Curse of Fortune- Prologue
"Hey, I'm finished! Whoah! What smells so good?" My father swung open the door with pride spread across his face and sweat beading off his forhead. He had just come back from tilling the fields, and his face was red from the hard work, wiping his face with his used handkerchief and
hoe resting over his shoulder. He wore his typical outfitting of a red plaid shirt rolled up to his shoulders, and tucked into his newly dirtied blue overalls with a broken left strap. His job as a wheat farmer made him well-built and hardy, but his face was still cheery and inviting, and his caring and fun-loving personality made him a dreamfather. My mother, a kind being with a heart of gold, a face of wonder and a cream dress of equal beauty had just taken the turkey out of the oven and turned to greet dad with a gentle smile on her face.
The smell of the chicken was dancing around the small kitchen of the cozy cottage, the fresh spices and savory gravy freshening the atmosphere and making my mouth salivate wildly. I tried to conserve it, and managed to hold it back, but mom's cooking is so scrumptious it makes it quite a difficult task to complete.
"Supper! Wanna sit down and take a bite?" My mother asked, in the sweetness of her calming voice.
"Do I ever!" My father exclaimed, staring ravenously at the newly set turkey while slipping off his dirtied work gloves and scurrying to the kitchen table, pulling out one of the four wooden antique chairs and attempting to swiftly take his seat, but missed completely and fell flat on the floor. "WhOoAh!"
My mother looked at her husband, spralled out on floor and rubbing his poor, tired buttox, and gave him a quick smile complete with closed, smiling eyes.
"Hm-hm!" she giggled.
"Nice going, dad!" I laughed.
My dad looked dazed for a second, but quickly shook it off and laughed with us.
"Ya, I guess I did do pretty good back there, huh?" He simply sat up and slid into his chair, scooting closer and closer towards the table, inhaling the sweet insense eminating from the turkey throgh his nostrills and exhaling with delight. "What's for dinner?"
"My usual- Heaven's supper turkey with my home-made savory gravy!"
"Awesome!" I exlaimed. The way I looked at that chicken, the way I sat- I looked like a miniature version of my father, save that I always wore a red plaid t-shirt and dark-brown leather shorts, and my leather boots that were a lighter shade of brown and had black buckles around the ankles and above the feet. I guess my brown-blonde mixture was a cross between both my mother and father, but I didn't really care. I was homeschooled, so bullying wasn't exactly a problem. "Can we dig in now, mom?" I asked.
"Sure, right after grace!"
While we gave grace, unbeknownst to me and my family, a dark presence limped off in the distance…
"Amen!" My mom finished, "Enjoy, guys!" she said, her usuall, graceful smile filling us with joy. Me and dad ravenously gorged ourselves, the chicken getting smaller and smaller until eventually we had a fork fight on the plate for the last piece of turkey, which didn't take long. Our silverware warriors were dancing across the plate with the skill and grace of a seasoned fencer, until my dad managed to push mine aside and impale the last piece of turkey on his fork. "Aha! You can never defeat sir dad the mighty!" my father said in a silly voice like a cheesy middle-aged knight from the 18th century. I hung my head and groaned, until my dad took his knife and slipped off the turkey and onto my plate.
"Dad…?" I didn't understand. He won fair and square, even if it was just a game.
"Hey!" He gently lifted up my face by the chin and gave me warm, comforting look. "You're my son, boy. I'm supposed to look after you, and don't forget it!"
"That's right!" My mom said in a more relaxed and quiet voice, "And soon it'll be your job to look after your brother!" she looked down lovingly at the small child she could only imagine that was floating inside her stomach, happy and carefree. That's right; my mom's pregnant. But as far as I could tell, that was the way to tell the stork that she made a request. Then again, I was ten years old and homeschooled, so… yeah.
"Well, It's getting late," my dad happily rubbed his stomach and got up from his seat, "and I gotta work again in the morning. Besides, it's nine o'clock, it's past Billy's bedtime."
"Right. See you in the morning, boys!" my mom said.
"G'night mom, dad!" I called.
"G'night!" they both responded simutaneously.
I snuck up into my room, took of my shorts, slid under my warm, freshly- cleaned covers, and listened to the lulling sound of gleeful crickets through my open glass window.
"H-honey…" my mom asked, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. "Wha… what's that noise?"
My dad groaned, stretched and yawned, and responded while scratching his back. "It's probably just a raccoon…" He slipped out of his bed and unmounted his shotgun and slid in three shells, then cocked it. "I'll be right back. Don't worry." My wife grabbed his shirt before he left.
"Hey… just… be careful, okay?"
My dad gave off a tired smile of reasurrence then yawned. "It'll be fine. Dooon't woorry!"
My mom smiled back. "I love you…!"
"…I love you too!"
"Hey!" my dad shook me awake.
"Look, bud, I'm gonna be right back. Anything happens, stay in this room, no matter what."
"Dad?" I wiped the sleep from my eyes. "What's going on?"
"Just… stay here. I'm counting on you trooper!"
I nodded slightly to show I understood then slid under my covers, watching my dad walk out of my room and head down the hallway to the front door.
Ten miniuts later, I was awakened by the sound of gunfire and the cries from my dad.
*Chck-chck* "EAT LEAD, FREAKS!" my dad fired his shotgun and a strange sound could be heard later. It sounded like a cross between a dying caribou and a nest of angry crows. It was terrifying, and immediately woke me up. I lifted my covers to my eyes and attempted to shield myself from any oncoming danger. *Chck-chck*… *POEW* *SCREAEAEAaEaeA* It sounded like dad was doing fine. But eventually, the screams got deeper, louder, and mostly angrier. For the first time in my life, I could here my dad scream profanities I would never expect him to. "Gragh!" I heard my dad yell in what seemed like pain, then two more shots and another scream, until my dad yelled again, only louder, like a shout. Then…
"D-…" I lifted my head from my sheets a little, and tried to look out my window."…Dad?" but nothing was in sight. No weird animals, no normal ones, no birds… no dad. Then, a loud bang that sounded like splintering wood echoed throughout the cottage. Strange noises like gargling cats purred throught the hall, and sounds like steady footsteps pounded and punted. Then, a high pitched gasp, and the movement stopped… then it restarted, but slower. Then faster… faster… FASTER… then, whatever it was squealed and made that strange cry that it made earlier.
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEK!" That last one sounded more human, more feminine. More… mom.
"M-…mom?" I whispered. I quivered and shook in place, slowly slipping out of my covers and tip-toeing towards the bedroom door. As I slowly urged it open, the creak stunned me and shook me with fear. I stopped in place as the strange monster's footsteps had become louder and louder, and it's shadow built up bigger and bigger in the candlelight on the wall in front of me and it's slihouette came into view. The shadow was like a super-anorexic gorrilla in it's posture, and it had extremely stubby legs. The shadow was a dark, dark purple, and small things that looked like tiny strings hung from it's shield-like face and supposed joints, and it came forward extremely fast. The freakiest part- It's own shadow had bright purple eyes that left small, shrinking afterimages, and they burned with sorrow and horror, and eventually became brighter and brighter. The gurgles sounded more like panting and wheezing, a low, evil humming started becoming louder and louder.
I stood there, shaking and rattling, wanting to move but frozen in fear. It had found me, and was creeping towards my location. My mom and dad… were…
And I'm joining them.
I'm dying soon. I just know it.
I'm the next victim. I'm going to die and I don't know my murderer.
Life hit me hard. I had it good- but I lost it all in one night. My life flashed before my eyes. I envisioned every waking moment, my mom cooking eggs, my dad and I making jokes at the table, my mother's kind teachings at homeschool and her warm, gentle smile. They're gone.
And I'm not getting them back.
It came closer and closer. Faster and faster. It's wheezing became louder. It's eye glowed brighter and brighter, deeper and darker, more ominous with every growth.
"I don't wanna die…" I kept telling myself, "I don't wanna… die…" *Thump*… *Thump*…
It got faster…
*Thump thump thump thump*
It leaped out infront of me, every detail of it's gruesome black face mere centimetres away from my face, it's face of rusted metal and teeth of knives edging infront of me, threatening to pierce me and leave me as just another victim of a gruesome assault. Every nerve in my body went numb, and I sprawled onto the floor, falling on my back and sending sharp pricking through my body that was still in shock from my scare. It felt like I was surround by needles hovering over the tips of my bare flesh, threatening to pierce with the slightest movement. Now that it was in front of me, It had a metal, shield-like face with a strange purple aura, and had a small area that looked like a jail cell window that revealed a dark, swirling purple eye much like a cat's, that left afterimages much like it's shadow counterpart. It's body was composed of wooden poles and orbular joints, which had what looked like purple strings of aura that seemed to control every rusted creep it made. It left a low humming sound, and it's mouth went four ways like and arachnid, which by the way were completely made up of knives and machetes, some tipped with blood, old and… new. It also had three claws on it's front "legs" that also shared these characteristics, and also were cloaked in a dark aura like the iron mask it wore. It's cry, now up close, was bone-chilling and made my ears pop and my spine tingle. It raised a claw, but a surge of adrenaline pulsated throughout my body, allowing me to swiftly dodge the assault.
But… I was too slow.
Blood ran down the left side of my body. I felt a sharp pain coarse through me, and I let a scream like I had never released before. I couldn't think. I couldn't feel. I couldn't feel or think of anything besides the fact that I felt intense pain in my… shoulder? No, my shoulder blades. I couldn't feel my shoulder. I couldn't clench my fist. I couldn't feel my arm.
It had cut off my right arm.
I leaned over, viewing the arm that was mine laying to the right side of my body. I couldn't understand. I had lost my mom, my dad, and now my arm? My life had changed in less then an hour. I was right. I was going to die. From this beast or from the bleeding, I was positive my life was going to end this night. All I could do was… give up.
*Chck-chck*, *PEOW* another shotgun fired. But… dad died, right? The sound of glass braking echoed behind me, as the reflecting remains tumbled to my side. *t-t-ting* Three small object seemed to bounce of the monster's face armor, and not too long later… *Cr-ck* wood splintered aroud the creature's chest, and it let out one of it's threatening, soul-piercing cries. My heart pounded. I could hear my heart beat. But that was all I could hear. Everything else sounded as if I was trapped underwater. The pain in my shoulder blade tortured me like an unleashed demon. My head hurt. My ears popped. My vision blurred. I swear I thought I heard shouting of a human voice, and it seemed somewhat… familiar. But not kind. But that's all I could recall. Then… it was if I died for a while…
"Hey boy," a voice called out, "get up."
I think I remembered that voice from before. Could it have been… that voice from last night? Who was it again…
It doesn't matter. I fell asleep. I must have. I'm going to wake up and I'll have my arm. The monster will be gone. Mom and dad won't be… won't be…
I urged my eyes open. It took a surprising amount of effort, for some reason, but I managed. I looked up at my wooden ceiling. It seemed odd. There wasn't my usual exposed lightbulb but a dangling chandalier with sparkling white gems and a better, cleaner lightbulb that shined a brighter light than mine. And… a shadow was looming over me. I turned to my right. At least, I tried too. Something tight like leather straps were strapped around my neck. I tried to raise my right hand to feel for them. It… didn't seem to work. I tried again… and again… I couldn't feel or control my right arm. I instantly raised my left arm upward and tossed my sheets aside. I was wearing a typical hospital gown but my right arm wasn't under it's respective sleeve. I felt for it with my left arm. I felt bandages, which was what I assumed was on my neck as well. It felt like I never even had an arm in the first place. No stump, no ridges, no flakes. Where what used to be my shoulder was a smooth ridge that aligned perfectly with the rest of my body. It was almost as if it had been cut that way on purpose by a proffesional surgeon.
"Over here, idiot."
I turned to see my uncle, Darryll, sitting on a footstool about ten feet away from my bed in a nearby corner. His fedora covered his eyes, like always, and he had his signature stern look on his face. His unusually silver bangs hung down over his face as well, the back stopping short halfway down his neck. He was well built, about 23 in age, and seemed to attract quite a few woman. He was twirling his revolver around his pointer finger, his shotgun strapped to his back. He wore his usuall outfitting of a brown leather jacket over a white undershirt and black jeans that seemed to hug tight to his leg muscles but loosened at the ankles, as well as his spurred cowboy boots.
"Uncle… Darryll?" I meekly murmered. My right arm was gone, I'm not in my house, I have an INTENSE headache, I'm in a hospital and uncle Darryll is sitting in the corner instead of my parents… I had to face the facts. Last night was not a dream.
And mom and dad are…
"Ya, Im here, twerp." He said casually. "Why you ask?"
Yep. Uncle Darryll.
"I… Wh-where's…" I didn't want to know the true answer. "…Where's… mom and… dad?"
"…" He paused and stopped twirling his gun, then turned to look at me. "I'm… I'm sure you already know that answer." He continued twirling.
"…What are you doing here?" I asked. "Did you save me?"
"…Ah…" He paused. "I Was… in town. Got tired from bounty hunting and figured I'd stop by at the town salloon. Then, I heard screams and shots, and saw you lying on the floor through your bedroom window. Shot some weird puppet-thing that tried to kill you. You're home was a mess. I used a bit of toilet paper and paper towel to clean your… wound… and took you to the hospital." He didn't look at me one time during his speech, just sitting there, trying to look cool by twirling his gun. I looked outside and saw a group of blushing nurses lurking around the corner, trying to take turns taking a glance at my uncle… twirling his gun. How exciting! A twirling death device. It's shiny!
"Ah, unc'," I stated, "You got some… ah… stalkers, outside."
He stopped twirling his gun and tipped his head to the left to look around the corner of the door.
"Yeah," He shrugged and kept twirling his gun. "I know. It's making me suicidal."
All the nurses instantly left from sight, swarming down the hall like a school of fish.
I hung my head low and a tear streamed down my face, falling into my sheets and leaving a damp, dark stain.
"…Don't take death so lightly…" I murmered.
"Oh suck it up, suzie." He teased, "You just gotta move on. No amount of sobbing's gonna bring 'em back, a bright boy like you should know that."
He was right. And I knew it. I had to move on. But, that's easier said then done. For one thing…
"Uh… Who am I gonna live with? I'm kinda… orphaned." I asked.
"Didn't I tell you to suck it up?" Darryll scholded. "And besides, I'm not here for show. I don't visit people unless I have to, you should know that more then anyone else. Well, besides your dad, but that's irrelevent now-"
"SHUT UP!" I inturupted, splitting open a wond on my lip. "SHUT UP! I CAN'T TAKE IT! I'M ONLY TEN! It's not fair…" I started to cry. "It's… It's not fair…"
Uncle Darryll stopped twirling his gun, frowned, then slowly inched towards me with a surprisingly considerate look on his face, he hesitated, slowly lowered his hand and rested it on my shoulder.
"Hey…" he whispered. "Billy… I didn't mean to upset you. I'll stop mentioning… Them… If you want me to. Hey," he smiled a feeble smile and tried to sound energetic, which were both things that he would normally shoot you for witnessing him do in front of you. "I'm gonna take care of you. I'm rich, right?... okay, maybe I'm not too fortunate, but I`ll at least feed you!"
I wiped the tears from my eyes, sniffed and straightened up. He may not be the most compassionate of people, but he apparently had a soft side that he only seemed to show me, his foster child. This wouldn't be so bad. I might have a problem with farming, but Darryll is strong, and I'm sure he'll forgive me. But that still doesn't change the fact… that they're gone. My parents… are gone. And they always will be.
That's the only thing I know is true.
I have no parents.
They were killed by a freak, a random monster.
My life was destroyed by something that doesn't even exist.
And it would stay that way… for another three years.