The Members' Blog
Part I: The Fallen
Good afternoon all,
I have only just joined this site as an emerging writer after what has been quite a few months of deliberations. As such, this is my very first blog post, and given my lack of experience in posting such, I hope that you would excuse me should it not be content that one would normally add to a blog.
As my profile suggests, in March of this year, I was given an opportunity (a rather painful one) to occupy myself with writing, one that allowed me to finally put my time and effort into constructing a book which had been but a daydream in the last fleeting moments of wakefulness before sleep for a few years. Though in its genesis I only had an idea of the main character, it was through forcing myself to write seven to eight thousand words a day that my story slowly and gradually filled out with additional characters and the plot itself.
I realise that unfortunately in today’s day and age, the fantasy genre can be somewhat hit & miss, but the niggling sensation of needing to play the word-smith and write down that which almost infested any free thought I had was too strong. I would like for you to indulge me for but a moment, and below see an excerpt from the finished manuscript to see if indeed it may ensnare your imagination as it did mine.
Without spoiling much henceforth, let us call this segment I am about to share with you, an ‘out-of-body’ experience by the protagonist as his ghostly form appears after being hypnotised by the psychologist….
“I want you to cast your mind back, back to that wonderful sunny afternoon when you walked through the fields and took shelter from the warm sun’s touch under an oak tree’s canopy. Focus on the feeling of the gentle wind blowing your hair, the sound of the leaves rustling above. You began to feel your eyes getting heavy, and let sleep take you away from those fields to a land of dreams. Focus on those dreams, let the sounds of them reach out and grasp your attention…what do you see?”
Lee stood in the room listening to Robert’s words, thinking back as he had asked. In doing so, he heard the noise of drums behind him. He glanced toward the lounge area of the study behind him, but the cladded walls and books that once stood there had disappeared completely, replaced by a dark grey fog and from it, the sound of ropes being stretched ever tighter as something was pulled down. He heard the bark of a command, and the creak of that tautness letting go of its cargo. From above the fog, a ball of pure fiery flame leapt forth through the sky in a large arch. Lee’s gaze followed the missile as it came overhead, hundreds of feet in the air. He turned back toward Robert as the ball of fire passed over him, but Robert was no longer there, or the rest of the room for that matter! In its place was a thousand soldiers, all of whom stood in line as the fireball hit the horizon behind them. He watched the soldiers carefully, noticing the faintest aura of light emanating from their very bodies. He walked toward them slowly, seeing more hellfire rain down upon them from the fog. Some of those in the front line were knocked back by the balls of flame, instantly engulfed in red hot liquid fire that bubbled and melted their skin, with cries of pain and anguish reaching out across the battlefield. Lee looked upward toward the sky as the battlefield grew a dim red around him, the sky having turned an unnatural dark red full of hate and anger. A maelstrom seemed to appear from nowhere, reaching out to any and all clouds that it could grasp, pulling them inwards to its fiery core. Great chunks of molten lava sporadically spewed forth from its maw, raining downward on the ground below. The soldiers held their shields aloft trying to protect themselves the source of danger but in doing so opened themselves up to attacks from their front. The sky started to rumble deeply and viciously at the battlefield below. Red streaks of lightning shot outwards from the edges of the maelstrom across the skies above. They did not disappear after striking as they should have done…but instead continued outward from their source, randomly forking across the red sky. The streaks grew in numbers until the sky was lit to a blinding light as some power amassed above. Suddenly, they let their rage loose upon the earth as piercing bolts shot downward in ever increasing frequency, blowing huge holes and craters in the ground around the soldiers. Lee heard the screams and drums behind the fog come through, and turned to be faced with a monstrous army of horribly disfigured hordes. Though they looked human, the ravages of whatever ailed them had twisted their bodies almost beyond the realms of reality. Their armour was war ravaged, bloody and covered in spikes everywhere. One of the taller advancing soldiers appeared to have human heads hanging from the chains of his belt whilst holding a large red banner high above the forces, its symbol too faint and tattered to make out. Amongst the marauding army, a large siege-like weapon tore out of the fog. Its design was completely alien to Lee as he stared trying to figure out the purpose of such a machine, but his attention was quickly drawn away from why it existed as he saw it was adorned in various bodies of its victims. He couldn’t tell if the uneven motion of the carriage bouncing over the rocks was the reason, but the various appendages seemed to be waving and moving so frantically, it was as if they were still alive. One of the creatures stood on top of the contraption at its rear behind the wooden structure in the centre where the body parts hung, starting to beat the back of it with ferocity. Suddenly, Lee realised the purpose in all its horrid truth. This siege carriage was no weapon, it was the war drums of the advancing army. The creature beat various body parts creating the beats of his rancid overture. The yells he had heard were not even from the army, but the heads upon the top of his hellish organ. As the creature struck the back of each severed head, its eyes widened in pain as the mouth opened impossibly wide; a red sickly light shining from within as it wailed loudly. The sight was one of such grotesqueness that Lee had to turn his attention away from it, lest the image be burned into his mind for all eternity.
He turned his attention back to the line of soldiers in their polished armour behind him for the horde was now upon them. They worked together as a unit, with one soldier impaling a creature on their sword and slinging the body upward and off their point as the soldier next to him would bring his weapon down through the body. There were many other examples of this finely tuned teamwork though it didn’t matter. The sheer number of bodies that rushed toward them was surely beyond their ability. The bodies had even started piling upward, a black thick ichor flooding from the wounds of the slaughtered malformed that seeped onto the barren, cracked ground below, seemingly burning the soil black with its touch. Lee turned back to the advancing armies, his curiosity now compelled to see the totality of their strength hiding behind the thick fog. He started into a run, instinctually trying to dodge the malformed that charged past him, though he had no reason to; the bodies of those he couldn’t dodge simply passing through him like ghosts. The sound of battle was smothered as he entered the fog, the density of which was so great that it blotted out noise. Lee was slightly thankful for that grace amidst the horror he had seen as it granted him one less of his senses to be offended. Pressing onwards, the fog grew thicker, it felt heavier, almost as if he was trying to run through water. Around him, faint outlines of the malformed rushed past, their eyes glowing a dark orange. He used their direction of running past him as a guide to make sure he was not lost in the darkness. The eyes around him were now numbered beyond counting, but the fog was lifting and becoming lighter. Lee took a large deep breath and pushed forward with all his might through the last remnants of the deathly fog. He stopped abruptly, open jawed at the sight that lay before him. He could see the silhouette of a round, stone structure in the distance, with a pillar of flame erupting from the centre toward the maelstrom in the sky above. The hills between him and that structure were completely devoid of life and showed little hint of what form used to exist. Giant blades of rock stood outward from the ground, like claws all pointing toward the central structure. Rivers of lava flowed between them filled with the screams of thousands of lost souls crying out for release from their torment. The unending armies were flooding from the fiery pillar, it seeming to be the source of unlimited bodies. As he stood gazing upon that sight, a figure walked from behind one of stone pillars, a giant amongst the hordes that ran between his legs. It appeared to be looking him directly in the eyes though that could not be, Lee thought. Then… the being spoke. The voice sounded not like one, but several tongues talking at once. Lee struggled to make out what it was saying but in the middle of the unintelligible came a frightening, broken voice that shook Lee to the very core, “YOU ARE NOT SUPOSSED TO BE HERE!” Lee was startled as the beast continued to stare at him. Despite its lumbering size, the beast started to run toward Lee at great speed. He could think of nothing else to do but turn heel and run back into the fog. His feet carried him faster than ever before as he sliced through its thickness in mere seconds compared to the several minutes of his journey through it. The fog dissipated as he came back to the main battleground, glancing behind him frequently for the colossal beast chasing him down, though it appeared, at least for now, it had lost interest in him as there was no sign of it. Lee kept running nonetheless back to the front lines of the soldiers in front of him, closer than he had before, passing through the mountain of bodies as if they did not exist, arriving face to face with someone he recognised…A loud roar erupted from behind drawing his attention away before he could investigate further. The beast had returned, its giant foot raised above him, ready to hurtle down and smite him from existence. Lee started to scream out loudly as the foot plummeted downward and in that very moment, the entire scene of death and depravity around him stopped.
“The dream around you fades away, taking you from that which makes you cry out in fear… you’re slowly returning to the fields, below the large oak tree.” The scene around Lee faded in wisps of smoke as the entire image was blown away and under it came the green grassy fields once again. He stood beside the image of himself sleeping under it waiting for Robert’s voice to come back to him. “The nightmare comes to a quick and startling end as you open your eyes under that tree that was about to fall upon you…what caused the tree to fall, can you see?” Lee watched as his previous-self bolted upright, swinging both arms outwards. In a blinding light, Lee thought he could just make out something in his hand strike the tree before the light took his sight completely. “That’s it. On the count of three and with the snap of my fingers, you will begin to feel your senses return, your eyes feel less heavy…” Lee turned toward the direction of the voice, seeing Robert standing in the room before him once again. Glancing backward, he saw nothing but the lounge and room around as it stretched outwards into the distance once again, and flashed away from view.
Perhaps the origins of such nightmarish visions might be revealed to those of you who read the blog thus far should I be somewhat successful in getting this manuscript into some form of book, or e-book if necessity comes calling.
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