Truly Terrible Tales: A Conversation

“Hey babe.” Max said as his girlfriend came in the door. He stood up as she stood over in the door way. Her arms folded over her chest, she placed her back firmly against the wall. “What’s for dinner?” “You’re one of ‘em aincha?” She whispered in response. Which, is never a great question to be asked. 

“What?” 

“You’re a Vampire.” Her voice barely above a whisper. 

“Yeah.” He shrugged. “What’s for dinner?” Max paused turning the question over in his mind as the color drained from his love’s face. “Ok now that I think about it, I should have switched over to ‘you look lovely in that dress.’” 

“You’re a Vampire!” She hollered in wide eyed terror. 

“Geez! Don’t shout it!” He hissed at her. “Not exactly something I advertise.” 

“How long?” She stamped her foot and started to tear up. 

“Since before we met.” Max said as he stepped forward. “Come on, buying blood and keeping it good isn’t something you learn over night. And if I was going to hurt you don’t you think I’d have done it already?” He let her chew on that one as he fought to keep my voice steady. “Come on Donna.” The two of them stood in silence. Max threw up his hands and flopped down on the couch. “Why don’t we talk?” 

“You’re a Vampire.” 

“Yes I am.” He said quietly. “I died one day and three days later I rose.” 

“And now ya keep blood in tha fridge.” 

“Sure like most vampires.” Again delivered with a shrug, because that is how most civilized vampires behave, yet her eyes flashed between her and the door. “Come on Donna I won’t hurt you.”

“Most vampires?” She asked refolding her arms.

“Yeah we aren’t monsters.” Max sighed again as his patience wore thin. “Would you sit down? You’re making me nervous.” She slowly made her way to the kitchen table. 

“You didn’ think I needed ta know that?” Her voice quivered as she looked with new eyes on the man she had shared a bed with. 

“It was going to come up eventually and I wanted to make sure you weren’t dating me just because I was a Vampire.” Max declared as he sat up to look over the couch back. Donna looked at him but would not hold his gaze. “Ok I get it, this is a big deal.”

“Yeah you’re a blood suckin’ monster.” 

“Ouch.” Which dear readers is a far more gracious response than I would have given in his place. “That hurts Donna.” Neither of them spoke as tears start streaming down her face. Max stood up and moved towards her to comfort her. With a flick of her wrist she brandished a knife at him. His hands came up and his feet stepped back. The blade slashing into his heart from almost three yards away, and it didn’t even leave her white knuckle grasp. “You really think I’m a monster?” She said nothing. She kept pointing the blade. “Donna, come on. Ok besides the whole blood drinking, what makes me a monster?” I step back and lean against a wall. My hands stay where she can see them. 

“Vampires kill people.” 

“White people owned slaves.” Max slipped a stick of gum in his mouth and chomped down on it. He would have preferred to grab a package of blood from the fridge, but that would definitely be too unsettling for her. So he opted for the far safer stick of gum. Which, if a vampire is chewing gum with you, it means they do not immediately plan on killing you. 

“That’s totally different.” She snapped. 

“Oh the systematic and widespread oppression of another population to preserve a style of comfortable living?” Max smiled. “You’re so right your people did it better.” 

“You can mind control people.” 

“Sure.” He yielded a nod. “But I don’t because that is very illegal.” 

“It is?” Donna gave a raised eyebrow. 

“Yes. You can’t just go around mind controlling people without their consent.” I laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of her statement, because of course there are laws for that sort of thing! Did she think that any neonate of a Vampire was allowed to behave however they pleased? “I do turn into a bat and use it to go get soda and alcohol. So yes I do abuse some of my powers.” That elicited a chuckle and both of them laugh together. 

“This’s weird.” She whispered, the blade falling to her side. 

“Why?” Max asked as he sat down across the table. Donna looked up sheepishly. “I’m still the same man. Nothing I’ve ever told you was a lie. I just didn’t tell you about certain dietary restrictions.” He shrugged as he chewed on the gum. 

“Doncha dare make light o’ this.” Donna sighed. “What’s my mama gonna think?” 

“Whatever she pleases Donna.” Yet another sigh. “We knew that.” I’m sick of this, it isn’t the first time we’ve had a conversation about something I can’t help being, but family is important.” 

“Yeah but you’re a Walker.” She said and stuck the knife in his table with a thud. “I didn’ know that.” 

“Donna do you have any other friends who are Shadowborn?” He asked quietly. She bit her lip and shook her head. “No? Well that word is a particularly nasty slur.” 

“Do you have other friends like you?” 

“Other Shadowborn? Sure.” He smiled. “Carlos, Soren, and Lou. You like Soren.”

“Soren’s a Vampire?” Donna folded her arms. “And I like Soren because he can sing so well. A lot better than you.” She reaches across the table and pushes my shoulder. 

“No he’s a wraith. Good man, but lacks substance.” He laughed at his own joke, and Donna rolled her eyes. “Lou and Carlos are what you’d call mummies. Dry humor but sharp as a knife.” 

“You introduced me to your folks. Are they…” Her voice trailed off. He let her gather her thoughts. He wanted to hear what she was thinking. “The ones who bit’cha?” 

“No you met my biological parents.” 

“Not the ones who bit you?” 

“Well it’s more complicated than that.” He rolled the gum into a ball in his mouth. “But they’re my parents too in a sense. They taught me to be like this.” He smiled. “I think you’ll like them.”

“But they bit ya.”

“Yeah cause I was already dead.” Max said. “I rose up a Vampire. But I or he, the me before I️ died, was already dead. And now I’m here. They’ve never hurt me and I promise they would never hurt you.” 

“So you’re one of the good ones.” Donna said and Max flinched.

“Again not so simple.” He mumbled as she looked back over at him. “I’m thirsty. You want anything?” I ask as I make my way to the fridge. Donna tensed as he passed, but she didn’t do anything else. Max drew a package from the fridge and punched a straw in. Spitting his gum in the trash before sitting back in the seat. He took a sip and felt the cool iron taste hit his tongue. Donna watched him as the vampire drained the packet dry. 

“What am I gonna do?” She eventually managed. Max said nothing as she looked deep into his eyes, the tears pooling just beneath the surface. She wiped her face and fanned herself as she blew a long sigh out. “I’m datin’ a Vampire.” 

“And?” Max asked, his hand reached out and held hers. “What difference does it make?” Her eyes met his and the tears broke like water from a dam. 

“All the difference Max.” 
By TKH Hamilton

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Truly Terrible Tales: The Hour The Gods Forgot

The steady beat of EDM pulsed in Connor’s headphones as he perused the aisles of the Walmart. The incandescent lights above illuminated the empty aisles with not a soul in sight as the young man pushed the nearly empty cart through the aisles. His fingers ran gently over the boxes of brightly colored cereal beside him. He stopped, plucking the box of peanut butter and chocolate knock off from the shelf. He tossed the first box into the cart with a delightful thud. “Babe, one box or two?” Connor asked, pushing the headphones off one ear. He glanced around as he found himself addressing the air. “Babe?” He asked again, his voice raised a little. Silence met him. He pulled off the headphones and waited. “Alright Connie, very funny. You can come out now.” Connor applauded before resting his hands on his hips. The lights shone down on the empty aisle as Connor waited. Without the headphones he could hear the low buzz of the appliances around him. He gripped the cart and pushed it to the end of the aisle, peering around the ends to see if he could spot his girlfriend. 

“Connie? Baby, this isn’t funny.” He shouted as he pushed the cart up the aisles, glancing down each aisle as he went. His footfalls echoed around the empty Walmart giving a beat to the monotone melody of the background humming. He reached in his pocket only to find his phone dead when he pulled it out. He shoved it roughly back in as he glanced around. Connie would do this from time to time. Hide when he paid more attention to his phone than to her, then jump out and scare him when he least expected it. She was generally pretty patient when he hadn’t noticed. But Connor couldn’t think of a time where she had waited this long to spook him. 

Connor slowed and stopped. The hum of the building the only thing he heard. He felt his breathing quicken as he glanced about at the empty store. Memories of being swept away in a crowd like a twig in a flood bombarded him as he placed his weight on the cart. He had been separated from his parents for hours as he had ran around the amusement park. His eyes squeezed shut as the endless drone of his environment pushed on his senses. The sense of loneliness and insignificance rocketed around the inside of his mind and Connor feared the pressure on both sides would crush his skull. He took a long slow breath in and then out as he looked around. He was alone. 

Of course he couldn’t be truly alone. This was a store. That meant employees. That meant a PA system to call Connie with. Connor glanced around at the seemingly endless aisles. He blinked as he tried to gather his bearings. Which way had he come from? Which way was he going? He looked around, slowly then swiftly turning on his heel until he again gripped the cart to steady himself.

Empty aisles stretched in every direction. Except they were in rows of parallel lines. Two rows of parallel aisles, yet no matter how Connor turned he was always surrounded by those same two rows. Almost as though the room turned with him, and Connor felt his stomach turn sower as he tried to find a front or back of the store. He dropped to his knees and felt hot tears well up as pressed his back to an aisle. The whining noise seemed to scream at him and yet it hadn’t seemed to increase at all in volume. He could hardly hear his own pitiful sobs over that constant, unyielding, monotonous whine. The lights beat down on him as though he was under a focused spotlight of a thousand suns exploding perpetually. Perhaps if he stayed still long enough someone would find him. 

For surely he was not alone. 

Not even here, in this place and in this hour could he be alone. No not even in a time when all the gods have named forsaken and refuse to look upon could Connor be truly alone. And even he knew this. And rightly, he ran. The cart abandoned he ran forward, down an aisle or past it he knew not which. All he knew was that as he ran his footfalls did a valiant if pointless battle against the buzz of the superstore. His voice hollered his love’s name into the endless abyss of aisles as he turned down random aisles and all along the store. His eyes grew red with tears as he ran screaming down the endless and maddening aisles filled with cheap packages of brightly colored products. 

Eventually though his feet slowed, his mouth dripping foam, and his legs burning. He felt alone again. But knew he couldn’t possibly be, and longed for the ignorance that he had once had. For of course he wasn’t alone. They were here. With him. He couldn’t see them, though he thought he caught glimpses at the end of aisles he dared not enter or behind him when he dared turn back. He did not hear them, save for what any crazed fool would call echoes of his footfalls. These were clearer and louder than his own, even if they kept perfect time with him. 

Connor found his fingers dragging over cans of soup as his legs trembled. Human blood stock, C’thuli-o’s, and canned fear felt cold on his fingertips as he wandered. His breath heavy and dry on his cracked lips. His footing failed and he stumbled to his knees beneath the unending brilliance of the incandescent light and the deafening hum.

Even as he collapsed Connor knew the truth. He was not alone and it would all be over soon. 
By TKH Hamilton

Truly Terrible Tales: Dearest Readers

Dearest Readers,Are you well? I do very much hope so. I very much hope you are very well and not at all ill. I do honestly hope you do not experience what others most slanderously call paranoia, because of course it is only paranoia if you have nothing to fear. In fact paranoia is quite preferable to that accusation, since at the very least you are not in any real danger. Though of course there is nothing lurking just in the shadows behind you, lapping at its orangish lips with a long black tongue. A tongue that swirls ready to pass between razor sharp ivory teeth to drag itself along your neck as you slumber. Because it isn’t time to even take a minuscule nibble of your succulent delicious flesh. There is nothing at all like that pursuing me, thank you very much though for your concern, but I am quite alright. Oh and it isn’t pursuing you, because something like that definitely is an illustration I just made up. In any case I hope you believe yourself to be well, or at least unaware that you are not at all safe. But you are definitely not in any danger. Definitely not. 

Anyways, Dearest Readers, I have things for you. No, not Eldritch secrets that are not meant for man to encounter and would tear fragile little minds apart at the seams. Secrets which would cause eyes to weep tears of icy, blackened, and thick blood if you heard them and turn those eyes blind as they beheld the secrets of the universe.

No, I do not have any of those, and if I did I would not share them. Because they would be mine, and I wouldn’t let you have any Dearest Readers. Unless you asked quite nicely, then I would perhaps share one small, tiny, insignificant whisper of forbidden knowledge, just to bask together in that utter silence that would follow. Not that I have any of those secrets Dearest Readers, so do not ask. I also do not have the children of ancient gods that slumber beyond the edge of the precipice of this universe. Whose children, even as infants twist and distort the fabric of reality as they try to fit themselves in our pitifully three dimensional world. Because in order to have those I would have had to have stolen them from their dark nurseries on a forgotten planet watched by a tireless deity with six thousand unblinking eyes of a color that does not exist in this universe. Or puppies. I do not have any puppies for you Dearest Readers. I apologize for that. What I do have are stories. Some of them are scary. Some are not. Some are about love. Some most certainly are not. 

“Where do these stories come from?” You ask of your own free will, and not because a government agent has your loved ones at gun point. I made them up. Yes, that is exactly what I did. I did not ask for tales during an exorcism. I did not win secrets by playing games of cards with fey lords and wagering my soul. I definitely did not interrogate the souls of a long dead mummy prince for secrets. I definitely never stole a usb drive from the breast pocket of a still warm body of a government agent of some unknown agency. And his name definitely wasn’t John Smith. I also did not tear pages from an Eldritch Tome found in a creepy house on the corner of the street. I did talk to ghosts. Which, as an aside Dearest Readers, I can recommend coffee with ghosts. Some of them are lovely people. In any case, I made up these stories. If you recognize anything in these stories it is absolutely and totally a coincidence. 

So of course, enjoy these stories. These entirely fictitious stories. These completely and totally fake stories. And if these stop do not worry. I definitely have not angered demons that wish to tear my body asunder in a fury. I also have definitely not been in a government arranged accident for spreading secrets that they wish kept. Nor have any wizards, sorcerers, witches, warlocks, cultists, and especially not someone who taught me magic in the first place, finally gotten tired of my ceaseless shenanigans and decided to turn me back into an owl. Not that I have ever been an owl, toad, pig (literally), or black lab mutt puppy called Rex or Poopsie. Though, Susan, if you read this, thank you for giving your darling Poopsie so many delightful belly rubs. No, if I stop posting it is because I am out of stories. That is all. 

Also, if ever you meet me, and you shall know it, do not be afraid to tell me a story. Do not be afraid of that. That is absolutely the last thing you should be afraid about if you meet me. 

In any case Dearest Readers, enjoy these: Truly Terrible Tales. 

Sincerely and Hopefully For A While,

Mr. TKH Hamilton 

P.S. Everything is perfectly fine

Penumbra: Dragon (part three of four)

 The illuminated face looked like a cat’s face. The eye itself was as big as her head and seemed to glow a bright yellow. The face turned and let out a roar. The sound was like a lion and as the mouth opened Cindy saw the teeth. They stretched like sabers and glowed an eerie white. Before Cindy could react Julia shot. A green blast exited the end of the weapon and blew a window out. The next five shots slammed into the face and it let out a hiss.  “LET THERE BE LIGHT!” Clark shouted and a blast of white light made Cindy cover her eyes. Julia pulled her up as a massive man flew out the shattered window. Julia flipped the lock and pulled the door open. The two came out of the house as a shockwave blew out the windows. Glass fell all around and Cindy felt her breath leave her chest. The sound like a person hitting a trampoline followed and then the man arced over the house and into the ground. The man rose from the three foot deep depression and brushed the dirt off. His chiseled face turned up as the beast came over the house.

 The creature had black leathery wings that were as long as school busses. Each wing ended in bony claws the length of a human fore arm. The body was like a lizard, the underside scaly and glistened in the streetlight. The legs looked like a lion’s legs but with black fur. The beast had six tails that were like snakes but had a rat like head on the end. The heads were the size of human heads and snapped unendingly. The beast landed on all fours and let loose a lion roar from the face. The tails whipped up and the rat heads cackled down at them.

Julia swung around and yanked down the gawking Cindy. Her gun let loose another six rounds and each rat head exploded in sequence. The man charged forward and slammed the beast’s head down and cracked the pavement. The beast tossed it’s head and flung him skyward. He steadied himself mid air and Cindy saw the man hover. His white uniform and silver candle began to show red splotches as his wounds reopened. 

 “Begone abomination!” He cried out with a booming voice.

 “Pitiful creatures.” Hummed the beast. “A crippled meta human and a weak pup? Do you even imagine you can protect that girl? I will tear her apart, I will devour her, and then I’ll eat the family. After I have done all that while you are helpless, I will kill you.” The rat heads regenerated from the bloody stumps, double the amount as before. They began to chant: “Bite them! Grind them! Rip them! Eat them!” They hissed aloud. 

 “Cindy.” Purred the beast. “Do you know what I am?” Cindy shook her head no as the color drained. “I am your nightmares!” The rat heads sent lightning into the skies and the blue bolts came down all around them. Skeletons of blue lightning began to stumble towards the two girls, as the beast began to shout. “I was born from your mother’s ugliness. I drank as she drained her finance into cosmetics. I instilled insecurity in your father. I make each morning hell for him. I am the beast of your fear. I am the reason you dread texting. I am your shame. I am the beast in your brother’s nightmares. I am the shadow. I am your terror!” The beast let loose a roar. Cindy stared up at the beast. Her heart raced and she fell straight on her rear end as the beast howled. She looked up at Julia who yawned in boredom. 

 “Is he done?” Julia said and re-examined her gun. “Fear is powerful, but perfect love casts out fear. We showed up not because of our job but for our friend.” Julia looked down at Cindy and lifted her to her feet. 

 “Begone to the pit beast! Spare yourself the pain!” The Night Light hollered. He turned and beams of white light shot from his eyes. The lights blasted the skeletons, causing them to dissipate. The beast went into the air and tried to swallow the Night Light. The tails whipped down at the girls and Julia fired on them. 

 “Ok this is a bigger one than I thought.” Julia muttered. The Night Light held the mouth open against what seemed to be tons of bite force. His eyes lit up and tore into the roof of the creature’s mouth. There was a howl of pain and the beast released. The Night Light slammed his fists into it’s face. The beast wheeled away and it began to speak. 

 “I am Azarogg! I am the annihilation of this family and this town!” 

 “Clark send him to orbit!” Julia screamed. The Night Light snagged a tail as the beast came by. He smashed the head and then swung the whole beast. The two became a blur of black and silver and then the monster was gone. It flew off like a rocket into the night. The Night Light dropped down. “It had a name Clark. This isn’t like anything I’ve met before.” 

 “Y’all have seen this stuff?!” Cindy shrieked. 

 “That creature is far more articulate than any class two I’ve faced. In addition this beast is far more resilient. Even with my injured physique I should have beaten any class two monster to dust in the elapsed time.” The Night Light pressed on his chest. The red marks were slowly growing as he wheezed. Julia inhaled and exhaled deeply. 

 “Y’all aren’t freaking out?” The question ought to have been a shriek of terror, but honestly Cindy was just confused. 

 “No, this is our job Cindy. The monsters under beds, in closets, and anywhere else are our job to eliminate.” Julia cracked a smile. “Or so my boss says.” 

 “So this ain’t a nightmare?” Cindy asked slowly rising to her feet. 

 “Not in the connotation you would use the word.” The Night Light replied. 

 “You aren’t asleep and that thing can kill you.” Julia added coldly. 

 “Y’all ain’t scared?” Cindy asked. Julia was a stringy girl. Sure she had a tough face, and the martial arts training to stop a fight before it began, but this wasn’t some thug. This wasn’t a fight that a hundred pound girl could stare down fearlessly. No one looked at a six ton dragon and didn’t flinch. Unless they knew something. Julia smacked herself on the head. She had forgotten how to do her job. 

Penumbra Dragon part two of four

“I got your text.” Julia said lamely. Cindy looked at her two drenched friends and saw Clark had an arm in a sling. 

“It happened that Julia and I were in the neighborhood. She believed, and I concurred, that it would be a profitable use of our time to respond to aforementioned message.” 

“We wanted to hang out.” Julia pushed Clark, who winced in pain. “Sorry Clark.” 

“My injuries are still bothersome.” He said stretching out a little.

“Cindy, can we come in? It’s kinda cold out.” Cindy waved her friends in. Julia and Clark had dark coats that stretched down near their knees and they hung them up. Julia pulled a DVD out of one of the deep pockets. It was some corny b-movie super hero flick. 

“Clark, ain’t’cha a bit old for super hero stuff?” Cindy remarked. 

“It is a guilty pleasure of mine.” He shrugged. Julia put on the movie and dropped on the coach. Clark slowly sat down by her. It was as if his every movement was a strain on his body. Cindy plopped down next to Julia. 

“Y’all didn’t hafta come.” She muttered throwing a glance at Julia and Clark who raised and lowered their shoulders. “I don’t like third wheelin’.” 

“We are not a couple, and this was not a romantic excursion.” Clark blurted out. Julia just shook her head and mouthed “not yet.” The girls laughed. Clark raised an eyebrow suspiciously before the movie started. A few minutes in and the lights flickered. Then darkness filled the room as the power exited. 

“Clark.” Julia said calmly. “My light is in my coat, can you grab it?” The sound of Clark rising was followed by him shuffling to the door way. The sound of a roar rattled Cindy. It wasn’t the howl of the wind but a sound like a lion. As soon as Cindy was sure she’d imagined the sound there was another blast. A flash of lightning showed Clark had returned. He passed Julia a silver device that looked like a pistol. Julia pressed her thumb to the back and then spun it on her forefinger. Six lights turned green in sequence from back to front. She gripped the weapon and pointed it outwards. Cindy looked up as the lightning illuminated a face in the window by the TV. It wasn’t a human face, it was the wrong shape and far too large. It was, quite unmistakably, the face of a monster.

Penumbra: Dragon part 1 of 4

Perhaps it was the thunder and lightning that kept Cindy Sinclair’s eyes open. The incessant rain drummed upon the roof like an endless march. It was barely past nine, but fighting her brother into bed had been more than enough to tire her out. She glanced at her phone hoping that someone would invite her out. The black screen simply stared back, unresponsive. Cindy let out a groan, no one wanted to hang out with her anyways.

The sound of pacing feet above her head made Cindy tense. Cindy listened as her father’s steps went back and forth like a patrolling soldier. She could only imagine him walking back and forth above her. His measured steps seemed rehearsed. The rhythm sounded ingrained. Cindy had never seen him pace, but his pacing footsteps had become a constant sound in the night. 

Cindy reached for her phone again and unlocked it. She went through her contacts. One after another she decided not text anyone. She hesitated at Clark’s number then shook her head. She certainly wasn’t going to have anyone thinking she was easy. That and Julia probably wouldn’t speak to her again, at least. She kept scrolling until she reached Julia’s number and opened a text. The full crowd of letters and an empty row stared back at her. Her thumb hit the “H” and then the “E”. She tapped the “Y”. Hey. She stared at the single word and sighed. She didn’t want to bother, or worry her friend. Nothing was wrong. No, even while no one slept in the house, nothing was wrong. No, even with a silent plea for help sitting on the phone, nothing was wrong. 

The windows rattled as thunder split the atmosphere. A flash of lightning made Cindy flinch as the objects outside threw horrible shadows on her wall. Another blast of thunder rocked the house as Cindy chided herself for being startled by a storm. Perhaps it had been when the lightning had startled her. Perhaps it had been a simple slip of her finger.  Perhaps it had been her subconscious mind acting through her hand. Whatever the reason Cindy had let out a desperate cry for help. A single syllable sent swiftly to her best friend. 

Ding dong. 

Cindy was out of bed and through the door in a heartbeat. Any excuse, any reason, any thing, to get her out of that room was acceptable. Her heart hammered as her feet threw her down the hall like a rocket. She threw open the door and found Clark and Julia there in the rain. 

Penumbra: Team Mates (part 3 of 3)

The sound of help was the crunch of the concrete and steel roof. A blast of dust and debris blew the doors off their hinges, rocketing them past λ. A cloud of brown billowed past him into the corridor, and he ran into it. Screams of terror filled the air as he charged towards Ron. 

“Terrence?” Ron coughed. 

“I summoned our proverbial cavalry.” 

“So not complaining.” Ron glanced into the reflection of his blade. “That black gas leak doesn’t look good.” λ glanced into the reflection, blackish blue smog poured from shattered vats. The soldiers and workers screamed warnings and ran the opposite way. 

“Allow me friend.” λ spoke extending a hand at the black gas. He closed his eyes and then the gas flickered and vanished. 

“Nice.” Ron nodded. “Never gets old.” Terrence swung tirelessly, his metal fists slaying soldiers left and right. Bullets bounced harmlessly off him as he howled and swung his fists. His body glowed red as the enemy retreated. He charged the line of fleeing soldiers, and blasted one up in the air. The main sailed into a glass vat that stood at least twenty feet high. It contained a purple black liquid that evaporated as the soldier shattered the glass. 

The smog drew back within the glass and began to boil. The soldier hacked and coughed in the cloud of black air. He batted it away from his face, desperately trying to escape the vat, before collapsing to the ground. Behind him the gas condensed into the form of an old woman. Her skin, pale and shriveled hung to her bones. She had on a white dress that hung to her ankles. Her hair was a grey bun pulled neat and orderly. Her hands gripped a gnarled cane, and she smashed the soldier with it. The cloud continued to pour into her, and she grew larger and larger. 

“Mummy is very angry with you boy. You need to be disciplined!” The creature screeched. The man was crawling away backwards, his every breath a cry for mercy. She stood ten feet tall and brought the cane down on the man with a sickening crack. She examined her bloody pole and shook her head. She prodded the limp body with her foot and scoffed. “Pah. Useless boy, you’re better off dead.” She surveyed the battle. Soldiers fled as Ron and λ struck at them with blades. Terrence smashed soldiers left and right, as the ranks broke. 

“Well would yuh look’t that.” Terrence looked up at the giant woman as she towered over the battle field. Her cane swinging down at the soldiers, whose helmets hardly reached her knees. “Ron, λ. Get the soldiers. Grandma is mine.” His fists smashed together rattling the room. He took two steps towards the giant and leapt. He was up higher than a basketball hoop in an instant, and sailed from where a three point line would have been before striking the granny giant. His blow hit her in the stomach and doubled her over. Her cane the size of a telephone pole hit the ground with a slam. Terrence grunted and hefted it up in both hands. The sound of servos and human straining as he smashed the giant behind the neck. The sound was like a thunderclap and the giant bellowed in rage. It gripped the cane and flipped Terrence over. He smashed into the ground with a clang, his breath coming out in an “oof” noise.

“This will teach you to respect your elders!” The granny giant smashed the cane on him again and again. Terence crossed his arms and bore each blow, a shockwave rattling the entire building. The solid concrete cracked beneath him as he grunted under the blows. The granny giant stood as tall as a house and Terrence looked up at her. 

“Respect?!” He shouted. He pushed forward and charged straight at her. “Respect you?” He grabbed her ankle and slammed her to the ground. “I respect my elders enough to be my own man! I respect them cause they loved me. You?! You just hate.” He pressed his finger tips to the giant. λ shouted and grabbed Ron. The two shimmered in the air, then with a gut wrenching shock, they vanished. The two appeared on top of the compound. Shimmer, shock, vanish. They appeared on a hill outside the compound. Then Terrence closed his fist, the servos in his arm crushing the atoms of the air the fingers grabbed. His fist struck and all the energy bloomed from it. 

Ron and λ felt the heat of the blast on their backs. They threw themselves into the earth. The roar of the wind blasted in their ears. The thud of something landing in front of them made them look up. Before them were the silver feet of Terrence.

“That’s how you use a big stick.”
T minus 62 days

Corrected: T minus 82 days
By TKH Hamilton