Writer: Timothy Dumont Jr.
Co-writer: Crystal Ferguson

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

177: Waking Up -Will-

Light flooded the room that Nick, Crystal and I had been occupying until I could see nothing else. Soft, clean smelling fabric pressed against my face as I opened my eyes to see a sight I never thought I'd see again.

In her slumber, she looked more beautiful than the day we'd met. Every day was like that; something new to love revealed itself every time I opened my eyes in the morning to her beautiful face. It was like a game to be played until she opened her green eyes and smiled. From her delicate chin to her curly light brown hair, there was nothing I didn't love.

It had been so long since I'd seen her face, that I ignored the sound of the bedroom door opening. I was so transfixed, that I missed the patter of small feet as they ran toward the bed.

"Is she sleeping?" A small tug on my side of the blankets pulled me from my captivation and the sweet voice of our five year old almost brought tears to my eyes.

I rolled over to see the innocent eyes of our daughter, Samantha, looking up at me. I tentatively reached out to pat her on the head, worried that this was only some weird dream. When her soft locks of hair got caught between my fingers actual tears dripped on the blanket.

"Is she sleeping, Daddy?"

"Yes, she's sleeping. Let's let her rest for a bit before waking her. Where's your brother?"

Had I dreamed it all? I remembered walking down that hallway, following the smell of blood to their room, as though it had all happened yesterday. It seemed so real, so intense that I'd mistaken it for reality. It seemed like I'd slept for years, a nightmare unrelenting.

"Gary is watching cartoons. I asked him to pour the milk in my cereal but he told me to ask Mommy. Could you pour me the milk, please?" My heart was beating in my chest as she looked at me with the look she gave if she wanted something. The look that always let her get her way.

I glanced back at my slumbering lover and then smiled at Samantha, "Of course I can."

I slipped from the covers and made my way to the kitchen. From the kitchen, I could see into the living room where my eight year old son sat watching cartoons with the volume low.

"Dude, your parents suck!" A voice on the television announced causing Gary to burst into laughter. It'd felt so long since I'd heard his laugh.

In roughly fifteen minutes, both of our kids were in the backyard playing tag. It didn't matter that there was only two players and they would just keep alternating who was "it". They enjoyed just running around.

I felt arms wrap around my waist and her chest pressed against my back. I smelled her light spray of perfume as she rested her chin on my shoulder.

"Don't go to work today.", I felt her arms squeeze my waist as she spoke, "I know you have that big investigation you're working on, but take today off. Stay with me."

Patrick. OCS Industries. Right now, it just didn't seem worth going after anymore. All I wanted to do was stay right here with them. My dream was so vivid and terrifying, that it made me see things differently.

I turned to look into Robin's eyes, "There is nothing that could get me to leave you today."

An unexpected kiss that lasted for what seemed like forever, and an enchanting smile washed all memories of my horrific dream away. I had them back, and I'd never let them go again.

Somewhere deep inside something told me that I was wrong.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

176: Abhorian War -Christina-

Ahead I watched a lone human trying to fight against a beast that was once known to level cities in a single night. The Abhorians had been known for their swift and unrelenting attacks on human settlements in the Other Lands.

If you had told me that in a few thousand years, that I'd be seeing a human dodge an Abhorian's attacks, I'd have thought you were mad. Humans had changed since I'd slept. They'd grown stronger and gained more fighting prowess in such a short time. The rest of my kind was dead, but I wasn't sure that humans needed our protection anymore.

I shook my head. No, I was wrong. Humans would always need my kind. Carl was fighting well, but losing fast. I'd severed the hold Melissa had on him and it wasn't helping. I grabbed my weapon off the floor and ran forward.

The world exploded. Intense white light flowed from the door stopping everyone in their tracks, except the Abhorian whose arm caught Carl in the side. Carl was lifted from the ground and the force of the hit sent him flying in to the wall. He wouldn't be getting up from that, not with out a miracle.

I turned to protect Carl from the Abhorian, but the world faded as the Abhorian shambled toward his limp body. The bright white faded to blackness, and then the world around me came in to focus.

I was standing atop the scaly back of a jet black dragon flying high above the battle happening below. Below me, my people were storming the last standing Abhorian stronghold, but had been ambushed from behind by some Elite Abhorian Vanguards. I swooped down, raining fire on their back lines and picking off a few heads if I was close enough.

By the looks of it the Abhorians were going to win this battle, several of our own elite had fallen under the ever growing fear our enemies caused in living beings. I knelt down on my trusted dragon's back as we flew low over the battlefield, dodging attacks and knocking the legs out from under the taller Abhorians, so they could easily be killed by our ground troops.

The tallest Abhorian I've ever seen was the size of a small mountain, and the smallest the size of a young child. Abhorian elites stood at about two times the size of a normal human and could move faster than most signed Gods, so when one jumped on to the back of my dragon I didn't hesitate. A step back and a simple flip over my shoulder gave my dragon a mid-battle snack. I urged my steed in to the skies again to survey the battle. That was when I saw them, a new type of Abhorian.

They could fly, and very fast. They were on me in minutes and I spun in an attempt to shake them off but they held tight. I swung a foot out and made one lose their grip by inserting my foot in to their gut. I heard the dragon scream as we lost control, plummeting to the tall Abhorian building.

To my surprise the Abhorians held on and flapped to force us to fall at a faster speed. I saw the building getting closer and shut my eyes as the Abhorians finally let us go. My dragon and I smashed in to that wall and darkness surrounded me again.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

175: Flashback; New Found Purpose -Melissa- (by Crystal Ferguson)

My sweet, sweet Qaliphus was now dead, and all because he felt the need to save this child. A child who had no business being outside. A child who knew better than to be in the road. A child who should have been in the house, under the supervision of his parents--

The parents.

If they were more attentive, their child would not be dead. More importantly, if not for their neglect, Qaliphus would still be alive. My dream would have become a blossoming reality instead of this shattered mess before me.

I clenched my fists in anger, tears streaming down my cheeks. Filthy humans. Weren't the adults suppose to be more responsible than this? What was the point of them existing if they did not protect their younglings?
All I knew in that instant is that they should pay for their ignorance; they didn't deserve to live.

I turned my back to the freshly deceased and zipped my way up and in to the home. The parents were laughing as the remaining two children played mind-numbing video games. How infuriating.

While they distracted themselves with mindless laughter, I took the liberty of pulling out skewers from a nearby open drawer. They were a tad heavy for my size, but I managed to carry them over to the table, letting them drop with a clatter. The couple looked but quickly shrugged it off, and continued with their conversation.

I picked one skewer up and with all my might, I thrust the sharpened end in and through the adult male’s neck. The female screamed in horror as her husband collapsed, gasping for air. She bent over him, her face stricken in panic. I swooped up the second skewer and shoved it downward, repeating the process for the adult female. She too fell over, noises of helplessness gushing out from her lungs. Both husband and wife flailed from the sudden impacts. After a few minutes passed, both became silent and unmoving.

Feeling justified in my act, I immediately left the bodies behind. As I flew away from the house, I heard the cries of their children as they found the dead parents. Some day they would thank me for freeing them from such negligence. They deserved better parents than that.

As I dashed through the outside world, a boy caught my attention. I came to a stop and hid behind a nearby leaf. An adult male was yelling at him, beating him down with his own fists.

“You worthless sack of shit!“, another fist hit the child, “When in the Hell are you going to man up, boy?! Huh, Carl?!”

The man shoved him, spitting at the ground afterward. He grunted and turned to leave him there. The boy just sat there, his head hanging low.

Such treatment sickened me. Were all adults truly this evil? What in the name of all that is human did children do to deserve such consequence? To my knowledge, children were far more innocent and harmless than that of the adults. They needed someone to protect them; not hurt them.

It was then that I vowed to stop this madness at all costs.

174: Flashback; Shattered Dreams -Melissa- (by Crystal Ferguson)

On this particular day, the children were minding themselves in the living room while the parents conversed in the kitchen. Qaliphus and I were outside the home, sitting on the freshly cut lawn. The sun was high in the sky and the small breeze here and there was uplifting. Traffic was rather light, aside from the occasional, obnoxiously loud vehicle racing by on the road. It seemed as if nothing could go wrong; all was well in the world.

I still remember when he turned to me with a smile and the utter most confidence in his eyes. He knew what he wanted to say, and knew if he looked long enough before speaking a word, that I would tense up. His lips curved more when my body responded in such a way, a nervous giggle escaping my lips.

“Melissa?”, he innocently questioned. Qaliphus knew all too well how to strike my cords with ease.
I jumped a bit, “Yes?”
“I have noticed the amount of affection you hold for me.”

The tingling feelings inside of me rose, making me feel nauseous. I gulped and kept my focus on him,
“Have you now?”

He nodded, his hands gently taking mine. I felt a burning sensation in my cheeks as he and I stared in to each other’s eyes.
His face came in closer to mine, our noses just barely touching. “I must confess that I, too, hold much affection for you.”

Within that moment I felt the greatest amount of happiness. My hands squeezed at his as a true smile broadened across my features. At the time, the youngest had made his way to outside the home. It didn't seem all too important that he was outside; I was too busy soaking in Qaliphus’ words.

“Oh, Qaliphus…”, I leaned in closer, lips practically connecting, “I've waited for so long.”

Our lips made contact, my eyes closing and my wings fluttering from the new, delighting experience. Warmth embraced my very being. Pulling back; out of the corner of my eye I saw the youngest had made his way to the road, swinging a stick side to side. Why in the world was he playing there, and with a stick no less?

What happened next seemed all too surreal.

A flash of red came rushing toward the child. With out skipping a beat, Qaliphus flew to the tiny one’s side. A child’s scream curdled. Tires screeched. And then, a thud. The child laid lifeless on the road, red liquid oozing from his skull. Qaliphus was too late. The person in the red vehicle climbed out, saw what they had hit, and in a panic climbed back in and drove off; the boy’s body being left behind like a wild animal.

I flew over with haste, gasping at the true mess it made. The worst part wasn't the boy’s death. Laying next to him, with his blood spilled beneath, was Qaliphus; unmoving and limp.

It took the longest time for my dream of having him love me back to come true.

It only took seconds for that dream to shatter.

173: Flashback; The Sweet Escape -Melissa- (by Crystal Ferguson)

We had to leave our home land behind, the Other Lands, in order to ensure our survival. Many of the Gods longed to end our existence. We were the last of our kind. Staying there would only bring inevitable death.

Qaliphus and I decided to settle in to this world; the world of humans. Here, we would be able to hide from the Gods. Here, we could bloom a whole new life together. Knowing this filled me with tingling feelings.

To share a life with Qaliphus that did not dwell around constant fighting was a pleasant thought for me.

He had great skill behind him, but he also possessed a softer side; one that didn't show too often. He was a warrior first and a friend second. We had mutual respect for one another’s power; though the feelings I had for him were overwhelming. Sadly, his feelings were not the same when it came to me. Oddly enough, I was okay with this. After all, I still had the pleasure of keeping him by my side. As long as he was there, I was perfectly content. Oh, Qaliphus…

Upon our arrival to the human world, he and I came across a seemingly loving family. There were two adults and three children. The oldest of the children was ten, the middle child to be six, and the youngest was four. All young enough to be able to see us. Of course, the parents were unable to see us. They never had contact with our world to have such privileged sight. At least they didn't question their children; the parents just thought it was their children’s imagination at work when the topic of Fay were brought up. Either way, we settled in rather smoothly with the humans.

The children took to us quickly, filled with much awe that creatures such as Qaliphus and I existed. Every now and again I would simply observe as he played with the three boys. He played hide and seek or tag, told stories of great triumph, and would some times pull a prank or two on them. They would laugh in delight from his shenanigans. It warmed my tiny body and brought a smile to my face to see such interaction. This was the side of Qaliphus that I adored the most. He might have had the will to kill in an instant, but his will to bring happiness was far more astonishing to me.

As the weeks passed, my love for Qaliphus began to grow all the more. I had never felt more happy in my entire life. Qaliphus and I were closer than ever before, or at least that’s how it felt to me.

I longed to be able to forever keep him by my side; to love him unconditionally.

Fate decided otherwise.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

172: Out Of My Head -Alice-

Life is something that you have until you don't, and once gone you lose everything; gain nothing. At least this is what I thought when I'd woken up this morning and slipped on my clothes. They were hidden beneath the beer cans filled with various liquids unknown that littered the living room floor.

I stepped over my Dad's passed out body and made my way over to the other couch, where my Mother lay naked and bruised. I could see her breathe as I covered her with the living room rug that had gotten swept up in last night's binge drinking. A cold draft came from the open front door. Stepping carefully over the many empty syringes and pill bottles, I made my way toward it.

Today, I was lucky. I was going to a museum for a field trip, which meant I wouldn't have to deal with my Dad's violent hangovers and my Mother's scalding tongue of hate. I was never good enough to them and honestly, I didn't think I was either. I guess that's what happens when you live your life always being told how pathetic you are.

I grabbed my yellow stained backpack and as I shut the door behind me I sniffed it, only to find that my Dad had probably lost control of his bladder in its general vicinity. Ignoring the smell I headed off to the bus.

The entire bus ride to the museum I endured the children that made passing comments about my hair and the smell of my backpack. Being fourteen is hard, being fourteen with my family . . . is impossible. Some days, I just wished I would die. That bus ride was the last one I'd ever take, and I wish I could take it again.

I wish I'd never woken up in that chair, unable to move and staring at a strange, terrified looking man. I heard another man say what was going on, and I saw the man in front of me make the single choice that I'd never realized that I didn't want.

My Mother was horrible. My life was a mess. I had no friends, but I didn't want to die.

The pain as the guy stood up was beyond explanation. Small metal shards pushing their way through the side of my face, making mush of what I once called my brain. My life was over in an instant because one guy decided that I wasn't worth living, just like everyone else I knew. I welcomed the darkness that should have followed. I closed my ethereal eyes and waited for the nothing.

I still could think but that would be gone soon. Even the voices of the people in the room would fade. All cares would be gone, and there would be nothing of me left. Soon.

Fifteen minutes passed and the room had become empty.

So why was I still here?

Friday, March 11, 2011

171: KEEEYAH!! -Christina-

She was fast. Melissa's movement didn't even register until the bolt of sprite magic smashed into my bleeding chest. New pain surged down my arm as the cackling of magic signified her next attack was on its way. I rolled to the side trying to ignore the growing pain as her magic made my wound feel worse than ever.

"What the fuck?!", Carl yelled as the bolt of energy knocked his blade from his hand. It clattered across the floor to the other side of his huge opponent. The Abhorian laughed.

This was bad. Carl would soon fall to the Abhorian without any help and I was stuck dodging this picky flea's bites. Another bolt slammed into the floor next to me.

"Pay attention to me, not that stupid human. This is between you and me, the last of our kinds!" Melissa's magic flowed around her at an increasing rate as she powered the next attack, "Kill me angel!", she released the magic in my direction.

"My pleasure!" I spun my blade around above my head and slammed it on the approaching energy, causing it to split and fly in two different directions; one just barely missing Carl and the other harmlessly hitting the wall.

"Could you maybe not try to kill me?" Carl gasped as he dodged the Abhorian.

Ignoring his cries, I closed the distance between me and Melissa. I brought my blade around only to have it shocked from my hand by a light blast of magic. Melissa spun and swung her foot forward, catching me under my chin with a concentrated magic force.

I fell back and my vision blurred slightly. The pain from the stab and the sprite magic were making things more difficult than they all ready were. Melissa became a flurry of energy as she connected with seven more heavy hits to my face. The combination of pain and her magic made it difficult to move.

"You see, angel? We were supposed to survive. You would have all fallen to us because you're weak. A worthless creation with no redeeming features." She emphasized her point with more fairy magic, "You just sit there while I slap your life away. Like a good dog."

"KEEEYAH!!" The bear known as Vincent came out of nowhere, tackling Melissa to the floor. Melissa shot blast after blast of sprite magic, but without any life the bear was unaffected. The bear grabbed her face and rammed his knee into her stomach. I could see pain in Melissa's face though I knew the bear to be very soft. I stood to give him support but he turned and growled.

"While you were over here having a squabble with this Barbie, Carl has been fighting for his life! He may be a pain in the ass but if he dies, I'll kill you. Go help him!"

It'd never occurred to me that something so small could be so scary.

170: Sever The Connection -Christina-

With inhuman reflexes, Carl leaped to the left as the Abhorian's massive hand smashed the floor where he'd been. Carl spun swiftly while bringing his blade down, catching some Abhorian fingers beneath its sharpness. With a roar the Abhorian pulled back and swiped it's other arm toward Carl.

Carl moved like nothing human I could remember. He ducked beneath the Abhorian's arm and swung the blade toward the Abhorian's middle. The sword came so close that the Abhorian reacted as though he'd been hit.

Something was wrong here. Humans don't move like that, not without help, and there was only one other being here capable of giving that kind of help. I closed my eyes and saw the line of power flowing from Carl to somewhere behind me. The sprite.

Everything happened at once. The Abhorian drew his arm back for a hit that would knock any human silly. I grabbed my blade and severed the connection between the sprite and Carl, and turned to face Melissa. The Abhorian swung his arm forward and without the sprite's cursed power Carl couldn't get out of the way.

"What?! Are you trying to kill him?!", Melissa seemed more mad at the fact that her connection was gone than the fact that Carl's life was now in danger.

"Quit the lies, you rotten sprite. You have some kind of plan for this human. Your kind always used humans against their will.", I pointed my blade at her.

Behind me I could hear Carl's grunts as he did his best to avoid the Abhorian. His exhaustion was very evident on his voice. If he could survive long enough for me to dispatch this Sprite, then I could help.

Melissa gave a smile coated with evil sweetness, "You angels and your stupid, honorable natures. Can't watch your precious humans die, can you? You have to get involved. Well, you're the last of your kind, deary. They've all died. It's sad . . . "

Melissa sparked a purplish blue, giving her an even more sinister appearance, "It's sad that today the last of the angels fall!"

Then she attacked.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

169: Shattered And Reformed, Similarities Bond -Ben-

Right there behind my eyelids the scene replayed in high definition slow motion. Over and over again I saw the child's head explode, and felt the warmth of her blood splatter against my face and body. My choice ended her life. My choice turned me into a monster.

The repeating horror pushed me into a small place deep in my mind, and from there I watched as I began my assault on Andrew. I should have felt bad, I should have stopped myself from desecrating that young girl's body, but I didn't. I could feel the rage, even this far gone. I felt the killing instinct explode as I stopped caring about whether he could breathe.

The anger didn't help get rid of the pain. I had brutally murdered a young girl. Nothing could bring her back. Her parents would never see her again.

"Mardockt." A voice in my head filled my stomach with sickness.

I fell to my hands and knees as my breakfast found its way to the floor in front of me. I had become what my uncle had told me I would. A complete monster. I was just like him. I felt right in killing that girl. I still felt that I was right, but I knew it was wrong. I should have sat there, I should have done something else. Anything else.

"Ben, it's all right.", a voice pierced through my thoughts. Saba's voice.

"No! Leave me alone! I'm sickening. I'm disgusting." I spun and swung my fist toward her face.

I felt the impact and waited for retribution but it never came. She opened her arms and hugged me. I pushed away, but failed because of my sickened and weakened body.

"Stop! I'm . . . Stop."

"Ben, I've killed many, many people. I killed them with no reason besides my own greed. I crave the feel of blood and violence, but that isn't you."

I tried to fight some more. The slickness of the blood beneath us seemed to make it harder for me to fight against her grasp.

"You didn't make her die. This doesn't make you a monster, Ben. You saved my life and probably countless others. In my whole life, I've never saved a single life. I've never saved, only destroyed. I am a monster Ben."

"But I did this, what if it's stuck in me?! What if this horrid feeling never leaves? This dirt and grime that I can't see but fills me with self hate?! What if I break one day, what if I follow in his footsteps?!"

"I won't let that happen. I'll kill you before you destroy yourself."

The tears came suddenly, and I wrapped my arms around Saba. My face on her chest, I let the emotions flood forth. It wasn't the good Saba that held me close till my tears slowed. It was the Saba that lusted for blood. An understanding had formed between us.

I looked into her eyes, "Do you promise to kill me if I go that far?"

She nodded, "I promise."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

168: Abhorian -Carl-

I'd never in my life seen anything like what had come through the door. In my time I'd faced against giant crabs, the ghost of a doll, and a swarm of zombie children, but I'd never seen something like this.

As the smoke from the remains of the door faded, I found myself looking at a very tall, shadowy creature. It stood on two partially bent legs and had massive arms, with fingers as long as I am tall. The more I stared at it the more frightful I became of it.

"An Abhorian?", Melissa hissed as she pointed at Christina, "Can't your kind ever kill something dead?"

"This is different.", I could hear the surprise in Christina's voice as she stuttered, "I thought we had."

I didn't take my eyes off the creature that stood in the doorway studying us silently.

"I hate to interrupt your obvious surprise, but I don't know what this thing is."

"An Abhorian is a lower beast that feeds on fear. It's commo-"

"Oh, shut up!", Melissa interrupted Christina, "It's the monster in the closet, under the bed, in the dark, et cetera. The more you look at it, the more it fills you with fear. They don't usually become strong enough to be physical. I guess the door is doing something to it."

Christina gave Melissa a dirty look and then slid Andrew's sword over to me, "Just, don't look at it and you'll be fine."

The beast let out a roar and charged.