Demon Chronicles, Part 3
IV When I finally stood up and my mind had mostly recovered I thought about what to do next. I wasn’t yet hungry so I wouldn’t need to hunt for a while. The humans that inhabit this place certainly sent the shadow demon, and once they find out it had failed in its mission I could expect more attempts to banish me. This demon was very powerful and I had barely managed to survive; hopefully that was the strongest weapon in their arsenal.
Haunted Mirror Story
The mirror showed a reflection that wasn’t my own. My blood ran cold at the tall, thin shadow that stood behind me. I spun around to see what it was as a jolt of adrenaline shot through my body, giving me shivers down my spine. There was nothing there. I turned around to face the mirror again and saw the same shadow, its reflection now standing in front of me. I tried to back away as my instincts screamed at me to run, hitting into the wall. And that’s when the lights began to dim and flicker, as if the electricity itself was running from this shadow. It began to step forward, and reached its long, thin arms out of the mirror to grab at the frame and begin to step out, its faceless gaze trained on me the whole time. A scream caught in my throat as I sprinted out of the bathroom, slamming the door as I went.
Demon Chronicles, Part 2
II When I awoke it was well past midday, the sunlight streaming in from the cave entrance tolerable to my eyes. I unfurled my wings and stood to my full height, the top of my horns only inches from the cave ceiling. As expected, I was immediately aware of an intense hunger that filled my body. I would have to eat, and soon-Hell was ever calling, attempting to drag my monstrous body back to its fiery depths. I leaped from my stony resting place and allowed my wings to extend to their full length as I sailed out of the cave entrance and into the sky beyond. Beneath me stretched the vast mountain range, gray rocks fighting to escape the confines of the planes and escape upward to the blue sky. They almost looked like a frozen sea of magma, rolling over each other in rigid outcroppings to create the jagged teeth of the earth.
Demon Chronicles, Part 1
It’s said we were once men who walked the earth above, where the air smells of freedom and the sun lights the world in a golden spectacle. In a world where black smoke doesn’t suffocate us, where flames do not lick the air in an attempt to consume all, where life is abundant rather than a desolate landscape. As the story goes, we had all done something unspeakably horrible and so the divine ones recreated us into the twisted monsters we are today and sent us here, to this hellish world of fire, as punishment. The landscape stretches into infinity, a barren wasteland of dark rock, lava and fire. Scattered among the stone, ever-burning flames reach into a lightless sky, the embers sailing ever upward to be consumed by an endless, starless night. The all-consuming heat suffocates us and creates a dark haze across the landscape, while my kind roam for eternity with little interaction apart from hatred and violence.
Why Learn About War?
In William Strauss and Neil Howe’s book, The Fourth Turning, they envision human history as cyclical with different seasons, just as nature has its seasons. An article called “What exactly is the ‘Fourth Turning’ envisioned by William Strauss and Neil Howe,” witten by 3D Research, discusses the theory behind the book. The idea is that around every 20 years nations go through a different season or “turning”. “In simplest terms, the ‘First Turning’ is an upbeat era of strengthening institutions. The ‘Second Turning’ is an awakening, a passionate era of spiritual upheaval, when the old order comes under attack. The ‘Third Turning’ is an unraveling — a time when individualism is strengthened and institutions are weakened. The ‘Fourth Turning’ is a crisis, a decisive era of secular upheaval — the old order is toppled and a new one put in its place” (13D Research). The end of the fourth cycle brings about a great crisis that marks the end of the cycle.
Freedom's Captain (Remake)
“What the hell’s the matter with ‘im?! Savin’ us just to let the damned British catch us again?!” We had rescued Axel, a small man with a long beard and round stomach from the gallows earlier that day, and he was not keen on being recaptured by the British. What crime he had committed none of us knew, but he was one of us now. As always, we had entered the nearest city under the cover of night and acted as beggars during the day-a believable disguise given our ragged, sun-bleached clothing. We had found Axel along with a dozen other criminals awaiting their deaths behind a public gallows. Just as the first man was about to hang, our captain had led us in a surprise attack, killing some of the nearby guards while forcing others at gunpoint onto our ship, Freedom. The Captain must’ve known we couldn’t outrun the British as it was now those captured guards that kept us alive.
“Oi, why’d yer Cap’n just sit us still so the British could catch up to us? We coulda at least tried to leave ‘em behind on the seas.” The man who spoke, Axel, was a small and unremarkable figure who was one of the newest batch of crewmen, just freed from the gallows earlier in the day. He addressed the dozen or so crewmates who gathered around a small table belowdecks, waiting for the return of their captain. With skin darkened from the sun and ragged clothes from long days at sea, these men more closely resembled beggars and thieves than the crew of a ship. It was Brand, a tall and powerfully built man who was one of the oldest members of the crew, who replied. “We’d never make it, did ye see the speed of that thing? Freedom may be nimble, but she ain’t the fastest in the world, nor does she got the most guns. We couldn’t outrun or outgun those bastards if we tried, so Cap’s gotta make a deal. They’d’ve never let us go anyway, not until they get back ye and yer fellow criminals, or these lot,” he nodded his head in the direction of the tied up English guards who sat on the floor nearby. These red-coated men were unlucky enough to be stationed at the gallows when the Captain and his men had made their entrance. “I’m not sure how Cap’ll get us out o’ this one, but mark me words, lad, he always does.”
The Edge of the Galaxy
Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. These were Amylia’s thoughts as she gazed out the viewport and into the dark abyss of space. Floating through the black emptiness were the bodies of her fellow crew, mouths contorted in silent screams as the void swallowed them. Some were still dying while most were already dead, but the fear in their motionless eyes and mouths was universal. Amylia heard the damaged ship groaning under the strain of the breaches blasted into the hull, twisted metal bending and breaking as the vacuum of space tore at the ruined ship. Amylia was powerless to change her fate as she watched the ship around her break apart, knowing that it was only seconds until she was flung into the cold darkness of space. She closed her eyes as the deafening final screech of the ship brought the hungry emptiness of space a new kill.
Deep in space, a solitary ship drifts through the void. Infinite emptiness stretches away from the spaceship, crewed by some of the most experienced men and women to travel the stars. In an unknown region of space, these brave travelers have been sent to map the edges of the known galaxy. Searching for valuable minerals, new habitable planets for mankind, or whatever other mysteries may lie in the depths of space, the crew had volunteered for this mission-one that would take months, or even years, to complete. One man could be seen through the main viewport, the captain gazing out the window and letting his mind wander, considering what mysteries the newest discovered solar system might contain. The expedition had already discovered new elements and planet types, and the crew couldn’t wait to continue onto the next system.
He raised his view up to the night sky, the stars and moon gazing expectantly down upon him. The crisp, chill air was filled with the silence of the night, save for a distant whisper of wind. The only hint of life in the bitter stillness came from his breath, creating faint ghosts of life that vanished as they rose up into the darkness. It was then that his voice began to accompany the silence of the night. He thought the words and all that they implied before offering them to the world. Alone on a windswept plain, he made a promise, not to himself but to his bright and distant observers far above. His words were heard by none but the night, yet it was a vow more sacred than any made to men. The voice lacked volume, yet the conviction it carried was eternal. The land accepted the words as they were carried across the frost-bitten grass, never to be heard again. Silence once again took hold of the night, the man in harmony with the Earth’s desires, his purpose fulfilled.