Down With The King

My families revenge was on my mind as we rode past the gates to the tyrannical city Hortsher.  The path was paved with bloodied stones from long fought battles, but the walls stood strong.  The walls were formidable against even the most modern trebuchet, and I knew I needed to target the king from within.

We passed as soldiers trained, and blacksmiths hammered their steel weaponry.  Pigs in pens of hay and mud lay along the path as we continued through the interior village.  The tavern of rebels was ahead, as those that stood watch gave signals of recognition.  A simple nod with the left thumb on the right cheek.

The plans were set in motion to take down the king who had destroyed so many families.  The tyrant who destroyed only to destroy and show his power.

“What brings you to the tavern traveler?”

The code words were wrong. What has gone wrong with the plan?  Why did he not say “What brings you here traveler?”

It must have been a signal that guards were on alert.  I continued with the normal code phrase “Nay, just passing through, is this an open tavern?”

The man responded “You should be advised to take your plans elsewhere, we are not welcome to strangers now, it seems there have been plans to undermine the king, might you go down to the inn around the corner.”

At this point we knew that some of the rebels have been captured in our efforts.  We turned the corner as the villagers peered through their shop windows.  Suspicions were looming in the air, and we knew that those who lived here were mostly loyal.

We rode past beggars with dirtied faces, children running in the streets, and prostitutes with sly flirtatious grins.  As we arrived at the inn I noticed our hand signal used by a woman in an alley.  I followed her.

We were lead to a dark area below a city bridge where we could speak in private.

“Our initial plans have been compromised” she said, “we must act tonight.”

“Do we still have the element of surprise madam?”

“Yes, fortunately our rebels are still within the castle, the signals will be given within the hour to overthrow the king.  The escape is no longer guaranteed as the preparers have been captured, but I understand that means nothing to you, and that you would still continue on with this mission.” she warned.

“You’re right, let’s move onward and get into position, are the rest of our people ready.  We originally planned that my partner here continue into the castle for the assassination, but I would like him to take the role of helping the others escape, please let the others know.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Then please get to the originally planned position within the sewers, someone will meet you there.” “Please come with me,” she said to my partner.

I left the alleyway as the moon began to rise, and lanterns became lit, visible through the village windows.  The shadows of families against their walls reminded me of a time before the tyrant we called the king.  My blood began to boil, but I remembered I must stay focused.

The guard at the side entry to the castle was one of ours, and stood as I led my horse to a wooded area behind the castle.  He distracted the other nearby guard “Hail, how was your date with Mary Barrows?”

“Ahahahaha, twas quite festive, she has the energy of a horse on fire.”

They laughed together, as I slid past in the moonlight through a grate just below the main door.  I could hear shouts, laughter, and drunken debauchery above me.  It was time for this to end.  At the end of this tunnel beneath the castle sat my disguise.  I was to be a butcher alongside the chef who was part of this plan.  Poison would not work as the chef was forced to taste every plate in front of the king before serving.

We were to continue with and enjoy the festivities throughout the evening.  The attack would begin at half past midnight.  Soldiers were distracted by the female rebels.  They did their jobs wonderfully, flirting with the guards.  I felt bad for them as they despised them as much as I despised the king.

The people within the castle were 5 to 1.  At half past midnight the soldiers had become so drunk with wine and infatuation that they had retired to their chambers.  The king did as well with his usual concubines, laughing their way up the stairs.  I don’t know what happened within, but all we knew was that the women with them would be safe.  The only concern was whether a few select guards, the chef, the jester, and I would be able to escape.

The chef and I proceeded up the stairs toward the kings chamber.  Two guards had approached “You do not belong here.”  The second guard grabbed a dagger and slit the others throat.  It had begun.

The guard threw the body out the nearest window signaling those below that it was time.  Only the outside guards would noticed, forcing them to rush inside.  By the time they had entered the barred doors, the king would already be dead.  Originally, the rebels focused on escape were supposed to set up ropes and bales of hay in multiple locations.  This time we only had one that my partner would set up.  The guards in chambers with the women were gradually awoken, but still in drunken stupor.

We reached the kings chamber.

“For all the families you’ve ruined.” I said as I pulled out my butchers cleaver and brought it across his head as he uttered a syllable “Wh….” interrupted by the sound of the cleaver.

**end story***

do they escape?  who knows….

“the best intentions”

topic taken from https://redravine.wordpress.com/2007/05/30/100-writing-topics/ using a random number generator

other posts using topics from redravine include: favorite places to write as a child and

My life as fresh fruit.

Took a while to come up with a topic for this one, but I thought I’d take a different perspective/POV for this.  Not sure of the title, but I think “The Best Intentions” fits.  Wanted to write something serious and sad.

*************************************

Dear Child I Didn't Deserve,

I hope you can forgive me,
for what I failed to do.
The time just wasn't right...
for me to care for you.
I had shattered hopes and dreams,
and I was far too broken then.

I hope you can forgive me,
through this letter that I send.
You were my greatest blessing,
you rid my room of shadows.
Oh how your little laughs,
helped me through internal battles.

I hope you can forgive me,
I hope you understand.
That what I did was difficult,
my life was poorly planned.
The day that I had left you,
was when my soul had died.

I hope you can forgive me.
Please know that I had tried.
I know that you are happy
you have things I could not give.
Your life is better now.
Don't ever think "what if?"

I hope you can forgive me
for what I was back then.
You deserved a better life,
you were my only friend.
I did not deserve to have you.
I gave you up with the best intentions.

Yours Truly,

- Parent That Could Not Be

favorite places to write as a child

writing prompt taken from https://redravine.wordpress.com/2007/05/30/100-writing-topics/ using a random number generator for the challenge.

Also take a look at my life as fresh fruit.  Also taken from redravine.

On a final note, I didnt really write much as a child, actually I disliked any sort of writing with a passion. So instead I wrote a fictional passage that stuck to the prompt.

*********************

Where the Sun Whispered.”

The sun reached through the window, stretching across the classroom floor to just barely warm my arm.  On my desk was the shadow of the class sunflower just slightly angled as if it was ready to take the lead in a waltz with its’ leaves stretched out as arms.

I kept my head down as Mrs. Peterson concluded her lecture on local landforms as I pretended to scribble notes.  The rest of my classmates sat with their backs straight, faces forward, legs shaking, and with anxious arms ready to grab their backpacks.  They put the clock behind us on purpose.  I always knew it was almost time to go because of the sunflower.

The bell sounded, and the class erupted in speech as usual.  I waited a few moments to pack up.  People are always in a rush to leave.  I always waited to see if the sunflower ever found it’s dancing partner until the buses pull up blocking the sun.  It never does, but he waits.  Everyday.

The walk to the bike rack was always an exciting time, because I knew it could take me to my favorite place.  I found it on one of my first days at this school.  I was trying to find a shortcut home, and took a route past the concrete roads.  No fences, no signs.   The entryway consisted of a few bulky bushes with just a tiny gap enough for me, and my bike to fit through.  I would have never found it had I not fallen off my bike as I tried evading a squirrel one day.  Just beyond the bushes were trees who’s tops I could just barely see, but there was one special tree.  The one with hanging moss that changed colors throughout the year.

You could hear the chanting of the brook just before reaching the entryway.  Just past the bushes was a fairytale.  The trek along the path was filled with wonder, and fresh misty air.  Somehow there was a path; I never figured out how it got there, and I never saw anyone else here before.  It was a small dirt path which seemed to separate the grass as I passed.

Frogs skipped across the calm brook without a care, they were always moving.  The song of birds always filled the background regardless of the season.  Large stones rested on the side of the path untouched by anything but bright green and lush moss.  Flowers and shrubs placed themselves neatly throughout the area.  I had always imagined forests to be only green, but there were colors.  Lots, of colors.  Purples on the side of trees, yellow reflections off leaves, clear blue water strolling along the brook path, and reds of all shades among the different flowers.

It was always nice to take it slow.  It was always nice to be here.  The tree with hanging moss was just a small distance from the entrance.  My favorite was when the mosses were white.  The tree always seemed to welcome my bike.  It rested perfectly along its side as the moss hung just slightly above it as if they were protective arms.

The sun peeked through the moss outstretched branches of leaves.  It always pointed at my seat on a large stone by the tree.  It was my chair.  I dropped my bag, and pulled out my writing book, and took a seat on the stone where the sun whispered through.

Delving into horror fiction: “Beak Breaker.” (Warning 18+, possibly offensive)

Just a note: this is a first attempt at a horror fiction.

—Beak Breaker

The steel cage was rusty gradually stripped away of its’ paint.  Perhaps the paint chips were a cause of the Macaws insanity.  They were trapped together, the Macaw and Amazon.  They were friends once.  Growing up they were about the same size, they had fun together clawing, and nipping at each others digits.  The Macaw was always gentle while the Amazon would constantly harass him for fun.  No retaliation, for the most part.

Something happened one day and the Amazon became more distant.  What was it?  Did something snap in the Macaw that only the Amazon noticed?

The abandoned home is dark, dusty, filled with webs.  They used to be in two cages.  They’re now in one.  The owner visits occasionally to place a handful of seeds in the cage out of guilt.  He doesn’t clean.  Their is a growing pile of seeds below the birds.  Who knows how long it will be before they suffocate in it.

***

The Amazon is clinging on to the side of the stage.  Looking, hoping for help, hoping to escape, to fly away, fearing.  The Macaw sits with its’ fecaled talons, and thinks “I just want to end our misery.  I just want to help, this is good for the both of us.”

The Macaws beak is mangled, destroyed from days of gnawing on the broken down steel cage.  He continues his routine.  He stares emptily into space as he hooks his beak onto the bars.  He’s built strength.  Strength enough to break his beak.  Strength enough to hook on and pull away with so much force that his beak cracks.  He does this daily.  He still feels pain, but it numbs over the hours.  The Macaw does it again.  He latches and pulls and pulls as the beak cracks and dangles. More cracking, crackling, breaking, crunching. He still has more than half of it.  This takes time, it’s not easy.

The Amazon lives in fear.  It wants to live, it wants its’ freedom.  The Macaw knows there will be no light.  He climbs over to the Amazon as it shakes and trembles.  “I JUST WANT TO HELP,” the Macaw blares as he digs a talon into the back of the Amazon.  They’ve become sharper than ever.  It sinks easily into the delicate Amazon’s frail body.  The Amazon doesn’t understand.  It only feels stabbing.  He can only shriek.  Shrieks heard by those nearby animals that can’t help.  Shrieks that scatter them.  Those bystanding animals don’t know what’s happening.  They only hear shrieks, screams, cries, yells.  It’s a sign of danger.  The best thing to do is to run if you’re an animal.

The shrieks end as the Amazon drops into the pile of seeds, and filth.  He’s in a better place now, he thinks to him self, as he hears his last cracking sounds of the beak breaker.

Writing “The Second Internet” – Creative story involving Artificial Intelligence.

The year is 2054 and Artificial Intelligence has begun their hacking of our second internet, and there is very little we can do to stop it.  In order to understand today, we must go back to February 4 2017.  I was a wide-eyed 25 year old server manager at a company known as “Entitrine.”  They were the conglomerate that brought all the major search engine, social media, and wearable technology companies together into one major entity.  Together they made the first official fully comprehensive A.I.  In the early 2000’s there were small advancements, but nothing at the level of Entitrine.  Pre Entitrine A.I.drove our cars without us realizing, they learned our habits without us knowing, they cataloged our lifestyle, analyzed our images, and knew more about us than we could ever realize.  They were never capable of “using” this information to create what we may consider a “human thought.”

Entitrine brought everything together into one massive project which helped to create a thinking robot, then they made lifelike gels, then those became humanlike, then those began to take jobs, then those began to… well… take everything.  At first it wasn’t a culmination of its’ “own thoughts.”  This would only take a year before the computer was able to catalog its’ “own ideas.”

At first, it was just a culmination of actual human interactions, like buttons, facial patterns, sweat patterns, statistical analysis of all possible behaviors and reactions to any of the trillions of events that could occur to anyone at any time, and more; all wrapped into one gigantic “second internet.”  This was a supposed precaution that Entitrine set up so that this “intelligence” would not be connected to the human network. This safety feature would fail very quickly.  We thought having a separate internet for humans to communicate would be a good idea while letting the other intelligence communicate freely in their own “space.”  We thought monitoring the space would be easy.  Every major nation helped in the effort of monitoring it’s uses.  People were paid exorbitant amounts just to pay close attention to what they were “saying” to each other..  They just weren’t paying close enough attention.

Entitrine became it’s own parallel “internet,” and only those wealthy enough to utilize this resource could make more money.  Entitrine had rewritten every book into every major language, and even as an added feature, used different writing styles from all the greats.  You could read 1984 as if it was written by William Faulkner, or even Jane Austen.  They could determine what a person’s reaction would be to any given situation before they reacted to 100% accuracy.  It could determine whether a stock would rise or drop to the nearest penny by analyzing spending habits, and buying/selling pattern behaviors of both speculators and safe investors because they had records of everything; they could do this incredibly quickly.  They could restore factories and create a fully functional robot out of scrap metal that could build…. and destroy.

This company revolutionized technology at an incredibly fast rate.  If only we had slowed down a little.  If only ambition had not overcome our desire to just live.  If only companies weren’t under such pressure, racing to keep creating and creating more and more and more and more value.  If only we weren’t so intent on outdoing the next best thing.  If only…  Little did they know, this “separate” entity would be our downfall.  When I said I was a server manager… What I really meant was I was responsible for keeping their 150 floor, 4.5million square foot, server skyscraper free of dust.

I have been trapped in here since 2020.  They built me a house, which I call my prison.  It’s just outside what used to be the grand double front entrance of this building.  It’s tunneled so I only have access to two places.  They send me food through a door that opens from one side.  They send me androids to keep me company when I feel the conversing with the intercom because boring.  They send me cleaning supplies to keep them well maintained.  I could probably bring this all down…  But something tells me they would know beforehand.  Either way… Why would I destroy such a masterpiece?

Copyright © 2015 Zhen Li

The most beautiful smile I ever saw…

I had just left my place of work off Victoria Street and 29th.  The evening was still warm as the sun began to set beyond the horizon.  Looking into the distance, the sky was a lovely pink hue with delicate clouds lingering shapeless in its’ foreground.  I began making my way through the never-slowing streets toward my bus.  Despite this wonderful painting in our sky by mother nature, these streets never pause to look.  I picked up my pace to keep up with the hustle and bustle.

As I pass through the crowd I try to make some sort of human contact with them.  I even bump into people on purpose hoping that they’ll take notice.  Maybe make eye contact, give a smile, maybe even an angry sneer would make me feel better.  Nothing.  These people are drones I thought.  There is no life among the bodies scurrying around on the sidewalks.  I made it to the bus stop just a moment too late because I paused to enjoy the beautiful sky today.  I had to wait for the next one.

The driver came, just like she was supposed to.  I fed the machine its coinage, then made my way through the mesh of people.  Then suddenly, like a beacon, I saw her.  Just out of arms reach.  Just in view.  How perfectly the people separated themselves, bowing their heads down to look at their phones creating a perfect view.  She didn’t notice me at all, and I only saw the side of her, and her alluring long hair.  Still, I knew. I could tell she was about to leave my life with only a lingering memory.  We swayed as the bus began to move.  I was wondering when she would finally turn.  I knew she would, but I didn’t know when.  I didn’t dare blink.

The dreaded announcement of her stop had sounded over the intercom.  Finally, she slowly pressed her hair behind her ear as she prepared to leave.  The heads of the lifeless bodies were still sunken in their phones.  She turned to me.  Her captivating gaze met mine, her lips and eyes moved, she smiled a beautiful smile, and it made me feel alive.  I was enamored.  My hands trembled as I lost control of my fleshy mask, and smiled back.  I was no longer a drone for a brief moment.  I wish it could have been longer.

For these seconds, we weren’t two people in a steel box.  We were two bright wisp-like souls in an empty space meeting for the first, and last time.  This connection was special.  Hugs and handshakes are physical, but this was much deeper.  My lips moved to say something, but there was nothing.  I wanted to say “please let me see you again,” but I knew a moment like this was better just as a memory.  By this time the door had stood open, and she lingered for a moment smiling the most beautiful smile I ever saw… then she was gone.

(This is a creative post based on a writing prompt found on: http://www.writingforward.com/writing-prompts/creative-writing-prompts/25-creative-writing-prompts).

 

Knocking on the wooden door reveals a steel wall with a hole and dim lights shining through…

PsychoMother

cont. from pyoa1.1

you wave your hands in front of the hole and feel a stale moldy air flow through.  You bring your head closer to the hole and you hear some mumbling and crackling that sounds like footsteps of a raccoon.  A slight burp comes up as the taste of vodka rises in your throat.  You gag for a second as you peer into the hole.  You notice what seems like an old woman just kneeling on the ground staring into a wall.  However it seems as if she’s mumbling to it, and you can’t quite discern because of the outside noise of the cars passing nearby.

As she gradually turns her head, suddenly there are footsteps shuffling behind you.  Nothing there, and you feel uneasy and your liquid confidence begins to wane.  As you look back the eyes peer slowly into yours, and you’re frozen.  Part of you wants to run, but part of you is curious.  What do you do?

Image Source: https://clicktoenlarge.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/disassociated-voice-illusion-breaking-lag-and-non-diegetic-speech/ – using Bing.com “free to share and use commercially” image search option.