What would you pick up- money or your country's flag from the ground
Tell me I am curious as always
Movie Script: Please Read
This is the first part of my movie script. I hope you get to read it, its about 23 pages long. Its not in the format I wanted it but it will do.
Tamoto’s Living Room
Act One, Scene One
An old man sits next to a fire. He is old in age, approximately 65 years old. He sits in a wooden chair with a black bokuto in his lap.
I have aged haven’t I.
A young boy appears. He approximately 16 years old, and bears a childish smile. He wears a blue hakana and bears some resemblance to Old Tamoto.
I am afraid so, my friend.
Old Tamoto shifts his weight in his chair. He stares at the black bokuto, it being in perfect condition.
I am become weak despite my training
No, your body has thrived but it’s your mind I worry about
Old Tamoto (chuckles)
Because you have caged yourself in here for so long, you
Have forgotten how it feel to be out in the wild.
I have forgotten most things.
Old Tamoto raises his hand
Do not remind me
A wise man once said
that a man who wants to
forget is broken inside.
I am not broken
See, you have trained
yourself not to show it
when you are suffering.
Old Tamoto stares off into the distance, his eyes fixed on a large wooden cabinet with a lock on it.
Old Tamoto starts walking to another room.
Tell me, what has finally
Old Tamoto glances back and shakes his head. He opens the door to his room and enters.
Act One, Scene Two
A younger Tamoto is showed, approximately 2o years old. He is dress in a white cuirass with a black streak running down the left side of the mask. He has sheathed a “gold” katana in a white sheathe. He is leading them through a foggy forest, nicknamed the Akuma no mori, The Forest of The Demons.
Arusha, do you
Arusha is a master archer. In his hands, he holds a metal bow with blades on the ends of the bow. He wears a red cuirass and is about 16 years old.
I am not seeing anything.
They must be hiding then.
Musashi is the oldest of the group. He doesn’t wear a cuirass but wears a blue robe. In his hands is a bokuto. He is about 45.
Rorentsu~o, go look ahead.
Rorentsu~o is a moderate age samurai. He wears a yellow cuirass and carries a black katana.
Rorentus-o marches ahead with his katana drawn. As he walks, the fog rises.
Master, the fog is rising!
Tamoto unsheathes his katana, the rest of the group follows. Out of the fog emerges 20 Akumaa (Demons). They are wearing dark green cuirasses and carrying yellow katanas. They have faces engrave on their masks.
You have trespass onto our land, what do you say in your defense?
Act One, Scene Three
Tamoto wakes up from his sleep with a jolt. He is sweaty and bears a worried face. Getting out of bed, he walks to a black closet and opens it up. Inside is the same white cuirass with the black stripe and the “gold” katana. Both have been preserved in good condition.
Old Tamoto (whisper)
Oh, why do you haunt me?
Tamoto grasps the sword in his hands. Instantly he is snapped into a flashback.
Young Tamoto is standing with his allies. They face the Akumaa, the green cuirass samurais.
Draw your weapons
The samurai group follows the order. Meanwhile, the Akumaa wait with their weapons drawn.
LOWER YOUR WEAPONS!
Everything moves in slow motion. Tamoto grips his katana tighter. Arusha notches an arrow from his quiver. Musashi twirls his bokuto.
The Akumaa Leader and his soldiers begin to charge. Arusha fires an arrow and it flies with great force. It goes straight through one of the Akumaa’s armor. Musashi strikes down several Akumaa soldiers while Tamoto slices several Akumaa soldiers with ease.
Arusha is shown walking towards the Akumaa Leader with a drawn blue katana. The Akumaa Leader laughs and marchers towards Arusha.
I MUST SAVE HIM!
Tamoto begins slashing furiously. He begins to run towards Arusha but takes several stabs from Akumaa soldiers. Meanwhile, Arusha raises his katana at the Akumaa Leader.
I am going to kill you!
YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A CHILD
A child of War!
Tamoto releases the katana and it drops to the ground. The katana is engraved with Naitoshadou (Night Shadow). Some whispers could be heard.
So many souls are trapped
inside you Naitoshadou. I am sorry
for your buried.
Tamoto picks up the katana and sheathes it. The whispers stop and the room is quiet. He puts it back into the cabinet and closes it. Young Boy walks into the room.
Are you ok Master.
I am not sure?
Yes, but why?
Why you feel pain?
Old Tamoto sits down and looks at the Young Boy.
It’s a feeling you have not
felt for ages, isn’t it?
Yes, but why does it feel so new?
Because you have forgot how to feel.
Old Tamoto looks down. He bears a sad face but soon looks up. Old Tamoto gets up from chair.
Come, let’s go drink tea
Young Boy and Old Tamoto leave the room.
Tamoto’s Living Room
Act One, Scene Four
Old Tamoto pours Young Boy a cup of tea. He sets the cup next to him and sits down.
What am I going to do now?
What do you mean?
What do I do with my life?
That’s a question I can’t answer
Old Tamoto looks at the wooden cabinet in the corner, his eyes fixed on the lock.
Why do you want such a big lock?
I must keep something locked
What’s so valuable that you need this?
It is none of your concern
Locksmith hammers down on the lock. Tamoto stares as the Locksmith works.
Is it gold?
No, something far more valuable
What can be more valuable than gold?
Old Tamoto drops his tea cup on the floor. The cup shatters to pieces as the Young Boy looks in shock.
I am very sorry.
It’s ok master
Young Boy grabs a broom and begins to sweep. As he does, Old Tamoto stands up and looks outsides. The stars light up the dark night.
Oh, the things I have seen….
And the things you have yet to discover
The night is upon us, let us rest so that we may
awake in the morning early
Old Tamoto waddles to his room
Old Tamoto glances back.
May your soul find peace?
Old Tamoto (laughing)
There’s no peace for me
Tamoto’s Bedroom Room
Act One, Scene Five
Tamoto white cuirass is stained with blood. He desperately tries to fight off the oncoming attacks of the Akumaa’s but such attempts are feudal.
BOW BEFORE MY GREATNESS
Akumaa Leader swings his katana with great force. Arusha raises his katana but the blade is shattered from Akumaa’s Leader swing. Staring in disbelief, Arusha unsheathes his short sword.
HA, YOU SHALL DIE LIKE YOUR FATHER AND UNCLE!
Akumaa raises his katana towards Tamoto.
WE WILL NEVER DIE BECAUSE OUR SOULS ARE STRONG AND OUR BLADES STRONGER
Arusha charges at Akumaa Leader. Akumaa Leader sidesteps and slashes Arusha’s leg. Arusha falls to the ground.
Tamoto begins racing towards Akumaa Leader.
YOU WISH TO DIE AS WELL!!
No, I wish to protect my nephew as though he was my own
YOU ARE PATHETIC TAMOTO
The two fight each other. It’s clear that Akuma Leader is fighting better and will win. As a final move, Akuma Leader gets behind Tamoto and slashes Tamoto’s legs, forcing him to kneel.
HOLD THIS WEAKLEN BACK
Several Akumaa Soldiers rush to hold Tamoto.
BRING ME THE OTHER TWO HUMANS
Musashi, Rorentsu~o and Arusha are dragged by Akuma Soldiers and are place right in front of Akumaa Leader.
What do you say now Tamoto, or Naitoshadou?
Tamoto looks up and glares at Akuma Leader.
If you hurt any of them, I will kill you
With what, this?
Akuma Leader takes Tamoto’s sword. He twirls it right in front of Tamoto’s face.
You do not fear us, do you?
I do not fear anything
Very well, Naitoshadou
Akuma turns around quickly and decapitates Musashi.
Tamoto quickly punches the Akumaa Soldiers holding him, steals a katana and runs towards Akumaa with the katana raised. Akumaa Leader raises his sword to Arusha’s throat.
I WILL KILL HIM
KILL HIM NOW
Arusha nods his head. Tamoto quickly thinks in his mind and glancing at Akuma Leader. Akuma Leader is grinning.
If I surrender, do I have your word you won’t hurt anyone else?
You have my word, Tamoto.
Tamoto drops the katana to the ground. It makes a loud thud that echoes in Tamoto’s head.
Akumaa Leader turns around and stabs Rorentsu~o. He instantly begins to bleed out and falls.
YOU GAVE ME YOUR WORD!
Akumaa Leader laughs and kneels in front of Tamoto. He wipes the sword’s blood onto Tamoto’s cuirass.
You gave me your word that the boy would be killed
He did not deserve to die Tobiko
HE DID, HE WAS THE CHILD OF THE EMPEROR WE WERE FIGHTING!
He did nothing wrong!
That’s the reason you are here brother! Because you couldn’t follow my orders!
YOUR ORDERS WERE WRONG!
Fine Tamoto. You shall share the same fate as him!
Akumaa Leader turns around and stabs Arusha. Arusha falls to the ground, clutching his stomach. Tamoto begins to cry.
I have finally broken you Tamoto.
Tamoto angrily stares back at Akumaa Leader
You are now Ronin Tamoto
I WILL KILL YOU!
Akumaa Leader drops the katana onto the floor.
Go ahead, kill me brother.
Tamoto grabs the katana from the ground. Several Akumaa Soldiers rushed towards Tamoto but each one is met with a swift slash. This continues for hours until there are no more Akumaa Soldiers.
Are you going to kill me now?
Before I do, what are your last words.
You are still weaker than me
Tamoto nods his head and charges towards Akumaa Leader The fog thickens and Tamoto slashing through the air but no blood is drawn. Akumaa Leader has disappeared.
I SHALL HAVE MY REVENGE
Tamoto hurries to Arusha but he is long dead. He picks up his body and begins to march away. He continues for days, marching through snow, rain, and hot weather. He finally comes to his house, finally resting the body of Arusha on the ground. Tamoto begins to cry.
I am sorry Arusha, I could not save you….
Tamoto is showed burying Arusha’s body under a Cherry Blossom Tree. He rests Arusha’s bow onto the grave
Tamoto’s Living Room
Act One, Scene Six
Old Tamoto looks at the lock on the closet. He sighs and takes a key he was wearing on a necklace. Quietly creeping towards the cabinet, Old Tamoto unlocks the door. It makes a soft creak and as the door swings open, the young boy appears.
What are you doing Master?
Old Tamoto pulls out a pieced together katana. It’s clear that Old Tamoto attempted to try to fuse it back together but had not luck. He looks at a shiny arrow he made for Arusha that was meant to avenge his father’s death but he never got to use it. He sees a polished and refined red cuirass that Tamoto did after his death. The last item Old Tamoto sees is the blue kendo of Arusha, master archer and Tamoto’s nephew. Old Tamoto begins to cry.
I miss you so much Arusha…
I know Uncle, and some day we may meet again….
Not until I fulfill my promise to you
What is it?
To find and kill my brother. To avenge your father’s and your death.
You don’t need to do that….
Yes, I do, because a soul cannot rest in peace if the soul is tormented….
…by the memories, a man tries to erase from his mind.
End Act One
I Thought I would get people's opinions on my writing
Thick, heavy, fog carpets this place for a seemingly infinite distance in all directions. There is no sun but only a pure white horizon clouded by my field of view. This desolate wasteland is where I call home now. I am not hungry, ever, and I do not sleep. At first this lack of natural feeling left me confused and empty as if something I had always done was gone but I learned to accept it. This is what I have come to know but why am I here? There are no corners or edges, I've checked. I can't remember when I arrived here or when I'll leave but I know I'm me and I know that there is no way I can get out. Sometimes it feels like the endless void is following me, but then I come to my senses and realize that can't be true, can it? Well even if the void isn't following me I do hear voices sometimes. I hear them coming from all around, as if there is someone beyond the abyss but if that were true, why wouldn't they help me? I wish I could remember what had happened before I came here. My memories seem faded as if there is a glossy white fog that won't lift. My feet feel as if they are constantly moving under the thick fog that has blanketed the ground into the infinite horizon. I have spent so long trying to remember how I got here or where here is but every time I am unsuccessful. Even trying now doesn't work, it's just, impossible.
I have to fi- Wait. I could have sworn I saw something black, contrasting vividly against the white, in the corner of my eye. I turn so that I might catch the figure in the open but there is nothing or no one there. No footprints, not that I could see them anyway, no resonating odor coming from where it was. Am I losing my mind? There is something I heard once or maybe I read it:
"When left in isolation, all people will eventually lose their mind. Their mind will wrap onto what faint memory of a familiar person they have and generate them into mental reality as an attempt to have -"
I can't seem to recall the rest of the quote but I'm sure it has some form of relation to the situation. If my brain is hallucinating, my mind is playing tricks with me but then again I am my own mind so does that mean I'm playing games with myself? Thoughts like those are what send people crazy. I have to think about something else, something other than my impending insanity.
This place will send me insane eventually; I'm sure I have been walking now, in whatever direction this is, for what seems like days. At least I think its days, time here feels like its conflicted, as if it's not constant. At one point whilst walking I've felt like seconds are passing but other times its like days or weeks were passing all at once but every single moment is a struggle. My body isn't straining but it's just...I don't feel like I belong in this environment, it's so empty but it's as if it's pushing me somewhere. Somewhere I most likely don't want to be and somewhere I feel I have no choice in going to. The very environment is governing my every movement or at least affecting it.
That's simply what I feel but who kno- What the hell was that? Something greasy and long just slid over my toes; it feels like the warmth was sucked out of my body like a sponge. That cannot have been my imagination; I can't believe that what I just felt was a figment of my imagination.
Maybe there is residue on my foot? No, there's nothing there, just my colossal foot, it can't be. This was not a hallucination of any sort but then why isn't there anything on my foot? What is wrong with me? I have to get out of here. I need to feel companionship again, something I haven't felt in too long or maybe not long at all. I continue walking in hope of finding something or someone out here in this expanse.
Shit. I swear there is something behind me this time, not a figment of my imagination; A black figure, no bigger than a child, but then...nothing. When I turned all that was there was the endless abyss that I am all too familiar with. I can't be losing my sanity, I won't lo-...no. there is something there, behind me, and I can feel it. That feeling of all the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end as if the air is telling them something and they are all too eager to hear. I have to see but...I'm afraid. This place has given me nothing, no love, friends, food, sleep and now something or someone appears. I must turn around. I fling around my body to avoid hesitation. My eyes begin to widen as the black, childlike figure comes into focus, contrasting against the white abyss like a light in the dark but then I realize, this is no child in black.
Its body is the purest of black as if it were a physical shadow. Its hands were almost shapeless apart from the fingers which were dripping in some kind of thick, liquid darkness and its face. It has eyes as yellow as the sun itself, embedded deep into its dark, deathly and shapeless skull.
"Who are you?" I yell to the creature, my voice doused in angst and unadulterated fear.
The creatures head tilts and the yellow, luminous, gaze it has falls directly in line with mine. For while nothing happens. I break the seemingly infinite silence with my cold, fearful breaths while I pray this creature is not here to take my life. Then...I see the shapeless hand transforming. Darkness slices through the absolute nothingness and forms to a point, a blade, and barbs lining either side of the edges. I then knew that this creature was not here in peace. I was in its territory and it wanted me gone.
In this desolate place I don't smell anything, not even my own body. It's like my smell has been dulled for some reason. But right now, at this moment I could smell. I could smell my own, potent fear and I have no doubt the creature can as well.
Where did this go so wrong? At what point did this nothingness decide to attack me. Maybe I was right. Maybe the void was pushing me to this place so that this creature could 'feast' and this feeling of knowing your life is on the line is a feeling I will never forget. This situation is a life and death situation, I can feel it.
Then...I hear a voice, full of power, desire, resentment and pure malevolence.
The loud voice seemed to echo through the entire void of space. My whole body was struck with fear and all the hairs on my body stood on end as I heard the voice over and over again wringing inside my head.
I have to run; otherwise I am going to die. I start to walk backwards increasing my pace with every step but in the blink of an eye... it's gone. The creature disappears from this endless plane of existence. There is no possible place it could hide. I stand motionless, hoping and praying that this thing is gone or that I simply imagined it. I start to look around examining every inch of the constantly shifting fog in anticipation that I don't see the creature. I glance around to where I was going to run and I would be lying to myself if I said there was nothing there but there was. There the creature was standing, same gaze and same position. My heart instantly skips a beat as I try to accept the impossible, as I try to come to terms with the fact that this creature can move faster than the blink of an eye. There is not possible way to evade this creature in this empty space where I can be seen for an infinite distance unless.
Unless I don't blink. Maybe it only moves when I'm not seeing it but his head, I saw it move and his arm. So maybe he can't move through the environment when I'm looking. I have to try to run, to survive, to try and escape this place. This is my only solution, my only chance at some kind of life. And that's what it's come to, a decision of life or death because if I stay I'm going to blink eventually and then my life ends. I start pacing towards the monster, my forehead already glossy with sweat from the pure anxiety and fear of this situation alone. My footsteps pierce the white foggy ground as if it were shallow water, disappearing and then reappearing. My eyes focus on his, as I know that I can't blink otherwise the blackest of nights will be my eternal home. My pace speeds up as my confidence and feeling of control builds up inside me.
My breaths are like my life force and I am in control of it. I am my own person and no one, not even this creature can stop that. I quickly turn knowing that the monster will appear somewhere around me. But I just run. I run knowing that he could catch me. Then he appears in front of me, only five meters, I quickly stop and turn once again, I look back and the creature is still where I left it but his gaze is fixed on me as if he's waiting. I continue running like my life is on the line, like this might be my last day alive, which it could very well be.
Then, out of nowhere, I see black ground ahead. Running at full pace I take very little notice until I get closer. I soon come to the realization that this is a drop off, the white fog that has always liked to hide my feet, flowing down as if it were a waterfall. I'm trapped. I look to the side frantically, looking for an end to this expanse in the void but it continues for an infinite distance. Fear begins to fill my whole body once again and the false hope I had, poured out like nothing I'd ever felt. Then I realize I'd forgotten about the creature. All of a sudden, "Gasp", all the air I had was expelled from my lungs and I felt a pain like no other. A blood trail discharges from my body. I then look down only to see the tip of the blade I had feared so much. I then looked over my neck to see those yellow eyes of pure immorality and detestation, both things I had done nothing to deserve, surrounded in black.
"Why... Why me?" I manage to mutter under my breath before the creature rips out its blade, the spurs tearing my flesh apart and leaving my organs trailing behind my body along with a thick trail of blood. My hands hold themselves over the gaping hole in my body as blood gushes out. It dispenses from my hands into the thick, white fog below causing it to have a deep red undertone. I then feel myself lose all life from my body. I fall slowly forward over the edge like a rag doll into the pitch black abyss below, my eyes slowly close on the now dark, desolate world.
"Quickly", I hear whilst somewhat unconscious, "get him stabilized". I open my eyes long enough to see a woman in white, pushing me down a hall on a bed. She sees me and her eyes widen just as everything goes...black.
Black 'N White - Song
Black 'n white,
White 'n black.
This pressure is pushing me back,
Back on a cliff.
Don't know if I missed,
Think I missed the light.
Do what you will,
Put me behind bars.
Dress me in stripes,
For years I've searched.
Searched this empty road,
Carrying this heavy load.
Load of this life,
It's weighing me down,
Down to the ground.
The clock strikes and I'm struck,
Stuck in this twilight zone.
It's black all around,
Where is the white,
The light I'm searching for?
So, this is the base of the song, I just made this and it's sooooooooo bad, but, eh, what the hell.
Also, please don't copy this. As short a time it took me to make this and as bad as it is, I put effort into it. Besides, you copy it, your stealing... not that you would probably care, but whatever.
And please vote and comment!
Should the death sentence still be a thing?
53 Then each of them went home, 1 while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one, sir." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again."
If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
We didn't evolve from monkeys and apes, that's a misconception. We had "common ancestors", beings that diversified and grew into different species. We can see animals changing now, with elephants with no tusks surviving poachers. more are now being born without any as an example.
Apes (including humans) and monkeys had common ancestors that lived about 30 million years ago. That ancestor didn't magically turn into monkeys and apes, the would have been small differences that sent different subsets of the population in different directions. Sometimes the difference is advantageous and begins to be represented more often.
To use this example on the elephants, it is likely in the future elephants without tusks will start outnumbering elephants with tusks. It could be the start of a new species happening right before our eyes. It is these little differences happening over millions of years that make the seemingly impossible changes we observe now.
Our closest relative is the chimpanzee. This does not mean we evolved from chimpanzees. It would have been a small change happened to the animal that came before us that sent us into different directions, such as potentially spending more time on the ground than amongst trees. Natural genetic variations that were advantageous to this new lifestyle would come to dominate the group spending more time on the ground, while the group still living in the trees would slowly develop traits that favour that lifestyle.
So when we split off, we were very similar. You probably would not have been able to tell them apart. It's taken 13 million years for us to look as different as we do now, and even then we look pretty similar!
Tell me a story...
I am working tomorrow, so here is the next part of my Aether story.
In case you missed it, Go back to Part III
Part IV- The Dark Grasp
John felt a feathering sensation beneath his feet. Before he could do anything, thorny vines shot up from the ground and wrapped around his legs. John winced as it stabbed into the surface of his skin and pulled him into the dark Earth.
At last, said an old woman’s voice in John’s mind, I have you in my grasp.
John opened his mouth to speak but sand and dirt suffocated him. John transmitted his thoughts through his mind. Gaia, thought John determinately, you will not break my will. Others have tried and failed.
The old woman laughed and John felt the Earth around him shake. Have no fear little one, I intend to break more than just your will.
John’s descent into the Earth picked up speed. He tried to scream as rocks dug jagged trenches into his skin. John closed his eyes to quell the pain but it felt as if his flesh was being ripped from his body. When John felt he couldn’t take anymore, he thought about Ellie and the pain miraculously subsided. He reopened his eyes and looked around. John was in the foyer to his home. The sound of rain pattered against his front door and the rumble of thunder echoed in the distance. John felt a piece of paper in his hand. It was a note that said,
Don’t bother looking. You are better off without me.
The memory of this note itched in the back of John’s mind but before he could do anything he heard footsteps rushing down the stairs. He looked up and Ellie pushed past him with a duffle bag in hand. She bumped into his shoulder and sent him tottering sideways. John regained his footing but she was already out the door, slamming it behind her. John threw the door open and chased after her. He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back to him. She tried to yank free but he pulled her closer into an embrace. Ellie dropped her duffle bag and beat her fists into John’s chest.
“Just let me go,” cried Ellie.
He couldn’t even remember why she wanted to leave; it didn’t matter. He pulled her closer and whispered, “I will never let you go.”
Ellie stopped hitting John and sobbed into his chest. She wrapped her arms around him and they stood in the deluge of rain, allowing it to wash away their strife.
She looked up at him with red-rimmed eyes. “Promise to never let me go, John,” said Ellie.
“I promise to always hold on,” said John but Ellie had disappeared and the pain and darkness returned.
There will be nothing left of you for her to hold, said Gaia in his mind.
The ground shook again and John’s world exploded into a burst of light. Faster and faster he moved into the core of the Earth. Every molecule in his body screamed in agony as his cellular structure blew apart. The atoms that made up his body evaporated as he entered the core, and even though there was nothing left of him, his presence still persisted.
What's the craziest thing you've done so far?
Sorry, this took me awhile, it's long so I wouldn't blame you all for skipping it, haha.
I wouldn't say that I have done many crazy things. I was a very shy and timid kid, plus I was raised in a church environment. However, I have experienced some pretty crazy things, especially after I joined the military at 19. Right now it is a toss up between getting shot at by survivors of hurricane Katrina in 2005 (while we were trying to save them) or experiencing the "Bloodiest Month" in Iraq in 2004. I am going to go with "Bloodiest Month."
Be advised, this story is about war.
The story starts with us soldiers doing what we do best, dumb shit. Our Brigade Sergeant Major, CSM Snapper (as we called him), put us on a detail to dig fox holes and hasty firing positions on the perimeter of the airfield. We were one month in country and had the occasional mortar and rockets shot at us. Someone (may be me) had just made the comment that we were probably going to get shelled again right where we were digging. Just then, we heard the infamous “fhump” sound which indicated we about to be hit with mortars. However, it wasn’t one “fhump" it was dozens. We all stopped and waited. The whole FOB (forward observation base) went silent except for the whistling of incoming rounds. It was loud and we all knew they were on top of us.
The next thing I remember was a round landing 10 feet in front of me. It was a dud (or wouldn't be writing this story) but the impact was still great enough to throw me into my foxhole (grave). I didn't pass out but everything went black, I saw stars, my eardrums popped, and my back felt like it tore in two. My ears were ringing and then I felt someone grab the handle on my IBA (body armor) and pulled me out of the hole. I opened my eyes but all I saw was dust, everyone was on the ground. The next thing I remember was someone helping me up. I noticed my M-16 got all twisted in the sling. I was still rubbing the dirt from my eyes and saw everyone running to the bunkers, some people were being carried. I took a step but my back felt like it was going to split open; I took a knee. Someone came up from behind and put their arm around me for support. I still couldn't hear very well but they kept pointing to their gun and then to mine. I realized they were trying to tell me to “go to red status.” Basically, lock and load, safety on semi.
My hearing was starting to come back once I was in the dark bunker. The ground kept shaking from the impact of more rounds. Rocks and other debris were hitting the side of our bunker. All the radios were screaming with reports; everyone was calling for medics. Then my heart sank as I heard small arms fire; I knew the enemy was in the FOB. I never so hopeless but I looked down and my rifle and everyone else the bunker. I assumed they mirrored my expression and we all knew this is what what we signed up for, we were ready. But then we heard angels in the form Longbow Apaches; they were our aircraft, cavalry birds. Then the unmistakable sound of nightmares, the 30 Mike Mike, chain gun. The insurgents were liquefied in matter of minutes. I peered out the bunker opening and watched our scout birds (Kiowa) firing rockets in the distance. It was over faster than it started, I put my selector switch to safe on my rifle. It was silent except the non-stop radio chatter. Troops were calling in dismemberments, gunshot wounds, and every other horrible injury you can imagine that you have seen in a video game or movie.
Over a dozen people died in the “Bloodiest Month" on the Warriors Brigade FOB in 2004 and countless others were injured. The worst part about this incident was the next day when we just went back to doing what we were doing before. We honored our fallen but life continued and the mission never stopped. We all knew this was our life for the next 11 months. Thank you for reading.
Freedom writers - writing, one story together "A strange journey" Chapter 4 - The Space Between Us
It was the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. I intertwined my fingers into his and rested my head on his shoulder. I took in all the splendor of this moment and gazed down at the water. A smile spread across my face as I saw both our reflections ripple back and forth with the moving tide. Suddenly, I noticed a third head emerge between ours.
“There’s someone behind us,” I shouted.
“Where?” asked my boyfriend urgently.
I instinctively threw my elbow back and connected hard with whatever was to our rear.
“Ow! What the hell-" said a voice from behind.
My eyes widened as I noticed it was a mutual friend of ours. I had forgotten my boyfriend asked if he could join us at the beach today. However, I didn’t feel bad hitting him. What the hell was he thinking sneaking up on us?
“Sorry,” I said anyways, “but you really shouldn’t have surprised us like that.”
Our friend rubbed his head nervously. “Yeah, I guess I had that one coming,” he said. “I didn’t interrupt anything, did I?” he gave an obvious wink to my boyfriend.
My boyfriend smiled and I gave him a sharp glare. He replaced his grin with a more serious expression and stood up to punch his friend in the shoulder.
“Yeah, what the hell was that all about, surprising us like that?” asked my boyfriend.
“Alright, alright,” said our friend as he put his hands up in a mock surrender. “Look, I’m starving, how about we get a bite to eat?”
My stomach growled as soon as he mentioned food.
“Sounds like a great idea,” said my boyfriend as he helped me up.
We started to walk back to the boardwalk when I noticed my boyfriend stop with his friend.
“You go on ahead,” said our friend. “I need to speak to your boyfriend in private for a moment. We will catch up with you.”
I nodded my head suspiciously and walked a little further ahead. Something just didn’t seem right to me. I turned back and saw what looked like my boyfriend shouting at his friend; they kept pointing at the strange ocular shape in the distance.
I glanced back at the crimson ocean. The sun was just beginning to make its slow retreat to the distant horizon. To my surprise, the ocular shape had not moved with the sun. It hung precariously in the same place as when we first noticed it. For some reason, I felt drawn to it.
I slowly walked back towards the ocean; the shape strangely got larger as I drew closer.
“Hey,” I heard my boyfriend shout. I ignored him and continued forward.
“Don’t go near there,” his friend shouted. I turned and saw them running towards me. I hastened my pace to the ocular shape. It was now the size of a softball. My heart was racing, I needed to get closer; I had to know what it was. I ran and water splashed all around me. I fought the current and then came to a sudden stop; my heart felt like it was in my throat. The shape was no longer in the distance. It was right in front of me, suspended in mid air. Up close it looked like a hole that led to another world.
I put my ear up to the hole and heard voices. I couldn’t make out what they were saying but I could tell they were shouting. I slowly raised my hand to the hole.
“No!” my boyfriend and his friend screamed.
I hesitated for a moment then thrust my hand into the hole. It felt cold inside and I noticed cracks appear around the opening. The cracks grew and suddenly the whole world around me was beginning to shatter like glass.
“Sedatives,” yelled my boyfriend. “We need sedatives now!” he shouted.
What happened next was a blur. My boyfriend tackled me to the ground; the seawater was gone. I only had a moment to look around. We were no longer at the beach; we were in a dark room with dozens of people in white lab coats.
“What is going on?” I screamed. I tried to move but I was pinned to the ground by my boyfriend and his friend. One person in a lab coat quickly walked up to me and shoved a needle in my neck. I screamed but then my world went black and I quickly fell into a slumber.
When I finally woke up, I realized I was strapped to a bed. I was in a room of some kind. I looked to my right and saw my boyfriend. A tear rolled down his cheek.
“I’m so sorry,” he said.
“Why would you do this to me?” I asked.
He walked over to a large window on my left and pressed a button. The shades slowly rose with a hiss and displayed an endless expanse of deep space.
My boyfriend, if that’s what he really is, must have read my expression.
“I will explain it to you later,” was all he said.
Tell me a story...
Tell me a story, real or fiction, I don't mind just tell it from the heart.
Here, I will start...
A man stood alone in an expanse of white nothingness. “Hello?” he asked softly.
“Hello, John.” A man as old as time itself appeared before him. He wore dark robes with what appeared to be stars undulating in a galaxy.
“W-who are you?” asked John.
The elderly man ignored his question. “Do you love your wife?” asked the old man.
“Of course,” answered John without hesitation.
The old man made a pained smile. “Then, I hope you intend to keep your promises,” said he.
John looked at the old man quizzically. “Promises?” he asked.
The man disappeared and John’s world flared a blinding phosphorous white.
Part I- The Decaying Static
A subtle whisper slipped into the crevices of John’s mind. His eyelids flitted in the moments of half-sleep as his unconsciousness began to slowly ebb.
“Come home safe, John,” said a woman’s voice. It drifted like an echo and finally faded into the void. John idled for an iota of a second in silence as the voice redoubled, not as her, but as a shrieking banshee. The scream crashed through his mind and shattered the remaining shackles of slumber.
John’s eyes snapped open as a shrill alarm poured into his cockpit from a mounted speaker on his control panel. His attention locked onto an emblazoned fire icon that hovered menacingly over the number three engine of his space cruiser; it pulsed with a malevolent resolve. John raised an unsteady finger to the smooth surface of the caution reset button but before he could press it, the whole display flared red with emergency symbols blaring in every sector of his cruiser.
“Goddamnit,” exclaimed John. He shook his head and laughed bitterly amid the discorded symphony of alarms. The thought never occurred to him that a remedial assignment, such as a low-orbit weather scan, would have gone so inexplicably wrong; the irony of the situation amused him. Just days before, John assured his worried wife Ellie that the Interstellar Space Incorporation (ISSI) wouldn’t entrust an inexperienced pilot like him to fly anything but a safe, mundane, and pointless mission. He had her convinced he would be home before supper on the same evening he launched. Even so, she still cried and demanded he come home safe. He pushed a curly strand of scarlet hair behind her ear and promised he would see her soon.
The alarm gained intensity, and John scrambled for the radio transmitter. It fumbled in his shaky hands but his weak fingers still found purchase on the “press-to-talk” switch.
“Ground control?” said John above the din of wailing sirens. “Do you copy, over?”
Only the crackle and sputter of static filtered through his headset. He pressed the switch again but the frequency decayed into a distant mercurial laughter.
“Ground control, I say again, do you copy? Over.” John concentrated as a slight ghost-like whisper weaved its way into the white noise. The ethereal voice was reedy and hollow, it sounded as if it was miles away.
“Say again,” said John as he pressed his hands over his headset. He strained to hear the whisper but after a moment, it multiplied and transformed into a crescendo of horrific screams.
“You will never hear her voice again,” bayed the ear-piercing voices all at once.
John yanked off his headset and threw it against the windscreen of his cruiser; it exploded into a shower of wire and plastic. Though destroyed, he could still hear the wailing madness through the tiny speakers, which now dangled from the exposed ear pieces. John closed his eyes to allow the cacophonic clamor to subside; her voice emerged again.
“Promise to come home safe, John,” whispered Ellie, once more.
“I promise,” said John in a diminutive tone; her warm breath caressed his cheek. Instinctively, he reached a hand out to push a strand of hair behind her ear but his probing fingers only found empty air. His eyes snapped open and he saw a new color entering the fray of crimson, which still pulsated from the control panel. An amber radiance emitted from the aft of the ship. It glowed brighter and brighter as its hue engulfed the cockpit.
John began to panic as the alarm suddenly stopped but he calmed himself and spoke, “I always hear her in my dreams,” said John in a shaky voice. A maddening laughter erupted from the speaker; it startled him.
“Who are you?” demanded John.
The cackling laugh stopped instantly and was replaced with a high-pitched tone. “I am the winged-boot messenger,” said the voice in a piercing falsetto. “I am Hermes.”
“What do you want from me?” asked John.
Hermes laughed again and said, “I have a message from the gods, ‘you have been marked for death.’ So, just accept your fate.” A haunting chill ran up John’s spine as an uneasy silence followed Hermes’s shrill warning. A crash rattled the hull of his ship, jolting his vision. He unfastened his safety harness and drifted to an observation window. Murderous flames danced viciously along the starboard side of the cruiser and amongst the inferno a figure presented himself; the almighty Helios, on his chariot of fire.