Episode 1 CRUOR
Images flash throughout different corners of his mind. He can only depict details such as a flag pole and huge dome like roof tops towering the skies. Then all of a sudden, day turns to dusk, and the atmosphere becomes thick with fog. When only in the distance a shadowy figure appears in the form of a woman. With an outstretched hand, she calls out to him, “Brutus!”… “Brutus!”
He searches to understand why she cries out his name. Should he answer?
Blinded by his circumstance, Brutus impulsively makes his decision to take a step forward in the direction of the woman’s cries. Just then, a stern and stiffly voice interrupts the epiphany coursing his brain and shifts Brutus to an awaken state in which…
His story begins.
Brutus wakes up alarmed and confused by this dream he’s had for the past few weeks now. The dream is always disrupted by something like the noise of a cat just outside his bedroom window, or disturbed by the annoying shrill of his alarm clock, or perhaps, like this time, awoken by the sound of his father standing at his doorway.
What time is it?
It’s time for school buddy now get up and out. The father said with his irritating smile.
For as long as Brutus can remember, his father always had a bothersome grin that constantly said to him, “I’m sorry.” It was weird but, this was the life Brutus was accustomed to, never an, “I love you” or a warm embrace whenever you arrived home from school by your mother. Everything, every day, was the same.
O man! I’ll be down in a sec!
Brutus looked outside his window and saw the bright sun make its way up and peer into his room. He combed back his short, long brown hair with his fingers, away from his face.
Wait a sec! The sun just rose, why is he waking me up so early for?
Brutus ran down the stairs and saw both his parents sitting down on the couch before him. He slowed down his pace and steadily made his way over to the seat set in the center of the room in front of them. He leaned over with both hand folded together and his elbows resting on his knees. He looked up and tried to gaze at his parents who never gazed back. They only looked in opposite directions in slouched, yet rigid postures in their sunken sofas. The father wore a hat that blackened his face and the same brown trench coat that obviously was out dated. The mother’s hair was undone covering her face as it always did, and she wore her pink bath robe matching her pink slippers.
Hmm, this is strange. Brutus thought to himself.
Err-hmm… your mother and I have an errand for you tonight.
Yes, you see, we have an old friend coming to visit us, but we need you to give him this box of directions to our house. The mother slowly pulled out a long, white and slim rectangular box that was covered in golden tribal lines. On the front was a distinguishable insignia that looked as if it represented something supernatural or something never before seen here on earth, it was almost hard to gape upon. But it caught Brutus’ attention.
It feels like I’ve seen that somewhere before… but why? Just where did it come from?
Now … I know you’ll be a good boy and not ask any questions- nor will you open the box without handing it to him first. > Him? Brutus intruded.
Yes dear boy, his name is, -
Shhh!!… Quiet there; you know how he feels when his name is given without him present. The father nudges at the mother next to him.
Brutus is confused, but respectfully keeps his mouth closed and extends his hand out to accept the box.
Hold on boy, the father continues, you are to meet him at Silver Park here in the town tonight by yourself, you hear me? The father bends over closer to Brutus, and make sure No One follows you. Once you’re there you’ll see him and just tell him what you’ve come to do that’s all.
Yes that’s quite it- and, Oh, you will rest here today and bother not to go outside until tonight when we tell you, Okay? The mother finishes her sentence with an odd smile, that this time said something like, “We’re almost finished.”
Okay, I’ll just make my way back up stairs then and fall back to sleep.
Brutus makes his way upstairs and enters his room. He closes the door behind him. He walks towards his bed when,
Ouch! What the heck? He looks down at his foot and sees a weird device sitting on the middle of the floor beside his bed.
That was never here. What on earth is this thing anyway…Brutus picks up the device from off the floor and observes it.
This is definitely not mine, but – Hold Up! Brutus lifts the gadget above his head so he can see under it.
It reads, “Vix”. Hmm Vix, Vix… Vix. Just who is Vix?? He thought to himself.
Well it couldn’t hurt if I just hold onto it for now. He then straps it around his right wrist and continues toward his bed-
Damn!… Wha, O man… I’m bleedin!? Brutus sits down on his bed and lifts his knee up onto his pillow and slips off his blood stained sock onto the sheets.
It’s pretty deep. He wraps it up with some bandage across the instep down under the arch and over again about four times. He drops the roll of bandage under his bed and throws his sock across the room. With a deep breath, Brutus slams his head into his pillow and rests his eyes. Slowly he falls asleep.
Wake it up dear! It’s time. The mother cries out from downstairs.
Slowly blinking his eyes, Brutus wakes up and presses both hands beside him against the bed to lift his body up. Crouched over on his hands and knees, he graces his head with his right hand and tries to regain his composure. He turns over and allows his legs to hang over the side. His head bowed down in a half sleep state he looks to the floor and suddenly remembers the gadget he found earlier,
Wait. He quickly looks to his right hand; to find that the device is…
Phew, ok… still there.
Unexpectedly Brutus’ nose picks up something heavy in the air. For some strange reason, the smell of the elements outside was strong.
What the Hell? sniff sniff. The scent of the grass and leaves were vivid, it carried out from all the trees and the yards on the block. Even the smell of water from where he can hear his mother turn on in the kitchen was clear. Along with it, he can smell the bathing water running in his neighbors’ house next door. Chills ran down his spine as he felt the wind curl up past his skin and sense the fatigue it carried from its long journey before resting there in his room.
Brutus scans the area with a perceptive look and sees behind him that the window was closed as well as his bedroom door.
What the hell is going on? Why can I sense all of these things when both the window and door are shut? Am I, still asleep?-
Brutus!! Get up! Come Downstairs immediately!
Okay… I’m not asleep, with her voice how could I!?
Brutus slips on a white t-shirt and puts on a pair of black jeans. He searches around the room to see if he can find a pair of socks to put on. He’s found one on his dresser and…
Where is the other one! Is it under here?
Brutus falls onto his hands and knees to look under the bed when he saw the roll of bandage on its side and remembered the wound he had earlier.
O yeah. Brutus looks at his foot- Wait I haven’t felt any pain this whole time, but it would be impossible for it to… He unravels the bandage from his foot and finds it to be completely HEALED!? How could this happen? He wiggles his toes and stands on his foot. Yeah it’s friggin healed! No way!!
Brutus! Where are you!?
There it is. He found his sock on his bed and speedily slips it on. He hurries and puts on a pair of his black sneakers and a dark fleece. He scurries down the steps and finds his mother in the kitchen boiling some tea.
There’s the water I smelt upstairs.
What’s wrong Brutus why do you seem uneasy?
Huh? O nothing, bad dreams I guess.
His mother’s back was turned away from him as she poured some of the hot water into a second cup of tea.
Would you care for some tea before you get on with your errand?… It’ll help you keep warm from the cold outside.
She hands the cup towards him as if she expected him to take it anyway.
Umm, no thanks. I just don’t feel in the mood for some tea right now.
But, the mother insisted and held her hand there even closer now to his chest.
So, I noticed the new watch around your wrist, she clears her throat, where did you get it?
Brutus nervously slides his sleeve over the mysterious gadget around his wrist.
Oh this? It’s an old friend’s… I’m just holdin’ onto it for now until I see him again.
Okay, well you better be off now, he should be there any second. The box is on the small round counter top by the door; make sure you get it before you’re off.
Yes, most defini-
Drink your tea Brutus! She says with a harsher voice than before.
He looks down at his cup. He can already taste the tea without his lips physically touching the rim. Something was weird about the smell of it; he knew there was something more than just hot water and a tea bag. Perhaps a drug of some sort.
Uhh, I’m gonna take it outside with me and drink it on the way. Bye!
Without any hesitation, he left the doorway and made his way for the front door. He grabbed the box sitting on the counter top and slammed the door behind him. He lifted his bike from its side on the front lawn and started cycling to Silver Park.
What the hell was that all about? He looks down at his tea, Never mind. He throws the cup of tea to the side and hears the glass shatter. He places the box inside his fleece pocket and firmly clutches both handle bars with his hands.
The wind blew against his face as he peddled, he felt a sudden rush of excitement and thought, Why do I feel so free!? It feels like I can fly there right now if I wanted to.
As he neared the park, Brutus felt something extremely out of ordinary. There was a drastic change in the wind’s attitude. It seemed all the elements around him became hostile. The wind had a different texture or appeal to it, not like anything he’s ever felt before. The earth underneath looked troubled, but he pressed on any way.
I know this errand of my parents’ isn’t just to bring someone a box of directions. Something fishy is going on, but I just can’t help it, I gotta know who this person is. The earth cries out I should!
Just then, the wind began to pick up with impressing high speeds as he entered the park. The noise was unbearable and the trees were anxious, as if it wanted to leave from whatever was lying in its depths. Eager to know, he continued onward. He finally arrived in the centermost deepest part of the wooded park. It had to have been at least three hours past midnight and he was all alone. He steered his bike off to the side and parked it by a tree. He stepped off and quietly walked toward the great sized fountain that sat in the middle of the area. The wind swiftly came to a halt and the whole park came to a silence as if he was on stage and everything was watching him.
Okay, this is weird… He looked all around him, but couldn’t see anyone there.
He gazed back at the lifeless fountain there. Its base was a platform that stretched about twenty feet long and five feet high. On its platform stood a rather large sculpture in which Brutus examined. It was old, and he can see the erosion that took place from harsh weathers throughout its lifespan. It was a four legged creature, in the shape of a lion. Though grey and moldy in some areas, its form was still intact keeping its impression that the creator first intended. Its mouth was closed, but its fangs could still be seen. It was on its front and hind legs with its left paw raised. Under its paw was a rounded shield positioned under its claws to the floor below it. The lion was centered between two largely decorated spouts and rested on a cylindrical beam that rose from beneath the still water.
Brutus found something interesting and took a step closer to the statue.
Hold on… what is this? On a small corner of the shield, there held the same insignia that was on the box. Brutus takes out the white box from his pocket and examines the insignia that perfectly matched the one on the sphere.
What the- was this always here?
Suddenly, rustling can be heard in the treetops.
Hello? Who’s there!?
He takes a couple steps back fixing his eyes up high.
A-Anyone there?… No response. A small wind whistled by.
Maybe it was a squirrel or something.
- Or maybe it wasn’t. A man suddenly appears behind Brutus.
Who just? Brutus quickly turns his head behind him and sees the man holding his black sombrero-like hat over his head.
Who is this guy that he can read my thoughts!!?
The man steps into the moon light. Tak Tak He wore a long, black, loosely draped coat over his shoulders. Underneath he had on a black and red jacket that was neatly tucked under a belt around his waist. He also wore semi baggy, black pants that folded over his red and black boots.
I can’t read your thoughts; I just interpreted your earth like posture that’s all.
The only identity he showed of himself was that, under his hat, he had, no hair, but a long red streak across one side of his face, like a tattoo. This man appeared to be in his late, middle aged years. Brutus can tell that this man beheld great wisdom by the way he carried himself.
Earth like posture? Just Who are you?
Who am I? Can’t you remember? What’s the matter with you Brutus; you come here for two years and forget all about me huh.?
Brutus now confused more than ever, tries to piece the puzzle together.
Are you… Vix?
Why Yes!! How did you figure!? Being here, Brutus, I thought would take forever for me to explain to you who you truly are! But it seems like your memory has been fully restored, not like it would be impossible for The Brutus N-
Who I truly am?… What do you mean!?
Stop fooling around, You know that you-… He can see the eagerness in Brutus’ face to know what he really meant.
You mean you… Don’t remember? Then how did you know my name was Vix?
I saw it under this device after I stepped on it this morning. And seeing you right now I thought maybe you could possibly be the owner.
Hmmm, lucky guess, this kid is smarter than I thought. Vix thought to himself.
Well, you’re right, I am the owner and that right there you’re holding is a tracking device I brought over. Knowing the curiosity of any sixteen year old boy, I knew you were going to put it on around your wrist even if you didn’t know who it belonged to. He chuckles at his own words. Hah, you were always that way Brutus. He smiles.
How does he know me so well?… hmm. O.
And so I’m assuming that you needed a blood sample too. Just to make sure that it was me before you started to track the person wearing the device, Right??
Wow, I didn’t think of that, what if the plan did mess up and it wasn’t you who wore it, then how would I know who I’m tracking… Good idea Brutus I’ll make sure I do that next time.
So the blood incident was totally my fault??… I gotta be more careful then.
So I hope your ride here wasn’t too crazy, being that you drank the tea your parents gave you, right?
I threw it away.
You what!? Vix’s eyes widen. That tea was intended to calm down your elemental senses, that way you wouldn’t freak out when you arrived here by all the noise and uneasiness in the air!
So, you weren’t scared?
No, not really, I mean all of the violent winds and anxious trees were a little creepy, but I just needed to know who it was I was meeting, since it was so important to my parents… And how do you know my parents anyway??
Vix folds his arms. Actually, Brutus, they aren’t your real parents, they are two of my own subordinates that you’ve never met before. I had them act as your parents for two earth years keeping you safe from harm. You see, they reported to me recently that, you’ve been having THOSE dreams again. Once I heard this, I knew automatically that time was short before your memories came back and I wouldn’t have been there to help guide you back to Efilice. Everyone had known of your presence and …
Efilice? Why does that sound so-
Images of towering domes and flags, and rivers with streams, and a blue sky with a golden sun all flashed through his mind.
Vix continued, and because of that, we find you here and now, and we must go back to-
Efilice! I remember now! It was a castle, or a-a, kingdom of some sort right!? Brutus shouted.
Uhh yeah that’s what I just said. Did you even hear a single word come out of my mouth!? I just explained almost everything that has happened in the past two…
Wait! You remember!?
Vaguely, but I remember some of the tall buildings and clear rivers that ran through it. It was beautiful wasn’t it?
Oh it Still is! Everyone is waiting for you; they know of my departure, and can’t wait to have you back. It’s been mostly hard on Terri, being that you were gone for all this time. He really is excited to have you…
Terri, I know a Terri don’t I? His name alone feels so close…
Vix continues, and the towns people all rejoice now for Efilice’s prized competitor is back-
Terri was a friend wasn’t he??
Okay Brutus! You really got to learn how to listen to others when they speak.
Of course he’s your friend, like I said, you’ve known him since childhood.
But, that’s beside the point! You, dear Brutus, are wanted back in Efilice, and we all certainly do miss you.
Now, did you bring the box those two told you to bring me?
Yes Sir. Brutus hands over the box to Vix.
Vix carefully examines the box before opening it and smoothly passes his fingers over it.
Brutus, do you know what this is?
No Sir, I was told not to look inside it.
Damn, I wished I looked.
No worries Brutus, you shall soon find out. Vix lifts the cover from the frame and inside it was,
A necklace!? Why a necklace?? Brutus thought to himself.
This isn’t just a necklace, Brutus, it’s a pendant.
How does he Know what I was Thinking!!?
It’s a Blood Pendant to be more specific. And it’s Yours!
Yes, it was a gift from your- Vix clears his throat.
It is the key to how we’ll get back home, watch…
Brutus carefully watches Vix as he slightly raises his hat; he lifts his hand and faces the fountain behind them. Then, with all his might, Vix throws the pendant right at the statue.
Wait!! Brutus squeezes his eyes shut and clenches his fists at his side.
Look Brutus. Vix says with a relaxed voice.
Brutus can see the amazement in Vix’s face. He looks over to the statue that was there and sees a red, glowing light expanding around it.
Whoa, what just happened?
Can’t you see what happened? Brutus, we just opened a portal to home.
Already used to Vix’s weird ability to “read” his mind, he gazes upon it with wonder.
A portal you say? You mean that the statue in this fountain was a gateway from Earth to Efilice the whole time?
Why yes, ha-ha, funny isn’t it. Vix smiles and rests his hand over Brutus’ shoulder.
He gently pushes Brutus toward the light.
Let’s go Brutus.
Okay. Wait! Brutus comes to a halt. Will I ever come back??
Umm, possibly Brutus, but I wouldn’t guarantee it. Besides, Efilice is where you belong.
And together they walked into the red, glowing light and disappeared out of sight.
As they enter into a new world, there’s no telling of what may happen…
Will Brutus remember everything about Efilice, the people there? How about his friends, like Terri? Just who is he anyway??
-NOTE-_ this work and others in gallery belong to that of_ “Dcraze”
This is a tidbit of my story.. the first episode/chapter of my manga, novel.
I hope you like it. Comments are much appreciated and tips on writing as well. thanks