06 December 2009

Newest story

First chapter of the latest story I am writing

Posted 6 December 2009 upon this website by K.S. Wood - please ask permission before reprinting!


I had the nightmare again. This time, my body would not let me wake until I relived the entire incident again.

My nightmare always starts out the same way; I am a teenager again, walking down the dirt road to our old house. It is a long way home from school and I am tired. I keep hoping my parents will tell me that I do not have to go back. I am of the age where I can quit school, but my mother says no. So I continue to trudge the two miles to and from school each and every day.

I look over my shoulder to watch for them. The more popular kids go out of their way to make life very difficult for me. I am the only one of my kind left at the school, as most else of wizard blood has moved away because of persecution. My parents are tired of moving, so here we stay, despite the discrimination from the common-born.

I walk past the last farmstead before ours. I have a half mile to go. All seems well now, so I let my guard down. The sun has already begun to set in the west. I am late today, as I had to stay and clean floors once again.

Suddenly I hear a rush of hooves beating the ground and four horses race past me, stopping in front of me. Four teenagers with menacing stares glare down upon me. Three more horses come up behind me, closing me in a ring of common-born bullies.

“Uh, hello, Marshall.” I address the ring leader, a large, clean-shaven blond with the physical features of a patrician. His pretty girlfriend, the latest girl to fall for him, sits on the back of his stallion, her big, doe-like eyes making me cringe as she looks upon me with disdain.

“You looking at my girl?” Marshall spits out, his face becoming dark with anger that I should dare to cast my eyes her way.

“No, no,” I say as I take a step backwards, trying to get out of his reach. Two of his goons block my way by putting their horses' flanks in my path.

“Hey, Marshall!” a feminine voice calls from the nearby homestead. The goons turn their attention to the caller. I take my opening. I dash down the road like a mad jack rabbit, and start to cut across the fields that separate this homestead from my parents' meager farm. I run as fast as my legs will carry me, my school books banging against my back in their pack. I can hear the boys whooping and hollering behind me as they close in on me. My hope is that I can get to our yard before they catch me.

The house comes into view and I try to increase my speed, but my legs can only go so fast. I make the mistake of looking behind me and suddenly trip, falling flat on my chest in the crops.

I lay there, dazed, for only a few moments when I find myself being grabbed by my shoulders. I dragged over and a fist connects with my jaw. Marshall's angry eyes connect with mine and for a moment I can see the shock in his eyes. But it is fleeting. His goons haul me to me feet and pin my arms behind me so he can pummel me. I try to cry out in pain, but he slams his fist into my stomach, making me lose all wind.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see my father. Fury washes over his face as he storms towards us, his pitchfork in his hand. My mother is a few steps behind him, concern and fear emanating from her.

He grabs Marshall by the shoulder and pulls him off me. He stares him down, as he is taller then the teen by a few inches. Marshall merely sneers at him.

“Let my son go,” Father commands, his voice dark with rage.

The goons do as he says, and as I stumble towards my father, he turns his head, disgraced with me. I collapse on the ground behind him, hurt physically and emotionally.

By this time, there is a crowd of people from the neighboring homesteads that had come to be spectators. They gather around, caring nothing for the diminishing light as twilight fell upon us. My father and Marshall stood, squared off in a tense stand-off.

“Leave my family alone!”

Marshall is fueled by arrogance and egotism. “We will leave you alone once you leave this place, warlock. Your kind just ain't welcome here.”

With that, he spits in my father's face.

My mother reaches out to try to quell the anger that is built up in my father, but it is too late. Too many times my father has had to back down. Today, he has had enough. He raises his hand and summons his energy. He lets out one quick command.

“DESTRUCTOS!” he shouts. A blast of purple light brightens the dusk as every last living soul vanishes in obliteration. My father, mother, and I remain the only people left, surrounded by scorched earth and smoldering mist. My mother stands there, her hand upon my father's arm, for a few brief seconds as she shockingly surveys the scene in front of her.

“What have you done, Robert?”she asks, her voice an anguished whisper.

Before he could muster an answer, there is a loud roar of thunder and a flash of blinding light. Both of my parents disappear forever. I try to stand, but collapse in wearied pain, my body aching from the beating and my mind reeling from what I just witnessed. The ground about me smolders and crackles. Then, the house roars.

That is always how the dream ends, I wake in a cold sweat, my body in pain from the beating I received; a beating I received over ten years ago.

Last night was the same as every other night for the past ten years.

06 November 2009

A Child's Belief

This is a short story that came to me in a dream (always good to write down dreams!). Hope it sounds right!

Posted 6 November 2009 upon this website by K.S. Wood - please ask permission before reprinting!


His mother didn't believe him when he told her the lady he saw was magical. She said magic didn't exist, but he knew better. He could see her as more then just an ordinary woman.

He saw her first when at the hospital with his mother. She stood there, dressed as a nurse, as her mother dealt with paperwork. Her eyes glistened as she nodded at him. There was such a magical aura about her. He wanted his mother to see her, but when he got her attention, the lady was gone.

A few days later she came to the door as a delivery person bringing flowers, condolences for his father's sudden passing. She smiled at him with a radiant smile as she put the rather large bouquet on the coffee table. Her eyes glistened again as she leaned down to tweak his nose.

“Hello, Johnny,” she said softly.

“How did you know my name?” he asked in awe.

She smiled and let out a magical laugh. “A little bird told me.” With that she waved good bye and climbed back into her truck and drove away.

A few more days later, he stood in the cemetery, staring at his father's casket, listening to the sobs of his mother as person after person passed, murmuring their words of solace. The wind whistled and lifted his cap off of his head. He turned to retrieve it as a beautiful white bird chirped on a branch above his head. It looked at him with glistening eyes, twittered again and then flew away.

He told his mother about the bird while they were in the limousine. She hushed him for speaking such nonsense and reminded him again that magic just did not exist. He wriggled in his seat for a brief moment and then caught his grandmother's look. It reassured him.

Grandmother spoke. “You know, Marcia, the child may be on to something. Years ago, when his father was a child, he too saw a beautiful white bird the day his father died. A beautiful woman with lavender eyes visited a few days later with a gift that brought me hope. If that is who the child sees, you will know.”

The limo was quiet the rest of the way home.

Johnny was sent out to play when the day's activities were done. He looked high and low but could not find the snowy bird. Disappointed, he trudged into the townhouse, where his mother met him. Her face was serious and slightly tense as she addressed him.

“John David, magic doesn't exist. Your grandmother was telling you a story to make you feel better. So forget about it.”

He didn't argue with her. He instead went up to his room after supper and fell into his bed, exhausted and heartbroken. He quickly fell fast asleep, unaware of the white bird that watched over him from outside the window.

A week went by and Johnny gave up hope of ever seeing the lady with the glistening eyes or the snow white bird again. He sat in the porch in one of the chairs his dad had lovingly made, dejected and missing his dad even more. A tear trickled down his cheek. He was unaware of the bird that stared at him from the tree.

There was a sudden flutter of wings and the bird came to rest upon the beam above his head. It twittered a beautiful melody that lifted Johnny's spirits as he looked up.

He jumped to his feet ecstatically. He was about to call to his mother when he realized she stood on the threshold, holding the screen door open. Tears glistened in her eyes, which were fixed upon the bird as it finished its melody.

The bird flew down and landed on the floor with a op. As it did so, it changed into the magical woman with the glistening eyes. She was dressed in a beautiful flowing gown this time, reminiscent of an era long past. Her auburn hair hung down her back in waves. She smiled at Johnny, her lavender eyes twinkling with radiance. She then turned and bowed gracefully to his mother.

Her voice was lyrical when she finally spoke. “Mrs. Warren, I am Eathelin. I have come to bring you peace.” She leaned forward and whispered something into Marcia's ear as she pressed a small stone into her hand. When she finished, she smiled again and disappeared, flying away as the snow white bird.

A single, solitary feather floated down to where her feet were. Johnny picked it up and looked up in wonder at his mother. Her face was peaceful and radiant.

They never saw the magical lady again, but the stone was kept in a place of prominence in their house from that day forward. It was a small, rose colored stone with just a simple word cut into it's smooth surface; hope. The feather Johnny kept tucked in his box of treasures, and he looked at it for years to come, whenever he felt it was all a dream.

Johnny's mother never scolded him again about believing in magic.

06 January 2009

The Stranger in the Compound

This is a story that I came up with years ago, but never finished. I recently re-wrote it to be a short story, though it had started out being a novel about redemption. I hope the message I wanted to convey is still there:

Posted 6 January 2009 upon this website by K.S. Wood - please ask permission before reprinting!


He came out of nowhere, just wandered in from the desert, carrying nothing. He wore a simple outfit; dark denim jeans, a stained white shirt, worn out cowboy boots and a denim jacket that was destined soon for the rag bag. And yet, he carried an air of confidence about him, despite his unkempt, road weary appearance. She noticed him long before he was even close enough to see his facial features.

Susan stood in the middle of the desert herself, as far away from the compound as she even dared without the fear of being spotted by the guards. Kate had shown her a hole in the fence only the day before, and she gladly made her escape into the desert for a few hours of solitude. She stood, staring up at the stars and the moon, contemplating life outside of the compound. She wondered if anyone could survive crossing the desert on foot, if it were even possible to escape the life she had, when she noticed him crossing the desert, his profile shining in the light of the full moon. He walked as if nothing in particular caught his attention, just admiring the bleak world in its entirety, as if it were a gem in itself.

He continued to walk, closer and closer towards her, but didn't seem to notice she was watching him until he was about a hundred yards away. Then he looked up, and his dark brown eyes flashed in the moonlight with something as he stared at her. Their eyes locked and for a moment, all seemed to be well with her world, but only for a brief moment. A noise brought her back to her present state of mind.

The guards were starting their rounds again. Worried that he had no idea what would happen if the guards found a stranger in their midst, she beckoned him to follow and then darted back under the fence. She checked to make sure he followed her, and with relief noticed he not only followed her, but was beside her as she ran. She spoke not a word to him, but darted into a nearby dwelling, holding the door open only long enough for him to enter as well before pulling the flap shut.

She struck a match and lit the kerosene lamp that hung in the center of her dwelling. A blondish head roused from a pile of blankets in one corner.

“Mama?” a young girl's voice called out.

“Shh,” the woman whispered as she smoothed the covers and kissed the child's head. “Sleep, Katie. I am home.”

Katie nodded and snuggled back into her blankets, closing her hazel eyes, but not before they met with the stranger's dark ones. She fell asleep with a big grin on her face.

“The guards kill those who are outsiders if they do not have the proper clearances to enter this compound,” the woman said, speaking to the stranger for the first time. “I can let you spend the night here, but you must be gone by first light. I can sneak you back out of the compound, but you'll have to be ready when I wake in the morning. Then you can be on your way to wherever you were headed before you got lost.”

“Who said I was lost?”

The words were spoken in a soft voice that caught her off guard.

Why anyone would choose this God-forsaken place to come to when some many of the villagers wanted to escape it was beyond her. She looked back into the dark brown eyes again. A calming sensation came over her and something made sense, even if it was completely clear what.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“My name is Nicholas.”

“You say you are not lost? Are you sure?”

The brown eyes held her own. All the feelings of oppression she had held for so many years suddenly melted away.

Tears came to her eyes. “It's been years since anyone has been so caring to me,” she cried. “After the war, we came here, my husband and I. I was carrying Katie then. Malchus and his men had promised to keep us safe, but we are his captives, just like all the others who asked for his protection.”

The brown eyes never lost their compassion as she continued to talk on, telling the stranger her story. After what seemed like hours, he took her hand in his own gently.

For a few moments, all was well. Then a thought crossed her mind and she became seized with fear, not for her own safety, but for the well being of the man who she dared to smuggle into the compound.

“Who are you?” she asked again. “If you are not lost, then why come here? Why risk your life to enter a place that does not welcome you?”

“You welcomed me.”

She had to agree with him, but was not completely convinced.

“I come with a purpose. Fear not, my friend.”

There was a weariness in his face that she had not seen.

“You must be tired. I am sorry I have nothing to offer you but a mere floor for a bed. Since my husband's death, I have slept with my daughter to keep warm on these long cold nights. I can give you what I can spare in bedding. Tomorrow I must sneak you out, for if I am caught with an outsider it means certain death for the two of us.”

“But you are willing to risk that death to see that I am comfortable for one night.”

She nodded wearily. After placing a few blankets on a chair, she bid the stranger good night and climbed into the loft to snuggle into bed next to her daughter.

She was wakened by a loud pounding on the door.

“By the order of General Malchus, open up!”

“Mama?” Katie cried, jumping with fright.

Susan panicked as she climbed down the ladder, trying to think of where she could hide the stranger in her meager cottage. She went to wake him, but found the blankets neatly folded on the floor. The fire had been stoked. The stranger was no where to be seen.

She had only a moment to take in the scene before the pounding began again.

Three guards stood on her doorstep, their guns resting against their shoulders. An officer in Malchus' army held a sheet of paper in his hand. He glanced her over, then pushed her aside and entered into her home.

“We received a tip that you were seen escorting an unknown male into your building last night. Where is he?”

“There is no one unknown here, sir,” Susan said, trying not to tremble. “It is only myself and my daughter. We should both be registered. You may look about if you wish.”

The cottage was searched thoroughly as Susan stood outside, her arms wrapped around her daughter's small shoulders. When nothing out of the ordinary was found, then soldiers left, but not before the officer gave her and her daughter a stern look.

“Should he come again, it would be in your best interest to turn him over to the proper authorities.”

Susan shuddered, and then stood tall. Nicholas had given her hope, something that had been missing for sometime. And even though she felt within her very core that he was never coming back, she knew that he was safe, and bringing a little bit of comfort to someone else in their time of need.

As they watched the soldiers leave their hovel, Katie looked up at her mother.

“Mama, was it a man who was here?”

Susan pulled her back into their cottage and shut the door before she answered.

"Yes, sweetie. Why do you ask?”

“I didn't see a man last night”

“You were sleeping, sweetie.”

Katie shook her head. “I saw an angel, like the ones that Mrs. Claire tells me in secret when she's watching me. The ones that God uses to bring hope and comfort to people. Everyone says they're just fairy tales, but do you think so?”

Susan smiled as she thought about Nicholas. “No sweetie, I don't think so.”

“Are angels real, Mama?”

Susan nodded. “Yes, they are.”

And from that moment, she believed.