Bill opened the door and went inside. His mother Nancy was in the kitchen fixing something. She quickly looked to Bill then back to what she was doing. He couldn’t tell if that was just a look of acknowledgment or something else. She disappeared into the living room then back into the kitchen. There she said to Bill, “your brother is here.” She shook her head then looked back to the living room. She said, “somebody attacked your brother. He said there was two or three of them. They took his wallet.” A tear went down her cheek. She said, “they broke his arm then three of his fingers.” Bill let that lie roll around in his head. He didn’t know what to expect from Darren. He suspected he would come up with some story where he attacked him with a bat or something. Bill turned toward the living room. He could see the top of Darren’s head. He was in their father’s recliner. A big no, no.
The king stood near a window and looked down at the house. The boy was a test. If he could keep it going then just maybe he could remain king. It would all hinge on this boy. But Hendrick didn’t understand boys of this time. In his time giving a teenager access to a naked girl would result in one thing. He also didn’t like trusting this Polish girl. As a member of the special services with the Nazi party he killed many Polish soldiers as well as civilians. He liked to see them scream as he turned on the spray and watched them burn. Now he was the one that would burn if this polish girl failed. His wife the queen worked at Auschwitz as a guard for the children. He was happy to live his afterlife as a knight. Taking the throne was never a part of his plan. When their reality started to end he fell onto the throne. His presence seemed to calm down the land. The land picked him.
Nadia was out doing her usual daily routine. Feed the chickens, milk the cows and collect eggs. Most of the milk and eggs went to the keep. She sold them for other goods. Back home she saw her door open and a couple of the king’s guards just outside. One of them pushed the door open the rest of the way and made an enter gesture. She knew it wasn’t a request. Inside she found the king and another couple of guards. The guards took her by the arms and led her to a chair. Before forcing her to sit one of the guards cut her dress off her. She sat naked with these two men holding her arms back. The king sat in a chair near her. He said, “you were brought here because you looked like his little girlfriend. You had one job.” Nadia went to speak but the king held his index finger up shushing her. He said, “We could easily put you back where we found you. If anyone knows it would be you that there is a special place in hell for someone that kills their own children.”
There was nothing on the first page. It did look like there had been something with an indentation of some kind. The page had no copyright material or any kind of publishing information. Bill thumbed the pages. He stopped about three pages in and found some weird writing and a drawling of a naked man. It all looked hand drawn. The alphabet its self didn’t make any sense. It was nothing like he had ever seen before. He thought that this might be either some sort of primitive anatomy book or porn. Bill closed the book. As he closed the book he had this feeling. Like something had changed within him. He put the book down and went back to the box. Near where the book was there were seven comics that Bill had never seen before. He picked one up. Tales of the Scarlet Knight, Volume One. He opened the book to see a young boy in a bedroom. The room sort of looked like his. The boy was battered and bruised. The boy in the comic opened an old book and turned into a man. He went from gawky to handsome in a page. Then a suit of armor in the color of the name of the book.
I am including a PDF that is 5.5 by 8.5. this might make it easier to read on a tablet.
Bill found himself sitting by the water staring out at it wondering if it was deep enough to drowned in. He wasn’t necessarily suicidal he just liked having options. Bill was fifteen, about five-foot seven and one-hundred pounds with reddish brown hair. Most people would call him awkward looking with arms and legs that seemed too long for his body. As he sat there he noticed a woman watching him. She seemed like she had a lot on her mind. Eventually her stare felt awkward, so he got up and went down the path. He liked walking the trail that followed the Cuyahoga river. He was able to be alone even when people jogged or walked on by. In his back pocket was a folded dog-eared copy of Superior Spider Man Volume four, a necessary evil. It was a used copy that was already folded so he didn’t mind treating it like this. He had a good collection of comics back in his room. They were all that he really owned. Bill looked at his watch. It was 2 pm. His father should be on his way to work so the coast should be clear. Bill said to himself, “time to go home.”
Kaylee sat there watching her mother sleep in the living room. The Deceiver in the disguise of the angel Sariel approached Kaylee. He said to her, “your mother wants to stop you from being queen. She doesn’t understand the importance of your life and what it means to the many.” Kaylee slipped away quietly so her mother wouldn’t know she was there. She came down looking for something to help her sleep. She was now sleeping almost all the time. With her friends gone she had little to keep her there or awake. She also didn’t know how she would face her mother after what happened with Jack. She didn’t regret it. She just didn’t want to see her mother’s face when she found out she was sharing her man with her daughter. Kaylee knew what she wanted and she knew how to take it. What she wanted even more was to go back to her home. Her kingdom. She sat in her room staring at the bottle of pills she took from her mother’s bedroom. She said to herself, “if one puts you to sleep then the bottle should put you down.” Sariel took her hand and said, “if you do this then you will never go back to your kingdom.” Kaylee asked, “what do I need to do so I can take my place on my throne?”
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Bill walked across the drawbridge into the outer courtyard. He saw all the life inside. The growing plants, animals and the people. Near the road to the inner wall there was a young girl of sixteen or seventeen. She was in a simple cotton dress with a low collar that was wet from exertion. Her female form was visible through the top. She smiled at Bill. He smiled back and went on his way. He had something to do. The Blue Knight was the last of them to come to the castle. Like everyone else he had to show loyalty to the queen before he could stay. Along the way he could smell something. Something he hadn’t smelled in many months. He found the gate to the inner courtyard. Inside he found a village of some kind. It was a mix of small town America and a village in Germany. Closer to what looked like a smaller castle he could see cobblestone roads and shops. In an alley he saw something he likes the most. A child was following a stray dog with what looked like a baseball bat.
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Aito and Aiko brought the strange man from across the mountains a bowl of rice with a little fish. The eight-year old twins watched this man almost every day. Their father has spent the last couple of weeks trying to teach this man how to speak. He spoke some funny nonsense language but not what they knew. When he finally arrived at the village their father sent word to the elders and asked if they could find a way to help this man named Thomas get to his home and this woman named Kaylee. The spirits of the land are upset over this stranger that many refuse to come to the village while he is there. Their father said the man volunteered to leave if it would help them with the spirits. Thomas’s departure would bring shame on their father’s house and could change their relationship with the land. So here he sits waiting for word on a way back home.
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William Jackson was ten years old when his father went off to war. He didn’t know that he would never see him again. With his father gone, he was the man of the house. He dropped out of school and got a job doing anything he could from delivering news papers to holding drugs for a man selling it on the corner. One day a white man followed him home. The man kicked in the door to find William and his mother eating a simple meal of corn bread and beans. The man knocked William out and went to work on his mother. He woke to see his mother curled up in a ball with her dress in tatters. The man was pulling up his pants. He saw William staring at him. He said, “just who do you think you are.” The man then threw a container with lye in it into William’s face. The lye blinded him and marked his face forever. Nine months later his mother gave birth to a little girl. She gave her to a cousin who couldn’t have any children of her own. They later would find out that William’s father died in the deserts of Africa.
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Jack moved in a week before Jessica’s death. He and Cathern talked about the future and even the idea of rings and wedding bells. Cathern was out of town seeking out some guy on a case. That is what she told him. In this time, he saw very little of Kaylee. She kept to her little apartment. Cathern told him to keep an eye on her while keeping his distance. She didn’t want her to feel like she was being watched while she was being watched. Jack tried to stay away. Every time he was in the same room with Kaylee alone he felt this urge to touch her. It was the dance all over again. He would find himself touching her shoulder or brushing past her in the hall way just a little too close. Her smell and feel made him miss Cathern. He had dreams of the dance and how in the dreams, they went past the touching to something more. He dreamt of making love to this former student and eventual step-daughter. He knew the dreams were wrong and he had to let all that go.
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