(The Following is the first 8 pages of a 15 page short story I’m writing. If you read this fear not, unlike the previous rough drafts the next addendum will actually be new material so you won’t be reading the same thing twice! :D)
Spiders thread their webs throughout the cobwebs, every insect gambling with its life as it travels the corridors of dust and line. This system of deception and murder was of no concern to the old man standing in the center of his basement. Their lives would rise and fall around his ears without a bit of sympathy.
"What will you become?" The old man ran his fingers across an alabaster cube that stood a foot tall upon his work bench.
This cube would become something grand, a figure of the utmost importance. In his old age the man knew that what he made next could very well be his final creation. He could not die in obscurity-he would not die in obscurity.
"Come my child. What shall I make of you?"
His eyes rolled along the cube vexingly, the question brooding like a man betrayed. Betrayed by time, by mortality, betrayed by the very shell he was a prisoner within.
Can you hear me? A voice called out from the depths of the old man’s mind. So humorous the teetering of the mind, we enter the world hearing the voices of the imaginary and we leave the world in kind. The voice spoke out once more. Deprideo can you hear me?
"I can hear many things. But I feel the more pertinent question is just who is ‘me’?" Deprideo quipped. Like a ripple across a pond he could hear a chuckle reverberating through his mind. You are perfect.
Deprideo puffed out his chest momentarily. "Now tell this old man something he doesn’t know." The faint image of a grin imprinted itself within his mind.
Your right kidney is small than your left one. The voice responded.
Deprideo turned his torso and examined his back, rubbing his left side. "Figures." It was odd for the old man, just where does one gaze when attempting to see what is in their mind. "So who is it that hides in this old Joker’s mind? You know of my name but I haven’t the faintest of yours."
There is power in knowing isn’t there. A cloud of gas formed in Deprideo’s mind, a storm of sorts brooding within his psyche. You may call me what you like, I have heard a million names before and will likely hear millions to come. The most popular amongst your people however may suit your security: Calamity.
Deprideo let out a gasp and placed a finger to his lower lip. "Oh my indeed. To what do I owe this great honor?" The voice began to hum in his mind, thinking deeply. Honor? You are very quick to flatter.
The cloud grew ever greater and began to flash a thousand different colors, the flashes grew ever brighter till one flashed white and Deprideo found himself momentarily blinded. As his vision returned he found himself standing amidst darkness. A floor of endless gray rolling off into horizons of complete blackness. From behind him Calamity spoke out. Quite spacious isn’t it.
Deprideo turned to find himself looking at Calamity, in a flash he realized where he was. "Quite a trick!" Deprideo gazed around once more. "I’m disappointed I thought by this time in my life there would be more in my mind."
The darkness bodes well for you. Any point of light in your mind is a place for thoughts to escape.
Deprideo eyed the glowing gaseous cloud that is Calamity. "Well then I might worry about you trotting in my mind."
Calamity laughed. You please me Deprideo. So I will return the favor. What is it you desire most?
Deprideo smiled. "I want what any man would want. I want a legacy."
The Gaseous cloud that was Calamity began to slow condensing in upon itself. Slowly the form of a human revealed itself before Deprideo. A Genderless form of chaotic perfection. Each moment that a sense of calm radiated from the form it was matched with a momentary burst which in turn collapsed back into itself.
Well Deprideo you shall join me in creating something great. Tonight we write a declaration of your majesty and at its bottom shall your name be signed.
Deprideo smiled, a sense of accomplishment already brooding within his heart. "I hate to question you though I must ask. How are we to accomplish this?"
Calamity turn to reveal the wall of Deprideo’s mind, with a flick of the wrist it peeled open to show Deprideo the inside of his Workshop. More specifically it showed him standing in front of his table, hands at the ready to shape the block of Alabaster.
What you have in your possession is my very essence. A shard of me torn from my being a thousand years ago. You will fashion from this a figure of the most unassuming nature, those who hold it shall know of no greater pleasure than to have it. Their very essence will fuel its gestation and from this lifeless seed shall I be reborn. The Isle of Calmius has lied dormant for too many years, you will aid me in revitalizing this land and I shall give you the honor that is being my progenitor.
Deprideo watched as he took effortless strokes at the Alabaster, each swing of the chisel and each chip of the stone was perfect; almost effortless. The night bore on ever more as he sat there in his mind, his body a machine working without his guidance. Behind him stood Calamity, hands resting upon his shoulders.
If ever an inkling of fear enters your heart you are to scoff at it, if ever a doubt you are to crush it, for once this is complete you are a man of unrivaled greatness and these petty squabbles are not of your concern.
Deprideo smiled and placed his hand on one of Calamity’s. "There are not words to describe my appreciation for this gift."
Calamity walked around Deprideo. This is only the beginning of the gifts you shall receive. Calamity press a hand over Deprideo’s eyes and shoved against his head, he felt as if he had been shoved out of his own skin. As he fell a moment of doubt filled his mind.
The thud of his head against the dirt was unexpected, however given the night he wasn’t overly surprised. The cobwebs greeted his vision as he looked around.
"I’m back in the basement?" Deprideo rubbed his head. "That better not have been a dream."
Deprideo stood up slowly looking around the room. "That would be the most cliche-" Deprideo’s jaw dropped as he gazed upon a statue of perfection. However it was not the statue itself that had filled his mind with awe specifically, nor was it the fact that Calamity had chosen a Bonobo as the figure of choice, nay it was what he saw reflected in the statue.
"My Child-" Deprideo paused rubbing his face. "I’m young again."
Deprideo lifted the Bonobo from his table, the feel of it was almost too surreal to describe. A statue of the utmost purity. Pleasure glided throughout his body, as it did a cautionary voice spoke out from the hollows of his mind.
I have gifted you with the youth worthy of my Progenitor and I have protected you from the full affects of your child. However you must make haste with giving this to he who has wronged you and indeed us all the most.
"How do you know it is a he?" Deprideo responded.
Oh how quickly does youth instill naivety. I know what has happened to you Deprideo and we both are beyond all certainty upon who this Bonobo belongs.
Deprideo gazed up the basement to the door. "How quickly does the rise seem easy."
The creek of the old Basement door, the chattering of the aged floorboards, the dancing of dust against backdrops of soot and cobwebs. It was becoming immediately apparently to Deprideo that in his old age he had forgotten about something all too obvious. The poverty he had accepted as fact.
"Oh this is indeed unacceptable." Deprideo placed the statue upon a table near his from door window. The sun was beating overhead upon the sun scorched dirt roads that lead around the capital city of Calmius. Beams of light invaded his home at every opportunity, making apparent that it was not merely the local church that was holey.
Deprideo inexplicably chuckled as he entered his bedroom. "What will I wear on this most momentous of occasions?" A quick dash around his wardrobe revealed, as with many of the mornings events, an unsettling truth. "I have absolutely terrible taste in clothing."
As he shuffled around clothing an emerald green robe caught his eye. "Well hello there." Curious Deprideo pulled the robe from the closet. "I take it you are the next gift then."
Wise beyond your years Deprideo.
Shifting his robe about himself Deprideo made his way into the hall. An unusual event caught his eye. A beam of light crawled up along the table that supported the Bonobo, as it rolled along the surface of the statue it reflected in all directions. Finally it slowed upon the surface of the Bonobo, two beams of light both ended at a single point in the adjacent room.
Deprideo walked around the corner to see their target, a small wooden box that was wrapped in a tanned leather hide. "Oh exquisite taste indeed." Deprideo walked over and lifted up the box. "When I was younger this box held my collection of fantasy game guides." He dusted off the sides of the box. "It would appear that it hasn’t moved since then."
Walking back to the statue he set the box down and lifted the Bonobo. "So now my child today you shall become my legacy and I shall be eternally your proud father." Slowly he lowered the Bonobo into the box and atop the box he rested its matching lid. "You certainly have exquisite taste in transit."
"No need to lock the door today." Deprideo said as he left his home, walking out into the burning sun. "No I think today is my first day of fearlessness."
The walk to the castle was an odd mishmash of emotions for Deprideo. The breeze that had greeted him thousands of days before was all there, swinging merchant signs to and fro upon their rusted old chains on either side of the road. However the sun seemed to be hurling every ounce of strength it had at stopping Deprideo dead. A celestial being roaring in rage as he marched along the scorched earth, delivering a package of unbelievable power.
The capital of Calmius had been built upon a large hill, not quite large enough to be called a mountain yet far too large for such misconceptions not to be made. Atop this mountain-like hill was the Capitol, a castle whose size while dwarfed by its base was still difficult to overlook. Hundreds of thousands of marble blocks formed towering spires each topped with dozens of archers.
Within its walls sat a Barbarian, a man credited largely for the taming of Calmius and the joining of the many nations within. His name unknown to all he is merely called the Lord King. However not all his accomplishments are of pride, he is a nefarious letch kidnapping women and girls alike, slaves of passion none have ever left the castle.
Millions have died because of the Lord King, though it is said that with their deaths the peace many more millions shall be seen.
As he marched to the top of the Hill Deprideo let out a sigh of relief, turning to peer out from his newfound view. Sweat too beaded on his brow, perhaps in hopes of too getting a look.
"It’s all so…lifeless. Where is it? Where is the-"
"Yes. Where is the Spark."
Deprideo gazed down at his parcel. "Ah. My child then?"
Not one arrow found itself notched in the direction of Deprideo, not one spear, sword, nor lance was pointing to his person. Indeed all seemed prepared for his approach. Two men reflecting all the suns ferocity off their steel armament greeted Deprideo as he approached the main doors.
"The King has-" The first was cut off by the second. "-been expecting you."
Deprideo cocked a brow.
"You will-" Once again cut off. "-Enter immediately."
The massive mahogany doors opened to reveal the innards of the castle. A place that few had entered and of those even fewer of their own desire. The smell of roast and sex flowed out like slime from the sewers making its way past Deprideo. It hit his brain like a hammer.
"That smell could eat the wool off a sheep." Deprideo looked at the guards. "Am I right?"
Neither guard answered.
"Alright then. I’ll-I’ll be going inside."
I thought it was good.
The floor of the castle was covered from edge to edge in layers of silk and satin, pillars of marble reflected the glow of walls encased in silver and gold. Each step caused pockets of air to flow along the silk creating seas of fabric, waves smashed into waves. As he made his way through the room the torrent grew stronger. It was unsettling to him how the waves crashed into him and faded away.
"Such a grand show of power ultimately masking something grandly meek."
The main room ran on for ages, to either his right or left it was a few dozen feet to the walls where door after door lead to places unknown. Not a single guard stood in this room, it was entirely without life save for Deprideo.
Though as if signaled by the nonexistent the doors at the farthest end of the room opened. He could not quite yet make out who was inside. Deprideo was met however once again with a silent killer, a stench that could stun the unprepared.
Deprideo cracked open the lid. "I see now why you wanted to come in a box."
The main throne room was expectedly massive. Towering columns, silk laden floor, dozens of steps leading up to a throne of gold. It was all so obvious that it disgusted Deprideo. What was new however was the walls lined with armed archers each pointing their loaded crossbows at Deprideo’s head.
That and the monstrous Lord King sitting within the throne. Sitting on his lap a nude girl clad in chains.
The king spoke out to Deprideo in a voice that was as deep and dark as the forest of hairs across his exposed chest. "So are you him?"
"It depends. Is the fellow you are waiting for supposed to be tasting all these arrows?"
A quick nearly subsonic laugh escaped the King. It knocked Deprideo back a step.
"You don’t speak as if you would pass up the meal."
"So we’ll try an easier question." The King pointed with his free hand, his tree trunk of a finger pointing squarely at the box and everything else in that general direction. "Is that for me?"
"I know what to say."
"Oh nothing. Yes. This is for you."
The King shook the chains of his captive. "Get it." Lowering her like a marionette from his lap to the floor he loosened the grip to give her enough slack to make it to reach Deprideo.
As the girl approached Deprideo the King spoke out. "You understand my confusion?"
Deprideo shrugged. "No I can’t say that I do."
"The one I saw in the vision did not look like you. He was much older-distinguished."
"I’m sure I’ll suffice." Deprideo halted his train of thought. "Distinguished you say? Anything else about him you remember?"
"He looked weak."
Deprideo frowned. "Oh." His pride shattered.
You are no longer that man. Soon Deprideo…
The girl was barely 5 feet tall. Deprideo handed the box to her and frowned. She looked frail and poorly fed.
"So young man. What is your name?"
Deprideo paused and tapped his temple. "My name has long since escaped me." He looked at the king and smiled. "You understand I’m sure?"
The King laughed, his momentary jerk yanked the chains sending the girl to her feet and the box tumbling from her hands. From it the Alabaster Bonobo rolled halfway out. The King gazed down at it and his eyes grew wide enough to burst.
"This! How did you get it! I have searched the land from shore to shore in search of this!" The King stood, his massive figure towering into the air.
"I made it myself." Deprideo walked towards the girl. "That is my grandest creation."
Holding out his hand the slave girl held onto it and he pulled her up.
"Impossible. I have searched for this for longer than you have lived."
"Oh nothing is impossible." Deprideo continued. "Of all people you should know that-Kahn."