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[Fiction Thread] Mother's Hollow

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  • Cinder
    started a topic [Fiction Thread] Mother's Hollow

    [Fiction Thread] Mother's Hollow

    Greetings everyone, let me explain what's this thread is all about.

    Essentially, because I might have too much free time and I spend a great part of such time thinking about stories and/or Chronicles of Darkness, some time ago I've created a small setting that I'm slowly building upon ever since. That setting is Mother's Hollow, your average "Small Town with Dark Secrets", nothing original in the slightest. If you know Twin Peaks, Night Vale or Castle Rock, you've got the picture: it's just a rural town in the Chronicles of Darkness' setting, inhabited by the usual kind of supernaturals. I made it after reading Beast because I wanted to explore some ideas, like the impact Beasts have on a limited community and the struggles they have to go through if they still want to have a positive influence. It's basically a conceptual playground, a sandbox I've been using whenever if I feel it could be useful. I've been working on this for a while and, before I could notice it, I had built a whole city around the Beast's Brood that started it all, with both a detailed mortal and supernatural population.

    I'm really making it look better or more important than it is. At this core, it's just a setting I use as an excuse to make stories, test ideas and write fanfiction, probably of the bad kind. Nothing extraordinary. As I said, the premise is far from being original and I've done nothing that others have already done in the past. Still, I hope I can get something good out of this and that some of you will enjoy reading these stories, as I share with you a few of my creative efforts.

    I already have a fiction thread opened, but I open this one here because:
    1) Mother's Hollow is a Beast setting first and foremost, and many of the stories will probably gravitate around the Begotten and their Family
    2) While my other fiction thread is about all sort of things, I thought that keeping all the fiction set in Mother's Hollow in a single, ordered thread would be better

    I won't post whole stories, but rather chapter after chapter, with this first post used as a practical hub to access them. Reading fiction online can be hard already, especially if it's not that good, so I'd rather give you small chapters than obnoxious wall of texts. The size of the stories might vary, but it will be usually be around 3 or 4 chapters. Ideally, I'll release a chapter each week, sometimes more, sometimes less. Depends on how much life is willing to collaborate.

    I won't post spoilers or reveal much about what's going on in a specific story before it's over, for obvious reasons, but I'm open to all sorts of discussion and feedback. I realize that my fiction writing still has a long way to go before becoming good, but one can hope, right?

    + Ozymandias
    - Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3

    - Chapter 4
    Last edited by Cinder; 07-19-2016, 11:11 AM.

  • Cinder
    Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
    Soooo is the other story a one shot, or...?
    It's not, but I'm writing a Dark Era right now. It's a big project and requires time. Once that's done, I'm getting back to fiction writing

    Leave a comment:

  • Nyrufa
    Soooo is the other story a one shot, or...?

    Leave a comment:

  • Cinder
    "Call me Simon, we're not at school" was the only thing Mr. King said to him after arguably saving Sam's life.

    A man the boy did not know drove by the scene of the fight between the monster and the hero, nodded toward the teacher and they got in. The woman, the scaly creature that walked on tentacles and whose waist was ringed by horrible wolf heads, came along with Henry's unconscious body on her shoulders and dropped it in the car's trunk. Natalie, that's how she introduced herself before reminding Sam to use the safety belt. What followed was the most awkward car trip Sam ever did in is whole life. They drove along the woods towards Adder Lake, up to a chalet not much distant from it. Nobody said a word, nobody commented the events of the morning. Hell, nobody gave particular attention to Sam either.

    When he got out of the car, the young Hero was about to break down. He looked nervously around, expecting to be attacked by any moment, as if those beings lured him in a trap. At least that would have made sense with what he knew, or believed to know. He began to breath heavily, observing those people moving around as if nothing happened. Thousands of thoughts crossed his mind. About Henry, about Mr. King, about the extreme situation he had to face that day. About the fate of his two friends more than anything. The sudden noise of the car made when leaving the place snapped him out of it. While istinctively turning his head towards the vehicle, he finally saw the driver for what he was: a headless thing made of stone, with several wings made of light and six arms, his body covered in shining eyes whose patterns reminded him of constellations. Monsters, all around him.

    "The kids are inside, they're still sleeping" said another woman by the doorstep. Even in this situation, Sam could not help to notice how stunning she was, and yet he could already feel she belonged to the same race of his teacher. "Tommy said she's on his way, that we have nothing to worry about"

    "Good. Are they ok?" asked Mr. King.

    "Physically? Kinda; they both have some bruises and the boy has a nasty cut on his head, but I cleaned it up as soon as we got here" she replied. "As for the other know I can control myself well. I just did what I needed to make them sleep. They'll have some nightmares, but nothing more. I couldn't have done it differently".

    The teacher nodded "I know, Helena. Sorry."

    "Don't worry, it's been a rough day. That's the bastard?" she asked pointing at Henry's tied body.

    "He is. Still knocked out, but he'll wake up soon. You know how they are." said Natalie, still carrying the Hero around.

    "Oh, leave him to me, Nat, I'll just bring him downstairs and wait". As she said this, Sam saw through her facade. The beautiful blonde girl was no more, a terrifying scarecrow, with sharp claws and creepy limbs moving like that of a broken puppet, took her place. The screech of a hundred of crows could be heard in the distance.

    "As you wish. I'm already tired of having to move this guy everywhere. I can almost feel his hatred even while he's unconscious". Natalie then gave the man to her friend and, after briefly placing a hand on Mr. King's shoulder, went inside.
    Ten minutes later, Sam was sitting at the one end of a big wooden table. After telling the teacher his story, about how he began his investigation and about Henry, he had no idea what to do. Mr. King sat on the other side of the table, looking at him without saying any word. The silence was so deep Sam could hear the tick of an old wooden clock on the wall and the gentle noise of a furtive rain beginning outside.

    Sam look at the cup of chocolate on the table, something Natalie brought them while they sat there. She asked Sam if he'd like a marshmallow with it, to which he uttered a quick "yes, please", a nervous and automatic response. Neither him or his teacher touched their respective chocolate. The sad marshmallow was about to melt completely.

    "So." A single word that broke the silence like a thunder. "I imagine you'd have questions" said Mr. King, without moving a muscle.

    Sam moved his eyes around nervously. He estimated he could run to the closest window quickly enough, but then finally took a sip. No denying it made him feel better. "Yes. Where are my friends and how they are?"

    Mr. King reacted to that question as if it was being made by a student to his teacher and replied as if in class. "That, Sam, is an understandable question and I admit I'm glad it's the first one you make. Makes me believe we can have a good dialogue here." he said while waving his hand. "Your friends are upstairs sleeping, we did no harm to them".

    "The scarecrow girl said she put them to sleep and that they'll have nightmares" pointed out Sam bluntly.

    Mr. King looked surprised, but not too much. "You are not wrong, Sam." He inhaled. "I'll be more honest and show you all my cards from on. I think that's for the-"

    "Why? What you want to do to them?" interrupted Sam.

    The teacher did not seem to mind. "Because they were hurt and scared, thus we decided to do it to make things easier for them and, not gonna lie, also for us. Because they need to rest, given that they don't heal as fast as you".

    It was true. Sam was thrown in the air by an explosion, hit repeatedly by Henry and involved in a car accident, but many of those wounds that caused him pain only half an hour before did not bother him that much right now. Even the worst ones, like his bleeding nose and various cuts, had begun to heal faster than they should had. But it was not only that, Sam's mind was able to recover as fast as his body, the fears and traumas caused by the events kept at bay, at least for now.

    "My friends and I are not exactly the best when it comes to keeping care of others, not in the times we need to solve this problem. There are beings out there able to make people fall asleep gently. We are not those kind of beings. So yeah, there are some negative effect, but it's all for the best until a person we called comes here, cures them and alters their memory"

    "What?!" shouted Sam.

    Mr. King raised both his hands "Calm down, we'll just going to make them forget what happened in the last few days." He looked firmly at Sam "You really can't argue that won't do them any good. After that, we'll bring them back in town and do as nothing ever happened. Sorry, but that is not negotiable."

    Sam did not reply, he just nervously dug his fingers into his legs. After a few painful seconds of silence, he found the courage to ask: "What are you going to do to me?"

    The monster massaged his temple. "What will happen to both us and the route our relationship will take all depends on the conversation we're having." He let out a deep sigh. "And that, by the way, is not a menace. I'd honestly prefer for things to go well, but believe me when I say I'm as much as wary as you are right now. This is uncharted territory even for me."

    Sam honestly had no idea what to think. He needed to know more. To understand. "What are you?"

    "That's the other big question, right?" He played around with his spoon, thinking how to reply. "The quick answer is that yes, we're monsters. You saw us, there's no denying it. As for the long answer...look, why do you think that legends and fables exist?"

    Why that stupid question now? "I don't know, never thought about it much. To keep people entertained, I guess"

    Mr. King raised his finger "Perhaps nowadays, but I'm not convinced that's the correct answer, even today. You see, the stories of old, with their good guys and bad guys, all had lessons. Whether big or small, there was something to learn. Some parts of them inspired those who listened, others terrified them, but there was always a lesson of some kind. Mankind created the myths to teach itself." He finally put down his spoon. "In a way, all those like me, all the Horrors, all the Beasts, are a part of those stories. Well, one part of them at least. We're born from the fears of people, we're mankind's nightmares made flesh. You Heroes, on the other hand, are supposed to represent its hopes, the strength needed to fight"

    It was an insane story and yet, when Sam heard it, it all made perfectly sense. An inexplicable sensation of clarity flooded his mind. "So you hurt people and we're the one that have to stop you. Nothing new so far".

    "You want to stop me?" asked the Beast

    "I want you to stop hurting people"

    "I don't do it unless I'm forced to" said the monster coldly.

    "I saw you doing it with my eyes. I remember the day you tormented Abbey".

    The teacher looked at Sam with a wounded look. "That...was unfortunate. The realities of our lives, how can I put it, require us to feed to keep our powers in check, and we feed on those very fears we represent. Sometimes we're able to do it subtly, sometimes we're not, and then we have to resort to that kind of solutions."

    "Then I was not wrong"

    "Not in a way, no. Our existence hurts people, whether they take a lesson out of it or not. There's a constant hunger within us, something that never leaves, part of us as much as our blood. I assure you it would be easy to just follow our nature and gorge, but that way only leads to destruction, for us and others-"

    "Which means you're all dangerous" replied again Sam.

    "We sure are. It's our nature. But there's a difference between one's nature and the path he chooses to follow. And that is valid for humans, monsters, Beasts and Heroes alike" said Mr. King. He stopped fiddling around with his hands long ago. "As you can attest on your skin, your friend Henry is not the best kind of person around, for example."

    That was a point Sam was silently willing to concede. "But because of that hunger you mention your efforts are doomed to fail. And they do."

    "The cards are stacked against us, I'll give you that. Each day, each hour, each second, is a struggle but that only makes those efforts more valuable, doomed or not. It's not as simple as choosing how to behave and then sticking for it. Life does not work like that. Each of us is just looking for balance and a reason to live. In that, we're not different from everyone else".

    Mr. King seemed sincere. In theory, at least. But Sam had more questions. "Were you...born this way?"

    The teacher answered quietly. "Many would tell you that. I personally agree, that there are signs of our true nature since the day of our birth. They don't make much sense, but they're there. But if you're asking about the powers and all, no, that happens later, when we're put in front of a choice."


    "Yes, circumstances vary, but ultimately we all get to choose whether to embrace the Horror within us or not. To some, it's as if being devoured. To me, it was like going home. I felt...I don't know, as if things finally made sense?"

    Sam stood up and shouted: "That's insane! Why would one choose to be a monster if given the choice?!"

    Mr. King lost his temper. "Because it would be better than deny what you are! Because one should never be forced mutilate himself and go against his nature! Because by doing it I gained a reason to live and a family! Is that enough for you?!". For an instant, the snake was there with them. The hiss, the immense coils, the unstoppable might, Sam could see them all for a handful of seconds and his courage suddenly disappeared. In right corner of his eye, he noticed Natalie checking the situation.

    Then the teacher calmed down and things returned to normal. He seemed exahusted, as if that conversation took a great toll on him. He began talking again, betraying a big effort on his part.

    "Look Sam, we're not without our faults. And I understand your nature is telling you not to trust us as much as mine is doing the same about you. But that's how things are: we're monsters and we're people. Whether that's a good thing or not, I can't say. All that I know is that I'm trying." He closed his eyes and asked: "Is that enough?"

    Sam was still scared, but he had one more question. "It was you killed the sheriff?"
    Once again, the room was completely silent. The rain outside had become stronger. "What makes you think we killed sheriff Holloway?" asked Mr. King. There was a strange vibe in the way he spoke.

    Sam just shrugged.

    "You're on the wrong track here. Buck, I mean, sheriff Holloway, was one of us, Sam. In fact, he was the strongest. Without him, we would not be here and the the whole town would be a very different place"

    That was something Sam did not expect. The sheriff was a monster too? Since was killed before Sam developed his powers, he could not possibly know. His theories, all the ideas he had, all the reconstructions he built in his mind, suddenly fell apart. "What...what do you mean?"

    "A place so little inhabited by so many Beasts is not something you see often. Not unheard of, but still rare. And for a simple reason, actually, being that our presence has its effects on the surroundings, the not least of which increasing the chance to be noticed by your kind, with all that it entails" As Mr. King kept on talking, his stare lost focus, as if his he was focused on something distant. "It's dangerous, both for us and others, for those of my kind to live together in a place of this size. It requires strength and willpower. And even with those, it's probably a bad idea. But Buck managed to do it: using both his mundane and supernatural influence, he built a haven for us, his Family, a place for us to live and thrive. " Before Sam could raise an objection, the teacher said: "Not a place to feed on and ruin, mind you. Rather something we could call home and protect, our little corner of world. He saw Mother's Hollow as our community, and he fought many times to protect his dream. He wanted it to last forever. Before his death, he was the one who made all the decisions here."

    "This is what you're planning to do now? To rule over the town forever?" asked Sam, uncertain whether that would have meant.

    "No, his dream was doomed to fail. "

    The look on Sam's face was priceless "What the-"

    "Sam" interrupted the teacher "there's part of a poem I quote often in class, when talking about nations, empires and kings. You remember how it goes? My name is.."

    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair" continued the boy.

    The teacher nodded in approval. "You know what it means? That all kingdoms are destined to crumble and be forgotten. That nothing lasts forever. That is the lesson I'm trying to teach, and I knew it to be true since before becoming what I am now. As a Beast, it's what defines me."

    "Then what are we talking about?" asked Sam, confused.

    Mr. King stood up and walked next to the window. He drew a thing on the glass, moving his finger across the condense. A snake, trying to eat its own tail. "Everything ends, but the story is never over. Things change. The snake sheds its skin. Death and rebirth, this is what I'm talking about. Buck died, but we're still here. Now we'll have to see how things will change. Because that's the the fundamental law of the universe: that everything changes."

    "I...I can't understand" uttered Sam.

    "Then it is at last time for me to ask you a question. What are your plans?" asked Mr. King solemnly.

    Sam raised his head and said: "I'm not sure. I don't think I can go back, right?"

    "No, you can't." replied the teacher. Sam knew perfectly how true that was. "You are made the way you are, with your own nature, just like we are. The Hero fights against the monster, that's how the story always goes. Then again, it does not have to go that way. As I said, everything changes."

    "What do you mean?"

    "What I mean is that we can try to make things go differently this time. That we can try to live together, in symbiosis. You know what that means, right? It's not something we would have ever considered before, but we all went through a lot lately. The sort of things that make you think."

    "I don't believe I could ever stop trying to protect others. Not now, not after all that happened." said Sam, sheepishly.

    "I would not dare to ask you that, Sam. You're a Hero, be a hero. Protect this town and its inhabitants, it's actually what I hope you will do. All I'm asking is for us to collaborate. Keep your eyes open, do what instinct tells you and inform us of problems, we'll deal with it. Together, if needed" Mr. King put a hand on Sam's shoulder. A coil, but a peaceful one. "I saw you out there, Sam. You're a different kind of Hero than Henry. Killing us might be a mean, but it's not your purpose."

    "What if I refuse?" asked the boy.

    "Then we'll probably end up fighting, sooner or later. Something I'd rather avoid"

    "It's just...well, I can't tell if we can trust each other..."

    "Me neither, but that can't stop us from trying, am I right?" replied Mr. King with a bittersweet smile.

    To say Sam was torn would be an understatement. In the last hour, all the things he thought to know were completely blown away. "I'm...willing to consider the option. But I need to know four things before I decide".

    "Shoot." said the teacher.

    "What will happen to Henry?"

    The Beast eyes tightened. "Henry is a very bad person whose only purpose in life is to slay those of my Family. We'll have to talk with him a while, but I'm almost sure we'll kill him. That is not something you can have any word about. I won't lie: if something menaces us and we have no other choice, we'll destroy it without thinking much. Him, others, even you. We got to have solid grounds to build a relationship, so I prefer to get this out of the way immediately"

    Sam figured out as much.

    Noticing the scowl on the boy's face Mr King said: "I'm not asking you to approve, Sam. Let the monsters do the monstrous part of the deal. What's the next question?"

    "If you didn't, who killed Sheriff Holloway?" First this one, then the other related question, Sam thought.

    The teacher massaged the back of his head. "That is something we're trying to discover since the first day, I assure you. There's nothing that would make us happier than to solve this mystery, Sam, to learn who killed our friend and why. Buck was the mightiest of all the monsters of the region, as far as we know. For something to kill him that way...I don't know." Mr King looked tormented. "Let's just say we're working on it."

    That was the reply Sam was afraid to hear. By this point, it was clear they were not the ones behind the sheriff's death, not even as a fight between monster. Which meant his other theory, the other to which he clinged with all his strength, fell apart as well. "Then...I guess it was not you who killed my brother after all."

    Mr. King said nothing at first. Instead, he kneeled nearby Sam, looking straight into is eyes up close. "Sam, I'm sorry. For everything. But yes, the death of your brother has nothing to deal with us. It was an accident. I know, we checked it."

    " did?" asked the kid. His eyes were filled with tears.

    "Of course we did. He died the same day as Buck, we had to control for any possible connection or clue. It was a tragedy that had nothing to do with anything else."

    "How are you so sure?" The tears had begun to come out.

    "We spoke with his ghost..." admitted the teacher.

    "Brian's ghost is around?!" shouted Sam.

    "Not anymore, we talked to him and helped him move forward" Mr. King paused and looked at Sam. "His last words were for you, telling he'll always watch over you". Now that was a lie. Brian last's moment in this material world involved screams, pain and torment, right before his spectral shape left this plane. That's why the Brood helped him leave. But there was no need for Sam to know.

    Sam reluctanctly wiped his eyes and took a decision. "Ok. If you truly care about Mother's Hollow and the people who live here, I'm willing to help. I'm a Hero, I have to."

    Mr. King just smiled.

    In that moment, Natalie came in. "Simon, we need you downstairs. Need to discuss a few things."

    "I'm coming." he replied.

    As he was leaving, Sam had one last question. "Mr. King..."

    "Yes?" he said, turning his head back to the boy.

    "If you think things can't last, that Sheriff Holloway's dream was faulty and went against what you believe, why are you trying to pick up the pieces?"

    The teacher, the Beast and harbinger of ruin, stopped and replied "Because Buck welcomed me in his Family when I was on the run, he found a place for me in his little kingdom. He introduced me to my brothers and sisters, helped me find my purpose. Trying to preserve his dream, whatever surprises the future holds for us, it's the very least I can do."

    He smiled again, this time very noticeably. "Besides, that's certainly not the first time I go against my own personal attitude in order to achieve something better."
    Last edited by Cinder; 11-21-2016, 07:41 PM.

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  • Nyrufa

    More pweez?

    Leave a comment:

  • Nyrufa
    Originally posted by Cinder View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, I can see what you're talking about. My fear was indeed the one regarding the size but if you say that's not an issue, I'll return to the the previous chapters and fix the paragraphs

    You're welcome. And yeah, A Selkie's Tale is what we like to call a "Text Wall" in the writing community. Which is a fancy way of saying it's an online novel.

    Leave a comment:

  • Cinder
    Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

    So again, the story is fun and interesting, it's just the structure of the writing that could use some improvement.
    Thanks for the suggestion, I can see what you're talking about. My fear was indeed the one regarding the size but if you say that's not an issue, I'll return to the the previous chapters and fix the paragraphs

    Leave a comment:

  • Nyrufa
    While the story is quite enjoyable and fun (nice watching a kid spiral into madness ) I do have a problem with the structure of the writing.

    Namely the way the dialogue parts are jumbled together. As a recreational writer, myself, I learned that it is often confusing / frustrating for readers to encounter stories like this. Especially when they think the next line of dialogue belongs to the same person as a reflex.

    It is generally considered more appropriate to place each character's dialogue as a new paragraph, often at the start of it if you can. And double spaces between paragraphs also make it easier to keep your place, instead of accidentally backtracking over something you've already read.

    Now this will increase the size of your posts a bit, but after reading A Selkie's Tale over on the Changeling forums, I realized these things can get incredibly big. So there shouldn't be too many problems in regards to length.

    So again, the story is fun and interesting, it's just the structure of the writing that could use some improvement.

    Leave a comment:

  • Cinder
    Ok, the next chapter will end the story. I've managed to be more productive than expected and already got this far. Also, action scenes! (which are something I never did before)
    Last edited by Cinder; 02-26-2016, 06:13 PM.

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  • Cinder
    Chapter 3

    Sam looked at the stranger. "This is absurd" he said.

    They quietly moved away from the Holloway's house and went sitting on a bus bench, one of the few places where a fourteen-year old and a man in his late fifties could interact without attracting worried attentions. "I mean, it all makes sense now, but it does not make it easier to accept"

    The man snorted "Well kid, deal with it because it's not something you can ignore"

    Sam replied irritated "I'm Sam, by the way. Sam Lachance, not "kid". And you are...?"


    "Henry what?"

    "Henry not-your-fucking-business, kid"

    The boy threw his hands up in the air. "Forget it."

    The man turned towards him "Look, I'm not here to make friends, I'm here do what I'm supposed to, which means hunting those bastards and separate their heads from their necks"

    "Isn't that murder?" asked Sam.

    "Don't let that worry you, kid. Leave those scruples to ordinary people: we're born for a higher purpose. Besides, those things are not even human. They're beasts who hurt people, it's not like they're innocent" said Henry.

    "I know, it's just that I still don't like the idea of killing somebody..."

    "You'll get used to it. In your heart, you've already started. I remember how it feels, when you finally understand what you are. Better, special, like you're one of the few real men in a world of lambs , someone that can fight off the wolves. Finally the dreams acquire a purpose."

    "Dreams?" asked Sam.

    "Yes, you know which ones. They should have became stronger recently. That's how we find them. There are a lot of monsters hiding in the darkness, kid. Vampires, werewolves and witches. We can kill them as well and we make a favor to mankind by doing so, make no mistake, but they're little fishes. Leave them to little people. What we are born to fight are the worst of the bunch, the sort of monsters the myths talk about. They're so strong and terryfing that they haunt the dreams of humanity and we can sense them through those very dreams. Just as a hero always bravely killed those horrors in the stories, we're here to do our part. We're legends in the making, kid."

    The thought had his fair share of charm, no denying that.

    "So, what are we going to now?" asked Sam.

    "What are we going to do? First of all you have to assure me that the only monster around is that history teacher of yours"

    "I guess? Haven't you sensed him?"

    The Hero grabbed Sam's wrist "What I did or not is not important, kid. I was following my trail before having to save your sorry ass. Now answer my question because I have not the patience to ask twice"

    "Hey, ok! I saw him clearly but I don't think there are others. All the bad things that happened have to do with him."

    Henry's grasp tightened, and began to hurt "Are you sure? This not one a damn game, is it clear?"

    "Yes! I get it! I'm sure he's the only one. Now let me go!"

    Henry freed Sam's arm and said "Sorry kid, but hunting those monster is no joke. We have to be prepared before attacking"

    Sam asked while massaging his wrist and asked: "Why do you even need me? It seems like you're experienced enough"

    "Oh, I'm a goddamn artist when it comes to killing those things, but I don't know the place. I need your help to set up the trap." He stood up than turned towards Sam again "Besides, Hero help each other. Just remember that I get to be the one that kills him and we're good"

    "I don't care, I just want to solve this mess" replied Sam dryly.

    "Good kid" said Henry. He then scratched his beard, made a brief pause and asked "Does anybody else know about this?"

    Sam answered without thinking much "Two of my friends, but now that you're here I guess there's no need to get them involved"

    Henry immediately replied "No, no, no! It's great, we can use them to lure that bastard"

    "What?! You want to use them as bait?"

    Henry dismissed Sam's doubts with a wawing his hand "Not as bait, no. But if your teacher thinks he has to deal with a bunch of kids, he'll lower his guard. They'll be perfectly safe"

    "If you say so...should I tell them about the whole Hero thing?" said Sam.

    "To what end? They won't understand. It's not their fault, they just can't. It's like trying to explain, I don't know, thermodynamics to a toddler".

    Sam said nothing. Henry was no doubt a better monster hunter than Sam and he sure enough looked like he knew what he was talking about, but he could not help but to wonder whether the man actually knew something abouth thermodynamics in the first place.

    "Just give me a couple of days. There are some prepations we need to make. Places to look after, things to set up. I already have some ideas, but I want you to keep attention on your teacher in the meantime. I don't want to risk being noticed, so you'll have to be my eyes"

    Abbey looked around nervously. The cold air of the morning had his effect on the kids and made them shiver, aided by the presence of a thin fog that covered the woods and made an already unnerving situation look even scarier. The clearing Henry picked as the place of his ambush was a well-known hangout for the youth of Mother's Hollow, as explained by Sam. At the early hours of Sunday, though, they had not to worry about being disturbed.

    Henry's plan was old fashioned, but it seemed to be working so far. After writing a letter to Mr. King where he threatened to expose him and adding a few photos made while following him, "just to show him the menace's real" said Henry, and having them delivered, he requested a meeting in a place and time of their choosing. While the three kids waited for their teacher to appear, Henry was hiding on a hill nearby, his sniper rifle in hand.

    "Do you trust that man, Sammy?" asked Peter. His friend had made no jokes since he first met him that morning, which clearly showed Sam how much he was terrified. They put their life in the hands of a stranger and were forced in the first line against a monster, so Sam did not blame his friends. He was scared too, but he honestly believed that the old Hero was the best chance they had to take down Mr. King.

    "I don't know, He's a bit of a weirdo, but it's still better than having to do this alone. You saw what he has in the trunk of his car: he means business."

    "Let's just hope he can shoot as good as he brags to" said Abbey. The tension had a different effect on the girl; where Peter dropped his act, she began to sarcastically criticize everything. Curiosly, she made no protest against the fact that the whole plan was to kill their teacher. Sam suspected she secretly believed his story from the beginning, even though she could not admit it, even to herself. ""How is one bullet supposed to take down whatever-thing Mr. King is?" she asked.

    "He says that his rifle is special and he knows where to aim, that we don't have to worry" explained Sam

    "He also said that if there's any problem he prepared a Plan B to give us the chance to run to his car, just as planned." As he said so, Sam noticed that his reassurances did little to calm his friends. They also not made things easier for him, no matter how much he clinged to them, but his determination did now waver.

    When he spotted Mr. King among the trees, Sam's heart began to beat faster. As his teacher came closer, he almost seemed normal but somehow, more than ever, Sam knew as an absolute truth that there was a monster hiding beneath that man's skin.

    "Guys, what the hell are you doing here?" he said. "Sam? Sam Lachance? Is that you? And you two as well? Your parents know you're here?" Sam clenched his fist but gave no answer "Come on, let me bring you home before you get into trouble" said Mr. King while smiling.

    "Don't come any closer!" shouted Sam.

    The teacher tried to calm him down "Sam, I'm not sure what you think to know, but we can sort this out." He suddenly stopped smiling and turned his head to the left, but it was too late.

    The roar of the rifle echoed violently in the stillness of the forest. Mr. King was fast enough to raise a hand to cover his face, but the bullet made his way through it as if it was made of paper. The smell of blood filled the air while it sprayed across the air. Abbey let out a brief high pitched scream as Mr. King fell to the ground.

    For a handful of seconds that seemed to last hours, everything was silent.

    "Is he dead?" asked Peter. Sam said nothing, but carefully approached his teacher. He was about to kneel and check, when Mr. King let out a deep growling hiss that chilled his spine. The bullet opened a gaping hole in the hand but by doing so altered its trajectory and hit its target on the left side of his head. The resulting wound was still grievous, but not enough. Mr. King lifted on his hands while blood and a dark-green venom dripped from his mouth, burning the grass below.

    Sam tried to turn around and warn the others, but his words were buried by the explosion. Henry's "diversion", supposedly, but it was close. Too close. He was thrown in the air and landed away from the others. It took a bunch of seconds for him to recover and regain control of the situation, but he did it quickly, something that surprised him as well. Sam's ears were ringing and the his back hurt a lot, but he was there. He looked around and saw the others. Peter was several yards away, his face covered in blood. Abbey was close to him, trying to get him up while crying. Sam screamed and told them to run to the car, even if he could not hear his own voice. He then turned towards Henry's position and began to move. That's when the crows appeared.

    Dozens and dozens of crows came screeching by the sky, converging towards the place Henry used to shoot. Sam ran trying as fast as he could, trying to to dodge them and not to stumble. The crows flew around him and scratched him a couple of times, but mostly seemed to ignore the kid. Henry's car was waiting for them on a nearby road; all he had to do was to run.

    By the time Sam arrived to the car, Henry was there. The man was wounded, scratches and claws marking everywhere on his body, but nothing serious. The flock of crows followed them there and was now moving in circles above their heads. Sam ran inside, waiting for the others. Henry approached him while shooting at the birds.

    "You almost killed us there, you psycho!"

    "Shut up shut up shut up! You said there was only one of them!" yelled Henry as he closed the car door. He then jumped behind the driver's seat and turned on the engine. "

    Wait, what about the others? You've got to wait for them!" screamed Sam with all the air he had in his lungs

    "I don't give a shit about those two!" He then accelerated, leaving the Peter and Abbey behind. Sam turned around to look at them, two distant figures among the trees, and knocked on the window. Close to them, the crows converged and gave shape to a woman's body.

    "Are you insane? Get back! They're gonna kill them!" exclaimed Sam.

    Henry's answer was to punch the kid right on his face. Sam felt a brief moment of white-hot pain and the taste of blood into is mouth "That should teach you! I would have left even without you, so there's no way I'm gonna get back to help those two idiots! Collateral damage, kid. It's part of the job. You should be thankful to be here. Now behave or I'm gonna give you another one"

    Sam had to suppress his tears and swallow the pain. Was he willing to leave his friends behind? To let them die because a crazy guy said they did not matter? To do nothing to help others if he had the chance? "No way" he whispered, as he attacked Henry and ripped his hand away from the steeling wheel.

    The car abruptly lost control and began to to spin wildly. Henry tried to fight off Sam, without success. The old Hero was strong, but he had to take care of the car, not mention Sam was not willing to let go. When Mr. King emerged from the woods, leaving a trail of broken trees behind him, and jumped to the middle of the road, the two could no nothing to avoid him. The monster planted his legs firmly into to the ground and lifted his arms. The out-of-control of control car crashed into the figure and stopped as if it went against a wall made of stone.

    Sam woke up with Henry's face around his neck and a gun aimed at his right temple: "Stay away from me monster or I'll blow his brain off!" The windshield was completely gone but Sam could see clearly that Mr. King was standing on the car's hood. He was still bleeding, but he did not seem to care. He just stood there, completely still, his eyes fixed on Henry. He remembered Sam think of a a snake about to strike. Henry did not wait for a move on his part and opened what was left of the car door, dragging Sam with him.

    The two, captor and hostage, were now standing on a side of the road. Mr. King followed them with his sight, but remained in place. "I bet you thought you got me, eh? With the help of your friends and your supernatural powers? In a fair fight I would have destroyed you" said Henry with fear in his voice.

    "Is that so? That's why you use children to do your dirty work and hide behind one when the beast you're so sure you'd destroy is right in front of you?" replied Mr. King. He laughed coldly, but it clearly was a calculated mockery. "You want to fight? Let him go and let's settle this"

    "Don't! Don't tell what to do! I'm the one who decides. I'm the one who's leading the game here, not you or any of you monsters!"

    As the teacher slowly turned towards them, Henry's grip tightened. The monster spoke: "This is not a game, Hero" Immediately after he said so, an brain-piercing shriek cut trough the air. The old man let Sam go and both of them fell to their knees, their hands firmly pressed against their ears. Something snatched Sam away before he could see it and brought him away.

    A feminine voice gently told Sam not to move. What happened after that was fast as it was insane. Henry regained enough control and quickly aimed his gun at Mr. King, his hands trembling. "Doom is here, Hero" said the teacher. The man looked at the monster for a brief second and something just snapped. He began running away with all his strength, but the creature was not finished. Somebody else would have seen a man attacking the air, but Sam saw it for what it really was: the coils of a titanical snake, a creature so big that the greatest works of man would seem like dust in comparison, striking the puny shape of the terrified man, who went flying and fell several yards away.

    "Thanks, Nat. You really saved the situation there"

    The young woman who helped Sam replied "Don't mention it. That bastard completely flew under our radars. What do we do?"

    "With that one? Somebody who uses children as bait? Helena will want to have a word with him. Most importantly, we need to be sure he's the only one around, though I suspect that's the case"

    The girl nodded. "Fair enough, I'll go tie him up. Now be careful." she said while messing up Sam's hair. As she walked away, Sam could swear she moved on a cluster of tentacles, a scaled figure with monstrous heads ringed around her waist. He was too shocked to say anything, but Mr. King spoke for him.

    "Ok Sam, I guess we need to talk"
    Last edited by Cinder; 11-21-2016, 07:42 PM.

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  • Cinder
    Originally posted by ZealousChristian24 View Post
    I was afraid of this...

    But yeah, interesting so far!
    Afraid about Sam being a Hero? If so, we'll see how things will play out for him

    And thanks!

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  • ZealousChristian24
    I was afraid of this...

    But yeah, interesting so far!

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  • Cinder
    I'm probably not going to be around for the next couple of days, it's a busy week, so I won't be able to answer but what do you think of the story so far?

    Since the second one is a transition chapter, I kinda feel it's weak
    Last edited by Cinder; 02-24-2016, 11:07 AM.

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  • Cinder
    Chapter 2

    "So, what now?"

    Sam looked at his friend "You mean you believe me?" he asked Peter, surprised

    "Well, Sammy" he answered while smashing his controller "The only thing I'm sure about is that I'm gonna destroy you because, honestly, you suck at this game"

    "Don't call me Sammy, only my brother calls me that way"

    "I guess I'm carrying on his legacy, then" Sam frowned and Peter noticed "Ok, ok. Look I won't deny that this whole story makes no sense and just screams "traumatized boy desperately needs his pills" but, I don't know, you look so determined" He paused the game "There's something about the way you talk about this mess that somehow makes me want to consider it possible. So, if we are able to pretend for long enough that this is not the craziest idea I've ever heard, it brings us back to my question: what now?"

    Sam scratched his head. "I don't know. I told you in the first place only because I needed to talk with somebody before going insane. I have no idea what to do. I have no idea if there's anything we can do. I mean, how can you prove something like this?"

    "Perhaps there's a dozen of corpses in his basement or something like that. We find those and then we wait for the torches and pitchforks"

    Sam shook his head "Maybe. But it might not be the case and would put other people in danger anyways"

    "Oh sure, but that thought did not stopped you from getting me involved" snorted Peter while pouring himself some soda.

    "You know what I mean. He's not a serial killer."

    Then what's the point of learning more about Mr. King if it's not to unmask him?" Sam stood silent "Wait, you mean you want to fight him?!"

    "They won't believe us, Peter. We have to deal with this ourself."

    Peter jumped from the couch "Sam, this is madness! You spent the last two hours explaining me that our history teacher is some sort of bloodthirsty monster and now you tell me that you want to kill it?"

    Sam replied firmly "It's not that I want to kill it. I want to protect people. And to do so, I have to stop him. Which, in turn, means that there's a good chance that I'll have to fight. And that's what I'll do if I have to, even if I'll have to do so alone"

    "Sure! Sam, here's a memo: you're a skinny kid who can barely survive physical education. And now you want to slay a dragon?"

    "He. Is. Not. A dragon. Ok?"

    "Right, that changes everything!" shouted Peter. He grunted some more and was ready attack again, but then he looked at his friend. He sat on on the ground in front of Sam and said: "Do you think we have the the slightest chance of success?"

    Sam inspired deeply "I don't know. We sure could use some help"

    "What about Abbey?"

    "Abbey?!" asked Sam confused

    "Think about it. If there's someone who has seen the bad side of Mr. King and could be willing to aid, it's Abbey"

    "Peter, but you hate Abbey..."

    "And that's another good reason to get her help. If she ends up eaten by Mr. King, I think I could live with that" he laughed.

    "Guys, I don't get what you two are trying to say"

    "Sammy thinks that Mr. King is a dragon and we want your help to learn more about him so we can be prepared for the fight"

    "He's not a dragon!" shouted Sam.


    Abbey looked at them, crossed her arms and raised her right eyebrow. She always had a talent for theatrics. "You do realize how ridicolous that sounds, right?"

    Sam put a hand on her shoulder and looked into her eyes "Abbey, what happened in class was not enough to make you notice?"

    She quickly cast off Sam's hand and said "All that I've learned from that mess was that I will never let anyone get me off guard like that. It won't happen again"

    Peter turned away "Let's go Sammy, I had a bad idea. She won't help us"

    "I haven't said I won't."

    There was a brief pause "You...will?" asked Sam

    "Of course, If there's an excuse to uncover some dirt about Mr. King or just make is life more complicated, I'll use it. I'm still angry at him."

    "Well, that's not exactly..."

    "Look, Sam" she interrupted "best case scenario, and that is the best one, we discover something we can use to have a good laugh. If, because of some kind of cosmic event, you're right, then we'll see what to do. So, what you dumbnuts got so far?"

    Sam sheepingly replied: " to nothing?"

    The look on Abbey's face was priceless. She massaged her temples and said: "Perfect. I suppose we could start by talking with Ian Holloway"

    "The sheriff's son? Why?" asked Peter.

    "Come on, isn't that obvious?" pointed out Abbey, without success. She rolled her eyes: "Oh my God. You mean you don't know that the Sheriff Holloway and Mr. King used to hang out together, like, all the time? They had their own little afterwork club for years. What was it? Four, five people? My mother's is in the police force and she always said that those guys always came and went as if they were owned the place. One is that guy from the historical society, then there's the middle daughter of the Prescotts. I always forgot her name, but she's so perfect I could swear she's not even real. I'm not sure whether I admire or hate her the most. If I'm not mistaken, the sheriff's niece was also part of the group since she moved into town. And of course, last but not least, our Mr. King, ever since he arrived here. Quite a diverse bunch of people, if you ask me. They usually..."

    But Sam was not listening anymore. His mind accelerated until he could not hear Abbey's words, his heart beating so fast it began to hurt. He felt as if he found a missing piece of a puzzle he did not even knew he was working on.

    "It all makes sense now. Mr. King forces the sheriff to make him obtain a place at school, then kills him because he knows too much" Sam was walking left and right, maniacally restless

    "I'm not sure, Sammy, it quite far-fetched. Besides, he was at school that day"

    "That does not mean anything! We don't know what he can do. He might teleport, fly or become invisible for what we know." He suddenly stopped "Perhaps...perhaps my brother saw him and that monster killed him as well"

    Peter and Abbey looked at each other, worried. "Let's...not get carried away, ok Sam? We should concentrate on theories that make sense" murmured Abbey

    "You don't understand!" shouted Sam

    "No, what I understand is that you're running too fast. Let's talk with Ian first and see if he knows something, ok?"

    "Now, be careful when talking to Ian. I don't know him but they say he has not taken well the death of his father" warned Abbey as they walked toward's Ian's table. He was eating alone in a corner of the hall. Ian was a year older than the three improvised monster hunters and they all knew him by sight, but nothing more.

    "I lost my brother and I'm perfectly fine, that does not mean anything" said Sam

    "Your brother died in a crash, his father was hacked into pieces. And the "perfectly fine" is debatable"

    Sam was about to respond in kind, but Peter saved the situation "You know that this is not a competition, right? Now behave and make a good impression"

    "Wanna try good cop and bad cop?"

    "I don't think one of use would be able to scare anyone, Peter"

    "Abbey is scary!" said Peter, a second before being slapped on the back of his head. As they sat, Ian barely lifted his head to look a them.

    "Hellooooooo Ian. My name's Peter, the dame's Abbey and the cool cat here is Sam. Nice to meet you." Abbey slapped him again. "What exactly is your problem?!"

    "My problem? Who talks like that?!"

    Ian did not let them finish "What do you want?". He was pale, with ugly dark circles around his eyes. Most of his plate was full, as he was too busy drawing on his album to eat. It looked like he had not a good night of sleep for months.

    "Ian, you don't know us but we hoped you could help us" said Abbey "we would like to know more about Mr. King, the history teacher, and since he's a family friend of yours..."

    "Go away" replied Ian coldly.

    Abbey was a bit puzzled, but tried again "We're not asking for much. There are some oddities about him and any sort of clarification you can give us will be much appreciated"

    Ian slammed his hand on the table and said "There's nothing I have to tell you. Now leave"

    "But..." Sam interrupted her "Ian, I know that Mr. King killed your father and probably menaced your family. I know he's a monster. Don't ask me how, I just do. The point is, we want to stop him and, in order to do so, we need to know what to expect. Is there anything you can tell us?"

    In response, Ian abruptly stood up and said "I don't care about what you believe! You don't know or my family and you know shit about my father and his friends, or what it means going to bed hoping to have the right kind of nightmares! Now leave me alone!" He then ran away.

    "So long for our main informant" said Peter while scratching his head

    "I guess we'll have to work around the problem. Perhaps I can get something interesting from my mother, if I'm clever enough. It's not the same thing, but it's a start" added Abbey.

    Sam, on his part, was keeping his eyes on Ian as he was returning to class. "No, I don't give up. He basically admitted that he knows something. There's no chance I'm letting this end here. I'll let you know what I get" he said before leaving.

    After school, Sam tried to follow Ian back home without being noticed. The sheriff's son had his secrets and if the only way to uncover them was to force him to spill them, so be it. Either by confronting him face-to-face or entering into his home looking for clues, Sam was determined to obtain something. He knew he risked to get into big troubles by doing so, but he accepted the risks. There were bigger things at stake. Sam always had a talent for hiding but, to be honest, it was not difficult to not get noticed by Ian. The boy walked around the street as a sleepy zombie, barely giving attention to his surroundings. By the time he arrived home, Sam was not even trying to be stealthy anymore. Ian entered inside, but Sam crawled outside around the house, carefully examining it. Apparently, Ian's mother was sleeping on the couch, but left a window open. Sam waited for Ian to get upstairs before moving. As he was about to enter, something grabbed him from behind.

    "Easy, kid, I don't want to hurt you if I can avoid it" said the old man "Now I'm going to remove my hand, but you have to promise me not to scream, understood?" Sam was scared, but nodded anyways "Good, now be quick, keep your mouth shut and let's get out of here. We're for too exposed for my taste" He practically carried Sam away.

    "Let me go!" shouted Sam, visibly scared.

    He dropped Sam down and said "Fine. I expected some gratitude for stopping you from making a big mistake, but here you go"

    "I was fine! You messed up things!" shouted Sam.

    "Yeah, because breaking into a house while somebody is sleeping right there and you have no idea what to look for it's "fine". That's not how you hunt kid, that how you get caught!"

    Hearing this, Sam let curiosity have the best of his anger "Hunt? What do you mean? How do you..."

    "I know because I've been keeping an eye on you for a while by know. I know because I'm like you and I've been doing this for years, while you were busy filling your diapers" Sam was completely confused

    "What the hell are you talking about?!"

    The mysterious man grabbed him by his shoulders "We're Heroes, kid. Killing monsters is what we do."
    Last edited by Cinder; 03-09-2016, 08:06 PM.

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  • Cinder
    Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
    I thought that the Ozymandias story was an excellent example of an otherwise 'benevolent' Beast losing control and giving in and the consequences thereof.
    There's way more coming to it, starting with what will Sam do now that he clearly saw his teacher's Beast side, plus some other things. But that's stuff for the next chapters

    Originally posted by GottaGoFeast View Post
    I'm on mobile right now, so I can't give feedback, but I heartily recommend that Cinder read some Sloth's Pit stories, which focus on a very similar town within the SCP Foudation setting.
    Thanks! I know next to nothing about the SCP Foundation but always wanted to get into it. This seems like a good excuse to do so

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