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View Full Version : Ouroborus (revised & extended; 4150 words; Language)



nerdybynature
August 21st, 2014, 06:17 PM
I've made some changes per suggestions on my previous post and added more, to hopefully get some more feed back on whether my story can garner any interest, Thanks in advance for your critiques and I appreciate the help.



“​What happened out there Aidan? Where is mom?” Casey asks as Aidan enters the kitchen. Aidan drops his bag on the floor then rests his mother’s rifle an M-14 along with another bag with some supplies on the table in front of him.


Casey yells again “Where is mom? You’ve been gone for 6 days Aidan.”
Aidan looks back at Casey and under his breath says, “I don’t know.”
Casey confused not sure what to say or do falls back against the wall as his body slides to the floor. His eyes race back and forth in his head as he takes in this news and with each second that passes his mind unravels and unwillingly grasps the reality of it all.
Aidan and Evelyn left 6 days earlier to go find some supplies, specifically water, to prepare them for the upcoming winter. It’s only September but in the recent years the cold weather has made it harder for Evelyn to get around. They were supposed to be back that night but never returned. After two days Casey was sure they were dead, but not knowing was in itself more than enough hope that they might be ok. However, now he knows for certain something has happened, that their mother has gone missing and his brothers only words to explain the past six day’s is, “I don’t know,” it hits a chord of rage and anxiety in him.
Their younger sister Elsa awoken from the noise walks into the kitchen. The sleep and drowsiness plastered on her face immediately transforms to joy at the sight of Aidan, “Oh my God, Aidan you’re ok.” Elsa rushes over to Aidan jumping on to his back. She slides down and turns looking around the room, then slowly the smile and feelings of joy that had taken residence on her young and beautiful face, began to fade. She turns back to Aidan and with some trepidation asks, “Where is mom?”
Aidan, knowing there was no answer to this question, just looked at his sister letting his eyes tell her what his mouth wouldn’t dare say. He doesn’t know what happened she just disappeared.
Casey abruptly gets up drawing both Aidan and Elsa’s attention, and walks to the basement door. He opens the door then disappears into the darkness leaving only the trailing sounds of his footsteps as they angrily beat the stairs as if they had affronted him in some way. After a few moments of silence Aidan moves towards the basement but before he can get to the doorway, he hears Casey’s ill-tempered footsteps coming back up the stairs carrying a little more weight. Casey bursts back out carrying two assault rifles and a bag filled with about half of their remaining ammunition. Aidan knowing exactly what his brother is thinking grabs his arm defiantly, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Casey pushes his hand away, “What do you think?”
Aidan a little frustrated grabs Casey’s arm again this time a little harder, “I don’t know what happened Casey, I don’t know where she is, and we don’t even know if they took her.”
Casey again pushes him off, “Well sitting here crying isn’t going to help us figure that out is it,” and with malicious intent adds, “If I were with her, this would have never happened.”
Elsa shocked by Casey’s remark, shouts “Don’t say that…” but before she can say anything else Aidan punches Casey square on the jaw, and sends him flying into the table knocking off the gun along with the bag of ammunition.
Casey enraged, hops back on his feet and charges at Aidan. They tussle for a while trading blows, before they both fall to the floor as Casey gets Aidan into a headlock.
Aidan struggles to free his brother’s grip on him, but Casey is unfortunately much stronger. Aidan continues to struggle to no avail when Casey’s grip suddenly loosens followed by a high pitched yelp.
“Why the hell did you hit me?” Casey rolls over in pain holding his side as he points toward Aidan, who at this point is back on his feet bent over gasping for air, “Aidan’s the one that hit me first?”
Elsa stands calmly while her hand sways from the weight of the large crowbar she used to assault Casey, “Because you were acting stupid.”
Casey grunts and gets back on his feet, “You always take Aidan’s side, figures you’d hit me.”
Elsa attempts to defend her decision but realizes arguing with Casey is as useful as yelling at a deaf man.
The three of them stand motionless for a while not sure of what to do, just staring at each other. Fights like this are far from rare and are quite frankly a weekly routine for Casey and Aidan, but the only difference is Elsa was the one to break it up this time.
Finally Casey breaks the silence, “Exactly what the hell happened to mom Aidan?” he asked.
Aidan looks up at Casey then Elsa, and shakes his head, “I don’t know, I honestly don’t know.” He walks over to one of the cupboards and pulls out a small bottle of their mother’s homemade liquor. He opens another cupboard and takes out a small cup, then hops up and sits on the counter. He pours the liquor in to the small cup and then gulps it down. His eyes cringe and his mouth grimace’s as he grabs his knee, “Holy fuck, how did mom drink this shit?” He puts down the cup next to the bottle and sits stoically trying to compose himself as he tries to find the words, not sure where to start are what to say, but his lips start to move and the words seem to find themselves.


================================================== ===


“Welcome to Belmont” Aidan read aloud, as he passed a sign that use to welcome visitors and residents alike. He looked back towards his mother who was paying no attention to him. Her eyes and mind were focused on scanning the surrounding area as she walked at a brisk but steady pace. Her long white hair, pulled back into a loose ponytail bounced with each step, setting off the colors of her black blouse which was neatly tucked into a pair of dark brown pants securely fastened by a leather belt with silver ringlets. She carried a large duffle bag strapped around her shoulder and torso, keeping her two hands free to carry her M-14 rifle. She was 54 years old but with the exception of her pale white hair looked more to be in her late 30’s early 40’s.
Aidan turned his head back dismissing his mother’s dismissal. Up ahead he can see the town. For some reason it seemed different, but from this distance he couldn’t tell why. He and his mother have passed by on several occasions, but never stopped because they never had to. Going to any large residential area was always a last resort. Either bloodhounds or hostile residents overran many towns. They would set up traps for unsuspecting travelers, making risk of capture too high.
As they got closer to Belmont they stepped off the road and headed deeper into the woods to cover their approach.
Aidan struggled to get through the dense shrubs and low hanging tree limbs. He looked back to see how his mother was fairing. Her smaller frame made it easier for her to maneuver through the branches and thick bushes. A bit annoyed by her obliviousness to his difficulty, he grunted forward and savagely shoved himself through the bushes.
“Slow down, your making too much noise,” Evelyn quickly warned.
Knowing she was right and there was no rational reason for him being so irritable, he slowed his pace and tried his best to move through quietly but held onto his bitterness. He looked ahead through the bushes to see how much farther before they arrived, when his heart leapt in his chest. He quickly dropped down as low as he can behind a cluster of bushes. Evelyn quickly followed his lead then shuffled up beside him.
“What is it?” she faintly whispered.
“I think there is someone up ahead.”
“Where?” She asked curiously.
“I saw a man, I think maybe 50 or 60 feet ahead, a little to the left.”
She nodded her head then slid to her right peeking around the bush, after a few moments she brought her head back in and shot Aidan a quizzical look, “I don’t see anyone.”
Aidan a bit chagrined, thought back and was sure he saw someone ahead. He looked around to see if he can find a better vantage point when he decided on a thick trunked tree about 10 feet to his left. He turned to his mother motioning for her to stay there. She moved as if to say something, but pulled back reluctantly accepting whatever it was Aidan planned to do.
He removed his backpack and pulled out his hunting knife. It was an old knife. The hilt was battered and worn, but the blade was sharp enough to make any man reconsider action if pressed against his throat.
He slid the blade sideways into his mouth clenching on it firmly with his teeth, grimacing slightly from the taste of iron. He pushed himself off the ground and moved slowly toward the tree, a bit relieved that the thick brush was spaced out enough to leave him some room to get through quietly. He eased behind the tree being sure to get in a position so that whoever he saw wouldn’t see him when he stood up, in the off chance the person hadn’t already moved. He slowly stood up while removing the knife, all too glad to get the hunk of metal out of his mouth. He flattened himself against the tree, still looking around to be sure there wasn’t someone else around or that the same stranger didn’t become aware of his or his mothers presence and is now sneaking up on them. Feeling content there was no one else around he slowly peeked out.
Just as he thought, a figure loomed up ahead, and Aidan realized from his mother’s position she wouldn’t have seen him. He looked over at Evelyn who was intermittently looking around. When her eyes came back to him, he pointed forward then holds up one finger and she managed to take meaning from his hand gesture. He looked again to be sure he still hadn’t moved. He turned back to his mother and gestured to her with more hand signals trying to convey his plan. She stared intently trying to grasp his meaning but was befuddled by his hand gestures but recognized one, which was more than enough to explain his intentions. Before she could motion to object, he disappeared around the tree.
Aidan ducked down looking for the clearest path to the stranger, he managed to root out a path with his eyes and forged forward winding through. Positive the man’s back was facing him he moved to flank him, but as he got closer the looming man seemed to be positioned funny or standing well over 7 feet tall, but Aidan couldn’t see clearly through the low hanging branches and leaves. He finally rounded a tree that gave him a clear view. He gripped his knife getting ready to enforce a plan to take the stranger by surprise, but stopped in his tracks when he saw what was there.
“Don’t ever go off alone again,” Evelyn said angrily, as she saw Aidan walking back.
Her voice was low and whispered, but with the ability all mothers seemed to get at the moment of childbirth, her anger with him was clear as day.
Aidan’s face flushed with embarrassment, realizing his error and his breaking of the one rule they held high; never go anywhere alone. He stood there like a dog with his tail between his legs. Without giving him a chance to compose himself she motioned to the figure clouded by leaves that she was now able to see, convinced whoever it was, was either asleep or dead not to have stirred from their noise.
Aidan nodded his head beckoning her to follow. He led her through a clear path and then around a tree. Evelyn stopped in terror and her eyes widen as she gaped at the body. A child no more than 7 or 8 years old, with a noose around his neck, hung from the tree.
His hair was frizzy and red and his cheeks freckled. When blood and life coursed through his young veins he was a handsome little boy. The noose gripped his young fragile neck tightly, as his small lifeless body hung there. He wore a dark green and black striped t-shirt, khaki pants and a pair of black boots. A cape hung from his back, hanging down well past his feet. He looked dressed as if he were playing before his ill-gotten fate. The body was hung high enough that asides from a bear, most animals wouldn’t be able to get to it leaving him intact.
Aidan noticed the grief in Evelyn’s eyes from the disturbing sight, as he tried to grasp why anyone would deliberately do this. His mind wandered to Casey and Elsa back at the house and a foreboding feeling pooled inside his chest, urging him to grab his mother turn back and head home.
Evelyn took a deep breath, composed herself and slowly walked over to the body.
Aidan caught a whiff of her resolve and moved with her to the body.
“I’ll cut the rope,” he said.
Evelyn wrapped her arms around the boy’s upper thigh holding him.
Aidan reached up and cut at the rope, it was a little difficult because of how high he was hung, but he managed to cut it. His body fell back but Aidan caught him as his body slid down into Evelyn’s warm embrace. She even appeared to hug him for a moment before she laid him down on the ground.
Aidan noticed although the body was cold, there wasn’t any smell or sign of decay yet, which meant this happened recently. Aidan instinctively looked around knowing whoever did this could still be here or in the town and started to seriously consider abandoning this venture, but held his tongue for now. He looked down at his mother as she straightened the boy’s clothes and pushed back his frizzy hair. She untied the cape then eased him up pulling it from under him, and covered his body with it as tears streamed down her face.
He understood the horridness of seeing such a young life extinguished, and for the first time grasped the fear that his mother must carry with her all the time, having not one but three children to fear for in this god forsaken world. He now appreciated his mother’s reaction to him going off by himself earlier and felt compelled to comfort her and crouched down putting his arms around her shoulders, understanding she was not only crying for the boy.
They cover the little boy feeling discontent with having to leave him lying there, and headed back to collect their things.
They slowly stepped out of the bushes at the edge of town crouching down. Aidan looked around cautiously pondering his earlier thoughts of turning back, hoping to reproach the subject with his mother.
“Mom,” Aidan called, the worry in his voice thick.
She turned her head acknowledging him.
“Do you think we should still take the chance?” he paused looking around, “If the people who did that to the little boy are here in town there’s no telling what they’d do to us.”
She lowered her head in thought, and for a moment Aidan thought she might actually turn back.
“We can’t,” she finally said, “We need to find some source of water, the tank at the house will only last us for another month, and you know that. If my memory serves me correct I think there is an underground cistern at the far end of town.”
“You’ve been here before?” Aidan asked surprised.
“Once many years ago.”
Aidan couldn’t help but feel reluctant, however he knew full well their water supply would soon be running desperately low, but hoped they might come up with some other alternative before entering a possibly populated locale. The last time they entered a town he was stabbed by some crazed resident and contracted an infection. He had a fever for days and almost died. If his mother didn’t find help when she did he would be dead now. He instinctively ran his hand down his left side finding the scar.
Evelyn noticed and rested her hand on his shoulder, “Don’t worry we’ll be extra careful this time, and if there is any sign of someone we’ll leave right away.”
It wasn’t much of an assurance for him, but it was enough. He smiled at her genuinely not knowing she feared for them both more than he could ever imagine.
They made their way to the closest building, moving at a fast but steady pace, the both of them ever watchful.
The first building they approached was reminiscent of one of those taverns in an old western movie, minus the batwing doors. The building was all white, and in the front a worn sign read “Krishna Patel DDS-MDS” and above hung another sign barely legible “De…l Offi…” Aidan stares at the sign lost in thought for a moment, not regretting ever having to go to a dentist again. He remembered going as a kid, and the fear that overwhelmed him when he realized the needle was going in his mouth and not his arm.
“I can’t see, but does that say general store?”
Aidan snapped back from his thoughts, and looked to where Evelyn is pointing. The color combination on it was awful and Aidan couldn’t help but wonder what the owner was thinking when they had it painted. It had awful green colored shillings, with pink windowpanes and orange doors. Above the sign read “The General’s Hardware Store”
“No” he answers, “it’s a hardware store.” Aidan couldn’t help but smile inward at the idea of a hardware store named the General having pink windowpanes.
As they moved further into town with their seventh sense of paranoia, they both agreed the town was abandoned, and if anyone was here, they didn’t seem intent on betraying their location to a couple strangers.
Aidan spotted a small minimart, but as expected it was completely barren. They found a half a bottle of lighter fluid and a can of sliced pineapples. Hoping they were still edible Aidan shoved the can of pineapples into his pack. They made their way out of the store, being sure to stay in the shadows of the buildings as they moved deeper into the heart of town. However, the destruction that awaited them was unfathomable.
Aidan stood awestruck and terrified at the sight before him. Half of the town was completely gone, as if a beast of colossal size simply devoured a chunk of the town. There was no debris or signs that some kind of storm or tornado passed through, only a gaping hole. Realizing now why the town looked different than he remembered when they were approaching, fear and an overwhelming yearning to leave encumbered Aidan. He looked over to Evelyn whose eyes were wide but quizzical, like a joke said in bad taste.
“This can’t be,” she said puzzled.
“What can’t be?” Aidan replied unsure of his mothers meaning.
“I…I just don’t understand what could’ve done this,” she answered.
The hole went down about 400 feet. It spread out at a circumference of about 2 miles and narrowed as it went down, the symmetry and the fastidiousness of the hole made it seem purposefully done as if someone or something made this hole for a reason.
Aidan’s jaw clenched and his legs quivered with anxiousness to leave, his eyes meets his mothers and relief took hold as he sees his mother clearly felt the same way, but he also noticed something else, she didn’t seem shocked by any of this.
They turned away and moved with purpose following the same route they came by. Aidan without having to walk through and check each building knew the town was empty. First the boy and now this hole, something bad happened here and the more he tried to think of what could have possibly conspired here the more confusing and insurmountable the reason became. He couldn’t help but try to make sense of it all, but it only seemed to only further water the irrational fear now rooted in his mind.
They followed the road out of town deciding not to go back through the woods, he sensed the relief his mother got from this decision knowing she didn’t want to chance seeing the boy again.
“Mom, what do you think happened back there?” Aidan asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied, “but we need to get as far away from here as possible, and when we get back we need to start making plans to leave.”
“Leave,” Aidan blurted out confused, “leave what, the house.”
“Yes, it’s not safe here anymore,” she answered, her tone grave.
“Why, that’s been our home for the past 10 years, why is it suddenly not safe” Aidan suddenly got the feeling she wasn’t telling him something, “Mom what’s going on, back there you… you didn’t seem surprised by what we saw. You almost seemed to even recognize it, and you said…”
“Aidan,” she said curtly cutting him off, “not now, we’ll talk when we get home.”
“So you…”
“When we get home Aidan,” she repeated, this time stopping and looking him square in the eye, with a look he and his brother have come to call the stare of death.
Worried, scared and yet somewhat intrigued by whatever it was Evelyn was hiding Aidan dropped the topic.
The sun was starting to dive to its slumber. Aidan figured it was about 5 o’ clock. He knew night would catch them on the road but not for long if they kept up the pace, they could be home within 2 hours. When the trees and brush became less saturated they moved off the road. They stopped for a moment and took a sip of water. Before the awkward silence and tension between them could start to rear its annoying head, they started walking again.
Aidan, so caught up in thought with what Evelyn could be hiding didn’t see it come or hear anything. All he remembered was one second he was looking ahead his mind focused on getting home and the next he couldn’t see anything.
His mind raced wondering if it was possible to go blind instantly, but his throat corrected his previous thought, informing him it was smoke. He struggled to breathe as his throat clenched and burned from the intrusion. He squinted trying to force his eyes to take hold of any image, hopefully his mother but he couldn’t see anything. He called out for her and surprisingly his voice carried loud and clear. For a second he felt her next to him, he reached out with his hand knowing she was there but missed, by an inch or a foot he couldn’t tell. He reached out again but this time he knew she was gone as if whisked away by something, he didn’t understand how he knew this, but he knew his mother was gone. Knowing it wouldn’t do any good he still called out for her, but his cries only summoned coughs as the smoke filled his lungs. He fell to his knees grabbing his throat. He sensed something strange about the smoke almost as if it were alive, then he noticed he didn’t feel heat, if there’s smoke there’s fire but he felt no heat, he actually felt cold.
He figured his only option was to get out of the smoke. As he fought to breath, he tried to find his footing and run out of the smoke. His first attempt proved somewhat lucrative, but he only got about ten feet before he fell to the ground gasping. He pushed himself up again using every last bit of strength only to slam into what must have been a tree. He fell dazed, feeling unconsciousness waiting for him to give up his rebellion. Right before he lost consciousness, like his mother he felt himself being pulled away. Whether it was his body or spirit being pulled, he didn’t know, only darkness followed.

mrmustard615
August 21st, 2014, 06:55 PM
Hi Mike:lol: As the spelling police I can say I only saw one error "passed a sign that use to welcome visitors and residents alike" should be passed a sign that used to welcome... Microsoft Word should have caught that oh well.

I really like your attention to detail, particularly your description of the unfortunate boy. I'm guessing this is some sort of apocalyptic novel you are writing.

Do I think you can garner attention judging from what I read? Absolutely. Keep it up.