Breaking Horizons: Book 1: Snared Origins

by

JeanDRacc

Chapter 16: Snared Origins Pt.8: A Vagabond And His Shadow.

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A note from JeanDRacc

Hello there,

Took me time to post this chap. Not because I didn't have it. It was because I needed to also adjust next chapter before making the publishing action. If you see, I actually have a lot of pages in this novel already done. Still, the extending part of this depresing and psychotical pit made me do something. 

I just went to sleep too much. Stayed in dreamland a lot. This made me fantasize more than I should, maybe... Well it's all because of this black thing here. Yup... Did the cocktail work?

I don't know... But I suggest you just read this while hearing to:

 

Spoiler: Spoiler

 

Thanks for reading. 

No offense in anything written in the chapters. It's low fantasy, but still fantasy. 

PS: There are many hidden references in this chapter. Care to find them? Well You can comment if something. 

You learn to cry and learn to smile,

You learn to Lose and learn to strive,

You walk alone in empty roads,

A vagabond and a shadow on the floor.

You search for Aid, Yet walk away,

As only your shadow, Will give you aid.

 

Spoiler: Spoiler

“Little guy, I hope you can get better.” The pediatrician sat on the bed's free space. She ruffled the kid's hair that was outside the bandages and dressings. “What are you feeling? Don’t worry, there are no nightmares here…” She muttered while thinking something.The kid seemed to calm down a little after hearing such words.

“It would be good if we had some special powers that could save everyone. God, why don’t you give us something to help others... More?” The woman murmured softly while looking outside the room. Her gaze went towards the visible sun in the window. She walked there and opened the windows a bit, so that fresh air could enter the room. She then left to the next room in her medical trip sequence.

Her voice could be heard from outside the room as she seemed to recognize a patient walking outside of it. She appeared to be happy that some old man was able to recover or something similar. The conversation continued to sound outside the little kid's room, until it started to decrease with time. 

Inside the room, the boy’s breath seemed to stabilize a bit. Inside his mind, the continuous loop seemed to have a unexpected pause. The dark sky, the gray road, and the various shadows that assaulted him with phrases turned still. 

He had experienced such annoying dream for a very long time. He couldn’t understand why he was here. He only knew two things, himself and his mother. The faces of the people became indistinguishable after the third loop. They started displaying strange smiles or became humans without face. Then, they turned into bodies only composed of shadows.

“Kid your mother has…” One such shadow spoke with a hoarse and strange sound.

“…” The kid evaded the shadow and continued walking.

“He arrived at the different known scenes, until he saw the little child between a woman and a man. The strangest thing was the point of view of this scene. However, his gaze wasn’t in the child but in the man’s face. It was a face he now remembered with detail, specially those eagle eyes. They seemed cold and distant in the memory now.

“Father… Where were you when she needed you…? Seems like only I cared for her…” The boy sighed and continued walking.

“He arrived at the middle of a forest opening filled with curved and tenebrous trees. Mist filled the area, it gave humidity in addition to the already existing grassy fragance.

“Why don’t you play with us?” A shadow appeared from the jungle and asked. 

“Why should I?” He expressed while frowning and gritting his teeth.

“Because we are telling you to!” Creepy laughs and voices came from the forest as it made the whole place look somber.

The dull scene was something his subconscious changed. He looked at the shadows advancing. They weren’t holding knifes anymore. They looked a little bit taller than him, but there was a more interesting characteristic. Every shadow had a strange smile that looked at him mischievously.

“What do you guys want?! There is nothing valuable in me!” He shouted towards the spooky bushes and trees.

“We want to play… With you!” The shadows jumped from the trees and started running towards him.

“Damn it!” The kid shouted as he tried to run away from the pursuing figures.

The path was curved and the forest had many difficult spots to step on. The trees scratched his body in many places including his face. The lacerations over his body started gushing out blood, as his vision started to turn red from the drips coming from his forehead. He advanced cautiously as the vicious sounds came from his back.

The anxiousness surrounded him, he wanted to flee from the abyssal monsters in his mind. They were horrible and he didn’t want to interact in a direct manner. He would drown and loop if he was caught by them. He learned to evade them after the fifth loop. In the current one, he still needed to be able to elude the pursuing demons.

The murky forest and its surroundings were extremely dire. There was danger of reentering the whole looping sequence if he triggered a trap or similar. There were beasts, pit holes, plants and caves. He seemed like a hero inside a quest, continuously trying to get free from the terrible fate in a psychotic masquerade event.

He advanced as the dreary entourage became increasingly humid. Rain started to fall and the voices from the creatures made a tune that shrieked like thunder. The rain became little puddles that splashed as he stepped on the moistened earth. The traveling sweat after running started to give a freezing sensation which invaded even his bones. 

‘How do I escape…? I went that way before and ended up eaten by that strange plant. I need to arrive to that hole before I can actually continue… This is hard… If only mom… No! Mom can’t help me now… I am the one that she needs… I have to persevere!’

He advanced with the chill in his skin and the strange smell coming from the timberland. The water inside his shoes was annoying him. The fatigue of his mind made him want to stop and let go of everything.

(Clank!) A sound came from a tree at his side. One of the creatures jumped from it and tried to block his path.

“I won’t let you!” He shouted while trying to evade the creature as he threw the thing he held in his right hand. He remembered that he was holding something. Despite that, he didn’t remember what the thing in his hand was. He just threw the damn thing towards the abyssal demon.

The demonic creature evaded the thrown item with swiftness. The thrown item was enough to make the creature lose valuable time to trap the boy. It kept staring at his running back while giving a loud scream that could be heard kilometers away.

‘That was close… Damn!’ The kid continued running, his breath becoming louder as he tried to grasp for air and shelter. ‘Where… Where was it?” He looked at the place, it has become a complete swamp with wet earth and smaller timbers. He heard something coming from the deep woods, the anxiousness rising every little step he made.

‘There it is!’ He ran towards a little hole in a tree and crouched inside. The wet clothes and the sounding drops of rain made the scene remain dark and gelid. He started to adjust his breath and wipe the blood from his wounds. He finally had some time to adjust his fatigued mind, but he knew that all he needed was confidence. He needed to believe that the plan would work to be able to flee from the demons. A difficult condition when you felt terrified by them. 

Growling sounds and childish laughter echoed around the tree’s pocket cavity. The smell of wet earth and mud entered his nostrils as he crawled in the little space of the ditch. He opened his eyes and saw the lower halves of those damn beasts. Gripping his hands and sensing the touch of the muddy soil, he held his current respiration.

The abyssal things footsteps marched in unison and left the area slowly. The problem was, that every little movement he made, triggered agitatation in their search. He had to feign stillness to a whole new level. Time passed and the rain started to stop. The barbaric fiends finally left the surroundings towards the side he wanted.

Sunlight started to separate the clouds above the current area he was in. He knew this was the perfect moment to walk out. He looked at the swamp pools. He had trouble in there last time. Nevertheless, this place needed calmness to be able to arrive to the other end. Every step should be carefully made because all places where shadows appeared could turn into traps. For example, the plants on the road will throw him inside the swamp for the smallest mistake.

Those plants hated the light for a strange reason. They appeared to be mangrove’s roots, they twisted and caught his legs numerous times. He looked around and made sure nothing appeared from the forest. Being cautious was a first in such world. If he was trapped or went to sleep, he would be forced to restart.

He could stay still, but he remembered the reason he had to continue. Anything else was better than ’that’. He started hating his weakness and discovered he could ‘try’. This all happened after he saw a special shadow. It was a shadow that helped him regain his will. The shadow gave picture with two silhouettes. Although he couldn't see the features as both had shadowed faces, he knew who they were. 

By remembering the event, he increased his determination. Yet his current weakness was evident as his body trembled with every step. His will was vanishing. If not for the little clue he found behind the picture, he would’ve probably drown in this never ending loop. The remants of obsession mantained his will to remain strong. He wiped every last piece of blood rubbing the dirtied clothes. 

With rising motivation sustaining his depleted body, he advanced. He moved warily and eluded every little place where those roots would appear. Keeping a distance from the swamp waters was easy once you got the gist of it. Now, with multiple failures as experiences, he overcame the strange waters of this swamp.

He advanced and arrived to a rocky road in the middle of nowhere. The decision to follow was judged instantly. Here he met more of those shadows, the shadows asked him where he was heading as he expected. Once before, he didn’t answer and the shadows captured him creating a bad end. He knew what he had to ask for. Taking that into account, he opened his mouth whilst the shadows told him the way and pointed somewhere.

The road started becoming bigger until he arrived to what seemed a huge lake, by gazing around he saw that many shadows were busy transporting things around. The fragrance of salt water and fish arrived from the lake, his clothes dried with the warm light reflecting upon them. It was somewhat strange for a lake to have salt water, even more some species of crabs and crustaceans. Despite that, the shadows fished huge spiders and crayfish-like creatures out of the place. They looked more terrifying than usual. Some of those where sliced or incomplete, but they still moved or squirmed in the boxes. 

‘Finally arrived at this part. Seems to have changed a little from before… Where was that sailor that helped me before? Damn I forgot or so it seems… Never mind, let’s find the witch as fast as possible… I need those things for the devil’s abode…’ He looked to a side of the lake town while thinking. There, a wooden hut remained isolated from the noise and shouts.

He walked around the lake until he arrived to the desolate area without shadows. Here the hut remained alone, little crabs, starfishes and sandcastles could be seen in the surrounding sand. There was no one responsible for making them, but the kid though of them as pretty normal and interesting. The sound of waves entered his ears, similar to when you used a shell and heard the ocean. 

With a constant march he arrived at the hut’s door and touched a button which created the sound of a bell. The strange sound was followed by a dog's bark and a woman’s shout. It was an unusual event for an outsider, but the boy smiled as if expecting that. He started to sing a weird tune with difficulty. The door opened with a shriek as a fat pink dog slammed over him.

“Hey, stop… no more… hey!” The kid grabbed the pink retriever like dog as he freed himself from its licking. The dog sat down at his side, it trembled constantly as if scared of something. At that moment, a big woman with a strange nose and hat appeared.

“Hihihihi! Hi there little kid… Why didn’t you sing louder at the door?” The fat witch gave a strange laugh which seemed somehow forced. She grabbed her fat abdomen and moved with every laugh.

“Sorry, my mouth hurts a bit.” The kid expressed as he smiled a little towards the woman.

“Oh… It doesn’t matter then… I know what you want little boy… But do you have what I need?” The fat witch laughed at the end of the phrase while touching her tummy with both hands. “Hihihihihi!”

He grabbed a little bag that appeared as if there was magic. Its weight was easily lifted by the fat witch. Despite that, when she went upstairs with the bag, the whole structure trembled. A loud laughter came from the second floor, it was followed by a disorderly rumbling. The fat woman produced the sound as she rolled down the stairs. Her figure crushed against the wall in front of them producing a loud vibration. 

“Hihihihi!” The Woman adjusted her clothes after standing up. She took something from a sack, then handed the boy 4 golden eggs and a little bag with extra things. “Here you go little boy. Be careful… Hihihihi!”

After giving those things to the boy, the dog quickly entered the hut as if hell would appear before it. The Woman slammed the door on his face after finishing her wicked laughter. He felt the air rush against his face, but being prepared the door didn’t touch his face. He maintained a smiling face millimeters from the door, without even closing his eyes.

He made a quick turn and looked at the lake, he needed to find a place to do his magic trick. He returned to the fisher’s place and continued in a direction opposite to where he arrived. Snow started to fall and his current attire changed when stepping on the cold and white snow.

Taking a big breath and staring towards a big palace in a faraway mountain, he thought. ‘Now I have to go there… Stay up there sun.' He exhaled, adjusted his steps, and followed the act with a hasty dash. The snow started changing and snowmen started to appear throwing snowballs at him. The premeditated steps made him advance steadily, they helped him to avoid the rain of balls made by the devilish snowmen. His path was to arrive towards little snow bunkers that were separated by specific distances. He used those as covers from the snow barrage. 

Staring constantly at the sun, he went forwards dodging the snowballs. He evaded one by a hairsbreadth and arrived to one of the little fortifications. He crouched and looked at the snowmen in the snow. There were about 5 snowmen eyeing him. ‘Damn, this guys can’t move, but their accuracy is extreme… If one of those things hits me, I’ll be forced to remain still… If I’m frozen, the sun will fall… And… Hmmm, better not think of those creatures…” He thought as he adjusted his eyes to lock onto the next bunker.

The dodging and running continued as he reached a platform hidden behind a strange corner of a mountain. It was almost 90° and had a rocky and icy feel. He gasped for air after hiding himself behind the corner. He scouted around and found a strange metallic thing. He jumped in it as it stopped in front of a wooden bench. The cold metal felt solid, he quickly looked at a shadow in front and gave him one of the golden eggs. The shadow nodded and looked forward.

The whole metallic transport started to slide over the snow. It defied physics as it climbed slowly towards the far away hill. The thing also stopped sometimes, as others dropped off or stepped on. He quickly moved towards the shadow in the front, it gazed at him but then made the machine move.

As he stayed in the front, he watched some shadows in the back start to fight. He stared attentively until the thing stopped at its next destination and those shadows walked away. He then went towards his previous seat and looked at the snow outside. The sun was still high in the sky, but its yellow light was starting to turn redder.

The trip was comfortable once he took precautions against the strange events. He watched as the metallic trunk climbed the snow as if sliding. He stepped off from the rear, it had a slide like those in parks to exit. As he slid off of it, the metallic thing moved again. It left him alone in front of a wooden bench.

The bench was covered in snow on one side, in the other there was a shadow. The shadow stared at him expectantly. The bag he held in his hand opened as he took one golden egg and gave it to the sitting shadow. The shadow remained still, but after receiving the egg it stood up and grabbed the boy by the hand.

The shadow moved with him towards a huge ice palace in top of the hill. They climbed together, the shadow seemed to scare other shadows around them. Maybe this shadow was respected by the others, since they stayed off its way by a 5 meters margin. The trip towards the palace was smooth and when they arrived, the last rays of light started to dim. He gasped and rushed inside the palace doors.

The shadow accompanied him, as both went above huge round stairs. The end of the corridor revealed a big door with a matt and a little window. He went towards the matt and stepped on it. He then moved his hand inside the little window opening it a bit. In there he found a pair of keys. He used the keys in the doorknob and opened the closed door.

The shadow behind him walked away after seeing the kid enter the place. Now, alone inside the strange room, he looked towards a table and commenced to unpacked his things. He took various utensils from the place and turned on a stove. He crushed the golden eggs and started to blend them with other compounds. He looked like a robot, perfectly doing a programmed recipe. He left the mixture in the oven and went towards the bathroom.

The hot water seemed to take everything away. His fatigued body felt energized and warm again. The cuts in his body seemed to heal as he returned to his childish appearance. He went to the mirror and looked as if nothing had happened. He dried and changed clothes. The thing he made needed about 10 minutes more. He awaited near the chimney trying to maintain a warm feeling. He knew that the place will change from a hot pot to a cold soup in less than he could tell.

(Ting) A short alarm sound came from the oven. The aroma that it gave reminded him of various desserts he has tasted. He walked slowly and arranged the prepared dessert inside a little box. He packed everything he needed, made a hard breath, steeled his eyes and walked over to the window.

The window stretched becoming a long passage with transparent floor and walls. It looked as the purest form of ice. He looked below and to the sides. It was already night, the strange things below looked like double headed animals. The two heads each of them had looked to be doing some sort of strange ritual. He evaded the strangeness of that, he looked forward as the ice passage helped him cross over the whole place.

In the middle of the passage the ice turned opaque and it started to reflect the interiors. It prevented him from seeing the events outside. He gazed at the walls as scenes started to reflect over them. His loneliness was evident in those reflections. In them he gazed at himself walk forward inside the same passage. Despite that the kid in every one of his four reflections had a huge difference. They walked accompanied by an important figure.

‘I can’t forget mom. I can’t evade the happiness I spent with you…’ He murmured slowly inside his heart. He tilted his head downwards, but no matter where he stared at, all he could see was that which he missed. The passage was too long to close his eyes all the way. He stared and the tears from his eyes became an added tune to the icy sounds from the melting passage’s ceiling.

Advancing through the incredibly long passage, the drops of water started to fall faster inside of it. The glassy ice was melting gradually creating a glacial melody that entered his little ears and dueled with his tears. The air he breathed turned cold once again, and he looked towards the strange ice becoming metallic. It seemed as some sort of modern architecture found in aquariums or some stadiums. It gave the feeling of a metal hive without the bees.

(Shhhhhh) A sound came behind him, he knew what it was. He didn’t want to look but couldn’t evade. Many belt like things stretched at him with a pulling force. They were dragging him inside the passage. He was at about 3 meters of the end. Still, he considered this easier as compared to the suffering from before.

The dragging compelled him to do smaller steps and adjust his position calmly. He looked forward and before he could arrive at the finale, a shadow appeared. The chin of the shadow had a colorful yellow snake slithering and pointing its big triangular head at him. The figure raised what seemed an arm, but it expanded and became big enough to grab his whole body.

His vision turned dark as he felt being constricted by the tightening feeling, which was emanated from the hand’s force. He felt a rhythmical dizziness inside the dark grip. The lack of air inside the stinky hand made everything worse. It was good that it didn’t take much for him to be released.

He was thrown above a huge wooden floor. He massaged his head, and looked at the surroundings. There was a strange perfume of pine or roble coming from the ground. Two large mountains could be seen in one side of the place. Everything else was darkness. He looked higher following the two mountains. Above them, brown tails of lightening circled and entangled in disorder. He continued looking higher and saw red lips and two big eyes. Long Black hair surrounded everything. There were two white horns that made little vibrating motions, a strange and psychedelic tune was coming from them. The huge crocodile like jaws opened, while a strange alcoholic smell came from inside its maw.

“Hahahaha! Who do we have here today?” The voice was strange with no typical gender difference. Still, it reverberated through all the place.

The kid looked at the giant monster in front of him. Although most of its characteristic remained shadowy. The pair of blue eyes, white horns and the other features… Gave the strange beast in front of him a terrifying entrance. ‘No matter how many times I have seen it, it still scares me…’ He though while being petrified and silent.

“Hahahaha, are you scared? Then let me tell you! I am the Devil, Psytan! I am the most terrifying thing you will ever see… I will test your courage for arriving…Hmm?” The big creature’s mountains moved but the beard made the whole scene too strange to follow. The resounding voice made the child vibrate and lose focus with every word.

“Oh! Sorry little boy… Excuse me if I scared you with… Cough… Hmm… My introduction. My loyal minion took you here for something smelly that you might have in your possession?” The big creature asked while knitting its eyes. Its nostrils sniffed and produced large breaths that suctioned everything towards them.

‘Can’t you see it’s extremely difficult to even maintain balance, and now you are almost sending me inside your nose?’ The boy thought while trying to preserve his footing. When the creature finally calmed down, he looked at it again. “Oh… Mr… Ms… Hm… Great bearded lord of mystic tunes and dumb ways to... test...” He murmured while trying to remember what amused the creature last time.

“Hahahahaha! So you are a person of knowledge little boy… I think I told you something once during the previous test? Hmm… Well, it doesn’t matter… Kid, tell me what your offer is... What do you want?” The enormous creature asked as it made everything move, from its beard to its… Horns, from the hairy darkness to the wooden desktop...

The boy braced himself for the movement again. His gaze moved upwards after standing up. Doing a little movement he took something smelly outside of his little bag. At the same time he took the thing out, it released a rum aroma that made the anxiousness in the strange creature's eyes rise. He extended his hands and the big creature just inhaled hastily. The air took the smeely thing towards the creature as it munched with a pleasured expression the whole present.

“Hahahaha! Delicious! This is a Magical Baba! A wondrous offering to my respected self.” The creatures tongue moved around the lips covered in beardy hair. It then made a feminine expression with a hand in the chest, and one covering a disturbing burp from the mouth. The kid was trying to maintain attached to the slick wood beneath his body, he didn't want to become a dessert to the devil. 

As things calmed, the kid quickly adjusted his posture and shouted. “Great Psytan, I need you to help me find something.”

“Oh, what are you searching for?” The monster seemed to make a diabolical smile. Its posture changed completely as it turned business like. 

The kid took a little piece of paper from his clothes. It was a little photo of his most cherished person. He extended his hands and stared to the great devil. “I need your help to find her.”

The square picture flew towards the big creature as it looked below at the little guy. It gave a long exhale that created a rummy current of alcoholic air. It moved him backwards a little and lifted his clothes.

“She was supposed to come, but for some reason she didn’t.” The creature became thoughtful.

“Then what should I do?” He asked to the creature. This was the first time he arrived here. The shadow only told him to give the great devil the strange dessert, but nothing additional about it.

“Hmm. Actually, I remember she left a treasure in the ancient grounds.” The great creature expressed with a soft murmur that didn’t create currents.

“Ancient grounds?” He asked doubtfully.

“Yeah the place of lost and naught. The place of hidden times.” The great demon mentioned with a shrug.

“How can I go there?” He asked with a sour face.

“Well, you gave me my favorite dessert. I will take you there, but I can’t do a thing if you want to reclaim what she left. Are you prepared?” The great creature looked at him with seriousness.

“I am…” The kid returned the gaze with decisiveness. ‘What other option do I have you big lizard?’ he thought.

“Okay kid, this magic is very hard for me to do. It’s called hypnosis. Remember to be brave. If you don’t return with your purpose, you might lose yourself in there.” The creature took off its horns which didn’t seem detachable.

A strange tune started to boom the place with a goofy feeling. He remembered something similar when watching those animations in kid's channels. He liked how those cartoon characters moved with a rhythmic tune in the background. As if entraced by the sound, he started to tap one of his feet towards the wooden ground subconsciously. He seemed to be attracted to the strange movement of the creature. Despite that, and before he could feel what this ‘hypnosis’ was all about, things went downhill. Black hair started to dance around him like huge serpents, they surrounded him and launched themselves, tying him from all extremities.

His eyes met with the goofily dancing great devil. The Bearded big lizard danced dumbly, it also grabbed something with a hand and pressed it over his head. A scream sounded as he found his right arm being bitten by one of the snakes. That burning sensation invaded his heart and extended to all his body. The alcoholic air that invaded his lungs, made him succumb towards the slumbering feeling once more. ‘Damn… What are you doing big lizard! Seems like I have lost it once again… Sorry me… You will have to return to that gray road…”

(Falling water drop sound) A drop fell from a tree’s leave above him. It touched his face and slid down his cheek. He opened his eyes and gazed towards the gray sky. He was sure, he started the whole thing once again. He got up and looked at the monotonous road. He sighed as he initiated his never ending walk towards his most important person.

‘Wait, where is this… why does it seem different?’ He looked again and saw something that made him stare wide open. Behind himself there was another him. This one was looking at the road with willingness. His other self-looked weak, but had something he didn’t have, a glow.

‘Eh, why does he have that light surrounding him?’ He looked at his other self and then stared at himself. He was black with unknown features… He looked like a shadow… He became his own shadow, or maybe he always was the blurred face in that photo. 

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A note from JeanDRacc

Well, this chapter took me a while, because I already finished the next part. What takes more is making the right quote and explaining it. 

Hmm. Interesting of this is that MC is starting to be himself here. Or maybe just the shadow he tried to hide?

Well next chapter is a real spectacle. I might add some fireworks with this little coal stone of mine, 

BTW: If you felt something you didn't like, felt offended by the story or something... Please read calmly:

Spoiler: Spoiler

 Thanks for reading. Be happy don't take it against this trashcan. Call for some pizza or sushi and eat. That will make you happy. If not throw the raccoon, but don't kill it. 

 


About the author

JeanDRacc

  • Trashcan, Plastic bag galaxy.
  • Uraccsai - Flame haired blazing eyes pizza hunter.

Bio: Hi There! Trashcan raccoon here!
I'm just a puny raccoon trying to do something with a newfound hobby. Not trying to become a star pro-writer, just to recycle part of my cardboard ideas for someone to read... and possibly, make someone happy with what I can write (Which I lack the confidence for).
As a raccoon, getting delicious human food requires lots of effort, I suspect most humans will throw me. So expect my stories to start with a bit of hardship for the reader and the characters.

Whatever you do, please don't throw me or attack me. I'm vaccinated.

/(=w=)\

I just wanna have a happy trashcan time, even if alone.
____^ __^
_~{ ´°^°`}~ Pizza!
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