Sunday, 4 March 2012

Grim Wedding - A flash-fiction story

A friend of mine had a competition going on, about writing a strong princess character in flash fiction. Since I've never written a princess before, or indeed, flash fiction, I decided that I was going to challenge myself, especially as I started writing for the competition literally 8 hours before the deadline was due. I am apparently insane. Below is my entry of 967 words if OpenOffice is to be believed. Enjoy!

---


The wedding day of the princess Anastasia went as smoothly as could be expected, given that she had been forced into it and hadn't really wanted to get married at this point in her life. The marriage had been a condition of the treaty that her father and the king of the opposing country had drawn up together, after decades of warfare had devastated both countries, and she didn't have much choice in going along with it, much as she had wished otherwise. Except for one thing that kept her going through the day of the wedding...

She had put up with the sonorous droning from the priest during the actual ceremony as she had stood by her new husband at the altar, surreptitiously shifting in her beautiful white dress at times as she waited for the ceremony to be concluded. This wasn't how she'd imagined her wedding day to go. Oh, sure, her new husband, Prince Richard was, to borrow a phrase, tall dark and handsome, though he wasn't her type at all. He seemed to be too arrogant, someone who expected her to be a good little wife who kept quiet unless spoken to, which was not her kind of man at all. Especially as she wasn't like that at all. She wasn't the type to be quiet and dutiful, not when she could be off enjoying herself.

Sighing and fidgeting, Ana picked at her food in front of her half-heartedly. The banquet was good, but she wasn't in any mood to eat, just waiting for this charade of a wedding to be over. Her new husband was practically ignoring her, busy muttering to the best man who was seated next to him in some sort of male talk that was interspersed with grunts at times from one or the other as far as she could tell. She could barely hear the pair of them over the noise of everyone else in the great hall with them, but she wasn't too fussed about listening to them. She just had to get through the meal and then make her speech, and see where that took her.

Soon enough, the wedding feast was over, and the speeches had begun. Her father made an eloquent speech, and then the best man got up and made a simpering speech in support of her new husband and how he wished them all happiness in their married life in as sycophantic a tone as she had ever heard from anyone. Time to upset their little world, Ana thought to herself as she stood up just as the best man was sitting down. Murmurs sprang up as she rose to her feet, and coughed delicately before speaking.

“Good afternoon, ladies, gentlemen. I'm grateful that you could all make it to this wedding today, mainly for one reason.”

She grasped the glass of water that was nearby and took a sip from it before continuing on with her unorthodox speech. Looking out across the room, she could see everyone craning towards her, most seeming interested in what she had to say.

“As you know, the treaty that this marriage is part of is important and sacrosanct for both our countries, and despite us both being mortal enemies, we came to an agreement. It's just a shame that my husband couldn't meet his end of the treaty at all.”

Puzzled frowns greeted her words as she spoke, and she waved at the servants who were standing on the edges of the room. Bowing to her, they all procured packets and proceeded to walk through the room, handing them out to all the guests as Ana continued to speak.

“If you would all look through the envelopes, you will note within them pictures of my husband in some rather salacious positions with several other women, as well as copies of a lot of love letters written to presumably half these women. Please also note the fact that he is wearing his engagement ring as well in every picture as well, though quite why he was doing such a thing, I can't work that one out.”

Over the hubbub that had broken out at her words, she could hear her new husband grinding his teeth, and then heard his chair scrape backwards as he stood up to confront her. Overruling his sputtering start, she called out in a clear voice to everyone,

“I'm sorry that you decided that your dalliances with other women were more important than your countries future, as you just broke the terms of the treaty, and by the clauses you yourself wrote in them, your country is going to be subject to some hefty charges that you're not going to get out of, not with every other country watching you...”

Ana trailed off, and let her husband manage to get a few words out.

“But... how... how did you do this?”

He grated out through clenched teeth, his face a rictus of anger, and smiling mischievously, she replied in a sweeter, lower tone,

“Why, husband of mine, didn't you know that being the king's daughter grants you some power? That combined with your arrogance at thinking you wouldn't be caught meant that I had an easy job really of getting this all organised. Really, next time you try something like this, think with your brain for once.”

She finished, smirking slightly at the rage painted across her husbands face, and decided that she was going to leave the chaos she had just caused. Passing by her fathers chair, she leaned down and whispered,

“Any further doubts that I'm not fit to rule after you?”

Laughing quietly, her father just waved her away and said,

“Go on Ana, enjoy yourself after what you did here.”

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Angriest Man Alive (Part 1)


I'm prefacing this particular entry with a picture of Isaac Clarke. As the Clarkeinator is the Angriest Man Alive, this should give you a hint of what's to come in this particular entry. Run away now if you don't like excessive swearing and general rage. I think I'm gonna preface every angry article with a picture of Isaac so that people can look at it, see him, and then run away.

Anyway, to get us started on RAGE, driving is the first topic.

I fucking hate driving nowadays. I loved it when I could first drive by myself without needing anyone else in the car, but as I've driven more, I've come to realise one important thing. Every other driver on the road is a cunt, quite frankly. When they're not lane-hopping without indicating, they're going around roundabouts without telling anyone else where they're going at all, or similar stuff. Yes, I am aware that to go straight ahead on a roundabout, you need to not signal, but half the fuckwits I've seen haven't bothered signaling and then wonder why I have to slam on the brakes when they decide that actually no, they're going right and straight across my path. Cunts. If you don't signal, you should be taken out back and have your goolies squeezed in a vise if you're a man. If you're a woman, substitute that for nipples. And after that, you should be forced to go back to driving school and retake your test and prove that you can drive safely, you spaffbadger.

Electronica music, or more specifically, people who say that electronica music isn't creative. This may be coming from a background of philistines or similar telling me that it's not creative, but seriously, pick up a fucking guitar, and strum three chords on it. If you picked the right three chords, bam, you have a Green Day song right there. That's fucking easy to do. Now I dare you to pick up a midi controller, some kind of DAW software, and make your own sounds on that. Hell, for shits and giggles, try and recreate a proper trance saw-wave lead from scratch without using any of the presets. For me, it's a fairly simple thing, but I guarantee you that you will struggle to do such a thing. Now try and recreate the noises in a Celldweller song. Can't do it? Then stop fucking saying that electronica music isn't creative and is easy to do, because to truly create the noises and patches used in it is not easy. So yeah, fuck off.

Rounding off the Angriest Man Alive part 1 post is my iPhone battery, which apparently has the same half-life as Darmstadtium, in that if I use it to play Angry Birds or something, it will decrease by a good twenty percent or more by the time I'm done, which is usually half an hour or so, sometimes less. Seriously, what the fuck? Can they not develop a battery that actually has some staying power. I'm aware of the irony of me telling my best mate that the batteries are shit on smart phones and then complaining about them, but seriously, I got Angry Birds a couple of days ago and it EATS MY GODDAMN BATTERY like it was out in the fucking desert for days and had seen some water and food. FUCKSSAKE ALL I WANT TO DO IS USE MY GODDAMNED PHONE FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS AT A TIME WITHOUT HAVING TO RECHARGE IT! RAAAAGE!

Fin~

Friday, 10 February 2012

Why The Games Industry Needs To Die


[NOTE: This article contains spoilers for the Gears of War series, Call of Duty series and the Mass Effect series. Do not complain bitterly about random spoilers because I am warning you now.]

The games industry needs to die. It needs to be the Necromorph that meets Isaac Clarke's boot repeatedly via its skull. It needs to be the random mook that falls to the Master Chief's gunfire. Dare I say, it needs to be the Goomba that Mario stomps on?

Now that your attention is grabbed by that opening statement, I'm going to attempt to clarify why the games industry needs to die. The main reason is so that it can be reborn into a better form, one that actually functions well. I've been a gamer for 20 years now, and to be honest, these should be the best days of gaming, what with the ridiculously realistic graphics, the amazing soundtracks that sweep you away to new heights of pleasure, and the stories present in them should be epically written masterpieces after developers have had years to hone their craft.

But these aren't the best days.

The SOPA issue, and a few other issues such as GAME potentially going bankrupt, have brought forth the ugly side of gaming. The side that doesn't care about people any more, and just sees us all as cash machines to be drained dry. Activision, EA, Square-Enix, hell practically all of the big games developers just don't seem to care any more about making a good game, they just want to make something that they can half-ass and know that you will pay good money for it. And unfortunately, due to both the widening of the market where everyone now seems to be a gamer and the introduction of the internet, they can get away with this. Why the internet? Because now they don't have to spend months or years testing a game for bugs, they can rush it and throw it out there and patch it up whenever someone breaks the game too much. See all the care package glitches in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3. They patch it but people still find a way around it.

I'm not saying that glitches are a new thing, hell I used to glitch Pokemon Red to get infinite rare candies, but at least that was really only affecting me, given that I never played with others on it. When stupid shit like the care package glitch, to name one example, starts to affect my online play because the developers are too lazy to test the game for bugs, then in theory, I should be able to return my game because it's not fit for sale. But one person returning a game won't do anything really, because the new thing of using the people who rush out and buy a game on day 1 as beta testers is apparently cheaper than getting actual testers in to do a job.

Go back to the late 90s for a second, I'll meet you there in my DeLorean. Good, we all here in 1998? Remember back in the winter of 1998 when the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released? Do we all remember how it kept getting pushed back and back throughout the years, and had been in development since 1995? Do we remember that it actually got properly tested and that there weren't many glitches in it, and the few glitches that were in it didn't ruin the game play experience? Do we remember FFVII and FFVIII being released the year before and the year after Ocarina of Time respectively? Do we remember how time and effort was spent on them and the sense of wanting to tell a story was present in them?

Can we now compare and contrast that to the big games of today. The Call of Duty series. The Gears of War series. The current incarnation of the Final Fantasy series. Resident Evil nowadays. The story seems to be tacked on as an afterthought for most of these games. Apart from a graphics change and the setting of one of the games, the last couple of Call of Duty games are clones of each other practically, and are really, really poorly written stories. They could have had so much good story writing, given that the first Modern Warfare game really was revolutionary for its time, and was genuinely shocking. Same with Mass Effect 1 with the Virmire choice where you had the chance to save only one of your squadmates and not the other, although given that Mass Effect is a Bioware series, it has good writing anyway and is exempt. The Halo series, although massively clichéd, is written in such a way that the clichés add to it, not detract from it.

I will freely admit the Resident Evil series has never had the best storytelling or voice acting, but at least it has tried. Gears of War however, hasn't even tried to tell a good story. It's a case of “Here are the enemy, they are invading, kill them.” It was around the end of Gears of War 2 that I actually began to sympathise with the Locust, after seeing how desperate they were getting with the Lambent civil war going on and what measures they were prepared to go to in order to survive. That's really not a good thing when you think about it. You're supposed to make the player root for the protagonist, not make them hate the protagonist and start wondering if we can't work something out with the antagonists.

Oh, and speaking of Gears of War, the third game in the series has what I call Call of Duty syndrome in it. Put simply, CoD syndrome is this: A game has to include a shocking moment in it that will make the player go wow. It comes about from the first Modern Warfare game, which featured the player character being nuked, for those who don't know. It was, and still is, genuinely shocking. However, it seems that developers have gone “Modern Warfare made lots of money, people are talking about the nuke, let's do something similar to make lots of money”, and in Gears of War, the CoD syndrome moment comes about with Dom's death. I could see what the developers were trying to do, given that Dom has been your partner throughout all the games, and that it was supposed to be shocking, them killing him off.

But it really wasn't. Because it was so badly written, it came off as a pointless death, one that could have easily been avoided and one that was telegraphed for miles beforehand. And yet, gamers are eager to lap up the bad writing. Compare and contrast Gears of War to Mass Effect 2. Because of the writing of the story actually making you feel invested, if you messed up and got people killed, it actually had an impact beyond “Well, Tali's dead, time to swap to Legion for all my hacking skills”. If you had been romancing Tali, then shit, you've just lost your girlfriend and she ain't coming back. Garrus dead? Damn, no more deadpan snarker covering your back. Samara just got wiped out? No more peaceful serenity in the battlefield for you.

My other major complaint about the industry is the money issue. I get that making games costs money. I get that selling games also costs money, and that developers have to make money somehow. As much as my ranting above about how games are made nowadays, I get that they make a profit for the company, I just wish that they were better developed and didn't cater for the lowest common denominator and that I was getting more bang for my buck. But reading this quote from THQ designer Jameson Durall, which I've put below, just leaves me shaking my head in disbelief.

“I know that some will say I'm not considering the retail games stores and the impact something like this would have on them...but remember they were doing fine well before the Used Games market became such a staple of their business. The truth is, they aren't concerned with how this business is affecting us so why should I care how these changes will affect them?”

By making that statement, he is showing his own ignorance of the situation. Society changes, and businesses need to adapt in order to keep making a profit. Game retail stores adapted when they saw where the big bucks were, in the form of pre-owned games, and made money. And yet, according to Durall, they shouldn't attempt to make money. I'm not saying that game retail stores are paragons compared to developers, because both are just as greedy as each other nowadays, but at least the retail stores have adapted to the changes in society. It seems to me that developers are stuck in this mindset of not being able to make games cheaply and are complaining bitterly that they should be making more money from their product.

This is why the games industry needs to die. It needs to be taught a very valuable lesson – that it needs to adapt in order to survive. Everything else on this planet does it, and the games industry should be no exception to this rule. It needs to die and be reborn in a decent world where piracy is not blamed for games not doing well, where politicians and lawyers and fear-mongers can use it as a scapegoat whenever some nutter goes on a rampage despite being declared mentally unstable and it's discovered that he had a copy of Manhunt or some other game in his possession. It needs to die so we can get rid of the endless clones that are churned out to make money alone, so we can get some decent creativity back in the industry during its rebirth and go back to days when games were for the gamer.

Who wants to join me in an Isaac Clarke-style headstomp to the games industry?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

After the End - Short Story

They say it takes a man of resilient courage and fortitude to make it through the darkest of days. A hero of a man, strong in body and mind, to survive anything the world can throw at them and come through, sometimes unscathed, sometimes not. A paragon of humanity, to lead by example during the hardest times that we as a species have faced.

I tell you, this is wrong.

All it takes is a coward to survive the end of days.

I am that coward.

How has it that it came to be that everyone's gone but me? That I am to face the end alone? Because I was responsible for the Armageddon, the Ragnarok, the Apocalypse, whatever you want to call it.

I was there when the infection started, in that government lab at Porton Down in England. I am responsible for it all happening, all this death and destruction, but I did not create it. We were testing a type of counter-virus to fight against most common CBRN biological type stuff, I forget which virus it was designed to counter exactly. One of the test subjects reacted weirdly to it, and unbeknownst to us at the time, we had started the end of days with him. In our pride to fashion a cure against all harmful attacks, we had outdone ourselves, and made something that was more than human.

To my everlasting shame, I was responsible for the subject escaping. The infection spread within the subject faster than we thought possible, and granted him inhuman strength, as we would find out. We were studying him on what was termed Z-Day later by an over-active media, when the signals flat lined completely. He was clinically dead in both brain and body, and lay there in the bed in the room that he was assigned to. My colleague, Dr Ross, went against every rule in the book, and entered the room where he was, to check on him. Like some horrific cliché from a late night movie, the subject lurched out of bed, and attacked Dr Ross, swiftly biting through the man's jugular. I can still remember the man's choked screams and the spray of bright red arterial blood splashing against the window as the subject attacked him.

To my eternal shame, and indeed, the now-familiar shame of knowing that I am responsible for the fate of humanity, I ran for my life.

I should have stayed and sealed the subject in the room, but my panic had overridden my common sense and my training, and that was what sealed our fates. The subject escaped through the open door, and managed to overpower another of my colleagues. I kept running, so I know not what happened next, apart from the fact that the subject escaped from Porton Down, and ran amok. As we were to find out soon after, Dr Ross and Dr Clayton, the other colleague who was attacked, had been infected and had risen a few hours later, but amidst the chaos at the test lab, we weren't thinking straight and they were also able to escape.

The infection burned brightly in those three people, and from those three, the infection spread across the world over the course of months. Like the original rabbits released in Australia that caused so much carnage and destruction, our three zombies caused such chaos to the ecosystem but on a far grander scale.

I fled for home, not explaining myself to anyone. I just needed to get out of there. My cowardice and sense of preservation, my shock and revulsion for the killings that had been committed, didn't allow me to stay and think about the consequences of my actions. All I knew that I had to get to safety, and for me, safety was my home. Funny, isn't it, how such a weak man can break so easily?

I stayed at home with my family, somewhat safe, whilst the rest of the world burned slowly, caught in the grip of the infection. We watched on the television as the infection spread, and more and more drastic countermeasures were used to try and stem the tide of the undead. Panic gripped the world in an ever-tighter squeeze as the major cities started to fall from both within and without, as both the undead and the alive fought for supremacy. Gone was the thin veneer of civilization as we battled for domination. But with all things, we cannot fight our fate. With every person that died as a result of the zombies killing them, the hordes gained another member, and we were further weakened.

My wife and I watched our world fall apart slowly, and two events marked the end of my world as we knew it. Well, two major events that I am willing to talk about, and a third that I'm still unwilling to discuss properly. The first was the east coast of America being nuked, in a desperate attempt to stop the zombies from overcoming them completely. This started what us survivors called the Nuclear Countdown, as city after city was razed to the ground by nuclear blasts, without fully understanding what effect this would have. As we were to find out later, the zombies were unaffected by the radiation, and if anything, became even more dangerous from the radiation that permeated their skin and internal organs. Water became a precious commodity then, as did tinned food, as the very earth we lived on was poisoned beyond repair for our lifetime, if not more.

This was the lesser of the two events that changed my world. Or at least, the two events that I am willing to talk about.

The other was my wife.

I do not think she ever forgave me for starting the end of the world, despite the bit in the marriage vows about staying true during both the good times and the bad times. We had married young and impulsively, and were on the verge of splitting up when she announced she was pregnant with our first child. Feeling a sense of duty, but mainly the cowardice that had marked my life, I stayed with her because it was the easier option, rather than split up and face being alone. Our first child was born, a son, followed soon after by a daughter and then another daughter, and all the while, me and my wife were drifting apart ever more slowly. What was once a quirky habit of hers or mine early in the relationship and marriage became an eternal source of annoyance and grievance later on.

So it really came as no surprise when, during one of our rare heartfelt conversations we had over dinner whilst watching the latest atrocity on the television on silent, that she admitted she had been having an affair. It was to be expected, given that she was deeply unhappy with the relationship and I was too cowardly to make an end of it, and was far too tied up in my work besides. So I don't blame her for wanting to start afresh elsewhere, though I do wish she had at least split up with me before doing so. At least, that's what I told myself after all the pain and hurt had subsided enough for me to think vaguely rationally.

With those two events, the wife first and the nuking second, my world was forever changed. We tried to retreat further away from major cities, but given that we lived in England, this was nigh-on impossible. I must end this journal for now, as I have to go scavenging for supplies.

I can hear the zombies outside.

Always moaning.

I may not return from this trip.

-

I don't know who I'm writing this journal for, given all the events that have happened. I don't know if anyone is still alive out there any more, or if anything else is out there apart from the walking dead. Even now, I hear them, shambling, moaning, scratching at the walls of my refuge.

I am all alone here, apart from the dead.

Earlier in my journal I gave details of the two events that changed my world completely. I wrote of a third event that I wasn't willing to talk about at the time. I have been forced to revise that opinion since then, since it concerns what is happening at the moment.

I talked about my wife cheating on me, in my previous entry. What I did not say was that she was bitten by one of the zombies as well, and her cheating on me was the catalyst that made it easier for me to overcome my natural cowardice, and kill her, or so I thought. We got the kids to a safe place, a hunting lodge out in the woods that we had borrowed from a friend at times for holidays, back when the world was a sane and ordered place, which we barricaded up and made as secure as we could, the entire family helping out, and then me and my wife went out into the woods with the knowledge that only one of us would return and look after the children in our new home.

Or so we thought.

The deed was done quickly, and I hope painlessly as I smashed the rock down on her head and she went limp and boneless and crumpled to the floor, and I left her body out there in the woods. I didn't have time to dig a grave for her, as I could hear the dead nearby, that curious shuffle and snuffling interspersed with the revenant moaning at times. I guessed there was a large group nearby, judging by all the moans, and so, fearing for my life even more than usual, I abandoned her body and went back to deal with the kids. The two eldest knew what had transpired, but the youngest was still oblivious of the deed I had done, and we agreed to keep it that way. She didn't need to know that her father was a murderer, and had killed her mother, no matter that it was for the best. Such things stain the soul regardless of the intentions.

That wasn't the third event.

The third event was me having to kill my entire family.

I was out on one of the scavenging trips, when it happened. I would like to say that I sensed that something was wrong whilst I was out acquiring food in the ruins of the local town, but I only sensed it when I got near to our hideaway. The door was open, something that I had emphatically told the children never to do whilst I was out, and there were signs of a struggle. Dropping the food I had gathered and ignoring the sounds of it bouncing into the undergrowth nearby, I pelted pell-mell into remnants of the shelter that we had acquired, and found my family in there.

Or what remained of them.

As I ran in, four sets of eyes fixed on me, and hisses and moans greeted me as I stopped in my tracks. Blood coated all of them, rips and tears in their clothing showing their pale flesh criss-crossed with welts and gouges as I looked at my family, including my wife, slowly lurching towards me. As I looked at them, I gathered my wits and figured out what had happened. She must have been transformed into one of the walking dead, and retained some small memory of our family, and gone to be with them as the infection, the hunger overtook her. I do not claim to know how each ghouls mind works, nor would I claim such arrogance to understand each individual ghoul. That is my best guess, is that she had some memory of her family. For all I know, she happened to get lucky as a zombie, or I botched the job of killing her and as she tried to crawl back to me to get medical attention and she was infected on her journey back.

I cannot say what happened to her before I got back to the shelter, but I can say what happened to her afterwards. As the saying goes, it's not angels that give men wings, but fear. Fear gives men wings, and in my case, my wings was my sense of self-preservation kicking in and overriding my sense of cowardice. I grabbed the nearest weapon, which happened to be a chair leg, and managed to fend all of the undead off long enough for me to despatch them all. Overcome with despair and sadness, I carted the bodies outside and locked the door, and slept for what felt like a week. I was broken by the events that had occurred, and for the longest time afterwards, almost went outside to join them in death, or undeath or whatever you want to call it.

But my cowardice always kept kicking in, and I never did join them. I could always hear zombies outside though, sometimes moaning, sometimes just stumbling along in the silence, but always present. My own personal hell, both inside and outside my head. For the first time in a very long time, I was completely alone, separate from human contact and voices, and I hated it. I've grown to accept it now, but there are still times when I lay awake at night, and listen to the faint moans of the ever-present undead.

There is nothing to do here, except write in my journal, recording my thoughts and dreams and hopes and my past, and just survive as best I can. I have noticed though, that as the human race regresses, the undead, the zombie race, has started to evolve. Whenever I go scavenging, they seem to hunt in packs, attacking wildlife, and once I saw, another survivor. They tore him apart patiently, limb from limb, before feasting on him, all while I could hear his screams. Even as I close my eyes nowadays, I can still hear him, still see him, pleading to be put out of his misery by some divine force, the screams echoing in the sky, unanswered.

I have to stop writing now, for my supplies are running low and I need to get more of them.

Hopefully, I will not end up like that other nameless man.

-

I barely survived that last trip. A group of them seemed to ambush me, despite the precautions I took. I managed to escape with no bites, but the experience has left me feverish and flushed from adrenaline. I gathered the bare minimum I could before bolting home like a frightened rabbit who has seen the headlights and watched them swerve away from him. This wasteland is hard to traverse even fully fit and well, but I managed to get away as if equipped with wings. I lie here in the shelter, sweating, still fearful for my life.

I can hear them outside.

I think they followed me back to my shelter. I can hear more scrabbling outside, as if they seem more determined than ever before to get inside and at me. The moaning is fitful, and if one were to anthropomorphise them, one could argue that their moaning seems angrier than usual, as if they were frustrated that they could not break in and make me one of them.

I am going to try and sleep, as there is nothing to do but wait and see if they will disperse, or if they will finally succeed in breaching my barricades, unlike so many other of their brethren who have beat futilely against the walls and door. I can only hope and pray that they give up soon, though I do not think they will, not this time. They seem to have changed further, becoming more organised and efficient and more... patient, for lack of a better term. They seem to hunt creatures, both human and non-human more efficiently, and I fear that this may be the end for me. I sweat with the knowledge that I have, and I fear for my safety. But I must try and sleep now.

-

I tried to sleep. The feverish response of adrenaline earlier seems to have triggered some form of proper fever in me, as I tossed and turned on my bed, first too hot to sleep, and then too cold, and back to being too hot.

All the while, the incessant moans of the restless dead haunted my ears.

In the end, I gave up, and sat in the corner of the lodge, sweating and occasionally gibbering to myself as I slid into fevered madness, before surfacing from the depths of madness and composing myself again, before the routine started again. I did this for several hours, not daring to do anything else lest it stir the demons outside into a more frenzied assault on my humble home, and hasten my end. Eventually, I gathered what strength and resilience I had left, and stirred myself to start writing my journal again. My fevered thoughts dance across this page as I write, and as I write more, I become more numb to the noises from outside, but more susceptible to the fever within.

It feels like I'm losing my mind as this fever progresses. I pause every now and then, and realise that I am unaware of time as it passes. All that seems constant is the scratching of my pen across the paper, and the moans of the undead outside. I am going to try and marshal myself to attempt to sleep again, before I lose myself completely.

-

Woke even hotter. Too sick to sleep properly. Tried to shower. Saw scratchmarks along back. Must have come from ambush earlier in week. With info comes horror and relief. I am infected. I write this info down for anyone who finds it. Soon I will join them outside. Soon I will be free from my cowardice. But if you are reading this journal, beware.

Soon I will be after you.

I am sorry.

Introduction

So I'm starting up yet another blog. Mainly because I've been looking for an outlet for all the stuff in my life like cooking, music, writing, things that annoy me, and so on, and I figured that a blog would be a good place to spill everything out into. So here we go again. I don't know when I'll update this blog as it'll be on an ad-hoc basis I think, so stay tuned and I'll try and go for a fairly regular schedule, hopefully. Meanwhile, I'll post up my short story that got shortlisted for a Kayelle Press anthology for everyone to enjoy. Hope you enjoy!