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Time-Bomb Fiction

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Waiting For My Man [Oct. 4th, 2010|11:53 pm]
Time-Bomb Fiction


Challenge response:

Write something. Anything.

Right now.

Once you find out what is really going on, it's a rush of epic proportions. Wizards ruling the world from behind the scenes, bizarre-ass monsters hiding in the cracks of reality, whole other worlds existing just out of the corner of your eye. Once you learn about that it feels like you're in this super exclusive club, no matter how low on the totem pole you are. You can walk down any street with a sly little smile on your face because all these people you pass, all those behind every door in their homes or offices or bars know jack shit and you know the biggest secret in the world. Maybe more than one world. And once you know, you start noticing the signs. It's all stuff you never would have noticed before while you were sleepwalking through your life; the strange way that light behaves in an alleyway betraying the presence of a portal, the way a curve and angle in a neon sign marks a shop as safe haven for soulbinders. The world becomes alive in a way that you didn't have the language to express before you became aware.

If there is anything that could be called the usual way to find out, it would have been how I did. It was a family thing with us. Way back when Europeans thought the only thing to the West was more water and were still pouring their own shit in the streets outside their homes, an ancestor fucked an Outsider who left a touch of the weird in the genetic line. My branch of the family tree wasn't known for much in the way of power, so we'd been left alone and in the dark for generations. The rest of the family worked hard on becoming fucking strange; seducing anything remotely physically compatible to birth more of the weird into the family, inbreeding to keep the bloodline pure, real twisted shit. After a couple centuries of that kind of Greek tragedy bullshit you start to find that you have a hard time raising up a viable heir who isn't batshit crazy or who is even biologically human anymore.

That's when they started looking for the long lost cousins; those of us with enough of the weird to be of use to carry on and strengthen the family. My second cousin Ella used to be an engineer working on military projects for a defense contractor, she had top secret security clearance and a time-share in Florida. Now she runs the family's slavery business selling pretty human girls and boys to vampires in Montreal and warlords in other realities. My Uncle Dan had taken an early retirement package from Ford two years before he was brought into the family. Now he conjures spirits and binds them into handguns; he also has some sort of salamander-woman as a mistress on the side. Me, I was about to lose my job in a cubicle at a computer tech call center. I always had some anger-management issues so losing my shit with morons who couldn't figure out how to turn their new laptop on was becoming a fairly regular occurrence.

Even if I fully understood it I'd still need and hour and a half and a large whiteboard to explain how Elijah and I were related, but we shared at least a little of the old, weird blood. It was his job to teach me what I would need to know to fill my role in the plans of the family. He showed me how to increase my strength past that of Olympic body builders. How to become, not invisible, but unseen. I learned how to move outside of time for brief seconds so that I could actually fucking dodge bullets. I was with him for a couple of years before I figured out what the family was really up to; and what part they wanted me to play. Even though I hadn't been in a fight since junior high ( a fight I lost, by the way), I was going to be turned into some sort of soldier-assassin, a perfect killer. I find out that magic is real, there are lost cities of god-men, that the Earth is just one of countless worlds inhabited by thinking, beautiful beings and they want me to go out and just kill shit for them. They show me that existence is infinitely more strange and exciting than I ever could have thought and I'm supposed to just go and stick a knife into people and creatures who might effect a profit margin.

Needless to say, but the old anger-management issues again became a factor in my life and future. I would have these huge arguments with Elijah, screaming rages that lasted hours. I became rebellious and defiant, which was not something Elijah was used to having to abide; the man had personally killed more people than I'd ever even met and many of those for less reasons than I had given him. Elijah was walking, talking power. He had been alive for more than three hundred years. He had personally instigated the building of the Panama canal because he wanted an artifact dug up. He killed Stalin with a bit of magic and a stare because old Joe wasn't sticking to a plan of the family. Elijah was a goddamn juggernaut; unstoppable, he could kill me without even noticing he had done it.

Let me tell you a couple almost universal truths. Most anything can be caught off guard, especially if it thinks it knows for sure what you are going to do. Also, if you repeatedly jab a piece of metal into something's brain, chances are good that it will die, even if it's already centuries old. As an example, let's say you are having a screaming match with a three hundred year old wizard who just told you that you have to do something particularly nasty with an uncomfortably close relation to help build back up your bloodline; even though it was shit like that which had gotten them into this mess to start with. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that a servant had just opened up a bottle of the wizard's favorite vintage and had carefully removed the cork from the corkscrew...and then left the fancy, antique style corkscrew on the platter next to the wine bottle. Now, when the wizard turns his back for a second you can do something like step outside of time and pick up that corkscrew, the kind that's just a wooden handle with a twisted spike that extends out between two of your fingers when you make a fist. When that wizard turns back around you can punch that twist of metal into his eye and up to the brain a good five or six times before you drop back into normal time. And that's all you really have to do.

And that's when things become strange. A three hundred year old wizard is just filled to the brim with occult and esoteric might, the kind of shit that can't be measured or detected, but can be felt. When someone holding in that much power is killed in a sudden and violent manner that power has to go someplace. If he had died of some withering, drawn out disease that power would dissipate out slowly and safely. But a surprise corkscrew into the frontal lobe lets it all go at once. It has to go somewhere. It went into me.

Oh, it was sweet. I wish I had the fucking words to tell you. If I had one percent of the words to explain that feeling, if I could write even that well my grocery list would outshine the complete works of Shakespeare. That sublime explosion, so much better than drugs or sex or love or life.

If you ever felt anything like that, you'd want to feel it again.

You'd have to feel it again.

You'd enter the exciting and usually short lifestyle of the magic junkie.

So here I am, sitting in the library of another wizard (my sixth this year) as the servants and bodyguards and apprentices walk around me, never even noticing me sitting in this chair that's worth more than my parents house and older than my country, impatiently playing with a blade that's more than a dagger but not quite a sword. Soon the wizard will return from his big secret society meeting. Soon I'll get my fix.


[User Picture]From: _earthshine_
2010-10-06 01:40 am (UTC)
Um ... wow.


F**k ...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rev_e
2010-10-06 02:56 am (UTC)
Hey brother, you said to write something.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)