My Friend, My Love, My Creation

Most times, new characters are born rather beautifully. They come with rich back-stories and have a deep family history. They speak to me for hours about who they are, where they live, what they do for a living, etc. Other times, they burst forth kicking and screaming.

They’re wearing straight-jackets and slamming themselves madly against my psyche. They’re roughly cut from raw emotion, they know very little about who they are, where they came from, or who their families are. The only thing they know is their desire to have the same chance at life as the aforementioned.

While I do so enjoy the company of my more ‘fleshed’ out characters, mainly because they are familiar to me, like family or good friends, I find myself oddly drawn to these new beings. They want the same things that we all have, that which has come so easily to their cousins; a life of their own.  They are like children, in a way.  They don’t know what’s behind them, nor do they have a clue what’s ahead of them.  They must learn, through my guidance, of course, what they like or do not like.

Sometimes I can control the process. Sometimes, I can even help form them into something appropriate enough to tell a story about. This isn’t always the case, however, and any writer can tell you that it isn’t always going to be a good thing.

You’re not always going to have a ‘good’ character.  Every so often, as I am helping this character come to life, we discover that he or she isn’t so savory a person.  Maybe said character is a villain?  Or maybe, something much, much, worse. I don’t always like telling the story of these characters, but again, as a writer I don’t always have a choice.  They desire a chance at life.  They demand that their story be heard.  And as a storyteller, I am compelled to share.

Perhaps what awaits in the end is poetic?  Or, perhaps not.  It isn’t for me to decide. You see, much like the character types I have described, so too do the stories exist as well. Some lay in wait, ready to pounce my thoughts without a moment’s notice.  Other times, they are a rough gem that needs worked into something you may or may not appreciate.

Just as is the case of the character, some stories may be beautiful designs that inspire you to continue turning the page.  Others might be an atrocious train-wreck that forces you to turn the pages until you reach the end. This isn’t to say that they aren’t very good.

It’s a tricky subject; horror.

What one person may consider good, might be another’s kryptonite.  I may have written the most descriptive decapitation in such a way that you have never seen before, but what may make one jump out of his/her seat in excitement, might have another turning their head in disgust.

Such is life.

By now, I hope that my readers have come to expect a certain style to my writing.  You’ve survived the first two tales of John Rizzerio and are eagerly waiting the finale, or you have been keeping up with my webseries and are looking for the next post to appear.  You know that I don’t always pull the punches.

Some of my characters may seem like somebody you could run into on the street. Others, a friendly neighbor or work acquaintance.  Then there are those, like the protagonists of ‘She Has A Pretty Face Though’, and ‘The Box’, who each have their own issues to resolve. In the end, was their story worth it?  Was it poetic, or did you enjoy following their journey?

Of course, you’ll have your own opinions that I would LOVE to hear!  But, in the end, I will still continue to tell the stories as they demand to be told, in their own entireties.  While I depend upon you, my faithful readers, to help guide me down the path of your interests, I hope that you continue to stick with me as I share with you my creations.  They are a labor of love, a part of myself in much the same way that my children are, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to introduce you to them.

They are family, after all.

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The Box (Part XX)

From the shadows nearby, another set of eyes watched as the remains of the box crumbled through the hobbit’s fingers.  Shards of the enchanted material clattered across the melted gold at his feet, while a clear viscous liquid oozed down from where the container had once been.  Resting over the crack where his hands met was the eye of the Lich God, Necrodemus.

It was as one would expect an eye to be, a soft white orb with a long nerve trailing behind it.  There was no coloring around the pupil.  In fact, the pupil itself was narrowed very much like that of a venomous snake!

The cavern rumbled from the battle taking place on the opposite side, where the great red Wyrm and Sorcerer continued to battle the other’s wills.  Even as the eye was freed from its prison, one of the two combatants was nearing the end of its life.

The watcher gasped as the eye began to levitate from the hands of the diminutive figure before him, so surprised was he that it still possessed any magic to do so.  The nerve straightened like an arrow as the orb turned to face away from the hobbit, aiming for the empty ocular cavity.

What came next happened in a matter of seconds.  The eye slammed into the skull of the hobbit, who in turn began to scream as his very soul became forever corrupted by the power of the long dead deity.  His small head slammed backward, projecting the last display of pain and suffering he would ever feel unto the cold stone ceiling above.

Even as the little man shrieked, was he beginning to levitate slowly into the air.  His clothes began to rot away from his skin, falling away in patches that in turn fell apart like ash when they hit the stone below.  As the observer continued to watch, horrified, the pale skin of the hobbit became emaciated, withering inward until he was no longer recognizable as a male or female creature.

The sound of its screams became something inhuman, no longer reflecting anything even remotely like pain, but more akin to pure rage.  A black oily smoke formed beneath its feet, swirling lazily around the mummified hobbit until it was covered with a robe born from the darkest pits of hell.  The smoke rippled over the creature’s form, gradually smoothing into a material that to look at for too long was to become lost in its starless void.

It was then that the observer realized that the shrieking had ceased.  He looked upward, seeking the facial features of the reconstituted Lich and was shocked to see that it was staring down at him.

“Ahh,” it sighed with gusto.  “You have no idea how long I have waited for this moment.”

The Lich had been facing the battle when it began to rise from the ground so only its head was turned toward him.  The eye that was once confined to a magical prison focused on him while the other darted about madly in its socket.  To the observer, it seemed that all which was left of Joeshan was imprisoned inside.

“It’s been too long since last we met, drow.  I have been thinking about you for an eternity!”

The observer, having been identified by the evil creature before him, stepped into light reflected from the battle between man and dragon.  His features were elfin, but his skin bore the color most commonly attributed to his people.  He wore clothing from the surface, bright and vibrant forest colors that complemented the color of his eyes. A bandolier was slung from his left shoulder to his right hip, from which hung a small hand crossbow and several bolts.  Two longswords were sheathed from his waist, on a belt from which several small pouches were also fastened.  The pommel of one was encrusted with a black diamond, while the other a deep magenta.

“Indeed,” the drow answered softly.  “As have I.”  He hooked his thumbs into his belt and tilted his right knee slightly outward, striking a neutral pose as he contemplated what to do next.

 

Thus ends the story of the adventurers three.  Each came searching for The Box with motives hidden from the other, and it was their hidden agendas that brought them down.  We have reached the end of one story, but we find ourselves at the beginning of another.  

Who will prevail in the battle between dragon and man?  Who is this mysterious drow and what is his relationship with the Lich God?  And, with Joeshan seemingly imprisoned in his remaining eye, is there a chance that he will ever be rescued?  

These are all good questions, but I’m afraid that’s an entirely different story.

~ END ~

 

The Box (Part XIX)

Joeshan’s eye narrowed and he grinned mercilessly when the dragon countered the sorcerer’s magic.  He could only imagine the helplessness that the man was feeling and he prayed it was ten times the horror as when he had lost his other eye.  Malifgorranaka possessed about it an aura of power that he could feel even from this distance.

It terrified him beyond words.  His body shook with fear and a light perspiration had broke upon his skin.  It was as if the wrym had placed one of its mighty claws upon him, pinning him where he lay.

From across the cavern, the Great Flame had launched an attack of its own.  Its spine arched, much like that of an angry cat, and there came the sound of a large intake of breath being taken.  It was drawing upon the instinct of its race to attack with the strongest weapon in its arsenal, the fiery breath of the Red, a flame so hot that it could melt through the most stout of magical protections.

His hair lifted from his scalp as it was pulled toward the head of the dragon.  The clothing on his skin began to flap lightly against his skin, rippling as if he where enveloped by the fierce winds of the Great Northern Pass.  Worse still was the feeling that the air around him was growing thin, making it hard for him to breath.

There was no need for him to continue watching the battle unfold.  He knew enough of the stories to know what was going to happen next.  Even so, it took a tremendous amount of will for him to turn his attention back to the box.

It sat atop a small pedestal, an evil looking piece of stone decorated with countless screaming faces.  Each image depicted a different state of agony so lifelike that for a brief moment he wondered if the sculptor had used a living model for each likeness.  The box itself was just as the stories had told.

There was no lock.  Each side of the box was a transparent crystal, surrounded by thin platinum bars that locked into each adjacent side.  Behind the crystal, the interior of the box was filled with a clear viscous gel, floating inside of which and regarding him without emotion, was the Eye of Necrodemus.

Just as the intake of the dragon’s attack pulled the air away from him, the eye’s pupil drew him in.  He could feel his mind slipping, not so much moving to the side as it was being obliterated.  The longer he stared into the pupil of the artifact, the less of him there remained.  His hands clawed at the melted gold beneath him, pulling on the fused gems and treasures as if he were scaling the world’s most horizontal wall, quickly closing the distance between himself and the pedestal.

There was no fanfare.  No angelic chorus filled the air as his hand lifted on its own accord and touched the small enchanted prison.  There was only silence, because at that exact moment the dragon’s boilers were full.  As the dragon god expelled its mighty attack upon sorcerer, the shell of Joeshan mindlessly lifted the box and crushed it between his small hobbit hands.