Greetings and salutations, faithful reader! Welcome back to another installment of Story Time With Tim. I’m Timothy Scott Purvis and you’ve come back for another entry into the Conundrum Featuring International Martial Arts Superstar Quam Vincent novella. We’re almost done! One more to go after this! Did you miss any parts? Shame, shame!
Okay. Let’s not be a dead horse over any of this, shall we? Let’s get right into it! I hope you enjoy!
Amidst the rubble strewn streets walked a woman so beautiful that many afore had mistaken her for one of the biblical angels of yore. In fact, so angelic was her physique, that the confusion over her origins could easily be understood as she almost seemed to emanate a perpetual glow and any who beheld this woman were instantly entranced by her purity. And those who knew her best, knew she commanded the greatest amount of respect and admiration.
Around this woman, strolled a multitude of animals of the feline persuasion. And upon each of these cats, hung a bell from their neck. All seemed to obey her every command and several were happy just rubbing against her ankles with varied mews and purrs. The woman looked down at these few and smiled knowing that what she sought was soon to be found. To that direction, the woman carried on in determination.
Journeying down to this world had been no simple matter. And the descent had been murder on the senses. The chaos had cast the skies in an evil hue of red and cast the cloudline in a deep sea of maddening crimson. Yet, it was that she must obey the wishes of the Great Lord and come down unto this world. For she was the greatest amongst the ‘Angels’ and knew the Dark Lord’s weakness. Hence, the pussies.
Yellow liquid streaked down the side of brick rubble and drained into the debris particles scattered around where a building had once stood. With a quick shake and a hip shuttering motion, David zipped up his tattered jeans and gloomily turned to continue his trek through the city streets to his secret shelter. He gripped loosely the Quam Vincent masque in his right hand as he walked and cast his stare to the ground. A sigh escaped his lips. Memories flooded David’s mind as he considered everything going on around him in this new age of chaos. He had once again left someone to their fate at the hands of Hell’s minions. Before, when the chaos had first arisen, he could only stand upon the cornerstones of fallen monuments to mankind screaming to the four winds and anyone who would even remotely listen through their pleas for salvation from this one, lone man.
“I am NOT Quam VINCENT!!” Yet none would heed his warnings and his fears so he had fled, not looking back to those insane bastards who at that moment more than any had reminded David of human sheep.
“David!” The woman had screamed from the windows where she had been trapped. “Where are you going!? Help!!” David had half turned towards that office complex as it rumbled and shook under the tumultuous quakes of Hell’s fury. Fear clouded his judgment as he stared at the woman pleading for him to come to her salvation on the third floor. He couldn’t do it. He ran.
“I’m going to burn in Hell,” David said to no one in particular, falling to his knees, knowing the terrible consequence of having left. That gnawing regret one would feel having left his wife to face the unknown. He hadn’t even had the courage to watch the building collapse. Tears streamed down his face as calloused hands did their best to wipe away the ever colder liquid.
Jingling sounds brought David back to his feet and into his ever fearful ways of survival. The notable hiding behind rubble, spying what demon had come for his soul next. To David’s surprise, he saw a woman walking down the street and in the company of a legion of cats.
“What the…?” Without another thought, David found himself following from a good distance this strange yet beautiful woman. He secretly wondered if an angel had not come to save him from his sins.
Quam solemnly laid on his side and stared out at the scattered debris, depressed and unsure of himself or of what to do. And knowing only too well that he’d certainly never go home again. The world was too cruel a place. The darkest hour had come for Quam. That was, until the piercing bright light that nearly blinded him. Hands up in a feeble gesture of blocking out the source of the illumination, Quam looked up. The light dimmed and there stood the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen… And she’d brought her cats.
“Sorry about that. Sometimes I get a little carried away with my entrances,” the angelic lady spoke melodically. Quam took note of her appearance. She was five-foot seven with the most hypnotic eyes he’d ever seen. They were jet black and ovaloid. No whites that Quam could tell but strangely this did not disturb him on this day. In fact, she seemed to fit right in. Minus the hellish features, of course.
“So, I’m guessing the cats are yours…” Quam watched the woman’s thin lips purse into a smile. She tilted her head slightly to the side, shifting a man of long white hair that extended past the back of her thighs. He felt that, had he touched that hair, it would have been smoother that silk. Quam shook himself out of his stupor. Get a hold of yourself, jackass! You’ve been in this damn city too long! Then, Quam filled the sudden and awkward silence with, “I’m also guessing you’re no demon.”
“No, Quam, I am not.”
“Oh. Well, that’s good… Hey! How the Hell do you know my name!?”
“Your name? I’ve watched you for a long time, Quam,” the woman said, still smiling hypnotically.
“You have? What’s going on? Why am I here? How can I get home!?” Quam was up on his knees, almost pleading for the answers still evading logic.
“Settle down,” the angel woman soothed. “You see, it’s complicated. Everything that is occurring, that is. You… were summoned here.”
“Summoned? By who?” Quam asked, as a quizzical expression dominated his visage.
“By the collective will of a dying people. It was your name those who passed on prayed for. You were their miracle. ‘If only Quam were here.’ Even the disbelievers prayed for this hero in your name… And here you are.”
“I’m flattered… but, uhm… shouldn’t they have been praying to, uhm, Jesus, or someone of that caliber?”
To Quam’s query, the woman only smiled. “Many prayers were heard and still are being heard. And you are the answer to those prayers. You are the only one who can defeat the Dark Lord.”
“Yeah, right. If not for your cats, this Dark Lord of yours would have made me a permanent fixture of this god-forsaken-place! I can’t believe the size of that beast! Four stories, at least!” Quam snorted derisively and gestured with arms flailed wide open.
“You can change that.”
“Huh? And how, pray-tell, is that?”
“You see, there is no magic spell or holy scripture that can shrink this… ‘beast’. However, Quam, there is a machine he uses to maintain his satanic proportions. Destroy it. And bring him down to size!” Having spoken this last part, the woman’s eyes almost seemed to glow gleefully at the thought proposed. She clenched her fists and waved them in the air in front of her in emphatic gestures of go-get-‘em pride.
“How can I…?”
“You must enter his citadel and find it within the lower levels. Quam, you must do this! It is the reason for your existence! The people believe in you.” Smiling warmly, the white lady looked down upon the kneeling Quam.
“I… can’t. I’m nothing. I don’t even exist.” Quam lowered his eyes to the crumpled concrete.
“Stop it!! You WILL do this! The Lord commands it!!” Quam looked up at this fiery outburst. The woman seemed almost on the brink of screaming. A vein in her temple bulged under the pulsation of unbridled fury.
“I’m sorry,” the woman recanted and placed her right hand to her temple to gently rub away the anger brewing. “I shouldn’t have lost my temper. You wouldn’t believe how stressful my day has been.”
Quam just looked at her with a stagnant expression.
Nearby, a collapsed heap of stone hid the personage of one David Shade. When he’d seen the vibrant lady walking down the wrecked street, he had gotten… excited. Which is why he did what any god fearing member of the male persuasion would do. Follow her. And now, here David was, watching the interaction between Quam and Ms. Hotness herself. All thoughts of his losses and stupidities were momentarily postponed for a quick glance at a healthy shake. Naturally he’d been shocked to see Quam still alive. What with the legion of doom and four stories of black bearing down on his ass. Quam was an amazing man and David could only thank himself for bringing him into existence.
“But I don’t know the way…” Quam told the woman. Of course, David really wasn’t trying to hear what Quam was saying, he was still mesmerized by the finer things in life.
“David does,” David froze in place as he heard those words muttered from the woman’s mouth.
She couldn’t mean him. Then he stopped breathing once her finger pointed in his direction. Quam stared in the direction of where the corner of the room had been. Which compelled David to stand up from behind a massive chunk of cornered concrete.
“Ex… excuse me?” David spoke squeakingly. He had a bad feeling about this.
An angelic face peered after David and she motioned for him to join them. She had known he was following her and knew he was watching them. Knew about his fixation on her posterior and had added an extra bit of hip motion to keep him enticed. It was all according to plan.
“The citadel, David. You will lead Quam to it. Point the way. It is your destiny.” She smiled at him. David wasn’t going for it.
“The hell it is. My destiny lies in a crevice about a quarter mile in that direction. Note that would be in the opposite direction of certain and verifiable doom.” David stood stoically, getting mentally ready to run like hell. The smile on the woman’s face dissipated and then David knew, his ass was grass.
“There’s a car right there. Get in it.” There was no room for argument as the woman spoke these hauntingly irreversible words.
“Ah, shit.” David uttered and walked towards the car. “You drive.”
Quam stood up and looked for a second at the vehicle parked on the curbside harboring no damage to it whatsoever.
“That was not there before.”
“Don’t knock it. Now, Quam, go kick his ass! Remember, destroy the mechanism that regulates his size. Then destroy the machine that lies beneath his throne. Go. Obliterate the Dark Lord!” The woman said waving to the two and smiling that broad smile of hers as they got in the car. Quam started the car and glanced over at the woman who was still waving at them.
“There is something not right about that woman,” he said.
“Yeah, yeah. Women suck. Let’s get this over with,” David bluntly stated. Quam gunned the accelerator and they were off in the direction of the citadel.
She stood waving at the car darting off into the distance. A smile still plastered in faux regard to her face. Her ovaloid eyes felt like they were going to bulge from their sockets. She was going to talk to upper management about a raise. “‘In the opposite direction!’ Indeed! And here I went and shook my tushy at him! Spineless son-of-a-…”
“Bitch! That Bitch!” A holographic viewscreen displayed the image of a waving woman. Anger brewed deep contempt in the Dark Lord’s amphitheater. “How dare she interfere with MY designs!!” He motioned towards his commander-at-arms, who hastily approached the throne, ever wary for invisible, archaic weaponry. “Set out the minions! Destroy Quam Vincent! Don’t let him reach this citadel! I’ve had enough of these people standing in my way!”
The commander knelt in a bow and acknowledgment.
Minions of every design and fabrication poured from the orifices of the massive citadel like locusts to the feast. Dark clouds roiled furiously above, blocking out the heavens and casting the leveled landscape in a dark, blood red light.
Dodging and weaving through the myriad fields of debris, Quam navigated the car with professional ease. All the while, David instructed him on what turns to make. A short time, too soon to David, passed and the hulking citadel appeared. David leaned forward taking note of the cloud of dots exiting the citadel.
“Whelp, those mosquitos are coming for your blood and this is my stop! Let me out!” David exclaimed, his panic barely contained. He clamored at the handle with the car still in a blurred motion. Quam reached to stop David’s maddened exit.
“Wait! How do I get into the citadel!?”
“How in the hell should I know!? I’ve never been in it!” Rumbling shook the car from all sides stopping David’s quickened exit.
Quam stopped the car and looked around. David felt as if his eyes would pop out of their sockets. For it was that hordes of beasts flew down from the skies, and took stabbing jabs at the vehicle. This occurring as a mob of creatures of every distorted size and shape blocked their retreat to the rear.
“Oh great! What are you doing!? Don’t stop! Go!” David yelled hysterically.
“I thought you wanted out?” Quam calmly retorted as the menacing legion advanced on them.
“I changed my mind!!” David shouted as Quam gunned the accelerator. However, they didn’t get far before another entourage of maladjusted cretins burst through the ground directly in their path. Quam was forced to bring the car to another, screeching halt while flying hosts of the maggotdom buzzed them maliciously. “That’s it, man! We’re all going to die!!” David jostled around in his seat staring in utter horror as they found themselves completely surrounded.
“Will you knock that off!?” Quam bellowed, trying to figure out what they could do to get themselves out of one frighteningly intense scenario. He didn’t have to think long, as the forces of hate decided to rent a hole in the Earth large enough to swallow Texas. The car fell downward towards a boiling pit of magma and then wedged between two large pillars of earthen crust.
Wasting no time, Quam crawled out the window, daring not to open the door, and found footing on a pillar ledge. He reached his hand out towards the passenger side of the car and issued a command to David,
“Give me your hand! Climb out the window and give me your damn hand!” A demon swooshed past Quam as he barely ducked and found himself on his stomach, still holding out his arm to David.
“Oh, shit! To hell with that!” Came David’s response. The pillar holding up the rear of the car collapsed and Quam could only watch helplessly as the car carrying David careened towards the magmatic layer of Earth many miles below. To his credit, David only managed to scream for half the journey down. Of course, he could have still been screaming and just been out of Quam’s earshot.
“Idiot,” Quam muttered angrily after David, as a demon swooped down and grabbed Quam taking him upwards towards the darkened skies.
Quam struggled with the beast, trying to maintain purchase on its leathery skin. At the same time, the Hellspawn was doing its best to make Quam let go and fall into the chasm below. However, Quam proved too agile and managed to crawl around its shoulders and unto its back. Somehow, Quam managed to use the demon’s wings to navigate towards the citadel. Other demons, seeing this, did their best to slaughter their cohort. A glancing blow cut Quam across his cheek and fatally slashed through his demon’s neck. Fortunately for Quam, another demon was handily available for molestation.
Minutes seemed like an eternity for Quam as he worked his way demon by flaming demon to get to the citadel. Flying through an opening, Quam viciously twisted his current demon’s neck and tried to figure his way down into the citadel’s innards. Behind him, the demons following his progress swarmed the skies and darted down towards the citadel entrance. Quam shook his head and started deeper into the complex at a run.
Part Three down, one more part to go! Woohoo! Alright, thanks for reading and I hope it lived up to expectations. I wrote this so many years ago, I wasn’t sure if it would still hold up. But, honestly, I think it does. Maybe not as good as some of my newer writing, but still solid enough, if I do say so myself. And I do.
Hope you’ll drop by again next week. Until then, may your days be wonderful!
~Timothy S Purvis
Hey, since you’re still here, why not check out the story itself over on Amazon Kindle? You don’t HAVE to wait til next week to see how it ends, you know? You could always just drop a buck and pick up the whole story itself. It’s also available in a collection set in book form! Check out the links below:
The novella itself can be found at this link:
And if you’re feeling like you’d like even more to read than just this, why not check out my novellas collection at this next link? After all, Conundrum FIMAS is in these pages as well so you’d get this tale and more!:
As always, don’t forget to check out my author’s page for old work and for future work to come. I still have a novel on the way sometime this year! Woohoo! Just click on my name for a direct link there–> Timothy S Purvis