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Written by ChanelleJoy in portal Fiction

RED (Part 8)

An hour later, we packed up and headed back to the Inn. He walked me to my room and kissed me goodnight. Floating on air, I breezed through the door to find Jacqui, Ruby and Jill waiting for me.

“Well?”

“How was it?”

“What happened?”

I laughed, deciding to have a little fun with them. “Excuse me ladies, I need the bathroom.”

“Noooo!”

“Can’t you hold it for five minutes?”

“No, sorry. I really do need to go.” I said, shutting the door on their protests but they continued with their questions, yelling them a little louder. I shook my head. Girls will be girls.“Ok.” I opened the door.

“So?” they demanded.

“It was wonderful…” I was interrupted by the sound of car coming to a roaring halt out the front of the Inn.

“Someone’s in a hurry,” Jacqui commented and waved her hand in dismissal. “Continue,” she instructed.

“He is such a gentleman. Very sweet.”

“Come on, enough of the boring stuff. Did you kiss?” Jill demanded.

I flushed. That was all the answer they needed.

“Oh, I knew it! You guys were gone for so long we knew it must have been going well!” Jacqui hugged me as a sharp, rapid knock came from the door.

Jacqui smirked at me. “Maybe Dale decided the night isn’t quite over yet, if you know what I mean.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Everyone knows you don’t put out on the first date,” Ruby piped up.

“Exactly,” I agreed. I turned the handle and opened the door. It wasn’t Dale. My stomach dropped to the floor. I shrieked in fright and tried to run but it was too late.

“You little bitch!” A hand grabbed me roughly and began to drag me away. “Think you can just up and leave like that?” He slapped me hard across the face. “You’re coming home right now!” His face was red with anger as he continued to drag me down the hallway.

“Simon, let go of me!” I caught the look of surprise then anger on the girl’s faces as they realized who it was.

He slapped me again. “Shut up! You do not speak unless spoken to!”

“Hey! Jerk! Let her go!” Jacqui and Jill stormed up and tried to block Simon’s path. It didn’t slow him down. First Jill, then Jacqui went down.

“Stay out of it,” Simon growled. “This is none of your business.”

Ruby raced over to where Jacqui and Jill lay crumpled in a heap. I was numb with fear. I struggled against Simon’s grip to no avail. His fingers were a vice. He dragged and pulled me until we came to his rental car then shoved me roughly into the backseat. I kicked out at him, crying in pain as my foot collided with the car door, missing my target. I reached for the door handle and yanked only to find it was child locked. The other door as well. Simon ran for the driver’s side and in no time at all, we were speeding away, leaving a trail of dust. Without thinking, I launched myself at Simon, grabbing him around the neck. Caught by surprise, he lost control of the car for just a moment before recovering. He was a lot stronger than me and it took hardly effort on his part to pry me loose. I fell back but launched myself at him again, this time catching his ear between my teeth.

“OUCH!” Simon roared. 

He braked hard. I fell back, winded from the driver’s seat pressing hard into my chest and abdomen and dizzy from the whiplash. Simon sped on for another few kilometres before pulling over. He got out and wrenched open the back door, pulling me out by my legs and dumping me on the ground. A solid kick to my already aching midsection guaranteed I would not be going anywhere as he took a rope and duct tape from the boot. I was hauled up and pushed against the car, Simon’s body pressing against mine to hold me in place.

“You never learn, do you?” My wrists were pulled together behind my back and secured firmly with the rope. A piece of duct tape went over my mouth. From his pocket, he pulled a bandana and tied it over my eyes. “It’s time I taught you a lesson you will never forget.” He shoved me back in the car, slammed the door and took off again.

I was terrified. Only minutes earlier I had been riding the cloud of elation. How had things changed so quickly? I should have known Simon would find me. I should have known it was a mistake to leave in the first place. Curse that old woman for making me believe things could be different. Things could never be different. I had tried to make a change and it had failed. As far as I could see, I was trapped and doomed to spend the rest of my life in hell. My ribs burned and throbbed and I fought to breathe. I was ready to admit defeat.

“It is not over. You will be free.”

My fear turned to anger. “Shut up! Leave me alone! This is all your fault!” I screamed silently at the voice.

“Have faith. All will be well. Just keep looking for the red.”

I ignored it. Angels. How could I have thought there were angles? I was on my own; always had been and always will be.

“You are never alone. Do not give up.”

“Argh! Go away! Look where listening to you has got me!”

“You are stronger than you once were," was the last thing the voice said before I was alone with my thoughts once more.

I paused. Was that true? It didn’t matter either way. The voice was gone and would offer no more help. Good riddance, I thought cynically. Dale’s face appeared in my mind’s eye along with Jacqui, Jill and Ruby. I was about to lose them and any possible future I had with them. I couldn’t let that happen. The sharp realization came to me that, suddenly, I had something worth fighting for; an experience I had never encountered. It gave me strength, strength I never would have found if I hadn’t escaped to the desert. I started thinking of how I could get away. The dark night would certainly play to my advantage but could I be quick enough? How far could I get while not being able to see? I shook my head, hoping the bandanna would slip. It didn’t budge. Neither did the rope that bound my wrists. I strained and struggled until I was sure my wrists were bleeding. How long had we been driving for? Dale and I had returned to the Inn at around 11:00pm. I estimated it must have been around 11:30 by now. Maybe the girls had called the police. Not that it would help because there was no way they could know where we were going. I managed to get myself up into a sitting position, hoping someone passing by on the road would see me. Simon must have had the same thought.

“Get back down,” he demanded. I did as I was told. There was no point in making him angrier by defying him. That would not serve me well.

A short while later I felt the car begin to slow and come to a stop. I heard the glove box open then slam shut again as I waited for Simon to come and get me. I was still angry but the fear had also returned; an immense fear that Simon was going to kill me. I’d always wondered if people who were going to die got some type of premonition or sense of foreboding before their demise, something to let them know that their time was up. Now I knew. The Reaper bore down on me, his scythe ready to swipe. I could see him, his black hooded robe hanging as still as the grave, hiding a face too ghastly to look upon. No one knew where I was. My body wouldn’t be found for days out here in the middle of nowhere. The Reaper chuckled in anticipation, a hollow, ghostly sound that echoed through my head. Simon opened the door and hauled me out. I lost my balance and fell, wincing at the sharp pain in my ribs then wincing some more as I was pulled back up to my feet. The bandanna was removed from my eyes and in the light from the moon I could see what Simon must have taken from the glove box. I was staring straight down the barrel of a gun.

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Written by ChanelleJoy in portal Fiction
RED (Part 8)
An hour later, we packed up and headed back to the Inn. He walked me to my room and kissed me goodnight. Floating on air, I breezed through the door to find Jacqui, Ruby and Jill waiting for me.

“Well?”

“How was it?”

“What happened?”

I laughed, deciding to have a little fun with them. “Excuse me ladies, I need the bathroom.”

“Noooo!”

“Can’t you hold it for five minutes?”

“No, sorry. I really do need to go.” I said, shutting the door on their protests but they continued with their questions, yelling them a little louder. I shook my head. Girls will be girls.“Ok.” I opened the door.

“So?” they demanded.

“It was wonderful…” I was interrupted by the sound of car coming to a roaring halt out the front of the Inn.

“Someone’s in a hurry,” Jacqui commented and waved her hand in dismissal. “Continue,” she instructed.

“He is such a gentleman. Very sweet.”

“Come on, enough of the boring stuff. Did you kiss?” Jill demanded.

I flushed. That was all the answer they needed.

“Oh, I knew it! You guys were gone for so long we knew it must have been going well!” Jacqui hugged me as a sharp, rapid knock came from the door.

Jacqui smirked at me. “Maybe Dale decided the night isn’t quite over yet, if you know what I mean.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Everyone knows you don’t put out on the first date,” Ruby piped up.

“Exactly,” I agreed. I turned the handle and opened the door. It wasn’t Dale. My stomach dropped to the floor. I shrieked in fright and tried to run but it was too late.

“You little bitch!” A hand grabbed me roughly and began to drag me away. “Think you can just up and leave like that?” He slapped me hard across the face. “You’re coming home right now!” His face was red with anger as he continued to drag me down the hallway.

“Simon, let go of me!” I caught the look of surprise then anger on the girl’s faces as they realized who it was.

He slapped me again. “Shut up! You do not speak unless spoken to!”

“Hey! Jerk! Let her go!” Jacqui and Jill stormed up and tried to block Simon’s path. It didn’t slow him down. First Jill, then Jacqui went down.

“Stay out of it,” Simon growled. “This is none of your business.”

Ruby raced over to where Jacqui and Jill lay crumpled in a heap. I was numb with fear. I struggled against Simon’s grip to no avail. His fingers were a vice. He dragged and pulled me until we came to his rental car then shoved me roughly into the backseat. I kicked out at him, crying in pain as my foot collided with the car door, missing my target. I reached for the door handle and yanked only to find it was child locked. The other door as well. Simon ran for the driver’s side and in no time at all, we were speeding away, leaving a trail of dust. Without thinking, I launched myself at Simon, grabbing him around the neck. Caught by surprise, he lost control of the car for just a moment before recovering. He was a lot stronger than me and it took hardly effort on his part to pry me loose. I fell back but launched myself at him again, this time catching his ear between my teeth.

“OUCH!” Simon roared. 

He braked hard. I fell back, winded from the driver’s seat pressing hard into my chest and abdomen and dizzy from the whiplash. Simon sped on for another few kilometres before pulling over. He got out and wrenched open the back door, pulling me out by my legs and dumping me on the ground. A solid kick to my already aching midsection guaranteed I would not be going anywhere as he took a rope and duct tape from the boot. I was hauled up and pushed against the car, Simon’s body pressing against mine to hold me in place.

“You never learn, do you?” My wrists were pulled together behind my back and secured firmly with the rope. A piece of duct tape went over my mouth. From his pocket, he pulled a bandana and tied it over my eyes. “It’s time I taught you a lesson you will never forget.” He shoved me back in the car, slammed the door and took off again.

I was terrified. Only minutes earlier I had been riding the cloud of elation. How had things changed so quickly? I should have known Simon would find me. I should have known it was a mistake to leave in the first place. Curse that old woman for making me believe things could be different. Things could never be different. I had tried to make a change and it had failed. As far as I could see, I was trapped and doomed to spend the rest of my life in hell. My ribs burned and throbbed and I fought to breathe. I was ready to admit defeat.

“It is not over. You will be free.”

My fear turned to anger. “Shut up! Leave me alone! This is all your fault!” I screamed silently at the voice.

“Have faith. All will be well. Just keep looking for the red.”

I ignored it. Angels. How could I have thought there were angles? I was on my own; always had been and always will be.

“You are never alone. Do not give up.”

“Argh! Go away! Look where listening to you has got me!”

“You are stronger than you once were," was the last thing the voice said before I was alone with my thoughts once more.

I paused. Was that true? It didn’t matter either way. The voice was gone and would offer no more help. Good riddance, I thought cynically. Dale’s face appeared in my mind’s eye along with Jacqui, Jill and Ruby. I was about to lose them and any possible future I had with them. I couldn’t let that happen. The sharp realization came to me that, suddenly, I had something worth fighting for; an experience I had never encountered. It gave me strength, strength I never would have found if I hadn’t escaped to the desert. I started thinking of how I could get away. The dark night would certainly play to my advantage but could I be quick enough? How far could I get while not being able to see? I shook my head, hoping the bandanna would slip. It didn’t budge. Neither did the rope that bound my wrists. I strained and struggled until I was sure my wrists were bleeding. How long had we been driving for? Dale and I had returned to the Inn at around 11:00pm. I estimated it must have been around 11:30 by now. Maybe the girls had called the police. Not that it would help because there was no way they could know where we were going. I managed to get myself up into a sitting position, hoping someone passing by on the road would see me. Simon must have had the same thought.

“Get back down,” he demanded. I did as I was told. There was no point in making him angrier by defying him. That would not serve me well.

A short while later I felt the car begin to slow and come to a stop. I heard the glove box open then slam shut again as I waited for Simon to come and get me. I was still angry but the fear had also returned; an immense fear that Simon was going to kill me. I’d always wondered if people who were going to die got some type of premonition or sense of foreboding before their demise, something to let them know that their time was up. Now I knew. The Reaper bore down on me, his scythe ready to swipe. I could see him, his black hooded robe hanging as still as the grave, hiding a face too ghastly to look upon. No one knew where I was. My body wouldn’t be found for days out here in the middle of nowhere. The Reaper chuckled in anticipation, a hollow, ghostly sound that echoed through my head. Simon opened the door and hauled me out. I lost my balance and fell, wincing at the sharp pain in my ribs then wincing some more as I was pulled back up to my feet. The bandanna was removed from my eyes and in the light from the moon I could see what Simon must have taken from the glove box. I was staring straight down the barrel of a gun.

#fiction  #desert  #red  #australia 
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Up In Smoke: Craft a shortstory, drabble, vignette, or poem that features, includes, or describes the act of smoking.
Written by apromptaday in portal Fiction

what I see in the smoke-light

Fancy flouncing cigarette, your poised two finger hold – coughed up gold – like an ocean’s tide onto washed up dreams 

Chipped nails painted black, you; a careless flick onto frozen concrete, the catcher of flames that roar inside my stomach, you – my charcoal knight in amour, the only one I want to kiss.

I bum one off a boy who tells me not to smoke so much. “These things aren’t meant for the candlelight like your smile,” Like my body’s melted wax for him to shape, like I’m a waiting wick and he’s the lighter that can start the burning inside my bones.

Pretty little wax, the wall decorations – vanilla smelling scent washing through his bedroom door – you’d like that wouldn’t you? Contained little starlight, ready to blow, put out on your time.

My light can’t stop once it disintegrates. I demolish and bite edges of your fingertips; I’ll scoop off my wax and burn the house down, hope you got a fire alarm – I’ll choke you in the smoke and won’t feel a thing.

Gray stained lungs turned outlook on life, dirty filter to the mind. I signed a contact in second grade; promised puffs of nicotine would never leave my lips. Now it’s all I know how to breathe.

“It’ll kill you,” warned my mother, when she catches the scent swirls in the fabric of my composure. And I don’t tell her I’m banking on it.

Swaying dusty air, the last love I believe in, black little cancer draped in pretty paper white. I fashioned my body into a cigarette one day, and time’s been charring at my ribcage since.

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Up In Smoke: Craft a shortstory, drabble, vignette, or poem that features, includes, or describes the act of smoking.
Written by apromptaday in portal Fiction
what I see in the smoke-light
Fancy flouncing cigarette, your poised two finger hold – coughed up gold – like an ocean’s tide onto washed up dreams 

Chipped nails painted black, you; a careless flick onto frozen concrete, the catcher of flames that roar inside my stomach, you – my charcoal knight in amour, the only one I want to kiss.

I bum one off a boy who tells me not to smoke so much. “These things aren’t meant for the candlelight like your smile,” Like my body’s melted wax for him to shape, like I’m a waiting wick and he’s the lighter that can start the burning inside my bones.

Pretty little wax, the wall decorations – vanilla smelling scent washing through his bedroom door – you’d like that wouldn’t you? Contained little starlight, ready to blow, put out on your time.

My light can’t stop once it disintegrates. I demolish and bite edges of your fingertips; I’ll scoop off my wax and burn the house down, hope you got a fire alarm – I’ll choke you in the smoke and won’t feel a thing.

Gray stained lungs turned outlook on life, dirty filter to the mind. I signed a contact in second grade; promised puffs of nicotine would never leave my lips. Now it’s all I know how to breathe.

“It’ll kill you,” warned my mother, when she catches the scent swirls in the fabric of my composure. And I don’t tell her I’m banking on it.

Swaying dusty air, the last love I believe in, black little cancer draped in pretty paper white. I fashioned my body into a cigarette one day, and time’s been charring at my ribcage since.
#fiction  #philosophy  #culture  #opinion 
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(start of book) Xavier Cockroachal Damon's, Um, Entirely Fictitious Autobiography. The Missing Years

                                           by Xavier Cockroachal Damon (The book will be FREE AT AMAZON August 10th-12th)

                                                    Introduction:

Hello there, my name is Aaron Aaronson I am here today to write the introduction to the book “Xavier Cockroachal Damon’s, Um, Entirely Fictitious Autobiography. The Missing Years” which was written by Xavier Cockroachal Damon himself and is a continuation of his autobiography after the first chapter of the already published book “Xavier Cockroachal Damon’s, Um, Entirely Fictitious Autobiography”, a chapter which chronicled his life up until the age of seven and covers the missing years before the already published book rejoined the story of Xavier Cockroachal Damon at the age of forty-two.

Admittedly, it was a bit of a gap.

Now, why was it that Xavier Cockroachal Damon, after that first chapter did not rejoin the story of his life in the already published book until the age of forty two, excluding all the years in between? As for that, well I really do not know. I suppose you would have to ask him that question to know the answer, well, if that was possible for you to do, which it isn’t since Xavier Cockroachal Damon did die in the final chapter of the already published autobiography.

Why did he leave those many years in between out? Well, I suppose there was something about the year when he was forty two that he felt was especially noteworthy and memorable and therefore those events were a part of his life he felt demanded to be detailed and it was necessary for him to document for the record, something truly important to him to share whereas the many years that preceded it from the age of seven he deemed not relevant for the record or worthy of publication for the world to see.

Of course, it’s also entirely possible that because he was always drunk he just forgot he had ever written the damn thing.

Anyway…

Once the manuscript was uncovered I was permitted to read it and requested that I be the one to write the introduction and I decided that it was a book that needed to be published for the world to see and I set about to make that happen because those years in between truly are important to be able to fully understand the life of Xavier Cockroachal Damon. They are essential for the record to really be able to see who Xavier Cockroachal was and without them there is no way the reader of the already published autobiography can really know the full story. Also, I do believe there is much for the reader to learn about themselves and much they can teach.

It is a truly interesting story of an extremely bizarre life that I personally believe all need to see. Why didn’t he actually publish these missing years? Well, in the end I guess it will remain a mystery. Though indeed there were mysteries contained within the already published autobiography such as the captivating “The Mystery of the Missing Socks”. the spellbinding “The Mystery of the Missing Moo Shu Vegetable Platter” and the mesmerizing “The Mystery of the Ignonomous and Preposterous Hapheshalesh”. As for this particular mystery, I’m afraid there really is no way to solve it without being able to ask Xavier Cockroachal Damon himself, which unfortunately can no longer be done.

Um, though, I think the theory that he just didn’t remember ever writing it because he was always drunk has to be given some consideration as an explanation because it was discovered on his computer under the file name “Abicuther doxyjphlemmaryyy fuckthis shktphhhhhhh” and therefore he would not necessarily have any idea that that file contained a chapter of his autobiography chronicling those years of his life.

Anyway…

The story of those years is now ready to be told and I will now let Xavier Cockroachal Damon tell that tale in his own words. And so I now present for you “Xavier Cockroachal Damon’s, Um, Entirely Fictitious Autobiography. The Missing Years”.

And so it begins...

______________________________________________________________________

It is I, Xavier Cockroachal Damon, here with another installment of my autobiography. I continue the story of my life from the day after I ended the initial chapter of my autobiography, the day that I turned seven.

The day that I was turning seven was upon me. The day before, when plotting the day out I had big plans. Um, actually that might not be an accurate description because really the only goal I had was to get really fuckin drunk. But how would the day go I wondered the night before? It was certain to go completely to hell, but what would be the exact specifics of how the day would devolve, deteriorate, degenerate and descend into complete shit. I was turning seven the next day and I passed into sleep brimming with eager anticipation to find out the answer to that question the next morning.

The next morning arrived and I rolled out of bed to begin the day. That would actually be a literal description because I was still really drunk from the night before and crashed down to the floor. I picked myself up and walked over and sat in a chair. I pulled out and lit a cigarette then poured myself a glass of whiskey which I sipped from, sitting there and trying to think of what it was I would do with the day.

It was strange. Only one night had passed so I was only one day older than I had been the day before but I saw the day itself, and my life as a whole, differently than I had at anytime before. I truly saw things in a whole new light. I felt as if I had matured years over that one night and that it really was time to wake up, settle down and put an end to the chaos and calamity that had so defined my years up until this point. It was time to grow up and stop being my own worst enemy, to begin making wise choices for once, to stop being so self-destructive, to look at my actions in terms of my future, to pull myself together and get my life on track. I realized as I sat there smoking my cigarette and drinking from my glass of whiskey that it was time to tone down my stupidity meter and enter adulthood as I walked through my days with a newfound sense of responsibility, purpose and direction. I nodded my head with confidence. Oh Xavier Cockroachal Damon, the day you turned seven was the day you finally became a man.

There would be no more being a child prostitute, being an assassin for the CIA, all night heroin binges, being committed to psych wards, repeatedly getting shanked by the other inmates and staff. No, Xavier Cockroachal Damon was turning seven today so all that was behind me. Those days were done. Xavier Cockroachal would indeed be a new and better person this day and for all the days that were to follow,

Over my years I truly had made series after series of errors and foolish mistake and no question could there be that circumstances and life events certainly played a role in determining my actions but I realized they were my actions and for them I had to take responsibility and stop always making the wrong choices. I realized that all I really wanted from life was peace and quiet and to just settle down, passing each day in calm. So that was what I decided I would do. The past was the past and I bid it farewell as I set upon the first steps of my new life. It was a new day and I would now make my way through life as the new Xavier Cockroachal Damon. It was a new beginning.

It was the first day of the rest of my smarter life of better choices. And so it begins…

I stepped outside and looked around at the sun filled day. A woman with long black hair, who appeared to be nineteen years old approached me with stumbling steps. She spoke “Hey kid, I could really use your help, you wanna help me bust my boyfriend out of prison? He’s gotten into all kinds of shit with a prison gang and the damn feds are about to bring down a bunch of new charges that could put us both away for good, and even out here the shit isn’t any easier because the damn mob has a hit out on him and the damn local drug ring also has a hit out on him because he stole fifty grand from them, but I was thinking after we busted him out of prison we could all just go stay at the local motel the two of us always used to stay at. which is owned by the mob actually, and then we could score some H because the local drug ring always has dealers there, except when there are dealers connected to the prison gang my boyfriend has trouble with who are on the scene because those two groups really don’t get along, but if that’s so we’ll just buy from them and then we can just order a pizza from this place where it’s really good and actually that pizzeria is actually also owned by the mob, but after we bust my boyfriend out of prison we can all just sit around the motel room, getting high and eating pizza and watching the Home Shopping Network., and at some point we can kill him, I seem to always have this habit of killing the guy I’m with but then you and me can steal his car and run off and you’ll be my new man and we can get married and live together in a trailer in Pennsylvania. So what do you say, will you help me out?”

I thought upon the offer and as I did I noticed, up in the sky, three airplanes that were gliding through the clouds all erupted in flames and began to plummet towards the ground as streaking fireballs. I shrugged my shoulders. “Sure.”

Now, one might possibly contend that my acceptance of this proposal was possibly not the best first step to take as the start of a new life of wiser choices and smart decisions but I really couldn’t help it. You see, I always had a soft spot for damsels in distress and would then allow that chivalric impulse to override my better judgment and it was because of that that I immediately accepted her request for help. I suppose even with all I had experienced in life, still in my heart I remained a dreamer and an unabashed romantic. And so yes, even though there were potentially cataclysmic pitfalls that could occur from far too many sources and directions to count, I indeed entered into this endeavor.

Because you have to dream and always follow your heart.

Um, well, that, and I was actually really in the mood for pizza.

So me and Sistina the Stabber, um, Sistina the Stabber was her name, set out for the prison upstate to break her boyfriend out. During the drive we formulated the method by which we would actually conduct the prison break. This was a situation where my CIA training was certainly extraordinarily useful in terms of our enterprise.

It ended up being me who came up with every aspect of the plan. Actually it also ended up being me who drove to the prison since Sistina was passed out from having taken several percocets. I actually had never up to this point driven an automobile, well, aside for the time I took that joyless ride in the pope mobile but, really now, that could hardly be considered an automobile. To be perfectly honest I don’t know what the fuck that thing was. But this was my first time driving a car and it actually was a somewhat difficult process to learn.

For starters, I wasn’t actually tall enough to see over the steering wheel. I realized this the moment that me and Sistina changed seats because she knew a pass out was coming on and said I should drive. I realized I wasn’t actually able to see the road and asked her if she had a phone book or something I could sit on. She handed me a phonebook then immediately went to sleep.

See that C.I.A. Can’t get a fuckin phone book to sit on from the biggest, most advanced intelligence agency in the world but I got a phone book to sit on immediately from my drug addict, serial killer, soon to be wife. Needed a phone book. Bam! Got a phone book. But not from you incompetent, moronic assholes!

So I sat on the phone book and drove the car for the four hour or so drive to the prison. The driving process really would have been considerably less cumbersome had it been an automatic transmission but instead it was a stick shift.

Now, just a little bit of commentary on that before I continue with the details of the prison break. O.k, is there anyone out there who could possibly provide even a completely B.S rationale for why the hell cars operated by stick shift even still exist? The disjointed, jerky, process absolutely should have long ago been obliterated by the advancement of technology so that it could sit on hillsides with the horse and buggy and talk about the entirely crappy old days.

I suppose you do have those who say they prefer the stick, gives them more control over the car and the road. But, sorry to break it to you, if you actually prefer the stick, it’s only because you’re an egotistical, self-impressed, control freak dick.

Um, of course Sistina’s car used a stick. Um, hey, Sistina baby, wasn’t saying that about you. You want to play with the stick, go ahead and play with the stick. Go on baby, have fun with the stick.

Um…

Oh shit.

Actually that last part really didn’t need to be said, sidestepping the obvious fact that it never should have been said under any circumstances, but Sistina wasn’t driving a car that used a stick shift out of preference, it was because that was the car that was available when she wanted to steal a car. To be perfectly honest I believe she intentionally K.O’ed herself with the percocets solely so she wouldn’t have to be the one to deal with the idiotic mechanism for the four plus hour drive to the prison.

The first part of the plan I came up with was not a way to get Sistina’s boyfriend out of the prison but a way to get me in whereby the prison break could occur.

I was seven, therefore due to my small size I realized there would be ways to enter or exit the prison complex that would not be possible for one of a more advanced physical stature. Once inside the prison the mechanics of the escape could be set in motion.

I arrived at the prison. I woke Sistina up and told her to come back to the prison with a car in six days, at 4 PM, the amount of time it would take for my plan to be fully realized. She nodded her head and I exited the car. She drove off and almost immediately fell back asleep and veered off the side of the road, down a hill and into a ditch.

“You know,” I said to myself out loud “I bet that pizza is going to be real good.”

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Written by cockroachal in portal Fiction
(start of book) Xavier Cockroachal Damon's, Um, Entirely Fictitious Autobiography. The Missing Years
                                           by Xavier Cockroachal Damon (The book will be FREE AT AMAZON August 10th-12th)
                                                    Introduction:
Hello there, my name is Aaron Aaronson I am here today to write the introduction to the book “Xavier Cockroachal Damon’s, Um, Entirely Fictitious Autobiography. The Missing Years” which was written by Xavier Cockroachal Damon himself and is a continuation of his autobiography after the first chapter of the already published book “Xavier Cockroachal Damon’s, Um, Entirely Fictitious Autobiography”, a chapter which chronicled his life up until the age of seven and covers the missing years before the already published book rejoined the story of Xavier Cockroachal Damon at the age of forty-two.
Admittedly, it was a bit of a gap.
Now, why was it that Xavier Cockroachal Damon, after that first chapter did not rejoin the story of his life in the already published book until the age of forty two, excluding all the years in between? As for that, well I really do not know. I suppose you would have to ask him that question to know the answer, well, if that was possible for you to do, which it isn’t since Xavier Cockroachal Damon did die in the final chapter of the already published autobiography.
Why did he leave those many years in between out? Well, I suppose there was something about the year when he was forty two that he felt was especially noteworthy and memorable and therefore those events were a part of his life he felt demanded to be detailed and it was necessary for him to document for the record, something truly important to him to share whereas the many years that preceded it from the age of seven he deemed not relevant for the record or worthy of publication for the world to see.
Of course, it’s also entirely possible that because he was always drunk he just forgot he had ever written the damn thing.
Anyway…
Once the manuscript was uncovered I was permitted to read it and requested that I be the one to write the introduction and I decided that it was a book that needed to be published for the world to see and I set about to make that happen because those years in between truly are important to be able to fully understand the life of Xavier Cockroachal Damon. They are essential for the record to really be able to see who Xavier Cockroachal was and without them there is no way the reader of the already published autobiography can really know the full story. Also, I do believe there is much for the reader to learn about themselves and much they can teach.
It is a truly interesting story of an extremely bizarre life that I personally believe all need to see. Why didn’t he actually publish these missing years? Well, in the end I guess it will remain a mystery. Though indeed there were mysteries contained within the already published autobiography such as the captivating “The Mystery of the Missing Socks”. the spellbinding “The Mystery of the Missing Moo Shu Vegetable Platter” and the mesmerizing “The Mystery of the Ignonomous and Preposterous Hapheshalesh”. As for this particular mystery, I’m afraid there really is no way to solve it without being able to ask Xavier Cockroachal Damon himself, which unfortunately can no longer be done.
Um, though, I think the theory that he just didn’t remember ever writing it because he was always drunk has to be given some consideration as an explanation because it was discovered on his computer under the file name “Abicuther doxyjphlemmaryyy fuckthis shktphhhhhhh” and therefore he would not necessarily have any idea that that file contained a chapter of his autobiography chronicling those years of his life.
Anyway…
The story of those years is now ready to be told and I will now let Xavier Cockroachal Damon tell that tale in his own words. And so I now present for you “Xavier Cockroachal Damon’s, Um, Entirely Fictitious Autobiography. The Missing Years”.
And so it begins...
______________________________________________________________________

It is I, Xavier Cockroachal Damon, here with another installment of my autobiography. I continue the story of my life from the day after I ended the initial chapter of my autobiography, the day that I turned seven.
The day that I was turning seven was upon me. The day before, when plotting the day out I had big plans. Um, actually that might not be an accurate description because really the only goal I had was to get really fuckin drunk. But how would the day go I wondered the night before? It was certain to go completely to hell, but what would be the exact specifics of how the day would devolve, deteriorate, degenerate and descend into complete shit. I was turning seven the next day and I passed into sleep brimming with eager anticipation to find out the answer to that question the next morning.
The next morning arrived and I rolled out of bed to begin the day. That would actually be a literal description because I was still really drunk from the night before and crashed down to the floor. I picked myself up and walked over and sat in a chair. I pulled out and lit a cigarette then poured myself a glass of whiskey which I sipped from, sitting there and trying to think of what it was I would do with the day.
It was strange. Only one night had passed so I was only one day older than I had been the day before but I saw the day itself, and my life as a whole, differently than I had at anytime before. I truly saw things in a whole new light. I felt as if I had matured years over that one night and that it really was time to wake up, settle down and put an end to the chaos and calamity that had so defined my years up until this point. It was time to grow up and stop being my own worst enemy, to begin making wise choices for once, to stop being so self-destructive, to look at my actions in terms of my future, to pull myself together and get my life on track. I realized as I sat there smoking my cigarette and drinking from my glass of whiskey that it was time to tone down my stupidity meter and enter adulthood as I walked through my days with a newfound sense of responsibility, purpose and direction. I nodded my head with confidence. Oh Xavier Cockroachal Damon, the day you turned seven was the day you finally became a man.
There would be no more being a child prostitute, being an assassin for the CIA, all night heroin binges, being committed to psych wards, repeatedly getting shanked by the other inmates and staff. No, Xavier Cockroachal Damon was turning seven today so all that was behind me. Those days were done. Xavier Cockroachal would indeed be a new and better person this day and for all the days that were to follow,
Over my years I truly had made series after series of errors and foolish mistake and no question could there be that circumstances and life events certainly played a role in determining my actions but I realized they were my actions and for them I had to take responsibility and stop always making the wrong choices. I realized that all I really wanted from life was peace and quiet and to just settle down, passing each day in calm. So that was what I decided I would do. The past was the past and I bid it farewell as I set upon the first steps of my new life. It was a new day and I would now make my way through life as the new Xavier Cockroachal Damon. It was a new beginning.
It was the first day of the rest of my smarter life of better choices. And so it begins…
I stepped outside and looked around at the sun filled day. A woman with long black hair, who appeared to be nineteen years old approached me with stumbling steps. She spoke “Hey kid, I could really use your help, you wanna help me bust my boyfriend out of prison? He’s gotten into all kinds of shit with a prison gang and the damn feds are about to bring down a bunch of new charges that could put us both away for good, and even out here the shit isn’t any easier because the damn mob has a hit out on him and the damn local drug ring also has a hit out on him because he stole fifty grand from them, but I was thinking after we busted him out of prison we could all just go stay at the local motel the two of us always used to stay at. which is owned by the mob actually, and then we could score some H because the local drug ring always has dealers there, except when there are dealers connected to the prison gang my boyfriend has trouble with who are on the scene because those two groups really don’t get along, but if that’s so we’ll just buy from them and then we can just order a pizza from this place where it’s really good and actually that pizzeria is actually also owned by the mob, but after we bust my boyfriend out of prison we can all just sit around the motel room, getting high and eating pizza and watching the Home Shopping Network., and at some point we can kill him, I seem to always have this habit of killing the guy I’m with but then you and me can steal his car and run off and you’ll be my new man and we can get married and live together in a trailer in Pennsylvania. So what do you say, will you help me out?”
I thought upon the offer and as I did I noticed, up in the sky, three airplanes that were gliding through the clouds all erupted in flames and began to plummet towards the ground as streaking fireballs. I shrugged my shoulders. “Sure.”
Now, one might possibly contend that my acceptance of this proposal was possibly not the best first step to take as the start of a new life of wiser choices and smart decisions but I really couldn’t help it. You see, I always had a soft spot for damsels in distress and would then allow that chivalric impulse to override my better judgment and it was because of that that I immediately accepted her request for help. I suppose even with all I had experienced in life, still in my heart I remained a dreamer and an unabashed romantic. And so yes, even though there were potentially cataclysmic pitfalls that could occur from far too many sources and directions to count, I indeed entered into this endeavor.
Because you have to dream and always follow your heart.
Um, well, that, and I was actually really in the mood for pizza.
So me and Sistina the Stabber, um, Sistina the Stabber was her name, set out for the prison upstate to break her boyfriend out. During the drive we formulated the method by which we would actually conduct the prison break. This was a situation where my CIA training was certainly extraordinarily useful in terms of our enterprise.
It ended up being me who came up with every aspect of the plan. Actually it also ended up being me who drove to the prison since Sistina was passed out from having taken several percocets. I actually had never up to this point driven an automobile, well, aside for the time I took that joyless ride in the pope mobile but, really now, that could hardly be considered an automobile. To be perfectly honest I don’t know what the fuck that thing was. But this was my first time driving a car and it actually was a somewhat difficult process to learn.
For starters, I wasn’t actually tall enough to see over the steering wheel. I realized this the moment that me and Sistina changed seats because she knew a pass out was coming on and said I should drive. I realized I wasn’t actually able to see the road and asked her if she had a phone book or something I could sit on. She handed me a phonebook then immediately went to sleep.
See that C.I.A. Can’t get a fuckin phone book to sit on from the biggest, most advanced intelligence agency in the world but I got a phone book to sit on immediately from my drug addict, serial killer, soon to be wife. Needed a phone book. Bam! Got a phone book. But not from you incompetent, moronic assholes!
So I sat on the phone book and drove the car for the four hour or so drive to the prison. The driving process really would have been considerably less cumbersome had it been an automatic transmission but instead it was a stick shift.
Now, just a little bit of commentary on that before I continue with the details of the prison break. O.k, is there anyone out there who could possibly provide even a completely B.S rationale for why the hell cars operated by stick shift even still exist? The disjointed, jerky, process absolutely should have long ago been obliterated by the advancement of technology so that it could sit on hillsides with the horse and buggy and talk about the entirely crappy old days.
I suppose you do have those who say they prefer the stick, gives them more control over the car and the road. But, sorry to break it to you, if you actually prefer the stick, it’s only because you’re an egotistical, self-impressed, control freak dick.
Um, of course Sistina’s car used a stick. Um, hey, Sistina baby, wasn’t saying that about you. You want to play with the stick, go ahead and play with the stick. Go on baby, have fun with the stick.
Um…
Oh shit.
Actually that last part really didn’t need to be said, sidestepping the obvious fact that it never should have been said under any circumstances, but Sistina wasn’t driving a car that used a stick shift out of preference, it was because that was the car that was available when she wanted to steal a car. To be perfectly honest I believe she intentionally K.O’ed herself with the percocets solely so she wouldn’t have to be the one to deal with the idiotic mechanism for the four plus hour drive to the prison.
The first part of the plan I came up with was not a way to get Sistina’s boyfriend out of the prison but a way to get me in whereby the prison break could occur.
I was seven, therefore due to my small size I realized there would be ways to enter or exit the prison complex that would not be possible for one of a more advanced physical stature. Once inside the prison the mechanics of the escape could be set in motion.
I arrived at the prison. I woke Sistina up and told her to come back to the prison with a car in six days, at 4 PM, the amount of time it would take for my plan to be fully realized. She nodded her head and I exited the car. She drove off and almost immediately fell back asleep and veered off the side of the road, down a hill and into a ditch.
“You know,” I said to myself out loud “I bet that pizza is going to be real good.”

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Once upon a time...
Written by Ferryman in portal Fiction

A Father's Love

(Challenge Prompt: "Once upon a time...")

___________________

"She is a beautiful girl. I'll give you that."

The tall man spoke in the quiet moon shine. Night noises had long since ceased. Only the sound of trees rustling in a gentle breeze could be heard accompanying his voice.

"When she first told me about the games you two played, I wanted to think she was lying. I wanted to believe that it was some kind of practical joke; she said you even made her call you 'daddy.' I wanted to know that you'd never hurt her.  She's just a little girl."

He leaned against the long wooden handle of a shovel, wiping sweat from his brow with a handkerchief. In the night's light, the rag appeared to be spotted black.

"Oh, damn. I made a mess." Forgetting about the spots on his cloth, the man left streaks across his forehead. Touching his fingers above his brow, he brought them down to eye level, feeling their stickiness.

"Once upon a time, we were almost family.  My closest friend.  I named you her Godfather, even.  Everything's different now.  It's all a wreck, and I'm the one left cleaning it!"  His voice had climbed into a restrained shout, but there was no audience to witness his flare of temper.

Nearly no audience, anyway.

The tall man kicked the heap before him.

A muffled groan was the only response.

"Look at this. You're the one did all the work, and I'm the one sweating." He chuckled ruefully.

"Well. Maybe it's psychological. I've never exactly done this before. I guess I have you to thank for that, too. Another first for you, congratulations."

The pleas had stopped thirty minutes in. The hole became wider, deeper, but still too shallow for proper Christian use.

It only had to be deep enough to avoid the plowblades.

There had been a severe beating before they'd ever taken a drive out to this lonely cotton field. Rope had been used after the hole was finished, but not the way this monster had used it on his daughter.

Nothing about tonight was a game.

"Well, Dom. I think it's time for you to pray. You know how this ends."

The tall man left his shovel-support and leaned over to help the tied man into a sitting position.

"Dom. Dom, don't cry, big guy. You knew the risks. You've known me our entire lives. The kind of man I am. The kind of lengths I'd go to in order to protect my family. To protect my little girl."

Sobs shook Dominic's body, and the hemp between his teeth couldn't muffle the renewed pleas for clemency.

Sighing, her father drew shining blue steel from a leather holster. Pausing to admire the glow of moonlight along the cold length of the barrel, he paused and looked down at Dominic.

"You know how old she is, Dom. And you did it anyway. She still asks me to buy her Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake, you twisted fuck. I hope the Manjesus forgives you, because I, her father, her Daddy, I don't."

The ropes pulled tight as he tried to flee; the gag was true to the word as he screamed for mercy, but all he succeeded in doing was roll with the slug from that forty-four.  Headfirst, he toppled into the shallow grave dug by his own hands.

Silence.

Dom was almost dead before the first spray of dirt landed on his back.

Her dad stopped to listen as nightsounds returned to normal while he worked.

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Once upon a time...
Written by Ferryman in portal Fiction
A Father's Love
(Challenge Prompt: "Once upon a time...")
___________________

"She is a beautiful girl. I'll give you that."

The tall man spoke in the quiet moon shine. Night noises had long since ceased. Only the sound of trees rustling in a gentle breeze could be heard accompanying his voice.

"When she first told me about the games you two played, I wanted to think she was lying. I wanted to believe that it was some kind of practical joke; she said you even made her call you 'daddy.' I wanted to know that you'd never hurt her.  She's just a little girl."

He leaned against the long wooden handle of a shovel, wiping sweat from his brow with a handkerchief. In the night's light, the rag appeared to be spotted black.

"Oh, damn. I made a mess." Forgetting about the spots on his cloth, the man left streaks across his forehead. Touching his fingers above his brow, he brought them down to eye level, feeling their stickiness.

"Once upon a time, we were almost family.  My closest friend.  I named you her Godfather, even.  Everything's different now.  It's all a wreck, and I'm the one left cleaning it!"  His voice had climbed into a restrained shout, but there was no audience to witness his flare of temper.

Nearly no audience, anyway.

The tall man kicked the heap before him.

A muffled groan was the only response.

"Look at this. You're the one did all the work, and I'm the one sweating." He chuckled ruefully.

"Well. Maybe it's psychological. I've never exactly done this before. I guess I have you to thank for that, too. Another first for you, congratulations."

The pleas had stopped thirty minutes in. The hole became wider, deeper, but still too shallow for proper Christian use.

It only had to be deep enough to avoid the plowblades.

There had been a severe beating before they'd ever taken a drive out to this lonely cotton field. Rope had been used after the hole was finished, but not the way this monster had used it on his daughter.

Nothing about tonight was a game.

"Well, Dom. I think it's time for you to pray. You know how this ends."

The tall man left his shovel-support and leaned over to help the tied man into a sitting position.

"Dom. Dom, don't cry, big guy. You knew the risks. You've known me our entire lives. The kind of man I am. The kind of lengths I'd go to in order to protect my family. To protect my little girl."

Sobs shook Dominic's body, and the hemp between his teeth couldn't muffle the renewed pleas for clemency.

Sighing, her father drew shining blue steel from a leather holster. Pausing to admire the glow of moonlight along the cold length of the barrel, he paused and looked down at Dominic.

"You know how old she is, Dom. And you did it anyway. She still asks me to buy her Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake, you twisted fuck. I hope the Manjesus forgives you, because I, her father, her Daddy, I don't."

The ropes pulled tight as he tried to flee; the gag was true to the word as he screamed for mercy, but all he succeeded in doing was roll with the slug from that forty-four.  Headfirst, he toppled into the shallow grave dug by his own hands.

Silence.

Dom was almost dead before the first spray of dirt landed on his back.

Her dad stopped to listen as nightsounds returned to normal while he worked.
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Finish this sentence “I’d love to _____ but my _____ just _____!” (And then write a story that follows it.)
Written by Tobeornottobe in portal Fiction

Imperfection

"I'd love to dance... but my feet just can't."

Glancing at the lower portion of my body, I lifted the red chiffon fabric, revealing the two prosthetics. Cold and metallic, the robotic components held together as my makeshift legs. They were stiff machines operated by one owner. They were crowd turners and the topic of much idle talk. But hey, they worked. These foreign parts were my strength and gave me the ability to keep moving forward. Without these, I could not keep going further on. 

After my accident, the doctors dubbed it a miracle that I survived. The deadly car crash left me having to amputate above the knee for both legs. The other driver did not watch the intersection lights of a 4-way intersection and drove on a red light. Their car collided into the driver side of my car and the driver was left unscathed. 

I soon woke up devastated of the outcome. I lost the feeling of my legs and ultimately lost the feeling of freedom. Life at the instant seemed so dark. I felt worthless. The nurses moved me around using a wheelchair, limiting the sought movement I previously was capable of. I was subjected to humiliating circumstances such as being unable to go to the bathroom or bathe without the help of others. The doctors soon suggested I try prosthetic legs. 

As soon as my eyes met that silver apparatus, I knew that they were my only chance of finally feeling free again. Perhaps it was a little different, perhaps it was circumstantial, but I finally was able to find myself again. 

I was still me and that's all that mattered. 

But my dignity could not help to be shaken. People could be cruel. People could be mean, harsh, and inhumane. But I had long gotten over the feeling of scrutiny and examination from others. 

I admit I am different, but I don't care if others cannot accept who I am. The most important is that I myself accept who I am. 

But the way that those eyes looked at me, I could not help but feel ashamed at my appearance.  

Embarrassed and red cheeked, I looked away and waited for the response. 

"That's okay. I understand how you feel but... imperfection is what makes us all unique."

I looked up in surprise. "Really?" I replied. 

"Yeah. So... would you like to dance?" As a kind smile and a prosthetic hand reached out to me. 

    

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Finish this sentence “I’d love to _____ but my _____ just _____!” (And then write a story that follows it.)
Written by Tobeornottobe in portal Fiction
Imperfection
"I'd love to dance... but my feet just can't."

Glancing at the lower portion of my body, I lifted the red chiffon fabric, revealing the two prosthetics. Cold and metallic, the robotic components held together as my makeshift legs. They were stiff machines operated by one owner. They were crowd turners and the topic of much idle talk. But hey, they worked. These foreign parts were my strength and gave me the ability to keep moving forward. Without these, I could not keep going further on. 

After my accident, the doctors dubbed it a miracle that I survived. The deadly car crash left me having to amputate above the knee for both legs. The other driver did not watch the intersection lights of a 4-way intersection and drove on a red light. Their car collided into the driver side of my car and the driver was left unscathed. 

I soon woke up devastated of the outcome. I lost the feeling of my legs and ultimately lost the feeling of freedom. Life at the instant seemed so dark. I felt worthless. The nurses moved me around using a wheelchair, limiting the sought movement I previously was capable of. I was subjected to humiliating circumstances such as being unable to go to the bathroom or bathe without the help of others. The doctors soon suggested I try prosthetic legs. 

As soon as my eyes met that silver apparatus, I knew that they were my only chance of finally feeling free again. Perhaps it was a little different, perhaps it was circumstantial, but I finally was able to find myself again. 

I was still me and that's all that mattered. 

But my dignity could not help to be shaken. People could be cruel. People could be mean, harsh, and inhumane. But I had long gotten over the feeling of scrutiny and examination from others. 

I admit I am different, but I don't care if others cannot accept who I am. The most important is that I myself accept who I am. 

But the way that those eyes looked at me, I could not help but feel ashamed at my appearance.  

Embarrassed and red cheeked, I looked away and waited for the response. 

"That's okay. I understand how you feel but... imperfection is what makes us all unique."

I looked up in surprise. "Really?" I replied. 

"Yeah. So... would you like to dance?" As a kind smile and a prosthetic hand reached out to me. 


    
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Take a beloved character from a cartoon or an animation series and turn them into a depraved and wicked villain. Please tag me @XxFwuffyBunnyxX so that I can read all of your writes.
Written by TaiSensei in portal Fiction

But Everything Changed When the Fire Nation Attacked

***Warning: slight avatar the last airbender spoilers ahead***

"Aang, the name of the boy destined to save the world. The child whose entire life was written out for him before he could walk. The avatar: one burdened by expectations of greatness." 

A young man clad in a black toga sat to recite this laid-back speech. A blackened arrow tattooed down the centre of his hairless head, and a bladed staff leaned within reach against the throne he sat on. He reached for it.  

"A child's hand cannot carry the extent of the world's problems. I wish you could have seen that too, Katara. Or maybe you did..."

Before Aang's feet on a cloud covered carpet, bowed the head of a young and beautiful water bender. She sat strained against her knees, her wrists were bound in cuffs and tugged back by two metal benders at her sides. As an extra precaution, an old and shrivelled blood bender stood behind her with a red lotus pin holding together her cloak.

Aang stood and forced Katara's chin up, without touching her, with a graceful lift of his hand - this was airbending; the last of its kind. Katara's face was bruised and scarred, streaked with the sweat-wet waves of her own silky hair. 

"I thought you were dead." she cried.

"That's what you wanted, wasn't it? 

"How could I have wanted that!?"

"No? When you fed me with lies of fulfilling my destiny, showered my mind with your false-confidence in me? You didn't want me dead?! and yet you watched me die, and completed my destiny with the team I thought was mine. How did it feel, I wonder, when you saw me fail my mission, when you saw your wishes come true."

"HOW CAN YOU SAY THIS?!" She stretched forward against her restraints to scream out her pain. "What happened to you? Aang..."

"I tasted a bit of the real world. Thats all." Aang slammed a bare foot against the hard earthen pavement. Down from a newly formed ledge along the back of a pillar, fell a hard-headed blind girl with a loud and tough "Oof!"

"Toph, its great to see you again." She made a heavy kick-up back to her feet and jabbed a violent finger towards Aang, without making eye contact, like she used to always do.

"That's Master Toph to you, Twinkle-Toes! Have you completely lost your mind, treating Katara this way. Has losing the fight against the fire lord knocked you bonkers?!"

Aang smirked. Then rapidly, he stomped and made a swift punch to the ground. Toph immediately sunk deep into the surface, but knowing she could easily free herself, Aang made one small utterance to keep her in place: "Appa." 

A massive flying bison swooped in and landed over the ground she submerged into. Her angered calls could still be heard under Appa's mighty fluff. 

"Now for..." Aang scanned his throne room for the last of the gang, "Sokka!" Upon sensing his presense behind another pillar, Aang made a string of water, from the sweat and tears Katara had been harvesting, and whipped it towards Sokka's hidden figure. He used the water whip to rip the katana from his grasp. The hooded blood bender continued this assault and dragged the warrior out of hiding. Next, she pinned him next to his sister, ignoring his many yells of pain.

"I really did miss you guys... even if you didn't miss me..." Aang pressed his bladed staff against the carpet and sharpened bat wings popped out, he spun the flying contraption as if it were a scythe. "...I don't know if I'll miss you this time around." He then tightened his grip around his weapon and marked the spot at Katara's neck he would slice.

A blazing yell blasted its way through the tall throne room doors. The source of the ruckus zoomed through the air with a whirling display of flames to propel the body forward. A heated vertical spin kick smashed so powerfully on the spot Aang was standing that he had to use both air and earth bending to prevent the debris from crashing into him. Fury itself stood up tall in the persona of a person.

Aang wasn't afraid to directly confront the angry man."Zuko. I'll admit I forgot about you, didn't think you cared enough about this group to interfere."

Zuko's eyes were closed, one forever so due to the burn mark of a bloody pink scar. His lengthened black hair fell in a low ponytail. His working eye opened to speak out his compressed rage: "Aang... Stop this foolishness and release them. Trust me, when I say, the path you walk on, is one you will come to regret. It bears a far heavier burden then that of destiny. You don't want this life." 

"That's the problem Zuko, I wouldn't know which life I would or wouldn't have wanted. I never had a choice in the matter."

~~~

Background info on the original character: Aang is a really hilarious, happy-go-lucky kid who has to become the saviour of an unbalanced, elementally astounding world of fun.

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Take a beloved character from a cartoon or an animation series and turn them into a depraved and wicked villain. Please tag me @XxFwuffyBunnyxX so that I can read all of your writes.
Written by TaiSensei in portal Fiction
But Everything Changed When the Fire Nation Attacked
***Warning: slight avatar the last airbender spoilers ahead***

"Aang, the name of the boy destined to save the world. The child whose entire life was written out for him before he could walk. The avatar: one burdened by expectations of greatness." 

A young man clad in a black toga sat to recite this laid-back speech. A blackened arrow tattooed down the centre of his hairless head, and a bladed staff leaned within reach against the throne he sat on. He reached for it.  

"A child's hand cannot carry the extent of the world's problems. I wish you could have seen that too, Katara. Or maybe you did..."

Before Aang's feet on a cloud covered carpet, bowed the head of a young and beautiful water bender. She sat strained against her knees, her wrists were bound in cuffs and tugged back by two metal benders at her sides. As an extra precaution, an old and shrivelled blood bender stood behind her with a red lotus pin holding together her cloak.

Aang stood and forced Katara's chin up, without touching her, with a graceful lift of his hand - this was airbending; the last of its kind. Katara's face was bruised and scarred, streaked with the sweat-wet waves of her own silky hair. 

"I thought you were dead." she cried.

"That's what you wanted, wasn't it? 

"How could I have wanted that!?"

"No? When you fed me with lies of fulfilling my destiny, showered my mind with your false-confidence in me? You didn't want me dead?! and yet you watched me die, and completed my destiny with the team I thought was mine. How did it feel, I wonder, when you saw me fail my mission, when you saw your wishes come true."

"HOW CAN YOU SAY THIS?!" She stretched forward against her restraints to scream out her pain. "What happened to you? Aang..."

"I tasted a bit of the real world. Thats all." Aang slammed a bare foot against the hard earthen pavement. Down from a newly formed ledge along the back of a pillar, fell a hard-headed blind girl with a loud and tough "Oof!"

"Toph, its great to see you again." She made a heavy kick-up back to her feet and jabbed a violent finger towards Aang, without making eye contact, like she used to always do.

"That's Master Toph to you, Twinkle-Toes! Have you completely lost your mind, treating Katara this way. Has losing the fight against the fire lord knocked you bonkers?!"

Aang smirked. Then rapidly, he stomped and made a swift punch to the ground. Toph immediately sunk deep into the surface, but knowing she could easily free herself, Aang made one small utterance to keep her in place: "Appa." 

A massive flying bison swooped in and landed over the ground she submerged into. Her angered calls could still be heard under Appa's mighty fluff. 

"Now for..." Aang scanned his throne room for the last of the gang, "Sokka!" Upon sensing his presense behind another pillar, Aang made a string of water, from the sweat and tears Katara had been harvesting, and whipped it towards Sokka's hidden figure. He used the water whip to rip the katana from his grasp. The hooded blood bender continued this assault and dragged the warrior out of hiding. Next, she pinned him next to his sister, ignoring his many yells of pain.

"I really did miss you guys... even if you didn't miss me..." Aang pressed his bladed staff against the carpet and sharpened bat wings popped out, he spun the flying contraption as if it were a scythe. "...I don't know if I'll miss you this time around." He then tightened his grip around his weapon and marked the spot at Katara's neck he would slice.

A blazing yell blasted its way through the tall throne room doors. The source of the ruckus zoomed through the air with a whirling display of flames to propel the body forward. A heated vertical spin kick smashed so powerfully on the spot Aang was standing that he had to use both air and earth bending to prevent the debris from crashing into him. Fury itself stood up tall in the persona of a person.

Aang wasn't afraid to directly confront the angry man."Zuko. I'll admit I forgot about you, didn't think you cared enough about this group to interfere."

Zuko's eyes were closed, one forever so due to the burn mark of a bloody pink scar. His lengthened black hair fell in a low ponytail. His working eye opened to speak out his compressed rage: "Aang... Stop this foolishness and release them. Trust me, when I say, the path you walk on, is one you will come to regret. It bears a far heavier burden then that of destiny. You don't want this life." 

"That's the problem Zuko, I wouldn't know which life I would or wouldn't have wanted. I never had a choice in the matter."
~~~

Background info on the original character: Aang is a really hilarious, happy-go-lucky kid who has to become the saviour of an unbalanced, elementally astounding world of fun.
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The Devil's Intern Part 9

The third day for Internship Week was on the way, and Joshua was off to learn about the next lesson as the devil's intern: serving as commander-in-chief for a whole army. Lucifer led Joshua to this training facility located outside Inferno Tower, all the way down its crooked road. There Joshua met those that guard the damned, the Doomsguard. Like any army the demons—young and old—signed on to be soldiers for the Inferno. 

Lu left Joshua under the care of one of the young demon soldiers of the outpost. "No worries. I'll treat him like my kid brother." Those his exact words to his king as he led Joshua through the wreck rooms. "Welcome to the Doomsguard, kid. Outpost 13."

The soldiers were young. Their ages varied different centuries but they all looked and sounded like they were in their twenties. Like Babylon and the Tower, he saw a different assortment of demons. Some looked reptilian, some looked like goats or satyrs, and some were the humanoid incubi and succubi. There were even a couple that were hybrids like his friend Dominic, part demon and part succubi or incubi.

Joshua got to know several of the young recruits. At first they joked about eating him—which made Joshua very nervous—but they liked his company. They even introduced him to the personal friend of the guard: the FyreBlast-23. An automatic assault rifle, flamethrower, and grenade launcher all in one. Each clip loaded with a .300 Winchester Magnum bullet casing, powerful enough to tear a scavenger and soul to meaty pieces.

The pleasantries and jokes ended quickly when a loud whistle signaled them all to attention. In rows of two they stood. Joshua stood among them too. The recruits hoped the kid would meet their drill instructor, a demon that was harsh but laid back, yet someone worse arrived.

CLUNK! CLUNK! CLUNK!

Another succubus marched inside the barracks. This one had skin was light blue like the ocean. Her hair, or what's left, trimmed short to the skin. She wore a pitch black tank top and dark camo pants. Large, thick dark sunglasses, that looked like an eclipsed sun, hid her savage eyes. Her face was stern, not at all friendly like Lilith or Sitri.

All of the Inferno knew her by name and reputation: General Belial. The first succubus to reach the rank of general, and to become the supreme commander of the Doomsguard. A rumor floated that she yanked the wings off an archangel once with her bare hands, long ago during the Heaven-Hell War. Didn't even scorch her.

CLUNK! CLUNK! CLUNK!

The metallic peg that replaced her left leg tapped across the cold floor with each step. As she walked down the rows the recruits tried their hardest to stand still and not flinch when she darted them. They dared not breathe or sweat with the general present. Punishment from her was similar to how the condemned souls were treated.

"This is for all you new faces here in my beloved guard." she hollered. Joshua made himself not jump when the general spoke, "My name is General Belial. Yet the only thing I want to hear out of your pie holes is 'ma'am' or 'general'. Is that clear?"

"Yes ma'am." the recruits uttered in unison. 

"Bullcrap! Make it sound convincing!"

"YES MA'AM!" they all shouted louder.

"Unfortunately your drill instructor is out sick today. But lucky for you maggots, I volunteered to give you some serious P.T. We're gonna P.T. until your legs pop right off. Doesn't that sound good?"

"YES MA'AM!"

"We are the Doomsguard. Nothing in the Inferno gets in or out without our say so. We are born from hellfire and we crap hot coal. We shoot for kills and for thrills. We're lean, mean, killing machines that smashed open the gates of Heaven and march through the fields of Eden. And we did so as one superior unit.

"I don't care what you are or who you were. I don't look down on purebloods, half-breeds, succubi, or incubi. I don't care if you're endowed with magical abilities or not. I don't care if you were born from Hell or reborn from a soul. To me, you're all equally worthless, and you'll all receive the same amount of treatment. Do you maggots understand me?"

They answered. "YES MA'AM!"

She cocked her head to the left. "You!" Her eyes locked with one of the recruits.

"Yes ma'am!" he answered. The recruit looked a lot like Moloch. Not in physique or appearance, but he had his horns, red skin, and dark eyes. 

"You're one of Moloch's boys, ain't ya?" the general moved a couple feet closer to Moloch's eldest son.

"Yes ma'am!" he answered again.

"Are you the scrawny little maggot that died at childbirth?"

"No ma'am! That was one of my younger brothers. And he's not dead now, ma'am!"

"Your daddy was a war hero. He ever talk about the war?"

"Just once, ma'am."

"Good. Then he wasn't lying about it. Now you better live up to his reputation, or he's gonna wish you'd died so he wouldn't be embarrassed by your existence!"

Moloch's son gave the general his final answer. "YES MA'AM!" 

The succubus general carried on. She waltzed a few feet down the line until she sized up to another recruit. This one looked like a toad with his pudgy body and blank, round eyes. 

"What's your excuse?" Belial asked him.

"Excuse for what, sir?" her next victim responded.

Belial's hand slapped around the recruit's meaty throat. "SIR?" she berated. "YOUR MOTHER IS A SIR! Do I look masculine to you, soldier?"

"No, ma'am!" the recruit choked. "Just a slip-up."

"Slip-ups getcha killed, private!"

"Sorry."

"Sorry what?"

"Sorry, general."

"Oh, so I'm a sorry general now, that it?"

"No ma'am!"

Acknowledging his mistake, the general released her grasp. The toad-like recruit cough some fresh air back into his lungs but remained at attention. General Belial continued her onslaught. "Tell me, why did you join my beloved guard?"

"To shoot scavengers, ma'am!"

"Scavengers were souls once. Do you have sympathy for them?"

"No ma'am!"

"Were you a soul once?"

"No ma'am!"

"I bet you were once a scroungy little soul that got damned down here because he liked fondling little boy pee-pees! You can bet your ass I'll be watching you!"

General Belial moved back down the line. Her march then led her to another recruit. This one a doe satyr with small eyes, pale skin, brown fur, and a pair of small, nubby horns on the back of her head.

The general eyed the small female. Her gaze then concentrated on a tattoo, on her right shoulder. "What is that?" She demanded an answer. Her brows scrunched into her sunglasses.

"A tattoo, ma'am!" the doe answered.

"Are tattoos allowed in my barracks, private?" 

"No ma'am!" 

"Then why the hell do you have one on your skin, private?"

"It's brand new, ma'am!"

"Is it now?" Belial's struck against the fresh tattoo. The doe felt the sting but she dared not flinch in front of the general. "Where should that tattoo be next time?"

"Apologies, ma'am." the recruit gasped. "I'll have it covered next time."

"Damn right you will."

Their conversation ended when Belial marched off again. A couple feet down then she paused. She felt something off in her guard. Her neck curved to the right. There was a gap between two other recruits. If there was one thing she despised it was gaps in her beloved guard.

Her neck tilted down. There's the problem. Joshua Wordsworth, standing in the row and staring at the general. The general whipped off her sunglasses to get a better look at this new face. For the first time Joshua saw the succubus' eyes. Clear blue, like her skin and hair.

General Belial approached the human boy. Her shadow engulfed the boy's small body. "Well, what do we got here?" she said, her tone a little calmer. A grin groomed on her lips. "A human among demons. What brings you down here?"

"I'm here as an intern for-"

"SPEAK UP, KID!" the general snapped. "Or am I talking to a mouse?"

"Internship for the devil, ma'am!" Joshua answered anxiously. His words nearly jumbled together.

"What's your name, son?"

"Joshua Wordsworth.

"What's that around your neck?" A blue finger pointed at the cross that Joshua carried on him.

"My rosary, uh ma'am." Joshua answered, trying to avoid being yelled again.

"So you're a Christian?"

"Yes ma'am."

"What kind? Catholic? Protestant? Lutheran?"

"Evangelical."

"Ah, the fun kind."

Josh's eyes couldn't help but stare at the general's leg. Just a stump attached to a long metal shaft that stretched into half her humerus. Josh tried not to stare too long at it, but the general already noticed. 

"What are you eyeballing at, boy?" Her hand slapped against the metal, taunting the poor human boy. "You like this? You got a prosthetic fetish I should know about?"

"Uh, no ma'am." 

Belial's calm demeanor reverted back to her aggressive nature. "You don't think I look pretty with this leg on, kid? You don't think I look attractive?"

Joshua gulped. "Wha? N-no that's not-"

"Oh so you're gay then. That why you don't find me attractive?"

"No! No! I'm not gay-"

"Then why are you in my beloved guard then?"

"I don't know! To do what you tell me to do?" Joshua shouted. It echoed through the barracks.

The general's smile returned. "To do what I tell you to do. I like that answer. Well done, son." 

She turned from him and addressed the recruits. "Take note from this boy, maggots. If you do what I say, when I say it, if you follow my directions and proceed with my training, you will survive. You will live at the end, until the end. We are the Doomsguard! When Hell rises, we help raise it!

"Now all of you! Drop and give me twenty!"

The recruits obeyed. The dropped to the icy floors, hands and legs spread out. They all pushed themselves up and down, counting the number of push-ups their general wanted. Joshua even joined in with the recruits.

Belial marched down to the entrance where her king, Lu, watched them all. "How's my intern holding up, Bel?" he asked his loyal general.

"Sir, your intern seems to be doing fine," she answered. "Boy's got brains and guts, and that's good enough for me. If he was really part of my guard, I'd give him a metal."

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Written by Harry_Situation in portal Fiction
The Devil's Intern Part 9
The third day for Internship Week was on the way, and Joshua was off to learn about the next lesson as the devil's intern: serving as commander-in-chief for a whole army. Lucifer led Joshua to this training facility located outside Inferno Tower, all the way down its crooked road. There Joshua met those that guard the damned, the Doomsguard. Like any army the demons—young and old—signed on to be soldiers for the Inferno. 

Lu left Joshua under the care of one of the young demon soldiers of the outpost. "No worries. I'll treat him like my kid brother." Those his exact words to his king as he led Joshua through the wreck rooms. "Welcome to the Doomsguard, kid. Outpost 13."

The soldiers were young. Their ages varied different centuries but they all looked and sounded like they were in their twenties. Like Babylon and the Tower, he saw a different assortment of demons. Some looked reptilian, some looked like goats or satyrs, and some were the humanoid incubi and succubi. There were even a couple that were hybrids like his friend Dominic, part demon and part succubi or incubi.

Joshua got to know several of the young recruits. At first they joked about eating him—which made Joshua very nervous—but they liked his company. They even introduced him to the personal friend of the guard: the FyreBlast-23. An automatic assault rifle, flamethrower, and grenade launcher all in one. Each clip loaded with a .300 Winchester Magnum bullet casing, powerful enough to tear a scavenger and soul to meaty pieces.

The pleasantries and jokes ended quickly when a loud whistle signaled them all to attention. In rows of two they stood. Joshua stood among them too. The recruits hoped the kid would meet their drill instructor, a demon that was harsh but laid back, yet someone worse arrived.

CLUNK! CLUNK! CLUNK!

Another succubus marched inside the barracks. This one had skin was light blue like the ocean. Her hair, or what's left, trimmed short to the skin. She wore a pitch black tank top and dark camo pants. Large, thick dark sunglasses, that looked like an eclipsed sun, hid her savage eyes. Her face was stern, not at all friendly like Lilith or Sitri.

All of the Inferno knew her by name and reputation: General Belial. The first succubus to reach the rank of general, and to become the supreme commander of the Doomsguard. A rumor floated that she yanked the wings off an archangel once with her bare hands, long ago during the Heaven-Hell War. Didn't even scorch her.

CLUNK! CLUNK! CLUNK!

The metallic peg that replaced her left leg tapped across the cold floor with each step. As she walked down the rows the recruits tried their hardest to stand still and not flinch when she darted them. They dared not breathe or sweat with the general present. Punishment from her was similar to how the condemned souls were treated.

"This is for all you new faces here in my beloved guard." she hollered. Joshua made himself not jump when the general spoke, "My name is General Belial. Yet the only thing I want to hear out of your pie holes is 'ma'am' or 'general'. Is that clear?"

"Yes ma'am." the recruits uttered in unison. 

"Bullcrap! Make it sound convincing!"

"YES MA'AM!" they all shouted louder.

"Unfortunately your drill instructor is out sick today. But lucky for you maggots, I volunteered to give you some serious P.T. We're gonna P.T. until your legs pop right off. Doesn't that sound good?"

"YES MA'AM!"

"We are the Doomsguard. Nothing in the Inferno gets in or out without our say so. We are born from hellfire and we crap hot coal. We shoot for kills and for thrills. We're lean, mean, killing machines that smashed open the gates of Heaven and march through the fields of Eden. And we did so as one superior unit.

"I don't care what you are or who you were. I don't look down on purebloods, half-breeds, succubi, or incubi. I don't care if you're endowed with magical abilities or not. I don't care if you were born from Hell or reborn from a soul. To me, you're all equally worthless, and you'll all receive the same amount of treatment. Do you maggots understand me?"

They answered. "YES MA'AM!"

She cocked her head to the left. "You!" Her eyes locked with one of the recruits.

"Yes ma'am!" he answered. The recruit looked a lot like Moloch. Not in physique or appearance, but he had his horns, red skin, and dark eyes. 

"You're one of Moloch's boys, ain't ya?" the general moved a couple feet closer to Moloch's eldest son.

"Yes ma'am!" he answered again.

"Are you the scrawny little maggot that died at childbirth?"

"No ma'am! That was one of my younger brothers. And he's not dead now, ma'am!"

"Your daddy was a war hero. He ever talk about the war?"

"Just once, ma'am."

"Good. Then he wasn't lying about it. Now you better live up to his reputation, or he's gonna wish you'd died so he wouldn't be embarrassed by your existence!"

Moloch's son gave the general his final answer. "YES MA'AM!" 

The succubus general carried on. She waltzed a few feet down the line until she sized up to another recruit. This one looked like a toad with his pudgy body and blank, round eyes. 

"What's your excuse?" Belial asked him.

"Excuse for what, sir?" her next victim responded.

Belial's hand slapped around the recruit's meaty throat. "SIR?" she berated. "YOUR MOTHER IS A SIR! Do I look masculine to you, soldier?"

"No, ma'am!" the recruit choked. "Just a slip-up."

"Slip-ups getcha killed, private!"

"Sorry."

"Sorry what?"

"Sorry, general."

"Oh, so I'm a sorry general now, that it?"

"No ma'am!"

Acknowledging his mistake, the general released her grasp. The toad-like recruit cough some fresh air back into his lungs but remained at attention. General Belial continued her onslaught. "Tell me, why did you join my beloved guard?"

"To shoot scavengers, ma'am!"

"Scavengers were souls once. Do you have sympathy for them?"

"No ma'am!"

"Were you a soul once?"

"No ma'am!"

"I bet you were once a scroungy little soul that got damned down here because he liked fondling little boy pee-pees! You can bet your ass I'll be watching you!"

General Belial moved back down the line. Her march then led her to another recruit. This one a doe satyr with small eyes, pale skin, brown fur, and a pair of small, nubby horns on the back of her head.

The general eyed the small female. Her gaze then concentrated on a tattoo, on her right shoulder. "What is that?" She demanded an answer. Her brows scrunched into her sunglasses.

"A tattoo, ma'am!" the doe answered.

"Are tattoos allowed in my barracks, private?" 

"No ma'am!" 

"Then why the hell do you have one on your skin, private?"

"It's brand new, ma'am!"

"Is it now?" Belial's struck against the fresh tattoo. The doe felt the sting but she dared not flinch in front of the general. "Where should that tattoo be next time?"

"Apologies, ma'am." the recruit gasped. "I'll have it covered next time."

"Damn right you will."

Their conversation ended when Belial marched off again. A couple feet down then she paused. She felt something off in her guard. Her neck curved to the right. There was a gap between two other recruits. If there was one thing she despised it was gaps in her beloved guard.

Her neck tilted down. There's the problem. Joshua Wordsworth, standing in the row and staring at the general. The general whipped off her sunglasses to get a better look at this new face. For the first time Joshua saw the succubus' eyes. Clear blue, like her skin and hair.

General Belial approached the human boy. Her shadow engulfed the boy's small body. "Well, what do we got here?" she said, her tone a little calmer. A grin groomed on her lips. "A human among demons. What brings you down here?"

"I'm here as an intern for-"

"SPEAK UP, KID!" the general snapped. "Or am I talking to a mouse?"

"Internship for the devil, ma'am!" Joshua answered anxiously. His words nearly jumbled together.

"What's your name, son?"

"Joshua Wordsworth.

"What's that around your neck?" A blue finger pointed at the cross that Joshua carried on him.

"My rosary, uh ma'am." Joshua answered, trying to avoid being yelled again.

"So you're a Christian?"

"Yes ma'am."

"What kind? Catholic? Protestant? Lutheran?"

"Evangelical."

"Ah, the fun kind."

Josh's eyes couldn't help but stare at the general's leg. Just a stump attached to a long metal shaft that stretched into half her humerus. Josh tried not to stare too long at it, but the general already noticed. 

"What are you eyeballing at, boy?" Her hand slapped against the metal, taunting the poor human boy. "You like this? You got a prosthetic fetish I should know about?"

"Uh, no ma'am." 

Belial's calm demeanor reverted back to her aggressive nature. "You don't think I look pretty with this leg on, kid? You don't think I look attractive?"

Joshua gulped. "Wha? N-no that's not-"

"Oh so you're gay then. That why you don't find me attractive?"

"No! No! I'm not gay-"

"Then why are you in my beloved guard then?"

"I don't know! To do what you tell me to do?" Joshua shouted. It echoed through the barracks.

The general's smile returned. "To do what I tell you to do. I like that answer. Well done, son." 

She turned from him and addressed the recruits. "Take note from this boy, maggots. If you do what I say, when I say it, if you follow my directions and proceed with my training, you will survive. You will live at the end, until the end. We are the Doomsguard! When Hell rises, we help raise it!

"Now all of you! Drop and give me twenty!"

The recruits obeyed. The dropped to the icy floors, hands and legs spread out. They all pushed themselves up and down, counting the number of push-ups their general wanted. Joshua even joined in with the recruits.

Belial marched down to the entrance where her king, Lu, watched them all. "How's my intern holding up, Bel?" he asked his loyal general.

"Sir, your intern seems to be doing fine," she answered. "Boy's got brains and guts, and that's good enough for me. If he was really part of my guard, I'd give him a metal."
#fantasy  #fiction  #horror  #comedy  #sinsofthefather 
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One Bite At A Time

We sat on the sea wall, my brothers and I, waiting for dad to change a flat tyre.

    "How do you eat an Elephant?" asked my baby brother.

Mac had been driving us mad with that one ever since he found it in a Christmas cracker. 

     "One.  Bite.  At.  A.  Time." I replied through gritted teeth.

      "Yes, but how do you eat a hotel" asked an old lady leaning against the wall.

       "what" we answered in unison.

        "See those iron work  gates over there" she said pointing over the road. 

        "There used to be a nice hotel there once, it was called 'The Eleanor' had a ballroom, posh restaurant and even a sunken Rose Garden where you could have afternoon tea, with little sandwiches, scones, and tea in fancy teapots.  Lots of famous people stayed there, film stars and millionaires, until it got eaten away"

        "What ate it" asked Edward. 

       "Aliens" interjected Mac jumping off the wall "like in Star Trek, Aliens coming down from space"

The old lady started laughing "no, no, not aliens" she spluttered, "it was..." but we never heard the rest as dad yelled  "Come on kids we're on our way."

 Once we were settled into the car mum asked "who were you talking to?"

      "Just some mad old lady" I replied

       "Hay!" said dad "thats not nice, and what do you mean by mad?"

        "Well, she reckoned someone ate a hotel"

       "What hotel"

        "The one thats not there, was called the Eleanor"

        "Hum, suppose she's right, in a way"

Mum gave him a funny look.

Termites he explained.

        "Yea"yelled Mac "like that SarahJane lady coming back from the future"

          "What on earth have you kids been watching?" asked mum

          "No, not Terminator you twit," said dad "termites, small things like ants"

          "small things, like ants?" said Mac puzzled 

         "so how do they eat a hotel?"

  I looked at Edward

            "One bite at a time" we chorused.

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Written by TheCaptainsWife in portal Fiction
One Bite At A Time
We sat on the sea wall, my brothers and I, waiting for dad to change a flat tyre.
    "How do you eat an Elephant?" asked my baby brother.
Mac had been driving us mad with that one ever since he found it in a Christmas cracker. 
     "One.  Bite.  At.  A.  Time." I replied through gritted teeth.
      "Yes, but how do you eat a hotel" asked an old lady leaning against the wall.
       "what" we answered in unison.
        "See those iron work  gates over there" she said pointing over the road. 
        "There used to be a nice hotel there once, it was called 'The Eleanor' had a ballroom, posh restaurant and even a sunken Rose Garden where you could have afternoon tea, with little sandwiches, scones, and tea in fancy teapots.  Lots of famous people stayed there, film stars and millionaires, until it got eaten away"
        "What ate it" asked Edward. 
       "Aliens" interjected Mac jumping off the wall "like in Star Trek, Aliens coming down from space"
The old lady started laughing "no, no, not aliens" she spluttered, "it was..." but we never heard the rest as dad yelled  "Come on kids we're on our way."
 Once we were settled into the car mum asked "who were you talking to?"
      "Just some mad old lady" I replied
       "Hay!" said dad "thats not nice, and what do you mean by mad?"
        "Well, she reckoned someone ate a hotel"
       "What hotel"
        "The one thats not there, was called the Eleanor"
        "Hum, suppose she's right, in a way"
Mum gave him a funny look.
Termites he explained.
        "Yea"yelled Mac "like that SarahJane lady coming back from the future"
          "What on earth have you kids been watching?" asked mum
          "No, not Terminator you twit," said dad "termites, small things like ants"
          "small things, like ants?" said Mac puzzled 
         "so how do they eat a hotel?"
  I looked at Edward
            "One bite at a time" we chorused.
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Written by ChanelleJoy in portal Fiction

RED (Part 7)

Two days later, I was still shaken by the dream. I tried to cover it up but the little blossom of hope had suffered a fatal blow and now lay in a shriveled wreck. I thought it was beyond resurrection but I’d been wrong. Jacqui’s prediction came true and Dale asked me to have dinner with him. Given the circumstances and my current mood, I was going to decline. Instead I found myself saying sure, I’d love to. At 6:30 I flitted about the room like a hummingbird. There was still half an hour before Dale would be at my door but I was already dressed and ready to go. I’d put on the best outfit I had brought with me which was a pair of white denim shorts and a forest green, loose fitting shirt. Not the greatest outfit for a first date but it would have to do. While I had hoped to make a few friends to have dinners with, dating was not something I had anticipated at all. Thankfully though, I had also brought a pair of nice, tan sandals with matching belt and bag. I left my hair down, letting the loose waves fall freely. With a touch of makeup, I was done. I studied myself critically in the bathroom mirror. Simon would not have approved of this as adequate dress for a dinner date. He would have required an evening gown. Dale isn’t Simon, I scolded myself. 

Jacqui knocked on the bathroom door.“You done in there yet?”

“Sorry, yes. Come in.”

“Hey, look at you! You look hot!” Jacqui joined me by the mirror. “Green really suits you. Brings out your eyes.”

“Jacqui, I don’t think I can do this.” My stomach heaved like a ship at sea. For the second time on this trip I thought I was going to vomit. Panic clouded the edges of my vision.

“How could I eat? Oh gosh! I have to eat in front of Dale! I’m just going to vomit it straight back up! Good impression that would make. Maybe I should call and cancel, tell him I’m sick. It wouldn’t exactly be a lie because…”

“Erin.” Jacqui cut me off. Grabbing my arms, she pulled me into our room and sat me on the edge of my bed. “Erin, you can do this. You’re stronger than you think or else you wouldn’t even be here. Don’t let Simon ruin your life. Don’t let him win. You deserve a nice night out with a spunky man.”

There wasn’t time for me to answer as a knock sounded at the door. I yelped, quickly covering my mouth with my hand. I looked at Jacqui in panic. This was a mistake. I wasn’t ready for this.

“Coming!” Jacqui called. “Breathe,” she whispered to me. I was trembling all over. Jacqui put a hand on my arm to steady me as I rose on wobbly legs and kept it there as I opened the door. My breath caught in my chest at the sight of him. He had traded his usual ripped jeans for a pair of smart black ones. His scuffed work shoes had also been replaced by a pair of polished black cowboy boots. A red checkered shirt, on which he had rolled the sleeves up, strained across his broad shoulders and muscular torso. As always, his head was topped with an akubra, black this time, and in his hand was a picnic basket. Even his guitar had come along, the strap of its case slung over one shoulder. Oh goodness, is he going to serenade me? 

He smiled his brilliant smile and tipped his hat in greeting. “Ladies.”

“Hey, Dale,” Jacqui replied easily.

“H…” I cleared my throat. “Hi.”

He turned the full force of that smile on me and I almost melted. “Ready to go?”

“Ah, I think so.”

“You’re ready,” Jacqui assured me. “You just need this.” She handed me my bag.

“Thanks.” I took it from her and hung it over my shoulder. “Ok. Ready.”

“You kids have fun now. But you,” she pointed a finger in Dale’s face. “You best have her back by midnight or there will be hell to pay.” Hands on hips, she looked up at him all fire and brimstone – a truly comical sight given as she only reached the height of his elbow – yet she held onto that pose until a laugh escaped her lips.

“Phew! You had me going for a second there.” Dale chuckled and offered me his arm. “Don’t worry. I’ll take good care of you, darlin’.”

I flushed. There was that term again. I laced my arm through his as we said our goodbyes to Jacqui.

“So, ah…” I was lost for words until, thankfully, my eyes caught the picnic basket. “Are we having a picnic?”

“Not just any picnic. A sunset picnic.” He grinned at me. “I thought it would be something a bit different, a little more private. Is that okay?”

“Yes, of course,” I said aloud but inside my panic was rising. I would be completely alone with him. No distractions, no disappearing into the bathroom if I started getting overwhelmed. No one to hear me if I screamed. If I screamed? What? Where had that come from? Stop it Erin. Why would you have any reason to scream? Dale isn’t like Simon. Give him the benefit of the doubt for goodness sake.

“Are you sure?” Dale asked. “It’s not too cliché, is it?"

Shoveling aside my inner turmoil, I smiled up at him. “It’s a lovely idea.”

The relief on his face was evident as he seemed to let go of a breath he had been holding. We made our way outside and set up under a gumtree offering ample shade from the sun and heat.

“Here seems like a good spot. Let me pull out your chair.” Dale set the basket down and pulled out a picnic rug, spreading it upon the ground with a dramatic flourish. He was incredibly charming and I found myself relaxing easily into conversation. We watched the sun go down while sipping on a glass of red wine and eating a delicious meal, which Dale had prepared himself. Time flew by and before we knew it, the stars were out in full. Dale took off his hat and let the cool breeze tussle his flattened hair. I wanted to reach out and play with that hair myself but I was too afraid. He took out his guitar and began to strum a soft, slow melody. I watched, transfixed by the beautiful sight. Closing my eyes, I let the music flow through me and took a deep, contented breath. I wanted to remember this moment forever. Quietly, I reached for my camera and changed the setting to night mode. I was hoping to be discreet except, I had forgotten about the flash.

“Oops!” I cried, completely embarrassed. “Sorry!”

Dale laughed and winked at me. “I don’t mind.” He kept playing and I snapped one more picture then let myself fall back, stretching out out on the rug. Time stood still. The tune morphed into a familiar song and I hummed along. Dale started to sing and I was so mesmerized I forgot to breathe. His rich voice moved me, filled me as I hung onto every word. He finished the song and I gave him a hearty applause. 

He pretended to bow and in his best Elvis impersonation said, “Thank you very much.”

The laugh caught in my throat as Dale’s tall form stretched out beside me. His arm rested against mine causing me to shiver. He must have felt it.

“Cold, darlin’?”

“Um, a little,” I lied.

“I’d give you my jacket but I’m not wearing one. So, why don’t you come over here?” He lifted his arm and went to wrap it around my shoulders. Out of old habit, I quickly rolled away, cowering into a little ball.

“Please don’t!” I whimpered.

“Hey. Okay. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to push anything.”

I remained huddled up, arms clenched around my legs.

“Erin?” Dale asked softly, gently touching my shoulder.

“Stay away!” I cried. “Don’t touch me. Don’t hurt me. I’m sorry!”

“Sorry? Hurt you? Erin, what’s going on? Did I do something wrong?”

What? Did he do something wrong? Gradually, as the initial adrenaline rush subsided, I began to realise what I had done. Oh no. Everything had been going so well. We had talked and talked, never stopping for awkward silences or struggling for words. Now here I was making a mess of things, as usual.

“Dale. Dale I’m so sorry,” I said as I unwound, uncurled and unclenched my body. 

A frown creased his brow. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. Probably that I was crazy and he was regretting asking me to dinner. I wanted to explain but had no idea how to tell a man I had barely met that I was married to an abusive husband.

“Who did this to you?”

“Excuse me?” That was not what I’d been expecting. He was practically seething.

“What good for nothing low life did this to you? Whoever it was, I can guarantee I am not like that. I would never hurt you.”

“Why do you care?” I asked more sarcastically and harshly than I intended.

“Why do I care?” His vehemence startled me. “Because no woman deserves to be treated the way you have been. No woman should have to endure abuse and domestic violence. Now tell me, who did this to you?”

“Um, my husband,” I answered in little more than a whisper.

“Your husband? You’re married?” His was clearly shocked. Who could blame him.

“Yes.”

“Do you love him?”

I shook my head. “No. I stopped loving him a long time ago. I just haven’t had the courage to leave or file for divorce. He probably wouldn’t let me divorce him.”

Dale ran a hand through his hair.

“I’m sorry. I should have told you earlier.” I ducked my head.

“No, no. I understand why you didn’t. But you need to divorce him. You deserve better. Much better.”

“Why do you even care?” I asked again, gentler than last time.

He clenched his fists in anger. “Three years ago, my sister finally managed to escape an abusive relationship. No one else in the family even knew what was going on. When I found out, it took my whole family to stop me from beating the guy to a pulp. I’m her older brother. I should have protected her. I’ll be damned if I’m just going to stand back and let another woman suffer the same.”

“Dale, you’re not responsible for me.”

“No, but I care.” He took my hand in his and looked deeply into my eyes. “I care a lot.”

Unshed tears stung my eyes. “Can we just stop talking about this please?”

He gave my hand a squeeze. “Yes. Just promise me you will leave him.”

I wasn’t entirely sure I could make such a promise. I may have come a long way in the last three weeks but not that far.

“Erin?” Dale prompted.

“I promise.” What else could I say?

He smiled. “Good.” He moved closer to me and reached out to stroke my cheek. I trembled as he slid his hand behind my neck, drawing me closer. “Now let me show you how gentle a real man can be.” He hesitated, his lips less than an inch from mine. When I didn’t pull back, he closed the gap. The tears that I’d been holding back slid silently down my cheeks. 

He pulled away, gently wiping them with his thumb. “You do know you deserve better than that jerk, right?”

“I didn’t.”

“What about now?”

“Maybe.” It was the best I could do.

“No maybe about it, darlin’. I will make you see that.”

“Dale, I…”

His lips cut me off and I let myself surrender to his sweet, warm embrace. I felt like someone who had been sleeping for a long time and was just beginning to wake up. My body responded to his in ways that I had never imagined possible. Could I trust him though? Only time would tell.

“Follow the red,” a now familiar voice echoed in my head. I opened my eyes, not breaking contact with Dale. Just in my peripheral vision I spotted the young Aboriginal warrior. He was smiling at me.

“Red is safe. On this journey, red can always be trusted.” He vanished and I turned my full attention back to Dale. My hands clutched at his shirt and I remembered. Dale’s shirt was red. I smiled and let myself sink deeper into the kiss. Maybe there was something to this after all. Maybe angels did exist.

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Written by ChanelleJoy in portal Fiction
RED (Part 7)
Two days later, I was still shaken by the dream. I tried to cover it up but the little blossom of hope had suffered a fatal blow and now lay in a shriveled wreck. I thought it was beyond resurrection but I’d been wrong. Jacqui’s prediction came true and Dale asked me to have dinner with him. Given the circumstances and my current mood, I was going to decline. Instead I found myself saying sure, I’d love to. At 6:30 I flitted about the room like a hummingbird. There was still half an hour before Dale would be at my door but I was already dressed and ready to go. I’d put on the best outfit I had brought with me which was a pair of white denim shorts and a forest green, loose fitting shirt. Not the greatest outfit for a first date but it would have to do. While I had hoped to make a few friends to have dinners with, dating was not something I had anticipated at all. Thankfully though, I had also brought a pair of nice, tan sandals with matching belt and bag. I left my hair down, letting the loose waves fall freely. With a touch of makeup, I was done. I studied myself critically in the bathroom mirror. Simon would not have approved of this as adequate dress for a dinner date. He would have required an evening gown. Dale isn’t Simon, I scolded myself. 

Jacqui knocked on the bathroom door.“You done in there yet?”

“Sorry, yes. Come in.”

“Hey, look at you! You look hot!” Jacqui joined me by the mirror. “Green really suits you. Brings out your eyes.”

“Jacqui, I don’t think I can do this.” My stomach heaved like a ship at sea. For the second time on this trip I thought I was going to vomit. Panic clouded the edges of my vision.
“How could I eat? Oh gosh! I have to eat in front of Dale! I’m just going to vomit it straight back up! Good impression that would make. Maybe I should call and cancel, tell him I’m sick. It wouldn’t exactly be a lie because…”

“Erin.” Jacqui cut me off. Grabbing my arms, she pulled me into our room and sat me on the edge of my bed. “Erin, you can do this. You’re stronger than you think or else you wouldn’t even be here. Don’t let Simon ruin your life. Don’t let him win. You deserve a nice night out with a spunky man.”

There wasn’t time for me to answer as a knock sounded at the door. I yelped, quickly covering my mouth with my hand. I looked at Jacqui in panic. This was a mistake. I wasn’t ready for this.

“Coming!” Jacqui called. “Breathe,” she whispered to me. I was trembling all over. Jacqui put a hand on my arm to steady me as I rose on wobbly legs and kept it there as I opened the door. My breath caught in my chest at the sight of him. He had traded his usual ripped jeans for a pair of smart black ones. His scuffed work shoes had also been replaced by a pair of polished black cowboy boots. A red checkered shirt, on which he had rolled the sleeves up, strained across his broad shoulders and muscular torso. As always, his head was topped with an akubra, black this time, and in his hand was a picnic basket. Even his guitar had come along, the strap of its case slung over one shoulder. Oh goodness, is he going to serenade me? 

He smiled his brilliant smile and tipped his hat in greeting. “Ladies.”

“Hey, Dale,” Jacqui replied easily.

“H…” I cleared my throat. “Hi.”

He turned the full force of that smile on me and I almost melted. “Ready to go?”

“Ah, I think so.”

“You’re ready,” Jacqui assured me. “You just need this.” She handed me my bag.

“Thanks.” I took it from her and hung it over my shoulder. “Ok. Ready.”

“You kids have fun now. But you,” she pointed a finger in Dale’s face. “You best have her back by midnight or there will be hell to pay.” Hands on hips, she looked up at him all fire and brimstone – a truly comical sight given as she only reached the height of his elbow – yet she held onto that pose until a laugh escaped her lips.

“Phew! You had me going for a second there.” Dale chuckled and offered me his arm. “Don’t worry. I’ll take good care of you, darlin’.”

I flushed. There was that term again. I laced my arm through his as we said our goodbyes to Jacqui.

“So, ah…” I was lost for words until, thankfully, my eyes caught the picnic basket. “Are we having a picnic?”

“Not just any picnic. A sunset picnic.” He grinned at me. “I thought it would be something a bit different, a little more private. Is that okay?”

“Yes, of course,” I said aloud but inside my panic was rising. I would be completely alone with him. No distractions, no disappearing into the bathroom if I started getting overwhelmed. No one to hear me if I screamed. If I screamed? What? Where had that come from? Stop it Erin. Why would you have any reason to scream? Dale isn’t like Simon. Give him the benefit of the doubt for goodness sake.

“Are you sure?” Dale asked. “It’s not too cliché, is it?"

Shoveling aside my inner turmoil, I smiled up at him. “It’s a lovely idea.”

The relief on his face was evident as he seemed to let go of a breath he had been holding. We made our way outside and set up under a gumtree offering ample shade from the sun and heat.

“Here seems like a good spot. Let me pull out your chair.” Dale set the basket down and pulled out a picnic rug, spreading it upon the ground with a dramatic flourish. He was incredibly charming and I found myself relaxing easily into conversation. We watched the sun go down while sipping on a glass of red wine and eating a delicious meal, which Dale had prepared himself. Time flew by and before we knew it, the stars were out in full. Dale took off his hat and let the cool breeze tussle his flattened hair. I wanted to reach out and play with that hair myself but I was too afraid. He took out his guitar and began to strum a soft, slow melody. I watched, transfixed by the beautiful sight. Closing my eyes, I let the music flow through me and took a deep, contented breath. I wanted to remember this moment forever. Quietly, I reached for my camera and changed the setting to night mode. I was hoping to be discreet except, I had forgotten about the flash.

“Oops!” I cried, completely embarrassed. “Sorry!”

Dale laughed and winked at me. “I don’t mind.” He kept playing and I snapped one more picture then let myself fall back, stretching out out on the rug. Time stood still. The tune morphed into a familiar song and I hummed along. Dale started to sing and I was so mesmerized I forgot to breathe. His rich voice moved me, filled me as I hung onto every word. He finished the song and I gave him a hearty applause. 

He pretended to bow and in his best Elvis impersonation said, “Thank you very much.”

The laugh caught in my throat as Dale’s tall form stretched out beside me. His arm rested against mine causing me to shiver. He must have felt it.

“Cold, darlin’?”

“Um, a little,” I lied.

“I’d give you my jacket but I’m not wearing one. So, why don’t you come over here?” He lifted his arm and went to wrap it around my shoulders. Out of old habit, I quickly rolled away, cowering into a little ball.

“Please don’t!” I whimpered.

“Hey. Okay. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to push anything.”

I remained huddled up, arms clenched around my legs.

“Erin?” Dale asked softly, gently touching my shoulder.

“Stay away!” I cried. “Don’t touch me. Don’t hurt me. I’m sorry!”

“Sorry? Hurt you? Erin, what’s going on? Did I do something wrong?”

What? Did he do something wrong? Gradually, as the initial adrenaline rush subsided, I began to realise what I had done. Oh no. Everything had been going so well. We had talked and talked, never stopping for awkward silences or struggling for words. Now here I was making a mess of things, as usual.

“Dale. Dale I’m so sorry,” I said as I unwound, uncurled and unclenched my body. 

A frown creased his brow. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. Probably that I was crazy and he was regretting asking me to dinner. I wanted to explain but had no idea how to tell a man I had barely met that I was married to an abusive husband.

“Who did this to you?”

“Excuse me?” That was not what I’d been expecting. He was practically seething.

“What good for nothing low life did this to you? Whoever it was, I can guarantee I am not like that. I would never hurt you.”

“Why do you care?” I asked more sarcastically and harshly than I intended.

“Why do I care?” His vehemence startled me. “Because no woman deserves to be treated the way you have been. No woman should have to endure abuse and domestic violence. Now tell me, who did this to you?”

“Um, my husband,” I answered in little more than a whisper.

“Your husband? You’re married?” His was clearly shocked. Who could blame him.

“Yes.”

“Do you love him?”

I shook my head. “No. I stopped loving him a long time ago. I just haven’t had the courage to leave or file for divorce. He probably wouldn’t let me divorce him.”

Dale ran a hand through his hair.

“I’m sorry. I should have told you earlier.” I ducked my head.

“No, no. I understand why you didn’t. But you need to divorce him. You deserve better. Much better.”

“Why do you even care?” I asked again, gentler than last time.

He clenched his fists in anger. “Three years ago, my sister finally managed to escape an abusive relationship. No one else in the family even knew what was going on. When I found out, it took my whole family to stop me from beating the guy to a pulp. I’m her older brother. I should have protected her. I’ll be damned if I’m just going to stand back and let another woman suffer the same.”

“Dale, you’re not responsible for me.”

“No, but I care.” He took my hand in his and looked deeply into my eyes. “I care a lot.”

Unshed tears stung my eyes. “Can we just stop talking about this please?”

He gave my hand a squeeze. “Yes. Just promise me you will leave him.”

I wasn’t entirely sure I could make such a promise. I may have come a long way in the last three weeks but not that far.

“Erin?” Dale prompted.

“I promise.” What else could I say?

He smiled. “Good.” He moved closer to me and reached out to stroke my cheek. I trembled as he slid his hand behind my neck, drawing me closer. “Now let me show you how gentle a real man can be.” He hesitated, his lips less than an inch from mine. When I didn’t pull back, he closed the gap. The tears that I’d been holding back slid silently down my cheeks. 

He pulled away, gently wiping them with his thumb. “You do know you deserve better than that jerk, right?”

“I didn’t.”

“What about now?”

“Maybe.” It was the best I could do.

“No maybe about it, darlin’. I will make you see that.”

“Dale, I…”

His lips cut me off and I let myself surrender to his sweet, warm embrace. I felt like someone who had been sleeping for a long time and was just beginning to wake up. My body responded to his in ways that I had never imagined possible. Could I trust him though? Only time would tell.

“Follow the red,” a now familiar voice echoed in my head. I opened my eyes, not breaking contact with Dale. Just in my peripheral vision I spotted the young Aboriginal warrior. He was smiling at me.

“Red is safe. On this journey, red can always be trusted.” He vanished and I turned my full attention back to Dale. My hands clutched at his shirt and I remembered. Dale’s shirt was red. I smiled and let myself sink deeper into the kiss. Maybe there was something to this after all. Maybe angels did exist.

#fiction  #desert  #red  #australia 
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Written by CherieMitchell in portal Fiction

The Pact

I felt the hairs slowly rise on the back of my neck. My knees wobbled and my flesh grew suddenly cold. I shut my eyes and counted to three backwards. Then I turned around.

The beam of my flashlight played across the stacks of boxes, old furniture, and broken picture frames. Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. But something was not right. I moved the flashlight backwards and forwards, hoping to glimpse a movement. Still nothing.

“Jed?”

I kept my gaze focused on the ornate mirror to one side of the attic, its frame half hidden behind a rocking horse with terrified eyes and a horrified expression. The beam of my torch reflected back at me, a bright round orb in the semi-darkness. “What?” I called back, the sudden sound of my own voice strange and hollow in the cavernous space. Starr was still downstairs. I could hear his footsteps echoing on the bare floorboards below. “I’m up in the attic.”

“Find anything?” His tousled head poked up through the attic hatch and I swung the torch towards him. “Jesus, Jed. Don’t point it in my eyes.” He squinted in the beam and turned his head away as he pulled himself up through the small manhole. He stood up and brushed at his denim-clad knees.

We both heard it at the same moment. A slithering, sliding sound from behind a stack of cartons by the spider web-covered window. I put my arm out to stop Starr walking forward, towards the noise. “Wait,” I hissed. I slowly moved the torch beam towards the hulking shape of the boxes.

A pair of red-hued eyes caught the flash of the torch light, glinting malevolently at us before disappearing behind the faded cardboard exterior of an old canned beans box. A frantic scratching could be heard for a second or two. Then there was silence.

“Did you see that?” Starr’s voice was high with excitement. He pushed my restraining arm away and strode over towards the boxes. “Come on, there’s something behind the cartons. Help me get it.” His last command was muffled as he folded his lanky body over and began to disassemble the stack of boxes.

“Don’t scare it,” I said impatiently. I looked around for somewhere to set the torch down. “We’ve been looking all night for it. Take a bit of care otherwise we’ll lose it again.” I balanced the torch on the scratched leather saddle of the rocking horse, it’s beam aimed towards us, and I began to help Starr unstack the cartons.

As Starr lifted off the second layer of boxes, something large rushed up from behind the carton in a flurry of fur and feathers. I briefly caught the scent of decaying leaves and dog shit as the creature scrabbled past me and floundered across the room to hide behind the big oval mirror. The light of the torch blinded me as I tried to follow the myrmidon’s erratic flight.

“Wowsers. Did ya see it? It’s a bloody myrmidon, Jed!” Starr’s excitement was palpable. “We’ve actually found one!” He stood staring at me in wide-eyed wonder.

I walked carefully across the floor to pick up the torch, my eyes averted from the bright light. As I lifted the flashlight the beam flickered and died. “Shit.” I shook the torch, hearing the batteries thud against the casing. I flicked the switch on and off. The torch refused to reignite.

“Why did ya turn the torch off? It’s a myrmidon! After all these years of searching!” Starr’s voice was thick with emotion. “Turn the torch back on. We have to catch it.”

I shook the torch impatiently. “The batteries are dead.” I glanced over towards the open hatch, a bright yellow square lit by the ceiling lights on the floor below. “Do you have any more in your bag?”

“They can’t be dead. I replaced them yesterday.” Starr reached my side in two long strides and snatched the torch from my hand.

I struggled to see in the dim light. We needed a torch. I leaned over and pushed at the edge of the mirror. It creaked and swung on its stand, my shadowy reflected shape swaying as the mirror moved.

***

“I’m not sure exactly what happened next.” I cradled the mug in both hands, taking comfort from the warmth of the cup. I shivered, and someone pulled the blanket up more closely around my shoulders. I smiled at them gratefully.

“Take your time.” The police officer glanced at his companion and they exchanged a look. The flashing red and blue lights of the emergency vehicles lit up the darkness in macabre disco flashes. Over to one side a TV crew were setting up for a live cross. The paramedic who had assessed me circled, watching the cops warily.

I sighed and sat quietly for a moment, looking back at the house. Emergency tape had been stretched around the perimeter. Official looking people scurried in and out the front door. The fragrant scent of the coffee circled towards my nostrils as I held the cup under by chin. I could sit here all day like this.

“Mr. Evans?” The older cop prompted, bending slightly to bring his face closer to mine. He had a small scar below one eye that caused it to droop slightly, giving him a raffish appearance.

“Sorry.” I gave a small, sad smile. “I think I’m in shock. I can’t believe that Starr is gone.”

The paramedic stepped forward. “Please, don’t tire the patient. He has been through a lot.”

The cop held up an authoritative hand. He didn’t look at the paramedic. “Give us a few minutes,” he said shortly. “Someone lost their life here tonight. We need to get to the bottom of it.”

I allowed myself to take a quick glance towards the treetops outside the attic window. The myrmidon sat crouched on a high branch, backed up close against the trunk. It’s clawed feet were tucked in against its body. It stared back at me, its eyes unblinking.

“Can you tell us what you and Starr Montgomery were doing in the house in the first place?” The cop had decided to take charge again.

I shifted slightly. I looked back towards the flurry of renewed excitement around the door of the house. A body on a stretcher, carefully covered with a blanket, was carried out and pushed into the open doors of a waiting ambulance. “We had permission,” I said primly. “The owners had given us permission to be on the premises. Starr and I are, were, ghostbusters. We had reason to believe that a myrmidon was living in the house.”

“A myrmidon? What the hell is a myrmidon?” The cop was no longer able to reign in his impatience. “I’ve got no time for this crazy ghostbuster bullshit.”

“Harry, the house is supposed to be haunted. There are a ton of rumors around town.” The other cop finally spoke up, only to be quickly silenced by a withering stare from his commanding officer.

“Starr and I were called in at the request of the owners. They believed that they had a mischievous entity living somewhere in the house. After performing our own due diligence, Starr and I reached the conclusion that it could be a myrmidon.” I passed the empty coffee cup to the still-hovering paramedic, murmuring my thanks. “We’ve been trying to find a live myrmidon for many years.”

“Chrissakes, I’m in no mood for this kind of fantasy shit. Can you cut the BS and tell me how Starr Montgomery ended up dead?” A speck of spittle flew from the cop’s fleshy lips and landed on the back of my hand. I wiped it away in distaste.

“The myrmidon killed him,” I said simply. “Our batteries went flat and the creature took advantage of the darkness to commit the awful act. I’m sorry, I can’t tell you any more than that. It was dark.”

The cop bent at the waist again and fixed his eyes directly on mine. “You do understand that your story is complete and utter crap? You’d better come up with something better than that if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life in the slammer.” He eyed me with repugnance. “You murdered your partner here tonight. Admit it. Were the two of you lovers?”

I pulled the blanket tight under my chin and crossed my legs. “We most certainly were not. Starr was my business partner, nothing more. And I did not kill him.”

“Right. I’ve had enough of this.” The cop stood up and inclined his head towards the cop car. “Put him in the back. We’re taking him to the station.”

I stole another glance at the myrmidon as the younger cop pushed me into the back of the car. It blinked its eyes at me, once, twice. I nodded my head slightly in response. We’d made a pact, the two of us. The myrmidon had required feeding and I’d offered up Starr. In the name of science and humanity. And in return the myrmidon had promised to provide me with life-long guardianship. Starr had not been quite so enamored with the deal, but this was a once in a life time opportunity that I simply could not pass up.

I settled back against the vinyl seat as the two cops climbed into the front. The car rocked slightly. I hid a small smile as I heard something land on the roof of the car, its claws scrabbling for a foothold. Yes, this had been an opportunity simply too good to let go.

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Written by CherieMitchell in portal Fiction
The Pact
I felt the hairs slowly rise on the back of my neck. My knees wobbled and my flesh grew suddenly cold. I shut my eyes and counted to three backwards. Then I turned around.
The beam of my flashlight played across the stacks of boxes, old furniture, and broken picture frames. Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. But something was not right. I moved the flashlight backwards and forwards, hoping to glimpse a movement. Still nothing.
“Jed?”
I kept my gaze focused on the ornate mirror to one side of the attic, its frame half hidden behind a rocking horse with terrified eyes and a horrified expression. The beam of my torch reflected back at me, a bright round orb in the semi-darkness. “What?” I called back, the sudden sound of my own voice strange and hollow in the cavernous space. Starr was still downstairs. I could hear his footsteps echoing on the bare floorboards below. “I’m up in the attic.”
“Find anything?” His tousled head poked up through the attic hatch and I swung the torch towards him. “Jesus, Jed. Don’t point it in my eyes.” He squinted in the beam and turned his head away as he pulled himself up through the small manhole. He stood up and brushed at his denim-clad knees.
We both heard it at the same moment. A slithering, sliding sound from behind a stack of cartons by the spider web-covered window. I put my arm out to stop Starr walking forward, towards the noise. “Wait,” I hissed. I slowly moved the torch beam towards the hulking shape of the boxes.
A pair of red-hued eyes caught the flash of the torch light, glinting malevolently at us before disappearing behind the faded cardboard exterior of an old canned beans box. A frantic scratching could be heard for a second or two. Then there was silence.
“Did you see that?” Starr’s voice was high with excitement. He pushed my restraining arm away and strode over towards the boxes. “Come on, there’s something behind the cartons. Help me get it.” His last command was muffled as he folded his lanky body over and began to disassemble the stack of boxes.
“Don’t scare it,” I said impatiently. I looked around for somewhere to set the torch down. “We’ve been looking all night for it. Take a bit of care otherwise we’ll lose it again.” I balanced the torch on the scratched leather saddle of the rocking horse, it’s beam aimed towards us, and I began to help Starr unstack the cartons.
As Starr lifted off the second layer of boxes, something large rushed up from behind the carton in a flurry of fur and feathers. I briefly caught the scent of decaying leaves and dog shit as the creature scrabbled past me and floundered across the room to hide behind the big oval mirror. The light of the torch blinded me as I tried to follow the myrmidon’s erratic flight.
“Wowsers. Did ya see it? It’s a bloody myrmidon, Jed!” Starr’s excitement was palpable. “We’ve actually found one!” He stood staring at me in wide-eyed wonder.
I walked carefully across the floor to pick up the torch, my eyes averted from the bright light. As I lifted the flashlight the beam flickered and died. “Shit.” I shook the torch, hearing the batteries thud against the casing. I flicked the switch on and off. The torch refused to reignite.
“Why did ya turn the torch off? It’s a myrmidon! After all these years of searching!” Starr’s voice was thick with emotion. “Turn the torch back on. We have to catch it.”
I shook the torch impatiently. “The batteries are dead.” I glanced over towards the open hatch, a bright yellow square lit by the ceiling lights on the floor below. “Do you have any more in your bag?”
“They can’t be dead. I replaced them yesterday.” Starr reached my side in two long strides and snatched the torch from my hand.
I struggled to see in the dim light. We needed a torch. I leaned over and pushed at the edge of the mirror. It creaked and swung on its stand, my shadowy reflected shape swaying as the mirror moved.
***
“I’m not sure exactly what happened next.” I cradled the mug in both hands, taking comfort from the warmth of the cup. I shivered, and someone pulled the blanket up more closely around my shoulders. I smiled at them gratefully.
“Take your time.” The police officer glanced at his companion and they exchanged a look. The flashing red and blue lights of the emergency vehicles lit up the darkness in macabre disco flashes. Over to one side a TV crew were setting up for a live cross. The paramedic who had assessed me circled, watching the cops warily.
I sighed and sat quietly for a moment, looking back at the house. Emergency tape had been stretched around the perimeter. Official looking people scurried in and out the front door. The fragrant scent of the coffee circled towards my nostrils as I held the cup under by chin. I could sit here all day like this.
“Mr. Evans?” The older cop prompted, bending slightly to bring his face closer to mine. He had a small scar below one eye that caused it to droop slightly, giving him a raffish appearance.
“Sorry.” I gave a small, sad smile. “I think I’m in shock. I can’t believe that Starr is gone.”
The paramedic stepped forward. “Please, don’t tire the patient. He has been through a lot.”
The cop held up an authoritative hand. He didn’t look at the paramedic. “Give us a few minutes,” he said shortly. “Someone lost their life here tonight. We need to get to the bottom of it.”
I allowed myself to take a quick glance towards the treetops outside the attic window. The myrmidon sat crouched on a high branch, backed up close against the trunk. It’s clawed feet were tucked in against its body. It stared back at me, its eyes unblinking.
“Can you tell us what you and Starr Montgomery were doing in the house in the first place?” The cop had decided to take charge again.
I shifted slightly. I looked back towards the flurry of renewed excitement around the door of the house. A body on a stretcher, carefully covered with a blanket, was carried out and pushed into the open doors of a waiting ambulance. “We had permission,” I said primly. “The owners had given us permission to be on the premises. Starr and I are, were, ghostbusters. We had reason to believe that a myrmidon was living in the house.”
“A myrmidon? What the hell is a myrmidon?” The cop was no longer able to reign in his impatience. “I’ve got no time for this crazy ghostbuster bullshit.”
“Harry, the house is supposed to be haunted. There are a ton of rumors around town.” The other cop finally spoke up, only to be quickly silenced by a withering stare from his commanding officer.
“Starr and I were called in at the request of the owners. They believed that they had a mischievous entity living somewhere in the house. After performing our own due diligence, Starr and I reached the conclusion that it could be a myrmidon.” I passed the empty coffee cup to the still-hovering paramedic, murmuring my thanks. “We’ve been trying to find a live myrmidon for many years.”
“Chrissakes, I’m in no mood for this kind of fantasy shit. Can you cut the BS and tell me how Starr Montgomery ended up dead?” A speck of spittle flew from the cop’s fleshy lips and landed on the back of my hand. I wiped it away in distaste.
“The myrmidon killed him,” I said simply. “Our batteries went flat and the creature took advantage of the darkness to commit the awful act. I’m sorry, I can’t tell you any more than that. It was dark.”
The cop bent at the waist again and fixed his eyes directly on mine. “You do understand that your story is complete and utter crap? You’d better come up with something better than that if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life in the slammer.” He eyed me with repugnance. “You murdered your partner here tonight. Admit it. Were the two of you lovers?”
I pulled the blanket tight under my chin and crossed my legs. “We most certainly were not. Starr was my business partner, nothing more. And I did not kill him.”
“Right. I’ve had enough of this.” The cop stood up and inclined his head towards the cop car. “Put him in the back. We’re taking him to the station.”
I stole another glance at the myrmidon as the younger cop pushed me into the back of the car. It blinked its eyes at me, once, twice. I nodded my head slightly in response. We’d made a pact, the two of us. The myrmidon had required feeding and I’d offered up Starr. In the name of science and humanity. And in return the myrmidon had promised to provide me with life-long guardianship. Starr had not been quite so enamored with the deal, but this was a once in a life time opportunity that I simply could not pass up.
I settled back against the vinyl seat as the two cops climbed into the front. The car rocked slightly. I hid a small smile as I heard something land on the roof of the car, its claws scrabbling for a foothold. Yes, this had been an opportunity simply too good to let go.

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Juice
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