Readers of my story “The Monk” might have noticed recently that the story line has moved into the next phase of development. Key parts of the background for the story are being revealed. This is a bit of a new genre because most stories about religion tend to be about existing religions, while for this story I am inventing two entirely new religions that exist in opposition to each other. The clerics of the two faiths are battling with each other and soon there will be a war of words developing as the two faiths battle for the hearts, minds, and souls of the characters.
Fans of the Star Wars franchise will point out that the Jedi and the Sith reflect two opposing religions. However, in no part of the movie franchise do the Jedi and Sith battle out their differences in a debate or dialectical struggle. They just fight violently with each other immediately on contact. This battle of goodies and baddies was enough for me as a child, but as an adult I find myself disturbed by the mindlessness of their constant warfare. The imperial and the republican forces may well represent the globalist and nationalist political forces that have existed throughout human history, but because the movies never delve into depth about the ideology driving the two factions one cannot easily distinguish the two. Luke Skywalker never once shows any remorse for the people he murders throughout the series with the exception of his own father. We never learn about Luke’s thought process, and it’s bothered me whether or not he is actually a good person. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Religious Sci-fi?”
In the centre of Humhyde, Heinrich and Otto were discussing the village’s troubles.
“I don’t know how or even when this happened, but nearly all our supplies of pig fat and offal have been taken,” exclaimed Heinrich.
“What? Did they steal our meat too?” asked Otto.
Heinrich shook his head, “No. That’s the thing. The bacon and the hams were stored in the same shed, yet they didn’t touch any of that. They only took the fat and the offal. They took it from the vats, and then resealed them so no one would notice.”
Otto laughed, “Someone must be playing a joke on us. What kind of thief breaks in and goes to that much trouble to steal pig fat?”
“It’s not funny. The offal doesn’t matter, it was going to be used as fertiliser, but we needed that pig fat to preserve our food supplies for the winter. We might not have enough to store enough food properly this year. We might have to ration this winter out.”
Otto frowned and placed a hand over his belly. He was a woodsman and like most woodsmen he was a tower of a man. Easily the tallest and strongest in the village as his job required him to cut down trees and haul the logs by hand through the forest. The forest was not a safe place for most people; only big men like Otto could work in the forest with some degree of security. Only a fool starts a fight with a giant. However, the problem with being so big and strong like Otto was that he needed to eat more than most men and no one suffered more from rations than men like Otto. Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 2”
When Elwin reached the door to his apartment, he deliberately slowed down his footsteps. The light was on inside. He listened at the door but heard nothing. This was not a good sign, so he poked his head through the small dirty window into the multipurpose room. He gasped audibly for staring straight back at him through the window was the sour face of his face wife, Holda. He had been seen; there was no point in him trying to avoid this any longer, he had to step into his apartment and face her. The thorn in his leg ached and his leg started shivering uncontrollably. Once he was inside the apartment he closed the door silently while looking down on the ground before him: avoiding all eye contact with Holda as she glared venomously at him. His leg was shaking uncontrollably as it did when he was afraid.
Holda was sitting in one of the plain chairs next to the table. She was a large woman, large enough that her frame from shoulders to hips was an almost perfect square. Her flesh seemed to bunch up near her joints and when ruffled he would pull her head back creating a second chin. Her hair was dark and curly, while her small dark eyes blazed with malignant intensity. She was thorned in her throat so most of her face was clear. However, several black filaments reached over the top of her chin terminating in her lower lip. She was pinching her thin lips as she watched Elwin walk in half dragging his shaking leg. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 6”
At first the Kelite woman glanced over the top of her book when Elwin entered. Then she resumed reading her book without further acknowledgement of his presence. Elwin crept towards a rusty chair, but his thorned knee buckled slightly again and he skidded onto the chair scraping it on the concrete loudly. The woman scowled him silently before resuming her reading. Elwin waited patiently as she completed the page she was on and continued to read the next. While she was distracted with the book he surreptitiously ran his eyes over her. She had dark brown eyes and her hair was an immaculately tidy mass of tangles and curls. Her top half was covered in a thick turtle neck jumper while a knee length brown skirt protruded from underneath it. The fabric of the skirt was of a much finer quality than anything a Delphorian woman might have worn. Elwin tried to imagine what it would be like to wear clothing so soft, as everything he had worn in his life had been coarse or threadbare.
Elwin’s eyes were drawn to her legs. What was peculiar about them was that they were tanned. No Delphorian ever had a tan, at least not on their legs. On their arms and head from working out in the sun if their duties required it. However, to have tanned legs only happened occasionally to a Delphorian should they win the monthly prize for most efficient worker; the prize being a weekend at the Gladsdale Beach resort. Elwin was so distracted with her legs that he hadn’t noticed that the woman had finally folded her book and placed it down on the table. A mischievous smile lingered below her intense gaze. A gaze Elwin was too afraid to meet. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 5”
This has been a busy couple of weeks for me, both on this site and off. I have been working full time during the days but also busy on this writing blog in the evenings. I have created several new pages for this site to make it more navigable and added them to the top menu and the side menu for everyone’s ease. Be sure to check out the schedule page – I will from now on be publishing to this schedule as best as possible. The most important update will be my Saturday updates as these will be the updates that I charge to Patreon for – none of my other updates will be charged to Patreon should you wish to support my writing. If you would like to support my writing by throwing a few coins my way to stimulate me to work harder please visit my Patreon and sign up as one of my patrons. There will be rewards of sneak previews and extra content for those who support me on Patreon.
Another challenge I had this week was the dilemma of trying to repair the damage I had done to The Monk and Humhyde by writing them under a time pressure. In both cases I was writing them very late at night and quickly just to get a publication out each day. I have abandoned this approach and decided that in the future I will allocate time specifically for my writing during the day so as to make sure that I produce quality writing consistently. Also, I have limited my weekday installments to just 1,000 words each – although my Saturday updates will be 2,500 words long. The purpose of these word limits on my posts and scheduled releases is so that I can write ahead several weeks in advance. This will reduce the pressure on me to publish material that isn’t polished enough to share. If I get enough Patrons I will increase the amount of material I post, but I still need to find out if anyone likes my writing enough to be my Patron. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Patreon & Fresh Starts”
Not a breath of wind touched the brush. The leaves, the branches, the twigs, were united in stillness. Silence was weaved into the black forest like the morning fog. The only sunshine peered in from a road that cut through the trees like a long narrow gash in the woodland. Between the bows the sunlight bled into the darkness and was eventually consumed completely; some two dozen yards therein. On either side of the dirt road the trees stood as though two armies of colossal wooden soldiers were hunched over and facing off from each other. Smaller shrubs and bushes clawed at the edges of the road with their gnarles roots. Slowly the brush was consuming the road and healing the gash in the forest.
From somewhere out of the shadows of the forest crept a man covered in mud and a ragged cloth with twigs poking out of it. In one hand he held an axe, in the other a large circular scythe. He looked first up the road and then down the road. He listened patiently for a while. When satisfied that he was alone he gently placed his axe on the ground and started hacking off the smaller branches of the brush. He worked with speed and skill, but incredibly making hardly any sound. Within half an hour the brush was retreating from the edges of the road and it looked as though the two armies of wooden giants were slowly moving apart from each other. Continue reading “The Horror of Humhyde – Part 1”
Elwin stepped into the multipurpose room of the flat. There were only three rooms in his flat: the aforementioned study room, the bedroom, and the multipurpose room. It was a square shaped room; on one side was a kitchen bench, cooker, and sink, on another wall the television, the next wall the door leading out of the apartment, and on the final side the two doors leading to the study and bedroom. The space in the centre of the room was greedily consumed by a wooden table with two padded chairs. The apartment was identical to all the others in this condominium that Elwin had seen. It had not occurred to him that it might be absurd for there to be no toilet located inside the apartment. Instead, all the toilets were located outside the apartment. While the only shower was located in a corner of the bedroom.
Elwin listened to the sound of the shower at the door of the bedroom. When he was satisfied his wife was indeed in the middle of one of her marathon showers he crept over to the small rectangular window near entrance. He checked that no one was there then quickly slipped through the door. Like all the other doors inside the condominium it had no lock on it. The walkway outside was made of metal, and would make a loud pounding sound normally. However, Elwin had learned to strike the walkway so carefully that he didn’t make a sound. Thus he started making his way to the farthest staircase in the back corner of the building. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 4”
Oriana put her empty cup on the table smiling broadly, “and that’s it? You found this place and built it?”
Kent nodded proudly.
“That’s brilliant. How do you get electricity? Is it just from all those car batteries?”
“I installed some solar panels on the roof of the factory. They keep those batteries over there charged. I set up the electrics with mostly spare parts that I found.”
“are you an electrician?”
“No, I bought an electrician’s textbook and read it cover to cover.”
“But you don’t have a certificate? What if you made a mistake?”
“Actually, I got a certificate for ping pong when I was twelve; so I couldn’t possibly make a mistake after that,” joked Kent, “but in all seriousness, how would an electrician’s certificate stop me from making a mistake? It’s just a piece of paper. Having a piece of paper doesn’t mean a person knows what they’re doing. Also, just because someone doesn’t have a piece of paper it doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 4”
Oriana ran back to her father’s factory just around the corner from the street where Kent lived. She hurried up into an office, shut the door, and sat at her table in front of the window. The same window from which she had observed Kent walking by multiple times each day for months on end. This office was not actually hers. It belonged to Maggie, a part time accountant at her father’s factory. Since Maggie only used the office three days a week, Oriana had set up her own space inside it. Oriana had first started coming to the factory with her father when she was just seven years old. Although she had no interest in the manufacturing of paper, its processing, and packaging, nonetheless staying at the factory had always been a desirable place to escape to when she was a little girl. She had her desk for reading and writing, Maggie was grandmother aged and often doted on her, and she also liked walking around the industrial estate observing all the different things that went on in each factory.
Oriana took a loose leaf of paper and started jotting down a few notes about what had just happened. First, Kent did indeed live down Cutters Court. However, this cul-de-sac had some kind of building underneath it. Something big enough for a man like Kent to live in. Some questions started flowing out onto the page from her pen:
Why did Kent live underground? Maybe so he could be in hiding? Was he a fugitive? Could he be a terrorist or a criminal? Continue reading “The Monk – Part 2”
Elwin set down his pen. He looked over the ten or so pages he had just written about his time in the nursery. He took half a dozen slow deep breathes and rubbed his eyes. The room he was in looked different to him now. It was a small room. It wasn’t much more than a meter across and two metres deep. It had a single bookcase, a small writing desk, a small window, and a wooden chair slightly too low for Elwin to sit on comfortably. The bookcase had only about two dozen books on it, but the spare space was filled with various pieces of junk. The kinds of spare parts one might find in a mechanic’s workshop.
Elwin felt the thorn on his left cheek itch. It itched all the time. The itching of the thorns was like tinnitus: it never ceased but often one stopped noticing it was there. He continued reading over his account of living in the nursery when he reached the part about Agatha the thorn over his heart started to twitch and his hands started shivering slightly. He stopped and focused again on his breathing. Long slow deep breaths. It would pass soon, he told himself. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 3”