author was born in 1969 in
seed that would eventually become his love of the macabre was sewn during those
1992 he left
has lived in the eastern suburbs of
I (PART SAMPLE)
Inside all of us lies the courage to be someone who, under ordinary
circumstances, we normally could never be. That someone is usually brought to
the surface when someone close to us is in danger, be it physical or emotional.
So it was with Jonathon Reed …
Jonathon and Jessica strolled their way hand in hand through a darkened alley
made even more so by the darkness of the night, he offered his jacket to her as
protection from the cold that had closed in on the city.
At that exact moment, Jessica fell toward him. As he caught her in his
arms, he could feel the warmth of her life-blood against his hands, and the look
of fear on her face shook him to the bone. She touched her hand to his face,
then closed her eyes and died.
What the fuck just happened? he asked himself. What hell had
visited earth so bent on destruction as to take the life of the only woman he
had ever loved?
As Jessica lay dead at his feet in a pool of crimson-red blood, Jonathon
let out an anguished cry that had built itself up from the darkest depths of his
soul. He then sat next to the bloodied body of his beloved, put his head in his
hands and cried the tears of torment that only those who have lost a loved one
can possibly cry.
Without warning, he found himself in the clutches of two burly policemen.
They were arresting Jonathon!!! And for what? He had done nothing wrong!! But
his hands were covered in blood, and before him lay the dead body of another
human being. The facts as they appeared to those who were so keen to restrain
him were hard to close one’s eyes to.
With the intensity of a man who would fight to the death against being
arrested for something he did not do, Jonathon broke free and ran. He ran as
hard as he could until he could run no more. And when he could run no more, he
cried. And then, amongst the filth that littered the slum in which he had found
himself, he slept.
He was woken by the
peculiar feeling one gets when they know they are being watched from the
shadows. There before him, in all of her astonishing glory, stood Jessica. She
was as beautiful as an angel, and he was captivated.
“Jonathon, the evil that
has taken my life will kill again, and only you, the one that is so pure of
heart, can stop it,” she whispered.
“But how do I do that
Jessica, for I am but only a man and my spirit is broken??” he replied with
barely an ounce of emotional energy.
“My dearest darling
Jonathon,” she said gently, “as you can see, the spirit lives on. It is only
the body that breaks!!”
With that Jessica
disappeared into the darkness of the night, leaving with Jonathon only her words
as proof that she had returned to him at all.
As much as it pained him
to acknowledge the message that Jessica had brought to him, Jonathon understood
that through her he had been charged with the responsibility of bringing those
responsible for the evil of that night to justice.
Such as it is that if
it’s the spirit that cannot be broken, then it is the spirit that must fight.
And for the spirit to fight freely it must be free of the body. And for it to be
free of the body, Jonathon had to die!!
He took a deep breath and
walked out to the middle of the dark, isolated main street of Ominious. Unable
to tell whether his body was shaking more so from the cold or from the fact that
he was about to ‘meet his maker’, he looked around at the cold stillness
that was Ominious at this time of the night.
Tick, tick, fucking tick!!
He looked down at his watch. The sound of its second hand ticking over was
adding to the tension.
Adrenalin surged through
every square inch of his body when, moments later, he saw the approaching
headlights of a vehicle traveling at a mighty speed. The scenario was perfect.
He closed his eyes tightly and stood his ground. He could feel his heart begin
to beat harder and harder, thump ... thump ... thump, as the vehicle drew
closer and closer. There was a loud screech of rubber on bitumen as the driver
tried in vain to avoid crashing into the man whose destiny was about to be met.
Jonathon screamed out in
pain as the car smashed into his legs, breaking them instantly. With the force
of a hundred men, he was thrown violently through the air and onto the footpath,
cracking his head open as he landed hard against the cold cement. With his blood
trickling into the gutter beside him, he could feel his life start to fade away
and the events that had made him who and what he was began to flash through his
His late grandmother
allowing him a piece of chocolate cake after his parents had gone to bed.
Riding his brand-new
His first kiss with
Jonathon could feel
himself ascending into the cold night air, and the body that had provided
accommodation to his spirit was now nothing more than a bloodied, empty shell.
Though saddened at the thought of those, and indeed what, he had left behind,
the young man who had already fulfilled an ambition to see the world around him
knew that his greatest journey was yet to come.
As people started to
gather at the scene, Jonathon began to soar through the air like a bird. He knew
in his heart though, that sooner rather than later simply soaring like a bird
would not be enough. He had to become a bird of prey that preyed on the black
blood that pumped through the hearts of those responsible for Jessica’s death.
But who was
He had neither seen nor
heard anything that night that would give him the slightest indication as to
whom he should be looking for.
At that moment, like a
vision from the decaying depths of Hell, the image of a man so disgustingly evil
appeared before him. A spirit might Jonathon be, but spirits can still feel the
cold and the image chilled him to the foundations of his soul.
Through the powers
randomly bestowed on those that have passed on from this world, Jonathon had
seen the man who had cold-bloodedly murdered his girlfriend…and that man was
his very own father!!!
He was shattered. How
could someone he trusted to do everything so right, do something so horribly
He began to feel an
emotion that was foreign to him. It was one of intense hate. From the very pit
of his gut, he let out a sickening roar. The bird of prey had been unleashed,
and God help those that darken the path of a bird of prey.
With the darkness of the
night his only friend, Jonathon began the quest that would eventually lead him
to doing something that he had never before even given consideration
to…bringing upon his own father, total destruction!!
Armed with the knowledge,
at least, of who the murderer was, he now had to find where the
murderer was. And it would be no easy task, for he knew that those who were
willing to take the life of another human being, would be just as unwilling
to give those that gave chase the chance for redemption.
Jonathon angrily roamed
the cold and lonely streets of Ominious in search of just a single clue as to
where he might find his father. After several hours had passed, something, or
perhaps someone, was telling him to return to where Jessica had been murdered.
Her body had by now been
removed of course, but the odor of an evil death still wafted through the air.
Through the darkness,
Jonathon could see on the ground a splatter of Jessica’s blood. There wasn’t
much of it, but at least there was something left of his beloved for him
to hold onto…and that’s all that mattered. As he reached down and touched
it, a sense of loving warmth came over him.
That loving warmth was
shattered, however, when he felt the tight grip of two powerful hands around his
throat. But Jonathon was a spirit, and he knew that he could be neither seen nor
heard…unless, of course, it was by another spirit.
“Do you remember me, you
little shit?” boomed a deep, angry voice. Chris? he wondered to
himself. It couldn’t possibly be!!
“I thought…you were
dead?” gasped Jonathon as he tried to loosen the vice-like grip around his
snarled into Jonathon’s ear the man who was once his abusive, alcoholic uncle.
With a mighty blow to the
body of his attacker, Jonathon broke free and fell to the ground. He tried
desperately to regain his composure as he turned to face the man that had been
killed in a drunken and drug-fueled car accident at the tender age of
thirty-three. What Jonathon was confronted with was the horribly disfigured
image of a man whose life of brutality against those that loved him so dearly
had torn from him any hope of moving onto a better place.
The anger that Jonathon
had felt in his teenage years for this man was re-ignited as his mind raced back
in time to the bashings and beltings his late uncle had dished out with drunken
Yet as much as his heart
so desired to send this pathetic lowlife spiraling into the depths of Hell, it
was obvious to Jonathon that Chris was already paying a significant price for
the lifetime of physical and emotional abuse of those around him. The burden of
eternal torment lay heavily on his shoulders, and it was a burden that Jonathon
was only too happy to see him carry.
“I fear you no longer,
Chris,” said Jonathon without the slightest hint of reservation, “for the
courage of a thousand strong men fills me tonight. I am already prepared to
destroy one man, do not think I don’t have it in me to destroy two!!”
Realizing that he was
facing not the helpless child his nephew once was, but a man who was bent on the
merciless annihilation of his father, Chris took a step back, bowed his
Jonathon had often
wondered what became of his late uncle. And now that he knew, he could at least
close the door on that sickening period of his life…and for someone who was
never one to take delight in the misfortune of those around him, he took great
pleasure in knowing that he could at least do that.
After regaining his
composure, Jonathon returned his attention to the matter at hand. He searched
every dark corner of the alley in the hope of finding the clue that would lead
him to where his father was.
After finding nothing of
any real substance, and near ready to give up hope, he noticed a cigarette
lighter engraved with the letters R. R.
thought Jonathon. True, his father’s name was Richard Reed, but it
was just as true that his father did not smoke and therefore had no need for a
lighter. But his brother, who had twice before been convicted and fined
for armed robbery, did smoke. And his brother’s name was
Yes it was possible that
the lighter may have been nothing more than a coincidence, but it was a
coincidence that carved itself deep into Jonathon’s mind. Now was he not only
confronted with the fact that his father was involved, but also the very real
possibility that his brother was involved as well.
But did it end with his
father and brother? Who else that had called Jonathon ‘friend’ had dipped
their poisoned pen into this dark night? He slumped against the cold, brick wall
and began to weep. His tears felt like razor blades cutting through his heart as
they rolled down the side of his face.
A gentle breeze began to
blow and there before him, once again, stood Jessica.
“Jonathon, if you must
cry, do so. But do not let those that you seek see your tears for they will see
them as a sign of weakness.” And with those words Jessica disappeared once
more into the darkness of the night.
Do not let those that you
seek see your tears? But how could they see them, unless his father and
brother were also spirits?
Suddenly, the grim reality
of the situation hit Jonathon like a lightning bolt from within the darkest
thunderstorm in Hell. His father and brother were dead!!!
But when did this happen?
Tonight? The picture was unclear to Jonathon. Yet as unclear as it was to when
it had happened, the fact that it had happened at all meant that the rules of
the game had changed dramatically.
No longer could Jonathon
rely on the cover of death to help him win the war. No, he had to rely on
something that came from within his heart. Something that his father and his
brother seemingly did not have. Total love and respect for his fellow human
He knelt down on one knee
to pray to God for the strength to see his way through the battle that lay
before him. As he closed his eyes, he felt every molecule within him begin to
race at a phenomenal speed. It was almost as if he was being transported to
another place, another time.
Jonathon opened his ears
to the sound of a horse galloping toward him at full pace. He then opened his
eyes and found himself confronted not only by the horse, but also upon that
horse a Roman Gladiator brandishing a razor-sharp sword and a small round
shield. As he approached, the Gladiator lifted the sword high above his head and
swung it at Jonathon.
Frozen to the spot with
fear, he felt the blade pass through him. Yet he stood tall.
Unable to comprehend why
he was not lying in two pieces upon the ground, Jonathon’s attention was drawn
to an old man who had appeared to his right. The man was dressed in a dirtied
white robe that had obviously seen better days, and he wore upon the lower half
of his face a long, gray beard and moustache.
“Jonathon my boy,”
remarked the old man as he placed his hands on Jonathon’s shoulders, “you
are not here to die. No, you are here to be trained as a warrior. One who
commands the ability, and the agility, to win the war that is being waged
against the innocent people of Ominious. But be warned, to show fear as you just
did is to open the door to certain defeat.”
As the old man walked
away, he turned and motioned for Jonathon to follow him. Although he could not
put his finger on exactly what it was, there was something about this man,
dirtied robe and all, that put Jonathon’s mind at ease. So much so that he
followed him without argument or hesitation.
After walking for what
seemed to be many miles, the two men approached a grass hut.
“In here Jonathon, you
will find all you need to prepare for your training. Rest well young man, for
tomorrow morning it begins.” Having watched the old man walk into the
distance, Jonathon turned and entered the darkened hut.
Once inside, he looked
around. He could find only one thing, and that one thing was a photo of Jessica.
Was this all he needed to prepare for his training? A photo? No, it was more
than just a photo. It represented everything that Jonathon had lived and died
for. It also represented everything that he was prepared to kill for. He held
the photo close to his heart and took a deep breath. He lay down on the
makeshift bed that had been prepared for him and closed his eyes. As he did so,
he began to wonder why God had chosen for him to be the ‘salvation’ of
Ominious. The young man also wondered why He had chosen for the events that had
unfolded to be the stepping-stones toward that salvation.
He desperately wanted to
be angry at the higher power that had led him to where he was, but deep inside
he knew that that anger would be an energy best saved for his father, and very
possibly his brother. Instead, he fell into a deep sleep.
As dawn broke, the old man
awakened him. “Jonathon, it is time to begin your training,” he said in a
soft yet commanding voice.
Having shaken the sleep
from within, Jonathon followed him outside.
“Allow me to formerly
introduce myself to you. My name is Arophious le Monticule and I am a former
Master Commander of the King’s Guard, protectors of the King of Albanland. I
have been charged with the responsibility of instilling in you those things that
you need the most,” he explained. “I will teach you how to win the war with
not just your hands, but also with your heart and with your mind. But to win the
war, you must first learn to free your heart of the ill feelings that you have
towards your father. You must also learn to free your mind of the love that you
have for Jessica. But above all, you must, and you will, learn not
to show your fear to those who wish to destroy you.”
“But are such things not
easier said than done?” asked Jonathon.
“Of course they are. But
that is why you are here, to learn how to do such things!!!” replied
He stared deep into the
eyes of his protégé and saw that he had much work to do.
He extended his right hand
to Jonathon and it was accepted graciously. Like a tiger having stalked its
prey, Arophious pounced and in a flash had Jonathon pinned to the ground with a
forearm to the throat!!!
“The first step toward
winning any battle, Jonathon, is to trust no-one. Do you understand me? No-one!!!”
Jonathon nodded his head in embarrassed agreement. He had failed once. He was not prepared to fail again.
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