The Beginning of Dread
Well, first off, let me say I own none of the characters or worlds involved. Second, this may or may not get updated- I'm serious! It's a brainstorm. I may have used up all the brain in the storm. Thirdly, no, I'm not abandoning anything else. The other stuff is just... tricky. It's taking a bit of time to wrap my mind around them. In some cases a lot. But nothing will get left behind, even the Dresden story. Poor Willow!
As always, enjoy!
Fate is entirely too overrated. Sure, The Man likes to bring us down, and he has all these prophecies and castes and cubicles to do it, but any time people start to get too serious about things like Destiny, a beautiful, normally very serene woman starts giggling. That’s about all the warning most seers get, but it’s enough to startle a good shriek out of them. The only time Luck giggles is when her sister’s in town, and when her sister’s in town- well, there’s a reason Fate hates the b- Ex
You’d think that advanced Kryptonian technology created by the most brilliant scientist on the planet would be able avoid a simple American spy satellite. What Jor-El sadly never took into account was the sheer boredom
a lab technician would have staring at that damned screen day in and day out. Well, perhaps he could be forgiven that- Krypton’s computers watched their own damned screens, and gods preserve the pervert who took a peep!
Kryptonian computers were a little weird.
Regardless, Jor-El couldn’t
have foreseen that the tech would be playing games on a handheld. Nor that he would prop up his feet on the desk. Certainly
not that his foot would hit the satellite’s joystick when he won, at the exact fraction of a second Kal-El’s ship passed by.
The impact was minimal, no damage- at least, to the ship. Poor Howard, he managed to somehow wreck his own million-dollar satellite by beating Pretty Sailor Guardians of the Universe
. However, the mistake that cost him his job had one other consequence, aside from Howard having to move back into his mom’s house.
It shifted the ship’s trajectory.
Again, really, not much of a problem- to the ship. One landing was as good as another, as long as the kid got dropped near civilization. Honestly, Jor-El had just hoped the kid hit the planet. So being bumped a little east hadn’t really worried the ship. On the other hand, down below…
” Lily shrieked. The door in front of her burst open, shattering to splinters at the force of the spell, Voldemort’s high pitched laughter cackling through the air. Her eyes widened as she cast spell after spell at the monster. He casually deflected each one, grinning like a maniac. Finally, he flicked his wand and slammed her into a dresser with all the force of a troll.
“No…” she said woozily, trying to stand up, smearing the blood in her eyes trying to wipe it away. She staggered in front of Voldemort. “Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!"
Voldemort growled impatiently “Stand aside you silly girl!” She somehow managed to parry his spell. “Stand aside now!
" He broke both her legs.
"Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead!"
Voldemort sighed. “Why do they always beg?” He looked at the young baby and laughed. “You understand, don’t you, Harry? You’re not going to beg!”
“Not Harry! Please…
have mercy … have mercy…
“As you wish!” There was a spray of blood and the Lily dropped to the ground with empty eyes. Voldemort laughed hysterically. “And so it ends! Come, child, we have a prophecy to fulfill! Avada-
His last word was lost when a large flaming crystal thing
exploded through the roof and landed on Harry.
As it turns out, death magic has an interesting effect on advanced Kryptonian technology.
The ship exploded in a searing wave of molten sand. Voldemort, who had somehow survived the ship’s landing, was vaporized instantly. In spite of it all, the last few bits of death magic managed to make it through and snag a bit of Harry’s departing soul before finally reaching Kal-El. The poor baby cried as the spell cut into his forehead and then died out, stopping just
short of cutting his soul.
Well, maybe a small nick.
Possibly just enough to catch that ragged tuft of Harry’s.
The room burned around Kal-El as he cried, harsh flames reflecting off of his now brilliant emerald-green eyes.
Here’s the thing- Jonathan Kent never actually meant
to end up in England. Oh, sure, Martha was thrilled, but Jon had been looking forward to a nice relaxing vacation up in Maine- afternoon naps, maybe some fishing, or even ocean fishing, hell, maybe check out that vintage race car group he’d heard about. And if he managed to end up near a raceway, well, that was simply chance, right?
In this instance, chance had other ideas.
Purely by accident, the travel agent booked them a flight from Manhattan, NY to Manchester, UK. It was an honest mistake, given that very few people realize you can fly- or would even want to fly- from Manhattan, Kansas
to Manchester, New Hampshire
. To compound the problem, the tickets he booked were non-refundable.
You could catch flies in that mouth when Jon heard the news.
Martha, of course, thought it was a fantastic idea, never mind that they had to drive two days to New York to do it. Jon wasn’t going to book another flight, not after they’d been screwed by that harebrained idiot on the phone. Besides, it was cheaper to drive. By about ten times. Which made him wonder what on earth he’d been thinking in the first place, but that
was water under the bridge now, along with fish, naps, races, and several thousand dollars in singular denominations.
Then, while Jonathan was grousing about the complete waste of everything, including but not limited to time, effort, life, and the education of gangly teenagers of whom travel agencies had no business hiring, Martha remembered that she had relatives
in England, and ran off to find the old tin recipe box she kept all her addresses in. After several false leads, she finally snatched a raggedy scrap of envelope up with a cry of triumph, and Jonathan had a sinking feeling that he’d best start learning how to drive on the wrong side of the road.
Which brought him to the land of thoroughly-washed heathens. Mind you, Jon didn’t have anything against England specifically
. Or English. Or even the English language (though he did think you were supposed to drink in saloons, not drive in them). It was more the fact that England wasn’t Maine
, and continued to be very not-Maine, until it happened upon the very nasty parts of Mainenity, and immediately adopted them.
“Martha, are you sure
this is the right road? I could swear that last sign said Wibbly-something-tunnerton.” Jon squinted through the window as if sheer concentration might pierce through the deluge cascading down his windshield and reveal- well, anything.
“Jonathan Kent, you just made that up!” Martha huffed, unfolding and refolding the map to make sure she was looking at the right part.
“Well, that’s what it looked like! I’ll tell you what it didn’t look like, though, it didn’t look like North Bend.” He took a cloth and wiped the condensation off the glass.
As it turned out, Martha’s cousin also had very sloppy handwriting, resulting in a search for Ampton
Road instead of Hampton
. This created a great deal of frustration and several creatively rephrased blue streaks while the couple attempted to find a road that didn’t exist. Finally, after three phone calls and five gas- petrol
stations, they were hopefully on the right track.
“Look, there’s a sign up ahead, big white letters. Codric’s… Hollow? Is there a Codric’s Hollow on the map, honey?”
“No, there’s not even supposed to be a city for another ten miles.”
“Consarn it, woman, are you even reading the right map?!”
“Don’t you be blaming me
if you can’t even follow simple directions! My mother told me men were clueless, but honestly
, dear, on a straight road?”
“It’s the map,” Jonathan muttered, “It’s got to be the map. You’ve picked up a geographically defective parchment!”
Martha snorted in amusement. “And how would you know, Mister ‘I’m Sure It’s-’”BOOM!
The road shook as a something up ahead exploded into violent flames. Jonathan slammed on the breaks, swearing as the car skidded across the slick road.
“I’m trying, I’m trying, it’s-” The vehicle jerked against something and stopped. Jonathan let out a deep breath.
that?” Martha cried, scrambling out of the car.
Jon opened the driver’s side and looked out. “I dunno, it looked like it came from over…” he stopped as he caught sight of the house. “Martha, call 911!”
“What are you- they don’t have
911, what are you doing?!”
“Then call whatever they do have, I’m going to help!”
Jonathan rushed through the pouring rain toward the house, passing off the strange distortions as an effect of the steam. Oh, no, the door was in splinters. Jonathan wished, not for the first time, that he had his gun with him. He pulled a pen out of his pocket and stepped through carefully. The room was in just as bad a condition as the door. A man lay dead in the corner- there was too much blood. Jonathan had a savage hope that not all of was his. The fire roared upstairs, vicious, seething against the rain. Jon took off his rain-soaked coat and pulled it over his head. Taking a deep breath, he ran up the stairs as carefully as possible, watching for any pitfalls.
The heat was suffocating. He coughed and squinted, trying to see through all the smoke and flying ashes. A roasted carcass crackled at the end of the hall. He took several steps forward. Wait- there- a wail! Jonathan moved swiftly, dodging sparks and debris to the last room on the left. He paused briefly to take in the room- torn apart, walls barely holding, a baby, wrapped in a vibrantly blue blanket and surrounded by sand- before surging forward to snatch up the child before everything collapsed. He ran back toward the stairs, checking each room with a glance just to be sure, but rapidly depressingly certain that there was no one left. Jonathan broke out of the house into the rain just as the top floor collapsed, snapping the lower half’s support beams and causing the entire structure to fold in on itself.
He panted madly as he stared at the house, unconsciously clutching the child tighter to his chest.
He jumped. “I’m alright!” he cried out, turning. Martha was stumbling toward him in the rain, panic and fear written in her eyes.
“What- Jonathan, what on earth happened?
Jonathan turned back to the still-burning inferno. “I- I don’t know. There was some sort of fight, I think, something went wrong. He’s- this little guy’s the only one left. I think the mother was upstairs.”
Martha gasped. “Oh, no.”
They fell silent, watching the blaze in front of them.
Martha glanced up when Jonathan shivered. “Good grief, we’re a couple of idiots! You especially, Jonathan Paul!” she said, giving him a light thwack over the head. “Do you want that poor child to die of cold? Get back into the car with you!”
Jon snorted as they turned back toward the car. “Nag, nag, nag. I swear, Paps told me what marriage was like, but I didn’t believe him!”
“You want to sleep on the couch?” Martha growled.
“Woman, I’ll take the floor
if it gets me out of this downpour!”
“Just think, you could be in bed right now if it weren’t for your sense of direction.”
sense? You’re the one who needs her eyes checked!”
“Are you sure you want me to do that? I might finally see how ugly you are.”
“That wasn’t what you thought last night, woman.”
“Come to think of it, you had trouble finding which way was up then, too.”
“That was a direct result of- of- …gosh dang it, I finally figured the problem out!”
“Your mental capacity?”
“Yes! You done banged the brains out of me!”