Warlock (part 1)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Dare, at least that's what he's called, grew up knowing that he was odd and going with it. He didn't care one bit about what people thought of him. Besides being different personality-wise and style-wise Dare doesn't think that he's different any other way. Until one night when his life changes.

Submitted: June 22, 2012

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Submitted: June 22, 2012

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1857 A.D. - Victorian Era - 12:07 P.M.

“Yourself.” “Youth.” “Yowl.” “Yo-yo.” “Ytterbium.” “Yttrium.” “Yuan.” “Yucatan.” “Yucca.” “Yugoslavia.” “Yummy.” “Zany.” “Zap.” “That’s not a word!”

The little boy with red hair that hung down to his shoulders stuck out his tongue. He blew a long, red strand of hair out of his face and crossed his arms. “Is too! I saw it in one of the professors’ dictionaries.” His loud whisper echoed around the room and they both immediately stood up straight and stared in front of them. A crooked woman who was probably a lot younger than she looked glared in their direction with bulbous eyes. She stared for a moment then shook her head. No doubt she’d dismissed it as one of the issues her constant ear infections were giving her.

A girl who looked to be at least a head taller than the boy rolled her eyes and stuck out her own tongue. “Let me guess, is it the dictionary you stole a week ago?” A small smile tugged at the edge of the boy’s mouth. “I can’t believe you! Fine. Zealot.”

“Zebra.” “Zed.” “Zenith.” “Zero.” “Zest.” “Zillion.” The boy raised an eyebrow at the zillion. He shook his head and sighed. “Zinc.” “Zing.” “Zip.” They both glared at each other. Now they were both using words that were undoubtedly not real or in the dictionary. The girl licked her lips. “Zone.” “Zoo.” “Zoom.” “Zounds.” “Zwieback.” “Zygote.” Someone cleared their throat. Both of them looked up in surprise. A man and a woman stood before them with smiles on their faces. The other orphans in the inspection watched silently. Nobody interrupted the ‘Choosing.’

The woman, who was surprisingly taller than the man, got down on her knees and smiled at the two of them. “Hello. What are your names? I am Lauren.” She spoke in a slow tone that implied that she thought they were stupid. Everyone spoke that way to them. The girl sniffed and looked away. If she was going to assume that they were idiots she didn’t deserve their attention. The boy reacted differently. He examined her face. She wasn’t beautiful, she had simple dirty blonde hair held up in a bun and smile lines. The small smile she wore now didn’t appear to be a fake smile. He could trust someone with a real smile.

“Hello Lauren.” He rolled the name around in his mouth. It wasn’t a sharp name but it wasn’t swishy either. A perfect ratio. “Nice to meet you. I’m Dare.” His name hadn’t always been Dare. When he’d originally been dropped off at the orphanage he’d had no name so they called him Andre or something like that. He couldn’t remember anymore. After they began the daring games his name changed. When he was only three years old they’d found out he couldn’t be embarrassed by anything and would do anything if you dared him to. They stopped the daring games after Dare had to kiss the ‘Mother Hen’ of the orphanage on the lips. She was hardly motherly, even after she started assuming that the talking she heard was from her ear infections the orphans all hated her. She’d immediately banned the daring.

She seemed slightly surprised by the intelligent way in which he spoke to her but it merely made her smile even bigger. “Dare? An… interesting name. Nice to meet you too. How old are you? I’m twenty-one. I know, kind of young to be adopting a child. Don’t you dare lecture me about that!” She was speaking to him like he was an adult. Much better. Dare liked her already.

“I’m seven. Sadly I can’t lecture you here because it would get me in trouble with Miss Mother Hen. I won’t lecture you if you don’t lecture me about eating healthy.” Dare rolled his eyes then nodded in the orphanage owner’s direction.

 The girl still didn’t like the ‘Lauren’ woman. Besides, she clearly liked Dare more. She turned to the man. Were the two of them married? Probably. She might as well ask now. “Are you two married or engaged or what? You don’t look like a very good couple, no offense. I’m Cricket in case anybody was wondering. Believe it or not I’m seven just like this shrimp.” She put her arm on Dare’s head as if her were an armrest. This got a small smile out of the man. He wasn’t as short compared to the woman as Dare was compared to Cricket but he was still short. Lauren raised an eyebrow and glanced at Dare. He was grinning.

For the first time since they’d seen him the man spoke. “Believe it or not I’m twenty-one like this beanpole.” He poked Lauren in the ribs. “We wouldn’t make a good couple because we’re twins. You two aren’t related, right? You don’t look it.” Cricket’s dark brown hair didn’t match up with Dare’s red hair at all. She nodded. “How’d you like to be my kid and get out of this orphanage? And my name is Devon in case anybody was wondering.” Cricket’s eyes lit up but she looked over at Dare first. He looked to Lauren who nodded.

“Depends. How many ice cream cones are you willing to buy us once we’re adopted?” Cricket and Dare had rehearsed that line for years just in case one day they were adopted. It sounded a bit ridiculous now that they were seven but tradition was tradition and they’d made an oath to use that line. The two of them watched the faces of their perhaps-soon-to-be-parents in anticipation. Both of the adults had serious expressions on their faces as they contemplated the question.

At last Lauren broke into a smile and started laughing. “As many ice cream cones as you’d like of course!”

 

1872 A.D. - Victorian Era - 12:07 A.M.

 

Cricket stared at Dare incredulously. He stared back. “What?” She wore a long light blue gown and a pearl necklace that made her clearly uncomfortable. It was the latest style but she hated it. He wore a fancy suit which was the latest style for men except he’d added a few touches of his own. On his left hand he wore five different rings. One on his pinkie, two on his ring finger (he didn’t know why they called it a ring finger when it was on his left hand), and two on his index finger. On his left wrist he wore five different kinds of bracelets that jangled when he moved his hand. The one thing that would probably attract the most attention would be his wild hair. It was shorter than it had been when he was little but it still seemed to go in all directions.

“You know perfectly well what.” Cricket stared at him. “I am not going to hang out with you unless you brush your hair. The rings are fine, the bracelets are loud but fine, but the hair! It’s just so… I don’t know. Not fashionable.” She shook her head and tried to ignore the ridiculous curls in her own hair.

With a little wink Dare spun in a circle. “Really? I think it makes me look dashing.” He struck a pose. Cricket burst into laughter. This was why nobody could stand being friends with him except her. Somehow he had decided that he would continue acting like a ridiculous kid for the rest of his life. Even though in this age being polite and proper was all the rage. Cricket hated it but acted polite so that she wouldn’t be lonely and friendless but Dare simply did what he wanted and enjoyed it. He didn’t need friends to have fun. “Shall we go to the dance malady?” He held out the hand that had nothing on it. Cricket rolled her eyes and took it.

As the two of them entered a large dance hall a man hidden in the shadows scratched something onto a piece of paper. Above the hidden man’s notes was a colored picture of Dare’s face. His gray eye and gold eye were drawn so that they almost glowed in the picture but they had only a slightly noticeable glow to them in reality. The spy retreated into the night with only his destination in mind. If the man with the multicolored eyes was what his group thought he was then he had to keep his thoughts hidden.

 

~ Three Days Later ~

 

The competition was nearly over. Cricket was starting to stumble. Dare laughed as he spun around in circles as fast as he could. This was by far not the strangest competition they’d had when they were bored. If he ever focused on one thing long enough to make a biography of his life the readers would be very confused. Cricket at last fell over with a squeak then a giggle. “Okay Dare I lost. You can stop spinning now you little showoff.” Dare stumbled to a stop then stood still with his arms out for balance a moment. He flashed a smirk/grin at Cricket. Rolling her eyes, she stood up and stretched. “We have to stop doing these competitions for entertainment. If I’m going to teach you how to act proper we need to think of a better pastime.” So far her attempts at ‘proper-ifying’ Dare were failing. He didn’t care of course.

“You just don’t like losing!” He spun the rings on his index finger. The rings were fun and cool looking so he’d kept them. The bracelets he’d taken off. Those were far too loud. Dare rubbed his forehead and plopped down on the couch that dominated most of the small room. Neither he nor Cricket made much money with their jobs – Cricket was the assistant of someone who thought he could improve the car and Dare had a part time job as a librarian while at the same time he was learning to be an engineer at a college – so they ended up sharing a small three room apartment. They’d found that there was only one bed so Dare simply cut the bed in half then piled up books where the legs of the beds would’ve been. It looked odd but they didn’t plan on selling the place so it worked.

Cricket sighed and glanced at a photograph of the two of them standing at their houses. The picture had taken forever to take so neither Lauren nor Devon were smiling but Dare had told a joke right before the camera had taken the picture so both she and him were grinning widely. If they’d had enough money they would’ve had their picture taken with one of the newer cameras but, though Lauren and Devon weren’t poor, they weren’t very rich either. They’d grown up living next door to each other and went to the same school so Cricket still found it amazing how different they’d ended up. Dare never grew up while she simply put up with his antics.

Something wasn’t right. The smile vanished from Dare’s face. He cocked his head from side to side like an owl. Soft footsteps. That’s what he could hear. Cricket watched him with anticipation. Whenever he went serious it meant danger. Almost always. Sometimes he faked it to scare her but that was rare and it didn’t last long because he couldn’t keep a serious face for more than five seconds. It had been fifteen seconds.

With a crash their apartment’s only window shattered to pieces. A man clad in black sprung through the window and sprayed something in the air. Cricket immediately fell to the ground choking. The man watched Dare quietly for a reaction. Dare waited for his own throat to suddenly clog up or something to that effect but nothing happened. Intuition told him that nothing good would come from just standing there so he let out his breath as if he’d been holding it and faked choking. Once he’d fallen to the ground ‘unconscious’ like Cricket the man moved. This got a reaction out of the man. He hastily let out a whistle and several others clad in black entered the room. For once Dare was grateful for the length of his eyelashes. They hid the fact that they were open perfectly.

Sometimes the road to knowledge was long and hard. This line was what came to Dare’s mind as he was dragged along the cobblestones by a man who was much bulkier than the one who had sprayed the choking smoke in the air. A few alleys ago Cricket had been dragged off somewhere else. If he survived whatever was happening now Dare would search for her and make sure she was alright. If he survived. The shadows in the alleys grew larger as the full moon rose in the sky. A few old sayings from the seventeen-hundreds came to mind. Midnight, the witching hour. Midnight of the full moon, when the werewolves came out. Midnight, the only time when you could kill a witch. For some reason the thought of the last one made him shudder.

The monotonous dragging at last came to a stop and the man let Dare’s arms drop to the ground. Until now he hadn’t realized how many bruises he’d earned from being drug along rough stones for what had seemed like two minutes but was probably more around ten or longer. Being able to go off into your own world of thoughts was definitely useful. Suppressing the urge to groan, Dare tried to see what he could from his disadvantaged position. They’d somehow taken him all the way from the lower town to the rich neighborhoods. Maybe it had been more than ten minutes. He hoped Cricket’s journey hadn’t been so long. She was fragile when it came to major discomforts while he was fragile when it came to some minor discomforts like too hot of a temperature in the apartment.

Muffled barking could be heard from within the house but Dare couldn’t tell if it was one of the things that only he noticed or if it were something that everyone could hear. It was impossible to tell which was which. They both were just as loud. Someone had given the dogs treats because their munching was loud in Dare’s ears. This was probably something only he could hear. The fancy door opened to reveal a balding man wearing a simple suit. It was difficult to make suits look extravagant so the only way you could tell whether a man was rich or not was their attitude. They kept away from him most of the time so he didn’t have much to worry about. All he’d learned about most of normal Englishmen was from Cricket. She was the social one. The bald man leaned over him and the smell of lavender from some sort of perfume he was wearing was so strong that Dare fought to keep his gag reflex from reacting too strongly. “This is him alright. The demon himself on my back doorstep.” This was only his back doorstep? And his door was that fancy? Rich people wasted their resources. Dare did a double take. Here he was thinking about doors when he’d just been called a demon. Now he was confused. “Drag him over to the tree. He might come into consciousness soon so bind his arms and legs.” The man glanced at Dare with a look of distaste.

Confused as ever, Dare barely managed to keep himself limp when the man who seemed to be some kind of goon dragged him over to an ancient oak tree. Now would be a good time for him to wake up. Dare’s eyes snapped open all the way and he sprang to his feet. The goon was frozen in surprise for a millisecond. It wasn’t much time to get ahead but Dare used it as well as he could. Sprinting as fast as he could, Dare focused on the corner of the street. Exercise was sadly one of those things he never got around to. He didn’t eat much either, though. So his lightness could help him. Right as he reached the corner he glanced back and saw that the goon hadn’t moved one step.

Too late he looked back in front of him. A glove reached out of the darkness and snapped over his mouth. Following it was an arm, then a body clad in black just like the goon. The black clothes were where the similarities ended. A blonde woman with glaring green eyes stepped forward and kneed him in the groin. It hurt for only a split second then he felt fine. It was too late to run by then. The woman had tied a thick cord around his wrists and as soon as she saw the focus come back to his eyes she kneed him in the groin again. He was starting to wish he’d continued to pretend to be unconscious. Before he could make himself focus again the woman had drug him back over to the goon. He didn’t seem surprised. Dare cursed his ignorance.

By the time the bald man had come back out of the house Dare had been gagged, tied at the wrists and ankles, and had been kicked several times by goon and woman alike. How could they hate him so much when he’d never met them? Cricket assumed that he hardly noticed anyone around him but he remembered everyone. The bald man he’d met at a party once – it was one of the parties he’d worn his rings at – and the man had clearly thought him odd, but there had never been any negativity between them. The man approached the three of them with a smug look on his face. He crouched down so that his face was uncomfortably close to Dare’s. “Eyes of a demon. Multicolored. Unnatural. And nobody has turned you into the law. This is why our world would probably be taken over by your kind without people like me.” Wacko. He was an absolute wacko. Dare had figured it out now. Most people had stopped believing in witches and warlocks years ago but the occasional madman created a miniature ‘order’ and spent their lives trying to find these witches or warlocks and kill them. He was going to die. “I work with a group of people who are helping terminate your kind. Sadly not many could come today to see your death. I would kill you in a less crude way if I could but there aren’t any ways that are less crude than this. Unless you would rather be burned?” He peered at Dare’s face as if he expected him to reply. Dare growled through his gag.

Shaking his head in disgust, the bald man took a few steps away from Dare. “Look at that. Animal-like. Disgusting.” He nodded to the goon and the woman. “You may begin the process.” As soon as he saw the goon approach with the first massive stone Dare knew what was going to happen. This was an old fashioned process. Something he’d learned about in history class during Elementary school. It should’ve been history. The first stone felt simply like someone was stepping on his chest. The second one was a heavier person sitting on him. Gradually it got worse. Dare’s breath became ragged as he watched the bald man’s smug smile through tears of sweat and pain. At last he gave up and loosened his muscles, expecting the rocks to crush his ribcage. Nothing happened. He felt no more pain. Was this what death was like? It was peaceful. The sounds, the smells, even his own thoughts were muffled. Then everything came rushing back. Instead of going back to normal his senses seemed to sharpen. Before he’d already had amazing hearing but now he could hear everything within a miles radius without anything being too loud. He could actually control the noise to a point and separate them to figure out what they were. He could smell the ground, separate each mineral from others, and figure out by scent where everyone and everything was around him. Then he nearly opened his eyes to test them. The sound of feet padding across the grass stopped him. Rancid breath and the scent of lavender filled his nostrils. The bald man was leaning over him.

Dare held his breath and tried to look as dead as he could. Had they seen a dead person before? He knew from an interesting stage of his education that dead people normally released the contents of their bowels as once they died but did they know that? The woman probably did. It was unnatural for a woman to be an assassin but out of the three of them Dare thought she would be the most likely to know. There was a sudden intake of breath from the woman. Her boots dug into the grass more heavily than the others’ shoes did. They were probably laden with hidden weapons. She knew he wasn’t dead.


© Copyright 2020 Tizavi. All rights reserved.

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