Part 15

Of insanity and marbles

 

Having finally got the hysterical concubine to calm down and explain carefully what she had witnessed in the royal caravan The Captain of the Guard boldly approached… The servants were apprehensive and whispered among themselves exaggerated tales, which swiftly spread to the troops. He restrained a heavy sigh and entered the gloom…

All lights had been extinguished and the dull shadows offered no immediate answer to the questionable mental state of the fragile Prince… The captain was drawn by rhythmic chanting of numbers, counting, repeating numerical sequence. Finally discovering the Prince playing with marbles in a pool of red wine…

“Ooh my dear sweet Prince, how broken your mind.”

The Prince glanced up then, looking beyond the Captain. He held up the collection of marbles in wine stained hands. “It shattered, the crystal shattered, it’s ruined, I can’t put the pieces back together!” The Prince sobbed, squeezing marbles hard until the popped out of his wine slick grip, scattering across the wooden floor, leaving little red trails wherever they rolled.

Wiping sweat from his brow The Captain stood, attempting to decipher the bizarre ramblings. The Prince was clearly intoxicated, every bottle he could see was drained, it was the marbles from the bottle seals that he played with like a child’s game . His drunken mind believed they were broken shards of the clear blue stone which was actually just resting upon the bed stand with a pair of gloves. A priceless treasure left casually with disregard as the Prince played marbles in his shattered reality.

The Captain collected the clear blue stone and carefully placed it within his inside chest pocket, then, with a heavy sigh turned to treat the Prince as the drunkard he clearly was. Putting him to bed, removing soiled clothes and collecting all the marbles off the floor.

Finally he gave instructions that The Prince was not to be disturbed and returned to his duties… The blue stone started to hummm softly to The Captain…

“Fendor, make me whole again Fendor…” She purred… “Your Prince is too fragile for my power Fendor, You can wield me… but I need to be whole again…”

“Whole?” He mused, carefully recalling the scene whereupon The Prince had plucked the gem from the maidens chest, she had dissolved, her body reduced to a sickening goop. How could he reunite the whispering stone with a melted corpse?! Fendor pondered over this as he oversaw the caravans return to the capital city. He concluded that possibly the crystal needed another female host and decided to discuss the matter with The Priest come morning…

 

Anne Harrison 28.11.16

 

 

 

Part 14

Cruel to be kind

 

Kane unshackled The Guardian from his chains under the bewildered glares of his fellow guards, yet they made no move to stop him. Just watched startled as Kane forcefully dragged the half conscious slave back from whence they’d came … To the patch of land scorched from the girls demise, a few guards broke rank to follow, cautious, curious, furious…

Kane let loose his grip and let The Guardian slump, the earth was still sticky with the dense oil which had consumed the child of prophecy. Tears flowed freely, overwhelmed by grief, by failure and frustration.

“It’s painful isn’t it?” Kane whispered. “Your heart breaks, gnawing away a deep chasm in your chest. You can’t feel anything beyond this pain, you see no future, your love has gone, consumed by the earth which gave her living grace.” Kane tilted his head, both men met each others gaze. “Your work is done Guardian, you have spent so many years as hers, your life holds no purpose anymore. Even revenge is a dull concept. Your bones are broken, your sight fails you, organs ruptured, your strength fails you and without your love, without your hope. You sink towards the oblivion that absorbed her soul.”

They never broke eye contact, even as they found themselves surrounded by soldiers.

“You don’t want to go on?” Kane continued his whispered speech… “You don’t need to go on… But she will!” A light flashed in Kane’s eyes and The Guardian somehow understood and released a long rattling sigh… His fingers dug into the black earth and he almost believed he could hear her voice.

“Let go my love. Let go. Be free from this pain. be free with me.”

Kane nodded – The Guardian nodded.

In a single strong action Kane broke his neck.

Stood and allowed the lifeless body to drop, to fall where she had fell to rest upon the earth where she too had died. Kane walked away, through bewildered companions…

“Come on, else we’ll fall behind!” He barked, leading the troops back to the travelling caravan… He never once glanced back…

 

Anne Harrison 28.11.16

Part 13

Broken Stones False Promises

Hera stirred slowly from her stupor, blinking slowly against the dull oil lap light. The frantic scribbling of quill upon parchment grated upon her nerves as it cut through the dull throbbing ache in her skull.

“What happened?” She broke the silence… The Priest was at once by her side…

“What do you remember?” He took her hand, though she instantly pulled it away…

“We’re moving?” Hera sat up… “The Guardian? Where is The Guardian? You promised me please, is he even alive?”

“Calm yourself, please, you collapsed before I had the chance to seek him out, the entire camp has disbanded and we are all travelling to the capital city. The Prince has the stone plucked from the maiden’s breast and I have taken you into my charge… Now that you are up to date, how do you feel?” He poured her a generous glass of sweet smelling wine.

“Thank you.” Hera sipped the wine, “What do I call you? I can’t just call you Priest and seeing as we’re travelling companions, we might at lease be polite…”

“I am Sharmara and I promise I shall try and find your Guardian for you.”

Hera didn’t believe him for a moment, but they were stuck with each others company currently. “I am Hera, I prefer my name to the uncomfortable definition of hag.” She said with a halfhearted smile.

***

The Guardian was once again on his knees, subjected to a vicious beating by bored guards who were already tired of the march and turned to violence for entertainment…

‘Please help him…’ There was that strange whisper from the crimson stone again… It pulsed, vibrated against the young soldiers chest… The forlorn voice spoke only to him, resonating in his thoughts… “Be quiet!” He snapped, unwilling to approach his volatile companions. ‘Please’ She begged softly, the stone burning hot in his pocket…

“I can’t, I can’t face them, there are too many and I’m not…”

‘Strong enough?’ She finished his thoughts…

‘You are Kane… They are bullies… You have skill…’ She pressed him to act.

The Guardian slumped in the mud, semi-conscious and bleeding dragged along by his shackles like a sow to the slaughter. With stubborn defiant strength he uttered an unholy insult to the guard who had instigated the beating…

“What did you say? Slave!” He bellowed, fists curled by his side…

“I said your mother was a whore and your sisters suck the dicks of lepers!” The Guardian spat out the words with blood running down his chin…

Once again the guard raised his fist to strike and his punch was blocked easily by the young soldier. “Just don’t.” He said, quite softly…

***

The Prince was in a panic when his favorite concubine found him, huddled in the corner of his lavish caravan. His mad mumbling made little sense to the woman…

“It’s broken! Broken! All shattered … All gone wrong … Everything is broken, Shattered … I don’t know what to do?!” He shook her by the arms, screaming nonsense into her face, his mind irrational, confused, maddened…

The woman fled in fear and sought out the Captain of the Guard for help…

He fell to his knee once more, the pale blue stone he had stolen was split into eighteen fragments and he tried, over and over again, he tried, fingers bleeding on sharp slithers, to squeeze the crystal back together again but the shards slipped through his bloody fingers and he wailed in frustration, mad with panic …

… The treasure he had hoped to present triumphantly to his father, the King was ruined …

 

Anne Harrison 23.11.16

 

 

The Morning Nomad

 

sat at the back of the bus folded into the cramped space he sat
a mop of thick curly hair brushed the low ceiling
piercing blue eyes regarded the commuters over sharp eagle nose

shaved yet unshaved clean jacket yet dirty boots
a solitary man on a morning sojourn
battered rucksack bulging held together with knots
worn holes date well used companions bag and boots

at home at any location worldwide
his journey unknown to me

our paths parted at the traffic lights
he upon his
mine
the same

 

 

Anne Harrison 23.11.16

Flash Fiction *Zombies*

Disclaimer – ‘Umbrella Corporation‘ is not my creation (obviously) I’m using it because it’s a convenient platform to jump start a short story from and it’s something familiar for my beautiful readers to relate too – Roughly translated – I’m being lazy and not creating my own version – but hey, this one has a funky logo… 

 

I had always prided myself as a loyal and dedicated employee of the Umbrella Corporation, I would go so far as to say I loved my job. I was, at the time of the incident, a pathologist within the genetic research department at Raccoon City. Life was good and we had just had a major breakthrough that would change the world as we know it and for a while it did …

‘The Pandora Cure’ was our greatest triumph, it was pure bottled hope. We had created a medication which would eradicate all known diseases and illnesses… From the common cold, to AIDS, Cancer, Leukemia, Diabetes the flu… Anything! Pandora worked her magic and healed the sick. The effects were astonishing and instant, The Umbrella Corporation took the world by storm and we entered a golden age of mankind.

People queued up for days to receive their dose of Pandora, we administered it freely to everybody and the global distribution reached nearly 5 billion people. Naturally there were those who rejected our cure, the suspicious, crazy conspiracy theorists which were convinced the cure was dangerous. They proved to expose yet another positive side effect of Pandora, for those with the sniffles, coughs and colds… These nasty bugs could not be passed onto those who had taken The Pandora Cure, in other words apart from providing a cure, she also created immunization. The results were astonishing and we swiftly became the richest company in the world.

We, that is Mankind, we lived with very limited sickness and disease happily for some time content with our new lease for life, fine health and fitness.  It was a glowing success and the future looked brighter, happier and (naturally) wealthier!

…But this ideal could not last forever and Pandora took a nasty turn for the worse…

Imagine if you will, death rates had dropped drastically, however, we could not totally escape the fragility of our mortality. Accidents, suicide, murder, war… These things still plagued society. And such an accident befell a college of mine, she worked in the same department as me and on one stormy Monday morning a sleepy truck driver hit her daughter on the way to school…

She brought the deceased child to work, maddened with grief, utterly distraught… She refused to believe her daughter was dead … In a fit of uncontrollable rage, she administered Pandora to the corpse…

 The effects were astonishing, the child began to move within 6 minuets, by 10 minuets she had a heartbeat… But her eyes… Her eyes were grey, blank and bloodshot. The EEG scan displayed no brainwave activity, yet she was animated and restless… Violent!

Side effects of being reanimated resulted in a cannibalistic urge…

… This was 4 hours ago, the pathology laboratory has been on close down since the incident, but we don’t know if we were quick enough to act… I thought I had best try to record events and my full medical report accompanies this email…

… Funny, I’ve not been sick for so long, thanks to Pandora, I’ve taken an extra dose in the desperate attempt to reverse the effects of the bite, if anything I’m starting to look worse…

20161112_094301

Anne Harrison 17.11.16

***

(Photo is me & make up by me)

Part 12 – I’ve not forgotten…

Of Oracles and Bullies

 

The Priest was aghast as Hera twisted backwards without warning, mid sentence they were, discussing a bargain to deliver The Guardians life from harm. Before a deal could be struck the hag retched, jolted, threw her head back sharply with a sickening crack and that was the point where the prophecy spilled forth from her throat, her lips stationary as a voice, deep and alien, uttered the words from within the soothsayer.

Almost as instantly as the last word was spoken, Hera fainted, collapsed at the feet at The Priest lifeless and exhausted from the channeling.

Yet the camp around them was disbanding and The Priest had no time to attempt to find the missing guardian, he needed to act swiftly before any questions were asked and doubt cast towards the motivation of the holy man. He hoisted Hera awkwardly into his arms and withdrew to the safety and concealment of his caravan, his tent having already been packed away, ready to travel… Barking orders to nearby troops to prepare his horses to draw the caravan…

He slammed the door and frantically sought parchment and quill, repeating the words of the poem to himself, over and over again until he could scribble down the prophecy as clearly as he could remember… Stuttering over a few words, glancing nervously to Hera occasionally, she never stirred. He felt the caravan jolt forward near tipping over the ink and swearing under his breath continued to scribe the words before they fled his mind…

***

Tied roughly and aching from another fresh beating The Guardian was tugged along through thickening mud with a score or more of war weary slaves. He kept his head down, hoping to avoid the attention of the brutal guards as the camp withdrew from their site and started its long march back to the capital city.

His heart was heavy with grief, whispers had reached even the ears of the captives, the girl had died, slaughtered by the prince. Hope was dead, the war was over. The King would have all the known lands under his grasp without any threat to hold back his vast army. These were dark days ahead, even the sky echoed the feeling of hopelessness, dark, grey, brooding. Thick clouds swelled with the threat of torrential rain, making the grueling dredge for some of the older slaves quite deadly.

There was a stain upon the earth where his precious ward had perished, that was when he glanced up. Straight into the fist of the nearest guard.

“Keep your head down wretch!”

‘What more could they do to me?’ He thought and glared at the guard with utter defiance…

 

(oops… Ran out of lunch time folks…)

Anne Harrison 16.11.16

 

 

Breaking my own Rules

After inflicting my humble mind with over 13 hours worth of Zombie Films at The 10th UK Zombie Festival of Culture and spending most of yesterday actually feeling like a Zombie… I’m tempted to break my  own rules and see if I can actually write some form of review, without an overdose of the word ‘Awesomeness’ … So … I’m going to keep each review to a single paragraph or less …

Here Goes!

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12 Noon – Best Zombie Shorts of All Time

My very favorite short film was the Lego Zombies… Because there was a random cow in it.

14.00pm – Night of Something Strange

Horny Zombies vs Horny Teenagers – What could possibly go wrong? Somehow I get the impression that maybe one day I will find myself discussing this film with my therapist.

16.00pm – Plan Z  ()

A Zombie Survival Guide transformed into a film, with some thought provoking ideas to add to your own apocalypse survival plan… It would have been nice to have brainstormed some strategies with Stuart Brennan however he was very busy being awesome – I did manage to get a selfie with him *Grin*

19.00pm – Train to Busan (trailer)

Imagine if you will the ‘plane scene‘ in WWZ with similar tumbling frantic Zombies… except on a train… except far more tremendous…

Fast paced nail biting pure zombie awesomeness…

21.30pm – Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies

Do not eat the yellow snow!!

Snowboarders vs Zombies  – A rather interesting concept with some amusing results…

23.30pm Peelers

Like From Dusk Till Dawn but with Zombies instead of Vampires and plenty of strippers…

See! This is why I cant write reviews and I really should leave this to the professionals (they have nothing to fear from my humble attempt) however I’m quite pleased that I only used the word ‘Awesomeness’ once, but it was a well deserved Awesomeness and I managed to keep each review to under a paragraph in length. Simply so I don’t accidentally spill forth any spoilers…

… I’m left inspired to write my own short zombie tale, so watch this space!!

Love Anne 15.11.16