Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chapter Eight

(Note: Though published under my name due to technical difficulties on his end, this chapter is actually from EJDutcher)

Blood ran down the walls as two children helplessly watched their mother get slaughtered by their father. Their mother’s blood-covered corpse fell to the ground as their father turned for them, gore running down his knife. The little girl screamed as the blade came thrusting down.

At that moment Jared almost jumped out of his seat in the horse drawn carriage.

“Are you okay?” asked Thomas, his skinny comrade on the other side of the carriage.

“Yah, just a nightmare,” replied Jared as he wiped the sweat off of his brow. The carriage stopped “We are here,” said Anson, who was driving the carriage. He pulled out a sword and jumped out, with Jared following. When they got out they where standing in front of a large dock. About a quarter-mile away was a small house where a boat keeper lived with his wife and two daughters.

“Let's go,” said Anson as he loaded his flintlock rifle. They all ran towards the house. When they got there the man with the rifle kicked the door down and shot the boat keeper the first moment Anson saw him. The wife screamed as she saw blood gushing from her husband, and Thomas ran after the wife as Jared and Anson ran into the house. The men barged into a room with the two girls in it and tried to grab them as they screamed for their mother. Thomas and Jared got hold of the children and started to walk out of the room, but the girls’ mother came running in with a large bleeding wound coming from her abdomen.

“Mommy!” the two girls shrieked. The mother started to run to them, but before she could even take a step Anson shot her in the back of the head. The girls screamed hysterically.

“Let’s get them out of here!” Jared yelled, trying to talk over the children’s hysteria. As they were walking out of the door Jared got irritated from the constant noise. He set the girl down, grabbed a knife, pulled up his left sleeve, and cut his forearm. As the blood came out of his wound, he rubbed it on his right palm which had a tattoo of a pentagram on it. After a couple of seconds his eyes began to change. The blue became engulfed with bright green circles surrounded his irises. The green flashed with mystical writing. One of the girls made eye contact, and then she went dead silent.

“Go sit in the cart,” Jared demanded of the girl. The girl then quietly walked to the cart. The green rings around he eyes disappeared. As he started to walk out of the house he saw that the boat keeper was still alive. Jared walked over and could hear him muttering “My daughters, my daughters.” Jared grabbed a cutlass that was sheathed by his side, looked into his eyes, and hacked at his neck until he was completely decapitated. Jared walked out of the house and jumped into the carriage.

He arrived at a large abandoned stone fort with guards dressed in ratty clothing. After he got into the fort there where three entrances and in the middle of the courtyard was a large cage full of children standing calmly, staring into space. Thomas got out of the cart with the two little girls and started to walk towards the first entrance. Jared also walked out of the carriage and headed to the middle structure that was the most well guarded and tallest part of the building. When he got inside he came up to a large, bearded man sitting in an enormous chair drinking rum.
“Constantine,” Jared called.

“Oh Jared, I was wondering when you would get back,” Constantine replied in a deep scratchy voice. “How did it go?” he continued.

“We got two more little girls and we were unharmed,” Jared said with pride.

“Good, good. It is too bad you had to run a gatherers errand. The world has been killing us off lately, but that is why I sent my best breaker,” Constantine said as he stumbled out of his chair. “I need you to sell some of the children to a circus that is in town. I believe their dwarf died recently, so go see if they need a new one.” He and Jared started to walk. As they continued down the halls the shrieks of children echoed off the walls. "It is a good thing that we don’t have a shortage of trainers, or we would be out of a job,” Constantine chuckled to himself as he took anther swig from his rum bottle. “How many kids have you broken this week?” asked Constantine.

“Seven,” replied Jared.
“How many of them died?” asked Constantine.

“Two,” Jared said.
“That’s great,” Constantine said as he stumbled on his own feet.

“Perhaps you should get to bed,” Jared suggested.

“Perhaps,” Constantine agreed. After Constantine left, Jared went into a dark, damp room with a dead lamb in a bowl of blood. As Jared sat there men would bring half dead, disturbed and hysterical children, finally deformed to freakish levels. One by one he would put blood on his tattoo and stare into their eyes and one by one they would loose all emotions and slowly walk away to the large cage in the middle of the courtyard. The next day Jared woke up, got dressed, sharpened his knife, cleaned his flintlock, and left to talk to Constantine. On his way into meeting room Jared saw Constantine beating on one of the trainers.

“Hold out money on me again and I’ll kill you!” Constantine screamed into the man’s face. After he punched the guilty trainer a couple more times Constantine threw him to the ground. Jared walked in to the room, but before Jared could go further the beaten trainer stood up and pulled out a flintlock pistol.

“Die you son of a bitch!” the man yelled, but the next thing that he saw was Constantine’s three bright green rings around his irises and a pentagram in the middle of his eyes. The man seemed paralyzed and slowly started to point the gun at his own face.

“You shouldn’t have insulted my mother,” said Constantine as the man shot himself. Blood and pieces of brains splattered on the floor as the body came falling down. Jared walked over the dead body. “Sorry about the mess,” Constantine said as he put his gun away. “We have a another circus we were going to sell to, but I believe that this circus might be fake...If this is real and we are getting some of the other children to sell, they will meet up with you at the circus.” Constantine walked Jared to the door. “You leave at nightfall,” he said as he shut the door.

When nightfall came five people including Jared jumped into a carriage with crossbows, guns, and swords. When they arrived, Ashen was sitting there alone. Everyone got out of the carriages. Shortly another carriage came, which held four children inside. They walked out with bags over their heads. One of the trainers walked and introduced himself and started to introduce the children. “This is Dorothy” the man said as he pulled off the brown bag over her head. “She only has three fingers and one eye."

The man went over to the only boy there. “This is Alex.” The man took off the bag, He had dark long brown hair and brown eyes. “He is a dwarf.”

The man went to the third girl. “This is Olivia.” the man took off the bag she had short dirty blond hair, her legs seemed out of proportion and her elbows where bending out of place. “She is a contortionist.”

The man walked over to the last child. “This girl is also a contortionist, but this one is my favourite. This is Lynn.” The man pulled the bag off to reveal a timid ten year old girl with bright blond hair and ponytails. The minute that Jared saw Lynn he almost ran to her, but paused, knowing that he need to break the spell that was on her. The man walked away form the kids to talk to Ashen.

Jared quietly approached Lynn. “Lynn! Lynn!” Jared tried to get a response from her without seeming suspicious; she just sat there staring into space like a zombie. Jared pulled her behind one of the carts, grabbed his knife, cut his arm, and put the blood on his tattoo. Bright green circles surrounded his irises, after thirty seconds of staring into her eyes she seemed responsive “Lynn! Can you hear me?” Jared asked. Before he knew it. Lynn grabbed Jared’s knife and stabbed it into his leg. Jared almost yelled out in pain, but clamped his jaws shut and yanked the blade out of his flesh. Lynn scrambled away and ran back to the group of damaged children as Jared tried to stop the flow of blood and get to his feet. Back where the deal was being made Ashen handed money for Lynn

“Thank you very much,” said the man as he looked back at the children. “Where did she go?” the man asked. Lynn lunged at him and of the man fell to the ground with half of his neck hacked open. The rest of the men were shocked and confused by what had just happened and Lynn chuckled as she had the knife in her hand.

“What the hell?” The man negotiating for Lynn said to himself. Lynn raised her head with an insane look in her eyes as she started to laughed hysterically. She ran towards the nearest person. “Kill her!” the man yelled. She got close to the nearest Comprachico, but before he could draw his sword she sliced his stomach open, pieces of intestines spilling out. One of the men tried to shoot her but missed. She ran so fast that before the shooter had time to react, she stabbed him in the knee, turned around, grabbed an arrow, and stabbed him through the lung. Ashen saw his opportunity to start what he had been planning all along. Following Lynn’s lead, Ashen plunged a knife through the hand of the trainer that had been negotiating with him and was now pulling out a gun. The trainer started to turn when two more knives went through both his shoulders. He was spun towards Ashen by the force of the blow. Ashen threw two knives into the man’s feet. Six more entered his body in a veritical line until the last one went into the man’s throat. The man sat there stunned for a second before Ashen threw his last knife deep into the carpachico’s forehead. Ashen looked over at Lynn. She had killed three more people and was just finished pulling an arrow from a victim’s head.

She ran towards Ashen. "Oi! I'm on your side!" Ashen shouted, reaching for his knives, but realized that he had used all of them on that one man. “Oh, dear,” Ashen muttered to himself. He looked up and saw a blade flying at his face. Ashen hit Lynn’s hand away and tried to knock her out, but as his hand got closer to her face she bent backwards to the point where her head was between her legs in an inhuman way and slashed his shin. Her bizarre position shocked Ashen, and he tried to block her moves, but she was able to dart away from him. Jared came around from around the corner.

“Look out!” Jared yelled to Lynn as he fired at of the men that was about to shoot her with a crossbow. He stumbled towards her, holding his bleeding leg. Ashen quickly looked at Jared, then looked back to Lynn, and the next thing he knew, she was behind him, then in front of him. Ashen was getting attacked from all sides, but could never see Lynn for more then a second. After getting a blow to the head he winced and smiled. He looked behind him and punched Lynn straight in the face, knocking her unconcious. Jared ran to Lynn, but before he got there Ashen stood over her. “Finders, keepers,” Ashen said with a smirk. “Give her to me!” Jared demanded.

“No, I paid good money for her,” Ashen said.

"What?" Jared said, "You can have your money back. You're taking it back right now!"

"Yes, but I still paid good money for her in the first place," Ashen said. Jared opened his mouth to respond, but Ashen cut him off. "Listen, the romance is touching, but what exactly is your plan, here?"

"Romance? What?" Jared asked, "She's my sister!"

"Well, if that's what you're into," Ashen said, "You still haven't answered my question. What're you going to do, run back to Fort Blood 'N Guts and tell Constantine the Chupacabra killed all his men and he's not allowed to sell Lynn anymore? Learn to hypnotize wheat and take up farming?" Jared opened his mouth, closed it, and finally hung his head without speaking. Ashen smiled and pulled out his deck of cards, shuffling them in his hands. "When you were a little boy, did you ever wish you could run away and join the circus?" he asked, shuffling the six and seven of spades out of the deck.

"You're offering me a job?" Jared asked.

"Both of you, yes," Ashen said.

“Fine, but only if I get to kill the rest of the Comprachicos,” Jared said.

Ashen glanced at one of the dead Comprachicos, still pinned against a tree by his thirteen knives, then looked back at Jared, smiling ruefully and saying "Sir, you drive a hard bargain, but I'll accept your terms. Welcome to the Dark Wood Circus!"

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