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Vampire Story

Fiction Fragment Friday

This weeks Story is chapter one of a novel I started writing but never finished. I have quite a few of those. The idea was to tell the story from two different character’s perspectives each chapter. If the characters interacted I would give the scene in both characters perspective. That got a little too much in dialog heavy scenes and I never worked out a way to make that work without too much repetition.


 “Hank, come back Hank,” William yelled into the otherwise silent night.  The ground was rough and he was starting to get tired from pushing his way through the heavy overgrowth.  A sharp pain hit him as a branch he had just let go of came crashing back against his neck.  “Ow, damn it Hank this isn’t like you at all.”  Blood dripped from where the branch had just struck. 

It had been five minutes since Hank had shot off into the woods pulling his leash loose from William’s grip.  William had followed him into the forest but had not seen or heard him for at least two minutes now.  Fear started to set in at the realization that he might never see his beloved pet again.  How would a house dog get by on his own without someone to feed and water him?   These thoughts were brought to an abrupt stop though as barking could be heard ahead. 

“There you are,” William mumbled as he rushed forward with renewed determination.  He was far from graceful as he tried to run in the direction of the barking.  Many new bruises and small cuts were earned as the forest seemed to do it’s best to slow William down.  Finally, the thick bushes gave way to a large open clearing.   On the verge of collapsing from exhaustion William stumbled to the ground caught off guard by the sudden lack of resistance.  Hank was in the middle digging at the ground.

 “Hank come on boy.  Come here.”   William struggled to his feat and walked slowly towards Hank afraid of spooking him. 

 Hank looked at William with his head tilted to the left.  He took a few steps forward, but then quickly turned away and ran back into the woods. 

“No, wait.  Why are you doing this?”  William shot forward after his dog.  As he reached the area Hank had been digging in something caught him by the ankle in mid stride.  His shoulder screamed with pain as it hit the ground.   For the first time William noticed that the dirt around him in the clearing was loose.  It was obvious that someone had done digging here recently.  He glanced back to see what his leg got caught on and was suddenly filled with terror.  A hand was reaching out of the ground and fingers were wrapped around his ankle.  Scenes from every horror movie he had ever seen flew through his mind.  Finally, though his mind went through all the logical options and decided that someone was buried alive there in front of him.

  “Hold on, I’ll help you.”  William started to dig in the dirt with his hands and found that the hand coming out of the ground had let go of his ankle.  He grabbed the hand and pulled with all his strength.  Suddenly another hand came out of the dirt.  It pushed against the ground and with William’s help a woman soon rose out of the loose dirt.  She was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but they were ripped and dirty.  “Are you ok?  Who did this to you?”

She didn’t speak a word.  She just lay on the ground breathing heavily.  “Can you understand me?”  She stared back still looking very scared and confused.    “Look, it’s going to be ok.  I don’t know what happened here, but whatever it was it’s over now.  I’m going to get you out of here and we can figure out what to do from there.   Do you think you can walk?”  William reached out to her and helped her to her feat.  She stumbled a little bit but was soon standing on her own.  “I’m sorry Hank, but she needs me more right now.”  William turned away from her towards the direction he had come into the clearing.  “Let’s head this way.”

Hank lunged out of the woods and barked wildly at the woman.  He stood his ground and growled a sound that William had never heard from his dog.  “Hank what’s wrong with you?  Look he has never done this before.  I’m so sorry.”  William took a step towards the woman but stopped quickly and stumbled backwards to the ground.  She was snarling back at his dog with long fangs.  She seemed truly afraid of Hank.  After a few seconds she turned and ran into the woods. 

Hank turned to William and climbed onto his lap.  He licked his face and whined a little bit.  William started to pet Hank gently.  “What the hell just happened here boy?  Were you trying to protect me?”  He grabbed the leash still dangling from his collar.  “Come on let’s get out of here.”  William and Hank went off into the woods together in the opposite direction of the woman that William was just now realizing might not be entirely human.  He had a lot to think about on the search for a way out of the woods. 

************

She opened her eyes but couldn’t see anything.  It felt like something was pressing against them.  Movement was very difficult, but not entirely impossible.  When she opened her mouth, dirt poured into it.  The realization that she was buried underground hit her like a ton of bricks.  Panic overwhelmed her but screaming was impossible because her mouth and throat were now filled with dirt.

She franticly thrust her hands forward and found that the dirt was loose enough for her to push aside if she really struggled.  With no idea how far down she was or even what direction was up the only thought was getting out of the ground.  She clawed at the dirt for what seemed like hours, but in reality, was probably only a few minutes.  Finally,   her hand broke through the ground and into the air.

Her hand wrapped around something.  She couldn’t tell what it was, but it was solid enough to grip and maybe be used to get out.  Suddenly she felt fingers rub against her hand and realized that someone was digging from the other direction.  Help was coming.  Letting go of whatever she was holding; digging was once again the number one priority.  The hand on the other end grabbed hers and started to pull.  She managed to get her other hand out of the ground to help push herself up.  The combination of someone pulling her and her other hand pushing against the ground was enough to finally allow her to pull her way out of the ground. 

She just lay on the ground breathing heavily.  She looked up at the man who had helped her scared and not quite realizing what had happened.  The shock of waking up in a grave overwhelmed her still, but she was beginning to think again.  She also found that the longer she lay on the ground the more she started to feel hungry. 

The stranger helped her up to her feet and she found that even though she stumbled she could walk.  Memories continued to flood back to her.  She couldn’t remember who she was or anything about her life, but she was getting flashes of things she had done.  She wondered how she could have gotten buried, and as she did she began to get flashes of someone attacking her.  She saw herself thrown to the ground in the very clearing she lay in now.  She remembered pain as someone on top of her biting into her neck.  She reached for it and found two tiny holes. 

The hunger continued to grow in her.  She found that with each passing second it was harder and harder to think straight.  The man who had helped her turned away from her and seeing him with his back turned suddenly filled her with the desire to attack him.  Her eyes were drawn to his neck were a small line of blood was dripping.  She couldn’t understand where these feeling or this hunger was coming from.  It became too much for her and she moved to strike. 

Suddenly a dog jumped out of the woods and positioned itself between her and the man.  It barked loudly and growled at her.  She found that the sounds pierced her ears and hurt.  She heard a terrible snarling sound and realized it was her.  She didn’t seem to have any control over herself and found that she was behaving like a wild animal.  She was filled with fear of what she was doing and of the dog.  The barking and howling was still hurting her and the pain brought back a small bit of control.  She felt the need to run from the animal so she turned away and ran full speed into the woods. 

She found that she could run much faster than she thought she should be able to.  She seemed to flow into the woods being able to dodge every branch and brush before she even consciously knew they were there.  She saw a drainage pipe ahead and ran for it.  Quickly crawling inside she curled up into the fetal position.  She mumbled to herself.  “That poor man was trying to help me and I was going to attack him.  Who am I?”  She remembered the snarling sounds that she had made and the loss of control.  “No, what am I?”  The tears began to flow.  She cried herself to sleep lying in the drain. 

Lost

Fiction Fragment Friday

This weeks entry is the beginning of a novel I started but had never finished. I reached a point where I realized I needed to roll back two chapters and rewrite. I never did it. I like the world building I did and I am thinking about returning to this project and rewriting it. This one might be a bit rough from an editing standpoint, but that is part of what these fragments are. Very raw.

*******************

The ship shook so hard I was afraid it would rip apart.  For the second time in my 30 year career I was grateful for the regulations requiring seatbelts on all jump capable ships.   “Mr. Harrison report.”

“We jumped into an asteroid field sir.”

“What?  How is that even possible?  The Drake system doesn’t have an asteroid belt.” 

“I don’t know how captain, but we don’t seem to be in Drake.  I’m dodging as many of the big one as I can, but we’re getting banged up pretty bad.”

I glanced down at the display on the armrest of my chair and saw a sea of red.  “I think just about every alarm is going off.  Ms. Pike we need the magnetic field up now.” 

“Working on it Captain.  I can’t get the field stabilized with all these impacts though.”

See that’s the downside of being Captain on a research vessel.  You get access to all the newest technology, but most of it hasn’t been field tested yet.  They brief you on how it’s supposed to work, but until you actually try it you never really know the limits.  This was an example of that.  The Observer was outfitted with tubes running through the hull that could generate a polarized magnetic field.  It wouldn’t stop the large asteroids, but theoretically it should be enough to clear away any small objects.  Of course it was intended to be turned on before entering an asteroid field and there wasn’t anything in the documentation about needing open space to generate a stable field.

I found myself second guessing my choice of ship so hard that I almost didn’t notice it wasn’t shaking apart anymore.  I glanced down at the displays and saw various alarms flickering between yellow and red.  The magnetic field light was not on at all.  “Mr. Harrison not to sound ungrateful, but why are we not about to die anymore?”

“I had an idea Captain.  I brought us alongside one of the larger asteroids.  It’s blocking some of the small ones.”

“Good thinking Mr. Harrison.  Ms. Pike; how is that magnetic field coming along?”

“It’s stabilizing now Captain, and it actually seems to be working.”  She was smiling and I had to admit that we might survive this jump.

I reached down and touched the intercom button on my chair.  “Attention all hands.  This is Captain Donald Ryan speaking.  We have jumped, but our arrival area was not clear.  I want damage reports from all departments in 15 minutes.  At that time we will assess our status and prepare to move out of the asteroid belt.  Thank you all for your quick responses.  Captain Ryan out.”

I turned to my helmsman.  “Mr. Harrison I want to know how long it’s going to take us to get out of this Asteroid Belt.  The moment we are out I want all your attention trying to figure out where the Hell we are.”   

“Yes Captain.”

“Good work and fast thinking everyone.  I’ll be in my office going through logs.”  With that I unbuckled my seatbelt and walked across the bridge into my office.  Many captains would have stayed on the bridge, but I know just how nervous I can make people by staring over their shoulders.  For the good of the ship I try to give them space. 

My office is a fairly empty room right off the bridge.  There is a desk and a small round table for meetings.  In the back is a door leading to my bedroom where I have my own private bathroom.  It is all pretty small, but I have more privacy than anyone else on the ship and I am grateful for that.  I sat at my desk and started bringing up system logs from right before the jump.

My background was in ship systems so there was a small chance that I could find something in the logs.  I didn’t really believe that I would though.  It was more important to keep myself busy so my crew wouldn’t realize just how worried I was by the jump.  Being off on a jump wasn’t out of the ordinary, but jumping into a completely different system was unheard of.  

After a few minutes I gave up on the logs and just sat back thinking.  There were some power fluctuations listed just before the jump, but I didn’t really know if that meant anything or not.  I sighed.  I have a good crew and I needed to trust them.  Still it just didn’t feel right knowing that the best thing I could do for my ship was nothing at all.  The tension of not even knowing where we were was just adding to my ever growing frustration. 

After fifteen minutes had passed I left my office for the bridge.  It had been the longest fifteen minutes of my life.  My three department heads were all standing at attention waiting for me.  There should have been four, but my Chief Operations Officer had recently transferred and we had not yet found a replacement.  “Mr. Harrison I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to speak for Operations again.  Do you have the report ready?”

“Yes Captain.”     

“Now let’s start with Systems.  Ms. Pike?”

“All ship systems are online Captain.  Medical reported that the worst injury was a broken arm.  We were lucky sir.”

I nodded as a wave of relief flooded over me.  There was bound to be bad news, but a report of no casualties is always the best news a captain can receive.  I turned to a short man in his 20s covered in what looked like some kind of grease.  “Mr. Lee does the Engineering department have good news for me as well?”

The man seemed to choose his words carefully.  “Well Captain it certainly could be worse.  We have minor hull breaches on decks 1 and 4.  Since everyone was in jump position the hallways were empty and we were able to seal them.  We did lose some oxygen in the process though.  I have repair crews prepared, but thought you might want me to wait until we were out of the asteroid belt.”

“You do know me pretty well Mr. Lee.  Anything else?”

“Engines are online, but we lost a few thrusters to the impacts.  The ship is going to be a bit sluggish for Mr. Harrison.”

I glanced over at Mr. Harrison and could see that he was less than happy to hear this news.  “Mr. Glass do you have any damage to report?”

“No sir.  All supplies were secured and we shut the galley down before jump.”

“Excellent news.  Now that we know the state of the ship Mr. Harrison I think it is your turn.”

“Yes sir.  It will take us about an hour to get out of this asteroid belt.  I modified my projects after Mr. Lee reported.  At the moment I still don’t know where we are though.  This system doesn’t seem to have a functional telemetry beacon and the asteroids are preventing us from getting a good read on star position.”

I sighed in what had to be a very noticeable gesture.  “I was afraid that might be the case Mr. Harrison.  It is possible that the asteroids are blocking the telemetry beacon, but I have a sinking feeling that you are correct in your assessment.  I also expect that despite your not inconsiderable talents we will be in for a bumpy ride out of this belt.”

“You are probably right sir.”

“Unless anyone has anything to add I think we are done here.”  I waited a moment, but no one spoke up.  “Good, everyone please take your posts and notify me when your teams are all strapped in.  Mr. Harrison please prepare your course and be ready to peal away from this beautiful rock we have been admiring on my word.”

Mr. Lee and Mr. Glass left the bridge as Ms. Pike took her seat beside me.  I watched my chair display carefully as the various departments reported in and their icon’s turned green.  “Well Mr. Harrison if you’re ready let’s get started.”  Mr. Harrison took his position at the helm and in under a minute I felt the tell tale feeling that told me the ship was moving.  We were underway, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something off about this system.          

Monster Hunters

 Fiction Fragment Friday

               Starting today I’m going to be posting fragments of fiction on Fridays.  These could be stories I started but never finished, attempts as flash fiction, or excerpts from larger writing projects I have done.  I’m hoping to generate some feedback and see what works deserve to be developed into full projects.  With that in mind for this first entry I present Monster Hunters.  This was written as flash fiction based on a writing prompt.


                “I’m not saying it’s your fault.  I’m just saying I’m probably going to blame you for it.”  James had a smirk on his face as he said it, but Lilly knew he was frustrated at being covered in green gore. 

                “You and everyone else.”  Lilly ran her hand over her face and shook the green gunk onto the floor.  “I swear I don’t know why I do this.  We risk our lives fighting creatures that people don’t want to believe exist only to be yelled at by Commander Lopez for collateral damage or exposure.  Plus we have to wear these hideous brown utility worker uniforms.”  She motioned up and down her body at the suit slopping even more green goo to the floor. 

                “In fairness you shot a nine-foot-tall six tentacled creature with a grappling gun in Times Square and pulled it down making a spectacular splat in front of us.  There were no less than 20 phones recording it.  We became a meme before we even called it in.”

                “Well Lopez can just wait to chew us out.  I got green gunk running down my ass crack and if I don’t get in a shower before the itching starts, I just might tell him what I really think of him.”

                James shook his head as he watched her storm off to the women’s locker room.  “It’s going to be one of those days.”  He sighed and then caught himself scratching at his neck.  “Son of a bitch.”  He headed to the men’s locker room as quickly as he could walk. 

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