Chapter 1: GUARDIAN
I started to walk down the lone path in the graveyard. Waves of green grass brought an eerie peace to a graveyard. Even with others present, I still felt alone. When I found who I was looking for, I crouched and paused, clutching onto the tombstone.
“It's me, Neil. It's been 2 months,” I said, as I closed my eyes.
I can see both of us playing with our toys. Then our competitions with sports, a movie, a conversation with us laughing. Images and memories of us growing up and changing flew by: High school graduation, college graduation, with him being proud of me. Neil had always been a force in my life, one I looked up to. An image flashed, a purple demon that I remember having nightmares about when I was younger. It was muscular and bald, with bright yellow eyes with no pupils. The eyes glowed as if emitting their own form of light. I was only a child then, but that demon was an image burned into my memory, all because Neil wanted to watch that movie.
Then there was a splash of blood followed by a screech of pain. As the figure escaped into the distance, fresh blood spilled, making it easy to follow. The person in front of me stood upright, looking righteous as the sun illuminated his white clothes. He had a roundish face, but with a pronounced protruding nose. His light brown eyes turned dark as he scowled at the path he helped create. It was Neil…
“You can get up now, but he’ll be back” He said.
I turned to scan the pathway again, noticing it lead into a forest. When I turned to look at Neil, he was nowhere to be found. Something compelled me to find the figure that ran away. I followed the path that led into the woods, making use of the spilled blood. The trail stopped, and I spotted the figure sitting down.
The hunched, muscular, purple demon turned around, his bright yellow, pupil-less eyes flashed as if it knew I was coming. A scream shook nature as the demon rushed toward me.
Once again, a flash of white appeared.
Neil had managed to stop the demon, but it threw Neil into a tree. The rumbling of Neil’s body against the tree shook Earth itself.
“Neil!” I cried out to him.
The two figures separated, and the demon stood there, his claws bared and his legs slightly bent, ready to pounce. His yellow eyes were staring right back at Neil, and for some reason, I felt this surge of anger and found myself reflecting his position.
As I found a place to hide, both Neil and the demon were moving so blindingly fast that I could
not tell what was going on. Then all movement ceased…The demon's hand was plunged into Neil's chest. Withdrawing the bloody hand, the demon then turned his attention to me. Neil’s body dropped, lifeless.
I noticed the demon watching me. Sporting a devilish smile, he stood there, his wide, bright eyes waiting. My eyes met his, fueled with rage. I rushed in and threw an unrelenting hook to the demon’s face. The demon’s smile never faded and it returned the favor. Both of us retaliated with punches to the other’s stomach. I tried a low kick, only to be blocked with the same move. Another hook, both of us making contact with the other.
We’re mirroring each other.
During my realization, a punch sent my stomach inwards, and placing me on my knees. The demon then threw his hand into the air, ripping it in two, and hopped into the hole he produced. As I limped over to the hole, I felt like calling myself stupid for chasing after the one that beat me to a pulp, but something is definitely wrong. I had to follow him.
Jumping into the hole, it felt like I was always being pulled to where ever the destination was, with no way to change the course of my movement. The entire journey was only a moment. As a flash of light jumped at me, my body tensed up. I knew I was leaving.
When I exited the emptiness, a sunlit highway appeared before me, but everything was mauled and wrecked in some form. Broken glass was on the road, holes with distinct claw marks, circular holes appeared in door ways, even some slashed tires. Smoke was billowing from the machines. The demon must have come out here destroyed everything. All I have to do is follow his path of destruction and I can find him. Interestingly enough, as I followed the destruction, there was not a single person in sight. No one was injured. But the distant pounding of metal sheared the silence. I ran as fast as I could, and found the monster smashing a large, blue, eighteen-wheeler with all of his might. Repeated punches were caving in the hood of the truck. Next to the blue truck was a red sports car with a black stripe going across the driver side.
The sound of the pounding metal now entered the background. All I could do was stare at the red car, and think about how earlier that same day, it had just taken off from home.
“Nice job, Marcus! You broke it!” Neil’s voice echoed.
“I didn’t mean to! I’m sorry!” I knew my apology was not going to work.
antique watch,” Neil sighed, moving his head back and forth in disappointment. “I’m going for a ride. Leave me alone”
That was the last time I saw the car, and Neil, in good condition. Just like that, he was taken away.
A terrified scream brought me back. The demon stopped his thrashing and went to the driver doorway, smashed through the center of the door, and pulled it out, as the man ran off through the passenger side. I closed in on the demon, but he answered with a well placed foot, caving my stomach in yet again. Removing the driver door, the demon gave chase, and I followed.
When I approached the demon, he had the scared truck driver’s neck clenched in his left hand effortlessly.
“Hey! Let him go!”
He turned toward me, his eyes carrying nothing but hatred in them.
“Do not interfere. This man must die!” A gravelly rasp emerged from the demon's throat.
“But why? What did he do to you?”
“HE KILLED BROTHER! AND FOR THAT, HE MUST SUFFER!”
He was never mad at me during our fight in the forest. He was mad about the death of his brother. I was just in his way. He had been looking for this man the entire time.
“Whoa, wait! What's the point of killing him?”
The demon’s right hand took a piercing position. He smiled; devilish glee took over, the pure rage that once defined him was now non existent. Oddly enough, the same thing happened to me. I recognized that man. He was the truck driver that ran into Neil’s car. I kind of wanted the demon to succeed. Something inside of me wanted to see the truck driver suffer and writhe in pain. To see the truck driver die.
No. That's not right.
“Killing him won’t bring your brother back!”
The truck driver fell to the ground and ran away.
The demon's eyes gazed in my direction. I sensed a mixture of surprise and hatred, and then my chest lurched upward. The same hand that had clenched the truck driver’s neck was now holding me in the air like I was a rag doll. I kicked at the demon, but it had no effect. A punch sent my head jerking and blood flowed from my mouth. I spat up but disgusting grin.
I had won.
Still holding my half limp body, he flashed his claws, tore open another hole, and jumped in, with me in tow. I couldn’t fight him, but I knew he wouldn’t kill me. In fact, he couldn’t kill me.
Hurling into the ground, I groggily stood up, only to find out that upon scanning my new surroundings, that I was not in a new
place at all. I was in the graveyard, in front of Neil’s grave.
The demon was sitting in front of the grave, holding on to it. As I came closer to him, I realized he was sobbing. No, I was sobbing.
I just stood there and watched. A demon was broken, the loss of a family member too much for him to bear. When I approached him, I knelt down, mimicking his position.
“Things will be ok...It will just take time.” I said to myself.
Wiping the clear stains off my face, I finally managed to regain my composure. I let go of the tombstone, and continued down the lone pathway.
Wish you were here.
MAY 18, 1980
JULY 22, 2008
FRIEND, SON, BROTHER