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Latest Stories

July 28, 2018
Mystery Stories Roger Ley

The Wheel Fiddle

The melody drifted across the garden as she was picking fruit to make a summer pudding. She put down her basket, wiped the sweat from her forehead and walked around to the front of the cottage. The man stood waiting at her garden gate, he raised his cap. He…
July 28, 2018
Flash Fiction Rekha Viswanathan

Pills and Capsules

I wake up to a crisp, clear and sunny morning. The fresh coffee smell beside my bed tempts me. One long sip of the coffee and my senses kick in! I have a long day ahead. At least that's what the papers at the foot of my bed say. Glancing at the paper I see…
July 28, 2018
Crime Stories Stephen A Murray

Russia,Russia,Russia.

There existed in Russia a small group of intelligence operatives left over from the KGB. They are known as Sputniks. From Wikipedia: "Sputnik was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on October…
July 28, 2018
General Stories Paul Anobile

A Portrait of Slam Bang City

I was hired to paint the portrait of a billionaire who founded a small city twenty years ago in a ghost town he purchased in Arizona. Danny O’Keefe, professional wrestling promoter and executive, convinced a number of investors to build a fourteen-thousand…
July 28, 2018
Science Fiction Stories Majoki

The Deadest Generation

Sergeant Taylor always checked us thoroughly before sending us in: regulation uniform, backpacks, anti-ballistic helmets, Kevlar vests, and, of course, your gun. You couldn’t go anywhere in this place and be safe without your gun. Sergeant Taylor was strict…
July 28, 2018
General Stories J.B.Stevens

Dead Camel

The improvised explosive popped off to the convoy’s left. The armored black Suburban Neil drove muffled the sound to a dull thud. The blast seemed smaller than normal. “Anyone hurt?” the medic, Luiz, called across the radio. The team members, in four matching…
July 28, 2018
Romance Stories Jerry Hogan

He'll Ask Me To Dance Again

Jay I’m Jay, and I have never been to the My Time Dance Studio before tonight. As I entered, the interior projected a garish 1930s Art Deco motif. Greenish, glow-in-the-dark, semilucent plastic tubing wrapped around the hand railings separating one sitting…
July 28, 2018
General Stories Jim Bartlett

The Comebacker

Cornstalk stretches forward, the look almost as if he’s about to fall headfirst off the mound, saved only by the slapping of his left hand to his knee. He locks eyes with his catcher, then lets his gaze wander down just below his glove for the sign. Uncle…
July 28, 2018
Crime Stories Susan C. Nigra

Never Kill The Author

Oh My God! What’s happening? This has never happened before. I am cornered, trapped, boxed in with no safe way out. There has always been a way out before, miraculous last minute saves. I think back to how I got here and I remember I was assigned this case as…
July 28, 2018
Crime Stories Thomas Schmidt

The Streets of Camden

Saturday night was cold and wet. Mike Joseph walked cautiously down Norris Street on his way to the Whitman Park Field, a large green space inside the depressed neighborhood. Propositioned twice by street walkers, he kept moving while shifting his head from…
July 13, 2018
Mystery Stories Rekha Viswanathan

The Enchanted Woods

The boys are on a trip. A trip into the woods. Accompanied by their family they trudge along a narrow path, a route that had obviously been traced by human footsteps, a trail that had been trodden many a time. They walk cautiously, startled by the snap of a…
July 13, 2018
Flash Fiction Carl Perrin

What Could go Wrong

If you plan every detail carefully, nothing can go wrong. I believed that when I was a teenager. Like the time Billy Long and I decided to make our own beer. Once in a while we used to steal a couple of Billy’s father’s beers, but we were always afraid we…

 

 

The Nazerites, they trust me with their very lives. They depend on my command to preserve the lives of every soul behind these borders. Without question, we are the legion most equipped for such responsibility.

We hold the line, we are the only ones who can.

We are the only hope that matters, for we are the last hope. And I, Samael of House Thrandiin, lead these gifted vandun, this Nazerite platoon, into the fray yet again. Under the ever watchful eye of Omniabba, and with the endorsement of Melek Tau, our High King.

----

Each time we grip our Yad Shaddai, those 'Almighty Hands', the face of evil stands opposite us. We are the hope that stands between them and the peoples who we protect. It is our duty to destroy those dijin who plague the realms of the innocents.

We will stop this army here. For if we do not, then who will?

Look now, how they celebrate with relief at the sight of our approach. They see us as the embodiment of salvation. And will you make liars of their eyes? Will you discredit the comforts those mothers offer their children, as they look upon us and promise hope to those young ones?

No. If nothing else, we are The Order of the Nazerites. Life and Death know this and they hold true to the allegiance they owe us. None of you will fall in this hour. Omniabba, the All Father, will not allow it. The Malachim, those spectacular Heavenly Hosts, will not tolerate it. The Nephilim, the elite and royal high guardsmen, would not expect it from their elder brothers.

We are examples to many. We are symbols to them.

Asmodeus, who calls himself 'high prince of the second circle of Hell and champion to the Quintessence of Sin that is Lust', will know me, this day. Leave him for me. He is delusional and has defrauded himself of the truth that we all know. That foul thing, he is no different than any other dijin.

"And what are dijin, Nazerites?"

"......"

Precisely.

----

Half the city is in ruin, as that dijin horde sprawls through it. We fly over it all and I can see they have already laid waste to hundreds: children and their brave but innocent mothers and fathers.

I received a report from a captain to the west claiming that a notorious dijin was on the move; one of the alleged 7 Princes. When I accessed those images and saw that it was indeed that pompous dijin, Asmodeus, I issued a general command calling forth those few that I would have accompany me. Three systems later, I have tracked him here.

He will not move this army any further into the realms under my protection. Those distinctly made to be separated from dijin by Him.

----

My Lord Commander, what is our formation?

"Shower them in pairs..." ...encircle them between, and close in on their necks... "I am set on Asmodeus."

"Ase..." ...Commander

"Manoah..."...you are with me.

Ase, Commander.

"Mine are the blades. Yours..." ...are the swords. Yours are the daggers. Yours "...are the hammers", and yours the staffs, and so on, and so on... "...The dijin below us, Nazerites, will know them all."

"Ase, Commander"

----

There, against the wall of that home, there is my entry. A man at the end of his days is surrounded there by dijin, no doubt they plan to tear him to pieces. I must leap from this vessel first, and to his aid. No vandun ought to be followed if their actions cannot testify to their worth. In this event, I will be the first to touch ground on Egnatia. 
This planet is home to these people and port-world to many others. Surely it was Asmodeus' plot to steal this planet as a pivot for his ambitious campaign. Likely, others of the 7 are rallying for similar maneuvers, more likely still to lay siege on Congor; the epicenter. We will deal with them as well.

∙∙∙

Descending from on high, the Lord Commander and his right hand, his First Captain Manoah, aimed for the failing man, determined to save him. Unfortunate for the dijin, that they would be the first victims of the two astounding champions. They crashed into the ground with haste, but in impeccable form, they disturbed the dirt beneath them little. The dijin instantly ceased their advance at the sight of them.

Samael was tall. His hair grew naturally dreaded at the root, as was the case for all vandun; a phenomenon for their kind. It was fixed into one braid that formed at the top-center of his hairline and continued down to the middle of his back. His boots and armor were light, and mostly crafted of a material akin to leather, though it was more dense and durable. The only hard-stone in his garb, unlike other warriors from Congor who were bathed in it, rested at the end of his braid, at the clasp of his boots and belt, and on one solitary shoulder-piece that was strapped across his body.

In place of the traditional chains that a vandun would adorn around their neck, the Nazerite is wrapped in the Holy Shrouds; the Qadosh. It is embossed with the deeds of it's bearer, and reflects the character of their heart. As they live, the markings appear on the Qadosh. Much like the etchings would appear if they wore chains bearing the sigil of their house.

Samael was wrapped in this covering every piece of skin, save his hands. From his wrists draped two extensions of the Qadosh which grew on par with the need for open space. As for Manoah and the others, there were minor variances here and there but for the most part, they all resembled the same uniform as Samael. But now, before these dijin, the Qadosh began to illuminate from a flat grey to a bright and glowing gold.

"It's... it's you.." the old man said propped against the wall behind them, already braced for his demise.

The Lord Commander turned his eye to this innocent, the lower-half of his face covered with a black mask that seemed to stick there without binding. His eyes, like all other vandun, were black with golden irises; they too were glowing.

"Yes, it is you! Samael, the legend, the Half-Malachim!... Oh, glory! I have heard your tale since I was but a boy! And now, when I am in need, He provides! Oh, glory!"

In front of the two, the fallen ones stood at the ready. Nervous and in truth afraid. Their black wings filled enough gaps to make their number look staggering and their power great, and to most lesser than the Nazerites and even some Nephilim, they were. Old, pale, and creviced skin with seemingly young faces, covered in torn cloths and decaying broken armor. They reeked of former glory. These dijin were shades of the Malachim they used to be.

While Samael looked upon the old man, Manoah broke off and laid waste to these foes. The man watched, but could see only glints of golden light and the ashing dijin bodies that fell behind them. Their speed was too great for him to witness. Samael joined him.

∙∙∙

Nazerites rain down from the skies, and I among them. And where is Asmodeus? I snatch the heart of these abominations from their chests with ease, but that one eludes me. I cannot smell him in this horde, but I know that he is not far.

∙∙∙

Samael moved swiftly, fully synchronized with his First Captain at his side. To the outside world, the Lord Commander and his Nazerite brothers spoke rarely, if at all. To them, their discourse was as frequent as any other.

They were born gifted, which is why they are Nazerites. As such, they could choose to share thoughts that their brothers could hear, without speaking. They could anoint their hands and their Yad Shaddai to burn the hearts of the dijin with an inextinguishable flame. These, among many others, were talents of the Malachim that were born into only the exceptionally rare of the vandun.

In this, Samael was the incomparable paragon to all. His mastery of these talents earned him the name and the legend 'the Half-Malachim'.

With fruitless resistance, the dijin fell at the hands of Samael and Manoah, who paid little attention to their strikes. Not neglectfully so, but because the Nazerites were so well practiced that this required so little of them or their focus. Golden streams stretched through this horde. They moved through these waves of dijin as a spoon through a warm broth. Samael surveyed the field with his third sight. It would not be long now.

∙∙∙

I see the hearts of these ruins through the bodies of the ones before them. I see their wicked spirits and the Nazerites who destroy them. But no - ahhhh, there! My quarry. Asmodeus. I should have suspected that he'd seek a high vantage, arrogant as he is. But the slaughter is now upon them, and I upon him.

----

Manoah, there. Asmodeus in his makeshift throne. The dijin hold him up, just on the rise of the field's southern edge. Look now.

There, I see him.

Let us end this, then... "...On me."

Ase, Commander.

∙∙∙

The Nazerites had already encircled their foes and were now closing in on them. Samael and Manoah moved swiftly across a now open field, their brothers to their backs dousing the enemy, and ash at their feet. Asmodeus leaned forward on his throne, frightened by the sight of them. Samael leapt high into the air.

Six dijin held the rails of that throne in rows of three. Sprinting towards them, Manoah put his two spears through their hearts with a precise throw from each arm. The throne fell and the impact shook Asmodeus, who fell from his seat. Three higher ranking dijin stood before these now smoldering carcasses, they advanced on Manoah. From on high, Samael fell upon the first of them, thrusting his blade clean through it's heart and body; ash became it. From over his back flipped Manoah, who made quick work of the second. A downward thrown elbow to it's face, he lifted the dijin with his left and slammed it, cratering the dirt beneath it; it's heart ashing in his hand.

Spinning forward around Manoah, Samael moved on the final third, sweeping it's legs with a kick and decapitating it's falling body with an upward thrust from his right. Extending his left, Samael caught the head of the dijin and spun again planting his right blade into it's heart; the body still in midair. In a full turn, he threw the dijin's head towards Asmodeus and caught his suspended left blade, with his now empty right hand.

The head struck Asmodeus' stunned face with force and opened a vein in his nostril, black blood streamed down. Regaining his senses, he scrambled up from the ground and fled in retreat. The Nazerites were too many and defeat was upon him. Dijin were never taken prisoner, and so Asmodeus feared for his life.

Manoah stood and waited, remembering his orders.

Samael watched his retreat but for a moment.

"Justice is thorough and pays the wicked in full. Dijin are no exception. Death calls you, Asmodeus"

Striking out, with blade in hand, Samael quickly closed the gap that Asmodeus had built. Samael readied his arm. The taste of victory was on his lips. And without warning, Asmodeus was swept from Samael's path. Sliding across the dirt Samael looked out. There Asmodeus stood in the cold embrace of the naked one; Lust. She was one of the Quintessence of Sin, those who cannot be killed before Omniabba allows it. She stared into Samael's eyes. And in flash of black smoke, the two were gone.

The Lord Commander stood, stoically studying the spot where they once stood.

The cheers of the Egnatian peoples ringing from afar, in his ears.

∙∙∙

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