Hello, my name is Justin. This is my first web serial. I’m launching it now, because I’ll never actually do it unless it’s live and out in the wild.
Without Further Ado, I present to you:
Fate’s Fool, Chapter One: Let’s Begin Again.
I can’t count the times I’ve died. As I look back on the years of war, death and burning, I wonder if selling my soul was worth the world.
I woke again from the nightmare. This time, it was a horde of demons that had killed me: scaled, crawling, things. I tumbled out of bed, and ran to the bathroom and heaved. Motion sickness: Time’s reminder that I owed her. After countless lives, I should have been used to it.
I hauled myself up to the bathroom sink, washed the vomit off my face, and took a long look in the mirror. My hazel eyes were baggy from the lack of sleep. From the nightmares of Jeremy’s death and the carnage I narrowly escaped from. They would all be about hell now. Well, the hell earth would become if I didn’t succeed.
It always came back to this, Ya’know? This glance in the mirror, and my tired face.
I had tried half a dozen times to go back further. Back to when he, Caine, was born, or back a few short weeks to stop Jer’s death. The Angles, or the fucked up deal I made with Fate, wouldn’t allow me.
I walked to my dresser and grabbed a pair of jeans and an Aerosmith tee. I slid my watch on my wrist. 9:52 AM. I was already behind schedule. I grabbed my coat off its hook, swiped my wand off my dresser, and headed downstairs.
My mother was a Hunter, a member of the magical police force, and she had taken to keeping odd hours since my brother had died. She wouldn’t notice if I was gone or not. Probably off chasing a rogue mage or necromancer. Anything to get her mind off the pain of losing her husband and favorite son.
As a member of the Thirteen, the “lower” families who reported directly to the seven ruling families, and debated and voted on their proposed laws, my mother didn’t need to work, and we certainly had properties much grander than this McMansion suburbanite hell we currently lived in, but that was a compromise my father made with her before his death.
Everyone had lost someone in the Underhill Massacre. We were just lucky enough to lose two. I went downstairs, through the living room, and opened the front door.
I walked down the porch stairs, flicked my wand, and the Hunter guarding my house was shocked to discover his glamour was suddenly unraveled. He was short and was dressed in the typical black leather jacket, matching denim jeans and t-shirt that was passed as civilian clothing. His long red hair was being blown about by the wind. Connor was, had been, Jeremy’s boyfriend, and had been with him in the battle that had taken his life, and started mine on the road to ruin. It was a small miracle he survived.
“Jeremiah, how the hell did you do that?” He asked me. Connor was a master at veils, but I didn’t need to see through one to know where he was.
“Hello Connor,” I said.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“To the city,” I replied. The city, New York. The Big Apple. We lived in a gated suburb upstate, but teleportation made it as far as walking.
“I have to come with you then,” he said.
A flick of my wand and he was bound and on the ground. His keys and wand soared into my outstretched palm. I threw his wand over my head and it hit the front door with a thunk. I wave of my wand, and his keys became invisible. They were thrown towards the door too.
“Sorry, Connor. It’s not going to happen. Nothing personal, it’s just good business,” I smirked.
The Hunter gave me a look. His bright blue eyes were part curiosity and part murder.
“Baker Street, London. Four days from now, and I’ll tell you everything.” I said and stepped over him.
I needed to move fast to meet my first deadline.
I closed my eyes and fixed upon my destination in my mind.
From New York to Crestwood it was a forty-minute ride by maglev. Teleportation shortened it to four.
“Portus.” I muttered. My skin was suddenly covered with static, but not quite. That fuzzy shocky feeling when you turn off an old television and touch the screen? It was that feeling. I opened my eyes. I was standing in a ratty apartment building.
I exited the dingy apartment, walked down the steps to the ground floor, exited the building, and headed down the sidewalk to my destination.
New York City was home to one of the biggest cities of the magical world, next to the conclave under Stonehenge. Of course, we keep the cities separated. A dimensional pocket holds the majority of the magic, but “mortal” New York was not without its share of magic. The mortals had known about magic since the Renaissance, and nearly every mortal city had the glass and copper pipes that allowed magical energy, Ether, to be siphoned from spires and pooled in reservoirs. This Ether powered the ground vehicles and airships that filled the streets and skies. Magicals liked their own place, not as segregation, but as a familiarity. Who didn’t need a place to belong?
Magical New York is hidden behind a wall in a dead end alley in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen.
I came to my destination, leaned against the brick wall kitty-corner and waited. A stray cat crept into the alleyway and jumped into a dumpster. I paid the thing no mind. It wasn’t harming me any.
Oddly enough this was the first time I had noticed that particular cat.
Five minutes later she came through the portal. Her name was Madeline Dubois. She was tall, blond, and any guy, especially me, would have killed to have her. Today someone was going to kill her.
Her father was the department head of New York’s Hunter Investigations Unit, and had made a few enemies in his time. The Central Park Lycan Alpha, had placed a bounty on Madeline’s head.
“Hi Maddie,” she turned, and looked at me.
“Jeremiah! I was just about to get lunch, want to come with me?” Her smile was friendly. Her emerald eyes were bright from the caffeine in her system and her joy at seeing me. I wondered absently how many times I had seen the life leave them. She had just gotten off her morning shift, from Midas, the bank where she was apprenticing at over winter break.
I began reaching for a Ley and drew the energy into me.
I nodded, and we headed out of the alleyway and heard a sharp crackle of teleportation behind us, I was moving before the bounty hunter appeared and fired three times. I spun around and spoke a word.
“Oppilo!” Hazel energy, my magic fueled by the energy of the ley line, shot out of my wand and stopped the bullets in their tracks, I felt the kinetic energy from them travel through my magic.
“Revenio!” I released that energy and the bullets slammed back into him in a localized bunch, punching a gaping bloody hole in the center of his mass. He fell to the ground and his blood began pouring across the snow covered concrete. It was a Lycan, it always was.
The particular maneuver had taken me six tries before I got it down. It was worth every death.
Maddie stood back up and looked at the dead man, and back at me.
“Jeremiah, you saved me!” Her voice was filled with gratitude. That was when a sword sprouted from her chest, and her eyes filled with shock and pain. What the fuck? That’s never happened before. Why was this new? Nothing was ever new. New was old, at this point.
I turned. A man of inhuman beauty was standing there. His hair was gold, his blue eyes were cold as ice and his skin glowed with eldritch, inhuman, power. He pulled the sword from Madeline’s body and she fell to the ground. Her blood spilling outward in a red pool that melted the snow in its path.
I slowly walked backward. This was new. This shouldn’t be new. In all my lives, nothing like this had happened.
“Hello Jeremiah,” the man said, and began walking toward me, his blade thrumming with the same power that radiated from his skin. Oh, fuck, this wasn’t good at all.
“Delevit cor!” I yelled, a bolt of hazel light fueled by more ley energy shot out of my wand and hit him in the heart. Nothing happened. That spell should have blown a hole the size of a baseball in his chest..
“You are wanted Jeremiah Owens. Fate is demanding to be set right,” the man said, and plunged the sword into my chest. A sharp, searing pain and he pulled the sword from my chest.
I felt my knees give way, saw my life blood begin pouring out of my chest, and all I knew was black.
Fate, you bitch.
That’s it, my first chapter. If you liked it, comment below, or retweet on twitter. New updates will be every Tuesday, unless noted.