Chapter 2:1-2 Back to Life

Yay! I have decided 1. Not to rechapter the book until I’ve actually finished the story. and 2. To keep Kesshen’s name. This seems like a no-brainer situation but I’ve thought a lot about both. By the way, there are captioned words below. I debated including them at all instead of just the captions. The issue being that some words are Japanese and some are Chinese. It’s by design. Initially, I didn’t want any of the words to be real, but I had trouble finding a script font that didn’t have actual characters in it that looked appropriate.


公主! [Princess!]

The man seemed to call at her, but they couldn’t truly see him. He was covered head to toe in black strapping. The bits of skin that could be seen between the strapping was also black as pitch. It was arguable it was even skin as some of it seemed to bubble over the edges. It stood like a man but lurched as if he was only recently and hastily put together.

“What the fuck is that thing?!” Ben barked, instinctively putting himself between his friend and the assailant.

Ally shrieked and swung her sling bag at him. It fell just shy. She was a terrible throw. She was also a bit of a disorganized mess and its pockets were left open, spilling the contents all over the grimey cement.

“Okay, what was that,” Ben resigned.

“Me defending myself?”

“Why do you have so much shit…”



The bandaged man looked down, eyes bloodshot and faded. Amongst the general purse litter that was now strewn before him was a small statuette. It almost grinned or at least made the attempt. His hand cracked and grew extra, distended fingers and then sharpened into claws. More of the bubbling, leathery hide grew over them.

“We’re going to die!” Ally screamed.

“We’re not going to die!” Ben screamed back, though he really wasn’t convinced.

“Dammit, someone help us!”

The statuette started to shake and burst open, barely able to contain the energy inside. What came out was wild. A cloud of plasma and arcing lightning tore through, throwing itself against the wall, bouncing once it hit. It stretched and squashed, trying to produce a form.

No, all it could do was scream and howl, fighting itself.

妖怪 [Demon!] The curse sounded like it came from the assailant, but it never spoke. Instead the words flew through the air and shook through them.

It was enough to get the burning cloud’s attention. It stopped its thrashing and turned its attentions to the shambling, bandaged attacker.

食尸鬼[Ghoul!] the cloud shot back, the curse trembling through them through the same unearthly plane. The cloud shot forward, shifting to a pure and blinding flame, torching the body and consuming it the moment they touched. During the short moment it took to burn the man away, Ally and Ben could feel the ravaged howl deep in their cores. When the shambling mess was gone, ash flying away on the wind, the howl dissipated. Even the fiery cloud seemed to calm.

Ally and Ben both had to catch their breath and try to make sense of what they had just seen. A man, or something vaguely resembling one, had appeared out of the sky. Then, some kind of fire fell out of her purse and burned him away. And now that same fire was simply sitting there, resting.

Ben was looking for a way out, back to a reality he understood.

Ally was entranced. “I…” she whispered, “I’m gonna touch it.”

The latest in his friend’s idiotic ideas was enough to snap him out of his panic. At least, he could shift his panic to something more manageable. “Are you insane?!”

“Too late,” she said as she reached forward and opened her palm as if to warm it. The cloud tightened and rolled towards her.

“Ally!” Ben hissed, “That thing is going to kill you!”

“No… No it won’t. Will you, big guy?”

The cloud loosened in response and slowly moved to meet her hand. The colors calmed and started to shift, gently this time. When it touched her, it was warm and inviting. It even felt relief. After a long, quiet moment, the cloud began to change. It stretched out in some places, tightening in others. He could feel a body coalescing for the first time in an eternity. His summoner had finally given him a form.


Chapter 2.1-1: Back to Life

I guess I’m back! Sort of. I am so sleep deprived again.

“Please stop,” he whispered. His best friend since grade school had been rambling without a breath and he was sure that one of two things was about to happen: One, the sort of tiny Asian mix next to him was going to pass out due to lack of oxygen reaching her brain, and Two, his brain would hemorrhage from the garbage he was being forced to listen to.

“But you asked, and you’re obviously not getting it. Kylie set up the robbery! It’s all right there!”

“OH MY GOD, I DON’T CARE. While I’m impressed you managed to take a break from your dramas and K-pop gossip column fire hose long enough to even hear about something that happened in this country, sort of, since when do you even ‘keep up’?”

“Hey, when it’s juicy you kind of don’t care where it comes from. Anyway, So, at her party—”

“That happened months ago, and I still don’t care.”

“How do you know when it happened if you don’t ‘keep up’?”

“Shut up.”

“Do you want to hear about the latest release date debacle?”


“Oh this K-pop band just dropped out of a tour that was supposed to pass through here, and there is going to be rioting!”

“Who is it? Wait! No! Just.. Enough with the gossip rag for five seconds.”

“Fii~ne,” she groaned. They walked in an awkward silence while Ally bit her lip to keep any more details fell out of her mouth. After an excruciating twenty seconds, she spoke up again, “What do you want to talk about?”

Benjamin groaned and rolled his eyes. “I just want to grab a bite before work!”

He was a few steps ahead before he realized that Ally had fallen behind. “Hey? Are you okay?”

The girl had her finger and her thumb massaging her eyes. “No, it’s just… I thought I heard something, and now I have kind of the worst migraine.”

“You never get migraines.” He sighed again and went over to his friend, hand to her forehead. “Well, you aren’t sick. When was the last time you ate something that wasn’t just formed up sugar and caffeine?”

“I eat fine, mom.”

“Seriously, your mom will murder me if you get home messed up.”

“Fine! I will eat with you if it will make you stop nagging me!”

“Like you weren’t going to eat,” he mumbled before heading to the nearest tea shop. He stopped in his tracks, seeing a commotion ahead of them. “Huh. Shenanigans outside of the Temple. There’s something you don’t see every day.”

Ally could barely focus. “Yeah, yeah. Let’s just go around. I don’t feel like getting into a tangle with Buddhists today.”

“I think that is literally impossible.” His friend was gone again, this time ducking into an alleyway causing the hairs on his neck to stand on end. “What is it with you with alleys?! Are you a fan of being murdered?!”

“What can I say, it’s in the name.” Ally leaned against the wall, the pounding in her head getting worse.

“Whatever you say, Miss Murder Bait.”

“That’s Princess Murder Bait to you.”

公主? [Princess?]

“Oh my god, it was a joke,” she groaned as she moved further in the alleyway.

“What are you talking about? I didn’t say anything.” Benjamin followed her, growing more concerned as she became more distracted.

She began to argue when a dark clad man seemingly dropped out of the sky, blocking their exit.

公主! [Princess!]

Ghost Relic: Ladders

Basically just wanting this week to end at this point.

This is Yohko. A Priestess and Type-A to 11. So far, that’s all I have of her. Also, I wrote this twice just because it was frustrating me. Did you know Kinkaku-ji is currently being run by an active temple? It is! You can’t go in, but they say it’s fully restored inside.

The writing prompt is from here.

#135: Ladders

Yohko climbed the rungs of the ladder she set up on the side of the tiered temple. It had taken her all night and weeks of planning, but soon she would have scaled her way to the top of the Golden Pavilion. The Pavilion was both a historic temple and one of the largest tourist traps in the nation, and she was following a whispered call up its walls.

The practice of breaking-and-entering was new for her, but she was resourceful and confident she could figure it out. All she needed was a telescoping ladder, cardio and strength training, and a lot of time staking out the temple.

She made it to the top, the shimmering gold Phoenix that perched atop the building with its wings spread before her.

The young woman had no time to admire the scenery, only to concentrate on the task at hand. She muttered a short prayer for forgiveness before taking a crowbar to the ornament’s base. The priestess did no small amount of damage, but, given the height, it would take weeks before anyone noticed. From the hole she made, she pulled out a small bamboo canister. It was a lot of trouble for something so innocuous.

Yohko knew better. What called her there rested inside. Now, it was ordering her to open it.

She obeyed, only to find ash and dirt inside. She almost screamed before she noticed the ash start to move. It was starting to reform. The book was hers now.

Ghost Relic: Applause

Well, that was an unintentional hiatus. The short story is that the heat waves and my day job are simultaneously trying to kill me. Of course, it occurs to me I have a backlog of old writing that I can post in the mean time so the next time this happens (and likely it will happen) I will try to keep posting.

Anyway, this is Ran and Jennifer. Ran is near and dear to my heart and Jennifer is new for this story. The original concept being the Elle Woods of Ninjas with a little bit of Cloak from Cloak and Dagger.

Oh and the writing prompt is from here.

#185: Applause

Jenny was at a Karaoke bar, dancing around to some anime song. Naturally, there was applause. She was pretty, white, and blond in a bar full of grubby salary men; their favorite kind of entertainment.

She gave a flattering wink to one of them, and he was immediately at her side, drink in hand. When she asked for an escort back to her car, his coworkers egged him on.

He was so sweet, offering to help her with her door while bragging about his oh-so-important career. And when she needed help with her trunk, he offered!

Of course, no one was around to see him try and grope her. ‘Try,’ being the operative word. She smacked his hand away and, while he reeled back, jammed a stun gun just beneath his armpit deep into his ribcage. The electricity caused his body to seize. Any thoughts of cursing the woman out were interrupted by searing white before he fainted.

There was a slow clap behind her.

“Next time, can you do it without the audience?”

The voice came from behind her from a young looking Asian man who had been waiting in the shadows.

“Next time, can you help me with the leg work?” she huffed, trying to shift the heavy-set man into her trunk.

He shrugged and rolled the body into the vehicle. She had the honor of slamming the door closed.

“Besides,” she said as she dusted off her hands, “No one liked him and everyone likes a show.”

Ghost Relic: Risk

So this is another new character but she may not show up immediately. Apparently, if you try to mix Sailor V and Lina Inverse, you get a Korean Dazzler. I dunno.

I got the writing prompt from here.


#170: Risk

Mina managed to slip out of the large auditorium and find a dark secluded corner. The singer let out a slow breath, thankful for whatever quiet she was about to get. She fumbled to get the eCig out of one of her pockets, pulling her coat tighter over her sparkly stage costume.

It was always an ordeal, leaving to take a small break after shows with the paparazzi, management, and fans breathing down her neck in that order.

She was almost about to relax when she heard a noise around a corner. She glared and slipped the eCig out of sight.

A scraggly jumped into sight, brandishing a small knife. He said something stupid demanding her valuables.

“Oh thank God! I was almost worried!” She was so relieved that she didn’t have to worry about ‘Pop Princess’ Drug Habit!’ being splattered on some hack’s Instagram just because she liked a Peach Vape after shows. She whined, wanting some peace, “Just get out of here.”

Of course, he didn’t listen! Her hand flipped out of her pocket, fingers out like a gun. ‘Pa~h!’ she breathed as a flash burst from her fingertips, knocking the would-be assailant out of sight.

She grinned smugly and leaned back against the alley wall. That was her favorite way of blowing off steam. Of course, the flash and the pop wouldn’t go unnoticed, and she heard a crowd headed towards her.

Mina cursed loudly and dove back into the auditorium. She couldn’t get a minute!

Ghost Relic: Stray Animal

The urge to write the first arc of Ghost Relic in full came from a couple of 100-word pieces I wrote as a post-a-day challenge. I’m not 100% on the post-a-day deal but I think I’m doing pretty well so far. I figured if I did it for the next arc, I’d get a handle on the characters the same way.

Ally and Ben are two nth-generation millennials about to get caught up in a heap of trouble. Writing Prompt is from here.


#121: Stray Animal

Ally tore down an alley, chasing down some dog she had seen wandering aimlessly through the streets. It reminded her of a pup she had seen on a poster or two around the neighborhood, not that she had a good look at it before she took to the chase.

“Dammit, come back here!” her friend ordered as he ran after.

She didn’t have time to respond, having finally cornered the frightened, disoriented animal.

“What the hell is wrong with you?!” he hissed at her.

Ally knelt down, smiling gently at the stray before it finally came to her and nuzzled her hand. She had a way about her that put animals at ease, even if it did nothing for actual people. It finally crawled into her lap, and she flipped through photos on her phone, trying to match the dog to one of the many posters she snapped.

“How did you even do that? You’re scared of everything,” Ben sighed, leaning against a wall. He kept an eye out. It might have been quiet now, but he wasn’t going to be the reason his friend got murdered in some back alley.

“No idea. And I never said I wasn’t scared. Isn’t that right, little buddy?” she cooed, scratching the pup beneath the snout before calling the owner.

“One of these days, they’re just going to turn and bite you.”

Ally shrugged. “Yeah. Maybe. But not today.”

“Then, seriously, what the hell, Ally?”

“Sometimes you just got to get someone home.”

Chapter 1.4: Fading Memories

Ghost Relic: Chapter 1

Well. This is it! That was a whole lot of words. I’m not used to writing this much, to be honest. That leaves editing this monster then reposting it in full. Not that I’d expect you to read it twice, but it’s a good exercise for me.


Makoto had made the trek to the old battlefield. It had been three months since the Priestess and her companions had left the capital city, and three months since the flash of light cleared the blight from the countryside. In that amount of time, everything he expected to happen had come to pass.

When the light had faded, the demons were gone without any trace allowing the armies to close in. Where the vortex once swirled, the air was unnaturally still and the land had gone barren. There were few remains to tell of what had happened there. There were three bodies, impaled by stone spikes. One of those was a woman whose neck was slashed. The artifacts that survived were damaged and drained of their former power. There was no sign of any Ghoul or any Summoned Spirit and no one had any reason to think they had even existed.

Still, the Golden Temple had taken it all. The bodies of the fallen and those they could not recover were given funerals befitting heroes. The battlefield was cordoned off. After a while, the land was forgotten.

By the time he came to pay his respects, the land had grown over. New life was pushing its way through the cracks of dry land. In no time at all, all evidence of a battle would have been buried. He was sure that was what everyone else wanted. All memories of the horrors of the Darkness and the alliances forged to defeat it lost to time. This way, everything could return to the status quo.

He knelt down towards one of the piles of rubble and looked through. He had no idea what he wanted to find. He had already searched several other piles to only find more dirt. He dug down and felt something solid. He narrowed his eyes and fished out small stone statuette. Makoto looked down at it. It was warm to the touch and made of no material he had seen before.

He slipped the statuette into one of his pockets and headed back where he came. Both clans had been dismissed from the capital, leaving little else to do but return home and prepare for the day that memory of this battle had faded. He had a feeling it would not be long.