Tag Archives: TAORA

The Afterlife of Rebecca Ashford (TAORA) – Scavengers

The Afterlife of Rebecca Ashford (TAORA) is a blog post series about Rebecca, the main character in the Dark Ascension series by N.R. Wick. Rebecca is the main character in the Dark Ascension series. These posts are short stories (flash fiction), usually with drawings, sketches, paintings, etc. of things that Rebecca might have seen during the Dark Ascension series. All TAORA posts will be in Rebecca’s point of view and voice. Enjoy!

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I’m Rebecca Ashford, and this is my afterlife.

After the Ascension, it wasn’t long before the Scavengers lurked through the little town Errol and I lived in. Once most of our friends and neighbors had been slaughtered, the smell of death lured these gnarly beasts to the bodies. For the most part, Scavengers ate dead flesh. Their eyes are huge, but they can only see movement, which makes them poor hunters, so they rely on smell and things that are easy to come by like corpses.

 

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One of the days that Errol and I ventured out of our tornado bunker to salvage any canned goods around the neighborhood, we saw a Scavenger carcass in the street. Its gut had been ripped open and looked like it had been partially eaten. An arrow protruded from the center of its head between the bulbous, milky eyes.

It brought us pleasure to know that someone was able to fend it off, but the victory must have been short lived since we found that person dead inside the crumbling house across the street with a bow and arrow still clutched in her hands. Well, we found half of her anyway. It reeked like rotting garbage, and the pool and smear of blood had turned black.

Her upper half had been shredded, probably by the curved claws of the Scavenger pack. Something must have spooked them, though, because they had left their meal half eaten. Whatever it was, we didn’t wait around to find out. Nothing good comes from investigating the cause of death here in the Shadowlands… or anywhere else, I’m sure.

 

The Afterlife of Rebecca Ashford (TAORA) – Shades

This is the first in a series started some time ago called The Afterlife of Rebecca Ashford (TAORA). Rebecca is the main character in the Dark Ascension series. These posts are short stories (flash fiction), usually with drawings, sketches, paintings, etc. of things that Rebecca might have seen during the Dark Ascension series. All TAORA posts will be in Rebecca’s point of view and voice. Enjoy!

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My name is Rebecca Ashford, and this is my afterlife.

We saw the Shade that killed Sam today. At least I’m pretty sure it was the same one. They all look alike, but it’s the only one I’ve seen lurking around our street. Sam was the older brother of a boy in Errol’s biology class, and they lived at the end of the street. Seeing the Shade chilled my skin and made my stomach revolt with fear. I can still hear Sam’s screams echo inside my mind.

“God, no! Help me! Please, don’t—Don’t hurt me!” he had screamed. I don’t know what the Shade was doing to him, but gurgling screams followed his pleas, filtering into our tornado bunker from above ground. We stayed inside even after the sounds had stopped; we were too afraid that we would meet the same fate.

Sam was the first dead person I’d ever seen. I’ll never forget the image of him hanging from the tree in a neighbor’s front yard or how his head drooped to the side in an awkward, impossible way. His neck must have broken for it to look like that. I couldn’t begin to guess how long he’d been hanging there, but I’d wondered if he’d killed himself or if the Shade had done it for him. Errol guessed that Sam took his own life and insisted we bring him down.

We worked together to cut the rope and lay his body on the grass. After that, we weren’t sure what to do with him. It was dangerous to have his body out in the open since we lived so close to a group of Scavenger demons, who were most interested in human corpses, but they’d still smell him even if we buried him. Errol suggested we burn the body, but it was too dangerous to have smoke filling the sky so close to our hiding place.

In the end, we wrapped his stiff corpse in a tarp and buried him anyway.

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I once asked Fox about Shades, and he said that they had once been humans. What sort of person could become those shadowy demons? I shuttered at the thought of becoming one.

“Can any person become a Shade?” I had asked.

For several moments, he had watched me silently with his intense, blue eyes before answering, almost as if he knew my fear. “No, not as far as my father and I have discovered. Only people who are exceptionally violent or evil have the chance to become a Shade. Even then, they would have to conspire with a demon first.”

Whether what he had said was true or not, I don’t know. It sounded plausible, but I wonder now if he was just trying to make me feel better.

 

The Afterlife of Rebecca Ashford (TAORA) – The Ascension

This is the first in a series started some time ago called The Afterlife of Rebecca Ashford (TAORA). Rebecca is the main character in the Dark Ascension series. These posts are short stories (flash fiction), usually with drawings, sketches, paintings, etc. of things that Rebecca might have seen during the Dark Ascension series. All TAORA posts will be in Rebecca’s point of view and voice. Enjoy!

*****

I’m Rebecca Ashford, and this is my afterlife.

My first life ended the day my parents died and demons ascended from whatever hell they came from. I don’t know if it was the Hell or not, but I do know that creatures poured out of strange black portals in the ground and sky. On the news, Errol and I watched one of the portals open up over New York City. Black vapor and oily, black tendrils spilled from the openings as beasts large and small fell to the ground. The carnage was immediate. It was as if the drop and new setting hadn’t affected them. Clawed and rabid, the creatures slaughtered people in the streets.

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I drew this a few weeks after the first portal opened above New York City. I’m not sure how many of them appeared, but they disappeared after some time.

Eventually, most news stations stopped showing the New York City maiming. But once everyone had realized that endless monsters were emerging from the portals, some people thought it was too important not to show. Thousands of home videos were posted online, and posted or texted photos went viral. Within a week, the event had been named the Ascension and the monsters identified as demons. This was also when most of the larger cities had fallen.

My family lived in the middle of nowhere, an hour away from the closest city, but we weren’t safe. When the Ascension began, Errol and I spent ages trying to call and text our parents and our grandfather, who lived in a cabin at a lake in Nebraska. Hours had passed before the local news showed cellphone video of a portal opening under Lillian’s, the biggest grocery story in the city and where our parents had gone that morning. Fat tears streaked my face, and I held my sobbing sister while we watched the grainy building break apart and fall in on its self. Beneath the rumbling and snapping, we heard people inside cry muffled screams of pain and terror while bystanders watched in horror. The demon portal swallowed Lillian’s, then the street, then cars from the parking lot. They slid into the glowing black hole, along with our family’s silver Ranger.

Our hometown became overrun with shadow creatures not long after our parents were devoured. Neighbors ran through the streets while little black creatures chased them. It was almost comical until the Scavengers and Scourge showed up. The people no longer fled in fear. Instead, they failed, and the eyeless Scavengers tore them apart. While the demons focused on their prey, Errol and I snuck to our tornado bunker at the back of our house. We heard our neighbors’ shrieks through the air vents as we held each other in the dark.