Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunset, to be continued...

So, if you didn't get it already, Sunset was Minecraft-based fiction. It was also based around a neat little mod I found called Solar Apocalypse. I'm currently at a loss for what to do next, though I have an idea of the end; I may continue this as a sort of diary-based thing as Garret needs someone/thing to talk to or he'll go raving mad.

As the start of school approaches, I'm also not sure how much time I'll have for this blog. Likely, there won't be any posts until Winter quarter, but perhaps I'll find time.

I suppose that's all for now. I'm sure you'll find out pretty quickly when I make a post and get this blog running again by means of constant nagging and/or airhorns.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunset, Part 7

Garret awoke to a sweltering sun. His back was raw, sunburned. There was the faint smell of smoke in the air, reminiscent of a camp fire. The faintest breeze blew over him, causing him to cringe. His back stung.
He picked himself up, rubbing at his eyes. He smirked at how similar this was to not but two days ago.

Am I condemned to repeat this forever?

The sun was painful, and larger in the sky than ever. It hung in the sky, looking fat enough to collapse onto the ground at any moment. As Garret averted his eyes from the sun, he caught sight of a plume of smoke on the horizon. It covered a vast expanse, and was carried lazily towards the mountains by the slight wind. He walked toward it. I bet I'll catch sight of whatever's making that smoke on the way to the forest. Damn, I'm hungry. He rubbed his stomach absentmindedly, then jerked his hand away; his stomach too, was burnt. It seemed only his scalp had evaded that fate, but his hair was brittle, and stiff.

Garret continued to walk, though the sand was painful on his feet. What else could he do?

Garret had barely caught sight of the forest when he realized where the smoke was coming from. A forest fire raged though the region, tearing through tree and shrub and animal alike. He could only stare at the destruction. A charred pig, skin burning, burst from a fiery conflagration, and ran onto the sand. It ran helplessly in circles before passing out. The smell of roast pork accompanied the smoke, and it was all Garret could do to tear his eyes away. He didn't want to watch the forest burn but he felt the inexorable urge pulling him back, forcing him to watch the blaze.

It was then that something snapped. Garret felt an itching on his skin, like that of a mosquito bite, or the death throes of a sunburn, but it was from neither of those - his sunburns were too new to be anything but raw to the touch. It came from deeper inside him, almost as if his bones were rebelling against his body.

And then he screamed. His skin charred in front of his eyes, and his hair burnt, wisps of it falling off, and blowing to the ground. He screamed, throat parched from the dry atmosphere, and he ran. Something possessed him to take the pig, which weighed heavily in his arms as he ran. He needed shelter. Shade. The forest was gone. The ocean was far away. Where could he-

The cave. That dark, ominous thing. That was probably where the spiders lived. And that man. That strange, primal man. Should he go there? Could he afford not to?

He ran, ran for ages it seemed, and screamed in victory when he found solace in the cave, rolling on the floor, rolling in agony, in joy, and to extinguish the fire that ate at him.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunset, Part 6

When Garret awoke, four pairs of glowing red eyes stared at him from the dark. They were ravenous, and sitting not fifteen feet away from him. His fire had burned out again, leaving him with only moonlight to make out the silhouette of the eyes' bearer.

A spider.

A huge spider.

Its body was monstrous, bulbous in shape, swelled far too large to be harmless. It was as large as a cow. Its sheer black body blended well with the darkness. And it was just watching him.

It sat there, clinging on a branch, looking at Garret as if he were an overly large bug to be sucked dry. He suppressed a shiver at that thought.

Why isn't it doing anything? Does it think I'm dead? I need to get away from here. It doesn't seem hostile, but there's no way I'm sleeping with that around, and no way I can kill it, either.

No doubt in it's amplification in size, the exoskeleton had been hardened by a similar amount. It'd take a fucking chainsaw to rip through its body, if not something stronger. Maybe a large slab of cement.

Maybe I could throw one of these branches to distract it? Garret still had an array of branches in his lap, weighing him down, though the berries in his hands had found their way into his stomach hours ago. They were threatening to make their way back up, however. I can't just sit here, and I'm sure that if I move, it'll-

The sticks clattered to the ground, followed soon after by Garret, tumbling to soften his impact. He was off at a run, when the spider lunged for him. Every footfall, every new sprint forward, was an instinctive reaction, centered around self-preservation. He leapt over a fallen tree without thinking, slid under a low-hanging branch, and continued to run. The monster of a spider was keeping its pace with him - no, it was gaining on him.

Adrenaline drove him to run faster than he had before, faster than even the previous night. He didn't care where he ran to, just as long as it was further away from this spider.

By the time he reached the beach he washed ashore upon, his breath was ragged, his every footfall was heavy from exhaustion, and his adrenaline was gone. He was almost in tears from fright.

Sand flew into the still night as he collapsed, resigned to his fate.

The fangs never came. Somehow, he had lost the spiders. But what now? What could he do?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sunset, Part 5

Garret halted when he got to the river's edge. The moans hadn't gotten any closer for the past few minutes; Garret took that as a good sign. Perhaps the person had decided not to pursue him. The river's water felt cool on his face, and helped to calm him down. He swallowed it quickly, still panting a little from his flight.

Garret got no more sleep that night. Try as he might, laying by the river's bank, he could not slumber. A spear of fear shot through him whenever he heard a moan. Most were faint, off in the distance. Garret couldn't be sure if he was hearing them for real, or if his mind was creating these figments itself. The night was oppressive, and seized in on Garret from all sides.

Garret welcomed the sunrise. He considered sleeping with the sun's arrival, but he knew he couldn't forage by night. He'd have to collect enough wood to last him the night.

The sun was hotter that day. It seemed even larger in the sky than it had previously been. The river water, lukewarm the day before, now almost burned Garret as he drank from it, in between firewood collecting trips. More grass was dying, more leaves decaying. Perhaps autumn was coming. Extremely quickly.

The night too came quickly. It found Garret sitting atop the bough of a tree, squeezed in with several large branches which could easily be broken into sections, and a multitude of berries and roots in his hand. He remained up there as the night passed, throwing a new section of tree into the fire whenever it showed signs of waning.




Zzzzz. Sleep enveloped Garret.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sunset, Part 4

Night had fallen before Garret's fire had finally started. It cost him a chipped fingernail, two raw palms, and hours collecting fallen branches small enough to burn. He took another trip to the river once the fire was in no danger of going out.

The river was not far from his camp - it wound through a clearing in the forest, going on out of sight on either end. The water was warm in his mouth, heated by the sun, but it was fresh, and clean. He cupped one last refreshing handful into his mouth, not minding that some dripped onto his shirt. It would help cool him in the night. He welcomed any source of cold; it was humid here, and the forest trapped the sun's warmth in it, even now.

Somewhere, a wolf howled. He's probably complaining about the heat, too.

Wolves shouldn't be here. This is a jungle. Wolves don't...are there mountains nearby? I'll have to look for those tomorrow. Perhaps they'll be colder.

He laid down in the center of his campground, a small grove where the night sky poked through the foliage. Here he could gather a night's rest without worrying about being crushed in his sleep. But being crushed was at the back of Garret's mind as he struggled for sleep. His bed of leaves did little to cushion the ground, and it seemed as if the air around him was heating by the second. It was a while before sleep overtook him.


Garret's slumber was short-lived; he awoke to a resonating groan. Still in the throes of sleep, he shut his eyelids and willed unconsciousness to come back.


The groaning wouldn't stop.


It was getting....closer?


No, just his mind playing tricks.


Garret jumped up as a hand clutched at his shoulder. He spun in surprise, and saw a figure in the darkness.

"Hello there." He couldn't make out the face of the man with only starlight to guide him. His fire had long since burnt out. "Who are you?"

The figure balled up its hand in a fist, and lashed out. The hand was cold, and clammy on Garret's skin. 

"The fuck are you doing?"

The figure got closer, and swung again. Garret ducked, and began to run.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sunset, Part 3

Garret found himself staring into the mouth of a cave. It began as a hole in the ground, just a slight mound from the other side. It tilted at a shallow incline beneath the earth, which swallowed it up soon after. The darkness was impenetrable even a few feet in - the mere thought of stepping in there didn't sit well with Garret. He moved on, further into the forest.

He hadn't found any food when his stomach began to grumble in annoyance. He had passed some wild boar by already, much to the dismay of his stomach. But it wasn't realistic to think he could kill and cook one without any sort of instruments.

Garret came across some sort of fowl, rooting in the underbrush for something. Again, not a realistic meal at this point, though his mouth watered at the thought of roast bird. But that wasn't why it caught his attention. Likely, the bird was eating something - something Garret could eat.

He ran at the fowl, and it ran off, slender wings unable to pick its fat body off the ground. It left behind a red mess of berries on the ground and an opening in the shrubbery which betrayed a bush of succulent purple-red fruit. He sat on the ground, and began to pick at the stuff, thinking about the strange place all the while.

The forest is decaying at an unnatural rate. He mused over a mouthful of semi-sweet fruit. The trees seem to be just falling apart, and the grass dies while you watch it. It's not as if the plants are growing faster, either. What a strange place. Urgh. He winced as he bit into a rotten berry. It joined the red mess on the ground promptly. Eating more berries wouldn't remove the sickly sweet taste from his mouth - another rotten berry he found only amplified it - so Garret stood to seek water. He'd need it in days to come as well.

Time Reclamation

Today, I begin a campaign to rid myself of the twin time consumers that are reddit and League of Legends. This really doesn't affect any of you readers (except perhaps with the creation of more content to be read) so the rest of this post may be completely boring to you. I won't be offended if you stop reading.

Or, you could use this as a chance to spur your own anti-time wasting campaign!

Premise: I spend too much time on reddit and League of Legends. When I have nothing to do, I find myself automatically clicking that tantalizing reddit bookmark, and spending a few minutes there before realizing there's something better to do at that time. When I want to play a video game, my first thought is League of Legends. Clearly, I'm too far in. I'm putting this out in public, as opposed to writing it for just myself, as I believe that will help me accomplish my goal. It's a psychological thing.

Goal: This is meant as a campaign to free up my time, and also give other video games a chance to be played. In the end, I intend for reddit and League of Legends to have much less weight in my life, with reddit taking up no more than fifteen minutes a day, and with League of Legends being played for one hour each day.

More importantly, I want my mind to go to something other than web browsing or video games when I need something to do. Reddit and League of Legends just happen to be the largest offenders.

Approach: I will try to reach my goals in two ways, to see which is most effective, then apply it to the other. For reddit, I will cut myself off from it completely for a period of one week, and then allow myself to go back, but for fifteen minutes a day, maximum. The same approach will be taken for all boredom-based web browsing. Whenever I find myself browsing out of boredom, I will find something else to do (I've made my own list). As for League of Legends, I will limit myself to two games or forty minutes a day, whichever is met first. If a game takes more than twenty-five minutes, it will count as two games. At the end of a one-week period, I will raise the cap to one hour.

Timespan: One week before a check-in.

We will now return to our scheduled programming.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sunset, Part 2

The grassy ground was cool and firm beneath Garret's bare feet. He sighed in relief as he reached the grass, then  found a tree to recline beneath. As he moved to the shade, the change in temperature was immediate. No longer was the sun beating down on him. He hadn't felt a summer like this - it had to be summer, right? - for years now, not since he....since he....

Garret scratched his head and furrowed his brow. Since he what? He couldn't recall.

He sat in silence for a while more, trying to remember. His memory was hazy...he remembered a bar....there was  laughter, and a TV dimly playing in the background. That was it. Nothing else. He slammed the ground in frustration.

To his surprise, a clump of grass dislodged itself, wilted beneath his fist. The ground beneath was cooler than the surface, and he laid his hand to rest there.


A branch of the tree behind Garret fell, noisily tearing down leaves as it went along its earthbound route. It landed with a dull thump right beside Garret. Shit. That was close. He peered up, to make sure no other branches were in danger of falling, and caught a glimpse of the sun. The light seared his eyes, and he whirled his head away, blinking away the multicolored lights which obscured his vision.

The sun. It seemed....larger?

Garret chanced another look, furtive, quick, and confirmed his suspicions. The sun was roughly twice the size in the sky that it should have been. Was that why everything was so hot?

Somewhere, in the distance, another branch fell from its perch. Garret rose; it wasn't safe to stay here for long. Not unless safe included possible concussions. A concussion would be bad, with nobody around to treat him.

I'll play it safe. He decided. I need to find some water, and some food. Probably just berries and roots for now. I'll try to find other people once I've got the basics covered.

Around him, in the unshaded area, some of the grass had browned. Garret was sure that it hadn't been brown when he'd sat down. The grass was dry, brittle, and dead.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sunset, Part 1

Garret felt water lapping at his feet when he awoke, and a gritty feeling in his mouth. He tried to open his eyes, but found it too hard, so he laid in darkness for a spell, the gentle waves caressing his feet. The same gritty sensation which filled his mouth was present where his body met the ground. It itched.

When Garret pushed himself into a sitting position, he found himself on a beach. Agh, it was bright. He brushed the sand from his eyelashes as he looked himself over. He had nothing to speak of on his person, save the clothes he had been wearing last night - a light polyester shirt, and some jeans - and they were worse for the wear. His jeans were frayed at numerous points. Those were new, damn it.

Garret was scratched and bruised, but nothing seemed amiss. He had been carefully relived of all his possessions, however. Every last thing - wallet, watch, keys, phone, even shoes - had been gracefully snatched from him.

Suddenly, an overwhelming urge to vomit wracked his body, and a delightful mixture of sand and seawater spilled out of his mouth, accompanied by what appeared to be the remnants of some well-done ribs. As the tide washed it away, Garret glanced at his surroundings.

The beach he had just soiled stretched on for miles to either side of him, with the occasional cactus interrupting the sand, though the horizon betrayed mountainous regions further in the distance. Ahead of him, where sand turned into dirt, lay the beginnings of a forest, and behind him, the sea of sand turned into one of water. The vast expanse of liquid shone brightly beneath the sun, and was warm to the touch. It was only now that Garret realized a faint burning sensation beneath his feet. He ran for the trees.