Hello everyone. I've noticed that, while threads for role-playing do exist, there are not threads to share writing in general. So I'm making this post in hopes of everyone else sharing things they've written.
Seeing as it is my brain child, I suppose I'll start.
The Headless Saint - A Poem
A man with no name
Stepped forth from the crowd
He stood on a table
And shouted aloud
“The end is nigh!”
The man proclaimed
He then exclaimed
It took but minutes
For a crowd to collect
For his words to infect
The man was a healer
And Death was his horse
In each hand a whip
He was a pastor
Who preached the good word
But truly a mouthpiece
For all that he heard
Truth he'd destroy
And purity, taint
Thus is the tale
Of the great headless saint
And to show a bit of my short story writing...
(Again, a preface: I know that the story begins in the tone of an actual story before sharply cutting to more of a synopsis of what I wanted the story to flesh out to. I've made some mental revisions to the work, but none have been actually made within the writing. It's also incomplete - more of a introduction to a story never written. I started it off of a base idea and just continued to write whatever came to my head as the thought appeared - so the version you're about to read is very, very incomplete (Why did I choose to share this one? I'm not quite sure. Maybe it's just the one I'm the most passionate about regardless of it's level of completion? Possibly.) Maybe I'm just hoping to get re-enthused about this story by posting it online. I'd like to flesh it out someday, but it seems that writer's block is a vicious plague that infects even the best of us. And sorry it's so long )
Untitled - The beginnings of a short story
This was the first time the rain had let up in nearly a month. Donovan paced the city streets as he did every week. He stood a head tall over most he encountered. A cigarette hung from his mouth - almost as iconic as the city itself. He was their protector. Keeping safeguard over the city streets by day, and, as the sun crept over the horizon, the city limits. He was a shadow hunter.
He patrolled the city during the waking hours, searching for those shadows that managed to elude both himself and the city guards in the dark of night. It was the night itself, however, that kept him most on edge. Even the newly installed city lights left some alleyways in the dark. The borders had them, too, but they were not totally secure. That is where Donovan comes in.
Even with the daytime sun, catching the so-called "shadow people" was difficult at best. At night, however, the task verges on impossible. In-and-of-themselves, they were invisible; but they still cast a shadow. Artificial light can only do so much, for the shadows they cast were diffused and blurred and could only be vividly seen by a shadow produced by natural light. Despite their elusive nature, they, too, had a weakness - the rain.
Their shadows were unable to adapt to the random nature of rainfall. Furthermore, when traveling through the rain, they lost the ability to totally mask their true form. Initially, a dim, blue light trailed just behind the shadow. As these creatures moved more under the exposure of the rain, small features of their being began to become exposed. The history of these creatures is a tightly kept secret, and the full form of one of them has only been seen twice over the recorded documentation of these beings which stretches over a millennium. Though their records date them as coming into existence nearly 1200 years ago, Donovan speculated their creation was paralleled with that of the humans.
He had always been a smoker, and smoking outdoors was a seldom enjoyed event in a region where rain fell from the skies for months at a time. However, it was no longer a pleasure to him. Since joining the small yet lethal band of shadow hunters, this rainfall was an omen in his eyes. Tales of destruction by the shadow people were few in number yet devastating in effect. Many centuries had been spent trying to find a pattern as to when they attacked in order to gauge when exactly they would strike again. It was not until just thirty years ago that the common string was found. The attacks peaked during dry spells.
These dry spells afflicted the region every couple centuries, and there had only been five documented attacks against the human race since their identification; the most recent of these 187 years ago. While the rain did dominate the skies over Pire, the sun did shine once every month or so. This was a day for Donovan to be on guard. These days of sunlight were a time of celebration for the people of Doone. The streets filled when the rain let up. Over his 30 years of combat, Donovan had lived through every one of these days, even managing to keep the civilians safe during a three-day period where the sun shone bright. The longer the rain stays at bay, the more shadow people are able to gather. The more that gather, the greater the threat.
While these days did force him into a higher state of awareness, it was not the day itself that he feared. Weather patterns of increasing fluctuation were signs that a dry spell was imminent. The month of rain that had just ended was not odd, but the two weeks prior to that with 5 days of sun still loomed in his head. He had spent several low-activity nights over the past month reading and re-reading the weather reports prior to the previous dry spells, but refused to believe it. The weather conditions within the 6 week period that fell just before the dry spells were identical, and it was Donovan who first made this tie. Two weeks of volatile weather conditions followed by a month of solid rain marked the beginning of a dry spell in every occasion. These dry spells could last upward of 3 months.
The humans were constantly forced to repopulate in sync with the attacks. The shadow hunters managed to save some of the population, but had to ultimately suffice with keeping themselves alive - saving who they could. They knew their importance to the survival of the human race. Donovan was one of 19 shadow hunters. Three of his kind resided within the capital city Doone, while the remaining 16 were scattered between other major cities within Pire. The actual number of shadow hunters went up and down over time. New recruits were chosen at an early age and taught the method of the hunt at the exclusion of all else. Each generation of hunters was to come together and choose 15 children to become shadow hunters themselves. This was done every 25 years, marked by the first day of rain of the 25th year.
Historically, the numbers peaked at nearly 90 before the dry spell would hit. The wars that followed were brutal, and the hunters were not without casualties. The least amount of hunters ever to band together before the dry spell was 56, and that battle left the hunters crippled with a mere 7 hunters surviving the war. As technology increased, the ease of defeating the shadow people had also gone up. However, this past pentenium was different.
Pentenium was a term created by the shadow hunters to keep track of how many dry spells will have occurred once the next one ends. It was the 6th pentenium. During the 6th pentenium, it seems the humans were not the only ones to have altered their methods of killing. In the first 5 penteniums, the shadow people would mindlessly pick and kill civilian targets. In the current pentenium, the shadow people had begun to seemingly systematically target and kill the shadow hunters themselves. How they identified the hunters was a mystery yet to be solved, and how they managed to kill them still eluded them. Each hunter was killed in the same, grotesque manner. One slash upward from the chest and ending below the chin, and two downward from the forehead and across each eye.
The methods the hunters used to stop the shadow people had been refined over the years. In the first pentenium, the hunters would wait until the rain stopped and steal young children from their villages. They would take the children and place them in fields and open areas hidden in the surrounding forests and wait, perched, for the shadows. And the shadows came, without fail. As the shadow people came from behind the trees and into the clearing, the hunters would cage them and move them to locations where they could do no harm. While they did not kill them, they did remove the threat.
The methods advanced as the years went on. In the 6th pentenium, the method that now exterminated the shadow people was engineered by a fellow hunter, Slag. Slag was one of the few females within the ranks of the hunters. She designed a weapon with two triggers - one in each hand - held in the hand and attached to the wrist via a clamp. The beauty of the weapon, however, was within the wrist attachment itself.
All the hunters were marksmen, and it was not the accuracy that was the problem. The problem lies within the actual acquisition of the target. That was the sole job of the first wrist attachment. The Iden - the name coined for the wrist attachment - looked very simple. It was a silver wrist clamp with eight barrels. What made this weapon so unique is the fact that it is engineered both outside and inside the individual. It was within the forearm that the actual mechanics went to work, allowing it to fire. An ammunition holder is bolted onto the bone, and three incisions on the top of the forearm give hinged access to the ammunition stock.
The bullets themselves are not designed to kill, but to identify the target. The casing of the bullet is designed to dissolve upon impact. Inside the casing is a small bulb, but one that emits light at over a terawatt. Should it penetrate the flesh of the shadow, the intensity of the light permeates their invisibility, giving them a slight glow which is visible to the naked eye. This is where the second wrist clamp comes in.
Once the target becomes visible, the second clamp, which shares the design of the ammunition pouch and gun mechanics within the forearm, works as the gun itself, loaded with a .22mm shell. There is only one barrel atop this clamp. One shot is all they need.
Donovan and Slag, together, were two most vital individuals to the survival of both the hunters and the human race as well. However, there were three that, together, held all the essential information for their prolonged existence. June was the one in charge of technology and machinery. Aside from his duties as a hunter, he was the one who needed to keep records of how all current technology was created, and how the creation process can be instilled in others.
He and Donovan shared similar jobs, but for different purposes. June was the one put in charge of rebuilding society to its current place should a dry spell hit during his lifetime. He needed to keep a close watch on all new developing technologies and have a log how to recreate them. Donovan was the historian. The position of historian was the most prestigious of all positions within the ranks of the hunters. His job was to keep records of all that happened, and ensure that both those records are kept secret among the hunters and that the events of a dry spout are not carried on to further generations - by any means necessary.
That was his true job. He needed to keep the existence of these beasts a secret from society. They needed to be urban legend in their eyes, and their attacks needed to be staged as accidents. That was his purpose. After the dry spells, it has been the job of the historian to ensure that any left standing at the end do not let the events that transpired pass down generations. If they refused to do so, they were killed. For the good of the many, the few were forced to pay.
Donovan tossed his cigarette onto the ground just after turning down an alleyway. He pulled a crumpled sheet of paper from his pocket. Fourth alley past the metro station. Third door on the right. He tossed the sheet of paper in a trash bin he passed before opening the door. A dozen or so steps met him upon entry, with June and Slag meeting him upon full descent. June sat in a chair near the table, and Slag stood leaning up against the wall.
"So" Donovan began, "Dry spout. Day one. Here we go."
I know it's a good deal to read, so I don't expect you to read all of it. I'm not even asking for feedback on them as much as I'd like to see others share their own work. I've got plenty more where this came from, but figured a couple examples was enough for now. I suppose I'll post more eventually.