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.

The Harkin

IMG_0067The 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.

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.

A to Z Chupacabra- Part 3

“What are we going to do?  This creature will not let me move,” Gabriel shouted.

“His name is Diablo,” Oscar inserted.  “He a chupacabra.  Not sure how it appeared here. I dream’t about it.”

The backdoors opened.  The driver of the ambulance disappeared from the front seat and shouted at the others to close the door.

Gabriel watched the dark leather folds around Diablo’s dog-like shoulders twitch as it shifted its weight to it’s thin front legs.  Diablo bared its long front canines and walked slowly toward the hospital receiving crew.

“A chupa… what.  Isn’t that a… All I know,” Gabriel began.  He recalled faint memories of a dog-like tale but the creature leap forward.  He shouted at the chupacabra.  He tried to distract the monster.  It was all he could do.  Outside the ambulance several nurses stood staring at the starved, leather creature.  A large, male nurse approached.

“Dude, that is not a good idea,” Gabriel warned then began to swing his arms and taunt the creature.  Anything to distract him.  “Hey!  You! Leatherface!  Oscar, do something.  It listens to you.”

Oscar yelled at the chupacabra and it paused.  It looked back at the officer lying in the gurney then at Gabriel. It’s lip curled up revealing a long, curved, sharp tooth followed by dozens of smaller pointed teeth.  Diablo crept toward Gabriel.  The male nurse stepped forward and Diablo leapt from the back of the ambulance.  Diablo fell into the male nurse, knocking him to the ground.  The animal cleared it’s head and approached the nurse.  The others in the hospital receiving crew left and hide within the doors of the hospital.  They were joined by an audience of patience and panic.

The chupacabra walked slowly, measuring his victim, accessing the soft tissues and then clamped down on his neck.  The nurse let out a garbled scream as the audience behind the hospital doors gasp.  Diablo held the man’s neck in a vise grip till the man stopped moving then released.  The chupacabra sniffed at the blood falling from the nurse’s neck then began to lick up the crimson mess.  Gabriel watched from the ambulance.  He then noticed the black onyx sitting in a small recess next to the door.  Light from the floods above the hospital awning reflected of the stone and Gabriel could see movement within the stone.  He approached the stone carefully, watching and trying to interrupt the opera playing out within it.

It was difficult to make out but as Gabriel got closer he could see a couple dancing then the light washed away the scene.  The next scene displayed an animal but it was too difficult to make out the shapes.  Gabriel stood above the stone, the world outside of the scenes were washing away when he was snapped back to reality.

Diablo stood a foot from him.  His teeth exposed and growl angry.  The chupacabra barked.  The percussion filled Gabriel’s ears with pain.  Gabriel looked at the stone.  It’s mystery overwhelming then the beast protecting it.  The last thing he remembered was reaching and then the world went black.