Chapter 1

Sand danced around as the wind blew it across the land. It tossed and turned in the air, pushing the particles into a new home well across the dried land that once held a body of water. The scorching sun made the air taste stale and bleached the dried bones of animals that once were. A young man stood in the center of the dried land. Equipped only with a dusty poncho set and a traveling bag strapped to his back, the man stood there holding tight to a map that wanted to dance too in the wind.

The young man, his nose and mouth covered with a striped bandana and large goggles that protected his eyes, fumbled with the map as he tried to keep the poncho hood from falling off in the wind. He turned his head left and right in a searching manner. He retraced his steps a few times, only arriving back to where he stood before. Whatever he was looking for, he was not finding it.

The young man's body slouched in defeat as he stared up to the dipping sun in the sky. This was Lick Creek, though the map was deceiving, this so called “creek” was growing more and more like a vast river. The young man had passed by a town on his way out this morning, and convinced himself that he should return there for the night. Even if the day was still young, he knew that it wasn't wise to stay out on a barren land for long. The dropping night temperatures or bandits were the least of his problems and he knew it.

Feeling defeated, he traveled back to where he was before, a small town that thankfully didn't share the sandy land outside of it. Located between two large hills, the land held a yellow grassy pigment along with the rocky slopes. Back in the day, this little town was probably a port city located off the banks of the Lick Creek forced to downsize after many droughts and the new dam system that was placed well up the mountain side. Sheep and other farm animals roamed in and out of the wood built town. The young man didn't understand this simple life, but over the time of his journey, these towns were becoming a common occurrence.

He was given a few strange stares as he walked through the open gates of the town. The few people that were still out were finishing up their daily chores and lives. The blacksmith was hammering away at his last wheel, the grocery store clerk was sweeping out any sand that had made its way into the store, and the wood carver was bringing in his products. The young man stuck out like a sore thumb as he walked the town's main dirt road. He was a stranger to their simple life and his fancy manufactured clothes didn't help either. He was just an abomination.

Slowing his pace, the young man noticed a few men gathered by the tavern in town. They were rather rough looking and clearly not the lawmakers in town. Just some locals that protect their way of life. An elder with deep calluses on his hands and even deeper wrinkles in his face was the first to spot the boy. The other men followed and soon enough called him over. More or less forced to comply, he wandered over to his beckoners just to make himself look harmless.

“Now, we don't allow strangers into these parts, boy,” the oldest said as the boy grew close.

“I'm only to be here a night.”

“Then why the get-up, kid? You tryin' to hide somethin' from us?” the other spat to the ground.

The young man didn't want to remove the protection that covered his face. Sure the weather wasn't like it was on Lick Creek, but he had his own reasons. The men waited for him to react in some way. They probably wanted him to run, proving that he was part of some bandit gang, though he didn't want to sink that low. The young man reached up to his poncho and relaxed the hood that covered his head. He removed the goggles from his face and let them dangle around his neck with the bandana reveling a young man with mud colored hair and eyes that were nearly white.

The men shifted where they were standing at the sight of the boy's appearance, the youngest one even looked freaked out.

“What do we have here?” he sounded disappointed yet intrigued, “what's an Upper doin' around in these parts?”

The boy didn't respond, he only stared slightly downward to avoid eye contact.

“Upper? Ah, that's why he's wearin' such strange garbs.”

“Now, ya' two are just foolin' me. He's got demon eyes!”

The young man looked up and cocked an eyebrow towards the scared and confused man. He was about the boy's age, so it made sense that he had never seen someone like him before. Why would he? No one in their right mind from where he was from would ever want to journey out to the middle of nowhere.

“I'm callin' the preacher,” the young boy was about to run off but quickly stopped by the old man.

“Got some paperwork, Upper?”

This was why he hated to come to towns. It was always the paperwork and certification for travel and stuff. With the problems of gangs out in these parts, everyone had to make sure that they were safe. He pulled over his bag and grabbed the thick identification card for the old man. The blue card had a button at the side which brought up a little screen that could access each slide he needed. The young fellow coward behind the old man at the screen that appeared in mid air.

“Are, ya' sure ya' don't want me to get the preacher?”

“Shut it you,” the other guy smacked his hand across the boy's head.

The old man waved his finger over the light bending sensor to check all of the pages the card held.

“Ryan Creed... a Creed, hum?”

The screen disappeared from the air and gave it back to Ryan. He took the card back and placed it back in the security of his bag. The old man rested back on the post of the tavern and pointed down the dirt road with his short thumb. He described the location of the wooden town's inn and left the conversation at that. Ryan nodded as a thanks and continued on his way.

“Gramps, you're really goin' to let that demon go?”

A loud smack filled the air, “Shut it, boy!”
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I should be writing plenty of other things right now, but I had the inspiration to write this after finding this I had to write something!

How it kept forming though, this really isn't a fantasy... and it really isn't scifi... just adventure I guess. Hope you like it!