Scald Crow

Scald Crow

By:  J.Hildebrandt  Completed
Language: English
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Magic returns and ruins Warren Vandals life. He discovers he has magic of his own but it comes at a cost

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72 chapters
1 Short lived victory
Warren Vandal tasted sweet victory as he hoisted the MVP trophy above his head. As it turned out, hockey was a great place to put his misplaced anger. Shortcuts to the top didn’t exist in Warren's world. He gripped the moment with ferocity and a humble attitude. He sang the praises of his teammates, the great plays they made, and the spectacular saves of their goaltender.   He shook hands with the last of the reporters and waited for his mother by the water fountain. A man with a clipboard strode up to him with a smile on his face. Atop his gray hair, a battered Edmonton oilers hat, and a matching jersey. He extended a wrinkled hand, “You are Warren Vandal, Correct?”   Warren looked around for his mother, but she was nowhere to be seen, “Yeah, that’s me. What can I do for you,” Little tendrils of pain ran across his hand? The old-tim
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2 Eyes in the dark
     The smell of grandmother and cigarettes filled the car. The tires hummed against the mixture of ice and asphalt. Despite it being springtime in Alberta, thick flakes of fluffy white snow splattered against the windshield before they turned into droplets of water, brushed away by the windshield wipers. Uncomfortable silence ruled the car with an iron fist.         Several times Melanie looked over at Warren, with her mouth open ready to speak. Words eluded her. How do you talk about the unexplained? Did the events of the arena happen? How real was the dream in the darkness? In a world gone crazy easy answers were in short supply.        “Mom just spits it out already,” Warren said after she stared and said nothin
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3 Unrest stop
      Time can be an individual's greatest enemy. Today it's Warren’s supervillain with a doomsday machine. A simple bathroom break became a fight for survival. It started with eyes in the trees but escalated to the rustle of branches, and unseen snarls. The rustle of branches and the glowing eyes followed Melanie. Her tattered coat blended in with the thick shadows, and the moon obscured the clouds. Warren lost track of her, and a speck of panic entered his mind.         Bit of sweaty palm stuck to the frosty handle, while Warren snagged the carbon fiber hockey stick out of the back seat. Hockey players can be superstitious. Warren believes the piece of sports equipment is lucky. It isn’t much but allows hope to enter his mind in a tough situation.   Read more
4 Fox Creek
   The rickety old station wagon pulled into Fox Creek on a wing and prayer. The gas light began to blink erratically. Warren felt like someone pulled the rug out from under his sense of hope because Fox Creek looked like a warzone. Overturned cars with crushed windshields and crimson trails ended at the tree line.       The atmosphere in the vehicle wasn’t much better. Warren tried to keep his mind off the dead body in the trunk area. “Mom, I don’t want to stop here. Whatever happened in Edmonton is happening all over. You always knew what to do. I don’t.”       The car sputtered and coughed, just as he pulled into the gas station, and great tufts of smoke billowed from under the hood. Warren surmised the old station wagon refused to live on without his mom. Dim lights watched o
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5 Nerea
  Nobody likes to wait. Yet people dedicate whole rooms to the activity. It may not be an uncomfortable chair at the doctor's office, but a stolen car with a dead body in the backbeats the chair by a mile. One second can feel like an eternity. Warren is well acquainted with the phenomenon. His night went beyond the gates of hell, to space, where nothing stretches into an endless void.       Warren desires one thing: to open the floodgates of his emotional dam and let every go at once. He wanted to scream about Melanie's death, brag about his victory over the terrors at the rest stop, and astonish people with his exploits at the gas station. He looked at the time on his mother's smartphone. Two minutes passed since the last time he looked at it.       He busied his mind with the events
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6 Elphame
   Secrets are horrible things. People have to keep them. In the end, they serve little purpose unless you are throwing a surprise birthday party. The words of the creature haunted Warren, “I’m you.” The raptor yellow eyes invaded his thoughts and distracted him at all hours of the day. He chose not to tell Nerea.       The day started at the breakfast table. Fresh coffee dropped steadily into the decanter, Warren stared at it with sleep-deprived eyes. Since the last dream, he developed a fear of falling asleep. The sizzle of the frying pan promised bacon would arrive at the table.       “How are you doing this morning, guapito?” Nerea asked. Warren enjoyed her accent, but it did not replace his mother's cheerful whistling as she prepared for the day. On some days, Warren swore t
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7 Secrets
   Secrets are horrible things. People have to keep them. In the end, they serve little purpose, unless you are throwing a surprise birthday party. The words of the creature haunted Warren, “I’m you.” The raptor yellow eyes invaded his thoughts and distracted him at all hours of the day. He chose not to tell Nerea.       The day started at the breakfast table. Fresh coffee dropped steadily into the decanter, Warren stared at it with sleep-deprived eyes. Since the last dream, he developed a fear of falling asleep. The sizzle of the frying pan promised bacon would arrive at the table.       “How are you doing this morning, guapito?” Nerea asked. Warren enjoyed her accent, but it did not replace his mother's cheerful whistling as she prepared for the day. On some days, Warren swore the birds would sit by the window to croon along with the music.       “I’m still having
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8 Funeral
   Funerals the farewell party for people unable to enjoy them. Although with the return of magic, maybe the dead did creep up on the graveyards to get one last look at their loved ones before they moved on to the next adventure. Warren believes the previous statement to be true. He and Nerea were the only two present at the somber affair.        The return of magic wrought great changes in society. Warren did not like any of them. The latest change came on the way home after the service. “In other news, the government of Canada has passed a law requiring any peoples with magical gifts to be registered and tested. When asked if the law infringed on human rights, Prime Minister Helios responded with, “We have laws to govern firearms, people with magic are walking firearms waiting to go off by accident. We in Ottawa must consider what is good for the whole.”        Nerea turned the radio off and let sile
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9 Eidolon
   Time is a cruel mistress. It uses things and leaves them behind in the sea of what once was. Eidola, (plural for eidolon) fits into this category. The phenomenon comes from a singular area of the world, the ancient city of Troy. Warren doesn’t know it yet, but he is a descendant of the first eidolon wielder, Helen of Troy.       Nerea covered her mouth and whispered a prayer. Plume continued to watch the bestial energy as Warren walked out of the circle. “Warren how are you feeling?” Plume shouted.       While the eidolon provided Warren with enhanced attributes. It came at a terrible price. The eidolon, starved for life, grappled with his mind and he fell to his knees thick beads of sweat dripped down the pale forehead, “This thing wants to wear me like a suit. How do I turn it off?” his hands clapped the side of his head, and he grimaced.        Nerea shook Plume in panic
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10 Highway of Tears
     The Dodge Charger rolled through the Caribou Interior, of British Columbia. Nerea decided to take Highway Sixteen.  Once upon a time logging trucks and heavy machinery ruled the area. Government legislation changed all that. The logging industry took a nasty downturn in the ’90s and many towns suffered the consequences.        The highway itself was a curiosity. Among the hills and valleys, ghostly figures floated on the shoulder of the lonely stretch of road. Their incorporeal bodies mimicked their death state. The visceral display added a heaviness to the interior. The engine revved into high gear and Nerea sped up.       Plume gripped the handle on the roof. His knuckles were white, “Why did you have to take Highway Sixteen?” The Seelie spent much of t
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