The Mortal Jouranist

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic


Blossom is a trained journalist, and has moved to London in search of a new job. Almost immediately however, she is contacted by "John Smith's Journalist agency" At her interview, her boss, Miles
Crumblestorm is revealed to be a strange, slightly eccentric middle-aged man, with an intense love of the Greek myths. On the way back from work, she is stalked by a one-eyed giant in a trench
coat. Her colleagues avoided the topic when she questioned them, and Crumblestorm had no comment other than to wink at her, as if he knew something she didn't. Could the Greek myths be real? Could
gods roam the city of London?

Submitted: April 04, 2018

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Submitted: April 04, 2018

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“The Mortal Journalist”

 

 

Chapter 1

 

It was a normal winter day, the intense cold of England working it’s way into the unfortunate unheated buildings in the City of London. One such building was “John Smith’s News Agency”.

 

It wasn’t really a news agency. At least,  not a good one. Most news agencies told the normal stories of robberies, murder and crime. John Smiths informed everyone of reported Ufo sightings, theories that the local barmen was a zombie, and sillies things like that.

Only nutters would buy their stories, as well as a number of perfectly sane people who just wanted a cheap laugh.

 

Blossom Lyre was the most recently appointed journalist to enter the company, and she had never worked in a workplace so odd. Blossom was a very normal, reasonable person, a logical, rational thinker, which placed her completely at odds to her colleagues around her.

The company didn’t look for experience in journalism, or writing or creative skills, they didn’t even look at resume’s. Blossom didn’t need to bring up her experience at all.  In Blossom’s interview for the job, she was asked to create an interpretive dance for the song of music they played.

 

The job was very convenient, as Blossom’s house was just ten minutes walk from the agency.

 

 

‘Blossom, can I see you for a minute please’ the voice of her boss, Miles Crumblestorm, intoned through the loud speakers. At the back of the room, the Head Editor, Quinton Toadhall, let out a high pitched giggle. ‘Blossom’s in trouble’, he said in a sing-song voice.

Blossom ignored him.

 

Miles Crumblestorm was the hero of the company. Years ago, when the company was going broke, he personally funded the whole company by working three extra jobs, working day and night, to bring the company back to it’s feet. He was now the manager of the company, and would tolerate only the best from his employees.

 

So it was with a certain reverence that Blossom walked into her superior’s office. This was the first time she had seen him since her interview for the job a few days previously.

‘Sit down, Mr. Aloft said softly, gesturing at a small stall in front of him, not taking his eyes off the large pile of paperwork on his desk.

‘You wanted to see me sir’? she asked.

He smiled.

‘Yes, he said, Yes I most certainly do’.

He now let his piercing blue eyes rest on Blossom’s face.

‘Blossom, he said, do you know why I hired you’?

 

The question startled her. To be perfectly honest with herself, she didn’t have the first clue why she was chosen. She was nothing like the other employees. There was five other people in her department. John Hansen, the supervisor, who made everyone coffee in the morning. He had greeted Blossom with a wide smile and warm welcome, handing her a hot drink on her first morning. He came across as a nice guy at first, until Blossom had discovered he had spiked her drink with table salt, causing her to shriek and spit out her coffee all over her desk. Everyone had roared with laughter at that, and when Blossom had confronted him about it, he simply said “Oh, sorry about that darling, gotta keep life interesting” with a malicious glint in their eye, and that was that.

Hansen’s assistant was Charles Clout, a small balding man with a large tattoo of a battle-axe on his chest. Blossom would never have guessed Clout for being a man who liked tattoos, until John Hansen sent a photo of Charles shirtless to everyone in the building.

 

There was three other journalists who worked in the same division as Blossom. Karrel Slant, an enormously fat man with curly brown hair, led the stories about possible Megaladon sightings. From what Blossom had been led to believe, he had a terrified fascination with sharks. Blossom had never heard him speak, but when John had shoved a blood-chilling photo of a Great White Shark in front of Karrel, he fell off his chair, whimpering. Trick Ballard was perhaps the most likeable of them all, although he was light sensitive, meaning that his eyes constantly flicked up to any light around him, giving him the illusion that he was constantly being knocked unconscious, as his eyes kept rolling upwards to his head.

 

The other journalist was Judith Mcarther. No-one had ever seen her except for Mr. Aloft, because she worked from home, and sent in articles to the company. Blossom found this a shame, as she would have liked some female company.

 

 

‘Er, because I’m a good interpretive dancer?, she answered tentatively, in response to his question.

 

Mr. Crumblestorm was silent a minute, but then his face split into a wide, crinkly smile, and he let out a tinkering laugh. ‘Oh, I knew I chose correctly with you, my dear Blossom.

Crumblestorm cleared his throat.   I have a job for you, he said, Do  you know anything about the Greek Myths?

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Blossom was sitting at her desk, still a little confused about what her boss had asked her to do. Out of nowhere, he bring up the Greek Myths, and had asked her to to write an article titled “Ancient Greek Mythology Still Real Today? and she hadn’t the first clue on where to begin. She knew the old myths as well as anyone, of course. She had read all about the adventures of Odysseus,Theseus, Orpheus and of course the stories of the gods.


Crumblestorm had explained it to her, back in his office, his eyes alight with feverish enthusiasm at the very subject.

 

“I have always had a deep fascination with the Greek Myths”, Aloft had said, ‘ever since I was a kid. Me and my brothers, we used to go out and pray to Zeus, to Poseidon, to Prometheus. We used to really believe’.  Blossom had allowed her boss 30 seconds of reminiscence, before snapping him out of his reverie. “Mr Crumblestorm, she said, what exactly do you want me to write about?’

 

Aloft’s smile was a little too constant as he replied. ‘I want you to write a story about the Greek Myths, about how they are real today’. Blossom took a moment before replying. This was not why she had joined this company.

‘ You want me to lie to the public?,’ Blossom asked, quietly.

 

Crumblestorm looked at her, shocked. ‘Absolutely not. That is not what this company stands for’. He paused. ‘What I want you to do is inspire the public’. His tone softened. ‘Give them hope. Make them believe.

It feels great to have hope, believe me. Inspire them like I was inspired, all those years ago.’ “Its good to give mankind hope” he said.

 

Mr Crumblestorm stood up. ‘ Now our time is up. I have other work I must attend to, so you must go’. He looked Blossom directly in the eyes. ‘ I expect only the best from you, my dear’. Blossom got up and made to leave, but was stopped almost immediately by her bosses last words. “Blossom, he said. ‘Remember. Its not lying if you believe it.” He emphasised the last two words, drawing them out, still with that eerie, constant smile on his lined face.

 

 

 

Chapter 3

 

It was certainly the strangest interview she’d ever had, Blossom thought, as she walked morosely through the dark streets of London, wrapped up in a warm fur coat. It was late evening, and beginning to get dark. It was several hours after she had talked to her boss, and Blossom was doing something she often did when she needed to think; she went outside and thought about her issues in the fresh air. Crumblestorm’s parting words bothered her. “Its not a lie if you believe it”

 

Did Crumblestorm believe in the Greek myths? Was that what this was about?

It was certainly a possibility, she thought, as she edged past two bald men arguing loudly. As she walked, the volume of their argument heightened, and Blossom could have sworn she saw a flash of light strike one of the men, seemingly out of nowhere.

The man seemed to be more angry than hurt, yelling something about ‘mortals’ and ‘the light’. One of the men caught her eye, and immediately nudged the other man. They both turned to look at her, grim looks on their almost identical faces. A feeling of ill boding building inside of her, Blossom hurried forward, increasing her pace, and turned around to see one of the men talking on the phone, still not taking his eyes off her. The ill feeling increasing, Blossom almost ran from the scene, taking the first left into an shady alleyway, breathing deeply. What had she just seen?  Was this a prank?

 

She had just been told to write about the Greek myths, and just hours after, two bald men start yelling about mortals. Was this a coincidence?

 

‘Ok, what she had seen was unusual, but nothing to worry about’, Blossom reassured herself. There was strange people everywhere. The light she had seen could have been a phone light, or a lamp. She set off, albeit more cautiously this time.  The light seemed to dull, and suddenly Blossom felt scared. She had gone barely ten steps before she heard hurried footsteps echoing from deeper into the alleyway. Blossom froze, and retreated several steps back until she was hugging the alleyway walls. A few seconds later a figure came stumbling around the corner, his whole body in shadow. The light faded to reveal a man-no a boy, Blossom realised. She judged him to be about 16 years of age, but there was something obviously wrong with him. He was deathly pale, and his teeth were clenched and chattering. The most alarming thing about his appearance, however, was his arm, stretched out in front of him, so that his veins were exposed. In the very centre of his forearm, the Greek symbol Omega had been carved, crudely, as if by a knife.  Blood dripped onto his hands, from a deep cut. The boy kept glancing behind him, as if something was following him. Suddenly the boy caught sight of her, and his eyes widened with alarm. He rushed over to her, tripping slightly as he came in front of Blossom. He moved towards her, and gripped her shoulders tightly. “Listen to me, the boy whispered hoarsely, you have to leave. NOW!”

He turned around. As Blossom watched in horror, a massive figure seemed to rise up out of the darkness, into the light.

 

Chapter 4

 

The 10ft tall figure in a black trench coat stepped out of the shadows. It’s face, which was hidden in darkness, revealed itself to be nightmarish. Blossom was frozen in terror, as she realised the thing only had one eye. One solitary green eye that constantly flitted in every direction, eventually falling on Blossom. The creature’s eye widened. She screamed. The sound of absolute animal terror escaped from her lips, and she turned to run, following the footsteps of the ghostly boy which the creature seemed to be following.

 

Blossom sprinted, feeling the earth shake as the monster quickened its pace. “GO! quick, you have to get out of here’ Blossom heard a voice yell, and looked up in time to see the boy running towards her, tightly gripping his wrist again, his face full of fear. “Ill hold it off for as long as I can”. Blossom just kept sprinting, moving as fast as her tired legs would take her. The boy, she saw, had ran behind her to engage the creature. She risked a glance behind her, and heard the boy’s young voice yell “Spartoi”.

 

She turned around, but not before a white skeletal hand erupted from the ground in front of her. The hand was waving from side to side, seemingly testing the air. Suddenly the hand clicked it’s thumb and forefinger, and emerged, fully formed, a war skeleton, complete with bronze armour and a glowing helmet.

 

Blossom clapped her hands to her mouth as the skeleton turned to her. Clods of dirt clung to the skeletons frame, and it’s empty eye sockets seemed to bore into her. The skeleton grinned at her, then bounded off the join the fight. Blossom fled the scene, breathing a massive sigh of relief as she emerged onto a dark street, full of Londoners with coats.

 

Chapter 5


Blossom slept fitfully that night, her dreams full of grinning skeletons, and giants in trench coats. The image of the boy with the Omega symbol etched into his arm appeared too, but the dream kept zooming in on the symbol, as if trying to tell her something. Miles Crumblestorm had appeared as well, his eerie constant smile floating on the edge of her consciousness.

 

What did it all mean? It was as if the talk with Crumblestorm had triggered something in her, almost as if he had changed her perspective on the world, allowing her to see these supernatural things.

 

Crumblestorm had believed in the Greek myths, and hours later, she had encountered them. ‘There was no other explanation, Blossom thought grimly, the Greek myths are real’.

 

 

Chapter 6

 

 

Blossom was at her desk, reading, search through websites, articles, videos, anything that would provide an explanation for what she had seen.

 

“Cyclopes, borne of Ouranos, were the powerful one-eyed giants of Greek mythology, known for their ferocious and savage mindset, and their skill and knowledge of tools and craftsmanship”.


Blossom stared at the screen. There was a picture of a cyclopes there, which looked extremely similar to what she had seen on that night.  The gigantic figure in the black trench coat was a cyclopes. That explained part of the story, but the mysterious boy with the strange a symbol was still unknown, as was the skeleton. Blossom was so absorbed with her research that she hardly even registered that John Hansen was behind her, looking over her shoulder at her screen. “Who’s that, he asked’  the familiar mischievous grin appearing on his face. “You’re boyfriend?”

“Yeah” Blossom said briefly. She had found it was easier to just reply with “yes” to everything John said, it seemed to make him go away quicker. It worked. He scowled, and looked for somebody else to annoy.

 

 

“The omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, and symbolises power and greatness. In the Greek myths, demigods and monsters alike used the symbol as a last throw of the dice”

```“Monsters and demigods alike” Blossom thought to herself. ‘Who was it that carved that symbol into the boys arm?

 

And then it hit Blossom. The boy was a demigod! He carved the symbol into his own arm, as a last throw of the dice attempt to gain more power to defeat the cyclopes. She didn’t know how she had arrived at that conclusion, but the moment she had had that thought, she simply knew she was right.

 

Blossom paused, thinking deeply, trying to relive the scene in her mind. The boy had been running from the cyclopes, and then he had seen her, but he still kept moving past her. It wasn’t until the cyclopes had started going for her that the boy had stepped in, and said that he was going to hold off the cyclopes.

 

“Spartoi” The boy had yelled, as he ran to intercept the cyclopes. Blossom had never remotely heard of the word, and she had a funny feeling that the internet might not help her with this one. No. She needed firsthand knowledge. She needed to return  to the alleyway.

 

Skeletons, symbols, demigods, and unknown words, Blossom thought furiously. How did they all connect?

 

 

It was at her lunch break that she left. The whole day, Blossom had been distracted from her work, her mind drifting to the alleyway where she had faced the horrors.

 

 

Blossom announced loudly to the room of journalists that she was going to grab a kebab from the store down the road, then strode confidently out the door, leaving no doubt in anybodies mind that that was exactly what she was doing. Crumblestorm had left to meet a potential investor, and Blossom judged this to be the best time to leave.

 

As Blossom walked down the sunny London road, the idea of demigods and skeletons and cyclopes to be lurking here seemed outrageous, ludicrous even.

 

‘This is where the two bald men where, Blossom thought, spotting several scorch marks on the ground. It occurred to her that these scorch marks may have been caused by the mysterious flash of light that passed between the two men. Blossom shivered slightly, then continued walking.

 

Blossom turned around a corner, and there it was. The battle ground of two nights ago. Blossom widened her eyes in shock and horror, as she realised she wasn’t alone. There was a tall figure, half bent, examining the ground. The figure  stood up, and turned around. But It wasn’t the cyclopes. It wasn’t even the deathly demigod. It was…….her boss, Miles Crumblestorm, dressed in an exquisitely sharp black suit.

 

“Hello Blossom” he said, casually, as if it was normal for a boss and a worker to meet in a dark, graffitied alley.

 

“Mr.Crumblestorm”, Blossom said trying and failing to keep her voice calm and even.

‘I was, I’m not, meant to be here, Blossom said awkwardly. Crumblestorm smiled, but it wasn’t the eerie, constant smile that had appeared in Blossom’s dreams, it was a smile of complete understanding, his lined face twinkling slightly. “Oh, I know exactly why you are her Blossom, he said. “Curiosity is a trait of a good journalist, and one of the reasons I hired you. You are here to have questions answered.

 

“yes, yes, he said, forestalling Blossom’s next question. "I know all about your adventures a few nights ago”. Forgive me, but you were exceedingly lucky to escape”.

An Elder Cyclopes and a Spartoi warrior. You picked two of the very worst creatures to run into, Blossom. Thank your lucky stars that Erlic protected you the way he did. He summoned the Spartoi, and told it not to kill you.

 

“How do you know all of this?, Blossom asked, astonished.

“Im not who you think I am, Blossom.

“This”, he gestured at his expensive suit, his polished shoes, “this is not who I am.

 

Crumblestorm now reached over and gripped Blossom’s shoulders. “Can I trust you?” he whispered softly. Blossom nodded wordlessly.

 

Crumblestorm released Blossom, and stepped back. He knelt down, and in that moment that he was looking at her, the next a completely different man was looking back at her, still in that same, kneeling position. He stood up, and looked Blossom directly in the eye.

 

 

The newcomer was at least seven foot tall, and wore nothing but a loincloth. He was bald, and his body was covered from head to toe in tatoo’s. On the very centre of his forehead, a large tattoo of a man holding fire in his hands jumped out at Blossom. The largest tattoo, on his chest, showed a gruesome scene: a man, chained to a rock, and a large bird, tearing into his liver. These clues didn’t go past unnoticed on Blossom. But surely…her own boss couldn’t be.. him.

 

The man spoke, in a gravelly, hoarse whisper, completely different to that of Crumblestorm “I would tell you who I am, he said, but I thin you have nearly worked it out. I’ll give you a hint. I am the maker of mankind, giver of fire, and the bane of Zeus. I am, of course “Prometheus” whispered Blossom.

 

 

End of Chapter

It was so outrageous it was almost laughable, thought Blossom, that a Titan from Greek mythology was standing in front of her, and that he happened to be her boss. Mind you, it did explain a lot about the guy, Blossom thought. Prometheus seemed to know exactly what she was thinking. “I apologise if I was ever”, he searched for the right word, “Socially awkward with you”, he said seriously, “I’m afraid that there are certain side effects of spending most of my life tied to a rock, with no-one to talk to but a bloodthirsty eagle.”

 

Blossom closed her eyes. “Look, er, Prometheus, that’s all incredible, but what on earth are you doing here? What have I got anything to do with this? And I cant believe I haven’t asked you yet; ‘Why are you pretending to be my boss?

 

Prometheus smiled, the tattoos on his face changing with the movement. “All good questions, and I promise I will answer them, but first, let me ask you something in return. I suppose you noticed the Omega symbol, carved into Erlic’s forearm?

Blossom nodded.

 

“This symbol can act as many different things, but I believe in this case Erlic used it as a last, desperate attempt to gain a last surge of power in order to summon the Spartoi to protect you, to destroy the Elder cyclopes. Now this in itself is not strange in the least. It is a common tactic among demigods. What worries me is Erlic’s blood. Did it touch you?”

 

Blossom thought back to the night.

The boy…..had a cut on…. on his hand……He had grabbed her shoulders as he warned her to escape.  “Yes, She said, to Prometheus, looking him firmly in the eyes. “Yes he did.”

 

She knew immediately from Prometheus’s expression that this was something significant, huge even.

 

“You’re sure?, he said, urgently.

Blossom nodded, unsure where Prometheus was going with this.

 

“Demigod blood is among the most potent substances in the world, Prometheus said. When the blood of a demigod connects with a monster, the monster dies, but when demigod blood connects with a mortal”…….. Prometheus trailed off.

 

“What, What happens?, Blossom said, feeling her pulse quicken.

 

“When the blood of a half-human, half-immortal connects with the body of a mortal, some of the abilities  of the demigod transfer over, as well as some of the personality traits.”

 

Blossom breathed quickly, the hundreds of questions she wanted to ask whirling rapidly through her brain.  Instead she said in a forced voice, “ What kind of abilities will I have?

 

“Erlic was a son of Hecate, goddess of magic, so I presume you will begin to feel magical impulses in the next few days”. Prometheus replied.

“But Blossom, this is absolutely a gift, not a curse. There are non-magical people who would kill for this kind of opportunity. Of course, your’e magic level may never reach that of a sorceress but, depending on the amount of blood connecting with your skin, you may nevertheless become a very competent wielder of magic”.

 

“Now, he said, more abruptly, you asked me what I was doing here, and why I was pretending to be your boss. The answer is simple; further punishment from Zeus. I regret to say that I chased a goddess that was off limits. the goddess of the Hearth, Hestia”

 

As for how you are involved in this, I’m am sorry to say that I made you involved. When you came to my office, we talked of the Greek myths, and I asked you to write an article, of why the Greek myth are real.  I didn’t realise that at the time, but that discussion branded you with a mark, that the whole godly world can see. I’m sorry to say that I caused you to be attacked. We were both lucky that Erlic was so good at his job.

This branded mark will have disappeared now, of course, as your magical aura will have marked you as a demigod.”

 

Prometheus placed her a hand on Blossoms arm. I am glad you escaped. You see, I do feel responsible whenever a human dies needlessly. After all, I created your species.

It feels like just yesterday that I was watching your species run around in caves, hitting each other with rocks. Look where you are now!:”

 

Prometheus patted her arm gently. “I look forward to continue to be working with you. My punishment continues for another 300 years, you see.

 

He started to walk away, the tattoos on his back rippling as he walked. “I haven’t forgotten about your article Blossom. I want it on my desk by tomorrow. It’s time for the world to know. Give the humans hope, Blossom”.

And with that, Prometheus was gone.

 

Blossom stayed in the same dirty alleyway for a good hour after, thinking about the events that just took place.

 

 

 

 

Blossom was sitting at her desk, waiting for the outcry that would surely erupt from the public. She had just released her article explaining the continued existence of Greek mythology in the modern day. She had described the creatures she had ran into, described how important this discovery was. Blossom waited.


One day.

Two days.

Three days.
Four.

 

Nothing. No headline news, no reporters visiting the agency.

 

Karrel Slant walked over to her, clutching Blossom’s article.

“They don’t believe us either”, he said in an indignant voice.

 

 

 

 

Unknown to Blossom, however, a Giant named Harold was reading her article.

“Filth, he said, ‘mortal filth’. Harold stood up, and crumpled the paper in his huge, scaly hands. Something had to be done. And Harold thought he might pay that Journalist girl a little visit.

 

 


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