Raising Havoc – A Short Horror Story

The following short horror story is based upon a character of a novel I’m currently working on; Seraph Hunters. It mixes the horror genre with the comic book genre. I hope you enjoy it. (Last Updated: Sat. 9-18-06)

Raising Havoc
Written by: Ben Marroquin
StoryMask.com

He heard a chorus of screams resonating in the night. It seemed to come from several blocks away, somewhere round the shipyard. He took off at a sprint to investigate.

He rounded the corner when it came into sight; a man running frantically, out the open loading doors of an old warehouse. Two dark mucus hued beasts were giving chase on all fours. The tough leathery hide on their backs were adorned with long deadly quills. Scrather demons, they make pit bulls look like Chihuahuas.

The man screamed out in pain as they ripped into his legs with their fangs, dropping him to the ground. His fingernails tore out of their beddings as he clawed at the concrete ground, staining it with blood, trying with great futilely to keep the beasts from dragging him back into the darkness of the weathered warehouse.

Shae Wynstorm started to run towards them as they disappeared from sight. His strides grew longer as he began to change. Bones popped, lengthened, and thickened. Muscles rippled as they expanded. Skin changed to large scales, only to be covered by black velvety fur; swirling tattoo like patterns of gold accented his entire black furred body. A great golden mane grew and waved in the night as it bordered his ‘demonesque’ face. And his large dark horns glistened in the moonlight.

He reached the large open loading door and entered; his horns scraped the top of the doorway signaling his arrival. The creatures stirring within gaped with hungry eyes at the mammoth seraph hunter known as Hellbeast.

Flecks of gold danced within his onyx eyes as he looked around inside the large dark warehouse. He could hear the creatures shuffling about, chattering to each other. He could smell the metallic scent of blood and rot in the air, and taste its tang on his forked tongue. There is much death within he thought to himself as his massive muscles flexed in anticipation of battle.

He stalked into the warehouse as his eyes adjusted to the dark. He made his way through a labyrinthine jumble of stacked crates and storage containers; smashed objects littered the blood stained ground. He clenched his fists and jaw when he reached the large clearing in the center of the warehouse.

Whoever… whatever did this will pay with their lives! he thought to himself as he unconsciously let out a long low growl.

Standing before him was an exquisitely detailed 12 foot tall statue of a scaly demon with bat like wings. The mutilated bodies of many dock workers were strewn round it in some sort of ritual circle as their blood pooled towards the statue. The broken remains of a large wooden crate lay on the ground a short distance away.

He heard the creaking of metal coming from above and looked up. It was then he noticed them on the walkways, dozens of wine eyed Blood Sprites. They flapped their leaf like wings, clacked sharp claws, and chattered through splintered teeth. Their mahogany bark skin was covered with patches of moss. They were evil owl sized fairy like beasts made of plants that fed on blood. And they were bordering both sides of their demon master.

“What are you doing here demon? This feast is not for you.” The dark demon master said, gripping his demon bone staff with his right hand.

Hellbeast studied him for a moment before replying. He was dressed in dark leathers; boots, pants, and a trench coat etched with blood runes. His scarlet hued skin covered the well defined muscles of his stomach and chest like leather. There was a large amber stone embedded in the flesh of his chest, and two smaller ones embedded near his collarbone.

The stones seemed to pulse with magical energy as his four dark eyes studied the hulking form of Hellbeast.

Recognition came to Hellbeast as six large Scrather demon dogs and dozens of tall lanky ghouls surrounded him. They crouched on the concrete and stacked crates that bordered the clearing, awaiting their orders. He was dealing with a demonic necron summoner; a Necrelian.

“I know what you are Necrelian. I know what you plan. You actually think that you can capture a full fledge Havoc demon within one of your necron stones with this ragtag group of beasts you’ve gathered?”

The Necrelian cunningly smiled. “And now I know what you are, seraph hunter. I no longer have to worry if my beasts are strong enough to take down a Havoc demon. No, now I can just raise him and let the two of you tear one another apart. My beasts will then ensure that I, Necrax, am successful. And once I have a Havoc demon within my necron stone, I will become Lord Necrax.”

“Arrogant fool, lusting for power. All you will accomplish is your own death and that of the countless innocents it will kill if it flies off into the night. No, I won’t let that happen. I will stop you from raising havoc and make you pay for the murders you have committed.”

“Hahahahaha! Such bold proclamations for one about to become a meal for the masses. Well, that is if the Havoc demon doesn’t eat you first.” Necrax lifted his demon bone staff into the air and began chanting the ritual of raising.

Hellbeast remembered the demon lore that his handler Averus Stevens had made him learn. He knew Necrelians had the power to trap demons and the undead within their embedded necron stones. They could then summon mirror images of the trapped beasts to aid them in battle.

The only limits they had were: They could only trap one species per stone, so they were always looking for stronger demons and undead beings to trap, thereby increasing their power. And the more powerful the trapped beast, the less mirror images of it they could summon at any given time. He already knew which three species currently occupied the stones.

He looked at the Havoc statue and saw that the stone was starting to change, starting to become scales. He saw movement begin to take place near its wings. The demon will fly away into the night! I’ll be responsible for all the deaths it commits for not stopping it from escaping.

“NNNOOO!” Hellbeast roared out into the warehouse, leaping to the side and grabbing a startled Scrather demon by the throat. He hefted it into the air and threw it with all his might towards the demon statue. A loud crack echoed within the warehouse as the Scrather beast slammed into the statue’s wing. It whelped in pain as it fell in a bloody heap near the statue’s hoofed feet. Cracks appeared on the stone wing.

“What are you doing you big oaf, STOP THAT!” Necrax yelled as Hellbeast grabbed a ghoul this time and flung him towards the wing. The stone wing and ghoul both smashed to the ground. “Attack… kill him!”

The summoned beasts swarmed to Hellbeast to begin their attack. A Scrather demon leapt towards his head with gnashing fangs. Hellbeast stuck out his right arm, bending it at the elbow to shield his face from the beast‘s vice-like jaws. The Scrather’s jaws clamped down on his forearm. Its fangs drew very little blood due to his near impervious fur covered scales, but the pressure it was applying was painfully intense.

Hellbeast fought through the pain and concentrated on his right arm, causing a deadly row of spikes to protract from his wrists to his elbow. The bladed spikes ripped into the Scrather demon’s jaw and into its brain. He retracted the spikes and caught the dead Scrather, round the neck, with both hands.

Three ghouls came bounding towards him with slashing claws. Hellbeast hefted the dead Scrather and swung it at the ghouls like a giant club. THWACK! He connected with the ghouls, impaling two of them on the spiny quills of the Scrather demon and sending the other one crashing into a pile of wooden crates.

Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw the Havoc demon coming to life and heard it roar out in pain from the loss of its wing. “Hahahahaha! You are too late hunter, Havoc has risen,” Necrax shouted out.

Hellbeast began spinning in a circle, using the Scrather’s dead body as a bat to keep the beasts at bay. He heard the flapping of wings coming near from above. “This isn’t over yet Necrax!” With that said, he launched the dead Scrather and impaled ghouls into the dark cloud of Blood Sprites, scattering them.

He then turned and charged towards the Havoc demon with dozens of ghouls, blood sprites, and 5 Scrather demons on his heels.

The Havoc demon glared at the charging Hellbeast as his muscles tensed for glorious battle. Hellbeast concentrated on his body, the gold tattoo like accents shimmered as his fur changed colors, blending with the environment just as he neared the battle ready Havoc demon.

Hellbeast disappeared from sight as his camouflage abilities activated. The Havoc demon, caught off guard by the act, grunted as something massive climbed over him and onto his shoulders. He felt a tremendous force push his shoulders down as Hellbeast launched himself into the air towards Necrax. Before he could recover, the Havoc demon found himself swarmed by summoned beasts.

Necrax heard a loud metallic rattle and felt the metal walkway violently shake as it announced Hellbeast’s unseen arrival, just a few feet away from him. The Havoc demon raged in battle below as Hellbeast’s body shimmered back into view. Necrax gasped out loud and took a step back.

“Send the demon back Necrax and I’ll make your death quick.”

“Tempting, but no deal,” Necrax said, stepping back. “Take one step closer and I’ll… I’ll summon forth a dark vortex to swallow you up!”

“Your bluffing Necrax. I know what you can and can’t do. I know your weaknesses,” Hellbeast growled as he stepped towards him. “And I’ve had enough of your company.”

Cornered and desperate, Necrax swung his staff at Hellbeast’s legs, hoping to knock him off. Hellbeast didn’t even bother moving, he simply glared at Necrax as his staff shattered into pieces across his thigh.

Hellbeast wrapped his massive left hand around Necrax’s head and lifted his flailing body into the air. He turned on the walkway to face the battling Havoc demon, holding Necrax over the railings. He pulled his right arm back, cocked and ready, then swung his fist.

CRACK! His hammer like fist pounded into the large necron stone with tremendous force, pulverizing it into glittering dust, sending Necrax’s broken body into the battle below.

Hellbeast ripped out the metal railing, wielding it like a spear. He launched himself straight at the Havoc demon as the summoned beasts around him began shattering like fallen mirrors, signaling the death of Necrax. A puzzled looked crossed the huge demon’s face as it looked around. It held its head up, and began to let out a victory roar.

Its victory roar turned to a pain filled wail as Hellbeast’s makeshift metal spear ripped through its chest and out its back. Blood spilled forth from his mouth as he stared at his punctured chest with disbelief. His scales should have protected him from such a puncture, but Hellbeast’s strength drove it through. He fell to his knees as he clenched the spear with both hands, beginning to remove it.

Hellbeast walked round the badly wounded Havoc demon and watched as it fell to its knees. He concentrated on his arm as the demon began to pull the bloodied spear out. A row of bladed spikes protruded from his right forearm as he grabbed the demon’s head with his left hand. He yanked the demon’s head back and swung his bladed arm, hard.

The Havoc demon’s headless body fell to the ground as Hellbeast tossed the severed head into a puddle of blood. He won, but looking round at all the dead innocents, he didn’t celebrate. He simply headed back out into the night, shifting to his human form as he quietly exited the weathered warehouse.


Article: What and Who Are the Seraph Hunters?

The following is an article that answers many of the questions that I have received regarding the What’s and Who’s of the Seraph Hunters and their world. I hope this helps you to better understand their world.

What and Who Are the Seraph Hunters?
Written by: Ben Marroquin
StoryMask.com

“It’s because of free will that our world became tainted. Those seeking power and wealth and ‘everlife’ beyond the mortal opened the Abaddon. Releasing daemon beasts to prey on mankind; to mutate and birth the creatures of lore, the supernatural and mythological. If not for the Knights of the Seraphs and 3 priests of the order, the world would have plunged into darkness eternal.” ~ Quote from the book I’m working on.

It was the priests of the seraph order who called down the Seraphim from the heavens, while the knights battled the mad followers of the Cult of the Abaddon. While they were able to close and send back the hellpit beast known as Abbadon, the damage had already been done.

Countless daemons from the hell plane of Ashnur had escaped into our realm; leaving death, destruction, and worse in their wake. All of the Knights of the Seraph were bled and infected by these daemons before they scurried away into the night. But they soon discovered that our world was not made for their kind. The only way for them to survive long was to find hosts they could blend with; mutating hosts into strange beastly forms.

So they scattered into the four corners of the globe; some blending with animals, some with plants, some with insects, some with humans, and some with a combination of the four.

Thus, were born the beasts of supernatural and mythological lore.

Many creatures were unique and evil in their own way; some feasting on human flesh, some feasting on emotions, some with very wicked senses of humor, some just seeking power. Eventually, some formed races like lycanthropes, racnids, krendils, undead beasts, and many more.

Most of these daemon bred beasts are able to disguise themselves in human forms or hide in the shadows of the night or in places and planes humans rarely travel.

The Seraphim took pity upon the inflicted and dying Knight of the Seraphs by offering them a choice: to free them from their earthly forms and fly them to the heavens, allowing mankind to deal with the beasts that man had turned loose upon it or to turn them into hunters through their divine blood, ensuring their Free Will, so that they might balance the odds.

For it is Free Will that truly differentiates seraph hunters from the daemon made beasts.

There are several ways to become a beast of the supernatural. Some are born into such a life through the blood of one of their parents. And some beasts are able to transform a human by infecting them; some with their bites as lycans do, some through bonding rituals, and so on.

Vampires do so in a whole other way, actually draining their victims of blood until they are dead. They then bring them back to life by pumping their own blood into their victim’s corpse; usually by piercing their jugular vein with their fangs. Fangs which have small needle like holes allowing them to inject their blood into those they feel are worthy of becoming a vampire.

The victim’s soul still has a choice though: it can decline to re-enter it’s new undead body and head into the afterlife (as it’s soulless body becomes an undead soulless creature under the vampires control) or it can return to it’s body and accept the blending of it’s soul with the daemon blood and become tainted; thus damning their souls to an eternal flaming afterlife, which is why vampires greatly fear death and hang onto their immortality for as long as possible.

It’s the vampire’s blood that allows it to become an immortal predator of the night. Blood which heightens the senses, provides supernatural strength, transforms elder vampires into bat winged beasts, as well as other supernatural effects (some of which are unique to individual vampires).

But the blood also makes them deathly allergic to sunlight, garlic, and holy water. And their undead nature makes them abominations and an affront to nature, which is why wooden stakes through the heart is such an effective means of dusting such vile parasitical creatures.

Meanwhile, those that are bitten and infected by lycans have a choice as well: they can choose to become a beast of the prey, willingly blending their souls with the lycan’s daemon blood, becoming tainted savage beasts (which still doesn‘t ensure their bodies will survive the transformation since over 66% of the bitten die anyways). Or they can fight the blending and pray they survive till the virus runs it’s course 48 hours later.

What are Seraph Hunters

They are humans who become Seraph Hunters through heredity or through bite; like Jovianna “Jovi” Lynette Wynters (aka Darkclaw). She was bitten by a seraph hunter. He performed the Ritual of Ascension; it is the ultimate ritual because it calls for the seraph hunter to give his life in order to ensure the survival of the bitten.

Seraph Hunters are both gifted and cursed: They are gifted with supernatural abilities that many would give their lives to possess. They are cursed for they spend their lives in constant danger; battling beasts, assassins, dark lords, and protecting the world from apocalypses.

Those lucky or strong enough (most likely both) to survive till old age do so with many emotional and physical scars.

Most Seraph Hunters can transform from human form to hunter form. There are as many different types and races of hunters as there are as many different types of supernatural beasts; it’s just that the supernatural beasts greatly outnumber the seraph hunters because they don’t worry about the great number of humans that die when they attempt to turn them.

There are also rare Seraph Hunters that have only human forms. These hunters are usually gifted with different abilities, ranging from powers of the mind to the magical. 1 in 10,000 are born destined to become a seraph hunter.

Young Seraph Hunters are usually gathered into groups by an elder hunter who becomes their Handler. It is the handler’s job to unite, train, and support their cell of Seraph Hunters.

Who are the Seraph Hunters

1) Averus Stevens: He is a 35 year old male whose wife was killed by an assassin over a decade ago. To the public he is a detective/bounty hunter/dojo owner. To his young group of Seraph Hunters, he is their trainer/mentor/provider. His seraph hunter abilities reside in rune magic and weapons crafting. He has appointed Braydon Warrickson (aka Pulse) as leader of the group. He is also the godfather and legal guardian of Daemon Blackwell (whom was named Daemon by his mother); Daemon’s parents were both killed on the same night.

2) Jovianna Lynette Wynters: Jovi was transformed into a seraph hunter through bite. She is currently a freshmen attending Paradise High. She lives with her mother and is new to the city. Her father was a cop in New York and was butchered one night by a hit man who goes by the name of Macabre; he believes that killing is art. Jovi is a myth lycan seraph hunter with the ability to turn into several deadly forms: the forms known to date are that of a deadly werepanther and that of a bird winged werepanther. What other abilities that are likely to appear in her future are unknown.

Seraph Hunter Codename: Darkclaw

3) Bree Aiken: Bree is a seraph hunter through heredity. Her parents died in a car crash involving a drunken driver, two years ago when she was in 7th grade. She is new to Paradise city and on her 3rd set of foster parents. Her current foster parents are deviants. She is currently a freshmen at Paradise High. Bree is a rare type of druic fae in that she is a summoner. She currently has up to six powerful vine snakes that sprout forth from her back; each vine snake is capable of individual thought and action, can spit out globs of amber hued sap, and are likely to develop further abilities. In addition, Bree can transform her skin to bark, has plant like abilities, can shoot ironwood thorns from her palms, is immune to poison, has an intense hatred of the undead, and can release seeds into the ground that transform into strange and deadly plant based beasts that fight to protect her. There is no doubt that her abilities will continue to grow and expand.

Seraph Hunter Codename: Thorn

4) Dezrie Breanne Hernandez: Dez is a seraph hunter through heredity. Her parents and little brother are currently in hiding through the Order of the Seraph relocation program. These drastic measures were taken in response to the kidnapping of her paternal twin sister, Sierra Rayne Hernandez. Obviously, some dark being or organization has discovered her nature. She was held back in eighth grade due to the stress of the crisis of losing her beloved twin sister, the relocation of her family, and her discovery of her seraph hunter abilities. Abilities she learned from her father that were passed on to her by her long dead grandfather. She is currently a freshmen at Paradise High and one of the trios. They spend their nights patrolling the streets and looking for clues as to what happened to Sierra. She still doesn’t understand why they kidnapped Sierra instead of her, since she is the hunter. No ransom or clues has come to light.

Dezrie is a draic fae seraph hunter. She is distantly related to the small fairy race. When she transforms into her seraph hunter form (draic fae form) she appears as a deep maroon dragon like fairy with golden tattoo like designs appearing on her body and wings. Her face takes on a golden hue, her long curly her resembles a burning flame, her body becomes protected by armor like scales, she has a long whipping tail, razor tip wings, dragon claw feet and hands. From the palms of her hands she is able to release fireballs and has been shone to actually control fire. There has also been unsubstantiated reports of her being able to spew forth streams of flame from her mouth. Her future abilities are unknown. What is known is that she offers a fiery death to her foes.

Seraph Hunter Codename: Spitfire

5) Daemon Blackwell: Daemon is a seraph hunter through heredity. His father was a powerful Spiritmancer seraph hunter and his mother was an Arachnid Reaper. He is rather exotic looking and has an athletic build. He is currently under the care of his godfather turned guardian, Averus Stevens; who is also his handler. From what we have gathered his powers seem to be a combination of Shadowmancery and Arachnid Reaper.

We have witnessed him use the shadows as some sort of shroud, concealing him from enemies. He has also used the shadows as some sort of onyx like exoskeleton and created weapons (claws and swords) from shadow webbing. We have seen him wrap enemies in sticky liquid like shadow webs, that he seems to be able to harden at will. He has even used these inky shadow webs as a flesh piercing weapon by shaping and hardening the tips into spear tipped hooks that rip through the flesh of enemies; they then wrap around the pierced area of the body like a stronger than steel shadow web tether. Quite impressive. We have no doubt that his powers will continue to grow.

Seraph Hunter Codename: Ripshade

6) Braydon Warrickson: Subject currently under surveillance. Report soon to come.

Seraph Hunter Codename: Pulse

7) Sierra Rayne Hernandez: Subject currently under surveillance. Report soon to come.

Seraph Hunter Codename: Frostbite

8) Shae Wynstorm: Subject currently under surveillance. Report soon to come.

Seraph Hunter Codename: Hellbeast


Itsy Bitsy Racnids – A Short Horror Story

The following piece of intended horror flash fiction became slightly longer as the words flowed into my keyboard from the images in my head. Actually, it was more like a little movie in my head. By the time I finished I had a short story (on my hands) based on a character and world of my ‘book in progress’ called Seraph Hunters. Seraph Hunters mixes the comic book genre with the horror genre. I hope you enjoy it.

Itsy Bitsy Racnids
Written by: Ben Marroquin
StoryMask.com

Sierra Rayne Hernandez was late. She was suppose to check in by 10:00, but the science research paper she was working on caused her to lose track of time, big time. It was nearly midnight when she began to head out the public library, waving goodnight to Mrs. Wilson, the librarian.

The library used to close a lot earlier, back when Mrs. Wilson’s husband was alive, but ever since he was taken from her by cancer, she kept the library open for as long as high school students like Sierra needed; it was better to be surrounded by people and books, than to go back into the empty house Sierra guessed.

“Don’t forget your coat, dear. It’s cold out and you look to be dressed for spring. You do know it’s winter, don’t you? I wouldn’t you want to go catching your death now.” Mrs. Wilson said worriedly.

“Oh, it’s okay Mrs. Wilson.” Sierra said with a curious smile. She was standing in the open doorway as the brisk wind brushed strands of her pitch black hair into her face; long hair which was streaked midnight blue. She had on her blue pin striped shoulder strap top, black jeans, and sensible black leather boots. She usually wore her black and blue trench coat, but the cold air was just too inviting. Her skin was tanned like her fathers (it was her paternal twin sister that took after mom), her body well sculpted, and her azure hued eyes shone brightly as she finished her reply, “The cold doesn’t bother me at all, Mrs. Wilson. Not one little bit.”

In fact, I love the cold she thought to herself as the doors closed behind her. She made her way down the stone steps. Dezrie is probably worried sick about now she thought as she grabbed her cell phone and dialed her up.

“Hey sis, just wanted to let you know I’m on my way home. I’m about 5 blocks away, I’ll be there in about 15 minutes… 20 minutes tops, ‘kay. See you soon.”

She was halfway down Plaza Ave. when she heard a strange sound. The beautiful two story stone shops lining the streets were all closed; most of the lights from the people living above their shops were off and there was no sign of any parked cars. But still, she had very good hearing and knew she heard something.

“Hemmphhmmmeee”

There it is again she thought looking across the street. “It’s coming from somewhere within that alley,” she said to herself.

Sierra crossed the street, calling the cold to her, letting it sift into her pores. She stepped into the dark alley. She looked around, unable to make heads or tails as to the location of the noise. It was just too dark.

She concentrated the cold to flow into her eyes, making them glow azure as her eyesight shifted, painting the world in various shades of blue. The colder the object, the deeper the blue it appeared. She looked round once more, but the only reds in her vision belonged to the various rodents scuttling about in open trash cans.

“hhheelllppphhhmmeee”

That’s when she looked up. She saw four of them, strung and cocooned upside down across the two rooftops by a network of webs. Three of the wiggling forms shone bright red, but the fourth was limp and fading blue.

Then it hit her; she screamed out in pain and surprise as claws dug into the flesh of her shoulders, yanking her back hard, as poison laced fangs pierced her flesh. Her eyelids felt heavy and her muscles relaxed as the poison coursed its way through her body.

She saw a shadowy figure and fell into its spiky arms.

It carried her up the wall on its long spidery legs. Its pot belly, bloated with blood, made weird sloshing noises. Each of its hands had three long clawed fingers with small needle like holes in the tips. From these holes it spun its web round Sierra’s prone body. Its red flesh was covered by black exoskeleton shells; natural body armor. It looked as if someone had chopped a pot bellied humanoid creature in half and stuck eight spidery legs on its bottom.

Drool dripped down the Racnid’s jaws as it stared at its feasts through yellowish compound eyes. “Yyyeeessss, I have chosen good spot for nest, I have.” It chattered as it hung upside down from its web, busily cocooning Sierra.

The Racnid’s cocoon was up to Sierra’s neck when it noticed something odd occurring to its victim. Strange diamond shaped patterns began to appear on Sierra’s exposed flesh as it began to darken in hue. The flesh hardened, transforming into dark blue scales as her face became silvery. Her muscles rippled with growth as the cocoon began to rip and tear.

The Racnid stared in shock as Sierra’s dragon-like wings ripped their way to freedom, their tips were razor sharp blades. Silvery tattoo like lines danced around her wings and body, pulsing with life as her blazing blue eyes popped open.

Instinct took over as her wings slashed the webbing out from under the Racnid’s feet, sending it towards the concrete ground below. The Racnid flipped with arms out wide sending strands of webs to the walls, stopping its descent a mere foot above the ground as Sierra’s wings cut free the webbing hanging her upside down.

Powerful flaps sent her into the night sky as her dragon clawed hands ripped her body free of the cocoon.

The Racnid glared at her as he ascended the walls, watching her beautiful draic fae form shimmering in the night sky. Her heart told her to save the living, her body tingled with the urge to battle, but her mind cautioned against rash action.

“Frack! I can’t leave them to die.” She said to herself. She looked down at the Racnid ascending the wall and raged out, “I am Frostbite! Seraph hunter and you will pay for what you have done, you foul fracking beast!” The words spilled out, guiding her course of action.

She released a loud piercing shriek into the night, diving into battle. The Racnid saw her shooting towards it as it climbed over the lip of the rooftop. It leapt across the alley, to the rooftop on the other side, avoiding Sierra’s slashing claws and whipping tail.

It turned to face her as she hovered over the rooftop across the alley. She raised her hands and pointed them, palms open, at the Racnid. She grunted as slits ripped open across her palms, sending a barrage of dagger-like icicles into the Racnid’s body.

A flurry of “KKRRSSSSHHH’s” filled the air as the icicles struck the Racnid’s exoskeleton shells, shattering like waves of broken glass. They struck with such violent force that it sent the vile beast back a couple of yards.

The Racnid immediately recovered from the concussive blows. It quickly scuttled across the rooftop and leapt into the air towards her. Her wings sent her skyward as it raised its hands; webs shot forth binding her legs, whipping her round.

She dipped her right wing, its razor tip slicing the web strands, releasing her as the Racnid landed on the rooftop. Sierra sent another volley of ice daggers, aiming at its head. The Racnid raised its arms, shielding its head as the ice blades shattered to the ground. “Damn its bracking shells! It must have a weakness.” Sierra said to herself, looking it over.

The Racnid crouched down, raised its hands and sent thick flowing webs hurtling towards her wings. Sierra lifted her left arm, shielding her wing. Thick strands struck her arm with wet plopping sounds, splashing and wrapping round her forearm, then thickening and solidifying into webs; it felt as if someone struck her with some type of glue gun.

The Racnid then exploded into the air from its crouched position. It quickly hurtled towards her, using its hands to climb up the web straight towards her.

Sierra shrieked out in surprise and sent ice blades towards the beast. It cackled as they shattered on its shell, not slowing its pace. Her heart thumped as panic began to enter her mind. It was coming straight towards her through the air.

Then a cool calm washed over her as an idea came to mind.

Hand over hand, it climbed to her, its mouth chattering in anticipation of ripping her throat out. It was nearly upon her when Sierra sprung her trap; she dipped her left shoulder and arm catching the Racnid off guard, causing it to clench the web tightly with both hands to keep from falling off, momentarily stopping its ascent. Sierra then sent her powerful wing in a round down and up arc.

Her razor tipped wing sliced through the exposed flesh and bone of the Racnid’s elbow joints, severing its arms in half as her tail whipped, sending the Racnid plummeting to the ground. A resounding CRACK filled the night as it crashed into the concrete below; closely followed by the clattering of two severed arms.

She flew down to the ground and approached the broken body of the Racnid. It was lying in a growing pool of brackish blood. She looked up at the 4 cocooned forms, focusing on the small limp blue form that she had been too late to save. She concentrated the cold to flow through her arm as a long sword of ice took shape in her hand. A tear ran down her cheek before falling towards the ground, turning to ice.

She raised the ice sword with both hands above her head, “Fracking Racnids, may you all rot in hell!” The ice sword whistled through the brisk wind, landing with tremendous force, severing head from body, forever ending the threat of this Racnid.


Easy Pickings – A Horror Flash Fiction Story

The following piece of horror flash fiction is based upon a character of a novel I’m currently working on; Seraph Hunters. It mixes the horror genre with the comic book genre. I hope you enjoy it.

Easy Pickings
Written by: Ben Marroquin
StoryMask.com

She grabbed her forest green trench coat and headed out the cabin door. The wind blew her mahogany hair across her evergreen eyes. It was 11:00 at night, time for the midnight hike up Silver Peak. They assigned 12 excited girls to her group, placing them under her care.

She smiled as she recalled taking a similar trip when she was in 6th grade. But that was a different lifetime ago, when her parents were alive.

“Yes! I was hoping you’d be our guide Bree. You’re the best,” Layla said with a smile as the other girls chattered their agreements.

Yes, Bree was one of the more popular counselors, she seemed to know everything about the forest and wonderful things always seemed to occur around her. Like the time a doe walked right up to her in the middle of one of her lectures about forest plants and let the girls pet it or when a group of strange looking butterflies danced around her.

She smiled as she led them up the trail.

He smiled to himself as he trailed them up the mountain. He loved camps, it was simply delicious. Such young tender meat he thought to himself, eyeing the girls hiking up the path. He could hardly wait till they reached the top with no chance of escape, such a feast he would have then, such easy pickings.

It came to her on butterfly wings, gently landing on her shoulder, whispering in her ear. She turned and whispered in the ear of one of the children and then headed into the woods. It was then he noticed that the younglings had turned around and headed back towards camp, without their counselor. His chest reverberated with a low growl.

He smelled her before he saw her in the small clearing up ahead. She stood tall, no trace of fear as she watched his massive body approach. His eyes raged, his claws clacked, and he flexed his massive muscles; easy pickings he thought to himself.

Bree watched the massive werebear enter the clearing and her eyes lit up with emerald flecks as it sized her up. She knew she had no chance against such strength one on one, but as a druic fae, she was never alone in the forest.

She flung her coat on the ground as the beast charged; her back convulsed in pain and her skin thickened as bark as six evergreen snake like creatures exploded from her back and hung in the air around her.

Two of the snake vines grabbed the branches above, pulling her up while the other four vine snakes opened their jaws and spewed forth globs of thick amber sap. He bellowed in rage as the globs of amber sap struck his arms, chest, and legs causing him to crash to the ground. It was then that it registered that he was no longer hunting a simple fleshing human.

His body rippled, his bones popped and contorted, and he bellowed in pain as his mass continued to grow into a huge lumbering form; a dire grizzly. He was a true lycan, able to change from human to werebear to dire grizzly, each form more powerful than the one before it.

Bree gasped as the truck sized grizzly reared up on its back legs and push against the tree with its massive front paws. Its claws tearing bark and tree flesh with each push. Anger flooded her veins as she felt the tree’s cry of pain. Her palms slit open as seeds filled them and she released them to fall on the ground.

They dug into the dirt around the huge rampaging beast as the snake vines grabbed a nearby tree, and began to pull her across as the tree she was on came crashing down. The dire grizzly raised up on its hind legs, swatting a huge clawed paw at her.

It struck her with tremendous force across her right shoulder, spraying evergreen blood on the ground as his claws ripped her flesh, sending her flying across the clearing with such force that it snapped one of the heads of the snake vines holding onto the nearby tree.

It was the other vine snakes that saved her from crashing into the trunk of a large redwood. They grabbed hold and pulled her up as the beast charged across in anticipation of the kill.

Her blood poured freely from her wound, then thickened into an amber hue and began closing as the beast began to rip at her new sanctuary, trying to tear it down. Her eyes lit the night with green as she point her hands, palms open, at the werebeast; slits ripped the flesh of her palms and dark ironwood thorns shot forth into the beast causing him to bellow in pain and rage.

He stumbled backwards from the thorny onslaught, waiting for it to abate. That’s when they sprung up from the ground, from where the seeds had fallen. Dozens of strange and unique dog sized forest creatures pulled themselves up from the dirt; some were like cats with razor thorn claws, some were like primates with gnashing thorn teeth, some were half snake and half beast, and some looked like flying snap dragons.

They took in their surroundings, and it didn’t take long for them to locate the threat and attack.

The dire weregrizzly bellowed in pain as the first wave of plant creatures bit and raked into his hind flesh. His eyes widened in shock as he turned his massive head and viewed the new threat. He swatted them with massive clawed paws and gnashed his massive jaws, but he was badly outnumbered. He roared in rage as his body once again began to be covered by sticky globs of amber sap and ironwood thorns pierced his flesh.

There was no escape, he was easy pickings.


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.


Writing Step 5: Destination

Writing Step 5: Destination
Written by: Ben Marroquin
StoryMask.com

The destination of a story is the ending. Before you begin writing you should write down the ending. Why? This way you’ll know where your story is going. There is nothing worse than spending time writing a story and not knowing how to end it. Think of it like going someplace in a car. When you know your destination you know there are roads that will get you there. When you don’t know your destination you’ll spend hours driving around and end up lost, out of gas, or heading back to where you came from.

Below is a segment of an article written by Holly Lisle:

If your first reaction is, “What am I going to do with an ending when I have only the foggiest idea of my beginning, and none whatsoever of my middle?” don’t worry. You aren’t going to do a completely written-out chapter. All you’re going to do is figure out a basic landing pad for your story.

In my case, I’ll make the following decisions:
* Cadence will live (the survival of the main character is not always a given in my books, and eventually Cadence will make an irreversibly fatal mistake – but not this book)
* She will find what she’s been sent to find
* It will not be what she was led to expect, and this surprise will nearly cost her her life, and will prove fatal to at least one person the reader has come to know (though not necessarily to like)
* She will have her reckoning with the man who used her
* Maybe she will get her papers – that I’ll decide later.

Okay – next part of your workshop. Go back to your original entry and figure out in general terms how you want the story to end. Try to answer the following questions:
* Does your protagonist succeed or fail in gaining the objective you gave him in your opener?
* Does your story come to an emotionally satisfying conclusion?
* Can you see yourself going through anywhere from ten pages to seven hundred and being happy to see the story end this way?

I highly recommend reading the whole article at: http://www.hollylisle.com/fm/Workshops/plot-outline.html


StoryMask News Bite: Clarity of Night Lonely Moon Contest

The Clarity of Night Lonely Moon Contest is over and the votes have been counted. I just want to say Congratulations and thanks to everyone for providing such wonderful stories for us (the flash fiction reading public) to enjoy.

This contest opened my eyes to the world of flash fiction and sparked my imagination. It was the first writing contest I ever entered and I’m glad I did. I got to meet a lot of writers and enjoyed listening to their writing voices. I highly recommend joining the next contest to anyone out there who enjoys writing.

So, if you haven’t visited Clarity of Night, be sure to do so soon.