Hades: A short story by Mike Cole

Hell. A place long forgotten, a land of dead Gods. Tales have existed since the dawn of civilization. His search was over; the long forgotten forest had been found. A lifetime of research had led him here, an insignificant forest located on the Underbelly of Volcán Wolf, thought to be the Oceans end. The land was scorched and the ground gave a molten hue. Embers sprinkled the landscape and lava poured from the volcano into the Ocean, creating steam as the heat touched the surface of the water. The sun was beginning to set and as it hit the scattered boulders with a crimson glow, he thought he could very well be among the land of the dead. Night enshrouded the island.

With a torch in hand, he kept moving. He could feel death creeping slowly and every now and again he would see a shadow move out of the corner of his eye. He walked through the charred forest until he reached the cliffside, jagged rocks awaiting him below. He slowly began his descent.

The Ocean greeted him as he walked down the narrow cliffside, finding it strange that a path had seemingly been carved into the rock. Lava began flowing from the cliff above and violently splashed down unto him; he felt a searing pain in his right arm. His flesh began to burn and melt. A wave crashed and his arm turned to steam. When the mist cleared, his arm was bone save for a few tendons still attached. He didn’t much feel the pain, adrenaline having done it’s work. As he got closer to the water, snow began to fall; how odd. Fire and Ice, two entities that typically don’t coexist. The snow swirled, blinding his vision and he awoke in a cold sweat. He did not remember drifting off and the ever present snow was gone; had it only been a dream? The wind whistled in a tone that almost sounded like whispers and rain began to pour; soon, thunder and lightning would follow. He entered a cave near the volcano.

Water fell on his head. It felt warm. As he went to wipe it off it lingered on his hand, refusing to yield. He moved his torch so he could see what appeared to be a red substance, with a smell of iron. He heard rushing water and looked to his right. A red river? He blinked and the water was crystal blue. Was he dreaming or was he awake? Thunder struck outside and the rain howled with the wind. The howling grew louder and louder, no longer seemingly coming from outside but rather deep within the cave. The torch flickered as a gust caught hold and the shadows danced around him. Three heads began to form; the Torch went out and there was silence.


And thus October has begun. As the blog continues to grow, I am grateful for the support. I enjoy writing and have been thrilled my poetry and short stories have been so well received. As I’ve brainstormed ideas for the blog, I decided on a month dedicated to the spooky and supernatural. This will be the first of hopefully many Octobers where I focus on the scary and the beauty of the changing of seasons. I hope you all enjoyed this short story inspired by Greek mythology! As a reminder, if you would like to support me as a creator, below is a link to my Patreon and Ko-Fi pages!

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If you like my content, consider following, liking, and sharing with others who might enjoy. And as always, thanks for reading! What are you most excited about for the month of October? What are you doing to celebrate the season? Let me know in the comments below!

The Hidden Horror of Stardew Valley

He held Grandpa’s letter in his hand and began to open the seal. Mid way through, he stopped, and put the letter back in the drawer. He turned to his keyboard and began typing, waiting for his next call. Grandpa’s words echoed in his head, “No, no don’t open it yet… have patience.” He sighed and waited. Across from him was a skeleton and to his left was another co-worker. His once clean desk was in disarray. “Get it together”, he thought, as a call came in. “Hi, this is … over at …”. As quickly as the call came, it was over and he was back to his thoughts. No light came into the office and he was located in a corner in the back of a dimly lit room. Grandpa’s letter still sat in his drawer and he often wondered what it said. But he thought, “it could always be worse” and saw no need to open it. He checked the clock and it was time to go home; he was late and would miss the bus.

When he arrived to his small, two bedroom apartment, he sat down at his table. When he was comfortable, he opened the fridge and checked for food. He grabbed a beer and finding nothing edible in the fridge, settled for ramen in his upper cupboard. He slid back in his chair and turned on the TV. He flipped through the channels, trying to find anything to entertain him, at least for a bit. He settled for a rerun of an old childhood show and made his way to bed. It was already midnight. He stared at the ceiling for an hour, restless and tired, but not entirely sure why. He was happy. He made steady pay and had a job. Yet he couldn’t stop thinking of his childhood. He drifted in and out of sleep.

His alarm beeped and he slammed his hand down to stop the sporadic sounds coming from his nightstand. He checked the clock and it was 11:30. “Shit, I’m late for work”, he thought. When he arrived, 10 minutes after 12, the desk next to him was empty. He had liked his neighbor and brushed it off as business needs, thankful that he still had a job. He had been with the company for the last 3 years, in the same role. He had seen plenty come and go, so this was nothing out of the ordinary. He got his first call of the day and forgot about it.

He sat alone in the break room for lunch. There was a dartboard and a Wii and a vending machine filled to the brim with soda and chips. As he unpacked his cheddar and pepperoni sandwich on whitebread with a smidge of mayo, he decided to grab a bag of chips. As he typed in “A5” for a bag of Cheetos, his finger slipped and added another 5. He typed “A5” once more; the metal curled and the bag began to drop. Halfway through, the bag got stuck, hanging in the vending machine. He went back to his table and took a bite of his sandwich.

After lunch, he wandered back to his desk and began to daydream. He thought back to 3 years ago when he first decided to accept his offer from Joja Corporation. He needed a job and it didn’t seem to matter so much then what he chose. He had finished his studies and he needed the money. Another call came and he answered “Hi, this is … from Joja Corporation, how can I help today?” He reached for the drawer and couldn’t find the letter. “Huh, I must have misplaced it.” And then he took another call.

When he went home that night, he took a deep breath. He pulled a beer out of his fridge and boiled some water for the ramen. He sat and watched his shows. When he was tired, he went to his bed and drifted to sleep.

“There will come a day when you feel crushed by the burden of modern life…” Grandpa’s words echoed as he slept. And the haze lifted as he was pulled from his sleep, the last words evaporating before they could form.

He sat thinking about the envelope all that day. He sifted through his loose papers in his desk, searching for what was lost. He couldn’t find the letter. And then he began to forget. Clock in. Clock out. Routine was routine and life was easy. Days turned to months and months to years.


… When he got home, he was exhausted… He sat for a bit and then went to bed… He had been with Joja Corporation for 9 years going on 10. Tomorrow would be his work anniversary… He would receive his card and… Gosh, was he tired… And he drifted off, mid thought…

“…and your bright spirit will fade before a growing emptiness.”, Grandpa’s words echoed as he dreamt. “When that happens, my boy, you’ll be ready for this gift.” A single tear fell from his eye and when he awoke, his eyes glistened.

When he got to work that day, he searched frantically for the letter. And then he found Granpa’s letter… Crumpled, stained, and wedged between the wall and the edge of his cubicle. It looked old and worn. When he opened the letter, the words had all but faded. He could not read what Grandpa had wrote. He tried to squint and hold it up to the flickering light. But it was all too faded and was a relic of the past. Time had passed and the letter along with it. “If I had just opened it then…”, he thought. And then he sat down and cried.


Hi All, Thanks so much for reading! It’s been a long while since I’ve gotten around to writing a short story. I’m quite happy with how this piece turned out and have been planning on writing this for quite a while now. It is my first venture into what some might call “Fan Fiction” and I decided no better way to start than with the game that caused me to fail my marketing final. It plays with the “What if” in Stardew Valley and ponders the question of what would happen if your character never opened the envelope and simply put it back in the drawer. I plan to be writing more short stories for 2020 and will finally be getting back into writing articles. It has been slow going now that I’ve been working but I’m making a steady income and would rather not rush a post. As a reminder, you can always donate if you want to support the blog but I write for fun so do not feel obligated to. As always, feel free to leave comments and if there’s anything you want me to write about, let me know!

Best,

Mike

Fiction or not: The Forsaken

So it’s time again for a new series. This time, I’m trying my hand at writing fiction. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but have kept putting aside until now. My idea with this series is to either write isolated, short stories or, depending on feedback and my preference, continuing stories if people want to know more about the worlds I create. Without further ado, enjoy.


It took him a lifetime but he finally realized the mistakes he had made, the moments lost. When his future was in front of him, he turned his back. He thought, “surely the future can wait if not for a bit longer.” Days turned to years and the once young man was now old.

When he finally did make his choice, years ago, it was with little thought. He was living for himself and the pay was good. He was a fisherman of the Western Province, where the fish were some 30 feet long <and these were just the babies.>

It was dangerous work to say the least and the world was not a kind one. The Ocean was a tempest from when Orak, the Giant Squid, was slain. When Orak died, it is said the heavens cried and the Earth grew cold. You see, Orak was a guardian of The Old.

The Western Sea was only referenced as The Untamed, its name of old lost during the Great Fire that engulfed the world in flames. What had once been, no one could remember except for The Wanderers, who some say have lived for hundreds of years.

This did not concern him, however. For he was a Forsaken and life was hard enough on its own.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below if you have any ideas for future “fiction or not” entries. Let me know what you think and feel free to share this post!

Dailypost Challenge word: Tame