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Pandora

Yet another one of Pod's stories...

Are y'all tired of my stories yet?  

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Pandora

Here's my latest creative writing assignment. Technically, it's still in rough draft phase. I turn it in Friday.

The guidlines for this one were that it has to take place in OUR neighborhood, and it HAS to be in the present, must be in first person, and a fictional character that lives on our street must a h ave strange secret that is not revealed until the very very end. I personally think it's obvious, but then, I wrote it, didn't I? :lol:

I'll put it in the next post.

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Pandora

There Were Never Moving Vans in Damon’s Driveway

Damon only lived a few houses down the road from me. He must have been in his early twenties. The lawn was always neatly cut and the hedges never became unruly, though no one saw Damon doing his own mowing and pruning. We shrugged off the fact that he had a company do all that for him. It wasn’t uncommon in the middle-class neighborhood.

He was a generally quiet neighbor, but he would always nod his head and smile at passersby. We decided he was a nice guy, and assumed he was a law-abiding, tax-paying American citizen like the rest of us.

My friends and I never remember him moving into the neighborhood. My family was one of the first ones to buy a house in The Village, and we never saw moving vans in Damon’s driveway. This never struck us as particularly odd. We just as soon figured he had moved in during the day while everyone was at work, and was unusually speedy.

We never saw Damon outside without some sort of jacket or coat, even under the blaze of summer. Those of us that knew him, however, eventually grew accustomed to this tradition, though it never failed to shock us—to some degree—that he would sit on his porch the first day of summer dressed in blue jeans and a wind breaker. And as soon as autumn set in, out would come his parka as Damon sat on his porch next to an electric space heater.

Nearly a year after Damon had come to The Village—sans a moving van—a girl named Elizabeth purchased the house next door to him. She was about nineteen, fresh out of a high school somewhere in Missouri, and was in town for an internship. Elizabeth did all of her own gardening, and had a gorgeous front lawn. After a month or so, Damon began talking to her from his porch while she gardened in the evenings. What surprised us more than anything was the fact that he actually seemed to start all their conversations.

On occasion, we would actually see Elizabeth sitting on Damon’s porch with him, talking and drinking lemonade in the summertime, though Damon himself never drank anything with ice in it. Weeks later, when my friends and I took walks through the neighborhood every other evening, we always made it a point to go past Damon’s house. Through the light of the setting sun, we could see Damon at his dining room table… eating dinner with Elizabeth. Naturally and immediately we decided there was more to them than had been there when Elizabeth first moved next door to him.

After a few more months, Elizabeth stopped gardening. I supposed we assumed she was getting busy with her internship and hadn’t the time for it. Within another seven months, she sold her house and disappeared. We all assumed she had simply moved away, though we never saw moving vans in her driveway, and we never saw anyone carrying boxes to Damon’s house, so the possibility of engagement or marriage was eliminated.

In a year or so, everyone had forgotten about Elizabeth. Everyone, it seemed, except Damon. In that year, he was hardly seen on his porch. When he was, he was standing, and never remained outside for long.

Then last summer he came outside to sit on the porch again, though he wasn’t alone anymore. Toddling up and down the steps or in the grass was a young boy. We never heard Damon call him by name. The only way he addressed the boy was, “son.” The boy had the same thick brown hair as his father, but his eyes were a startling shade of baby blue—a baby blue that reminded everyone of Elizabeth.

My friend Jennifer and myself worked up the courage one evening to approach Damon and his playing son. We smiled at the boy and he smiled back, all gums save for four teeth. His eyes lit up still further as he caught sight of the pentacle necklace Jennifer wore. In his baby-like curiosity, he toddled to her, and tried to reach up and grasp the necklace. Still smiling at him, Jennifer knelt in the grass and held the necklace out from her chest so the boy could see it. The child’s eyes glazed over strangely as he stroked the pendent.

Jennifer laughed lightly and stood, then patted the little boy on the head. “He’s so adorable!” we gushed. “Looks just like his dad!” Damon smiled at this and invited us to join him on the porch. We got into idle chat, and before we left, Jennifer and I offered our babysitting services.

“On, no thank you,” Damon politely declined. “I’m rarely anywhere I can’t bring him along with me.”

Jennifer and I returned home after the sun set.

The next day, fire trucks roared through the neighborhood and stopped at Damon’s house. I stepped outside and thick smoke filled my lungs. Looking down the street, I saw Damon’s house ablaze. The firefighters battled the fire all day, but couldn’t save the house. When the few charred bricks cooled, they started sifting carefully through the ruin. Damon and his son were never found. In what had been a bedroom, one of the younger firefighters noticed the pattern in the ceramic tiling on the floor—a pentagram. In the center on the inverted star was a stone table, undoubtedly an altar. On it, untouched by the flame, was a leather-bound book of Satanic spells.

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Bad furday

Great story Pod! With suspense and that twist at the end! Bravo!

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Bad furday

Creepy too! :D

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Princess

Good story Pod. Has an eerie Haloween twist.

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Andy

Good work Pod!

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Link

*looks around* That's creepy enough...

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Dragon's Fury

cool

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Pandora

Thanks guys! Yeah, Link, thought you'd like it.

Okay, who's the wise guy telling me to shut up? :p

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Dragon's Fury

*backs up*

not me...

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Pandora

*notices her* Ah, I newbie! Welcome! I guess you could call me the notorious Pod, since I never seem to get any unsuspecting newbies anymore...

I wouldn't figure it was you, you've not had the pleasure of being plagued by my stories yet.

And I know it isn't Furday, I saw his vote last night, I just didn't get a chance to reply before I had to go.

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Dragon's Fury

*sarts hunt for door*

ummmm hmmm... don't hurt me?

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Pandora

*sighs* I'm not going to hurt you. You haven't pissed me off. And even if you DID tell me to shut up, it's fine. I wouldn't have asked the question if I didn't want a response.

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Geoff_Gayton211981

Great story Pod, keep 'em coming !

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Geoff_Gayton211981

Hey Rogue ! where ya been hiding ?!?! you missed the new newbie, she's a fast lil poster too...

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Ana

That's a great story Pod!

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Sticks

You're a great writer, Pod! Don't stop you're stories from coming!

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Pandora

Aww, thanks! :oops:

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Rogue

I haven't been hiding Geoff....I'm on a schedule. I'm at my dad's until 5 on weekdays...until 9 on Mon and Thurs...and I'm here every other weekend. I also have to go to the school football games....

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Pandora

I hope y'all mean that about me keeping the stories coming... cause I'm about to post another!

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Drake

Great! Your stories are good.

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Pandora

>Well, here's another one. It looks, really, really familiar, I know. That's because I took some characters from "For the Love of One" (Amelya and Michael) and pasted them into "Rescue," with a few differences. Technically, I cheated on my assignment by doing that, but I did it yesterday and I was running way out of ideas. The thing is SUPPOSED to be in my prof's hand on the 6th, but I have to mail it to CT, so, :lol: , that didn't happen. Yes, I changed the names of the aliens and the weapons and the general. But this is one I'm asking my prof to work with me on so I can try to market it. So, if I sell it, you've seen it here first!<

Rescue

Captain Amelya Colkien advanced down the hallway of the alien camp. She’d seen an imposing Zarnif warrior drag General Piom down this corridor earlier and heard a door click shut. She only hoped it was the same warrior that had taken the general from the bunker.

The Zarnifs were hideous creatures by human standards. Reptilian by nature and usually no less than six-and-a-half feel tall, they looked more like enormous lizards than fierce warriors. Their tough, uneven scales gave their hides a leathery appearance. The rock-like body armor they wore made the Zarnifs look almost bulbous.

Pressing an ear to the door at the end of the hall, she heard two voices, a Zarnif--speaking English, she realized with a start--and General Piom.

If she didn't get the general back, she told herself, the war would surely be over, with the Zarnifs as the victors. The alien warrior that had broken off from his group on the Humans' Compound looked like a high-ranking one, judging by the amount of respect the other warriors seemed to show him. Amelya prayed that whatever was behind this door was alone. She and her comrades could handle a field of Zarnifs with the aid of the machine guns on the towers. The guns would take out every warrior they could with shots to the head, and the human soldiers on the ground would take care of the rest.

Amelya figured that two uninjured Zarnif warriors was her limit. Alone and too far away to call for backup--though Michael Benataro, her friend and fellow captain, had insisted he come along, she refused his help, not wanting to endanger anyone else--all she could do was hope there was no more than two warriors.

Colkien took a step back and kicked the door open, flooding light into the dimly lit--but very large--room. As she had hoped, the only figures inside were the Zarnif she'd heard and the general. Only the former turned to look at her. Piom was suspended face-down from the high ceiling by a set of ropes running under his arms and another around his ankles--wrists bound behind his back--pulling his joints at odd angles.

Fresh blood ran down the side of his face. An eye was beginning to swell, probably from struggling against his captors, Amelya guessed.

The Zarnif spoke in deep, broken English. "What we have here?"

Amelya crossed the threshold to glare evenly at the warrior. "Release him."

The warrior laughed, a dry, grating sound. Amelya decided this was the same warrior that had broken into the bunker at the humans' compound. His fluency of English suggested uncharacteristic intelligence.

"Are your species all so ignorant?" he asked. "You perhaps don't know who your are addressing. I am Throstek. But you may consider me an admiral."

"No, I'll consider you the lizard-faced scum that's been slowly destroying our planet for the past few years." Amelya wondered if Throstek's tail armor was a mark of rank. "Now release him." She gestured towards Piom, still hanging limply from the ceiling, but breathing.

Throstek sneered. "Why release him? There are secrets of your Galactic Force army he can tell me. I don't have much reason to give him back."

Colkien drew her sword and narrowed her eyes threateningly. The Humans had discovered that a sharp sword was the most effective weapon for dealing with the Zarnifs in ground combat when the machine guns failed to hurt them, because the alien body armor was strong enough to deflect bullets. Luckily, there were joints such as the throat and shoulders that were vulnerable, and the legs were unprotected entirely. The final goal of single combat was to either decapitate the warrior or impale him.

"Is this reason enough?" Silently she wished she hadn't turned down Michael's offer for help. They were both able captains of Galactic Force, and Throstek was bigger and obviously stronger than she'd anticipated.

Galactic Force, the earth-wide army, had formed out of necessity after the Zarnifs began attacking and the separate world powers realized they had even less chance of survival bickering and waging war amongst themselves.

Smiling viscously, Throstek slid a long, double-bladed deecroblade--a weapon made of wood from the aliens' home planet, but nearly indestructible and sharp as a razor--from the sheath across his back. "Ah, a duel?" He twirled his weapon in elegant circles. "I should be returning soon to the interrogation."

Suddenly Amelya forgot her regret and charged the alien, intending to summersault in the last instant and cut his legs from under him. He swung his deecroblade low to block her sword. In the same motion, he pivoted and swung his tail at his assailant, knocking her aside.

Colkien shoulder-rolled through the hit and came up in time to parry a swing from Throstek's deecroblade, leapt over his tail as he swung it again, and ducked under the second blade as he brought it around to complete the arch. Amelya swung her sword like a club against the side of Throstek's body armor, but only succeeded in creating a loud clang and sparks as the blade glanced off.

Throstek thrust his deecroblade at Amelya's chest, which she spun away from, and using the momentum from the spin brought her blade around in a high cut towards his neck. The alien ducked and side kicked her in the stomach, knocking the breath from her lungs and sending her to the ground, skidding to a stop against a wall.

Gritting her teeth, Colkien tried to bring her sword up to a defensive position as Throstek stood over her, deecroblade ready to finish her off. "Pathetic human," he growled.

Amelya met his yellow, reptilian eyes, felt the pang of failure, and closed her eyes against the feeling. When she had expected to feel the deecroblade penetrate her chest, she opened her eyes again in time to see a human figure rush Throstek and wrestle him to the ground.

"Michael?" Amelya breathed quietly, and pulled herself painfully to her feet, coughing. She steadied herself with a hand against the wall, catching her breath and staring in awe at Michael taking her place against Throstek.

After a clang from his blade against Throstek's armor-plated tail, Michael shouted, "Amelya, get the general and go!"

As if suddenly awakened, Amelya remembered Piom hanging in his contorted position from the ceiling, and ran to his side. "General, can you hear me?" She wiped away a drop of blood that threatened to fall into his eye.

She examined the damage the ropes had caused. They had cut through his jumpsuit and had begun making their way through his flesh, but besides that, his legs were fine.

Amelya sliced through the ropes with her sword and lowered his feet to the ground. She broke the ropes around his wrists and helped him stand upright so she could slip the ones off of his arms.

General Piom leaned heavily on Amelya, who led him to sit with his back against the wall farthest from the duel. Colkien tore a portion of her sleeve and pressed it to the bleeding wound near the general's temple.

A pained cry from Michael brought Amelya's attention back to the battle behind her. She turned her head in time to see him take a glancing thrust to his arm and stagger backwards. Replacing the general's hand for her own to hold the cloth in place, Colkien took up her sword and hurried to Michael's aid.

Sword held high in attack, Amelya charged the alien again. Rather than deflect the slash, Throstek batted her aside with a muscular, claw-tipped arm, and turned his attention back to Michael.

Colkien hit the wood flooring hard on her shoulder and winced in pain. Nevertheless, she gritted her teeth, stood, and raised her sword once again, but didn't immediately dart back into the fray.

She could tell Michael was tiring. One hand was covering the wound on his arm, blood trickling between his fingers to drip on the floor. He blocked Throstek's few, mocking blows weakly.

"Amelya, get the general out of here!" His voice was breaking with fatigue and pain.

But she wouldn't leave him, couldn't leave him. Amelya felt as if she'd rather die herself than simply leave Michael here alone.

Suddenly he was on the floor, and Throstek was standing over him, speaking to him in inaudible growls, and poised for the kill. Leaving Piom's side, she attacked the alien full force.

Colkien feinted a cut at Throstek's legs, which he moved to deflect. In the last instant, she kicked the warrior's deecroblade from his hand and across the room with a clonk.

Throstek loosed a roar that was part surprise, part rage, and swung his tail at her. Amelya sprung over it and ducked another strike from his clawed hand. When he whirled back around, Colkien caught his throat with her sword, and at last the warrior fell.

Amelya sheathed her weapon and ran to Michael, and slid to the floor next to him. Seeing the blood pour from his arm, she gasped and ripped the other sleeve off her green jumpsuit. "Here," she said, "hold this on there." She pressed her own hand firmly over his to emphasize her point.

She tried to haul him to his feet, but he protested. "I'm fine, take care of Piom."

Almost unwilling to leave him, Colkien knelt next to the general again. "General Piom, are you alright? Can you stand?"

At last the general found his voice. "Yes, I'll be fine." He let Amelya help him to his feet, then put his hand on her shoulder proudly. "Thank you, Captain."

"Yes sir," Amelya said as Michael walked with a slight limp over to them.

"General, we have to get you back to the camp."

Amelya poked her head out of the still-open door and looked down the hallway, making sure it was safe back to the Humans' Compound. When they were safely out of enemy territory, she marveled at the Zarnifs' apparent disregard for security. Hopefully the humans could use that arrogance to their advantage in this war.

Once a safe distance from the Czulknek compound, Amelya thumbed her radio back on. "Colkien here. Benlarten, General Piom, and myself are on our way back to the camp. We'll be there shortly. Do you copy?"

The communications officer sounded relieved. "Copy that."

Piom took the radio from her. "This is General Piom. What's the status?"

"The attack is over. We won, but at a relatively high cost, sir."

The trio arrived at the resistance camp free of alien encounters, and reported immediately to the medical wing. "I'm afraid we'll have to treat you out here in the anteroom," a low-ranking nurse informed them. "So many were wounded from that attack, we don't have enough room anywhere else."

The general nodded and took a seat another patient vacated for him near the outer door.

Michael and Amelya stood in the far corner of the room. He leaned against the wall, tired.

Amelya held the bit of cloth against his arm for him. "How's it feeling?"

He laughed lightly. "Feels like I was just stabbed by a giant lizard."

She chuckled with him. "You're lucky it only glanced you."

"I'm lucky I wasn't killed." With his free hand he tilted her chin up to look her in the eyes. "I'm lucky you weren't killed."

The look of love in his eyes sent a jolt of electricity through her body. As her heart began racing, Amelya realized with a start why she had found herself trying to spend more time with Michael. In the heat of battle she hadn't been able to connect this with her refusal to let him get killed in the Zarnif camp.

Hand still holding her chin, Michael kissed her. After a long moment, he pulled away and brought her into a loving embrace.

When a nurse came to dress Michael's wound, Amelya stood near him and smiled. As long they were together, she thought, there would always be hope.

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Drake

That was really well done Pod. I'd buy it...oh wait, I can just get it for free here!

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Pandora

Thanks, Drake. Perhaps it'll be easier to read now that I got those stupid Force-forsaken, slime-eating symbols out of it. Every sing ', ", and -- was replaced by those things! Times like this make me wish I hadn't used so much dialogue!

*walks away, still muttering curses to the symbols and her mentally deficient computer*

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