The Wanderer. A Trial of Ka.

Howdy reader, I want to give you a brief rundown on what makes me tick, what I like and what I’m passionate about. I’ve always wanted to tell a story like Stephen King, Ian Irvine, David Wong or R.L Stine. These authors have been the premium influence on how I write and spin a yarn.

I love being taken away on a journey and that’s exactly what I hope you find here, an immediate escape from the daily grind and harsh realities of life. Something more than a tale, something that if you find yourself inspired to add a side story, feel free.

My inspiration for this tale comes directly from the now eternal The Lord of The Rings, and  Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series. I started reading the latter work while I was waiting to die in a horrible plane crash on my way to New Zealand for a couple of wintery weeks of sightseeing with my ma. I was instantly hooked, “Gunslinger” stole my imagination and Roland’s Ka-tet, Billy-Bumbler and all stole my heart.

If any character suffered more than Roland Deschain of Gilead, it would have to be Jake Chambers of New York. I won’t say much about what happens just in case you decide to try it for yourself, and when you do, clear your fucking schedule. You won’t be doing a thing for the next few days.

I’ll leave it at that. I hope to make you laugh, cry, have public outbursts of rage at what you’re reading and most importantly, I hope to capture your imagination, the way mine has been.
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1. Dust devils swirl around the open plains of Dead-World, the harsh summer sun beating down on a lone stranger passing through the foothills, his old boots stirring up dust in his wake, a worn wide brim shelters his face from the rays, although when he turns his head, his emerald green eyes flash with fierce light. Hard worn lines of his face had a soft leather quality, you could tell, here is a man who won’t slow down. He is on a mission, and when he’s done, there will be no one left breathing.

2. Jansen kept a steady pace, one foot after another with nothing but his own shadow for company. He had a companion up until a few weeks ago when they passed through a rocky gorge, a freak landslide appeared out of nowhere and without Johan to push him out the way, Jansen would have been the pancake caught between the stones and valley wall, Jansen called this Ka, mourned his loss, thanked Johan for his sacrifice and wished him safe passage into the clearing. Jansen was cutting through Devils Head Pass where he stopped to stay for the night at the local lodge. Johan was a hand at the inn, earning his stay by working and catering to the guests. A freckled kid no more than 19. Slight of build and fleet of foot with a tongue that ran faster than he, Johan served Jansen and when Big J offered to feed and water him in exchange for his company, and he was more than happy to oblige. It had been a long road, there were still hundreds of miles to go if Jansen survived to make it that far, but if Ka wills it, it will be. And so far, Ka has been very loud and forceful with its directions.

3. So the 2 wanderers sit down, order some ale and some half steaks. Jansen doesn’t talk, he listens to Johan’s jive. Starting with when he left the west 4 Years ago on his 15th birthday.

4. “It was the coldest winter we have ever had, seriously frozen. I mean you could take a piss and have it freeze midstream, you ever had frostbite on your cock, Ja?” -Jansen stifles a gaggle of laughs at this ‘I can’t say I have, nor do I wish to experience the pleasure’ with a twinkle in his eye catching the low light. “Damn straight, nearly as bad a taking a piss and the wind kicks it back at you, a kind of “fuck you” from nature. But then again, what kind of man pisses into the wind in the first place?” To this he says, “A man who would be better off squatting. It was the first wise he has cracked for months, he felt he was a little rusty but the barrel of laughs brought on by too much froth said otherwise, still sopping ale from his mug, tears streaming Jonah says “And to top it off, the guy just runs his hands through his hair to dry them!” Both men erupting with chest heaving movements, peeling off in another cacophony of laughing fits. Another candle burns down, shadows thrown long and far across the nearly deserted inn as Jansen casts a weary eye to the door, Johan picking up on the cue and offering to vacate so the wandering man can get a couple hours of stolen rest. Drunk, well fed and ready for bed, Jansen takes the steps one at a time, boots creaking lone floorboards as he reaches a dusty hand to the door, without taking off as much as a boot he collapses into sleep and the sleep is deep. Waiting for him was a dream from Ka, and as loud as Ka is, sometimes the message isn’t so clear.

5. The smells of the coffee strip were overpowering. Bacon, bread, eggs, toast, coffee and chocolate all mingled together to make the glands sweat, and saliva spill down the chin. The Wanderer threw an inquisitive look down at his boots to discover they had been replaced by smooth, black formal shoes, ending with a broad tip at the toe and a gold buckle across the generous leather tongue. White gloves adorned his long fingers whilst a simple 3 piece suit which seemed to be tailored to fit, wrapped around to meet a silver handled oak cane in his right hand.  He doesn’t know where he is, but it looks familiar. He hears someone call out in a cafe, the sound of a lone gunshot and the subsequent breaking of glass. Stunned, the suited man with the silver-handled cane takes a seat within falling distance, he takes it hard, and he doesn’t get up again. A trickle of blood escapes his partially opened lips as his last breath exhales and The Wanderer  wakes up in a cold sweat.

Probably the strangest dream I’ve ever had. I’ve never seen such buildings, but the smells, I’ve smelt that place somewhere, but where? Where in Dead had he stumbled across them? Civilisation was scarce, the majority of the human race had been destroyed over 2000 years ago from a virus that escalated, one country panicked and took an extreme measure to contain it, nuclear cleansing. One country thought the claim of outbreak was a false claim for an attack, thus resulting in an almost all out war.The United States, Canada, China,  Russia, and most of Europe had been decimated. Australia copped a fair whack in the eastern states and the south of Western Australia. In a matter of weeks the world crumbled, civilisation fell apart and the riots began. World economies fell, the value of national currencies became useless and that’s when the survivors banned together, when a new order was raised in the bad lands and another order in the least damaged. One of barbaric regime and one more civilised.

Posted from somewhere amongst the tangled interwebs….

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