Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 12 Sep, 2010 11:55PM
*this is Mark (Martin
Um.. Yeah. Sorry.
Been ages since I have
written anything, longer still since I have posted.
I hadn’t realised that
I never posted more of my Dark Mark story - or Resurrection, for that matter -
so here is another "bit" of Dark Mark and Hardcore Sam.
it does not follow in
sequence because unlike Resurrection, I am writing chapters (or
"parts") as I think of them, with the thought of putting them in some
kind of order and "filling in the blanks" as I finish the story (if I
So ill shut up now and
let you get on with reading it. Comments/critique gladly accepted. Praise even
Mark dragged himself painfully to his feet and stared
mournfully at his bike. It lay on its side, battered and warped. The front
wheel had buckled slightly and was slowly spinning, making a tortured squeak as
it scraped against the forks.
With a resigned sigh he slowly turned and looked back at the
way he had come. A massive dust cloud swirled through the heat haze of the
plain. The vehicles were gaining rapidly and Mark realised that he was going to
die. The rabble that had chased him definitely would not let him live now, not
after all the mayhem he had caused. His only regret was that he wouldn’t be
able to say goodbye to Sam. He hoped with all his heart that his distraction
had helped her to escape.
Grunting painfully, Mark searched for his backpack. Like him,
it had been thrown clear and was lying several feet away. He limped towards it
and unstrapped his rifle from the side of the pack. After checking that his gun
wasn’t damaged he rummaged within the pack and took out the last of his
ammunition and the rifles powerful scope... Dark Mark was determined to go down
fighting. He owed Sam that much, at least.
The dust cloud was getting closer and Mark could see vague
blobs at the head of it. Not much time left. With a calmness that he did not
feel, Mark attached the scope to the rifle and took position behind his bike. He
knew that it would not provide much protection as the pursuers could simply run
right over him and turn him into a thin red smear on the plain. The bike did,
however, provide a stable platform for his rifle to rest on and should protect
him from returning gunfire. Mark stared down the scope and forced himself to
relax. He wanted to take as many of the bad guys out before they squished him.
“I’m sorry I failed you, Sam” he whispered to himself. The
image in the scope blurred briefly as the thought of losing his best friend
brought a prick of tears to his eyes. Sniffing, he wiped them away and peered
through the scope again.
As the mob came closer Mark realised that one car was accelerating
way ahead of the others. It would be his first target. As it came closer, details
became clearer and despite everything, Mark thought that it was a rather cool
looking vehicle. Like all the others on this cursed planet, it looked like a
jury-rigged machine, cobbled out of whatever scrap that could be found. It was very
basic in shape, and looked like a massive dune buggy. It had a short, low
oblong body and seemed to have a roll cage made up from bent scaffolding poles.
All of this was supported by a truck-like chassis and it rode on massive
balloon tires that stuck out on either side.
Taking a steadying breath Mark tried to aim at the driver.
The buggy was bouncing wildly and he had to wait till it came closer to be sure
of a one shot kill. His rifle twitched in his hands and he gasped as he saw who
was behind the wheel.
“Sam!” he cried.
With her plaits streaming in the wind Sam was driving like a
demon possessed. Overjoyed, Mark leapt to his feet and waved. Sam saw him and
altered course. In true Sam-like fashion she waited till the last moment before
slamming on the brakes and power sliding to a halt, kicking up more dust. She
looked up at Mark and shouted over the burbling V8 engine “hey handsome, want a
Choking on the dust Mark managed to croak “you are
alive!!". I thought that they had killed you!”
“Well I… we… wont be
alive for much longer keep standing there gawking! C’mon lets go!”
Mark hastily grabbed his rifle and backpack and leapt into
“Hang on!” yelled Sam as she revved the engine “this is
going to get bumpy!” Mark had just enough time to grab the side of the roll
cage before Sam floored the accelerator. Mark nearly swallowed his tongue as
the buggy surged forward.
Sam was not lying, the ride was bumpy and Mark desperately hung on. He risked a quick glance
behind and saw through the dust that the other vehicles had gotten a lot
closer. He could make out the sneering faces of the driver and passengers of
the lead vehicles. They all had guns but were not even aiming them. Confused, Mark
tried to tell this to Sam, but the buggy was bumping so much over the rough
terrain, all he could manage was “Garrrk!” glancing back again, he briefly
locked eyes with the driver of the lead vehicle and saw a huge grin appear on
his face. The driver nodded to him and pointed ahead. Mark whipped his head
round and stared in horror at what was rapidly approaching.
The shoreline of a massive lake.
Sam had seen it too. She had been hoping that it was just a
mirage caused by the heat haze on the dusty plain, but as she got closer, her worst
fears were realised. She looked left and right and was dismayed to see that the
lake stretched for miles in both directions. They were trapped and there was no
way they could turn left or right without being flanked by the horde spread out
behind them. There was only one option left and Sam grinned to herself. She had
a cunning plan.
As the buggy sped onto the floodplain of the lake the ride
became a lot smoother. No longer flung about like a rag doll, Mark turned to Sam
and yelled “what are we going to do?” Sam
just smiled at him and reaching out she flipped a switch bolted to the Spartan
dashboard of the buggy. Confused, Mark looked at the dash and saw a wire
leading from the switch. The wire trailed down and disappeared under his bucket
seat. Mark stuck his head between his legs and peered under the seat, only to
sit bolt upright with a hiss of panic. He had seen that under his seat was a
big fat cylinder of nitrous oxide.
He noticed then that there was a dial on the dashboard. It was
simply labelled `NOX`, its needle was rising through the green section and
making its merry way towards the red. Eyes wide with fear, Mark started to
“Oh don’t be such a baby”, laughed Sam. “I know what I’m doing”
“Bu… bu… bu…” Mark stammered pointing to the dial and then
to the lake ahead.
“Yes, dear,” replied Sam patiently “we are going to drive
across the lake”. Seeing Marks expression she continued “I saw a programme on
it once. There were a bunch of crazy Icelanders who raced their buggies across
water. It seems rather simple, really. These kinds of tires…” Sam pointed at
the blur of black rubber “… have treads that almost act like scoops, a bit like
what you see on a paddle steamer. Only smaller. Obviously”.
She briefly glanced over at Mark and saw him staring at her
with utter horror as what she was planning to do sank in.
“No, really.” She continued encouragingly and pointed to the
gauge on the dash “the nitrous oxide should give us more than enough power and
this baby will simply aquaplane over the water, no problem!”
Saying that she reached out again and her finger hovered
over a big red button. Before Mark could stop her she screamed “Here we go!!” and
jabbed the button. Mark thought that the engine was loud before, but as soon as
Sam hit the button, it shrieked. The buggy
lurched forward and almost doubled its speed. “Warp 10, captain!!” Sam yelled
The buggy’s massive tires dug in to the soft earth and sprayed
a massive “rooster tail” of dust and grit into the air as it hammered towards
the waters edge. Sam’s eyes remained focussed on the opposite shoreline, almost
half a mile ahead. With a sudden jolt the buggy hit the water.
“It’s working!” Sam screamed over the brutal roar of the
If Mark wasn’t half crazed with terror he would have agreed
with her. As it was all he could do was to hang on and pray. His knuckles
turned white as he desperately gripped the roll bar. Sam was screaming with
pure exhilaration. Mark was just screaming.
The crossing took only a minute but it was one that would
remain in Marks memory for the rest of his life. As soon as the buggy hit
opposite shoreline, Sam slammed the brakes on and with a flourish skidded the buggy
round 180 degrees. Shielding her eyes against the sun and peering across the
lake, she could see that the pursuit was over. She could just about make out
the vehicles on the other side. It looked like a few had attempted to copy her
mad stunt, but it was obvious that those other vehicles were nowhere near as
powerful. She cheered as one by one the vehicles that attempted the crossing
sank in a plume of spray. Mark and Sam
had finally escaped.
Sam cut the engine and let out a jubilant yell. “What a rush!” she cried. Marks groan caught her
attention. She looked over to see him trying to climb shakily out of the buggies
cockpit. She had to bite back a laugh as he disappeared over the side and
flopped to the ground.
“You ok?” she enquired innocently.
Marks hands gripped the side of the buggy and his head came
into view as he hauled himself to his knees. He stared into Sams face. Saw her
flushed cheeks and shining eyes and managed to mumble “You…. You….”
“Yeah, wasn’t it awesome!”
Sam cut in. her nose suddenly wrinkled “and... what’s that awful smell?”
Mark stared balefully at her for a few seconds. He reached
into the foot well of the buggy, hauled his backpack out and simply mumbled “M`spare
clothes. Need to wash in the lake”.
“Oh my” Sam said to Marks retreating back as he stumbled
drunkenly to the shoreline “you were
a bit frightened”
-------------------------------------------once again, editing, punctuation and tenses are probably not correct, but i hope you liked the story.
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 09 Sep, 2010 11:02PM
Hello! This is not Mark, he has "lent" me his account until i can get my own. My name is Salla and I love writing all kinds of little stories, though genre-wise I love fiction and fantasy the most. Since I am Finnish, my stories are originally written in finnish and I then translate them into English. I hope that the words and phrases translate ok :)
I have to run. Panic! Where did
they come from? From over there? From further away? I ran faster, my feet were aching
but my paws hit the asphalt lightly and quietly, softly. I jumped high, my leg
hit the fence and I felt my skin rip. I kept running and felt their stinging
The edge of the forest was already
at my sight, but to get there, I'd have to get across a wide, open field. I'd
be there like an antelope being surrounded by lions. I'd have to be fast and
lucky. I almost smiled even though I was scared. I had been very unlucky
lately, and I felt pain in my wounded leg.
The last house. In a few seconds
I'd be an open target to everything and everyone. I'd have to be stronger. A
lot stronger. I concentrated on forgetting about everything that was
surrounding me and trusted that my legs would keep running during the
transformation. I almost tripped over when I felt my feet changing, they now
allowed me to run in an upright position. My front paws lengthened to form
arms, but I didn't lose my fur. My skull grew bigger, as did my teeth and my
snout. I got plenty of muscles all over my body. My leg wasn't hurting any
more, the wound was now only a small scratch, and I was starting to almost
enjoy the feeling I had.
I looked around, I saw them behind
me. A huge dose of adrenalin was running in my veins. My hands reached to my
hips, and met a belt. I had my hunting knife with me, as usual. I carefully
drew it from its sheath and slowed down. When I met the edge of the forest, I
suddenly turned around to face them. They kept running towards me with a crazy
gloom in their eyes. I growled. Bring it on.
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 23 Mar, 2010 07:56PM
i have been incredibly lax in posting here.. sorry about that,guys.
this is an off-the-cuff story start that i wrote a week or so ago. like my Crop Circle story, this one just popped into my head because a phrase sparked off my imagination.
in my head, this story is a mad max/mangaesque kinda thing. there is also some weird sci-fi stuff too.. mainly in relation to how the characters got into that particular world.
anyhoos... its not thought through fully and can be considered a first draft/brainstorming piece. would be nice to hear what you think of it
Hardcore Sam and Dark Mark
As the setting sun seared through the meagre wisps of cloud, a hot desert like wind gusted gently around two figures. They stood dispassionately amongst the torn and twisted rubble of the metropolis and stared at the burning wreckage in front of them.
Hardcore Sam and Dark Mark…. Two of the survivors from the surreal accident that tore the world apart, they were so different in appearance, yet so similar in mind. Hardcore Sam described herself to her few friends and many more victims as a midget sumo. Dark Mark knew that it was her pain-killing medication that sometimes made her look that way. Hardcore Sam turned her head and looked up at him. He broke his gaze from the wreckage and turned his attention to Sam. Standing at just over six foot, he towered over her, but although the top of her head was midway to his chest, she was undaunted.
Looking at her with affection, Dark mark noted her deep dark eyes and quirky smile. He did not see her as a sumo midget, she was far from that. Petite, yes, sumo-sized, no. His eyes broke contact with hers and roamed down her body, stopping at her small hands which gripped a pair of massive six-shot revolvers.
“nice shooting, Sam” Mark said, drily.
As a reply, Sam simply raised the barrels to her lips and blew away the smoke that came from them….
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 21 Oct, 2009 09:09PM
Continuing the story of the caretaker... for many reasons, some personal, this was a very hard story to write.
oh, and the fact that it starts with one of my earlier poems, and also incorporates bits of the original Lockdown is intentional. i was hoping to superimpose the caretakers attitude between "then" with "now". somewhere along the way though, the story wandered and got personal.
The worms of paranoia grow,
Crawling, burrowing through the mind.
Eating away everything good,
Still crawling, still burrowing.
Destroying the whole,
Leaving a dark space,
A hollow vacuum.
The darkness grows,
Filling the void with bad things.
Mistrust and loathing,
Fear and loneliness,
Nowhere to turn, a different person awakes.
The awareness intensifies,
Sounds, colours, smells are sharper.
More animal than human.
People everywhere, all strangers.
Who are they?
What do they want from me?
Why do they care for me?
More feelings from the void,
Vision through a twisted clarity.
Fight, maim, run.
Sanity returns slowly.
Purity, goodness, spirit.
Slowly, mind and body whole.
Safe, rational, alive.
With a rattle of keys and a decisive clunk, the Caretaker locked another door. He was halfway through the nightly lockdown of the site with only an hour to go. The site was huge and he faced yet another corridor. It stretched before him, an endless supply it seemed.
He paused, listening for any untoward sound. Things were different now, the rules had changed. Turning from the door and facing the corridor, all the caretaker could see was a monochrome darkness. He automatically reached out for the light switch before stopping and cursing to himself. There was no more electricity, no more lights. They were dead.
Dead… his mind echoed. Everything gone. no more amenities, no more gas heating, nothing… all dead…Ever since the school was attacked, the food stolen and his rib broken, the caretakers sanity was slowly being eroded away.
When he was a child he once looked into the bathroom mirror, stared at his face and repeated his name over and over like a mantra. It was initially out of curiosity, but after a while the face changed into a stranger and the repetition of his name rendered it useless, with no meaning. The incident scared him and he spent the rest of that day feeling very uncomfortable. And now it was happening again, more insidious this time… his self was disappearing. More and more the primal side of his humanity kept trying to force its way through the social and mental barriers that made up his psyche. The beast that he had unchained in that fight was winning; the red mist was never too far away….
Not even aware that his mind was crumbling, he could never shake the feeling that the school was fully secure. As soon as he was mobile enough, he had enlisted all the students to clear the ground floor classrooms of benches. Under his direction, the benches were broken down and used to board up the windows. The classroom doors were then locked and nailed to the doorframes. The remaining bench tops were used to reinforce both interior and exterior doors and, after rummaging in the stores in his workshop, the caretaker had produced a large box full of hasp and padlocks. Each door had one installed on it, and every night, the residents abandoned the wing and retreated to the central part of the building. The abandoning of the wings seemed the most sensible idea. But still... the caretaker included them in his lockdown routine. That’s all I am now he thought …routine. The same pointless route over and over….
The caretaker looked down the corridor and faced the darkness ahead darkness ahead the whispered thought made him shiver. Only the barest glimmer of moonlight insinuated itself through the slight gaps in the boarded windows.
Gathering himself, the caretaker stalked slowly through the darkness. His keys were muffled in his pocket and his squeaky workboots had been replaced by black soft-soled running shoes, liberated from the sports hall. He was almost invisible in the darkness as he wore jet black cargo trousers black T-shirt and a black jumper. He had a torch but was loath to use it. He had explained to the others that it was because he wanted to save the batteries for emergencies. Secretly though, he wanted to remain unseen while he was patrolling. Invisible in the darkness.
The sounds of the old school settling was different too. Gone were the strange noises of lights creaking and ticking as they cooled, gone were the grumbling and moaning of the pipes…. all gone, everything….gone… instead there was an almost deathly silence, punctuated by the sound of the wind whistling around the school and the smallest creak as the heat of the day left the ancient stones, causing them to expand.
Before, the lockdown was always simple. All the Caretaker had to do was to go from one end of the site to the other and lock all the doors as he passed them. Intruders used to only be a faint possibility but now they were a real threat. The caretaker know that the building was not a hundred percent secure, and that someone could sneak in and hide… hiding in the darkness, ready to jump out … there were alcoves along the corridor. Alcoves filled with deep black shadows… Is there anyone waiting in there? … The caretaker was convinced that someone was in the school, someone who shouldn’t be there someone…. Waiting for me…..
Unseen eyes seemed to bore into the back of his head, making his skin prickle and sending sharp slivers of fear shooting down his spine. Warily, the caretaker continued down the corridor. He finally gave in to his fear and flashed his torch into each of the alcoves as he passed. Every time the beam lanced into the alcove, the caretaker kept expecting it to light up the pallid face of an intruder. In the shadows of his imagination he saw flat, black eyes boring into his own, a rictus of a grin as a hand raised a knife…
“Gaaa!!” the caretaker exclaimed, shuddering. Sometimes His imagination was sometimes too vivid for his liking, but superimposed over the paranoia that he felt was the real fact that there could be an intruder. No longer were these potential enemies simply students breaking in to cause mischief. It was far more serious than that. This night, like every other night, the caretaker resolutely thought “not on my watch. Some things, it seemed, did not change.
As he stalked down the corridor he could see his next destination. Another set of double doors lay ahead of him. This time no light from the corridor beyond glowed through the window panel of the door. The Caretaker felt a strange trepidation as he approached. He was so used to the two squares of light, surrounded by near darkness and seemingly staring at him as he approached. Before, he thought it odd that the prospect of leaving the darkness and stepping into the light should make him feel nervous. Now he realised that the lack of light was much, much worse. Terror was only a few heartbeats away and the caretaker had to pause and take deep breaths to steady his jangling nerves before striding through the doors. As he selected the key from the bunch clipped to his belt, the doors swung shut and slammed with a loud boom that echoed down the corridor. One more section of the old building was secured. Only the theatre and Library to go.
The Caretakers route was such that he entered the theatre from the rear of the stage. Side-stepping the various props and costume racks, he padded quietly onto the stage. Moonlight flooded from the high windows, bathing the stage in a silvery glow. Feeling exposed, the caretaker quietly moved to the wings. This was still a powerful place to him and yet… instead of a feeling of awe and imagination, a sense of malice and evil intent seemed to permeate the air.
His senses were strung taught and the caretaker couldn’t help but suppress another shiver. Leaning up against the wall in the wings the caretaker cupped his face with shaky hands what is happening to me! An inner voice cried. The thought seemed to open a floodgate of revelation. The caretaker realised that he had been blinkered, tied to the past. The rules that governed a peaceful society had changed. Society was just a thin veneer, and the caretaker realised that under that veneer, the populace was just as savage, just as bloody as the rest of nature. These thoughts stripped the caretaker of the fantasy of the old ways, and showed him the reality of where he was. The reality of world he now lived in came crashing into his psyche.
With new awareness, the caretaker imagined what the future would be. A new future filled with the violence of survival. Do I want this life? He asked himself and realised that the answer was no. he tried to think of alternatives... there is one choice, one way out … a small but insidious thought nagged at him. There was no denying it and the caretaker was forced to consider its consequences... the thought of suicide was as compelling as it was repellent. No. he thought not that, never that… stifling a sob the caretaker slowly stood up. Head up, and back straight he stalked out of the theatre, continuing his lockdown.
As he proceeded down the corridors towards the library, his tortured mind mulled over this new future that he had to face. Slowly acceptance came, but at a price. A big part of him had died inside, overwhelmed with grief and self pity. Survive for now, he thought the other option will always be there.
As he finally entered the library, the caretaker was surprised to see that the place still seemed timeless. With chaos boiling within him, and confusion rampant in the world, the library was still a place of sanctuary. And yet the feeling of being watched, of being stalked was still with him. This was not just paranoia. The caretakers senses, heightened by his extreme emotions knew that there was another presence here.
Slowing his walk and with his body tense, yet ready, the caretaker paced down the aisles, eyes wide and ears straining. Close, he thought someone is very close. Earlier, in the corridor, the caretaker was overcome with fear. This time it was a cold anger that suffused him. This time he was ready. Ready to attack. Ready to survive.
Seconds after he felt a tingling of premonition running down his back, he heard a slight noise behind him. Something tugged on his sleeve. Screaming, the caretaker whirled around to face his assailant, fist cocked and ready to fly... at the last second he checked himself as he stared into the shocked eyes of the Librarian.
“um...” the librarian said, nervously. He had seen the caretaker and thought to enquire about his day. There was an affinity, an unspoken understanding between the librarian and the caretaker. They were both outsiders to some extent and the librarian had approached the caretaker simply to make contact.
The reaction of the caretaker, and seeing his wild expression scared the librarian. He had seen that look months before. The day the caretaker went berserk and tried to fight off those thieves. Nobody really noticed how perceptive the librarian actually was. Similar to the caretaker, he was always on the fringes of society. Observing. He noticed the caretakers shock as he recovered himself, noticed the way his face went from a snarl to an apologetic smile. Most of all he noticed the caretakers eyes. Looking closely, the librarian could see the now familiar empty, faraway look, deep in those orbs.
The librarian had realised that the caretaker was becoming more withdrawn over the past month. He assumed that it was simply the pressures of keeping the school secure and organising the students. Now he saw that there was a deeper pain, one that the caretaker was trying to deal with. And failing.
“Sorry”, mumbled the caretaker, trying to look relaxed and non threatening “you startled me”.
“um… that’s ok” replied the librarian, cautiously “it’s my fault for not letting you know I was here”.
The caretaker gave the librarian a long, flat look and seemed on the verge of saying something. I can’t tell him thought the caretaker I will have to deal with this on my own. “Well…” he said, trying to sound cheerful “no harm done” turning slowly the caretaker said “I must be off now. Early start tomorrow”
“Um... ok... bye” the librarian said to the caretakers retreating back. The librarians brows creased in consternation I fear we may have lost him he thought as the caretaker left the library, quietly closing the door behind him.
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 06 Sep, 2009 05:20PMBreak in, Part fourand the final part of the chapter. seriously, when i got my brief, i wasnt expecting this to turn out to be such an epic. it seems to have evolved as i wrote it.
I dont know how disjointed all four parts will be because i wrote them over a long period of time and, foolishly, didnt read the previous part before going onto the next.
I think that i have also evolved somewhat. im getting the hang of writing and even though i coud *REALLY* do with going on a course in english and basic grammar, i think that i have gotten a tiny bit better (or even just focussed).
anyway. i think that feedback is essential for this - i dont know if i have gotten tenses, or "possesives" mixed up (im not even sure how to tell one from the other, to be honest) so please... tell me what you think.
blackness seemed infinite, absolute it seemed to stretch for eternity, for
ever. The blow to the head had shut the caretakers mind down, and it seemed
very reluctant to surface back into the world of conscious thought. His body,
although damaged was not in mortal danger, and it busied itself in the routine
tasks of healing and recuperation. His mind, however, had taken more than
physical damage. Without the self protecting walls of his denial, the reality
of the situation of the world and the realisation of what he had done was laid
bare before him. He had faced many personal demons before, but the culture
shock and the fact that he had released his rage, a rage that was willing maim
and possibly even kill was almost too much to tolerate. If he came out of this
darkness, he would bear scars, both on his body and in his soul.
spun and drifted through the limbo of a semi-coma, the deepest parts of his
mind tried to come to terms with the situation, re-evaluating what must be
done, trying to find balance and acceptance. The caretaker was fighting for his
first conscious memory was the sound of blood roaring in his ears. He was still
adrift and spinning in the darkness, but surfacing fast. Lying completely still
and unmoving, his awakening senses investigated the condition of his body. His
chest felt tight and restricted, each shallow breath caused discomfort and if
he breathed deeper a short sharp pain lanced in his side. The back of his head,
where the rock had hit, was very tender and seemed to be the cause of a nauseating
headache. His throat was parched as if liquid hadn’t passed that way for some
time. The rest of his body felt bruised and battered and it felt like there was
no part of him that didn’t ache. The evaluation over, his senses explored his
his eyes still shut, the caretaker concluded that he was on a bed, in a quiet
room. He thought that it must be daytime because he felt sunlight on his
battered face, and light was shining redly through his lids. His awareness was
sharpening now and he could sense that someone was close, possibly leaning over
him. A shiver of fear ran up his spine as he realised that his weakened state
had made him venerable. Gathering himself, he finally opened his eyes…
he found himself looking directly into the worried brown eyes of the Librarian.
you ok?” the librarian asked with a concerned frown.
caretaker tried to reply, but only a strangled croak came from his parched
throat. Quickly, the librarian turned and fumbled with something out of the
caretakers view. Turning back round he gently cradled the back of the caretakers head with one hand. The
caretaker could feel some padding there. Evidently someone had bandaged his
head. The reason for the librarian’s actions became obvious as a glass of water
loomed into the caretakers periphery.
slowly” the librarian gently said.
gratefully swallowed the cool water, the caretaker wondered how long he had
been unconscious since the fight. The fight! He flinched uncontrollably as his
memories flooded back with intense clarity. His sudden movement caused extreme
pain in his chest, causing him to cry out loud.
caretaker! Don’t move so much. You have been hurt” The librarian got up off the bedside chair
that he was sitting on, leaned over the caretaker and put his hands on the
caretakers shoulders, trying to still him.
and in pain, the caretaker managed “hurt? Where?”
librarian sat back down and calmly reached down beside his chair. He picked up
a book and opened it at a bookmarked section. The caretaker’s nausea and dizziness
made it hard for him to focus on the title. “Starting from the top,” The
librarian began, “you took some, err...”
He flipped the page and scanned it for a moment before continuing; “...blunt
force trauma to the... um... occipital bone”. Before the
caretaker could digest the information, the librarian reached down for a second
book and opened it at another bookmarked section.
well as having multiple minor facial lesions and bruising,” the librarian
quoted, “the impact of the length of wood to your ...err…” he took another glance at the book
“…thoratic cage might have caused a disruption, or fracture, of one of your
ribs. It probably has also caused some bruising to some of your costal cartilages”.
There was a brief
silence as the caretaker regarded the enthused Librarian with a long blank
stare. Never a good patient, especially when in pain, the caretakers tone was
irritable “what the hell are you talking about?”
reaction to the gruff tone was startling. He broke eye contact, fidgeted and
looked very uncomfortable.
“Um... well... you
see...err…” the librarian shot a panicked glance at his pile of books, as if
they would help him.
suddenly realized that just before, when he was reading from his books, the
librarian became confident and able to communicate. Without them he reverts to
being timid and uncomfortable he uses his books like a shield, thought the
caretaker, they are his defenses against the world.
Trying to soften
his tone, the caretaker said “I’m sorry, librarian, I do not fully understand.
Id like all that in plain English”
the librarian. “Um... well. You have” as his eyes flicked towards his pile of
books again, the caretaker finally focused in on them and realized that they
were a selection of first aid manuals, books on anatomy, and some medical
journals. He saw the librarian struggle within himself, then take a deep breath
and blurted out.
“You have a bump
on the back of your head, some bruises and scratches on your face, you have
bruising on your chest, and I think one of your ribs might be cracked…um”.
The news dizzied
the caretaker. He could almost feel the emotional lurch as yet another part of
his sanity was slightly eroded. The librarian mistook the look on the
caretakers face as one of physical pain.
though” consoled the librarian “the discomfort shouldn’t last too long and I
don’t think you have got serious concussion”.
The caretaker took as deep a breath as possible and,
ignoring the sharp pain in his side, he tried to rally his thoughts. “Concussed?”,
he thought “is that why I’m feeling so weird?” the answer eluded the distressed
“Um...” murmered the Librarian “Balthazar is alright
“Who?” said the caretaker, Confused.
“Err... Balthazar. The young kid that we were trying
to get to safety”
“You were trying, you mean”. Once again the caretaker
noticed the librarians lack of self. “He is a hero and does not even know it”.
The caretakers thoughts were spinning crazily. Trying
to focus on the situation was becoming harder. “Either I am going mad, or this
concussion is messing with my head”.
Weakly, the caretaker replied “that’s good news,
librarian” a sudden thought “but what about the other people? They were after
our food!” he cried.
Shifting uncomfortably again, the librarian responded
“relax, Caretaker. While you were fighting them, the older kids charged and
beat them back far enough for you to be pulled to safety”
Trying to pin the librarians shifting eyes with his
own, the caretaker thought “that’s not the whole truth. There is something that
you are not telling me”.
“And……?” queried the caretaker carefully.
Unable to withstand the caretakers gaze the librarian
cried “We tried to keep them back. They followed us into the school!”
Alarmed, the caretakers world spun again “tell me!” he
whispered hoarsely “what happened? My god, are they still here?”
“No. It’s ok. They left hours ago”
“Hours? How long have I been out for?” before the caretaker
could pursue that thought, the librarian continued.
“We locked ourselves in the west wing. The younger
kids took Balthazar and you to the library and the older ones went to get their
It was getting too much for the caretaker. He was
starting to fade, his mind was shutting down. “Weapons?” he mumbled “what
“Don’t you remember? The librarian asked “they made
catapults and slingshots a few days ago” the caretaker just grunted, so the
librarian continued. “They fought them, caretaker! They managed to chase off
the attackers and secure the school! So, you see, we are safe now. Everybody is
“And the food?” was the caretakers only response.
The librarian squirmed and looked distressed. He took
a deep breath and said carefully.
“I didn’t want to alarm you. You are still very poorly
after the fight…. I’m sorry, caretaker, so sorry, but before we could stop
them, they managed to steal all our food!”
The last thing the caretaker saw before oblivion took
him again was the distressed librarian wringing his hands and looking very
small and frightened….
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 26 Jul, 2009 01:05AMfirst off.. many apologies for the lateness. it seems that the holidays are the busiest times and i have been either busy at work, or totally cabbaged because of it!
i promise that not only will i finish this piece (its snowballing - there is a hopefully fainal part to come), i will also read your wonderful work and leave a comment.
this is part three of the break in. i know i wasnt happy with the previous parts, and this is just the same :D its the first time where i have really had to force the words out - actually *think* what im trying to say, so im not sure how it all scans.
i have always tried to keep it as "realistic" as possible, but im not sure if im venturing into the realms of sillyness. Anyhoos, its here now and at the least it can be the bare bones of something that might need heavy editing
Break in - Part three
The sound of fighting
filtered through the caretakers ears. That, and the strident scream of a kid in
pain. Looking up from the semi conscious and groaning giant, the caretaker’s
eyes widened. He saw a knot of older kids, all brandishing what looked like broken
off chair legs. They were in front of the main side door, shielding one of the
younger kids. It was the younger kid that was screaming. Blood was pouring from
a head wound and he was being slowly dragged back into the school by the frightened
Between the caretaker
and the doors were half a dozen men and women. They were determinedly trying to
assault the school. So far, the kids were holding them back, giving the
librarian time to get the kid to safety. To the caretaker, it seemed only a
matter of time before they were overwhelmed. He didn’t think that they would
make it to the doors in time.
Suddenly a plant pot
seemed to drop from the sky and shatter a few feet in front of the attackers,
spraying them with soil and pottery. Looking up, the caretaker saw that the
rest of the younger kids were on the first floor balcony. They were yelling and
swearing at the attackers, their faces wild and angry. To his surprise they
were running back and forth looking for things to throw. “My god” thought the caretaker “it’s like Lord of the Flies!”.
attempts were holding back the attackers, and the Librarian and his casualty were
getting closer to the doors, the caretaker knew that the defence would not be
enough, that he had to get past the attackers and help secure the school.
One of the attackers
picked up a stone and hurled it up at the balcony. It hit one of the younger
kids in the shoulder, causing him to cry out. At this point the caretaker
snapped. The injustice, the inhumanity of it all was too much. The rage built
swiftly, taking over his body, dumping adrenaline and endorphins into his
bloodstream. The beast, the red mist, was let loose as the caretaker launched
himself into the fray.
While dragging his
limp charge to safety, the Librarian saw all this. He saw the change in the caretaker’s
eyes. The set of his face. He thought that it was fortunate that the attackers
backs were to the caretaker because without the element of surprise, the
Librarian didn’t think that the caretaker would get through. It was a small
chance, and a risky one. Not to mention utterly stupid.
But watching the
transformation of the caretaker was fascinating and compelling. The Librarian
remembered reading about Vikings and their berserker warriors. These warriors
would build themselves up into such frenzy that even before they could jump off
their ships and attack they foamed at the mouth and chewed on their shields. The
caretaker was certainly no warrior, but he made up for his lack of skill with
pure rage and muscle. The librarian saw how startled the attackers were when
they suddenly found themselves being attacked from behind. Attacked by what
seemed like a screaming madman. Before they could give way the caretaker had
already disabled two of them, one with a punch to the kidneys, the other with
an elbow to the side of the head.
Coming to himself
slightly the caretaker was jubilant “Im nearly through!” he thought. He was no
longer in a blind rage, but his blood-lust was still up and he was buzzing with
adrenaline. He managed to get past the defences of a third attacker and drop
him with a straight punch to the solar plexus. It was then that things started
to go badly for him. One of the attackers slammed a length of wood across the
caretakers back. Although the muscle took most of the blow, for a split second
he was stunned with pain. As the caretaker turned to face his enemy, The
attacker took the opportunity to swing again, this time a savage sweeping blow
aimed at the caretakers exposed side. The caretaker was too slow to react and
he felt a sickening crunch and a crack as the wood struck his ribs.
Howling in pain, the
caretaker tried to run the last ten yards towards his allies. He nearly made it
but was struck on the back of the head by a thrown rock. Dizzy and blinded, he
staggered but he was just not fast enough. Turning to face his attackers, the
last thing he saw was a huge, meaty fist flying towards him. The fist struck
the side of his head and there was a few seconds of white noise in his head
before he collapsed into oblivion….
as an aside.. the only characters i have mentioned by name is the caretaker and the librarian. since i do not know the rest of the "cast", or their numbers, i have simply called them the "kids". assuming that this bit of writing is acceptable to the book, im sure that this omission can be elaborated on
INFORMATIONPosted by Martin Oakshaft 13 Jul, 2009 09:06PM
Yeah.. been a bit lax in bringing forth "part three". as some of you may know, last week was utterly poo for me, so i couldnt focus much. im also uber-busy, but im hacking away slowly and will try to finish sooon!
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 01 Jul, 2009 10:55PMum.. yeah.. this has kinda run away from me a bit. "part two" should have wrapped it up, but the way things are going, this is turning out to be a bit of a novel (i only intended to it to be squeezed into part of a chapter - it might end up as a chapter in itself)
anyhoos... needless to say - im not really happy with it. i could really do with some input and thoughts.Continued.....
The caretaker wasn’t
built for running. He never had been. After ten yards he slowed down to a very
brisk walk and panting slightly, ruefully thought that perhaps it’s a good
thing that he couldn’t buy baccy anymore. His lack of running prowess was
initially what got him interested in martial arts. He figured that since he
couldn’t run away from trouble then he could, at the very least, defend
himself. It was also a great way to get fit, both in body and spirit, as well
as giving him the opportunity at attempting to socialise.
He hadn’t trained in
a long time though and although the “muscle memory” was there, the fitness was
definitely lacking. He never considered that he would have to actually use the skills that he had learned. The caretaker
was a pacifist at heart.
As he got nearer to
the school, he heard shouts and yells. It sounded like there were at least a
dozen people round the back of the building. All were whooping and jeering.
Mixed in with the chaotic noise was the frantic sounds of the kids, some crying
and others cursing and yelling. A sudden scream of pain from what sounded like
one of the kids spurred him on. Taking a deep breath, the caretaker started
running again, fearful of what he might find as he ran.
Rounding the corner
the caretaker careened into a six foot wall of solid muscle. Staggering back he
looked at what he had run into. His eyes widened at the sight of the biggest
man he had ever seen. He was a titan of a man, built like a rugby player only
more so. His cropped black hair emphasised a blocky head. There was no neck
either, just bulbous slabs of shoulder muscle that merged into massive biceps.
In a quick glance the caretaker saw that the mans body seemed almost as wide as
he was tall and that he was propped up by legs which were so muscled, they
Shocked, the caretaker
took several steps backwards. The titan’s mouth opened, exposing yellowing teeth.
They were crooked and cracked like broken tombstones. He leered at the
“Oh shit” thought the caretaker as he watched the bizarre dance of
the guys muscles ripple. Still leering and looking supremely confident, the
huge man spread his arms wide, daring the caretaker to bring him down. The
caretaker took another step backwards and hunched slightly as if in defeat. He
took a deep breath and thought I have one
chance at this, or Im toast. He focussed his
attention on his massive opponents brick-like jaw,cocked his fist back and ran
the three paces that separated them.
The caretakers plan
was simple: by looking at the jaw and blatantly bringing his fist back he was
“telegraphing” his intentions. The huge man tensed his muscles as he waited for
a punch in the face. The punch never came.
Instead the caretaker
launched himself at the massive man and in mid jump, screaming like a thing
possessed, he raised his knee and slammed it into his opponents groin.
The mans face paled
and crumpled. As the caretaker stepped back he watched an amazing
transformation. Making a strangled gurgling sound the man seemed to slowly fold
in on himself. He lurched sideways and, as unstoppable as an avalanche, he fell
to the ground with a dull, meaty thud.
Sometimes, the caretaker thought you don’t
need fancy moves… a hard blow to the nadgers always does the trick….
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 29 Jun, 2009 06:15PM
this is from the heatwave suggestion.
have to be honest, its kinda made up on the spot, and its a bit of sillyness, so its not exactly genius :)
What are we cooking?
We are cooking you.
You are cooking me?
We are cooking you.
We are cooking you
For our stoo.
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 28 Jun, 2009 03:33PM
im still not too happy with my stories. i feel that although they sound really good in my head, actually implemanting them into a decent, cohesive and legible tale is still very tricky for me. bear this in mind when you read this story :D
personally, i think its pretty mangled and would need a lot of re-editing so im looking for a fair bit of input/construtive critisism (lol, but be nice!)
i dont have a proper title for it, but fo rhte sake of finding it easily in my files, i have just called it "break In"..... hope you enjoy!
As he stared out of
the top floor window, the Caretaker felt pensive. Ever since the start of the collapse
of what he loosely thought of as civilisation, he had been sure that this was
the brave new start... Humanity could finally learn from its mistakes and start
afresh. He had a sinking feeling that these thoughts were far too idealistic. He
realised that humanity may initially have to fight to survive, but it also made
sense for everyone to co-operate and share thoughts and skills.
With a sigh, the Caretaker
knew this wasn’t so. The reality was that there is always someone who would just take. If they were not careful, all the hard
work at the school would go to waste. It was depressing to think that he had to
spend time and vital resources bolstering the security of the school.
As the Caretakers
cynical eyes scanned the grounds he realised that the roving gangs were getting
bigger and more confident. As word got out that there were not many people at
the school, the occasional theft of their meagre stores was becoming more of a
possibility. He grudgingly admitted that his defences will have to be more
aggressive – possibly lethal. It was an idea he didn’t like but he was forced
to consider it. There would be no problem in constructing weapons – mankind has
had plenty of experience in this department and has a knack of being able to
incapacitate in so many imaginative, and usually painful, ways. As it was, the
kids had already made catapults and were competing at knocking down old tin
cans. They did not realise how powerful a weapon the catapult is in trained
Sighing inwardly, the Caretaker
decided that he would have to call a meeting and discuss the schools security
issues with the others. Even when locked, the school had too many doors and
windows where a really determined person could smash in.
A flicker of movement
outside derailed the Caretakers train of thought.
Peering closely, he
noticed a pair of hands scrabbling at the top of the perimeter wall by the
locked main gate. A head closely followed and the Caretaker watched as a
scruffy looking man heaved himself over the wall. He judged the man to be in
his mid twenties and although he looked reasonably fit, his sallow cheeks
belied the fact that the man was not eating well. As he watched the man make
his way to the long main drive to the school entrance, the Caretaker noticed
that he was armed with what looked like a wooden baseball bat. Although
slightly alarmed at this, the Caretaker understood that a lone man trying to
survive out there would need some form of protection.
quickened as he clattered down the stairs. It was time to give him the “meet
and greet” patter.
The Caretaker caught
up with the man as he was halfway down the main gravel drive. The man saw the
Caretaker and stopped waiting for him to approach. It gave the Caretaker time
to study the man in more detail. Close up the man was around six foot tall and
still had a lot of muscle tone to him. It seemed that he was not the kind of
man who used to sit behind a desk. Standing quite still, his posture was tense
but not threatening, and the baseball bat was being held loosely by his side.Stopping six foot
away, the Caretaker smiled pleasantly.
“Hi there, I am the Caretaker.
May I ask your name and your business here? He politely enquired.
“Err... my name is...”
the man seemed to pause for a fraction of a second as if making up his mind
“…Bill… Bill Smith.
That’s my name” the man eyeballed the Caretaker as if daring him to disagree.
“Yeah right”, thought the Caretaker, “course
it is” . “Pleased to meet you,
Bill” he said with a straight face. “Tell me, do you have any news
about what’s going on out there?”
Grimacing, Bill looked
around him “not much to say, really. Seems that the world has gone tits-up”
Disappointed with the
lack of pertinent information, the Caretaker decided to launch into his prepared
“Well, Bill, you are more than welcome to join
us. There aren’t many of us yet, but we are trying to make a go of things”
Spreading his hands placatingly, he continued “Of course, if you don’t want to
join us, we are more than willing to share what little we have and at the least
see you on your way with a full stomach”.
Taking a step forward,
Bill looked at the Caretaker squarely in the eye, rubbed the stubble on his jaw
and said speculatively “well, Mister Caretaker, it’s like this…. We don’t want
to stay, thanks all the same, but we will take your food though”.
“We?” the Caretaker thought, bill just said “we”….Oh shit... where are the others then?” It was then that he noticed the subtle
posture change of the man who called himself Bill. It wasn’t much but the Caretaker
instinctively started to suspect impending violence.
Keeping an even tone
as possible and trying to prepare himself, the Caretaker asked casually “so,
how many of your friends are out there? We are willing to give a bit of food,
but like I said, we don’t have much”.
“Hmmm... I see” was
Bills thoughtful reply.
The Caretaker was
watching for it, and there it was… for a split second, Bill looked away. The Caretaker
knew that psychologically, a person will automatically break eye contact before
trying a surprise attack. Sadly, he was not wrong this time. In a heartbeat Bill
had closed the gap between himself and the Caretaker, and in a double-handed
grip raised the baseball bat high over his right shoulder and swung it in an
arc, aiming for the Caretakers head.
the Caretaker did not put his arms up to ward the blow, nor did he step back.
Instead he stepped inside the killing arc of the bat, twisted his body to the
left and grabbed Bills hands. Still twisting, the Caretaker hunched his
shoulder, pulled at Bills arms and using bill momentum against him, executed
something similar to a judo throw. Bill lost his bat as he hit the ground hard
and slid several feet. Both men were stunned, bill because he had the wind
knocked out of him, and the Caretaker because of his unexpected and instinctive
response. “Bugger me”, he thought “those years of tai-chi and the occasional
karate lesson were actually useful”.
As the Caretaker cautiously
approached, bill started to recover slightly. He tried to prop himself up but
fell down again with a scream. With a sickening feeling the Caretaker realised
that he had really hurt this guy. Bills arm was sticking out at an unnatural
angle. It was dislocated at best, broken at worse. Feeling bad about what he
had just done, the Caretaker bent down to see if he could help.
…when a high pitched
yell came from within the school. Realisation hit the Caretaker as he
remembered Bills words; “we will take
your food”. Fear for the others in the school knotted the Caretakers guts.
“I have been deceived”, he thought, “bill was a decoy so his friends could sneak
Another scream shook
him out of his shock. The kids, the librarian, the grey lady. All in danger.
Leaving bill clutching his am and groaning, the Caretaker spun on the gravel
and raced back to the school, fearing that he was too late.
EXERCISESPosted by Martin Oakshaft 18 Jun, 2009 11:03PMum... not sure if this should go here....
its a kind of possible character introduction that was suggested to me earlier. the character in question is simply called The Caretaker (his job speaks for itself, really).
i havnt really gone into much detail about his looks and past as i thought that it might be something to develop later.
also... the thing is, all of you produce such exceptional work that im not sure if this comes up to scratch. i call it a "drive-by typing" because it was basically shot out quickly without me thinking about it too much. or editing it much, for that matter.
if i stop to think about what im actually *doing* my mind goes blank.
im still not sure if i am doing this "right", but i hope that you have a good read. feel free to comment and critique too!
(PS.. apologies if its a bit of an epic...i have yet to get the hang of writing short stuff!)
rattle of keys and a decisive clunk, the Caretaker locked another door. He was
halfway through the nightly lockdown of the site with only an hour to. The site
was huge and he faced yet another corridor. It stretched before him, an endless
supply it seemed. Flicking the light switch, the Caretaker was instantly
plunged into gloom; only the dim moonlight was left, leaving the Caretaker as a
jingle of the Caretakers keys and the squeaking of his shoes made a strange
counterpoint to the eerie sounds of the building settling for the night. Lights
that had been on all day creaked and ticked as they cooled, the slow, archaic
heating system grumbled and moaned through the pipes. Sometimes it sounded as
if there was someone there. Hiding in the darkness. Even though the Caretaker
recognised the sounds for what they were, they still sometimes disturbed him.
His imagination was sometimes too vivid for his liking.
lockdown was always simple. All the Caretaker had to do was to go from one end
of the site to the other and lock all the doors as he passed them, and turning
off the lights as he went. The important thing was to make sure that he had not
locked anyone in, and also making sure that nobody could break in either.
Intruders were always a faint possibility, either thieves or bored
troublemakers. The Caretaker took his job seriously, although he was not quite
sure what he would do if he ever found someone lurking. What he *did* know was
that he wouldn’t and couldn’t back down if challenged, no matter what the odds.
The Caretaker had been through some dark times in the past and now he simply
refused to let anyone dominate him ever again.
walked down the corridor he could see his next destination. Another set of double
doors lay ahead of him, the light from the corridor beyond glowed through the
window panel of the door. The Caretaker felt a strange trepidation as he
approached. The two squares of light, surrounded by near darkness seemed to him
to look like demonic eyes. He thought it odd that the prospect of leaving the
darkness and stepping into the light should make him feel nervous.
such irrational thoughts, the Caretaker strode through the doors. As he
selected the key from the bunch clipped to his belt, the doors swung shut and
slammed with a loud boom that echoed down the corridor. One more section of the
old building was secured. Only the theatre and Library to go.
Caretakers route was such that he entered the theatre from the rear of the
stage. There always seemed to be something very powerful in the air when he
entered the theatre at night. It wasn’t just the primordial nervousness that
darkness brings. It was almost like the stage was a funnel that sucked in and
stored all the emotions wrought within such a place. For years, hundreds of
people laughed and cried here; almost daily the actors put their souls into
their chosen parts, willing themselves and the audience into realms of
imagination and disbelief.
wreathed in darkness and silence, stood centre-stage, he could almost feel the
walls of the theatre projecting all the past feelings at him. Standing there,
with a shivering tingle racing through his body he could almost believe that
the theatre was alive. His vivid imagination was awash with the emotions that
were brought forth from the actors of the past. He could almost see the
wraithlike figures, translucent, and shimmering, eternally acting out their
scenes upon the very stage which he stood.
It was the
sharp jab of fear that brought him out of his reverie. Feeling nervous but
shaking his head ruefully at his thoughts, the Caretaker started walking again.
His last location, the Library was just ahead.
the Library at night never bothered the Caretaker. It always seemed to him a
place of introspection and solitude. A place of peace and safety. The eternal
stillness of the place made him realise just how lonely he was. Not just
lonely, but alone. Away from the routines of his job he was adrift. No lover to
comfort him, no companion, no real friends that he could call upon. Just himself,
the Caretaker. It seemed to him that at times he was as visible in the daytime
as he was while he was locking up in the dark, that he only noticed when there
was something menial, or something “sticky” to clear up.
It was a
very rueful and melancholy Caretaker that finally arrived at the library
entrance. He was used to ruminating over such thoughts and was not averse to
“facing his demons”. He also knew that some positive thinking would bring him
round. Stepping quietly through the library doors the Caretaker paused for a
moment. He always felt like a welcome stranger here. Although the Librarian
practically lived in the library, he was very rarely seen by the Caretaker. When seen, he was usually busy with his
books. The Caretaker was used to being on the outside of social circles and he
felt certain empathy for this quiet, unassuming person. The Caretaker also
suspected that the Librarian had more depth than he showed, and that if his books
or Library was threatened in any way, he would defend them with ferocity.
leaving the Library, the Caretaker went back to his quarters, resolutely
thinking that no harm will come to that library. At least not on *his* watch………
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 08 Jun, 2009 10:33PMUm.. although this is my second posting with a story, its actually my First Ever one! the "Commando was written while i was fussing over this one.
I cant really explain where the inspiration came from. all i can say is that the germ of the idea happened while i was in the bath (but i didnt run down the streets covered in soap bubbles shouting "Eureaka" - the idea wasnt *that* amazing :D )
anyhoos... it has been faffed with and tweaked and i have been (re)assured that its a decent story, so have a read and hopefully enjoy.
as usual, any feedback would be super-cool.....
The two Old Boys stood back and surveyed their handiwork in
the field with a satisfied look on their faces. What they had achieved, in the
dead of night, and with only a plank and a lot of rope was rather
extraordinary, not to mention extremely artistic.
It was the most elaborate corn circle they had ever produced
to date. The first one they ever attempted was years ago. It was initially Georges idea. They were in
the pub one evening chatting; the usual subjects of Life, the Universe,
Everything, and of course how things were so much better in their day. George
convinced Bill that it would be a bit of a laugh and something to do, while at
the same time confusing the hell out of “the foreigners” (in other words,
anyone who lived 20 miles outside their village). They thought it was a great wheeze.
Both being in their sixties and still as full of mischief as
they were when they were garrulous teens, they spent months in the local
library looking up esoteric symbols and icons. They researched obscure cults
and ancient civilisations. It was usually George who found the bests ones to
use. To avoid suspicion, they decided to actually make a crop circle only once
The actual making of the circles was fiendishly simple.
Under the cover of darkness (and with the aid of some rather neat night vision
goggles) Bill and George would creep into the selected field and do the
measuring out. At specific points in the field one of them would place markers and
make line-of-sight calculations. Once this was achieved they would both use the
rope to mark out the edges and lines.
Working quickly and silently the two men would then flatten
the corn. They each used the most simple
tool – a short plank that had a rope tied on each end. It looked just like the
seat of a simple swing. Keeping one foot on the board, and the rope looped over
the shoulder, they would push their plank forward and down while employing a
shuffling gait. Although they tried to work in silence, it was very hard for
them not to laugh at each other - two old codgers shuffling around in a
cornfield in the middle of the night.
The first circle they had produced caused a storm of
intrigue and excitement. The Old Boys village was definitely put on the map. It
was flooded with media and UFOlogists, as well as a lot of assorted New Age
people. Chuckling into their beer with a look of complete innocence, Bill and
George watched the drama unfold. They had both agreed that it was definitely
worth waiting a year……
Dawn was still hours away and as the Old Boys were deciding where
to stash their “tools”, George made a stunning announcement.
“Y`know, Bill, I really don’t think we need to do this
“Eh? what?” Bill replied, surprised.
George looked at Bill straight in the eye. Bill had to
suppress a small shiver. He had never seen George looking so… intense before.
“Well” George said, “You know we used to joke and laugh
about aliens, about the way they kidnap people and do all sorts of weird
“Yeah, including that dreaded probe” Bill laughed uneasily.
“Yup, including that” said George with a smile “I’m afraid
to tell you that it’s all true. I am, in fact, one of those aliens”
Bill held Georges gaze for a moment and suddenly burst out
laughing… “Bloody hell, George, you had me going there! I have known you for
years and that’s the best gag yet!”
George smiled and put a friendly arm round Bills
shoulder. As they walked back to the car
George tried to explain the situation. Bill was quite frankly amazed at the
tale that he was being told. He didn’t know George was so good at spinning a
yarn. As far as Bill could understand, George had been sent to earth to
infiltrate and evaluate the human species. Along with thousands of his
brethren, he had been genetically altered to look like a young lad, and would grow
at the same rate as humans. George went
on to explain that part of his mission was to befriend a human, keep him under
close observation and test his mental capabilities. Once his mission was
complete, George would then signal a response craft and effectively kidnap his
“…a response craft, eh?” Bill said after a pause.
“Yes, that’s right, Bill. We have been sending coded signals
to it. That’s what the crop circles were all about” George looked up and
scanned the sky “in fact, it should be here soon”.
Bill frowned and followed Georges gaze skywards. Although he
had known George for as long as he could remember, Bill couldn’t help but feel
a tiny bit worried. Lots of little idiosyncrasies were popping into Bills head.
George had always been a little bit odd, but Bill had assumed that was because
he was partly foreign (George was not “local”, he claimed to have been born in
a town that was 50 miles away).
“Hmmmm” Bill mused, unconvinced... “so you are saying that I
am the human that you are going to kidnap?”
“Yes, that’s right. Don’t worry though. Most of the
experiments won’t be too painful…ah! Here she comes!”
George pointed to a rapidly growing silver sphere that was
dropping out of the sky. He thought he might have to restrain his friend, but
bill was standing there stupefied. His mouth agape in astonishment.
“But… but… I don’t want to be experimented on” groaned bill
as the full realisation hit him. The craft had arrived and was hovering in the
centre of the corn circle. To Bill, it looked just like a huge blob of mercury.
Shiny and fluid, the craft seemed to glow ever so slightly and Bill was sure it
was producing an almost inaudible hum.
“Come on Bill. Its time” George said reassuringly while
gently pulling Bill towards the craft.
“This is all too weird for me, Gorge… aliens and
experiments. Next you will be telling me that they really do use those horrible
“Um… actually, yes” replied George sheepishly.
“Oh, bugger me” moaned Bill in desperation.
“Funny you should say that, Bill”
As bill was staring at the craft, George had reached into
the inside of his jacket and removed a rather long telescopic device. Tearing
his gaze from the craft, Bill turned his head and stared at George. It was then
he noticed what George held in his hand. It was about a foot long, and emitted
a green ethereal glow. Looking at it, knew what it was and how it was going to
Bill fainted dead away………….
incidentally.. i *was* thinking of adding something along the lines of Bill having this done to him every year, but he gets his mind wiped each time, only to remember everything as George produces the probe. I think that i have faffed with it enough though and its a kind of benchmark for me... i wanted to see if i could actually write something that was entertaining as well as "correct"
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 02 Jun, 2009 03:57AMum..yeah. so i have been trying to write a story. my attempts so far have produced two semi-finished "bits of writing". its waaay harder than i thought it would be, too! i will keep plugging away at them till they meet my satisfaction (im Mr Perfectionist sometimes so it may be a while!)
...in the meantime, since i couldnt sleep i decided to write this. Im still not sure *how* to write a story, let alone a *good* one, but as a first attempt, i hope that it will suffice. the little note at the end should explain why it was a bit easier for me to write this.
hope you enjoy it :)
Breathing lightly and
crouched over, the Urban Commando ran through the garden. He paused for cover
behind a big shrub and looked around. No enemy was in sight. He was not
surprised. He had killed them all. Ruthlessly, quickly, silently.
He was mean and tough
and deadly, a true lone wolf and unstoppable. His mission was successful.
Single-handedly he had penetrated enemy lines, found the enemies lair, killed
all the guards and blew up the complex. All he had to do now was to escape.
The perfume from the flowerbed
was heady and the buzz of the bees belied the drama that was unfolding. The
Commando knew that he had stirred up a hornets nest, that the enemy was right
now mobilising all its forces to track him down. Stealthily he crept through
the flowerbed towards the big wooden shed that was perched on a raised bank at
the end of the garden. The shed was huge. Old and crippled, its shadow loomed
over him as he approached. Ever aware of the enemy, he hugged the dank wooden sides
and crept round the corner towards the high wall.
A sudden sound made
him hit the dirt. Still as death itself and ready to fight, the Commando
listened. Lying in the cool shade of the shed, the smell of rich earth and
composting vegetation filled his senses. He was still safe, invisible. His only
weapons were stealth, cunning and his bare hands. They were all he needed. His
whole body filled with tension as he inched his way slowly to the base of the
wall. His eyes darted everywhere but saw no enemy. This time though, he knew
they were close.
agility and strength the Commando leapt explosively at the wall. This was the
most critical part, he was totally exposed as his fingers and toes found purchase
in the crumbling brickwork. He hauled himself to the top of the wall and rolled
off to the other side. Like a panther he landed lightly and in a semi crouch,
ready for the shouts, he paused and checked his surroundings. It was a dirty little
alleyway that bisected the houses. The sun didn’t penetrate well here and the
gloom suited him well. Grinning evilly to himself and feeling in full control,
the Commando made his way slowly through the discarded detritus left by the
residents. Looking around, he noticed that the walls of the alleyway were a
full six feet higher than he was. If he was spotted now he would be caught like
a rat in a trap. Fully confident of
himself, ready to deal with whatever came his way he…….
A frenzied attack!!!
Without warning a huge beast had launched itself from the other side of one of the
alley walls. Staring up in horror, the Commando saw teeth… big teeth set in a hairy
snarling muzzle, ready to rip and shred. The mad staring eyes of the beast
focussed on him and rolled up to the whites as it howled. Flecks of foam
dribbled from its huge snapping jaws. Blind panic assailed the Commando, as he
turned and ran, all he could hear was the scrabbling of the beast’s massive
claws digging into the wall as it tried to climb into the alleyway. Panic was
overwhelmed by fear. It raced up the Commandos spine and filled his brain
with solid white noise, cutting off any rational thought. Fight or flight,
there was no contest - his body was filled with pure adrenaline. And he ran.
Drenched with fear, stumbling
and moaning the Commando ran up the alleyway. He clutched at his ears to block out
the sound of the snarling, wailing beast. Running blindly he bounced off the
walls. When he tripped and fell he thought that he was going to die. He could
almost feel hot foetid breath on his neck. His skin tingled with the expectation
of imminent pain and horrific damage the beast would cause while ripping him
Almost beside himself
with numb terror, the Commando managed to get to his feet and on legs that felt
like rubber, he ran like he had never run before. Sobbing and moaning he made
it to the end of the alleyway. He was almost safe. Almost home….
When he got through
the door, his mum took one look at him and asked why he had been crying and why
he was in such a grubby mess. Suddenly, he wasn’t a rough, tough human killing
machine on a secret mission. He was simply a ten year old boy playing imaginary
games. The garden was his back garden. The shed was where he stored his
bike…..and the savage beast….. That was a neighbours Alsatian that the boy
never knew was there.
The "style" seems a little childish only because most of it was written from memory... *I* was that ten year old boy ROFL! I had a really good imagination then and i was really enjoying myself, wrapped up in the fantasy when that bloody dog scred the living poo out of me.
It all actually happened (apart from the killing and commando stuff, obviously), and i simply described what it felt like at the time. Oh, and the dog just stayed on his side of the wall and barked. it just *seemed* like he was climbing over and giving chase.
funny the things you remember at three in the morning :)
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 26 May, 2009 08:18PM
just to let you all know that since i have posted all my poems, im *trying* to write some sort of short story... it will take a while so watch this space!
in the meantime, im looking forward to reading all *your* stuff :)
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 18 May, 2009 05:21PMThis is the last of the stuff that i have previously written.... i will need a bit of a mental run-up in order to write a story, but it shouldnt be *too* long - i have some.... *dramatic pause* .... ideas :)
I wrote it so long ago that i dont know *who* it was for - all of my mushy stuff was because of feelings i had at the time for a women (all ex`s now..meh). Reading it again (for the first time in ages), it seems to be another "lost Love" one. As usual, i hope that you enjoy it, and i hope that it somehow "connects" with you....
You remind me of the
Their ageless beauty
Their light seems so
close, my soul reaches upward
Try as I might, I
cannot touch them.
Looking into the
Looking at you
Always there, always
The light shimmering in
the tears of my heart.
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 11 May, 2009 11:17PMI have just realised that i am running out of "old stuff".... after this there is only one more "poem". Damn, im gonna have to stop procrastinating and actually attempt to write some sort of story..eek!!
now *that* should be interesting!
anyway, this is another "I have been dumped" kinda poem... lol, i seem to have a balance of "yay, she loves me" with "noooo.. she has left me" - i see a pattern forming here ROFL. Once again, i hope that you like it, and that it can help for anyone who has "been there". Im also hoping that my "stuff" is good simply by literary standards, not just how they make the reader feel, but that is only a minor concern for me at the moment (`cos they were all written by me, *for* me, to help me deal with stuff).... Enough wafflage....
My heart is an empty
Once so full with
life and laughter
Now it stands
The hearth is cold,
the curtains are closed.
There are shadows
The cellar is full of
You have broken in,
opened the curtains
and locked the cellar door
You have lit the
The hearth burns hot
Chasing the shadows,
warming the room.
Now you leave
I knew you would
The fire burns down
The shadows close in
oh, and i also once thought of a great line, but i have never been able to "squeeze it in" anywhere - its quite dramatic and cynical and it goes: "the scar-tissue of my soul"
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 08 May, 2009 03:55PMActually, the more i read the stories and poems that are posted, the more i realise just how damn good they all are.. and how inspiring. im pertty sure that *one day* ill get up the courage to actually write a short story.
In the meantime, this poem, like all the others was inspired by what i was feeling at the time. I had a tendancy to "wear my heart on my sleeve" and, as usual, i just *had* to blurt it out.
Writing in this format seems to do the trick. Id like to think that my "stuff" can be related to in once form or another and it moves the reader (hopefully moving them to reading teh next line!)
enough waffle, i hope you enjoy this one.....
When you are in the barren desert,
Lost and cannot find your way,
Look for my love and friendship,
Ill see you
safe this day.
Through good times, through bad times,
Through stormy weather and sunny days,
Hand in hand, friends forever,
We can walk together, always, come what may.
I have to be honest with you... i really had to work on this one, its one of the few that i felt i had to "tweak" to get it to flow/sound right (especially the last line.. it was a real bugger to get sounding halfway right!). not sure if it good poetry, but it says what i feel.
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 06 May, 2009 11:47PMum.. yeah, another short "poem". again, its not as good as some of the more... "passionate" ones. In fact, i personally think that its a bit understated - one of those times where i was just *bursting* with feelings, but i simply couldnt get them across.
I cant remember when i wrote this originally, or why i didnt expand on it (because when i feel like *that*, there is so much more inside me). Anyhoos, hope it does the trick to anyone who reads it, and its empathised with and/or enjoyed :)
Who are you? What
spell have you cast?
My Love. What have
you done to me?
Awakened my dreams,
my ambitions, my strength.
Laid me bare, my soul
I am free again.
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 05 May, 2009 09:52PMin memory of my Grandpa..... not exactly great literature though
Life is like a rose,
It’s a thing of splendour
It grows tall and strong,
It brightens any garden.
Yet when the rose is gone,
Its perfume is always
Bringing memories of summer
It is never forgotten.
Martin OakshaftPosted by Martin Oakshaft 01 May, 2009 09:35PM...um.. ok. so this is the only "story" i have ever tried to write. It is actually based on a dream i had and the main character is, oddly enough, the pen-name im using.
Bit of a disclaimer here... i have never had any "training" in creative writing. I have never taken classes and i only left school with a Basic English Pass (i was in the "remedial class" for the 4th [and final] year of school)..Im never quite sure about punctuation, either. i tend to throw commas in all over the place. Any constructive critisism would be wonderful, just.. be gentle, ok? :)The start of a story......
Sleep. Dreams. The land of wonder. A place where everything
and anything happens. A place of images
past and present which skews reality with hopes, desires and fantasies. A
confusing maelstrom that would never make sense anywhere else except here.
place. This nowhere. It is the stage where day to day thoughts are acted out.
The script created almost randomly. The actors, the scenery is almost fluid.
Changing constantly, re-forming perspectives.
is lost within his own dream; his waking awareness is still buried deep within
his subconscious. His dream is fragmented, surreal.
starts with Marten standing on a wide, open plain. It is flat and sandy. Palm
trees are sprinkled around but he cannot perceive any horizon. Suddenly, there is a feeling of a crowd of
people, men, he thinks but they are just perceived as shadows, unimportant. The focal point of his attention turns to a
beautiful woman who is walking near the almost invisible crowd. Marten cannot distinguish her features,
although he is aware that she is beautiful. All he notices is that she is
wearing a simple white blouse, laced up at the front, and a long flowing skirt.
The skirt seems to be made of a light, thin material and allows the sunlight to
shine through, showing the outline of her legs.
is aware of the crowd staring at this strangely erotic vision. His attention is
no longer on her. He is not interested.
crowd walks away and Marten is aware of another girl, hitherto unnoticed,
holding him back and urging him to wait.
He turns around and sees a blonde woman dressed in a beautiful flowing
blue dress. She is at the same time a
stranger and also someone he knows very well.
seeing her, Marten is filled with a feeling of love and an intense fondness.
Suddenly, without warning, she reaches up and kisses him. Tentatively at first,
but with gathering strength. Surprised, He pulls her gently onto the sand, lies
next to her and asks, "What are you doing?” She sits up and replies, "I have known
many men but only you have melted my heart.
I love you. Will you love me? Right here, right now?” Tentatively, Marten agrees.
instantly pass. Marten has no recollection of his surroundings. He just
remembers asking the woman if what happened actually did happen. At this point
Marten wakes up and realises two things: It was 5.00 am and it had been just a