Thursday, October 31, 2013

happy mad king thorn day!

Happy Halloween everyone!

I have a very short scary story for you.

And then he was alone.

The end. :) Totally kidding. I don't actually have a story for you. I've been busy. Hence the holiday greeting that nearly comes in November. Hope you all had a good one sans tornadoes. Yes, that's a possibility. I hope you did fun things, watched good movies, etc, etc. I spent my evening writing and watching Van Helsing. Perhaps not the most fantastic movie ever made, but you can't deny it's got class. And Carl.
"But Van Helsing! I don't want to go to Transylvania!"

Have a good one!
-E. Farris

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gone--The Order--Installment 22--Part 1 end

Mangler swept down the halls of the former temple he and the Immortals resided in still. A handsome young man stepped out of junction, pausing in surprise to see Mangler and then rushing after him.
“Where’ve you been?”
Mangler didn’t spare him a glance. “Not now, Murderous.”
“You’ve missed the frontline carnage. Beautiful bit of gore.”
Mangler kept walking, his singed coat brushing against his leg. He clenched his hands briefly at the memory of what had happened in Nocri—the woman and her fire, what he had learned from that moment, what he must do—then released the tension. Murderous noticed.
“Seem sorta tense. Some body run off on you before you could kill ‘em right?”
“Go away,” Mangler snapped, then pushed through the doors that only he could enter without permission, leaving the other Immortal on the threshold.
Mangler entered the sacred place, approaching the pillars that guarded it. The thin veil fluttered faintly and as Mangler drew close, he saw movement behind it, a brief stir that suddenly shifted to a frenzied rush. A shape appeared suddenly on the other side of the veil, close to it, so close he could see the details of the figure: a skull stained and dripping with black blood, membranous skin stretched over the mouth of the skull, white eyes filling the sockets, and the twisted, abnormal body beneath the head. It had been a long time since Masuta had resembled the beautiful man portrayed in his statues. So long that Mangler did not remember it.
“Mangler!” Masuta snarled. “You broke command.”
There was no patience with the master today, no curiosity or general detachment. Which meant that the information Mangler now possessed was absolutely correct. Nocri held much enlightenment it seemed.
“I have discovered a secret,” he answered coolly.
Masuta went still. He did not speak.
“Yours,” Mangler continued. “I understand now what you have kept from us. And why.”
Masuta tilted his head. “And?”
“You were right to do so.”
Masuta laughed, a short, sharp bark. “I am glad I have your approval,” he said with a dry edge.
“The lies you crafted were necessary,” Mangler said. “Even about the war. Even about us and what we are. If we were to lose any more of the Crest, if a human were to possess its entirety and hold the Key then the very order of life would fall apart.”
“Is that all you understand?”
“While the undertakers keep the citizens of death out of this realm, it is we who control the doorway. Or did when the Crest was fully in our control instead of a piece.” Mangler waited a moment. “But now I know something you do not.”
“Are you so sure?” Masuta said with a faint mocking tone.
Mangler did not move. “All the pieces of the Crest are out of your hands.”
The word, when it came, was slow and hesitant, drawn like tar from a reluctant pit. “What?”
“Without your knowledge, the last piece of the Crest was pilfered from you.”
“Impossible,” Masuta said.
“I have proof that says otherwise.”
Masuta silenced him with a swipe of a hand. “It is safe. It is here. I would know if it had been stolen. It would not have escaped my notice. Nothing escapes my notice.”
Mangler watched the figure and noted the doubt revealed in the body though his voice belied any such misgiving.
“Perhaps, then, I should look,” Mangler said. “To be sure.”
Masuta began pacing like a caged beast—which he was, Mangler realized. How had that occurred? How had the powerful being that had created the Immortals themselves ever fall to the decrepit creature before him now? The Crest was broken. Mangler pushed the revelation aside as Masuta turned to him.
“Very well.” The veil split, as if a layer had been peeled away from it, and the sheet floated toward Mangler, twisting into a hooded figure, like a wight, no, it was a wight, a shadow of one at any rate. Mangler glanced past it toward the veil with new respect. How clever of Masuta to craft his prison from the remains of death, filtering out life which would only further the degeneration.
The wight extended a hand made of the veil’s fabric, opening its palm. Resting there, as he’d thought it would be, was a small piece of wood, one side slightly curved, the other two edges jagged and cracked. An image was painted onto the wood, but most of it was missing. The Crest, a corner of it at least. Mangler reached forward and took it, folding his fingers around it.
“Well?” Masuta asked as the wight shadow withdrew back into the veil.
Mangler took a breath, preparing himself as he would before a murder. “It’s gone. The Crest is gone.”

[This is the end of Part One. Updates will be forestalled until December when we'll pick up with Part Two. (possibly sooner. I'll keep you apprised.) Keep checking in for fun things though. I'll still be busy writing. Promise! And Part Two is something worth looking forward to. See you lot Friday with a recommendation. Cheers! -E. Farris]

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

hiatus and promise

There will be an update of The Order today; it'll just be later this evening. Much, much later this evening. (It's been a tumultuous day with spotty internet among other things). Also, after this week, The Order will be postponed for reasons. Rest assured they are exceedingly valid. Other posting will still ensue, though not with any sort of regularity. So there you go. See you lot tonight! -E. Farris

Friday, October 25, 2013

A recommendation

As promised yesterday, I'm picking up book recommendations again. So! This week's excellent recommendation is the book you go to if you're looking for epic, but don't want to re-read The Lord of the Rings for the fourth time. (What? You don't do that?) The story of a legend trying to pretend to be a man told in three days (or three books). The book is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Believe you me, this book is well worth reading. Magic, far off places, daring sword fights, a prince in disguise! (Ten points if you name that reference.) So go give it a go. Go on! Fly! Fly you fools to the bookstore!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Power buzzes through delicate filaments
Strung like a bridge between two thin towers
That bloom with light, filling the glass prison,
The glowing glass globe, like an aquarium,
A window to another world, a snowglobe
Around a foreign scene.

No one sees the one bulb that dies amid
The festival scene.

A single light among thousands, its death
Goes unremarked except for in the eyes
Of the small boy who cannot hear,
Counting the chatoyant coronas above him
Because he cannot hear the music
Of the dancing scene.

No one sees the one light that dies amid
The opening scene.

In my final years of silence I remember
Discovering the sounds that only I could
Hear, could know, beyond the notice
Of the humdrum, halcyon humans too
Blessed to witness a light die and open
A wider scene.

No one sees the one life that dies amid
The familiar scene.

Except the window to another world,
Like an aquarium, the glowing glass globe
Filling the glass prison, that blooms with light,
Strung like a bridge between two thin towers
Delicate filaments buzzing with power
Throughout the final scene.

[Oh my gosh, what is this? Is this a non-Order related post? What?! I know, I know. You all probably thought I was dead, or semi-dead at least. Nope. Just too busy to create new things everyday and out of pre-created things to post. I'm going to get back to my Friday book recommendations. I've got a good one for tomorrow. I'm going to be introducing a new...thing for lack of a better term starting next week that should be interesting, and basically just reestablishing my presence here. For better or worse. 
I'm also doing NaNoWriMo in November (obviously)!
so I'll keep you all abreast of my progress with that. 
Anyway. Have a great week and all that. Keep an eye out for a post tomorrow! Bye now! -E. Farris]

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Repelled--The Order--Installment 21

[Tuesdays, my friends, are lovely. I approve of this switch to Tuesday. Come next week I'll appreciate it even more. Anyway, I'll stop distracting you from this week's installment of The Order! Yay! -E. Farris]

Zofi and Alfons slowly picked their way down the hill toward the charred husks of the village. Very little by way of structures still existed, a few beams that collapsed when the wind hit them, some blackened stones that might once have been a wall but now was listing to one side, threatening to fall. If there had been people here, well, they did not exist any longer. Only ashes remained, piles of them.
Zofi waded through the gray dust, one hand over her mouth, not against the horror, but against the air contamination. She had seen far too many gruesome things to balk at this. She had seen a wight in its true form. This was nothing. This was…nothing.
“This was a fairly large village,” Alfons said finally, his voiced hushed as if he thought he would disturb the ash floating in the wind.
“Yes,” Zofi said plainly, her voice strange and loud in the quiet.
“Were there…did many people live here?”
“A few hundred, maybe,” Zofi said. “It doesn’t feel like more.”
Alfons looked at her. “What?”
Zofi blinked a few times and looked up. “I said it doesn’t feel like more than a few hundred deaths.” Her gaze wandered again to the mounds and mounds of ash. “Though it’s hard to tell with all the ash shifting and stirring. I suppose it could be closer to a thousand, or maybe less. Maybe it’s the ghosts of the buildings crying out. Everything stirring, shifting…”
She was too absorbed in her contemplation of the destruction to see Alfons step a few feet away from her.
“I, uh, I didn’t know that undertakers could do that, sense the dead like that.”
“They can’t,” Zofi said, barely paying attention to him. She drifted forward, toward what would have been the far side of town.
“Then why…” Alfons didn’t finish his statement. Perhaps it was better not to know, not just yet. “What happened here?”
“War,” Zofi murmured as if it were obvious.
Alfons huffed and trudged after her. “The war is a long way from here.”
“It’s everywhere. It’s always everywhere. It does not end. It has never ended. It is only sleeping.”
Her voice wasn’t right. Alfons frowned, trying to catch her, but though she was just drifting along, she somehow stayed out of his reach. “Zofi?”
She came to a stop in front of the only structure still standing. It was a shrine to Masuta, the Kind-God, but all that remained was a half melted statue of the god. Zofi touched the effigy lightly.
“Zofi, are you alright?” Alfons asked.
“Death. Death,” she said, like a chant. Then suddenly she threw open her arms and tossed back her head, shouting. “Death! Death! I am here! Let me in!”
Alfons took her arm, trying to pull her from the statue. “I think we should go.”
“Tell me your secrets, you thief!” she screamed at the sky.
“Now. We need to go,” Alfons insisted, dragging her all the while from the village. She quieted as they passed out of the ash, and when they reached the peak of the hill, she collapsed. “Zofi! Are you…are you alright?” He shook her shoulder until suddenly she woke, staring at him, then around her.
“What…did I fall?”
“Among other things,” he answered.
Zofi’s brow furrowed. “I don’t understand,” she said then gasped and grabbed her head.
“I’m fine,” she said stiffly. “I just have a headache.”
“What happened?”
She looked at him. “I fell didn’t I? Hit my head I suppose.”
“No, I mean down there, in the village. What…was all of that?”
“We haven’t gone,” she said, staring at him, perplexed.
Alfons stared back, then cleared his throat and looked away. “Right. I meant, did you see what happened down there? Just now. I thought I…saw someone.”
“It might be the person who did this,” Zofi said getting to her feet. “Maybe we can catch them.”
“And do what?” Alfons demanded.
“What do you think? They murdered people.”
“It’s a war.”
“Not here,” Zofi said.
Alfons narrowed his eyes, but didn’t say anything.
“If we can catch him, we can stop him.”
Zofi started down the hill, but this time she skirted the edges of the village. Alfons watched her for a long time before he started down after her. However, he only had gone a few steps when he caught a glimpse of white out of the corner of his eye. He turned his head quickly and saw a woman with platinum hair standing near the remnants of the shrine in the village. She stared at him intently, then pivoted and vanished.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Irrevocable Death--The Order--Installment 20

[We've reached the twentieth installment!! Huzzah! Go out and celebrate, my friends. Eat ice cream! Have pie! Read a book! Watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D! For you, too, have reached this milestone. (Also, I'm just giving you all a reason to eat pie, ice cream, read, and watch TV. You're welcome.) -E. Farris]

The fire reflected in the lenses of Deathly’s mask as he observed the little flame on the candle. Satisfied that the fire was burning strongly, Deathly turned his attention to the beaker above it and the red liquid inside. The door to Deathly’s workshop opened and Malice entered bearing a large, wrapped bundle over one shoulder. Deathly stepped away from the beaker, folding his hands together patiently.
“Has our prodigal corpse returned?” Deathly rasped through his mask.
Malice fixed Deathly with narrowed eyes, then dropped the bundle on the table. Deathly pulled away part of the canvas, revealing Maniacal’s ruined face.
“So he has. This will only be a moment.”
Malice stepped away from the table, but did not leave the room. Deathly regarded him, then accepted his presence and unwrapped the body.
“You were a long time fetching him. Any difficulties?”
Malice was silent.
“What a relief,” Deathly said dryly.
He tilted his head and lightly touched some of the symbols on the corpse’s forehead. Then he pushed the body’s chin up and regarded a symbol on the body’s throat, one he had not seen in a very long time. He swung his head around to stare at Malice.
“Where did you find him? In a grave, crypt, temple, barrow?”
Malice shifted his weight slightly, straightening even taller than before. “Yes,” he said finally, knowing precisely what Deathly was driving at. “I released a wight.”
Deathly shook his head repeatedly.  “Do you think we are immune to wights?”
“It behaved as they all do and went toward the greatest congregation of life. It attacked the front lines,” Malice said evenly. No hint of regret touched the lines of his pointed face.
“Is it destroyed?”
“The Restri seemed to have a competent undertaker. He might have dealt with it.”
Deathly stared steadily at the man, but chose not to comment. Instead he unfolded a leather pouch and located the body's wound in the chest. It had been stitched and cleaned, by the undertaker who’d buried him no doubt. Deathly cocked his head to one side, then drew a metal probe from his pouch and prodded the wound. Black blood squeezed out between the stitches. Malice stepped forward with a hiss, but Deathly held up a hand, stopping him from coming closer.
"Don't assume, Malice," Deathly ordered. "You already have the face of a donkey and I have no desire to become one too."
"If that little rat--"
"Then that little rat. We have no proof Murderous was particularly naughty."
"Nothing else but one of us can cause that," Malice spat, pointing at the blood.
"Many things can cause that," Deathly rebuked, eyes focused on the body. "Now out. I have work to do and you annoy me. Also kindly refrain from killing Murderous in the meanwhile. I am busy.”
Malice exhaled sharply through his narrow nose, then spun around and left the room. Deathly meanwhile slowly circled the body on the table, pondering the dilemma. Irrevocable Death, the Immortals always called it, their individual talents for dealing out one's demise, and it was as the name suggested. Which left Deathly with a minor problem. As if he wouldn't have had enough trouble maneuvering around the undertaking runes.
Deathly unraveled a long piece of blue thread from a spool in his pouch and unhurriedly threaded it through a curved needle the length of his finger. He cut away the stitches in the wound and used a reverse vice to wrench it open. At this point he paused, head tilted, then went to work.
Time ticked along in a slow blur as Deathly worked untiringly for hours. The candle under the beaker went out eventually, but Deathly didn't notice, didn't pause. Not until he had drawn back the fabric of his sleeve, revealing a minuscule section of skin which he flicked a knife across. The sleeve slipped back into place as Deathly spun back toward Maniacal's body and touched the knife, a red gem clinging to its tip, to the corpse's lips.
When Maniacal inhaled, coughing and wiping grave dust from his eyes, Deathly drew up in a satisfied manner. It seemed that his power was still stronger than Masuta's.

"don't be hasty, Master Meriadoc." Wise words, Treebeard

Good heavens. I feel I owe all of you an apology. Reading through past Order posts I discovered that I have a terrible habit of ridiculous, grade-school typographical and grammatical mistakes, things I most certainly know how to do correctly, but in my haste to post each installment...don't do correctly. Therefore, I apologize to all of you for the untidy mistakes peppered through each installment. I will make a point of at least cursory editing before posting from now on.

In other news, The Order returns tonight with the twentieth installment! Prepare yourselves! -E. Farris

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Poem and an announcement

Okay. I'm officially moving Order updates to Tuesdays. Just so you know. To make up for not having the update today, I shall present you all with...another poem of questionable merit. Meanwhile, have a good day everyone! See you tomorrow! -E. Farris

“The Vagrant Road”

It’s a dangerous business going out on the road.
It wanders away in serpentine shapes.
It gallops and galumphs and trickles and fades
Circling around and then straying away.
I chase it, that road, as it weaves on and on
Like a mischievous pup skirts out of reach and then gone.
Silly, old road, that thinks it can lead me.
Goofy, old thing that pretends it’s in charge.
But just like the pup returns to its master
In the end with a finger, I coax it back too.
I have brought then, at last, the vagrant road home.
I have brought then, at last, myself back.

It’s a dangerous business going out on the path.
It rambles in circles and drops off midway.
If I’m not careful it’ll take me somewhere
I don’t know, I’m not known, I’m alone, on my own.
But like an old man looking out for his kin,
It’ll guide me with riddles and guide me with hints.
Silly, old road that thinks it can lead me.
Goofy, old thing that pretends it’s in charge.
For like a soft word in an old man’s right ear
I convince it to lead me to where I began.
I have brought then, at last, the vagrant road home.
I have brought then, at last, myself back to you.