Here’s an early preview of my upcoming new project: Otherworld Chronicles: Season 1. A dark fantasy novelette that’ll be made available via Amazon Kindle.
Details regarding this project will be the subject of my next blog post!
ANTON’S SHORT STORY
It’s not the calm before the storm but the silence after that gets you.
Facing the aftermath of the carnage, the destruction, and the judgment.
Don’t be fooled by all the wood and stone that make up the mansion. All still in its place. Undamaged and clean. Nor by the oil lanterns still bright, burning, and hot. The walls tell that real tale. Painted with blood and guts.
Anton thinks he can outrun it.
Get off the destined path he set upon since who knows when. He doesn’t even know.
He tries to calm himself, but without the screams of his friends, he can finally hear his own heartbeat.
Take a peek, Anton.
Not much else you can do.
Weapons without their masters scattered across the hall.
All of them dead by the same cause.
Blunt trauma to their heads. Crushed like summer melons.
The butchered brains and pools of blood, too hard to tell whose body produced what.
The man in the black armor. His face hidden behind the helm with a plume formed by long crimson lights that gently danced behind him like whips. Affectionately named, “Redtails.”
Anton snaps back behind his wall, wishing desperately he had learned a spell or two.
I don’t deserve this. Anton tells himself. Fuck this.
We rarely get what we deserve. But there’s comfort in the idea that what happens to us has nothing to do with what we deserve.
Because by that same rule, Anton might even survive.
From his pocket, Anton pulls out the magic from his own world. A pocket revolver. He doesn’t remember what the brand is or even what caliber it uses. It wasn’t his. He had snatched it from his brother’s drawer before he came back to this world.
He swings around with the gunpowder courage and aims the weapon at the approaching storm.
Redtails doesn’t stop.
“Fuck you,” Anton screams at him. “FUCK YOU!”
A silent soldier on a march. That was his answer to Anton.
Make them count. He says without words.
Anton stops for a moment and lets the smoke clear.
Redtails is closer.
Only a little further than an arm’s length away now.
The black knight allows the lips of Anton’s gun to kiss his helm.
The knight gently taps his dark, steel club on Anton’s forehead once…
“Look.” Anton takes off his glove and shows the back of his left hand. There was the red, almond shaped insignia that seemed as if it was tattooed onto his flesh.
“I’m from our world,” Anton says. “You’re one of us, right? You have to be one of us. Come on, man.”
It wasn’t Anton’s fault that he didn’t know this was another one of Redtails’ signatures. There wasn’t anyone alive who knew about it. A gentle ritual he performed every once in a blue moon when the circumstances were just right. He had to be in the mood for it.
This is the silence after the storm.
Redtails swings his club.
Sounds almost like a home run. As if Barry Bonds himself was on the plate.
It’s in tune with the crack of the shattering skull.
Then an almost immediate follow-up performance of the loud splatter on the wall.
Almost a cartoonish noise.
Anton’s body drops.
No more Anton.
No more questions of whether or not he deserves it.
Silence without judgment or concern.