I have been struck with a lot of muse work today.  Stories that need to be put down just to make sure I don’t forget the scene in my head.  Though it seems I am taking a bit of a darker road lately.  Stories that I will be putting into a collection called Descents into Darkness.

The first is the work that I just typed up this morning.  Not anywhere near finished but it was an interesting idea.

Now and Forever

 Holding you close in the darkness was all I had.  Soon the sun will come up and I would have to leave again.  Not because I want to but because I was forced to.  Daylight was the enemy now and there was nothing I could do to halt its progress.

It was not always this way.  Once I was a man of the day, a simple farmer who enjoyed the feel of the soil between my fingers.  Watching the crops that I planted grow strong and straight in the sunlight and coming home at the end of the day to your smiling face.  I had everything I could ever want or could ever need.  A simple life with love and laughter and you loving arms at night.

but that all changed in a matter of a few moments.  I should have known better, should never have left our farm.  You knew it at the time, told me not to answer the call to arms but was a fool, proud and young.

 I told you to hold one, that I would return and that I was now and forever your man.  Words that haunt me now.  I tried so hard to deal with the distance and time away.  I was so proud of my uniform and the rank I was given but I did not think of the promises they would make me swear when I packed up my kit and left you that morning.

 Now they have given me one night to make my goodbyes.  One last day to be with you and tell you everything.  My Angelia, my sweet dove of the morning how can I tell you what I have become?

It was during the war that they came to our camp.  The moved among us, looking into the heart of each man to see if we would be what they needed.  I thought it was a simple assignment, a scouting trip and then back to camp in time to muster out and come home to you.  After all it had been three years and they promised if we made three years we would be given a sack of gold and a horse and allowed to go home.  They needed you no more.  It was a lie, one that they kept from even the wisest of us all.

 You see my love there was no mustering out from the Duke’s army.  If a soldier lived to mark his third anniversary in the army well he was brought before the Duke.  Legend in the ranks was that you were given a last feast with the Duke and then sent your way.  No of us paid attention to the fact that those men were never seen again.  We all thought they just went home.

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Darker than usual but why not right?  Then there is this one, Man’s Road will be a sequel to my story Descents that is in the Gates collection

The horizon moved up as she walked, the dawn was lightening the sky slowly from purple.  Stopping she scanned the sky, watching the eagle glide through the air, she sighed and turned her eyes down to  the dust demon skittering across the road.  Starting forward again she wrapped her arms around herself and plodded along.

 Everything seemed so grey, dusty and lonely.  Walking was all she could do.  Following the road that man had made in this empty waste.  There was nothing to either side, no building to offer shelter so she kept moving.

 The day slowly moved forward and still there was little to break the horizon.  The call of the eagle drifted down to her, urging her to keep going but she was so hungry, so thirsty.  It was hard.

 Eyes nearly closed, she followed the black ribbon that slowly rose in the distance.  Briefly as the eagle circled she looked up and could see a building in the distance.  Her heart lifted and she picked up her plodding pace.  As she drew nearer she sighed.  It was a ruin, like all the others she had seen on her long walk.  Moving closer she decided to move toward it.

 As she stepped on the weed covered pathway toward the house the eagle swooped down and cried out harshly at her, beating her away from the possible shelter.  The cry startled her and brought her from her daze long enough to see the sign posted.  The skull on top of the fence post and the remains of some animal that had entered the yard.  Shuddering she moved back to her path along the road and kept moving.  The blight had obviously hit here too.  There was no shelter to be found along this stretch of road.

 She kept moving till the moon rose and then slowly stopped.  The eagle had come to rest on a bright spot of color.  A tree that had somehow survived the blight.  She tilted her head up to look at her companion.  The great golden bird, nodded and nipped free a fruit that hung from the branches.

 Finding energy she didn’t know she had, she moved forward and caught the fruit.  Studying it, she reveled in the feel of the firm bright flesh.  It was not rotten or withered as far as she could tell.  She brought it to her nose and carefully inhaled.

****

And just to have a nice round number how about a third little excerpt?  This is from Darkness Claims it all…a story that might or might not be a vampire story

Dark and dank.  That was what the world seemed like to her.  The skies were leaden with rain that would not fall.  You could feel the moisture n the air but it would not drop, would not release and give relief.  It was as if the world was holding its breath, afraid but all she knew was that she was alone.  In a city filled with many souls she was the only one of her kind.  The last was what she believed, what she prayed for because if she was not the last then everything she did, everyone she had lost would have been for not.

 A month ago she had lived like everyone else.  Walked the morning streets, laughed and loved and did what an ordinary woman would do but it all changed in one moment.  One terrible, awful moment in time that she wished she could take back.

 The summer had been a sweet one.  New love and warm temperatures had made her so happy.  Long nights wrapped in his arms, loving each other and talking about things they would do once the summer was over.  Well it was over now and he was gone.  Taken and she only had herself to blame.

 Looking at her face in the mirror she catalogued the changes.  Eyes, once bright blue and filled with laughter, now dark and haunted.  Skin, once tan and smooth, now pale white and glowing eerily in the darkness and her hair, oh her hair.

 She had be so proud of her thick, long and wavy locks.  The color of the rich loam that they had spread out in her garden and falling down her back to her hips.  She had joked more than once about cutting it off to get it out of her way.  Now she wished she had for now it was gone.  She was bald like an egg and she smashed the mirror before her into a hundred sharp shards of glittering silver.

 “Why?  Why did this happen?  Why me?”  She slowly sank down to curl up on the floor and wrap her arms about her pulled up knees.  It was there he found her, rocking back and forth as silent tears slipped down her cheeks. 

 Mathias smiled as he watched her rocking.  The day loving child was right where he wanted her to be.  Making a daughter was easier than he had expected.  His own father had told him not to even think he could make a child so young.  Course his father had thought that he was too young to defeat him.  Lot that corpse knew now.  No one told Mathias what to do or how to behave.

These will be completed.  Hopefully this year.  You never know with me.  I start tales that sometimes take decades to finish.  Yes I am still working on my novels.  The Traveler, Whether to Save Face or Family, Wind lover, The Battle of the Star Beast and even For the Love of a Healer.  These will be done.  As will the Price of Freedom and the second book in the Chaos war and the third Loralil book.  When I have no idea.  No outcry for more of them though.  So many I should do more ghost stories.  You never know.  I do of course have at least three more ghost stories in the works.

 

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