Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bleakman's Bog Pt. 3

Alright I hope you are ready here comes the most exciting installment yet. I had a good time writing it, but I will be honest there has been little to no editing. As a note Dennis is now referring to ghost voice as the hag. I changed this after going into some editing. Sorry for any confusion.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 starts now...

In an instant it was light again. Had he been out for days or hours, Dennis did not know. Such thoughts were meaningless, he was still trapped, just looking at the witch in her rocking chair. She looked weaker somehow. Yet still she chatted with herself in those two strange voices.
“I want to eat his eyes!” the shrill hag voice whined.
“I know, I know but he is not yet ready. We must make both the body and the soul ready or else he will not nourish us.” explained the foreign voice. Who seemed to be the leader.
The more Dennis heard them talk the more he was convinced that the hag was more an insane person than anything else.
“Duncan is coming home soon?” asked the hag.
He wondered who she was.
“Duncan will never return he hates and despises you for what you did.” answered the foreign voice.
Could she be Anne, Duncan's dead wife. Duncan had always said she fell into the bog.
“Anne, is that you?” Dennis hardly believed it was her, but still he asked.
“That name, I remember it. My Duncan called me that in my life. But Anne I am no longer.” the hag replied her withered finger going to the silver pendent that hung from her neck.
“Did Duncan give you that pendent? What is it of?” Dennis was hoping to petition the woman he once knew.
“SHE WILL NOT CHOOSE YOU!” the foreign voice shrieked.
The witch jumped to her feet. Her nails grew longer and claw like. Her body started to jerk and shift. Muscles tightened and grew. Then she was on him. Grown to nearly twice her normal size. Her eyes were glowing with a red light. Her hands clenched around his neck talon like nails biting into his neck.
“Perhaps we will have a bite to eat.” the foreign voice growled.
Her mouth opened and the metal shards shone in the fire light. She pit down and ripped. He felt the wetness of his blood flow down his neck as she tore his ear off. It began to ring almost instantly.
“Like I thought your strength is still too strong. This will be a poor meal.” the foreign voice shrilly mumbled almost to herself.
Chewing she slurped up the remaining with her tongue. And then her size shrank again and she looked even weaker.
“Anne I see that your daughter, Hanna, is still close to your heart. Did you kill her? Is that why Duncan cannot forgive you?” He spit the words out with disgust.

Duncan was riding out of town. No one tried to stop him. They saw the direction he was riding. Many must assume he was simply ready to die. But he knew his goal. He only hoped that the spirit of the Bleakman's Bog would allow him passage. His horse shied as the mists enveloped them. It had grown now most of the town was taken. Perhaps he was already too late. He heard screams behind him. The mists started to shift violently. It was then that he saw the standing shadow. The one that had crippled him. It was carrying something. It was fast. He kicked his spurs deep into his horse's thighs and rode after it. He would not let it get away.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bleakman's Bog Pt. 2

Read Part 1
Part 2 begins here...

Duncan had been a woodsman at the time. His family lived deep inside the Fourcoin Forest. That was before the bog had eaten the forest, back when times were prosperous. He was hunting a stag that day. It was wounded; the blood was a rich red and foamy. He knew he must have hit a lung. Yet the trail kept going. He was just reaching the bog, which was quite small at this time. However it still had the thick mists and wise men knew to stay away. He thought of leaving, but Duncan knew he couldn't return home empty handed. He dismounted and left his horse at the edge of the bog. As he went ahead on foot, the blood trail grew thicker. He knew it wasn't far now. He reached a stone wall. Going through a partially hanging gate, he saw the deer collapsed in the door of a small, barely standing hut. His every instinct was to flee. Still yet, he approached. Drawing near the house, he was overwhelmed by the stench of decay. The deer dead on the ground at his feet was already greatly decomposed. Maggots and flies were all over. The flesh was crawling and collapsing as he watched it. It was at this time he heard the voice.
“Come in, come in. I have been so want for company.” come an other sounding voice.
“I'm sorry. I must be going.” his voice was tight, every muscle was constricted ready to flee.
“You will sit with me.”
Every fiber of his being tried to resist, yet he could not. Walking over the now bleached bones of the deer he entered the hut. Two chairs faced each other in one sat the withered dried form that had once been woman.
“Tell me of your wife huntsman. Is she beautiful?”
His voice came against his will, “She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.” His eyes were his own, but nothing else. All they could do was watch as the skin, dry as leather, began to curl its gnarled fingers, drawing his body forward.
His lips touched hers. It was against his will. He screamed and smashed the creature before him, yet his body did not allow it. Against every ounce of will he had, he kissed the dry, dusty lips and felt something come into him.

The villagers now huddled together in the common room of the towns only tavern. It had been closed for years, but it was filled once more. Duncan saw the fear in everyone's eyes. He dare not speak what he knew. What he had done. He watched children cry for food and mothers with dead eyes. No one could do anything. It was his task. He had started this. He must return to the dilapidated hut, or else live in fear of what was once his Anne the rest of his wretched life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bleakmans Bog Pt. 1


Okay so tomorrow is the Blackout... And by blackout I mean many internet types are stopping their services tomorrow in protest of PIPA. One of those being wikipedia so that link will not work tomorrow. I am in agreement with these protests which is the main reason I wrote this news portion of the blog. I will also be participating in my own little way. I will not use the internet tomorrow. I encourage anyone else who is offended by our government being bought and used for personal gain by the rich and influential should do the same. Our freedom of speech is not something to be played with. I doubt my absence from the internet will be of any note to anyone, but I thought I should do something.

Lastly Bleakmans Bog will be updated every Tuesday until it is completed. I will try and also write at least one other post every week. The other posts may be news or free writes. And once Bleakmans Bog has reached a conclusion I am thinking about going back and doing MP3 files of me reading my stories. Anyone interested in an audiobookesque format please tell me on Facebook or here. I know sometimes it is easier to find time to listen than to read. Each story will be posted as a separate file. Thanks for reading please continue onto Bleakmans Bog.

Bleakmans Bog
Matthew Jones

Dennis Ironarm wondered through the mists of Bleakmans Bog. It had been days since last he saw another living soul. Bleakmans Bog was no place for the living, but he had a responsibility to his people. There was no turning back. Especially since he was uncertain if that was even possible at this point.

It was a black night when the scream broke into his sleep. The scream of a child. It was the same as the four the town had heard before. They were ahorse in minutes and the hounds were following a trail into the bog. However the scent was gone as soon as they entered as if by magic. Many turned back at this point. They feared wondering around the bog in the night. Dennis and seven others continued. They made camp after a few hours of wondering. In the morning they were three. No one knew what had happened to the other four. All their possessions were gone. So, it was assumed they had returned to town. They split up in order to search more area. They had agreed to meet back at the town's edge in seven days.

It had to have been nearly seven days now, but Dennis was not turning back. Not until he had something to report. Other than the absence of anything. Perhaps seven was his lucky number. He hoped that the others did not fear for him too much.
As he continued his horse dropped from exhaustion. He had not brought enough oats or grass for the trip. And the water was like poison even to the horse. Dennis felt compelled though. He could not stop. He had to continue. The horse whinnied in pain as it pawed at the ground attempting to rise again. Eventually there was no sound again. Dennis was alone.
As he walked he felt the mud and muck suck at his boots. Each step was heavy and hard. Exhaustion was making his limbs heavy. He barely was conscious enough to realize the ground had turned into a bright green grass. A grass that almost glowed even in the mists. The mud was like a black taint upon the grass as it was trekked behind him. Then the light was blinding. He fell to his knees. The mist was gone. Except it wasn't. Just behind him it still hung thick as mud. The green grass was now accompanied by wildflowers of every color and a single house. It was then that Dennis recognized the place. It was his home back before Bleakmans Bog had swallowed it. He couldn't believe it. Especially when he smelled his mother's Sweetcakes cooking. The house was just as he remembered. Whitewashed walls that were made of wood and sod. A rood made from baked clay. It was red, but had moss growing on it. It was then that he realized all the trees were gone. But it didn't matter he started walking towards his home. The door was swung open to allow the summer breeze to swing through. His mother's humming floated out to him like a dream.

A dream! Suddenly his mind cleared. He was in a cell. Tethered by these hissing vines that constricted him cutting his wrists and ankles. The witch sat in a chair smiling a sick more hideous expression he could not imagine. He single brown/green tooth sticking out with the other non-tooth things that inhabited her mouth. Lips that were cracked and scabbed from gnawing on bones. Her skin was sickly gray like she was dead. And he nose was nothing more than flesh and bone leaving holes instead of nostrils. A single ear that hung like a dogs. Her head was bald except for the wisps of hair and feather she had sown into it. But the most horrifying part was the shoes in the corner. He recognized each and every pair. They had each belonged to someone he had known. She started sucking marrow from a bone and stood on crooked legs. She leaned on a piece of wood nearly as gnarled as herself.
"So, the knight awakes! Is he ready to die yet?" she said to no one in a ghostly voice.
"I would say not yet. The fire can't you see it. Someone with so much fire in their eyes makes a poor meal." she replied in a different yet equally foreign voice.
"We must wait anyway the child still turns within my stomach. A meal so sweet cannot be followed so soon." said the ghost voice.
"You are correct my dear. No brave knight shall I eat your eyes to release some of that fire?" asked the foreign voice.
"Mmm, yes the eyes! The eyes! A better soup cannot be made than one made from eyes." the ghostly voice shrieked excitedly.
"If you eat my eyes I will simply kill you blind. I fear that it will only result in more pain though. Since without my sight I cannot guarantee I will kill you swiftly." Dennis spit in retaliation, however some of the edge was lost to his weakness.
"He would kill us! Kill us! It mustn't happen, sister! It mustn't!" screamed the ghostly voice from the Witch's mouth.
"Don't worry sister. He has no power here. Not with our spells. That have been bolstered from our resent meals." Even as the foreign voice spoke she also chewed and sucked at the marrow of a bone. "Now sleep my humble knight. Dream of home or some such thing."
Her hand raised and his eyes felt weak. The pox ridden fingers writhed like snakes as sleep fell over him.

As the 14th day dawned since the expedition the few towns people that remained began to pack their things. None of the seven had returned. One of their horses had made it back, but that was all. Crippled Duncan Stone watched over the preparations. He was torn. It pained him that he had not been among the seven who went into Bleakmans Bog, but life was something he did not lightly forfeit. The last wagon was loaded when they started to go. As the wheels started to roll a wave passed over the villagers. Duncan shivered and felt a pull from the bog. At the same moment all the wagon wheels began to sink into the earth. Along with all the horses and the people who were on foot. The sinking stopped as it reached a two hands deep. But it made movement impossible. The horses slipped and fell whenever they were whipped into movement. Duncan had feared the bog might not let them leave. The women who still had their babes held them tight to their breasts and wept. Those who had already lost all to the bog stared with dead eyes. Duncan's withered legs grew sore with memory. It had been years since the wraith had touched him. Since he had lost his Anne.

Continued in Bleakmans Bog part 2...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Fifth and Final "I'm Sorry."

 The Fifth and Final "I'm Sorry."
Matthew Jones

As he walked out the door tears ran down her bruised and battered cheeks. Cliff had never wanted to be violent. He thought about the last time he had struck another person.

"Come on punch the fucker!" Thomas yelled, "Hit that stupid prick! He's just standing there!"
The fight had started over nothing. It however escalated quickly from there. Cliff was standing in front of some kid. Probably no more than eighteen years old. The kid's face was bloody and torn to ribbons. He hardly seemed able to stand, but that didn't stop the kid from spitting some blood in defiance. The next punch left his jaw shattered and his eyes rolled back. His body started shacking violently and crashed to the ground. The fight was over. Police were showing up. And Cliff was alone. Thomas was gone. The cuffs were tight and chaffing. But all he could see was the kid in a pool of his own blood. Cliff whispered I'm sorry as he was pushed into the police car.
The kid lived. Cliff got off easy by all accounts, but he never raised a fist again. That is until tonight.

Cliff had been dating Haven for two months. They were inseparable. Well, that is except when she snuck off to be with her heroin. Cliff accepted her. She used him. That was until tonight. Tonight she decided to take everything.
Her bag was nearly full when Cliff walked in the door. The first thing he noticed was his father's watch missing from the wall.

"Son," Daniel looked sternly at Cliff, "look at me when I talk to you dammit!"
He never hit Cliff hard enough to leave visible bruises, but that didn't make it sting any less.
"Now put up your fists," he held Cliff's hands up and tilted his shoulders, "you gotta make sure you cover your face."
He cupped his hands and swatted Cliff across the face. Cliff's ears started ringing. He couldn't help but fall, the tears weren't willful.
"What are you a girl now? I thought I had a god damn son! Get up, don't be a bitch. You think someone who wants to hurt you will stop." Daniel started slapping Cliff while he attempted to stand. His ten year old frame curling up more after each hit. Then Daniel's watch came across Cliff's cheek the dial tearing into his soft skin under his left eye. Cliff kept crying I'm sorry through the rest of the beating.

Cliff's left eye twitched a little as he looked at the blank space left by his father's missing watch. It was then that he heard her in the kitchen. The sound of silverware clanking together.

"You won't get them clean like that Cliffie." His mother bent over him and held his hands as he washed the dishes.
"He can clean a dish by himself, Janet. Now bring me a beer, you stupid bitch." Daniel was drunk and watching from the hall. He never bothered to turn on the lights. He would just stand there until she brought him another beer. She went to the fridge. Cliff noticed her hand shaking. There was a knife in it. Her bruised face had tears running down it.
"Keep working on the dishes Cliffie. Mommy will be back in a minute."
She walked down the hall. Cliff heard the beer crash to the floor. His mother screamed. Walking to the edge of the hall Cliff saw him on her. He wasn't stopping. He usually only hit her once or twice. Cliff also saw a flash of light. The knife laying on the floor. He picked it up.
"I'm sorry Dad."

Cliff found Haven in the kitchen. She had a knife in her hand. It was shaking terribly. She was in withdrawal. Apparently she hadn't been taking enough of his money.
"Just let me go, we're through. I got what I came for. Now let me go Cliff." her voice was shaky. He wasn't sure if it was grief or the lack of her poison.
"Why Haven? I've given you my everything. Remember when you told me you loved me?" his voice was shaky, eyes were fire and knuckles white.
"You stupid cunt. What did you think this was? I used you. You fucking bitch! I don't want your stupid ass anymore." she screamed at him and waved the knife in his face, "Just let me go. This doesn't have to get ugly." she pleaded now.
His arm knocked the knife away quickly enough. He whispered I'm sorry and drove his elbow into her face. Her nose made a snapping sound as it went flat against her face. Blood followed. Lots of blood. Next his fist cracked a rib or two. He couldn't tell. Another blow knocked her down. Her jaw hanging slack. He stopped somehow. His rage sated slightly. As he walked out the door tears ran down her bruised and battered cheeks. Cliff had never wanted to be violent. Life had never given him a chance. He walked and walked. The bridge wasn't far. The railing was easy to climb. He looked back at nothing. One last apology. He knew he was the problem. He had ruined it all.
"I'm sorry."
Arms open he embraced the ground below.