YouTube: Let’s Read!

It’s a very special day today. My first #letsread is up on YouTube, which is linked below. Please give me some feedback on what you think about part 1 and tell me whether or not I should continue doing it. Sound effects, or no sound effects? If you like the video please feel free to click that like button and if you enjoy my videos and want more, please click the subscribe button!

Thanks guys, and have an excellent night!

 

Advertisements

Crisis

In response to Daily post’s Crisis.

I will be writing these daily post responses from a character’s perspective.

 

Crisis to me is a state of mind. Some deem it impractical, involuntary, destroying-I don’t; I find it relishing. The state of when your primal instincts are pushed to a new level of awareness. In whatever scenario, whether you’re surrounded by your enemies, lost in the woods with a bear, or a pack of wolves. Whether you have lost your home, or escaping the reaches of wild-fire; it is a rich, empowering feeling. I understand for some it can be fearful, but as deceptive as it is, if you understand it, and adjust your body to it… it can become addictive.

Crisis, like when I was surrounded by soldiers, ruthless, ungrateful idiots who called me a monster, and tried to strike me down. I remember it well. There was something about it which allowed me to enjoy it. Though I felt in peril, and the need to protect my wife, my family, I found myself surrounded by those soldiers, and something inside me was released. It was though a part of me which I felt disgusted with came to the brim of existence. It was a crisis that could’ve been avoided. I was the one to walk away from that situation. Here is my story.

-Seraph

The Monster Within (Daps Story)

I spent the last five years running away from everything I knew. Five years… I fell to my hands and knees weeping my very soul out. I begged the gods for a quick death; a quick death was all I asked, but none came. I walked for weeks upon weeks, sluggishly stumbling through the snow like an old, pale-faced frost giant. When I collapsed, the real Ice Queen found me… Esmeralda was her name? No, Emerald. I think. She had beautiful green eyes, oh, I remember those eyes well. Those eyes were the ones I woke up to; after dying in the snow – or at least I thought I’d died. Her hair: thick, long, light brown. That shade, light enough to reflect the light of the fire that warmed us. I was sure I was dead, blood everywhere, absorbed into my clothes. Where did my clothes even go?  Ah, I remember. She washed and repaired them, that’s right.

She gave me hope, a renewed sense of conviction. That being said, I’ll always remember her soft lips. Her kiss, untouched by the cold. She was the one who ignited my fire by telling me news of my Freya. My lady. Such a beautiful woman, not only for her looks. Some spoke of her being the incarnation of the Goddess Freyja, herself.  Once I heard of her being pawned off to the brother of the prince that killed my mother, my eyes lit up with a boundless rage. I spent no more than a month training my body, my mind, and my soul. I left Emerald at her house to embark on a mission to save Freya. I owed her that much – ever since we were kids. She was the only girl who would go near me, never mind dance with me. I threw on my grey, laced tunic, and black leather trousers. I noticed Emerald watching me as I dressed, wrapping my legs with the cloth bandages that held my family seal in its stitching; surely a reminder of the shame I brought to my father. I stood in ankle-high boots and turned to face her. She handed me my father’s cloak, weaving words of wisdom that would stay with me for the remainder of my days, “You don’t have to wear this cloak. You’re not him. You’re not your father.” In her boldly spoken words my eyes uncomfortably glistened, expressing an uncontrollable emotion seeping from my heavy heart.

I was so sensitive back then, though that side never left me – it grew worse. You see, I had a monster inside me. My own shadow. It walked alongside me every step of the way, and I see it now I look back. My father gave it power. My father gave it rise. He taught me how to control it or did he hope to unleash it? My head shakes at the thought of it. Were they all that? So twisted, and broken that they wanted me to kill them all? I always felt this presence in my heart protecting me from such things like the first time my shadow reached for my body. Let me tell you the story.

Freya, and I were running from the soldiers hunting us down like wild dogs we ran through what seemed the heaviest of rains I had ever had the pleasure of enduring. My mind, lost. My body reacted on its own, empowered with adrenaline. My mind searched for answers, piecing puzzles together. Freya always noticed. I remember the way she looked at me when I caught her falling through the mud. My cloak covered in dirt, and heavy with water; stained with the blood of many men by this point. Though I had not yet taken a life in the name of revenge. I looked into those eyes, just like every other time watching the sea flow around them. I still remember those crystal blue eyes so clearly, so vividly, and just thinking about them makes my own eyes flow like a fresh water river. I clung to her bust, sliding through the mud myself. I found I held her away from the mud, I was protecting even when I, myself stood broken.

She saw the sadness in my eyes; and I watched her long, raven-black wet hair stick to her face, and clothes. I don’t quite understand why it fascinated me, perhaps it was that even with her hair stuck to her face I could only see beauty. She was the only person I had left. I felt my heart beat pound in my chest like the hammer of a blacksmith battering the hot, burning anvil. My breath weakened, my balance swayed. My hair fell in front of my face and I stood in the mud, Freya in my arms. I felt the touch of her hand on my cheek which brought me back to her, “I’m sorry you lost your father, my love.” She announced, swallowing her sadness with a strong gulp, and wiping the tears rolling down my face. How did she know? The rain covered my face, and with the sweat squeezing through my pores it should have been undetectable. Is this what love means?

I carried her through the rain, using my father’s teachings to keep my balance. My pupils must have seemed wide, or at least I think that was why Freya looked at me with such a tilted gaze. Whispers of my past showed me the way to a village I used to visit, I hoped I still had a friend there. Was he still a friend? I had no choice; my dearest Freya was in no condition to be slushing through the mud, and rain – unlike myself. I liked to think of myself as the hero… oh, I wish I could. I’m really sorry I couldn’t save myself. I couldn’t keep the part of me you longed to keep… could I?

After squelching through the softened earth, much like my calmed heart I reached an inn. I carried Freya inside and whispered the words that liars, pretenders and heart-breakers sing. I was good at that. While she rested and the rain calmed down I sought aid from my childhood friend Vincent, son of the Raven. I always used to win the little duels we had as children. I made him so envious of me; I miss those days. Again, tears ran down my face, crafted from the darkest trenches of my heart. Why can’t I understand my tears?

I knocked the door twice, and opened it enough to peek inside. I shouted, “Vincent!” The door creaked open revealing the great hall inside. Something came over me when I entered, like the memory of the future engraving the ink of the world onto my back. Alarmed, I tried to close the door and walk away but he had already heard me. In front of me stood a larger man than I. He still stood over me, even with a crooked back and bum leg. He looked like he had been through more of Hel than what I had been through. He invited me in, and we drank a horn of wine together. I explained my story, and he explained his. I hid details from him to protect Freya, of course. He seemed very welcoming and it was a nice change. I did notice his mood changing, however. I could not help but feel the tension of the room getting stronger. I noticed his focused eyes, stiffened upper-lip, cautious movement, restless leg.

I felt my empty scabbard now, more than ever. I left my sword next to Freya’s bed. How stupid could I have been. I bowed my head, ever so slightly, humbly thanking Vincent for the food, and then left to attend Freya. When I closed the front door of the inn, I heard a horse outside whinny, and the sound of galloping pursued. At first I silenced my mind and shrugged it off. I couldn’t leave, as Freya was asleep, and her clothes still soaked. She rested by the fire, and I thanked the inn-keepers. My father and I met them when I was young, before all this.

My mind opened up, my eyes slowed down time they moved so fast. My heart raced. I was studying my memories. The ones from my past and the ones of my future; counting the days to my death. You’d call me stupid for staying, wouldn’t you? My dearest Freya. I could have woken you at the first sign of trouble. I didn’t. You needed your strength. You do not have my endurance, nor my resistance to the weather. You’ve lead a soft life. Not like mine… Oh how I admire your innocence. My hands are coarse, scarred and filled with the blood of innocent people.

Whether directly, or indirectly, I have caused the end of my closest friends, my allies, and the people I’ve considered family. I ran, I always ran. I’m still the same fool I was when I left the breast of my mother. I should have listened to the warnings. I should’ve followed you, Lisett. You knew me, before we even met. Maybe things would have been different if you took me with you. I can’t change my path now, though. I’ve been set in clay. I’ve been re-heated, and re-worked too many times. My nails brittle, body cracking, pieces of bone chipping away from my arms and legs. I feel like that to say the very least; the innocent souls were growing each passing day; they are beginning to engulf my soul; soon, they will swallow me. I am sinking into a sea of nothing, becoming no-one, where nothing but darkness resides. I am okay, as long as I am not the cause of another person’s death. I cannot let anyone else die, I simply cannot run away anymore. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you, Dad.

My eyes closed for a moment. I fell asleep, one hand gripping my sword tight and the other holding Freya’s hand. Moments like these seemed perfect, euphoric even. The inn-keepers walked in and told us we had a bed upstairs. I thanked them graciously, took Freya upstairs, and we sat in our room. She always knew when I was strategizing, learning, overcoming my fears, unlocking doors, and walking through the corridors of my mind. She put her hands on my cheeks, and held my face still. She forced me to look into her eyes, and asked, “Are you afraid?”

Every bone, and every cell in my body tried to procure the strength, and guile to tell a white lie – to protect her. I announced with streaming eyes, clenched fists and a gulping tongue, “The only thing I am afraid of” She took me closer, interrupting me, “Is yourself?” she pulled my head to her chest, and clutched me tightly, embracing me in her arms. I couldn’t help it. There was nothing I could do. I wept. My eyes flowed like a mountain steam, snot shamefully dribbled out of my nose. My hands quivered, and shook. I felt weak, and I held this unbearable pain in my chest. It felt so tight like the blade of a knife piercing my lungs. I cried out, and I’m sure everyone in the inn heard me whimper. It was pathetic.

I fell asleep in her arms after almost an hour of humiliating myself. My dreams manifested in my mind. It produced an over-bearing feeling. I came face to face with a green eyed devil through my mind’s eye. He had the skin of a snake, face of a human, and the eyes of a fox? Perhaps it was too dark to tell. It scared me. It talked to me, scratching the walls of my corridors, my halls, my peace. It tormented my very foundations. It was so angry, bitter, and wild. Are you my anger? My hatred? My malice?

I gasped for breath and woke to not a single soul in my room. “Freya?”, I called out, but received no response, not even an echo to console me. I tightened my leg wraps that kept my body strong. The bandages on my arms were gone, revealing the long eight armed tattoo that stretched down the sleeve of my wrist, from my elbow to my hand. The engraving of scar tissue proved a dark memory. The gruesome sight of my bare skin, defiled by the magic of blood left a sickening taste in my mouth. I had used it, defiling my soul. It made me strong, too strong. It made me a monster.

I had no choice but to find Freya, arms bare, and scars vulnerable to others. Christians would crucify me for the path I walked. Most Nordic people would fear me for my knowledge, my ways of old, pre-dating the ways of the new world. She knew it would be dangerous for my tattoos to be shown. Why did she take them? I walked down the set of wooden stairs, leading into the main hall. I stood, aligning my arms with the oak banister that curled at the bottom of the stairs. I saw my bandages hanging over the fire, drying. She had to wash them at a time like this…

I knew what she would say, “They were dirty.” Or, “Someone had to wash them. You wouldn’t, would you?” That was her way, always demanding me be clean. I found myself giving a soft smile at the idea of her arrogant, cleanly ways. I waited on the stairs as she talked to the inn-keeper. He was nice enough, a short haired man, stubble hanging off his chin. He was an honest bloke. A family man, two children, a wife. This type of setting made me forget, forget about myself, my stained past.

I heard the sound of a galloping horse moving in the opposite direction to last time. Could it have been a messenger? I had hoped it was just a traveller. I looked outside and felt the darkness reaching out. It wanted me. I saw nothing but the wilting trees, and heard little else. I caught glimpses of the full moon hovering in the sky, breaching the soft skinned, floating defenders we call clouds. That was the moment. The moment it talked to me.

“Thomas… Thomas!” it spat out words, like a ghoulish revenant, “They are coming for her. They are coming. Let me in. I’ll save her.” I shook my head. Freya clocked it. My hands shook, I gripped the other hand tight. Tight enough to leave bloody marks in my palms. I closed my eyes, and chanted an old tune, recycled with time. “In our darkest days, our darkest nights,” the voice hauntingly spoke, “We will run the colour sanguine down the walls of the world of men.” I tightened my grip, pushing my nails inside my skin. I continued, “We shall overcome, for all to see, the power of our own devils.” I repeated this, and repeated it. Until the voices stopped. Freya came up to me and spotted the dripping blood.

“What are you doing!?” she shouted, so refined, so confused. I looked at her, and breathed so soothingly,

“It stopped.” I announced, wiping the sweat from my brow.

Her sorrow for my soul was true. She fiercely approached me, brimming to the rim with bravery, “You will tell me what in the name of our ancestors you were doing!” I smiled, I found this side of her so lovely. “Don’t you dare smile, what aren’t you telling me!?” she shouted with a crunched up brow and sharpened eyes.

“I’m running from my-” Every bone in my body stopped. A pain ripped through my head like no other I had ever experienced.  Everything was quiet. I raised my hand to Freya and the world grew silent.

My eyes clung to something in the shadows. Something stood in the darkness looking back at me.

That was the moment I became something else.

I bore my teeth, witnessed my breath mark the window. I clenched my fists, and felt no pain. I looked at Freya, and even she took a step back. Had my eyes changed? I pointed to the top of the stairs, “We’re not alone, now hide!”.

My pupils widened, my eyesight focused. I felt it coming. What was it? What was this shiver, this sinister sensation, this pain creeping up my spine? The lights needed to die down. Freya needed a chance to hide. She shouldn’t witness this, not this – not now! Don’t be silly, let her see. Let them all see. I won’t, I can’t, I refuse! Let me out, I’ll protect her, save her. She’ll die here otherwise. Face it, you need me. No, I can’t. I stepped away from the window, feeling uneasy with this place. What was that smell? Oil? Burning? Oh no… Not again!

I grabbed the bucket of water and sprayed it over the fire dowsing the flames. Everything turned black. There was a flicker of a candle near the window but it was too risky to show my face now. I needed my shroud, this black fog. I could feel my shadow beckoning, tainting me, and pushing me to let it in. I couldn’t… could I? What would happen to me? Who would I become?

The door knocked.

I questioned everything, my existence, even whether this was a dream. My hands were bleeding, blood had covered my fingers, and I smeared it through the centre-point of my tattoos. I smeared it well, smudging it from my palm to my elbow. The ritual, complete.

I looked to the right of me, watching the world slow to a stop as the inn-keeper approached the door to answer. I felt Freya’s stare tickle the hairs on the back of my neck. What am I? To feel such things? I closed my eyes, but there was never a moment I saw more. I had a clear space around me. I clenched the handle of my sword, and grew ready.

I inhaled and everything disappeared.

The door knocked.

I exhaled, and the sun shone? No, too orange, too fiery. Torches.

The door knocked louder.

It was symbolic, a message. Was I to answer deaths door?

You’ll never protect her like this. Look at yourself…

Myself? I thought. I looked at my hands, only seeing the colour of sanguine coating my arms from my elbow, to the tips of my fingers. I let go.

The door opened.

I watched as the Inn-keeper fell to the ground. He fell into the table, knocking it further away. Why are my arms not moving? Why can I not do something. Move, Damn it!

I felt calm, my heart beat stopped. I tilted my head down, and breathed easy. Soldiers rushed in, surrounding me in a tight, ring formation. There were six of them. My father’s tactics. These ridiculous excuses for soldiers’ dare use my father’s tactics against me… they dare use THAT, his specific formation… the one where my body got broken, and bruised trying to defend, blindfolded against six of the best warriors this world had ever known…

Let me deal with them.

I stopped his words rattling around my head, I agreed, but I waited. My patience was at the precipice of exploding. My vision blurred with anger. Blood wormed its way around the handle of my sword, slowly slithering down the sides of my once white steel blade.

Then I saw her.

I saw that wretch. The woman who condemned us, the one who cast us down. When I saw her face… when I saw the flickering of the flames in her eyes, everything I knew was gone.

Finally, I am free of these chains… I shouted to my foe, I beckoned her, standing isolated in a circle of food, “Katherine! Why do you follow me so blind, so daring? Your reach, too far. You come for me? The boy you protected, practically worshipped. Have you come to beg for your life?” Disrespectful, disreputable, waste of life.

She threw her weight around, chanting nonsense. My ears turned off. My eyes closed. I grew weary of her screeching voice, demanding my head. She called a familiar name, “Vincent!”. My eye twitched. She noticed. He expressed a repugnant laugh, a bitter, and cold look. A large, fictitious smile, bearing his teeth in my direction. Oh how he looked at me with such distain, such malice. I warned them, “If you take another step…!”

“Or else what?” she taunted me. She kept my eyes focused on her, though my eyes were everywhere. I heard every single step he made. I saw the smirks sitting on the noses of these soldiers. These poor saps, pillars of mud that will melt away under my dirty boot.

I laughed, and I laughed.

I warned, and waited.

My hands still dripping with blood. They thought me weak.

Katherine’s voice hummed another command, “Kill him.”

At last…

The soldier to the right of me came rushing in, left knee vulnerable, right arm weak. He aimed for a downwards slash? At wood? Childs play. I let him come closer, and closer. Until he was but a step from cutting my throat. I let him swing. I moved towards him, and pirouetted around him. By this moment, the soldier next to him tried to protect him. It was a decent effort, I suppose. I reached for the dagger out of the first one’s boot. Open, vulnerable. Mistake.

I pulled it out and stabbed his sword at the base of the blade. I altered his direction. He spurted blood everywhere. I liked it. First soldier, dead. Second soldier, covered in the blood of his friend. I threw the knife to the other side of my circle blinding the soldier. The blade pierced his eyeball… Third soldier, dead. I smiled. I kicked the bodies of the bleeding corpse, and the second soldier to the floor. The second soldier fell into the blade, still standing out of the wooden floor, held up by a bloody corpse. He wouldn’t have died from just that; so I pulled my sword out, parried the sword of another, and pressed my boot on the back of him forcing his neck to slowly, slowly slice by the blade of the sword… dead.

When I lifted my foot they fell flat. The Inn-keeper watched me, horrified by my change. I enjoyed it. I laughed so hard. Clearly, they had enough? But they kept coming. So I parried the fourth, broke the nose of the fifth, dodged the six, cut the fourth’s arm, gripped the fifth’s throat – pulling him in front of the sixth’s blade, dead. I wasn’t satisfied. I quickly dropped the remaining two soldiers in a pool of blood.

By this point Katherine had ran outside. I followed, covered in the blood of my hunters’. They were stupid, weak, senseless and unworthy. “You are just like your mother” I vaunted, echoing back from the trees that stood around us. She screamed injustice, injustice, like a child that had just had her sweets stolen. I took another step closer until I left the darkness of the room and entered into the light of the standing torches placed outside.

“Why are you walking away? Don’t you want to play!?” I laughed, enjoying the look of peril she gave. I loved it. It excited me – made me lust for the sight of her blood splattered along the off-road. I had a chance to return her to the shit she belonged to. “Your life is forfeit, your soul, mine.” I stood in front of her gazing into her eyes reflecting a figure covered in pints of blood, soaked in hate, dancing with death. I whispered into her ear, “You wanted a monster? Come on then. Have your monster!”

I hovered my sword above her head. The light shimmered from my bright, white steel sword that I held in my left hand, in judgement. Blood dripping from the tip, onto her face, “Is there anything you wish to say before I take your head?” I saw the fear in her eyes, sweat pouring from her face. The sweet aroma of a bladder failing, “F-F-Freya…” she uttered in my ears. Then I heard it, so clearly, so loud. It echoed around the world and back.

I heard the wailing scream, “Thomas!” from inside; My monster and I stood aligned as one. We ran. Our eyes glance at the bodies we butchered but we do not stop to pay any respect. We skip steps, running up the stairs as we reach for Freya with every breath, every stretch. We reach the top and see Vincent strangling her near the window facing the river. We run our fastest. We bolted down the corridor like Thor’s hammer, roaring like thunder. My right fist cracked his cheek-bone, I felt it. My left – his ribs. My knuckles broke, but I did not stop. He defended against some but not all of my attacks. I fractured his nose, chin and shoulder bones. I chipped away at his arms, brutally, forcefully swinging my fists with a fury, that even the Gods not capable of.

He broke my relenting attacks and pushed me back. My knuckles broken, blood covered every inch of me. I stood there like a demon, no… I stood a monster. I couldn’t let Freya see me. She had fallen to the floor, gasping for air. Vincent aimed for my neck, squeezing my throat with his enormous hands. He threw me into the wall which tunnelled my vision. I had to close my eyes.

I knew what I had to do.

I did what I must.

Without a second thought, I acted.

I broke his guard, performed a hay maker, causing him to stumble towards the window. I threw myself into him, and launched him out of the window, myself included. I landed on him in the water, hearing one of his bones crunch as he hit the bank first. I hoped for the back, but perhaps the leg. We rolled into the water. We were swallowed by the river, a fleeting idea that once darkness claimed you; it would take you straight to Hel. I held onto him, at first; strangling him in the water, ensuring his last ounce of breath was taken from him by my hands. We both fell under the water, and my grip loosened. He drifted away, as did I.

 

 

The head of the family P.1

[Parental advisory]

The mud had soaked every drop of the rain, and it ruined the earth. It was soggy, and wet. There were patches where the ground was hollow, and one would sink deep. The no longer wore hard protective skins, even they had been treated to the wickedness of the rain, the flooding. It had been three months now, so far. It seemed fitting, for Thomas was to confront the man he had been running away from these past years. It had been three years since he set eyes on his father, once more.

Thomas had the eyes of his father, a set of piercing green. He had a few whiskers on his hair that differed, but shared the same facial hair, a mix of colours in his beard, but primarily dark brown. Thomas had a rough set of hair that fell down to the bottom of his neck. It had been several moons since he had a chance to cut it. He did not believe in long-hair meant strength. He had enough strength, he would argue. He walked through the stretches of mud, squishing through the plains.

There he was.

There, he waited.

“Has he been waiting for me all of this time?”

A man sat in the rain, his cloak, and trousers on the floor beside him, and his sword in his hands. Thomas’ father was hunting him. This time, Thomas decided to meet him, face to face, to end the hunt once, and for all. He was tired of running, and he was tired of being called something he was not.

“You’re a monster” the ghosts of his past beckoned. “You’re a beast!” they would shout, creating a very large gap between themselves and Thomas. All because of his father’s legend, as the bloodied white wolf.

Thomas however, was the one wearing the cloak now, the one that had seen so much blood it still had the dim colour of sanguine seeped into its fur. Thomas slowly approached the man, standing bandaged, and temporarily fixed together. He had suffered through much, since they last had met. He had fixed his broken bones, and mended his bruises. He had even cleaned his face, before this confrontation. He cleaned his clothes, even though it was raining, and when he was close enough for him to see his father, he could not help but clench his fist. He held his fingers so tightly, he thought they would break. He fixed his stare on his father, and allowed his anger to protect him, and put a wall of strength up between them. He had no time to be soft, not now.

“Thomas, my son. I knew you would not run away forever. You’re not that type of person.”

Thomas thought of something to say but was too slow. Trinson stood up, put his clothes on, and fastened his grim, grey coat to his back.

“How is my sword doing? Are you keeping it in good condition?”

Thomas eyed the sheath he carried on his side for a moment before looking back at Trinson.

“It suits you well.” Trinson announced.

Trinson had a pony-tail that collected most of his hair away from his eyes. There were one or two tufts that fell down the front, but nothing that bothered him. Trinson picked up his scabbarded sword. It laid sheathed in a metal scabbard. the design was intricate, and had his family house imprinted onto the side.

“When you left me, I had to make this sword, a black steel blade. Do you know how hard it was to make?” Trinson refused to let Thomas speak and continued, “No, of course you don’t. You haven’t had a hard day’s work in your life. You had it easy. My mistake. Now, it has come to my attention that you have been sullying our family name. You have struck down a guardian, a friend of mine, and it is something I won’t be able to let go of. You’re my responsibility. I will clean up the mess I made all those years ago.”

Thomas no longer denied his anger, and let it flood through, “I’m your mess? You self-righteous, arrogant bastard.” Thomas reached for his sword, and untied it from around his waist. He took the white-steel blade out of the casing, and when he pulled it out, it rung with the sound of a perfect blade. It had no dents, and was not battered. He pointed the sword to his father and said, “You damned our family the day you let Katherine perform that ritual on our grounds. Mother, she is a part of that tree, alongside those monsters who killed her. Do you realise that? No, of course not. You do not understand the ways of our world. You just like to pretend to.”

Trinson took his sword out of the casing, imitating Thomas, but without a hint of anger in his heart. He pulled a dark grey sword, a ‘black blade’ out of the scabbard. “This blade, is an attribute to my weakness. It is my revenge, and my darkness. The reason for its creation, was to bring you back home.” He faced his sword in the opposite direction to Thomas, affixing his eyes on him, changing his stance, and burying his feet in the mud, and pointing at him, “Dead, or alive.”

Part of Thomas understood this, and let go of part of his anger, as he put himself into this position. He knew he had to be more intelligent than his father, if he was capable of beating him. He had not put in the years like his father did. He had not seen multitudes of battle. He had some catching up to do, but was younger.

They stood head to head, with clothes that weighed on them heavily. They stood with their cloaks fastened, a true marvel to watch. You would have thought they would have died from the cold alone. Both Thomas, and Trinson had been given the markings of the old ones down their arms, and legs. So much so, that they bandaged their body, to hide their markings. Even if the amount was small, that was the thing they had in common, a disgusted feeling of what they had become, by accepting their gifts.

Thomas stood aligned in a good place, not just in body, and though he was furious, he was one with his monster. If you could see their spirit, it would be like the light, and darkness of a person, wreathing around one another, both clutching the sword, together. They stood opposed to the person that created his monster to begin with.

The rain softened for a moment.

That was the moment the battle started.

Both Thomas, and Trinson ran at each other. Thomas stepped heavy, lunging so hard he slid through the mud on his third step, and Trinson swung his sword around. It sliced the hairs over Thomas’ forehead, but Thomas did not falter. He did not blink. He thrust his sword forward, and forced Trinson to move to the side. They met swords on the second bout and sparks from the two blades shot everywhere. The impact of the swords were epic, and after the hit, the blades ran across one another, as the men prepared for the next move. Thomas grabbed his first knife from his pocket, and so did Trinson. They let loose the parried swords, and swung with their alternate hands. Thomas dropped his blade, and grabbed Trinson’s arm, squeezing his wrist so tight, that he caused him to let go of his blade. Trinson dropped his sword, and threw his fist. His sword landed downwards in the mud. Trinson punched Thomas, his fist, connecting to Thomas’ cheek, a punch so hard that it freed Thomas’ feet in the mud. Thomas lost his grip in the floor. That was when his father grabbed him around the waist, throwing him to the floor. He leant on Thomas’ back, and fastened his arms around his neck, “I’m sorry it had to end like this son.”

Thomas gasped, reached for something, anything, he tried to wriggle. The rain, worsened. He was losing his breath.

Thomas unfastened his cloak, he swung his head back as far as he could. He hit something, but could not see. Trinson loosened his grip. Thomas slid out of his cloak, and rolled away from Trinson. He grabbed his sword, and stood up. Trinson did the same. They took a step back, before Trinson took his own cloak off, to imitate him.

They stood opposing one another, like two different colour flames. They panted, but quickly calmed down. Trinson’s nose had blood dribbling from his right nostril. Thomas got lucky, hitting him in such a place. Thomas had two straps, one from his shoulder, down to his waist, and one wrapping around his waist. The straps had three sockets, for his knives. Two of which remained. Trinson, had a knife on a belt around his leg, and two around the strap on his shoulder. One of which, was missing.

They seemed like equals.

“Maybe you shouldn’t have taught me how to fight. You can go home, if this is too tough for you, father.”

Trinson smiled. “That’s the boy I remember, still a cocky little shit.”

Trinson raised his sword to his left, and Thomas did the same. One sword face the right, and one the left. They moved around each other, like wolves fighting for leadership.

“I don’t want to be the bloodied white wolf, I don’t want to be remembered as you.” Thomas cried.

“Then you should have thought of that before you stole my sword, and cloak!”

“What was I to do!? You were killing me! Do you realise what you were doing, trying to pull my monster out of me?”

Trinson refused to believe him. He trusted his own word, and his own word, was right, to him.

Thomas could see the look on his father’s face. He could not believe that his father did not believe him. He purported it was time to show his father why he was living up to his father’s name.

Thomas dug his sword into the mud beneath him. He started untying his bandages with his teeth, and laid them on the ground.

“Did you not think about the weather? You will die if you take your under-layers off.”

Thomas smiled. His stare, still aimed at his father.

“I met Grandfather during my spiritual travels, you know.”

Trinson clenched his weapon tight, “You don’t have the right to speak of him.”

Thomas took out the ritual blade, he had in one of the three pockets of his straps. He cut his hand open, a very fine cut. He slid the blood down his wrists, down his arms, and through every marking he had on his body. He stood there, and though his eyes were green, something about them felt wrong. He looked at Trinson, as if he saw six of him. Trinson gulped, “When did you mark your whole body? Why would you do such a thing? This thing was dangerous enough with the arms and legs.”

“I am the son of the bloodied white wolf, but I am not him.” Thomas grabbed his head. A sharp pain pulsated through head.

That monster within him, that was so balanced, completely took over. In an instant. The markings around his body gave them both enough energy, for his monster to come out.

“What vile nature is this?” Trinson asked.

“Thomas, what have you done?” Trinson pleaded.

Trinson held his sword with two hands, and faced what was in front of him. Thomas stood, in a strange fashion, a little crooked, “We, come from a place much older than your gods, Trinson. We are older than the first ones, and certainly stronger. We may not seem like it, and you may have chose to bury us in the ground as a failure, or a monster, but we are not so. Here, we are weak. Thanks to you, for the first time in the dozens of lives that we have had, walking on this earth, I have been able to hold this body, as my own, and not be a part of him.”

Trinson looked in awe. It was something he had been searching for, for a very long time. Answers to the questions in his head, but suddenly, he felt a horrible, stomach churning sensation in his stomach.

“No, you’re not him. Thomas, fight it!”

Trinson rushed forward, swinging his blade, in a fury. He swung from his right, and Thomas seemed to move underneath it, without a second thought. Trinson swung again, from his left, but Thomas pushed his fingers against the sword, and pushed it away from him.

Trinson jumped a step back.

“Everyone, it’s him. He finally reached for control. I need your help” he bellowed a shout that stretched to the trees behind him.

Thomas was faced with more than one foe.

Berenger ‘the bear’, Delbert ‘the stag’, Griswald ‘The Raven’, Nilvar ‘The boar’, Rodric ‘The fox’,

Six of them stood in front of Thomas.

Six of them, took their cloaks off. They stood as the people who protected their nation, from both humans, and anyone who threatened their mother’s world. By mother, a woman called Lisbett created this order. She stood as one of the last remaining völvas. She knew something was going to come, but wasn’t sure when. It looks like it found them in the end.

“So these, are the six bastards that no parent wanted. I bet you must have thought she really loved you? Aren’t there supposed to be nine of you?” Thomas beckoned,”Trinson, why is it that you received a last name, but the others didn’t, if you’re all equals?”

Trinson whispered words in an archaic voice. There was a battle to happen here, and it was going to be the end of all of them, or the end of one.

A thousand apologies

What do you say to someone who asks you why you no longer have a smile on your face, or joy in your eyes? How do you tell them its because your heart is closed, perhaps, even broken? What do you say to those people in the street, who you pass and they shout, “Smile!” What do you say? I doubt I’ve cracked a smile in the last eight years. Since the day they took you from me. Since I lost myself, driving them away.

It is hard not to become a monster, not to plunge your teeth into your enemies, and take from them everything. But, we do not start like this, in fact, I wonder whether I even noticed at the time, that I was losing my mind, and becoming a monster. I wonder whether I had known what would happen to me, but knowing me? Knowing the great Thomas Vargr, the great ‘fool’, I did, do, and always will know the path in front of me. I often wonder whether there is a small fraction of myself that hates me, that really hates me; whether it pushes me down paths like these for fun, or just to see if I would break, or grow stronger.

I don’t know whether it is jealousy, but I know it is there. There’s something. When I look into a clear lake, and see the reflection of myself, I notice a small glint in my eye, even when I’m at my lowest, my darkest, or my hardest times. It is like some part of me, somewhere, is enjoying my pain. Could it be so? Something inside of us all that stands against us? I hope it isn’t just me.

It’s something I wish I could talk to Lisett about. It is something I wish I could ask her. She seemed to know more about me than anyone else. She seemed to understand that darker side. I remember when I walked with her, even when we fought, we both had that sinister darkness inside us. We enjoyed the fight, the pain we caused, and the pain we received. The cuts, the slashes, the bruises, the broken bones. We were like vampires of the soul, manipulating the un-shielded, the weak.

I caught up to her for a while, but even she too, could not handle those chasing me. They are still hunting me down, after all these years. It had been eight years since I had killed their king. Even though, I could have stayed around, and usurped the throne, I would be no better. I would be no proper, and decent King. I am not my father, and even though he was no king, he naturally brought people together. He could have handled it, this, but not me.

What I would do, for another conversation with you Trinson. I wonder what your words of wisdom would be like. Probably something like this “Get up boy, stop being foolish, and start being strong. Your grandfather would be disappointed that his grandson looks at the world in such dis-taste. You get up, peel the mud from your body, clean the blood, forgive, and forget, and then confront the ghosts of your past, the demons of your mind… and conquer them.”

I lost to my demon though. I mean, it was a fair fight, but circumstances tore me in half, and my stronger half won. That was all. I lost what was most important to me, and something in me snapped. I couldn’t hold in my anger anymore, and it consumed me, until I took my revenge… then all I had left, was sadness.

I tried seeking out the witches who tried to find me. I came across one in a pub down south. She was crazy,

“Thomas, There are people coming for us, people, like you and me. They are coming to destroy us, take our souls. You must not let them. Please, we’re gathering the remaining covens of witches, and fleeing to a place deemed safe. One of our members owns an island to the east. Come to us when you feel most alone. We won’t shy you away.”

I didn’t believe her. I scoffed at her, mistakenly. And, when I didn’t go with her, I found a deep sorrow, for reasons I was not aware of at the time. It was like, the chains of my soul, which connected to all things, lost something I deemed precious. I visited the island last year. Nothing was left, except the hanging bodies of women, crucified, hung from the trees they cultivated, and left on the floor, in pieces.

What was I supposed to do with this sadness, this knowledge? Was I responsible? My actions, as the second white wolf? The devil of the North? or would it have happened regardless of my actions?

I should have performed a ritual on them, to cleanse the area, and release them from this world, but part of me grew so dark, I felt I was not able to do such things, that I had no right to, anymore. Alessandra, Beatrice, Kristel, Linnea, Lucille, Sera, Thara, Valencia, I am sorry. I hold no right to seek forgiveness, for not being there to protect you. Even though I made those vows to you, as a protector, when I was a boy. I didn’t see it as something serious back then, but I am sorry.

As for my last apology… It is directed at you, my lady, my Freya. I don’t know what pulled me to you in this life, and it didn’t matter who I was attracted to, or who held my attention, none held it quite like you, and you were everything I needed to fight back my demons, and you made me strong. Protecting you, was what held me together, and gave me purpose.

I am just sorry I failed you… please don’t chase me anymore… please, don’t follow me, for when I look at you, I see regret, and I see failure. I cannot take your pain, not can I take your scars away. I failed. I am not the man my father thought I was. I can barely protect myself…

I am at the end of my travels. I will try my best to end the revenge-killings, and then I will leave this world, for good, this time.

 

 

Lucille IX

Dancing fingers, twiddling thumbs, I prithee you one day look in my direction. I grow impatient each day. Perhaps, I should act the primitive ape, like the African tribes, who kidnap their wives, and when successful, own their brides.

The cold breeze of the harbour air lunges for me softly, cooling my face. It is pleasant, the feeling, euphoric, for a mere second. I grow relaxed, and follow the trail of different colour bricks along the street. I had to look for work today, but I grew distracted. Yells of whores roaming the nearby slums, stinking, putrid things, but like a dying flower, or perhaps a poisoned flower, they trap their prey with the smells of wonder, unparalleled to any other smell, for that of men.

I push my fingers through my hair and slick it back. A slight, misty rain forms around the docks, wetting our faces, and coating us in the same layer of soggy, wet, musk. My eyes observe a rather befitting woman, ample body, clearly of higher standing than the other living nearby. For a moment, the purple dress fondly reminded me of the grace Lucille carried with her. When she turned around the corner, I followed. She seemed so fast, but when I reached the corner, she had gone. I turned, and flicked my eyes through the stack of papers sat next to a paper boy. They sat half covered by another, and the pages left open, were of the highlighted story-A murder. The boy looked me with a half-cocked face, and a smug smile “Ey, ser, you wan’ the story you gotta buy it” he held his hand out for a half penny. I looked at him in reprimand. “Waiting, ser, or you gotta move on!”

I sifted through the coins in my pocket, until relentingly handing him a half-pence. I picked the newspaper up, and went straight to the murder. I read through it, she had her throat cut, with a razorblade, a hole in her left eye, the inner side, where doctors reported a rod would have reached to the brain, and hammered in. She had been drugged, and, the shackles on her hands depicted the idea that she had been drugged for days.

I couldn’t help but to smile at the article, they described the man as a veteran of science, but also a monster. I handed the newspaper back to the boy, and the smile stayed on my face. I turned around, and walked towards where I had lost the woman to. I felt a rush of adrenaline pulse through my body, and I felt alive, and my senses were open. Lucille, I will have you one day. That, I promise.

You will be mine.

————————————————————————–

Read Meg’s blog if you want to read what happened before this piece.

 

 

Awakening

“Thomas, Thomas!” a voice beckoned.

Whispers crawled down the corridor of the ancient, grim-coloured stone castle like a shadow stretching at the glimpse of moonlight. It reached for him. It searched every room for him. Each step the boy took he could feel the shadow of the voice creeping closer. He could feel his heart beat, and swallowed the saliva rising in his throat.

“Where are you, boy?” the voice demanded.

Thomas dared not look behind him. He just kept trying each and every door as he crept through the dark corridor. The only light being that of the moon, piercing the gaps of the ceiling. Thomas could not open a single door. He carried on going, hopelessly pulling the handle of each door. Tears began rolling down his face, and his hands shook. He hit a red door to his right so hard with his fist that he broke two of his knuckles. he let his hand lose, and it dangled beside him.

“I can’t do this anymore, I can’t keep coming here… Why do you keep bringing me here?”

A faceless man stood in the shadow ahead of him. What Thomas could spot was that his face was bandaged. The man stood silent, distant, and something about him brought a feeling of insecurity, despair, and disgust. Something wasn’t right about this man. He lifted his bandaged hand up, and bent his fingers back, making a palm sign with his hand. It caused Thomas to step back. In a whim Thomas tried the red door he had hurt his hand on, and it opened. When the door creaked open, another faceless, bandaged man, stood there, looking at him, with a crooked spine, and smelt of death.

Thomas stepped back. He no longer knew what he was running from. The faceless man stepped out of the door and crept towards Thomas like a disease. Thomas stepped back, and came closer to the shadow…

“Come to me, I’ll protect you. Thomas, where are you?”

Every door in front of Thomas, the ones that stood in the direction he had been running opened. The same, faceless, bandaged man came out. The red doors, the blue doors, the black doors… Every one spewed the same disgusting creatures. Some had holes in their face, other had blood dripping from their body.

Drip… drip… the squelching of footprints through the now bloodied floor was a prominent sound, though they moved silently. Thomas sweat in panic. He stepped into the shadow behind him, and kept going. With each door he passed, another faceless, creature reared its ugly, rotting head.

They walked closer, breathing breath that intoxicated the air, so foul that clouds of gas seemed to dissipate as they exhaled.

“Let me in, Thomas… I’ll protect you…”

Thomas shook his head, as he stepped further back. Before long, he backed into something he could not pass. He dared not look behind him. It felt like a wall, but he was sure that nothing was holding him there.

“Let me in, damn you. I will save you from this. I will protect you.”

Thomas shrieked, letting out an exasperated cry for help, but no help came. They came closer, and closer, and with each step he felt his heart rising, and his breath getting heavier. Before long, he felt his chest pound, his eyesight blur, and there were so many hands. They all showed that same palm, blood seeping through the bandages. They were coming for him.

Thomas closed his eyes as he heard the voice one more time. “Thomas, let me save you!” It cried.

He took one final gulp, and agreed. Everything came crashing towards him, the faceless men started running, but something took over… something stopped them. Thomas blinked, and they were all cut down in front of him. He stood at the end of the corridor with a beating hand in his heart. He observed the ripped limbs, rolling heads, and other pieces of their bodies that were still twitching, and moving in the darkness.

Thomas woke up, he sat against the root of a tree, and gazed up at the moon. He looked down at his bandaged hand “What have I done?” he asked. His hand was covered in the blood of the ghosts from his past. “What have I become?” he cried. Though he crouched, his shadow grew long, and watched silent.

It grew still. When the wind blew, he heard the giggling of a child, “You became me.”

 

 

Lucille VII

“Where am I?” I wondered, looking around, head bobbing like a boat lost at sea, surviving a stormy night. I raised my hand and looked at the hair follicles that covered the back of it and curled up my arm. I counted every single one. “Six hundred and seventy three.” My pupils wide, or so I could see from the reflection on the spoon resting on the table. I used my napkin to wipe the small droplets of drool leaking from the gruff of my moustache. “Why is everyone looking at me?” I squeezed my nose, and wiped the sweat from my brow. I stroked my hand through my hair and stared back at them.

“Why are people here? I’m at my house, aren’t I?”

A waiter approached me. “Good evening, sir… have you decided what to eat yet?” He asked.

“The pea and ham soup for starters please.” I had to close my eyes for a second. When he turned to leave, my hand grabbed his arm. “Whiskey, as well. The bottle.”

“Very well, sir. Thank you.” I released him and almost fell off my seat. When I adjusted myself on my seat, I checked the inner-pocket of my dark grey dinner jacket in search for what was left of my opium.

“Goddammit” I muttered. This bottle had lasted me two weeks. I shook it, and opened my mouth in hope to suck in the remaining vapour. I pulled out my pocket watch and checked the time,

“1… 2… 3… 4… 5…” I closed my pocket watch. It was silver, and was shiny.

“6… 7… 8… 9.. 10” I opened my pocket watch again, “Quarter to eight.”

I shook my head, and tried to pull myself together “Lucille should be here soon, I need to be of sound mind.”

I closed my eyes again, and slowly breathed. In through my nose, and out through my mouth. In through my nose, and out through my mouth. In through my mouth, and out through my nose…

“I shouldn’t have taken this shit…” I wiped the sweat from my brow once more and muttered, “I need more.”

By the time dinner had arrived, I knew where I was. “The King’s arms.” I looked around, and announced to the waiter, “I can’t start without Lucille.” He kept the dinner in steel containers. The hot plate, turned warm and time ticked on. After forty-five minutes, I decided to eat the soup and leave. I took the bottle of whiskey with me. I shrugged the waiter’s arm off of mine, he pitied me.

I walked down the road kicking a few loose stones across the pavement. “Why would Lucille not attend my dinner? I invited her, I was pleasant. I bet it was that whoreson Thomas. I know who you are, Rich-kid, in-bred swine.” I smashed the bottle on the floor, and headed for a crossing. Across the road was a carriage, waiting outside an old building. It seemed posh, and rather fashionable.

I stumbled across, with a keen eye. There she was, “Lucille…” I whispered. She entered the carriage with Thomas, “That’s it…” I firmly handled my silver handled razor-blade in my pocket. I imagine everything I could to do him. I could ruin his face, so she will never love him…

“Or I could ruin her’s for rejecting me…”

I gave a harsh stare at the carriage, and caught Lucille’s eye. Still, her power over me was strong and my heart raced when she noticed me. Could this be love?

Time will give me the answers I need. I have time. I need more opium.

 

If you want to read the previous account of Lucille, please check Meg’s blog. See what Lucille has been doing.

Lucille III

I had a metallic taste in my mouth, rustic, of sorts. I was beaten, broken; I had enough. Could one thing not go right for me? Could everyone be against me? The first beautiful woman that I fall for on sight looks straight through me, and goes for some obnoxious prick, instead.

I clenched my fist and tried to battle the rage stirring inside of me but I felt an undeniable thirst to crack that pompous, square-jawed milk-drinker. I may have been a decade older, but I had an infallible urge to cut his throat.

I began breathing heavily, and those passing around me could see me in distress; they did nothing. No, they would not have. Of course, they would not have. Instead they looked at me, as if I were a werewolf out of a novel; as if I was changing before them. I was not.

The young idiot gave me a grin as I looked their way. I was not looking at him, though. I was looking at her. An idyllic beauty of such; one I could paint pictures of, dream of, imagine worlds from. Right down to the fine-detail of the lace lining the red dress she wore. That picture of her would last forever in my mind. After a moment of time, being almost paralysed by her beauty, I turned my attention to him; every inch of me grew silent, and my mind clear.

A crooked smile turned my lips, and as I stroked my hand through my hair to slick it back, I gave a stare that could have killed the man in itself. I walked so close, keeping my stare. He noticed, and hated it.

Finally, I had my first rush of adrenaline; my first destructive moment; my first primal urge. I could control it, for now. But I needed to record this. I need to get home. I moved down the street, swaying from left and right, my seething teeth had elevated my heart rate, and I felt a little light-headed. I looked around, and spotted everything, but at the same time things were blurring, but others were as sharp as the hand in front of me.

I looked at the wagons pulled by horses. Their chests were strained, and the hair follicles around the harness were grungy, breaking, and weak. The eyes of the horse were damaged, like their souls had been crushed. Repeated beating of the whip would do that to anyone’s soul. I saw my reflection in the puddles as I passed them. I liked it, and smiled. The reflection told me much, and revealed to me a side of me that I had not felt for a long time. A thug spotted me and I could see him approaching me. I walked into the alley, three streets from the market and kept my eye on him. I reached into the pocket of my coat. I always kept it in the left. I reached for my silver-handled shaving blade, sharper than any knife.

He stood a step away from me, until I turned, left leg forward, right foot back. I could see the startle in his eyes. He tried to throw a left hook, and instinctively I moved my left hand up to parry; I then shifted my hand and grabbed his wrist. I applied pressure to the point behind his thumb. His left arm quickly grew cold, and useless. I moved my right foot forward, and opened my blade out. I placed it against his neck, and sliced a few follicles of hair from his neck and whispered, “If I apply pressure here, even the smallest amount, it would tear into your jugular, and no barber, or surgeon would be able to save you. You would be out of time, and out of wit you ignorant, gorilla of a man.”

I could smell fear crawling from his skin; his paws opened like the fear a child has when he sees a monster under his bed. I had the image of that square-jawed prick in my head whilst pushing my knife close to this thug’s neck. For a moment I hadn’t even seen his face, I was still plastered with the thought of cutting the rich idiot’s throat. I waited for a moment, until the thug begged me for his life, “Sorry, sir… I’m sorry. Please don’t kill me. I had no idea.”

I could not believe it. “You have no idea? No idea? Of what? Of someone not being an easy target like you’d expect?” I caressed his skin with my blade, and rolled it up his neck. I nicked the top of his chin with my blade; a slight cut under the bubbly, ugly fur that hung at his chin. I let my hand slip away from his, and whispered, “Run…”

As he did, stumbling over his feet, I could not help but enjoy myself. The first time since before my work was ruined. It was time to return to my home, and reflect on this. I need more field work to complete my research; I just need to find a way to go about that.

It’s okay, I’ve got time.

If you want to read the previous entry of this story feel free to click on the link below.

http://lifesscrapbook.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/lucille-ii/