Fiction Fragment Friday
This weeks story is the same character from Restless my Fiction Fragment Friday from a few weeks ago. I did not start it with this in mind, but was inspired to write an Urban Fantasy with something happening each day of the week leading up to Friday. As I started it just made sense to try and match that characters voice and the way I had described magic. Naturally The Dresden Files as well as a few other urban fantasy series have shaped my views on the genre.
I recently started running a new Dresden Files campaign for my gaming group. When I do that I tend to relisten to the novels as well as taking in other urban fantasy. It is only natural that the genre would be on my mind and an easy go to for new stories.
Something is coming and I’m not sure I have the strength left to stop it. During a busy month, I might deal with a handful of supernatural threats to the oblivious, mundane society. This week, however, has felt like some sort of gauntlet. Every day has been a new threat and instead of having to hunt them down, they have all made themselves known to me in very obvious ways. It has left me mentally and physically exhausted. If I had not worked out a minor healing spell in my early days of learning magic, I would be covered in cuts and bruises. Unfortunately, the energy for healing has to come from somewhere and, in this case, since it is only accelerating a natural bodily process that energy has to come from within me. That has only added to my exhaustion.
On Monday I faced a vengeful poltergeist. They normally only lash out at night, but there is nothing that prevents them from doing so during the day as this one was. Like all supernatural beings, poltergeists need to replenish their energy to interact. You could compare it to eating, which is an apt comparison since more physical entities tend to feed for energy. All ghosts feed on mental energies of the living, but poltergeists prefer fear. It is much easier to cause fear at night because humans are predisposed to it. Our instincts know what our minds have forgotten. There are things that would hunt us that live in the darkness.
A ghost will always be tied to somewhere that was important to it in life. This is frequently the place that they lived or died. They are beings of select memories, so they like to stay in places that are familiar. Unfortunately for them, the world does not often stay as it was in their lifetimes. Even if the building itself remains it Is often remodeled and before long does not look much like the ghost remembers. If it wasn’t already angry having the one thing it is clinging to no longer be recognizable tends to drive it to be so. The longer a ghost goes without working through its baggage and moving on the more likely it is to turn poltergeist.
Monday’s poltergeist made little sense. It attacked me while I was in the candy isle of the gas station. I stood there looking at my favorite candy bars, putting my will power to its truest test. There is no magic spell or potion that can keep you in shape, or if there is, I have not been able to work it out. Trust me, I have put far too many hours into trying to do so. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in the back of the head as a flying can of dog food struck me. It didn’t start small; it threw the heaviest things it could find at me. It is always my preference to handle ghosts by helping them move on, but I had few options when it found the pocket knives. I had to apply direct force and banish it from our plane of existence. I never found out what the cause was.
On Tuesday night while walking my dog, a werewolf ambushed us. You might think I should have been more prepared since it was a full moon, but there has not been a werewolf seen in this part of the country for over fifteen years. It was, however, night, so I was not completely unprepared. Generally, the energies emanating from my apartment keep the general area free of supernatural predators. Not that they fear me so much, as they prefer easy and weak prey. They can sense my energies and choose elsewhere to hunt. This creature seemed to ignore that instinct and came right to me.
There is no cure for lycanthropy, but there are things that can aid in giving the imprisoned mind a level of control over the beast. I took some cuts in the initial attack, but these beasts have no defense for magical energies. I easily held it in place and mentally reached deep inside. There was a confused mind fighting against the creature, with no luck. I empowered the mind and tried to soothe it’s panic. In the morning, I learned the man’s name was Jason, and he had never turned before. He did not know how he had become infected, but when he turned, he could feel the beast’s rage and a pull towards me in particular. I will do what I can to help him and, in fact, kind of like the man. He invited me to join his role-playing game group, but I politely declined.
On Wednesday, things got considerably worse. Tentacles came out of my split pea soup and tried to strangle me. Not only was it almost successful in killing me, but once I dispelled them I found that I can no longer look at the soup in the same way. It was my favorite soup and now it is ruined for me because of someone or something with a penchant for conjuration. If that were not bad enough, all the little collectible statues in the comic book store came to life and tried to kill me. Do you have any idea how much those things cost? I do because the store has a “you broke it you bought it policy”. I was able to send back a nasty wave of energy to whoever was targeting me, but I still have not figured out who it was.
Thursday, all the TVs in the department store I was at turned to static, followed by arcane symbols before hell-hounds climbed out of them. They hurt three people in the attack when they scattered and started hunting. I banished them all back to where they came from, but it was a tough fight and I still blame myself for those three injuries. Thankfully, no one died, but if I had not been there, it would have been a massacre. Of course, the way this week has been going, I can’t help but wonder if they were sent because I was there. Were those people collateral damage in yet another attack against me?
It is Friday now and I am dreading what it will bring. With each encounter I get a bit more exhausted, and with exhaustion come carelessness. I can feel the twisting and turning of arcane energies in the world. Today is going to be something big. The worst part is I don’t know if it is the source of all this or just another thing being thrown at me to wear me out. I’ve been on the defensive for too long and need to start hunting my hunter. They are smart though and have kept me off balance and too busy to focus. Times like these I wish I had friends I could turn to or, even better, a way to duplicate myself so I could be in two places at once. I sigh and gather my gear on the way out the door. No use wishing for something I don’t have. Time to go to work.