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The story that is to follow is all about devils and a little about a god. But the meaning of the story is all about the god, because gods have meaning but devils don’t.

I suppose the question I might pose to the thoughtful reader is this: what kind of an evil situation does it take to create a demi-god? What factors contributed to Mark Vladimir’s becoming a demi-god? But I’m getting ahead of the story.

A large group of ragged skater boys were hanging out at a Los Angeles skate park. The sun was just losing its brightest rage and the heat of the day was fading. Everywhere, boys yelled loud and vulgar phrases. They were all dressed in bright new skater fashions. Ironically, they dressed up nicely to go out and do dirty, dangerous things. Not a single girl was present in the huge crowd of boys.

Down in the skate pits, people flew up and down the steep walls with devilish ease. The crowd looked on eagerly, hoping someone would fall down and break bones. But when the skaters didn’t fall, the others looked on with respect.

The crowd watched one skater with something more than respect. He was a tall, extremely masculine boy with glowing blond hair and shining blue eyes.

He flew up the stone walls with demonic strength and twisted the board around like an extension of his body. He seemed to have wings as he floated through the air, speeding and in total control. His name was “Lucius”.

Rolling along at a good clip, Lucius did a 360 kick flip and landed it without even slowing down. And then he performed one of the most amazing skating tricks ever.

He simply did a kickflip....and grabbed the board in the air. As he landed on his feet, he snapped the board in two with nothing but his hands. He held both of his arms up, each hand holding half of the broken board.

For a second, only a stunned silence could be heard through the skatepark. Then a loud roar of vulgarities overtook the park. Wild, chilling screams broke the chaotic words as a hundred dirty, wild boys paid homage.

Eventually, an ordered chant broke out of the deafenig yells. “Lucius, Lucius, Lucius, Lucius, Lucius” Every time the name was repeated it got louder until the entire crowd was one deafening fierce chant. There was a longing in that chant. These boys grew up in a pretend civilization with no order and no rules. For them, the skateboard was a symbol of the animal order.

These were lost boys. They wanted to go back to the brutal order of knights, lords, peasants and slaves. They didn’t know this. But they shouted, “Lucius” with such longing. They were looking for something and they had found it in the superathletic Lucius.

Ever since that day, Lucius had the status of a local legend. Skate reporters would come to write articles on him for skate magazines. Young skaters would point him out with awe. Girls would crowd around him to get his number.

And increasingly, the skatepark became a refuge for Lucius. He especially enjoyed skating at night when the harsh lights would reflect off the cold white pavement and he would enjoy the friendship of Jason.

Jason, a popular young skater with blond hair and blue eyes, was Lucius’s closest friend. They’d hang out, watching each other bang the boards trick after trick. There was an unspoken rebellion that defined Jason and Lucius’s friendship. Jason was learning from Lucius; he sensed Lucius’s mastery of the sport and of this world.

It was a time of adjustment for Jason. He’d run away from home at the age of sixteen and was now living with his girlfriend, Beverly, who was pregnant. Jason was troubled with these conditions but not as troubled as many boys may have been in the same situation. Jason was a very resourceful youth.

But he badly needed solace and he found it in his evenings with Lucius; in the rebellious sport of skateboarding. In truth, Lucius held another fascination for Jason; a fascination that filled a need deep in his troubled soul.

This was the fascination of nobility. There was always a certain nobility in how Lucius carried himself. He was always helpful to the other skaters of the park as they tried to become better skaters. He’d always treat the other skaters with a certain amount of respect or, in the case of those who clashed with Lucius because of their shallow or bullying behaviour, simple avoidance.

One day a younger boy was learning how to skate in the park. His board was brand new and he tried and tried to do the simplest tricks but didn’t yet know how. The skatepark was a dangerous world and those too soft to survive often got bullied mercilessly. This was the case with the young boy. A group of older boys closed in on the young urchin, making fun of him. Lucius and Jason hung out, playing their fancy tricks, and looked over disgustedly at the older boys.

“You freakin poser,”a stocky boy with bleached hair said to the young victim.

Another one of the boys reached over and stole the little kid’s board. Then, the boy with the bleached hair started slapping the little boy’s cheeks harder and harder. The little boy’s face grew red with the pain, refusing to cry, hoping he’d get his board back. This was when Lucius’s board came down on the head of the one of the boys, knocking him out. Throwing his board aside, Lucius beat the other two with his fists until they were bloody and unconscious on the ground. Then he gave the little kid back his skateboard and said, “This isn’t such a good place to start skating. There are a lot of bullies around here.”

Because Jason’s own heart was made of this same kind of nobility; their friendship was like a rock.

But every evening, after Lucius went skating; he went drinking. He would stop by a local tavern where he’d get in with a fake I.D. It’s strange that he would need a fake I.D. because he was around the age of a hundred years at that point in his werewolf life.

Drinking his red wine, Lucius would brood on the world and his place in it. He would feel that he was a wolf; a devil; a killer. He would feel his fangs, though at the moment they weren’t there, and sometimes he would wish he was not the killer he was. And often, he would think with much sadness on his young friend Jason. He was not sad for Jason because Lucius thought the boy had a bright future. No, he would think with great sadness that he could never be like Jason; a noble human; a young knight in shining armor.

Lucius Bonvar was a magician as a child. Where many children dream they are magicians, Lucius was a magician and dreamed he was a human child. He was taught by an aristocratic werewolf whose job it was to teach the heirs of the throne the black art of magic. His name was Bloodbeak; he was one of Mahatma Bonecruncher’s top men.

And thus as a grown werewolf, Lucius still dreamed he was a human. He dreamed he was a man, a knight in shining armor and his armor was the all too real armor of a werewolf. What a brutal, murderous knight Lucius was!

His human dream was a brutal dream and a long one fraugt with blood, corpses, death and terror. And this depressed Lucius the man, and delighted Lucius; the prince of werewolves.

Lucius’s personality was anarchy and danger. He was a bright star in the night of dark times that inspired the people; he inspired terror.

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The following comments are for "City of Death: Chapter 0"
by Seanspacey

to Seanspacey
Great prologue/chapter, best beginning sentence I've seen in a long time. This is fascinating. You have a smooth writing style and the blending of the present and the past is done expertily. I really liked what/how you mentioned about the brutal order of nobility in the skatepark.

( Posted by: Furius [Member] On: April 28, 2002 )

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