Chapter 2 (Untitled Novel) Welcome to the End of your world

Erik’s neck throbs as he opens his eyes to find that he is standing.  Any memories of the fall are gone, let alone the attempt to kill his wife and her boyfriend.  The only thing on his mind currently is why his neck hurts and how he managed to sleep standing up.  At least that’s what he assumed he was doing seconds ago.  The answer came quickly when his feet came into focus.  Erik’s feet were tied together to a large wooden trunk.  He looked up to see above him the green leaves and branches of a large tree.  The biggest shock through made him breathless when he looked forward into a world unfamiliar to anything he had ever seen before.

In front of him was a forest of trees.  Each tree had two sets of ropes tied to it, one above the other.  All the trees seemed to be the same circumference and they all had a body tied to it.  It was dark but light snuck through small sections of the leafy canopy.  The light seemed to highlight certain trees more then others.  Erik assumed there had to be at least a thousand trees in front of him.  The majority of the bodies tied to the trees stood with their heads down.  Sleeping… dead… Erik didn’t know.  Erik began to access how he got here because last he recalled he was standing in front of his house pissing and moaning about his marriage.  There was no forest this large in Perry, Michigan… Nothing this large in Michigan, he thought and wouldn’t it be hard to keep the cops from finding a forest of human bodies from the cops?

Someone screamed loudly from behind him after a loud slapping sound.  It sounded as if he was smacked with something.  That was followed by several others and it seemed like a train of agony was heading toward him.  He tried to look behind him to see what he could but the tree was too large.  Several more screams.  Women and men screamed with the same velocity.  The sound of crunching leaves behind him automatically tensed every muscle in his body.  Erik couldn’t even expect anything, which was terrifying.  His mind began to search for an explanation.

Erik was an alcoholic, it was a demon he fought since early in high school, but he had never passed out and found himself in a situation he could not explain.  This was similar to an extreme episode of Criminal Minds and the X-files.  The last time he passed out he found himself outside The Office, a bar off of Second Street.  Erik was lost in thought and almost missed as a taller man in a hooded red coat stepped from behind the tree and swung a leather strap.  The strap hit him hard across his bar legs causing pain to shoot up through his body.  He cursed loudly but didn’t scream.  The hooded man turned and looked up at Erik.  His face was gaunt and his eyes were red, as if he had been up all night.  The man then turned and walked forward.  He swung the strap and slapped the body in the tree ahead of him.  Erik looked to the left and found a line of similar dressed individuals doing the same thing.  Erik looked right to see the same thing.  Within minutes the screaming had passed like an ocean wave following the current.

Erik struggled with his ropes.  His feet were immobile but his arms seemed a little loose.

“It’s a pretty dire situation,” said a sorrowful voice behind him.  Erik paused for several seconds, not expecting someone to start a conversation in this situation.

“Is that your opinion,” Erik snapped.  “I don’t know why I’m here.”

“I can’t help you much answer that,” said the voice.  “My name is Gabriel.  I’ve been tied to this tree for maybe three days… I think.  Can’t really tell but I might be able to help you if you help me.”

“How are you going to help me?  I’m assuming you are tied to a tree too.”

“Correct but I can see that your knots are a bit loose.  I can walk you through loosening them.”

Erik followed Gabriel’s instructions and managed to free one hand then the other.  His feet sat on a small platform.  With some work Erik untied the rope around his ankles.  Once free, he was only about 3 feet off the ground so he leapt.

“Brilliant idea, Gabriel,” Erik said as he turned to help his new friend.  That’s when he noticed that his friend was not human, at least not as he understood human characteristics.  Gabriel was at least seven-foot tall and a pair of wings were tucked behind him.  The corners of the wings made him maybe 10 feet tall.

“Holy crap.”

“Yes, I’m sorry I did not tell you,” apologized Gabriel.

“Did not tell me doesn’t even cover have the crap I’m seeing right now but at least now I know I must be dreaming.”

Erik untied his new friend who quickly leapt off the small ledge.  Erik stepped back as the large man shook his wings behind him.  Several feathers fell to the ground.  Erik looked to find that many feathers covered the ground.

“How long have you been tied to the tree?” He asked.

“Excuse me, step back,” Gabriel said as he exercised his wings.  “I think I’ve been tied to this tree for years.  Lost count after a couple months.  We better move on before the forest guards catch us.”

Gabriel began to walk forward when Erik stopped him.  “Can’t you fly us out of here?”

“My wings have been tied behind me for several years.  Not at the moment.”

Erik and Gabriel stepped forward toward the North end of the forest.  Erik noticed that most of the other bodies within the trees were asleep.  Some moved slightly but a few others were wide awake and screamed when the two men passed.

“Don’t leave me here!” they pleaded but Erik ignored them the best he could.

“You have to tell me two things, Gabriel,” said Erik.  “Where am I and where do I get a pair of those?”

Gabriel laughed which shook the leaves above them.  He then quickly stopped.  “This is the Forest of the Damned.  It is an entry point for creatures coming into this world.  It is also one of two prisons designed for creatures that refuse to follow the rules.  I am Gabriel, as I have said; my wings were grown upon my back at birth so you cannot receive a pair.  I am a harpie, we are native to this land.  We need to move…my laughter may bring trouble.”

 

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Aside

Erik’s father Bruce was not an alcoholic he was a drunk.  His “life” was so miserable he felt the need to fill every waking minute with beer or liquor.  Bruce was more then happy to tell everyone that he was not happy and it was not his fault.  He could of been a good father if Erik’s mother would of allowed him to do what he wanted.  Erik was nearly ten years old when the incident happened.  The night before,  like clockwork, Bruce wandered through the front door attempted to sit and relax.  Erik’s mother, terminally tired of Bruce’s beer-enhanced laziness would bring up the latest of his misadventures.  Bruce being the man of honor he was would then proceed to insult Erik’s mother.  They would fight and usually his mother would stomp off and disappear into her room until Bruce passed out.  The morning after Bruce awoke find all his belongings had been piled around him.  Erik’s mother stood quietly preparing breakfast and helping Erik get ready for school.  Like an animal released after a night of beatings, Bruce began to throw everything he could get his hands on.  He screamed obscenities on top of obscenities, while Erik’s mother tried to ignore his outburst.  Erik could tell his mother was struggling.  She tried to keep a fragile smile while she quickly rushed him out the door to his bus.

The  bus stop was a quarter mile from the house.  The screams from the house disappeared seconds before Erik noticed he had forgotten his backpack.  Erik knew going back into that house was not wise.  It never was but quietly he wondered what happened after he left for school.  He loved his mother and never wanted to leave her in the morning.  He knew that Bruce was angry and his mother was never to far away to receive punishment.  Erik was within earshot again of the screaming but it was only from Bruce.  His mother’s usual verbal volleys were not there.  “What had he done to her? What would he find when he opened that door?”

Erik approached the front door.  He could see within the kitchen from outside the house.  Bruce stood, back toward him, his mother’s dress swallowed up in front of the large man’s frame.  Her feet kicked below her dress, she was struggling.  Erik threw open the front door.  Bruce looked back, surprised he let go of Erik’s mother.  She fell to the floor.  Erik ran into Bruce and shoved him.  He was small but Erik’s momentum was enough to knock Bruce sideways.  Bruce fell into the gas stove and it ignited the loose fitted shirt he was wearing.  Bruce continued to fall, on fire and knocked a hot pot of water over his face.  Erik’s mother screamed.  Erik stood watching as the flames ate up Bruce’s shirt.  Bruce held his face as the hot water seared his flesh.  Suddenly, Erik felt a shove from behind as his mother pushed him out of the way.  She then proceeded to fill another pot with cold water and attempt to douse the flames.  Bruce screamed and held his face.  Erik watched as his mother put out the flames.

After several minutes his mother stood over him and asked pointedly, “What are you doing home?”

Rough childhood

Jan 3 – Chapter 1 (Untitled Novel) Revenge is…

Chapter 1

-Introduce the Character– Introduce the Event

Erik stood in the darkness, his Ford Escort sat idling beside him.  A storm was brewing in the East which Erik thought was completely appropriate.  The thunder was quiet but would soon crash over the small house he stood in front of.  It helped to motivate him but dread still slowed him a great deal.  This dread was encased on small optimistic hopes that everything will be Ok.  It’s just a dream he would often think but… it wasn’t a dream. His wife of ten years, Erin, was cheating on him with some part-time cop.  Erik knew whatever was happening, was happening right now.  In front of him, within his driveway a strange car sat.  It was a dark color, as dark as the evil that was its driver.  The light in the second-story window, her bedroom, illuminated the shadows that moved within it.

Erik stood, as rain began to fall lightly, and rehearsed his plan.  It was a simple plan really.  Rush into the house and stab everyone within it.  He knew it was first degree murder and God would frown upon him till the day he died but the anger he felt could not be contained.  He had to act before the rage went away.  A crack of thunder struck him into action and he moved toward the house.  The garage would be unlock so he entered slowly.  Her car sat in the garage.  The car Erik bought her.  The red paint on the outside with the dark maroon interior that she wanted.  Erik spent years paying that off.  She took it from him, like she took everything else.  Erik carried a large carving knife in his right hand.  He put the tip of the blade against the red paint and walked along it.  It didn’t make a loud scrapping sound but it was loud enough to contain the rage for moments.

“Ok, you wrecked her car.  Isn’t that good enough,” said a small voice inside his head the dread had creeped back within his mind.  Erik still had some remnants of a soul within him.  Something that she had not ripped from him.. but unfortunately it was only a small remnant.  The rage was too great.  The wrong that had been thrust upon him was too great.  He would see this done no matter the consequences. The inside door to the kitchen was open slightly.  Erik opened the screen door slowly, to minimize the noise.  He pushed in the door to the kitchen.  Through the dark, he could make out the tall shape of the refrigerator and cabinets.  The bar, stood waist high, stretched from his right across half of the room.  Erin liked to keep all her important dishes in the cabinets above that bar.  Erik grinned as he imagined trashing this kitchen but then stopped when he recalled all the work that he had put into this kitchen.  The rage within him throttled him and he tightened the grip on the knife.  He pressed forward passed the kitchen bar and toward the stairs to the upstairs room.  This is where she was.  This is where, Mr. Right was.  The man that help to destroy his life one date at a time.  Erik wanted to run up the stairs screaming but didn’t.  “Everything had to be done perfectly,” he thought.

Erik approached the first step when the phone rang.  It’s noise drilled through his head like a surgeon.  Suddenly, within seconds he was struck with several emotions at once.  He thought of running through the house and out the door.  His car was still running.  He could leave and no one would know or he could hide in the house till she answered the phone and then pounce.  Finally, he could run up the stairs and finish the job quickly and be done with it… but

“Honey, is that the phone,” she said.  When Erin spoke Erik’s heart sank, his rage cooled.  Her sweet melodic tone soothed him.  That was until he realized what she said.  She called him “honey”!  The rage screamed back through him.  He stepped forward and missed the first step.  The knife fell from his hand and hit the stairs with a clang.  It then spun from the steps toward him and he leapt away from it.  It fell loudly upon the wooded floor of a small dining room.

“That was the phone, Where is it?  What was that?” a voice, heavy in testosterone spoke from the stairs above.  It felt like Erik’s heart was beating outside his chest.  The rage dictated that he grab the knife and rush forward.  Her boyfriend, or “Honey” will have a standard issue hand gun and know how to use it.  The element of surprise will be his best option.  Erik grabbed the knife from the floor and rushed up the stairs.  He met the boyfriend at the top of the stairs and sank the kitchen knife into his left shoulder.  The boyfriend fell backward taking the knife with him.  Erik tried to pull it from the man’s shoulder as he fell but it wouldn’t budge.  Erik stood over him as he screamed.  The words from the injured boyfriend were not understandable and Erik’s original purpose was lost.  Erik watched as blood filled the wound around the knife.  Tears traced rivers of saline down his face.  It was almost like he got what he wanted but now he didn’t want it anymore.  Was this man his target or was it Erin?

“Where was Erin?”  Erik caught sight of the small thin woman seconds before she hit him hard, like a college offensive lineman, and forced him to trip over the top of the stairs.  He swung his arms wildly as he fell downward.