John Teets has several stories planned for publication. Despite only working in short fiction, he has shown an ability to world build, developing engrossing characters and setting with concise wording. John plans to write stories for multiple mediums: Film, video game, or book, the medium itself is not John's goal, but to create stories that reach all people, to help them understand and empathize with those around them. John is currently enrolled in the Full Sail University Creative Writing BFA Instagram: johnteets Twitter: q_teets
Disturbing the Peace
At first, we had simply thought the pallbearers had fumbled with the coffin. Then, they came out of the tomb running, with faces as pale as the one that followed them. The face of Gavin's dead mentor, Guy Gierrone. We scattered. Gavin, in typical knightly fashion, ushered all the civilians back before charging headlong into danger with Lawrence, the king's personal bodyguard. Speaking of, the king and queen stayed back, while the pallbearers booked it. No sign of the priest. Figured he was still in the tomb, petrified in fear or something. Meanwhile, I decided to join in on the chaos. You'd figure a court jester wouldn't be much help in a fight, but you'd be surprised. We're as nimble as any thief or assassin, and with a few magical spells and skills under our belts. They help to entertain the court, you know? Oh, and I had my crossbow. Considering that's what got him, I suppose that helped. While Gavin and Lawrence boxed with the walking cadaver, I took aim for its head. Until they broke its neck with a good right hook, and it kept coming at them. I still aimed for the head as it dangled on a broken neck, but a rather forceful wind kept pushing my crossbow lower. “Once is a nuisance, twice is a coincidence, but any more and it's guidance,” I said, parroting my magic instructor, “but who's guidance, I wonder?” It took me a moment before I put it all together: “Guy. Well, it’s your walking corpse. Guess you’d know how to stop it.” Looking down the sight, I found I was now aimed at the chest. Dead-center, where they tell you the heart is when you're little. I focused on it a bit, and sure enough, there was some kind of magic centered in the chest. A bad kind of magic. I shrug. “Let's see what happens when I do this.” I said as I fired a bolt. It catches the risen corpse square in the chest, and it fell over almost immediately after. Good timing, too: it almost caved Gavin's skull in with a rock. I moseyed on over, passing Lawrence as he headed to their Majesties to ensure their safety. Gavin, meanwhile, looked to me with shock, then a scowl. I stop, tilting my head with a raised eyebrow. He pointed to the crossbow. Apparently, I wasn't supposed to have this with me? “You said a no-swords event,” I said, lifting up the crossbow, “this isn't a sword.” “You know what I meant Much,” Gavin said, hands on his hips for a moment before he waved one at me. “Forget it, and thank you.” He bent over the corpse to investigate it. I got a bad feeling when he did that. I started to move quickly, though quietly. As we approach Guy's body, we find fine black power coming out of every orifice, as well as a small bag caught in my crossbow bolt, lodged in the floor. Gavin reached for it. In my head it was all Panicpanicpanicpanic- “Bad idea,” Was all I said, making Gavin practically jump out of his skin. I always got a kick out of that. I squatted down beside him. “What is it?” He said, motioning to the bag with his hand. “I don't know,” I said, shrugging. “That’s why I said it was a bad idea.” My ears perked up “Do you hear that?” “No,” Gavin said. A rummaging noise came from inside of the tomb. “Heard that, though.” I notched another bolt, and slowly entered the tomb. The door had been smashed open by the corpse. I guess being undead makes you stronger somehow. Anyway, the lack of a door let in enough light that I could see the source of the sound. It was the priest. Hunched over another coffin. Muttering, in a language I didn't recognize. “Now, I may not know my prayers as you do,” I said, levelling the crossbow at his face, “but that doesn't sound like any prayer that I know.” His response was to raise the sound of his voice, and for a bright green light and smoke to emanate from his face. “Yeah, and no prayer I know does that either. Goodbye!” I let loose the bolt, but it vaporized in his mouth. “Ohhhh. Hm. Yay.” The glow grew brighter, the fog thicker. Then it stopped, when Gavin's massive fist made an acquaintance with the priest's face. I spoke no thanks to Gavin, but a mutual thumbs up conveyed my gratitude. “I'll have a few of my friends take a gander at Guy's corpse, see what all happened with it.” I smile at him as I pass through the tomb doorway. “I shall leave you the task of calming the funeral procession and arresting a seemingly blasphemous priest.” Gavin said something in protest, but I wasn't listening. Instead, I crouched over the corpse and the bag, a hand hovering over each. I concentrated. From my hands, bolts of lightning, like strings, quickly wrapped around them and me. The three of us came together into a ball of lightning, and with but a though, I sent us rocketing away, in search of answers.