Fortune (Dark Fiction, Fantasy)

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#1
This is the first bit of a story I may turn into a novel entitled "The Tale of the Make Believe Man". It's a dark, modern fantasy (except the beginning, which takes place a few hundred years in the past!) that has a similar tone to Hellblazer (the Constantine comics). Don't worry, it's not fan fiction, I'm simply trying to capture the same atmospheric feel and effect. Let me know what you think!
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Fortune


In the shadows of the stone pillars of a grand temple, a little boy stood over his mother who lay on the ground in a pool of her own blood, a dull rusted blade run through her abdomen. The darkness of night spilled in through the large windows, fighting against the dull light of the oil lanterns for supremacy. He stared into her milky pale eyes, devoid of life as they had been for years before her recent death. The boy looked around, hoping for witnesses to know what he had done. His brown cloth shirt and pants flapped as he spun about quickly, eyes scanned the stone room before he looked down upon his mother once more.

This was for you, mother, for your own good, he thought, pulling his sword from out of her corpse with a sliding noise.

He admired the blood, the way it slid down the sword as he held it up to the dim light. The blood had no agenda, no desires. Its motives were dictated by none but gravity. It could not hurt him, lie to him or tell him he was worthless. It would never abandon him; it would give him life and take nothing in return. The boy supposed he should feel bad about killing his mother. It was after all a tenant of her faith, to be respectable of one’s elders and abide by their advice for they had been living long before their kin and thus were imbibed with all sorts of knowledge that children like he should gleefully swallow.

Then again, it was her faith, not his. In the twelve short years of his life, the boy had only spent two of them with the Source, a cult of worshippers who spent their days sacrificing children. The sacrificed them to their bloody altar which consisted of little more than a silver basin about three feet wide, adorned with a gold ribbon pattern along its rim. His mother had been a high level priestess living in this very temple, but had kept the boy hidden for eight years before he was discovered in a small closet in her chambers. The boy often wondered how and why this broken woman, who seemed to care about him so little, had hidden him from a very important part of her life especially since her will was shattered by the brainwashing magic and techniques of the Temple Druids. However, their techniques were not working on him. The boy was not sure why himself, but every time the strange men in their green robes appeared in his room with their silver wand device, they tried pointing it to his head and nothing would happen. The robed men would curse under their breath and talk amongst each other. The silver wand made his head feel funny, like someone was massaging his brain with calloused fingers. The boy didn’t like this feeling, so he willed it away and this was highly aggravating to the Druids who were trying to wipe his mind.

The lanterns in the large room flickered; some even went out as a wind blew through the room, strong enough to push some of the blood off the blade like raindrops. The blood made little plopping noises as it dripped onto his mother’s pale white face. The boy lowered the sword and stared around for the cause of the wind. The large windows shaped like diamonds remained shut and the massive oak doors at least four times his height also remained sealed. The wind was coming from inside.

Jacob . . .

A ghostly voice echoed into the room, just silent enough to not be heard outside the church walls, but just loud enough to send icy rivers through the boy’s veins. It was feminine and soft but the concept of spirits had always frightened Jacob.

Jacob . . . you have committed a terrible crime . . .

Jacob had never believed in the religious teachings of his elders for the two years he had spent in their care, but he was beginning to wonder how else to explain the voice. He held the short sword with both hands and lifted it up in an attack position, gripping the handle as its withering leather straps hung out from between Jacob’s fingers.

“What is this? Who’s there?” Jacob shouted.

We are coming to visit you now, the voice spoke.

With those very words, the last of the lanterns were extinguished and the room went dark. Jacob swallowed hard and had to fight the urge to scream as three wisps of bright blue light entered through the windows as if the glass weren’t even there. The three orbs congregated in front of him in a line only a few yards away and began to take form.

The orb on the left seemed to make a splash and pop as its light burst softly like an ember crackling at the bottom of a dying fire and became an elderly man wearing a long robe. His blue spectral form was clear to the eye but his face was barely noticeable as it appeared blurry aside from his foot long beard. However, the crown on his head showed so bright that Jacob had to squint to see him. The orb on the right became another blue man, without a beard, but its aura suggested he was much younger. He was taller and wore what appeared to be metal plate armor and held a large axe with one hand over his left shoulder. The orb in the middle appeared last and formed slowly into a slender woman whose facial features were also fogged. It was her long curly hair, curved body and elegant dress of cloth clasped together with a belt of thorns that gave her away.

“You have committed a terrible deed child,” said a booming voice from the warrior.

“Indeed young man, we have seen the black in your heart,” spoke the elderly gentleman, his voice raspy.

“Jacob, the events of this night have not gone ignored by the gods,” the woman spoke, Jacob recognizing her voice as the one that spoke moments ago.

“Wh-who are you?” Jacob stuttered, his hands slowly becoming like pudding, weak and wobbly as he lowered the sword.

“We are the guardians of this world,” the warrior replied.

“The echoes of time,” the elderly man said.

“The constructers of chaos and calm,” the woman announced.

“You are gods,” Jacob trembled at the thought. “So are you . . . the council of Jar’El?”

“The council of Jar’El?” The elderly gent repeated with a puzzled voice.

“He speaks of the false god these priests in this church worship,” the woman replied turning to the gentleman. “No child, we are no bloodthirsty demons nor do they exist.”

“Then why are you here?” Jacob demanded, trying to mask his fear with anger.

“Jacob, you’ve slain your mother and for that there is no leniency,” said the warrior. “You shall pay for what you have done.”

“She deserved it! She tried to hurt me, to trick me into becoming one of these strange men. She even gave herself to several of them a night like some filthy streetwalker, the same men that ravaged her twelve years ago. She played her life like a puppet,” Jacob explained.

“Death was not a just answer, my son,” spoke the gentleman. “Your mother may have been weak of spirit and needing help, but surely taking her life was not a reasonable means of aiding or saving her from this life.”

“Then why did none of you help us? If you are the true gods of this world, then why have you forsaken her and left me to a life not fit for vermin? How could you let such things happen?” Jacob yelled once more.

“We do not interfere because people must prove themselves. With our help, men and women cannot reveal their true selves,” the woman responded, still as calm as when she arrived despite Jacob’s increasing temper. “When this world was born, there were four gods including myself and the two men you see here. The fourth god became corrupt and tried to seize control of the universe for himself, seeking a world built on obedience and slavery. We wished for a world where people could prove themselves worthy and live the lives they wanted.”

“To prevent his potential reign of terror, we combined our powers and slashed him into millions of pieces, separating his being so he could never reappear. However, his will lived on and those fragments attached themselves to the souls of human beings like parasites, ticks sapping blood. Only when someone dies pure of heart is the fragment destroyed. But when a person gives into the darkness of their hearts, they welcome this malignant being into the world. Each person who gives into their dark urges allows the fragments to join together. The more people who live darkened lives, the more fragments join together and grow stronger,” the goddess explained.

“So . . . there is a fragment of this evil god within me?” Jacob asked, his hand clutching his chest. Jacob looked down at his mother’s corpse and had his first feelings of regret of the night.

“We cannot tell you,” said the warrior. “It is your duty as a human to prove to us that you deserve to ascend to the realm of the gods and live in paradise. To tell you would be to influence you and that goes against our rules.”

“We tell you these things so that you will understand what is at stake,” the goddess responded immediately. “Your soul may be tainted, it may not be. Giving into this evil will only place this world closer to its destruction.”

“I did what I had to in order to save my mother! She was going to sacrifice herself any day as part of one of their annual rituals! I didn’t want to see her die,” Jacob pleaded.

“But,” the gentleman spoke, “You also wanted to kill her yourself and not let the satisfaction belong to someone else.”

Jacob had no retort. It was true he wanted to end his mother’s life; he had hated her almost as much as he loved her. Although, he felt the love was superficial, that he had only loved her because she was his mother, a purely biological reason and nothing more. His hatred however, had thrived for years.

“For the taking of another’s life Jacob, we do not visit. However, as you have taken your mother’s life, the one who brought you into this world, this is an unforgivable act.” The goddess articulated as she stepped towards Jacob, “We have decided you must live with your sorrow, you must live until you feel her pain, until you know what you have truly done and until you understand what happens when someone gives in to the dark temptations of the deepest pits of their soul.”

Jacob tried to move back but his feet felt like they were cemented in place. He yelled and even tried to hold up the sword. The goddess quickly snatched the sword from his shaking arms and gripped it tightly, a blue lightning burst from her hands and coursed into the blade giving it a sapphire vein-like scar. Jacob watched in terror as she pulled the gleaming sword backwards and with incredible speed, thrust it deep into his chest. Expecting excruciating pain and jets of blood, Jacob winced but felt nothing. He looked down, his breaths short and labored as he saw the sword sticking into his body but leaving no mark. It was like a man pushing his arm into a body of water as Jacob’s body felt no resistance or pressure yet he could feel something burning inside. His insides gave a sudden lurch as a surge of energy ran from the goddess’s shoulder, cascaded down her arm, through the blade and into Jacob’s chest. As the swell of energy hit him, he felt a cool rush inside that overtook the burning sensation. His entire body shook with a strange pulse of cold and the goddess withdrew the sword and dropped it to the floor with a loud clang. Jacob peered down at his chest which was clear of any wounds and as he looked up, he caught a fleeting glimpse of the three orbs exiting through the window once more and the lanterns flickering back into life.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#2
“MURDERER!” A scratchy voice erupted from the front of the hall. Two Druids had entered the room and were staring at Jacob’s mothers’ corpse. They wore crimson robes outlined in black trim with a gold symbol that resembled a cross on their right breasts and leather scabbards. Each of them had a hood covering their faces but their glowing electric green eyes shone through the shadows of their garb. One pointed at Jacob, his eyes narrowed.

“You shall die little Jacob for your treachery against the church, AHH!” The one pointing yelled as he unsheathed his short sword. The other one also withdrew a short sword and charged alongside his brethren. Jacob rushed over to the rusty short sword a few feet away, the blue glowing veins no longer enchanting it and spun in place, thrusting the sword deep into the abdomen of one of his assailants whose sword was still raised above his head. The druid made a few horrible gurgling noises and fell to his knees as Jacob pulled the sword out, the force pulling the druid to the floor with a thud and a splat. Jacob could not see the second druid and began to worry as he spun around several times, looking left and right and finding no one. Then several things happened at once.

A soft popping noise occurred behind Jacob and he smelled smoke and just as quickly as the sound happened, he felt a sharp pain shoot through his lower back and out his stomach. A voice of a third druid could be heard down the hall at the doors, what he was saying Jacob could not tell. What he could see, was about two inches of the druid’s short sword sticking out of his gut, his own blood pouring out like a loose faucet. The druid pulled the sword out and laughed. However, there was no pain, there was no cold grip of death or gods coming to collect him. His wound sealed itself, as if a pair of ethereal needles had stitched his skin back into place without a scar or mark. The blood dissipated as if it had never teemed out.

Jacob pivoted in place and saw the bewildered look on the druid on his knees still clutching his sword at his side, whose hood had fallen back to reveal clammy, green skin. Jacob realized what the gods had done and the rage within him built. His heart was a furnace, smoldering in his chest like white hot embers. To die would never be his destiny, he would never leave this world, and he would never be allowed to escape like he had dreamed for so many years as a neglected child. Jacob stared into the druid’s eyes; his thin, robed body remained solid with fear. The third druid lingered in the doorway, his voice silent. Jacob raised his sword high over the kneeling druid.


It’s their fault, everything has been their fault! They’ve ruined everything in my life and now I’ll never be free of my mortal bonds, damn them all!

* * * * *

“ACK!” the stout policeman choked as a tall figure pressed its boot harshly into his chest. “Did you – hear – me?” He gasped for air as he pleaded with his assailant.

The officer, lay on the damp ground of a back alley, his gun a few feet away as it had been smacked out of his hands by the six foot tall tattooed man standing over him. His face was hidden in shadows and the only light came from far down the alleyway where a large blue neon sign advertised a 24-hour chapel. He was thin but muscular, as if he hadn’t eaten in years but spent the time instead running marathons and punching through brick walls. He wore a vest and pants made of a thin, black leather type material and heavy black work boots with which the officer was becoming uncomfortably acquainted with. What stood out the most however was the heavy tattooing across his chest and arms which were fairly visible since the vest didn’t hide very much. From what the officer could make out, the markings were mostly small words and tribal patterns but the one that stood out was a large sword down the middle of his chest. The hilt began at the top of his chest and the tip of the sword ended at the top of his belly button.

“Hey – freak, did you – ACK! – hear me?” The officer spat out.

“Yes, I heard you,” said the man with a cool, deep voice. He looked up into the sky, his shoulder length black hair tipping backwards, bathed in moonlight. “You said that you don’t know Mr. Graham, but I don’t believe you.”

“Buddy, I’m a goddamn cop, you are so fucked you have no idea–” The cop said as the tall man pushed his foot down harder, a resounding crack filled the alleyway. “AHHHH! MY FUCKING RIBS, GET THE FUCK OFF ME!” He yelled. The officer tried with all his might to ply the trunk like leg off of his chest but it seemed rooted its place.

“One last time,” the man spoke. “Where is Graham?”

The officer looked up at him; he knew that he was facing death if he didn’t give the attacker what he wanted. However, he also knew what Graham would do to him if he didn’t tell.

“I’m growing impatient with you, officer,” the shadowed man said.

“Wait, I’ll tell you!”

“No you won’t,” the man said as he held out his arm and pointed directly at the officer’s forehead.

A small beam of white light shot out of his fingertip and upon striking the officer silenced his pleas. The downed man looked stupefied, his eyes lethargic and body relaxed and no longer fighting the crushing weight of his assailant. The tattooed man closed his eyes and became silent for a few moments before moving his arm and disengaging the white light. The officer remained still and his eyes heavy and dull.

“I appreciate your help officer,” the man spoke as he reached for a small silver object in his pocket. He flipped open the cell phone and dialed a contact named, “HQ”.

“Fortune? Where the hell are you? Did you follow the cop?” A woman’s voice shot out from the phone. Fortune twitched at the sound of her voice and scratched the inside of his ear.
“The yelling is not necessary but yes, I followed him. I extracted the information, looks like we’re heading back to Carson City,” Fortune replied.

“Carson City, Nevada? I thought we scoped that place out already?” The woman spoke.

“Apparently not thoroughly enough. There is a church there designed to look like a Catholic establishment but underneath, there’s a Source church hidden. Graham is known to worship there. Looks like it’s back on the road,” Fortune explained.

“You didn’t kill–”

“No Sara, I didn’t kill anyone,” Fortune cut her off.

“We can’t afford anymore attention like we got in Vegas. Tone it down, a bit, will you, John Wayne Fortune?” She prodded coldly.

John Wayne? Fortune wondered. Never heard of him.

“I’m heading back to the hotel and I’ll be leaving in a few hours,” he spoke.

“Don’t you think you should sleep?” Sara asked.

“I thought after ten years of helping me, you’d know me better than that.”

Fortune clicked the phone closed and place it back in his pocket.

“Fortune . . . Jacob Fortune?” came a woozy voice. The cop had begun to stir.

Fortune reached down and picked up his nine millimeter before the dazed officer would come to his wits and grab it himself.

“You . . . you’re Jacob Fortune? Aren’t you supposed to be–”

“Dead. A few times now,” Fortune responded.

Two shots rung out through the alleyway, echoing off the walls as a few dogs barked in response from the apartments above. Fortune tossed the gun into a nearby sewer and turned to look at the officer, his eyes wide in shock and his body still as blood trickled down his face from the clean hole above the bridge of his noise.

“Lucky bastard.”
------
Reviews? Critiques please?
 
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Shaggy

Registered Member
#3
Mate, thats brilliant!...im intrigued now.

Theres an ability you have to keep the story flowing nicely and thus keeping the reader interested. I think it comes from your descriptive language, its quite engaging and its descriptive in a way so that it doesn't paint a complete picture so it gives the reader some room to use their own imagination. I think thats great.

The only critique i can offer is that some of your descriptions seem a little dull compared to otheres that are there, for example:

"...its light burst softly like an ember crackling at the bottom of a dying fire and became an elderly man wearing a long robe. His blue spectral form was clear to the eye but his face was barely noticeable as it appeared blurry aside from his foot long beard."

even the sound of the description adds to the feel, compared to,

"...pulling the druid to the floor with a thud and a splat."

it just doesn't have the same engaging effect. Its effective for sure, but if you can write like the first example, the second just seems to fall short. See my point. Im purely trying to be constructive here, no insult intended.

But otherwise mate, awesome opening to a story, i shall look forward to a bit more.
 

gusto

Registered Member
#4
The story has a novel idea behind it. I think the name Jacob is a poor choice because it's a Hebrew name and would not be used in a Celtic setting where Druids were present. Same thing with the Term Church. Maybe you could call it a temple or something else. I noticed a definite beat to the sentences almost like poetry. Is this something you intended? Overall I would give it a B grade where it now stands but it could easily become an A+ with some editing.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#5
The story has a novel idea behind it. I think the name Jacob is a poor choice because it's a Hebrew name and would not be used in a Celtic setting where Druids were present. Same thing with the Term Church. Maybe you could call it a temple or something else. I noticed a definite beat to the sentences almost like poetry. Is this something you intended? Overall I would give it a B grade where it now stands but it could easily become an A+ with some editing.
It's not in a celtic setting. Where in this story does it say "celtic"?

:confused:
 
#7
Frankly I don't think it matters. Just because there is a druidic prescence in his story doesn't make it celtic. The story itself covers many different time periods/eras and is meshed together. The name of the character doesn't have to line up on some religious level. That's silly.
 

HappyFace

Registered Member
#8
I wasn't saying I was just explaing what he meant.

I think this story isn't supposed to follow certain timelines and such as it has entirely different religions and since some of the things that have happened are out of this world.