Category Archives: fantasy

Finished: Crossings – A Fantasy Flash Fiction Story

The following piece of fantasy flash fiction was inspired by this picture. I think the picture will give you a glimpse into the direction the story will go in. Hope you enjoy it.

Crossings
Written by: Ben Marroquin
StoryMask.com

The blare of music drowned her voice in an ocean of sound. She had told them explicitly that she had to be home by midnight! “Don’t worry Sabrina,” her friends had said. “You will be.”

And she would have been, if Kevin and the boys hadn’t shown up at the eleventh hour. With the way Lisa was crushing on him, she knew there was only one way she’d get home on time; she had to walk.

Home was only a half mile away, through the good part of town. That was one of the major reasons her mom had caved in, despite it being a school night. Still though, she had made a valid point, that even though she was a senior in high school, she was 18. But she made a promise to be home by midnight and didn’t want to break it again.

So Sabrina gestured to her watch and waved bye to her friends.

She headed out the club’s doors. A cold brisk wind on moonless night greeted her. The streets were peppered with other young strangers enjoying themselves. That wasn’t surprising considering the number of clubs, pool halls, and cafes that lined this section of town.

She made her way towards Paradise Park cursing herself for not bringing a jacket. Her simple but lovely white spring dress flowed on the soft winds, giving her an ethereal appearance from a distance.

The park was green with the coming of spring; old trees rustled in joy, asphalt paths led to beauty, and wooden benches beckoned passersby to sit and savor life. But the only thing that interested her right now was the 10 minutes of walking time, cutting through the park, would offer her.

She stopped at the crosswalk, noticing something she’d never seen before on the other side of the street leading into the park. A beautiful pewter hued lantern pole stood tall with a softly lit moon globe on top, shimmering with dancing and twirling flecks of silver; it reminded her of a wintry snow globe.

She crossed the street and entered the park, fighting the temptation to touch the light. She followed a softly lit asphalt path to the center of the park where the beautiful fountain’s water music greeted her. The stone fountain was the perfect picture of a mystical waterfall watching over an old hidden forest. The tiny makeshift forest was even adorned with fantastical creatures, some even had colorful butterfly wings.

She imagined herself in that little world; a calliope of musical melodies lacing night winds, dreamlike creatures dancing and fluttering about, and the splashing of water welcoming her in.

Sabrina stood there a moment and sighed. It was then that she noticed a truly odd occurrence; her shadow was shifting on the ground. Startled, she looked left to right and froze at the sight. For behind her, floating off the ground, was the beautiful moon globe, shimmering with the dancing and twirling flecks of silver.

She gasped in amazement as the moon globe moved towards her, down to her feet. It then swam up around her, leaving a trail of glimmering flecks of silver suspended on air, till it came to rest above her head.

The silver flecks began to weave round her; round and round they went, forming a magical vortex. It looked like an upside down tornado and she was a captive within it’s cone. It was then that she heard it, the musical calliope of melodies and the splashing of water welcoming her in as the flecks of silver carried her up and away.

Two weeks had passed by when they saw her once again, though they didn’t know it. They were sitting on the edge of the fountain on a cool spring day, eyes sweeping over the little forest and it’s residents, then finally resting on splashing waterfall. Lisa, Abagail, and Wendy lamenting the loss of their dear friend.

“Sabrina, where are you?” Lisa uttered through trembling lips, fighting for control over her emotions. Burdened with guilt, she wiped the tears from her cheeks before getting up; then walked away with her friends.

“I’m right here!” Sabrina shouted out from up in a little tree.

“Hey, your suppose to stay hidden until I find you,” Avery Faun said. “I thought you said you knew how to play this game.”

“I’m sorry. I thought I heard you asking me where I was,” she said a bit confused. Then a big smile spread cross her face as she walked up to Avery and touched him. “Tag, you’re it!” She laughed as she ran away.

“Oh, no you don’t!” Avery said joyfully and started the chase.

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Night Falls

The following is a short story I wrote for a fun writing contest taking place over at: http://clarityofnight.blogspot.com/ If your into writing, you should give it try. They provide a photo and writers create a 250 word story for it. This story is based on a cool photo of a cloud shrouded moon. Anyways, hope you enjoy it.

Night Falls
Written by: Ben Marroquin
StoryMask.com

They came in the night, unseen. Eyes of onyx, skin of shadowy leather, needle sharp teeth, and ravenous appetites for the careless.

It was our mother who spotted them first, through the bay window overlooking the garden. She gasped as cloud filtered moonlight betrayed them, revealed them flitting about outside our home.

She gathered my sisters and I in the living room by the burning fireplace. We huddled under a soft quilt, secure in her comforting embrace. We shuddered as claws raked against the walls and windows outside, but still they did not come in.

They pressed their ghastly faces against the windows and began to lick it with long jaundiced tongues as their eyes fell upon the mass of entwined flesh that was my family.

Goosebumps crawled on my flesh as they began their sick raspy chant: “Night falls, blood calls. We taste it on our lips. Its salty tang so liquid slick, come fill our empty pits.”

On and on they chanted, their bodies flailing about in dance and their voices raising in pitch, filling our very souls with their macabre chorus. Immense waves of rolling fear pounded into our hearts. We clasped one another, battling the mountainous urge to flee the safety of our home.

Then it happened, the full moon broke free from the clouds to shine brightly down on our house. It’s unfiltered beams burning into the flesh of the hideous creatures outside, making them run in pain, back to wherever they came from.


Story: Runeblade Academy (takes place in the world of Abrynth and Earth) Chapter 1

The following is a rough draft chapter from a book I’m working on. It definitely needs revisioning but I like to write the whole story first, then do the revisioning. This way, I will eventually finish writing the book and gain a sense of accomplishment. To me, revision entitles shearing useless words (overuse of adjectives), peppering it with verbs, re-working dialogue, adding descriptions where needed, and adding plot twists.

Abrynth
Book 1: Chapter 1
Birth
Written by: Ben Marroquin
StoryMask.com

Over the next few weeks, the Fadey painted leaves were being carried away on salty winds. At nights, the nearing season of Dara touched the air as the flowing winds became cold, sending shivers coursing through the bodies of those lightly dressed. But the shivers which assaulted Lord Darkthorn’s body at night were born not of cold, but of fear for the battle to come with a great unknown being of darkness and of anticipation for the great power to be gained: the Soulstone.

Over and over and over again he went over the plans in his head and focused on the glorious power that soon would be his. “Soon,” he would often say to himself, “soon.” So focused was he on his plans, his soon to come battle and victory, that they permeated his very dreams… soon he thought to himself as he leaned Souldrinker, his dark ancient oak staff, against the cold stone wall by his bed. Stroking Souldrinker once more before retiring for the night he whispered “soon.”

As he closed his eyes (and consciousness) for the night, a strange dream began to take shape, an odd dream, a dream which was not centered around him and the Soulstone… but upon his staff. A dream he had had countless times, but which would vanish from his mind with the opening of his eyes. A dream in which he was hovering on charcoal colored bat-like wings over an endless labyrinth of decayed ruins and dark jutting buildings a washed in greenish flames. Foul fumes of brimstone and burnt flesh scented the humid air and the piercing wails of tortured souls rang out as cruel dark storm clouds rained down water that never touched the ground. This strange land was but a small portion of the horrific realm of Blazengard.

A realm ruled by lurid demons and unknown beings of horror.

Gliding over the smoldering labyrinthine lands on currents of steamy winds he saw countless varieties of vulgar and garish horrors and demons; beings of jaundiced flesh, clattering damp mouths, cruel clawed hands, and worse feasting with great pleasure on the salty eyes, supple soul flesh, and marrow filled bones of an endless sea of anguished souls; soul flesh and limbs and organs which would regenerate themselves only to be ripped and feasted on again and again and again in an endless cycle of pain and misery.

He even saw a group of gangly horned horrors playing a strange type of card game within the ruins of a building. A game his dream self remembered playing eons ago. One horror or demon would bet body parts from its stack, the others would either match it or fold; the strongest hand would win the pot. The point of the game was not to win the most body parts, but the right body parts so that they could be put back together again. The one with the most completed bodies by the end of the match would win. They would then tear apart the poor souls and begin a new… it was great fun! This was just one of the thousands of great games one could play with the cursed souls like severed head bowling, tag and rip, dodge head, stalker, hide n seek and eat, hangman, piñata fiesta and so much more. But these anguished souls were the lucky ones in this realm for that was not the worst these demons and horrors could do…

No, not the worst he thought to himself as a fanged smile split his brackish dream face. There were thousands of different types of demons and unknown horrors taking the vilest forms of pleasure on the cursed souls; pleasures which would have driven Lord Darkthorn mad and haunted him until his dying days had he remembered them upon waking… but luckily for him he did not.

Onward his winged dream form traveled, over the endless city of the tortured towards an oddly shaped dark protruding mountain on the distant horizon. A dark mountain which gradually transformed into a great ashen green stoned castle of dread and despair, a castle in which dwelled a being of immense dark power: a Demon Lord.

His winged dream form approached the massive blood onyx gates, but did not stop. No, his winged dream form went onward through uncounted stained walls and through doors of supple flesh until he entered a great chamber within the castle. It appeared to be some sort of great hall, eerily lit in greenish red lights by the bodiless heads of various beings, which hung on dark chains from the high vaulted ceilings on hooks, doomed to spend their afterlife in this cursed place. Peering closely, he could see the writhing limbs and body parts, of the magically lit heads, embedded in the ashen green stone walls and oak sized pillars.

Hovering no longer, Lord Darkthorn’s clawed feet and hands touched the pulsating slick red carpet of flesh which led to the other side of the great hall where the shadowed form of a great winged being could be seen sitting on a great throne. The great shadowed being was holding a long thin item in one of its clawed hands.

A strange sensation of delicious pain and stomach churning fear washed over him as he felt himself being pulled forward towards the giant shadowed being by unseen hooks. It was then that he saw that the demon lord’s wings flux in ashen green flames and his primate shaped head, sporting a crown of protruding bone spikes and four onyx red menacing eyes, leer at him.

“Ah… I see you have felt my summons,” the words came crashing down upon him like huge waves from the ocean, “I have a job for you my powerful maelstrom of magic.”

Lord Darkthorn could fill the warm tentacles of elation wash over his dream form, drowning fears of this meeting from him, as jumbled thoughts and images of serving his master filled his black heart with devious excitement. “Yes master. I came as soon as I heard my lord.”

Hideous laughter filled his sharp pointed ears. “Sure you did my little chaos demon. No doubt propelled here by the thoughts of how many demon and horror soldiers you cost me during the last battle with Horror Lord Hesha. Your… chaotic magic nearly cost me my kingdom in this part of Blazengard. It has taken me countless eons to rise from the sea of tortured souls to the ranks of the demons and horrors to becoming the 5th most powerful lord in Blazengard. I will not let that sniveling Hesha take my kingdom and strip me of the power I’ve spent so long acquiring! I will not become a tortured soul ever again! No… I have fought to hard to get where I am… still, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you were working with him… ”

“No master! My… my lord I swear by the creator of Blazengard that I’m not! Please master lord you have to believe me… I would never jo…”

“Do not worry Choral. I do not blame you. I should have remembered that your powerful chaos magic comes at a price… due to its unpredictable nature. Still, we were able to repel his attacks but have lost much horror and demon soldiers in the process. My army of soldiers must now be replenished… which is where you come in.”

“Yes master, I’ll do anything for you my lord.”

“Yes, you will. I have made a pact with a necromancer in the world of flesh and bones. He has agreed to deliver more soldiers to my kingdom and I promised to send him a tool that will grant him power and aid him in my task. I want you to go to him and help build our army…”

His dream form eyes lit up with such a dark joy he had never known. To be allowed to enter the world of flesh… of mortals. To be able to feast on real flesh, not the usual soul flesh of the damned, but on real live succulent flesh and drink in the dark pleasures of tormenting and tainting of untouched souls… his body quivered and his tail swished in delicious anticipation. He could hardly wait to sink his claws and teeth into such delectable flesh. “Yes my lord! When do you want me to go? I can leave right now my lord! Just show me to his summoning portal…”

“Good,” replied Demon Lord Necrosis, “hold on to this staff while I prepare you for the journey.” Demon Lord Necrosis handed Choral a dark oak staff adorned with a strange sculpted form of twin headed parasitical creatures. The throne room then filled with the sounds of a powerful language as smoky dark tendrils of pale green, red, yellow, and black energies were ripped from the unseen veil of magical essence and began to encircle Choral and the staff.

Dark joy flooded Choral’s eyes as thoughts of the mortal realm flooded his mind… it was pure ecstasy.

A split second later the ecstasy was replaced with cries of agonizing pain as the tendrils of magical energies violently ripped apart his leathery flesh, his dark chaotic soul and entered his very being, in a vortex of swirling foul energies, into the eyes of the twin headed parasitical creatures adorning the staff. Thus began the imprisonment of the chaos demon known as Choral and the birth of a powerful new weapon: Souldrinker.

Lord Darkthorn awoke in a state of cold sweat and pounding heart, as the horrific images of his nightmare faded out of his mind. Unable to go back to sleep, he spent the remainder of the night staring up out the window towards Necratia, the black moon of beasts, while his mind continuously went over the battle that would soon come to pass…


Story: Runeblade Academy (takes place in the world of Abrynth and Earth)

Abrynth
Book 1: Runeblade Academy
Written by: Ben Marroquin
StoryMask.com
Prelude

The cool salt tinged air swept over and down the small grassy hill overlooking the lightly forested valley below. A lone figure, shrouded in rippling black robes, stood on top of the hill surveying the scene below.Dark black eyes were lit with a strange fervor as they darted from left to right and back again, taking in all the morbid details of the mysterious old stone tower standing below enshrouded in an unseen fog like veil of darkness. The stained walls were laden with the poisonous vines of blood ivy, bones of countless unknown anguished souls, and arcane symbols devoted to some dark magic or being.

The robed figure’s thin leathery hands clenched a sturdy dark ancient oak staff tightly. A staff adorned on the top with a strange sculpted form of a two headed parasitical creature, as the dark eyes took in the old town cemetery resting behind the dreaded tiled roofed tower below; a cemetery which could only mean two things: One, there would be undead creatures of shadows, bones, and rotting flesh guarding the dark tower. Two, that this indeed was the home of the vile and evil necromancer Lord Festivius whom terrorized the townspeople of Varune for nearly a decade now.

Yes, it was there in the small port town of Varune, lying a mere 5 miles south of the tower by Caitlyn Bay, which the lone robed figure had learned of Lord Festivius’ existence and dwelling. Within the shadows of the robed figure’s hood a sinister smile and a small squawk like cackle broke free in anticipation of the power soon to be gained.

The Fadey sky began to darken with the setting of the suns and the robed figure began to make its way towards the dark oversized door of the tower, whispering strange words of a powerful language. Words which were ripping foul unseen smoky like tendrils from the dark side of the veiled essence of magic; enveloping the robed figure in much needed protection against undead conjurations, enchantments of the mind, and allowing the robed figure to change form. The robed figure then pulled a plain looking black ring out from the folds of the robe, placed it on the now small and supple ring finger, and continued on towards the lurid rock steps that led up to the oversized dark door of the tower.

Lord Festivius was in his putrid smelling laboratory, on the 2nd floor, working on the creation of a new stitch golem since his last one had been destroyed in his blood stained summoning chamber, located deep in the bowels of the tower, when he heard an echoing scream emanating from downstairs. A scream originating from a small horrid bloated head-like knocker which adorned the tower’s dark oversized door thus signaling the arrival of a new victim or visitor.

With his mind on the difficult task at hand, he quickly paced over to and opened a small window, peered down into the greenish tinted light below which magically lit the doorway, and noticed a trembling robed figure with her hood pulled down… her eyes darting in all directions. The little girl left at his door appeared to be no more than 12 years old. Ah, I see the townspeople of Varune have sent me my payment early this month thought Lord Festivius as a smile creased his half burnt face I guess they learned their lesson from last month. He then whispered some strange words into the dark, turned, and headed back to his work table smiling with renewed energy from the thoughts of the delicious dessert waiting for him downstairs upon completion of his new servant. A just reward for such a long and difficult task he thought.

The oversized door creaked open as soon as its master had whispered the command, allowing the little girl entrance into its dark embrace. The little girl paused for a mere moment, stuck her arm into the blood ivy covering the nearby walls and pulled forth a dark oaken staff, then entered the tower with a very wicked looking smile etched upon her pale face. Clenching her now dark glowing staff the little girl entered the arched hallway, paused to let her black eyes adjust to the little amount of light within the tower, and prepared to be attacked in case her spells of protection did not work.

Several undead creatures of rotting flesh went shambling by but not a one bothered to approach her. In fact, it was as if they didn’t even see her… and her smile widened. The little girl made her way towards the stained stone staircase, placed her black ringed hand on the railing, and proceeded up towards the 2nd floor where she had seen the necromancer. She felt waves of unseen jaundiced black energy pulse through her, only to be absorbed by the ring, as she ascended the stairs in mounting confidence.

The little girl reached the 2nd floor of the dreaded tower and walked over towards a thick wooden door on the far wall guided by the stench of decay, chemicals, and formaldehyde which were wafting up from the small opening at the bottom of the wooden barrier. She pressed her ear up against the door, listening for sounds of the master within, then satisfied that her prey was within; she prepared herself for the battle ahead. If her planned worked as designed then she knew that the battle would be ended before it even began and so far, up to this point, it has worked flawlessly she thought as she whispered words that undid her transformation spell and returned the dark robed figure’s original form.

Lord Festivius was hunched over his work table, sewing a hefty rotted leg onto his creation with a large threaded needle when the door to the lab burst open with a BANG! Fear… and then anger swept his face as he glared up at the form of the dark robed figure holding a strange dark staff and heard its raspy voice bellow out “Corpius Pertrificus!”

Unseen smoky dark tendrils of ripped magical energies encircled the robed figure’s outstretched hand and then shot out towards their victim, wrapping themselves around him, from head to toes, like a giant constrictor, and held him fast to the spot. Sounds of squawking birds filled Lord Festivius ears as he found himself immobilized, silenced, and at the mercy of this blasted intruder.

The robed figure strutted into well lit lab, drew back the hood revealing straight shoulder length black hair and the source of the sound of squawking birds. He then gave Lord Festivius an eerie smile of victory.

Lord Festivius’ eyes darted from his assailant’s grayish hollow face with the blackest of eyes, to the black ring on the hand; the plain black ring sent to Varune by one of his servants which would allow the next sacrifice to enter his tower and allow her some freedoms within: The very same ring the townspeople had given to a robed figure in hopes that he would be able to destroy this vile necromancer, finally bringing an end to their nightmarish suffering. He was silently cursing himself for his lack of foresight concerning the ring when his eyes finally noticed what the ring hand was clenching…

A strange dark oaken staff adorned with a two headed parasitical creature, a relic of the darkest of powers that he had believed its existence was mere myth… until this moment. That means that this robed figure must be… he thought with mounting fear a vile soul sucking Parasite Mage!

The tortured look of realization within Lord Festivius’ eyes only served to make the Parasite Mage squawk louder with laughter. A fierce rage, born of fear, waged in Lord Festivius’ eyes as the last words he would ever hear again echoed throughout the vile lab, “Soulticero Angterium!”

If not for the paralyzing spell enveloping him, the room would have reverberated with the dying screams of the necromancer.

A moment later violent tendrils of the darkest and most foulest of energies dissipated and a shriveled up shell of a necromancer hit the floor in a lifeless heap of torn and withered flesh, battered bones and tattered robes from which a dark book had escaped skidding across the floor… catching the eye of the Parasite Mage known as Alabaster Darkthorn… or as of tonight: Lord Darkthorn.

Whispering words the dark book floated into the open hand of Lord Darkthorn. Upon opening it he read the title page silently to himself “The Journal of Lord Festivius Master of Death.” Filled with the energy of his latest kill, he made his way onto a reading chair by a fire lit chimney on the first floor, and began devouring the dark knowledge contained within the pages of the journal.

He sat there for hours; suddenly rising to his feet as his eyes repeatedly read one of the last entries over and over again, each time adding to the shining fervor of his eyes the likes of which he had never known.

The entry contained events from a few nights ago; the summoning of a dark being of immense power… the promise of a powerful ritual which would create an object of immense power known as the Soulstone… and the binding of six powerful servants unlike the world has ever seen before… it contained his escape from certain death which cost him his stitch golem… the rest of the journal spoke of the process of rebuilding his stitch golem but Lord Darkthorn didn’t care about that useful information at the moment for he was a Parasite Mage and that meant that he was driven by one goal: The acquisition of POWER so strong as to be able to break free of the bonds and limitations of flesh and bone in order to achieve a new state of being, an immortal god-like state of being.

I must have this Soulstone he thought and thus a sinister plan began to take shape…