365 Stories | 001 of 365

Happy New Year!

I’ve decided on another 365 Day project! I’m going to write a story every day. So hope you like story time because a lot of words are coming at you this year.

Some of these might span multiple days because I don’t know where these stories end. The plots might get out of hand, but this is all for good fun practice. I’m excited to create and push my creativity.

Hope you enjoy the first one below!

~Kendall


 

The pie was fresh out of the oven when Mr. Sandburg arrived, but by the time they all ate it was cold and nearly everyone wanted to throw it away. Dinner had always been awkward for the Sandburg family, but they did their best to eat in peace without so much as a scowl or under the breath mutter of annoyance. The three brothers never looked each other in the eye and the youngest sister rarely spoke when she came. Mr. Sandburg typically read his newspaper during dinner, ignoring the rest of the family, and if someone tried to interrupt he would go to bed.

Marilyn was the youngest sister and would sit in the corner reading a book. She hardly ever looked up from the pages trying to escape into the words. Diana the eldest of the family siblings always helped prepare the dishes while her mother dictated the correct way to prep the turkey, stir the soup and cut the greens. Derrik, Fell, and Preston were brothers by blood but as far as anyone was concerned they must have had different upbringings. Derrik was the town apothecary never daring to leave the small town in which the Sandburgs lived. He didn’t stray far when he came of age. Fell was the devil child having left before he came of age, stealing from neighbors and even his own family on his way out of the town. Preston had moved away for college and independently wealthy after going into the mining business. The siblings were never friendly with each other.

Mrs. Sandburg during this particular dinner felt a little off after ordering Diana to take the mushroom casserole out of the oven and cover it with foil. She ignored the strange twinge in her upper chest and continued on telling her eldest to go fetch some water from the well. She began chopping some carrots for the salad while Derrik sat upon a stool in front of the counter watching her. It happened quite fast and Derrik didn’t know how to react, but Mrs. Sandburg was dead. She fell on the countertop with her knife skittering to the ground in a clatter.

Derrik stared at his dead mother confused about what to do. He hadn’t even stood up to check on her before Diana returned from getting the water. The eldest sister sighed while placing the bucket of water next to the sink. She did not seem distressed at the sight of her mother.

“Finally,” Preston said picking up the knife on the ground and setting it in the sink. “I was beginning to think she’d never keel over.”

“Can you take the body out to the garden, Preston?” Diana asked. “Fell help him.”

Preston nodded and picked up his mother by her shoulders while Fell reached for her legs. The two siblings carried their mother out in silence. Diana turned to Derrik who was staring at the scene with his mouth half open.

“Derrik could you clean up the carrots and slice some new ones. Dinner is nearly ready,” Diana snapped at her brother. Derrik nodded slightly shaken at the whole ordeal but he took a breath and carried on as if nothing had happened.

The Sandburg family continued with their dinner as if nothing had changed. They all sat down at the table with a single empty seat. All of them ignored each other and ate the mushroom casserole in silence. Mr. Sandburg put down his paper at the end of dinner and looked at his children.

“When do you think Mrs. Sandburg will return? I’m quite fond of her,” he asked.

“Just after the sunset, I believe she’ll awaken,” Marilyn replied looking up from her book briefly. “I can’t imagine it’ll be that hard to get up and running.”

The family tried to eat dessert but Derrik kept fidgeting. “Can you please stop Derrik?” Fell snapped. Derrik stopped squirming in his seat.

Mr. Sandburg chimed in, “Fell remember Derrik is still the newest implant. He still has the memories of the original Derrik controlling the body.”

“Doesn’t change the nervous energy rolling off of him,” Fell retorted. “This family is by far the worse family we’ve taken over. None of these siblings talk to each other and the controlling mother–”

“–Fell, you’re just as prone to the feelings of your host’s body. After all your host is incredibly suspicious and a kleptomaniac,” Diana interrupted. “Father, how long until we can rid ourselves of these feelings?”

Mr. Sandburg rolled his eyes. Marilyn was the one who answered, “We’ve only assimilated into the hosts for the last week. The only ones who are past the feelings of their hosts are me and father. Even then we’re all still forced to listen to their thoughts of horror and express ourselves in this sill manner. I wish Marilyn would shut up about how she really misses being in control of her own body. It’s not like she lived anyway. She’s never gone outside of this town. I’m sure Preston’s body has got better stories than what I get to experience.”

“Would you two stop fighting. We’re 5,500 years old and you two still fight like that married couple you were in the middle ages. I swear one of these days I would love to just assimilate alone,” Mr. Sandburg said. Fell and Diana looked away from the table.

The Sandburgs had been controlled by aliens for the past week. The process of taking over a family or herd always took a week or two. First, the head of a household or alpha, depending on the type of animal or body, would be taken by Mr. Sandburg. He’d learn how to control the body he was in and navigate through memories the creatures had. From there it was important that he’d help assimilate his second in command, in this case, Marilyn. From there Diana, Preston, Fell, Derrik, and their mother was the order of taking over this particular family unit. All under the control of aliens that had lived on earth for thousands of years.

It startled the family of aliens when someone knocked on the door. They all turned to stare at the door hoping that the person would just go away, but they knocked again. Marilyn looked to Mr. Sandburg who rose to his feet, warily. He opened the door a crack to look outside. A young man by the name of Ellis was standing outside holding flowers. He smiled at Mr. Sandburg.

“Mr. Sandburg, how are you this evening? Is Diana home?” he asked grinning and trying to look past him.

“No,” Mr. Sandburg’s alien retorted. The real Mr. Sandburg tried to control his body by shouting out Help! We’re being invaded by aliens! but only his alien heard.

Ellis’s grin faltered. “I’m sorry Mr. Sandburg, did I offend you? I didn’t mean to. Is there anything I can–”

“You can leave,” Mr. Sandburg’s alien interrupted.

Ellis, taken aback tried to swallow his pride. He held out the flowers wondering what he had done to offend him. “Could you give these to Diana when she does return. I’d love to take her–”

“Leave now sir,” Mr. Sandburg’s alien snapped. He shut the door in Ellis’s face.

He turned to face the family. His face was dark.

“Do we have to leave so soon?” Fell asked. “I swear we just took over these bodies.”

“I haven’t even been assimilated for more than 10 minutes,” Mrs. Sandburg’s alien said entering the room from the backyard. The mother walked over to the counter. “Also, why did I have to go last this time?”

Marilyn rolled her eyes and looked at Mr. Sandburg. “Should we leave?” she asked.

“I’m not certain,” Mr. Sandburg replied.

“I think we should let Diana go out on a date,” Fell replied with a mischievous grin. Mr. Sandburg glared at his son.

“I don’t recommend it. Even the real Diana doesn’t like that boy,” Diana’s alien said. “I say we just ignore it and carry on.”

“But don’t you want to have fun?” Fell asked. “I think we’re entitled to some fun.”

“What is our goal with these bodies?” Preston interjected. “Should we even be having fun in them?”

Ellis knocked on the door again interrupting the discussion. He had only walked as far as the driveway before turning around, plucking up some courage to ask why Mr. Sandburg already hated him. Mr. Sandburg opened the door again.

To Be Continued…

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Dragons, Dragons, lots of Dragon plots

Day 6 of 365.

Today’s story concepts are reworks from past ideas for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo WriMo). For long stories I am an excellent world builder, but not so much storyteller. For last November I wrote down several concepts for a specific world I’ve created. This world is similar to ours, but a more futuristic SciFi, and most importantly contains dragons. I want to bring some parts of these concepts I’ve created in this world to life, possibly in one or more of the shorts I plan to animate this year. In all the concepts below I have one singular main character, Emerson, but different possible arcs for her background and story. Keep in mind that the original ideas for these stories is a novel length plot, or a series. If I animate a concept it’ll be in the same world, but with plot on a much simpler scale.

Some notes that will help understanding wise. These concepts are fluid in my world building, depending on how I structure my plots. Typically Auvusson is a country or capital and Vermatt is a major city or state within it. Also, about 90 percent of my plots do not have magic. The dragons are similar to the way we treat horses in our world. I do like the idea of having magic in the world, but in combination with science and technology. I just would need to way to fit it into a plot if I do. Until I have a plot or world rules decided on, the rules are very fluid.

  • Emerson is growing up on a dragon farm. One day a wild dragon lays an egg nearby and then abandons it due to an illegal dragon hunt. Emerson’s family takes the egg in as one of their domestic dragons. After the dragon comes to the age of flight and selling there is controversy because of its genes and wild line. People try to destroy the farm and attempt to kill the dragon. Emerson’s father is killed in the process, leaving the family on their own. Grown up Emerson must take charge of the family farm, deciding on how to deal with the wild dragon. To release to the wild? Sell to a bidder? Euthanize it? All of this and deal with her father’s death.
  • Emerson grew up around dragons on the family dragon farm. When the World Dragon Flight (or Fight) Competition comes to a nearby city she decides to enter the competition despite her family’s wishes to not. The competition, however, requires a small team. Emerson works to assemble a team in hopes of winning. When she finally gets them all together she’s confronted with being the underdog in a world she doesn’t quite understand. Her team, of only a couple months, must work against school and professional competitors.
  • The most elite Dragon Academy has offered Emerson a spot for training. Emerson wants more than anything to be on the school’s Flight (or Fight) Dragon team, but can she even make it to practices with her work and school schedule? Emerson finds that through her own talents that the coaches might be willing to give her chance, but some of her teammates aren’t nearly as welcoming.
  • Emerson is cocky after joining the Dragon’s Flight team. She’s a major winner, but now she’s beginning to act out. So much that she might cost her the team. When she discovers a cheater during an unauthorized dragon flight she has to choose between her own punishment and theirs, or attempt to beat them herself.
  • When the annual Dragon Races open up Emerson’s team enters, excitedly. The race is dangerous but their team perseveres. At the end of the race a bomb suddenly explodes in the stadium, injuring and leaving mass panic. Before passing out Emerson sees her dragon and others stolen. The nightmare is far from over when Emerson is considered to be a suspect. After a year of finger pointing she makes friends/falls in love with a rebel in disguise. The rebel turns out to be the mastermind behind the attacks. Questioning only leads to more questions, and now Emerson must decide on a side. Especially when she learns her dragon is still alive and the reasons behind the attacks.
  • When a rare dragon egg is laid and found by Emerson’s family, they find themselves in the middle of a media frenzy. There are attacks to steal the dragon egg from several different groups of people. One night Emerson finds her own Uncle trying to steal the egg. Her father is killed attempting to convince him to give the egg back. Her Uncle smuggles the egg away on a train, and, unknown to him, Emerson too. When discovered by her Uncle, he finds himself conflicted between saving his niece and being paid. Her uncle tries to go for both, but is stabbed in the back, literally, by the company. He dies just as the dragon hatches and forms it’s first human bond, with Emerson. The company tries to kidnap and kill her, but the baby dragon defends her. Emerson and the dragon try to escape. Before she does she realizes that the company is owned by her mother. Now what?
  • One person is nominated from every town in Auvusson to be an ultimate dragon rider. The riders patrol the towns and become types of leaders, but still answer to the president. When Emerson finds herself as the Vermatt Dragon Rider she also finds that she must answer to Auvusson’s most vile and corrupt leader. He sends her to destroy towns instead of save and protect them. So, naturally, she rebels. The result is her own witch hunt. Now she must flee and find a way to save her own town of Vermatt.

There’s a few more ideas I had, but they’re quite honestly sh!t. These concepts still need a lot of work before I even begin to use them as full stories. I plan to develop a set of rules magic and science wise in the future, which should help in how I set up plots. Or vice versus, find a plot that defines the rules I set up. As far as taking these into an animation short I intend to use the world and rules I have. Reminder, these concepts are structured for a novel, another goal for 2016.

Till tomorrow friends,
~Kendall

The Moldy Home : Part 1

Day 2 of 365 stories.

Foam and a moldy aftertaste had settled in Maya’s mouth. The girl slouched annoyed at the smell of the dusty house she had entered. There was black and green mold growing all over the wooden doors. Maya pulled a black curl behind her ear and covered her mouth as she followed the sound of water dripping.

“Maya,” Eric called out from behind a door. Maya rolled her eyes and followed the man through the abandoned house. Her friend eyes were lit up like a christmas tree as he snapped photo after photo of the falling apart architecture. “Look at these old chairs!” he exclaimed excitedly.

Maya pushed against the door that was separating them with her elbows. It swung forward with a crackling that made her cringe. Her eyes looking upward to see if anything was going to fall down on her. Certain that the doorframe was indeed steady she inched her way into the what looked like the dining room.

Eric was already on the far side of the room photographing the texture of yet another door. He was bouncing on his toes lightly as his nimble and spidery fingers snapped photos. His lense looked like an extension of his his nose as it peered in closer and closer to some random object he found interesting. Maya raised an eyebrow as she watched with folded arms.

“Did you see the chairs?” Eric said swinging his camera lense around and snapping a photo of her without permission. Maya scowled for a moment before looking around for the chairs he wanted her to see. She spotted them next to the large broken window. There were two wooden dining chairs with a soft curve in the body. She tilted her head, studying them.

“Oh my–” Eric started, but cut off suddenly. Maya lifted her head to see what he was up to, but realized that he wasn’t there anymore.

“Eric?” she said quietly. Her voice echoed strangely in the old house. A sudden cold feeling in her stomach. She was by no means superstitious, meaning not a believer in ghosts, but she couldn’t help being worried. She blinked, unmoving as she tried to breathe silently in hopes that Eric would answer right away.

“MAYA. THIS IS THE FUCKING HOLY GRAIL!” a loud excited voice screamed from around the corner. Maya breathed loudly, annoyed, but relieved. The girl marched forward toward Eric to see what her comrade had found.

The side room was the kitchen pantry and inside were mice, an angry feral cat, and a very excited Eric photographing the former two. His ginger hair flopped to the side a bit and freckles stuck out despite the low light. The feral cat screamed loudly at Eric before he caught a mouse in his mouth, flicking his tail angrily at the interruptions. Eric crouched down snapping the photos again and again.

“You moron, you scared me,” Maya said her tone taking the motherly approach it did when she felt scared. “Don’t do that.”

Eric paused and glanced up at her. His eyes staring into her in the familiar way that he usually did. He studied her expression for a moment longer before deciding on his response.

“Sorry, just got overly excited. Do you want to go for a flick later?” he asked gently knowing her reaction already.

Maya smiled. “Of course you know my answer. Why do you bother asking?”

“Courtesy,” he replied snapping photos again.

“Hey,” another voice suddenly said. Both Maya and Eric spun around toward the voice as panic flooded them. There was a tall man with a mustache and greying brown hair standing there. “What are you two doing here?”

Maya opened her mouth trying to answer the question, but the man just pointed away. “Get off this property now and I won’t call the police. Get.”

The two ran, skirting past the man and through the moldy doors. Eric led the way as Maya tried to keep up with him. They reached the front door. Eric reached for the knob only to pull back abruptly. Maya hung back waiting for him to fiddle with it and open the door.

“What’s taking so long? Open the door,” she said glancing back alarmed that the man would come yell at them again.

“There’s no door knob,” Eric said looking around with a puzzled expression.

“What are you-” Maya said peering around the door but realized her friend was telling the truth. “What the? How do we get out?”

“Not sure. Through the window perhaps?” Eric said turning around as he did. Maya felt something brush her neck and twisted around. Nothing was there.

“Eric…I’m scared,” she whispered. Her chest tensed and something seemed to be catching in her throat. Her heart was beating loudly in her ears.

Eric ignored her as he saw something move. He opened his mouth to tell Maya only to jump back suddenly as the feral cat ran screeching toward him. He knocked his arm into Maya who twisted around. The cat jumped past them toward the door, scratching at it and meowing angrily. It twisted back around when it realized the door wasn’t going to budge. His fur had puffed out and he was glancing around nervously.

“Kids move,” the voice of the man said suddenly from the hallway. Both Maya and Eric jumped. The man walked past the two, kicked the door hard and it popped out, swinging toward them. He turned and nodded to Maya and Eric who followed the man out the door. The cat running angrily after the man.

To be continued & reworked another evening.

~Kendall