Friday, March 29, 2013

100 Words a Day 226

I saw the kick coming, but it was too fast for me to get out of the way in time. Despite the padding, it rattled my brain and sent me staggering. After a moment I felt fine. Then I realized I was lying on the floor.

Putting both hands underneath me, I pushed myself up to my knees and shook my head to clear it.

It didn’t start hurting until a few hours later. All of a sudden I had a splitting headache. I took some Advil and went to bed.

I was still a little shaky the next day.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

100 Words a Day 225

He was ill. He should have stayed home, but he couldn’t afford to.

Also, he took a perverse joy in touching as many surfaces as possible in the office. He made sure to touch the door handles especially, since everyone touched them and nobody sterilized after.

The elevator buttons were another good target. Everyone pushed those at some point.

He didn’t bother with the buttons going to other floors. He had nothing against the other companies in the building.

When he closed the door to his room at the end of the day, he fell into bed, tired but happy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

100 Words a Day 224

He sat and stared at the typewriter, his clothing disheveled, his beard unshaven, and his breath stale with booze.

The page reflected his blank stare back at him. He hadn’t written a word in weeks. He’d missed several deadlines. His editor was on the phone daily, and growing irate, about his lack of pages.

He reached for the bottle, but found it empty.

He tossed the bottle aside with irritation. He felt betrayed by his liquid muse, which had of late abandoned him.

With a sigh he sank deeper into the chair. Head in hands, he wondered what to do.

Monday, March 25, 2013

100 Words a Day 223

He gradually wafted into consciousness. As sensation slowly returned to his body he felt something warm on his calf. Gradually, he became aware of a weight there as well. He managed to open his eyes, but was unable to sit up for several moments. Eventually, the heavy weight of sleep faded enough for him to sit up.

Pushing himself up with a groan, he felt the weight move and his leg begin to cool.

He wiped the sleep from his eyes, and started as he felt something step on his stomach. His eyes opened, suddenly clear; he saw a cat.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

100 Words a Day 222

He was like a hero out of an epic. Powerfully built, he was a leader of men, with a strong jaw and fierce gaze. Women swooned over him, not only for his physique, but for his mind. He was just with those under his command, ensuring each received their fair share of the take from battle. When he strode to the head of his army before battle, it caused the opposing formations to quake in fear. His men broke any who dared to stand before him. It mattered not their numbers nor their training; they all fell before his might.

100 Words a Day 221

The bar was packed, the strobe lights causing the individuals to melt together into an undulating mass on the dance floor.

“I hate places like this,” he said to himself. “It’s too loud to talk, the drinks are expensive, and you can’t see anything.”

The woman next to him leaned over and said into his ear, “then why are you here?”

He looked over, startled. “How did you hear me?”

“I read lips.”

“Interesting. Must be useful in a place like this,” he shouted.

“People usually talk with their eyes here, rather than their mouths.” She said with a wink.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

100 Words a Day 220

The eldest soldier in the unit stood before his brethren, the bodies of their dead behind him, covered with dirty, white shrouds.

“Our brothers died realizing their freedom, the greatest achievement we damned beings can expect. We are slaves; men bred, born, raised, and trained to fight. It is our doom, to have no choice in the life we live. The one choice we have is the way we die. The least of us are slain as we cower in fear, killed by any man who happens by. The greatest die in battle, slain by an enemy of their choosing.

100 Words a Day 219

Grom pulled his ax out of the man’s skull, spraying bone chips and brains. He ignored the bits of man as he strode through the accumulated gore, searching for his next foe.

Seeing no one around, he let the great blade fall to the ground and took his rest upon the bloody leather of the handle. His breath came hard; he was unused to fighting in the southern heat and was unusually fatigued.

After a few minutes rest, he hoisted his ax to his shoulder and picked his way through the bodies in search of more worthy foes to slay.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

100 Words a Day 218

They could see the ship drifting towards their docks. It was derelict and they could smell the disease as it floated closer. The townspeople were able to make out the teeming mass of ravagers on the deck and in the rigging.

They knew that each man on the ship was a herald of death, armed as they were with salted steel. Beyond that though, each was covered with eruptions from one foul disease or other, and that was the real danger.

The townspeople had heard stories of places that had repulsed the raiders, only to succumb to their blasphemous plagues.

Monday, March 18, 2013

100 Words a Day 217

He rose from the seat, the stout construction groaning as his weight came free, and walked over to the armor stand. He donned the ancient chainmail, feeling it fall familiarly into place.

He ran his mangled hand, missing two fingers, over the links, feeling the gaps where weapons had penetrated his old friend over the years.

He died his first death from a spear thrust to the gut. He tracked that bastard down and gave him a matching hole.

His second death was from behind, a traitorous lieutenant. He shrugged at the memory; he had no hard feelings about it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

100 Words a Day 216

The party started early. The first few people to show up were pretty chill. They opened a few beers and put on a Futurama dvd. When the ratio of square footage to people became appropriate, conversation began to buzz through the apartment.

They played a few party games. They were decidedly uninteresting: lose at this, drink at that.

The guests ate their fill and started to booze in earnest. Shortly after, the dance game was produced.

It too was fairly vanilla. It contained a variety of classic songs from a variety of eras, each set to a psychedelic light show.

100 Words a Day 215

The sail flapped in the breeze, on the cusp of filling, and the ship moved lazily through the water. The sound of the ropes creaking reminded James of his grandmother’s rocking chair. She used to rock him to sleep after his mother died, before he was too big to sit in her lap. He yawned at the memory.

He remembered when he told his grandmother he was taking to sea. She cried, rocking back and forth in her chair. All he could do was stand there, looking at her, and holding his bag. He still had the bag down below.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

100 Words a Day 214

The soldiers poured out of the temple, wailing and swinging their curved swords.

“The king! The king!” one of the guards cried. His comrades formed a tight circle around the horse with golden barding, pointing their spears at the oncoming men.

The two forces crashed together, the sound was deafening.

The conquered men hoped to die in battle, to avoid the shame of living under foreign rulers.

From his besieged keep at the top of the mountain, the lord cried.

“Don’t cry for like a baby what you couldn’t defend like a man,” his mother said, disapproval on her face.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

100 Words a Day 213

He was in bed, ill. He was extremely uncomfortable. He couldn’t sleep. The discomfort kept him up long into the night.

There were two things that gave him relief, and he engaged in both as often as possible.

The first was fluids. He drank fluids the way a freshman drinks beer at a frat party. He only wished he’d had a beer bong so he could get the water down faster.

The second was lying down in the darkness. He couldn’t sleep, but resting with his eyes closed brought immense relief. It was the only way he could really relax.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

100 Words a Day 212

The space station was crowded. Beings of all species rubbed elbows, or what passed for elbows, as they went about their business.

The swirling mass of sentient life flowed around the merchant stalls, which dotted the middle of the corridor like a chain of islands. Small eddies were created as people stopped to admire the baubles hawked by the owners of the booths.

Above it all stood the Sentinels, the shiny black facemasks of their helmets hiding their faces. They were at attention, looking for ripples of trouble, the way a spear fisher looks for the ripples of his prey.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

100 Words a Day 211

“They say that hard work is the key to success! What they fail to mention, however, is that hard work does not guarantee success.”

“Success is about being lucky. Hard work creates luck and if you are lucky, your luck pays off.”

“It’s that little secret that the successful keep from those working for them. They feed them lies about the direct relationship between hard work and success; do one enough and the other is sure to follow.”

“This lie convinces millions to remain chained to their desks, when they hold the key to their own freedom in their hands.”

Sunday, March 10, 2013

100 Words a Day 210

“You know,” the mustached man said, tugging thoughtfully with hand that wasn’t holding the gun, “you remind me of a character in a book I read.”

“Yes,” he continued. “The hero in The Dogged Pursuit, he was like you. He never knew when to quit. Unlike, him though, you won’t leave here alive.”

“What makes you say that?” the other man said, pushing up his glasses with his free hand.

“Where shall I begin?” The man said, inhaling, glancing upward

And fell, a bullet from the clean-shaven man’s gun in his chest.

“I hate when people compare me to literature.”

Saturday, March 9, 2013

100 Words a Day 209

He crept down the hall. His legs were chilled, inadequately protected as they were by his short nightgown. Hearing alert, each creaking step sounded like a scream. As he moved down the narrow corridor, the sounds of night drifted under cracks and through half closed doors, people shifting in their beds, snoring, confessing secrets in their sleep.

He froze, thinking he’d heard an out of place noise. He looked around, trying to penetrate the black, inky fog of night. There was no movement in the shadows. As his head slowly turned, he thought he heard a hissing from the darkness.

100 Words a Day 208

He called her Betsy; because that was the only name suitable for a young man’s car. She was red. Not his first choice of colors, but he had been in the market for a used car, and beggars can’t be choosers.

Despite the color, and the rust damage, he loved that car. Betsy didn’t have power steering, but he liked that about her. Her clutch was stiff. You could shift gears like the crack of a whip, and he often did.

His dad told him the car was an accident waiting to happen, but that just made her more exciting.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

100 Words a Day 207

The circle in the street formed quickly. The two men stared each other down, stalking around the circle’s edge. After several moments, they stopped and stared each other down.

They were dressed in the manner of rash and roving blades. Their clothes were flamboyant. Each bore a rainbow cloak that billowed in the breeze. The hilts of their swords were expertly wrought and accented with precious stones that sparkled in the sun.

“I killed men twice your size when I was half it!” one of the men shouted, gesturing with a ruby accented dagger.

He received a snarl in return.

100 Words a Day 206

I leaned out of from the darkness, my eyes peeking around the doorframe, and saw a dark figure running across the wall. Their feet were quiet as they sped along the narrow, treacherous path. I was puzzled as to why someone on a presumably nefarious errand would rush so.

A sudden movement out of the corner of my eye drew my gaze to the courtyard. I saw two guards crashing along the winding path. Their faces were upturned, seeking the figure clad in night. I saw their swords flash in the torchlight, trailing behind them, and knew I was safe.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

100 Words a Day 205

They didn’t call themselves anything. Everyone else called them the Hell Patrol. There was always a spot at the bar when they arrived, the thunder from their pipes heralding their coming long before their bikes wound down the road like a great, metal serpent.

Clad head to toe in leather, they were a fearsome outfit, but dependable. When they signed a deal, they rode like hell for leather to hold up their end of the bargain. Each time they came into town, it felt like all the prospects were new. The ones who survived the initiation though, they were formidable.

Monday, March 4, 2013

100 Words a Day 204

Predatory lending and financial ignorance caused the downfall of their economy. After going back and forth about personal responsibility and a bailout, someone said, “Let them, bankers and borrowers each, take responsibilities for their actions.”

Thereafter, lists of the defaulters, and the banks who loaned to them, were published. When the lynching began, they went to the government, but fear of their own people stayed the governing hand. It didn’t help; the bankers and the borrowers strung up the government, even as their own noose was being knotted.

The cry of the masses: Let it burn! and so it did.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

100 Words a Day 203

“You and I were made for a time that no longer exists, and maybe never did,” the older man said to the younger.

“Don Quijote had the same problem you know? At least, after he went crazy,” the older man went on.

“That’s hardly comforting,” the young man said. “You’re saying we’re like a crazy old man who thinks he’s living in a fantasy world that never existed?”

The old man shrugged, “he’s also famous for fighting with his last valiant ounce for what he believed in, while the whole world told him he was wrong.”

“Sancho believed in him.”

100 Words a Day 202

“Death is Life's one great certainty. On that, the philosophers and I are in agreement. Unlike the philosophers, I have no concern for what happens after. Let others waste time pondering uncertainties, like blind men peering into the ocean depths in the black of night, while I experience the moments I have to their greatest.

Pious men deny their earthly cravings on the vague promises of some eternal bliss, some perfect delight, if only they obey the fetid wheezings of men long turned to gravedust. Why does man sacrifice that which is surely in front of him for the uncertain?”

Saturday, March 2, 2013

100 Words a Day 201

The Valley of the Fallen is one of Spain’s most unique monuments. Built under Francisco Franco after the Spanish civil war, it consists of a basilica built inside a mountain, which is topped by an enormous cross. The interior of the basilica is unmistakably fascist; it’s full of statues of dark, sword-bearing angels. Despite this, it retains several distinctly Spanish characteristics. The numerous chapels are dedicated to the Virgin Mary for example. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the monument’s place in history and that often makes people forget that there truly is no other place like it.