Penumbra Nightmare: Episode 7Part 1 of 4
Five people lived in the third house on seventh street. When all five went to bed, only two went to sleep. Mom would tuck them all in, kiss them all goodnight, and turn off all the lights. The eldest daughter, Alice, would wait until she heard the footsteps fade away down the hall before she would spend hours texting and scrolling until she dropped off to sleep. The middle brother, Franklin, would play games online, saying mean and awful things to the other players. Of all five people in the third house on seventh street, only Colin couldn’t fall asleep.
Every night he would stare at the closet. He was waiting for it. It always tried to wait until Colin was asleep before coming out. Perhaps it thought that it was playing some cruel game. Some nights he would see it emerge and it would look at him and smile.
“Shh don’t tell. Don’t be a baby. Babies are scarred.” Most nights Colin did see it. Other nights, the only evidence of it being there was the long, moist, cold trail along his cheek when he woke up.
The first few nights he had tried to tell.
“Shut up stupid.”
“It’s just a weird dream.”
“There’s no such thing as monsters.” His siblings replied. His brother and sister would brush him off and his mother would always repeat the phrase “There’s nothing to fear.” And almost every night it told him. “Shh don’t tell. Don’t be a baby. Babies are scarred.” So after a while Colin stopped trying to tell anyone. He wasn’t a baby. But he was scared.
Penumbra: Nightmare Episode 6
Part 3 of 3
“Soldiers. Fire!” Screeched the Baron before the four assault rifles leveled on the three agents.
“LET THERE BE LIGHT!” Clark’s voice boomed. The room shook and a fantastic flash filled the room. The soldiers and the Baron raised their arms to defend themselves. Mark charged forward his blade swinging down on the Baron. Julia turned a table over and aimed a shot on an unsuspecting soldier. Three bolts of green light slammed into the man’s torso and he crumbled. Julia dropped behind the table as a salvo of bullets raced towards her. A flash of white light raced forward from Clark’s eyes and flung another soldier back into a wall. The sound of sickening cracks filled the air on impact.
The Baron slid back and dropped into a fencing position as Mark’s blade swung inches from his face. Mark’s next blow was a slash at the torso, but the Baron simply knocked it away with a tap of his saber. The Baron took a quick swipe at Mark, who blocked with his blade. The Baron let his swipe open him up and Mark lunged at the seemingly exposed Baron. The Baron stepped from his feint and grabbed one of Mark’s wrists. He gave a pull and Mark tumbled, as he passed the Baron slammed the pommel straight down on Mark’s skull.
“DummKopf!” The Baron said as he twirled his blade. “Did you really believe you could match me?” His blade came up and seemed to gleam cruelly in the blackness.
“It gave them an opening.” Mark ‘s voice bellowed calmly out of his coat, seemingly amplified by the collar. The Baron paused before white and green light struck him. in the black in a splendid flash. Mark took the opportunity to rise before the Baron’s hand cackled with electricity that blasted towards Julia and The Night Light.
“That voice.” Mumbled Baron Von Todersfurcht. He lunged again and the two fell to blows. The Baron seemed to fight on the defensive, allowing Mark’s powerful two handed swings push him back. Whenever he caught Julia or The Night Light lining him up, he would toss a bolt of lightening to hold them at bay.
“Stop dancing and fight!” Bellowed Mark as his blows seemed to slow. His ragged breath seemed amplified through the coat.
“DummKopf.” The Baron lunged forward and sliced across Mark’s chest. The blow carried him to the side of the stunned agent and the blade made a swift swipe from shoulder to hip. Baron Von Todersfurcht raised his hand and let loose another blast of lightning. Mark collapsed on the ground and Todersfurcht leaned in to whisper in his ear. Then he rose and sheathed his blade. “Auf Wiedersehen Shepherd, your colleague has provided me with more pressing business.” With that, Todersfurcht raised his hand and sent a blinding spray of lightning at the agents. Julia ducked behind cover as the hairs on her back stood up. When she aimed her weapon to fire again on the Baron. He was gone.
By TKH Hamilton
Penumbra Nightmare: Episode 6
Part 2 of 3
“Clark? Agent Shepherd?” Mark’s voice echoed around the mess hall. She turned and her breath released slowly. “I wasn’ interruptin’ anythin’ right?”
“Negative.” Clark replied with a gentle smile. Mark stepped up to the table and slowly sat down. He was still wearing his long coat and hat as he lowered himself to the bench. His face contorted in visible struggle as he did so. “You appear to be in near agony Mark.”
“I bit off more ‘an I coul’ chew wit’ the trainin'” Mark muttered. He shrugged his shoulders before smiling at Julia. “So uh I guess Cindy tol’ y’all ’bout Friday.”
Before Julia could answer the lights flickered and went out. Julia’s blaster was in her hand in a flash. With a gentle hum the yellow blade of light appeared in the corner of her eye. Mark flipped the collar of his coat up and had his hands gripped tight around his lightsword. The sound of heavy boots came down the hallway. They echoed in the room and bounced off every surface.
“Agent Shepherd. What an honor to finally meet you.” A deep baritone voice came down one hall. The black cap and red mantle came around the corner. One eye slowly scanned the room until it found the three agents. In the lightsword’s glow, the eyepatch and golden skulls glistened cruelly as the invader sauntered into the mess hall. Four men in black armor with assault rifles marched in behind him. One hand reached just beneath the mantle and slowly drew a saber of cold black metal from it. “I am Baron Von Todersfurcht and I am here to kill you.”
Penumbra: Nightmare Episode 6
Part 1 of 3
Julia felt her cycle’s engine stop as she parked it in the base’s garage. She sat in the quiet for a few moments not daring to look over at the long empty parking spot. She took a deep breath, and dismounted walking straight past it. Julia felt her limbs begin to ache from the exertion as the adrenaline faded away. Her coat and hat found hooks as she entered the long quiet halls of the base. The thought of food and rest led her first to the mess hall, with long empty tables. Perhaps the fact that the mess hall was made for a hundred people made it feel all the more empty. Julia gripped the cup of instant noodles and found a spot among the empty benches.
The mess hall wasn’t quiet, it was silent. The sort of silence that made plain that something was missing. Except right now, it was clear that some one was missing. It didn’t feel like home anymore.
“Mind if I join you Julia?” Clark’s voice shattered the loneliness. Julia smiled and gestured across the table. Clark sat down and placed his own cup across from hers. “Was your evening particularly treacherous?”
“No, but Mark’s new bikes are uncomfortable to say the least.” Julia grinned at Clark. “I’d trade nearly anything to have Paradisio back.”
“As would I, not in small part for the driver.” Clark remarked stirring his soup. Julia shifted uncomfortably, the memory of the fight between Clark and Σ played out in her mind. Julia shivered as she remembered the sound of Clark’s bones snapping from the blows of Σ’s battle armor. “Σ did not mean to cause harm to me.”
“Could have fooled me.” Julia mumbled. The two sat in silence for a moment. “You know him better than I do.”
“Affirmative, and I have been careful not to allow that information to reach Agent King.” They both smiled. “Have you seen the manner in which Cindy interacts with him?”
“Yeah she gave him her signature hair flip and everything.” Julia rolled her eyes. Clark leaned in. They both knew enough of Cindy’s antics to know what that meant. “She wants you and I to come with her to hang out with him.”
“I would greatly enjoy that.” Clark said. For a second Julia felt her heart race. Before she could say anything though, the sound of someone running down the hall broke her focus.
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.
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: 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.
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.
Deep breath out.
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.
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.