STORYTELLER- FIERY EYES
CRIME FIGHTER CHRONICLES- A NOVELLA-BOOK 1
I am naked, cold and wet, where am I and who am I?
The road was wet and the rain was still pouring down on the car as the young blond nurse Eva Torres, was returning back home after doing a twelve hour shift at the hospital.
Eva had been driving for half an hour, she sipped the cup of coffee she had at the side, as the lively music played in her car. She wanted to get home soon and she just wanted to rest.
She was tired after all the cases she attended to that day which seemed like it would never end. The one delivery case that she could not get out of her mind was the young pregnant mother who gave birth to an unusual looking baby. The child seemed like a cross between a human and an extra-terrestrial.
The newborn baby had deep green coloured skin, with strange looking almost elfin features, with unnaturally large pointed ears.
I thought the baby even smiled at me, thought Eva amused.
She suddenly saw a large flash of lightning, which was followed by a loud explosion. It was then that she saw something on the road which made her freeze.
What was that mound in the middle of the road?
It was moving.
The car was getting closer.
The person, it looked like a man, he was right in the middle of the highway.
Eva had to stop, she could not avoid him.
She was going to stop the car and phone the hospital, she had to help this poor man.
Eva gets out of the car, it is still raining heavily. The rain beats down rhythmically onto the road, the car and on the two people in the middle of the road.
She hears the flapping of wings, she looks up and she gets startled as a large bird or bat-like creature flies closely past her almost hitting her across the face with its large wings.
She walks up to the man, who looks unconscious.
“Hello, can you hear me?” she asks him.
“Yes, yes, I can hear you, please help me,” he says.
“Can you walk?”, Eva asks him.
She looks at him and notices that he is bruised on his face and severely injured on his shoulders. He can barely move his legs. He must have bruised his legs as well from the impact of the fall. It was as if the man was just thrown out onto the highway or like he was just thrown to Earth.
Eva tried to phone on her mobile, but she could not get connected to the hospital.
“It must be the rain, which has even spoiled my phone. I cannot ring the hospital.”
“Please don’t take me to the hospital,” he told her.
“But, you need someone to look at your wounds, let me get you out of the rain.”
He put his arm around her neck, as she helped him onto his feet. He struggled to get up. They moved slowly towards the car.
Eva could see that the man was weak, he was muscular and about six feet tall, naked, with water dripping off his body like waves.
The sound of police sirens could be heard in the distance, gradually getting nearer.
The police were on their way she thought to herself or on some other police business.
“Lady, please get me out of here soon, there will be too many explanations needed, if I am still here.”
“Okay,” said Eva, as she closed the doors of the car and drove away just in time before the police cars arrived at the scene of the stranger’s arrival.
She handed the wounded stranger a long coat and a thick blanket she kept in the car, to cover and dry his body.
He does not remember who he is. He looks like a lost child. He is lost in the woods and he needs to find his way out, she thought to herself.
Back home, a big brown friendly cocker spaniel comes to meet Eva and her guest at the door. The dog is friendly. Eva makes the tall stranger lie down on the sofa in the living room.
She attends to the stranger, cleaning his wounds. She gives him a set of clothes to wear, her father’s clothes, which she never got rid of after he passed away two years ago. She showed the stranger to the bathroom where he could bathe and slip into a change of clothes.
The clothes she kept of her father’s were just reminders of him, the care and concern he had for her, for all the years of her life. It was just her way of holding on to the memory of her dear father. He brought her up single-handedly, after her mother walked out of the door when she was six and never returned.
Her father was a dedicated police officer, and so he would get into a lot of close calls while he was doing his job. It was Eva who would take care of him when he returned home and she would nurse him back to health. She liked taking care of people, which was the main reason that she became a nurse, as well as the added bonus of watching injured and broken people heal and get back on their feet once again, ready to take on the world.
“What’s your name, stranger? My name is Eva”.
“I can’t remember.”
“We’ll call you Henry for now,” said Eva with a smile.
Eva still wore her nurse’s uniform, she had no time to change attending to Henry, this man somehow mattered to her she felt.
There was a knock on the door. The dog is the first to rush to the door barking. The rain had not yet lessened, it was still raining heavily, with flashes of lightning lighting up the summer sky, like a fireworks display.
“I wonder who that could be?” said Eva walking towards the door.
She turned to Henry and said, “We’ll just say that you are my cousin Henry who is visiting me from out of town.”
“Hi, Olivia,” said Eva opening the door to see her neighbour standing in the rain with a pink umbrella and with a pack of food in her hand. It was common for Olivia the nice Swedish neighbour to visit during the evenings to have dinner with Eva. Olivia had made this a habit over the last few months.
“Hi Eva who is your friend? Will you not introduce me?” says the pretty blond girl.
“I’m sorry, Olivia meet my cousin Henry,” said Eva turning to the wounded man lying on the sofa, “He had an accident, when he went for a walk to the park this evening. He lost his way coming back home and slipped into a ditch in the pouring rain. I was really shocked to see Henry walking back in the rain, when I was returning from work. We need to get you a mobile phone, so that you can contact me if you are in trouble, Henry”, said Eva turning to the injured man on the sofa.
“I’m Olivia and I’m pleased to meet you. I come back home early from work. I work in the primary school down the road,” says the tall young Swedish girl, “would you like a bowl of soup?”, she asks the stranger.
“Yes, I would. That’s a good idea.”
“Henry, just rest here a while and we will get some dinner ready. I will go and change out of these wet clothes,” said Eva switching on the television. The news was on.
“Henry, that’s a nice name, you look a lot like that actor who acted as Superman a few years ago,” said Olivia with a warm smile, as she sat on the sofa opposite Henry and opened a packet of sandwiches which she offered Henry.
Henry was famished and he greedily started to eat the sandwiches as if he had not eaten in days.
Olivia leaves the home of Eva and as she walks into the car, her mobile phone rings.
“Yes,” she says, “the Eagle has landed and he is being cared for by Eva.”
She listens to the voice at the other end of the phone, nods her head and says seriously, “Yes, we will wait a few days…yes, I will be careful.”
That night Henry is cold as he lies on the sofa in Eva’s living room.
Henry is passing in and out of consciousness. He looks out of the window which is illuminated by the light of the moon and the lightning and he suddenly sees a shadowy figure possibly that of a woman looking in through the window. But he thinks it must be his imagination and his fevered brain which is causing him to see things.
The nurse looks at Henry lying on the sofa and sees him shivering.
Eva decides to keep him warm. She does not know this man but somehow, she seems to trust him and she has a feeling that they share a connection. Eva is a good judge of character, especially after twenty years of working in the hospital and coming into contact with people from all walks of life. Eva sensed that this man she had saved that night was a special person.
Eva lies down beside Henry to warm his cold body, as they lie together on the sofa.
The next day Eva goes to work at the hospital.
Henry leaves the home with the pet dog on a leash.
He walks into a park. He observes the children playing, the joggers exercising around the park, the other dog owners walking their dogs through the beautiful green park. There is peace and contentment in the air.
Henry smiles to himself.
He has so many questions. Who is he and why is he here?
All this does not seem familiar to him. This world is quite different from the one which he has left, he thinks to himself. However, he still does not remember who he is and where he has come from. He looks again at the strange marks at the center of both palms of his hands.
The symbols resemble flames, they are unusual, he had tried to rub the prints off but these marks seem determined to stay on his body.
He remembers having seen other strange markings on his body.
Some of the markings resemble objects like there is one of a rod, a cloak and round circles.
Maybe these are his birthmarks or the shadows of tattoos he had removed years ago.
He looks at his watch and notices that time has flown while he was lost in his silent reverie, only interrupted by the sounds of children playing happily in the park and the sounds of dogs barking as they scamper around playfully, happy to be out in the open once again.
The dog walks him back home. It was a case of the dog leading the owner back home.
Henry continued to stay with Eva. She was a very kind hostess.
It was Eva’s day off on Saturday, so she decided to take Henry to the local market to do shopping and to see a movie before returning home.
“Henry, what would you like to have for dinner tonight,” said Eva with a smile as they moved the trolley down the shopping aisle.
“I enjoy your spaghetti dish,” said Henry.
“Yes, I’ll make that for tonight,” said Eva. She was happy that the two of them got on so well together. She had had previous relationships which ended badly for her.
“Hi, Eva, how are you and who is your friend?” said a petite young brunette, who was also doing her shopping.
“This is Henry. Henry meet Sandy, she and I would work together at the local Cafe, the Golden Spoon.”
“Hi Henry, I’m pleased to meet you,” said Sandy.
“What have you been up to Sandy? Are you still at the Cafe?”, said Eva.
“Yes, I’m still working there. Are you working anywhere Henry? We need someone to work at the Cafe. You remember the lazy lout who worked at the cafe? You may remember him, it was Jim who left last week.”
“Thanks, Sandy, yes, a job would be great,” said Henry.
“I’ll bring Henry over to the Cafe on my way to work,” said Eva.
“Catch up with you later,” said Sandy as she moved away with her shopping trolley.
That night as Henry was getting ready to go to sleep, he saw a shadowy figure standing near the front of the house.
He looked again and there was no one there.
Henry gets a job working at the Golden Spoon Cafe. He has to serve tea and coffee to customers, as well as prepare breakfast in the kitchen.
There are three other people working in the Cafe with Henry.
Two of the staff members Alicia and Sandy agree with Henry and show him the ropes of working in the Cafe. It is the Cafe Manager Jake who seems to have an issue with Henry.
“Hey Henry” says Jake the Manager who is stocking the fridge with soft drinks, “would you take the garbage bags out from the kitchen, they have been there for the last hour?”
“Yes, Jake, I’ll do it now.”
“Then you need to clean the windows, which are really looking filthy after the rain and storm we had here last week,” said Jake gruffly.
“But, Jake, I wiped all the windows last evening,” said Sandy.
“Yes you did and that does not change the fact that it rained again last night and more dirt has stuck to the glass,” said Jake in an angry tone of voice.
“I’ll do that Jake,” said Henry taking out the trash bags through the large blue door in the kitchen leading out to the back of the cafe, where the garbage vats were lined up.
After disposing of the five large bags, Henry took up a bucket and filled it with water and started to clean the windows of the old place.
The windows were wiped the previous evening by Sandy, Jake thought to himself and here he was re-cleaning the windows, maybe Jake wanted the windows to become sunlight reflectors or perhaps he did not like the fact that Alicia and Sandy got on so well with him.
Then yet again, according to what Alicia had told him, it seemed that Jake and Eva were an item a couple of years ago and he did not like it when she broke up with him, due to his alcoholism.
Jake was a violent man and he had also been in prison for six months for assaulting a customer who questioned him about an item on the day’s menu. It seemed that the customer told him that the breakfast served that morning was stale and the two fried eggs were cold.
No one wanted to get on the wrong side of Jake. He was a stocky man about six feet four inches and looked like a lumberjack, with his broad chest and large hands. The man would have been more comfortable chopping wood than serving breakfast at the Cafe.
No one wanted to annoy Jake, especially when Jake did not like you or when he was jealous of the man he had just employed who was living with his ex-girlfriend. Jake was now having an affair with Sandy but he never got over Eva.
On his way to work one morning Henry saw a poster of a missing person. A person was abducted and the posters can be seen all around the town. “Man carried away by Raven,” was the title of the poster, with a photo of the man, whose name was Brad Fergus. Brad was a slim bespectacled man, who must have been feather-weight to get carried off by a bird, even a large one.
Eyewitnesses say that they saw a large raven carry away the person.
It was not a hoax as Alicia, the forty something woman, who worked at the Cafe, knew the man’s sister Julie who worked at the hairdresser on Brite street.
“Brad worked in the Post Office,” said Alicia, he was walking back home on Saturday evening, when Margery saw him being attacked by two large raven looking birds and one of the birds carried poor Brad off, as he screamed for help.”
“Wasn’t there anyone else around who could have helped him?” asked Sandy.
“Everyone must have been enjoying Saturday evening at the local club,” said Jake gruffly, as he walked into the room.
The world was a strange place thought Henry to himself. Nothing could be stranger than the fact that he suddenly appeared on the highway and he was lucky that Eva was driving back home after work and spotted him and came to his aid.
Henry was cleaning the windows of the cafe, when suddenly everything blacked out and he could not move. This was now becoming a frequent occurrence.
Henry cannot work as he seems to suddenly go into a trance-like state without any warning signs when it is about to occur.
The trance states come and go quite frequently.
Jake did not like this and he started complaining to Eva when she reached Henry at work the next morning.
“Our man Henry here, goes into a daze and watches the planets,” said Jake, “He will have to leave if this continues, Eva. I only gave this Joker a job because I know you.”
“Just keep him for a few more days, till I get him another job. I am sure that he has been through a lot and his mind needs to heal. His body healed but his mind needs more time,” said Eva forcefully, as she dropped Henry off at the Cafe and carried on to her job at the hospital.
It is now three months since Henry has been living in this quiet Town of Quakenville with Eva and working at the local Cafe.
Henry does work, but not all the time. It seems that he gets distracted and is lost in his own world. This has been an issue with Jake the owner of the place. Eva is always given an earful, when she comes to reach Henry to work every morning.
A lady keeps watching Henry as he sits in a trance looking at the skies. She watches from her black car. She is a pretty looking woman, with her long flowing black hair and penetrating gaze. She seems to know something about Henry as she watches him intently. The lady in the car does not notice a policeman walk up to the car.
“Miss would you move your car please, this is not a spot to park.”
“Sorry, Officer,” says the young woman as she drives her car away.
As the car passes the Cafe, she cannot help but look once more at Henry with concern.
Eva collects Henry in the evening on her way back home. Eva is tired after her day at work and does not notice an animal cross her path. As Eva hits hard on the brakes at the last minute, the car skids and moves to the side of the road.
“Eva, are you okay?,” asks Henry who is sitting in the front seat.
“I’m fine,” says Eva, “Just a bit shaken. I did not see that fox cross my path earlier, until the last second. I definitely need a cup of coffee.”
Eva gets the car back on the road and drives back home. In the distance the car can be seen.
The mysterious lady follows them back home in her car. She parks her car behind bushes and sits in the car for awhile.
Later that evening after Eva has gone to bed. The lady with the dark hair and an air of mystery about her walks to the window of the house. She looks in and she observes Henry sketching images on sheets of paper. He seems to be doing it all while he is in a trance. The lady goes to the side of the house, where there is an open window.
The room is in darkness only lit by the light of the moon. She sees a desk near the window, with a number of papers of sketches done by Henry. She crawls into the room through the window and picks up a stack of these sketches.
She climbs out of the window just in time, before Henry walks into the room and switches on the lights and places his fresh stack of paper with sketches on the desk, closes the open window and goes up to the bedroom. He snuggles into bed with Eva who is already asleep. Eva wakes up and they make love before cuddling up together and falling into a deep sleep together.
The next morning as Eva goes to the desk to pick up her file for work, she notices a pile of sketches done by Henry the previous night.
“Henry you did some more sketches last night,” asked Eva.
“I really don’t remember, are they any good?” asks Henry.
Henry has no memory of all the sketches which he has created.
“Yes, some of them look good, they are filled with a lot of signs and symbols. These ones here have illustrations of swords and winged bats. I wonder what all these strange designs symbolise? Perhaps we could also have an exhibition of your sketches someday” asks Eva.
“My drawings aren’t that good. I’ve no idea what they all mean darling. Maybe we should show it to an expert.”
“Yes, I could do that, we have a consultant Psychologist, Doctor Charles Hawes who visits the hospital twice a month. I will take a few of these and show it to him,” says Eva, putting the ten or twelve drawings into her work folder. They drive off to work.
A few days later Henry loses his job at the Diner. Henry is depressed and confused with his life. Eva is worried about him.
One day Eva comes back home from shopping to find that he is not at home. Henry walked out of the house that day. Eva takes the car and asks one of the neighbours an old lady called Rose if she saw him leave as she did her gardening.
“Yes, I did see Henry walking by, he seemed to be in his own world and did not notice me. He could have gone to the beach,” said Rose. Eva goes to the harbour and finds Henry sitting at the edge of the jetty, with no memory as to how he got there.
Henry keeps getting more and more depressed. Henry starts getting irritable and angry just staying at home. He tells Eva that he somehow feels imprisoned and that he needs to find his purpose. He feels that he is wasting his life.
Eva is worried that something has happened to Henry. She has fallen in love with him and wants to help him to discover his identity. Eva decides that it is about time, that she gets a detective to find out who Henry is and where he has come from.
Eva had checked the news reports and the web to find out if Henry was in any photographs as a missing person. She was unsuccessful.
Henry took the dog out for a walk on a Saturday afternoon. The dog returned home, still on his leash, but without Henry.
Later that day Henry is dropped off at Eva’s door. She hears a knock on the door and sees Henry standing at the doorway with a blank expression on his face. She sees a black car drive away. Eva wonders to herself why the stranger who brought Henry back home did not wait to be thanked. She was getting worried and was about to take the car out again and check the park and the cafes near the beach.
Henry takes the dog out for a walk when it is just turning to dusk. On his way back home, he suddenly hears a growl behind him. A wolf-like animal starts to chase Henry down the road.
The wolf is hot on their heels.
Henry and the cocker spaniel run for their lives.
Henry and Benji just run into the gates leading into the house and shut the door, both shaking and scared from the experience.
Henry looks around and he is surprised to see that there is no one behind him. There is no wolf, there is no such animal or was it just his vivid imagination?
“Benji, did you see the animal chasing us?” asks Henry, “Of course you can’t tell me, you are just a dog,” says Henry with a smile.
As Henry shuts the door and walks into the room he gets a horrible smell in the air.
He moves to where the scent is coming from and is shocked to find three dead rabbits, butchered and bloodied at the center of the living room.
He has to clean up the mess before Eva returns from work.
He does not want to scare Eva about all these strange and scary occurrences he has been experiencing.
He may need to leave the house and stay somewhere else.
Henry does not want to put Eva in any danger, from anything coming after him from his past.
He only wishes he knew who he was and who was coming after him?
It is early evening, it is dark outside. Henry is sitting at the large windows overlooking the garden. The lights are off in the room. There is a small dim light shining over the sketch book, in which he is doing his sketches. He ran out of loose sheets of paper, so Eva got him a proper sketch book. Henry’s trance-like state is broken when he suddenly catches a glimpse of three shadowy figures opening the gate and creeping along the garden. The sprinklers in the garden have come on automatically.
Two of the figures move towards the front door.
He can now hear them trying to force the door open with a key. The door knob keeps moving as they try to break in.
The other burglar is opening the window at the side of the house. The street lights are a couple of meters away from the house, so the area in front is dark. It was almost impossible to enter the home from the back, as there was a dense growth of vegetation, on the other side of the backyard.
Henry is now worried, what should he do if they enter? He is not armed.
He has nothing to defend himself. It would be foolish to approach the men without any form of weapon in hand. Henry is now more nervous than afraid. He is undecided about how to handle this situation and how to react to these intruders entering his home.
Henry drops the stack of papers which he has on his desk while going for his mobile phone, to phone the police, when he notices something strange. It seems that the drawings which he has done on the blank sheets of paper come alive. The cube which he had drawn comes out of the paper in a three-dimensional form and grows larger and larger surrounding him.
It seems that the crooks are not successful in opening the door to the house, so they decide to break the glass section of the door, in order to enter.
As the glass gets pounded from the outside, Henry decides to phone the police or just raise an alarm.
Henry will use the element of surprise on the criminals.
He switches on all the lights in the house.
The men are now about to enter. The third man is getting in through the window. All the men are armed, two with guns and one with a knife.
The stars which he had sketched on paper seem to rise from the white sheets of paper and move towards the door and the windows, through which the thieves are climbing through. The man at the door instinctively throws his knife aimed at Henry. The knife bounces off the large force-field of the cube in which Henry is standing and falls to the floor.
The spinning electrically charged stars which are like hazy forms of light, strike the other two criminals and they fall to the floor in an electrocuted state, unable to move, scream or escape.
Henry phones Eva at work, after phoning the police.
The police are surprised when they arrive at the house. Eva is equally surprised when she sees the criminals on the floor, with shocked expressions on their faces, unable to move or to speak. They have to be lifted out of the house by the officers. The men look like they are frozen.
“Sir, what did you do to these men?” asks Officer Davis a tall African man with a thin moustache.
At that instant a loose wire from the side of the room, comes off the wall and a portion of the plaster breaks and the wire falls to the floor sparking away.
“Definitely, a loose wire, must have caused them to get electrocuted,” said Henry.
“Yes, it certainly looks that way,” said another policeman who was photographing the scene of the crime.
Eva phoned her friend’s husband Andrew who was a carpenter and he was at home fixing the broken glass on the door and the broken window hinges.
Once the police and the carpenter leave Eva speaks to Henry about what really happened. He finds it hard to explain.
“So what really happened Henry and how did you manage to incapacitate those three men. I hope that you didn’t do anything foolish,” said Eva with concern.
“I admit I was nervous, because I didn’t know what to do. I thought of throwing some of the paper-weights which I have on the desk here”, said Henry picking up a snow-globe.
“I’ll need to get some alarms fitted into the house. This neighbourhood is not safe, not like when my parents were living here forty years ago.”
“I’ll tell you what happened. It was almost magical. You know the sketches which I do when I go into a trace. Those sketches seemed to come alive on their own as if by magic. The sketches fell to the floor by accident. The sketch of the cube became a shield which protected me from the knife while the stars I had drawn became three dimensional stars which hit the thieves coming in through the windows.”
“Here, ” said Eva, “take these papers with your illustrations and show me if they come to life now.”
“I don’t think it works that way, “said Henry as he closed his eyes and tried to concentrate to make the stars, circles, cubes and triangles come to life.
Eva kept watching the sheets with the abstract art as Henry tried his hardest to concentrate.
“Maybe it was just your imagination,” said Eva.
“I hope that I’m not losing my mind. I cannot remember who I am and now I could be even losing my marbles,” said Henry.
“I don’t think you are,” said Eva,” come let’s have dinner and make sure to check all the doors and windows before we tuck in tonight.”
Crime in the city has been increasing. The local newspaper of the area is constantly reporting the rise of crimes.
Old age pensioners are being attacked in their homes.
The story of violence in the neighbourhood is spreading like a virus to all cities all over the world.
Every life, in every city, in very neighbourhood is being affected by the story of violence, as the forces of evil shroud humanity in its mantle of darkness.
It was a Friday night, the time when every family gets ready to rest in front of the television after a busy week of work.
Eva and Henry suddenly hear a noise outside on the street opposite their home. It is the sound of a woman screaming for help. It seems to be a mugging in progress.
“Eva, should we do something to stop this crime which is happening just outside our home?” asks Henry.
“It would be dangerous for you to go out and face the attacker. On the other hand we need to do something. I will phone the police and inform them that there is a woman being attacked on the street,” said Eva.
“I’ll go out to see if I can scare the attacker away,” said Henry.
“Take something with you, maybe a stick,” said Eva.
They could hear a woman scream in the darkness and it was distinct in the stillness of the night.
Henry did not wait, he could not wait, he picked up a large stick of wood from the side of the door, it was an old piece of wood and he rushed out of the house swinging it in his hand.
He ran across the street in his pajamas, to the spot where he saw a masked man attacking a woman.
The man had a knife in his hand. The woman’s blouse was ripped and she lay on the floor in a pool of blood. The woman was injured in her stomach and she was bleeding. He hoped that the ambulance would arrive to save the poor woman.
The mugger turned around, with his knife and ran towards Henry, who just managed to side-step out of the way but he was slashed across his chest as the mugger raced away into the darkness. Henry just about managed to swing the wooden piece of wood and give the masked man who was about six feet tall a glancing blow on the back of his head and across the back of his right shoulder. The man shrugged it off like it was a fly attacking him.
Luckily the woman was not seriously wounded. The slash on the side of her stomach was not too deep. She was attended to by the medics who arrived at the scene of the crime and she would be out of danger soon. The man had tried to rape the young woman who was on her way back home after working late.
Henry was happy that he had prevented the crime from having a tragic outcome. The young woman could have lost her life. He was happy that he had come to her assistance.
The police arrived and took statements from the victim and from Henry. The woman whose name was Kendra thanked Henry for coming to her aid and she thanked Eva for calling the police and the ambulance. The police detective James Richards also thanked Eva for calling them and Henry for trying to do something about the crime they saw. Though they told him that it was a foolish thing to approach the attacker on his own and he should not attempt such a foolish stunt in the future.
Eva was really upset with Henry for risking his life, though she knew that it was the only way they could have saved the girl’s life.
On their way to the supermarket, Eva and Henry see that there has been yet another burglary in the neighbourhood.
The small jewellery store around the corner from the house was robbed. The shutters are smashed, the door was broken and all the display cabinets in the jewellery store are empty.
“The jeweller of the store will be at a terrible loss,” says Eva.
“The police have arrived,” said Henry, as he saw detective James Richards with his team searching the area for evidence and photographing the scene of the crime.
“It’s a good thing old man Jarvis was not in the store, nor was his wife Mabel.”
“They usually close at five, so the crooks decided to wait and rob the store and hour later,” said Henry.
That night as they watch the local news on Television, Henry seems to notice something extra-ordinary happening on the screen, as the news is being reported about the increase in crime and violence in the city. The police are in a panic as there are not enough police on the force to put an end to the crime spree.
Henry is not just seeing the news, he seems to be watching a little more and he is puzzled.
When Henry watches the news on television he can see the crime occurring on the television screen at the same time.
The footage literally shows Henry the crime in progress.
The faces are hazy, but he can see a lot of details.
He decides to tell Eva about this strange occurrence. Was it a type of power he now possessed?
“Eva, I’ve been watching the news with you in the evenings. But something weird has been happening,” said Henry.
“Is the news making you feel depressed, most of the news they show nowadays is depressing?” asks Eva with concern “which is why I’ve often told you not to watch the news. Your mind needs time to heal and watching all these disturbing news reports is not going to help in your recovery.”
“No, Eva, my mind is fine. I’ve been watching the crimes in progress, while the news is going on. The scene which I see is in negative form and keeps repeating. It seems to be a recording of the event which is trapped in the air and keeps repeating it, like a tape which has got jammed, in an old tape recorder. The scene returns to the beginning, plays to the end and then does a re-run again of the event. However, as the images are hazy, maybe I’ll be able to see more once I get used to using this skill”
“That’s a great ability to have, it is better that you don’t tell anyone about it, or they could think that you were involved in the crimes. With all these crimes happening in our neighbourhood, it’s hard to trust anyone.”
“I know this is a great ability, but it can be a curse as well, I guess,” says Henry, not sure whether he should be happy or sad about this new skill which he has discovered.
Henry visits the small marketplace to do his shopping.
Henry is buying fruits, when a small group of young men walk up to the stall and take apples, oranges, bananas and walk away without paying. There is suddenly a skirmish in the square and he hears a quarrel in progress. A group of young men and the stall owner of fruits get into an argument.
“Excuse me, young men,” says Henry, “you all need to pay for the fruits.”
“Are you the owner of this stall?”, asks the leader of the group a young man with brown curly hair who stands tall at about six feet.
“I’m the owner of the stall and I just want them to pay for the fruits they have taken,” said the owner of the stall an elderly gentleman as he stands watching nervous and afraid, he knew what these ruffians were like. He had allowed them to take the fruits without objecting before, as did most of the vendors in the marketplace.
“Bob, let’s go, ” said one of the younger men in the group.
“No, this guy needs to be taught a lesson, that he can’t interfere with us or stop us from taking what we want, this is after all our neighbourhood,” said the leader of the group.
Bob was not going to go without punching this loud mouthed man had the audacity to ask him to pay.
Bob, started to punch Henry and though Henry tried to deflect the blows, he was no match for this tall strapping young man.
Henry falls to the floor, his face is cut and his arm is bleeding.
The youth next hits Henry over the head and he falls onto the dusty road unconscious.
The shopkeepers call for the ambulance and the police. He is badly injured in the fight and has to be taken to the hospital. The police arrive and ask for witnesses to the crime.
However, no one is prepared to say that they saw anything happen, due to the repercussions it could have on them and their families.
Henry is unconscious for ten days and he is attended to in the hospital. Eva visits him every day, but he does not know that she is there. Henry is in a comatose state in the hospital bed.
But, Henry is not asleep.
His mind is in a state of high activity.
He gets flashbacks of his past.
I have entered a sort of dream world.
I can see images from my past, the present and the future.
I see dragons, I see angels, I see demons, I see fantastic creatures, I see flying carpets, magicians, lanterns, secret manuscripts, I see the landscape of story come alive before my eyes.
I also see a man who seems to control all the stories around him. The stories seem to come alive when he narrates the stories.
This man seems familiar to me perhaps I had met him before.
“Who are you?” asks Henry.
“I’m the Storyteller,” says the mysterious man.
Every character, every scene, every plot and every storyline of the story seems to be created, developed, manipulated, then re-created into moving stories of power plays across universes of time and space.
The Storyteller sees Henry standing at the edge of a precipice of a stormy mountain. There are fierce gales blowing all around. The winds seem to want to throw Henry off the precipice into the gaping and bottomless chasm below him.
The Storyteller stands across from where Henry is, he looks unperturbed by what is happening around him. He seems to be so confident.
The Storyteller a man of medium built with a narrow face and short hair, dressed in a blue suit and wearing a cape of dark blue, looks calmly at Henry.
“Don’t worry, whatever you see around you, is all part of this story,” which you have created.
“How did I create this story?” asks Henry puzzled.
“You have undergone an experience in your life, which has resulted in the creation of this story.”
“Can you change this story?”, asks Henry
“I can change this story and so change the outcome,” says the mysterious Storyteller.
“Change this story, I think I want to live in another story,” shouts Henry above the noise of the winds which have increased in sound and ferocity.
“You must change this story, by creating another story. Close your eyes and see yourself in another story,” says the mysterious Storyteller.
Henry closes his eyes and tries to see himself in another story.
However, he cannot believe that wishing he was in another story would change the outcome of this story.
Henry can feel the force of the winds on his face and his body is getting colder in the freezing gales.
Henry shuts his eyes for a brief instant and then he opens them again.
To his horror he is lifted off the edge of the precipice by the cold icy fingers of the winds and swept into the air. It is then a non-stop drop into the dark chasm which lies below him.
He screams in horror as he continues to fall deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit, as the howling winds rush past his frozen face and ears.
I look down on the hospital bed and notice the drawings which I have scrawled and I understand them now. These are all the symbols of story. These are all the tools which every Storyteller needs. I recognize the shapes on the sheets of paper and it all makes sense to me now. These were not random drawings they were my weapons and implements of story.
But, I must meet my Mentor to get trained in the art of using this arsenal to create and control my stories. These are the weapons, tools and symbols of the Storyteller. I need to find out what happened to me and to get onto the path to fulfil my destiny.
I now remember my name. My name is William Blade. I am a Storyteller or I used to be a Storyteller in another world, the world from which I have come. How is it that I do not have any powers in this world?
The staff at the hospital and the Doctor attending the now awakened patient are very excited that he made it out of the coma alive. They inform Eva who immediately comes over to the hospital that evening.
William is so excited to tell Eva the news when she comes to visit him.
“Henry, I’m so happy to see that you are now back with us. The Doctor is really happy for you,” says Eva.
“My name is William Blade and it seems that I’m a Storyteller.”
“That’s exciting,” says Eva, “what tall tale do you have to tell me today?”
“I had this sort of dream or maybe it was actually more like a nightmare and in it I met a man who could create stories and change any story at will. He said that he was a Storyteller, with the ability to control stories.”
“I’ll start calling you William from now on, or would you prefer Will?”, said Eva.
“William is fine.”
“The Doctor has informed me that you will be able to leave the hospital in two days, as they still need to monitor your progress,” said Eva.
“I’m feeling much stronger now, though my mind is just getting used to the idea of my new identity. Maybe more of my past memories will start coming back to me.”
“Yes, Doctor Viktor informed me that you should start remembering in a few months time. You will need to visit the hospital regularly till they are sure that you’re better.
“I’m so happy to know that you can come back home soon, Henry, I mean William. I guess it will take some time for me to get used to calling you William,” said Eva.
“Yes, it does feel familiar to me, now that I know that I’m a William and not a Henry. I quite like the vibe of William.”
After Eva leaves the hospital that night, William drops off to sleep.
William is having a dream where he can see himself being chased by formless creatures of the night. They fly behind him, the crawl behind him. He sees small tiny insects enlarging in size and becoming the size of a man’s face. Some of the creatures change in appearance and transform into more ghoulish forms. William is afraid at all these creatures torturing him as he walks through the memories of his dreams. He dreams about the past in countries in Europe in Spain, in France, in London and even in places in the Far East like Thailand and India.
William starts to have vivid dreams of murders taking place in front of him. He sees the killings happening through the eyes of the killer.
He sees the killings taking place through the eyes of the victims.
He is both the slayer and the slain in these stories which occur in his nightmares.
He hears a voice calling out to him and he gets a strange smell going up his nostrils, a strange and unfamiliar smell, the smell of danger.
“William, William, there is danger close to you, wake up from your slumber, danger is approaching, wake up William, wake up,” says a cautious voice in his mind.
He suddenly awakes from sleep when he gets the scent of a strange perfume in the room. The door opens, the light is switched on and a nurse enters the hospital room, she smiles and puts a tray of unappetizing food on the small table beside bed.
There seems to be something different about this nurse, thinks William to himself.
He can see the Nurse and it is Olivia, Eva’s friendly neighbour, yet he can see another form within the body of the possessed woman, it looks like a pink creature made out of smoke and it looks evil. He also notices the symbol of an Octopus on Olivia’s left wrist.
The Nurse Olivia suddenly takes out a syringe, with a green liquid in it and goes to stab William in the heart with the long pointed needle.
As the nurse comes towards him in the hospital with the syringe, he grabs the tray on the table at the side of the bed and hits the woman across the head with it.
The blow does not stop her and she gets off her feet and rushes towards him yet again with the syringe in her hand.
She leaps onto the bed and digs her right knee into his stomach, he screams in pain and as he drops to the floor, she raises the syringe above her ready to strike it into his head.
At that instant there is an inhuman shriek, he hears the sound of large wings flapping, there is a dark shadow in the room.
He suddenly sees a shadowy form, dragging the nurse from hell out of the room.
It is dark in the room and he cannot distinguish the features of the person taking the killer nurse Olivia out of the room, but it does look like a woman.
Once he recovers from his shock, he switches on the light, and looks around the room.
The room is a mess after the struggle with the nurse, but there is no other sign of the would-be killer.
William is feeling much stronger now, so he gets off the bed. He falls to the floor, as he had not used his legs for a few weeks now, so it will take him time to get used to walking and standing. He holds onto the bed and steadies himself.
He scans the room and then he drops to his knees and looks under the bed and sure enough, he sees the large syringe with the green liquid in it.
He picks up the syringe and puts it away in the drawer next to his bed and crawls back into bed.
He is tired after the exertion.
He did not imagine it happening after all. He wonders why no one came to help him with all the noise in his room.
A few minutes later a Nurse walks into the room.
“I don’t know what happened just now,” says the Head Nurse Geraldine, as she walks in the room to check up on William, “it seems that everyone on this floor had fallen asleep, as if they were drugged, including the staff at the hospital.”
“Maybe, there was something in the coffee,” said William with a laugh.
“Do you need anything,” and then looking around the room she says, “what happened here, it looks like there was a riot over here?”
“It was the cat from the first floor ward, the one that sits in the veranda near the Manager’s office, like a guard dog. It must have had a bad day, it came in looking for a mouse and then ended up, chasing its tail around the room,” said William laughing.
He had to hold his stomach which was paining after the attack.
Early next morning Eva came to the hospital to see William. She was very worried and concerned about the attack the previous night.
She spoke to the Doctor and the security staff on duty that night at the hospital, but there was no evidence of the “nurse” entering or leaving William’s room at the hospital.
All the corridors in the hospital had CCTV cameras, due to the increase in the number of crimes in the neighbourhood. There were an increased number of hospital admissions, in some cases it was the perpetrators of the crimes, who would get injured and then admit themselves into the hospital for medical attention. This was one of the main reasons, that the CCTV cameras were installed in almost every corner of the hospital and even on the grounds of the establishment.
Eva insisted that a security man check up on William at least once in the night. There were no further incidents that week.
A few days later, William was certified as fit and was released from the hospital. Eva picked him up from the hospital in her blue car.
William gets a job as a library-volunteer in the A. R. Knight Library in Quakenville a week later. He wants to find out who he is and so does a bit of research into his past and he checks the records section of the archives to see if there were any records in existence about the Storyteller.
He likes his work at the library, stacking shelves, stamping books, and entering into the new entries book register all the new arrivals. He works three hours a day and he does his research work on stories and storytellers to see if he can find any information.
While he is doing his research a young man walks up to him.
“Hi, my name is Dennis, I couldn’t help noticing that you are doing research into stories,” said the young man.
“Yes, it is personal research. I am trying to find out anything and just about everything I can on the history and the origins of story in the world.
“I would like to help you with your research, as I did a research paper on the history and origin of stories in the world I also enjoy hunting for information. I am studying to be a librarian.”
“That would be great,” said William.
“I couldn’t help noticing that you have the symbol of an open book on the back of your neck. Do you know what it means?”, says the young man called Dennis.
“No, I am trying to find out the meanings of the other marks on my body as well and I have quite a few cryptic designs.”
“The open book, with drawings of objects like a house, a tree, a man, a woman, an animal and stars and circles, represents the power of stories to bring worlds to life,” said Dennis.
“Wow, that’s an amazing interpretation of the open book tattoo,” said William.
“Do you have images of all the other designs?”
“Yes, I have scanned most of them. I will bring them to the library next week.”
“That would be fantastic. I will create a database of the images if you want. This would be a useful tool to help with the research.”
“Yes, that would be a great idea. I will give you a small amount of money as a research incentive for the work you will be assisting me with, if it is okay with you Dennis?”
“No, you don’t have to give me any money for this research work. It will be useful to me as part of my continued research into the role of the Storyteller and the power of story down the ages, from the beginning of mankind right through the 21st century to our time in 2070AD.”
“Would you like to have coffee sometime and we can discuss this project?” asked William.
“That would be cool,” said Dennis as he swung his long man-bag over his shoulder and walked off to the cafeteria. Dennis must have been in his late teens and he was very keen on doing research.
Perhaps he had found an ally to help him on his quest to find his destiny, thought William to himself.
That night William told Eva about the new friend he had made at the library.
“It seems like a good idea to have someone who is so experienced in doing research work to work with you in finding out more information about all those mysterious markings on your body,” said Eva.
“I thought so too,” said William, “and he seemed like a nice guy.”
“Perhaps you could invite him over to our place for dinner at some time in the future?” says Eva.
The couple sit down to have dinner that night.
After dinner they sit down to watch the news. The news covers a range of topics, most of which are the recent abductions of people in the city. The reports are filled with photographs of the people who were abducted. There was no particular type, but they were all types of people, from a baby to a teenage runaway, to a lawyer and even a murderer who was abducted from his prison.
That was a curious case because according to the eyewitness report, in this case it was the prison guard, who was present when the killer was taken right before his eyes. The guard was standing outside the prison cell. The prisoner was speaking to him and asking for a newspaper to read. The guard told the prisoner that he would get the newspaper for him the next morning.
At that moment there was a blast of bright light and the prisoner was gone from the cell, as if my magic.
The news reporter who was covering the story next showed the inside of the prison cell after having an interview with the guard.
“I can see a figure taking the prisoner from his cell,” said William.
“I can’t see anyone or anything but an empty cell,” said Eva.
“I can see a portal opening in the center of the cell, a figure with wings, it looks like a man dressed up like a raven, pulling the prisoner through,” said William.
“Are you sure, William, maybe it is just your vivid imagination,” said Eva.
“No, Eva, I’m quite sure that there was the figure of a raven-like man helping the prisoner to escape the prison cell.”
“What do you want to do? We cannot go to the police they will not believe you, because no one has ever seen such an incredible sight, which is in all honesty, hard to believe.”
“I know, Eva, it does sound pretty ridiculous, especially because there is no evidence. The prisoner disappeared in front of the man guarding the cell.”
“Eva, do you think we should go back to the spot where you found me, lying on the road?”
“Yes, we could go there tomorrow, it is about half an hour away,” said Eva.
Eva had a day off the next day, so the couple drove down to the spot in the car.
The whole area looked very different to William in daylight.
Eva and William took out photographs of the spot.
William walked towards the bushes close to the spot to try to see if there was anything which could give him a clue of sorts. All he did find were empty beer cans, cigarette packets and other trash, which was tossed out of passing cars on the highway.
There are no clues and they are about to walk away, when Eva notices that there are a clump of bushes which appear to be scorched with heat of some kind. The bushes look as if they were burnt in a fire.
The bushes which were burned were in the path of a trajectory which was in the path of where William landed on the road.
Eva took out a photo of the burned bushes and saw that between the bushes, she could see a tall tower in the background, some miles away.
Eva takes out more photos and they decide to leave the spot.
As they start to drive William notices that there is a car following them at a distance.
“Eva, I think that there is a black car following us. I may be wrong. Try slowing down and see if they pass us or if they still keep at a distance behind us.”
Eva slowed the car, she noticed that the other car slowed down as well, she decided to speed up the car and the other car followed in hot pursuit.
There were a lot of trucks moving on the road, so Eva had to manoeuvre the car between the large speeding trucks. The other car was close behind.
William looked back and saw the silhouette of a man driving the car.
The cars were racing now, they were moving close to the edge of the road, there was a sharp drop down to the river banks below.
Suddenly, the car chasing them was right behind them and the man was trying to push them off the road and over the side to the sharp drop below the side of the road.
This carried on for about five minutes. Eva was struggling to keep the car on the road, as the other larger car kept knocking their car from the back and was succeeding in pushing them to the side.
Eva lost control of the car as the black car hit theirs yet again and their car was pushed off the side of the road. The other car drove away. The damage was done.
The car swerved crazily and fell off the side of the road, and hurtled down the steep slope to the banks of the river.
The car tumbled and tumbled, as Eva and William were still strapped in.
With every somersault of the car William was hoping that the two of them would survive this ordeal.Abruptly, the car came to a halt in an upright position. The air bags had inflated.
William looked to see if Eva was okay, once he had recovered from the tumble.
Eva had a deep gash across her forehead, but she looked like she was okay.
Two people came to pull them out of the car.
The ambulance arrived. They were both taken to the hospital.
William lost consciousness once he was checked into the hospital and placed on the hospital bed. He saw Eva being attended to and he saw the attendants wheel her on a stretcher to another room. Eva was safe and that was a relief to him.
When he got up in the morning he needed to speak to Eva.
A nurse walked in to the room.
“Nurse, is Eva Torres okay and in which room is she now in, I need to speak to her, said William trying to get out of the bed.”
“Eva? There is no patient with that name, Sir, you were the only person to be admitted in to the hospital two weeks ago,” said the young blue-eyed nurse, whose name was Jane on her badge.
“But, that is impossible, it only happened yesterday, how can it be two weeks ago. Eva Torres my girlfriend was driving the car. I need to speak to someone about this. There has to be a mistake.”
A Doctor walked into the room hearing the commotion.
“Sir, you need to remain calm. What is happening here Nurse Jane?”, asked the Doctor a slim young looking man, who spoke with an Irish accent.
“Doctor, this gentleman seems to say that he was admitted into this hospital yesterday, with a lady called Eva who was driving the car, in which they had an accident.”
The Doctor opened his folder and read the details intently.
“According to this report filed two weeks ago, you were the only person driving the car, there was no one else found in the car, when the ambulance arrived. Here is the report, read it for yourself,” said the Doctor handing William the report.
William read the report in amazement. There was no mention of another person in the car.
He could not believe his eyes.
What had happened to Eva?
Did he imagine his whole experience with Eva?
Was his mind playing tricks on him again or was someone else controlling this story and was he just a mute puppet”
He had a lot of questions, which needed to be answered and he was not going to get any answers lying in this hospital bed.
Eva, where was Eva, the loving girlfriend he had, what would he do without her? he needed to find her, he was also sure that she was not a figment of his overactive imagination.