Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bloody Jenny

Jenny Flanders, "Bloody Jenny", as she would one day be called, looked down at her dead husband. He'd taken his last breath only a few moments before. Life on board ship hadn't been all bad, though it was hardly the one she thought she'd signed up for. When she and Jeremiah married, she'd known he was a privateer. It seemed romantic, and growing up on ships herself, she knew enough to be of help. They had a good crew and once they no longer had the blessing of the crown, they'd continued their life of taking from those who had more than enough and spending it far too quickly. She put away a little of each haul for their future, one they wouldn't have now.

"Damn you, Jeremiah." She beat his chest, still full of fluid from the sickness. The chest had been her pillow for eight years. "Now what do I do? Do I try and captain the ship? Or do I steal away and start afresh?" What made matters worse was she knew the new life would include their unborn child. Banging on the door drew her away from self pity.

"Ma'am." It was the voice of Zaccheus, their first mate. "How fares he?"

Now it was time. Time to at least come forward. She stood and made sure the flintlock pistol tucked into her sash was ready. She touched the handle of the short cutlass. She would fight, if she had to. She walked to the door of the cabin and opened it, letting in fresh sea air. "He has gone to be with the Lord."

The tall, slender man had skin blacker than the flag they flew. He wore breeches and shoes but nothing else, the sweat on his chest beading thanks to the beating of the sun. His gaze went to the deck. "M'sorry, ma'am. He was a good man, he was." The accent, a blend of the tribe he was born among and the English who owned him for a time, was deeply pitched and occasionally hard for strangers to understand.

She put a hand on his shoulder. This was the one person she knew she could trust without question. "He was. As are you. If the vote goes ill, will you side with me? I would have you by me as Jeremiah did."

He looked up at her. "Of course, ma'am. You and he saved me. You have my loyalty. As for the vote, the men would be foolish not to make you their captain."

She blushed at the compliment. "Let's have it then." The pair walked out onto the deck. Once at the ship's wheel, she had Zaccheus ring the bell.

The crew gathered, a mix of races and backgrounds which spoke to how far they travelled and how fair the captain was. There were no other women, though.

She cleared her throat and squared her shoulders. One hand grabbed the wheel and the other rested near the smooth bore pistol. "The captain has met his maker. We will bury him at the next island, or barring that, at sea. He was loved by us all. "

The crew cheered, most of them. She noted the faces of those who held back.

"I would be your new captain if you'll have me." There it was. The decision on her part was made. Now it was simply a matter of the vote. Sweat bloomed at the nape of her neck and the breeze suddenly stilled. She could hear the call of seabirds and the creaking of rope.

"I vote, aye." Zaccheus' deep voice boomed. The chorus of ayes which followed was heartening. There were a few nays, but the majority had it.

"We set sail for the southern seas. We'll celebrate the life of our old captain and future of our crew for the rest of the day. Then it's back to work for us all! Double rations of grog for the crew, Mr. Zaccheus."

This time, every sailor shouted with joy.

Art Source: R by Pheberoni on DeviantArt
Story and Characters (c)/by Scott Roche

#Pirates, #ScottRoche, #History, #1800s

Monday, May 30, 2016

There is nothing // Quite so sweet // As freshly caught // Man of meat

There is nothing
Quite so sweet
As freshly caught
Man of meat.

There is nothing
Quite so fine
As newly netted
Man of mind.

There is nothing
Quite so whole
As timely trapped
Man of soul.

I am the Fisher
Beware my tread
When you spy them
Drink my dread.

Craftily, creeping
Silently, seeking
Relentlessly, reaping
Covetously, keeping.

I am the Fisher
Feel my grasp
When it happens
Hear my gasp.

Make your peace
Before it's too late
Or is this too
My clever bait?

I am the Fisher
See my lure
Partake of me
Become pure.

There is nothing
Quite so nice
As forever mine
Man of life.

Art Source: "The Fisher" (c)/by ursulav
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #poetry, #creepy, #creature, #TheFisher, afterlife

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Ralph Warren is still alive and I will have his head!"

"Ralph Warren is still alive and I will have his head!"

Melvin wasn't entirely sure how Mēkhos even had a voice anymore, but somehow his deep basal voice filled the chamber and resounded from the stalactite-encrusted ceiling. Dust and pebbles trickled down from the darkness, coating all Melvin's work with a fine layer of limestone. "P-p-please, sir, your v-v-v-voice!" he squeaked, pushing his coke-bottle glasses up a little farther on his thin nose.

Mēkhos wheeled on his diminutive technician and almost brought his servo-and-fluxx powered fists down like meteors upon his head. It was only the single, searing fact that Melvin was one of the few men on the planet who possessed the knowledge and skills to keep his new body working that stayed his rage-fueled strike. Even though he did not need to breathe, something deep within Mēkhos's formidable mind lead him to believe that--just like when he was alive--that his rage had affected him physically. His massive metallic chest rose and fell, heaving like a titanic steam engine. After several moments of his labored, mechanical heaving, the mad man continued.

"You are right, Melvin. But then again you are wrong." Mēkhos stalked around the cave that had become his temporary home in the two weeks since the event that had killed him and brought him back from the dead. He himself was still completely unsure of precisely what had happened, but he knew two things for certain: his new form--partially mechanical and partially spiritual--was far mightier than anything that he'd ever seen or known and that his hatred for his old rival, Ralph Warren, had not diminished in the least.

"I am changed, Melvin" he said to his shivering assistant. The small, mousey-headed man seemed even more like a mouse now than he had when Mēkhos had first met him. "I am more mighty now and I should be more careful. It would not do to harm you." The voice that drifted out of Mēkhos's violet-energy limned skull became silken and soft. "You, who are the key to maintaining my new form."

"Yet." Mēkhos's voice changed like the whip-crack strike of a snake. A frigid, soulless detachment blew through that one word like the wind from an opened tomb. "You are also wrong, Mevin. I know that Ralph is alive. I can feel him through the fluxx." Mēkhos lifted his left hand and it slowly began to morph and change as he spoke. The retro-adaptive alloy and axionic terminals that made up Mēkhos's containment suit began to interact with the glowing, purple energy that now composed and contained his form. The suit-of-armor like gauntlet that once covered Mēkhos's hand began to realign itself, changing its form and function to match the man's innermost cravings and desires.

"Whatever changed me that fateful night, also changed Ralph. We thought he was dead, but I can feel him - sense his life force through this energy you call fluxx." The metallic glove was completely gone, replaced with a massive cannon that looked like it could pound buildings into rubble, or blast battleships into slag.

"He calls himself the A.U.X. now--and when I find him, I will finally destroy him!"

Art Source: "Ghostman 2099" (c)/by cwalton
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Mēkhos, #Melvin, #AUX, #A.U.X. #thestorygrows, #fluxx, #RalphWarren

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Things were about to get real.

Things were about to get real.

The ninja's kistrike tossed me like a leaf on the wind. In the nanosecond it'd taken for me to plummet the fifty feet and slam into the smooth, rounded walls of the Task Chamber, the shadow warrior had already begun to gather his kimanna. I could see it: a small shield-sized sun of scarlet energy gathering on the ninja's back. It simmered like a skillet, it's hungry energy ready to destroy my day - literally.

Silently, the ninja had drawn his criticality-katana, adding it to his already formidable pike of priorities in the blink of an eye.

I staggered to my feet with nothing but my paper-thin Parkinson's Law Armor. It felt like flimsy tissue paper now and I cursed myself for wearing it into battle. My weapon was not much better: an Interruptions Log: a two-foot long length of wood that was nicked, cracked and looking the worse for wear. I knew that it would not last two milliseconds against my opponent's razor sharp blade.

"You cannot win. You should surrender to me." The shadow warrior's voice was cold and electronic. I made a mental note of that and chuckled inwardly at the irony. He did not wait for my reply, but delivered the rest of his line with a note of foreboding and finality. "I will send you to the other world, where glorious tasks await you. Tasks which you MUST complete. A defeat here only means your betterment, as you most assuredly know."

My whole world crashed in on me.

"What was that?" I bellowed. "'Most assuredly know'? 'Most assuredly know?' Who in the world talks like that, Nate? Please? Tell me who!"

The cylindrical, rose-colored Task Chamber dissolved around me into pixelated dust and I ripped off my VR-Hud and ER-Gloves, tossing them around our VR-Framework demo room. I was absolutely disgusted. "Nate! Who in the world did you get to write this guy's dialogue, huh? Some freak off of Fiverr? I mean, 'most assuredly know', really? Com'on man!"

There was silence from the control booth. Nate was busted and he knew it.

"How in the world, Nate, are we going to create the next level in Virtual Reality, Ninja-Battle, Time Management Software with crappy dialogue like that?"

Art Source: "Sketch Ninja1" (c)/by AlekseyBayura
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Ninja, #battle, #software, #development, #task, #management, #funny, #quirky, #odd, #virtual, #reality

Friday, May 27, 2016

The storm was only getting worse.

The storm was only getting worse.

Ichabod knew he'd made a horrible mistake. If only God would allow him the time and the strength to make it up, to right the wrong he'd perpetrated...then perhaps he would be able to face his beloved Amelia in the afterlife. The thin man's rail-like frame rattled with a stifled sob as he picked up the cast-off shovel. He cursed himself for making the deal, for even considering a partnership with Amol. He'd known, deep in his soul, that the man was something far more sinister from the moment he'd first laid eyes upon him. How could he have been anything but a devil from Hell? Amol offered the unthinkable: the return of Ichabod's cold, dead wife.

Amol had said he could raise the dead.

Outside the church, the storm howled like a thing with a life and a sorrow of its own. Rain rattled against the leaded windowpanes with the sound of bony fingertips rapping--the skeletons of Ichabod's deepest fears given grasping hunger and unending locomotion. With trembling hands, Ichabod lit the hooded lantern. He whispered a prayer, fervently asking God to forgive him. The professor wasn't sure if God was even listening tonight, and if he was, then Ichabod could only hope that the Almighty was feeling particularly magnanimous.

The wind's keen reached an ear-splitting pitch, followed by an instantaneously and seemingly universal vacuum composed of utter and complete silence. It was like being trapped inside a dark and noiseless cave, in the bowels of the Earth, in the perfect pit of despair. Ichabod's fear rose. The professor knew that the ritual had reached it's zenith. The ancient rite that he himself had discovered and translated at the request of Amol--it had been Ichabod's part of the devilish deal--was being consummated with unholy energies and baleful fire.

Amol had said he could raise the dead.

The dead were about to walk.

The categorical and cavernous silence lasted for another heartbeat and the sensation was one of the whole of Creation teetering madly on the edge of a terrible and deleterious precipice, but it was suddenly shattered by a titanic thunderbolt and a blinding, sizzling flash of eerie green lightning. The deed was done. Somehow, Ichabod knew it.

Amol had said he could raise the dead.

The dead were about to walk.

This had been the fiend's plan all along!

"No!!!!" the spindly professor screamed, hating himself nearly as much as Amol, the minion of the Dark One, who had beguiled him and made this gut-wrenching, soul-defiling moment happen. Ichabod charged out of the church, dove into the pouring storm, his only weapons held aloft in his still-trembling hands and his overly long scarf whipping in the hell-borne wind. Ichabod was ready to strike down every single being of undeath that Amol had called forth from the church's graveyard, or he was at least ready to die in the attempt. Of one thing, he was sure: Amol would have far fewer minions to command when he was done this night.

Ichabod ran into the storm, into the dark graveyard, barking his shins on cold, craggy crosses and slipping amid the ice-like gravestones and slick tomb markers. Then, the entire sky was lit with a bolt of bright-as-day lightning...

...And Ichabod had no doubt whatsoever that he would indeed die trying.

Art Source: "Walking Graveyard" (c)/by RM73
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #1800s, #vintage, #horror, #Ichabod, #Amol, #Amelia, #God, #Devil, #demon, #Lovecraftian

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Drive To Live

The road spilled out before me. The interstate grid system made sure you were never out of options when it came to at least four lanes of smooth, black trail. There was a time when no roads went coast to coast. They'd actually talked about using rails and steam trains to carry everything from cattle to vegetables. Can you imagine not being able to change lanes or suddenly decide you needed to go south? I can't. But then I make my living by being fast and flexible.

I don't haul freight, but what I do carry is just as important to the people who hire me. US Parallel 35 carried me through New Mexico and the juice from the grid beneath the roads kept my Daimler-Tesla power plant humming. Everything was going the way it should, when the early warning system told me someone was coming up on my rear.

It wasn't against the law, not exactly, but everyone was supposed to maintain at least a fifty meters of space between their fellow motorists on the interstate system. It was more courtesy than anything else. I signaled to switch lanes and in the process, pulled the switch to bring the big turbine engine online. It wasn't needed on the main roads, but it would let me go a bit faster than my D-T alone.

My angled rear view told me this individual meant business. The slick black sedan was built more like a tank than my low slung coupe. Chrome pipes jutted up and back over the rear wheels and were already spitting smoke. They were running on petrol, not electricity. That would take away my advantage. Six wheels, mostly covered by fairings, gripped the road. When side panels dropped away and cylindrical guns slid out, I remembered where I'd seen it before, or at least its predecessor. It belonged to the Black Baron.

I dropped into the highest gear I had and dumped all of the turbine power into the drive train. While my engine screamed and the body lowered, I took a split second to pulled down an extra set of restraints and clip them into place. The fifty meters I'd put between myself and the Baron in the intervening half second might save my life. More important, it might save President Wallace. If I didn't get the contents of the box to Parkland Memorial in Dallas, then he wouldn't live to see a third term.

Art Source: RM 309 #3 by 600v on DeviantArt
Story and Characters (c)/by Scott Roche

#action, #RetroFuturism, #ScottRoche, #AltHistory, #Cars, #AltHistory, #1950s,

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Chikunga clattered to the packed dirt floor of the songi's hut.

The Chikunga clattered to the packed dirt floor of the songi's hut. Despite its garish red paint, lines of darker, wetter red could still be seen in streaks and spatters across it's surface.

"You are certain that this is what you want, Mbandu?" The older man's voice trembled. Mbandu was not sure if it was from fear, or from something else. Normally, he would have been concerned. Tonight, he could care less. Still, this man was his village's songi--a skilled and honored maker of powerful items and totems--and he would pay his elder the respect he was due.

"Yes, Obeng. I will not falter. My mind is set." Mbandu bowed as he replied.

Obeng could see that the man bled from several deep wounds. The blood had already begun to flow, he thought, knowing what was to come would be far worse. "It is as I feared, Mwene's son. So be it, let us begin."

Something had told Obeng that nothing would steer the young warrior from his fearsome course. The white men raiders--Portuguese he believed they called themselves--had first come as peaceful traders, seeking wax, rubber, and ivory. These things their people, the Tchokwe, had in abundance. It did not take long for the white men to begin desiring and then taking other things, such as brides-to-be, which were not had in so much abundance.

"Will I know myself when the mahamba walks among the living?" Mbandu asked as he lay down amid the massive and strange pile of woven reeds, tanned leather straps, and desiccated elephant bones. Still spilling from the young man's many wounds, Mbandu's blood vanished into the construct like water into parched sand.

Obeng saw the young warrior's skin shiver, but the songi was not sure if it was from the scuttling of the hundreds of roaches and beetles that inhabited the piecemeal, skeleton-like framework; from the fear of the unknown that lay before him; or from the innate magic which had already been woven into the thing. "As we complete the ritual," he answered, "You must focus on your desire for revenge, your hatred of the men who stole your bethrothed. Once the mahamba walks, that it all you will know for the rest of your life, however long--or short--that may be."

The songi saw something good and pure die behind the eyes of the proud, young warrior whom he had known for nearly twenty-two summers. Mbandu nodded. "So be it."

Obeng nodded and with tears in his eyes, he began to chant, placing the Chikunga--the ceremonial mask of the now murdered rival tribe's chieftain--over Mbandu's face. The old songi began to chant, beginning the ritual that would give the mahamba life. Soon, a horrid fusion of man, animal, and plant; of death, life, and spirit would roam their lands, seeking the blood of white men.

White men who should have known better than to steal what was not theirs.

Art Source: "Vessel" (c)/by Dhenzel Obeng
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #creepy #mahamba, #Africa, #Portuguese, #1930's, #songi, #Chikunga, #Tchokwe, #Chokwe, #revenge

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Last Will and Testament of Jimee Jon Nuby MieGee

The Last Will and Testament of Jimee Jon Nuby MieGee

I dint kno whii I don writt dat. Reckin 'causit mkes it seeem a mite mor ficial. I saw dat on da moovin' picters 1 time wen I don gon inta town wit' Momama. But dat ain't gon hapin no mo.

Momamas gone.

Dey comed n'got her. Drugged her off inta th dark, a-kickin-an-a-screamin. Dats whi Ima rilly writin dis. Cause dey got Momama n dats ficial nuff 4 me. Dem creeturs gonna havta pay.

Momamas gone.

She wernt hurten nobodee. She wuz tryin ta helpem, lik Momama alwiz don. Momama wernt hurta fli. But I ain't Momama. Reckin dats whi Ima writin dis. Soz dey'll knos. Deyll knos it wernt Momamas falt. Dey bettr lays de bleme at de creeturs feet. Dey strted it alls.

Dey strted wit dee vizits. Dem creeturs playd rilly smart. Dey seys dey wuz hir ta heelp. Afor long, tings wuz changin' tho. Dem creeturs, wit der falsee smilez an der papirs an der ruls an regalatins. Dey strted nice, but afor long, dey strted sezing "abuze" an "nigleect".

Den, Momamas gone.

Dem creeturs comin fer me now. But dey ain't gona git mez wifout a fight. Dem creeturs frm towne tuk mi Momamas. But dey ain't gone tak mez r mii nam ain't Jimee Jon Nuby MieGee.

Art Source: "Spaghetti Head" (c)/by blitzcadet
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #creepy #country, #twist, #didnotseethatcomin, #Xfiles

Monday, May 23, 2016

"Tompkins there's been a change of plans."

"Tompkins there's been a change of plans." CFO Tad Henderson whispered out of the side of his mouth upon using his corporate 'all-pass' to gain entry into my cubicle.

As I'd been data diving for several hours at that point I couldn't hear him.  In fact I didn't even know he had entered into my cubicle, something I'll have to change next time I engaged in corporate espionage.

"After an emergency review the board feels that Nakayama Tech has more to offer us if we purchase them outright rather than implementing our original plan of..." My cubicle security had picked up his presence all right, but since he had the 'all-pass' I wasn't alerted digitally in the data dive to his presence.  There was no reason to stop the digital assassination that I'd been assigned to perform only hours before, and I couldn't' anyhow - not without completely unplugging from the system I'd dove into..

"Can you hear me Tompkins?"

I felt him tap me on the shoulder, but my mind was busy processing the zillions of ones and zeroes of the world wide web being pumped into it for the last hour.

"Uhm, I really need you to listen to me now Tompkins, this is important."

I saw him wave his hand in front of the data visor that covered my face, but just like the shoulder tap from earlier, it registered more like a dream than reality as I'd all ready been data diving for ninety minutes. By then, and quite frankly, I didn't expect another visit from the board today.

"I'm serious Tompkins.  You need to cease and desist right this instant.  The board has decided to deal with Nakayama in a different arena.  They do not wish to garner the attention of the local... STOP!"

I could feel my chair being spun around away from  my desk to face him, but it didn't matter, I was neck deep in the world wide web at that point.  He could have had my cubicle moved to the sub basement and I wouldn't have been able to pull out of the data dive just yet.


I'd later learn through my cubicle security video that he was screaming at the top of his lungs, grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me, trying to get me to stop the mission he'd assigned me that morning.

"This a direct order from the board.  STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING IMMEDIATELY!"

I only had another hour to go before my mission was complete....

Art Source: "Cyberpunk Assassin" ~ KM33
Story and Characters: (c)/by Caine Dorr

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Ha ha ha! Throngdar the Mighty Barbarian, sitting and waiting like an old wash woman!"

"Ha ha ha! Throngdar the Mighty Barbarian, sitting and waiting like an old wash woman!"

"HAH! AHHA! Barbarian Prince, he of the mighty thews cannot go and compete in the Barbarian Games atop Mount Reallyhightop!"

"BWHAHAHAHA! Barbarian? Or Rock?"


Their taunts were endless. Throngdar was very happy when they finally left. Now, at least Throngdar would not have to hear their gutless bleating. Oh, by Crom! How Throngdar wanted to strangle the air out of their throats and kick their teeth out through the backs of their heads!

But Throngdar could not. Throngdar must sit. Throngdar must learn patience. That is what Teacher says. Throngdar was not happy to hear this...not happy at all.


"Tomorrow? TOMORROW? Throngdar cannot do this tomorrow, Teacher! Tomorrow is the Annual Barbarian Games atop Mount Reallyhightop! If Throngdar does his, Throngdar will be laughingstock of entire village!"

The small, withered old man from the far Eastern Lands merely nodded his head. "This is precisely why you must do this tomorrow, my son. A true warrior must learn to suffer wounds that are beneath the skin, as well as those upon it."

"No! This cannot be Teacher!" Throngdar bellowed. Throngdar should not have done so, but he did.

Teacher's eyes narrowed. "It can and shall be. Tomorrow, you shall fish. You shall sit by the brook and shall catch a trout for me. But this trout shall not be just any trout. The trout must be as long as my walking stick and when you catch it, it will speak to you."

"But tomorrow?!? Oh, by Crom!" Yes, Throngdar cursed. In front of Teacher.

The little, yet mighty man's eyes narrowed. "Enough. Leave me and prepare your fishing gear. Tomorrow you shall learn a bit more about being a true warrior and a King. Tomorrow, you shall learn patience."

Art Source: "Patience" (c)/by Disse86
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #barbarian #teacher, #patience, #fishing, #lessons, #howtobeaking, #AnnualBarbarianGames

Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Yes. More than anything and anyone in the entire universe, I despise the Feathered Serpent!"

"Yes. More than anything and anyone in the entire universe, I despise the Feathered Serpent!"

I pushed my glasses up on the bridge of my nose. Not that it mattered any. This crazy Aztec Demon had requested near total darkness for the interview. "Uh. Excuse me, Mr. Mictlantecuhtli? You'll need to speak directly into the microphone here." I tapped the mic for emphasis. I was not sure if this guy...er...being could see or not, or even if he used physical eyes to see.

The ancient South American entity shifted a bit and cleared its throat. It sounded like cinder blocks in an industrial-sized blender.

"You were saying..." I urged, wanly.

"Quetzalcoatl is a lying, backstabbing thief and I want to eat his heart!" The lord of Mictlan, the Aztec Realm of the Dead roared, slamming his clawed fist down, rattling the walls.

I checked my phone, secretly hoping that one of the resumes that I'd sent out or posted had been picked up by someone. I tried to sound interested and asked, "And why is that?" I knew what he was going to say before he started. All of these ancient beings were basically the same. So and so, Lord of Such and Such took my thingy and won't give it back...or he ran off with my wife...or he tricked me into doing something that I really, deep down wanted to do anyway. You'd think gods and demons, with infinite lifespans and phenomenal cosmic power, would have something better to do.

Like a never-ending, eternally-spanning dysfunctional family.

"Because of the bones! He stole the bones of Mankind from my Kingdom and tricked me at my own ruse! I challenged him to fly around Mictlan four times while sounding a trumpet I'd made from a conch. But of course, I did not want him to have the bones, so I tricked him by not drilling holes into the conch. But that blasted Feathered Fool then tricked ME by..."

I sighed. I'd really thought this gig with National Demonographic was was going to be great.

Art Source: "aztec demon speedpaint" (c)/byKostya-PINGwin
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Aztec #demon, #legend, #interview, #NationalDemonographic, #Mictlan, #Mictlantecuhtli, #Quetzalcoatl

Friday, May 20, 2016

"Uh Oh. Those trees ain't trees, Frank."

"Uh Oh. Those trees ain't trees, Frank."

"Yea, I know, Ralph, they're likely Yuggspawn-"

"Don't call me Ralph. I'm working."


"Yes, seriously. The name's A.U.X."

"If I still had lungs, I'd be sighing now, you know."

Laughter echoed hollowly inside the diving bell-like helmet. "Yea, Frank, I know. Must really suck to be a disembodied spirit--the one disembodied spirit--that just so happens to power my rig now, huh?"

"You have no idea..." Frank's ghostly voice was laced with weariness, with a hint of sarcasm thrown in for good measure. "...and by the by, I'm not wholly disembodied - I can condense into clouds now and again when I take a mind to."

Aux slogged onward through the putrid green quagmire, moving steadily closer to the massive beasts that loomed like silent sentinels. "So, Frank, what do we do about these Not-Trees?"

Frank chuckled, and a puff of eerily green smoke next to Aux's head took on a slightly brighter glow. "We? Well, I won't be doing anything. They can't do anything to me----aaaaaaAAAEEEEEOOOWWWW!!!"

Aux's bucket-like head swiveled, well oiled gears and motors humming, bringing his single blue ocular porthole to bear on the basic location where he thought his friend might be. "Frank! What's the matter?" Aux bellowed.

"It's those...things. Their minds are....ripping into me....AAaaaaaaahhhhHHHHH!"

At that moment, the entire swamp shivered as one of the tower-sized crustacean-things moved one of its many clawed and barbed limbs. Multiple eyes glared balefully down upon the armored man-machine known only as Autonomous Unigenious X-terminator, or the A.U.X."

"Looks like you won't be alone, ol' buddy."

Art Source: "Bog of Bugs" (c)/by Kisufisu
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #AUX, #Ralph, #adventure, #swamp, #Cthulhu, #yugg, #yuggspawn, #creature, #monsters, #Frank

Thursday, May 19, 2016

"Kappamaki?" I asked, my Japanese still a bit rusty.

"Kappamaki?" I asked, my Japanese still a bit rusty.

The hooded figure I'd been tailing down the jam-packed, yet entirely lonesome streets of Osaka looked over his worn, leather-jacketed shoulder at me. He looked a little pissed. Perhaps he didn't want to be bothered, or perhaps he didn't like being made out in the open, on a busy street.

Whichever it was, he didn't speak.

So as usual, I started yammering. "I hear you guys love it. It's the cucumber, right? It's your total favorite." I had no doubt that particular bit of Japanese phraseology was now thoroughly butchered. A hopeful grimace peeked through my grin, but at the same time, a smirk crawled slowly across his scowl.

Despite the language barrier, I took it as a good sign.

He corrected my pronunciation and asked me if I spoke English. His voice was a rich, deep baritone--not at all what I was expecting from a Kappa.

I nodded.

"Perhaps then, strange Lady, we will use your mother tongue. It is known to me."

"Ok, sure." For some reason, I was suddenly holding my breath. Great! That's just great, Sil, I chided myself. Started out all cocksure and in-your-face but as soon as he started to talk, then you back down.

He did not blink. I wondered if he even could. "What is it that you want, strange Lady?"

"Uhm...ah...well, I said I would buy you some kappamaki, didn't I?" I flicked my dainty, pale chin in the direction of the nearest sushi joint. "You hungry? I could tear up some futomaki myself."

The scowl returned to what I'd begun to think was its usual roosting place. "I will only ask you this one more time, and then you will not see me again. What is it that you want?"

I swallowed--hard. I was hoping to build up to this, maybe get him a little tipsy on some saki or something before I went for the jugular, so to speak.

Would a Kappa even get tipsy, I wondered...anyway...

I took a deep, shuddering breath and blurted it--all of it--out all at once in the hopes that my tongue won't figure it out ahead of time and strangle me before I could finish.

"I need you to go with me to West Africa...er....Mali, specifically and help me get to the Hidden Well that lies in the bottom of the Niger River, then help me to steal the Sacred Pearl of the Opte-Hogon in order to free the trapped soul of the French anthropologist Marcel Griaule!"

The Kappa stared at me for so long that I thought he was going to turn into stone and that I was going to pee in my pants. Finally, that deep, rumbling voice replied.

"Okay, but you're buying."

Art Source: "Portrait - Kappa" (c)/by Eric Belisle
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Sil, #Kappa, #Japaense, #folklore, #Osaka, #sushi, #Mail, #Hogon, #NigerRiver, #MarcelGriaule

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

If it had not been for the thing’s smell, the demon would have killed me.

177 B.C.
Nesactium, Istria

If it had not been for the thing’s smell, the demon would have killed me. The wind had shifted unexpectedly, blowing in off the Mediterranean Sea at my back and it was only amid that clean, salt-laden breeze that I caught the whiff of it’s peculiar scent: a stomach-turning combination of ozone, sulfur, and decomposing bodies.

The whistling head of the chain mace barely missed my unprotected skull as I dove headlong over the still smoking ruins of what had once been a family farm. A part of me wished I had taken up Epulon’s offer for a helm, but I knew without doubt that the Illyrian King would have never let hear the end of it if I had done so. I spun, drawing upon the very fires of Creation deep within me. Speaking words of Power to give the Force a Shape and Purpose, I wove a blade and shield of pure holy fire into being.

The flames of Heaven itself ripped through the darkness, revealing my foe. Nearly eight feet tall and covered with corded muscle layered beneath ornate armor, the demon was essentially humanoid: two arms, two legs, a head and a tail. The thing’s torso and arms were that of a man, though powered by far more than the mere muscle, bone, and sinew utilized by the human race. This thing’s power came from death and all the things thereby tied: killing, battles, the dead and the dying, rotting corpses, and all of the lies and manipulations whose harvest was fatality. Its legs were those of a horse and it possessed a long tail that seemed to be equal parts rat and steed. It was the creature’s head that revealed its true nature: a twisted and wicked parody of a dog with a single eye.

“Psoglav”, I spat, the very words drawing a foul taste to my tongue.

The demon laughed, drawing itself up to its full height and unsheathing a five-and-a-half foot long Iberian falcata. The blade flickered red and black with dried blood and hellish power. As the death-eater enjoyed its moment, I saw the horned ram emblem proudly emblazoned upon its breastplate.

My blood ran stone cold.

If this creature was allied with Kherty, the ancient Egyptian “god” of slaughter, the harvest, and death, then that meant bad things for Epulon and his men.

“You are too late, Tenet”, the psoglav growled. “Too late to save yourself, or your pitiful Illyrian King, and his entire nation.”

I waded in, screaming...

Art Source: "Psoglav Sketch" (c)/by Max-Dunbar
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #TenetsTales, #Tenet, #psoglav, #Kherty, #Epulon, #King, #Istria, #Illyria

Interested in reading more about Tenet - head here: http://www.amazon.com/Brannon-Hollingsworth/e/B00DP1O4W6/

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I should have known that this was to end badly...

I should have known that this was to end badly...


"So, tell me what experience you've had with this sort of...venture, ahm..." I shuffled several scrolls around on my desk, seeking the man's name, and my fingers fell to my heirloom vambrace--the one worn by my father, and my father's father. The bas relief moldings of the Flail, the Edge, and the Shield thereupon were familiar and comforting beneath my fingertips.

"My name is Yythan the Wise and I am surprised that you've not heard of me, Brightblade's Child." The man's skeletal face got somehow harder and I could feel the disapproval wafting off him like greenflies from a rotting corpse. I'd never met a man whose face seemed so perfectly hand-crafted for frowning. "This will not be my first sojourn into the lightless depths you seek to plumb, and if the skeins and signs have been read properly, then it will not be my last."

I nodded, preparing myself for the disappointment I fully expected after I gave breath to my next question. "Excellent. Tell, me, wizard, of your thoughts about the Cult of Ith."

The man's dark orbs flickered, but I could tell that the wyrdweaver knew well his craft. He showed nothing of the fear that I was certain coiled behind his eyes. "I bear the marks of a Thrice-Tried Acolyte of the Ascended Ones True Path. My Brothers and I bear the Bloodstains of Z'aal. I have no fear of the Lurkers in the Void, or their pitiful servants."

I licked my full lips, feeling the sweat bead on the back of my neck. The first hurdle had been cleared...I was amazed. Oh, Sacred One! Was I truly a step away from beginning my Life's Call? I pressed on, throttling my desperation with a garotte of detached calm.

"I see." I scribbled something meaningless on a piece of parchment with a nub of charcoal. "I assume, then, that you possess the boon which normally accompanies your status?"

Yythan's skull like visage was as motionless as the stone idols he worshiped, but he nodded. It was a small, calculated movement.

I took a fragment of my impatience and forged it into some steel, which I then slipped into my words. "...and I would know of them, if you are to partake of the Brightblade coffers."

The wyrdweaver blinked, his frozen face melting. Slowly, he began speaking. I noted, with some curiosity, that it took gold--or at least the mention of it--to truly get the man's blood up. "Four are they who accompany me, and who have bound their fates to mine.  The first will likely be known to you, as he hails from your homeland. Gunther the Gaoler--"

"The Ox?" I interrupted, incredulous? "He severed ties with the Thralldom in order to bind his fate to you?"

Yythan nodded and for the first time since I'd met him, he seemed almost human. "Though I know not his entire tale, Ox is now my Boundling. He came to me to settle a blood-debt--not for himself--but for his own Boundling, a Smael known only as Rooter."

Now I was truly stumped. "A...a...Smael? I thought they were extinct...it is said that they all perished in the Kin Cleansings!"

The wyrdweaver merely nodded, his dark eyes glittering. Perhaps this old crow loved something more than just gold, after all.

"So, Ox and Rooter. Ox, I know. He is as large as he is mighty. I know nothing of this Rooter, but if he is truly a Smael, then you walk with a breathing legend. Yet, you said Four are Pathbound to you."

"Aye." Yythan continued, "A Sceaduman there is also, swarthy of skin and dark of deed. The shadows call to him, and in them he is most accustomed. He is known only as Saal, but it is said that he has walked the amid the Corridors of Ith-y-itil and again seen the light of day." The wyrdweaver licked his thin lips, his tongue like a pale, wan worm, and completed his presentation. "Finally, H'yrga there is, priestess of Rok. She has been my Boundling longer than any other--since her departure from the Echelon, in fact."

I cocked a brow. "A D'weorh, blood-bound to a man, whom she will likely outlive by five times?"

Yythan nodded. "I held no sway nor ruse over her. She came willingly, and for her own purpose."

This, of all, was the hardest for me to believe. Why, in all the known worlds, would such a woman warrior-priestess do such a thing?

 "I know your thoughts, even without my crystals and chants." Yythan said. "And I have and answer, but it is not of me. It is of she."

"And? I would know this, mind-reader..." I replied, with some disdain. I could see my hopes and dreams failing. This man was mad.

The wyrdweaver chuckled. "Yes, it was her purpose, in fact. She said that she would Bind her Fate to mind only because her god, Rok, had told her to do thus."

"And why would a god do this?" I asked, ready to end the interview with this insane spellspeaker.

"According to her, it was, 'So she could ultimately aid the Bairn of Brightblade, free the peoples from the tyranny of the False God Ith, and to kill it forever.'"

I should have known that this was to end badly...

Art Source: "Dungeon Explorers" (c)/by cwalton
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #gaming, #adventure, #group, #party, #dungeon, #explorers

Monday, May 16, 2016

Once upon a time, in the forests of Siberia, there lived a beautiful young maiden named Piya.

Once upon a time, in the forests of Siberia, there lived a beautiful young maiden named Piya. This lovely young girl lived alone with her Piter, father (as her mother had sadly, died in childbirth) who thought that young Piya was the sweetest creature ever to have trod the Earth. In truth, Piya was very sweet, thoughtful, and caring but far more was she a lover of the truth than any of those things. It was said by the forest folk that new Piya and Piter, that God Himself had sent an angel who touched the infant girl as she was being born and that one act filled her with the very goodness and justice of God. For, as everyone with a mind to think can tell you, there can be no judgement and no justice without true love.

Regardless, Piter and his daughter were happier than any father and daughter since the bright and shining time when the Father of Heaven and Eve walked and talked together in the Garden in the cool of the day.

Such as is the way of things, all was well with Piter and Piya until one day when a strange woman entered the forest near their home and trouble soon began. It had happened that in the weeks prior to the arrival of this woman, whose name was Yeva, a strange malady had befallen the forest folk. As luck should have it, this Yeva, who was also said to be most lovely to look upon, was a maker of unguents and poultices and draughts that were said to heal. Yeva was more than happy to help those to had fallen ill, but of course payment was required. For after all, she was a lone woman with no means of her own.

And so, the forest folk began to pay and Yeva began to tend them.

Until one day, when Piter fell ill. As it happened, the father of Piya took sick when he was amid the village of the forest folk, selling his fine ironwood axe handles, which he cut, curved, and carved himself. It was said that the illness took him low in a single blow and Piter collapsed to the ground without a word. Yeva was summoned and she appeared and no sooner had the two laid eyes upon one another than they fell in love. Yeva began to minister to the poor afflicted Piter but anyone who had eyes in their head could tell that these two were bound for the altar.

Word of this spread through the forest like a wildfire in summer and it was not long before Piya came to her father's side. One look at Yeva told the beautiful daughter the truth: her father had, of course, been snared by a witch. Not only a witch, but a foul woman who was creating the very malady that had overtaken the forest folk. All this, done merely so that she could sully their favors and forever in-debt these good and fine folk to her wicked will. Piya said as much and told Yeva that if she did not leave, then she would use the very name of Christ against her.

Yeva smiled and opened her mouth as if to make pleasantries, but instead spat out a horrible curse upon Piya. Yeva, with dark sorcery, changed Piya's truename, twisting her in form and spirit forever into Garpiya. And so, the once sweet and beautiful girl became the very first Harpy, a loveless and hideous thing that could never die, never know the light of truth, and never be loved again.

Art Source: "Harpyja" (c)/by znodden
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Russian, #fairytale, #notwhatyouthink, #harpy, #spooky, #witch

Sunday, May 15, 2016

"This guy is out of his ever-lovin' mind, Sarge!"

"This guy is out of his ever-lovin' mind, Sarge!" Sneadly's upper lip was nearly milk-white with condensed perspiration.

"Wipe yer lip, Private," Sergent Casket snapped, shifting his gaze from his private's quivering face to the horizon. The deep blacks and purples of midnight were slowly retreating, slowing giving ground to the smoky oranges and bloody reds of the steadily advancing dawn. Billows of inky smoke were still wafting up from the once-dead crater. "We're not gettin' paid to investigate or pass judgement tonight, just to keep our eyes peeled and to keep the Doc safe."

"Yea, but safe from what. That's the question-" quipped Masters, their sniper, his eye never leaving its assigned perch near his rifle's AN/PVS-11/D night scope.

"Don't matter," Casket replied, getting uncharacteristically nervous as he checked his watch for the fourth time in as many minutes. "No need to know."

Sneadly would not let sleeping dogs lie. "C'mon, Sarge. You mean to tell me you bought all that bunk in the briefing about "phaseo-dementia-"

"Phasadimensional, you idiot" Corporal Bradley sighed and shouldered his M240 with a grunt. The machine gun was a non-standard special build made especially for the seven-foot five heavy gunner. Based off the original design of the Marine's M122, Corporal Bradley's "BBG Blaster" weighed in at almost thirty-two pounds. The normally quiet gunner continued, pointing towards the bottom of the crater with his chiseled chin. "The briefing detailed the types of energies that they're testing down there. It could change everything about the war."

Sneadly continued, and Casket could have sworn that he heard the little rat's teeth chattering. "But they were talking about their readings. T...that there were things moving inside those energy waves...living things."

"Yea, yea. Angels, demons, aliens, whatever you wanna call 'em, Snivs. So what of it?" Master's dry voice nipped the Private's words short. "So long as they all play nice and lie down when we get to it-"

A hissing burst from the radio, ripping through the pre-dawn light. "Contact. Contact. Dear God! We have contact!"

The soldiers of Company Zero only had about six seconds to dive behind the recently constructed earthen embankments. Luckily, to the finely honed reflexes of these Army rangers, six seconds was right next door to eternity. So, when the massive explosion ripped apart the ground, the sky, and the fabric of all reality happened, none of them were killed.

As such, it was the men of Company Zero who were the first humans to see the thing that stepped forth...

Art Source: "Alien" (c)/by Roboworks
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Army, #Rangers, #CompanyZero, #aliens, #demons, #angels, #phasadimensional

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sister Isabel Torres wanted to live a simple, quiet life.

Sister Isabel Torres wanted to live a simple, quiet life. She never wanted anything but peace, prayer, and the opportunity to grow closer to God. However, whether it was the mysterious and unfathomable Will of God or the unspeakable wiles of the Devil, this was not to be.

It was the year 2087 and the plague had finally reached even the remote nunnery of the Sisters of the Fading Light. Isabel had told them that it was coming—that her visions had been warnings as much as predictions—but none of them had listened to her. Now, their secluded and self-sustaining stone structure in the volcanic mountains of El Salvador would soon be overrun with the slavering, mutantanicgenic beastmen from the north.

Isabel had heard the stories from the few that survived the attacks. She had ministered to many of them herself. She had prayed for them as the poisonous saliva of their horrific, twisted attackers took its hold and transformed their bodies into animalistic killing machines. She had shown many of them the way to Salvation before their minds were boiled into little more than sludge inside their skulls by the intense conversion fever. Now, the Sister feared that there would be no more to save. No more to lead to the Mercy Seat of Christ, her Lord.

She could hear the howls and the screams, growing ever louder. She checked that all was ready and she made sure that Mercy, her Sig Sauer P990 was locked, cocked, and ready to rock. Her training was flawless, her armor was strong, her weapon was blessed, and her soul was secure.

“Let them come...”, she said to herself. “...For I fear no evil.”

Art Source: "Hell on Earth4" (c)/by Perun-Tworek
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #mutants, #God, #ElSalvador #guns, #nuns