A Shower and a Change"Ah, damn. God damn."
The stain was small, no larger than a coin. It fell near his right hip, nestled in the dip between crotch and thigh. Still, it was nauseating. Paul stripped off the trousers and walked to the sink, hoping the sliver of hotel soap would take out the spot.
He began running the hot water and paused, staring at the vomit. Resisting the urge to gag, he grazed his fingers over the stain. It was purely liquid and slick like dish soap, but the sickly brown could only be vomit. He slowly raised his hand to his face and sniffed his fingers. Nothing. It seemed, for a moment, odorless. But no, he suddenly caught a faint scent of metal. Like a cup full of coins. Or a bloodied nose.
"Shit!" A stream of blood ran down his nostrils, over his lip and down his chin. Paul dropped the trousers to the bathroom floor and watched the b
The Host With the MostPaul staggered out into the early morning fog like a drunkard.The Host With the Most2 years ago in Writing More Like This
He hunched into the raised lapels of this too-thin jacket and wandered away from the hotel, disoriented, shivering--panic gnawing at his gut like a cannibal. "I need help," he thought, "but where?" The nearest hospital was the obvious answer, but the thought of what the doctors would do filled his mind with images of hospital beds with straps, extended isolation with no answers and needles piercing his flesh.
The mass on his thigh was growing--that was certain. Paul could feel it writhing and pushing against his flesh as he walked. Lost in his fears, he never noticed the black, windowless van pull up next to him until he heard the van door slide back violently, and rough hands reached out and pulled him out of the grey London mist into darkness.
He awoke with a headache, disoriented. His eyes would not focus and he began to panic, his heart pounding in his ch
Skin Glowing From WithinLysanna felt a sudden change in her breathing, and knew than that something had happened to her Progeny. Though the organism was still very small, she shared a psychic link with it that would remain as it transferred from host to host. When the growth cycle was complete, the bond she had with the tiny bit of life would be severed as it emerged from the host with its own consciousness.Skin Glowing From Within2 years ago in Writing More Like This
She looked in the mirror at her gaunt face, the colors of her life force faded and barely moving under the surface of her tightly stretched, translucent skin. Her time in this world was diminishing and with every dying moment she hoped that her progeny would take hold in it's new host. She had tried transferring her progeny to the humans many times before, and felt the twinge of pain as it was violently rejected, leaving the host in throes of agony as it expelled the last bits of the strange organism. But this time, she was hopeful, for the progeny had thrived longer in t
Dreams of the DeepPaul's whole world was spinning. The Proxitol made it incredibly difficult for him to think clearly. Maya? Yes, her name was Maya. She had told him it would only be a few days, that the thing inside would dissolve. She'd been wrong, and she'd been surprised that she'd been wrong, not that it mattered. Resting his head against the cool porcelain of the toilet in the cell he called a room, PaulDreams of the Deep2 years ago in Writing More Like This
could almost laugh about how this all seemed like some ridiculous dream. But the pain, the disorientation, and the feeling of...something inside...assured him it was anything but.
The growth had started spreading again, but it was different this time. The iridescent scales had formed
patches around his hips, wrapped around his waist, and then branched out into two separate lines that
ran up and gathered around his shoulder blades, sprouting opaque sacs.
That night he dreamed of an ocean, somewhere far, far away. Something large and shapeless, sparkling like a star-covered
A Man Reborn"Go."A Man Reborn2 years ago in Writing More Like This
Somewhere, Lysanna clawed at the shards of mirror, using the last of her strength to send the message. The words came to Tal'shen as needling pain, piercing her mind. "Forget them," her mother said. "Go now and do as I've created you to do!"
Tal'shen felt her mother die. It did not matter. There was no feeling of attachment; only the drive to carry out her purpose. Growing still, her monstrous form filled the room. She shot two massive tentacles upwards, rending a large hole in the ceiling. Outside, she blinked in the fog. London, that was the name of this city, wasn't it? A good a place as any to begin.
Inside, Maya coughed back the bits of dust and plaster. "Paul," she breathed, wincing at the mass of flesh Tal'shen had left in her wake. She went to him, gasping at his flayed carcass, nothing more than quivering bits of meat and bone. She closed her eyes. One chance.
Odyssey II Ch.8 Entry: BrethrenMaya wore confusion on her face.Odyssey II Ch.8 Entry: Brethren2 years ago in Writing More Like This
Paul had always been short with words; this time would be no different.
"I know everything now."
Maya watched as he floated upwards through the hole in the ceiling.
There was no time to tell her what he had seen. What it was like to die while psychically connected to another being and how, in that moment, the mind-soul rides that tether like a roller coaster searching for the end of the track. That he rode that tether through the mind of Tal'shen and then into its mother, witnessing their lives, truths and stories.
No time to explain that he knew her race, perhaps better than her. That for millennia these stained glass people worshiped science as humans worshiped gods, and evolved a culture of unraveling the complex mysteries of the mathematical universe. They were a race that evolved exponentially because each was dedicated to self-improvement. He saw that, over time, there was a great shift - physical and mental - and an age came to pass when their mi
Odyssey II Chp VI: Something Worse than NobodyPart of his foremost tentacle spun across the room, followed by a trail of shimmering black ichor. Maya’s blade brought a paradox to his senses. His injured limb accepted the cold steel. It felt right when she cut him, as if his flesh knew it was being purified. At the same time, pain screamed through him, reeling from the touch of the metal, causing what remained of the tentacle to spasm.Odyssey II Chp VI: Something Worse than Nobody2 years ago in Writing More Like This
A seizure. The memory of the subway surfaced, and for a moment he wasn’t in the room anymore. He clung to those little flashes of memory, grasped at every word he remembered in order to keep his mind working, to keep himself. The creature sharing his body struggled to escape the pain, to fight back, but not while he still held some control. He felt a tingling pressure reverberating through him. The bones of his mouth cracked and split, his teeth melting away and forming a hard cephalopod beak.
Maya. Could she carve him free? The creature within him pulsed and her face vanished from his me
Techno-Colored PsychosisPaul's eyes came into focus just as Maya walked into the room, but something was different about her. Her face looked sunken and her eyes seemed glazed and black. The whole of the roomed looked as though it was changing color, flipping from one monochromatic scheme to a neon rainbow and back again. Paul began to pant and panic as she drew near him, he'd never been so terrified. He crawled away into the corner of the room, shivering, barely catching his breath, twisting his head back and forth as he flinched at every shadow.Techno-Colored Psychosis2 years ago in Writing More Like This
“Paul? What's wro-” Maya 's jaw dropped at the sight of Paul's transformation.
Large glossy scales crept up from his thigh across his torso, they flicker in the dim light and changed color. They were iridescent, bright, shimmering with all the hues of the rainbow. The eight new arm-length tentacles creeping out from behind his back matched his new scales in color. They almost seemed to glow as they thrashed from side to side.
Maya held her mouth in shock
Odyssey II Submission: Chapter OneCHAPTER ONE: WORLD'S ENDOdyssey II Submission: Chapter One2 years ago in Writing More Like This
God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December. J.M. Barrie
The young redhaired woman was admiring herself in a full-length mirror. The vintage dress she was modeling reflected her fondness for the antique. She still laughed to think of how as a teenager she'd wandered from Victoria Station all the way down to the World's End area of the King's Road, somehow naively thinking that some glittering remnant of a 1960s storefront would magically appear.
A casual observer might have placed her in her late 20s or early 30s, with a sly smile that suggested a rare intelligence bubbling just below the surface. It was there to note or no; most did not and would discover that they'd badly misjudged her abilities. There were countless fresh-faced office boys who, upon attempting to engage her in some local gossip or office smut, found themselves galloping away with their tails (or other parts) between
Odyssey II with Clive BarkerFAQOdyssey II with Clive Barker2 years ago in DeviantArt Announcements More Like This
Collaborate, Publish, Write & Illustrate
CliveBarker starts us off with the Prologue for Odyssey II and selects the submissions for the final books. The ultimate creative challenge to produce the ultimate deviantART book.
All Guided with the Spectral Hand of Clive Barker.
Every Friday Lit submissions for the current chapter close - Chosen chapter revealed
Odyssey Propulsion 5We have decided to extend the writing deadline for the last chapter to December 31 and we're expanding the Word count to 800 words for our final chapter! Artists will then have two full weeks to illustrate our final chapter - meaning artwork for Chapter 8 will be due by January 14, 2013. Any Animations/films and poetry deadlines are now extended until Jan 14! We will then unleash, I mean publish, this tale of Paul’s very unexpected journey!Odyssey Propulsion 52 years ago in DeviantArt Announcements More Like This
The final battle to block Tal’shen’s launch of the takeover of Earth. Paul, from whose own body Tal’shen, the gelatinous beaked tentacled monster, was gestated and born. Paul says he knows how to destroy the creature. And who better than he, he being half “mother” of the monster.
So now 800 words, give or take, is the space we have to wind up our story, a story that has expanded and mutated like the first bit of subway vomit that was Paul’s ticket into what has now swollen to Lovecraf
The Curse of the FangirlThere are few things that vampires loathe more than fangirls. It was bad enough when Ann Lentils popularised the genre, simultaneously transforming the respectable bloodsucker into a circus of existential angst and sexual ambiguity, but when that Oscar Meyer person added guilt, glitter, and raging teenage hormones to the mix, the Great Game began to feel the strain of a threat.The Curse of the Fangirl3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The threat did not take the form of a sudden proliferation of well-informed slayers armed with the Eucharist, or the Magen David, or even with pointy things. The threat took the form of a spate of homicides driven, it seems, by the sheer bloody desire to make the tweenaged victims shut their traps.
Daniel Leland tended to ignore the plight of his people, just as he tended to ignore his own condition and authors who thought they had something to say about it. He avoided Italian food and Dutch medical professors, left plates of fruit out for the neighbourhood bats, and kept his shoes and his half of the duplex spo
Odyssey Propulsion 7Odyssey Propulsion 72 years ago in DeviantArt Announcements More Like This
Odyssey Propulsion 7
He who birthed the strange tale into our world with a spurt of kaleidoscopic intergalactic vomit has now decided its end. CliveBarker has chosen his favorite Chapter Eight to bring the multi-imagined Hydra-headed beast of a story to the end. All that remains is Chapter Eight illustration submissions remaining open for the next two weeks. And with the perfect visual, Odyssey II: Propulsion will become another hallmark in deviantART history.
So many writers and artists from around the world contributed amazing gifts of their wildest imaginations, collaborating with each other and offering suggestions and encouragement to
A bloody coincidence.London was calling, but her once sensuous voice failed to tempt Paul. An angry migraine pounded in time with the lazy bass of a stereo located somewhere in the hostel, and not for the first time Paul cursed the wafer thin films of plaster that passed as walls. He could have afforded a better place he should have but Paul had hoped to reignite his love affair with London by returning to the place where it all started. Unfortunately, somehow in the last thirteen years, this once fair succubus of a city had transformed into a sleazy page six call girl. It was with a deep sense of irony Paul realised that, despite its cold welcome, London had still managed to get his pants off.A bloody coincidence.2 years ago in Writing More Like This
Having discovered the patch of vomit left by the redheaded man, Paul had quickly stripped off the offending item of clothing. At first he had considered washing his trousers, but in the end he had simply thrown them out. No matter how thoroughly the trousers were scrubbed, Paul knew they wou
Odyssey Propulsion 6Odyssey Propulsion 62 years ago in DeviantArt Announcements More Like This
Odyssey Propulsion 6
We want to especially thank an elite core of Odyssey II writers:
Those deviants truly embodying the spirit of the project by continuing to create and submit next chapters – no matter the story’s refusal to go along with their proposed direction. The zeitgeist is a powerful force, but the artist must know when to sail against the been-there-done-that. And our writers, artists and poets have been doing that week after week. So many artists and writers continue to send in wonderful material week after week.
We have decided to extend the writing deadline for the last chapter to December 31 and we're
Chapter 1: Odyssey into 2012It's static --Chapter 1: Odyssey into 20123 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
trapped between her fingers, buzzing in her ears.
A heartbeat lost in the echoes of her rib cage.
And yes, of course: the intermittent pounding, the thundering, the rush of blood through her veins.
Was that fear?
She'd once been foolish enough to believe that no one could lure her in to this. A ribbon of smokescreen smiles, flashes of deceptive lies, and she was sold for the price of forever. As the cold air smacks into her face and turns her hair to tangled strands, she struggles to maintain her hold on the tattered calendar. It's ripped from the wall, December 2011 in bold Serif typeface filling the upper left corner. Eight dates circled in red. Eight trials, none of them easy, and her mouth runs dry at the thought. She folds the calendar and slips it into the right pocket of her jeans.
The scribbles of "Zephyr" and "Tokyo", etched so hard onto t
The Desert RoseWith eyes the colour of the cloudless sky,The Desert Rose2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And hair like mighty dunes of sand,
She moves elusively and yet with such grace;
It is a dangerous sort of beauty.
Her eyes snap sharply into mine,
Whenever my gaze lingers a second too long.
Her stare traps mine own in place and so
I stay there frozen with fear... or is it awe?
I would love to tell myself
That such a flower is not meant for me,
But I would only be lying to myself
Because I love the thrill of the game.
I truly do admire her spirit,
Like the Great Pyramids it stands tall,
Against all odds,
Never bending an inch...
A fascination overwhelms me even now.
Can I even hope to keep up,
Or has the game already been won
By the Desert Rose?
Humble Mediocrity.I see the truth in your web of lies,Humble Mediocrity.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It's hard to see when you use your eyes.
Problem is, I'm a liar too.
I knew exactly where to look for you.
You're living one of your lies,
As you watch through the eyes,
Of humble mediocrity.
I'm here because someone has heard your plea.
You look at me and you scream for help,
Whilst saying nothing at all and not wanting to tell.
But that's not why I came,
I'm here because of what I became.
I came because I know what you can do,
Because I was once someone just like you.
I was once like you, living a lie.
Which is why I'm here - to silence your cry.
I came because you are a danger to me,
As you watch through your humble mediocrity.
Takes one to know one and I like my privacy,
So please forgive me because I am sorry.
As I look into your dead eyes,
With the potential to see through my lies.
I killed you for you saw my grand life as it really is
- Humble Mediocrity.
The End and The BeginningNow is now.The End and The Beginning3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Kaylin is stepping off the Light Train. It's dark and the dry wind scratches at her face. It's the one place that doesn't come to mind when you think of New Year's Eve.
In front of her blooms a different kind of darkness. It's wet and humid. She turns around and Darus is there.
"This is it," he says. "The final gate. The last trial." He spreads his arms, and the wet warm dark spreads out and presses against her dark. He pulls his sword out of the scabbard. Kaylin stands in front of him, tensed to run.
"Running again?" He flourishes his sword. It's giving him an unfair advantage. The sword disappears.
"You should sacrifice yourself now, if you want to win," he says. The fear in his voice is unmistakable. "A fair trade, one life for all, don't you think?"
"I don't want to die," Kaylin says. Her voice is strong and afraid. She closes her eyes, and opens them. A portal of light appears between them. They both blink.
"I didn't do that. You can't do that." Darus says.
"I did." Sh
Odyssey II: That Which Can Be ImaginedOdyssey II: That Which Can Be ImaginedOdyssey II: That Which Can Be Imagined2 years ago in Art Features More Like This
Final Thoughts from Clive Barker
Odyssey. I can think of no better word to describe the journey that took place these past few months.
With the prologue, “They’re Mad, They Are,” I began work on a vessel that was not yet ready for sea. And on that holed ship, together we embarked over open waters towards an unknown destination.
What I then witnessed both touched and humbled me. You, the mighty crew of the HMS Ody
Odyssey Chapter 1 The GardenA tingling sensation came to her hand. It was like a thousand tiny swords were stabbing her there over and over and over again. But she was enjoying her sleep. It was so comfortable. So safe. Safe fromOdyssey Chapter 1 The Garden3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Safe from what?
Her eyelids flew open and she sat up, her vision blurring as a head rush consumed her momentarily. As her vision cleared, she managed to get a sense of her surroundings. She was in the middle of a garden, and a strange one, too. All the flowers seemed to change in the dimming light of the sun, fluctuating and returning.
Shakily, she got to her feet, her head spinning.
Safe from what?
The question remained in her head, as she began to walk around and further examine her surroundings. She was on a dirt path with small dusty blue stones embedded in the soil. Off in the distance the sound of a fountain was evident and there was a faint song in the air. It went softly and sweetly, the lyrics moving with grace and beauty.
The little girl ran to hell and back
To hell an