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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Or - Part 3 by Azriel Johnson

    The elders taught the children basic skills including, cooking, cleaning, building, hunting, foraging, caring for children, combat and much more.  The children learned everything which they might need for survival in a harsh circumstance.  Every day was a new lesson with the intention of being well rounded and an able contributor to the society.
    The boy really showed no aptitude in any of the skills taught him.  It wasn’t that he didn’t try, it just turned out the other children were better than he.  The boy could eek out the bare minimum of requirements of the projects the elders would teach, but nothing more.
    Surprisingly, the boy wasn’t frustrated by this as he continued to do his best.  However, even younger children passed him in aptitude in some skills.  A contributing factor may have been his tendency to space out or maybe a lack of mental acuity. He wasn’t stupid. Maybe his talents lay elsewhere.
    The boy was most interested in girls.  One girl, Riv, was his age and he liked her.  Her black skin was showing signs of becoming a Water, which would make sense because she came from a whole family of Waters.  Her father was the current WaTem (Water Ring Master) and his father before him.  She had older brothers who were also Waters, so she didn’t expect to follow in her father’s footsteps, but it was a good lineage.
    The boy didn’t know where his family came from.  No one knew, or would tell him.  He even approached the MaTem (Matriarch) of his village.  Her creaky voice was kind, but she didn’t reveal anything that the boy didn’t already know.
    The last battle between the WhiTem and the Guardians raged outside this very village.  A young man dropped a baby boy off in the doorway of the MaTem and asked for forgiveness of the burden, then left.  The young man was never seen again, the mother remained unknown.
    There was no one else the boy could ask.  The MaTem had every scrap of knowledge in the village in a book and in her head.  It was her job to make sure everything she knew was written down so her successor could pick up where she left off, as successors had done for generations.
    At last came the New Dark’s Day was upon them.  This was the day the children who were of age would make their choices.  They would take their steps towards becoming adults in the society.
    Most children would choose from the basic: Water, Fire, Air, Earth.  Fewer children chose: Sun, Moon, Plant, Lightning.  Only one child, Slee, a girl, chose Dream.  Only one child, Hum, a boy, chose People.  He would very likely become VilTem when he got reached the age where he could best the current VilTem in skills aptitude.
    When it came to the boy’s turn.  He looked left.  He looked right.  The teacher asked him, “What element do you choose?  Earth, Wind, Fire, or Water?”
    The boy took a deep breath and said, “Or.”

Tem – Master or Leader
Many words are shortened from English words and used in this language.
Riv  for example is short for River.
Vil is short for village.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Or - Part 2 by Azriel Johnson

    The boy escaped drowning by going to a harder to reach area of the lake.  A cliff backed the rock beach and the water there felt warmer to his touch.  The boy made his way here often when he wanted to escape torment and meditate.
    The boy was young.  The people measured age in how many times the Moon covered both Suns at once, putting the whole world into darkness.  The scientists measured this happening every six months.  The boy had just had his twelfth Lap Day.
    The scientists determined that the planet was much larger than the two Suns and the Moon and thus controlled these satellites and their movement.  Days were broken up into four segments.
    Dawn: The yellow sun was directly East, the white sun was directly North
    Noon: The yellow sun and white sun were directly over head.
    Dusk: The yellow sun was directly West and the white sun was directly South.
    Night: The yellow sun and white sun were on the other side of the planet.
    The scientists said the Moon danced with the planet in such a way that they always faced one another. One time every six days the Moon would be visible at night. The people called this Moon Day. Every three Moon days composed a Month.  Every six Months the Moon would shroud both Suns at once and the entire planet would be dark.  The people took this as an omen of good tidings and the people rejoiced the New Dark’s Day.
    The next New Dark’s Day approached and the boy felt a chill in the air.  He was nervous.  It was almost time for him to choose his specialty.  For most children it was easy.  The Earth users grew food. The Water users brought water to the village.  The Fire users kept the villages warm and lit.  The Air users worked on new ways to generate energy.  The other specialties had functions as well, but these four were the most common and most needed.
    The boy however felt a draw to all the elements and didn’t know which he would pick.  He spent days going back and forth about what would suit the people the best.  He thought about which would be the most attractive to a potential mate, as boys will often do.  This is what he meditated over.  The elders said if someone meditated hard enough they would be shown what element they should choose as their specialty.
    The boy instead would see Fire in one meditation, Water in another, Earth in a third, Air in a fourth.  He would sometimes see Sun in a meditation or Moon.  He saw Darkness or Plants or Animals or People.  Some of the meditations unnerved him, but the one that scared him the most was seeing the WhiTem (White Master).
    Legends told of a former guardian who killed and killed again. The more the guardian killed, the whiter their skin became. It became almost a compulsion to be malicious. They hurt and killed many people before the other Guardians were able to stop the WhiTem and take their ring.  The interesting part is, the legends never said which of the guardians became the White or which of the elements they used.  The legends never named the WhiTem or said if the WhiTem was a male or female.
    The unfortunate lack of specificity bothered the boy immensely.

Tem – Master or Leader
Many words are shortened from English words and used in this language.
Riv  for example is short for River.
Vil is short for village.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Or - Part 1 by Azriel Johnson

    The kids teased him mercilessly.  They pushed him to the ground.  They kicked dirt in his face.  Some of them spit.  Some of them pissed on him.  They took their fire sticks and shot sparks at him.  The boy couldn’t handle the onslaught of disrespect, bodily fluids and insulting pre-fire.
    The problem with being an orphan is, no one gives you a name.  You have to earn it.  The boy was on his way to earning the name Spi Pi or Dir Spa or something to that effect.  He didn’t have anyone to help him learn to fight.  All the children with families has their names already and while none of them were properly trained in the ways of The Rings (they were much too young anyway) most of them were bigger than the boy.  Also, there were eight of them.
    For now they called him “Na Le” (Nameless) like it was a swear word.  He could see their black skins taking on small changes in color depending on what they did to him to taunt him.  The kids kicking dirt on him took on a brown hue.  The kids pissing and spitting on him found greenish coloring. The children who used their spark sticks took on small bits of red.
    Any changes that occurred this young were bound to fade away after a day or two.  The contact and interaction with different elements left marks on the blank slate of skin of the boy’s people, but when one is young, things are too dynamic to stay for long.
    The suns shone overhead, beating down on the people.  The black skin of their race turned it into necessary energy that food or drink couldn’t provide.
    The other children finally left the boy alone.  He stood slowly, brushing off the dirt which unfortunately stuck because he was wet.  He looked around, but only saw the town fountain.  He would get in trouble for washing off in there.  The river was about a mile away or the lake was half the distance.  The problem was, the river had animals that might hurt him.  He didn’t want to take on any white by killing something there.
    The scientists studied the changing skin color explicitly.  They determined that prolonged active interaction is what changed the color of the people’s skin permanently.  A tiny use of an element might slightly alter a color, but it would fade.  But the skin of the EarTem (Earth Ring Master) was almost entirely brown because of their consistent, active use of the Earth element.
    White was the color of evil.  Scientists determined that when the people did things knowingly out of malice, like hurting someone, lying, cheating, killing, their bodies took on a white mark.  The more white marks someone had on their body, the more dangerous they would appear to others in the society.  The marks had never been known to fade, even after much repentance.
    The elders simplified it for the people.  “Don’t take a life,” was a repeated mantra.  Even the guardians avoided killing if at all possible.  They were always on call to defend the people from various threats, but defense was not lethal as long as it could be avoided.
    But the boy was young.  He didn’t want his skin to take on white marks as long as he could avoid it, even in self-defense, he didn’t want to take a life.  Unfortunately, this meant going to the lake where the other children who bullied him awaited.  He just hoped they wouldn’t try to drown him again.

Tem – Master or Leader
Many words are shortened from English words and used in this language.
Riv  for example is short for River.
Vil is short for village.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Are You Home? - Part 2 by Azriel Johnson

    The man pulls into the driveway about a half hour later.
    He parks the car in the garage, pulls the garage door down and walks to the back door unlocking it and going inside.
    He’s greeted by the ringing of the phone.
    “Hey this is Ron.  Leave a message at the beep.”
    A young male voice, “Dad, this is Phalen.  Are you home?  Julie is crying now.  Why couldn’t you have just let her in and talked for a while.  It’s not like it would have killed you.”
    The man snickers.
    He goes upstairs.  He takes off all of his clothes except his briefs and walks into the bedroom.  He kicks a path through at least three loads worth of dirty clothes.
    The man lies in the bed and falls asleep.

* * *

    The phone rings.  A woman answers, “Hello?”
    “Aunt Becky,” asks Julia’s voice.
    “Yes.  How are you Julia?” Becky asks.
    “I’m worried about Dad.  I went by his house last night and he didn’t come to the door.  The TV was on.  But what was the strangest of all, the garage door was open, and the back door was locked.”
    “Your dad never does that.”
    “I know!”
    “I’ve been worried about him lately too.  Maybe we should all go over there.  Your dad has been pretty depressed since your mom died.  Maybe he hasn’t felt like company.”
    “Yeah,” Julia says softly.
    “Bring Phalen along too.  We’ll go over tomorrow.  I have a key so we’ll get in whether he wants us to or not.”
    “Okay Aunt Becky.  Thanks.”
    “No problem hun.  See you tomorrow.”

* * *

    The trash has piled up.  The man leaves it.  It’s not his concern.  He throws another bag on the pile in the basement.  He inhales and the putrid stench assaults his nostrils.
    The man shuts the door and walks to the bathroom.  He grabs air freshener and walks back to the basement door.  He opens the door and empties the freshener into the basement.
    He throws the empty canister down into the basement and shuts the door again.

* * *

    The next day, Becky arrives at Julia and Phalen’s apartment.  They exchange pleasantries then all get into Becky’s car to go to Ron’s place.
    They don’t call.  They want to make sure he’s there.
    They pull into the gravel driveway.  The garage door is closed.
    They get out of the car.  Phalen checks the garage.  Ron’s car is there.
    Becky and Julia are at the back door and joined by Phalen after he checks the garage.  Becky unlocks the door and the kids go in first.
    An eerie feeling hits them.  The scent of air freshener mingles with trash and another strong scent none of them can recognize.
    The television is on.  Phalen walks into the living room.
    “Who the hell are you!” he yells.
    The man is startled awake.
    He crouches as he falls off of the couch.
    “Julia, call the cops,” Phalen says as he is joined by his sister and aunt.
    The man jumps at them, pushing Phalen, knocking Becky out of the way and knocking Julia to the ground as he tears out of the house.

* * *

    The police investigation turns up little evidence of who the man was.  However, they explore the strange smell from the basement.
    Under the bags and bags of trash, they find the source.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Are You Home? - Part 1 by Azriel Johnson

    The man ignores the ringing phone.
    He goes on about his business.  He opens the refrigerator and grabs cheese, lunchmeat and bread.  From the drawer by the basement door he pulls a knife to spread Miracle Whip.
    The answering machine picks up,
    “Hey this is Ron.  Leave a message at the beep.”

    “Hey Ron, are you home? ... I guess not.  Well this is Becky.  Remember?  Your sister?  Where have you been?  I haven’t heard from you in ages.  Call me back okay?  I love you.”
    The man finishes making the sandwich and walks through the sitting room to the living room, glancing at the flashing digits of the answering machine.
    He sits in the living room and turns on the television.  He channel surfs until he finds something interesting to watch.

* * *

    Three hours later the phone rings again.  The man has dozed off, but is awakened with a start.
    “Hey this is Ron.  Leave a message at the beep.”
    “Hey Ron.  This is Dave from work.  Are you home?  The foreman is getting worried about you.  It’s almost been a week since you were last here.  Anyway, I hope things are okay buddy.  And if they are you’re in deep shit.  Ha-ha.  Bye.”
    The man stretches and walks back into the kitchen.  There are too many dishes in the sink.  Nothing to make himself dinner with.
    The man sets to work at washing them.

* * *

    After a good dinner, the man tidies up the kitchen.
    The phone rings again.
    “Hey this is Ron.  Leave a message at the beep.”
    “Hey Dad.  This is Julia.  I’m in town and I thought I’d drop by.  Are you home?  I hope so.  I’ll see you soon.”
    The man freezes.  His heart starts racing.  He grabs keys from the key rack and rushes out the back door to the car in the garage.
    Garage door goes up.  Car turns over.  The man hits the gas pedal and throws gravel back into the garage as he quickly vacates the premises.

* * *

    A young girl pulls languidly into the driveway no more than five minutes later.  She notices the garage door is open.
    Dad never leaves it open, she ponders.
    Julia gets out of her car and walks to the back door.  She tries to open it, but it’s locked.
    Dad never locks the back door, she says to herself.
    Julia walks to the front door and tries to open it.  It’s also locked.
    “Dad!” she yells.
    She walks to the windows of the living room tapping on the panes.  The curtains are drawn, there is no way to see in, but she can see the light from the television glowing through the curtains.
    Julia grabs her cell phone and calls her Dad’s number.  She hears the ring of the phone accompanied by the all too familiar:
    “Hey this is Ron.  Leave a message at the beep.”
    “Dad?  Are you home?  I’m right outside.  I see the TV is on.  Please come to the door.  I haven’t seen you in so long!  Please?  Daddy?”
    A tear hits Julia’s eye as she stands outside the living room window.

* * *

    The man crawls by in the car, watching the young girl standing by the living room window.  He doesn’t stop.

* * *

    Julia gets back into her car.  Eyes still wet with tears.  She backs slowly out of the driveway and begins her lonely ride home.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Geek - Part 3 by Azriel Johnson

    The van was dark brown, similar to Angie’s hair.  Jakob slid into the middle seat behind the front bucket seats.  He sat behind his mom.
    Small talk filled our conversation as Angie drove.  Occasionally Angie would ask Jakob about his project for the scouts.  He would mutter something and Angie would look at me with a ‘boys will be boys’ look.
    We turned down a long driveway.  It was admittedly spooky.  I had never seen something so eerie.  I didn’t show my nervousness, but I definitely kept up my alert.

    Angie cut the engine and turned to me, “Our leader is a remarkable man.  He’s been all over the world.  He has backpacked across Europe three times.  The boys love him.”
    I didn’t really know what to say.  My credentials weren’t to shabby either.  I had been to over 100 countries in my career, but I couldn’t tell her that.  Right now I was Jimmy James, the geek who likes historical fiction.
    We exited the van and she said, “Jimmy, I want you to meet Tony Oldman, our scout leader.”
    Tony Oldman was a man about six inches taller than my height of five feet ten inches.  However he had the body of a weasel.  His hair was long, thick and shaggy brown.  He wore a goatee framing thin lips which upturned at the edges.  Most importantly, Tony Oldman was the Agency’s biggest target.
    I offered a hand.  “Hi!  My name is Jimmy James, it’s a pleasure.”
    Tony shook my hand tentatively.  He turned to Angie.  “Where is Jakob’s father?”
    “Oh, Rog, he’s out of town on some business, so I get Johnson family business today.”
    Tony half smiled.  “Well, let’s corral the troops.  Boys!  Let’s get inside, we’re about to start the meeting.”
    Angie and I followed Tony and his slinky walk into the house.  It was a manufactured home.  One floor.  It was huge inside.
    Jakob scampered off into the living room.  The boys sat on the blue plus carpet surrounded by three beefy men and Tony Oldman.  Angie led me into the dining room and we offered me bottled water with a squirt top.  I drank gratefully and while the boys were instructed on patriotism, Angie and I discussed a number of different historically relevant novels.
    I stood up to use the bathroom.  I washed my hands afterward.  As I exited the bathroom I was faced with Jakob.  He smiled as he held a hand behind his back.  I was curious.
    Jakob asked, “Mister James, could you get that plane from the top of the shelf?”
    It seemed like a reasonable request.  I turned my back and reached.  As my hand touched the die cast plane, I felt uneasy.  I turned back with plane in hand and was quick enough to block the knife little Jakob tried to shove into my body.
    Another boy ran at me with a knife and I threw the plane at his head.  The metal rang as it met his skull. The boy started crying.  Jakob slashed at me with his knife.  I blocked his attack and disarmed him.
    What the hell was going on?
    I walked into the kitchen that connected to the dining room brandishing the knife.
    “Okay!  Why am I being attacked by children with knives?”
    No answer came… Only gunshots….

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Geek - Part 2 by Azriel Johnson

    She smiled.  “Mister James, I need to be going.  My son has a meeting tonight and my ex-husband is out of town so I have to take him.”
    “A meeting?”  I inquired.
    “Oh, it’s a scout meeting.”
    “Ah, I see.  Well, I really enjoyed this conversation.  I was kind of hoping we could do it again soon.”

    Angie smiled.  “Well, why don’t you come with me and my son to the meeting?  I never really get involved because the men are very strict against the participation of women.  So I will have time to talk.”
    “I would love to.”  I may have said that with too much exuberance.  Angie seemed delighted to hear that in my voice.  She gave me her address and asked that I arrive about a half hour before she was to leave.
    Despite my better judgment, I was walking on air, just a little bit.  I had not expected Angie to be a sharp tack, but no one in my geek circle could keep up with me when it came to fiction, let alone historical fiction. 
I was dressed well, but not too well and I had arrived at her house precisely when she requested.  The Agency had insisted I get to know her neighborhood intimately.  It was filled with mostly non-affluent people.  This was the perfect breeding ground for the sleeper sell we were after.  I stuck out like a sore thumb despite wearing my less nice clothes and skipping my afternoon shower.  I had never had to struggle and the lack of tension lines on my face showed it.  It seemed like the children were the hardest hit.  While I was graduating two grades ahead of my age, children here were held back constantly.  Many things were broken with this education system.  Lack of teachers was one.
    I pulled into Angie’s driveway.  I cut the engine and waved to her son.  Her son, Jakob looked at me strangely.  I asked, “Hey there, is your mom around?”
    He said, “Yeah.”
    He didn’t move to summon her.  I prompted, “could you let her know Jimmy is here?”
    “Sure.”  He turned his head toward the green front door.  “MOM!  JIMMY IS HERE!”
    Seconds later, Angie’s head poked out of the door smiling.  “Jimmy!  I’m almost ready.  Would you like to come in?”
    “I’d love to.”
    Jakob raced into the house ahead of me.  He grabbed his scout uniform off of the flannel pattern brown couch and slipped it on over his black ninja t-shirt.  The file said he was ten years old and one of the more popular students in his class.
    Angie stepped into the living room.  I had been scoping the house.  I noticed the lack of television as well as the super powered computer.  The house was cluttered, but not full of garbage, like the report said.
    “Jimmy,” Angie said.  “This is my son Jakob.”
    “We met.”
    “My van is out back, shall we?”

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Geek - Part 1 by Azriel Johnson

    I met Angie by accident, just like the Agency told me I would. Upon first glance she wasn’t the kind of woman who would go for a guy like me, a geek.  She was the same height as me, long, dark brown hair and covered in tattoos.  Don’t get me wrong, I found her lovely, but in this day and age it was common knowledge a geek avoided a tattooed woman.
    I went for her anyway.  It was my assignment.  I had to follow through.  She stood in the magazine aisle reading the latest issue of ‘Hard Trucking’ magazine.

    “Excuse me miss,” I said politely tapping her on the shoulder.  She turned and smiled.  “I noticed the tattoo on your back, it looks like the devil.  I was wondering if it had to do with the group Hard Devils.”
    A good opening line, not too geeky.  Angie’s file said not to over estimate her.  She wasn’t supposed to be possessed of a lot of brains.
    She smiled, but shook her head.  In a voice as soft as angels song she replied, “Actually, the tattoo is from Faust, in his deal with the Devil, Mephistopheles.”
    Well played miss, I thought.  Faust was one of my favorite stories.  I resisted the urge to geek out about Faust and what I would have done in his situation.  Instead I asked, “Oh, well, heh-heh, can I see the rest of it?”
    Her slightly annoyed look was more of a no than I would ever need to hear.  She looked back to her magazine without another word.
    Her file had been misleading.  It had shown her being involved with a number of this day’s more barbarous men.  I had never pegged any of them her choices of mates to have an abundance of brains, so maybe I was the stupid one.
    It was time for a new tactic.
    I tapped her shoulder again.  She turned back to me.  In a more annoyed voice she said, “Yes?  Now what is it?”
    “I, first, wanted to apologize.  My comment was rude.  Second, I wanted to say that if I were in Faust’s position, I probably would not have taken the deal.  I mean, you gain the world, but lose your soul?  What good does that do for you?”
    Angie smiled.  I was beginning to like her smile.  “Sometimes, I could agree.  Sometimes I feel it is too late.”
    “What is your name?” I asked.
    “Well, Angie, forgive me if this is forward, but would you like to have a drink with me?  We could discuss Faust and any other work we could bring to mind.”
    To my surprise she agreed.  We continued walking through the store as she shopped.  I filled my hand basket with a few random items to make it less obvious I had been following her.
    Her bill was huge.  It was more than twice the price of mine.  She had to have been buying for the sleeper cell.
    We discussed literary, historical fiction for close to an hour.  We both drank our share of caffeinated beverages.  At nearly the hour mark, Angie looked at her time piece, an odd brand of cellular phone.  She said, “This was fun Mister….”
    “James.  Jimmy James.”

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Vile Enos - Chapter 6 by Azriel Johnson

    I pressed the fight.  My fists were faster than his and I fought with instinct which allowed me an advantage over his mental powers.  But for every three hits I delivered he hit me hard once and I knew I could only suffer so many punches before I would be laying in the pile with Brobby, HotFoot and Flat Hat.
    I jabbed Torsion in the eye and kicked him in the testicles.
    “Dirty – fighter!” Torsion bent over and I kicked him in the face.

    He staggered back.  He recovered quickly and clobbered me with three punches and a kick.  It would take a minute for me to recover.
    Alex blinked at me.  I said, “Go ahead.  Take it easy on him.”
    Torsion wasn’t sure what to make of the 12 year old standing in front of him.  Alex’s first punch sent the hero flying through the barbed wire of the closest 50 foot fence.  The hero landed in pain and writhed against the barbs stuck in his skin.  He sat up and pulled the metal from his skin.  He growled and ran back at Alex.  The boy blocked Torsion’s punches easily and punched him again this time through the fence.
    Torsion rose and ran at Alex again.  He grabbed Alex by the neck and squeezed.  He tried to twist Alex’s neck, but nothing happened.  Alex grabbed the heroes’ hands and bent them outward then shifted his body weight in a half circle, throwing Torsion through the concrete walls of the men’s ward.
    Screaming from the sky came Barry Cade landing directly on Alex with a loud boom.
    Falcona landed and took a fighting stance.  Barry stood and brushed himself off.  Alex laid winded, but alright in general.  Torsion stepped out of the rubble.
    Proto Prophet: Want me to handle this?
    I looked at him and was about to nod when I felt her touch on my shoulder.
    “Let me get this.  It’s been a while since I’ve used my power.”
    She first focused on Falcona who stopped suddenly.  Barry Cade was next knocked into a stupor.  Torsion was harder, but he too fell to standing mouth agape.
    “Now, you three, take care of the special forces approaching us while we leave.”
    “Yes.”  The three heroes turned away from us.  Falcona grabbed Barry and Torsion and flew over the fences towards the oncoming military.
    I grabbed Alex by the shirt, pulled him to his feet, and then dusted him off.
    “You did well boy.”
    The Brobdingnagian shook himself awake.  He grabbed Flat Hat and HotFoot and put them over his shoulder.  Proto Prophet grabbed Flat Hat’s helmet and I took her hand.
    She half smiled at me.  “I hate you.  Do you mind me trying to kill you later?”
    “What makes you think you will do any better than any of the legion who have already tried?”
    “There you go again.”
    I kissed her lightly on the lips and pulled her along with me.
    “Let’s go everyone!”  I took off towards the sandy wilderness that surrounded us.
    Proto Prophet: She certainly lives up to her name, eh?
    “Yes she does.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Vile Enos - Chapter 5 by Azriel Johnson

    She sat up and spun around.  “I hate when you answer my questions with a question.”
    Her fierce blue eyes were visible even in the grey of the prison walls.  Her hair was cut short, I wasn’t used to the perfection of her neck, though I certainly had experience with it in the past.  Last I saw, her brown hair flowed over her shoulders in waves.
    Proto Prophet: We need to be moving.
    I raised my hand in acknowledgement.  “Alex!”

    He rushed quickly to me.  “Break these bars please.  We have to get going.”
    Alex grabbed the bars on her cell and tore the door off the hinges.  “Okay, now run along with Mister Prophet.  I’ll be along soon.”
    “Yes, master.”
    I held out my hand.  “Let’s talk about this later.  We have to get out of here.  The army is coming and no doubt some super heroes are on their way as well.”
    She took my hand and we ran out quickly.  We made our way back to the men’s ward and out into the yard.
    In our way to freedom stood three heroes.  Barry Cade, a man with impervious skin.  Falcona, a woman who flew faster than the speed of sound when unencumbered.  She had Flat Hat subdued in her clawed hands.  Their leader was a mental powered strong man, Torsion.  He was named such because he was famous for twisting people physically and mentally.
    HotFoot ran at the three and crashed into Barry Cade.  Barry Cade was thrown back into one of the fences, but he got up right away.  HotFoot lay unconscious on the ground.
    Falcona rose into the air.  Flat Hat struggled in pain as his shoulders were the point where his body weight was being drawn away.
    Torsion stepped forward.  “Give it up, Enos.  Your escape is over.”
    My teeth bared.  “You’re wrong, Torsion.  It is only just beginning.”
    The Brobdingnagian rumbled towards Torsion.  The fight was short, but in Torsion’s favor as he threw Brobby into a pile with HotFoot.
    Falcona dropped a helmet-less Flat Hat to the ground on the same pile.
    “Three of your goons down.  Three to go.”  Torsion was feeling smug.
    “Goons?  Really?  You can do better than that.”  I enjoy taunting stupid people.
    Barry Cade started twitching and then attacked Torsion.  I saw Proto Prophet concentrating hard.  Barry wasn’t super strong, but he was impervious to any of Torsion’s physical attacks.  At last, Falcona screeched and grabbed Barry flying him away from the battle.  Proto Prophet smiled.
    “Just you now, Torsion.  Care to concede?” I asked.
    “I think not.”
    Torsion attacked us.  He was slower than me and just as susceptible to pressure points as anyone.  He must have read my intentions, so he stepped back mid attack.
    “You’re not going to get me with your sneaky attacks.”
    “What’s so sneaky about debilitating nerve attacks?”
    “Fight like a man!”

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vile Enos - Chapter 4 by Azriel Johnson

    The siren was accompanied by the shouts of guards, the rustling of guns, and orders being barked.  None of us moved from the yard despite those orders.  Some of the guards tried to force us into the compound, but we resisted.  Well, mostly the physically stronger prisoners resisted. 
The Brobdingnagian broke HotFoot free of his binds and the speedster set off to find Flat Hat’s helmet.
    Proto Prophet used his telekinetic powers to knock the guards backwards.

    I ran towards the sound of breaking metal.  The fences were torn down one by one as I saw my slave, Alex Otic, walking towards me.  Bullets bounced off of his olive skin as the guards opened fire.  His skinny frame didn’t feel much of anything as he ripped through the final fence.  The physically weaker villains started rushing out of the path he carved.
    “I’m here, fath – I mean – master.”  His almond eyes blinked as I ruffled his shaggy hair.
    Proto Prophet thought to me, Are you ready to get her?
    I looked at him and nodded. I told Alex to head toward the compound, avoid doors, break through walls instead and Proto Prophet would tell him where to go.
    I followed the wake of my son – I mean my slave – as he headed toward my final target.  The Brobdingnagian accompanied Proto Prophet and myself tossing guards left and right.  I felt the breeze of HotFoot blow past us no doubt carrying Flat Hat’s helmet.
    We reached the women’s part of the prison.  Alex punched open the wall and we made our way through.  There were fewer guards here and most of them were female.  The Brobdingnagian has a soft spot for pretty girls so Proto Prophet took the lead on incapacitating them.  No lives were lost, but no doubt years of therapy would be necessary.
    The final wall was demolished and we were in the general population of female villains.
    Everyone had been locked down due to the commotion we were making on the other side of the prison.  The last few guards were taken down and Proto Prophet pointed to her cell.
    “Release everyone and tell them where we are meeting,” I said to my companions.  “I will need a moment to convince her she should come with us.”
    The commotion in the women’s ward rang, it hurt my ears.  I reached her cell and she lay flat on her back, arms behind her head, jumpsuited legs crossed.  She was faced away from me.
    “So you remembered me huh?”  Her voice was melodic, hypnotic.
    “Of course.  How could I forget you?”
    “Well, you never visited me.  Not once.  No letters.  You wouldn’t accept my calls.”
    “I am an international fugitive, if they had caught wind of my contacting you they would have found me before I wanted to be found.”
    “You abandoned me.”
    “Never!  That’s why I’m here!  I’m here to get you out so we can do what we were meant to.”
    “What is that pray tell?”
    “To destroy the world as they know it.”
    “What purpose can I serve for you?”
    “Does it matter if you are free?”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Vile Enos - Chapter 3 by Azriel Johnson

            The location of my lair is common knowledge to everyone.  I don’t even bother keeping important things there anymore because it gets raided regularly.
            The Brobdingnagian nodded as he rubbed each of his sore spots in turn.
            I made my way to the genius in glasses and smiled.  “Just the man I’m looking for.”
            “What do you want Enos?”
            That’s the name I currently go by.  Vile Enos.

            “Your brain,” I said.  “I’m planning something big and I need your help.  Your studies of energy perpetuation and harnessing electromagnetic fields is something I’ve pored over for the last few years.”
            “The government doesn’t seem to approve of my research.”
            “You were building a death ray.”
            “Whatever.  I don’t need a death ray from you.  I need something far more dangerous to the world.  It is bound to cause chaos, discord and general disarray.  Are you in Doctor Dynamic?”
            “If it involves change, sure.  What’s the project?”
            “I’ll tell you later.  For now, gather everyone here you trust, if anyone and make sure they are ready to move.  Our escape plan is almost ready.”
            Doctor Dynamic moved through the dispersed crowd of inmates.
            A siren rang and the guards moved us out to the yard.  HotFoot, the speedster, was bound with chains, but the guards moved him out to get some fresh air.  Flat Hat couldn’t fly without his helmet so he was neutralized by the guards’ standards.
            I made my way to HotFoot.  Quietly I instructed him to find Flat Hat’s helmet when the time was right.  I caught the Brobdingnagian’s eye and motioned to HotFoot with a sign of breaking chains.  Even Brobby understood what I meant.
            I had two more targets, one would be needed to free the other.
            Proto-Prophet was locked in the prison’s secure ward usually.  Today, of all days, he was given access to the yard, but his mental powers were blurred through injections given him daily.  I approached him taking into account his wariness.  “What do you want, Enos,” he croaked.
            I smiled.  “I want you to get better.”
            I reached my hands to Proto-Prophet.  He did not resist.  I rubbed his temples twenty times in quick succession.  I moved my hands to where his spine met the back of his head and drew my fingers up and down his neck as I dug the fingers in.  Finally I moved my fingers to either side of his jaw and pushed in.
            The final move made Proto-Prophet rise in pain, but his eyes were clear.  His emaciated frame was no doubt a secondary effect from the drug.  He used to be such a robust fellow.
            “I’m alive.  I can feel.  I’m… what do you need me to do?”
            “You’re the one with the power.  You know exactly what I want.”
            “She won’t be happy to see you.”
            “She will when we bust her out of here.”
            “I found her.”
            “Good.  Stand near the Brobdingnagian.  It’s almost time.”
            The blaring of sirens was our first indication.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Vile Enos - Chapter 2 by Azriel Johnson

            Hey grl gt @ me l8r, k? lol
            Goddamn “lol”.  I realize that language is fluid and it will always change and it will not always change for the better, but it shouldn’t change in such a way to dumb you all down to the point that you can’t even use complete sentences.  You have celebrities declaring themselves proud non-readers of books.  You are all doomed.
            I could go on.  At length.  But I see my first target.

            What?  You thought this was an accident.  This was the perfect plan so I shouldn’t have been caught huh?  Why don’t you go listen to another album of drivel by your proud non-reading celebritard.
            His glasses have thick brown frames.  He’s not a small man.  In fact, he’s actually rather large.  He’s been in this prison for 10 years or so and has beefed up.  Naturally produced testosterone keeps the brain sharp.  I wouldn’t doubt if he’s earned another Doctorate in his time incarcerated.
            I head straight toward him, but someone stops me.
            “Hey fish.”  Fish is a reference to new prisoners.  I’m no fish.
            He’s a head and a half taller than me and at least two of me wide.  I look up to his face and study it.  He is the Brobdingnagian.  His boss is a fan of Gulliver’s Travels.  I’m not even sure this guy can say that word.  Super strength.  Average durability.  Below average intelligence.
            “I’m going to make you my bitch.”  His voice is deep with pituitary malfunction.  It carries and no doubt would chill my soul.  If I had one.
            “Do you prefer Brobby?  Naggy?  Or Dingy?”
            The giant swings his right hand at me.  I crouch down and punch him as hard as I can in the inquinal area, the inner thigh halfway down to the knee.
            “Ow shit!”  The behemoth reaches down to rub the area.
            I rise and deliver a jumping knee strike to the solar plexus area – hard enough to knock the wind out of him, soft enough not to break the bone off and kill him.  I might need him later.
            As I land I dig my left middle and index fingers into the “V” of his collar bone.  He crumples down in pain.  The crowd of inmates that surrounded us were split.  The ones who could pronounce it were flabbergasted.  The rest were dumbfounded.
            When I realized I wouldn’t die, I took about 100 years and traveled around the world learning every possible fighting technique I could discover.  I found pressure point arts to be the most efficient and effective and spent 50 years studying them exclusively.  The Brobdingnagian didn’t stand a chance.
            My defeated opponent tried to save face by rising quickly, but he only stumbled.  I held my hand on his shoulder and whispered, “Wait.  We’re all getting out of here in about an hour.  You be good and I’ve got a place for you in my plan.  Pass the word around quietly.  Everyone is to meet at my lair.”

Monday, October 9, 2017

Vile Enos - Chapter 1 by Azriel Johnson

           The prison I’m in now is nothing compared to the wide open prison you all live in every day of your lives.  They think these walls will contain me.  I’ll be here long after they have crumbled to dust.  The bars will collapse and be melted by the ever scorching sun. 
           They don’t know I’ve been around for 300 years.  My current identification is forged and forged well.  They keep trying to incarcerate me, but I keep getting out… eventually.
            I’m not something as cliché as a vampire.  My power comes from an elixir I drank as a young man.  A potion I thought would keep me looking younger, being stronger.  I didn’t think of the consequences.  I was more concerned about my next barmaid conquest.
            The chains on my wrists are cold.  I can’t break them telekinetically.  I can’t fly out of here.  I’m strong, but I’m not strong enough to tear down the walls of this prison.  My power is time.  I have it.  I have it all.
            This was the perfect plan.  Tearing down the status quo one institution at a time.  I’m exactly where I need to be.
            Heroes.  Married to the idea of keeping the world safe while locking away dangerous individuals like me.  What none of them realize is, after they are all dead, I will still be around, still breaking down the establishment.  I’ll rip their effigies from their final resting places.  I’ll take their corpses and play marionette games through the cities – in about 50 years give or take, sooner if I have my way.
            That’s a lie.  I’ve already got my plan in place.  My slave is already on his way to free me.  He does well for a 12 year old boy.  I’ve given him all the tools he needs to defeat the heroes in my way, eventually.
            “I love you, father.”  He said as his prepubescent fingers touched mine just before the SWAT team burst into our lair.  We’re going to have to get a new lair.
            My last words in return were not, “I love you too” or “Kill them all”.  It was “I am not your father, I am your master.”
            I’m being delivered to general population in a super max for super villains.  One of the higher bureaucrats or another expects the hardened criminals to eat me alive.  I’m not exactly a friend to the villains of the world either.  They are perpetuating the same asinine cycle of keeping the world safe by being the focus of the news stories that everyone devours about “heroes” and “villains”.
            It’s a goddamn circus.  The villains get special treatment in prison, at least by the prisoners.  They are respected from day one.  Not me.  I’ve probably put just as many villains in prison for being stupid enough to get caught as any hero has being “heroic”.  It’s not much different anyway.
            I guess I should elaborate.  Over 1 in 100 persons are in prison or jail.  That’s just the ones you know about. What you don’t feel is the energy put forth to enslave you to debt, to earning a living, to materialism, to pop culture mental cluttering, paying your taxes to a government to perpetuate the cycle of stupidity, malaise, religious hatred, misogyny, persecution of those who love someone of the same gender or a different race.