Friday, March 30, 2012

Donovan Grant

This is a bit of a fan-fiction I did on another blog that I don't use anymore, so I dragged both pieces of it here to this one. Enjoy! (I'll modify the copy-paste for easier readability later, as it didn't seem to copy over very well. I'll get to that when I have time.)

A story segment.

I love the rain. I love the smell of it, the
sound, the feel of it. I love the way it glistens in the streetlights at night,
bathing the world around me in a golden-orange light. I often find myself
watching the rain water run downhill, off the asphalt streets and into the
gutters of the city, dragging all the dirt and vile muck away from our
day-to-day paths. The rain often comes in the night and pays us a friendly
visit, wiping our slate clean, so to speak, and leaving us a new and fresh world
in the morning. So silently it comes upon us and so gently does it leave us to
our own devices after it has gone that we barely take a moment to realize and
ponder upon the miracle that was, quite literally, dropped on us.
If only it carried away all the filth in our
world.
I often dream of rain. It comes to me in silence
and whispers its sweet song into my ears, cleansing the world around me as it
speaks. The grass becomes greener, the flowers more lively, and the world
glistens in its seemingly magical power to cleanse. But, even as it speaks to
me, no rain falls upon me. My skin does not glisten in the night, nor is the
filth washed from my flesh. I look down at myself, covered in muck and reeking
of death, and do not see it washing away. I suddenly come to the realization
that there is no cleansing rain for me, nor anyone. No amount of rain will wash
away the disgusting grime of evil from humanity. We are doomed to dwell in our
vile souls.
Leaning against a brick wall in an alley, I listen
to the rain. I listen to it fall in the puddles at my feet, as if a thousand
small voices singing their joyous song, and watch it run of my boots to join its
comrades in the natural course of things. I can hear it pitter-patter on the
brim of my hat, already saturated, it simply rolls off and drips to the ground
joining the chorus of life. I take a moment to smile at the simple things in
life before turning my attention to the task at hand.
It is midnight, or roughly so, in the downtown
section of the City. A relatively safe area, what with the local police
patrolling all hours of the night, complimented by the excessive use of the new,
bright LED lighting system, you would never expect trouble here. A nice thought,
but a sadly mistaken one. In the heart of security lies the greatest of dangers:
Complacency. Just because a minefield has been swept and cleared and there
probably is no danger of blowing
yourself up does not mean it's a good idea to take a happy little stroll through
the supposedly safe area. Sure, you may walk through the field a hundred times
and never get killed, but that one-hundred and first time is the one time it
takes to turn you from a happy-go-lucky, ignorant fool into one very charred
grease stain.
The same is true
of the City's Downtown. You never know who or what lies in wait, no matter how
safe it seems.
I'll wait here
for hours, watching this ally. I chose it because it is the smallest, darkest
ally on this street. This street is also home to a couple nice apartment
buildings. Some genius decided to turn all the old buildings on this street into
some nice, over-priced apartments. When I say nice, I mean NICE. Vaulted
ceilings, large windows, and tin and iron moldings are just a few of the little
details that make these places so desired. Now, as well, when I say over-priced,
I mean it. Way more than I care to mention, but some of these boneheads actually
pay out for it. Oh well. Their problem, not mine.
I lean my head
back against the wall and close my eyes for a moment. Even in this small ally,
my black jacket and hat make it very difficult to spot me unless you're looking
for me. As I rest my eyes and head, I let the rain fall down on my face. It's
very relaxing. Trust me. Try it some time. However, it seems my short little
moment of relaxation has come to an end.
I hear foot steps
on the sidewalk, so I lower my head and glance out of the ally. A man has
stepped to the opening of the alley and taken up residence against the wall
opposite me. Not the most attractive of individuals, he stands at roughly
five-nine when standing up, weighs roughly one-eighty, and is quite obviously
drunk. If the stench of alcohol on his breath didn't give it away, it was the
way he muttered to himself. Some people, I swear. He reaches up and runs his
fingers through his soaked, dark hair. In the lighting his hair looks black, but
I'm guessing somewhere closer to brown. After some more muttering, he reaches
into his jacket and pulls out a pack of cigarettes. Great. I roll my eyes in the
darkness as he begins to light up. The light of the lighter and the glow from
the cigarette cast an odd light upon his face and eyes. That's when I see it.
Even from this short distance, I should be able to make out some color in his
eyes, but all I see is darkness. A black empty void behind those lifeless eyes.
I blink and shake my head. It was probably just a trick of the light, nothing to
worry about.
While being
unnerved by the mans appearance did shake me a bit, it was not the only thing
that warned me of coming trouble. Something about him rattled me. It was like a
very deep fear, but also an uncontrollable rage within me. When you deal with
these characters enough you learn to sense them, so to speak. This guy reeked of
trouble, and I had a good idea what he was up to.
So I wait. He
waits.
He smokes and
mutters. I watch and listen.
After not too
long I can hear another set of foot steps on the side walk. This set is coming
from behind the wall I am leaning against. This set is softer than the mans,
lighter and more graceful. It's almost like trying to hear a cat padding up to
you after the dog runs by. It's that much of a difference. I glance at the man
across from me and they way he was looking around my corner confirmed what I had
suspected: it was a woman.
No. God
no.
The seething rage
inside me begins to boil over. Not many things get me riled up like this. Not
many things at all. Keep your cool, Jack. Keep your head on straight
if you want to be any use here. By some miracle I manage to listen to my own
advice. I keep my cool and watch the man and listen to the foot steps. I slowly
slide my right hand to the handle of the Colt .45 holstered on my right hip and
my left hand to the handle knife strapped to my left thigh.
Breathe. Just breathe.
I quietly even out my breathing that I hadn't
realized had been a little rough. I can do this. Just wait. It was always
like this, no matter how many times it happened. It never ceased to scare
me.
I wait. He watches.
She comes closer.
As the steps come near, the man
smiles.
Out of the corner of my eye I see her walk past my
corner. She's not tall, but not short either, with medium length brown hair. At
about five-eight she comes to about my shoulders. She's not built like an
athlete, but definitely not out of shape. I'd place her at about twenty-two, if
not a bit older. She is wearing white tennis shoes, or at least they were before
the rain, blue jeans, and a black t-shirt with something like “quiz bowl” or
something nerdy like that on it, as well as a seemingly fully packed backpack. A
brain. Great. I hope this turns out right.
As she passes, I have about a second to get he
profile and appearance. She then takes two more steps past me, during which my
glance falls on the man across from em. He has stepped back into the shadows,
but I know he is smiling.
One heartbeat.
Two heartbeat.
Three heartbeat.
He takes a step forward and is upon
her.
He quickly reaches out and grabs the girl by her
arm with one hand uses his other arm to reach around her and slam his hand over
her mouth before she can even gasp. I don't move. Within seconds he has her
locked up and is pulling her into the alley. She is struggling, but the man is
far stronger than he seems. He takes her even further into the dark hallway
towards a large dumpster, turning her toward it and his back to
me.
Perfect.
I pull the .45 from its holster and step toward
the evil deed being committed. The mans hand slips from the girls mouth and she
screams,
“Help! Somone please hel---”
That's it. It's on now.
I take three silent steps toward the assault and
pull the hammer back on the pistol. The assailant doesn't hear the click over
the sound of the struggle. Good. I take one more step and reach out towards the
mans neck. My fingers find their mark and wrap around his throat and clench
down. Out of sheer surprise, the man suddenly releases his hold on the young
girl and turns his head toward me. I can't see it here in the darkness, but I
can feel it. I can feel the cold, lifeless evil within him. The terrible void
deep inside. It's quite disheartening, actually. However, I don't have time to
admire the scenery, and I push the man off the girl and into the brick wall
behind him. As his head slams back into the bricks, I can hear them crack and
shatter. The mans head then sways a bit, stunned. Without a second thought I jam
the barrel of the pistol under the mans jaw and stare into the glints of light
where I know his eyes are. He is still smiling.
It wasn't always this way.

A continuation of "It wasn't always like
this."
There is something utterly horrifying about the
smile on your opponents face when you've just given him your best shot and he
feels the utter need to grin. I looked deeply into the mans eyes, steadied my
breath, and gripped harder on the handle of my gun. Terror runs like ice in my
veins mixing with the red-hot rage and it creates a tremor throughout my body,
but I don't loosen my grip on the man or my gun. He starts to move a bit and
crush my hand harder on his throat and he stops. The smile is still there.
Without realizing it, I let out a low primal growl as I stare him down.
From behind me I hear soft moans and grunts of the
young woman moving in fear in pain. Without taking my eyes off my mark, I turn
my head slightly to the side towards the girl.
“Get out of here.” I growl at her, “Now!”
I can hear her stop moving for a moment of
surprise, then the sound of her picking herself up and beginning to run away.
That has to piss him off.
It did.
A flash of pain strikes me square in the forehead
as the assailant smashes his head into mine. I stagger back a few steps, gun
still in hand, and lean on a dumpster. I focus my eyes only for a moment to see
him a couple feet away with his fist in the air. I instinctively spin step to
the side just as his fist passes through where my skull was just a moment ago. I
take another step and position myself in a shooting stance and level my .45 with
his skull. He looks up in time to see the barrel staring him down.
He smiles.
There's a flash.
My hand bucks back.
There is thunder.
The .45 hollow point round strikes the man right
between the eyes. Time seems to slow. His head snaps back as the bullet strikes
his skull, offsetting his weight and sending him falling. I can hear his neck
snap as it is bent all the way back with the force of the shattering round. His
body twists and falls to the ground with a sickening crunch as his skull meets
the pavement.
I'm holding my breath. My head is pounding. My
eyes are still locked onto my marks head, as his the barrel of my gun.
He's down, Grant, he's down.
I exhale slowly and steadily lower the .45 to my
side. The rain has stopped but I can still hear the water running through
gutters and down the brick walls. There's nothing to wash away the blood of the
man I just gunned down. Nothing to make it go away. I take one more moment to
look at him, and turn away.
I take a few steps toward the street stop. I heard
something move. Quickly, I turn back to see something large, disgusting, and
apparently hungry running down the alley at me. Without thinking I dropped the
gun and raised my arms up in front of me, letting my sleeves fall down my arms
and exposing two leather bracers. With disciplined precision I summoned the
power of my sudden terror, the rage of what I had just witnessed, and the
irritation of something trying to kill me, creating a nearly static field around
my body. In an instant I channeled all that energy into the bracers on my arms
and they immediately alight with several red-glowing runes and sigils, creating
a invisible wall of force between me and the beast. An instant later it's upon
me. I wince as the force of the creature strikes my shield and the air around me
crackles and sparks, revealing a half dome of what momentarily appears like an
electrical storm in front of me. The beast stops dead and shakes for a moment as
electricity passes through it's body and stumbles then backwards. I drop the
shield and wave my right hand sideways at the creature, as if I were swatting a
large bug, and more energy surges into the right bracer. As my hand swings, an
invisible force strikes the staggered creature and flings it into the wall of
the alley. Bricks and dust fly, creating a gray cloud in the darkness.
I can feel the use of magic waring at me already.
To throw a beast of that size with no focus took a lot of effort. Even so, I
once more summoned all my fear and, now, rage and stalked toward the downed
creature. It rolls to its knees and attempts to stand just as I get close to it.
I focus all of the rage and fear into a specially crafted set of sigils inlaid
into the rubber leather of my boots and they begin to glow red. The beast looks
up at me.
It, once more, seems to smile.
I growl and spit at it.
“Eat this, jackass.”
I swing my steel-toed boot full force into the
thing's head, the force amplified by the will I poured into the runes. I feel my
foot connect and I follow through. I can feel its head shatter around my boot
and warm fluid soak my leg. Turning back to the creature, I give it one more
nudge with my boot to make sure he's dead.
He's dead.
I walk to the entrance of the alley, retrieve my
gun, and look out into the street. It's raining again. Nature's coming to clean
away the filth.
It'll take more than rain.
I walk out into the street and into the night. I
should probably find new pants.
My name is Donovan Grant. I'm a wizard.
Well....sort of.

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