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Author Topic: Exorcize  (Read 3435 times)

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Offline legomaestro

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« on: August 31, 2015, 09:08:40 AM »
I've decided to enter this story as well for the Anthology. I actually have another one I already wrote too, and will brush that one up and make a drawing for it as well.

Genre: Horror, Drama, Fantasy, Action, School-life

Written by LittRL and legomaestro

Art by legomaestro

Two students find themselves a scholarship to the prestigious Ursa Major Academy, located in the equally prestigious Tsukitaiyou City. Suddenly broke and living in the slums, they have plenty to deal with just to stay on track, however in this world, there be monsters...

« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 09:10:46 AM by legomaestro »

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Exorcize
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 09:09:16 AM »

Chapter 1 – The Mountain and the Hill

It’s boring today as always. I try to escape into my studies in hopes for a better future while Hal lazes around on the ground trying to melt into my frayed tatami mat.

“Why don’t you try reading something?” I suggest to my gelatinous-identifying friend. I turn a page on the History book I’m reading. To keep with the monotony, I’ll read about the old greats and their armies.

“Like what? All you’ve got are textbooks.” Hal complains without moving more muscles than necessary to speak.

“At least try to do something besides making a Hal-shaped print in my floor.”

Hal sits up and looks at me with a pitying gaze.

“Simon.” He says in a motherly tone. “What floor?”

Taking a look around the room Hal’s question is understandable. Nothing but a single much less-than-perfect tatami mat decorates the ground. The rest of it is...well…ground. Gravel. Dirt. Some mud because it rained recently and there’s more sky than roof over my head. (That’ll need repairing at a point in case it rains again. I’m not a big fan of surprise showers.)

“I’m poor, okay!?” I shout in dissatisfied fervour.

“We both are.” Hal says putting a hand on my shoulder.

We both sit there with our heads bowed in solidarity.
Honestly I’m not sure if Hal and I would have become friends if we were both in normal homes because we have such different views. Hal believes that all things come to pass and that you should let it be (The thoughts of a poor man who’s given up is all it is). While I believe that to deserve more one has to do more. I’ve lived that way all my life.

That’s why I study, why I help when I can, and why my ultimate dream is to become a hero of the people.

“Simon.” Hal calls out to me, interrupting my train of thought.

“What is it?”

“It’s not going to happen.” Hal says with eyes more pitying than before.

“What isn’t?” I reply in puzzlement.

“You’re not going to be a hero. Let that dream go already.”

“Wha-“ Hal is sometimes too intuitive for his own good. Or maybe we’ve been stuck together for too long.

“You have that look in your eye that you get when you think about saving the world or becoming a hero.” Hal shakes his head as he says this. “We’re nothing but the dirt on the bottom of the shoes of society. If it were that easy for a hobo to be a hero than I’d be married to a princess and live in a giant castle with a thousand servants.”

“Just you wait and see. I’ll find my Excalibur and become king of England!” I proclaim with the confidence of a true hero. Right there, I actually mean it.

Hal just sighs in response. No surprise there. I turn another page and get deeper into the book. The day wears on.

Today is Sunday. It’s about 7 or 8pm (I don’t own a clock so I have to make guesswork out of the Sun’s position) and we sit waiting for tomorrow.

#     #     #

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!” Hal screams in agony.

“Calm down, it’s not that bad.” I tell the baby of a man as I cup some of the river water and let it wash over my back. Secretly I shiver on the inside but I hide it well.

It’s about four in the morning and to ready ourselves for school we are bathing in the river. As you’d expect for this early in the morning the water is near freezing which explains Hal’s chilling scream. We’ve done this for a while, but there’s no getting used to it.

“It’s like jumping into the Arctic!” Hal says through chattering teeth.

“At least it’s free.” I say, as if bathing in a freezing river because we don’t have plumbing is some sort of blessing. Even I’m not that bright-eyed.

The birds begin to sing but with the sky still a shade of blue-gray and the chill running throughout my body it sounds more like the song of the dead, sung by the alluring Sirens of the Damned.

Though not many people come by this river so early in the morning, both Hal and I have our boxers still on. While washing ourselves we both try to wring out some of our laundry as well. I’d like to think of it as a time-saving efficiency but when done out of necessity and not convenience I can’t help but feel the harsh reality of the situation.

Hal exclaims something in perfect Spanish, having doused himself with more water. I must be a horrible human, because I find it hilarious. I must share the same pain though in the end. I take a deep breath to steel myself and continue bathing.

After finishing our self-inflicted torture wash we hang our laundry by the river. There are lines already set up between the trees nearby because this river is used by all the people who share the same fortune as us. I think this general area has a special name, but it’s been come to be known as The Slums, which nicely sums up what the place is like. For its part, the river is a pearl amongst an eyesore of a place.

We both put on our school uniforms and fix ourselves up as much as we can. Somehow we managed to get into a pretty good school despite our financial situations so we have to keep up appearances somewhat. We must hold on to what little pride we can gather like samurai of some form. We do not go through great lengths to hide our situation, but we don’t brag about it either, nor let anyone suspect otherwise.

Hal seems to find a way around even these precautions though. Even though we both just spent a good ten minutes in water that might have killed us he still manages to have lively hair that looks like it was just rubbed with a static balloon. And for some reason, even though we got our measurements done in person, his school uniform is baggy just like all his other clothes. His normal wear couldn’t be helped, they were either hand-me-downs from the parents or the odd bargain clothing he managed to find, but how did he manage to get a tailored uniform to such a state?

I shake off the thought that crosses my mind every time I see Hal in his oversized suit and remind myself of the importance today had.

It was a school day, which meant my heart was going to be healed by the sight of my fair maiden: Melina Meranthal. The way the name rolls of her tongue, her simple undeniable beauty. I could almost see her image in the light of the now rising sun.

“She doesn’t like you.” Hal says, shattering that opaque image of Melina in the sky.

“Stop reading my mind!” I shout at him in frustration.

We are walking a dirt path to school, hemmed in by the numerous houses of corrugated roofs and cannibalized parts from the big city. The occasional actual building is bound to be filled with squatters, and even if a family was lucky to own their own place there was no such thing as a lawn or a living space. Everyone is squeezed together. I like to think that the upside is that the slums are a very communal place.

“I wouldn’t be able to if your face wasn’t such an open book.”

“Sorry I have emotions! Robot! Mannequin! Jizo!”

“Come on.” Hal says ignoring my insults. His bag is slung over his shoulder and his figure gets smaller as he walks towards the main road that leads to more prestigious areas, and of course our school. “We’re going to be late.”

“Since when do you care about getting to school on time?” I ask Hal with a suspicious stare.

“I don’t really care but if I don’t get there before that rich snob Vanator,  I’ll have my ear chewed off about how I squandering the city’s, and therefore his family’s, generosity.”

“That sounds as good a reason as any.” I say remembering the last time we were late. We didn’t have to stand out in the hall with buckets on our heads because Shirokage-sensei was even later than us but Robert Vanator didn’t let us go without a lecture that would make a grown man cry.

But the city’s charity was indeed how we managed to get into the oh-so-prestigious school of Ursa Major Academy. Nothing but a scholarship given to two random impoverished youths for the sake of public image. Not that I wasn’t thankful, but after all the time I’ve spent with Hal I can’t help but have a negative view on some things. He really is a bad influence on me.

“Why does Robert have such a grudge against you anyways?” I ask Hal with a newfound curiosity. “Did you ever do anything to him?”

“I didn’t do a thing.” Hal says. But for some reason I feel he’s hiding something from me.

#     #     #

Ursa Major Academy is a great school. It is yet another symbol of the general aesthetic of technology and preciseness of Tsukitaiyou city. When Hal and I got our scholarships here, of course we accepted without a second thought.

It has countless classrooms, whitewash walls and the floor is either snow-like marble stones or tiled. It was a wonder in the world of architecture and landscaping that rivalled even the ancient Greeks. Certain places within the property even felt like a structure of their own even though you were outside. Exotic fauna I couldn't hope to name decorated the courtyards, and there was even a garden with a maze at the back of the school. It was a four story building of glass a steel and the facilities were all top of the line, bordering on excessive.

The usual scene is a flock of students rushing to class, but we’re a bit on the late side again, so there are not many to see. The ones that we do see though tell you without a doubt the kind of people that are accepted to the school. Only the elite.

I allow myself a smile, because being here means that perhaps I am one of them.

“No, you’re not.” Hal reads my mind again. He flees any retaliation by hurrying his steps and crossing the courtyard flanked by great trees and vanishing behind the glass sliding doors at the entrance. I run through, hoping not too many teachers and students are looking down at us from the windows.
#     #     #

“Late again, Haldol Hill!” Robert Vanator shouts not a second after I slide the door open to walk into the classroom.

Thankfully it seems our class hasn’t started yet. Students are still talking to each other, and only a few pay us notice. They’re talking about the great weekend they had, playing with sophisticated cellphones and generally laughing. Some are bemoaning that the week has started though, not relishing the work to be had.

“Ah, sorry Simon.” Robert says with such genuine remorse that I walk by waving it off. “Late again, Hill!” He repeats as Hal stands alone in the frame of the doorway.

Hal lets out a long sigh this time and takes a deep breath to ready himself for another encounter with his archenemy.

“I’m ten minutes early today, Bob.” Hal says in a regretful voice. Regretting he even replied to Robert.

“Do NOT call me ‘Bob’.” Robert commands Hal. He straightens his tie with a huff, but one has to admit it’s a futile an action. Robert Vanator dresses as sharp as a laser.  “And a student in your position should show up no less than an hour early.”

“What’s wrong with Bob?” Hal asks sarcastically. “You can call me Hal. It’s not that much different from Hill after all.”

“Do not get presumptuous of our relationship, Hill.” Robert says with a harsher edge, leaning in. Though he and Hal are nearly the same height, he still finds a way to look down on him.  “You are nothing but dirt picked up from the road to make the true gems of this school shine.”

“I see.” Hal says with an accept nod. “So you want to be called Ruby?”

A vein in Robert’s forehead threatens to burst accompanied by a snap of his vocal chords as he readied to unleash a flurry of cruel words at Hal. Luckily for the both of them a shadowy figure interrupts them from the hall.

“You two, get in your seats.” Shirokage-sensei orders Hal and Robert.

Without delay they respond to his command and sit in their seats like diligent students, though the cold sweat running down their backs tell a different story.

Entering the room in his usual lumbering way with that tired look of his, it seems as if there are literal shadows looming around this man. Shirokage-sensei is an intimidating man, if not for his aura, then for his passion. Even though he’s our homeroom teacher he’s also the head of history for the school and he shows it in his lessons. Those who don’t listen are likely to die from his harsh punishments or stabbing glare.

Taking his usual place at his desk Shirokage-sensei bangs a book about WWII down to grab our attention (not that he needed any extra help for that).

“Recently there’s been some cases of missing students and the like. Try not to stay out too late.” Without any other explanation Shirokage-sensei begins to write on the board.

“Sensei.” A student calls out.

“Ah?” Shirokage-sensei turns around with his chalk still against the board.

“First period is math.”

With a glance at the doorway Shirokage-sensei sees a terrified math teacher, Sugaku-sensei, holding onto his books tightly while trembling in near fear.

“Oh, my bad.” Shirokage-sensei says walking out of the room without a further word.

“Seems like Shirokage-sensei was out late again last night.” A female student whispers.

“Sensei’s actually a playboy, isn’t he?”

“No way.”

While the murmuring continues in the classroom the math teacher with much less presence than a fly on the wall struggles to regain their attention.

My attention is somewhere else. I stare at the empty seat near the other end of the classroom with an interest and concern. It’s where Melina Meranthal sits. Normally she would be in class well before everyone else reading a book about birds but today she was nowhere to be seen
#     #     #

School ended on a low note. For the entire day Melina was nowhere to be seen. My heart. My soul. My being. They called out for-

With a quick slap to the back of my head I was torn away from my fantasies yet again.

“Snap out of it.”

Turning around I see Hal with his default apathetic stare.

He jabs a thumb over his shoulder “Let’s head home.”

Though Hal said head home it wasn’t like we lived in the same building. That’s just what we called the slums. ‘Home’. Not because we loved it there, not because we held it dear, but because it was the only place we could return to.

“Actually, Sugaku-sensei asked me to help out with some paperwork.” I tell Hal as I slowly turn the other way to the teacher’s lounge. “Go on without me.”

“…” Hal gives me a look that looks foreign on his face, “Remember what Shirokage-sensei said?” He asks, sounding completely out of character. Is he an obedient student all of the sudden?

“About the missing students?” I say, recalling our homeroom teacher’s very few words of warning. I laugh, “Hal, we live in the worst part of the city, I’m sure it’s safer here than at home.”

But Hal’s expression only lightens slightly.

“Be careful on your way home.” Hal raises a hand over his shoulder as he walks out of the school.

I wasn’t sure how to deal with my friend’s newfound concern for my well-being but I took it to heart.

I finish up Sugaku-sensei’s errand early. The sun was beginning to set but it wasn’t dark yet. Trying to be a good student I started heading home immediately. Not to mention I wasn’t sure if Hal was going to take down the laundry without me to remind him. We’d lost a good amount of clothing with one such lapse of judgement. I was not interested in having that happen again.

The city is colored an orange shade with hints of crimson. As usual I walked along the side street that followed the river, listening to the gurgling rush of water.

It was at the halfway mark home that I suddenly came to a stop. There. Down by the riverbed was a woman that hypnotized me with her beauty. The way my wayward thoughts just locked onto her and then faded out like this was strange. Normally I would never look at any girl besides Melina, but this woman…she was like an angel. A being from another world. My heart thumped. A logical side of my mind wondered what exactly was going on, but I just fell to the rhythm, blown away by awe and admiration.

It was my turn to be out of character today.

An unknown force took over my body and I began to walk towards the woman, slowly but with determination. I didn’t call out to her, but when I reached the bottom of the hill she turned towards me and smiled. I nearly died when that aphroditic face graced me with a grin. Such, such beauty.

Words escaped me as I slowly walked closer to her step by step. Her mouth began to open and so I froze. I watched her closely, anxiously awaiting words that would surely be angelic as she was, but they never came.

Her mouth only opened more, and more, and more.

Eventually, her jaw unlocked and two rows of fangs appeared lining her mouth. She deformed into an abomination and no trace of her beauty could be found. There was no doubt: She was a monster.

I had never believed in them before. Who does? I know as much as anybody does in the flotsam of information of such things. There were rumors, even some shaky videos online of sightings in this city. A scary story here and there, sometimes told by seemingly honestly terrified witnesses who really, really had seen it. But of course, a little hush of concern, and then laughter, because they don’t exist. It all seemed so ridiculous before. Not now.

I was too distracted when she came at me. Too dumbfounded by this new realization and too petrified after watching the angel turn into a demon. Her fangs sunk into my flesh like a hot knife through butter.


The sensation was a mix of shooting pain and mental numbing. My body was paralyzed by the pain and even a cry of agony was absent from my mouth. I would have never imagined being bitten like this would hurt so much. Luckily I wouldn’t have to know the pain for long because everything became hazy, clouded by a swirling white. I was passing out.

Am I going to die? Am I going to be eaten? Those were the last thoughts I had before everything went black.

#     #     #

It was some time in the morning when I was awoken by a cold splash of water. I was jolted awake by Hal, who held a now empty bucket above my face.

“We’re going to be late for school.” Hal says to me in a weird alternate reality-like situation.

I feel real. I feel there. And alright.

I sit up with a daze still in my eyes. Not from fatigue but from the memories of yesterday. I don’t dare think that I dreamed it all. Dreams couldn’t hurt that much.

I place a hand on my shoulder where the monster bit me but there’s nothing there. No marks, no pain, nothing. It was as if it never happened, so why did I have this strange feeling in my gut? My uniform was even folded neatly in the corner even though I have no memory of changing into my pajamas.

“Are you going to get up or what?” Hal asks with another bucket of cold river water readied. Taking a closer look it seemed like he had half a dozen buckets lined up.

“Waitwaitwaitwait!” I blurted out as fast as I could. “Do you plan on making my house a swamp!?” I shout as I stand up in a puddle of mud made by the first bucket.

Following our usual routine we step into the river to laugh in the face of the Ice Queen and use the chilling water to wash ourselves up.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!” Hal screams in agony.

“Haven’t you gotten used to this already?” I ask a shivering Hal.

“Nobody could get use to this unless they actually became an ice man.”

I silently agreed with Hal. Taking a deep breath to brace myself I poured water over my back. I didn’t react. Not just that, the water didn’t faze me at all. This was water that had once made me do a bridge with the sheer agony of cold. But not today. It was still cold, but I didn’t mind it at all.

“Show off.” Hal moans as he sees I do not suffer from the water, thinking that I’m acting tough.  I shrug in response, perhaps to annoy him further.

After washing up we go on to our laundry again. Normally we would only have to do laundry once or twice a week but as I guessed, Hal didn’t bring it in when he got back from school yesterday.

We hang it on the lines again and to make sure we wouldn’t have to wash them for a third day in a row, I remind Hal to keep it in mind.

“Hey, what’s with your uniform?” Hal asks as I button up my jacket.

I inspect my uniform up and down and see what he was referring to. The left of my collar is badly frayed. It was where I was bit.

“This is…” I need to think of something. “A raccoon.” Is what I manage to say.


“Yeah, a raccoon got into the house last night and started chewing on my uniform.” My excuse is weak but I’m hoping Hal will be his usual self and let it slide. I pat it down nervously. It doesn’t look so bad if you don’t concentrate on it.

“A raccoon, huh?” Hal says with his eyes on the teeth marks in my blazer. Thankfully, he believes me and shrugs his shoulders. “Alright.”

I sigh in relief. There was no way Hal was going to believe I was bitten by some monster and somehow magically woke up at home without a scratch. Besides, I wouldn’t want to involve him in something this obviously dangerous.
#     #     #

“Late again, Haldol Hill!” Robert shouts in Hal’s face.

“I’m only five minutes late.” Hal says in a toneless tone. “And Shirokage-sensei isn’t even here yet.”

“A student in your posi-“

Before the usual skit could complete itself an angel walks into the room, walking past Hal and Robert like they were just some trees on the stage while she was the star. It’s Melina Meranthal.

“G-good morning Melina.” I stutter as she walks by.

I do not expect a reply as always, and that’s fine because she does that to everyone, not just me, but this time she notices me.

With a hateful glare she looks at me for what feels like eternity. I’m surprised by the look on her face. Before I can even formulate a response to this, she just as swiftly turns away, but not before sharing that glare with Robert for a moment as well.

“To your seats.” Says Shirokage-sensei sending all the students to their chairs.
#     #     #

The day passes by uneventfully with no monster attacks but I couldn’t help but feel a pair of piercing stares the entire time.

School is out. As Hal and I ready to leave, Shirokage-sensei approaches us.

“Yamato.” He calls my name aloud. It sounded weird since I rarely ever used my family name.


“Go home.” He said in a stern voice. “No detours.”

I look over at Hal hoping for some clarification but he shakes his head, sharing my befuddlement.

“Okay…” I reply to sensei.

Turning around in his intense way, Shirokage-sensei steps out of the room leaving us as the last two men in the room. We share it with Melina who has been silently watching us.

“See you tomorrow.” I say to Melina as we walk out of the classroom.

Keeping true to her silent glare, she doesn’t say a word.

“I didn’t know your princess was such a yandere.” Hal says as we get out of earshot from Melina.

“If anything that was tsundere.” I argue.

“I don’t know, her eyes were pretty murderous back there.”

“Melina wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“I wouldn’t hurt a dog but that doesn’t mean I would hunt down a bear.” Hal says this with a strange expression.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“We’ve all got our demons.” Hal says looking me in the eye. “Even your princess isn’t as innocent as you like to believe.”

“Why do you always have to make everything seem so negative?”

“Because somebody has to balance out all your positivity.”

“Thank for being the yin to my yang then.” I say sarcastically and with a roll of my eyes.

#     #     #

On our way home my stomach begins to rumble.

“Want to get something to eat?” I ask Hal with a hand to my gut.

“With what money?”

“Maybe we can find an apple tree or something. Maybe some berries.”

My hunger seems to spike. I’m used to not having enough to eat but it was like all my built up hunger caught up to me in this moment.

“All the edible fruit in a five mile radius has been picked clean by the rest of the slum society.”

“I forgot about that.”

I look at Hal with an examining gaze. It’s a silly thought but somehow he looks…delicious?

“I could go for some meat.” I say clenching my gut tighter.

“Would you prefer a Salisbury steak or some filet mignon?” Hal asks mockingly.

“I’m serious here.” I clench my teeth that seem a bit sharper. “I’m starving.” My hands that hold my rumbling stomach seem stronger.

“Then do what we usually do and drink from the river.”

Without delay I jump down the hill and rush to the river, not bothering to cup with my hands the water and submerging my entire head underneath. I gulp down mouthfuls, trying to sate my hunger with litres of liquid and after what I can only imagine to be half my body weight in water, I stop.

“Geez, you are hungry.” Hal says from behind me as I finally remove my head from the river.

“Yeah, sorry.” I take another look at Hal and he seems less appetizing than before. Back to normal.

“Make do with that for now.” Hal says tossing a protein bar at me from his bag. “I’ll see if I can scrounge up some cash and we’ll eat out tonight.”

“Looking forward to it.” I say with a full mouth, having stuffed the bar into my face in two bites.