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 Please read and tell me what u think 
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Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:09 am
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Location: Australia
Post Please read and tell me what u think
Something Wicked this way comes

"Johnny" His mother called, "Johnny! Get over here!"
The little boy known to the world as Johnny frantically set to looking for a place to hide.
After behind the small plant his mother liked to keep and under the stool didnt work, he
noticed the curtain swishing invitingly at him. Just as he was about to take off under it, a
rough hand grabbed him by the neck of his shirt and pulled him back into the cupboard behind
him, one he had missed in his panic to get away. A round face pushed itself into his vision,
a finger over its mouth indicating silence. It was his older brother Dennis.
Not a moment later, their mother stormed the room in a huff. After a brief scan of the room,
she turned and blew out again, alternating between cursing, muttering darkly and calling out
furiously to the two brothers. After a few moments had passed, Dennis once again motioned for
silence before quietly exiting their hiding place and making for the door. Without much
hesitation Johnny followed after, trusting his brother's time honed skills at escaping their
mother.
Just as he reached the door, he heard his mothers footsteps returning down the hall. He tried
to quicken his pace, while remaining as quiet as he could, but the footsteps in the hall were
getting closer and closer.
Nearly there. He could see all his friends outside, urging them on, hear their whispered
pleas, and behind them could see the children of Endsborough playing gailey in the streets.
Freedom lay out there, amidst the sunlight. Once out there, mother would never find him.
Just a little bit further.
Just then, something brushed up against his leg and he panicked. "RUUUUUN!" he screamed,
complying with his own frantic command and seeing his brother do the same, a curse escaping
his lips. At that moment, several things happened. One; The footsteps in the hall accelerated
accompanied by the words "Johnny! Get back here! Dont you dare!" Two; Wolf, His dog, who had
brushed up against his leg, Barked joyously and hurtled into a run after them, and three,
un-noticed by the fleeing brothers, all noise outside ceased.
Johnny and Dennis bolted out the door to freedom, laughing and yelling. Wolf nipping at their
heels playfully. Their mother Reached the door. "When your father gets Home" she threatened,
"Why he'll... he'll..." She trailed off.
Johnny shot a look over his shoulder to see his mother staring at the horizon... a worried
expression overcomming her. Then it hit him, the feeling of encroaching malice. His brother
obviously felt it too, for he had stopped, as had Wolf, a low whine excaping the dog's throat.
He followed his mothers gaze.
Walking up the road, was a figure, it was still to far away to make out much, exept that it
was a man. A man in shrouded in an all encompassing black cloak. The menace seemed to radiate
from him. Even from so far away, Johnny thought he could feel tongues of malice licking at
his face. Before he knew it, the man was walking into town. It almost seemed he jumped every
few steps, jolting closer and closer to town.
Many of the children at this point ran back to their mothers. Villagers quickly ran inside,
bolting their doors and peeping out of windows.
Except Johnny. He was too frightened to move.
The Figure came closer. At this range, Johnny could see that the man's cloak was of a fine
make, and he had the hood pulled up over his head, so only his jawline was visible out of
the shadows. Though, Johnny could swear he saw something gleam once, quickly, almost
imperceptably where the man's eyes would be. He was a large man, at least six and a half
feet tall, and very broad across the shoulders. Slung over the man's back was a sword. This
in itself, if not for his menacing aura and mystery shroud would have marked him out in
endsborough, being a small farming town, too long settled for even banditry. It large and
curved, and its circular hand-guard gleamed silver, displaying many nicks and dings, telling
all of its frequent use. Johnny could not see under the man's cloak.
Without a word, he advanced on Johnny. Johnny just couldnt move, he feet felt like they were
rooted to the middle of the road. Right in the man's path. Wolf slinked in front of Johnny,
whining all the way but not willing to leave his master. As the man got closer, Wolf gave a
Loud, discouraging bark. Johnny could not see the man's eyes, but still felt his gaze pass
over them. It felt like ice was poored down his spine. Wolf gave a pathetic, keening whine and
fled to behind Johnny's legs, his tail between his own.
Still he couldnt move, and the man was nearly upon him, neither walking fast nor slow,
accelerating nor slowing down. Nearly there.
And then... he passed them, his cloak brushed gently against Johnny's leg.
He was walking away. Johnny still couldn't understand quite what was happening. The atmosphere
around this man seemed malicious and evil, and he certainly looked the part. But when the man
had brushed past him, Johnny could have sworn he felt a pang of heart-wrenching sadness and
pain. A few metres behind him, Johnny hear the man stop. The air of menace doubled in intensity
Wolf Started growling again, this time all meekness gone from the dog's warnings.
Johnny slowly turned around to looked at the man.
He was standing dead still in the middle of the road. No wind stirred his dark cloak and the
only sound that could be heard were Wolf's deep growls. But wolf wasn't growling at the
he was growling at the shadows of the building closest to the stranger. Johnny's confusion
was building by the minute. 'Thats old miss Arken's house,' his mind registered, 'I wonder
what is-' his thoughts were cut off when he thought he saw something move in the shadow.
The stranger must have too, for Johnny heard him grind his heel into the dirt of the road.
A few more seconds passed in complete stillness. Johnny was just working up the nerve to say
something when he heard an un earthly, strangely echoing, growl come from the shadows of the
house.
All of a sudden, Something leapt out of the shadow towards the stranger. Or, as it seemed
to Johnny, a peice of the shadow dissengaged itself and flew towards the mysterious man.
While Humanoid in appearance, it seemed to be made entirely of shadow, except for it's
eyes which pulsed blood red in its featureless 'face.'
Almost in slow motion, Johnny watched the Shadow fly at the man. When it was less than three
feet from him the man reacted so fast that even to Johnny's apparently hypercognitive,shock
induced senses, he appeared to be moving normally. The man reached up for his sword, and
swept it out, comming down in an arc the would slice the shadow completely in half. Forced
to withdraw or be cleaved by the downrushing blade, the shadow seemed to dissipate and the
street once again settled into stillness.
Not long did things remain still though, as, after a few seconds, a shadowy hand emerged from
the stranger's own shadow. Slowly and with absolute quiet, the shadow began to emerge from
the man's shadow. When it was almost out; its knee's rising as if lifted from a pitch
midnight lake, The man bent his knee's slightly and sprang into the air. From his position,
the man vaulted over the head of the encroaching shadow and landed behind it, although as he
did so, the shadow's eyes melted into the 'back' of its head, watching the man land. When he
landed, in a quick and graceful circle, the man spun, his blade whistling through the air
before him. It cleaved the shadow through the midsection. As it did his blade ignited with
brilliant light, which consumed the Shadow which gave a terrible, shrieking Hiss, and
temporarily blinded Johnny.
Johnny heard a whimper and a hiss from behind him and then his mother shriek his name
followed by a bellow of rage that must have come from the stranger. As his sight returned,
he saw the stranger charging at him, bent at the waist and holding his sword low and behind
him, in his right hand. Time once again slowed for Johnny as the man charged him. When the
man was around 5 feet away he seemed to disappear but Johnny felt a gust of wind passed him.
A flash of light errupted behind him and he heard another screaming hiss and the skidding
of boots on the road.
Johnny just stood there for a few moments before he remembered to breath. A few deep breaths
having satisfied his lungs, he gathered to courage to turn to the man behind him.
Directly behind him lay wolf, dead. The dog looked as if it had been starved for months, and
veins in its neck stood out sharply against his flesh. A dark ooze dripped out of its mouth,
sizzling and smoking as it touched the road and giving off a tremendous stench not unlike
that of rotting fish.
Further along, the stranger half stood, half knelt, his sword held diagonally upwards in his
right hand, its blade still slightly glowing. The fight had messed up his cloak and now
Johnny could see he was wearing black leather pants and lage black leather boots, which
lay at the end of deep skidmarks which originated less than a foot from where johnny was
standing. His top too, was black, however when he breathed it, metal rings glinted off the
sun, giving his top away as a chainmail shirt. The only thing on him that wasnt black was a
wide belt, which was a deep crimson, and despite the practical appearance of the rest of his
cloathing, apparently was made of rich, well cared for silk.
When the stranger turned back to Johnny, he could see the man's hood had also fallen down,
exposing his face. The man wore a thick thatch of shoulder length, loose, deep red hair.
He had a wide jaw and a strong, thick nose. A scar traced down from his left eyebrow down to
next to his lips.
However, the most remarke-able feature of this man's face where his eyes. They were pure,
reflective silver. The whole of the eyes seemed to be covered in quick-silver, yet Johnny
could feel when the man was looking at him.
The man quickly lifted his hood back over his head and sheathed his sword. He walked over
to Wolf and knelt down and put his glove-covered hands upon the dogs neck. After a few
moments he shook his head and raised his head to look directly into Johnny's.
More than before, Johnny felt the heartwrenching pain and despair from the man as he
stared into the man's quicksilver eyes. For a few moments, the man did nothing but stare
into Johnny's eyes, searching him, Johnny thought, beofre the man said in a deep, gravely
baritone "burn the dog."
The man then stood up and began walking away, as if nothing had happened, following his
original course.
Johnny stood there stunned for a few moments before he regained his senses and ran afer the
man, despite the pursuing cries of his mother. It wasnt long before he caught up with the man.
Puffing slightly, he trotted slightly in front of the unceasing gait of the stranger and asked
"why do i have to burn wolf?"
"Just do it" came the laconic reply.
"But why?" insisted Johnny. Johnny once again felt the man's gaze focus on him, and he sensed
that asking the question again would not be a good idea. Instead, he tried a new question
"what were those things?" "Shades" was the man's monosyllabic responce.
Johnny thought for a few seconds. "oooookay," he continued, "who are you?" "Crimson."
"Is that your name?" No reply came but he saw the man nod almost imperceptably. "Where are
you going?" The man stopped and put his hand lightly on Johnny's shoulder. Johnny looked up
again, trying to peirce the darkness under the man's hood. Before he could, the man should
his head slightly and then started walking again, out of town.
Johnny just stood there though. Although the man hadn't said anything, the message was clear:
'you dont want to know, you're not comming'
Johnny stood there watching the road where the stranger left for a long time.



Chapter ][

Johnny stood and stared at the road where, so many years before, the stranger known only as 'Crimson' had left. He did this on somedays. Just sat and stared, thinking about the world outside Endsborough and the fate of the man who had saved his life. Johnny usually lost track of the time while he was immersed in these thoughts, and this day was no exception. The sun was setting as he was wrenched out of his thoughts by a sudden tugging pain in his ear. Looking over he saw that the cause of this pain was his long time friend Mary. Small and sleight of build, Mary should not, by all rights, have been an intimidating sight.
She was.
Her round face was red and her eyebrows drawn together in a deep frown, she was gnashing her teeth and cursing at Johnny as she tugged at his ear, forcing him to follow her bent at the waist as she was so much smaller than he.

"... I can't believe it, called out for 5 minutes... standing next to you and calling your name... no brains inside that thick head of yours..." the tirade went on. Although still painful and embarassing, Johnny was somewhat used to all this, as it had happened more times than he could remember. The other villagers of Endsborough were also apparently used to this sight, not reacting more than a small smile on their lips and a friendly wave to the pair as they wended their way through the small town back to Johnny's house.

Mary had lived next door to Johnny as long as he could remember. They had been friends for as long as he could remember too. She was even with him when he burnt his dog, Wolf, after it had been killed by the 'Shade' that had appeared when Crimson had. Ever since his brother Dennis had left town 3 years before hand to search for work in the big city, Johnny and Mary had become even better friends, doing almost everything together and setting more than a few tongues wagging. Of course, Johnny knew, there was nothing like that going on... at least... he didn't think there was. Even though Johnny was now 19 summers old, a man by all accounts, around six foot tall and with a broad and muscley build something close to a blacksmith, he was still very clueless about the fairer sex and, in his naivety (or perhaps wisdom) he didnt want to know anything. He liked things simple. Johnny knew that if he started thinking about 'all that stuff' it would make life a lot more complicated for him and so he accepted ignorance willingly.
Although she would never say anything, all the villagers knew that this frustrated Mary to no end.

Johnny had grown up into a handsome man, with broad shoulders and the wind swept complexion of someone who has worked outdoors all their life. Although large and strong, Johnny also possed remarkable speed of reflexes and dexterity which, on the few occasions that he had been forced to defend himself or, as more likely happened, Mary, had served him well. Johnny, like his father, had an angular face and a wide jaw, with sparkling light blue eyes. His expression and temperament were his mother's though, a kind expression sat comfortably on his face and in his eyes, however his temper could flare in an instant given then right trigger.

Just as they were approaching Johnny's house, they noticed a shadowy figure lurching up the lane. Johnny stepped protectively in front of Mary and scrutinized the figure. Cloaked in the shadow of the dying light, it stumbled up the lane, unable to keep a straight line. "Hello," Johnny called out, "Hello? Can i help you at all?"
The stranger made no reply at all, but continued to lurch up the street towards them. Just as it was about to enter the light given off from the windows of Johnny's house, the figure gave a shudder and fell to the ground, falling into the light.

It was Dennis.

Dennis appeared emaciated, his cheeks hollow and his ribs visible under his skin. His mouth open in the dirt, Johnny noticed a dark, ichor-like liquid seeping out with a last rattling breath. An oddly familiar echoing, un-natural growl came from the shadows behind where his brother had fallen. Johnny's head snapped up and he tensed. Silence reigned for what seemed to Johnny to be an eternity before the growl came again. As it did, two blood red eyes opened from seemingly the middle of the shadow and Johnny was certain the temperature dropped considerably. After a few more seconds of immobility, Johnny's sense rushed back to him and he grabbed Mary firmly by the arm and yelled "Run" and complied with his own command.

Although Johnny didn't notice, Mary noticed that Johnny's voice sounded different, deeper and with steel running through it.

Together they sprinted towards his house. As they leapt of the mark, the Shade also reacted, moving with supernatural speed to intercept them. Johnny could see that he would never make it in time and so he veered into the gap between his house and Mary's, pulling her with him, and legged it down to his back garden. There, he turned sharply again and made for his back door, which was open. As he was halfway there, the Shade rose out of the ground between him and the door. Time slowed once again for Johnny and he dodged nimbly to his left. The Shade acting with its supernatural reflexes moved to intercept once more, but Johnny hadn?t meant to try and get around the Shade. When he saw the shade react, he thrust Mary in the other direction, and she stumbled past in into the house. As she passed it however, its 'hand whipped around and scored a glancing blow on her arm as she passed and a cry of pain flew from her lips. This cry of pain had a remarkable effect on Johnny. His fear was replaced, in that instant, by roaring anger and a raging shout escaped his lips. He too leapt past the Shade as its attention was drawn two ways and he crashed through he back window of his house. He had barely enough time to notice his mother, dead, on the floor with his father cradling his emaciated body, tenderly stroking her vein riddled face, before he landed on the floor with a hard roll, coming to his feet near the fireplace. Like the roaring fire, his anger was now blazing red hot. The shade floated in gracefully and howled again at him. It then charged at him, shrieking and wailing, tendrils of menacing shadows quivering and waving in its wake. As it came towards Him, Johnny reached behind him into the fire and pulled a burning log out of the fire. His anger was burning at such a fever pitch that he felt no pain. He swung the log at the charging Shade and, upon impact, both the log and the Shade exploded into flame and with a blood chilling shriek, it was all over.

Johnny's last sight, before he fell unconscious, was of Mary huddled up against the wall, clutching an already festering arm, whimpering and staring at him, her eyes wide with terror.

To be continued...

Chapter ][ ][ ][
There was no sound, no light, no sensation. Nothing? Nothing? Nothing?

PAIN!

Johnny?s consciousness rushed back to him in a wave of agony. He gave a short, Tortured scream and curled into a ball around his scorched hand. Slowly and through walls of assaulting agony conscious thought returned to Johnny. One at a time his senses returned to him, the could hear the sounds of a fire, smell the smoke as well as the heavy smell of sweat emanating from the bed he was on.

Without opening his eyes, clenched as they were to fight of the pain, he knew someone else was in the room, he could ?feel? it. They did not smell, they were not moving or making any sounds, but somehow he knew that they were sitting on a chair around three meters away. This knowledge was no shock to Johnny, as it was not something he really paid attention to. First and foremost in Johnny?s mind was his tortured hand.

Finally opening his eyes in order to face the mangled and burnt wreck that should be his hand, he was confronted with something different than he expected. His hand was badly burnt, to be sure, but already new skin was growing around his wrists. His hand was not a lump of melted flesh, made putrid and scarred by splinters of wood, with broken and disfigured bones making an appearance on the surface. That was what it should have looked like? that was certainly what it felt like to Johnny. Yet as he watched, he could feel and almost see the skin healing and he knew his bones were perfectly intact.

He felt the person behind him move and instant before he heard his father speak in a monotone ?oh, you?re awake.? Johnny turned to face his father who looked much like he did the last time Johnny could remember seeing him , when that thing? the shade, had been here. He was haggard and worn, all the life and spirit gone from his usually expressive and joyful eyes. With this, memories flooded back into Johnny, memories of his mother lying on the floor, dead, with his dad mourning over her, cradling her head and weeping. A strangled cry escaped Johnny?s lips and was answered with a similar grunt from his father in recognition. His father got up then, and walked out of the house, for what purpose Johnny could not guess. When he heard the distinct ring of metal on metal in the shed he knew what his father was doing.

With a gasp of pain and surprise Johnny lurched to his feet and ran out after his father just in time to see his father impale himself with the old and rusty sword he kept in their old shed. Blood erupted from the wound and from his father?s mouth as he choked out a cough. Johnny stared in horror, unable to tear his eyes away from the tragic and gruesome scene in front of him. Just before his father collapsed on the ground, never to move again, he managed to choke out the words ?I?m coming Maria.?

Those words brought Johnny out of his horrified paralysis and he first ran to his father and, realising that he could not do anything, sprinted, stumbling around his house and back into the street, screaming for help as he ran. Grief and the pain in his hands overwhelming him, he fell to his knees, sobbing over his hands. Assaulted by memories of playing with his father and mother, remembered sensations of hugs from his mother and his father ruffling his hair, Johnny let out a wail of agony and fury. Something twinged the edge of his perception but he ignored it in his grief. Heavy, clanking footsteps approached him but Johnny didn?t care. He was lost in his grief. The footsteps paused at the door a step or two away, then accelerated, running towards him and his father. The unseen stranger rushed past Johnny and apparently into his back yard.

After a few seconds Johnny began consciously thinking again, brought back to himself by an odd stirring in his blood. He looked behind him, at stranger who had rushed past him. A short, very broad man wearing heavy plates of metal armour. An almost colourless glow began from in front of the man. Johnny stared in bewilderment for a few seconds before he came to the conclusion that the man was doing something to his father. This thought sparked an irrational anger in Johnny, his blood getting hotter and hotter. ?Hey, Stop that? he yelled. The man apparently ignored him. ?I said stop that.? The rage was building again. Again the man continued whatever it was that he was doing. Johnny strode the distance between them and, setting a hand on the man?s shoulder, hauled him off his father. The man flew off his feet and fell on his back. Before Johnny could fully turn to face the stranger again, the stranger was on his feet and right up in close to Johnny, staring him in the eye. In the brief instant before Johnny lost consciousness once more, he saw something glowing behind those eyes.

_________________
If it is as it is, then it is as it should be, and if it isnt, then change it to how it should be, so it can be as it is... that makes sense, i think...


Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:11 am
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