Rescuing Hope

Rescuing Hope

A Story by Joshua

This is a sort-of prelude to the novel that I am planning to write this year for National Novel Writing Month.


                I crawl through the filth that scatters the road, one arm in front of the other, legs flailing to the sides, moving along with my stomach covered in whatever the disgusting, slimy yellow stuff that came out of that box I smashed earlier. “Velveeta” and a child’s smiling face. What the connection between those two is supposed to be, I can’t comprehend, but I guess that the people here like this stuff. Well, it’s as old as opium. People like things that should be repulsive to them, but they don’t see the disgustingness, they only see the small good side to it.

                Just like this street. People see it as a way of transportation, and they don’t recognize everything terrible that happens on and along it. The fact is, these ditches are the number one place that I would dump a dead body if I killed someone �" maybe one of those b******s bent on killing me �" because nobody pays any attention. Hitchhikers and hobos along the side of the road get completely blotted out of people’s perception �" not just ignored, but completely removed. They may notice them, but that sight doesn’t reach their brains because they’re too busy looking forward, mind your own business, don’t help, don’t interfere, nobody else matters. Get to work, get home, get to the restaurant where they’ll serve up disgustingness with a hilariously false smile and you will be happy.

                “Oh, God.” If there is such a thing. Why, then, is he not helping us? “I just want to get out of here.”

                “You’re not the only one, you know,” hisses the voice behind me, and I jerk forward, thinking for a moment it was our pursuers. But no, I should have recognized the voice immediately. I’m getting overly jumpy these days. Though, so is everybody else. Things are more and more tense between us, too. After all, we’ve been running for our lives, and we’ve been running slower and slower. “They’re here. Not far at all. They could be watching, even now. Keep your head down, d****t!” A harsh and angry voice, covered not with hatred or bitterness, but fear �" fear for her own life and for the life of all of us who continue to move through the low ditch.

                Someone’s trash, discarded from the colorful and rich world that sits as a thin layer of lies above reality and thrown into the dirt, is blown by the wind up. Blue covers my face for a brief instant, and I shut my eyes against it. When the shock is past, I shake my head and continue forward, chancing a brief glance over the edge of the tiny roadside trench to see the buildings that have been scattered haphazardly across the dark land beneath the thinly clouded and bright sky. Thank goodness for large windows and at the same time good riddance if they were gone. I can see through them, but then, whoever’s on the other side can see me.

                “You’re sure he’s here?” Another voice, behind me. Right arm, right foot, left arm, left foot. Forearms over and over one another in an ever-spinning wheel across the trash floor of the ditch. “You’re absolutely sure? Because I can feel them as well.”

                “I have seen him. There is something troubling him deeply. I think we’ll find that only we can help him. And only he can help us.”

                “This is all assuming we live out the hour. This is a dangerous situation you’ve put us in.”

                “Get your foot outta my face, b***h!”

                “No, no, no, they’re here! They’re coming for us!”

                “Bite me.”

                “Relax, they don’t see us. It’s a coincidence, relax. Quiet!”

                Cacophony. Just keep crawling. Footsteps are getting closer, keep it quiet. They stop now. “All of you shut your pie holes.” I kick the protestor in the face, lightly so as not to hurt her but hard enough that she gets the message. Seriously, shut up. This could be a problem.

                And then I stop. I remain completely still, lying face down in the trash, hardly daring to breathe. It’s instinctive, that flow of oxygen in and out of my nostrils, but I keep it down as best I can. Remember now, I’m no Shaolin monk. Influenced deeply by ears of training and self-discipline that have united the soul, the body and the mind I ain’t. But I think, given the situation of you’re about to die stop breathing right now or it’ll be your last breath, I am managing pretty well.

                “You’re absolutely sure?” This voice comes not from behind me this time, but from above and to the right. It’s the chaser  who has been sent to cull from us once more, perhaps to end the hunt once and for all but most likely just to pick one of us off, to let the group continue stumbling but broken and less in number, slowly whittling away at us until there’s only one left, the strongest.

                And that one will be the greatest sport for them. The most dangerous game.

                “Yes. We’ll meet again, tomorrow, and continue. Until then…” I tilt my face, so that I am no longer staring down into the trash, and the piece of blue plastic that cannot stop burning deeper into my brain. The almost-man who will probably kill me within the next few days smiles as the one who he’s talking to hands him a pistol, and says, “This is this place’s way of finishing off a hunt.”

                The two figures are then shaken by a voice that called from across the parking lot, “Hey! Just what do you think you’re doing!” And then the man �" the man we seek �" comes running across the space between the buildings and the road, drawing his own pistol from its holster at his hip. He points it at the two of them, waving back and forth between one and the other, and I almost cry out to tell him to run for his life, for we cannot afford to have him die now.

                “Now,” murmurs the man clad in blue. I shut my eyes and whimper, though he does not hear me over the shouting of the police officer �" whose uniform, now that I see it, is its own deep blue shade. No, I remind myself. He’s not one of them. He’s against them, or he will be. He is now. “We can’t have someone interfering, can we?” he demands loudly, and then reaches into his coat for his pistol, smiling even as he watches the police officer pull the trigger of his.

                The bullet travels across that space, air bending around it, and the man simply stands there. He could easily get out of the way before the bullet could reach him, I know that. These almost-men are startlingly fast, which is exactly how they managed to catch Maria even when she had such a great head start from them and was sprinting for her life, rather than moving at the leisurely jog that her murderer took before tearing her spine out her back. I grab at the currents of time, trying to bend them so the bullet will move faster, stronger, and be imbued with the little traditional, reinforcing magic that I possess. It’s useless, of course. Feeling my power slipping, I run to jump back into the ditch. Is that the hunter’s eye turning towards me? No, I’m imagining things. But it will see you if you don’t hide now! Get down there, for the sake of your life, Em!

                I hit the bottom of the ditch and let go of the streams of time, digging a bit of sharp plastic into my chin. I make not a sound, to my credit. But there is nothing I can do but watch as the man before us is struck by the bullet, and unfazed. He grins, then completes the motion of pulling his revolver from its place and fires. I reach out again, but it is too late �" the murderer and his companion are both gone, but even as I clamber over the edge and try to bend things before it’s too late, the man across the parking lot, the one who we thought was our hope of escaping this hellhole alive, as our hunters continued to tighten their net around us, falls to his knees, then on his face. His head has been shot completely through by the bullet, which passed neatly between his eyes and out the other side of his head.

                “Is he dead?” whimpered one behind me.

                “Of course he is, moron. Why didn’t you get him away? Didn’t you have the opportunity?” I turn around, glaring daggers at Mason, who clenches his hands together and steps back, shuddering.

                He’s afraid of me. There are plenty of people who are, and perhaps for a good reason, but I just can’t help feeling offended by it. I don’t mean to scare people. These people who are with me, they have scared others as well. Surely they could understand… but I guess that’s the thing; they’re scared of themselves, even, and that only heightens their fear of the others.

                No wonder we’re losing the fight. And now our biggest hope lies dead, blood pooling around his head.

                “No,” says the small voice at the back of the tiny crowd. I look over the heads of the children who have been chosen to die, to the little girl who shakes her head with utter conviction. “He is alive.”

                “Listen,” I say. “Look at him. How can he be alive?”

                “I know he is alive. Let’s get him somewhere safe.”

                “There’s nowhere safe.” Mason this time. “We can’t hide for long.”

                “Long enough, if what we’ve been told about this man is true. Long enough. And then we’ll be able to escape. He’ll help us. After all, that’s his duty. Protect and serve! And we will have saved his life. Get him moved!”

                “Right.” Forming the circle, Mason reaches out to each one of us, and one by one the children disappear. The man on the concrete is third to last, then Mason reaches out for me, and I look down. Holy crap. This kid’s barely even half my height. He’s not meant for this. Ah, but our rulers are cruel and the people are, after all, bent against those bearing the chaos.

                I let the world disappear in a single flash of fluorescent green that wraps around me and tears me apart, to be pieced back together in another place.

                It’s a strange sensation that takes hold of you when you are translocated �" not like when a mage of some Order or another lifts up, up, up and sends you through the twisted tunnels of orderly magic, twisted not in randomness but in a set out fashion �" though nobody really understands what it is, it’s the quintessence of the order that these people strive for. It must be. You can feel it.

                I know. I was once of these people. I sat on their council, and I sent children off to be “dealt with.” But I knew not of the hunt and the brutal slaughter that was to take place. I was never a Blue Lord, and thank goodness for that! Were I, I’d probably have chopped off my own head on the spot when I found out what power was lurking beneath the surface of my studied magic, the kind of magic you get out of books. The kind of power I wasn’t very good at harnessing in the first place, come to think of it. I mean, there isn’t much that I can do with it, is there really? But what comes from within me, or wherever it is that we “Chaotics” derive our power from is formidable by comparison. I stepped right in front of an armed and furious Blue Lord, and I survived!

                But I digress. Being translocated by someone like Mason is, how shall I put this? It’s very stressful and painful, for one thing. As I am torn apart, I can feel myself in pieces, all over the path between where we were moments ago and the place where we’re going. A lot of that is underground and, well, it’s not pretty. It’s somewhat less agonizing than you might think, being torn to bits, though I guess it’s just because it’s bloodless, brief.

                And did I mention brief? The whole process takes less than a second and suddenly I am on my knees on the floor, staring into a beautifully patterned carpet. And ruining said beautifully patterned carpet by covering it with my sickness. I’m the only one here who has this reaction; everybody else is lying on their backs or their stomachs, floundering like fish out of water, but they all manage to hold their lunch. Mason himself remains standing through all of it; I guess he doesn’t feel the adverse effects of the translocation. I can tell he’s tempted to say something, just by the twinkle in his eye, but it disappears in moments. Leaning back against the wall of the hallway, he points to the room where we will be staying.

                “When you’ve recovered,” he says, “I’ve propped the door open from the inside. Nobody was in there, which is lucky. If I had just now dropped in on some people, well… this place is infamous for being the center of ‘get a room’ if you know what I mean. Point is it’d be embarrassing, whether or not they’re living up to what people say.”

                Of course. Trust a guy like Mason to pick up the shabbiest, lowest class establishment in the city. If you don’t think too hard it sounds like a great idea, but where do you think somebody’s going to look for a bunch of people fleeing for their lives and with almost no assets to speak of? A five-star $200/night inn? We could probably afford a place like that, though that would likely be the second place someone would look. No, I think someplace more downscale but not this downscale would do the trick.

                “And was there any luggage in there?” I ask, with half a smile on my face. Mason shakes his head, and reaches down to help me get up to my feet. It’s funny, because he’s half my size and I could probably pull him down to where I was �" that is, if he was average for his build. But this guy’s got almost no fat on him; he’s extremely heavy for his small size but that weight is made of almost solid muscle. The kid’s been through a lot and well, his body has adjusted and gotten to be extremely good at smashing things. If only brute force was enough to keep us alive. I reach out to take the hand and am lifted up off of my feet, finding myself standing straight up and looking over my shoulder nervously as I climb in the door �" and I mean climb, because there’s a pile of half-conscious people in front of the doorway. We’ve left quite the mess out here, though personally I doubt that anybody comes along to clean it, maybe once a month or so but no more than that.

                A rat squeaks next to me, and I shoo it away, then when it doesn’t respond, I snap my fingers and the little vermin disappears. A little bit of heat so intense that it is visible rises from where the rat was a moment ago, and there are a couple of ashes on the carpet, but nothing more.

                I have to admit, it feels good. Perhaps if I could do that to a human being standing behind a thousand years of magical training and defensive wards that had taken weeks of solid work to prepare, we wouldn’t need the guy who we’re now dragging into the dirty motel room. The little girl �" her name, man, what is her name? �" confirms again that our man is still alive, and I marvel at the wound. It went straight through his head. There is a bullet lodged deep in his brain, and he’s still alive! I can see the clean hole that was punched through the spot between his eyes. “How?” I ask Cindy. Yes, that’s her name, Cindy. How could I have forgotten? She’s certainly saved my life more than once, so I could at least do her the favor of remembering what I am supposed to call her.

                “Probably the symbiote,” she says. “Keeping him holding onto life, if only by a thread. He’ll be able to live for weeks like this, and if the symbiote doesn’t heal him, I’ll be surprised. It needs to heal him if it wants to survive. But the wound is so grievous, it’s one that should kill him easily, so it will take the thing a while. It doesn’t want to use too much of its power at once, because it could destroy itself, and to the symbiote the host is not as important as itself, even though it will die if the host dies.”

                “Symbiote. That’s what you call the thing eating away inside this guy’s head?”

                “It’s better than the alternative. I prefer to not judge before I know.” Well, that’s true of Cindy, but I hadn’t guessed she took that and applied it to demons too. Because that’s what the thing that gives this guy his power, a power he doesn’t even know about, is. A demon. If it thought it could gain from it, it would bargain away its host, because it can do that. It’s true that the demon will die if the host dies, but only in the first sense. Only that part of the demon will die, and it will regenerate over time as long as the other half, the stronger half, remains alive in the Abyss.

                “Are you sure we have the right to do this?” John asks, looking at the man. “I mean, heal him, sure, we ought to do that. But drafting him to protect us… he could go a lifetime without knowing that the demon is there but if we force him to realize it, and to embrace that creature’s power…” John shudders. “Are we doing the right thing, or are we just protecting our own hides at the cost of a man’s innocence?”

                “Protect and Serve,” I insist. “He will hate us at first, for having revealed what he is to him. He will know that we have saved his life, but he will feel that it is a fate worth than death to be what he is, a host to an ancient demon that wants nothing more than the blood of enemies on its fangs. The demon will be glad of the opportunity to serve us, because it will involve the blood of the Blue Lords. Myself, I’m not so sure how I will feel, but it is how we will survive.”

                “Is that what we are now?” Mason looks up at me. “Because we have lost friends, we have come to the conclusion that nothing matters but survival?” Leaning back in his disgustingly rotten chair, he sighs. “I just don’t understand. Nothing seems right. We can’t do one thing because we’ll die, but we can’t do the other thing because we will ruin a man’s life.”

                “We won’t. We’ll make him unhappy and angry for a long time, maybe. But we will not ruin his life. We will save it, and I don’t just mean in the literal sense.” I am sure of it, now. I have to make sure that what can be done to save this man and to teach him about what he is, about what he can do, and to convince him that it is the right thing to protect us from those who would have us chased down and slaughtered without mercy simply for being what we are.

                And sure in myself, I reach out for the thread of time and the book of spells that I was taught by the same teacher who stood on the Blue Council, who later turned me in just for being what I am and sent me running across the universe for my life, with the hounds of the Lords on my tail. I see the movement of everything else around me slowing, slowing, crawling to a stop and I raise myself up and set the book floating freely before me, ready to begin the spell that will save the life of the man lying prone in front of me.

                The magic flows through me and through the book, through the ground that is visible in patches beneath the floor of this shabby hotel �" that, at least, is a blessing. I can feel it, though it Is itself invisible, not yet fully manifested in the realm of color and light. But I can feel it, feel it deep in my bones as it works its way into me, permeating my body and my soul… then… accepting. This magic is deep and dark. I have stared into it, and it has stared into me. Now, it joins with me, sees me, respects me, and chooses to serve me just as I hope this man who I am now healing will eventually choose to serve those youngsters being chased by the Blue Lords, those who sit or stand still, utterly and deathly still, near my work. They do not see or feel the flow of magic. They do not see or feel anything, for I have stopped all of that.

                But it does not matter. It is better for my working, my manipulation works deep into the fabric of time but makes things better. The faster that I can do this, the better, and I am about to complete the spell in no time flat! Is such a thing possible? After all, magic is deeply entwined with mortal physics and laws.

                Well, I am about to take that risk. If anything goes wrong, the backlash will kill me, but nothing else, I hope. I believe. Nothing else…

                Might as well begin while the spell is fresh within me. I call it out of its place, where it stays hidden from prying eyes, and let energy crackle along my fingertips, surging out of my hands and out of my eyes and from the patches of visible earth that are nearby. I raise my hands, and the energy collects, flowing back where it has left my hands, filling the room and then emptying it at all the same time.


                No, I say. No. Stop. People are starting to move, a little bit. They’ve caught a glimpse of me, but I’ll seem to be moving supernaturally fast. I can see a look of surprise, a little fear, on Mason’s face. There’s even  a hint of disgust beneath that. I grab the thread of time, yank as hard as I can, straining myself though I am already starting to grow tired and I haven’t even really begun the healing spell. But the energy is coming back to me, giving me an unnatural burst of speed and in glory I reach for the fallen man’s head, I place my hands just above his eyes and press down gently, and firmly. Lightning crackles along my hands, but it is not the lightning of heat and electricity that kills that which it strikes. This lightning is just energy, the energy of life itself, and it does not take; it only gives.

                I am giving of myself, even as I pull open the wound, reach in, and remove the bullet. Even as I toss the tiny piece of lead away and the lightning comes over my hand to cleanse me of the disgusting bits that cover it. I’ve broken his brain; if time was not held tight in my grasp the man couldn’t be alive. But I reach out, and I close the place where his head has been laid open.

                Magic. It is within me, and it is within him. I can see from the body, rising up, a translucent blue figure. Winged, its face a visage of many large teeth and huge, leering eyes. It holds a sword inscribed with more runes than I can count. This creature, despite what I have done, rises and moves. “Thank you,” it says. “My host was in danger. You have saved him �" and me. I know what your intent is, but I wish you to know one thing: I do not wish you to die.”

                Even as I finish off the healing spell, fully cleansing the previously broken body of the man lying before me and letting go, only to reach out and grab time by both hands now, the demon continues. “I know what you’re thinking, too. I have no good intentions. I am a demon.”

                “Something like that,” I say. “I just find it difficult to believe that you want anything other than blood.”

                “Well, it’s true, I do want blood!” The creature chuckles, stares at me for a long time, turns its head to the side, runs its long blue tongue down the length of the glowing blue blade whose runes bleed red into the open air. “The blood of the Blue Lords! They have wronged me, and they have wronged you. They bound me to a mortal body, you know. Perhaps it is not enough. I am, after all, dominated by my bloodlust. But I am also patient. When the Blue Lords who chase you and your friends are dead, and the rest have given up, I can wait. I will not need another taste of blood until long after you and yours are dead. And then, I will take that blood from your enemies, not your friends or their children, or their children’s children.

                “But I ask something of you.”

                “And that is?” I raise an eyebrow. I didn’t expect the demon to make such a thing as a request; maybe it isn’t such a brute! No, that’s what I’m supposed to think. But maybe it’s less… direct than most. I can work with that.

                “Please, for the sake of my host. Do not tell him the name your people have for what I am. Tell him I am a spirit, which is also true in of itself. His people do not understand that demons are capable of doing anything good at all. They have our essence right; I and my ilk are what you would call evil at our core, but my host won’t understand that I can also have a good side, just as humans have a good and a bad side.”

                I nod. “I will grant you that. A spirit you are, then. A spirit of darkness and of destruction, but not necessarily only that.”

                “Not only that,” the “spirit” purrs. “Not only that.” It shakes its great horned and tooth-covered head wildly, and slips its sword into the enormous scabbard that is slung over its back. Then, slowly, as if folding itself, it disappears back into the body of its host.

                I release the thread of time and collapse to my knees, gasping like a fish out of water. The magic didn’t tax me at the time, but now that it is done, now that the working has been completed, I feel as though I’ve just been struck in the chest by a force of a thousand pounds. My breath rattles in my throat, and I see spots of darkness appear in the motel room around me. I blink, shake my head, and then I am in the darkness entirely.


                What’s that?

                I am lying on my back on a bed. That much I know. The soft cloth beneath me , which is held above the ground �" my feet are hanging off to the floor �" gives it away. But wait! I open my eyes, although my vision is practically gone. It seems to be coming back, I realize as I take in the ceiling above me. It is coming back �" though slowly. Then, suddenly, a deep voice speaks in my head even as I am trying to raise my head to take in my surroundings.

                Get up. It comes from within me �" it speaks out loud, though. I plan to do this anyway, I think as I rise to my feet. Yet though that voice came from within me, I know I most certainly did not make it. What could do that? I ask myself, shaking my head. That’s a silly thing. Of course, it’s a silly thing that I’m still alive. I was, after all, just shot in the head. So where am I, anyway? This isn’t heaven, or hell.

                No, murmurs the voice. You need not join me in my torment. My shadow, at least, is with you here.

                Shut up! I clap my hands over my ears, as if that’s supposed to help anything. The voice in my head chuckles, and I realize what’s going on. I’m dreaming, I must be dreaming. The room is empty. It’s supposed to be full! I’m supposed to be standing there in front of me. Me �" the real me! Not this man, not him! But I can feel what it is like, and I know somehow that I have not done a favor to the man who is the only hope of myself and those I travel with surviving the next few weeks and beyond, with the Blue Lords so close on our tail. I have not, and yet I am going to expect him to do a great help for us, to risk his own life for us. Perhaps he seeks death, then it is fitting.

                No. You have not done him a favor, though you have done me one.

                You understand, then, you recognize that we are separate?

                Of course. I do not mean to confuse you so. I simply found this the most convenient way to speak with you now that you are lying unconscious on the floor.

                Naturally! I finished the spell already, and it took so much out of me that I just couldn’t stay up. Of course! I stumble, half-drunken, and drag my hand along a wall for a long moment, trailing my fingers back and drumming against the tiny bumps on the surface.

                So what do you want, anyway?

                Nothing in particular, except for this: I wish to understand you. Oh, I know a little, but I don’t understand the complete story of your motivations behind doing this. You wouldn’t save the host just to save me, and you wouldn’t risk it if the man didn’t mean something to you. So what is it? I know you need my power, in this man, but…

                The Blue Lords.

                Yes, of course, I know this. Tell me more.

                They are chasing us. You know all that already. You said as much, yourself.

                You were once of them. Not too long ago, in fact.

                My experience among them and the place that I very nearly held upon their council apparently was nothing, creature. They threw me out, and now they are hunting me down just like the rest of the Chaotics, because there are no exceptions. You know, I used to sentence them to be sent out and then chased down. Before I managed to get them together. Sure, they’re disorganized, aggressive toward one another, and only able to keep serious in the absolute most tense of times, but… they’re my family. I can’t let the Blue Lords slaughter them. You have to understand…

                I understand. You have my blessing, mortal.

                You won’t be too offended if I’m a little bit leery of accepting the blessing of a demon.

                Certainly not offended; despite the ignorance of your worry, it is quite understandable. I’ll be seeing you, mortal.

                Indeed, you will.

                The voice departs, and with that sudden movement out of me I collapse to the floor again, and roll up, my mouth twisting into a scream as I can feel my soul being emptied of all substance.


                I awaken again, but this time it is real. I am whole; the demon is not a part of me, and I am not harmed either. It is still trapped within the man who lies almost totally unconscious on the bed, though I can see that he’s beginning to stir. See, there. I’m pretty confident that I just saw his foot twitch. He should be waking up soon.

                “Mason,” I say, getting up to my feet and looking toward him. “We need to talk. Come with me.”

                “What is it?” He demands, looking down at his feet. He seems to be back to his normal self, overly defensive and generally the kind of person that I can’t help but dislike. Yet he’s family. I chuckle lightly and motion to the door.

                “We can talk outside,” I insist. “I’ll tell all.”

                As soon as we’re out there, I point toward the door of the motel and say as firmly and dangerously as I can without shouting, “You nearly got us all killed out there, you know! That was the most ridiculous plan I’ve ever seen, crawling through a ditch to try to avoid the Blue Lords. We would do better attempting to blend in to the crowd!” Calming down, I try to explain in a level tone. “They are self-righteous pricks, but that at least means that they aren’t going to open fire on a bunch of civilians who haven’t done anything but gotten mildly in their way. They won’t attack us if we’re in a crowd, and in fact they might not even be able to tell who we are because there are so many signals flying around, to be picked up �" which is probably why they didn’t sense us when we were in the pit, funny since we were the only ones there. I guess the trash of all those other people stinks more than we do.”

                “I think you’re overreacting. We’re in a safe place now, and as they say, all’s well that ends well.”

                “No,” I whisper. “No, it isn’t well. We very nearly lost him. We could have easily lost one of ours.”

                “Listen to me,” Mason says, his voice rising at a rate that startled me. I draw back from him, and he visibly draws up, literally growing taller in that moment. “I did what I felt was necessary. We had to get in there somehow, and knowing the Blue Lord was going to be around, involving him somehow would make us much more credible. This world has been taught to reject everything that is unfamiliar to it, and magic has become very unfamiliar. You tell a man in this world that magic exists, and he will laugh and tell you to go become a street charlatan. If even that.”

                I sigh, nodding. “You have a point, I suppose. I don’t know, anymore… things have gotten worse and worse in these past few days. It’s become more and more difficult to make the right choices.” Mason nods. “I just don’t know what to do,” I go on. “It’s really the two of us. A lot of these kids look up to me simply because I’m older and more experienced than them and you, well… you’re a leader, Mason. I’ll give it to you right there. To these people, you are a leader. You may be perfectly capable of seeming like somebody who should never be in charge of anyone, at times. You can be caustic, disruptive, generally not the kind of person you would think would be a leader.

                “But look. Look at how much these people respect you. You need to understand that, Mason, and then you need to serve them properly. You need to make sure that they are taken care of. Do you understand me?”

                Nod. “But… why now?”

                I shake my head, muttering something �" I don’t even know what I say in that moment afterwards �" under my breath. I can’t tell him about my dream. It may have been just the demon trying to communicate with me, but it told me something. I am vulnerable. If the creature wants to strike at me, and I have a feeling that it will do so eventually, it can do so quite easily. I doubt that I have as much control over my own mind as the host has over his demon, despite the fact that he still doesn’t know of its existence. He will be waking up right now inside, but he still will not know. He will remember having been shot, I’m sure, as I repaired his brain pretty well after I got the bullet out.

                Yet, this man will not take the truth for an answer. He will be stubborn, I know. He will be certain that he is just a normal human being; and perhaps he, himself, could be called ‘normal.’ But his future, that could not pass for normal in any way. He’s going to have to realize that, if he wants to stay alive.

                Stepping back into the room, I steel myself to give the man an explanation for why I have brought him back into a life that will not be pleasant for him from here on out.

© 2013 Joshua

Author's Note

This is a first draft, so I would really like some feedback on how to make this better.

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Added on October 23, 2013
Last Updated on October 23, 2013




If I review your work, I will try to point out the good and bad that I see in it. Personally I like to read and write stories and novels. I've noticed that poetry tends to be the most common thing .. more..