Short Story: The Treatises

And on that day, the skies thundered and the Empires’ death-machines soared overhead. And on that day, came rest to millions; dead. And on that day, the post-Human dream; bled. And on that day, arose a great evil incarnate from its bed.

Man, but not man. Human, but inhuman.

But too, on that day, was born something greater; a seed tempered in fire. Though lain dormant in the cold despair that followed, it awaited only a spark to ignite.

And so, it did.

She held it as if precious, but sentimentally so. Its covers were worn, but for certain, it was the fabled Treatises on the Empires’ Rise. A collection of so-called “heretical” works outlining the laborious details of the rise and fall of previous civilizations, their way-paving for the Empires’ rise.

The last, true-history book known to Human-kind. Likely, the last printed or distributed before the Empires’ rise, it was beyond myth. Afterward, information was too closely-guarded and censured for any truth to be printed or distributed. Since then, things had only gotten worse.

A lot worse.

Myna knew Humans could adapt to adversity, it was the only reason she– or they– were alive. It was as simple a principle to her as stepping over a fallen, petrified limb blocking one’s path. It was an inevitability. Yet, nothing had prepared her for this. She’d only been on the scavenging run two days now.

Over the century, people’d been working themselves ever outward from the Empire’s main settlements. They trickled out, thronging this way and that like water through weakened stone. Smaller villages and settlements were appearing here and there, but nothing substantial enough to be permanent in the way the Empires seemed to be.

That was important; so close, yet so far.

Treatises was a direct contradiction that the Empires had been formed as believed. History went that the Empires came of lands once in chaos and madness, to aid in bringing them order. After civil wars tore the world apart, there was little more that could be done than try to rein in the madness.

No-one was sure what had really happened anymore, so far as Myna knew. She doubted even the Emperors knew what really happened. What’d it matter anyhow? The damage was done, the past, past. All she or anyone else knew was what lay ahead.

Now, what lay ahead was utterly shrouded in mystery.

The book had already decided that. She wasn’t sure how she’d first heard of it, but she knew from whom. That fact alone caused her to wrap it in a fur pelt she’d been working with after dinners and before sleep. It would keep the book safe from the elements while she decided what to do with it.

She spent the night meditating on what she knew of Treatisesand roasting the day’s large hunt. She’d have to start rationing soon with the land as petrified as it was. The game,disappearing with it, was thin as it was. It would only get worse. Soon, she’d reach the barren lands.

Her mind wandered, inexorably drawn to the book’s mystery: Myna first heard of Treatises as a child. Her mother and uncle were arguing about something.

“It doesn’t exist, Turel. This is an obsession!” Her mother hissed in angry hush.

“Treatises does exist, I have the proof!” Turel argued, thrusting something in a hand at her mother.

Myna remembered little else, save that her mother tore the object from his hand and immediately cast it into the fire-pit. He’d wailed something angrily as the page formed ash, then stormed away.

Myna couldn’t recall the last time she saw her uncle, but she knew it was sometime around then. He went missing not long after, and although Myna’s mother assured her he was fine, had never returned.

Through the years, there were times when her mother would stare blank-faced into the fire, hypnotized by it. It was different than the usual hypnosis of a full meal, or sickness, or fatigue. It was deeper, pained, as if guilt seized her.

Myna was determined not to wile away her days in that same despair.

She broke camp for the outer regions the next morning, managing to procure more game than she should rightfully have found. A day and night thereafter, she returned home with little more than a few, old-world trinkets barely enough for a week’s bread. Next time, she would have to choose a better direction.

Until then, she was preoccupied.

She stood beneath the hanging candelabras forming the poor-man’s chandelier over IzKie’s table. The woman had evidently not expected her back yet, else-wise Myna doubted she’d have found her in such a state. Papers and books were always strewn across every surface– of which there were an inordinate amount in IzKie’s home, but never before had Myna seen her table so piled.

Usually, it was set for tea, dinner, or any of the number of activities the two had planned.

All of it would have been frightening to an average person, so much so-called seditious materials, but IzKie was authorized them. Apart from making her incalculably smart, it also made her a pariah among most villagers. Myna’s association put her on the fence herself. Even leaving her worse-off in negotiations at the bazaar, for fear too much haggling might kill a sale.

When trading for food and survival, that was unacceptable.

Yet Myna’d never have it another way. She admired IzKie too greatly, had learned to read by listening to her quote passages from memory while following along in silence.

But she had not opened Treatises.

It was dangerous. Not knowing what lay within, no matter its power, meant it could not be properly handled… but it was also dangerous to know. If only because it might make her disappear– like Turel.

IzKie offered her tea to soothe her aches after the recent journey. She accepted, but remained distant, speaking little.

IzKie noticed, her voice soft and sweet, “Are you unwell, Myna-bird?”

It took a moment to respond, IzKie’s words contending with a fog, “Hm? No… Yes. I’m… not sure.” IzKie’s walnut-dark eyes brightened in the excess light, turning to warmer woods. Myna could have lost herself in them, wanted to. Instead, she sighed and sipped tea, “I found something I can’t do anything with.”

“On your run, you mean,” IzKie assumed, settling into her listener’s-role; perfect-posture and pointed shoulders relaxed but disciplined, like Empire Guards at-ease.

For a moment, Myna hesitated; she loved IzKie. Probably more than she should. There was something intoxicating about her. As if her intelligence enthralled certain types, Myna’s most of all. Probably, Myna guessed, it was the intelligent ones themselves– or, those capable of it. Like how every had various uses, but only some made for proper bows or arrow-shafts.

But… how much about IzKie did she really know? Was it enough to trust her with this? Could IzKie disappear her? Would she lead someone else to? Or, would she disappear herself? Myna didn’t think she could handle that. She was too attached.

But, IzKie had appeared around the same time Turel disappeared. Was it coincidence or design?

Now IzKie was looking at her, watching her. Expectantly.

Myna reached into her pack. One of IzKie’s brows twitched, ready to rise, but held before it could. Drawing forth the fur-wrapped tome, Myna set it upon the table and began to unwrap the corners. IzKie’s eyes widened, then narrowed shrewdly; the left-one half-squinted as an archer’s mid-aim.

A powder cask lit behind them. They exploded to triple sizes, confirming Myna’s fears: she had procured what she believed. IzKie was up, shutting her windows and drapes, locking her doors and windows. It all happened so fast Myna was still trying to catch up when IzKie whirled and grabbed her shoulders.

“Whom have you told of this? Where did you get it? Who saw you? Does anyone know of this!?”

Myna was stunned, thrown for a loop, wishing to answer but spinning. IzKie’s bony fingers dug into her shoulders. Apart from hurting, it grounded her. She attempted to find her voice, seeing the walnut eyes now almost deep-black in the new darkness.

“I– I…”

“Speak, bird. Speak!”

“I told no-one,” she swore. “I hadn’t even opened the furs until now. I swear it, Iz! I swear it!”

IzKie straightened, slowly releasing her. She was swept away by a mental whim and began pacing the kitchen’s open length, swaying the racks of drying herbs with each passage. A long while of silence passed beneath the rhythmic tamp of IzKie’s feet. Then, on compulsion, Myna sighed desperately.

At that instant, IzKie appeared beside Myna, kneeling, “Myna-bird, you are my angel and Humanity’s redeemer. You know it not, yet, but I love you deeply and what you have found is a treasure for all.

“But I must go. And you must stay.” She began wrapping Treatises with the fur. “Keep it hidden and avail yourself of my home. Or if you desire, return to yours. I only ask that you do as you have done thus far and keep it hidden.”

“Where are–”

“No time, bird,” she said firmly, halting any further conversation. She wrapped herself in a light-cloak and draped a pack across her breast, immediately setting out. “I will return soon.”

She pecked Myna on the cheek as she bustled past and out the door, shutting it with speed. Myna sat, spinning again, this time from the kiss radiating along her cheek and IzKie’s hurried departure. Wherever she’d gone, Myna decided, wasn’t worth knowing. Not yet.

But a very real dread was inching along her spine, decidedly sourced in the book beside her. Already, she wished she’d never found the damned thing…

The Logbook Archives: Now Available!

lbav1finlowres

Incoming Transmission from the Wordsmith of Sol

Please Stand-by:

Listen up, Crew, it’s finally here! The first issue of the new, yearly chronicle, The Logbook Archives, is available for purchase. Grab your copy now!  “Volume 1” is packed full of the Logbook’s first year of short stories and poems, as well as a special foreword by yours truly. Buying this edition allows the Logbook to keep sailing, and gives you a little piece of it to take with you wherever you go.

Thank you for visiting!

SMN

Transmission ends

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE LOGBOOK!

So here it is, a year since I began regularly posting to the Logbook. Essentially, a year since its birth. A lot’s been said, or rather typed, and I couldn’t be more pleased by the result. I’m eternally grateful to everyone who’s read my work. It always makes my day when I receive comments, likes, and follows, or see the stats page with its ever-growing numbers. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life but writing, and I sincerely hope the past year is just the start of things.

With all of that in mind, let’s get down to brass tacks: I’ve posted tons of work, and will continue to, but there’s something else lingering on the horizon– or rather, a few things. First and foremost is my book, The Omega Device.

For those unaware, I’ve written a book (several actually) that is about to be self-published. Why? Simply, I don’t care to wait for agents and publishers anymore. I’ve put over five years of blood, sweat, and yes even tears, into this book. It’s the culmination of a lot of things in my life. From the time of its first draft to now its final, I’ve struggled to find purchase as both a writer and a person. Now however, I feel I can take a leap of faith and maybe not splat on the ground quite so terribly as I might have before.

And that is largely due to all of you, readers.

The next thing, is the Logbook Archives. If you’re a regular to the site, or simply have explored beyond the main page, you may have seen the Logbook Archives page which lists all of my posted works. Its usually updated every few weeks. You may also have seen the previous posts where I’ve talked about collecting them into an ebook. Well I just want to assure everyone, that will soon be happening. It will be released shortly after The Omega Device, and will be found wherever it can be hosted.

Lastly, there is one other thing. I’ve always tried to refrain from talking too much about money. I don’t care for the subject, and it turns a lot of people off (myself included.) That said, it’s always going to be something I have to address as a starving artist-type. So to make it easier for all involved, in addition to my book release, I will also be starting a Patreon page for those who want to donate to keep me writing. (If you don’t want to donate, please disregard this and buy the book instead.)

Before I go, I also want to say; (though I don’t want to get too mushy, or personal, because as I’ve said, I prefer my writing to speak for itself.) It is extremely heartwarming and humbling to have put part of myself “out there” and not have it bludgeoned into oblivion. Most of my life I’ve struggled with extreme anxiety. For a writer, that’s a dangerous condition. Against my better self-preservation instincts, I began to post what I’d been working on for years. The confidence you, readers, have helped to impart has allowed me to continue on to new works that have surpassed even my wildest expectations.

As much as I do it for myself, I also write for all of you. I have a strangely, innate ability to distance myself from my work enough to read it as a reader might. I’ve found myself both laughing at and along with myself, being thrilled, suspended over precipices, and strung along excited with the rest of you. I continue to do what I do so that we can share in that together, even if part of me also does it to remain sane.

So before I belabor things too much (too late!) I want to say thank you, and I hope the next year’s even more fruitful than the last. Thank you for an amazing first year!

SMN

P.S: Just so you all know I’m not just talk, I present the cover to The Omega Device, coming soon to a digital bookstore near you! (I’m still in the process of purchasing the font rights, so don’t sue me.)

Coming Soon!

Special Announcement

So I’m here. I think anyhow. These things are scheduled so I might actually be there now. Here or there’s hardly the point. The point… oh right, I remember now.

The time is coming friends, readers, space-goers of far-distant reaches. Soon. Very soon, I will be releasing my first novel. Where and when is still to come, but I assure you it will be soon. There’s a few technical things to be finished but rest-assured it’s in motion. I will also be launching a crowdfunding venture for those whom wish to support me in my quest as a Wordsmith of Sol. In other words, as a writer.

For those wondering why the hell you’d ever want to give me money, I say; hey you’ve gotta’ a big mouth, how’d you like if I garnish my vanquished-foe hearts with it? I can, you know. If that didn’t shut you up, and you’re still wondering why you’d want to give me money– especially now that I’ve threatened you with certain dismemberment– I say… okay, you got me there.

The point is, I need to eat. The hearts of vanquished foes are a delicacy, and without them, I can’t subsist. (The thumbs of enlightened friends just aren’t filling past a certain age.) So in order to keep my Vanquished-Foe-Heart supply full and fresh, I need some compensatory method.

So here’s the deal, I do what I do, you do what you do, but in the meantime, you can commit an sum to me monthly so I can continue doing what I do– providing content three-times weekly minimum, as well as bonus stuff other-times. Plus, an income means I’ll be able to add to the existing content with cool, new stuff. (I’m seriously entertaining the notion of a scifi podcast.)

So to recap, you support me and my work, and I get to continue it, add in awesome stuff, and then in a few weeks (or perhaps a few more depending on how technical things play-out) my first book will go up and the crowdfunding will be launched.

Now, onto the meat of it.

What is the book?

The Omega Device is an action/Sci-Fi novel set in near present-day that follows Tattoo Artist Maggie Doherty and Homicide Detective Russell Williams. As they discover why they have become targets for an organization known only as Omega, they must also evade capture, survive harrowing attempts on their lives, and uncover the truth of a war between two, secret organizations and the ancient weapon at its center. What they find will not only radically change their view of Humanity, but also force them to act in the hopes of saving it.

You can find an excerpt below.

Russell’s lapse of consciousness ended with the Impala’s horn droning beneath his forehead. His vision flickered, body ached. He lifted his head with a groan. He knew what had happened– the van had purposely hit them, but the impact wasn’t enough to detonate the Impala’s airbag. His face had hit the wheel instead. He opened his eyes to smoke rising from the crushed front-end, felt something jerk at his seat belt. Maggie’s foggy shape came into focus.

Her hands fumbled at his side, “Damn it, wake up!” She glanced around anxiously, fought with the belt’s latch. “C’mon, before they get closer!”

He snapped back to reality, quickly disconnected the belt.

She urged him forward at a hush, “Good. Let’s go.”

And since I have you all here; If you wish to follow me or keep track of my work through other mediums you may also find me here:

Twitter: @authorsmnolan

Facebook: authorsmnolan

But that’s not all!

I’m also working on compiling the stories and poems on the site into a regular series called The Logbook Archives. Volume One is well on its way to being finished and actually already has a cover, to be revealed here soon. Unfortunately as mentioned before for the time being these compilations must remain paid. Provided I receive enough support, I can make them free. For now, they’re simply too much work and time from my regular routine to offer free. (But I am more than willing to offer them free down the line if support is received.)

Last but not least, I will also be releasing my Novellas in Ebook format with full covers and arranged as a novel might be. Some may not make the cut, but I am already certain of at least The Collective being on the list.

However, all of these items will be extremely modestly priced. As I said before, I don’t want to be a billionaire, but vanquished hearts are at a premium these days. That said, expect novels to be in the five dollar range and other things to be between 1-3 dollars. As before, these things are subject to change provided certain conditions are met, but that’s a conversation for another day.

And just so you don’t think I’m spewing madness, I’d like to mention I have eight novels, twenty short-stories, and thirty poems in various states of readiness and unreadiness. (and that number is ever-growing) So apart from my weekly posts, I’m always hard at work, but it’s high-time something more of it sees the world.

So until next time, thanks for reading, farewell, goodbye and glurbleflurble reeeeowww to you.