By cbishop 40 Comments
|TommytheHitman wants your stories in the...||Horror Classics Group Sign Up|
|Roanoke - by YoungJustice (logo to follow)||.|
|TommytheHitman wants your stories in the...||Horror Classics Group Sign Up|
|Roanoke - by YoungJustice (logo to follow)||.|
|10/13/14||C-Rhymes #2||Second Fiddle||(Blog) (Forum)||Disclaimer|
|T||Mildly suggestive moments.|
Welcome to The Writers Guild Presents Library! You'll find links to every issue of The WGP, where you can enjoy all of the stories featured. This will be updated monthly. Remember: if you can write a story, you are in The Writers Guild too. Don't forget to click those spoiler links to see what's in each issue, and enjoy! The disclaimer is in the first comment box. -cb
|How To Best View This Library:|
|The images here were designed to be viewed full screen, but the CV forums were not designed to allow you to view full screen. So the only way to see this as it was meant to be seen is to view it in the Blog View. At the end, there will be a link back to the Forum View. -cb|
|#001: August 9, 2013|
|#002: August 16, 2013|
|#003: August 23, 2013|
|#004: August 30, 2013|
|#005: September 6, 2013|
|#006: September 13, 2013|
|#007: September 20, 2013|
|#008: September 27, 2013|
|#009: October 4, 2013|
|#010: November 1, 2013|
|#011: November 15, 2013|
|#012: November 22, 2013|
|#013: November 29, 2013|
|#014: December 6, 2013|
|#015: December 13, 2013|
|#016: December 20, 2013|
|#017: December 27, 2013|
|#018: January 3, 2014|
|#019: January 10, 2014|
|#020: January 17, 2014|
|#021: January 24, 2014|
|#022: January 31, 2014|
|#023: February 7, 2014|
|#024: February 14, 2014|
|#025: February 21, 2014|
|#026: February 28, 2014|
|#027: March 7, 2014|
|#028: March 14, 2014|
|#029: March 21, 2014|
|#030: March 28, 2014|
|#031: April 4, 2014|
|#032: April 11, 2014|
|#033: April 18, 2014|
|#034: May 2, 2014|
|#035: May 16, 2014|
|#036: May 30, 2014|
|#037: June 6, 2014|
|#038: June 20, 2014|
|#039: June 27, 2014|
|#040: July 25, 2014|
|#041: August 15, 2014|
|#042: August 29, 2014|
|#043: September, 2014|
|#044: October, 2014|
|#045: November, 2014|
|#046: December, 2014|
As you can see, LOGOS for every story! My plan for future issues is if you contribute a NEW story, you will get a logo. Old stories that get spotlighted may have to get their logos retroactively. They take time, so it may require a wait. Hope you folks enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting The Writers Guild Presents Library, and thanks for reading! -cb
|Return to the Fan-Fic Forum View:|
|Thanks for checking this out in Blog View for the full effect. That was the only way to work around the CV display restrictions, without turning the images too tiny to be effective. Click the link to return to Forum View. -cb|
to be edited.
...Well, okay, I'm old, but I'm not the old editor. So...
Welcome back to The Writers Guild Presents. This has been shepherded along by @dngn4774 and @the_poet for an incredible forty-two installments in just thirteen months! They've showcased the writing of a handful of writers, and we've seen some amazing stories. By "handful," I mean thirteen, including Dngn4774 and The_Poet. Thirteen writers over forty-two installments, four of those only once, and I'm one of those four.
Why am I telling you all this? Just pointing out that these guys have not been playing- WGP is work, and getting submissions is hard! But as hard as that is, The Writers Guild Presents could not exist without the writers who have contributed original stories for each and every installment. Seventy-two stories by thirteen writers is a pretty hefty output, and keep in mind that the top contributors to the WGP also put out a large amount of stories to the Fan-Fic forum on their own, and often participate in the Character Creation Contest- the other deadline-saddled forum mainstay.
Here's the thing though: The idea was to showcase stories from as many writers as possible, and to be a sort of co-op, where writing and editing duties would rotate from week-to-week, helping each other grow and improve in our writing. Basically, we're talking about an online magazine, published by Comic Vine members, and tucked away on the Fan-Fic forum. There was even talk of possible "management positions," as The Guild grew. A bit grandiose, perhaps, but a worthy vision for a worthy idea.
However, discount us four writers who only submitted once, and our two previous compilers, and that's seven regular writers doing most of the writing. The comments have been pretty sparse too. Bottom line: this hasn't been working out exactly the way everyone hoped.
Dngn4774, the man who started it all, was going to shut it down and call it done. Fool that I can be, I asked him if I could take a crack at it. Disheveled and wild eyed, he ran in a zig-zag pattern for the door, threw me the keys over his shoulder, and hollered for me to make it work, or shut down and lock up when I leave. ...Well, not really. He just said, "Sure thing! Go for it!" Point is though: I ain't plannin' on leavin' - get me? But for that to work, The Writers Guild has got to change. We need some new blood- we need you!
So here’s a few things you may want to know about the new Writers Guild:
1. How do I join The Writers Guild?
If you’re reading this, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re in The Writers Guild!
If you’re still not sure, here’s a tip: only those who have truly been accepted as members of The Writers Guild can see the special black-white-and-red "The Writers Guild Presents" banner at the top of the page. Go ahead and check…I’ll wait… Did you see it? Of course you did! It’s a normal image!
Look, The Writers Guild is not some secret society with exclusive membership. If you want to participate, all you have to do is let me know. I'll tell you how in a bit.
2. What’s the difference between something I post, and getting showcased in The Writers Guild Presents?
Two things: 1) The WGP gets pinned at the top of the forum, and 2) If your story is included in The WGP, it will get edited.
3. So what’s the big deal about getting pinned?
It means a post is held at the top of the forum until it’s unpinned. Ideally, that means more exposure and more readers, which would hopefully mean more comments on your regular posts to the forum. Basically though, The WGP is just where you get to say, “Hey, take a closer look,” without it getting buried under other new stories and people bumping their old stories.
So basically, the only exclusive thing about The Writers Guild is that The Writers Guild Presents gets to take advantage of the pin system. Thank our mods for that.
4. What?! You’re going to edit my work?
Absolutely. I believe in well written stories. Am I perfect? No, but I try for it in my writing, and I think you should too. Bad spelling and grammar will be the first thing to make people leave your story and go find another one. I want to showcase stories, but I want to showcase good writing as well. So if you submit something to The WGP, I'm going to edit it. It's not a question. Just due to time constraints, I probably won't send it back to you for approval. I will not edit out content. My goal is just to correct spelling, punctuation, etc. Again: I'll probably miss something. It happens.
If I get a story that just plain needs a rewrite, that I'll send back. If I have time to offer constructive help, I will. If I don't, sorry, we'll try again next installment.
5. How often will The Writers Guild Presents be coming out at this point?
My goal is once a month, starting in November, 2014. This little info piece you're reading now is the September WGP, and the October WGP will be a spiffy new Writers Guild Library. I think you all will like it.
6. Why just once a month?
Simply put: I have one of those annoying real world lives that needs attending to. I have to pay bills, etc., and unfortunately, it's not Comic Vine that pays those bills. So once a month is what I feel like I can accomplish, along with the real world things I am responsible for.
Also, we've tried weekly and biweekly formats for both The Writers Guild Presents and for the Character Creation Contest. My personal opinion is that it becomes overwhelming and produces burnout. Not everyone is a writing juggernaut. Some (like myself) need time to think about what they're going to write, and I am going to need time to edit and post.
7. So what kind of stories are you looking for?
, AS LONG AS IT IS WITHIN THE FORUM RULES! I'm not a moderator, but I know a few, and I won't hesitate to sic them on you! (I didn't mean for that to rhyme, but it happens all the time.) Pretty basic overview of that: we have an all ages audience here. So no strong sexual themes and no excessive swears. The full rules can be found elsewhere. Contact a moderator if you're not sure.
Original fiction, fan-fiction, poetry (maybe), whatever.
8. So nothing is excluded?
No script form. Exceptions might be made. I doubt it, but I believe in "never say 'never'."
9. Does it have to be new stuff?
No, but it's still subject to editing.
10. So it's okay if I've posted it already?
Yes. There used to be a rule that stories submitted to The WGP could not be previously posted on Comic Vine. It had to be a new story, or a new chapter of an existing series.
I told Dngn4774 that I wanted to toss that rule, and he thought it was a good idea. So this is us loosening our collars and having a little more fun with The Guild.
11. Does this mean we're not going to see "the same seven writers" every installment?
That's not up to me. It's up to you and your submissions. If only seven people submit on a regular basis, that's who you're going to see. If only one does, you're going to keep seeing that one person's story. @impurestcheese gave us a great series in "Patron Saint of Crime," and it's been the sole story in a few issues of The WGP. If there's only one story, there's only one story, but this is part of the reason I want to open it up to previously posted material. On a weak month, I hope to feature older stuff.
12. Alright, so who do I contact?
Me! Dngn4774 and The_Poet are taking a much deserved break from managing The WGP, so this is currently a one man show. I may go crazy and need psychiatric help, and then editing help, but for now, I want to see how much of it I can do. There's a few things I haven't told you yet- they're surprises.
13. How do I contact you?
Pretty normal: PM me your story. It's just that simple. I'll read it, edit if necessary, and it'll get posted in a future WGP.
14. You're serious?
Not always, but at the moment, yes.
Thanks for checking in, and start sending me your stories! See you sometime in October with the library! -cb
A few weeks ago, a dramatic declaration was made, announcing the end of Marvel Mayhem. In the days after this announcement, TheSpiritWalker did what his name suggests, and he invaded the afterlife to find Marvel Mayhem again, if only briefly, and he bade all of us come with him! So our chore was to introduce a new hero or villain to the world of Marvel Mayhem, and venture once more into the ethereal realm of fan-fics gone by. But was this truly the Death of Marvel Mayhem? Is this contest to be its final wake? Or has new interest been kindled? Has Marvel Mayhem been brought back from the beyond? Only time will tell...
...In the meantime, WE VOTE! Deadline for votes is October 2nd, 4pm GMT (so 12pm EST for my own reference). Pick your favorite, cast your vote, and if the mood strikes you, say a final farewell to Marvel Mayhem ...or perhaps welcome it back? ;)
One Police Plaza
Miss Mosquito looked at the cuffs restraining her to the table and gave them a tug. They didn’t budge much particularly as they were made of, well possibly adamantium she guessed. The room was plain; the main feature was the mirrored glass window where she presumed people were watching.
“It’s been an hour!” she moaned.
As if on cue the door swung open and in strode two females. One, the red head, looked like she lived in her clothes; the other brunette was smartly dressed. The brunette sat across the table and opened a folder whilst the red head perched on the edge of the table.
“This is Detective Dallas Riordan,” said the brunette “My name is Lieutenant Molly Von Richthofen.”
“Am I under arrest?” asked Miss Mosquito.
“Are you cuffed?” asked Dallas with a smirk on her face.
“…yes,” she replied.
Dallas pushed her glasses up. “Well then, it’s safe to say you’re under arrest. But just in case, because I’m tired of getting effing screwed over by technicalities. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do, and I mean anything, may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to consult an at…”
“I know my rights.”
Molly looked up “So you’re waving your Miranda warning?”
“Um no, I mean I know, um.” The costumed woman began to stammer.
“Hey!” snapped Dallas “Let me just do the formal reading of it so you’re covered, I’m covered, Molly’s covered and when your lawyer gets here…you’ve got a lawyer right?”
Miss Mosquito looked at Dallas “Um, no. Do I need one?”
Dallas began to chuckle and got up from the table “Oh yeah!”
“Dallas!” snapped Molly, giving her partner a stern look. Dallas shrugged and rolled her eyes.
“Can someone tell me what’s going on?” asked Miss Mosquito as she tried to stand but the cuffs kept her from standing properly.
“Miss Mosquito,” Molly stopped as Dallas sniggered. She waited til her partner regained her composure before continuing. “Miss Mosquito, can you tell me your version of the events?”
“Look, I just stopped three guys from robbing an armoured car out the front of Ma & Pa’s Pancake House.”
“Plaza.” Dallas corrected her “It’s a pancake plaza, not a house. But please, continue.”
Miss Mosquito glared at the red haired detective who was quite rude. “Does she have to be here?” she asked Molly.
“Unfortunately yes,” replied Molly “She’s a very good detective but terrible with people. Especially costumed people.”
“I’m standing right here!” snapped Dallas.
“Try to ignore her,” said Molly as she wrote some notes “You were…?”
Miss Mosquito sighed “I got a tip that there was going to be a robbery. I went down to the pancake PLAZA and there were three guys with guns. I flew in and took them down. Next thing I know a police SWAT team,”
“Code: Blue” said Dallas.
“Whatever, turn guns on me and put me in the back of their truck and I end up here.” Miss Mosquito tried to fold her arms but the short cuff chain prevented it. “Could I get these taken off?”
“Sorry,” said Molly “Not yet. You say flew in? Could you elaborate?”
Miss Mosquito shifted in her seat “I could show you.”
Dallas’ hand went to her gun as Molly’s eyebrows went up. “No, just tell us,” said Molly.
“Okay. Well my…”
“OH GOD!” Dallas shouted as she pointed “Are you related to Mosquito Man?”
“What?” said Molly turning to her partner.
“You know; that guy that got blown away by Bullseye when he took out the bridge. The John Doe in the morgue with no name. Thor turned up, Rage got put in hospital then those idiots broke into One Police and Stone broke that bearded guy’s nose.” Dallas gushed as she wandered about the room “Are you his wife or something?”
Miss Mosquito looked down at the table “I’m his sister.”
“Knew it!” laughed Dallas “So what’s his name?”
Miss Mosquito’s lip trembled “Michael.”
Dallas and Molly looked at each other. The pair of officers did some quick non verbal communication before Molly turned to Miss Mosquito. “Will you excuse us?”
Molly and Dallas stood on the other side of the glass with Captain’s D’Angelo and Burdick .
“You need to read her her rights,” said Captain Burdick. “Half reading them isn’t the same as reading her righ…”
“Hey, if Stone and his tinker toy brigade didn’t do their job, how is that my fault?” snapped Dallas before remembering who she was talking to “Captain.”
“I can’t wait to send her back to you,” said D’Angelo to Burdick.
“She’s about to expose her identity to us,” said Molly “She needs her lawyer.”
“She needs a shrink!” scoffed Dallas “Miss Mosquito, really! Was she bitten by a radioactive mosquito or something?”
“A bit of compassion Riordan,” said D’Angelo “I think you’re right Molly. Get her a lawyer before you go any further. As much as clearing up who Mosquito Man was, having her tell us things she may regret la…”
“Oh why don’t you wrap her in cotton wool too captain!” groaned Dallas ‘Seriously, she chose her path the moment she pulled on a costume as opposed to enrolling at the police academy. One day she may be an effing Avenger, but today her actions got an undercover cop killed; one of New York's finest. If she was just Jane Everybody we’d be all over her like radiation in Seattle!”
Everyone behind the glass looked at Dallas. She was right, which was what was slowly dawning on them.
“Read her rights again to be sure,” said Burdick. “Then call her a lawyer. I think She-Hulk’s in the building. We’ll…who is that?”
Riordan, Von Richthofen, D’Angelo and Burdick watched the uniformed officer walk into the interrogation room. There was something off about his walk, his posture, the sai in his hand. Miss Mosquito screamed as the officer drove the weapon into her throat and out the back of her head. Dallas drew her gun and fired through the glass shattering it causing Bullseye to turn around and glare at her.
“Nearly messed up my lack of hair bitch,” he said as he lifted his hat rubbed his bald head.
“DROP IT!” yelled Dallas.
“NOW!” yelled Molly. D’Angelo and Burdick’s weapons also trained on the premier assassin.
“This?” said Bullseye mockingly as he spun the bloody sai in his fingertips “I don’t think so.”
Quick as lightning the sai flew across the room and jammed in the barrel of Dallas’ gun. Molly, Burdick and D’Angelo opened fire but he dove away and was out the door. Dallas tossed the gun and gave chase, hot on the heels of the man who was supposed to be locked up in prison til Thor got old. Dallas scooped up a keyboard as they bolted across the offices.
“Why?” screamed Dallas.
Bullseye leapt over a desk as he headed for the lifts “I got told Mosquito Man was still alive. Can’t be having people I put in the ground come back. Ruins my rep.”
“You’re an animal!” Dallas hurled the keyboard at him.
Bullseye stopped, turned and caught the keyboard like it was nothing ‘Stop it baby, you’re turning me on!” He hurled the keyboard back at her, cracking her in the temple and sending her to the floor and unconciousness.
New York Downtown Hospital, 170 William St
Dallas woke up to see Dr Elias Wirtham, an old flame of hers, standing over her “Oh god,” she groaned.
“Nice to see you to Dallas,” smiled the charming black doctor “You’re lucky to be alive. You received a massive hematoma to yo…”
Dallas threw the blankets off and swung out of bed “Thanks, I gotta go.”
Dr Wirtham grabbed one elbow as Molly grabbed the other as Dallas near collapsed “No, you need to get back to bed.” Dr Wirtham “Please, try to keep her there Lieutenant.”
“I’ll give it a go,” said Molly as he left the room.
“How’s Miss Mosquito?” Dallas blurted out.
“Dead,” said Molly as she patted Dallas’ hand. “Poor thing.”
“Well that’s just effing great!” wined Dallas.
Molly shook her head and smiled “What are you complaining about, you should see the paperwork I’ve gotta do.”
THE MIGHTY FISH-MAN
HOW HE GOT HIS POWERS:
One day at the coast of Miami a man name Den G. William. he is an world traveler, he had a dream to travel the world since he was 10 years old after reading a book called "The World Has Secrets And Its Up To Us to Find Them" and he followed that dream when he turned 18 and traveled the world until his 25th birthday came up so he went back to Miami where his family lived to spend time with his family since he was gone for so long . he was at sea, pondering to himself 'that sucks that my father got sick and mother has to take care of him and my bother couldn't come, because he has navy duties " . while pondering to his thoughts suddenly to his surprise he caught a strange looking fish,it looked old like it was prehistoric it had black and brown skin, very sharp teeth.it was like a oversize Parana . He wondered to himself “Should I eat this…maybe I should keep this as a pet so I can show my mom and dad what I caught"
So he put the fish in a fish tank and he went back fishing. A few hours later he hears noise coming from where he put the fish. The fish was going crazy! Thrashing about and banging into the glass, cracking it.Suddenly it jumped out and bit him on the arm.He and the fish wrestled before he managed to rip it off his arm and toss it out the window back into the ocean.
“I’ve lost a lot of blood,” he thought. “Oh god I feel sick. I…think…I’m…”
And he passed out
When he awoke he felt really thirsty after that so he went for a glass of water. He drank it quickly but it did nothing to quench his thirst, it was not enough. He had another, and another, and another before sticking his whole head under the tap. He started to panic and without a rationale reason he jumped into the ocean, and felt much better.
“Why do I have a powerful need for water? What did that fish thing do to me?”
He got back on his boat and noticed his hands were changing, turning blue.
“Ahhh!” he screamed and stopped, clutching at his throat.
“Why does my voice sound different?”
He ran to the mirror in his bathroom and there he saw himself: a blue skinned Shark like teeth, a tail , and yellow eyes.
Den screamed and electricity pulsed from his body and destroyed the bathroom.
“Did I just became a super hero?”
super strength: he can at least lift 15. but given the right conditions he can go up to 25
high speed swimming: in the water its as if he a jet
skin manipulation :he can mold his skin to make a shields,swords and arrows.and also he can control his skin to make it hard so hard it can be like steel but given that right condition it can be hard like titanium.
high durability: he can take a hit torpedo form a submarine.
FISH DNA UNLOCK:
The strange looking fish was a prehistoric fish. it survived for so long having all the fishes DNA in one fish.so when it bit the guy he has the DNA of a all the fishes known to man and secret fishes that man doesn't know.but he cant really unlock the DNA unless he does heavy physical training, mental training.
The Wedding Crashers
“You look so beautiful.” Spectre cried as Rachel Leighton pulled the veil over her head. “Like one of those beauty queens back home, except without the breast implants.” She added tears of joy rolling down her face.
“Thank you.” Rachel said with a massive smile on her face. “Oh by the way where is Wraithwitch? Please tell me you didn’t let her got anywhere near Vulture’s grandson, we don’t need to add baby eating to the list of potential crimes caused by today.”
“Don’t worry; she was too busy flirting with Tiger Shark to notice.” Spectre answered as the sound of energy blasts and screaming super criminals radiated down the corridor, before with a crack the doors splintered and the armoured form of the Mauler was thrown into the room.
“What in the…” Rachel gasped as a man dressed in a white body stocking completed with a globe like helmet walked in accompanied by a woman dressed in grey, blades sticking out of her elbows. “You look like…?”
“Yes Miss Leighton, it is I Cue-Ball and my blushing bride to be Stickleback, and we are here to get revenge on you and your fiancé.” The man in white explained.
“This has to be a joke right?” Rachel asked Spectre as the later drew her pistol and levelled it at Stickleback.
“No joke.” Stickleback purred as she left into action, darting around and under the shots Spectre fired before stabbing a knife into her throat. “She’s a ghost right, no long term damage their, I mean when we finish with you we could all be friends.”
“Not…likely.” Spectre croaked as Cue-Ball removed a ‘trick ball’ and threw it at Rachel, thick smoke enveloping her as two pairs of hands dragged her away. Struggling she broke free and grabbed her barrette, as Stickleback came darting out of the fog, a pair of blades flashing silver in the late morning sun. Parrying the first strike and blocking the second Rachel lashed out as best she could, landing a few good blows despite being restricted by her dress. Falling back Stickleback stepped aside as Cue-Ball threw a concussion ball at his target, the throw going wide and shattering the window behind Rachel.
Looking at the newly opened exit route, Rachel leapt her dress ripping as she fell three stories to the limo parked underneath. “Ow, never doing that again without the shock absorbers in my suit.” She groaned as the driver poked his duck like head out.
“You okay Miss Leighton?” He asked as Cue-Ball appeared in the window and dropped a few exploding orbs, the projectiles rolling under the car as Rachel slipped off, dragging the driver with her. Seconds later the vehicle exploded as Cue-Ball and Stickleback ran from the window, obviously hoping to intercept Rachel before she could get back inside the hotel.
“I just paid off the insurance on that.” Howard the Driver sighed before being lead back towards the hotel. “Who were those mooks anyway?”
“Unwanted guests.” Rachel answered as she reached the revolving door inside, the body of Whirlwind slumped inside and the mechanism jammed. “S**t they got Whirly too.” She sighed before stabbing the glass with her barrette, the diamond tipped pin cutting an entrance hole back inside. Squeezing into the lobby she heard the sound of music and darted towards the main hall, elbow barging through the door only to see Cue-Ball and Stickleback standing at the alter waiting for her.
“Nice of you to make it.” Cue-Ball sneered. “As you can see your guests weren’t too much of a pain to neutralise without their equipment, the few who were are locked away so they can’t interfere.” He added as one of the bodies sprawled across the aisle took a big gasp of air and opened his eyes only to have a stiletto blade thrown at his head, blood oozing from his new wound.
“This could be a problem.” Stickleback whispered. “I’m beginning to think he is un-killable.”
“Don’t worry babe, we’ve got this handled.” Cue-Ball announced, “Walk down the aisle Leighton, soon your husband will be here and we can begin.” He added as Rachel moved forwards as Howard skirted around the back of the pues, trying to flank the pair of killers.
“Tell your duck to stay where he is.” Stickleback ordered. “We don’t need any of his Quack Fu to ruin this happy day.” She added, her words causing Howard to stop as Rachel reached the alter, her eyes narrowing as she caught sight of the shadowy figure standing behind Cue-Ball and Stickleback.
“You, I should have known.” She snarled as the figure stepped forward to reveal a gaudily dressed man in a jester costume.
“You think I could miss this?” The Jester cackled. “My little treacherous snake getting married, I mean I almost killed you enough times for us to be family.”
”But you died!!” Rachel hissed, “You died I saw it, and people don’t just come back to life!!”
“Oh but they can, I’ve seen hell and it really burnt me up.” The Jester answered as the doors to the atrium opened up with a slam. “Ah ha the man of the hour arrives at last!” The Jester cackled before realising his mistake, his grin becoming a look of fear and disgust.
“Not quite.” A voice that sounded like fingers running across a tombstone croaked as Rachel turned to see a hooded figure clutching a scythe made out of bone drift towards them. “Cue-Ball, Stickleback why are you following this fools directions?” She asked as Rachel looked around wildly for an escape route.
“We though you and he…” Cue-Ball gulped as the body in the aisle sat up and slashed towards the Hooded Haunt, only to be knocked aside.
“Rachel get out of here.” Oriole wheezed as he lashed out with the stiletto formally embedded in his face. “Get Jeff and get out of here.” He added as Rachel leapt off the alter and landed on the second row of pues before sprinting out the door. She managed to ascend all three flights of stairs before hearing Cue-Ball and Stickleback reach the bottom. Running along the corridor she stopped at one of the rooms and hammered on the door.
“Rachel what is it?” Jeff groaned as he emerged from the room dressed in a three piece suit and tie.
“Assassins, working for the Jester and Hooded Haunt.” Rachel gasped as Cue-Ball and Stickleback emerged from the stairwell. “And they look like us!” She added as Jeff reached inside and pulled a pool cue from his room, spinning it like a Bo Staff.
“Well, well, party is all here.” Cue-Ball grunted in a sarcastic voice. “You never noticed us did you?!” He snapped, “We were that couple ten seconds behind you, we had to watch as you got everything we wanted, and now, now we take it from you thanks to the Hooded Haunt’s magic’s.”
“Bring it you bad Xerox copy.” Jeff answered as Stickleback sprinted towards him, her blades meeting his cue as Rachel dodged a wave of concussion balls thrown at her by Cue-Ball. Picking up one of the projectiles Rachel threw it back only to see the ball smash open on Cue-Ball’s helmet.
“Got to try better then that!!” Cue-Ball snickered as he cracked his knuckles, puffs of blue chalk spraying out of his gauntlets. Racing in he delivered a punch to Rachel’s chin, the blow leaving a blue knuckle indent in her face, causing her to stumble back.
“Rachel no!!” Jeff yelled as Stickleback slipped under his guard and tore his suit open. “Switch opponents.” He grunted as Rachel got to her feet and attempted a clumsy tackle on Stickleback, the lithe villainess darting backwards.
“Got to say I like my old foe better.” Cue-Ball sneered as he flicked open his own cue. “This staff is forged from magically reinforced titanium; no way can you get past my blocks.” He added as Jeff lunged with his cue, the tip striking Cue-Ball’s helmet and sending him flying along the corridor and through the wall of the hotel.
“Idiot.” Jeff stated as Rachel and Stickleback grabbled on the floor, the pair of women hissing and spitting as they both tried to get the upper hand. Things looked even until Rachel went limp, in apparent surrender.
“One down,” Stickleback hissed as she got to her feet, “One to…gurk.” Before she could finish Rachel had struck with a leg sweep, the blow sending Stickleback plummeting face first into the floor.
“Let’s get changed.” Jeff grunted as he pulled Rachel off the floor. Minutes later the pair reappeared in their usual costumes. “Time to end this once and for all.”
“I’m telling you it won’t work!” he shouts.
“I’m telling you that it will,” she answers. “At any rate, all of the forces are in play.”
“But this is a game changer! You can’t trust them,” he insists with a sweep of his hand. “It will destroy everything we have built here!”
“You worry too much, father.”
“And you don’t worry at all! Know this,” he warns, “if this goes sideways, it’s you who will pay the price!”
“You wouldn’t dare,” she says.
He narrows his eyes and answers, “Darlin’, never bet against the house.”
Vieux Carré, New Orleans
The sun has nearly disappeared over the horizon, leaving the French Quarter to the mercies of evening. Its alleyways darken first, as buildings cast their last shadows, before darkness falls completely. In one such alley, between a Chinese market and a bar with no name, and closed on one end by a brick wall lined with dumpsters, there's a jet black motorcycle. From out of the shadows strides its rider, clad head-to-toe in black leather and a shiny, jet black helmet that hides his face. He swings a leg over the seat, mounting the bike, flips the kickstand up with his foot, and puts the key in the ignition.
As he does so, a radio squelches to life in his helmet. “Operation Nightstrike is a go.”
The rider says nothing. He turns the key, and jumps on the kickstarter. Revving the engine, he waves to the darkness behind him, as if motioning it forward, and starts toward the street. A roar is heard from the shadows, and as he reaches the mouth of the alley, a half dozen motorcycles pour out behind him, all jet black like the first, and with identically dressed riders. They pull out in both directions and roar off into the night.
As they depart, a man steps out of the bar, his gaze following the riders. Looking down the short alleyway, only just long enough for a trash truck to fit into, he sneers slightly. He then hefts a heavy-canvas bag from one hand to the other, and starts down the sidewalk.
Remy LeBeau zips a duffel bag shut and swings it over his shoulder. “Thanks for the cards, Arcade.”
The long-haired redhead smiles and pats Remy’s back, as they walk out of his office into the main casino. “It’s a pleasure doing business, Gambit. We have to change those cards out after so many games anyway. If you didn’t take them, we’d just have to throw them out. It’s a small price to pay to keep on the good side of the United Guild.”
“That and testing our assassins,” answers Gambit. “How are the newest initiates doing?” he asks.
Arcade purses his lips, “I’m afraid you’ve lost three so far.” He shrugs, and adds, “The other ten are still doing quite well.”
Gambit nods. “And how’s the rest of the business?”
Arcade gives a disgusted wave at the rows of slot machines and blackjack tables, and says, “These mouth breathers annoy me, but the gambling funds my other activities. Going straight is almost boring, but it’s endlessly amusing to know that the very thing that made me a wanted criminal before now makes me legitimately wealthy. Rather than paying me to kill others, people now pay me to ‘try’ to kill them. A ‘survival course’ for whales. Where the other hotels hunt them with comps, I hunt them with harpoons… among other things.” Arcade smiles maliciously. “Lawyers and legal waivers are magnificent things.”
Remy smiles briefly, his red eyes flashing slightly. As he walks away, he calls out, “You’re a cutthroat pig, Arcade!”
Arcade holds up a finger and calls back, “Businessman! I’m a ‘cutthroat businessman,’ thank you very much.” He smiles to himself and adds quietly, “Pity you won’t challenge my Murderworld.” He then turns and strolls back to his office, savoring the thought.
Gambit is stuffing a few packs of cards into his jacket pockets, when a black portal opens up halfway between him and the casino doors. He hears the scream, “Gambit!” before he sees the woman step out of the portal. She's barely covered in thin black stripes of what it would be charitable to call “clothing,” including a thin black mask over her eyes.
He looks a little confused as he says, “Ecstasy?”
Then a figure in black leather and a shiny black motorcycle helmet exits the portal behind her, quickly catching up to her and forcing her back into the portal. “Remy!” she screams, “Help meeee!”
“Renee!” screams LeBeau. “Hang on, cher!” He drops the bag and runs for the portal, diving in before it can close. He is surprised to land in the street, just outside the casino. He is equally surprised to see six more portals open up, all with black clad bikers stepping out of them.
The one with Renee now over his shoulder speaks to the others, his voice filtering through a speaker in the helmet, “Ecstasy neutralized,” he says, as he drops her to the pavement. “Mister Negative recruited. Marauders report.”
The first of the newly arrived riders says, “Blackheart eliminated. Black Mamba recruited. Doorman neutralized.”
The second says, “Night, Nightside, and Nightwind recruited.”
The third adds, “Spot neutralized. Vanisher and Smuggler recruited.”
The fourth reports, “Blackout eliminated. Quagmire recruited.”
The fifth says, “Darkstar eliminated. Silhouette neutralized. Cloak escaped.”
The sixth finishes with, “Shroud escaped. Asylum eliminated. Sepulchre eliminated.”
The one from the casino waves a hand over Ecstasy. The thin strands of ebon energy that make up her costume lift away, absorbed into his black leather, leaving her naked and unconscious on the pavement. “The Darkforce is ours,” he concludes.
Gambit picks that moment to throw some charged playing cards at the rider standing over Renee Deladier. The rider simply gestures, and a black portal swallows the cards. A moment later, another portal disgorges them towards the casino’s doors, and the explosion sends glass everywhere. Remy rolls to shield Renee, and the riders disappear through their portals.
From the shadows of another alley, across the street, the man from the bar watches Gambit through the scope of his rifle. As the mutant lays his trenchcoat over the body of the naked woman in the street, the gunman muses to himself, “Two for one. Good.” He lines up his shot on Gambit, and just before he is about to pull the trigger, he starts to whisper, “Justice is…” His mantra is cut off as a knife is pressed to his throat, a black clad attacker having appeared out of the shadows behind him.
The Marauder leans in close, and with a light squelch from his helmet’s speaker, he utters his own mantra into the man’s ear, "Hail Hydra," before ending the would-be-assassin’s life. He then melts back into the shadows of the alley, before passing headlights reveal that nothing is there but a brick wall.
Watching the events outside unfold on the monitors, Arcade offers, “Arcadia, my dear, it seems I owe you an apology. Well played,” he says, raising his glass.
A beautiful young woman, hair dyed green, clinks her glass against his. “See? I told you, daddy- it can all be Murderworld, if we just try.”
Embracing her, Arcade says, “Yes, you did, darlin’. You told me.”
Her head leaned against his shoulder, she says, “Daddy?”
“Yes, dear?” he answers.
“I worked really hard on this, didn’t I?”
Stroking her hair softly, he kisses the top of her head and says, “Yes, Arcadia, you sure did.”
Head still resting on his shoulder, she says softly, “Then I think you should call me Madame Hydra.”
Scowling, Arcade thinks, Game changer, indeed. Aloud, he answers, “Yes, Madame Hydra,” and strokes her hair again. Draining his glass, he asks, "And Madame Hydra?"
"You're paying to fix my hotel entrance."
It’s me again, your amazingly awesome, wall crawling neighbourhood Spiderman! Now I know what you're thinking- a story about feeding ducks? Lame! And truth be told, there’s probably only a couple of instances in the entire omniverse, where ‘awesome’ and ‘ducks’ genuinely spring-roll to mind (spring roll… get it? Haha! I know, I’m hilarious). The first of course being the Crispy Duck Special served at Pan Pan’s Buffet on 34th Street… mmm… crispy… and the last being when an innocent young lady, pushing along her shiny new perambulator, suddenly stops and yells:
And a massive pew-pew beam launches out of nowhere and:
A fire hydrant bursts into a fountain of water so large it would give the Victoria Falls a run for her money.
“Muh-huh-hah! Looks like ze buuurd is taking ze burd-bath no? Muh-huh-muh-haha!”
~ LEAP ~
That’s right, leap. This Fiend-au-Français is none other than The Leaper, a pesky small time crook packing a pair of super springy legs, a curly moustache, and a sense of humour so overwhelmingly corny, you could wrap it up and sell it down Aunt May’s Annual Vegetable Fayre. Seriously folks, this guy is a total lame, and yours truly, the Amazing Spiderman, regularly turns the Leaper into a side-dish of Frog Legs before it’s time for dinner. So there I am, slinging my webs heroically through the urban streets of New York, ready to:
The Leaper into next week when:
A talking duck? What? It’s wearing a russet coloured business suit… and a polka dot tie (you know, the one that your dad bought for you, but you never got around to wearing it… yeah that one), and without a moment's hesitation, jumps on top of my shoulders, and starts whacking me in the back of the head!
‘That quacky frog is mine! Because of him I’m quacked to the bone!’
‘You mean soaked to the bo-’
‘I was finishing up with my Quank, when Frog-Legs suddenly quacked into the vault and stole my quacking deposit! Now I’m gonna quack his quack!’
Sound weird to you? Well it sure did to me! And it became even weirder when it actually began to fight our French foe. It was all like:
And then some:
Excuse my French, but The Leaper pretty much had his ‘Cannes’ handed to him. Literally. I mean, the duck actually karate-kicked him, head first, straight into the mouth of a Post Box. Talk about Frog-Legs to go. When I asked for the duck’s name it replied:
‘Howard. And quack’s Howard the Duck to yer, ya silly web-head!’
After I slung The Leaper upside a lamppost with my super-adhesive spider webbing, I soon found myself fascinated by this Howard the Duck guy. As time went on, I really came to like him. That’s why I knew I had to do something, when a news bulletin interrupted what I was watching on the TV:
~ Breaking news! Howard, a New-Yorker who also happens to be a sentient duck, has been kidnapped by the infamous Bread-Man! ~
That’s when it hit me. No matter how careful I am, my friends always seem to get caught up in my webs. I didn’t even know who this 'Bread-Man' guy was, but after watching him publicly call out Spiderman to an abandoned industrial bakery, I was knock the stuffing out of him and rescue my friend. I arrived at 5:59pm, just shy of the deadline set by Bread-Head or whatever he likes to call himself. When looking at the bakery, which the Bread-Man had called me out to, I noticed something important. It was:
The Bakery seemed more like a factory- that just so happened to make bread. Thankfully, I’ve got this special ability called my ‘Spider-Sense’, which alerts me to danger. And sure enough, behind one sinisterly large wooden door, my Spider Sense started going banana-cakes. And so, with a mighty Spidey Kick:
The doors burst open, leaving me to gawp in awe of the bakery’s main room, where I could clearly see Bread-Bin and my roped up pal Howard the Duck. He was dangling dangerously above a vat of boiling oil, whilst the bad guy waved around an overly large baguette roll like it was his sceptre or something.
‘Well if it isn’t our neighbourhood wall-crawling fool, Spider-Flan.’
‘Nice to meet you too Bread-Basket-Guy!’
‘The name is The Bread-Man, and your beloved Duck over there is about to get a whole lot more Crispy!’
And I thought the Leaper was bad. This guy’s jokes were just plain crusty with extra sesame seeds on top.
‘Spidey? Get the quack outta here! Can’t you see it’s a quack?’
‘It’s a quack? Ohhh you mean a trap-’
Suddenly, a gigantic, viscous, off-yellow creature ambushes me out of nowhere. It’s all slobbery and gooey and gross, with spiky sharp teeth reminiscent of a set of evil Nachos.
‘Hort-di-hort-hort! You cannot defeat my monsters you miserable insect!’
‘Arachnid, but yeah.’
‘I’ve enhanced several tonnes of bread mixture with genetically modified yeast, transforming them into unstoppable beasts of batter which I alone control!’
Then another bread goo monster thing appears, equally gross and just as ferocious!
‘Why are you doing this Bread-Man...?!’
I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something felt different about this guy. Maybe he wasn’t so much of a threat on his own. In fact, he seemed more frightened and frustrated than depraved and dangerous. Perhaps, I thought, I was missing something.
‘This was once your bakery, wasn’t it.’
The two icky dough creatures suddenly froze in place. At last, my costume was safe.
‘How did you know that?’
‘There’s only one man who’s skilled enough to genetically engineer yeast in this way. Bartholomew Stickley, otherwise known as the famous Barry Breadsticks.’
‘I… I didn’t think it was that obvious…’
‘I only knew because my friend Howard there happens to be a big fan of bread.’
Howard, who had been hanging around for a while, sensed that his beak might just have been saved.
‘Quack-solutely! Now do us a favour, and get me the quack down from here!’
‘I did everything for this company, to try and make the world a bread-er place. But we started losing money under my leadership. So HQ shut me down. Replaced me with some scrawny young rapscallion with an MBA in Business Studies, who started making the bread on the Cheap-batta. Now our bread isn’t even worth feeding to the ducks!’
The Bread-Man proceeded to take a moment to reflect, almost as if to acknowledge the fact that he knew what he was doing was wrong.
‘You don’t understand Spiderman. You don’t understand what it’s like to lose everything.’
‘I lost my Uncle... he meant the world to me. But he was… taken away… by some small-time crook. I understand.’
‘Well then! You’ll understand why I am about to deep fry this duck! I have the power to get my revenge!’
The rope binding Howard’s webbed feet begins to loosen, sending him even closer to the boiling vat of oil:
‘What the QUACK! Get me outta here!’
‘You’re wrong Bread-Man. Just because you have power, doesn’t mean you should abuse it. As my uncle said.’
With great power comes great responsibility.
But before the Bread-Man could make a response, I released three rounds of my new web fluid, the impermeable Funnel-Webbing. The first two sealed up the oozing monsters in front of me, whilst the other one encased the Bread Man’s body, with the exception of his head and breadstick/sceptre. With that done, I acrobatically whisked away Howard from his demise, leaving only his top-fluff singed. The day was saved!
‘Thank Quack for that! Alright you Cream-Quacker, it’s time to get yours!’
‘No Howard. Let the cops deal with him. You’re safe now.’
The Bread-Man stared in disbelief as I stopped Howard from laying in to him. Somehow, I could see the fear in his eyes fade away.
‘…Did you ever get over losing your Uncle?’
I paused briefly, unable to think of something meaningful to tell the Bread-Man. I couldn't help but notice that he had a resigned look about his face, as if he already knew that he was busted. Maybe, this was his way of asking for forgiveness.
‘You should know, you’re the Bread-Man right? You rise above it.’
Thus ends my amazing adventure with Howard the Duck. The Bread-Man was sentenced to one year’s community service, cleaning up Times Square. Occasionally, he even feeds the ducks that swim in the pool. Howard the Duck and I remain best buddies, although he can’t resist pecking at my mask in the most annoying of ways. Ultimately, I’m not sure if you think ducks are any more awesome than you did before this story started. But that doesn’t that matter. Having good friends, even if one happens to be a duck, is always awesome in my book.
Catch you later folks!
|That's it! Don't forget to cast your vote!|
|09/11/14||CB 1-Shots #4||The Day the Vikings Landed||(Blog) (Forum)||Disclaimer|
|Rating||Rating Explanation||Last Issue:|
|T||Mild swearing.||Excalibow: The Ballad of Arthur's Arrow|
I ran through the water, my falcon trailing from above. Manjaro the Manslayer strode easily through the surf, hefting his mace as easily as a child does a stick. We met at the side of Finnrick the Fine only seconds apart. "My lord..." I started, but was cut off.
"Ulrich the Unnatural, you damned shaman! What in the nine hells have you done? Where have you brought us?" demanded Finnrick. His blonde locks danced in the wind.
"I'm not sure, my lord. My familiar could not be coaxed to fly high enough for me to see more than we see from here," I confessed.
"You've beached us on an island with a giant," Manjaro grated.
"It's only one giant," I rebutted, "and it appears to be trapped in stone...even the flame it carries." Finnrick raised an eyebrow towards the great stone creature with the many horned head. I hesitated, but then added, "I thought it a safer choice than that."
Finnrick and Manjaro turned their gazes after mine, and we were quiet for long moments. Finnrick finally spoke, "I do not know what magicks have created yon city, but it's mage must be powerful indeed. There is not even a wall around it...as if daring us to enter. The castle smokes like a volcano."
"Like Lakagígar itself, Lord Finnrick. And that din...you can hear the people screaming from here. What evil does this sorcerer wreak upon his subjects?" mused Manjaro.
"M-my lord," I started, "whatever magicks these are, they are beyond me."
Finnrick spun on me quickly, "Are you saying you have brought us here to be at the mercy of some mage?"
I held up a hand tentatively. "I serve at your mercy, Lord Finnrick, but I serve you best by telling you that I cannot defend us against that..." I swept my hand towards the castle, and as if to emphasize my point, a giant bird the likes of which we had never seen swooped through the castle wall in a roar, spouting fire and smoke from within.
We were all stunned for a minute, but as ever, our leader found his voice first. "Back to the boat."
"My lord?" asked Manjaro. "We are just leaving?"
"Yes, Manjaro, we are leaving. We were not meant to be here, and Ulrich is right. Whatever magicks these be, I have never seen him perform anything of this magnitude. We have entered into a war which we know nothing about, and have come ill equipped for."
Manjaro turned obediently and stalked back to the boat. I stared at the smoldering castle for another few moments, until Finnrick turned on me, gritting his teeth. "And you. You get us away from here while this sorcerer is otherwise occupied, and before this giant should take notice of us- encased in stone or not." He turned again and strode purposefully through the water, back towards the boat.
I looked after him, then up to the sky, holding out my arm so my familiar could land. I fed him a piece of meat, replaced the hood over his eyes, and slogged back to the boat myself. Once aboard, I made the necessary enchantments, and thin streams of light began to snake around the ship. Fog followed, and before it could enshroud us completely, I stole one more glance at the gleaming city on the further shore, shrouded in black smoke from the castle. I wondered what magicks I might have learned from this mage, or if he might have just swallowed me whole. I reached out tentatively with my mystic senses, picked up on enough of the strange language to learn the name of this enchanted land, and then we were gone. As we returned from whence we came, I wondered what the Old York looked like before the sorcerer transformed it so.
|On Writing About 9-11:|
I have a poem called Please that is about 9-11, but it's not fiction- it's about my personal experience the day before, the day of, and the days since. I am, and have always been, against writing about 9-11 in fiction. Actually, that's not completely accurate. I'm against writing about characters that died in the World Trade Center. I think that adding fictional bodies to that tragedy is like vandalizing a grave. It's like heaping broken mannequins on Ground Zero and calling it art.
However, I always knew that fiction would pounce on that massacre like hyenas on a carcass, and I wondered how long it would take. "Not very," was the answer. Other than some amateur fictions that I read online, which were obviously cathartic attempts to exorcise whatever demons 9-11 had brought the authors, the first fictions I read about it were in comics- the now famous issue of Amazing Spider-Man, of course. Also an issue of Queen & Country that brushed by it. And of course multiple tribute issues, all of which I own, because profits were promised to go to families of victims of 9-11. I also own multiple magazine and book tributes to 9-11, most of which were photographic and news accounts of that day.
Outside of comics, I think the first professional 9-11 fiction I read that didn't come out immediately following 9-11, was a novella by Stephen King, titled "The Things They Left Behind." I don't know that it was the first, but it was the first that I read. It was originally published in the 2003 collection, Transgressions, Volume Two, and later in King's own 2008 collection, Just After Sunset. It has just been picked up by CBS, to be adapted for television.
Then of course there's the 2006 movies World Trade Center and United 93, neither of which have I watched, nor will I. If you've enjoyed those movies, more power to you. I just...don't want to.
I don't fault any of these fictions for coming out. It was going to happen. We've fictionalized every great tragedy we've ever faced. The ones that spring most closely to mind are the Holocaust and Pearl Harbor, and indeed World War II in general. We've written about them, and written about them, and written about them, until the fictional body counts probably exceed the factual ones.
That's why I don't want to see it happen to 9-11, although it has already begun. I don't want to see the trivialization of a massacre. I don't want to see the fictionalization of true heroes who charged into the World Trade Center and lost their lives. We're going to do it though. We're going to pile story after story after story on that precious site, until the words are as high as the Twin Towers themselves once reached. For catharsis; for healing. For tribute. For love. For emotional backdrop. Finally, for profit. Crass of me to say so, perhaps, but true- we only pick historical backdrops for stories because we think they'll connect with readers or viewers, and so bring us a profit when the thing is published.
So why write "The Day the Vikings Landed," right? Because we only pick historical backdrops for stories because we think they'll connect with readers... remember? And it was only a backdrop. I didn't tell you about anyone in the Twin Towers, or any of the rescue personnel that charged into them, and I didn't change the facts of that attack.
But I have a memory of that day, and the week or so that followed. The USA was devastated as a country. We were holding our breaths, glued to our televisions for any scrap of information we could get. It literally took President Bush holding a press conference and saying, "It's time for us to get back to work," for us to exhale and start the push back to "normal," everyday life.
We were so focused on Ground Zero during that time, I've always had the thought that anything else could have happened that day, and gone completely unnoticed. And that's where my fiction ideas for 9-11 come from- from "What else happened that day?" Did aliens steal the Brooklyn Bridge? Did zombies walk through Wall Street? Or did... maybe... a Viking ship appear briefly off of Liberty Island, and disappear again without anyone noticing?
Now, will I ever write about 9-11 again? I'd like to say, "No," but I've learned to never say never. And honestly, why should I? It'd only be one out of that great pile of stories that started building immediately after 9-11. However, if I do, I don't imagine that the attack itself will be more than peripheral to what's really going on in the story, much like the events in "The Day the Vikings Landed." In fact, I've thought of writing a series of short stories about "what else happened that day," and I may yet do that, but it's not high on my list.
But really- the main reason we write stories about historical tragedies like 9-11? So we never forget. -cb 9/11/14
|Next Issue: Marvel Mayhem: Operation: Nightstrike|
|Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb|
|09/11/14||C-Rhymes #1||Please||(Blog) (Forum)||Disclaimer|
|T||Mildly suggestive moments.|
"I'll give it to you when you say 'please,' " is all that she said,
But my jaw clamped like irons, and steam built in my head.
It was a contest of wills, and I was determined to win,
And it appeared that I had, 'cause she gave up, in the end.
But I really hadn't, because I paid all that deep, depressing night,
With a long, ignoring silence that yeah, served me right.
I finally explained my motives, but with my gut all clenched up tight,
Until I found myself crying, and just hoping that she might
Reward my honesty with a smile, the slightest touch, or maybe a little kiss...
She forgave me, yes, but I still feel that the night was sorely missed.
Like I missed out on something more, that might have been
Had I just said "please" when she asked me, or even in the end.
If perhaps I'd given up, instead of holding out for her surrender,
I'd look back on that night with less regret, and be more willing to remember.
But damn, if you saw what I did... a hurt that went beyond our fight -
The moment when bright eyes faltered, and when I knew I wasn't right.
Then the look when my words had finally bridged that gulf between us;
When I knew that her heart had melted before my apologetic genius.
Yeah, my words are brilliant when I try to fix where I've caused trouble,
But if I could go back to that argument, I'd burst my prideful bubble.
I'd jump from the car onto the pavement; yes, slam down on my knees,
And the only words out of my mouth would be, "Please, please, please, please, please!"
Then she would have handed me that map, and we'd have moved on with our day,
And when that night had rolled around, it would have ended a different way.
We'd have had a night of burning passion, when we ignited love's glowing embers,
And that night would be etched into my memory, as something one remembers
With a soft, knowing smile; the kind that always makes folks wonder,
"What juicy little secrets would we know if that smile were pried asunder?"
The answer would be, "A night of heaven, before the day the world went straight to hell,"
Because the next day was Nine Eleven, when the World Trade Center fell.
I stood among my co-workers, mouth agape, and watched the first Tower fall.
A mix of anger, shock and horror passed around and through us all.
Then I ran for my car, the whole time fumbling for my keys,
And as I sat down behind the wheel, this time the word passed my lips with ease.
As I sped off towards the airport, I prayed, as if on my knees,
"Please, oh Father, please, let her be okay. Let her be there, please, oh please!"
My prayer was answered, because I found her, and her eyes were still so bright.
They were full of determination, and not the slightest hint of fright.
And that word that I'd withheld from her just the previous day,
Came pouring from my lips as if it were all I knew how to say.
In a voice that was a little desperation and just a hint of dread,
"Please don't stay here, lady. Please come back home with me," I said.
Well I didn't win that time either, and by the time the week had reached its end,
That lady had flown away and was back home, with family and friends.
And I was glad that she was there. I was glad that she was alive,
And that was all that really mattered, from the last day or five.
So the next time that we talked, I said, "My lady, my dearest friend,
Please find it in your heart to one day come be with me again."
She told me that she would, though she couldn't promise when,
And so, I'm waiting patiently for the day that I will see her face again.
Ever since she left, I've been waiting for that time
That I could tell her in lovers' language what I've told her since in rhyme:
"Please let me say 'I love you,' because dear lady, you know I do.
Please let me say 'I love you,' and please say you love me too.
"Please tell me that you want me; not just in bed, but all your life.
Please tell me that you'll have me, and that you want to be my wife.
Please tell me that I please you, and that you'll please me, dear.
Please let me spend each night whispering sweet nothings in your ear.
Please allow me to spend my life this way; the way that I see fit.
Dearest lady, please know it's worthless anyway, if you're not with me in it."
This story is absolutely true. -cb
to be edited.
Alright, folks! Batkevin74 is currently on a trek to a secret location, so he asked me to do the voting thread. His contest was in honor of the TMNT this time around, and the challenge was to come up with a Teenage Mutant Ninja _____ ...Something (anything but
Thank you guys so much for the turnout! With TEN writers this time around, this contest was just one writer away from tying the CCC record for the most writers in one contest. We have not had this many writers since CCC #10!
So...yeah, ten entries to read. Guess I should let you get started. If you will, read the entries and vote for your favorite. And remember:
Batkev' said you folks get two weeks to vote, and this is his contest, so we'll go by Sydney, Australia time. So voting deadline is 11:59pm Sydney time, on July 30th, 2016 (for us USA folks, please remember that Sydney is 14 hours ahead of our East Coast time). If you get down to the last minute and need to know the time in Sydney, and Google will show it to you.
Thanks for reading, thanks for voting, and safe travels to Batkev'!!!
Without further ado, here's the entries:
A Simple Taste
Every Eye On Me
The darkness holds many wonders.
It is scary and it has many things hiding in places unknown to anybody.
How much room is in the dark?
What threats does it hold and where will the dangers come from.
More then one writers has brought our fear of the dark to the light and we see monsters and we beg for the dark to return.
I did not wish to see the truth they say.
As Plato would say when Socrates wrote his work The Great Republic.
Put me back in the cave chain me to the rock and take away my understanding of a greater universe.
Do not let me see the world and all its dangers.
The dark can be a very dreadful place.
Then something happens and it says.
Look for something more in the dark.
A sign of a hero.
The bringer of understanding and the sign of good things to come.
He whom has the fire and he whom fights back the demons in the night.
Sitting high on top a very old building is Master Splinter.
Unchanged by time he is a character that has withstood the elements.
Never written about by Socrates but he has his own story to tell.
His words and his actions highlight a time when the dangers of man came from man itself.
He sat before the old home and he reached into a bag that held secrets to long ago.
He pulled out four orbs shiny like steel and he marked them with names.
Old souls they were warriors all in the struggle to understand the universe.
Teachers of the arts.
Splinter had other names he went by.
To the maid he was the grand father she had known since child hood.
To the kind policemen on the corner he was uncle.
To the crime element of the city he was a peace of despair and a pain when they crossed paths.
To the universe he was a lone star shining in the night but no longer could he shine alone.
His students would have to step forward and battle with him.
Tossing the orbs into the air they began to orbit around splinter.
Come take your place young ones.
From the shadows they emerged and each grabbed an orb with their names on it.
Then they said nothing they simply looked out over the city and meditated on the things to come.
Sitting down around Master Splinter they prepared for the war ahead.
In the casting of every story , in the pool of life.
Every hero has a soul whom just wants to understand and spread the word.
April goes to class she is the school paper reporter.
She has been hardened by the idea that if you want to see change immerse yourself in the effort.
In this cause she has hardened mind and soul to fight and to sneak and to find a way to gain knowledge few have or ever will.
She looks down on the group this night she is amazed by the power of Master splinter and his group of Orphans.
April steps in shadow and takes her place behind the leader of the youths.
Where have you been April says Master Splinter.
She does not answer he knows the answer.
This leaves only one lost soul.
Where was he this dark night.
Over the side far into the city flash after flash and then a park all around him death.
Casey shows up just long enough to strike and stop the attack on a young women and then in the next instant not a single word to anybody he is gone.
To appear in his place by Splinter.
April takes his hand.
Do not speak she says.
The Master is troubled.
The doors open up behind the group as all the orphans poor forth and pile up on the teens.
We missed you they scream and the joy spreads like a virus only the good kind.
There is plenty of bad things in the dark.
How do you ever see the good things if you never turn on a light to see.
Every tale is just a taste of what could be something more if you look further into the back ground.
You walk through the hallways and into the rooms.
You go up to the floors waiting for exploration.
How bold are you my friend?
Do you see the possible in the future of man kind.
When dangerous minds wait and the cave behind us.
Has been torn down and left scattered to the winds.
No safe place to hide.
You must fight.
Growing up in German Town, Memphis, Tennessee isn't necessarily the most exciting thing in the world. Being a few miles out from downtown Memphis makes this town a shadow town which also makes it perfect for those who prefer the shadows. Donatello “Donte” Steward is just one such person. Donte, a young man who is roughly 17 years old and a senior in high school has many other “electives” that your average American teenager does not. It all started with a cancer, a cancer found in his liver.
At the ripe old age of 14 Donte was faced with a crisis and it looked as though he would be one of many Americans that would not graduate that year.
The cancer was in his liver, passed down to him through his father whom he never knew, the young man was not diagnosed until it was considered “too late to operate” and was thus given a time frame for life expectancy. That’s when the good Doctor Koren appeared, an older gentlemen in his late 60’s this man was researching ways to cure cancer apart from traditional radiation treatments. When he heard of Donte’s case, he saw an opportunity to try his new “anti-cancer serum” an antidote to the genetic code that causes cancerous cells to form. Donte was taken to a laboratory for testing, being physically inept and too weak to survive the process that the serum used in order to remove the cancer, the doctor arranged for an archaic form of training known as the “Art of Ninjutsu” to be taught to Donte.
For three months, using most of his allotted time, Donte trained until he was ready for surgery. A small phial of anti-cancer was shipped to the lab’s medical center and Donte was taken in to the O.R for surgery. As Donte was on the table and being operated on by Dr. Koren and his four assistants, an explosion was heard across the lab facilities. A noxious gas had been released and was flooding through the laboratory, as the containment protocol was activated to effectively seal off most parts of the lab from contamination. However the primary ventilation center of the facility was breached by an unknown infiltrator, this man or woman opened the hatch which allowed the poisonous gas to leak into the Operating Room that Doctor Koren was in with Donte. Just as the anti-cancer serum was being injected into Donte’s liver, the gas spread throughout the room and caused the doctors in the room to pass into unconsciousness. The assailant from before came into the room and mixed the anti-cancer serum with artificially enhanced steroids before re-injecting the serum into Donte and closing up the incision left during the surgery. The man then took the unconscious boy along with some needed medical supplies to keep him alive, to an undisclosed location where he nursed him back to health.
When Donte finally woke up it had been 2 weeks since his surgery, but something was different. His body which had been somewhat toned from the intense training of the ninjutsu training, had become even more fit. His muscles were more condensed but larger in mass, his joints had more elasticity and he could react to outside stimuli nearly two times faster than he could before. The assailant who had “kidnapped” him revealed himself to be a Grand Master of a School of Ninjas known as the Iron-fist. These ninjas swore to protect the United States from those who would doom it, as the man removed his face-mask it revealed the face of Donte’s own father. After an explanation as to why he kidnapped his own son, his father: George Steward, inducted Donte into the family business. The Iron-fist work in the shadows, they are headquartered in Memphis which is a major hub for shipping and transferal of goods, making it easy for various squads of Iron-fist ninjas to reach the different locations within America; as well as being the old founding spot of the order itself.
Donte has a strength level above that of an average human of his age and height. A result of the anti-cancer is that he is able to lift roughly half a ton in weight, he can focus his “chi” in order to deliver a punch of roughly 1,500 psi. This makes his physical strength well above your average human, and even above many ninjas within the Iron-fist Order.
Donte’s agility, balance, and bodily coordination are all enhanced to levels far beyond the finest human athlete. His tendons and connective tissues are twice as elastic as the average human being, and due to his high level training he is capable of performing complex acrobatic stunts with minimal difficulty in most situations.
Though not actually an ability, Donte is able to achieve extreme levels of mental focus, he can consciously activate parts of the brain normally inaccessible to the average human mind, making him able to physically perform on a level above the average human athlete or combantant.
Donte is a high level fighter, using not only ninjutsu but also various martial arts including Marine Martial training, Kung-fu, Boxing, Kickboxing and Judo; mixing all of these into a unique fighting style of his own.
Donte caries two sheathed katana on his back, he also has two harnessed double-ended sais just below his lower back, and a sheath strapped to his left leg that holds 6 kunai. A pouch strapped to the other leg holds wire, flint and other handy trinkets.
They say the bomb was so strong its effects ran through time itself. The Origin, as it's now known to us, is nothing more than a wasteland of a universe, hoping to pull itself back together before the final collapse. We knew about this, though we shouldn't. We existed within our time, but our knowledge came from without. We were the products of a travesty that would not happen for many more years than I could count off in a lifetime. We were mutated, unnatural, and detestable.
By we I refer to those who banded with me in the first weeks of my sentience. We were like one, a family that stuck together, if for no other reason than we understand each other's pains. Yet, for all that, we were not the only ones to mutate. There were others, not entirely like us. They were too bloodthirsty, too angry, and they lived purely for destruction and ruin. It reminds us how lucky we were that we found each other in the beginning, rather than them.
We were born with natural instincts to protect, and our master, Splinter, nurtured it further. He, unlike us, was aged when the mutation came upon him, yet, somehow, he retained his sanity. He put up with us while we grew, and he taught us how to survive, as well as how to protect those who could not protect themselves. He was no pushover himself, though, we can only guess that his martial arts knowledge came to him, somehow, from the bomb. In any case, it was lucky for him, and for us. We four were given names by Splinter: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo. They gave us a focus to put our identities in, and then we were further tied together under a banner, something we could all call ourselves as one group rather than four individuals.
We were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Raptors.
We were young, we were fit, we were intelligent. We were so much more than we were ever meant to be, and yet, we had a lot to learn. In a world where it was eat or be eaten, kill or be killed, our heightened senses of morality at best served to unbalance the food chain. We might save one life, but that life could be extinguished on the next day, and there would be nothing we could have done. Splinter warned us of this, and still it stung as each and every day made it that much clearer just how true it was. We might protect, but so long as those around us were void of the all too human features that had been born into us, our efforts would be both in vain, and perhaps even misplaced.
Some people say travesty breeds travesty. Others say it gives rise to a strength that urges for a better tomorrow. They are both correct, in a manner of speaking. It's hard to judge intent in relation to cause and effect. One's intent does not always correlate well to the effects of their cause, but surely the fault still lays with them as strongly as if they'd meant for it to happen all along. Ignorance is a plea that often falls onto the deaf ears of those who remember too strongly the wrongs that were not meant to be, but still were.
That is how we were born, and that is how we were given another chance. The details of the rift are not entirely known, but be it by some strong unknown magic, or hyper advanced technologies, nigh countless realms of time and space were gathered together like so much scrap, and harvested.
Give welcome to the universe composed of many. Marvel at the time where the past, present, and future are no less than next door neighbors. It's changing every day, and nobody knows how to deal with it, but we really have no choice, so we do the best we can.
It feels wrong for it to feel so right, but in the events of the rift, we were given a chance to fulfill the lives we had always imagined for ourselves. A diversity had broken out greater than any faced in any single point in time.
An enemy appeared from the throng, a creature that would have seemed human if not for the demonic will it possessed. It was hard to know if it was born that way, or if it was a monster born of the bomb, but it hardly mattered. With its army it carved a name for itself in the shadows. It took power for itself, and forced people to obey.
It would be a lie to say that the appearance of this being calling itself Shredder did not, in some manner, spark an interest in me. It shouldn't have been that way. I should have relished peace, and known that me not having to use my skills was a good sign. Still, when it appeared, a smirk grew on my face, and when it began its reign of terror, my smirk grew wider. I had needed for so long to take what I had learned and to apply it to a worthy cause.
Shredder's aims were endless, and we stood against it, a wall, small in size, but great in spirit. We shut down its operations, and took the first chance we could to bring it down. At least, we tried. Shredder was too much for us, its army was too much. We were too young, too inexperienced, too naive, and too drunk on ourselves.
Splinter's death at the hands of Shredder shook us to the core. It threatened to break us apart. It also gave us clarity. Let it be known that we will stand as one, and we will find others to join us, and together we will strike down Shredder's dominion. We won't do it for ourselves, we will do it for each other, and because it is the right thing to do.
Antarctica, a chilling spine tingling atmosphere that most people couldn't live in. But, I and my brothers did, we did for very long, living normal lives with our families, until the incident. Toxic waste was spilled all over our homes, and for help, people took us back to America so we could be put in a zoo.
The zoo didn’t help, but I and my brothers, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and I, Donatello, were beginning not to feel like we did back in Antarctica. Leonardo thought it was the air, or maybe just the warmer climate of North America, but that wasn’t the truth at all.
The toxic waste had messed with our bodies, made us things that weren’t what we were, not the things that we had been. We were once normal teenage penguins living in Antarctica with our families, but toxic waste turned us into TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA PENGUINS!
Okay, we weren’t ninjas yet, but an old wise monkey from the zoo name Splinter taught us the ways of a ninja. We were trained when the keepers left, and one night, us five escaped. We fled to the sewers. It was our only place of safety.
Splinter was probably one of the nicest people that had ever helped me and my brothers. He taught us the wisest advice, tips and tricks, and he put us into a whole different world when he introduced us to pizza. I thought fish was good, but pizza was the best!
We stayed in the sewers for most of our lives, until the city needed us. At the time, the toxic waste turned us into abnormally large penguins, and I came up with the ideas of eye masks, I didn’t really know why, they just looked cool.
Splinter just didn’t train us, he gave us super cool weapons. It was one of the first nights that the city was in crisis. We had just exited the sewer armed with our awesome Sais and other stuff. I put on my eye mask and we prepared for where the crisis was coming from.
We sprinted towards the action, well, more of fast-waddled towards the action. A man, or somewhat of a man wore metal armor, and had a metal helmet, and he was armed with the exact same weapons as us, but his were more, fatal.
Master Splinter said they called him Shredder. He was evil, indeed evil. He wrecked havoc on the city, and he captured Raphael. Master Splinter said he would help us on the “mission” and he did. He helped us truly, and he will always be remembered.
We were racing out of the warehouse that Shredder owned, all five of us. Shredder reached for us, and Master Splinter wasn’t fast enough to dodge the grasp of Shredder. We tried helping, but it was too late. Shredder slaughtered Master Splinter in cold blood.
Since, we have been tracking down Shredder across the city while he wrecks havoc across the city, we eat pizza, and sometimes we get to save a hot chick named April, who I think is hitting on me, but I don’t know. The world would be doomed without THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA PENGUINS!
Aliens. Robots. Monsters… Shredder.
The adventures they had would be a goldmine to any science-fiction writer. And the stories, the stories they could tell you were so unbelievable. You would object, and then kick yourself when you remembered who—or what you were talking to. Every day gave them something new. And against all these troubles, they chose what mattered most: family. But now, the most surreal feeling came not from an outside enemy, but one of their own.
Leo would relive this moment continuously when awake. He lay in his hammock, staring at the ceiling. We’ve come far from being mere gorillas in a lab. We can get through anything together. He closed his eyes, hoping for at least a few hours sleep. But he couldn’t stop thinking about Splinter. He was old, they knew he would die eventually but it didn’t have to be that way.
Leo summoned the scene in his mind. He watched as the frail body of Splinter tackled him to the ground, taking his place from a fatal stab to the chest. The rest was a blur. Raphael took care of the machine, and the man who piloted it. The explosion was so deafening, Leo could not hear his masters dying words as he lay in his arms. He died against a machine, Leo thought. Where’s the honour in that?
It was Splinter who saved them from being test subjects. He too, was a subject. Like them, his animal body was mutated into the body of a man. He took them to the place they now call home. It was an underground city directly below London with sewers, tunnels, bridges and underground structures.
The place they dwelt was colossal-sized. It resembled a super-advanced jungle gym equipped with ropes, climbing nets, bars and scaffoldings. Even the hammock they slept in was made of rope.
Leo rocked back and forth in his hammock, enough to gain momentum to lazily tip his body out. He was built like a tank and yet, he landed silently on his feet. It was cat-like. He was over thinking things. He sat on the cushion that belonged to Splinter. It hadn’t been moved since. It was cold. Leo crossed his legs and hoped an hour of ru jing could relieve him. Splinter always meditated. He said ru jingwas entering a state of silent awareness. It was tranquillity. It was nothingness.
It was as if the spirit of Splinter was with him. His mind was calm and his internal state open for observation. I can’t use his wisdom without them. I’m afraid I’ll lose them forever. After the incident, Leo expected them to draw closer, instead the opposite happened. He never felt more alone. He broke his mental silence and turned around. There his brothers lay asleep. Except for one.
Raphael remained still on a rooftop, like some stone gargoyle. He glared down as a man was running from the 23 gang and was headed for an alleyway. The situation was hopeless, if he wasn’t watching.
He hadn’t trained since Splinter died, none of them did. They rarely talked either. Raphael couldn’t take it. It was always at night when intense emotions would rise. He needed to channel it into something violent. The Nightwatcher was created for this reason.
As the man reached a brick wall he seemingly gave up. He knew he was going to die. The 23 were notorious for killings. Before they could close the gap between them and him, something happened. What appeared to be a metal man fell from the sky. The gang froze in their steps.
The armour Raphael wore was originally a Shredder android. It was made into a performance-enhancing exoskeleton by his super-intelligent brother. It was samurai-like and on the back Raphael carved the words ‘Never Forget’ in Chinese characters.
‘The only thing between him and you is me,’ he said, his voice tough. ‘So what are you gonna do?’
The gang was frozen and gave no response. Raphael pressed several buttons on his wrist which was accompanied by a humming sound like the roar of motorbike. He ran and leaped into the centre of the gang. He was too fast for even the man to follow. All he could see was bulky figure performing unbelievable feats. The gang, all twenty three members dropped as if dead. He clenched his fist causing a blade to extend from his gauntlet. He raised his arm and was ready to bring it down. This was the pinnacle of his ‘therapy.’
‘Back off Raph,’ a voice warned.
It was familiar. He looked up and saw Leonardo standing on the same roof. His boots made a high-pitched noise. Something was spinning. Raph jumped and to Leo’s amazement, ran up the building walls.
‘Finally,’ he smiled. ‘The great one speaks,’
‘You always were the most stubborn,’ he said, unveiling his trademark blades.
‘What does it look like?’
‘You—you wanna fight,’ he laughed.
Both of them knew Leo was out of shape. Yet for some reason he seemed refreshed. Suddenly, Raphael’s gauntlet blade slid back into his wrist. Leo leapt and spun a kick that knocked Raphael back, his helmet flying off.
His feet were steady again and he charged at Leo. The two returned blow for blow and counters endlessly. However, Raphael’s exoskeleton provided him with extra speed. And he was getting faster. Leo was forced to defend most of his brothers blows. They wouldn’t stop coming. It reminded Leo all too well of the times when they use to train.
Raphael’s middle finger flipped out his fist and flicked Leo in the nose. He tumbled back. Before he could fall off the building Raphael grabbed him by the hand and pulled him back.
Finally he seemed exhausted. All his anger had left him. He smiled—
Both of them ducked at the firing of gunshots. Some gang members awoke and were now firing.
‘Some people never learn,’ Raphael smiled.
The two brothers leaped off the building towards the gang.
NYC Sewer System
Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael gathered by the bedside of their master who lay there wheezing in his orange crate bed. Leonardo moved the blankets up to cover the old rat. Storm water runoff dripped rhythmically around them in time with the faint rumblings of the underground trains.
“M-my…sons.” He said in a low voice. “You have made…me so proud.”
“Don’t talk Master Splinter,” eased Donatello “Save your strength.”
The old rat smiled “I…am not long…for this world my son. Gather close…and I shall tell you…h-how we came to be…”
“Cool, origin story,” joked Michelangelo before getting a stern look from his brother Leonardo and a sharp jab in the ribs from Raphael.
Splinter reached out and patted Michelangelo on the hand. “It...was thirteen years ago, w-when I witnessed an accident. A blind man was nearly killed…by a truck. A young man leapt to his rescue…as the truck narrowly swerved away. A canister…flew from the truck and smashed into a bowl of turtles…being carried by a small boy. The turtles, glass and canister…fell into the sewer. Now since arriving from Japan and surviving on the streets, I must admit…I was going into that sewer to eat those small turtles.”
“Gross!” muttered Michelangelo.
“But fate…had other ideas. I arrived to see the four baby turtles…coated in purple glowing ooze. I scurried down into it…when you four arrived. You were very young, nearly blind and…abandoned. You had the same…instinct I had. Seeing you four struggle, I decided to help you…and after devouring a turtle for myself…I fed the other three to you four.”
Splinter looked up at his charges who were quite horrified at the story.
“You fed us radioactive turtle meat?” exclaimed Donatello in disbelief.
“It was that…or watch you starve.” replied Splinter.
“Go on master,” said Leonardo.
“After we had fed, I could feel the ooze somehow changing, mutating myself. It also affected you. It was you Raphael who named me Splinter within the first weeks.”
Raphael was taken aback. Michelangelo patted his brother on the head “Way to go dude.”
“I named you all from a book of Renaissance painters…that I found here in the sewers and began training you in the art of ninjitsu that I had learnt…by watching my owner when I lived in Japan. Now as I lay dying my furry children, I have something…to ask.”
“Anything,” said Leonardo without hesitation.
“I ask you to avenge...the cruel death of my owner, Hamato Yoshi and his wife Tang Shen. I ask you...to find the leader of the Foot Clan, a man known as Oroku Saki, and...to kill him! Will you do that for me my Teenage Mutant Ninja Raccoons!”
Leonardo’s paw drew his katana and held it out. Donatello rested his Bo staff on that, Raphael placed his sai and Michelangelo flopped his nunchaku to complete the pile. “We will!”
“Thank you…my sons,” Splinter exhaled and slipped into unconsciousness.
The raccoons bowed and quietly slipped out of their master’s bedroom into the living room area of their sewer home. Leonardo scratched his furry chin “Donnie, I need you to check the web and find out everything on this Oroku Saki, the Foot Clan. Raph; you and I are going to get some weapons.”
“What about me?” protested Michelangelo “I’m in! I want to help.”
“Mikey,” said Leonardo as he held his brother close “You have the most important job of all.”
“Yup, order us some pizzas!”
The middle aged, fat man lumbered down the sidewalk, pulling his windbreaker over his head to shield himself from the rain. Rain on a New York day in the summer? It just didn’t seem natural. Especially not to Hamato. Hamato was the son of a Caucasian woman, and an Asian man. His Caucasian roots had won out in the battle for his physical appearance, and oddly enough, here he stood with red hair and a bushy red beard. Enough about he himself though, this is not a story about who Hamato is. This is a story of what he’ll do.
Hamato found himself turning abruptly, and opening the door to the small petshop, entering inside. The sudden blast of heat from the indoors forced him to smile as he shook himself off, the cashier merely glaring at him, noticeably unimpressed by this action. Hamato quickly found his way over to a cage, which held four hamsters, all of which were white. He smiled. A male worker approached behind him.
“They’re cute little buggers. They’re still pretty new, just got ‘em in a couple weeks ago, but they’re a couple months old. They’re in their teenage phase if y’know what I’m saying? Litter of four, all males. They’re really unique, y’see?”
The worker opened the cage and picked one up, pulling it out to show him. He pointed to a series of black spots on it’s stomach.
“All of ‘em have these spots, y’see? Don’t know why. This breed is generally one solid color. They’re real cool. Y’might say that they’re….Mutants.”
The man chuckled at his obviously dumb joke, but it was no joking matter to Hamato. Not at all.
“Mutants? I’ll take them all.”
He declared. It wasn’t long before Hamato carried them up the stairs of his dingy apartment building, still in their cage. He had been talking to them the entire walk, making jokes and such. Soon enough, he had entered his apartment and placed them on the table. After washing his hands and changing out of his work clothes, he sat down at the table. His eyes landed upon the now open, empty cage. Panic swept over him, and he immediately began search frantically.
It didn’t take him long to find the obvious smallest, who had fallen into his trash can and thus trapped himself. He then found another, tearing up a couch cushion. After placing the two of them back in their cage, he set eyes upon the final two. On the other side of the apartment, his cat loomed over them, hissing. The larger hamster of the two stared right back, seemingly standing in front of the other, as if to protect it. Hamato instantly plucked the newspaper off the table, rolled it up and smacked the cat on the head, which then proceeded to sprint off to another room. Hamato dropped the paper and picked the other two up.
“Don’t let Old Hob get you. He’s a kind cat at heart, but, he’s always trying to act tough.”
Hamato let out a small chuckle, before putting them back in their cage.
“How’d you guys sneak out? You’re like little ninjas!”
A smile crept onto the man’s face.
“I’m going to need to be able to tell you guys apart….”
With that, the man ran out of the room, and after searching within his closet for a few minutes, he rushed back out to the cage, holding a palette of paints and a brush. His eyes immediately fell upon a National Geographic magazine also on the table, which had it’s main article on ‘the artists of the renaissance’. He pulled the first hamster out, the youngest and smallest, who had gotten caught in the trash can.
“I will name you Michaelangelo. Mikey for short.”
With that, he took a dollop of orange aint and put a dot on the animals back. He put the hamster back and pulled out the destructive of the bunch.
“You I’ll call Raphael.”
He placed a red dot on him, before putting him back, and pulling out the one who was being protected.
A purple dot was placed on his back, and finally, Hamato pulled out the bravest of the bunch.
The man grinned as he placed the blue dot on the creature. He then locked the cage once again, and retreated to his bedroom. The animals spent the night staring across the kitchen, at a machine on the counter. A blender.
The next morning, Hamato awoke and went about his usual routine. He bid the hamsters farewell, and explained something along the lines of ‘I have to get to work, or Mr. Stockman will have my head’. The animals didn’t really care, they were very focused on the blender.
The day was spent attempting to break free of the cage, hours later, they did. All four of the silent creatures scampered across the table, and each took a large leap to the counter. Below, on the ground, Old Hob slept, never hearing a single thing. Once reaching the machine, they sat in awe, staring at the heinous contraption, taking note of the name brand on the front:
The four got more and more courageous as time went on, getting closer and closer, until finally, Michelangelo had crawled into the machine, and Donatello, being the curious creature he was, started to lightly press against the buttons, though not hard enough to start the blender, though as he clued in and started to use more force, the apartment door swung open.
Hamato called out. He rounded the corner into the kitchen and lay eyes on the hamsters. His eyes widened, and a scream leaped from his throat. He instantly scooped all four into his arms, carrying them back to their cage.
“What do you think you guys are doing!? Just because you’re Teenage Mutant Ninja hamsters doesn’t mean you’re ready to take on….”
He glanced at the blender.
Teenage Mutant Ninja <Insert Word Here>
April O’Neal trotted down the dark alley towards the abandoned construction site, unaware of the person stalking her. She was brave and nothing scared her, nothing that was until a figure jumped out of the dark and placed a blade against her throat.
“April O’Neal?” The assailant asked in an Australian accented voice.
“Y…yes.” April replied as she saw something move in the dark, something that looked as if it had a domed shell on its back. “Who are you?” She asked as the man dragged her into the construction site.
“You don’t need to know.” The man stated as he looked up at the domed figure. “Hey Jenkins we got her, tell James to deliver the message.” He added as a streak of colour accompanied by a gust of wind left the construction site, only to return seconds later.
“Done, took me a while to find their lair but I delivered the message.” James told the others as two more figures came out of the darkness. Not that April found them frightening, not after the initial shock had worn off. As far as she was concerned the men who had kidnapped her were clowns masquerading as hard men.
“You sure that this Shredder guy will pay us for our services?” A man dressed in what looked like a quilt asked the domed figure, the man stepping into the light to reveal what looked like a humanoid beetle.
“Sure, this Shredder figure is offering a quarter of a million per target.” Jenkins explained. “The Foot Clan seems legit, even if I hadn't heard of them until a few days ago.” He added as something moved in the shadows, causing all five thugs to follow its movement. “James, got check it out, the rest of you cover the girl.” He ordered as James sped off, scaling the side of the building and reaching where the shadow had been in just under two seconds.
“Nothing here Abe.” James announced as he walked along the scaffolding. “Hang on wait is that, is that a daffodil?” He asked as he spotted a flower growing out of the scaffolding. “And is it holding ...” Before he could finish the daffodil sprung to life and leapt over him before slashing out with a pair of Sais, the move catching James off guard and slicing through his tendons.
“Is this the best opposition the writer could find for us?” The daffodil asked.
“Silence Raphael, these crooks have April and we don’t know how dangerous they are.” A nearby ninja pigeon told the other three members of its flock.
“So what do we do Leo?” A Californian accented pigeon asked as Raphael picked up James and threw him onto the floor.
“Oh great telegraph our position why don’t you?” The last pigeon announced as the thugs looked up in shock and amusement.
“They’re Cats!!” The quilt man yelled as he pointed up to the four cats standing on the ledge.
“I see that Herman.” Jenkins replied, “Blast them!!” He screamed as waves of sound, photonic blasts and a few boomerangs went whizzing up towards the cats, only for the felines to dodge the projectiles and dive towards the thugs.
“Bench wash them away!!” Jenkins ordered as the fifth thug liquidized and surged forward, three of them dodging to the left as the forth was picked up the humanoid ocean and swept away.
“Mickey!!” One of the cats yelled as the thugs advanced on them.
“No problems Donnie.” Mickey stated as he surfaced, his cat form gone, replaced with the form of a porpoise. “Cowabungga dudes, I’m hanging ten on the Hydroman!!”
“Not for much longer.” Bench roared as hands made from solid water reached out to grab the Porpoise only for the marine mammal to swipe at them with its nunchucks. Howling in rage Bench formed a massive humanoid torso of water, mouth open ready to swallow Mickey, only for the cetacean to slam his weapon into a tank of liquid nitrogen, the chemical flash freezing bench in place.
“I did good right?” Mickey stated as she landed next to the other teenage ninja cheerleaders.
“Sure Mickey.” Leo stated, “We still have problems though.” She added as a pulse of sonic energy ripped towards them like a freight train. Leaping aside the Cheerleaders landed gracefully before sprinting towards the remaining three thugs, their lithe forms ducking and weaving through a hail of boomerangs thrown by the Australian goon.
“That is very sophisticated battle armour.” Donnie told Jenkins as she landed next to him, lashing out with her bo-staff only for the armoured mercenary to block it. “I almost thought you were a beetle.” She added as her foe sent an electric pulse down the weapon, causing the teenager to shudder backwards. “You have the manners of one.” She added as her female form turned into a massive black spider.
“Stay away from me creep!” Jenkins ordered as he dodged left only for Donnie’s staff to smack him in the face, an electric pulse running down his suit, effectively immobilising the armour’s servo-motors. Looking over Donnie saw Leo fighting hand to hand with the man dressed in the quilt, katanas bouncing off a vibrational energy shield.
“So who are you the Sleeper, the Quilt Man?” Leo asked Herman as he slashed at his foe, each block causing his body to shake no matter how hard and fast he hit him.
“I’m the Shoc…” With a swift punch Herman was down, his nose bleeding out from under his costume. “Fred…help…help us. We need help because we’re incompetents and cowards.” Herman moaned. “We couldn't even beat some teenage mutant ninja pebbles.” He groaned.
“Wait, wait, wait.” A voice stated interrupting the action as the writer finally came to her senses.
“What?” Fred asked as he finished chucking the turtles he was keeping out of the window into a sickly green looking puddle. “It could have happened.” He added with a surprised looking smirk on his face.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Spiders - 8/11/14
"C'mon honey we both know I’m totally going to get fired for this. We need the money the paper pays me to write about Hockey! April if I do send this to my editor, he will put tear me limb by limb and then fire me!" His voice was a mix of stress and worry; he needed money to pay for his upcoming child.
"CASEY BERNID JONES, YOU ACTUALLY HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE A REAL REPORTER! YOU'RE GOING TO DO THIS!" Under the obvious rage is a undertone of certainty like she knows everything is going to be fine.
"HEY! I like writing about Hockey and have you even read what I wrote? It sounds like a cheap science fiction novel you'd get at the dollar store. No one is going to believe it's real for a second. Just sit and listen to what I wrote and maybe you'll understand why I can't publish it."
That was all she needed to hear to make her sit down on the couch. Casey turns on his laptop and opens the word file which contains the elusive story they are arguing over.
His voice soft "April, baby, promise me you won't speak while I read this?"
Her eyebrow is raised and his intentions are questioned but she replies with a quick “Yes, Casey"
Thus begins the reciting of how Casey met Teenage (That's what they say when people ask their age but it's highly questionable) Mutant (It's obvious they're abnormal) Ninja (Everyone is a ninja nowadays) Spiders (Or arachnids, either/or really, they probably don't care either way)
"It was about two weeks ago when my pregnant wife April wanted pizza at the ungodly hour of 2:39 AM. I being a loving husband went out and walked to the nearest pizza place. As any good New Yorker knows there’s a pizza place on every corner so I was able to walk to it in a quick five minutes. Now here is where everything takes a turn into the twilight zone. Four large spiders are standing in the shop, while the owner who I know moderately well is nowhere to be seen (I later find out he fainted after seeing the spiders). I'm an average guy so I did what an average guy would do when placed in this situation. I ran like the four horsemen had just arrived, honestly at that moment it wouldn't have surprised me if they had. Now what stopped me dead in my tracks was a "COWABUNGA DUDE!"
I stopped and turned around because the voice couldn't have come from a human. No, it was well; different you'd have to hear it to know it. As it turns out it came from a spider that was orange-ish I found this piece of information out when the orange-ish spider in the same demented voice yelled out "DOOOD, WHY ARE WE RUNNING?"
The spiders rush towards me and the only thing I can think is where are the cars? WHERE IS ANYONE? THIS IS NEW YORK THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS! I would of thought more but the spiders had surrounded me and if you didn't think my night could get weirder you'd be wrong. The red-ish spider spits out at me "You no good punk! Who runs from the protectors of this city?"
The light blue one responds for me "Leave him alone Ralph, he's probably as scared as that pizza dude"
This was surreal I was in the middle of an empty street in the middle of the night surrounded by giant talking spiders. So I hope it is excusable when I freak out, I shut my eyes and screamed "PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!!!"
I open my eyes and they're gone. I walked slowly to my home with no pizza. This is how I know what the city is wrong. Those mysterious criminals who were hung up by webs were not done by a "Spider-Man" No, it was done by 4 charismatic and terrifying spiders. I know this from experience and I wish them luck in saving are city as long as they keep away from me." -- Casey Jones."
Wearing a beige suit and dark shades, Henry Peter Gyrich watched silently as the techs rolled in two matching tables. One held a specially made device that looked a bit like a high tech shop vac, and the other held the specimens that had been so carefully chosen for this project. The techs, all in lab coats, were buzzing around the tables and the rest of the room, getting ready for the experiment.
Looking at the specimens, Henry pointed at a young, blonde tech, and said, "Jensen! What is that?"
Jensen jumped when the agent barked his name, and looked at Gyrich with some confusion. Looking at the table nervously, he answered, "I don't understand, sir. They're what you reques..."
"Not the plants, you idiot!" snarled Agent Gyrich. "That!"
"Oh!" smiled Jensen. "The ribbons. Those were Meredith's idea. It's to help tell them apart." It was obvious he had a crush on Meredith.
Henry suppressed the urge to slap him. "Might be a good idea," he said noncommittally.
"Yeah, she's great," agreed Jensen.
With revulsion in his voice, Henry snarled, "Get on with it!"
With that, Jensen and everyone else focused in on their specific jobs. His was manning the pump on the first table. There was a brief countdown from three from someone at a panel on the wall, and then they pointed at Jensen. "Goop 'em!"
Jensen pulled a lever much like a slot machine, the pump hummed to life, and a vaguely glowing goop coated the four plants on the opposite table. Once they were covered, he shut off the machine and they waited. Nothing happened immediately. "Are we sure this is going to work?" asked Gyrich.
"Well," started Jensen, "they're called 'experiments' for a reason. This goop hit a bat flying around a streetlight and a kid who tackled an old man out of the way of our truck, and it produced one of the finest agents S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever had."
"Murdock's good," agreed Gyrich. "But plants?" The four small plants just sat there, the glow of the goop pulsing slowly.
"We couldn't very well purposely try this on humans, could we?" answered Jensen.
"No, of course not." Henry sounded disappointed.
Jensen continued, "Right, and the animal rights whiners would go into spasms if we tried it on animals...although Meredith had the cutest little turtles picked out before that idea got axed."
"Jensen!" snapped the agent.
"Oh! Uh, right. Anyway, if this works, we can make an unlimited amount of footsoldiers for S.H.I.E.LD."
"Plants were really our best option?" asked Gyrich.
"Well, we have a vampire problem right now. Something to do with those mutants out of Westchester," Jensen shrugged. "So the wooden limbs will be lethal to those bloodsuckers."
Gyrich raised an eyebrow. "Great. Saved by Pinocchio. And how are we making them mobile?"
"The goop, of course. And DNA culled from the brightest young minds our education system has to offer. 'Lice checks' allowed us to collect what we needed." Jensen waggled his eyebrows when he said "lice checks."'
Gyrich again suppressed the urge to slap him. Then he pointed and hollered, "Look!"
The goop moved. The plants shuddered. Then they swayed. Then they bent and moved in ways not natural for plants. They grew limbs that they used like hands, and they stepped from their buckets, roots serving as legs and feet. Eyes and other facial features formed in the foliage, and then they grew to about five foot seven inches each. They started changing shapes, forming into various shaped plants- cats, chameleons, squirrels, etc.
The room held its breath- even Gyrich- then the techs burst out into cheers and whoops, high fiving each other.
"It's worked!" shouted Jensen. "Agent Gyrich, I give you plant soldiers that can camouflage themselves! I give you Teenage Mutant Ninja Topiaries!"
"Ninja?" asked Gyrich.
"I will teach them that," said a quiet voice from behind him.
Henry spun to see a four foot tall rat with a red robe and a walking stick. "What the hell is that?" he exclaimed.
Jensen sounded a little sheepish. "Um, well, that old man that Murdock saved? He was carrying a pet rat, and they got gooped too. Turns out he's a ninja master."
Gyrich looked at Jensen incredulously. Then back to the rat.
Bowing his head slightly, the rat said, "My name is Splinter."
Henry looked at Splinter for a few moments, saying nothing. Then, "A 'ninja master,' huh? And you couldn't dodge a truck on your own?"
The rat seemed to smile as it shrugged. "Had I done that, our young Mister Murdock could not fulfill his destiny, could he?"
Gyrich took his shades off and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. He then glanced at Jensen.
Jensen leaned in and said, "He trained Murdock, sir."
Henry looked at Jensen blankly, then nodded. Putting his shades back on, he glanced again at the Topiaries. Just before he headed for the door, he looked at the rat and said, "Do it."
|Thanks for reading! And don't forget to vote! Remember: deadline is July 30th, 11:59pm Sydney time! -cb :)|
Use your keyboard!
Log in to comment