I really love the direction ur taking the story but I think it would be good for tara to meet the werewolf that's hunting "john" lol great work keep it up
Love how the story is progressing. Bannon's background segment nicely fill in a few gaps and added some very interesting detail and additional info.
I really enjoyed the scene where Sean inhaled the demon spawn vapors but I guess i'm a bit unclear as to if there was any partial transformation or he completely fought everything off/held back etc. Maybe add a few lines if there is anything noticeable in his appearance. Also could be cool to add a bit as they are hunting the demons where he feels his alter ego urging him on, picking up on something etc.
I also enjoyed how he was forced into revealing all. Happened kind of quick n flowed nicely w/the story.
All in all great way to move the story forward and cant wait for more!
That's sounds awful what happened to you, Clair. I can't even imagine what that must've been like. I'm sorry you had to endure that experience.
I could potentially change the demon's name. The other night I felt like I was spending too much time researching and I eventually forced myself to pick one just so I could continue on with the story. It's also hard to choose because I feel a lot of sources don't make a distinction between devils and demons, and that's something important to the overall plot of this story. There are still some crucial points to that I still have to iron out like when I need to refer to the Abyss instead of Hell and tweaking things just a bit to put my own spin on it.
As I mentioned a bunch of times, I'm an avid Dungeon &Dragon player and I've very much enjoy the entire structure and overall in depth structure that game has put into describing Hell, and the Abyss. In their version Hell has nine layers, each ruled by a different lord (they've changed through out the years as the game has evolved) and the one constant has always been Asmodeus who resides on the ninth layer and rules the entire plane. The Abyss is supposed to have infinite layers most of which have their own Demon lord ruling them. Of course there are some very notable ones like Gratzz, and Orcus. In this game devils and demons are vicious enemies toward one another. Their war against each other has been going on longer than anyone can remember and it's also something Azmodeus uses to great affect as a distraction to keep the rest of the mythos busy while he works behind the scene doing other things. I could get into a lot of detail about it all but this isn't really the best place for it, but I suggest if you ever are working on a story that requires you to define such places the D&D books are great fictional references.
I picked Shiva because I wanted a powerful demon but not one of the big well known baddies. I'll use those guys later in my story. After all if you start off with the baddest of them all and they get defeated then any future demon just doesn't feel as intimidating. It kinda kills the story. I basically figured any named demon should be pretty powerful as opposed to a random name I just make up. I do have a particular form and size in mind acting as a criterea, but I haven't found anything that fits the bill.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2010-12-29 14:46:40)
I didn't refresh my screen so I didn't see you guys (RW and Nightslayer) post before I did. Just so you know Nightslayer, Tara and the rest of that bunch are going to meet that giant werewolf up close and personal, but I'm not going to spoil things by giving much more detail than that.
I think you're right RW. I might want to throw in an extra sentence or two describing Sean's partial change that he managed to fight off. Also describing his alter ego urging him on could be a nice touch as well. When I get around to reviewing and editing that chapter I will definitely keep those things in mind.
I really love the direction ur taking the story but I think it would be good for tara to meet the werewolf that's hunting "john" lol great work keep it up
The thing your really going to have to watch though is that you started out with sean's point of view and you've strayed away from him to tara's thoughts and life more. The trick is to balance the two and not forget that sean is really who the story is about. Good job and keep it coming
Next chapter is going to be from Sean's point of view.
Here's some food for thought... in the Wheel of Time series who is supposed to be the main character in that? I always thought it was supposed to be Rand, but later on in the series there's hardly any chapter with him in it. I don't intend on doing what Robert Jordan did, but I think I'm going to develop this story somewhat along those same lines. I don't know how it works, but somehow it does. When I choose who's POV to use I usually consider it based on what that particular character knows and how much information do I want the reader to have, and if I want that information to by biased. In some scenes a character might lose consciousness while there's still action going on in which case seeing things happen through a different character could be nice to see the action come to a conclusion.
I'm beginning to see that in some stories it's not always easy to see who the main character is in the very end. Another good example is if you take the entire Star Wars saga you see you have multiple main characters. But, just so you know, Sean is my favorite mostly because he's a werewolf
On an additional side note, I've been using Tara's POV quite a bit recently because she knows more about what's going on and is trying to figure things out, not just what's going on with Sean. Using her let's me show you guys there's more going on than just the conflicts Sean has to deal with, but it connects them all.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2011-01-01 05:25:52)
Your right lol the story is great either way. And I agree with mrRW about the demonspawn in the vial. It is kinda fuzzy on how sean really reacted. And I love how sean and tara's relationship is developing. Them two together is like peanut butter an jelly. Very different but go so good together lol
I was just starting to type the first couple of paragraphs to the next chapter when a thought hit me, and I wondered if I had already explained Tara's ability to see auras in chapter nine. I know I have a habit of being redundant at times with story info, but some of that is due to the length of time this project takes. It's easy to forget specifics when too much time has passed. The question of doubt was making me lose focus so I had to go back and reread the beginning of chapter nine, and.... lol.... I felt sucked in. I didn't want to stop. I was enjoying the way Sean and Tara were talking to each other, and there were spots that made me laugh a little bit too. It was sort of refreshing for me to have the chance to see this story from the readers point of view, and further justifies your compliments. Just thought I'd share that little moment with you all.
hahaha it's easy to get sucked into your story isn't it?
Here's the beginning of the next chapter.
Read. Enjoy. Comment.
“She really does have a beautiful voice, doesn’t she?” Chris said loud enough so she could be heard over the music.
She was referring to Dawn who was up on a small wooden platform serving as a makeshift stage for the bars karaoke machine, making it easier for the rest of the room to appreciate the singer or to enjoy a good laugh at their expense. With the current singer no one was laughing. There had to be at least twenty-five people in the room, if not more, and they were all focused on their favorite golden haired diva. Dawn was a regular and almost every time they came here someone would make a request for her if she wasn’t already up on stage. She never turned down a song, and she always had every head in the room turned in her direction.
The bar belonged to some guy named Mic. He never told anyone his full name and as near as anyone knew he used to be a college drop out who happened to make a killing being a bartender, bought a little bar of his own, and has been living comfortably ever since. There was a small covered patio out front where the smokers would spend most of their time, but once you entered the place the warm atmosphere hit you. There were probably better bars or clubs in the city but this one had become one of their regular places to go just to hang out. It was never too crowded and always had just the right amount of people in it to still make you feel like you weren’t alone.
There were all kinds of memorabilia hanging on the walls and ceiling. Some of what was from a few decades ago like the record albums fanned out along the wall, and some of it more recent like the original Nintendo console and controllers he had glued to the ceiling because he had run out of room on the walls. Half the room was tiled, the other half carpeted, and a mixture of booths and various sized tables with well worn wooden chairs. The bar took up the whole back wall and bent around one corner further increasing its counter space and amount of stools available.
Chris was sharing a table with Sean and Tara, and there was a fourth empty seat that belonged to Dawn. Tonight their missing person was giving them all her best performance yet. She had a spotlight on her that highlighted her golden hair and made the coral pink dress she was wearing with its white embroidery stand out even more. Chris had to wonder if the new appearance had anything to do with her having recently learned she was part angel, or if she had always been like this and she was only now beginning to se her in this new light.
She was still the same Dawn they had always known, except now they all knew the truth about each other, and the impact that made couldn’t be ignored. She had taken the whole prophecy thing very seriously and it bothered Chris greatly, more than she let on. She tried scoffing at the very idea in front of Dawn that anyone could tell you what was going to happen in the future. At one point the two of them were on the verge of getting into a very passionate argument over the subject. It came to an abrupt end right after Dawn asked her why she was trying so hard to convince her, and Chris shouted back at her that it was stupid prophecy filled with awful things that made it sound like she was supposed to die, or some crap like that, and she couldn’t understand why anyone would want to believe in something as awful as that thing. Dawn was left speechless while Chris got up, slamming the door behind her. It made her so angry she had to leave despite the fact Tara had told them not to leave each other alone while she was off gallivanting who knew where.
It wasn’t until later that night, after Tara had gotten back and they listened to her phone conversation, did she tell them what she and Sean had found. She did her best to make sure they understood the potential of what they had discovered and the dangers it implied. Even though Chris tried to hide it she was very successful in striking fear into their hearts,
The following week had them all stressed and wondering if another demonspawn might jump out from a nearby shadow ripping one of their souls straight out of their bodies. Chris didn’t believe in demons, but she’d seen enough to believe in monsters and knew she had a good reason to feel on edge. Sean hung around them more often and even stayed with them at the dorm as late as he could until the curfew hour forced him out.
Tara had a discussion with her at one point, suggesting she should stay over at Sean’s place then this way they would all have someone watching each others back. Chris couldn’t believe she’d make such a request knowing full well he wasn’t a mentally stable person. As soon as she objected Tara was quick to back down, apologizing for what she thought was a good idea. Later that night before Sean left them Tara dropped the bomb on them all by grabbing her jacket and telling them she was going with him. Sean, however, told her it wasn’t her place to do so. He reminded her she was Dawn’s Guardian, not his, and assured her he’d be fine. He also argued in a lame attempt that he wasn’t alone and that he had his very ferocious and loyal guard cat, Serenity, to keep an eye on him.
All of this had only been a few days ago and now it was Friday night and they were out celebrating. It wasn’t until that afternoon that Tara told them the good news. Her mother, who was an Elder, called her earlier in the morning informing her they had quietly gone in during the night and thoroughly destroyed the demonic site. Tara went with Sean and verified that the place had indeed been buried and all traces of it wiped cleaned. It was more than a relief for all of them upon hearing the good news and it felt as though it had sudenly become easier to breathe.
"I heard someone over there at the bar say she sounded like Taylor Swift," Sean said, gesturing toward the back wall where a couple of regulars sat. They were middle aged men with the kind of protruding belly achieved from the overindulgence of alcohol.
"Really? Well then I guess Dawn lost a bet," Chris smiled with satisfaction.
"What was the bet?" Sean asked.
"That no one would compare her to her."
"I can't believe she bet you on that," Tara turned in her seat taking her eyes off the stage to face the other two at the table. “Doesn’t she realize how often people say that of her?”
“Pffft! Are you kidding?” Chris shot back. “Our little angel is too modest to believe in such fame.”
Tara’s eyes widened with Chris’ blatant reference to Dawn. “Are you crazy?!” She whispered with a hiss. “Don’t say things like that in public!”
“Lighten up, Tara. It’s not a big deal unless you make it one.”
Tara opened her mouth prepared to get into a full scale argument about the importance of the issue, and how absolutely none of them should openly speak in public on that matter. It wasn't safe even if it was meant as a casual comment. She couldn't even accept it jokingly. It was too important. She could feel her face get warm with the building anger and she so wanted to give Chris a piece of her mind, but all the things she wanted to say got jumbled up at the tip of her tongue and she couldn’t get the first word out of her mouth.
Chris could tell how serious Tara was taking this, and she could see more clearly than if it were told to her verbally. Tara’s emotions on the subject were strong enough to weaken the enchantment she had in place that acted as a barrier to ward off intrusions. Everything she wanted to convey to her was done unintentionally inside of a couple of seconds, and Chris got the message loud and clear.
Before Tara could get a fix on what she wanted to say Chris put her hands palms facing up in surrender. “Okay! Okay. I’ll be more careful.”
Tara let herself breath out visibly trying to bite back the words she was about to speak, but she still felt like she had to say something for good measure. “Just do me a favor, and pleeeease try to refrain from saying things like that in the future. We can never be too careful”
Chris dropped one hand and made a fist with the other, crossing it in front of her in a tiny punch. “You got it.”
Sean felt it best to not add anything and let his attention drift back to the source of the music that filled the air. Chris and Tara did the same, and whether it was magic or not, he could see the affects of her singing dispel the brief tension they had built up.
Dawn finished her third song of the evening and was getting ready to hang the microphone up to give somebody else a chance to sing, but before she could step off the stage there was a unanimous request for her to do another song. She smiled and shook her head knowing she was a helpless victim of being a popular local, and in good spirit asked her admirers to pick a song they wanted her to perform next. Two women sitting at a small table near the front of the stage were the quickest to respond, asking for “All You Wanted” by Michelle Branch.
She found the song on the karaoke machine with a familiar hand and got right into the song like she had sung it many times before. Just as they had before the crowd of people gave her their full attention and she held them enraptured by her natural talent.
"Chris, I think now is a good time to ask him," Tara told her, purposefully speaking loud enough for Sean to hear.
"What? Now?" Chris said surprised by Tara's timing and revealing she wasn't ready for whatever they were referring to.
Their conversation disrupted Sean from continuing to enjoy the music, and he was sure it was Tara’s intent to get his attention, and possibly force Chris to face something she didn’t want to.
Taking the bait he asked, “What are you talking about?”
Tara looked at him then back at Chris, apparently giving her the chance to explain things on her own, but since she didn't seem willing Tara took the initiative.
“As you know I’ve been working with Chris, and she’s been making some very good progress with her abilities.” It was obvious she was choosing her words discretely so as to not let any eavesdropper hear anything they shouldn’t. “She’s expressed to me how she wants to learn how to protect her thoughts the way you do, and we both believe it would be extremely helpful to her especially on those particular days when she’s receiving too much.”
Sean gave Chris a skeptical look. He couldn’t help but to feel there were ulterior motives. “And…” he left the word hanging waiting for them to confirm his suspicions. When nothing seemed forthcoming he redirected his stare back to Tara. “Remember, not so long ago, we were talking about trust…”
Tara sighed surrendering her indirect approach and let him have it. “I want her to take a look inside your head just to see…”
Sean right away started to shake his head and was readying to interrupt and save her from whatever excuse she was about to offer, but she stuck both hands across the table insisting on making her point.
“Just to see,” she continued, “if on the off chance, between the both of us, we can do anything to help you.”
“I told you he wouldn’t go for it,” Chris threw in her overwhelming optimistic opinion and Tara shot her a look informing her she wasn’t helping.
“I already told you there’s nothing else anyone can do for me up here,” he emphasized by tapping a finger to his temple.
“Will it hurt to let us try?”
“Look, I know you want to help me, but I just don’t think this is the best way to go about it. I’ve already heard you describe to me how I look on the inside. That’s how I’ve been since as far back as I can remember. My uncle pieced me back together as best he could with nothing to work with. The fact I’m here now talking to you is nothing short of a miracle.”
“Precisely! If you had your… soul,” for that one word she dropped her voice down to a whisper, “…drained from you then there’s no way you should have survived that. Nobody does, so why were you able to?”
“I… I don’t know.”
“You had your soul drained from you?” Chris said full of surprise without a care for discretion. “You mean like what we saw those things try to do to you?”
Tara gave her a warning hush
“Sort of,” she addressed Chris. “I’m pretty sure it was a different method, but the end affects would’ve been no less different.” Then turning her attention back on Sean she added, “There’s other reasons why it might be beneficial to let us examine you, and I don’t think you want to hear me say it?”
Sean looked down at the table where his glass of orange soda sat. There was nothing left but half melted ice with an ever so slight tinge of discoloration from the soda. He knew what Tara meant. She had made her opinion about vampires quite clear, and it was her belief that none of them should be trusted. Her shock that he had been raised by one such creature left her stunned and unable to comprehend the full reality of what such a thing meant. She hadn’t broached the subject since the day he had revealed that little fact to her, but he knew she was thinking about it. She was also keen enough to understand that Sean’s uncle meant a lot to him, regardless of their opposing natures, and accusing he had done something to manipulate him in a harmful manner was a giant step backwards in the friendship she was forming with him.
“I know you didn’t want to hear this,” Tara confessed, “but try to understand I only have your best interest at heart. Maybe it’s exactly as you believe, and your uncle did everything he selflessly could to help you. If that’s the case then we can verify that, and I’ll admit that I was wrong. But I’m asking as someone who cares about what’s happening to you, please let us take a look.”
Sean gave some heavy consideration to what Tara was saying and he let them both feel the weight of his eyes, conveying the significance of what they were asking of him. Chris sat there searching his face for what she was missing. It was likely that Tara hadn’t told her yet that his uncle was a vampire, and without knowing what that meant it was easy to see why she didn’t understand the full conversation. He didn’t blame Tara for not telling her. She already had a hard enough time accepting everything else that was being shoved in her face, trying to explain to her that his uncle was a vampire and all of what that implied would be too much for her at the moment.
Tara looked at him with hopeful eyes, showing him she meant no harm or disrespect. She was only trying to do what she thought was right, and to uphold her promise to help him.
“Hey, what are you guys talking about?” Dawn had finished her last song and managed to gracefully turn her fans down, promising she would return after she got a drink. She was in such a positive mood it was hard to tell if she understood they were engaged in a serious conversation. Sean thought it best to conclude it now, and he resolved it by nodding once at Tara. It was a clear response and they both got the message.
“You owe me a drink,” Chris told her with a gloating smirk.
“The Taylor Swift bet.”
“Oh,” she laughed, “I forgot about that. What do you want?”
“Just like that you believe her?" It amused Tara to play the devil's advocate for once. "How do you know she’s not making it up?”
“Of course she's not! Why would she lie to me?”
“Hello! To get a free drink!," Chris felt it necessary to point out the obvious.
Dawn smiled at her with that simple kind sweetness she seemed to possess such an abundance of. “I would’ve gotten it for you regardless. What would you like?"
There were a few smiles and a couple of chuckles that went around the table until Chris ordered a Shirley Temple and then Dawn cheerfully went bouncing away to the bar.
"I'll never understand how the hell she can be like that," Chris said shaking her head at their overjoyous friend.
Tara's smile broadened a little more. "You say it like it's a bad thing, but it's not. That's who she is and it's her gift. You said so yourself without her around you wouldn't be able to get by most days so you should be glad for the way she is instead of being a cynic."
"Oh, believe me I am. I just don't get how people like her can exist the way the world is today. There's so much crap going on and the misery everyone causes each other, it never ends."
"You should probably watch your language," Sean spoke, gesturing to Dawn.
"When she's not around I enjoy my freedom of speech very much, god damn it." Chris emphasized her point by hitting the table with a fist, but she did so good naturedly, never letting go of her smile. "Hey, Tara, you're old enough to buy alcohol! Why don't you buy us all a round?"
"Absolutely not! First off I rarely ever drink, and secondly it's against the law and if this bar got caught serving minors then they'd lose their lisence. In addition it's also a felony for you as well."
"I was only kidding. Jeesh! It's not like I really expected you to do it anyways."
Dawn was on her way back carrying more than just Chris' drink. She had seen Sean's glass was empty and had gotten him a new one as well as grabbing a pepsi for herself and another glass of plain water for Tara with a lemon wedge stuck on the lip of the glass. She had her arms full and took her time returning to the table, being careful not to let any of the drinks spill. Once her friends realized what she had done they hurriedly relieved her of her burden, thanked her, and she rejoined them sitting down at the table.
After Dawn had taken several gulps of her drink, and listened to their praises which she modestly denied, she told them that before they left they all needed to get up on stage to sing at least one song together. The other girls agreed easily enough, but Sean kept his mouth shut and looked slightly paler.
"What about you Sean?" Dawn asked. "You are going to sing with us ,right?"
"Uhhh… I don't think you'd want me to do that."
"Oh, come on!" Tara encouraged. "It'll be fun!"
"Don't tell me you're afraid of singing!" Chris teased, unable to deny herself the opportunity to take advantage of having discovered something Sean feared.
"I'm good at playing music, not singing it. Besides, I don’t really know the words to a lot of songs."
Dawn laughed thinking it was going to be fun trying to get him up on the small stage for the first time. "It's not that hard. The words are on the screen in front of you. All you have to do is read and sing them."
Sean shook his head stubbornly telling him that he wasn't going to do it, but none of them gave up on their attempt to persuade him. Finally Tara guilted him into it by mentioning how Dawn just bought him another drink and it would only be proper if he respected her simple wish. With a surrendering sigh he gave up. It served to make the girls even more excited over their little victory and they launched into an immediate discussion as to what song they would sing. Eventually it was agreed upon to let Sean pick the title since it was his first time and he struggled with his choice while flipping through his options. They tried to help him pick by asking what kind of songs he liked, but it only made them laugh when he told them he preferred to listen to classical music.
This is an added portion to the story as per one of my readers suggestion as you will see the further on you read. Originally it was only two paragraphs long, if that.
Here you go Clair Hope you like it!
It took him a while but in the end he chose something by the Coors. When they asked why, he told them because their group consisted of three women and one guy, and he figured it fit the four of them pretty well. He received varying degrees of compliments with Dawn telling him he was cute, Tara labeling him as poetic, and Chris saying he was just plain sappy.
The song he chose was "When the Skies Turn Blue", partly because Dawn had mentioned while he was scanning the list that she had liked that particular version. They couldn't sing it right away because there was a couple performing a duet and another person after them waiting their turn. Sean looked nervous and ran his hand across the top of his head through his white hair that he still wasn't completely comfortable with.
"Stop stressing out over it. You'll be fine," Tara reassured him with a gentle laugh.
"That's easy for you to say. You've done this before, and I'm sure the three of you sound great."
"Nah," Chris said, "I suck. I'm kinda hoping you suck too so you can make me look better." She smiled at him with a playful grin and Sean could tell she was trying to encorage him in her own way. He did think she was mildly funny and laughed once, but it did little to chase away his doubts.
During the interim Dawn pulled something out of her pocket and looked as though she was pressing buttons.
Out of curiosity Chris peeked over shoulder. "What are you doing?"
"I'm looking for the song on my Ipod so Sean can hear how it goes.” She looked up at the rest of them with a beaming smile. “It’s the one with Bono.”
"Ooo! This might actually turn out pretty good" she complimented her and then nudged Sean on the shoulder. "Looks like the pressures on you!"
It only took a brief moment to find it then she handed him one of the ear phones and put the other one to her ear so she could make sure he was hearing it also.
Tara tried to help him see that singing was the same thing as playing a musical instrument. It was merely a matter of using his vocal cords and applying words to the sounds. After she was done explaining she asked him, " Does that help you any?"
Sean was listening to the song in one ear and paying attention to her with the other. Slowly he started to nod his head, but then he dropped it saying, "No. Let me listen to this one more time then I'll go up there with you guys."
Right on cue Dawn did as Sean suggested and began the song a second time.
"Maybe you might feel better knowing the first time Dawn dragged me up there I was way more nervous than you are, but after all was said and done I felt relieved and I realized it was actually kinda fun."
"Stop talking to him, Tara so he can hear the freakin song," Chris chastised her.
Sean thought it was funny how they were all trying to help him. Seeing how very few guys went up to sing made him feel like he was something of a novelty. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and cleared his mind, focusing on the song. He listened to the flow of the melody and the voices of the singers and how the two intertwined, adding depth and feeling to the music. He wasn’t paying so much attention to the words, but rather when he heard them sing and how they played off one another, further enhancing the quality. When it was over and he heard the crowd cheering at the live performance he opened his eyes to see all three girls staring at him with amusement.
“What?” He looked from one to the other wondering why they were looking at him the way they were.
“Oh... nothing,” Chris told him, pushing her tongue against her cheek in an attempt to resist smiling.
“Come on!” Dawn eagerly jumped up from her seat tugging Sean along behind her by his wrist. “It’s our turn!” The other two girls followed right behind barely able to contain their mirth.
“Oh Go...,” Sean started to say, but instantly caught himself. “Oh boy!”
“Ha!” Chris looked at Tara. “He’s a fast learner.”
The wooden platform was only a five foot square, so the four of them had to get pretty close together to stand on it. There was a single microphone stand in front of them and a monitor with a blue touch screen on a roll away cart with cabinet doors. There was a second microphone lying to the side of the monitor, and after Dawn got finished going through the options selecting their song she grabbed the second mic handing it to Sean.
Sean accepted the microphone from her fully coming to terms with what he was about to do and he started to feel a lump in his throat. He tried swallowing hard to get rid of it and knew how nervous it made him look.
“Listen,” Dawn told him with a serious, calm face that got his full attention. “Don’t try to sing it exactly like you heard it. That’s not you. You have your own voice that’s totally your own so you’re not going to sound like him. Just listen to the music, read the words if you need to and have fun with it.”
“Here we go killer. Do or die,” Chris threw in her last comment before the song began.
He had the first line and he read it, singing it like the way he remembered it. He thought he did all right, but when he heard the girls sing the next part he realized how weak his single voice sounded. When it was his turn again he added more strength to it matching their tone. The bright light on the ceiling centered on them made it easier for him to forget that there were complete strangers watching, and he pushed them to the back of his mind. He glanced at the screen for the lyrics, but kept his eyes mostly on Tara, Chris and Dawn, listening to how they were singing and using his own voice to compliment theirs. At some points he let his eyes close so he could feel the music better and to find what he felt was the right place to insert his words.
Before he knew it the song was over and he was surprised with how engrossed he had become with it. Suddenly the moment was shattered by loud cheering and clapping from the silhouettes of the other twenty or so people in the bar. He was even more shocked when the three girls included him in a group hug.
“Were we that good,” he asked, feeling lost and dumbfounded.
They just happily laughed and Chris cheered with the rest of the small crowd.
All in all despite his doubts they performed extremely well, and they wound up doing a couple more songs together before they left for the evening. It was the most fun Sean had ever had in his life, but he kept that minor part to himself.
After this segment there's going to be a chapter break, and then we'll get into Chris delving into the depths of Sean's mind. I wonder what they'll find. Could it be dangerous? Could this simple experiment turn tragic? You'll just have to wait for the next post > hehe. It'll be good I promise.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2011-01-08 04:02:52)
Man it seems like ur getting better an better as u go along!!! BRAVO!!!!!!!!! Hahaha seriously good job keep it coming
Thank you, Slayer! Hearing your praises pleases me to no end. I'm working hard to try and get another segment in before this weekend. I can't make any promises yet. We'll just have to see how everything plays out.
I need to come back latter and fix the format, but here's what have so far
The air was thick with the aroma of the spaghetti sauce Tara was stirring in the large pot. Since she bought all the ingredients and Sean was providing the kitchen in which to cook, the other two were doing most of the preparations. They had chopped up red and green peppers, mushrooms, and onions and sauteed the vegetables in a frying pan with meatballs before finally adding the blend into the sauce so it could simmer. Tara also added a bunch of different spices that really intensified the flavor which served to make the waiting to eat part more tortuous.
The smell reminded Sean of Rebecca’s home cooked meals, and he found his thoughts drifting back to the manor, his first home. There was a mixture of both good and bad memories, but it was the familiarity he missed the most. Gregor and everyone else who had helped him develop into the young man he was today, including Anna, had basically been the equivalent of his family. Not a traditional one by any stretch of the imagination, but a family no less. He had considered returning a couple of times, but when he had gotten the message from his uncle to lay low and blend in he knew it would be a while until he could entertain such possibilities again.
He tried not to think about them too much, but since it was so close to Christmas and the holiday season was in full swing it was all the more difficult to put such thoughts aside. Carlos, Daniel, and Rebecca went out of their way to make this time of year as special for him as they could. Gregor did too of course, but anything he got involved with, no matter how good his intentions, always had a certain tainted quality to it that couldn't be avoided. Both he and his uncle really strained themselves to be on their best behavior especially during the earlier years. As Sean matured they eventually learned different methods of controlling themselves around each other and the quality of the seasonal spirit improved. Gregor's undying dedication to him was probably the best gift he ever gave to him. Sean missed him the most.
"Where were you just now?" Tara asked him.
She was sitting on the opposite corner of the couch from where he was. He saw her when she sat down a minute ago, but the memories of his past were so vivid in his mind he didn’t consider acknowledging her. Sean realized now she had been silently watching him, wondering where he had wandered off to.
"You know if you don't want to go through with this you don't have to."
Sean looked up at her with what he hoped was an unreadable face. He was leaning forward with his elbows on his knees holding a short plastic stick with a feathery cat toy dangling from it. Serenity had been batting it about, taking it out of his hand a few times, but now she was just sitting there waiting for him to shake the stick, simulating her prey was still alive for her to play with. Tara's offer was a little too late, and the fact she was saying it now irritated him.
"I know! I know. You probably don't appreciate me saying this to you now, and I know I promised I'd stop using magic on you and I kind of forced you into this. Sometimes I'm too assertive and I come across as being pushy, and when I realize what I'm doing it's already too late, but right now it's not. You just say the word and I'll tell Chris we're not going through with it. I'll explain to her it's my fault for making you do this in the first place, and we can have a nice, fun evening together."
He stopped trying to pretend he wasn't feeling bothered and pinched his eyebrows together. He set the cat toy down and rotated one of his arms up so he could touch his forehead with the tips of his fingers. The truth was, before Tara's guilt made her offer a way out of this evening’s main event, he had butterflies in his stomach, but he didn't want to bring it up. He was feeling concerned with what they might see once they were inside his head. There were things he had done he wasn't proud of, and there were other things that had happened in his life he wasn't ready to face yet. It would’ve been proper to at least tell them a little more about his past before they began, but every time he thought he was ready he’d get a lump in his throat and choke up.
He wanted to, but didn’t know what, or how to begin. Ever since Tara had expressed herself as not trusting vampires it had planted a little seed of doubt in his mind and slowly he was reevaluating all of his experiences with his uncle. There were times when he was manipulative and harsh, even brutally so. But, if he had misguided him it was done to prove a point and to teach him. If Gregor seemed cruel there were very few times, and it could always be attributed to the fact the slightest thing could set them off if one of them was having an off day. Considering werewolves and vampires were never meant to get along, Sean thought they had done extremely well.
He also had to wonder if everything was the way he remembered it, or did his uncle alter his mind to suit him. Could he have? Would he, and if so, why? He hated himself for even considering such thoughts. It felt like betrayal of the worst kind.
“If you don’t say something right now then I’m going into the kitchen to tell Chris it’s off.”
“No need,” Sean said rubbing his forehead and finally using both hands to push his hair back. “I don’t know what’s going to happen when we start this, and I have to tell you I’m worried. I…”
There was more he wanted to say, and his mouth worked silently once, twice, trying to force the words out that he wanted to say. He was confused and couldn’t sort through his emotions to communicate the many facets to the issue he was facing. It made him feel stupid and helpless. There was a mixture of hatred, regret, hope, curiosity, defiance, fear, embarrassment, and so much more making it so he couldn’t think straight. It was worse than working through a maze trying to find the source of just a single emotion. Suddenly the sauce didn’t smell so delicious. He didn’t think he’d be able to find his appetite until he faced this first.
“I think I need to do this now,” Sean said, rising to his feet.
“Right now?” Tara looked alarm, and certainly wasn’t prepared for the reaction Sean took.
Sean headed straight into the kitchen while she got over the shock. She quickly made herself get up, following a second behind him.
“Hold up!” Tara commanded, as she came around the corner onto the tile floor. “I don’t think you’re ready for this.”
Dawn and Chris were standing close to the stove huddling over the pot of sauce as if they had been in the middle of discussing something between themselves. There were even a couple of tiny red dots on Chris’ shirt from where the bubbling liquid had painted her. They were surprised to see Sean suddenly standing there with them and were trying to comprehend what was happening.
Sean fixed Chris with his eyes and told her, “I want to do this now.” His intentions were very clear.
“Now? I thought we were going to eat first,” Chris complained.
“I lost my appetite.” He moved past them and took a seat at the table. Tara moved a little slower shaking her head and giving Chris a look as she passed.
“But I’m hungry,” she added, sensing her need to eat was going to get overridden.
Tara moved up along side of where Sean was sitting and leaned on the table. While she took a moment to figure out how she was going to address him the other two moved in around the circular table too.
“Sean,” she said with a sigh, “you’re telling me you’re ready for this, but you’re not acting like you’re ready.” She paused giving him a chance to add his input, but he kept his eyes on the center of the table waiting for everybody to take their seats.
“I’m not going to permit this to happen if you’re going to let yourself be all worked up,” she continued. “You have to keep a clear, calm mind, and right now… I don’t know what you are, but it’s definitely not that.”
Sean took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “I can keep a clear mind. I can remain calm.”
Tara continued to stand there looking unconvinced.
“I’ve been feeling anxious and nervous, and my stomach feels like it’s all knotted. I don’t even think I got much sleep last night, because my mind was too focused on this,” he gestured with both hands encompassing all of them. “I tried bottling up my emotions so we could get through this, but I realize now I can’t do that. I need to get through this for my own peace of mind.” Sean turned his head and lifted it slightly, making eye contact with Tara. “I don’t want this, but I need it.”
Tara met his stare looking deeply into him, weighing this internal conflict that seemed to have been brewing in him all this time without her fully realizing it. She could sense the hidden desperation to find a badly needed answer to a question that was gnawing at him. She didn’t think he had the question fully defined, but there was hope that the answer might help with that part. There were layers upon layers of this man sitting in front of her, and she couldn’t ignore the part of her that found him strangely fascinating while being dangerous at the same time. He wasn’t just a complicated puzzle she wanted to figure out and the more she learned the more her instincts told her his being there couldn’t be a coincidence.
“Okay,” she said after a long pause of evaluating him. His desire to get this done and over with was as great as her desire to learn the things he didn’t know about himself.
She looked at Chris who had already taken her seat to Sean’s right. “What do say Chris? Do you feel comfortable doing this?” Tara jumped to her next sentence before she could answer. “If you have a single shred of doubt then we don’t have to do this.”
Sean whipped his head in her direction hoping to encourage her to go through with this, but she was already speaking before his look could have any affect.
“I just want to get this over with so I can eat.”
Tara sighed again, tilting her head forward, hoping she wasn’t about to make a mistake by condoning what they were about to attempt. She looked up again double checking what she saw in Chris then Sean and decided there was no stopping what she had started. For good measure she looked at Dawn who was already sitting in her prescribed seat to Sean’s left and even though she didn’t have any crucial part to play in what they were about to do she asked her if she was ready too. Dawn nodded letting her eyes go wide as if to say let’s get on with it, and with that Tara took her seat across from Sean and they all linked hands.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2011-01-05 11:42:14)
Very good. Ill be glad when you write more. I love this story
I just want to say with the previous post I was wondering if anyone felt like things were rushed in that prior scene just before they settled down around the kitchen table to begin the telepathic circle. I've been trying to be more considerate about not dragging things out too much by overly including minute by minute what the characters are doing. I'm aware I can get carried away with the details, but sometimes such things are good for pacing the story.
Just let me know what you think of the previous post and if I made it move too fast. I know there's a lot more I could've added and even developed some pre-dialogue leading up to Sean's sudden rush to tackle Chris' telepathic probing and his urge to get over and done with. If you guys feel that way let me know and I'll go back and edit it before moving on with the story.
Anyways here's another segment...
with another one posted right after it too!
I thought it was too long so I broke it up into two
It was important for Chris to be in direct contact with Tara since she was relying a lot on her guidance and Sean because it was his mind they were going to explore. She was directing the telepathic circle, but Sean’s mind was hosting it. For the most part it was almost the same thing as she had done before.
Almost as soon as they had touched hands Chris was in their thoughts checking to make sure they were all receiving her. Sean took a little longer to get established than the rest of them while he forced himself to lower his mental shields. He could sense Chris scrutinizing the entire process in which he dismantled his defenses, and he could easily see how eager she was to learn how he did it.
“Another time,” he thought to her, and he recognized everyone else could hear him too.
“But when? I really need to learn how you do that.”
“I don’t even know if I can teach you.”
“You don’t have to. Just let me watch you a bunch of times and maybe let me see how you do it while I’m on the inside”
“I’m not sure you can. It’ll probably boot you out automatically.”
“We’ll never know until you try.”
“You guys can discuss this another time,” Tara interrupted. “Let’s keep our focus on what we want to accomplish here first.”
“Okay, but please, you’ve got to promise me you’ll show me latter.”
“We’ll see what we can do.”
“Thank you! Thank you so much!”
Tara waited a moment making sure Chris was finished before she began establishing the steps that had to be taken. She informed Sean that because it was his mind they were going to take a look at and since he was hosting them it was up to him to choose the mental backdrop and then Chris could solidify the image and bring them all there. Tara told him to close his eyes and try to think of a place he felt comfortable.
Sean’s natural instinct was to think of the manor and with that he started to feel a sinking sensation as though he were getting pulled down somewhere deep into his subconscious. It was a little disorientating, but when he opened his eyes again he found himself standing in the main foyer of the manor.
He looked around wide eyed in amazement. The grand stairs with its dark red carpet rose in front of him, curving along the contour of the wall all the way up to the balcony above. Right below the balcony was the double sided fire place that even had a warm fire with its flames licking the air high enough so you couldn’t see clearly through it to the next room beyond. On either side of the wide fireplace were archways leading into the den or living room area. To his left was the hallway that would lead to Gregor’s personal study, the extra guest rooms on the first floor, and the library pit as it was called. To his right was the archway leading into the dining room and behind him were the double doors to the front of the house.
He knew he wasn’t really there, but the way everything looked and felt it was so real.
“Where is this place?” Dawn was the first person to speak, and Sean turned around, suddenly realizing he wasn’t alone. It was more than strange to see all three of them in a place he knew they could’ve never been and it felt like it clashed with his memory.
“This,” Sean looked around, “is my home. It’s where I grew up.”
“This place is huge!” Chris exclaimed. “What is it like a mansion, or a castle?”
“I guess it’s more like a mansion.”
Chris was all set to start exploring and she was taking her beginning steps when Tara quickly told her, “Hold up! You can’t just go wandering where ever you want. It’s not how this works and it’s not safe or fair to Sean. This may be a real place in Sean’s mind, but that’s as far as it goes. We’re not actually there.”
“If we can’t walk around then what are we doing here?” Chris heeded her warning and came back nearer to the group.
“This goes with what I’ve been teaching you. Everything here is a reflection or a representation of Sean’s memories and thoughts conveyed in a dream like setting and pulled out of the subconscious part of his mind. We are only here to observe. Sean has to be the one to lead us around.” Tara looked around at all of them. “Do you guys understand? We can’t go wandering off.”
“Is this what your home actually looked like?” Dawn kept looking around only pausing when Tara was giving them directions. She marveled at the old style setting and the size of the room.
“Yea, although I don’t remember it being so dimly lit.”
Astonished, she continued looking around. “This place has got to be huge.”
“So what are we supposed to be observing?” Chris asked.
“Like I said,” Tara answered, “ most things here aren’t really what they’re supposed to be in reality. We’re trying to look behind the meaning of what we see and to keep an eye out for what doesn’t seem to belong. For instance the windows in the top arch of the front doors,” Tara pointed, “I think I saw a flash of lightening like there’s a storm outside.”
“So what’s that supposed to mean?”
“It can mean any number of things. Why don’t we take a better look?” Tara turned toward Sean. “Would you mind opening that door for us?”
Sean wasn’t looking around with the same fascination as Dawn, but he was still adjusting. He wondered why Gregor never did anything like this with him before? The strangest thing of all was seeing the girls in this setting, and he was still trying to adjust to that. It made the whole visual effect of the place seem somehow more false.
Taking Tara’s suggestion he moved away from them and opened up the doors wide enough so they could all see past him and what was outside. The area was lit with a dim blue light like the full moon was the only source, but the celestial body was well out of view and the light didn't fluctuate with the thick storm clouds hanging low and rolling across the sky. In the distance across the front lawn they could see the edge of the woods Sean had run through many times. It looked shadowy and darker than he remembered; even ominous would be a good word to describe it. Beyond what he could see he felt like something was out there watching him, beckoning him to walk out into the night. He wanted to, but there was a deep rooted fear attached to that idea that kept him from taking a step in that direction.
He could feel the girls move closer to him so they too could see what he was looking at.
“What’s out there?” Tara asked him from his side.
Sean’s head jolted slightly to the left. He thought he saw something move on the edges of the shadows, as if it had been perfectly still watching them the whole time and then suddenly moved or disappeared.
“Those clouds. That storm. It looks familiar to me,” Chris spoke out loud so the others could hear too. “I saw something very similar to that the first time you let me in your mind. It feels powerful, and… foreboding I think.”
“That’s where I would run when I changed, out there in those woods. That’s where…” he paused, but then continued, “That’s where the werewolf side of me is.”
Tara and Chris got the sense he was about to say something else, but quickly altered it. The look they gave each other helped to confirm their suspicion, but before they could ask him about it Dawn pulled their attention to something else.
“Hey guys, I think that dragon moved.”
She pointed above the archway leading into the dining room, and they all looked. There was the sculpture of Draco even more lifelike than Sean remembered it. It’s black and white scales captured the light from another flash of lightening and the play in shadows made it seem like it was indeed moving, but it didn’t quite look right to Sean. The head was normally facing the center of the foyer with its intense red and blue cat’s eye gemstones concentrating its glare. However, now it was clearly staring straight at the entrance way where they were standing.
Without taking his eyes off the figure of the dragon, Sean closed the doors and walked back into the center of the foyer. The head remained lifeless and didn’t move, and with certainty he told them it wasn’t how he remembered it. They all didn’t let him get too far away and stayed relatively close. Tara pointed out that it was things like this he needed to take note of and to let them all know what it meant to him in reality. That way they could begin to try and get better understanding of him.
Suddenly Dawn screamed and jumped behind Sean, putting him between herself and the dragon hanging over the archway. When they all looked they saw the head was no longer facing the front door, but instead was looking straight at them. For the most part everybody but Dawn remained calm and Tara asked Sean what it was supposed to be.
“My uncle collected a lot of relics and he especially enjoyed acquiring things that had magical properties. I never confirmed it with him but I always suspected this thing was a guardian golem of some kind.”
“What, like it’ll attack us or something,” Chris said, ever so slightly shifting the weight of her balance in preparation for a fight.
“Only if you’re considered to be trespassing.”
“Are we trespassing?” Tara questioned him.
Sean wondered about that and compared it to his feelings. He then locked down on the idea that they were and pushed it out of his mind. They were his friends and he didn’t want to see them get hurt.
“No, you’re not,” Sean said decisively.
Draco responded immediately, flexed and settled back down, melding once more into the wall, looking as he had always remembered it. Dawn was the only one who still remained uneasy and made sure she kept someone between her and the thing.
“Can we get hurt in here?” Chris wondered aloud.
“No,” Tara informed her. “Not if we stay behind Sean and let him take us where he wants to go.”
“There’s one more thing I think you should know,” she continued, addressing Sean again. “You have a lot of memories that define who you are and what you’re about. More than there are rooms to the place, I’m sure, even if it is a mansion. So behind each door and each room there can be more than one thing you discover there. How you feel and what you desire will have a huge impact in what we see.”
He knew what she wanted to know, and at some point her quest for the truth had also become his. He closed his eyes and thought about his uncle. He wanted to know what he had done to his mind and if had influenced him in ways he’d find disagreeable. When he opened his eyes again he was less surprised then everyone else to see an image of Gregor standing in front of him.
Once again Dawn made an audible sound, but this time it was more subdued, like a tiny squeak, probably because she had less to move in order to make sure someone else was between her and the sudden stranger. He stood face to face with Sean more than a head taller than his nephew and he was just as he remembered him. Even this imaginary version of him manifested a ghostly affect of the anger he felt in the pit of his stomach whenever they were near each other, but he quickly clamped down on it forcefully reminding himself this was not the real thing.
He focused on his own breathing taking in the sight of the man he hadn’t seen in what felt like a very long time. His night black hair fell down his head in waves, fanning behind him past his shoulders. The handsome charismatic visage of his face with those sharp laser like green eyes clearly expressed his intelligence and the centuries of experience behind him. He wore the medieval type white pull over shirt he was usually fond of with the extra folds of fabric running down from the elbow to the cuffs. His slacks were a rich dark material commonly seen being worn with a full complimentary suit. The shoes he wore…were missing.
Sean blinked not understanding why the image he pulled up would deviate from what he thought he should see. He closed his eyes for an instant trying to picture his uncle wearing black shoes, but when he opened them again he still had bare feet. Sean looked up into his uncles face seeing a stern frown glaring down at him as though he had just made an insult.
“Is this…,” Tara spoke softly.
“My uncle? Yes. He is.” Sean was concentrating as to the meaning of the missing shoes, and didn’t take his eyes away from studying Gregor’s face.
“Is he a vampire?” Chris asked straight out of the blue.
Her question hung awkwardly in the air, and everything felt like it had an unnatural stillness.
Finally Tara found her voice. “What would make you say that?” Sean could tell she was trying hard to control her surprise and didn’t want to give the truth away.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Chris replied, and then she leaned in closer to Tara’s ear lowering her tone, but still remaining audible enough for the rest of them to hear. “I just… kinda got that feeling.”
Tara whipped her head about to catch the expression on Chris’ face and she could tell she knew. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I just thought it would’ve been too much, and you wouldn’t want to hear it.”
“Eh,” she shrugged her shoulders. “It doesn’t really matter, but for the future even if you don’t think I’d want to hear it, tell me anyways. If I don’t want to know about it I’ll let you know, but when we get done here I promise you I’m going to have a whole slew of questions about vampires.”
Tara looked relieved she hadn’t insulted her friend, and at the same time wondered what was going through her mind to generate questions about vampires, but before she could consider that Sean was taking off his shoes telling them to do the same. They all stared at him wondering if he had lost his mind while asking him to explain himself. He didn’t give them an answer but repeated his demand being more adament. They all awkwardly did as he said.
When Sean looked back up into his uncle’s face he saw the scowl had been replaced by a smile of approval. That’s when Dawn announced out loud to the rest of them that his uncle wasn’t wearing any shoes.
“Does he normally like to walk around with bare feet,” Tara pointedly enquired.
“No,” Sean shook his head. “I don’t understand what it means, but I somehow feel safer.”
Tara sucked in a breath of air trying not to gasp with the unexpected realization. Hoping she could keep her voice sounding confident she took a couple of deep breaths. “Dawn, I need you to exit the circle.”
“Huh? But you said I could help.” Dawn’s voice was filled with disappointment and she looked on the verge of pouting.
“I don’t think it’s safe for us to be here.”
“Whataya mean?” Chris was quick to get her question in.
“I mean I think Sean’s uncle…”
“Who happens to be a vampire,” Chris commented.
“… who’s a vampire, took the liberty of laying a few booby traps in his mind.”
“So what does that mean for us?”
“It means we should seriously consider discontinuing.”
“But we haven’t found out anything yet.” Chris clearly didn’t want to stop what they were doing.
Dawn looked at Tara with frustration.“That’s not fair! Why are you making me leave?”
“Two reasons,” she squared her shoulders at Dawn. “First, to protect you.” It looked as though Dawn was about to make a fierce protest, but Tara continued on, making sure she got to speak first. “Second, to protect us.”
Tara’s last reason stopped her from objecting long enough for her to explain. “If we continue, and that’s a big if, I want somebody on the outside watching our bodies. In case something goes wrong then you can physically separate us.”
“Umm…,” Chris looked like she was about to add something, but Tara kept on talking and focused on her next.
“Chris, do you want to keep going?”
Her question distracted her from what she was about to say and she considered it. “What could happen to us if we pressed on?”
“I don’t know for sure, but it could be very dangerous.”
“I want to keep going."
"This is so unfair!" Dawn complained.
"Please, Dawn, I really need you to do this for me."
"Fine, but I want to hear in full detail everything that I miss."
Tara promised her that she would tell her everything, and then had Chris help her return to a conscious state. Sean watched as the two of them vanished and he was left alone momentarily with his Wizard friend and the mental image he had created of his uncle Gregor.
"What would've happened if we left our shoes on?" she spoke, more so to fill the void of silence.
"I don't know."
"Then how did you know it was a mind trap?"
"I didn't. That's what you said it was."
Tara slapped a hand to her face with a moaned, thinking she had over reacted.
"You said I'm supposed to lead you through this, right? Well I'm just trusting my instincts and trying to do what feels right."
"You're right! I shouldn't complain. You're actually doing a very good job so far."
Chris reappeared in what seemed like a blink of the eye. One moment she wasn't there and the next she was suddenly standing with them again as though she had never left.
"You know," she said, "having Dawn pull our hands apart probably won't do much good if you're hoping to break our link. I can still maintain our connection even if we're not touching."
"I know," Tara stated. "I needed an excuse to get her out of here. This isn't a casual search anymore. There's the potential for a real threat to exist here and I don't want Dawn exposed to that unnecessarily especially when she's not doing anything here other than looking around."
"That's what I figured," Chris responded, "and that's why I didn't say anything."
"I know she's feeling a little frustrated and left out," Tara added, "and she just wants to help..."
"It's okay, I get it. You don't have to explain it to me. You gave her that job so she could feel useful. I understand, and who knows, maybe in a real bind it might even help, but I’d rather not have to find out."
“let me know when you guys are ready,” Sean reminded them.
“Ready when you are,” Chris said, but when Sean made it a point to stare at her feet she realized she had returned with her sneakers on. “Oh! Hang on a sec.”
While she removed her shoes she asked, “So what’s the deal with this? How does this trap thing work if we didn’t take our shoes off?”
“I don’t know,” Sean answered her, “Do you want to find out?”
“Nope. I was just wondering how it worked and if I could learn how to do it. So where to fearless leader?” Chris looked at him expectantly.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2011-01-06 03:57:08)
I think there will be one segment after this one, possibly two, and then we'll have another chapter wrapped up! YAY! I'm making progress
“I’ve got an idea about that. Let me try something and see if it works.”
Sean faced the silent form of his uncle and addressed him. “I want you to show me what you’ve done to my mind.”
Gregor’s demeanor made him look very unattached, but no matter how neutral he seemed his face, mainly his eyes, could never be rid of that intense quality that personified him. Even this imaginary version was still able to hold a presence of confidence and power. After Sean made his demand the figure gave the appearance of an ever so slight frown and something in the eyes made him look grim. Quietly he turned and headed down the hallway that would lead to the first floor’s guest wing, and Sean followed him, looking around cautiously. Chris and Tara were right on his heels keeping an eye out for anything unusual as well as watching their mysterious guide escort them.
On their left they passed a wooden sliding door behind which would be Gregor’s personal study. Directly across from that was a large heavy metal door with dark rust spots splotched across its surface. It looked nothing like the way Sean remembered it.
Tara pointed at the decaying door. “What’s that?”
“It’s supposed to be a safe room and I believe the door was made of reinforced steel, but it never looked the way it does now.”
“It’s appearance might mean something. What’s in it?”
“A few computers, a bunch of monitors, some supplies, and whatever else Carlos wanted to put in there. He was my uncle’s body guard, but he did other things too like being the limo driver, and tending the grounds outside the manor.”
Gregor continued to slowly lead them and paused at a set of double doors directly in front of them just as the hallway bent to the right and continued on to the guest rooms. He took hold of the brass door handle, rotated it, and pushed the door open. Politely he stepped through first holding the door open and waved once with his hand inviting them to pass by and enter the room.
They all stepped out onto a balcony at least ten feet wide and it encompassed the entire edge of the large room. Beyond the railing were four rectangular pillars built as shelves that stretched all the way to the floor some forty feet down and disappeared into the darkness far above their heads. As Tara approached the edge she was amazed with the sheer size and depth of the room, and the overwhelming amount of books. There were literally millions.
Below and overhead were other balconies very much the same as the one they now stood on, and from what she could see of the distant floor there were a few tables and chairs meant to comfortably seat a person who so felt inclined to indulge in the reading material available. The walls of all the balconies were completely filled with shelves and had books tightly squeezed into every nook and cranny of available space. In opposite corners of the towering room were metallic spiral stairs that connected each layer.
“Look at all these books!” Tara exclaimed in awe.
Chris glanced at Sean and jokingly told him how Tara looked like she just died and went to heaven, but she seemed to be the only one to find any humor in it.
Tara went to the nearest shelf and immediately started scanning some of the titles. “This one’s really old, and that one looks like it should be in one of the Arcanus’ Archives, and… wait. What’s going on?”
Several of the books she was looking at instantly disintegrated like thousands of years had passed in a matter of seconds. Behind them was a blank space that shone brightly with its own white glow. Only five of the books remained on the shelf, still standing as if the other books were still holding it up in place.
Sean wasn’t sure what it meant or if she could be in some kind of danger. Just to be on the safe side he grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back away from the shelves.
“I didn’t touch anything!” she objected.
“I know. I saw, but I don’t know what it means.”
The effect of the books disappearing didn’t cease on the one shelf, but it rapidly spread across all the others. Before any of them could say anything only a few thousand of the millions of books stayed behind, and in the sweeping motion in which they vanished the ones still there changed colors. Most of them became plain red and the others took on a basic white color.
Sean looked at his uncle who was still playing the part of a sentinel and told him straight forward, “tell me what this means.”
Gregor stood where he was, still not saying a word and gestured toward the books remaining on the shelves, inviting him to take a look for himself. Sean obliged him, picked up one of the red covered books, and brought it over to where the others could see inside of it too. The binder of the book was the length of his forearm and as he opened the huge tome to a random spot they saw a wide picture that took up both pages. It looked like a younger version of Albert Einstein wearing a dull color buttoned up sweater and holding a tea cup in one of his hands. He was sitting in a leather high backed chair with wide wings and arms leaning forward as if he was engaged in an interesting conversation.
Sean stared at the picture confused as to the meaning of what he was seeing, and before he knew it the image was moving and he felt like he was watching something on a wide screen television.
“Your theory on these energies is very interesting, but I wish you would stop labeling it as magic. Such a term is commonly used by the unenlightened who are either too lazy or lack the intelligence to apply logic in a scientific manner.”
He didn’t feel like Albert Einstein was just talking to him. He felt like he was actually there in person comfortably sitting in a similar chair engaged in a thought provoking conversation with one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century.
“I disagree.” He spoke with Gregor’s voice. Sean was looking through his eyes and living a memory that wasn’t his. Yet somehow it felt just as comfortable as if it were his own.
“I think the term magic,” he continued, “is something that the enlightened have used throughout the centuries to refer to knowledge that common men do not possess. It is a word that the initiated have used to protect their secrets. However, I do agree with your disdain, but my view varies from your own. For I believe that knowledge should not be hoarded and kept away from the rest of the world so that a few privileged may unfairly enjoy power over their fellow man.”
Albert Einstein reached for a pipe that was resting on the small side table and leaned back in his chair with a thoughtful look. “That’s a very interesting viewpoint.”
Sean felt disturbed that such a memory could feel like his own when he knew there was no possible way it could be. He started to reject what he was experiencing and pulled himself out and away from the image closing the book in the process. The other two girls were on either side of him sharing the same view, and he looked from one to the other wondering if they had also experienced the memory as he had.
Chris stared back at him with a confused expression. “You knew Albert Einstien?”
Sean was confused as well, but he didn’t have to answer because Tara did so for him
“No he didn’t. That wasn’t his memory. It belonged to his uncle.”
“What are his uncle’s memories doing inside of his head?”
“I think I might understand, but I haven’t completely worked it out yet.”
Sean didn’t know what to say. He put the book back on the shelf so he didn’t have to keep turning his head from one side to the other in order to face the person talking. Like Tara, he thought he understood the reason for why he had some of his uncle’s memories, but grasping the idea and talking about it was a bit beyond him at the moment.
“What’s in the white books?” Chris pointed, staying where she was.
Sean was just as curious, and before returning to them he picked one up and brought it back to share what he might find. Before he opened it he already had a strong suspicion of what he’d discover. This book was smaller much like a paperback novel but with a hardcover. He stuck his finger somewhere in the middle and pushed the cover back to reveal a random page. The picture they saw was of a large fireplace with a warm inviting fire blazing away. The border above the stonework of the hearth had pine garland decoratively draped across it with some Christmas ornaments and poinsettia flowers to add color. The view looked crooked as if the head of the viewer was tilted, and just as before the picture came alive and they were living the memory.
Sean felt tired. He was thirteen and it had been a great Christmas with tons of toys and even a larger amount of wrapping paper that had covered the floor like a huge pile of leaves. He had as much fun collecting it into a mound and running through it, as he did playing with all of his presents. It was the evening now and everyone was winding down. He was sitting in the middle of the couch with his head resting on Rebecca’s shoulder and Daniel sitting on the other side. Their bellies were full and they were happily reflecting on the great day they all enjoyed.
“Can I have you as my grandma?” Sean asked the older woman without lifting his head, continuing to gaze lazily at the glow of the fire.
He felt Rebecca’s gentle chuckle vibrate through her body and the arm she had hung around him pulled him even closer. “Of course you can dear”
The day had been perfect. He didn’t once see his uncle Gregor. Even though the strange man went out of his way to be extremely nice he couldn’t stand being around him. It was confusing as to why he hated him so much and sometimes he wondered if he was the reason he didn’t have his mom and dad anymore.
Sean didn’t want to think about it. He was tired and just wanted to go to sleep before his uncle came up from the basement.
He closed the book separating them from his personal memory. No one said a word while he put the book back on the shelf and when he turned around he avoided looking into anyone’s eye. He felt exposed and sensitive and wanted to put the moment behind him.
As with other features of the manor this room wasn’t at all like the way it was in reality. The real library only had three levels, the basement floor and two balconies. This place was massively taller and felt like it stretched as high as a sky scraper. He moved closer to the balcony’s edge and gazed over the railing, trying to take in the full sight of it all.
Chris cleared her throat and joined him. “So… umm… how do we get to the books in the middle?”
She specified by nodding her head at the four shelf like pillars that stretched up high into the far distance of the hole above them.
“I’m not sure,” he told her, “but if you look at the ones up there, there are a lot more white ones than there are red ones.”
Both Chris and Tara looked up and saw that he was right. By comparison the books all along the walls were mainly red with an occasional white one.
Sean approached his uncle pointing at the books contained in the center pillars. “How do I access those?”
Gregor said not a word, but shook his head from side to side.
“I don’t accept that.”
Sean walked off with purpose heading for the nearest set of spiral stairs. Chris and Tara were forced to quickstep in order to catch up with him.
“Where are you going?” Tara asked him.
“I’m going to have a look at what’s in some of those books.”
“But how are you going to do that?”
Sean didn’t answer her, but continued to press on. He climbed up four more levels and headed back out onto the balcony walking far enough to where he could line himself up with one of the pillars.
Chris stared at him with disbelief. “What?! Are you crazy?!”
“Sean, don’t do it,” Tara yelled at him as soon as she understood what he was about to do.
She tried to grab a hold of him, but it was already too late. He was hurtling toward the edge. Sean stepped up onto the railing and pushed out as hard as he could throwing himself across the expanse.
He collided with the wooden shelves knocking the slats out of position and scrambling to find something he could latch onto. Greedily he grabbed the book he was aiming for before it too fell with the rest of the pieces he had knocked loose, but the force in which he hit broke all the ledges he could potentially use to gain a foothold. Desperately he tried to reach for the pillar, but his body was already moving away and it was just beyond the reach of his fingertips. He started to fall.
Chris reacted instinctively and threw her hand out in a grabbing like motion. Simultaneously Sean froze in midair while everything else he had destroyed continued to fall all the way to the ground.
He looked over at Chris saying, “Thanks. I wasn’t counting on that, but it’s a lot better than hitting the floor."
She began moving him back over to the balcony while shouting at him, “You dumbass! What the hell were you thinking?!”
“I grab the book, hit the floor, heal up then see what 's in it.”
“I should let your stupid self fall just to teach you a lesson. Next time why don’t you ask me to grab it.” Chris spoke as she lowered him gently to the balcony.
“I didn’t think of that, but if you think you can grab one go ahead and try it.”
“It doesn’t work like that in here,” Tar spoke to them matter-of-factly. “These aren’t our real bodies so you can’t get hurt like that, but I believe if you suffer too much trauma then you most likely can’t hold your form together and you get jolted back into your own body kind of like waking up from a bad dream all of a sudden.”
“Well that’s good to know,” Chris said as she made a gesture toward one of the distant white books trying to pick it up with her telekinesis. The book didn’t move.
“Hey! Why can’t I pick it up?”
“I’m not sure,” Sean answered her, “but I think because it’s my memories I’m the only one who can touch them.
“Okay! So maybe what you did was the only way to grab it, but you could’ve told us what you were doing then I could’ve been ready for you.”
Sean nodded his head in response, but he was more eager to see what was contained in the pages of the book his uncle indicated was not meant for him. He flipped it open and there before him was a picture of the rusting metal door belonging to the safe room. His face contorted into a puzzled expression wondering what it meant. On impulse he flipped through several more pages, but all of them contained the same picture.
Abruptly standing up he told them, “Come on! I think I know what I need to do,” and he took off heading for the stairs again.
“What do you mean? What are you going to do?” both girls asked as they pursued him.
“If these books are supposed to represent memories then whatever was inside of that one, and I imagine all the other ones up high on those pillar shelves, is locked up in that safe room. I think that’s what my uncle did to me and I aim to find out what he put in there.”
Sean flew down the stairs forcing the girls to run after him.
“Whoa! Slow down! Why are you running?” Tara yelled.
“I have to know what he did to me.”
Sean got to the door with the girls only a short distance away. When he arrived he stopped and stared wondering as to the symbolism. Looking around he realized that the conjured image of his uncle was no longer with them, but that hardly mattered to him. The deteriorating door was more important. He felt like he was on the verge of discovering a vital truth about himself and he was possessed by a combination of excitement and desperation.
Sean waited for the others to catch up before saying, “I need to get inside here. How do I do it?”
“Well,” Tara looked thoughtful, “how would you gain access to it in real life?”
As soon as the question was asked and Sean thought about it a keypad to the doors left appeared. Following the hint he went up to it figuring he’d have to enter some kind of code, but when he looked down at the thing nothing seemed apparent. Testing the idea he punched in several sets of numbers and each time the thing beeped at him with an annoying buzzing sound. Eventually he got mad at the device and hit it without doing any significant damage.
Sean screamed at the door and started to pound his fists against it, hitting it harder with each successive impact.
“How! Do! I! Get! In!” he raged, emphasizing each word with a solid fist against the barrier, but still the door wouldn’t give. Other than a few flakes of rust falling off he didn’t even make a dent.
Chris and Tara watched him with concern, backing up slightly to give him a little more room while he took his frustrations out on the door.
“Maybe I can help,” Chris volunteered, and she stepped forward.
Sean took a step back and looked down at her, and when he did she hesitated.
“Uhh…you’re looking a little more feral than usual.”
He looked at himself and saw that indeed he was. The nails on his hands had started to darken and he could feel the extra weight and power in the increased muscle mass of his body. The two girls even looked smaller to him, which he quickly realized they weren’t. He had grown a little taller.
His blood was racing and he could feel his anger making him unstable. He knew he was probably scaring them and that he should probably let go of the hate that he allowed to wrap around him, but he couldn’t. Gregor had done something without his permission and he desperately needed to know what it was.
Sean took another step away from the secure door telling Chris with a growl, “go ahead. Try.”
She gave a nervous glance toward Tara looking for confirmation, and she nodded assertively. Taking a deep breath to steady her nerves she moved in front of the heavy door and solidly planted her feet. Next she raised both her hands up, curling her finger tips as if she was preparing to pull something apart. In a matter of seconds the strain on her was visible and her arms started to shake.
A split down the middle of the door appeared and the creaking of the metal could be heard as it was being forced open. Sean saw the crack and his eyes opened wider with hope. Unwilling to stand by and watch her struggle, he stepped forward and dug his fingers into the ever widening sliver. It was just enough for him to get a grip and he flexed his muscles with all of his might.
Together their efforts were enough to force the door apart and at long last they were able to see what lay beyond. There was a humming darkness that reminded Sean of the sub basement door that Gregor had enchanted with layers upon layers of wards to protect the secrets he kept hidden there. This was his last warning to turn back, but he couldn’t. He wouldn’t. He had to know.
Sean stepped forward into the darkness not knowing what he would find.
Suddenly there was a wrenching sensation in his gut as he felt himself torn away from his body. In the distance he thought he heard himself scream… or was it a woman’s scream… he couldn’t be sure. Something inside his head broke like the water pressure behind a dam and everything came pouring out
Last edited by SilentStrider (2011-01-06 04:08:27)
Okay I've got a few questions if any of you feel like taking the time to provide me with some feedback.
The points in the scene where I had them open the books and the three of them experienced the memories I used "*****" to break it up and to show the flashback. My question is: do you think the asterisks were too much or do they work well enough? It's purely aesthetic and not really important to the overall story, but I'm curious none the less.
In scenes like this one where there's more than one character present and dialogue is used a lot to move everything along I'm always concerned if I've been successful with my readers understanding who's doing the talking, and the overall flow. It can be tasking trying to be creative to avoid repetitive words such as "said", "he", "she", etc. If you've ever written much I'm sure you can understand. So, just to be clear, is there any confusion as to who is doing the talking, and how does it flow?
Well, in any case I hope you like the new additions.
As a little preview of what you can expect to see in the next post there's going to be quite a bit of violence as Sean relives some of those repressed memories. Also within those memories you'll get too see that giant werewolf and Sean having it out during the night his best friend Craig, and his first love (albeit short lived... literally and figuratively) Rose. Tara and Chris are going to get a spectacular display of the things Sean's been hiding from them as well as himself. You'll see. Can't wait to show ya's!
Last edited by SilentStrider (2011-01-06 04:33:08)
Loved the new post and no the asterics were fine. And finally we get to see wat happened that night. Lol I knew you wouldn't be able to resist putting it in the story!!!!! Your doing a great job keep up the good work
"He received varying degrees of compliments with Dawn telling him he was cute, Tara labeling him as poetic, and Chris saying he was just plain sappy. All in all despite his doubts they performed their song and received an overwhelming cheer from the crowd of twenty people or less. It was the most fun Sean had ever had in his life, but he kept that to himself."
I think you should expand on this part as much as you can. This part in particular seemed really rushed, and felt unsteady. I think it provides an opportunity to expand on Sean and the girls relationship, and you could even go in and put out what Chris is thinking concerning Sean while they sing. It is odd, but I think that details like Sean being a good singer, or a bad singer are important to the story if only for the cause of making him more identifiable. If you could go in and tell more about Sean, Chris, Tara, and Dawn singing then it will add more depth to your characters allowing more opportunities for them and the story to evolve.
I enjoyed the parts w/the asterisks. I had to read the EA bit a second time to really get it but its actually pretty cool and is a good way of demonstrating how some of Gregor's memories have been implanted in Sean's mind.
I don't think the dinner scene was rushed. The quickness of it adds urgency and a bit of intensity to the scene which works well.
And I do wonder about whatever Sean did in Chris's house... Perhaps another twist we have to wait for?
Great progress and cant wait for more!
Haha! Thank you Slayer. I knew I wanted to replay/revisit the events of that traumatizing night for Sean. I just wasn't sure how much of it I was going to describe. I know for certain I want to show the power behind these two and the devastation they're capable of inflicting upon one another. But, perhaps more importantly to the character, Sean, the impact that night had on him due to seeing his friends and potential love interest brutally and horrifically killed right in front of his eyes. Maybe that's a little extreme in the description, but that's what I'm going for, and if need be I can tone it down later. My main goal is to try and convey the psychological impact this had on his life and to make it plausibly justifiable, at least in from Gregor's point of view, to have had this memory blocked for the time being.
Clair - I accept your suggestion and I shall include a little more to that section of the scene to see how it fits. It maybe unnecessary filler, but I think you're right in that it will make him more identifiable. Let me go back and adjust some before I finish the next post and you can tell me what you think. I'll also let you know that I've changed it in the beginning of the post too.
RW - I appreciate your input. I think later in the editing portion I'll add a little more detail to those memory flashbacks to make it feel like they're really submerged into them. I think that will help that section out a bit. As to what Sean has done in Chris' house... well, some of that will get revealed at the very end of this chapter... I hope. We'll have to see what kind of state I decide to leave our little telepath in and if she's cognitive enough to talk. That's a spoiler comment, isn't it? Hehe!
Okay Clair, I added more to the end of that bar scene with Sean getting up on stage and singing with the girls. I thought it came out pretty well. Let me know what you guys think.
I'll mark it in red so you can pinpoint the change easier, but I don't think it'll be that hard to find
Last edited by SilentStrider (2011-01-07 09:05:52)
Awesome, I enjoyed it D Thanks for adding more onto it! I am honored that you did so at my request Hahaha
You're very welcome, Clair! I was thinking small moments such as those are vital not only for these four characters to establish a bond, but it may also become very important for book 3. I know that's a ways off, but that's just the way my mind works. I like being able to sew seeds early on in the story and as things progress you get to watch it grow and evolve over the course of these character's lives, and some of the issues you'll see will last through several adventures/trials. I get this "Wow!" feeling in my head when you see stuff from early on in a story that didn't seem overly significant suddenly tie into the events you're currently reading, and being able to construct something like that which impresses your audience can be a very satisfying feeling too. It takes a lot of planning, forethought, and time, but in the end I'd say it's going to be worth it
Last edited by SilentStrider (2011-01-08 05:12:13)