Sunday, November 2, 2008

161: Wilbur and Kolak Part One, Chapters 1 & 4

Chapter One

            The sun was just burning off the early-morning fog on the Ohio River just south of Laketon.  Laketon, Ohio was founded in 1842 by Jonathan Sibley and John Ezekiel Wells.  Laketon is a prosperous community and someone traveling through Delaware Street would see the fruits of the two men’s labor.  Between 10th and 16th Streets along Johnson, Delaware and Madison Street was the historic downtown district where dozens of local shops and some chains did their business.

            The huge brick City Hall was built in 1947 and houses every department of the city.  The city hall used to be housed in a small building along the Ohio River, where the city was really started.  In 1888, warehouses and factories were built and two railroads came through, one from Detroit heading south and one from Philadelphia heading west.  With the redevelopment of the river banks, a new town square was built at 14th and Delaware.  Each corner had something different—the new city hall, the Lawrence County Courthouse, the Laketon Memorial Hospital and the entrance to Laketon University.

Laketon U. was founded in 1877 and was always a top university but it wasn’t until 1983 when it was named one of the top ten colleges that it obtained national credibility.

            Delaware Street comes to an end at 17th Street.  Turn right onto 17th and hang a quick left onto Crossgate Terrace.  The left side is a bustling of new housing developments while on the right is still an empty field which used to be the small town of Bismarck Grove.  The only remnant of Bismarck Grove was a solitary house built in 1870 by Nathaniel Kupfer.  Bismarck Grove, back in the day, drew thousands of visitors to its fields for fairs, carnivals, and chautauquas. The sprawl of nearby Laketon finalized Bismarck Grove’s demise by the 1930s but the history is well remembered.

            The Kupfer House stood on a small hill just yards from Crossgate Terrace and the surrounding land was still in the family, owned by Jules Kupfer, the great-great grandson of Nathaniel.  Jules was a hermit who only left the property to get groceries and when he lost his wife and only son in 1973, he imported huge stones from Europe to build a fence around his house.  Atop the gate pillars, Jules placed two gargoyle statues and rumors swirled around the city schoolyards that the gargoyles came alive at night and killed children who wandered the streets.  For the brave who would trespass onto the Kupfer property, they would never enter the gate and would always run away at the slightest sound or if they caught a glimpse of “Old Man” Kupfer staring at them from the window.

 

            Wilburforce Matthews pedaled slowly down Bismarck Road heading toward Crossgate Terrace.  Birds were chirping and the sounds of animals scampering through the woods in Kupfer field could be heard.  There was a slight breeze that every so often blew Wilbur’s tasseled brown hair up, causing it to lay criss-crossed on his scalp.  Wilbur crossed a narrow bridge that went over a small creek and on the banks of the creek, Wilbur noticed, the Evilsizor brothers were playing in the water and dirt.  Wilbur pedaled slower as to not bring attention to himself as he rounded the curve where Bismarck Road became Crossgate.  He only got a few feet from the graveled road when he heard the sound of footsteps and bikes.  He looked behind him and saw the Evilsizors hopping on their bicycles and coming after him.

            “It’s Matthews!  Get him!” Dale shouted.  Dale was the oldest brother and self-proclaimed leader of the brothers.  The younger siblings were Mitchell and Porter, with Mitchell being the same age as Wilbur.  The Evilsizors were always recognizable with their bright red hair and face full of freckles.

            The three boys began racing after Wilbur as he picked up speed.  The brothers chased Wilbur down Shadybrook Drive, where Wilbur made a quick right turn.  The brothers were still on Wilbur’s tail but started losing them on the second curve.  Wilbur quickly turned onto Lazy Brook Lane, hit some loose sand and wiped out.

            Wilbur rolled onto his stomach and tried to crawl away until Mitchell ran him over with his bike, knocking him down again.  Wilbur tried his hardest to hold back his tears as the Evilsizors stood over him.

            “What were you doing on Bismarck Road?” asked Dale.

            “I was just riding around,” Wilbur groaned.

            Bismarck Road is Evilsizor territory.  Stay off of it!” Dale ordered.

            “You tell him, Dale,” said Porter, who had not done anything until now.

            “You don’t even live near Bismarck Road and besides, the road is county property and…” Mitchell interrupted Wilbur by kicking him in the ribs.  “Ow.”

            “We don’t ever want to see you on Bismarck Road again or else we’re gonna dump you on ‘Old Man’ Kupfer’s property and then, if you survive, maybe you’ll start listening to us!” Dale threatened.  “Come on, guys, I think this turd has learned his lesson.”  All three then kicked Wilbur again, got on their bikes and rode off.

            Wilbur slowly got up, brushed the sand off his clothes and looked at the bloody scrapes on his elbows and knees.  He picked up his bike and began walking back to his house at 3730 Shadybrook Drive.  As Wilbur passed in front of his neighbor’s house, Amy Parker, a girl Wilbur’s age with short brown hair and dark brown eyes, came out onto the patio.

            “What’s wrong, Wilbur?” she asked him.

            “Those Evilsizor brothers chased me and I ended up wiping out making a turn,” Wilbur said walking up to the patio and looking up at Amy.

            “Do they hurt?” she asked.

            “What?”

            “Your elbows, the scrapes?” Amy giggled and pointed at them.

            “They’re fine, I’ll live.  I’m gonna go and get washed up,” Wilbur started crossing the yard to his house.  “I’ll see you at school.”

            “Yeah, I’ll see you tomorrow,” Amy said.  Wilbur walked up onto his patio as Amy went back inside.

 

            Amy Parker was Wilbur’s best friend and they had lived next door to each other all of their nine years.  Wilbur was exactly a month older and their parents were friends beforehand.  While Amy’s dad, John, was the owner of a grocery store in southwest Laketon, her mom, Sarah, was always a stay-at-home wife and mother.  Wilbur’s parents were more professional.  Wilbur’s dad, Laurence, was Deputy Mayor of Laketon under George Herriman and his mom, Lynda was a professor at Laketon University until she became pregnant with Wilbur.

            Wilbur had two other siblings.  His brother, Chuck and sister, Karen.  Amy had only one older sister Christine.  Wilbur and Amy were such good friends that everyone joked that they would get married when they got older but of course, both Wilbur and Amy found this totally disgusting.

Chapter Four

            Situated 2,109,000,000 miles from the Sun, between Uranus and Neptune, is the planet Juriorty.  Protected and hidden by a planet-wide shield, Juriorty has avoided any detection for thousands of years.  Juriorty is a mainly desolate planet that houses a capital city of nearly a billion citizens and a large, expansive desert created by the shield protecting the planet.  The advanced race on this planet are cats.  Simple, ordinary cats who, in order to thrive and prosper on their nearly dead planet, had to evolve quickly and now the Juriortians were the most advanced species in the known universe.

            In the center of the Capital City stood the tallest building which served as the central nerve of the city and planet.  Looking out over the city was Ultrik, the Prime Ruler of Juriorty.  Ultrik was different from the other cats.  Juriortians were normally covered in soft, silky fur but Ultrik’s body was muscular and rocky.  A pale grey color covered Ultrik which made him a striking and imposing force.

            “Tarvos!” Ultrik bellowed from the Great Hall.  Tarvos, a disfigured cat with one extremely large eye that had a scar running over it and dressed in a purple robe entered the Hall and slowly approached Ultrik.

            “Yes, my Lord?”

            “Is the program ready?”

            “The one for Cahmossieu?”

            “Yes.  We have confirmed that Hattie is just outside the city with his followers.  You will contact Cahmossieu and order him to take out Hattie and bring him in.  We’ll dispose of Hattie and tomorrow, Cahmossieu will be selected to be sent on a mission that will take him off-planet, millions of miles away from Juriorty and away from my daughter!”

            “If I may be so bold as to ask why you despise Cahmossieu so much because he is good to your daughter and he is the best leader our Cat Rangers have had in decades,” Tarvos nervously queried.

            Despite,” Ultrik began gruffly causing Tarvos to jump, “Cahmossieu being a great asset to the Rangers, the city and the planet, he is the only one I have ever met who could equal me.  Therefore, I must dispose of him before he can dispose of me,” Ultrik positioned himself in front of the window and crossed his arms behind his back.

            “So Master Ultrik is scared of Cahmossieu?” Tarvos questioned, wringing his hands together.

            Ultrik swung around and yelled at Tarvos.  “I am not scared of Cahmossieu!”

            Tarvos flailed backwards and fell down.

            “The one they call Kolak is next in line for the throne.  He doesn’t get it until my death but I don’t want someone to get it into his head that my death should come sooner.  He is also spreading around that the old way Juriorty does things is getting stale and wants to initiate change.  He is slowly, yet unknowingly, turning my citizens against me.  Even my own daughter.”  Ultrik sighed, returned his arms behind his back and walked past Tarvos.  “Get Cahmossieu over to Hattie’s camp.  I’ll be with the judicial committee to review a suitable punishment for Hattie and his followers.”

            “Yes, my Lord,” Tarvos croaked as he watched Ultrik leave the Great Hall.

 

            The Artificial Sun beamed into the windows of Cahmossieu de Kolaack and Lara ze Ultrik’s residence.  Kolak was in the kitchen trying to cook breakfast but instead was burning it.  The smoke wafted out from the kitchen and into the other rooms.

            “I really hope you know what you’re doing since you overrode the sprinkler system,” Lara said coming into the kitchen and leaning against the door.

            “I just thought I’d do something nice and make us some breakfast.  It didn’t go over to well,” Kolak chuckled tilting the pan with the burned egg toward Lara.

            “Next time you want to do something nice, just help me in the shower or something,” Lara walked over to Kolak and kissed him.

            Kolak was a tall and handsome Calico cat.  He had been a member of Juriorty’s police force, the Cat Rangers, for seven years and was made their commander three years ago and in that short time made the Rangers a magnificent force in the community.  Lara, with her brown and silver fur, was truly one of the most beautiful females on Juriorty.  She worked at the biological institute but couldn’t wait until she and Kolak could settle down and have a family.

            “Why don’t I just do something nice right now?” Kolak smirked and the two kissed passionately while Kolak lifted Lara onto the table.  They were just starting to get into it when the videomonitor rang.  Kolak sighed and looked at Lara apologetically.  “Hello?” he answered.

            Tarvos’ face appeared on the screen and saw Kolak climbing off of Lara and the table.  “Oh my!  Did I interrupt something?” he smirked.

            “No, no.  What do you want Tarvos?”

            “Hattie is right outside the city and we feel he’s vulnerable enough to be attacked so Master Ultrik wants you to rush out and attack him before he attacks the city.”

            “Thanks for the head’s up.  I’ll gather the Rangers,” Kolak started to turn around but was stopped short by Tarvos.

            “No!  Ultrik wants you to go alone.  A swarm of Rangers would be noticeable and he wants to catch Hattie off-guard,” Tarvos ordered.

            “All right.  I’m on my way,” Kolak once again started to dart off after Tarvos’ face left the screen but this time was stopped by Lara.

            “I don’t want you to go alone!” she demanded.

            “I have to in order to get the rush on him.”

            “He is a mass murderer with deluded Juriortians as followers.  At least get Dahrkron to accompany you.”

            “Sweetie, every second I’m here arguing with you is another second I lose to attack Hattie,” Kolak looked at his love pleadingly but she stood her ground.  “I don’t want him to kill again.”  With that, Lara stepped aside and Kolak gave her a peck on the cheek, “Thanks.  I’ll be careful.  I love you.”

            Kolak dashed out the door while Lara sat down at the table.  “I love you, too…” she whispered.

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