The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

One Hour Later…

Posted by BigWords on July 7, 2010

by Gary James

The blackened face of the delirious thing peered out, unaware of whether it had survived or not. The blast wasn’t so impressive, yet the awe of such an outpouring of power remarks upon the mind curious notions – and the creature, the wretched, pained, dark one, had no other context upon which to base such a spectacle.
“Fire burn,” It croaked, as it made its’ way from the hole in which it hid. “Fire hurt.”
The boy from whose hands the explosion had come, was lying unconscious. The creature, if it had the thought to check for such things, decided – as is the nature of such things – that the danger had passed. In the back of its’ very small mind there arose a question unlike any it had been forced to conjure to this date…
Where, exactly, had the boy come from?
The Cavernous wasn’t quite the place for such mortals, and yet here lay one before Smut.

The dream was over as soon as it began. Fighting alongside the most powerful men and women on Earth had seemed like a dream come true, but the fragile ego’s and twisted personalities soon emerged to taint Jack’s perception of The Association. He had spent as much time fighting with his teammates as he had defeating those who would use their powers for less noble causes. And so he found himself alone and unarmed, so he used his power, so he somehow managed to blast himself out of reality.

Jack opened one eye to see if the Apocalytes had gone. There was no sign of them. There was also nothing he could recognize within his field of sight. “Job well done… Fucking brilliant. Stick a gold star on your forehead, Jack.” He stood, uneasily, as the majesty of his surroundings became clear. “Now, where the hell’s the pub? Where the hell am I, for that matter?” Cold gray rocks cut high into the air, slicing clouds with jagged precision, towers of unmistakable craftsmanship balancing precariously on their summits. It was a vision Dante would have awed at, yet Jack was trying to remain calm. Something deep in his stomach twisted, all the same. A feeling of unease about the new and ancient vista crept over him, and it was all he could to to stop himself betraying his fears.

Smut turned to look back at the body which arrived in the spectacular blaze. The boy was standing now… alive. The one who commanded the fire, and who had so nearly killed Smut, was not only standing, but he was staring at the Spires. The thoughts running through the mind of the base form were so conflicted as to cause him pain, but one way or another he had to know what the boy knew of the living flame. “Thinking. I’m thinking… Go help boy?” Smut sat on the harsh rock beneath him, head enveloped in his hands. “Need fire.”

“Oi. You, c’mere you dwarf freak. Where am I, and what have you done to the city?”
Smut looked up to see the boy walking towards him. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no…”
“Have you done this? Is it some kind of magic trick?”
“Close my eyes. You not see me if my eyes are closed.”
“Answer me.”
“La-la-la-la-la. Smut not hear you.”
Jack let a thin whistle escape his lips, then set about hitting the creature off the side of the head. “Are. You. Stupid?”
Smut yelped, leaped from his position, and began hopping on the spot. “You try to kill Smut. You make burning fire.”

Jack paused. Then burst into laughter. “You’re name is… Smut?”
“I am Smut. Yes.”
“That… Is brilliant. You’re a three-star wonder of the world, my short and ugly friend. Now… How’s about you tell me where I am, how I can get out of here, and why you’re the ugliest thing I’ve seen all week.”
“I am Smut.”
“Yeah. I think we’ve covered that.”
“This is The Cavernous.”
“No shit.”
“Smut live here.”
“Good for you. I don’t fancy spending the rest of my life sober, so how about finding me the exit, huh?”

Smut ceased his hopping, only to once again resume his former position on the rock. “Must think.”
Jack’s left eye twitched in anger at the senseless thing which sat before him. “Answer me.”
The fire rose in Jack’s mind, and in his gut,, and in his fists. A spark, from nowhere yet everywhere, ignited him in living flame unlike any he had produced. The core of his essence illuminated the universe, a furious beacon in the dim and horrible netherworld he found himself in. “Answer me.” His voice seemed to carry as he exploded once more, ripping apart the walls of reality a second time.

Blinking, exhausted and confused, Jack gazed upon the city once more. “Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou…” Stumbling forwards, he fell. A discarded newspaper inches from his face reassured him he was home. The Liberty, a tome he was more than familiar with. But the date… The date was wrong…

1963.

Jack stood, realizing that he had somehow managed to break the laws of time travel. And then the dawning conclusion became apparent – he had only been able to summon the extra power to create such a powerful blast when he was in the presence of the Apocalytes – a group who would not exist for more than fifty years.

[written in one hour, it’s a smidge under 900 words. I did edit as I wrote it though]

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2 Responses to “One Hour Later…”

  1. There are some very interesting things going on here. Are you planning on expanding this into a longer story?

  2. bigwords88 said

    I think it’s somehow connected to the superhero WIP which has twisted itself into a folklore and myth-centric tale (with Lovecraftian overtones), but it seems a little more comic-bookish than the dark near-future tone of the full-length piece. Not sure why it came out like it did, but if I can fit in some classic superhero elements to that I will.

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