Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Prodigal Son meets a Liar

Part 5 out of 6 of my Hisoka story. Enjoy



The Prodigal Son meets a Liar

Hisoka admired the building in front of him. It was only a few days travel from where the carvan had last performed and he remembered this place. How could he not? Kukuroo Mountain was where the Zoldyck family of assassins lived.
“Yes Father. I shall deal with them myself.” The voice came from behind the large set of doors. With a loud creak, the first two doors opened slightly, leaving a small gap for a boy, approximately Hisoka’s own age, to casually walk through. He had long black hair that flowed like a billowing trail of darkness behind him. He wore a simple one piece jumpsuit, minus the arms. Its midnight blue color contrasted with the crack of dawn. With a relaxed gesture, as if he were caressing a flower, the boy placed on hand on the door and pushed. Both doors creaked loudly and locked in place.
From the other side of the road, a large truck pulled up. Men, Hisoka assumed they were mercenaries, dismounted and extracted all manner of weapons. Guns, swords, and aura. Hisoka crouched behind the bushes, hidden from all senses. He was simply content to observe.
The boy calmly extracted a set of large round headed needles and held them at eye level. In an instant he disappeared from sight and five men lay dead, needles emerging form their skulls. The others opened fire. Hisoka could barely hold still any longer. The boy was powerful. He wanted to fight him and kill him.
Flicking his wrist, Hisoka shot a set of four cards, killing two of them. The last one had no gun. He simply waved his arms and ethereal canine spirits formed out of thin air. The Zoldyck boy evaded their snapping jaws and moved in closer to his mark. The mercenary yelled and the spirits exploded, throwing the boy backwards. Undeterred the boy got back to his feet. Hisoka leapt out of the bushes and landed right next to him.
Thinking that the magician too was an enemy, the boy stabbed at him with a needle. Hisoka evaded and directed the boy’s weapon to point at the mercenary. With a flick of his finger, he forced the needle out of the boy’s hand and straight at the enemy.
“We can kill each other later, assassin,” muttered Hisoka. He pointed at the airborne needle. The mercenary had summoned another spirit dog in front of him. Normally the needle would have been slowed down and stopped. But Hisoka had other plans.
Having attached Bungee Gum to it as he threw it out of the assassin’s hand, Hisoka flexed his finger and the rubbery aura twanged, creating a small wave. The extra force drove the needle through the Nen dog and into the mercenary’s eye.
“Impressive,” said the boy flatly.
“Indeed. You’re welcome,” replied Hisoka.
“I didn’t require your help,” said the boy.
“True. But you would have sustained injuries. And that would make our battle less fun.”
Their eyes met for a second and their movements happened in the blink of an eye. The boy extracted another needle and stabbed at Hisoka’s face. The magician blocked with a card. They stood there pushing their Shu enhanced weapons against eachother.
“This is the first time someone has blocked my needles,” said the boy.
“This is the first time someone poked a hole in one of my cards,” replied Hisoka.
“It seems that we are at an impasse,” said the boy.
Hisoka chuckled. “Not really.” He lifted his other hand and dispersed his In. Each finger had a Bungee Gum aura thread on it, each leading to the cards he threw, some pebbles he stepped on and the needle he used to kill the last mercenary with.
The boy eyed each one calmly and quickly, his eyes darting along the aura lines. He then lifted his own free hand. With a series of bone crunching cracks, this fingers and nails elongated and veins popped out.
“I could kill you before you make use of them,” he said. Hisoka let out a laugh.
“It seems we are indeed at an impasse.” The boy’s blank expression cracked and the faintest of smiles showed on his lips.
“Illumi!”
A large, well-built man with long, wavy, white hair emerged from the gate and made a beeline for the boy. Illumi quickly backed away from Hisoka and faced the man with a slight bow.
“My apologies Father. I have failed my test,” he said.
The man placed his large hand on his son’s head. “Illumi, when someone helps you defend the Zoldyck name and your house, it is customary to introduce them to the patron of the house.”
He turned to face Hisoka. “My name is Silva Zoldyck. This is my son, Illumi.”
Hisoka waved with a flourish. “Hisoka here.”
“Well Hisoka, what are you doing here?”
“I will not lie to you, sir.” He gazed at Illumi with mischief in his eyes. “I am you son’s lover. We tried to keep it a secret but the intensity of this moment is much. Forgive me Illumi dear.”
Illumi’s jaw dropped and Silva’s eyebrows shot up.
“Well,” stuttered Silva. “Er. . . not sure how to respond to this. I guess, I’m glad you found someone Illumi,” he said, smiling at his son.
“He is not my lover, Father. It’s obvious he’s lying,” fumed Illumi.
“Hehehehe.” Hisoka’s laugh only served to irritate Illumi more. Silva ran a hand down his hair.
“You are indeed remarkable Hisoka. Very strong. And you are the only person who managed to get under my son’s skin like this. You are indeed a remarkable liar,” said Silva. They both turned to leave.
“I suggest you not try to follow us. Our dog is hungry,” warned Silva as they turned to leave.
Hisoka called out for them. “Just a moment, Mr. Silva.”
“Our conversation is over, Hisoka.”
“You mentioned a test.” That sopped both assassins in their tracks.
“That is our family business. I’ll think of something,” replied Silva courtly.
“What if I could provide you with a suitable substitute? I assume that this test is graded on assassination skill and tactics, correct?”
“Indeed.” Silva’s interest had peaked now. What a curious boy indeed.
“I can provide you with a target,” said Hisoka.
“Sounds to me like he wants to hire us Father. Can you pay?” asked Illumi.
“No. I have no money to speak of,” replied Hisoka.
“Then what are you willing to offer in exchange for our services?” asked Silva sharply.
Hisoka took a deep breath and slowly increased his aura. His Ren increases, one layer at a time, until soon the entire area was engulfed in his aura. Silva and Illumi instinctively activated their Ten to avoid any harm caused by such a large force.
“My lies. My potential,” said Hisoka looking at Silva dead in the eye. Illumi had no idea what that meant. But Silva understood. He comprehended what Hisoka was offering and, if he was correct, that would be more valuable than all the money in the world.
“You’ve hired yourself the best assassins in the world, Mr. Hisoka.”



Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Gum and Fire

Part 4 of the Hisoka story. Enjoy.



Gum and Fire

“Hisoka?”
Her voice held a tremor. Fear, primal and predatory, consumed her. Ela, with her eyes still covered in aura, searched the darkness. The boy was nowhere to be found.
“Why?” she questioned. “Why did you do this?” Karn groaned. Ela caressed his face, the sinking feeling gone. She felt his breath, moist and foul, on her pal, and murmured a quick prayer.
“It’s not like I tried to kill him. Yet.” Hisoka’s voice echoed softly, his playful tone riding along the soft evening breeze.
“Then why? Why, Hisoka?” cried Ela.
“Because I am BORED.” Ela’s senses went on overdrive. She instinctively shielded her face. Hisoka’s Ren flared, bigger and stronger than ever, so much that birds fled from trees, mammals scampered in fear and the very air pressure dropped.
“Hisoka,” she whimpered. “How are you so strong?”
“I hid my power. It was the only way I could tolerate living with you people. But now it’s over. Because now. . .” he said.
“I. . .” The pressure disappeared and she lifted her gaze.
“See. . .” The voice was close to her. She felt as if she could reach out and touch it. It was so close.
Too close.
“You.” Hisoka’s silky voice sounded inches away from her face, on the other side of Karn’s lain body. The magician stopped using In and Ela found herself staring into his eyes. The eyes of a monster.
He let out a chuckle and swiped at her. She saw the label of the bottle between his fingers, no doubt enhanced with Shu. The razor sharp edge caressed the skin of her neck for a millisecond before crumbling to dust. Hisoka’s eyebrows shot up.
“How. . ?” Before he could ponder any further, he felt her aura rise and he quickly leapt away with cat-like agility. He saw her aura glow and shift to her hands. Aura shot out and the spot he had occupied mere seconds ago stood burnt to a crisp.
“Hmm,” moaned Hisoka from the other side of the field.
“It seems like you are indeed strong.” He let out a bark of laughter. “Haha hah. I was right.”
“Is that what this is about? You wish to challenge me, a helpless old woman?” yelled Ela. Hisoka let out a growl and launched towards her. His fist crashed into her abdomen, doubling her over.
“Never call a magnificent creature like you ‘helpless’,” he yelled. “You are truly beautiful.” He swung at her face. But an instant, he saw her pupils dilate and held himself back, moving farther away.
Ela’s form was burning bright amber and smoke rose from her skin. “If it’s power you want, I’ll burn you.”
“Ah. Giving your aura the properties of fire. I believe that’s called Transmutation, correct?” asked Hisoka playfully.
“You rotten child. I loved and cared for you. Why, why?” she screamed.



Behind her, Karn managed to regain consciousness. “What’s with all the noise?” he croaked. Then he felt it. His wife’s fiery aura. He hadn’t felt that power for nearly twenty years, yet he remembered perfectly well it’s intensity. Fighting against it was another aura: just like Hisoka’s. But it couldn’t be his. This aura enveloped an entire area. It was blood thirsty and murderous. Chaotic and god-like. The boy never displayed such power. No human ever did.
But he saw him. The boy he had beat up just a few hours ago. The boy whose only talent was hiding and playing childish games.
Yet there he stood and Karn understood. The lack of progress and the suspicion that the boy was hiding a lot more than he was letting on. It was all painfully clear now.
He noticed a trickle of blood on his wife’s neck.
“Ela,” he called.
“Karn. Hisoka is trying to kill us,” she replied, never taking her eyes off the magician.
“I felt it. I’ll kill him before he touches you,” spat out Karn. A knife appeared in each of his hands, the blades catching the moonlight.
“Correction,” said Hisoka. “I am only trying to kill her,” he said pointing at Ela. “And what makes you think you can stop me?” he asked softly.
“Master.” His voice was drenched in sarcasm and mockery.
“Don’t fuck with me, boy,” yelled Karn.


The old man charged at the magician holding his two knives aloft. Hisoka smiled. They had fallen into his trap. He couldn’t fight both of them together, so he had to form a plan of action based on what he knew so far.
Ela, a transmuter, has almost a perfect defense. If he attacked her, he’d be burnt to a crisp. But she was no fighter. Hisoka had figured out that she could attack using only two methods. She could scorch him at a close distance using Transmutation. Or she throw fire like she did earlier. Hisoka recalled the mechanics of her ability; how her aura travelled down her arms, out of her palm and out in the open space. An Emission ability. If she relied on Emission powers, using it consecutively would leave her drained very quickly. Emission was nearly the opposite of Transmutation after all. Hisoka had to make her use her fire throwing as much as possible. He needed to provide her with enough distance and a reason not to get close.
And that’s where Karn came into his plan. The old fool was a fighter albeit a weak and crippled one. Hisoka would engage him far away from Ela, and give her enough openings to shoot at him. She would avoid coming close to them for fear of hurting her husband. Hisoka would use her own care and kindness against her.
Karn was armed with a virtually infinite supply of knives. Bu Conjuring abilities required a lot of concentration; and it is hard to do so when you have a couple of broken bones.


Hisoka saw him coming and held his ground. He wanted to separate them. He avoided the first strikes, letting the knives flash by and ducked as a lance of fire sailed past his head. Karn doubled for another attack and Hisoka blocked and flipped over him. Fire soon burst where he had stood. He spun and kicked Karn behind the knee, cracking something. The man fell with a cry of pain. His knives evaporated. With a yell of frustration, Ela took a step closer and held herself back. She couldn’t risk hurting her husband. She had to believe in him. All she could do was buy him some time to recover. Twin lances of flame chased Hisoka into the tree line. Karn got to his feet and summoned his daggers once more, which he promptly threw at the magician’s direction.
‘It’s almost time for the finale,’ though Hisoka. He exhaled and checked to the see if all the preparations were in order.
All clear.
Hisoka leapt out from the cover of the trees and zigzagged towards Karn. Fire followed his path, scorching the earth bare millimeters from where he stood. Hisoka made his pattern easy to predict. And Karn predicted it.
With great skill, Karn summoned knife after knife and threw them with dexterity and accuracy that can only be described as ‘beyond human.’ All eight knives sank into Hisoka, stopping him in his tracks. The magician slumped on his knees and let out a choked moan. He toppled to the side, dead.

Ela relaxed her stance and hunched over. Using her powers like this had left her drained. It took her considerable effort to stand upright. Karn glared at his student’s corpse and spat in its direction. He left the knives in the body, just to make sure the boy remained dead.
“Kukukuku.” His chuckle was cold. Both husband and wife spun, their eyes wide open, and stared in his direction.
“Now,” said Hisoka. The knives forcefully wrenched out of his body and rocketed straight into Ela’s abdomen.


“NO,” screamed Karn. Too late the knives vanished into thin air, leaving behind eight gaping holes in his wife’s stomach. Ela let out a rasped breath before the darkness claimed her. Karn cradled her in his arms as Hisoka stood up.
“I call it Bungee Gum. My Hatsu that is,” said Hisoka. It all started with the initial punch to Ela’s stomach. He had attached his gum-like aura to her and hid it.  He then waited for Karn to throw his knives. He had purposefully hid a wooden plate under his shirt and directed the knives there. Using Texture Surprise he created the illusion of blood on his shirt. As he ‘died’ he attached Bungee Gum to every knife tip in his body and, when the time was right, he simply placed the thread leading to Ela’s body on the knives and let them go. The blades flew towards the only path they could. Ela.
Karn roared and charged at him. In his anger, he hadn’t even summoned his Nen knives. Hisoka swung a fist in his face, sending the man sprawling.
“I should have never taught you,” yelled Karn. Hisoka extracted something from his pocket and held it between his fingers. The tarot card depicting the Joker was covered in blood stains.
“I would have learnt it either way,” replied Hisoka. “I recall you once mentioning to your wife that you though I as some sort of genius or natural talent.”
Karn’s eyes widened. “How do you know that? My wife and I spoke in private.”
Hisoka shrugged. “I learnt Zetsu by simply not wanting to the found. It was only a matter of time before I mastered In, it’s advanced form.” He covered the Joker with his palm and, when he removed his hand, the card had vanished. He separated his fingers and Karn cried out in pain. The Joker was stuck in the back of his knee. Right where Hisoka had kicked him earlier.
“My gift to you,” said Hisoka. A feeling of satisfaction washed over him. He let out a soft moan. That ‘feeling’ still clung to him and he laughed in euphoria.
“I won’t ruin the mood now. You’ll just ruin my pleasure. So grow stronger or something, Ok? Make my killing you fun, yes?” said Hisoka.
The magician spread his arms, bowed with a flourish and disappeared into the darkness. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

School, testicles and inspiration

School's about to start again and with it comes the usual cluster of emotions. I've always hated school. Let's leave out the bullying for a second and just focus on the human interaction. I just don't like people. And apparently that's a bad thing.
But then I realized something.

It's not me. It's YOU.

Yes, You. You judgemental motherfuckers out there who make life for people like me a living hell.

Q: What do you mean people like you, Ryan?
R: We're called Alphas.
0_0 0_0 0_0

Kidding.

We're called creative people. How do you recognize us? We live with our heads, in youtube channels, in blogs, in books, in paintings, in sports, in actions, in video games, in entertainment. We're the people you tweet about. We're the people you pretend to be on facebook. In short: WE'RE AWESOME.

And the simply truth is; the world can't handle us.

Now, if you are happy with your life, click the red x button right now. This Charlie Sheen-like rant is for you, artist. You, seeker of beauty.

I live in Malta. Land of the talentless and lifeless.

Allow me to explain: this is not because we do NOT have talent. Oh boy we DO have talent. LOTS and lots of it.
The problem is everyone else. They try to quash your talent. Because they can't take in just how awesome you are. They don't see life the way you do and that's a bad thing. For them. And they make it everybody's problem.

How do you deal with them?

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men for they act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence

"So baby dry your eyes
Save all the tears you've cried
Oh, that's what dreams are made of
Oh baby, we belong in a world that must be strong
Oh, that's what dreams are made of

And in the end on dreams we will depend
'Cause that's what love is made of " 
- Van Halen 'Dreams'

Yepp you got it. It all starts with a dream. Now let' be fair. Some dreams, like winning a competition, are achievable. Others, like having a threesome with Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Alba, will never happen. I'm pretty sure of that. 

But dreaming is no enough. Everyone dreams. It's the next step that's tough. Tattoo the nike slogan somewhere and  JUST FRIGGIN' DO IT. No holds barred, full steam ahead. 
And keep going. You will fall. You will fail. You will consider stopping. You will consider very morbid things indeed. But don't stop. 
It's ok to slow down. It's ok to let off steam, blow off work, procrastinate. 
But don't let go.

Cos what you will have in a few years time is yearning, regret and old age. 


Q: But Ryan, what if it doesn't work? What if I fail?
R: How the fuck should I know?

I don't know what's best. Your parents don't know what's best. Fuck, YOU don't know what's best for you. But it's one thing to lay down and do what others do simply cos it's safe. It's another to have the BALLS to get up and go whichever direction you want. 

All this is coming from a recently published author who has yet to see his first sale. But here's the motto I abide by:
when there's a will, there is a way.
When there isn't a way, you break out the jack hammer and FUCKING MAKE ONE.

I am sick and tired of people playing it safe. Fuck I spent about 2000 euros on putting out a novel, dealing with people from Texas (editing) all the way to South Africa (cover). So shut your pie hole and do it. Don't present some sad story about how you didn't have opportunity.

What you do is you find a source of inspiration, no matter how fleeting and little, and you have violent sex with that sucker like it's your job. And then you move on to the next one. And the next. 

Which roundabouts all the way to school. I hate school and people, but I love learning. Learn what you can, follow your own path and everyone else be damned nine ways till sunday. 

I know a wonderfully talented artist who has a degree which he will never use. He is an established artist from this island and he made it big.
I know an inspiring girl who had to take her exams 3 cocking times before she got the mark she deserved in the first place. Another talented artist and, I'm can swear on this, in the future will make an A class architect.
I know an aviation engineer who had to work like a dog since the age of 15 in order to make money for his pilot's licence. Another A class aviator and engineer.

And then there's me. A reclusive wanker who juggles a second novel, comic with the aforementioned artist (the first) and the last year for my degree. Oh and a dissertation. So what if this course has lost all interest for me? So what if it's just getting in my way? I've invested, and now I'm getting every last morsel I can out of it. 
Who knows, maybe I'll find a source of inspiration there. At the very least it's a break from writing. 
There is always a silver lining.

The Fake King leads the Lamb

Part 3 of the Hisoka story. Just because I feel productive today. Enjoy. Ps. This story will be a 6 parter, since my mind is way too complicated.



The Fake King leads the Lamb

Ela’s cooking could be smelled from outside the tent. But Hisoka’s mouth didn’t water. His heart bet fast like a war drum. His Ren flared up and he struggled to regain control of himself.
‘Not yet, not yet,’ he had to remind himself. Too late to convince his lower half. His billowing pants hid his erection well enough. Not that he cared at the time. But he did need the secrecy.
“Hisoka?” Too late. Ela’s voice resounded loud compared to the crickets’ sounds. “Is that you?”
Hisoka let himself in. “Yes, Ela. I am sorry if I startled you,” he said in his best apologetic tone. He shifted his gaze just enough to appear ashamed. Ela put the pie in the oven and came over to the teenager. She caressed his cheek with the love of a mother.
“Do not worry dear,” she cooed. “You are always welcome here.” Her eyes looked beyond him.
“Where is Karn? He’s not usually late for dinner,” she asked. Hisoka sighed.
“He was drinking some wine when I left.” He widened his smile and made his best happy-schoolboy face.
“Training was awesome today. Your husband is a great teacher.” His insides cringed but he kept his face straight. All he needed was to shift her attention to him. A hook.
“Really?” she said with a bright smile. Hisoka met her expression with an equal beam. From the outside they seemed like every normal happy family. Almost.
‘And there goes the bait’ thought Hisoka.
“What did my dear husband teach you?” she asked.
“Actually today I developed a Hatsu,” exclaimed Hisoka. Her eyebrows shot up.
“Oh how exciting. You must show me,” she replied genuinely. Hisoka’s widened. He got her where he wanted.
“Play poker with me first,” he said. “I’ll show you then.”
Ela was used to his games. Where others saw a bad habit, she saw a playful nature. She produced a deck of cards and motioned for Hisoka to join her at the table.
“I have a little time before the pie is done,” she said. Hisoka sat opposite her.
She dealt the cards. “Need I watch out for anything?”
“Only your life,” he replied playfully. His voice was drenched in humor.


Minutes passed quickly as cards flicked from one position to another.
“Looks like I will be winning this one, Hisoka,” she said lovingly. She set her cards. A jack, a pair of queens and two kings. On the table were two other kings.
“Four of a kind with the kings. That is hard to beat,” she said.
“But I still win,” replied Hisoka as he showed his cards. “Royal Straight Flush.”
“A fifth king! How is that possible?” Ela’s eyes darted from king to king. Hisoka handed her his.
“Use Gyo,” he instructed. She complied. Under the vision on her aura the king’s printed image slowly peeled off to reveal a three of spades.
“I can apply my aura on certain surfaces and changed their appearance,” explained Hisoka.
“That’s incredible,” said Ela softly. She released the aura from her eyes. The card once again showed the fake king. Hisoka’s hand reached over and he took the card. Releasing his aura from it, the card’s true image showed.
“I got the idea from the mask performances,” he said enthusiastically. “Maybe someday I could actually perform for the troupe. I could make an entire play, complete with changing costumes and faces right in front of everybody. With just marionettes!”
Ela smiled at his enthusiasm. “I’m sure that in a year or two, Mr. One-man-show Hisoka will be the star of our troupe.”
“But until then, keep working hard.”
“So who won?” asked Hisoka, pointing at the discarded cards.
Ela placed her hands on her hips. “Well this is a nen troupe, so the use on nen is not cheating. So I guess you win, Hisoka dear.”
“Good,” said Hisoka, beaming. “In that case will you please do me a favor?”
“Anything dear,” she replied.
“Will you please help me bring back Karn? I’m afraid I’m not strong enough to carry him by myself and he might listen to you if you yell at him a bit.”
Ela let out a laugh. “I just might to that.”



They soon arrived at where Karn lay unconscious.
“Oh dear. He’ll catch a cold like this,” said Hisoka. Ela said nothing and, for a second, the magician thought that he had oversold his pitch. But Ela knelt down beside her husband and smelt his breath.
“This wine has a different smell,” she muttered. She groped for the discarded bottle and examined it. There seemed no tampering with it of any kind.
“Is there something wrong?” asked Hisoka. He stood behind her, quiet and observant.
Ela kept staring at the bottle and only the boy’s voice shook her out her daze. A thought tugged at her mind and she remembered Hisoka’s trick. She remembered her own training. The basic training when facing the unknown was simple: use Gyo and look for clues. She tentatively focused her aura on her eyes.
The label of the bottle shifted. The bottle displayed a label for absentine and beneath it, scrawled with an ink marker was a smiley face and crossbones.
“What the..”  She questioned how this was possible. No one in the troupe had this type of ability.
Then she remembered earlier. One person could do this.
“Hisoka?” she whispered.
He didn’t answer. His aura flared so much that it toppled her over. In the darkness he was hidden.
All save a giggle.

Prelude to a Ploy

Part 2 to Hisoka's Second Time. People asked for it, and since I'm a writing monkey, I had to write. As usual, I don't own anything except all which is originally mine. Which now that I think about it, is everything in the story.
So really and truly I own everything. I keep them all in my closet. I'm worried it's getting crowded in there.

Enjoy



Prelude to a Ploy

Hisoka wheezed in pain. He laid on his back scanning the twilight as sweat tricked down his face. He had not regretted put on his make-up before the training session with Karn and was grateful for his absent mindedness. The wizened instructor sat down on a rock and took out his second bottle of wine.
“Barely any improvement. Bah, I don’t know what she sees in you.” His tone cracked; years of tobacco smoking and sword swallowing accidents had deformed his voice forever. Hisoka said nothing. He knew better that to talk back to his nen teacher. Karn had been reluctant enough to teach anyone, for whatever reason. It wasn’t as if he were an open book. He never socialized with the rest of the troupe, never laughed with them, never drank at their table. His only source of human ineraction was Ela, his wife. They had shown up once upon a time, demanding a position in the show and ranks of the troupe. The caravan welcomed them after they had showcased their ‘talents’. After all, the troupe’s show was one with a twist. And nen performances earned money.
Karn fiddled with the cork before he muttered a curse and conjured a small dagger out of thin air. The sword swallowed jabbed at the cork top and ravenously ripped it off.
“Get up and go bathe somewhere. You stink,” he said. Without much consideration began ravaging the dark red liquid. Hisoka stood up and gave a slight bow in his direction. Not once did their eyes meet. A ‘thank you’ slipped out of the magician and Karn responded with a grunt and an aggressive wave of the hand.



A soft moan escaped his lips as the water, silver in the moonlight, caressed his skin. This was his time, where all the pretense washed off, together with the memories of trying to enjoy himself and his life with the troupe. He couldn’t take much more. He was close to snapping, to crying in sheer insanity and butcher everyone in the vicinity. He was bored! So. Fucking. Bored.
He had been reduced to downplaying his power in order for him to tolerate the lessons with that old idiot. Ten, Zetzu, Ren, Gyo; they were all toys in his hands. Magic tricks. Karn could conjure knives. He could throw, fight and swallow them. Too bad he couldn’t walk straight. That left knee of his made his step wobble. That, and the fact that Hisoka had rarely seen the old man sober.
Hisoka laughed heartily. The lion being tutored by the gazelle. It was just too funny. He longed for the day where he could kill them all. Just like that gypsy. He longed for that feeling again. So why didn’t he do it? Right here, right now?
“I don’t know what she sees in you.” That’s what Karn had said.
Hisoka grimaced. Ela saw him for who he was. A powerful creature, destined for something other than carrying bags, setting up stages and showing lame sleight of hand tricks. It was she who had found him: he had just escaped that orphanage. He had just killed that priest. He had lived in the forest for exactly a month and a week, hiding, unknowingly using zetsu. She had seen him, took him in and made others accept him. She had insisted that her husband teach him.
Hisoka, too, had seen her for who she really was. A powerful creature, just like him. Only, she lived a human’s life. She had lived her life downplaying her power, allowing the troupe to assume that her husband was the only one with any considerable talent. But Hisoka knew better. And it was that that kept him going. But now he had drained her husband dry on knowledge. He wanted her. She was a mystery which he had to solve. Not forcefully, like the fortune teller, but gently.
A plan formed in his mind. He wouldn’t kill the troupe.
Yet.
He’ll leave them for later. If he played this right he could face them all together. United they stand and all that bullshit. Hisoka knew that was all crap. Just an excuse that with weak herds invent in order not to admit just how pathetic they really are.
Power is all.
Power, control and fate. He will seize all of them. He will laugh and dance all the way to hell and he will experience that feeling, that pure ecstasy, every single moment of his life.
No, he won’t waste time with the troupe.
He would go for someone worthy.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Ebooks, German teams and red lobsters

For those of you who don't know, I happen to be an amateur athlete. Emphasis on amateur. I'm not very good. Sort of.
Well, I tend to kick ass. Just sayin'.

My sport/ martial art Du Jour is Olympic Wrestling , Jujitsu and a hybrid style known as Spirit Combat (which is kinda like a jujitsu-meets-karate-meets-aikido-meets-kick boxing-meets-kung fu. If I forgot anybody I apologize. I'm there is a system founder looking at this going "What about me?!" as they stroke their Pai-Mei style beard.)

And this week, an Pro German Wrestling team visited my sad little island (literally) for a little sun, sea and showdown smack-down.
And despite their cultural (waaayyyyy more disciplined then us hoolingans) systems and differences, I believe we had fun.

A week of late sleeping, early waking, cultural visiting / tour guiding, host playing and the aforementioned butt kicking. All on dregs (3 hrs a day) of sleep.

So why do I bring this up?

Because today is the start, the beginning. Is it really?
Yes, today is the day that I have officially become an author. A (self )published author. With a book.

This is a story blog so allow me to divulge in a tale of journey, pride and screaming at the computer cos you don't know what the fuck else to do.

It was during entire days of touring Malta's finest (sarcasm dripping) establishments and cultural monuments (half of which our governments saw fit to demolish), we would arrive home at, say, eight or nine pm. I takes me till about ten to fully regain control over my central nervous system again.

And how does one relax after a day of playing host? Why, by going on Kindle (CreateSpace) and formatting  (playing with margins) a manuscript 16 cocking times before it is accepted for ebook publishing.

And today, as I carefully sat down with my sunburnt lobster-red body, I have received the good news. My debut novel, of my debut series, (I'm new to this gig, get off my ass) is up on kindle.

Yeah you read well.

Book one of the Legacy series, Firstborn, is, in fact, IN your way. It's looking at you with puppy eyes, begging you to caress it as you stroke your finger across your kindle, ipad, iphone or whatever. And you can, in fact do that.

Right here. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009EUR2RG.

Yeah right up there, in the purple/ blue link.
Click it.
I dare you.
You know you want to.
0_0

It is only now, after 6 cookies, a cup of coffee and a 5 hour nap that I have the energy to deal with this. I've had an arduous week. I've screamed at the kindle set up site and at my computer, which almost gave me a heart attack or two. I've had to read 4 books a day and all of them were the same. Mine. So its understandable that I'm hating this novel right now and want don't want to see to for at least another year. Or two.
But you'll love it. A mixture of action, paranormal, humour and pissed off wizards, Firstborn will have your hear racing and your pants peeing. 0_0. Or it will threaten to shoot a fireball in your face.

For those of you who are interested here is the blurp:

Firstborn 

Meet Erik Ashendale, wizard.

He solves all kinds of problems of a magical and freaky nature. Especially when it comes to hunting down the supernatural.

So when he and his talking cat are asked to protect a girl who’s being chased by a big-time demon, they can hardly refuse, especially when the rent's due.

Once the fight takes shape, Erik and the rest of his unlikely companions have to pit themselves against the elemental forces of good and evil: angels, demons, a Japanese monster, 1/7 of the Deadly Sins, talking pets . . . and even a morally ambiguous twin sister gets thrown into the mix.

In order to stay alive, Erik must deal with his terrible past and the secrets of his family. And he must never forget the most important rule of his twisted world: Nothing is ever what it seems.


P.S. You'll be happy to know that all that remains for the London Expo is to find someone to print 150 copies of this novel in 4 weeks. My only problem is that I have a professional attitude, which seems to be in opposition to the local motherfuckers that I have to work with. But that's my problem. :)

Stay tuned for more updates. After a loooonnnnnngggggggg nap.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Unveiling Time, Rants and my head is a pothole

I may have promised the release of the cover of Firstborn yesterday. Or was it the day before? I tend to merge the 9 or 10 days of the week (yes I know. My days are f***in long!!!!) in to one long, never-ending clusterfuc*.

But enough about me and my bitching. You guys don't wanna hear about the heart attacks I get when I'm trying to persuade the cover artist into drawing what I want (my mind is too deep. Like a well. Or a pothole) or the fact that in good old Malta NO ONE and I cocking mean no one EVER prints books. It's not enough that we don't support but quash local talent (I'm pointing at me bitches) but today I had to explain to the head of a publishing company WHAT A F****** BOOK LOOKS LIKE. Yeah you read correctly. Our publishers don't know what books look like. No wonder everyone lacks hobbies, manners and personalities. Proof of Maltese illiteracy ->  publishers who ask me what does a book entail. (Seriously lady, shoot your self. No seriously, shoot yourself. Seriously, just do it. No seriously, PULL THE COCKING TRIGGER).

OK I'm calm again. Now that I have finished formatting Firstborn into an ebook (You guys have to buy this sucker; it's awesome) I finally have time to write something here. (P.s. Whoever invented the margins in MS word, See shoot yourself rant above. It applies to you too, ya jackass). 

The few sad people who read this (no seriously, I love you guys. Here's a cookie. You're awesome) you'll be happy to know that yesterday at like 3am (won't that be today then? seriously Ryan!) I finished the last piece of writing - the dedication. Some of my friends (the cool ones which read this blog anyway) are mentioned. Yes, you bastards, a novel has been dedicated to you. Now where's my cake?

But anywho. Now that I've ranted enough it's time to show this cover, now that I actually own it. Are you ready?
You wanna see it?
You really wanna see it? 
O_O
NO not that!!
The cover!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 




Are you drooling yet?

In order of appearance from left to right -> Big boat, pissed off magically enhanced wizard, Big Ass MONSTER. It's an Ushi-Oni. Wiki it.

Stay tuned for more updates. And rants. Mostly rants.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Chapter 3


And here is the final preview chapter. Enjoy


3
Steam rose from my leather trench coat as the unrelenting afternoon sun baked every inch of the surrounding geography. I arrived in front of a building block and opened the front door to my office. Inside I was greeted with a semi-chaotic mess of antiques, ornaments, scattered furniture and discarded delivery boxes, all managing to occupy a majority of the open area. At the far end stood an antique-looking wooden table and a leather chair where I managed the “business” side of my job. A doorway adjacent to the left of the desk led to a modest kitchen, a bathroom, and a narrow staircase leading to a basement. On the right of the desk was another staircase, this one wider, which led up to the second floor. It was mainly a corridor and two bedrooms opposite each other as well as a bathroom. I usually sleep in one, unless I just crash on my couch downstairs, whilst Amaymon occupies the other. The cat made it clear that he needs his own space.
I strode into my office, sighing loudly as I slid my leather jacket off and threw it at the coat hanger. I took out what remained of my guns and dropped them on a cheap, wooden coffee table together with my sword before slumping on the couch.
“Ugh, what a day,” I complained to no one as I shifted my position so that I was lying on the couch. I went into a trance, slowly losing focus and letting my thoughts drift freely. My mind brushed against several questions which were bothering me: How come the last Lizardman I faced was so different? Was it some kind of mutation? If so, who instigated it? Maybe it was all a fluke, a genetic anomaly. Random things like that happen in the universe and with greater probability when your job is to face the unknown and misunderstood. One thought led to another and my focus shifted to other unanswered questions: Would I ever be able to fully control my power? Would I ever be able to solve the mystery of my curse? What terrible thing did one of my twisted ancestors do to merit such a punishment? How come it had come to fruition now? Who or what was powerful enough to curse an entire bloodline, spanning thousands of years? I shook my head violently as if to shatter those thoughts and throw them out of my head. I caught sight of the discarded gun parts and the pile of letters on my desk, and said, “It’s all right, Erik. No need to worry about the big picture right now. Focus on the little things. The guns, the rent, the damn cat.”
As if on cue, a sizable black blob suddenly leaped onto my chest. I yelled out in shock, jumped off the couch and tripped on Djinn, which was propped beside the coffee table. My head hit the corner of the coffee table and I let out a pathetic ‘Ouch’.
While I was displaying just how clumsy humans can be, the black American shorthair simply stood on my coffee table, eyeing me with his yellow eyes. Cats cannot smile but Amaymon was halfway there as he snickered in amusement.
“Dammit, Amaymon,” I said as I nursed a bump on my head. “I told you to stop doing that.”
“And I told you I will not stop as long as your reaction is always the same as an eight year old’s.” Amaymon is the world’s only talking cat and he’s always quick to use his tongue. And possibly the world’s most intelligent cat. Certainly the most annoying one.
Amaymon is my familiar as well as a demon. Here’s a little back story: Amaymon used to serve directly under the former demon Emperor. He led Hell’s legions and was sort of a second-in-command in that realm. About a hundred years ago, the demon Emperor caught my grandfather’s attention when he tried to exert some influence with the Ashendales. My family didn’t like that and a feud started. A very short feud. Within the week, the Emperor was killed and all in his inner circle were captured or killed, never to be heard from again. That is, until I accidentally stumbled upon a caged Amaymon, who’d been stripped of his powers and sealed inside a feline body. When I opened up shop, he was, quite literally, dumped in my lap.
Initially, I kept him around for information, slowly bargaining pieces of freedom and power in exchange for help on some cases. I always made sure that he knew who was really in charge and he hated my guts for that. He lied to me once, on purpose, hoping to get me killed. Only later did I calmly explain that if I died, he’d end up in the mansion again where he’d be dissected and probed for an eternity. After that, he settled with peeing in the corner and breaking random stuff out of spite.
Nowadays he spends most of his time basking in the sun, awaiting the perfect moment to ridicule his master. He seems to have accepted his role as both a guide and a reference. I can always rely on his knowledge, something that was gathered over thousands of years’ worth of experience.
“And you broke your guns. Again. Fourth time this month, is it?” he asked as he playfully pawed the bits of metal. I rolled my eyes and made for the kitchen, aching for a cold beverage.
“Will you stop lecturing me? For now at least? First you hit me on the head and now you lecture me,” I moaned as I grabbed the soda can and pressed against my forehead. Relishing in the cool sensation, I rolled it down to my neck before my throat complained of neglect. I popped the can open.
“You hit yourself. And stop using regular junk as channels. Breaking stuff is not in your best interest. You’re already behind on your rent,” Amaymon continued, clearly enjoying himself.
“It was a critical situation,” I replied weakly.
“Critical, my tail.”
“Amaymon, you’re an immortal demon trapped in a cat’s body. Are you really gonna bitch about the rent?”
“Yes. If you can’t afford the rent, then you can’t afford my Flakes,” he said in his most serious tone. Amaymon was addicted to a brand of catnip called Lizard Flakes and refused to do anything but complain should his supply run low.
“You’ll live without Flakes,” I replied, sipping my drink.
“You don’t know that,” he moaned as he rubbed himself against my leg. I sighed and picked up his bowl from the corner. Filling it with his favorite snack, I grabbed both the bowl and the cat and carried them to the coffee table.
“There. Can I have some quiet now?” I asked.
“Sure. Can I have some beer?”
“You’re a cat! I am certainly not giving you beer. Don’t want you getting sick all over my office.”
“It will certainly improve the d├ęcor.”
“Shut up and eat. Did anyone call while I was out?”
“No,” was Amaymon’s muffled response as he stuffed his face with the biscuit-like substance. A few seconds later, however, his ears twitched and said, “Someone’s coming.” Amaymon also happens to be a very reliable home security system, if you’re willing to put up with sarcasm.
I glanced at the door and wondered who it might be. I had just come back from a job for the police and I was certain that I had no more appointments for the day. In fact, I had not put the OPEN sign up yet. The doorbell rang and Amaymon hissed, glaring at the door intently, as if forcing his yellow orbs the see through the door. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he could as he has many abilities I knew nothing about. I knew his reactions to clients even before they stepped foot into my office. Hissing and glaring were sure signs that whoever it was, Amaymon did not approve of them. Chances were that I wouldn’t like them, either. So with a grunt of effort I got up and made for the door.
“Let’s see what pest the universe is plaguing me with now,” I said, smiling at my own wit.
I opened the door and was greeted by a short young girl dressed in an olive green, Victorian-style suit, complete with an ascot and a cloak. Her platinum-blond hair gleamed in the afternoon sun and her skin seemed to glisten. Her penetrating green eyes matched my own color but burned with an intensity that seemed to weigh your soul and then judge accordingly.
Behind her stood a very tall and lanky man, dressed in a traditional butler’s suit. His long, wavy hair was pulled back into a ponytail, held firm with a midnight-blue ribbon. His most striking features were his eyes. They matched Amaymon’s: golden orbs with black slits. He grinned, revealing a set of pointed, serrated teeth, the kind you would expect to see on a shark. Behind them a pair of bodyguards stood still, like statues. They wore the typical Men in Black outfits, complete with black suit and dark shades.
The girl broke the slowly increasingly awkward silence. “Hello, brother.”
I shook myself out of my daze. Just seeing my sister mere feet away from me was enough to induce anxiety. Over the years I had learned that the only way to deal with stress is to laugh and occasionally give in to minor bouts of madness. I gave in. Glancing toward the sky, as if praying, I said, “Good one.”



Chapter 2


Enjoy, and stay tuned for chapter 3



2
Wizard or not, I still feel fear when surrounded by darkness. Having a pair of firearms doesn’t change anything when you know deep down that your prey is unaffected by both darkness and bullets. I stood very still as my eyes, slowly adjusting to the darkness, picked up subtle hints of movement. A twitch here, a jerk there. I willed my magic right into my guns and I opened fire at the closest hint of movement. All hell broke loose, as flashes of red from my enhanced bullets showed giant reptilian figures scurrying around and running up walls. Angry hisses surrounded me, and I knew there and then that if I did not kill these monsters soon the predator could very easily become the prey.
There exist several types of magic but they essentially boil down to two: Wizards can simply wave their hands, say some words, and something happens. Or they can use channels. Channels can be just about anything: guns, knives, swords, bows and arrows. There is a downside, however: Everyday objects made by everyday people are too brittle to handle any real power.
So when I fired off more rounds and saw that I was getting nowhere, I decided to switch tactics before my guns disintegrated from sheer pressure. I holstered them with practiced ease and grasped the handle of my short sword, unsheathing a double-edged blade half a meter in length. The moment my fingers wrapped around its leather-wrapped hilt the blade glowed a faint azure hue.
Unlike my pistols, the short sword is perfect for magical channeling. Its main feature is the aura, or life force, of a Jinn fused into the weapon itself. I affectionately named the sword Djinn and it has been my faithful companion for years.
The Lizardmen’s hisses grew louder as the blue light hit them, and they retreated deeper into the safety of the shadows. Relishing my victory, I poured even more energy into the blade and held it high. The faint hue became a blazing explosion of light. I approached the two Lizardmen in front of me, now clearly visible, and held the blade in front of me like a shield. The giant reptiles thrashed in writhing agony and their hisses decreased in octaves to become mewling chirps, reminiscent of those of newborn birds.
My victory was short-lived.
Feeling danger approaching from behind, I dropped and rolled to my left just in time to avoid the clawed swipe of a third monster. My momentum carried me to the other side of the room and, even at that distance, I stabbed in my assailant’s direction. The short sword’s blade elongated disproportionately, skewering the giant lizard and embedding its tip in the wall behind it. I cancelled the spell, reverting the blade back to its original form, and spun and scanned the room for the two remaining monsters. I spotted one at the far end of the corridor, scurrying in retreat. I reversed the grip on Djinn, holding it point downward, and swiped with all my might, slashing the distance between me and my quarry. A crescent-shaped wave of blue energy erupted from my blade and streaked toward the lizard, bifurcating it. I smiled at my second victory.
Momentarily letting my guard down.
Too late, my senses warned me of danger as I felt a mighty blow on my right side, which knocked me into a door, crashing me inside a dimly-illuminated classroom.
The monster, erect on two legs, hissed furiously and stormed into the classroom after me.
I groped for Djinn and found nothing. “Crap, crap, crap, crap,” I cursed, each word louder than the one before it. I pulled out my pistols and started squeezing their triggers at the Lizardman—which was nearly on top of me—pouring every ounce of magical aura into the guns and the bullets it was firing. After what seemed like a year, I opened my eyes and saw a dead Lizardman splayed on the ground, its head resting comfortably between my legs.
“That went well,” I muttered in relief as I retrieved Djinn. A series of deep breaths helped my racing heartbeat to regain its normal tempo. I made it back to the pitch-black corridor and prayed that that was the last of the Lizardmen.
I noticed the telltale signs of a spell cast only in the corridor, a spell meant to coat the entire area in darkness. It also served as a dampener, reducing one’s sense of smell, sight, and sound. Lizardmen, which used their heat-seeking abilities, just like a snake, would not be hindered by the enchantment. This magic was clearly meant for any unfortunate idiot who happened to stumble in.
There are many ways to counter a spell. A subtle and cunning magician would simply dismantle a spell covering this wide an area. The trick is finding the right component to remove and such things require patience and subtlety—two things with which I was never compatible. Brute force, on the other hand, was second nature to me.
For the second time, I raised Djinn high above my head, holding it as if it were a trophy and I the athlete who had just won it. I poured as much energy as I could into it, making the blade glow intensely. Blue became white and after a few seconds, hot, searing, smiting, supernova light pushed back against the swallowing darkness of the spell, although I had to shut my eyes; the luminosity was too painful. Atmospheric pressure dipped and my ears popped. And then it was over. The pressure dropped, and both light and darkness vanished, leaving behind a ringing silence broken only by my panting breath. Natural light hit the walls, revealing a very mediocre paint job. My hearing picked up things that had been dulled out before: the chirping of birds, the distinct, tense orders from the police officers outside. And the muffled whimpering of children. I followed the latter sound, turning around corners and running down adjacent corridors, until I came to a plain, wooden door. I placed one hand on it and extended my supernatural senses as I closed my eyes, groping for any hint of a foreign aura.
Behind the door were fourteen spastic and scared aura bundles, presumably belonging to the children. They were huddled in a corner to the right. Directly in front of the door, as if it were some grotesque bouncer, was a jagged and sharp aura, vibrating at an erratic pace and swirling in unnatural patterns. Its shape, color, and texture was completely different from that of the children. This was the aura of the final Lizardman.
I willed my eyes open and blocked my aura-sensing, trying to replace the image of the swirling and erratic blob of energy with the image of a giant lizard. I did not plan on facing it in combat. If I made a single error, one of those kids could end up suffering and that was unacceptable in my book. So I calculated the position of the monster and pointed Djinn at where I assumed its chest would be. I placed Djinn’s tip on the cheap wooden door and channeled my own aura into the sword, which promptly elongated for the second time. The azure blade shot through the door and embedded itself inside the Lizardman’s sternum, skewering and pushing it farther back into the room. Releasing the spell, I opened the door and was greeted with the satisfying sight of a giant bipedal lizard thrashing agonizingly on the ground before stopping abruptly and remaining still.
I sheathed my sword and spun to face the kids, just to make sure that none of them were hurt. Ignoring their looks of awe and bewilderment, I turned my back on them and took out my cellphone.
The air in front of me popped and a Lizardman materialized out of thin air. I froze and stared at it, eyes wide open. This one was clearly different from the others. Its hide was a different shade of gray, lighter and milkier. Its eyes shone yellow and were shaped like a cat’s, rather than a reptile’s. Its joints were more slender and its muscles more wiry, perfect for speed attacks. Its tail, which, according to the few depictions I’ve read, Lizardmen used as a sort of counter-balance to aid them walk on their hind legs, was shorter and stouter, as if its owner had evolved beyond the purpose of needing a tail. Its long snout was considerably shorter, as was its neck. But the real danger was the claws. The unusually straight, sharp claws it bore on each hand were serrated on one side.
Nature had already given Lizardmen all they needed to survive; the claws, the teeth, the thick skin, and tail. There simply was no need to evolve. To my knowledge, none ever had serrated claws, or indeed any of the features that this particular specimen bore. I realized with morbid horror that those serrations were self-inflicted. The monster’s crocodile smile widened and it dawned on me that this monster, unlike its primal brethren, was intelligent.
Then with a blur it plunged one clawed hand into my chest.
As I fell onto my knees and onto the ground, I thought, Did that giant gecko just chuckle at me?

                                                __________________________________

Any normal person, wizard or not, would have been dead by then. Yet, despite losing half my blood I was still conscious and relatively rational. But, I am not just any normal wizard. I was born under a family curse, one which so far has only affected me.
Well, that’s not entirely true. My twin sister, was affected by it, but she got the good side of it.
Maybe I should start at the beginning. My ancestors were not the Merlin-type wizards. They were old-school warlocks and in those times none of the laws existed which govern us today. Modern warlocks abide by a golden rule: Do not tamper with other realms. We can watch, observe, study. But my ancestors took it a step further. They marched from dimension to dimension in search of knowledge and power—until they met a power which could stop them. I don’t know who, or what, they pissed off, but after a century of realm-plundering, they stopped abruptly. Later generations realized that they were cursed. No one asked why or how. The subject is still considered a taboo in the Ashendale bloodline. That is, until my sister and I were born.
My sister has an affinity for most branches of magic, whereas most wizards have at most two or three, making her nothing short of a genius; a brilliant tactician, wizard, and leader. Her only drawback is that, albeit knowing all these powerful spells, she does not have the raw energy necessary to perform half of them.
That is my side of the bargain. I am cursed with a titanic aura; energy levels which rate way off the scale. In terms of magical energy, very few people can actually come close to what I have. The downside is that my own energy is too much for me to control. Thanks to this, I am unable to cast any spells on my own, requiring the constant use of a channel in order to do magic. It is only recently, after nearly two decades of intense training and rigorous concentration exercises that I have become able to conjure up the weakest of spells without some horrible punishment. It took a lifetime of training and discipline in order for me to produce just enough flame to burn a cigarette. I wouldn’t dare use any more on my own. The after-effects are too great. It starts with pain; the bigger the spell, the more intense the pain. I can handle the pain; it’s that feeling of slowly fading away, as if your very soul is being doused and torn. I never tried going past that feeling. I’ve heard too many stories about overzealous wizards spontaneously combusting or melting into a puddle of goo. At best I would lose my mind.
There is one upside to my condition, however, that has proven to be very useful in my line of work. My body is constantly regenerating itself, healing the daily collections of scrapes, cuts, and bruises, as well as the occasional bullet or claw wound, almost instantly. My magic is strong enough for me to automatically heal my body with enough raw power left over to cast very taxing spells repeatedly and without fatigue. Already magical energy had gathered around the hole in my chest, reducing blood loss and regenerating tissue. Pain coursed through my body, but it passed as quickly as it came. The super Lizardman had barely taken four steps toward the cowering kids before I’d gathered enough strength to get up and point both Berettas at it.
“Hey, ugly,” I said. My voice was calm but every word oozed ethereal power as if I were possessed by the spirit of an arcane deity.
The Lizardman spun, poised to attack.
I squeezed both triggers at an inhuman pace, forcing the guns to spit magically-enhanced lead at a rate that no human could ever achieve. The shrapnel tore the Lizardman’s body to shreds. With a blood-curdling scream, its corpse disintegrated into dust with the same pop that was audible when it had magically appeared.
Detective March chose that exact moment to burst into the room through the window and in seconds the room was littered with police.
“Nice job, er— Holy shit,” Roland exclaimed as he pointed at my guns.
I raised them to eye level and examined the damage. The barrels had completely melted and molten steel was dripping down like water. “How the hell?” I remarked as I emptied the guns from any bullets, and tentatively pulled their triggers. As I did so, both pistols simply exploded into a million pieces, leaving me standing there with nothing but a pair of nearly broken grips. I looked up and saw the entire population of the room staring at me, shaking their heads in disbelief. I glanced at the nearest police officer, a blonde female. “I’m too hot to handle.” I winked at her.
She blushed and scowled before scurrying out of the room.
It was Roland’s turn to shake his head. “Don’t bother. Every single cop in this town has heard stories about you,” he said as he patted my back mockingly.
“All good stories, I hope.”
“Good stories, yes. Funny ones. But none of them picture you in a good way,” he said, no longer trying to hide his amusement.
I sighed. “Then they’re probably true.”