Recently I’ve put some time into Echoterre, but am not quite ready to release content on that. Currently looking into working with some collaborators, because I’ve always seen Echoterre as a collaborative project down the road and figured, why not start sooner. Also, building an entire universe by yourself is bloody hard.
As promised, here’s a teaser from a recent chapter of The Pixie’s Parmamour, which I’m about a quarter of the way through the rough draft. Inspiration from this piece comes from a certain elusive mood, so I’m not sure how quickly it will progress. Nonetheless, enjoy.
“Are you trying to screw me over?” A man shouted.
The sound reached my ears as I moved up the hill toward my building’s rear entrance.
“Seriously, what the fuck were you thinking?” He crescendoed, voice cracking with malice.
Some dying part of my subconscious told me to double back to my apartment’s main entrance at the foot of the hill. If I didn’t see what was happening, I’d soon forget the sounds. That part of me perished completely as I crested the hill.
A man and woman stood with less than six inches separating her nose from his collarbone. She was small and slight, dark haired and pale skinned. He had dark skin and long black dreadlocks, average height but broad shouldered and muscular. A man in his prime and a woman in hers, a couple having a row at the end of their driveway.
“Do you have any idea how hard I work?” Dreadlocks scolded his partner. “Do you know how much it costs just to keep the house and the car?” He gestured wildly with both arms, displaying a faded band T-shirt that had once been flashy and perhaps even cool. The house was a quaint bungalow, the car a souped up hummer with polished rims and tinted windows.
I kept moving along the sidewalk toward them. I could cut out into the street and J-walk to my building. Most people would have, even minus the row. Strangers are dangerous.
“And all I ask of you is that you take care of my kid,” the enraged man raved, fists clenching and unclenching. “But that’s too much, isn’t it? You can’t even be here at the right time!” His latest sweeping gesture –whether by accident or on purpose– brought the back of his hand crashing into her face. The woman staggered and pressed a hand to her cheek, stunned but still silent.
The direction of my stride never changed, nor the speed. Till that moment I’d been politely examining the state of the asphalt’s decay. The harsh slap of skin on skin pulled my eyes to the couple like heat guided missiles.
“You see somethin’?” Dreadlocks asked, more than aware of what I’d witnessed. “You walk away right now man or I’ll drop you here in the street.” He moved in front of the passive woman.
I kept walking along the sidewalk, same as before. Nothing had changed except the inferno ignited in my gut. It blazed up my throat and shone in my eyes as I came within a step of the man in the band T-shirt.
He threw a punch like every frat guy who’s ever gotten in a drunken scuffle and awoken the next day feeling like a fighter. He reached way back and swung his arm in an arcing motion. In his mind he was the Chuck “The Iceman” Liddel, delivering a deadly overhand right.
I pushed hard off my back foot and surged forward and brought both arms up at forty-five degree angles. My left deflected his punch harmlessly and my right forearm crashed into his jaw.
Dreadlocks went down in his driveway, but recovered quickly to one knee. Rage and revenge screeched from eyes dark as coal. He was still invincible in his mind – still conscious, still on his turf. He’d been bested by a simple trick, in front of his woman no less, and needed instant redemption. He rose and lunged, pawing with a left hook and loading a straight right behind it.
I bent my knees and leaned under the hook and lifted my leg. All the forward momentum behind the man’s second punch propelled his solar plexus into my knee. The feeling of driving all the air from his lungs should have calmed me, but it only fanned the flames.
“Stop!'” The dark haired young woman rushed to her partner as he crashed to the gravel for the second time. “Come inside,” she urged the gasping, windless man,” I’m sorry, please, just…” she looked at me with a mixture of emotion I could not hope to decipher. “Please just go away.”
I walked to the end of the block while the woman helped her wounded warrior back to the bungalow. Once they were safely inside I returned to my building. Best perhaps if they didn’t know where I lived.
Inside my unit I placed both palms on the kitchen counter and breathed. I was burning alive. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine glaciers and snow-crested mountains but the fire melted them all. Something rose from the flames… not a phoenix, but a Pixie.
Shit, heavy stuff right? But that part at the end seems uplifting. Sort of. The truth is I’ve only gotten feedback on this piece from a couple people, so comments are more than welcome. And as a semi-afterthought, here’s a link to my new Rust gameplay video.
Thanks for reading!