Monday, December 3, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: [Pargons Of Virtue: book #1] Day #11

I tried playing around with action scenes and various other aspects.

Cluck. Tom caught Mr. Woo's sword where the guard met the blade. Mr. Woo leaned in, and the two swords moved towards Tom. Tom grunted, and gnashed his teeth, as he pushed back slowly. Mr. Woo straightened his legs, and pushed Tom off balance.

Tom tried to break his fall with his left hand, but accidentally landed on the back of his left wrist.

Mr. Woo turned his sword for a downward thrust.

Tom rolled left.

Clunk. The sword met nothing but air and concrete.

He kicked Mr. Woo's knee.

Mr. Woo screamed and buckled to the floor.

# # #

Tom jumped up. He thrust the bayonet down into Mr. Woo's arm, and cut upwards with the bayonet, tearing through flesh and fabric. He snatched away the sword. He stepped backwards, keeping a careful eye on Mr. Woo.

Mr. Woo's arm began to heal by the evil power within.

Tom slung the rifle around his torso. He stepped forward. He gripped tightly. The power began to transfer to the sword. Already the sword began to vibrate.

Mr. Woo rolled on to his back. He kicked in the air to get himself to his feet.

# # #

John called Sally.

She said, “Hello.”

“Hey. What's up?”

“Hey-ey-ey! How's it going?”

“Same old, same old. I'm heading down to the smoothie shop tonight.”




“I'll need to run errands after supper, and then since I'll be out there anyways...I haven't had a smoothie in ages.”

She said, “Awesome.”

He said, “Mr. Turner was such a boss today.”

“Yeah, I know, right?”

“I love the way that he put Mike in his place.”

She laughed. “Yeah, I know. 'This is impossible.' 'IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE!' 'I can't do this.' 'You can, and I'll show you that you can.'” She laughed again.

“He's just so awesome.”

“Totally. He really knows how to pick people up when they discouraged.”

“I almost want to fail honours math, just so that I could take his course again.”

She laughed again. “Well, not that much.”

“Yeah.” He paused for effect. “Come.”


“Come with me; to the smoothie shop.”

“What time?”

“Seven thirty?”

She said, “Sure.”

He said, “You know that shop on Pine Avenue?”

“I think so...”

“It's across the street from the paladin armoury.”

“Oh, right. The one with the two statues of knights on horses, right?”


She said, “Okay. No problem.”

“All righty, then. I'll catch you later.”


# # #

As they sat down next to the smoothie shop window, Sally said, “So, what did you do today?”

John thumbed towards the armoury across the street, and said, “I went to the drill hall.”

“Oh, they let people in there?”

He nodded, as he sipped his straw.

She leaned forward, and said in a slightly hushed tone, “What do they do in there?”

“Paladin work.”

She looked through the shop window. “Still?”

He smiled and nodded.

“I thought that they would have had high tech buildings, like in the movies, or maybe those barracks.”

“They do have similar buildings. They call them shacks. They tend to be smaller.” He gestured across the street with his chin, and said, “Those are used more for day to day work. Hey, what did you order, again?”

“Green tea, with grass, and alfalfa.” She pointed the straw to him, and raised her eyebrows.

He took a sip, and smiled.

“You love green tea. I can tell.”

“Actually?” he said, with a sheepish grin.

“Then why are you smiling?”

“Because...because I got to share a straw with you?”

She laughed, and then covered her mouth, and checked to see if she was attracting any attention.

She said, “How did you know all that stuff about the drill hall?”

“This guy told me. I volunteer at a seniors home. He was a paladin. He worked there, actually.”

“So, why did you go there?”

“I wanted to look into joining.”

“Wow. Cool.”

She looked at him, and her expression became sober and grave. “Will you be allowed to date or get married?”

“I guess so. I don't know. I've known that senior for two months, and I haven't had a chance to ask.” After an awkward silence, he said, “I'm sure that I will be able to.”

She chuckled, and said, “Whew! That was a close one.”

He nodded. His eyes opened wide, and he pointed his straw at her. “What about you? Do you want a sip of mine? Be careful! It might be fattening, since there is no green stuff in there.”

She laughed.

# # #

After they slurped their last sip of smoothies, they got up to go to the bus stop. They stepped outside, and Sally turned left, and John turned right.

Sally said, “This is the fastest way.”

“Yeah, but this is the...more pleasant way. The bus won't be coming for another twenty minutes. We'd only wait there if we went that way.”

“Smart man!”

“Yeah, we might as well enjoy ourselves.”

Sally said, “You said that you had to run errands. What else did you do?”

He looked off at the lights down the streets. “Returned DVDs to the library. Bought bus tickets. Stuff like that. Pretty exciting, eh?”

She chuckled.

He looked down and to his left. She only came up to his armpit. “What about you?”

She looked ahead, and chuckled in a guilty manner. “Only got let go from work, and found out my sister has cancer.”

“Oh, Sally. I'm so sad to hear that.”

“Eh, it's no big deal. I'll find another job.”

“Yeah, but still. Why did they let you go?”

“I don't know. They said that they had to make budget cuts.” Still looking ahead, she narrowed her eyes and tightened her lips. With a bit of sting in her voice, she said, “They said that they'd be able to keep me for a full year, and I know that I worked hard. Liars.”

He rubbed her back. “That and your sister's news is a lot for a day.”

She looked at him, with a slight smile, and said, “Thanks.”

“Hey, no worries.” He stopped, and said, “Come here.” He hugged her tight.

At first she just accepted it. After a moment or two, and a few deep breaths, she leaned on him.

They walked again silently down the street. He kept an arm over her shoulders. They turned left onto a promenade by the water.

# # #

Mr. Woo held the dark purple Glastony orb in his hands. The blue glow reflected off of his face. “Bring him in.” He stroked it to feel the decorative trim that started at the top, came down around it on four sides, and met up on the bottom.

He security team brought one of his workers in his spacious office.

The worker stopped several feet away, and nervously said, “Sir, you called?”

Mr. Woo wound up like a pitcher, and threw the orb. The worker had no time to react.

It smashed against the worker's forehead, and an explosion sent guts flying everywhere. It returned to Mr. Woo, like a boomerang.

He caught the orb, now darkened, with his left hand, and nodded. He looked at his men, and said, “It works. Oh, by the way. Clean that up.” He held it up to the light shining through the window. The light barely shone through the orb. He held it away from the light to better admire the intricate art on the golden trim. He believed that owning such an elegant weapon and recognizing its true craftsmanship was what separated him from the vigilantes.

He and his entourage left the room. His black light cape flowed behind him, as he walked along the red carpeted hallways, which had high ceilings. Dark stained wooden beams supported the four levels and roof. White walls helped to reflect a natural light that filtered in through sky lights.

Mid ranking staff, in the hallway, all part a way for him, and did not make eye contact.

Mr. Woo and his entourage disappeared in a conference room on the second floor. When the door was shut, his right hand man opened a door that was hidden behind a bookcase. Lights flickered on the other side of the secret door, revealing a secret stair well, and a low soft humming from machinery.

They began their descent, and their footsteps echoed on the concrete, masking the humming sound. As they went past the ground level, the humming grew louder than the footsteps. They arrived at sub-level 2. The right hand man opened the door, and the deep humming shook them. They stepped onto an inspection platform.

Above the factory floor, Mr. Woo and his entourage walked along the platform, which was separated from the production area with glass. The glass kept them and the process well away from him, lest their filth get on him The production area was rectangular, and the platform followed the walls, all around, so that he could get the best views possible, unless he resorted to security cameras. “Look at them, Emil: filthy, disgusting people.”

He watched his employees filling carts with dirt, and heaving them along the aisles. They emptied the carts in a bin in the floor, where people stood inside and pounded the rocks to dust, using thick metal beams. Throughout the bins were young children, gathering up the powder and pouring them in buckets. They carried the buckets and dumped them in funnels, which emptied onto conveyor belts, the conveyor belts dumped the powder in a rotating oven, that melted the powder. The oven had a screw-like thread, that guided the melted substance to the other end. The other end of the rotating oven released a glowing hot substance, every time it made a full turn. The substance landed in a deep pool of oil. Each blob caused the oil to hiss, and a small cloud of thick steam rose. Men on the other end of the pool pulled the hardened substance along, using metal net-scoops, attached to wooden poles. They lifted the substance out of the oil, and dumped them on a conveyor belt that went through a dishwasher that was modified for the process. At the other end, the substance dropped into baskets, where workers scooped them out, and dumped them into another bin in the floor. Inside, there were more men pounding away, and more children gathering powder, but this time, they dumped the powder through a sift. Other workers scooped up the powder and filled transparent cubes.

The cubes were then sent through a washer.

They were then brought to several work benches, where people held one in each hand above their heads, with their eyes closed. Mr. Woo could see them moving their mouths. The cubes started to glow. When they arrived at full brightness, the workers placed them on a cart, and then packed them.

Mr. Woo and the entourage walked around. They came near a loading bay, just in time to see a worker opening the back of an eighteen wheel trailer, revealing people.

Later, when he had returned to his office, he found a glowing cube sitting on his desk. He pulled out the orb. He sat in his seat, propped up his elbows on his desk, and held the cube in the left hand, and the orb in the right. He closed his eyes, and inhaled deeply. He concentrated, murmured a chant, and shut his eyes very tightly. He checked. The objects were still in the same state. He tried again, but without change.

He placed them on his desk, and pulled out a machine that had a square hole, and a round hole. He placed the cube in a square hole in a machine. He placed the Glastony orb in a round hole on that same machine. He pulled a lever, at the right side, as if it were a slot machine in a casino. The machine whirred like a pencil sharpener. The blue cube began to dim as the orb began to glow. When the cube was depleted, the machine shut off automatically.

# # #

“Mr. Woo, I have served here for five years. You said that you would let me go after four. My family must be very concerned by now.” He stood, holding his hat in front of him, with his hands shaking.

Mr. Woo sat back, with his hands steepled. “No. You're too valuable to me. You can't leave. You absolutely can't.”

“But, sir.”

“Why should I?”

“Because you said so, and I need to go.”

“Well, you should have thought about that, before you got people to speak out.”

“Sir, you are a reasonable man--”

“That's right.”

“...and I only asked them to bring their concerns to you. I never meant for anybody to cause problems. They were not rude, were they?”

“I'm not going to argue over semantics, but they should have thought about it before coming to me. I don't like rebellion and dissatisfied employees.”

# # #

“This isn't the job that I came for...”

“Well, it is now.”

“No. Take me home. I won't do it.”

“If you don't do it, then what do plan to do for income?”

“Too bad. I'll go to find another job.” She arose from her seat.

“We know where your families are.”

She stopped and looked at him.

“You are doing this to help your family, aren't you?”

She looked at him, wide eyed.

“If you don't do what you are told, then we'll shoot them.” He stepped forward, and struck her across the face. “And we always do what we say.”

# # #

Tom swung with all his might, cutting off both of Mr. Woo's hand and searing the wound, causing the sword to glow at its brightest.

Mr. Woo screamed and shut his eyes. His body shook uncontrollably. The wounds glowed a little bit, also, because of residual light from the sword. The orb bounced onto the floor.

Tom carefully touched it with his foot, and then pushed it onto the conveyor belt that led to the furnace.

Mr. Woo said, mixed in his screaming, “No-o-o-o. No!”

The orb disappeared into the furnace and melted.

# # #

John stepped outside of the seniors home.

Carl pulled up, and gestured with his chin to greet John.

John returned the gesture and climbed in the back.

Carl said, “Here's the plan. We go into an empty parking lot, and peep through some bushes. When they arrive, then we'll bust some knee caps. It'll be that simple. We checked the place out and they shouldn't be able to see us looking through the bushes.”

John said, “Okay.”

They pulled up to the parking lot when it was all ready dark.

John scanned around.

Carl said, “It's over there.”

John could not see the first floor very easily over the hedges, which made it hard for the others to see them.

They got down on their bellies, and peeped through the shrubs.

John said, “God, give me something to say.” He felt a desperation, and decided to stop thinking about it, and just go for it. “Carl.”


“What do you think they'll do? After their knees are healed? You really want to bust their knees, right?”

“They can't do anything. They can't prove it was us.”

“What if somebody sees us speeding away? Maybe they'll get the license plate.”

“Think again. We painted over our license plate with water soluble paint. We just rinse and we're free.”

“And what if they don't make a connection between this and harassing us that the basketball court?” John looked at Carl

# # #

John said, “I think that we need an answer, Carl. What's the point of this, if they might come back?”

“The purpose is giving them what they deserve. What's your point, anyways? Who's side are you on?” He paused. “Is this some kind of joke? You're not just afraid, and you're on their side.”

“I'm not afraid, you idiot. I want to pound their faces in and rub it on the concrete, but maybe that isn't the right thing to do.”

“Then what are we supposed to do?”

“I don't know.

They remained silent.

John said, “Don't you remember what we talked about in grade eight? We talked about fighting for good in the army, and we planned on not letting anything stop us.”

“Yeah, and happened to that guy; the guy who came up with the idea?”

I'm still here.”

It' basketball!”


“Hold on! I'm thinking.” He turned away from Carl, and looked across the street.

“Yeah, you do that. You're going crazy. You never talked like this before. Maybe you ought to stay here, while we take care of business.”

John creased his brow. He thought, “Could this be?” He wondered if this was the way out that he had hoped for. He wondered if he should continue with his train of thought. He was scared that he could make things worse. “Okay. Think about how we agreed that we would do whatever it took to play basketball.”

“Yes, you do that. I'm fighting. Why aren't you?”

“We agreed that there would let nothing stop us, right?”

“Yep, that's right. I'm definitely fighting. Why aren't you?”

“We could always go to a different court. Those guys are just razzing us. They don't care about us or basketball. They're just bullies. They can't stop us from playing, unless we let them.”

“Yeah...but they are...making it harder, and they are making us go elsewhere. We agreed to fight to play...”

“Well, how do you intend to do that behind bars? You know that you'll get caught, or things will get worse.” John looked at Carl.

Carl pressed his lips together and fumed.

James said in a stressed hushed tone, “Hey! They're here.”

John said, in a hushed gentle tone, “Carl, I said that I'd do whatever it takes to play basketball with you, I am trying to do something to make sure that we can play in the future.”

Carl looked across the street. He sighed. He shook his head. “You bastard.”

John smiled. “Yeah, I know. Let's get a smoothie.”

James said, “What? No! You're kidding.”

John smiled even bigger. He looked at James and said, “I'm serious. I want to play basketball with you, too, so get in the car.”

# # #

When he got home, he took his coat off. He noticed that it felt bulkier and heavier. He checked in his pockets and pulled out Tom's sack and letters. He smiled at the mixed feelings that he had of not being able to use the sack and stones: he wanted to use it and see something miraculous unfold; at the same time, he had a bit of pride in getting through the heat of the moment.

John picked up the phone, and called Sally.

She said with hesitation, “What happened? Did you...?”

He smiled as he lay on his bed, and said, “A lot happened, but not all.”

# # #

John noticed that the letter was dated a couple of weeks ago.

Dear John,

I noticed that you are feeling very angry lately. I would like you to focus on being an altruistic peacemaker and not a vengeful fighter. Trying to bring peace with violence is like trying to perform a delicate operation with a drill: it's not something that we should resort to, unless we really need it. Drills can be very crude instruments. That's the same with violence.

Death has a way of catching us by surprise, and I had a gut feeling that I ought to prepare for the worst. I noticed that we seem to be having great conversations, with no end in sight. I didn't want to risk running out of time. So, I wrote these letters for you, in case I didn't get a chance to impart my experiences on you.

The end. Thank you for reading!

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