A Darker Light #3


Skin hard as diamond pushed against Dagger’s throat.  The callouses on his neck kept the diamond texture from making brown flesh bleed green.  Delicate time spent training made sure all the vulnerable parts of his body were forged into something tougher.  Still, the unpleasant sensation did nothing about his breathing.  He tried to slow it, steady it, but the pace of the moment didn’t allow the necessary calm to come.

His feet lifted off the ground as his back pressed against the moldy wall.  The ferments of the organisms surviving off the city’s filth filled his nostrils.  A pungent odor only contributed to his difficulty breathing.  His hands pushed against the forearm of his attacker, but it did no good.  Normally, a push from Dagger knocked the average Maghandi through a couple of steel walls.  But he dealth with one of his own.  An Imbued.

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Spellbound #3 “The Void, Part Two”


Sometimes I wonder why I was nicknamed Lucky, because frankly, just about everything leading up to this morning hasn’t exactly been… well, lucky for me. I’m a half mortal/half warlock, I’m being raised by a straight-laced aunt and an uncle who loves making chaos, I have a crush on a girl I can’t even say two words to without freezing up, and I have an algebra test on Monday that I’m nowhere near ready for.

Lucky? Right.Continue reading

True Blue #05 – “Back in the Saddle” (Part 5)

True Blue

Duncan stared out the window. Orange stretched from the horizon, interrupted only by shadows cast by the hills and ridges. Between them Wungurra sat as a cluster of roofs, so small yet so sparse.

Every mile dimmed the warmth of Les’s smile. “They couldn’t leave you rest,” the elder had lamented; “go on, save the world. I’ll be here.” Their embrace lingered, even from a distance.

By his side Little Rip slept, curled up on her back to feel the massage of engines. She kicked and whined with the turbulence, but fell back to sleep when it passed.

The hero gripped his seat. Skin against leather pulled with the tightness around his lungs. For every mile that scaled down his home the more he wound his shoulders and adjusted.

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Ape-Man #5


It seemed like there was nothing those Commies wouldn’t try, except for tackling Ape-Man!  And even that was only true until the —

“Attack of the Red Chimp!”

by Scott Casper, thanks to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Tales to Astonish #39

The delivery truck came to a screeching halt at the dock, the driver pulling up perpendicular to the gangplank. Some tough-looking men waited on the barge, expecting the delivery.  A strange, accented voice came over a crackling loudspeaker:

“Hurry and load the cages aboard the ship!”

Other men were already swinging open the back doors of the truck, pulled down a ramp, and tugged on wheeled cages to roll them down onto the street.  The cages were large, and needed to be, since they contained every ape from the ape exhibit at the Bronx Zoo, including Mattie the gibbon, Bobo and Faben the chimpanzees, Plato and Ginger the orangutans, and Johnson the gorilla.

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True Blue #04 – “Back in the Saddle” (Part 4)

True Blue

The hinges creaked under the lazy swing of the door. The sergeant stepped inside with steps as heavy as his grimace. From his hand he dropped a file and let it slap the table. In his other hand was a styrofoam cup, contents still steaming, which he placed in front of the other man.

“Thought you might fancy a cuppa,” the cop muttered.

True Blue reached with hands cuffed and brought the contents to his lips. “Cheers,” he said. The old hero eased back in the loose fitting tee he’d been given; a temporary replacement for the shirt shredded by buckshot.

A younger officer sat to one side as the senior perused the file. His lips smacked as though he were tasting the words as he read them, until he stopped and lowered his glasses to the man across him.

“Couldn’t help yourself, could you, Dunc?”

True Blue chuckled. “I’m guessing this isn’t a formal interview, Col.”

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Shimmer #47 – “Broken Toys” (Part 6)


Next I knew there was a dimly lit room with pastel red walls and gold trim.

The arms dragged my feet inside and closed the door before. They placed me down on a four poster bed; the curtains were riddled with dust.

My stomach churned, still rolling with the blow that landed in the dark. A girl with blonde hair and green eyes leaned over me, fretted with teeth biting her lip, and lifted my head.

“Hey, are you alright?” she pressed. “Sorry, we didn’t mean… we thought you were-”

“I’m fine.”

My gut told another story.

Another of the girls opened the door a sliver and peeked through. She lingered like a statue, senses sharp and eager for the smallest move to trip them. Our fumbling pricked her ears and inspired a scoff, but she turned back to her watch without a word.

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True Blue #03 – “Back in the Saddle” (Part 3)

True Blue

The four wheel drive pulled around the corner and into the cloud of vulgarity. In the middle of it was a man sat up against the building and clutching a wound on his leg. A number of passers by clamoured around in spite of the screams.

True Blue jumped from the passenger side and cut through the crowd. He knelt by the bloody mess and clasped his hand over the stranger’s to apply more pressure. The hero’s jaw clenched; it was not the time for anger.

“This man needs an ambulance,” he said. “What happened here?”

His gaze landed on a boy nearby whose face was white with shock.

“Th-there were some guys in a ute,” he stammered. “Probably drunk, throwing bottles, an’ swingin’ a cricket bat from the tray. O-old man here took a hit, was cut up pretty bad when he fell…”

The man on the ground, dressed in only thongs, stubbies and an open tropical shirt, roared in agony; he likely didn’t mean to drop four letter words on the nation’s former champion, but pain had blinded him to reason.

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Ape-Man #4

Ape Man

The Ape-Man has always been smarter than his opponents before, but what happens when he faces a mad scientist who is his equal? Find out in —

“The Price of Defeat!”

by Scott Casper, thanks to Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby for Tales to Astonish #38

Face front, true believers! This tale is going to start right in the thick of it!

Teenagers scattered like alarmed pigeons as Ape-Man burst out of the planetarium. He leaned into his run, sometimes running on all fours as his long, loping arms swung in front of him. But where he was headed…he was not sure. Where?  Where could he be? Every clue he left has just been a red herring so far! Ape-Man inwardly fumed. While he fumed, he noticed that not everyone was running from him. He could not ask anyone why they were running, looking as ape-like as he did, but he could look around and try to trace back an origin point they were running from, and it seemed to be the nearest science lab building on the campus.

“Aha!” Ape-Man shouted and he sprinted for the front entrance to the science lab building. He went for the door handle and almost touched it — but drew his hand back when he glanced through the door’s glass panel and saw there was something affixed to the door handle on the inside. Getting a better look, he saw they were jumper cables, hooked to a car battery on the floor. Ignoring the handle, Ape-Man jumped up into the air and kicked the door hard with both feet — hard enough to break the door open. After ducking inside, he stopped and listened, only to hear men’s gruff voices coming from down a corridor, and the sound of an idling vehicle. There must have been a door open at the rear of the building, Ape-Man figured.

Ape-Man snuck down the corridor, ducking into a doorway in time before two big men emerged from the stairwell carrying something heavy between them. Glancing at their backs as they walked away from him, he saw they wore delivery uniforms.

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True Blue #02 – “Back in the Saddle” (Part 2)

True Blue

Wungurra, Central Queensland

“Here, Rip!”

The old man leaned against the front post. A grey cattle dog came sprinting from the back shed and halted to a stop. She sat, looked up and panted with gaze fixed on the metal dish in her master’s hand.

“Come on, girl! Come get your tucker!”

Duncan set the dish on the planks and gave the dog a scratch on the back as she dived nose first into it. He smiled and shook his head; she was the same old pup she ever was, even though she’d outlived every one of her litter.

How old would she be now? Seven dog years to every human year made too many to count, not that it mattered. There was no better friend in the world and he wasn’t going to number her days this far down the track.

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Spellbound #2 “The Void, Part One”


“The Void, Part One”

Lucky and his best friend Riley had many traditions dating back to the first time they hung out together. The first time they removed their shoes at Riley’s house, Riley’s left shoe sat next to Lucky’s right, and Lucky’s left sat next to Riley’s right, which was something they’d done ever since.

Another tradition was the thumb wrestling competition to see who would prank the pizza man when he showed up at their door, a game which became much more fun since Jax kept Jerrica busy so Lucky could use his powers when he won.

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