Moon Mystery

Hello! I am still alive, still kicking. Just… going through some career reassessment at the moment, and getting back into Tabletop RPGs. It takes up a lot of my time.

But hey, I wrote a silly fantasy snippet from a writing prompt, and I’m in the habit of sharing those, so here you go!

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MOON MYSTERY

Len tapped his foot on the cold stone floor, fidgeting with his pristine green robes. Two hours. It had been two hours, but still the pale yellow light shone on the circle in front of him. It shouldn’t have taken this long. Perhaps if he’d hired someone better, they could proceed.

A long exhale sounded from within the circle, and Len started. His aching knees nearly gave as he stepped into the circle, the light receding before him. It revealed a young elf, hardly eleven years of age, sitting cross-legged. The boy was trembling, catching his breath after the ritual.

“Kennan, did the divination work?” Len asked.

The elven boy nodded, unable to speak yet. His body was readjusting to the real word, but Len had not the time.

“Finally, I found someone pure enough,” he muttered. “Pure enough to seek the knowledge from above.”

“It’s- it’s so vast,” Kennan breathed.

“Yes, well, what did it say?” Len snapped. He knelt next to Kennan. “What did you learn?”

“It’s so huge!” Kennan said, eyes staring at nothing. “And- -made of cheese.”

Len lightly slapped the boy’s face, then growled, “I know that! Everyone knows that! But why? And how has it not spoiled?”

Kennan looked up, brushing his own cheek with a look of bewilderment on his face. “She said something about there being… no air, and that meant it couldn’t spoil.”

“Nonsense,” Len spat. His fidgeting legs ached, and he relieved them by pacing back and forth. “Any fool can see that there’s no wax covering the surface. It’s clearly some kind of spell, and no mortal could cast a spell to displace that much air. What, is she… you said ‘she.’ The moon is a she. Is she a god?”

Kennan swallowed and shook his head. “If she was, she would know why she was… was created.”

Len clutched his hair. “By the light of the stars, tell me you didn’t just say that.”

Kennan didn’t reply. He only watched as the mad wizard’s pacing grew more and more erratic, until Len launched a fireball at his desk. The pinprick of light that he’d thrown erupted violently, splintering the timbers of the desk and incinerating wood and scrolls alike. And well it should. They were all worthless, the product of research that had led him here, to this dead end.

“Folly, curses from the nine hells!” Len cried. “What am I supposed to do now? The Cult of the Pale Moon ascends from underground, as my vision told me. What am I supposed to tell the king about the source of their power, if I do not know where the great ball of cheese came from? What is it that drives these people, what gives them their strength? So long as the moon stands a mystery, we shall fall!”

“But-”

Len whirled on Kennan. “Did she say anything else, boy? Anything at all?”

Kennan flinched, stumbling back on the etched chalk circle. “No, no,” he said. “But they know, don’t they? The underground cult thing?”

Len’s eyes narrowed, burning with intensity. Again, he’d lost his decorum. And for good reason, but to disastrous results. Months of work destroyed, a secret released to a child. “Forget you ever heard that, boy. Do you have something to say, or not?”

“If the thing I didn’t hear about knows, then you could learn from them?” Kennan spat out.

“And am I just going to ask?!” Len thundered. The sky out his tower window flashed with lightning to match. “I, the greatest arch-wizard in the kingdom, just walk up to them and ask what the source of their power is? Rubbish, child.”

“You could… could infiltrate it and spy? Pretend to join?”

Len’s eyes narrowed. “I am no spy.”

The elven boy was frozen on the floor. He had nothing else to offer, it seemed. Len curled his lip and turned away.

“But then,” he mused. “Nobody else under the king’s command would understand. That may be the only way.”

“So you’ll do it?” Kennan asked.

“Begone,” Len snapped, pulling a small bag of coins out of his robe and tossing it to the young elf. “You were pure enough to enact the moon ritual, and for that I have paid you. For nothing more. Keep this matter to yourself unless you fancy a home in the kings dungeons.”

Kennan swallowed and pocketed the bag, then sprinted for the stairs to the tower.

“Cults,” Len spat. “I hate them. Why can’t everyone treat knowledge for what it is, and stop worshiping every great ball of cheese they find in the world.”

Shedding his robes, the wizard pulled on a simple tunic and breeches, then donned a moon amulet. He mused all the while as he packed a shoulder bag with spell focii and rations.

“Of all the elder gods and fiends beneath, they choose the moon. The moon of all things. Mystery incarnate. There must be a way to counter those that draw power from it. There must. I just need a source, just a little more knowledge.”

As he left the tower a few minutes later, he looked up at the round yellow-white ball in the midnight sky. It was ever-present, not hidden at all, but unreachable. Why would cheese be up there? What sort of magic kept it aloft? Even the moon herself did not know.

“Nonsense,” he muttered, hefting his shoulder bag. And then the wizard left the tower the king had given him and drifted off into the treacherous night.


 

See you around!

-Kyle Adams

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Projects. Projects Everywhere.

And now for your semi-monthly update. What have I been doing since throwing Monster Under My Bed out there?

Thus my title.

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I’ve got more projects going on than I can juggle. Let’s talk about them for a bit, beginning with the ones I’m actually making progress on.

Illusion of Grandeur, the sequel to Through the Lichgate, is now a finished draft. Has been for a while now, actually. I’m looking into beta readers to clean it up, but likely it will be the next book I finish. The story stars Pierre, and if you’ve read the first book… this one will be quite the departure, let’s leave it at that.

Monster In My Closet, sequel to Monster Under My Bed, is getting a rough start. I’m in the drafting process, but unsure where. Roger Whitt is going to be running into boogeymen, vampires, and scariest of all, his brother.

Devil Game, my new novel idea combining Shonen anime tropes and the Biblical book of Revelation, is over halfway done. Slow going, there, but it’s moving steadily. 56k words and counting.

I’m working on my audiobook skills by narrating the entire web serial Pact by Wildbow. So far I’m about 4 hours into that recording. It’s a blast!


What else? Of course, there are a bunch of projects that are in stasis while I work on the above.

I’ve shelved a novella called Inconvenient Powers for now. The idea needs refining before I edit the draft I have, depending on what I want. How inconvenient are the powers? How common? Do I want to get into actual combat between a guy with food-kinesis and a glowy-sparkle-boom villian?

I’ve got a 1930s Boston Mafia story that I want to bring to bear, though I’m only a few chapters in and the story already needs revising. Back to formula with this one.

I’m already sketching out the story for the third book in The Drama Club Presents series. No details for you guys yet, but it will star yet another club member. Take a guess!

I’ve put together all the worldbuilding details to make a series of stories from Slimy Hero, a short story I posted on this blog. You need more than a world to tell a story, but this one’s still floating out there. First action will probably be to rework the story into third person, with a wisecracking narrator.

I’ve been working up some short stories for submission to various compilations, just as a side project. It’s uncertain whether anything will come from that.

That’s all, I think.

 

See you around! (if I don’t suffocate under the weight of these projects)

-Kyle Adams

Monster Under My Bed

That short story I posted a month or so ago? It’s a full-fledged novella now.

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I love the cover art. It was drawn out by Mason “Tailsteak” Williams. Been following his comic art for years, and it was great to have him draw Roger and Mumb for me.

Running at about fifty pages, Monster Under My Bed is a new story about Roger Whitt, daycare custodian and imaginary-monster-wrangler-in-training. Here is the blurb:

Roger Whitt has a monster under his bed. The creature is imaginary, but that doesn’t make it any less hungry. Or dangerous.

Despite growing up into a respectable young man, Roger has kept the sense of wonder he had as a child. Because of this, he sees what other kids see: monsters hiding in the shadows, under beds, in closets, and around corners. These monsters have gotten stronger as Roger got older, and now they threaten his life.

If Roger can’t keep a handle on his fears and learn to be a monster hunter, his own imagination will swallow him whole.

Continue reading

A Slimy Hero

My name is Bump. I am a slime.

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Perhaps you aren’t familiar with slimes, or with boarmen, dragons, centaurs, or even blade spiders. Maybe you’ve never seen a monster at all. Lucky you.

But I am a monster. A slime. And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. I am a blob of goo with two beady eyes. Officially the weakest of all the Beautiful Baron’s monsters. I can splorch my way around, hop from place to place, and dissolve human flesh I come in contact with.

If someone hits a slime, it’ll pretty much just die. Such was my life, from day one. Fragile, but dangerous. Continue reading

The RPG Endgame

I rode out into the open fields of Dodecia on a mule, armed with nothing but a rusty sword, a gray tunic, and some rather comfortable boots.

This is where it all started, I thought. Where I found my first party, rode off to my first quest… all on a mule.

I wanted to recapture that feeling that I had when starting out. That’s why I rode on a mule, instead of my personal dragon. That’s why I left my enchanted mythril armor at home, discarded my legendary Sword of Instant Decapitation. This was how I started. Continue reading

Deeper

“Why be fascinated with outer space?” Gerry was once asked. “It’s mostly empty, impossible to reach, and utterly lifeless! We have unexplored territory right here on earth.”

“Where?” the boy asked.

“The oceans,” his uncle said, smiling. “Nobody knows for sure what is down there.”

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Twenty-five years later, and Gerry was finding out what was down there.

Life. Continue reading

A Stranger on the Longer Road

I’m from the east. I live in a subdivision, in a small city, in the middle of the hill country of the south. I had thought, compared to giants like New York City or even Birmingham, I was in the middle of nowhere.

That changed on my first cross-country road trip. Somewhere in the North American midwest, I had stopped realizing where I was at all. In fact, there was a point where I was on a stretch of road through coarse dry land, and I had been on that single road for four hours without seeing another sign of civilization.

As it stood, I could probably make it another four hours before needing a gas station. I hoped my sedan could make it, and continued onward.

No houses. No cell service. No road signs. Continue reading