Well, here it is again, since it randomly got deleted the first time...
most of my work is done in photoshop/imageready or illustrator. some work is done in flash, but rarely. i do do some cinema 4D work too, but not very much. i do do things off of the computer, once in a while, but not very often.
Also, I am a Writer, So i will be posting chapters of a book that i'm writing here as well.
Anyways, Here are some things i recently have done:
My Logo (for my graphic design job:
Two Logos i did for my school Soccer team:
The Prologue of my Book:
He was clinging to a rock on the edge of a cliff at the edge of the sea. A young man, who couldn’t have seen more than seventeen winters, was fighting to keep himself on shore. The wind was howling, threatening to tear him from his precarious hold and toss him far out to sea. Far out from shore, huge waves were getting closer. One wave was over four times his height. He looked at the waves with terror written across his face. His hands slipped on the wet rock, and suddenly he was hanging by his fingertips. His fingernails grated on the rocks, slipping ever closer to oblivion. Finally, with a scream, he fell to the waves below. He hit with a splash and…
Thousands of miles away, safe in his bed, Cadillac Williams woke with a start. With a dull thud, his head slammed into the ceiling above his head, and with an anguished moan, he fell back into bed clutching his forehead.
He woke up again a little later. His head was throbbing, and
I’m covered in sweat, he thought. Strange, I never have nightmares.
Cadillac brushed his matted hair away from his eyes and he looked around his room. His alarm clocked blinked. Five o’clock. He groaned again. Nothing was out of place other than the time, as far as he could see in the dim light from his stereo. He took his hand away from his forehead to realize that his hand was bleeding, as though it had been slashed and bit by sharp rocks.
He could not understand how it had happened, but he was tired, so he climbed out of bed and stumbled into his bathroom to wash off his hand.
He flicked on his light and looked in the mirror. The haggard face of a tired man who, at the moment looked in his mid forties, but was really no older than twenty-five, stared back at him. He had dark circles under his startlingly blue eyes. His forehead had a little blood on it from his hand, but that was all. He realized that he needed a shower, and as long as he was already up, he might as well do it now.
Fifteen minutes later, now showered and newly dressed, he sat at his table eating breakfast.
He turned and looked out the window. The wind screamed by his window, almost like a small tornado. He blinked. For a second, he could have sworn that there were pinpoints of red light in the center of the whirling maelstrom. There they were again.
This night is getting decidedly odd.
He rubbed his eyes, then looked back to his waffles. Meanwhile, the volume of the storm outside got louder, if that was possible. He looked again out the window. The storm seemed to be collapsing back in towards its center. The points of red light were now what appeared to be balls of incandescent flame.
Now Cadillac was getting decidedly scared. He kept telling himself that he was only imagining things, because he had been short on sleep for many days now. But it was no use. He was too sketched out by the strange weather phenomenon outside his window.
The storm was now what appeared to be a swirling mass of ever-collapsing wind. It now started to get closer to his window, and with the light shed from inside, he could faintly make out a dark form inside.
The outline of a body raised its hand, pointing directly at him. His window bulged inwards, creaking. What the hell? He thought. The next thing he noticed was that he was lying on his floor amid splinters of broken glass and shattered wood. Snow was now blowing freely into his house from a giant hole in the wall. The shrieking of the wind grew to new levels as it got closer to his house.
Cadillac got to his feet, feeling as though his body was just one giant, moving bruise. Shit! My house now has a new garage door! He looked at the figure inside of the winds, which now appeared to be climbing into his house.
He thought for a split second, and then ran towards his gun locker. He had decided that this intruder into his home was not here to wish him a “Merry Christmas.” He opened the locker door and grabbed his Winchester semi-automatic rifle. He loaded a bullet into firing chamber and turned to face the trespasser.
What he saw almost made him drop his rifle.
It was a skeleton.
The undead creature was cloaked in rags that seemed to draw in the shadows. In its eyes burned flames that roared like bonfires. Whatever it touched turned black and withered, and emitted wisps of smoke.
It turned to face him, and Cadillac dropped to his knees. How this horrifying monstrosity even existed, he did not know, and did not care. The one thought that filled his entire mind right now was that he was more scared right now than he had ever been before.
Finally reason broke through the horrors that filled his mind and commanded him to his feet. He raised the rifle, took aim, and fired, all in one smooth motion. The bullet entered one eye of the skeleton and vanished in a puff of smoke. The skeleton gestured, and the every finger on each of his hands snapped with a sickening crack.
Cadillac screamed and dropped the rifle.
The skeleton gestured again.
Cadillac’s thighbones snapped.
Cadillac screamed again and did not stop. He screamed, and screamed. He screamed until his throat was raw and until he could scream no more. All that now existed in his world was pain. The pain was enormous it blotted out everything else out except more pain. The pain overwhelmed his entire world, and ate up every other thought until nothing was left to consume.
Suddenly he felt hands on his neck. The skeleton had grabbed his neck and was lifting him off of the ground. The skeleton started to squeeze. Cadillac felt a pop and suddenly he couldn’t feel his legs. The skeleton twisted sharply.
The last sound Cadillac’s ears ever recorded was the crunch of breaking bone.
Darius Silverdon stood on the harbor dock of the great city of Akal'Czethel. He was only eighteen years old. He was tall, over six feet. He was lithe and strong, though not highly muscled. His face was tan and handsome, but weathered, from long hours spent under the sun. He was clothed in dark clothes, with a long, black cloak that he could wrap around himself and disappear into the shadows when needed. His piercing eyes were the only things that stood out, for they were bright blue. They shone with cheer, bright under his black hair. For even though he looked like a grim individual because of his dress and visage, he was quite a merry person. He was a practical joker, often playing pranks on important folk.
“Stop your daydreaming and give me a hand with this box!”
Darius shook himself from his reverie and hopped over onto his fathers ship to snatch the box from his fathers waiting arms. He did not notice the dark clouds on the horizon. What he did notice, however, was the sour expression on his fathers face.
“Can’t you just keep your head for five bloody minutes?”
“I apologize, father,” Darius replied, turning around.
Darius’s father, Arkonel Silverdon, was of average height, and highly muscled from years of lifting heavy boxes filled with valuable contents. His face was very tan and deeply wrinkled. Arkonel was over forty years old, but was still in his prime. His hair was grey, and he sported a goatee and an elegant mustache, neatly trimmed. His eyes, bright green, stared intently at Darius, with undisguised annoyance.
“We need to get cargo unloaded before nightfall, or the port guards will confiscate it, if you haven’t forgotten.”
“Yes father, I remember.”
Arkonel Silverdon was a well-respected merchant of fine products. He sold products from all over the civilized world; carpets from the deserts of Borsimal, perfume from the jungles of Shrell, and even various magical products made by the mages from Korm.
“Well and good then. It’s time you actually worked in your life. You’ve had it easy; all you do is dream and play jokes on people. You never get your hands dirty and-“
“I understand! Can’t you stop your accursed nagging?” Darius glared at his father, his eyes for once without their mirthful glitter.
Sher’gen, the harbor guard watching the ship fingered the hilt of his sword.
“You should listen to your father!”
Darius scowled at the guard. “You are not helping at all.”
The guard chuckled and turned to watch the glorious sunset.
Darius lifted the box, his six-foot-three muscled frame easily carrying the weight. He carried it over to the cart and gently placed it on a large box. He walked over to his father, who handed him a small brown leather pouch, tied shut with a leather thong. Strangely, it was warm to the touch, and it seemed to have a faint halo of light around it.
“Keep this with you at all times.”
Darius was confused. “Why? Is it important?”
“Yes. Besides, I am uneasy. For once, this city is making me uncomfortable. I just can’t shake off this feeling of foreboding. Something is going to happen. I don’t know what, but something big is coming. Something bad.”
Darius always knew that his father had a touch of mage blood in him, but he never knew he had this much.
“All right, enough of that. Now, moving on to more important things. What’s in the sack?”
He untied the drawstrings at the mouth of the bag and started to pull open the mouth.
His father seized his wrist, halting his movement.
“Don’t open it,” He hissed. “If you have to open it, wait until we get to the inn”
“If you insist…”
Darius heard a far off rumble of thunder.
“There’s your ‘Something Big, Something Bad.’” He laughed.
“Fool,” his father whispered. “Truly you can’t be that stupid.”
Darius snorted. “All I feel right now is amusement at your pathetic attempts to scare me. I am not a child anymore. You need to realize that.”
His father rolled his eyes and walked back into the hold of the ship. Darius slipped the pouch into his pocket, and turned to wait for the first customers to arrive. There was a crowd of people coming down the dock, but the didn’t appear to be customers. They were all guards of the citadel, in full livery and fully armed. At their front marched a guard, without a helm, so that his gleaming white hair spilled over his mail shirt. He was the captain of the guard, there in person to oversee the routine customs search.
“Welcome!” Darius shouted to the Captain. “You will find our papers and cargo all in good order. Let me go get my father, he has the papers.”
“No need, for he is right behind you.” Replied the Captain.
Darius winced as his father batted him in the back of the head.
“Dolt! How many times do I have to tell you to pay more attention?”
“I know, I know. I’ll see to the remainder of the cargo.” Darius vaulted from the dock onto the deck of the ship and trotted to the cargo hatch.
“Don’t forget the carpets!” His father shouted after him.
Darius threw up his hands in disgust, and then dropped down into the cargo bay. He quickly lifted the remainder of the cargo to the deck, then climbed out himself and closed the hatch. Normally, removing the cargo was a two-person job, but within the past three years, Darius had grown quite strong; stronger then two men’s strength combined. He did not know the reason for this disturbing oddity, nor did he care. He liked his advantage over others.
He always came out on top in scuffles, be it with trained fighters, or uncouth ruffians. He was a natural with a bow, and could provide meals for himself and his father quite easily. He had never owned a sword, or any other form of weapon, other than a staff. Weapons were unneeded, for there had been no wars since the elder days of his forbears.
Once the cargo was transferred from the deck of the ship to the quay, he clambered over himself. The guards were just finishing their search, and were in the process of leaving. His father was deep in conversation with the captain, but after a few minutes, they bid each other farewell and the guards departed.
His father turned to him. “Run and get us a wagon. We will have need of it to get our goods to the warehouse. I’ll take care of the docking fare. Our goods will be fine left here, for now.”
“Okay then. Be right back.” Darius turned and ran off in search of a horse-drawn wagon. It was required that all harbormasters have a few wagons for commercial use. It was in this direction that he ran. He reached the office after a few minutes of running. He was in luck: there was still a wagon left. He went inside. After a few minutes of haggling with the harbormaster over the rental fee, he was off to the stables to borrow a horse. The stable boys there had an agreement with his father Arkonel, and allowed him to borrow horses for free, for he always returned them in good health. Darius led the huge draft horse back to the wagon and harnessed it. A few minutes of inspection yielded no problems, and he was soon driving back down the pier to the ship. His father was already there, and as soon as he halted the horse and cart, he began to load his merchandise into the back, with great care.
Darius hopped down, and proceeded to fall flat on his face. “Bloody hell!” he rolled onto his back and sat up. He scanned the ground, trying to find what he had stumbled over. His eyes lit upon a glimmer of silver. He reached down and picked up what appeared to be a long bundle, about four feet long, and sealed with a silver brooch.
“Where did that come from?” His fathers voice came to him over his shoulder.
“I tripped over it when I jumped down from the wagon.” He replied. “I’ve never seen it before. Honest.”
“Well no matter. Hold on to that until we get back to the inn. I want to see what it is.”
It had a leather strap, so Darius slung it over his shoulder. It poked over his shoulder by about a foot, and jabbed him when he bent over.
Soon they were safely loaded, with nothing broken. The commodities were carefully strapped down so they would not fall out, and they were off. After a short drive through the city, they came to his father’s warehouse. They drove the wagon inside, and shut the door.
“You take care of the horse.” Darius unhitched the horse and led it over to the small stable, built into the warehouse for that purpose. His father was already unloading his goods and placing them on their assorted shelves. Darius watered the horse and filled its feed bucket, then closed off its stall. After he had cleaned up the mess, he went to help his father.
It took a few minutes to sort the products for tomorrow’s sale, and when they were finished, they closed and locked the warehouse. After a five-minute walk to the inn, they sat down in the common room and ordered supper.
“I can’t wait to find out what that package is.” His father was alight with energy, which he often was when he discovered a new product.
Darius swore. “ I left it at the warehouse!” Darius slapped himself in the forehead.
Arkonel exploded. “Idiot! Go back and get it! This could be the find of your life, depending on what it is!”
“Okay. I need the key to get into the warehouse.”
Arkonel fumbled in his pocket, and seconds later, Darius was out the door and running towards the warehouse. He stuck to the shadows, for night was the time when the ruffians were out and about. He reached the warehouse, and circled around to the back to use the small entrance. He unlocked the door, opened it, and entered. Once he was inside, he re-locked the door. He scanned the room for his package, and in the dim light he could just make out the glimmer of the silver brooch. It was on the table near the far door. He crossed the room and retrieved the precious, but yet unknown object. On his way out, he perceived whispered voices on the outside of the door he had entered by.
“Quiet now, we don’t want to make noise!”
“This lock is hard to pick! I can’t help it if it rattles a bit!”
“Quiet! I hear footsteps! Hurry with that door!”
“Got it! Here we go, be careful now.
There was the click of the lock releasing, and the door began to open. Darius hid behind a large parcel, wrapped his black cloak about himself, and waited. The door opened completely, and five thieves entered, shutting the door behind them.
“Five against one… not good.” He thought. “Even I might have some trouble with these guys.”
The thieves were apparently searching for something. They discarded all the merchandise and rummaged around for that one thing.
“Where is it?”
“I don’t know! I was told it was here! My source told me the boy entered the warehouse with it, and left without it!”
“They are searching for the thing I found!” Darius realized. The shock nearly made him fall out from behind his cover.
“Hey, wait a second. What about that big box over there? Maybe they put it over there.”
Darius crouched, ready to spring, as the nearest thief turned toward the box and approached him. When the robber got within five feet of the box, Darius pounced.
“What the- ARGH!” That was all the bandit got out before Darius cannoned into him like an arrow from a bow. The man was unconscious before he hit the ground.
“One down, four to go.” He thought.
“HEY!” came the shout from the other bandits. “GET HIM! HE HAS IT!”
Darius dropped into a fighting stance. “Come. Let us dance.”
The four remaining thieves, obviously startled by his bravado, approached cautiously, ringing him against the wall.
Darius attacked the nearest thief, hitting him with a kick to the chin. His teeth clicked together, and he dropped senseless to the dirt.
A thief jumped on his back, but Darius was ready for him. He spun, grabbing his assailant by the arm, and continued his spin, flinging him into the wall. A sharp snap was heard, and he fell to the ground, his head held at an unnatural angle. The two remaining thieves were quite wary of him now, after witnessing his fighting prowess firsthand. They each drew a long knife from their sleeve.
“Great, knives! And I don’t have a weapon!” Darius backed off, and prepared himself. Suddenly he felt a great heat. The parcel on his back was burning!
“What the hell?” The robbers stared at him with wide eyes.
Darius tore the thing off his back. In the process of doing so, the packaging crumbled into ashes and fell away, extinguishing the flames.
It was a sword. The hilt was extremely ornate, made of silver, with gold trim. The pommel was a large ruby held in place with gold and silver in the shape of flames. A bright light shone from the crystal, and it was hot to the touch. The grip was soft brown calfskin. The scabbard was plain, and was completely out of place with the rest of the sword. He drew the sword from its sheath, and the blade shone with a light of its own. It was etched with strange runes, which he could not read. He held the sword at arms length at stared at it in wonder.
The pummel on the sword flashed once, so bright it hurt to look at it. Then the blade burst into flames. The blade, wreathed in flames of red-gold, flared in the added light, and the warehouse was illuminated as bright as day.
The thieves looked at him, then at the sword, then back at him. Then they turned and fled screaming out the door and into the night.
Darius stood, amazed with his luck. He could not believe something of this power had come into his possession through pure chance. He slid the sword back into its scabbard. The flames were immediately extinguished.
“Ah-ha! So that is the purpose of this plain scabbard!” He thought. “Uh oh, father is waiting! Better hurry!”
He tucked the sword under his belt and walked over to where the three thieves lay. He dragged the dead one out the door and deposited him in a sitting position against the wall. He grabbed hold of the two unconscious bandits and started to pull them towards the door. One of them moaned, and began to move.
“I’d better hurry, they’re waking up.” Darius thought.
Once he was outside, he shut the door and leaned the thieves against the wall. One of them looked at him, terrified.
“I don’t like being attacked. Don’t do it again. Now get out of here before I decide that you don’t deserve to live. If I see that you are following me, I will kill you.”
The thieves leaped to their feet and ran away screaming.
Darius laughed. “Heh, street thugs really aren’t too bright. Oh! I’d best be heading back!”
He quickly locked the door, and ran the rest of the way to the inn. When he walked into the common room, heads turned, and people stared at him. Darius did not notice, though. He was too busy searching for his father. He finally found him in the corner booth with his head on his hands, fast asleep. He slid into the booth next to his father, oblivious to the attention he was getting. He shook him awake.
“Huh? Wha? What is it? What do you want?” He mumbled sleepily.
“I’m back, and I know what the item is. It revealed itself to me. I’ll tell you about the whole thing when we get back into the room.
With his father leaning on his shoulder, eyes half closed, and stumbling, they slowly climbed the stairs to their room. As soon as they entered their room and closed the door, Darius collapsed onto a bed, exhausted. His father stumbled into the bathroom, and Darius heard the splashing of water. Arkonel re-entered the room, face wet, but awake. He stopped, staring at Darius.
“What is it, father?” Darius asked.
“Go look in a mirror!” His father replied in a strangled voice, eyes wide as saucers.
Darius leaped to his feet and ran into the bathroom. The second he saw his reflection he froze. Immobile, he stared into the mirror.
(continued next post)
(chapter one continued)
His face was completely changed. His hair was now bright orange. His skin was as pale as alabaster. His face was elongated, and so handsome it was almost feminine. His eyes were larger than they were, and glowed with a light all of their own. At closer inspection he noticed that they were bright red, and slit like a cats. His ears were also elongated and pointed.
“By all that’s holy-!” he exclaimed. Thankfully his voice was still the same.
“Now do you see why I was surprised?” His father was watching him from the doorway. “Tell me what happened. Now. If it has something to do with the parcel you found, I have to know. I sensed something about that package the second you picked it up, and I have to know what actually happened.”
Darius turned around and stared at his Arkonel. “Well, after I left the inn, I ran straight to the warehouse. I made it there without any trouble. It was after I was inside the warehouse where things started to get a little violent. I had just found the sword when I heard thieves at the door. They picked the lock and entered, and I hid myself behind a large package. There were five of them. I knocked two out, and broke another’s neck. The sword lit on fire, and that must’ve been when it transformed me. Right after that, the bandits became terrified, and ran off. I locked up shop right after that and came here.”
“Well, it sounds as though you have had quite the night! I think that you might have found something worth a lot of money, eh?
Darius didn’t reply. He turned back around to stare at himself in the mirror again. He brushed back his bangs to get a better look at his face, and noticed that there was strange writing along his nose and above his eyebrows. They appeared to be some type of runes, of the same as the ones on the sword. They glowed with faint red light, fluctuating in tune to his pulse.
Darius turned to face his father. “What do these glyphs mean? It’s of a language that I can’t read. There are runes that appear to be from the same language on the sword.”
His fathers face paled, and he bit back a curse.
“Father? What is it? What’s wrong?”
“The reason that you cannot read it is because it is of the ancient language of the Ali’Barkünai, those who were defeated in war between the gods and those who had fallen into darkness. The Ali’Barkünai were the humans that allied themselves with the demon spawn. When the evil ones were finally banished from this world, the Ali’Barkünai retreated to their stronghold on Kâl’Râkünâz, the Islands of Shadow. None have ever ventured there and returned, and there has been no communication of any kind from there since the beginning of time. Kâl’Râkünâz is an uninhabitable wasteland. Nothing grows there, except for the odd fungus and moss, for a perpetual cloud hangs over the archipelago, blotting out all sunlight, and making navigation impossible. No one ever goes there, for it would be suicide.”
“You lost me. What does all that have to do with the mark on my forehead?”
“Don’t interrupt. It’s impolite. I was getting to it. The rune on your forehead is of their language. That alone is not a good sign. What’s worse is that the mark on your forehead… Well… it’s a curse.” He grimaced. “The curse doesn’t make sense though. It says something like ‘You will be doomed to follow the Blade of Al’Kheros unto death.’ Wait, that can’t be right. Al’Kheros was the leader of the Ali’Barkünai in their war with the gods. If that sword is his, then…” He trailed off.
“I’m in deep trouble.” Darius slumped down on the bed and ran his fingers through his now brilliantly orange hair. “How can I get rid of this?”
“You can’t. At least not without serious effort.”
“What!” Darius leaped out of the chair and grabbed his father by his shirt. “You’re lying!”
“I’m not.” He said, prying Darius’s hands from his shirt. “That sword bound itself to you, or rather you to it. The only way you can fix the situation is by conquering the sword with your own magical power, and then bending it to your will.”
“How do I do that?” Darius stared intently into his father’s eyes. “Tell me! Please!”
“I want you to know right now that I can do nothing. I am no mage, and have no grasp of the arcane. All I know is buying and selling, and what lore I learned from my grandfather. You will have to find one who knows the arts of magic, so that they can teach you. You will have to go to Korm.”
“Korm! But, only those gifted with powers far superior to any mere human are allowed entrance there!” Darius spun and began to pace.
“Oh, I don’t think you shall have trouble acquiring entry.”
Darius whirled. “What?”
“You come from a family of mages, Darius. Powerful ones.” I had no talent for that sort of thing, but you obviously do. Haven’t you ever thought of the reason for your great strength? You certainly didn’t develop it naturally. Only those with the highest aptitude for magic acquire strength of that kind. And yours is among the greatest I have ever seen, even among the leaders of the Korm Elite. And the of course, there’s the matter of the sword. I think they will all want to study it.” Arkonel paused, thinking. “But I think that they will be scared of you as well. You have the potential to be one of the greatest mages this world has ever seen, and you carry the most powerful artifact of the Ali’Barkünai, the sword of their ancient leader, the one most learned in the dark arts. You are also now part demon, for the sword has marked you.”
Darius grimaced. “I guessed as much. With these eyes of mine, there’s no way I could be human anymore. Great, just great. I have orange hair, pointed ears, demon eyes, freakish strength, and a huge store of magical power. I’ll fit right in! If anyone is looking for me, I won’t be too hard to find.”
“But, if you learn to wield the magic, you will be able to defend yourself.” Arkonel answered, with a smile on his face. “Come. It’s late. Get some rest, it’s been a rough day.”
“I know, but I’m full of energy.” Darius “I wouldn’t be able to sleep even if I wanted to. But right now, I really don’t want to. I don’t want to face the dreams I know I’ll have tonight.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Because of your link with the sword, and how it altered your body and soul, you will now only need to sleep every five days. And I believe your strength will have increased still more, so that your body now has demon-spawned vigor to add to its already impressive magical-born might.”
“That’s interesting. I’ll be right back. I’m heading outside for a little bit. I need some fresh air after all this excitement.” Darius opened the door, and turned to face his father. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to get into any trouble.”
“I know what you are going to do. And it doesn’t include getting into trouble. You just want to go test all your new abilities. Well, go ahead. But don’t hurt anyone. It’ll be very easy to do something by accident, especially right now.”
“Okay. I’ll be back by the time you wake up.” Darius turned and padded down the hall on silent feet.
His father stuck his head out the door. “Wait a second. I totally forgot after all that excitement. Remember that bag I gave you at the docks? Come here. It’s time for you to see what it is.”
“Oh yeah. I forgot about it as well.” Darius turned around. “But is it really that important?”
“Actually, it is. Come inside, real quick. It’ll only take a second.” Arkonel’s head disappeared as he withdrew into their room. “Darius, hurry up.”
Darius entered the room. His father was sitting in the chair on the far side of the room. “Shut the door.”
Darius closed the door.
“You still have the pouch, correct?”
“Yes. It’s here in my pocket.”
“Well get it out then. This time you can open it.”
Darius reached into his pocket and brought out the leather bag. It felt strangely heavy for something of its size.
“Go on, open it.”
Darius pulled loose the drawstring and the bag fell open in his palm. Inside was a small bottle, made of crystal, with a metal lid.
“Because you now know of your powers, you can now open this. If you opened the bottle when you didn’t know of your potential, you would be consumed by its power. Go on, open it.”
“I’m not sure if I want to after hearing that-”
“Just open it!”
Darius fumbled with the metal lid, his fingers finally finding the cleverly hidden latch. He looked at his father for reassurance.
Darius popped the clasp. The second he did so, there was a flash and a bang, and the room was filled with smoke.
“What is this thing?”
As the smoke began to clear, Darius began to see the vague outline of a large, bulky figure standing in the room with them. He, it, whatever it was, appeared to be holding a shield. When the smoke finally cleared enough for Darius to see what the figure was, he was struck dumb.
Standing in from of him was the most magnificent suit of armor he had ever seen. It was made of steel, which shone brightly, even in the faint light. The armor was trimmed in gold and silver, and had designs etched into its burnished surface. The helm was a glory of silver and gold, with wings spread back from the temples. A maroon cape was attached to the shoulder plates by gold bolts, and hung down to the ankles. The shield shaped like a kite and was large; about three feet long from top to bottom, and bore the crest of his family.
The armor was of perfect size for Darius, and he started to wonder if it was magic. It had to be, since it came out of a bottle that could fit in the palm of his hand.
“Put it on. This is the armor of your ancestors, the ones that fought in the Great War of the Gods. It is magic, as you have probably already guessed, and will repel all normal attacks as long as your heart is true. The armor is as light as normal clothing, and will not make a sound. It will not interfere with our movement either. You will be able to travel great distances without rest while wearing it, and you will not tire in battle. I hope that this will not come to fighting, but if it does, you will want to be wearing this. After all, you have already been attacked over that sword.”
“I-I’m speechless. How could you get your hands on something like this?”
“It was given to me by my father. I had no aptitude for magic, so I never opened it. Put it on.”
Fifteen minutes later, Darius was walking down the stairs into the common room. He had belted the sword around his waist, and carried his helm in one hand. His shield was in his other hand. The common room was nearly empty, but those few who remained stared at him with undisguised awe.
“I must make quite the sight in all this, especially with my new face.” He thought.
The innkeeper hesitantly walked up to him. “Do you find your rooms satisfactory, my lord?”
Darius laughed. “I’m no lord. I know I must look quite ridiculous in all this getup, but my father required it of me. And yes, our lodgings are quite good. My father is already asleep, and I’ll be out all night.”
“Why is that, good sir?” The innkeeper asked.
“I do not require much rest anymore. Uhh, how should I say this? Okay, I’ll be blunt. I, erm, accidentally invoked the powers of an ancient sword, and got a little ‘altered’ as a result. I am human no longer.”
Everyone in the room gasped, horrified.
The innkeeper was distraught. “Please, if there’s anything I can do to help, all you need to do is ask.”
“I’ll be fine. My father just needs some quiet, he’s had a long day. I’m going out for a while.” Darius started for the door.
A lone man sitting in a corner booth rose. He had wrapped himself in a travel-stained and patched dark brown cloak. His face was cast into shadow by his hood. At first glance, he looked like a normal poor traveler. At closer inspection, Darius noticed that there was more to this man that met the eye. When he moved, a faint clinking could be heard, and metal gleamed through holes in the cloak.
“Be careful, with all that metal on. There is a violent thunderstorm out there. The lightning could strike you.” The man gestured, as if pointing to his armor.
“Thank you for your concern, but I’m not worried.”
The man in the corner handed the innkeeper a few coins. “For my meal.”
The innkeeper bowed. “Thank you sir.”
“I would have a word with you, Darius. You intrigue me. Come.” The man walked out the door.
“Who is he?” Darius looked to the innkeeper for information. “I’ve never seen him before, but he appears to know me.”
“I really do not know, good sir. Perhaps you’d best ask him yourself. Be careful though, he looks rather disreputable.” The innkeeper nodded, as if reassuring himself.
“Well, I guess you are right. Ill talk to him, but it’s not like he will attack me. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight, sir. Be careful now.”
Darius smiled and nodded. Then he turned and walked out the door and into the night.
Chapter 2 of my book
Zachary Burdon moaned and rolled over, pulling his covers over his head.
“YOU’RE GOING TO BE LATE FOR SCHOOL!”
Zachary’s mother was always anxious, and something as small as being late for school horrified her. Zachary really didn’t care though.
“I don’t care! I’m tired, and I’m going to sleep!” he mumbled.
“NO YOU”RE NOT!”
Zachary heard footsteps. He curled into a ball, unwilling to get out of bed. The footsteps walked right up to beside his bed and stopped. Zachary cringed, wondering what his mother was going to do. The next thing he heard was an earsplitting loud noise, coming from somewhere right next to his right ear.
“AAAAAAAAARGH!” Zachary leapt out of bed, hitting his head on the ceiling and falling to the floor.
“Ow!” Zackary rubbed his head.
He looked up to find his mother standing over him with a triumphant grin on her face. She was holding an air horn in her hand, which had just been used.
“Now that you’re up, you might as well go to school!” She said sweetly.
“What?” Zachary cupped a hand over his ear. “I can’t hear you! Must’ve been that air horn that you set of in my ear!” He could hear her perfectly fine, but he wanted to get her back for what she had done.
“I said, Now that you’re up, you might as well go to school!” She said again, louder this time.”
“What? Speak up!” Zachary hid a grin.
“Now that you’re up, you might as well go to school!” She bellowed.
Zachary burst out laughing. “Come on mom, you fall for that every time.”
Jessica Burdon cracked a fake smile. “Ha Ha, very funny,” she said sarcastically. “Now get ready for school.”
“Don’t ‘whatever’ me, young man. Get ready.” His mother left the room.
Zachary brushed his long brown hair out of his eyes, clambered to his feet, and sleepily stumbled into the bathroom. After he was finished, he looked in the mirror, checking for pimples. He found none. His 17-year-old face was handsome and roguish, with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. His hair was dark brown, and long. His eyes were the only things odd about him, for one was a deep blue, and the other was a vibrant red. A scar cut down across his red eye, the result of an accident when he was young. The doctors had feared that he would lose his eye, but because of strange circumstance or a twist of fate, his eye healed. The only change was that it was now a fiery red. He was of average height, and athletic. He played hockey and lacrosse, which required him to be strong and fit.
Next he ambled over to his dresser. He slowly dressed, in spite of his mother, and stumbled down to get breakfast. He popped a couple of bread slices in the toaster, and turned it on. Then he walked over to the refrigerator and got out some butter.
A few minutes later, his toast was ready, so he got it and buttered it. Five minutes later he was walking out the door, eating his buttered toast. He fumbled in his pocket for his keys, and then opened his car door and tossed his backpack into the backseat. He sat down in the drivers seat and turned the car on.
The car had been his fathers, up until his death two years ago. His father had been killed in an accident at work; an I-Beam fell on him, and he sacrificed himself to save his companions by throwing himself into them and knocking them out of the way. He was then crushed, and died instantly. Zachary still sometimes felt the tail end of the depression his father’s death had thrust him into.
Zachary drove down his driveway, and turned left. If he had been going straight to school he would’ve turned right, but ever since he had gotten his license, he had been going to pick up his best friend before school and giving her a ride.
As he pulled up into her driveway, she ran out her door and down the driveway. Zachary stopped the car so that she could get in.
“Let’s go. We’re going to be late!” She panted.
Zachary put the car into reverse and backed out of the driveway, spitting gravel. As soon as he was on the main road, he shifted to first and spun his tires, speeding off towards school.
“Hey, I didn’t mean hurry like this.” Ashley Jackson scolded. “You’re going to get a ticket!”
“Jeez, make up your mind.” He laughed. “Ahh fine, I’ll slow down.”
Ashley was 17, just like him. They had been best friends as long as he could remember. She had long blonde hair and blue eyes. She was quite intelligent, completely negating the “dumb blonde” stereotype. Her body could only be described as voluptuous, for apart from being short, she was quite pretty, and the guys at school often openly envied Zachary for being so close to one of the prettiest girls in the school.
A few seconds later, they pulled into school. Zachary parked the car and got out. He opened her door before getting his bag, an everyday thing that had become a ritual. He had good manners, no matter how he acted with his mother.
Ashley smiled at him, and gave him a kiss. “It’s cute how you always do that, even though I am perfectly capable of opening the door myself.”
Zachary blushed. “Heh, well….” He trailed off.
“I know. Good manners and all that. But I still think it’s cute.”
“Oh yeah! Class! We’ve got to run!” Embarrassed, Zachary quickly changed the subject.
Ashley smiled, for she knew him all too well. “Okay.”
Five minutes later, when the bell rang, Zachary was still at his locker. He was getting his books for first period, and he jumped, startled. “Crap! I’m going to be late!”
He collected his books in a hurry and ran off to class, not realizing or caring that he had left his locker open. A few seconds later, he entered his first period class, history.
“Late again, Mister Burdon.” His teacher, Mrs. Mackenzie, was notorious for spotting things normal people would have missed. His being late, however, had become a habit, and Mrs. Mackenzie had learned to expect it.
“I know, I know. Sorry.”
Mrs. Mackenzie snorted. “Find a seat.”
Zachary scanned the room, looking for an unoccupied seat. He finally found one, and sat down. He got out his books, and got ready for class.
“Hey, I heard you were flirting with my girl today out in the parking lot.”
Zachary turned around and scowled at the boy sitting behind him. “Shut up Stephen.” He hissed. “She’s not your girl! She hates you! How many times do people have to beat you with it until it penetrates that thick skull of yours?”
Stephen snarled at him. “Shaddap punk, you want your ass handed to ya?”
Zachary chuckled. “Whatever Stephen, just keep deluding yourself. Hopefully you’ll learn sooner or later…”
Stephen growled. “Just you wait punk. Someday-“
“Boys! Pay attention!”
There was a chorus of “Sorry Mrs. Mackenzie…”
Stephen Bartels was the “coolest” kid in their school. He had taken a dislike to Zachary since they first met, in second grade. It was common knowledge that he liked Ashley, but no matter how many times he tried to ask her out, he got turned down. This made Stephen hate Zachary all the more, for he was close to Ashley, which made Stephen tremendously jealous.
The boy sitting next to Zachary prodded him in the side.
It was Jack Asenberg, a friend. “Dude, you must be dating her.”
“For the last time, I’m not. We’re just friends.”
“Yeah, right. For her to give you a kiss like that… You’re a lucky bastard, you know that? No matter how many times you deny it, people still talk.”
Zach was annoyed. “If I cared what people thought I would have done something about my eye a while ago.”
“Well, that’s true. But still man. So many people think that you’re either going out with her or will be in the near future. A lot of people think she has feelings for you, and its quite obvious that you like her.”
“No I don’t!” Zach blushed. “I told you before, we’re just friends!”
Jack was gleeful. “You’re blushing. That proves it.”
“Shut up. Just shut up.” Zach turned to his work.
Jack chuckled under his breath. “Sure man, whatever you say.”
Zach playfully punched Jack in the leg, effectively silencing him.
“Ow man! No deadlegs!”
Twenty minutes later, class was over, and Jack and Zach walked off to their next class. Jack was still limping from the after affects of Zach’s punch, and glared at Zach every time he looked at him. Zach merely observed him with a raised eyebrow and an expression of mild amusement on his face.
Suddenly he was grabbed from behind, and someone covered his eyes with their hands. “Guess who!”
Zach already knew who it was, so he decided to tease Ashley. “Hmm, let me think… Angelina Jolie? Hiedi Klum?”
“Meanie!” Ashley removed her hands from his eyes, and he turned around. “You knew it was me!”
“Of course! You’re the only person who would do something like that!” Zach laughed.
“Oh well, I guess you’re right.” She jumped at him.
“Whoa!” Zach stumbled backwards.
Ashley gave him a hug. “But am I the only one who would do this?”
“Of course not, almost every girl in the school does that.” Zach chuckled, and dodged her teasing slap.
“Will you guys stop flirting? There are other people here you know…” Jack was annoyed. He looked at his watch. “Come on, we’ve got to get to Chemistry.”
“Okay. Lets go.” Ashley disengaged herself from Zach. “We can’t be late, or we’ll get another awful lecture.”
Chemistry class was the most mind-numbing class at their entire school. The teacher, Mr. Christian, fancied himself a college professor. Because of this, he had a very high opinion of himself, and spoke in a tedious monotone. He droned on for the entire class sometimes about how things worked, not even noticing that most of his class had fallen asleep. He loved the sound of his own voice, and was often so engrossed in himself that he kept talking after class was over and everyone had left.
As class droned on, Zach began to hear a faint hum, ever increasing in volume.
“Do you hear that?” He asked Ashley, who was sitting right next to him.
“Hear what?” She looked at him questioningly.
“That hum. Its been getting louder since the beginning of class.” Zach looked around the classroom, searching for its source. “I wonder where it’s coming from…”
“I hear nothing. You’re imagining things.” Ashley returned to her notes.
“Okay, maybe I am. It’s still annoying the crap out of me though…”
“Just ignore it. You’ll be fine.” She smiled at him.
Zach smiled back. “If you say so.”
They returned to their work, but no matter how hard Zach tried to ignore the sound, it kept breaking his concentration. Within ten minutes, the sound had grown to such a pitch that it felt like his skull was vibrating. It hurt enough that Zach couldn’t take it.
He realized that he was panting and sweating, and that Ashley was looking at him, quite concerned. “What’s wrong?”
Not wanting to worry her any more, he lied. “I just hit my head getting up this morning and got a headache.” He forced a smile. “I’m okay.”
He did not fool her in the slightest. “Maybe you should go to the nurse and get some aspirin. That must be some headache, to trouble you that much.”
Zach hadn’t thought of that. “That’s the best idea I’ve heard all day. I think I’ll have to go do that as soon as-”
Ashley screamed as the wall behind him blew in with a huge explosion of fire and ash.
The next few seconds were a blur. Zach threw himself at Ashley, dragging her to the ground, and shielding her with his body from the flying debris. He was hit multiple times in the back of the head and in the torso, but he refused to allow himself to fall on top of her. He was going to protect her, even if he was hurt in the process.
There was a second explosion, and someone else screamed. Zach looked up to find the ceiling sagging. It could fall at any time.
“OH SHIT!” He leaped to his feet and looked around the room. What he saw was chaos. The room was ruined. One wall was gone, and another was on the point of collapse. People were strewn across the room, unconscious and injured. Only Ashley had escaped any harm. He turned back to Ashley. “Get out of here. Get to a phone and call 911!” He had to yell to be heard over the sound of the flames and falling rubble.
“No buts. Just do it! We need help now!” Zach scanned the room again. “Hurry!”
Ashley was worried. “What about you?”
“I’m going to get these people out of here!”
“But you’re bleeding!” Ashley touched his face.
“I’ll be fine. There are a lot of people that are more hurt than me! Now go! Hurry!”
Ashley embraced him fiercely. “Be safe!” Then she ran out of the room and down the hall.
Zach was relieved. “Good, she’s safe. One less thing to worry about.”
He raised his voice. “CAN ANYONE HEAR ME? IF YOU CAN, YOU HAVE GOT TO GET UP! THE ROOM IS ON FIRE, AND THE CEILING IS FALLING DOWN! WE HAVE GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE FAST! SOME PEOPLE ARE SERIOUSLY HURT, AND I CAN’T TAKE CARE OF ALL OF THEM AT ONCE. ASHLEY HAS GONE TO CALL 911, SO HELP IS ON THE WAY! BUT WE MIGHT NOT HAVE TIME TO WAIT FOR THEM! LETS GO! HURRY!”
Some rose, and stumbled to the door. Some people could not rise, but were helped by their fellows. Others still were trapped under rubble, or knocked unconscious. Zach clambered over the debris to the nearest unconscious person. It was Jack. He had been hit in the head with a large rock, and had a deep gash across his forehead.
“Shit, he’s hurt bad! I have got to get him out of here!” Zach realized.
He grabbed him and carried him to the door, then handed him to a waiting teacher.
“Do you need help?” The teacher asked.
“YES!” Zach bellowed. “ARE YOU BLIND? PEOPLE MIGHT BE DYING IN THERE! GET MORE PEOPLE TO HELP ME GET THESE PEOPLE OUT OF HERE!”
The teacher was offended. “Okay, okay. No need to get angry now.”
“JUST DO IT, DAMMIT!” Zach whirled and ran back into the smoke. A few seconds later, four teachers ran after him to help. Two students followed the teachers. Most of the injured were removed after five minutes, through the hard work of the seven. They were working on the last person when the roof began to give.
Zach realized that unless they got out of here fast, people were going to die. “GET OUT OF HERE! I’VE GOT THIS LAST ONE! NO ARGUING! JUST GO!”
His six helpers looked at him like he was crazy, and maybe he was.
“DO YOU WANT TO DIE? GOOOOOO!” He bellowed.
The roof slipped a little, and they obeyed.
Zach finished digging the last person out and draped him across his shoulders. The ceiling slipped a little more. Zach broke into a run. He was three quarters of the way across the room when the roof gave. He threw his precious burden through the open door and dove. He was just passing through the door when a rogue shard of rebar came whistling through the air out of the smoke and stabbed right through his right shoulder, so that there was about a foot on either side.
“AAAAAAHHHH!” Zach fell to the ground, grasping his shoulder.
A teacher looked down at him, horrified. “Are you okay?”
Zach snarled at the teacher. “Yes, I feel great! WHAT DO YOU THINK, IDIOT?”
The teacher was extremely embarrassed. “Sorry! Sorry!”
Mr. Martel, Zach’s gym teacher ran up, saw Zach, and stopped. “Can you walk? We’ve got to get out of here! The whole place is on fire, and the roof is falling down!”
“I think so.” Zach struggled to his feet, slipping on the blood from his wound.
“Good. Lets go people! Let’s get the injured out of here!” Mr. Martel grabbed Jack and trotted off down the hall.
Another teacher grabbed him. “C’mon Zach, I know it hurts, but we have to move!”
Zach snarled. “Get off me! I’m perfectly capable of walking myself!”
“Okay, if you insist.” The teacher grabbed the last injured person and headed off down the hall.
Zach tried to run, stumbled, and almost fell. “Okay, running is out of the picture. Still, I’ve got to be as fast as I can.”
Zach somehow made his way to the front door. By then, the hallways were full of smoke, and the walls and ceiling was completely enflamed. Ever so often a section of wall or ceiling would fall down, causing Zach to have to jump over it, or dive out of the way to avoid being crushed. When he finally shoved open the double doors at the front of the school, the smoke was so thick that he couldn’t see. He tried to walk, but stumbled and fell. He crawled until he was clear of the smoke pouring out of the building, and then painfully climbed to his feet.
Mr. Martel spotted him. “There he is! That’s everyone!”
“Oh god, he’s seriously injured!”
“PARAMEDICS! WE HAVE A SITUATION! THAT BOY NEEDS HELP!” Mr. Martel bellowed.
Paramedics began converging on Zach, and he realized that he was having trouble standing.
Zach looked down and found himself covered in blood from his wounded shoulder. “Oh… Oh… crap.” He stumbled and would have fallen had not a paramedic caught him at the last instant. The paramedic eased him onto a stretcher and he was carted off to the ambulance.
“Oh my god! Zach!”
Zach turned his head to look for the source of the scream, and found Ashley running towards him as fast as she could.
A paramedic moved to block her. “Keep back, please.”
Zack raised his uninjured arm and grabbed the paramedic. “Let her by!”
The paramedic turned to look at him. “Son, you’re severely injured. If we don’t stop the bleeding on that wound of yours, you wont last two hours!”
Zack scowled at the paramedic. “I know. Let her by anyway. She’s my friend.”
“Okay, if you insist.” The paramedic stepped aside.
Ashley quite literally flew the last few feet to his side. “Zach! Are you okay?”
“I’ve been better,” he said with a wry smile.
“I shouldn’t have let you do it!” She said, beginning to cry. “I shouldn’t have left!”
(continued next post)
(continued from previous post)
“Don’t cry, don’t cry. I’ll be fine. I’m going to the hospital to get patched up right now. I’m going to be fine. Don’t worry.”
She looked up, eyes hardening. “I’m coming with you.”
Zach didn’t want her to see him in pain. “No. Stay here.”
She glared at him. “You can’t tell me what to do.” She turned to one of the paramedics. “Is it okay if I ride in the ambulance with him?”
The head paramedic turned to look at her, his face filled with sympathy. “Sure. Hop in.”
She turned back to Zach. “See?”
Zach sighed. “Okay, fine. I give up. You win.”
Ashley smiled. “Good!”
A sudden intense pain shot through Zach, causing him to cry out in agony.
One of the paramedics looked up in alarm. “We’ve got to get him to the hospital. Lets move, people!”
Zach was quickly loaded into the back of the ambulance. Once his gurney was locked down, Ashley hopped in. The paramedics shut the door, and the ambulance sped off. The driver turned on his siren, and drove as fast as he could safely go. He made no effort to avoid the bumps, and every jolt sent agony racing out from his shoulder. He did not cry out though, for that would worry Ashley.
One of the paramedics turned to him. “Son, that bar is going to have to come out. Otherwise, we are going to lose you. We can’t stop the bleeding unless that thing is gone, and if we don’t stop the bleeding, you’re going to die.”
Zach steeled himself for pain. “Do it.” He hissed. “Do it now.”
One of the paramedics grabbed the bar, and Zach clenched his jaw to hold back a scream. An anguished moan still escaped him though.
Ashley was horrified. “Are you okay?”
Zach turned his head to look at her. “I’ll be fine. Don’t watch this.”
Ashley was too frightened to comply.
The paramedic was worried. “Son, we have got to do this now. Ready?”
Zach tensed himself. “Yes. Do it.”
“Okay son, on the count of three. One… Two… THREE!” The paramedic tore the rebar out of his shoulder.
Zach screamed. He was completely overwhelmed by the pain. Nothing could have ever prepared him for something so excruciating. His vision shot from red to gray and back again. Finally, everything went black and Zach surrendered to the darkness.
Zach opened his eyes. He saw a world of purple. He blinked. The world changed to red. He blinked again. The world changed to green. He closed his eyes and shook his head. When he opened his eyes again, the world was a kaleidoscope of color.
He got to his feet. He looked down and found himself standing on air. His body appeared to be made of mist. Far below, an orange and purple sea could be seen. He looked around. He was floating in the midst of multicolored clouds.
He turned around. Far away, there was a dark shape in the mist. The second he noticed it; he began to be sucked towards it with ever-increasing speed. It was like someone was pulling on a rope attached to his midriff. As he neared the shape, he began to notice details. It appeared to be a floating island of rock, and there was a tower on top of it.
Zach was pulled right up to the great doors at the base of the tower, and then the pull was gone. His feeling of weightless also vanished, and he fell to the ground with a crash. The huge double doors opened, and beyond could be seen a long hallway.
Zack felt an extremely strong desire to see what lay beyond his sight. He clambered to his feet, and began to walk. After what seemed to be over an hour of walking, he began to wonder about what was going on. “This isn’t possible. The tower only looked twenty feet wide from the outside… this HAS to be a dream.”
He finally reached a huge circular room. It was at the very least, three hundred feet across. On the other side of the room was a throne. The throne just looked evil. It was made of black iron and obsidian, and was shaped in a way that a person couldn’t sit without being impaled on the spikes. Directly beside the door in which he entered (for there were many), two staircases that wouldn’t have been out of place in a ballroom gracefully climbed to a balcony high above. Zach walked to the center of the room and looked up. There wasn’t a ceiling in sight. The room stretched so high that it all just blurred together. He looked back at the throne and gave a start. The throne had changed from a painful looking concoction of stone and steel to a comfortable armchair.
“Now that’s weir- OW!” He grabbed the top of his head in pain and looked angrily at the plate that had hit him in the top of the head. “That hurt!”
He picked up the plate. “Now, where did you come from?” He looked up, only to jump aside in fear as a man fell out of the sky and landed right where he had just been standing. “What the hell? Are you alright?”
Zach rolled the man onto his back, and jumped back with a yell. A grinning death’s head stared back at him, the eyes mushy masses of blood and crushed tissue.
Angry voices drifted down from above.
He felt a jerk at his navel, and suddenly the world dissolved around him. He felt himself be pulled as though by an invisible thread was being drawn in from a fishing rod. He slammed to a stop, and his eyes opened. It was dark, and he couldn’t see a thing. He tried to move, and then bit back a curse as pain shot through him like shards of flame. It felt like someone was holding a hot poker to his stomach.
what do you guys think?
Sorry for the quadruple post, it's just that there was a LOT of stuff to post.
holy crap thats a long long chapter... looks good so far =]
that skeleton breaking bone thing is gonna creep me out for a while :S
haha. those are only the first three chapters. i have ten more. but, i wondered what other people's opinions were...
I love the crest for your soccer team, it's wonderful! the balance and colours are good and it has both simplicity and complexity at the same time ^_^ err I didn't read the chapters though >< sorry. I do better with essays to acutally critique.. XP But I HAD to comment on that logo. I love it.
thanks silver. we're using the crest on our warm-ups.