Sunday, January 25, 2015

Class 1: The Delivery (Part 3)

Click here for Part 1. Click here for Part 2.


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The lights swept over them, and then away, continuing to illuminate the runway, but with much lower intensity now. Wendy slowly lowered her hand as she looked over at the aircraft. The bizarre thing commanded her attention so strongly that she wasn't even aware she had taken a step toward it until she heard Talassy bark at her.

"Back in line! At attention!"

It was still difficult to hold her composure, but she did as ordered, returning to her position and stance. Her eyes remained locked on the craft that hovered over the runway, though.

A massive black triangle, easily fifty feet across, hung in the air like a piece of carved obsidian. Three lights projected out from each corner, making the ground underneath it almost glow. Other random lights flashed at various places on its underside. Red. Green. Blue. She tried to look up the craft, into the sky, but couldn't see anything. Wendy couldn't decide if she thought the craft was paper thin, or stretched on into infinity, wrapping everything not touched by its lights with an endless abyss.

She had been privileged a few times to see an experimental aircraft or ship, so the sight was just another amazing thing to her. The one thing that made it ominous was the sound. There wasn't any. At least not that her ears could hear. There was a deep thrumming, something she felt reverberating through her bones more than something she could actually hear. The whole thing together unnerved her more than she could ever remember being before. Even live combat didn't compare to the feeling of fear spreading through her body like millions of worms, wiggling through her veins.


Wendy held her stance and her expression though, standing rigidly at attention. Sergeant Barclay next to her, however, wasn't faring as well. His whole body was trembling and his eyes were wide and white.

Then the ramp was down. She couldn't even recall seeing it lower from the belly of the craft. It just seemed to appear there, in front of where the man in black was standing. The light shining down it and out of the craft was every bit as blinding as the lights on the corners of it, and Wendy couldn't make out any details of what was inside.

Her breath caught in her throat as the creature came down the ramp. It looked exactly like she'd seen in movies and on television.

It was the size of a child, maybe just over three feet tall as it walked down to the man in black, but it was impossibly thin and spindly. It didn't look like it was wearing any clothes, but it also didn't have any genitals that Wendy could see. The torso was small, but looked healthily muscular, while the arms and legs could have simply been skin wrapped around bone. The head was bulbous and round, like a light bulb on top of a stick figure. At the distance, she couldn't make out any nose or mouth, only the large, almond-shaped eyes which stood out against the being's light grey skin.

An alien. A Grey. Like they always portrayed as abducting people.  It's movements were smooth as it gestured and seemed to be speaking with the man in black. Then it turned and headed back up the ramp. Wendy watched, but the sweeping motions of its limbs seemed separate from the movement of its body as it glided up and back into the ship.

The ramp stayed down, as the man in black turned and walked back to the spread out soldiers. He glared at Wendy a moment through the glasses, even as Sergeant Barclay continued shaking next to her.

"Alright, they're ready to collect the equipment. Your job is to make sure it all gets on board. If you see anything get loose and make a run for it, you shoot it."

Wendy swallowed at that order. Her mind threatened her with orders of its own, ideas of what kind of cargo was in the truck, what was being delivered. She nodded to the man in black as a dozen or more of the Greys walked or floated past, however it was they moved; watched them as they vanished into the darkness of the hanger. She heard the metal groan as the doors of the semi's trailer opened.

Then the people started coming out. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Class 1: The Delivery (Part 2)

Hope you all enjoyed Part 1 last week. Click here if you haven't read it yet.  There's a link at the bottom of there to bring you back here, or you can just click Back on your browser (probably).

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The call came in just before 2200 hours. Wendy had just been dressing for bed when Captain Talassy buzzed her. She got her fatigues and her personal weapon as requested in almost record time, even for her.

Now she stood next to the other men from the meeting room. All dressed for combat and armed. They were standing at attention before Captain Talassy on the northeast runway, in front of Hanger #4. All the running and illumination lights were turned off and they stood there with only the light of the sliver of moon to see by as it hung in the sky like a sickle blade.

Captain Talassy lifted his hand to indicate they should ignore the sound of the click of shoes on concrete as it approached them and the man in black from the meeting room joined them. He didn't say a word, as he stood there, wearing his glasses even in the blackness of the night. And yet, he appeared to be holding a clipboard, reading it over and over, as well as checking his watch.

The rumbling was the first sound. Distant and low. It quickly became recognizable. A heavy diesel engine. The semi approached with its headlights off, pulling the trailer behind it. It was easily twenty minutes between the first hint of the sound and the sight of the truck pulling up alongside the runway.
It idled for a minute before the man in black stepped up to the driver's door, climbed up and spoke to the man through the window. The driver nodded and pulled around and into the hanger, just far enough that the back of the trailer was lined up with the double doors. Wendy noticed the truck had no license plates, no markings, no identification of any kind.

The driver stayed in the cab while the man in black came around and opened the back of the trailer. Something shifted inside as he stepped up and vanished into the darkness of the container. She couldn't help wondering how he could see wearing those glasses. She could only make our some of the largest details in the thin moonlight.

He came back out, again consulting his clipboard, then his watch. He strode back over to Captain Talassy. They spoke for a few minutes before the man in black walked out onto the runway, disappearing again into the darkness as the Captain came over to address the rest of the group.

"The equipment is here on time and ready for delivery. We're going to spread out from the door to the hanger to the edge of the runway. You're going to stand at attention at five foot intervals. Our job is to make sure the delivery doesn't have any complications or problems. The people picking up the equipment is going to be responsible for carrying it from the hanger, to their aircraft. They should be arriving within the next five minutes. Transfer of equipment is expected to take about ten minutes. After their craft leaves, you will be dismissed. You've been informed of the penalties if there is any lack of discretion about this operation. Is everybody clear?"

"Yes, Sir!"

They spread out as described. Wendy found herself standing with Captain Talassy five feet to her right and another man, a Sergeant First Class who identified himself as Reginald Barclay five feet to her left. They stood in a line, forming a weak wall that the equipment would be traveled along.
The man in black walked past, still going over his clipboard. She detected a very slight scoff as he passed her. Obviously, he had a problem with women serving. She knew better than to make anything of it though. It wasn't anything new to her after all. Still, she couldn't help wondering who the hell he thought he was.

She waited, her ears poised, listening for the sound of a jet, or maybe a helicopter. Minutes passed, but the only sounds she heard were the man in black's shoes on the pavement as he paced. Then he rushed past her out towards the runway. Wendy remained at attention, but tried to make him out in the darkness from the corner of her eye.


Then night became day with an illumination that forced her to raise her hand to cover her eyes and she could hear the men around her gasp at their sudden blindness.


Click here for Part 3.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Class 1: The Delivery (Part 1)


Master Sergeant Wendy Hallowell stood at attention in the back of the room. Four other people stood around the table in the center. Two Sergeants First Class, another Master Sergeant, and a Captain. Reclining in a chair at the far end was a man in a black suit. He sneered at the assembled military standing before him, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses.

"Upon your most recent promotions, you indicated you were interested in...special...assignments. That's what this is. I'm here to tell you everything you need to know about this mission. From this point on, you cannot back out, you cannot ask questions, and you cannot speak about anything that you are going to see or do for the next twenty-four hours."

The man in black slowly turned his head, regarding each member in turn. He paused as he turned toward Wendy, the only woman present, his lip twitching slightly before his face straightened into a mask of blank stone.

"Should any of you say anything about what I am about to tell you, or anything that you see. You will immediately be dishonorably discharged, charged with treason, and incarcerated as an enemy combatant."

He leaned forward onto the table, setting down his elbows and slowly, deliberately, interlocking his fingers.

"I hope I've made myself clear."

His head subtly shifted towards Wendy again.

"What we have going on is a Class One incursion. This is a planned event, with some visitors that we have an agreement with. They are coming to pick up some cargo, science equipment. Your mission is simple. You meet the cargo when it arrives, and safeguard it until they pick it up. Once delivery is complete and the visitors have departed, you are to return to your quarters and proceed with your next day as usual. Nobody will ask any questions about where you were."

All the military personnel continued standing at attention. The man in black sat back in his chair, his lips twisting into a smirk.

"Captain Gordon Talassy here will have the details of when and where and will be in touch. Until then, return to your quarters and wait."

Captain Talassy, a taller man who's hair was already thickly grey above his ears despite an otherwise youthful face, turned towards the rest of them and nodded, his hands clasped behind his back. A signal for the rest of them that they were dismissed.

Wendy kept her back straight as she turned and stroke out the door. As she stepped out into the hallway, she felt the lifting of an oppressive weight that she hadn't even noticed had been on her shoulders. The air in the hallway smelled cleaner as well.

The other three men filed out behind her, nobody saying a word as they each turned and went a different way. As she watched the door close behind the last one, she could almost imagine a slight, green fog rolling out of the room and across the carpet. This was not the kind of situation she had imagined when she had checked the box declaring interest in 'special' assignments.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

31 Posts of Monsters: Ropen

It seems like people are predisposed to seeing things in the sky. Be it giant birds, angels, UFO's, or just about anything you can think of. So it should be no surprise when people claim to have seen flying dinosaurs, or Pterosaurs. In parts of Papua New Guinea, they see a strange light in the sky at night, which has become one of these creatures of legend.

Name: Ropen

Size: While sizes are hard to come by, considering most sightings are at a distance and are mostly the light the creature emits, estimates are of a wingspan of up to six feet. Which would make this one of the smaller cryptids.

Appearance: Many sightings only see the light it emits from it's underbelly, but other close-up sightings describe a small body, leathery wings, short fur, and a long, pointed tail.

Threat: Low. The small size of the creature, plus most reported behavior, would lead one to believe this creature doesn't pose a threat to people. Claims are that it uses the light on it's belly to attract fish to the surface of the water at night, which it then swoops down and scoops up in it's mouth. The only thing which may suggest any threat to people, are claims that it occasionally breaks into or digs up fresh graves and eats the bodies of the dead. So it is possible that a particularly bold specimen could become accustomed to the taste of human flesh and move up from eating dead people, to eating live people.


The possibility of this creature isn't as far-fetched as some might think. Very large areas of Papua New Guinea remain unexplored to this day and it is commonly said that there are likely groups of indigenous tribes living in the jungles who still haven't made contact with the outside world. Even though the Ropen is relatively large for a flying animal, it would be easy for it to remain hidden. Sleeping in caves or among the trees during the day and only coming out at night to feed.

The possibility that the creature could exist doesn't stop people from trying to suggest it is an already known animal. Many people think the Ropen is just a frigate bird. Their silhouettes in flight are remarkably similar, and the behavior of fishing matches up as well. However, that doesn't explain the light the Ropen seems to emit, and most frigate birds aren't nocturnal. The other suggestion is the flying fox, a large, fruit-eating bat. That covers the close-up descriptions, and the nocturnal behavior, but not the light or the fish-catching.

The truth is likely both. Sightings of both animals on separate occasions leading to the creation of a creature which is a combination of the two by superstitious people who aren't used to the animals they're seeing. Or, the truth could be that the Ropen itself is a real animal as described, and is still hiding in the depths of the jungles of Papua New Guinea.

Still, who knows whether everything we see in the sky is actually what we think it is.

~ Shaun

(for those of you curious, this is post #20 out of 31 posts of monsters. Sorry this is taking me so long to get through.)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Closing out 2014

Whew. Another year come and gone. It's been long, and it's flown by. Some things have changed, some haven't.

Unfortunately, I have to say my writing has been a little sporadic. I've dropped the ball on my blog, and I've taken my sweet time revising and editing Hannah, while getting little done on any new works. That said, I haven't been completely idle. I put out a trio of short stories at the end of June in the form of Paths: Three Short Horror Stories. As well, at the beginning of November, I released the novelette Cenote.


Cenote has actually done really well in the past month, and hopefully that'll continue. 

As far as my advertising, I've done a few various guest blog posts, and quite a few giveaways/free days. That will probably continue into the new year as well. 

Really, if you've been following me this year, there's really not much more to say. It's not like I'm being interviewed on Good Morning America, or Dateline or something. I've submitted a few short stories to various anthologies and contests, but no such luck with most of those.

What's really exciting is what I have coming.

I'm back to work, editing and revising Hannah, and I fully expect to be publishing that book within the first three to four months of 2015. I also do have several other books started and I anticipate finishing and releasing another one before the year is out. I've also got starts for several more short stories and novelettes that I expect to finish.

As you may have read in my most recent guest blog post about building and maintaining your author's platform, one website I haven't made the best use of up to now is Youtube. I fully expect to rectify that this coming year.

I'm getting the hardware and software to record gameplay from various systems, and my plan is to do video walkthroughs, reviews, and play with commentary of several horror games that are available.

Currently on the docket as video games to play are the Dead Space series, Resident Evil 5, and I may play Bioshock. I also have Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within lined up as well. So hey, if you have a video game you want to see me play, hit me up anywhere from my Biography link. Twitter, Facebook, or just email me! I'll see what I can do about adding it to the list. :-)


So as long as I can get and keep my ass in gear, this is going to be a busy year, with lots of new treats for my fans and friends. 

So have a great and safe New Year's Eve, and I'll see you all next year! 

Thanks to all of you for your support!

~ Shaun