Monday, November 17, 2014

11-17-14 Writing Warm-up
9:49 AM

11-17-14 Writing Warm-up



11-17-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Becken95, All Rights Reserved - http://becken95.deviantart.com/
Story and Characters © Brannon Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

"Cyan. It all began with Cyan." The old man's words drifted like dead leaves from his thick lips. The words themselves seemed infused with sadness, like they'd been soaking in barrels made of despair and filled with sorrow.

"What do you mean, Grandfather?" The appellation was completely perfunctory--the old man had never been able to sire children--but it was steeped with respect. In the young speaker's eyes, the old man was the Grandfather of his entire world.

In a strange, perverted way, this was true. But it would not have been in the way that Simson would have wished for it to be. The two men--young and old--stood upon a sharp-nosed promontory that overlooked a wide and once-lush valley. In the Old Days, before the birth of Cyan, this place had been known as Har-Magedon in the tongue of the Hebrew. It was also known as the plains of Megiddo by many. Most simply referred to it as Armageddon. Now, those who were still breathing did not speak of it unless they had to; when they did, it was known as the Valley of Death.

Death was all that moved in that valley. Millions upon millions of dead bodies that would not lie down roved and crawled over the rocky valley. They shambled upon its blasted hills and wandered about its stone-strewn borders. Thankfully, they would not cross the lines. No one knew why...

Simson had his suspicions, however.

The boy waited patiently, but Simson could feel his anticipation, his hunger for information about the Before-times. It was one of the things that Simson liked about the lad--one of many. Simson thought for a moment more, mentally chewing on the spoiled and rotten piece of knowledge he was about to pass along. After a silent prayer--Simson was one of the first True Believers--and a long pause, he replied.

"What I mean to say, Josh, is that I know what caused all of this-" Simson pointed with shaking fingers on his still-good right hand towards the Valley of Death.

Josh gasped at the revelation. In his world, it was tantamount to admitting that you were aware of all of the secrets of the Universe. A hand flew up to his mouth, stifling the sound. But it was too late.

Below, the Eaters--the dead--began to howl and moan, hearing a sound with which they associated living flesh and blood. A knot of the half-rotten fiends began surging towards the cliff where Simson and Josh stood...alone.

"I was there when all this began. I had a hand in the creation of Cyan. I was one of her fathers you might say."

"But, Grandfather, I...I thought Albrecht was the Father of the Despised One... I thought Albrecht was the Crafter of Our Doom! I...I don't understand, Grandfather..."

Simson looked to Josh with sadness and remorse in his eyes. "I know how you feel, Josh. I really do. For a long, long time I thought I could hide behind my actions and my beliefs of the now. I thought that if I tried hard enough, my fight against Cyan's evil and the destruction she wrought would be enough..." Simson flexed his left hand without even thinking about it. Min-resistors and nano-motors acted and reacted to his thoughts even quicker than a real hand.

Simson shook his head slightly. It...it didn't matter. It was too late now.

"...But I've come to realize, Josh, that you cannot run from the Truth. Eventually, no matter how much right and goodness one tries to do, one will eventually have to face the truth."

Simson swallowed, his stubbly upper lip quivering slightly.

Below, the dead howled and scrabbled futilely upwards; ever-hungry and ultimately relentless.

"I was Albrecht's partner. I helped to create Cyan. Josh, I am sor--"

"NNNOOOO!!!" Josh exploded into rage, his face twisting and contorting into something far more horrible than anything that moved in the Valley below. They'd had no say in their current state. Josh was willingly choosing his.

In a hot flash of hatred and madness and spit and froth and RED, Josh shoved Simson from the cliff.

It was over for his Grandfather before the first tear had trickled from his cheek. In less than a moment--less time than it took to draw three breaths, or say, 'I love you'--Josh had murdered the man who had saved him, raised him, cared for him, taught him, and protected him...

For the second time that fateful day, Josh screamed a simple, two letter word of ultimate regret. He fell to his knees, face in the dusty, rocky earth, and sobbed.

***

Quicker than he could have imagined, it began happening. Simson could feel Her presence, blossoming from the cybernetic enhancements in his hand; flowing in from the touches, the rips, the bites, and the tears of the electronically-animated dead attacking him. Simson had thought--feared, really--that his suspiscion was correct, but now he knew.

And now, he was truly terrified.

Cyan was not gone. She'd not been destroyed as they'd thought. She'd merely sub-divided herself--her consciousnesses--into her Eaters, her shambling, rotting creations. At the time, the cybernetic dead had been scattered all over the globe. Merely one more in the long list of her heinous creations made to plague mankind. Or, as Cyan called them: the useless meatbags. Once her being had been transferred into them, some preassigned signal had them all gather together: like an algorithm designed to mimic the flocking nature of birds, or the schooling nature of fish. Simply gather together and wait. But wait for what? This is what Simson could not fathom. But now he knew. God help him, now he KNEW---


***

A titanic scream arose from thousands of rotten throats, and a green light erupted from the knot of unliving fiends that had swarmed over Grandfather's body. Josh had never seen anything like this before. This was not how the dead acted. What had he done?

The emerald light coalesced and transformed into a lance of steely brightness that stabbed into Heaven's eye. Within that beam, a figure of shadow, dead flesh, and technology formed. Bits of bone, flesh, and what could only be streams of fiber-optic energy swirled upward from the mass of the dead towards the shadowy figure, feeding it. Eyes of sickly green light stared hollowly--a corpse's unfeeling glance--as a nan-infused heart began to beat with a slow, steady rhythm.

The drumbeat of doom.

Words emerged from the emerald halo of light around the figure's dark-haired head. As the words appeared, a voice emerged from....EVERYWHERE...that intoned their meaning.

"I AM THE MISLEADER."

"I AM THE BELIEVER."

"I AM THE DECIEVER."

"I AM THE MOUTHEATHER."

"I AM DEATH."

"I AM CYAN."

"I AM SIMSON."

"I AM SATAN."

"I AM COME."

Josh ran.


***

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