CHAPTER ONE: Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Thunderstorms

December 1, 2017

            In less than a split second, there was a blinding flash of white light, and scalding heat. All of this was near instantaneously followed by a deafening ear shattering CLAP! From that second on, he couldn’t move, hear, or see. In that brief sliver of time his first thought was that whatever it was he just collided with must be dead, and he’d be soon to follow. So, this is how it all ends? Not with glory, nor with purpose, but in obscurity? He remembers nothing prior to this event. His life would never be the same. 

           He regained consciousness, if one could call it that, a scant few seconds later.  His vision blurred, the acrid smell of his semi-burnt flesh and hair stinging his nose. His first thoughts were why was his vision blurred? Was that his blood blurring the vision in his eyes? There was the unsettling sensation of falling and nothing beneath him. This was coupled with bone chilling air racing over his red spattered and soot soaked frame; his clothes, tattered.  He barely felt any of this though. He realized the sensation he was feeling was that of falling, somersaulting slowly end over end through an azure sky.  Try as he might, he couldn’t move, the pain seizing him was overwhelming. Yet oddly, for a moment, he didn’t care.  He became calm… knowing and accepting that he would inevitably die.  His body told him so.  He would likely be dead before he ever even hit the ground.  His body was already going through shock.  Ironically, he wasn’t so upset about his impending death, but in his soul, knew he would never get to whatever his destination was - on time.  He mused over what an odd thought this was to have in this moment, while being in such dire circumstances. Periodically, he would catch glimpses of the deep blue sky he was plummeting through. A sky so blue he thought, that if he could reach out to drink it in, he would in these last moments. Contrasting against these beautiful skies, were large angry looking puffy white and dark gray cumulus clouds that appeared to be marching in formation in an easterly destination; blinking intermittently as the lightning discharged. The other features he glimpsed was the terrain below being interspersed with vivid shades of green and brown patchwork, not unlike a soft quilt he mused. Lastly; all these earthly features were framed by an even darker hued blue ocean, which by the way, appeared to be in an awfully greedy hurry to reach up and embrace his mortal frame. The last things he briefly took note of during this plummet, he couldn’t quite discern, but it appeared to him that he might not be the only smoking object falling through these wide-open skies. He closed his eyes… there was some level of comfort knowing he wasn’t the only falling object, let out a barely audible sigh, calmly accepted that he was going to die, and then blacked out once again. 

            He doesn’t remember impacting the crystal-clear turquois water, nor the white spray thrown up resembling an artillery explosion in the water when he hit; which, is probably a good thing given that it shattered an already tattered bodies bones and internal organs just that much more. He doesn’t remember his dead, (yes dead), limp, rag-doll like corpse being dragged across warm fine white sands now infused with an unmistakable smell of salt and seaweed into a small stand of trees and shrubs nearby. He doesn’t remember his chest being repeatedly pushed on, over, and over, and over again. Burning salt-water gurgled out of the corner of his mouth with every pump on his torso; yet he still wasn’t aware of this sensation. His eyes were partly open, but he could barely see through the rainbows of a pained tunnel vision blurring everything visible as he lapsed in and out of consciousness. His body seemed to have died first, and the awareness, the consciousness of his brain was shutting down again – slipping away to join his failed frame.

            The next thing he remembers is that he was still mostly blacked out; yet he could faintly hear a couple of female voices that spoke in a lilting like whisper. They were calming and soothing to listen to.  Even if they sounded a little distressed.  He didn’t care…. He felt dead inside, and out.  What difference could they make? He felt far too long gone. He couldn’t feel.  Perhaps this is what being on the ‘other side’ is like he mused to himself. He figured he’d keep his eyes closed; less pain that way. If this was nothing more than the calming dream one has before one dies… why ruin it by waking oneself up?  


            Here are fragments of the conversations he could catch bits and pieces of.


“He’s not going to make it” said the 1st female voice.

            “Yes, he is – if I have anything to do with it!” whispered the 2nd female voice, which spoke with an air of a little more authority.  

“Just how in Hope do you think he’s going to make it after losing that much life blood?” “His injuries are both external and internal – I really can’t believe he survived that fall.”

There must have been some sort of unspoken communication because the 1st voice cut in saying.  “Oh no…. you’re not really thinking of doing that, are you?”

            The 2nd voice responded by saying.  “It’s his only chance…the only way I think he’s going to make it.” “He’s lost so much life blood.  He needs some of our Faire blood which will heal him…it’s the only way. Especially Justine’s, her moon powers are the most restorative”

“That’s strictly forbidden!” The first voice quietly hissed.

            “I know what I’m doing. I know this is a drastic measure but trust me.  He has to be the one from the prophecy and he may be the only hope this world has left” “It’s the only way he’s going to make it.”  “He’s far beyond healing magic now and time is slipping by for him!” “Every second counts!”   

“The pain of our blood mingling with his during the transfusion will most likely kill him Aeronica… you know that! Just look at him.  He…he’s….I think he’s human, and one of the fallen tainted ones at that! Look at all those imperfections that have settled in!”

“That’s a chance we’re going to have to take Magdalene!  Now stop focusing on his flaws and what’s wrong with him and go get the others! Now! There’s no time to waste! Aeronica said emphatically.   

Magdalene answered in what sounded like a hesitant voice:   

“Wait….no… you’re most likely right.” She let out an audible sigh. “It is the only way.  A shame he isn’t going to be conscious for this.  He’ll never fully appreciate the sacrifice and lengths we’re stooping to by mingling our blood on this beautiful solstice day to save his foul human hide. The real insult is he doesn’t even get to fully enjoy the gifts he’s going to receive! Aeronica, you’d better be right about this!  The rest of us will never forgive you this time if you’re wrong.”

            At this point, the man felt and sensed more than he saw. As if … he was having some sort of out of body experience. Yet…this sensation didn’t feel as if he was observing with his own eyes, but rather, someone else’s. What he rather felt he saw and heard in this state of consciousness was the female voice that belonged to Aeronica giving her friend a sad smile, and peer down at the wreck of a man in front of her. That was him!? He didn’t recognize himself through all the caked blood and tattered bits of clothing stuck to his body. He both felt, yet observed his remaining life blood slowly seep into the surrounding bright green blades of grass his body was bedded on. “I’m right this time Magdalene. I can feel it in my wings”.

Magdalene said: “I really hope this doesn’t finish him off.”  “We’re the last, and even if his lifeblood does mingle there will very likely be side effects.”

            Aeronica peered up at her friend, her eyes somewhat misting over from desperation – “His blood will be mingled with ours forever, his fate and ours intertwined for eternity.”  “I’m right Magdalene, you know it too! You saw what I saw. He and his silvery white dragon beast single handedly destroyed most of that Howler squad!  While his beast didn’t make it, he did! He has the potential, the power, and ability. I have faith in him and in the prophecy even if you don’t.” 

The man sensed the voice belonging to Magdalene started walking near silently and slowly away.  He heard her say. “Ok Aeronica. You win, you’re our leader elect and I’ll respect that. I sure hope you’re right…I really do.  He’ll never fully understand his indebtedness to us; but you’re right, we’re practically extinct as is. At this point we’ve got nothing to lose. I’ll summon the others. They’re probably wondering what’s taking so long.”

            Aeronica’s voice choked up a little bit: “Thank you Magdalene! This means everything to me; you won’t regret it!”  She quickly regained her composure and added.  “Do you think there’ll be enough blood between us to revive him?”

Magdalene paused, head down, and not looking in the direction of her friend as she said: “There’s only the six of us… we’ll be one short.  If this blood mingling theory of yours actually works it’ll have to suffice.”  Magdalene paused and said “Besides…. Look into the sky Aeronica. The solstice moons are going to be in perfect alignment! If your transfusion ritual is going to work, there couldn’t be better timing.”  “He won’t even know he’s bonded to us.”  He wasn’t sure how or why he got the impression; but it seemed as if Magdalene shook her head, perhaps even sadly side to side once, and then he sensed her presence darting away, vanishing, almost instantly to gather these others.

Upon hearing those words, he drifted out of the realm of consciousness again.

            After an unknown period of time, he seemed to slowly drift back. The first thing he took note of was a very pleasant smell in the air.  He couldn’t place the fragrance, it was a faint smell, perhaps that of an almond blossom? He couldn’t quite tell or place it; but it also smelled very fresh and cleansing. This time his dream, since that’s what it felt like it was at this point, seemed to vacillate between this dream-state and that out of body experience he was having again. Almost as if he was periodically observing his fate from the canopy of branches situated directly above him. Things got started with several soft female voices surrounding him again.  The voices sounded almost….  song-like? This was punctuated by the two familiar voices he’d heard before and he decided it’d probably be best to continue playing possum since he wasn’t quite sure how he ended up in such a dire predicament anyway; better safe than sorry is how he felt about it. Fact is.. he could feel dried blood caked into the pits of his eyes anyway.  Between that and barely being able to feel anything he was in a near comatose state as is. Resting felt good.

           What followed is a jumbled mix of memories, voices, and vacillating between a confusing mix of this out of body dream state, and being back inside his body. As if the body had given up, but not the mind and soul. The following events are as best his memory can piece together & recollect. The rest of the story will have to be told by later by someone else….

 “Aeronica.. I need more bandages.” Said a third new voice.

“Here you go Justine, I hope that’ll be enough?

“Yes… perfect! Thank you Aeronica (This third voice must belong to Justine mused the man)

A fourth, yet unfamiliar female voice enthusiastically said: “Look! I think it’s working! His body appears to be accepting and bonding to our lifeblood!  See! He’s almost starting to rejuvenate like we do!”

“Gloriana Rose, I think you’re right, although his body has a long way to go before his body will adapt and start regenerating like ours.  It will likely take six to seven full cycles for his body to fully bond with our life’s blood” “Till then he’ll be very vulnerable during the waning cycles” (Of the moons)

            “Magdalene – I think Aeronica is right. Besides… I’ve waited over two thousand millennia for this day! Don’t spoil it!” “I’m going to hold out hope for this broken man.  We haven’t felt hope like this in such a very….. very….. long time.”

“Gloriana Rose, you of all Faire would say that!”

            “Shhhhh….. quiet down the both of you two!  We don’t want to wake him! We’re not even supposed to exist; we’re extinct remember?!  He cannot see us or know about this.” Whispered Aeronica.

            “Why not?” said a fifth newer and unfamiliar female voice “That was fun, and I think it’s high time we came out of hiding.  I like helping the Fallen.  I’m tired of living my life sticking to the shadows and sneaking about.”

            “Valeriana, you know that’s forbidden until the time is right.  Otherwise we jeopardize everything!  Just a few more years! We’re soooo close.  If this man survives, and the prophets were right, then he will be our races salvation.  He will break the curses on all of Hope, and restore what the Demonai and Howlers have taken from us!  Until then... please be quiet!” Aeronica hissed vehemently.

“So now what Aeronica?” Said the voice speaking softly belonging to Magdalene.

            “Well first, I think I can remove some of the bandages already, I believe he’s already starting to heal!” “Once we, and the others, get all cleaned up; we’ll need to find a safe place to put him where he can be found to test my prophecy theory.”

Magdalene locked her eyes on Aeronica: “Aeronica, I need to say I’m sorry.  You were right.  This man’s blood is mingling, bonding to ours, and that truly is a miracle.  I never thought I’d see this day.  I’m sorry I ever doubted you”. 

            “It’s ok Magdalene… it’s very understandable under our circumstances and whate we’ve endured for so long.”

            “Aeronica, Magdalene, I and the others want to thank you as well.”  “For the first time since the first Apocalypse we now have a shred of hope.  It’s good to feel hopeful again.  The blood mingling ritual was rather unorthodox and a bit of a surprise; but the price will be worth it if it saves us.”  Said Gloriana.

            Valeriana was unbandaging her wrist and said “Since this looks like it’ll save him; doesn’t this also sort of turn him into a ‘blood-brother’ of sorts?”

            “In a way…..yes” Said Aeronica – almost whimsically.  “He’s now technically one of us; but that doesn’t make him blood-family”. “He will have a few side effects since we didn’t have the seventh present to complete the ritual during the moons aligning.”  “However; in the long run, that won’t matter, he’ll continue to grow in health, and over time, might even be our match in strength and power someday with the right training.” “I just wish the seventh would reveal herself to complete this man’s bonding”.

            A sixth newer voice now softly spoke. “I hope so, I for one am tired of looking at all you sisters for thousands upon thousands of years!” He sensed and saw this new voice smile wryly.  “We now have a chance to reclaim what was ours – with a Faire male at our sides! Just like the prophecy described!  Times are about to get interesting and its high time for some payback!”

The female voice he recognized as Gloriana Rose spoke in the direction of this sixth voice and said: “Speaking of payback!? Seraphine, I oughta punch you in the face for bumping me as I was administering my essence to him! What were you thinking!?? It could create very adverse side effects!”

This new female voice belonging to Seraphine responded: “Oh save it Gloriana, there’s a good chance he’s not going to live anyway; and it’s not like these “side-effects” would be all bad even if he survives. He’s going to have to be able to keep up with ALL of us, in ALL our ways, if there’s any real hope left at all. Besides, if he makes it I sincerely doubt he, or any of us will complain!” Seraphine said with a bit of a saucy edge or teasing tone.

Magdalene looked over.  “Ok ok…you’re all starting to get a little carried away.”  Let’s start cleaning his poor body, and tidy this place up! We don’t have much time. It looks like an animal was slaughtered in this stand!”

            “Magdalene is right everyone.  Let’s get to work.  Be careful and make sure you’re not seen.  I sense something or someone is coming, and it’ll be here within the hour.” Whispered Aeronica.

             Under normal circumstances he should have died.  However; what was taking place was anything but normal. Had he been conscious and more fully awake he would have seen several very confusing things take place in the span of about three hours. By all appearances, it looked as if something dead had been laboriously dragged out of the crystal clear waters, leaving a trail of blood soaked sand that led into a nearby stand of trees. However; instead of antiseptic hospital rooms, and surgeon’s instruments, there was merely the surrounding pine and leaf trees that encircled this semi hidden stand. In the distance beyond were low rolling hills of alternating shades of green crisscrossed by the occasional rocky road disappearing into the distance. All this while several slight and dreamy females labored very deftly over him in what would have seemed like a scene from a severe battlefield ER trauma case.   

Published by Matt Ployhar (Thought Ops LLC)

December 2017

First (Web) Edition

Jhost (tm) Series, and The world called Hope is Copyright © 2017 and TM 2017 by Matt Ployhar. All content posted to page copyright ©2017-present, and intellectual property of Ployhar. All Rights Reserved. No use or reproduction of characters or artwork permitted. This story & book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. Do not use, edit, re-upload, or redistribute any content in any way. Visitors may view content belonging to the author and nothing more. Any use in any way is strictly forbidden. All of these works are not public domain, never have been, and never will be. Do not use, re-upload, edit, etc. any text, image, or character. Artwork of Jhost uploaded to artist's portfolios share these rights and reservations.Any similarity between persons alive or dead is purely coincidental.

Online published in the United States of America

First Printing, 2017

Jhost™ is a primary character from my original fantasy fiction novel. Jhost is navigating his way in a world called Hope - he does not recollect. The story of Jhost has been around since 2003 and is only now being unveiled summer of 2017. 

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