Not the start of my young adult book about a troubled vampire (I jest even though I am writing one!) but the follow-up to my last fantasy post here.
To recap, three heroes, imagined by myself, my best friend Andrew and my sister Emily, within our vast fantasy world, had just been killed by Andrew’s uncle (the one area devoid of imagination, up until this point at least, had been the names – we quested under our real life monikers) . Did death spell the end of our wild adventures running around the garden shouting and hacking at goblins? Did it heck! (Minding my language, children (or at least the reminiscences thereof) present.)
Barely had the Shadow Master slew us (this particular fight scene involved our jumping around on the trampoline and then falling over dramatically) when our three younger siblings (each conveniently similar to their predecessors in gender and appearance) turned up on the scene, ready to do battle at the tender age of probably about seven. Good on them!
The following scene was never actually acted out; however I imagined it hundreds of times and described it to my sister often enough that it may as well have been: it began with the tense first bars of Geri Haliwell’s cover of ‘It’s Raining Men’ and a deep, menacing laugh from the Shadow Master. He raised his dark, jagged arms (he was composed purely of sharp, black shadows obviously) and twisted shapes began to seep up from the ground. Insubstantial, misty at first, they darkened and took on human forms – these were souls, ghosts, wights – the ‘shadows’ our adversary commanded. As the music builds (perhaps without the lyrics which, while wonderful in their own right, don’t really suit epic battles of good and evil) the Shadow Master flings his arms higher, launching the poor trapped souls of the dead into the air. The three young warriors, still mourning the triple homicide of their siblings, steel themselves as the first verse reaches a crescendo and…
“IT’S RAINING MEN!”
The shadows drop from the sky, surrounding the children, and begin their assault. It’s a terrifying onslaught. Did I mention their siblings had just been killed? And now this: swarms of shadowy corpses hurling themselves at our intrepid adventurers. The odds don’t look good. How could a bunch of even younger kids defeat someone who’d just killed the slightly older kids? I don’t mind telling you now (to whet your appetite) that this younger trio would go on to great things, becoming world-renowned heroes and even making it to university, but how would they survive this? Enter our deus ex machina: Kyle.
[Incidentally, at 444 words, the above is exactly four times the length of an excellent recent piece by a good friend of mine, which you can check out here]