Friday, April 8, 2011

Final Story, Twist Ending

Sean Duchek
Pr. 2
Twist Ending
Little Terror
                I was out walking one cool crisp fall evening. I was out to enjoy the stars and see the world from a new perspective. I made my way along my path crunching upon some freshly fallen leaves. As I walked I heard a noise, feint but close at hand. I spun around and waited but nothing came behind. I chuckled to myself and made my way onwards again. As I walked along the path within the park the trees seemed menacing and ready to pounce. They appeared to lean over the trail and reach out at me, trying desperately to halt my advance. Once again I stopped, for I had heard the sound of crunching leaves from behind me. I spun around, but once more to no avail. Now is when my heart began to race. I hurriedly began to make my way out of the park. As I walked the street lamps along the road seemed to flicker and go out. I made my way unsteadily along, trying to take long strides as I walked in the moonlit park. The moon was quite full and bright this evening, its pockmarked features clearly visible as it filled the sky.  Suddenly a howl pierced the night sky and I thought to myself, “A wolf, here?”. Once more I heard something approach so I broke into a run. I burst from the park and out into the city streets, panting heavily, sweat dripping from my brow, I waited.
I stood at the entrance to that park for quite awhile before I started to continue. Whatever it was hadn’t followed me passed the tree line. I stopped at Sammy’s street diner for a bite to eat. My nerves were quite rattled. The place was rather dark and musty; the few fluorescent bulbs left, struggled to cast a light into the darkness. Yes, Sammy’s had seen her better days, but they still had the best burgers in town. I plopped myself down into a bar stool and rubbed my temples, trying to force the queerness of the night from my thoughts. Big Joe came from the kitchen and said with a smile
“Aint had no one here passed 10 in quite awhile”
“You still open till 11 right joe?” I asked, sounding a little too much like I was pleading
“Of course, take your time; just ring the bell when you’re ready.”
“Will do”, I replied, with a bit more confidence.
I sat pretending to peruse the menu as if I had to make up my mind. I always ordered the same thing every time I was at Sammy’s. They had one the most amazing creations of mankind here, a Juicy Lucy. Not just any Juicy Lucy though, the Juiciest Luciest burger in town. Suddenly I heard a faint tap, tap, tapping at the door. I thought a patron may have thought the establishment closed. I turned around to inform them but found no one, no one at the door and no one in the Restaurant. Slowly fear began to fill the pit of my stomach. What if what had been in the woods had followed me here. What was it? I couldn’t say. Slowly sweat began to fall from my brow again and I felt dizzy. Joe came back again from behind the counter and hurriedly asked
“Hey, you all right you don’t look so good”.
“Fine, just fine thank you” I murmured.
“Just a glass of water for me Joe, suddenly my appetite isn’t what it was when I walked in” I said
“Sounds good, you don’t look to good bud, you should probably head home after this”
Genuine concern was written across Joe’s face. I sipped at my water a few times before I threw down a few bucks for a tip. Joe shouted after me “No Charge”, but it was too late. I was already pressing hard to get home.
                As I walked brusquely down the sidewalk I began to hear a faint panting noise close behind me. This time I didn’t stop to look but broke into a full sprint. I raced down countless blocks and avenues. I ran as fast as my legs would carry. My heart pounded against my chest, cursing every cigarette of my smoking habit. I finally came to the door of my apartment. I grabbed at my key and hurriedly tried to insert it. The panting came heavier now, closing in on me. I fumbled the keys down, into the drainage grate by my stoop. I fell down to the ground and covered my face and eyes in horror for what beast might come. Something and small and wet began to caress my arms. Whatever it was, it was licking me. I pulled my arms from my face and saw a cute little black lab puppy, its big innocent blue eyes looking to me. It let out a tiny yelp and began pawing at me, urging me to stand. I burst out in a fit of laughter. “Have you been the little terror following me all night?” I asked. The dog barked again and wagged its tail, happy as can be. “So, what am I going to call you?” I asked. As I picked the dog up and carried him inside, using my spare to let myself in.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Daily Journal: Class Recap

I had a good time in creative writing this quarter. I'm not going to lie and say that every assignment was fun, at times things did feel like they dragged, but it forced me to write and get in the habit of writing. It allowed me to improve my skills as a writer and open my eyes to new writing styles. I was able to work through some of the more difficult assignments which forced me to think in different ways. One thing I'd suggest for future reference would be to mix it up some days. Although the strategy of Journal, Lyrics, assignment,each day is effective, it can get a bit dull when doing it for a quarter long grind. Other than that I don't have too much more to say really, it was a good class to force me to start writing and learn to write a bit out of my comfort zone. As far as prep for college I don't know if this would be the best class to take for general students who's main concerns will be research papers and essays. However for anyone looking to get into any kind of English course work the varied writing styles allow us some invaluable practice of getting out of our element and crafting stories and ideas in different ways.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Daily Journal: Bad Expereince At A Resteraunt

One of my worst experiences at a restaurant is when I was a little boy and we were going to celebrate my dad's, aunts, grandma's and cousins birthday. They are all in the month of may so we always get together as a family and do one big celebration. So this year we decided to go to a very nice Italian restaurant down town. How this restaurant worked was multiple plates of food were brought out and placed on a big turnstile in the middle of the table. You would then spoon out a portion and pass it on. This place was gorgeous, with beautiful tapestries, roman buffs, and gentle music playing. The night was perfect, we had arrived in a limousine and had driven around seeing the sights of the city. When we got to the restaurant and sat down to eat it was splendid. Unfortunately I had a bit of an accident. I spilled my pop all over the turnstile into multiple plates of food. Thank goodness it was just my family around because they all laughed it off and ordered another batch. It was a really nice time and we all had fun, even though I had spilled all over the food.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Daily Journal

I swung the chair high above my head. Whatever this thing was it was my intent to make sure it didn't leave my house alive. I have been setting out mouse traps regularly but this rat must have been smart. Although I had never seen it I knew it must have been huge. The lump in the carpet moved with an unnatural quickness as I tried once again in vain to smash the chair down on it. It slipped away again moving to the middle of my floor. Suddenly it ceased moving. I crept forward, very slowly. I raised the chair to the sky and smashed down hard on the spot. Suddenly as the chair connected with the hump it disappeared. The shattered into splinters and the pieces fell with a clatter to the floor. I yanked the rug away to find a tiny hole in the floor where the hump had been. It seemed far too small to have been what the rat snuck through but maybe it had squeezed its way down. I ran to the garage and grabbed a crow bar. I was determined to end this tonight, once and for all. I pried the loose floor boards apart and looked down into nothing... there was nothing there... nothing at all. Just solid earth... Suddenly I heard a rapping at my door. I spun around to watch the door unlock itself and open... no one on the other side. I ran wildly screaming from the house as the lights began to flash widely and a cackle emanated from every corner of my head.

1. Daily Journal: If you could invent one thing to help mankind, what would it be?

If I could invent one thing to help mankind it would be a device that would make more hours in the day. For what people are expected to accomplish in a day there is simply no time left to stop and smell the roses. I apologies for the over used cliche but very few people now a days stop and take the time to simply revel in the beauty of the world we live in today. There is so much to learn, know and explore but rarely to we have the time to stop and think. We are constantly driven on to our next challenge, often times before we have had the chance to admire the beauty of the work we've already done. Life is too short to not enjoy some of the simple beauties that our world has to offer. Too often we just keep our nose to the grind and keep driving, paying no heed to where we are going, or how we even got there.

Final Sci-Fi

Final Sci-Fi
Sean Duchek
Pr. 2

I felt cold… wet… The jelly that enveloped me holding me, suspended. Darkness enveloped me. I could hear sounds far away, mechanical in nature, whirring; devices long left dormant began to turn once more. My eyes burst open but I could see nothing but darkness. I felt the dank fluids on my eyes. I blinked feeling the restorative juices flowing into my body. I soon began to remember things, fleetingly at first. I was placed in a stasis chamber long ago. The purpose I can’t seem to remember but I was sure I had been here for a very long time. Slowly the lid of the sarcophagus was raised. Light flooded into my world and my eyes riveted shut, not used to the glare. Extremely large cold metal hands gripped me and raised me from the goo. My throat tightened instantly and my body began to shake violently. I tried to gasp for air but nothing seemed to happen. I weakly attempted to open my eyes but a burning sensation met them as they made contact with the air. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my back and every muscle in my body went limp. I slumped forward and hit, hard against a slab of metal. My bodies’ functions began to return to me. I slowly drew breadth for the first time in over 10,000 years.
                I opened my eyes and the sight I saw scared me nearly to death. Standing before me was some large angel of death. It was a large metal man, massive in height, covered in strange symbols and etchings. In his hand he held a needle of sorts dripping with blood and some brackish fluid. I chocked on a scream, my throat dry and cracked. Had I died and gone to hell. Suddenly the monster lifted a finger to its face. Was it shushing me? Slowly the daemon placed its hands around its head and began to pull upward. Whatever it was it was wearing a helmet. Underneath this visage of death lay the face of a man. He began to speak to me though his words were fuzzy, my ears not yet fully functioning.
“My name is Mathias”, “You are being raised from your slumber, for we have need of your skills once more”
                My mind began to reel. What did this iron clad behemoth need from me? I still couldn’t remember a thing. The large brute before me could sense my confusion and began to speak once more.
“Do not worry my friend”, “The feeling of amnesia will pace with time”, “Come, if you are feeling fit to walk follow me.”
                Nodding slowly I swung my feet to the floor. Carefully I rose myself up. Though I felt feeble I began to walk, gingerly at first but with more confidence after each step. The warrior next to me towered above me and strode with the discipline of a well trained soldier. Each stride he took echoed throughout the metal passage and tingled beneath my feet. As we walked we passed scores of tapestries hung on the wall. They were covered in depictions of battle wear more of these warrior were shown fighting all manner of creatures and aliens. I repulsed at a few of them as I saw the creatures that populated the world I was suddenly thrust into.
“What in God’s name are these things, I breathed slowly”
Mathias turned and looked at the tapestry I had stopped in front of.
“Tyranids” He spat, “They are the reason you have been awoken”, “They have taken earth and we have lost our beacon for warp travel. We have no way of reinforcing our battle brothers upon holy terra as they make the last stand of humanity.
“Earth?”, I said in disbelief, what has happened to it.
“Utterly swallowed up by the scourge” He replied.
                These Tyranids, as Mathias had called them, looked like mutated alien creatures. They came in all shapes and sizes, covered in talons and claws with various glands that appeared to be able to secret venom at range.
“You say there are a lot of these things?”
“Roughly a million per hive fleet, and we are currently dealing with the incursion of 5 fleets. The only problem is as the damn things kill and feed upon every living thing on the planet they use it to make more of those monstrosities. The true number of them cannot be known. The larger ones always seem to be spewing out packs of the smaller creatures.”
So, I was brought to life to help stop an unceasing horde of Alien creatures intent on swallowing up all life in the galaxy… wasn’t that just peachy.
As we walked Mathias explained to me how humanity was on the brink of extinction. These creatures had already swallowed up countless worlds on their way to earth and now that earth was taken they had no way of traveling through the warp to reach Terra, one of the last bastions of human resistance left. This warp thing he kept mentioning confused me. Slowly I began to remember my work. I remember I had been working on the science of space travel. I had discovered a 4th dimension, a rift in the galaxy that could be used to travel quickly across vast distances in space. I had remembered my preliminary tests. It was lucky if 50% of his test crafts ever made it back. I remembered that you needed a source of guidance. You needed a beacon in our world of immense energies to use as a point within the warp that would let you know where you were in the 4th dimension by comparison. Without it you were flying blind. An energy source that large was not feasible. However this warrior of the future seems to be explaining that very principle and that that energy source had existed on earth. They had done it? They had achieved space travel through the 4th dimension? My mind was racing as the implications hit me like a ton of bricks. I must have missed so much… but why wake me up? I hadn’t the slightest idea of how to recreate what was built on earth using my preliminary research. All I knew was that it needed to be a source of immense energy, so powerful that it bled through the fabrics of reality and caused ripples in this so called “Warp”. I didn’t know if I could do it but I had to try. What could cause such a major reaction to occur?
Mathias and I kept walking until we reached a room filled with monitors and blinking lights. I looked around to see many forms slouched over screens. I looked on with horror as the people’s eyes were closed but flickered behind their lids. I saw long cables plugged into the backs of their necks that ran down into the floor.  They were plugged into all these systems into some kind of human/cybernetic/computer network. The window at the far end of the hall brought another realization to me. I looked out and saw the vast expanse of space stretching out before me. Billions of points of light stared back at me as the full expanse of space flooded me. It was all so beautiful.
We were in a solar system, an entirely different one then I had ever seen. There was a star surrounded by a number of smaller planets. Much like our solar system the planets looked as if they were set in an orbital loop around this sun as well.
“Ultra” Mathias breathed, waving his hand before him. “This is my home…” “Me and my battle brothers come from the planet Mcragge. It’s the blue one over there.”
                I followed his finger to the small blue world. It was covered in continents and leafy vegetation as well as oceans and clouds. It looked strangely like earth, only not quite.
“The reason we brought you back is because we have a plan…”
                Mathias’ voice sounded dull and hollow
“We believe that the destruction of a star may provide enough initial energy to make a single warp jump to Terra.
“Do not worry, the citizens of our home world and surrounding planets have been evacuated west ward away from the advancing tyrannid fleets. However if we destroy that star we will never be able to inhabit this system again… all plant and animal life will die and these rocks will return to the lifeless husks they were before this solar system formed. However with Humanity at stake we have few options remaining… we just want to know if it will work.”
                The full weight of the decision I was being forced to make dawned on me. This man before me was willing to send his home world to oblivion in order to race off and join the fight with the rest of his warrior brethren. If it failed and it was not enough they would be lost in the 4th dimension until they eventually slammed into a planet they could have no idea was there. If it did work they could join the fight and help to try and turn the tide of this desperate war. I thought for a long time, staring blankly into space.
“Well… I began… hypothetically… it should work”

To be continued

1. Daily Journal: The house was made of…

The house was made of wobbly wood. Having been hurriedly erected upon their arrival. Gabby looked about as her family hurriedly began unpacking their wagon and moving into their new home. They had come to this new place with high hopes and lofty expectations. When dad had talked about the wild west he had done so with a twinkle in his eye and determination in his heart. Now that they were actually there all they found was hard work, a threat of savages and a hard patch of soil. Gabby squinted off into the distance and could just barely make out the town in the distance.

"This place weren't no different then where we left", Gabby said to herself as she tucked herself into her new bed for a nice nap.

Gabby awoke to the smell and sounds of a fire outside. She could smell some meat being cooked up for dinner. She rose out of bed and walked outside. It was mighty dark when she walked over to the fire and sat down next to her mama. Gabby looked around at her family and noticed everybody was staring up into the sky. She thought maybe they'd gone crazy but decided to follow their gaze and see what they was up to. What she saw was one of the most amazing sites she ever did see! The sky was a light with beauty, all manner of stars twinkled in the night. So... this is the beauty dad had sought. Well it was truly marvelous.

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