Author Topic: MAX LEGEND: BEGINNING OF A TRAGIC END (urban fantasy)  (Read 454 times)

Offline NBK

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MAX LEGEND: BEGINNING OF A TRAGIC END (urban fantasy)
« on: January 31, 2019, 02:03:00 PM »
Where To Begin

   The standard operating procedure for a detective after a traumatic ordeal was simple. He or she was to report to the department’s psychologist about said ordeal. They would share feelings, emotions, and pretty much anything that made them shed their rough facade that the job called for.
   Max, like everyone else in the department, knew proper procedures for any and every occurrence, but he was different. He was directed elsewhere. When he thought about it, Max didn’t even know the name of the psychologist who worked in his precinct and that nagged at him for some time.
   He was just your run-of-the-mill detective but was sent to one of the best psychologists in the world, instead of the department’s one, who offered generic advice and stale donuts. Even though Captain Fay was once his father’s partner, she treated him the same as any other officer under her command. He never could wrap his head around it. Could it be the lucky breaks in some career making cases he just found himself working? Or was it his special condition she knew about since he was a kid that warranted the gesture? He wanted to know why but never dared question her orders, never aloud at least.
   With all of that being said, that was the mindset of the old Max. Recent events completely changed his makeup, not to mention his current predicament only strengthened his resolve. The same psychologist she had been sending him to just happen to be the same person the Sages escorted him to in the early hours of the morning. Coincidence? It didn’t seem like that was the case here. She had some explaining to do, if he was ever to see her again.
   He sat in the dark office alone, accompanied only by his thoughts outside of the two men, standing guard, at the office door. Their silhouettes penetrated the frosted glass door window, marking the room with their presence. One shadow was short and round while the other was tall, standing as stiff as a tree. He felt like a child under the watchful eyes of strict parents. He wanted nothing more but to leave.
   In any other circumstance, he could’ve easily discarded the guards, but the crippler, a shiny white futuristic-looking cuff, extending from his wrist to the middle of his forearm, bound his hands together, made it rather difficult to do so. It drained all of his natural strength and what little magic he could control. Being reduced to the likes of a mere human, he did the only thing he could do, sit and wait.
   As he got bored, Max’s eyes started wander, which he immediately regretted, catching his reflection off a well-polished vase holding tulips. His jaw dropped at the sight. He moved closer to get a better vision.
   Max on his best day was quite the looker by most women standards. His bronze skin made women think of caramel, while his perfectly cut bald fade, dark brown eyes, and killer smile was the icing on the cake. He was neither a short or tall man but perfectly placed in the middle. He would say he was in the above average height percentile. He had a rather impressive build, toned and fit. He perpetually wore slim fitting t-shirts, showing it off. It was an amazing feeling and not because it was results of hours cooped in some gym or some crazy advertised diet. Stuffing his face, work, and the ever now and then Netflix marathon with Mia, his wife, is what did it for him. Max would die laughing inside when others asked what he was doing to get a body like that.
   Sadly, today was not one of those days. One eye was almost to the point of being closed shut, and his amazing jaw line was buried under bruises and dirt. His torn ragged, muddy clothes displayed just a fraction of the bruises that claimed his aching body. He hated what he saw looking back at him. He returned to his seat, dropping his eyes to the reflection-less ground and waited.
   He sat in the vacant office for over an hour. The normally punctual Dixie wasn’t so punctual in the wee hours of the morning. He considered it punishment enough to have to see her at this particular time, but to be left waiting was just unbearable. Her tardiness was probably on purpose, he thought. He always felt she had a personal vendetta against him for some reason, and he couldn’t figure out why. Before Captain Fay ever sent him to see her, he never even heard of her before. In their sessions, he was always polite, while she acted like an ass most of the time. He guessed not ever woman was vulnerable to his charm.
   Every so often, Max would glance at the time, making it sluggishly pass. He was taking back to school, counting the passing seconds as he waited for the teacher to dismiss the class, even though the bell had already rung. Those twenty seconds of the teacher flexing their authority seemed to last forever. He loathed the identical feeling both situations brought upon him. It also didn’t help that the chairs he was sitting in was very uncomfortable. From the hourly rates he heard she charged, one would think she would’ve accommodated her clients with better seating.
   Another thirty minutes had past and nothing. But finally, something happened. Max overheard the two guards finally breaking their silence. “You know what he is, right?” said the tall silhouette.
   “Yeah, I can’t believe it,” responded the short round one.
   “I know. He doesn’t look like one of them.”
   Max couldn’t decipher their little pronoun game, but he didn’t have to. He already knew what the two were getting at. 
   He had to find something to occupy his time, while waiting. He peeped at the door, making sure the two guards weren’t paying attention to him, and then closed his eyes, letting his imagination take over. His daydreams were not that of a typical young man in his early twenties. Max’s imagination was that of an eccentric child. He would imagine himself with all sorts of powers. He’d close his eyes and go to a magical world where he could fly through the clouds or a thick forest with skyscraper like trees and have amazing adventures, fighting magical creatures.
   He knew he was too old to imagine these things, but he couldn’t help it nor wanted it to stop. He could’ve sat in that uncomfortable chair for hours daydreaming. Max always made sure he was alone when he would let his imagination run wild. He would tend to mimic explosion and fighting sounds with his mouth when doing so. The guards would’ve added the topic of how weird he was to their conversation, if they overheard him. He omitted that part this time.
   While he was in La-La Land, he pictured himself flying. He could literally feel the wind going pass his face.
   Tick.
   He was about to land the final blow on an evil warlock.
   Tick.
   He just saved the…
   Tick.
   Gahh Damnit.
   Her ancient “mom and pop diner” clock made it hard for him to do his thing. Its rusty ticks and tocks grounded him from venturing into his playful mind. Every tick scratched his at his proverbial chalkboard. It wasn’t noticeable before then, but now that it was, making him hate.
   Thoughts of the smashed clock under his foot pervaded his mind.
   Would she notice right away if it was missing?
   After waiting for a couple of more minutes alone with the rusty ticks-tocks, he finally decided. “That damn clock is coming down.”
   He stood, and as soon as he lifted his foot to take a step, the door swung opened. He cringed inside, knowing who it was before looking.
   Now she decides to show.
   Max lowered his foot, sat in the chair, and slightly turned his annoyed face so he could see out the side of his eye.
   There stood Dixie, the young overachieving fifties-loving woman. Her voluptuous silhouette cast an amazing shadow in the room, while her vibrant red hair tinted the dark room cherry.
   He was caught red-handed, or so he thought. They shared the same expression. Her jaw dropped and her bugged eyes almost popped through her sexy cat framed eyeglasses. “K... um... I mean… Max?”
    “Here you go, ma’am,” said the tall stiff guard, handing her a folder stuffed with papers.
   She said thanks and quickly shut the door, almost smashing the man’s hand. She quickly marched to her desk, and whispered, “What are you doing here, Max?”
   All the pent-up anger Max had for having to wait so long suddenly retreated. His head fell as if he would find some sort of answer in his lap.
   She had no idea I was here. So, what’s going on?
   He quickly lifted his head and responded. “You tell me. I woke up in a back of a car with this thing around my hands and was brought here, with no kind of explanation. I don’t know what’s going on, but you have a lot of explaining to do.”
   She brought her finger to her lips, signaling him to keep it down. She didn’t want the guards to hear that last statement. Her suspicious demeanor only ratted her out to Max.
   He finally figured it out. “They have no idea that I was already coming to you.” Her sudden gasp only gave him confirmation that he was right.
   Dixie took a deep, nervous breath, and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
   Totally ignoring her poor lie, Max asked, “What are you? A fairy? Witch? How about a sorceress?”
   “Oh, that.” She became less tense, exhaling a sigh of relief, as if that discovery of his wasn’t a big deal.
   If she’s not worried about that, it has to be something bigger. She was as shook as a perp who’d been caught red handed just a second ago and now she’s all calm. What is it then? What did she think I knew?
   As he thought to himself, Dixie’s words began to gnaw on the back of his mind. “Oh, that.” The more he mouthed the words, the more the meaning seeped into his soul until it fully engulfed him. With wide eyes and a colorless face, Max finally looked at her. Her brief moment of composure would soon come to an end.
   “You knew.”
   “Yes, I knew about magic and the Sages,” she confirmed, answering the wrong question.
   “No,” he said, shaking his head, “All this time. You knew about me. The real me.”
   Dixie slowly inched forward in her chair. “Max!”
   “It makes sense now. From the first time I came here, you knew.”
   “Don’t… don’t say it.”
   “You knew I was a Creed this whole time.”
   If Dixie wasn’t already sitting, she would’ve fell over from the sheer weight of his words. Finally exposed, she couldn’t move or talk. There was only her mind racing, thinking of a possible solution.
   “What did y’all do to me? You and Captain Faye”
   Dixie had to stop this. Just like a wild lioness being cornered, she had to bear her fangs. She corrected her posture and erupted out of the chair. She then calmly walked over to the door, opening and closing it behind her as she exited.
   The tall guard ordered her to return to the office, while the short, round one adlibbed his sentiment.
   Max saw a flash of blinding light, through the frosted window, and they both became silent. Dixie then whispered something Max couldn’t catch, and the two guards slowly walked off, taking their shadows with them as they inched further and further away.
   Dixie reentered the room a completely different person than she left. Her hair stood, flowing like a low flickering fire, carrying a faint red aura. 
   Max was completely mesmerized. Once he grasped just a bit of composure, he noticed it wasn’t just her hair. The faint aura enclosed her entire body. Even though he’d never seen her in such, the fierce, warm air suffocating the room felt so familiar.
   Dixie faced him and slowly marched towards.
   Max’s body suddenly reacted on its own. His feet started to backpedal to keep the distance from the oncoming woman, but the back legs of the chair ceased to move on carpet, raising the front legs. Max tried to swing his arms in a backstroke type of motion to steady himself, but due to the crippler, he swung himself in a manner that caused him to lift the chair onto one leg. He hit the floor with a loud thud and rolled left on the ground.
   He closed his eyes on impact, and once he opened them again, he was face to face with a pair of blood-red stilettos pumps. Max tried to roll backwards but felt the cold stiff wall stopping him. 
   The two both stood still for a few, Dixie looking down upon him, while Max was in a lost gaze. He took a deep breath and then positioned himself off his side onto his butt. He then planted his feet and pushed. His back felt every groove of the bias wall as he slid to his feet. The temperature of the room seemed to have rocketed, unlike the coolness he felt on the floor.
   Before looking into Dixie’s eyes, he could’ve sworn the aura she spewed was anger. The tears that rolled down her face and quickly evaporated from the immense heat coming from her showed him that he was completely wrong. Now it wasn’t so hot anymore. A caring warmth now surrounded him.
   Max wanted to ask why was she doing this, but was stopped before he could, like she already knew what was coming.
   She placed a finger over his mouth and then gently caressed his face. “Shh, just look,” she whispered, entering his personal bubble. She lifted her left palm to his face.
   As her words hit his mental, all his worries and stress melted away. All he could focus on was the palm in front of him. For a few seconds, nothing happened, but right after he was able to blink, a small flame grew in the middle of her palm. First yellow. Then blue. Then red. The flame first changed every other second, and then sped up, instantly changing one after the other. The flame was now the size of his head, looking like a rainbow in the form of a flame how the colors seamlessly moved from the bottom to the top.
   Max couldn’t pull his eyes from the hypnotizing, flickering fire. He became dazed and weary, looking at it. The office, along with Dixie, vanished. All that remained was the flame and Max in a dark abyss. The flame flickered out, leaving him to be consumed by the darkness.
#
   Max woke to an oddly familiar space. His neck ached as a result of slouching in a very uncomfortable chair. He hoped to his feet, looking around. He spotted himself in a mirror that hung on a wall adjacent to him. The only thing that was wrong with his face was a great look of panic. There were no bumps, bruises, or even an out of place hair. His clothes were fine too, not a wrinkle in sight. His rampaging eyes moved on, bouncing all over the room.
   Awards? Groovy décor?
   He was in an office. The more his eyes wandered, he figured out exactly where he was.
   This is Dixie’s office? Why am I here?
   His eyes then shot straight ahead. Dixie was sitting behind her desk.  Her face was just as surprised as his.
   “Are you okay, Max?” she chuckled.
   There was something off. He tried to remember how he’d gotten there, but his mind was a blank canvas. “Why am I here, Dixie?”
   “Funny, Max,” she said, dropping her eyes back to her notepad. “Let’s continue.” She then looked up again. The smile slid from her face as she saw that he was serious. “You don’t remember anything we were just talking about?”
   He shook his head no.
   “We were just talking about it, Max. I looked down at your file and when I looked back up, you were just standing there. Are you okay?”
   Frustrated, he slammed his palms on her desk, slightly shifting everything on her perfectly arranged desk, and asked once more. “Why am I here?”
   Truly seeing he how serious he was, she answered. “We’re in an emergency session. You were on a case, and had a relapse. Your imagination took over again, Max.”   
   The shocking news knocked him back into the chair. “But I was doing so good taking my pills and all, wasn’t I?” He couldn’t remember anything about the day or even the week, for that matter. The events leading up to meeting Dixie eluded him. “I can’t believe it happened again.” He drove his face into his hands and then proceeded to smack himself on his head. “I’m so stupid. Stupid. Stupid.”
   “Stop,” she yelled, reaching out. “Don’t do that.”
   Max abruptly stopped and placed his hands on the arm of the chair. His hurt, tearful eyes made their way back up to Dixie, who expression matched his. 
   “Max, we will get through this. I promise. When this session is over, you will be pass this. I promise.” She saw her words fall short of impacting him and tried again. “Hey, look at me,” she paused so their eyes could meet, “You will get passed this.”
   He gave her a slight nod, keeping his head up this time.
   “Let me ask you something, Max. When’s the last time you can remember taking one of your pills?”
   Max’s eyes jolted from side to side, trying to recall. “I don’t know.”
   She leaned back in her chair, and said, “Tell me what you do remember.”
   He ignored her, as he drowned in his own sorrow.
   I can’t believe it happened again. I did everything I was supposed to, I think.
   She called his name, while snapping her finger. It brought him back to the conversation. “I need you to tell me what you do remember. Anything, Max. It can be completely irrelevant to what happened.”
   “So, what would be the point then?”
   “Let’s call it a snowball effect. You start with something you remember, and then another memory, so on and so forth. The more you work your mind, the more you should remember, leading up to why you’re here.”
   Max’s mind was in pieces. He wouldn’t dare attempt putting it back together. After doing so good and failing once more, he felt the burden of being a lost cause. “Why do you want me to remember? What’s the point?”
   “I want to help you, Max.”
   “How many times have I been here, hmm? How many times have I relapsed? Tell me.”
   Dixie refused to answer.
   “I thought so. I’m broken. Even with all of your experience and all that,” he said, lifting his left arm up to her wall of accomplishments, “you’re not even able to help me. So, why even…” He saw how disgusted she was by what she was hearing and decided to silence himself.
   “You misunderstand what I am here to do. You are right. I’m not able to fix you. Only you can do that. I am only here to assist and guide you. Without your absolute willingness to better yourself, I am useless to you. I’m not your wife or your mother, so if you’re looking for someone to hold your hand and baby you, this is the wrong place. There’s the door, if that’s what you’re looking for.”
   Max couldn’t stand the hard-hitting truth wrapped in such a harsh, professional tone, while in his fragile state. He stood and walked to the door.
   As soon has he touched the doorknob, she said, “But if you want me to do my job and assist, then I am here. It’s your choice, Max.” Her bluff was set, and knowing him as well as she did, she guessed right.
   He let go of the door knob, dropping his head, and returned to the chair. He was ashamed to even glance her way. “What do we,” he started but caught himself. “What do I do now?”
   “Recollection. Try to remember what happened while you were on the stakeout.”
   When he tried to remember, he still came up with nothing. “I can’t remember what happened then.
   What’s going on? I never been this far gone. I can’t even remember what I did just this morning.
   Dixie slapped the desk, and said, “This is not a time to be in your head Max. Tell me what you’re thinking.”
   “I can’t even remember what case I’m on or even what I did this morning. It’s all a blank.”
   “It’s okay. How about starting with what you do remember, and like I said, backtrack from there. Once we get the ball rolling, I’m more than positive you will remember everything.”
   Max tried again, but it wasn’t working. Everything was fuzzy. He struck the arm of the chair in frustration. “Nothing. My mind’s a mess.”
   “Look at me, Max.”
   He locked eyes with her. Never before has she ever shown a vulnerable side in a session. She was either all business or a mean girl. Her eyes were now filled with hurt and sorrow. Her mood changed so fast, he didn’t know what to think.
   “I want you to… No, I need you to remember, Max. I really do. You don’t know what that would mean for me. You have to.”
   Max first thought she needed it to keep her reputation up, but then thought, why would anyone care if she failed me. It has to be more to it. Either or, it encouraged him to try harder. He pressed forward through the thick fog that occupied his mind, searching and searching, and then an insignificant memory popped up. He found solace in remembering such a minuscule memory. A slight smile was brought to his face.
   “You have something, don’t you?”
   “Yeah, but it’s nothing.”
   “Tell me.”
   “I’m telling you, it’s nothing.”
   “Let me decide that. Remember, snowball.”
   “But, it’s from a few months ago.”
   “Even better.”
   Max didn’t quite get it, but if she said it could help, he was willing to give it a try. “I couldn’t find my hat.”
#
   It was a morning that started like any other. Max woke to Mia, yelling something as she ran out the door, trying not to be late for work.
   “Babe, you have a…” she yelled, slamming the door behind her.
    He couldn’t make out what she said as always. It was probably something about staying late to work. She knew to text him, reminding him of what SHE thought was important anyway, so he didn’t bother to worry what was actually she said.
   He disregarded everything and lied in bed, staring at the popcorn ceiling for a few minutes. Just as he thought when he was a kid, Max swore he could make out figures and faces in the ridges and shadows. His cellphone alarm went off, telling him he had no more time to mess around. Unlike Mia, Max got up early enough to do everything he wanted without the need to rush. He sluggishly moved out the bed into their cramp bathroom.
   The bathroom housed a cozy undermount sink, a toilet, and a miniature shower. Though he hated the small bathroom, he didn’t mind the shower. It made him feel tall. But what he did mind was Mia’s belongings, dominating the bathroom. It was everywhere he looked. He knew to spot her curling iron first. It burned him every chance it got. Her two makeup kits were left opened at the edge of the sink, just itching to fall and scatter across the floor. And there was what looked like a crop field of perfume and hair care products, covering the rest of the counter top.
   The only object Max claimed in there was a lonely electric toothbrush. Its bulky, manly exterior made it look so out of place among the feminine products. Most of his belongings were already packed for the big move.
   Even if they weren’t, the bathroom would’ve still looked the same. He never seemed to mind that she took over the bathroom, since he did the same to the living room with his sixty-inch flat screen, PS4, and countless blu-rays. Max knew what war to fight and which one to surrender, just as did she. They prematurely set rules for the new house to prevent the same give and take mind games from happening there, but he doubted it would stand. They both were too petty to actually take “adulting” serious, even with a baby on the way.
   Continuing his normal routine, he used the bathroom, brushed his teeth, and hopped in the shower. He constantly had to search for the towel when he was finished. Mia was famous for leaving it everywhere but the towel rack.
   When he was done in the bathroom, after finding the towel, Max maneuvered his way through the piles and piles of boxes in the apartment to get to their tiny kitchen. If Mia were there, they would have to take turns going in and out or had to twist and turn to move around each other. Nothing in there was adequate in size in the apartment but the rent amount. All of the burners on the stove were small so buying any big pots was out the question. Lucky for them, Mia wasn’t quite the cook Max’s mom was. Even if she was, there was no storage space to store pots and pans. The kitchen barely had any counter space either. Everything was sloppily stacked on top of each other just waiting to collapse. Through the whole process of packing for the move, they learned they weren’t the best packers or that organized for that matter. 
   He saw his pill bottle next to a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles that was calling his name. It was hanging halfway off the counter about to fall at a moment notice. He flew by the pill bottle and quickly grabbed the bowl of cereal. He noticed there was a piece of paper stuck to it, and not paying it any mind, he Kareem skyhooked it into the trashcan. He then went to their rustic refrigerator, with the old school latch that always squeaked when anyone opened it, for some milk.
   He strolled passed the diminutive table and ate his bowl of cereal on the sectional that claimed most of the living room. He turned on the TV. Not really paying it any mind, enjoying the first bite of his breakfast, he overheard a news broadcaster carrying on about how the owner of Perennial Tech was muscling all of his competitors out of business, and then it switched to a breaking news announcement about couple of museum break-ins. He looked up, realizing it wasn’t on sports, and then quickly changed it.   
   Now fully dressed in his police uniform, he tore through the bedroom looking for his hat. Under the bed, not there. Between the sheets, not there. In the closet, where his wife also took over, not there. He swiveled his head left and right, and then sat on the bed in the defeat. He prayed Mia didn’t accidently pack it. A great idea suddenly skipped crossed his mind. 
   Text Mia.
   Before he had a chance, he saw a missed notification from thirty minutes ago.
Your hat is in your car. Love You.
   He threw the phone into his pocket and rushed out the door. While locking the door, he felt as if he’d forgotten something. Due to searching for his hat as long as he did, Max didn’t have the time to waste, trying to figure it out.
   He walked out the building and was greeted by a face full of leaves. The leaves coupled with the cool chilling air, with a hint of warmth, let him know autumn was full on. A mixture of orange and red leaves lied everywhere he looked, invading his entire block.
   As Max walked three blocks down to his car, into the breeze, the leaves hammered him the entire way, while the wind chills eradicated any trace of warmth in the air.
   Halfway to his car, he bundled up nice and tight, ducking his head into his jacket as far as he could, and wished the unbearable onslaught of leaves would stop. He looked up, ready to face the oncoming leaves, to see if he had passed his car, but to his surprise, only the frosty wind flew across his face. The freezing wind became bearable, as he scratched his head.
   What happened to the leaves?
   He looked to both ends of the street, and there wasn’t a single leaf in sight. He ambled to his car in confusion.
   Where did… How did… What the hell is going on?
   Max’s car distracted him from the disappearing leaves for a bit. His day would be ruined every time he laid his eyes on it. His car was the butt of many jokes around the station and to whoever happened to lay eyes on it. Nothing about his 04 Prius warranted a man drove it. His parents offered to buy him a new car when he graduated the academy, but his pride wouldn’t let him take their generous offer. He’d rather keep his, while saving up for one he really wanted. Unlike Max, Mia jumped at the opportunity when her parents offered to buy her a new car when she graduated valedictorian at her medical school.
   Though he wouldn’t take any charity, Max hated the car. He hated everything about it from its baby blue paint job to its Hello Kitty bumper sticker, from the previous owner, that wouldn’t come off, and don’t get him started on the interior. Every person that walked passed it thought the owner was either a hoarder or homeless, which drove him crazy because most of the clutter wasn’t even his. Mia treated it as her own personal storage unit. She put the clothes that was out of season in there, her handbags, tupperware that had no room in the kitchen, her gym bags, yoga mats, and almost every medical book she had ever bought. Max couldn’t stress to her how much it angered him, but he eventually kept it bottled up inside. That wasn’t a fight he’d win.
   Max quivered from the cold, inside the car, as he tried to gain an understanding about what just took place.
   What happened to all the leaves?
   He quickly shoved the keys into the ignition, starting the car, and turned the temperature knob all the way to right for heat and turned the fan to high. He was immediately met with a blast of cold air and quickly turned it off.  He thought to search for his hat, while the engine warmed up. He tore through the backseat, tossing everything around to find his hat but to no avail. He thought deeply then it hit him.
   Really?
   He propped himself up, felt for it on his seat, and there it was. He tossed it to the passenger seat and pulled off.
   Max noticed there was something off about today’s drive to work. He usually had to use his windshield wipers to stop leaves from sticking to his window, while he heard the faint crunching sound as he drove over them, but not today. The cities’ leaves went missing. It was clear all the way from his apartment to the police station’s parking garage.
   While he was parking, there was a nagging thought at the back of his mind, bothering him. He felt like he was forgetting something.
   What could I’ve possibly have forgot?
   He had his gun, phone, wallet, hat, and badge.
   The stove couldn’t have been left on because neither one of us cook. Well, forget it.
   Max made sure his keys were in his hand, so he didn’t end up locking it in the car. Even after going over everything twice, he still felt as if he forgot something important. Max could tell the day was going to be everything but normal.
   Inside the police station, Max was stuffing his belongings into his locker, getting ready for patrol. A fellow officer walked over to him, and said, “Hey! The Captain wants to see everyone. Better hurry up.”
   Max nodded and continued to put his stuff away. After he was done, he hurried to the meeting. It started before he got there. It looked like everyone was stuffed into the cramped conference room. He couldn’t help but think about his apartment.
   Using the massive crowd to his advantage, he weaseled his way in the conference room behind a line of overweight officers and snaked his way through the dense crowd and found a spot to stand off to the right of the captain.
   Captain Fay ruled over all, standing five feet even. The wrinkled face woman had metallic grey hair, in a single braid, hanging down to the back of her knees. She wore all of her awards and insignias on her uniform, letting everyone know the proper respect they should give her. To the untrained eye, she was just a fragile, innocent looking old lady; however, she was a mean, military-minded genius. If she was ever a sweet lady, those days were long gone. Her voice was very commanding. When she spoke, everyone listened.
   Captain Fay was talking about some museum break ins. Max remembered hearing about it on the news before he turned the channel. The news reported nothing was stolen, but in fact, several high-priced artifacts were. Captain Fay worked closely with reporters, telling them to lie. She didn’t want to tip off whoever did it.
   She then went on to name a few possible suspects and spoke about assembling a special task force for a sting operation to apprehend the suspects. “Jenkins, Cooper, Watkins, and Campbell.”
   What a surprise there!
   The names that were called came to no one’s surprise. They were the most respected in the precinct. Considering their cases solved and the number of arrests they accumulated, calling them the cream of the crop would seem like a vast understatement. They were awesome.
   “All of you will be placed on the task force headed by Sergeant Wright.” She held out files for each of them to retrieve. They strutted up to the captain, took their folders, and walked out of the conference room as the crowd parted for them. She still had one left once everyone had theirs.
   “Everyone else will continue your normal workload until further notice.” Captain Fay then signaled everyone they were dismissed.
   Max, again, tried to squeeze his way through the moving crowd, but some of the rounder officers and detectives were on the move, and getting trampled wasn’t on his to-do list that day. He stayed back, letting them pass as he found himself holding the door for his fellow officers.
   He ended up being the last to leave the conference room. He looked back at the old woman reading the last folder as he walked out. When he turned the corner, he nearly ran over Captain Fay, crumpling the folder she had in her hand. He must have apologized twenty times, before it hit him.
   Wasn’t she just in the conference room?
   His facial expression was contoured between worried and confused. She handed him the now crumpled file, which made him even more confused than he already was. “What’s this for?” he asked.
   “You are being assigned to the team. I didn’t want to put you on the spot in front of everyone. You will be working closely with Sergeant Wright.”
   A fidgety sensation inched its way through his body.
   This could finally be my chance to move up. With a case like this, if I aced my detective’s exam, I know I can get a promotion.
   “Yes, Ma’am,” he said, with a wide grin. “Thank you so much.” He felt he was finally getting the recognition he’d deserved.
   “You need to be completely debriefed about the case. Sergeant Wright is awaiting you. The location is in the file.” She looked him up and down and started again. “Knowing that man, you’re going to want to put on something less formal.”  She started to walk away then suddenly stopped. She kept her back to him, but slightly turned her head so she could she him in her peripheral. “I personally handpicked you for this. Do not make me regret it,” she said, cracking her knuckles. 
   She was quite intimidating for an old lady.
   Max nodded and looked down at the folder, opening it. He looked up to say thanks once more, but she was nowhere in sight.
   Damn! That old lady can move.
   By her tone, he knew he better be at his best, and he had no intentions of finding out what ramifications was planned if she did in fact ended up making her regret the decision.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 02:08:09 PM by NBK »

Offline rivergirl

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Re: MAX LEGEND: BEGINNING OF A TRAGIC END (urban fantasy)
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 06:44:45 PM »
The standard operating procedure for a detective after a traumatic ordeal was simple. He or she was to report to the department’s psychologist about said ordeal. They would share feelings, emotions, and pretty much anything that made them shed their rough facade that the job called for.
   Max, like everyone else in the department, knew proper procedures for any and every occurrence, but he was different. He was directed elsewhere. Is this meant to be vague? When he thought about it, Max didn’t even know the name of the psychologist who worked in his precinct and that nagged at him for some time. Why?
   He was just your run-of-the-mill detective but was sent to one of the best psychologists in the world, instead of the department’s one usual quack (a tad awkward who offered generic advice and stale donuts. Even though Captain Fay was once his father’s partner, she treated him the same as any other officer under her command. He never could wrap his head around it. wrap his head around what? The fact he's treated normally? this warrants more explanation. I'm frustrated by these first two para. vagueness. might just be me. One one hand he's treated normally, on another hand he's going to the best shrinks Could it be the lucky breaks in some career making cases he just found himself working? This reads awkwardly to me. Try: Could it be due to cracking all those headline cases? Or was it his special condition she knew about since he was a kid that warranted the gesture?this makes no sense. he's being treated normally. He wanted to know why but never dared question her orders, never aloud at least.
   With all of that being said, that was the mindset of the old (careful inserting old here. your reader doesn't know Max yet. We will immediately assume he's really is an old guy) Max. Recent events completely changed his makeup, not to mention his current predicament only strengthened his resolve. The same psychologist she had been sending him to just happen to be the same person the Sages escorted him to in the early hours of the morning. Coincidence? It didn’t seem like that was the case here. She had some explaining to do, if he was ever to see her again. More vagueness.It frustrates me but it might not other readers
   He sat in the dark office alone, accompanied only by his thoughts outside of the two men, standing guard, at the office door. Their silhouettes penetrated the frosted glass door window, marking the room with their presence. One shadow was short and round while the other was tall, standing as stiff as a tree. He felt like a child under the watchful eyes of strict parents. He wanted nothing more but to leave.
   In any other circumstance, he could’ve easily discarded the guards, but the crippler, a shiny white futuristic-looking cuff, extending from his wrist to the middle of his forearm, bound his hands together, made it rather difficult to do so. It drained all of his natural strength and what little magic he could control. Being reduced to the likes of a mere human, he did the only thing he could do, sit and wait. Great imagery here.
   As he got bored, Max’s eyes started wander, which he immediately regretted, catching his reflection off a well-polished vase holding tulips. His jaw dropped at the sight. He moved closer to get a better vision.
   Max on his best day was quite the looker by most women standards. His bronze skin made women think of caramel, while his perfectly cut bald fade ('cut bald fade" don't understand this. probably just me), dark brown eyes, and killer smile was the icing on the cake. He was neither a short or tall man but perfectly placed in the middle. He would say he was in the above average height percentile. He had a rather impressive build, toned and fit. He perpetually wore slim fitting t-shirts, showing it off. It was an amazing feeling and not because it was results of hours cooped in some gym or some crazy advertised diet. Stuffing his face, work, and the ever now and then Netflix marathon with Mia, his wife, is what did it for him. Max would die laughing inside when others asked what he was doing to get a body like that. He sounds vain and unlikable to this female reader. This could be your point. Just letting you know my first impression. Also this big information nugget is best incorporated throughout the story instead of one giant pill your reader must swallow before getting to the good stuff. also I don't like that I'm pulled out of the story when I'm told what other women think of Max's skin. I prefer to stay in Max's head. Is this second or third person? If second, edit those sorts of little observations.
   Sadly, today was not one of those days. One eye was almost to the point of being closed shut, and his amazing(amazing makes it sound as if the narrator is swooning) jaw line was buried under bruises and dirt. His torn ragged, muddy clothes displayed just a fraction of the bruises that claimed his aching body. He hated what he saw looking back at him. He returned to his seat, dropping his eyes to the reflection-less don't miss an opportunity to show your reader the room He dropped his eyes to the beige linoleum or whatever ground and waited.
   He sat in the vacant office for over an hour. The normally punctual Dixie wasn’t so punctual in the wee hours of the morning. He considered it punishment enough to have to see her at this particular time, but to be left waiting was just unbearable. Her tardiness was probably on purpose, he thought. He always felt she had a personal vendetta against him for some reason, and he couldn’t figure out why. Before Captain Fay ever sent him to see her, he never even heard of her before. In their sessions, he was always polite, while she acted like an ass most of the time. He guessed not every woman was vulnerable to his charm. He does sound conceited but this just sounds like the character. I love that i'm back in his head.
   Every so often, Max would glance at the time (a watch or clock on the wall. Your reader needs to see this scene), making it sluggishly pass. He was taking taken? back to school, counting the passing seconds as he waited for the teacher to dismiss the class, even though the bell had already rung. Those twenty seconds of the teacher flexing their authority seemed to last forever. He loathed the identical feeling both situations brought upon him. It also didn’t help that the chairs he was sitting in was very uncomfortable. ;D From the hourly rates he heard she charged, one would think she would’ve accommodated her clients with better seating.
   Another thirty minutes had had makes most sentences sound worse. If you don't agree, leave it in. past and nothing. But finally, something happened. Max overheard the two guards finally breaking their silencewhispering to each other. the latter give a better imagery. “You know what he is, right?” said the tall silhouette.
   “Yeah, I can’t believe it,” responded the short round one.
   “I know. He doesn’t look like one of them.”
   Max couldn’t decipher their little pronoun game, but he didn’t have to. He already knew what the two were getting at.   :clap:
   He had to find something to occupy his time, while waiting. He peeped at the door, making sure the two guards weren’t paying attention to him, and then closed his eyes, letting his imagination take over. His daydreams were not that of a typical young man in his early twenties. Max’s imagination was that of an eccentric child. He would imagine himself with all sorts of powers. He’d close his eyes and go to a magical world where he could fly through the clouds or a thick forest with skyscraper like trees and have amazing adventures, fighting magical creatures.
   He knew he was too old to imagine these things, but he couldn’t help it nor wanted it to stop. He could’ve sat in that uncomfortable chair for hours daydreaming. Max always made sure he was alone when he would let his imagination run wild. He would tend to mimic explosion and fighting sounds with his mouth when doing so. The guards would’ve added the topic of how weird he was to their conversation, if they overheard him. He omitted that part this time.
   While he was in La-La Land, he pictured himself flying. He could literally feel the wind going pass across his face.
   Tick.
   He was about to land the final blow on an evil warlock.
   Tick.
   He just saved the…
   Tick.
   Gahh Damnit.
   HerDoctor So and So's  ancient “mom and pop diner” clock made it hard for him to do his thing. Its rusty ticks and tocks grounded him from venturing into his playful mind. Every tick scratched his at his proverbial chalkboard. It wasn’t noticeable before then, but now that it was, making him hate. tad awkward. It wasn't noticeable before, but now every tick seemed to claw at his skin Or whatever
   Thoughts of the smashed clock under his foot pervaded his mind.
   Would she notice right away if it was missing?
   After waiting for a couple of more minutes alone with the rusty ticks-tocks, he finally decided. “That damn clock is coming down.” I'd put this in italics unless he says this aloud.
   He stood, and as soon as he lifted his foot to take a step, the door swung opened. He cringed inside, knowing who it was before looking.
   Now she decides to show.
   Max lowered his foot, sat in the chair, and slightly turned his annoyed face so he could see out the side of his eye. If this is third person, no problem, but when you say his face is annoyed, you pull me out of Max's head and I suddenly become an observer. You've made it clear he's annoyed. I'd just say he slumped into the chair and tilted his face so he could observe the doctor from the corner of his eye.Also if you are telling from a third person perspective, show us the annoyance instead of telling us the face was annoyed. Max tightened his brow or chewed the inside of is lip or whatever this guy does when he's annoyed. the imagery is much better.
   There stood Dixie, the young overachieving fifties-loving woman. Her voluptuous silhouette cast an amazing shadow in the room, while her vibrant red hair seemed to tint tinted the dark room cherry. Fun imagery and not too much description. I can see her clearly. I feel like these thoughts all below to Max
   He was caught red-handed, or so he thought. They shared the same expression. Her jaw dropped and her bugged eyes almost popped through her sexy cat framed eyeglasses. Unless her eyes literally and supernaturally bug out, change the description.  “K... um... I mean… Max?”
    “Here you go, ma’am,” said the tall stiff guard, handing her a folder stuffed with papers. He's not a silhouette anymore. Since there's an exchange between doctor and guard I assume we can see him too? Maybe a word or two about the tall guard so your reader can see him better? Max's gaze moved over the guard's perfectly pressed uniform. What a mother's boy.
   She said thanks and quickly shut the door, almost smashing the man’s hand. She quickly marched to her desk, and whispered, “What are you doing here, Max?” I assumed Max was in a waiting room before. you might describe the doctor's personal pictures on the wall above and the desk so we can see we are in an office.
   All the pent-up anger Max had for having to wait so long suddenly retreated. His head fell as if he would find some sort of answer in his lap. This last sentence doesn't feel right. He's this cocky guy who's suddenly going to look in his lap? I don't buy it. He's going to cool off, but he's going to meet her gaze as he's trying to figure out what's going on.
   She had no idea I was here. So, what’s going on? This isn't first person. Max realized the doctor had no idea he'd been waiting...A cold feeling blah blah blah
   He quickly lifted his head and responded. “You tell me. I woke up in a back of a car Police car? explanation needed. with this thing around my hands and was brought here, with no kind of explanation. I don’t know what’s going on, but you have a lot of explaining to do.”
  She brought her finger to her lips as her blue eyes darted to the frosted glass. One of the guards cleared his throat. , signaling him to keep it down. She didn’t want the guards to hear that last statement.show don't tell. Her suspicious demeanor don't tell us she's suspicious. show us. only ratted her out to Max.
   He finally figured it out. “They have no idea that I was already coming to you.” Her sudden gasp only gave him confirmation that he was right. the gasp feels wrong.
   Dixie took a deep, nervous breath, and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
   Totally ignoring her poor lie, Max asked, “What are you? A fairy? Witch? How about a sorceress?”
   “Oh, that.” She became less tense, exhaling a sigh of relief, as if that discovery of his wasn’t a big deal.
   If she’s not worried about that, it has to be something bigger. She was as shook as a perp who’d been caught red handed just a second ago and now she’s all calm. What is it then? What did she think I knew? (first person switch here :no:)
   As he thought to himself, Dixie’s words began to gnaw on the back of his mind. “Oh, that.” The more he mouthed the words, the more the meaning seeped into his soul until it fully engulfed him. With wide eyes and a colorless face, Max finally looked at her. Her brief moment of composure would soon come to an end.
   “You knew.”
   “Yes, I knew about magic and the Sages,” she confirmed, answering the wrong question.
   “No,” he said, shaking his head, “All this time. You knew about me. The real me.”
   Dixie slowly inched forward in her chair. Im surprised she's sitting. show us above. “Max!”
   “It makes sense now. From the first time I came here, you knew.”
   “Don’t… don’t say it.”
   “You knew I was a Creed this whole time.”
   If Dixie wasn’t already sitting, she would’ve fell over from the sheer weight of his words. Finally exposed, she couldn’t move or talk. There was only her mind racing, thinking of a possible solution.Ok, so third person...
   “What did y’all do to me? You and Captain Faye”
   Dixie had to stop this. Just like a wild lioness being cornered, she had to bear her fangs. She corrected her posture and erupted out of the chair. She then calmly walked over to the door, opening and closing it behind her as she exited.
   The tall guard ordered her to return to the office, while the short, round one adlibbed his sentiment.
   Max saw a flash of blinding light, through the frosted window, and they both became silent. Dixie then whispered something Max couldn’t catch, and the two guards slowly walked off, taking their shadows with them as they inched inching suggests they are moving very slowly. further and further away.
   Dixie reentered the room a completely different person than she left. Her hair stood, flowing like a low flickering fire, carrying a faint red aura. 
   Max was completely mesmerized. Once he grasped just a bit of composure, he noticed it wasn’t just her hair. The faint aura enclosed her entire body. Even though he’d never seen her in such, the fierce, warm air suffocating the room felt so familiar.
   Dixie faced him and slowly marched towards. this is the second time you've used marched. It doesn't feel like her real walk. just say she moved towards him.
   Max’s body suddenly reacted on its own. His feet started to backpedal to keep the distance from the oncoming woman, but the back legs of the chair ceased to move on carpet, raising the front legs. Max tried to swing his arms in a backstroke type of motion to steady himself, but due to the crippler, he swung himself in a manner that caused him to lift the chair onto one leg. He hit the floor with a loud thud and rolled left on the ground.
   He closed his eyes on impact, and once he opened them again, he was face to face with a pair of blood-red stilettos pumps. Max tried to roll backwards but felt the cold stiff wall stopping him. 
   The two both stood still for a few, Dixie looking down upon him, while Max was in a lost gaze. He took a deep breath and then positioned himself off his side onto his butt. He then planted his feet and pushed. His back felt every groove of the bias wall as he slid to his feet. The temperature of the room seemed to have rocketed, unlike the coolness he felt on the floor.
   Before looking into Dixie’s eyes, he could’ve sworn the aura she spewed was anger. The tears that rolled down her face and quickly evaporated from the immense heat coming from her showed him that he was completely wrong. Now it wasn’t so hot anymore. A caring warmth now surrounded him.
   Max wanted to ask why was she doing this, but was stopped before he could, like she already knew what was coming.
   She placed a finger over his mouth and then gently caressed his face. “Shh, just look,” she whispered, entering his personal bubble. She lifted her left palm to his face.
   As her words hit his mental, all his worries and stress melted away. All he could focus on was the palm in front of him. For a few seconds, nothing happened, but right after he was able to blink, a small flame grew in the middle of her palm. First yellow. Then blue. Then red. The flame first changed every other second, and then sped up, instantly changing one after the other. The flame was now the size of his head, looking like a rainbow in the form of a flame how the colors seamlessly moved from the bottom to the top.
   Max couldn’t pull his eyes from the hypnotizing, flickering fire. He became dazed and weary, looking at it. The office, along with Dixie, vanished. All that remained was the flame and Max in a dark abyss. The flame flickered out, leaving him to be consumed by the darkness. great imagery.
#
   Max woke to an oddly familiar space. His neck ached as a result of slouching in a very uncomfortable chair. He hoped hopped to his feet, looking around. He spotted himself in a mirror that hung on a wall adjacent to him. The only thing that was wrong with his face was a great look of panic. There were no bumps, bruises, or even an out of place hair. His clothes were fine too, not a wrinkle in sight. His rampaging eyes moved on, bouncing all over the room.
   Awards? Groovy décor? (don't tell us groovy--show us)
   He was in an office. The more his eyes wandered, he figured out exactly where he was.
  This is Dixie’s office? Why am I here? This was Dixie's office! Why was he there? (You need to work on your tenses i think.)[/color]
   His eyes then shot straight ahead. Dixie was sitting behind her desk.  Her face was just as surprised as his.
   “Are you okay, Max?” she chuckled. she said with a small chuckle
   There was something off. He tried to remember how he’d gotten there, but his mind was a blank canvas. “Why am I here, Dixie?”
   “Funny, Max,” she said, dropping her eyes back to her notepad. “Let’s continue.” She then looked up again. The smile slid from her face as she saw that he was serious. “You don’t remember anything we were just talking about?”
   He shook his head no.A shake is back and forth and a nod is up and down. you don't need to say if its a yes or a no.
   “We were just talking about it, (talking about what??)Max. I looked down at your file and when I looked back up, you were just standing there. Are you okay?”
   Frustrated, he slammed his palms on her desk, slightly shifting everything on her perfectly arranged desk, and asked once more. “Why am I here?”
   Truly seeing he how serious he was, she answered. “We’re in an emergency session. You were on a case, you tend to go a bit overboard with the commas. not needed here and had a relapse. Your imagination took over again, Max.”   
   The shocking news knocked him back into the chair. News doesn't knock you back, but his legs will grow weak and he may collapse in the chair. it's vital this feels believable “But I was doing so good taking my pills and all, wasn’t I?” He couldn’t remember anything about the day or even the week, for that matter. The events leading up to meeting Dixie eluded him. “I can’t believe it happened again.” He drove his face into his hands and then proceeded to smack himself on his head. “I’m so stupid. Stupid. Stupid.”
   “Stop,” she yelled, reaching out. “Don’t do that.”
   Max abruptly stopped and placed his hands on the arm of the chair. His hurt, tearful eyes His gaze bit into Dixie..made their way back up to Dixie, who expression matched his. 
   “Max, we will get through this. I promise. When this session is over, you will be pass (past--second time you've used this word wrong) this. I promise.” She saw her words fall short of impacting him and tried again. “Hey, look at me,” she paused so their eyes could meet, “You will get passed past (make that a third timethis.”
   He gave her a slight nod, keeping his head up this time.
   “Let me ask you something, Max. When’s the last time you can remember taking one of your pills?”
   Max’s eyes jolted  :no:from side to side, trying to recall. bad imagery. Max pressed his temples as he struggled to remember. “I don’t know.”
   She leaned back in her chair, and said, “Tell me what you do remember.”
   He ignored her, as he drowned in his own sorrow. Why the sorrow? he can't remember anything. maybe another word??
   I can’t believe it happened again. I did everything I was supposed to, I think. quotation marks are missing.
   She called his name, while snapping her finger. It brought him back to the conversation. “I need you to tell me what you do remember. Anything, Max. It can be completely irrelevant to what happened.”
   “So, what would be the point then?”
   “Let’s call it a snowball effect. You start with something you remember, and then another memory, so on and so forth. The more you work your mind, the more you should remember, leading up to why you’re here.” :clap:
   Max’s mind was in pieces. He wouldn’t dare attempt putting it back together. After doing so good and failing once more, he felt the burden of being a lost cause. “Why do you want me to remember? What’s the point?”
   “I want to help you, Max.”
   “How many times have I been here, hmm? How many times have I relapsed? Tell me.”
   Dixie refused to answer. (show us, don't tell us) Dixie crossed her arms  and met his gaze.
   “I thought so. I’m broken. Even with all of your experience and all that,” he said, lifting his left arm up to her wall of accomplishments, “you’re not even able to help me. So, why even…” He saw how disgusted she was by what she was hearing and decided to silence himself.
   “You misunderstand what I am here to do. You are right. I’m not able to fix you. Only you can do that. I am only here to assist and guide you. Without your absolute willingness to better yourself, I am useless to you. I’m not your wife or your mother, so if you’re looking for someone to hold your hand and baby you, this is the wrong place. There’s the door, if that’s what you’re looking for.”
 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 06:48:15 PM by rivergirl »

Offline NBK

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Re: MAX LEGEND: BEGINNING OF A TRAGIC END (urban fantasy)
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 10:34:59 PM »
Thanks for the tips. Greatly appreciate it.