My mash up short story.
15-05-2013, 04:15 PM
My mash up short story.
I stopped writing on it because... well... I don't know. I need to know if I should keep writing it. I've done some revising, but I'm going to go ahead and post the original version of it. There are some spelling and grammar error... I'm pretty sure. Also, I know I need to remove the "he saids" after quotes. I think some of the language can speak for itself as to whom is speaking.
I'll post the first couple of parts; let me know if y'all want to read the rest.
Anyway... here it is:
Part 1: Waking
I tried to open my eyes, but my body was fighting me. I knew something was different, something wasn’t right. I forced my eyes open until the blurred surroundings came into focus. I was in woods. It was unrecognizable and indistinct. But, how had I gotten here? I thought for a few moments sifting through every corner of my memory, but it was gone. All recollection of any events prior to my awaking were gone.
I can’t recall how long I sat… hours maybe, I don’t know. But I sat there in the middle of the woods with my arms hugging my knees. I looked around at this world, and as I stared, I realized this place was odd. Through the canopy of trees, I looked into the sky, and although it appeared to be the waning moments of light before dusk, there was absolutely nothing discernible: no sun, no moon, no stars. There was also a disturbing lack of life. I didn’t hear rustling of animals, there were no chirps of birds, and there were no creeping and buzzing of insects. There was just dreadful, eerie silence. I stood and my movements announced themselves throughout the entirety of the woods.
I had no idea which direction I was facing, so I began to walk. I walked in a straight line until I came across a stump. Normally, I wouldn’t question a stump in the woods, but this stump was different in the fact that it was a stump. I glanced around and noticed that there wasn’t a single damaged or downed tree. This stump was an anomaly in such a perfect woods. With care I approached the stump and saw a small axe embedded in it.
“What are you doing here?” I asked the axe.
How had I not noticed this until just now? It was in plain view, and it was stuck directly in the middle. I glanced around again futilely and said, “Hello?”
No answer, of course.
I stopped thinking about it and tried to pull the axe from its resting place. It was wedged in there pretty tightly, and when I jerked on it my grip slipped. The loose leaves caused my feet to stumble, and I fell face first into the stump. I felt a trickle of blood running down my forehead, and when I opened my eyes I saw letters crudely carved into the stump. It read, “Remember Andy”.
"Remember Andy? What does that mean? Who's Andy" I asked myself.
I grasped and grasped at my memories to try and remember why I knew this, but I couldn't. It didn't make any sense; however, there was something in my mind that made me think it was important... or that I knew it from somewhere.
As I lay face first in the leaves next the stump I noticed that I was wearing a backpack. Slightly shocked at this revelation, I quickly sat up and removed the backpack.
It was a hiking backpack. In one zipper pocket there was a bladder that was filled with water and there was a tube coming from the side of it to suck out the water. Attached to one side was 10 feet of cotton rope and a few leather straps. I unzipped all the pockets to see what else I could find.
“Was I going hiking or something?” I asked myself.
In the backpack was an assortment of items: a large survival knife that was about 12 inches, a sharpening stone, three BIC Lighters, a flint stone, a digital wristwatch with and a few extra watch batteries, a dozen jingle bells, a compass, a multi-tool, a small LED flashlight, a twelve pack of lithium AAA batteries, work gloves, 100 yards of 15 pound test fishing line, a pack of fishing hooks, two pens, a notebook, a dozen or so energy bars, a canteen, and a skinning knife.
“Why can't I remember packing any of this? Was I going camping? And, where is my phone? Did I not pack a phone? Or, a GPS? Ugh.”
I looked again at the notebook, and a sudden burst of thought hit me, “Maybe I wrote something down,” I whispered.
I thumbed through the blank pages of the notebook. I grunted in frustration, put on the wristwatch, and carefully placed all the items back into pack; but not before writing down the odd message carved into the stump. I stood again with axe in hand. My compass said I was going south, so I continued my aimless route forward.
I hated how loud I was being. The crunching of leaves and the snapping of twigs under my feet would certainly alert anyone within earshot. These sounds were so painfully loud I cringed with each step. Paranoia began to encase me, and I stumbled forward with haste almost slipping several times.
I don't know why but I began to hum Darth Vader's “Imperial March”.
Doo doo doo do-da-doo do-da-doo doo doo doo do-DA-do doo-DA-do doo doo doo dah dah da-da-da
My heart started to beat faster and I knew something was following me. Maybe, just maybe, if whatever was following knew that I wasn't scared it would leave me alone. I began to hum faster.
Duh dah dah duh-da-da-dah
It had gotten closer, and I felt it behind me. It was there. I stopped running and became completely frozen. It was as if I could not control my actions. I wanted to turn around – I wanted to keep running, but I couldn’t. I felt it get closer and closer, and in those next few moments that seemed to drag out into eternity, I knew it was breathing down the back of my neck. I gripped the axe tightly and took in a deep breath.
With all my strength, I turned and whipped the axe toward this horror. The force of the swing twisted me off me feet and spun me to the ground. The axe ripped through the air. There was nothing behind me.
I landed hard on the ground and twisted my ankle. I flipped over on my back and stared into the trees. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing – just trees. I slowly stood again and put weight on my ankle. It hurt, but it wasn't bad as I could still walk.
After walking for about two hours, I came upon a small clearing in the woods. It was a camp.
“HELLO?” I yelled.
The only answer I got was my echo.
“Hey! Anybody there? Hello?”
I walked closer, and I noticed that this camp looked abandoned. There were no signs of recent activity – no smoldering fire, no trash, no food remains – nothing.
“Wonderful.” I sarcastically said out loud.
I've seen enough movies and played enough survival video games to know that you never leave anything behind that may help you in the future. I sifted through the camp for whatever may be put to good use. I found a cooking tin that I tied to my pack, a hammer which I crammed inside my pack, and I rolled the tent and the bedroll together with the stakes and attached them to the top of my pack. Also, before leaving the campsite, I found a sturdy branch and began to fashion it into a walking stick.
I was sitting on the ground carving and chipping pieces of the branch when I noticed a soft glow in the ashes of the long extinct fire. I studied them for a few seconds and noticed that flames began to lick the air.
I was unable to tear my gaze from the fire, and soon, the flicker began to roar and the yellow-red aura gripped my entire body. Abruptly, I was jerked to the ground and the fire’s flames lassoed my arms and legs tying me to the forest floor. I felt the pain of the fire as it cut down to my bones; however, no marks were being made on my body. From the flames came creatures; disgusting, melting creatures with hunched backs, long arms and claws, no eyes, and a gaping mouth filled with dagger-like teeth. They were about the size of a large dog, and they slowly sauntered toward my helpless body and climbed on top of me.
Their melting flesh burned my own, and their putrid stench of sulfur was making me gag. They began clawing and ripping at my flesh and digging into my torso. I felt every ounce of pain, and I saw every drop of blood and piece of flesh that was rend from my body.
I gasped for air and my eyes opened as I sat up.
“Did I pass out?” I asked aloud.
I checked my body and there were no marks; no evidence of any clawing or burning. I looked to my right and saw that my walking stick was right where I left it.
“A dream?” I said.
I shook my head and finished chipping the last pieces of the walking stick so that it would be just right for me. Finally, I was leaving this dreadful campsite, but I noticed something that scared the very core of my being. The old fire pit; the old ashes were smoking.
“No.” I shook my head, “No, it was a dream. Just a dream. No. I won’t believe it. I must have messed up my head when I hit the stump.”
I started sprint further south. I wanted to leave that campsite and forget it happened.
I must have ran a mile before I stopped to catch my breath.
“Wha... what's going on?” I asked.
I really didn't know what to make of my situation. None of this made any sense. After my breathing had calmed, I listened to the sounds around me and heard something familiar.
“Is... is that what I think it is?”
I followed it, and I began to hear it clearer and clearer. I was right. I heard moving water.
“That's gotta be a river or a creek.”
I used my ears to guide me, and soon, I saw the beautiful sight. It was a small, slow moving creek that was about two feet deep and filled with fish. I hadn't eaten the entire day – mostly because of shock; however, the sight of the fish reminded my stomach that I needed something.
I dropped my pack and removed my fishing equipment. I evaluated the situation of the creek and the fish and decided that fishing with a hook was going to be wasted effort. I decided to dam the current with several large rocks which caused the fish to collect in a basin at which I could practically scoop out the fish.
Once I completed the dam, the only things I needed for it to work were time and fish. While my trap was taking effect, I scoured the bank and nearby woods for firewood. I noticed something that I hadn't seen all day. I could see the sun, and it was beginning to set.
“I guess I might was well set up camp here tonight.”
After I had gathered more than enough firewood, I checked my fishing trap. It had worked. I made a spear with my survival knife, walking stick, leather straps, and rope, and speared six large trout from the basin. I used the multi-tool to skin and clean the fish and the cooking tin to cook them. While eating, I mapped what I had traveled that day in the woods; including my waking, the stump, the abandoned campsite, and the creek. I knew if I was going to get out of this place I was going to need a reliable map.
After I ate, I buried the remains, cleaned the tin, and boiled water from the river in it to replace what I had drunk from my canteen throughout the day. I also filled the bladder in my backpack with fresh water. I realized something strange as I was pitching the tent.
“How do I know all of this?”
I guess it was a legitimate question. How did I know how to do these things? I can't even remember how I got into the woods much less anything that happened prior to my waking. I was a little too tired to give it much thought. It was now dark, and I could see the moon and stars in the clear sky. It was a comforting feeling because I knew that I was somewhere on Earth. Earlier that day I wasn't so sure.
Before I went to sleep, I used the fishing line to make a 30 foot perimeter around my camp and placed the jingle bells on it.
I laughed to myself and said, “Ahhh, I was wondering why I had those.”
I placed more wood on the fire to last the night, retreated to my tent, and went to sleep.
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15-05-2013, 04:16 PM
RE: My mash up short story.
Part 2: The Guardian and the Watcher
My eyes snapped open when I heard the slight jingle of the bells. I felt my heart beating in my throat, and I heard it in my ears. I breathed in the silence and listened. I heard the snapping of twigs and the pushing of rocks and earth.
Jingle jingle jingle
Again, I heard it. I slid my hand over my spear and wrapped my fingers around the rugged branch-handle. I could see a silhouette moving outside my tent. I couldn't see a shape; all I could see was movement. I very slowly and carefully removed the covers from my body and pulled the spear close.
The tent ripped from the ground and two enormous fangs came sinking down on me. I don't know how, but I was able to roll away before they got to me. I caught my balance and stood with my spear to face whatever creature was attached to these fangs. The creature stood to face me as well.
It was a giant serpent. And, maybe, “giant” isn't the right word, as it was no less than 30 yards and about 6 feet across. Its mouth was large enough to swallow me whole and those dreadful fangs were about 20 inches.
It was the only words I could muster. The serpent hissed and growled and struck at me again. I jumped backwards this time, and again, I narrowly avoided being impaled and eaten. I had fallen on my back, and another series of strikes came like lightning. I kept rolling and dodging and it kept missing.
The creature erected itself and roared at me. I knew this was my chance, so I gripped my spear with both my hands and thrust it with every ounce of strength I had into the serpent. As the blade met the scaly flesh there was a loud “chinkg” and a flash of sparks as the blade bounced off the scales.
The serpent's mouth again came rushing towards me, and I held my spear lengthwise to interrupt my death. It worked; however, the creature bit down on the branch-handle splitting my spear into pieces. I rolled towards the monster, and it's bite came down behind me. I grabbed its body with my right hand, and then pulled the rest of myself onto it; hugging the serpent. I pushed off with my right hand and flipped my body to the other side of the creature. When my feet hit the ground, I jumped and flipped forward towards the bladed half of my now broken spear. I felt another strike land directly behind me.
I brandished the broken spear, and stood to face the massive serpent. I now knew my foe, and I patiently waited for another strike. I gripped the half-spear in my left hand, and as I predicted, the monster opened its mouth, reared its fangs, and struck towards me. I was ready this time, and I slid under the bite. I wrapped my right arm around the serpent's neck and twisted myself onto its back. With a sideways thrust, I rammed the blade into the monster's eye.
The serpent hissed, screamed, roared, and tried to buck me from my position. I held on and continued to push and twist the blade into the monster's skull until it finally quit struggling and fell limp on the creek's shore.
I fell from the serpent's back and was on my hands and knees near the bank. I was breathing heavily and my eyes were closed, but I knew I was covered in blood and sweat. I looked into the night and yelled, “What was that all about? Huh? Seriously? What do you want?”
I didn't expect anyone to answer. I had been talking out loud since I had been in the woods. It was an attempt to try and preserve some of my sanity. It was lonely and frightening, and this situation only escalated my on-edge behavior. I was almost to a breaking point. I continued to yell, “All right! What do you want? Why did you bring me here? Answer me!”
“I have my reasons, Marcus.”
The voice made me stumble backwards into the water of the creek. I reached behind me and grabbed a stone. I was terrified, and I frantically began to look around. I said, “Who said that? Who are you? Show yourself.”
“Calm down, Marcus. I am not here to kill you... yet. If I wanted you dead, I would have killed you when you got the axe.”
At this point, I couldn't form a coherent thought in my mind because I was so horrified and frightened. I stumbled over my words as I spoke, “Do.. show... what is it... I... who... what... at least...”
“Who am I?” It asked.
“Yeah.” I answered.
“I am the Watcher.”
I was looking for some evidence of this being – this watcher – but I couldn't see anything. I tried to listen for the direction of his voice, but it was everywhere; it was like it was floating around me.
“Where are you?” I asked.
“I'm around. I'm here with you right now. This is my world, Marcus, and I only allow you to see what I want you to see.”
Two yellow eyes appeared across the creek and stared at me. I was frozen in fear, but I was able to ask, “Your world?”
“Yes, Marcus, my world. This is my dominion, and you are here now.”
“How did I get here?”
The Watcher laughed at my question and said, “You brought yourself here. Ahhh... we have many of you pathetic humans wandering into my world. Interrupting my balance. Corrupting a world that I carefully constructed. I loathe your kind. You're here to disrupt and destroy. So, tell me why you're here.”
I was taken off guard by the question and the fact that I couldn't answer it if I wanted to. I said, “Look, I really don't know. I woke up in those woods. I don't remember anything. My memories begin there.”
The eyes narrowed and the voice said, “But, you knew your name. You know how to survive. How to fish. How to kill. But, you can't remember how you came into my world?”
I was getting annoyed, “Look, I don't know. I don't know how I know those things, I just do. I'm telling you the truth.”
“Then why did you ask?”
“I have my reasons.”
The voice chuckled again at his answer and continued, “You killed my guardian. He was appointed over these woods to protect them with his life.”
“What was I supposed to do?”
Now, I was really confused and asked, “What? What do you want from me?”
“Marcus, I find it impressive that you killed my guardian, so I'm not going to kill you right now. However, I don't want his death to be in vain. I'm bringing his body to 'The Hospital'. Meet me there later, and you will know what to do. Don't even consider not showing up. My guardian's death is your responsibility, and, if you try to run, I will kill you without question.”
“What? What are you talking about? Where is this 'Hospital'?”
“Before you go, you need to rest.”
The Watcher wasn't even listening to me anymore. I still tried to get some information from him and said, “Watcher, where do I go? I don't know where I am!”
When I woke it was day. The sun's rays licked my face, and my ears were greeted by the gentle sound of the creek.
“Was... that a dream?”
I had hoped it was. I had hoped it was like what happened at the campsite the previous day with the fire. I surveyed the site, and it was as I feared. There was blood everywhere, my tent and pack were strewn about, and my spear was still broken.
“I fought a big snake last night, didn't I?”
I groaned and rubbed my head. I was shocked at what I felt. I reached again to feel the gash above my eye, but it wasn’t there. With fervor, I began to feel all over my face with both hands, but I couldn’t feel the wound. My face was smooth. I grabbed the knife and used the polished stainless steel blade as a mirror and searched for the cut. Nothing was there.
I searched for the body, but it was missing. Accepting what had happened last night and remembering what Watcher had told me, I said, “I guess this is real. Watcher has the body, and I need to find this 'Hospital'.”
As I was gathering the rest of my belongings, I saw my notebook and pen sitting on a rock near the creek bank. I opened it and saw that Watcher had drawn a map to the Hospital. It was only a few miles east, so I decided to make haste.
I traveled as quickly and quietly through the woods as I could. Before I reached the Hospital, there was a small clearing and hanging from a tall tree was a rotted corpse. I stared at it for a few moments, and I tried to convince myself to leave it alone.
“It looks like he's been up there for months.” I whispered out loud to myself.
“Marcus... really? C'mon...” I said to myself again.
I sighed because I knew I was going to climb the tree and cut him down and loot his body. I put down my pack and put my multi-tool in my pocket. The climb was about 25 feet, and it was fairly easy. The tree was sturdy, and I had several good footholds and branches to brace myself. I shimmied to the end of the branch that the corpse was hanging from and cut the rope with my multi-tool. The body went crashing to the ground and made a crunching sound as the old bones shattered from the impact.
When I got down, I sifted through the pockets. I was glad I listened to my instincts and cut the body down. In his pockets I found another pocket knife, a few C-clips, a pulley, another pen, a small notebook filled with notes on the area that I would have to read later, paper clips, and sunglasses. He also had a belt that fit me perfectly, a bullwhip, a haversack, and a side pouch. However, the greatest find, thus far, was what was strapped to his back.
He had a Damascus Steel katana and wakisashi complete with sheaths and harnesses for travel. I was beyond amazed at the quality of this long and short sword. Damascus Steel is the strongest steel known, and the folds of the metal were so many that it appeared as a solid, polished surface. Swords of this quality would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. This was a priceless find.
I packed and equipped my new supplies and weapons. I removed my notebook and mapped out the area and noted what I had found. After I was finished, I continued east towards the Hospital.
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15-05-2013, 04:17 PM
RE: My mash up short story.
Part 3: Friends
When I approached the Hospital, I realized how odd it was that a hospital was in the middle of a forest. The woods opened and a gravel road began a mile from the entrance. I carefully approached the gate and took cover behind rocks and shrubbery that was about 20 yards away.
The Hospital was enormous and encased by a 20 foot tall concrete wall with coils of razor wire on top. The wall was covered with graffiti and old, torn political posters. The wall stretched as far as I could see, and by my best estimation the campus had to be 40-50 acres. The whole area looked abandoned: small trees and shrubs had begun to grow through the pavement of the parking area inside the wall, pieces of trash and paper rolled in the wind like tumbleweeds, cars were stripped and gutted and left to rust everywhere within the wall, and the hospital itself had boarded windows and barricaded doors. It was an eerie and surreal sight. It reminded me of a post-apocalyptic movie, except its reality stared back at me.
“How am I supposed to get in?” I asked myself.
I thought for a few minutes and decided I needed to take a look at the gate’s lock. I sneaked as quietly as I could to the large iron gate. It was reinforced and tightly locked. It wasn’t going to be possible for me to climb over it because it was lined with razor wire as well.
“Maybe I can dig under it.”
I clawed at the ground directly under the gate, and about an inch down, my fingernails scraped against something hard. I brushed the dust aside and realized that there was a steel slab buried under the gate and wall. There was no way I could get under the gate.
I sighed and leaned against the concrete, took off my pack, and searched through it for something that may help. I came across my notebook and flipped it open. For some reason the first page flashed in my eyes. I looked at what I wrote. “Remember Andy.”
“Remember Andy? Remember Andy. Andy… Andy… hmmm… remember… Ohhhh… are you kidding me? Why didn’t I see this earlier?”
I quickly packed everything and ran back to the tree line. I needed to find a single oak tree. I continued to search by following tree line alongside the wall. Soon, I came upon a single oak tree that was growing in between the open space that separated the wall and the tree line.
“There.” I said.
Rocks and large chunks of concrete were piled along the base of the tree, but I had assumed this already because of what was written in my notebook. Again, I removed my pack and started pulling the rocks and concrete away because I was looking for a particular rock. After about 15 minutes of excavating, I came upon a piece of black volcanic ash.
“Thank you Mr. Dufresne.” I said.
I removed the rock, and, as I expected, under it was a tin. In it there was a note that said:
If you’re reading this, then you made it to the Hospital. I was hoping you read my message I left for you on the stump. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you and finds you well. I hope to see you once again on the other side. And, if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further.
You need to get into that hospital, but the Watcher isn’t going to make it easy for you. Luckily, you’ve got friends to help you; such as me. I will try to help you where I can, but I’m limited to what I can do. Marcus, I’m no warrior, but there are others that are. Find these people. Trust me… this place… this world that the Watcher has made is dangerous. You’ll never make it out alive if you don’t put your faith and trust in others. I hope you heed my advice, friend.
Now… about that wall. This oak tree is actually hollow. I left a present in there for you. Once you get it out, there is a place on the wall that you need to know about. Do you remember the place I wanted to live once we got out of here? I hope you do. Find it on the wall. When you see it, you’ll know what to do.
I hope to see you soon
Your friend, Andy
I sat silently for a moment and folded the note and placed it in my notebook.
“Thank you, Andy. I owe you one.”
I unlatched the axe from my pack. With renewed vigor, I hacked and chopped the oak tree. My mind was racing and thinking on what Andy would have place in the hollow for me. I had finally chopped a massive hole in the oak that was large enough to stick in my head and arm. I shown my flashlight in the dark crevice and saw something wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag. I set the flashlight down and grabbed the bag. It was heavy. I lurched and pulled, and then I finally muscled it out. I ripped the plastic open and saw a bright yellow handle. As I ripped further, I realized Andy had given me a maul.
I smiled as I held the hammer and said, “Yep. This will get me through that wall.”
I'll admit I was giddy when I rushed over to the wall and started mindlessly whacking it. However, after about 20 or 30 swings I realized that the concrete wall was a little tougher than I thought. I had only managed to chip and crack the surface.
Out of breath, I threw the hammer to the ground and leaned against the concrete. I huffed and gasped for air and glanced to my left. A loose poster hung by three corners on the wall. In fury, I ripped it down, crumbled it, and threw it. I sat again against the wall and curiously stared at the crumbled piece of paper. Something was scratching at my mind, and I forced myself up and picked up the piece of crumbled paper.
When I opened it, the poster was a flyer for tourism to Paris with an Eiffel Tower on it.
“Wait… where did Andy want to go?”
I look up from the poster and looked at the wall. It was littered with all sorts of posters of every kind. I ran to the wall and started to tear through the posters. Everything’s bigger in Texas. Only you can prevent forest fires. Uncle Sam wants you. Heil Hitler. We’ve landed on the moon. Pearl Harbor attacked. The Soviet threat is real. The English are coming. Remember the Alamo. Louisiana – Sportsman’s paradise. London. Mount Rushmore. Rolling Stones – Tonight. Thriller in Manila. Holyfield vs Tyson. Twilight – midnight showing. Kennedy shot. California. Australia. Mexico. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Freddy vs Jason. Wait…
I paused a moment and said, “Zihuatanejo, Mexico.”
I walked over to the Mexico poster and poked my finger through it. I ripped the poster down and saw a hole carved through the wall that was about a foot wide. The wall was about 2 feet thick; however, I noticed that it was seriously damaged and cracked in this spot.
I ran and grabbed the maul and started to hammer the hole. Huge pieces of concrete started to crumble from the wall, and after about an hour, I was able to knock a large enough hole in the wall to walk through.
Once on the other side, I surveyed the local area for some way to gain entrance into the main building. I looked again at my map, and I noticed that Watcher had done a very good job of cartography. He had also given me directions as to where he wanted me first. He had circled a building and labeled it “1” and drew an arrow to a small place behind the building and labeled it “2”. I wasn't sure what it meant, but I was intelligent enough to figure out what he wanted me to do. I remembered his warning, and I wasn't about to go against it.
With the addition of the maul, my equipment, pack, and weapons were becoming a difficult burden. I hoped to find a safe-haven where I could rest and reevaluate what I needed, but until then, I decided to keep everything and trudge forward. After all, I never knew what Watcher had in store for me next and what I might need.
As I was following the map, I decided to take shortcut through an alley. I carefully navigated my way through, and right before I exited, I heard strange sounds. There were sounds I knew. They were sounds of fighting – screaming – metal clashing. I peered around the corner and saw a group of men – a dozen or so attacking another man. I could tell that the group had to be vagrants or bandits. The single man was holding his own, but then I saw five more bandits coming to aid their friends. This was bad. I didn't know what to do. The poor man didn't have a chance against that many, although, he sure was putting up a great fight. I decided that I had to do something. I put down my pack in the alley and armed myself with my swords.
I rushed into the battle, and with a couple of swings, three bandits dropped to the ground dead. I had no idea I could fight like this. It wasn't me thinking; it was me reacting. The fighting lasted another 20 seconds before all 17 bandits were lying dead in the street.
The man turned to me and said, “Thank you, stranger. I knew God would protect me. I just didn't think he would send me someone else.”
I nodded at him. He was a black man, and he was older; maybe in his early 50s. He had sunglasses, and scruff for a beard with white hairs randomly placed throughout it. He was dressed in nomadic garb and carried a pack on his back. He had a strong build and a good presence about him. After he wiped the blood from his blade, he reached out to shake my hand.
I wiped the blood from my blades, sheathed them, and shook his hand. He said, “Name's Eli.”
“Nice to meet you, Marcus.”
He paused for a moment and said, “Mind telling me why you did that... no, better yet, mind telling me why you're here?”
I sighed and said, “I don't know. And, that's a long story.”
“I've got time.”
I chuckled at Eli and said, “I don't. I have to be somewhere... quickly.”
“Somewhere in this hospital. Why are you here?”
While Eli was looting the bandits, he looked up and me and said, “Don't know. I'm just doing God's work. I go where he tells me to go. I do what he tells me to do.”
I smiled at him and said, “How's that working out for you?”
Eli said, “Pretty well, son. He sent me to you. Guess you're something pretty important, it seems.”
“Wait, wait, wait. Sent YOU to ME? I believe you've got it wrong.”
Eli walked to me and put his hand on my shoulder and said, “You sure? If seems you need me to help you find whatever you're looking for.”
I perched my lips to one side in thought and said, “I guess you're right. Give me a sec, I need to get my pack.”
Eli continued to search through the dead bandits for anything of value. After I gathered my pack and reequipped my weapons, I walked over to him and handed him the notebook. He looked at it for a second and said, “Marcus, we need to go to the welcome center. Prepare yourself.”
Eli smirked and said, “You'll see.”
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15-05-2013, 04:18 PM
RE: My mash up short story.
Part 4: No Twilight
Eli and I trotted at a quick pace and were soon in front of the Welcome Center. The sun was going down, and Eli sniffed the air and said, “Marcus. Stop.”
“Shhh, be quiet.”
“What is it, Eli? More bandits?”
“What do you mean ‘worse’?”
Eli sniffed again and whispered, “Vamps.”
Confused and stunned, I said, “Wha… vampires? Eli, are you kidding me?”
“No, Marcus. This is going to get interesting.”
Trying to absorb what Eli had just told me, I looked at the Welcome Center and said, “Let’s go. Let's get inside.”
I started to rush towards the Welcome Center’s door when Eli grabbed my arm and said, “Son, what are you crazy? You’re safer out here?”
Frustrated and angry I shook Eli’s grasp free and pointed at him and said, “Listen to me old man, you’re starting to piss me off. You’re not making any sense. First you say we have to go to the Welcome Center and then you say there are vampires outside and now you don’t want us to go in. Make up your mind.”
“You really have no idea, do you, friend?”
“Whatever, old man, I’m going in.”
I had turned my back to Eli and started to walk towards the Welcome Center.
I was now very annoyed and yelled, “WHAT?”
I spun around to my right and saw a blade twirling towards me. I heeded Eli’s warning, and in a single motion, my ducking spin turned my vision upward as I saw the blade ripping through the throat of a creature. Inertia guided the creature’s body as it flopped through the air and crashed to the ground. Its severed head rolled a few feet from its body while a pool of blood filled the gap. I looked at Eli and said, “What in God’s name was that?”
He looked at me and said, “Watch your mouth. I don’t tolerate that type of language. Besides, vamps aren’t of God.”
Eli sniffed the air again and said, “Grab my blade and get over here.”
I picked the bloodied blade off the ground and rushed to Eli’s side. I handed him his sword and he told me to take off my pack and ready my swords. I dropped everything I was carrying and unsheathed my swords. Bellowing screeches came from the shadows in all directions. Eli and I put our backs to each other, and he turned to talk to me saying, “These ain’t the vamps you’ve read about or seen in movies. They ain’t pretty. They ain’t nice. And, they ain’t charming. Luckily, they ain’t immortal either. Aim for the head, throat, or heart… get ‘em in the leg as well to slow them down to get a kill shot. Watch the claws. Be careful, they’re quick, strong, and silent… and they can jump and climb. Trust your instincts, and try to anticipate. Vamps want one thing… blood. Makes them kinda stupid and easy to figure out. Got it?”
I whispered, “Yeah.”
More screeches and bellows flooded my ears, and then flashes of black flesh and white teeth filled night. I impaled a vampire with my katana in my left hand. With a reverse grip on my wakisashi in my right hand, I pulled my blade across its neck; decapitating it. In one fluid motion, I circled the wakisashi back around and drove it through a leaping vampire’s collar bone down to its heart. It landed on me and knocked me to the ground.
Eli swung his blade upwards, halving the upper torso of a charging vampire. He followed with an inside cross body swing and then with an outside cross body swing. One and a half vampire heads flew in the air as Eli’s blade came down on another vampire splitting it down the middle.
I was standing by this time and caught a vampire mid stride in the leg with my katana. While the creature was airborne, I drove my wakisashi downward through its heart to the ground. I followed with a spinning elbow to the jaw of a rushing vampire and slid my wakisashi under my arm into its heart.
Eli’s blade was flashing in all directions as pieces of vampires littered the air and ground around him. I followed suit and was continually moving and swinging my blades in every direction. It seemed with every one of our swings we were taking a vampire’s life. This did not thwart their onslaught, and they continued to pour out of the shadows.
I heard a movement that I did not recognize. By this time, I knew the sounds of the vampires, but this sound was something wholly different. And then, there was a blood curdling howl. My eyes turned to see something moving towards us. It moved so quickly that I could not react. It leaped in the air and soared above my head. I was blinded for a second as the blood washed over my head. I saw two vampire halves fall at my feet. I looked at this beast and could not believe what I was seeing.
It was a wolf-like man. It was covered in fur and muscular and lean. It had a long snout, large teeth and fangs, and five razor-like claws on each hand. It also wore a tatter pair of jeans.
It bit and clawed its way through the vampires more easily than either of our blades. Soon, the vampires hissed and screamed at the three of us and retreated back into the night.
The wolf-man turned to Eli and me, and I peered into its yellow eyes. It was strange. I could see something very “human” about it.
Huffing and out of breath Eli said, “Thank… you… thank God for you… Lawrence… thank you.”
The wolf-man spoke, “Eli, are you all right? When I heard the vamps, I feared the worst and got here as quickly as I could.”
Eli said, “Yeah… I think we’re fine. Praise God you were near us. We wouldn’t have made it.”
The wolf-man nodded and said, “Of course, friend,” he looked at me and said, “Who is this?”
Eli pointed at me and said, “Marcus. Just Marcus. He didn’t give me a last name. God has appointed me his guardian.”
I blinked at Eli and gave him a strange look. Eli looked at me and continued, “Marcus, this is Lawrence Talbot. He suffers from lycanthropy.”
“Obviously.” I said.
Lawrence walked towards me and smiled and said, “I am different from what you may have learned about werewolves in movies.”
I raised my brow and said, “How so?”
Eli said, “In movies and books, the person is controlled by the disease.”
Lawrence finished by saying, “But in the real world, the person controls the disease.”
At this, Lawrence transformed back into a human before my eyes. The transformation was a bit awkward, but in a weird way, it wasn’t strange and only lasted a few seconds.
Lawrence turned to Eli and said, “As long as I’ve known you, your God has always been right. I too will serve your God – for now – and protect Marcus. A friend of yours will always be a friend of mine.”
Eli smiled and said, “I was hoping you would say that. Now, you can’t change your mind when I tell you we’re going into the Welcome Center.”
“You’ve lost your bloody mind, Eli. Why do we need to go there?”
“Don’t know. Marcus’ map says we need to.”
Lawrence turned to me with an inquisitive look. I shrugged and said, “Watcher wants me there.”
Lawrence shook his head and said, “Bloody Watcher. I hate him. This whole world is fun and games for him. He thinks we exist for his entertainment.”
Lawrence paused for a second and continued, “Eli, did you hear what he did to Conan?”
“Well, you know Conan. He refused to be ruled or follow rules. And, you know Watcher. Watcher wanted Conan… for whatever reason, I don’t know. He wanted him to guard part of the realm. Conan, of course, refused and tried to kill Watcher. Watcher ripped off his arms and legs, pulled his jaw apart and stretched out his body, and ripped out his brain… and then he turned him into a giant armor-plated snake. Conan was mindless and Watcher forced him into being the guardian of the forest. Poor Conan. He deserved better.”
My mouth dropped and my eyes became wide. Eli noticed this and asked, “Marcus what is it?”
I hesitated and said, “I… I… I killed him. Yesterday. He attacked me, and I killed him. That’s when Watcher appeared to me and told me to go to the Hospital. He took Conan’s body there. I don’t know why… but he told me he didn’t want it to go to waste.”
Eli and Lawrence both stared at me. Lawrence shook his head and said, “Impossible. No one besides Watcher could kill Conan much less Conan as a Guardian.”
“Lawrence, he’s telling the truth.”
“Eli, how do you know that?”
“Because, I can hear his heart. I can hear when someone is lying. God told me there was something special about him. And, that’s why He sent us to protect him.”
Lawrence snarled and glared at me, “Fine. Eli, I trust you, but I’m keeping my eye on this guy.”
Eli chuckled and said, “Now Lawrence, I thought you said he was a friend?”
Lawrence snorted, “I change.”
Eli burst into laughter and said, “HA! Nice one, Larry.”
Eli calling Lawrence “Larry” caused me to snicker and Lawrence to snap his head toward Eli and say, “Don’t bloody call me Larry. You know I hate that.”
Eli just smiled and put his arm around Lawrence’s neck. They both laughed.
Eli and I still had our blades drawn, so we cleaned them, sheathed them, and I picked up my pack and belongings. Lawrence cleaned the blood from his body as best he could, and then all three of us turned towards the doors of the Welcome Center.
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15-05-2013, 05:52 PM
RE: My mash up short story.
Well I have to know what happens now, I've read this far.
But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
~ Umberto Eco
15-05-2013, 07:38 PM (This post was last modified: 15-05-2013 07:44 PM by kingschosen.)
RE: My mash up short story.
Part 5: History Lesson
We were standing in front of the doors to the Welcome Center, and my hand was resting on the door’s handle. I didn’t know what was behind the doors, but the way Eli and Lawrence where talking, I expected one of us to die as soon as it was opened.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” Asked Eli.
“What do you think? I have no idea what’s behind these doors.”
Lawrence glanced at me and quipped, “Scared?”
“No… yes… I don’t know. Should I be?”
Eli shrugged and said, “I don’t know. Should you?”
“I asked you! Freakin’ old man…”
“Shut up Lawrence!” I was getting annoyed.
Eli started laughing with his face in his palm.
“Both of you suck.”
With Eli and Lawrence chuckling behind me, I gripped the handle and pulled the door open. My heart stopped and I held my breath as I gazed into the open room. It was absolutely empty.
“Well… would you look at that?” A smiling Eli said.
“Gasp! Oh my goodness, nothing is here. Wow, this is crazy!” replied Lawrence.
I was thoroughly confused at this point. I turned to both of them and said, “I really don’t even understand the point of that lie. Why try to scare me?”
“I wasn’t ‘trying’ to scare you,” said Eli.
“Oh?” I asked.
“No, son… just trying to warn you.”
I rolled my eyes as all stepped inside and asked, “Warn me about what?”
Lawrence said, “What’s living in this place.”
Lawrence eyed Eli, and Eli closed the door behind us. Lawrence continued, “Not many people step foot in this place. This place is evil. Dangerous.”
I looked around and saw a large bare room with a reception desk. Around the room there were five doors; not including the entrance. I looked at both of them and said, “I’m assuming the danger is behind the doors?”
They both nodded. I looked again at the doors. The door on the far left was an old, tattered wooden door that looked like it belonged to an outdoor shed. Next to was an old metal door that resembled one that would belong in a warehouse. In the center, there was a typical double door that could be found in most buildings. To the right of it was a rusty iron door with a latch that looked like something out of the early industrial age. Finally, to the far right, there was a door that appeared to lead to a stairwell.
“They’re all locked.” Eli paused and continued, “Well… except the center one. But, son… that’s suicide.”
Lawrence walked forward and said, “Hell, Marcus. 243 tortured souls looking for vengeance for their life that was taken from them.”
Eli put his hand on my shoulder, “Their hate binds the doors to guardians.”
“There are guardians behind the other doors?” I asked.
“Yeah. Except that one.” Eli pointed to the stairwell.
“Where does that go?”
“Don’t know, son. Don’t really care or want to know.”
I threw my hands in the air in frustration, “Then why are we here? Huh? I’m done with this.”
I started walking towards the center doors when Eli said, “Marcus… wait.” He looked at Lawrence, “I told you we would help.”
Lawrence sighed, “…fine.”
I jumped at the shrieks and screams from the vampires outside. We could hear them swarming the outside of the Welcome Center.
Eli looked up and said, “That doesn't sound good.”
All of our heads turned toward the door. Something was pounding on it. From behind it I heard a muffled, “Dudes, let me in.”
Eli and Lawrence looked at each other. Another more desperate, “Dudes! C'mon, let me in!”
“Is that who I think it is?” Asked Lawrence.
Eli nodded and said, “Yep.”
“Can we please leave him out there?”
Lawrence sighed, “Fine. Let him in.”
Eli unlocked the door, cracked it open, reached outside and pulled the man inside, and then quickly closed and locked the Welcome Center's door.
“Thanks, brother.” The man said.
I knew this guy. He was a huge, towering man. He wore jeans, a yellow tank top, and a red bandanna on his head with blond hair coming out the back. He also had a huge blond walrus mustache. I really couldn’t believe I was staring at Hulk Hogan. I stuttered as I said, “H… Hu… Hulk Hogan?”
“Sup brother? Do I know you?”
I shook my head and said, “No.”
Eli pointed his hand to me and said, “Hulk, this is Marcus.”
Hulk shook my hand and almost crushed it as he said, “Glad to meet you dude.” He turned to Lawrence and said, “Larry! How ya been, dude?”
Lawrence grumbled something under his breath. Hulk continued, “Eli-Kenobi, thanks for the help back there. But honestly, I was about to let Hulkamania run wild on them, but then I figured the big Hulkster upstairs wouldn’t like me crushing a whole race between my 24 inch pythons. Y’know, brother?”
Eli nodded and said, “You’re right. God said it is his to avenge.”
I interrupted, “Wait. Eli-Kenobi?”
Hulk excitedly said, “Yeah dude. That’s his real name. Believe it or not, but this dude has some awesome Hulkster powers. He can move things around with his mind by using a thing called 'The Source' and he fights with this awesome high tech sword that’s made of pure light.”
I looked at him blankly and said, “A lightsaber?”
Hulk shook his head and said, “What? No, dude. It’s called a plasmafoil. Although, he denies this, I know he’s saving it for a really tough battle. Ask Larry. Larry knows.”
I looked at Lawrence. By this time, Lawrence had walked away and was cussing under his breath. I turned to Eli with a puzzled stare.
Eli made a disconcerted face and said, “Marcus… ummm… it’s difficult to explain. I’m not sure if you’ll understand.”
“Fine. Lawrence, will you grab us some chairs behind the desk?”
Lawrence nodded and brought four chairs. Well all sat down and faced Eli.
Eli began, “I guess it’s best you know what’s going on. Marcus, how much do you know about parallel dimensions?”
“Like time travel and quantum physics?”
“Sort of. A bit different, though.”
“Well… where I come from, before the war, ‘Hulk Hogan’ was long-running crime drama that came on every Monday night. Hulk was played by an actor named Terry Bollea. In the series, ‘Hulk’ was a cop that used his maverick style of policing to bring justice. It was actually a really, really good show. Lawrence here… again, in my world… was one the central characters of the most financially successful series of books about vampires and werewolves called ‘Twilight’. And, son, let me tell you how good this series was. Gritty. Dark. Violent. Edgy. The author’s prose was a masterpiece. Simply flawless. Unfortunately, the war happened, and the final book was never finished.”
I was staring at Eli blankly.
“So, son… what this means is… is, well Lawrence?”
Lawrence looked up and said, “In my world, Eli was a renowned war hero. Hulk was a soap opera star…”
Hulk interrupted, “Yeah dude. In my world, Eli is this awesome dude from the greatest sci-fi series of all time called ‘Book of Wars’. And Larry here, well Larry is a cartoon dude that I grew up watching as a kid. Yeah, see, Larry would always get chased by a vampire named Tom, but the stupid vampire could never catch him. Larry would always trick Tom. Dude, I miss watching Tom and Larry. I used to watch it every Saturday.”
Eli said, “You see, Marcus… all of our universes contain alternate versions of ourselves. We all know each other from our own respective universe. Hulk. Lawrence. Conan. Indiana. Kratos. Link. Robin Hood. I could go on and on. But…”
He stopped and looked at Lawrence and then looked down.
“But what?” I asked.
Eli looked back up, “But… we don’t know you. We’ve never heard or seen you before in our lives.”
There was an awkward silence before Eli continued, “And… what’s even weirder is that you know us.”
Lawrence looked at me and said, “Marcus, it just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up. Your presence defies everything we know about parallel dimensions.”
“Meaning?” I asked.
Eli said, “Look son, we’re not trying to come across hostile, it’s just odd, that’s all. Let me try to explain this. Here look.”
Eli pointed to a plank on the wood floor, “See this piece of wood? Look at the lines in it. See? They all flow one way, some cross, some don’t, but they all have something in common. They are all on the same piece of wood. So, explain to me how a line can be on this piece of wood and not be on the piece of wood at the same time? It just doesn’t add up.”
“I don’t know, Eli.” I was starting to feel cornered. I paused for a second and continued, “Look, all I know is that I woke up here without any recollection of how I actually got here. I can’t remember my life before waking up. But, I know all of you. And where you came from… in my world. Eli and Lawrence, you’re both movies. Hulk, you’re a professional wrestler.”
Sensing the frustration in my voice, Eli said, “Marcus, we’re not attacking you here. We know you aren’t at fault in anything. We all know who is behind this.”
I shook my head and said, “Watcher.” I paused again and said, “Eli explain this parallel dimension thing a little more and what Watcher is doing.”
Eli smiled and said, “Sure. Well, what we know is that all of us were removed from our worlds. Just up and vanished, practically. I was walking one moment, and then POOF I was here. Same for everyone else.”
Hulk and Lawrence both nodded in agreement. Eli continued, “Best we can tell is it works likes this. See, all of these parallel dimensions are existing by each other. Think of it as a line. Sometimes these lines cross each other… sometimes lines cross multiple lines. Well, what it seems is that all the lines, how every many there are, have all crossed and met to form a single line. This single line has become Watcher’s world. And, he is making the rules.”
I was still staring at Eli when Lawrence spoke, “And, we’re not happy with this world. We all want to go back to our world… no matter how bad it was before. We just want to go back where we belong, and where things make sense.”
Eli nodded and said, “Yep. But, we can’t do that with Watcher alive. As long as he’s alive, he can keep us here as long as he wants to. Doing whatever he wants to.”
“So, that’s why you’re helping me then?” I asked.
Eli shrugged, “Sort of. Not all of it. I listen to God. God tell me that you’re the key. You’re the key to get out of this mess.”
Lawrence said, “I believe Eli’s God. He’s never been wrong yet.”
Hulk said, “Yeah, brother. I trust Eli-Kenobi. I mean, he’s a master of The Source.”
Eli lifted his brow, “So, you’re going to help us, Hulk?”
Hulk stood and pointed, “You know it, brother!” He then flexed and yelled, “Tell me, Watcher, whacha gunna do when Hulk and his friends run wild on you?”
“I hate when you do that.” Lawrence scoffed.
Hulk smiled and turned to me and asked, “Hey, dude, got any weapons?”
“Yeah. Maul or axe?”
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15-05-2013, 07:49 PM
RE: My mash up short story.
Part 6: Dragon Falcon
Hulk insisted on carrying my pack, so I happily obliged the request and also gave him the axe and maul. It was a welcomed relief from the constant burden of the weight that it gave me. We gathered and readied ourselves, and as we were walking towards the door, someone said, “Eli.”
It was a voice I didn’t know. Hulk, Lawrence, and I all stopped and turned toward the sound. The sound came from the back corner behind us. I couldn’t see anyone, but the shadows covered everything in darkness. After staring for a few seconds, I saw movement. Eli still had his back turned to the sound; sighed and said, “Back so soon?”
The voice said, “Eli, I don’t like being lied to.”
“I didn’t lie.”
The voice scoffed. Eli turned around and said, “You assumed.”
With more anger the voice said, “You told me you could kill Watcher.”
Eli nodded, “I did.”
“You set me up, Eli.”
Eli’s face tensed, “What did you do? Tell me you didn’t…”
“Didn’t what? Didn’t tell Watcher about your plan?”
There was complete silence. We were staring at Eli and were confused. The voice continued, “No, Eli. I didn’t. I did follow Watcher. I followed him through the maze and into the tower.”
Eli rubbed his forehead and said, “Why? Why did you do that?”
The voice screamed, “BECAUSE YOU TOLD ME TO! YOU TOLD ME I COULD TRUST YOU! YOU LIED!”
Eli bowed his head, “I told you to follow him, not sneak into his bed.”
“I had to know you were telling the truth, Eli. About… that thing you’re helping. Watcher’s creation.”
I found my body burning with rage at these words. We all knew who this voice was talking about. How could he accuse me of being created by Watcher? I was innocent. I simply woke up. I did nothing wrong. I started towards the voice when Eli’s left hand slapped across my chest; stopping me. He whispered, “That’s not very smart.”
Eli looked towards the voice and said, “I assure you Marcus is innocent.”
I saw more movement from the shadows and the voice said, “He may be innocent, but he’s going to be the reason for all our deaths. He’s going to kill us all, Eli.”
I yelled and cursed at the voice and said, “I’m not trying to hurt anybody!”
“So… the bastard son can speak?”
Eli again held me back and cupped his hand over my mouth. The voice said, “Listen, little worm, you are being tolerated by me. I will not hesitate to snatch the life from you,” there was more movement in the shadows as the voice continued, “but, thanks to your blind guardian, I’ve been damned.”
Hulk scratched his head and said, “Wait… you’re blind?”
Lawrence elbowed Hulk. Eli looked down again and asked, “What… what did Watcher do to you?”
“Tortured me. Mocked me. Made me a ticking time bomb. Thanks, Eli. Thanks for asking.”
The figured emerged from the shadows. He was garbed in all black including a black mask. The ninja ambled towards us and said, “He wants me to kill you, Eli. That’s the deal he made me. That’s the only reason I’m still alive.”
Eli’s hand slid for his blade.
“Now, now, Eli. There’s no reason for that. I’m not going to kill you. I don’t really want to spend the rest of my days as a guardian, which unfortunately, is my destiny if Watcher gets his way.”
The ninja looked at us and said, “I don’t have a lot of time left. As much as I despise that thing all of you are coddling, I don’t really have a choice. I can only hope that I’m wrong and Eli is right.”
Eli cupped his brow and said, “Ryu, I never meant for any of this to happen to you. You’re my friend, and I needed your help. That’s why I asked it of you. I couldn’t have ever known that this would happen.”
“The fate of our friendship will depend on the amount of truth in your words.”
Eli smiled and said, “Then we have nothing to worry about, Mr. Hayabusa.”
“Let’s hope so, old man.”
Eli let out a scoffing chuckled and said, “All right.”
Ryu eyed all of us and said, “Really going in there?”
Lawrence nodded and said, “Yeah,” and paused a second and looked back at the ninja and continued, “Ryu… we could really use you.”
Before Ryu could respond to Lawrence, Eli interrupted and said, “Ryu has a very important job. He’s the only one of us that can travel around the realm and try and get more support. So, I know we need him, but he needs…”
Ryu cut off Eli and said, “Eli, don’t tell me what I ‘need’ to do. Besides, I’ve already got those wheels turning. Andy and I have rallied much support.”
Eli smiled and said, “I knew I could count on you, Ryu.”
Ryu nodded at Eli and said, “But… all the support in the world will be pointless if the little worm doesn’t defeat the guardians.”
With frustration in his voice, Eli said, “Ryu… that’s not necessary. Marcus is a friend.”
Ryu turned his focus towards me, squinted his eyes, and said, “I find it hard to believe you killed a guardian… moreover Conan.”
With hatred in my words I said, “I did. And maybe, if the dice play in my favor… and if ‘time’ permits… I’ll get to kill another guardian.”
Ryu tightened his face and said, “Don’t test my patience again, boy.”
Without regard to his warning, I said, “So, how many guardians have you killed?”
There were a few gasps and chuckles, and Ryu scoffed at my statement like it was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard and said, “I may actually be starting to believe that you have no idea what’s going on. That’s very fortuitous for your health.”
Eli looked at the others and then looked back at me and said, “Marcus, we can’t be in the presence of a guardian.”
Confused, I asked, “Wait… what? What do you mean?”
Lawrence said, “Marcus… we… us… the ones that have been summoned here from different worlds cannot fight a guardian. We are simply powerless. If we should ever be in the presence of a guardian, we would be frozen… unable to move. After that, one of two things will happen…”
“You get killed,” said Hulk.
Eli finished, “Or… or Watcher makes you into a guardian.”
Ryu was still staring at me and said, “So, now you know why you’re such an enigma. Just like the others said earlier, your existence makes no sense.”
I suddenly realized the apprehension and inherent angst that Ryu had toward me, and how unbelievable it was that the others did not share his point of view. I looked at Ryu and said, “I get it. I’m sorry for being a jerk. Thanks guys. Thanks for helping me… and… and, Ryu…” I paused, pointed at the double doors and said, “We could really use you in here.”
Eli said, “Yeah, Ryu, we could. Andy will get the word out.”
Ryu nodded, “We need to hurry then. Watcher threw Maximus in the pit. He’s supposed to get slaughtered in a few hours.”
Hulk growled and said, “Man, Watcher is one vile dude. Max is my brother. We gotta get him outta there.”
We all nodded in agreement. I turned to Eli and asked, “So... ummm… I’m the only one that can kill guardians?”
Eli smiled, “Something like that. A few catches, though. We’ll talk about that later. C’mon, we gotta get moving. 243 souls are waiting.”
Eli placed his hands on the two door handles, let out a barely audible “all right”, and pulled them open.
We stared into a black abyss after Eli opened the doors. I wasn’t sure what to think about the room. It was simultaneously the most astonishing and most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. Nothing could be seen: no walls, no floor, no roof, and no life. My opinion seemed to be shared by Hulk and Lawrence because they both gasped at the sight. Ryu was the first to enter. He stoically passed by us, and I watched as the darkness poured over and engulfed him. Eli followed suit with Lawrence closely behind him. Hulk looked at me and said, “Hey brother, I hope you did your training, said your prayers, ate your vitamins, and you believe in yourself because it’s about to get no holds barred. Y’know what I mean, Gene?”
With that, Hulk leaped through the open doors. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I held it for a second, reopened my eyes, and walked through the door.
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15-05-2013, 07:58 PM
RE: My mash up short story.
Part 7: 243 Souls
Ryu’s blade nearly decapitated me as his backswing hummed over the top of my ducking head. I wasn’t able to see what the edge of his Dragon Sword had just fed on, but the sound it made on contact was easily recognizable; even more so when it was followed by a spray of red. I reached across my back and unsheathed my two Damascus blades and spun to face my companions.
Undead creatures, vagrant monsters, and malevolent beings rushed the five of us. The others had already claimed victims with their weapons before I could gather what was happening. Understanding the precariousness of our situation, I gathered my composure and swung my katana through the head of a running zombie.
Five zombies surrounded Ryu, and he sheathed his Dragon Sword and began attacking with his Vigoorian Flail… which is essentially two bladed sickles tied together. The spins and flips of the flail unleashed a bloody mess of appendages, entrails, and heads. Hulk duel-wielded the maul and axe with ease and was making quick work of some of the larger creatures, while Eli sliced his way through the horde. Lawrence was ripping and wreaking havoc on the would-be assailants, and I repelled the onslaught as best as I could.
After several minutes of constant battle, Lawrence ripped the last zombie of the ambush in half. I looked around at my companions, and we were all covered in blood and our clothes were washed a dark red. Eli looked around and asked, “Everybody okay?”
We all nodded and whispered a few “yeahs”.
Eli motioned to all of us and looked at Ryu and said, “Ryu, can you cleanse us?”
Ryu nodded and said, “Form a circle around me.”
Eli could see the confusion in my eyes and said, “This blood is dangerous. It’s damned blood. It acts like a parasite… it will overrun its host… and turn you into a monster. We have to act quickly.” Eli looked at Ryu and continued, “All you.”
We were circled around Ryu and he started to whisper in a weird language. Strange yellowish lights began to dance and swirl around us. The blood began to pull itself from our bodies and clothes, from the ground and dead bodies, and into the strange light. The light grew red and began to form a liquid-like form. The gallivanting lights came together and melded into a reddish mass. Ryu began to move his arms and torso in fluid motions, while the red ball followed his dance. Ryu stopped and pulled his hands apart and the ball rested itself between his palms. Ryu began to push his open hands together and there was a blinding red light followed by a sizzling sound. Ryu’s palms met and the light was extinguished. When he turned his hand over he was holding a ruby about the size of a quarter. He held the ruby between his pointer and thumb and dropped it in a small satchel that hung from his belt.
“Thanks, Ryu.” Lawrence said.
“Of course.” Ryu said with a smile.
Eli began to look around at the massacre that had just taken place and asked, “How many did we kill?”
Hulk scratched his head and said, “I think I killed seven.”
“Thirteen for me.” Lawrence said.
“Three here.” I said.
Eli said, “Eight, I think. One… two… three… umm, yeah, eight.”
“And seventeen for me.” Ryu said.
Eli said, “All right. So, that’s 48 in all… so… ummm, 195 left.”
I turned around and looked at my surroundings for the first time since I walked through the door. We were in open grassland near a road that led into a village. I felt panic slip its way into my mind as I noticed the open land went as far as I could see behind me.
“Where’s… where’s the door? What happened to the door?” I asked.
“Door’s gone.” Eli said.
Ryu looked at me and said, “Only two ways out once you enter.”
Ryu didn’t finish his statement, and I stared at him blankly and said, “Which are?”
Ryu shrugged and said, “Get killed or complete the ‘ritus transitionis’.”
I stared blankly at Ryu again.
“It’s Latin for ‘rite of passage’.” Lawrence said and continued, “In order to reach a guardian, you have to fight demiguardians. See… the guardians’ realms are sealed and protected by their demiguardians. Once the demiguardians’ power has been relinquished, the guardian’s realm is weak enough to gain passage. Sometimes the demiguardian’s realms are staggered, such as this.”
“So who is the demiguardian?’ I asked.
Lawrence said, “Here? Well, the 243 souls seal the rooms to the demiguardians which seal the room to the guardian. So, I guess all 243 souls are the demiguardians.”
“This is crazy.” I said.
I scoffed, looked at the others, and said, “So, there are actually rules on how to kill and what you can kill and how to get out?”
Eli said, “Marcus, there are a lot of rules here. Keep in mind, this place has been created by Watcher and everything you see is under his jurisdiction.” He paused for a moment. He looked at me and then at Ryu and said, “We’re allowed to fight demiguardians and enter their realms, but we’re not allowed to fight guardians or even enter their realms. It’s like a cruel joke.”
Still confused I said, “So… what is the point of a guardian? What do they guard if no one can get to them? And… and… who’s to say that they have anything to do with killing Watcher?”
Ryu eyed Eli, and Eli motioned for him to speak, “You. Apparently, their existence is because of you.”
“Excuse me?” I said.
Ryu continued, “We wondered the same thing… for the longest time. When you killed Conan… well, you can imagine what a stir it caused. They seem to be a test of some sort… something that you and you alone need to complete. We can help get you there, but we can’t do it. You’re our hope. We’ve waited a long time for someone like you to come along.”
“Okay, that’s fine, I can accept that, but how do we know we need to kill them?”
“You didn’t let me finish. When I followed Watcher though his maze and into his tower, I saw the way to get out. It was a door… at the top of the tower. Sealed. Watcher’s spirit seals the door, and the guardians’ spirits seal Watcher. They protect him, much like the demiguardians protect the guardians. If you kill a guardian, their spirit is trapped in a relic, and they are unable to protect Watcher as long as they are sealed.”
I started to speak, paused, and then said, “So, what about Conan? Where is his relic?”
Ryu shrugged and said, “I assume that’s why Watcher wanted you to come to the Hospital and into the Welcome Center. I’m assuming Conan’s body is at the top.”
Hulk interrupted, “Dude, that doesn’t make any sense. Why would Watcher give Marcus a way to kill him?”
Eli said, “No one understands Watcher. But, I can assure you, everything he does is to benefit himself.”
Ryu was staring at me and said, “I guess the bigger question is why Watcher would want his creation to kill him.”
I yelled at Ryu, “OH COME ON! Seriously, man. Get over it. Watcher didn’t create me. I remember parts of my life before I woke up.”
I pointed at Ryu and said, “Like you. You are the main character in a series of video games. I used to play as you all the time as a kid.”
I pointed to the others and said, “Yeah, and Lawrence and Eli are from movies and Hulk is a professional wrestler.”
Ryu continued to stare at me and said, “Your reality is separate from ours…”
Hulk interrupted, “Dudes, c’mon. We’ve got a lot things to kill and not a lot of time. I don’t even think if I Hulked-out on a guardian I could beat it. Not really in the mood to have Rye-yoo kill me.”
Ryu glared at Hulk and said in an annoyed tone, “Did you really just call me that?”
Lawrence started laughing, “Well… it DOES look like it’s pronounced that way.”
Ryu looked at Lawrence and said, “Okay, Larry.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at Lawrence and at the fact that Ryu made a joke. Eli started laughing as well, and then we made haste to the village. We followed the dirt road and a dilapidated barbed wire fence into the old village. The road opened into a central forum with a tattered well in the center. The village looked like time had done its eternal damage: boards were rotted and broken, roofs were missing, and parts of the houses had collapsed. Houses lined each side and there was a stable behind the houses on the right. At the end of the houses, there was a giant cathedral that sat perched on a hill. Behind it, there was what looked like an amphitheater.
As we walked into the first part of the town, Lawrence said, “All of you know this is a trap, right? I mean… it can’t be more obvious.”
Without looking at Lawrence, Eli said, “Yep.”
Ryu pointed to the cathedral and said, “That looks ominous.”
Eli said, “I bet Maximus is in the amphitheater. C’mon, let’s go.”
We heard wailing and groaning and undead creatures began to rush towards the courtyard where we had ambled. Some were large; nearly ten feet, and others were normal sized. They carried a variety of weapons that ranged from swinging chains to battle axes. We readied our weapons and ran forward to meet them.
Eli ducked under a swinging axe and removed the arm that the axe was attached to with a quick flick of his sword. It was followed by several slashes and flying chunks of flesh. Hulk embedded the axe into the skull of one of the larger zombies and left it in place. He spun with all his force and smashed another zombie in the forehead with the maul. He flipped it back around and crushed another one into the ground. I was doing my best to keep up with Ryu, but he was just too deadly. Like before, he was ripping monsters apart with his flail. I heard a high pitch sound and looked into the air. Rotting human-like bat creatures were flying towards us, and then they began to spit fiery stomach bile. As it rained down, we were narrowly able to escape the small explosions as they splattered on the ground.
I heard that familiar howl again and saw Lawrence running towards Hulk. He used Hulk as a platform and leaped through the air at one of the fire-pukers. He landed on the back of one of them; still in mid air, grabbed its head, and leaped off; taking its head with him. He leaped with such force and agility that he landed on another one of the flying vermin. Like before, he ripped its head from its body, but this time he nimbly jumped to the ground. While the two decapitated fire-pukers fell to the ground, Lawrence hurled the heads at a third one. The heads connected with such a great force that it sent it crashing into the dirt. Lawrence was there to greet it by ripping it in half.
Near the stables, I heard another sound I had never heard before. It was a low grumbling chortle and then I felt the ground begin rumble. Several large, rotting, horned beasts came stampeding towards my friends and me. They were massive and reminded me of a decaying armored rhinoceros with spines and more horns. I managed to leap and roll out of the way only to find two chains whipping down on my back. I felt the jagged links cut through my clothes and into my skin as they crashed down and then ripped out. I stabbed upwardly and caught the monster through the heart. I then remembered what was behind me and dodged to the left as the horn-tank crashed through a house.
More zombies had surrounded me. I swung with a downward slice with my katana and cut the arm and half the torso of a zombie while stabbing my wakisashi through the eye socket of a zombie on my right. I slid my katana out of the zombie and caught another one in the heart as it lunged for me. I pulled out my wakisashi and flipped it from the reverse grip and hurled it at another running monster. It connected in its gut and caused it to flop to the ground.
I saw Ryu jumping in the air with his Dragon Sword. He landed on one of the horn-tanks and drove the blade through the back of its neck and into its throat. It stumbled for a second and fell to the ground dead. He looked at me and yelled, “DUCK!”
I learned from my battle with the vampires that when someone tells you to “duck” you had better hit the ground. I did as I was instructed, and I saw Ryu throw his left arm in an exaggerated hook. From a plate on his forearm, a bladed, spinning disc cut through the air. Sailing over me, I heard it sing a high pitched tune. I spun around to see its destination and saw one of the large zombies about to drive its battle axe into my head. Ryu’s weapon cut straight through the thick body of the creature and continued to sever through the zombie behind it. It went through another zombie before it circled back around towards Ryu. On the weapon’s return trip, it disemboweled two more zombies before Ryu caught it on his armplate.
I gave Ryu a “thanks” look and quickly grabbed my wakisashi from the corpse. One of the horn-tanks almost crushed Eli, but Eli was able to use his agility to evade the creature. Lawrence growl at this sight, and quickly climbed on the monster’s back. He began to savagely hack, claw, and rip the back of its neck. Slash after slash, Lawrence finally reached the monster’s think spine. Lawrence wrapped both of his claws around it and flipped forward. The spine snapped in two at the neck, and the force of Lawrence’s jump caused the skull to tear away from the bottom jaw. Lawrence began to swing the horn-tank’s head around by its spine. Lawrence’s new weapon connected with a zombie, and he splattered it against the house. He spun it back around, and the horns impaled a large zombie and pinned it to the wall.
Hulk was face-to-face with another one of the horn-tanks. The monster was lunging and trying to stab Hulk with its horns. I was surprised at Hulk’s agility as he was able to avoid the attacks. Hulk’s maul smashed in the creature’s skull. The horn-tank stumbled backwards, shook its head, and with more anger and fervor, tried to gut Hulk with its long horns. Hulk continued to move out of the way and repeatedly pounded the maul into its head. The sixth blow caused the horn-tank to stagger, and the muddled creature bent its front legs into the ground. Hulk lined his swing perfectly, and the next devastating whack split the creature’s skull in half and caused its brains to pour into the dirt.
The five of us continued to fight wave after wave of the atrocities. Finally, the assault stopped. Eli had caught the last zombie in the head with his sword and it had embedded itself into the skull. Eli placed a foot on the zombie’s shoulder and with a “schling” followed by a steam of blood, he wrenched it free.
Like before, Ryu did the strange dance and removed all the blood from the battlefield and created several rubies that he placed in his satchel.
We counted all the bodies. Eli said, “That’s 194; 242 in all. We’re missing one.” He paused for only a second and said, “Amphitheater… we gotta get there. Let’s go.”
We hurried to the amphitheater which was in a valley behind the cathedral. When we got to the area, there was an eerie silence that accompanied it. Eli looked at us and said, “Split up. Yell when you find him.”
We did as Eli suggested. Ryu and Lawrence checked the upper levels, Eli and Hulk searched the ground levels, and I looked in the area below the arena known as the “Bloodworks”. It was incredibly dark down there, and the only light I had was the random stray beam that found its way past the ground level.
The smell of death saturated the Bloodworks, and dried blood, old bones, and severed body parts littered the area. I came upon a narrow hall that had cells on both sides. This appeared to be a jail or some other type of holding place for victims. The air was stagnant and putrid, and when I got closer, a sudden wave of nausea caused me to vomit in the dirt. After I finished gagging, I heard a clicking noise followed by a strange growl. I moved my eyes from the floor into the dark cell that was in front of me. I stared deeper into the darkness to try and see what was looking at me. Then, there was an indescribable high-pitched screaming growl, and claws and teeth came lunging toward me.
I threw myself backwards as the creature slammed itself against the sturdy bars. It screamed, kicked, bit, and clawed at me. The creature was about six feet tall, walked on two legs with a giant sickle claw on each of its feet, had two clawed arms, a long tail, and a powerful lizard-like head. When the velociraptor caught a glimpse of me in the light, its demeanor changed. It snorted and tilted its head to the side and made a noise that sounded like a purr and a dolphin call. I looked in its eyes, and it almost seemed as if it was saying “sorry.”
“Huh… hey… hey… who’s there?”
The voice came from the cell in the back.
“Maximus?” I asked.
With shock in his voice he said, “Yeah… yeah… it’s me. Who are you?”
“I’m Marcus. I’m here with Eli, Hulk, Ryu, and Lawrence. We’re here to get you out.”
I could tell he was weak and could barely talk. He said, “Tha… thank you.”
“HEY! GUYS! DOWN HERE! FOUND HIM!” I yelled.
The others rushed to meet me. Hulk busted the lock with his maul and carried Maximus out. They noticed the raptor and Lawrence said, “What is that?”
“Another one of Watcher’s victims.” I said.
“Whatever. Leave it. We’ve got to get going.” Ryu said.
“I say we kill it. I don’t want to turn my back on a monster like that.” Lawrence said.
I looked again into the velociraptor’s eyes. It looked down and slowly paced back into the dark corner of its cell.
“No.” I said.
“What do you mean ‘no’?”
“Hulk, give me your maul. Everyone else get Maximus upstairs.” I said.
“Marcus, don’t be a stupid…”
“Ryu… just get upstairs.”
“Fool.” Ryu said as he and the others brought Maximus to the ground level.
I looked at the cell’s lock and then at the maul. I turned my vision to the dark corner of the cell, and I saw the raptor with its back turned towards me curled on the floor. The first hit on the lock caused the raptor to snap its head around to look at me. The second hit caused it to stand. The third hit shattered the lock, and in a matter of seconds, the door flung open and I found myself face-to-face with this ferocious animal.
It stared at me and narrowed its eyes. My heart had stopped. I was beyond fear, and I could hear the steady breathing of the animal. It opened its mouth, and I saw the rows of sharp, dagger-like teeth. I braced myself and readied the maul. As soon as it got close enough, I was going to send the maul upwards and hit the raptor under its jaw. This was my only defense.
As I was about to smash the raptor, it reached over and licked me. I was stunned and stared into its eyes once more. It made the purring sound again, and I reached with my hand and rubbed the side of its face. The raptor made another sound that I had not heard which resembled a guttural bark.
I smiled at the raptor and said, “Hey girl. C’mon, we gotta go.”
The velociraptor and I ran to the ground level and were greeted by the others. At the sight of the raptor, the others drew their weapons and yelled for me to look out. I told them to stop and that it was all right.
“She’s a friend.” I said.
Everyone paused and looked at me strangely.
“Seriously. She’s a velociraptor and more intelligent than a chimpanzee. She’s going to help us.”
“Brother, I think you’ve lost it.” Hulk said.
I shook my head and handed Hulk the hammer, “No, really. You can trust her.”
Eli’s confused look turned into a smile and he said, “All right. She got a name?”
I was caught off guard by the question; however, I answered, “Yeah. Amber. Her name’s Amber. That’s where she came from.”
Eli nodded and said, “All right. Amber it is.”
Eli walked to Amber and rubbed the side of her head. Amber responded with a purr.
Hulk was holding Maximus upright with his arm stretched across Hulk’s shoulder. Maximus said, “I need my weapons and armor.” He pointed to a chest that was a few feet from us and said, “They’re in there. Hurry. It’s coming.”
“Max, dude, you’re in no shape to fight.” Hulk said.
“I’m all right. Trust me. Just get my stuff.”
We retrieved Maximus’ armament, and he equipped it. Eli looked at Maximus and asked, “Oh… and who is coming?”
“Number 243.” Maximus said.
All of our heads quickly turned towards the arena gates at the opposite end of the amphitheater. There was a loud banging and then a crunching. The cross beams of the gate began to splinter and the iron began to bend. There was another series of loud, low resonating “dhrings” followed by more cracking. A monstrous fist burst through the wooden gate. The hand was huge, and it could easily pick one of us up and crush us in its palm.
The fist opened its palm. The fingers grew into sharp barbs, and then, while the palm was still facing us, the fingers turned backwards. The giant monster pulled his hand back and drove the barbed fingers into the wooden gate. The monster jerked its hand and growled. It did it again and again. The fourth pull yanked the entire gate from the arena wall, and the monster hurled it toward the center of the arena’s floor.
It leaped from its chamber, and it was a towering 35 feet. It was bipedal and had human like characteristics; however, it acted like a mindless monster. It roared and flashed it mouth filled with jagged teeth. It walked awkwardly, and its long arms touched the ground. The monster was covered in random spots with broken armor and spines while half its face was wrapped in rusty chain mail. Its disgusting, clammy skin was white and soggy and parts of the monster seemed to be rotting.
It roared again and cracked its arms forward. The monster’s fingers formed sharp points and stretched all the way across the arena and tried to impale us. Fortunately, the spears missed us and the fingers snapped back into place. Next, the monster drove its fingers into the ground. They burrowed through the dirt and burst through the ground pointing upward. We scattered to avoid being stabbed and Eli yelled, “Spread out. We’re going to have to attack it from as many directions as we can. Try to get close!”
The monster’s right arm formed into one single tentacle. It swung it over its head and crashed it down towards Lawrence. The monster then swung the tentacle across its body. The massive arm ripped through a section of the arena’s seating in an attempt to crush Lawrence. Lawrence leaped over the arm and rolled to face it. The tentacle made a slimy ripping sound as it separated itself into dozens of smaller tentacles that fashioned themselves into points. They wriggled in all directions and launched themselves toward Lawrence. They darted and stung the ground around Lawrence. He leaped and flipped while slicing and biting the barrage of tentacles. The severed pieces fell to the ground and sizzled and melted into greenish-yellow ooze. Despite his ability, Lawrence was stabbed in the leg and in the shoulder. He howled in pain and stumbled to the ground. Ryu saw Lawrence’s plight and threw his windmill shuriken at the tentacled mass. A dozen or so tentacles plopped to the ground and dissolved as Ryu caught his shuriken on its return trip.
The monster snarled at Ryu, and Lawrence limped away to try to find cover. The giant creature aimed both hands at Ryu and darting fingers sailed through the air seeking the ninja. Ryu successfully thwarted the attack with his flail. Like before, it was difficult for anything to get close to Ryu when the flail was flipping through the air. Large pieces and chunks of the monster fell to the ground and sizzled.
The monster focused solely on Ryu and formed its right arm back into a single tentacle. It tried to mash Ryu with a downward crush, but Ryu nimbly moved to the side causing it to miss. Ryu drove his Dragon Sword into the tentacle which pinned it to the ground. However, to the surprise of Ryu, the tentacle bifurcated, and the two arms came together against Ryu. The blow was fierce, and it pounded the breath out of the ninja. He was lying helplessly on the ground at the monster’s feet. The creature raised its foot to squash Ryu like an insect. The monster was knocked off balance as Amber had leaped and climbed the monster’s back and was shredding the back of its neck. Maximus assisted the raptor by repeatedly stabbing the monster’s leg. Eli, Hulk, and I followed their cue, and with all of our attacks, we eventually brought it to its knees.
The ground around the creature was being littered with pieces of its melting flesh. The creature tried to swat us away, but it was becoming overwhelmed and weak. Eli, Maximus, Hulk, and I managed to remove one of the creature’s leg as Amber continued her unrelenting assault to the back of its neck. Within a few minutes, Amber had cut through the spine, and the head flopped forward and only stayed attached because of the jugular.
The same green-yellow liquid oozed from the creature’s neck and wounds. The monster began to sizzle and melted into a large puddle.
We were all quiet and were unsure what to say. We helped Lawrence and Ryu to their feet, and we gathered closely together. Ryu looked at Amber and said, “Thank you.” Amber purred.
Eli looked around and said, “Well, that’s all of them. What now?”
Before Eli could finished his sentence the world grew black. Everything around us faded, and we were standing on nothing. Nothing surrounded us except blackness. We could see each other perfectly as if there was light; however, there was emptiness. Double doors materialized in front of us, and without any hesitation, we opened them, walked through, and crashed to the ground of the Welcome Center’s lobby.
15-05-2013, 08:39 PM
RE: My mash up short story.
Part 8: Massacre in Texas
Because of our hasty exit, we all staggered and crashed to the ground.
The door we came through disappeared and there was nothing but a wall there. While this was strange, it wasn’t the strangest thing I had seen today, and I almost immediately forgot it. I glanced around at the rest of the team, and we were a bloody mess. Eli, Amber, and Hulk seemed to be doing the best as they only had minor lacerations and bruises. Ryu had several broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and shattered leg. Every few minutes he would cough up blood. Maximus was barely coherent due to dehydration, and because of his virulent living conditions, he was dying of sepsis. Lawrence was bleeding badly from the gaping wounds in his leg and shoulder. Hulk rushed to his side to try and quell the bleeding as the blood began to soak the floor.
Eli managed to stitch the jagged wounds on my back together; however, they were badly infected. He looked at me and whispered, “You don’t have a lot of time before the infection spreads to your spinal cord and then your brain.” He looked at the others, “They have less time than you do.”
I whispered back, “So that’s it? We die here?”
Eli shook his head and tried to speak. He couldn’t form words. Finally, he said, “I’m sorry. I… I… I don’t know.”
I hit the wall with both of my hands and yelled, “NO!” I turned to look at Eli and said, “There has to be a way.”
Suddenly, I remembered the gash I received from the stump in the forest. I looked back at Eli and said, “We’ve got to hurry.”
“What is it?” Eli asked.
“I just have to hurry. I have to kill the guardian.”
“Mark… Mar… Marcus.” I looked over to Ryu, and he was motioning for me to come near. He continued, “Take this.”
Ryu handed me his satchel and windmill shuriken. I was shocked that Ryu trusted me. I thanked him with my eyes and said, “How do I use it?”
“Throw it where you want it and think of the path you want it to travel.”
“Ryu, that doesn’t make sense.”
Ryu coughed up more blood and said, “Trust me.”
I placed my right hand on Ryu’s shoulder and said, “Thank you.”
Ryu gripped my shoulder, closed his eyes, and laid his head back on the floor. I stared at Ryu and said, “I’m going to fix this. I will. You had better give me that chance.”
I stood back up and said, “Eli. Stay here with them. Take care of them. Hulk, Amber, you’re coming with me.”
Eli walked over to me and whispered, “No. Marcus, you need me. You need all the help you can get in there.”
We turned our backs to the others and I said, “I need you to keep them from dying. Just give me a little time. Please, Eli. You’re the only one I can trust and that can do this.”
Eli gave me a weird look, “Marcus, what do you know?”
I shrugged and said, “I don’t know. I just hope I’m right.” I paused and continued, “If not, we’re all dead.”
Eli nodded and said, “Okay, be quick. Lawrence doesn’t have much time.”
I had noticed that the lock on the door that looked like it led to a warehouse had fallen off. I told Eli to use whatever he could find in my pack to try and sew and cleanse their wounds. He also started tearing down the wooden desk, chairs, and floor to start a fire. Hulk and I readied our weapons, and we, along with Amber, hurriedly entered the door.
Like before, after we entered, the door disappeared behind us, and we were staring at an old warehouse. The outward appearance was rusty and weathered, and the several of the green painted windows had pieces busted out or cracked. Through the windows, we could see a thick, dark red light flicker inconsistently, and it was obvious that the light was originating from a fire or a furnace.
The moon caused the warehouse to have a dull glow in the darkness. The air was warm and humid, and our feet sank a few inches in the mud with each footstep. We heard noise inside the warehouse that sounded like someone pounding and tinkering with something mechanical along with the familiar sound of sharpening metal.
The door to the warehouse was slightly cracked open, and the light danced past the doorframe. Trying to be as quiet as possible, I nudged the door open. The hinges squeaked, and I winced at their sound and hoped my attempt at subtlety was not in vain. I peered inside; however, sheet metal walls and hanging gardening and mechanical equipment hindered most of my vision. I told Amber to flank the warehouse and see if she could find another way in. She understood me and silently dashed around the corner.
I waved Hulk to follow me, and we crept inside. Crawling along the wall, we noticed that it opened into a garage-like area. We heard someone chopping meat, and as I peered over the rickety wall, I saw a large, burly man hacking something. The cleaver in his right hand was slinging blood around the garage and on the wall with each chop. I looked more closely, and I saw a variety of bloody knives and tools. I was finally able to get a clear glimpse of what the man was chopping, and after seeing a hand, I realized that it was human remains.
I sat down against the half wall of sheet metal and whisper to Hulk, “That’s him. Go around to the other side and get behind him. I’ll get his attention. When Amber hears us, she’ll take him out.”
Hulk nodded and moved around to our left. I saw an old lawnmower blade hanging in front of me. I grabbed it and got a clear line of sight. When I stood, I got a clearer view of his appearance. Like I said, he was large and brutish. He was in a sweaty, dirty, stained white dress shirt and jeans. He had a blood soaked butcher’s apron around his chest, and when I saw his “face”, I knew who he was. His “face” wasn’t his face. It was the skin of someone he had flayed. It was sewn together and tied to his face; he was wearing it as a mask.
I yelled, “HEY! LEATHERFACE!”
The man turned around to face me. He growled at me, and I yelled, “CATCH!”
I threw the lawnmower blade at him. It spun threw the air, but my aim was off, and it nicked the top of his right shoulder. Almost immediately, Leatherface reciprocated my attack by throwing the cleaver at my head. His aim was perfect; however, I managed to move out of the way and the blade sliced the top of my right shoulder; scraping the bone. The cleaver sank into the sheet metal wall. I grabbed the top of my shoulder and felt the warmth of my blood flow through my fingers. The pain was unexplainable.
I stood back up, only to be greeted by another barrage of knives; which this time, I was able to dodge. All of them ripped through the sheet metal. I heard him pick up something and his pace quicken towards me. Before I could react, he had reached around the corner and grabbed the back of my shirt. In one motion, he picked me up and tossed me through a window. The fall was enough to knock the breath out of me when I landed, and I rolled on my back into the mud.
I heard the pull start of a small engine, and then the undeniable sound of a chainsaw revving. Sparks lit up the night as Leatherface began to cut through the sheet metal wall of the warehouse. He kicked through the cutout and came towards me with his chainsaw in the air. Hulk’s shoulder connected squarely in Leatherface’s back. The chainsaw bounced to the ground, and Hulk mounted himself Leatherface’s back.
Hulk began to punch the back of Leatherface’s head. Leatherface connected with an elbow to Hulk’s chin, gripped his arm, and then tossed Hulk to the ground. I was still lying in the mud; dazed and unable to breath. Hulk recovered quickly and brandished his maul and axe. Leatherface moved with surprising speed and drove a knife into Hulk forearm, which caused him to drop his weapons.
Amber leaped through the air, and drove her claws into Leatherface’s back and legs. He growled in pain and rage, reached up, gripped Amber by the throat, and drove her head first into the ground. She stood back up but was stunned from the throw. Leatherface smashed her in the face with the maul that was lying on the ground. Amber spun through the air and curled on the ground. Blood began to pour from her eye, nose, and mouth. Leatherface continued his assault and kicked Hulk in the mouth with his steel-toed boot. He picked up his chainsaw again and returned to Amber and Hulk to finish them. He stood over Amber and raised the chainsaw in the air. He revved it and white smoke puffed from the engine as the chainsaw growled.
I was able to stand to my feet. I threw my right arm in the air in an upward motion. The windmill shuriken ripped through the night. As Leatherface’s arms where descending with the chainsaw, the shuriken severed both his them at the elbow; causing the chainsaw to flop to the ground, away from Amber and Hulk. Blood squirted from Leatherface’s nubs as he turned his head to look at me. The shuriken’s return trip severed his legs at the knees, which caused him to fall backwards. When the shuriken returned to my arm plate, Leatherface was on his back and blood was shooting like a fountain from his arms and legs.
I walked over to the chainsaw and pried his hands from it. Somehow, Leatherface had managed to get off his back, and was standing on his leg nubs. He looked at me and moaned. I revved the chainsaw’s engine and plunged the spinning blade into his chest. Leatherface screamed and yelled as the blade cut through his body and emerged on the other side. Blood was spraying me in the face as I pulled upward on the chainsaw, and it ripped through his chest cavity, through his neck, and through his head. His lifeless body fell to the ground and the two pieces of his mangled torso flopped apart.
I ran to Hulk and Amber, and as before, everything began to grow dark and fade away. A door appeared in the darkness. I helped Hulk to his feet, and both of us helped pick up Amber. I kicked the door open, and we fell, exhausted and hurt, back into the Welcome Center’s lobby.
15-05-2013, 09:18 PM
RE: My mash up short story.
But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
~ Umberto Eco