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About Literature / Hobbyist Member Vivi la tua storia24/Male/United States Recent Activity
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Ian McTaggart was a magician by trade. Quite a good one too, though not very well known. He knew all the standards; pulling a rabbit from a hat, guessing which card an audience member had pulled from a full deck or how to make a coin vanish and reappear across the room, but his favorite was the cups and balls. It was such a simple trick, even with all its variations; you pick up a cup, show that there’s nothing underneath it, then put it back down. When you pick it up again, a ball has miraculously appeared. More than any other effect Ian performed, the cups and balls wasn’t about the trick, it was about how you manipulated the audience’s expectations and drew their attention away from events that were happening right in front of them, artificially creating what amounted to a miracle so minor it hardly deserved the name, yet still leaving the shocked onlookers with an incredulous sense of awe and wonder.

In recent years he’d performed his own version of the world’s oldest magic trick for presidents and royalty and rockstars, in crowded theaters in front of live-broadcast television cameras, and seen that look of amazement on more faces than he could count. But his crowning glory would always be the day he’d performed it for his daughter Lindsay and she gleefully asked him to teach her how to do it. He’d started her off with simple vanishes and misdirection, and the kid soaked it up like a sponge.

One night, Ian’s old friend John came by for dinner, and Lindsay insisted on showing off what she’d learned. He watched his daughter with pride as she made her small pile of coins disappear one by one, but kept an eye on John’s reactions as well. His friend’s own experience with sleight-of-hand meant he knew all the moves Lindsey was using, but he could tell his friend was impressed with how far her technique had come in such a relatively short time. When the last coin was gone, she reached behind John’s ear and produced a final one from between her fingers so well that Ian hadn’t seen her retrieve it from her palm, then promptly vanished it as well before saying goodnight and bounding up the stairs to her room.

“So what do you think, Johnny? She learned from the best, eh?” He beamed with pride at his friend, who just looked at him flatly and said the four words Ian had been dreading for years.

“We have to talk.” Ian knew those four words were the beginning of a conversation he tried damn hard to avoid, because he knew it only lead to a shouting match with one of his best friends.

“The answer is no, John, just like last time. Can you please just let it drop?”

“It’s not that simple. I don’t think you have a choice this time.” John sounded surprised, almost sympathetic about it, like he really had planned on not bringing it up this time. When Ian looked at him, his expression was unreadable. “She didn’t have that last coin palmed, Ian. It didn’t exist until she pulled it from my ear.”

And just like that, the world fell apart. Before becoming a mission, in what seemed like another life, he and John had stood side by side, drafted into  the front lines of a war between the higher and lower realms. They’d fought besides sorcerers, shamans, wizards, angels, even the occasional half-demon, using spells and other occult arts to make sure humanity wasn’t swept aside in the celestial and infernal planes. But he’d left all that behind years ago, when he and his wife Fiona found out she was pregnant. The two of them had made their apologies and bowed out, wanting a more stable environment to raise their child in. There was always the chance that Lindsay would wind up with some of her parents’ inborn arcane spark, but in most cases magic was something that had to be learned, only the strongest talents manifested themselves naturally, as John was telling him Lindsay’s just had.

Ian already knew what the next question would be. “You can’t have her.” John opened his mouth to protest, but Ian steamrolled over his objections. “Goddamn it John, she’s a fourteen year old girl, not a high sorceress; she can’t be a player in this. There’s no way I’m letting you take her to be some cannon fodder conscript because the boys upstairs can’t fight their own battles.”

“There’s more to it than that, Ian,” John was trying to sound sympathetic, but Ian refused to let his guard down. He reached into a part of his being that he hadn’t touched in a long time, and felt a pulsing energy fill him as his hands took on an eerie green glow. John took a cautious step back and continued to speak. “I won’t tell anyone about Lindsay if you don’t want me to, but eventually the seers will find her even without my help, and that will paint a target on her back for both sides. You know better than anyone, old friend, if she’s not a player then she’s a game piece, and that doesn’t usually end well.”

There were no good choices for Ian’s family. If they stayed where they were their home would become a warzone. If they ran, there was no telling how long it would be before it all caught back up to them, and they’d spend all that time worried about it regardless. Agreeing to return, though…

“Things are different than when we were recruited,” John broke in on his thoughts. “They don’t just throw people at operations and hope for the best. They’ll teach her, figure out where her talents lie. She won’t be sent out until she’s ready for it, and no one will expect her to take on the kinds of suicide missions we used to. It’s going to happen anyway, it might as well be on your terms, right?”

Ian let go of the power, resigning himself to the fact that this really was the best course of action, and sighed. “Fine, you win. We’ll meet you at Haven in a few days, Fi, will want to make sure we don’t leave anything behind.”

“I’ll see you both then.” John said, opening a portal in the doorway, “It’ll be good to have the two of you back in Haven.”
A Reluctant Return
A short flash-fiction of dubious quality I had the idea for a week ago and typed up over the afternoon. There's potential to expand on this one, but my current plan is to leave it as it is. I've got other plans for b4k4LIT in 2015.
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You've certainly made a name for yourself, this past year. Most of the heavy hitters have left town, they're calling this city a "Dead Zone" for organized crime. For the past month the worst you've had to deal with is the occasional stick-up artist or purse snatcher...At least until a few days ago, then it seemed like everything was worse than ever. Where before you had bank robberies, now you had bomb threats. Muggers prowling the streets at night were replaced by murderers acting in broad day light. And there were just so many! You couldn't save everyone. This had to be the work of one of the families come back with a vengeance. The Russians? The Irish? Both, working together? I can only imagine the look on your face when you found out it was just little old me.

You weren't bad, as far as would-be heroes go, but despite your success, you were still untested. Yes you could frighten the petty thugs enough to keep them hiding in their holes, and irritate the various crime lords enough that they simply abandon the territory you've claimed, but there was no way to tell how you'd fare against a proper villain; you'd never come up against a true psychopath. Until now.

And I must admit, I am impressed. Three days is faster than I expected you to find me, you have potential. I look forward to helping you fulfill it. Oh don't give me that look, you know me now, Or you should, do you really think any cell can hold me for long? I am very good at what I do. Given enough time I'll find even the smallest advantage that can be taken, and then I'll be out here once again, making more...mischief for you to deal with. And others will come too. Others like me, or worse --Can you imagine that?--and  your old friends as well, once they hear that you're not so infallible as you first seemed.

Of course you could end it now, once and for all. Kill me, and I won't be able to come back. Won't be able to make so much noise that others of my caliber will notice and come join the party. Kill me, and those sad sacks from the families will never return, for fear of their own lives should they cross you...But you won't kill me. You're trying to be a good guy, and good guys don't lower themselves to murder, no matter how many lives it might save in the long run. Or I could kill you, of course, clearing the way for myself to rule this city with an iron fist. But I won't kill you any more than you would kill me, because frankly it would be boring. Much more entertaining to see how far I can push you until I break your spirit or you break your rule. Would you like to place a bet on which one it will be?

No, we'll let each other live. And every time we meet we'll both be just a little bit better. It's ironic, if you think about it, in twisted sort of way you'll be responsible for every person I kill, and I'll be responsible for every person  you save. I shall be your crucible. Won't that be fun?
First Encounter
This is a conniving, sinister sort of villain addressing a vigilante hero on their first meeting. Originally intended to be the script for a voice recording, I couldn't get the voice right (probably because I had Troy Baker or Mark Hamil in mind at the time, this was inspired after replaying Arkham Origins), so I'm leaving it here as a text post. If you'd like to make your own recording, have at it, and send me a link, I'd love to hear it (feel free to make adjustments where necessary as well).

If you'd like to see how a voice version of this might have sounded, I have some other recording's I've made:
Shadow War of the Night Dragons One More Chance Your Baptism The Killing Joke RWBY Intro Chasing a Memory

Man it has been a while since I made a post, huh? Well Intelligence Theft fell apart on me when I started looking too closely at where I wanted the plot to go, and I've been trying to work on another project that I'm finding more difficult than expected.
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In 2013 I set out with the goal to post at least one story every month, and I almost hit that mark. That may not sound like any great aspiration, but before that I was posting once every four to six months, so my near-success was definitely a step forward. While I’m glad I met my goal, I’m a pretty firm believer in Quality over Quantity, so I thought I’d look back over the past year and examine what I think about the 11 stories I managed to post.


January: The Decision (b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Th…) This was a pretty obvious take off from The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks, but I think I did the situation justice. If I have any regrets, though, it’s that last section after the break. I’m not at all happy with how it turned out and I think it would’ve been better to just cut it all, even if wouldn’t have made Gibbs look quite how I wanted him to.


February: The Hero (b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Th…) One of the coolest things that happened in early 2013 was the release of A Memory of Light, the conclusion to Robert Jordan’s amazing Wheel of Time series. There were a lot of traps the series could’ve fallen into with the ending, but every one of them was avoided pretty marvelously. I did my own spin on things, taking a brief look at the celebration after the final victory in the battle against evil, and I genuinely like how it turned out. The only thing missing is that I couldn’t work in the line for the hero “I just want everything to go back to normal, that’s what I was fighting for, after all.”


March: The Warmaster (b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Th…) Another Wheel of Time-inspired one, this one breaks even farther away from the concepts that inspired it. I actually don’t have anything negative to say about this one. The highest praise I feel I can get is when someone sees my work and is inspired by it to make something else, and a friend of mine who makes flashgames came up with an interesting set of game mechanics based on Aiden and his affinity for the chaos of battle. Even though he never used those ideas in one of his games, I still call that a win.


April: Retribution (b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Re…) Things took a dark turn in April, didn’t they? This one was pure catharsis for me; I read a story about a girl who got raped then eventually recovered from the terrible ordeal and whose newfound friends tracked down and MURDERED the bastard who did it to her, and I thought “I’d like to have a go at that as well,” and so I did.


May, June, July: Thicker Than Water (b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Th…  b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Th… b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Th…) This 3-parter was my chance to FINALLY use a couple ideas. I wanted to use cryptic, back-and-forth conversations as chapter openers like in Ender’s Game, and I wanted to have a magical mind link between people like in the Circle of Magic books by Tamora Pierce. This accomplished both of them, and even if it didn’t go quite how I wanted, it did bring back the confidence I needed to do a multi-part serial again.


August: The Tutorial (b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Th…) If you’ve been following b4k4lit since the start, you may know there have been 2 previous attempts to do a vampire story, and I abandoned each one. But I still had a lot of exposition regarding the rules of vampires that I wanted to get out of my head, so this is how I did it. FunFact: It’s Castle Sherwood because simultaneously I was toying with the idea of writing something that would serve as a spiritual successor to Robin Hood.


September: I missed this one, and didn’t realize it until about five minutes ago, because I posted The Tutorial on August 31st, apparently making it blend over in my mind between the two months, covering both of them.


October: Freewrite--Recording (b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Fr…) Because there’s no way I could’ve done a year without something MegaTokyo-inspired, I wrote this based around the idea of the character Nanasawa Kimiko suddenly having it sprung on her that the producer for the game she was voice acting in wanted her to sing one of the the ending themes as well. I’m actually decently happy with how this turned out as well, mostly because it doesn’t hit you over the head with a hammer that says “MEGATOKYO IS AWESOME AND YOU SHOULD ALL GO READ IT,” (it is and you should) but the similarities are there for anyone who cares to look for it.


November: Intelligence Theft ch. 1 (b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/In…) IT is my new baby right now. The first chapter didn’t really do much beyond establishing a framing device, which bears a passing similarity to the ones used in Dragon Age II and Splinter Cell: Conviction, but Chapter 2 will be out….when it’s done, and we’ll start getting to the real content, so look forward to it.


December: Autobiography of an Assassin (b4k4-san.deviantart.com/art/Au…) This was a super-quick freewrite I used to clear out the year because IT ch 2 was taking longer than anticipated. On the bright side, it was an idea I’ve had FOREVER, and I’m finally glad I got to share it in one form or another.


So that was 2013. A good year, all things considered, but I’m hoping 2014 will be even better. I’m doing more serials again, finally returning to the world of Family and Starblind, and another idea that I think is actually pretty interesting. I won’t be pushing myself to hit a monthly deadline, but do feel free to yell at me on whatever channel you use to reach me if you think I’m taking too long between posts.


Vivi La Tua Storia || Live Your Story

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b4k4-san
Vivi la tua storia
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Current Residence: Michigan
Favourite genre of music: Almost anything
Operating System: Windows 7
MP3 player of choice: Zune HD
Favourite cartoon character: Gambit from X-Men,or Matt or TK from Digimon
Personal Quote: Damn, I'm Good
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:iconrvbphoenix:
RvBPhoenix Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey thanks for the fav! :D
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:iconskuske:
Skuske Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thank you very much for the watch! <3
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:iconb4k4-san:
b4k4-san Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Not a problem. How could I ignore Pookie and Yuri's reccommendations? XD
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:iconskuske:
Skuske Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
<3 I hope you enjoy what you see!
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YumeNoAnima Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fav! :)
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:iconb4k4-san:
b4k4-san Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
not a problem :)
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:iconyumenoanima:
YumeNoAnima Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks again! :D
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Ampzone Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Professional Filmographer
thanks for the fave
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:iconmischievousprank:
Mischievousprank Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks a lot for the fav! =)
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NiallHamilton Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch :3 have a LLama :3
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