{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
SunChildXD would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Shadow Guardian (The Shadow Series Book 1)

By SunChildXD All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Adventure

Chapter 1

Light and darkness. Two opposing things, right? Always enemies. But what if they created something together? These would be little somethings called...

Shadows. Everything has one. Every person does too, right? Wrong. Not everyone. And I'd find that out soon enough. But one thing's for sure: you've never seen true darkness, nor have you ever seen true light.

I am Erika Clarckson. Age fourteen, wavy ginger hair and emerald colored eyes. I prefer to be called Era though. My mother, Mona Clarckson, pretty much obliged. Except when she's angry with me, then she calls me by my full name like parents do when they're ticked off.

My father? Well, he died in a war when I was just a kid. I was around three or four years old, maybe. My mom said he fought in a distant country, minor war though. You don't exactly hear the name Earl Clarckson in a random history museum. He was one of the unrecognized underlings, but a leader and hero all the same. At least that's what my mom told me.

So here I am. Ridger's School 8th grade student. Regular high school, regular routine, irregular habits and daydreams. Typical bullies and jocks. Populars and nerds. Me? I'm one of the "differents". The ones who don't fit in. When they say "differents" they refer to it as a general common noun. Each "different" is, well, different from one another. As I like to call it, we're unique. They just prefer the term "weird".

It was a regular Monday morning. The day all humans dread. I sat in one of the seats on the bus. I was one of the early ones. There were a few more stops to go before we finally get to the school. Kids were filling in by twos or threes. I saw this quartet of girls walk by and into the back seats, chatting loudly. They were some of the differents, always together. I respected them. When they hear bullies talk about them or say rude things to their faces, they simply laughed as if it was a joke. It made me smile. They were juniors, but still acted themselves- childlike and carefree.

Then after them, walked in a girl in a pretty pink tank-top and tight leggings. She had curly blond hair and piercing blue eyes and a face plastered with make-up. Typical popular kid. She spotted me in my seat, grinning slyly as she sat down next to one of her, ahem, minions who came early. I swore they were talking about me in their high-pitched gossip-voices.

"Don't mind Jessica." A familiar voice said as the owner slid in the seat next to me. Zach Maeston, my best friend since grade school. He had messy dirty-blond hair and crystal blue eyes that always twinkled with mirth. He always had his headphones around his neck but kept them away during class. But this day, he had earphones on.

"I hate her." I muttered.

"Trust me," Zach said. "Everyone hates Jessica Matteline. They just obey her 'cause she's rich."

"More like Jessica Bratteline." I muttered again. That just made Zach laugh loudly and causing Jessica to look at us suspiciously, eyes narrowed into a petty, disgusted glare. As long as you were talking about her, she had ears like a wolf's, and I knew what was coming.

"Thank you for scheduling another confrontation with her." I elbowed my friend harshly, but he only laughed.

"Don't worry." He said. "I'll be there."

I scoffed. "Oh, like the time when you blurted out my joke to the entire cafeteria, stood up after someone 'called' you, then left me alone to face Jessica's wrath?" I retorted, a little harsher than intended. I crossed my arms and looked out the window, facing away from him. "Honestly though, I feel like you've been avoiding me recently."

Zach didn't say anything, but I could tell he was frowning. I knew him like the back of my hand, and he knew me just as much, though he doesn't always understand me. "I have not." He defended. But he didn't even sound convinced himself.

The engine purred as the bus started up, causing me and Zach to lurch forward, but we composed ourselves immediately.

"It's just that," Zach tried to explain. "It's just that I... I have things to do." He concluded rather quietly. He's been acting very strange lately, I just pretend to not take notice.

"Yeah," I said rolling my eyes, voice dripping with sarcasm. "Important things, no doubt."

Zach simply groaned in exasperation. "Whatever. I can never explain stuff to you." He sighed. I turned my head slightly to see him tapping on the iPod on his lap. After scrolling through several playlists, he took out his right earphone and offered it to me, which I took without hesitation. The song that boomed in my ear was probably one of Greenday's. I love music, no doubt. But I don't exactly have a specific genre, singer, nor like to make it myself. Zach's usually the guitarist/ musician here. Me? I'm more of a bookworm. Typical bully targets, huh?

Sometimes I just wish to get out of this place. I just want to go somewhere much like my daydreams- wild, colorful, and filled with fantasy. Maybe not necessarily like that. Something... fictional. Different. Dangerous. Hey, danger's good for you too, the nice kind. Not the "car's about to hit you run!" kind. More of the "the palace soldiers are here even though you were just framed to arrest you, RUN!" kind. Some sort of adventure. But hey, you have to deal with reality one way or another, there's no escape, really.

The songs switched several times as Zach and I sat in silence for about twenty more minutes. Then the big yellow bus came to a stop just in front of the school gates. They were made of iron, painted black as coal. The grounds were mostly grass and tables. There were a few trash cans around and about four trees. The building was three floors high and painted a smooth shade of mocha. This was Ridger's School.

Zach and I got off the bus after he tugged back his earphone. We walked side by side, talking about pizza. I do not know how we got to that topic. First we were talking about theories of death, and then suddenly- pizza. Anyway, we were currently talking until I noticed that Zach had stopped. I stopped too and saw that he was looking at something around the corner of the school. He stared intensely at whatever-it-was with his crystal blue eyes. I stared at him, and he didn't seem to notice that I've stopped talking. Then, still looking at whatever-it-was, he mouthed "No," and shook his head. I turned to look at whatever-it-was but only saw the trees casting their shadows among the grass.


"Era, listen, I have to go." He said urgently, cutting me off. Then he, very rudely, shoved his backpack into my arms saying "Cover for me, okay?" Then ran somewhere behind the school. I raised an eyebrow at his leaving form. He was getting stranger and stranger, always leaving me to cover for him when he had to 'do' something. Yet he never tells me anything, and it sucked.

I set his electric blue backpack in my right hand and shouldered my blue and violet one. I was just a few more feet away from the first steps of the school when I felt my hair suddenly pulled backwards and downwards. Painfully.

I let out a muffled scream, dropping Zach's backpack with a thump. I turned around, my ponytail now undone, and found none other than Jessica Brattelinestanding there behind me.She was smirking, her minions behind her. One had short blond hair and the other had long dark hair. Both had fake smirks plastered onto their faces like they were trained to do so, following Jessica's lead. I scowled at her, emerald eyes narrowing. "What do you want now?" I growled.

"Oh, me?" Jessica asked relaying fake innocence. "Just, you know, asking a question myself." Her minions snickered behind her, keeping their hands on their waists. "So, you said something on the bus, earlier?" She asked, fake innocence intact.

I tried to keep my cool, but she was getting annoying. "Yes. I was talking about pizza." I said through gritted teeth. She was getting on my nerves.

Jessica looked side to side to her minions. "Alec?" She asked the dark haired girl. "Didn't you hear her talk about something with little Zachie? Something about me?"

Alec tried to pull a confident smile and nodded. "Yeah, I heard it." She said. Then looked to me. "What did you say again, Era?"

I rolled my eyes at them, picking up Zach's bag from where it fell. Hey, he may have deserted me, but I'm not about to betray him and leave his bag. Besides, I can hit him on the head with it later. "I don't have time for this." I said under my breath, just loud enough for Jessica to hear. Then, the school bell rang, cutting the popular princess off. I grinned, turning on my heal. "Also, nice chatt, Jessica Bratteline." I said and ran inside the building as fast as I could to Mrs. Erlanda's English class, mine and Zach's first period. I could hear the populars growling in outrage behind me and the clicks of their heals as they tried to run after me. Ah, the perks of sneakers over Gucci shoes.

I rounded a corner and slowed down, finally reaching my classroom. I entered and found Mrs. Erlanda, early as usual, sipping coffee while waiting for the rest of the students. I sat down in the middle seat by the window and put Zach's bag in the seat next to mine. Only half of the class was present at the moment, and there were still less than fifteen minutes to go. I had to hope Zach would make it.

"Erika?" I lifted my head up as Mrs. Erlanda called me. She had a Latina complexion, her lips red with lipstick, and her hair up in a bun. "Is Zach late again?" She asked. I nodded, fixing up my pony tail which Jessica dragged. "He asked you to cover for him?" She asked again. I nodded again. She sighed. "That boy's been getting into too much trouble. Tell him if he keeps this up, he won't be passing the anything."

"Already have Mrs. Erlanda." I said truthfully. She nodded in reply and went back to sipping coffee.

I looked out the window resting my chin on my hand and elbow on the window sill as I waited. I could see a little playground outside for the preschoolers. There was a swing set of two, a low monkey bar, two slides and a see-saw. There were also two trees and a wooden bench off to the side. As the sun rose slowly their shadows adjusted following the light. But out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a part of a shadow of a tree slip out and into the shadow of the slide. It was kind of like seeing a drop of water escape from a glass only to join with the water in another glass.

The hairs on my neck stood on end as I watched out for another shadow, but when nothing appeared, I shook my head and tried to block it out, but I just couldn't. It was stuck in my mind for the rest of the day, mostly because I couldn't understand what it was. I tried to convince myself that it was nothing more than my imagination, but my immagination had it's own ideas. You can never keep your imagination caged, especially when it starts on something unexplained. It's just human nature to become so paranoid sometimes, to think and to make up theories of the unknown.

And sometimes, that's a bad thing.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Olivia N J Hamel: I want this book. I love it so much. It is so enjoyable to read and to have a copy of this always, I would be very happy, to always be able to come back and look at it again.

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

aoifecollopy22: I loved how the author had the conflict come back later in the story. Also how they passed time without going over anything. That really helped move the story along. This kept my up for a few hours. YOU SHOULD READ THIS

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

More Recommendations

Roy Jenner: I was pleased to join the action where this B-17 was limping back across the English Channel defying all odds. Obviously written by a person more than familiar with the interior of the Flying Fortresses that were familiar in the skies of Southern England during World War 2. Plenty of action here ...

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

Caryn Moy: Love this series! Very well written, great plot and characters! I love time travel mysteries and this was different from anything I've read in the past! Bring on the sequel!!! I need to see the Compact get squashed!

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

Alani Foreigner: I absolutely loved how you created this story. It isn't like the other cliché stories I've ever read. I had just started reading it yesterday and just had to finish it. The main characters are grotesquely awesome and I fell in love with them. If you're into fantasy and stuff I can guarantee that ...

daneliacapote116: This was one of my favorites! When you start reading you want to continue I can't wait for the rest of the novel!! The characters where awesome! Everything was great. I encourage you to read this novel, your going to love it it and want to read it more and more !!

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.