AFTERMATH AVAILABLE NOW!

Hey everyone! My first novella is out and available to read on amazon.com

If you enjoyed reading each part of Aftermath that I posted on here, man are you gonna love that it’s edited now!

The ebook is $3 and the physical copy is $10. I reccomend the ebook because Aftermath was born on the internet and the cover is designed by me. The link to take you directly to it is down below.

Aftermath Part 10

The day went by without Jareth having to use force at all. He came to the last house and knocked on the door. He waited out in the snow for what seemed like an eternity until it opened and he was greeted by the face of an old man walking with a cane. Looking at him it was obvious that this man did not have the physical ability to grow enough food to support anyone but himself, and the small garden beside his home left little to the imagination of the life this man lead during from spring to autumn. 

“I’m here to collect the tribute you owe the Blood Skulls for keeping you safe.” Jareth said trying to sound as authoritative as possible even though his upbringing had taught him to be respectful of everyone older than him.

“I know son,” The old man started. “Saw you coming a ways back and knew your purpose, but I gotta say you don’t look like the last one they sent ‘round here to get my tribute.” The old man studied him and placed the can in front of him to brace against the weight of standing.

“What do you mean I don’t look like the last one they sent here?” Jareth was confused and felt uncomfortable in the old man’s gaze.

“Well the last one they sent over was a giant of a man and had these big hammer like hands that I not sure I ever saw him open the entire time he spoke to me. “But, enough about the last time. Come inside you’ll catch your death out there.” The old man turned around and ushered him inside with a wave of his hand.

Jareth followed and was greeted with a strange sight as when his eyes adjusted to the odd darkness of the home. It was full of pre-conflict artifacts. Some were hung on the walls while some were laying on shelves that were overcrowded. Everything he had in the house would be worth a fortune if the world revolved around money and not power and survival.

As Jareth looked around at them a singular number kept popping up over and over. 45, he didn’t know what it meant but in every framed piece of paper 45 appeared on it over and over again.

“Where did you get all of these artifacts?” Jareth asked still looking around trying to see them all.

“They were given to me. You see before the conflict my grand-father kept all the records of the things that led up to it. All of the things that the leader of the country was doing to provoke it and he also kept things he thought would make a difference later. Things that if the world was destroyed or reset would help people remember what the world was like before any of the happened. My father taught me all about them.” He smiled as he watched Jareth look around and study the framed pieces of paper. “Those were called newspapers, back before the conflict they had almost died out of the paper form but my grand-father was more old school and wanted to hold it in his hand. That one talks about Old 45 and what he was doing to provoke the other countries into starting the conflict. He was sure that the united States would win.”

Jareth was confused. His family hadn’t taught him much about the world before the conflict, only how to survive in the aftermath of it. He didn’t understand the concepts of countries or what the United States was, but putting the pieces together he assumed it had something to do with the area they were in. He moved closer and started to skim the articles. He saw the number 45 a lot and saw posturing and chest pounding. It was no wonder that having a man like that in charge would cause something like the conflict to happen.

“I see you are reading about a year before the conflict. 45 did a lot to instigate other countries and make them want to attack the US. I will tell you though I have nothing to give you other than knowledge as far as tribute.” The old man looked down at the ground and sighed, “I do assume that will not be enough for your leader.”

“I was told to kill anyone that refused to give tribute to the Blood Skulls.” As he said this his left arm instinctively fell to his knife and he had to catch himself. The state was not all the way gone from that side of his body for whatever reason.

“I figured as much. Well, do what you will. I’d like for you to stay and learn about what happened, but I know you have your orders.” The old man walked to Jareth and looked at him.

It was the first good look at the man that Jareth had since he’d arrived. The man was short but that was because of the hump in his back. He was dressed warm in a gray coat and black pants with boots still on. His eyes were ice blue, a lighter version of Jareth’s own. His hair, or what he had left of it, was white and gathered around the side of his head. The old man seemed thin and frail, but the look in his eyes seemed to teem with knowledge that the part of Jareth that was not in the state desperately wanted.

Jareth stuck out his open hand and said, “My name is, Jareth. Unfortunately in the excitement I never got yours.”

The old man took his hand shook it and smiled, “My name is Paul. It was my father’s name and his father’s before him. It was supposed to be my son’s name, but I never got around to having any children.” Paul went into another room and beckoned Jareth, “Come further in and have a seat we have much to discuss.”

Jareth sat there in Paul’s living room listening to him talk just like he Logan, his own son’s age. The time came and went that he was supposed to get back to Red and hurriedly Jareth stood and collected his long brown leather coat to put over his navy blue t-shirt and bid Paul a farewell.

“Paul, it was a pleasure to sit and listen to you, but I have to get back the the headquarters. Red will already be furious that I am late and I haven’t even begun to think of what to tell her about leaving you empty handed.” He rushed to the door fearing that Red would take his tardiness out on his family. As he was halfway out the door he called behind him, “Thank you again! I’ll see you soon!” Then he was out the door with it closing behind him and running towards the rundown hotel.

Aftermath Pt.9

The world looked strange being this bright. It was somehow worse than the constant cloud cover that had been the reality for most of Jareth’s life. There was enough son to raise crops for his family to eat, but from autumn to winter the world was colored grey by the overhanging clouds.

Jareth was taking a more scenic route to the HQ this time. Needing time to figure out what is going on with his eye and with him in general. He has never used this ability as much as he has recently and it seems that pain is the trigger. He pondered and pondered as to why he was half in the state that he hated going into. 

Could it be that because my shoulder is in pain I never fully left the state? He thought to himself, but remembered that when he woke up after killing the Hammerfist his stomach was still throbbing. That couldn’t be it. Maybe he was losing control over the state and it would eventually become him. He would lose all the aspects of himself that he liked. 

The HQ came into view and he quickened his pace hoping his last thought was not what was going to happen to him.

Even the lobby that was already well-lit was washed out by the ever present brightness of the sun. He folded his collar down as he went to see Red and what she would tell him to do today. 

The room was dark except for red light bulbs. It was an odd change of pace but the dark was a welcome break on Jareth’s eyes. He scanned the room but found nothing and no one. He removed the eyepatch and closed his right and rescanned the room. Again he saw no one but heard the doors close behind him. He turned quickly, and there standing in front of him dressed in a more revealing dress, that Jareth did not think was possible, was Red.

Her smile caught him off guard. It was not the murderous smile he usually saw on her face. This one had something else behind it and seemed more innocent and wanting. 

“Ah, Jareth, there you are. I was beginning to wonder if you were going to show up today. I know your shoulder must be giving you problems.” Her voice was sing-songy again, but did not have malice at the seems. 

“I took a longer route. Wanted to enjoy the scenery. It isn’t often that the sun is out during the winter.” He said placing the patch back over his eye.

“Is there something wrong? Why are you wearing the patch?” She asked a similar question that his wife had asked him this morning.

Jareth sighed and began, “I have it on so I can see in the dark more easily. An old trick that my father taught me.”

Red chuckled and moved towards him. “So since it’s dark in here why did you put it back on?” She reached for the patch but was stopped short by Jareth’s left arm.

“I have it on a different eye now. Resets it so I can see in the dark a different time.” He looked down and was amazed that he caught her eye and was still holding it there with very little issue. “Did you need me to do anything today?”

“Yes, I did.” She took her arm back and moved past him letting her arm linger around the front of his pants. She placed herself on her throne and looked down. “I need you to take tribute from the people in our territory. If you are met with excuses or empty hands kill them and take it from them.” 

Her demeanor changed and she was back to her normal homicidal self. Jareth was taken aback from her demand and he fumbled for words.

“W-what? You want me to kill the people in the territory if they don’t give me anyhting?” Jareth stammered out.

“I did not stutter. Do as your told. Your family does not need to give anything. Your work is tribute enough.” Red said and waved him away. 

“Red I can’t extort these people. They are my neighbors and friends!” Jareth exclaimed not sure what to do.

“Lieutenant I did not stutter. Would you prefer I kill you precious Maria and you children in front of your eyes and then make you collect tribute?” Red was bearing down on him from her throne.

“No, I would not.” Jareth said and then turned around and moved towards the door. He stopped in front of door and thought about saying something, but thought better of it and went through and headed back out into the blinding light.

Aftermath Part 8

Jareth awoke to bright light coming in through the windows. Looking outside he saw that it had snowed and the sun was bouncing off and doubling the brightness outside. He squinted and turned to the inside of his room, his left shoulder throbbed with every movement and he tried to remember what happened. 

It was foggy but the last thing he remembered was feeling a bolt hit him in the shoulder and then everything got dark. As he walked around his bedroom something felt off. Jareth reached to his face and felt the left side, fearing the worst. Everything was intact, he had not lost his eye. Closing the right eye and focusing on the left everything was sharper and more in focus.

The way to the bathroom made his shoulder pulse in agony. Grabbing the doorway he braced himself and grit his teeth through the pain. The only solace was the promise of something to relieve pain.

The light was in the bathroom as well, illuminating the entire room it an eerie white light. He needed to see what his shoulder looked like and if it had been infected. Before he could turn he caught sight of his eye.

It was white, there was no iris or pupil, just pure white and seemingly glowing. He inspected it further looking closer, trying to find veins, his pupil, or his iris, but he found nothing. Just an abyss of glowing white.

He left the bathroom and got dressed in his normal attire but now with the hole in it to leave him vulnerable to the elements. He added and eye patch to cover up his left eye in hopes that Maria wouldn’t be worried about what was wrong with him.

Maria was busy in the kitchen and his children, Gregory and Stephanie were at the table eagerly eating their breakfast in heavy clothes ready to go out and be in the snow.

“Don’t eat too fast now our you’ll upset your stomach. I know you want to get out there and play, but savor your food.” Jareth said patting each of their backs. Gregory was 14 and Stephanie 12, but they never lost their excitement for snow on the ground.

Their response was each a muffled grunt of agreement as they chewed and hurriedly tried to swallow. Jareth turned to Maria and hugged her from behind.

“I’m sorry that I have been out so late recently. Making sure you guys stay safe is keeping me out late.” Jareth whispered in her ear.

“I know I tried to stay up for you, but I was so tired form keeping the house running I must have just nodded off.” Maria responded giving hima  quick peck on the cheek.

The children got up and ran out the door turning back before the door shut behind them and shouting a quick “We’ll be outside!”

The house was quiet, it was just Jareth and Maria standing there embraced. She removed her self from his hug and turned around. She saw the eyepatch and gasped.

“What happened?!”

“It’s nothing, just trying to make sure that when I head out today the I can still see in buildings.” He gave her a smile. He didn’t like lying to her, but how could he explain that the version of him that she hated was halfway out this morning.

“Well then try and be careful, you know that can mess with your vision.” She said and patted his shoulder and found the hole in his coat and shirt. “Who did this to you? Was it those Blood Skulls? What happened?” She was firing off questions left and right and Jareth barely had enough time to catch them all.

“It wasn’t the Blood Skulls. I had a meeting with another group and things got heated. I caught a bolt in my shoulder before I could get out.” Not exactly as he remembered it, but he didn’t remember leaving the church either.

“Has the wound been treated?” She asked.

“No, I looked at it this morning but I didn’t get to treat it.” He said looking down at the ground.

“Sit.” It was a command from her and he did what he was told.

Jareth took off his coat and shirt so that Maria could get a better look at the wound on his shoulder.

She clanged around and eventually came out with a liquid and salve. Poking and prodding the wound to find the worst part she poured the liquid in and Jareth winced. She then placed the salve over top to seal the liquid inside and placed a bandage around his shoulder.

“There, now you won’t have to worry about any infection and it won’t be as cold on you.” She said and Jareth could feel her smile. She kissed his cheek again then moved away to let him don his clothes.

He stood up and his shoulder no longer hurt. Whatever Maria had done was close to a miracle.

“I’d better get going. Can’t keep Red waiting too long or her gang will be on our doorstep.” He said sullenly.

“I know, I wish you could stay a bit longer the kids miss having you around.” She said then hugged him and kissed him deeply.

They stood there a while Jareth not wanting to leave and Maria not wanting to let him go. When they broke Jareth turned to the door and headed to the ruined hotel that served as the headquarters for the Blood Skulls.

Aftermath Pt 7

He flung the body of the Father down onto the ground in front of Red. It flopped unceremoniously at the base of her throne and she stared at it intently, taking in everything about the being on the ground in front of her and the fact that Jareth’s eyes were a bright white. So bright that they nearly shone like flashlights. She tried to look directly into them but it burned her eyes.

“How was it?” She asked her tone more sing-songy than ever, “I trust they weren’t too much trouble for you and all your news toys.” Her grin widened and she giggled. Not a cute giggle that would have been heard from a woman her age before the conflict, she had the sort of giggle that a killer had after a kill.

“There were more than I expected but this one was the only one that gave me any trouble.” Jareth said pointing down to the body of the Father. “He was powered. Seemed more like a snake than a man.”

“I can see that.” Red said walking around the body inspecting it. “His skin is greener than it should be and if you look close enough you can see scales instead of skin.” She squat down next to the body and pulled the collar down to reveal textured skin with the pattern of scales.

“If that is all you needed I am heading back home.” Jareth said and began to turn around to leave.

“Actually, I have something for you.” Red said and stood up raising her bottom first and rolling her spin until she was upright. She approached Jareth and handed him a knife. “For the work you have done.”

Jareth inspected it and saw that it was a Bowie knife not unlike his own but more suited for combat. Its handle was at an angle to the blade and the guard curved down at the fingers and up at the back where the hand would go. The pommel curved up at the fingers as well creating a faux hang guard. The blade had a deeper fuller ground into it and made it lighter than his own. He took it and attached it to his belt on the opposite side of his family knife. He moved the axe to the back of his belt and then met gazes with Red.

She had been eyeing him hungrily as he maneuvered the weapons around his belt, and had moved closer than he would like even in the state he was in now.

“I’ll be taking my leave now. I will return tomorrow, let me know what I need to do then.” Jareth said staring into Red’s eyes with his glowing white ones.

“Very well.” Red said and moved in swiftly and placed a kiss on his cheek and letting her hands linger around his groin for longer than she should have. “I will see you tomorrow.”

Jareth turned and left with haste. He felt like he had been violated but knew if he brought it up to his wife, Maria, or Red, his boss, then he would have more to deal with than he wanted to.

On the walk home he inspected his surroundings. The air had started to get warmer and it would soon be the end of winter and the beginnings of spring. Planting would have to start soon which meant raids on farming homes. He saw the old paths of the raiders and the ashen look of the worn dirt. They led in criss-cross directions but led to one singular point, home and the other farms. Now that he felt he had more control over himself in this state he thought he could repel the raiders on his own should they try.

he arrived home and opened the worn wooden door to his small cabin. His children were asleep, as they should be for how late it was. Maria was in a chair in the front room and book on her lap and a blanket covering her. She had fallen asleep waiting on him to return. Jareth moved over quietly as not to disturb hr and kissed her on the forehead and made his way to the back and the room where he and his wife slept together on nights he was not out as late as he had been.

His head hit he pillow and he fell asleep fast. It was not a restful sleep. He was plagued by nightmares the entire night…

The Different Types of Fantasy and What Is Fantasy?

Recently I have been posting my original story Aftermath here. I decided to take a break from posting on here to get a little bit ahead on my Patreon. Today I wanted to talk about the different types of fantasy out there and what really constitutes the term “fantasy”.

The most common is the sword and sorcery fantasy in a medieval setting where technology doesn’t exist in the terms of the modern world and this can be cut into two subgroups: 1. High fantasy where magic is very present and the problems face the world and plate armor is the armor of choice for every warrior. 2. Low fantasy that focuses more on the people and smaller problems, less war more personal conflict.

Then it starts to get a little bit more weird with Modern Fantasy. It starts to blur the line of fantasy and sci-fi. The marriage of technology and magic can begin to become more of science than fantasy. But, that brings up the point of what constitutes as fantasy? Is there a hard line drawn or is it more ambiguous and all encompassing?

I have been labeling Aftermath as a fantasy series because I focus more on medieval style of combat than a modern one. There is not a magic system per se but there are various people in the story that have extra abilities. Abilities that would give them an advantage in a fight. It’s definitely more on the comic book superhero end of fantasy, but I believe is still a fantasy story.

Fantasy is really anything that couldn’t happen in the real world. This means that superheroes are fantasy and that Science Fiction is fantasy as well. They are both on different sides of the fantasy spectrum but still on it. There are some people that would argue this with me and honestly I encourage it, I would love to talk more about this subject one on one with any one. But, it comes down to is there something that sets others apart from the common folk in the way of magic, powers, or science? If yes then it is a fantasy tale.

Again, I encourage the discussion, if you agree with me let me know and tell me your reasonings. If not then tell me why you disagree (politely). I would be happy to have a discussion with you about your viewpoints and opinions.

Aftermath Pt. 6

The bolt stung as it went into Jareth and his vision was dark. His eyes went white as he heard bolts thud into the old wood pews of the abandoned church. The shouting was deafening but through it all Jareth could tell where the main threats were.

Jareth pictured it in his head. He knew there were 10 men firing at them at different positions up past the Father. It would be hard to get the shots off that he needed but he shrugged the bow off and notched the first arrow.

The pulleys made the draw easier and he readied, spun around, and let the arrow fly once he got the shot. The first one went down with a shriek and a thud. Jareth fell back and readied another waiting for the lull in between the volleys. It was almost rhythmic, thud, lull, thud, lull.

On the third he turned again and loosed another arrow and as he spun for cover heard another shriek followed by another thud. He was making headway in the assignment he was given by Red and more importantly he was enjoying it. Enjoying the feel being a combatant.

Another lull and another one down. This went on until the bolts stopped. He stood and looked down to see that the pew looked like a porcupine. He moved from his cover and went for hand to hand against the other members of the Fallen Priests now rushing him with blades of their own drawn.

He was still outnumbered but instinct took over and he blocked, parried, countered, and waited for an opening to make his own offensive.

Bodies hit the floor one by one as he lashed out finding openings. He cut his way through each of the priests as they charged and swung at him wildly. He kept walking forward until he was face to face with the father and caught the axe at the last second. This man was not what he let on, he was way too fast.

“You thought you could waltz into my church and demand I stop my work?! And then try to kill me?!” The anger was obvious in the Father’s eyes and as he spoke Jareth saw two teeth poking out from under his lips.

The teeth were sharp and thin. They looked like needles and they dripped venom that flung out as he spoke and spat out the words.

Jareth swung and hit him in the stomach and jumped back. He readied himself for the next onslaught and yelled at the Father.

“You think what you are doing is helpful? You are poisoning these people and using them for your own praise!” Jareth narrowed his eys the white shining through and they shone brighter than they did the last time.

The Father lunged again this time with bare hands and fangs at the ready to plunge into Jareth and kill him there. Jareth had little time to react, the Father was powered and more than most people.

He looked more like a snake than he had when Jareth had seen him the first time. His stance and the way he walked in a circle now with Jareth all seemed more reptilian than human. Jareth studied him and watched his movements looking for an opening to strike.

It was a long while back and forth blocking the Father and pushing him back waiting for him to slip up. Jareth could see that despite the powers he was starting to tire. His posture was starting to get slumped and his attacks were slower and sloppy. A few more onslaughts and Jareth would be able to find the opening he had been searching for.

One, two, three more attacks and Jareth saw it. His arms that had been defending him slipped and Jareth lunged knife first and sank it between the the Father’s ribs and into his lung.

Jareth saw the gasp but didn’t hear it. He pulled the knife the Father fell to the floor gasping silently and wriggling. Jareth spate the blood on the floor and went to retrieve the axe from the floor.

He looked around at the people who were in huddled masses trying to shield themselves from the combat around them.

“If you want to leave then you should. Without the Priests this place will be dangerous. Seek shelter elsewhere and try and build your lives anew.”

With that Jareth grabbed the father form the ground and headed to the Blood Skulls HQ to deliver Red the news of what he had done.