The Tales of A. D. Adams

The Tales of A. D. Adams. Please check out my books
of Fantasy, SciFi and Mystery:
"The Dragon Healer of Tone" at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IYS9OCK .
Also "The Dragon Savior of Tone" at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U36B .

A tale of the gods and thier problems! (Approximately 3 Pages in Length)

 

Any likeness between the characters in the following stories and

people living or dead is pure coincidence, completely unintentional

and not the responsibility of the author.

(All text Copyrighted 2000 by Anthony D. Adams)

Vulcan Goes on Strike

 

Vulcan was in the volcano he used as a forge, beating one of Zeus’s lightning bolts into shape. The tip shattered and one of the shards struck his cheek. It stung slightly but after making these things for all these centuries it no longer bothered him much. He dropped his great sledgehammer, causing a minor earthquake. He was getting tired of this work and limped over to his large metal worktable and sat down. He limped because his mother Hera had thrown him off Mount Olympus. She had him to get back at Zeus for a child he produced by another female. After she saw how ugly he was at birth, she hurled the tiny baby off the mount in anger and disgust. When he landed on a beach, the impact broke his leg. He was lucky that the sea-goddess Thetis found and raised him, even though he was crippled.

            He sat on his chair rubbing his leg. It was still painful after all those centuries. He looked up and saw Apollo riding his fiery sun chariot across the sky, another thing Vulcan had built. Vulcan began wondering why he had to live and work in a fire pit when the other gods lived on Mount Olympus in luxury. They only came when they needed something made or fixed. He was getting pretty sick of the whole thing.

            He sat there looking at the nineteen completed lightning bolts, the half finished winged shoes for Mercury, and all the other things he was working on. Vulcan thought of his life and future and he made a momentous decision. He would not do any more until he was given the same things the other gods had. It was only fair after all. He would demand to live on Olympus, be allowed to bathe in gentle waterfalls, and smell the sweet aromas of the mount. He hobbled to his bed and dropped into it, falling asleep instantly. He was awakened by a thunderous demand from Zeus.

“Where are my bolts?” the disembodied voice demanded.

“Make them yourself,” he bellowed back.

“What?”

“Make them yourself,” he repeated.

“That’s what you do.”

“Not anymore.”

“What do you mean, not anymore.”

“I’m tired of living like this. I want to live on Olympus. I want what all of you have.”

Zeus suddenly appeared in all his grandeur. Dressed in a sparkling white robe with a long flowing white beard and hair, blowing in an unfelt wind.

“Why are you not working?” he thundered.

“I quit, find someone else to live in this pit.”

“Get back to work or I will smote you down.”

“Oh, go sit on the pointy end of a mountain.”

Zeus reached down and took one of the completed bolts and threw it at Vulcan. It struck him in the center of his chest and exploded in a shower of sparkling crystals. As the cascade of lights cleared there sat Vulcan laughing at Zeus.

“You think those things can hurt me? My skin has been seared so tough that nothing can harm me.”

Zeus just stood there amazed he was still alive. His bolts could kill gods but Vulcan was untouched by it. He wasn’t sure what to do. Then Vulcan got up and walked to a shelf. He gathered up his things and some clothes from a hook and put them on a large metal plate. He folded the ends of the plate up to form a pouch and squeezed them together. He threw it over his back with one hand. He looked at Zeus with disgust and walked to the edge of the volcano and jumped. Zeus just watched powerless to stop him.

He landed in the ocean, about a hundred leagues from a small group of tropical isles. He sank to the bottom and began to walk to the nearest of the isles. Poseidon soon found out from the sea life around him that some big creature had fallen from the sky and was now moving through the waters of the warm middle sea. Although old, Poseidon swam with incredible agility and speed to the location. An armada of fish, whales and dolphins led him. As he approached, Poseidon could see that it was Vulcan walking along the sea floor.

“Vulcan, what are you doing here?” He asked, as he got close.

“Taking some time off.”

“Time off! What do you mean?” Poseidon asked, never hearing of such a thing before. Gods didn’t take time off.

“I’m tired of killing myself in that pit. So I’m going to that chain of little isles and get some rest. Do you have any problems with that?” Vulcan completed his words in a challenging tone.

“No, you’re welcome to stay as long as you wish.”

“Thanks!”

Vulcan emerged from the water on a beautiful tropical isle and lay on the warm sand, allowing the sun to dry his body. He then built a lean-to and a bed of palm fronds. He slept well in the cool night air and bathed in the warm sea each day. The warm sand and sun eased the aches of his muscles, especially his leg. The salt water of the sea seemed to even soften his heat hardened skin.

On Mount Olympus, Zeus was stomping back and forth in front of his throne. He was snarling every curse he could think of when Hera approached.

“What’s wrong husband?”

“Its that damn Vulcan. He demanded to live on Olympus and when I said no he just got up and left.” 

“Didn’t you threaten him with one of your bolts?”

“I hit him in the chest with one. It exploded and he just laughed at me. It was like throwing a feather at a rock. All those years down in that volcano has made his skin as thick as my arm and as tough as the metal he pounds.”

“I told you not to trust him. Remember how he got back up here. He trapped me in that golden throne and made me accept him as my son.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’ll get Mars into that volcano. He’s big; he should be able to handle the job. Anyway there aren’t any wars right now, so he’s not busy.”

Mars walked up to the big anvil and tried to pick up the sledgehammer lying on the floor. He could barely get the handle up, let alone get the head off the floor. So he left it there and got a smaller hammer. He saw an unfinished bolt in a basket next to the anvil. He picked it up with some tongs and put it on the hard surface. He lifted the hammer and struck it with all his strength and the bolt shattered into a thousand pieces. One went through his thigh and another grazed his side.

After the debacle with Mars, Zeus decided he needed a stronger god to handle the forge. He sent Hercules in to take over. Hercules was as dumb as a post but Zeus figured anyone could handle some simple jobs. Apollo’s sun chariot needed the wheels greased. He certainly could handle that. Within minutes the wheel was crushed and the axel broken. After that, Apollo had to drag the chariot across the sky with a rope tied to a harness strapped to his riding horse. It wavered all over the sky and scared the Hades out of the people below.

The device that made and stored ambrosia broke down. The great pipe that took Mount Olympus’ waste to the core of the world cracked and then clogged. Olympus began to smell a bit ripe and the gods were beginning to complain. Even Hera began to nag Zeus. He finally had enough and swallowed his mountain-size ego. He looked down and saw Vulcan sleeping on a beach of a small isle. Zeus appeared in front of the sleeping figure and just stared at him.

“What do you want?” Vulcan asked the floating form with his eyes closed.

“I want you to come back.”

“You’re in my sun.”

“Listen, I’ll give you what ever you want.”

“OK, I want that spot between Apollo and Mercury for my palace. I’m only going to work half the day, the rest of my time I’ll do as I please. I don’t want to hear you bellowing at the top of your lungs whenever you want something. You will ask nicely. The rest of the stuff is on this list.” Vulcan pulled a scroll out from under him and tossed it toward Zeus.

“When will you be back?”

“Later today. What happened to the sun chariot?”

“Hercules tried to fix it.”

“That moron broke it, didn’t he?”

“Yes.” Zeus said with his head hung down.

Vulcan packed up and went back to his volcano forge. It took him three days to fix everything. He decided to start on his new palace. He made a big mold of the palace, set it in place and poured molten rock from the forge into it. All the palaces on Olympus were white except Vulcan’s. It was the gray of congealed lava and more elaborate than even Zeus and Hera’s palace.

  Hera stood on her balcony, which overlooked all of Olympus and saw the gray, hideous thing Vulcan had built. Her anger exploded when she saw a relief on the side of one wall. It was a woman throwing a baby off a mountain. When Zeus walked out and saw it, he laughed. The mount rumbled as Zeus’ palace echoed with the screams of an angry woman.

 


 

A new wizard needs to be convinced to use and accept his powers. (Approximately 20 pages in length)

Any likeness between the characters in the following stories and

people living or dead is pure coincidence, completely unintentional

and not the responsibility of the author.

(All text © 1996-1997 by Anthony D. Adams)

 

The New Wizard

DAY ONE:

My name is Jacob and I am writing this journal because I really need to get some things off my chest; but I can't really talk about what happened because I don't think anyone would believe it. I hope someone will someday read this and understand how my life was changed forever. The first few entries I have made were done from memory, because I was too confused and upset to start this journal immediately. Let me start by saying that I am alone in the world. My family is gone and my wife Sara died in a car accident two years ago. I can still hardly bear her loss. About twelve months ago an old man named George Wisord bought the house next to mine. He was a small very thin old man with white hair and a well-trimmed white beard. He vaguely reminded me of someone but I wasn't quite sure who. He seemed to be very energetic and friendly. Over the next few months I slowly became friends with him. I often helped him with minor jobs that he was to old too do, and once in a while I would drive him to the store or the mall.

Well one day, he asked me to come over, he said he needed some help. So I stopped by after work and he apparently needed to have several screws tightened on a kitchen cabinet. I thought this was strange because he could have done it himself; but I went ahead and tightened them up. He asked if I wanted some tea and I accepted and sat down at the table. After drinking the tea I suddenly felt my arms and legs get heavy and within seconds I couldn't move them. In a frantic voice I screamed for George to help me and he said nothing was wrong and he had something to tell me. I was almost in shock at my condition when he started to say, ``I am a wizard. It's not just my name; it's also my occupation. You see, I am 1283 years old and it is time for me to turn over my duties to a young wizard. I just didn't move next to you by accident. I looked for you. Over the last year I have carefully watched everything you have done and I have found you to be a good hearted and generous man. Because of this, I have selected you to be my replacement.''

``What the hells wrong with you? Are you nuts? Let me go,'' I shrieked.

``No, I am afraid I can't. I know you think I'm crazy but you have no choice in this matter.''

With my great verbal protest George cut my shirt off and he took my arms and crossed them in the form of an X on the table. I was scared that he was about to kill me, but he then sat across from me and started to mumble some chant and suddenly there was a flash and he was wearing a bright golden robe. I then realized whom he reminded me of, a WIZARD from fantasy books. He then looked at me and started another chant. This time small sparkling lights started to form around him and then they spread to me, creating an arched channel between us. Suddenly, I felt light-headed and then a powerful bolt of energy hit me in the chest. The pain was unbearable and I lost consciousness. When I awoke I was laying on George's couch with a new shirt on and covered with a blanket; but I was still unable to move. I was frightened out of my wits. I figured I probably was going to be killed. My life had just changed forever and I didn't even know what had happened. George then came in and we had a conversation that I will never forget.

``So you're awake, are you?''

``What the hell is going on George? What have you done to me?''

``Well, I have turned you into the most powerful wizard in three galaxies.''

``George you're insane.''

``It's possible, but I wouldn't count on it. You are now a king wizard and your job is to help the beings of the local three galaxies. You have immense power that you can't really control yet, but it won't be long.''

``George let me go you're senile.''

``Well, I'll let you go after I tell you a little history of your new power. You might as well listen to me. It's going to take a couple of more hours for you to get your movement back.''

``Obviously I have no choice in the matter.''

``That's true. Well, let's see, it was 2334 years ago when the first wizard was born. He was given his power at birth by whom you term as god or the supreme power in our universe. His name was Ussural and his job was to manage the disputes between peoples and to keep the peace in the surrounding three galaxies. He lived two hundred and one years. He did quite a good job, and he discovered the power increased as he used it. When he became too old to do the job he turned the power over to his successor, just as I've done with you. He had managed to increase the magical power by two fold. The new wizard, Tomigan, lived some 357 years. He wasn't quite as good as Ussural but he did OK. The next wizard, Soulandra, received a three and a half-fold power increase and lived 493 years. He was the best of the three and managed to provide true peace in many disputes. Then it was my turn. I received a six fold power increase and as I mentioned before I am 1283 years old. I think you can see as the power increases so does the wizards life span. I gave you a nineteen fold increase in power and I don't know how long you will live.''

``George, that is a nice story but you have to release me from this drug. You're in very serious trouble. I even had hallucinations, I have to go to a doctor and find out what this stuff did to me.''

``You'll never need a doctor again. The drugs will wear off in two hours and in that time I'm going to tell you about the powers you have and your responsibilities.''

Over the next several hours George told me I could manipulate matter and energy to do anything I wished. He told me I would travel from place to place by moving through the fourth dimension. He explained this by talking about an atom. According to George the electrons that circle an atom, similar to planets circling our sun, move from one orbit to another without moving through time or space. They simply disappear and reappear in another location. The electrons apparently go into a fourth dimension and then return to our dimension in another location, but at the same point in time. He said I could do the same thing and in essence be anywhere I wished in a blink of an eye.

He also described my duties. I was to watch for trouble spots in the this sector of space, and when they occurred I would use as much force as needed to correct the problems. I was to correct the problems in such a way as to cause the fewest injuries and deaths to the peoples involved and the least disruption to the surrounding area and cultures. After listening to this diatribe for over two hours I finally said,

``If what you say is true I'll simply do nothing.''

``No, I am afraid that won't work. Your new power, and the fact that you are a good man with an unusually strong conscience won't allow you to permit billions of lives to be destroyed because you simply refuse to act.''

Then I said I would transfer the power to someone else. George told me that I could only transfer the power when I was too old to do my job and that was hundreds of years from now. At that point I began to recover control of my body and as soon as I could, I ran out of that house. George made no attempt to stop me, but, he said to come back when I was ready.

DAY TWO:

When I got home it was after midnight and I was totally exhausted and starving. I could hardly move so I sat down at the kitchen table and I started to think about a sandwich. Suddenly the frig door opened and the salami came floating out. The breadbox opened and the bread started to unwrap itself. At the same time the cabinet opened and a plate floated to the kitchen table. I was scared out of my mind and I jumped up and proceeded to stumble over one of the other chairs. I was on the floor with a sandwich being put together on the table above me. After I got up, I reasoned to myself that it was a hallucination from the drugs George gave me. I thought about calling 911 to get the police and paramedics to come, but every time I tried to go to the phone, but I was physically unable to make the call. I tried 8 times and finally gave up. I went back to the kitchen and ate the sandwich. I then struggled to my bed and collapsed onto it. The next morning when I woke up I felt great. I thought maybe it was just a bad dream, but when I went into the kitchen there were no dishes, just a clean table. I went into the bathroom to take a shower, the water was already on, and the washcloth was hanging in midair waiting for me to take it. I couldn't handle it anymore so I went to call my doctor. Again, my body would not allow me to make the call, just as the night before. I gave up, took my shower, and then went to see George.

George proceeded to tell me that the things I saw were due to my mind using the power I now had. I needed to control its use and that would take practice and time. I finally conceded to the reality that I was now a wizard and could not escape my fate. I needed George to teach me how to use and control my new power. I realized my life had forever changed.

DAY 3:

I phoned my boss today and told him I was quite ill and would not be in for several weeks. He was quite angry because I had not called in for two days. We got into an argument and I quit. George said not to worry about the job; he had fifty million dollars that he had already passed to me through bank accounts. He gave me the account numbers and I checked. I was very wealthy.

DAY 37:

George has been teaching me about my power for over a month now and I realize that it is beyond my wildest imagination. He makes me control small things. George says the smaller the object I control, the more I learn. I started by simply moving a pencil around without touching it. I then started writing with it from across the room. I now write this journal without touching the pen or paper. I have even gotten to the point at which I can thread a needle from ten feet away. I have learned I must be extremely careful using this power. It seems that killing a being would be very easy. In fact, it could happen by accident. I wish Sara were here with me I know she could help with this.

DAY 51:

Today I had a very bad experience that taught me how dangerous these new powers of mine are. I was in a convenience store a few blocks away from my house getting one of those flavored ice cups. I really have a weakness for those things. Well, anyway, while I was standing there two large hooded men came into the store. One pulled out a sawed off shotgun and the other had a rather large pistol. I know little or nothing about guns so I had no idea what kind of damage they could do. The man with the pistol pointed it at me and said ``Lift those hands''. The other man with the shotgun moved to the counter and demanded money from the small black girl behind it. She gave them all she had. The man with the shotgun then said, ``That's not enough,'' and reached behind the counter grabbing the girl by the shirt, ripping it open, exposing her bare breasts. I unconsciously moved to help the girl, and the man with the pistol fired. I stuck out my hand and the bullet stopped in midair, about two feet away. It just hung in the air. The man was as surprised as I was. In panic, he fired four or five more shoots. They all did the same thing. The other man then fired the shotgun at me and all the small pellets joined the bullets in the air. I could see through the lead hanging in the air. The two men were grabbing for the girl. I then thought I should stop them and suddenly a burst of power came from me and blew both men through the large glass window to the side of the counter. The girl was terrified and I had to do something.

I concentrated on her and told her mentally everything was all right I then put a simple explanation in her mind that three large truckers were in the store when the two men came in and they threw them through the window. Then they left to avoid being entangled with the police. I then fixed her shirt with my magic and I put a mental command in her mind to dial 911,but only when I told her to. I had the lead that was hanging in the air ball up and I put it in my pocket. As I left, I found the two men unconscious, but alive. I put the same explanation in their minds. I got into my car and drove to the street. As I turned onto the street, I gave the girl the mental command to call 911. That night I heard that the police were looking for three black truckers that were heroes. The girl had embellished the story I gave quite a bit.

I told George about the incident. He said that I need to control my power or I would give myself away or kill someone unintentionally. He did like the story I gave to the girl. He said the human mind has an incredible ability to fill in unknown facts around a simple story.

DAY 52

Yesterday I almost killed two men. It didn't sink in until this morning. I have never harmed any person in my life. I now realize that the first time I used my new powers, I nearly killed two people. I am very depressed and quite disgusted with what I did. I guess I didn't realize until now that this will happen again and I will have to deal with these feelings over and over. I suppose I have no choice in the matter. I must deal with my basic aversion to harming others.

DAY 103:

I now have full control of my powers and today I went on my first job. I was watching the news when the reporter started to talk about a terrorist group. I suddenly had a feeling that this group was about to kill thousands of people. I told George and he said I must investigate this. So I stepped into the fourth dimension and George came with me to see how I did. I seemed to sense where to step out. We appeared in the top of a warehouse on a small set of stairs. Looking down we could see seven men and a three-foot long cylinder sitting on top of a box. Even though they were speaking some language, I never heard before I could understand them. They were trying to decide where to blow up this nuclear bomb. I thought for a few moments and decided on a course of action.

I first levitated myself to a point above the bomb. I then made myself glow a bright white. The men below pointed their guns at me and started to fire. I said to them that I was a messenger and came to stop them from harming other people. I then disintegrated the bomb with a bolt of lighting and I branded each one of the men on the chest with a circle. Then I gave them each a mental command that if they ever even thought of hurting another person that the brand would give them so much pain that they would actually become unconscious and if they persisted they would die. They would in effect kill themselves. I then told them this verbally. One of the men pointed his gun at me and he instantly collapsed under his pain. I then stepped back into the fourth dimension and reappeared on a step next to George. ``Very good. You stopped them without killing anyone. I think I picked the right replacement.''

I now see that my life will be a long series of such episodes all over the three surrounding galaxies. I still have a hard time seeing the future without the company of my wife. I miss her so.

DAY 130 through 140:

Over the past ten days George has been taking me on a tour of the galaxies I'm to take care of. I have seen worlds of unbelievable beauty and others with incredible devastation. After seeing all this, I now know that earth is truly unique. George did show me a world that had no animal life but an abundance of plant life. It was truly a paradise. He had erected a small cabin on a particularly enchanting spot. He told me that this was now my vacation cabin. He said he came here to rest and generally take time for himself after an unusually difficult problem. It was now mine to use.

George said this would be the last trip he would make with me. He thought he would live another hundred years or so, but it was time for him to rest. He said I could come and talk to him if I had any problem or needed someone to talk to. At that point I realized I was on my own. I know most people would think this exciting and an incredibly lucky thing. After all, to live for who knows how long and to have virtually unlimited power was unusual to say the least. I did not feel this way. I saw years of difficult decisions and loneliness. Perhaps I will begin to enjoy it after a while. George did. Well at least I hope I do.

I plan to keep on writing in this journal and hopefully it will help the person I turn the power over to. I can't imagine how many entries I will make, but it should be interesting reading. Yes, very interesting.


 

Find out how to deal with the Devil in a program! (Approximately 2 pages in length)

Any likeness between the characters in the following stories and

people living or dead is pure coincidence, completely unintentional

and not the responsibility of the author.

(All text © 1996-1997 by Anthony D. Adams)

The Devil is in the Programming

I was sitting at my workstation one day trying to correct an infinite loop problem in one of my programs. It seemed whenever anyone tried to use one specific part of my software it would just sit there in an infinite calculation. This obviously was annoying to the person. I had been studying my program for three days and still could not find the problem. I finally sat back and wished to myself that the problem would just go away. As I sat there, an odd message popped up on my screen. It said ``I can make your wish come true.'' I just assumed someone on the network was playing a joke on me, so I went back to studying my program. A few minutes later, a little picture of a red devil appeared in the corner of the screen and then vanished. A second message appeared on the screen saying, ``If you would like a wish press y for yes''. I thought it was the same joker. So I pressed ”y” to see what would happen. In a few seconds, my entire screen was covered with an image of a devil's face and it started to bulge out. I pushed my chair away from the computer and in a few seconds a fluid red and black form arched it's way out of the screen. The form solidified in front of my desk. It was a man dressed in a perfectly tailored black suit with a red shirt, tie and shoes. His face was also slightly red and he had an evil grin.

``You asked for a wish from the devil.'' The man said.

``No I didn't.''

``Oh yes you did. You see when you typed "y" you accepted my terms for a wish. ''You have no right to come into my office and try to force some deal on me. GO AWAY!''

``I am afraid it is not that easy. The deal is, you get one wish, any wish that is possible to perform. You cannot for instance ask me to calculate pi to the last digit or anything strange like that. I will do your wish and then when you die your soul is mine.''

``I think you better leave, your deal is completely unfair and I was tricked into it.''

``I always get that excuse from you people. Be a man, asked your wish.''

``You must do anything I ask? You can't get out of it?''

``Exactly.''

``I warn you if you make me do this, you will be sorry.''

``Not likely, ASK!''

``OK, but I did warned you. I wish for you to forever become an angel of the Lord.''

``What! You can't do that. It is impossible. I would never be accepted back into heaven.''

``Hey you wanted me to make a wish and I have.''

Suddenly a small bright light started to glow in the corner of the room. Within seconds, it had grown into a shape of a winged man and solidified. I now had an angel in my office. It was starting to get kind of crowded.

``Hello, Gabriel.'' The devil said.

``Hello, I hear you two have a disagreement.'' The angel said in a rather imperious tone.

I immediately spoke up. ``He said he cannot become an angel again. Is that true?''

``No, he can become an angel but it will take many centuries and it won't be easy.''

``There!'' I said to the devil. ``You can do it.''

The devil started to argue with Gabriel. He said that God had tossed him out forever. Gabriel said he changed his mind. He cannot change his mind the devil retorted. Gabriel came back saying he was God and could do anything he wished. Back and forth they argued until Gabriel finally said,  ``You can't get out of this. You know the rules. You set them up.''

The devil then started to argue again, but Gabriel held out his hand and the devil became quiet. After a pause that seemed to last forever Gabriel said to the devil, ``You have a long effort in front of you and it's time to start.''

Suddenly the devil vanished leaving just the angel and myself.

``You have done us a great service. No one has ever wished the devil into heaven. But there is a small problem.''

``What?'' I said.

``Your soul is now in dispute, and will be until the devil is accepted back into heaven. You see he has the right to your soul, but as an angel he must release you. But he probably won't do that for a long, long time.''

``So how does that affect me?''

``Well, you won't die until he is willing to give up your soul.''

``You mean I will just get older and older until I can't function?''

``Normally, but because of your service to us we are going to give you good health and you will stop aging as of now.''

The angel started to disappear. So I quickly asked, ``What am I suppose to do now. How do I explain that I'm not getting any older and what do I do when I don't die like every one else.''

``Humm, I don't know, nothing like this has ever happened. Let me check and I'll get back to you.'' Gabriel then faded out. After all that, I still did not have my program fixed and I now had forever to work on it. That certainly was a pleasant thought.

"That damned devil and his hellish wish!" I thought to myself.


A Hallow's Eve Horror Tale (Approximately 2 pages in Length)

Any likeness between the characters in the following stories and

people living or dead is pure coincidence, completely unintentional

and not the responsibility of the author.

(All text © 2002 by Anthony D. Adams)

The Dragon of Nite Shade

 

      

     The legend grew from century to century, in the small dark valley village of Nite Shade. It was said that in the 13th year of each new century on All Hollow’s Eve, they would come. Some said that for thirteen days, the souls of all that were out from moon-rising to moon-setting would be theirs, until a thirteen year old was given to them for their hideous feast. If no child was given, all would be taken. It was said that a band of demons lived in the tangled dark wood just south of the village, where each leaf scarred and every fruit killed. They were brought to this world by the curse of a witch, burned in the year of our Lord 1613. It was in that fateful year that Terrina was set ablaze for her evil witchery. In her last agonizing breaths she had forever cursed the people of Nite Shade.

        It was now the year of 1813 and All Hollows Eve would be upon the village in one more moon-rising. The people of Nite Shade had seen one die for the last twelve nights. At first it was thought to be unfortunate tragedies, but after the third man was found dead the fear began to grow. He was discovered in front of his own door with the key in the lock and no marks upon his body. As each day passed there was one less in the village and the cries of grief grew.

        After the fourth death the boy hid from the world, in the holiest of places, the church’s tall steeple. Telling not even his mother where he veiled in the darkness of god’s light. For he had heard the grumbling of the people and he felt their fear. They talked of the deaths. They talked of the curses. They talked of the boy with a dragon upon his breast. A sign they said, a sign of death. As the sun rose Seth Quill was found dead in the street and the people began to search for the one to be given. They looked for the boy with the dragon upon his breast.  No other would do, for no other was cursed. From house to house and street to street, they searched until they came to the home of the boy with a dragon upon his breast. They pounded upon the door demanding their prey. When those within cried out, “we know not where he lay,” the mob grew vengeful and deadly that day. They swung their clubs and waved their torches. In one fateful moment a torch was thrown and the family within paid with their lives, in an inferno of death. The remorseless mob continued on their way, leaving the dying to their pain.

The bright moon and curiosity was the boy’s undoing. He heard the death cries and looked over the edge of the steeple’s open belfry to see his own home and family burning. The moon lit his face, allowing one from the mob to notice him. Soon the boy was trussed up and carried away. Through the village they dragged the boy of thirteen, all could see, but no one would protect him, no one would help. He was left upon the ground, at the edge of the dark wood, there to be a sacrifice for a village of fools. The boy shivered in the cool of the night as the ropes scored the soft flesh of his wrists and ankles. He heard the rustling of the tangled woods and formless shadows began to collect about the frightened young boy.

His chest began to warm and burn a bit as the shapes began to form into hideous beasts. As his fear rose, the fire within his body burned hotter and hotter, until his whole body seemed on fire. The ropes burnt off and his shirt turned to ash. The dragon image upon his breast moved with the flame within his heart. It then began to pull away from his fiery young body. A sudden massive pain paralyzed the boy as a golden light appeared above. He watched in wonder as a small golden dragon fluttered above, like some shimmering butterfly of a time long gone. It then slowly circled, growing with each beat of its wings. It grew and grew until it was a size beyond the boy’s comprehension. The great beast then turned to the forms emerging from the dark wood. A great golden flame came from its mouth, surrounding the boy with a fire that did not burn him. It instead warmed his body and healed his flesh. From beyond the flames he could hear screams of anguish and then he slipped into a deep slumber.

 

When he awoke, the dragon was back upon his breast and the dark wood about him was smoldering ash. He got up and walked toward the village, but all he found were burnt out buildings. Only one wall remained in the smoldering rubble. It was the white back wall of the church of God, with a single shimmering cross still hanging upon its remains. The boy could see words of gold, emblazoned below the cross of old.

 

“ALL EVIL DIES UPON A DRAGON’S BREATH!” The boy read upon the wall of white. He turned away from the sight and with tears in his eyes left the valley of Nite Shade far behind.