Monday, September 29, 2008

The Darkness Comes - 4

Here is the fourth section of this story. Bear with me, there is more. If you haven't read the rest of the story, I suggest you read that first. "The Dark of Night", "The Night is Darkest just before Dawn", and "The Battle ensues"

Caden led me through the darkest parts of the city. The blue streaks were not falling here. He moved slowly, cautiously, making sure every move he made was safe.
We came to a corner of the city that had been abandoned. There were no people around, only crumbling buildings and rubble.
Caden reached into his pocket and pulled out a small crystal. He threw it into the air. It hovered above us. Light radiated from the crystal, creating a bright orb with the crystal as the center.
Caden scooped me into his arms and jumped into the orb, grabbing the crystal as it rushed by him. We were falling, plummeting to the earth. The bright light of the crystal was replaced by an eerie, green glow.
Caden hit the ground running, still carrying me. The earth beneath his feet was deep green, and flat as a still lake. There were no trees, no mountains. Nothing but grass. He seemed to fly across the land. I never felt the thud of his feet touching the ground.
In the distance a city rose up like a spire from the land. The city was clearly our destination.
I heard a horrid sucking noise behind me and felt the air rush by my face. When I looked back I saw a black hole open in the sky above us. Dark objects dropped from the opening, landing upright. The stood tall, shrouded with black cloaks. They were the Kaifuri.
"Caden. They're here!" I cried.
Caden glanced back and saw the creatures. "Oh no!" He groaned. He picked up his speed. The landscape flew by in a blur.
Within minutes the sky was filled with gaping holes, all dropping the malevolent creatures. They fanned out behind us, following us. Their eyes gazed out from their cloaks, dark and loathsome.
The Kaifuri did not have the speed of Caden so they slowly fell behind. The city loomed in front of us like a glittering sanctuary. By the time we reached the gates the Kaifuri were no longer in my sights.
Caden did not slow his speed when he entered the city. He raced through the streets, until he came to a tall building. The doors opened as soon as he neared them and he rushed through. A dark-haired man stood waiting inside the entrance.
"Caden," He said enthusiastically, "I've been expecting you!"
Caden stopped in front of him. He released his hold on me, setting me gently on my feet. "Lahuir," He nodded, "I come not for pleasure. The Kaifuri have taken Ja'riel. They have breached the gate between our realms. They are coming for our city."
Lahuir stiffened, "Already?"
"It is so."
"I didn't expect this so soon. What brought them here?"
Caden dropped his eyes, "I fear it was me. I had to save Kyra. It was the only way. I believe they followed me into our realm."
Lahuir's eyes widened, "Kyra?" He turned to me and took my hand, "The key." He whispered, awed.
I stared at him, unable to pull my eyes from his. Caden tightly gripped my free hand.
"Lahuir?" He said, breaking the silence, "What must we do?"
Lahuir's eyes snapped back to Caden's face. "We warn the city. Tell them to prepare. How long do we have?"
"Ten minutes, at most."
He nodded, "They will be ready." He dropped my hand, "Take Kyra to the temple. Prepare her for what must be done." The way he said the words sent chills up my spine. He turned and hurried from the room.
Caden led me into the building, up winding flights of stairs, "Caden?" I whispered, "What do I have to do?"
Caden glanced at me, "I don't know. Only Lahuir knows. All I know is that you must go to the temple. There will be further instructions for us there."

The temple was located at the top of the building. It was bright and open. Huge openings let in streams of sunlight. A man stood in the center of the temple. He wore a gold robe which hung to his feet. His hair was gray, and his skin was leathered with age. He was a sage.
"Welcome Kyra." He said, "I am Ya'shiie. Follow me." He took me to a small room and handed me a simple white gown. "Put this on." He commanded.
I obeyed, slipping off my faded tunic and sliding the gown over my body. My knife remained sheathed at my side, easily accessible.
I followed Ya'shiie back to the main room of the temple. Caden paced the room, impatiently waiting for me. He froze when I walked in, "Kyra." He gasped. His face showed open admiration.
I felt my cheeks flame red.
Caden recovered quickly and looked away, "Have they told you what must be done yet?"
He nodded and crossed the room to my side, "I must go Kyra." He bent and kissed my cheek, "You look beautiful."
The flame returned to my face. He chuckled and walked out.
Ya'shiie watched us. His eyes showed concern. "You must not look at him with those eyes Kyra."
I turned to him, "What eyes?"
"With eyes of love. You and Caden can never be. The lot has fallen on you to save our realms and because of that task you must forget your love for him."
I didn't reply. My love for him? The sage was delusional. I loved no one. I never had. My love was focused on my world and keeping it alive.

I'm sorry. I know this is a terrible place to cut off the story, but I didn't want it to get too long. I promise I'll post the rest soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Battle Ensues - 3

Hello everybody. This is the third section of this story. The first is "The Dark of Night", the second is "The Night is Darkest Just Before Dawn." I recommend reading those first, before reading this.

"What happened to her?"
"She wouldn't come."
"You did this?"
"You were instructed not to force her."
The words slowly seeped into my awareness. I recognized one voice, the voice of the phantom. But the other was unfamiliar. I tried to open my eyes, but my eyelids felt like lead weights. My body remained frozen. I could only listen in silence.
"This was supposed to be her choice." He continued.
"And it would have been, but they wanted her. They had agents leaving the city. They would have found her."
"How can that be? They never leave the city. You must be wrong."
"I'm never wrong."
They were both silent.
"What does she have that could possibly make them leave their stronghold?" The unfamiliar voice murmured, breaking the silence. He sounded subdued, awed. "I must go. The cabal will need this information." I heard a soft whisper of wind and realized he was gone.
I felt something hot touch my chest. Heat radiated from that spot, filling my body. Life returned to my veins. When I opened my eyes, the phantom was standing next to me. His hand rested on my chest, above my heart.
"Better?" He asked.
I glared at him, "What is the matter with you? First you try to kill me, and then you completely incapacitate me. Why don't you make up your mind? Either kill me or don't."
"I'm not going to kill you." He said calmly. He moved his hand away and I sat up. Strength pulsed through my veins.
I was in a small room. It was lit by a single orb glowing above my head. The world was dark outside the window.
"I'm sorry you think killing you is my motive. It's not. Not once have I tried to kill you."
"Oh really? Then why did you make every cell in my body feel like it was going to implode?"
"I had to get you out of the city. That was the only way."
"By nearly killing me?"
He sighed, "You weren't in any danger. My kind can teleport. Anything we are touching teleports with us. But our bodies are made to shift with the elements. Your body was not. Teleporting is extremely painful for you, simply because your molecules must remain connected. It breaks the laws of physics to teleport your kind. So, even though you felt like you were dying, you weren't."
"Who are you?" I demanded.
He chuckled, "My name is Caden."
I stood and walked to the window. "Where am I and why am I here?"
He followed, "You're in Ja'riel. It's a secret city. The only city left that hasn't been infiltrated by the Kaifuri."
"What's the Kaifuri?"
"They are the creatures that control your world. You would call them ex-humans."
"Oh." I said glumly. So they had a name.
"You are here because you are one of the few humans left fighting for your world, and you are the only human that the Kaifuri are desperate to capture."
"You keep saying 'my world.' Aren't you part of my world?"
He laughed, "I am between worlds right now. Technically we're part of the same world, we live on the same planet, but there are two realms on this planet. My kind can move between the realms. Your kind can only move if you are with one of us."
"And I'm in the other realm now?"
He shook his head, "No. It's too dangerous to cross realms with a human right now. We don't believe the Kaifuri know about the second realm, and we must keep it that way."
I nodded, "I see. Will you show me the city I am in?"
"Certainly." He took my hand and led me from the building.
The world outside the door was dim. Fog shrouded everything. It was constantly moving, swirling around the buildings. They seemed to shift and change shape with the fog.
The sky was dark, except for streaks of blue light that whistled through the air. They fell onto the city, cracking when they landed. Dark blue vapor rushed from the cracks. Everything it touched turned to ice.
"Kyra. Get back inside!" Caden screamed. He shoved me roughly behind his body.
"What is it? What are those things?"
"We're being attacked. Go. Now!"
I turned, racing for the building. A flash of blue light filled my vision, and I heard an ear-splitting shriek. The building I was running for stood frozen in front of me. The icy vapor seeped from the building. Caden rushed toward me. "The Kaifuri have found us. We cannot stay here!"
The flashes of blue light were coming more quickly now. They crashed all around us. The buildings of the city stood like frozen sentinals. People raced around us, searching for cover. The vapor reached out, freezing them in their flight.
"Is there nothing we can do?" I cried.
He shook his head, "The cabal will fight. My orders are to keep you safe. We will run."
"No!" I jerked to a stop. "I can fight. I will fight."
"You'll come with me."
I turned, heading to the center of the city, where the blue streaks fell the thickest. "We can win this battle. I won't run."
Caden grabbed my arm and yanked me to a stop. "You can't fight Kyra. They are here for you. If they capture you this war will be over. They will win, and both our worlds will die."
I blinked, uncomprehending, "Why? Why does my capture matter?"
"Because you have knowledge and hope. You are the only one of your kind left with that. Once your hope is gone, the Kaifuri will win, and the rest of your people, who hide in caves and the dark places of the earth, will become as the Kaifuri. Without you all light will leave both worlds. The Kaifuri will live in darkness, but they will exist. No creature of light and intelligence will be able to live in their world."
I stared at him, suddenly racked with indecision. I hated to leave a fight. It was my nature to rush in and take down as many of the Kaifuri as possible. I couldn't let others fight the battle for me, especially when I was what the enemy wanted.
Caden grabbed my arm, "You're not going back there. If I have to incapactitate you again, I will. Now come on." he yanked my arm, forcing me to follow him.
"Where are we going?"
"To the other realm. The Kaifuri don't know about it. It's the only place you'll be safe."
"Are you sure about that? You said they didn't know about this place."
He was quiet for a moment, then finally answered, "I don't know. It's a risk we're going to have to take."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Night is Darkest just before Dawn - 2

The phantom wrapped his arms around me, holding my body in a vise-like grip, keeping my arms pinned tightly against my side. My skin trembled against his touch, like it would tear itself into pieces at any moment. Molten pain scorched across my flesh, rippling from his body, filling every ounce of my awareness. The world around me was black, vacant, only his face filled my vision.
The pain moved from the surface of my flesh to the core of my bones. I couldn't hold back the screams of agony that ripped from my throat. I had never imagined my death would be so excruciating. The phantom flinched every time I screamed, but his eyes never left my face.
I became hyper aware of every cell in my body. Each one trembled uncomtrollably, to the point of bursting. Nothing could survive the raw power that racked my body. I would be obliterated.
A faint screech began to fill my ears. It grew louder, pounding against my skull. The pain grew stronger, more intense. My fingers dug into the flesh of my palm. I wanted to curl up in agony, but I was unable to move.
Suddenly the shriek stopped. The pain exploded away from me, out of my body. Within seconds it was gone. The phantom released his death grip and I collapsed onto the wet earth. The cold moisture felt like ice agaist my heated skin. I tried to curl into a ball, to escape the cold, but my muscles wouldn't respond to my brain.
I felt grass tickle my cheek and realized I was no longer in the city.
"Are you all right Kyra?" The phantom asked. He hovered over me, concern etched on his features.
"No." I groaned, "Why do you care? Why don't you just finish what you started?"
He nodded, "You're right. I should." He scooped me up and started running. My body tensed, waiting for the pain that would end my life, but it never came. I felt only the cold air as it whipped through my hair.
So he has another plan for my death, I thought. He'll probably take his time, kill me slowly. I glanced up at his face. He gazed intently forward. His eyes moved as he scanned the forest. He didn't look cruel, but that didn't matter. I'd already felt the pain he could inflict.
I subtly ran my hand along my waist, stopping my palm on the hilt of the knife I had hidden beneath my clothes. My fingers wrapped tightly around it. I wasn't going to die today, not at his hands.
I jerked the knife from its sheath, thrusting it toward him. It touched his flesh and he disappeared. I crashed to the ground, dropping the knife in my fall.
He appeared again standing above me, holding the knife, his eyes blazing. "Don't do that again." He seethed, "You will die without me. Do you want to die?"
"I'm going to die regardless! I would rather choose my death."
"You think I'm going to kill you?"
"You nearly killed me already."
He threw the knife and yanked me to my feet, "Listen Kyra," He hissed, "Either you stay and take your chances with me, or I can guarantee you, you will die. And it won't be a pleasant death. You think you're invisible here, but you're not. You have half the creatures of this world searching for you."
I glared at him, "I'll take my chances with them." I turned away from him and stalked off.
I heard him hiss behind me. "No you won't." He muttered. He rushed up to me and I felt his hand on my neck. An electric current pulsed through his fingers, shivering down my spine. My world went blank.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Dark of Night - 1

I felt the dark around me, like a thick fog. I couldn't seem to escape it. I ran blindly, afraid if I stopped running my living nightmares would catch up with me. I could hear their labored breathing all around me. Their feet pounded on the pavement and echoed of the rough stone walls.
They were behind me for now, but I knew their strategy. They would break off and follow different paths through the maze that somebody dared call a city until they had me surrounded.
Then they would take me.
I knew they would kill me as surely as I knew I was breathing now. But it wouldn't be a swift death. I knew too much. They wanted what I had, what was in my mind. They would make sure they got that first.
I raced around a corner and saw one of them cross the street in front of me. He looked straight at me. I shivered, feeling goosebumps raise on my arms. His was a look that came straight from hell.
This one had been young. He was probably new. He didn't recognize me. I shied away from him, rushing down a familiar alley, one that would take me out of the city. It would be safer for me now to face the creatures that lived outside the city than to spend another moment fighting the darker creatures that lived in the city. The creatures that had once been human, that had the minds of humans, that strategized like humans, but that I was sure were not human any longer. They couldn't be.
"Stop!" A voice cried. The voice was demanding, but it wasn't hard like the voices I was used to.
I spun around, facing the intruder. He was just a phantom in the shadows. His dark silhouette was barely visible against the stone structure.
"Who are you?" I demanded.
"You don't need to know."
"Why are you here? Everybody knows the city isn't safe." I tried to keep my voice firm, but I was panting so heavily the words came out in broken gasps.
"Why are you here?" The man said calmly.
"That's my business."
"And you are mine."
I froze. "What?"
"You are my business. That's why I'm here. I came for you."
I gaped at him. For me? Nobody came for me. Nobody even knew I existed, except the ex-humans that pursued me.
The sound of heavy footsteps broke through my thoughts and pounded in my ears.
"Come on." The stranger said. "Let's go."
I stood in indecision just long enough to hear the shouts of recognition, then sprinted after the stranger. I would take my chances with him.
He waited for me at the end of the alley. As soon as he saw me again he took off. I followed closely. He raced down the back alleys, toward the north entrance. I knew this city like the back of my hand. We could not get out that way.
"Where are you going?" I panted, "We'll be trapped if you go that way."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Of course I'm sure! There's nothing there but guards and more guards. Do you want to die?"
"I'm not going to die."
"Who are you?" I demanded. It was a trap, following him. I was running willingly into a trap. I knew it now. My mind told me to run the other way, but my body wouldn't listen. I had to follow him. There was no turning back. It was like I had made an unconscious choice and could not turn from that, no matter the outcome.
Suddenly, the man was gone. I stopped short, glancing wildly around. He had been in front of me two seconds ago. He couldn't have just disappeared.
I knew where I was. There was no where to hide even a small leaf in this part of the city, let alone a man. I took two steps forward. Maybe he had slipped into a new hole in the ground.
Suddenly he was in front of me again, inches from my face, appearing literally out of thin air.
My heart stopped. I stared into his cold eyes, fear freezing the blood in my veins. What have you done? I thought, What fate have you brought on yourself by following this man? My mind screamed the words, but the rest of me didn't move. The man was, as I had originally suspected, a phantom. He was one of the creatures that had created the horror I was now living in. His kind had turned my once beautiful city into the crumbling heap that existed now.
"What do you want?" I whispered, knowing it was futile to run.
"I told you," He said. "You."

Here goes!

All right all. So it begins. My first blog. I have recently discovered that I absolutely love writing, and am on my way to becoming a published author. At least, almost. My first novel is almost finished. To keep the creative thoughts flowing and the motivation to write strong, I thought it might be fun to create a short story blog. Basically, whenever I think of a great idea or get a spare moment I will be writing short stories, chapters in novels, sneak peeks of what I am working on, etc. The stories will hopefully be diverse, anything from romance to fantasty, suspense, to chick lit. Whatever I am feeling for that day. It's going to be an interesting undertaking! I have one request, and that is that anybody choosing to read this will respect the fact that the stories will be copyrighted. Please do not re-post without contacting me first. But on a lighter note, I hope this turns out to be great for all! Enjoy!