Spirit Stick


A Tale of the Ringbearers, by Brother Grimace




Because of their birth in the fires and tainted blood of a zombie outbreak, and their well-known battles against supernatural menaces to untold numbers of worlds, many forget that the Corps of Ringbearers' Mandate is to defend the living against the unceasing hordes of the supernatural – in whatever forms they may assume. There are many creatures of the night that sit and wait below the surfaces of many worlds, waiting for the last rays of sunlight to disappear below the horizon...


There are times, to be certain, that Ringbearers have wished that the zombie menace were all that they needed to take up arms against. To battle against those from the world of the ethereal was always a daunting task; one that held special challenges for those who wore Defender Rings...




-           from The Infinite Fellowship of the Ring, by Shelby Anne Gladesborne


The boys they come here
With expectations for the summer
And I refuse to take any part of this barbaric ritual,
'Cause God has given me a mind
That I will use from time to time
And I got more on my head
Than what's made by Paul Mitchell


Well, me and B - we hate supermodels,
It's not that we know anyone personally
It's just that I'm tired of being compared


-          from 'Supermodels', by Kendall Payne





Part 1



The sudden flush of heat caused me to open my eyes.


Yes – it's gone, totally dissapated into nothingness, that heat flare erupting as it struck the field and disrupted the field that allows it to maintain cohesion the proof that it's done for. That is, if it were a lesser ghost. The really nasty ones can cause a bit more damage.


So do the ones that just want something simple out of life – and never managed to get it before they left.






"Hey – what does the military need to come in here, to a college campus, and check out weird stuff in a sorority?"


The African-American man in the Army uniform turned to face the slightly pudgy man standing just inside the police cordon. "I don't recognize those insignia, either," he commented, looking over the silver bar with four black squares. "What are you, some kind of officer?"


"CW4," the soldier said, as a blonde woman in civilian clothes walked hrough the crowd and up to him. "I'm a Chief Warrant Officer."


The man looked the soldier over, and frowned as he saw the cane he had in hand. "What am I supposed to call you – and who the helll are you?"


The soldier noticed the badge on the man's belt, which read 'Sherrif.' "Call me 'Chief', Sherrif. It's what they call me."


"He's my backup," the blonde said, holding up her credentials. "Department of Homeland Security. I might need the help."


Sherrif Quincy Phillips looked at the nametag on the soldier's uniform, and then studied the woman's ID. "Chief Wright," he said. "Special Agent Henry. You still haven't told me what the heck you're doing here, or how you knew something weird was happening here at Great Plains State. Our SWAT guys just went in a couple of minutes ago, and-"


Agent Priscilla Henry and Chief Gerald Wright turned to face the Sherrif – faster than he would have believed possible. "You sent people in there?" she asked.


"This campus is in my jurisdiction, and we've been hearing girls screaming their heads off up in there!" the Sherriff growled. "Somebody's up in their doing God-knows-what to those young women, nobody's answering the phones, and if you think I'm just going to have my people sit on their butts until all of the screaming stops, you're – where the hell are YOU going?"


"To do our jobs," the Chief said, starting forward. "If you want to do something useful – I recommend that you clear everyone out of here within a four-block radius of this house, and try not to send anybody else in here until we get back."


"You don't need to bother – I just sent my best unit in there!" The Sherrif shot back. "Those eight men will take care of whomever's up in there!"


Priscilla didn't even bother to look back at the Sheriff. "No, Sheriff – your men are already dead."