Monday, June 08, 2009

Jacob and Shannon

First off, thanks everybody that read and liked the previous post. I am working on a series of short, micro stories that, when combined, form a mosaic of one story. Most likely, it'll fall to the wayside with all my other stories that I've written, but for now, I'm still writing. Here's part two. Enjoy.

------------------------PART II------------------------

Now it looks as though they're here to stay...

Jacob walked out the office at three minutes past five, running just slightly behind schedule. If he took the Trails, then he would bypass most of the congestion, but he didn’t like taking the Trails. He unlocked his bike and hopped on, pulling out his cell.

“Hey! This is Shannon. Sorry I missed your call. Please leave me a message and I’ll get back with you.” Jacob rolled his eyes, frustrated. She was always nagging him about not answering his phone, and why did he even have one if he wasn’t going to answer it? “BEEP!”

“Shannon, it’s Jacob. I’m running a little late, but I should be home in time to make it to the social tonight. I’m gonna take the Trails. I love you.”

He sped off down the crowded road only for a moment, then turned and entered the Trails. The Trails were a large system of paths, created originally as a recreational facility for bike and ATV riders. That was fifteen years ago. Now they resembled a haunted forest, grown tall and mysterious. The tracks were all dirt, and Jacob had to watch for fallen limbs. However, taking the Trails instead of the highway put him home twenty to thirty minutes early.

He swerved around a rather large log and immediately pulled on his brakes. Standing in the road, not twenty feet from him, was a rugged man. He was clearly homeless. A long, mangy beard hung from his face and his clothes were tattered and dirty. The man stood slightly hunched, his neck turned slightly. There was an unsettling reflection of light in his eyes, cast from Jacob’s headlights.

Jacob started to accelerate when something pulled him off his bike. He hit the ground, hard, and his breath was knocked out of his lungs. It was there, lying on his back in the Trails that the full magnitude of what was happening hit him. Panic overtook his mind, crippling him. He knew he needed to get up, but he could not make himself. He did not even wonder why he was jerked off his bike; instead, he started to whimper.

He became aware that there was a force pinning down his shoulders, keeping him on the ground. He tried to struggle, but his body refused to budge. A wrinkled, bearded face suddenly appeared in his vision, and for a moment Jacob thought he was saved. Then he saw the look in the man’s eyes and all hope left him yet again. It’s the same old man that was in the road, but how did he get over here so fast? he thought.

Unconsciously, Jacob realized he had his phone in his hand, and his fingers were attempting to dial for help. Unfortunately, the weathered man realized it as well. With unnatural speed, he grabbed the phone from Jacob and tossed it aside. Then, in a flash of horror and doom, plus a slight taint of comedy, Jacob noticed three things simultaneously. The first was the terrible pain in his hand that had been holding the phone. Second, he noticed the old man chewing a mouthful of something, with blood drooling from his mouth and a finger sticking out. Lastly, he noticed his phone was ringing.

He could hear it calling through the Trails, blaring out the classic Eagles song that signaled Shannon was calling, “Take It Easy.” Something twisted in his brain was laughing at the irony. How could he take it easy? A deranged man had just thrown him from his bike and was eating his fingers? But there is humor in this, you gotta admit. And Shannon’s probably leaving another message about me not answering the phone.

Soon, Jacob thought, dying, I’ll wake up and tell Shannon about this. She’ll get a kick out of it. And then there was nothing but the ringing phone.

--+--

The figure was crouched over the body, slowly devouring his stunned victim. Pralis was the man’s new name, but he was not certain why. He vaguely recalled having a different name at some point in his past, but the hunger that plagued him made it hard for him to think clearly. He tore the arm free with little resistance; the boy was in shock and unconscious.

He tried to resist his hunger, but he rarely ever succeeded. He was not certain how long he’d been transformed, as time no longer seemed to matter. The sun burnt his skin, and so often he would stay hidden in the woods until dusk, spending his time mourning his circumstances and actions, eating whatever game he could find, or serving Golian. He remembered meeting Golian for the first time, just before his changing. He was researching old arts and found an interesting passage mentioning the god. And then he appeared and gave his blessing, renaming him to Pralis and giving him his ability to push on things with his mind.

In exchange for his gift, Pralis swore to serve Golian and do his will, which so far had been making other disciples to follow Golian. Pralis smiled as the boy’s eyes flashed open, displaying the wild glint inside. He started to struggle, but Pralis held him pinned to the ground.

“Hush, child,” said the old man. “You’ve been blessed by the Lord Golian. Arise and take your place in his ranks.” The boy stood, slowly, and Pralis surveyed him. He was missing most of his left arm, but that was much better than his first converts. In the beginning, Pralis recalled killing most of his converts. It was always so hard to stop feeding.

A heavy sense filled the air and Golian suddenly appeared. “Well done, Pralis.” The god turned to face the new creation. “You, child, were once living a false existence. You have been awoken and called to serve me. You shall be called Janosh.” The boy nodded obediently.

“Pralis. Take Janosh to the unworthy ones. Let him feast tonight, for tomorrow he must begin his servitude.” The god paused for a moment. “For your faithfulness, Pralis, you may join him in feasting.”

The old man bowed. “Thank you, Lord Golian. I only wish to serve. Thank you. Thank you.”

With that, Golian vanished into the black. Pralis turned to his new brother. “Come on, Janosh. We have dinner to catch.”

5 comments:

Krista said...

Pretty Awesome, if you ask me! Good job.

marky said...

Easy to read, interesting and it leaves you wanting more. The ingredients of a good story!

logankstewart said...

Ah, well thanks again, friends.

Warbreaker, eh, Krista. Not really sure what it's supposed to be about, but if Sanderson is writing it, then it'll definitely be great. I'm really liking Elantris so far. And aye, I knew Del Toro was doing the Hobbit movie, which I can't wait for. He did Pan's Labyrinth, too.

Marky, I'm not sure if I've got a good story, but I've got ideas. It's like my mind swarms with so many ideas and I write and write and then stop writing. My mind is way too active sometimes...

Brandon said...

Hey just stopped by and saw you're writing a story.

Wow, crazy story. I'll be sure to check for zombies under my bed tonight...or on my local bike trails...

logankstewart said...

Absolutely, Brandon. You never know where they'll show up...