Dear Readers, here’s an update

Dear Readers, Subscribers, Friends, and Anyone Who Stumbles Upon This Blog,

Hello. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy this. That’s the most important part of all this. I hope that y’all enjoy this and maybe some thing I say sticks with you. If you have anything you want to tell me about my blog I am always welcome to comments and constructive criticism. 

The next thing I want to say is I’m excited. This summer has been a great time to get Penumbra back on it’s many many feet again. I’m excited to give however many of you read this, the next part of Nightmare. 

The final bit of news is that I’m setting a goal of finishing writing Nightmare by December 25th. That doesn’t mean that it’ll be done updating by Christmas, but I want to have the story finished by then. The eventual goal is to get Penumbra and Nightmare into a form that I can put into a book and potentially sell. I’m not sure if anyone beyond friends and family would want it, but no reason not to offer it. 

Thank you for reading. I hope something I write that someone reads matters to them. Thank you for all your support.

SDG,

TKH Hamilton 

Penumbra: Look Both Ways (part 4 of 4)

Penumbra: Nightmare Episode 5

Part 4 of 4

Before the car could move an inch Feleysa felt something scoop her up and pull her out of the way. She gasped as she felt the heat from the shadow car as it passed within inches of her. Then she felt herself pulled up and onto a seat in front of someone driving away. Her head tipped back and she saw that her rescuer was a young woman in a long black coat. She rode on a sleek silver motor cycle and was driving back towards the park. The bike slid to a stop right in front of Tania. The rider grabbed Feleysa, lifted her up, and set her down next to Tania. The young woman smiled down at the two of them. 

“Hey kiddos, we’re here to kill some monsters.” The girl said before drawing a silver weapon from her coat. 

“FELEYSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHUHUHUHUHUHUH!” Came a voice out of the car. The voice seemed to slur the end of the name straight into a terrible cackle. Feleysa squeaked in terror. The older girl gripped her weapon in both hands and pointed at the car. 

“I said I was here to protect you. This bully won’t get past me.” A set of green lights lit up along the side of the weapon and she squeezed the trigger. A burst of green light flashed out of the front of it. Three bolts blasted into the car and ripples of green burst across the surface. The car flashed and careened away. It struck the gutter and flipped over. The wheels slowed and the shadow began to turn to mist. A dull metallic hand reached out of the wreckage and pulled a body out behind it. Less of a body and more of a skeleton, a dull metal skeleton tied together by orange and red flame sinew. It pushed itself up and onto it’s knees. It’s skull turned back towards the girls and from one side of the jaw to the center of the forehead was missing. The only other eye was an orange gemstone. 

“FELEYSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHUHUHUHUHUHUH!!!” Cackled the creature as it pointed a skeletal hand. The hand glowed red and a blast of energy struck the ground behind them. The older girl scooped Tania and Feleysa up under her arms. She let loose another volley of green blasts as she ran, but the extra weight sent her shots wide. The three began to run as another silver bike rushed in. In a flash of orange light and black sparks. The creature snarled and let loose another set of red bursts as the biker made another pass. She leaned down and the girls saw a flare of orange like a lance in front of her. The two impacted, the skeleton was driven down into the ground. The sound of metal on asphalt screeched into the night sky. The bike turned and the girl with the blaster set Tania and Feleysa down. She took the weapon in both hands and fired again and again. 

“This! Place! Is! Protected!” She shouted, each word punctuated by another green burst. Feleysa watched as something changed in the creatures face as the riders had interposed themselves. The creature shuddered and the green, red, and orange swirled. The colors faded leaving only the dull grey bones. The bones collapsed into dust and left only a dull orange gemstone. The rider with the lance scooped up the gemstone and pocketed it quietly. The other rider led the girls back to their homes and delivered them to their parents. 

Feleysa watched the window after her mama had tucked her in. In the middle of the night she saw two silver riders cruise past. Maybe the place wasn’t safe, but it was protected. 

By TKH Hamilton

Penumbra: Look Both Ways (part 3 of 4)

Penumbra: Nightmare Episode 5

Part 3 of 4

The next day passed like the day before. Every little sound set Feleysa off. Every flash of light made her want to hide. Every excitement set her heart rate skyrocketing. Her chest felt as though a dozen tiny knights were inside swinging a ram against her ribs. 

Slam.

Slam.

Slamslamslamslamslamslam. 

All

Day

Long.

When Feleysa got off the bus she stared longingly across the street. The playground seemed to be an oasis of fun. However she was separated from it by a tarry river of terror. The various skid marks and cracks seemed to form rapids in the street. 

“Come on Feleysa!”

Deep breath in. 

Look right.

Deep breath out.

Look left.

Deep breath in.

Run across the street. 

When Feleysa’s feet hit the ground she gasped for breath. Glancing over her shoulder she shuddered at the thought of the smile she was sure she could see burned into the asphalt. Feleysa turned towards the playground again and ran towards it. 

The two girls played for hours and hours. They didn’t even notice the sharp buzzing noise that signaled their usual time to return home. In fact, it wasn’t until the sun started to dip beneath the horizon and bathe the playground in reds and oranges did they realize that the time to be home had long past. Most of the streetlights were already on. Feleysa hurled herself down the slide and across the wood chips. Tania’s cries for her to slow down fell on deaf ears as she bolted back towards the asphalt river. As she came to the edge, she halted.

Lookleftlookrightcross- 

As Feleysa entered the street, still looking left, the car appeared. It came seemingly from nowhere. Her eyes bulged to take in the vehicle of shadow wreathed in flame. Flames rocketed from behind it. As it now faced towards her she could see a skull made of flame blazed on the grill of the car, it’s mouth gaping as though it aimed to devour her whole. The sight made her miss step, fall, scrape her elbows and knees and lie prone in the street. As she tried to push up off the ground, she heard the engine rev. Pillars of smoke rose as the tires spun round and round, ready to rip her to shreds. Hours of flame billowed from the exhaust as the engine grew louder and louder. It drowned at all sound. It drowned out all thought. It drowned out all, but one thing. It drowned out a single breathless whisper. 

“Help.”

Penumbra: Look Both Ways (Part 2 of 4)

Penumbra: Nightmare Episode 5

Part 2 of 4The next morning Feleysa walked to the end of the driveway. Where the glowing inferno had been the night before, a black and charred hulk of metal lay. One of the light posts lay partially in the street and a police officer was helping direct tragic around it. Some police were there and one scraped his head.

“You know it’s weird, there wasn’t a body in the driver’s seat.”

“I know he must have burned all the way to ash.”

“Or there was no driver.”

“Ridiculous.” The police argued as Feleysa felt a chill go down her spine. She looked over as a man lifted up the hub cap, and in the morning sun she saw the glistening image of a half melted skull with an orange gemstone for an eye. Feleysa jumped as a blast sounded. She felt her every muscle tense and her breath caught in her chest. She felt her heart shoot to her throat. She turned shakily to see the thing that had made the sound.

The bus wasn’t the only thing that made Feleysa jump that day. Her teacher popped popcorn and she had cowered away from the microwave. The sound of a car screeching to a halt made her shudder. 

After school the girls crossed the street as they always did. 

Look to the right.

Look to the left.

Cross the street.

As they played, the fear of the night before ebbed, but Feleysa ran home quicker than ever when she heard the ever familiar noise. 

Bzzzzz 

Look right.

Look left.

Cross the street.

Feleysa ran inside, Tania called out for her to wait, but she wouldn’t. She hurled herself straight inside her front door, and slammed it behind her. She breathed a sigh of relief as she felt safe in her home. 

The sun seemed to drop below the horizon swiftly. Feleysa’s father tossed her in bed as they both giggled. He tucked her in, kissed her forehead, and turned out the light. It wasn’t long though before a light woke her up again. This wasn’t the gentle yellow of her bedroom light, but the brilliant red and orange of fire. Feleysa felt her muscles move on their own. As though she was a marionette on a string. She stared out the window down toward the glow that beckoned her. She stared down at the source of the light. In the middle of the street was what seemed to be a sports car. Except for it was outlined and accented entirely of flame. The wheels and grill were red and orange flames. The doors and top had racing stripes of flame from end to end. The rest of the car seemed to be made of raw shadow, it seemed to shift and swirl as the flames rippled across it. Suddenly the car let loose a mighty roar as the engine revved up. Flames spewed from the back of the car before it turned in a set of tight circles. Then it raced forward and created a long curve down the street. Then it made another set of circles. Staring up from the street was a cruel smile of flame. In an instant Feleysa sprinted and dove into her bed. She curled herself up and shivered. She pulled the covers up over her head and hid. 

Penumbra: Look Both Ways (part 1 of 4)

Nightmare: Episode 5
Part 1 of 4

The park on Grove street had been a far nicer place since the fall. The mean bullies who would go there in the afternoon had been gone, and no one would bother the kids all day. Feleysa and Tania had made full use of the park everyday after school. They had finally been able to make use of the slide they loved, racing to the very bottom and climbing all the way back up. 

The two girls would play every day until they heard a now familiar noise.

“Bzzzzz.” 

She’d look to the right.

She’d look to the left.

She’d cross the street. 

That was how they had to go home. When the first street light came on it was time for them to go. They would scurry across the street and do their homework before school began. Feleysa would look out her window towards the park in the night and watch as cars screamed down the street. Sometimes she would see flames trailed behind the racers as they cackled in the night. 

One night the sound of screeching tires was punctuated by loud popping. The sound of tires screaming before a horrible crash and clang of metal on metal. Then there was the sound of steel being torn as though it was a stack of paper being torn through. She looked out to see there was a blaze roaring by the park. Two police cars rolled up and officers burst out to investigate. 

“Feleysa!” Shouted her mama. Feleysa blinked. She had come up out of her bed and walked to her open window. Her knuckles were pale from gripping the sill. She hadn’t realized she’d gotten out of bed. Her mama wrapped an arm around her waist and lifted her up. As she did Feleysa saw someone. A man in a white coat. His eyes were obscured behind a pair of large glasses that reflected a brilliant glare. He looked up at her, no through her, and smiled. It wasn’t a mirthless smile. It was gleeful, but it was also malicious. It was a smile that reminded her of a shark, and seemed to reflect back the light in an equally cruel glare. For a moment that look was more horrible than the flaming carnage beside it. Then she was hoisted away from the window and the curtains yanked shut. “This place isn’t safe anymore.” Murmured her mama under her breath as she placed her back in bed and kissed her on the forehead. Feleysa closed her eyes, but she could still see the face of the monster. 

Penumbra: School (part 2 of 2)

Penumbra: Nightmare Episode 4

Part 2 of 2

Class passed. Just like every other day. Then the next class. Then the one after that. Then the one after that. Julia found her way back to her locker and grabbed her bags. 

“Jewels!” Cindy shouted towards her. Julia looked over at Cindy. “Hey so you have plans Friday night?” 

“No I don’t think so.” Julia frowned. 

“So uh maybe you can come with Mark and I, and bring you know who.” Cindy winked and gave Julia a light punch on the arm. Julia rolled her eyes and locked the locker. “Awe come on Jewels! Just to hang out.” Whined Cindy, in that voice that Julia had heard a thousand times. 

“Alright I’ll make sure I’m off.” Julia replied with a sigh. 

“Awe come on, I know you’re just looking for an excuse to ask him out.” Cindy punctuated the whole thing with a flurry of jabs at Julia. 

“Riiiiight.” Julia responded batting away the last couple of playful jabs. 

“Don’t deny it!” Cindy giggled as she waved bye to Julia. Julia leaned against her locker, felt for her badge in her pocket, and slowed her breathing. All the way in the nose. All the way out the mouth. All the way in the nose. All the way out the mouth. All the way in the nose. Bam. Out. The jump felt like a basketball in the gut. She coughed as she felt the world slip away beneath her and around her. Julia opened her eyes to the bright light of the base. The emblem of the shield and candle was blazed on the wall in front of her, twice as tall as she was. With a soft thud, Mark King walked straight into the wall. Apparently he had timed the yawn in step with his walking. He backed up and frowned. 

“Ouch. It’s further at the academy.” He sighed, smiling over at Julia. Julia stared back at him. 

“Didn’t know you would be in class.” 

“You ‘n Clark do.” He shrugged. 

“We grew up here.”

“Did ya?” He asked tilting his head. “You and Clark?” He asked slowly.

“Yes.” Julia replied. Mark tilted his head. 

“When did you meet Clark?” He asked slowly making sure to pronounce every letter. Julia stepped back and thought. There was no memory of meeting him. It had been forever ago. They had met in grade school, but she couldn’t remember when. She was sure they had met then, but as she moved through the memories, she had no solid memories. Her first solid memory was of him getting beat up in seventh grade, four years ago. Every memory before that was a blur. She looked back over at Mark, but he was already gone.

By TKH Hamilton

Penumbra: School (part 1 of 2)

Penumbra: Nightmare Episode 4

Part 1 of 2

Julia couldn’t get past how odd school had become. Most days passed like a dream. It felt vivid and real until she stepped out of the doors and then it began to fade. The information was in her head, it could be recalled easily, but what happened that day became shifty or blank. It was another trick Penumbra had. They had managed to mix dream and reality, to allow the mind to function like it was dreaming. It also helped that they could influence other minds the same way. 

Julia did remember some things. The truly bizarre days or odd moments stuck. The context was gone, but the memory stuck. Of course it hardly felt real, it always felt like a dream. 

“Mornin’ Julia.” A new voice said as someone dropped down next to her. Julia looked at the smiling face of Agent Mark King. Julia felt a dull pain in the front of her head, two memories of the same event battled in her mind. She remembered clearly the night before meeting him in the park. It was totally clear. At the same time, her mind had the image of meeting him at some point in the past. They had met at some point. It had been some time ago. She couldn’t quite put her finger on when it had happened. She shook her head and breathed out her nose, blinking as her mind flashed both events. “Hey Julia.” Mark’s voice slipped through the confusion. “Remember last night?” Julia inhaled deeply and focused on the night before. The park and dinner clarified in her mind. The other images faded, like a dream did when she didn’t try to remember it. She tried that a lot these days, and usually it worked. 

“Jewels! Did ya hear?” A shrill voice snapped Julia’s head back around. One of the other students, sat down next to her. 

“No Cindy, I’m sure I didn’t.” Julia grinned back at the smiling girl. She had blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail, and a grin that went from ear to ear. She was wearing a bright purple shirt that had some political slogan on it. in red white and blue.

“What happened?” Mark asked leaning forward. 

“Oh uh hey…” Cindy stammered, clearly struggling with finding the name. 

“Mark. Don’ know if we’ve ever really talked. You’re Cindy right?”

“Oh, well I’m sorry I forgot you name.” Cindy gave a sheepish smile and flipped her bangs back. 

“Don’ worry bout it.” He replied. 

“Cindy, what happened last night?”

“Oh uh terrorist attack. In North Dakota I think. I hope our next president can stop Them.” Cindy threw out, without looking away from Mark. The teacher stepped in and the rest of the class found their way to seats.