Dread Falls(4-15-18)


[OT] Sunday Free Write: Leonardo da Vinci Edition [Link to post.]


“Dread, what are you doing?” Liv Hansen walked into her nine year old son’s bedroom. His blond hair bounced as his head whipped around toward her. He shrank back and put his arms in front of him to try and cover light purple dress he’d borrowed from one of the girls at school. 

“Nothing Mama. I just thought it was pretty.” His face flushed red, highlighting the messy blush he tried on his cheeks. Liv’s heart went out to her son, she shook her head with a smile. 

“We can talk about it later. Change and go meet your father outside, it’s time for your lessons. Don’t forget to wipe the makeup off so he doesn’t see.” Liv stepped out of the room and closed the door behind her. Dread ran to his restroom and washed his face, then changed into jeans and one of his father’s old shirts. He eyed himself in the mirror admiring the faded red t-shirt with a giant yin-yang logo in the middle. Instead of black and white fishes, a red tiger prowled down from the top, and a blue shark swam upward from the bottom, both of them moved counter-clockwise. He felt ready for training and ran out of the house to the backyard where his father waited for him. Arik Hansen leaned against a large tree, next to a pile of lumber.

“You should have been out here five minutes ago,” Arik said. He grabbed a 2’x4′ from the pile and walked to Dread. Without another word his hands glowed with golden light and he swung the wooden beam like a baseball bat against his son’s head. The boy’s head did not move an inch, though the wood splintered and broke where it struck his cheek. 

“Sorry Papa,” Dread said. The boy reached up and rubbed his cheek, more for show than anything. He did not want to tell his father that it didn’t hurt anymore. Arik nodded. 

“You know I don’t like punishing you son, but you must build your discipline.” Arik dropped the broken wood and hugged Dread. “You’re going to be the strongest man in the world, and you must have the discipline to control your strength.” Dread nodded and hugged his father. “Now, let’s practice.” Arik guided his son towards a young, scrawny tree. The hundreds of leaves sprouted in all directions, sparsely covering the branches. 

“Right now this tree looks like your uncle John. I want you to take all the leaves off so that it looks like your uncle Lars,” Arik said with a chuckle. Dread nodded and began to inhale deeply. The older man clapped a hand over the boy’s mouth. “One at a time,” Arik said, then he moved his hand away. Dread looked at his father confused, but the man just nodded and smiled. “Go on, you can do it. Focus.” Dread faced the tree and concentrated. He inhaled a short breath and let loose a short yelp at it. His piercing scream broke several branches on the tree. They remained connected, but now hung down at a 90 degree angle. “Softer.” Arik said. “Aim.” 

Before Dread tried again he noticed a small, light brown head of hair in the corner of his eye. He turned to see Astrid entering the gate to their yard. Dread’s eyes went wide, but he did not react in time to stop her. 

“Dread! I need my dress back!” she yelled. She lifted a light yellow cloth. “You’ll look pretty in this one tho-” she stopped when she noticed Arik standing off the the side behind the house. Dread turned to see his father enveloped from head to toe in a golden aura. His eyes stared at the blond boy. “I’m sorry!” Astrid yelled and ran out of the yard. The man spoke in flat anger.

“Why are you wearing dresses? You are meant to be the strongest *MAN* in the world!” He took a step forward. Dread ran. He wasn’t afraid of his father hurting him, Arik wasn’t strong enough to. However, he’d never seen his father angry like that before. He leaped over the fence, the shame of disappointing and embarrassing his father pushed him to keep running. Dread ran towards his favorite spot; a sheer cliff overlooking the calm blue ocean. He sat on the cliff with his legs hanging over it and admired the sea. 

He felt something grab his foot and looked down. A skeleton held his foot and used it to climb up out of a pitch black hole floating horizontally at the edge of the cliff. He recognized it instantly as a portal. His father had told him many times about other Earths, and described the portals to him. Before Dread could pull himself back another skeleton appeared and grabbed his other leg. They began to climb up him, pulling him down in the process. 

After they got high enough another pair of skeletons grabbed each leg and began to climb out. The first two that reached the cliff ignored Dread and began to walk towards town. 

“Mama!” Dread exclaimed. He knew his father was not powerful enough to deal with too many of these. His family was in danger. Dread decided quickly. He looked down and yelled as loud as he could. He crumbled the cliff under him and fell into the dark hole. He smiled to himself, happy he kept his family safe. The skeletons would not be able to climb out using him or the cliff anymore. 

***

Next Chapter: Dreaded Homecoming

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