Chapter 6: The Land Without Footprints: Shadows Amongst Shadows

Posted: August 4, 2013 in Novel: The Land Without Footprints
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Book description: The Land Without Footprints: Shadows Amongst Shadows is set in the Modern Middle Ages, the age after the ages of Earth, when humans inhabit a planet where, unbeknownst to them, the moons control every action. What remains of the Earth is confined to books. In fact, many have decided to live by the rules of those books once called fiction. But no fiction or reality rules over the Mystic. He rules by only two laws: obey his desires and obey your desires. His desires are twofold: virgins and immortality. However, the desires of his subjects are as wicked as ever known. But the Dagens, a family rooted in the old ways of society, cannot give into their desires. They cannot kill just to kill, hate just to hate, destroy just to destroy. Yet if society is to become what it once was, the Dagens must destroy freedom and place chains around those who no longer wish to be chained.

6 – Jordan

In portal cradles, the bastard carried one baby and Jordan carried the other. Neither twin seemed aware of its upcoming demise. At the moment, both were sleeping.

The inside of a bellybutton described the scent of the air most accurately. Truly it smelled like everyone in the city had decided to die at the same time. The forest couldn’t even block out the stench.

“This must’ve been what the Earth reeked of in its final hours,” Damyn said, weaving between trees.

Jordan opened his mouth, closed it. He had no idea if that were true. Who knew the odor of a nuclear holocaust?

Jordan stopped, listened. “The river is close.”

“Shouldn’t we feel bad about killing a few helpless babies?” Damyn trailed behind as only a bastard could. None of his clothes matched the predetermined characteristics of a killer: a suit of deep blue alongside of that untied tie.

“Does the water feel bad for drowning a person?”

“If water has feelings,” Damyn said, walking slower, “I’m sure it would feel bad.”

“Let the water worry about that moral dilemma,” Jordan said. “We’re not killing the babies. The river is.”

“But how did they end up in the river?”

“Can you shut up?” Jordan quickened his footsteps. “You’re the most moral bastard ever.”

Birds flew out of trees, landed on new branches. Squirrels could be heard scurrying above. If something bigger were making those noises they’d all die tonight.

“God is the most moral bastard ever,” Damyn said, once he caught up. Even the darkness couldn’t hide his grin.

Jordan grinned, too, stared up at the two red moons ruling the sky. “God is one moral bastard, but let us hope he likes our behavior.”

Ahead Damyn and Jordan walked, past trees and trees and trees, and plants and plants and plants neither of them could name. A rabbit hurried into a bush at the sound of their footsteps, and some deer pranced away from the stream once he noticed their presence.

Jordan knelt, ran his hand through the water. “It’s warm,” he said, as if that somehow made their act better. He’d never killed anyone before. He wasn’t sure how he was supposed to feel about it.

Damyn crouched. “Should we name them before we send them on their way? Heaven doesn’t seem like a good place to be anonymous.”

“No,” Jordan said,  “but hell is a good place to be anonymous. And that’s where they’re going. All twins go to hell.”

Bushes rustled behind them. Ten men wearing all orange emerged from the shadows. The moonlight made their watches shine.

“Oh my little brothers,” the tallest man said (and he seemed the leader), “it looks like a perfect night for a random act of violence.”

A shorter man, with at least ten watches on each arm, knocked his hands together. “What’s it going to be then, eh?”

The leader snapped his fingers. “Give them the old merry, merry, ho, ho, ho, my little brothers.”

Absent of one punch or kick, the group of men stole the babies and held Damyn and Jordan still.

“Oh my little brothers, what do we have here?” the leader asked, before he spit on each baby in turn.

The twins awoke, whined and cried. In unison, the violent men all laughed. “Do you know who we are?” one of them asked.

“Only Bog knows,” Damyn said, referencing the God that the hooligans prayed too.

“That’s right lad,” the leader said, stomping his foot on the ground until all of his friends joined in. “Stupidity makes you feel real monkey, that does?”

“Yeah, it makes me feel really orange.” Damyn took a punch in the mouth for attempting to squirm free of his captors.

Jordan stayed still. He knew how this might end if they didn’t. The Cult of A Clockwork Orange patterned its life by the rules of Anthony Burgess’ novel of the same name. They lived only to beat, rape, and kill others. Besides destruction they had no other hobbies. Truly “ultra-violence” was their one aim.

“What’s it going to be then, eh?”

“The good old upstream-downstream,” the cult chanted. And clapping they repeated: “The good old upstream-downstream. The good old upstream-downstream.”

  1. campbelllaura says:

    “hell is a good place to be anonymous”… what a great line! and how true.

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