tagSci-Fi & FantasyRise of the Warlock

Rise of the Warlock

byjester9217©

All described sexual activity is between adults.

Secondly editing was done by whordinary girl she's awesome.

Third this is work will describe dark violent acts that mirror reality.


*****

Rise of the Warlock

The book was old and black with a peculiar smell of ancient and secret things. It pulled at me and drew me in like a black hole. Curiosity has always had a hold on me, nothing could draw my attention more than the unknown. The book was unknown and I had to know. My eyes flashed around the store watching for anything, people, cameras, a random bug. I couldn't take a chance. Then I was gone, walking down the block quick, but not as quick to seem like I was running, with the book in my hands.

The book was large and heavy like the old family bible my grandmother showed me before she passed. I could still remember its smell. This book had that smell. The cover was cool and smooth, the leather well worn. My fingertips brushed across the pages; they were uneven, individually placed. It was less like a publication and more like a hand-written cook book passed from one person to the next, each having added their own recipes.

Wham! The book flew as I slammed into the concrete. One of my elbows burned from scraping across the ground, but as I was getting back up my eyes tracked the book.

"Put that bitch back in the dirt!" Derek Washington said as he bent to pick up the book.

"Concrete, not dirt," I muttered as one of his friends (goons? homies?) gripped me to do as commanded. My head snapped forward crashing into his nose; he fell back as blood and snot ran down his face. I grinned as I watched the second thug (gangster bitch?) hesitate, his eyes flashing from me to his groaning friend. So, I moved forward, my right first hitting his sternum, even as my left griped his shirt. Following through I drove him into the concrete. He let out a gasp as all the air was driven from his lungs.

Derek had taken offense to my presence ever since we moved to this block about a year and a half ago. He was maybe six foot, athletic, and a complete and utter douche. His eyes widened slightly as he saw his cronies, yes that was a good way to describe them, get beaten.

"You think I'm afraid of you, you fucking bitch," he roared as he threw the book to the ground and stormed my way. I didn't say a word as a haymaker from the right came at me. I lifted my left arm and threw a right jab which hit his jaw, even as his right was deflected. His head snapped to the side a little but other than that it was mostly ineffective. Still, he went to step back but I followed with a right to his ribs and by a knee to the groin, which left him groaning on the ground.

I glared at his two recovered cronies to keep them back before punting Derek's head. I picked up the book and looked back at his friends. "Tell him next time I'll kill him." It was a lame threat, I know, but at thirteen it sounded good. This wouldn't be the end of it and that pissed me off. I was used to shouting matches, insults, a quick fight, or if we weren't friends we would at least leave each other alone. No, this I couldn't understand. Why couldn't they just leave me alone?

Reactions and Lies

Derek, the side of his face banged from where the boot connected with his cheek, looked at his older brother. "That punk ass got some friends and they jumped us," he said, each lie falling from his lips as rain falls from the sky.

"Don't worry bro, we'll get that bitch. Come on," Jared Washington said as he led his brother to the back room. He opened a closet where he kept his guns and pulled a couple Mac Tens he tossed at his brother. "Here, take these. We'll teach those fools not to mess with us."

The guns fired as the car went by. The car was already gone by the time the screaming started. "That'll teach them to fuck with you,"

*****

I sat in the old construction site. It was quiet here. The construction site didn't compare to sitting out in a stand of trees as the birds chirped and animals moved. But it was solitary and that's what I liked. I opened the book and skimmed through the first few pages. These pages consisted of the names of people who used this book. Many of the names changed languages because people wrote in their own tongue.

As I flipped further I came to the first lessons. They were carefully described as if the author expected it to be read by a neophyte taking their first steps along the path of magic. These would be my first steps. I grabbed a pen from my pocket. I wrote my name Bartholomew William Schultz.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and part of the evening in that construction site reading and learning. Magic, as it turned out, was not something you need be born into. Every person can use magic. The energy that fuels spells is the soul. Every living thing has a soul and the soul produces a massive amount of energy. Much of this energy bleeds off into the world around us. Many spiritualists call it a person's aura.

So, if the soul is the energy, a person's will is the driving force. Between the two magic can be used. Still, it's hardly that easy; magic takes immense concentration, and most importantly, the knowledge that you can do it. If you do not truly believe it possible you will never use magic. That was the beauty of finding it at thirteen. I still believed in magic. Therefore, despite spending hours trying to move a rock, losing focus reading ahead, and trying to move that damn rock and failing, I still believed.

The walk back home was quick and I had already decided to spend the night reading. I was shocked to see police and emergency vehicles all around, along with the media and people milling about trying to see. Slipping into the crowd I could hear the whispers.

"A drive-by." "The car never slowed." "I heard the shots." "Did you see who got hit?" "No, but I hear someone died at the scene." My stomach dropped and I felt sick as the words 'my fault' rang through my head. I stood there staring without moving. I don't know how long I was just standing there.

-I heard someone ask me something. It took me sometime to focus on them. "Hey kid, you live there, right?" I recognized the man's face but I did not know his name. I just looked at him as he stared expectantly, concern written across his face.

I looked away without speaking, trying to decide what to do next. A part of me felt that if I didn't do anything it wouldn't be real. I knew time still moved and whatever happened, happened, but I did not want it to be real. Still, it was real. He gripped my shoulder while shouting for the police. Strange how fast things seemed to move. It was like everything was being fast forwarded. It didn't take long for the cops to verify my identity even with me being in a less than helpful state. Then things really took off: "Had I been there when it went down? Did I know who may have done this?" and "Did anyone in my family have gang affiliations?" I answered nothing and said nothing, my thoughts focused on a single idea: Revenge. It didn't take a genius to figure out it was Derek. I kicked his ass midmorning, and a few hours later someone pulls a drive by. No, it was him, and therefore it was my fault. Mine.

Someone ether took pity on me or decided I ought to know about my family because around eight o'clock a nice, police shrink came around and with much false sympathy told me the details of my family's condition. My mother and youngest sister had been out in the open, and despite my mother's many faults, protecting her family had never been one. She pulled my sister into her arms and took four slugs to the back but my sister walked away without a scratch. At six, I hoped she'd never remember all the details. My mother died on scene. My eldest sister dragged the second youngest behind a car. She took a round to the chest. She was on life support but would pull through. There were neighbors there as well; some lived, some died, and truthfully, I didn't really care. None were friends.

My eldest sister had a different father and would live with them in the coming years. We barely kept in touch, mostly my fault. My two younger sisters would be with my mother's sister. I would also live there as well, but three fights and an expulsion later and I would be passed from family member to family member. My anti-social behaviour and anger issues were often the reason for the next move. It all came to a head when a religious aunt of mine dragged me to church with her after finding my book and several items that I had been working on. She assumed I was a Satanist and decided I needed to get right with the Lord. It did not end well. Her preacher ended up having to have his jaw wired shut.

I was sitting in county lock up when my grandfather came for me. He was my father's dad, an ex-green beret who had spent the better part of his adult life in the military. Without saying a word, he paid my bail, collected my stuff, and took me to his home. I was sixteen at the time.

Growing up

My grandfather was both the easiest and hardest man to get along with. My grandfather did not care what I did in my personal time so long as I took care of my responsibilities. However, when I did not take care of those responsibilities there would be consequences. My grandfather's method of parenting was more boot camp than doctor Spock. (For anyone who knows that reference, a wink to you.)

I ran every acre of his property, did pushups, sit-ups, chopped wood, painted, and scrubbed (yes with a toothbrush). My grandfather was incredibly inventive at times. One time he forced me to climb a tree repeatedly until I could no longer lift my arms or stand. Yes, there were ways to use magic to make him stop, make him not care what I did or didn't do. And yes, there were times I was seconds from casting those spells, yet he cared and after being passed around repeatedly, it was hard but he cared. Truth be told I could forgive my Aunt Maureen, she had two kids of her own then, and adding three more, all with issues, wasn't easy. It must have been tough for her with me constantly getting suspended or just plain skipping school so I could stay home and continue to learn magic. Each of our fights were loud and terrifying for the younger ones and her husband and I did not get along. He didn't have the benefit of being family. Then I was expelled. Yeah, I don't blame her but the others, I blame them. So, my grandfather setting boundaries and disciplining me for crossing those boundaries was tough but he cared.

So, at sixteen I was enrolled in BlackBurrow middle which also happened to be elementary and high school as well. BlackBurrow was a small rural town of less than a thousand in northern Michigan. My grandfather had me up and there every morning and I, out of sheer stubbornness, because I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen, fell back to an old trick and purposely got myself suspended. I was up every morning by three working. Everything from painting the house and cleaning gutters to tilling his garden by hand. If not for the magic, I would have had blisters that whole first year. In the end my grandfather's work and punishment regiment was good for my magic as well. I became used to pushing myself to the limit and beyond. I lost a lot of weight gained a lot of muscle.

My grandfather also got me my first job. By that I mean not one day after that first school year I was rudely awakened by an old lunch box dinging my head as my grandpa called, "Up and at em', you got to be to work in fifteen minutes. Don't worry, I packed your lunch," he laughed as he walked away. Still, the job paid well. I bought myself a laptop, a small TV, and Xbox. I also sold firewood during the fall when the hunters came up.

Then there was the magic. As I said before, so long as I took care of my responsibilities my grandfather didn't care what I did. So, I studied and learned and I experimented and practiced without ever worrying if my grandfather would come check on me. The book was itself a curiosity. There were thousands of pages written in a multitude of different languages, mostly European with a few exceptions. I found a collection of rubbings taken from what had to have been a pyramid, if only because they were early Egyptian hieroglyphs. There was also some Hindi, Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese writings. Often these were introduced with the words 'I was traveling'.

These writings were invaluable though. Yes, manipulating my environment was awesome, the possibility to communicate with the dead intriguing, and summoning a succubus to this realm stimulating; however, the single most useful thing I ever learned from that book was how to strengthen my body past my natural limits and even increase those limits.

It was explained like this: "I joined with British expeditionary forces into India. While there we encountered a hostile force I later learned were called Thuggee. These Thuggee had extraordinary natural abilities. They seemed barely human. I began my research of these abilities and this nation's understanding of magic when I encountered a man they called a Guru. This guru told me of chakra and how to manipulate this chakra within the body."

There followed several drawings showing the paths within the body, as well as the writer's personal notes. The traveler was also the one to collect many of the documents from the eastern countries. There was a curious way of things within the book as some was just updates on old information, such as adding in the understanding of the periodic elements and how they reacted to magic, or how DNA can be a helpful in the use of magic. There were also clear warnings that the most important, at least to me, was magic did not affect lead. You could not move it with your mind and wards would not protect against a bullet.

Family and An Old Bear

As I shaved I looked at my reflection: blue eyes and dark hair that was a little too long "Need a cut," I muttered to myself. I stood just shy of six foot three, was broad in the shoulder, and trim in the waist, weighing about two-ten. I may use magic to be stronger and faster but if you are not fit to begin with, the strain the magic places on your body could easily cripple or kill you. There was an actual warning in the book.

I finished and dressed in a freshly bought suit, however lacking dress shoes, I had cleaned and shined a pair of black work boots. A chain hung from the first loop on the left side of my pants to my left back pocket where my wallet was. I had on a silver belt buckle my eldest sister got me last Christmas. My hair was brushed back and I wore a derby hat cocked to one side. My grandfather, the biggest presence in my life for the last two years, had passed away.

I had known he was dying for months. I could see the pain he was in. He refused the hospital right up to the end. I still wasn't sure exactly what he had, as my grandfather had never been the type to complain. It was a curious feeling, the desire to cry but not the ability. True, I have cried, but whenever there was emotional pain I just stared, no tears and my face blank. I wondered what my sisters thought of me not crying at our mother's funeral and now not crying at our grandfather's.

It had been several months since I saw my sisters. We would get together on thanksgiving and Christmas but that was pretty much it. They had my phone number but if the conversation lasted more than a few minutes, I generally hung up. You do that enough and people only call when they have something important to say. I was not a large presence in my sisters' lives.

Walking downstairs into the main room the smell of food and the sound of conversation hit me. BlackBurrow was a small town so everyone knew everyone. So, when my grandfather passed there was no shortage of people who wanted to help. I had half a dozen women come by to cook or clean for me. A million offers of help with arrangements, and then there was my Aunt who had come to stay with me. She would be bringing not only my sisters but also my cousins too. Oh joy. My aunt had recently divorced her husband after she caught him banging his T.A. My eldest sister was on her way as well. Luckily with all the support I now had, all the rest of my extended family and neighbors who lived in the area were going to leave me alone. This was good because I had half a mind to lay a curse on my property that would turn people into rodents.

"My aunt and sisters will be here anytime so you can head off. I'll be fine," I said with a tight smile plastered on my face to Mrs. Jean. Sara Jean, sixty-years-old, believed herself to be mother or grandmother to the whole damn county. She was five foot four with a soft smiling face and gray hair. She was a great cook and she was a bear, and I do mean that literally. The truth is where there are ways for a man to become a beast, there are beasts that become man. There are legends of these animals on every continent: the Kitsune of Japan, the coyote of Native American folklore, and of course the werewolf. Mrs. Jean and her family were of this breed.

I never told her of course though. It is a good thing I have a decent poker face, as there were quite a few people in this town who the book called wild fey or any nonhuman natural to this realm with magic.

"Don't worry, dear, I'll keep you company until they get here. Besides, I have a roast in the oven," she said while pottering around the large kitchen.

"So, at the wake tonight I hope you don't make an ass of yourself. I've seen too many wakes ruined by impulsive young men hurting and drinking themselves stupid." Mrs. Jean stated. "Bart? Bart?" "Hm?" I glanced back at her. She had an expectant look upon her face. A quick run through of our conversation had me realizing she had expected an answer.

"I'll have glass of whiskey for the toast, no more. I like being in control," I replied.

"Be sure you do or else I'll box your ears young man. I worry for you way out here with no family," she started to say.

"Sisters..." I muttered as I tried to flee to another room, however she followed me.

"I know, but your sisters and aunt won't be here for long. What you need is a woman around the house. My granddaughter is single, she's a few years older but sweet and fun."

"No no no no. Nope, not having this conversation. I value my solitude and prefer to be alone. How I wish people understood that," I said with a glare, hoping she'd get the message. She didn't.

"Now, now. No cause to get angry. No one likes to be alone. You're just shy, don't worry, she's easy to talk to. I'll introduce you at the wake tonight. After all life is for living," she stated.

My eyes wide, I stared at her for a second wondering if I should attempt to change her mind but knowing I would have better luck convincing a politician to be honest. So, I left the room. I wandered out back and just stood staring out into the forest. My grandfather had left me the house and all the land with it. He had split his cash amongst the grandkids but the house was mine. I had several aunts and uncles who were quite unhappy with the arrangement.

I listened as a car pulled up in the front. I knew the house had plenty of room. It was built in the eighteen-hundreds. It had been renovated and had add-ons so many times that walking through it was like walking through history. With a dozen bedrooms, three full bathrooms, one half bath, a living room, full dining room and kitchen, large screened porch, and a basement, the house was worth a small fortune.

I entered the house even as Mrs. Jean was giving sympathy hugs all around. All my sisters and even my cousin and Aunt had red rimmed eyes as if they had been crying off and on. How strange. Truth be told I had always felt like an outsider with my family; today was no different. My eldest sister Daphne, she bore her father's name of McWilliams. She was the first to give me a hug, but definitely not the last. Daphne was six foot, maybe a hundred and fifty, and beautiful with auburn hair and green eyes. She was at that one in a million spots of being not so thin as skinny but not so big as to be thick.

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