EIFFEL

Named so as it's in france. The whole country is sealed off. There's a tournament. Magic. Swords. Croissants. You know, the usual. And no, I'm not very good at summaries. Don't read this to see if you like, read a few lines of the actual thing. Probably should have added the 'just for fun' tag...

EIFFEL

Chapter one,

In which Isaac says ‘Hmm’

Isaac Nevermor was not an unreasonable man. But, really, was this necessary? Hmm.

The county had been sealed off in A.D 44. Walls were built, massive things, miles high. The government then had said it was a defensive measure, before sealing everyone inside by placing an impenetrable steel ceiling. Isaac knew it to be impenetrable. Quite well, in fact. So, obviously, a country left to its own devices can get out of control pretty quickly, and that’s exactly what had happened to France. Isaac wasn’t French. He definitely wasn’t French. He was Welsh. Descended from King Howl himself. Well, he was half Welsh, half English. And half American. And maybe a quarter Russian. And possibly slightly French, too. Hmm.

Isaac was not an unreasonable man, no, he was a thoughtful man. He said ‘hmm’ a lot. Hmm. Isaac was in France in A.D 44 for The Tournament. The Tournament was a tournament. And some of the strongest people from all over the world were also in this tournament. The first rule of The Tournament is ‘There are no rules’. The second rule is ‘Be the last man standing’. Of course, the rules had changed somewhat with France being sealed off. There was now a third rule, or rather, a rule 2.5, which read ‘you have to escape too’. Isaac sometimes thought that the French government had sealed France of because the strongest in the world were there. He was probably right, too. The strongest in the world aren’t just martial artists; they have power ranging from ancient magic to giant superpowered laser death to summoning the bloody dead. Isaac paused for a moment and considered how British the word ‘bloody’ made him sound. Hmm.

Isaac himself was entered in The Tournament because he was one of the aforementioned ancient magic ones. Apparently the prize for winning the tournament was pretty good. Besides, he quite liked knowing how strong he was. And so, because of this, he was in France. Or more specifically, in a French grocery store with a six foot longsword pointed, quite portentously, at his neck. Ignoring the British ring, and taking care not to ignore the blade, he stepped forward, saying, ‘Is this really bloody necessary?’

*

A while later Isaac stepped out of the store’s remains and sighed. The damage to the store was great, and his morals wouldn’t let him just leave without at least trying to reimburse the man. So, he gave the owner his attacker’s sword. The store owner had given Isaac a cabbage. This seemed fair.

Isaac went straight home, or to what had become his home; a small apartment above a pastry shop named ‘Le Chat Petit’. Isaac had no clue as to what that meant, but liked the pastry shop, and so had never visited once. He hoped that this would decrease its chances of getting wrecked. Thus far it was still standing. Inside his apartment, there was a bed, a lamp, and a window. There was a connecting bathroom; Isaac refused to say ‘En Suite’ as this would increase his proportion of French-ness, and that wasn’t a pleasant thought for him. On the windowsill was a small black stone, with green and red marks all over it. Upon closer inspection, it could be seen hat each mark was a name. Isaac put down the cabbage, picked up the stone, and withdrew a magnifying glass from his coat. He found the name ‘Francis Drake’, and saw that it was written in green. That wasn’t right. That was the man’s name, wasn’t it? He was sure. ‘Hmm,’ he said. He stared for a while, and then turned the stone over in his hand. After a few seconds he looked for the name again... and now it was red. Good, he had died... But that meant his good friend Francis with the longsword had only just done so. Isaac made a note to take his own sword out shopping with him in future – he’d left it leaning against the radiator. Sure, disembowelling others got the job done, but it was kinda cruel. Decapitation was more his style.

Isaac put away the magnifying glass, feeling kinda American. He then threw the cabbage at somebody outside, watched as they fell into the path of a small girl on a bicycle, and then he withdrew his List.

*

Needless to say, Isaac was immortal. Well, for now. The Tournament wasn’t some jumpers-for-goalposts skirmish, it was a big thing organised by God or someone. Anyone entered was effectively immortal. That is to say, age and illness could not kill them. Violence could, very easily.

Isaac had lived for hundreds of years. It didn’t show. He still looked as he did when The Tournament began; a twenty something year-old with dark gray hair that spiked upwards. He was about six feet tall, and wore a long navy blue coat with lots of pockets and a white stripe down the left arm, underneath which were black combat pants, tucked into motorcycling boots he’d picked up from another of the rednames, and a simple light blue shirt with the black silhouette of a tombstone on it. Isaac was a sorcerer of sorts. He had a hat, though he never wore it. He was very good with magic, especially dark magic. This, coupled with his surname, had earned him the title ‘Quoth the Raven’ from the other greennames. He wasn’t particularly bothered. Isaac sighed, adding a name to the List and crossing it off. Underneath the scribbles could faintly be seen the name ‘Francis’. Isaac didn’t like killing anyone who wasn’t on the List he made. Dark magic or otherwise, he wasn’t a bad man, even if he was something of a cheater.

*

Isaac didn’t sleep that night. He didn’t spend any time in bed. All night he sat on the roof of a building opposite the next name on his list. He reached into a pocket and pulled out the namestone he’d been given on his entrance of France all those years ago. The name he needed was still green. So nobody had beaten him to it. He’d spent some time trying to discern whether there were innocents in the vicinity of his target using his magician’s sixth sense, but there seemed to be some powerful magical items in the room too, which always put him off. So he’d given up for now, and was lying back wondering how they got the ceiling to mirror the sky.

His ponderings were shattered very suddenly when he heard footsteps behind him. This was bad – nobody should know where he was, he’d put a magical cloak up. And yet the voice rang out clearly, very clearly:

‘Who is there, and why are you watching me?’

Isaac made a brief internal ‘hmm’ and thought about what the best course of action was. He then decided to wing it. Removing the cloak, he said, ‘I am Isaac Nevermor, sorcerer.’

‘Really?’ said the voice. ‘Magicians rarely challenge me, they tend to die.’ The owner of the voice stepped into the light, allowing Isaac to see him clearly. ‘I am Simon Beelze, demon swordsman.’ He said, crimson eyes glinting in the light, and black katana unsheathing with a hiss.

Deep in Isaacs’ pocket, the names ‘Isaac Nevermor’ and ‘Simon Beelze’ turned yellow.

*

Straight away, Isaac fired a lightning bolt at Beelze and called him a ‘git’. The bolt shimmered from his hand, seared through the air, amplified; growing, getting hotter and more violent, until, finally... it vanished about an inch from Beelze’s face.

‘Hmm...’ hmmed Isaac.

Hmm indeed. This meant that Simon here had some magical nullifier, judging by his earlier comment of Isaac’s kind’s tendency to die. Which meant he couldn’t do any spells. Which meant he’d probably have to fight hand to hand. Of course, right now the best thing would be to move out of the way of his good friend Simon’s lunge.

Beelzes’ katana gave off crimson sparks as it hit the ground where Isaac had been. It wasn’t a particularly agile movement, but Isaac had seen this attack soon enough to dodge and prepare a counterattack. The fireball flew from his hand, lighting up the rooftop and then vanishing about an inch from Beelzes’ back. ‘Oh, yeah...’ said Isaac. ‘I forgot about that. Whoops.’

‘So, magician,’ sneered Beelze, ‘How can you fight against someone your pathetic magic can’t even touch?’

‘Well, that really depends,’ sighed Isaac. ‘What are your feelings on disembowelment?’

*

Once again, for about the hundredth time, Isaac walked away from a wrecked building. It was getting rather tiresome, and he wondered how the French could rebuild things so quickly. Actually, he was giving them a lot of practice. He was doing a public service. Yeah. He fished around in his ‘food’ pocket, his hand eventually finding a croissant. There was always, always at least one croissant in his pocket. He had no idea whatsoever how they got there. He picked a little bit of mortar from it, and stuffed it into his mouth. The croissant, not the mortar.

*

At the other side of the country, on a bench, in a park, sat a black and white clad girl. It was difficult to see, as there were no lights on near her, but she had pale skin, and black hair with white streaks. On one hand was a black glove, on the other, a white one. The clothes themselves were quite baggy, as though there was nothing inside.

This girl was written on the namestone as ‘Harmony’, and nothing else. One of her eyes was red, and the other was blue. They never blinked in unison.

*

When Isaac got back home he was in the mood to watch a comedy. He didn’t have a DVD player. Or a cassette player. Or a television, now that he thought about it.

‘Okay then...’ he said, reaching into his pocket and producing another croissant. He enchanted the croissant so that it would chase after children, making honking sounds. There would be little French kids setting off for school any minute now. He got into his apartment amidst honking from outside, and sat down at the window. Eventually, the fear of children began to make his stomach rumble, for some reason, so he conjured up some cheese on toast. What with him being welsh and all. It tasted like sick.

Eventually, the magical croissant ran out of both magic and croissant. The enchantment was wearing off, and the honks had done nothing to ward of local pigeons. It amused Isaac to hear that the honks got higher and higher pitched as more croissant was eaten. Shortly after the pastry’s untimely demise, Isaac fell asleep and dreamt of an empty park bench.

The End

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