Tag Archives: novel

Short Story: The Heir

My father wants me to take his place.

I say that because he lost his life earlier today…

In fact, we lost our entire village. I’ve been out searching for somewhere that me and the others could stay all day. It’s my job to do such a thing, as the new leader. It just feels so off…

I’m one of the youngest. Yet they’re all so keen to follow me.

All but my brother.

He seems very jealous that I took father’s place, when he’s the eldest. I don’t much understand his anger, we are twins, after all. Is it really that different? If he had taken father’s place, I would have accepted it peacefully.

That doesn’t matter so much now, though.

My name is Atichi, I am the Sunset Clan’s new Grand Master. I live in such a small group of the clan because they are my elites, they are bred and trained to be as skilled as I am, and we are to seclude ourselves in a small group.

That’s just how it works.

I’ve found myself in a town out of the woods, perhaps there is some sort of an inn we can use here. Or at least food to purchase, our survival matters even more than relocating, of course.

This town isn’t so big. Just a few streets of big houses, all very neatly boarded with wooden boards to create some neat patterns on them. The concrete that builds them up seems to be rather clean and solid.

I finally see someone that might be able to help me! I dash closer quickly, hoping that my attire won’t frighten her too much. Just a black suit covering my body, exposing my arms with three lines of paint on them.

The iconic orange scarf and mask on my face. But at least my red hair is exposed, as well as the orange feather stuck in it at the top.

“Excuse me!” I call out, raising a hand in a friendly gesture to try and get her attention. She was a young lady with a pair of buckets set on her shoulders, carried by a long stick.

While she at first looks a bit alarmed, her eyes shift to look kinder. She’s quite pretty, honestly. Lovely dark hair and despite the dress not showing her figure well, it has a certain innocence to it.

“Do you know where I would be able to purchase goods in this town?” I ask her carefully. “Food, more than anything.” I add carefully.

“Oh, yes.” she nods. “There’s a farm house just along this road,” she points out to the direction she’s talking about. Further down a street of houses I can start seeing a huge red structure, no doubt a barn house. “The farmers are always selling food.”

“I see. Thank you for your help.” I bow to the young woman respectfully as I wander off in that direction. The streets in this town are very bustling and busy, perhaps under the lovely blue skies of such a nice day?

It’s nice to encounter such a happy place, after having fled from my own home being destroyed.

I reach what is no doubt the grounds of the farm… The ground at my feet feels different. Less structured, more natural. I walk on real soil and grass here. It’s almost refreshing, in a strange way.

There’s no doubt that the house over there near the barn must be where I can find the farmers. It’s not very big, but it looks comfortable enough. There’s a big window at the side I can see, it’s open to take in all the fresh air of this fine day.

Just before I head that way, I notice some rustling in the bushes around me…

I sigh to myself. “Come on,” I instruct. “I know you’re all there.”

As I had expected, it was those of my clan. They all wore the same black suits and orange accessories as I did, some wearing masks, some not. It was all down to choice really, and I happen to prefer my mask being on.

“Sorry, Master.” the eldest ninja of the group, Renzar, says playfully. “I couldn’t help but follow, and so, the others did too.”

“No matter.” I shake my head. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing they followed me. What if something happened? They only had my safety in mind when doing such a thing. “This place, I should be able to purchase food for us.” I tell them calmly. “So wait here.”

As I had intended to, I make my way to that cosy little house just by the barn. It’s a bit unsure if anyone is really in there, so I knock my hand on the door gently.

In no time at all, the wooden door opens up before me. Not quite what I expected, a young woman wearing overalls is at the other side of the door. She has very lovely brown hair, very long. And under her overalls on her torso is a bit of a messy white shirt.

“Oh, hi!” she greets unsurely. “What can I do for you?”

“I have come seeking food for my people.” I explain to her briefly. “I have a good amount of gold to offer you for all the mouths I wish to feed.”

She nods her head, a little more confident than she was when she first opened up the door. “Do you just want… General food supplies, then?” she asks.

I nod right back. “That would do great, yes.”

“Then, wait right here.”

I wait patiently as instructed… This place is very nice, I catch myself thinking. There’s the forest over there, the lively town just over there… And on the other side, a huge plain of grass. There’s a hill with a tree growing on the top, so it seems. It looks pretty nice, too.

I find myself turning back as she returns, pushing in a wooden trolley with shelves of food stacked onto it. Raw meat that we can cook of a few varieties, some vegetables and fruits…

It was perfect.

“This is wonderful!” I can’t help but exclaim, even clapping my hands together eagerly. “This is exactly what I had been hoping for.”

“Oh, that’s great!” she chimes eagerly. “So this should come to about fifty gold…” she tells me as she points loosely to the supplies set ahead of me. “And well, if you need any help getting it around, let me know.”

“Perhaps I require some storage… Some bags?” I ask with a shrug of my shoulders.

“Yeah, sure. We can do that.” she nods.

It all seems agreed on, I reach into the sack attached to my belt and pass her the gold that she had requested. She counts it up ahead of me to be sure, and is thrilled to reveal that she counts the right amount.

It seemed right as she’d started packing it up into some sacks…

We both heard a loud noise. It could have been a clumsy thud, but no, I’m accustomed to sounds. That was an intentional noise. The noise of a sword slamming through wood!

“Oh, no…” she grumbles to herself.

I stop trying to figure out just where that noise came from, and look at the woman unsurely. “What was that?” I ask her.

“We’ve been dealing with these thugs. I think they’re back.” she tells me quickly. “They keep coming here, taking our money, taking our food… It’s terrible.”

I can’t just stand here while I know this! Me and my whole elite squadron are right here. It’s about time someone stood up for this farm, I tell myself firmly. My fist clenches tightly. “Wait here.” I instruct the young woman.

I dash out to reach the others, to instruct them of the plan quickly. “This farm sees an attack!” I tell them quickly. “Form up and surround the scoundrels. We shall scare them off together.”

“No killing them?” My brother Ardini asks impatiently.

“Not unless you have to.” I tell him sternly.

We rush in together, but in the blink of an eye we disband into different directions to surround the area as a unit. Renzar and I approach them by ourselves, a pair of men with simple swords currently vandalising, and stealing the crops.

“Excuse me, gentlemen!” Renzar calls out first. He’s a bit easier to hear, since he’s of the ninjas that doesn’t wear his mask so much. He has white hair, but tips of orange at the bottom of it. It’s a little long and tied on his head as mine is. “Those don’t belong to you. You’d best stop now.”

“Who are these jokers?!” one of the raiders barks irritably. “Nice outfits, you wannabes.” he brushes us off with a lazy gesture of his hand. “But unless you want to get yourselves killed, you’d better scram!”

They were those kinds of thugs. Thought they were stronger than anyone, apparently. We didn’t allow them more time to damage the farm.

I toss down a smoke bomb onto the ground at our feet, and in a single movement not only Renzar and I, but the whole group surround the thugs and have a bit of fun smacking them around.

Shoving them from one to the other, giving them a good punch, anything to show them how outmatched they truly were.

It never went on for too long, we stopped.

As soon as we did, they scurried off as we’d thought they would.

Moments later, that young woman in overalls crept closer to see those foul men rushing away and an entire group of ninjas standing where they were previously damaging her farm.

It’s easy to see in her face that she doesn’t really know what to make of this situation. She’s trying to speak, but the words aren’t coming out. What is she to say?

Eventually, she lightly hits her head to kick herself into gear. “You really chased them off!” she grins eagerly. “O-oh goodness…” she wanders closer, admiring all of us before locking her eyes back on me. “Hey, what’s a group like this doing out here? You seem a bit of a big group to be travelling…”

“We lost our home, just last night.” I tell her briefly. “We are searching for a new home… But I came to you to feed my people first. We can’t hope to find a home if we aren’t even alive.”

She takes in my words thoughtfully…

“I want you all to wait here until my father gets home.” she tells us, she seems rather excited now. Her hands don’t really know what to do with themselves, her fingers wriggling around so happily. “I’ll tell him what you did for us… Maybe we can at least give you somewhere to stay for a little bit!”

I never expected anything of the sort… My eyes have grown wide with surprise. But such surprise soon suppresses into a calm, thankful joy.

This was possibly the most fortunate time to have helped this young woman.

This is sort of a warm up for me, for a new story I’ve got in the works. I’m excited about it and just haven’t really started it yet, and this is almost how it will kick off.

Maybe a bit before, but…

This was just to further boost my hype! It worked, heh.

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Short Story: A Second Chance

What a terrible place to be in.

What an awful place this was.

A dark and dirty dungeon, full of prisoners wallowing in their own pities of why they were here in the first place. Some had done worse than others, that was for sure.

But in one cell…

The man shackled to the wall was silent. It was almost pitch black where he was, the torches on the wall avoided his cell as best as they really could.

The dark haired man with a jaw covered in facial hair stared to the dirty stone ground as he had been for the last month, still in shock at what he did to bring him here in the first place. He was no angel to begin with… He stole a lot, because he never had enough money to get by.

But for him to have killed such a young guard in his panic of being caught? To have taken a young man that was had just achieved something so important away from his family?

Unforgivable…

It was just another dull day in the dungeons. Easy to hear the whimpers and the wallowing of the others in the surrounding cells. But as always, this scarred man stayed silent. Telling himself how much he deserved to be rotting away in here.

Well, it just seemed like another day.

Immediate, loud questions were thrown around when one of the cells was loudly opened up, and on top of that, the man being held in there ran off like he’d been given his ticket to freedom.

“I’m undercover,” the man in the armour of the knights revealed as he stepped by each cell, roughly pulling on the lever to open it up. “It took me ages to get all the armour I needed to pass as one of them.”

“It’s not fair that you’re all in here,” he went on. “Rotting away when the most some of you have ever done is steal. I know people way more deserving of sitting in this dirty old place all day!”

He watched pretty proudly as the prisoners all scampered off together, it was a wonder if any of them had really listened to him. He didn’t really mind, though. The next part of his scheme was to draw the kingdom’s attention to those he knew should have been in here.

But walking by one of the cells, even though it was open…

That dark haired man still sat there, arms now free, but miserably placed on his legs as he continued to stare down at the stone ground below him.

“I’m not leaving.” he muttered, knowing that the ‘knight’ ahead of his cell was staring his way unsurely. “No one could deserve to be here more than I do.”

“Wh-what’s that supposed to mean?” he snapped back, though still sounding unsure. “I am going to get murderers and terrible people locked up in this miserable place!”

“I am a murderer.”

The young man’s eyes widened, he never really knew what he could respond to that. If this man was such a terrible murderer, why was he upset about it?

“…If you were, then you wouldn’t regret it. It’s apparent you do.”

“I still killed him.” the dark haired prisoner growled lowly. “A young man in that very same armour. I shot him in the head with a crossbow. I killed a young guard out of my own foolish fears.”

It seemed impossible to get through to this guy. Surely there was another way he could repent for his crime… He wasn’t like the others, he clearly regretted it more than anything.

“…Wouldn’t you feel better getting out of here and letting the real criminals get locked away in here?”

“For the last time… I am one. Leave. Now.”

The young man sighed, seeing that this was getting him nowhere. He was a little sad honestly, all the others dashed off without a question. Perhaps they all deemed themselves undeserving, unlike this guy.

But it was clear any amount of convincing wasn’t going to get him to budge.

The young man dragged his feet off through the dungeon once more. He planned all this out, he knew that if the other guards heard the commotion he’d claim there was a malfunction and the prisoners overpowered him.

He made his way to the light room that had a staircase spiralling up above the dungeons. The next order of business was to expose the criminals he knew so well to his higher ups…

But the moment he stepped into the room, he was roughly dragged around the corner, his arm twisted uncomfortably behind his back.

“I don’t know what kinda joke you’re playin’, guard… But you’ll make great bait so the others don’t kill us just yet!”

“H-hey! I’m here to help you!” he insisted loudly. He tried as he could to worm his way free, but his arm was trapped in a rough hold and the other prisoners promptly surrounded him.

“Maybe we should kill him now!” one of them called out eagerly. “One of us can act like a guard that is just doing something with the lot of us…”

“I-I’d do that…!”

“Don’t lie to us!” the large man that grappled his arm growled lowly, even tugging it harshly and ignoring the yelp that followed.

But then…

Some of the prisoners started dropping to the ground quickly, it was hard to see what was happening in the big crowd. Before long, the large man with the dark hair and beard had smashed his way through each and every one of them, to finally reach the last and smack him in the face, knocking him down and freeing the knight from his grapple.

“…Thanks.” he thanked somewhat sheepishly, flicking his arm around to try and get some feeling back in it again.

“You didn’t really think all these people don’t deserve to be here… Did you?”

It was a little embarassing to admit after such a bad encounter, but the young man nodded his head. “I thought I knew all the criminals. They’re an underground syndicate I used to be with.” he explained promptly. “But… I sure did learn that I was right! You don’t deserve to be here at all!”

The man’s eyes got wide at the remark. He looked around at all the others laid out at his feet, wearing the same brown rags that he had…

Maybe he wasn’t so much like them after all.

“…I’ll tell you what.” he started. “I’ll come with you. We’ll expose that syndicate of yours… Then perhaps we can lead somewhat normal lives after all. But you know, you could get in big trouble for this.”

“When you’re with those guys, you’re used to trouble.” the knight grinned, something cheeky and sure about his tone. At least a bit of help was extremely welcome in all of this.

“Come on!” he insisted. “…B-but first, let’s put all these guys back.”

A little information on my book

So I’ve been neglecting really talking about it properly. I just depend on people to actually go and look at it rather than explain anything myself, so here goes:

So… What’s it about?

Two Sides is a fantasy story, that follows the events of a war between two kingdoms. Ilpha and Ophida were supposed to be intertwined with various business and partnership deals, but tensions rise when the king of Ophida, Neomas, seems displeased that a very young queen is put into power.

It’s made worse when the young queen Rosetta is convinced that her sister fallen into a coma, Phelia, has been desperately pleading for Ilpha to strive further and claim more land. Unsure what it really means, Rosetta acts hasty and delcares war on Neomas and his kingdom of Ophida.

The story is about the journeys that the characters go on, their own personal and moral struggles. It studies the minds of different personalities, and what makes them keep going even if they don’t entirely want to.

It’s a story about growth between a lot of the characters…

Of course the universe and world are very important too, but the most important thing is the struggles that the characters endure together, and where it takes them from the start to the finish.

It can be found on various sites now, as I’ll list here:

Amazon – www.amazon.co.uk/Two-Sides-Rhi…

Createspace – www.createspace.com/7276274

And Smashwords, where you can list the price yourself (ebook) – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/737829

It would mean a lot to me if you even took the time to look. Thank you for your time and I have many more books on the way!

Smashwords: Probably the best ebook publisher?

So last night, I made another attempt to try and publish my book, Two sides. I’ve tried Createspace, nothing. That got it onto Amazon too but I just couldn’t seem to get anyone interested.

I tried Smashwords because it had been recommended to me before. And god I’m happy I did! It was worth spending a good day formatting the story into the publishing format of the site.

While it’s nothing crazy right now, a few people picked it up for free while I had it listed as such, and about 6 people (or, so the graph said) picked up the free sample of the first 20% of the book!

A few offers for features, too…

And a very lovely and positive review on the first night of release.

I was starting to lose hope in this dream, but I don’t think I should just yet. There’s a book series I have that I don’t want to release until I know people will actually support it. I guess it’s me being too precious about it, but it’s a story that got me through the hardest times of my life, the characters got me through those terrible times.

But now, there might be light at the end of this tunnel yet.

I really hope this is a sign of great things to come. I really hope I get to live my life doing what I love; Writing!

If you even want to look on Smashwords, which honestly means a lot to me, here’s a link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/737829

Short Story: At Peace

It had been a few months since the world had been mended from Hell’s attack.

A few months since Ayumu and the rest of his family from Hell had settled into their new home on Earth. It was very welcoming and warm compared to their own home, certainly. But so much to get used to.

No one was more clueless about technology than a Reaper. Both Ayumu and his father Eiji always found themselves baffled at how to send a text, how to navigate a website… It was a lot for them to get used to.

The month was October.

While the trees and leaves had gained orange colours instead of their healthy greener ones, they still looked some kind of amazing. Particularly under the soft glow of the evening, the moon was up but the skies were very clear.

It was quite bright for a night, stars covered the whole sky and the moon hung up there brightly, too.

Just wanting to take in the more relaxing and natural state of the Earth, Ayumu found himself wandering up a big hill of soft orange grass swishing around at his feet. Even if he didn’t really need to anymore, he found himself wearing his Reaper attire.

His big black cloak, and the big black boots that matched them. He was still as pale as ever, and true to having opened himself up so much, his black her wash swept back over his head to keep it out of his eyes.

He stared down at the grass at his feet until he reached the peak of the hill, and peered out into the world around him now. There was a big healthy tree at his side, the leaves all orange and yellow, warm colours.

And below his hill was a huge forest of more trees, but darkened in the light on the evening. From here, he could see the stars and the moon wonderfully. The sort of blend the sky’s colours had taken looked breathtaking.

He couldn’t help but smile to himself.

This was the first time he’d really gone off on his own to admire the Earth back in a healthier state.

And it was another time he got to think about his dearest friend Imanam…

She would have loved this. This sight, the gentle atmosphere around this place. Even if she hadn’t made it here…

Knowing this was here again made all those struggles worth it, Ayumu thought to himself.

This was his home now.

It was wonderful.

He never felt ungrateful for what he had in Hell, but the Earth had a very mystifying beauty to it that he never could have imagined before he saw it. This was the realm he would be ready to put his life on the line for again.

There was so much to see, and so much to help the humans rebuild themselves with… But stopping to take in this wonderful view was a great reminder that all their struggles were, and would continue to be worth something amazing.

His long, pointed ears twitched a little at the sound of feet stepping through the grass behind him, he turned himself to look at who it was.

Vel had found where he’d snuck off to.

“Hey,” the zombie boy greeted with a casual wave of his arm as he wandered closer. It was easy to see how blue his skin was in this light, and just how many cracks ran across his skin.

He’d opted to wear something much more casual than his little brother Ayumu, wearing a short sleeved, navy blue shirt and a pair of jeans. Sneakers on his feet. The zombie’s hair was the same as ever though, brown and pretty neatly styled across his head, getting in his face a bit.

He found himself looking up to the mixtures of purple and blue in the skies above them. “Might have known you’d come look somewhere like this. It’s real nice, though.” Vel commented. He looked to his side, his friendly green eyes locked onto Ayumu. “Hope you’re not feeling sad, out here.”

“Far from it.” Ayumu answered with a little smile. “If anything, this place is making me very happy. Just…” he glanced around again, a second time of taking in his wonderful surroundings. “We brought this back to life. We made views like this… Possible again.”

“Well… Yeah.” Vel answered, folding his arms loosely with a little laugh. He couldn’t really remember anything of the sort from his human life, so perhaps it was a good chance to take it in now.

He glanced back to his side, though. “Well, hey. Don’t stay out here too long… Come home in a little. Someone needs to make dinner, and I am not letting Eiji anywhere near the damn kitchen.”

Ayumu giggled to himself at the words, but did nod his head to agree to it. “Yes, of course.” he nodded. Vel passed him one more smile before he started walking off the way that he’d come from.

Ayumu looked back, at the sea of trees beneath this grassy hill once more…

This was certainly time he could have been spending with his family, though.

He looked back in Vel’s direction…

And started jogging his way over. “Hey!” he called out. “Wait up! I’ve got a great idea for what to cook tonight!”

A little cheesy short story, I guess a separated epilogue from the real story of Whispers of War.

But that image!

I needed to do a little something based off that image, because gosh I love how it turned out.

Don’t forget to check out my deviantart if you like how it looks! > http://sephysnu.deviantart.com/

Thoughts: Inspiration?

What’s your best source of inspiration?

What gets your creative juices flowing the most?

Personally, I feel like thinking of characters gets me going the most. I love generating different characters and situations in my head, and having the chance to develop them, a little or a lot.

It’s why I have a few too stories for my own good, and I sure wish I tried to understand my love for writing a bit earlier than I really did. Now I really know it’s what I’d love to do with my life.

I just love that you can make just about anyone you want.

The brave and fearless hero? Do it!

The kind and helpful helper? Go for it!

The vicious and heartless villain? No reason not to.

There are so many different personalities and kinds of people to play around with. So much to experiment with and so many different interactions to try out. You can create amazing and meaningful bonds and friendships, or bitter and memorable rivalries and enemies.

All of that, there’s just so much to experience.

A lot of friends to make through having your own stories and characters.

I met some of my best friends through my characters, and we’ve all grown with each other and our characters. It means so much to look to a great friend and see a character I’ve known for years still with them.

It’s even fun to mix such characters together! It can be fun to mash a pair that don’t really belong together in the same situation, sometimes they get on like a house on fire…

Other times it takes them a little time, which is always pretty fun.

Some might not even get along at all.

I’ve sort of gone around in a circle, but honestly characters and their relationships are what make writing so much fun for me. Development is another very important thing I enjoy, whether it be individual or a relationship on the whole.

Like, the ‘shy and quiet person that turns strong’ has been done a lot of times, hell I’ve done it myself, but to approach it differently is what makes it fresh and relatable. They can grow on their own or bounce of the faith of the others around them to toughen them up.

There can be a negative development, too… Someone goes from pretty confident to very nervous and closed in. It’s always fun to see just where a character can end up, depending on what they’ve been through.

Of course, everyone has probably made something they’re not so proud of… An overpowered character, a boring story (I am a victim of this one! A huge revamp saved my life!) …

But growing up and seeing the flaws just helps someone write better. This is a bit of a ramble, I don’t feel like doing a writing prompt tonight, but I really wanted to sort of have a babble about my thoughts on this.

On what makes me inspired in writing so much in the first place.

Writing Prompt Exercise 6

Another day…

The young woman sighed to herself as she shoved her door open and stepped into her house. It was always nice to hear the pattering feet of her dogs rushing her way to welcome her home again.

She placed down her bags by the door as she accepted their greetings with a few giggles, and that high pitched voice that everyone uses when they’re talking to cute animals.

Judy was a carer of a popular racer on the kart racing scene, but he’d gone off on some crazy adventure, and just left her on break and with enough cash to get her by.

When she finally managed to shoo her dogs back into the house, she dragged her groceries through the hallway and into her large kitchen, then placing the milk in the fridge, the bread in the bread bin, whatever else she needed to do.

But when she finished, turning to face one of her lovely golden retriever… She noticed he had something in his mouth. An envelope, a letter of some sorts. She reached down and took it from her pup’s mouth, fiddling it open and staring at it unsurely.

“I have no idea who that is…” she grumbled to herself. She sorted herself into a lean on the counters of her kitchen, not too far away from her big grey fridge. When she flipped the letter open and her eyes scanned through it quickly, just picking up on the keywords.

Dealing with the racer she usually lived with, she’d gotten used to scanning through big documents that he was too tired to deal with at the time.

But…

That’s where it did get unusual.

“We’re offering a sponsorship to you, and even if you don’t wish to take it…” her eyes got wide as she read on to the last part of the letter. “In this letter we have enclosed a £2,000 cheque, as a gift to your constant charm and efforts out on the track…?”

She couldn’t really believe it.

Where on earth had this sudden windfall come from? Why the sudden reach out for a sponsorship, and even if they didn’t accept it, such a big gift? It was questionable of what to even do.

Judy was frozen at first. What should she do?

She snapped herself out of her daze to rush through her house and swiped her phone into her hands, texting her racer Marquis in desperate hopes that he could call her. If there was a need to drag him away from his crazy adventure, it was right now.

Much to her relief he responded quickly and insisted they call immediately.

Judy dragged her phone to her ear the very moment she pressed at the young man’s name to call him.

“Marquis!” she barked the second the phone stopped ringing in her ear. “Th-this is huge! You got offered a sponsorship, but on top of that… They left us a massive cheque! I’m talking £2,000!”

“What?!” he barked back pretty much instantly.

It was so much to take in within the very first sentence of the call. What the hell was he meant to say?

“…Wh-who are they?” he asked quietly, clearly in his voice just trying to get himself back together.

“I think they’re a big brand clothing company…” she explained bluntly, at least remembering their name. In fact, their brand seemed to litter the race course whenever they were there. “Very sporty.”

“Hmm…”

There was a thoughtful silence for a moment.

“Get in touch with them… Just ask them if they can wait a little and then we can talk to them a little more professionally.”

“Yeah, sounds good.” Judy agreed, nodding to herself perhaps out of habit.

“And the cheque…” Marquis went on. “…I want you to have all of it.”

“What?! Marquis-”

“Hey, hey, hear me out.” he insisted with a cool sort of mood. “You do so much for me… And heck, I’m stuck with a pair of rich people right now. I don’t think money is of my concerns.” he started explaining, it was a wonder how he sounded so calm about so much money.

Though, perhaps it wasn’t on his mind right now.

“The least I can do, after I left you for god knows how long, is to let you have this. So take it and treat yourself and the pooches. But especially yourself. Okay?”

She was speechless…

Marquis was never a bad person, but this was such a sweet gesture. It was so much money at once, it was a wonder what she could really use it for.

She even felt a tear escape her eye at this whole situation. “…Th-thank you, Marquis.” she sighed softly, a smile forced onto her face. “I’ll see what I can do with it, if you insist… You be careful out there.”

“You too, Judy.”

The call ended, and it was still so much to take in.

Judy sat in silence in her big, comfortable living room, facing the window on her big and very comfortable couch. A lot of light rushed into the room, it was a wonderful day out there.

That cheque needed to be exchanged for money sooner than later…

Judy smiled to herself keenly. “Buddy, Lucky!” she chimed, both of her dogs rushed right to her without hesitation. She petted at their heads even while they fidgeted around her to receive even more attention.

“We’re going to go for a nice, long walk.” she told them eagerly. “And I’m going to get you some really nice leads while I can! And maybe I’ll get myself that bag I was looking at a few days ago…”

They never really knew what on earth she was saying, but their tails both wagged around eagerly just at the thought of going out for a walk on such a nice day.

She’d only just gotten home really, but she was very ready to rush back out and have a great time.

All thanks to Marquis…

She was going to make sure she gave him something amazing for all this.

Short Story (Two Sides) + book reminder!

Despite being the next in line to be the greatest mind of his nation, Lylen always had issues with teamwork when he was younger.

The dark haired boy was very intelligent and seemed to have a sixth sense for design on just about anything, but when it came to working in a team, he clammed up, he got angry, he was much more stressed in general.

While his mentor Blaine was very patient with him…

He wasn’t so patient with their neighbouring kingdom’s next science lead in mind, Roderick.

That boy seemed to have it all. He was just as smart, just as in tune with design, but he was also a great team player. He would crack a joke and calmly introduce his ideas and he’d have a team following him in no time.

Lylen hated it.

He hated how it impressed Blaine so much.

Blaine was his idol and hero, who was this happy-go-lucky kid to come and steal his attention away?

It was another session in Ilpha’s labs, and all the students from the two kingdoms had been set onto tasks to get them thinking. The task to design an interesting energy source.

Not too bad, Lylen thought to himself. He slipped his pen into his hand and started jotting down various notes and scribbling down designs that came to his mind. Perhaps energy from various different elements could be harnessed, carefully translated into energy…

He was engrossed in his work, he paid no attention to the room of desks around him. He always found himself sitting at the front of the room, so he wouldn’t have to look around and see all the others around him.

The room around him was a rather big room with blue walls and clean white tiled floors. All the desks were laid out in symmetrical rows, all facing forwards to a big wall with a desk and a white board behind it.

After a little while, he finished his ideas to his liking, and placed his pen down looking rather satisfied. The quiet around him told him that all the other students in their matching white coats and silky uniforms were still going.

But glancing to his side, he could see that Roderick appeared to be finished as well. And seemed to glance his way at that right moment. Even the boy’s brown eyes looked welcoming and soft…

Lylen glared away with his much more intense yellow eyes, hidden behind his thick green glasses lenses.

“Hey,” Roderick spoke up softly. “What did you come up with?”

Lylen glared his way without turning his head, leaning himself forwards to rest his arms on his desk, to sit in a lazy slouch.

“…Element generators.” he grumbled lowly.

“Oh, cool.” Roderick answered with a small smile. He looked down at his own paper, feeling the need to explain his own ideas after having asked. “I was thinking about generators, but like… With Witches and Wizards around again, maybe their magic could help power them without them being damaging?”

There he went again…

So friendly, yet somehow, having good ideas. It infuriated Lylen every damn time.

He never answered, and glared away once more. He was such a difficult boy to try and talk to, it was a wonder how anyone could try at all.

Eventually they were stopped by their mentors, and after a brief lecture, their current lesson drew to a close and they were allowed a break at last. While most of the students rushed off in their own groups, the elven scientist Rythen had taken Roderick with him, since he was his chosen student.

It left just Lylen in the classroom with Blaine, he came to the front to stand at the desk Blaine sat behind.

The man with thick, black curly hair glanced his dark green eyes at the young boy for a moment. “You don’t seem very happy.” he commented bluntly.

“Am I ever?” Lylen puffed out a sigh.

Blaine shook his head, even a playful smile had come to him. “You are occasionally… Only when your mother is around, it seems.”

Lylen pouted at the remark, folding his arms close to his chest. “Well…”

“What’s wrong?” Blaine asked suddenly, shoving the papers he was briefly looking at away from himself to focus his attention on Lylen. He seemed to be the only one that wore a pale green coat rather than a white one. His silky blue clothes were similar to the Ilpha students, despite being their teacher.

It was hard to admit.

Lylen always had this issue, of watching that Roderick boy succeed, watching everyone enjoy his company…

While he remained secluded in his own personal bubble.

“…Do you still think… That Roderick guy is better than me?” he asked with a frown, what were usually his cold and distant eyes had gone wide with hurtful curiosity.

Blaine was honestly surprised by the remark. “Still?” he repeated unsurely. “Who has ever told you he’s better than you?”

This time it was Lylen to get a little shocked by what he heard, he stumbled around in his mind for a little bit. “W-well, it’s just, he always gets so much praise! You praise him all the time, and Rythen always does it too… I-I never get that sort of praise. I… I guess I’m a little jealous.”

Blaine sighed softly to himself, at least being calm about understanding the problem. He was a young boy, of course he was going to get a bit jealous if someone seemed to be doing things a bit better than he was.

“We praise him because he has a really good attitude.” Blaine started calmly. “He always supports the other students, even you, as much as you push it away.” he went on, leaning himself comfortably on the desk in front of him. “We praise anyone when they do well… Don’t forget that I can always commend your hard work. I just can’t praise you for being so uncooperative with your classmates, I can’t encourage you to keep acting like that.”

It was hard for Lylen to really grasp acting any differently, but at least he understood. He always seemed to let any praise at all that he got slip his mind whenever he watched Roderick getting it all.

But that was just because he deserved it. He was hardworking and always ready to help.

Lylen nodded his head slowly. “…D-do you want to get a snack with me?” he asked bashfully, his hands fumbling around unsurely with his white sleeves.

“Sure.” Blaine answered bluntly. “I could go for something right now. Come on.”

A short story based on the youth of Lylen, from my story Two Sides!

You can still buy the book here: https://www.createspace.com/7276274 And it’s also on Amazon Kindle if you’re interested!

Short Story (Prequel to Whispers of War)

It was that time that came every thousand years. The time that the Reapers would all gather together in a much more open space of Hell, to sacrifice the souls they had gathered and create the newest generation of Grim Reapers.

They were very powerful beings, often they would grow up to seek new realms, to harvest even more souls than any Reaper did in their own lifetime.

Hell was made up of black rock, all with bright glows of orange lava flowing through it and while it did loop around and the patterns varied, it all went the same way.

This empty layer of Hell was the fourth, out of the way of everything else. Just plains of the black rock. Right now, Reapers completely surrounded this plain. All forming several huge circles around it.

All of their hands formed a particular gesture, three of their fingers loosely touching while the others remained tucked into their hands. Beautiful colours of their mystical magic flowed into the ground in the middle of the huge group, towards the huge hoard of souls being held there.

They collided, a very bright light followed it.

The only demons here were close to it, the four Kings of Sin. Lamrus, the King of Arrogance, felt himself fussily covering at his eyes when the flash sounded right ahead of them. He never asked for a headache at this summoning!

But after it all cleared up…

This was no generation at all.

A single tiny skeleton sat in the middle of the whole group, sleeping on the ground for now. Like all the reapers around it, it also wore thick black robes. But it had no legs, no Grim Reaper did. They floated in place, rather than standing.

It wasn’t long before muttering started between all the Reapers. What had happened?

“Everyone, everyone.” the most powerful demon king, Velhar, spoke out loudly. He stepped forwards, his regal and silky red suit surely bringing him a lot of attention on its own. His hair was a darker red, while neatly across his head, it was very spiked to one side. It matched the look and colour of the thick beard on his chin. He stared down unsurely at the summoning. “How strange…” he muttered.

He looked back up. “We will decide what happens to this little one. We need to make up for this summoning with it somehow…” he explained briefly. He really didn’t know what they were going to do.

Would this one get much more intensive training than all the others got? Last generation there were too many of them, and negligence proved to be dangerous concerning the disasters caused by Geeara…

But right now, he was a mere legend.

He watched as his announcement had given a lot of the Reapers permission to leave. A lot of them rather disgruntled, complaining that their hard work all felt it was for nothing.

Velhar looked back down to the child again, not turning to all of his brothers joining his side.

“Perhaps we need to raise it more closely.” Verne, the king of deceit suggested quietly. He sorted his big round glasses on his face as he spoke. They all wore the same sort of silky red suits, Verne’s dark red hair was tied at the back and even braided. But none of it hung in his face too much.

“Bah! That’s ridiculous.” Leore complained, the king of greed folded his arms. He certainly didn’t like the idea of raising a child. “We should just give it to some of the Reapers again. The ones that always train these things.”

The four of them loosely bickered between each other of what they should do. It looked hopeless, this had never really happened before. There had been too many Grim Reapers before, but definitely not too few.

In the crowd of the Reapers that were leaving, one had turned around to come back their way.

Anyone in Hell probably knew this Reaper, it was Eiji. Many told him to be the strongest of his generation. His black robes bounced around heavily while he stormed over to the bickering kings, they didn’t notice him for a while.

“Hey!” the black haired Reaper yelled for their attention, they all turned to him quickly. His yellow eyes scanned across them carefully, before looking down to the problem at hand.

“What is it, Eiji?” Velhar asked patiently. “What brings you back here?”

The man with big red circle markings rushing through his eyes was quiet, still staring down at the child for a bit… That was it, he was just a child. They were only going to force him into harsh training that would likely drive him insane if he didn’t step in.

He crouched down, taking the tiny Grim Reaper into his arms and looked at the kings blankly. “You want to know what to do with him?” he asked sternly. “I’ll take him. Let me raise him.”

The four kings were startled by the demand at first, the unsure glances they all exchanged surely gave that away.

But then again…

Eiji had looked after the Sage of the Earth, as he was restored as a zombie. And he had his own son, too! Perhaps he wouldn’t be such a bad place to leave the little one.

“It gets him off our back!” Leore grinned eagerly.

“Leore, please…” Verne complained quietly. He stepped ahead to be at the same place as his eldest brother. “I feel confident leaving the little one with you. Will you train him, as well?”

“Yeah… I guess I have to.” Eiji answered with a nod. But his attention was more fixed on the child he was holding. It was so small, and still soundly sleeping, at that.

“Very well, he is your responsibility now.” Velhar agreed to this insanity with a nod. He really wasn’t too sure how this was going to go, but this wasn’t a bad idea at least. “Feel free to ask for any changes, or to even give him back should you need to.”

“Sure.”

They disbanded, the kings watched the Reaper take the child off with him, ready to settle him into a new home.

Lamrus ran a hand through his dark, black hair. “This is nuts.” he muttered. “One Grim Reaper at the summoning, and then Eiji Rendred of all peoples comes to claim it!”

“I have confidence he knows what he’s doing.” Velhar spoke up once more. His golden eyes stared off  into the plains that led back up to the higher layers of Hell. He could only try and imagine how this was going to go…

Whatever happened, it had to be better than what came of the last summoning, and the terrible legends of the rogue Grim Reaper Geeara.

This was a little short story about an event before my bigger story, Whispers of War! You can find that on Wattpad for now, if you’re interested.

But yeah, enjoy!

Writing Prompt Exercise 3

“He was unconscious when I found him!” the young woman insisted, she’d been dragged into a whole detective case just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. “How many times do I have to tell you that?”

“Please, young lady, I’m sorry for asking so many questions.” the detective responded to her, almost tonelessly. He’d probably been through this routine a thousand times at this point. “I just need to have absolute confirmation of what happened. The young man surely could have died today, had you not called us to come get him.”

The young woman watched the man in his slick black suit carefully, taking a breath after inhaling the tobacco from his cigarette and clouding the air in the dark, small room with smoke. Unpleasant, but he probably wasn’t worth arguing with.

This room only really had one light, a big table and a chair on each side. The door would breathe much light into it if it was open.

“…Is he okay?” the woman asked, out of anxious habit her hand reached up to brush her brown, wavy hair behind her ear. She was a short woman, not the slimmest either, but relatively normal. She wore a hoodie and jeans, today was just meant to be a normal day, after all.

The dark haired detective was silent for a moment, staring off into nothing before turning to her and giving her a little nod. “He’ll be okay.” he answered bluntly. “While you certainly did find him unconscious, it was nothing more. He doesn’t even seem to be injured.”

That was of some comfort, at least. She couldn’t really help but think back to all this just a few hours ago.

She was just minding her own business as usual, on her way home from a quick trip down to the shops to get some simple supplies, some bread and some milk. But something was off, a little out of town…

She decided to investigate, and that’s how she had herself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There was a group of young people all grouped around, they all fled immediately on the sight of someone wandering over. Checking what on earth they were standing over was… That unconscious young man. She had so many questions, but she panicked and called for help quickly.

And that brought her where she was.

Suddenly, the door opened up and flooded the small and dark room with light at last. It was opened up by one of the guards here. “Sir, could you take our witness to see some suspects we’ve just got hold of?”

“Yes, of course.” the detective answered quickly. He gestured to his anxious witness to stand herself up and follow him out of the room.

She did obey, not really trying to show how glad she would be to be out of that room that was slowly filling up with that guy’s cigarette smoke. Maybe he needed it to stay so calm, but she sure didn’t need it filling up her lungs as it was.

She wandered closely behind him, not to get lost in this maze of a facility. The rooms outside of that interrogation chamber were much brighter, much more welcoming. They even had some pretty nice carpets.

The carpets never lasted too long, though.

They reached a new room, which changed from carpets to clean tiled flooring, and looked through a big window into another big room. This window and its wall seemed to completely split these rooms in half.

But the very moment she really looked over there, she was shocked. Those faces she’d only caught a slight glimpse of, she knew exactly who they were! “It’s them!” she barked immediately. “All three of them were there when I found him!”

“Is that so?” the detective asked curiously. “Sources are telling us that someone knocked the boy out… And ditched him out there, where you found him.” he explained what they had so far. It wasn’t much to go off, but if these really were the correct suspects, things could have started to become much clearer.

The detective’s cigarette wore too short, he pressed it down atop of a trash can before throwing the remains inside of it. “I’m going to be talking to them all.” he said bluntly. “If you want to check on the boy, go ahead. I can tell you’re worried.”

She watched him leave so calmly after he’d said that, he wasn’t even a little bit phased. On top of that, he easily read her thoughts like that… There really was no doubt he’d been through this sort of thing hundreds of times.

The young woman sighed to herself. She could have asked to get out of here right now, really. She could be done with this absolute mess… But she needed to know if that boy was going to be okay.

She paced herself through the station carefully, to reach the room he was being held in… Just like the one she was just in, it was tiled flooring and very clean walls. She felt very awkward to push open the door, expecting many eyes to set on her…

But no one else was in here right now. Just that boy, laid out on a long chair, currently laid down flat.

She crept closer, to study him carefully. She hadn’t really taken the time to study him properly before, he had pretty nice blonde hair and a piercing in his nose. His clothes were a little like hers too, hoodie and jeans.

She sighed to herself. “What happened to you?” she asked quietly. “I sure hope you don’t forget who you are, or anything like that…” the very thought of it was daunting. She shook her head. “You can stay with me if it comes to that, I guess. Until we find out who you are.”

But for now, she could only analyse him here and ask herself more questions as to who this boy really was.