The Sword in the Ceiling – Part 2

Today I want to share with you all part 2 of The Sword in the Ceiling. Catch part one here if you haven’t read it yet! Enjoy!


[2]

To A.S., Director of Intelligence at the Galactic Defense Administration:

 You’re my last hope. I hate to sound like that tropey, “you’re my only hope” bullshit, but this time I’m serious. I’m sending you this message, and hopefully I will have finished it before they get here. There’s a lot you need to know, but I can’t possibly write it all here. Just please trust what I say. The truth will be revealed to you in time, I promise. There are others like me that need your help.

To really understand the power of the knighthood, it’s important to know a few things. Firstly, when I was twelve three men in black suits showed up at my house, demanding to see my father. My mother tried to tell me that his absence was temporary, he’d be back after his business trip, but by the time I was fourteen I knew that wasn’t true. I knew I would never see my father again and I knew that I was the only one who could uncover what happened to him.

Secondly, the knighthood see themselves as ‘space crusaders’. I can’t give the name of the organization here, but these men are ruthless. They have traveled the expanse of space and conquered countless galaxies in the name of their backwards mission. You know the rebel aliens from X-Files that always set everyone on fire? Yeah, think that, but a lot worse.

I know those two things don’t make sense right now, but that’s not really what is important. You’ll understand in time, I just hope that by the time this reaches you, you’ll have figured out a way to stop them. They’re like ants or roaches; no matter how you try to eradicate them, they just keep coming.

My father once told me that I held a powerful secret, and I never understood what he meant until I set out to find him. I never did find him, but I found secrets and clues that he had left for me. What he was hiding, well, that’s why I’m writing to you. I have left you clues to find the amulet. You know that thing on the cat in that other movie about aliens? How it contained a galaxy?

The power that this amulet contains could turn the whole universe into one of those. The theory that our universe is a bubble, floating around with other bubbles containing other universes is pretty accurate. Only, these other universes aren’t like ours. That’s where the knighthood came from. They escaped the confines of their bubble, and their darkness is spreading. We’re not the first planet or civilization to feel their touch, but we are the first universe. The only good thing is that they haven’t found a way to breach from our bubble to another. Yet. That’s why this amulet must be protected.

And don’t try to destroy it. It’s impossible. I’ve tried. Aubrey and I have tried. Of course, that was back when Aubrey was competent, but that’s not really the point.

Speaking of Aubrey, we’ve been holed up in his trailer for three days. I know that we won’t make it out of here alive, even with our special abilities. Remember that secret I mentioned? The one my father told me I held?

Yeah, it was that I’m not fully human. I couldn’t believe it either at first, but it makes so much sense, especially after I realized that the knighthood were the men who had taken my father. But you want to know the real kicker? My father was one of them. So the power I have, and the power that Aubrey has, too, is the power of the knighthood. Of course, it’s watered down and tempered by our human mother’s blood, but it still scares them. That’s how we ended up with the amulet. Only people or creatures with the knighthood’s DNA signature can even touch it. But I’ve taken special precautions to prepare it for you. It’s in a special case so that you can transport it. And like I said, there are more like us who can help you.

I’m including coordinates attached to this message for where you will find the first clue. I hope you’re smart enough to figure it out, but it won’t be my problem much longer. Aubrey and I can feel the rumbling of their approaching ships. I gotta go. Stay safe.

–Lizette

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Book Covers

So today I was going to share another part of a short story with you all, but then I got caught up doing covers for the short stories I’m working on, so I thought I’d share those instead!

The first cover I worked on is for the science fantasy short, “Jewels for Gemma”:

Cover

Gemma is a retired member of GLOW, the Galactic Law Enforcement Over-Watch. She and her husband, Jared, are living the perfect life, but then a blue diamond shows up on her walk home one night. All she can think about is this diamond, which seems to have a spell cast over her, making her forget everything, including her young son, Benjamin. She knows she can’t overcome the power of the jewel on her own, but can she bring herself to tell Jared?

Read the first two parts here!


 

The second cover I worked on today is for my short, “The Sword in the Ceiling”:

Cover

Lizette has a secret; one she’s been hiding for a long time. Tasked with protecting a magic amulet, she thought she’d finally managed to ditch the Knighthood that is trying to recover it. But she comes home from work one day to find a sword stuck into her ceiling, and she knows she’s been found. She must turn to her former partner, Aubrey, whom she hasn’t seen in years, if she wants to live. Can she and Aubrey work together to keep the Knighthood from taking back what they had once stolen?

Read the first part here!


 

The last cover I did, which I really liked, is for another short called “Stone Angel”:

Cover

Centuries of being bound in stone have kept me from completing my mission: to find and kill Eyran. Two hapless morons have finally released me, and pointed me in the right direction. It is time for Eyran to be taken from his new throne, made of glass and metal, and finally die. It is time for his reign to end.

Read the first part here!


 

Not sure what I’m going to do with all of these shorts yet, but I’m really happy with the covers! What do you guys think?

The Sword in the Ceiling

Writer’s prompt: The Sword in the Ceiling

By: Brian A. Klems | July 19, 2016 |
After a long, hard day of work, you return home—the only problem is, your front door is wide open, all your lights are on and there’s a sword stuck in the ceiling. The rest of your house looks normal, but you also notice several holes dug in your backyard. What’s going on?

Cover

My heart dropped to my feet. The sword in the ceiling? I knew what that was. I’d been found. They were here, and, from the looks of things, they knew that I had it.

I turned quickly, running up the stairs to my bedroom. I pulled a revolver from the bedside table, tucking it into the waist of my jeans. I knew they wouldn’t be here anymore. This was just a message; just the hello to a whole string of nasty about to be unleashed on me.

I threw open my closet door, grabbing my bag that I kept packed for emergencies and situations like this. I knew that I had become too comfortable. I’d gotten complacent, thinking that the bastards would never find me. I raced down the stairs, jumping the last three and sprinting to my car.

The engine roared as I gunned the ’67 Chevelle through the neighborhood. The only good thing was that they thought I was stupid. They thought that I would hide such a precious treasure in my own house. How stupid were they?

I knew where I needed to go. There was only one man who could help me. My former partner, Aubrey.


Aubrey lived in the shadier part of town. His home was a ramshackle double-wide parked on a piece of land filled with scraps of cars. I think he used to sell the parts in the cars, but nowadays he was too damn drunk to do much.

I could smell the alcohol through the front door as I stepped onto the porch and knocked. He shuffled around inside, probably dragging himself off the couch, tripping over bottles on the way to the door. I could hear muffled cursing.

Finally, the door swung open, and Aubrey’s glassy eyes met mine. He frowned at me for a moment, but then a smug grin split his face.

“Well,” he said. “Come to apologize to me finally?” He laughed. “I never thought I’d see the day.”

I rolled my eyes, pushing past him. His home was disgusting and absolutely wreaked. “There’s no time for that, Aubrey,” I said, turning to face him. I placed my hands on my hips as he leaned against the door, dressed in a bathrobe, a t-shirt, and his boxers. His face was unshaven and his hair was a mess.

“Then what the hell you doin’ here, Lizzette?” he demanded.

I drew a slow breath, glancing away. My stomach was twisting in knots and as much as I loathed this jackass, I knew I wasn’t going to survive without him.

“They found me,” I said softly. I looked back at him, seeing confusion on his face.

“Those boys you hustled for that car?” he asked, his stupid smirk returning. “I always told you-”

“No, idiot,” I interrupted. “The knighthood.” I felt my voice stick in my throat, but I powered through it. “They were in my house. They were looking for the amulet.”

Aubrey seemed to sober up instantly. He shut the door quickly, sliding the locks on it. This was the first time I noticed the series of deadbolts on his front door. “I knew this would happen,” he mumbled, shuffling toward the back of the trailer.

“Where are you going?” I demanded, trailing after him. I was surprised when he reached the bedroom and lifted his mattress, revealing a huge cache of weapons.

That mischievous smirk came to his face again. “Ready to do some hunting?”

In Honor of May 4th!

Fire spouted from a crack, illuminating the dry, dead earth around us. Light flashed brightly as my saber collided with my opponents’, sparks filling the air. I whirled quickly, parrying his blows, matching him step for step. I knew he was tiring, the flash of his red saber slowing. Finally, I had the upper hand.

I dodged his attack, lifting my hand quickly to form a fist as I yanked my hand toward my body. It was as if an invisible rope was tied around his leg as it flew out from under him, causing him to crash to the ground. The handle of his saber bounced across the dirt, rolling lamely to a stop.

I stood over the man before me, watching as the hood of his cloak fell away, revealing a fear-filled face. “My master will come for you!” he said desperately, his breathing heavy.

I offered a grin, lifting my hand. The handle of his saber was cold as it flew into my hand. “Do you know who I am?”

His eyes narrowed as he sucked in a panicked breath. “They call you Angel.”

I nodded my head in approval. “Then you must know my mission,” I crooned, watching him easily.

Defiance flashed across his face, a desperate attempt to stay alive. He lifted his hands, but I was swifter, catching him in a Force-grip. I stood quickly, pushing him away from me. He was dragged across the crumbling rock as I pushed him toward a thick crack, where the burning lava was erupting. I lowered my hand as he dangled dangerously over the fire, gasping for a breath.

“I will never understand the ways of the Light and the Dark,” I mused as I watched him. “The Jedi use the Force for good, using piety to keep their souls clean, while you,” I looked down at the red saber in my hand, “You Sith let your emotions fuel the Force and use it for vengeance.” I lit his saber, watching the red light erupt from the end, sizzling in the air. “You believe that you are enemies; that the Light must battle the Dark.” I grinned, lifting the silver handle in my opposite hand.

“What you do not realize is that there is a much stronger enemy.” I lit the green blade, pressing the burning swords together. Sparks flew from where they touched as I stepped toward him.

“What are you?” he demanded.

I titled my head. I had considered this often. I once tried to believe that I was a machine for good; that the power I wielded would lead me to the Light. But I never truly felt the Light, just as I never truly felt the pull of the Dark.

I watched as he winced as I held the sabers to either side of his neck.

His confusion was brief as I flicked my wrists, the burning light slicing cleaning through his flesh. I paused for a moment, breathing a bored sigh as I stared at his lifeless body. It was nothing for me to release my control of him, watching him fall into the burning life-blood of the planet below.

I slowly tucked both sabers into my belt. I was not bathed in Light, but I was not forged in Darkness. My power stemmed from somewhere in between, in a place that I knew I would never escape from. A place called Apathy.

Another Writing Prompt!

Lust or Death? A prince and princess meet on the battlefield; both arrogant warriors and on opposing teams. They are both violent and patriotic, but there is a clear physical attraction. The prince is a brute and the princess is a seductress. How do they end up alone and what happens?

Rain was pelting her face, obscuring her view. She wiped the water from her eyes, smoothing wet strands of hair away. The end of her braid was heavy over her shoulder, the wind blowing the feathers tucked into it. She twirled her swords easily, cutting into an approaching opponent. With a sickening slosh of blood, he fell dead, leaving the path before her clear.

She looked up slowly, straightening as a man stood before her. She watched as he used an axe to cleave into one of her men, dislodging the blade with an easy swing.

“Here we are at last, Princess,” he said mockingly as he approached her.

She tightened the grip on her scimitars, feeling the battle around them beginning to ease. This had gone of for hours. They both were in prime condition, but she knew he had to be feeling the strain of the frey as much as she was.

“I hope you’re ready to meet your end,” she said challengingly. She knew she was alone now in this fight. Her country and his had been at odds for too long now. There was only one thing left to do; kill him or die trying.

Arrogant as ever, the prince scoffed. He tossed his axe to the ground, drawing his own curved blade. “Let’s see how good of a swordsman you really are.”

She braced, swinging her blades toward his chest as he came at her. It forced him to step away from her. He parried her blows, but his method was brute strength. He lacked any kind of finesse when it came to swords. He held his own though, steel on steel as he caught her off guard, catching her weapons against his. He held her in place, watching her jaw clench tightly.

“It’s too bad you couldn’t just accept my proposal,” he said through gritted teeth. Despite his strength, she was keeping him at bay.

She arched a brow at him, drawing a ragged breath. “I would never allow myself to be married to a brute such as you!” She disengaged him then, allowing herself open for a brief moment as she swung her sword back.

Both were surprised by the other’s swiftness, coming face-to-face suddenly. The princess looked down, seeing his blood running across her hands. This should have been a victorious moment, had her blood not begun to mingle with his. She looked up into his face, seeing the pain furrowing his brow.

“A fitting end, it seems,” he managed. He lifted a bloodied hand to press against her face. “You should have accepted my proposal.”

The princess shoved his hand away, staggering back from him. She gripped the handle that was protruding from her gut. She collapsed to the ground, watching as he did the same.

“I would rather die.”