Part Nine

                “Boys…” said Mark’s normally strong voice, “I think this may be my fault.”

                There was silence as the three of us looked at each other quizzically. “What do you mean?” I asked.

                “Two years ago when Mary and Bill were dating I told him about her situation.” He paused looking at us, tears glistening in his faded eyes, “He knew about everything, about where we come from, what Mary really is and what she is capable of.”

                “And just what are you?” Snapped Andy.

                “I am Mary’s father.” He looked down at the cold roof of the building little droplets of rain began to wet its surface, “I am one of them.”

                At this point I wasn’t very surprised by the idea of Mark being some world ending monster, he had certainly made me feel as though he could end my world on any given night. Andy on the other hand was regaining his color, his hair brightening again. “Then why don’t you look like them?”

                “It doesn’t matter Andy, we need to get Mary back.” I cut in. “Where do you think he is going?”

                “I don’t know what his plan is, I thought he was the one to keep Mary safe and that’s why I confided in him. I thought he was strong and capable.”

                “What does he know that we don’t?” Asked Josh.

                “He seemed so in love with Mary, I didn’t see that she just didn’t love him back. I was too focused on her protector.”

                “Mark.”

                “He knows about the ritual, how to unlock Mary’s true power.”

                “And what is that?” I asked.

                “When Mary’s true power is revealed there is supposed to be a battle of champions. A battle between the Glordon and Mary. The winner will decided the fate of the chosen world. Your world.”

                “So Mary is as powerful as Glordon?”

                “When her power is unlocked the egg will also hatch?” Asked Josh.

                “I do not know how powerful Mary is, Bill was supposed to keep her from ever having to fight. She may need all the help she can get to defeat Glordon if it comes to that, it may even be impossible to kill him. And yes, I believe that when the ritual is completed the egg will hatch.”

                The rain began to pick up, thick drops began splashing down all around us and soon the roof wasn’t just speckled with dots it was pooling from the huge drops of water. The sky had grown dark all around us. “What does he need to perform the ritual?”

                “Nothing really, he just needs Mary to stay in one spot long enough for him to finish saying a few words.”

                “Well we all know Mary and she isn’t going to like having been captured one bit.” Said Josh.

                “She doesn’t know she has been captured…” My heart sank with my own words. Lighting broke across the dark sky off in the distance. The thunder came crashing over us, I had never heard thunder any louder than on that day and we all gasped. But not because of the thunder. Where the lighting had struck we could now see the egg. It was glowing red like a rising sun against the black backdrop of the stormy sky.

                “Shit.” Said Andy, again colorless.

                “You two, go to the egg. Try to stop Glordon from getting out.” I said my insides burning once again, I could feel her, I knew where she was and nothing was going to stop me from getting to her. “I’m going to get Mary.”

                Andy nodded and took off running and leaped aiming for the next building. He went plummeting into the ground. A sickening crunch filled our ears as Andy collided with the pavement.

                Speechless we ran to the edge of the building. We were two stories up and the darkness made it hard to see but there was Andy, his red hair laying against the wet cement. His legs were bent up under him, he wasn’t moving.

                “What’s going on?”

                “Mary is concentrating her power. She is taking it away from you. We are too late.”

                But my body was telling me otherwise, I had never felt so powerful it was like I had one too many shots of whiskey without any of the ill side effects. I felt gung-ho, I was ready to rock. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling this way when it was obvious that we no longer had our powers. Andy was probably dead because of it.

                “I’m going down to him.” Josh said running for the roof top exit. I turned to follow him down but when I moved my legs my stomach lurched. I didn’t feel anything with my foot, it felt like I had reached the top of a flight of stairs and tried to keep going and tripping over the empty air.

                I was floating.

                “I’m going to get Mary.” I didn’t look back.

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Part Eight

The dragons had me going all over the place. A trail of burning buildings lay behind me as I tried desperately to catch up to Bill and Mary.
But now as I was about to land I felt Mary back towards where we had come from. Back behind the two dragons and their relentless fire.
As soon as I touched down I leaped right back at the dragons. I could see myself though the smoke filled sky. Reflected back by the dragon’s eyes before they glossed over filled with fear. I was burning inside, angry and filled with the power of Mary’s love. I could feel her reaching out to me, guiding me empowering me. She was like the engineer, feeding coal into the furnace and I was the big bad ass, top of the line locomotive and I was pissed. Right when I was between the two dragons I spun in the air. The beasts were too stunned to move despite the shrieks of horror coming from their hooded riders.
Hit me with you best shot started rolling though my mind. Pat Benetar wailed away in my head while my sword lopped the head off the first dragon then came crashing down between the second riders neck and shoulder carving down into his chest. His mount gave a whimper and decided to save his best shot for another time choosing instead to hightail off after the three still chasing what they thought was Mary.
Of course Mark has me pegged correctly, I can only ever manage to do half of any given task correctly. And now I found myself in the air with no idea where I was heading. I went crashing into an abandoned warehouse. Cobwebs and rat droppings went flying as I hit the cement floor with a resounding thud that echoed through the empty building.
Only slightly worse than when I had come across the disgruntled golfing father.
I was on my feet in seconds, blood poured from my noes but I had to move. The other hoods could figure out that Bill had ditched Mary at any second.
I was practically flying now, I hardly put down both feet as I jumped from rooftop to rooftop. Faster and faster I went my heart sinking as I made my way across the city. Mary was getting farther away.
Half a mile off I could see three figures on the roof of an old grocery store. Mark, Josh and Andy stood all grey faced and gloomy.
I couldn’t find words when I joined them. I felt ashamed. My body had lost all heat, I was cold. Frozen inside.
“They got her.” Josh said hollowly.
“They didn’t get her,” snapped Andy his red hair looking notably colorless, “he gave her to them.”
“That bastard…” I put in.

Part Seven

I spent another day in bed watching the others come and go. Those that went out came back with reports that the hoods were rounding people up using fenced in school yards as giant holding cells. The dark freaky armed monsters patrolled them endlessly. 

Mark hadn’t returned. Andy had gone to the library the first two days after I woke up in the motel but he hadn’t been there. The concusses then had been to stay away from the library so as not to draw attention to it. Mark knew better than any of us what was going on and so he should be fine. Mary wasn’t thrilled with the idea of leaving her father on his own, but she knew that we were doing exactly what he wanted.

Three days later I stood at the top of the grocery store across from the two story motel that served as our camp. The sky had clouded over threatening to rain at any moment. The sword now hung at my side and the shield on my back, Josh had taught me how to keep them hanging around. He was out now with Andy while Bill and I watched Mary. I didn’t like leaving her alone with Bill but I had to get out of there. I had to learn to control my power. 

Letting out a deep breath I ran and jumped. I cleared the street and made the jump up to the roof of the motel. I kept moving and jumped again, going even higher and farther. I was now two blocks down from the grocery store and four stories up on a half finished office building. I made my way up leaping from floor to floor through the gaps in construction, at one point I couldn’t find a hole and so I made my own blasting through with the shield. Seven stories up I could see most of the surrounding area. It was the westside of the city, still being developed. Low income housing, crappy motels and then the new buildings going up. A few of them finished already shinning against the mediocrity of the other buildings and the grey sky above. 

And through it all the freeway running, but it wasn’t the color of cement. It was black, pitch black and it was moving. 

There had to be at least a hundred hoods accompanied by an innumerable amount of their dark minions. The time for hiding was over. I sprinted and made the biggest jump yet. I wish I could say I was flying, for the first half of the leap I actually thought I was, but I wasn’t. I was falling. At least I was headed for the hotel. I put the shield on my feet as panic coursed through me. I blew through the motel. Finding myself in the basement, looking up at the sky though a hole about four feet wide. Mary’s head popped up from the second story in the hole. 

“It’s just Clyde.” She said smiling down at me. “You ok down there?” 

“Dandy.”

“You moron, your going to lead them right to us!” Yelled Bill the Bastard, his face, beat red, appeared next to Mary’s in the hole. A piece of flooring, or maybe ceiling, fell down on me bouncing off my shield. 

“They already know we are here, we have to move.” I said back to him. 

“How many?”

“Too many.” 

“Let’s go” He said scooping up Mary. I could feel my blood boil, it didn’t have anything to do with my new powers this time though. I saw them bolt from the hole and heard a crash as he broke though a wall. I jumped up to our room, and snagged the prepared bug out bag, Andy and Josh had one too, and followed Bill the Bastard out through the hole he had made. 

We were headed downtown. Bill was a few blocks ahead of me, but I could see him rising and falling as he moved from rooftop to rooftop. My heart was racing as I tried to catch up to Bill. I didn’t even look behind me, there was no way the hoods could keep up with us. 

Then I heard a low whine creeping up behind me. I made a huge jump skipping a whole building, giving myself enough time to turn in the air to see behind me. I had done so just in time, There were five of the hoods on little flying moped looking things. The mopeds were black and covered in what looked like scales almost like little black dragons. In fact they were little black dragons and one of them had spit a ball of green fire at me. I deflected it off my shield but the impact had knocked me off target and I sent crashing back first into the street. I felt the canned food in the bug out bag give way and pop, I never really cared for the smell of canned spinach and it was really welcome then either. 

I was back on my feet quick enough to deflect another ball of fire. Deflect isn’t really a good word for what I was doing. I think absorbing works better, each time the ball of fire collided with my shield it wasn’t redirected, deflected, or rerouted it just exploded at which point my body absorbed the impact and as a result I went flying back again. This time I smashed through a post office window and into a wall of PO boxes. The little metal doors popped open all around me. Three of the dragons and their riders were on me in the time it took me to draw my sword. 

But now I was ready. A ball of fire burst from the lips of the center dragon, I jumped to the right as the green ball forced the rest of the PO boxes open. Moving quickly now I jumped up through the roof of the post office as another dragon let loose.

I had to get to the other riders before they caught up to Mary and Bill. I couldn’t see Bill anymore but I did see the two hoods a block up. I gave chase, moving with a sense of urgency I hadn’t yet felt. My body was on fire. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t literally bursting into flames. Between the fire breathing dragons trying to roast me and my own internal temperature it really was a miracle that I wasn’t on fire. I was glowing though and very brightly, I could see the light emanating from me on the building around me like a light bulb or a really big firefly. 

I was gaining on the two riders when my pursuers forced me off my course. They had decided that I was too hard to hit and had taken to destroying the path I was trying to follow. The buildings in front of me erupted in green flame just as I was getting ready to jump for them. Each time I changed course they forced me away. 

A strange thing happened at that point, my Mary radar pinged. Behind me. 

Part Six

Reality can be rough. Mine quickly went from pleasant, to interesting, to disturbing.But now I found myself in possibly the worst imaginable situation.

My eyes blinked open to reveal bland colors and low ceilings. The cream colored walls looked as if they had once been white and the bed I was laying in belonged in the junkyard. My shoulder stung and my side burned but they didn’t compare to the stiffness of my back. It was like a migraine in my spine.

I could hear voices, distant in another room nearby and I couldn’t make out what they were saying through the murky veil that hung around my mind. I tried to sit up but couldn’t manage it.

“Clyde?” came Mary’s voice, it had been right next to me but I hadn’t seen her. I fought with my spine for the privilege of turning my head, slowly and painfully she came into view. She was smiling down at me, her eyes shinning wet with tears.

“And so, he lives again.” A handful of guys entered the room accompanying the voice of Bill the Bastard.

“Good, we need all the help we can get.” That was Josh, a good guy. Too good, the guy so good you feel bad for your girlfriend because she is with you and not him.

“Worthless. All he did was endanger Mary last night.”

“He did know what was going on, I still don’t know what’s going on.” Said Josh

“Fellas,” The new voice was Andy, “your both right. Clyde was rockless and stupid, but he did what he thought was best and we do need all the help we can get.”

A snort came from a fourth visitor. “I’m glad to see you pulled your head out of your ass long enough to get to Mary before shoving it right back up in there.” And so Mark, Mary’s father, completed my personal hell. Three ex-boyfriends and the father towering over me while I lay injured in some crapy hotel room.

“Christ, you told me to protect her and so I did.” another snort. “Why don’t you fill me in then, I obviously missed something.” I snapped.

“Gladly,” Andy was the tallest of the men in the room and his red hair made him stand out even further. “In short, Mary is one of the hooded figures except with a birth defect.”

“Your kidding me.”

Andy looked at Mark who gave a nod. “Where the hoods are from, which is some alternate dimension, Mary’s birth was prophesied. She would be born different from the rest and have the power to reveal Glordon.”

‘Glordon is god to the hoods, the creator of worlds, the bringer of justice, and to us the end of earth. I suspect he is in the egg.”

Mary was looking rather sheepish, head lowered, silent tears rolling down her face. I took her hand in my own and squeezed tight. She had always been different, I had known it from the day I met her you could sense that she was different, wasn’t human. I know it sounds corny but I always thought that she could be an angel, defiantly  not the prophesied birth defect, bringer of gods and key to the end of the world. She squeezed back and managed a watery smile.

“How did we get these powers?” Asked Josh.

“Mary’s love for you has granted each of you powers, wether that love is still going strong in her heart or was once there doesn’t matter. I can’t explain why that is, think of it as her personal defense mechanism.” Explained Mark. “For now we have to keep Mary safe and as far from that egg as possible.”

“Can we get rid of the egg?” Asked Bill.

“I don’t know.”

“Well that sounds like a solid plan, let’s get moving.”

I sat up in bed the fog surrounding me was gone but my body was still in pain. I grimaced and stood up. “Don’t push it Clyde.” Mary’s soft voice was soothing, diminishing the pain in my body. I was a little shaky but I managed to put my clothes back on from the night before. They lay on a chair near the bed. Someone had washed them for me but there were still holes at the shoulder and ribs. I just keep looking better and better don’t I?

“Josh and Andy, go see whats going on out there. Bill you stay here and watch these two. Clyde, don’t be an idiot. I’ve got an errand to run, anything happens meet at the city library.”

Part Five (Previous Parts Below)

Note: If you want to read them in order click the link above called Chronological Order.

Thoughts of Mary surrounded by dark hooded figures and deranged polymelia monsters growing ever closer as she shied away her dark brown hair laden with sweat covering her golden brown eyes. I was on the roof tops racing across the outskirts of the city, I was getting close now I could feel her. A prescience growing inside me like a building thunderstorm on a summer night, powerful.

I came to her apartment complex, a series of three story buildings, four in total each spanning a city block. I hated the place, perfectly manicured at all times, with a sign outside reading “City View Luxury Apartments.” Luxury my ass, the whole place is painted renters white and they wouldn’t let her keep her kitten which is why he is at this moment probably pissing on my couch.

I was still a block from her actual apartment when I leaped down onto the street there was no dust left there, if it had ever even come this far into the city. The courtyard of the complex would have been remotely nice, but there were always some kids fresh out of high school living off their parents money with nothing better to do than sit around smoke cigarettes and play drums, completely ruining the little courtyard. Today there were no kids. Their drums were still there scattered around the little stone benches that they sat on. The place seemed darker than the rest of the place, the little fountain in the center was spilling dark grey water rather than the normal clear blue. The surrounding renter’s white of the building walls had aged ten years begging for a new shinning coat.

And in the courtyard stood three of the dark hooded figures surrounding Mary. But in between Mary and the hooded figures stood a man he was glowing and held a shinning sword in his hand. My heart sank. It was Bill. That bastard. Tall, good looking, charming and a bastard.

He dated Mary before me and every time I had met the guy since then, which has been way more times than I would like, he continually reminded me of their history. “Eating out again? When I was with Mary I would cook for her,” “Clyde, you look a little winded, when I was with Mary we would run together three times a week.” I hate the bastard.

Anyways there they were standing together, he looking confident and composed and Mary looking ever so grateful he was there. I can’t really fault her for that, still, I didn’t like it one bit. I took a running jump and landed in the middle of the three hooded figures, putting my hand to my hip while in mid air nothing was there but when I grabbed at the air I felt my hand grip around the hilt and when I drew it up the sword formed in the air of the dark courtyard.

I whirled around bringing my sword with me and driving it into the side of the middle assailant. He let out a shriek unlike anything I had ever heard. The area darkened around his wailing voice but when when he stopped and fell to the ground the dark faded and the courtyard was brighter than it had been before.

“Oh my gosh, Clyde!” Squeaked Mary. The other two figures snapped out of of their stasis stepping back and raising their arms into the air. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, I don’t think it was english or any common language, but they began to chant in a low voice that made my stomach roil as if sick with the flu.

Slowly the dead figure rose into the air as if suspended by invisible puppet strings, there the skin began to bubble and boil as the limbs separated from the torso and transformed in front of me into the horrible polymelia creatures that had been in the alley before.

I lashed out again with my sword killing one of the creatures before it was fully formed, in only a matter of seconds the other four creatures had completely morphed into individual horrors Once two legs, an arm, and a torso they now stood menacing. They lunged forward at me, all at the same time, that’s when Bill the Bastard stepped in to help me out. Together we worked like a well oiled machine, like a Dyson vacuum if they needed oil. Cutting through the beasts on our way to the hooded figures.

“Clyde, hold up a second.” Bill said as we approached the two hoods. “Do we really want to kill them?”

“Damn straight.” I snapped back.

“I mean you killed the last one and look what happened.” But before I had a chance to think about the consequence of my actions the two hoods, were on us. They wielded long dark staves with points on either end, where they came from, I couldn’t say. They used them in a constant spinning, probing attack that was ten times faster than the mutants they had produced from their fallen comrade. I was caught off guard back pedaling away from the dark blur that was their assault.

Bill the Bastard and I split, each of us drawing one of the hoods. My attacker said nothing, in fact, I couldn’t even hear the sound of his footsteps as he danced and twirled at me. I have to admit, it was really quite impressive.

Mary began screaming as Bill and I reeled from their attack, I glanced over at her to make sure she was safe for the time being. She was but I had never seen her face so pale.

Fearing Mary’s fear, if that makes sense, I gained some resolve and leaped up and over my attacker, flipping and just narrowly missing one of the points as it passed inches from my face. Everything moved in slow motion for that instant and I could see the keen edge of the blade glint in the glow that I was radiating.

I landed facing him, thrusting forward but he turned knocked my blow to the side with the bottom end of his stave then brought the other end down on my shoulder. The pain radiated down my arm as it fell limp by my side taking my sword down with it. Kicking out with a leg I smacked him square in the chin, how I got so flexible I don’t know but again I thought of the olympic gymnast. I forgot the pain in my shoulder the instant my foot hit his head for I had revealed the horror that was hidden behind the hood. The face was that of a normal man but the eyes were two dark voids a concentrated version of the darkness that had fallen over the normally cheery albeit dull courtyard we fought it. The creature smiled as it raised its stave and I saw four sharp pointed fangs, two on the top, two on the bottom held in place by black gums that ran almost halfway up the two inch fangs. My stomach roiled even further when I thought of my shoe actually coming in contact with that hideous abomination’s face.

Pain long gone I brought my sword back up and knocked the impeding puncture of my lung to the side but my arm was weak and I couldn’t fully move the oncoming point, it cut through my plaid shirt and grazed along my rib cage, I could feel the sharp blade slide across each rib. I heard Mary cry out and begin to sob. It was not going well for me.

The next jab came lurching forward at me as I stepped back putting my off hand up to catch it a thought occurred to me, I have a god damn force field. I turned my arm so that my forearm would collide with the attack and, sure enough, just before the tip of the stave broke my skin a glowing circle appeared on my arm. The stave bounced back and up above me. Still, I wasn’t prepared for the weight of the blow, I ended up on one knee to keep from falling completely on my back.

Lucky for me the horrid creature hadn’t expected the shield to appear and his dance was thrown off. For a moment he was off balance, I lurched forward shield first, gaining momentum from my kneeling leg, and drove him back, I drove forward again with the shield, I could feel blood running down my side and from my shoulder but felt no pain. This time when I smashed the shield into the creature he stepped back and tripped over one of the forgotten drums. He sprawled out before me. Rushing forward I plunged the point of my sword down through his chest.

The creature screamed another hideous moan sucking all light into it before releasing it again and lighting the courtyard further. I crumpled to both knees along with the dead fanged menace. Mary was still crying, her sobs growing louder I could hear her footsteps coming up behind me then felt her arms around me. I don’t think I have ever been as exhausted as I was right then, I had to close my eyes.

Part Four (Previous Parts Below)

Once again, I sat on my couch with my cup of cream, sugar, and a hint of coffee. I had known I needed to find Mary the first second that ‘bad egg’ hit the ground. I had known not only because I loved her and felt a traditional sense of protection that those feel for loved ones but something more too. That hand inside me that kept ratcheting up the thermostat had seemed to tug and pull me towards her. Sort of like when a young child steals a cookie from the cookie jar, their moral compass is screaming “No! Go the other way!” Only now it wasn’t a moral compass tugging at my consciousness, it was a Mary compass.

I set down the half empty cup getting ready to leave, did I need to bring anything? I tried to think of anything that might be helpful. I never owned a gun and unlike my disgruntled friend in the brick house I wasn’t a fan of golf. Shrugging and heading out the door I decided that the glowing force field hand trick would have to suffice.

My Mary compass told me to head back into town, away from the egg. For a moment I paused, hand half way in the cookie jar, and looked toward the egg. Then headed back into town. The sun was getting ready to drop from the sky now, already long shadows were growing across the streets and covering the houses. The dust that had dominated the landscape was slowly moving on, taken away by the cool spring breeze.

The streets were empty now so I didn’t bother with the rooftops though I had thought about it. Instead I sped down along the road, the houses that I passed all revealed people crowded around their TV screens. Faces pale, eyes glazed. I longed for a radio. My phone had an app for that.

And then it dawned on me, my Mary compass was taking me right by where I had been when the egg crashed. Just my luck. As I approached the intersection near where I hoped my phone was I heard a scream.

A thought blitzed its way through my mind. Just one word but it bore though me like a mole through a hole. Mary.

I turned and leaped onto the nearest building. The scream came again. I flew in its direction, two rooftops later I was looking down at the most bizarre sight I had ever seen.

A foul collection of creatures, crawl-walked their way toward a family of four. A husband and wife and two young girls. The creatures were like none I had ever seen, they were long and thick. Some had four legs, some had three, others had six. Their skin ranged from grey to black, spotted and scaly. Their faces were grotesque malformed after thoughts of some cruel god. There were five of them and then a man all dressed in black, cloaked and hooded standing behind the five monstrosities.

The broiler lit up inside me. My hands were glowing and at my side a beam of light had appeared. Just a faint flickering luminescence at first but it was solidifying quickly. I must have been the strangest sight those little girls had ever seen, as they looked up toward me and their jaws dropped the mother straight fainted and the father wet himself. It might have been the monsters.

I stood there on the roof of a small dental clinic, khaki pants, red and black plaid shirt, and glowing as if I was a street lamp. Leaping down into the alley I put myself between the besieged and the besiegers giving the latter pause.

They sized me up, holding their position in the dark alley until a voice colder than ice and softer than snow slithered through all that stood in the dark alley.

“Kill him.” It hissed.

Reflexively I drew what was now a sword of white light from my side. I had never used a sword before, but let me tell you, it was like the first time you lay with a lover, exciting, nerve-wracking, and everything you ever wanted.

The creatures came forward and I stepped to meet them. The sword was light in my hand and I moved quickly taking the sword with me. It was my first fight since Bill Hamilton had knocked me down with a single punch in the ninth grade. This fight was over just as fast. The sword cutting easily through their oddly numbered limbs. They let out low grumbling moans of pain as they died. I danced around their limbs as they moved as if in slow motion.

A ragged claw came crashing down toward me as my sword ended the life of the fourth monster. The fifth the, six legged one had caught me off guard. It was after all my first time using a sword. I reached my left hand, my free hand, up and the glowing shield of light appeared again and the claw was turned away. I brought the sword up and ended his life.

I turned to face the hooded man with the whispering voice but he was gone. The family was already running away, the father had opened a gate into a neighboring backyard to make room for their escape. I stood alone in the alley, surrounded by creatures that were not of this world with a glowing sword and shield in my hands. Strange to think the day started with an unhappy bus ride.

I put the sword back at my hip where it promptly disappeared taking the shield with it. I felt the tug of direction again stronger now, urgent and distressed. The thought raced across my mind again. Mary.

Change

I have changed the appearance of the blog because I felt that the old one was limiting and could be frustrating to navigate. Hopefully now I can make things easier to view and find as there are more and more posts.

Thanks for reading!