Monday, July 26, 2010

The Sixth Art: Introductions

So just to clarify, this is NOT my August Challenge Novel. This is merely a short story (segment really) that I just had to write and get out of my system before I could even begin thinking about my August Challenge Novel. So, I'm not sure if it will be this stand alone story or if its really just the begining of a larger story (novella?). We will see. Enjoy.


The Sixth Art:

The room was large, too large. Dark and echoing its cold concrete pillars ascended and disappeared in the darkness above which obscured the end of the warehouse’s ceiling. Around the echoes of the room were placed pale, florescent lights, adding ashen tones to the already pallid shades. In this room that was far too large in this place painted in grey, there lay a figure upon the ground. A boy, dressed in jeans and a red sweatshirt. He lay unaware of what was happening around him. Had he been awake he would have seen that he was not alone.

The most noticeable of the two was the one who had entered last, a moment ago. He wore shades of grey, the light color of ash on embers when they are just about to go out, with a bright white scarf around his neck. Under his arm he carried a black notebook, and in his hand was a gleaning, titanium pen.

The other figure standing apposite him, on the other side of the senseless boy and the other side of the large warehouse, wore shades of grey like the thick clouds on stormy nights barely visible above the night sky. Each of his hands was gloved in velvet black, and the hood of his dark grey sweat shirt was over his face. He also carried a notebook, much larger and completely white, and a marker, thick and black.

“Release him.” spoke the one with the scarf. “You have no right to claim him! He is an outsider!”

“Now, now, don’t act all noble now, Henri. You were going to claim him yourself, weren’t you!” said the other, fixing one of the midnight gloves. “Besides, I need no right for claim. I simply do as my master commands.”

“As so I.” said the scarfed one, opening his black notebook and readying his gleaming pen with a resounding, echoing click.

His hand flew across the page, leaving woven lines of thick black ink on the white pages that seemed to glow. As he wrote, a column began to resonate slightly, and seemed to adjust till it came into focus. The others were soon doing the same, followed by the floor, the ceiling, the lamps, the figure of the boy on the ground.

Meanwhile his opponent smirked, revealing his sharp incisor, and flipped open the large blank page, pulling the top off his thick, black marker, and pushing it onto the page, black indelible ink bleeding thickly in. Several quick strokes and he revealed his sketch, the rearing head of a serpent that filled the whole page.

The serpentine image shimmered, the page seemed to shiver, and the lines moved as if the figure was breathing. The eyes blinked and a sinister tongue flicked out between scaly lips. As the head pushed off the page, it revealed itself as a glossy green scaled with burning red eyes. The artists drew the next section of the body on the black space left from the head, and so it went, as that also animated and pushed off the page, he continued feeding more and more of the image, till finally the tip of the repungent tail was drawn and fell with a beefy, sickening, thud to the concrete.
While the giant green serpent began its slow, coiling slither towards the boy lying in the floor, the writer kept up his steady flow of words, peaking up to see what was happening. As he was looking up, his pen strayed just a bit off the page, leaving globular black letters suspended in air on the edges of the notebook. Soon a cloud of letters arose from the notebook and slid across the air, gliding to the floor. As he continued writing, the letters lay, layer upon layer, until they had formed a writhing black body of alphabet. The letters moved sower and more cohesive, they began to dull to grey and finally white. Turquoise eyes opened in the white head of the smaller serpent that was now on the ground.

It lunged forward at the green serpent, who retreated with an agitated hiss. The second snake coiled about the boy protectively, raising it self up in defense, while the green serpent slid around the sides of the room, looking for an opening. The artist screamed at the green snake in anger to kill the white one. The green serpent turned and hissed at his creator before continuing, looking for an opening. The writer just kept writing as fast as he could. The moment came. A snake struck and the other died, its body degenerating into many small pieces of white paper the blew away like confetti.

“Hmph. Lucky shot.” spoke the artist.

“Well done, Ezekial.” said the writer as he patted the body of the white serpent.

“I don’t see why you name the stupid things. They are merely tools for use towards our ends. If you get attached to them then you’ll only regret it when you loose them, eventually.” he said, pacing the floor, marker at the ready.

“There is something here you wouldn’t understand.” the writer said, looking him straight in the eye.

“E-enough talk!” he quickly drew a small circle on the page, then added four small lines on the left and right sides of the circle

He tore the paper out and held his hand over it. Then, he spoke a word, which I am forbiden to record here. It glowed a sinister red, then hovered over the head of the artist. Two more paged appeared on the right and left side of the paper, each with an identical image glowing on its surface.

“Now would be a good time for you to start scribbling in that pathetic notebook of yours.”

The lines of the images began wiggiling strangly, then stopped. Suddenly, waves of shiny, black obsidian began gushing out of the papers like small avalanches of thousands and thousands of pebbles. But they weren’t pebbles. As they hit the concrete the shiny black bodies began moving across the floor like spreading liquid. It was tens and tens of thousands of spiders, skittering across the floor towards the white snake and the boy.

The writer gasped and quickly wrote, “Then Ezekial raised the boy to the platform that had rose from the papers on the ground.”

The torn paper began building itself up, until a platform with four solid legs was formed. Ezekial placed the boy atop the platform, then began whipping his tail, smashing hundreds of the little black beasts with his single white appendage. But even more kept coming, until he was on the ground, writhing trying to kill the black masses rising higher and higher on his beautiful white scales. Ten thousand visiouse fangs penetrated his armor all at once.

“Ezekial!” yelled the artist.

Sad turquoise eyes looked one last time on his maker, before erupting into inky, black smoke, the spiders falling on those beneath them on the ground. But there was no time to mourn for Ezekial, as the spiders were already climbing the lower legs of the platform.

The writer quickly scribbled the word “flash flood”, and the doors and windows burts with gushing water that rushed in on the concrete. The spiders began running for the walls, but only a few escaped. Most were washed away by the foaming water. Strangly enough, the water stayed back from the two combatants, as if pressed back by some invisibe, circular wall that followed each of them.

The writer jumped up on top of the platform as he quickly scribbled the word, “higher” on the beams. The platform began slowly rising, the water having stopped gushing into the room. The artist began scribbling wavy lines on his page and held it up over his head. It shook, shaking drops of water all around, before long tentacles and seaweed shot out and lashed to the beams, slowing the rise of the beams.

More and more began pouring out of the paper, gelatenous and slippery, they slide sickening off the page and into the water. The paper fell into the water and a large, bulbous head emerged attached to the tentacles.

The writer responded with a few quickly jotted notes, and the pillars began to tremble. They creaked and groaned and began growing taller, branches emerging in a glorious act of de-forestation. The trees grew taller and their emerging branches pushed the tentacles off the trees and back into the water.

“You stupid cephelopod! You’re a waste of my energy! Can’t you do anything right? Here, let me help you!” the artist yelled and pulled the page from before dripping out of the water. He began scribbling more and more, changing angels and running the marker back and forth with fury.

The tentacles fell back into the water limply, the lead quivering and sinking into the water. The current picked up and the water began boiling and bubbling at the unholy birth of something... unnatural. Like an underwater explosion, a gigantic waterspour erupted like a mountain of water, which fell back to reveal the dripping, gleaming, mucousy head of writhing tentacles atop the serpentine body. It shook the water from its head, raised its sinewy and rippling arms, claws gleaming, as it bellowed its sick, aquatic roar that reverberated around the warehouse, black bile flying from its gaping maw and leaking sickly from its nose slits and dead eyes.

“What have you done!? You have soiled nature with your touch! With your art!”

“Nature is how I perceive it. How I decide to depict it!” He yelled, as he stepped back to allow the creature to move in closer to the platform.

The writer wrote a hasty note on the air and it drifted into the darkness above. A lone tentacle crashed down on the platform on top of the tree tops. The writer leapt off the falling piece onto the other as it began slideing sideways as well, threw the boy over his shoulder, and leapt into the tree tops. He hoisted the boy over a thick limb and hauled himself atop it, pen at the ready.

A tentacle began curling around one of the boy’s legs, but the writer saw it and leapt on the writhing mass, etching the word ‘freeze’ deep into the flesh. He leapt off, and the crackling sound of ice echoed behind him. The creature screeched in agony and attempted to pull away, but it was frozen solid to the trees. With one robust pull it severed the tentacle, spewing black bile into water bellow with a heavy slopping sound.

“Tsk, tsk. It does seem to be getting rather cold in here. Let me help!” yelled the artist pulling a folded piece of paper from his glove and unfolding it.

He quickly drew a zig-zag line and held it forward, keeping his eyes back. A crackling sound was heard and burst of flames erupted from the paper, shooting into the treetops and lighting everything on fire. The writer coughed and pulled the scarf over his face. Looking around he saw the flames had circled all sides of them.

The foul beast roared as it reared its groutesque head above the flames, embers lighting the air around it as it reared its massive drakian claw to strike.

“Now, hand over the boy!”

“No!” the writer called from behind his white scarf, and quickly blocked his initials onto the boy’s hand. “He is under my protection now. You cannot touch him while I breathe!”

“Well, that works fine for me. Kill him.”

The massive claw readied and began plummeting, when a loud screech was heard from above, in the darkness. A moment later a piece of the darkness above swooped down and lodges sharp claws in the head of the beast, spreading its ebony wings to reveal itself as a giant raven. The writer hoisted the boy on the raven’s back.

“Brin, keep him out of harm’s way.” Then he leapt down into the black, mirky water.

The trees creaked and fell down in a shower of ember and ash that struck the bile-water with a loud hiss. Caustic steam whaffed up and hung like a rotting, dead mist upon the air, obscuring all behind its thick, eye-burning curtain.

The artist looked around, cough as he called, “Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

From one corner of the fog bank, a line of black letters rippled and skimmed across the water, colliding with the base of the foul beast, freezing it in the spot, causing it to fall on its front paws to balance itself.. No sooner had he seen the words, then the artist pulled the folded paper out and pointed it towards the spot, a long whip of flames licking at the mist, parting it. But there was no one there.

Another sliver of words flowed across the misty surface and froze one of the claws in the water and he yelled, “Where are you?!?”

His answer came from another word stream that quickly froze the last paw. The artist screamed in fury and began pointing his paper in all direction, swining it back and forth as the mist pulled back a little.

Wiping spittle from his mouth, he spoke hoarsely, “Fine! There’s more than one way to get you out of your hiding place!”

He began drawing a curved line that grew along the page until it filled almost the entire paper with the giant circle. His arm began moving rapidly back and forth as he coloured the circle in with thick, streaking lines, and stepped back as it floated slowly like a leaf on the breeze to the water.

As the paper soaked up the water, the circle began to shimmer and slither, as the paper crumpled in towards it. Then with a sudden plopping sound it plummet down to the ground, creating a whirlpool around it. The water began churning as the current grew, sweeping around the massive room with billowing waves.

The writer struggled against the waves, grabbing hold of one of the burnt remnants of the trees. He pulled himself upon the log, then scribbled a few notes. Several of the other logs sailed past in answer and jutted into the widening hole. But the hole continued to grow, a few slipping and vanishing in the growing darkness.

“Grow!” he said as he wrote the word on one of the logs while sweeping by on his own log.

The logs began growing with the widening chasm, as the water continued to pour into the oblivion. The writer’s log lodged on the others, and he quickly scrambled to the ends of the growing log. He reached in his pocket and pulled out something small and electric blue. An eraser. He placed it on the edge of the wide maw, and began running it along the circle. Blue sparks shot out along the line, as the growth of the circle stopped. The writer jumped off and as he rubbed the eraser along the rim, showers of blue sparks following on the circuit behind him.

The water kept flowing in and as it did, the gigantic beast crashed, still bound in ice on the heap of logs stopping the hole. Black bile seeped out thickly from the many wounds across its heaving body as it struggled against its bounds, bellowing.

The writer approached the beast, “Wretched abomination. Do you know why you suffer such pain? Nature detests your very existence and works within you to destroy the perversion that is you. Shall I end your suffering... Arkus?”

The eyes, with black tears oozing, stared up in painful anguish. He walked forward and wrote two words, which I cannot write here now, upon the creature’s forehead. And as the first word began glowing, the creature that he had named Arkus, grew quiet and tranquil there atop the logs. He reached down and touched the eraser to the log, which began dissolving into blue sparks. Arkus fell slowly into the oblivion and the second word began to glow, dissolving Arkus into a myriad of glowing blue sparks that glowed brighter and brighter until its light filled the void, shooting up out of the hole. The bright blue beam grew thinner and thinner until it was gone, as was the hole.

The raven swept down slowly, circling the drying concrete floor. The large bird landed softly and leaned to the side, enabling the writer to ease the boy onto the floor. He examined him and found a small black pictograph on his arm. Gently, he barely brushed the pictograph with the eraser, and it fell of in blue sparks. The boy’s eyes fluttered open as he gasped for air.

“It’s okay, Gill, calm down. Take it easy. I’m a friend. Just relax. Breathe.” he spoke softly.

“Who-who are you? Where am I? A-and how d-do you know my name!?!” asked the frightened boy.

“All will be revealed shortly. But I have to make sure he didn’t mark you twice. Whats the last thing you can remember?”

He gave a confused nod before saying, “I-I was walking, when I heard... a noise... a strange noise. I felt a tingle in my fingers and a-at the base of my spine. T-then.... then... h-h-he was there!”


“Him!” yelled the boy as his eyes widened with fear.

The artist had been advancing and stood facing the writer’s back. He smiled as he pulled the folded page from his glove again. The writer stood, whispering to the boy that everything would be okay.

“This ends now!” he yelled as he opened the page and wreaths of flame engulfed the two.

But just as the tendrils of flame were wrapping around them, the writer had spun around facing the oncoming fire and held the eraser up, its electric blue glow creating an umbra about them. All the flames were absorbed by the blue light, and fell away as blue sparks. The eraser had grown dangerously small by now. After a second volley of flames was deflected, it was spent.

“Your eraser is done. Now, give me the boy! I would rather you both go unmolested, but if I have to use force, by God, I will!”

In answer the writer wrote something behind his back and instantly felt the heavy, cool weight of the steel in his hand. He just hoped that the artists wouldn’t nottice.

“Never. You cannot have him!”

The artist roared and shot tendrils of fire towards them again. But this time there was a flash of silver and the writer held something in front of them. It was a mirror. The flames approached them and as they reached the mirror, all curved towards it and were absorbed by it. And then after a moment’s hesitation, the mirror burst forth flames at the artist. While he leapt out of the way, his precious fire page was destroyed by its own fire.

“Ha! You think you’re so clever?!? I still have more paper!” he yelled in rage.

“But you don’t have enough ink, do you? No more foul beasts or sea monsters. You barely have enough for another spider!” he said baiting him.

“Well I can just summon another army of those worthless spiders! Over and over again! Its so easy.” He retorted and readied his canvas.

“Don’t you feel sorry for them at all? They are so easy to kill. You loose unnecessary life.”

“I don’t care that they may be easy to kill because you know what, they don’t matter! They are as you say, unnecessary life.”

“Don’t you care at all bout your creation?”

“I couldn’t care less about them! They are my creation and will obey me, even to their destruction! Because I am their lord and master!!!”

During this dialogue, the two had been standing off against each other, the artist not realizing that thousands of small eyes were watching from the rafters behind him. At the last comments, a black mist seemed to serround him and draw towards him. It was the spiders that had fled the flood. Thousands of them. Dangling around him. Moving towards him. They had heard enough.

“Get off of me! I order you!” he yelled as more and more spiders began moving up his body and covering his arms and legs. “Ahh! Get off! Get off! Get off! Off! Off!”

He yelled and panicked and began swatting at the spiders all around him and writhing on the floor trying to stop them, but it was no use. They had overcome him.

“Help me! Please!” He screamed in terror.

“Please, stop.” the writer said.

All the spiders stopped and looked up with curiosity and expectancy at the writer.

“See, this is why your art is unstable. You have no control over it. You release it out in the world and it becomes alive, absent from your control. But if you name it, you can at least ask it nicely and purhaps it will cooperate with you.”

The terror stricken artist was shaking, unable to utter a word behind clentched teeth in horror, as millions of tiny fangs tickled against his skin, ready for the strike.

“And now,” he said pulling a second eraser out, “For creating that abomination, for soiling nature with your abhorrent touch, and for trying to touch one outside of the Circle of Art, I hereby sentence you to-”

“What?! Have my mind erased and banishment from the Arts? Ha! You fool! I may forget everything, but my master has the power to find me and restore to me all that will be lost! You cannot win against us! Its is futile! You and all of these horrid things will all die in the dust before my master once he gains the fifth art! If he hasn’t already got it while you have been detained here! Hahaha!”

The spiders’ rage buzzed in the air as they all sudden injected him with their venom. He gasped, and then screamed high and long, gasping for breath before screaming more, his veins protruding from his head and arms, his face in anguish.

“Oh! It burn! It burns! It hurts! On the inside! Awe. Gawd. Id huuwtz...” then he collapesed on the floor in convulsions, white foam coming from his mouth as he shook and smashed his head back and forth on the concrete, unrolling a piece of paper from his other glove in the process. In an instant he was engulfed in more flames.

The writer turned to the boy, standing watching the figure burn with horror in his eyes.

“I’m sorry you had to see that Gill. You see, there is something called the Sacred Art, and those who wield it are the Forbidden Artists. Forbidden because we are only suppose to use our art for other people and without them knowing who did it. But there are those who have... forsaken the vows of the Sacred Art... and started a secret war to enslave the outsiders under their power.”

“Y-you’re crazy aren’t you?” he gulped.

“How can you still think that after what you just saw?”

“Well.... what does this have to do with me?”

“You were born the exact second our previous master died. We have been looking for you since then. There is a prophecy that you will be our next master. And that you will reveal a new Art in the Circle of Art, the Sixth Art. If what he said was true, that the Apostates have all fve of the Arts, then we will need you and the new Art if we are to overcome and finally end this war.”

“W-what? Me? But, I-”

“Gillford St. James, we need your help.”


  1. This is awesome :D I could hear your voice narrating this, Jean, with big hand motions...

    Are you going to continue with it?

  2. Hmmmm..... well I like the idea... as you probably saw the grammar and spelling and descriptions were all atrocious, but thats because I really only wanted to get the idea of the arts warring down on paper. Being both a writer and a painter its interesting for me to reflect on the differences of the mediums, how as an author you retain some control of your creations, since you can always add sequals and prequals and new edited editions. But as a painter, you can really only place your work down on canvas for a few seconds before it starts to take on a life of its own, as people interpret it and read it and take things away from it. Once its out there it can never come back, you cannot amend it, you cannot retract it. And yet both are art, both methods of transposing our souls into mediums less carnal, less mortal. As I said, I like the idea, but whether it could ever go beyond idea we will have to wait and see. :)

  3. Oooh, I like the idea of creations we can't control. I've toyed with the idea of writing one of those stories where the author's characters come to life, or at least, the world she thought she created becomes turns out to be real. But then there's always that added element of depth--does any author have the creativity to re-create the complexity of a human being? *finger drum*

  4. Ah, the wonderful world of literary philosophy. :D As for that type of story, I've seen a few attempts at it, but none that ever seemed to be really well done. They all seem to end up going the Mary Shelley way of "my abominable offspring". But then maybe I'm just not well read enough yet. :P