• Tag Archives Short Story
  • The Emperor’s final message to the People and the Stars

    Some more flash-fiction courtesy of Elegy for a Dead World. Later on tonight, there will also be a podcast:

    To my loyal subjects: After much reflection on the way the war is going for us and our enemies, I have decided to resort to the unthinkable:

    Declare peace.
    At 2500h today, I have ordered our military forces to stand down and begin an orderly withdrawal behind our pre-war bordes, and for my government to convey to our enemies that from this point forward, we will not fight anymore.
    To ensure the safety of our people, of our country and to stabilize the region, we declared war on our neighbours and their ideologies. It was furthest from our minds that we should become the very thing we hate most: Tyrants, dictators and murderers.
    But what was intended to be a short, victorious war has become a quagmire of blood. Despite our honorable forces‘ best efforts, our country’s faith in the cause, and our enemies supposed inferiority.
    Ten million people have died on our world alone. Despite this sacrifice, nothing has changed and this universe has become a darker place for it.
    Here, the enemy has has stood strong but suffered greatly. There, a thousand of our finest children lie dead, with them, the children of our enemies.

    Additionally, our enemies have created better weapons and defences than we have thought possible, which has taken even more of our children from us.
    In honor of those who have fallen protecting our world, we will erect a monument containing the essences of ther souls. This will serve as a reminder of their sacrifices, channel our resolve into brighter channels and will allow us to achieve a greater good.

    All eyes are now on us. When you, my loyal subjects, take the steps towards peace, others will follow your lead and mindless war will be followed by golden peace. The peace this world and its neighbours deserve.
    We are the ones paving the way for peace, for a brighter future for the entire sector of the galaxy. In a thousand years, our blood and sweat will be forgotten, but the peace we started shall remain and shine like a beacon in the cold void of space.
    Let our entire world continue with one voice, ever certain that, though we have suffered greatly and have brought great suffering, our people are still united as one and still have hope and dreams for a better future for us. But this future can only be created if we not only think of our planet and our civilization, but realize that this peace must include our neighbours. It must include them in a way they choose, not one we force upon them.
    Today, we are eclipsed by other worlds, but one day soon, our star will shine brighter than ever. It’s light being strengthened by the peace, that emaneted from one of the worlds which are its children.
    This is my final decree. I have started this war and tonight, my soul essences will join with the ones already infused in the foundation of the monument. I shall face their judgement. The government has been instructed to choose a new Emperor, may his reign be one of greater wisdom and peace than mine was.


  • When the Cthulhu Mythos and Steampunk touched Ceres

    Yes, what happens, when the Cthulhu Mythos and Steampunk touch Ceres? A short story, that’s what. I just thought I do a little self-plug and give you a snippet of Reaching Out, a Steampunk/Cthulhu short story I penned a while ago and laready featured here previously, but this time I share a snippet with a little bit more cosmic dread and ancient secrets in it. The protagonists have touched down on Ceres and find some almost organic ruins:

    Reaching Out - A Steampunk/Cthulhu Mythos crossover short story

     

    Before us appeared a cluster of what first seemed to be the shells of some kind of titanic molluscs. Curved, spiralled and somewhat bent conical shapes, about 10 metres high and about 7 metres diameter at the the base. They, too, were covered with the blue mouldy growth and looked as if they had sprouted from Ceres‘ surface. We counted six domes. Only two had openings we could see and those were created by decay, seismic forces or rock crashing down from the dark sky.
    The easiest hole for us to reach and climb through was about four metres from the ground, so I could easily jump up there. Cautiously I tried, so as not to jump too high and propel myself into the overhanging top of the structure. After the third attempt, I got a grip on the edges of the accidental window and pulled myself up. The window opened a view into a room also infested and illuminated by the omnipresent fungal growth.
    It was a large, rounded, almost spherical chamber. Along the walls, spaced rather evenly, stood and lay what I thought to be boxes, chests or sarcophagi, some upright, but most lying on the floor. The far wall was also covered with strange protrusions and spikes, the pattern and exact shape I simply cannot describe. I turned away, dizzied, and waved for Kuhn to jump up as well. With one leap, he came up, I grabbed his outstretched arm and pulled him in.
    Together, we took a closer look at our discovery. I used my knife to scratch some of the mouldy dust off the surface of one of the boxes, while Kuhn inspected the strange pattern on the wall.
    The boxes, I labeled them thus because of their size and shape, were made of some peculiar green-brown material. It reminded me of a cross between jade and wood. The edges, as far as I could scrape them free of dust, were edged with some confusing geometrical shapes which gave the impression of wanting to jump out at the observer.
    The patch of the top surface I managed to clear of mould appeared simply polished, my knife was unable to make a scratch into it, but without further edgings. Then, Kuhn’s voice came through the aetherphone in my helmet. He had discovered something about the strange spikes. He shone the light of his torch on a patch he had gotten somewhat clean and moved the torch from left to right. Some bizarre shadows, strange shapes, maybe the former inhabitants of this place, appeared and a fragment of a scene seemed to play out. The scene played backward and forward with the moving light of the torch.

    We marvelled at this display of an undoubtably advanced civilisation but then noticed we had to turn back soon, so we started looking around for something we could take with us. Since there was no apparent connection to another room, I guess doors were hidden by the omnipresent glowing vegetation, we tried our luck with one of the upright boxes. After some rocking and pushing we managed to topple it over. Hitting the floor, what must have been some kind of door sprang open on its side and revealed something greyish that seemed to consist entirely of caked dust. We were disappointed with our find, until Kuhn noticed something metallic sticking out of the side of the grey mass. He managed to pull it free, causing quite some dust to spill on the floor. It was about the size of a revolver, matted black and obviously not made for human hands. We could not even tell if it was a weapon, tool, or piece of alien art. Its form made no sense to us at all. Kuhn put it in his satchel and together we jumped down unto the surface of Ceres again and made our way back.

    I hope this kindled the interests of some of you, or if you know someone who might enjoy the short story, pass the message on.


  • Reaching Out – A Steampunk/Cthulhu Short Story

    I have had a bit of a writing frenzy lately. One of the results was Bird Song (see below). I am also working on a cyberpunk and a modern-day Cthulhu short story (both in German). Additionally, I remembered I still had a Cthulhu/Steampunk crossover story in one of my drawers, or rather folders on my computer. It was originally to be submitted to a call for stories for an anthology, but I never got around finishing it in time.

    So instead, I gave it a little polish, tried to close as many plot-holes as I could find and self-published it with Amazon.

    The story is set in a Steampunk version of Imperial Germany and concerns the sojourn into space of Germany’s first space-flight capable Zeppelin. They are heading for the dwarf planet Ceres.

    Here is an excerpt:

    We had been at our position for several minutes, I had sent our engineers to check on the aether-engine and the support structure, when Hartwig pointed our attention to something visible against the bubble of the Tesla-field. There is no easy way to describe what we saw. It was large, maybe 20 meters in overall length and of radial geometry. The general shape was that of a flower, but there was something wrong, alien and even evil about it. A dark denizen of the aether. It appeared to be probing the bubble. It also seemed to be tugging at my mind, at least I had this feeling in my brain that something was reaching for me. We trained the lower gun-turret on it, should it attack. This precaution proved unnecessary. It vanished again after a few minutes, during which Hartwig was able to take a few rather blurry photographs of it. My guess is, they can be found in the archives of the Abwehr, our secret service.
    Concerning my strange experience, I asked Hartwig if he had a similar experience, which he denied.
    Unwilling to risk attracting more creatures like it, we engaged the engines and returned to Earth. We descended from above the North Pole and flew back to Berlin, stopping briefly at Hamburg Airbase, since it had the medical facility closest to our route. We got Bauer off the Humboldt there and flew on to Gneisenau Airfield.

    If anyone is interested, I am happy to send out review copies (kindle, ebook, pdf).
    Also, it is available for 0.99$ at Amazon, click the image below:
    Reaching Out - Cover