Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Watching As The World Burns

I feel as though I am sitting on the sidelines, watching as the world burns. The non-President is insistent on bringing in un-vetted mooslims which are likely infested with ISIS or other Radical Islamists. So why would he knowingly infest us so?
Why indeed!

Perhaps it is to help with his gun control agenda. After the 1st attack of the Paris nature, the sheeple will rise up from watching their latest reality TV show and demand something be done to control guns, so they are presumably not so easy to obtain. Perhaps a National registry of Firearm owners?
I mean, after all, it is only "common sense", right?

So what would the next terror target be in the U.S.?
The capitol in D.C.? - No too much interference to overcome.
Infrastructure? - No, too much scrutiny and beefing up of security
Where then?

Think soft targets.
Where would an attack yield the most wailing and gnashing of teeth?
Think Gun Free Zones.

All of our schools are wide open.
They have had plenty of school shootings to see that we do not protect our most vulnerable members of society.
Remember Beslan, Chechnya?

One well armed and trained Terrorist could potentially kill hundreds of school aged children.
Multiple attacks in different locations could potentially kill thousands.
Middle schools
High schools
Community Colleges

Not University's where there is security. Not soft enough. Too much chance of having their work defeated early on.

Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps not.
I guess we are going to see soon.

I am on Facebook now, much as I detest social media, and update my posts more often than here. Not abandoning the Blog just yet, just been preoccupied with other things.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Woodpile Report is back!

ol' Remus has a new post up. Hope he is back now for a long time!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Cache Cover Art

Any thoughts or criticism (constructive of course) is welcome. I am going to rewrite 2 of the 3 new chapters as they seem too "wooden" to me.

Just waiting for the next shoe to drop...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Just Because

I'm a bit of a Rebel

And not one little bit PC.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Cache as a Movie

At one time, one of my readers said he would like to see The Cache made into a movie. As I lay in bed last night waiting to fall asleep, my mind explored that possibility and whom I would like to see fill the rolls of the characters. I could totally see these actors fill these rolls.

Dusty - Willem Dafoe
Eddie - Tom Berenger
Wilson - Viggo Mortensen
Cobb - Jason Isaacs (villian in The Patriot)
Neo - Max Thieriot (Bates Motel)
OughtSix - Jake T. Austin (The Fosters)

There are some new characters introduced in Volume one, as well as some in the following Volume(s). New to my writing style will be some female characters. That will be a challenge for me to try to find the female perspective and make it believeable. The 1st one is breifly introduced in the first chapter of vol. 1, Martha Phinney (Scarlett Johansen), who's age is mid 30's. The second one, Pandora Sterling (Jennifer Lawrence) is in Volume two, which I have made some progress in already as the story comes to life in my mind. She is in her early 20's as she is a college student.

I realize these characters and those of the son's have not yet been presented to you, but who would you like to see fill their roles?

A snipett about Martha from vol. one:
"Martha had pulled him unconscious from a burning car, and amid a hail of gunfire, drug him to safety. He owed her his life. She had become an indispensible part of his operations early on in her employment with him."

About Pandora:
"She had come home from college during the winter break and was now stuck at home because of the enactment of martial law. She didn't mind really. It was nice to get a break from the liberal indoctrination that she had to endure daily from the teaching staff and their sheeple students. She smiled at the thought of their abject failure in trying to recruit her to their way of thinking."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Update - Publishing The Cache

I have been working off and on with this project and am currently working on the cover concept. I have added one more chapter and plan on adding two additional ones. These chapters will not be posted to the blog, and will remain exclusive to the published material. Print copies will be signed. Digital copies will be in .mobi and .pdf format.

I am not sure about pricing, what is fair and what is the going rate. I don't expect to retire a millionaire from the current demand, but I want to provide a fair and equitable product. These are what is holding back a release and sales.

Thanks for your continuing interest!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

Over the course of the next two days there seemed to be no improvement in Andy's condition. She would eat what was put in front of her and take care of her bodily functions, but it was if she was an empty shell just going thru the motions. Frankly, I was extremely worried about this situation. Day 4 of Andy's return dawned and I rose as usual to stoke the wood stove as it was kind of chilly in the cabin. Making the morning meal was a somber affair in as there was no conversation and no hope having any. I got Andy out of bed and got her dressed, no mean feat in of itself.

After cleaning up after our morning meal, I made myself a cup of Dad's cappuccino mix and sat there sipping on it while Andy stared off into space. I felt myself battling an oppressive feeling of despair, as I considered the current situation. Lost in thought, I did not notice the footsteps outside the cabin, masked as they were by they crackle of wood in the stove. The radiant heat felt so comforting in contrast to the mental anguish battling for supremacy in my mind.

"Hello the House!" came a voice from outside.

Startled, I almost dropped my cup and quickly rose to see who it was. Opening the door I saw a giant of a man standing there, smiling.

"Greetings Monty!" said Than-Natuk "How is Andy doing? I have been concerned about her."

I felt a great sense of relief at the sight of my seemingly new friend. I motioned him to come on into the warmth of the cabin and told him she was not any different from when I found her on the porch.

"I apologize, Monty. I needed to address the problem of Shub-Niggurath being loose in this Realm. It has been driven back to its dark home beyond the stars and bound there. For now anyway.

While he was talking, I fetched Andy from the bedroom of the cabin.

'Oh!" she said upon seeing our visitor.
"It's the Man of Light." she exclaimed soullessly. "You made the shadows go away and rescued me from the place of pain and dread."

Than-Natuk looked at Andy with great concern. "She has lost her anima Monty." he said. "This is not good! Without it she will soon lose the will to live. Let me think on this for a bit." he added.

While Than-Natuk was lost in thought, I decided to take out the trash that had been accumulating over the course of a few days. Upon my return, he stated "I think I have a solution, although it is perhaps less than ideal." He continued "When someone loses their anima, they have no idea of who they are. They lose their definition of who they are, thus their purposes in living. What I need to do is join you and Andy in query, and transfer your mental picture of her anima to her, which will give her a definition of who she is, only from your perspective of her. "

He sat there and waited for my response.

I was astounded by what he had just told me, but was excited at the prospect of restoring Andy to a semblance of normalcy. After a few seconds of mulling this over in my head, I told him I was ready when he was.

Than-Natuk replied "It will be difficult for Andy to establish an anima that resembles what she had developed over her lifetime. This may cause her some distress at times. You must be ready to support her in this case. I am ready to proceed now if you are. This may be a little, strange for you..."

"Lets get to it!" I said apprehensively in response.

Than-Natuk brought Andy to a rocker and sat her down. "You are a nice man." Andy mumbled.
He smiled at that and said "And you are a wonderful girl Andrea." He then directed me to sit in the other rocker after placing it next to Andy. Then he stood behind us and placed his palms on each of our foreheads.
"Relax" he said.

I did, and then the images begin to flow. Everything I could remember about Andy, and much that I didn't began to flash in my mental vision, slowly at first, building momentum until all was a blur and then blackness.

Than-Natuk shook me gently, and woke me from my Stygian stupor. "Monty, wake up! We must see to Andy. Come on, snap out of it!" I blinked my eyes like a sleeping man once awakened and looked around me, taking in my setting.

Andy was still sitting in the chair next to me, sort of awake but not quite there. Than-Natuk was giving her a sip of water from her cup on the table. Her eyes began to focus, and then they were full of terror as everything came crashing down on her. My memories, her blurred memories from captivity, and the confusion as she tried to sort out who she was. She began to get very animated until Than-Natuk took her hands and looked her in the eyes. She settled down and he continued to look in her eyes until she spoke.

"Oh! Than-Natuk! You are the man of light in my nightmare! You rescued me and brought me home!" She threw her arms around his neck and gave him a big hug I thought would never stop. After a few minutes he gently untangled her arms from about his neck.

"Andy, how do you feel?" he asked.

She sat there looking at him with a bewildered look on her face. She then turned and looked at me and said "Monty! You, you brat!" She then burst into tears and ran off to the bedroom, slamming the door behind her. I looked at Than-Natuk with my jaw hanging open and he just shrugged. "I told you it could be difficult." he said. "Your memories are now hers and she knows all about you and your interactions with her previously. I left out the memories with the magazine under your mattress, and the other private stuff." He said this last bit, holding back a grin, at least trying to. I must of turned beet red because he started laughing.

"Give her a little bit of time to process some of these new memories. She is a strong girl to have survived several years in the abode of Yog-Sothoth, as you can tell by her apparent age.

"Time moves at a different rate in Yog-Sothoth's perilous world, as it does in the whole of the Dark Realms. Years pass in one as only moments in another part. It seems the part to which he had taken Andy moved much quicker than here where only days had passed before our return."

I decided to have another cup of the cappuccino mix and offered one to him. He consented and I proceeded to prepare the water for heating and find suitable containers for us. Mine was my usual cup, but his needed to be bigger as he was a BIG man. I finally settled on using a soup bowl with a bit of a handle for his and soon we were enjoying the mix.

Than-Natuk's face lit up, even more so than just the glow when he took his first sip. "Monty, this is delicious!" he said. "I think I will look for more of this in the town from which you came. It is still standing and now that I have driven most of the Tsathoggua from this Realm, it is much safer to travel. There are still dangers since the Realms have occupied the same space for a bit. That will soon pass as your world passes out of the rift and back into your proper Realm. Then I must leave to guard the Edges of Time where the Dark Ones cross over. It is a dreary existence, but without my vigilance, they may soon trouble your world again. I will however drop by to see how you and Andy are doing."

We sat and talked throughout the day, He telling me all about his life and his people, filling in many of the blanks that had not been revealed to me during our "Query". It was beginning to get late and I got up to check on Andy. She was fast asleep, something he had said would be common through the coming days as she regained her strength and rebuilt her anima through dreams and restful sleep. I lit a kerosene lamp and began to prepare dinner for the three of us, saving out a portion for Andy when she awoke.

Than-Natuk told me he would be leaving for a bit the next morning to check out a few things, but he would stop back in before he left for the Outer Realms and the Edge of Time. We talked a bit more and then turned in for the night, feeling satisfied with the many answers I had recieved to the questions in my mind.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

Than-Natuk stood and faced the pool. The reflections were still the same, with only an occasional ripple from a stray breeze.

"Monty, you cannot enter the pool. The way is barred to you. If you were to enter it now, you would end up somewhere else from where your sister, Andy is, and be stranded there until your death. Yog-Sothoth did this as he passed thru the pool-gate, as that is what it is, a gate to his perilous home. I however, have no such limitations, and I will pursue him and bind him there, returning your sister to you if possible."

I stammered out a thanks, and then he begin striding into the pool. When he was about waist deep, he looked at me and said "Go wait at your dwelling, for it may be a bit before all is accomplished. Farewell!" with that he took 2 more steps and vanished. There was naught but a small ripple which quickly subsided to mark his passage.

I stood there for a few moments, deciding whether to wait for a bit hoping Andy would show up, or take him at his word and wait back at the cabin. I really wished to speak more with him, to learn more about his history and hear more about his people, but I had no idea if I would ever see him again. I retrieved Andy’s AK and vest, which I stumbled over while tending to a nature call. Eventually, I returned to the cabin and found busy work to keep me distracted: filling the wood box to overflowing and stacking more on the front deck, chopping more wood, building raised gardening beds from the lumber found in the woodshed, filling the beds with soil, etc...

That night as I ate my dinner a plan formed. I was going to find Dad's cache and begin transferring it to the new locations Andy and I had picked out. I knew I needed to keep myself busy or I would probably lose it. There was just so much to process since my normal life had come crashing to a halt. I fell asleep in my chair and awoke late that night to the silence of the woods.

No more drumming or humming.
That nasty green orb was still peeking thru some breaks in the clouds though, making sure I didn't forget about it.

I spent 3 days moving everything once I had located and retrieved the cached items. I divided the food up into four groups, because we had decided on 3 separate locations at different compass points and distances from the cabin. None were more than several hours away from the cabin and were located in places where few would choose to go or wander by chance. The largest group went into the cabin, along with half the garden seeds and other assorted gear. There were several large 20mm ammo cans, and I wondered what they held. There was a detailed list of all the contents but I had not located it yet. I had one more trip to make and then I was finished for the time being.

I spent every evening up until dark sitting on the porch and listening for Andy, waiting for her to return, but I was losing hope, and was resigning myself to being alone. On the fourth day, I rose as usual and had my hot breakfast before braving the chill of fall in the mountains. I had yet to retrieve the hoop house kit and the garden wagon that was cached with it. Being a larger sized group of items, it was situated in a different location from the food and other supplies. I resolved I would bring it all in and endeavor to assemble it, also, to get a jump on my food production for the coming year and to keep my focus on something besides my woes.

Excavating the cache and assembling the cart took much longer than anticipated, and it was late when I got the fully loaded cart back to the cabin. As I was approaching, I saw what appeared to be a woman standing on the porch, gently rocking from side to side as one does when waiting for something to happen. Judging by her height and build, I would say she was several years older than me. She had long light blonde hair, like she was out in the sun for a long time. I dropped the wagon where I stood and warily began to approach, looking for signs of a trap or ambush.

When I got close enough I greeted her but she did not respond. Since I was coming from her rear, I could not see what she looked like, and so I grasped her shoulder. She did not respond to touch so I stepped in front of her.

My God!

I staggered and almost fell down as I was not prepared for what I saw.

It was Andy. But it wasn't the Andy that was taken from me. She had aged perhaps three or more years in the time that she was gone.

And her hair!
Andy had left with dark brunette hair.

And then a whisper escaped her lips.

"Monty? The shadows have gone and he lights the darkness. Thank you for the rescue."
She then fell silent.

I was flabbergasted!
How had this happened?
What had caused these changes?

Relief flooded away any other feelings for the moment and I gently led her into the cabin and put her to bed. I stayed by her side until she fell asleep and then had to pry myself away to take care of the hoop house and wagon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Teetering On the Edge of Time

Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

I quickly turned around, dropping to one knee as the shotgun rose to my shoulder. To say I was shocked at what I saw would be an understatement. On the edge of the clearing, nearly 20 feet away stood a man, sort of. He looked like a man to behold him, but there were some subtle differences about him; like having a golden glow to him and being at least seven feet tall. The glow was an aura, not his actual skin tone, which was that of an American Indian. His facial features were those of the European race though, in contrast to that of the Indian. His hair was fiery red and it fell to his shoulders. He had no facial hair and did I mention he was seven freaking feet tall!

He was built like a wrestler with massive upper body strength, but not in a muscle bound way, he moved like a cat; sort of gliding to within 5 feet of me. As he got within touching distance I heard him in my head again, saying;

"I am a friend, be not afraid. I wish to query with you, so that you know this to be true." He was carrying a monstrous battle axe that looked very dangerous, but for some reason I was not afraid. He also carried a curious shield, as it looked as though it were made of clear glass, and the edges of it glowed, transmitting the light from his aura.

"If this is an acceptable request, I will begin." came the thoughts.

"Ok, good. Go ahead and query." I mentally replied. I was not sure what he meant by query, but for some strange reason I felt he was trustworthy, though I felt some reservation.

"Many thanks! Be not afraid" filled my mental ears, and then he laid his weapon on the ground, reached out his massive palm and planted it on my forehead. I felt a pleasant tingling spread through my body and then the mental images started.

I saw the bright night sky lit by countless stars, with the emphasis on a particular constellation, his place of origin I gathered. The stars flashed as if passing thru a wormhole and then he stood with many others of his kind on a very young planet, still going thru growing pains. Then there was a monstrous shadow that scared me half to death as I felt their fear and the servitude that they were compelled to give. They had travelled with this monstrosity, as captives, slaves.

The surface of the young planet was not ready for them and many died, so they retreated into the lower crust of the Earth, into the Inner Realms, living in great caverns lit by miniature suns, that dimmed and glowed brighter on a regular cycle. His 1st home was lit by a reddish sun, and when that fell to foul creatures unspoken of, they inhabited the Realm of the Blue Sun. Great cities rose and fell into ruin as his people became many and fought amongst themselves.

Wars were fought against the foul invaders that now inhabited the Realm of the Red Sun, and they pushed them back into the awful blackness from which they came. That time anyway. They moved back into the Red Realm and lived in peace for a while. Then the foulness returned and they were driven forth never to inhabit the Red Realm again. Great fortifications were built at the entrance to the Red Realm to keep the darkness at bay, and that seemed to work as the eons passed. Titanic battles were fought at these fortifications, but the foulness never could prevail and subsided back into the Red Realm. Many of his people grew weary of their servitude and they rebelled. They were driven to the surface to perish, but the young world had tamed during the eons underground and they flourished instead.

They built great kingdoms, flowing with riches, great kings and queens ruled and they became powerful on the earth. And then came a great upheaval, and many of the kingdoms were buried under a great deluge, and most perished except those who wandered the face of the earth, and those who manned the trading outposts. They built a great City at the Mountains of the southernmost continent, then settled many areas there until the snows came and all was buried under the ice. They traded with peoples of unknown origins, with light and dark skins from many points of the compass.

During the ages he had fought in many wars against the Great Old Ones from beyond the stars, driving them from the earthly realms, pursuing them until he had driven them back to the Dark Realms beyond the stars from which they had come.

The images stopped and the man stood back and bent to one knee. He then spoke in perfect English.

"I am Than-Natuk, of the Great Manu Race. I am of Yoth-K’n-yan, the Inner Realms, Yarl'eah amongst the stars. We came to Earth with Tulu as slaves, but were unhappy with our lot. My people threw off the enslaving yoke of the Old Dark Ones and left to build great cities upon the Earth, wealthy kingdoms, great armies and mighty Kings of old. We fought the spawn of Shub-Niggurath, drove them chittering back into the blackness of the void, and sealed them there. But the seal has been broken and they are once more on the loose, aided by those who revere them, and yearn for the old dark times.

I defeated the Great Dark One, Sol mak'Ugn-un and won its immortality; it is no more and this angers the others, and they are fearful. I have fought the Dark Ones legions for eons, driving them back when they intrude into the inner Realms, back into the darkness beyond the stars from which they came.  I see you have noted the golden glow I wear. It is what I won from Sol mak'Ugn-un, it's cloak of immortality.

The Toad-people you have referred to in your thoughts, they are the Tsathoggua, an elder race from a different reality than yours. There has been times in the past when a Rift has been created and your race and theirs have crossed paths. They are the star children of Tulu and came from the dark area beyond the stars.

And now here we are again, teetering on the edge of time, once more in conflict with the Old Dark Ones. They have left their Dark Realms and foul this planet once again, and I have come to drive them back to their perilous homes.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Mirrored Pool

Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

Several days had passed before I recovered enough to talk to Andy. Even then I shied away from the topic of what happened that night, and was very limited in my exchanges. My mind was trying to retreat into the darkness that shielded me from confronting the horror of what I had experienced. The morning of the third day I heard a shriek, and then the sobbing of someone in mental torment.

All my life I had looked after Andy, smoothing obstacles that would have otherwise ruffled her path. Up until she turned 12 anyway. Andy was attractive, enough so as to capture the eyes of many an older male. But she was smart too. She did not let any of the smooth talkers worm their way into her life or her pants and soon after took up Krav Maga for a self defense class.

Six months later she was accosted by three High School Jocks that began teasing her relentlessly. The stupidest brute made the mistake of grabbing her and she put him down, hard. The other two jumped in to help their friend and got a repeat of what their friend received. To make matters worse for the three, one of Andy's friends got the whole episode on video and uploaded it to a video sharing service. It went viral of course, and the three idiots caught a lot of flack over it.

One night when Andy was leaving a friend’s house 2 blocks from home, she got jumped by the same three. She put all of them in the hospital this time. The police declined to press charges against her, and instead filed felony assault charges against the three fools.

So when I heard her scream, I snapped out of my mental fog and jumped out of bed. I found her curled up by the front door, sobbing. I knelt down to comfort her and she immediately wrapped herself around me. It took a bit, but I was finally able to unwrap her and ask her what was wrong. She calmed down after a bit of coddling and explained she had saw something resembling a bunch of glowing balloons float past the window. As she went to the window to investigate, it had called to her in her mind, and when she had resisted it began laughing at her.

I told her that I knew what she spoke about as it had happened to me also. It seemed that the entity known as Yog-Sothoth was attempting to get at her as it had me. We sat down at the table and I began to tell her about my experience with the City in the Lake and the lunatic drummer, called Shub-Niggurath, in the clearing.

I apologized for not telling her sooner but that I had wished for us to reach the cabin and get settled before bringing it up. This seemed to console her some, she was not losing her mind and she was happy that I had finally snapped out of my funk. It was causing her no end of worry.

We set about making some breakfast and found that we were reduced to oatmeal, which was okay with me. It just meant that we needed to get to the supplies dad had cached and get them moved into the cabin. At least some of them anyway. I would feel more comfortable with them cached in several spots to preclude discovery of all of it by any entity.

Breakfast was over and cleaned up, the beds were made and the cabin organized. We were sitting at the table looking over the map for possible cache locations when I was overcome with the “urge”. You know the one, it can't be denied and to do so would end in disaster, so we put on our coats, EDC kits, and finally our firearms. Laying in bed for several days had left me needing to visit the facility and now it was imperative to do so. We had determined that no one would venture outside alone or unarmed, so out we went with Andy to stand guard.

Had I only known, I would have had her stay in the cabin. I went inside and began my business, keeping up a chatter with Andy to keep track of her . She had declined my offer to "come on in and share the aroma." I was rambling on for a minute or so before I noticed she had gone silent. Calling her name with no response made me finish up as quickly as was possible. Rushing out the door, I called her name again with no answer. Thinking she had returned to the cabin I went back there but could not find her anywhere inside. I tried the woodshed outside and she was not there either.

I was in a panic! I ran around the cabin, shouting her name but there was no reply. I sat on the edge of the porch, trying to regain control of myself so that I could organize my thoughts well enough to begin a intelligent search of the area. Recognizing that the area around the cabin for about ten to fifteen feet was saturated with our footprints, I began to look outside this radius for tracks that might be hers. I searched for about twenty minutes, ever expanding the circle until I found what I thought were her tracks leading off into the forest.

I followed them for about an hour through some of the thickest parts of the forest. Several times I lost them, and then I had to start a search pattern in order to pick them up again. After about a half an hour I found them again and was soon back on her track.

Before me lay a small glade, nestled up against a steep cliff. In the glade there was a mirrored pool. All surfaces of flat water will reflect the landscape surrounding them without exception. This one also reflected a landscape, only it was not of this world. Strange geometric shapes and angles filled this one and it was almost painful to behold.

I saw floating there above the pool, a cluster of basketball sized Amber globes, pulsating with scarlet veins shot throughout, dangling malignant tendrils hanging from them like those of a jellyfish. There exuded an maleficent aura from them, a feeling of extreme dread and terrifying darkness. Under the tendrils was a black fog like mist that followed the creature not unlike a shadow, but more sinister and oozing malevolence like a festering wound. As soon as I stepped into the small glade it vanished, but not before I experienced that insane laughter once again.

Examining the glade, I saw Andy's boot prints in the soft dirt at the edge of the water. It appeared she had entered it, coerced or of free will!

I moved to the edge of the mirrored pool and was just about to enter it, when I felt a restraining touch on my shoulder and a voice spoke in my mind, "Wait!"

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Lunatic Drum

Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

How much shock and stress can the human mind sustain before it falls into madness?
Is it a measurable quantity? Or is it wholly dependent upon the strength of character of the individual? I wondered how Andy could remain her chipper self, when all the while I felt like I was crumbling around the edges.

I found that I was falling into periods of mental darkness, and I would emerge hours later, all this when I was on watch and should be vigilant. The ordeal had me on edge, doubting my sanity. How could any of this be real? Andy's watch was fast approaching so I roused myself from my self reflection and stoked up the fire in anticipation of wakening her.

The episode at the dry lake had scared the hell out of me. The fact that I hadn't been pursued was creeping me out; it wasn't natural. Of course the whole encounter wasn't natural, but the lack of a pursuit made me think there was worse ahead. The goal of the cabin was within reach now, we could not turn back or change our path. We must reach the cabin for our safety's sake!

I resolved not to reveal my experience with the toad-beings to Andy until we were safely ensconced in the sheltering logs of the cabin.

I  roused Andy and gave her an unexpected hug that lasted for many minutes. When I finally released her she looked at me strangely and asked me what was wrong. I just shook my head and told her we could discuss it later at the cabin. I then turned around and crawled into my bed and soon was fast asleep. I did not dream again for a second night and was not disturbed in my sleeping until morning when the birds began their morning ritual.

Andy was wide-eyed with alarm when I finally dragged myself from the tent. She said she saw something floating among the trees, and it had called to her in her mind as she was keeping watch. She had wanted to wake me, but she knew how badly out of it I was and so she let me sleep while this new threat unfolded. At first she thought she had fallen asleep on watch, but that turned out not to be the case. It knew her name she said. And it had laughed at her in her mind while she tried to dismiss it as a dream. She was 3 clicks from being totally freaked.

Breakfast was hurried and breaking camp was done in record time. We hit the trail at a fast pace and soon beheld the cabin. It was a nice building, built with tax dollars and sturdily constructed, with a concrete floor and a steel roof. The logs had been professionally milled so that minimal chinking was required. It had heavy shutters over the windows and a very sturdy door locked with  a padlock. We unloaded the travois’s and stacked our goods on the front porch, which was of generous size. I fished around in Dad’s pack until I found his set of lock picks. He had taught me how to use them after making me swear to never use my knowledge for evil purposes. I did not consider this situation evil at all.

After a minute of futzing with the picks, I was able to unlock the padlock and we entered into our new home. No one had been here for quite some time so there was a light layer of dust accumulated on all of the flat surfaces. In the room that I assumed was the master bed, 4 mattresses hung from some wire suspended from the ceiling to keep the little scampering beasties from making a mess of them and rendering them unusable.

After a few hours of diligent labor, we had the place ship-shape with all the packs and buckets emptied and the contents put away. We resolved to find Dad's caches the next day and avail ourselves of more goods, just in case. I had opened the shutters, which had been secured from inside and let the daylight flood into the dark interior. We found several kerosene lanterns, filled and trimmed hanging from pegs on a darkened wall that we had not glimpsed before. I set them up on the table that dominated the living area. There were several rockers set around a wood stove near one windowless wall. I was a bit disappointed that we had no fireplace, but a stove heats better thus conserving firewood.

Out back of the cabin I found the outhouse, and a large shed with barn style doors that I assumed was the woodshed. It was beginning to get dark so I hurriedly unlocked the shed and the facility with the keys which I had found hanging from a nail by the cabin door. Sure enough, the large shed was full of cut and split firewood, along with a large pile of lumber. Several trips filled the wood box to overflowing, and then I buttoned up the cabin for the night.

We made a celebratory meal to mark our arrival, and after cleanup, retired to sit around the fire that I built to take the chill off the long unused cabin. We found some magazines and newspapers with 5 year old dates on them, and as if to corroborate them, a clipboard with names and dates of occupancy. It looks as if with all the federal budget tightening, this cabin was left for better fiscal times. They never came and here it sat, unmolested until we arrived and took over ownership.

I hung my still loaded Winchester on the deer horns that were mounted over the door, settling it in its new home for now. The shotgun I kept by my side; if I left the cabin it rode across my chest on the assault sling. I would not be caught without it again. Andy found a hook on the wall next to our beds to hang the M1 Carbine with its magazines.

As we sat around the fire, lost in our own thoughts, I realized I could still hear the maddening sound of that crazed drummer, only not as loud. It seemed it would accompany us off to sleep once more, only this night securely enclosed by our cabin, we determined no watch was needed and we both hit the rack at the same time. The luxury of a bed with a mattress above ground level was a welcome prospect indeed!

Sometime in the night I was awakened by Andy shaking my shoulder.
"Get up! I need to go the bathroom!" was the bad news.
 I grumbled a reply at her and grumpily left my warm and comfortable bed. Getting dressed, I slid my feet into my boots and quickly laced them up.

"Hurry uuupppp!" came the admonishment for my slowness, as Andy hopped from foot to foot. "I gotta gooooo!"

I took the opportunity to throw some wood in the stove and grabbed my shotgun and kit. I retrieved my flashlight from the head of the bed and left to stand guard for a now highly animated Andy. In she went with my light as she forgot hers. The bright green, round full moon provided the illumination to take the place of my purloined LED light while I waited.

The next memories are kind of jumbled, so I am not really sure what happened except the drum ensnared my mind once again as my sleep numbed brain grabbed on to its throbbing madness. It was closer than ever so I seem to remember wandering off to look for it and put an end to it.

What followed was very clear in my mind. Ahead was a clearing from which the unholy racket was coming. I stepped into the clearing and was horrified at what I saw.

I beheld there in the clearing a lunatic vision of maddening proportions, that of the demented drummer.

The creature resembled in stature a very large Ape or Human, with the orangish coloring of an Orangutan. And its arms, of which it had six, they resembled the tentacles of an octopus without the suckers. It flailed them about beating on its drums . But it's face was that of nightmares; sprouting tentacles as a squid and with its awful clacking beak.

There about the lunatic drummer pranced an innumerable throng of miniatures of itself, seemingly moving to the unbalanced rhythm of its drum.

"What manner of hideous beast is this?" I thought to myself as I recoiled from the spectacle.

"It is Shub-Niggurath" spoke an unbidden voice in my head, more like a forceful impression rather than a voice heard.

"Who are you?" I breathed.
"I am the Beyond-One, the Eater of Souls, the Rider of Time. I am Yog-Sothoth"

"What is Shub-Niggurath? I mentally verbalized.

“Your kind worship it as 'The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young'” came the mental intrusion.

I cringed at these exchanges as the evil taint of the impressions nearly pushed my brain into overload and collapse.

"Why are you here?" I asked the open air.

"We are here to feed..." came the answer.

The whole scene before me was one of madness and caused no end of despair in me. I felt my sanity slipping away and experienced an overwhelming desire to join in that mad dance. It was only when I clapped my hands over my ears and turned away from the hideous blaspheme before me that I was able to overcome this urge. I ran from the clearing and through the woods, brush plucking at me as I plowed through the undergrowth, fleeing the insanity of that clearing.

"You are in my realm!" slammed into my brain. " You cannot escape that which is everywhere, riding every puff of air and beam of light"

"Begone!!" I screamed to the deranged laughter in my head.

 Sometime later Andy found me wandering about with glazed eyes and mumbling incoherent gibberish. She guided me back to our cabin and put me into bed where she watched over me until I came to my senses many hours later.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The City In The Lake

Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

The night was lit almost as bright as day, except for the festering green hue that was imbued by the moon to all under its baleful glow. Then it struck me; the moon was always full! It went through no normal phases as is natural! I pondered deeply on this new revelation, so much so that I did not notice the passage of time.

At some point, the drumbeat captured my distracted mind and I wandered off away from camp into glowing and undulating wood, seemly not in control of my thoughts or my movements, leaving behind my pack and shotgun, carrying only my EDC carry and my large sheath knife on my belt.

I wandered a path of moonlight throughout the strange forest and was soon presented with a sight from my nightmares: The City in the Lake! The horror I felt on seeing this aberration nearly caused me to collapse, but weak-kneed and trembling, I was drawn onward. I followed what I deduced from the prior dreams to be one of the alleys, running like a spoke of a wheel to the central amphitheater and that awful throne.

I encountered no creatures on my way to the central horror, and soon I arrived. There on either side of me stood a large toad, and they each reached out and grasped me firmly, dragging me bodily to that ghastly throne. It was then that I noticed the throng of toad-things waiting silently in attendance to the oncoming spectacle. We stopped before the curiously empty throne and waited for a short time. There was a rustling among the crowd and then the great toad lept upon his throne and looked me over intently.

Then he croaked out that dreadful chant;

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

The throng of toads then replied:

"ay Cthulhu, ay Cthulhu, wgah'nagl fhtagn"

This went on and on for a time as the toads began to work themselves into a frenzy. The king-toad turned and pointed at me and squawked louder:

"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

And then he reached for me.

I screamed in fear and with an enormous burst of adrenalin fueled strength, tore myself from the grasp of my captors.

I burst thru a forest of grasping claws that tore at my clothing and shredded it. Still, I did not pause in my flight and fled headlong down the alley which I had come. Surprisingly I met no resistance in my escape and was soon back in the forest. I stopped to catch my breath and get my bearings with my compass when I noticed the needle slowly spinning in a circle. It being useless at this point, I thrust it back into my pocket and strode off on what seemed to be my previous trail in hopes of finding my camp and the slumbering Andy.

As I left that awful city and regained more of my senses, I noticed the fog that was rolling in, covering the land with its masking blanket and obscuring landmarks so as to make safe navigation as difficult as possible. The light of the moon fused with that of the fog at ground level into so hideous a color that covered the landscape. It was almost like wading thru a deep pool of vomit , waist level.

Soon I stumbled onto the trail we had been following, identifiable by its heavier usage compared with others I had crossed. I had no idea which way to go to camp and was standing there pondering my situation when I noticed a glow of light thru the foul blanket of confusion that lay about my waist. Had I gone left I would have missed my camp entirely and would have needed to backtrack for perhaps hours.

I turned right and soon I was in camp again. The fire had flared up as I stood there pondering  which direction to follow, providing the guiding light to return me safely to camp. I stumbled into our semi-bivouac, exhausted from my ordeal in the woods and tossed more wood upon the fire. I then resolved to never again be without the shotgun, and donned the assault sling. Being done in, I readied myself to wake Andy for her shift, pausing for some minutes to listen to the sounds of the forest for anything out of place and hastily changing out of my torn clothing. Hearing nothing, I roused the mumbling Andy to take her place on watch. I then fell into a dreamless sleep until morning arrived.

Andy woke me around 9:00 AM, determined to let me sleep in as I had seemed so exhausted the night before. Since we were planning to spend one more day in this same spot, we set about gathering wood for the fire early as to get it out of the way. Breakfast was delayed until this had been accomplished, then we settled in for some hot oatmeal and some more of Dad's cappuccino coffee mix. With breakfast and cleanup out of the way, we were free to concentrate on the next project.

Now I was confronted with the dilemma of what to do with the surplus supplies. I did not want to cache them and did not want to do a portage of them. Finally we decided on a plan. Actually it was Andy's suggestion, and it was a good one. That girl is really starting to surprise me!

We constructed a travois for each of us, and loaded the remaining full buckets on each. I then placed Dad's pack on mine, being the stronger of the two of us, I would carry the heavier load. In this manner we might possibly be able to carry all items to the cabin, rather than re-burying them to return to later.

Excited at this new development, we resolved to break camp and not wait another day. The more distance I put between myself and that waking nightmare I had experienced, the better. I was still feeling off in my mind and the prospect of having something else to focus on was a relief.

Based on our previous pace, we made perhaps 6 miles that day, heavy laden as we were it seemed to be a respectable pace. As we made camp I could tell that the exhausted Andy was excited about being so near our objective. That night at dinner Andy made some ranger pudding for a treat along with some skittles sprinkled on top. I asked her half jokingly what the special occasion was and she responded: “It’s my birthday you big doof!” Andy had turned thirteen amid the horror and tribulations on the trail, losing both parents and having her world turned inside out.

I gave her a big hug and refrained from saying happy birthday; there was not much to be happy for other than our continued survival for one more day of toil and hardship, with who knows what unknown horrors and monstrosities awaiting us. Andy told me I was a pessimist and stuck her tongue out at me. What a girl!

We talked for awhile sitting around the fire, the ever-present drum throbbing its vile tempo throughout the night. Andy turned in and I began my watch once again, kept company with the drum and the hideous green moonlight.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Rift

Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

The forest took on a new life of its own under the cold baleful glow of the lurid green moonlight. Shapes and shadows danced crazily in the wind that was blowing. It was very disconcerting to behold. I know it was frightening Andy as she snuggled up close to me and asked me to stay up with her a while longer during what would normally be my bedding down time. I gladly agreed, not looking forward to the nightmare which was waiting in the dark, behind closed eyelids.

We discussed what was happening and I gave her my hypothesis.
The earth had been bombarded with cosmic forces during the event with the sun which had created a rift between dimensions. That shimmering object which was gaining ground on us was the actual rift and the creatures had passed thru it, and were loosed upon our world. She snorted at this revelation, but snuggled closer nonetheless.

While we were discussing the finer points of this theory, we noticed that the frenzied drumbeat of the mad drummer had slowed to a more rhythmic beat that was no less disconcerting. The humming had also grown louder, and was getting louder by the minute.

Then we saw it moving through the trees: The Rift was overtaking us. The humming grew louder until it was so painful we were barely cognizant of our surroundings and were rolling on the ground in pain.

And then it passed, as though someone had turned off the sound system. In a few moments we had recovered enough to sit upright and look about. I could no longer see the Rift as it moved up the mountain. It was as if it had never existed! It seems that it must be visible from one side only. Now if it were not for that horrendous glow from the earthly satellite things would seem almost normal.


We must have fell asleep sometime after that experience, for we awoke and found that the morning of day 9 had come, and with it a sullen strangeness in the air, like the heavy electrical feeling before a thunderstorm.

The drum throbbed its' abhorrent tempo, rising and falling with no sense to it. It seemed as though it was to become a part of our consciousness, a mad heartbeat pounding in our mind. It seemed that the trees undulated to the maniacal beat, but it was really just the wind blowing them about.

Neither of us felt like eating as we were feeling nauseous from the effects of what had happened. We slowly packed up our camp and began our trek up the trail. It took  a while to notice it, but there was an alien strangeness upon the landscape. Nothing seemed the correct color and the trees seemed to be different also.

During a break I consulted the map and found we were almost there, perhaps a couple of hundred yards away. It was getting quite overcast and we decided to make camp at the cache so as not to get caught in the rain that was coming. The prospect of resting up for a bit was a welcome thought, so when we found the cache spot and dug it up, we also setup camp. Wood was sparser here for some reason, but we found enough to keep one fire all night.

It seems to be our doom to suffer the strangest events. While we were eating our dinner we heard this sound as if something gigantic was being torn and then followed by a stupendous thunder clap and a huge seismic jolt that threw us off our feet. The sky, my god the sky, it was as if it had been ruptured and all was darkened except a mile or so wide Rift that daylight poured through, our daylight, that which we had just been living in! All else was the blackness of night and the night time stars of a clear sky.

That lunatic drummer began to increase in volume as if in celebration of what had just happened and it seemed so much closer to us now. We built up the fire and dragged in more wood, to prepare for the early night. The Rift was closing, and daylight becoming scarce when we finished our preparations’ for the encroaching hours of night.

With the additional items from this cache, we restocked what we had consumed, but there was still too many valuables that we two could not carry unaided. We unpacked all the packs and only repacked what we felt was necessary for the miles ahead and securing the cabin. That meant all ammo, the tools that we carried, water purification, our clothing and as much food as we could carry. We resolved to conduct a portage of sorts, and carry the buckets to a location nearer to the cabin, which lay 10 miles away even yet.

We decided to sacrifice one more day, to eat and drink heartily, and to get some more needed sleep, in spite of the drum. We each had earplugs which we could wear that would diminish the drums intensity, but it would not block it out entirely.

Fearing that which lurked in my sleep, I put it off by giving Andy the first choice to rest. I would keep watch with all my troubled thoughts, kept company by the drum and that horrible green orb that came out each night.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

That Hideous Glow

Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

We spent all of today traversing that tortuous path, and we have still not gotten through that punishing trail. We finally located a dry patch just before dark on which to camp, where we found some brush and other debris with which to construct a fire.

We were both pretty dead on our feet, so there was no conversation over dinner. I offered to take the first watch and tend to the single fire. We had only one as there was not as much wood in this washout as on the forest edge where we had camped before. Andy agreed and was soon off to her bed.

Consulting the map and compass as I sat alone around the fire, I determined we had traveled just over a mile that day!

What a disappointment that was!
I decided not to tell Andy as I didn't want to cause her to lose heart.

I had learned to read map and compass while I was in the Scouts, and practiced it whenever we had gone camping. Got to to keep those skills from getting rusty!

While we labored on the path that day, we found ourselves backtracking multiple times when our trail would dead-end in a cliffs edge or a pocket of house sized boulders, pools of deep water and flats of stinking mud. It was all there, waiting to trap or mislead us!

There towards the end, I was forced to portage ours and Dad's packs through a particularly bad stretch while Andy provided overwatch. She is a bit of a tomboy, and always played army with the neighborhood boys when we were not much younger. Then it was Call Of Duty and Battlefield on the Xbox. So she took to the role of overwatch with a bit of enthusiasm added.

That was fine with me, as I had my hands full. Dad would take us both out shooting and Andy became a pretty fair shot with the .22lr and the AR-15. The recoil of the shotty was a bit too much for her so she shied away from shooting it, but she knew it's operation.

I have noticed that the humming is getting louder now, like standing next to a hive of angry bees. I have not been able to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon that was engulfing the town, but I think that is where the humming originates. If so, the increase in volume indicates that it may be drawing closer.

I woke Andy and turned watch over to her, crawling into the tent and that welcoming bed.
My head no sooner hit my jacket pillow than I began to dream once more.

Once again I beheld that city in the dry lake bed. It's cyclopean structures of obsidian black, looming above the streets, teeming with throngs of toad like creatures going every which way. I wandered about, ignored by them, seemingly unseen as a ghostly presence amongst them. I noticed then, that the arrangement of the streets was that of a large circle that was formed by the outer monoliths, with ever smaller circles forming the streets in the inner city until they ended in a central amphitheater. The circles were intersected by alleys that ran straight from the center of the city to the outer monoliths and beyond.

As I wandered the streets, marveling at the grotesque geometry, I heard a chanting , and began to look for the source. Soon I found a huge gathering of the awful creatures in the amphitheater, surrounding a central dais upon which rested a grotesque throne.

There sat a larger than normal toad-thing, clad in a horrible colored clothing of sorts, it's horns shorn to within 8 or so inches of its skull and capped with gold. It croaked a hideous chant;
"ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

to which the gathered throng chanted back; "ay Cthulhu, ay Cthulhu, wgah'nagl fhtagn"
They chanted this over and over until some unseen signal flung them into an orgy of horror and violence. They literally tore their human prisoners to shreds, bathing in the gore chanting "ay Cthulhu fhtagn" over and over.

The creature on the throne turned to me and grasped my shoulder, pulling me into the midst of the horror, at which I shrieked and pulled away.

The timid voice of Andy broke into my dreaming and asked "Are you okay?"
I croaked out a "NO!". She then told me it was time to get up and eat before breaking camp and beginning the struggle for the day. What she said next shocked me.

"What does 'ay Cthulhu, wgah'nagl fhtagn' mean? You were saying it over and over in your sleep."

I told her it was just something from a dream that I was having, and wasn't important.
As I headed out of the tent she asked me if I could hear the drums?

Sure as shit, there in the stillness of the ebbing night, barely audible was a throbbing as of some mad drummer, pounding out a maniacal rhythm to which no discernible pattern could be recognized.

I am beginning to be extremely frightened at the events that are occurring. The drums, the beasts, the humming and those nightmarish dreams that seem so real!

It is now day 8 and we remain an alarming distance from our goal. It was late afternoon before the pathway and the washout departed company, and we finally made some good time before needing to make camp once again. Andy made dinner while I consulted the map to see how far the next cache was. Cache 4, meant to be reached by day 4, was still 3 miles away up an ever climbing trail.

I now dread going to bed, the nightmares seeming to be lurking just behind closed eyelids. I don't want to frighten Andy, but I fear she is picking up on it also as those drums seem to become louder and meld with the hum that is overtaking us.

The perverted moon has come out from hiding behind its sheltering clouds to bathe us this evening with that hideous glow it has now acquired.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Malevolent Road

Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

Curiosity finally got the best of us, well at least me and I went over to examine the beast. Andy would not approach the creature, and sat nursing a bruised shoulder where it had impacted her.

I have taken creative writing in school and I am mostly at a loss for words to describe it. I will attempt to use earthly comparisons to give an accurate description of such an un-earthly beast.

The nightmarish creature on the trail resembles a 6 foot high Toad with the horns of a Texas Longhorn steer, with lower tusks and upper fangs. It's short, crooked arms end in what resemble the talons of a bird of prey. The lower legs are large and powerful, with a large foot and 6 inch or so clawed toes. It has a short, thick tail with a series of ridges running its length, reminiscent of that of an alligator. It's skin looks like an armor plating; smooth and hard. It is a mottled grey color much like the color of fog. A fetid stink permeates the air around it.

A more eldritch horror I cannot imagine. It reminds me of something that could be from the Cthulhu Mythos. Only Lovecraft could describe it better than I could. I wish I had a camera that worked, but my digital camera and cell phone camera are both toast. I have watched many a horror movie and have never beheld such an awful visage!

I have escorted Andy around it, guiding her so that she would not have to look at this nightmarish creature and suffer it in her dreams forever more. As for myself, I fear that its taint will haunt me forever!

I wonder, did it come from that shimmering thing on the horizon? Looking out from upon the mountain side, it appears to have grown larger and nearer. It looks to be engulfing our hometown and is moving toward where we struggle up this mountain path.

This is our first real rest stop since early morning, and I am damn glad for it! The trail has gotten steeper and it looks like we will be climbing another 200 feet in elevation according to our map. Today is day 6 on the path to the cabin. 2 miles ahead is the next cache point according to the markings on the map.

I think we shall camp there for the night as it is getting late and the sun is working its way behind the mountain range behind us.

Once again we are hearing sounds in the forest that are alien to the norm. Crashings and thuds mark the otherwise stillness. The birdsong's are replaced by the sighing wind and a strange sort of humming at the edge of our hearing, but it seems to be located in the direction from which we are traveling.

We have reached our cache point and have set up camp in a small glade with a clear field of fire all around us. We will build 3 fires tonight and one of us will remain awake to listen for problems and to keep the fires burning. I worry about this, about one of us being alone while the other sleeps, but there is no way around it. We must have sleep to restore our energy after the grueling hike. We will keep 4 hour watches, and in that manner we will each get some rest.

Fortunately there was an adequate wood supply near our evening camp, so we did not have far to go to retrieve it. Regardless, Andy stood overwatch while I gathered it and piled the wood at camp. I fear that if I were alone, I would curl in a ball and wait to be taken as was Dad.

As the world darkens around us, I wonder about the rest of the planet, about people in faraway places and if they are going thru what we just have.

Far off in the darkness, I hear that awful hooting, followed by the howling. It is far away but it gives me the shivers nonetheless. Dinner was sparse, the only luxury was the main course of freeze-dried Teriyaki Chicken. We had some Gatorade powder to add to our water, which was pretty good. There was more food in the cache, food for 4 persons, but we want to economize our consumption until we get to the cabin. The added food will slow us down what with carrying along dads pack and all but I will not willingly leave it behind. Once we reach the cabin I do not wish to leave until necessary to reach the supplies that dad hid near there.

The night passed for us as it will for those who are exhausted upon the trail. The conversation that ensued between us after dark consisted of me telling Andy to wake me in four hours, then giving her my windup watch to mark the time. I crawled into the tent and once in my bag, was out like a light. I slept a dream filled sleep full of nameless horrors that grinned out at me from behind monstrous edifices that populated a ruined lakebed, in which the water had receded to mere puddles. There were thousands of the toad-like creatures there with hundreds of human captives, none of whom I recognized but all beseeching for to help with their sad and tired eyes.

Luckily I was awoken from this unfortunate dream by Andy, telling me it was my turn to keep watch. The morning came shortly after, and the need for 3 fires dropped to 1, which in the cold morning air of the mountain felt very nice. I was determined to let Andy sleep a couple more hours but she woke and got up anyway. We had a hot breakfast of freeze-dried scrambled eggs and sausage which was quite good, and several cups each of Dad's cappuccino coffee mix. Damn that stuff was good! We then broke camp and prepared to move. Day 7 was upon us now!

An hour on the trail and the path ahead appears like some malevolent road; strewn with debris, jumbled with boulders, pools of water and mud, grasping roots and small trees scattered along its visible length, along which we are forced to travel. It is as though it seeks to tax us of our remaining strength and mire us permanently in its mud.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Shape Upon the Path

Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

Dad is gone.

The thing from the trees took him.
It attacked and then he was gone.
He never even got off a shot.

I am continuing his Journal; I know that is what he would want.
I am in charge now; I must get us to the cabin. We have got to go forward, there is no turning back as Mom did.
Andy is crying, and I want to join her. But I must be strong and not falter.
For Dad.
And Mom.

Why did she choose to leave us...??

I broke down just like Andy did; now my eyes feel all gritty and puffy, and my nose is full of snot.

Ok, we are more settled now, ready to move.
I don't like this spot. I see some of Dad's blood on the ground.
I don't want to be around it.

We will carry Dad's pack between us like a litter, as we need the stuff that he carried.

He had the tent, food, water and ammo for the guns. 

I have the shotgun now, Andy has the AK. Her M1 carbine and mag’s are strapped to the pack with my Winchester mdl94 .30-30.
She has never shot the AK so I showed her how to work it like I learned in the video games.

I had to show Dad how to field strip it so we could clean it. 

Thanks’ to the videos I found on the web! 

We found ammo for it at a hardware store on our way out of town. We had to detour for five blocks but we were lucky enough to find 200 rounds for it. We have six mag’s for the AK so we were able to load them all with a box left over.

Dad dropped the shotgun when he was taken, but the AK was strapped to his pack along with the chest rig. It is kind of big on Andy, but that’s ok, she is not complaining and is getting pretty good at changing out the magazines. I have been having her practice with it for the last hour before we leave.

Once she is comfortable with it I will put on the 3 point sling for her and the laser sight. We got them both at the same place we found the ammo and I picked them up while dad was looking for the ammo. We were in a hurry so I never got a chance to show him before we left.

We had been moving along the trail for a while and it was just before sunrise when we saw it.

A shape upon the path ahead of us.
And then there was that awful hooting followed by that mind-numbing howl. Andy dropped her end of the pack and covered her ears, as did I. Then I saw it moving towards us.

It leaped over me and knocked down Andy. I yelled at her to duck as I spun around and put 2 slugs into the dark form as it began to turn back towards us! It let out an awful roar as it staggered to the impacts of the slugs. My next 3 shells in the shotgun were 00 buckshot and I put one into the form in the darkness. It dropped to the ground and then got back up, moving toward us. Andy finally got into action and the AK roared its deadly tune several times; and then the creature dropped and did not stir again.

We decided not to approach it until daylight, which is coming on fast.

The forest is silent now, with no noises to be heard. Maybe it is just numb ears from the gun blasts, but I can hear Andy whisper just fine. 

The sun has now risen and we can finally fully behold the horror that lies scant yards from us.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Movement In The Trees

 Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

It is day 4 and we have only reached cache #3. We are seriously behind schedule and need to push on through the daylight. I know the kid's are tired because I am beat. We will travel til noon and then make camp, if we make it that far without falling over.

The sounds in the forest are greatly diminished during the daylight hours, leading me to believe that which follows us is nocturnal in nature. My daughter Andrea, who we call Andy says she saw something on our shadowy back trail, peering out of the gloom under the trees. She let out a scream of terror that made myself and her brother both jump. Monty, my son surprised me with how quickly he recovered and brought his .30-30 to bear on the perceived threat. Andy could not bear to describe what she saw...

Andy is 12 and Monty 14.
I am surprised, pleasantly I might add, at how quickly Monty has stepped up to the plate as this has all unfolded, day by day. Both kids have handled the desertion of their mother with surprising strength. I can only surmise that her mind had been overwhelmed by the sheer stress of her world collapsing, as that is what she has fled back to. I only hope that she made it back home. I do truly miss her.

We have made camp now, the kids are gathering wood as I put up the tent and build the fire. It is a cold day and a heavy fog is covering this small depression which holds a large glade with a pond adjacent to it. I am sure if it were summer, it would be swarming with mosquito's.

The kids have asked me why I am writing all this down, and I explained to them that it is a family record to be passed down to newer generations, to explain what happened and why. Andy surprised me with her comment about this being the last generation, so why bother. I told her I did not believe that, and she should not either. I must keep a bold and confident demeanor even though I fear she may be right.

The sounds are getting louder, closer, now that the sun is setting. I have built up the fire and rather than face the fire as is our normal nature, I have turned my back to it and face outward into the gathering gloom of twilight.

I see something, some movement in the trees.
As though it were a lion circling it's prey.

The hooting is louder now, sounding like it is emanating from just outside our circle of light.
My God, that howl!
That terrible howl!
It raises the hair on the back of your neck like an icy wind, like fingernails on a chalkboard!

My shotgun is ready and I am telling the kids to...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sounds In the Forest

Tales Of The Apocalypse: Book II - The Rift

We have only been gone 2 days and already my wife wants to go back.
Traveling at night, we have only made it 5 miles

It's those sounds.
Sounds in the forest, like something shadowing us...
Following us.

I cannot see anyone, or anything, except that blur at the edge of my vision.
And that hooting in the distance, at the fringe of hearing.

My wife is fine with it during the daylight, but night brings her misgivings.
The thrashing in the underbrush at a distance, the low pitched murmuring that builds until it ends in an unearthly howl.

We are all armed, that includes the kids. Whatever or whomever is  trying to frighten us, has succeeded.

The last howl ended inside our heads, as though listening to a soundtrack of fear through headphones of terror, ringing through our minds with a persistent echo.

This is day 3.
Or I should say night 3.

Just before sundown I saw a shape in the trees…
I don't know what it is, I have never seen anything like it before.
The more I try to define what I saw, the more indistinct my recollection is.
Like a mental fog rolling in and cloaking all with a robe of madness.

 My wife has left; turned around and fled down the trail into the blackness.
The kids are hovering close, calling out for their mother to return, in vain.
I Shepherd them down the trail for we are nearing our destination.

In all, we have climbed 2500 feet in altitude, and my legs can feel it.
We have found an open area in which to camp, full of firewood and with an un-named stream chuckling its way down the hill to a rendezvous with anonymity, as it flows into the river in the valley.

Looking back over the distance you can see the small city where we used to live.
In the distance, a strange sight, like nothing I have ever seen before.
It shimmers like a lake, only turned on its side and it is as high as the surrounding peaks.
I am not sure why, but the sight of it fills me with an unearthly dread, as prey feels the approach of a predator.


It is dark now, and we are ready to travel.
Our strange companions keeping pace as we walk the pathway in the dark, listening...
To the sounds in the forest.