My first short story! Well, more of a scene… Whatever it is!


The Prophecy

He walked down the short pathway. The gate opened into a very large, beautiful garden fastidiously taken care of. The power was growing, He felt as if he was standing on top of the Core Crystal. He knew more than well where the Core Crystal was and it was definitely not here. Why the power here was so strong befuzzled him. Looking around the garden he pondered the evils that might exist in this realm of unknown. Out of nowhere time and space began to warp around him, he turned around to look at the source and as he turned everything went still and all that was left was a boy. He was only a toddler, seven at oldest, black hair to his shoulders and golden eyes with green specks.
“Well, Hello… Exactly whom am I speaking with?” He asked the child. The boy snapped his focus on the man speaking and showed a quizzical look.
“Why do you ask? Do you not no my name?!” The boy spoke with a voice of a being thousands of years old and deeper than any note played on any instrument. The boy started to scrunch his face up and then he began to morph. Many forms showed and he continued morphing to many creatures unrecognizable to the man. Finally he amounted to a hellish creature taller than any mortal with bat wings and horns. He breathed fiery breath and then snapped out of existence. The man could still sense his presence although no physical manifestation gave him away. “You, Luke, have trained your whole life to fight of the balances of evil, ages and ages of your people have gone by and ages and ages of struggle shall continue, but you are not prepared! Your warriors cannot win in open battle, my legions from the six pits of Hell shall tear your precious people apart! Do you fear me now lowborn?” The voice of the ugly creature boomed around from all sides and crushed through Lyke’s skull at pounding heights.
“What are you?” Luke screamed the question holding his ears tight. The pounding finally stopped and he fell on the earth relieved of the pain. “You are not mortal, What does that leave you in this realm?” The beast stopped and pondered the question.
“I am nothing, I am many things. I have taken many great roles in this world and taken many lives. I am the owner of masks, the director of the world’s band. Luke, you fight to protect this world from me, but I know you do not come from here, join me and make this planet great again.”
“No, I know not your name, nor do I recognize these titles you have presented to me, but you are very powerful dark master and you should use me to ruin these people.”The beast screeched and Luke staggered over the bush beside him, “You dare ask my name? You say you protect these people yet you do not know who rules them? You already know my name!” He paused, “I am called… Lucifer.” In that instant, the Jedaii knew he could not win this battle in his present state. The power of evil began to grow as he staggered up and towards the entrance to the garden. He started screaming from the immense pain. He stumbled a few feet from the gate rolling to its edge. The one called Lucifer manifested beside him putting a hoofed foot on his head pressing him to the ground.
“You try to leave my presence after entering of your own accord!? I should have you thrown into purgatory for the crimes you have committed in this day! But alas, you have never experienced a true mortal life on this earth, as I have watched you ponder the stars. Go, then, and propagate. For you will, and I shall torment your family line for the rest of time. No savior shall befall me, no God shall imprison me, nor any man hinder me in my plans! I am the holy one of this lanes now! Bow!” But Luke did no such maneuver. Truth be told he was scared for his life. How was he supposed to protect the world from a power he didn’t know existed until today, that was a challenge. Luke took a lunge step from his very prone position and launched himself out of the gate and into the world. The place called Terrar. He found himself in a lonely desert next to the river of the garden he had just exited. When he looked behind him, all he saw were remains of dead bushes, and a giant stone shooting up resembling that of a flaming saber. He turned and began walking, time and history both losing a key player in the worlds formation.


 Table Rock (unfinished)

I used to ask questions like, “Why can’t I play in the woods?” Now I know all too well why I couldn’t go into the woods surrounding our village. It was only last year that I had lost my friend to those monsters. We were running a trail at the park and he veered away from the path, “Seth, where are you going?” I asked.
“To the woods. Not scared of a few little trees are you?” He laughed.
“It isn’t the trees.” I sighed as I caught up to him. A few feet before the tree line the grass got brown and dry. “C’mon, we should head back.” I told him.
“I want to touch a tree first.”
“You’re insane, I’m going back.” I said. After taking a few steps I checked to see if he was following me back, but he was just staring into the woods, “What is it?” I asked.
“It’s mom.” He said with tears welling in his eyes.
“Don’t be crazy, she wouldn’t be in the woods.” I said. “Let’s go back.”
“No, I’m going to her.” He said, as a pitch black hand reached out and pulled him into the woods. Eventually enough people were lost that the mayor of Tablerock, our village, started holding meetings every month to think of a way to get off of the island our village rested on.

The only people allowed to attend the meetings were citizens ages twenty through fifty. I had made preparations by studying everything I could get my hands on referencing the creatures that I call the Restless. I call them that because of all the nights the thoughts of them kept me up. My plan had covered every detail from top to bottom. All the research I had done was about to pay off.

I woke up on the morning of my birthday, “Drew, come here for a second!” My mom shouted, she was a small woman in her mid-fifties with long blonde hair and green eyes.
“Can’t I sleep in?” I groaned.
“No!” She shouted back. I got dressed and lazily walked down stairs.
“Are you Drew Crass?” A man asked.
“The one and only.” I said sarcastically.
“Take a walk with me.”
“Why?”
“Because I would like to talk to you about the meetings starting tomorrow.” He said. I look to my mom.
“You’re a big boy, make the decision yourself.” She said.
“I’ll meet you outside in a minute.” I said.
“So where are we going?”
“We’re just walking.” He said.
“Okay?” I said puzzled.
“As you may know, we have tried to deforest the island.” He said.
“Right, but none of the metals we have can cut the trees without wearing out too much.”
“Exactly, and the small beach on the west edge of the island is an area that we don’t know much about.”
“Why doesn’t anyone try to reach it?” I asked.
“If the monsters were able to walk on the beach we would lose lives, and we need everyone in a village this small in population.” He said.
“I guess that makes sense.” I said. But I think my theory will give us the push we need to try. I said to myself.
“There isn’t really any initiation process, I just wanted to welcome you to the meetings.” He said.
“Thanks.” I said walking away. I walk into the house and smell steak. “So what was that all about?” My mom asks.
“He was just welcoming me to the meetings next week.” I said sitting at the table, “Where’s dad?” I asked.
“He couldn’t make it.” She forced out.
“We are surrounded by trees and in a village small enough to walk across in at most two hours.” I said. “You don’t have to lie to me.” She walked out of the kitchen and into her room sobbing. Maybe I was a little harsh in my wording. I thought. I put a steak on my plate and went into my room. He knew better than to go anywhere near those woods. I thought. What really happened?

I didn’t sleep that night, too many thoughts were going through my mind at the time. One thought would always came back, my dad will be the last one lost to the Restless. My alarm screams and I drudged through my morning routine. I walked downstairs, ate breakfast and headed for the town hall. I walked through the front entrance and into a large room with about 50 seats. The mayor stood in the center of the table that the chairs surrounded. He was a tall man with defined features. “Welcome citizens of Tablerock.” He boomed. “Today we are welcoming Drew Crass. Do you have anything you would like to say?” He asked. I stood, cleared my throat and spoke, “I hope you will find my ideas worth consideration, and I will do all I can to help.” I said.
“Well let’s hear these ideas of yours.” He said, “Come to the middle of the table so everyone will pay attention.” I got out of my chair, hopped on the table, and walked to the middle.
“As you all probably know, there is a small beach on the west coast of the island, there has been speculation as to whether the things I call the Restless can get onto it or not. I personally don’t think they can. I believe that they need to stay in the forest to live, like they get energy from the trees and that’s why the trees are never green. Also they have never once entered the village, so maybe if any area has no trees the Restless cannot reach them.” I said.
“A fair assumption.” Said the mayor, “But what if you are incorrect?”
“That’s where the second part of the plan comes in, we can dig a tunnel to the beach and when we get close to the beach we can seal the other side of the tunnel so if the Restless can get into the tunnel the village will still be safe.” I explained, “And after we are close we can start to build a boat to sail for other land.”
“We will put it to a vote.” He said, “All in favor.” No one raises their hand.
“Think of it this way, we can either die on this island after we run out of food or we can try for something better than this place.” Slowly hands start to rise until only a few are left down. I did it. I thought.
“If we are going through with this idea, we will put everyone into shifts.” The mayor said. After everyone was assigned a time to work the crowd in the room slowly dissipated as everyone went home. When I got home the I immediately went into my room and pulled out my notebook. My first shift isn’t until tomorrow morning, so I have the night to work. I thought. Why would the Restless need to take people? As far as anyone has observed they don’t eat them. Perhaps they use us to make more of them. Taking on a persona of someone we loved to lure us in. Or maybe they are really the people we loved but we reject them so we never know, if that’s true then dad, Seth, and everyone lost to them are alive. Seth said he saw his mom that day, maybe everyone taken has had some loved one taken as well, the library keeps records on who the Restless take for anyone who is part of the meetings. I’ll start by looking there tomorrow after my shift.
I woke up to a ball of fuzz on my face, “Mom, what’s on my forehead?” I called downstairs.
“I was looking for him, I guess you found Charlie.” She called back.
“Where did we get a cat?”
“Will you just get up and stop yelling?” I needed to get ready for my dig shift anyway so I got ready and went downstairs to eat breakfast.
“So, a cat?” I asked, my mouth half filled with pancake.
“He was on the porch and he looked hungry.” She explained.
“You are such a child.” I sighed. I finished my breakfast and headed for the west side of the town to start digging. The mayor put us into groups of three, I was with Tom, and Josh. Tom is the younger of the two, and about my height. He has blonde hair and has kind of a rugged look. Josh is almost completely opposite of Tom, he has brown hair, is a good 4 inches shorter than Tom and I, and doesn’t really look like the working type, “So I guess we’ll be working together for a while.” Says Tom.
“I guess so.” I reply.
“So why are we digging again? I kinda dozed off during the meeting.” Tom laughs.
“Well I think there is a spot on the shore where The Restless can’t get to.”
“Well I guess it’s a shot, let’s get to work.” He says. The same routine goes on for weeks, wake up, get ready, chores, dig, sleep, repeat. I wake up on the start of the third week of the dig. I am walking the path I always walk to go to the site, when I see something in the field. It’s a woman, and she is heading towards the woods. I break into a sprint to catch her before she walks into the woods. She’s too far, I won’t catch her in time. I have to move faster. Right as she reaches the edge I grab her arm, “What are you doing!?” I yell breathing heavily.
“I have to do this, it will help.” She says calmly.
“How will dying help anything?” I ask.
“I’m not sure, but I know it will.”
“It won’t help at all.” I say.
“Of course it will.” She smiles, ripping her arm from my hand and running through the woods. Why would she think that her dying would help? She had a necklace with the same symbol that was on my dad’s, could that mean something? Should I tell someone what happened? I have so many questions, but no answers.
My group doesn’t have to dig today, so I’m going to the library. Maybe I can find some answers there. I’ll start with the necklace, maybe the symbol stands for something. I haven’t seen the symbols before, so I assume they are ancient, but I didn’t think our island’s history went back that far. I walk to the back of the library where the history books are kept, and just as I expect, there are only a few books. I search through them for anything that even remotely resembles what I saw on the necklace, but I find nothing. I walk back to the front desk and ring the bell sitting on the counter. A few seconds after the sound of the bell fades away, an older woman with glasses that look as thick as a pencil walks around the corner, “What do you want kid?” She scowls.
“I was just looking for a book that goes further back than our history books.” I say, ignoring the rude tone.
“What you see is what we got.”
“Then maybe you could tell me if you’ve seen anything like this symbol?” I say doodling on a piece of paper.
Θ
“I’ve seen something like it, but not that exactly.” She says, her tone becoming more serious.
“Could you tell me what it means?” I ask.
“I think it stands for Theta.” She replies.
“Theta? What, or who is Theta?”
“I have no idea, but there are two more symbols I see with it a lot, they look like an I and an upside down V.” She explains.
“Well where are they from?”
“I wouldn’t know, at this point you know as much as I do.” She says.
“Alright, thank you for your help.” I say, walking to the list of books the library keeps. The book that lists all of the library’s books is surprisingly small, not many people think books are important. “Theta huh.” I mumble.

This is a longshot, but what if I take the first letter of these words and look for any authors with the same three letters as initials. I skim through the pages of the book. Three authors match my search, Steven Tilmond, Albert Tilly, and Robert Tilson. Albert Tilly was a historian, so I’ll check him out first.


 My Tall Tale

JoJo

JoJo was born in a peach orchard. This was no normal peach orchard, this peach orchard grew large peaches, as big as the biggest boulder anyone had ever seen. The man who owned this peach orchard had kept it small and didn’t share the peaches with anyone for fear of it being publicized to the masses. The man came out of his house one day to the orchard and found the little boy eating one of the peaches. The man searched and searched but could never find his parents, so the man adopted him and taught him how to grow peaches. The boy picked up quickly, he learned so well the man let him tend the orchard while he worked on the other farm chores. JoJo tended the fields so well, the peaches grew even larger, and as they grew larger so did JoJo. JoJo was twelve foot by the time he was eight. He told his dad one day that he wanted to go share his peaches with the rest of the country. His father disapproved, but reluctantly let him go. JoJo started walking down the road from his house, never stopping to look back. He traveled for days out in the heat going from town to town with more than a week’s trip between each town. The settlers in the west very much appreciated the food for they didn’t have to keep up with constant hunting to survive. JoJo enjoyed his work. The people’s response to his traveling peaches were enough of a reward. One day he came to a bigger city in California, the city mayor found out JoJo  was there and as a reward for his efforts he presented JoJo with a cargo train, he accepted the gift with reluctance.  After spending a night in the town he was off chugging away to give out even more peaches. He had hundreds left, and it only took three or four peaches to feed an entire area. While JoJo was delivering to a small town in northern California, another train pulled into station, a man in a suit and tie walked up to his stand in the center of town. JoJo didn’t like the look of this man. The man said he could make peaches faster than JoJo. No one believed him so they set up a contest, over the next year these two would stay in this town and plant, tend and harvest as many peaches as possible. JoJo got started right away, he was the best at this. It took JoJo half the time it took most farmers to grow this peach type, but the man in the suit had a plan too. The suit man had something new, a bottle with a needle. He called it a GMO. He claimed it grew the peach faster than ever possible and with no holes or blemishes. JoJo didn’t like the sound of that. Over the year the men stacked up their peaches and kept harvesting and stacking and harvesting and stacking. At the end of the year both men stood by their hundreds of bins of peaches. Each bin only held twenty peaches by regulation so they counted in twenties.  “2,000 peaches to JoJo!” the crowd roared so loud! JoJo thought it couldn’t be beat with the scarce landscape they were in. The counter gulped, “and… in final records the man in the suit has… 2,020!” the crowd booed and hissed but either way JoJo lost. JoJo was sad and scared. The public now had an efficient method for making huge peaches at a faster rate. JoJo decided he didn’t want to stay in America with that thing. He journeyed far, some speculate as far as antarctica but no one knows for sure where he went. That is the story of JoJo the boy with the giant peaches.


Nathaniel Hawthorne embellishment Story

Nathaniel pulled the book off the shelf. He had always wondered what was in here, and now he would get to know, many years before his time, but he would get to know. Nathaniel Hawthorne was a smart kid who grew up knowing his dead father. He was sixteen now and as his dad was dead he inherited all of the items included on his dad’s will. The will had included this shelf of books and this book in particular piqued this avid readers interest. The title was in Old English, though the actual text was in English he could understand. He opened up the tattered pages of the ancient text. He thumbed to the first page of actual reading, and after a  closer look realized this was a detailed description of the family tree starting with a man with the last name Hathorne. It was his family timeline, all the way back into the 1600’s. He flipped the dirty rags of paper till he got to the end. The last name was his father’s name, Nathaniel Hathorne Sr. with a line connecting his name and his wife’s then spreading downwards to a blank spot left, as one could only conjecture, for his very name. This was a huge find, he had never had so much information that mattered at his fingertips. He started reading backwards, slowly, methodically, as he went up the tree he stopped on a John Hathorne.. His great great grandfather. Beside his name it had a number. 666. He didn’t know for sure what the number meant, so he decided to start by checking if it was a page number. He flipped backwards to page 666. He shuddered. This page gave him the premonition of evil. As he skimmed the page he couldn’t find his great great grandfather’s name at first. He went through, thoroughly this time, and spotted his name about half way down. He started reading around the name. He stared at the page intensely. “Wait, wait, wait… No, this can’t… This can’t!” He yelled and slapped the book on the shelf. He ran out of the room and down stairs to his room with blank papers and rough drafts. He shut and locked the door, and he didn’t come out for almost a week and a half.

******

“Nathaniel Hathorne, graduating with honors from Bowdoin.” said the announcer.  He walked across the stage, shook hands with the Dean of Education, and walked down the set of five stairs. One may conjecture that Nathaniel would stay and watch his peers cross that oh so welcomed stage, though it steadily broke down the more people stepped across it. Nathaniel had always believed that if a ghost had decided to swoosh across that stage it would creak at it’s old age. Nathaniel, as it seemed to the crowd, rushed out of the auditorium as if he thought this ceremony a shame of his youth. Nathaniel, on the other hand, loved his college, the only good excuse he had for leaving was because he wasn’t allowed to edit his name legally until he graduated, so he stormed out and got a ride to the court house. Nathaniel, for many years, had held a rage for his ancestors history with the Salem Witch Trials. He slammed open the door to the court house. Whilst mid stride a very pretty lady in face approached him from his right, “May I help you sir?” sang her melancholy voice. “You may help me rid myself of some excellently disgusting history.” exploded his hoarse voice. He had given four speeches in the last three days to the student body and it required quite a passion. “Sir, if you must be quite loud, then do it in your own time. This is a respectable building and you will be most polite while occupying its vicinity.” She extended coldly. She walked him down the hall to an ancient book the size of his barn door. “What be this?” He astounded. “This is where you may be allowed to change your name. What exactly would you like to change?” She asked multiple more questions not important to the reader following her flipping to the page containing his name. “Nathaniel Hawthorne” was entered atop the space his original name had been. “Now that you have changed your name, I have someone for you to meet.” She seemed almost glowing in the dank environment here. Nathaniel followed her down the hall they presently occupied, and turned left into a small room with a chair. “If you need anything hollar.” She turned and walked away. He let his eyes follow her rounded hips. He was snapped out of his lusty trance when a man in the corner of the room said his name. “Nathaniel…” He could not see the man so he opted to remain eerily silent. “You are an experienced writer so I have heard. May I have a look at your rough draft dealing with the Salem Witch Trials?” He stepped out of the shadows. Hawthorne’s jaw dropped as he slowly reached into his bag at his side.


Joseph McCarthy Embellishment

Joseph sat at home. Why could these people not understand his plea for justice, he just wanted to rat out every communist in America. “Forget the press, I will cleanse America of this atrocity!” He exclaimed at no one specifically. He picked up his pen, neatly written on the side was his first and last name in the most beautiful cursive. Joseph McCarthy. The name held little meaning to anyone at the moment, but he would soon spread through America with his goals. He started writing. It wasn’t one of those journals everyone knew about forever afterwards, no this was a personal journal that would be lost to the world even when finished. He wrote in that journal starting when he vowed to make anti-communism his goal for American internally. He vowed to himself to do the right thing, no matter the consequences. To many, that would be a noble statement, but when reality hits, well, let’s just say it’s harder than Dolph Lundgren in the Rocky movies. McCarthy would make a movement known for generations afterwards called McCarthyism.

******

McCarthy stood up from his journal. This entry was titled: A Day to Remember. And that it was. For today marked the day television would air a 36 day program of his interrogations of communists in America. “Maid! Bring me some tea, I will be busy today, don’t bother making the bed.” He said in a raised tone for the maid was partially deaf in her left hear and almost wholly so in her right. He got dressed quickly and walked down the hall to the coat closet. “How many coats do you need woman?” He questioned aloud. His wife, caught mid-step whilst over hearing his comment, tripped over her three inch heels and went tumbling down the last few steps awkwardly for all her effort. He politely helped her up and then stormed out of the gargantuan house to his coach. He finally arrived at the Senate building and went into the first day of the showing. This general morning process continued for thirty six days. Joseph occupied his journal with the records of his thoughts and happenings during these many days. McCarthy does not hold many secrets not already demystified to the reader so they shall not recovered. Henceforth the people watching all of this on T.V. were slowing sinking down into the sea of reality. McCarthy wasn’t fighting Communism, despite his best arguments, people started to realize he overstepped the majority of known boundaries in the senate. McCarthyism wasn’t helping America. It was a witch hunt of those people who were remotely in contact with communism. May the reader be reminded that McCarthy continued to attack said communists until his death at the Bethesda Naval Hospital after suffering from Hepatitis thought to be brought on through his aspiring alcoholism. Never had America experienced anything so horrific in the Senate as this episode. The reader may wonder what ever happened to that journal of his. Well to be honest no one knew about it, so speculators are the only source left, but let it suffice, that the most credible story states that he did write the journal, but he burned it the night before he went into illness at his house leaving no trace, except for one item. A note that no one has ever seen, yet is rumored to be hidden in a desk in the Senate courtroom as a reminder, or testament to his time in the honorable body of the government. Will anyone ever find it, the reader may only conjecture whether it actually exists. This is the account of McCarthy and his time in the senate fulfilling his vow. As not to leave the reader on this mysterious note, it would suffice to attest for McCarthy in some way. There can be a speak for his courage, determination, and willingness to do what he believes, whether correct or incorrect, is needed for America to stay free. The reader may now think on these matters how they will, and decide for themselves what information they believe and what information they believe fiction.


Edward R. Murrow Embellishment

Today was a win. Edward walked into the conference room. “Good job Edward!” Exclaimed his boss Jackson. “Hey, I’m just doing my job Jackson. I don’t need attention.” He replied in his normal deep, intense yet quiet voice. He needed a cigarette. He tapped Jackson and tapped his breast pocket. Both men walked to the door on the other side of the room and opened it up to the light evening air. “You want one?” He asked Jackson as he lit his own. The smoke spiralled up the side of the building slowly, like it was on a journey but it had nowhere to go quickly. He watched it worm its way skyward. “Why don’t you just come out and say it. You have an idea for your show, and I’m probably not going to like it.” Jackson stated abruptly. “Well, I was gonna lead into it but since you seem so eager for this break I’ll give it to you. I want to call McCarthy on his bullying.” He kept staring at the smoke, it was so peaceful on its way up the wall of the building where it slowly disappeared over the rooftops. “Edward…” Jackson looked at his feet for some time. He didn’t know exactly how to respond, “Edward, no one goes up against McCarthy and win. This isn’t a good idea. This will never get past the heads.” Edward looked down at the dirt for a few seconds. Then he stared Jackson directly in the face. “Then we’ll take out any chance that he can call us on the wrong side.” He started towards the door. “Edward,” Jackson was looking down the road, “You need to be as thorough as worldly possible. Please.” He turned and threw his cigarette in the street and stomped it out. Edward stood for a second, then continued through the door into the conference room. Everyone was still there he could see. “Everyone, Everyone please. I need to have your attention for the next few moments.” Edward took a chair and stood above everyone else, “Please, settles down please. Now, I would like to announce my future plans to take the battle to McCarthy on his bullying. He needs to be stopped and we can do that through this station. I know I am asking a lot of you all but that brings me back to my next question. If any of you have any connection to communism, even the slightest nudge with anyone in contact with anyone connected to communism please speak up now.” Edward looked around. No one said anything for the next few seconds, until one man sent up his hand slowly. “Sir,” He said, “My grandma was a lefty and subscribed to a communist magazine. I’m sorry, I should’ve told you guys sooner.” He stood up and started for the door. “Hey, thank you for telling us. I am sorry to say you cannot help us in this show.” Edward turned his head down as he walked out. No one else walked out and so they got down to business.

Edward walked into the office. “Sir, I can…” He was interrupted by  the bald man sitting in the lavish chair behind the desk. “I don’t want an explanation dang it I want a solution!” He exclaimed loudly enough to startle the guards down the hall who came to check in on him. “I am warning you, I can find another host for this show and you all will be out of a job. Do you understand?!” He was yelling again. “I want this out of here!” Edward just stood there and took it. He knew what he was doing was controversial. “Why wasn’t this cleared?” He asked in the softest voice he could manage at the moment. He was hot and Edward was about to make it worse. “Sir, I did not clear this with you because I felt you would not clear these shows…” He was mid sentence. “Darn right I wouldn’t! We are not here to critic political leaders we are here to talk about what is going on in the world… Other than politics!” He looked like he had physical smoke coming out of his ears. “Sir, before you explode of hot air, We are winning!” He was exasperated at the politicalization of higher up positions, “Sir, if I may, we are kicking his butt! He has nothing left. Let us air one last two hour show and I promise we will be done!” He turned around and walked to the door. “Edward!” Shouted the man in the chair, “I’ll give you a two hour show. If you mess this up…” He whispered. “Yessir.” Edward walked out the hallway and down the stairs.


Arthur Miller Embellishment

“Honey,” he said lightly from his office den down the hall. “Yes dear?” His wife responded. She had been beautiful when he married her but now he had lost that love which bound them together. “Princess… We need to talk.” he replied concisely. She had no clue what he was about to talk about, he had let no inclination slip from his actions. “Dear,” She entered the office and slipped her arms over his shoulders, “What could possibly interrupt your work at a time like this?” she asked out of care. His job was starting to lay off lower level workers and he needed the job badly. “Dear… “ He sat thinking for a minute, how to explain a divorce, “Dear, I am moving on, I’ve fallen out of love and I can’t do this anymore.” He laid his head upon the desk. “Oh… I knew this day was coming.” She turned around and walked to the door, “Before we do this, did you ever love me? Did you ever feel that need to always be around me? Or was it all just a facade?” She lingered for an answer but when she could see he wasn’t going to attempt one she went out into the kitchen. He could hear her sobs down the lavishly decorated hallway. It had been painted gold when they bought the house, then again, the whole thing had been an off gold color. What was he doing, He couldn’t even work right now. He stood up, flipped his notebook closed and placed it in  his duffle bag on the table to his right. He picked up the medium weight bag and walked down the hall to the front door, as he walked out he paused on the step. This wasn’t as hard as he thought; that was not a good omen in his book. He started walking down the block. He didn’t know where he was going, all he knew was that he’d never look back again.

******

“I’d like a dry martini, shaken, not stirred.” He sat down at the bar. The bartender turned around and started making the drink. He didn’t get the popular vodka martini, it was too strong for him. As he sat there, his mind slipped into memories he’d have rather forgotten. It was currently a week since his divorce with his first wife. He couldn’t understand why his mind got caught on that one thought but it did. He sat there for almost another ten minutes, he would’ve kept going on if the bartender hadn’t finished mixing his drink faster than usual. “Sir, sir! Your drink is done.” he said curtly. Then the bartender straightened up and dusted off his jacket, making the old pattern look even worse. Arthur turned to look out the window, and low and behold, Marilyn Monroe, the last person he expected, sauntered down the walkway to the door. The bell clanged as she walked in. “Good evening Miss, how can I serve you today?” Asked the bartender politely. “I don’t want anything virgin, surprise me baby.” As she responded her eyes were drawn to the man sitting at the bar staring into his drink. “And what is he having?” She asked. “A dry martini, shaken.” The bartender looked at her with an odd look like he was trying to discern every detail of her life. Arthur turned towards her, “To what may I owe this pleasure?” He asked as she sat down beside her. “Well, I heard that you had a play written up and I thought it’d be a sight to see.” She said playfully. “Oh, I have a rough draft but there’s no promise to it.” He replied tersely. “C’mon baby, let’s go down the road… I got a preacher I want you to meet.” She flirted while standing up and putting her arms around his torso. “Well Miss… I guess it wouldn’t hurt to see.” He laughed heartily and they twirled out the door, the bartender watched them walk out shaking his head. “Third guy this month… He’s just as hopeless as the rest.” He turned around and started closing up shop for the day.  


The Disease

He slept, the dank and heavy air flowing roughly in and out of his black lungs. He wore nothing of considerable cover. The only cloth on his wretched frame was a loincloth of a colour akin to the stain on a dead man’s chest having been stabbed. He laid in straw loosely strewn together with rickety straps that barely held the mass. The man kept a small stool, acting as a bedside table, on the right side of the bed with which sat a journal falling apart at the binding. I slipped along the thin walls, my fleet slid like a ghost over the rough, mud cracked floor. The man looked so torn and weak. No. He needed to lose everything. If this couldn’t be stopped by me then I don’t believe there would be a cure. I stopped and crouched down as if I were stalking prey in the evil forest. He just lay there, not knowing who, or what, was around him present. I wanted to just stand up and punch him to the very center of my core. My heart burned so badly for those who had been eaten away by his wicked ways. Alas, not my place to take a life created by Gath. I stole the book off the rickety stool. The man started to mumble seemingly harmless, yet the room seemed to grow to a thousand feet and my leather boots left my legs bloodless and draining. I took a step towards the door and the world shifted, as if I was walking on a map. I could see the door now, two steps maybe three. I just needed to stay quiet. I could hear nothing, but out of the corner of my eye I saw a glint, and the world whipped around and back into proportion. I rubbed my eyes as the fluid in my brain whirled at high velocities. The man pulled back and swung the knife as hard as his feeble frame could handle. I did not see the blade till almost too late and the sharp edge caught my forearm as I dodged out of the way yanking the knife with me. I howled with the pain. Voraciously I spun on my heel and threw my hand up to block the easy punch of the Doctor, as he fell backwards from the blow and landed in the corner. His head lay limp compared to the rest of the body. I knelt and felt my hand around his head checking major bleed areas, till I got to the point on the back of a person’s head where the hair spins as if doing loops. He was bleeding viciously and would die if I could not get him to a healer quickly. I pulled a needle out of my overcoat and stabbed it deep into his neck. He yelped for a second then his eyes went glazed.

“No! I was supposed to keep you alive dang it!” I yelled at the wall. I grabbed the book off the wet, red stained floor, if you could call it that. As I turned to run out I saw a small figure run past the doorway.

“Who’s there?” I yelled aloud. I didn’t care who heard me now, I just needed to get out of here. This place gave me the creeps anyways and on top of that I just killed the haggard old man. I ran out the door way and aimed my sprint towards the forest, I only had to adjust about two degrees to the right to do so.

“Hmmmmm. The smell of pine. Always a sweet sentiment.” I mumbled random things the whole way to the river. The forest was dim lit and the creatures could be heard howling in the misty morning. I slowed to a walk as I approached the river. I noticed there was no campfire like there had been when I stowed my utilities this morning. No this was bad. I started digging in the dirt, only to find a dead rat where my bag of ducs had been. I stood up slowly and took a good look around myself. No footprints, no smells, no anything. I must be in some kind of dream. Whack! Behind me had been standing a hulking man, one could question whether this beast was human or some other hellish creature, and he had hit me over the head with the small end of his spiked, withered, wooden club.

My head whirled as my eyes regained their sight, I was blinded by the spotlight glaring right into my face.

“May I ask where I am?” I said groggily.

“Well, you may ask, but no answer shall be given that will satisfy your yearning.” Replied a voice unrecognizable to me at the moment. Though it did register with a minute familiarity, I couldn’t have processed information if someone had been ripping out my guts.

“Today, young student, you will learn exactly what you are getting yourself into.” The voice said coldly. No emotion. It was like listening to something broken, a sharded and fractured soul. I almost felt sorry, and then I remembered where I was: On a table, tied down, not knowing where or who I am with. I tried to turn my head to the left, I could only go far enough to see the corner of the ceiling. The room, based solely on my view of the oddly domed, wet, stone ceiling, was very loose and had the look of falling apart.

“Where am I?” I asked again, my voice had regained some of its previous confidence.

“John, I presume that is your name no?” The voice said knowingly. Where did he get my name, I hadn’t been called by any name since I dropped off the radar, just ‘hey you’.

“I need you to understand something dear John. I am going to cure this world, and I will do it without your petty order of heathens who believe in petty magic and a ‘God’ who may or may not exist.” As if on cue the table, or whatever it was, sat me up like I was in a recliner. I could now see a mirror and the beast who had attacked me earlier. He was hideous, with blue teeth, a yellowed face, black hair with grey streaks and his body had hair growing at an alarming rate. This was no man, this was a disease.

“As you see, this is my first prototype. It didn’t look like a success at first, my initial intentions had been to create a new version of man that was stronger, faster, not necessarily smarter but that would come eventually.” He stopped using his drone voice and continued in a more personal voice, “I tried this man as my first test subject,” Oddly it was a woman’s voice now, smooth and mellow, “He didn’t do what I wanted at first but he has become useful. Now, I will release you from the table, and you can try all you want to get out but I promise I will make you feel pain.” The voice went stern, almost reprimanding towards the end.

“Well,” I started as I slipped out of the loosening bands, “I’d love to kiggy with you boys… but I’ll just be leaving,” and with that I threw my bag on the ground sending up an odd smoke. I knelt and whispered a few words. My body felt like it was twisting as it warped in less than two seconds to the safe house closest to my location. I stumbled out into my kitchen.

“Well, that was the most anticlimactic moment ever.” I said as I pulled out my tap pad and checked the beeping beacon. Such a beautiful operating system…

“Stop it boy, you need to get back to work and stop admiring the handiwork of them darned things.” exclaimed an old man from the couch. I slowly backed out the front door. I didn’t want to get involved with him today. I turned and started running where the beacon was pointing.

******

“John, you amaze me with your resilience and feeble magic.” The voice fell on the darkness outside the house. I was resting in the shadows of a dark tower of trash cans in this dry amusement park. It was early morning yet the fog relentlessly held onto this location.

“I do not bow to your will! You will not poison this world with your disease!” I threw my voice. The wolf man on the ground near the disgusting building perked his ears in the direction where i had previously thrown my voice.

“What must I do to convince you my dear John?” The voice rattled through moss eaten speakers.

“I would rather die than follow you.” I forgot to throw my voice this time. As I came to this realization the beast had already thrown his sword into full swing at my neck. I brought up my right hand and blocked it from about a foot away. The beast didn’t even stumble, he brought his fist towards my face from the left. My left forearm naturally came up to block. Out of nowhere the beast stabbed me in the base of the neck, disconnecting my whole body from the brain. He did not make it through the first stab causing my body to go into painful convulsions. My arms rippled and my muscles threw my now limp frame all over the place. My fleece jacket slowly seeped wet with the maroon blood streaming from the wound. The knife, it felt like cold. Not sharp, not wet, not dangerous. Just icy cold. That was all I felt as the beast palmed the blade the rest of the way through. The only time I ever regretted being a wizard, was when I died. I watched from my dead eyes seeing very few things. The last picture I saw, was of the voice. The voice was an actual man, with a robotic head, a metal hand, and the most disgusting torso every etched on this world by Gath. The gross man slid his fingers over my dead eyes closing the eye lids.

“We wouldn’t want you to see what happens next now would we?” The voice chuckled. My ears never picked that up from this dead body, yet for one reason or another my mind seemed to translate the sound waves on it’s own.

I awoke on the same table I had been the first time I was a captive. I tried moving but this time the cables were too tight, but wait, these cables weren’t adjustable, I should be able to mvoe right now.

“Where am I?” My voice sounded deep and demonic, “Wait, What is this?!” I sceeamed at the ceiling.

“My my john. Calm yourself. You were dead. I revived you and made you better.” The voice now stood before me as the table leaned upwards so I had a wider view of the room than any previous engagement.

“What have you done to me?” I asked, scratching my throat the whole way out my voice sounded akin to that of a typical vigilante.

“Take a look for yourself my son.” The voice turned away and walked through the mirror. The cables around my head snapped away and my head lopped forward in its weakened state. I lifted it slightly and could feel the new painful soreness in my neck. As I looked at my body I recognized the muscles but I was now covered by blueish green hair that looks more like the lockness monster after a bath in the swamp.

“No… No, you didn’t do this to me!” I pulsed with adrenaline. Looking straight at the mirror I started to force my muscles beyond what I’d have imagined they’d do. The cables started snapping, the table cracked, and at the moment when I felt like I would fall backwards, all the cables smacked forwards against the window and the table broke in half. The beast came running at me but now the tables were turned. He lunged for a punch to my chest and I reached up and simply grabbed it’s hand. I twisted it’s hand and realized I now stood a head taller than this puny beast. I flipped the best, stepped down to his flexing, raging, form, and with as much energy as I dare waste on such a void, meaningless beast, I took my first finger and dug it into his right temple. His body convulsed as I dug a deeper and deeper hole crushing his brain inside his cracked skull. I pulled my hand out. My finger brought with it pieces of flesh and cellular tissue from the cranium. I left it and walked to the mirror. I put my hand directly on the mirror and looked directly at it.

“I may be a beast now, but I am still a wizard you piece of disgusting, rotting, meat.” I growled out the words. As I stepped back I could hear the deep and frantic breaths of the flesh on the other side. My anger overwhelmed me. I threw my whole weight behind the punch and at first the glass just wobbled back and forth, then with a huge shriek of pain, the mirror flexed, cracked, and then shattered across the floor. I crunched slowly towards the thing in it’s chair.

“You cannot destroy me! I am your creator! You shall bow to me!” He howled like a dog with those words.

“I must grant you a release from your wretched head. I consider it a mercy!” And with those last words I punched the thing so hard, I crushed whatever disgusting bone-like structure protected his heart and ripped his beating muscle from his chest.

As I walked out of the building doorway, I turned around and looked at the mess.

“Maybe now I can fulfill my prophecy” I turned and with the things heart I walked. I walked everywhere. Now I reside where no man will ever know what I am planning.

Extra Info:

Ducs-the currency used in John’s world

Gath-God of the Ages, worshipped by the Wizards.

Wizards-a race of humanoids who believe they can use magic