One Last Mission

An author friend of mine was commenting about some of the outlandish novels that he was seeing advertised to him on Facebook, and came up with a hilarious synopsis for a story… So of course, I had to try to write it.

From Rory Raven: “When an ancient druid puts out a contract on Cthulhu, this retired samurai decides to take on one last mission.  But he can’t do it alone — it looks like he’s going to have to patch things up with his long-estranged partner, Bigfoot.”

One Last Mission  

By Chad Anctil 

The stranger appeared to Hiro out of the trees on the south side of the garden, but did not move closer.  The silence of the stranger’s approach through the trees told Hiro that it was no mortal man, but probably one of the forest kind who still inhabited the woods and streams where man’s influence had not yet corrupted.  Hiro stood still, his old body tensed and ready to act if he needed it to, but he felt that would not be required here.  He nodded once to the figure, and it glided out of the shadows and approached him smoothly.  

The figure was human-like, but Hiro could tell that was a ruse to put him at ease.  The figure gave off an aura of great age, and smelled of the deep earth.  It wore robes of deep green and brown that seem to have been made of earth and moss and branch.  Its hands were gnarled like tree roots, but Hiro knew they could move with frightening speed and cut deeply, if given the chance.  

“Hiro Sōdomasutā, I am Traj Nandi, high druid of the deep caverns, and I come on behalf of the-” 

“I know who you speak for, druid.” Hiro said, without malice but also without patience.  “And you have entered my domain uninvited.  Many who have been so brazen have never left this place…  Even those such as yourself, as I think you are aware.” 

Traj Nandi nodded and made a slight bow to the old man.  

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By Chad Anctil

The security camera setup was my wife’s idea, due to the amount of packages she got on a weekly basis, and the ever-increasing threat of ‘porch pirates’ in the neighborhood.  It wasn’t an expensive setup, just a couple hundred bucks, all connected to the home WiFi, but the cameras had a nice clear picture, and there was a feature to identify what the camera was seeing, so we would get little alerts that popped up on our phones, like ‘animal detected, back yard’ or ‘package detected, front porch’.  

When we first got the cameras installed, we would always look at the feed whenever we got an alert.  Usually it was nothing – someone walking by, or a squirrel in the backyard.  Sometimes it would be something cute, like a bird perching on the camera housing.  One time the backyard camera alerted us to a bumble bee that was just hovering in front of the lens – really adorable stuff.  

Eventually the novelty of the system wore off, and we only checked the feed occasionally.  We knew anything in the backyard was just going to be squirrels or birds, or sometimes the occasional neighborhood cat.  Once in a while we would catch a chubby raccoon or a skunk looking for a snack, but it was rarely that interesting.  

The front porch camera was more diverse, however, capturing neighbors walking by or school kids headed to the bus stop down at the corner.  Of course we always knew when the mail or packages were delivered, the system worked great for that and we never had to worry about getting valuable packages stolen; that gave my wife great peace of mind.  For myself, however, what I came to love about that camera was the dog walkers.  

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Inspired by the 3400-year-old palace from a mysterious kingdom surfacing in Iraq during drought

An eldritch creature lives within an ancient, submerged temple

The desk phone on the old wooden desk rang with a shrill chime, causing Ahmed to jump slightly.  He couldn’t remember the last time that phone had rang, in the age of mobile phones.  He momentarily marveled that it was even still in service.  

“Department of Antiquities” he answered into the handset, then listened intently to the caller, his eyes going wide.  He pulled out a battered notebook and fumbled for a pen.  “Wait, please… say that  again, but more slowly.”  He jotted down the information relayed by the thick Hindi accent on the phone.  “And this is where, again?” he asked, again jotting down key information.  “Yes, thank you – I am very glad you called.  We will send someone out right away.” he said.  “Yes I understand that it may be there only briefly.  I thank you, yes.” he said, returning the phone to it’s dusty cradle and pulling out his mobile as he sat at his laptop.  

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His First Halloween

As the last rays of sun dipped behind the old brick warehouses and shuttered homes along the tracks, a pair of wet, rheumy eyes peered out from a crack between the grey boards, their red irises seeming to glow in the fading light. A dull, raspy voice slipped through the darkened interior, starting out as a whisper, but excitement and anticipation raising its volume unexpectedly.

“Can we go now? Dad, can we go? It’s dark out, you said we could go when it got dark!”
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Better late than never – I am very happy to announce my newest creative venture – Mysterious Observations in Providence! This is a bit of an experiment in modern information-age storytelling that takes the form of an alternate-reality blog. The main character, Chad Martens, has inherited a mysterious steamer trunk from his recently deceased grandfather, and with that has also inherited a supernatural mystery stretching back more than four generations!

The story is being told in ‘real-time’, with new posts to the blog multiple times per week as the protagonist experiences bizarre and potentially otherworldly events, is tormented by nightmarish dreams, and continues to learn more about this dark family legacy.

Unlike a standard narrative, ‘Mysterious Observations in Providence’ uses a multi-media format to engage the reader fully into the story and the experience. Blog posts will include not only narrative writing, but also unique photographic evidence spanning over 100 years, video evidence, photos and scans of antique documents and letters, specially created props, and even original artwork to add to the realism and the drama.

The setting is modern day Providence and East Providence Rhode Island, and the overall narrative is based on Lovecraftian mythology and the weird tales of H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton smith and others.

The website is http://orderofdagon.org and the first post that starts the whole thing is http://orderofdagon.org/2013/08/18/ so you can start from the beginning.

This is a really fun venture with help from a number of people (see ‘About’ section for current credits) and I’m sure fans of supernatural fiction and horror will enjoy experiencing the tale as it is told…

Blue Star Fallen

This flash fiction piece made the final round in the 2010 Escape Artists national fiction contest.

European astronomers saw it first; a dim, cobalt-blue star with a color and position that made it immediately clear that it was something new and different.

It was little more than a curiosity at first – not many people took notice until it began to steadily grow brighter, soon visible to amateur star gazers, and within a month it was clearly visible to the naked eye on clear nights, a blazing blue beacon shimmering in the evening sky. That’s when the fears began to spread, slowly and quietly in office gossip and coffee shop discussion. ‘What if’ became the question that everyone – and no one – wanted answered. Continue Reading »

The Shoggoths Next Door

Jeremy stared in horror out his second floor bedroom window at the house next door, the red ‘sold’ sign still swinging in the grassy front yard. He saw what looked like a long, black, slime-covered tentacle or some other alien appendage slip out of sight into the side door, then saw the door shut with a quick snap.
“Mom, I think our new neighbors might be monsters!” he called down the hallway. His mother poked her head out of the bathroom, yellow cleaning gloves on her hands.
“Jeremy that’s very rude. They’re brand new to the neighborhood and they moved here from someplace very far away. They may be different from us but I’m sure Mr. and Mrs. Lovecraft are very nice people. You really need to be more polite – what would they think of us if they heard that kind of talk?” Continue Reading »

Haunter at Hogwarts

My name is Ronald Weasley, and while the major events of our fourth year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry may be well known – especially those events associated with the tri-wizard tournament and the rise of the dark lord Voldemort – there were other events, witnessed only by a select few, which would prove far more dire. Had I myself not witnessed these events first hand, I would assume any who recalled them as I do to be mad – and in truth, even now I fear that I have gone mad in the recalling of all that has transpired. Continue Reading »

Civic Duty

Alex stood silent by the roadbed, Samantha beside him.  There was a light rain coming down from the heavy, dark sky, the promise of more severe weather hanging on the breeze like a tattered flag on a rusted flagpole.  There were other people here as well, of course, looking out at the road and the gathering of civil servants and road construction crew, glaring at the huge yellow machines sitting bloated and silent, just waiting for the order to start, waiting for the fire to be lit in their monstrous metal bellies so they could lurch forward on treads and wheels and rollers and devour and crush and create.

Nobody was smiling.  Nobody was even looking at one another.  Eyes panned across the scene like robotic security cameras, viewing the scene flatly but not actually seeing it.  Not registering it.  Alex could tell which of the others were there for the same reason he and Sam were there.   It was the look in their eyes.  That glassy, dead look.  The look he now saw reflected in the mirror every morning, the look he saw in Samantha’s eyes in the all too brief moments when they actually met each other’s gaze now. Continue Reading »

Chapter 1  – The Stars that Fall

It was a cool day in that place between the hot season and the barren season, when the sky above Linae Ka was filled with bright white stars, shooting and sparking across the red and purple dusk and passing to they east, beyond the horizon into the places beyond.  Na’tu was tending the central cooking fire, preparing Tikka leaves and a boar-like Toka freshly killed by the last hunting party when the other villagers began commenting, then crying out in fear and confusion.  Never before had anyone in all the tribe’s memory seen such a display in the skies above Linae Ka, and most saw it as an ill omen.  Of course, thought Na’tu, anything new or unusual was considered an ill omen by the tribe, though in her memory no calamity had ever befallen them.  Their valley spirit, the gentle and generous Linae Ka, had always provided them with all they needed and had secluded and guarded them from the places beyond.  For generations her tribe lived in peace and tranquility.  Stars shooting across the sky and falling into the places beyond could not change that.  Linae Ka would not let them.  Fear was like the green vipers of the forest, though – always ready to strike at least provocation. Continue Reading »