Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chapter III: The Unbound

Chapter III: The Unbound

It had dwelled in the corner of the eye, jumping from consciousness to consciousness; dream-to-dream in search of its prey it had been given a mission. Its mission was its purpose, if it had no mission it would not exist, could not exist. So it hunted and hunted, and suddenly, it found its prey. Though it had no eyes or ears to speak of, it could ‘see’ him clearly, there was a problem another being was in its way attempting to take its prize, its purpose away. Shouting loudly the other one waved a small weapon in its hand. Its prey seemed unwavering as always, its trip through the fourth wall had transformed it into a dog it was still as ferocious and steadfast as ever. From the rooftop, it crept down the building, proving that though it was confined to a form of the reality its laws did not confine it.

“Put the knife down Randy.” Roderick relaxed, he was calm and oh so collected. “You wouldn’t want to hurt yourself now would you?”

“Shut the fuck up, I don’t know what you did to me last time but it won’t happen again.” Randy’s voice cracked under his hysterical scream.

Roderick put up his hands in a placating gesture. “Listen to me, there’s no need to do this. You and Sierra can sit down and talk.”

“Fuck that.” Randy broke into a run, knife waving wildly in front of him.

This isn’t going well; I have to stop him before this gets out of hand. Roderick breathed deeply and closed his eyes; a surge of electricity began to build in the center of his skull and shot straight down his spine. He formed an image in his mind and then called it forth. “Stop!”

Randy’s eyes went white, his arms slapped to his sides causing him to drop the knife and his legs stopped mid run as if caught in a snare and tied together. He hit the ground and due to the inertia slid a few feet forward. Completely paralyzed, he lay there like a rock.

“I’m sorry Randy but you forced me to do this, I’m going to leave you here and when I go you’ll regain your ability to move.” Roderick walked over to the knife, picked it up and put it in his pocket. “Just so you won’t get any ideas.” He adjust his glasses and began to walk away, but a loud thump stopped him in his tracks and slow, measured foot steps caused him to whirl around; he took a step forward attempting to peer into the darkness beyond Randy’s comatose body. Strange gleaming eyes peered at him and a sense a familiar dread washed over. It was a German Sheppard, lithe and muscular; it crouched into position ready to spring like a coiled serpent. It opened its mouth wide; its jaw unhinged and down its throat was an extra set of jagged teeth. Roderick knew what this was, or at least Nelo Maxwell did and he didn’t think it would find him so soon. He took off his glasses and his pupils began to glow like fireflies in the pale moonlight. Crouching in a defensive position, he watched as the animal’s eyes move from him to Randy. No The beast crept closer a glistening pink tongue more reptilian than canine extended from it’s mouth and wrapped around Randy’s leg. Roderick, reached into his pocket to retrieve Randy’s knife.

She had come to a halt in a short time, her years of athletics, conditioned her to run for long periods without getting winded, but tonight’s happenings all but stole her breath. What the hell am I doing, I can’t let Roderick get hurt over me. Stopping short of the entrance to her building, she spun on her heel and turned around. She thought about the day and didn’t think that breaking up with Randy would lead to this series of events. It wasn’t as if they were together for that long and it wasn’t like she considered him a serious suitor. They had slept together a couple of times and despite his begging, he never met her family. For the most part, they were in a physical relationship, with the title of boyfriend and girlfriend at his insistence. She was using him in a sense but wasn’t, she grew up around guys like Randy, or those he claimed to be like, guys who went from girl to girl no strings attached. So why was it when he landed on her he started to “catch feelings” as they say, or was it she who landed on him? Her thoughts jumped to Roderick, she was never sure of Roderick’s actual feelings for her until tonight. For a short while, she wasn’t even sure if he liked girls, and then once or twice she caught him staring at her ass out of the corner of her eye, mainly at the arcade, where she dressed her best. In hindsight she wondered why she dressed so attractively to go to such a place, it wasn’t like any of the guys there were her type. The only explanation was to catch Roderick’s eye, but she hadn’t been trying to, at least not consciously. She wasn’t even sure if she’d thought about Roderick in an amours way, sure she had a few fleeting fantasies of what kind of lover he’d be, though after tonight she’d love to make them come true. I’ve got to stop them she took off like a bullet, sprinting down the four long blocks with ease and grace, her mind focused on saving Roderick’s life. Rounding the corner she stopped in her tracks awe struck and partly horrified, her eyes went wide and she jumped back.

Roderick’s eyes glowed wildly as he ran toward Randy’s unmoving body. “Move!” He called out coming to a halt just as the young man jostled to life.

“What the hell is this, get it off of me.” Randy screamed, it appeared that while his body was unmoving he was conscious up to this point. “Gimme the knife.”

Roderick crouched down and Randy snatched the blade away, taking the knife to the creatures tongue as it began to drag him toward its wide jaws. Metal touched flesh and an unearthly wail sounded in response, dragging its tongue back the beast shook unsteadily and darted forward, in two fluid leaps it was upon Randy locking it’s jaws around his leg. Not good Roderick’s eyes flashed brighter as he kicked the dog hard in the face. “Off!” It retreated but not without leaving a nasty bite on Randy’s leg, he fell back and all but cried like a baby.

“Call an ambulance…that shit might have rabies.” He rolled around clutching his leg.

Roderick turned from Randy to the Sheppard, their eyes locked as it shook off his attack. Why hasn’t it come after me yet? He looked at it trying to figure out its motives. This was an Unbound any doubts he had about that, were thoroughly washed away when he met its otherworldly eyes. He thought of how he could kill it, in Scrawl he had the entire world at his command, his power granted him control over the forces of reality. Here in this reality, his abilities were greatly diminished, not knowing what he could and couldn’t do wasn’t going to help him, and the rules of the realm didn’t come with a manual. All he had was his ability to command, hoping that this would be enough to best the ferocious creature he took a gamble. It had moved before he finished his thought and if it weren’t for his otherworldly abilities the animal would’ve mauled him, but he hit the ground as it leapt at him causing the creature to fly clear over him. Sliding along the floor, he watched it turn around and was upon it before it could leap up again and although he couldn’t avoid its tongue, he didn’t stop and in one fluid motion grabbed the muscle, wrapped it around the dog’s throat and began to pull.

“Roderick!” Sierra stood with her eyes wide and her mouth open. “What the hell is that?”

Damn it “A stray dog that attacked Randy, call an ambulance I think he’s hurt.” I don’t want her to see this. As Roderick contemplated his image in front of Sierra, he failed to notice the growing form below him until he was floating weightlessly eight feet in the air. The impact jarred his entire skeletal system, knocking the wind from him with great force, his mind worked frantically as his eyes caught sight of the creature in front of him, its form so hideous it was almost beautiful. The Unbound had cast off its disguise, and was now towering over Sierra and the fallen Randy who she sought to. It was at least eight feet in height, its gangling oddly angled limbs still had pieces of fur and flesh on them. Its twisting skull made one revolution making it impossible to tell which end was the top and which was the bottom. Its ashen skin had the texture of old leather and the strange X patterned stitching that served as a mouth opening made it look like something out of a marvelous horror film. How the hell is it able to manifest in this realm, If I need a body how come it doesn’t? Roderick turned to look at Sierra, she was frozen starting awe struck at the creature before her. Roderick figured she was in shock, and if he had to get her and Randy out of here safely, he’d have to act quickly. Dashing with greatest speed, he positioned himself between Sierra, Randy, and the Unbound.

“I’m your prey, your purpose, leave them alone.” Roderick spread his arms in front of them. His eyes flared and his ponytail came undone draping his locks on his shoulders. “Sierra, Randy, move now!” His voice was low, but forceful, it carried with a persuasion that almost forcibly pried the shock from Sierra’s mind and the pain from Randy’s leg, they both scrambled back across the street.

Sierra now in full control of her faculties pulled out her cell phone and dialed 911. “Yes hello, I’m at South window Avenue on the corner of Jones place my friend was bitten by a rabid dog.” She hung up as soon as the chatter on the other end subsided. “Are you ok?” She looked at Randy’s leg; it was bleeding but not profusely.

“Mutha fuckin…what ever that is bit me, what do you think?” Randy snapped, his eyes were red from crying. “Tell them niggas to hurry, I could have rabies…I don’t wanna get no shot.” At that moment, Sierra wondered what she ever saw in him. As his heavy masculine fa├žade fell away, she saw him as a little boy and not the charming type.

Sierra’s eyes looked up to see Roderick stabbing the creature as its tongue held him in the air and slammed him into a wall. His skin showed darker in contrast to his now flaming silver eyes. As his body hit the red brick, she called out putting her hand to her heart. She didn’t know what was going on, but she knew whatever it was, wasn’t good not for her, or the city of Endwater. The creature darted toward Roderick, who had just gotten to his feet and was unarmed. These were the longest minutes of her life, she was terribly afraid for Roderick and that fear trumped the notion that none of what she was seeing could possibly be happening. Roderick rolled out of the way of the creatures tongue, got up and threw the recovered knife into its open mouth. It staggered, regained its balance, and then screamed at him, charging wildly. Roderick’s back was against a wall as he eyed the beast , Sierra stared wondering why he didn’t move out of the way and she then noticed he’s saying something, but what she couldn’t hear. A deafening yelp sounded from the creature as it tripped and hit the floor hard. It came to a stop right before Roderick and Sierra watched as the hideous form convulsed and with each movement, began to decay.

Roderick’s breath slowed and as it did, the gleaming in his eyes subsided; he leaned against a wall slowly sliding down it as an ambulance’s sirens blared into the earshot. Klaxons bathed the block in red, temporarily blinding Sierra and Randy who had since Seased crying. The paramedics hopped out of the van and opened the back doors where a third rolled out a stretcher; the first two gingerly helped Randy up on to it.

“Will you be going with us?” The first paramedic turned to Sierra; he was a stocky man of Hispanic descent with short cropped black hair.

She shook her head slowly, her eyes on Roderick leaning in the shadows across the street. “No, I’m ok, I wasn’t attacked.”

“Oh he saved you eh?” The man smiled at her. “I guess chivalry isn’t dead huh?”

Sierra flashed Randy a disdainful look as he was wheeled into the vehicle. “No…it’s not.”

“Can you get home from here do you need a ride?” He offered.

“I’m a few blocks up, I can manage.”

The paramedic shrugged and walked back to the ambulance and then jumped into the driver’s seat. Sierra didn’t notice when the van pulled off, nor did she care about the on coming cars as she crossed the street. Her eyes were trying to adjust to the dark alcove in which moments ago Roderick Parker slouched, catching his breath after having fought with something that most certainly could not have been real.

“Roderick?” She walked closer to the now shadowed area. “Are you there?” She crept closer and the sound of sudden movement made her jump back.

“Stay there.” his still even voice shot back. He walked out of the shadows his hair tied back; he adjusted his glasses and looked up at her. All hints of silver were gone he smiled gently at her. “Everything’s ok.”

“What was that?” She blinked rapidly. “What happened?” Her breathing began to increase. She wasn’t sure if it was the fact that she was seeing him after the maddening event that had just transpired, or because the need to help Randy was bigger than her need to quake, but now with no life or death situation and no buffers, shock set in like a run away freight train. Her pupils dilated and she began to tremble, Roderick put his hands on her shoulders to keep her standing and then looked at her hard. Her reality is crumbling came a voice in his head. Nelo Maxwell side of Roderick had some how known that this would happen, somehow being of two worlds a person intrinsically knew these things. He put her up against the wall, and thought, If everything I knew to be impossible started to happen right in front of me, how would I rationalize it? Roderick looked up at her vacant teary eyes and removed his glasses. His eyes were instantly alight. “This was a dream, nothing more!” His words bounced around her skull and flew up and down her nervous system; she stopped trembling and breathed in deeply as she came to.

“Roderick, what’s the matter why am I leaning against this wall?” She said In even breaths.

Putting his glasses back on, he looked at her. “You said you were feeling light headed, it might have been the food.” He smiled convincingly

“Oh, yeah, that must have been it.” She blinked slowly.

“I was just walking you home.” Roderick grabbed her hand and they headed toward her house. She looked at him as they walked to her stoop.

“Thank you for, tonight.” Sierra’s words wrung in her own ears making her feel numb.

He looked in her eyes and she was lost, again glowing in a bewilderment called romance. They kissed slowly tenderly, like lovers, old lovers Roderick thought. When they stopped he stepped backwards off of her stoop.

“Please call me, let me know you got home ok.” She sighed and then smiled, she opened the door and went in as he waved goodbye.

Walking down the block Roderick clenched his fists. He hated what he had to do to Sierra regardless if it was for her own good, he would have rather told her the truth then rearrange her thoughts. “I’m sorry.” He whispered in the night air, he continued on till he reached the train station, the last hour had been trying and if it was any indication of what was to come he’d need help and fast.

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The moon hung out in distant space, the clouds framed it to look like the eye of some majestic god, like a child looking into a fish bowl. The windows of the mayoral mansion fogged as the heat from the room gathered with intensity.

“Go faster.” A young woman moaned as she neared climax. “Faster.” Her tan skin glistened in the moonlight as sweat coursed down her neck, chest, and thighs.

The young man between them smiled at her, his curly brown hair bounced as he pushed deeper, his skin was just a shade lighter than hers marking his mixed ancestry, he’d never felt at home with any group of people, a kid who looked black with green eyes and wavy hair, found it hard to relate to many people mayor’s son or not. That didn’t stop him from being popular with women of all colors, black women seemed to love green eyes for whatever reason, and white women seemed to love the extra edge his melanin gave him. He didn’t care for either particularly; none had seemed to peak his interest not even the girl he was with now. He couldn’t remember her name and at some point didn’t care she was a fun time, a shiny new toy that would lose its luster.

“I’m in control, not you.” He whispered as his right hand shot out clasped around her neck. Despite his stature, he was quite strong and as a hand reached up and clawed his arm, he pushed faster.

“Ack…ugh…eck.” The girl’s gasps came short and sharp as she fought to remove his hand. She began to turn red trying to pry his iron-clad grip from her neck. Finally he let go and she was greeted by the most powerful sensation she had ever felt, sliding from her brain stem down to her nether region. She convulsed around him as she felt something wet and warm enter her.

He looked down and smiled. “Wasn’t that good?” He pulled out of her and got up.

She shook her head to affirm his question she was breathless, shaking, and completely satisfied despite having been choked a few moments ago. She looked up at him in the moonlight and found herself oddly fascinated, though she had been with a number of men all attracted to her wide hips and ample butt. It felt like something otherworldly.

“You just gonna stand there staring up at me, or you gonna get on this?” He pointed to his dick.

As she put her lips around his member and began to suck, she was surprised to feel his hand grasping her face. “Faster….”

“Nahbia.” She mouthed around him, her name was Nadia and he probably didn’t remember, but she’d make him remember, a favor for a favor she always thought. Being a sycophant was how she’d ended up in this position and when she thought about it being on her knees sucking off the mayor’s son wasn’t half bad.

He grew impatient thrusting himself down her throat faster than when he had been inside of her. His smile became a maddening deaths head grin as he took pleasure in the sound of her choking once again. I could be a porn star, this is how they do it right? He shuddered before climaxing down her throat.

She coughed as the sticky fluid filled her esophagus. Pulling away, she spit on the floor. “Are you trying to kill me?”

He smiled at her. “If you don’t swallow next time I just might.” He stepped off the bed and walked into his own bathroom located to the far wall of his enormous room.

“Next time.” She said wiping her mouth and looking for her clothes. “What makes you think they’re be a next time?” For a moment, she was filled with a sense of outrage.

“Because I’m Ian Redgrave, there’s always a next time.” He looked out at her from the bathroom.

Her anger faded as soon as it came she dropped her clothes and stood up. “You’re right, you are.”

He smiled at her. “You wanna join me?”

“Yes, please let me.” Nadia ran into the bathroom and Ian closed the door behind them.

As the moon and the sun sat across from one another in the sky Ian lay alone in his bed, drifting between sleep and thought, he’d kicked Nadia out long ago preferring his own company to anyone else’s. The noises coming from down stairs shattered his beautiful solitude. Getting dressed he walked out of his room and down the snaking spiral staircase. His mother was drunk again and rambling about his philandering father and how she thought white men were different when she first met him. Ian would later realize that men were all the same most of the time. And being a man like his father he didn't stay in one place too long. His dad's latest take was barely out of high school but legal, and because his mother wanted to remain, the mayor’s wife and keep all of the nice things she'd gotten, she said nothing. Ian wandered off into the garden surrounding the mayoral mansion and had come across the pond at its center. There he heard a voice, calling him like as siren song to the edge of the pond. The strangest thing about it was the voice was coming from the pond, like some mystical talking fish of legend. Traveling to its edge Ian sat down in front of it, but when he looked over to see his reflection in the still water, he saw something else, something more mystifying and beautiful than he could imagine. It was a man, with ash gray skin; his short wavy hair reminded Ian of his own.

“Where did you come from?” Ian was startled to here himself ask the question. As if a reflection could answer back,

“I'm not a reflection I assure you.” The man began to move, he wore a long blue coat, knitted of a strange material, his pants fluttered as wind swept the pond and his heavy vest seemed warm in these summer months.

“You talk?” Ian didn't move he stood still contemplating whether or not what he was seeing was the onset of some sort of insanity. “But how?”

“I assure you I do.” The man smiled. “And you’re not crazy.”

“Well coming from you, that helps.” Ian shifted.

“Listen I need you to join me in the water. “ The young man reached his hand up toward the surface. “I'm here to rescue you from your life.” his gray lips split into a smile.

“Really?” He looked toward his house.

“Iannnnnnn!” Ian's drunken mother called for him. “Come help me out of this chair.”

Ian turned away from the house and toward the pond. “Tell me more.”

“Take my hand.” The gray man gestured again.

Oh what the hell. He reached his hand into the pool and was pulled into the water, but what he found on the other side was not water at all. It was a large stone cavern with a large pool of water in the middle. Ian looked across to see the gray man.

“Welcome Ian, I am Pariah Gray, the crown prince of the planet of Scrawl. “

“That's a funny name for some one so important.” Ian thought about his own heritage and position in society and frowned. “So what happens now?”

Pariah gray gestured to Ian to follow him. “I want to show you something.” He stopped and then turned. “Oh and be prepared it's hot outside.”

Ian followed him out of the cavern as the cool climate gave way to an increasing humidity. The winds blew black sand at the mouth of the cave, Pariah handed Ian a scarf and Ian wrapped it around his face and head. “So why do they call you Pariah, I mean I get the Gray part.”

Pariah turned to him regarding him with red eyes. “I am like you.” he looked down. “Of dual parentage.”

Ian said nothing but followed Pariah out into desert. “This is my world, it’s called Scrawl.” Pariah swept his hand across the expanse of black sand.

Ian looked at the mounds in the distance and the sun ascending the sky. He saw birds flying across the sky. “Looks kinda nice except for the wind.”

“It's a dying world.” Pariah looks at Ian. “I need your help.”

“With what?” Ian looks at Pariah.” What can I do?”

Pariah smiled at him and extended his hand. “Take my hand.”

Ian stared at him, his smile causing any apprehension he had to be washed away in a sea that felt like familiarity. He took Pariah’s hand and was over come by a sensation so intense he lost consciousness. When Ian came to, he was beside the pond, the wind stirred around him. Getting to his feet he felt different, not as good as he did a second ago but savoring the glow, what ever had just happened, it had felt good and right. A smile crossed his lips, as his shoulders relaxed. This is the feeling I’ve been searching for, this feeling of peace, of kinship, of self.

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