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View Full Version : Machaiba, A story of life and adventures! Ch 6-10 ~2,800 words



AMiller
July 21st, 2014, 06:56 AM
Chapter 6
That night made him a different man. His mind was made up. He was going to kill these creatures. He would kill them and be a protector of the village. These horsemen kill as they please without regard of who they kill. They know they can't be stopped. That night with the Dullahan showed that they did hate gold, and he could use this to his advantage. He hoarded gold for several years. He studied, waited, and collected. He melted down the gold and forged the arsenal he needed. He had a gold stake, a gold bear trap, and a small gold pin, which he sharpened to a point. Along with a dagger and a small bottle of Enchanted water.
He wore his black coat, but also wore black gloves that made it easier to climb, and boots that could cushion a fall from several stories. As he grew older and more mature, he realized that no matter how much gold he had, he knew a Dullahan was still a formidable enemy, especially when you threaten one.
Machaiba's theory about why his life was spared is that he was probably the first person to confront one in years, and it got frightened. He couldn't rely on that happening again. He had to be ready.
A leather bound book held all the spells he wrote. Spells on entrapment that would send them away to the book forever. The most powerful being a large circle with all the characters of the Pure Arconian alphabet, an inner circle with the four passages of the Korzha Forest, and the seal of the All Seeing Eye.
Chapter 7
He is nineteen now, and the Dullahans have been in the village every night. Machaiba watches on as the red streaks race around the village. Lately they've been stopping. This is what they do. They run and run until they think someone is due to die. Then they stop, the head utters the name of the poor soul, and they perish. The Dullahans do not like being watched, and if they are seen doing their work, they will throw blood on them, marking them as next on the Dullahan's list, or it will whip out the eyes of the spectator. He had never seen a Dullahan do its work, only running, so he hasn't suffered this punishment.
Knowing this made his attempts even more dangerous. But for a man, who lived forever, why would he attempt to protect himself? Long nights and endless inner battles brought him to the conclusion that it was he who had to break the curse so that no child would have to suffer like he surely will. He pull on his belt, fastened the Enchanted water, cross, dagger, bear trap, and stake, and pulled on his black coat. The last things to come were his boots, gloves, and he painted seals over his eyes to protect them from the whips.
He now lives in the street. He sleeps in attics by night and by day he stays out of sight and watches for creatures and demons. He isn't seen or heard. To lower suspicions he started a rumor that he fled from town because of paranoia. Now he can devote all his waking hours stopping the Dullahans. He sits on a balcony and watches the sun set in the distance.
He knew all he had to do now was wait.
Outside was dead. Black as it has ever been. Not even the wind made noise. Machaiba heard the familiar sounds and jumped off the two story balcony to get to work. Quickly and quietly he digs a hole just big enough for the bear trap, set it, and drops it in the hole at one of the Korzha Forest entrances. He stakes out in a tree further into the trail with the stake in one hand and the cross in the other.
The rhythmic thumps of horses in the distance grows louder and faster. Black outlines and red beams race through the entrance.
They poured into the village a finally a loud snap pierces the air.
A horse neighs as Machaiba drops down onto the beast. He lands on the rider and plunges the cross into his back. The heads lets out a blood curling scream. Machaiba quickly jumps off as the rider pulls out his whip and wildly swings it around and around.
The screaming fades away and the rider loses energy. He falls off his horse and the head rolls away from him. Machaiba picks up the head by a clump of hair and looks into the eyes. The most demonic eyes he'd ever seen. Glazed over and lifeless. He drops it and with one mighty stomp he crushes the decomposing head. The body and horse burst into thin black smoke. He looks under his boot and the head and all the remaining parts are gone.
It's quiet again. Nothing. He picks up the bear trap and cross and walks away, to fade into the inky blackness of the night once more.
Chapter 8
As he watched the village from above, thoughts lingered in his mind. He knew he had done it, he saw the rider and horse burst into nothingness, and yet, something was wrong. It was too easy. Why? He gently fell from the roof where he perched and walked the lonely, cold streets.
Things started to come alive again, as they usually did in Arcos, when the sun rose. He took to taking back roads and alley ways. He watched on, looking at pedestrians go about their day. He looked for anyone in need. No one. Everyone seemed happy... or content at least. The roads were so inviting he almost gave way under the glowing kindness of those outside, but he knew better.
He wondered what people had to be so joyful about. Was the curse the work of the Dullahan? Is its disappearance the breaking of the chains?
He couldn't be content. He spent the day wandering. Thinking about the rider, the horse, that evil, evil head with those terrible eyes and that crooked grin. It almost filled him with contempt to think about.
His books remained at his former home. He needed them to see if he could read anything on Dullahan lore that he didn't already know.
The night came gradually. It was calm and peaceful. The snow fell in pillowy, fat flakes and rested gently on everything they landed on. The soft whistle of the wind was enough to lull someone to sleep. Machaiba felt out of place in this heaven. He knew only darkness and biting cold that punished those who dare leave their homes at night.
Machaiba was the only one out that night. Not a soul was present except his. The crunch of snow packing under his heavy boots relaxed him. He even strayed to the middle of the road to walk. The crunching echoing on the houses.
He had reached his home later than he thought. He had to be quiet. If he scared his mother, she would scream, alarming the neighbors, alerting their neighbors and so on until the whole village was awake to find the child they thought had run away.
He climbed up the side of the house. The logs on the outside of the house created an excellent ladder. Slowly and carefully, he pushed his small window open and crawled in. He hit the ground with a thud and froze. He was okay; no one was awakened by his mistake. He took all the books of Dullahan lore he had and left the same way he came.
Chapter 9
The Dullahan.

Also known as Durahan and Gan Ceann.
A headless spirit that wanders small villages in search of people to claim as victims. Usually these creatures will only take the souls of those due to die, but they do not stray from claiming innocent lives if their work goes interrupted.
Excerpt from, The Horseman of Darkness

These evil beings will stop at nothing to claim the souls they think are theirs. They lash at the eyes of spectators who are both foolish and brave enough to watch the grim work of them.
Excerpt from, The Book of Sprites, Evils, and Grim Beings

As he flipped through the pages, he realized he knew all of these things. He learned these facts from stories. He piled the books in the corner of the attic he chose to take residence in that night. He lay beside the books after taking off his coat and belt. He wrapped up the belt and all his tools in the coat so if he had to, he could grab everything in a hurry. He closed and opened his eyes wearily. They shot open when he came upon a book he hadn't noticed in his research. He sat up and pulled the book from near the bottom of the short stack.
Eth Aehet Otem
It was written in Old Arconian. It translated to The Death Riders.
He read on with deep interest.
Behold, the Dullahan has arrived. You're drenched in blood and marked for his taking. No running or hiding. Death will come. Death is here. It beckons for you. Deception is the tool of this nightmarish beast. He leaves foot prints but his shadows do not, for they are weightless.
It makes many shadows in its own image. He is not easily found for those who seek him. The note of the shadow is that the body has color in the presence of fire. A true Dullahan will fade to nothing in fires light. This is because it is said that the Dullahan is afraid of fire.
He is the reincarnation of King Dullahan of Arcos. He killed many people in rage for the loss of his mother. As she lay on her death bed, King Dullahan watched as tuberculosis slowly ate her alive. His heart wretchedly bid his mother goodbye.
That night he swore that no man will live in happiness, so long as he lives. He spent years killing his people at random. Finally an angry mob formed. To punish the people that revolted against him, he recited a chant from a spell book and cast a curse upon the entire village. His men turned on him. They picked him up and threw the mad king to his people. They put him in a small cage and lit him on fire. They watched on as he screamed and burned.
In the early morning the king's remains were dragged out of the cage and onto the snow. He was decapitated. The king's preferred form of execution.
The only regret was of the man who resurrected him. Me. I write this as the former right hand man of the king. I was insane to think I could bring back a man such as that and go on. I'm taking my life tonight. I only hope this small sacrifice somewhat compensate for the damage I've caused.
I leave no name, where there is my name, there is cowardice and shame.

He sat the book down. Shadows? Evil king? Resurrection? He had only killed a shadow.
This wasn't good. If anything, the real Dullahan saw what he had done to his shadow and now he knows Machaiba wants him dead. Surely he will be next. He had to be ready. A new weapon was needed. The Dullahan probably saw his entire arsenal during the attack and will be anticipating them. The rest of the day he spent crafting a gold plated sword from the gold cross. Now he had better reach and a more effective, formidable weapon.
He had to ensure that he would show. How? He couldn't be drawn out by taunting or by surprise. The only thing he could think to do was to do away with as many shadows as possible. He would become angry and come out of hiding to avenge his clones.
Chapter 10
He waited until the night fell. The snow and wind started full force. The sky was as white as the ground. The telltale thumping of the horses called Machaiba's attention to the edge of the forest. They stampeded through the streets with great speed. Machaiba jumped off a rooftop and into the sea of darkness, drawing his sword as he fell.
He hacked and slashed at the unsuspecting horsemen. Screams of surprise accompanied the sight of black bursts as the sword swung to attack. One after another he stabbed and sliced through the illusions.
All others turned away, but he must have killed at least fifteen. He examined the ground. No tracks. Only his own footprints. The book was right.
He stood in the snow, growing impatient. He pulled off his jacket and his belt. He taunted it out of rage and desperation. He threw his tools far away to show he didn’t need gold. He froze. He shouted, “Is the good king too afraid to fight?! Or is he still weeping over his dead mother?”
It was disappointingly quiet.
All of a sudden the trees in front of him parted and a giant horse and rider plowed from out of the woods. Machaiba prepared to jump as the rider came closer. Faster and faster the Dullahan rode and finally reached him. Machaiba jumped and rolled out of the way. The Dullahan swung his whip around at lightning speed and the tip shot at Machaiba’s eyes. The pointed end shattered and the horse reared back then ran right for him again.
He had no choice, he had to act fast. Machaiba leaped into the air and pulled the rider off his horse as the steed past under them. The headless body raised the head and it let another scream. Machaiba felt a bang in his right ear. His ear drum busted. He felt dizzy and couldn’t keep his balance. He grabbed onto the head as a last resort and yanked but the grip of the demon was too strong.
He fell into the snow. The near deaf man scooped up a handful of snow and packed it into his ear. The screaming pain stopped. He ran to his belt as quickly as he could, tripping over nothing, making desperate dives. The Dullahan was behind him, following him, humoring him. With one step the monster stomped his foot onto the back of his struggling opponent.
He couldn’t go any further, the weight was too much. His eyes were spared, but what about his soul? He reached into a small pouch hanging from his neck and pulled out a large match.
The Dullahan stepped off of him, turned him over, and stepped on him again. He coughed up blood. Lots of it. The soft crunch of ribs breaking was the only sound that filled his flooding ears. His eyes were hardly open. The demon picked Machaiba up with one hand, as if he were weightless.
With all the strength left in this ragdoll of a body, he raised his arm and struck the match on the demon’s leather armor. The match exploded with a burst of yellow fire and the potent, yet forgiving smell of sulfur filled the air. Before the Dullahan could react, he threw the match down into the black void where his head was. It disappeared and he immediately dropped Machaiba and his head. The head began to scream, but Machaiba couldn’t hear anything.
The Dullahan looked as if he were trying to rip himself apart in order to get to the match. The flame rose out of the neck hole and expanded. It traced down his arms and legs, and it was extremely bright. Machaiba kept looking.
The flaming giant fell to his knees and the cords and ropes holding his armor together broke revealing nothing. There was no chest, no arms, no nothing. Each piece of metal and leather fell into a pile. The head itself shriveled up and began to blacken. The mouth closed, the eyes closed, and it shrank until only a thin layer of skin wrapped around the skull.
He had done it. He killed the evil creature. Lives will be saved. The curse of the village has been lifted.
A light snow started as Machaiba looked up at the sky. He smiled and held up his hand to catch some.
When day came, nothing was left at the scene of the battle. No armor, footprints, or young man in a black coat. The snow from the previous night had covered the tracks.
Machaiba spent that day rebuilding the armor against a wall in his new abandoned building home as a trophy. Around the feet of the hollow Dullahan, he drew a seal that covered most of the floor, then another seal on the chest of the uniform.
The nights after were ones filled with light snow and almost no wind. People became more hospitable and happy, and no one raced to their homes at sunset in the fear of being hunted.

Smith
July 23rd, 2014, 09:42 AM
I have similar thoughts as with the other previous chapters.

It's like you found the "Good Idea Mine". You've shown us the resources are there. But you aren't harvesting and using them. In less metaphorical terms, mostly this is all telling and not showing. So I encourage you to go more in depth with what you have and flesh out these chapters. Right now in the current state, this feels more like an outline with some decent action scenes. Sure, action is important no doubt, but readers are going to feel detached from it because there's nothing truly gripping them in your world.

Explore Machaiba more, growing up in the isolation of their attic. Don't mention the importance of the Old Arconian tongue. Let us read some of it. Hear some of it. Show us how he learned it. Show us how others feel and react to it. Your story right now is a bunch of potential energy. It's in there, stored, waiting to be released. Now start showing us all these things in detail. Go in depth. Turn that potential energy into kinetic, moving energy. Real energy.

AMiller
July 23rd, 2014, 08:24 PM
Thank you :0
I feel the same way, I tend to skim over some things too much, I just need to flesh out everything :0

Smith
July 23rd, 2014, 08:50 PM
Thank you :0
I feel the same way, I tend to skim over some things too much, I just need to flesh out everything :0

Sure thing. Don't worry, it is a mistake I myself make fairly often too. Nothing that cannot be fixed! :)

You are a good writer. Sure, some grammar and conventional errors, but all writers have that, and nearly anybody (including yourself) can go through and fix them. Which is why I feel the bigger problem to focus on is the story moving too fast, due to as you said, "skimming". Slow it down a little bit, color in the picture. Focus on the areas I mentioned, but as an exercise you can try to find some other places in your story that need filling.

Good luck and don't forget to have fun. I look forward to more of your writing. If you happen to have any questions, or if you finish fleshing out these chapters and would like me to take a look, just message me.

EDIT: By the way, I also feel that these chapters were a little longer in comparison to the first ones, which is a good sign. Now, I do want to be clear that longer isn't necessarily always better. It's kind of circumstantial really. As long as what you're adding has meaning and purpose, you'll be fine.