Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ice Mountain: Part 4

This is it, she thought as the roaring began and the feel of hot rancid breath plumed on her sweaty skin. This is it.

When she heard the screaming, and the shouts, (men?), and the distinct sound of many things dying at once, Sarah felt herself fall into darkness.

On the outside, her milky eyes flutter open.

At that moment, Sarah became two women.

A scared, drowning wraith inside, and a cruel monster on the outside. Her outer self glanced around with eyes too cloudy to be human. They scanned the scene playing out before her as she lay on the ground, her body twitched convulsively.

Her assumption appeared to be right. The shouts were indeed coming from men, although these men looked rather hulkish, primal. They attacked the long legged beasts with such ferocity that the outer Sarah had to wonder if they might only be beasts themselves. A grin played at her cracked lips, nonetheless. Like those milky eyes, it was all too inhuman.

The hulks that might or might not be men, wielded huge curving battle axes, which they swung in great aches at their enemy. None of them carried a sword, she realized. But of course, it didn't appear as though they needed swords for speed. They handled the axes as though they were mere sticks. She realized, if she were to fight one of these hulkish men, them with their slopping brows and deep set fiery eyes, them with their long wild manes of hair, she'd lose quite quickly.

The outer Sarah, though very interested at what was taking place here in this wide clearing, let her mind drift to the inner Sarah. The one trying so desperately to claw her way back to the surface, but to no avail.


"Die, die, die, die." The word echoed to her from the bleak darkness surrounding her.

Sarah, sobbing, swam in this void of darkness, this place where nothingness was the rule. She cried out for help, but no one would answer her call. Except, of course, that raspy voice repeating that single final word.

"Die, die, die, die, die."

The poison which had entered her body from the cut she received, was now keeping her held here int his dark prison. Sarah pleaded with ti to let her go, but it would not.

Then she heard another voice mingle with that of the "die voice".

"It's right you know. You have to die. It's my turn now."

That voice, it sounded so much like her own. She screamed and swam frantically in the dark. There was no floor, no walls, yet she was restricted here.

"Give up, Sarah. This is my body now. Give up, and be with your boy."

Hot, like bursting fire stones, anger overwhelmed Sarah. She roared, hands grasping for anything they could touch. They found nothing but dark air.

"I'm going to kill you, Sarah, and then this will be my home, your body."

"No!" Sarah screamed, graping crazily at the air.

Her fingers brushed something, and her breath caught in her chest, both inside and out.

(To be continued...)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ice Mountain: Part 3

Screaming, arm throbbing, Sarah emerged into a large clearing.

And then that's when they came for her...dozens of them.

From every direction, hideous things on long bounding legs, things with severely elongated beaks, flooded into the clearing. Sarah stood, frozen in place as she was surrounded by these beings, these monsters.

Sword dripping with mingling colors of various kills, she turned around in a slow circle. Gods, they were everywhere. The cut on her arm announced itself again and she winced at the burn it sent through her body. Just what had cut her? What sort of vile thing had reached out and cut her? She couldn't remember, nor could she rightfully call it something with a brain. Perhaps it had been some venomous plant she unwittingly pushed through. But, of course, plants had been the least of her worries then.

The monsters rushing toward her all let go loud braying screams that hurt Sarah's ears instantly. She lifted the sword, preparing to defend herself, although, that was wrong. She wouldn't get one slash at these things once they pummeled into her, driving her to the ground and then tearing her limb from bloody limb.

Yet, as she lifted her sword, something like pain, but not quite, zinged through her body. The sword tumbled from her hand and she collapsed to her knees. Her vision blurred. Her mouth quivered. Tears spilled from her eyes and tracked courses down her dirty face.

They were very close now. She could see their images through the blur of her vision. They were close, and she sighed, knowing she had failed. She had failed Andrew, her only son, her life. Still, she fought to get back on her feet. If she was to die, she wanted to be on her feet first. It was the honorable way to die. However, the task eluded her and she dropped back to her knees, weeping.

Sarah lay down in the grass, and closed her eyes.

This is it, she thought as the roaring began and the feel of hot rancid breath plumed on her sweaty skin. This is it.

When she heard the screaming, and the shouts, (men?), and the distinct sound of many things dying at once, Sarah felt herself fall into darkness.

On the outside, her milky eyes flutter open.

(To be Continued)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Something new, Something dark..

My Friends!

I submitted a story to an up and coming horror magazine called Noctem Aeternus. It looks very promising. Great stories abound!

So here's the deal. They need subscribers to keep them afloat, which in turn draws advertisers, which in turn creates revenue...something like that. Anyway, the point is that this magazine is free. It's online, as far as I know, but it's free. The more subscribers they get the better their chances are at staying alive in this brutal world.

So help this magazine spread its wings, help it grow. Help it grow and help short horror fiction. I would personally be grateful if you did subscribe. They won't sell or trade you email address either. Good stuff all around, my friends.

Just follow the little blue link: http://www.michaelknost.com/

Thank you everyone. Cold Mountain: Part 3 will be posted late 7/25. Let's say evening, perhaps sooner. Thanks again! :-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ice Mountain: Part 2

.....As she set foot into the forest, Sarah unsheathed her sword.

All around her came low methodical thumping. Then something snarled.

She paused her stride, warily scanning the dim woodland surrounding her, almost embracing her. She saw things move in the dimness, through the corners of her eyes. But if she turned to look, nothing would be there. This was a haunted place, a place where demons and beasts of all sizes lurked and stalked. She better get moving.

The snarling came again, this time much closer. Sarah held her breath, listening. Her hand tightened on the handle of her sword. Her heart was like a mad drum in her chest that would not ease. Something crashed through the brush to her left. Gods they were so close!

She felt like running. Yet, even though she felt the urge to just forget everything, forget her son, consider him a terribly tragic loss, Sarah remained where she was. If she ran she would surely die.

A roar exploded to her right and she turned just in time to dodge a massive claw meant to lop off her head. She dropped to one knee, glanced up, saw the beast, saw its grotesque body of loose gray flesh and giant fanged maw, and then she drove her sword into its exposed belly. She sank it as deep as she could get it, which was all the wat to the hilt. The monster gasped, yelped and then she yanked the sword out of its stomach. The thing staggered back, long claws held over its gushing wound.

Sarah jumped to her feet as the the beast started to teeter. It fell backwards, crushing many small trees under its girth and making the earth itself tremble.

Now. Run.

She took off at a dead run through the forest, hurdling rocks and thorn bushes and dead falls. She ran, cutting various creatures in half or simply slicing off their heads as she went. Pain flashed through her right arm, the one holding the sword. She distantly felt warm liquid trickling. Something had reached outof the gloom and cut her. She knew it like she knew how to bake bread. Something like instinct.

Screaming, arm throbbing, Sarah emerged into a large clearing.

And then that's when they came for her...dozens of them.

(To be Continued)

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm IT!....or am I?

Hmmm. Well I have been tagged to do one of these meme thing-a-ma-jobs. This is sort of interesting and looks to be quite fun. So now I will break from the continuing story "Ice Mountain" and whips something up quick for you. If you have not read the first part to Ice Mountain scroll down, it's directly under this one.

Okay...here goes...

But first, the rules:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts. 2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 Scary Things About Me, however Random:

1) I play guitar, however badly, and sing, let's not talk about that either.

2) As some of you might already know, I draw and paint. I have been complimented time and again for my "talent" as an artist (drawing and painting), but have never chosen to submit my work anywhere. Although I might be painting a mural here in a month or two.

3) I enjoy reading a lot. I'm always reading something.

4) Of course, I love to write. There is no great feeling than that of you creating something out of nothing. It's a grand time.

5) Movies. I like to watch movies. Horror movies, action, thrillers, comedies, I watch'em all friends and neighbors!

6) I have two daughters, Mary (4) and Hannah (2). Their a couple of cuties and I love them with all my heart.

7) I'm married to a wonderful, albeit willful, woman. We've been together for a total of seven years, been married five. It's still working. We were high school sweethearts.

8) Music. If not for music and bands like Metallica, Tool, Nirvana, and The Rolling Stones, I'd be a mess. To some, this music just sounds like noise, but, if you listen, there is always something to be said. It's the type of music that means something. Well, at least to me and those who enjoy hard rock and heavy metal.

So there be the list, my friends. I know, I'm one boring fellow. Sorry.

Now...let me stretch my claws. Here's the tagged 8:

1) Christina Rundle 2) Stewart Sternberg 3) Fab 4) Susan Miller 5) Travis 6) Wayne Sallee 7) Kate Sterling 8) Starrlight

For those of you who didn't get a comment from me, letting you know you are tagged, it's not becasue I don't like iya it's becasue for some reaon I can not get into your comment pages. Sorry.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ice Mountain: Part 1 (A Continuing story)

My friends,

Okay, I haven't been very faithful the past two months or so with this blog and visiting everyone elses. Sometimes life likes to snag you, and then hold you like a psychotic lover. I was stuck, and after vaction I made the solomne vow to at least post once a week, be it a story, a poem or just chit chat. So far I haven't lived up to that vow. But I'm working on it, trust me. Here's a short, short story, which will be played out in eight parts. Most of might remember the last time I did this with, "The Fairy". I've really gotten into the fantasy genre lately and I'm trying my hand at it here. Some of you seemed to like the "Dragon's Curse", I hoped it was original, and from what I see it is, thank God. So, in light of the "Curse" here's another dragon tale, this one perhaps a little more frightening. Enjoy, my dear friends. Enjoy...

Ice Mountian: Part 1

Sarah's cool blue eyes lifted slowly as they took in the mountain's massiveness. Such beauty for such a bad place. A place where folk tended to stray far away from. The place where her son had been taken. A place called, Ice Mountain.

Inspite of the name, Ice Mountain was void of ice, snow, even the bitter cold that caped most mountains. Dark smoke billowed from various spots on the mountain's greenish surface. A fire mountain. Still, the heat, the fire, the smoke, made its own kind of chill. One that was not felt on the skin, but felt in the heart, and in the belly. Up there lay death. Up there, where her son was now. Her only son, Andrew. He was up there now, alone, save for the beast that stole him away, and Gods knew what else.

Sarah unsaddled her horse and said.

"Dear White Girl. Be free now." She gave the mare a healthy slap on therear end.
White Girl let go a brief shriek and raced off into the distance.

Tears welled in Sarah's eyes. White Girl had been her second horse. It was a great loss.

She turned back to the mountain and sighed. There would be a climb. A dangerous climb judging by the steepness of the surface. Yet, she thought maybe she saw ledges here and there where she might be able to rest a bit before moving on.

Unstrapping her leather food bag from the saddle, Sarah cinched it to her belt under her furs, near her sword. She was great with a sword. She knew it, and so did all of her slayed men. Those men who tried so hard to steal her cottage, and Andrew. Those men who wanted to kill Andrew and her just for spite. But behold, she knew the art of the sword. Her father taught her well. And her late husband, Jerard, taught her more.

Sarah looked up at the mountain, frowned and then made her way toward the base. It would take a day, she knew, to even reach it, but, she would move fast. She would have to, for the forest surrounding the lonely dark mountain was infested with horrible things. Evil things that protected the mountain from invaders.

As she set foot into the forest, Sarah unsheathed her sword.

All around her came low methodical thumping. Then something snarled.

(To be Continued..)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Dragon's Curse

Howdy m'freinds!

Well I'm back, was back tuesday, as a matter of fact. We had a great time on vacation in Minnesota. It's just as I remembered from my childhood. I even got a great story idea becasue of it. I didn't catch any fish, and I got one helluva sunburn, but hey, I'm happy. It was great just going there.

So anyway, I have my contribution to the First Sentence Assignment done. It's not too bad. Have a look see and let me know what you think. Remember, honesty is the best policy. I cna't wait to read your contributions. I hope you all give it a shot. I found this one quite fun, but that's just me.

Anyway, here's the story:

The Dragon’s Curse


Lucas Pederson

The dragon swooped down from the sky like a winged demon, its maw yawing open to claim them.

Samuel shoved Will aside, drew his bow, knocked an arrow, and pulled back on the string.

“Nay!” Will protested to the highest degree and picked up his own bow.

As he knocked an arrow from his quiver he heard he heard Samuel’s bow let loose. Will looked up, and froze. The dragon was right above them, diving at them, giant, toothy mouth wide open. It roared, blowing fiercely hot air down and knocking both boys off their feet.

But Samuel’s arrow hit true. Will saw it plunge down the dragon’s throat. He caught the dragon’s mouth snap shut immediately after, just before he met with the ground painfully.

“Run!” Samuel pulled Will back to his feet again and they sprinted away as fast as their legs would allow.

“Run, run, run, run!” Samuel cried and Will gave forth his greatest effort to follow his big brother’s plead.



The earth exploded to life under their feet and Will lost his footing. He stumbled, and Samuel yanked him up and pulled him along, avoiding a serious folly with a jagged jutting stone.

Hot air jolted at the back of their necks, sending gooseflesh to lump over Will’s body like a sudden illness. He ran. He ran to beat the dragon’s curse. For when one killed a dragon, if one remained near the spot where the dragon fell, one would be forever cursed to become a dragon. A dragon with a human soul.

It was that realization, that horror, which drove Will, forced him to run faster.

Samuel’s hand let go of his and they rounded a giant boulder shaped like an old man’s face. The Face Stone, as they called it. The air grew hotter, humid. The sky blackened and swirled with gray brooding clouds. All at once it was hard for Will to breathe. He coughed and Samuel drew him close to him, embracing him as a protective older brother must do from time to time. Will was grateful for the comfort, especially now.

The earth rumbled under their feet, as if some long hibernating beast had suddenly awakened and now wanted to be free of is dirt chamber to wreak havoc on the land. Will felt like screaming. The entire land was erupting into chaos before his very eyes, all from killing one single dragon. Or at least he thought it was dead. Perhaps its magic was still very much alive and after them. Maybe it wanted to play with them first before devouring their souls. He just prayed they stood far enough away so that the curse would not find them.

Then everything fell still, quite, a bird chirped somewhere near by. The sky lightened.

Samuel let go of Will and they peered around the boulder, Will’s heart racing with the speed of his father’s magnificent horse.

They saw the dragon, lying smoldering in a giant crater, its body unmoving. Thick tendrils of smoke or steam strung upward from the massive body like horrible dream snakes, or tentacles.

“Oh.” Samuel breathed.

Out of nowhere the still dragon reared its head and let loose a roar so deep and so full of rage and sorrow, and agony, Will had to hold his hands on his ears to dull the sound, however unsuccessful. Flames burst forth from the gaping maw, jetting into the morning sky with heat so hot it seemed to scorch the very sky itself. Then the dragon’s head plopped back to the ground, and it lay still once again.

Will nudged his older brother.

“Are we safe?” He asked, knowing Samuel would know what he meant.

“I should think so.” Samuel relied and moved cautiously around the boulder to look fully at the dead dragon.

Will watched his brother shudder, and could not help doing the same. They had somehow killed a dragon and escaped its curse. Now they stood in wonder. Will had never even seen a dragon until just this morning. And he wished he hadn’t now. He wished they had stayed at home, instead of wandering out to hunt for deer today. The deer could have waited. Their father had gotten three large ones just yesterday, which would feed them for a couple months at the most.

Will stepped beside his brother and gaped at the dead creature before them. It was huge, giant beyond all giants who ever lived; a massive killing machine with the wisdom of the greatest wizard or sorcerer, a monster beyond all creation. And Samuel had killed it with but a single arrow. A feet even the greatest of archers would be envious of. For, it was not easy to slay a dragon. Will silently applauded his older brother’s skill. Just wait until the village heard of Sam’s courage and skill with a bow. Why, maybe even the king would invite the family to his majesties castle; an honor that happened rarely in these slow, dark times where monsters stalked the night and blistered the land with their evil.

Will smiled. This was great and horrible at the same time. Horrible because it was a dragon and the curse would be loose in this section of land for a hundred years, awaiting a human body to transform. Great because Samuel had stopped the creature responsible for so many deaths and so much destruction brought upon the land. It had been a bane for centuries, elusive to the slayers, until now. Now it was dead.

Will knew how the dragons at every point of the kingdom had gone mad. How they all at once hated humans and wanted to rid the land of such. From what his father spoke of, the dragons have been cursed by some evil sorcerer by the name of Fiddle of Rac A queer name, but a frightening one if one knew the creature, or knew of it and its black magic.

“Let us leave now.” Sam said and Will noticed his brother shudder again.

They collected their bows and trudged back to their cabin on the outskirts of the village, Shew Mills. A small community made up of logging men for the king and his ever escalating urgency to build more homes and bring more folk to the kingdom; since the village sat nestled amongst the great Bumbus Trees, which was said to have magical attributes when cut down. Expanding his generosity, Will’s mother once said with more than a little pride. The king was a good one, and was loved by all. His armies were the thing of legend and his kindness of the greatest and utmost characteristic about the powerful man. Shew Mills was but only one community surrounded by dozens. To the east lay Sounder Falls, the lake and river folk. To the west stood Walden Hills, a community made up of iron miners who supplies the king with steel to make new swords and arrow heads.

Their mother came out of the cabin in a red furry as they approached.

“Where have ye been? Where so early and with not so much a scribbled note!”

She rushed at them and Will felt the sudden urge to hide behind Sam. Their father was out in the Laughing Forest cutting Bumbus Trees, thanks the God. All ready they both would have blistered rears. Their father always acted first before he spoke. Their mother, on the other hand…

“How dare ye! Get in the house! Now! Wait for yer father!”

Samuel told her they had been hunting for meat, and then led Will around their fuming mother and into the cabin, where the somberly went to their bedroom. Sam sat on his bed, bowed his head and sighed.

“Father is gonna hurt us bad when he hears.” Sam’s voice sounded rough, dry almost.

Will sat down next to him. He wrapped an arm around his brother’s shoulders.

“Maybe he will be light on us. If we tell him we were hunting for-“

Sam shrugged Will’s arm off.

“T’won’t be light, Will. Even if we did tell him we were out hunting. He will be angry.”

Will’s eyes lowered to the wooden floor. Sam was right. Yet-

“What ‘bout the dragon, Sam? We tell him ye killed the dragon then he will be happy.”

Sam seemed to consider this for a long time before he said.


Later that night, their father came home, sweaty and tired. He plopped down at the eating table, where their mother had fixed him a large plate of chicken quarters and potatoes. She did not tell him what they did until after his dinner.

After she was done speaking, their father stood from the table with a heavy sigh. Will could tell the man did not want to do what had to be done, but it was a matter of principle rather than wanting to or not. The children had done wrong and needed punishment for it, so they may learn to never do such again, unless told to.

Their father turned to Sam first, motioned him over. Sam bowed his head and walked over to father. Then Will was surprised to hear father speak, instead of the sound of leather against bare skin.

“Ye had good intention, I know. Hunting for this family. T’was good smarts to think of it. But ye wandered out and did not leave a note with yer mother. She was worried ill for you two.”

Sam lifted his head to look up and Will saw how their eyes locked on each other’s. He saw the love there and knew their father was not going to beat them tonight.

Then Sam said.

“We killed the dragon Megrog.” To this their father’s bushy dark eye brows rose.

“True?” Their father asked after a moment and looked at Will. Will nodded, as did Sam.


“The Sky Clearing in the eastern forest.” Sam said.

Their father let go a long breath that wasn’t quite a sigh.

“Tomorrow ye will shown me.” Their father said.

Sam nodded and hugged their father. Will hugged the man too and then their mother said.

“You will not!”

Their father turned to her, and her eyes lowered. She nodded. Then he went over to her and embraced her too. He whispered something in her ear. And she nodded and they kissed. Their father turned back to Will and Sam.

“Off to bed. In the morning we shall see thus dragon.”

They went to bed without speaking to each other.

The next morning they led their father through the eastern part of the Laughing Forest and to the large meadow-clearing hidden within. The sword dropped from their father’s hand. And his mouth opened wide. His eyes grew large, like meal plates.

“By the God. Ye were truthful after all.” He said in an awestruck voice.

Then Sam suddenly doubled over, he screamed.

Their father rushed to Sam, put his large heavily worked hands on his shoulders.

“Samuel?” Their father managed before Sam dropped to his knees, wailing, arms wrapped around his gut.

Their father stepped back. Will stood, his eyes flitting from the dead dragon to his screaming brother.

“The curse.” Will said softly.

He felt his father’s eyes on him and he looked over at the man. He saw his father was crying.

“No. No curse. Help me with yer brother. We-“

There was a ripping sound, like a cloth flour bag being torn open, and then two small membranous wings shot out where Sam’s shoulder blades should have been. He yowled his agony.

“God.” Their father said, stepping away, weeping.

Will started forward, but then a long greenish tail burst forth from Sam’s rear and struck Will directly in the chest, knocking him back. The tail whipped about furiously. And even as Will watched, it grew spikes and a sharp talon at the tip. Oh no.

He scrambled away and joined his father, unable to do nothing more but watch. It was the curse, it had found Samuel. Sorrow like cold water filled up inside of Will as he watched thick greenish scales sprouted all up and down his brother’s arms, his legs, smothering his face. He nearly wretched when Samuel’s head morphed, grew, elongated. A dragon’s muzzle replaced Sam’s mouth and nose. His eyes shifted more so to the sides of his head and changed to an amber color.

A hard hand grasped his shoulder. Will looked up and saw his father, still weeping, motion with his other hand to moved farther away. There was nothing that could be done now, and Will saw the stinging fact in his father’s wet brown eyes.

They moved to the nearest edge of the clearing, both trembling with fear and sadness as Samuel turned from an average young man, into a giant dragon. One, perhaps, even larger than the one Sam had killed not so long ago.

And when this newly formed dragon let loose its first roar, Will thought he could hear Samuel screaming within it. Screaming to be let out, screaming for his life. Will then began to cry, for his brother was now a beast, a dragon.

The thing before them roared again, flapped its mighty wings, and then lifted itself into the air. Will and his father stepped into the clearing to watch it go. Will’s father picked up his sword and turned to him.

“Samuel is gone. Forever.” With that his father left Will alone in the clearing as Will dropped to his knees and wept.

Near dusk, when the forest was just beginning to come to life with horrors beyond even his most frightening dreams, Will stood from the ground, wiped away the last of his tears and ran back to the cabin. He knew what needed to be done.

He waited until his parents were heavily in sleep, which took quite a while, and then he grabbed Samuels bow from the corner where the hunting weapons were kept. He slipped on his boots, his deer hide coat, and Sam’s quiver of arrows. He wrapped up a loaf of bread from the pantry in a cloth and, just before walking out the front door, stole his father’s sword.

Somewhere between deepest night and dawn, Will quietly led his father’s horse away from the cabin and to the road. From there he began to ride.

He knew what needed to be done. Samuel must be stopped. His misery must end. And Will knew exactly the direction his brother had gone.

East. He rode with a blank face, his eyes never straying from the road ahead, for, there might be things along the sides that want to eat him.

The End