NP6 – Twist – AB 34

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10ToC | Afterthoughts

And what do you know? After the harrowing incidents of chapter 5 (Elaina’s death, the pastor’s death, the resurrection of the murderer, etc.), things get worse better– I don’t know. Do they get better or worse? You decide I guess. Enjoy. As a side note, this chapter gets pretty gruesome, so if you want something lighter, check out Elena’s version of chapter six

Too fast. It’s happening too fast for me.

Nathaniel reeled. He had been beaten. No! He had not. Not yet. Six– six– why six? Why was there a confounded six on the end of the note? It didn’t add up, there had to be something more. He was missing something. And Elaina! He had to find her. She was the mystery he could not solve, the puzzle he could not decipher, and, he realized, the friend he never had.

“Argh!” Nathaniel cried out, dropping to his knees and driving his hand through his tangled hair, something he had not done in years.

“Sir! Sir!” It was Charles, running along the path Nathaniel had taken. Nathaniel looked up, the haunted look in his eyes startling Charles quite badly.

“What is it?”

“Kath’rin, she’s,” Charles gulped in some air, for he was fairly out of breath. “Something s’wrong with’er.”

Nathaniel got to his feet slowly and followed Charles as the excited guide led him back to the campsite. Nathaniel realized what the detective had been talking about now. And Nathaniel had not even seen a murdered body yet. He thought– Then as Charles stepped forward, something swung down from the trees and smacked the leading boy in the face. Nathaniel heard a sharp exclamation as his eyes followed the downward trajectory of Charles.

Looking up, Nathaniel felt his body go into utter shock. His eyes took in a mutilated face with eyes gouged out and hair ripped as he sunk to his knees. The chest had been slashed, ribs crushed, and both arms were missing. As darkness closed in on his vision, Nathaniel realized hazily that the corpse was wearing Elaina’s clothes.

Nathaniel could not been have out for more than a few seconds before he sat up straight. Charles was in the bushes gagging and throwing up; he did a lot of that, some part of Nathaniel’s brain perceived. Nathaniel pulled Charles up by the collar roughly; he looked terrible. Despite this, the guide managed a weak, “What would y’like sir?”

“Come with me,” Nathaniel said shortly, leading the way back to the campsite. Purposefully averting his eyes from the body, he gave it plenty of room as he followed the trail that he had so recently taken.

When Nathaniel reached the campsite, he saw a figure lying straight on the ground beside the fire that Charles had relit. Going over beside Katherine, Nathaniel put a hand on her shoulder and shook her. She did not move. Then Nathaniel realized her eyes were wide open and that she was staring straight ahead, unblinking. God, not her too? Nathaniel felt for a pulse, and was relieved to find that she did indeed have one.

“She must be halluci–” Nathaniel’s dialogue to Charles was interrupted as Katherine sat up, shoving the former onto his back as she did so.

“No! No! Stay away from me!” she screamed, then burst out sobbing.

Nathaniel felt like his world was crumbling around him. He felt cold, so cold. His blood was like liquid ice being pumped from an even icier heart. He automatically noticed Charles crouch beside Katherine to comfort her, but he did not register it, and falling limply onto his back, Nathaniel closed his eyes and tried to sort out his mental disarray.

***

Nathaniel was running from something. He didn’t know what. Then he looked over his shoulder and saw that it was death. He was running from death! But he began to feel tired, and soon he felt like there was no need for him to run anymore. Surely death would be better than running endlessly?

He woke up.

Katherine was sitting, hugging her knees and staring at him quietly. Charles was out by the fire, snoring serenely. Nathaniel noticed a picture of a smiling little girl in a locket that hung out from under his shirt; Charles’ little sister, Nathaniel thought vacantly. Birds chirped overhead, and Nathaniel could hear the chattering of monkeys in the distance. It was all very peaceful, and the events of the previous night could have been a nightmare, except for the missing person.

“We must go,” Nathaniel said, standing up. He desperately wished to ask Katherine about her hallucination, but revenge against those who had murdered Elaina gripped his heart and set him on one course and one course only. Charles awoke instantly at the sound of his voice.

“Where to sir?”

“Follow me.”

Nathaniel carried a rifle, while Charles held his scythe in his hand. The latter had adamantly refused when Nathaniel had offered him the use of the other rifle. Katherine was lagging behind, occasionally stopping to admire some flower or another, and acting altogether like a carefree little girl.

“Why?” Nathaniel asked Charles, as he shoved through the underbrush.

“Escuse me sir?” Charles said, not fully comprehending what Nathaniel meant.

“Why no rifle?”

Charles was quiet for a moment, then he said in a low voice, “I shot m’cat,” then his voice went up several semitones as did volume. “Th’gun was not s’posed to b’loaded!”

Nathaniel began laughing, but there was a hollow ring to his mirth. Then he said darkly, “You did not shoot your cat. You shot– your younger sister.”

Charle’s face contorted and then became wretched.

“I ‘ad jus’ come back. Sh’knew she was s’posed t’stay away from th’gun! Nex’ thing I knew, sh’d shot herself through th’ead. I didn’t meanitt! Th’gun was not s’posed to b’loaded!”

“This is a wretched little party isn’t it?” Nathaniel observed evenly as he stepped into a clearing. Before him was a giant pool of water, and behind it was a large temple. The sacerdotal stone structure loomed before them like some great grey and green giant, for it was covered in vines and moss. Nathaniel looked at the temple keenly through brown eyes. Then he murmured, “Now, key, what door do you unlock.”

Nathaniel stepped forward and stubbed his toe on something. Bending down, he picked it up. It was not very big, but was an iridescent piece of layered metal with a strange line pattern across its surface. Nathaniel did not know why, but he felt the urge to have it on his necklace beside the cross that his father had given him in time long past. There was a hole through the piece of metal in the most convenient of locations, and Nathaniel found himself wondering if it had been used as a pendant to a necklace.

Turning to Charles to tell him about the plan of action, Nathaniel saw the guide gaping in shock, and looking back at the temple, Nathaniel saw why. What appeared to be a robot was emerging from the entrance to the temple. It was very damaged, and as it shambled around the pool of water in front of its residence, Nathaniel could see that its parts were primitive in the utmost. Yet it was a robot. What people group could have been so advanced as to construct robots?

The ramshackle robot stopped before them, and Nathaniel saw that it was in even worse disrepair than he had first realized, and it made him wonder even more what sort of people could have made something like this that could survive through the ages. His keen eyes took in wood body parts and crudely made metal joints, along with a head containing eye sockets so deep that the shadow they cast on the visual orbs enclosed was near black. Then to his surprise – though little could surprise Nathaniel before, and even less could amaze him now – the robot began speaking.

“I am AB 34, guardian of the celestial temple of the People, and you have just retrieved a piece of the Artifact. Please come with me.”

 

Tours yruly

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8 thoughts on “NP6 – Twist – AB 34

  1. Ok, so I feel a little bad for beating you up in the chatbox today. I know you TOTALLY deserved it and enjoyed it, but still…
    on second thought…WHY INTRODUCE ELAINA AND DEVELOP HER CHARACTER IF SHE’S GONNA BE OFFED IN SO UNTIMELY A MANNER???? …..i mean, I’m sorry for bursting into angry comments=(
    BTW, I am joining BEB, cuz killing Elena’s character, while nasty Nathaniel, odd Katherine, and evil-robot me live on, is just unfair.
    so there’s my half-apology. (only half, cuz i know you revel in the cries of frustration from your readers)
    ~AB 34

    Like

    • lol. Don’t feel bad. Like you said, I totally deserved it, and I do enjoy it. XD and still what?

      There we go! That’s what I was looking for. 😀 The whole point of Elaina was to offer a foil to Nathaniel, and help develop his character, and then to wrench the heart out of the readers when she dies and make them hate the murderer even more. Basically, she was a literary device, like everything else in my story. And don’t apologize. There is no need for apologies. 😀

      Most certainly. Go ahead and join BEB. Well, Nathaniel did try to be better, but Elaina kind of dissed on him, though she didn’t really get him either, so yeah. Katherine, like you said, is just plain odd, and the evil-robot you, well you know what happened to yourself know. (And you are certainly wise to only offer half an apology)

      ~Michael Hollingworth
      Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

      Like

  2. I AGREE WITH ANNA! RAISE ME FROM THE DEAD. RIGHT NOW. OR AT LEAST BY THE END OF THE BOOK. SHEESH.
    Geez.
    and btw, I read this chapter right before bed. Needless to say, it took be a while to fall asleep =/
    I am looking forward to the “legit” excuse you have for killing me so quickly and nastily. WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU, MICHAEL? If the reason is not satisfactory, there will be repercussions. Many of them. Like, flocks of geese will invade your house and steal your computer so you can’t write anymore sad stories.
    But for realz, a main character killed half way through with unresolved relationships??? Humph. I will picket for resurrecting me. I think I’ll form a political party. The BEB – Bring Elaina Back. I kinda like the sound of that. =D
    No but really, you are really good at playing with the emotions of readers, holding their hopes and dreams in the palms of your hands AND THEN CRUSHING THEM FOREVER.
    and goodness, what a twist!! When you mentioned that the murderer was different from how I portrayed it in my sandbox, I was like, it’s either Elaina or an alien, but I wasn’t expecting a polite robot. lol Good job, except for killing me, that is.
    ~Elena

    Like

    • Woah woah woah. One is more than enough but two? When I first wrote this, I expected some sorrow at Elaina’s death, and maybe outrage at the murderer, but certainly not outrage at me. Still, in retrospect, it is kind of fun to have these fired up comments thrown at me. XD

      Well, I did warn you guys it got dark. Reading a chapter before bed is probably not a very good idea. :P. And I promise, the legitimate reason will come. Wait a sec, what was my reason? I just forgot. Um…. um…. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll think of it at the end of the comment. Anyways, you never did anything to me. This is just my way of paying you back for NOT doing anything to me; I guess, I don’t know, I don’t think this is actually payback for anything, but whatever. Wait, you control flocks of geese? EPIC! Of course you gotta kill a main character half way through and leave unresolved relationships. That’s what makes the reader slave through the rest of the story on the tiniest hope that the relationships won’t be unresolved. XD Well, I have no problem with you forming a political party to bring Elaina back. Go ahead! 😀

      And I’ll take that as a complement, even though you purposefully push forward my tyrannical aspect in that complement. 😀

      And as for the Twist, allow me to twist it even more. That cantankerous machine is not the murderer. Fortunately for Elaina’s dignity, even she could have defeated a robot like that one handed. 😀

      ~Michael Hollingworth
      Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

      P.s. And I find it interesting that you suspected Elaina was the murderer. I wonder why… *hint hint*

      P.p.s. still thinking of my valid reason for killing Elaina

      P.p.p.s. Still thinking…

      P.p.p.p.s. Aha! I have it, and nope, I’m not telling you.

      Like

  3. i refuse to ‘like’ this post. i simply refuse.
    you know why??
    hmm???
    WHY’D YOU KILL ELAINA?!?!?! WHAT POSSIBLE PURPOSE COULD THERE BE FOR SUDDENLY AND VIOLENTLY SLAUGHTERING AND MUTILATING THE MOST SWEET AND SYMPATHETIC CHARACTER?!?!?! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT, MICHAEVIL???? HOW COULD YOU???
    alright! *dusts hands* so i have just two suggestions to make=) One: instead of ‘what people group could have been so advanced as to construct robots?’ put ‘what Amazonian tribe could have etc.’ Two: UNKILL ELAINA!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i’m serious. either unkill her, or make a SUPER legit reason for her sudden, heartless, and cruel demise. hear me??
    ~AB 34

    Like

    • Oh?
      Not really.
      Just tell me already!
      Woah! Not like that. Wait– why did I kill Elaina? Oh that’s right, because I’m MICHAEVIL! And as to how I could do it? Well, I’m heartless! jk. But I had to kill somebody and I had already planned it from the start, and I actually do have a SUPER LEGIT reason as to the mutilation and killing.

      And about the Amazonian tribe, I’ll change that right away. Thanks for the help, and believe me, I’m sorry about Elaina too. 😛

      ~Michael Hollingworth
      Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

      And you’re pretty sharp to have caught onto the fact that AB 34 is named after you. XD

      Like

      • Yes, i am sharp. i’m sharp enough to realize that you’ve totally killed off an entire fandom. (the Elaina fandom), and that millions of fans (someday) will weep and throw your book across the room when they read of poor Elaina’s untimely demise.
        You’re welcome=) and I’m looking forward to seeing what the SUPER LEGIT reason is behind your madness>=)
        ~AB 34

        Like

        • Woah. You got some big predictions for me there. Millions of fans? Man, I’ll be glad to even get hundreds of fans. XD

          You will see the SUPER LEGIT reason. It’ll come in chapter 9. >=)

          ~Michaevil Hollingworth
          Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

          Like

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