I'll use this bio section to keep interested readers updated.
Most Recent Update:
March 14, 2013: The new story is still untitled, but now it's sitting at about 7000 words. As promised, here is a preview of it. The beginning 1,500ish words (not completely proofread and still subject to change):
A big, blue hand crept out from behind a massive tree trunk. Its fingers had cones of bone where their tips should be. They looked like fat caterpillars with ivory stingers huddling together for warmth on the damp bark. The hand sunk slightly into the tree; the trees here were always somewhat damp. The bark squished under its grip and fell apart as it moved away. It shook off any that latched onto it and traveled further down the trunk so it could support the creature that it was attached to. An enormous pair of round, golden eyes edged out from behind the tree. Their surfaces swirled like the sun’s and seemed to contain every shade of yellow within them. These incredible eyes were set deep in the face of a giant. His turquoise skin glowed softly under the serene, luminous orbs that hovered among the treetops. If not for the many orbs and their soothing, orange-yellow radiance then the forest would be a dark place for the trees grew tall and their branches wide and interwoven into one another giving the hard sunlight no room to pass through. The forest looked as if the earth had birthed powerful arms for the sole purpose of keeping the green sky from falling. Wide leaves grew from sturdy branches, sturdy branches webbed out from wooden palms, and wooden palms flowed down to thick forearms that hugged the ground with stout roots which dug deep into the fertile soil. From the soil grew not only the great arms of wood, but a blanket of pillow like grass with azure tulips strewn throughout it. Like sapphire beacons, the tulips commanded attention in the drab yellow hue of the forest, but the giant was familiar with their grace and only focused on the task at hand.
He stared out at a fiery scene that was the remnants of a lightning strike. Charred branches and crisp leaves lay in piles on the blackened earth. Flames danced in his eyes and smoke rolled in the middle of it all. Sunlight raced down the path the lightning had carved through the treetops; this was the only time it ever entered the forest. It lit up the debris with godlike intensity. The giant left the cover of the tree to investigate. His figure resembled that of a thimble. His legless body brushed against the grassy floor as he glided over it. A few tulips bent briefly under him. Their blue petals vanished against his skin. He stopped in front of the debris and proceeded to dig his calloused hands into it. He brushed aside the branches with ease. The wrinkles around his eyes multiplied as he searched through the burnt wood. He opened his mouth from time to time to blow the dark smoke away from his face. His cracked lips stretched around his two white tusks when he did this. The tusks jutted out from his lower jaw and curved up in between each eye. They were magnificent in their curvature and were most likely nurtured by the loving light of his golden eyes. A large, clay-colored bug flew up to him and landed on his head with a thud. He didn’t flinch under its weight. Its four stubby legs dug gently into his smooth skin. It tapped on his head with a leathery thorax that resembled a dehydrated chili pepper. He responded with a quick grunt. The bug proceeded to rest upon him, keeping its short, fat antennae vigilant.
The sound of rustling leaves came rushing toward them from off in the distance. They paid no mind to it as one continued to sort through the mess and the other slept. The rustling grew louder until the source of it had dropped to the floor in front of them. The creature was as orange as an aging sun. It had two black dots for eyes and a black u-shaped line for a mouth. It playfully tilted its round head back and forth as it stared at the giant. Without breaking his concentration, the giant gestured to all the spots of flame that were still consuming the forest. The creature bounced up and down a couple times as if it was indecisive of which flames to put out first. It raced off towards the closest bit of fire. Its feet flickered much like the flames themselves as it scampered across the ground and hurled itself onto a patch of burning grass. It extinguished it with a hard hiss, hopped to its feet, and dusted itself off. It then scurried off to tend to the other fires. It leapt high into the trees and snuffed out the afflicted branches; sometimes it would dive onto the flames below and land with a loud thud and a long sizzle. After it put out the last fire it skipped off into the branches and disappeared as quickly as it had come.
The giant swept away the last of the debris and found what he was searching for. A small, brown haired boy lay in the center of the blackened earth. His clothes were torn and streaked with blood, yet he appeared to be unharmed. The giant poked him with one of his bony fingers. The boy’s chest rose and fell as he breathed. The giant opened its mouth wide and let out a low-pitched bellow that pierced through the treetops and high into the blue sky. The bug’s wings shot to life and it sprung into the air and out above the trees. It hovered under the white, hot sun and its antennae twitched wildly as it scanned the world for the coming cleanse. The giant slid his hands underneath the boy, picked him up, and moved him onto fresher grass. The bug sensed the cleanse to be almost upon them and it swooped down onto the giant. It smacked its thorax onto him repeatedly. The giant let out a long groan. The bug nestled back into his skin and rested. The giant rose up over the boy and enveloped him in his hollow body. He stopped floating and was flush with the forest floor. At that moment, an arc of lightning shot out from the sun and through the trees, striking the ground only feet from them. The giant could partially see another child through the smoke and fallen branches; this one was a little girl. She looked angelic under the bright beam of white sunlight. He grunted and the bug hurriedly flew over to investigate. It landed near her and crawled into the branches to reach her. It nudged her with its head. She wasn’t breathing. The bug’s thorax lit up and flashed a harsh red. The giant sighed deeply and then grunted half-heartedly. The bug returned to him. The giant stared at the partially hidden girl. Her angelic reflection twisted in his swirling eyes. His unblinking gaze faded to black and he and the bug became as still as stone. The orange creature burst from the leafy ceiling, landed onto some fire, and bounced up onto its feet. It cleaned itself off and looked at the giant’s colorless eyes, the fresh fires, and the newly fallen branches. It walked over to the debris and peered through at the girl within. She lay there lifeless. It hung its head in a sorrowful manner. The earth rumbled as the cleansing grew ever nearer. The creature became an orange blur as it extinguished the fires at a breakneck speed and fled back into the treetops.
Black fog came barreling through the forest, swallowing up everything into its inky shroud. From high above the rolling blackness a charcoal tinged fin could be seen dipping in and out of the clouds. It sliced through them as it headed toward the two children. Attached to the fin was a black skinned goliath. It waded through the onyx haziness; the fin on its head ducked in and out of the clouds with each of its enormous strides. The intense silver of its eyes made it appear as if two moons were racing across a night sky. Besides its eyes, only a faint outline of its gaunt figure was discernable in the blackness. Its long arms hung to the ground and its long legs devoured miles with each step. Despite its Olympus like height, it did not topple trees or shake the ground; instead, it passed through everything as if it were a ghost or a legend that the land didn’t believe in. In a matter of seconds it was upon the children. Without slowing, it swung its hand into the earth and at them. It passed through the boy, but caught the girl. It scooped her up and crushed her into dust in its great palm. He released her powdery existence from his grip and it fell to the floor. Where the greatest concentration of it landed, a single, perfect, blue tulip sprouted and matured in an instant. Far off on the horizon, the sun flicked a dart of lightning into the earth. The goliath veered towards its contact point and in a few strides it was gone. As the fog rolled away from the giant, and company, it revealed a forest that was no longer plagued by smoldering wood and charred earth. It had restored the land as it flowed through.
My Smashed Reviews
on Sep. 13, 2013 :
This story makes no sense! Where are the sequels??
It has some interesting imagery, and as we read it begins to feel like a puzzle: what is really going on, where is everyone? But the conclusion does not help us at all, and then I realized it was Part I, but there aren't any other parts available. Strange and disappointing.
(review of free book)