The Church: A short story by Mike Cole

The church had existed since the early 1600s, having been established when Walden was built. As time passed, so did the church. Vines grew and the church stood abandoned, waiting. The boards creaked, and the walls began to blister. No one could remember if there had been any worship there but assumed there had. The grass in the yard was overgrown and weeds grew aplenty. The gate was locked but the cast iron fence had since rusted, giving entrance to a place no one would go. Occasionally the bell would ring, however, not to any frequency that the average church goer was accustomed. The bell would always ring at 3am and those who were awoken from their slumber say that on cold nights they could see a light flickering by the altar. At 3:01am the bell would stop and the light would dissipate. If one looked closely, they might have seen a dark shadow and heard the old, rotting boards creak but perhaps that was nothing. On foggy nights where the moon shun full, it is said the bell grew louder and the sound came closer to town. Some say humming could be heard on these nights, growing louder with the bell and coming to an end on the 33rd chime, on the 33rd minute of the 3rd hour. Town gossip, perhaps, but the fact remained, no one ever went near the old church.


And that’s a wrap! For the entire month, I am dedicating this month to all that goes bump in the night. This month is shaping up to be a month of short stories as I practice my writing in different genres. Horror is fun but extremely difficult to write, so please let me know what you think! If you enjoyed this article, consider liking, following and sharing my blog! If you want to support me as a creator, below is a link to my Ko-Fi and Patreon pages!

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Your donation helps quite a bit and I appreciate everyone who is currently supporting or supported in the past! With that said, please let me know what you think! I welcome all feedback!

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!

Support this Blog!!!

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!

Mike Cole’s deep dark secret: What I did cannot be undone

It started with a simple idea, a comment made by a friend, jokingly. She was talking about her trip to Ireland and made the odd remark, “I only date men who shave their armpits”. For the sake of accuracy, I must confess, this was almost 4 years ago, when I was but a Freshman in College. And it could very well have been another friend telling the story. Regardless, that’s besides the point, the idea remained. An idea long forgotten until I traveled to Germany for my last great college adventure and went to the store for the first time…

At the store, I decided to buy deodorant as any clean, well kempt man should do. To my horror, the deodorant was tiny! This simple difference changed the course of my German experience forever as I was haunted by the question, “why”? The argument can be made that everything is bigger and better in America, so we simply get more, yet, somehow, I found that answer to be less than satisfying. So I dug deeper and 2 months later I found my answer; it wasn’t just Germany, it was Europe. Everywhere I went the deodorant was tiny! At this moment, I knew I was onto something big.

At this point in my journey I had traveled all across Europe, blending in as I said “Ich bin ein Genie” and “Ich bin müde”, two of my favorite phrases. But none of this got me any closer to an answer. Until one day, when one of the German students was repulsed after seeing armpit hair on an American. The dots began to connect and it all made sense. Europeans shave their armpits. Men and Women alike. And just like that, the mystery was solved. Less armpit hair means less deodorant and quite honestly means people in Europe as a whole smell nicer. That night I slept like a baby and didn’t think much of it; yet my tale does not end there.

Many believe that there was only New Hair, New Mike; a rebirth of a person as he chopped his mop and become the product of envy among men and the epitome of desire for women [insert winky face here]. Yet I was curious. Driven to the brink of insanity towards the end of my 4 months, I did the unthinkable. I took my dull razor (worn thin from months of shaving my hefty beard) and went straight for my armpits. Yes, I, Mike Cole, in an effort to be fully immersed in European culture, shaved my armpits. And worse? I liked it. I felt clean and free much like when I shaved my hair for the first time. And then I got a rash… Fun fact, armpits are fairly sensitive, so don’t use a dull razor blade. Fast forward to present day. The year is 2018 and I’ve perfected my technique. Electric trimmer, shaving cream, then razor and you’re done! Note, if your skin is extra sensitive, use skin lotion after shaving to prevent irritation. Ahem, anyways…

It’s been done; a secret I thought I would carry to my grave, a sin now to be judged by my fellow American (and my lovely international audience). So why talk about it? Is it because I am currently reworking how I write and needed something to post? Partly! But more than that, armpit hair is actually disgusting when you think about it. It catches sweat and even if we slather on deodorant, it still drips and is absolutely gross. Shaving fixes this problem and you get to use less deodorant (which means you save money!), so go ahead, don’t be shy; shave and watch a miracle happen.


Thanks for reading! A quick announcement; I am a recent college grad or aka a broke person. As such I created a Patreon to help support myself. A dollar a month means I can buy a lot of rice and perhaps not starve to death. And thank you to my first donor, who pledged $5 per month; it means a lot and it’ll be exciting to expand the blog with the money.

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Gaming for Beginners: Stardew Valley

To continue with the trend as of late, I’m going to try another series. As you can imagine by the title, this series will be about gaming. I realized that if someone says video games are “a waste of time” they either 1) Have not played video games or 2) they tried video games, didn’t understand what was going on, got frustrated, and decided video games were stupid. So here I am to help. To remedy the issue, instead of writing reviews geared for those who already play games, I am hand picking games that provide a challenge, have depth, and are easy enough to jump into and enjoy for ANYONE.

Story

So let’s start with stardew valley. The story of Stardew Valley starts out simple enough. You’ve sold your soul to Corporate America and are working at a job you hate just to make ends meet. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s the story of the American Dream! While at the office you remember a letter your grandfather gave you before he died and him saying “open this when life has you in a tizzy”. In the letter, is the deed to the family farm. And thus begins your journey to Stardew Valley.

Gameplay

When you arrive, the farm is a mess. Weeds run rampant and you only have enough money to buy a few crops. Thus begins your first season. You clear land, meet villagers, and tend to your harvest in the hope of having a bigger yield next season to build a farm that Grandpa would be proud of. If you’ve ever fantasized about being a lumberjack, now’s your chance. Instead of growing thousands of pumpkins, plant a thousand trees; once they’re fully grown, chop them down. Want to spend most of your time fishing, use your rod and buy a few crabbing pots along with some bait. Want to hunt monsters all day and be a miner? Buy a sword and grab your pickaxe.

What did I do? Who was/is farmer Mike? I grew bored of planting crops, so instead I built a coop and a barn and had my sheep Ann and my chicken Lucy to keep me company. Then as months turned to years, I built a wine cellar, built a greenhouse (coffee all year round!!!), and grew wheat and hops to make beer. Then I met a villager, fell in love and accomplished what I’ve never been able to do in real life; settle down!

Time

So as you can imagine, this game is quite involved. I failed my marketing final because I had the brilliant idea of buying this game a week before (still got an A in the class). However, this is a game that you could play for 30 minutes, stop, and continue when you have more time. It’s beyond addicting. It has catchy music, beautiful sound effects, a rewarding progress system, and better conversations than you have with your friends in real life. It is a game where you could start playing in the morning, look out the window and realize that the sun has already set, then keep playing till the sun rises again. What’s more, it was developed by one individual during his free time. If you spend money ($15) you’ll be supporting one man who pursued his dreams and made a beautiful piece of art.

Verdict

This game is fun for everyone. If you’re looking for a new hobby, this game is a great starting point. If you’re trying to understand why all your nerd friends would rather sit inside all day than talk to your lovely face, just give this a try. I give this game:

5 out of 5 ripe potatoes: A must play


So there you have it! My first ever video game review! It was a lot of fun to write and hope you enjoyed it as well. I plan to do more in the future and think it’ll be a nice addition to my book and movie reviews. And with any luck, I might even make a game connoisseur out of you yet! As always, thanks for reading! I’ll post a link to the trailer for “Stardew Valley” below and feel free to comment if you have questions!

Stardew Valley Trailer