A Living Will, Part 16: Unlife Phantasmal

Skullthing

It is said that the dead have no need for sleep, and this is true. In the centuries since my death, I have not slept; my consciousness forms an unbroken line from that day on the altar. An endless, wearying, eternal now. It is not surprising to me that so many of my brethren chose to fade away, rather than suffer the endlessness of existence.

It is true, even in the lesser undead. Vampires, for instance: even though they appear somnambulistic during the day, a portion of their consciousness is always aware. They are paralyzed, but awake; it must be a true torment.

So I do not, and cannot, sleep. And yet, sometimes, quite rarely, I dream. Continue reading

A Living Will, Part 15: Irene’s Diary (3)

Skullthing

You know, I read a lot of books in The Project. They were all supposed to be textbooks for my training, but the people guarding me were really, really lazy, and I ended up with a bunch of fiction books as well. They were pretty stupid books, but I had fun reading them. One of them was a detective novel, where a rogue investigator had to find out who killed someone’s rich uncle. As I recall, he thought it was the butler at first, but then it looked like it was the elder brother, but then a surprise twist that was really, really obvious happened, and it was actually the butler again. Well, everyone died, though, except for the detective. It was really a stupid book. Continue reading

A Living Will, Part 14: Irene’s Diary (2)

Skullthing

Mother and Father had taken me to meet Miss Metria before. I remembered her, slightly, as a pretty woman who had something wrong with her eyes. Twenty years later, she still looks exactly the same. Only, I can tell what’s wrong with her eyes now. They’re dead.

It was a little off-putting at first, meeting her again. For one thing, she’s a lot prettier than me, even though she’s an undead. I’m actually not sure what kind of undead she is. I almost asked her if she was a vampire. From what I’ve read, vampires are either extremely beautiful, or extremely ugly. But they are also supposed to have especially pointed teeth, and Miss Metria’s teeth look normal. Well, beautifully white and even, so kinda better than normal. I’m pretty sure my teeth don’t look that nice. Damn it.

I’ve only read one book about undead, actually, and it was mostly focused on how to kill them. As far as I could tell, most strategies amount to hitting them with whatever holy magics you have on hand, calling on every god you know to slow them down, and then hitting them with everything you’ve got. The book was a little out of date, according to my shooting instructor. They make bullets now that can kill most undead really easily. I’m carrying a bunch of them right now, in fact. I might need them. Continue reading

A Living Will, Part 13: Irene’s Diary (1)

Skullthing

I didn’t realize it before, but I’m afraid of death.

Sorry, that’s a really heavy way to start a diary, isn’t it? But I had to write it down. I want to face it cleanly. I’m not sure who I expect to read this. Maybe I just need to tell myself, so I won’t be surprised later. I don’t know.

So yeah. I’m afraid of death.

This came as a surprise to me. My “educators” took great pains in teaching me to be brave. Forcing me to ignore fear, more like. I think my favorite was the snake pit. The poison wouldn’t instantly kill me, after all. Actually, compared to my family, the snakes were pretty decent. I only got bitten twice, after all. Continue reading

A Living Will, Part 12: Not A Man To Cross

Skullthing

Behind me, the door of the office clicked shut. Captain Jack Cross, who had been staring at a “screen” and poking away at a button-covered board in front of him, looked up at the faint noise. His eyes widened as he saw me standing in the doorway, still holding my glass of water. I sensed his fear, which was quickly replaced by a strong anger. “Mr. Zagadactulus.”

-I understand you wished to ask me some questions, Captain.-

“Where is Robert?” he asked calmly. Really, his control over his emotions was quite good; I doubt many people would have noticed the undercurrent of rage in his voice. I wouldn’t have, if I wasn’t using my little trick.

-I don’t know a ‘Robert’ in this era.-

A look of impatience crossed Cross’ face — or possibly just his mind. It was hard for me to tell the difference. “Robert Brown. The officer who was with me when we ‘collected’ you. As I’m sure you could guess.”

-I do not bother to guess. The man you refer to, along with his companions, were excessively hostile. In order to expedite my own investigation, it was necessary to delay them.- Continue reading

A Living Will, Part 11: The Dangers of a Lack of Respect

Skullthing

As I contemplated Metricarisenikai’s prevarications, the water in the glass by my foot suddenly rippled.

Needless to say, it wasn’t anything to do with my flipping through Metria’s report, nor was it due to a sudden draft, or minor earthquake. I had once more made use of my Lord’s gift, and dissolved a bit of necrotic energy in the water. I had then influenced the cursed water to disperse itself a bit, and sent it drifting through the corridors leading to my comfortable cell.

Something had disturbed that unseen mist and, through the connection maintained by my magic, stirred the water in the glass. In other words, someone was coming towards my cell. I would have to prepare myself to receive them. Continue reading

A Living Will, Part 10: A Dead Man’s Eyes

Skullthing

Metricarisenikai had been selected by Lord Baera to be a collector of information. A spy, you could say. As usual, it was impossible to understand what sort of criterion Baera used to make his selections; Metria had died young, after experiencing literally nothing of the real world, so as an intriguer he initially left something to be desired. I was almost shocked when he walked out of that dead city, all those centuries ago now, and announced that Lord Baera had assigned me to him as his mentor. Not that it showed on my face, of course; even then, I didn’t have a face.

But after centuries of practice, he had reached a point where, no matter how unpromising his beginnings were, he had all but perfected his craft. Were I feeling uncharitable, I would suggest that his craft was actually the art of getting other people to do his work for him, but I suppose that it did make him rather efficient at ferreting out secrets. Continue reading

A Living Will, Part 9: They Reach For What They Cannot Have

Skullthing

Originally, Civil Station 24 had been a prison, many, many years ago, back when this city was ruled by a duke. The prison itself had actually outlasted the dukedom, and remained open after the following regime, an oligarchy of rich merchant families, took control of the city. It finally closed down after a major incident where most of the prisoners escaped, after which it lay vacant for over a century — mostly due to a fear of the souls of the many people who had died there, said to remain as life-draining ghosts. A notable necromancer had once hidden his army inside, but had the tables turned on him and died at the hands of his own undead horde. Or so the story went; this history was all from before I arrived on this continent, and records from those times are notorious for being mostly fabrications.

Some forty years ago, the masters of this city, currently a council of democratically elected senators, had decided to expand the constabulary — although the language had shifted, and they were calling them “policemen” now, for some reason. Humans can be strange. In any event, they were looking for places to build headquarters for their newly expanded “policeman” force, and some thrifty soul had pointed to the former prison, which had remained city property despite all the civilian development that had grown up around it. Realizing the opportunity to solve their problem and remove an eyesore at the same time, the council quickly had the building renovated, and almost all traces of its former incarnation were removed. With one important exception. Continue reading

Let’s use words to describe the world!

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I, uh, I’m not sure what’s up with that title. Please disregard it.

But don’t disregard this: I’ve decided on my schedule for the near future! Beginning tomorrow (which is Monday…I think?) I will be working the following:

Monday: Karis & Briar (You know, my NaNoWriMo novel, which I still haven’t officially titled), ~1500 words

Tuesday: A Living Will, 1 chapter (usually ~1500 words)

Wednesday: Editing for ALW, plus anything else I have that needs editing; Posting 1 chapter of ALW

Thursday: Karis & Briar, ~1500 words

Friday: Other projects to be determined, or possibly an extra ALW chapter (~1500 words)

Saturday: Karis & Briar, ~1500 words

Sunday: Editing and reviewing for people who have asked for my help; Posting a summary of my activities for the week

By the way, this is the bare minimum I’m aiming for; I’m not going to stop writing if I’m on a roll, after all. So, as you can see, I’m currently heavily biased toward writing my story about Karis & Briar, but I will have at least one chapter of my web novel published every Wednesday. If I happen to have extra chapters, they will either be published on Wednesday or Sunday, depending on when I can edit them. In the future, once I have my novel closer to completion, I’ll probably move to two web chapters a week, but that’s significantly in the future.

OK, that’s all I’ve got for today! See you on Wednesday, for the return of A Living Will! 😀

Sadly, there will be no chapters of ALW until December. Almost definitely.

black-backed-jackal_face

Yeah, didn’t manage to finish the ninth chapter this month. Sorry. I’ve been busy. And I read too much. 😦

But on the plus side, I’ve done my initial character set-up and plotted a number of events for my NaNoWriMo attempt. Well, I’ve done less with the actual setting, so that’s going to be made up as I go along… I’m sure it will be fine… -_-;

Anyway, I’ve decided on writing a fantasy/mystery novel, about an intelligent but good-for-nothing duke’s son, and his slightly hyper-competent servant. Basically, a foreign noble girl is going to get killed (or possibly put into a coma, I’m not sure yet) and the duke’s son will take the blame, causing the servant to run around trying to prove his innocence. That’s the basic idea, anyway; as usual, the longer I think about it, the more complicated it becomes… Well, at least I figured out who actually did the crime, so I’m not going in completely blind this time. 😛

Each day, I’m going to be posting progress reports on this blog, along with an interesting line or two (you know, if I manage to write anything interesting that day). This is mainly an accountability thing for myself, but I appreciate any and all words of encouragement as I go, together with appropriate ridicule as I fall further and further behind… Well, setting that aside, I’ll post the unedited text of whatever I manage to finish on the 30th, and I’ll work on completing/editing the story from there. That’s my plan, anyway.

Thanks for reading, and I wish you luck with any projects you may be attempting at this time as well! 😉