Young Harkin

“Oh my Goddd…,” shouted Stacy as she tried to pull her husband Paul from the carcass of a large, pregnant Harkin.

“What are you doing?  How is this helping!”  She shouted.

Paul stood up and turned, covered in dark, oxygenated blood.  “This may not help you but it’s helping me.”  He suddenly saw movement within the abdomen of the beast.  A pair of legs struggling to move from under to crush of keratin.

Paul cheered as he grabbed one of the thin, young legs.  He pulled and it yanked back.  “Oh no!  Your coming with me,” he shouted.

The young insect fought as Paul dragged it out into the open.  From within the carved out bowl of blood and organs the small Harkin attempted to stand.

“Paul, you need to stop.  The Pterodactyls are above us.  Paul!  They are going to eat us!”

Paul ignored his wife and grabbed the axe, that lie, beside him.  He set it behind him but the little creature flipped to it’s feet.  Blood and gore hung from the sharp corners of the beast.  It clicked softly as it stared at Paul from opaque eyes.

Paul swung the axe and stuck a front leg.  The Harkin squeaked as it tried to step back.  It’s right, front leg swung free of the joint.

“Oh, believe me.  You are not getting away from me.  I don’t care if you are a young one.  I had a young one once,” he shouted.  “I had a young one!”

Stacy began to sob and stepped back.  She watched as the Pterodactyls began to glide downward.  Paul raced around the body of the parent and screamed as he tried to prevent the smaller Harkin from escaping.

The little creature was four-foot tall compared to twelve to fourteen foot adults.  It threatened to pierce Paul’s head with a pointed front horn but Paul jumped out of the way.  Paul reared back and swung the axe again contacting the hard body.  The blow pushed the insect over the side of the adult remains and onto the broken asphalt below.  It shook off the blow and stood simultaneously.  It stepped forward.  Paul was six foot tall.  Taller then the creature but intimidated.  Harkin were fierce fighters.  It was possible, even from a little one that Paul could be torn to pieces.

Paul stepped back.  He carried a shotgun, as did many humans now, but it was near the truck fifty feet away.  He looked for his wife but she stood, terrified behind the drivers door.

“You idiot,” came the thought as Paul stepped back again.  He watched as the young beast bounced to the left.  The broken front leg didn’t seem to set it off any.

“Swing the axe,” Paul told himself but the bravery within his hands had disappeared as he dragged the axe in front of him.  The little Harkin leapt forward.  It’s armored horns pressed against the thin skin of Paul’s forehead.  Paul fell backward.

Stacy stood across from the carcass and pointed the shotgun near the young beast.  She watched as Paul fell and fired.  The shot spread and pierced the thin armor.  The Harkin stumbled to the side then fell.

Predatory

“I wish we were back to the olden days,” Tracy shouted.

Darrin watches as they drove farther and farther from the Reaper.  It stared at the Jeep as Darrin left.  It’s charcoal eyes looking toward the Red aluminum vehicle.

“You wishing the monsters gone isn’t going to help you survive a world that has monsters.  I have also grown up in this world of ours.  You grandfather got to see the world when it was relatively peaceful.”

“I can’t talk to Papa.”

Darrin grimaced at the mention of his father’s nickname.  “Right, Papa has passed away.”

“What are we doing, anyways,” Janice said from the passenger seat.

“I need to see why that Harkin was in such a rush.  I’ve never seen one run, let alone walk fast.”

“Your curiosity is going to get your family killed.”

Darrin’s face got red, “my job remember?  I can’t go fight the war so I’m going to find a way to defeat these beast.”

“Yea, Darrin the hero.  I recall?”

Darrin was ready with a retort when his oldest daughter Sarah stopped him.  “What is that?”

In front of them was a destructive scene, covered in blood and monsters.  A broken Harkin, it’s large, thin insect legs pointing skyward, sat in the center of the road.  A second Harkin stood over the body snapping at Pterodactyl diving into the remains.

“I didn’t know they did that?”  Janice responded.

“Neither did I.”

“What do we do now, dad?”  Sarah asked.

“I need to write this down,” Darrin pulled a notepad from the floor beside Janice’s feet and began to write.

Janice’s nerves began to fray as she waited.  Outside the Jeep she watched as the Harkin struck one Pterodactyl and brought it crashing down into the trees on the right.  Another flew over the Jeep and spread it’s large claws.  It pulled open it’s wings and slowed till it was over the back of the Harkin.  It sunk the claws into the soft sections separating the hard keratin armor.  The Harkin immediately a long tail and pierced the Pterodactyl.  The flying reptile screamed and took off into the air only to fall feet from the Harkin.

“Darrin, maybe we should of stayed home,” Janice said.

“Can’t do anything about that now… wow did that just happen?  I’ve never seen a fight like this.”

“Darrin, what is this coming?”

To the right and between a set of trees the family could see a collection of beasts charging toward them.  They were small but large groups could batter the Jeep into submission.

The Reaper

“Dad Stop!”

The words pierced Darrin’s ears like tiny, sharp knives.  His foot reacted first and stomped on the brakes.  The Jeep lurched forward followed by every passenger.

Stopped in the middle of the road.  An empty, backwoods road Darrin waited for something to happen.

“Sarah!”  Darrin shouted as he turned his head.  He stared at his young, teenage daughter.  She stared back then pointed to an object outside the front window.  Darrin turned back toward the steering wheel and watched as the trees on the right rustled.

“What is it?”  His voice quiet.

“I don’t know,” Sarah replied.

Small branches broke.   A tall, human-like creature stepped from the woods.  It wore a thick, black, hooded cloak and had it’s head down.  Darrin took in a sharp breath and instructed the girls within the Jeep to stay silent.  “It’s a reaper,” he whispered.

The reaper stepped from the trees and the brush on the right side of the road and rose up the embankment.  Darrin watched as it stood three feet from the front of the Jeep.  It’s attention was focused on an object on the left side of the road.  It stopped and waited.

Janice, his wife, noticed it first.  It was a rustle within the brush on the left side of the road.  After a moment it appeared.  A white cat with black stripes stood by the road.  It searched for something… the reaper moved forward and stood near the center of the Jeep.

“You can’t let it eat the cat,” His younger daughter Tracy pleaded.

Darrin scolded her silently.

The reaper moved forward as the cat continued to search.  Once the tall, strange creature became close enough it almost snatched up the cat.  The event so fast it looked as if the reaper disappeared for seconds.  Once it had the cat it bite down upon the soft belly while the cat fought.  The reaper seemed to ignore the scratches till the poor cat had enough and passed away.

“This is disgusting,” Tracy said anger evident in her tone.

Her mother, Janice leaned back.  “Do you want it to be us,” she asked.

Tracy folded her arms and sat back.

After the reaper finished it’s meal it disappeared within the trees.  Darrin put the Jeep into Drive and pulled forward.

 

Curious Shortz

Darrin looked up into the sky.  He stood, covered between and large maple tree and a white birch.  He was still able to see the mass of leather and keratin flying above the house.

“Dad!  What are you doing?”  Shouted Sarah from the large picture window.  Darrin waved her off, hoping to assure her he was safe under the tree.

The Pterodactyl flew above the house.  The large creatures filled the sky.  Darrin counted nine winged predators.

“Why do you think they are circling above the house?”

Darrin jumped, not expecting his wife to join him outside.

“What are you doing out here?”

“Hey, if your safe under the tree I am.”

Darrin noticed that a single creature began to sink lower followed by a second.

“You know they are actually about a mile away.  The dumb things are so large…”

“That doesn’t matter, they are still dangerous.”

“Right.. rude to interrupt but right.”

“What do you think they are looking at?”

“Not sure, maybe a Harkin passed out in this heat and they are taking turns pecking at it’s armored abdomen?”

“I heard there was a new creature?”

“Really, what?”

“Christine was saying it was a centaur.”

“How?”

“She saw it.  Says it was very friendly and cute.  Six pack abs and everything.”

“Of course, she would think that.  She needs to get married.”

A sudden noise jolted both Darrin and Janice as something galloped toward them.  Appearing from the darkness of the church next door was an insect-like Harkin.  The giant bug galloped quickly toward them.  It’s multiple legs looked like oars on a strange armored ship.

Janice looked to panic and wanted to run toward the house.  Darrin wanted to fetch his crossbow but stopped and watched.  Janice stared at Darrin in disbelief but stood still.  They both watched as the Harkin passed by the house within seconds.

It then took an awkward right at the intersection and headed toward the hovering Pterodactyl.

After the Harkin disappeared down the road Darrin and Janice took a breath.  “What was that about?”

“I’m not sure,” Darrin replied.

“Leave the kids here?”  He asked.

“What if something happens to us?”

“Ok, we will get them.  We need to check this out.”

The A-130

“I’m telling you.  This is not going to work.”

“It’s has to work, Marcus.  Do you understand what this could do to help us with the fight for dominance of the monsters in the country.”

“Darrin, listen.  I understand that.  Believe me but you pushing this hard is going to force a mistake.  The July 4th massacre was a terrible event.  I didn’t lose anyone, luckily, but dude…You have to back off a bit.”

Darrin stepped back and bit his lip.  He took a breath.  The images pounded in his head as his heart began to race.  He took in a second breath.

“Ok, sure.  I’ve been pushing too hard.  I’m still going to insist you finish this weapon.  Have you got a name for it yet.”

Marcus smiled.  “A-130.”

“That’s simplistic.”

“Right, but this laser gun has gone through a hundred twenty seven revisions.  I rounded up.  Oh, and it’s named after a work-horse plane in the 21st century.”

“Ok, just get it working.  What’s wrong with it now?”

Marcus picked up the weapon.  It had a bulbous channel that covered the barrel.  It was ridged, painted yellow, and had a black ring near the front of the bulge then the back.  The trigger was underneath a small square of aluminum followed by a wooden stock.

“It look more like a bumble bee, Marcus.”

Marcus ignored Darrin and stepped into a large room.  At the very end of the room was a black, circular stain on the wall.

“It keeps getting too hot to handle.”  Marcus said as he put on a pair of thick, black gloves.

Marcus lifted the weapon and weighed it in his hands.  “It’s a bit too heavy still but the laser technology is still far behind the computer technology of the twenty-second century.”

Marcus squared up his feet.  Pushed back his right foot and fired.

An invisible stream burst from the barrel of the weapon and struck the wall.  Heat spread over the black stain and began to redden.  Smoke floated from the weapon, slowly at first then it began to burn.

Marcus set the weapon down and instructed Darrin to follow him from the room.  “It has exploded at times.  I’m hoping this isn’t one of those times.”

Fourth of July

“Ugh!  I’m so mad.”

“Settle down, Darrin it’s not that bad.”

“Not that bad!  Janice, they took twelve children.”

“Well, that’s not completely true.. it wasn’t just children.”

“Please, don’t…” Darrin turned, loaded his crossbow.

“You’re not joining the Army.  You have children to protect.”

Darrin looked at his wife.  The words struck him but the sound of all those children screaming incited him and his nose flared.

“What about those other children?  Who is going to protect them?”

Janice stood silent.  She knew many other families had little.  Darrin was a protector.  The best.  “If you leave…” she began.  “That leaves us vulnerable.  The best of our community is in the Army.  They are fighting.  Their families are vulnerable.  All of them.”

Darrin set the safety on the crossbow and hung it at his side.  He struggled to think of something to say.  The screams muted slightly.  “You were there,” he began.  His eyes getting cloudy.  “The Pterodactyl came in then the Harkins.  They knew we were celebrating our freedom.”

“Darrin,” Janice began gently.  “The war is over.  The creatures are now a way of life.  There are so many of them left over.  There are teams on top of teams removing them.  This family needs you.”

Darrin growled and pushed past her.  His daughters Sarah and Tracy stood within the kitchen.  The sadness plastered upon their faces.  “My god.”

“I lost my best friend, daddy.”  The youngest, Sarah said.  “I don’t want to lose you.  They both hugged him and Darrin stood motionless.

“There is a greater good here,” Darrin said, his will almost broken.  “The recruiters haven’t called you Darrin,” his wife reminded him.  “If they needed help they would call you first.  They all know you.”

A tear fell from Darrin’s face as the family embraced

Ideas

As I writer one of the worse things I can say is I’m out of ideas.  I’m not out of ideas so I guess that’s good.  The problem is my ideas are spread out.  I hang out at an online Pathfinder game named woldiangames.com.  (Looking for more players btw..)

I hadn’t experienced the details of an RPG game.  All these people that play D &D and Pathfinder and I missed all of it.. until now of course.  Within a year I’ve become a Dungeon Master in charge of an awesome group of players stuck on a Floating City.  My point being that I expend so much for this game.  I am absolutely thrilled to do so.  Problem number two, being my phone… no..no.. I’m not on Facebook all day or taking selfies and screaming like a girl.. I’m drawing/painting and creating.  I’m back to doing art after many years of quiet struggle.  Every t-shirt I post here is done from my phone.  I just ordered my Cthulhu t-shirt.   It will be in the mail 1 to 5 days.. wahoo..

Ideas… they are always there.  Like a mole on your arm that you try to tattoo over.  It’s always there.  What I would really like to do today is write another story about the family.. wow… they don’t have a name.  I’ve wrote two shorts about them and they don’t have a last name.  Maybe Shortz… Janice and Darrin Shortz.  Tracy and Sara Shortz…

Did you guys know I have a three hundred word minimum word count?  I’ve been short only a couple times over the years.  Today will not be one of them.

I’m watching reruns of Code Black.. I’m angry that I have to wait for new episodes then they give me reruns.  Same with NBC.. I don’t want to watch the Olympics junk.  I missed America’s got Talent because I avoided NBC via eight o’clock.. grrr

Well I made it…
If you have a favorite blog or a story that just has to be shared let me know.  Send me an email at matthewstitt49259@yahoo.com.  Hey, even if you want to say hi…

Have a great night

Terrordactyl

“Dad, are you sure this is a good idea.”  Janice shouts from the back seat of the old Escort.

“Hey, hey.. enough shouting already.  Little car big ears remember?”  Darrin replied as he grabbed his right ear.

“Why do you have such big ears?”  A smaller version of Janice asked.

Tracy chuckled then swallowed hard.  She turned and faced the two young girls in the back seat.  “There is a kinder way to ask that Sarah.  You are so blunt…”

“Hold up…” Darrin began, “…you may want to turn around.”

Parked on the side of the road was a rusty old truck, with the hood open.  A pair of blue-jeaned legs, waist and shirt were visible but the rest of the man was out of sight.

“Looks like he is having car trouble.”

“You’re not going to help him are you?”  Tracy asked.

“It’s dangerous to be out here too long.  If I can help I would like too.”

“But Darrin… there are Pterodactyl outside.  They are always hungry and pick people up all the time.”

“..but..” Darrin protested and slowed as they approached.

The man stepped from the truck.  He had a full beard, orange and grey with age.  His hair was thin and his hands were dirty.  He began to flag them down.

Darrin slowed to a stop looked behind and saw no traffic.  On the right was a row of trees and the left was a field of half-grown corn.  Above the field he could see a pair of Pterodactyl circling.  These large reptiles were at least five hundred feet away.

“What’s going on with the truck,” Darrin asked as the older man approached.

“Well, I lost a belt… I think.  I’ve been here all day.  Do you have a splash of water?”

“Sure.. sure,” Darrin turns toward the back to ask the girls for a bottle of water.  The older man pulls a knife from his pocket.  With a single motion he opens the car door and wraps the knife around Darrin’s neck.  Tracy, strapped into the passenger seat, grabs the man’s hand and wrist and pulls long enough to allow Darrin to push the knife into the steering wheel.  Darrin punches the underside of the elbow causing the knife to fall to the car floor.  He then shoves the older man onto the street.

Darrin unbuckles his seatbelt and steps outside.  He kicks the man in the gut and tries to shove him out of the way.  The man fights back and sweeps a leg causing Darrin to stumble.  Tracy unbuckles and closes the driver’s door.  She then steps out of the car.

“Get back in the car,” Darrin shouts.

“No, I’m going to help.”

“I got this,” Darrin said as he grabbed the man’s legs and dragged him toward the culvert on the opposite side of the road.  The man struggled to free himself as Darrin watched Tracy from the corner of his eye.  He watched as she walked toward the back of the car.  He knew she was looking for the rifle.

Determined to control the situation, Darrin threw the man’s legs toward the culvert and waited for the weight of his body to take him.  Tracy opened the truck and fished for the rifle.

“My wife is going to shoot you.  Stay still and you might live.  We just want to pass.  We are heading to Ohio.  I was being nice and you just pissed that away.”

The man lay still.  His orange-grey beard flecked with dirt.  Darrin could feel the growl before the man showed it.

“Don’t you move,” Darrin warned.  Tracy inched closer with the rifle.  He caught sight of his children plastered to the inside of the closed car windows.  His youngest daughter had climbed into the front seat.

“Damn,” he thought as he ran through a scenario of running and driving away.  “Tracy would have to get in plus Sarah in the way…”

Tracy stepped forward.  The rifle sits just below her shoulder.  Her right eye zeroed in.

“We are going to walk away,” Darrin stated as both he and Tracy stepped back.

Darrin could hear a banging from behind him.  He tried to ignore it.  “Kids,” he thought.

He turned to see them pointing upward.

Circling above him were the giant predatory reptiles.  The large pointed heads and leather wings left a massive shadow that circled both cars.

“Tracy!”

Tracy and Darrin ran for the car.  Darrin watched as Tracy disappeared behind the car.  The old man punched him in the kidney.  The pain sent him into the side of the car.  The girls screamed.

The fright shot up Darrin’s back.  The thought of a crazed man free to kill his children.

The pain disappeared and Darrin turned.  He forced his right fist into the man’s jaw.  Tracy fired a shot at the same time but it missed.  Darrin opened the driver’s door as the man stumbled backward.  He sat inside, shoving Sarah into the center of the seat.  Her small leg pinned underneath him.  Tracy placed the rifle onto the back seat and sat in the passenger seat.  She wrestled with Sarah’s legs as Darrin tried to put the car in gear and sit up at the same time.  The old man banged on the driver’s door, trying to bust it.  Darrin barely clears the old man’s truck when he realizes the man has a pistol.  He used it to bang on the window but now he is standing alone behind the Escort.  His front foot set and the pistol pointed at them.

“Get your heads down!”  Darrin yelled.

Tense and ready for the explosion Darrin drove around the truck with his head down as much as possible.  A large shadow hovered over him for moments then disappeared.  The explosion of gunfire never stuck the fragile glass of the Escort.  Darrin looked into the rearview mirror to see the thin leather back of a Pterodactyl pecking away at something lying in the road.  He slowed the car then turn to get a better look.  The two girls followed his lead and squealed in disgust.

Teraphobia- The Harkin

Featured Story

The Western Territory of Teraphobia is the largest territory. It’s populated with the largest creatures. Despite the persistent danger the Western Territory remains the closest to well adjusted after the invasion.

The warm water from the shower massaged Tracy’s back.  The steam from the heat of the liquid filled the room but left the view within the small bathroom window.  Tracy reached for the shampoo when she saw a frightening shadow passing in front of a the church next to the house.  The creature had tall, thin legs.  It’s keratin-covered abdomen stood six foot over the asphalt.

Tracy, unconsciously, reached for the window shelf and knocked over a bottle of shampoo.  The noise started her and she screamed.

Tracy took in a sudden breath and held her mouth as the insect-like creature stepped from the shadow or the church.

Tracy scooped the shower curtain to the right and stuck her head out.

“Darrin!  There is a Harkin outside.  What are we going to do?”

She could hear someone moving around, outside the bathroom door.  The thought, quick and terrifying, of an invasion within the house swam within her head.

“What did you say?”  Darrin replied.

“There is one of those Harkin bugs outside.  Where are the kids?”

Tracy could hear her husband search the room next door.  Items fell to the ground.  He cursed, as whatever he was looking for, eluded him.

“Darrin!  The crossbow is on the shelf next to the AR-14.”

“Why did you move it,” came the reply.

“Just get it.  The Harkin just stopped at our driveway.  Where are the children!”

The horror of the situation suddenly got worse when Tracy heard her middle child scream.  The Harkin stuttered movements proved that it was surprised by the sudden noise.  It turned its arrow-shaped head to the right and began to step forward.  The driveway was covered in stones.  The Harkin struggled to stand upon the stones.  It’s thin legs pausing and stepping carefully.

The back door slammed shut several times and  Tracy could hear the children talking.  She sighed till she saw her husband step past the window.

Darrin was dressed in ratty shorts and a white t-shirt.  He loaded a bolt and pointed the crossbow at the Harkin.  Tracy banged on the glass.

“You have to shoot it between the head and abs?”

The Harkin turned toward the noise.  Darren grimaced but dutifully grinned then waved.

Tracy watched as her husband began to approach the insect.  She banged on the shower window again as he approached.  This noise distracted the Harkin but also her husband.

She opened the small window and waved. Darrin grumbled and refocused on the Harkin.  Tracy watched as he held the crossbow to his shoulder and zeroed in on the soft section between the plates of keratin.

He fired but the bolt  bounced off the insects armor.  It did attract attention and the Harkin turned toward him.  Her husband skipped toward the back of the creature.  Tracy suddenly noticed he had no shoes on.

“What an idiot,” she thought as he avoided being seen.

She banged on the windows again drawing attention back to her.  The Harkin began to approach the house.  The grass beside the driveway would make it easier to move.

“Darrin, you have to keep it out of the grass.”

Her husband approached the large insect.  He was crouched and moving carefully.  The crossbow trained on the target.  The bolt flew from the weapon and struck the creature.  It didn’t scream, as you would expect, but it sighed and sank.  It’s abdomen stood three feet from the ground as Darrin loaded another bolt.  The creature began to struggle as the poison in the bolt began to work.  It was unable to free the bolt from beneath the armor.  It swung its right-front legs near the wound.  Darrin got closer and fired a second bolt into the creature.  The Harkin retched.  It tried to reach out and tear into its attacker but the poison infected it’s blood.  It’s energy level dropped every second as it was starting to die.

Tracy suddenly heard the door open and close and knew the children had left the house to check out the creature.  She took a final look at the creature.  It sat upon the green grass beside the house.  Darrin, motioned to the children to stay away.  She then stepped from the shower, grabbed a towel and got dressed.

Yanfis – Darkness series

The small brick and mortar building in Yanfis withstood a downpour as the rain fell hard.  Dontarious covered his face as Angel disappeared into a small building.  He followed.

The rain was a dim fraction of the noise within this room.  It was full of creatures Dontarious could name from fantasy and mythology.  He saw a couple elves.  The ears extending over their bald, round heads, as they stood at a counter.  A long counter sat on the end of a spacious room.  On top of the counter were stacked glasses.  Behind the counter were several shelves containing glass bottles.  Behind the bar was a strange, snake-like creature that hissed when it spoke.  This creature, green and full of scales, had a pair of human arms and hands and a human-isk face.

“Are you going to move,” someone shouted.  Dontarious turned to see the pale face and extended canines of a vampire.  The quintessential bad guy in any action fantasy he had seen once when he was still on Earth proper.

“You can’t stand in front of the door.  Human, you’re lucky I like this place and have to be invited or you would be a crumpled mass of skin and bone by now.

Dontarious stepped back and looked for Angel.  He found him, with his wings behind his back and pushing through the crowd of noise.  Near the left side of the room several other harpies stood talking.

“He is the only guide I have to this world,” Dontarious told himself and pushed through the crowd of colorful creatures.

“Ah, here he is!”  Angel shouted as Dontarious approached.

“You are hanging with a human, Angel… disgusting,” this harpy wore a Cincinnati Reds baseball can over platinum blond hair.  He looked to be nineteen years old or younger.  His wings were smaller than the rest.

“Angel, we don’t want him around here.”

“Wait,” Angel said addressing the largest of the harpies.  An older looking birdman with greying hair and skin folded under his eyes.  “Christoff, the human can help us with the operation.  If you hear what I’m saying.”

The older harpie stood.  He flexed his wings and shook his head violently.  “How can this small human help us?”

Angel had an answer prepared, “he hopped the Spirit of the Dead from the world above.”

The harpies all gasp at the same time.