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Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

one month ago

Yadda yadda yadda, post a story to not have to talk to the freaks and to amuse the masses, namely, Mizal, and literally no one else. Who am I kidding, not even Mizal reads these. Whatever, here we are.

“Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child.” The words were delicately inked on a placard that adorned the fridge, the most prominent thing in the barren kitchen. Ezekiel sat there, listing to the man’s words as he wanted for his father to arrive home. He knew punishment was coming when his father’s rusted truck pulled up outside. From his seat at the table, Ezekiel could watch the television as one of the more notable pastors lectured his audience on the evils of the modern world. Despite not knowing, let alone truly understanding most of the sins the pastor rallied against in his long-winded rant, Ezekiel knew well they were to be rallied against. He heard the clicking of the door as his father, a massive brute of a man, walked into the house. His father didn’t say a word, but simply took off his shows, grabbed a kitchen chair and nodded towards it. Ezekiel nodded in response, too scared to say a word. He knew he deserved what was coming and infinitely worse. He was a sinner. That fact had been instilled in him all his life. As his father prepared the belt, Ezekiel felt tears well up in his eyes, and assumed the punishment position.

Ezekiel sat in bed, crying quietly. He was in pain, hungry, alone and hopeless. His belly growled, a demand for food he couldn’t satisfy. It was his gluttony that had gotten him in this position in the first place, wasn’t it? In the back of his mind, he knew he was deserving of his pain. He had stolen biscuits from the cupboards without permission. His pain was his burden to bare, and his alone. As the old placard said, “Spare the rod, spoil the child”.

Decades later, Ezekiel sat in the back of a church, his hand clasped together. The scratches and small cuts on his hands made the gesture, but this pain was only a reminder of his place here on Earth. As he finished his prayers, he stood up, walking out the door to his truck. He looked up at the skyscrapers hanging overhead. The grand works of architecture had never ceased to amaze him since he had first moved here all those years ago. Although, rather than glorious monuments to the power of God, they were closer to the Tower of Babal. That’s all this city was. A den of treachery, betrayal, heresy, blasphemy, vice and sin. Every time Ezekiel saw them, he expected to see them topple as the wrath of God took them. They didn’t, and Ezekiel wondered if the sinners that dwelled within them were thankful they had been spared by the Lord for another day.
Ezekiel got in his truck, and began driving home. He stared out his window at the streets at all the sinners who populated this city despite its no doubt incoming downfall, like rats cloistered in a sinking ship. Men adorned in suits walked past the homeless and poor with no regard, gaining the undeserved respect of their fellow sinners. Teens and youths walked with bizarre and lust-filled costumes like the jesters they truly were, with no respect for their fellow man, their Lord or even themselves. Sinners, each and ever man in the city. Ezekiel truly wondered whether he was akin to Lot, the single saved soul in a wretched city that was the modern day Sodom.

It was the temptress that he decided upon. Driving slowly around the block, it was her, the modern incarnate of the Whore of Babal that corrupted all around her. As not only a child of the Lord, but a humble and eager servant, Ezekiel’s path was clear. The Lord commanded death to the adulterer, death to the whore and death to the sinner who does not find repentance through the works of his holy son. His apartment was close, and as dusk set into the city, he knew he’d have a short time where the sun had disappeared but the common filth had not yet blackened the city. Then, he would strike.

Ezekiel checked glove compartment. A pair of worn gardener gloves that were a size too small but still fit, a length of fishing wire coiled around a small wooden piece, and a revolver. He eyed the revolver, but decided it would do him no good. The noise would draw every corrupt magistrate that enforced man’s law upon him. No, he would go for what had always worked. He drew his wallet, taking out a crumpled fifty dollar bill, and pulled up alongside the girl. She stared at him with dead eyes, showing a smile of yellow teeth that he realized with disdain was her attempt at seduction. He gritted his teeth, smiling. To her, he no doubt resembled the everyday costumers that frequented her. It didn’t take much luring to get her in his car, and little more to his apartment. Now was his time to strike.

As he clicked his door shut, locking it with the heavy bolt, Ezekiel felt proud. He was a servant of God doing his job. It was a good feeling to have. He turned, his fake smile disappearing. He expected the girl’s eyes to bulge in horror as he drew the garrotte. They all did. He expected her to try to scream before he got the wire around her throat. They all did. He expected her to claw at his hands desperately as he did what needed to be done. They all did. However, this one did not. Instead, she drew a 9mm Beretta from her purse, and began to fire.

The slug tore through him and he let out a pained grunt. He managed to grab her arm, twisting it upwards as she fired the rest of the magazine into the roof. Ezekiel heard screams from the apartments around him, and realized that this one would be the one to make enough noise to draw the police’s sword on his neck. So be it. If that was God’s will, he would follow it until the end. He wrapped his garrotte around her neck, strangling with some force as the girl’s screams were choked out. She attempted to his him with, but finding no strength left within her, dropped it as it clattered to the floor. Ezekiel gritted his teeth and strangled, as the girl fumbled through her purse. Ezekiel prepared to feel the cutting of car keys against his skin or the sting of mace in his eyes; sensations he was far from unfamiliar with. Instead, he watched as the girl pulled out a crucifix, clutching it tightly as she died.

For the first time in over two decades, Ezekiel faltered in his task. He watched as the girl, the epitome of sin, the literal modern day incarnation of the Whore of Babel, clutched tightly at the crucifix and began to pray. Such a simple gesture, but one that showed Ezekiel something. This girl, despite her sinful nature, was a child of God. Like everyone was Adam to Saul to Cain to Ezekiel himself, she was a child of God. Ezekiel released the garrotte as the girl collapsed on the ground, panting quickly. He reached down, taking the crucifix and stared at it. He was as much a sinner as the rest of this city, if not worse. It was not his place punish sinners, for he was among them, a sinner as bad as the worst of them, from stealing biscuits to stealing the lives of those he deemed worse than him. Ezekiel pondered this, staring at the crucifix. It was time he too was punished, and if the only hand to punish him was that of the corrupted magisters of this wretched country, that was his fate. Without another word, he walked out the front door, down the stairs of his apartment and into the open air. With the girl’s crucifix in his hands and a prayer on his lips, he sat on the stairs to the building, and waited for the police to arrive.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

one month ago
I will read it, just not on my phone because the paragraphs are very large.

And I wasn't the one who put you in there, you were exchanged for Malk and Coins last night and had to write 15 minutes for their sins.

Well Coins was actually completely innocent, just weirdly unmotivated to get out which made his multiple unjust arrests no fun; it was time to cut him loose.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

one month ago

Haven’t you posted this before?

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

one month ago

Have I? Maybe. Then again, no rules specified I couldn't repost, so whatever.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

one month ago

You sneaky bastard.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

one month ago

Fine, fine, Jesus, I'll make a new one. I remember you had a prompt a while back I never made a story for, so I'm finishing that.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

one month ago
oh shit

Good work Zag.

But it's true, the rules did not specify. Everyone thank Steve for closing up that loophole for you now though.

A Moonlit Night

one month ago
Commended by EndMaster on 9/14/2018 10:54:54 AM

So, to post something new, a while back Zag had a prompt, and I took it down but never did anything with it. Now I did.

Write a story with 1) Humans, Elves and a new species instead of dwarves, 2) “That’s not grafitii, those are magic runes”, 3) a character lovestruck and/or fascinated with the moon.

The battalion of guards sauntered through the streets of the slums, spears at the ready. The group was clad in shining bronze from head to toe, with their red capes emblazoned with the dragon sigil of the Human Empire fluttering in the breeze, which carried the scent of cheap meats and shit; dog, horse, pig and human. The clattering of armored boots on chipped pavement came to a sudden halt, as the captain of the unit found himself face to face with a pathetic figure; the frail, skinny, scale-covered creature known as an Haaz.

“Lizard man! We’re looking for a band of Elvish thieves and vandals. Have you seen any suspicious Elvish activity?”

“Yes sir, yes sir, Iziz is loyal, Iziz saw,” the creature answered, its head dropping low as it avoided making eye contact.  

Smart. Should the creature have presumed to make eye contact, it would’ve tasted the iron tip of his spear. Once, when mankind has barely stood up and began to gaze at the moon, these bastards had ruled over the world. Now, their empire a distant memory, they scavenged a living as beggars, thieves, slaves and worse.

“Tell me now,” the Captain demanded. 

Captain Boreale wasn’t in the mood for niceties. He was stuck in a shit-covered slum in some backwoods county, hunting poor thieves and bandits with deluded notions of grandeur, while his comrades were facing off against the Republican rebel brigades or the cavalries of the Anatolians. Those were real wars. Meanwhile, he was here, in some Elvish slum, standing in waste-filled streets, nostrils filled with the scent of shit, talking to a fucking reptile. 

The creature raised a scrawny claw, pointing down one of the numerous side streets that intersected the city.

“Down there. Caravans came in, selling stolen goods. Iziz didn’t buy, Iziz is a loyal subject, he wouldn’t buy.” 

“Be on your way then, citizen,” Captain Boreale nodded, shoving past the famished reptile as he began marching down the alleyway, his soldiers closely following at his heel. 

The side streets were even filthier than the main streets. The tall walls of abandoned buildings stretched up on either side of the regiment, walls covered with the crudely painted glyphs and letters of the Elvish language. The lines of the graffiti curved and twisted in a remarkably foreign manner, bearing all the traits of language while being so remarkably foreign to the soldiers who only read in Kingston and its various dialects. 

“What does it say?” one of the soldiers, a young boy of poor heritage but good character , whispered.

“I doubt it says anything, my man,” Captain Boreale answered. “Ever since the fall of the Elvish empire, the cruel bastards have barely even had a language to speak of. The radicals tend to paint whatever words and letters they know on the walls of this fine city, vandalizing the Emperor’s walls with their pigspeak.”

The tight confines of the alley began to open up into a larger courtyard, as the Captain’s targets became known to him. A group of. A dozen dirt-covered, pointy eared children laughing and giggling as they ran around two large caravans, with a few rough-looking Elvish cutthroats leaning up against the caravan or hawking goods. Standing at the edge of the alley in front of his men, Captain Boreale stamped his spear butt against the ground with a loud clatter, yelling to grab the attention of the common scum.

“Attention! We are conducting a search of this area for signs of treason and heresy, by command of his glorious and holy Emperor!” Captain Boreale.

His fingers tapped against the handle of his spear, as he eyed the cutthroats, begging them to let him use it. Only one of the Elves even responded to him, a young, pointy-eared man who had been gazing up at the stars that began to emerge from the veil of day above. The man dropped his eyes, smiling at the captain.

“Captain! A pleasure to see you! Have you perchance had the opportune to gaze at the moon, my friend? It’s truly beautiful.”

The captain’s eyes stare flickered as he took note of the breaking night sky. The Elf, surprisingly, was telling the truth. The moon shined with a fierce brightness, brighter than Captain Boreale had seen in quite some time. He looked back to the elf, who as darkness took hold of the city, began to almost glow with the moonlight. 

“We’re going to tear this place apart for signs of heresy or treason. If you resist, you and your camp will be slain to the last man, woman and youth. Understand?

“What are you searching for?” the elf smiled.

The Captain scowled, annoyed at the elf’s seeming ignorance of the situation, but decided it would be easier to play along. The elf wasn’t taunting him, and seemed unlikely to fight back, and there would be little honor in assaulting civilians without need.

“We have reason to believe that the criminal organization the Sons of Luna have been hiding in the city.”

“Ah, then there is no need for searching!” the elf replied, his ever-widening grin glistening in the moon’s glow. “You have found us! Although, I have to take issue with “criminal”. We’re nationalists, we seek independence, a strong Elvish nation once again! No criminals here, really.”

Sweat began to appear on Captain Boreale’s brow, as a wave of terror ran through him at the elf’s confidence.

“Stand at the ready!” Captain Boreale barked, assessing the situation. 

His eyes raced, looking for all the tell-tale signs that he had marched his unit into an ambush, but none were there. The streets, while tight, favoured the soldiers’ spears rather than the traditional Elvish sword. The one-way alleyway left nowhere for Elvish reinforcements to emerge from, and the lack of any alleys in the window made an ambush from the buildings unlikely. Yet the elf, for some mysterious reason, seemed confident as ever.

“Something the matter, captain?” the elf asked smugly, seeming amused.

Captain Boreale snarled, raising his spear to point at the elf’s throat. 

“Your empire is nothing but ash, elf! My people have ground it into the dust, and you will never reclaim it!”

“Empires rise, and empires fall, captain,” the elf smirked. “It’s the way of the world. We were the first rulers of this world, in a time where the moon was bright and the nights were long. We forged an empire you couldn’t even dream of. But, like all things, it fell. When the nights grew dark and cold, the Haaz rose up. Gilded tongues and delicate fingers had forged our empire, pointed teeth and sharpened claw tore it down. But, as all things, they fell soon, when once again the moon shun upon us, and we reforged our empire!”

“And now your species starves amongst them, as broken as they are!” Captain Boreale said bitterly. “Humanity has risen above their petty elder cousins, and we will ensure you know your place under our boot!”

“Our captain, my poor, sweet captain. Times change. We fell, like all others. You rose up when we were weak. Understandable, but… temporary. Now, the sky shines with the Luna’s light, and it’s our time once again. The moon awakens the old magics, and now is our time!”

Captain Boreale laughed harshly at this.

“Magic? You think your gods will come down to smite us? That your foolish parlor tricks and bullshit is going to scare us off? You are nothing but thieves and vandals, and I will make sure you know it!”

Captain Boreale stepped forward, his spear raised. The Elf smiled, flicking his fingers. Immediately, screams of pain and terror filled his ears. Captain Boreale’s mind ran his old patterns, running the training routines that have ran through your head. He sidestepped, aiming his spear forward while allowing him to quickly flick his glance behind him, seeing the alleyway alight with flames. Twisting spurts of white and blue fire burst forth from the walls, where the graffiti and glyphs written there burned with a fierce brightness. The fire engulfed Captain Boreale’s unit in seconds, screams only laughing for the briefest of moments before charred flesh fell from blackened bones, a battalion of man’s finest reduced to simple ash. The captain let out a gasp of fear and terror, stepping away from the fire while twisting to face the elf before he could strike. He raised his spear, aiming it forward as the elf smiled at him.

“You son of a bitch! You elven son of a bitch!” Captain Boreale screamed.

“I am sorry, my friend, your people’s time has come. The moon brings back the prosperity of my people, and by the ancient ways, I shall lead the way.”

The elf snapped his fingers again, disappearing from Captain Boreale’s view. Suddenly, he felt a dagger plunge into his back, stabbing through his armor with ease as it sliced into his chest. He gasped, the dagger piercing his lungs. The Captain’s legs gave way as he began to collapse forward, before the elf wrapped an arm around his neck, holding him up. Captain Boreale let out a light whimper of pain, blood filling his lungs as darkness took him.

“No, my friend. Not like this,” the elf whispered. “No man should with his face in the gutter.”

Captain Boreale gasped as his head was gently pulled back, his head gazing up to the sky. Overhead, the moon sat upon the sky like its prettiest gem, staring back at the captain. 

“Look to the moon, my friend. Let it embrace you.”

Captain Boreale shuddered, his body giving way as the elf continued to hold him up. Blood ran down his breastplate as the world grew darker, the moon the only thing that could shine through the haze. Captain Boreale weakly reached for the dagger at his side, but the Elf grabbed his hand and stopped him.

“Sssh… no, captain, not tonight. You have done your duty and served your cause. You have given your life for your empire. Now rest. You’ve done enough.”

Captain Boreale coughed, blood spurting onto the pavement, his eyes flickering as they began to shut.

“Sleep… sleep…” the elf whispered.

And with that, the darkness snuffed out even the light of the moon

A Moonlit Night

one month ago
This is really good, your elf is unsettling.

A Moonlit Night

one month ago

Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

A Moonlit Night

one month ago

Well, I am fucked. This was a good story, Steve

A Moonlit Night

one month ago

Don't know what you mean by you being fucked, but glad you enjoyed it, thanks.

A Moonlit Night

one month ago
He was attempting his own story at the time and probably felt pressured.

Anyway he's done now. He posted it.