“Is someone there?” I shouted out towards the waterfall.
Immediately everyone else stopped splashing around in the water and looked over at me to see where I was looking. The shadow moved closer to the rock it was hiding behind but otherwise didn’t move so I called out again.
“Hello? Is there anyone behind the waterfall?” I wanted to take my eyes off of the shadow so I could look to see if there was anyone else here but the shadow stayed crouched and didn’t move from its position.
Now that everyone was alert for any bystanders the entire wooded area was silent except for the rushing and splashing of the water, even the soft chirp of the birds didn’t sound. “What’s wrong Tadpole?” Derrek asked as he swam over to me, making sure he kept his eyes rolling over every detail of our surroundings.
“There’s a shadow of someone over by the waterfall” I whispered to him. “Halfway up the waterfall and crouched semi-hidden by that protruding rock”
“I see him...”
“What do you make of it?” Cameron asked. He was closest to us and whispering as well so as not to alert whatever was watching us, even though we were all looking at it.
“I’m not sure. I can’t see the person of the shadow, just the shadow itself, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a woman” I answered him. I saw Derrek in the corner of my eye looking deep in thought before he straightened his face again.
“Come one everyone. We should probably be getting back to the motel. We should get some rest before we head back tomorrow” Derrek called out to everyone. My eyes widened and I finally tore my gaze away from the figure and grabbed Derrek upper arm.
“What are you doing? We can’t just turn our backs, what if this guy is dangerous”
“Trust me, Tadpole” he winked before swimming past me and slapping Cameron on the back and talking quietly to him. I saw Cameron nod once and saw him swim towards the banks of the pool.
“So that’s it? We’re leaving already?” Sophia asked a little confused.
“Let’s just go!” Derrek snapped before winking at me.
Everyone began to slowly swim back to the banks and Cameron had already disappeared. I wondered what Derrek had up his sleeve but he obviously didn’t want to say it aloud so I just waited for it to play out. Everyone was already out and started to shiver. The water had been bliss to swim in but we never thought as far as getting out and having to trudge through the freezing snow. It was simple enough for me to shift the water off from everyone, but the cold was what I was worried about.
I looked over to Derrek and noticed he was steaming, literally. Thick white steam emanated from him as he evaporated the water from his clothes and body and I raised an eye at him. “Care to do the same for everyone else Sparky? It was your idea to actually swim in the water”
He smirked and rolled his eyes before motioning Bree, “Bree, care to help me out a little. I need a little breeze”
Bree smiled as her teeth chattered and nodded before twirling her finger around in the air. The once completely still air whooshed around all of us but it was freezing. It seemed as though it had collected the coldness from the surrounding snow, but as soon as the thought came to my mind Derrek flicked little bursts of fire into the whirling wind.
I was afraid the fire would end up swirling around us too but as soon as the wind hit it, it disappeared, and instead the cold air heated up to the point where it felt like a heater. The water from my clothes began to dry quickly and my hair smoothed out as if it was blow dried, and in no time at all everyone was dry and warm.
“Wow, that was like a natural hair dryer. My hair feels awesome!” Helena laughed when her natural curls were blown out to silky waves.
I looked around and noticed that Cameron wasn’t standing with the others and wondered if he’d just walked off. I shrugged and my eyes wondered back to where the dark shadowy figure was crouching before but squinted when I thought the spray of the waterfall had begun to move as well. I watched as the spray began to condense to look like a tall man.
“Shush” Derrek whispered, wrapping an arm around my shoulders and acting as though he was waiting for something or someone. I continued to watch and realised that it was, in fact, him. The water spray covered body crept closer up the hill that led to the shadow and just when it was reaching the rock, it slipped.
Rocks scattered under the weight from the fall and splashed down into the pool below alerting the shadow. Its head popped up and suddenly any element of surprise was out. Cameron appeared out of thin air and he rushed forward towards the dark figure, but he was too slow.
The shadowy figure jumped up and ran behind the waterfall but I didn’t want to lose it that quickly! I couldn’t! Something suspicious was happening and I needed to get to the bottom of it. I spread both my arms out towards the cascading water with my fingers spread wide and palms facing the water. I could feel the huge amount of water molecules gushing down and I concentrated hard to collect them and keep them steady. As I swept my hands to the side of my body the waterfall was pulled aside like a curtain of crystal blue water. It was heavy and took plenty of concentration to shift moving water but I was able to shift it aside within seconds.
I could see the shadow run past where the waterfall would have originally been and in the corner of my eye Cameron was already up and running towards it. “Cameron hurry up! I can’t hold the water aside for much longer” I shouted as sweat dripped down my temples.
“He won’t make it!” Derrek shouted and soon some of the others were trying to slow down the shadow, because it was only a shadow. There was no man that the shadow belonged to or any sort of animal, but instead was just a shadowy figure acting out on its own.
Helena clenched her hands together and threw them forward before she spread her fingers wide and the thick vines snaking around the rocks slithered forward trying to grasp the shadow. The vines had no grasp on the shadow. Iit wasn’t solid and Helena’s plants could do nothing.
Bree blew the wind from her mouth and the howling wind splashed the water from the waterfall, but did nothing to help us slow or stop the shadow. Derrek growled and raised his hand as a ball of swirling red flames grew in his palm, I watched as his arm wound back and just as he was about to throw it I shouted out to him.
“Sparky, no!” My shout caught him off guard and his fireball flew off point and sizzled into the waterfall. “You can’t throw fire at it if we need to find out what it is! It’s a shadow! The fire will destroy it... it’s freaking... common... sense”
The weight of the rushing water became too much and I let out a cry as my grip on the water molecules slipped and the water fanned out as it fell back into place. I was just able to see the shadow run into a crack between two large boulders and disappear. I fell down to my knees and tried to catch my breath. Perspiration covered my body and I pulled a face before flicking my finger and watching the sweat fall to the ground like rain.
Derrek and Helena ran over to me shouting if I was okay but I shooed away their worries. “I’m fine guys. It was just hard trying to keep a hold of the water is all”
Cameron jogged out of the woods and shook his head. “It’s gone, it disappeared through some cracks in the rocks. I’m sorry everyone, the rocks were becoming slippery the higher up I climbed and... yeah, I just slipped”
“It’s not your fault” Cara soothed him. It looked like guilt was eating at Cameron so I spoke up.
“She’s right Cameron. You did great up there and got a better look at it than we did. It looks like we gathered a fair bit of information to get back to Mr Obsidian” I smiled.
My knees still felt a little wobbly, so Derrek wrapped his arm around my waist and grabbed my hand with the other to help me up. “Keep an eye out... it looks like this ‘shadow’ thing can travel through dark spaces and other shadows. We don’t want to find out what it can do if it gets too close” I called out.
The walk back to the motel was uneasy and made everyone feel on alert. This... ‘shadow’ seemed to have been watching us while we were in the water and who knew how long it could’ve been there for... or even how long it had been following us. The thought made me feel a little sick and had me chewing on the inside of my cheek as we all continued to walk. Derrek, Blake and Cameron seemed to have subconsciously herded the rest of the girls in the middle of the group so that they stood on the outside, almost as though their inner protectiveness was surfacing without them even realising it.
I glanced over to Cara.
She was in the absolute centre of the group and looked positively frightened. Such powerful abilities and she had no idea on how to control it, therefore making her refuse to use them at all. I wondered if she realised that if she had more confidence in herself she could potentially protect all eight of us just by herself.
Sophia’s eyes flicked over every detail of the woods and I noticed from time to time her body would shake with vibrations slightly before stilling. She was on her toes in case anything happened and I was glad that she was so confident in herself. Perhaps she should give Cara some lessons on confidence and boost her self-esteem? Her nose would twitch and her head cocked in one direction before relaxing.
It was only then that I realised the wind around us wasn’t just blowing in one soft breeze. It would gently blow one way before changing over and over again and it hit me that Bree and Sophia were working together. Bree would blow the wind from different directions allowing Sophia’s ‘animal instincts’ to smell out anything out of the ordinary. It was amazing how we were all beginning to use our own abilities and bonding it with others to enhance or completely change the ability – like when Derrek and Bree used their abilities to dry everyone’s clothes.
My footsteps fell in step with Derrek’s and I could feel that his body was running on a higher temperature at the moment, probably readying himself to throw out a flame if need be. Everyone was ready, but for some reason... I knew that the shadow wasn’t around us at the moment.
The town came into view and everybody relaxed slightly. The sun was hanging low in the sky and the atmosphere was beginning to warm a little, at least it wasn’t teeth-chatteringly cold. “So how about dinner at the diner first then straight back to our rooms? I don’t want to hang around too long and think it’s best we leave at first sunlight” Derrek announced.
My stomach growled and I didn’t even realise how hungry I was. “Yes to dinner at the diner, but what time would ‘first sunlight’ be?”
“I think the sooner we leave the better. This town is like a freaking ghost town at night” Bree added.
I looked around and realised she was right. It was barely dusk and there was only the few people in the diner and a few more men hanging around the pub. We all agreed and headed over to the diner for a quick and slightly soggy meal.
The itchy blanket scraped across my arms as I laid on the bed with Derrek on the other side. Everyone had retired to their rooms and even Derrek and Blake had grown more serious since seeing the shadow and there was no teasing or pranks being pulled during dinner or the walk back to the motel.
Helena, Derrek and I had gone to bed hours ago but for some reason I couldn’t fall asleep. I was on my side and facing the wall counting the threadlike cracks that zigzagged their way in odd patterns. Who was that shadow watching us by the waterfall? Was he god or bad? Or maybe he was even scared and just in neutral territory?
So many questions flew around in my head that it felt as though someone shoved a bee hive in my brain and the bees were buzzing around and stinging every inch of my head! That could explain the throbbing headache I was beginning to feel...
We had all gathered some very interesting information for Mr Obsidian and I couldn’t wait to get back to the university!
The ticking of Mr Obsidian’s clock was the only sound in the office as we all watched him pace back and forth at the information we’d just told him. More silver seemed to have streaked the side of his hair and he looked a little more tired than usual. We’d left the motel at four in the morning and had driven six hours straight before needing to stop to refill the tank and stretch our legs. It was now three in the afternoon and the lack of sleep was really getting to me.
“Are you sure the people said they were heading west?” Mr Obsidian asked, finally breaking the silence of the room.
“Yes sir” Derrek answered.
“This just doesn’t make any sense... there’s nothing of importance out west from Crane’s Hollow” he mumbled to himself as he raked his hand through his hair. “And this... ‘shadow’... you said it was watching you, and could have possibly been following you for a while?”
“Yes Mr Obsidian. I’m almost one hundred percent certain he was even following us on the way to Crane’s Hollow. I nearly crashed the car thinking it was a real person on the road” I answered this time.
He fell silent again but instead of pacing he sat heavily in his chair behind the desk and breathed in deeply before letting it out slowly. “I’ll have to think this bit of information over. I’m afraid I have plenty going on in my mind as well from when I was out of town”
“If you don’t mind me asking sir... where did you go that was more important than following up on Malum and the other Elementals?” I wondered out loud.
At first the dean didn’t speak. It looked as though he fighting with himself on whether he should, or wanted, to answer my question. I was about to take back the question, thinking that maybe it was too rude of me to have asked it, but it seemed as though everyone else was curious as well.
“I’d gone down south because I was called for an important meeting” he looked up and his eyes rested on each of us before staying on the Elementals. “The meeting was with The Control... and it was about the Elementals”
Far out I love cliff hangers!!! (n_n)LOL
------------------------------>>>>>>>>>> Picture on the side is sorta how I picture the shadow
So guess what??? I’m super ecstatic because today (20 January 2013) is a very special day for my little family! It is the one year anniversary of my (almost) two year old daughter’s heart surgery! For those who don’t quite know, my daughter had open heart surgery when she was 11 months old and as anyone can imagine... it was an extremely difficult time for me, my fiancé and of course my daughter. BUT a year has passed and she is as healthy and active as any other baby her age and I am ecstatic!
Anyhoo, hope y’all enjoyed =)
Dedicated to @mrvela... hope this helps you through your exams ;)
I’m happy so I wanted to spread my happiness to you with a new chapter and you can spread your happiness to others with a simple smile or compliment. And I will stop blabbering now XD