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Author Topic: an attempt at a steamy war/horror story  (Read 1972 times)
Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Western Sahara Western Sahara


too depressed for words


« on: January 12, 2020, 12:34:13 pm »

Because War IS Hell, and we all love a good horror story, I will offer this little nastily graphic piece of
original fiction, based very very  loosely on three ( or more ) true stories.

FYI, I am not by nature a violent person.  bear in mind I am an aspiring Daoist/Buddhist/follower who believes
“Above all else do no harm”

please be gentle I never write stuff.

--------------————————————————
Another War. They never seem to stop. At least this one is only regional, not like the Big One.

It was the trenches of... where were we again? Its all getting lost in the fog in my head.  
The Steamships  got us to the coast, and steam locomotives took  three days to bring us here....
The airships droned high overhead. Of course, I was the only one who could hear them... :-(

This battle was at a stalemate. The enemy was strong and well equipped. We were going through
troops too fast, and the Rear Command didn't care. My Corporal nudged me and I looked up to
see we just got another batch of  troops kids.

These were even younger kids than before. Schoolkids even. Few had seen battle, none had killed an enemy.
It was going to get very very ugly, and they needed inspiration.

I was lucky, my friend Matt was still with me, and I knew I could count on him to watch my back.
But the kids were just going to be fresh meat for the grinder.

Most of the kids were fresh out of boot and all feisty and jabbering
             -"hey sarge, now WE are here, we're goona win this for ya!
                   we're they best!
                   we're gonna wipe 'em out!"

So the corporal got them fired up and started them all on a rousing chorus of Men Of Harlech.

After that the corporal started getting them settled down, so we could go over the ground rules

- We have arial intel - use it! The airships are there for a reason!
- The clairvoyants are good, but use their intel carefully as it is all subjective.
- Keep Your Head Down
- once the shooting starts, shoot then move - don't stay in one place too long
- if the enemy charges, stay cool and hold your ground - the remote control charges and artillery will stop them.
- when the order comes to Fix Bayonets, remember your training-
           stick to the basics:
           block, parry, thrust, and cover the man to your left!
           save the fancy bayonet "fencing crap" for the drill grounds
-  and *NEVER EVER* call on the spirits after dark

one of the newest kids called out, "hey sarge you don't really believe in......”
and the corporal smacked him up the back of the head.

Things stayed quiet after that for quite a while.
Arial Recon from the Zepplin Amadeus reported no movement,  and the Clairvoyents said things were silent.

The corporal ran another equipment and ammunition check, and the kids broke out some
smokes and playing cards. My Coporal even started brewing up some pejuta sapa (black medicine == coffee !).

I was actually starting to relax a bit. A good cuppa hot java can do that.
Suddenly the enemy started droning their war chant. They had some new tech that amplified it,
and that startled the kids something fierce.

Then the enemies buglers started playing The Deguelo. classic psych warfare.
The kids got pale and one started to shake.

Matt and I had been through this too many times.
I looked at Matt and he nodded, we had to do something to break the stalemate.
It was going to cost though...

Matt checked the Trench Scope and used the Big Ear, and he gave me the thumbs up.

I got the kids attention and said:
"OK you Grunts - I'm breaking all the rules here:
  never do what I'm about to do after dark!"

Celtic, Swedish, Sioux - Sometimes it pays to be a half-breed - you inherit a little bit of everything.

I grabbed my hand drum and climbed to the top of the tiny hill right behind the trench.
Cupped my mouth over the megaphone, filled my lungs and let loose my Banshee scream.

The Banshee scream is perfect  psych-ops, even better than The Deguelo. Every country
has some kind of legend that if you hear a Banshee Scream it means Death is coming for you.
It's a primal sreeeeeeech that cuts through everything, and you don't so much hear it as feel it
starting in your head and going all the way down your spine to yours toes. The Banshee triggers
some of the oldest most primal fears known. I can make It last over a minute and it
cut right through the enemy buglers and stopped them dead.

It also snapped the kids right around and they stared at me instead of the enemy lines.

I started drumming...
I started to sing, but nobody knew my language.
sometimes it's better that way.

I called to the spirits of the West
I called to the Thunder Beings
I called to the Wolf Nation
I called to the Lion Nation
I called to the Bear Nation

Then I bellowed through the megaphone in English:

"Look to the WEST."
"There do I see my father and my grandfathers!"
"There do I see my mother and my grandmothers!"
"There do I see my sisters and brothers, my aunts and uncles; "
"There do I see the line of my People, back to the Beginning! "

"They tell me Be Strong! "
"They tell me to defend my People!"
"They tell me Hoka Hey! Be Ready!"
"They tell me to Take My Fight to my enemy and Cut Out Their Hearts!"
"They tell me Do Not Fear for Today is a Good Day to die!"

My drumming was like a racing heartbeat.
I put the megaphone at the back opening of my drum and the beat boomed through the whole valley.
it must have carried past the next town, 20 klicks away.

And then I sang my Death Song.

It's a non-vocable, howling wail that goes from nearly soprano down
to a low bass and trails off. when it faded away, the whole valley went silent,
not a peep from the enemy.

The Clairvoyents suddenly reported a "great disturbance" and I knew My Relatives were coming-
It was going to be *my* night alright.

My Corporal knew the drill - we'd been together for years.
He took my helmet, rifle and ammuniton belt;
he got my sacred painted parflech saddlebags and dug out my "kit bag" holding my night gear.
I stripped off my uniform tunic, and taped my trouser cuffs to my boot tops, while my Corporal got out my WarPaint.
I painted my upper body, arms, neck and face black whilst my Corporal painted my back.
I painted one yellow "tear streak" from each eye down my cheek. My Corporal painted a lightning bolt down my spine.

My Father's and Uncle's knives were strapped on my belt, on my left and right hips
My Grandfathers Service Pistol went in a shoulder holster.


One of the kids whispered "what's he doing? why is he stripping?"
is he going on recon? is that all he's gonna take?"

My Corporal explained:
" this is no recon.
  he's going hunting.
  if he needs more weapons, he will take them from the enemy he just killed.
  but he's never had to do that .......
  He's stripping because ... well, have you heard of the beserkergang?"

while they were talking, I noticed my reflection in the wireless panel -
my eyes were just starting to glow red. my thoughts were getting fuzzy.

Then My Relations, Those I Called, began to arrive.

I turned away and told the kids -
 "Don't be afraid, these are my friends -
 but stay down, don't look, keep silent.
 make no wrong moves and they will not harm you...."

Finally I started singing ... no, chanting ... quietly to the kids:

"Don't call my name in battle, you'll find that it's not wise
 Don't call to me when you start to see the red in these old eyes
 When the spirits fill this flesh I wear -
 I am not your friend.

Don't call my name in battle, from me stay far away
I will never hear you words, but another creature may
It never sees you as a friend but just another foe -
Just count the corpses I have left  behind.

Don't call my name in battle, wait until the time
Until I fall, and rise again with eyes you see are mine
Maybe then we'll talk again when I have rested, prayed, and cleansed
just maybe, then you'll understand
why I walk alone."


I crawled over the edge of the trench, and started loping through the No Mans Land, unseen,
and Shadows of Death, My Relations, went with me...

...
...
...

I gradually came to be aware I was  lying on the ground in a tent.
I had no idea how much time had passed.
My entire body felt like I had been hit by the Orient Express.
Every bone, every joint hurt like hell. I was sure I broke several ribs, every breath was agony.
My head was killing me, my gut was knotted up, my eyes could not focus.
I could not stand what little light came through the tent flaps.
All I could smell and taste was blood.
And I was covered in gore.

Matt was standing next to me, and a Medic was trying to wash dried blood and intestines and brains and lungs off me, looking for any wounds.
The Medic saw my eyes open and said " Take it easy Sarge. We've smudged you with Sage and I'm washing you with Cedar"

I looked at Matt and said "Hau Mattoh! How long was it? How bad?"

"You were gone three nights and two days. This is the middle of the third day.
 You came back with over two dozen scalps, 40 pairs of ears, and a head.  
 Oh and a heart. "

“You came in naked, except for the guts covering you and the scalps that were draped over you like a cape.
 Some were falling off, so the officers figured you took more than you brought back.”

"The Clairvoyants report the enemy is paralyzed with extreme fear and anxiety.
 The Clairvoyants say they  “heard” enemy reports of decapitated heads on spikes and a body count in excess of 200,
 but it's hard for the enemy  to be certain because the body  parts are  scattered so widely .
 ....and then there’s all the claw marks....  "

"Just so you know, the kids are scared spit-less... one of them saw you come back in . He’s in shock..
  But the enemy has called for a truce and wants to discuss terms..."

"My stuff?" I asked

“ You brought back the knives and service pistol in a bag with the ears and heart .
  Don't know where the bag came from.
  You were dragging the head in by the hair.”

“ I cleaned up your gear, and put it away in your saddlebags, with sage. And It seems you have a new grizzly claw. Must be about 6 inches long.
 Oh yeah, I got Sweat Lodges lined up every other day for a month and a Singer has been arranged for an Enemy Way.
 We heard from some other units:
 The Swedes want to know if you would consider joining their  Baersarker Circle
 And the Finns invited you to a Karhunpeijaiset."

" You know how hard this is on you. This little party is going to shorten your life by years.” Matt was always looking out for my well-being.

"Thanks Mattoh. I knew I could count on you." I said.
  
Just as I was about to pass out again, the Medic spoke up again:
 "Sarge, who in the hell are you talking to?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't normally try to write anything.
Thanks for a place to help me get this one out of my system.

yhs
prof marvel
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 04:04:29 am by Prof Marvel » Logged

The world is in Hell and I am too depressed for words
chicar
Rogue Ætherlord
*
Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 06:50:14 pm »

I love this kind of shamanism-steampunk combo.
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The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Western Sahara Western Sahara


too depressed for words


« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 03:29:55 am »

I love this kind of shamanism-steampunk combo.

thanks for reading chicar.

I normally don't write, I am an oral-tradition story teller.
but it's crazy, this thing has been cooking in the back of my head for a while
and I needed to get this off my chest.

yhs
prf marvel
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chicar
Rogue Ætherlord
*
Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2020, 10:28:28 pm »

I'm just curious to know what the ''three or more true stories''  who inspired your short.
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Darkhound
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2020, 04:41:42 am »

Interesting. A combination of a Berserkergang, a Sioux Spirit Call, and an Irish Gae Catha. That's three of the scariest war-shaman actions in history combined in one man!!! I can see how there would be a high price for that.

Beautifully written, Professor! Utterly believable and terrifying. Nice of him to warn the recruits not to speak to him, touch him or approach him until he recovered.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2020, 04:47:09 am by Darkhound » Logged

"Stupidity is a curse with which even the Gods struggle in vain. Ignorance we can fix."
Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Western Sahara Western Sahara


too depressed for words


« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2020, 08:35:56 am »



I'm just curious to know what the ''three or more true stories''  who inspired your short.

sending you a PM


Interesting. A combination of a Berserkergang, a Sioux Spirit Call, and an Irish Gae Catha. That's three of the scariest war-shaman actions in history combined in one man!!! I can see how there would be a high price for that.

Beautifully written, Professor! Utterly believable and terrifying. Nice of him to warn the recruits not to speak to him, touch him or approach him until he recovered.

thanks for the kind words.

like I said, I'm not much of a writer, more an oral-tradition story teller.
and a student of ... comparitive religions?

The more I study non-Christian practices,  the more similarities I see.

I really needed to get this out, I feel like Brass Goggles is a safe outlet.
maybe I can get it put it to bed now.

yhs
prf marvel
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2020, 09:05:10 am »

Because War IS Hell, and we all love a good horror story, I will offer this little nastily graphic piece of
original fiction, based very very  loosely on three ( or more ) true stories.

FYI, I am not by nature a violent person.  bear in mind I am an aspiring Daoist/Buddhist/follower who believes
“Above all else do no harm”

please be gentle I never write stuff.

SNIP

yhs
prof marvel

Great short story Prof Marvel! I don't know how I missed this one (in my defense I never read this section of the forum).

One suggestion, though - it needs a title. And in the long tradition of short story writing, I suggest to keep writing short stories one by one, whatever drops into you mind and then bind them up into a book.

If you've never heard of  Juan José Arreola, this is the time to look up his work. He specializedin  comedic surrealism. I seldom enjoyed literature on school, but I loved his short stories."Confabulario", an anthology of short stories was his best work.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Jos%C3%A9_Arreola


He also collaborated with another writer, Juan Rulfo, who loved to write what I'd call "ethno stories" with his most famous short story book being  "El Llano en Llamas" (available in English as "The Burning Plain and Other Stories"). Sometimes his stories are written as as literal ghost-town stories (eg "Pedro Páramo) of o remember (vaguely - it's been so long), from the perspective of a deceased person's spirit (death in the spiritual and surreal senses of the word is a very important topic in ancient Mexican culture as well as colonial and independence eras).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Rulfo

I just realized that if I'm having a hard time putting together a major project like The Valkyrie, I might as well break down the story to bits and pieces, to develop the plot and subplots, and then stitch them together into a larger work, like a quilt.
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Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Western Sahara Western Sahara


too depressed for words


« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2020, 10:20:37 am »

Thanks J
never thought about a title.

I'll look into those authors, thanks. the snippets on some of Juan Rulfo's shorts sound like stories filled with hoplessness and despair....

yhs
prof marvel
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chicar
Rogue Ætherlord
*
Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2020, 10:57:50 pm »

Interesting. A combination of a Berserkergang, a Sioux Spirit Call, and an Irish Gae Catha. That's three of the scariest war-shaman actions in history combined in one man!!! I can see how there would be a high price for that.

Beautifully written, Professor! Utterly believable and terrifying. Nice of him to warn the recruits not to speak to him, touch him or approach him until he recovered.

What a gae catha ?
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2020, 05:59:33 am »

Thanks J
never thought about a title.

I'll look into those authors, thanks. the snippets on some of Juan Rulfo's shorts sound like stories filled with hoplessness and despair....

yhs
prof marvel

Oh yeah. Juan Rulfo is very dark. He wrote mostly on the conditions of poor people during the formative years of that nation. Juan José Arreola is much more modern, less Mexican and more European, but save for his Dantes-like stories, it's less ghost like. I enjoyed Arreola much more because of his penchant for comedy, but I was mesmerized by the ghostly panoramas painted by Rulfo.
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Darkhound
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2020, 03:42:53 pm »

Interesting. A combination of a Berserkergang, a Sioux Spirit Call, and an Irish Gae Catha. That's three of the scariest war-shaman actions in history combined in one man!!! I can see how there would be a high price for that.

Beautifully written, Professor! Utterly believable and terrifying. Nice of him to warn the recruits not to speak to him, touch him or approach him until he recovered.

What a gae catha ?

Literally translated, "Battle Madness". It's an Irish warrior going into a homicidal fury in which he feels no pain, has a massive adrenaline rush, and kills or destroys everything he can reach.
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Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Western Sahara Western Sahara


too depressed for words


« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2020, 10:52:26 am »


What a gae catha ?

Literally translated, "Battle Madness". It's an Irish warrior going into a homicidal fury in which he feels no pain, has a massive adrenaline rush, and kills or destroys everything he can reach.
Thanks to meditation and Buddhist studies I think I have that under control.

Gae Catha is pretty similar to the Scandinavian Baerserker. The same madness/channeling during battle.
The Celts and the Norse had a LOT of crosspollination going on.

Interestingly, as I study the Norse, I see much almost identical stuff between the Saami Shaman and certain North American
Tribes Medicine Men.

for example, the Saami tipis are identical to the Plains tribes,
the hand drums are nearly identical to Plains, Teton, and Pueblo Indians
the symbology is VERY similar
the Norse Sauna is virtually the same as the Indian Sweat Lodge
the Saami Bear ceremony is virtually the same as the Ute Tribe's.

it's a small world.

prof marvel
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chicar
Rogue Ætherlord
*
Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
WWW
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2020, 03:05:07 pm »

Indeed:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=IymcDQllM1k
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Mercury Wells
Rogue Ætherlord
*
I insiste that you do call me WELLS. :)


« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2020, 04:23:43 am »

My dear Prof.

That was a bloody good story.

Would you mind if we tender our own offerings, to compliment your tale?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 04:35:23 am by Mercury Wells » Logged

Oh...my old war wound? I got that at The Battle of Dorking. Very nasty affair that was, I can tell you.

The Ministry of Tea respectfully advises you to drink one cup of tea day...for that +5 Moral Fibre stat.
Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Western Sahara Western Sahara


too depressed for words


« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2020, 07:57:55 am »

My dear Prof.

That was a bloody good story.

Would you mind if we tender our own offerings, to compliment your tale?

By All Means My Dear Wells, please feel free!

yhs
prof marvel
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