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Archive for February, 2013

I’m currently working on a short fantasy story for some applications, here’s the first two pages (28 more to go!) Let me know what you guys think!

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SnowMetro

On the corner of St. Charles and Broadview, across the street from the abandoned metro station, sits a man in a ratty old trench coat despite it being the middle of January. Everyday he sits on the sidewalk, his back barely leaning against the brick wall that joins Maggie’s café and the Wash N’ Go, watching as people pass by. He never asks anyone for money or food, never reaches out to talk to them. He simply watches them go about their lives, his bleary eyes hidden behind strands of dirty grey hair. No one seems to mind that he’s never gotten up to take a shower or go to the washroom, nor that he takes up half the narrow walkway, so that they have to step in the gutter when the snow piles up around him in the winter months. In fact, people never give him the slightest glance, bustling past as though he weren’t even there at all.

Sometimes he wonders if he’s a ghost, but he knows that’s not true… or at least not quite. He’s never hungry anymore, and the cold winter wind feels like a light summer breeze. He doesn’t get tired either, it wouldn’t do for him to nod off and miss something important. His eyes hurt from the strain of keeping them open though, but if he lets his eyes glaze over he can ignore the pain. There are days when he looks up and doesn’t recognize where he is.  Buildings and town homes seem to appear over night as if they sprung up from the earth itself. He swears that Maggie’s café should be a strip club. Gigi’s he thought it was called… or was it Foxy’s? When he looks up at Maggie’s pretty face cupping a mug of fresh coffee in her hands, she transforms into a semi-nude bombshell who winks at him from some time long since past.

He hates it when it rains, and when it does, he takes special care to avoid the gutter at the end of the sidewalk where the rainwater gathers in murky pools. It’s not because he’s afraid of getting wet, actually his shabby coat keeps him perfectly dry despite the rips and moth holes. The problem is, if he’s not careful, he’ll catch a glimpse of his reflection in a puddle and see his face, which hasn’t aged at all since the day he met him.

Now time means nothing to him, the faces of the people he once love have all but faded from his memory. It disturbs him to see his own youthful features, unchanged by the decades spent sitting on this street corner. But he can feel the age weighing down his bones; feel his mind grinding against every minute that passes him by. His greatest fear is that he’ll miss his chance, and be trapped watching the world move on around him forever. So he remains vigilant, not knowing what he’s waiting for, only that when it happens–he’ll know.

So he didn’t miss the squat man dressed in a bright coral suit turn the corner at the far end of the street. He strolled casually across the snow-covered sidewalk holding a cream coloured umbrella above his head, his small alligator shoes never slipping on the icy concrete. As he approached the old metro station door, he shook the snow from the umbrella and crisply snapped it shut, sticking it in the crook of his arm. He glanced around the deserted road, his gaze glossing over where the man sat watching him from across the street. The squat man tutted irritably as he pulled out a silver pocket watch to check the time. Clearly, someone was late.

“So sorry to keep you waiting Sammy.”

The squat man turned calmly, snapping the pocket watch shut as he did.

“That’s quite alright. You aren’t the only one. You’re just lucky that you’re my favorite.”

The man across the street leaned closer. He hadn’t seen the young girl come down the street, yet there she sat on an old crate, her feet dangling over the edge playfully as the snow whirled around her. Her hair seemed to gleam silver in the night, and she cocked her head to the side as she spoke.

“I suppose I am at that,” she mused.

“And don’t call me that, Felyse,” he sniffed, stepping closer to her. “Just Sam if you would.”

The girl named Felyse smiled and leaned forward, a small silver pendant slipping from the neck of her dress as she did. Sam looked at it disapprovingly.

“You shouldn’t be wearing that,” he said flatly. “You should get rid of it.”

“And what about your pocket watch?”

“Yes well, quite different I’m afraid. It may have belonged to him, but now it’s allegiance has changed.”

“And the pendant belongs to me now,” she said, unconsciously twirling it between her fingers.

“Gifts are never free Felyse, they always come with strings. Mazelia told you to get rid of it.”

“I don’t care what Maz said. It was given to me, not her,” Felyse straightened defiantly. “She’s just angry that I’m always the favorite.”

“Who’s angry, Felyse darling?” said a silky voice.

It seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Felyse quickly stood, sliding the pendant back beneath the folds of her dress. The door to the Wash N’ Go opened suddenly, but it was not the blue florescent light that spilled onto the sidewalk. Instead it was a flickering orange glow, like that of a fire, and the man sitting on the sidewalk though if he reached out he would feel its warmth. A woman in a tight black dress stepped out into the night, fitting a gold ring back onto her finger. The cold wind didn’t seem to bother her, even though her dress had a plunging neckline and cut off well before the knee. Her hair was as white as the snow, and cascaded over her shoulder, nearly reaching the curves of her hips. She didn’t look at the man sitting next to her, nor could he see the features of her face. She made her way across the street to join the others.

“Sam-Sam here is upset that we’re late,” Felyse smiled innocently.

Sam sniffed at the pet name before turning his attention to the new comer.

“Samandriel, I do apologize. I had some business to attend to,” Maz said.

“Not at all Mazelia, I was simply beginning to worry. Time is of the essence as they say,” he chuckled nervously, looking up and down the empty street.

“Yes, it is.” Maz thumbed her ring, her eyes glinting dangerously. “I presume you took precautions to ensure we are not disturbed.”

“Indeed. Should anyone be looking to come down this road, they’ll find nothing but a brick wall and a light case of amnesia.”

At that, the man across the road looked at the mouth of the street. The people walking past seemed indistinct and blurry, as though he were looking through a cloudy sheet of glass. A young woman approached the wall curiously, then suddenly shrugged and proceeded to walk in the other direction, even though she held a basket of dirty laundry to wash.

“Well, we best get started then,” Maz said.

The man turned to look once again at the odd trio, who seemed as indifferent as he to the wind that gusted around them. Maz stepped forward and grasped the rusty lock of the station door in her hand. She began to trace symbols onto its face with the tip of her finger, each mark glowing yellow in her slender script before fading into the cold metal. The three stood in silence as she let the lock fall back with a thud against the wooden door; he leaned forward expectantly. He could hear the echo of gears turning, and of pulleys wrenching forward. There was a heavy boom followed by a satisfying click, and Maz stepped back gracefully as the door swung open.

The man across the street blinked.

It was as if he were seeing two images superimposed. The door to the station was opened wide, revealing a set of stone stairs that descended into the darkness, a single torch by the door illuminating the first steps; but at the same time the door appeared to be close, the lock still firmly clasping the chain around the handles. The three stepped over the threshold, seeming, in one way, to pass through solid wood. The man across the street felt a familiar tug at the back of his mind, and his mouth curled into a grimace.

“It would seem I nearly missed all the fun,” said the voice in his head. It was a young man’s voice, but it resounded with a deep otherworldly tone.

“I was just about to call you,” the man thought, for he didn’t need to speak aloud. “I had to be sure.”

The voice had no physical body, yet he felt the impression of his nodding. It was always like this, impressions and thoughts and darkness. The man looked up to see that the three had gone down the steps, and he was alone on the street once again.

“What now?” he asked expectantly.

“Now? Now you follow them.”

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