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Thread: Short Story thread

  1. #1
    Lin Kuei Assassin Bruzzrad's Avatar
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    Short Story thread

    The Comeback


    Things always seem to go from bad to worse these days. Then again, Time was never really on anyone's side. My home-town wasn't spared during my absence. The entire town seemed to have went forward twenty years with no maintenance to keep it up and running. The sun hung high in the air but the sky had an eerie grayness to it. I looked back as the state bus sped off, leaving me in the dust. I looked back at the city and heaved my military-grade back pack onto my shoulder. I started my walk.

    The populations here dropped to an all-time low. None of the shops were open for business, most of them were boarded up. I looked left and right as the city started to get worse and worse. Then something caught my eye up ahead. I walked up to one of the telephone poles on the street corner. A yellow warning sign with the bio-hazard symbol on it, what happened while I was deployed? I looked past the sign and saw two men walking down the street. Both of them wore marine uniforms, similar to mine. Each wore a gas mask and carried a M4 rifle. I wasn't sure if I should approach them or stay out of sight. Too late. One of them pointed at me as the second started walking towards me.

    "You've got balls to walk around out here without a mask." He told me.
    "What are you talking about? What happened here?" He looked around, the back at me.
    "Did you have any family in Sunny Orchard?" He asked. I nodded. He looked down and sighed. "There's nothing left, the Enemy have leveled the entire residential district with one of their newer toys. A compact nuclear bomb. Sunny Orchard was unlucky enough to get targeted in a bombing run." He hit my should with his hand and walked forward. "Sorry for your loss." Everybody? Gone? I shook my head, this can't be right. The second soldier walked up to me.
    "Here, use this spare mask. If you want to pay any last respects, you'll need it." I was still trying to get over the sudden grief that my entire family is dead as I took the mask from him. He walked my opposite direction as I proceeded forward.

    It wasn't long before I met the radiation fog. My radiation ticker went off like crazy as I trudged deeper into the blast zone. I had no idea why I am still going forward. Everyone is dead, there is nothing left for me to go see. What hope did I have for anyone's survival from a nuclear strike? Apparently, enough to keep me moving.

    I finally found the first residential home. More like, what is left of it. Only the cement foundation remained where the home stood. All the other homes were the same, except for the rare piece of wood still standing. All the trees were black and leafless against the fog. I managed to find where my home stood. Nothing remained, but I still walked up to the foundation. I looked around the floor, trying to hold back my emotions. I saw shadows of mom and dad, holding each other in a corner of where the living room was. My younger sister's shadow was in mid sprint, trying to reach mom and dad. I bowed my head and walked back to where the front door used to be.

    I sat there for what felt like hours. Everyone is dead, and I came home to nothing. Where will I go? What will I do? Re-enlist? I've had my fair share of killing. I pulled my M9 pistol from my holster and looked over the barrel. I pulled the safety and put the tip of the barrel to the side of my head. Right before I pulled the trigger, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see a person standing behind me. However, it wasn't a person. This charred remains of a human had their hand on my shoulder. The face looked singed off. All of the flesh was burnt and the hair, gone. Then I saw the gold ring melted to the creature's finger. I looked back up as it looked at me. It had no eyes.
    "Mom?" I felt the grip tighten on my shoulder as it started to lunge down at me.

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  3. #2
    Elder God Shirayuki Mizore's Avatar
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    Re: Short Story thread

    That was grade-A badass!

    Nice read!

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    Defender of EarthRealm Critical-Limit's Avatar
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    Re: Short Story thread

    The Gambler

    It was a great night at Vegas, I could feel everyone's angst, nerves, extreme excitement all over inside the Royal Casino. The clock was running quickly and I was getting tired a bit early for just 1 a.m. I stayed for one more round of Black Jack, before nailing a Jack, and a 4 of hearts.

    "Hit me." I told the dealer. He flicked a card in my direction.

    3 of Spades... I was hoping for something a tiny bit higher, but the odds are against me. I stay. The guy seating 2 seats down from me landed a king/king combo. Taking my loss like a man I nodded in his direction, and began shifting toward the elevator. A woman in a red coat, most likely an employee here, she had tired eyes, and her hair covered her face enough I couldn't make out much of her features other than her eyes. I hold the door open.

    "Thank you.." She lets out almost as a whisper and as if she was hiding from someone.

    "What floor?" I asked. She looked up at me then back toward the buttons.

    "12 Please." She asked. I nodded, and hit 12 and my floor 14. realizing there isn't a 13th floor I forgot alot of hotels skip that number because of superstitious people. The awkward silence made the quick ride seem a bit slower than normal. We hit floor 12, and then suddenly the elevator stops responding just as the doors open.

    "Shit, guess I'll just take the stairs." I let out, trying to see if she would emitt a response.

    "I wouldn't do that, just wait a second they'll fix the elevators soon enough." I didn't understand her logic as that could take forever when I could literally just walk up a couple flight of stairs and make my way to my room.

    "Why not?" I asked.

    "I can't speak about it." She lets out. before I could even give her a funny look she opened a room and entered it locking it behind her quickly. For some reason I have this urging feeling that I should heed her random warning. But instead, I went against that feeling and headed for the stairs...


    To be Continued.

  5. #4
    New Kombatant Abhishek Gangulee's Avatar
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    Re: Short Story thread

    The Lightning-rod Man of San Francisco


    ====

    Chan was a 20 year-old Chinese man who immigrated to San Francisco, California (USA) in 1983 and immediately fell in love with Hollywood movies. His favorite film, Big Trouble in Little China, would haunt him and remind him of the special mystical power of the Eastern god of lightning (Raiden) from his favorite combat video game Mortal Kombat. Chan remembered reading Herman Melville's insurance-paranoia modern fable "The Lightning-rod Man" at UCSF and thought about the mastery Raiden wielded over electric energy. Chan decided to dress up as Raiden every Halloween and feel festive in the multicultural atmosphere of San Francisco.

    Chan realized that his festive populism spirit was tied to his love of movies, video-games, storytelling, and outlandish fantasy-realm avatars such as Raiden (who had become his 'costume angel'). One Halloween, Chan met a strange old man walking down Haight-Ashbury pushing a stroller carrying a small child who was holding a baby-kitten. Chan walked up to the man and inquired of the apparent affectionate and adorable bond between the child and the kitten, but the old man scoffed at him and said, "I work for the San Francisco crime syndicate leader Leather-Man who plans to revolutionize this 'dirty city,' so unless you have some political wisdom to impart on me this fine Halloween Eve, get out of my way so I can continue on my stroll with my child and his baby-kitten!"

    Chan always remembered the words of the strange old man and his kitten-holding child in the stroller. He started to wonder if San Francisco's changing political and cultural landscape (as immigration became complex in the age of commerce and consumerism --- i.e., Facebook) was affecting the general optimism of the people of California (and America!). Chan decided to become a 'priest' of sorts, so he was baptized as a born-again Christian and began blogging on the Internet about the wonderful culture-exposure video-game fans received when they used the Oriental god of lightning Raiden in online combat tournaments. Chan wrote, "Raiden is doing for 'cyber-traffic' and gameplay what Chinatown did for ethnic business organization, and we have only Christian openness to thank for it!" Chan decided that his love of Raiden reminded him of a new age consumerism-optimism towards 'pedestrianism dystopian insurance,' and he started thinking again of Melville's omen-splendid "The Lightning-rod Man." This optimism would soon be tested.

    Chan started facing tough opposition from critics, including the ominous Leather-Man who was still the leader of the impressive San Francisco crime syndicate. Leather-Man had his goons start posting angry retorts to Chan's posts such as, "Chan is a simple Christian idealist who thinks he can equate Raiden and video games with cyber-optimism in this age of overt and 'practical profiteerism'!" Chan's enemies started calling him the Cyber-Insurance Idiot and the new age 'Lightning-rod Man'! Chan was angered, since he always believed the Melville short-story his critics were citing to reference the 'insurance fear-monger' the Lightning-rod Man was meant to convey a populism focus on 'traffic sensitivity' (not Machiavellian cynicism). Chan decided to go on a 'Babylon blogging crusade,' which would see him eventually assassinated, but his fans remembered him as the Melville Martyr.

    ====


    raiden1.jpg

  6. #5
    New Kombatant Abhishek Gangulee's Avatar
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    Re: Short Story thread

    The Feminine Mystique: Artemisia/Cleopatra/Sindel


    ====

    Sindel travelled back through time to forget about her woes after being rejected by Raiden for whom she had developed a secret love. Sindel travelled to the ancient world and visited the realms of Artemisia of Greece/Persia and Cleopatra of Egypt/Rome. Sindel wanted to compare the daring and inventive feats of Artemisia who brought great satisfaction for King Xerxes with the imaginativeness and shrewdness of Cleopatra who had created a rather complex 'web' between Caesar and Mark Antony in a time when Rome and Egypt were 'melding.' Sindel decided that Artemisia was very resourceful, but Cleopatra was a natural queen.

    Sindel empathized with the affection-yearnings of Artemisia and Cleopatra and wanted to see them in the protective arms of Xerxes and Mark Antony. However, she knew of their destinies from historians and from Shao Kahn, so she knew she'd have to throw a proverbial 'monkey-wrench' into the vortex and conqueror-equation of Artemisia and Cleopatra. Sindel kept thinking of Raiden and how he refused to marry her, and this gave her extra motivation to investigate the mysticism behind the 'feminine mystique' and how it informed the developing lives (and dominions) of Artemisia and Cleopatra.

    Sindel decided to transport precious jewels between the times/lands of Artemisia and Cleopatra and tell the two powerful women that the precious gems were from each other --- unique warrior-like women separated merely by time and space. Artemisia confided in Sindel and told her of her loyalty/affection for Xerxes, and Cleopatra told Sindel of her yearning for Mark Antony. Sindel agreed to help them both as long as they kept secret that she was a magical warrior from a distant fantasy-realm known as Outworld. Sindel also explained she was recently heart-broken by Raiden (god of thunder and lightning).

    Sindel enjoyed the graces and compassion and friendship of both Artemisia and Cleopatra. The two ancient-world women realized they gained a real potent and helpful 'magical muse' for their outstanding ancient-world campaigns. Artemisia wanted Sindel to send her a warrior to help her fight in Persia and Greece one summer, and Sindel sent her Cyrax (a half-mechanical menace); Cleopatra wanted Sindel to send her a male confidante and wizard to console her about her challenges with Mark Antony in a world torn apart by pure ambition and power-triangles, and Sindel sent her Kotal Kahn (a mighty chief) who turned out to be her most helpful consultant. It was Kotal Kahn who advised Cleopatra to woo Caesar (and she obeyed!). Sindel realized she had learned much about the timelessness of the 'feminine mystique' from her dances with Artemisia and Cleopatra. She would impart this Babylonian wisdom onto her daughter, Kitana!

    ====


    Artemisia I of Caria

    Cleopatra

    Sindel



    artie-cleo.jpg

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