Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dead Spaces - Prologue

**** WARNING: Contains Spoilers from The Spaces Between ****

As such, here is a pretty picture, and the spoiler text below:

The following is (c) 2012 Martin D. Gibbs
Dead Spaces (A Drunkard's Journey, Part II)

**** Click Here to Reveal Spoiler ****


Madness consumed all. Where once there were flickers of madness between the spaces of sanity, now the slivers of sanity were only speckles in the black void of madness.

Her voice.

HER voice! Her VOICE!

It grated. It charred. Like a fire, it burned me, then froze me as if I were being dangled out over the ramparts, left to flounder as a greater, unseen hand clutched my tail.

The horde called, the horde beckoned. It willed out. Without any direction it clawed closer and closer to the surface. What would happen if they reached the surface without my direction—without my control? What would happen to me? Would they kill me? Tear me limb from limb in their ecstasy of murderous rage? I was a prisoner, trapped inside of myself, trapped by the woman I had killed. Why? Why?
I was Ar'Zoth! I had mercilessly slaughtered anything that remained of Bimb. Bimb? Who was Bimb? Why was that name familiar? Had I killed someone already? No, wait! I do remember that name… it was a name that was forced upon me, a name that forever doomed me to a life of idiocy and despair. That is, until Ar'Zoth saved me from myself. Memories, perspectives, understandings, even music, was put to the flame. Bimb was dead. Ar'Zoth remained. Ar'Zoth and madness. Madness and demons.
Let us out, they hissed in sonorous unison.
"I will," I promised with a strained whisper. Magical spells, once forgotten, came back to the fore, but each time I began to take action, her voice would grate and grovel and beg and plead and cry and cry and cry and cry and CRY and CRY!
STOP! I tried to will the voice to stop, but was greeted only by pain and torment.
I will stop you, the voice whispered after an hour-long fit of rage.
"You will never," I panted. "I will find a way. Ar'Zoth will find a way!"
No, you will be stopped, Bimb.
Bimb! That name again. No, no, NO! Bimb was dead!
"Bimb is dead—Mother."
Then Bimb will have to die again.

* * *

"So where is he?"
"He's in the North, hopefully dispatching a dangerous warlock."
He spread his large hands. "It had to be done. No one else would believe the truth."
"Possibly because it was a lie all along?" the stranger sneered, balling a fist. "You sent him to his—”
"He's a strong man and will survive… he has aid. A little mage, a very powerful mage, is helping them. And again, I didn't send—"
"I have connections to the Counsel Guard and to the Archives. I know a thing or two." He paused, glanced around, and nervously continued, "This is far bigger than any of us, and we are better now that he has journeyed. And yes, it was my doing."
"But why?"
"It had to be done," he repeated flatly.
A huge fist slammed down on the pine surface, rattling glasses and sending various liquids into the air. "But he—he was a like a son to me, and you sent him…"
"I didn't send him anywhere," he replied, bristling. "He went of his own accord. And trust me; it was for the betterment of everyone. Everyone."
"He could be…"
"No, we still stand here. This building and this city are still here. It would be much worse had he failed."
The rough hand pounded the bar again, this time with less force. "If I find out that he is dead, you will—"
"I will what? Answer to you? Go to the restraining house?" He chuckled deeply and shook his head. "If he dies, he will die a hero. Do you understand? You will wake up in the morning because of the sacrifice. Remember that."
A once-proud head hung low for a moment, then rose up, eyes glistening in the odd flashes of firelight. "Aye. I will try."
"I would like to speak no more of this," the man replied, lowering his voice. "Thank you for sharing your concern, but things must continue."
The stranger turned and walked to the door. He paused for a moment and looked back at the rough man. And for a mere moment, his lips broke into a smile before curling back into a frown. He carefully shut the door behind him.

Part I
Ravel and Unravel

In which Zhy realizes he's not quite dead and finds himself in strange company on a return journey northward. Additionally, the demons are loose, and we find out just how unstable Bimb has become.

Do you stop for a wayward soul? For he who is lost? For the traveler who has wandered afar? If you choose to stop, or if you choose to continue, you create for yourself additional knots. Which is better? It cannot be known. Each may create for you a dangerous future.

Prophet Zhera, IV Age

Blinding sun hammered his skull. Fierce and unforgiving light knifed into the backs of his eyes, sending tears flowing to protect against the onslaught. Even with lids tightly shut and an arm draped across his face, the intensity of the sun was enough to push him to his knees, sobbing. His knees screamed in throbbing pain as they smashed into the crumbling stone porch, but the brutality of the light was enough to quickly wipe away the sudden shock. With an arm outstretched in pleading, he moaned, "Who are you?"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Giveaway of The Spaces Between

Go here:

A little blurb on Voltaire and there is a giveaway of The Spaces Between as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's Time for Voltaire

It is time for Voltaire! It is time to read about his space-traveling frenzy before he got to finish Candide... that's right, we have entered the world of the bizarre.

7,000 words of absolute insanity with a sliver of a plot.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An excerpt from Dead Spaces - A Drunkard's Journey Part II

Beldeners start to realize that they are on the threshold of Hell:


A young, well-dressed man stood. His voice was refined and silky. The town's only teacher was smart, too smart for his own good, and tended to dig into places he was not allowed. Perhaps he and Voraam had shared an ale or two. "You cannot for one minute pretend that an order like that could be kept secret forever," he purred. If he had joined the Holy Orders, he would be near the top with that voice. "What about the Knights?" he asked.
The Elder sighed heavily and finally sat down on the dais. His stomach was still a knot of terror.

"Who are the Knights?" someone finally dared to ask.

The elder started to speak, but the teacher explained in his silky voice. Explained what the Knights of the Black Dawn were, and how they fought a constant battle against demons. Oh, sure, he had seen men all clad in black, fighting creatures on his travels, and dug into as much research as he could find, always running into brick walls laid forth by the Holy Elders. He finally put it together, but kept silent, for he did not want any vengeance exacted upon them. But now, all had changed. What had happened to the vaunted Knights?

"Something has happened," the elder breathed, staring down at the scuffed wood floor of the temple. "The Knights… well, yes, you are right, Teacher Rhys. They do exist." Another wave of gasps. He thought he heard someone faint, but dared not look up; instead, he addressed the floor. "And I am sure they are busy working on this new—development. Nothing has happened to the Knights, I mean." He was rambling. Never since his indoctrination had he felt like such a novice, struggling to spit words out to this elders. "It is a—disturbance. We cannot quite explain it. I have missives from other temples who say the same thing. It is very odd."

"A demonic invasion is odd?" Voraam shouted. "Odd? No, Elder, blue weevils in grain is odd. This is downright evil! Even if all we see are the ones who cannot survive, who knows what others are out there. It could be an invasion for all we know!"

"What have we done wrong to deserve this?" came a timid voice near the front.

A thousand things you have done wrong, the Elder wanted to say. You and everyone in here. Some of you shorting the weights of your goods, others selling rotten nuts buried in the barrels of good ones, a man slinking around with another man's wife (or even husband), a wife proclaiming love for a man she hates, only to get his money. You are all vile and deserve the evil that befalls you. These thoughts floated through his head, but he suppressed putting voice to them, if only because of a lone timid voice: This is terrifying my children. Unlike other elders, he believed children to be innocent. What sin was ever so great it punished the children and the innocent? For years he had dealt with indiscretion and sin on a purely individual level—a summer cold could be attributed to your lies about the number of ales you had drunk, or a pimple the result of a filched turnip from a field. These were easy ailments to throw back in the face of the individual, as a means to somehow force them to adapt a moral and righteous way of living. And he always took it upon himself to remind them that sin weaves complex knots, and we need to make sure to keep knots that are simple and straightforward (as straightforward as a knot could be). But this—this was something on a much larger scale. Perhaps it was punishment for sin, perhaps the demons were out to claim their due, to swallow the evil and subsume the hedonists. But children? Babes? Who could look a child in the face and tell them they will starve because his daddy slept with the innkeeper's daughter?

In front of the open-mouthed worshippers, he put his head in his hands, the large folds of his robe swallowing his face. When it emerged again, tears streamed from his cheeks. The lid was off and not going back—let them see his emotion. There was nothing left to hide. "You have done nothing wrong," he choked, against all the drilling thoughts that bore into his mind, all the teachers and elders who would tear off his left ear could they hear him now. "Nothing."