The Year of the Heddagh – Chapter 6

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

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Knox stared breathless and dazed into the eyes of his Fate. Their universes collided and Knox felt his own existence give in to the power of that realm from which the Goyar Heddagh came. He feared the intercourse intimate in its own way, the consumption of his body and mind into this unknown place where shadows crept and gods died. Knox knew the price. It was simple to understand now, to believe and agree. He was alone on this ridge with something ancient, something he hadn’t pictured this awful.

He had hoped for mercy and a second chance but instead a monstrosity rose before him with its fists clenched and its body magnificent offering him the kind of death he would agonize in, repeat over and over, yes he believed that most of all – it would never be a final death. That shattered his confidence made his future nonexistent, wiped.

His power in this world had reached its absolute limit. Any hope of redemption left Knox staring into that impossible green. The Goyar had already seen through all of his hopes, all of his questions, through the fear and regrets and they meant nothing to him. Blood and rage was what Knox felt in return, a rejection of his pity. He was to willingly allow himself to die, to be no more, and his death would not serve as a martyr’s might, not as a warning either, but as punishment for his own soul. The man now saw the sign of the judgment like he’d never seen it before.

Knox could feel the drift, yes. It was shrinking him to just a shell in human skin. His existence narrowed to just being a bag of bones. Nothing around, nothing back, nothing further from this point. That clarity burned with the horror of the present and it inflamed the inside of his skull, convulsing him. The winds made a distant song, a laughter of sorts that whistled through Knox’s ribcage. Knox finally spoke, the words rolling off his parched lips in no more than a choked whisper.

“You’ve been looking for me.” That was the only truth he knew and could acknowledge without a shiver.

The Goyar Heddagh bent his tall figure drawing his face so close to Knox that the man felt the heat from the goat-spirits’ mouth on his face, a mixture of dirt and mold. Knox was repulsed by the eyes, for they did not bear even a small piece of something animalistic, or savage. They were filled with trickery; a false calmness that shot dead glances instead. The beast bellowed his volume and it cascaded down Knox’s throat and sunk through his eyes and pierced through his skin, tearing and biting.

Knox heard a voice in his, a penetrating thunderous voice that belonged elsewhere, but came from all around here for what was still here. Knox watched a golden-brown hand extending from all in-between places and coming to touch him.

“YOU HAVE,” the goat spirit answered.

“I have”, echoed Knox, nodding. The Goyar sheathed two fingers inside one of his gaping wounds and blood-stained, smeared his longer fingers over Knox’s face marking him. Knox bit the insides of his mouth till he tasted blood as sour as sin; a guilt which crept deep awoke.

 “YOU HAVE DENIED ME FAR TOO MANY TIMES, THIEF.”

Knox knew now would be his last hope to find the answer to the simple “why” he had sought so many days and nights.

“I didn’t know. I don’t know. Tell me what I can do to make things right!” The tears came easily, fear and guilt mixed with snot. “I’m so sorry. Please…please.”

The bloodied fingers silenced him, a calloused and sticky touch against his lips.

The goat-spirit grabbed Knox. He cracked him with ease, like a nutshell and blew his remains to go with the autumn wind.

To be continued…

The Year of the Heddagh – Chapter 5

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

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The scream returned Knox to his reality, his body full and present, cutting into the moist rock. His eyes turned to slits now rolled wide in their sockets as he gradually found the mountain still below him, his backpack by the rock where he’d left it. The illusion had passed, a cloud of pale green smog shaking off of him like dust. How he held to the cadaverous, grey rock he couldn’t tell. His mouth dribbled with bubbling saliva which he spat. Nausea threatened to flip his world again and Knox breathed in and out the cold air to cease the vomiting sensation burning in his throat. His lungs hurt. His skin, his nails, joints, muscles, bones, they all hurt miserably but he was alive.

The fall had been a lie. A dream, a hallucination, a play of the Gods, but a lie and Knox had believed it and had given himself over to it accepting sweet death like a fool. Adrenaline fueled and angered, Knox regained control over his weary limbs and gave one last push of his snapping joints to lift his heavy body onto the flat ridge.

The green glow wasn’t there. It wasn’t anywhere. Knox laid his head against the cold stone and sobbed like he hadn’t done since he was on that bridge. Every inch of him shook as he seized the moment of receiving near death and escaping it.

A swift and brutal gust of wind crushed upon Knox, pressures of air pushing him hard down against the wet and mossy earth. His ears flooded with whoops and whistles, white noise in high volume; the blizzard deafened him fully. He closed his eyes, sheltered his ears and lay curled on the ridge, praying to not be swept away into the merciless pit below. But he wasn’t. He had no resistance, just a sudden, monstrous draw which made him heavy, and somehow he knew that if he were to jump down now the wind wouldn’t let him. Knox could feel the mountain shifting, altering itself. Not the same, not anymore. Hoofs clacked against the rock and the smell of blood and wet fir hit him again; it was the scent of sacrifices in numerous centuries.

Then came silence, a sharp intake of breath that Knox took as he beckoned himself to look, to witness. He came towards him, the one whose name was unknown, for he was not praised, nor was he believed in, in this century or the last, but that now formed with understandable letters in Knox’s head – the Goyar Heddagh.

A mocked goat-god”, sang the voices of the mountain.

The hermit Spirit of the Mountain”, the winds added. He was a see through figure, a world of blur as if he was not quite there yet; a translucent image gaining solidity with each hoofed step. The moldy grey stone of An Tellach seemed to give the Goyar his structure as it was sucked from the exterior and into him, sculpting the beast.  Knox wished he could see him real and the Goyar’s ghostly appearance shook off whatever spectral qualities it had making Knox gasp in awe. He was a majestic creature.

Knox was stunned by his height; towering above any man Knox knew, the Goyar carried himself with pride, a strong and violent one.  A greenish, ghoulish glow danced on the tips of his sharpened horns twisted to the sides of his furry head like a crown to his being. His fur was a ruined brown coated in dust, but two gold ring bracelets circled his strong upper arms – the entirety of his body, Knox observed, was covered in scars and wounds some of which were bright and lightly oozed pink pus, and those Knox knew were the gifts of his many lives in this and the other world, when in neither he was Godlike truly, but suffered equally. One of these wounds was perhaps Knox’s doing and he stifled a cry for the creature.

His two malevolent green eyes now squinted and fixed on Knox. His hooves dragged rocks, scratching at the essence of this continuum. Knox held his breath as the meeting was epochal – a god, unrecognized by others and bound to stay a spirit of the heights stood before a human, left by many and remembered by few.

You found me, you Knox whispered, his voice tremulous. The man on the bridge had warned him Gods would come for him to tear at his soul, but this creature, this horrendous beast was now his judge; it had stalked him from afar and it had drawn him to Scotland to kill him.

To be continued…

Moonrise CH16 – Frustrating Situations

Doctor Globe is watching! Are your superpowers in check?

Article 94

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* * *

Major Jacob Globe, who preferred Doctor over Major, watched the live body cam footage from his Special Weapons and Tactics team. The stream wasn’t secured by technology, but by a super whose power involved the electrical manipulation of data. The young girl was one of the notorious and most feared hackers in many years. In a world ruled by information, those that could control those little ones and zeroes controlled it all.

Now that the young woman had been brought into the fold of Globe’s new organization, she was free to tap into her powers. He insisted on a rigorous training schedule to mold her into the perfect stealth hacker. One of his supers implanted memories into her mind that compelled her to be loyal to Globe.

Another super painstakingly hid what was…

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The Year of the Heddagh – Chapter 4

Chapter 1 

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

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Knox struggled for a better grapple, seeking higher, seeking a better purchase but each reach for the glow tore at his muscles with heats of pain. His limbs buckled at the sheer pressure. “I can’t do it! I can’t, please!” Knox cried at the presence, his eyeballs icy and blind from crystallizing tears.  He outstretched a hand like a beggar, fingers trembling for a hold on the edge of the world, of his life. He was so near just one more push and he’d be able to get up onto the ridge.

There was a moan somewhere deep in the core of the mountain. Knox felt tiny pieces of rock slip through his fingers as the moan became a bellow and it, an earthquake within Knox’s chest pressed tightly against the rock. Then the ridge shook violently and Knox heard and felt a loud crumble beneath him that nearly threw him off the ridge.

He took a dare and glanced down only to see that he was hanging in the air, one foot loose, the other still finding something solid to step on. The mountain was gone and in its place there was a void showing the long way straight to the barren valley. Knox felt dizzy. He would slip, he would let go and he would fall. He would die, smash into bits. Would they ever find him? A leg there, a finger here? He couldn’t hold longer. There was pain extending from his fingertips to his wrists, traveling up the length of his arm, his joints cracking under the pressure of his body hanging loose, bashed by sudden flurries of wind. His bones were heavy. “Help!” he squealed at whoever listened. The glow had left him too he saw. In his fear Knox cried.

He scratched the rock desperately trying to hold on, prolonging what was inevitable. But he was already slipping, his skin under the glove flaying from the harsh friction of slip and hold, unable to grip. Knox could feel his nails breaking under the pressure. His fingers would snap soon.

Something blinded him in a sudden and harsh burst of light that made Knox shut his eyes tight. Through the slits of his eyes he saw that the light was green, a revolting shade that burned through his eyelids and laser-pointed itself onto his irises. As Knox wailed in pain he felt his fingers unlock their grip from the rock and he fell, inflamed body sighing. There had been pain, now there was none.  It was a silent moment, too fast, too short to be felt, realized or prevented. His body experienced release, his muscles eased as he was thrown back with a gentle push which set his body into a flight that altered the dynamic unhook from the rock into a slow progress undoubtedly and only down, but which gave him in a paralytic mix of fear and tears, hope.

Though he was falling to his demise atop this mountain, Knox hoped that that would finally mean his freedom. As he stared into the white obscurity floating around and above him, the green glow dispersing within that purity, he truly believed this was meant to be his punishment and closure combined.

He was about to change, very soon. But it suddenly frightened him very much, the impact with the cold ground, the chance of remaining conscious, or worst alive. He thought that as he screamed aloud, he thought of the old man and how he warned him that Gods are funny. The fall was no longer a peaceful acceptance.

To be continued….

Moonrise CH15 – Takeover

Plug into the SuperHub with some new Moonrise. Find out can Det. Massey fight off the FBI from his case!

Article 94

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As Felix backed out of the scene, Massey heard his name being called. He scanned the crowd to find Andy pushing through the journalists, waving his hand at him. Massey cursed under his breath but gestured to the officers to let him under the line.

“I thought I told you to stay in the car and keep an eye on Joaquin.”

“Joaquin’s a big boy he can take care of himself. Besides, I have this.” Andy waved the press pass at his face.

“You do know I can bust you in for impersonating a reporter, right Mr. Kitz?”

Andy smiled at him. “But you won’t, Detective because you need me more than you want to admit. I know you didn’t drag me along all the way here just to sit in…

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The Year of the Heddagh – Chapter 3

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

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Knox had never thought of the Gods as funny – in his Sunday knowledge they were One and he was just or cruel, wise and ancient and mighty. It didn’t matter how many they truly were. They frightened him now that he had become their jest. They were vicious humorists who cackled at him through the memory of that night which was never far from him, from his dreams – the bridge, the frozen water, the man and his soothing, sad voice and the endless fall over and over and over again submerging, churning and resurfacing out of breath and out of mind.

Knox halted his step, catching a breath. That night he had laughed at the old man, laughed at his words, at his back turned to him as he had walked away leaving him to grow mad and ponder at the quiet warning.

“The Gods will surely find you. When they do they will have their way.”

And here, they had finally done so, leading him piece by piece, crumb by crumb to the mountain. Knox was thankful. It would be over soon. The presence trailing alongside with him increased, pushing into him. Knox resumed his climb.

Ascending this mountain alone was a ridiculous idea, and a dangerous one, but Knox was led by something he could only describe as supernatural, mystical, something with an origin belonging to another place. He succumbed to its guidance and no longer followed his own path but that of the glow. It was taking him further and further into the rocky towers and secrets of An Teallach. A sign screwed into the soil right beside a detour Knox took caught his eye. Written in bright red paint it read “Beware of the Goat”, but Knox shook his head; goats didn’t frighten him.

Hours rolled and the climbing became more exhausting. The terrain of the Northern Highlands was not to be taken lightly up here, the route rough and demanding, with steep ascents and descents. Knox was grateful that for now the glow was leading an easier path. The knife-edged crests were minor difficulties for Knox armed with the axe, but he still found the need to stop and catch his breath more often. At a different time, when the beautiful alpine skyline was visible the climbing would be more pleasing. Now it was a massive ghost palace floating in the skies, and Knox was walking along its corridors of cold stone.

At around noon Knox reached an unmarked narrow path below Corrag Bhuidhe, the steepest section he had read about in his guide. This was where the green glow had taken him. Knox couldn’t see where the improvised path brown and moist lead, but it seemed like a dead-end. The winds were high and merciless now. Knox lifted the hoodie of his jacket over his wool hat and prayed no rain will lash upon him. The eerie green luminance had disappeared from sight and with it the feeling of being watched.

After waiting a while without a signal from the glow he reached for the pocket guide and the map to try and retrace his steps back to the original, marked path, fearing he was beyond rescue, but the book along with the map fell from his gloved fingers. They had gone numb. Knox realized his arms and legs were aching too. He crouched and sat on a tilted rock, unable to stand any longer lost and tired and cold. The freshness of the water choked him, but Knox welcomed it and drank until his thirst was eased. He took out the apple and bit off it, the juice running down his chin.

He was trapped with nothing behind him but mist, milky and floating and in the far distance, the mirage images of other peaks unreachable and somewhat unreal. Ahead of him the route made no promises either. Knox traced it with tired eyes until the unchanging colors blurred before him. Then he spotted the glow. It had brightened and centered as a pulsating circle approximately 8 meters above Knox’s head on a rocky ridge erupted to the side of the path, tall and dangerously outspreading above the free fall to the side of the mountain. The embankment was solid though and had a somewhat good grip for Knox to scramble upwards and reach the glow. Reckless, he started climbing and the glow skipped further up teasing, playful.

The rock was slippery, greasy. It wept with ice tears that trickled down under Knox’s palms. He could feel how cold they were through his gloves. Knox searched for his rope and axe frantically before realizing they were not with him. His backpack lay tossed aside down by the tilted stone. How long was he going to keep up without a rope and without falling? Minutes, seconds? Knox wondered by what lunacy he had forgotten about his equipment. The glow was a rotating sphere hovering almost at the edge above.

Knox disliked the bulging mass. Now it seemed to him that it tilted even more to the right casting him outside of the small safety the path had provided. He thought about abseiling back down and to the left, but the steepness of the embankment made it impossible for him to see his steps clearly. A misstep would mean a broken ankle and soon after – death.

As if to avert his mind from such ideas the glow enhanced its green effect, shining upon man and rock alike. It rolled down nearing his anxious finger, but just as Knox tried to touch it the glow jutted harshly to the right and skipped back to its place at the top waiting, poison green and ghostly. Knox understood it wasn’t to be easy. There was no down, only up. And Knox climbed.

To be continued…