferocious flame. For a moment he was happy to be tied to a tree six feet from the ground.

The struggles of walking into a world of fantasy struck him as he watched and pondered.  The logic of a walking fire elemental below him.  He still struggled with the realities, the physics, and science of this brand new world but his heart yearned to find his wife.

Herocislies told him earlier in the day that his wife was likely struggling in the Living Prison.  Not a happy place, he imagined.

The Hestia disappeared into the forest ahead of him and he again was left alone.  Unlike the forests of Earth the trees were quiet and the only noises he heard were when things approached.  Dontarius struggled with the restrains but the thick rope held tight.  Unable to free himself he fell asleep as night fell over the sky above.

A noise snapped Dontarius awake and he opened his eyes.  It was morning and the sun above shone through the canopy of trees.  The noise repeated and he recognized it as a loud clap.  It was closer and followed by shouting.  It sounded, as if, someone was herding animals.

“Hey,” he shouted as he tried to turn.

Small footsteps returned his call and soon a dozen small sheep appeared beneath him.  He sighed at the sight of something he knew.  The sheep were followed by a tall man, with wings.  The wings stood three feet above his short, brunette head of hair.

“Hey, you!”  He shouted but the man ignored him.  The man jumped and fought the urge to turn around.  “Hey, can you help me out here.  Come on man.”

The bird man turned around immediately, as if pulled by a rope.  His thin, sculpted face would of turned any woman into jelly on Earth.  Dontarius returned a smile sitting on the bird man’s face but it disappeared.

“I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else,” said the bird man.  He spoke English but it seemed old and had a vocal punch at the end of the words.

“Hey, dude.  You cannot leave me here” Dontarius spat, imitating the accent.

The bird man stopped and turned.  He looked up and thought.

“You will make a valuable negotiation tool to the Mur.  They often broker the train riders to the Conductor for souls.”

Dontarius grumbled.  “I’m not interested in a negotiation.”

“Not much of a choice.”

“Right,” Dontarius replied.  “Can you help me or not?”

“You remind me of another train rider I knew a hundred years ago.  I think I can help you out.”

The bird man began to work on the knots as Dontarius waited and balanced upon the small wooden wedge that he stood on.  As soon as the tension fell Dontarius fell forward.  His knees unable to hold his weight.  He fell into a bath of thick brown leaves and lay motionless for moments.

“I’m so sorry about this, friend.” The bird man tried to help him up but Dontarius’s legs were too weak.  “Sit here.”

Dontarius sat against the tree as the bird man lead several of the sheep back near him.  He then watched as a travois was framed in using large branches and layered with leaves.
“Alexander, will help you escape the forest.  It can be quite daunting.  Oh.. Alexander is me.”

Dontarius returned a smile and was happy to be on his way again to find Rebecca.

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Followers of Elderon

Dontarius looked to his right to see a thin man tied to the tree next to him.  The rope constricting his chest and belly.  

Broken limbs and leaves crunched behind the men followed by a low chant.  

“What now,” Dontarius cursed and struggled the loosen the rope.  His right foot slipped from a small slab of wood nailed to support his feet.  

“Stop brother.”  

“I have to find the train.  I’m looking for my wife,” Dontarius replied.  

“We all have our missions my friend my you are human and you are alive.  I wish for you to stay that way.  If you faint sleep the followers of Elderon will spare your life a little longer.”  

Dontarius placed his right foot back on the stand and waited.  The chanting grew louder till small men marched past.  The followers of Elderon wore hoods over their heads and marched in columns.  The columns were measured and the men stepped in time.  The men stopped and stared upward at another human in front of him.  Within seconds a spear was thrust upward into several men and the blood was collected in buckets.  Another creature stood beside him and suffered the same fate.  Dontarius hung his head and feigned sleep just enough to watch the procession.  After the men had been drained they were removed from the trees and carried away.  

A jab from a spear poked Dontarius’s side but he held quiet.  He stared downward within partially closed eyes to see the face of the follower below him.    The follower’s face was painted black, He had small pale eyes that hung above the nose. Another follower spoke briskly and the man below him stood forward.  The small men then marched forward.

“They are the mirror-keepers.”  Said the man next to him after the followers disappeared into the forest.  “They capture the unlucky ones trapped by the mirrored pools of water.  After the rain they have a glut of victims to go through so our chances are good.  I am Jacob and I am with the tribe of Eros.  We tend to stay within the mountains but that I am now here.”

“I am Dontarius from Earth or whatever realm you call where I can from.”  

“Nice to meet you Dontarius.  Now let’s work on freeing ourselves.”  

Free —

The weight from Dontarius’s chest pulled on his shoulders as he struggled to loosen the ropes.  His elbows burned as he twisted.  The knot was behind him and just out of reach.    

“So crazy monk-like creatures spear men at dawn.  What happens at noon, blood tea?”  Dontarius said as he paused.  

Jacob stared at Dontarius for several, uncomfortable seconds.  “Have you had blood tea?”  

“Are you serious?”

Jacob smiled. He wiggled his right wing slightly bringing the knot behind him closer.  He grabbed the knot and pulled it forward a bit more.  Dontarius worked to pull the knot toward him and managed to move it only inches.  Jacob wrapped his fingers around the knot and pulled it apart.  The rope fell, he pulled his wings forward and fell.  His bare feet touched the floor of the forest within seconds.  Dontarius watched as Jacob negotiated with himself.  He could see through the motion of his eyes that he was thinking.  

“I have a knife in a pocket under my skirt.”  Jacob wore an opaque brownish skirt and a white button down shirt that was draped loosely over a very, hairy chest.  

“You openly admit you are wearing a skirt?”  

“Oh, we are well aware of the customs of the living world.”  The angelic man smiled broadly and offered Dontarius a small blade with a carved ivory handle.  Dontarius worked on the rope that held him to the tree.  When the knife tore the last of the tendons holding him, the rope separated,  Dontarius grabbed the loose ends and used them to help him to the ground.  

Upon the ground Jacob was quite a bit taller than Dontarius.  The angelic man stood over him and smiled.  “The tribe of Eros huh..”  Dontarius began. “Can you get me back on the train so I can find my wife?”  

“I am from the tribe of Eros and we have to get out of the forest first.  I barely know you human so I’m cannot guarantee you will be alive long enough for me to help you.”

“That’s just awesome.”  

Dontarius walked around the thin, winged man and began toward his assumption of the edge of the forest.  Jacob followed.  

After several hours Dontarius stopped.  The forest seemed to circle around.  

“You tired yet?”  Jacob asked.  

“What are you saying?”  Dontarius shouted. “Do you know something?”  

“You can’t walk out of here.”  

“Oh, that’s nice to know after an hour.”  

“Stop thinking like a human,” Jacob said as his turned to fit between a pair of trees.  “This is an enchanted forest.  A world of magic unlike, what did you call it?  Earth?”  

“Earth logic doesn’t work here.  The is a world of puzzles.”  

“Ah, and I’m just a dumb human man.  I can’t play your stupid magic games!”  

“I’m sorry.”  

“Listen,” Dontarius said as he stepped up to Jacobs thin frame.  “I’m not here to play games.”  

Dontarius grabbed Jacob’s shirt and held him still. “Tell me how to leave this forest and send me on my way.  I don’t want any trouble. I just want to find my wife.”  

NaMo – Hello

“Hello!”  

A light appeared then others till a hallway appeared.  The hallway was lit along the center of the ceiling revealing six doors along the left and right.  Dontarius stood in silence with darkness behind him and the hallway in front of him.  His first step echoed and his next silent.  

“A dream,” Dontarius thought.

A door opens and Dontarius walks forward.  He looks within the entry to see the sliver of a dirty pale carpet, a child’s bed and a familiar dresser.  Upon the dresser stood a young gold covered basketball play, frozen in the final shot of a game.  A golden baseball play stood next to him waiting for the final pitch that wins the game.  

“My room,” Dontarius said aloud.

Dontarius pushed open the door, but stood outside the threshold.  His childhood room stood in front of him.  The posters of musicians and the stuffed animals he called friends.

“Ok, it’s my room.  Other than freaking me out… What purpose does this serve?”  

Another door opened.  The noise of the old hinges spun him around.  He stepped toward the door and then shook as the door to his room slammed shut.  The second open door sat at the end of the hall and on the opposite side.  He stepped toward it then stood silently staring at a red light that surrounded the edges of the door.  He pushed open the doors and could see wood paneling upon the walls and two people dancing to music he barely recognized.  He opened the door farther and recognized the man on the right as his father.  The fedora and over-sized suit coat give it away.  He noticed near a far corner of the room was a small crib with a child inside.  

“I remember this,” he thought.  “I never let them know I caught them dancing.”  

The door closed abruptly and another door opened.  This door was on the opposite side and to the right.  He opened the door to reveal his wedding day.  The ceremony sat between rows of large oak trees.  His father stood off to the left beaming with pride.  The wooden platform they both stood upon was built by the man standing next to it, a small miracle due to the arthritis in his hand.  The small, unfinished wood platform sat them slightly above the crowd.  His wife, in all her splendor,  stood in a pale green ballroom dress waiting for the pastor to speak.  Dontarius smiled.  Tears welled and the door closed.  

“No, stop!” Dontarius shouted as he banged on the door.  Another door opened on the opposite side.  He walked to it slowly dreading the end of her life.  A hotel stood a ways out.  A car, maroon, drove toward the hotel.  Tears began to fall as Dontarius recalled his honeymoon.  

“She wore the worst color pants on the day,” he said loudly.  “She had this obsession with green.”  Dontarius’s smiled but the door closed abruptly and another opened.

The noise of her gasps for air straightened the hair on the back of his neck.  She gasp again and Dontarius rushed to the door and stepped in.  The bedroom was laid out in front of him.  The bed sat in the center of the room with the dresser on the right, the large sliding door behind the bad and another dresser on the right.  A large man stood over his wife as he strangled her to death.

“Stop!  Stop now!”  Dontarius shouted and rushed into the room.  A large kitchen knife sat upon a dresser to his left.  Dontarius grabbed the knife and thrust it into the back of the large man.  He pulled the knife and stabbed him again.  Blood covered his hands.  With the man struggling for life upon the floor Dontarius stood and looked over his wife.  She was already pale and life had left her.  She laid motionless on the bed and he struggled to figure out his next move.

“Rebecca, please,” Dontarius begged.  “Please don’t die again.”  

Dontarius sobbed as he relived the moment Rebecca died.  He waited to see her spirit rise but it didn’t.  Rebecca’s body sat dormant.  The body of the large man lay at his feet.  His hooded masked soaked in blood.

“Who are you?”  Dontarius asked.  He then bent down and pulled the hood from the large man’s head.  The man has a beard along the sides of his face then cut sharply near the bottom of a thick chin.  He was overweight and his eyes did not yet have the callous, white film characterized by the recently dead.  They were blue and stared up.  

Dontarius stepped back as the man stood slowly.  He took off his dark colored shirt and wrapped it over the wound in his shoulder.  The man then stepped around the bed, opened the back door and stepped outside.

The train approached from the left side.  The light above the engine lit up the trees and the fields behind his house.  Dontarius stood at the doorway when the white light overwhelmed him and the memories disappeared.  

The world reappeared in front of Dontarius as he blinked heavy lids.  His arms felt numb and his legs ached.  Daylight rushed in from a large hole in the forest canopy revealing the ground beneath him and the tree Dontarius was tied too.  

“What is going on?”  Dontarius’s voice was raspy, he cleared it.  “I am tired of this world already.”  

“I advise silence, my friend.”  

NaMo – Decisions

“So what are you going to do now?”  Asked Silver as he hung onto the bottom of the car smoking.  

“I don’t know,” Dontarius paused.  He stared up at the tubes that ran across the bottom of the train.  He listened as humans or some creatures talked in English to his right.  

“What kind of world is this?  What am I going to see when I roll out from the bottom of the train?”  

Silver shimmered.  His figure was translucent and faded where it met the sun.  He let go of the train and fell slowly to the rocky rail bed.  He took in a breath from the cigarette and blew it out.  

“The world feeds of the souls of the dead.  What are you expecting?”  

“I came from the world of the living.”

“Right…” Silver replied, “…and your expectations are that the world is covered in incorporeal beings like me.  Translucent spectres that roam the world without purpose.  I’ve been dead a while so my memory of life is fading but I recall some of the stories of death.  The bright light, they called it.  Well, that my friend is the train.  The Spirit of the Dead has been running since before the Maker created our existence.  The world, is covered in matter and life but the souls are transferred and collected throughout the territories.  Many are used up to power the technology.  Where they go after that I have no clue.”  

Dontarius struggled above the rocks but his thoughts wandered to the mission of finding his wife.  He lost her twenty-four hours ago.  He saw the spirit of his wife step from her body and walk out the back of the house.  Dontarius followed his wife’s spirit to the train.  The monstrous engine pushed through the trees behind the house.  The light above the engine blurring all sight of his wife.  Dontarious followed other spirits appearing beside him into the wooden train car.  

“Hey,”  Silver shouted jolting Dontarius from the memory.  

“You’re not the first one to hop on the train.  Human’s like you are still rare around here.  Mainly because you are hunted by every creature walking the territories of Serching.  To answer your question you are lying in Black Fog Downs.  It’s in the territory of King Mor.  The Spirit of the Dead covers the three territories of Qiull.  Morland, Lau and the Realm of Corpses.  Not really all that dark and spooking but the Realm of Corpses holds the prison of Noone.  A terrifying place to even mention and I’ve never been there.  The population survives off of rumor and superstition.  It’s not friendly but it’s home.”  

The train began to hiss.  The train cars shuffled slightly.  “Your search will be short if you don’t figure something out soon.”  

Dontarius searched and crawled toward the large ramp that helped the centaur enter the train car.  He entered the dark crevice and within moments the ramp was lifted and moved.  Dontarius watched as the cars passed in front of him.  The ramp then turned revealing a massive line of cars.  Some storage and built with wooden planks and others rounded passenger cars.  

“If my wife is one of the precious she may be within the passenger cars.  I have to get there,” he thought but the ramp turned away from the train and was placed near a small station on the right.  

“There is no guarantee of that,” Silver quipped from a corner.  

“Guarantee of what?”  

“You wife, she may already be dispersed into the atmosphere.  Only the precious have a physical presence here.”  

Dontarius stared at Silver insulted by the abrupt invasion of his thoughts.  

“Your thoughts are loud as obnoxious as a bull minotaur.”  

When Dontarius recovered he spat, “she is precious.  She has to be.  Why would I be allowed to follow her to the train.  She will have a physical presence.”  

“Well, you’re going to miss your train.”  

The engine whistle blew.  The operator flickered and the engineer took his seat within his car.  The train cars all shifted as the brakes were tested.  The remaining ramps were removed and placed next to the one Dontarius lay in.  

Dontarious left the ramp and darted forward.  He lept from the edge of the station as he heard shouting behind him.  He bolted through thick trees and made his way toward the passenger cars.  he looked back to see a group of centaur standing at the station but they did not move.  The rain above the trees leaked through the thick branches leaving mirror-like puddles between them.  Dontarius stepped through them.  His shoes dampening but soon the train disappeared into darkness.  

Dontarius slowed then stopped after the trees disappeared and the darkness surrounded him.  

“Hello!”  

A light appeared then others till a hallway appeared.  

NaMo – Problems, problems

There is the forest of Narcissus and the prison of Somename I don’t know but what is sitting outside the train. A field of corn? A field of grass… if I look at our world a train sits on a bedrock of stone upon a small hill. Beneath that hill sits civilization.. maybe I should just write this and post it as a blog.. it doesn’t really matter what you write for NaMo just the wordcount. I have to remember this is a writing exercise and not a mandate to write a final product that I can push out on December 1st.

I am having a hard time moving ahead.  I don’t really have a world.. Serching is not a name I’m even really happy with.  I don’t know here maybe Covington?  It’s life after death.

The world of built of the transportation of the dead.  Souls from Earth or our realm are picked up by the train and moved to the world of Serching.. I really need a name.. This is becoming irritating.

Ok, here’s my deal.. I’m going to close my eyes and randomly pick seven names for Seventh Sanctum name generator.

WTH kind of names are State of So and so or Devil’s Realm.. I’m looking for something else here.

Tiny Hard Penguins Realm?  Seriously.. seriously…lol

Grim Computer City?

Ok, Fantasy Name generator website.. your turn and I have one.

  • Black Fog Downs
    • A “down”, singular, is a hill, of variable steepness
  • Sparrows Woods
  • Dying Salt Plains
  • Country of Quill
  • Empire of Mor
  • hmm… the Realm of Corpses
  • Prison of Corpses

The Bunker of People that Fly like Birds

So if I have an Empire of Mor than I need an emperor of Mor.

Emperor Lau – Evil emperor or is that too much.. I don’t know if I can do an evil emperor.

Now there is a war between the flighted humans and the non.. so maybe Emperor Lau can be the leader of the non flyers but humans are rarely seen in the country of Quill.  They have been chased from the country so that put a wrinkle into the all powerful emperor.

The flyers which if I follow my word above will be called.. ummm.. I’ll have to pick some more names..

— the Charrya, flying humans, have become quite powerful.  They could have a powerful king.  King Gothra, first of the flyers, born in Bergum.  Bergum is a large city built from the salts of the Dying Salt Plains.  It would be unnatural to see a city with the salts of a Plain.. I would think the salt would cause many problems.

So I have something now just by forcing the words to leave my fingers. It’s barely legible but it’s something.  Still do I know what Dontarius is looking at?

I think I do.

Meet the Black Fog Downs.. a series of hills wrapped by a darkness or fog.

Dontarious stares upon the Downs from the train track.  There is a long drop to a flat piece of land.  Followed by the Forest of Narcissus.  Once with the forest Dontarious must follow the train to find his wife but reflective ponds delay him by reflecting images back to him.

So map this out Matthew… post the results later then we can move the story ahead.

NaMo – Spirit of the Dead – Escape

“Follow me.”

Dontarius followed Silver till a chill stopped him.  It froze his legs in place for seconds.  He began to recall foriegn memories about a man walking a dog.  The atmosphere around the man was peaceful.  Above the man Dontarious could see creatures flying.  The creatures blotted out a large portion of the sky.  They pushed up and down large black wings outside a slender frame.  A scream interrupted the peace and people began running.  Dontarius could hear the sound of something collapsing around him then the memory left him.   

Dontarius was returned to the world and the train car.  The apparition, named Silver was gone.  Dontarius searched the nearly empty train car for a place to hide.  A stack of boxes sat in the corner on the left side of the car.  There was a little space behind the boxes but it would have to do.  Dontarius squeezed into the space as the door on the car began to open.  He watched through small partitions in the boxes as a man stood outside the train.  

“Can I get a ramp here?”  He shouted.  Within minutes someone pushed a wooden ramp up to the train car and the man began to climb up.  This man was only half man.  The bottom half, below the chest, was from a horse.  

“A centaur?” Dontarius said quietly.  

“There is nothing in this car…” the centaur shouted, “but a couple stray souls.  They are like insects that will not leave you alone.”  

The centaur swatted at the air then turned to leave.  

“Wait!  I smell something familiar.”   

The centaur stomped a foot upon the wooden floor then began to walk toward the boxes.  Dontarius waited and watched as the centaur approached.  The large beast stood over the boxes and looked but something pulled Dontarius.  The first tug pushed him against the wooden side of the car but the second pulled him down and under the train.  The action was painless, except for the lack of blood flow and the tingle.  The wood floor was still intact as Dontarius clung to the bottom of the car.  He could hear the tapping of the hooves as the centaur as he moved the boxes above.  

“These boxes have been here forever.  The food is rotten.  Send a crew in here to remove these and throw them to the dogs… and clean up this mess on the floor.  I just got back from the farrier with new shoes.”  

The centaur tapped hard upon the floor and Dontarius lost his grip.  He fell upon the rocks within the railroad track.  The apparition, named Silver, turned and smiled.  He clung to the bottom of the train but then began to float downward and next to Dontarius.  

“Thought I forgot you, did you?”  

Silver took another puff of a cigarette.  

“You could’ve told me.”  Dontarius whispered.

“That’s no fun, now is it?”  

Dontarius listened as the centaur stopped stomped down the car ramp.  He then rolled over as scooted out from under the train.

NaMo – Spirit of the Dead

The Spirit of the Dead

The large outward grill of a steam-powered train approached Station One.  Outside the train the rain fell from the dark sky pelting the apparitions standing impatiently waiting at the station.  The train operator stood behind black iron windows.  His face covered in soot, the operator pulled the iron lever to his right and the train began to slow.  With his left hand, the operator, pulled a wire attached to the whistle above the engine.  The whistle bristled tiny hairs upon the operator’s neck and he suddenly disappeared only to return a second later.   The train collected the souls of the living from the mortal world to return them to the second world named Serching.   Several precious souls were collected and stored within a steel-walled tender car behind the engine.  In the center of the car, painted on both sides, was the name of the train ‘Spirit of the Dead’.  Behind the tender car were the engineer quarters.  Long thick chains tied the engineer to the train.  They lengthened to allow him to maintain the train and to protect its cargo.  The engineer’s car was black, windows gray from soot.  The engineer spent hours sitting alone upon a single wooden chair inside the empty car that was his.  Trapped in a world he did not belong and serving a sentence hundreds of years old.  The operator pulled the brake again as they came closer to the wooden station.  The engineer stared forward and listened while he held onto his chair as it rocked backward.  Air forced from the brakes pushed the thick rain soaked air out of the way as the brakes squealed.  The whistle blew and the operator faded away for seconds then reappeared.  

Dontarious sat quietly far from the engine, the operator and the engineer.  His head throbbed as he blinked awake.  He had fallen asleep within moments of slipping onto the train.  Still uncertain how he managed to slip onto the train.  The car he sat in was dark but for the thin bars of light peeking from the wooden planks.  The floor of the train car was slick with ethereal goo.  Dontarius turned and laid on his back upon the wooden floor of the car. The thin film from the floor covered his face, arm and shoulders. The darkness within the train car pressed upon him as he stared upward at the thin strips of light from the moon. The car rattled loudly as the train fought to slow the procession of cars.  A chill danced from the tips of his fingers to the back of his shoulders. The whisper passing through his ears and he turned his head.  A man stood at the other end of the car smoking a cigarette.  Dontarius sat up.  The smoking man jumped.  

“You are not supposed to be here,” said the man in a long, drawn out whisper.  The sound made Dontarius wince as it knifed through his ears.  The man then faded away and reappeared several feet closer.  He paused, sucked in from the cigarette and blew it out.  

“You don’t belong here,”  he said then disappeared again and appeared closer.  The train slowed abruptly but the smoking man stood.  He floated above the ethereal goo that rushed forward.  

“I’m looking for my wife, Mariann.”  Dontarius said.  

The smoking man choked on a breath and then laughed.  

“Is your wife human like you?”  

Dontarius studied the smoking man.  He could see the slivers of light piercing through the thin membrane that was the man.  The smoking man wore a thick brown sweater vest and blue pants.  He had no shoes on the feet that hovered over the floor of the car.  

“She is not,” the smoking man said then laughed.  “You will not find you wife upon this train young man.  There are an eternal number of cars and she can be in anyone one of them.”  

“Then help me,” pleaded Dontarius.  

The smoking man continued as if he didn’t hear.  “Your wife may not show herself.  Only a few of us show ourselves.  We are called the precious ones and collected at some point by the engineer to feed the train on its way.”  

Dontarius stood and wobbled as the train slowed to a creep.  

“I need to find her.”  

“You need to avoid the engineer.  He prowls the cars when the train stops.  He will find you and kill you.  Your soul will be fed to the train.”  

“Hide me.”  

The smoking man dropped the cigarette and it disappeared as soon as it left his fingers.  Another immediately reappeared.  

The train stopped and Dontarius could hear the large car doors opening.  The smoking man stood thinking.  

“I may have a solution for you but I will let you know it is designed for only me and I am not exactly flesh bound.”  

“Please,” begged Dontarius.   

City of the Dead – Dragon Heart

The dragon hovered over the train.  It’s head was arrow-shaped and it had an extended neck that whipped around like a snake.  It’s abdomen was small leading to a long tail which ended in a split-shape almost like a trident.  It’s wings were humongous.  They were large leather and bone contraptions.  Every time the large beast would bellow out a shot of fire the wings seemed to get in the way.  They would char, leaving small red balls of flame, but would then extinguish quickly.  The large bird man held Dontarius tightly as it fought to avoid the blaze but the dragon out maneuvered and faced the bird man.  The tip of the dragon’s nose smoldered and it’s entire head bled smoke.  The bird man attempted to fly down and right but the dragon countered.  Other bird men flew from other directions.  Suicide missions that were intended to distract the dragon and save lives but only took them.  The dragon opened it’s large dinosaur jaws and snapped each creature the flew near.  The large bird man attempted to fly right then left again but the dragon read each move.  From inside the dragons mouth shadows of it’s large teeth danced in front of an orange glaze.  Smoke began to billow from the dragons nose then mouth.  The dragon opened his mouth wider and the bird man dropped Dontarius.

Dontarius fell through the sky face down.  A bullet of warmth cruised from his head to toes as the ground became closer and closer.  The station was four-hundred yards behind him.  Beneath him was a thick blanket of trees.  Green mushroom shaped bringers of pain and death.  Dontarius was two-hundred feet from the ground when he was dropped.  His hands and feet went numb with anticipation as the tree line quickly approached.

Dontarius hit the treeline and disappeared within the forest.  The first limb struck him hard in the gut and another in the chest.  The wind in his lungs swept from his chest and he gasp.  The weight of his feet pulled him down and then backward.  He then fell another twenty feet to a tri-fecta of pain and agony.  A large limb caught him and spun him into a pair of smaller limbs.  Those limbs held for seconds as he caught his breath then tumbled into the trunk when they gave way.  The remaining fall went dark.  Dontarius went unconscious.

End Chapter 1

The rest of this submission will likely be put somewhere till I complete it at the end of the month.  Knowing me I will not be a stranger to posting because I get excited about these awesome stories.  I still have some other projects I’m working on.  I’m hoping to still post a minimum of 300 + words for City of Zombies.. Thanks for reading.. 🙂

City of the Dead – The Spirit of the Dead

Dontarius stood motionless upon the planks of the station deck.  The rain fell mercilessly upon his head and face but he could not move.  Sadness paralyzed the faint hint of human nature he had left but the real reason was he was dead.

There were quick moments that flashed through his mind.  They flashed like 30 second commercials.  A beautiful woman sobbing next to a large man with a gap in his smile.  A wedding and then darkness.  The scenes cycled through his head over and over till a puff of smoke caught his attention.  A train muscled through the rain and darkness.  Dontarius could feel the ground rumble as the train approached.  It seemed to shimmer within the moonlight above but was solid as the wood planks below his feet.

The large outward grill of the earthly steam-powered train approached slowly. Above the train and into the night shot a tall cylinder of white smoke. The operator stood behind the black iron windows half in and half out of this world. He stood with his long left arm upon the whistle.  The operator pulled slowly down releasing a scream from above the train.  The scream pierced the sadness and Dontarius fell to his knees.  The force that held him gone.  Unlike its earthly steam-powered cousin, the black train runs on the essence of life.  The molecular essence of every living being on the train is collected within a steel-walled tender or coal car.  This car had a set of ledges, one on top and the second two feet above the train wheels.  The ledge on the top was merely decorative but the one on the bottom was two foot wide, barely enough room to walk across.  Aluminum hand holds were placed at body length along both sides of the car.  In the center of the car, painted on both sides, was ‘Spirit of the Dead’.

The engineer was tied to the next car.  Long thick chains lengthened to allow him to feed the engine.  The engineer’s car was black, windows gray from soot. The soot containing the remains of evil in men’s heart precious in these parts of the netherworld called Serching.  These remains burned and pushed into the atmosphere of the netherworld.  The Spirit of the Dead approached the wooden deck of the train station.  The conductor pulled the brake as he faded away then reappeared.  Forced air pushed the thick rain soaked air out of the way as the brakes squealed. Dontarius sat up and watched as the engine passed the station.  Following behind the engine were hundreds of caged cars. The cars wooden planks shook in small metal slots as the train moved forward.  Within the passenger cars the dead stood or sat, destiny unknown.  Their new home assigned by the operator.  The train passed through the netherworlds one by one until they cycled back to Serching.  They then started the process over again.  The operators would change but the engineer was always detained within the car behind the engine.

The operator pulled hard upon the brakes forcing the cars to jostle and jam into each other.  The train slowly came to a complete stop.  Once the train stopped the operator disappeared from the engine and reappeared upon the side of the engine and then reappeared upon the wooden station deck.  He disappeared again and reappeared near the front corner of the engine.  He seemed to be inspecting the train.  From the engineer’s car the large man appeared.  He meticulously walked along the side of the coal car holding the handles as he went.  The chain danging from both ankles.  He then disappeared within the cab.  Several large wooden doors opened within the wooden cars behind the engine.  Several men stepped from the cars and jumped to the wooden deck.  They then turned and folded down a set of steel stairs built within the bottom of the cars.  They stood and waited while it seemed like nothing came from the cars.  Then after several minutes a couple of the men folded the stairs back up into small pouches on the bottom of the car then leaped back into the cars.  One car caught Dontarius’s attention when a man appeared within the car.  His hair, fell to his shoulders, was a mess.  Blood stained the right side and the hair was clumped in masses.  The man from the train was started and quickly unfolded the stairs.  He helped the blood-stained man from the train and watched him stumble across the wooden deck.  Dontarius stood quickly.  He looked around and realized that he was alone.  Up till now he had felt a crowd around him but failed to realize he seemed to be alone.   The blood-stained man intrigued Dontarius and he walked slowly toward him.  As he stepped forward he felt cold shivers fall like ice cubes from his shoulders to waist.  It would then grow warm then cold again.  It was as if he was walking between frigid waterfalls.  The blood-stained man walked forward without a thought of any one else upon the station deck.  He stumbled across the wooden planks and disappeared within the terminal.

“You need to come with me,” someone said as they grabbed Dontarius by the shoulder.  Dontarius turned, anger surface quickly, and swung at the man.  Dontarius struck the man upon the face and he fell to the side holding his face.  Another man from the train rushed over to Dontarius and struck him upon the head.

Dontarius woke inside a wooden train car.  His head throbbed.  The car was dark but for the thin bars of light peaking from the wooden planks.  Dontairus was dead,  in an earthly realm sense, but within the netherworlds he was very much alive. The floor of the train car was slick with ethereal goo.  Dontarius laid, his head throbbing upon the wooden floor of the train car. The thin film from the floor covered his face, arm and shoulders. The darkness within the train car pressed upon him as he stared upward at the thin strips of light from the moon. The car rattled loudly and chills danced from the tips of his fingers to the back of his shoulders. Dontarius listened to whispers passing through his ears but saw only one man within the car.  The man from the station stood at the other end of the car smoking a cigarette.  He seemed to care only about that thin roll of paper and leaves.  The whispers surrounded Dontarius and he listened as they spoke of love lost, love found and life taken.  They began to increase and talk over themselves until Dontarius suddenly sat up.  The smoking man looked in his direction for several seconds then looked away.  He finished his cigarette and then walked slowly toward Dontarius.

Suddenly from above something thumped upon the top of the car. The light skittered as several objects began to move above. The smoking man stopped and stared at the shadows till a large hole was torn from the top of the car. Moonlight fell through to the car floor and a small winged man appeared.  He grabbed the smoking man and tossed him violently again the far end of the car. It was then that Dontarius could see silver forms appeared but quickly disappeared into the darkness. Dontarius stood and leaned against the back of the car.  The ethereal goo weighed upon his face and shoulders. The goo chilled him but he could feel the presence of others surrounding him. They talked in excited bursts of confusion and fear.   Another man leaped down from the hole in the ceiling and looked at Dontarius.  The man was more bird then man.  From the moonlight he could trace the framework of a large bird. It’s two large feet curled with several large knuckles on three toes. Upon the toes were large triangular claws but it’s face was that of a man.

“What do we do with him,” said the man with the wings.  The bird man walked slowly toward him.  The spirits chattered around him.  It was almost too much to bare and fear suddenly gripped Dontarius.  He shook violently as the bird man reached for him.  Suddenly, the bird man fell backward and skittered toward the other end of the car.  A charge of electricity was in the air but Dontarius had not created it.  The spirits surrounding him had caused the charge.  Dontarius fell downward and watched as the man with wings helped the other up.  They spoke as both watched.  The spirits surrounding Dontarius chattered and cheered proud of what they had just accomplished but that was short-lived.  The train jerked violently and began to slow.  A large growl escaped into the air from the front of the train and the two bird men quickly stood.  They fought over what to do next.  Dontarius seemed to be an important find but something else was approaching. The chill from the spirits within the car seemed to disappear.  Dontarius watched as they flew from the hole within the top of the train car.  The bird men seemed to notice this too and quickly leaped for him.  The larger man grasp him tightly as the smaller man fumbled with the car door.  A warm stream of fire burst overhead as both seemed to jump.  “Move… move!”  Shouted the larger man.  The door was soon opened and the first bird man leaped from the train car.  The second attempted to but struggled to restrain Dontarius.  Eventually, he grabbed Dontarius tightly and just leaped.

The wind caught the large bird man by surprise and he struggled to hold onto his human prize.  A large flame of fire certainly didn’t help the situation.  Below Dontarius was a quickly moving, dark landscape.  The large bird man skillfully managed the load and the fire.  He held out his wings and coasted around the train.