John looked at his watch and smiled. Thirty more minutes until the end of his long eight hour shift. The boredom sat in soon after Molly clocked out, leaving him alone. Three customers stopped to fill their tanks in two hours. Not one person came in. He grabbed a near by pen and began spinning it on the counter to keep his mind from wandering.
The door ringed as a man dressed in blue jeans and a white printed tee shirt entered. He walked over to a section filled with candy, small bags of chips and other on the go snacks. John watched the man closely as the man picked up different candy bars, reading the label for a moment and placing it back. He grabbed another and another, repeating the process.
Twenty more minutes, John thought to hisself as he tried to stop from watching the clock.
“I’ll take this and a pack Marlboro Reds.” The man placed the candy bar, he finally decided on, onto the counter.
The door ringed again and four giggling teenage girls piled in. One of the girls walked toward the restroom while the others went to pick out drinks from the cooler.
“Will that be all?” John pulled his gaze from the teenagers to see the mans hand placed on a gun.
“Well. John, is it?” John almost forgot his name in black letters that sat on the white tag pinned to his shirt.
“What. What do you want? You can have anything you want, just please do not kill me.”
The man smiled putting the pack of cigarettes and candy bar into his pocket. “Look Johnny. May I call you Johnny?”
John nodded as beads of sweat began to form on his forehead.
“Great.” The man responded. “My name is Curtis, and that lovely lady out there in car is Julie.”
John glanced outside at the gas pumps spotting the lady Curtis was referring to.
“Now it’s just by chance we happened upon you and this town. Now Julie decided to make a wager with me about if I was able to convince you that you couldn’t pick the first person that entered after me to die.” Curtis chuckled at what he said.
John wiped the streams on sweat from his head with a shaky hand. “I don’t. I don’t understand.” He barely could form a sentence as the fear began to consume his entire body.
“Relax Johnny. All you have to do is point to one of those beautiful young ladies over there picking out some refreshing drinks, and let me know which one will not make it home tonight.” Curtis leaned in closer to John. “That doesn’t sound so bad, does it Johnny?” Curtis tapped his finger on the side of the gun.
John looked over at the girls as they laughed and continued with their shopping oblivious to what was transpiring at the counter. “I don’t think I can do that sir.”
Curtis raised his hand to quiet John. He pointed the gun at him. “Please, call me Curtis. Now Johnny, here’s the deal. It’s either one of these little ladies or you. I’m a fair man. I’ll give you three minutes to decide.” Curtis whistled the song from the television show Jeopardy as he waited for an answer.
John’s heart began to beat so hard and fast, it felt as if it would burst from his chest. He looked down shaking his head. Why is this happening to me? He asked himself over and over. He felt the barrel of the gun press against his head as he looked up with tears in his eyes. “I can’t do this. I can’t pick one of them to die.” He held in the sobs as Curtis stared at him.
Lowering the gun, Curtis nodded his head. “Johnny. You are one stand up guy. I respect your decision. I’m not sure if I could make that choice if I was in your shoes.” Curtis rubbed the barrel of the gun against his right temple. “Since you’re such a stand up guy Johnny I changed my mind about this whole ordeal.”
John took a couple of deep breaths to compose himself. “What do you mean sir?” He asked, trying to keep the fear in his voice pushed down.
Curtis smiled. “I’m not going to make you choose. I’ll just have to let Julie know she has won our wager.”
With a forced smile John asked a question. “So does that mean you won’t kill me?”
Curtis raised the gun pointing it at John’s head. “No Johnny. It just means I’m going to kill all of you.”
The first shot ranged out shooting John through his left eye. The back is his head exploded sending pieces of skull and brain matter onto the shelves of liquor behind him. The girls screamed in terror as Curtis, without skipping a beat fired his gun killing the three of them. The fourth girl emerged from the restroom screaming and ran for the exit, making it outside.
Curtis placed his gun on the counter and pulled the pack of cigarettes from his pocket. He carefully tapped the box against the counter and pulled the the first one from the pack. He grabbed a lighter from the display and lit the cigarette blowing a cloud of smoke out.
“It’s been fun Johnny but I have to go.” He put the pack back in his pocket as he exited the building walking back to his car to a waiting Julie.
He climbed into the drivers side not wanting to make eye contact with his laughing companion.
“Oh hon. Don’t be mad. I told you the wager would fall in my favor.” She took her finger and gently ran it down his ear.
Curtis pulled away as if he wasn’t down pouting about losing. “I’m indeed upset about this Julie. I honestly thought the kid would make the right decision.
Julie smiled trying to keep her happiness in check. She hated for Curtis to feel bad. “Well hon. Seeing how you are so down in the dumps, I’ll have to give you your present now instead of later. Go take a look in the trunk.” She pulled down the visor and began fixing her lipstick. She could see the anxiousness on his face through the mirror.
The trunk popped open as a loud “yeehaw!” made her smile.
Curtis looked in the trunk to see the fourth girl bound and gagged with blood flowing from a wound from her head. He stroked her head as the muffled screams began to rise. “We are going to have fun tonight sweetheart. It will be time in the line of many for my Julie and I.” He slammed the trunk back down and hopped in the car. “You’re too good to me Julie.”
She leaned over and kissed him. “You and me forever hon.”
They both laughed as they drove off into the night.
Nickolas stared in the mirror trying not to blink as the image looking back at him began to distort. He involuntarily blinked as a tear ran down his cheek. He turned around peeking through the door into the adjoining room. He smiled widely as he watched the two tied up teenagers squirming under their restraints. He waved at them as if they would be able to respond. He turned to face his neatly made bed with two silver, diamond encrusted machetes next to a blue hat box. Nickolas carefully removed the lid, gently placing it next to the box. The dark mask looked up at him as if to call to him.
“Nickolas.” The mask spoke. “It’s been a long time. I thought you had forgotten about me.”
“It’s time to begin.” Nickolas whispered to himself as he picked up the mask carefully putting it to his face.
He emerged from the room feeling the god like power he enjoyed more than anything. The muffled teens began to struggle more as he grabbed a chair placing it front of them. The sounds from the plastic below his feet heightened the fear in the terrorized teens.
He placed a machete on each of their laps and sat down.
“You two are going to be part of something great. Something that will live in the hearts and minds of man forever. I almost passed you up. I thought to myself, they can’t be worthy of this great honor.” The mask began to move as he spoke.
He pulled the ball gag from the young ladies mouth. He put his finger to his lips to keep her from screaming.
“If you scream I will disembowel you.” His voice seemed to become deeper.
With tears running down her face, she mustered up enough strength to speak.
“What do you want from us?” She asked as a weird sensation swept through her body.
Nicholas didn’t answer right away, but leaned in smelling her hair.
“Do you feel the tingling throughout your body?” He smiled under his mask. “It’s a little something I came up with. It’s my favorite neuro toxin. What do you think about it?”
The young man tried to free himself as he attempted to scream with the gag securely in his mouth.
Without looking Nicholas viciously back handed the helpless young man.
“Do not interrupt me while I am speaking!” His voice echoed through the room.
“We are sorry. Please don’t hurt him anymore.” She apologized between whimpers.
Nicholas sat back to regain his composure. The temptation to cut her eyes, and lick the blood from her sockets was almost to much to hold back.
Nicholas looks over at the young man as he felt the mask constrict and release. He put his hands on the young man’s knees, and with a word grabbed one of the machete plunging it into his chest.
“I decided the lesson I need to teach will only benefit one of you.”
The gurgling only lasted a short time sending the girl into a screaming episode. Nicholas struck her in the mouth instantly stopping the screaming. She slumped over with blood running from her mouth.
“Let’s began, shall we?”
It’s been a long time since my mother was taken from us. Sleep no longer comes to me as easily as it once did. I roam corridors of the castle as everyone dreams unfold. Every night I would walk pass my father’s lab and I could hear muffled voices. I made sure Zoe stuck to her lessons and me to my training. Anything to keep the tears and the feeling of sadness pushed deep inside of me. My instructor, Lady Vale, noticed I was purposely letting myself get injured during my spar time. The pain seemed to help keep my mind off my mother not being here.
It all seems as if I’m inside a weird dream I can’t wake up from. I guess writing down my thoughts and things that are happening to me, help a little. I’m so tired I can barely focus to write in this journal. I want to get stronger so that I can go find out what happen to my mother. Zoe will be sad when I leave, but I believe she will understand. Father on the other hand will most likely be very upset. I have so much to prepare for.
I know people that don’t write think that it’s easy to do so, and those of us that do write know how hard it can be. We live the struggle of writers block, rejection letters, making time to work on projects, self publishing, selling of projects, getting your projects out into the world through marketing and other sources. I feel like this is an everyday thing with me. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but even when I tell myself to write for me and not anyone else it doesn’t always work out that way. I do want people to read and like my works, but I shouldn’t rely on that to keep me writing.
I should keep writing because I enjoy it, and I really need to get these stories out of my head. As I sit here this very second writing on a blog that I have taken for granted for much to long, I’m thinking about working on the two books sitting on my laptops desktop. Although I don’t feel like a real blogger in anyway, I believe publishing these thoughts help me in the creation of my other projects. Even when writer’s block ruins my night, I can come here and share with everyone the hardships I see in my works. This helps me in the long run to work through the wall that is keeping me from doing what I enjoy.
I am really bad at marketing and getting my novels out into the world. The fan page that I have set up on Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/DarkEmpyrean] has a lot of followers, and I hope they enjoy the things I do. I just get so frustrated that I start to rabble on like I am doing in this post. Do I feel like giving up sometimes and deleting my current projects? Yes I do, but I won’t. I know this feeling will pass like it has done in the past, and I will look back on this post as a waste of my time. I will see how I am over reacting and everything will go back to normal with me writing my stories. It is what I truly love to do. Well, that’s all I have for now, and I hope everyone returns to this blog to see how my progress is going. More to Come…
Long ago when I was a boy I bought my first comic book, and seeing Conan on the cover killing his enemy started the thoughts of my best friend and I starting our own comic book. First we had to make up characters. Check. Then developed our dark super hero group. Check. Next we made new character after new character until our number grew to around three hundred, which is pretty impressive (in our minds) for 4th graders.
Now the hard part started. Well, the hard part for me. I found out pretty early that although I was a decent artist, my best friend was and still is an excellent artist. So of course putting my work up against his was a little discouraging. He never compared his art to mine, but in the back of my head I thought the art aspect of our new adventured was to be left to him. I went the writing route. I put out scripted comic books and had my friend draw the scenes. I found I actually enjoyed this more than drawing.
As the years passed, and the thought of doing just comic books faded, I decided to take my characters and put them in novel form. I had this great idea and started taking notes and making outlines. I finally started my first novel The Darkstone Chronicles: The Power Within. It felt great to finally accomplished something on that scale. I took out story lines from the past and began to put down story lines for other novels. I put out book II of The Darkstone Chronicles line. I have all these stories lined up and I’m trying my hardest to get them out in the world.
Writing to me is showing the world that I live in, the universe I created in my head. At the end of the day, I just love writing whether people read it or not. It’s who I am, and who I will always be.
More to come…