S T O R I E S


Welcome to Andante. Below you may find the five story arcs that I am currently working on. Each story arc can be read as a stand-alone, but all of these are connected by the world of Andante.


THE DREAMER OF THE DEEPS

This story follows Seles as she travels the world, seeking out cases of a mysterious ailment known as ‘Morosia’. This disease steals the dreams of those it infects and only the Dreamer can cure it.

‘A BLACK CAT AND A BAD DREAM, PART 1’

I can’t fight it anymore. It’s too much. “Oh… !” I let out a quiet gasp and pull my arm across my chest, hugging myself tightly. My toes curl as the muscles in my thighs and stomach tighten involuntarily. I bite down on my lip hard enough to draw blood. No! I won’t lose! I never lose! But… it feels so good. Why can’t this go on forever?   “Fuck you and your-“ My…

‘A BLACK CAT AND A BAD DREAM, PART 2’

The sensation of sinking is always unsettling. Gone are the little round windows of the quaint cottage. The two children and their sick mother have vanished from my sight, but not from my thoughts. I know what I need to do here, in the dream world. That is what this place is: a world of dreams inside of the mother’s imagination. Almost everyone has dreams. Every dreamer stands on the doorstep of the infinite….


THE HARBINGER OF STORMS

The story of Trent’s single-minded desire to reunite with Seles and cross the Tumultuous Plains. This leads to a violent war with the Covetous, a war band led by the terrifying giant, Snatch.

‘A KNIFE FIGHT, A LIGHTNING STRIKE, AND A DIRT BIKE’

“One, two, three. One, two, three…” The gentle percussion of falling raindrops accompanies my mantra. “One…”   One radiant red ember bobs up and down in the gloom above the gas pumps. I can discern the silhouette of a single rotten rook as the dirty bird titters away, alone on his perch. The cologne of cannabis accompanies a cold breeze. “Two…” The back door bursts open with a bang and now a portly watchdog stomps out. He tears off his plastic football helmet and discards it like a piece of garbage. The helmet awkwardly tumbles across the cracked concrete before…

‘A HOME WITH ONLY WINDOWS’

I ride. I ride until I can’t feel my tender toes hidden inside my beaten boots – they’re doing little to ward against the unwavering winds whipping my hair around my face. I ride until the huge shock of adrenaline gradually erodes away, like some imaginary cadaver dragged behind me by a sturdy length of chain, grating against the dirt, the rocks, and the broken patches of pavement here and there. I rode until I could see shocks of sunlight streak across the sky, radiating from a single focal point behind distant peaks. I ride until I see the dawn…

‘A PARTY BEFORE TEA’

Where am I, exactly? I look around with misty eyes and find myself in a forgotten train yard where the carts have rusted in place, unused for decades. Three men clad in the usual scavenger uniform: old athletic equipment, improvised kilts and vests made of pans and pieces of road signs picked up from the side of the old highways. Their lone prey: a dancing phantom draped in garbs of cloud gray. I hear the crash of metal on metal and the sound is sharp and somehow refractive. A magnetic pull draws me closer to the conflict; there is a…

‘A MAN AND A PLAN’

The first step towards getting anything done is coming up with a plan. The most important part of any plan is the goal. So, what is it that I want? Is it simply to survive in this shithole, alone, until I finally slip up and get myself killed? No, I’ve had enough of that. That’s not a life: that’s waiting to die. I want to at least live a little bit before I die. I also want to see her again, at least once. Miss You-know-who. The little phantom. Some know her as the Queen of Dreams. Others know her…

‘A PILE OF DEAD RATS AND THE HUMAN MOUSETRAP’

One, two, one, two, one, two…! “How long have I been here?” My thoughts wander for a moment. No. Don’t break the flow. I need to keep moving: if I stand still, they will surround me. Footsteps closing in behind me now. One pair is near, the others lag behind by more than a few seconds – that’s long enough. Adrenaline seems to bind the hands of time as I drop my shoulder and tuck into a low roll. My pursuer can’t slam the brakes on in time. He tries to skip a step and to hop over me. When…


THE PRISONER OF SOLITUDE

The story of Dash and Arden’s shared struggle against a cruel dictatorship in the Bloody Sands. Along the way, they meet the ghosts from Arden’s tragic past.

‘THREE DUCKS AND SOME BROKEN CUFFS’

“Better keep up with me, punk.” “Piss off. It’s been a long week.” My comeback gets the angry reaction I expect: my captor jerks me around with my restraints. I lost track if it was Jeb, Jed, or Jef speaking. All three of them looked and sounded the same anyways: identical triplets, little piggies in uniform leading me on a leisurely trip through the Bloody Sands. At this rate, we’ll hit Palladia before sundown. Unless I can bust out of these cuffs first. “Dash? That’s your name? Hah.” I think it was Jeb speaking now, but who knows. He spits…

‘THE WIZARD AND THE PRISONER’

“Hey dude?” I look up at the big guy, Arden, as I finish unbuckling the belt. This belt belonged to Jeb. Jeb’s dead now and I’m already tired of seeing Arden’s naked ass. I start sliding the pants off of the dead guy, but I still have to fight the urge to puke because I think Arden hit Jeb so hard that Jeb might have shit in his briefs. Either that or Jeb never bathed. I’d buy it either way. “Yes, Dash?” The big guy responds as Jeb’s pants float over and smack his unassuming face. He has a weird…


THE HUNTRESS OF IVY CITY

The story of Roré the Huntress, the Wild Ones, and the Unfed Army’s assault on the Ivy City.

‘THE WOLF MOTHER, A FLOATING FOREST, AND MANY WAYS TO MURDER’

I can see the sun peeking over the eastern horizon. I can smell soil and grass just a few inches below my nose. Marty lies at my side covered in olive drab from head to toe. We raise our heads high enough only to see what’s ahead: barren, empty flatlands surrounding a mossy green cityscape. The Ivy City. “Farmlands?” I ask. “Likely. No crops though.” Marty replies and shifts his weight to one side. “Abandoned?” I return. “I don’t think so. Look.” Marty nods. I look in the same direction and spot something out in the distance. Barely visible….


THE STRANGER OF THE ROAD

The recollections of an enigmatic nomad with no name and the trail of fire and death that he leaves behind him.

‘THE STRANGER’

Stay away! “Well met, traveler.” Meaningless words accompanied by a shallow smile from some blonde meat puppet. I look him over: mid-twenties, strong, scrap armor, metal blade, and a revolver on his hip. Another dumb adventurer. He’s also alone. Guns make people so confident…   “Hello.” I wait a moment before I offer a hollow reply, then bow my head for a moment. “Are you here for the bounty too?” The man flashes me a toothy grin. Bounty? That’s news. He looks me up and down, sizing me up for a moment, then looks away dismissively….


THE ORIGINAL DRAFTS

A series of short stories about four of the protagonists from Andante. This is where I originally hashed through some of my ideas before deciding to start fresh with a little more planning and organization. I re-published these here, but they are still available to read on my blogger account.

NOTE: These are no longer canon.

‘CREATING THE HUNTRESS’

There is no sound to carry through the bitter frost here. A smothering blanket of snow wrapped these pines in solitude long ago and the pines never escaped that frozen embrace. Even now, as the shadows begin their moonlit march, their trudging footsteps are muffled by the suffocating snow. Numbering approximately three dozen in total, the line of shadows slips through the pine trees much like flowing water might whorl and ebb around stones in a stream. The shadows have no words to share with one another and communicate only with hand gestures. There seems to be an unspoken agreement…

‘CREATING THE CHESSMASTER’

She feels its serpentine glare before she hears its hiss.  “Tsssssssssssssssk!” Warns the serpent as its wraps around itself, scales slithering in the sand. It stretches its maw wide, revealing two glinting fangs. The girl freezes, not that she could see the danger before her. The last thing she ever saw is still playing on rewind in her head. She could not have been more than fifteen years old at the time.  It had started off as a single pinprick of light amidst the oily black mass enveloping her home. She had already felt its presence very clearly, as she…

‘CREATING THE PHILOSOPHER’

Measured boot falls beat out a meter as the dusk settles in. This meter serves as a harbinger, announcing the arrival of a man clothed entirely in black; a flowing ebony poncho lined with bear fur, long black boots, and form-fitting charcoal slacks.  Three vagrants lie in the dirt, much worse for the wear after their chance encounter with a young warrior and her flashing steel. The newcomer’s steps come to a temporary rest here and without breaking the meter, he taps a triplet with the tip of his right boot. The one vagrant who is still conscious, the one…

‘CREATING THE PRISONER’

White walls are no company to keep.  “How do you feel right now?” A hollow, mechanical voice resonates within the vacuum of the four white walls. The teenage boy sitting on the matching cot does not respond. He hugs his knees close to his chest and his head bows to half mast. His bushy head of brown hair is quite overgrown and his bangs hang down to veil a pair of pale blue eyes. “How do you feel right now?” The unfeeling voice repeats. Silence. The prisoner considers the question.  “How do I feel right now?” He thinks to himself…


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