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|31st Dec 2008, 7:52 PM||The Game #1|
I've had this story in mind for about a year, but it only took me two days to get it written. It results wholly from watching too much Supernatural and is probably the most unrealistic, fantastical story of mine that you'll ever read. I started out with a husband/wife dynamic, but that was too soft, so I fell back into brother/brother, something I'm quite comfortable with. Be warned for violence and brief language, but if you've ever entered a high school, it won't be new to you. I hope you enjoy it, and I'd love to hear what you think.
Callum’s body was gone long before the time Eric woke up.
He knew that Callum was dead as soon as he opened his eyes to be greeted by a hospital room, bare and vacant with no sign that anyone held vigil over him. Not only was the hard-backed plastic chair unoccupied, but it remained unmoved from standard position in a shadowy corner with dust gathering at its feet. It was a stark contrast to his other hospitalizations, the number of which he could easily count on one hand, when the chair had been pulled as close to the bed as possible and filled with a warm, worried presence.
There was only so much that would keep Callum away.
The night nurse took pity on him and related the story that had become the subject of much hospital gossip throughout the past forty-two days. She told him how a man had burst into the ER with all the desperate, life-and-death ostentation and finesse of a cable medical drama, gushing viscid scarlet and clutching his unconscious companion in a macabre mockery of how a groom carries his bride over the threshold. She told him how the man’s blood still couldn’t be removed from the cracks in the linoleum and how his last words had been, “help him.”
How they had to break his dead arms to pry the unconscious man from his rigid grasp.
She spoke of what was done for the man in the condescending voice of one attempting to communicate that the audience should be appreciative of a favor. She spoke of how the coroner was never able to identify him and, out of vaguely sympathetic (and, he suspected, vaguely amused) reaction to his emphatic and theatrical end, provided a coffin and suit.
His brother was dead, lying somewhere in a cheap suit and an inexpensive coffin, buried in an unmarked communal grave to die a graceless pauper’s death.
His expression must have reflected his utter, pervasive shock, for he was startled from an abysmal reverie by the cool, sympathetic touch of the nurse’s palm on his forearm. “It’ll get better,” she assured, her gentle grip intended to be sensitive and soothing. “I’ve lost someone, too.” With that, her lips curved into a softhearted smile and she left the dimly lit room.
Not like this, he despaired to call after her. Not theatrically spectacular like a sensational televised ER production, not in a brazenly flamboyant exhibition of unconditional love painted in strokes of garish scarlet blood like rotten fruit. Not like this.
He wanted to cry. He wanted nothing more than to wail like a child, to weep with shameless abandon, to rail against the injustice and tear at his hair, but he couldn’t. Despite the sudden, arresting breathlessness of astonishment and the treacle-thick lump in his throat, all he could procure were curses at the cruel world and an insidious feeling of helplessness. Callum was dead, sent off with a breathtaking blood-soaked finish but without a heartfelt goodbye, and he had been struck so hard that he lay unconscious for six weeks and couldn’t even remember what had killed his brother.
As soon as he could walk without losing his balance or suffering from an intense rush of blood to the head, he walked out of the hospital. Despite the majority of his blood volume having been spilled and the fact that he continued to gush viscid crimson like a gutted animal, Callum had somehow managed to drive to the ER, and the faculty had kept his car in the staff parking lot as a chilling manifestation of his histrionic death. For that, at least, Eric was grateful.
The doctors told him that Callum’s grotesque wounds were characteristic of an animal attack and that pools of blood were found on the grounds of the legal hunting preserve not twenty minutes from the hospital. They told him that Callum was shredded like hamburger meat, that the damage was so utterly absolute, so physically devastating that they couldn’t comprehend how he possibly survived long enough to carry Eric to the car, much less drive to the hospital.
Just like his brother. He would have been pleased that his end was a contradiction of the laws of physics, that he went out as a miracle of modern medicine and an anomaly of human stamina.
He scoured his subconscious for repressed memories of that auspicious night that Callum decided to redecorate the hunting grounds with his innards, but his mind was like a sieve that the valuable occurrences had irreparably sifted through. He worked fervently with a team of psychiatrists and hypnotists while recuperating, but no matter how fanatically he endeavored, he couldn’t conjure the memories that he wanted to. His recollections were limited to torrential rain pierced by fragmented, radioactive shafts of lightning, deafening crashes of thunder that shook the ground, feral, beastly roars of something unnatural, and the frantic, dying screams of a person that he had no trouble identifying.
Eric hunkered down into his jacket when he reached the car. He had seen the streaks of burned rubber on the pavement during his walk to the parking lot, knew all too well the dirty secret that they hid. Surprisingly, the exterior of the car was unscathed, royal blue paint as sleek and lustrous as he remembered Callum bragging that it was. Nerveless fingers anxiously toyed with the keys the parking marshal had kept for him, ambivalently approaching the window. Sure enough, the interior looked as though it had been installed in a war zone, wildly and gruesomely spattered with his brother’s dried, rotten maroon blood.
He swallowed the bile that rose in his throat and bolted to the posterior of the vehicle, bracing his hands on the metal as he fought valiantly to control his churning, rebellious stomach. When the nausea subsided after what felt like an eternity, he gazed curiously at the trunk and wondered with apprehension what telltale enigmas it held.
His hands shook as though palsied while he fumbled with the keys, hands numb and chilled, repulsed by the vehicle like repelling magnets. A significant part of him rallied against the closure that the rational fraction so ardently pursued; part of him didn’t want to remember the horror of that fateful melodramatic, blood-soaked night that Callum died. He swallowed thickly and tampered the doubt, inserting the key into the lock and slowly raising the lid of the trunk.
It was virtually empty, the durable fabric of the interior marred only by a few shriveled gum wrappers and an olive sweatshirt crusted with dried mud. His nose wrinkled at Callum’s disgusting habits before an all too familiar ache rolled across him, but then his eyes were drawn to the gun.
It was a hunting rifle, lethally black like the weaponry of an assassin, and, by his estimation, the safety was removed and the chamber was fully loaded.
He slammed the lid down, gunned the engine, and sped down the interstate in search of the fastest way out of Boston and the first car dealer he could find that would immediately replace the upholstery.
Eric’s sleeping patterns were starting to scare him.
His sleep was deep and heavy, virtually impossible to interrupt until his internal clock was fully sated. He slept without dreams, resolutely rooted in insensible oblivion, anesthetized to the intense, aching day-to-day emotional journey that his life had become. He shouldn’t have been sleeping this well after his brother died; he didn’t sleep right for two years after his father’s death.
Now his brother was gone, and he was having the best sleep of his life.
It wasn’t fair.
When Callum came, he wasn’t ready. Two months after he woke up alone in the hospital, two months of emotional suffering, he saw Callum walk into a secluded café outside of Philadelphia and he thought he was hallucinating.
Callum was dead, killed by a monstrous beast that he couldn’t quite recollect, buried in a lonely, unmarked communal grave somewhere in Boston that he couldn’t find, bloody and tragic and dead.
Except that it wasn’t a hallucination. It walked up to an attractive college-age blonde that was exactly Callum’s type and struck up a conversation with the brash grin and all of the brazen chutzpah characteristic of his brother in life. The blonde invited him- it?- whatever to sit down, and of course she did, because it was Callum the lady-killer always scheming to get lucky, but it couldn’t be Callum. It couldn’t.
He remembered panicked, desperate screams and the iron-rich stench of blood like fruit just past its ripened date, but he had no recollection of Callum’s actual death. The hospital’s account of his spectacular finish had seemed like rock solid evidence for the past two months, had haunted his every waking moment, but the present scene fed to his anxious eyes was a blatant contradiction. Callum was ten feet away from him charming a pretty girl with his white lies and dimpled smile, not dead and buried. Could he be dreaming, or could his brother have somehow staged his own death for reasons unbeknownst to him? How could Callum possibly think it was funny to let Eric believe that he was dead for two months?
Rampant curiosity and a bone-deep anger propelled him from his abandoned laptop and toward the booth. Callum sat with his back turned, laughing at something the blonde had said, forearms pillowed on the polished wooden surface of the table.
“Callum!” Eric spat, shoving his brother’s shoulder with unnecessary, irritated force. The flesh and bone beneath his hand was as solid as ever, just as leanly muscled and sinewy sharp as he recalled.
Callum turned, annoyance flashing across his features before it was replaced by the absolutely paralyzed expression of a teenager caught sneaking in after curfew. “Eric. Oh, shit.”
“It’s not nice to let people think you’re dead,” Eric seethed.
“Wait, he thinks you’re dead? Is he your boyfriend?” the blonde questioned, palms braced on the table as though to rise.
Callum’s hand shot across the polished wood to cover her palm with his own, a charming smile curving up his lips. “Don’t worry, sweetheart, he’s just an old friend playing a joke on me. I’ll be right back.”
Seizing his brother by the upper arm so roughly that the impact of his hand against the woven fabric of his brother’s jacket produced a soft thump, Eric hauled him from the booth and toward the empty space by the front door of the café. “What the hell, Callum? How could let me think that you were dead for two months?!”
“I didn’t want you to find out like this,” Callum responded. His voice was low and utterly serious, pale blue eyes trained faithfully upon Eric’s own to convey a profound feeling of sincerity.
“Then how did you want me to find out?!” He could see from the cross expression that flickered across his brother’s face that Callum wanted him to lower his voice, but seeing as he had spent two months wrought with guilt that his brother had died to save his life, he wasn’t in the mood to be quiet.
“I made sure that you were safe before I left. They promised me that much. You weren’t supposed to find out like this,” Callum said to justify his sudden materialization, pressing the bridge of his nose with thumb and index finger as though sensing an oncoming headache before turning his head to check on the blonde.
It was then that Eric caught sight of the scars on his throat, wrinkled and white and healed enough that they appeared decades old. And suddenly, in a Technicolor flash of illuminated synapses, he remembered. He remembered when that wild beast sunk its sharpened teeth into his brother’s throat, so deep and so grotesque that Callum hardly had time to scream before he was dead.
He couldn’t have survived. No one could have survived.
“You’re not my brother,” Eric snarled, lip curled. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he knew that this was impossible, he knew that he must be dreaming, but the rage and the indignation were so all-consuming that he had no capacity to take advantage of his rational side. “I don’t know what you are, but you’re not him.”
Callum’s lips quirked into an oddly humored smile. “What are you talking about?”
He seized his laptop, pushed open the café door with excessive energy, and stalked toward the parked car, Callum trailing at his heels with witty remarks and impassioned assurances. He didn’t know what to think- was raising his brother from the dead part of some sick, cosmic joke being played on him? Was he stuck in the cycle of an atrocious dream or suspended in a spiteful alternate reality concocted by his ill-humored subconscious? He didn’t know what the thing wearing his brother’s face was, but he knew that it wasn’t Callum.
“Eric, come on,” not-Callum pleaded, palms spread in a gesture of surrender and helplessness. “Calm down, and let’s just talk about this. You know it’s me.”
“You’re not him,” he reiterated darkly, fueled by a deep-seated rage that curdled in the pit of his stomach and set his world awash in an impassioned haze of radioactive red. He fumbled with the ring of keys and unlocked the trunk to deposit his laptop, but in doing so, his eyes lit upon the abandoned rifle, lethally smooth and collecting dust in the corner.
The metal was cold and dangerous and wrong beneath his trembling hands, but he had never been as sure as he was when he lifted the barrel and emptied the entire clip into the thing that wasn’t his brother.
Not-Callum collapsed backward onto the pavement, propelled by the momentum of the bullets that tore through unnatural flesh. The thing wearing his brother’s face lay in a crumpled heap, limbs akimbo and twisted at aberrant angles that bespoke of death, submerged in a growing puddle of fresh blood.
The blood brought him to remember cold, hammering rain that coursed harshly down his skin, the overpowering stench of rusted iron and the feel of frigid hands drenched in warm blood that frantically patted his inert face. He remembered pain, he remembered confusion, he remembered Callum’s panic.
How did Callum do it? No one could have survived. It wasn’t possible. It wasn’t natural.
Eric’s heart rose in his throat and he swallowed it down, throwing the rifle in the trunk before revving the engine. He knew that he had to get out of dodge before the people in café came to investigate the gunfire.
He sped onto the highway as though hell was following, and as he left the parking lot with squealing tires, he only looked back once.
If it felt wrong, at least no one else could see it.
(continued in next post)
|31st Dec 2008, 7:54 PM||#2|
At first, he ran. He ran to metropolises so big that he suspected no one could find him, that his past couldn’t chase him down. He drove to New York to lose himself in the multitude of people, to abandon what had happened in a throng of streetwalkers, to take some time to assure himself that he wasn’t crazy.
He took advantage of the city’s vast resources and launched into arduous research that hungrily consumed his waking hours. He delved into the psychological, the paranormal, the impossible, essentially whatever he could acquire that might someday be beneficial to his maniacal pursuit of truth. He devoured records of post-traumatic stress disorder, shapeshifters, hallucinations after trauma, schizophrenia, skinwalkers, and universal anomalies. He identified an expansive superfluity of answers but couldn’t settle on one, torn between entertaining thoughts of something unnatural possessing his brother’s form and insecurities that he might be losing his mind.
Whatever the explanation, it was over and done with. The thing that wasn’t Callum had bled out in a suburban parking lot on sun-baked pavement, and it was dead and gone.
Or, so he thought.
When he attended a car show on the pier four months after his awakening to ease his troubled mind, he caught sight of Callum from across the cracked wooden dock. He was perched by an exorbitantly priced sports car conversing with a salesman, making exaggerated gestures at the lustrous red coupe that clearly expressed his affection for the vehicle.
Eric was crippled by astonishment, rendered stagnant by the shock of his brother alive, well, and damnably unchanged. Callum was dead, and he had killed the thing that assumed his persona, of that he was sure. How could his brother be schmoozing a salesman from the grave?
It couldn’t be Callum, it couldn’t. He was blinded by such an omnipresent, vehement miasma that he crossed the dock in record time to grasp the thing that wasn’t his brother by the forearm violently enough to leave bruises.
Not-Callum turned with that incorrigibly cross, down-turned expression because his face morphed into the irritated portrait of one persistently plagued by a habitual annoyance. “Eric, what the hell are you doing here?”
"I think I should be asking you that,” he responded hotly, dragging Callum down the dock at such a fast pace that he struggled to keep up. He descended the stairs with the imposter in tow to the rocky shallows beneath the pier, the tide washing in to lap at the age-old wooden columns whitewashed from sea salt that supported the structure.
"Would you quit following me and leave me alone, already?” the callous charlatan spat, yanking his arm from Eric’s grasp and rubbing at the quickly emerging violet bruises with a soft touch.
"You’re dead!” he shouted. “You’re not supposed to be here! Hell, you’re not even him!”
"Keep your voice down, alright?” Callum snapped in a hushed tone, dark browns drawn over bad-tempered eyes. “It’s really me, and I wish I could explain, I really do, but you wouldn’t understand, and you have to believe me.”
"I wouldn’t understand?” Eric remarked in indignation. “I think I deserve to know. Try me.”
"I made sure that you were safe,” Callum responded in defense as though the pitiable excuse somehow justified the events of the past four months.
"You think that makes this okay?! Just tell me- how do you keep coming back? How come you didn’t die?” Eric questioned resentfully.
Callum pressed the bridge of his nose as he had done at their first meeting, irritated and impatient. “Eric, I can’t. I know what you’re doing, looking for an answer. You have to trust me. You have to stop following me.”
"I won’t stop looking until you tell me the truth,” he vowed.
"And I can’t tell you,” Callum stated. “Seems like we have a Catch-22.”
"Yeah,” Eric mused.
With that, he seized Callum before he had time to protest and fought to contain the violently struggling appendages. He cupped the back of Callum’s head and forcefully slammed it into one of the wooden dock poles, viscid scarlet soaking into the veins of the wood before he went completely limp and the hard-fought tension escaped his body. Eric maneuvered Callum to the rising tide and manhandled him into the water, kneeling on his back and holding his head beneath the waves until the struggle subsided altogether.
It couldn’t have been his brother. It couldn’t.
When Callum reappeared at a deli in Raleigh three months later, he crossed drowning and gunfire off the list of things that didn’t work.
Time passed and it became a game, a slow, torturous, tormented game.
Every few months, give or take a few days or so, their paths always conspired to cross. Callum was always the Callum he recalled, with that rakish, dimpled grin, quick to deliver a painful double entendre or witty teasing, and he always, always knew what Eric had been up to since their last encounter.
"Hey, Eric,” he would call lightheartedly when they collided in a restaurant or passed one another on the street. “How’s the research coming? Do you like your new flat? Banged anyone lately?”
It always ended with Eric killing him. He had first killed Callum out of anger, but since then, he had decapitated, stabbed, shot, burned, strangled, drowned, buried alive, staked, and dismembered him, all out of love.
Whatever this thing was, he was going to kill it, even if doing so killed him.
Each time, he wept as he burned the body and cried himself to sleep after he had scrubbed the blood from beneath his nails and the ashes from his hair, but he always made sure that Callum was dead.
And Callum always came back. Sometimes, he suspected that Callum was letting him win. Every now and then he began to doubt, the threads of his faith in his perpetual search for the truth slipping from his shaky grasp, but life skipped a beat, Callum materialized in another city, and he was right back where he started.
He didn’t feel bad, he really didn’t. Despite the lump in his throat and the knot in the pit of his stomach as he burned the body, he didn’t feel bad because he knew that what he was doing was justified. He didn’t feel sorry, because sorry didn’t suit him- never had.
But how many times would he have to stare down at his brother’s broken, bleeding body and say goodbye?
He started to keep a journal. It was a leather-bound volume with the name Callum etched in the cover, because he still didn’t know what to call the creature that wasn’t his brother. He filled it with haphazard lists of weapons that didn’t work and chicken-scratch theories of what might, kept detailed maps of where he had encountered Callum and spent the hours before he slept looking for a pattern between the locations like a demented geriatric completing a Sunday crossword puzzle. He was obsessed with retribution, crazed by the injustice of something unnatural wearing his brother’s face, and wouldn’t rest until he killed Callum once and for all to set the world back in balance.
He was leaving a library in Hartford when he approached the car to find Callum leaning against the fender, arms folded casually across his chest. “I see you’ve been taking care of her,” he remarked, gesturing to the flawless paint job. “By the way, happy birthday, Eric.”
Eric lifted the lid of the trunk and deposited a stack of books next to the lone rifle from that fateful night, careful not to physically acknowledge Callum. “You don’t get to say that.” His voice was cold and deadened, emotionless and finally resigned to the despair of the incessant go-round.
"Why not? I’m your brother,” Callum responded matter-of-factly, craning his neck low to peer at Eric’s face with narrowed, inquisitive blue eyes. “Wow, you look beat. Are you getting enough sleep? God, give it a rest already and take care of yourself.”
"You’re not my brother,” he said rotely in a dull monotone. After two years of chasing Callum up and down the east coast, his reasoning was a standard procedure, an inevitable fact of life.
"Do we have to have this fight again? Why can’t you just be happy to see me? Let’s at least skip the drowning this time. That wasn’t fun,” Callum remarked, tiredly passing a hand over his face and shuddering as though chilled by the memory.
Eric slammed the lid of the trunk back in place, the fingers of one hand splayed on the glossy exterior. He couldn’t take this monstrous imposter doing something as intimately familial as remembering his birthday, couldn’t blindly follow him with blood and fire and death spattered on the windshield anymore, couldn’t keep searching for an answer when it was standing before him as irritating and close-lipped as ever.
"Why are you doing this to me?!” he hissed, and he was astounded at the amount of desolate emotion and betrayed vulnerability that leaked into his voice, normally so firm and sure.
Fury flashed across Callum’s face, darkening the pale blue of his eyes to the stormy azure of a tempestuous, turbulent ocean. “All I did was make sure you were okay. Since then, it’s been you. You’re the one chasing me.”
For a brief moment, all of his firm conviction, all of his unquestionable faith, all of his research and all of his tried-and-true belief fell away. All that remained was desperation and loneliness, pure and unadulterated. “I can’t let you stay like this,” he reasoned softly, lost and without direction.
Callum looked indignant. “And burning me is the answer?! Do you know how much it hurts to fucking burn?! I won’t even get started on how bad it hurts to reanimate myself! Hell, the last time you burned me, it took me two weeks to find all the ashes!”
"You’re dead,” he whispered, clinging fervently to the rationale that had propelled him up and down the coast like a demented maniac. “You can’t feel anything.”
Callum gave a sharp, terse laugh of denial, turning his face into the brisk wind to reconcile himself before leaving his perch by the fender. He stood before Eric as solid and unyielding as he had been in life, dark brows narrowed over burning blue eyes, an expression mirrored exactly to the one that his Callum had often made when irritated. “It’s not about you, Eric!” he shouted, borderline hysterical. “It never was! None of the game was ever about you. Stop following me, let me go, and let me do my goddamned job!”
It was the closest to an answer he’d gotten in two years.
"...the game?” he questioned, alight with curiosity. “What game?”
Callum appeared stuck, passing a hand over his face before looking downwind once more as though wishing he was elsewhere. “I said too much. Just… forget I ever said anything.”
He seized Callum’s forearm, leveling him with dramatically serious eyes. “No, Callum, what game? You owe it to me to explain.”
Indecision bloomed on Callum’s face. “Eric, I can’t…. you wouldn’t understand. I made sure that you were safe- that’s all that matters. I can’t tell you.”
"Yes, you can,” Eric urged, squeezing Callum’s forearm encouragingly, feeling the bone rattle beneath the smooth skin and sharp sinew. “I promise that I’ll stop chasing you if you tell me.”
Callum’s head snapped up at the vow, eyes narrowed, torn between believing Eric and calling him on a bluff. “You promise? You’ll leave me alone?”
"I’ll never bother you again,” he swore. “I won’t even think about you.” That much, he knew, was a lie.
"Okay,” Callum began with a shaky, indrawn breath. “I’m doing something good. When I died, they offered me a job, and I made a deal to take it as long as they would let me go back and make sure that you were safe… Eric, you wouldn’t believe it. The world is almost like a game of chess between good and bad, and humans are just pawns, just blurs in the grand scheme of things.”
It made no sense. Could this charlatan that he’d chased and killed in every way imaginable for two years really be his brother? And how inconceivable was it that Callum was flitting around the world playing a cosmic game of chess? “I don’t-“ he began, but was quickly cut off.
"I know you don’t, and I wish I could explain, but as humans, we never saw the whole game. We never even scratched the surface. We never even got a glimpse. You wouldn’t know what I am even if you had words to describe it,” Callum responded, his familiar voice as soothing and sympathetic as it had always been, almost like a salve to his insecurities.
His head teemed with philosophical substances, with incredible possibilities, with incomprehensible concepts of the universe and of time and of infinity. “Are you, like… an angel?” he questioned.
Callum let out a sharp, brusque bark of a laugh. “Hell no. Angels are gay,” he responded, wiping a tear of mirth from his eye.
"So… why you? Why not someone else? How are you still here if you’re dead?” Eric rattled off in rapid fire.
"Whoa, slow down, cowboy,” Callum responded, lips curving into the proverbial rakish grin of charmed amusement. He gestured to his body before speaking. “This isn’t me. It’s just what I need to interact with the world, with the game. Somebody has to set up the board. People who make pure sacrifices, people who die clean deaths.”
And suddenly, in a flash of irreverent clarity, he remembered. He remembered being struck by the beast and knocked against a thick oak tree, blood coursing down his temple as the world dimmed and his consciousness wavered. He remembered the monstrous animal returning for round two and recalled having closed his eyes in anticipation, only to open them and find that Callum had jumped in front of him to grapple with the beast. They wrestled on the forest floor and the brute tore his brother apart, but he was too paralyzed to move, to make a sound, even to thank Callum.
"So, because you sacrificed yourself, this is what happened?”
"Hit the nail on the head,” Callum remarked with a soft, proud smile before looking anxiously at the library. “Listen, I’d love to gossip with you all day, but I have to go.”
"Callum-“ he began before being interrupted.
"I made my choice, Eric,” Callum remarked. “You have to make yours. I’ll always be around, but I can’t stay with you. No more than you can come back with me.”
He shrunk back, leaning against the car, his eagerness and curiosity brutally cut down. “Okay,” he responded. “I’ll let you do your job. I’ll stop following you.”
Callum grinned and clapped him on the shoulder with a gentle shove. “Thanks, dude. Maybe we’ll run into each other again someday,” he said, ratcheting up the steps to the library.
"Callum!” Eric called after him, smiling inwardly at the look of practiced, long-suffering irritation on his brother’s face. “Just one question… why did you jump in front of me? Why did you sacrifice yourself?”
Callum cocked his head, a knowing, beatific smile creeping up the corner of his lips. In the entirety of his twenty-eight years, Eric had never seen such absolute, unconditional love emanate from a person as he presently was. “What else is worth dying for?” he remarked softly before tipping his head and disappearing into the library.
Stunned, alone, and finally sated, Eric stood in the parking lot. “Thank you,” he whispered before gunning the engine and speeding down the highway.
The blonde in Philadelphia had a daughter. So did a woman who worked at the car show in New York. The librarian in Hartford had twin boys. There were a dozen more scattered throughout the country along the chaotic but ultimately rewarding route he’d chased Callum down these past years. His brother hadn’t bothered with something he would have considered as frivolous as aliases, so each birth certificate listed a Callum Fox as the father. Eric supposed that dead men didn't worry about the law.
Setting up the board. Putting the pieces in place.
But he’d promised that he would move on, and let Callum do his job.
The more he thought about it, the more he came to realize that the game was some sort of celestial go-round, a set of cosmic wheels eternally turning to keep the universe in harmonious balance. And somehow, he knew that he wasn’t meant to understand.
In Boston, he searched valiantly until he found the grave where the real Callum was buried. He burned the Callum-killing journal over the hallowed ground, a poignant, profoundly silent farewell, and drove south toward where the ocean was warm.
At night, he dreamed for the first time in two years, and the sleep healed.
|3rd Jan 2009, 11:24 PM||#3|
Interesting, I didn't read all of it yet though. You should consider being an author, I've read a few of your stories. I just wish the background and the font could be changed,it's so plain. It just makes the story, well...uninteresting.
|4th Jan 2009, 1:12 AM||#4|
I've considered being an author in great depth, and while it is a wild dream of mine, it's not something practical to bet on. I someday intend to publish my written work, but I don't intend to major in creative writing, because if it ends up that I can't get published, where else would I go but down? I hope to get a doctorate in pyschology, but I'd love to minor in creative writing while I work on my undergrad.
I'm glad you like it . I would be interested to know what you think when you finish. I'll admit that this isn't the best medium to share my stories, but what are you gonna do ?
|4th Jan 2009, 1:16 AM||#5|
If you write books, I'd totally read them. I'm too much of a procrastinator to read all of it now, but I'll read it. If your wildest dream is to become an author then you should, I want to be an actress and that is pretty wild for the type of person that I am
|4th Jan 2009, 1:24 AM||#6|
I've actually looked into statistics regarding authors; what's interesting is that the majority of published authors won't ever be seen on the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble or Borders, but they publish their books with an independent printer while working another job. As much as I would love New York Times bestselling fame, it's not practical to bet on that, but I fully intend to keep writing and try to get published no matter what I do with myself. My problem is that I'm no good at plots (this was a stretch), so most of my writing is short stories, and who gets famous writing short stories :P? The most a person can do with that sort of talent is publish in literary magazines, but hopefully someday I'll have a breakthrough and be able to churn out a novel. I know what I want to write, but I have no skill for suspense... I just can't stretch it out enough. I often write with a fairly read-between-the-lines style and as few details as possible, even if there is an abundance of imagery. With time, I hope to acquire the sort of skill to stretch my stories out to novel length, because at this point, I feel like they lose what makes them mine when I try.
|4th Jan 2009, 1:29 AM||#7|
Isn't their courses in Uni that deal with becoming a writer? My sister wanted to be a novelist once upon a time, but she's given up on most of her stories, they're just on her computer. (I just posted one of them up here lol). But yeah...it just takes practice I guess :hmm:
|4th Jan 2009, 1:35 AM||#8|
I completley agree. If your dream is to be an author, pursue it. One of my good friends has just completed her first novel and is not even sixteen yet. She sent it to a publisher who told her that since she is young to go back through the book and correct mistakes and revise it herself, then send it back to the publishers. The lady told her how remarkable her skills are and that her book will most likely be published in the near future. So, you really never know what will happen if you put yourself out there.
Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that I love all of your stories and your writing style. Even though I'm only half way through the second post, I'm loving it so far.
Just Call Me Allie :)
|4th Jan 2009, 1:45 AM||#9|
Aww, thank you .
Perhaps I've been unclear. As soon as I write a book, I fully intend to send it to a publisher, but I won't major in creative writing (I'd like to minor, though) and make a career out of it. I would be perfectly happy to write books on the side of what I do as a career, and I'd be perfectly happy to be relatively unknown so long as there are books with my name on their spines; I just don't think I could consciously sit around the house all day and try to write, much as I love it. I have high career ambitions, but that doesn't mean that I'll dump my creative ambitions. I need to work to keep myself sane.
|4th Jan 2009, 1:56 AM||#10|
You're very welcome
By the way, you weren't being unclear by any means.. I totally get what you meant. Please excuse my being a tad on the slow side, I'm suffering from extreme lack of sleep. :doh
Just Call Me Allie :)
|4th Jan 2009, 1:57 AM||#11|
haha Allie, I just skim people's posts sometimes I don't read them and end up doing the same thing :p
|28th Jan 2009, 10:11 PM||#12|
Okay, so I might officially be your stalker, but I can't really be blamed
I've read a little ('cause this chair from hell won't let me concentrate on very much), but I'm liking very much so far. I'll finish the rest tonight once I'm in my comfortable bed with zee laptop...yay for laptops :D
I for one have ideas that could last me a lifetime, but at the same time that's my curse 'cause I won't even be halfway done with one piece of work before I get inspired by another idea. Plots=aplenty commitment=none Yeah, I have like, five unfinished scripts, short stories and various other writings. The only things I've managed to finish are poems (it'd be sad if I didn't finish those, hee), three short stories and one short movie, and several 'one-shots' I've done for characters in roleplaying sites. Notice how they all fall under 'short'
The point to the long rant (>_<), is to offer my services if you ever need help refining/brain storming/plotting and anything else that's 'ideas' driven.
However you go about doing it though, I think it's something you should definitely try at least once.
Once I get home and settled, I'll finish the rest though, and come to pester again...poor you
Niles is trying to grow a moustache. So far it is barely visible
Niles: I grant you, it's at an early stage.
Frasier: What stage? Research and development?
|1st Feb 2009, 10:15 PM||#13|
Thank you so much ! You're not a stalker... a real stalker wouldn't talk about stalking . They'd be sneaky.
You should sit down and write! I know that time and life don't always allow for much free time, but I'd be interested to read whatever you crank out. If it's anything like your crazy Jensen dreams from the SPN thead, it's bound to be interesting. Thanks for the offer of plot help, too. I just might take you up on it in the near future if I can't synthesize any filler material for my latest piece, Faith.
|1st Feb 2009, 10:25 PM||#14|
That was really, really good. I've been reading it sparingly for the past couple of days, and I just sat down and read it all from start to finish. The imagery was really good, and I could see the smile on Callum's face whenever it was mentioned. Well, actually, Callum was Jensen Ackles in my mind, but you know. All the imagery was really powerful.
I loved the beginning as well. It was an abrupt start, which I really liked.
Pleeeeease keep on posting your stories. I adore reading them.
|1st Feb 2009, 10:33 PM||#15|
Aww, thank you. I think I'm blushing . You're not the only one envisioning Callum as Jensen Ackles- I did the same thing . All of my characters have original personalities, but I'll admit to idealizing their appearances as celebrities just to have a good visual when I write. Jensen has popped up here and in another piece of mine, Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
I like abrupt starts, because I know that I have a tendency to digress into excessive imagery, and I need to hook the reader from the beginning . I fully intend to keep posting, too, although I'm looking for a more permanent home for my stories, maybe FictionPress.