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 Shadowmen

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Sensei
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PostSubject: Shadowmen    Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:28 pm

Prologue

The guards were on edge. Not just on any edge, though. In fact they felt as though they were on the edge of a very long drop, into unknown danger, and hard ground.

‘Cold out tonight,’ observed Sebastian, as he stared into the darkness surrounding Pallor Castle.
‘Well what do you expect? There aren’t any clouds in the sky, so the heat escapes…’ said Connor.
‘Oh, shut up,’ muttered Sebastian, jabbing his short somewhat rodent-like companion with his pike, ‘how do you even know that anyway?’
‘I studied at the High Institute,’ said Connor, puffing out his chest ever-so-slightly.
‘Ah yes,’ said Sebastian, lifting his steel helmet briefly to scratch his head, ‘how could I forget?’
‘I’ve got a degree in sky studies,’ Connor was about to continue when he realised that Sebastian had lost interest and was presently examining his left gauntlet.

‘You know, your petty attempts to start conversation with me are altogether quite hilarious, Sebastian. When I reply , you tell me to shut up, then ask another question, and don’t listen to the answer!’ and he fell into a fit of superior laughter.
‘Huh. Just because you’re smarter then the rest of us doesn’t mean you have to rub it in our faces,’ said Sebastian, feeling his face redden.
‘Is this little midget bothering you, Seb?’ the gruff voice of Tommy came from behind them. Both guards turned to see they’re overseer, Tommy walking out onto the balcony.
‘As matter of fact he is, Tommy! Says he’s smarter then us,’ said Sebastian, turning to see Tommy towering over them both. Tommy’s dark eyes flickered in the from the firelight of the torch he held in his hand.
The gigantic man took a step past Sebastian, to stand over Connor.
‘Say one more word, and I will throw you over this wall.’
He grabbed Connor at back of the neck, and forced him to look over the wall of the balcony.
‘Would you like to fall down there?’ he hissed in Connor’s ear.
‘No!’ said Connor through gritted teeth.
‘Then shut up!’ hissed Tommy, inches from Connor’s face.
Connor stumbled back at the man’s sudden ferocity. Tommy stalked off without another word.
Sebastian walked across the hard stone floor of the balcony to the edge of the wall, and peered down.
He squinted and managed to make out the figures of two more guards in the courtyard, the torches around them illuminating a small circle, with them at its centre.
It was at least a two hundred foot drop.
‘That’s at least a one hundred and fifty seven foot drop,’ muttered Connor. Sebastian rolled his eyes and sighed.
‘You couldn’t possibly know that.’
‘Exactly how many sightings of this monster were there?’ asked Sebastian, his eyes surveying the lights of the city far below.
‘Four. Five if you include that small child that reported to the official ‘I saw the monster!’’
Connor chuckled at this for a few awkward moments, in which Sebastian cleared his throat and looked down at his boots. It wasn’t his type of humour, and he certainly wasn’t in the mood for laughing. He’d been brought up listening to hundreds of stories about man-eating monsters, monsters that ripped you to shreds as you lay asleep, creatures that hunted humans for sport, and dozens of other horror stories. He held a fascination for such creatures, but standing here now, surrounded by darkness, the stories were manifesting themselves in every flicker of movement, every shadow and every sound.
‘Honestly though,’ Connor was saying, ‘Mythical creatures? I say ‘No! No such thing!’’
Sebastian snapped out of his reverie.
‘Why do you say that? Half the attacks on the kingdom are supposedly the work of monsters!’
‘Oh yes, indeed! If you believe anything our good king’s army reports! If you ask me, I think it is all part of a plot to keep us all in fear. Oh yes, King Hamish will protect us! And we’d jolly well better not step out of line for fear that we lose that protection!’
‘Right…’ Sebastian dragged the word out as long as he could. He didn’t like Connor, for a number of apparent reasons.
Before he had even finished the word, an echoing screech exploded in the distance.
Sebastian felt a tingle run down his spine
‘What on earth was that?’ hissed Connor.
Sebastian swallowed, and it seemed painfully loud in the night air.
Tommy was beside him then, breathing heavily.
‘Did you two hear that?’ he demanded.
Sebastian just nodded, squinting his eyes against the dark sky, trying nervously to make out the so-called mythical monster.
‘Then have your pikes ready, boys,’ said Tommy, roughly handing Connor his pike, which he had propped by the door onto the balcony at the start of his shift ‘I think it’s Mor-tia,’ he said the last words so quietly Sebastian barely heard him. For some reason the name Mor-tia sent a shiver down his spine again, and in the back of his mind, the name was met with recognition.
‘Oh, don’t tell me you’re a monster expert, sir!’ said Connor, shaking his head. Tommy turned to Connor with a deadly expression on his weathered face, his eyes cast in shadow from the visor of his helm.
‘One more word, Connie, and I’ll wring your neck.’
The screech rang out again, louder this time. Connor jumped.
‘Pull yourself together man!’ hissed Tommy, ‘why did you even join the Castle Guard?’
‘What is it?’ Sebastian blurted. He heard a sound like the beating of enormous wings, rapidly getting closer.
A deafening crash erupted above them, the tower shook. Something had crashed into the main tower.
‘Get down!’ roared Tommy. Sebastian threw himself to the ground, pike held tight in his hands. Connor was muttering to himself beside Sebastian, ‘Impossible. It can’t be a monster.’
But the roar that erupted above them silenced Connor’s denial. They were battered as the air from the creature’s wings was driven down.
Sebastian heard the twang of sinew as the archers on the roof tried to fight off the creature. He dared to look up long enough to see the vague outline of an enormous grey creature, illuminated by the torches of the main tower. The wings were gigantic, at least double the length of the main tower, which was twenty metres across. The archers looked like insects beside the mighty creature. Sebastian made out the creature’s head, which was long, the length of a man, and its eyes were black. Pitch black.

Then it opened its mouth, and Sebastian was filled with dread.
Rows of huge dagger-like teeth flashed in the torchlight. Sebastian saw the monster lunge for the nearest archer and hid his head as he heard the man scream.
More screams reached them, and Sebastian was filled with pure terror. He felt his insides squirm, as though they were trying to run away and let the rest of him be torn to pieces.
Another crash and the tower shook again. Sebastian jumped to his feet and started to run. To hell with the rest of them! He didn’t want to die.
The balcony ran all around the tower and the door inside was on the other side, only a matter of feet away from him. He reached the huge wooden door and yanked it open.
But before he could even take a step to going inside and leaving his friends to die he was knocked to the floor. His head smacked the stone hard, and the pain was instant. For a few split seconds he forgot he was in grave danger, then he forced his eyes open to face what had knocked him to the floor.
Claws were what he saw. The monster was over him, impossibly huge, and its black eyes were focused on him.
Sebastian grabbed his pike in both hands, and feebly poked it at the claws.
Before he had realised what had happened, Sebastian was hit aside like a fly, and he was falling. He looked down and saw the ground. Dead.

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Old Amsterdam
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowmen    Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:36 am

Mmm....

This appears to be a good start. I like the way you've written it and the promising story underlying it.

I wasn't paying attention for any mistakes, so I can't mark on them. But I'm willing to assume there's not many, if any, knowing you.

I think it looks good so far, at any rate. I look forward for more.

I never knew you were a writer, Sean! Laughing

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Urmudda0007
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowmen    Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:01 pm

Rain Stinks wrote:
I never knew you were a writer, Sean! Laughing
Sean has quite a few stories on display on FL.
I really like this story. (Sean showed me some more he's written) I like the way the prologue introduces an enemy, before the main characters are even introduced. The feeling is like "Ok, that's what needs to be killed, now lets see who's going to try and do it!"
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Old Amsterdam
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowmen    Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:26 pm

Yea, but I meant like this good....Plus, I stay out of most of the areas on FL anymore.

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