Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chapter Two: Identified Flying Objects

Israel Elysium

  The wind howled in the buildings nearby, but I barely heard it over the sound of the fat raindrops splattering on the cement. I felt it, though, and stuffed my hands into my pockets to keep the wind from whipping the coat off my back. I was shouldering my way along the edge of the buildings, where every now and then there was a awning or some-such jutting out and keeping the rain off for a few seconds before I walked past and was hit by the storm again.

  My green eyes flicked from side to side, searching for anything out of place, although I suspected I wouldn't be able to see it so easily anyway, which was why I'd decided to take the longer route around the block widdershins, instead of clockwise. I would get more soaked this way, if that was possible, but I assumed whoever had called me would logically think I'd taken the shorter route to avoid staying in the deluge longer than necessary. If there was nothing else to my advantage just then, perhaps this was.

  The sky rumbled and clashed with some particularly angry thunder, and I turned the corner, my eyes flickering up with the sound, because it sounded too close to have missed. I'm not entirely sure what I did when I saw it, I might have shouted, I'm sure my eyes widened, and I probably jumped into the nearest alleyway, seeing as I'm still alive at the moment.

  A monster ship- as in oceans, waves, water, seafaring- was flying through the sky, soaring as if it belonged up there, except something was wrong. It was glowing red, on fire, I realized somewhere in my dumbfounded mind, that the lightening must have struck it, and it was making a crash landing. The song in my head roared as the ship sailed nearer and lower going faster than it ought to have been.

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
For he saw the Riders coming hard and he heard their mournful cry

  I didn't know how to explain it when I saw it, although I understand now, as the ship flew by, it was suddenly in slow motion, as if it was drifting under water, and I read the name in spidery script etched onto the side of the beautiful craft- The Albatross.

  And then it struck land, tearing up the cement and skidding down the road, crashing into the sides of buildings and groaning until it shuddered to a halt, leaning precariously to one side. I stared. I willed my body to move, but I was frozen. Then I remembered where we were, and I looked right and left, hoping against hope that no mortal had seen what I had just witnessed. Amazingly, the road was still empty, but I knew it wouldn't last long, the crash had been too loud to be missed. Someone sooner or later would appear and ask what a giant boat was doing in the middle of the road. I whipped my head back and caught only one glimpse of a man, with the fires burning behind him as he stood on the edge of his craft, his eyes as dark as the sky.

  Then he leaped back into his ship, and seconds later, the whole thing disappeared right in front of my eyes, leaving only a stray piece of wood burning on the ground.


Jericho Matteus

  I knew I shouldn't have flown on a night like this, but when a strange man with a silk voice finds my island, tells me to come here, and disappears without a trace, what was I going to do? Besides, the Albatross and I had flown through storms this bad before and survived. I thought I could do it.

  I climbed into the rigging, my hair blowing into my eyes, and snatched at a rope as it whipped in the air like a snake in a jungle catching its prey. I missed and tried again, grabbing it determinedly and tying it into a knot it wouldn't so easily escape. Lightening streaked through the sky, and I shouted, clinging desperately to my lifeline as the Albatross groaned and heaved through the air as fires sprung up in the masts. I cursed, falling dangerously far to the deck below and cringing, grabbing my leg as pain shot up it. But I wasn't to be put off, and I staggered to the helm and grabbed the wheel, hanging onto it with all my strength.

  I knew I wouldn't survive the landing like this. I had to slow down. Desperately, I spun the wheel until I was facing the street- the softest landing I would be able to get- and closed my eyes, finding the magic inside me churning. I grabbed it and forced it to my will, slouching against the wheel which was the only thing holding me up, and I impeded time, just enough to trip it up and falter for a few seconds, long enough for a rough landing.

  The Albatross reluctantly skidded to a stop, and I moaned along with my ship. After a moment, I realized she was fully visible, and I limped to the edge to find out of I could get away without being seen by mortals. At first glance I thought I had succeeded, but then I saw him, a man with a brown jacket and brown hair  blowing in the wind, staring at me with surprisingly bright green eyes.

  Well, he had already seen a flying ship. I figured a disappearing ship that had been flying wouldn't be much worse, and jumping down, I climbed into the hull and deep into the heart of the ship where steam was eddying about. There, I stared for a moment at the beautiful giant cloaking sphere, the runes and symbols on its side glowing in the dimness, and grabbing the lever next to it, I yanked down and cast my ship into invisibility. The rain was putting out the fire on the sail, but I still had figure out how to get the Albatross out of here..., I would need new sails.

  There was also the problem of how to go about arresting that man I saw. He would have to have his memory wiped... or maybe just give him a good whack or two on the head until he realized it was all just dream, and there couldn't have possibly actually been a flying ship... I withdrew my staff from its sheath under my arm and extended it to its full six feet. I grinned, and I just knew it was that famous shark-grin I was famous for.


Kallista Pendragon

  I was hurrying through the rain, although I was enjoying every second of it, even if the thunder was a bit overwhelming. I was on one side of the street, gaily singing "A Pirate's Life for Me," and keeping my eyes open for a blue moose, which I assumed would be rather large and apparent.

  I'd already turned after two blocks like that nice fellow in the kitchen had told me, and I thought I must surely have gone three and half blocks by now. I stopped in my tracks with the wind and rain whipping my hair, and wondered where I would hide if I was a blue moose. I glanced around, saw an alleyway a few paces ahead that seemed to have potential, and on my left was a park. It wasn't a big one, just green grass and some trees, a swing set and a bench with a man standing beside it staring at me. I did a double take and, after a moment of silent staring, I went to wave, wondering if I knew him from somewhere, when I noticed how still he was, not just still as in standing still, but he was perfectly still, the wind and rain having no affect on him. He was wearing a suit, and I couldn't see much of his face, although I don't think I knew him. My hair blew over my eyes, and I pushed it aside. Then he smiled at me, a sort of I-know-something-you-don't-know smile, and I shivered, not because of the rain.

  Right then, there was a devastating crack of thunder and lightening, and I whipped around, staring at the most beautiful boat I'd ever seen, sailing through the sky on the other side of the neighborhood, glowing red on fire. My mouth fell open in wonder, and when it disappeared from view, I knew it had crashed not far away. And I knew I had to see it. I remembered the man a moment before I broke into a sprint, and I turned back, but he was gone like a ghost into the night. My eyes flicked from side to side, but when they revealed nothing, I turned again and ran..


Nights Raven

  Let me tell you, for someone who wants to get away from it all in sunny Australia and take a nice little break from magic and monsters, a downpour in the night followed by a clash like someone banging a pair of enormous frying pans in the sky and the earth shuddering outside my motel like a crazy avalanche was tumbling down a mountain, wasn't entirely welcome.

  Well, maybe the rain was. But that's beside the point.

  Having been unable to sleep and watching soap operas of Australians with awesome accents whilst eating popcorn, I was taken by surprise by the commotion. I hesitated a moment before I decided whatever was happening outside was likely to be more worthy of my attention than whether Roset would end up with Michael or Christopher or that dope-headed Peter.

  I retrieved my daggers from the side of the bed and peered out the door. I didn't see anything at first glance, but when I slipped out, keeping to the shadows, I realized the road was torn up, and there was a plank of wood burning in the middle of it. I raised an eyebrow, wondering what could have possibly happened, and I saw a man standing across the street near an alleyway, staring into the air above the plank, as if he couldn't believe his eyes.

  He was around twenty-five, twenty-six, looked like he needed a good shave, with dirt brown hair and gold-flecked eyes, which I was surprised I could see from this distance, and he wore more than one coat or jacket, as if he kept and wore whatever he found to keep from losing it. Hm, I thought, must be a poor mortal trying to find some shelter from the rain, which was lessening as I watched, and he'd seen something he shouldn't have.

  I figured it was time for an interrogation.

  Straightening my somewhat-disheveled blond hair- which was futile due to the gusting wind, which hadn't lessened in the least, but you can't blame me for trying- I stepped out of the shadows. He didn't notice me at first. He seemed frozen to the spot, although he seemed to be composing himself slowly., mouth closing, eyes narrowing, mind ticking, I could practically hear it from here. Then I stepped onto the street, intending to navigate my way over the torn road. The man saw me then, his green eyes flickering from where he'd been staring, to me, sizing me up almost.

  I put on my best frightened-teenager-please-help-me look and got two steps before I smacked into something nose-first and fell over like a mime not expecting the invisible wall to actually be a wall.

  "Ahhh," I moaned, touching my nose which thankfully seemed not have started bleeding, and leaned on my elbow, looking up. There was still nothing in front of me, and the man across the street had widened his eyes and moved forward, his hands outstretched in front of him until he'd taken a few steps and began performing another mime act. I would have thought he was insane, but judging by my bruised nose, I began to think otherwise.

  "You ok?" he yelled, having noticed me standing up from the other side of whatever was between us.

"Yeah," and I decided to drop the act and get straight to the point. "Are you mortal?" A normal human would answer this with a quizzical expression and something like, 'Well I should hope so,' but the average man with magic would answer honestly that he was not, as this one did.

"No, and thank heaven's you're not. I wondering how to get rid of you." He cracked a grin, his hands still pressed and touching against what appeared to be thin air. "I'm Israel Elysium. You?"

"Wait, Israel Elysium, as in Elysium Asylum? That Israel Elysium?"

That grimace-grin of his widened, "One and only. I'm constantly being assaulted by fan-girls." Then he knocked on the invisible wall. A hollow, wooden sound greeted him. "And this is getting interesting."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chapter One: In the Morning

A/U This story is set in different people's perspectives. Hence, the name of the part is the perspective in which it is set. So pay attention because the name may or may not be mentioned.

Kallista Pendragon

  I grinned, the mischievous smile I reserved for special occasions spilling across my features, and added one last touch.There... utterly perfect. A three teired chocolate and strawberry cake with Hellboy's face in colorful-mostly pink and purple- icing on top, grinning like a maniac with Christmas ornaments in his hair and presents at his neckline. He was definitely going to love his Christmas cake, I just knew it.

  The ground underneath me shook with thunder, and I glanced up, realizing for the first time that it was storming outside. I blinked, wondering where the sun had gone while I was working, and shrugged, carefully hiding the cake so I could go search for Hellboy. I dashed through the hallways, looking up and down and hearing many half cries of "Slow down, Ka-" before I turned another corner or dashed into another room and their cries were cut short.  After several minutes and much quizzical eyeing of the seemingly vacant Elysium Asylum, I collapsed, gasping for breath, onto a stray couch.

   I began thinking while I was taking a break from my sprinting searches for Hellboy, and wished again that I could ship a cake a million miles away to Octaboona in England, but some other residants of Elysium Asylum had strongly discouraged me in the matter, muttering about crushed cake and something about huge quantities of purple food coloring being ilegal, and moaning about the difficulties of last year's legal hassles under other some-such similar circumstances.

  I, of course, had mostly stopped listening, my mind swooped away into all my glorious plans for Christmas with purple and red and green colors swirling through my head. But now, as I lay on the couch, catching my breath, I peered up at the clock over the nearby fireplace and wondered why it was again that I shouldn't ship a cake to Octa. I blinked and read the clock. It was 2:42 in the morning. "Gah!" I sat up, thinking the clock must surely be wrong. I stood and caroused into the next few rooms, finding the clocks and comparig the times until I realized it really was that late despite my doubt. Returning to the first room, I apologized to Mr. Clock for not believing him in the first place, and stood, head tilted to one side, thinking.
  But 2:42 in the morning! Where would Hellboy be at a time like this? Now that it was the next day anyway... I didn't see any reason not to give my cake to him now! Then we could eat cake and party and eat cake... I admit, my eyes sparkled a bit just then. Well, it was the thought of chomping into Hellboy's Christmas bedazzled face, really. It would be a new experience, and when it comes to cake, I'm always up for a new experiences. I just needed to find Hellboy, and in order to achieve that, I needed to find out where he was.

  I knew someone would be awake in the kitchen so I plodded somewhat disconsolately into there and asked the gentleman there where Hellboy was. After I got a momentary blank stare, I reluctantly muttered "Israel" since not everyone seemed to know of his nickname. Finally I got answers! Hellboy was at the Blue Moose, apparently. I grinned and spun to leave, but changed my mind mid-stride and whipped to the man again, asking where to find a blue moose, as I'd never seen one in person before. Strangely, I got another blank stare before the fellow told me to go out the front door, turn right, go two blocks, turn right again, and I would find what I was looking for about three and a half blocks down. I thanked him, bestowing him with one of my few remaining orange-berry-pickle cupcakes, to which he was so happy he was at a loss for words, and raced to grab my jacket, the especially brilliant one with the purple tails, since I was going to meet a blue moose for the first time in my life, and wanted to look snappy.

  Glancing around my room, I stabbed my Japanese hairpicks into my black curls and left. Reaching the front door, I heaved it open, my hair whipping about with the wind, grinned at the storm I was about to plunge into, and disappeared into the night.


Israel Elysium

    I was wearing my lucky jacket when it happened, and with the screaming air in my ears,  I surprisingly didn't see my life flash before my eyes, and instead, thought that I would have to get a new "lucky" jacket. 
  It was a horrible night, the kind you hear ghost stories and horror stories developing with wind and rain and the loudest thunder you've ever heard. I'd had a few drinks, and I wasn't intending on leaving the Blue Moose that night until I had to. Solemn as I was, I was still dry and warm in my reverie, and I wasn't expecting anything to happen which is of course how it took me by surprise.

  "Alonso!" I called from behind the bar, "Pour me another glass." Alonso, the sharp kind of bartender that, despite his size, you could just tell packed a punch if the need arose, finished drying the glass in his hand and slid a beer down the bar. I caught it before it fell off, the golden liquid sloshing once or twice before I took a gulp of the rancid stuff and slammed it back down. I was hunched over it drinking sulkily, as is the best way to drink alcohol, with the stubble on my chin brushing the side of the glass with a soft shh shh every time I lifted and lowered my chin idly between gulps.

  It was late, although I wasn't sure of the time, and quiet except for a few stragglers muttering and occasionally laughing unwelcomely. I looked to my left where a boy with blue hair was showing off cheap magic tricks to his mortal girlfriend. Behind him was a limp little Christmas tree in the failed attempt of appearing festive. I grunted and turned back, listening to the low music in the background and finishing off the beer. I don't know why, but the song playing just then sticks out in my memory- "Ghost Riders in the Sky" by Johnny Cash.

  "Alonso," I growled shaking my empty mug in the air, this having meaning enough. He looked at me, I remember, leaning on the counter at arm's-length.

"I'm cutting you off, tonight Hellboy,"- this being a nickname I'd acquired recently after a nasty battle with an an ugly old ogre whose brains I'd blown out.

I growled at the bartender, biting off my rude reply to look into the future and determine the best way to get what I wanted. Two minutes later, Alonso was grumpily polishing a different glass, and I had a another pint in my fist. Something resembling a grimace-meant-to-be-smile etched my face until I slapped the money I owed onto the bar and glared out the grimy door at the lightening streaking by.

  My phone rang. Suddenly, the Mission Impossible theme song was clamoring for notice, and I fumbled in my jackets until I found the thing hidden in a pocket I didn't realize I had. My thumb jammed a random button, and when that didn't silence it, I attacked the little red "hang-up" sign until you could only here insistent beeping and thrust it back into a pocket, swaying slightly and stumbling forward, slightly off-balance. I didn't look back at, what I'm sure, were awed-why-didn't-I-think-of-that-as-my-ringtone expressions. Of course, then the persistent caller rang again, and I glared at the time on my phone- 2:42 A.M.- and answered it this time with a gruff greeting that was probably something like, "Who's calling me at this time of night! Don't you know I'm a serious busi-ness man who's, as the title indicates, busy!?"

A mellow voice I'd never heard before replied unfalteringly, "Israel Elysium I presume?"

"No! I'm his secretary! Who do you think it is?"

"Meet me at the park around the block in five minutes."

"Have you even looked out the window, you idiot? I'm not mee-" but the line was already dead, and I cursed, muting my phone and stuffing it back into one of my pockets. I flipped the collar on the topmost coat out, putting my hand on the door, intending to shove my way through and walk the short distance through the rain back to Elysium Asylum, but I stopped, my hunched shoulders sagging a bit more and gave up. I already knew I couldn't resist the curiosity of a nameless summons in the middle of the night, even if said summoner happened to be an axe murderer/stalker who somehow knew I wouldn't be able to resist. I grunted and pushed the door open, delving into the storm.