I woke up, gasping and spitting out water. I coughed and choked a little and shakily sat up. “Easy there, human. You’ve almost drowned.” I turned to see where the male voice came from. I didn’t see anything at first, but I kept passing over this dark swirling area. I squinted and focused in on it. The swirling moved, and then a man stepped forward. He was completely disturbing. His skin was pulled tightly over his frame, almost like it was stretched tightly.
I could see his bones through the skin and it almost looked like it was glowing. He looked anorexic and when he looked at me, it was with ruby glowing eyes. His teeth were white and jagged. Except for two teeth evenly spaced out on his upper jaw. Are those fangs? I wondered. “Who are you?” I asked. “The one who saved your life, kid.” I sighed. “Sorry, I just meant, I wanted to thank you, and I don’t know your name,” I said. He eyed me suspiciously. “My name isn’t important. But, you’re not out of danger yet.” He said. “Why is that?” I asked.
“When the tide shifts, this cavern will almost fill to the top with water. We only have had an hour before that happens. Now, the way I see it, we only have two options. One is that I go and try to reach your cousin before the tide shows up. But, chances are, he won’t believe me, and you’ll die from the water and the cold.” “How come you can’t get me out of here?” I asked. “It’s simple. We are about two hundred feet below the sea. There’s enough air pressure in this cavern to keep the water from flooding. But, once the tide comes in, the cavern floods. You may be wondering how oxygen keeps entering? Well, that small hole above you leads to the top of the cave and the outside.” He said explaining.
I only stared for a moment and then, “What’s option two?” I asked. I was sure I wouldn’t like it either. “Well, that’s when I send a shadow with a message to one person. Your shadow and you get to choose who the person is. I would say your cousin. But, that’s up to you.” He said. “How do you know so much about us?” I asked. “Well, I used to work with the one who’s trying to kill you.” Fear shot through me. “You work with him?” I choked out. “Used to work for him.” He corrected. “I don’t anymore. He said that he didn’t have a use for me anymore.” The man said in disgust. “Why?” I asked. “He needed me years ago to teach him his shadow magic. When he met me one night, I was the only one who could properly manipulate shadow. So, he used to me to learn and had me do a bunch of work, and I thought he accepted me. But, after I taught him everything he knows, he kicked me out.”
“You didn’t fight him?” I asked. He glared at me. “Oh, I tried. I was stronger than him, and his new skill didn’t affect me. But, his other ones did. Holy magic, he called it was especially harmful.” The man shuddered. “I thought he was going to kill me,” He told me. “I don’t see how you could have a lot of weakness,” I said. He gave me a patronizing smile. “Oh, you have no idea kid. But, I’m more than a match for humans. See, they can’t harm me.
They don’t have the speed or the strength to stop me or even slow me down.” One second he was in front of me, and the next he was gone. I don’t know where he went. I kept hearing his voice all around me. “You don’t think you people are the superior species, do you?” I turned to follow his voice, but before I even got close, he was gone again. “You are weak, insignificant and only good for a food source,” He said, and I looked up. I thought I saw a swirling figure above me, but before I could make sure, it was gone.
“I’m not even sure why I saved you,” He said, and it sounded like it came from below me. I looked down and this black goo below me. Then he popped up in front of me. “Of course, the boy who wants you dead doesn’t know about this power,” He said thoughtfully. “What? You want to do an exchange?” I asked wearily. “Oh, no. Well, not with him. That is why I want to get on your side. They may be able to help me.” He said. Then he knelt down right in front of me. “Um, what are you doing?” I asked feeling uncomfortable. He looked up at me. “Oh, relax. I’m not here to blow you. Don’t get your briefs in a knot.” He snapped.
I blushed. He pulled out a jagged onyx bladed knife. “Is that how you are going to send the shadow?” I asked. He nodded. “You’re clever.” I grinned. “Not all humans are dumb you know,” I said. “I know. Just inferior.” I looked at him with a droll look. He then took the knife and jammed it into the ground. I thought it would only chip away at the ground, but it seemed to stick in the flesh. “Ouch!” I shouted. He looked up at me. “You didn’t think it wouldn’t hurt did you?” He asked. “I don’t know how a shadow can be painful, though!” I said through jagged breath.
“It’s simple. A shadow is an ethereal being. It can take on a physical form. But, otherwise, it’s more like a spirit or ghost. You only think that the light creates it, but that’s not true. A shadow is an extension of us all. No matter who or what, we are. They are silent guardians to obey us and protect us. Think of them as guardian angels. If you know how to control one, you have an assassin that can’t be targeted except by another shadow.
The only danger is that if your shadow is separated from you for too long, then it can be dangerous to your life.” I nodded. Well, let’s make sure that the shadow comes back.” I said. He smirked. “Oh, your shadow will never leave you. It can’t. You have a kind soul. It wants to come back and protect you.” He said as he continued to cut away at the shadow connecting to me. “Why hasn’t he been able to before?” I asked. “You didn’t have control of him, and you didn’t have the ability to release him. If you could free him, or give him the ability to live, then he would have stopped the shit in your life.” The man said.
“You know about all of that?” I asked. He nodded. “I’ve been watching you for a while.” I looked at him and asked again, “Who are you?” He sighed. “Maxix.” That was all he said. He finished cutting the shadow and then it just faced me. “Hey, Shadow! I’m the one who freed you.” Maxix said. He glanced at him and then looked back at me. He had my outline, height, size, hair length and his eyes were the same as me. The only difference was that he looked like swirling black smog, but I didn’t feel threatened by it, and I noticed a purple streak in the black. “Why is there…” The Shadow raised his hand in a “Stop talking” gesture. “What were you going to say?” He asked. The shadow lightly shook his head.
“Oh, nothing. I was going to ask why there wasn’t a darker presence to him. But, then I remembered you said that the shadow was just like another form of the person they came from.” I replied. He gave me a look like he didn’t believe a word I said, but he didn’t question it. “Alright, now shadow. We need you to deliver a message.” “Make him stop talking to me, like he controls me. He may have mastery of shadow. But, he isn’t my master. You are. If he doesn’t stop trying to order me around, he will be annihilated.” I paled a little.
“What did he say to you?” Maxix demanded. “He said that the only master he has been me, and if you don’t stop trying to order him around, he’ll destroy you,” I told him. Anger flashed in his eyes. “No shadow has the will to disobey me. I’m the master of shadow!” He snapped. He went to strike my shadow, but he just side stepped him. Maxix struck again, and my shadow grabbed his wrist. I heard the conversation.
“I warned you. Now, you’ll pay. I don’t need you anymore. You freed me. So, now I can come and go as I please. You should have heeded my warning.” My shadow said. “No, you can’t do this to me! I freed you!” Maxix shouted. “I saved him!” I didn’t know what to say or do. My shadow floated him up a few feet and then slammed him into the wall. “You have failed in your journey. You’ll never see them again. I know you aren’t like the others who have been hunted to extinction. But, you should have never abused your power over shadow.
“We aren’t as forgiven as you might think. We also aren’t as lenient and obedient as you think. We are sleeper warriors. We listen until the time is right. If you are just, we forgive. You abuse, we pass judgment. Which is why no one in this world has ever tried to dominate us. It’s not possible.” The shadow said. “But, you’ll listen to him!?” Maxix shouted. My shadow looked at me. “We have to obey the one we are linked to. There’s no stopping that. If you controlled someone’s shadow and ordered it to kill the one who it was linked to, they wouldn’t be able to do it, and they would turn on you. You would be signing your death sentence.” My shadow said.
He slammed Maxix into the ground and knelt over him. “Now, pay for your infidelities,” He said and then went to stab a glowing white object into Maxix. “Stop!” I shouted. My shadow stopped right before pierced his chest. “You know what he is right?” My shadow asked. I shook my head. “He’s the first vampire in the world. He’s the one they make movies about. You should let me kill him!” The shadow said. “No, I owe him a debt. He saved my life, so I want you to spare him.” I told him.
The shadow released him, and Maxix stared at the two of us. “So, I guess the debt is repaid.” He bowed and then said, “I’ll be going now. Good luck on your journey. I honestly hope your shadow doesn’t have the willpower to free himself from you and kill you and then take over your life.” Then he vanished. “We only have about seven minutes left before the high tide floods this place,” I said. “Two and a half.” The shadow said casually. I stared wide-eyed at him. “You have nothing to fear from me. Who shall I see?” He asked.
“I think Ashlee. She would be more understanding.” The shadow nodded. Then he was gone. I don’t know if he would be back in time or at all. I don’t know anything about shadows. Do they care? Do they feel? I guess the only thing I can do now is to wait and see. I don’t know how much time passed, but then the water at the cave’s entrance started to rise slowly and I was like, “Oh, crap.” I hope he was able to reach her in time. Otherwise, there’s nothing to come for, and…well, I shouldn’t think about that. I just hope he could convince them. I sighed. “Crap!” I screamed.
The shadow crept into Ashlee’s room where she paced around. He could understand why Matt was attracted to her. She was stunning. She looked like a model and not one of the anorexic ones. Her curves and figure made her irresistible. But, he wasn’t there for that. Ashlee was real. She wasn’t a shadow. He formed a physical body and walked over to her. He wore the same thing as Matt and looked down at himself. Then he stood arms crossed over his chest waiting until Ashlee turns around. When she did, she froze.
The only problem with talking to someone is that they have to initiate the conversation. “Who…Are you?” She stammered. He sighed. “Furis and I are here to give you a message. Matt is about to drown. He only has less than thirty seconds, and he’ll drown and freeze.” She just glared at him. “What have you done with him?” She demanded. Furis just stared at her. “I have done nothing to him. I’m his shadow. But, if you want him to die, then please. Stay here and glare at me.” Furis scolded. Then he vanished and went back to the cave and Matt. He gave her the memory of what cave he was in. Now, it was up to her to see if she saved him or not.
I saw my shadow come back, and I asked, “So before I die. May I know your name?” I was moving my arms and legs around to stay afloat in the water, but it was freezing, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep this up much longer. The water was coming in faster and faster. “My name is Furis. And I don’t think you’re going to die.” He said. “Are you able to get me out?” I asked. He shook his head gently. “I’m sorry, I don’t have that kind of form. I would if I could.” He told me and I believed him.
The water pushed me almost to the top of the cave. Well, here I go. I was saved only to die again. I thought. I was losing feeling when I felt a pair of hands on my arm. “Ashlee?” I asked. She nodded and then I was in the room we chose. Water dripped onto the floor. “I’m so sorry it took so long. I wasn’t sure if I could believe Furis. You know about his names origin don’t you?” She asked. I shook my head. “It means Thief Matt. But, that doesn’t always mean what you think it does.” I heard him say.
“I see. Well, he did give you the message that saved my life. So, now I think it’s time for a warm shower. I’m freezing.” I said. “Attention, may I please have Ashlee Fields to the front office. Ashlee Fields to the front office. Thank you.” She looked at me and then at Furis. “It’s okay Ash. He won’t hurt me.” I said. She glared at the shadow. “If you harm him, I’ll destroy you.” She threatened. I thought he would only get mad, but instead, he bowed. “He is safe. You have my word.” He told her. I wished he was real. I thought, and then I heard a loud pop and the room darkened for a second.
Then Furis looked real and not real at the same time. He didn’t look much different. But, instead, he had an identifiable face. In fact, he looked like my twin, expect he was made out of smoke. “Well, you have a strong will,” Furis said. “Does this mean you’re free?” I asked. He smiled and said, “Nope. I’m still yours. But, it’s more dangerous for me like this. I can be killed. Shadows are my natural enemies. But, holy users can kill me as well. They are the only two threats. Everything else will just sting and hurt me for a time. But, you’re in danger. If I get a fatally wounded, so will you. Before, it would only be a percentage of the damage. Now, it’s the full amount.” He explained.
“I see you don’t have to speak through telepathy anymore,” I commented. He looked surprised. “You’re right. I don’t. You know you can still tell me to attach myself to you. But, I can now jump out in the midst of danger, and I’ll now always be by your side.” He said. “That sounds awesome. But, if I’m in a personal business?” I asked. He laughed and said, “I’ll be during the same. Shadows are linked together. Whatever you do, so does the shadows. So, Ashlee’s shadow and me? Well, we did what you two did. I know that sounds creepy to you. But, I have to say that she enjoyed it.” He told me.
That ended up being the hard for me to wrap my mind around. “I know how this sounds. But, you see me. So, you’re not going crazy.” He said, and then the door burst open. Everyone came pouring into the room. “Matt, get away from him.” Jaise snapped. “I don’t think so,” I said. “What? He’s a shadow. A thief shadow. You never know what he’ll do to you.” He snapped. “I know he hasn’t tried to hurt me yet. So, I don’t care what or who he is. Until he betrays me, I want him around. Furis, will you please attach yourself to me?” I asked him politely.
“Fool!” Julie snapped. Furis bowed and did what I asked. He touched the toes of his shoes to mine and then stepped through me. I shivered and then I saw him on the wall. He stood in the same stance that I did. “You see? He isn’t a threat to me.” I told them. “You don’t know that. We don’t know that much about shadows. They are tricky, and they can’t be controlled. I don’t care what they say. Or who they belong to. Shadows have their rules.” He said. “He’s right Matt. Shadow magic is the only branch of magic that we can’t understand completely. We don’t know enough about it.” Julie said.
“Well, maybe it’s about time we learn.” I snapped at them. “Now, may I take a shower, or am I just supposed to freeze while you interrogate me?!” I said coldly. They all blinked and Liam responded, “Uh, right. Yeah. We should go guys.” Jaise glared at him. “I don’t want to leave him alone with his shadow.” Then they all looked each other and laughed. I snickered too. “You know how that sounds right?” I asked. “Yeah. Okay, but if you need anything Matt, just yell really loud.” Jaise told me. I nodded and motioned with my hands for them to leave.
He just gave me a look of annoyance and then closed the door behind him. Furis eyed me strangely and then shrugged and went to sit on the bed. “What was that look for?” I asked. He looked up at me. “What look?” He asked. I gave him a droll stare. “You know what look. You eyed me like you expected me to say something.” He just shrugged. “I may have thought you would say something. But, I don’t know. I can’t read minds.” He said to me. I rolled my eyes. Alright, I’m heading to the shower for real this time. Uh, one more question, though.” He nodded at me. “If I take off my clothes, will you become naked?” He blinked at me and burst out laughing.
I just stood there feeling like an idiot. “No, sorry,” He said through fits of laughter. “No, I won’t. I’ll remain dressed. The only time we mirror each other is if I end up getting wounded. You’ll take that wound. But, otherwise, we are two separate people. But, one in the same as well. I can’t hurt you. No matter if I wanted to. I can’t.” I looked at him in a questioning way. I don’t know if he was mad or okay with that. I shrugged it off and went into the bathroom. I took a long hot shower and then wrapped a towel around my waist and walked out because I had nothing else to put on.
“Here you go,” Furis said. He handed me a pair of underwear, shorts, and a shirt. He faced the doorway and gave me the privacy to get dressed. I took off the towel and then put on the clothes. “Okay, I’m surprised you didn’t just watch me or something,” I said. He gave me a blank look. “Why would I want to see another guy naked?” He asked innocently. “Well, we are the same person right?” I asked. “In a sense yes. But, not one hundred percent. We are also two different people who are linked together. But, that doesn’t mean we need to see each other naked.” He said in a tone that implied that it should be obvious.
“What about all the times before you were freed?” I asked him. He smirked. “I closed my eyes. I may not have been able to free myself and help you, but that doesn’t mean I looked. Sheesh. We have times when we need privacy too. You needed yours then, and you need it now. I mean those few times you were able to please yourself from your families… I don’t know how you didn’t explode from…” “Alright, alright!” I shouted with embarrassment.
The door burst open then, and Jaise came storming in with a dagger. “What’s the matter?” He asked. “Embarrassing topic,” Furis said. Jaise glared at him. “It’s true. Just some uncomfortable words being exchanged.” I replied. Jaise left with one last glare over his shoulder. Furis sighed. “He is going to hate me no matter what. You should meet his shadow. Dear God. You want to see an asshole. You should meet Zink.” I looked at Furis. “Jaise’s shadow is named Zink?” I asked.
“Yeah, and he’s a prick. He doesn’t hate Jaise. But, he hates everyone and everything else. He’ll sooner rip your face off as he will high five Jaise for a good job.” I shuddered. “But, don’t worry. He can’t harm you and he are not strong enough to harm me. We are both safe.” He told me. “That’s what you think.” I turned around to see another shadow in physical form. He looked like the boy from before. “Kid, your shadow doesn’t have the strength or the power to beat me. He’s strong sure, but I’ve been around for three thousand years! He’s no match for me.”
Furis didn’t look too concerned. “How do you know you are stronger than me?” He asked. The other shadow just glared for a second and then laughed wickedly. “Matt, I think you should leave now,” Furis said. “If you get hurt too badly…” Furis just gave me a blank look. “Oh, why should he leave the party early?” The shadow asked. He waved his hand, and black fog covered the door. Furis cursed. I looked at them. “Yes, he won’t be leaving, and no one will be getting in.” The shadow said. My shadow motioned for me to get behind him and then he held two bastard swords in his hands. I don’t know how he was able to wield them both.
“You think you’re going to fight me with those?” The other shadow asked. “Who are you, sir?” Furis asked. “Zak. I’m death. Yours?” He asked. Furis just shook his head. Zarkary seemed to pull a claymore out of nowhere. “This should be a quick and simple fight.” Furis just smiled. “I completely agree,” Furis said unsheathing two long swords from thin air. They charged each other and all three swords flashed and clanged with each other. I didn’t think sparks could fly from the end of their blades, but they did. Shadowy strings of thick ink like shadows floated off into the air and vanished.
Furis ducked and rolled under a blow and came up behind Zark. He then put his sword behind his back to block both blades from a high and low attack. Both blades flashed around the room in a flurry. The movements were fluid and almost perfect. I was transfixed by what I was seeing. Furis wielded both his weapons like they were small daggers. He didn’t seem affected by the weight. He countered and arced the other blade that Zark had to block quickly which allowed an opening that Furis took.
And then Zark back stepped the attack. They went on like that for a while. Zark performed a move that allowed Furis’ one blade in and pulled him up close. Then he brought the pommel of the sword down on his arm, forcing him to drop the blade. Furis kicked out sending his foe sprawling. Now, only one sword left and Furis looked angry. “You took my favorite weapon away from me.” He spat. “It’s poor fighting if you use two weapons.” Zak countered.
“Do you know why they call me the ‘thief’? It isn’t because I still money.” Furis said. Zak looked at him like he was a bug. Furis rested his hand open over the sword and I watched it shimmer and fade from existence. “What did you do with it?” Zak and I both shouted. Furis smiled and then swirled his remaining sword in a fast circle. When he stopped, I watched in awe as I saw the sword wasn’t just one long sword. It was a double ended blade. It looked like the other at the end, but it was attached to the hilt like a double bladed lightsaber.
“That’s the extent of your power?” Zak laughed maniacally. Furis just smiled. “Oh, no. See you don’t know what the special powers of the sword before did you? Well, you see the sword you knocked away from me had the enchantment to cover the blade in an electric current, and the other can turn into liquid lava while keeping a solid form. Now, what do you think they’ll be able to do combined?” He asked. Confusion spread across Zark’s face and then it slowly turned to fear. “There’s no way you can handle that kind of power,” He said quickly.
I could hear the fear in his words. Furis just smiled. “Oh? I’ve had these swords for eight millennia. How do you know?” He asked. “You’ve been around…” Zak couldn’t finish the sentence. I looked at him. “How is that possible?” I asked. “You didn’t think shadows were created when someone was born and by the light do you? No, Matt. There are shadows being created all the time, and most have been waiting around and had no one that they belong to. So, they just become Warriors of the Shadow Lands. You’ve seen movies, games or read books about the Shadowlands? I can assure you that they have absolutely nothing correct.” Furis said.
“I wouldn’t know. I haven’t seen ’home.’” He sneered the word. Furis radiated anger, and his color turned darker with shades of blood red in it. “You haven’t seen true power there. Now, are you going to want to continue this fight or are you going to leave now?” He asked. “I can’t leave. You’re going to die!” Zak screamed. Furis hummed a bit and then his entire blade pulsed and began to glow with lightning. Neon purple bolts of electricity ran up and down the blade, and the blade seemed to shimmer with high heat. Almost like it was melting and cracking. I swear I could see lava move on the blade like a wave, back and forth.
What it must feel like to have that kind of power. I thought. Hold on? How in the holy lord am I not freaking out right now!? I backed further away from the blade. I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, but the blade was dangerous all the same. Zark charged and brought his claymore down and around in a double hit. The blade came low and then up high quickly. But, Furis was ready for it. Both blades flashed through the air and fire and bolts of lightning shot from the weapon.
I dropped into a crouch in the furthest corner I could get to. I watched as the blades whirled and whipped around each other. They were both very skilled fighters. But, I think Furis was just playing with Zark. You could see the confidence in his stance and the easy smile on his face. It was almost like he knew how this fight would end. Zak seemed to sense it too. He watched Furis with an uneasy expression and then jumped over him to get away, but Furis sliced hard over his head, and Zark screamed in pain. He landed and rolled, coming up in a crouch. A huge gash starting at his left side on his chest to the right on his stomach could be seen.
“You don’t know what you’ve done.” He gasped. “I think I do. Your mirror self will be fine. He is not human, right? He won’t die.” Furis said without a care in the world. “That may be so. But, I can’t fail. He’ll destroy me.” Furis frowned at him. “He can’t. He’ll be destroyed as well, unless…” Furis’ eyes grew wide. “You’re not his original shadow.” Zak shook his head and frowned. “I’m sorry.” Furis said and rushed him. Zak jammed his sword straight into my chest. I screamed in pain and blood poured out. Furis grabbed him and tossed him off of me. He knelt down in front of me.
No one was coming for me. Furis glanced at the door and smirked. “What are you laughing at? He’s dying.” Zak snarled. “I don’t think so. When I wounded you, the spell weakened.” Zak glanced at the door and cursed in a different language. Furis charged and both blades spun too fast for me to see where one started and the other ended. He slashed and cut. He ripped through Zark’s body and totally shredded him. Then the spell was broken and Liam, Julie, and Jaise charged through the door. Blood puddled around me and I felt everything fade.
“Julie, please!” Jaise shouted kneeling down next to me. She rushed over to me and started to heal me. But, it wasn’t working as fast or as well as last time. “What’s the matter?” Jaise asked. She shook her head. “I don’t know. Something is blocking me. I can’t fully heal him. I can heal the wound, but there’s going to be something in him that I don’t think he’ll be able to survive.” She said. “I don’t know what that means.” Jaise snapped. I could hear his voice crack.
“It means that whatever wounded him, the physical injury I can heal, but something is… Think of it as a poison. It’s slowly going to keep spreading through him. I can’t cure it. Either it’s going to kill him, or it’s going to twist him into a mockery of what or who he originally was.” She explained. “So, it’s like World of Warcraft? When Arthas is a paladin and tries to protect his people, but then he picks up frost mourne and becomes an evil mockery of himself. Once a mighty paladin and then a death knight.”
We all looked at Liam and he looked away uncomfortably. “Um, yes. Actually, that’s right.” Julie said while looking at her boyfriend strangely. “So, I’m a good weak guy now. But, I’m going to become a dick weak bag later? Kill me.” I moaned. “I so don’t think so man.” Jaise said to me. Furis had Zark down on his knees. He was completely defenseless. “I think it’s time to undo what you’ve done.” He snapped. “No. End me. It won’t make any difference.” Zak ordered.
“Oh, see. I have a special place for shadows like yourself.” He said. “What do you mean? “ He asked. “See, there’s a powerful god who rules the land of Lyches. Undead mages. And well, he is particularly hostile to shadows who oppose destiny and those who help try to stop fate.” My shadow said. Fear covered Zark’s face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about! I am not trying to stop destiny. I’m just doing what I’m told so that Derek isn’t killed!” Furis looked at him suspiciously. “Who’s Derek?” I asked. I shakily climbed to my feet.
They all helped me. “He’s the man I’m linked to. Jason has him trapped and is slowly draining his life force. If he dies, I die. Jason knows how to kill him. He’s a god too, but he doesn’t have all the necessary protections that the others do.” Zark said. “Where is he now?” Jaise asked. “I will show you, but please don’t destroy me,” Zark said. “Why should we trust him? I’m going to end him now!” Furis said and as he was swinging, I shouted, “NO!” A powerful bolt of lightning came and blasted him through the chest.
I collapsed then and I looked down to see a hole right through me and dropped to the ground. Furis jumped to his feet and then saw me. “What the fuck?!” He screamed. I was barely there. I couldn’t focus on anything or anyone. Julie worked as hard as she could to heal me. “Julie?” Ashlee and Jaise asked. She didn’t respond. I saw her focusing on me. Sweat covered her face, but she wouldn’t stop trying to heal me. I then saw someone floating a few inches off the ground with dark brown hair and bright green eyes. He wore a silk red and purple robe with a cloak that was fastened around his neck that fell to his ankles. “You should have listened to them.” The man said.
Furis looked at him and then looked at us. “Who are you?” But, by his tone, he already knew. I saw the man smile. “Jacob. Lych God and that shadow you’re about to execute? Well, he belongs to the person I love. So, if you kill him, then I kill you.” Furis dropped his sword. He knew he wasn’t going to win this fight. Jacob turned towards me. “Your shadow made a wise choice. “Girl, you’re not going to be able to heal him in time. He knelt down in the air and waved his right hand over me. The wound vanished and I sat up coughing and gasping for breath.
“Thank you.” I choked out. He didn’t say anything but turned towards Furis. “I don’t blame you for the fight. It had to be done. But, you could have listened to him. You know better than anyone that shadows aren’t capable of lying. Why would you think he would be any different?” Jacob asked. “Shadows aren’t able to lie?” Jaise asked looking at Furis. Jacob smirked. “What? You thought they were?” He laughed mockingly at that. “Kid, you don’t know anything about this world do you?” Jaise’s face flushed.
“So, I’m assuming there are more than just shadow warriors and vampires in this world then right?” I asked. Jacob turned to give me a scrutinizing look. “You’re observant aren’t you?” He asked. I shrugged. “Yes, there’s a lot more than just god, vampires and shadow warriors. You may even meet them in time. But, for now, help me and I’ll get you out of here. Don’t help me and I’ll let fate decide what to do.” He said with his arms crossing his chest. “I say we help him,” I tell them.
“His lovers shadow just tried to kill you!” Jaise snapped. “Yes, but only to keep his physical self-alive. You’d all do the same thing.” I said simply. No one said anything to that. “Where is he?” Julie asked. He’s at the bottom of the shelter underwater.” Jacob said. She gaped at him. “You haven’t rescued him and you know where he is?” Ashlee snapped. He just looked at her blankly. “I can’t interfere with mortal actions,” Jacob said simply. “How do we get him then?” Jaise asked. Jacob glanced at me and held my focus. “He can’t go! He’s human.” Liam snapped. “He’s the only one who can. You all have to give him the time to rescue Derek and then call upon me to show up.”
“He’ll destroy us all,” Ashlee said. “No, he won’t.” Jacob said and pulled out a writhing shadow from nowhere. “Is that his shadow?” I asked. Jacob nodded. “I thought you just said you couldn’t interfere in mortal affairs?” Jaise asked. “Oh, shadows aren’t mortal affairs,” Jacob said. I sighed. The shadow kicked and struggled, but it didn’t do any good. Jacob had a lot of strengths. “I don’t understand something. How did Jason capture Derek if he’s a god?” I asked.
“That’s a good question. I don’t know, but I intend to find out.” Jacob replied and then snapped his fingers. “Now, you’ll be able to breathe underwater,” He told us. We all just looked around at each other. We didn’t feel or look any different. “Are you sure?” Liam asked. Jacob glanced at him and gave him a droll look. “If I wanted you to die, do you think I’d waste my time with drowning you?” He snapped. They all took a step back and nodded. “How do we get to the sea?” Ashlee asked.
I just gave her a blank look. Julie snickered and Liam and Jaise rolled their eyes. “Ariel, here we come,” I muttered. Ashlee looked at me with bright eyes. Jacob coughed and snapped his fingers. “People, please. You’re not going to meet mermaids! They aren’t real!” Ashlee’s face fell. I rolled my eyes at him. “Nice,” I told him. He blinked at me. “What?” He asked. “Nothing, let’s go.” Jaise said and then we were all under the ocean. I thought I’d be cold, but I was quite warm. I even found that I could see and that the others seemed to know where to go. I followed them down deeper and deeper.
They surrounded me and we moved towards someone chained down in the middle. At first, I thought he had to be dead. But, when we got close to him, he opened his eyes. The structure underneath the water was only several long steel covered poles that were spaced out to support the building. “Who are you?” The man asked. He sounded like he wasn’t underwater. It was as if the water didn’t faze him. “We are here to help you.” I said and I could speak clearly too. It must be the spell Jacob gave us.
The man nodded. And then he focused on one spot. We all turned to see Jason there. “You aren’t going to get him,” He said. “We shall see.” Jaise replied. They all used all their magic and attacked without another thought. I swam over to the man. “Are you Derek?” I asked. He nodded. I swam up to his wrist and tried to open the cuffs, but they wouldn’t break. Then I saw something flash on his lower stomach. It blended in with his skin and it seemed to rest right at the waistband of his tight jeans. What’s up with guys and tight jeans these days? Well, I guess if you have the body. You might as well show it off.
I went to grab a hold of the item, but it wouldn’t budge. “You won’t be able to get it off without Jason’s help,” Derek said. “I’ll not get his help…” Oh! Wait! “Jacob!” I shouted and he was right next to me. “I need Jason’s shadow to remove this thing,” I told him. He nodded glumly and then pulled out the shadow. He also held a wooden ornamented stake that swirled with a dark violet purple smoke at the shadows heart. It instantly stopped struggling. I don’t know how that happened, but it worked. “Jacob, good to see you again,” Derek said.
“You know I wouldn’t leave you here. Besides, your mom has been trying to skin me since you went missing. I like my skin where it is.” He said in a playful tone. Derek laughed. The shadow just remained motionless. “Take that device off,” Jacob ordered after a moment. The shadow didn’t respond or do anything. Jacob pushed the stake into his heart and I heard a gasp and a scream come from the fight. I risked a glance behind Jaise and me floated in the water, not moving.
Jason held Ashlee by the throat, but let go of her gasping in pain. Julie seemed hurt, but Liam seemed okay. Jacob pushed the stake further at the shadows chest and Jason screamed again. “Do what they ask!” He screamed. The shadows shoulders slumped and then he pulled off the device. Jacob quickly snatched it from the shadows hands. “I would shield your eyes,” Derek warned. “Close your eyes!” I screamed. I heard the sound like a “pop” and then I felt an intense heat encase us. The water heated to an unbearable temperature. When I risked opening my eyes, the shadow and Jason were gone.
Jacob and Derek were gone. I swam over to them and then Liam grabbed a hold of Jaise’s shirt and hauled him out of the water. Just in time too, because we were gasping for breath by the time we broke the surface. “Well, so much for gratitude.” Jaise mumbled rubbing his neck. “Jaise!” I shouted and threw my arms around him. “Ow! Ow!” He said while laughing.
“I think you should die more often, for that kind of affection,” Liam said laughing. “As much as I love my family, a hug is more than enough affection. I’d rather have a nice girl.” Jaise said with a smirk. I pulled away then. Jaise through his arm around my shoulders and held me close for a moment. “You okay?” He asked. “Yeah, I’m fine. You’re the one who had his neck broken!” I said. “Yes, but I’m okay. A little sore is all.” We climbed out of the water and were back on the island.
“Well, I guess it didn’t remain underwater for long. How do we get back to the others?” Liam asked. “You don’t.” We turned at Jacob’s voice. “What do you mean we don’t?” I asked. “They are on their own. They didn’t help.” Jacob said. “Why don’t you owe us a favor then and we’ll help them on our own!” Liam snapped coldly. Jacob glared at him and lightning flashed in the sky. It made Ashlee’s look like little sparks in comparison. Dark angry green and gray clouds formed in the sky and where lightning bolts struck the earth, the ground cracked and undead warriors crawled out.
Tall, skinny, short, fat looking skeleton warriors came towards us slowly. Their bones clanking together. Each eye holes had a different glow about it. But, they all looked like they had spiritual translucent eerie candles in them that you couldn’t see. But, the lights flickered. Each warrior carried a different weapon as well. “You defy my help?” Jacob snapped. “No, we don’t. We just don’t want to leave countless people to die!” I said in fear. Jacob turned to me and just stared. I didn’t see anger. I saw pity. “Kill them all,” He said sadly. Then a flash of golden light appeared and Derek stood in front of us. His arms crossed and the warriors instantly stopped their approach and looked up at Jacob in confusion. They didn’t know what to do.
“Derek, move,” He ordered gently. “No. I won’t. They saved me and this is what you’re going to do to them? I don’t think so.” He snapped. “Derek,” Jacob said. I could hear the emotion in his voice. “No, you’ll have to fight me first. You need to go through me.” Derek said as brave as he could. From the way he was acting, though, he knew he didn’t have a chance in beating Jacob. I guess the Lych god knew that as well. “I can’t fight you, Derek. I can’t.” Jacob said.
“Then stand down,” He ordered nicely. The undead was just standing there. Obviously, they knew the repercussions of going after Derek in a hostile manner. Of course, he wouldn’t be in danger. They wouldn’t be able to hurt him. “Fine, I won’t go against them,” Jacob told him. “Is that all?” Derek asked. “It’s okay. I don’t want to push our luck.” I told him. Jacob smiled then and said, “No, I still owe them a favor. When you want to call upon that favor, flip this coin in the air and read the inscription.” I caught the coin in the air and then when I looked back, the two gods and the undead were gone.
“That was weird,” Liam muttered. “You do realize we were almost zombie food right?” Jaise asked. “Skeleton food. Those were skeletons.” I said. Ashlee laughed and Jaise and Liam just looked at me. Julie rolled her eyes. “You boys and your undead,” Julie said with a glint of light in her eyes. “Hey, I’m just being educational,” I replied. “Well, before we have a debate about the zombie apocalypse, we should find a way to get the others out,” Ashlee said. “Is that going to happen?” I asked. “Well, if we can find the entrance.” Jaise said. “No, I think he meant the zombies,” Liam said. Ashlee scoffed and Julie said, “People, please! Priorities?” I laughed. “Sorry, but zombies fascinate me,” I said. “And vampires don’t?” Ashlee asked hurt. “Well, you do,” I said winking.
She smiled and her face lit up. Everyone coughed in disgust. “Oh, please. Like you don’t shove your tongues down the others throat.” I said looking at Liam and Julie. “Oh, and you cousin. I don’t even want to know what you do in your spare time.” They all laughed full heartedly and I couldn’t help but laugh along with them. Then we went to find the entrance to the underground shelter. We had to get them out soon. Who knows how long they will be okay down there. But, I felt like something bad was going to happen and that this was going to be a lot of fun.
We walked down the tunnel and back to the area where everyone else was waiting. “You came on the top?!” A worker asked in disbelief. “Yeah and we need to hurry,” Liam said. “Is there any way for you to contact an emergency rescue team?” Jaise asked. The young man nodded and went to a small cordless phone on the wall in front of the window. “Sam, activate phone six-three-twelve,” He said. “Activated.” The automatic voice said. “Yes, this is worker, nine-twenty-nine-fifteen. We need emergency rescue straight away. The island was hit by a drastic tsunami-“ The man pulled the phone from his ear and held it away and even I could hear the screaming coming from the other end.
“Well, we’ve tried sir. We couldn’t get through. They’ve been no words from any ships in the area and I don’t know how long we can remain here. We have no shelter above ground anymore and even though the water has receded…” He paused and grew a look of pure terror. We all turned to see what he was staring at. A camera showed the island and another wave twice as big as the first rose up and then crashed into the island. The entire shelter shook and the lights flickered. People screamed and everyone held on to whatever they could.
Ashlee grabbed a hold of my waist tightly and grabbed onto a railing with all her strength as tight as she could. A piercing rumbling sound echoed around us and we couldn’t even scream where others could hear us. I don’t know what to feel or think right now. All I could say was we were probably going to die. “Matt!” Ashlee screamed at me and I wouldn’t have known it if I wasn’t already looking at her. Then everything went silent and people didn’t know what to do.
Some of the lights shattered overhead and the emergency lights flickered and wouldn’t come on. But, other than that there seemed to be no noticeable damage to the shelter. “You see? Nothing can harm us down here.” The bald man said. Then I froze. I felt something bad around the end of the walking area. “Matt?” Jaise called my name. I didn’t answer. I just walked towards the end and stared at the glass wall. “Matt, what is it, man?” He asked. I pointed. He squinted. “Matt, there’s nothing there, I don’t know what-“ But, he didn’t finish his sentence. We both saw it then.
Something was swimming towards us at a fast pace and didn’t seem to be stopping. “What is that?” Liam asked. “I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s good,” Ashlee said. “Is everyone alright?!” An attendant here asked. “A little late,” I mumbled. Everyone seemed to be fine, though. “Yeah! I know what the sounded like and I can assure you it was worse this time than the first. Are you going to send some motherfucking help or not?! I have hundreds of people here! Thousands! Get us the fuck out of here!” The worker screamed into the phone. Liam and Jaise just exchanged glances. Then the thing swimming towards us came into focus.
“It’s a fricken shark!” Julie screamed. “What’s it doing, coming right at us?!” Ashlee asked. “I don’t know, but this can’t be good,” I said quietly. The huge shark bull rushed the glass and it vibrated, but held. Then we all saw more coming at the window. “I don’t think it’s going to hold,” I said. “Sure it is! It held against two tsunamis didn’t it?” The bald man demanded. “That’s why I don’t think it’s going to last,” I said quietly. “Matt, do you know something we don’t?” Jaise asked. I shook my head. “It’s just a feeling. I don’t know how, but I sense that something is going to happen here.” I said pointing to the spot right in front of me.
Then other sharks and fish dive bombed the glass and everything started to shake. The lights flickered and a couple more stopped working or shattered. Then I saw it. A large hammerhead shark bull rushed the glass and a small crack formed in the glass. “I think we need to get out of here,” I said. They heard it before they saw it. “I don’t think that little crack is going to harm us.” The bald man said nervously. “Little cracks grow,” I told him.
“Listen kid. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” He said, but I could tell that he was starting to sweat. He was scared and he was trying to keep the others from seeing it. I stared at the crack for the longest time. A small leak crept in through the crack and then I saw it spread and grow. “Um, I think we need to leave!” I screamed. More cracks appeared in the glass wall and nice sized streams leaked through. The concrete floor didn’t have any drains, so the water just pooled there.
“I don’t know where we are supposed to go. But, if you have more options, I’m all ears.” Jaise said. “I don’t know. But, we have to do something. I give it maybe twenty minutes top before the entire glass wall crashes and we all drown.” I told them. “How do you know this?” Ashlee asked. “I don’t know! It’s just a feeling.” I snapped and then we all walked back to the others. “So, what’s the plan?” Julie asked. The bald man walked over to a console and pushed a button, “Is there anyone who has responded to the distress signal?” The automatic voice came back.
“No. But, I do detect their just outside of the range.” A lot of people cursed. “The water is slowly residing from the island, but there are no safety zones. The probability of another Tsunami is one in a ten million chance.” The computer said. “But, there’s still a chance.” Someone said from the group. “No, but if we stay here, we will all die.” An attendant said. We all gathered around the entrance that I came through and we all gathered there. “We still have time. We should have someone stay at the entrance and close the door if the water starts to build too high and then we all climb up when the computer gives the okay.”
“We don’t know when that’ll be.” The bald man said. “It doesn’t matter. We stay here, we die. At least, in the tunnels, we have a chance!” Someone shouted. “What do you propose?” An older woman asked. “I say we take a vote. Groups split up and try for an exit. I guess you could say whoever makes it, well good for them. Whoever doesn’t, I’m sorry for you.” Was everyone brain dead? I wondered. “You want to run off on your own?” A middle-aged man asked. “You’re all stupid.” A cranky old man snapped. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Why did everyone think they could do better during a crisis on their own? I wondered. “You honestly don’t think you’ll be able to get away on our own do you?” Someone asked. “It’s better than staying here with you idiots waiting to die!” The cranky man snapped. Groups split off from the large group and each one charged towards a different exit. “You’re all going to die. The glass won’t last…” I didn’t get to finish the sentence when the glass wall shattered. Water poured in like from the titanic. Yeah, don’t judge. I’ve seen and liked the movie.
“Run!” Jaise bellowed. The few people left by us charged into the tunnels and we all followed quickly after them. Jaise and the others didn’t seem too worried about the water, but I was. A young boy, barely older than thirteen stepped forward. “You guys might want to leave.” He spoke in a high-pitched voice, but he spoke with a voice far older than he looked. “You can’t stay here alone,” I said. He turned to me and I saw a dark blue streak in his hair.
“You need to leave!” He screamed. The boy held his right hand up towards the water and what seemed to be airy waves of water spread out and created a kind of barrier that stopped the progress towards us. “I can’t hold the ocean off forever!” He shouted. Ashlee shoved me through and then started to close the door. “Go!” That was the last thing I heard before the door was shut and latched. “What’s going to happen to him!?” I demanded. “He’ll be fine. He’s one of us. He has ways to escape. There’s still hope that he’ll make it.” Julie told me. “There’s something you’re not telling me isn’t there?” I accused. “Well, we have abilities, but I don’t know how much more you can handle right now.” Jaise told me.
“Why don’t you let me be the judge of that?” I suggested. He nodded. “We have the ability to teleport. As long as we have a place in mind, and the strength. He used a lot of magic even in that short amount of time, so he was pretty weak. However, he was over five hundred years old and really strong. A lot stronger than any vampire I’ve seen in a while. Even the council said he was almost at their level and they’ve been around for thousands of years.”
That was reassuring. “I can hear the water building against the door,” Ashlee said. “As can we.” Everyone else said. “I hear grinding. The water is straining against the door and it may not hold.” Liam commented. “Well, I think it’s time we got to the ladder,” I said simply. They all nodded and we rushed down the tunnel. We passed a couple other doors that led to the tunnels other entrances and all were sealed. But, water was already pressing against them.
You could see the water leaking out from the cracks and we rushed past it. We finally made it to the ladder and there was another door that was open. I barely saw it in time and I said, “Water is coming!” I rushed to the door and tried to push it closed. But, I couldn’t get it to close. Then Jaise and Liam jumped in and helped me push the door shut. We barely made it by the time the water reached us and even with us pushing, we barely got it closed in time. The water was pressing up against it hard and I knew it wasn’t going to last too much longer.
We have to go now.” Someone said. “I know, but there’s really nowhere to go right now,” Ashlee commented. “That’s true. The entire island is underwater and there’s water being pressed in on us on all sides. We are in some serious trouble.” Jaise said. “Oh, I think it will work out for the good,” I said. Everyone stared at me like I was a mosquito. “Don’t give me that look,” I said. The water started to seep out through the door and the pressure behind the door pushed up and it creaked and the hinges started to creak and snap.
“I don’t see that holding too much longer,” I replied. “Thanks for stating the obvious.” A girl grumbled. Everyone rolled their eyes. “What are we going to do?” The girl freaked out. The building started to rumble and shake. “Well, I guess this is it.” An older man said. I noticed a young boy with a gray streak in his hair. He had to be about thirteen and a little bit on the heavy side and he smiled at me revealing cracked teeth. The door burst open and the water pressed us against the far wall. Right before the water filled the room.
I heard the bones snap and the screams of the people around me. I don’t know what happened to them, but all I felt at the time was that all the air was pushed from my lungs. I couldn’t move and the water surrounded me and held me captive. After a few minutes, I started to lose consciousness. I kind of just floated in the water. I saw someone swimming towards me and then the water spread out and a bubble of air surrounded me and it pushed the water from my lungs and I took a jagged breath.
“Matt, are you okay?” Jaise asked me. I nodded, uncertain of speaking. “You can speak cuz. It’s okay.” He said. “Forgive me for being a little apprehensive about speaking when the entire ocean is surrounding me.” Ashlee laughed and then asked, “How do we get out of here?” “What about the others?” Julie asked. The boy with the gray streak just pointed to the now open door. “I think he’s meaning that we can swim through that. This air bubbles won’t last much longer so we don’t have a lot of time.” Jaise said.
Without another word, we started swimming through the door and through the halls and tunnels. “How much longer until we make it to the top?” Julie asked. The boy started freaking out and started signing quickly. “I don’t know what he’s doing,” Ashlee said. “He’s talking people. He’s saying that we continue to diminish the power of the air inside the bubbles by talking.” I said. The boy just gave me a shocked look. “When did you learn to-“ I gave Liam a droll look. They all took it as a sign and stopped talking.
We kept on swimming and went up through the tunnel entrance and at the door. I always wondered why we didn’t try to open the door to where we were. I signaled to the boy and he replied, “The door was locked from the outside. We couldn’t have gotten through it.” I nodded and then we found the other door leading to the upper island. The boy gestured toward me that his name was Brandon and that this is the only door available.
Liam and Jaise have used all their strength to open the door and with some effort, they managed to open it. Gasping, they went through first, and we all followed. We swam up and I started to feel cold and the pressure from the water around me. I signaled to the boy and he frowned at me. He signaled back that stated he magic around us was fading. For some reason, the magic around me was fading faster than the others. He could sense it. The others still had half hour tops. I only had minutes.
I didn’t know if I could make it. And I couldn’t shout to Jaise and the others because that would consume the last minutes I had left and it would surely kill me. I swam as fast as I could to the surface, but I knew there was no way I would make it in time. I kept trying though and I saw the light from the surface, before running out of the air, and the pressure caught me and I tried to hold my breath and keep going.
I ended up light headed and passing out. The ocean current pulled me under and I swear I saw the others swim further and further away and then something stopped me. I don’t know what it was, but I felt dragged towards the surface I almost blanked out when we broke the surface and coughed and hacked up water and took sharp and ragged breaths. “What…Happened?” I gasped out. “You almost drowned,” Ashlee said holding me up above the surface of the water.
“What’s the game plan?” Julie asked. “I don’t know. Matt!” Jaise shouted. I waved weakly. “I really thought you’d drowned, but I was too far away. Ashlee though was the closest one to you and the only one who had the best chance of reaching you.” He said. Everyone stared at me and I blinked away embarrassment and awkwardness. “So, where are we going now?” Liam asked. “I don’t know. We don’t have any knowledge of any safety areas.” Ashlee said.
“I thought you people could teleport? Don’t you have a base somewhere with others that are with you?” I asked. They looked at me again. “You’re right, you know. We do have a place, but we can’t go there yet. It’s not time and it’s not safe for you.” Jaise said. “Safe for me? Why would I be in danger with others who are like you? Wouldn’t they try to help me since you’re my cousin?” I asked. Liam and Ashlee gave me a look. “What is it you’re hiding?” I asked. “There’re a few people we believe who would be on our side, but the majority of our ‘school’ is with the headmaster. She’s not exactly the friendliest and it’s prophesized that someone from the Xenophon line is most likely going to lead us to our doom.”
“Jaise,” I said looking directly at him, “You really think that this name is an ancestor of mine?” I asked. “Actually, I do. Do you remember that we share the same bloodline?” He asked. I nodded at him. He smiled and said, “Well, then you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that I took a blood test of myself and I did a background check and found that our relatives came from Ireland in the late eighteen hundreds, to the early Ancient Greek period to where the name originated.” Jaise explained.
“I love a good family history lesson. But, I think it’s time we got out of here.” Julie said. “What’s the matter? You don’t like the warm feel of the ocean?” Liam asked her with a grin. She glared at him. “Watch it Li. You don’t want me to ground you.” Liam laughed and then sobered quickly. Jaise rolled his eyes, and I said, “You don’t have to candy-coat your sex talk.” I said and Ashlee laughed. “Oh, you won’t be getting out of here. I’m going to kill you all now.”
We saw the vampire that almost killed us before. “I told you. I didn’t care what Zolem said. He won’t stop me. I may not be able to kill Matt directly. But, if I kill the people around him. He won’t survive long in the ocean. So, either way, I still win.” He caused a huge gust of air started to stir up the water, which caused the water to pour over us and held us down. They wouldn’t survive long underwater. I remained above the water, but that wouldn’t matter much longer.
I would drown before anyone could find me. And I would be sent back home to John. But, I didn’t have any way to help them. I felt completely lost. “Why are you doing this?” I demanded. “I can’t risk you growing into destroying the entire vampire line. You could ruin everything!” He hissed. The water churned and poured over us. I felt being pushed under and the wind began to howl around us before I was pushed under for a moment. Was I going to be killed for the third time by drowning? Jesus. This guy didn’t have any originality did he?!