Prologue and First Chapter

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Prologue and First Chapter

Post by GrinningManiac on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:53 pm

Looking for feedback etc.

All rights reserved, subject to removal if I ever (and this is just covering my *ss here) come to publish this or anything else. Hands off, no touching, keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.


Prologue – “A Reckoning”

What have you done?!

The words, cruel, steel-cold words, bounced between the infinite planes of the dimensions, shattering glass and rotting wood with their very utterance. Low, black clouds hung like suspended anvils above the quivering nakedness of possibility. The rolling, dark hills and bogs of an unknown, uncharted land spread out in every direction without limit or sanctuary. Amidst the willow-trees and bayous, a fragile, spindly figure hurtles onwards, pausing only to discern a direction known only to him. Coattails flap and whip at his ankles, driving him forward, away from the broiling thunderclouds and cackles of lightning. His eyes, huge, child-like and owlish, drift upwards. The sky is bruised and soft, like spoilt fruit. Maliciousness coated the scene like a varnish – there were evil forces at work here.

What have you done, Peabody?

The Professor felt the intense heat of the tiny device in his pocket begin to cool. It had stopped catching fire intermittently, so that was progress. The pain and sweltering temperature was welcome; anything to distract his restless mind from concentrating on the fact that he had ruined everything.

What have you done?!

What have I done? He thought. Panic gripped his frame and his legs locked. He was never one for running, especially at his age. Everything he was doing had gone against his moral fibre down to the last iota. Everything he had done, also, was abhorrent to him now. How had he let this happen? Trickery? Mind-controlling substances? Black magic? Bloody-minded foolishness? His brain, ever the despicable pragmatist, lent to the latter over all others. Tuillouis would be half a universe away by now, and it was all his fault. Him, Professor de Taxila, Chief Analyst of the Odditologists, good ol’ Peabody. Not Carlander or Himmel or anyone remotely conniving. Him.

Your name has been struck, Professor, and your titles reclaimed. Your very existence has been obliterated. This is just the beginning of your punishment...the punishment for what you have done.

The device was only warm now, and with the occasional switching of hands it could be held in the palm. Professor de Taxila flipped it open, exposing the brilliant amber light of its core to the elements. It hissed in protest, but the Professor was in no mood to quarrel with mere thermodynamics – he’d rectify his deviancy. He’d rectify everything and put things back where they belonged. There would be a reckoning, no doubt, but Professor Razul de Taxila intended to be the judge and jury, come hell or high water. The seeker-clouds had latched onto the impossibly high energy readings of the device held in the Professor’s hand, and foul columns of woollen storm were hurtling towards him. Lightning fried the canopy and ripped up the trees in the wake of the Professor, and horrible thunder rendered his eardrums a mess. Finally, a lash of lightning made contact and ripped up de Taxila’s leg. He let out a wounded cry and, with a final surge of adrenaline, slashed the orange light across the space in front of him in a downwards diagonal streak. Brilliant light erupted forth and the Professor’s frame was suddenly jolted about and contorted horribly like a loose, pierced balloon. With a final, pathetic ‘pssh’ the Professor was gone, leaving only the burning remnants of the marshland for a good twelve feet in all directions. The undefined behemoth of the seeker-clouds observed the burnt, foul-smelling scene, the attack columns receding into the mother mass once more. The pilot, who sat in a special cockpit a whole three dimensions away sat back in his seat and rubbed his chin.
“Bugger”

Chapter One – “It’s been a Strange Morning”

“Bugger” said Arnold Wilkes, 53, with only the scantest of interest. His alarm had meant to go off at eight-fifteen AM, but, due to what was clearly a technical fault and not deliberate mischief on his part, had not gone off until eleven-fifteen, or ‘now’, to be specific. The train would have left at ten on the dot. Arnold had missed another interview for another potential job. Oh dear, tut tut etc. His daughter, Maria, would not be best pleased.

But, for now, Arnold was as happy as he could be. He wasn’t particularly happy, mind you, more ‘not actively unhappy’. But, for Arnold, these days that was as positive an emotion as he could muster. Life had kind of stopped at 40, he felt. The army was no place for an uninspiring grunt past his prime, the children had flown the coup and...Deidre. Deidre. To say the thought choked him up or brought a tear to his eye was to imply that he hadn’t been thinking about her before it deliberately crossed his mind. Because he had. Every damn hour of every damned day he thought of her and how she wasn’t here. Cruel fate hadn’t robbed her that day, because fate wasn’t cruel. It was cold, clinical and terrifyingly apathetic. But even the strongest pains, whether they the loss of one’s dearly beloved or a shard of shrapnel wedged between the shoulder blades, fade to numbness after years of unending endurance. Given a moment to reflect, the fact that it didn’t hurt anymore probably upset Arnold more than any mere mournful despair ever did. Still, life continued to loop the same porridge-grey Groundhog Day every revolution of the globe, and Mr. Wilkes would be damned if his daughter was going to throw him into a new lion’s den of tedium. He sipped a tasteless brew of tea and observed the ruggedness of the moors beyond his window. The radio prattled on about weather and politics and entertainment but Arnold let it all fly straight out the other ear. He just kept it on because the silence was too scary. The outside looked the same as it had always looked, and Arnold acknowleged the repetitive highlights. Birds in the trees, the mulch of fallen leaves, sheep dotted on the faraway hills, a man on fire...wait, what?

Arnold raced down to the bottom of the garden with the cold remains of his morning tea. He threw the brew over the burning, sprawled figure of the man. Oh God, oh God, oh God. It didn’t go out. Oh God. The man looked to be about 80, and his clothes were, aside from being on fire, well-tailored. Oh God, oh God, oh God.
“Flizzwigit!” cried the old man, his face buried in the mud. Arnold, dumbstruck, watched the previously prone pensioner leap up with the force and zest of a four-year-old. “Argle! Frag...bollit...Sycophile!” he screamed, face red with anger. The words, or noises, were spluttered and choked, as if he was forcing out each sound with great difficulty. “Whazzy...Asolomon back...” railed the old man. He ignored Arnold, his eyes flicking around as if they were delirious pinballs. Turning around briefly, the man noticed he was fully ablaze. This did nothing if not fuel his incandescent rage, and he let out a blood-curdling howl. Not of pain, but of inconsolable rage. “WATARY zimopholibile...Ankh! Washbip...Crachimoe...shroag!” continued the vocal spasms. The old man, still on fire, spun around on the spot with his hands clawed upwards, completely lost and trapped in the kind of tantrum Arnold had only seen spoilt children carried out. Finally, after a good two minutes of self-perpetuated flammability and animalistic screaming, the man caught eye of Arnold. He faced him, pointed an accusing figure and, with a word Arnold had until that day considered completely unthreatening, emptied his last garbled utterance. “THATCH!”. Then, pausing only to throw up in the nearby bush, he collapsed into the mud again and the fire went out. Arnold watched the unmoving figure for about half a minute, frozen to the spot. He decided he’d better do something.
“Um...hello. Do you need any help?”

Arnold lent over his kitchen sink, as he was wont to do in times of deep internal crisis. The old man now lay in an armchair in the living room, drooling slightly from the corner of his mouth. He looked calmer now, his face reduced from tomato red to a papery white and his body had, miraculously, not combusted. His hair, too, had gone from the shape of an umbrella blown inside-out to just a regular umbrella, sprouting neatly around the edges of his crown and falling outwards like fern fronds. In the process of dragging the old man up from the bottom of the garden, several strange objects had fallen out of the millions of tiny pockets the man had hidden all over his coat, undercoat, waistcoat and whatever other layers of bizarre clothing the man had. Arnold had put them all in a draw, as some were liquids and others were sharp, neither property being particularly suited for possession by insane old men. On the plus side, the next time Maria had a go at her dad for skipping and interview, he had an excuse. Arnold rolled his eyes as he imagined the conversation “sweetie, look, I tried to get there, but there was this old man in the rhododendrons on fire shouting made-up words and he was on fire and I had to help him and he collapsed and did I mention he was on fire?!”
*CRASH*
Arnold, putting his military background to shame, hid under the table after a moment of panic. The crash had come from the living room and, when Arnold peered through the gap between the kitchen door and its frame, it had come from the lamp situated next to the armchair in which the now-awake old man was sitting. The old man was frantically looking around the room, trying to discern if anyone had heard his accident. Keeping his eyes on the kitchen door, oh God, he knows I’m in here; the wizened little man shifted the broken lamp under the side-table and adopted a position of child-like innocence, twiddling his thumbs and waggling his feet slightly. Arnold reached slowly for the big orange saucepot on the stove. He was an old man, sure, but he was an old man who had turned up in the middle of nowhere, thrown up and shouted at Arnold and had viewed full-body self-combustion as little more than an irritating facet of life. This was a man to be reckoned with. The Man Whom People Should Reckon With, meanwhile, had taken notice of the bookshelf. Straining for a book whilst remaining in his seat, he grabbed a copy of the Oxford Dictionary and opened it on his lap. He stared at the letters on the cover for a few, agonisingly long seconds.
“Oh, English” said the man. He tutted and opened the book. “Koo...Kood I haff a cuppoth tee pleez?” he said, waggling his tongue about like he’d sucked from a bitter lemon. He turned the pages with alarming speed. He couldn’t be reading the words. Noone read the dictionary that fast. Noone read the dictionary, for heaven’s sake!
“English implies England...although, America...” the man muttered. A few minutes passed. The man put aside the dictionary, which he had finished, and picked up another book. It was the Bible. He snorted and put it aside, picking up instead an encyclopaedia. “I know you’re there” he said suddenly, not looking up. Arnold dropped the saucepot in surprise. “I was going to suggest you drop the saucepot and impress you with my ability to discern cookware through walls but, alas, your dropping of said saucepot would have alerted anyone to the existence of said saucepot and, thus, alas, alack, the trick is spoiled.” He shut the book and stared through the gap in the doorframe straight into Arnold’s eyes. “Come out, sir. I mean no harm”
“You...you were on fire!” said Arnold, slowly moving out from behind the door.
“You were planning to beat an old man to death with a saucepot. It’s been a strange morning.”
“Are you...alright?”
“No, not really. Unless you were still thinking about the whole on-fire ballyhoo in which case, yes, I’m completely not on fire anymore. Take a seat”. Arnold did so, only later reflecting on the absurdity taking up the offer of sitting in his own seat in his own damned house.
“You shouted things”
“I did? I hope they didn’t offend”
“You pointed at me and shouted ‘thatch’” said Arnold. The man had returned to his encyclopaedia and was, but for the eloquence of his responses, seemingly not paying Arnold a blind bit of notice.
“I really can’t explain that, sorry. I was a bit out of it”
“I’ll say!”
“You’ll say.” The man agreed. “Ah, so we are in England. This book’s spelt colour with the ‘u’ in it. Why’s there a ‘u’ in colour? It’s either ‘color’ or ‘cuhlur’ with you people. Damned bloody stupid language, English. Give me something sensible like French”. He slammed the book shut.
“Pardon?”
“I don’t think, unless I screamed it at you earlier, I’ve introduced myself yet.” Said the old man. “My name’s Profes- oh, I suppose I’m just regular, old Mister Razul de Taxila now. I’m Mr. De Taxila, though you can call me Peabody, seeming as everyone does.”
“I’m...I’m Arnold Wilkes” said Arnold, taking Peabody’s extended hand. They shook in silence, each eying the other up for signs that the other wasn’t insane. Or something like that. It had been a strange morning.
“Hello, Arnie. I’m Peabody. I’m sure we’ll make quite a pair. Two peas in a pod, except I’m the only pea. Your name is Arnold.”
“What were you doing in my garden?” said Arnold, remembering for the first time the events that had led up to an insane ex-Professor reading the dictionary in under a minute in his living room.
“Is that what that was? My dear boy, the Rhododendrons led me to believe I was in Nepal. Terribly sorry. What was I doing, you say? Perhaps I was taking a reading for the Society...I don’t know. No, it wouldn’t be that, I’m not in the Society anymore. Am I? Oh, damnit...” the man trailed off. He contemplated his navel for a good long while, his eyes flicking about faster and faster as he read from some internal script. Finally, he said “Ah, yes. That was it. I got shot at by a cloud and I threw myself through a temporary dimensional rift with a chunk of hypercharged, hyperenergised, hypoallergenic...uh...stuff.” He concluded, looking rather pleased that he’d managed to explain something without explaining a damned thing.
“Ah...um...okay” nodded Arnold, slowly getting up. Razul followed him up, eyes level. “I’m just going to...uh...get dressed” he jerked his head towards the stairs in the hall.
“You’re already dressed” de Taxila said flatly.
“I...uh...need to get dressed...um...again.” said Arnold, smiling sweetly. The old man stared blankly for a while, and then shrugged and dissipated what Arnold had just noticed was a huge amount of tension.
“Okay” said Peabody, “I’ll make us some breakfast”

“So, let’s be clear here” said the friendly, slightly-worried Yorkshire cadence on the other end of the line, “there’s an old man in your house whom you suspect to be senile or insane...”
“I did mention the whole ‘he was on fire’ thing, didn’t I?”
“Yes, that’s right. An old, on fire man...yes. And currently he’s...?”
“He’s downstairs, cooking something with beef and sour cream in it, singing in French”
“...In...French...” the man repeated back as he scribbled on his notepad. “Okay, I’ve got that down. We’re sending over someone now. Try not to let him leave the house, right?”
“Okay, thanks” said Arnold. The line went dead. He was on his own again...with an insane old man. An insane old man who was cooking Beef Stroganoff for breakfast. In the kitchen where the draw was with...damn! Great, so it was an insane old man, cooking Stroganoff, with lots of sharp objects hidden in his pockets. Great. Just dandy.
“Arnie?” called the old man, “you dressed yet?”
“Uh, yeah!” Arnold called back. Since when was he Arnie? Not even the boys in his platoon had called him Arnie.
“Good, ‘cus breakfast is nearly ready!” called Razul in a sing-song fashion.
“Great!” panicked Arnold, debating whether or not it would be possible to leap out of the window, survive and escape without de Taxila’s knowing. “It, uh...it smells delicious!”
“I should hope so!” came the happy voice. Arnold wandered downstairs, ranking each and every door and window in order of suitability for escape. He reckoned if he locked himself in the bathroom it would take a good few minutes for the man to unscrew the hinges or, more likely, somehow tear down the door or set it all on fire.
“Breakfast is served!” said the happy little man in an apron, mock-kissing his finger and thumb, “C’est bon, no?”
“It’s lovely,” said Arnold, smiling and pulling up a chair. He ate slowly, nodding and mumbling about how good it was. Razul ate rather quickly, smiling the entire time and never letting Arnold out of his sight.
“I do hope this somehow makes up for all this distress, Arnie,” said the man.
“It’s fine, think nothing of it,” said Arnold. He felt the need to keep the old crazy man distracted. “So, erm...what’s this about being chased by clouds?”
“Oh, that. Yes. I was being pursued by agents of the law who were manipulating the cloud cover as a tool by which means they were attempting to apprehend me. Rather long story as to why they were after me, but after me they were. Do you know,” he leant in, “when they gave chase, they referred to me as ‘Peabody’? What is with that infernal moniker? Everyone’s always called me it! I’ve no idea why! It’s not exactly the kind of nickname you get from a situation or event. I was never literally a pea with a body, nor did I have a pea for a body. I mean, when I was about eleven, I assumed it was because I had a big head for my size, but then surely the nickname would focus on the oddity, specifically my head, no?”
“Uh...no?”
“Exactly! Cruel nicknames thought up by childhood bullies are not often likely to employ as sick a variety of irony as to mock my body for being comparatively too small, eh?” he rambled nonsensically. What made it all the more impressive was that he never stopped eating through this tirade. His hands flapped wildly and his fork threatened to escape his fingers and embed itself in the wall at any given moment, and yet the mouthfuls of beef and rice were consistent. It told you something about the comprehensibility of the man’s rantings that Arnold understood more about de Taxila’s eating habits than his words. A knock at the door cut off the man mid-flow, just as he was beginning to divulge into some nickname-based theory about the a quip he’d once made about the size of Pluto...or something like that. Arnold excused himself and went into the hallway. Behind the door’s frosted glass were the unmistakable shapes of a policeman and a community support officer.
“Mr. Wilkes?” said the policeman
“Yes, that’s me”
“You called about the possible retirement home escapee?”
“Yes, he’s in the kitchen.”
“Could you take us to him?” asked the community officer. Arnold nodded grimly. He felt a little sorry for de Taxila, if that was his real name. The man seemed friendly enough, he was just a bit unhinged. He also felt a lot sorrier for whatever poor nurse or helper who had to deal with the man on a daily basis. When they came through to the kitchen, Razul was washing up the saucepot.
“Ah, officers” he said without turning around.
“Sir, we’d like to ask you a few questions” said the policeman.
“Not at all, sir. Could we do it here? I’m in the middle of washing up.”
“We received a call that said you were found in the bottom of the garden of this house. Is this correct?” said the community officer, reading off his notepad.
“Yes”
“It continues that you shouted incomprehensibly for a while”
“Also true”
“And that you threw up and collapsed?”
“Yes”
“And that you were on fir-“
“That was also, regrettably, an accurate report”
“Could you explain your reasons for disturbing the peace, sir?” asked the policeman.
“It’s very simple. I’m afraid I got rather drunk owing to my recent bout of...ah...unemployment, owing to a foolish mistake on my part. I got lost and, in the morning when Mr. Wilkes was kind enough to shelter me, I was very hung over. The fire ordeal is a mystery, presumably owing to drunken escapades and the high flammability of the quantities of alcohol I consumed. However, thanks to the kindness of this young...ah...uh...comparatively young man, I’m now on the straight and narrow once again. I can only apologise for the disturbance and I quite understand your intervention.”
“Well, that seems...in order” nodded the policeman. Arnold gave him a look of ‘are you really going to just leave this?” but the policeman just ignored it. Then, out of nowhere, de Taxila whacked him over the back of the head with the saucepot. Before the community officer could do anything, the old man caught him on the chin with the pot and sent him sprawling. Both were out cold.
“What the hell are you doing?” shouted Arnold, backing away from the asylum escapee. It was definitely an asylum, not a home, he had escaped from. Noone from a home could knock out two officers of the law.
“I have no idea!” Razul shouted back, matching Arnold’s confused anger. Razul rushed over to the community officer and tore up his notebook.
“Why did you knock them out? They were going to leave you! With me!”
“I don’t know! Besides, for all I know there’s a very scant possibility they’re actually agents of the Society sent out to catch me! I have no idea if what they just did was really the way the constabulary works! Do they just ask me questions? I have no idea!”
“You think they’re secret agents?”
“The idea is nigh-on impossible, yes,” said Razul, stuffing random objects into his pockets, still gripping the pot, “but I like to rationalise things like this. Helps me justify it later in court”
“In court?”
“Not the courts here, no” said Razul, “You coming?”. He opened the back door and waved the saucepot at Arnold.
“What? No! You’re running? Where do you think you’re going?” shouted Arnold, panicking.
“I’m not hanging around two policemen I just beat over the head with a pot, no”
“You can’t just run! You broke the law!”
“That’s usually the best reason to run I ever employ” Taxila nodded, wavering around the door. He really, really thought Arnold might follow him. “No? Not coming? Oh well. Fare thee well, Mr. Arnold Wilkes! Remember my Strogaoff as the finest you ever tasted!” He dropped the pot and bolted out the door, sprinting with the kind of speed unnatural for old men. Arnold looked at the scene around him. Soap suds where everywhere, the tap was still running and two policemen lay sprawled across the floor, concussed. Whether he was on the side of the policemen, which he was, or Taxila, the only sensible thing now was to follow the culprit and see where things led.
“Oi, come back here!”

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
मैं हिन्दी जानना चाहता हूँ…અને ગુજરાતી…ਅਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ…এবং হয়ত বাংলা.
Aprenderé a bailar salsa y nada detendrá me. 对不起我的中文不好,对不起我不知道你说什么。
Не слышны в саду даже шорохи. Все здесь замерло до утра, Если б знали вы, как мне дороги, Подмосковные вечера.
The problem with having an open mind, you see, is that people insist on coming along and putting things in it
- Sir Terry Pratchett
I have a blog nao
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GrinningManiac
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Re: Prologue and First Chapter

Post by Furburt on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:08 pm

Placeholder comment for when attention span returns and am able to read more than a sentence without switching off.

What I've read looks good though.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This device will make me famous
This device will make me fly
This device will make me holy
This device defies all laws

Laws that are stupid, and make no sense.

Big Black, Newman Generator

The New Adventures of Momo Murphy
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Re: Prologue and First Chapter

Post by GrinningManiac on Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:17 pm

Cool. I understand if it's long, I'd just really appreciate feedback from people I A) know and B) know will give me blunt criticism if I need it.

My friends are wont to enjoy what I write, so I often wonder if they REALLY do or if they're being overly polite. Curse our British sensibilities.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
मैं हिन्दी जानना चाहता हूँ…અને ગુજરાતી…ਅਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ…এবং হয়ত বাংলা.
Aprenderé a bailar salsa y nada detendrá me. 对不起我的中文不好,对不起我不知道你说什么。
Не слышны в саду даже шорохи. Все здесь замерло до утра, Если б знали вы, как мне дороги, Подмосковные вечера.
The problem with having an open mind, you see, is that people insist on coming along and putting things in it
- Sir Terry Pratchett
I have a blog nao
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GrinningManiac
His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; Commander Sir Alasdair Lawrence

Posts : 5597
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Re: Prologue and First Chapter

Post by MilkyFresh on Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:42 pm

Perhaps a little purple prose-y in the prologue there, too many damn adjectives.
I enjoyed what I read of the rest, just try and avoid that excessively ornate style of writing, it makes it all quite hard to read. Like I said, the rest was grand.

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Re: Prologue and First Chapter

Post by GrinningManiac on Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:49 pm

Rewrote the first scene. I dunno if it's more or less purple-y but I'm happier with how it fits in the narrative now I understand where it heads from here on out.


This couldn’t be happening.

This could not be happening. Why is this happening? Why me?

These thoughts burrowed right into the core of Razul de Taxila, resounding and rebounding off every fibre of his being.

Why?

His figure, fragile and spindly, hurtles onwards, pausing only to discern a direction known only to him. Coattails flap and whip at his ankles, driving him forward, away from the broiling thunderclouds and cackles of lightning. He ran harder and faster than he had ever before in his long, long life. His eyes, huge, child-like and owlish, drift upwards to a sky, bruised and soft like spoilt fruit. A setup. For what? He knew not. Why now? That, too, was lost on him. But who? The last person he’d ever expect, that was who. Maliciousness coated the scene like a varnish – there were evil forces at work here. The rolling, dark swamps of an unknown, uncharted land spread out in every direction without limit or sanctuary. And yet even here they would find him. Whether paranoia or perceptiveness, de Taxila could hear them in the distance. The low wasp’s-hum. They would be coming after him whilst Tuillouis would be half a universe away by now, and it was all his fault. His coat pocket jangled as he ran. He’d snatched something, something from his hand. It had broken. The noise had been unbearable. Razul didn’t know if this entire plan had been to discredit him but he had a sickening feeling that were it not for that distraction Tuillouis would have killed him there and then. The device was only warm now, it didn’t singe his breast when it bashed about. Pulling it out of his coat, hopping it between hands like a hot potato, Professor de Taxila flipped it open, exposing the brilliant amber light of its core to the elements. It hissed in protest, but the Professor was in no mood to quarrel with mere thermodynamics – he’d rectify his deviancy. He’d rectify everything and put things back where they belonged. There would be a reckoning, no doubt, but Professor Razul de Taxila intended to be the judge and jury, come hell or high water. He knew they were homing in on the energy readings of the device but he couldn’t bring himself to throw it away. It was all he had left.
“Professor Razul!” boomed the storm-cloud. Foul columns of woollen storm bore down towards him. Lightning fried the canopy and ripped up the trees in the wake of the Professor, and horrible thunder rendered his eardrums a mess. His lungs stung with the pain of running.
“Cease and desist, Professor!” cautioned the storm. A bolt of lightning whipped down and caught the ground between his legs. The force carried Razul off his feet and into a dip in the land, slick with mud and rainwater. His body screamed for him to stop, to just lie there with his head half-submerged. But his brain, that powerful, ever-present voice, said ‘fight on’ and ‘get out of here!’. His old arms, protesting in pain, pushed into the slurry. He rose, unsteadily, from the bog.
“Give yourself up, Professor,” said an altogether-more-human-sounding storm. A figure, resplendent in parade uniform and a skin of otherworldly perfection, stood arms-folded by the side of the Professor.
“It…wasn’t…me…” Razul heaved. More figures, identically uniformed, emerged from the forest. The first one, the voice of the storm, twirled the end of his fine moustache around his finger.
“Your name has been struck, Professor, and your titles reclaimed. Your very existence has been obliterated,” he announced. The figures moved closer-still, their hum rising to a deafening din. They looked on with contempt. “This is only the beginning of your punishment, Mister de Taxila-“
“Serjent,” Razul said weakly, “Serjent, please…”
“Restrain him,” the Serjent said. Two moved forward. Instinct kicked in and Razul bolted, finding new strength from his fear. “Seize him!” the Serjent thundered in that far-carrying storm-voice. Razul broke through the foliage and onto the very tip of some kind of mesa. The drop was not far but it was rocky, sharp and likely fatal. He was trapped on the cliffedge like so many dashing heroes before him. Except he wasn’t dashing, he was an octogenarian; and he wasn’t a hero – he was Public Enemy Number One. But like all good heroes Razul had one last trick up his sleeve. The figures approached effortlessly, floating through the air like ghosts. Razul became aware of the warm trickle of blood down his leg from where they had struck him. He became aware of the thousand-needle sting of his lungs. He became oh-so aware of the sharp wind slicing through every nook and cranny in his face. Standing atop the storm-streaked mesa amidst the bayous and bogs, Razul let out a wounded cry; a final comment on his miserable circumstance. And then, with what was left of his energy, he slashed the device across the space in front of him. Brilliant, sunset-orange light erupted forth and the Professor’s frame was jagged and strung out of shape. He contorted like a deflating balloon for a few milliseconds before vanishing with a final, pathetic ‘pssh’, leaving only the burning remnants of the marshland for a good twelve feet in all directions. The serjent walked over to the ashen spot where the Professor had last stood and scuffed the pile of ashes with curiosity. “Is he dead?” he asked one of the others, a younger man. The young man walked over and observed the charred scene.
“I don’t think so,” he said, “I don’t know what that was but it wasn’t suicide.” The Serjent considered this.
“Bugger”

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मैं हिन्दी जानना चाहता हूँ…અને ગુજરાતી…ਅਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ…এবং হয়ত বাংলা.
Aprenderé a bailar salsa y nada detendrá me. 对不起我的中文不好,对不起我不知道你说什么。
Не слышны в саду даже шорохи. Все здесь замерло до утра, Если б знали вы, как мне дороги, Подмосковные вечера.
The problem with having an open mind, you see, is that people insist on coming along and putting things in it
- Sir Terry Pratchett
I have a blog nao
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GrinningManiac
His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; Commander Sir Alasdair Lawrence

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Re: Prologue and First Chapter

Post by Xandy on Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:05 pm

I feel like bumping this for no raisin.

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Wu-Tang is for the children!
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Xandy
Halfblood Prince of Persia

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Re: Prologue and First Chapter

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