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The Land: Harmonies Journey

by  Local Scott

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Word Count: 3181
Summary: Chapter 1 of The Land. A young man fights many different battles in his life daily, both physically and mentally but what is about to happen to him next and everybody else may well push him over the edge for good.


By Scott Lee Evans


The death of his greatest friend paled in significant; Jacob was now going to have to destroy everyone

Book One
Harmonies Journey

‘Oh God!’ Jacob spluttered as he came crashing through the foamy white surface of the rapid water. He was in a river and he had absolutely no idea how he had gotten there. He called out for help as he felt panic surging through every inch of his body but his pleading screams were muted by the amount of heavy, violent waves that were hosing fat chunks of water chokingly down his throat and forcing him back under. Jacob felt his body flipping roughly in the waters belly like a feeble rag doll alone in a washing machine. He tried with all his might to straighten himself and to fight his way back up to the surface but the ruthless waves crashed and crushed him back below, denying him his chance to get his head above water for the air he felt he desperately needed. Once more he struggled upwards and yet again he felt himself tossed back beneath as if the water was effortlessly toying with him as a cat would with a small mouse. Swallowed by the river Jacob felt his strength finally spent and reluctantly his eyes closed.

Chapter One

Cold dread flushed through Jacobs veins, a sensation that he felt interrupt him all too often these days. He had become suddenly aware of a gigantic, wild looking man ploughing violently through the dense Saturday night crowd in his pub, roaring like a mighty grizzly bear.

‘Where is she? Where is she!’ the filthy drunk howled as his tree trunk arms swung viciously around, causing innocent revellers around him to scramble frantically to safety.

Jacob fought against the crowd running away from the commotion, and made his way as quickly as he could towards the disturbance, hoping to quickly calm the situation somehow. Jacob wasn’t brave, he was just on autopilot, this happened all too often. He was alone in his actions; everyone else in the crowded pub were looking directly to him with a expectation that he should be stopping the horrible thug from spoiling their night immediately, in fact most seemed quite annoyed that Jacob hadn’t already done so. Well it was all very good expecting this, thought Jacob, he was of course the bar manager but no one seemed in a hurry to offer any assistants, even though the ferocious ogre, who looked very likely to murder someone soon with his huge head crushing hands, was twice the height and width of his own rather small and weedy young body. Doormen would have been very much a welcomed help but unfortunately they were just another expense that Jacobs father was not willing to incur, not when he had two sons and himself to see off trouble makers. The main problem Jacob found with his fathers theory however was the fact that neither his Dad nor younger brother was usually around. And if they were it was most often them causing the worst trouble.

‘What’s the matter Sir?’ Jacob shouted to the drunk once he finally reached him, not mounting too much hope on getting a civilised reply. In fact Jacob got no reply, instead the raging drunk had started lifting up any young man he could lay his hands on and shaking them vigorously.

‘Sir! Sirrrr! Please just calm down,’ Jacob shouted, trying to get his voice heard over all the yelling and screaming. ‘Please just tell me what the problem is?’ Jacob knew his pleads were in vain, his presence wouldn’t intimidate a budgie let alone the daunting giant who towered menacingly before him

The man quickly swung around towards Jacob and opened his frothy dirty mouth about to say something when one of the young men he had just beaten about the head began screaming from down on the floor where he laid bloodied. ‘Chuck him out will ya! You call your self management, kick him o-‘, but unfortunately the man on the floor was quickly silenced with an abrupt blow from the drunk and that really caused all hell to brake loose as an explosion of bodies, friends of the victim it seemed, began throwing themselves wildly at the brute, using Jacobs furniture as weapons and missiles.

For all the damage that was being caused to his pub, Jacob inwardly welcomed the gang of angry young men battling the monster in his bar and together they all managed to eventually knock him over so that they were able to drag him kicking and screaming outside into the heavy lashing rain, which was erupting fiercely as it hit the ground hard, making the whole scene look even more dramatic to the large crowd watching from within the warmth of the pub. The group of young men soon had the drunk face down as they struggled to control him, but still he managed to thrash about, full of electric power and unbridled rage. The thunderous rain was the least of anybodies problem, all who now had hold of him were too scared to let go as the threat of what he would do to them if he got free was a thought not worth bearing.

As all the anarchy played on with no sign of stopping, a tall thin man, no older than Jacob, appeared next to the huddle of men clasped on top of the drunk.

‘What are you going to do now?’ He said quite casually with a hint on a smirk on the end of his wide thin lips, ‘Its freezing cold out here and this fella isn't gonna stop until he happily does some one a right bloody injury!’

This interruption caused Jacob to momentarily lose concentration, and by doing so he allowed his grip to loosen enough so that one giant leg was able to pull free and kicked him hard across the face

‘Has someone called the police yet?’ shouted the tall thin man with more urgency as he jumped to take over Jacobs job of holding the drunk down while Jacob laid sprawled, bloody and dazed on the soaking wet concrete. ‘Gawd, I dunno’ he continued more at ease, though Jacob couldn’t make sense of anything at that moment ‘I go out for five minutes and look what happens’ he laughed.

Half an hour later and still outside in the torrential rain waiting for the police, the group of men were still desperately trying to hold onto the man and not any of the wiser to why he was so disturbed. Jacob was now back involved in the huddle, his jaw stinging with excruciating pain. It wasn’t too long however before his attention was abruptly dragged back to inside the pub. Through the glass front doors and landing in a hail of shard glass besides him landed a customer who had just been thrown out the pub. Jacob quickly noticed that none of his bar girls were serving anybody, instead they were rolling in the aisles of the counter, entangled violently with female customers. The music had ceased playing too as the band had stopped to see what all the fuss was about. The only noise Jacob could hear now was the ugly bawls from the crowd demanding someone serve them their beer.

‘Jacob, you go inside and sort that out’ said the tall thin man still holding onto the drunken mans leg ‘I can take care of this’

‘Thanks Miller’ and Jacob got up and quickly ran back inside.

Once in Jacob dragged a hand over his face as he felt his brain ache, thinking of what he should do next, though he train of thought was quickly interrupted by a customer who had noticed his return.

‘Where’s the staff? I want a drink. Go and serve me now!’ the man said, whose group of friends quickly began chanting similar demands.

Jacob didn’t get a chance to answer as his attention was diverted yet again because in the corner of his eye he noticed a mini skirt clad woman of advanced years and with white hair like a drenched poodle run pass the outside window and jump on top of the clump of men holding down the rampant destructive drunk like an American wrestle leaping off the ropes of the ring. Jacob turned around to go back outside when he felt himself painfully pulled back, his shoulder gripped by a crushing hand.

‘Get me drink now!’ commanded a lofty gaunt man with blood shot yellow eyes in a voice that spoke very slowly and unevenly, but with immense menace. Jacob instantly recognised this man, a local bully who he would normally have stopped to serve immediately to save trouble but too much was happening.

‘Not now Terry!’ Jacob shouted, his cool temper finally beginning to crack and with those words he pulled his shoulder free and dashed back outside. In front of him was a bungle of bodies, topped with that of a middle aged woman inappropriately dressed like a flirty sixteen year old girl. The woman was hurling abuse and offering sharp scratches to the men beneath her who were still trying to hold down the drunk who wasn’t showing any sign of calming down.

‘HELLO’ Jacob shouted sternly ‘Who the hell are you and what do you think your doing?’

‘He’s done nowt wrong, git off me Bertie you hooligans. You!’ she pointed to Jacob, baring her stained brown teeth and with a look of hatred in her eye that he had seen all too often with people who turned violent after drinking more than they were capable of, ‘tell’em to git off him’

‘Look, please calm down’ said Jacob who in truth was trying to calm his own bubbling temper’ this man_’

‘BERT!’ she shouted

‘Bert here has attacked a lot of people, including me’ Jacob pointed to his own bruised face but he got no reaction other than a ugly sneer, ‘and we’re waiting for the police to arrive to deal with him, so just calm down please or else your gonna end up joining him!’

‘What have you been doing Bert’, the woman said now turning her attention to the drunk who still had his head buried in the tarmac ‘why you been hitting people for? What is up with ya Sweetie?’. Miller, Jacobs tall thin friend, laughed out loud that such a horrible animal could ever deserve the nickname Sweetie

‘Arghhh!’ Bert roared, managing to turn onto his side so that he could look at the lady he was about to address ‘You woman, you cheating cow. I know where you’ve been. Me mate around The George and Dragon told me you’ve been having it with sum young matey in this place all day!

Jacob and the men holding onto Bert listened intently, hoping to finally make sense of everything that had happened, but Jacob had long guessed that he was just another Saturday night local whose brain had been addled by too much beer.

‘I’ve been round me mam’s you old trout, you dropped me there yourself this morning, remember, before you went to da BLOODY PUB!‘

The enlightening exchange between the pair didn’t get the chance to reveal any more stupidity as at that moment the police finally decided to turn up.

The police vans sped up the driveway and screeched to a screeching halt, making the appearance that they had got there as soon as possible where in fact it had been a lot more like 40 minutes since a member of the public had called them. This might have been acceptable as it was a Saturday night and similar incidences were happening all over the small seaside town but the police station was just two building down the road from Jacobs pub. The police van was quickly followed by an ambulance, who luckily got there just in time as two police officers were in quick need of repair once they tried to take care of Bert themselves. Three police vans full of riot police later and the furious giant was finally carted away, along with his foul mouthed lady who sobbed loudly at the injustice of it all as she tried to kick the chins of the officer who was escorting her to his vehicle. Just as promptly as he had appeared Bert the vicious drunk was now gone.

Jacob and Miller thanked the men who had helped them, promising them free drinks and happy to forget the damage those same men created themselves when they first attacked Bert with the pubs chairs and table legs. Miller ran into the pub to try and restore some order but whatever fighting had been going inside the pub had now stopped, most likely due to the presence of the police and the bar staff were frantically serving the impatient crowd once again.

Jacob waved off the police officer who had finished taking his statement and walked slowly back into the pub while looking at his watch. ‘Only 9:30’ he tutted to himself, still another few hours to go until closing time he thought, what else could go wrong? Jacob looked up from his watch straight into the yellow eyes of the tall gaunt man who had earlier demanded Jacob serve him during all the chaos.

‘Turn ye back on me! Make me look like an idiot in front of me mates will ya’ Huffed Terry just before he punched Jacob hard on the chin.

Jacob slowly tried to open his eyes but they hurt too much. Tingling, he tingled all over. His body felt weightless and his mind light and blank. He could have weighed the same as a feather but it still would have been too heavy for him to lift at that moment, his felt his limbs sprawled uselessly. He laid for what seemed like hours but in truth it was probably no longer than a few minutes. After a while he tried to open his eyes again. Gradually they fluttered for a second but quickly clapped shut again beneath the heavy weight of his painful eyelids. Jacob stayed still for a few minutes more. He began to feel annoyed at his own feebleness and slowly the clogs in his brain began turning once more, trying to figure out what had happened to him. With a deep breath and some determination Jacob opened his eyes wide. Instantly he saw an unbelievable flash of light, so bright that his eyeballs felt as though they had just burst into flames but just as quickly the sensation vanished and he felt a small spurt of soft cool wind blow gently into his frail eyes. There was something wrong with what he was looking at. The smoky stained ceiling of the pub, which is what he had expect to see, wasn’t there. Jacob thought for a few more minutes. Why was he looking up at a beautiful blue sky? He eagerly willed his brain to hurry up and work and slowly it dawned on him that his encounter with Bert had happened over a week ago and he had just been merely dreaming a moment ago. He thought hard for a few more minutes and then suddenly all the energy zapped back into his body like lighting and his sat bolt up. He grabbed hold of his face hard and realised that he was okay, he was alive. The very last thing Jacob could now remember was being thrown violently around a raging river, where he had fully expected to die. Jacob tried to remember how he had gotten into that river but for that his memory was still blank. He tried to remember back a little further but still it was blank. In fact before his encounter with the river the very last memory he had was of that he had just dreamt, his fight with big Bert, which he knew had happened over a week ago but what after was a mystery.

Jacob stayed motionless, just staring with his eyes to the sky, just thinking. He curved his fingers and felt the ground between them slowly ripple through. His hands made soothing gestures along the floor, sand, it was sand he was sitting on and next he realized he had a mouth full of it and he fell to his side to sputtered it all out. Jacobs’s body was now beginning to register again, all his senses were coming back to him, and the sounds he could hear began to make sense. He could hear water smacking down on the sand not far from him. He also noticed something about himself, he was naked. This however was not the strangest thing that Jacob was beginning to realise. Although he had no clothes on he realised it was very hot, though he couldn’t see a sun anywhere in the cloudless sky but even so he presence was casting a long shadow on the flat virgin sand next to him. And from looking at his shadow he raised his hand once more to his head to see if what the shadow was showing was true. Jacob slipped him fingers along the top of his head and felt masses of thick locks of hair and tickling his elbow was what was hanging long and low off of his face. Jacob had never had long hair in his life and apart from a bit on fluff on his chin he had never been able to grow a beard like that he now sporting.

Emotions were coming back with a vengeance, suddenly Jacob felt panic surge through his body as fast as the water that he thought was going to kill him. What had happened to him? He wanted to stand up and cast his eyes out around but his legs toppled like a toddler when he first attempted this and he fell hard to the ground. The only thing lifting him now was his heart bouncing his body off of the floor. Sheer panic was all that Jacob could feel now. In all the fights Jacob had ever been in, never had he been scared like this.

‘Jacob!’ a familiar voice boomed, sounding as frightened as he felt, ‘Jacob!’

Immediately Jacob tried to acknowledged his name but only murmurs rose from his own voice, nothing loud enough to be heard


With a harsh cough, which blew off the final clomp of sand resting on his tongue, Jacob bellowed back with a cracked voice full of dire desperation

‘Miller! Miller I’m ere, I’m ere’ Jacob cried and soon he realised that other voices were shouting as well, other names were being called and mayhem and anguish were mixed in those as well. Cries of help, sobs and worst of all children screaming for lost parents were heard all around him. What was happening Jacob thought. Finally something zapped in his brain and he felt that his eyes were now truly opened. Beneath the beautiful blue sky everything else was blindingly white.