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asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


In :toxx:

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asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


Hellrule: Your story is set entirely in a burning house; noone may die.

How Are We Leaving?
Word Count: 1043

One day, when Jerimiah Aboudin woke up from terrifying nightmares, he discovered his wife screeching next to him in bed about a fire. He raised his heavy head and it took him a few seconds to realize that she wasn't joking. The fire's glimmering light lit up their completely dark bedroom and a crackling sound could be heard from downstairs. Jerimiah's stomach twisted as he thought of his daughter in the next room and a feeling of dread now spread from his head, through his lanky body, all the way down to his toes.

His wife had stopped screaming. She was now standing in her underwear and despite the heat from the fire, she was shivering.

"Jo, what on heavens earth is going on?" He asked her nervously. He had always been a worried man; he scared easy and this was not a situation in which he expected himself to prosper.

Jo ignored him and marched through the open door into the bright hallway. Jeremiah quickly took note of the strange soothing silence of the crackling fire before he followed her outside onto the landing. The small house was now held hostage to a menacing blaze - their family portraits, which hung on the staircase walls - and included two portraits of Jo and their daughter Clarice - were melting before his eyes. The house's front door was blocked by the fire which seemed to have spread evenly on the downstairs wooden floor.

Oh Lord, why did I never believe in you? Jeremiah asked himself. This could all have been avoided if I had just believed in you and prayed to you from a young age instead of committing evils and sinning like a commoner.

Jeremiah stifled his religious thoughts and turned to face Clairce's room. No screams could be heard from inside which made him feel strangely relieved despite the near impending painful death they would all soon suffer. "I'll get Clarice, Jo. Could you grab some of our things?" he spoke more confidently now. Jo acknowledged him this time with a slight nod, her eyes seemed to be filled with terror but she hurried back into their bedroom.

Poor girl, Jeremiah thought to himself. She's probably more scared than I am. Time for me to man up and take care of this situation. He would take his daughter and his wife and they would escape. He hadn't worked out exactly how yet, but there had to be a way. gently caress you, Lord. I don't need to pray to you. Jerimiah often went through these hate-love relationship style talks with his conscience, it had become a normal part of life. One thing he knew for sure was that he was simply talking to himself and NOT an imperial being which created everything and controls everything. The reason I've never liked the church, Jeremiah thought to himself, is because it's not real.

Inside his daughter's room, Clarice was awake. She was staring out the window and her long blonde hair draped down her back, within an arms reach of the floor. She turned around as her father entered the room. "Oh God, there's so many of them!" She exclaimed. "What do they want and why are they all standing there so silently staring at the house? They must be here on some sort of official business because the village's mayor is here and he is riding his horse. Do they have some business with you, father...but why would they come at such a late hour? Father? Father?"

Jeremiah was speechless, he slowly walked towards and her and took a look out the window. She was right. About 50 people were standing outside his house and one of them was the mayor. They all had sullen looks on their faces and quite a few of them were holding torches. This was not a rescue party, these were the culprits. Jeremiah could not believe it. What could he possibly have done to deserve this? And why would the Mayor take part in killing innocent children?

As if he could hear Jeremiah's thoughts and wanted to answer, the Mayor shouted out "Jeremiah Aboudin. You are sentenced to the crime of harboring evil enemies of the church. There is no trial here, you shall burn with the witch you live with. Even now as that blonde feminine-looking creature stares at us from the window, we innocent people of the world tremble. May the Lord save you if you are innocent Jeremiah! May the Lord torture you in hell if you are not!" With that, the Mayor turned his horse away from the house and the crowd dispersed to let him through before they followed him; they were leaving his family to die. Jeremiah could not believe it.

In his life, Jeremiah had only had a few brushes with the church and the "Lord". In his eyes, these religious nuts always caused havoc for no reason and prohibited things that every man should have the freedom to enjoy. Jeremiah fundamentally disagreed with a lot of their ideas but he often had to wrestle with himself to ignore their stories of angels. demons and a divine being. The fact that he was now going to die at the hands of these madmen because his daughter had been accused of being a "Witch" was the most torturous part.

Jeremiah reached down and grabbed his daughter's hand, he then turned around and headed back into his bedroom, the fire had now traveled up the stairs and was nearly on the landing. It was a lot hotter up close and personal like this. Clarice screamed as she saw the flames which were within arms reach. They rushed into Jeremiah's old bedroom where Jo was staring out the window. She had only grabbed one thing to take with her.

"Dearest, we need to leave. Now. The fire is upstairs. We have to jump or...dearest?" Jeremiah spoke in a pressured manner to his wife. Clarice was crying now, Jeremiah picked her up and held her in his arms before turning back to his wife who had not moved from her position at the window, it was as if she had not heard.

"JO!"

"Yes?" She finally responded.

"We're leaving"

"I'm aware"

"We have lots of more important things to take. Could you put down the broomstick?"

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


In

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


Zeppelin Pirates
When The Levee Doesn't Break
1195 words

Captain Stormbrook of the Army Airbus 6590 covered his entire body in standard army issue body armour. He marched out of the control room like an angry mother wildebeest determined to defend her young, taking huge paces. His left hand gripped a longsword.
The surviving non-combatant members of the 6590 crew watched on hopefully from the safety of the control room. They worried whether their captain would be able to win the challenge against Jelim Juhung and whether Jelim's bloodthirsty pirate crew would let them live if he did.
Jelim's heart rate increased as the furious Captain Stormbrook entered the large cockpit. However, there was no way for Jelim to retreat and hide behind the rest of his pirate crew because he had already accepted the challenge.
Stormbrook stood face to face with the pirate leader and he spoke with confidence. "Jelim, now you are going to discover the types of leaders that exist in the army. We surrendered this airship to your men in an act of patient valour - but you decided to slaughter my soldiers because they initially had the cheek to stand up to you. So now, I will demonstrate to your crew how you are nothing more than a weak coward.”
Jelim, who was at least half a foot taller and a lot older than his opponent, snorted. "Captain, young brave captain, please refrain from your feeble attempt to scare me as if I am some frail soul with no combat experience. I have been flying around in my zeppelin, stealing cargos and killing people since before you were born. I know how to wave this cutlass and I know how to punch a man in the face. I understand the physics behind my muscular body and the damage I can do without a gun. Do not be fooled, I do not need to hide behind my men or shoot you in cold blood. I would much rather fight you like this so that I can strangle you to death. Then I will let my men rape and torture your crew before we disappear into the night sky. If you win, I will let you and your crew leave unharmed.”
Without hesitation, raising his cutlass in the air behind him like a baseball bat, Jelim ran forward and struck the top edge of Stormbrook’s longsword. Any further up and he would have dug into the Captain's face. The brave Stormbrook retreated a step back and then swung his longsword but Jelim swerved away and sidestepped his attack. Then both men jumped at each other, like men possessed by some supernatural strength, slashing and swinging their swords, metal on metal. Stormbrook sliced Jelim's right cheek.
It was a mere scratch but Jelim immediately retreated towards the wall. His pirate crew started advancing menacingly towards Captain Stormbrook, upset that their leader had been hurt, but Jelim held up his hand, prompting them to halt. Stormbrook noticed a look of concern on the pirate leader's face, although it may have just been sheer determination. Nevertheless, he didn't have too long to observe, Jelim was again slashing at him wildly and despite Stormbrook's best efforts and his military training background, he was unable to evade all of the attacks.
Now it was Captain Stormbrook’s turn to stand back. Blood dripped from his face where the cutlass had cut him. He did not speak, instead opting to nod his acknowledgement at his opponent’s skills. Then he threw his longsword to the floor. Jelim grinned and did the same
Then the pirate advanced towards the Captain with his fists up, his baggy green pants swayed with every movement in a hypnotic parachute-like fashion and he threw a punch with his left hand at Stormbrooks head. Stormbrook ducked and landed an uppercut into tall Jelim's jaw, knocking him to the floor. This gave the Captain enough time to pull a small switch knife from his back trouser pocket. However, Jelim rolled out of the way and grabbed the cutlass he had left on the floor.
Jelim jumped back up and swung his cutlass at Stormbrook's head a few times. The Captain was too quick and dodged the attacks, he lunged forward and took a stab at Jelim's sword-wielding arm. The knife settled into the green tunic the pirate was wearing and Jelim cried out in pain as dark blood poured out of his arm. He dropped his weapon and fell to one knee.
Then the fallen pirate spoke to his conquerer. “Stormbrook, there is no doubt that you are blessed with natural speed, strength and wit. I admit defeat and recognise your superiority. I respect you, Captain, let us stop fighting. My men will provide you and your surviving colleagues with parachutes and you can leave unscathed."
Captain Stormbrook smiled knowingly and blood trickled down his own cheek. “Thank you for keeping your word. I respect that Jihin.”
“I am sure the army will give you a medal or two. No more than you deserve.” Jihin returned the smile, despite the pain he felt from the blade buried deep in his arm. Then he looked around at his men and shouted, “There will be no raping or torturing today!"

---------------

The crew of the Airbus 6590 jumped out one by one. Stormbrook was the last to leave and Jihin came to see the Captain off. The two smiled that same knowing smile at each other and then shook hands, Jihin winced as he did so because of the stab wound pain.
“You are a worthy man,” Stormbrook said as he put on his parachute.
“As are you, Captain.” Jihin laughed a little. “But now I must ask you to...walk the plank!”
Stormbrook joined him in his laughter at the joke and they shook hands again.
Before he jumped into the sky, Captain Stormbrook glared at the enemy zeppelin looming over his airbus. 30 pirates had jumped from that zeppelin and hooked onto the Airbus 6590 before storming in and beating most of his crew to a pulp, despite their near-immediate surrender. Stormbrook breathed in and reminded himself that he had still managed to save a small number of people today.
Then he jumped. The air quickly rushed past his face and he could see the rest of his crew below him. Together they fell, towards the vast desert below them. Stormbrook spread his arms and legs so that his body formed a star shape.
It took him a few seconds to realise that something was wrong. Screaming, they were screaming. As he got closer, he noticed that none of his crew's parachutes had been opened. Surely it had been long enough for some of them to have opened them. He reached back and clumsily tugged at his own parachute. It wouldn’t open. He tried to look back to see what was wrong but realised it was no use, there wasn’t enough time to figure it out. Then he saw his crew, they were smashing into the sand below him. He was close enough to see their bodies disappear into the dusty earth. The same place he was heading towards.
Stormbrook closed his eyes and breathed in again.

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


In :toxx:

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012




Two Winners
1545 words

It was 4:15 pm on a Friday. He typed a few more words into the document on his computer and then turned it off. His phone buzzed, it was Davis.

“Hi, Matt.
Hurry up.
I need someone to talk to this queer creep Charles while I flirt with Marissa.”

The office was quiet. Matt grabbed a beer from his mini-fridge and gulped it down. Then he made his way down to the pub. Davis was sitting at a table in the corner talking very loudly. He spoke with his eyes solely focused on Marissa. Charles was also sat at the same table looking annoyingly bored and ready to go home.

“loving hell Davis, you’re all over her,” Matt told him as they walked away from the group towards the bar.

“Nah mate, I ain’t on that tonight. She’s a bit frigid. I think I might go see this Italian chick I know or that Anna girl from last week” Davis replied. They sat down on the bar stools at the busy bar. “But I might not now.”

“Why’s that? ” Matt asked. Davis' extensive love life excited Matt. Both men were married but Davis still acted like he was single.

“Because you’re out mate! Let’s get some shots and have a great time tonight! I want to go out on the pull!” Davis slurred his words as he ordered. “8 sambucas please!"

8 sambucas? Matt wanted to keep his head clear. He had never enjoyed drinking, dancing or socializing. In Matt's mind, there was nothing more satisfying than walking out of a casino with thousands of pounds in winnings. His gambling addiction did not mix well with alcohol and he had been keeping away from it for a while. However, his idea was that he could drag Davis to the casino with him after a few drinks. He would have someone to sit with him while he played blackjack, as well as someone to help him enjoy the money. Work is tough. Married life is tough. Kids are tough. Gambling was the only thing that helped.

--------------

A few hours later, they were drunk. It was just the two of them left, the rest of the party had gone home early. They stumbled down the streets, smoking Malboro Lights and acting like university students on a night out. Davis spoke to every woman that walked past and Matt continuously droned on about how much money he was going to make from Blackjack tonight. They went to the largest casino in town. As they walked in, Davis said something incredibly inappropriate to the beautiful hostess. She smiled politely at him.

They sat down at a busy table with high stakes. After an hour, it was evident that today wasn’t going to be as easy as Matt thought it would. It wasn’t that he had lost any money (he was currently breaking even). However, he wasn’t winning either.

Matt growled as he went bust again. He put more chips down for the next round. The sound of coins jangling distracted him for a second. He looked over at Davis who was coming back from the slot machines. In his hands were two plastic containers full of coins.

“Ah mate, I’m getting bored,” Davis told him. “Also, I need to get laid. There are too many beautiful women here. That waitress, in particular, looks delicious.” He called her over for the fifth time.

This constant flirtation secretly annoyed Matt and made him feel a bit embarrassed. Women didn’t seem interested in Davis. However, he refrained from commenting, he needed to keep his mind in the game.

“So how long have you been working here?” Davis asked the waitress.

“2…no 3 months. Did you want Diet or normal this time?

“And how long have you lived in this part of the world?”

“I’ve been here since I was born. Shall I just write down full fat?”

“Look, let’s be honest with each other here. I know you like me because you keep coming back to this table.”

The waitress laughed at this. “You’re spending so much money on drinks and you tip me every time I come over. Why would I not come?’

“Ooh, there is something you like. Money, right?”

She nodded. “But everyone likes money.”

“Well, here you go, buy yourself something nice.” Davis stuffed a handful of crumpled notes into her little hands.

“Uh, that’s way too much.”

“No it’s fine, you can have it. Just…give me your phone number.”

“You want me to give you my phone number because you gave me a massive tip?”

“Yes. And I will give you a bigger one if you give me your phone number” Davis nudged Matt to laugh at his witty remark. Matt gave him a polite smile.

“Fine.” The waitress took the bill for the drinks and scribbled down a number on it. “Happy now?”

“Very.” Davis' excitement was written all over his face after she walked away.

It took a while but Matt finally started winning. He felt his heart jump as the Jack he needed hit the table and suddenly things started looking up. Then he won another hand and this time he was the one telling Davis to call the waitress over again. He was feeling good. For a very short amount of time, they were winning and both of them felt like Hollywood stars. People came over to watch Matt play and Davis entertained them with his eccentric (drunk) conversation.

“Then I said to her…how would you like both of us inside you tonight?!” The crowd erupted in laughter.

It only took a few more hands and a few more drinks before Matt was back to his losing ways. He was nearly out of chips now. Matt blamed it all on how loosely he was playing. It was because he was excited, all that attention had distracted him. Now that he was losing, the crowd was dispersing. He decided to concentrate again. Now he was going to win.

Davis had excused himself a while ago and lumbered over to the toilets. The casino was full of different sorts of people. A lot of women were walking about in beautiful evening gowns and despite it being nearly 4 am, they looked fairly fresh and awake. “I. Will. Be. Seeing. You. Later!” He exclaimed as he walked past a particularly beautiful woman.

By the time Davis returned to the table from his long walk, Matt had lost a lot of money. He gloomily turned to Davis. His heartbroken facial expression told the entire story.

“What’s up, man? How much have you lost?” Davis asked his friend.

“Only a few hundred. I’ll make it back. Don’t worry.” He was lying, of course, Matt had lost nearly Ł13,000 at this point.

“Just count your losses at this point. Let’s hit up another bar and have a few more shots.”

Matt snapped. “No! I don’t want to drink. I want to loving gamble, you idiot.”

Davis rolled his eyes, completely unphased by his friend’s unhappiness. He hadn’t expected to be scolded tonight and it wasn’t his fault that Matt was poo poo at Blackjack. He didn’t enjoy confrontation and after watching a few more hands, he left quietly. Matt didn’t even notice.

Matt continued playing and started betting larger amounts of money. Within the next 20 minutes, Matt slowly emptied his personal savings account. He was down to his last Ł100 worth of chips. It had been the worst night of his life and he wanted to go out with a fight. He placed the remaining chips into place and the dealer took them away before dealing two 7’s. Sweat dribbled down the back of his neck as he waited for the next card to be dealt. The dealer dealt the cards and just like that, he was completely broke.

Afterward, he sat at the bar for what felt like eternity. Eventually, the same waitress who had given her number to Davis came over. He smiled at her. She asked if he wanted any more drinks. He declined.

Davis wandered the streets aimlessly for a little while. He swayed from side to side, stopping to ask every single person he met for a cigarette. If they were female, he would attempt to flirt a bit too. “Where have you been tonight?" Eventually, he bumped into a strange-looking larger woman who had big breasts. She had a deep voice, claimed her name was Jackie and offered her services to Davis. The money came out of his pocket instantly. They went behind a dumpster.

--------------

It was 9:15 am on a Monday. Matt poured his coffee.

“He-hey Matt! How’s it going?” It was Davis.

“Yeah not bad, how was Friday?”

“I managed to make my money back!” A lie. Matt’s wife had walked out of the house with the kids and he hadn’t seen her since. “What about you?”

“Ahh man, I rang that waitress up later that night and we had sex in a hotel.” In reality, Davis had gotten home to discover the door was locked and he had screamed at the top of his lungs, calling his wife a bitch and screaming that this was his house. Eventually, somebody called the police.

“Nice!”

“Yeah.”

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


Black Griffon posted:

Interprompt: my cat ate a spider today. Write a story about someone being eaten, 250 words.
Universal Hellrule: NO VORE

Eat Boy, Eat
247 words

An animal had not wandered in these parts since Jilani was a toddler. He thought back to a few years ago. Paddling around with his dog in the woods. It felt like such a long time ago.

As he tucked into his food, Massi watched him. “You will not eat?” Jilani asked his old friend.

Massi had also played with the dog when they were children. Massi did not speak. He stared and watched. He had always been quiet. He was extra quiet today.

“Massi? Are you hungry?”

Massi opened his mouth and screamed at Jilani. Jilani screamed too. The next thing Jilani knew, his father and uncle were shaking him awake. His father poured the red liquid into his mouth.

“Eat. Eat boy.” His uncle said, wide-eyed, his face covered in the traditional village warpaint they all wore.

Jilani felt sick from the red liquid but he knew that if he threw up, nothing would be left in his stomach. He had to eat. He looked at his father. “I will eat.” He stated.

And he did. Jilani ate. He ate the entire bowl of meat. Then he looked over at where Massi had been sitting. He was no longer sitting there. Jilani looked at his father and uncle again, they were watching him intently. “Where did Massi go? He was right there.” He pointed at the empty wooden log where Massi had been seated a minute ago.

Jilani’s father and uncle looked at each other.

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


In

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


I have nothing. Sorry, I'll toxx next time I enter.

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


In with a :toxx:

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


89, everyone is happy with the apocalypse

The Three Rituals
1192 words

The Sacrifice takes place on what was once known as New Year’s Eve, The Feast; on Christmas Day and The Plunder; on Valentine’s Day. Nobody suffers and in each region, the Klevite reap the rewards on behalf of the Medicine God. Why does nobody suffer? Well, that’s where the medicine comes in. This warm liquid completely anesthetizes those selected for each ritual.

On the last night of 2107, Fallon stood in a grimy encampment situated at the top of a vast denuded desert peninsula as a group of shirtless soldiers put down a sheet-wrapped cage. He clasped a jug to his chest and once the men had discarded the cage, he picked up the accompanying dusty metal cradle and approached the cage. His thin figure cast an imposing shadow behind him as he walked past the burning fire, the moonlight glistened on his green teeth as he smirked at the soldiers. Fallon was a stick figured man with scabs on his feet and boils on his cheeks. He had often wondered about these imperfections in his appearance but the Klevite had commanded him not to think about such things. They advised him to stick to his job and serve medicine. Oftentimes, Fallon felt contempt towards his ongoing living situation. He lived in this camp alone with no food and it was starting to become infested with cockroaches. His awful appearance and daunting demeanor were personified by his messy grey flea-infested hair and ripped clothing.

One of the soldiers abruptly stepped forward. He was a Klevite, a man in direct communication with the Medicine God, as elucidated by the black mask covering his face and the black markings on his chest. He placed a scraggly piece of paper into Fallon’s boney hands. “Here he is. You know the drill, Medicine Provider. The sacrifice for this year's celebrations is inside. We will return in 15 minutes.” And with that, the Klevite soldiers left.

Fallon pulled back the blue tarpaulin which covered the unattended cage. Behind the wooden bars sat a youthful stick-thin figure wearing rags.

The man in the cage arose from his cross-legged position on the ground. His face was also covered, but unlike the Klevite soldiers, his mask was a red color and it did not shroud his hairless head. He beamed at Fallon and raised his hand to gesture hello before he spoke. “Are you the medicine provider?” He lumbered to the edge of the cage as he spoke so that he was face to face with Fallon. “You smell bad.” He said naively. His high pitched voice made the sentence sound innocent but he giggled as he spoke.

Is he trying to make a mockery of me? Fallon asked himself. It was unclear whether the man was merely excited or trying to be funny. Fallon noted that the cage was unlocked. Not that it mattered, these hicks were under the impression that it was a privilege to be selected for a ritual. He would never try to escape.

Fallon sneered at the man in the cage; a failed attempt at a smile. “I have never come across a sacrifice with such little regard for his medicine provider. What is your name boy?” He asked.

“Jack.” The man told him confidently “I’m sorry, you just smell bad.” Again he laughed at the end of his sentence.

Fallon raised his eyebrow and hissed, he had been doing this thankless job for too long. It was decided now, he would make this man suffer. It had been a few years since he had enjoyed himself. “Jack. Would you like to hear a story before I give you your medicine?”

The caged man nodded excitedly. He hadn’t stopped smiling since Fallon had pulled back the sheet and it looked like his head was going to implode.

“We have some time before you go in for your sacrifice. Do you know of The Plunder? Of course, you do. The beautiful young women and men who are sent to the Klevite to be mounted. Of course, they never feel what is happening. They all smile and enjoy themselves as the Klevite lay their seed inside them, many often boast of their encounter afterward. Being mounted by the Klevite is a great honor after all.” Fallon stopped to swallow the saliva that was gathering in his mouth, he was enjoying this. "There was one young girl who did not boast of her experience. A vindictive young woman, she went into The Plunder with a big smile on her face, not dissimilar to your own smile. When she got in…” Fallon paused for the climax. "I heard her scream. She screamed “It hurts!! It hurts! Stop! Please stop!” What do you think of that, young Jack?”

“Why would she ask the Medicine God to stop? Being chosen for The Plunder is almost a big a privilege as being chosen for The Feed.” Jack chuckled as he spoke. He was still grinning.

“Ah, The Feed. Let me tell you, Jack, there was a fat man who came here for The Feed. His disgusting flab jiggled when he walked around his cage - similar to the one you are in now. He was rude to me like you were just now; if I remember correctly...he told me I looked like I could use a meal. A few minutes later, as the Klevite ripped apart his body and fed from his flesh, he screamed the same thing as the woman. I heard him, from this very spot. He screamed “It hurts! It hurts! Please stop!” What do you think of that young Jack?" Now Fallon was the one laughing after he finished speaking.

Jack's eyes had expanded. His lips had spread thin.

Fallon looked down at the jug he had initially intended to use, it was full. “Oh...I think this is empty. Let me get the other jug for you.” He lied.

He turned around and went back to his tent. He rummaged around for another jug and filled it with bottled water. When he returned to the cage, Jack was still standing at the cage door. His hands were grasping onto the cage’s door and he had pissed himself. Despite this, his mouth formed a gigantic forced grin.

Fallon dipped the cradle into the newly filled jug before pouring it into the boy’s agape mouth. The moonlight twinkled in his eye and an evil looking glint reflected from it as he glared down at Jack. What a fool, he has the chance to escape, does he not understand what I am doing? The boy drank desperately, liquid poured over his mouth and dripped onto his clothes. Then, Fallon gave him another cradle and Jack lapped it up.

After he was done, the Klevite returned. Jack looked at Fallon desperately as the soldiers carried the cage away. Fallon wondered if the young man knew.

A few minutes passed. At first, Fallon could only hear the familiar mosquitos and crickets in the air. After a while, the sound of drums. And slowly it came. “It hurts!” It was indistinct at first but the howls became louder. And then:

“PLEASE STOP!”

Fallon laughed.

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


In

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


No Need For Heroes
1025 words

Captain Spectacular had waited a long time for tonight. Ever since he saved Emily from muggers, a little over two months ago, he had not stopped thinking about her. The superhero was in love with her and resolute in his conviction that she loved him too. Emily was a naive girl, and peering into her wide-open eyes reminded him of simpler times. Life had been good before the D’jaal had come.

His thoughts temporarily shifted away from the beautiful young woman sitting next to him as he recalled the end of the war. Captain Spectacular felt goosebumps on his arms as he reminded himself of how the world’s superheroes had come together. They had united as the “Watchdog" in their fight against the D’jaal's Underworld forces. Today, each member of the Watchdog team held a revered position in society, a status no President or King would ever reach. Sculptors erected giant statues of them, and governments printed their faces on money.

Five years ago, the one-eyed D’jaal emerged from beneath the earth on a mission to inflict as much pain on humanity as physically possible. As he held Emily tightly in his arms, Spectacular thought back to that time and the despicable scenes he had seen down in the Underworld, where the final battle had taken place. He reminded himself that the Watchdog had won. They had done their job. Everything down in that dark demonic hole was now dead.

However, the members of the Watchdog team had not made it out unscathed. Unlike the innocence in Emily’s youthful face, each member had suffered after the D’jaal’s death. Like the soldiers in Iraq and Vietnam, they entered a world of mental destruction, full of PTSD and nightmares. It was common knowledge that The Miracle - the team’s leader - hadn’t slept since their final battle against The D’jaal. Others lost their superpowers; for example, Lightfiller was no longer able to teleport. There wasn’t a single superhero who lived unaffected by the traumatic events that had unfolded all those years ago.

Kissing Emily made Captain Spectacular feel things that he had not felt in a very long time, and his egregious memories disappeared. She kissed him back and then got on top. After they finished, she tussled his hair, and they both laughed and joked as if everything was okay. He touched her face, specifically her small freckles, which seemed to become more prominent after they made love. He knew he had no business laying with a beautiful young girl like this, but reminded himself that it was okay because he loved her and she loved him too.

“Tell me about The Battle of London again,” Emily said. She settled herself on Spectacular's muscular chest so that her head went up and down as he inhaled and exhaled.

Captain Spectacular proceeded to tell her about the Battle of London, where the Watchdog had fought the Alien forces of Nazkar, allies of The D’jaal. He explained in great detail how the House of Lords became a safe house for the Prime Minister and how he had personally escorted the Queen overseas to an American Naval Base.

Emily laughed with delight, and then she gave herself to him again.

After they finished, once Emily had fallen asleep, Captain Spectacular got up to leave her small apartment. He decided that he would not fly home today and instead changed into civilian clothing. It rained as he walked back to his house, but he didn’t speed up, instead opting to slow down to enjoy the feeling of raindrops hitting his face.

By the time Captain Spectacular entered his home, he was ready for a cup of tea, maybe a hot bath, or a hearty meal.

However, his wife stood at the bottom of the stairs. She was dripping wet from rainwater while shakily gripping a kitchen knife. Spectacular’s mouth hit the floor; this was the last thing he had expected to see.

“Sophia?"

The crazed expression on his wife’s face was more intimidating than any adversary Spectacular had ever faced. His heart started beating at a faster rate than it had during the Battle of London, and a sudden rush of disappointment jolted through his body.

He was a disgrace. He had made a promise, and he had gone against it. He had ruined their home, and he had destroyed a good woman. He had given her hope, assurance that he was a decent man. However, he was nothing of the sort. It was all a lie. That superhero bravado that he held onto, the same thing that had made Emily want him, it was all lies. He was nothing more than a broken man trying to make himself feel better by reliving his youth.

Sophia rushed forward towards him with the knife held above her head. “YOU loving BASTARD!”

Spectacular didn’t resist. For some reason, not only had his powers instantly disappeared, but his entire body was immobilized. Throughout his life, Captain Spectacular had protected himself from numerous assaults, but there was no point in stopping this one. Sophia thrust the knife into his chest. He deserved this. Maybe it was his ego that deserved it, or maybe Sophia did. He wasn't sure.

As the knife dug into his flesh, the dying superhero looked deep into his killer's manic eyes. Spectacular could see a different person in those eyes to the one he had married 25 years ago; his own personalized Frankenstein monster.

Sophia's hair was rumpled up, and tears fell from her bloodshot eyes. She pulled the knife out from his chest and stabbed him again. “YOU BASTARD!” She screamed with more conviction than before.

Captain Spectacular realized this his death was not going to make her feel better. Not that it mattered, he was merely doing his job. He was giving Sophia something he promised at every press conference — something he had fought for his entire life.

"I gave you justice, Sophia.” The words sputtered out of his mouth as he coughed up blood, he believed them. He would die happy, safe in the knowledge that nothing had been left unresolved. He was a hero.

"Justice."

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


In

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


Screens
1027 words

MORNING

Rain splattered on the ground, and grey clouds loomed overhead.

"I hope that he's in a good mood today." Salim thought as he watched his boss' pimped out Vauxhall Astra roar into the store's car park. Salim dreaded his workday when Kieran was in charge. "Should I stand or sit when he walks through the door? Does it matter?” Kieran trudged across the car park wearing his tight security uniform, a disgruntled look on his face.

A few seconds later, the Voidmart's Head Prevention Loss Officer burst through the door, breathing heavily from the long walk up the staircase leading to the security room. He aggressively threw his bag into a locker before slamming it shut. A second passed, and Salim breathed in, bracing himself.

"I hate you, foreigners. Don't you know how to loving drive? You want to see what some rear end in a top hat did to my car last night? Check out my bumper. I swear to loving God. If I see a single one of your lot today, they're getting it."

AFTERNOON

Kieran stood very upright in front of the Golden Bean cafe; his fat stomach made him look pregnant. He was staring into space, and it was difficult to tell whether he was deep in thought or using his peripherals to scout out thieves. Salim had been watching him for the past 2 hours from the security room, and the man had hardly moved.

Their job was usually quite uneventful, and other security staff often slept through half of their shifts. Salim wanted to sleep; it had been days since he had managed to get a wink. His step-father worked nights and usually woke up Salim's mother when he got home. Neither of them cared that they had a 19-year-old man living with them, and his mother often woke him up by moaning bizarre things. Sometimes it sounded like they were fighting.

"Oh gently caress," Salim whispered. A man wearing Muslim garb had just walked into the store. Salim moved his chair closer to the screen overlooking the automated entrance doors. The man looked young, maybe even younger than Salim himself. "It's a kid," Salim realized.

In front of the cafe, Kieran was no longer staring into mid-space. His stumpy little legs scurried across the shop floor as he proceeded to follow the customer around. Today wasn't the first time Salim's boss had done this, Salim had seen him throw people out for looking at him the wrong way. One time, Kieran beat someone up and then lied to the police, saying that the man had hit him first. The entire beatdown occurred through the back doors of the store, conveniently out of sight of the security cameras.

The customer suddenly stopped in the jewelry section to look at his phone.

"Oh, gently caress."

Salim's walkie talkie was on the dresser next to the cold cup of tea Kieran had requested earlier and not drank. Kieran's flustered voice followed the static noise, "Get down here."

By the time Salim got downstairs onto the shop floor, Kieran had the kid on the floor, his hands in handcuffs and face pushed into the shop's marble floor. Kieran held out a necklace to Salim. "Here, he was trying to steal this. Put it upstairs in the drawer, will you? Lizzie already called the police."

EVENING

Salim was tired of being ordered about by a bigoted bully. He wanted to leave it all behind, but he needed the money. Moving out of his mother's house wasn't going to be easy, and working overtime was the only way for him to get a place. What was he going to do except work anyways? He had no friends, no girlfriend, no chance of hanging out with anyone, or doing anything remotely interesting. This job was all he had, and if it wasn't for Kieran, he might've enjoyed coming in.

They had closed up a few hours ago, Kieran was working the double shift with him too. Salim suspected Kieran didn't have much outside of work either. He drove a nice car, but he never seemed happy.

Salim was staring at the screens again. He wasn't sure why he liked watching Kieran, probably in the hope that something terrible would happen to the bastard. The fat man was smoking at the back of the store. Salim could only see his foot on the cameras; the rest of his body was out of view. Kieran had left the backdoor unlocked, something which Lizzie had warned them about numerous times.

"I could snitch? Perhaps that's the way to get rid of this fat oaf".

Something (a fox, maybe?) flashed past the screen. There was something outside, and Kieran had noticed it too, the fat man's feet were facing the store.

Salim looked over at the table where he usually left his walkie talkie. There were two devices, Kieran had forgotten to take his with him.

A blood-curling scream brought Salim's attention back to the screens. Kieran's feet were no longer visible. He urgently examined each screen for signs of his boss. There was nothing. His eyes moved over to the bottom two screens, which they hardly ever checked, and that's when he saw it.

Standing at the bottom of the security room stairs was a gigantic snarling dog-faced beast baring its sharp teeth. In its oversized paw was Kieran's head, and it was smiling directly into the camera.

Salim couldn't move; it was difficult to comprehend what was on the screen; he closed his eyes and tried not to scream. He didn't open them, not even when the door burst open, and the awful smell of the dog's warm bloody breath drifted over his face. Salim could no longer feel anything. His whole body had become numb.

A lifetime passed, and when Salim decided it was okay to open his eyes, the security guard looked down at his own body, expecting the werewolf to have ripped it to shreds. It hadn't.

Salim looked up. In front of him stood the same boy from earlier, holding the same necklace he had been wearing when he had walked into the Voidmart that afternoon.

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


In

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


Dangerous Streets
829 words

Misty sat on the sofa, purring loudly. The black cat watched her owner walk through the doors holding a cat carrier and purred even louder as the old woman placed it on the floor.

"Jackson's in there! Are you excited Misty? Are you excited, booboo?"

Misty narrowed her eyes. She was excited.

The old woman opened the carrier, and a beautiful cat strutted out; its luscious white fur complemented by its big blue eyes. When her owner picked Jackson up and cuddled him, Misty realized that she was unable to recall ever being held like that.

Misty also noted Jackson's pained expression. He was trying to escape the old woman's warm, comfortable hands, slowly wrangling his way out of her long skinny fingers. When he got free, Jackson jumped down onto the sofa and very nearly bumped into Misty, who stood up and hissed at him. Jackson hissed back; both of their tails completely erect.

"Now, now! That's no way to behave! You two are supposed to be friends!" The old woman stepped between them, and Jackson ran off.

Misty resumed her position on the sofa. She continued purring, comfortable in the level of authority she possessed over the house.

Later, when Misty heard the sound of the dry food box, she ran towards the cat area where a litter tray and bowl resided.

That loving bastard.

There, in front of the bowl, was the newest member of their small family feeding from her bowl.

Misty decided to eat regardless, but the old woman suddenly appeared. "No, no! Bad cat! Let little Jackson eat first!" She stuck her foot out to block Misty's path.

Misty retreated to her spot on the sofa.

What the actual gently caress? Is this white-furred motherfucker actually getting first dibs on my food before me? He can have my bowl, but this Jackson prick will never sit on my sofa.

When it became dark, Misty went back to the litter tray for a little late-night poo. She liked sleeping through the night and preferred to go out during the day time; the nights around this area were full of unkind creatures. The black cat did her stuff in the litter tray and walked back to her usual spot on the sofa.

Jackson was stretched out on the sofa, each of his paws stretching out towards a different direction, eyes closed.

"Have you lost your mind, you pasty-rear end pussy?" Misty miaowed.

She didn't even think about it and launched herself at him. Jackson's eyes opened as her claw scratched his face. He sat up, hissed, growled, and then ran off.

That's enough, time to mark my territory.

The door opened as she pissed all over the sofa,

"Misty? What on earth are you doing? Where's Jackson?”

------------------------------

The bright city lights confused Jackson. As he jumped down onto the street level from the rooftops he had been exploring, his gaze was met by four menacing looking black cats.

They hissed and glared at him with their tails erect. Jackson did the same thing. He noted the small pile of half-eaten food they had piled up behind them.

"loving white-furred rear end in a top hat."

The skinniest looking one pounced towards Jackson, and then the others were upon him. They clawed at his face and body, and Jackson felt the same pain he had felt earlier that evening. This hurt more.

Jackson ran as fast as he could and eventually found himself on a deserted looking street. He was bleeding. The road was covered in puddles of water and leaves stuck to his paws as he limped.

It hardly ever rained in Barcelona. The streets were not nearly as dirty or empty as this place. Arturo and Valentina lived in Barcelona. They treated me with care and kindness. Arturo fed me real food, none of this cat food poo poo. Valentina tried to give me the best life she could. They're dead now. And I'm here.

------------------------------

The old woman kicked Misty out without any food. The black cat's tail wagged in the air as she made her way towards the Barkley home. The Barkley's always had leftover KFC on Fridays, and the children loved tossing their half-eaten chicken legs to visiting cats.

As Misty got closer to the Barkley house, she saw a small group of people standing in the middle of the road looking worried. As she got closer, she realized it was the Barkley family. Two adults and two children were standing around something on the ground.

"How did it die?" The younger Barkley child asked his dad.

"Something attacked it, probably a fox." The dad replied.

Misty got closer. She could see Jackson's dead body sprawled on the floor, each of his paws stretching out towards a different direction, eyes closed.

The younger Barkley child noticed Misty approaching. "Oh, look! It's blackie! Was he your friend kitty cat?"

"No. He wasn't." Misty miaowed. And then she went back home, purring the entire way.

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


In. Ant me please.

asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


Mother and Nature
744 words

"Is Lucas coming?"

"He won't be dear; he's up in Mexico for business."

The little boy gave his mamăe a disgruntled look. The thought of spending his birthday alone without his older brother made him upset, and he decided to make his feelings clear to his mamăe by crying.

"Please do not cry, little Anselmo." She pleaded. "Here, your papai left you this for your birthday."

Anselmo stopped wailing and looked up at her; she was holding a curious-looking item. He reached up and aggressively snatched it from her hands.

"What is it?" He demanded.

"A magnifying glass."

"Ooh!" Anselmo suddenly remembered what his friend at school had once shown him, and without saying thank you or hugging his mamăe, Anselmo stuffed the magnifier in his pocket and rushed out of the house.

The heat outside reminded Anselmo of his father's random rants about government policy. According to his papai, the cause of the queer weather in Brazil was a concept called "global warming." Anselmo didn't understand his papai's worries. To Anselmo, the sweltering weather was a blessing. Ant killing was going to be a breeze.

As he reached the edge of the forest, Anselmo sighted the marching ants, and a small gleeful sound escaped his mouth. His brother Lucas had shown him the trail a few months ago. The ants scattered as they heard Anselmo's footsteps, but the little boy quickly picked up a small log and threw it in their path, partially blocking their escape route. An eerie smile spread across his face as he gawped down upon the thousands of ants. Kneeling, Anselmo took the magnifying glass from his pocket and carefully burnt the critters alive. Some escaped his mini flamethrower, and so he stomped on them. It was a good feeling, and Anselmo spent the next few hours finding ants and cooking them. When he was done killing everything in the area, he piled up the remains of the dead ants, packed them in a cloth, which he placed in his pocket, and went home for dinner.

When he got home, he discovered his mamăe had cooked her famous feijoada. Anselmo grabbed a plate and started eating, ignoring his mamăe’s “ola!”. As he ate, he heard the front door open and close.

"Where is the birthday boy?!" He heard from the corridor, but it wasn't his papai's voice. "Surprise!"

Anselmo quickly threw his spoon to the side and ran out into the hallway to greet his big brother. "Mamăe said you were in Mexico!" Anselmo shrieked, giving his mother an accusatory glare.

Lucas squatted down in front of Anselmo. "I told her to lie; I wanted to surprise you." He grinned at his little brother and then ruffled his hair. "So, little brother, did you miss me? What have you been doing all day? What did you get for your birthday?"

Anselmo grinned back. "A magnifying glass! I used it to kill those ants near the forest!"

"You did what?"

"I burnt those ants you showed me down near the forest!"

"Anselmo, you cannot kill the ants while they are marching. Their mamăe will send her army after you."

Anselmo suddenly felt a feeling of dread go down his spine. "What will the ant army do?"

Lucas shook his head in disbelief. "I do not know."

They ate dinner together, and then it was time for bed. It took Anselmo (what felt like) hours to fall asleep. It was too hot, and he couldn't stop thinking about the dead ants and what Lucas had said. Eventually, however, he fell into a deep slumber.

When he woke up, Anselmo found the ants crawling all over his body. He screamed, but the ants piled into his mouth and crawled down his throat, preventing any sound from escaping. They covered his eyes and picked away at his skin with their little legs, taking turns to work at his body. Anselmo tried to shake them off, but he couldn't move. They piled on top of him, and it was only when the ants had completely covered Anselmo's body that he realized he was going to die at the age of 7. He wanted to cry, but, again, no sound was able to escape his mouth.

Anselmo opened his eyes to the sound of his brother's voice.

"Holy crap, you pissed yourself." Lucas shrieked. He stopped tickling Anselmo and jumped off the soaking bed. "Let that be a lesson to you, little Anselmo. Respect mamăe."

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asap-salafi
May 5, 2012


Thanks for the detailed crit and helpful advice.

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