Dragon Wolf Prologue

For those who know me well, it will not surprise you that I am posting the prologue to yet another story. For those who do not know me so well, let me put it this way: I invent more than I finish.

This prologue is from my work called Dragon Wolf, and unlike most of the stories I come up with, I think this one will go somewhere. As of currently it is “in the running” to take the place of the sequel to my trilogy, Ancient Vengeance, which I finished writing a few months ago.

The story behind Dragon Wolf is this: A thousand years ago, in the kingdom of Aralia, a princess by the name of Rena broke a magical law in her land, transforming her into a creature that could shape-shift between the form of a white dragon and a white wolf. Doomed to be controlled by whoever has possession of the princess’s necklace, known as the Blood Amulet, the Dragon Wolf destroys most of her kingdom before a courageous nobleman, Lord Altair Rothschild, seals her away in the Tomb of Enchantments, meant to end magical tyranny for all time.

Now, a thousand years later, the descendant of Lord Rothschild, Kanessa, releases the Dragon Wolf, intending to bring retribution upon those who have hurt her. However, when the Dragon Wolf discovers that Kanessa does not have the Blood Amulet, she leaves Kanessa for her true master: a young slave called Kale.

Together, Kale and the Dragon Wolf, whom the young slave calls Sky, set out intending to live a life of relative peace until the Dragon Wolf’s past begins to rear its ugly head and reveal a tangled web of love, rebellion, and magic that no history book has ever recorded.

I’ve been playing around with some artistic ideas as well, so if you’re interested in seeing some computer-colored sketches of Sky, just click here and here. I haven’t drawn very many pictures of wolves or dragons before, so sketches for this story have been a bit of a learning process, but I hope you enjoy the pictures and prologue anyway.

——

Prologue=

Screams echoed in a distant darkness. Flickering flames consumed a tempestuous sky and buildings, once tall and noble, lay ruinous under them. Visions of a white dragon flashed like lightning above them. The cry of a baby could be heard, faint in the surrounding chaos. Then came a shout of, “For God’s sake, Rena, would you just listen to me?!”

Who was that yelling? The voice sounded so familiar, yet so strange. The image of a crest appeared through the haze of the smoke. It was in the shape of a square tipped up on one corner. Two swords criss-crossed its center and a blooming rose sat in the middle. All of a sudden the fire licked up around the image. A great roar blasted through the night, shattering the crest, its pieces flying outward like shards of broken glass.

*****

Instantly Kale shot up into a sitting position. Sweat poured down his face and neck, as though he had been standing over a roaring furnace for several hours. His breath came in short, quick gasps.

Wide-eyed, he glanced around at his surroundings. All was quiet. The other people around him were sound asleep. The sky was clear, a million stars shining peacefully over the open field. There was no fire, no ruined buildings, no white dragon and no shattered crest.

Trembling, he wiped sweat from his face. What was that? Possibly a nightmare, but it seemed so real. Slowly he laid back down on the ragged blanket that served as his bed, visions of fire and white dragons still flashing through his mind.

Victory of Zion

Seeing as how yesterday was Easter, I thought I would post something focused around that holiday. If it weren’t for computer trouble, I would have posted this sooner, but at least it’s here now.

Victory of Zion is a story I have been working on for a few months now. It is the story of Jesus’ life, told in third person from the perspective of an angel. Though I am no theologian, and I don’t really understand the technicalities of how God does what He does, I have tried to capture the essence of what I believe might have gone on in the spiritual realm during Jesus life, death, and resurrection. One concept I have struggled with, in particular, is the nature of the Trinity: are they three separate beings or one? Or is there something that I’m missing and the Trinity is neither. Anyhow, this post consists of three separate scenes: Gethsemane, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. This is only the first, and very rough, draft, but I thought I’d share it with you anyhow. Enjoy, and God bless!

——–

Adonias stood quietly under a tree, his expression mournful. His soft, silver wings drooped and tears threatened to fall down his smooth cheeks. He could hear the stifled sobs of agony, and fear, and pain that now pulsed in his ears. It was Jesus. It was in Gethsemane. It was almost too painful for even the angel to bear.

The lowly angel could see the bloody sweat pouring down Jesus’ face as He prayed, begging for another way to complete His mission. The heavy weight of sin was pouring in around them, forcing Adonias to stand back, despite the fact that he longed to comfort his Lord.

“Your will…be done.”

Adonias nearly choked at those words. How? Why? Of all the people that had to face such a fate, why did it have to be Him? How could He accept it so calmly?

The angel watched Jesus rise unsteadily to His feet, wipe the bloody sweat from His face, lift His head in resolution, and proceed toward His sleeping disciples.

“My Lord!” Adonias exclaimed, hurrying toward Jesus, the quiet rush of his celestial robes audible only to those with a close tie to the unseen, spiritual realm. He reached out to touch his Lord. All of a sudden, however, a rush of dark shadows spun upward, creating a shell of evil that caused the desperate angel to recoil. “Jesus…My Lord…no.”

Jesus glanced up at the angel and sadly shook His head. The process had begun. He was about to take on the sins of an entire world: past, present, and future. Christ was slowly being separated from the realm of the unseen.

Jesus proceeded toward His sleeping disciples. “Go ahead and sleep,” He said when the men stirred upon His approach, “Have your rest. But look…the time has finally come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here.”

Adonias spun around in the direction Jesus had glanced. The angel clinched his fists as tears of anger trickled down his face. It wasn’t fair! No! He couldn’t let it happen! He was a knight of the Heavenly Kingdom, of Zion, and Jesus was his Prince…his best friend.

He stiffened as a cluster of flickering torchlight appeared around the bend in the garden path. It was then that he became aware of the growing number of demons clustering around them. They had been friends. They had been comrades. He knew every face, every name that went with those faces. He could still remember the beauty those angels had once possessed. It was still hard to believe, even now, that they were the enemy.

“How could you?!” Adonias exclaimed when the demons drew near. “What could possibly twist you so much that you would smile as you watch Jesus suffer like this?!”

“Quit whining, Adonias,” one demon sneered. “You’re just a sore loser.”

“Let him whine,” another chuckled, his voice low and cracked, a poor reflection of what it once had been in the heavenly choir. “It’s all he can do now anyway.”

A ripple of laughter echoed through the dark gathering.

“Who are you looking for?” Jesus questioned the group of Jewish guards who had gathered there, as though He didn’t already know who they were looking for.

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am He.”

At that moment Adonias stepped between Jesus and the guards, his eyes flashing with celestial fire. The men fell back in fear.

“Adonias!” boomed a voice from heaven. Only the angel and demons could hear it. “Step aside, Adonias. This is My will.”

Trembling, the angel complied and stepped back. More rippling laughter from the demons.

“Who are you looking for?” Jesus asked again, casting a quick, sympathetic glance toward the angel.

“Jesus of Nazareth.”

“I am he.”

Adonias watched in horror as the guards gruffly grabbed his gentle Lord, bound him, and half dragged him away. The demons pressed in eagerly, filling the disciples’ hearts with fear. The men fled.

“Now, go off and pout in your little sparkly corner,” one of the demons mocked, waving toward Adonias. “Just admit it’s all over for your grand ideas.”

“No!” the angel snapped back. “You’re wrong! It’s not over! You can’t stop God!”

Then with that he set off after Jesus. He didn’t understand what God was doing. He didn’t know how Jesus could overcome all these trials in His frail human body. There was one thing, however, that he did know: God had never failed before. There was no way He would now.

*****

All heaven watched Jesus’ trial. All heaven cringed with every flogging and every beating their gentle Lord received. God had to hold the angels back as the soldiers drove the nails into His Son’s hands, though the tears pouring down His face indicated that He desperately wanted to intervene as well.

Adonias and a small gathering of his fellow angels pressed in as close as they dared. They were too horrified to be angry as they listened to the mocks and jeers coming from the crowd gathered around the three crosses.

Just then a dark figure moved from the crowd toward the cross on which Jesus hung. Adonias clenched his fist when he recognized who it was. It was Satan.

The dark angel rose up till he was eye to eye with the suffering Prince. A malicious sneer was playing at his lips. He wasn’t the same Lucifer Adonias remembered from their days in heaven together. He wasn’t beautiful and shining anymore. Of course, he hadn’t been any more beautiful all those times he had tormented Jesus in the past, but he looked even more terrible now than before.

“You should have bowed, king,” he hissed in Jesus’ ear, saying the word ‘king’ with particular contempt. “What did you think you were going to accomplish? Did you think your Father would save you? Psh! You of all people should have known that He wouldn’t even look at you covered in all this sin. You’re a fool, Jesus. Look around you. These are the people you tried to save. They’ve beat you. They’ve hurt you. They’ve spit on you. Did you think they would leave me for you?” Here he cupped one marred hand around Jesus’ throat. “You could have lived without all this pain if you had just bowed to me. But rest assured, I’ll give you exactly what you asked for. I will kill you. Actually,” he laughed, “I won’t have to. The burden you’ve put on your own shoulders will kill you for me. This is the end for you.”

Jesus let out a great wail of pain as Satan twisted the invisible sword of sin that was slowly eating away at Jesus’ life. “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?!”

There was a great commotion then, all of a sudden, Jesus gave one last gasp, cried, “It is finished!” and bowed his head. Everyone knew what had happened.

All of a sudden an ear-splitting wail came from heaven. The angels, tears streaming down their faces, turned to see the Father. Tears poured down His celestial face like two waterfalls. Adonias turned back to the earth and watched as the ground writhed with the power of the Father’s anguish. The ground broke open. The sun’s light vanished. Anguish and anger flashed in the Father’s amber eyes and, with one motion, He tore the curtain in the Temple sanctuary in two. It was finished. Jesus was dead.

******

It was a very mournful day that Sabbath. Adonias paced back and forth in front of the tomb that the disciples had laid Jesus’ body in. Occasionally he would glance back toward heaven. Then he would turn back to glare at Satan, who had taken it upon himself to guard the tomb. Now what?

Slowly the day began to wane. Slowly the stars began to appear. To Adonias, though he was an immortal angel, it seemed a millennium had already passed. Would God really leave His Son there in that vile, earthly tomb, guarded by the master of sin? It was almost sickening to think of that wretched creature slithering so near to the innocent, slain Prince.

All at once Adonias heard the rush of wings. He glanced over to see Gabriel, God’s right-hand angel, standing beside him. His robe was white and rimmed with gold. His hair shimmered with the glow of the finest gold set before the best of light. His wings were like mother-of-pearl, yet softer than the softest of down.

“Gabriel! What is it?” Adonias questioned, almost fearing that the Father had sent Gabriel to take him back, away from Jesus.

The noble angel turned and, seeing the concern written on the lower-ranking angel’s face, he smiled reassuringly.

“It is about time,” he said, his voice deep and rich.

“About time, sir?”

“Yes, Adonias, it is about time for the Father to execute the final step in the plan of salvation. Your loyalty to the Prince has not gone unnoticed. I want you to help me. I want you to be here when it is done.”

“Then you mean…” Adonias could barely say the words. “You mean…He will rise again?”

“Most assuredly,” Gabriel nodded. “I know you have been confused. You are not alone. But rest assured, our all-powerful King can do mighty things.”

The two angels stood there, quietly watching the tomb and those guarding it. Satan had seen Gabriel, and his pacing had become even more frantic. He knew the scriptures. He knew that the third day would soon dawn. And, while he didn’t want to admit it, he knew he would be powerless against God himself.

Just then the first rays of sun began to streak across the sky, chasing away the darkness. Gabriel’s smile broadened and he drew his sword, which had rested at his side through the long watches of the night.

“Alright, Adonias. It is time!”

The lowly angel nodded, and was about to take a step forward when he noticed that the ground was beginning to shake.

“Behold the power of God!” Gabriel shouted, raising his sword high. “Death has no power over the Mighty One, the Author of Life, and neither do you, Satan, you snake!”

A sudden flash of light split the air, and the soldiers guarding the tomb fell to the ground: dead. Satan cowered before the heavenly soldier, but still he stubbornly clung to the stone that had been rolled over the mouth of the tomb.

“Satan, you base fiend,” Gabriel sighed with a shake of his head. “You, who were the son of light. You could not see beyond yourself, and now you have traded in your beauty for this wretched state. To think that I would see the day when you would cower before even me, whose only power is from the Father Himself.”

“I won’t let you,” Satan hissed. He tried to sound intimidating but his voice trembled under the power of heaven. “I won’t let you defeat me.”

“I am afraid you do not have a say in this matter,” Gabriel replied.

Adonias stiffened as he began to notice the shadows of demons gathering around them. Gabriel noticed them, too, out of the corner of his eye. He glanced over, then sighed and said, “You will never learn.”

All at once, in a voice akin to thunder, the head angel shouted, “In the name of the Great I Am, be gone!”

Blinding white light consumed the shadows and Satan and his henchmen took to their heels. No matter how strong their hatred, even that could not stand against the power of God. When the light dissipated, all was silent. Gabriel stepped forward and, with one motion, rolled the stone away from the mouth of the tomb.

“Come, Adonias. You have waited patiently for this.”

The two angels stepped inside and Gabriel leaned gently over Jesus’ prostrate form.

“My Lord,” he said softly, “Your Father commands you. Arise!”

There was a flickering of eyelids, then Jesus opened His eyes and stood. With a swift motion, Gabriel and Adonias removed the burial clothes and gave the Great Prince a clean white robe to wear. The evidence of whip lashes, thorny crowns, and terrible beatings had vanished from His perfect body. But the nail marks and spear piercing remained. They always would.

At that moment, Jesus turned to Adonias. A smile crossed his face.

“Adonias, my dear friend,” He laughed, hugging the loyal angel. “You are the best friend I could ask for. Your loyalty is greater than any other’s. Thank you.”

Tears of joy streamed down Adonias’s face. “My Lord! My Lord!” was all he could seem to say in his excitement.

At last, however, Jesus said, “I must go talk to My Father, and then I must go talk to my disciples. I will see you again soon, my friend.”

Adonias watched Him go. He was still too overcome with joy and too shocked after all he’d seen that he didn’t quite know what to do.

“Adonias,” Gabriel said suddenly.

The angel turned to look at his commander.

“Some of the women who followed Jesus are coming to embalm the body they think is here. I must return to God and I believe it would please you to relay the message to them. Would you stay here to tell them that their Lord has risen and is no longer here?”

“Of course!” Adonias exclaimed. “I wish to tell everyone the good news!”

Gabriel chuckled, then replied, “That is the gift God wishes for His people to share. But you will, at least, be able to tell the women.”

Then with a nod the great angel ascended toward heaven.

As Adonias stood under the fresh rays of the morning sun, he could not help but think of all the effort Satan had put into keeping Jesus in the tomb. He began to laugh, and suddenly he got a brilliant idea. Quickly he turned toward the stone, the one that Gabriel had rolled away.

“Death, you have no power over my Lord,” he laughed, walking toward the stone. “Satan, you have no power over my God.”

Then with that he hopped up and sat down on the stone. “Heh,” he laughed again, reclining back on the stone for an added effect, “so, Satan, what do you have to say now?”

In Appreciation of…

As the semester comes to an end and, once again, I am faced with finals, I begin to reminisce about the school year. I’ve had quite a few experiences. I’ve been blessed with some wonderful new friends and, even in the face of some unpleasant events, I have been able to come out on the better end of the deal. In particular, I praise God that I have finished nearly all my general education courses. Only a few left to go, and then I can focus entirely on my chosen field. I have to admit, however, that some of my favorite little ramblings have come out of the classes I have enjoyed the least. My previous post is a perfect example of this. However, there is another little short story that I have yet to post here on this blog that was spawned out of my particularly stressful College Algebra final last semester. I’ll admit, I’m somewhat partial to that one as well.

This one is simply called “In Appreciation of…”, as I have to be appreciative of my Algebra class in that it did inspire me, though to what end I will leave you to decide. So without further to do, enjoy!

——–

The atmosphere was tense as the army of nervous warriors took their places on the battlefield. Arranged in haphazard rows and columns, the soldiers awaited the arrival of the enemy. Then there! The foe was upon them! Armed with primitive weapons, the points of which had been dulled by many such battles, the warriors leapt forward, ready to give all they had to defeating the monsters before them.

They were creatures of foul repute, these fiends; age-old enemies with innumerable, wily attacks that left even the most seasoned warrior hapless to defend themselves. Not to be fooled by their supposedly frail bodies, these monsters could rip flesh so stealthily that half of their victims didn’t even realize they were upon them until it was too late. Their pale, white skin and beady black eyes, inky black orbs that spoke of evil intent, struck fear into the hearts of the otherwise fearless soldiers that faced them.

It was an intense battle. Quivering wisps of grey matter curled upward, evidence of a waning morale. For every attack that the warriors executed, the enemy had one that was greater.

At last, however, the first of the fiends were felled. Slowly, ever so slowly, the victorious warriors carried themselves forward on trembling feet, their trophies held securely in their aching hands. Once they proved that they had defeated the foe, the king would release them from this ghastly battle.

The king was waiting for them at the edge of the battle field. He smiled as, one by one, the victorious soldiers stepped forward to present their proof of success, as though their now lack-luster eyes were not proof enough of the trial they had so recently faced. Then with a smile and a soft word of thanks, he sent them on their way.

How many poor souls were defeated that day, none can be sure. But, at least, that algebra test was finally over.

Waste Water Waste of Time

There’s a reason I chose English over science as my major. Science just isn’t my forte. This has only been made more clear to me over the course of this school year as I have been working on completing my general education requirements. To complete the science portion of said requirements, I enrolled in a two semester class: Human Biology. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have learned a great deal in this class: mostly how to pretend I’m listening and how to translate general scientific terminology into Japanese to pass the time. Oh, and not to mention how I am well aware of the fact that my teacher used to study the effects of radiation on pigs, but that’s an entirely different matter.

This class not only consists of lectures/story time three days a week, but it also includes a lab meeting ranging from 5 minutes to 3 hours. The interesting activities we do there range from watching films from the 1980’s to doing a urinalysis, none of which are on my bucket list. And so, when I was informed that today would be the final lab assignment, I was thrilled! Then came the glorious (translated distasteful) news: we were going to go on a tour of the local waste water treatment plant. And of course everyone was thrilled…

I struggled with the temptation to skip. After all, it wouldn’t hurt to miss one lab, would it? But at last the angel on my shoulder convinced me to be a good student, so I went. After all, it meant some easy, and much needed, points.

When we got to the waste water treatment facility, we were met by a guy named Joey. After introductions, he led us over to the first of the many holding tanks.

As we walked, my teacher asked him how long he had been working there.

“A little over a year,” he replied.

“How many tours have you done before?”

“This is my first tour.”

To which I thought, “Really?! You mean there aren’t many people who make a hobby of visiting sewer plants?!”

Soon we mounted the steps to the deck above the first tank. I looked in. Yep. Definitely sewer.

Joey said a few words about the process of separating the trash from the waste water, then we followed him over to the second tank. I didn’t have to get as close to see the contents of this one. It looked like sewer.

A few more words, a jolly little jaunt over the bridge spanning the tank, and we were on to tank number three. It still looked like sewer.

After a few more similar incidents, we at last made our way down to the creek where the thoroughly-treated toilet water was being returned to nature.

My teacher then noted that, the last time he had been there, (he makes yearly visits with his Human Bio classes), the tour guide had told him that they had caught a group of guys fishing next to the “effluent”.

Joey laughed, then replied, “A while back we caught some kids swimming down here, so we took them up to see what it was they were swimming in. They ran back home!”

A good lesson not to swim where you’re not supposed to!

Finally we got back into the vans to leave and I began to mull over the visit. What did I learn? Sewer looks like sewer no matter what tank you put it in. Oh, but I think I might have gotten a tan!

-The End

I Prayed for You

I have just been informed that I won 2nd place in a poetry contest I entered a while back. Thought I’d share the poem with you.

I Prayed for You

A young girl kneels
By her bed to pray.
She closes her eyes,
Don’t know what to say.
But then her mouth opens;
She begins to speak;
Her words oh so softly,
Her words oh so meek.

“I don’t know them, Lord,
But I know you do.
There’s somebody out there
Who, right now, needs You.
So I’m closing my eyes,
Kneeling down to pray,
That you’ll touch the heart
Of that stranger today.”

Many years later
At a meeting in town
People give their testimonies;
In commotion they drown.
But then one young man
Gets up to speak,
And the words the girl hears
Make her sit up in her seat.

He tells of a time
When he didn’t know God;
When he felt just like dying
‘Cause he felt he was odd.
But just when he thought
He had come to the end,
He felt that someone
Still cared about him.
And after the meeting
The girl went up to him.
She looked in his eyes,
And she told him right then.

“On that very night
When you wanted to die
I couldn’t seem to pray,
And I didn’t know why.
So I prayed for a stranger;
It was all I could do.
But now I know why
I was praying for you.”

Many years later,
Past the wide streets of gold,
Came this young man and young woman,
Their Lord to behold.
He reached out his hands;
There were nail piercings there.
Light shone all about Him
And danced everywhere.
The girl then asked Him
About that time back then,
When she prayed for a stranger
Who became her friend.
And tenderly He spoke
In reply to this pair;
He held them so close
And then told them right there:

“On that very night
When I cried tears of red,
I begged for another way
But chose Calvary instead.
Because on that very night
When I chose what to do,
Before you were born,
I was praying for you.”

Stone Shadows Prologue

Inspired in part by a dream I had last night and partially by learning about the Georgia Guidestones, this is the prologue to a new story I’ve been playing around with. Enjoy!

Prologue:

The distant grumbling of thunder rolled across an open meadow. Its growled warnings and the hiss of a storm-laden wind were the only sounds to break the silence that hung as heavy as the black storm clouds in the night sky. Only a vague sliver of moonlight managed to break through the roiling wall of clouds, dousing a lone figure with as much of its pale light as it could manage.

The figure, a young woman of no more than 25, stood motionless in front of a towering monolith. Four enormous granite slabs stuck out into the shadowy field, another large piece centered between them and one sitting on top for stability. The young woman glared at the black shape, the only thing darker than the storm that was quickly surrounding her. The monolith sat erect, as though mocking her, mocking the pain in her eyes. They were simply called “The Guidestones”.

“Guidestones,” the woman muttered under her breath with something of a rueful laugh. “They’ll take you straight to hell.”

A bolt of lightning struck through the ebony sky. It was followed shortly by another one. Soon the lightning strikes were dancing around her. The wind tossed about in wild fury, with no particular direction to mark its destination.

Quietly the woman turned toward the oncoming storm. Though the wind had no one place to go, the storm did. As though to make itself seem even more ferocious, the writhing black clouds swallowed up what little of the moon had before been visible. The woman stared into its inky blackness, her eyes hard, challenging. But it was not the thunderstorm that she challenged; it was a storm that lay beyond it. It had begun with the Guidestones. Where it ended, however, she couldn’t say. And yet, despite that, there was one thing she could say: she would fight it to the bitter end.

With that, she set out, away from the rising monolith and the writhing storm. The beginning of her troubles lay behind her, but they would always remain somewhere in the depths of her heart: stone shadows in the depths of her soul.

——-

I’m working on an outline for the rest of the story. Hope you enjoyed it!

Beginnings

Well, this is definitely something new. I’ve never done a blog before, but here it goes! Being a relatively new author (considering I’ve only ever actually published one online article), I thought I might get some more writing practice in. So, on top of beginning this blog, I entered the Angels & Demons Poetry Competition put out by Holland Park Press.

The theme is “Relationships”, with a focus on family members. The poem I submitted is called “Angel in Blue Jeans”, something I wrote in honor of my beloved grandfather. Here’s a copy of it. Hope you enjoy!

Angel In Blue Jeans

In this world you will see
God’s many angels He gave you and me
But of all my angels, to me it seems
I have a favorite
The one in blue jeans
Grandpa taught me to care
He taught me to farm
He taught me to lean on God’s everlasting arm
He taught me about nature
And the small bird that sings
He taught me so much
My angel in blue jeans
And some day I wish to find
An angel of that special kind
Who will teach me, and love me
I pray God brings
An angel just like
My one in blue jeans.