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A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Dai Klavven Chapter one. Wewriwa.com Compilation

"Dai Klavven" is my Nanowrimo story from 2014. At the end of last year, I took it out and dusted it off. Then I started crowd-sourcing crits via the great folks at wewriwa.com and at Snippet Sunday on facebook.

A compilation of Weekend Writing Warriors postings of 

Dai Klavven:

Chapter 1


Blue light corkscrewed above Lily.  A sound like a giant piece of paper tearing sliced through the air over her head, the only warning of their helix weapon discharge. A split second later, the old sandstone foundation behind her exploded. Bits of rubble pelted her in her forward position, but the collapsing stone wall in the rear buried the few remaining fighters in her group.
      She blinked, grasping for bearings. Around her, the lack of sound matched the lack of movement. No cries, no moans, just dust mingling with smoke in the hot breeze. More humans forever silenced. She was it--the last defense before the bunker sheltering a dozen children and the two old women caring for them was attacked.
     She lay motionless, watching them advance through  piles of collapsed  yesterday, crumbled yesteryear. Seemingly fearless and walking tall, they suddenly halted, then raised their arms in what looked like a salute. They faced an approaching alien, it's armor so blue it looked black.

     Her heart pounded and her mind raced. Could she be that lucky--had they just given away rank?  A startling and sickening discovery followed; seven-foot-something of blue-black evil spoke in stilted Earth English. How long had they been watching us before the invasion? Another round sliced through the air above her.
     Blue-black shouted, “Stop weapons. We need live ones.”
     It was too late for that. Assholes. They were dead, all but her and the group of innocent, terrified children.  Crunching footsteps closed in; she had no choice.

          Her hands, bloody and broken, fumbled with a  clip on her belt, finally striking pay dirt. She pulled out the object and raised it to her mouth. Spitting the pin from her teeth, she stood and screamed at the stunned creatures, “You want a live one? If you live through it, come and get me, you murdering bastards!”
     Locking eyes with indigo hatred, she lobbed the grenade at him then fled-- leading them away from the bunker.  The explosion  nearly knocked her off her feet. She stumbled, but found her balance and kept running.
     Moving at a good clip, she jumped over and around shattered remains, vestiges of buildings, trees, humans. Even with her focus on evade and escape, the carnage registered in freeze-frames—what the end of the world must look like.
     A glance over her shoulder was motivation to give it her all. They’d taken the bait and were running after her. They should have sounded like a stampeding herd of wildebeests, but their pursuit was nearly silent.  Her quick estimate was that at least a dozen of the ruthless killers were on her heels and they were gaining.

     As she ran, her words came out in nearly soundless prayer. "Please dear God, let the rest of them be dead, not behind me searching through the rubble for survivors--or for hidden bunkers full of kids."
A patch of green woods beckoned just beyond the battlefield.  Battlefield? For God’s sake, it was the parking lot for Buzzy Bill’s Superfoods. Well, where Buzzy’s used to be.
 She raced to the cover of the wooded ravine, then stumbled down the steep slope. Slogging through ankle deep muck at the bottom,  and clawing her way up the other side felt like it took forever. Her muscles burned, but she pushed on through thick brush and brambles.  After clearing the worst of it, she stopped and leaned forward placing her hands on her knees, and tried to catch her breath. 

Desperate for air, her body nearly rebelled when she stopped breathing long enough to listen. They were already slopping through the mud in the ravine behind her.
Breaking into open sunshine—and in plain sight of any  alien scum patrolling the area, she pushed herself to run faster.  Empty swings made an eerie squeak as she sprinted past, sending pin-prickles down her spine. The wind gusted, pushing the chains harder.   

Lily’s heart lurched when movement caught her eye; black and white fur appeared. She made little more than a hoarse sound when she tried to call, “Jobe, come puppy—time to get out of sight.”
The Border Collie raced to her, his head dropped low and his tail half-tucked. Even the dog knew the world was being turned upside down.
As they ran, Lilly kept thinking--one street over and she’d be on her block. One street over and she’d have a cubbyhole to hide in.  One street over and she’d be in what was left of her home, of her whole world.
Jobo stayed beside her, mere inches separating them. She turned the corner at the end of her street and dared a glance over her shoulder. Nothing. She knew better. No one had said it, but she guessed that these aliens had better noses than Jobe did. She might not see them, but they were on her trail.
      The splintered and broken walls of her house sagged where the collapsed roof pushed at odd angles against them. Crouching, she worked her way into what was left of the utility room, quietly coaxing the dog to stay close.  The ironing board pressed against the front of the washer, its long metal legs bent every which way, forcing her to squeeze past it.  Panic simmered just under the surface now that she was this close to her hiding spot.
She sucked in her breath and shimmied through the opening where the crimped furnace stood. Then, back behind it where the old hot water tank had been, she pulled aside a small section of false wall Damen installed to hide the empty and mostly inaccessible space. She grabbed Jobe’s collar. Tucking him in next to her, she squeezed inside then put the wall back into place. And she waited.
      Passing time was a haze. Slow, fast, it was nothing she could tell with any certainty. She and Jobe fell asleep against each other, and then she was awakened by noise next to the house. They were sniffing, probably trying to find her by scent.  Jobe’s ears pricked up and he cocked his head, but she immediately gave him the signal for silence.
Night fell; she knew from the lack of light peeking through cracks in the false wall. And then she heard them start to sing. It wasn’t a big group, not many individual voices keening in the dark, but it was a good sign that they were done for the night. 

The last six weeks--since the alien invasion started, had been telling for the invaders' behavior patterns. Hunt through the day, sing just after sundown, and then settle for the night. Any time after sunrise was a sure bet they were up and on the hunt again, though. So she felt relatively safe when she slid the wall aside and started to crawl out. 

Jobe growled. It was deep in his throat, a low rumble. She tried to signal him to be silent, but it was too late.
She’d barely poked her head through the opening in the wall when a ruckus set her heart pounding.  There was no time to react. Something  grabbed her hair and dragged her out of the cubbyhole. Anger overrode fear. “Let go of me!”  Jobe yelped behind her.

Bright light shining in her eyes all but blinded her, and pain took away any kind of reason. Unnerving laughter broke out all around, deep, throaty chortles punctuated with teeth clicking. The light flickered across her captor's face, enough that she could see it was the blue-black alien who was holding her off the ground by her hair. All that was left was for him to gut her like a rabbit and toss her aside.
Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Jobe, held by his neck, his legs kicking –desperately seeking solid footing.

Lily’s reached up and grasped the arms holding her by her hair, taking some of her weight.  It was almost impossible to make a sound, but shear rage drove her to rasp out, “Put him down, you son of a bitch.”

His eyes narrowed and the corners of his over-sized mouth turned up, making him look like a clown, an evil one. His laughter was punctuated by more teeth-clicking.

She inhaled hard through her nose, cleared her throat, then spat her mouthful of saliva and snot in his face. He dropped her. 

Landing on her feet, she reached out and grabbed Jobe. The gut-punch she got for her effort nearly doubled her over, but Jobe was free from his captor. She held his collar while she drooled bloody spit and tried to breath.

Copyright 2016 by Teresa K Cypher
No part of this may be copied or reproduced in any way without explicit, written permission of the Copyright holder.


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