A Good Man
Tom Palance sat on the park bench trying to not feel sorry for his self. Christ they said that bad luck always traveled in threes but now he was starting to believe it. First he’d walked out on his wife, he loved her but he just couldn’t take her anymore. Good god after nearly dying to have her say so? What the fuck! To have her say that she didn’t love him, in no way at all? That she didn’t need him? Why not leave?
Thank god the kids were all grown, here she had told him that he was going to end up old and alone and here it looked like it was going to be her. Then while staying with his brother a few days, had dented the front hood of his sister in law’s car, that he had been using (good thing his brother was a mechanic) to go back and forth to work. He had been trying to help outdoing dishes, cleaning. (he didn’t like to be a burden) Hell he had even fixed his brother’slawn mower and cut his front yard.
Then a few days later, got scammed at work for $60 and the company (Kruger not actual name) had just terminated him. They didn’t allow him to pay it back, he guessed they just wanted to get rid of him. Sighing he hung his head, he had never felt so alone in his life, his mother offered him a room at her place. His sister offered to help him get a vehicle, as did his brother. What the fuck did god or the universe want of him?
So now that the bad 3’s were over, he had to decide what to do. Alright Tom, he thought, time to get your ass up and get a move on. Standing he started walking out of the park about to walk out the gate he saw something shining in the grass. Huh, he thought, maybe this will start his good luck up again. Bending to pick it up, a frisbee whizzed where his head had been, shocked for a second Tom picked up what appeared to be a small gold horn. Huh, he thought, just what I need worthless jewelry, sighing he was about to throw it away when there in front of him was a hundred dollars! Damn! he thought just what I need.
Walking back to his little room in the hotel, he paid the hundred for another week.
Now I just need food, walking out again to see if his neighbors had any, he was shocked to find the woman in the room next door about to knock on his.
“Hello Anna, you need help?” he said looking hungrily at the food she was carrying.
“Yes, actually I do,” she said to Tom, her sweet voice flowing over him, sending waves of pleasure that seemed to go straight to his soul, “I was making dinner for me and John and realized that I had way too much, John said that you were such a good friend that I should see if you wanted it. It would just go bad if I put it in the fridge.”
Tom’s mouth hung open, what the fuck was going on? Again? Smiling to his self he thought, damn sure would be nice if I had a woman like you.
Turning to go Anna stopped turning back she looked at him sweetly, “by the way my twin sister is coming down next week, you think uh... , “ she hesitated, “you could maybe show her around and show her the sights? I know you’re still looking for work and after what your wife did to you, you’re gun shy around women, but please?”
Sighing he shook his head, Damn it! he was always a sucker for a pretty face.
“I don’t know,” he started, “I’m not ready ... please Anna don’t play match maker.”
Looking at Tom with mock shock, she quickly got serious, “Tom it’s been a month now, you have to get out meet new ladies, you’re going to go nuts if you keep sitting here.”
“I’m happy ok? I don’t want another woman, I still love my wife even if she no longer wants, needs or loves me ok? I can’t just... , “ though a proud man he was not ashamed to cry in front of Anna sitting he tried to hold the tears back but it was too much. Hiding his face he sobbed into his hands, through the tears he told Anna, “please Anna I ... I ... just don’t play match maker, ok?”
Anna backed away apologizing leaving the pot of food near him.
Drying his eyes he looked after Anna and hoped good things happened to her and her husband soon, they were good people and deserved it. An hour later John was shouting and screaming that he had hit the lottery, 10 million dollars? Damn! About that time Tom stopped short, the three or four times he had somewhat wished or desired it, it had happened.
It all seemed to start about the time he was leaving the park. Sitting back down he looked at his clothes saying, “I want new clothes now!” His clothes shimmered and were new that quickly. Hmmm he thought, I have to be specific in what ever I want.
Alright since I can do these things, maybe I can do more maybe? Thinking of his wife he was suddenly there. Nice! he thought, opening the front door he heard cursing.
About that time she walked out, “what are you doing here you useless fucker, I thought I told you that unless you got a job not to come back here!” almost screaming she moved swiftly, she advanced on him. Putting his hands up she stopped like she hit a wall.
“What the fuck is this you asshole! I’m going to--,”
Finally unable to take her screaming he shouted, “shut the fuck up!” just as suddenly it was quiet, “I only wanted you to love me and need me but all you can do is scream.”
His wife’s mouth opened then shut, a look of terror in her eyes, “I do love you,” she said a little strained, “please come home,” the look of terror was less but it was still there. Grabbing her throat she looked almost as if she couldn’t believe that the words had come from her mouth.
Looking at her hard he felt her fear, for a moment it made him feel powerful and finally in control but only for a moment. Though she hated everything about him (he could see it in her mind) he wasn’t a vengeful person. Glancing back at her as he left he let his control of her slip then go.
“Don’t worry, I won’t be back, if I wanted to, you’d damn near be a slave, I am not like that. Good bye, ah! wait,” his wife stopped short backing away in fear, “you won’t remember any of this but you will think about what you did to me to drive me away. You’ll think about why our children won’t call or come by. Lastly you will spend the rest of your life trying to make it up to me.”
With that he started to go she called out, “good riddance asshole!”
Not quite turning back he responded, “Yes my sentiments exactly,” with a small smile he walked out and disappeared. Back at the motel he decided it was time to leave this place.
Grabbing the few things that he wanted, he started thinking about where he wanted to go.
Till he got a better handle on this, he needed to practice or use them or whatever the fuck he needed to do.
First he needed to eat, nothing fancy just food, real food. Seeing a vacant house in his mind he was there almost as fast, hmmmmmm getting a little faster he saw, after just a few times. In the house he proceeded to make everything that he wanted there just by pointing.
Nice! Sitting he decided what he wanted to eat and it was there, ummm being served by naked women he reached out to touch them but they were like smoke. Damn it! I really need to get a handle on this! Well, at least the food was real.
Smacking his head he realized all he had to do was ask. Ok, ok, thinking he asked just what the fuck is going on? A voice came into his head, <you are a possessor of magic in your body, it is usually in the blood, though the current level you possess is higher than I have ever seen>
<Just who the fuck are you?> Tom thought.
<You remember that little horn you picked up?> the voice asked calmly.
<Yes of course, not easy to forget almost getting hit in the head, > Tom replied.
<That horn was a talisman or me, I am the spirit of the horn, > the voice said almost happy sounding.
<This ought to make it easier for you, > the voice said then poof a young woman appeared.
“There sir, this should help,” laughing at the look on his face she waited for the next question.
“Ok, I have questions. First off what am I?” Tom asked
“Hmm well, let’s see you’re not a wizzard, though I feel the power you have and you might be one day. You’re not a sage or seer you have much more power than that. I don’t believe you’re Magi I don’t feel any deep religious beliefs. The same goes for a shaman or a witch, it appears that you are what I would call a white mage. The compassion you showed for your spouse in the face of her abusing you verbally spoke many, many volumes.
“A white mage? This is something out of a faerie tale, so I supposedly have powers?” Tom asked a little confused but grasping things faster and better than he thought he should.
“Yes and it would appear that you are very strong, if you weren’t somewhat powerful then you wouldn’t have been able to see or pick me up.” she replied.
“So these powers? I can do what ever I want?” a nasty smile appeared on his face.
“If you have the power yes, but there are a few things that were outlawed, the raising of the dead for one, it violates nature and souls and can have very harsh repercussions on the one who does it.” At this the spirit shook.
“Another thing is killing others, first it has to be justified not just because someone made you mad, there are worse things than dying. Really you should have another teach you, you’d learn faster.” she said a tone of hope in her voice.
“I thought that’s what you were for,” sighing she thought great! Another one.
“You can’t bring attention to your self or the other magic users, they may not be too bright about us, but there are still a few out there, with weapons that can still kill us.” Again she shook from the memories of the last time she had seen that.
“You also have to remember that there are a few out there, that want your power. These will stop at almost nothing to get it from you,” a look of concern crossed her face, “You should learn to hide your power from all but those like you, believe me I haven’t seen many as kind and compassionate as you.” This last was spoken with a smile on her face.
“So I have to be careful, hmmmm,” he imagined a blanket hiding his self, he felt his powers dull down and almost fade.
“Hmmmmm,” said the spirit, “perhaps you may not need another to teach you, you learn extremely fast.”
Tom smiled the first real smile he has in a long time, “is there anything else I need to know?”
“If you want this to be your home, you need to not use your powers here anymore. The bigger magic or spell you do the easier it will be for them to find you. Also, there is a council of magic, unless you inform them of your self and new status, you can expect to receive a visit from them in the near future. I suggest that you go to another place and practice the more the better.” The spirit was hoping he listened well and remembered.
“As I see it,” he started, “I need to get on this as soon as possible. You say I am strong but I have a feeling I am nothing to many out there, true?”
“For the moment yes, but in the last hour your power jumped quite a bit,” she replied.
“Your physical shield is already impressive, your magical shield though is still rather weak. That’s the first thing you need to work on, the blanket effect you just did, actually brought your magical shield from nothing to about 10%. That is impressive in it’s own but you’ll need far more than that for what’s out there. We should go somewhere and get you stronger,” she stated.
“Alright let me finish then and we’ll go,” sitting back down he ate with an appetite he’d never had before, damn he was weak right now guess he did have to get stronger.
Tom appeared in a park miles from his new house. The spirit told him to think shield then it sent bolts at him. At first a few got through, but after a half hour nothing did.
Measuring him the spirit saw that he had increased another 15%, now up to 25 he was better prepared for many out there but not that ready yet. Resting and eating again Tom was starting to feel betrer. Suddenly there was a flash, another man stood before him.
“Ah! there you are little fish, your power will add to mine nicely,” he said and threw a ball of fire at Tom, reflecting it back at him, the man was surprised then shocked when he found he could hardly move. Looking at the man Tom saw colors coming from the man, his power?
Tom reached to where the colors were coming from, forming a plug shape in his mind, he shoved it deep into the colors till they just went out.
“NO! what have you done to me!?” he screamed.
Smiling Tom walked up to the man, “didn’t your momma ever tell you not to just rush in? Now as to what I did to you, you just won’t have powers for a few weeks that’s all.”
“WHAT!?” the man yelled incredulously, “you can’t do that! No one can do that!”
“Huh,” said Tom, “I not only can but I did. Don’t push me to remove them!”
The man visibly shaken, could only stare at Tom, his mouth gaping wide open. “Please kill me! If you don’t then he will! without my powers he will eat me alive, soul and all.” the man pleaded.
“You shouldn’t have been playing with something you knew nothing about. Where do you want to go? I’ll send you there,” Tom replied not feeling sorry for the man screwing around with evil like he had.
“You don’t understand!” The man screamed, “if you kill me I know it will be quick, he will make it an unending torture, slowly draining my powers, then my soul as slowly and painfully as possible. Kill me you son of a bitch! Kill me you bastard from hell!”
Undaunted by the man Tom looked into his thoughts and saw the one the man was talking about.
Still struggling to get free, the man continued to shout obscenities at Tom, annoyed Tom thought of a gag and the man was suddenly quiet.
“We should go, you expended a lot of energy, there may be others coming soon,” the spirit said.
Appearing many miles away Tom blanketed his self, “who was he talking about?” Tom asked, “I saw a dark presence in his thoughts, I didn’t feel much from him, except evil.”
The spirit shook a minute. “That was Malamon I believe, a dark mage though his power has him almost to wizzard strength. We must avoid him at all costs, he has gained most of his power from other magical beings, their powers and their souls. He literally drains their souls and feeds off them, I have heard it is an agonizing, cruel and very slow way to die.”
“Has no one ever been able to resist him?” ask Tom.
“Yes, but only one, that was a thousand five hundred years ago, it seriously weakened Malamon, he has been recovering all this time. The wizzard gave up many years of his life and died a few decades ago,” here the spirit shed a few tears whispering, “he was a very good man, he is sorely missed in the magical community”
“You said I needed to avoid notice but won’t this today, bring attention on us?” Tom wasn’t quite ready to take on any more right now.
“No,” the spirit replied, “it shouldn’t, though what ever you did to him might, uh ... just exactly did you do to him? I have never felt a spell like that.”
“Oh that?” Tom started, “Like everything else I have done I just formed a plug to stop up his powers, you know all the colors coming out of him.”
The spirits mouth dropped open no one had done anything like that since... , “did you stop them up completely or enough that there was hardly any coming from him?”
“Completely, why do you ask? Will it kill him?” Tom asked concerned, the guy hadn’t been able to kill him so there had been no reason to end him.
“No, what you did won’t kill him but what you did hasn’t been done in centuries. I think we should go to the council,” the spirit said.
“NO! I will not have some one telling me what to do with my body or powers anymore!” shouted Tom knocking the spirit off balance.
“I apologise but you know that if you do this enough times, it will gain notice. The short battle drove your shield power to 30% unheard of in a new mage. From what I can feel your powers are only at 15%, you defeated the other like you were at 50 or 60 already.” The spirit was excited maybe this one could stop this war, it had claimed too many.
“Let’s go home I am exhausted,” the spirit shook it’s head affirmative and they started walking to Tom’s new home.
Staring out from the bushes not far from them, a soft flutter of wings sounded then a brief flash before all was quiet. Back home Tom made sure the blanket was over the house before he made dinner appear. Eating like a starving man who hadn’t been full in years, Tom finally began to feel better. Checking the spirit saw that Tom was up more on his total power, she was glad, he was going to need it higher soon she felt, things were stirring in air and they weren’t good. Damn it! He needed help, she thought and soon or the dark mages were going to eat him alive.
The next day Tom and the spirit he had now named Frilly, were at another place practicing, Frilly was awe struck his power was increasing faster than she had ever seen it grow in any one. She should know she’d been doing this for well over 3000 years now.
Suddenly there was a soft glowing ahead of Tom, bringing his shields up to full, he waited.
“Ah! there you are! I--,” an older man started to say, amazed he found that he couldn’t move! oh my! try as he could he couldn’t move. “I am not your enemy, please release me.”
“I do not know you, therefore you are an enemy till I know better,” Tom replied
“I see,” he said, “very wise for one so young,” there was a flash and 2 others appeared, they too were astounded when they found that they couldn’t move either!
“Young man we won’t hurt you, the oldest of the 3 said.
“uh huh,” tom grunted, “as I said to the first one, I do not know you, till I do, you are the enemy.”
<You were right Azel, he is wise for one so young, > one of the newly appeared men thought.
<You know, > thought Tom, <It’s rude to talk about me with me here> All three of the older men’s mouths dropped opened.
“We apologise,” the one called Azel said, “we didn’t know you were that advanced but you need to release us,” with that 3 more older men appeared starting toward Tom.
Each in turn’s mouth dropped open holy shit! Who was this young man.
About that time Frilly appeared next to Tom, a gasp rose from her, good god! Tom had half the mage council immobilized! She tried not to laugh, maybe next time they’d listen to her when she gave a warning.
“Frilly come here!” he shouted, “we’re gone,” with that they vanished, back in his house, he doubled the strength of the blanket on the house, turning his own powers down he could feel them looking for him, telling Frilly not to leave or reveal where they were he took one last look and passed out, his dreams filled with strange visions of the older men.
Damn it! They haunted him in sleep too!
Three days later Tom awoke, though this time he wasn’t that hungry, ok that was odd.
He was still drained from the encounter with the old men. He had barely been able to hold them, he was surprised that they hadn’t seen him sweating bullets. He looked for Frilly she was still where she had been when he passed out, strange she seemed frozen.
“Ok, you can move Frilly,” stretching she looked a little miffed.
“I didn’t think your power had increased that much in just a few days.” she said, “it’s been a long tine since anyone could freeze a spirit.”
“Remember today, no more running off they almost got me, had I not left when I did I was sure they would have killed me,” Tom stated calmly.
“Uh Tom,” she started opened mouthed, “those were the good guys, as a matter of fact you froze half the council.” OH shit! Tom suddenly felt like his ass was grass and they were the lawn mower.