This an excerpt of my upcoming Fantasy Dark novel, “Shadow Ghouls of Nergus” – #4 in the epic series BENJAMIN JONES.
-13th century BC. North Eastern Mongolia-
-Burhan Khaldun (God Mountain)-
-Place of the mysterious blue-gray wolf-
“It was one of those cold winters that would enter your eyes, numb your skin and bones, and soon leave you unable to move at all. Snow was everywhere. Wwooossshhh… The merciless winds whispered alluring songs of death here. They also spoke of dark omens for the living…
“Bolormaa and Batu had climbed the steep mountain for almost an hour. Bolormaa was with child. Batu, her dear husband, had saved both by escaping their doomed village during the stormy night. The rocks around them were somewhat jagged. And they were exhausted, about to give up and fall rolling down to their horrible demise, to eternal rest from their many troubles…
“Their hands and feet numbed by the freezing cold. The terrain of the steep mountain unforgiving. Their clothes too thin to fight this winter. And, as Bolormaa felt the pregnancy contractions again, she clutched her stomach; for the pain was very acute now, and she couldn’t hold on any longer. She lost footing and fell backwards…
“But fortunately Batu caught her as best he could. “My love!”…
“It’s coming now!” she cried. “It’s coming now!”…
“He looked around him. His baby was coming. But what could he do?? There was only death here. And yet, the responsibility fell on him. So he held her tight and rested on a rock. And soon he saw a cave not far from where they were…
“He’d have to deliver the baby himself there. Then he looked at his wife in terrible pain. But he became even more concerned when he saw her losing blood. Was her womb bleeding?? Was she about to lose the baby?? He became petrified…
“Batu??” she called in between cries of agony. “Batu?!”…
“His reaction was swift. He looked around him again. And, as gentle as possible, he helped her up and held her through the complicated…”
Titled: “BENJAMIN JONES. The Call of The Shaman.” Here’s a sample of the story. I would really appreciate your opinions, thoughts, comments on it. As an artist, I learn much from this. For me, my craft is all about learning and becoming better and better, as in all other aspects in my life. Thanks!
So, Ben has begun his quest with two great friends. He has traveled much and discovered a world of magic and danger. He has discovered that he is a shaman and cursed. He is now for the first time meeting his greatest foe, Lord Furvusmortem.
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN – “CHAT WITH A NECROMANCER.“
The shape materialized out of the darkness, and it seemed like it had been part of such death of light all along. Soon, Ben became aware of the man who was walking towards him. Yes, there was no doubt. The man carried dark magic. He was himself powerful dark magic.
And he was the one Benjamin Jones had sensed so clearly since the train. Maybe he was connected somehow to this man. Perhaps the curse had something to do with it. Nothing was fantasy here. The phenomena he felt in his bones was indescribable, and yet so precise and real.
Once the man stood a few feet in front of him, under the bright light, Ben saw the face of the man who had been in that bar, or vision, or whatever it had really been. He was holding his fedora in one hand and the cigar in another. The swirly clouds of toxic smoke stung Ben’s throat. He drew back and coughed heavily.
The man saw this and snickered, then muttered disdainfully, “You’re weak.” After he sat on a stool by the bar, he looked at Ben, who was still affected by the smoke and coughing heavily. He put away his cigar. “Alright! Jesus. You can stop now. What do you want, boy??”
When the man picked up the mystical object from the counter, he seemed confused about it. He was attracted by its energy, like two opposite polarities. Suddenly, the man groaned and dropped the hare on the ground. It had burned him. But, even though the hare had been dropped, it did not break.
Ben stopped coughing. He was now glaring at the mysterious man. He was really feeling his rage. His hands were shaking. The man gave out some kind of ill scent and repulsive force. It rattled something inside Ben, and being a few feet away from this man was provoking him.
He was suddenly taken by his rage, and he couldn’t help but draw out his emotions in waves. There was a glint of furious light. And then his body was covered by pulses of magic which followed his rage. But, before Ben did anything, the man saw the tremendous energy about to burst off him.
Ben clearly had lost control, because the burst of energy would grow in a circle and destroy the place. The man quickly stepped aside and mumbled something only the spirits from the other side heard. Then there was a powerful swirl of winds around Ben.
This held the burst of energy in order to stop its growth. The man finally gave a hand clap and Ben was thrown backwards against a couple of chairs.
Then, unconcerned, the man went around the bar counter and served himself some Whiskey. “Take your time to calm down, boy,” he said with a warning in his voice.
As Ben got up, his hands started shaking again, his eyes consumed by fury, and he was preparing for a new attack. At this, the man rolled his eyes, placed his drink on the counter and said, “Oh, the stupidity of youth! I don’t wanna have to kill you, or your friends.”
Ben saw that he was moving his hands and creating two circles of fire. Somehow he also witnessed him in his mind’s eye murdering his friends, so he calmed down in order to find out who he was and how he could be stopped. He had to be stopped.
The man had now spirits of the dead about him. The hollows of their eyes where white and dead. Their bodies just long and obscure clouds of smoke. Head horns appeared to be just more of the toxic gas making their bodies.
This wraith activity would’ve frightened anybody, but Ben himself had crossed the paranormal already. And he already knew that nothing was what it seemed.
Ben had seen a ghoul like one of these on the train just before the derailment had occurred. And he had definitely felt them stalking his dreams as well. Night after night. Day after day. He had been always stalked by these dark forces within himself, and he always had fought to balance them.
And ghouls, these dark forces live right next to light forces within ourselves, do they not…?? This is our own personal struggle. And just like Ben, we must balance these forces before the darkness overtake us. The darkness exists in the world as our own inner projections. We all have them. So perhaps Ben is not the only one cursed here.
In balancing himself, Ben stepped back and the mysterious man stopped himself. The damned vanished as soon as the man whispered his command in the old language. This man seemed possessed when he did so, and Ben was beginning to understand who he might be. But he needed to be sure.
Ben studied his features really closely. He was dressed like a gentleman of high class. He looked confident, powerful, and with a certain poise. But there was cruelty and arrogance on his face. And he appeared to lead the ghouls, just like Ben did with the wolves.
Then, without more hesitation, Ben quizzed, “Are you The Necromancer of The Four Winds…??”
The man stopped drinking suddenly, pondered the question as if remembering, then replied, “Well, yes. But that sounds too cruel, Ben. And long. And pretentious. So, just call me Lord Furvusmortem. A king gave me that honor.”
Ben thought of that name. Furvusmortem. Were did I hear that…??, he repeated in his mind. He didn’t remember. But that name sure brought chills to his marrow.
“Doesn’t Furvusmortem mean Obscure Death??” Ben asked him while recalling his Latin studies’ class. A class he hated, by the way.
He thought about this, then said, “Well, yes. But it only sounds cruel and dreadful when you translate it into English,” he added amusingly serious. “Don’t judge me, boy. Unless you wanna end up like one of my monstra parvum.”
“You mean the ghouls I just saw…??” Ben had asked a question without really needing an answer. He knew what they were. He felt the morbid connection to the dead creatures already. “Why were they on the train…?? And why did they cause the accident??”
Lord Furvusmortem suddenly sent a chair rushing at Ben with just a single swipe of his hand! Ben’s knees were bent and he plumped down without even knowing. This man was surely more than what he seemed.
Then the man continued, “They were following you. You stink, boy! You know, because of the curse and all. And they caused the train’s derailment because they are just terrible imps without a soul. What did you think?!”
Ben was now filled with questions. About the curse. About this Furvusmortem guy. About the ghouls. About everything! He rushed, “Who are you?? Why are you here?? What do you want with me??” As he said this, he tried to get up from the chair but couldn’t. It was as if he were glued to it. “What is this?! Why can’t I get up?!” he groaned angrily.
Lord Furvusmortem held his cigar and looked at Ben with sickening mockery. “Look at you, boy. Jeez. You don’t even know who you are. Less who I am.” He stood up, finished his drink, and walked to him. “You know what, I will tell you the story. So, pay attention, or you’ll never know why you are destined to die by my hands.”
Once he moved another chair with the swipe of his hand and sat next to Ben, he continued, “This story goes beyond the legend of the wolf boy, which you have undoubtedly heard I’m sure. This story begins with The Sitchin Gods. They who came down from the heavens. They who were the origin of light and dark, of good and evil.” He stopped and continued smoking his cigar.
Ben’s face had become stiff, emotionless, not because he was afraid but because he was shocked by what Furvusmortem had said. ‘You are destined to die by my hands.’
What did he mean…?? Why did he want to kill him?? But still, Ben remained put. Not that he could move or go anywhere. He just listened and held back his anger. He needed to know more.
And so, well behind clouds of black smoke, Lord Furvusmortem’s stare seemed to pierce the boy’s soul. Then he said, “The gods settled in the lands of The Sumerians. And these ones prospered because of it. They built incredible cities, technologies, temples. They grew spiritually, scientifically, economically. The Sumerians became highly intelligent, so one of them started a rebellion. He was called Mancer, because he had learned the sacred magic of the spirits and the stars…
“He was a visionary and wanted to free the people from these so-called gods, because he knew that tyranny was coming. Some didn’t believe him. Too many had fallen under the Sitchin’s control. Until one night of rebellion he was captured, tortured, and cursed to a never-ending state of death. A necro state. Damned to walk the earth deathless, and lifeless, for eternity. Do you know how that feels, boy?? To be not here, and not there either. A sort of a saeva limbus. An oblivion.”
As he started to amble away from the light, Ben tried to wriggle himself free. But he did it carefully in order to not pull the chair and bring noise. He used his magic. He focused, cleared his mind and felt his energy cancel out the chair’s grip. But as he stood up, Lord Furvusmortem had already disappeared in the obscurity of the place.
All of a sudden, a furious growl echoed in the dining hall! The beast emerged from the shadows of the place. This creature seemed possessed. The beast was a rabid dog with teeth as sharp as knives, and of the size of a lion. Certainly the beast had been summoned from the same pits of hell.
He moved with demonic speed towards Ben. There had been no time to react, or even think. Almost instantly then, the beast had him pinned against the ground. Ben fought him, but it was useless. The eyes of the creature seemed cold and cruel, just like his master’s. But the dog soon felt the aura of the wolf boy. He was the leader of the pack after all. The dog knew that.
Benjamin Jones whispered to the rabid dog, then with a soft and tamed demeanor the large beast licked his face. The slobber was friendly but disgusting at first, but soon Ben was rubbing the tummy of his new friend who was just as docile as a baby rabbit. The dog’s tail went side to side joyfully.
Ben felt proud of himself. And there was a powerful awe in him as well. He had just transformed a most ferocious beast into a cuddly puppy. And, the best of all, he also felt the strong connection to the dog. He then recalled that dogs and wolves belonged to the same family. Obviously, Ben did so as well.
Now, from beyond the darkness the applause sounded with poise. “Magnificent. You are indeed the wolf boy. The reincarnation of the legend. Cursed by the same man who became The Necromancer of the Four Winds after he was also cursed.” As Lord Furvusmortem said this, his shape strutted out of the curtain of blackness.
Ben was now paying attention to the arrogant Lord of The Dead. “So, you were the man in the story…?? You are the mancer?? Cursed to walk with the dead. But what do you want from me?! I did not curse you,” Ben said.
He did not look amused anymore. His eyes turned colder, crueler. He suddenly stopped, looked at him sharply, then directed Ben’s view to a big mirror hanged upon the wall behind the counter. The surface looked now silvery and unstable, because it was moving, flowing like the waters of a river.
It quickly became obvious that the mirror was turning into some kind of portal or window, because lost in the silvery substance you could see demons almost drowning in it. Trapped maybe. Was this a vision of hell…?? Ben took a few steps back. The dog was now somewhere whimpering.
The lamenting and tormenting were being half muffled by the incessant sounds of the ardent flames devouring them like crispy wood. Why was the necromancer showing this to Ben…?? What was the point of all this??
There was another dimension there. Perhaps the underworld. He felt the connection. And, right then and there, Ben understood what he was destined to face. Did he even have a choice, or had it been made for him already??
Ben’s face was cringing, not out of fear but out of torture. He was somehow feeling what the poor souls felt. He was sensitive to their hellish plight. He wondered why they were there. He wondered if they’d be stuck there for eternity. Then a tear rolled down his face. But he knew he couldn’t do anything to help them.
While Ben was taken by this, the voice of Lord Furvusmortem came to him, “We are fated to each other. We are cursed. Good and evil, Benjamin.” As he said this, the portal to hell closed, the mirror shattered, and winds arose from the four points in the room.
This lasted for a few more seconds, then Lord Furvusmortem vanished in the shadows of the dining hall. His fedora, which had fallen on the floor, shook and quickly vanished. Then it all turned black, and the winds died down.
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