Archive for the Books Category

Man After Man: The Coming Horrors

Posted in Animals, Books, Pictures, Science, Science Fiction, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2015 by Stephanie Selby
SpacePerson

Though the process of genetic engineering and grafting additional organs, the Vacuumorph is a being that can survive in the airless, zero-gravity environment of space.

Have you ever wondered what humanity’s evolutionary future might look like? In Man After Man, author Dougal Dixion speculates on the possibilities. From what humans might create with genetic engineering, to our kind naturally changing or adapting with technology, to how climate change may shape our descendants.

The results may leave you feeling uncomfortable at the very least. Just about every human-derived creature in this book looks pretty damn freaky. Then there are the ethics of genetic manipulation and our growing dependance on technology that leaves you wondering how far would people really be willing to compromise in order to continue the human race.

So let’s have a brief look, shall we? Here’s the timeline of Dixion’s vision of the future!

200 years: The Earth has been ravaged by overpopulation and pollution. Scientists have genetically altered humans in a variety of ways to live and work in harsh environments. Examples include the Aquamorph and Vacuumorph. Many unaltered homo sapiens are leaving the planet to find a future in space, yet there are still those that are left behind to fight for the meager resources on earth.

Aquamorph

A genetically altered human adapted to life in the water. This species was created for building and mining in the ocean.

300 years

The humans that have remained on earth have split into two major factions: those that highly depend on machines to maintain bodily functions and complete tasks, and handlers that work to repair this technology and serve the technology-assisted upper class. These handlers remain unaltered to retain versatility while working with machines. The machine dependent humans grow weaker and weaker over time, and the process of mating has become quite risky. The Aquamorphs have grown more independent, and no longer assist land-dwelling humans.

500 years

1000 years

2000 years

5000 years

10,000 years

50,000 years

500,000 years

1 Million years

2 Million years

3 Million years

5 Million

ParasiteManAlienMan

Unfortunately, the book is out of print right now so finding a copy may be a bit out of one’s price range but well worth the read!

PenPal Series

Posted in Books, Children, Creepypasta, Horror, Literature, Narrations, Short Stories, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Halloween is coming and I’m super excited! I’d love to hear if anyone else has unique plans to celebrate. Today I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful story about a young man’s not-so-ideal childhood.

I became acquainted with this tale through creepypasta narrators MrCreepyPasta and CreepsMcPasta. What’s posted below is narration from the latter. I’ve been told it’s also available on Kindle as well. This series is just plain AWESOME. There’s really not enough words in the dictionary to describe how good this series is. The setup and execution is clever, creepy, and draws you in right away. I’ll probably do a creepypasta critique for this one in the future. For now I encourage you to enjoy them. The videos may be long, but they are well worth your time!

The Demon’s Day: Destruction Ice Part 3

Posted in Books, Children, Fiction, The Demons' Day, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

For a few short moments Eva reeled from the shock and pain of being buried under a pile of brick and rubble. She could barely breathe with the weight coming down on her, not to mention all the dust in the air. Fortunately, she could still move her arms enough to start pushing the debris off. Coughing the entire time, she slowly managed to climb out of the pile and get back on her feet.

“Shall we continue, Miss Eva?” asked Anubis as she dusted off her pants.

The jackal sat patiently not more than five feet away from her. He hadn’t even shifted his position, and yet there was not so much as a speck of dust on him. He barely seemed to have batted an eye.

“Give me a minute, a wall just fucking fell on top of me! Oh – and I’m fine by the way,” she coughed bitterly. “Asshole.”

Anubis shrugged and looked off down the revealed path. It was dark and difficult to tell what was over there, and Eva could only make out that it had changed from an alley to a long hallway.

“What the hell just happened?” Eva asked.

“A simple hint into your inner issues,” Anubis explained. “It means we are making progress. If your heart stagnated and refused to change, you wouldn’t be able to leave. As long as we can keep moving we will be fine.”

“Are you serious?” Eva cried, “That nearly killed both of us!”

Anubis chuckled. “You nor I can die here, remember?”

“Right…” she said, remembering her arrival to this world. She sighed. “Let’s just get going.”

Eva made her way through the darkened hallway with Anubis just behind her. She had to move slowly for fear of the hazards that may lie ahead. For all she knew, there could be a bottomless pit just inches away from her.

“Any chance you know of a way to brighten this place up, Anubis?” she asked.

“I’m afraid not,” he replied. “You needn’t worry; this place will reveal itself to us shortly.”

“Of course,” Eva said, looking for any trace of light. There was nothing but pitch-black darkness as far as she could tell. There was not even any light emanating from the way they had come. She wondered if the path behind them had closed somehow.

Thinking it was useless to wander around in the dark and worried they could be trapped again, Eva was about to turn around when with a subtle hum, lights flickered on above their heads. The fluorescent bulbs began to let off a steady glow, and Eva immediately recognized the type of building that she and her companion had wandered into.

The long, wide hallway had many doors on either side. Art and posters that adorned the walls were of cartoonish characters encouraging their viewers to read and study. Little coats and backpacks were lined up along the walls on hooks. There were even some display cases that held simple projects, pictures, awards that very clearly belonged to children,

“You have got to be fucking kidding me!” Eva cried. “We’re in a school? Seriously? I thought Hell was supposed to be creative.”

“Whatever do you mean?” Anubis asked.

Eva let out a frustrated groan. “It’s too damn obvious! Anyone who has known me for half a second knows that I fucking hate them! Stick me in a school for all eternity, it’s guaranteed to make me miserable.”

“That certainly does not surprise me.” Anubis said with a sly grin. “Such a dim individual could never find a place like this enlightening.”

“I didn’t ask for your opinion,” Eva said, staring daggers at her companion as she began to walk down the hall. She scanned her surroundings to look for an exit. The place seemed no different from an ordinary elementary. What was so scary about little kids’ school and what could a place like this have anything to do with her?

“I guess I should just be glad it’s not my real high school,” Eva said. “That place is a nightmare.”

As if in answer, a nearby intercom clicked on. The voice that spoke softly in a deep monotone: “All the ignorant must now be accounted for reality training.”

The intercom fell silent but a new flurry of activity could be heard from behind school doors. What began as unpleasant mumbles and groans quickly grew into a deep growling accented by several angry yells. It unnerved Eva so much that it left her wondering what was really in this school with them.

“Don’t be so quick to make judgments,” Anubis warned as the classroom doors began to open. “In this place, things are often far worse than they appear.”

The Demon’s Day: Destruction Ice Part 2

Posted in Animals, Books, Dark, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, The Demons' Day, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2013 by Stephanie Selby

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May you have a cozy, well lit place to hold up against the these growing winter nights. As for me, I’ll enjoy some homemade pumpkin pie.

Apparently, I really suck at this NaNoWriMo thing. It’s almost the end of November and I’ve barely written a thing. I’m really trying to improve, I swear! Hopefully, this installment will make a good peace offering.

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“Wuh-we’re trapped!” Eva cried. Distressed, she sped to the jackal’s side, terrified that they could become separated. She felt like such a chicken clinging to him at the first sign of trouble when only moments before she had thought about ditching him.

“Anubis, what’s happening?” she asked.

“There’s no need to panic,” he said with slight annoyance. “It’s just a minor hindrance you’ve built yourself. You just need to solve it.”

“Solve it? I built it?” Eva asked. She studied the walls with a quizzical look. Was it just her, or were the walls closing in again? Perhaps she was claustrophobic after all. “Why would I stop myself when all I want is to get out and go home?”

“I’ve seen this quite often,” Anubis explained with the assurance and ease of an expert. “It’s almost always because a soul is not ready to face their demons. We may be stuck here for awhile until you are.”

Eva spun to face Anubis directly. “Uh, hello! I’m on a deadline – literally!” she said, “I have to be ready now. Just tell me what I have to do!”

“I commend you for your determination,” Anubis said, “but it’s not that easy. Generally speaking, souls don’t like to confront their darker qualities. They either pretend these aspects don’t exist, or try to excuse them somehow.”

Eva could feel her frustrations rising to the surface again. “What’s your point?” she asked impatiently.

“My point is that you’re afraid of confronting something about yourself; something that drew you here to begin with. You must acknowledge that there is something dark in your nature.”

Eva was about to object to his suggestions once more, but stopped as she knew that arguing with him wasn’t going to solve anything. Denial was the problem here; acceptance meant progress. Yes, she was young and committed no major sins, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t made mistakes – even if she couldn’t remember what they were. She started to feel her curiosity winning out in her mind. What offenses, if any, could have brought her here? What could she possibly be afraid to find out?

“I’m not scared Anubis,” she finally said, “Arriving in hell should be like when the police arrest someone: I should know the charges against me.”

Anubis smiled. “Perhaps that will offer some answers” he said, pointing to a spot behind Eva with an outstretched paw.

Eva followed Anubis’ direction to find a dark spot on one of the bricks in a low section of the wall. Crouching, she saw that it was something legible. Two words: ‘Destruction Ice’ written in shaky pencil writing.

“Well, that’s fan-fucking-tastic…” Eva sighed. “Just what the hell is ‘Destruction Ice’ supposed to mean anyway?”

“I assume you will be finding out shortly,” Anubis replied with a casual shrug. “It seems to be your only clue.”

“Whatever,” Eva said as she turned to reexamine the etched brick again. She started running her fingers over the stone, trying to determine what to do next. As the pencil-lead letters smudged under her fingers, Eva thought as hard as she could. Slowly, it started to dawn on her that the phrase was a familiar one.

“Isn’t this supposed to be part of a poem?” Eva thought aloud, “I think it also talked about fire.”

“I believe I know the one you refer to,” Anubis said, “Written by a poet called Frost wasn’t it? It’s a good, well known one; often taught to students.”

“I guess…” Eva lamely replied. She really couldn’t say. English was her worst subject in school. To her it had always been a bunch of fake characters spouting the opinions of dead writers that didn’t matter anymore. The living, breathing people in her class always had more important things to say anyway. Still, recalling those few details had surprised even her. If they were a part of this puzzle they probably meant something important. If only she could remember what it was about!

Anubis spoke as if reading her mind, “I suggest you think about what it means to you.”

Eva almost squeezed her eyes shut trying to draw out the distant memory. “I remember…she said it was supposed to be about emotions…Like being hot-tempered was what we think of as the most hurtful, but to be cold and indifferent to people can be just as-”

Her train of thought could not be finished as the scribbled brick sunk deep into the wall on its own, and the entire brick edifice came crashing down.

The Demon’s Day: Destuction Ice Part 1

Posted in Books, The Demons' Day with tags , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2013 by Stephanie Selby

Woo hoo! The story finally continued. Enjoy the weirdness and let me know what you think in the comments.

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After her little tantrum, Eva gathered herself quickly in order to move on. They progressed along the road and the wandering spirits dwindled in number until the two were alone once again. The ruined buildings became packed together so closely that there was nothing but an endless stream of broken windows, brick, and piles of concrete rubble illuminated by a blood-red sun. The wide street that had started their journey had slowly shrunk into an alleyway of decaying brick. As far as Eva could tell, here was now nowhere to go but straight ahead.

“Are you sure this is the right way?” Eva asked, “Things have just gotten worse ever since we started.”

“How do you feel about this path?” Anubis responded.

Eva sighed. “There isn’t much of a point in going back, is there?”

“No,” Anubis answered, “You’ve already made your choice.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked.

“Nothing,” Anubis replied with a sly grin. “Take the lead for now. Show me where the next step is.”

Some guide he was turning out to be. The lazy creature should have been showing her the way, not letting her take the lead. Eva still couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe it would be better if she just continued on her own.

As they progressed, their surroundings once again began to change. The old, dirty brick walls of the alleyway seemed to be regressing in age, becoming more solid and regaining a clean, warm red color. They also grew closer and closer together, closing Eva and Anubis into a shrinking space.

“There’s no way that this is right,” Eva said. “If we keep going this way I’m going to get stuck between the fucking walls.”

“Just keep going,” her guide reassured, “In this land, travelers are only hindered when they want to be.”

They pressed on. Much to Eva’s dismay she was the one who was right. The walls were so narrow now that she had to turn and sidestep to make her way through.  Eva had never been the claustrophobic type, but this was enough to make her start sweating.

“You okay, Anubis?” Eva asked. She tried to remain composed, but her heartbeat and breath were so frequent that she knew it wasn’t going to stay that way for long. So close where the walls now that she couldn’t even turn her head around to check on the jackal. She wondered if she ought to leave him behind and get out of this accursed alley for good, but she also didn’t like the idea of leaving him stuck here either.

“Don’t worry about me,” Anubis answered, “Just go!”

Eva did as she was told and pushed finally pushed her way into an open space, nearly tripping over her own feet yet again. It was strange; she hadn’t even seen an end to the steadily narrowing alleyway, but as she got her bearings she found that it had widened to create a small room made by the same red brick as before. An improvement compared to the previous space, but still a dead end.

“You said we wouldn’t get stuck anywhere!” Eva said in an accusing tone. “Now look at where we are. We gotta go back and figure out where we went wrong. I don’t have time for this!”

“We are not stuck,” Anubis said in a stern voice. “Besides, the opportunity to retreat has passed.”

“What are you talking about?” Eva asked, as she turned to leave the way they had come. Instead she found her face inches from the familiar red wall.

“Wha? How?” Eva sputtered. A quick glance around showed that somehow, there wasn’t an alleyway anymore. As if it had never existed at all; just four solid brick walls encasing her and Anubis.

The Demon’s Day Revised: The Black Jackal Part 5

Posted in Animals, Books, Fiction, Horror, The Demons' Day, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2013 by Stephanie Selby

“I don’t get how an abandoned city could relate to me,” Eva said walking along the broken street. “I live in the suburbs. I always go there for fun. I would never imagine a city this way.”

“That may be true,” the jackal replied, “but a city is more than just a place of entertainments. All manner of souls have their own opinion on such a place; not all of them are positive. You’ll find that things will get more personal as we make our way through.”

“But why imagine a place so awful?” Eva asked, “Nobody would want to end up in a place like this! Why can’t everyone here imagine something better?”

The jackal was getting frustrated with Eva’s lack of understanding, “I told you, surroundings here are created consciously and unconsciously. Souls are drawn to the place that suits them the best, with other souls that are very similar to them. They can imagine a better world, perhaps even desperately want be in one, but they are incapable of residing in such a place.”

“You’re saying that people are forced to come here when they die?”

“No,” he said, “They need to. They come here because they are drawn to an environment that is perfectly suited to them. Not a pleasant one, naturally, but then they are not pleasant souls themselves. They will toil and suffer here until they understand why and want to make amends. Change will come when they realize it is their own awful nature that traps them here. It is only when they desire to become a better individual that they will be able to go to a place better suited to their new nature. Those who stay as they are, are doomed to stay where they are.”

“So this is hell?” Eva asked. It seemed like a dumb question with the answer so obvious, but she had to ask. It made her stop dead in her tracks.

“Hm?” the jackal asked as if he were unfamiliar with the term. “Oh-well if that what you want to call it, it can be.”

“I’m in hell?” Eva asked. “I’m stuck in hell?” she asked again as her voice cracked. The true horror of the situation finally sinking in. “What could I have possibly done to make a bunch of demons drag me to hell before I even died?”

“That’s a difficult question to answer,” the jackal explained, “Can you think of a reason?”

“No!” she cried, “I’m only sixteen! There’s nothing that a kid like me could have ever done to send me to a place like this.”

“Oh?” the jackal asked incredulously. He obviously didn’t believe her, “You must think of it sooner or later. It’s the only way you will ever get out of this place. Best to start before the sun goes down.”

Eva’s body felt slack as her mind got a grasp on the jackal’s explanation. She looked around at the ruins and saw one of the straggling wandering, mindless wisps that passed by her and the jackal. Would she too become a lost faceless thing like that? Or would she suffer something even worse? Most importantly, why was this happening to her of all people, when she never did anything wrong?

She stared at the jackal’s face, noting his calm, unconcerned expression at her dismay. She knew that the jackal cared little for her predicament, and probably thought that she deserved whatever terrible thing that could befall her here. A boiling anger began to grow within Eva, and before she could stop herself she moved to strike the jackal as hard as she could.

“This is your fault!” she yelled as she flailed after him. “I’m going to die and be stuck here, and you can’t even give a shit!” She followed the jackal as he bounded into the middle of the empty street.

The jackal was much too quick and nimble, dodging every one of Eva’s attacks. “How can I express pity when you have no remorse?” he asked as Eva attacked him. “You don’t even realize that you have done something terrible. Continue with your anger and willful ignorance, and you will never see the light of a mortal day again.”

With skilled precision he dived between Eva’s legs. She nearly tripped as she whipped herself around to face him.

She gasped for breath as she stared the jackal down, and the jackal calmly stared back. Her attacks weren’t of much use. He was quicker than she expected, and his bored expression showed that he was not surprised by her outburst or attempted assault. Despite her rage, she couldn’t help thinking that the jackal probably dealt with this kind of anger so often that he didn’t have any real reaction to it anymore. It was just part of his daily routine.

“Are you done now?” the jackal asked, exasperated.

Her anger hadn’t subsided much. She was even angry at herself for her own impotent effort to hurt the jackal. “You know this isn’t fair!” Eva managed to scream.

“No,” the jackal stated, “but at least if you do die you’re in the right place. That is fair.”

She mulled over his response for a moment. “Well, there’s no way I’m giving you the satisfaction,” she stated. “Better get going.”

Still, Eva’s anger quietly bubbled as they both continued on. The streets and the city hadn’t changed very much since they had started to become dilapidated, but she cared very little about that at the moment. She just wanted to keep moving for her own sake. She still felt something nagging at her though. She wasn’t sure what was bothering her until she found herself saying it out loud.

“Don’t you have a name?” Eva asked coldly.

“I didn’t introduce myself? How inconsiderate of me!” the jackal said in a sarcastic tone. “And why would you care what the help is named?”

“So I know who screwed me over,” Eva replied. “When I find your boss, he’s going to hear about how awful you really are.”

The jackal sighed and shook his head. “If you think it will help,” he said, “my name is Anubis.”

“Good,” she said, turning away from the jackal and making her way further down the street. “Not that you care or anything, but my name is Eva.”

“Hm, very well then,” Anubis said. From the sound of clicking dog nails behind her, she could tell that he was following.

Anubis, Anubis, Anubis she repeated the name in her mind. She was determined to have that name branded into her brain forever. If there really was a Spirit of Death like he said, and she failed to make it back home, she was going to do everything in her power to find him and tell him all about this awful jackal. However, the more she thought about it, the more that name sounded familiar to her. It took several minutes of silence for Eva to realize where she had heard it before. “Are you like an Egyptian god or something?”

“No, Miss Eva. I am not a god, I was merely named after one.”

The Demon’s Day Revised: The Black Jackal Part 4

Posted in Books, Horror, Scary, The Demons' Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2013 by Stephanie Selby

Eva gave out a sharp yelp and dove away from it, tripping and falling over. The figure, a human-like shape, took no notice of her and continued on its way.

“Are you alright?” the jackal asked as he paused by Eva’s side.

Eva sat struggling to catch her breath on the pavement, trying to recompose herself. “What was that?” she asked the jackal, but as she looked up into the creature’s amber eyes. She gasped as she saw the change in her surroundings.

The once empty street had suddenly been filled by a mass of wandering figures. It was a chaotic mess of traffic; some of the figures rushed by before Eva could get a good look at them. Others milled about on the street in confused circles, and some even floated aimlessly in the air. They were pale, featureless, wisps of smoke that vaguely resembled the idea of people. Eva couldn’t tell just what it was all about. She could only sit on the cold concrete, agape at the spectacle that played before her.

“Ha, you can see them!” the jackal said happily as he made the correct assumption. “That’s a good sign. You’re becoming more aware of what’s really going on around you. It will make it easier for you to find the right path.”

“Wha-What are these things?” blurted Eva. Their presence unnerved her.

“Other arrivals like you. Well…” he corrected, “Not quite like you. They are very dead, but they know where they need to go for the most part. They are drawn to their proper place in the afterlife like a moth to a flame, and have no need for a guide such as myself.”

“But most of them aren’t really getting anywhere…” Eva stated.

“Well,” he confessed, “they have a habit of dragging their feet along the way. Nerves you see.”

“Why the hell didn’t you tell me about this before?” Eva asked as she rose and dusted he knees off.

“Partly because I enjoy the surprise,” replied the jackal, “But mostly because it’s beneficial to come to a realization on your own. You would not learn a thing if I constantly held your hand.”

“For a guide, you’re not very helpful,” Eva said.

“For a human, you’re not very bright,” the jackal retorted, “but then in my experience humans have never been very bright. Shall we proceed?”

The jackal continued on before Eva could answer and kept a speedy pace as they continued along the street. She had to maintain a brisk walk just to keep up. Eva thought that he was probably getting impatient, and wanted to make some progress without being badgered by her questions. She felt that bothering him any more would be a bad idea, so they continued on for some time in silence.

Eva found it hard to keep herself quiet though, as she was growing more ill at ease with each passing step. The surroundings where steadily growing worse; every structure appeared dark and ominous despite the rising sun. Not only this, but the city was also quickly changing from an abandoned landscape to a collection of ruins. Various buildings were now in severe disrepair while others looked ready to fall over. Some had even collapsed completely.

The number of smoky ghosts had dwindled at the same rate as the number structurally sound buildings. Only a handful remained to dart across the old ruins and alleyways. Where they wanted to go, Eva hadn’t the slightest idea. It was quite a change from the confused junction that she had seen earlier. She found it strange how oblivious they were to just about everything. None of them seemed to realize that Eva and her newly acquired companion were amongst them, and none had any interest in following the two.

However more than once Eva fancied that she, the jackal, and the few remaining shades were not the only ones amongst it all. Shadows seemed to dart around unnaturally, and once Eva could have sworn that she saw a pair of glinting eyes out of the corner of her own. They seemed much like the ones that belonged to monsters that pushed her off the top of the building. However, they disappeared when she tried to look at them directly and could not confirm her fears. She sped up to walk side-by-side with the jackal and dared to finally break the silence.

“Where are we in the afterlife exactly?” Eva inquired, still keeping an eye over her shoulder. “There is no way that this is, like, heaven or anything like it.”

“I was wondering when you would be asking that” the jackal said, “It is usually the first thing that souls ask me when they get here.”

“Well excuse me for not asking the right questions,” Eva said, “What’s your answer?”

The jackal pondered the answer for a moment. “Humans make terrible assumptions about the nature of life after death,” he finally said. “It doesn’t work on the simplistic idea of absolutes: black or white, good or evil, heaven or hell. The same goes for souls. There are few to be thought completely evil or completely good. Yet still you think that eternity consists of either absolute perfection or eternal suffering. A natural, dynamic soul would not be a good fit for either place. The human obsession with dichotomies, especially in regards to the afterlife, is absolutely arbitrary and stupid.”

Eva didn’t know quite how to respond to this, partly due to the contempt the jackal had for human ideas and partly because she really didn’t know how to debate with him. She usually didn’t think philosophy, religion, or anything big like that. She usually left the thinking to all of the nerds at school she habitually ignored, but even she had to admit that most kids her age didn’t think too much about stuff like this.

“But what about the Bible?” she asked, “I mean, I never read it but I’m sure that there’s stuff in there about heaven and hell in there.”

The jackal seemed insulted by the suggestion. “Do you honestly think I believe in that nonsense?”

“Oh.” Eva was more than willing to let this conversation drop now. She had no place defending spiritual viewpoints she didn’t know much about in the first place.

Sensing her discomfort, the jackal was quick to move on to other things. “In this world…” he continued, “perspective and belief are everything; boundaries have no meaning. It’s not physical in the same way that the land of the living is. It is shaped by the very souls that reside within it, both consciously and unconsciously. The city that surrounds us right now is shaped by both us and the shades around us.”

Eva couldn’t help but wonder why people imagine themselves in a ruined city like this. Did everyone just hate cities deep down? She guessed the jackal would say it was more complicated than that.