Friday, September 17, 2010

The Death of Magic Prologue

“I looked away for only a second!” The tremor in a voice that had been firm throughout the millennia sent chills down his spine. “Just as quickly, they vanished. Our children were not the only ones.”

“Yes, Astaria. My own kind has suffered such losses. It preys upon the young and the weak; those whose existence has not been long in this world.” He felt the ages weighing down on him heavily and for a fraction of a second his claws became transparent. “We are losing what little magic is left here. Soon even the eldest will be but a memory and we will all merely exist in the realm of spirits.”

“But why? What is happening? What can we do to stop it?”

“It would be desperate times that would bring the eldest of the unicorns to me.” For a moment he savored the thought of drinking her blood and rending her flesh. A shiver told him she knew full well what he longed for, but she hoped her plea would take precedence over his hunger.

“I do have a hunch, but need to discover the truth of it. Think, Astaria, what has changed over the last two hundred years?” He needed her, needed all the Old Ones that were left if his hunch was right.

“Humans have multiplied and cut down many forests!” Her thinking was slightly flawed.

“We have lost forests to fiery mountains, to winters that lasted an age, to flooding and yet never have our powers waned or our existence been threatened.” The unicorn’s eyes narrowed and she shook her mane as she listened to him.

“But it does have something to do with humanity, does it not?” A golden hoof pawed the ground.

“It does, but not in the way you think. In fact, humans strengthen us when they believe, but it is deeper than that. Humans have captured magic, they hold it hostage.” It was a concept he was having a hard time believing, but it was the only explanation.

“How? And why? Why would they do that?”

“I am not sure yet, and I do not believe they are aware of what they do.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Adventures of Princess Squeaker Part 5

The Others

Some odd sounds woke me after Mom guardian finished cleaning our home. It was the rattle of metal, and I jumped up to see her fencing off half our space. Then she brought in another white fluffy bed and placed it in the fenced off area! Full of curiosity, I just had to know what was going on. A glistening brass fence surrounded the area by the stove. This shifted our potty space towards the back door, and my siblings began to complain. Sensing something important was happening, I kept silent and observed.

Mom guardian than began bringing in ‘the others’ two at a time. They were smaller than us, and smelled different, but they looked kind of like my siblings. Aunt Freya anxiously watched as our guardian placed them carefully on the other fluffy bed. When they cried out, she seemed almost frantic to get to them, but waited until there were six. Two of them were black and white, almost like Xena, and two of them were gray like me, Christmas and Elvis. One of them was red and white like Ace and Mitu, but one was a very light tannish-red color. They whined and yelped when they were alone, but quieted immediately when Aunt Freya curled up with them.

Mom guardian explained they were our cousins, as our father’s brother was their father. The gray girl she called Silver, and the boy she called Face because of his wide white face markings. One black and white pup she called Cat because his neck mark looked like a kitten, the other she called Flakes since his mark looked like a big fat snowflake. The dark red boy she called Brownie, and the other one she called Buck, for his buckskin color. They looked very different, almost more like toys than real puppies, like they were painted. That meant that we had more of us to play with, and I did a little happy dance by their gate and howled hello. Silver came to the gate, but instead of greeting me back, she ran straight for my squeaky! She grabbed it and ran back for the gate and I intercepted. How dare she!?

She was so much smaller that I bowled her over and she howled as if I wounded her. Mom guardian was mad and yelled at me! It hurt, and I went and hid under the counter. Did that mean I had to share my toys with them too? Outrageous!

So we decided to set up patrol around their perimeter to ensure it did not happen again. For a while we kept them out of our space and were able to make forays into their territory to take their toys because we were big enough to jump over the gate and they weren’t.

A few days later, Mom guardian put my siblings and I in the livingroom, and I guarded our food from ‘the others’ even though she put them in a different room. The house smelled of pine and bleach as she scrubbed and disinfected the floor, but when she was done, there was no more gate!

We had to mingle with the others! But as Silver approached me and pawed at me playfully, I thought perhaps this wasn’t such a bad thing after all. I used to be the smallest, but not any more!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our Home

In the kitchen, Mom guardian put our wonderful fluffy warm bed in a place where our mother felt comfortable to nurse us. She placed nice blankets on one side and the papers and ‘potty pads’ on the other side. Moon loved to sleep in the white circle, and sometimes she was hard to see so white on white. What was great about where it was placed left a neat little cave along the backside and under the ledge of the counters where we could hide and be safe from… well, anything that may have swooped on us in the dark. The only problem was that I wasn’t the only one that thought it a great place to sleep. It got downright crowded at times.
Mom guardian brought me this great toy. It was blue, and the texture tickled my tongue as I chewed on it. It looked sort of like a soft stick with a dog head on one end and nubs on the other that resembled legs and tail. If I bit it hard enough on the head or tail, it would squeal! It did not sound like my siblings, this sounded like prey! Oh was it fun! I chewed and chewed and each time it squealed I would try harder! After a long time though, I got sleepy and that rat Xena took my toy! Philistine!
Xena would not give my toy back when I asked her for it. Mom guardian merely smiled when I told her that I was the Princess and that I should get all the toys. I don’t think she understood my protests. Their language is so different from ours. So I took matters into my own paws and launched an offensive to reclaim my lost property. It didn’t end well.
Xena could have it, I wanted the pink ball squeaky anyway.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Adventures of Princess Squeaker Part 3

Dog Pile

The world was bigger outside the kitchen, my guardian used to carry me to den and let me play there. Every once in a while she’d take me to the open place that was oh-so-cold. It was bigger than anything imaginable, with no roof and white stuff covered the ground. She called it ‘outside’, and my guardian would praise and pet me if I went ‘potty’ out there. It made her very happy, so I went potty outside as often as I could. After going potty outside, she would bring me back ‘inside’ and give me a treat. But sometimes I couldn’t wait to go outside and went on the papers she put on the floor. She also praised me for going on the papers, but didn’t pet me or give me a treat. If I missed the paper, she would look disappointed and didn’t say a thing. It made me feel terrible and I tried very hard to get on the papers when I couldn’t go outside.

Every morning our Mom guardian would make a bowl of food mixed with water, and call us over to eat. Once we ate she would take us outside two at a time. After all of us had been outside, she would give us a treat of a milk mixed with powder she called ‘puppy milk’ that was oh so good. Pushing my siblings aside, I would try to drink as much as I could. But they were all bigger than me, and a lot of time I would get pushed out of the bowl. Mom guardian would pick me up, kiss my forehead, and make me a private bowl outside the ‘enclosure’ of the kitchen. To show my appreciation, I would lick up every drop, and then cuddle into her lap with a big sigh of contentment. Most times I would fall asleep as she pet me and made me feel good all over.

At the edge of our enclosure big dogs would gather, and sometimes they scared me, other times I wanted to play with them. The hairy one with the gentle face I learned was my father. He would often come and touch noses with me, and sniff me over the gate.

Sometimes he would lick my face and it made me feel happy. I would run around, and call out to him to play. But he would look at me with sad eyes. He wanted to play, but he was afraid of hurting us. So I would jump and scrabble with my hind legs, trying to get over the barrier, and finally I did!

Christmas was watching me, and imitated exactly what I did, and she escaped too! We ran around the big area like mad, sniffing out every corner! We were so happy, we played and played, and found neat things to chew on although we argue-played over who got to chew on what. Mom guardian found us though, and after a good laugh, she picked us up and put us back in the enclosure. She sat with us for a time, petting and playing with us before she gathered up some things and left. It was hours she was gone, but Dad guardian and James guardian came and spent time with us. It just wasn’t the same, but we were happy to be with them.

What seemed a lifetime later, and the window to outside was dark when she came home. We were all so happy! We couldn’t wait to see her! We howled and jumped at the gate, and Christmas and I whined until we were able to climb out then ran to greet her! She smiled and picked us up, hugging us as we licked her face. She sat with us and I sat in her lap defending it from my siblings that wanted to steal her attention. Moon grabbed my ear, and Elvis grabbed my tail, and we tumbled onto the floor. Mom guardian laughed in delight as I struggled to get them off from me. As soon as I was free, I ran and grabbed that stinker Christmas that crawled in to her lap in my absence. Rotten siblings! Raawrrrr!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Adventures of Princess Squeaker Part 2

Pretty Little Runt

There were three guardians in our house. Like benevolent gods, they watched over us, but none as much as the one who helped my mom give me my first breaths in life. She was like a second mother that brought us toys! Unlike mom, she walked on two legs, and used her front paws to pick us up, scratch our ears and rub our tummies.

She gave each of us names. My light gray sister she called ‘Misadventure’, but was later renamed ‘Moon’ since she was the one who almost always climbed out of the tub. My dark grey brother had a single white dot on his back, so she called him ‘Dot’, but later began calling him ‘Elvis’. My dark grey sister with the funny white mark on her back she called ‘Christmas’. My red and white sister with no marks on her back she called ‘Squeaky’, very close to my name ‘Squeaker’, and sometimes I thought she was calling me when she was really calling to my sister. ‘Squeaky’ soon became ‘Mitu’. My other red sister she named ‘Ace’. My black and white sister she called ‘Xena’. They were the first names we learned meant that we were to come to our guardian for feeding, playing or that wonderful sensation of petting. My name was changed to ‘Princess’, and my guardian said it was because I was so beautiful, regal, and a dainty little runt. She said it was because I was the smallest with the biggest attitude. Whatever that meant must have been good because she always hugged me to her when she said it, and it made me feel so happy inside.

The guardians’ names were ‘Mom Aleeha’, ‘Dad Jim’, and ‘James’. They were enormous creatures, two and three times the size of mom, but gentle. They never stole my toys like Moon did, and never chewed on my ears like Ace. When my teeth finally began to break through my gums, they brought me mushy round bits soaked in milk that tasted so intriguing. I ate as much as my belly could hold, since mom seemed reluctant to feed us. The stuff felt so good in my tummy, I slept for hours!

Each time the guardians left me, I let them know I wanted to be with them. It felt as if they were tearing out my heart when they left me behind with my siblings. I tried so hard to follow them, but they kept putting barriers in my way. Every once in a while, my guardian would take me with her, carry me around way up high and out of the reach of my siblings. She would bring me special toys and tidbits of food that made my taste buds dance and my mouth water. It wasn’t long before she became more important to me than my own mother.

“How’s my little Squeaker today?” Those words would shiver through me all the way to my tail and I would run as fast as my unsteady legs could carry me.

The salt of her nose tickled my tongue, but tasted oh so good and she would breathe deeply of my scent as she lifted me on high. The warmth of her love flowed in to me and mine flowed back as I mouthed her fingers.
“No, no, little Princess, this is what you need to chew on.” She would say as she put a toy in my mouth.

Disappointed but still happy to be with my guardian, I would chew on the toy instead. She would sit with me for a time, stroking my fur before she would make us a big round bowl of food.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Work in Progress

This is a chronicle of my darling little Princess Squeaker.

November eleventh two thousand and nine, in the middle of the night I arrived third in my litter. Immediately after mom bit the umbilical cord, a fluffy cloth enveloped me, picked me up and rubbed me all over to help me breathe. A bit of thick fluid shot out my nostrils as air finally rushed in my lungs. A voice hummed and cooed as I was dried and lowered back to the warm side of my mom and siblings, and she finished cleaning me. The smell of my first meal drove me on searching in the dark against her warm side and comforting smell for a teat to satisfy my hunger. Plaintive cries issued from my throat, high and shrill as the cooing voice reacted, and gently a hand guided me to my goal. The smell was not the same as my mother’s, but still comforting, and the sound of the voice was oddly soothing as it spoke my first name.

“Easy my little Squeaker, I’ll give you some help pretty girl.” Though the words meant nothing to me, the sound was of warmth and safety, the gentle love of a guardian and provider.

Food was my first priority, but I could not get enough and my protests filled the circle of my new world. Soon the gentle voice made a sound I later learned was laughter as I was helped to another nipple. Finally able to still the hunger inside, peaceful bliss came over me and I slept.

The next few days were filled with sleeping, searching for food, then searching for a comfortable place to sleep. I learned the smell of my mother, siblings, our bed, and the ever-present guardian that watched over us, comforted us when we were distressed and helped us find both food and sleeping space. This mysterious creature lifted us from wherever we had managed to get stuck, held us gently, murmured comfortingly until we fell asleep, or set us next to our mother so that we could eat.

Light began to filter through the coverings over my eyes and blurry shapes began to manifest in my first views of the world. It was much bigger than I imagined, and we were in a tub, a relatively small section of the room around us. My sister managed to climb out of our tub a couple of times, but the guardian creature always returned her to the safety of our home. My legs were able to hold my weight once in a while, and I tottered around, trying to see all I could see. My brother and sisters mouthed me, and I mouthed them back, with the nubs of my teeth that itched in my gums. It was a great game of ‘chews’ that we sometimes played with mom and our guardian.

Our mother was a stoic lady though, and rarely played back, but our guardian made a sound we learned was laughter, and would tickle our bellies. Oh what a wonderful feeling!

When our eyes were fully open, our guardian moved us from the tub to a much larger area with slick flooring that was covered in a layer of shredable stuff that was fun to chew on. Twice a day the guardian would change the stuff we eliminated on, and once a day would put us back in the tub to wash the floor, then lay down more stuff for us to chew on. There were cool toys that tickled our gums and squeaked if we bit them hard enough! I never got tired of those! There were others that just felt good to gnaw on, and once, when I grabbed a hold of one, my sister Moon grabbed a hold of another end, and boy was it fun to try to get it back! This began a whole new game for us! But my favorite game was trying to follow our guardian out of the area we were confined to.

She was so fascinating, loving and fun, it made me so sad every time she left us, and I cried at the gate until I figured out how to get out. She would laugh, pick me up and carry me around for a while. Her hand on my head sent waves of warmth through my entire body, and when she rubbed my belly, all was right with the world! The love was mutual, and even at my young age, I recognized that I was the favored one.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Supernatural Thriller (as yet untitled)

The autopsy revealed nothing, no chemicals, no trauma to any vital organ, the coroner was as confused as he was. She simply died with no explanation. How does a healthy twenty-eight year old woman just die? He opened the background file, shivers crawling down his spine, and suddenly being in a darkened office building alone at two in the morning didn’t seem like a good idea. Outside, sirens blared then faded to the sounds of cars passing below. The city was alive and thriving despite the death that stalked its streets.

She was the third victim. The only two links were their inexplicable deaths, and the fact that each of them belonged to an obscure cult, albeit different ones. Three healthy victims, each were found in their beds, as if they had died in their sleep, but the twisted features, the clawing hands, wide eyes and screaming mouth were testament that something had happened. What could have scared them to ‘death’?

He ran his hand through tawny hair, ending in rubbing his eyes and picking up a well-stained cup. The smell of half-burned coffee lead him to the breakroom.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rise of the Fomir (Beyond the Veil Part 1)

Here is a glimpse of one of the novels I'm putting in to first draft, bear in mind this is a far cry from the final edit. ;-)

Beyond the veil is a world in turmoil, a place where the forces of good are in constant battle over the fate of the universe against the forces of evil and destruction. There are few who can see beyond the veil that separates our world from this battleground, and even fewer who can enter that world and change it forever for good, or evil.

The classroom was the same, dull books, boring teachers and the same mishmash of students stuck on mundane interests. Susan wondered if her hair looked right, and Billy voiced his concerns about who he was going to ask to the prom. Their whispered conversations were not enough to turn his attention from the thought of his latest mental creation. Someday he would change the world, his spherical wheeled cars raced along pristine highways in his mind, unfettered by the needs of human intervention. The droning of the teacher continued in the background, and he almost missed the dark, the sensation of cold ‘wrongness’ that passed outside his classroom.

Preternatural instincts awoke and a velvety nose twitched in urgent attention. The veil parted around him and he sensed the ‘other’, the predator of souls. It was dark beyond the veil, a darkness that was not night, but an absence of light. The creature stopped. Its head, akin to a three-eyed dog, moved from side to side, but its body, the shape of a rotting bear carcass, stood still. Jowls unable to close yawned in unnatural rigor displaying a complete row of sharp rending fangs, teeth that were designed to tear through flesh and bone, but never chew. Absolute cold surrounded the death-dog, the vegetation of that spirit world melted around it, shriveling and falling to ice crystals beneath its heavy tread. Unseeing putrid yellow orbs stared out of the three sockets on its head that cast first to the left then the right, then settled exactly on him in a knowing awareness. His hackles rose as the fear raced through his veins. That was no ordinary hunter!


Without knowing why or how his mind screamed the name through the dark as the earth sprang away from his feet. Wind rushed beneath his wings, carrying his body just out of reach of those fangs that leapt towards him with surprising agility. He could smell its stench, feel its hunger, and its whisper called him by name.

“Feralthar…Feralthar.” The hideous breath washed over him almost gagging him with the odor of all the corpses that ever decayed beneath a sweltering sun.

In the distance he heard the roar and raced faster towards it through the swirling sky. Behind him the creature followed as if the air were solid ground. Above, the black sky moved in familiar patterns, glimmering lights fell into regular patterns as if a million sable diamonds were set in regular rows all reflecting the pale rays of the sliver of a moon. He could just make out the massive triangular head as it swung his way, the beat of its wings a hurricane that swirled back towards his pursuer. The sky opened in two orange-red orbs spilling fiery light into the darkness and lancing out to rest on his form. A rumble of thunder echoed through the universe as jet lips pulled back from massive ivory fangs and jaws that have crushed worlds. A flash like lightning slid past him, so precise, so close, that it brushed his fur as the reptilian scales covered him with a scent of brimstone. Behind him the air rushed out, momentarily upsetting his balance and lift as the crushing explosion of forced air contained the unmistakable sound of snapping bones. A yelping bark echoed through the darkness and was gone.

A disgusted rumble and long moments later something hit the vegetation far below, and he heard the dragon swear under its breath and spit several times. “Nasty tasting creatures…. Bleh! Couldn’t you bring me something more palatable?”

A relieved nervous laugh bubbled from his throat, and he was sure he did not like the way the massive creature sniffed at him with half-lidded eyes. He shuddered as the dragon yawned, fully aware that two of him could have easily fit inside its mouth.

“What was it?” The gaze illuminated him against the sky, bathing him in blood red light.

“A death-dog, hunters of the gray lords. They know you now. You have been foolish.” The light vanished for a moment as the dragon closed its eyes. “Fortunately they do not consider you a threat, yet… We will discuss this later. Your attention needs to be back at school.”

“But-“ A flash of ivory teeth convinced him that arguing was out of the question.

“I will ensure nothing else happens you need to be concerned about, and you need to stop allowing them to sense you when you can not concentrate on fighting. Now go.” It was not a request, but he knew better than to voice his frustrations.

How could he think about school after that!? The veil parted below showing him in his seat, a human boy bored out of his wits and staring off into nothing.

“I never get to have any fun.” He whispered to himself as he settled back in to that form, the veil closing behind him.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Valkrys and the Big Snow

Valkrys and the Big Snow by AR Travis

Of all the mischief she might have caused, one thing Valkrys loved to do more than play was work. Yeah I know that is a tough concept for us humans, but she really, really, really loved to pull! She would get very excited when I would get out her harness from the closet and put it on her.

Living in North Carolina, needless to say there had never really been much snow, but that year we had three feet! That was more snow than many folks from NC had ever seen all piled together in one year. Everything was shut down for two weeks! Valkrys and G’kar were overjoyed! As soon as I got them outside in their harnesses, they rolled in the snow, yipping and howling it up, impatient for me to get the toboggan. James was more excited than ever to get on the toboggan. Where we lived, the only really big hill was in the woods and not a sufficient place to go sledding, but no matter. Two dogs and a toboggan beats a full snow any day.

With me in front, Valkrys and G’kar next, pulling James on the toboggan, off we went to get the mail. We lived on a long private country dirt road, and our mailbox was all the way to the end of the road, and more snow was falling as we happily made our way there. It was quiet with the lazy flakes drifting through the trees like lacy faeries to rest on the white-covered ground. The main road was still covered in ice and snow, and the mailman alas, had not made the trip. So we returned empty handed, but all smiles back to the house, around the house, out making snowmen, and finally for a snowfight. Valkrys and G’kar kept trying to bite the snowballs or pieces as they dropped back into the snow.

Wet, cold and hungry, but all very happy, we bundled back in to the house. James and I had hot cocoa and cookies and Valkrys and G’kar got a nice biscuit. Every day for the next week, Valkrys would go to the closet where I kept her harness and whine until I hooked her and G’kar up, and off we would go, down to the mailbox and back.

The third week it warmed up to fifty, and all the snow melted away. Valkrys would come back in from doing her business with a sad face, and would mope by the closet where her harness was, dreaming of more snow.