The Order of the Blood Moon

Submitted for Contest #53 in response to: Write a story that begins with someone's popsicle melting.... view prompt

62 comments

Aug 01, 2020

Funny Fantasy Urban Fantasy

The last five members of The Order of the Blood Moon stood outside the building, dressed in loud Hawaiian shirts, wearing oversized sunglasses and holding a frozen treat each. It was an hour past sunset and the only light came from the flickering street lights - not that any of them needed it. Ashath’aman the Cruel watched as an obnoxiously bright drip of melted blue syrup slid down his hand and glooped onto the floor. He wrinkled his nose in disgust. 


Beside him stood Belisha, Flayer of Men. She sniffed the multicoloured monstrosity that was marketed as the ice lolly equivalent of a brand of jellied sweets. It, too, was melting over her hand. 


“I don’t want to do this.” 


The other four glared at her. 


“It was your idea, Bel!” 


Belisha tilted the offensive confection to the side so that the increasingly steady stream of sugar and E numbers hit the ground in a more direct way. 


“I know. But,” she whined, flicking red and yellow goop from her fingers, “I think I’d forgotten how truly repulsive human food is. How do any of them enjoy this?” 


Thassa the Terrible growled at her and shook her ice cream in her general direction. It had sprinkles on. “You said-“ she snarled and the flake chocolate fell off the top of the ice cream and hit her shoe. 


“I know!” Bel replied sharply. “I still think it will work. I’m just saying; I don’t want to do it.” 


“Tough.” The most level headed of the group, Razor Sam, fixed her with a disapproving look and Ash inclined his head slightly in agreement. 


“Okay, fine. We’ll eat them together. On the count of three.” 

“Remember: don’t swallow.” 

“Ha, someone should have told that to - ow! Don’t hit me!” 

“One, two, three.


The five took a lick of their respective desserts at the same time, each swirling the flavour around their mouths before spitting. Thassa put a reassuring hand on Ash’s arm as he turned a faint shade of green. It contrasted nicely with his electric blue tongue. 


“Right,” Ash transferred the lolly to his clean hand and wiped the sticky one on his shirt. He stifled a sigh at the feel of the polyester and thought fondly of the black silk that he usually wore. “Bel has a point. If that doesn’t confuse our scents, I don’t know what will.” 


Bel shot him a baleful look and attempted to scrape her tongue clean with the collar of her shirt. 


“Let’s go over the plan -“ 


Overlapping protests. 

“We’ve been over-“

“Ash, seriously!” 

“Are you kidding?

“Again? Ash, c’mon-“ 


He held a hand up and they quieted. “One more time. If we get this wrong, our Order ends. I won’t have any mistakes.” 


Holding up his little tourist bag and shaking it slightly, he continued. “You have your wooden bullets, your holy water grenades and your crushed garlic bulbs. I know I don’t need to remind you but be careful with the holy water.” He pointedly did not look in Belisha’s direction but she scuffed her toe against the pavement anyway. 


“Ash, it was one time.” 

“It took you three hours to regrow that skin.” 

“You ruined my Death Day party, Bel!” 

“It was one time!” 


“Anyway,” Ash said, a touch more exasperated than before, “we all need to be careful. I don’t want any friendly fire either so watch your surroundings.” He plucked at the corner of his shirt, which was emblazoned with flowers in high contrast red and yellow. “These are our cover. Those revolting sugar sticks will mask our scent enough to get in the front door and there is no way the Red Scars will recognise us in these get-ups.” 


“I’m not sure I recognise us in these get-ups.” 

“Shut up, Thassa. I can see your leather bustier under your shirt.” 

“It’s bulletproof! I’m going for practicality, which is the exact opposite of your shoes. Why the hell have you gone for sandals?” 

“Some of us commit.” 


“Once we are in,” Ash raised his voice to cover the sounds of bickering, “we will have mere minutes to get the stolen Blood Relic. We know it’s in Grath the Destroyer’s office, across the hall from the men’s bathroom.” 


Dave Jones, newest member of the team (a mere 26 years old with only 18 months of unlife under his belt) raised his hand. He was hoping that this rescue mission would lead to him getting a cool nickname too and was putting extra effort in to try and make it happen. He’d been trying out ‘Dave the Impaler’ but Thassa had been quite derisive given that the impaling had been splinter based and also accidental. “I did some extra scouting last night and overheard two Scars members saying that he’s displaying it in a glass cabinet behind his desk. They said he isn’t worried about us getting it - he thinks we’re too weak to even try.” 


The other four bristled at that. Reputation was everything in their world. 


Hissing, Thassa bared her fangs and let her eyes burn red. “I’ll show him exactly how weak we are when I feed him his own eyeballs.” 


Dave kept his face carefully blank. Dave the Squeamish wasn’t the name he was after. 


“Control yourself, Thassa,” Ash admonished, though he looked not too far from an eye glow himself. “These disguises are useless if you start announcing yourself like that.” 


There was a brief pause but then she nodded stiffly and returned her face to normal. 


“We play the part of brash tourists, needing the lavatory-“ 

“Bathroom. It’s the 21st century.” 

“- bathroom and we bluster our way past. Once we are at the bathroom, Razor leads the way into the office. We should have time to figure out how many Red Scars are in tonight as we go. As soon as we go into the office, they’ll realise what’s happening and attack.” 

“That’s when the shirts come off?” 

“Exactly.” 


Ash patted the two guns concealed under the loose material on his back and the rest of the group tapped their weapons too. Razor Sam had argued long and hard for his machetes but the others had agreed that having the same style of weapon would be much more of a statement and, technically, there wasn’t a weapon that he wasn’t proficient in. He had tucked them into his cargo shorts anyway. The tips of the silver blades peeked out next to his kneecaps. He seemed unaware of the thin line of blood that ran down each leg.


“We blast our way out and meet back at the lair at sunset tomorrow. But first, we need to make doubly sure that our scent is masked. No risks tonight!”


The others nodded solemnly and Ash straightened, meeting each of their eyes in turn. 


He turned his face so that the street lamp lit up only the bottom half of his face, illuminating fangs that elongated and sharpened. The blue staining from the ice pop ruined the effect somewhat.


“Let’s have another bite of those lollies.”


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62 comments

Dunya Zatde
00:39 Aug 23, 2020

Can I just say I love the entire mood of this story so much! In fact I love it better than all others I’ve read on this website yet! I LOVE your writing style so much. It’s the perfect amount of dialogue meshed into such delightfully energetic prose. It’s so fresh and contemporary yet had perfect language use as well as slang. Nothing is overpowering! And I love the way your characters are so real and relatable! Wonderful! Oof! I wish there was more to this story! I will support the novel if you ever choose to make it!😭

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Laura Clark
08:42 Aug 23, 2020

Okay, well you’re my new favourite person thank you so much for this amazing comment! Thank you for picking out the things you liked - that’s made my day!

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Dunya Zatde
09:22 Aug 23, 2020

And you’re my favourite author on this website now!!!🤗

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Laura Clark
10:02 Aug 23, 2020

☺️

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Jonathan Blaauw
08:26 Aug 02, 2020

I am so happy with this story!! First off, what I think is really cool is that you’ve firmly established your own writing voice, that comes through clearly here again. It’s separate from genre or even style, just your own signature way of telling stories. I think many developing writers want to get there, and for you, there is where you are. Humor for the sake of it doesn’t always work too well, I find its best use is in enhancing a story, and that’s exactly what you’ve done. Like sprinkles on ice-cream, the humor makes the story without ...

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Laura Clark
08:50 Aug 02, 2020

You are always so very kind! I actually think this is one of the weakest ones I’ve done. I feel like it lacks heart and is a bit frivolous. But I am trying to push myself and here is my attempt at stepping outside my comfort zone. You’ve got humour, dialogue driven scenes and a complete lack of plot. None of these things make me comfortable! Also, I could really use your advice on the final line. I wanted something pithy, possibly punny, but ‘let’s go’ was all I could come up with. It kind of fizzles out. As you’re good with puns, can yo...

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Jonathan Blaauw
12:04 Aug 02, 2020

If you'd spent months coming up with the perfect short story idea that you wanted to blow the world away with, and this was the result then that'd be a different story (that pun was a happy accident, I can assure you). But you wrote this for a very specific prompt, and the whole reason it works so well is it's not trying to take itself too seriously. You've got all that perfectly. It kind of reminds me of how, a few centuries ago, a sense of humour was called a sense of the ridiculous. That describes what you've done so well, because the who...

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Jonathan Blaauw
13:03 Aug 02, 2020

Just had some ideas (thank you brain), but beware, they probably won’t improve what you have and may well detract from it. Still, worth throwing them out. Brainstorming is fun. Okay, so potential with the title. If you played with the opening to have them ordering their deserts from like a street vendor or something, then their ice-creams would be ‘the order’ of the Blood Moon (I know, I know. But we’re brainstorming, remember?) Also, when Dave the squeamish is having his moment of hesitation, one of the others could tell him not to ruin...

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Laura Clark
13:11 Aug 02, 2020

You’re amazing! You have, of course, opened yourself up to the question of what my weakest story is though. I really like the idea of revisiting the ice cream idea again - to make sure their scent is masked - so I’ve tweaked it to include that. Thank you so much for the suggestion! That’s the ending I was looking for, I think. It’s always so useful talking to you! I will accept a slight delay on your story but I expect it up by Wednesday at the latest so I have enough time to enjoy it.

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Jonathan Blaauw
13:48 Aug 02, 2020

I really don’t know what your weakest story is. You said the other day it’s Hole in the Fence, and I actually read that yesterday (was going to comment today but then The Order of Blood Moon stole my focus) and I can’t fault it. I think there are 2 still I haven’t read yet, I’m saving them for a rainy day, but I doubt they’re substandard either. It’s relative though – your ‘weak’ is someone else’s exceptional. For me, a weak story is one that doesn’t engage me, has glaring plot holes, makes no sense or is otherwise painful to read. And that ...

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I love immortal beings arguing. Well done.

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Laura Clark
18:59 Sep 18, 2020

Thanks!

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Yolanda Wu
06:57 Sep 18, 2020

I was thinking about when I was going to stumble across a vampire story that you've mentioned to me. Once again, this story honestly made my day. I've been complaining wherever I can about how stressed I am right now. I did not know that a story about vampires eating popsicles was what I needed. Even as I'm writing this, I'm smiling at that image I have in my head. I love how it's so different from the typical vampire story, and it's great how they all have these deadly names, but are really just like normal people, who clearly really like t...

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Laura Clark
08:36 Sep 18, 2020

Oh bless you! I hope your stress levels even out soon! What are you studying? Thank you so much for your lovely comment! This is definitely the silliest one I’ve done but it was fun!

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Yolanda Wu
09:30 Sep 18, 2020

Currently worrying about my Chinese exams because I'm doing year twelve Chinese - in year ten. But you're welcome! I'm always happy to read your stories. :)

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Laura Clark
15:26 Sep 18, 2020

Good Lord - no wonder you’re stressed. Good luck with them!

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Katina Foster
22:42 Sep 11, 2020

Ha! I love these characters, but I think Razor Sam got my favorite nickname. Except for maybe this... "Dave the Squeamish wasn’t the name he was after." Bhahahaha! The dialogue is everything in this story. It totally made it real for me. I never in a million years would have expected this story from that prompt, it's a great surprise. Well done! Thanks for making me laugh!

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Laura Clark
09:40 Sep 12, 2020

Haha- I’m glad it made you smile! A bit of silliness but sometimes that’s what the doctor ordered. Plus I think that vampires in brightly patterned shirts are inherently funny.

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Shawn O'connor
22:19 Aug 21, 2020

This was so much fun to read. Perfect combo of danger and silly. Someone else commented that it was like a D&D campaign and I have to agree, that's the same vibe I got. Great stuff!

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Laura Clark
06:25 Aug 22, 2020

Thank you!

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Harken Void
13:56 Aug 20, 2020

Hahaha, oh boy, you got my curiosity with the title, and then my attention with 'the Cruel' in a Hawaiian shirt. Beautiful prose, very cleanly written, without redundancy or lack of information - just right. The characters feel real, each different. I love how you placed these powerful beings of darkness and death into such a hilarious role as tourists. With sandals and everything! Such a refreshing story to read, since I'm a fan of fantasy. I'd love to hear how the raid went for them! Great attention to detail, also. One question: what ...

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Laura Clark
17:49 Aug 20, 2020

I’m so happy you liked it! I think I wrote another comment on someone else’s on here that gave a mini insight into what happened next. The short version is that they are inept and it did not work. Loud means brightly coloured and in-your-face. Strikingly would work too but in almost offensively bright kind of way. If you google that phrase, you’ll see what I had in mind. I assumed that English was your first language? If it isn’t, what is? Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed comment!

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Harken Void
06:00 Aug 21, 2020

Haha, the group reminds me of some adventurous D&D party. Ah, thanks for the clarification, I did not know you can use the word like that. English is my second (though I use it for thinking and writing more than my first, which is Slovenian). Lep dan želim! Have a nice day!

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Laura Clark
07:17 Aug 21, 2020

I’m so impressed by anyone who can speak another language fluently but writing fiction in another language is even more difficult. To je neverjetno! I think this group is one that’s been playing for a while and are confident level fives so they take on a level 20 task. Bless them.

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Harken Void
08:18 Aug 21, 2020

To me, it comes naturally since I grew up with the language (movies, games, books, roleplaying with friends....). But I had no idea you could speak Slovenian too, hehe ;) Haha, oh blessed be thee who rolleth a 1 on Intelligence xD I was once a confident level two, knocking on the door of grenade-hoarding bandits. Let's just say it wasn't the best idea...

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Laura Clark
08:34 Aug 21, 2020

slovenščina je res enostavna, če uporabljaš google! Oh lord - I can imagine. I’m fairly new to DnD but I once tried to knock out a bandit (I think by kneeling on his neck?) and was shocked when a low roll meant that I just gave him an uncomfortable massage. Luckily I was in a party with people more experienced who could fix my mistakes!

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Shreya S
06:24 Aug 17, 2020

Vampires! I like all the extra vampiric details you added, like the too sharp sense of smell, holy water (and that hilarious part about one of them burning their skin off with it), garlic, etc. I loved reading this! Vampires are usually portrayed as those dark creatures who’ll kill you and have no sense of Humour and just plain terrifying so it was fun to read it this way!

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Laura Clark
06:25 Aug 17, 2020

Thanks! I love me some vampires - especially useless ones who think they’re scarier than they are!

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Charles Stucker
02:09 Aug 11, 2020

"Ash admonished,though he looked not too far from an eye glow himself." Wordy. Try, "Ash admonished, despite his eye's crimson hue." Possibly make it "incipient crimson hue" but that is again a bit long, though not as clunky. This is hilarious. Given the tongue in cheek treatment, your opening is fine- because you want them rolling their eyes or snickering at the name, not gasping at the tension. You might want a slightly different title, like, "All Sweetness and Bite" or something. Infer the vampiric (?) nature of these demons, plus ref...

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Laura Clark
08:32 Aug 11, 2020

Ah, if only you’d commented a few days ago before this was approved! Sweetness and Bite is a MUCH better title. Any tips for coming up with titles? I always struggle. I’m glad you enjoyed this one! The more I reread - and after all the edits I’ve done over the past few days - the more I like it.

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Charles Stucker
10:44 Aug 11, 2020

Titles are tricky. Sometimes I have to think more on the title than the plot. I always begin with something incredibly generic so i don't start thinking of it as THE TITLE, but just as "where did i put that story file." For example of the initial working title- ReedsyWesternRomancePrompt. Yep, not something your mind will ever think might even have a chance of being a title. This keeps you from fixating on what you have. Next, after the story is finished, or mostly finished, write a set of one word elements from the story. Check genre conven...

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Laura Clark
12:48 Aug 11, 2020

Ah, this is pretty much what I already do - I think this one was called Vampire Ice Lolly for the first few days. I think the only thing I don’t do that you suggested is check the genre conventions - I’ll start doing that. Damn, I was hoping you’d have the magic bullet! Thanks for the advice though!

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Charles Stucker
13:17 Aug 11, 2020

Sorry, it's all I have. No wait, I'm an idiot. Do you have schtick? Schtick is a set of stock phrases and terms that associate with funny for any genre. For example, vampire genre has words like - fangs, bite, stake, cross. These words easily form rhymes. Then you have a list of common sayings or phrases, Love at first sight, Goodness and light, Wins and losses, Thanks for the memories. Then you match substitution words, either because they rhyme or sound a bit alike Fangs- thanks, bangs, gangs Bite- fright, lite, light, mite - the ite ...

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Laura Clark
17:52 Aug 11, 2020

Oooh, this is brilliant! The eight hours thing is sadly not possible as I have a baby and I’m lucky if I rack up five broken ones but the rest is golden! Thank you. Is Schtick a website or app or just a list that you compile yourself? I had a quick look but nothing has jumped out. My BIL is also a stand up comedian so using him as a resource is a great idea too. This is brilliant - thank you so much!

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Katrina Lee
13:10 Aug 09, 2020

Your story takes off like rocket and I'm not on Earth anymore!!! We're plunged into your world, with our heads filled with images of vampires licking frozen confectioneries, which is brilliant :) I wish I could see them in action, though🤩 Also, your characterisation is very subtle yet very effective. Good work👍🏻 btw, I'd love to get feedback from you, too! I also wrote on this prompt😊

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Laura Clark
13:28 Aug 09, 2020

Haha, well I can tell you how the ‘action’ scene goes if you like! The group burst through the door, Thassa and Bel arguing loudly about the new season of Love Island. Within seconds, all eyes, vampire and human, were on the bickering group. “Toilet, mate!” Ash shouted over the hubbub, expecting someone to point in the general direction. Instead, the six Red Scar vampires quietly surrounded the Order of the Blood Moon. “This is pathetic, even for you,” came the low drawl of Grath the Destroyer. “For who?” Dave attempted gamely, with ...

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Shreya S
06:21 Aug 17, 2020

Oh there’s extra content here! Poor Bel, made them suffer through the ice lollies only to get caught before anything even happened.

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Katrina Lee
11:04 Aug 22, 2020

I love how you have everything mapped out in your mind for how the characters' fates would unfold, even if the material doesn't actually get on the final page! And thank you so much for sharing it with me💛😊

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P. Jean
13:09 Aug 03, 2020

I am too new at writing to add anything solid or valuable to the comments already present. Initial reaction....it would never be my choice of Direction to go with this prompt....but then the visual Impact of the group, shirts, sunglasses and descriptions...I needed to know more. What were they up to and how did the sticky treats fit in. From there it was pure enjoyment!

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Laura Clark
14:44 Aug 03, 2020

Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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P. Jean
15:26 Aug 03, 2020

Should you ever have time or boredom is overtaking you, you might try The Miracle of Three Sisters OR. The Ultimate Reward. OR. It Is A Future OR. THe End of the Day....all very different and yet I felt good about them when I wrote them!

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Laura Clark
15:31 Aug 03, 2020

Will do! If you’re into emotion and realistic fiction, Five Stages is about a mother who lost her son; Two Minutes and the Lifetime They Take is about a couple and how their relationship changes over time and The Agony of Forgetting is a shortlisted one about a woman trying to continue a novel that she began with her husband. I’ve also got pirates (Splinters of Shame/ Phoenix of the Sea), Sci fi (Cost of Honour) and some creepy murdery ones (One Final Performance/ Newly Fallen Dark) if you want something else. I’ll get my own cup of ...

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P. Jean
15:55 Aug 03, 2020

I hesitate to tell you some of mine are for children or childish,,,The Music in Her Head. Or Treehouse Stories

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P. Jean
15:57 Aug 03, 2020

I wonder if I should read Five Stages as I have a son in stage 4 Renal Cell Cancer. Worry some to say the least!

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Laura Clark
16:51 Aug 03, 2020

Oh my goodness! Glad I told you about the story’s theme now. Might not be the best one to start with. I’m so sorry to hear about your son x

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10:56 Aug 03, 2020

The machete that led to the bleeding spoken in a matter of fact, mild-mannered fashion. It's rather difficult to write in such a fashion, yet you nailed it perfectly. I'm awed by your style of writing. :)

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Laura Clark
12:47 Aug 03, 2020

Oh wow, thank you so much! Thank you for reading and commenting!

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09:54 Aug 03, 2020

Wow! I simply loved this story. So unique and novel. This is a strong dialogue-driven story. The narrative is so imaginative, the character names and their description especially. It's neither serious nor ridiculous. Their comical banter, despite their evil intentions, the humour and their attire. I especially liked the way you described the melting popsicles and their after-effects. Green over the blue - the colours, their reactions - actually spitting it out. You wrote such an amazing story for a very simple prompt. Kudos ✌️✌️👍

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Laura Clark
12:38 Aug 03, 2020

Aw, thank you so much! That’s such a lovely comment!

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Leya Newi
17:03 Aug 02, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The idea of these solemn, serious, slightly evil people dresses in Hawaiian shirts and eating ice cream was amazing. Definitely put a smile on my face while still making me root for the characters who weren't exactly heroes. Great job, especially since you said this was out of your comfort zone.

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Laura Clark
17:36 Aug 02, 2020

Thank you so much! It’s out of my comfort zone but I did really enjoy writing such a ridiculous story!

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13:25 Aug 02, 2020

This is wonderful. The thing I like best is the dialogue. You really have a gift with creating wonderful dialogue. Which makes me jealous because I have the hardest time with it and you make it look so easy. Really entertaining and comical. Well done

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Laura Clark
20:29 Aug 02, 2020

Oh thank you! I really struggle with dialogue, which is why my stories usually don’t have any but I occasionally force myself to use it so that I can practice it. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

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Stephen Closson
22:00 Aug 01, 2020

This was a great read! The characters felt very fleshed out, and I enjoyed their banter a lot. It certainly left me wanting to know if they succeeded in their mission to capture the Blood Relic. Also, there is something inherently funny about about these mysterious vamps with their cool names and ancient pasts, and then there's Dave, he's doing his best. The only thing I noticed even slightly off was a single missing space after a comma, so I'd say you definitely knocked this story out of the park! :D

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Laura Clark
22:05 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you so much! Comedy is not my wheelhouse and I am decidedly NOT confident with this story. Give me a nice story about a grieving mother, inter dimensional scientist traveller or a sad pirate any day. So I’m glad you liked it! Bless Dave. He’s got a go-getter attitude and not much else. I think I know the comma you mean and I’ll sort it now - thank you. Darned autocorrect messing me around. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

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01:16 Aug 02, 2020

A-MA-zing! (P. S. Would you mind checking out one or two of my stories? If so, thanks a ton!)

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Laura Clark
06:24 Aug 02, 2020

Oh thanks! What did you like about it?

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