Friday, 30 August 2013

The Darkness on my Doorstep. (TDC Part 4)

I should say this, before I continue with my tale- I have never had many friends. I have never been one to attract the attention of others, quite the opposite in fact, I seem to repel them. Jane was my closest friend, and even that relationship was cursed, because I wanted more than she wanted from me. In the end it led me to distance myself from her, ultimately I distanced myself from everyone I knew, including my family. 

I do not say this for sympathy, but merely to provide context. By the time I was eighteen I had moved out of my parents’ house and was living in an apartment at the centre of town. I was alone, and as a result, I was lonely.

I rarely went out, save for food shopping, I rarely saw anyone either. It was a pitiful existence, one I'm glad to have escaped from.

The only real connection I had with the outside world was my blog. After the events of Galloway Hall I had become more interested in the supernatural, not so much in the sense of mystery, but disproving the facade of phantoms and other nonsense. I would post my theories online for others to gawk at and criticise or agree with depending on their own viewpoint. 

With every believer commenting I grew more cynical and as a consequence only became a more assertive sceptic. 

Looking back at my eighteen year old self is not something I enjoy, the person I was becoming was not a good character, not in any sense. I was in a rut that only seems natural at that age. It was a time when I had no idea what I was to do with my life, there was no obvious direction, not was there anyone I could turn to. 

My only escape from that rut was the supernatural, disproving ridiculous theories was how I channelled my frustration, but it was only a temporary measure. 

It is worth saying that while the apartment I resided in was more than adequate, spacious and generously furnished, the location was dismal. My view from the window was a dirty, squalid back alley where groups of teenagers, not much younger than myself at the time, would loiter and smoke illegal substances. I could also see into the apartments of others just beyond the alley. None of the tenants were particularly interesting. Still, the view was far better than peering into a darkened forest.

It was on a dark winter night that I first noticed something unusual going on with the tenants of the other apartments.

The lights of the apartment on the far right did not come on. Nothing unusual about that, maybe they were staying with family, with friends? Then I noticed the apartment directly beneath it was also absent of any lighting. The same could be said for the apartment below that and the one below that- the apartment on the ground floor. That was odd, but nothing to cause alarm, I just noted it. I had become extremely observant of any behaviour that was out of the ordinary over the years, coupling that with paranoia of growing intensity, and I was nearly a nervous wreck. 

Still, I was able to dismiss this abnormality relatively easily as a simple anomaly.

The next night was a different story.

The four apartments remained in darkness, but now, the four apartments neighbouring them were also devoid of light. I tried my best to look into the darkened windows, but they were too far for me to see clearly inside.

I had to dismiss it as nothing, I had to make myself belief that nothing was wrong, that there was nothing out of the ordinary, that I was simply being paranoid and was deluding myself as I had done so many times before. I reminded myself of how active my imagination was, how I had more than once made myself belief things were there that were not. This was another one of those times, nothing was wrong. I kept telling myself over and over.

Nothing is wrong.

I sat down, watched some TV, updated my blog, everything was normal. Sleep, however, didn’t come easy that night.

The next day slipped away far too fast. I could feel night approaching, its black tendrils encroaching upon my sanctuary. I needed an excuse to get out; but I had none. I didn’t have any friends to go out with, I could have visited my family, but such an unexpected visit would not be easy to explain. So I was forced to sit in my abode and wait for night to come knocking. Inevitably; it did.

I wasn’t going to look out of the window. That’s what I told myself. Of course, it was nonsense, just a front, although who it was for I have no idea. I was going to look out of the window eventually; it was just a case of how long I would delay before it happened. I lasted until midnight, which was when my curiosity got the better of me. I crept to the window, as if I could surprise the scene, and therefore reveal its falsehoods. What I saw alarmed me.

Not only were the eight flats from before in darkness, but the next eight across were also completely black. Now the entire side of the apartment building, visible from my window, was experiencing a blackout. I could see into the nearest window.
As I peered into the darkness, an unwelcome feeling crept up on me, a feeling I was being watched. I stared into the window and began to imagine it looking back at me, the emptiness simply watching me; reflecting me. My hands began to tremble, my knees grew weak. Something was definitely staring at me from across the alleyway. In one of those apartments, there was someone, something, peering through the darkness, specifically at me. I began to breathe deeply, and in doing so, became uncomfortable aware of my breathing. It was the only thing I could hear aside from my thumping heart as the blackness began to fill me up slowly. There was nothing over there, and nothing was staring back at me with a malevolent grin upon its face.

I don’t know how long I was stood there. It must have been at least an hour, time become so meaningless in times of fear. In the end I did see something. Something I didn’t want to see.

A single, pale hand pressed against the glass of the window I was staring into. I didn’t wait to see what would follow. I abandoned the window, shutting the blinds and returning to my bedroom where I would lie awake until the next morning.

I don’t recall getting out of bed the next day. I did at some point, but I do not remember at what time. I only remember the fear I felt of going outside. Ironic, I was more afraid of going outside, to what could only be the road to safety and comfort, than I was of remaining inside and facing whatever I knew was coming for me. I found out an old torch and filled it with new batteries, light was the only way to combat darkness after all.

I found myself glaring out of the window once again that night, anticipating the worst. No lights flicked on across the alley as I so hoped they would; there was no glimmer of glorious reality to save me from the nightmare that was lurking in my mind. I had every source of light in the apartment switched on, no expense spared. I wasn’t going to let this thing devour me.

It was almost midnight, and the darkness was more imposing than ever. There was no life in the alley, no teenagers getting high, or some drunken idiot urinating in the corner- nothing. The silence reminded me of my time in Galloway Hall, that deep, powerful and impenetrable quiet. The apartment across from me was vacant, no signs of any hands pressing against the window, just emptiness.

Then I felt it.

Something behind me. I could feel its breath on my neck, I could feel its claws closing in around my throat, I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t hear it, but it was there, and it was going to swallow me whole. All I could do was continue to gaze into the darkness across from me, and know that whatever this creature was, it was a product of that same darkness. The hairs on my neck stood on end, my flesh tingling with the anticipation of my demise. I was going to be sick, the bile was rising in my throat and the foul breath of blackness was penetrating my nostrils as it breezed down my spine. The moment was almost upon me. It was going to happen now. This was it.

That was when all the lights went out.

My apartment was swallowed by darkness, everything failing simultaneously. The lights died.

It was here- whatever darkness had claimed the residents over there- it had come for me. I knew, somehow, that I had brought this upon myself, that this was my fault. I had exiled myself- I had marooned myself on my own island with no others and waited for the tide to claim me. It was all me, no-one else, I had done this.

I had to undo this.

In that moment, when I was certain the darkness would claim me, I forced myself to turn around and stare into the face of my own failure. I did; and there was nothing there. My eyes were greeted with emptiness, no creature, no phantom, no monster. The place was in darkness, but there was nothing in the darkness. Or was there? I couldn’t be sure. I turned the torch on and allowed the beam to cut through everything.

I made my way to the front door, only to discover it lay open. I was wrong. There was something in there with me.

The place that was my sanctuary from the world had been disturbed, and never again would it be a safe haven. I knew now that something lay in wait for me in the darkness. I let the torch light the way, first the bedroom, which was empty, although I was convinced there was something under my bed. I was wrong. Then I checked the closet, again, I was wrong. The kitchen was empty, so was the study. The bathroom was the only room that remained unchecked.

I slid the door open and peered inside. The usual scene appeared before me. Nothing out of the ordinary- but my face. I looked into the mirror. Was that me? It scared me more than the darkness, more than all of the things I had ever encountered. I looked at myself, and I hated what I saw. I was wearing away. I was fading away. My eyes were bloodshot, my skin was pale and covered with acne, my hair was greasy and lifeless, I looked decades older than I was, and I felt it too.

I turned on the tap to rub some water on my face, as if that would somehow reveal that I was in fact wearing a mask, and my true, youthful face was underneath.
The substance that came out of the tap was not water.

It was thick, too thick to be blood, but it had the appearance of it. Dark, dirty and red sludge spluttered out of the tap into the sink. I imagined it to be similar to a person coughing up blood when they are fatally ill, at least that was the conclusion I came to at the time. I turned the tap off, but the substance forced its way out still. Then the showerhead began to splutter too, choking on the same ooze as the tap.

I got out of there, only to find that my apartment was now drastically different. Whereas before I had imagined things to be in certain places, they now were. There were creatures under my bed, their deformed, bloodied fingers clawing at the carpets, their screeching echoing through the hall. My closets were also full of skeletons, moaning to be set free. My kitchen taps coughed up the same bloodied substance as the ones in the bathroom. But most importantly, the darkness grew. My little torch became obsolete as the darkness swallowed it.

Now there was something there. Something in the blackness that I couldn’t see, it was feeding off my fear, it was crawling closer and closer, ready to strike, but now it wasn’t a fantasy, it was real, it was frighteningly real. I ran, relying on my knowledge of the apartment’s layout to find my way to the front door. It was closed. Not only that, something wanted to come in. It was knocking so heavily that the door threatened to break free of its hinges.

Now I had to choose, I had to decide whether I faced the creature within, or allow the demon outside to enter. There was next to no light left in the apartment, it would soon swallow everything, it my mind there was no choice. I had to open the door.

There was one flicker of doubt before I allowed myself to push down on the handle and let the demon inside. For a second I contemplated allowing the darkness to swallow me. Just give in. Just let go. It was almost a comforting thought, knowing that there would be nothing left, but that feeling only lasted a moment; and then it was gone. I opened the door.

And there stood Jane.

Everything stopped.

The room was suddenly illuminated once again. There was nothing in there with me; there were no creatures, no demons, and no darkness. There was only her- and her alone.

“Timothy?” She asked, her tone obviously conveying a sense of concern alongside doubt.
“Jane,” was the only word I could muster. I practically fell into her arms, which were clearly not expecting me, and therefore she struggled to hold me up. Somehow she dragged me to the sofa, straining as she did.

It took me some time to come around, and even when I did, I was slightly delirious.

“What happened to you, Tim?”

“Nothing,” I replied, self-pity taking over, “and that’s exactly it- nothing happened.”

Jane fetched me some water, and with time I regained myself, though still shaken from what I had experienced.

“Why are you here, Jane?” I eventually asked.

“A couple of reasons- but mostly because of your messages.”


“Yeah- you don’t remember? You sent me some pretty disturbing messages, I had no idea what was going on, but you seemed frightened, terrified even-“

“Can I hear them?”

“No- I’ve deleted them, because you asked me to- you honestly don’t remember sending me any messages?”

“No, No I don’t, I-“ I stopped at this point. I looked out of the window to see that the apartment building opposite was fully lit; I could even see the woman in the resident across from me making herself something to drink.

“I think I may be losing my mind, Jane.”

“It was bound to happen sooner or later- cooped up in this place- it’s kinda why I’m here-“


“I’ve been offered a job, and I would like you to come with me.”

The job in question was something that would turn my life around, it couldn’t have come at a better time either, I was clearly teetering on the brink of insanity. After reading all of this you may start to believe that I am making this entire tale up, I can assure you, that whilst everything I saw may not be true, it is what I saw, heard and felt with certainty.

I have gone over that night many times in my head. My only conclusion is that my isolation and solitude were killing me, and my cynicism and fear of the world are what kept me from removing myself from it. If it wasn’t for Jane, I may well have died that night. Either way, I was driving myself to the brink of insanity, whether it was boredom, or loneliness or something else entirely that forced my brain to create such vivid and horrendous hallucinations, I will never know. All I can say with certainty is that there was no trace of anything out of the ordinary following Jane’s visit, there was no sign that any of the things I had witnessed had come to pass, and ultimately the entire scenario had been created in my own head. It is because of that experience that I live in constant fear of what my imagination might do, because if it can concoct something so vicious as the darkness that threatened to devour and dismember me, what else is it capable of, and what will the consequences be should it be allowed to take over completely?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Glyph... (Scorch)

This is my imagining of what Scorch should look like in Anime/Manga form :)

John: The Worker Ant

It’s that time of the day again; the time when all of us workers go out into the open to retrieve various resources to bring back to colony. I wake up every morning with the fear and anxiety growing inside me like a disease, spreading into my antennae, making me shiver. My curse: a fear of wide, open spaces… otherwise known as agoraphobia. Whenever we venture out, I tend to stay in the shadows as much as possible, I will scavenge under the leaves, or venture through a variety of rocks and pebbles, anything to avoid going under that big, open sky.

There have been several occasions when it has been unavoidable, times when I have had to scramble out into the open. In those moments the enormity of the sky pushes down on me, and I feel like I am drowning in the open air, on other occasions the feeling is entirely different, but equally as terrifying, I feel almost as if I might float away into that endless blue- falling into the sky. It is ridiculous I know- for someone like me- a worker ant, to be afraid of such things; but it cannot be helped.

It is getting worse every day. I have even refused to leave the colony before now, the other workers looking at me with disgust. There is no place for a worker ant that does not work, it is meant to be in my nature, but I am different from the others… I always have been.

Today… today is going to be different. I’m going to force myself out of the colony, I’m going to stroll out into the open and I won’t be fazed by any of it. It’s not the first time I’ve told myself this, it’s not the first time I’ve been determined to beat this phobia, but for some reason, even though the fear is tingling in my antenna and boiling in my abdomen, I feel today is going to be different.

I follow the other workers out of the colony, marching in time with the group, allowing myself to be filled with optimism, but unable to shake the doubts gathering in my head. We emerge into the light, it is almost blinding for the first few seconds, until we all adjust. The heat is equally as intense, threatening to boil us alive. We will not be deterred by the sunlight however, as we march onwards, through the thicket of leaves and grass and weeds. They provide a vast amount of shade, this is the environment I am comfortable in, in the colony everyone thinks I am defected, and out in the open I am scared to death, only here in the shade am I truly at ease.

But now the time is fast approaching. We are reaching the edge of the garden and will soon step out onto the pavement, completely exposed to the world at large, and I can scarcely keep time with my marching.
I see it- the entrance to that huge, open void, it’s threatening to pull me in, I’m going to fall, I’m going to bend, I’m going to break. No! I have to fight it; I cannot allow myself to be consumed by fear.

The first step into the sunlight: everything is fine; I’m going to be okay. With the next step I feel less confident. I can feel the heat bearing down on me now, the rays of the sun focused directly on me. Then the next step. I know now what is going to happen. I ‘m going to look up, I’m going to gaze into that sea of blue and I’m going to fall, fly, float away.

I look up and suddenly I’m rooted to the ground. There is so much sky.

The workers behind me bump into me, causing a domino effect to take place, all of the ants behind me falling to the ground. Now there is shouting, yelling, screaming- the entire workforce against me, but I cannot hear them, all I can focus on is the sky.

I know I have to run, I have to hide, I have to get away before I am swallowed whole. I uproot myself and dash into the shade, feeling the cool comfort of the shadows envelop me. I breathe a sigh of relief as I hear the chaos in the distance. I suppose I should be mad at myself, I suppose I should be ashamed… but I’m not.

The other workers will never understand, the queen certainly won’t understand, not one of them is sympathetic to an anomaly in the community. I will do all I can to fight this phobia, but I must do it on my own time, otherwise I will be of no use to anyone. I can gather in the shadows for now, until I gather the courage to try again. Why am I not angry at myself? I think it is because never before have I willingly stepped out into the open. I have made progress… no matter how small. I managed to stand in the open for some time without passing out, even if I was consumed by my fear.

In the end I suppose there is nothing to do but try and try again until I have conquered my demons. I will stop at nothing to make it so. I don’t know what this is… but I guess I have never had so much hope before, I feel, for the first time, like this might be possible. I will finally not be a freak anymore… I will be able to blend in eventually, and then I will be the same, it’s just what I’ve always wanted.

I will stop at nothing to be just like everyone else. 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Glyph. (Part 3)

Isaac was walking home. He had kept his head down the past few weeks; he didn’t want to draw attention to himself if he could- besides- he felt like he was being watched. He feared any behaviour out of the ordinary would attract unwanted attention. He still entered minds; it was almost a compulsion now to read peoples thought now, although he had refrained from attempting to control them.

The walk home from college took around half an hour. Usually he would catch a bus, but for some reason they hadn’t turned up that day, the streets themselves seemed eerily empty. He turned a corner into a lane that was practically abandoned. That was when the car pulled up beside him. Isaac’s heart lurched in his chest. Who are these people? What do they want?  It clearly wasn’t a simple group who were going to mug him; the car was far too expensive. A large, shiny, black Bentley parked directly next to him- something was very wrong.

The door opened and a familiar face appeared. The dark haired woman who has been present throughout his questioning sat inside, her skin was perpetually pale, and her glare was always icy; it was some time before she finally spoke a word.

“I’m going to need you to come with me, Mr Rivers.”

Isaac returned her cold stare.

“I was taught from a young age not to get into cars with strangers.”

“We both know that I’m not here for anything so crude,” She deflected, sounding almost disgusted at the suggestion, “but if you are concerned we will drive away with you inside- Frank!” She called out, presumably to the driver, “leave us for a few minutes would you?”

That wasn’t a question- that was an order, Isaac thought to himself. He needed to see what this woman’s intent was, he needed to see into her mind.

He looked deep into her eyes. They were unmoving, and grey. Isaac could not see past them- this hasn’t happened before.

“Something wrong, Isaac?”

He lingered for a moment, trying and failing to penetrate her mind, “no- nothing.”

The glyph on his hand began to itch, and suddenly he was extremely thankful that he was wearing his fingerless gloves to cover up the marking, otherwise the twitch of his hand would have drawn her eye. He stepped, hesitantly, into the car.

The atmosphere was warm and the seats were ridiculously comfortable, the only thing inside that caused him any form of distress was the person who was inside with him. She closed the door behind Isaac before he had chance to close it himself.

The woman was adept at staring. Again, words were not spoken for some time, Isaac was under the impression that she was observing him closely, looking for anything even remotely out of the ordinary. He felt extremely vulnerable- exposed even- he couldn’t see what she was thinking, nor could he change it should something go horribly wrong.

“As I’m sure you are aware,” she began, “I was present throughout your brief time in custody, I was observing you.”

“Why?” Isaac blurted out, unthinkingly. She stopped, sighed slightly, and then pulled out a briefcase from the side of the chair. She opened it and began to flick through the files within, almost as if by force of habit rather than to gain any information from them.

“There are certain-“ she paused again, apparently to weigh up her words,”- individuals within our society who pose a threat to our way of life. They are extremely dangerous, volatile and if they are not caught and contained then there is no telling exactly what they might be capable of.”

“I see-“

“I believe you may be one of them.” Isaac’s eyes widened; he was a suspect? How could she possibly know about the Glyph? Was that even what this was all about? Questions ran through his head without providing any answers, and each one filled him with even more fear. “Nothing to say, Mr Rivers?” she smiled. Her smiled was somehow even more chilling than her usual relatively blank, mildly agitated, default expression. 

“I- I’m not a criminal” Isaac stated, “I’ve not committed any crime, and I don’t plan to any time soon either.”

She seemed unconvinced. Her eyes still boring into him mercilessly, she began to chew, even though there was evidently nothing in her mouth.

“You should know that it is my job to track these individuals and bring them to justice, if you are telling me the truth, then you have nothing to be afraid of, but I’m warning you now- there are people out there who wish to do you harm, people with more power than your average lowlife.”

“I’ll keep that in mind, am I free to go now?”

“I have no reason to keep you, but should you notice anything suspicious, or anyone acting out of the ordinary, contact me- immediately.” She handed him a small, formal card with a number and an email printed clearly in a bold font. There was no name, just a symbol, a glyph, eerily similar to his own.

“What do I call you?” he asked, now securely on the pavement outside of the car.

“For now? Just call me P.”

“As in, the letter?”

“Is there any other kind of P?”

Isaac had to stop himself from laughing; only regaining himself when he became aware of how immature- let alone inappropriate- it would be to laugh at something so idiotic.

“I can think of a few,” he smiled. She grimaced back.

At that moment Frank appeared, seemingly from nowhere, and re-entered the car. In the next moment, the car was gone, and the whole scenario seemed like nothing more than an odd, fleeting dream.

The second the car was out of sight he began to shake. Did that really just happen?  He couldn’t go home and be seen in this state, he needed time to cool down, to gather his thoughts. Why couldn’t I read her mind? Have I lost my powers?  He needed to go somewhere where he could sit and just think for a while. He was pretty sure there was a library not far from where he was, he’d been there a few times, it would be quiet at this time- at least he hoped it would.

The place was closer than he anticipated, but was just as quiet as he suspected. He entered the building, passing by the woman at the front desk and finding himself a deserted corner of the library. Finding a small table with a few chairs scattered around it, he sat down and placed his head in his hands. Before he could simply convince himself he was being paranoid, but now, now he had proof that he was a suspect, they would find out about his power. In truth, he felt it may even help to have someone know, the power he had frightened him, it was too much too soon. How would his parent’s react? What would happen to his education and career? Who am I kidding; I have no idea what I’m doing…

“Something on your mind?” Isaac jumped. Someone stood in front of him: a man, not much older than himself. He wore a navy jumper with the white collar of a shirt underneath sticking out from the neck; one side of the collar was up, while the other was neatly folded over. His hair was a dirty blond, and was the very definition of windswept, with it branching out at all different angles; it also seemed to protrude higher on the left hand side. Also, on his left eye, a large black eye patch shielded his vision.

Isaac hesitated a moment. “S-Something like that.”

“Well, it isn’t surprising,” he stated, “everyone one in five males suffer from depression or other form of mental disorder- statistically it’s not unlikely that you are a victim of such an illness.”

He was taken aback, is it possible to be any more blunt?

“And who are you, exactly?”

“Name’s Scorch.”


“Gave it to myself- I don’t know my real name, I may not even have one, I’m not entirely sure I need one, what purpose do they serve really? Once you know a person, you know their identity, you do not need to put a name to a face- not really.”

Isaac’s bemusement was evident. “O- Okay.”

Scorch picked up a large book that had been left on the table.

“Hamlet- interesting- is this yours?”

“No, someone must have left it there before I got here.” Scorch turned away from Isaac. He looked at the book inquisitively and lifted up his eye patch.

He turned back, the eye patch now once again, sealed firmly over his eye. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” He had quoted the play he was holding in his hand, Isaac couldn’t help but be impressed.

“You’ve read it then?”

“Only just heard of it,” he replied, throwing the book in the air for Isaac to catch, “have you?”
Isaac stumbled out of his chair and rushed to catch it. The book landed painfully in his hands, the hardback cover digging into his palm as he caught it. Sighing, he turned to Scorch who was now perusing a shelf, seemingly with no true goal.

“I’ve read most of Shakespeare’s plays- so how did you-“

“Force of perception, you observe anything close enough and I find you can learn all there is to know about a single subject that there is to know.” He stated without looking Isaac’s way. He stopped at another book and lifted his eye patch as he had done before. There is something off about this man.

Isaac wasn’t entirely sure what he meant by ‘force of perception’, it sounded like he was talking nonsense; maybe he was. It suddenly struck him- he still was unsure whether or not he was still able to enter a person’s mind, surely he should try now? It would, at the very least, sate his curiosity as to who this strange man was.


He turned to face him and Isaac looked into his eye.

This mind was unlike any other, he knew that from the first second of being inside, the place was boiling. Every corner of his mind was bristling, teeming, bursting with information, an army of databases on a massive scale of subjects, all of them fully understood and appreciated. There was a distinct lack however, of any sort of memory, only the past month could be remembered, anything beyond that was darkness- and fire- so much fire, burning, smothering- scorching. Then there was the anger, the frustration, the-


It screamed at him. The voice was so loud it almost made his ears bleed. Then there were arms wrapped around him, forcing him away, pulling, tearing, grasping. He was being forced out of his mind- violently. His head throbbed, his heart ached, his ears felt as though they were about to explode as the voice continued to scream at him, amplified at an alarming volume.

He fell back into the chair, panting and sweating, horrified at what he had just experienced. Scorch looked at him, a wicked grin spreading across his face.

“So- after all this searching- I’ve finally found someone just like me,” he looked as though he might burst out laughing, but not a carefree, gleeful chuckle, more of a menacing, vindictive howl. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!”

Without thinking Isaac removed his glove and threw his arm in the air, showing Scorch his marked palm. At the same time Scorch ripped away his eye patch to reveal the ‘X’ emblazoned on his eye.
“Aren’t you the lucky one? You didn’t have to sacrifice an eye for your power- not that I mind all that much of course- it is merely a slight inconvenience.”

“Your power-“

“I don’t know how much you saw while you were trespassing in my brain, but let me put it simply for you: with this eye, anything I see I can instantly understand, I immediately have all the information on a topic, I am aware of every potential viewpoint and any alternatives, it is all installed into my brain- instantly.”

“What happens when you look at a person?”

“I know all personal information about them: their name, age, weight, ethnicity, I can also immediately assess their character, whether they are selfish or selfless, introverted or extroverted- but you- I can’t see you.”

“You can’t?” he stuttered.

“It’s why I came to talk to you, I needed to know why I couldn’t read you, and now I know why.”

“I saw- I saw what you want- what you are planning-“

“I don’t want anything; I am doing what must be done, for the sake of humankind.”

“You can tell yourself that if you like, but you want it, and it is wrong- don’t you care about all the devastation you will cause?”

Scorch simply stared at him. Isaac knew the answer to his question; he didn’t know why he bothered asking.

“You can join me- if you wish- your power would be invaluable to my cause.”

Isaac simply shook his head. He wasn’t going to be part of anything this man was planning, he could see the malice in his intent, they joy in his purpose, and it  was terrible to behold.

“Very well,” he resigned, he picked up his eye patch and placed it over his good eye, so only the glyph remained visible, “you will not be able to penetrate my mind again, so don’t even try.”

“How did you know?“

“You needed me to face you when you wished to enter my mind, it stands to reason that you can only access people’s brain through their eyes, and since I am technically blind in this eye, despite the fact I can see everything much clearer, you will not be able to access my thoughts any longer.”

He pulled out a torn, burnt piece of paper from his pocket and picked up a pen from the table. He scribbled something and thrust it into Isaac’s hands. “My number; if you change your mind.”

He turned to leave, walking slowly towards the exit, “oh, and just a warning- do not try and stop me.”

“Scorch! I understand how you feel, I have seen your frustration, I have felt your pain- the burning- it never ends, but doing this- it won’t make it any better, it won’t change anything.”

He stopped for a moment, absorbing Isaac’s words, then without saying anything more, he turned a corner and vanished.

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about.

The thoughts inside Scorch’s head were terrifying. He sought the devastation of society as it currently stood and a new order to put in its place: a utopia for him, oppression and misery for everyone else. Families would be torn apart, whole cities burnt to the ground, governments overthrown in a violent tidal wave and the entire world thrown into disarray, simply because he misunderstood the meaning of humanity. Isaac knew what he had to do; but he was reluctant.

He pulled out the card from his pocket. He stared at the glyph emblazoned upon it, afraid of the consequences of his actions- no- he had to do this, for the sake of all that mattered to him. He pulled out his phone and dialled the number on the card.




“I think I’ve found who you are looking for…”

Friday, 16 August 2013

Dreamscape: Lifetime

So... this is a bit of an unusual one. I am currently working on a novel, and it struck me that the parts that I enjoyed writing the most were the dream sequences. So I thought to myself... why not just do a fun old dream sequence? So that is what I did. Turned out kind of dark in places, but overall I think you can appreciate what i'm going for. So yeah...

A-Is for Abandonment: Alone in a vast plane of emptiness and darkness. A
Baby, crying and starving on the ground, its tiny lungs gasping for the air it is deprived of, its miniscule hands reaching out for the touch of another human being- someone- anyone. Now it is fumbling, falling through the vapid emptiness of space, only to land in the empty seat of a
Car. The baby is in the passenger seat, in the driver’s seat is a man with a look of desperation and concerned etched upon his face, a sweat upon his brow and a tear threatening to drop from his eye. He is trying to start the engine- so determined, and so destined to fail. He looks to the horizon ahead of him and my eyes follow his, and as I look I see light beginning to trickle into the darkness-
Dawn is breaking. On closer inspection however I see the landscape littered with the walking
Dead. A hand clasps tightly onto my shoulder. I turn to see two pairs of dead eyes gazing at me, I instinctively know that they are the baby’s parents. They do not linger for long. They simply request I take caution on the road ahead. The whole scene shifts and suddenly I’m standing on an
Escalator, but I’m going the wrong way. The escalator is going down, but I’m struggling ahead. I persist, sweat dripping from my brow, knowing I must fight the tide, but not knowing why. Some thought buried deep inside my head has morphed into fact, and the fact is that something is waiting for me ahead and that something is leading me onwards. The escalator suddenly begins to drop, the steps becoming level and still at my feet. There is a boy ahead. He is reading a
Fable to himself, speaking the words out loud. The book he is reading from is beautifully crafted and the pages are a brilliant white, but the words he is speaking are morbid and curious. I begin to wonder whether he is reading the story of my life, but the notion strikes me as ridiculous. The scene around the boy and myself begins to shift once again. Trees grow ominously tall and dark, imposing on us both, but the boy barely seems to notice. I see a trail make itself known through the newly constructed forest, and somewhere in the distance I can see an old, dreary, worn out, decrepit
Gate, swinging open and then shut. I follow the trail and pass through the dismal gate, the hinges screech and I wince at the sound, as my ears protest the sudden rise in pitch. The forest begins to thicken and the trail becomes more and more obscure. Fear begins to consume me, I feel bile rise in my throat as my stomach acid begins to boil. In the distance I hear a faint, but haunting,
Howl. Maybe it is all in my mind, but I feel the wolves closing in on me, their feral eyes leering at me through the underbrush, their teeth bared, ready to gnarl, gnash and gnaw on my flesh. Then the
Insects begin to buzz around me. I have disturbed their nest, and now they are seeking vengeance. Fighting my way through the endless onslaught of the forest’s weapons, I realise that the wood around me is no longer in the form of trees, but exquisitely carved and crafted benches and desks and stands. I am in a courtroom. The buzz that previously belonged to the insects now belongs to the crowd and the jury, and is eerily similar. I stand in front of them all and look up at the imposing
Judge. I hear the jury tutting and sighing and silently but surely judging me. The judge is speaking nonsense, but his tone clearly conveys his disgust and disapproval. It all becomes too much, suddenly the buzz in room grows louder, and the temperature increases, and the room gets smaller, and I cannot take anymore. I see myself- an adolescent- jump from the box in which I was sat, and
Kill the judge with a blade. The buzz becomes a roar and the whole room becomes chaos. Everyone lurches for my adolescent self, but before any of their prying hands reach me I stab the knife through my heart. Through the devastation, much to my relief, out of the corner of my eye, I spy a
Ladder. There is a woman there, holding it steady for me to climb, and she smiles, her teeth gleaming white. I climb up, out of the mess and the madness, into a place where it is constantly
Midnight. I look around at the scene. A clearing littered with candles, all burning brightly, and radiating warmth. As I walk however I become aware that my feet are bare. I realise I am
Naked and exposed. I begin to search for clothes, but there is nothing in the surrounding area aside from trees and candles. My eyes adjust to the dark and I see bodies on the ground. They are moving. All of them intertwined with each other, squirming, wriggling; limbs wrapped around limbs, lips pressed together. The cold, night air is filled with the sound of moaning and hushed whispering. The
Orgy I have found myself in is odd to me, although my nakedness somehow now seems far more appropriate, and I am comfortable with myself. In the middle of the clearing, out of nowhere, a
Podium rises from the ground. Feeling more comfortable than ever- I step up to it- above the mass of bodies below and I begin to speak. Just as I open my mouth however, I spy another podium in the distance. There is a figure stood at this podium just as I am, high above the people below. A
Queen. I squint to try and see her better in the darkness. I spy a heart, stitched into her dress. I suddenly become struck with fear and step down. As I do I trip and fall to the cold ground where a
Rabbit, white and energetic, bounds past my face at an unnatural speed. I crawl across the ground following the rabbits trail. It take forever- or almost a minute- to arrive at a small, sandy cave that is illuminated by an unseen light source. I look around and immediately feel at home. I know this is a
Safe Haven. I must leave some time however; I cannot linger in this haven forever, lest I forget what is really outside. I stay for as long as I can, enjoying the warm, salty, night breeze and the sound of the sea gently falling against the sand. I watch the playful shadows dance against the roof of the cavern and feel at peace. I have to leave. As I step foot outside the cave I am immediately shoved to the ground, it takes me some time to realise what has happened, but it becomes clear that a
Thief has stolen something precious from me. Not knowing what has been stolen, but certain that something has, I pursue the shadow that is bolting away from me along the beach. Just as I am about to reach him, he changes course and begins to run into the sea. I follow him into the depths,
Underwater, the shadow continues on into the darker blue regions of the ocean. I pursue him further until eventually he relinquishes the item that he stole. The photograph of my parents drifts past me, and then begins to float towards the surface, out of my reach, lost forever. The shadow is gone, but I am still deeply submerged. I look through the murky water; imbedded into a rock I see a
Valve. I have an insatiable desire to turn it. I swim to through the heavy waters that are bearing down on me and wrap my hands around the cold metal wheel. With great difficulty I begin to turn it, with a loud, satisfying ‘click’ the water from the ocean begins to drain. I see the surface rapidly approaching me from above- I close my eyes. When I open them again, there is sunlight, I’m in a
Warzone, with the heat from above bearing down on me and the sound of gunfire blazing through the air. I run through the turbulent atmosphere. Bombs, bullets, shouting, screaming, blood, sweat, heat- I can feel them all, shooting towards me like I am their primary target. I manage to locate a tent and quickly manoeuvre my way inside. There are several officer and generals stood around a map. I pick myself up from the ground, covered in dust and dripping with sweat. I look at the map.
‘X’ marks the spot. The map doesn’t resemble anything even remotely sophisticated, it is instead a hand-drawn map of a series of islands, with a giant ‘X’ blotted on one of the land masses. Confused, I step outside of the tent, hoping the air will clear my head. The scene has once again changed. The heat has remained, but I am no longer at the centre of a warzone. I am on a beach, on a tropical island. The water is terrifically clear- I can see all the rocks and fish beneath it. In the cove is a large
Yacht, which is evidently mine. I look into the sky and see that it is littered with an army of
Zephyr planes. I begin to laugh, and spread my arms wide, feeling the tropical breeze wash over me. I’m suddenly an old man, with his wrinkled, old feet submerged in the sand, but I feel overall contentment.

And then I wake up.