Thursday, August 22, 2013

Icarus: Creatures of Darkness - A Graphic Novel

Hello again everyone! To all of you reading this through the screen of their laptop, desk computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone, tablet, or those experiencing this on their holodeck (if this survives to the 24th century), I thank you for taking the time to read this. If you're just in it for the illustrations, I promise, they're coming up.

For the majority of you who probably don't know me, my first and foremost love will always remain writing: novels, short stories, whatever, I like 'em all! However, I have also grown to relish the thrill of sitting inactive at my desk for hours, meticulously laboring with my laptop and a Wacom tablet over the appearance of a 72 dpi image in Photoshop. Believe it or not, it really is a rush.

Quite recently, I have completed my first full-length graphic novel, entitled "Icarus: Creatures of Darkness." This is intended to be the first volume of a four issue series, and work on the second one is already underway.

This is the description of "Creatures of Darkness":

  In a world where death, tragedy, and demons plague the shadows, anything seems possible. And when Etha Fidalgo's little sister, Elle, disappears, she takes it upon herself to find her. However, along the way, Etha encounters misanthropes and villains who threaten to further disrupt life in the destitute city of Damocles. In order to rescue her sister and save her home, Etha becomes the vigilante Icarus, armed with only a wingpack, her fists, and her mind. But will this be enough for Etha to defeat the Deadly Warpaint, a masked criminal who takes scare tactics to the next level?
I have spent an estimated 250 hours slaving away at this. I will be the first to admit to you, it was a learning experience; the illustrations near the end are definitely better than those in the beginning. While "Creatures of Darkness" has its fair share of inconsistencies and quirks, it was a labor of love, and I promise you that #2 will be even better. Although writing is my passion, and I feel more comfortable within the realms of a novel, this has been a fun, challenging ride. For those of you who have read this far, I thank you.
"Icarus: Creatures of Darkness" can be purchased through Amazon here. The collection includes the 50 page comic, and 20 pages of bonus material! So indie comic book enthusiasts, get your copy now!
"Icarus: Creatures of Darkness" cover
Excerpt "Icarus: Creatures of Darkness": Page 4
Excerpt "Icarus: Creatures of Darkness": Page 13
Excerpt "Icarus: Creatures of Darkness": Page 38


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Comics, Novels, and Queries, Oh My!

Hello friends, readers, and internet hackers! I realize that it has been a while since I have posted any material on my dear blog, and I apologize for the lack of activity. At current, I am engaged in several different personal projects, so I figured that the least I could do was present you with a few updates:

Item #1 - Icarus: Creatures of Darkness

I don't know if any of you remember this, but when I'm not writing or watching Doctor Who, I am penning and illustrating my comic, Icarus. As of recently, I have finished my first full series, Icarus: Creatures of Darkness. Complete at 50 pages, I plan to release a physical edition of the graphic novel some time by the end of the summer. Nothing major, simply something for friends and family to flip through if you'd like. It has been very much a learning experience for me, so I'll warn you ahead of time, the artwork towards the end is much better than the artwork at the beginning. Like I said, this is my hobby hobby, so I'll just move on and keep improving. The next series, Icarus: Scar Tissue, is already in the planning stages. In the meantime, you can read the series online for free here. I present to you now the cover of Creatures of Darkness for your entertainment:

Item #2 - My Latest Novel

First of all, when I say "latest novel," I want to make it clear that I do not intend to self-publish this project. I intend to pursue traditional publishing, and am currently seeking an agent for representation. While I feel that I have learned several things from self-publishing, and that I have greatly improved my writing techniques since Corona, I also understand now that self-publishing is a double-edged sword.

While I do not feel comfortable disclosing too much information regarding my latest project online, I can tell you that it is entitled NOVA, and is an "introspective science fiction thriller." It combines several elements from a plethora of previous unpublished projects of mine, and it involves dead people, demons, and dark magic. In space. Yeah, that's right.

Item #3 - Query Letters

Yeah, I don't think that much needs to be said about this final item. Any of you who have written a query letter before, you know what I mean. Let us now share a moment of silence for the many hours of frustration spent querying agents in the dead of night. ^__^

Well, that's all for now folks. Stay awesome, keep reading and writing, and don't give up on your dreams. If you haven't already, you can follow me on Twitter here, and you can watch me on deviantART here.

Best wishes,


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"The Reckoning" - A Short Story

Hello everyone! It is I, Hannah! Anyway, I am back with another short story for you all. This is actually something that I had to do for a prompt (we were required to write something, whether it be an analysis, a short story, or otherwise, regarding reality television), but I was pleased with the end result. So, I decided that I would share it with you all. So here it is! Oh, and below the story itself, I have posted links to some songs that I listened to while I wrote it. Enjoy!


The Reckoning
Hannah Smart

A tear rolls down the woman’s cheek.
                “Your name is Talia Marcus-Sawyer,” says a hypnotic masculine voice.
                “My name is Talia Marcus-Sawyer,” repeats the woman, lips trembling and eyes unblinking. Another tear streaks down her face, splashing silently against the ground in the darkness. She wonders if anyone can see her crying.
                “Talia, do you know where you are?” asks the man.
                “I –.” Her voice cracks; she swallows, attempting to regain her composure. “I don’t know where I am,” she whispers faintly.
                Her skin is bare and unclothed, and the tiny hairs on the backs of her arms stand on end as they are exposed to the cold air. She shivers, moving to cross her arms over her naked body.
                “Where am I?” she asks softly. She looks about desperately, and a deep panic blossoms within her as she realizes that she cannot see anything.
                A terrible laugh resonates from the depths of the claustrophobic darkness, metamorphosing into a dreadful cackle as it echoes freely about. “What do you think?” The man addresses an invisible audience. “Should we tell her? Should we tell Talia where she is?”
                A crowd roars from someplace far beyond, a hundred incoherent voices bubbling into one enormous wave of sound. Suddenly, a blinding white light flickers to life, the concussion of the switch adding rhythm to the cacophonous chanting.  
                Talia shields her eyes, shocked further into submissive silence by the overwhelming luminosity. Slowly, the world comes into resolution beyond the tremendous light, and her eyes focus upon a shimmering crowd of bodies, each convulsing sickly as they scream lewd slurs at her, fists pumping in the air as suggestions of vile fates fly.
                The woman sinks to the ground, attempting to cover her nude body from the eyes of the grotesque onlookers. She clenches her teeth together in a grimace as she begins to sob, her long black hair draping her shoulders.
                “Well, Talia, do you still not know where you are?” Again, the man laughs, and the audience laughs with him. Talia doesn’t answer, remaining collapsed motionless on the floor. “Welcome to the Reckoning.”

12 hours earlier

“This is just sick.” The woman turns away from the television screen, her dark skin flushed with vehement fury. She turns to her friend, midnight black eyes wide and angry. “How the hell can they get away with this?” she asks. She impatiently brushes a strand of loose black hair away from her face and turns away from the friend. Instead, she marches up to the window and looks outside at the twilight city beyond. Millions of people, breathing, thinking bodies, all trapped…
                “They can’t do this,” she whispers. “They can’t just pluck people out of their homes, drug them, and then pretend to give them a trial on public television. They can’t do this, they can’t do this…” She bows her head and sighs. When she faces her friend again, there are tears in her eyes. She gestures angrily to the television.
                “They have a little girl up there,” she sniffles. “They have someone’s little girl up there, alone and frightened and degraded in front of millions of eyes. Anyone, anyone who watches this and does nothing is just as guilty as the people who put her there.” Obstinately, she wipes away the tears.
                “Amy,” she says, striding over to her friend. She crouches to the ground, eye to eye with the blonde woman sitting in the flimsy wooden chair. “Amy, we can’t let them get away with this; we have to do something. Will you help me?” Her black eyes stare deeply into the coffee brown ones of her friend. “Amy? Will you help me?”
                Amy stands up silently and walks over to the now unoccupied window. “And what are you going to do?” she asks weakly. “The government, the military, the entire god damn legislation supports this broadcast. So, what are you going to do?” She turns her head to face Talia, awaiting an answer to dissipate the icy silence. Talia purses her lips. Slowly, she opens her mouth, struggling to push words past them.
                “I’ll blow it up,” she whispers. “I’ll blow up the studio.”
                Amy shakes her head. “No, no, no, are you insane? And how are you going to do that?”
                Talia takes a step closer to the woman. “Amy, you work in advertisement, you have connections to the studio – you could get us in, and I could make the bombs, and…”
                “And what, Talia?” Amy crosses her arms. “We get caught and then we get tried for treason, executed in front of millions of people just like those people on the show. What good will that do?”
                It is Talia who shakes her head this time. “I can’t believe you Amy,” she says incredulously. “You’re just going to stand by while they kill innocent people.” She turns away from the blonde woman, suddenly a stranger. “People die – that’s part of any revolution. Without resistance, without blood, we won’t ever be free.” She looks beyond her curtain of frizzy black hair to the woman behind her. “So, Amy, are you going to help me or not?”
                There is silence for a moment, a long, painfully tangible verbal vacuum. And then, Amy speaks. “I’m sorry,” she whispers. “I’m so sorry, Talia…”
                Talia turns suddenly to face her. “What do you mean?” she asks, fear sprouting within her bosom. “Amy,” she murmurs lowly, “No…”
                The apartment door is kicked open suddenly, and a blow from behind sends Talia sinking to the ground. Another blow meets her head, and her peripheral vision fades as hot blood pulses from her forehead. Behind her, she can hear the shouting of men and the clicking of weapons. She can feel her hands being bound behind her back, and from her sideways perspective, she gazes up from the legs of the blonde woman to her clouded face.
                “You traitor,” she slurs her vision fading despite her attempts to remain vigilant. “You stupid, lying bitch…”
                “Good bye, Talia,” says the woman. She nods her head, and a man kicks the wounded woman in the face. Her world fades to smothering, black nothingness.  


Stand up, says a voice inside the woman’s head. Despite the terrible, dull ache in her limbs, and the merciless searing pain her head, she forces herself to her feet. She straightens herself out and stands up tall in front of the hideous, screeching crowd. She clenches her jaw and curls her hands into fists, ramrod straight at her sides.
                “Talia Marcus-Sawyer,” says the announcer. “You are being tried for the heaviest of all crimes in our New Order – treason. You have been discovered plotting to blow up a government-controlled building, and in the process, to kill hundreds of innocent men and woman. If found guilty, your crimes are punishable by death. Do you acknowledge this?” Talia remains silent, eyes filled with unabated, raw hatred. “I said, do you acknowledge this?” A man kicks her from behind, sending Talia stumbling to the cold ground once more. Laughs and catcalls arise from the audience.
                “Yes,” she hisses, trembling on the floor. She struggles upwards once more into a standing position. She staggers, but remains upright as one of the armored guards punches her in the face. Slowly, she turns her head to stare past the audience, refusing to directly acknowledge her attackers as fresh crimson blood flows from her nose and the corner of her lips.
                “You will speak with respect to the court,” says the guard acidly. Talia doesn’t look at him. More laughter flares from the audience.
                “How do you wish to plead?” asks the unseen announcer. Finally, Talia looks at the faces of the crowd, the mob, her jury. Men and woman, drunk and cackling, jump up and down and scream hideous things. The woman feels sick as she recognizes a few faces in the audience; coworkers, shopkeepers, even a few people whom she believed had been her friends.
                Resolutely, Talia looks up towards the black, indeterminable ceiling, silent tears flowing and mixing with the blood, stinging her lacerations. “I plead guilty,” she spits. A collective shriek arises from the audience, and people begin to throw refreshments and food towards her. She doesn’t even bother to move when they start throwing deadlier things; rocks, even a poorly aimed pocket knife or two.
                Talia grunts as she is grabbed from behind, attempting to cry out as she feels a syringe enter her neck, a hot, searing liquid invading her blood.
                “No,” she groans, trying to kick and punch at the guards. “No, no, no, no…”
                The world begins to spin madly, and once more she is falls to her knees. Again, blackness and silence envelop her.
                “Very well,” says a twisted, distorted voice through the murkiness. “You have been tried and found guilty as charged. Punishment will be put into effect immediately.”

 The other side of the city

The eyes of the woman on the television screen are dull and lobotomized, hinting at some sort of former intelligence and free will which no longer remain. Instead, they stare ahead, unseeing and unknowing at a blank white wall, her black hair shrouding her bloodied face and shoulders.
                “Talia Marcus-Sawyer has been tried and found guilty of treason,” says a clean-shaven young man facing the camera. “Her heinous plots and insidious ideas have threatened the way of life of the people of not only this city, but this nation, and she will be punished. Today, one model citizen, Amy Tiller, has the honor of carrying out the punishment. We shall all honor and salute Amy’s brave actions to protect the people of our country. Thank you Amy.” The announcer gestures to a blond woman behind him. “You may proceed.”
                The camera cuts away from the man and to the two women, one naked and bruised on the floor and the other standing triumphantly above her, showered and neatly dressed. Slowly, the blonde woman raises a black gun, the click of the safety trigger being removed seeming to echo terribly throughout the room.  Heavily, she aims the gun between the subjugated woman’s eyes.
                In that last moment, something happens. The other woman, Talia, seems to return from her cloudy nowhere place, drawn back to reality by the sound of the safety. Her dark eyes focus, and some light of recognition seems to dawn upon her face. However, in that final second, the blonde woman pulls the trigger. With a bang, Talia Marcus-Sawyer is dead, her eyes lifeless once more.
                The camera returns to the smiling man. “Well, that’s it for tonight folks,” he says with false gaiety. In the background, beyond the view of the camera, the blonde woman’s eyes blur with tears, and her arms drop to her sides like dead weights. “Keep in mind,” continues the man, “it is people like Amy Tiller who keep us safe. If you know someone like Amy who you would like to honor, please contact our studio. Until then, ladies and gentlemen, good night and stay safe.”
                With the push of a button, the television screen flickers to black, and the blonde woman, Amy Tiller, drops the plastic remote to the floor faintly. Silence fills her lonely apartment, sealing the cracks of her emptied soul in the process. Legs like lead, she sluggishly makes her way over to the window, looking out at the city lights below. A lone tear falls from her eyes, painted blue by the illumination of the blue apartments beyond. She closes her eyes and breathes in the air, taking in the layered sounds and sensations of the urban night.
                There is an explosion somewhere in the distance, but Amy does not open her eyes. Instead, a sad smile sweeps her face. “This is for you, Talia,” she whispers as she pulls the trigger.


"The Reckoning" is (c) copyright Hannah Smart, 2013


Music that helped to inspire the story:

"Roslin and Adama Reunited"
Bear McCreary

"Gentle Execution"
Bear McCreary

Also, in my mind I sort of imagined Talia as looking like Rekha Sharma as Tory Foster from, you guessed it, Battlestar Galactica. Again, it is more of a superficial correlation; Talia really does not bear much semblance to the personality of Sharma's character, or at least in my opinion.

Yeah, you can DEFINITELY tell what I've been watching lately...

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Vigilance" - A Short Story Sequel to "Corona"

Hello everyone! It's me, Hannah Smart, presenting to you my official short story sequel to Corona, "Vigilance." At current, I have no intentions to pen another full length sequel to Corona, or at least not a direct one, but I felt that a short story sequel would expand their universe, Caleb's Universe, just enough, yet not too much. So enjoy, and feel free to spread the news. Corona is available for purchase on Amazon.


It was early morning when Vigilance Polaski woke. At first, she was uncertain just what it was that had startled her awake. But then, a faint whispering became apparent beyond the bedroom door and down the hallway, in her father’s study she believed. Quietly, she opened the door and slipped in the corridor, painted amber by the light of a fire blazing in the study.
            At first, the voices were illegible, impossible to fully understand. But as Vigil crept closer to the open study doorway, she could make out her father’s voice, hushed yet clearly agitated.
            “What more do you want?” he spat at his unseen companion. “I’ve established the foundations, I’ve built upon them, and everything’s here. Can’t you just leave me alone now?”
            An incoherent reply followed her father’s plea. Though Vigil could not understand the words of the converser, its terrible, androgynous voice nonetheless caused the hairs on her arms to stand on end.  
            “But why?” demanded Vigil’s father. “You’ve already taken her away from me! Can’t you just leave me this one happiness, this one reminder?” His voice was strangely broken as he said this, in a way that Vigil had never before witnessed. She took a step back from the doorway.
            Again, the anonymous voice ensued, and more hushed words were exchanged. “No!” her father finally yelled. Silence followed from thenceforth, and Vigil assumed that the discussion must have been ended. Whoever her father had been speaking with must have hung up, or vice versa, for no more conversation followed.
            Quietly, Vigil slipped back down the hallway and into her bed, though it would be many hours before she finally surrendered to sleep.

*                     *                    *

Today was November the 15th, and the sky above was grey and overcast, the very earth seeming to weep. There were two days of the year which Vigil’s father always seemed to avoid, and November the 15th was one of them. Every year, he would always lock himself in his room for the duration of the day, coming out only at dinner time to somberly converse about Vigilance’s school day. But never once had Vigil pried about his denial of this particular date.
            As always, school was the same that day; the same people with the same blank expressions, the same classes, same food, same everything. She received the same amount of homework, as always, which she completed in the same amount of time. She then proceeded to take the same route home, downtown past the bank and the police department, then to their home. However, today, something strange did occur during her traverse from the school.
            It was near the bank that she saw him, an old man shivering outside in the cold. At first, she paid him no credence, but then, she noticed the manner in which he stared at her, as if he were looking at her very soul through a magnifying glass. It unnerved her, so she continued to walk faster, keeping her gaze clipped to the cold ground.
            She didn’t lift her eyes again until she was a little ways past the police station, protected by the shelter of the closely-knit buildings. However, she was then startled to find that the old man was there as well, standing still as if he had been there from the start.
            <You are frightened.> The voice which penetrated Vigil’s mind was the same terrible, androgynous one which she had heard the night before with her father. Vigil gasped and took a step backwards, ready to run away from the old man.
            <Don’t leave,> said the old man, though his lips did not move. Vigil shuddered.
            “Who are you?” she demanded, her tone even. She tried to look into the man’s eyes, but found it somehow impossible, as if there were some physical force deflecting her gaze.
            <Ah, I see that your father hasn’t told you. Have you ever asked him why he shuns the 15th of November? Why he locks himself in his room all day and will never speak to you of your mother?> Vigil covered her ears, trying to block out the terrible voice as it rang through her head.
            “Stop it!” she screamed. “Get out of my head!” With that, she turned away suddenly and began to run, faster and faster down the street until it all became an amorphous blur of brick and rock.
            <Have you ever wondered why everything always seems the same, day after day?> The voice persisted, and as Vigil came to a dead end in an alleyway, the old man was there to meet her once more.
            “Leave me alone!”
            <Is that really what you want, Vigilance?> asked the man. <You’ve always been alone, your entire life… do you really want it to stay that way?>
            “What do you want from me?” she whispered, her body shaking as she stared at the stony figure of the elderly man. “Why are you doing this?”
            <Next time you’re at school, look at the people around you. Really look at them. And you’ll see that I’m right, that you have always been right; they’re all the same.> And then, he was gone. Shuddering and panicked, Vigil ran the rest of the way home. She didn’t see a single other person on the way.

*                    *                    *

            “Aren’t you hungry?” asked her father as Vigil prodded her macaroni and cheese with her fork. Tiredly, Vigil looked up at him, staring into his icy gaze as her head slid down her right palm, which was haphazardly propping it up.
            For a long moment, there was silence as the father and daughter looked deeply into each other’s eyes, a test of will. Finally, Vigilance spoke. “Father,” she began. “Why is it that you always avoid this day, November 15th? What happened today?”
            Quietly, she searched his face for any sign of emotion, but found nothing. Instead, an empty void of arctic ice met her, an unfaltering vacuum. And then, her father stood up from the table, still facing her in the same emotionally devoid manner.
            “I’m going to bed,” he announced. “Finish up the dishes please, then lights out.”
            “What?” Vigil leapt to her feat, knocking back the chair, and threw her hands onto the table. “What?” she repeated, stunned by her father’s cold indifference. Her raven black hair, the same color as his, curtained her face ominously as her green eyes darkened with severity.
            “Vigil, I said go to bed.” Her father’s tone was frigid and even.
            “No!” she shouted. “I want you to tell me what’s going on! I know that you’re hiding things from me, like those conversations you have in the middle of the night with the old man, and-”
            “What?” It was her father’s turn to be shocked. “How do you know about that?” he said icily, his eyes narrowing.
            “I’m not stupid!” Vigilance shrieked. “Dad, I’ve kept quiet all of this time, I thought it was just some odd ritual of yours, but you’re always keeping secrets from me!” With that, Vigil stormed out of the room, sobbing, and slammed her bedroom door shut. Through her crying, she could hear her dad yelling at someone from his study, not even attempting to contain his no-longer-secret meetings.
            The next day, the two of them arose in their home, acting as if nothing had occurred. However, there was an undeniable tension in the air, a chasm between them now. Neither of them spoke a word.
            On her way back from school that afternoon, Vigilance didn’t see the strange old man.

*                      *                    *

            It had been two days now since Vigil’s fight with her father. The interminable silence remained, and she hardly ever saw him removed from his study, save breakfast and dinner. But there had been no more secret meetings.
            Vigilance was in school when she remembered the words of the old man: “Look at the people around you,” he had said. “Really look at them.”
            So just then, she did. At first, she noticed nothing at all peculiar. But then, the harder she stared at her classmates, the more apparent their uniformity became. It frightened her, the confirmation of the man’s words. They were indeed the same, each and every one of them possessing an identical face with the same blurred features, the same voices, the same mannerisms. They were all perfect copies of each other, each a grotesque effigy of human life. Terrified, she closed her eyes as tightly as she could, hoping to block it all out…
            “Vigilance?” said the teacher. Vigil opened her eyes to find that her instructor was the same as well. She attempted to swallow her panic.
            “Yes Mrs. Wood,” she replied.
            “Are you all right?” asked the duplicate.
            “Um, yes… I’m fine.” Mrs. Wood continued her lesson, but Vigil paid no attention. It was the same lesson as it always was.

*                    *                    *

            Vigil knocked on the study door. “Dad?” she whispered. At first, the slumped-over figure did not turn around to face her, but instead remained hunched in the office chair towards the wall. But then, after a moment, he began to move so that he was looking at Vigil, his short midnight hair drooping and his eyes devoid of life, it seemed. He said nothing.
            “Dad,” she whispered again, just as softly as before. Her voice broke then and mute tears began to roll down her cheeks. “Daddy, please stop acting like this. I didn’t mean to hurt you, I just want everything to go back to the way it was…”
            Grimacing with her emotional pain, and the hot tears continuing to streak down her face, she looked to her unresponsive father. And finally, he looked up at her, his own tears flowing quietly.
            “Have I ever told you about your mother?” he asked so softly that Vigil wasn’t even certain she’d heard it. “You have her eyes…”
            “Oh Daddy…” Vigil rushed up to her father and embraced him. Slowly, he moved his arms so that he was holding her as well, stroking her silky black hair.
            “I have something to show you,” he whispered after a while, still engaged in the embrace. Finally, he pulled away from her. “Come with me,” he said gently, taking Vigil by the arm and leading her back into their small library.
            Quietly, her father wove his way through the many boxes barraging the opening to the library, Vigil remaining stationary at the entranceway. Then, with one fluid motion, he removed a leather-bound novel from its perch upon one of the many shelves and offered it to Vigilance. “Jeanette Turner,” read the cover, which was empty aside from the name. Vigil looked up to her dad.
            “Your mother wrote this,” he uttered softly. “She wrote all of these books.” Vigil opened to the first page to find it void of any letters, and upon flipping through the rest of the pages, discovered that those were blank as well.
            “It’s empty,” she said, looking back up to him quizzically. “There are no words in it.”
            “There used to be words,” he said. “But every day I forget her more and more, and thus with each rising of the sun, more of her is lost.”
            “What do you mean?” asked Vigil, now concerned for her father’s sanity. Her father sighed.
            “Vigilance, there’s something you must understand if you want to know me fully. There are many things, in fact, which I have been keeping from you. But first you must make a decision: leave everything be, and we can return to life as it was before. Or let me show you everything at the risk of you hating me forever.”  Silence fell upon the household for what seemed an eternity. But finally, Vigil spoke.
            “I want the truth,” she said, her speech nearly inaudible. And suddenly, the two of them were no longer in their home, but a large forest, dead with the coming winter.
            “I know this place,” she breathed, gazing up to the claw-like branches piercing the frozen sky. She looked back to her father. “This is the forest just outside of town.” Her father made no effort to reply. Instead, she found that he was looking through the labyrinth of tree trunks towards another man.
            The other man, Vigil was startled to find, was her father.
            “Daddy, what’s going on?” Vigil began to breathe heavily as her dad made a motion for her to keep quiet, fear bubbling up inside of her until it was unbearable. “Daddy, please, I’m scared!” Silently, her father reached out to her and took her hand. It was ice cold.
            Without another word, he led her closer to the other man, also her father, though he seemed completely unaware of the two of them. Instead, he seemed to be listening for something, waiting…
            A twig snapped somewhere close by, the sound it made reminiscent of bones cracking. Her other father, the copy, swung around suddenly in the direction of the noise, drawing a gun. Vigil screamed and jumped backwards as the barrel of the weapon pointed directly at her.
            “It’s okay, it’s okay!” prompted her father, taking hold of her once more. Her breathing remained ragged, and her eyes refused to draw away from the gun, but she remained where she was. The copy’s eyes searched the space where the father and the daughter were standing, but he didn’t appear to see them. “He can’t see us,” whispered her father, her real father, confirming her suspicions.
            That’s when Vigil became aware of yet another man, a different man off in the distance. She could not make out much of him, except for a dirty t-shirt and shorts. The clothes, she observed with horror, were crusted with freshly dried blood. She drew closer to her father, her breath captivated.
            There was a click as the safety trigger was pulled on the gun of the other man. Her father’s duplicate whirled around, quickly taking notice of the haggard man, his eyes wide with fear. “No!” screamed Vigilance, breaking away from her father and trying to shove his copy out of the way. But it was too late. The shot had been fired.
            Vigilance dropped down to her knees in front of the bleeding man, thick red globs of blood rising up from the wound in his chest. “No!” she continued to yell in a repeated chant as she bent over him. “No, no, no!”
            “Jeanette…,” gasped the man, something sparking in his eyes as he at last seemed to see her. And then they drifted past her once more, and with one final exhaled breath, he was dead.
            “No, no, no, no…” whimpered Vigilance. “Don’t die Caleb, don’t die!” she threw herself upon his corpse then, stroking his black hair and feeling the hot sticky blood on her hands. And then, she suddenly realized what had happened and jumped away from the body, which had begun to fade away with the rest of the forest, blowing past them like tiny specks of sand, into oblivion.
            “Daddy!” she yelled, turning around and rushing over to her real father. “Daddy, what’s happening to me?” she sobbed, collapsing onto the ground, which had now washed away into an infinite white room. “What’s happening?” she whispered to the floor.
            Whimpering, she felt her father’s arms around her back. “November 15th is the day that I died,” he murmured, his voice nearly nonexistent.
            Slowly, Vigilance tilted her head to the side, still plastered to the floor, tears streaking down her face. From that sideways angle, she looked to her father, the world seeming to tilt upon its axis. She said nothing, her raven hair splayed out on the ground like hungry roots and her tears collecting into a small lake.
            “Your mother’s name was Jeanette Turner,” he began, rising from the floor. “She was a very lovely woman, and a talented writer. She was my best friend…” After staring off into the infinite distance for a moment, his snowy gaze returned to her. “Your mother never existed.” Vigil’s lips parted, brushing the floor ever-so-slightly as she did so. But her voice remained under the siege of her father’s icy eyes.
            “She surrendered her very existence in order to save the Universe,” he continued. “It is because of her that this world now stands, because of her sacrifice. I told myself that I’d never forget her, that I’d always remember…” Her father turned away from her now.
            “Every day it gets harder…,” he murmured. “Every day more words disappear and the image of her fades from my memory.” Now he pivoted to face her once more. “The people around you, Vigilance; the Other was right. They’re all the same blurred face, my sad attempt to remember her.” He smiled now, a sad smile. “You have her eyes. Her eyes are all that’s left.” He paused for a moment, and then seemed to reconsider his statement. “You are all that’s left of her,” he finally said.
            “No,” whispered Vigilance. “This is all a dream. The world I know is real. It’s real!” She leapt to her feet now and lunged at her father, but the already eternal room seemed to elongate, carrying her father away from her grasp. “It’s real!” she screamed hysterically. “I’m not just a memory! I’m real!
            “You aren’t a memory.” Her father’s voice seemed to echo all about her, filling the entirety of the infinite space just as the voice of the mysterious old man had. Then, something in the distance seemed to crack, to separate itself from the rest of the blank canvas. All about her the walls began to fall apart, revealing a new sort of nothingness. She had no physical presence now, nothing did; only her mind remained.
            “You were always so much more than a memory…” Her father’s voice retained its integrity, but even that seemed to falter, to change. It then hit Vigilance with a terrible momentum that her father’s voice had merged with that of the androgynous elder.
            “No,” she continued to chant, wanting to cover her ears, but having no physical manifestation anymore, finding this impossible. “No, no, no, no, no…”
            <Vigilance…> came the voice. <Do not be afraid.>
            <What’s happening…?> she whispered faintly, feeling as if she too were fading away.
            <The world was an illusion, Vigil. It always has been, and it always will be…>
            <Who…are…you?> she demanded, struggling to remember her own identity.
            <I am the same person that I have always been,> came the reply. <Caleb Polaski, your father, the old man, the Architect…>
            <And who am I?> she replied faintly.
            <You are Vigilance Polaski. But you are also Jeanette Turner, and you are also me. You are my daughter.>
            <But why?> asked Vigilance. <Why does the world have to be this way?>
            Suddenly, the world reassembled itself, protons clustering and electrons orbiting, atoms intertwining with one another, and the tapestry of the Universe was rewoven. They were back in the library now, the two of them, staring at each other once more.
            “It doesn’t have to be,” said her father, Caleb, quietly, the terrible androgyny expelled once more. Fresh tears began to well in Vigilance’s eyes. Silently, she acquiesced to her father’s embrace. He stroked her hair and held her quietly.
            “It’s all right,” he whispered. “It will be all right.” Finally, they pulled away from each other and gazed deep into the eyes opposite them, one set an icy blue, and the other a deep green.
            “What now?” asked Vigilance finally.  “We can’t just go back, there’s no going back…” Her eyes began to water again.
            “You’re right,” replied Caleb. “But that’s all right.” He smiled sadly. “We can go forward now.” And then he reached out his arm and took his daughter’s hand. She smiled sadly back at him.  


"Vigilance" is (c) copyright Hannah Smart, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

If "Corona" Was a Movie...

First off, no, CORONA IS NOT BEING MADE INTO A MOVIE. This is merely some fun speculation of mine. For those interested, YOU CAN BUY CORONA HERE. So, as I was saying, if Corona was ever made into a movie, these are the people who I would see as playing some of the main characters. Again, this is just for fun, and in case anyone is curious as to how I imagine them. Anyways, here it goes:

Caleb Polaski - Cillian Murphy:

He has the icy eyes and the acting abilities. Enough said.

Jeanette Turner - Natascha McElhone:

Her performance in Solaris always just stuck with me, and on some levels, I associate her with Jeanette.

Bae Valereigh - Sam Rockwell:

I first saw Sam Rockwell in Moon, and ever since I have been a fan. Valereigh reminds me a bit of Rockwell's character in Moon, Sam Bell, as well. Yes, I know, that rhymed.

Kamira Jarkens - Sophie Okonedo:

I loved her in the Doctor Who episode "The Beast Below" - strong-willed and caring.

Hat - Elijah Wood/Very Young James Spader from Stargate:

You just have to love Elijah Wood! The influence of James Spader on Hat, though, was more appearance-wise than character-wise.

Elijah Wood

James Spader

Kacie Bernard - Karen Gillan:

Karen Gillan is my idol. Well, one of them. Enough said.

Michael Springer - Sharlto Copley:

Love this guy - he was amazing in District 9.