Flight of the Raven Pt. 01byDemonnox©
Hi there! This is my first story and as such any helpful advice, constructive criticism or positive feedback would be much appreciated. :)
Anyway, onto the important part. This story will be posted under the 'Sci-Fi and Fantasy' section. However, that doesn't mean that it will not contain themes from other genres. So, if you feel you'll die if you read anything containing possible Non-Human, Non-Consent, Erotic-Horror or (heaven forbid) Romance elements then I'd recommend you grow a pair and continue reading.
What I don't recommend is reading this for a quick fix shall we say as the first post will not contain any sex scenes (although they will come soon enough). Yes, I didn't resort to making that a pun. I could have, but I didn't. You owe me...
The story will be a long one, expect another 10 or so posts of this length (possibly more) before its finished. However, I will try and keep you informed of my progress so you don't feel I'm just leaving you hanging.
Finally, this story will also contain: strong language, gore, violence, explicit sex scenes, bouts of philosophy, intimate relationships, magic, demons, misuse of kitchen equipment, different perspectives (both 1st and 3rd), a complete disregard for geographical locations and a vastly unrealistic representation of our solar-system.
If you feel you can handle all the above then I warmly invite you to delve into my imagination to your heart's content.
-- Demonnox --
Chapter One -- Rude Awakenings
I awoke to the sound of my mother, screaming my name.
I tried to hide my head under the pillow. Hoping the sound would go away. It didn't, somehow, the shouting got louder.
Seriously, how is that even possible. I'd bet my left nut that she was in the kitchen, waiting for the toaster to work its magic, so how the fuck could I hear her so well.
We live in a Town-house, three stories if you count the loft. Which I do considering I live in it. The kitchen and lounge are on the ground floor. My mum's bedroom and the bathroom are on the second floor. My bedroom, 'The Loft', makes up the third floor. So, despite being two floors above her; separated by a thick wall of brave loft insulation which attempted to battle my mother's screams each day, but instead ended up retreating in shame every morning. I could still hear her. Loud and clear.
That's when it hit me. It must be Monday. My weekend of rest, relaxation and xbox domination was just a memory.
"Urgh..." I groaned, groggily, slipping once more into the welcoming arms of sleep. My head tucked under the pillow to muffle the annoying voice from downstairs.
I slowly opened my eyes and, after blinking away my morning dizziness, quickly realised that a few minutes must have passed since my mum had called my name. I came to this conclusion from a number of different sources. All pointing to the same fact -- time had, unfortunately, not stopped. The first thing I realised was that my mother stood in the room. There are two flights of stairs to get from the kitchen to the attic. I knew that running up them took several seconds at least. The second thing was that I saw my mother eating a slice of slightly burnt, brown toast from a white china plate. This was actually two things that told me time had passed. The first was that my mum didn't run, with food or cutlery, in the house. Holding both meant she had definitely not run up the flights of stairs, and had instead walked. The second was that her toast was burnt. My mother hated burnt toast. She'd eat it, being a firm believer in not wasting food, but boy did she not enjoy it. This meant she'd probably gotten annoyed with me -- for not instantly appearing in the kitchen after violently shouting my name.
Right. Like I could just teleport down two floors, while simultaneously dressing myself...
When my mum gets annoyed with me she often forgets what she's doing, and focusses instead on how to get even. This leads to incidents like the one I assume happened this morning. She began thinking of a plan to get even with me. Completely forgetting the toast. Burning it, and now being even more annoyed. Culminating in her taking longer to reach my room as she would have had to think of a more devious plan -- having just burnt her toast. Which was clearly my fault too for not coming downstairs instantaneously.
However. I think that the third, and most important observation for time having marched on relentlessly was the skylight directly over my head -- which at that moment looked more like a gaping hole -- spewing forth ice cold water onto me, my bed and most of the floor around the bed. Including where I had painstakingly thrown my school clothes when I got home last Friday.
Seriously it took a lot of effort to throw clothes onto one patch of carpet so consistently.
I had to hand it to my mum though. It was a fucking great plan. Evil, but great.
I swear it's always raining in London. We'd only been here a couple of weeks; having moved down from Birmingham at the end of the Christmas holidays. In those two weeks, I'm pretty sure, there was a day that it didn't rain. Maybe. However there's a distinct difference from getting wet outside, while bundled in a large amount of warm clothing, and getting drenched in bed wearing only boxers.
Man. How I loved Mondays.
I could feel the water soaking my skin through the blankets, and gathering in the space between them and the pillow -- which happened to be my back. My pillow, thankfully, was still protecting my head from the worst of the rain.
"Fuuuuuuck!" I literally screeched as I rocketed out of bed. My face narrowly avoiding the wooden rafter above the bed as I leapt from beneath the sheets.
"Well. At least you should be on time for school now." a pause. "No need for a shower!" I heard my mother say with barely contained mirth from beside the bed; just beyond the range of the freezing rain.
I glared at her, while wrapping a towel around my waist, and using another one to rapidly dry myself.
My mother's name is Sophie Parker; although we still use my father's surname of Raven -- as he married her before leaving us. We don't speak about it much; it's still an incredibly sore subject to brooch with my mum, and it all happened a few months before I was even born anyway. It's not like I miss my dad. I've never met him so I can't really miss him.
I glared at her again when she reached up for the string which would close the skylight. Making sure she wasn't going to try anything else. Sophie's thirty-eight, stands at around five and a half feet, has long, glossy, black hair that reaches to the small of her back, and blue eyes that still shine with youthful exuberance. At least when she isn't thinking about Michael Raven -- my father. She has a shapely figure despite her athletic frame, and good muscle tone from teaching me kendo, jujutsu and aikido for over a decade. I'm pretty sure she started the lessons when I turned eight, but it's so long ago that I can't remember precisely.
She never told me why she wanted to teach me martial arts, or why she started when I was so young, or even how the fuck she was proficient with at least three separate disciplines! I asked a few times but never got a real answer so I long ago decided to stop the questions, and instead to enjoy the training with my mum.
I love Sophie but we kind of rub each other the wrong way a lot. Training with her is different though as she's a lot calmer, and we tend to get on well despite not seeing eye to eye outside of training.
Sophie finished closing the skylight, and turned round as I began to shake the water out of my school clothes.
"The bus will be here in around ten minutes Luke. Want me start some toast, while you sort this mess out?" she said evenly.
I rolled my eyes at her -- fairly decent -- attempt to keep a straight face over the state of my room.
"Yea a couple of slices would be great." I said equally evenly. I couldn't quite stoop down to offer a polite thank you for the offer -- A man has his pride damn it!
She smiled teasingly as if she knew exactly what I was thinking and headed downstairs humming Queen's 'We are the Champions', while she leisurely walked down the steps, still eating her toast.
After shaking out most of the water from my school clothes. I laid them on my chair and sat on the one corner of the bed that wasn't soaked, looking at my room with a sigh. It's one of those standard attics, often found in terraced houses. Something about space being extremely valuable in towns and cities. So people started building thick chimney like buildings, and then stuck twenty or thirty of them in rows alongside the street. I'd been here for two weeks and I didn't care how 'standard' these lofts were. I could barely fucking stand in mine.
I'm just over six foot tall and have messy, black hair that occasionally gets in the way of my eyes. These are grey and my mum says they go 'lighter' when I get really emotional until they're almost ice-blue with just flecks of grey. I've never been able to confirm this as it's pretty damn hard to get that emotional in front of a mirror, but my mum has no reason to lie so I took her word for it when she told me. I briefly looked into the small mirror on top of the bedside cabinet. Confirming, once again, that I wasn't born with any abnormalities and was, in fact, still 'normal' looking. I like to think I look handsome -- or on a good day, rugged! What with my black hair, grey eyes, tall, athletic frame with lean, defined muscles from all my martial arts training with my mother and 'devil may care attitude' that I tried to exude. Although, I think, trying to have an attitude defeats the point, but it's pretty hard to be totally honest with yourself when you're looking in a mirror.
I quickly got dressed, brushed my teeth, grabbed my books -- which were scattered around the room where I cunningly stowed them last Friday -- and shoved them all into my backpack. Checking the clock by my bedside I saw that I had five minutes before the bus arrived. It would take me around a minute to walk to the bus-stop, so I still had four minutes to spare. I hung the bedding on the radiator and turned it up hoping that would be enough to dry off the dampness and bounded downstairs for breakfast.
You know when I said my mum's plan was evil but great. I think just plain evil would have covered it more truthfully.
Sitting on a chair around the kitchen table looking up at me was my mother. A huge smile on her face and an empty chair next to her. A plate of burnt brown toast, completely burnt brown toast, was resting on a white china plate in front of the empty chair.
On the plus side at least there was a glass of orange juice, next to the plate of stuff pretending to be edible.
I gave my mum a huge smile too, gulped the juice down, spared a glance for the burnt toast that had endured so much -- Sophie had even buttered it -- and dashed out the kitchen shouting. "I've gotta rush mum! I promised I'd meet Tony before the bus arrived. Thanks for the toast; you can finish it off if you want. It'd be a shame to waste it!" I smirked, while running down the hall to the door knowing, full well, that my mother would either have to eat the burnt toast or would suffer for 'wasting food' which she was so loath do to.
"Luke." I heard my name spoken softly from behind me.
I froze. I'd never heard my mum use that tone of voice before. Never. I couldn't quite place it. She didn't sound angry, sad, confused or happy. She sounded afraid.
My suspicions were confirmed when I had turned around far enough to see her eyes, as she was standing at the other end of the hall. I'd never seen her eyes look like that, but I instinctively knew what she was feeling. Fear.
I slid my backpack to the floor as I walked over to her and wrapped her in my arms. We may not always get on with each other, but apart from my father whom I've never met. My mum is the only family I have in this world. Heck, she's pretty much my only friend too.
"It's okay Sophie." I whispered to her. Stroking her long, black hair.
I softly spoke into her ear. "I'll be careful. Like always. I promise"
My mum always, and I mean 'always' tells me to be careful each morning. I long ago realised that it traversed the, normal, anxiousness mothers seem to acquire for their children.
This was something more. She had never looked, or sounded like this before. There was always an intensity to her when she would tell me each morning to be safe. To be careful, but it was never this profound.
She gently pushed me away. Wiping a tear from her cheek.
What the fuck was going on. My mum doesn't cry. Ever. For anything!
I stood rooted to the spot, while she gazed into my eyes with the overwhelming love a mother has for her child.
"Luke." she whispered. "Today is the eclipse. I need you to promise me. No matter what happens. You'll be careful today." she still hadn't blinked. Man this was fucking intense.
I knew that this was serious. The eclipse had been on the news for the past few weeks, but everyone on TV agreed that despite it being exceedingly rare. Something that hadn't occurred for like ten thousand years or some shit. It was still only that. Incredibly rare. Not dangerous, world threatening, or a cause for any worry at all. Loads of scientists and astronomers had been on TV recently, and none of them expressed any concern over the coming eclipse. Of course, the fact that it was apparently going to last for twenty-four hours was pretty weird. But once again. Weird. Not dangerous.
I looked at my mother; at her eyes that were so full of fear I had never seen in them before. I knew that I had to promise. I had to mean it. I owed it to her.
"I swear to you. I give you my word that today, of all days, I will be careful Mother." I said clearly, while staring into those pain filled orbs to her soul.
I wanted to comfort her, to keep hugging her until the fear left her eyes, but she stepped back.
With a smile she said. "Thank you. You need to get going Luke, or you'll miss the bus."
I gave her a hard look, but I knew that she wouldn't tell me whatever it was she knew. She had never opened up about her past, and I could tell that she wasn't about to now.
So instead I decided to focus on keeping my promise. That meant catching the bus on time, and that meant leaving. Now.
I bowed to her. I had only ever bowed to her during training, but for some reason it felt right to do it now.
Sophie smiled at me; love mixing in with the fear in her eyes. She bowed -- mirroring me. We both smiled weakly as some of the tension dissipated from the hall.
I picked up my backpack from the floor saying. "I love you Mum. I'll see you after school." I smiled again and turned, waving over my shoulder as I walked out the door.
"I love you too Luke." Sophie said from the doorway. In a voice so soft I barely heard it over the rain and wind, she whispered. "Be safe my son."
I heard the door shut as I began to jog from the house. Trying not to think about the mornings conversation I checked my watch, and saw that the bus should be there already. This was going to be a close call.
At least the poor weather meant that my mother's prank with the skylight was nullified. My damp clothes were soaked anyway after a few seconds in the rain. By now, I was running full pelt towards the bus-stop. Backpack swinging wildly on my shoulder.
I ran around the corner out of Wiltover Close. We live right at the end of the street, and there's got to be like forty terraces on each side of the road. It's a damn long road. Still running quickly as I cleared the corner; I almost slammed into Tony as he was climbing up onto the bus.
"Hey!" I panted to Tony. Trying to get my breath back as I climbed up behind him.
"Morning Luke." He replied rather sullenly. I didn't blame him. I'd only only known the guy for a week. We'd met on my first day at Hargraves School, while we were both waiting for the bus. I'd quickly struck up a friendship of sorts with him. I guess, as the new kid at school, I was one of the few who hadn't made his life miserable, and also because of my status of 'New Kid'.
Seriously, who the fuck is retarded enough to consider that a respectably passable insult...
Apparently, this meant that I was also open for bullying to the majority of Hargraves Pupils. I guess Tony took this to mean something like 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'. Since we both got bullied he had stuck around me, during most lunches and breaks, for my first week. As well as sitting next to me in classes we shared.
I didn't dislike the guy or anything, but it was a bit disconcerting having some guy you don't know follow you around everywhere.
However, after a couple of days I relented and started engaging the kid in conversation.
He was pretty damn bright! Not smart in the way that most people, instinctively, know not to walk down a dark alley; after seeing a couple of guys in hoodies smoking, drinking and looking pretty out of it at the entrance to aforementioned alley.
Yea, Tony was definitely not street-smart. At all. But man was he intelligent! In the classic nerd sense, the guy was a genius at things that interested him; like computers, sci-fi, and. Erm. Computers?
I shook my head. Cringing with the memory, from the day before, of going over to his house to play video games, and being regaled for literally an hour; over the pros and cons of the various different weapons in 'Halo 3'.
Following Tony's back we, eventually, found two empty seats together near the back, and seated ourselves before the driver threw a shoe at us.
Seriously, these school bus drivers are all fucking crazy!
Tony had let me take the window seat. Knowing that I hated the aisle one as it didn't offer a view except of the inside of this shitty bus, and the shitty people within it.
Looking out the window as the driver released the handbrake, and started to pull away from the curb. I could just make out my house right at the end of the street, as we passed the turning for Wiltover Close.
Sighing, I tried to dispel the bad feeling I had, creeping up from my stomach, after the conversation with my mum.
It was no good, the feeling kept gnawing at me the more I tried to dismiss it. I decided to instead focus on studying the king of transportation, that I had the privilege of sitting in.
I attend Hargraves School; It's around a five minute car drive, or a 10 minute bus journey in one of their school-buses. Not because we have to make a lot of stops. Heck, my stop is the last one so the journey from home to school is as straight as an arrow.
However, just because the route is the same as a car might take doesn't mean that we complete the journey in similar times.
Hargraves buses are fucking awful. I mean truly, literally awful. The newest was probably bought sometime in the 80's. They're all covered in this sickly, bright-yellow paint with 'Hargraves' clumsily drawn on both sides, unevenly, in black. They all have different numbers of seats. Not because they're different sized buses, but because some have had more seats thrown out than others -- after they had been sufficiently damaged and defaced by pupils. They never go above 25mph as most of the wheels have been slashed so many times, and patched with so little skill that going fast over a slight bump, or crack in the road would open up many of the wounds that the tires were sporting.
As you can imagine, all this meant that these buses weren't able to pick up much speed, or turn with much finesse, and they definitely weren't able to break or start quickly.
I sighed at the prospect of yet another day at Hargraves. I couldn't remember liking any of the schools that I had gone too, but this was definitely shaping up to be the worst one yet. My mother moved around a lot; almost every year if she could afford it. She never told me