Tag Archives: Sword

Grrr! I’m almost finished my edits, so why can’t I bring myself to actually finish?!

I’m on the final chapter, but it’s like there is something in my actual way. I don’t get it. I’ll edit a little, then I’m like, “Ugh. I don’t want to look at this anymore!” What about you, Dear Readers? Do any of you get to the point where you’re almost finished a project, then you lose all steam and forward momentum? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Here’s another excerpt from Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake, Book I:

 

I found myself walking down a darkened street. I was a bit disconcerted to learn I was back home. And, the street lights were out. My feet crunched over bits of broken glass. The moon came from behind a cloud, and I learned the street name was Jackson St. A couple blocks to the East, the familiar green of Leone Riverside Park. ‘I’m home in Baltimore. How?’

I walked closer, and spotted a young woman in a circle of brightness cast from a street light. She dodged an attack by from a hideous monster with a yellow infused skull. Jellied blackish ocher masses sat where eyes would be on a human. Just below a dark hole in the center of its skull was distended jawbone filled with rows of tiny, shark-like teeth, pointed and serrated. A pallid green tubular tongue protruded from its maw. Silvery blue saliva dripped to the ground and burned into the concrete.

A strong wind kicked up, bringing with it the scent of rain. The young woman risked a quick glance up at the sky. Thick, grey clouds roiled in from the east. An empty beer can bounced up the street, its clang hollow and sad. The world lit up as if by an enormous camera’s flash. Two seconds later, the air was rent by an eruption of sound. A gentle plopping came as the first cold droplets of water hit the ground. As the wind picked up, the pitch of the rain changed. What had been soft, and gentle turned into harsh, loud and drumming.

Her hair clung to her face as water dripped from her jaw and ran into her eyes. She swiped her t-shirt across her eyes in a hurry and pushed her soaked hair back from her face.

The creature’s corpse-white skin sloughed off, revealing ropy bunches of grey muscle and bronze stretches of tense tendons and ligaments. It spread its arms wide and howled. The creature’s shattered arm-blade reformed. I ran to milieu, intending to aid the woman in some fashion.

The creature raced up onto the sidewalk and leaped into the air, its arms open wide. When it reached the apex of its leap, and gravity began to reassert itself, her rising foot caught the hideous thing underneath its jaw, severing its protruding tubular tongue. It crashed to the ground, whimpering in pain, a cancerous orange fluid pouring from its mouth. She held her right arm straight out from her body, hand open and waiting. “Come to me,” she said. I stopped, and waited. Nothing happened. She dropped her arm. The creature’s noises changed from pain filled to enraged. It whirled its legs around and spun to its feet.

Once more her arm rose. “Come to me!”  she thundered.

Faster than I could process it, a tinkle of shattering glass could be heard and instant later, a high-pitched whistle came through the downpour.  The whistle grew louder as a pure white streak of light rocketed through the air. Before my stunned eyes, a pure white sword, the twin to the one at my hip, slapped into her open palm. She angled the white blade across her body in a middle guard position.

The monster paused, seeming to consider her. It was hard to tell with the inky ocher spots instead of eyes. It opened its mouth and waggled the stump of its tongue at her. The woman’s lip curled in revulsion. The creature sprang into motion, swinging its blades, trying to eviscerate the young woman.

She blocked each strike. The creature swung high with its right arm-blade and came at her in the opposite direction with the other. She ducked the high swing, blocked the low one and raised her knee to parry its abrupt kick at her stomach. It attempted to slash its weapons across her neck in a scissors motion. She ducked and thrust her sword at its middle. The monster dipped its arm-blades downward, deflecting her thrust into the ground. Rather than try to pull the sword from the ground, the young warrior kicked above the crossed arm-blades, catching the monster in the remains of its face.

Its head snapped back and it crashed to the ground, arms going wide. It did a kip-up, kicking its legs outward and flipping itself back to its feet. Before it could recover from its flip, the young woman gripped her sword in both hands and slashed down at the creatures right shoulder, separating the limb from its body. Orange fluid fountained out from the stump and its howl overcame the crash of thunder.  It reeled back.

She bent and picked up the severed limb. The monster, whatever it was, whirled on her, hate radiating off it like heat from an iron stove. The young woman stalked the damaged creature, determined to finish it.

A familiar man yanked her back against him just as the creature’s arm-blade came within a hair’s breadth of decapitating her. ‘Robilar?’ He released her. She blocked the creature’s return swing with the white sword. She drove its own arm-blade deep into its chest. The monster stared at her, shock evident on its skull-like face. Its arm fell away from her white blade. The warrior swung her arm out to the side, then swung back to the left, cutting the creature’s head from its shoulders.

She looked over, and locked eyes with me. “I’ll be here for you when you need me. That’s how I roll.”

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Into the Realm: the Chronicles of Carter Blake, Book I (raw update)

I blinked and a man dressed in green and dark brown leather armor stood before me. He had a lean and muscular build to him. Sable hair hung to his shoulders. A sword with a blue crystalline blade was held in his right hand. He looked over his shoulder at me. Coffee colored eyes sparkled with mischievous humor. The Lyxo that had been about to kill me drew up in surprise. Three heads sniffed the air, then with swung a massive paw at the newcomer. Without taking his eyes from me, he casually cut off the incoming limb. The demon bellowed in pain, then swiped at the mystery man again.

He turned to the attack, leaped on to the arm, raced up and stabbed the demon’s dragon throat. He then flipped through the air sliced the lion muzzle off, and then stabbed the goat between the eyes. As the Lyxo collapsed, he pulled the blade free, ran along it’s chest and flung himself through the air at the Lyxo that had Adora on the defensive.

Her flanged mace glowed with an eldritch violet light. Each time it collided with the tiger paw of her demon, black sparks leaped into the air. The three headed demon Lady Orwen battled had heads like a bull, the torso of a tiger, and the lower body of a goat. It threw its fists at her just as the man in leather arrived. As she blocked the strikes, he grabbed the outer horn of the right bull head, twisted it downward, flipped under it and snapped the neck. Continuing his motion, the man stabbed the center bull head between the horns, pulled the blade free, and flipped over to the last one, stabbing it between the horns as well. The man gracefully hit the ground in a tuck and roll.

His flashy appearance caught the attention of one of the Lyxos. The demon tried to stomp the man with its goat-hooved frog leg. He rolled under the assault, came to his feet and sliced the four legs off with a quick figure eight flourish. The ground shuddered under the impact of the demon’s collapse.

A rain of arrows came his way. My jaw dropped when I saw him either cut the arrows down, block them with his sword, or dance passed. He caught one and threw it back on almost the same trajectory. ‘Why the hell did he do that? There’s no way it- Oh.’ The arrow accelerated to the point of invisibility. Several demons in a row blew apart in chunks and sprays of blood.

An enormous bipedal beetle with a muscular brown body covered by a shiny, green-black carapace erupted from the ground. Its eyes were silver and bulbous, and its vertically-aligned teeth gleamed with a greenish-black saliva. Keratin  spikes grew around the monster’s legs and shoulders, and its forearms were covered by two-foot-long curved blades. With the exception of its coloration, it was identical to the bug I fought in the arena. It leaped for me. Without thinking, I brought by foot up. The bug’s jump carried it face first into the bottom of my foot. As I went back from the force, it crashed to the ground.

As I regained my balance, the beetle-creature sprang to its feet. I cocked my sword over my shoulder like it was a baseball bat.

“Azerith, metrenome Zinthos!”

I was splattered with silvery ichor as I registered Lady Orwen’s voice. The beetle, its skull crush by a powerful blow from behind, toppled forward. I wiped the sticky, yet sweet-smelling fluid from my face and peered at the princess. “Did you really have to splatter the contents of its cranium on my face?”

She shrugged, and wiped blood and grime from her cheek. “You were just standing there.” I grabbed her arm, yanked her against me and whipped my sword up. She planted her hands on my chest and pushed away. “Carter, you’re attached.” I rolled my eyes down to her, then back up. She turned and saw an ape-like demon with yellow horns curving from where its eyes would be impaled on my weapon.

“You’re welcome.” I pulled my sword from the fiend’s chest while she stepped away from me. I drew the back of the sword along the crook of my elbow, removing majority of the ichor that had collected on it, flipped it through a series of show-offy motions, then sheathed it.

She quirked her grimy eyebrows at me. “Was that necessary?”

“Not at all. But it looked awesome, didn’t it?” That earned me a tired sounding chuckle. I looked around. The battle was winding down. The man in leather finished off the last Lyxo and sheathed his sword after a similar flourish to mine. “I like that guy. Whoever he is.”

“I wonder why.”

I jogged over to Dearbhaile and swept her into my arms. “I’m so glad you are safe, Rishka.

“And I, ye.” She slanted her mouth over mine and gave me a deep kiss.

Show, Don’t Tell Lesson Pt I

81ImYB6fptL__SL1500_Yesterday, I posted an excerpt from R.S.Guthrie’s book Ink. The section I chose was about Showing the reader the events of the story, rather han telling them what happened. When you show the events, it serves to draw your reader further into your story. Conversely, when you tell, you pull them out. I think I learned the lesson (am probably wrong), and I’m going to use a scene from my Work In Progress Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake, Book I to illustrate. I’ll post the section, then tomorrow, I’ll break down what I was trying to show. It’s up to you to decide whether I showed you, or if I told you. Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

I stole along the hallway that lead to my former cell as I had when I escaped. I still didn’t know why it had been switched from the one closer to the arena, but didn’t really care either. Cool air from an unseen opening to the outside blew gently across my face. I soon found myself at the intersection from my previous journey through here. I wondered if I should continue forward towards the source of the breeze, or to my left and into the darkness. After several moments of indecisiveness, I resorted to eenie-meenie-miney-moe. I went left, into the darkness, with some trepidation. I had no idea what was down here. I was bothered by the fact that I hadn’t heard anything since I left Weijia on the elevator, and the dark silence was kind of spooky the way it seemed to lay heavily on me. As I walked, the air seemed to grow thicker, heavier and more ominous. Oddly enough, even though there was no light in the hallway, it appeared to get gradually darker. Just ahead of me, I heard a little boy giggle suddenly. I froze, the hairs on my body all standing at attention, goose bumps running over my body. The sound stopped with no echoes. I drew the sword I had gotten from a clan Silverhame smith. I was glad to have its weight in my hand.

I resumed walking, and then I heard footsteps behind me. I whirled around, bringing the longsword up in a defensive posture. When I halted, the footsteps also stopped. I held my breath, straining my ears for any sounds, but there were none. I reluctantly began to walk again, but this time I heard nothing except my own heartbeat which had ramped up remarkably. The silence didn’t remain for long, however. Just ahead of me, I heard a baby begin to cry. I began to hurry, the fear in that young voice spurring my steps. The crying baby changed to a young girl shrieking, then a young woman screaming, then an old woman choking, then stopped. I admit, my nerves were now completely shot. I stumbled to a halt again, and simply leaned against a stone wall, trembling like I had a cold.

After I had caught my breath again, and regained my composure, I pushed against the wall, intending to go upright. Instead, I felt the hardness of the stone give way to the soft yielding of flesh. At the same time, I felt a long, wet tongue slide up the side of my face. I screamed in revulsion and disgust and thrust my sword at who, or whatever had just licked me. The only resistance my sword felt was went it impacted the far wall of the hallway. Malevolent laughter echoed through the darkness.

A sinister voice whispered near my right ear, “If you do not study…”

Then, it moved to just in front of me and thundered,

“YOU! SHALL NOT!! PAAASSSSS!!!!”

As the booming of the abrupt shout died away, I started laughing aloud.

“Really?” I said, wiping tears of mirth from my eyes. “Are you really misquoting Lord of the Rings at me?!”

There was no response. Still chuckling a bit, I resumed walking. I gradually became aware that I could faintly see the stone walls and floor of the hallway again. I walked further, and the light grew only a little brighter. I soon realized it was due to a mist that somehow hung in the air. After another five minutes of travel, it was like I was in an ethereal realm. I moved to touch the wall on my right hand so I wouldn’t get turned around, and my hand met nothing. I stumbled forward into the mist and landed on my stomach, knocking the wind from myself.

I took a couple of minutes to recover, not fully noticing the moisture that was sinking into my clothing. I finally stood, and when my clothing clung to me, swore. ‘Just what I fucking need: my clothes to be wet,’ I thought. I trudged across the sodden, muddy ground, grimacing with disgust with each step. I really hated the feel of wet deerskin against my flesh. Thunder rumbled off to my right, causing me to wonder if I had wandered outside somehow. A warm rain began to fall on me. Finding it infinitely better than the cold dampness that had already surrounded me, I paused to enjoy it. I tilted my head back to better enjoy the feel of the rain. I soon caught whiff of a familiar, coppery scent. I opened my eyes. Sure enough, blood was falling from the sky like rain. I heaved a sigh and trudged onwards. Ten feet later, I tripped over a stone block. I rolled onto my back, clutching my injured shin and swearing like a sailor.

Something made me roll rapidly to my right. The world imploded around me. I smelled ozone an instant before a shockwave sent me rolling further away. When the world ceased spinning, I sat up and opened my eyes. The mist cleared enough for me to see a blackened crater where I had been laying just moments before. ‘Okay, somebody doesn’t want me to continue. I must be going the right way,’ I thought. Curiosity had me check out the stone I tripped over earlier. I picked up my dropped sword as I approached it.

The stone looked to be ordinary granite. It was largely white with striations of grey and black. It was also polished to a high sheen. From the angle I approached it from, I couldn’t make anything else out. I walked around and froze, my heart in my throat. Claws had gouged out a name and two dates.

CARTER MARCUS BLAKE

10/9/20XX – 5/6/20XX

I must admit: seeing that freaked me out. For one, I never use my middle name. I can’t stand it. For another, I had an inkling that the second date was today. I heard a sliding step as if someone was attempting to sneak up on me. I whirled, sword up in a ready defensive position. There was no one there. I cautiously made my way passed the stone with my name on it and began to move faster, something telling me that time was running out.

A large dark shape plummeted to the ground in front of me. I leaped backward instinctively. Lightning flashed rapidly, illuminating the newcomer in staccato bursts. It was one of the largest demons I had ever seen. It was crouched in front of me, black wings furled over its massive muscled back. It had four long, thick arms, the lower two of which were planted on the ground and two hugely muscled legs, coiled and ready to launch it into action. It had long and sharp looking horns sticking out of its skull-like head. An elongated, heavy tail swished back and forth like a cat’s. It watched me with glowing silvery orange eyes, licking its face occasionally. Its wings unfurled and began to lazily flap, stirring up a surprisingly pleasant breeze. The wings were black near the demon’s shoulders and gradually faded to red near the primary feathers. There was a stripe of yellow at delineating the covert feathers. Keeping its eyes on me, the demon slowly raised one of its arms from the ground, carefully moved it forward, and then lowered it. This movement was followed promptly by a matching step forward by its opposite leg. ‘This thing is stalking me,’ I thought with wonder.

Trying to show that I wouldn’t be intimidated, I twirled my sword before me, then snapped it down to my right. Outwardly, I was bold, ready to fight. Inwardly, I was nervous and scared as hell. The demon lowered its body, ready to pounce. I dropped my right foot behind me, turning to that I would present a smaller target and so that I could put more power behind my first swing. I brought my sword up into my left hand and gripped it lightly, yet firmly. The demon took another slow step forward, this time moving the opposite arm and leg from last time.

The demon launched into its attack. My swinging sword was tore from my grasp. Sword flew in one direction, I in another. I rolled a few feet, and lunged upright. The demon was on me in an instant, ripping and clawing at my flesh. I frantically threw up my forearms and knees to block its unrelenting assault. After four frantic minutes, I saw an opening and took ruthless advantage. It swung both of its right arms at my head. I ducked under the upper fist, blocked the lower one with my forearms and launched my right knee up into its jaw, staggering the monster. It roared in frustration and swung both its left arms. I landed in a crouch. When both left fists whistled through the air over my head, I slammed my left elbow into its right knee. The demon’s knee buckled as it bellowed in pain. It crashed to the ground.  I rose to my feet and raced for my sword.

I reached it, and took it gladly into my hands once more. I turned to the demon, ready to resume the battle on more equal terms. Moving faster that I thought possible, the demon charged. When it reached me, I found myself lifted in the air. The demon had each of my limbs in one of its colossal hands. It roared in my face and then flung me. I flew on a short, hard trajectory and crashed into a wall. My skull bounced against it, sending sparkles of light shooting across my sight. The impact knocked the wind from me and caused my vision to go blurry. My ears rang, and I felt nauseous. I wasn’t sure of where I was, or what had happened to me. I slowly pushed myself upright and saw two four-armed demons charging at me. I tried to get to my feet, but couldn’t seem to get my limbs to work together. The demon yanked me up and slammed me against the wall again. It began to batter me with its free fists. My body twitched and swung from the thud of its fists. It was interesting: I was able to feel the impacts, but I felt no pain.

The demon flung me away from it again. My flight was once more short, and remarkably, pleasant. The landing, a lot less so. Fortunately, the jarring landing served to clear the cobwebs from my mind. I rolled to my feet just as the demon landed hard where I had just been lying. Instinct had me rocketing my fist up to explode against its jaw as I shoved my feet against the ground to provide extra force. The demon’s head snapped back, and it crashed to the ground. Pain raced up from my damaged hand, grabbed a dance partner in my shoulder and did the tango in my skull to the tune of a throbbing headache. I tasted copper in my mouth and spat to one side. Blood and a tooth hit the ground.

“You bastard,” I said.

I looked at the demon which was just getting to its hands and knees. I ran up and punted the demon in its head as if I were trying to kick the winning fifty yard field goal at the Super Bowl with the entire New England Patriots defensive line attempting to stop me. The arch of my foot caught it on its jaw. My knee caught the side of its horn. The demon collapsed, semi-conscious. I collapsed, clutching my knee. I rolled around for a couple of minutes until the demon let out a gasping snore, reminding me of its presence. I got up, hobbled over to where I last saw my sword and picked it up, swearing under my breath. I balanced on my non-bruised leg and kicked the other one out a few times, trying to work the pain out. I gingerly set my foot back down and tested my weight on it. When it held up, I turned and limped back to where the demon was just beginning to stir.

‘Hey, I’m Dr. Gregory House,’ I thought randomly. The demon had pushed itself back up to it hands and knees once more. I poised near its shoulders, my sword held tightly in my hands. I held it above its neck and paused, waiting for it to come further up. As it did, I brought the sharp blade down with all my might. A scream of fury issued from my lungs as the longsword impacted, then sliced though, the demons thick neck. Crimson blood shot up from the stump like a geyser. It slashed against me, hot and delicious. I stood over the demon corpse, savoring my victory. My chest heaved as I thrust my bloody sword in the air and bellowed my triumph to the sky.

Tomorrow, I’ll break it down for you.