Thursday, May 30, 2013

100 Words a Day 285

He had his knees on the man’s chest, his hands clutching his throat. His fingers clamped onto the other man’s neck, crushing the two arteries supplying his brain with oxygen, while his thumbs pressed into the soft spot at its base.

The other man struggled to free his arms from under the choker’s knees. The pressure on his throat made him shake reflexively, his primitive mind seeking a way to relieve the pressure and open his airways.

The choker watched the man died. He never would have thought he could strangle a man, the things you’ll do for your children.

100 Words a Day 284

The two moved simultaneously. One man began to draw his sword, the other began to kick. The sword made a clean sound as it slide along the scabbard. The other man’s leg sailed through the air, the loose cloth of his pants whipping through the air.

The man with the sword, was confident, he would take the kick and gut the bastard.

Imagine his surprise then, when the foot connected with his wrist, arresting his sword’s movement and slamming it back into the scabbard.

The second strike was less of a surprise. The whole strategy became obvious after the kick.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

100 Words a Day 283

He drew his bowstring back, along with hundreds of others. The sound of their bows straining was like the creaking of a forest in a storm. Then with a whoosh, the arrows were away, fluttering the hair of the archers. The sky wasn’t darkened by the arrows, that was nonsense made up by people trying to tell a good story, but where they struck, there were screams.

The cacophony of agony drifted across the battlefield. The lines of the opposing army crumbled. Some ran forward, some back, most simply fell where they had been standing, calling out for their mothers.

Monday, May 27, 2013

100 Words a Day 282

He braced his arm against the side of his head and accepted the punch. Most of the force deflected off his forearm. As the punch was drawn back, he followed it with his blocking arm, launching his fist at the other man.

He raked his middle knuckles down the man’s face, causing him to drop his head. The eye of his fist connected with the man’s chin on the way up. His head shot back, blood exploding from his mouth. It looked like he even lost a tooth as he fell backwards, falling to the floor like a cut tree.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

100 Words a Day 281

The crowd’s wild shouting made the blood rush madly through his veins, giving him heady ecstasy as he raised his arms in triumph.

This was his first victory; the crowd called for the fallen man’s death. He knew the ritual well, having seen it many times.

He lifted his sword mechanically, lost in the haze of exultation.

He turned the blade over, steadied his grip, and plunged it into the man’s chest.

He watched the man’s life leave his eyes as the haze left his mind, replaced by shock, and the realization that he had lost a piece of himself.

100 Words a Day 280

The gunshots rang out, echoing off the narrow alley.

Dalton was pinned behind an old Le Sabre. Shot out glass littered the ground; he had numerous small cuts from when it had shattered.

The men firing at him stood were using a van as cover. In what seemed to Dalton to be remarkably cliché, they took turns leaning out from behind cover to shoot at each other.

After a few moments, an idea came to Dalton. He fired once more to keep them behind the van. Then, he dropped to the ground, ignoring the glass, and fired into their feet.

Friday, May 24, 2013

100 Words a Day 279

Catch the wrist, move the elbow. Everything was going to plan. He six inch kicked the guy, just like in the form. He smiled to himself as he felt the other guy’s arm being moved by the pressure on his elbow and saw his kick rocketing towards his knee.

He felt a sinking sensation as the other guy lifted his foot and kicked his shin. It hurt, but not as much as watching the guy’s grappled arm corkscrew and hit him in the face.

He released his hold on the other guy as he was thrown backwards, hitting the wall.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

100 Words a Day 278

The little bastard was slippery. He bobbed and weaved away from every punch.

Garth smiled as he fired off a hard right that he was sure was going to connect.

Suddenly, he found his fist veering away from the small man, who guided it with his hands. Garth’s moment of confusion was replaced with a flash of pain shooting up from his foot.

Then time seemed to slow down. He felt himself sailing into the air and looking up at the ceiling. A moment later, he was falling. Just before he hit the ground, time sped up, and it hurt.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

100 Words a Day 277

Steve shoved the other man, who stumbled back, his footing made slippery by the numerous beers he had consumed. Almost as if on cue, the stranger pulled back his right fist.

It was almost too easy, Steve thought to himself as he stepped out with his left foot.

The drunkard’s fist traveled unerringly towards where Steve had been, striking only air.

In response, Steve smashed his forearm into the other man’s triceps while his fist struck him in the side of the head. He used his other fist to strike him in the ribs while kicking him in the knee.

100 Words a Day 276

The impact of the other man’s sword on his blade jarred him; he had nearly missed the block. Stepping out to increase his base, he weathered the attack and recovered his footing while his opponent withdrew, preparing his next swing.

It came straight on this time. He moved his attacker’s blade with his own. As the blade slide away, the other man pushed his arms to the side, causing the tip of his blade to seek the heart again.

He stepped back and pushed his own sword up, lifting the other man’s blade so the tip passed before his face.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

100 Words a Day 275

The plane slammed into the runway, bouncing several times before the wheels stuck. The passengers were thrown forward, their seat belts straining, until the plane slowed. They breathed a collective sigh of relief as the plane pulled into the gate.

When the seatbelt sign was finally deactivated, everyone hurried to occupy the central aisle. The flow of humanity was bottlenecked by everyone removing their luggage from the overhead bins.

After the long flight, the passengers were anxious to get off. Despite the air conditioning, the plane was still hot. Many of them had connecting flights to make and began shoving.

Monday, May 20, 2013

100 Words a Day 274

The air conditioning sputtered, laboring to continue to put out cool air. The groaning of the device hardly made a difference. The sun streamed in through the window above the air conditioner, as though it wanted to create a barrier between the cooler air and the rest of the room with bright beams.

He sat in the sweat stained chair and felt the beads run down his rolls of fat. Reaching up, he wiped his brow with the back of his arm, leaving the dark, coarse hair plastered to his pale forearm. The relief was temporary. Sweat quickly formed again.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

100 Words a Day 273

He willed himself up to the window. Sliding his knife through the gap between the shutters, he was able to undo the latch. They came apart soundlessly, allowing him to slip into the house unheard.

Creeping through the house, he checked at each door until he found the bedroom. The soft snoring alerted him.

Smiling, he readied his knife and eased the handle down and inched the door open. The room was dark, but he heard two people snoring as he felt his way towards the bed. He placed the knife to the throat of the first sleeper and prepared.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

100 Words a Day 272

The doors opened onto what could only be called a teenage reinterpretation of a courtroom. There were teens lounging around on worn furniture. Across from the doors was a large throne, a young man had his leg thrown over one arm.

“Shit,” the first man said.

“What?” his companion replied, clenching against the binding on his wrists.

“We are fucked.”

“What do you mean?”

“Look at all the pregnant teens.”

“Yeah, so what?”

“Have you ever seen a movie or read a story with a bunch of pregnant teens that wasn’t some sort of cult?”

“Shit, dude. You are right.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

100 Words a Day 271

The stunt was going horribly wrong. When the car left the ramp it started to spin in the air. Luke could only imagine what the driver must be feeling, spiraling through the summer sky.

The car struck the dirt and began to roll, losing pieces with each rotation. The reinforcing they’d added, for just a case like this, kept the car from losing too much of its shape.

There were people waiting with fire extinguishers before the wreck had come to a complete stop.

Someone reached in and hit the kill switch, silencing the struggling engine, before checking the driver.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

100 Words a Day 270

She was reclining when he entered the room.

“Hey, what’s up?” he ask.

“I feel sick,” she moaned.

“What’s wrong?” a look of concern crossed his face as he said the words.

“Nauseous” was all she replied before rolling over.

“Did you eat something?”

“No. I didn’t eat anything weird.”

“Maybe it the weather and the sudden stress relief.”

“Maybe” she replied, hoping her desire to be left alone would be made evident by her annoyance.

Shrugging at her tone, he put his bag down and took his shoes off. With a sigh he prepared to tackle the dirty dishes.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

100 Words a Day 269

“You’re just an old man afraid of a young man,” the youth said, puffing his chest and pushing his chin towards the grizzled man.

“I see you kick your can in town a lot boy. Ain’t never seen you out on the range though. That’s where the thunder and the wind shout back.”

He turned his back on the boy.

The boy glanced back at his friends, screwed up his face, and grabbed the older man’s shoulder.

He saw a flash, it was his face hitting the bar, and then found himself prone, the old man’s pistol in his face.

100 Words a Day 268

Orphan with the Tiger Fists is a martial arts coming of age tale set in a fictional kung fu universe. Young Jinhua, a sickly boy abandoned at the monastery, must study kung fu while learning to navigate life in the Little Forest temple, a place where he is beset by cruel teachers and the malicious Xiaolong. Jinhua trains hard to overcome his starved upbringing and weak stature. He will need all the kung fu skills he can muster to face the rigorous training and the painful bullying of his nemesis with any chance of survival. But will it be enough?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

100 Words a Day 267

The buzzer sang, signaling the end of the game and victory for the home team. The crowd exploded into cheer. It was deafening. They waved their flags with such vigor it created a wild, undulating ring around the field.

The sensory overload made the players unsteady. Their celebration took on a drunken quality as they stumbled around the field, overwhelmed by the crowd, their accomplishment, and the expenditure of energy it had required.

The defeated team was unsteadied by the shockwave of the crowd and the failure of their efforts. When they regained their feet, it was with slumped shoulders.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

100 Words a Day 266

She awoke and found herself staring at a cold, white ceiling. She lay a few moments longer, at rest.

She swallowed to moisten her dry throat, “well, at least I survived,” she said.

She tried to sit up, but felt something restraining her right hand. With a heave, she pushed herself onto her right side and examined her arm.

From the elbow down it was no longer flesh, it was black metal. With a thought, she flexed the long, black fingers, a match for the real ones on her left hand.

She smiled. The operation was successful; she was whole.

100 Words a Day 265

He looked at the numbers.

He typed them.

He checked them.

Then he pulled the next paper from the pile and repeated the process.

It was like this day in, day out, but today was different somehow.

The numbers melted on the page and formed angry shapes that burned into his brain. His hands began to shake as he tried to key in the next numerical sequence. His vision blurred, making it impossible to read the computer screen.

He couldn’t do it anymore. Another moment, and he would lose it.

Instead he stood up and left. He exhaled and relaxed.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

100 Words a Day 264

The jug slowly filled up as the months rolled on. Each day he put his change from the day in the clear, plastic container, which he had liberated from a water cooler.

He dropped today’s handful into the narrow opening. The coins settled in disarray on top of the pile.

The value of the jug was unknown. He had never counted it, and he wasn’t going to. When it was full, he would deposit it and see what he would reap from the coins he had sown.

He rubbed his last, silver coin between his fingers before dropping it in.

100 Words a Day 263

“That scene is pure fanservice, I refuse to include it!”

“John, it would be great for sales! Just think about how the readers will eat it up!”

John rolled his eyes, “but it doesn’t add anything to the book! It doesn’t reveal new information, advance the plot, or draw the reader forward.”

“What do you mean? It draws them forward by giving them what they want to read!”

“Ugh,” John said, waving his hand dismissively, “it has nothing to do with drawing the reader forward into the story. It just draws their wallet out.”

“Exactly! How else can you eat?”

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

100 Words a Day 262

The bendy part of the bus squeaked as it ascended Van Ness. Years of wear on the joints, from taking corners too hard and going up the sharp inclines of the San Francisco hills, had caused them to tear.

It wasn’t enough to warrant replacing the ribs. The San Francisco climate was mild year-round, unlike somewhere like Chicago, and there was no temperature-related reason to mend the bus. That said, the water got in when it rained, which was annoying.

Regardless, it made the buses look rundown. It was a tragedy that such a beautiful city had such sad buses.

100 Words a Day 261

They removed the iron lock and pushed the heavy wooden door, revealing the site of the most recent murder. The interior of the apartment was in disarray, just like the previous ones.

Moving through the apartment, they noted the empty drawers strewn about and the broken pottery. There wasn’t a single vessel intact, just shards.

Stepping carefully, they made their way to the bedroom. Inside they found an even greater level of mayhem. In addition to the room being turned over, there were numerous holes in the walls and floor. In one of the holes there was an empty box.

Monday, May 6, 2013

100 Words a Day 260

He sighed as he felt the wheels kick out from under him. He was less concerned with his impending fall and skid than the damage it would do to his paintjob.

In a world where you carried your wealth with you, a fancy paint job meant something. It was a status symbol; it helped him negotiate; it helped him survive and prosper.

As he continued to roll, his motorcycle sliding a little ahead of him, he wondered how expensive it would be to get the paint redone.

He came to a rest against his motorcycle, sat up and sighed again.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

100 Words a Day 259

He awoke sweating. His heart was pounding in his ears. He peered into the darkness, futilely attempting to penetrate it with his weak eyes.

Eventually, his heartbeat quieted enough for him to listen to the blackness. At first he heard nothing, and then there was a whisper in the darkness.

It was a lovely, sibilant sound that carried the promise of dreams. All he had to do was walk into the night and receive. Quickly thrusting the urge away, he burrowed back into his bedroll and tried to sleep.

The whisper continued, offering the keys a garden of earthly delights.

Friday, May 3, 2013

100 Words a Day 258

The first thing she noticed was the crème-colored envelope. Her name was penned in a long, flowing hand on the face.

The sturdy box was elegant with few lines, nothing superfluous. It was a deep, rich purple with an offset, red bow, edged in gold. The company’s name was embossed in the same gold on the lid.

With careful hands, she removed the top. The contents were wrapped in white silk. Still having no idea what was in the box, she lifted the bundle out and placed it on the table.

She unfolded the silk, one corner at a time.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

100 Words a Day 257

“Theirs was a strange culture,” the storyteller began, standing and stretching out his arm, as though reaching for a distant memory.

“They practice ceremony in all things, from how they rise in the morning, to how they put one foot in front of the other, to how they cut their food at dinner.”

The young children looked up with shocked eyes, unable to fathom a life so regulated. The storyteller smiled, having expected that.

“And,” he continued “on the day they enter adulthood, all the boys are abandoned in the desert. Any that can catch up are named grown men.”

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

100 Words a Day 256

The last bushel was stowed; the tools had been polished and put away. The workers hurried to the tent with barely contained excitement.

The smell quickened their feet again. It was meat, roasted and dripping with juices. At least, that was how each imagined it.

The farmhands poured into the rectangular tent. The food was heaped upon a long table at north end while several kegs of beer were waiting to be tapped at the south.

Despite their eagerness, everyone formed into a line, either for food or beer, and took as much as they could carry, then they feasted.