The pond was clean. Utterly clean, there was fish and other tiny creatures swimming about in it and to my surprise they all were alive. Alive and well, how did Neo do this?
Even if the fish is poisoned at least we'll have a good excuse for 'accidentally' killing your father, I said mind-to-mind with Violet. She smirked.
Yes, but what will I eat?, She asked giving me a look.
We can find a human and roast them in their bed, I replied. Violet chuckled.
I'd rather shoot them in the eye, hang them on a light pole and watch the buggers die, She maliciously purred. Then roast them in their beds, she added.
I always hated that nursery rhyme, I said. "Are you sure that these fish are good to eat?", Violet asked out loud.
"Of course they are", Neo defended,"I cured this pond myself"
"I have a hard time believing that", she mumbled.
I sat on a nearby boulder and starting wiping my blade "just take a fish and go, that father of yours can have the first bite"
"Always in a hurry to welcome your owner before she even steps past the border", Violet smirked.
I grinned. This one owns a sick sense of humor, I'll tell ya that. Her favourite jokes are the ones where she hurts people. Yes, very normal. Sarcasm.
"Zack hand me a knife", Violet asked holding out her hand without even taking her gaze off the pond. Mustve already got a target. I tossed her my knife and she caught it, without even hesitating she aimed it at a fish and through it. The knife hit home.
"You've managed to catch the biggest fish in this pond, congrats", Neo deadpanned.
"Whatever",Violet mumbled and hauled the fish out onto her shoulders, "let's go" she said and starting walking.
When she vanished through the leaves I turned to Neo "thanks", I whispered. The hybrid half smiled "no problem, see you again". And he jumped in the pond. Oh well.
I caught up to Violet after some intense running. "Hay let me carry that for you", I offered reaching for the fish. She let me take it after a much need breath of air. It is kinda heavy. "I dont trust him", she said.
"Neither do I but do we have a choice?", I replied. Violet shook her head. Later, we'll talk about that later.
Avalon. The Kingdom of Peace. People of every element live here fire, water,ice,earth,air and light. No Dark Hearts, we're not allowed here, only for visits, not too long, no more than a week. Why? Because we live by different standards. We cant sleep peacefully without hearing noise, we perceive peace as the biggest sort of violence.
And food. We highly recommend at least a few raw pieces of meat here and there. Another thing, the sun. I know so many Dark hearts that would be rendered completely blind with the brightness of that big orb in the sky. So it's not that we dont like coming here, it's just that we cant stick the environment. We've grown so used to the gloominess of the Darkside that we actually find ourselves preferring it more than any other Kingdom.
"Where to now?", Ariel smiles beside me. She seems happy here, more at peace than back at home. "We go meet the King and Queen to see why they're holding up on those food packages", I reply but then look sidelong at her, "and they have a son your age".
It takes her a moment to digest the information, like a rock being thrown in the pool and finally reaching the bottom. Ariel gasps like she just heard some real life changing information. To her yes, to me? Not so much.
"A prince?!", she squealed.
Lord what did I get myself into.
"Yes, yes now come down. Theres a chance we might see him so act like a normal Dark heart princess", I inform her. Any weaknesses shown in my fathers court could be seen as leeway for other Kingdoms to start thinking we're warming up to people.
"Remember we are representing the Darkside so no sunshine and rainbows, got it? We are completely soulless", I say to Ariel.
She listens to every word i say, taking everything in and slowly creating a calm and hard exterior. By the end of our walk she has her chin up, shoulders squared and a cold look on her face.
I dont do the same though. My walk turns into a stalking gait, the damper on my power lessens, my flesh shredding black claws slide out and I put a menacing smirk on my face. Enough to let people know to not mess with us. We reach the palace gates and step in.
Zack and I turn the corner to where my house is. A medium sized gloomy building. The windows are misty and cracked, the roof looks like it came out one of those horror movie homes. The grass is dead and the door is wood but rotting. Zack pushes the door open to let me in, the fish hanging from his shoulder.
The first things we see are the weapons. They're of every kind and shape, hanging on the walls, lying on the table, everywhere. The one thing my father and I share in common.
The second thing we see is my father sitting at our two-seat dining room table, both hands together fingers interlocking and on the table with his head slightly bowed.
"Father, I've hunted something for you", I say loud and clear. He slowly lifts up his head, anger burning in his grey orbs. This isnt gonna be good. He looks at Zack then me and he stands up from the table.
"You made me wait hours", my father growled. Zack moved to put the fish down, watching his every move I said, "there is less animals to hunt in the Dark Kingdom, you can't expect me to come with something new for you everyday this bloody entire Kingdom is rotting and every living thing is gone except for us superhumans, the humans and the monsters the King keeps. So excuse me for making you wait but it's a little hard to find things to eat over here"
My father growls, stepping closer to me. I wait for the slap that's surely to come. I close my eyes, squeezing my eyes together, readying for the blow. But nothing happens, I wait a little longer. Maybe he's walking slow? A few seconds pass and I open my eyes, the first thing I see is someone's back. I crane my neck to see their face. Zack. He's protecting me? But...why?
"Think your so tough huh?", my father challenges. Zack doesn't even shift on his feet, he just dead right stares at the man.
"What? Words are failing ya?", Father asks.
He moves to punch Zack in the face, his right hook cleaving the air towards my friend, but nothing happens. No, I crane my neck a little more and see that Zack has caught my fathers wrist, his knuckles mere inches away from his face.
He starts squeezing, until I hear a bone break in my fathers wrist. He cries out in pain, the sound music to my ears. Zack let's go of Fathers wrist and just watches him retreat back. As if enjoying the sight of this horrible man in pain. His face shows nothing though, no emotion. Completely blank. No trace of the kind, caring and funny teenager I grew up with. I reach out to put a hand on his shoulder.
"Come on, let's go", I softly tell him. He doesn't show that he heard me, just walks out. Leaving me to talk to my father. "Nothing you do will ever break me, but if you even try to lay a hand on me again I wont be as generous as my friend. I will kill you", I warn.
Walking out of that house was like lifting a ton of weight off my shoulders. I take a deep breath, letting the cold winter air fill my lungs. I spot Zack, head tilted to the sky, eyes closed. Probably praying to the darkness between stars and the stars themselves, but its day so their not out yet. So I let him finish, waiting for Zack to just open his eyes, to tell me why the hell he did that.
And when he did, all thoughts of yelling at him faded away. His eyes...were blank. No emotion whatsoever, all the light sucked away like the sun just died. I slowly stepped closer to him, brushing my fingers against his and when he finally looked down at me the pain in his eyes were unbearable. Images of his mother getting beaten by a man he didnt know, of the woman in the Darkside getting raped and killed like animals. . . Of Emily, her broken and bruised body lying on the table as we healed her, trying to make her breathe again, trying to protect her from deaths embrace.
"My father can sometimes be harsh, this is not the first time he has layed a hand on me, only difference now is that you stopped it", Zack was still looking at me, waiting for me to continue "thank you", I whispered. He nodded, that same stone cold look on his face, not once faltering to let even a flicker of emotion in. And so I hugged him, I hugged him because we both needed it, just to hold on to someone, to know that we are still here, still alive, still safe.
Is everything ok?, we heard Emily whisper into our minds.
Yes, when are you coming back home?, we questioned.
That's what the Darkside is to us. Home. Not a prison, not a Kingdom of Darkness. Home.
Soon, she replied, Ariel is coming back too.
Ok, we answered.
Zack and I held each other just a little longer because we didnt want to be alone, not now, not tomorrow, not ever. Not when the only thing keeping Emily from erupting is us, our small circle. Our bonds that keep us together.