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Hunter's Moon Part II

Submitted by: J. Rohr

Part II

A Man and Silhouettes

Blackness dissolved into darkness.  The terms may seem similar in definition, but they hold very different feelings.  Blackness could be said to be a state of nothing, where there is no vision, no perception, and above all, no sensation.  Darkness is the ability to see and yet, being unable to see anything.  Darkness carries an oppressive weight as light as air while at the same time as crushing as a ton of bricks.  It was into the darkness Jeremiah Sinclair found himself waking.

His face hurt.  Reaching slowly through the darkness, he gingerly felt it.  The mere brush of his fingertips caused him to flinch.  All around his right eye he could feel puffy, throbbing flesh.  He checked for a blindfold and found none.  He tested for any kind of restraints and found none.  Patting himself down he found his gun had been taken.  Apprehension began to develop, and with it, a need to know his situation better.

Sitting up, Jeremiah took a deep breath as his brain swam loose inside his skull.  A touch of nausea tempted him to lay back down, but he ignored it.  Slowly, he got to his feet.  Looking around, or rather, trying to look around, he saw only darkness. 

"So this is what it's like to be blind," Sinclair thought to himself.  Stretching his hands out, he felt around as he shuffled through the void.  It didn't take long for his hands to touch a wall.  It felt like smooth rock, though some portions were slightly jagged, as though it had been carved out.  Reaching down to the floor he found it had the same composition.  On a hunch, he stood and reached to the ceiling.  Standing on his tip toes, Jeremiah found he could just reach it.  Again, the same feeling of carved, smoothed rock.


In the this way he surveyed his surroundings as best he could.  The walls were all rock save for one portion.  A brief section had a grain to it that Sinclair assumed could only be wood.  Knocking on it confirmed his suspicion as well as determining its solidity.  Thick.  Feeling up, down, and across the wood, his hands closed on a latch.


"Here's hoping," Jeremiah muttered aloud and pulled.  Then pushed.  The door held firmly shut.  Turning around he looked back through the darkness a thousand miles.  Although it seemed to be a small room, without a point of reference, the darkness made it stretch on to infinity.  Sinclair sat down on the floor and tried to gather his wits.  He could feel the dark trying to envelop his mind, shut it down with panic, but he resisted.


Rising, he searched back through the room, this time making sure to scan the ceiling.  All he found was rock.  Eventually he felt his way back to the door and resumed sitting.  His heart started to beat faster.  He could feel each heavy thud.  Sense his breathing picking up pace.  Taking in a deep breath, Jeremiah let out his anxiety in a slow exhalation.

Speaking to himself in a calm manner, he said, "Think about this rationally.  Someone obviously went to a lot of trouble to bring you half way round the world.  There is no way they did this for the sole purpose of leaving you to die in a dark room."

So he waited.  Waited in the dark, forcing himself to breathe slowly, whispering calmness to himself.  He didn't know how long he waited, but eventually a sound came to his attention.


The heavy thud of boots on floorboards.  Jeremiah pricked up his ears.  It came steady and grew louder.  Someone was walking towards the door.  Getting to his feet he pressed an ear against the wood.  He heard the feet step in front of the door and a jingle of keys.  A splash of flickering orange creep under the crack in the door.  Sinclair stepped back, away from the door.  As he heard the key undo the lock he dropped into a crouch, ready to pounce on the door.  The doorway groaned open, spilling the orange glow of a torch into the room.  As soon as it was wide enough, Jeremiah launched himself at the opening.  His shoulder collided with what felt like rock, and he bounced backwards.


Tripping over his own feet he fell to the floor.


"Nice try," a gravelly voice chuckled.

"Lot of good it did," Sinclair replied.

"It was still a first," the voice said.

Grunting, Jeremiah rose to a sitting position.  Even though the torch cast a low light, he squinted his eyes against it as they adjusted.  When they finally did, he recognized the mountainous man from the train.


"You all right?" the man asked.

"Yeah." Jeremiah got to his feet and pointed at his face, "Mr..."


"Anders, gotcha."

Waving the torch, Anders motioned for Sinclair to follow him.  Jeremiah complied, though he walked cautiously.  Given what happened the last time he'd followed this mountain, he wasn't sure if it was a good idea to do so again.  However, anything was better than being in that room.  Even in the light he could still feel the dark as though it had saturated his skin.

Anders led him through a narrow hall constructed of wood and sculpted stone.  He tried to take note of the designs, but it was all he could do to keep up with the giant.  When they came to the end of the hall, Anders placed the torch in a metal ring, fastened to a stone column.  The hallway opened unto a room lit by streams of sunlight, shafting in through openings in the ceiling.


Once Anders stepped aside, Jeremiah was able to get a better sense of the room.  It lay open, vast and unadorned, save for several columns.  Some of the pillars were made of stone, others of wood.  They rose from a tile floor that also presented a mosaic.  From this level it was hard to determine the image, but Sinclair was certain he could do so from a higher vantage point.  Perhaps best from one of the many catwalks and massive balconies that stretched out high above the floor.


Anders pointed down an aisle of columns, "Go straight through there to the door.  They're expecting you."

"Who is?"

Anders merely smiled and pointed the direction again.

Realizing he wasn't going to get an answer, Jeremiah went down the aisle.  As he entered the aisle he heard faint footsteps all around him.  He tried to scan with his peripheral vision, but it was to no avail.  Looking back over his shoulder he saw Anders watching him with a fixed gaze.  Something about his eyes when the light danced across them made Jeremiah shiver.


Focusing on the immediate, Sinclair walked forward until he came to the end of the aisle.  The door was ornate, to say the least.  Inlays of iron twisted through the wood like vines grown on a trellis.  It looked heavy and solid, but only a light touch was necessary to push it open.


Metal bowls holding flames hung by chains from the ceiling.  They cast a waxing, waning light around an otherwise shadowy room.  Three men sat off at the far end of the room, away from the door.  Only one was clear in the light.  The others sat enough in shadow to remain, simply, silhouettes.  The visible man motioned for Jeremiah to enter.  As Sinclair entered, the doors drifted shut behind him, as if of their own accord.

Sinclair swallowed hard.  Sweat peppered his forehead, but he kept his focus.  Despite his anxiety, he restrained himself to act only when necessary.


Once he drew nearer to the three men, the visible one said, "Welcome to our home, Mr. Sinclair."

"I wish I could say it's nice to be here," Jeremiah replied.

"He's direct," one of the silhouetted men said, "I like that."

"I'm sure you have a great deal of questions," the visible man said.

"You could say that," Sinclair looked around the room.  He saw shadows move against the light and realized, he was not alone with these men, "Is this where you tell me 'All will be revealed in time'?"

The visible man smiled, "Hardly, all will be revealed right now."

Coming Soon!

Part III


An Offer and a Choice

Hunter's Moon Part I

Submitted by: J. Rohr

Part I

Welcome to the East

The landscape lost its tranquility as the sun dipped below the horizon.  It had not yet fully set, however, night's long fingers were already taking hold.  Jeremiah stared out the window wondering if he had finally lost all reason.

He reached underneath his seat and removed a leather satchel that looked like it had seen its better days years ago.  From within he withdrew a letter, which he knew by heart now, though he found himself reading it over and over again.

The train carriage dipped far to one side as the locomotive rounded a sharp bend.  Jeremiah's stomach had gotten used to the hairpin turns taken at too quick a pace, but the blood still drained from his face.  He could almost feel the pallor develop.  It made his mouth dry.  Shivering off his concern, he returned to the letter.

It was written on coarse white paper, unusually stiff and firm.  When he had first opened it, the paper carried the scent of incense, but that smell was just a memory now.  His eyes moved over the text for near the hundredth time.


"Mr. Jeremiah Sinclair,

In light of your recent situation, it is recommended that you seek future employment abroad.  Travel arrangements have already been prepared.  You have simply to pick up your ticket at the airport and board the appropriate flight.  At your arrival further instructions will follow.


P.S.  Ignoring this offer will result in you wasting your life."

There was no signature, no return address.  In fact, his address hadn't even been on the envelope.  The letter had simply been slipped under his door.  Most people, sane people, would have ignored the contents and gone on with their lives.  Yet, for some reason, Jeremiah felt compelled to follow the instructions.  All he could remember was the incense scent.  It reminded him of dark colors and mouth watering desire.  He'd read the words, then smelled the fragrance, and suddenly had his satchel packed  and was in a cab on the way to the airport.


Over the course of the flight, which seemed to last for days, he'd paid little attention to anything but the letter.  The plane had deposited him in Mandalay, Myanmar.  Barely off the plane, he was greeted by a car, complete with uniformed driver, and swept off to a nearby train station.  A private train had been waiting at the platform, and he had boarded without question, following a thin cloud of that same incense smell.  However, as the scent faded from the air, hesitation crept into his actions.

Unfortunately, his doubts took a back seat to fatigue.  Most of the train ride he'd slept, only occasionally waking as he made his way from Myanmar, into Bangladesh, then up through Nepal.  The compartment was comfortable to say the least.  The train consisted of three cars, including the engine.  At first he had been content in the rear car, but as his hesitation increased, Jeremiah tried to explore the other car.  He heard muffled voices through the connecting door but found, much to his concern, it locked from the other side.


Jeremiah read the post script.  Was it a threat?  He couldn't tell.  Although, somehow it seemed like a caution.  As if the writer were offering him a possibility above his current circumstance.  Thinking back to his dungeon-like apartment in Chicago, he knew anything was better than back home.  Anything that is, except being locked in a speeding train thousands of miles from anywhere familiar.

Putting the letter back in his satchel, Jeremiah checked his bag for one particular item.  Feeling cold metal against his fingers he felt slightly safer.  Even in his irrational rush to the airport, Jeremiah had, almost instinctively, packed his Taurus model 84 .32 caliber revolver.  Without removing it from the satchel, he checked the siX-Shot cylinder to make sure it was loaded.  Seeing that it was, he tucked it under the few shirts he'd packed.


Taking in a deep breath, Jeremiah collected all of his worries and let them out in a long slow exhalation.  For whatever reasons he had brought himself to this point.  Panicking wouldn't help his situation any.  The best thing to do was to stay focused, take each problem one at a time, and a few other cliched cautionary maxims he told himself.


Leaning back in his seat, he let his eyes close half way.  He'd forgotten to take a watch and so had no idea how long he'd been traveling.  As he drifted into a doze, Jeremiah wondered how much farther he had left to journey.

The train shook as the brakes were applied.  The sudden jolt rocked the carriage, shaking Jeremiah awake.  He blinked his eyes to erase his vision's sleep induced blur.  For a moment, he couldn't remember where he was.  Then it all came back.  Looking out the window he saw low buildings, so run down they seemed to beg for demolition.  Instead of a platform, the train "station" was a dirt mound with a few tree stumps serving as seats.  The platform as well as the town seemed deserted.      A knock at the back door drew his attention.

Slipping the revolver into his coat pocket, Jeremiah picked up his satchel.  Opening the door he saw a man, whose parents must have been mountains, standing in the doorway.  He motioned for Jeremiah to follow and led the way to the dirt mound. 

Coming around the carriage Jeremiah saw that where there had been no one before, four men stood on the earthen platform.  Three wore heavy thick furs and had their heads wrapped to the point where only a narrow slit remained for their eyes.  The mountainous man was adorned much as the fourth man, in a black suit, red tie, and leather trench coat.


The fourth man smiled as Jeremiah approached.  When close enough to be heard, the man asked, "Jeremiah Sinclair?"

"Yes," Jeremiah replied in a stern voice.  He thought to himself, 'Stay focused.  You can handle this.'

The fourth man opened his mouth as if to speak again but instead suddenly lashed out, striking Jeremiah on the side of the head.  The man's hand felt like a hammer smashing across his face.  As blackness closed  around him, Jeremiah heard the man say, "Welcome to the East."

Coming Soon!

Part II

A Man and Silhouettes

Crescent the werewolf of darkness the full moon saga chapter 1

Submitted by: alex Longden A.K.A Crescent the werewolf of darkness

link head

Crescent got out of bed and gasped as sheer pain shot through her body, she felt her feet lengthen she felt her face potruding into a snout her fingernails started to bleed as they changed into thick dagger-like claws she felt the iron tang of blood in her mouth as her teeth twisted into sharp fangs she felt wiry hairs coming out of every pore she felt hard pads grow on her paws and feet then she heard a sharp crack as a great bushy tail potruded from behind her she felt her eyes stinging changing from chocolate brown to acid green. The trnsformation was complete her heart beat sure and strong giddly she stood up, this room,these meaningless possesions,none of them are understandable all she is thinking is outside there is prey waiting she quietly goes downstairs trying not to make a noise she opens the door and bounds outside, runs like the wind, until she reaches a large forest then she throws up her head and howls at the moon............ be continued....