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Doors, Love & Dungeons Doors, Love & Dungeons original

Doors, Love & Dungeons

Author: RoyalApple

© WebNovel

Chapter 1: Hard-Knock Life

Objectively speaking, from a human standpoint, Crush lived a bad life on earth. He was 17, yet since he became cognizant as a child, he'd only hungered. Longed For everything that constituted a 'normal life.'

After being bound to an orphanage for all of his childhood and failing to achieve normality, his desire grew more extensive. "If you're miserable for a day, the next week should be grand," he believed. His dream of normalcy shrunk, and instead, the lofty thirst for wealth was cultivated to make up for his shitty youth.

That was the logic.

New York, United States - 21st Century

The best path to success is- Well, it'd be something generic like perseverance, consistency, honesty, and some might argue faith. Of these four qualities, Crush practiced three; the one he had no use for was unmistakable.

"Wind up, and hit it out of the park with these deals!" A banger sales pitch he created himself.

The day his life went to, well, went even more to shit, he was practicing his usual rise to fame track. It was sunny, and clear skies nestled him with confidence.

Without fail, whenever a game neared, he set up his bootleg shop outside of the Yankees stadium. It was right when there was an influx of locals and tourists alike, all hankering to view one of the most exciting sports in the state. In modern times, front-row seats to a baseball game weren't cheap, no, not at all, luckily; ya boy had them at a discount that'd put other retailers out of business.

"Only six tickets on sale today!" He'd yell, slamming his left hand down onto the panel of his stand and raising a paper slip with the other. The shop he worked from looked... Lacking. Shady. The desk comprised a wooden door that he removed from a building and trashed stools that raised it to waist height.

"Removed," putting it nicely. It's worth mentioning that Crush hated decorative, looming doors. For reasons only the devil would know, the caretaker at the orphanage he grew up in locked him in a tight closet when he was quote, "sinful," unquote. Reckon the religious mother expected all children to behave like Saint Joseph or Mary.

Back on track- Even though the sales booth looked like a hobo's castle, the ticket appeared legit. Crush, a flawed but eccentric boy, advertised the items at his shop with the hype that befitted their appeared authenticity.

Of course, they weren't real. Nothing he sold was. The tickets, souvenirs, and Yankee-branded knickknacks were all knockoffs. Generated courtesy of his plus one, Sprite Dwellings, a friend in the warfare against poverty. It was because of the genius Sprite that Crush could do business. He was the same age, though he looked less like a thug or con man and more like lost royalty.

His short, neat platinum hair, fair skin, and handsome leafy eyes were fetching and gave the impression they were legit salesman. Even more, he was clever. Crush had the ideas, and his right-hand man had the intellect to realize them. He even learned how to use the orphanage director's PC to forge a baseball ticket. As an added bonus, he printed them on that sweet, sweet, thick laminated paper with a barcode.

They were like day and night, yet friends that couldn't make it in that world without the other.

"Four hours until the game! Get your pass before it's too late!" Sprite yelled with waving arms. His brightness stabbed into the sea of fans that populated the stadium rim, drawing tens to twenties of bodies to their location.

"$40 for seats? Arn't these nosebleeds?" Doubted one of the men that approached their stand. His suspicion was quickly met with Crush's enthusiasm as the boy leapt over the table and shoved one of the well-forged tickets into his face. "No sir, front row, look for yourself," he said with a beaming smile.

The customer inched closer and squinted to regard the slip, beginning a low hum as he inspected the item. It was rightful to be distrustful, but that cost him.

Another body advanced from the crowd of twenty or so individuals and shoved themselves to the flank of the conscious guest. "$40?! I'll Take it," they shouted, basically launching a wad of cash like he was tossing it on a stripper.

He snatched the slip, jumped with glee, and clicked his heels together before bolting from the still-skeptical audience. Cash was cash, and Crush bent over to collect the money, a two-second endeavor, but when he rose, a mob had formed.

"$40 sounds great! I'll take that ticket after all!" clamored the man before him with a newfound conviction. Like tinder to a kindling fire, Sprite announced, "Just sold one, only five tickets remaining!"

Then a brawl; everyone and their runaway hamster gunned for the remaining slips of paper. That was the formula that always worked. Crush riled the guest into visiting, and Sprite's allures validated their shop. They learned from TV that people almost always trust a guy in slacks and a button-up shirt, so that was their attire. Crush kept his tie pristine, and to fit with the times, his pants were cut-short and showed inches of his warm brown skin.

Their ticket stock was sold in less than a minute, which initiated phase two. "Sell the rest of this useless shit." Yankee keychains, caps, jerseys, even goddamn socks; who would buy one-size fits all socks from a random stand run by 17-year-olds? Only the people Crush heeded as "cattle."

Cattle served a purpose and existed for the benefit of others. Crush had a relatively low opinion of the general populace but never considered himself better. If they were cattle, he thought himself the parasite that nested on their backs and nurtured himself.

Nothing wrong with that. It was just the cards he was dealt in that life. Still, even though you start with a hand full of reds, you can achieve UNO. Cards can be and will always be changed in a game.

The total income from that day was $270; believe it or not, that wasn't even a good day. But, being swindlers, there were natural factors that affected their earnings. The biggest of which was law enforcement.

What would have been 30 yards away, a familiar pest of a man bulldozed toward them with his prized baton raised. "Make way! Officer coming through!"

They weren't actually the law enforcement Crush was worried about. His name was August, and he was just stadium gate security. They only knew that info because he handed out business cards that people always discarded on the ground. The man had the build of a policeman and could have graduated if he didn't drop out of college and become a male model. He did so because of financial troubles, and Crush could respect someone for using what was at their disposal to survive. Still, he hated the man's denial and how he insisted others treat him like a cop.

Crush clicked his teeth when the guard's uproar stole the attention of their customers. "Fuck, Sprite, the farmer's coming," he said, undoing the first three buttons of his shirt. This revealed hints of his defined upper chest and the stainless steel choker he hid under his collar.

The boy chuckled, then pointed at Crush in scold. "I told you it's rude to call strangers things like cattle and framers."

"i ToLd YoU iTs RuDe tO-," mocked Crush in a distorted voice. His face had fallen into a grimace, and his tone dropped several levels into contempt. More accurately, he returned to his true self. "Pack up while I buy time; bag's been acting kinda wacky, so place things in there carefully. Alright?"

While Crush spoke, Sprite was behind the table, gesturing his hand like a mouth, 'blah, blah,' he mumbled under his breath. When unresponded, Crush twisted in a pout, but Sprite quickly raised his arm in salute, "sir, right away, sir," he said with a grin.

By then, August was approaching and boiling. He pointed a strict finger at Sprite, then at Crush while shouting. "Scammers! I've told you millions of ti-"

"Whooa there," interrupted Crush, throwing his open hand in the man's face to silence him. He glanced at the confounded countenances of the active crowd, then calmly tilted his head at the bright blue sky.

(("Here we go again..."))

The 'farmer' was a reoccurring character in their life. As the title suggested, he catered to the cattle and tried to protect them from the parasite that wanted to cause them harm. They only operated from that location when there was a baseball game, roughly 80 times a year. Yet, every time, the same person thwarted them.

"Listen," began Crush, wiping his hands against each other as if they were dusty. "Those days are behind us. We're honest-to-goodness salesmen now."

"You were here last week!" Denied the guard, clenching his black baton.

"Really? It felt longer," replied crush haphazardly. The gatekeeper's eyes widened in astonishment, then he stormed forward to apprehend the delinquent.

August had three years on them, which wasn't much of a gap, but they were still minors, so he firmly outreached with his empty hand. "You're under arrest!"

"Halt!" Exclaimed Crush, once again raising his open palm in time-out. He closed his eyes and confidently shook his head as if he was superior. "Silly farmer, always so impatient."

Crush stuck his hand in his pocket, then heeded the guard with a cheeky smirk. "I told you, we've gone legit. Since you don't believe me, have a look at our business license."

"My name is August, you know that. Also, I've learned not to believe a word you con artist say. I'll never forgive you for hiring that homeless man to impersonate the head security staff and fire me. I went a whole month away from work before my actual boss called me and asked why I hadn't clocked-in for four weeks!"

Crush lowered his head and covered his mouth as if in thought or remorse, but he was actually smiling. (("That was among my most fabulous plots. I remember when we used a payphone to call the number on his business card and report a bomb. He was too busy trying to convince people that there was an explosive to bother us for a while. Then, there was the Florida-man invasion incident."))

(("I hate doing this, but occasionally I have to toot my own horn. Bet I could sell a car to a blind person. Or convince a firefighter that a clearly burning building wasn't on fire."))

Crush swiped his fingers across his eyes to wipe the tears that he forced from their socket. "We've been through a lot, huh."

A static cut sounded from the guard, and in a plain, monotonous voice, he uttered, "10-17, this is callsign spotted tiger requesting back up outside the main entrance."

"August, I've repeatedly reminded you that there are no callsigns. Please stop playing on the walkie," responded an equally colorless voice.

Embarrassed, the man held his communication device closer to his face and mumbled while side-eyeing the offender. Crush couldn't hear but knew it'd be trouble if a competent farmer showed up to stop them.

"Alright, alright, you win," he reasoned. He pulled a white, rectangular card from his pocket and handed it to August, who snatched it. "Impossible!"

The man held the item to his face and began reading from the top. His face was dumbfounded at the possibility the scam artist could have a legal document in their possession.

He looked at the top of the card. But. There was little to read.

"This..." He mumbled. Petrified. The iconic yellow 'M' at the top of the card portrayed many things. Betrayal, deceit, and, most importantly, anger with himself for repeatedly falling for the same tricks.

"This is an Mc. Donald's coupon!" Raged the guard. He crumpled the card in his hands, gritted his teeth, and raised the baton. "It's not even a free meal! Just a buy one, get one half off deal, the worst kind!"

August had hoisted his view from the paper, but Crush was missing from his placement. Gone for a second but suddenly popped up from the ground like a groundhog. "Ah, must have the license in my other pants," he smirked.

"I got everything!" announced Sprite, sprinting around the wooden door with a packed, all-black duffle bag. Crush shot him a thumbs-up, gazed at the guard, then used his middle finger to lift his top lip and expose his sharper-than-usual canine teeth.

Taunted, August bolted forward after the two boys but felt his feet felt concreted to each other. Upon his first step, he staggered forward and slammed into the ground. He was reflexive enough to pull his arms up and catch himself, but scratches coated his elbows.

The guard grunted on collision with the concrete floor. He hastily looked down and saw that his shoestrings had been tangled together and, at the same time, heard the escapee exclaim, "Fastest shoe knotter in the north!"

Devoted to the chase, the gatekeeper abandoned his shoes altogether and took after them in ankle socks. The onlookers mumbled among each other, so he yelled in pointless assurance, "don't worry, civilians, I have everything under control!"

Their encounters always escalated in the same manner. Every time he exasperated himself while wondering where it all went wrong. Just how long had it been since the two lucifers appeared? Decades? Centuries? He couldn't pinpoint just how long he'd been at war with the devil's duo but hoped it'd end soon.

**

It had been one and a half years. No longer, no less.

But, much further back, you have the reason for their repetitive feud.

A baby boy, born- No, even further back, that child's parents. Two lovers who met while enlisted in the military. It was a fantastic starry night, filled with love, ambient sounds, and- who am I kidding. When is love ever like the fairytales?

Long story short, the two banged, the guy's pull-out game was weak, and the woman was knocked up. They took a leave of absence to have the child, then left him at an orphanage's doorsteps before returning to war. No birth certificate, no belongings, no attachments. The only thing they provided him was decent genetics.

That child picked up on his ghost parents' traits somewhere along the line. He became outstanding at not giving a fuck about other people. He was five years old when he deliberately stole from another human.

It was some laundry lady that always drank Orange Crush Soda. She made the same rounds daily and had no guard to let down. Taking that can of soda was easy. People often use the analogy, "as easy as taking candy from a baby." Well, some babies have unreal grip strength, and their crying can become bothersome.

More accurately, it was as easy as taking a wet, meaty steak from an extremist vegan. Effortless.

By seven, he was alienated for bullying the other orphans and stealing from the head caretaker. To be fair, they did leave their office door unlocked. "Trust goes a long way," the director often said.

It did go a long way. The 300 bucks Crush stole lasted them a whole month. On the streets, that is, because they were kicked out shortly after.

On the other hand, we have Sprite, who also entered the orphanage shortly after birth. Now, his story should be told with more consideration. Unlike Crush, Linus Dwellings JR was birthed by two sincere and wealthy parents in Sweden. Linus, and Jessica Dwellings. While the child had the gift of love, he didn't acquire a strong constitution. Before he was eight months old, he became so sickly that most modern medicine couldn't cure him. As a final exertion, his parents arranged for an overseas specialist to heal their beloved child.

It was some time away, but they stayed up night and day with the boy until the awaited appointment. When the time came, they ordered private transport across the ocean to the United States.

Everything was meant to work out. Should have, but one of the aircraft engines was lost en route. All the passengers had to abandon the vehicle over steep mountains nonetheless. While the parents wished to coddle their son till the end, the obvious way to jump was for the passenger pilot to carry the baby. Who else would be more capable of parachuting down with a baby?

Well. Everyone jumped successfully; however, being everyday civilians, Sprite's mother and father couldn't steer and land on a sloped mountain. They were lost, but their legacy lived on.

Linus was rescued and received the treatment he needed in the US. The pilot who saved him could find no next of kin to take the child in, so they tried caring for the baby themself. A fair crack was made, but it was far too much of a commitment for a traveling worker, and Linus was ultimately placed in a home. Still, the pilot visited, and when the child was old enough, they shared the story of his birth parents.

Linus cherished his parents for their sacrifice, but he didn't mourn them. It was the world's will, and because of that, he met his new family, Crush.

One door closes, and another opens, thus is human life.

Being an orphan and a Junior just didn't sit right with Linus, so he renounced his first name at nine, two years after he'd met Crush.

Errr, before they met. On rare occasions, the home keeper that Crush drank after brought a different beverage to work.

Linus was a gorgeous, model child that all the staff loved. Despite it being prohibited, one day, the home keeper offered the drink that she brought that day to Linus.

The boy flipped his lid on a sugar rush and praised the woman for introducing him to soda. She must have fallen in love with the cuteness overload because she stopped bringing other beverages and secretly snuck sips to the child. Once Crush caught wind of this, he seethed and used his seven-year-old paws to punch the holiness out of the woman's kneecap. It was straight to the solitude closet after that.

Perhaps it was the brief affection he felt at birth. But Linus was distinguishable from Crush despite being raised under the same roof. Following the soda incident, they fought a lot, but their love for sweets eventually led them into an alliance. They were friends by eight and started their union by blackmailing the lady helper into bringing both liters of soda. "Do it, or we'll tell the director you were secretly feeding Sprite."

It was initially harmless, but Crush captained the ship, and he saw soo much more out at sea than canned soda.

He had the ideas and utility to strive for much more, and Sprite had the intelligence to realize their ambitions.

They were on the right track, making money and nearing the goal of getting off the streets and owning a studio apartment together. Things should have, should have worked out. If only it wasn't for that god-forsaken door.


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