Serial Stories: Music and Moose

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Author’s Note: Took me so long to write and edit this. If you feel a need to play catch-up, read this.

“So,” Joe said to his band mates. “You all know the story. All of it.”

Frankie nodded. “I heard about Eagleview. It surprised me that we actually had a superhero in the area.”

“A really weird one,” Ozzy said. “I saw the news. Also saw the otter villain.” He grimaced. “It smacks of a comic book scene.”

Gail nodded to Ozzy and shifted his gaze to Joe. “And your son?” he asked. “I mean, I don’t mean to pry, but damn dude. No one knew about this?” Continue reading

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Tales of the World: Ancient Dealings, Ch. 2

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M’Inchros awoke to the sound of gun cocking.

His eyes opened to find himself where he was before: At the execution range.

He looked around blearily at the scene. In front of him, a dozen people in dark blue uniforms aimed their laser lances at him. To the side was the other three dressed in robes of such a dark purple they were black. Everywhere beyond them, smoking ruins ran their sooted fingers across the sky.

“M’Inchros,” one of them said as he stepped forward. He was masked in golden gearwork that shifted with every moment. “We ask the question again: Do you surrender?

Another stepped forward, a spindly creature that hunched in on itself. “All we ask is for you to bring the woman out,” he said. His voice sounded like a hinge in desperate need of oiling.

It took M’Inchros a few moments to get his bearings. He was at the city of Tru’Ista, hours after the last battle, and after T’R’Nos’ traitorous assault on Sh’Tol’s forces. Continue reading

Tales of the World: Ancient Dealings

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{Author’s note: This is a continuation of a previous story]

“Look into the loneliness,” Void said. “Let it flow into you.”

The man took a deep breath, inhaling a rich scent of myrrh and cinnamon. It reminded him of his mother’s breakfast tea; a peaceful time before all this violent war.

“What do you see?” the Absolute continued.

He closed his eyes and saw a horrific vision: His world, already war-torn by the battles that wracked it, falling into greater disrepair. He could not stop the tears. “My home, gone and ravaged. This place, falling into chaos and evil.”

Void nodded. “I am here to bring an end to this world. To make sure this vision becomes reality.”

The man opened his eyes, and he looked at the tall, gaunt figure with pleading eyes. “But why? What about us, the people who have been the victims of this war?”

Void’s face grew sad. “That is a question I have not yet answered. In the countless eons of existing, I have not found an answer for that.”

The man gazed at the vaulted ceiling for a moment, then focused on another person. Where Void was dark and grim, the other was richly colorful. “What say you with this question?”

Creation shrugged, her outfit of rainbow hues cascading from reds to blues. “I am here on your behalf. Life gives way to death, and all things created turns to the dust to give birth to new creations. Thus is the way of all universes.”

“It is such a seamless ideal that has kept this universe existing,” another person said. The figure was clad in silver chain mail, the head covered by a roughly made metal helmet. “It is the one of the oldest rules. The lives that lived must give way to the death that is to come.” The head tilted a bit. “Likewise, death must give way to the life that arrives.”

The man sighed, breathing more of the mournful scent of world-death. “Is there any way to stop this?”

“Ah. There we head to the point of this question.”
Continue reading

Tales of the World: A Story of Day and Night

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So the legends goes that the War that lead to the end of the world and yet the beginning of the other was between the Church of the Night, Mor’Chai’u’Mua and the Church of the Day, Sh’Tol’u’Mua. The stories amounting to the war are shrouded in mystery and in terror, all of their properties lost in the thousand years that passed. However, the Incarnations of Day and Night still inspire.

“But when will I meet with the elementals?” Chad asked one night.

The m’chs’duas shrugged and lit another candle. “Only the Father knows that, halfling.”

Chad sighed and riffled through the book he had on his lap. He stopped at a page at random and read out loud. “The Day and the Night.”

“Ah, that is an interesting tale,” the Bull said. He turned his head and looked at Chad. “If you want, you can read it out loud as practice.”

Chad looked down at the flowing script and cleared his throat. “‘Truth to know,’” he said in the native tongue, the liquid rhythms lingering in his mouth, “‘in the time before the War, the Day and Night were one. They knew each other as friends and spoke to each other in friendly tones. The world was at peace.’”

A sharp wind rattled the wooden shudders and let in a cool draft.

“Continue,” the Bull said, walking to the window to fasten it shut.

Chad nodded and went back to the story. “‘One day, the Absolute of Darkness crossed into the world and decided to undo the peace the two have brokered.’” His forehead furrowed. “Absolutes?”

“Indeed,” the Bull said. “We have eight of them.” He ticked off his fingers. “Good and evil. Order and chaos. Creation and void. Fate and destiny.”

“What do they do?” Chad asked, fascinated.

“They are merely representations of what happens to this planet.” The m’chs’duas finished with the window and turned to Chad. “The most ancient scrolls speak of them being the ruling forces in the universe.”

Chad nodded and went back to the story. “‘The Absolute went to Mor’Chai, Master of the Night and the Seven Moons, and said unto him, ‘Why must Sh’Tol have the light of the sun, the warmth of the world? Why should he be controlling them? Go, claim them for yourself, and be their ruler.’

“‘The words brought a corruption to Mor’Chai, and he went to Sh’Tol, Lord of the Day and the Sun, to claim his part. Sh’Tol, not knowing of the corruption, tried to calm Mor’Chai. But to no avail, the corruption was too deep.’

“‘Then the Absolute, in an effort for further corruption, went to Sh’Tol, and said unto him, ‘Why must Mor’Chai have the calm of the night, the moons in their splendor? Why should he be owning them? Go, claim them for yourself, and be their ruler.’

“‘The words brought a corruption to Sh’Tol, and he went to Mor’Chai to claim his part. Mor’Chai, knowing of what he wanted, instead fought with him, friend against friend, to battle for what Sh’Tol had.’

“‘The Absolute, pleased of what he had done, spread himself across the lands, like ink in water, bringing the peace of the world to an end, and therefore starting the War of the World.’”

Chad lifted his head, puzzled, and said, “This doesn’t make sense. Why couldn’t the both of them share?”

The Bull smiled sadly. “You are not the first one to ask that, halfling. Our philosophies challenge the story, although it is our duty to retell it.”

Chad looked at the pages and flipped a few pages. “‘How to summon the night’?”

“Hm?” The Bull glanced down, looking at the diagrams of scripts and the golden pictures. He raised an eyebrow. “What is this? Where did you get this?”

“From the shelf over there,” Chad said, pointing at a dusty alcove of the library wall.

The Bull looked. “Hm. Those are books not for us, halfing. They belong to my brother.”

“Oh. I didn’t know.” Chad closed the book and passed it over to the Bull, who walked over to the bookshelf and slipped the book back.

“I wonder if I can meet them, also,” Chad said.

“Who? Mor’Chai? Sh’Tol?”

Chad shrugged. “Either. Both. It just gets boring here. Even one of these Absolutes would-”

“Do not dare, halfling,” the Bull warned, holding up a finger. “The Absolutes are not to be summoned, even in jest. They are not like us, and they will not be mentioned in such a fashion. Do you understand?”

“Sorry, sir.” Chad said.

Still, he was curious.

Story Short No. 20

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I found out Diane was a Scorpio from Ross, who heard it from Sancha, the Spanish dancer here. At the time, she was with Diane, teaching how to lead for a complicated samba movement.

“That explains why she’s has that mystic air about her,” Ross said, nodding. Ross always was a sucker for anything supernatural.

I sipped the coffee, and I reached over to get another Equal packet from the chipped sugar holder. “What I don’t see is why Madame would want to know her sign.”

“Well, Scorpios are supposedly exceptional sexual creatures.” Ross raised an eyebrow expectantly. “And we all know Madame’s tastes in women.”

“I guess.” Diane was slim and willowy, a perfect dancing partner. That apparently rated highly in Madame’s book.

Ross looked around and waved to someone off screen. I turned to see Madame, dressed in her usual gown of navy bombazine, but with slim stripes of gold and white slashing across the shoulders and lower chest.

“Darling!” she said, waving to us. “You are here early!” She came up, gathered up the striped shawl from her shoulders, and draped it across the unoccupied chair. She sat down and reached over to the coffee pot. “What brings you here?”

I shrugged. “Boredom, I guess,” I said. I moved the sugar holder and the milk jug closer to her elbow. “We were talking about Diane.”

“Oooh!” she squealed as she helped herself. “Yes. Such a fine figure. I saw her with Ms. Liz a couple of nights ago dancing with Bobbie. They were quite the couple. All that hip swaying.” Her eyes went distant for a moment, and a small smile played upon her lips. “Yes, they were…lascivious.”

Ross and I exchanged a glance.

“Oh, but where are my manners?” Madame cried out, snapping out of it. “Have you had breakfast yet? No matter. Marisse!” Her maid appeared from wherever she was before. “Breakfast for three, please. And bring some more coffee while you’re at it.”

Marisse bowed and left the room.