Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Featured Creature: The Shard

"Nick.  I've found something, something amazing."

Tony looked ill.  His skin was very pale and his eyes had dark circles beneath them.  His hair was disheveled and he had obviously been wearing his wrinkled tee shirt and jeans for several days.  As we walked across campus, he developed a slick sheen of sweat on his face and neck.

"When was the last time you slept?"

"That doesn't matter.  What I found is gonna change everything!"  He raised his arms up as danced around euphorically.

We turned the corner of the mathematics building and moved around the backside, a shortcut through the faculty parking lot to the cafeteria.  The building butted up against a large grassy field at the edge of the university property.  Birds chirped and danced in the sunlit grass. I enjoyed the warm afternoon air despite Tony's cryptic euphoria.

"I did the all the exercises from the book and performed the ritual last week."  I stopped walking.  I could feel my face flushing with anger.

"Tony we discussed this.  We were going to do the ritual together."

"That doesn't matter anymore Nick.  I got results.  Results!"  He widened his eyes at me for emphasis but it only made him look more intense and slightly insane.  He stood partially in the shadow of the building.  It gave his face an ominous cast.

"What do you mean?"

Tony reached deep into his pants pocket, digging until he found what he was looking for.  He presented it to me with a wide knowing smile and opened his hand.  "See, Nick.  See how it moves."
I couldn't tell what I was looking at.  I blinked several times to adjust my eyes.  I thought at first that it was the shard of some gemstone, such as amethyst or garnet.  However the violet shard Tony held was almost obsidian in its coloring and it seemed to be moving in the palm of his hand. 

My eyes had trouble fixating upon the shard.  It was at once flat but seemed multifaceted like a jewel at the same time.  For a split second I reached towards it.  Patterns swirled over the surface of the thing and suddenly it seemed not a gemstone at all but some small geometric insect.  A spark passed between my hand and Tony's.  It sent an aching chill up to my shoulder as though I had just dipped my entire arm into ice cold water.  Nausea swept over me.  I jerked my hand away.

The birds suddenly stopped chirping and the air around us became thick and oppressive.  The light darkened as if the sun were setting, taking on a purplish color.  A deep resonating hum filled the air and the hair on my neck stood on end.  Tony made a clicking noise and fell to one knee.  His face was wrought with pain.  He held the shard way from himself.  His fingers curled involuntarily inward and he stared at his hand in horror.  He gasped as tears ran down his face.  He jerked and spasmed, curling into himself.

Suddenly there was a loud boom like the bending of metal.  A dark diamond shape appeared in the air behind Tony.  A hard wind kicked up, sucking towards the diamond.  I reached out to Tony as the nausea hit me again.  Another arc of electricity passed between us and knocked me away from him.

Tony's gaze was locked upon his hand and he had began to scream hysterically.  His hand became transparent and disappeared.  The effect traveled down his arm and his form began to twist and stretch towards the black diamond as his entire body faded.  Tony's scream stretched out like a passing car as he dissolved into nothingness.  There was a small spark and a loud pop like glass cracking.  The diamond shape folded in on itself at the same time and disappeared as if it never were.

The light slowly returned to normal.  I fell back against a nearby car for support.  There was no trace of Tony or the shard but the acrid smell of ozone and the white scorch marks on the asphalt where he had been standing.  I sat on the asphalt and stared at the dark center of the burn mark for a long time.  All I could think was, "Results."

{created in Adobe Photoshop}


Eddie said...

Love it when Tony widens his eyes at Nick. Good moment there.

The artwork is great too. Reminds me of that scene from from Superman II, except much creepier.

Jesse Campbell said...

Thank You Sir! That was a surprisingly difficult conversation to write.

I didn't even think about the diamond shaped Phantom Zone portal. I was very focused on the crystal shape. That image is probably lodged somewhere back there in my head. I was pretty disturbed by that as a kid. Other dimensional prisons are freaky.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...