Magnifica: Dark Redemption (Chapter 4)

IV

Tom kept himself in seclusion during the next few days. He went to class as much as he needed to in order to get by, but other than that, he barely came out of his room. Both Greggor and Jayme came by to see him often, but he almost never opened the door. He slowly became oblivious to the world around him.

On Monday September 23rd, Tom was roused by the sound of frantic knocking on the door. He immediately jumped up and ran to the door. Jayme was standing on the other side with Greggor. Both of them looked pale with eyes wide in a state of panic.

Tom looked at them both oddly, “What the hell is going on guys? This better not be some fucked up intervention or something.”

“You mean you don’t know?” Jayme asked.

Tom’s eyes narrowed, “Know what?”

Jayme pushed by Tom and turned on his TV. Tom’s back hit the door as she moved. He flashed her an annoyed look, “Excuse you!”

She ignored him and turned on the TV. The screen flicked on to Channel 5 News. Images of decrepit people climbing out of their graves appeared on the screen. It looked like something out of a horror movie

Tom shrugged, “What is this, some kind of early Halloween spoof?”

Jayme shook her head, “No, this is real. This is happening right now! It’s been on the news all morning. The dead are rising and heading north. The National Guard has ordered an evacuation of Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. We need to leave.”

Tom didn’t believe a word of it. He figured that this was some kind of ploy to get him out of his room, “Very funny guys. This is pretty good… what did you get the campus TV station to play this for me or something?”

At that moment, a police car drove by the campus with its speaker blaring, “Attention, this is not a drill or a test. You are hereby ordered to evacuate. Anyone without suitable transportation may proceed to the campus center where you will be taken away from the city! This is a mandatory evacuation.”

Tom shook his head, “Oh my God… this is real.”

He immediately picked up his phone and scrolled down his contacts until he reached the name Kristen. He pressed on it and brought the phone up to his ear. The speaker clicked on and slowly began to connect.

Jayme looked at him oddly, “Who are you calling?”

“My sister.” Tom replied. “If we’re leaving, I’m going to pick her up. She’s at Emerson College, so it should be on the way.”

At that moment, the phone beeped and an automated voice came over the speaker, “Your call cannot be completed at this time, all circuits are currently busy. Please try your call again later.”

Tom groaned as he lowered the phone. Jayme frowned, “No luck?”

“No.” Tom replied. “The lines are dead.”

Jayme nodded, “Figures…”

Tom grabbed the keys to his car and and turned to the door, “I’m going to go find her.”

“Okay.” Jayme replied. “Mind if we tag along?”

Tom looked at Greggor, who had remained silent, “I don’t know that my car will fit his fat ass!”

“Oh very funny!” Greggor shot back. “Like this is the time for this!”

Tom shrugged and pushed past him, “Whatever. Come on, if you’re coming.”

Tom ran out to the parking lot. Most of the cars were already gone with the exception of a few stragglers who were trying to pack up a few odds and ends before leaving. The entire place was in a complete state of panic.

Tom pushed his car starter, making the green Jeep Cherokee come to life. It was an old SUV out of the late 90s, but it was Tom’s first car and he refused to part with it. As far as he was concerned it still ran well and he owned it outright, so there was no reason not to keep it.

Jayme hopped in the passenger side while Greggor got in back. The interior was rustic, as one would expect from an old utility vehicle. The interior was tan with a black lining.

Tom got behind the driver’s seat and put the car into drive. The old engine roared as it came to life and jolted forward. The Jeep pulled out onto the main road and headed towards the highway.

The moment the jeep reached the on ramp for Route 1 South, they were met by gridlocked traffic that wasn’t moving at all. Cars were bumper to bumper and looked frozen in place.

**

Tom and his friends waited almost six hours in the traffic. They had barely moved five miles. The tension inside was getting bad and Tom was ready to explode.

Greggor sighed as he looked out the window, “I knew you shouldn’t have gotten on the highway. Why would you do that? It’s bad enough trying to get into the city on 93 on a normal day!”

Jayme shook her head, “Like the back roads would have been any better? Listen to the radio, it’s gridlocked everywhere!”

Tom shook his head, “This is bullshit.”

“Well what do you expect?” Jayme asked. “Everyone is fleeing in the opposite direction of those zombies. Sadly, everyone is fleeing in the same direction.”

At that moment, Tom’s engine made a sputtering sound. Thankfully, he was in the right hand lane and was able to pull off onto the Carter Street exit before the car’s engine died. With what little inertia the car had left, he pulled into the Chelsea High School parking lot and brought the car to a stop. He then looked down at the gas gauge and saw that it was firmly on empty, “Fuck…”

Jayme shook her head as the palm of her hand found her forehead, “Out of gas?”

Tom nodded, “I wasn’t expecting to be on the highway for six hours.”

“Oh great!” Greggor shouted. “So what now?”

Tom shrugged, “We can’t go back, and I won’t be able to relax until I know that Kristen is safe. I’m going to hoof it.”

“You’re going to walk to Emerson from here?” Jayme asked, surprised. “That’ll take hours!”

Tom pulled out his Samsung Galaxy and input walking directions into its GPS. The phone worked to compile the information before a map appeared on the screen with a blue line to indicate which way he needed to go. A voice began giving directions, “Continue on Everett Ave towards MA-16E.”

Tom looked up and shook his head, “Another 2 hours by the looks of it, and that’s if we don’t stop.”

Greggor sighed, “It’ll be dark by then, and I don’t like the idea of running around the city at night with these zombies on the loose!”

Tom shrugged, “You don’t have to come with me if you don’t want to. I’m going to head that way though.”

“I’ve followed you this far,” Jayme replied, “might as well go the rest of the way. My family is out of state, so I can’t get to them any way.”

Greggor sighed, “All right, I’m in too.”

“Thank guys.” Tom replied with a smile as he turned and began walking down Everrett Avenue.

**

An hour and a half later, the three friends found themselves following the Freedom Trail. The GPS directed them down North Washington Street as they crossed over the Charles River. It appeared that they still had a long way to go as they crossed over the bridge.

Night had already fallen his phone said it was 7pm. The only light in the city came from the cars that were trying to get out of Boston and the undead could still be seen walking through the streets. It gave the group an eerie feeling.

Greggor breathed heavily as every nearby sound made him jump, “Look, this is crazy! The college is still a ways away and it’s too dark to even see where we’re going!”

Jayme nodded and turned to Tom, “Greggor’s right, Tom. I know how badly you want to get to your sister, but it’s too dangerous to be out like this. If the zombies don’t try to kill us, some looters might. We need to find some place to hide for the night, at least until the sun comes up.”

Tom sighed as he looked at his GPS. He was extremely resistant to the idea, but he knew that his friends were right. He wasn’t going to do his sister any good if they were mugged or killed by someone lurking in the shadows. He sighed, “Well there are hotels in the area, but I can’t imagine that they’ll be open.”

“We could break in.” Greggor replied. “I doubt that anyone would blame us.”

Jayme looked like she was deep in thought and remained silent. Tom looked at her oddly for a moment, “What is it?”

Jayme shook her head, “No… we shouldn’t go to the hotels. I can’t explain it, but something tells me that we’ll be safer if we head somewhere else.”

“Where?” Tom asked.

Jayme thought hard for a moment, “The Old North Church…”

Tom and Greggor looked at each other oddly for a moment before Tom turned back to Jayme, “Why there, how could that old building be safer?”

Jayme shrugged, “I don’t know. Like I said, I can’t explain it, maybe because it would be considered hallowed grounds?”

A frustrated look came over Greggor, “You and these damn feelings you get. I swear they get damn annoying at times!”

“Annoying, but accurate.” Tom shot back. “She’s never been wrong before.”

He then turned and nodded to Jayme, “All right, if you think we’ll be safer there, that’s where we’ll go.”

Tom switched the end location from Emerson College to the Old North Church. The map quickly switched, telling them to turn left at the end of the bridge instead of right. It took them on a straight path down the main roads.

At the end of the bridge, Tom led his friends down Causeway Street, passed the Ducali Pizzaria & Bar. Tom looked at the dark windows of the restaurant and remembered going there on a date. He quickly turned away as the thought was making him hungry.

They continued walking and headed down Commercial Street, crossed the road and headed right up the incline that was Hull Street. This was even darker and looked like nothing more than a small alley. The pitch blackness and inability to see the end of the road, gave Hull Street a far more menacing look.

Greggor was a wreck, and it didn’t help matters knowing that they were passing by an old cemetery that was barely a block up from the church. From what they could see over the brick wall, the graves were destroyed and the ground was ripped apart. It was a scarey sight, knowing that even the graves that were hundreds of years old hadn’t been spared.

The group moved on and finally made it to the Old North Church at the end of the street. It was little more than a black structure in the night and just as menacing as any other. The black gates were open, but the red door was closed.

Tom stepped out into the street and slowly walked up to the doors and placed his hands on them. To his surprise, they gave way and opened, allowing the group inside. The stale smell of air passed by them as the dark hall appeared.

The hall was as dark as the outside street was. Even the moonlight coming through the windows from outside didn’t make any difference. They had to feel their way down the isle to avoid bumping into anything.

When they reached the alter at the opposite side, Tom stepped over the felt rope and grabbed one of the candles that adorned the back wall. He then turned to his friends, “Anyone got a light?”

Greggor reached into his pocket and pulled out a stainless steel lighter, “Here you go!”

He tossed it to Tom, who looked at it for a moment, “You’re still smoking?”

Greggor shrugged as Jayme turned back to Tom, “I told you he didn’t quit!”

Tom nodded as he lit the candle and the church turned from black to white with red carpet on the floor. He nodded as he looked around, “Well that’s a little better… so where do we sleep?”

Jayme’s eyes narrowed and she stepped past Tom, “Do you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Tom asked.

“I… I don’t know…” Jayme replied. “It almost sounds like someone’s pounding on a door.”

Tom looked at her oddly. He had no idea what she was talking about. He remained silent until he heard it. The sound was little more than a muffled thud that kept repeating itself.

Tom nodded, “I hear it too, now… but how could you…”

“Let’s go see.” Jayme said, cutting him off. “Someone could be in trouble.”

“Or it could be a horde of zombies trying to get in.” Tom replied.

Jayme shrugged, “Maybe, but its worth finding out.”

She quickly turned and led Tom and Greggor down the stairs at the back of the church. The landing gave way to old wooden stairs that curved around until they reached the ground level. They looked worn as though a million shoes had trodden over them. The floor on the basement level was dark red, similar to the color of blood. Like the stairs it was also badly worn.

Tom understood why everything looked the way it did. The city had gone to great lengths to see that everything was preserved in its original form as much as possible. Unfortunately because of the passage of time, much was beginning to wear away.

The group followed the sound through the door on the right next to the stairs. The door creaked open slowly as they entered the first chamber of the basement. There was a hallway off to the side, but it was too dark to see anything.

Above their heads in the direction the noise came from was a sign that read, ‘Watch thy head.’

Tom and his friends proceeded through the narrow doorway into the next room. The walls were old exposed brick on both sides. On the left was a lot of debris, while on the right, large pipes protruded from the ceiling and ran the length of the room. Below them, was a worn out section of the wall that was in the shape of an old grave stone.

The group proceeded even further down the hall past more debris in the pitch darkness. They slowly moved around another group of pips until they reached the next hallway. It was there that the pounding was the loudest.

Tom brought the candle close to the wall where another grave-shaped slab stood. The faint light from the candle revealed old writing on the wall and a latch below it. He quickly inspected the writing and instantly pulled back in horror.

Jayme looked at him oddly, “What? What does it say?”

Tom breathed heavily as he pressed himself against the opposite wall, “Shubael Bell and Robert Fennelly, 1808!”

Greggor’s eyes went wide and he began to tremble, “Oh my God… this is a crypt! Jayme, you’ve lead us into a fucking crypt!”

At that moment, the latches on the tombs collapsed and the small slabs slowly creaked aside. A sound of old wood breaking apart accompanied the creeking of the stone slabs. The group watched as a skull appeared out of the nearest tomb.

Jayme shreaked as a skeleton stepped out, draped in rags that looked like they were once stylish colonial clothes. The skeleton looked at them for a moment before turning and limping down the hall. The bones rattled as it moved.

A second skeleton in no better condition exited another nearby one and walked passed them as well. More and more skeletons exited their crypts and began heading for the door. The only one that even seemed to notice Tom and his group was the first one.

Jayme’s eyes darted around as Tom put his hand on her shoulder, “Shh, don’t move! I don’t think they see us.”

Greggor nodded, “Either that or they just aren’t interested.”

“Well either way don’t give them a reason to attack us.” Tom replied.

More and more skeletons exited their tombs. Some had to break through the old brick walls to get out. Tom wasn’t sure how a skeleton had the strength to do this, but after seeing a walking skeleton, he was willing to let a few things go.

The group waited as the last of the skeletons passed them by. Tom looked back down the hall and nodded, “Okay, that looks like it’s the last of them.”

“Hold on.” Jayme replied. “I hear something.”

Greggor rolled his eyes, “The last time you ‘heard something’ we ended up down here in the crypt.”

Jayme glared at the dwarf, “Oh shut up, it’s not like I knew that this was down here!”

Tom nodded, “What do you hear?”

“I… I don’t know…” She replied. “It sounds like a heartbeat and light breathing. I think someone living is trapped down here.”

Greggor shrugged, “Or it’s a less decomposed corpse.”

“In a tomb from the 1700s?” Tom mused. “We’d better check it out.”

The group proceeded even further into the crypt until they reached an unusual opening in the wall. There, they saw a small storage space. A single shelf adorned the wall with a small plaque, what looked like a tiny coffin lid, and two glass urns. On the left was the remains of an old coffin that looked like it hard partially rotted away.

Jayme looked at it oddly for a moment, “Whatever we’re looking for is behind these.”

Tom stepped back, taking the candle light with him, “I… I don’t know about this…”

Jayme gave him an annoyed look, “It’s just old wood. Help me…”

Tom and Greggor moved one piece while Jayme pushed the other one aside. The brick wall under it looked severely corroded. The cement between them had broken apart so badly that the bricks were on the verge of collapse.

The three friends dropped to their knees and moved the bricks out of the way, revealing an undisturbed coffin undernieth behind them. The metal latches on the side appeared sturdy enough to aid in moving the wooden box.

Tom took one handle and nodded to Greggor, who had taken the other. Jayme watched from behind as the two guys worked. They slowly pulled the coffin out of the wall until it was completely exposed.

The coffin looked different from the one that they had just moved. This one was intact and beautifully adorned with hand-carved symbols. The wood was polished and still glossy.

Tom looked up at Jayme, “How is this possible?”

Jayme shook her head, “I don’t know… those bricks don’t look like they’ve been disturbed in years and the coffin obviously hasn’t been touched. Look at the dust.”

“Is this where the sound is coming from?” Greggor asked.

“Yes…” Jayme replied hesitantly.

The coffin was nailed shut with a bronze plaque on the cover. Tom held the candle over it and inspected the writing. He read it aloud as he inspected it.

“She sleeps in beauty,

Beauty that will never die.

The eternal soul that dwells within shall rise as a phoenix flies.

May she find happiness in a world that once scorned her,

And suffer not as the others who lurk in the shadows now do.”

Jayme’s eyes stared almost transfixed at the plaque, “Beautiful words…”

Greggor nodded and grabbed a metal rod that was on the floor behind him, “Yeah… so are we going to open it or not?”

“Whatever’s in there, is what’s making the noise.” Jayme replied.

Tom shook his head, “How can you possibly hear that? I can’t hear it even now.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.” She said softly. “Let’s just get it open and see what’s going on.”

Greggor nodded and jammed the rod into the lid of the coffin. He pushed hard on it in an attempt to get it open. The wood crackled as the ancient nails gave way to the force of his push. Greggor then handed the bar to Tom so that he could work the other side.

Once the lid was successfully pried loose, Tom pulled it off and shined the candle in. To his amazement, inside was a woman no older than he was. Her eyes were closed, but she was clearly alive. Her hair was straight and shiny black. It was parted on the right and came down slightly over her cheek. Her cheekbones were very pronounced and it appeared that she had a slight overbite.

Unlike the other corpses, her clothing was intact, but clearly not from the same time period as the crypt. She was wearing chainmail under a black and purple tunic and black trowsers. It was another mystery that Tom would have to unravel.

Tom looked her over in awe. She was absolutely beautiful, “Beauty that will never die…”

Jayme smiled, “Hey Tom, you might want to wipe some of that drool off your chin before she wakes up if you even want to have a shot.”

Tom looked up at her annoyed before returning his attention to the enigma that was this woman, “How is this possible?”

Jayme shrugged, “Either she was put there recently, which makes no sense just looking at the coffin… or the fact that she herself is covered in dust. Are her ears pointed?”

Tom parted her hair and looked at her right ear, “No, they’re human… why?”

“I’d heard stories that elves were able to live for several centuries at one point… but that was back during the days of the Alliance.” Jayme replied.

Tom started tapping her on her cheek to see if he could wake her up. Greggor noticed it and backed away, “Whoa man… you think that’s such a good idea?”

“I want answers.” Tom replied. “Whatever woke up those skeletons is also responsible for her, I’m sure of it.”

The woman didn’t respond to his tapping. Her breathing was steady, but she was otherwise lifeless. Her skin was also extremely cold.

Tom could see that his candle was about to go out. They needed to get out of there before it did or they would not be able to see. He quickly grabbed the woman and hoisted her over his shoulder before turning to his friends, “Come on, let’s get the hell out of here.”

Jayme and Greggor looked at each other oddly for a moment, but quickly followed behind Tom. The group made their way back around to the staircase and made it back to the altar before the candle died. The group was once again in complete darkness.

Tom shook his head, “Fuck this, I don’t want to spend another minute here. Let’s head over to Langone Park. It’s a little more open and hopefully there won’t be any zombies there.”

The group exited the church and ran up Salem Street, heading for Charter Street. When they neared the end of Charter Street, they saw a light heading in their direction. They quickly ducked into a small walk way and hid behind the stone wall on the opposite side of Chater Street from the graveyard that they had seen earlier.

Tom watched as three men dressed in military gear, carrying assault weapons passed by. The marines? Looks like the cavalry has arrived.

Once they were gone, a confused look came over Greggor, “I don’t get it, why’d we hide from them? Maybe they could help us.”

Tom looked back at him, “One, because I haven’t found my sister yet. Two, how would you explain the living dead girl we just found by grave-robbing a national landmark?”

Greggor nodded, “Good point…”

Once the soldiers were out of site, they made their move down the walkway on their right. They ran down the path, down a flight of stairs, and across Commercial Street. The street was busy with activity from military personel who had turned the area into a makeshift base.

Tom noticed a black SUV sitting idle in the middle of the road. He quickly dismissed it as the group made their way through Langone Park. They ran out to the grassy area that was obscured by the playground, so hopefully no one would see them.

Satasfied that they were safe, Tom gently rested the woman on the ground in front of them.The gentle sound of the harbor was a nice change from the creepiness that they had been dealing with all day. At least now they could probably catch their breath.

Tom looked down at the woman lying in front of him. A gentle breeze flowed through her hair and over her skin. It looked like her features were slowly becoming animated as the breeze touched them.

Her eyes winced and her head slowly jerked to either side. She broke out in goosebumps and began to tremble. It looked like she was fighting to come out of her sleep.

Tom looked up at his friends, “Guys, I think she’s coming out of it.”

Jayme and Greggor turned and looked at her. Jayme’s eyes narrowed, “Her heart rate has increased and her lungs feel more animated. It must be the fresh air out here.”

The woman began coughing as she turned on her side. It only last a moment, allowing her to take in a deep breath. When she was ready, she slowly opened her eyes.

To everyone’s surprise her eyes were very different and clearly not human. Her pupils were shaped like cat’s eyes. There was no white either, just a dark orange that seemed to glow in the night.

Tom knelt down next to her, “Take it easy, it’s okay/”

She looked up at Tom with an odd expression on her face, “You… your words…”

She slowly shook her head as she sat up. She spoke with an accent that was most likely from Eastern Europe, “Your voice is unfamiliar to me.”

She sniffed the air as she looked around, “Am I still in Boston? I recognize the smell… at least some of it, but it looks so different. What year is this?”

“It’s 2013.” Tom replied.

A look of shock came over her, “2013… Two hundred ninety years… no…”

She grabbed Tom’s arm as a look of desperation came over her, “Who sent you, my father?”

“Your father?” Tom asked.

“Lord Drapekin.” She replied. “He was an advisor in the kings court before he was found out… is he well?”

Tom shook his head, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. We found you in an ancient tomb undernieth the Old North Church. We heard you breathing.”

The woman shook her head, “So you don’t know my father…”

Tom shook his head, “Miss… um…?”

“Oh forgive me.” She said, realizing that they had not been properly introduced. “My name is Tearsa, daughter of Lord Drapekin, advisor to George I, King of Great Britain and Ireland. Might I have the honor of your name?”

“Thomas McConnel.” Tom replied.

Tearsa smiled, “Irish…”

Tom then turned to his friends, “This is Greggor Iksan and Jayme Woodsum.”

Tearsa looked Greggor over for a moment, “You… so the legends were true. I’d heard about the prowess of dwarves.”

Greggor smiled, “Nice to meet you too.”

She then turned to Tom, “You’re human… I can tell by your smell.”

Her eyes narrowed as she looked at Jayme, “But you… your blood is different. You’re human, but not entirely.”

Jayme shook her head, “That’s none of your business.”

Tom looked up at her oddly, “Not entirely human? Well now a few things make sense… so what else are you?”

Jayme turned her back on them, “I don’t want to talk about it. Mind your own fucking business.”

Tearsa was taken aback by her words, “Such anger… it does not compliment you my lady.”

Jayme didn’t reply as Tearsa turned back to Tom, “What is the current state of the Empire?”

Tom shook his head, “The Empire?”

“The British Empire, man.” Tearsa replied.

Tom couldn’t believe what he was being asked. Had this woman been asleep for over two hundread years? She clearly wasn’t human, but she wasn’t dwarven or elven either. He shrugged as he spoke, “Tearsa, what’s the last thing you remember?”

Tearsa lowered her eyes to the ground, “My family was being hunted. We were found out for being…”

“Being what?” Tom asked, finally certain that he was going to get his answer.

Tearsa shook her head, “I’d rather not say right now. I’m sorry, but I just don’t know you well enough yet to trust you with something like that.”

“It’s okay.” Tom replied. “What happened?”

Tearsa continued her story, “I… My family was found out and we fled hear to the colonies… all thirty of us. We spent the next few years being hunted. One by one, I the people I loved get burned at the stake.”

Tears formed in her eyes as she spoke, “My father still had a few friends though. One of whom was a man named Timothy Cutler. He agreed to help my father hide me before the townspeople came for us. The last thing I remember was being placed in a wooden box. My father told me to go into hibernation until he came for me.”

“Wow…” Tom replied, “and that’s where you’ve been for three hundred years.”

Tearsa nodded, “Almost, it seems.”

She looked around at what little she could see in the darkness, “The city… I’ve never seen structures like these before. Everything is so different… Tell me, what is the state of the Empire? Who currently sits on the throne?”

“There is no Empire.” Tom replied. “The colonies rose up and threw off British rule in 1776. After that, the Empire slowly declined due to war and rebellion over the next two hundred years. Pretty much the final breaking point was World War 2 when Britain withdrew from most of its colonies. The country still exists, but it’s now a small island nation in Northern Europe. Queen Elizabeth currently sits on the throne.”

Tearsa couldn’t believe it. The British Empire was gone? This was hard to take in, “Then… who rules here?”

“No one rules.” Tom replied. “Well… not exactly anyway. We have a government that the people elect.”

“A democracy?” Tearsa asked.

“Not exactly,” Tom said, “but close. The people elect the people who vote in the president here and power is regulated to various levels of the government. Our current president is Barack Obama.”

Tearsa looked at him oddly, “Such an odd name… from where does he hail?”

Tom shrugged, “Well that depends on whome you ask, though most people would agree that he was born in this country. His father was Kenyan.”

Tearsa’s eyes narrowed, “Kenyan?”

“African.” Tom replied.

“Really?” Tearsa asked. “Incredible… so after three hundred years… the slaves now have the ability to become a ruling power?”

Tom smiled, “They haven’t been slaves in 150 years.”

Tearsa placed her hand on her forehead, “I’ve got so much catching up to do…”

 

 

 



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-Jim

Magnifica: Dark Redemption (Chapter 3)

 

III

Weird things began to happen over the next few weeks. Toby and Lia’na disappeared and Gishan wouldn’t talk about it. He walked around like he was a dead man and barely even talked to anyone. One day at lunch, Tom was sitting with Greggor and Jayme when Gishan came in.

Tom was talking to Jayme, “Did you hear about what happened in Holland at the Elven reservation?”

“I know,” Jayme replied, “I understand while people don’t like elves, but a full on terrorist attack?”

“Heh, serves them right.” Greggor replied. “I could tell you stories of how they treated my people.”

Tom didn’t respond, fully aware that he had his own predjudices against elves and didn’t feel like getting into a fight. That’s when he saw Gishan walk into the room.

“Hey Gishan!” Tom called out. “What’s going on?”

Gishan came over, “Hey guys…”

Jayme looked up at him and smiled warmly, “Hey man, how are you?”

Gishan sat down next to them, but didn’t say anything. He looked like he was on the verge of crying. Tom was completely unnerved as he’d never seen Gishan like this before, “Gishan, what’s going on, man?”

Gishan sucked down a few quivering breaths as he struggled to speak. He was only able to get out two words before a tear fell down his cheek, “Lia’na’s dead…”

Tom’s eyes widened, “What?”

Jayme looked over at Tom, “Toby’s elf?”

Tom nodded as he put his arm around Gishan, “Buddy, I don’t know what to say… how’s Toby handling it?”

Gishan shook his head, “Toby’s walking around like a zombie.”

Tom put his hand on his forehead and closed his eyes, “As if she hadn’t been through enough already.”

Greggor sat back and sipped his drink, “What happened?”

“I don’t really have all the details.” Gishan replied. “All I know is that one of her own kind killed her. They haven’t told me anything else yet. Even my girl knows more than I do about this.”

Jayme kept her eyes locked on Gishan, “It sucks man.”

Tom sucked down a deep breath before speaking, “Is Toby back at his condo yet? Do you want me to stop in and check on him?”

Gishan shook his head, “No. He’s supposed to be back tonight. I’m going to go see him and Giselle is meeting us there. I don’t think he really wants to see anyone.”

“That’s understandable.” Tom replied. “I doubt he’d want to see me anyway.”

Gishan stood up and looked back at the chef’s stations. A grimace appeared on his face before he spoke, “Sorry guys… I don’t think I’m up for eating. I’m going head up to Saugus and try to intercept Toby. Fuck only knows what I’m going to see when I get there.”

Jayme nodded, “All right Gishan, keep us posted.”

“Will do.” Gishan replied before walking away.

Greggor watched him leave the hall and sighed, “What was so special about this elf girl anyway? First Toby and now Gishan isn’t in the mood to eat?”

Tom frowned, “From what I understand, she brought out the best in Toby. I really can’t believe that this happened. It’s…”

Tom couldn’t wrap his fingers around it and stood up, “Sorry guys, I’ve gotta go.”

“Not you too?” Greggor asked in an annoyed tone.

Tom shook his head, “No, I just have to do something.”

“Like what?” Jayme asked.

Tom didn’t answer. He just turned around quickly and walked out. Jayme stood up with a confused look on her face as she called after Tom, “Hey, what’s going on, Tom?”

When he didn’t reply, Jayme tossed her leftovers in the trash and ran after Tom. She ran down the steps and outside into the cool afternoon air. The breeze caressed her skin as she looked around.

Tom was standing off to the side of the building, looking out on the rest of the campus. He looked like he was deep in thought. Ordinarily, Jayme would have just left him alone, but she was concerned and wanted an answer, “Tom!”

Tom flinched as he turned and looked at her. She marched up next to him with an annoyed look, “What is it? Don’t just run off on me. What’s going on?”

“I just can’t believe it.” Tom replied. “I didn’t know this girl and really didn’t have anything to do with her. Why is this bothering me?”

Jayme smiled, “Because someone you care about is hurting right now… and you probably feel a little guilty.”

Tom nodded, “Guilty… for making her short life more difficult.”

Jayme shook her head, “She’d all but forgiven you, why can’t you forgive yourself?”

“It’s not that easy.” Tom replied. “I was part of something awful. I don’t care if she has forgiven me, that doesn’t absolve me of what I did.”

Jayme shrugged, “Well I don’t know what you want to do, man. You need to find some way of getting over it.”

As though someone called to her, Jayme looked out on the horizon, “And something tells me that you may soon find a way.”

Tom’s narrowed as he looked at her, “What are you talking about?”

Jayme turned away with a dismissive smile, “Don’t worry about it.”

“No.” Tom shot back. “You don’t get off that easily. You always give these cryptic responses to people. What do you know that I don’t.”

Jayme chuckled, “That would be the longest book ever written and I simply don’t have time to read it to you.”

“Oh ha ha…” Tom replied sarcastically. “Come on, spit it out.”

“I honestly don’t know.” Jayme said in a convincing tone. “All I know is that something big is going to happen, and soon. It’s just a feeling that I have.”

“Whatever.” Tom said as he looked back at the dorm.

“You done for the day?” Jayme asked.

“Yeah.” Tom replied. “I think I need to lay down. I’m worn out.”

Jayme smiled, “All right, well I’ll see you later. Catch me on my cell if you decide you want to do something later.”

“Will do.” Tom replied.

The two went their separate ways. Tom headed back to his room and Jayme to hers. The moment that Tom got inside and was safe from prying eyes, he collapsed. Tears flowed down his cheeks. He felt so bad about what had happened. It had eaten away at him for a very long time, and now to find out that Lia’na was gone, made him feel even worse.

Part of Tom wanted to call Jayme, as she was one of the few people that still spoke to him, but he didn’t want the same tired lecture that he’d been getting since February. It was not what he needed at that point. No one else would be any help either.

Having little other choice, Tom turned in for the night, knowing full well that he probably wouldn’t be able to sleep. He lay back on his mattress, unable and unwilling to let his mind rest. As far as he was concerned, this was his only method of penance at this point.

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

Yeah, no Heavy Metal playlist is complete without at least 5 songs by Dragonforce. This song is pure adrenaline. It makes you feel good, it’s upbeat, and I love it.

When to Listen: Well, it’s on my general playlist and I like to listen to it whenever, but if you’re looking for a specific time to listen to it… burnout. I’m not kidding. Are you tired of writing? Take some time off and before going back to it, listen to this song.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.  I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Magnifica: Dark Redemption (Chapter 2)

 

II

The next day, Tom got up for class, though he wasn’t really up for it. It was late in the afternoon and he had been lazing around most of the day. Despite the fact that he had no desire to take a history class, he knew that he needed one to graduate and the only one available was with Professor Arias. He knew Arias’ reputation and it didn’t make things any easier, but he got up, got dressed, and headed out the door.

Tom made his way toward’s the main building where liberal arts classes were held. Other students were heading in various directions either heading to or from class. Everything seemed normal until he entered Professor Arias’ lecture hall.

To Tom’s surprise, the room was completely empty. Tom looked around, surprised. Had he gone to the wrong room? No, this was clearly the right place as much of the art work that Arias favored was hanging on the walls.

Tom noticed a piece of paper hanging on the chalkboard at the front of the room and walked over to it. The paper has a single sentence written on it, “Professor Arias is out sick today, all classes cancelled.”

Tom couldn’t believe it. He knew Professor Arias’s reputation. The man took his work way too seriously and never took a day off. If he was out, it had to be something serious.

After a moment of thinking about it, Tom realized that he was being given a merciful day off. He didn’t want to be there anyway and decided not to question it. With nary another thought to what was going on, he quickly turned and exited the room.

As he made his way out of the building, Tom accidentally bumped into Toby, who was headed the other way. He wasn’t sure that he wanted to talk to him, but decided it was better to try and break the ice a little, “Hey, did you hear?”

Toby looked at Tom hesitantly for a minute before responding, “What’s up?”

Tom pointed back to the lecture hall that Professor Arias normally used, “Can you believe it?”

“Yeah I don’t have class with him today.” Toby replied.

“You haven’t heard?” Tom replied, shaking his head. “Arias took a sick day!”

“What?” Toby exclaimed. “From what I read in the newsletter, he hasn’t been absent once in almost forty years of teaching!”

Tom frowned, “You actually read that thing…?”

“I get bored sometimes.” Toby admitted.

Tom shrugged, “Whatever… What do you think happened?”

“Who knows?” Toby replied. “Maybe the shock of having me in class was too much for him.”

Tom laughed as he thought about it. A moment later, his face turned back to a frown as he remembered what happened the previous day, “Look Toby… I get that we’re not friends anymore. Lia’na is your girl and I’d probably do the same thing in your shoes…”

“Before you say anything else,” Toby interrupted, “I am willing to believe that you didn’t know what Michael was planning that night, but you still helped him after he hit her twice. ‘I didn’t know’ is not an acceptable excuse at that point. Lia’na said she’s not going to ignore you anymore, so I’ll give you the same courtesy, no more, no less.”

Tom sighed, “Fair enough, I guess I shouldn’t expect more.”

“Nope.” Toby replied.

Tom nodded, “So what you up to the rest of the day?”

Toby shrugged, “I’ve got one more class, and then I’m outta here.”

“One more class?” Tom asked in shock. “But it’s already five o’clock!”

“I know…” Toby said in a defeated tone, “but it was the only way to get Friday off.”

“Makes sense then.” Tom replied as he looked at the crowd walking towards the café, “Well I’m out. Talk to you later, Toby.”

“Yeah.” Toby said as he headed in the other direction.

Tom headed to the dining hall to get some food. Jayme met him at the door to the café, “Hey stranger, what’s going on?”

Tom sighed, “I wish I knew.”

“I heard about what you did yesterday.” Jayme replied.

“Oh yeah?” Tom asked. “What did you hear?”

Jayme smiled warmly, “Nothing much just that you stood up to Michael and it sounds like you’re back on speaking terms with Toby and Gishan.”

Tom shrugged, “Yeah I guess, which is great, but it’ll never be what it was.”

“Nothing you can do about it, Tom.” Jayme replied before beckoning him towards the café, “Come on, let’s get some food, I’m starving.”

Tom followed Jayme up the stairs. She moved quick, so he had to hustle to keep up. He stayed close behind her, but far enough back that she was up enough stairs that he would have a good view of her ass without being pervy.

This wasn’t the first time that Tom had noticed her, far from it. She was tall and slender, and very feminine. Her body was very shapely, and she made no effort to hide it.

Jayme was no fool. She knew what Tom was doing without even having to look back. He favored her above any other girl on campus, which she delighted in. She intentionally swayed her hips as she walked, just to torture him a little more.

Certain that she had tortured him enough, Jayme turned back, “So what do you think?”

Tom’s eyes jolted up to her face, “What?”

Jayme smiled, “What are you getting to eat?”

Tom shrugged, “The dwarven chef always has something good going, though the portions are way too much for a human.”

“Still, it’s good food.” Jayme replied. “I think I’m going that way.”

“Whatever.” Tom replied.

Tom grabbed a chicken sandwich while Jayme grabbed the slab of steak that the dwarven chef had been cutting. They sat down and began eating when they were joined by a stout dwarf, “Hey Tom, Jayme, how goes it?”

Jayme smiled as she turned to the dwarf, “Hey there, Reggor, what’s up?”

Reggor scratched his black beard as he sat down, “Nothing much, just grabbing some food before my next class.”

Tom looked at him oddly, “You have another class?”

Reggor nodded, “Yeah, at 6:30. It sucks, but it’s once a week, so I get it out of the way.”

“They’re not so bad.” Jayme replied. “I’m doing a few of those. I’ve only got two classes a week that I have to go to more than once.”

“It is the way to do it.” Tom agreed.

Greggor turned to Tom with a devious smile, “You know, I heard you saved that sharpy friend of Toby’s.”

Tom rolled his eyes, ready to get hell for what he’d done. He knew since the day he’d gotten involved in the first place that no matter what he did, he would be condemned for it, “Yeah…”

“Nice.” Greggor replied. “I never got why you went along with Michael in the first place. I’m no sharpy-lover, but Michael is about as bad an egg as they come.”

“I know that now.” Tom said in an irritated tone.

Greggor shrugged, “Well I’m just glad you finally got that.”

Tom sighed as he sat back, “So what do you think is going on with Professor Arias?”

Greggor shrugged, “No idea. It’s weird that he took some time off.”

“Yeah, but the man’s got tenure.” Jayme replied. “I can’t even imagine how much vacation time the man must have saved up.”

Greggor finished eating quickly and got up, “Well I’ve got to go, guys. Have fun.”

“Yeah right.” Tom shouted as Greggor walked away.

Jayme shook her head as she focused on her remaining company, “So Tom, what are you up to tonight?”

Tom shrugged, “Nothing really. I was going to head back to my room and relax.”

Jayme tapped her fingers on the table, not directly at Tom as she spoke, “Well, I have a bottle of Sam Adam’s Dwarven Ale that I haven’t opened yet and my roommate’s gone for the night…”

Tom suddenly felt something rubbing his ankle and working its way up his leg. He could instantly tell that it was Jayme’s foot. He looked at her oddly, “Cold?”

Jayme nodded, “Of course.”

Tom immediately stood up and grabbed both of their trash, “Let’s go.”

Tom wasn’t a huge fan of the dwarven ale. There were other brews he liked more, still he had a feeling that the bottle would remain capped. Jayme had made her intentions perfectly clear.

The moment Tom had disposed of their plates, Jayme beckoned him to the door, “Come on.”

Jayme and Tom headed back across the campus to her dorm. Tom pulled the door open and followed Jayme into her room. When the door closed behind them, Tom didn’t even have a chance to speak. Jayme jumped on him and bit into his neck.

Tom ran his nails down her back. She breathed heavily as his fingers moved, “The summer was too long, Tom…”

*

The next morning, Tom woke up in Jayme’s bed with red marks all over him. Jayme was lying next to him, still asleep. It looked as though he had successfully worn her out.

Tom shook his head as he got up and looked over the scratch marks on his skin. He grabbed his boxers and slid them on as a voice appeared behind him, “Well good morning. You hoping to sneak out before I woke up?”

Tom turned back and smiled, “Nah, just inspecting the damage. You did a real number on me!”

Jayme smiled as she wrapped herself in her blanket, “You liked it, and it’s not like you didn’t give as good as you got.”

Jayme lowered the blanket to show him the deep scratches on her back. Tom shook his head, “Yeah I know… sorry.”

“For what?” Jayme asked. “It’s not like I didn’t want you to. I enjoyed it as much as you did.”

Jayme stretched out as she stood up and headed for the shower, “See you in class today?”

Tom looked at her surprised, “What, you’re just going to kick me out?”

Jayme shrugged, “Oh, I’m sorry. Let’s shower together, get dressed, go get breakfast, hang all over each other, and then skip off to class together hand in hand. How does that sound?”

A look of annoyance appeared on Tom’s face, “Are you done?”

“I could go on,” Jayme replied, “but I think you get the point. Look, you knew what this was. You got what you wanted and so did I. Why complicate things? You know I’m not looking for a relationship.”

Tom sighed, “Yeah I know. All right, well I’ll catch you later then.”

Jayme watched as Tom got dressed and headed for the door. Before he disappeared, she called out to him, “Hey Tom.”

He poked his head back in to see her, “Yes?”

Jayme looked at him for a moment before speaking, “As awesome as it was, don’t count on getting back in my bed if you plan on being all disappointed like this.”

Tom nodded, “Got it, no more disappointment. See you in class.”

Jayme smiled, “Good, see you then.”

 

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Magnifica: Dark Redemption (Chapter 1)

 

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed Taryn. Next up is another… expansion of the Magnifica series. This one revolves around one of the early bad guys in The Last Enchanter, Thomas. It basically deals with his road to redemption.

I abandoned this story after deciding that what Thomas did… or rather didn’t do to help Lia’na when she was in distress, was something that I’d have a difficult time helping him find redemption from. I also didn’t find his character likable, so I abandoned the story rather quickly.

So here we go, enjoy:

I

 

I‘ve never been able to get passed what happened. It still seems like something out of a nightmare, but it wasn’t. It happened, I did it. I know I did. I helped him hurt her, and in doing so, I’ve damned myself… More than anything… I want to be forgiven, or at least find a way to redeem myself…

“Tom, snap out of it!” A voice yelled from behind. “What are you doing man?”

Tom turned around to see his friend Jayme standing behind him, “What’s up?”

Jayme brushed her thick brown hair back behind her ear, “I just asked if you were going to lunch. You didn’t answer and had a look on your face like you were a million miles away.”

Tom nodded, “I’m sorry, I was just thinking to myself.”

“About what happened?” Jayme asked in an accusing tone.

“Yeah.” Tom replied. “I still can’t get the look on her face or the anger in his eyes out of my head.”

“You let Michael do a number on that poor elf, and Toby made sure that you paid for it.” Jayme replied. “Look, it’s like I told you before, it happened, you can’t go back in time and change that, all you can do now is learn from it and try to live better. I’d also try to see if you can earn her forgiveness.”

Tom sighed as he spoke, “I know… you’ve said it before. I just don’t know what I can do.”

Jayme shrugged, “You never know.”

Jayme stood near Tom for a few minutes while he compiled his thoughts. After a few moments of boredom, she spoke up, “Are you doing lunch?”

Tom shook his head, “Nah, not today. I think I’ll just head back to my room.”

“Suit yourself.” Jayme replied. “I’m starving, so I’m heading that way. See you later!”

Tom really wasn’t in the mood to eat and needed time to compile his thoughts, “All right, have a good time.”

Jayme nodded and walked away. It was a cool September day. Autumn had just barely begun taking over as classes were once again starting at Arcanus. The trees were still green, but it was a light green that would soon give way to brighter colors.

Tom had been dreading the fall. He didn’t want to see Toby, Lia’na, or Michael. To him, they were nothing more than reminders of an awful mistake he’d made. He knew that what he’d done was wrong, he was suffering on his own for it, and didn’t need to be reminded of what happened.

Tom made his past the main campus center when he heard a n angry voice, “You’ll pay for that sharpy!”

Oh no… Tom thought to himself, recognizing the voice. It was Michael, no mistake about it, and by the sound of things, he’d come across Lia’na. What’s worse, it sounded like Toby wasn’t anywhere nearby.

Tom picked up his pace and began running. He made his way around to the lounge area where he saw Lia’na and Michael. The scene was exactly what Tom had feared.

Michael stood in front of Lia’na as his two friends held her by the arms. Michael balled his fist and was about to strike when his world suddenly blurred. There was intense pressure on his side and chest as he fell to the side.

It took him less than a second to figure out what was going on. Michael had been tackled. Toby was on top of him with his fists clenched. The first blow impacted on Michael’s stomach while the second on his chin.

Tom continued running as the other two guys released Lia’na and tried to help, but the first one got a left hook to the stomach from Gishan. Tom knew that while they both knew how to defend themselves, but Michael’s dwarven friend was still free and closing in on Gishan.

Tom quickly moved in, tackled the third companion, and pinned him to the ground. The dwarf looked up with an angry look, “What the hell man?”

Tom smiled as he held the dwarf down, “Easy there, Griz, don’t do anything stupid.”

After a few seconds, Toby let up on Michael and backed away. The look on his face made Michael’s blood run cold. His face was red with black eyes. Michael struggled to his feet as he was joined by his friend who was released from Gishan’s grip. Michael sneered as he looked at Toby, “Very nice Toby, fucking jump me from behind! I still can’t believe you’re dating that… sharpy!”

Toby clenched his jaw and spoke in an inhuman voice, “Animal… you’ve lead a sheltered life with parents who hate for no reason other than to hate. You know nothing about the world outside of your bubble and you never will!”

Tom released Griz and backed away slowly when he heard Toby’s voice. What the…?

Michael scoffed, “I’m the animal? That sharpy and her people are the ones responsible for us being where we are today. They deserved the disease they got and they should stay on the reservations!”

Gishan shook his head, “That shit is ancient history from long before you or she was even born! She’s as responsible for the collapse of the Alliance as you or I would be.”

Michael wasn’t sure he wanted to say anymore. Toby looked like a ticking time bomb and that demonic voice he spoke with made things even worse, “Oh please Gishan, why should I listen to you? What are you going to do about anything? You want to try to take me on?”

Tom stood up and took a step forward. Michael had been his friend since he first attended Arcanus, but he’d known Gishan for many years before that and was not about to let him get beaten. He stepped out in front of his old friend, “If he doesn’t, I will.”

Lia’na saw Tom and nervously stepped closer to Toby. Michael looked at him in shock, “Tom, since when are you a sharpy lover?”

Tom looked at Lia’na for a second before turning back to Michael, “I’m not, but I’m also not so small that I would resort to assault or rape! Had I known that’s what you were planning, I never would have gone along with it. I’m not much better than you, but I am better. If you try to go after Toby or Gishan, you’ll have to deal with me.”

Gishan looked over at him, “Tom, what are you doing?”

“What I should have done months ago.” Tom replied without looking over.

Michael nodded and turned back to Lia’na, “Someday sharpy…”

Toby‘s hand began to glow black as he bolted forward and grabbed Michael by the throat. He spoke in the same dark voice, “Listen to me very carefully… if you ever… ever try to lay a finger on her… I will make sure you are never found!”

Tom backed away slowly as Michael choked under his grasp, but could not fight away. Toby’s concentration was broken when he heard Lia’na cry out, “Toby, stop!”

Toby released Michael, giving him an opening to get away. Michael ran off, followed closely by his remaining friend. He didn’t bother looking back and just continued running.

Toby was breathing heavily and his skin was still red. Lia’na felt the energy flowing from him. She put her arms around him and whispered gently, “Toby calm down… it’s over. I wasn’t hurt…. Shh…”

Finally the red disappeared from his face and his eyes returned to normal. Tears fell down his cheeks as Lia’na hid his face, “Lia’na… what happened?”

Lia’na shook her head, “We’ll talk later… for now, calm down. It’s over, I’m not hurt. Everything is okay.”

Toby took a few deep breaths as he calmed down. He knew he still had to deal with Tom. When he was ready, he turned to Tom and looked him in the eye.

Tom didn’t move. He stood his ground as the two stared at each other for a few moments. Am I next?

After what seemed like an eternity, Toby faintly smiled, “Thanks for your help.”

Tom nodded, “It was the least I could do.”

He then turned to Lia’na, “I don’t expect you to forgive me for what happened, but please know that I am sorry. Michael won’t bother you again, I promise.”

Lia’na took a deep breath, but couldn’t find it in her to even crack a smile, “I can’t forgive you for what happened… or what almost happened, but I can try to forget… at the very least, I’ll stop pretending you don’t exist.”

Tom smiled, “Good enough.”

Lia’na didn’t respond as she turned to Toby, “We should probably get you home.”

Gishan nodded, “All right… I’ll get you home. Let’s go.”

He quickly looked back at Tom before they parted ways, “Thanks for the backup man.”

“Any time.” He replied as Gishan turned away and guided Toby and Lia’na back to his car.

Tom made his way back to his room, completely shaken by what he’d seen. His head was filled with questions; what was that, why were Toby’s eyes glowing, what did it all mean?

Tom eventually shrugged, there was nothing he could do about it, so there was no point in worrying about it. Whatever happened with Toby, no doubt his friends were taking care of it.

Toby had been acting weird ever since he’d met Lia’na. The glowing eyes, the hands, the unexplainable powers, it all didn’t add up, but again, there was nothing that he could do about it.  He would have liked to have gone and seen Toby at his new place, but he had a feeling that he would most likely not be welcomed there. There was nothing for Tom to do but ignore it and go about his day.

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Taryn: The Lost Magnifica Sequel (Chapter 7)

 

VII

The dark figure held onto Taryn tightly as he ran through the woods. Using impressive speed, he had gotten as far as Saugus before he had to rest. He found a small clearing in the middle of the Breakheart Reservation and set Taryn down.

Upon touching the soft ground, Taryn began to rouse. There was a small crackling noise and an orange hue in front of her. Someone had built a fire.  Her eyes blinked a few times, “Ugh… Sentinel… where am I? What time is it.”

She got no response.

“Sentinel, respond.”

Still nothing.

She looked down at her wrist to see that her armband was gone. Then she remembered what had happened. Her eyes shot open and she quickly sat up. Sitting next to her, was the man with dark hair and yellow eyes that she’d seen earlier, “Oh good, you’re awake.”

Taryn pushed herself back, away from the flame, but was still to groggy to stand, “You… who are you? What do you want?”

The dark figure looked at her calmly, “I have what I want, though I didn’t think that the last descendant of the only enchanter in modern memory would have been so easy to take down. I have to admit, I’m disappointed.”

“In case you haven’t noticed, I’m part elf. I couldn’t use magic, even if it still existed!”

“Still existed?” The man asked.

Taryn nodded, “You have no clue what I’m talking about, do you? A terrorist group retrieved the shattered Lux Mundi and attempted to restore it. My great grandfather stopped them.”

“How?”

“He used his echantments to launch the thing into the sun, destroying it once and for all.”

The man sat back, “That explains so much…”

Taryn’s eyes narrowed as she looked at him, “Are you…?”

“Yes.”

“Pure blood?”

“Completely.”

A look of intrigue came over Taryn’s face, “Are their many of you?”

“Over a hundred thousand living in an old dwarven city.”

“Is that where you’re taking me?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

The man sighed, “We need your help. Whatever your ancestor did, is destroying our city.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, but what can I do?”

The man smiled, “You don’t know that value of the blood that courses through your veins do you?”

“No…” Taryn replied suspiciously.

The man stood up, “Just a few drops could save my people. Just a few drops could put a hex on the pillars of our world and keep it safe. “

Taryn turned over and got to her knees, “Why didn’t you just ask me for help?”

“Too great a risk that you would have said no.”

Taryn shook her head, “What’s your name?”

“Irian.”

“Irain… well I’m…”

“I know who you are.”

Taryn’s lips twisted into a scowl, “Well excuse me!”

As they sat by the fire, Taryn’s lips twisted into a satasfied smile. Irian looked at her oddly as though he’d never seen one before, “Why do you look so happy?”

“Elves are supposed to be extinct. The thought that some still exist… it’s nice to know that my people will live on.”

“They are not your people.” Irian said in an almost accusing tone. “You are less than half elf. Your people are the round-ears who live up here on the surface.”

“Humans.”

“Whatever…”

A cold expression came over Taryn’s face, “I really don’t care what you think, and I don’t care for your tone. At this point, there aren’t any elves left that are known about. Even half-elves are dwindling in number. Most people are a quarter or less. That I’m about 40% is about as close to a full elf as anyone.”

Irian remained completely still and didn’t say anything.

“Fine, well then I guess you don’t want my help. You obviously view me as some sub-standard creature, given your tone, so I don’t see why I should stick around.”

Taryn began to move her legs to get up. At that moment, Irian sprang to life, “Wait… okay, you’re right, I’m sorry. It’s bad enough I kidnapped you. Please forgive my attitude, it’s just hard to hear that my species has been almost completely wiped out.”

“Apology accepted.”

Taryn sat back down and stared at the flame as Irian moved around uncomfortably, “So you’ll help us?”

“I guess, but why do you want to continue living there? Why not come back to the surface?”

Irian shook his head, “We’ve seen how our bretheren were treated, we recieved reports of how they were abused by both human and dwarven people.”

“How?”

“We came to the surface now and then through ancient tunnels that were left to us by the dwarves. We had thought about coming back to the surface, but changed our minds pretty quickly.”

Irian looked up at the stars as the small fire died, “Come, we have a long way to go.”

 

**

The pungeant smell of the Aquarium Station on the Blue line subway hit Lisa in the face as the doors slip open. She didn’t like travelling via subway, it was beneath a person of her status, but at this moment, she had no other choice. She needed to get to Long Warf quickly if there was any hope for Taryn.

Merrin followed closely behind her as they disembarked. He beamed as he admired the handy work, “Incredible, isn’t it?”

“What’s that?”

Merrin pointed, “The humans built this whole system without dwarven help. It’s amazing how a species that largely prefers surface life would be prompted to build such structures.”

“Well when you run out of space on the surface…”

“Why not build a large monorail then, or something that elevates the city? Why burrow into the ground?”

Lisa shrugged, “I guess it was more cost-effective and safe?”

“Exactly.” Merrin replied. “This system would long outlast any surface transportation.”

Lisa’s eyes narrowed, “Wait, I thought dwarves did assist with building the Boston’s transit system.”

“We helped modernize the stations and add to them, but most were built before most humans even knew that we existed.”

He pointed to the curvature of the ceiling, “See? We helped reinforce the infrastructure so that it was even stronger than before. In theory, it should be able to survive a nuclear blast. Look at the…”

“As stimulating as I find this lesson in historical engineering, I really just want to get out of here. This station wreaks and is filthy.”

Merrin sighed, “All right, all right.”

Lisa moved through the turnstyle and ran up the stairs to the glass enclosure which exited onto the street. Merrin had to run in order to keep up. Wow… she can really move fast if she doesn’t like something!

The pair exited the station onto State Street and proceeded down the old brick road. To their left was the massive Marriott Long Warf Hotel. Merrin had wanted to stay there and wondered what it was like. Lisa had spent many a night there going to parties on the upper floors.

During the day, the area would have been crowded, especially during the summer. Boston pedal cabs would have been running through the streets, people would have been in line to either charter cruises or go to one of the many exhibits at the New England Aquarium.

Even in the dark, Lisa could see the blue and white emblem that represented the Aquarium to her right. She loved it out there, but this was no time for a trip down memory lane. One of their friends was in trouble and they had to hurry.

The sound of the water and large hydrofoils bumping against the dock became louder in their ears as Lisa and Merrin picked up their pace. They made their way past the old Chart House and out into the open. Brick turned to stone and benches appeared in front of them surrounding a small man-made park.

The park was completely surrounded by large black chains connected by bollards of the same color that would have been too heavy for any one person to move. The park was illuminated with street lamps and the lights of the city. The occasional evening cruise hydrofoil would pass by, but the place was otherwise deserted.

Merrin’s eyes darted around nervously, “Lisa, what the heck are we doing out here? This ain’t the time for a sight seeing tour. I’ll be happy to come back here with you another time, but right now our friend is missing!”

“Shh”

“Don’t shush me!”

“Fine, shut up.”

Merrin crossed his arms and closed his mouth. If anything happened to Taryn, he was going to tear Lisa a new one. It was an uncomfortable silence as Lisa leaned on one of the bollards. It was clear that she was waiting for something –or someone –and Merrin wasn’t certain he wanted to know who.

A few more moments passed and Merrin was getting irritate, “Lisa, what are you waiting for? We neeed to get back and help Bobby find Taryn, this is ridiculous!”

“You sent for me?”

Merrrin was spooked. He whirled around to see a man dressed in a dark black cloak behind him. The cloak looked as though it were a part of some sort of ceremonial robe from long ago. The man had dark brown hair and looked as though he were in his mid to late 50s. He seemed very familiar, but Merrin could quite pinpoint who it was.

Lisa nodded, “Yes, forgive abruptness, but I needed to talk to you.”

“I thought you told your parents that you didn’t want anything to do with us. You said our organization had a bad history.”

“You do.” Lisa replied. “I don’t know how you managed to survive or why you would want to rebuild an order that was founded by evil people, but that’s not my problem.”

“Then what is?” The man asked intently.

“My friend Taryn… she’s been abducted.”

Merrin watched as the man’s facial features turned to a look of interest, “Taryn… as in Taryn Arrigan, the only descendant of the last enchanter?”

Lisa nodded as Merrin’s eyes narrowed. He’d listened to Taryn tell stories of her ancestors, but never believed them, “The last enchanter? That’s just a fairy tale that Taryn’s parents told her. It’s not true…”

The man looked at him oddly, “Who is this?”

Lisa smiled, “A mutual friend of mine and Taryn’s. He’s blunt, but his heart is in the right place, and he’s here to help.”

Lisa then turned to the dwarf, “Merrin, meet Michael O’Neil, Senator Michael O’Neil.”

Merrin’s eyes widened as he looked at the senator, “Oh wow… Lisa has some pretty high friends.”

Senator O’Neil nodded, “A pleasure, Merrin.”

“Likewise, Senator…”

With the pleasantries out of the way, the senator turned back to Lisa, “So she was kidnapped, any idea by whom?”

“That’s why I called you… I thought you’d be interested.”

“Oh?”

Lisa sighed as she spoke, “Taryn’s said that she’s been having nightmares about a man… an elf with glowing eyes and long flowing hair. Now she mysteriously disappears from her room and the last person to see her claims that she was alone and the door was locked. Sound odd?”

“Very odd indeed.” Senator O’Neil replied thoughtfully. “So you think I know who this… elf is?”

“Elves are supposed to be extinct. Their reservations have been long-since deserted, memorials to what the world lost.”

The senator thought quietly for a moment before speaking, “And you’re certain that this isn’t some half-elf punk?”

“Taryn was sure.”

“How do you know.”

Merrin frowned, “She told us that she was certain. She may be less than half an elf, but she somehow always seems to know things. If she said that he was a full elf, you can believe that he was.”

The senator nodded, “No doubt… and you believe that this person is her stalker?”

“It seems quite the coincidence that she starts having these dreams, senses someone following her, and then ends up being abducted.” Lisa replied.

“Very true… I don’t believe in coincidences…”

The senator looked at Lisa and then at Merrin. It looked like he was deep in thought about something. He was hiding something, Lisa was certain of it. If he even tried to deny it, she would let him have an earful.

After another long silence, the senator spoke again, “There may be a possibility…”

“Oh?” Lisa asked.

“Some of our old contacts in the elven clans of old told us of rumors about elves hiding in underground cities in the New World. If the rumors are true, then they’ve been kept hidden for hundreds of years.”

Merrin rolled his eyes, “I’ve heard these stories before. Underground cities here in America have never been located. They don’t exist.”

“Don’t exist,” Lisa repeated, “or perhaps hidden from human eyes… I seem to recall from history that the elves were very particular as to where their reservations were. The one up in New Hampshire was of particular interest as the elves fought tooth and nail for that specific site and wouldn’t settle for anything else.”

She looked at Senator O’Neil inquisitively, “Could that be why they wanted that particular piece of land so badly?”

“I don’t know. I suppose it would explain a lot. The elves never provided the U.S. Government a reason as to why they wanted that land so badly.”

“Too bad that won’t help us.” Merrin replied. “The reservation has been all but deserted since the elves died out. A few half breeds still hang out there when they need a place to stay, but last I heard the land has been all but abandoned.”

“So it looks like we’re off to the reservation in Milan, New Hampshire.”

The senator nodded, “That would be a good place to start.”

Lisa turned to Merrin, “Come on, let’s get back to the station and get my car out of the garage. We’ve got a long ride head of us.”

Merrin rolled his eyes as he turned back toward the city. As the two began walking, Senator O’Neil called after Lisa, “You know…”

Lisa closed her eyes and turned back, “What?”

“We did you a favor.”

“Yes, so?”

“So… remember that. As a rule, we don’t do people favors. We may need you to return it at some point.”

“Fine.”

Lisa turned away without saying another word and walked away. Merring followed closely behind her, “What was that about?”

“Don’t worry about it,” was all Lisa would say.

**

Glide carried Bobby up Route 16 to the Mount Washington Auto Road. Bobby held on for dear life as the wheels began to glow and the bike shot into the air, “What the hell?”

“Nexus, are you seeing this?”

The band lit up and Nexus’ face appeared in front of him, “Yes, but if you’re looking for an explanation, I have none to give you. There is an energy source at work here like nothing I have ever seen before.”

“Can you record it?”

“Query; what for?”

“I get the feeling that this won’t be the last time we come across it.”

“Acknowledged, scanning energy source and recording the readings.”

Bobby nodded, “Alert me if you detect them in the future.”

“Understood.”

Bobby watched Glide carry him over the trees until they reached a small clearing that appeared to never have been touched by man. The bike set down on the smoothest area it could. The landing was rocky, but niether Bobby nor Glide took any damage.

Bobby hopped off and back away a few feet. He looked at the bike oddly as it revved its engine. It flicked on its headlight, which illuminated a cave directly in its path.

Vroom!

Bobby looked carefully at the cave, “Is that where Taryn was taken?”

Vroom!

“How could this old bike possibly know that?”

Bobby’s armband came alive in response and Nexus appeared in front of him once again, “Theory; perhaps this bike was enchanted by Taryn’s ancestor. Perhaps now that bike can sense where its family members are.”

“That’s a tad far fetched, don’t you think?”

“Query; after riding on a bike that has the ability to drive on its own, communicate with people, and fly, the idea that it could have the ability to track its owner is too much for you to believe?”

Bobby sighed, “All right… good point…”

The bike revved its engine again, causing Bobby to turn his attention back to it, “Is that where they are?”

The bike reared up on its back wheel and then lowered itself back down. Nexus’s Avatar smiled, “I believe that was a yes.”

“I agree.”

Bobby turned and looked at the cave. It was a narrow opening, not big enough for the bike, but Bobby thought he could squeeze through. He sighed and turned back to the bike, “All right, I’ll take it from here. Come get us if you sense that she’s on the move above the ground…”

Vroom!

As the bike turned and disappeared into the trees, Bobby shook his head, “I hope it understood.”

Nexus also watched the bike leave, “It seems likely that it did.”

Bobby squeezed into the hole, feet first. He didn’t know what to expect. Would he have to crawl through this cave or would it open up. To his releif, after getting through the entrance, not only did it open up, the inside appeared to have been man-made. The walls were smoothed out and the floor resembled cobblestones. Odd symbols and murals had been carved into the walls.

In front of Bobby was a pitch black maw. The moment he stepped away from the narrow entrance into the hallway, he was engulfed in almost total darkness, “Nexus, light.”

A light as bright as the one on Glide shot out of the armband undernieth Nexus’s Avatar. Bobby studied the odd carvings on the wall, “What are these? Nexus, do you recognize this language?”

Nexus appeared to be deep in thought, “Processing… comparing these symbols to the linguistics database. Identifying…”

Bobby waited patiently for Nexus to respond. He thankfully didn’t have to wait long, “These writings are similar to the ancient texts believed to be from the language of the Alliance. These symbols have yet to be translated. No further information is available.”

“Nexus, do you think that this cave was built by dwarves?”

“The rock carving patterns are consistent with other ancient dwarven designs.”

“How old are these?”

“The exact date is difficult to identify without a more sophisticated analysis, however the carvings appear to predate known history. They are several thousand years old.”

“Could these dwarves have come to the New World with the American Natives that came over the Siberian-Alaskan landbridge?”

“There is sufficient evidence to corroborate that hypothesis. However, there is no historical data.”

“Which just means that they were good at covering their tracks.”

“Affirmative.”

Bobby began walking as he talked to Nexus, “Scan the cave, how far does it go.”

“Scanning… it is difficult to get an exact reading, however it does appear to go on for at least ten miles.”

Bobby sighed, “Great… better get walking.”

**

Hours went by as Bobby walked through the dark cave. Nexus’s light was barely giving him any direction, but he had to make do. He had gone too far to try to turn back now. His legs ached and felt like they had been overstretched. They wouldn’t let him go on much further without rest.

Bobby sighed as his legs collapsed out from under him and he sat against one of the cave’s walls. Nexus appeared in front of him, “Are you injured, Robert?”

“No, just tired out… and haven’t I asked you to call me Bob or Bobby?”

“Affirmative, you have.”

“Oh okay, just checking.”

Bobby looked further down the corridor, but darkness was all he saw, “Nexus, how much further?”

Nexus processed the request and attempted to scan the corridor again, “Judging by your pace, the length of your stride, and the time it normally takes you to walk a mile, you should have covered almost nine miles by now.”

Bobby rolled his eyes, “You told me that this was ten miles! Shouldn’t the end be in sight?”

“Correction: I said at least ten miles and that was an educated guess based on what information we have on dwarves tunnels and the composition of the areas ahead.”

“Great… so this could be another ten miles.”

“Unlikely, but possible.”

“How long is the longest recorded tunnel in one of these underground cities?”

Nexus shook her head, “I’m sorry, but I have lost my connection to my datalink. We must be fairly deep beneath the ground now. I can’t access that information.”

At that moment, a dark figure appeared out of the wall next to Bobby. It appeared that the figure was wearing a dark gray cloak that blended into the wall making him hard to see in the dark, “What are you doing here?”

Nexus went wild, “Proximity alert!”

Bobby shot to his feet, “No shit – I’m here looking for my friend. One of your people took her!”

The figure looked him over from under its hood. All Bobby could see was a pair of burning orange eyes. The hood completely blocked out all other features, “You will come with me, or you will die.”

“Where is she?”

The figure drew a blade and held it to his throat, “Now!”

“Suggestion: I think it would be best to do as he says, Bobby.”

“Thank you Nexus, I would agree with that…”

Bobby nodded to the figure, signaling that he would come along quietly, “Okay, let’s go…”


This is as far as I got into Taryn before abandoning it. Hope you enjoyed. Please let me know what you think and if you’d like me to continue working on this or one of the others.

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Taryn: The Lost Magnifica Sequel (Chapter 6)

 

VI

Days earlier, Irius had an annoyed expression on his face as he looked out on the ancient, underground city of Maris Duengar. The city had stood for uncountable ages, but over the last sixty five years, engineers had taken note of several small cracks in the supports all around the cavern.

A sense of dread came over them as rumors of what had transpired, entered their realm, but none could be substantiated. What little history that could be found of their city was that it was constructed both by dwarves and enchanters.

It was the enchanters who cast powerful spells to hold the city up long enough for the dwarves to build supports in the cavern to prevent collapse under the enormous pressure. Now, those very supports were begining to buckle.

The city historians and scholars considered their situation. The pillars that had protected the city had been there for thousands of years and were carved out of solid rock. There was no reason for them to be buckling now. Not unless they’d had help. Most likely, there was an enchantment on the pillars that kept them strong. An enchantment, that was no longer there.

Irius sighed as he watched his people. Like most dwarven cities, every building was carved out of solid rock. There was no wood, no cloth, and no decor. What the city lacked in ornament, it made up for with the intricacy of the carvings. The dwarven artisans that had inhabited the city long before Irius and his refugees took over had gone to greath lengths to make it impressive. It was not the most ideal home for elves, but it had provided them protection for a world of chaos.

Thousands of years of history could be lost if the city collapsed, but this was not their only concern. Time was against them in a different way as well. These elves had been there for hundreds of years. They

The vapors that were created by burning sanguine managed to keep them alive, but had an undesirable effect… they were plagued with an extreme sensativity to light, it was something which they had learned to live with, but the sanguine was running out. Their underground groves had gone barren and they could no longer produce the potion which had kept them alive.

“You’re certain of this then?” Irius asked as he turned to his cheif advisor.

The advisor had seen more of time than most of the other elves living in the city. He was much older and wiser. His eyes were nested in deep sockets with wrinkles that indicated he’d seen more than his share of strife, “There can be no doubt, she is the one.”

Irian, the son of Irius and one of the younger citizens of Maris Duengar stood off to the side in a dark spot where no torches burned. The only reason anyone knew he was there was because of his eyes, “But she’s a child, she has barely reached maturity.”

“It doesn’t matter.” Irius replied. “She holds the key to our salvation.”

Irian didn’t appear convinced. Though his father couldn’t see the expression on his face, Irius knew that he had doubts, “Speak your mind, my son.”

Irian stepped out of the shadows. His gaze alternated between the elderly advisor and his father. Despite him himself being of advanced age, he still looked to be only twenty five years old himself. His skin was pale and his dark hair flowed almost to his shoulders, “Father, even if a transfusion of her blood could help us cure the ailment that has long since been held back by the sanguine, we’d still be forced out of the city.”

“Which is why it cannot be anyone else, my son. In addition to having more elven traits than anyone else we’ve seen from the surface, we’ve also discovered that she is the descendant of an enchanter.”

The advisor joined Irian in a look of doubt, “My lord, that’s impossible, the Lux Mundi was destroyed long ago. There were no enchanters left.”

Irius shook his head, “Are you quite certain of that? Think, my friend. Enchanters may have lost their powers, but the enchantments they casted remained, and not just the animation enchantments either. Much stronger ones that still needed their source to work, remained. Did our bretheren really destroy it, or did they simply weaken it and send it deep into the ground?”

“Father… You’re planning on using her blood for more than a transfusion… you wish to place a blood hex on the pillars to keep them standing.”

Irius nodded, “We elves can’t create enchantments on our own, we need the blood of an enchanter to fuel our machinations.”

“This is barbarism!” The advisor yelled.

“We don’t have another option.”

Irian shook his head, “This is wrong, and it won’t work anyway. She may be the descendant of an enchanter, but that blood has mixed with elven blood.”

Irius smiled, “I’ve spoken to our apothecary. He believes that he can separate the elven from the human. If he can do that, her blood can be purified.”

“I won’t be part of this, father. It’s wrong.”

Irius glared at his son, “Our people are dying. According to our scouts, there are no elves left on the surface. Our race has gone extinct there. Would you have us die out completely?”

“There must be another way.”

“We’ve looked.” His father replied. “For thousands of years, we’ve looked. There is no other way. One girl, to save the lives of over a hundred thousand, it’s plain to see what the correct answer is.”

Irian still didn’t look convinced.

“My son, your family is out there. Your sister, and your friends, would you see them all die for your morality?”

Irian closed his eyes. He was still conflicted, but he knew that his father was right, “No, of course not.”

“Good. Then it’s probably time you returned to the surface. It’s a long long trek back to that city… what did you call it again?”

“Boston, father.”

“Right, Bostun…” Irisu replied. “Such unusual names these people have now.”

“I know, Father.”

Without another word, Irian left the main hall. He had a long walk ahead of him out of the mountainous wilderness of… New Hempsheer. Or was it Hempshire, or Hampshire? Bah! Irian thought to himself. These names will be the end of me!

His concentation was broken when a girl whom appeared no more than 18 appeared in his path. Unlike Irian, her eyes were closer to an orange color. She also had brown hair, which she had clearly gotten from her mother. A look of worry spread across her youthful features, “They’re sending you back to the surface, aren’t they?”

Irian nodded, “Yes, Irie, I have to find that girl.”

“But why you? Why can’t they send someone else?”

“It’s my responsibility, as the High Lord’s son.”

Irie frowned, “That doesn’t make it right. I’ve heard that these people are savages! They refused to help our people on the surface!”

Irian shook his head, “I doubt that’s true. I’ve heard that story too, but I’ve also heard rumors that these people did in fact help our surface bretheren not pass the disease to their children.”

“Maybe… but it’s still not worth the risk.”

“Irie…”

“I know, I know…” The young elf replied. “It’s your responsability. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

“As long as you understand it.”

Irie looked away, “Just hurry back.”

“I will, fairwell Irie.”

“Farewell, brother.”

 

**

 

Taryn didn’t care for the movie. She had an annoyed look on her face as Bobby escorted her out, “That sucked! Totally disrepectful to the original!”

Bobby nodded, “Yeah I know… you would think that with a hundren years of technological advancement, we’d be able to make a good movie, but the creatures look totally fake by comparison to the original.”

At that moment, Taryn looked behind her. The hair on the back of her neck stood up and a look of worry appeared on her face. She was certain that something was nearby.

“Are you okay?” Bobby asked, concerned. “You’ve been looking over your shoulder a lot tonight. Is something wrong?”

Taryn sighed, “I’m sorry Bobby. I’ve been distracted. It’s nothing against you… I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m being followed.”

“Have you seen anyone?”

“Earlier today… outside the classrooms.”

“Who was it?”

“A man dressed in black. He had a hood up so I couldn’t see his face.”

As they got back to Bobby’s car she looked behind her one last time before sliding in. Bobby got in the driver’s seat and watched her as she rubbed her shoulders, clearly uncomfortable.

The trip back to Arcanus was silent. Taryn’s elven ears scanned the road around them for the possibility of anyone following them, but she didn’t detect anything out of the ordinary as they pulled into the campus parking lot. It just seemed to be a normal night. Am I just being paranoid? Do my dreams have me on edge? I feel like I’m coming apart here.

Her thoughts were interupted by the sound of the car powering down. The fuel cell turned off and the car was idle. Bobby turned and looked at Taryn, “Well I had fun.”

“Yeah me too.”

“Walk you to your room?”

“You don’t have to.”

“Are you sure?”

Taryn’s eyes quickly scanned the darkness leading to her building, “… Maybe you should, just to be safe.”

Bobby looked in the other direction, towards the main campus, “Look, maybe we should take you to campus security. They should probably know what’s going on.”

Taryn shook her head, “I don’t even know if what I’m feeling is real. What am I going to tell them, that my dreams have me on edge? They’ll tell me to go see the oncall therapist. No thanks.”

Bobby sighed and got out of the car. As he opened her door, he smiled, “You know you’re incredibly stubborn.”

“So I’ve been told… Apparently it runs in my family.”

“I’m sure it does.”

Taryn got out of the car and let Bobby lead her back to her room. The night air was cool and a slight breeze caused Taryn to break out in goose bumps. Chills travelled down her spine and she wasn’t sure if they were due to the cold or because she still felt like she was being followed.

She waited for Bobby to look away before glancing behind her again. She didn’t want him to worry, but she was beginning to. She bit her lip as they reached the door. It was locked with a retina scanner, so she would need to get them in. She pushed on the lock, which prompted a red circle to open and scan her eyes.

A robotic voice responded, “Welcome back, Taryn Arrigan.”

Once they were inside, Bobby escorted her to her room. As the door opened, Taryn stepped inside and turned the light on. She looked around slowly and nodded, “Okay, well… thank you…”

Despite her cool exterior, Bobby could tell that she was nervous, “Are you okay? Do you want me to hang out for a while?”

Taryn sucked in a deep breath. She didn’t want to inconvenience Bobby and God only knew what he was thinking of her. She sighed, “Something isn’t right… I don’t feel comfortable at all. I continuously feel like someone is watching me. This isn’t normal. I must be going insane.”

“Unless someone is watching you…” Bobby replied, trying to be supportive without sounding ominous. “Tell you what, I’ll go back to my room and grab a pillow and a blanket. I’ll stay with you until you feel comfortable enough to be alone. How does that sound?”

“You’re going to sleep on the floor?”

“Why not, done worse.”

Taryn sighed, what choice did she have? Most of her friends would have been asleep by now. She knew Bobby for a while, but having him sleep over was at least a second date thing, if not further down. Still, this had nothing to do with their relationship, and she knew that it would make her feel safer.

Feeling backed into a corner, Taryn agreed, “All right… if you’re sure.”

“All right. Stay here, keep the door locked and don’t open it for anyone other than me.”

“Okay.”

“I’ll be right back, I promise.”

Taryn sat down as Bobby turned and disappeared back through the doorway. As the door closed, he poked his head back through, “Remember, only me. I’ll buzz you downstairs.”

“Only you.”

Bobby nodded and closed the door. Taryn immediately locked it and sat down on her bed. Being behind a locked door did not make her feel any better. She was on the second floor and the door was solid steel, but the ominous feeling never left her.

Taryn sucked down a deep breath and released it. She was extremely uneasy, “Maybe I should’ve gone with him.”

“Yes you should have!”

Taryn jumped up as a young man appeared from behind a cloak, “You… how…?”

The man smiled, “This cloak is weived from the furr of cave rats. It takes on the color and texture of whatever it touches, in this case, your wall.”

Taryn stepped backwards, looking for anything she could use as a weapon. At that moment, sentinel came to life, “Proximity alert! Taryn, you are in danger!”

“You think?” She shouted at the AI.

The appearance of Sentinel startled the young man, causing the hood of his cloak to fall, “What manner of creature is that?”

“Creature?” Taryn asked. “It’s not a creature, it’s just my AI. It’s my computer link.”

“Computer link?” The man said with a confused expression. “Well whatever it is, if it is not living, remove it immediately!”

Taryn gave Sentinel a fearfull look as she spoke, “Send this information to Bobby, tell him exactly what happened and…”

Before she could finish, the intruder ripped the band off her arm and threw it across the room. The screen impacted on the wall and shattered. Taryn cried out, “Sentinel!”

An obscured, staticy, image appeared on the ground, “Trasmission complete.”

The young man brushed some hair out of his face, “I take it that means someone is coming for you.”

Taryn nodded, “You can still get away.”

That’s when she noticed his ears, “Wait… are you… you’re part elf?”

“Part?” The man scoffed.

Realizing that he did not have much time, looked deep into Taryn’s eyes, “You’re coming with me, whether you consent to or not.”

One look in the man’s eyes was all it took. Taryn felt her head spin and immediately fell limp. Her world turned completely black.

 

**

 

One building over, Bobby was looking for his key. The main dormitory didn’t have a retina scanner, so he still needed to resort to old fashioned manual entry. It took him a moment, but he finally found his key and was about to unlock the door when his armband beeped.

A yellow holographic figure appeared in front of him. This one, unlike Sentinel, was female. Her eyes glowed and a look of concern came over her face, “Priority alert, Robert, we have an incoming signal. “

Bobby looked at the device oddly. He’d never been able to get his AI to call him Bobby, but at this moment, it wasn’t important, “Source?”

The AI processed the request for less than a second before responding, “Sentinel reports that Taryn has been attacked. Someone is in her room. It would appear that Sentinel has been damaged… all further information is… distorted.”

Bobby felt his heart freeze in his chest, “I never should have left her alone!”

He turned and began to run back to Leslie House, “Nexus, can you get a fix on her? Is she still in her room?”

Nexus processed the request as quickly as she could before responding, “Affirmative, it would appear that Sentinel is in close proximity to the floor.”

“She must have been knocked down… I hope she’s all right…”

“She doesn’t appear to be moving based on my telemetry data.”

Chills began to run down Bobby’s spine, “Can you request any health information from Sentinel… is she still alive?”

Again, Nexus fell silent as she processed the request, “I no longer have a link to Sentinel. It would appear that he is too heavily damaged, but I was able to tap into his memory log… it appears that he was no longer reading vitals at the moment he took damage.”

Bobby felt his face heat up. He was now sick, thinking that she might have been killed, “Nexus, send what information you have to campus security! Get them over here!”

“Acknowledge… campus security has been notified. They are on their way.”

As Bobby arrived at Leslie House, another girl had just scanned her retinas and was about to enter when Bobby blew past her, through the open doors. The girl had to jump to avoid getting knocked over, “Hey!”

Bobby didn’t have time to apologize and barely noticed the alarm go off, “Unauthorized entry! Intruder on the premisis! Security has been notified.”

As Bobby made his way up the stairs, Nexus spoke up, “I’ve notified the security system of what has happened, but it doesn’t appear to be advanced enough to process the information. I’ve updated security of the situation.”

Bobby nodded as he reached her door. The door was shut and locked. He frantically knocked and tried to get her attention, “Taryn, it’s Bobby, are you okay? Answer me!”

No response came.

“Taryn, are you in there?”

Still no response. Bobby knew that he had to get in quickly. If there was a chance that she was still alive, he had to get to her. Without a second thought, Bobby stepped back, raised his leg with his foot bent at the knee, and gave the door a hard kick.

Tremors shot through his lower leg as his foot impacted. The door had a large dent, but had not opened. There impact woke up half the dorm.

 

**

 

Lisa was asleep in her room two doors down. She was relaxed in white and yellow blankets that she had brought from home. Despite the warm weather, she still preferred those thick blankets to the thinner ones she had in her closet.

Boom!

Lisa’s eyes shot open wide. At first she couldn’t see anything. Her eyes were too blurry. What the hell was that?

Boom!

Something wasn’t right. It sounded like someone was trying to come through the wall. She quickly jumped out of bed, wrapped herself in a robe and opened her drawer. Before reaching in, she grabbed the cross she wore around her neck and kissed it, “God forgive me for this…”

Inside the drawer was a sonic stunner. The device could render someone unconscious at medium range using high powered sonic waves that would interfere with a persons hearing. She knew that she’d have to be careful, but she felt better about having that with her than waiting for security.

She grabbed it and with an annoyed look, slowly opened the door to peak outside. Her eyes widened when she caught sight of Bobby trying to kick Taryn’s door in. She immediately threw open her own door and marched out, “Bobby, what the hell are you doing? You’re going to get…”

“Taryn’s in trouble!” Bobby replied. “Her AI sent me a message saying that she had been attacked and now it’s not reading vital signs!”

A look of terror appeared in Lisa’s eyes, “My God… hurry!”

One more kick was all it took. Lisa raised the sonic stunner and followed Bobby into the room, ready to back up her friend. Bobby quickly made his way into her room which immediately lit up the moment it sensed movement.

Nothing.

Bobby couldn’t believe it. She was nowhere to be seen. The window was open, but Taryn wasn’t in the room. Before he had a chance to look around, a man dressed all in blue, wearing a gold badge, appeared with a gun in his hand, “Police, freeze!”

Bobby raised his hands as Lisa dropped her sonic stunner. The officer looked them both over, “All right, someone start talking, what’s going on?”

Bobby gave the officer a look of despiration, “Officer, Taryn is gone! We think she’s been kidnapped.”

“We got a report that someone had broken into her room and that she was in trouble.”

Bobby nodded, “Yes sir, my AI sent you that message. Nexus, please confirm.”

Nexus appeared once more from his armband, “Confirmed. The message should have come from IP address 529.12.395.22 codename: Nexus.”

The officer lowered his gun and pressed on his own armband, “Headquarters, this is Officer Lenn. Initiate a level one alert. It looks like we may have a 231. Authorization 23413.”

A robotic voice responded, “Identify victim.”

“Taryn Arrigan.”

“Acknowledged. Level one alert initiated.”

The officer pressed another button on the band, “Initiate recording.”

The armband beeped in response. Then the officer looked up at Lisa and Bobby, “All right, every officer within a hundred mile radius has been alerted. They’ll be out looking for her. So start talking, what happened?”

“Officer, Taryn and I went out on a date a few hours ago. The entire time she said that she felt like someone was watching her. I kept her close, but after the date I suggested that she come with me to campus security so we can have you guys look into this.”

“What did she say?”

“She said that she didn’t have any proof and was most likely just paranoid.”

“Did you think she was just being paranoid?”

Bobby shook his head, “She’s part elf. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about them, it’s that when they say that somethings wrong, something is definitely wrong.”

“Yes, I’ve heard the same.” The officer agreed. “So what happened next?”

“That I don’t know…  I dropped her off in her room, but she still looked uneasy. So I had her lock the door while I ran over to my room to get a pillow and a blanket. I was going to come back and camp out here just until she felt better. I had just gotten to my door when Nexus issued a priority alert. I ran back here and kicked in her door. This is how we found everything. Apparently her AI had taken some damage and was no longer reading her.”

“Confirmed.” Nexus replied. “However, I’m reading that her AI is still in the room.”

“I am…” A statiticy voice cut in from behind.

Bobby immediately turned around to see Taryn’s damaged armband lying next to her closet. Officer Lenn knelt down and picked up the band, “AI, identify yourself.”

“AI Sentinel, IP address 465.33.969.29.”

“Can you tell me what happened?”

Sentinel’s holographic project did it’s best to project his figure, “It’s as Bobby said. Almost immediately after he left, an elf appeared in this room from behind some kind of cloak that concealed him even from my sight.”

“An elf?” Lisa asked.

“Affirmative. Its body type registered as an elf. It is unlikely that the man was a half breed… though his body temperature did read shockingly low.”

Bobby looked at it oddly, “But weren’t elven body temperatures naturally lower than humans?”

“Not this low.”

Bobby shook his head, “I never should have left her alone…”

Sentinel flickered as he spoke, “It is unlikely that you could have overpowered him. Judging by his muscle mass, you would have been outclassed.”

Bobby shook his head, “Still…”

The officer looked at them both, “All right, this is officially a crime scene. We’re going to have to ask you both to vacate while we wait for the city forensics department to get here. We have your AI, we’ll call if we need any more info.”

Bobby nodded, “All right.”

He headed for the front door, intent on going back to his room to figure out the next move. Nexus remained in holographic form and watched Bobby.

Lisa ran back to her room and quickly stripped off her PJs. She grabbed a pair of jean shorts and a tshirt and ran back out. She managed to catch Bobby at the bottom steps before he made his way back, “You’re going after Taryn, aren’t you?”

“This is my fault.”

“You know that’s not true.”

“She could be in trouble or worse… dead.”

Lisa shook his head, “I know Taryn, better than you. She’s stronger than you give her credit.”

“I hate to interupt,” Nexus cut in, “but you have no idea where to start looking. You don’t know where that elf took her.”

Bobby sighed, “That’s true… I don’t know what to do.”

Lisa raised her own armband, “Mac, respond.”

The screen came on and a pink little girl appeared, “Mac standing by.”

“Have you been monitoring our conversation?”

“I have.”

“Put me through to Merrin’s AI. I need to speak to him.”

“Acknowledged.”

A few moments went by. Mac continued to process the request. Finally a small square screen with Merrin’s face appeared on it, “What the hell, Lisa, what do you want?”

Lisa sighed, “Taryn’s been kidnapped.”

Merrin’s eyes widened, “What?”

“Meet me out in front of Leslie House. I fill you in.”

Merrin nodded, “All right. I’m on my way.

As Lisa finished up the call, the roar of an engine behind them made Bobby jump. The doors to the shed next to Leslie House burst open. To both of their surprises, Glide came rolling out on its own.

The bike rolled up to Bobby and revved its engine. Bobby looked nervously at Lisa, “What the hell is going on?”

Lisa shrugged, “It looks like Taryn’s bike is alive somehow?”

“That’s impossible.”

“Maybe,” Lisa replied, “maybe not. Her great grandfather owned this bike, and she did say that he was the last enchanter. Is it possible that this was his doing?”

“Maybe…” Bobby said.

Glide gently pushed itself against Bobby’s legs before turning to its side. It revved its engine in insistance. Bobby looked at Lisa in confusion. Lisa smiled nervously, “I think it wants you to get on?”

Bobby looked back at the bike, “Flash your headlight if you know where Taryn is.”

The headlight immediately blinked in response and the bike revved its engine again.

“Did you see them go?”

Again, the light blinked. Bobby nodded, “Okay, I’m convinced.”

Lisa watched as he quickly mounted the bike, “I’ll fill Merrin in on what’s going on. I also have a few other contacts that may be of assistance. Keep your AI on, we’ll come find you.”

Bobby nodded, “You got it, see you in a bit.”

“Good luck!”

Bobby cautiously sat down and put his hands on the handle bars. He then looked down at the bike, “So… take me to her…”

Glide revved its engine and took off down the road at top speeds with Bobby holding on for dear life.

The moment they were gone, Lisa tapped her armband, “Mac, code 5412.”

“Acknowledged channel open.”

Lisa waited a moment before speaking, “I think you’ll want to hear this sir.”

 

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim