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The Finishing Touch
“ Class is dismissed,” said Ms. Catcher in a very sour, and bitter tone. “ David, get over here!”
David nervously got up from his seat and walked up to his imposing teacher’s desk. He dreaded what he was about to hear. His “friends” snickered behind him.
“I’m very concerned about the stories that you’re writing. They’re getting a bit too frightening for your age level, don‘t you think? I mean, ‘as he was slowly and painfully dragged to his impending doom.’ That’s a little bit…drastic, don’t you think Mr. Rouberge?”
“No, not at all,” replied David rather freshly. He was so sick of his teacher’s condescending tone. It was like a barking evil dog to him. “I think of it as expanding my feelings to the air around us, with more sophisticated wording, obviously.”
“ But, Mr. Rouberge, I think it has gotten out of hand. I’m going to have to call your parents. Something has to be done about this before it gets too out of hand.
“Go ahead, see if I care. My parents don’t give a crud about what I’m doing, or where I’m going for that matter.”
“Oh, I’m sure they care very much about you and what you are doing. Some people just don’t want to come out of their shell and express their feelings.”
“ Well, I can tell you one thing: that must be one heck of a tough shell,” replied David.
As David walked home, he thought about what Ms. Catcher had said and wondered if it was true. Am I really getting too gruesome and “out of my league”? Are my mystifying tales coming to an end?
As David wondered, he nearly wandered past his favorite place. Last year, he had had found a FedEx box full of little, furry kittens and had put them under his wing. He hadn’t let go of that place ever since, even though it was a giant trash can.
Now, every day he came to the dumpster right by it to see if he could find anything. Over the past year he’d found a comic book collection, an old (yet still working) Game Boy, two pairs of skis, and a three-hundred-dollar wad of cash.
When he looked in, David was astounded to find a little black, scaly book with a rhombus on its slightly concave spine. The title, if that was what it was, was written in a language David couldn’t understand. It was written in faded, curly, silver lettering. The symbol, or the rhombus as he assumed it was, had two little lines coming out of each side and appeared to be glowing faintly. This was the first time he’d found something at the dumpster he couldn’t understand.
David was curious when he picked up the small book and balanced it in his hands. It weighed nothing.
As David started to put it down (making sure he still had it in his hands, with the weight difference) he discovered something, it was in the dumpster! If he took everything else, why couldn’t he take this? He would be able to snag it and nobody would notice!
As he slipped it into his jacket pocket he glanced around to make sure no one was looking in his direction.
If anyone happened to glance at the alley around Oak Street, they would notice a fourteen year old boy with a bulging, hooded sweatshirt jogging down Coral Lane, in a hurry.
As David entered his apartment he noticed a small note taped to the front of his refrigerator. He swiped it from its surface and quickly scanned it over. It read:
Gone to mini mart
Be back in three hours
p.s. leftover chicken in fridge
Yes, thought David, as he scrambled to his bedroom. I can look over this book all I want and nobody is here to stop me!
As David scanned the book he noticed the first sign of color, red. And nobody could imagine what he saw; there, in the middle of the book, there was a whole lot of it.
Right before his eyes there was a pool of blood as wide as a short and small pillow. He tried to draw his eyes away, he really tried, but he just couldn’t.
Soon actual words were being written in the book, and as he tried to clamp his mouth shut, they wouldn’t obey and he started to read:
O a slova oth
And as he read this he realized something was horribly wrong. Everything was shaking, some were floating, others were shooting, but it was all complete madness and chaos.
And, oddly, David just stayed seated, not caring to move, or to stay still. When he finally awoke from the spell, he started pacing around the dining room table frantically.
“What do I do? What just happened? How am I going to explain this? Wait, who said I need to explain this? I could run away. Yah, yah, and I could hide on Sandy Creek. No, running away is ridiculous,” David thought out loud. As David pondered his thoughts, he realized, how are his folks going to know anything about this? For them, today was like any other day, so all he had to do was keep cool. He’d be perfect!
Although, that evening, his parents started asking questions, a lot of questions.
“ Where’s the remote?”
Or, “ Weren’t these chairs at an angle?”
It went on every single night for the whole week, and last thing they’d say is, “Are you sure you don’t have anything to do with this? Positive? Certain? Okay, I must be losing my marbles then. Goodnight! Love you! And then when they were leaving his room, they would always add a big sigh.
This kept going on until one afternoon when his parents weren’t home. David decided to investigate.
He looked high and low when it suddenly hit him. The basement is where the plumbing is, so all the piping starts there and goes around the house! He followed the piping to each room and he realized something. There are four pipes altogether. Looking at which rooms the strangeness happens, it goes, 1, 3, 2, 2, 3, 4. Because there are six numbers, it will happen tonight at six o’ clock!
Now David would be the mischievous one.
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!
“Time to go,” David muttered to himself.
Dave was dressed in a black cloak with his father’s rifle hanging on his iron belt. And in his hand, was a mini book with an odd yet slightly recognizable symbol on it. As he descended the basement stairs, being as cautious as if he were a rabbit in wolf territory, he thought he heard a faint scratching noise like nails on a chalkboard by his furnace. Because his parents were gone, it felt like the longest and most terrifying “trip” of his entire life.
When he finally reached the bottom of their basement steps he was afraid of getting shaken brain syndrome from all of his chattering of being frightened. He looked around and saw shadows everywhere. David started to have second thoughts but urged himself on unwillingly. When his feet reached the floor under the water piping he began searching for evidence of all of the mysterious happenings upstairs.
He found it.
In a crack on the pipe he saw a glowing red scale. It had a grouping of little intricate lines that looked a bit like Aztec designs. As David examined it (being careful not to touch it, who knew what that animal that the scale came off of had as defenses, it could be toxic!), a shadow began to grow on the wall in front of him. David heard a noise and gasped as he swiftly spun around in one quick motion. He will never forget what he saw when he spun around.
Right in front of him was a huge creature, probably around seven feet high and covered from head to toe in those red scales. It had fin-like ears and yellow fangs and would definitely be defined as a monster.
“Hello. You’ve probably never heard of me. In my own land I’m known as a FlameGuard. Thank you for freeing me from that evil wretched book,” said the creature in a very serious yet calm voice.
“Wh… wh… Who are you and what do you do?” David managed to spit out.
“My name is a secret, but I will tell you. I am known as Prince Mula Arce Kazar, and what I do I can also tell you, considering you won’t be here much longer. I work for my master, destroying his enemies, whoever they are. For my pay, I feed on souls. After being in that book for a while I’ve grown to become quite hungry. Good-bye, David Rouberge.” As he spoke this David started shooting him with the rifle.
“ Ha ha ha ha ha, as you can see David, bullets don’t affect me. I’m made from pure fire. I still haven’t told you how I kill my so unfortunate victims, even though they don‘t feel the single tiniest thing, so I’ll tell you. It’s quite simple, I touch you, you disintegrate.”
David started to sprint, but right behind him was the guard. He felt a slight burn, and then pure, simple blackness.