Authors: P. S. Power
Tyler G.: Book
Sound was the first thing to
return, which was odd to Tyler. He was, almost certainly, dead. After all, he'd
taken the better part of a day to remove his own head, and that pretty much
should have done it for almost anything. If you did things like that, it was,
more or less, the last thing you
Which was fair enough.
He was gone. That had been his
plan, at any rate. Dead, and if not buried, probably being eaten by the little
boy that he'd been trapped in the cave with. There was water there, and air,
but no food. Except for either him or the kid. Being that the boy had seemed
very tasty to him, it had made sense that one of them stop existing. At the
time. Now the annoying voices were speaking. Calling his name.
His mother. Lucy.
Calling for him to rise again.
made sense, after a fashion. She
wasn't just his adopted mother. The woman who had protected and cared for him
as a boy. No, she was, as it had turned out, the Greater Demon known as The
Rotted. An insane being with so much power that, when her kid took the easy way
out, and kicked the bucket for the final time, she apparently could just bring
him back on a whim.
Opening one eye in the bright
room, he squinted a bit.
up." It came out sounding just as petulant and whining as he meant it to.
In a way it was the simple truth, however. He'd been resting, unaware, and now
had to wake and face the world again. It was exhausting, having to do things
like that. Not that he was going to be a little wimp about it. He was, if
nothing else, a hard worker.
That meant not lying around all
day like a corpse. Even if he was one.
The speaking in the room stopped
then, and his mother, looking the way he'd last seen her, instead of the
familiar face from his childhood, moved over him and touched his cheek gently.
"There's my boy. Time to get
up. There are things to do. Demons to hunt, and slay."
That was probably just the truth,
he knew. There would be much to arrange, and probably real Demons to kill. Or
at least one or two to talk about, if no one else had figured out what was
The Storm, a rival of sorts of
The Rotted, had kidnapped him
the slightly dark skinned boy that had
been placed in the all stone cave with him. The idea had been to force him to
eat the little guy, in order to remain alive. Then, every three days or so,
another person would be dropped in for him. Until he broke on a level that no
one could recover from. Shattered for all time. Left a slave of a different
His life was the property and
power of The Rotted. At any time she could have let him go. Allowed him to rest
forever. Sitting in a darkness that was the true finality. Even eating flesh to
stay alive like The Storm had wanted, Lucy could have killed him forever on no
more than a thought. He knew that now.
Just like how she could call him
back, and nothing he said would change it. Her slave, for all time, with no way
to get around the idea. Even death couldn't save him. That was fine, for the
moment, since he'd died for a reason,
given that he was out of the
spelled cage of a cave that had starved him of whatever power had animated his
So, his first words to the young
looking girl, one who seemed cute, had glasses, and a bookish style were a
joke. Because that was how the really cool undead kids rolled.
So he made his second a bit more
"The boy?" He wasn't
going to ask the particulars. If it had been six years in that pit, then the
kid was gone. There was no way to tell. The only thing he knew at a glance was
that the place he was at the moment wasn't tan stone with artificial lights
above. There were no spells on the wall either. It was, at a glance, a meadow
somewhere. One with pine trees. Checking upward upward he noticed that there
was also two moons in the sky. The regular one everyone knew from back home,
and a lumpy yellow thing. Right there above the green, over the dark haired
Turning his head, a thing that
worked easily, he noticed that The Line Walker, Zack, was there as well. The
half Japanese looking guy winked at him, and moved in a tiny bit. It was no
more than his right hand coming up a fraction of an inch.
"He's fine. I took him back
to his family already. He'd been beaten, and shaken up, but that was all. It
stole The Storm's little victory dance from
That would be, Tyler knew, God.
As strange as it seemed. In the
end, about to eat the child, or at least gear up for it, not able to help
himself in a day or two thanks to the growing hunger, he'd
being. Asking that the kid be saved, and rescued. It took everything he had, in
some fashion, but there had been an effect.
In answer the wall of the cave, a
thing so deep and vast that there was no reasonable escape from the place in
the time he had before he went wild and started munching little boys, cracked a
tiny bit. From the line on the wall there was a trickle of water. That, and a
stone. A jagged and ragged thing about the size of his hand. Other than that,
there had been nothing in the place to save the child with.
So, while it might have been a
douche move, giving him only a jagged bit of stone to kill himself with like
that, leaving only his body for food, it seems that the guy, God, had done the
rest of it somehow, and gotten them help. In time. Greater Demons, too.
Sitting up, the air smelling
sweeter than a natural setting should, Tyler stretched, then felt his neck. It
was nice and smooth. Probably having been fixed by The Rotted already. He
started to stand, but noticed that he didn't have a right leg.
Lucy, his mom, patted him on the
"It will grow back. The boy
ate it. I can see that. There was nothing else, and you
him to do
it. Rather firmly. That was brave. It also stole a victory from Glindlyth
rather nicely. She should have known better than to mess with my people."
The girl who he'd always known as being very different than she was at the
moment patted his arm again.
found you. It
seems he really wants you to work order night this week?"
Tyler, glancing at the ruin that
was the gnawed stump of his leg, nodded. The pants he'd been wearing were
ruined too, and there were tiny, very Human looking, tooth marks on his flesh.
Just a hint of red blood poured out of him, seeping, since he didn't have a
heartbeat to pump the blood out like a normal person would have. It was a thin
leg, or had been. Muscular, and lean.
a taste sensation.
Hopefully filling enough.
The Line Walker shrugged when he
"I made him forget that part
of things. He thinks he was just taken by some crazy woman that wanted a son,
and doesn't recall the rest. I don't know if that's better than not, but having
been there myself, after a fashion,
wouldn't want to remember it. Not
if I had a choice. Anyway, it's been about three weeks. The Storm was...
Occupied for a bit. It seems that someone had told Goethe that she was plotting
to kill him, and that guy, apparently isn't all that stable. We don't know who
did it, at least in public, but it gave me a chance to locate you.
"Three weeks?" Tyler
nodded. That meant he'd missed some work, and had been letting people down. His
band mates, for instance.
Just as he started to feel bad,
his mother, looking about thirteen or so, smiled. It messed with his head a
bit, but he could feel the line between them. No matter who was in front of him,
he'd know Lucy. Even if she looked totally different.
"Don't worry. Everyone
been upset about you being taken, but it will be fine. You didn't miss anything
important. Not yet. So, do you want to stay here while you heal, or
would you like to go home?"
This was spoken to him, as if he
were the person in charge. That wasn't the case. No matter how nice his mom was
being, he was her slave. Like The Storm had said before he'd taken his own head
off. A puppet. A complex one, made of meaty goodness, but that was, in the end,
all he could ever be.
There was no Pinocchio ending for
him where the Good Fairy came down and gifted him with life, making him a real
boy. What he had was it, as far as things like that went.
So he could whine about it,
inside his head, and lament not having it all, or he could take what he'd been
given and run with it. That last one seemed the better option, since there was
no choice anyway. Being a pain in the ass whingy little mouth breather was no
way to exist, after all. It might well be that he didn't get to set the
parameters of his life and world. No one
. It was a bit different,
done his way, but the end result was close to the same. You dealt with what
came at you.
Complaining that he was too
different, and given too many options was about as ungrateful as anyone could
be, and he
going to be that person. There had to be limits, if he
was going to have to live with himself forever.
"We might as well get back?
Thanks for coming for me. I wonder who told that guy, if he is one, that The
Storm was out to get him. That was kind of good timing, wasn't it?"
Zack reached down and helped
Tyler stand on his remaining leg.
"It was Keeley. Not that
told me that, but it's kind of obvious. I don't know why, but it really did
work out pretty well in the end. You feel all right?" There was a covert
look at the red and raw, well chewed, stump, then.
"Oh, sure. I don't feel
pain, anyway. Pleasure, but not that." He pretty much imagined that part,
the good stuff, but it was enough for him, really. It felt as real as what
anyone had, at least as far as he knew. A gentle touch was a
him, and a punch to the nose was nothing. Just him moving back a bit, if it was
hard enough. Maybe a sound.
It was kind of awesome, when you
got down to it.
Lucy moved alongside of him, on
his stumpy right side, and helped him walk, acting as a crutch and supporting
him as he hopped a few steps. As it turned out they didn't have some kind of
giant trek ahead of them. The Line Walker, looking as cute as always, waved his
left hand a tiny bit, making the air glow in a disk. It was all purple, and
meant to show them where to go.
Then he glared a bit at Lucy.
"Now, how about for once you
don't fight it? Just go through? It's
, so don't act like it
isn't. Just go through and
try to walk the fucking line for
That got a small, rather bell
. I bet you
say that to all the Demons." She waved her left hand a little, the one
tucked under Tyler's arm.
For some reason the other Greater
say that to all
always screw it up, too. Really, all you have to do is
walk. Like going across the room."
The girl gave him a look that
seemed bossy and entitled then, and helped Tyler hop along in to the disk of
faint purple light that floated in the air. That brought them out, not in the
room off of the books store at the Westfield mall, but in front of a large
mansion in Nevada. A place that Ty recognized, being that it was, more or less,
his home now.
A place that he'd kind of lived
in for two whole days before being taken away.
"Be it ever so humble."
He wasn't going to complain. It was huge. Nice and eccentric, too. Everything
was just a bit off inside. Tilted, or painted with stripes in places where no
one would do that kind of thing, because if you had money enough you could rent
taste, even if you didn't come pre-installed with it.
Then, when three of the four
members of your band were dead, one way or the other, and the other the slave
of a Greater Demon, even if he didn't know it, things like good taste were
Looking down at the stump, Tyler
good taste." It was a nonsequitur, but his companions were also Greater
Demons, so they got all the possible meanings, he bet.
Zack grinned at him anyway.
"That's the spirit. Keep it
up and you'll be better in no time. That was... Hard core." The other man
let one eye close and shook his head a bit, as Lucy started working the door.
people would have waited too long to take their own head off
like that, and all would have been lost. You acted, and did it early enough.
You, a regular Human, more or less, beat a Greater Demon at her own game. A
thing that she'd literally built to defeat
. Personally. That's...
Well, most beings couldn't have pulled it off."
There was something like pride in
his voice, and a soft smile from Lucy, who helped him hop through the large
wooden door to the place. It was heavy and nice, being polished brown wood with
a simple pattern carved into it. Once they got inside, he called out, but didn't
know if anyone would be there. Not who was awake for the day yet.