Chapter 23 Ride Towards the Final Battle
It was time.
Our time to finally head to our fated battle with the Guardians. Years of being powerless, humiliated, and ignored will finally end and those wretched Guardians will be no more. I have been carefully planning for this day to get my revenge. Now everything has fallen into place and I even have my own ally to fight by my side in this battle. The town I chose for the attack would be the same place from last year. The sweet irony to see my former acquaintances fall in the very same place I was before. Victory shall be mine. Oh the thrill of tasting my enemies’ defeat.
I stood facing the globe as if I observing the lights, but currently, my attention was at an object in my hand. What once was a shiny golden cylinder container that held teeth of a child was now nothing more than a dented container covered with clumps of black sand like a dirty old artifact that was dug out after centuries living in the earth. Broken like the memories of the owner of this container.
“You ready yet, Pitch?” I heard Cinder calling behind me, half demanding and half questioning tone.
I quickly put the container into my black robe before I turned to face the boy. I was glad to see eager eyes looking back at me. I can tell he was also as thrilled as me to fight those guardians. If he was his former self, he might have been sharing a look of disgust at what was planned for his “friends”. What he was doing right now was wearing a wide grin. His eyes were filled with excitement and practically glowing like a lit up pumpkin on Halloween night with promises of tricks and horror.
“My fire are itching to burn something here!” Complained the boy, getting reckless.
“Alright, my little impatient imp,” I smirked a the boy. “It’s time for us to depart.”
Then I called out to my dark minions with a loud and powerful voice that echoed throughout my underground fortress. “Nightmares! It is time! Rise!”
“It’s time to have some fun! Now come out my smog monsters!” Cinder yelled out and stabbed the lantern pole on the ground hard.
Black figures of horses begun to rise from the dark shadows and flew around Cinder and I like a black cyclone. Smog like creatures also flew out from Cinder’s lantern and joined the Nightmares. The cries of the dark beasts echoed around us. My black sand beasts and his smog demons combined together to make the perfect dark army. Their speed and movement was creating a gust of wind, whipping our clothes and hair wildly. The creatures stood so close to each other that it was hard to recognize their individual shapes. It was good to say that this was even a human adult’s worse nightmare, for it was natural for humans to fear the dark and the unknown. A Nightmare came to my side and I immediately jumped onto its back. I rode towards the ceiling above with Cinder flying close by, heading towards the tunnel that lead to the surface, with our dark army following behind us.
I watched the sky as it was turning dark and black clouds began to cover the horizon. Lightnings were flashing in the skies as the sound of thunder can be heard a few seconds later. The wind was already picking up speed. It wasn’t even evening yet and already it looked like it was night time.
Although the winds normally delivered good news around this time of year, today was different. The winds’ voices grew harsh and low, as if angry at something. Something was off. It was too cold for this time of season. Birds were supposed to be flocking back north around this time, but the sky was completely empty thanks to the unnatural weather.
To normal people, it would probably look like a storm was brewing, but to me, I can sense that it was more than that. This heavy and ominous feeling was warning me that something was coming.
And that something was Pitch.
I stood watch from the roof of Jamie’s house where all the kids were currently hiding out. I stood in the middle of their living room earlier. Already used to the fact that most adults can’t see me, I didn’t flinch when Jamie’s mother opened the door, only to be shocked to find several children in her house with frighten looks. While the twins begged Jamie’s mother to let them and the others stay at the house for at least most of the day, I quietly flew to Jamie’s room and escaped through the window. Jamie turned his head to give me a questioning look, but I gestured a ‘be quiet’ and watched his expression drop again when he realized I had to go. Knowing Pitch, he’ll probably attack these kids because they did help me and the guardians in the last battle we had here. I needed to warn the other guardians that Burgess was once again under attack.
Immediately, I pulled out a small red pouch from my sweater’s pocket. It was smaller than the palm of my hands, but held some tiny weight to keep from blowing away. I opened the small bag and poured the content into my hand. Sparkly golden sand came pouring out of the pouch. It was some of Sandy’s dream sand. Even though the sand was given to me hours ago, it was still warm from the dreams that it produced. It was silky to the touch and flowed gently into my hand.
Sandy’s sand can work in many ways and one of them was to send a message. I gently blew the sand from my hand and into the air. The sand scattered at first, but then began to come together and form an origami bird the size of my palms. It was floating in the air with some small flap of its wings.
“Tell the guardians that I need their help in Burgess,” I told the golden paper bird. Once the paper bird got my message, it quickly flew into the air while battling the wind to stay on course to its destination. I can only hope that the message will be sent in time before Pitch and his army attack.
“Jack!” Then I heard my name being called from below. I looked down and saw Jamie at the front porch. It looked like he wanted to talk to me, so I jumped down from the roof towards him.
“You need something?” I asked.
“Is something happening again?” He asked, worriedly. “The weather doesn’t look right. It’s like something really bad is about to happen.”
“I’ll be lying if I said no,” I replied with a dark tone. “I need you and the kids to stay inside no matter what. It’s not going to be safe outside for awhile.”
“What about you?” He looked at me with a worried look in his eyes.
“I’ll be fine,” I assured him, but even I wasn’t sure myself. I turned my head slightly away from Jamie, not wanting to see his sad face. “We beat Pitch once before and we’ll beat him again. We’ll also get Lantern back or my name isn’t Jack Frost!”
Even after I said that, Jamie still looked worried, but he finally nodded. “Alright, I believe in you.” Then he went back inside the house to tell the others of the situation. Those words were more than enough for me. The feeling to be believed in like this gave me more strength and determination to defeat Pitch. I’ll put my all in protecting these kids and getting Lantern back.
Suddenly, I could hear the cries of horses echoing in the distance. They were coming. I quickly turned around and stared into the dark sky, scanning for any signs of the dark creatures. Even though I didn’t see anything with all this darkness, I can feel the evilness coming towards this town. I immediately shot into the air and flew towards the thunderous sky.
We finally flew over a town with these millions of lights that could’ve rivaled the globe back home down below us. All those lights and so many people to prey on. It was going to be one hell of a fun evening for me. I could feel all that energy radiating from the very lights the shadows were consuming. We were flying beneath the dark clouds that covered the whole sky in darkness. Pitch’s powers were so strong that even the weather was effected by it. Just flying next to him, I can feel the dark and evilness coming from the guy. It’s hard to explain, but you could understand that there was an angry aura surrounding him. Something was going to die and he would make sure of it if you weren’t going to cooperate.
Damn! Wished I was as strong as him.
A human would cringe and stand back. I, however, felt envy being next to him. To pull off giving an aura like that would be a feat for me. There was a reason why his nightmares only listened to him. They feared him. Fear was what makes the world go round. We dark spirits didn’t even have to take part in the world for that to happen, the humans already did it to themselves.
I flew next to Pitch, who was riding on his Nightmare, at the front with our dark army behind us. I can hear their eager cries as they ran through the skies like a large black cloud. Horses of black sand and skeleton monsters made of smoke. Can’t find any army as bizarre as this.
“We’re almost there,” Pitch announced to me.
“Music to my ears,” I said to no one particularly. Mostly to myself. I could feel a sneer growing on my face from my excitement. “So our target are some kids from that town, right?” I loudly asked, “Why them? They’re just kids. Why not attack those kids from that place?” I pointed to another area of the city.
“We’ve been through this,” he kept a calm voice, although his eyes narrowed at the question I have been asking him for some time. “Those kids are a menace to us and they’re friends with the guardians. Getting rid of them will definitely be a blow to the guardians,” explained Pitch. “And it will also satisfy one part of my revenge.”
“Must be some tough kids to give you a hard time,” I thought loudly. “They even made it into your hate list. Definitely worth checking them out.”
“Oh you’ll definitely get to check them out. You can even go all out and have fun with them,” Pitch smirked at me as he said that.
“Sweet!” I cried eagerly at the idea of scaring those kids until they will be shivering under their blankets for the next ten years. Hell! I add another ten if I wanted to come back and scare the crap out of them again.
Suddenly, out of nowhere...
Holy Pitch! What was that!?!
A flash of blue light came shooting out of nowhere and blew up some of the Nightmares and Smogs behind me.
“Not when I’m around,” I heard a voice from above.
I recognized that annoying voice anywhere. When I looked up and saw the white hair and blue sweater, it confirmed my hunch.
The snow spirit was hovering in the air above us and glaring at us with hostile gaze. He was definitely not happy to see us, but it was the opposite for me. I was very eager to meet him again. I was looking forward to kicking his ass.
“He’s mine,” I told Pitch before shooting upward at the white hair spirit.
I called out more than half a dozen smog creatures of different kind like wolves, vultures, bulls, and large snakes and sent them going after the snow spirit. While Frostie was busy blasting my smogs with his ice powers and dodging their attack, I also sent several fireballs after him.
He got hit twice, blowing him back and backflipping in the air a few times. When he managed to balanced himself again, I quickly sent a huge flamethrower towards him. There was no way I was going to let him rest for a second.
Seeing my attack coming towards him, Jack immediately sent out a burst of ice energy at my fire attack, causing a huge explosion in the air.
While there were mists blowing everywhere, I shot into it and headed straight towards Jack like an arrow. Even though I can’t see, it doesn’t mean I don’t know where he was hovering originally. So when I came out of the mist, I found Jack staring with wide eyes at me in shock. I bet he didn’t expect me coming in like this.
I conjured up fire around my fist and sent it punching into Jack’s stomach, causing a nice internal and external injuries. Talk about a good pain in the ass combination.
“Argh!” Jack cried out in pain. He clutched his stomach out of instinct, causing his defense to be lowered.
Immediately, I side kicked him when he didn’t even realize it and sent him flying to the side. This was too easy. The snow spirit was weak and probably lost some of his powers due to Pitch influencing fear into children. Beating Jack was going to be a piece of cake.
It looked like Jack was dazed from my kicked earlier, so I quickly shot towards him again and swung my lantern in his direction. I was hoping to give him a good whack in the head with a metal bar, but Jack was able to sense my next attack in time and...
He had his staff raised in defense, blocking my attack. His staff and my lantern pole slammed into each other hard. I tried to push down at him, but Jack was able to stand his ground... or air... something. You get the idea.
“Lantern!... I mean, Cinder! Listen to me,” begged Jack, staring at me with these pleading eyes.
“Why should I listen to you?” I demanded.
“Because I know you! You were never like this!” He said while still holding his stance. “You weren’t evil like this!” His voice cracked as he winced in pain of a burn I inflicted on him.
“The hell are you talking about? I’ve always been like this,” I argued. Then while I was still trying to push down the pole of my lantern, I conjured some snake smogs from my lantern and have them slithered towards Jack.
The snake smogs were about to sink their fangs into Jack’s arms, but Jack quickly flew back to dodge their fangs.
“You have to believe me! Pitch is lying to you! He stole your teeth and messed with your memory,” he kept blabbering nonsense at me. “He’s only using you to get more powerful!”
Then the snake quickly went after Jack. They slithered through the air like they were swimming in water.
“Shut up, Frostbite! Pitch has always been looking after me. There’s no way he’ll lie to me!” I argued back at him. I was getting fed up with his lies. “He was the first thing I saw when I came to existence! He trained me and cared for me! I am what I am today thanks to him! I am his creation! I am perfection!” I let out a loud laugh and shot a ball of flames at him. He skillfully tilt to the left on a second’s notice and narrowly avoided getting his face turned to cinders. Ha, that’s a good one. Should tell that to Pitch one day.
“That’s what he wants you to think!” He quickly shot several ice blast and obliterated my snake smogs. “Because he’s controlling your memories with your teeth! We used to be friends. We were always hanging out with each other and having fun.”
“Just shut your trap already! There’s no way I could be friends with you! If you’re going to come up with a lie, you could’ve done better than that!” I snapped. I was seriously getting very annoyed at his persistence with his lies. I shot several fireballs at him, hoping to get him to shut up.
“It’s the truth! We had snowball fights, painted eggs for Bunny, and even pulled some pranks on people!” Jack shot several ice blasts as well to counter my fireballs.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The two powers collided and exploded with a loud blast.
Suddenly, my head started to ache like hell again and I clutched my head out of reflex. It was just like last time with the guy at the grave!
Argh! God! The hell was going on!?!
“Your name's Jack? Well, my name's Jack, too.”
“Don't get distracted! Or are you burned out already.”
“Don't worry. Isn't this what friends are for?”
These random voices were coming out of nowhere. No, I know this voice. It was Jack’s, but why don’t I remember them? His voice sounded friendly, but there was no way that can be true. We were never on friendly terms!
“What about your sister?! Abby! Can’t you remember her?” Jack kept on going with these stupid questions that was messing with my brain.
Then when I heard the name “Abby,” the pain in my head got even worse while another voice came into my head.
My head felt like it was about to explode and split open. My teeth were gritting at each other and my hands were gripping my head so hard that it was starting to ache.
“Argh! Shut up! SHUT UP!!!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. I want the pain to go away! Make it stop already! While I felt like I was going crazy, the energy in my body was getting out of control like my emotions. The pain and stress were cumulating my powers and increasing rapidly. Finally, when I couldn’t hold on to it anymore, I screamed and released all my powers in every direction. “RARGH!”
The fire explosion blew in all direction, that also included Jack’s. The snow spirit had to quickly create an ice shield to block the flames, but the blast was so powerful, it shattered his shield and crashed into him full on. Then he was sent flying backwards, horribly burnt and injured.
Once my pain was getting lighter, but still pounding, I was able to calm down a bit. Though I was starting to feel exhausted and breathing heavily from releasing so much energy in one go, I was still able to hold myself up. “You talk too much crap, Frostie. While you were so busy talking, you didn’t even realize it yet. You’re such an idiot!”
“What do you mean by that? Realize what?” He demanded, grasping on his injured arm.
“Like I said, you’re such an idiot,” I repeated with sneer on my face.
That’s when Jack’s eyes started to widen in realization and he started to look around. “Where’ Pitch? Where did the dark army go?” He demanded again.
I laughed in satisfaction from the look of horror on his face. “You’re seriously slow. While you kept blabbering nonstop like that, I was able to distract you while Pitch went after his real targets.”
“Targets?” He looked at me confused.
“Yep! Some kids that pissed him off real bad,” I told him out of spite. I just seriously wanted to see that horrified look once I told him. “He’s going to have his revenge on them.”
Yes, finally, that look in his eyes. That horrified and panicked look! His faced was pale and his eyes widen in shock.
Then I heard him murmur something that it was almost a whisper.
“Oh no... Jamie...”
The wind outside was still blowing violently that even the window was shaking repeatedly. The sky was also dark and full of black clouds. From time to time, there would be lightning flashing by and thunder rumbling loudly in the air.
The Burgess kids and Abby were sitting in the living room. The atmosphere in the room was heavy and quiet. Some of the kids were sitting on the sofa while a few were standing. Since the smogs attacked them earlier, the kids have been deep in thought with the situation.
“So we’re supposed to sit here and wait for everything to be over?” Asked Caleb, looking at Jamie in hopes to get some clear answers. “Can’t we do anything?”
“Jack told us to stay inside,” Jamie tried to explain to his friend. “He said that it’s dangerous right now.”
These two were both standing in front of the sofa, arguing at one another.
“Can’t we just do what we did last time Pitch attacked?” Demanded Caleb.
“Yeah, if it wasn’t for us, the guardians wouldn’t have been able to defeat Pitch last time,” added Claude, supporting his twin brother. He got off the sofa and stood by Caleb.
“But this time isn’t like last time, right? He isn’t alone now. He has a partner this time,” said Pippa, who was sitting on the sofa next to Cupcake, trying to be reasonable to the twins.
“I agree with Pippa,” agreed Monty, pushing his glasses up. “We don’t know how strong he is now that he got himself a partner. He could be super stronger than before!”
“But shouldn’t we help then if that’s true?” thought Cupcake. “If the guardians are having trouble dealing with Pitch and this Cinder guy, then isn’t that the more reason we should help as much as we can?”
“What do you expect us to do then?” Wondered Jamie. “I promised Jack that we’ll stay put. Besides, I believe Jack and the guardians can defeat Pitch. Good always triumph over evil.”
“So you’re saying that we should just do nothing?” Demanded Caleb, getting annoyed. “You may be able to sit tight and do nothing, but I can’t just sit here knowing that something is going on outside!”
While the older kids started to argue at one another, the little ones were playing with the greyhound on the floor. Abby and Sophie weren’t really effected by the dark mood of the room, since they were still too young to understand the seriousness of the situation. Though they can’t understand why the older kids were arguing, they at least can tell that the older kids were getting very anxious.
“Abby don’ wike yelwin’,” Abby said softly with a sad tone as she petted the greyhound.
The wisp was also hovering next to Abby protectively like a guard dog. Noticing Abby’s sad mood made it worry. It tried to assure the girl, but the only thing that came out of its mouth were just blabbers.
Sophie, who was sitting on the opposite side of the greyhound, also sensed that her friend was in a gloomy mood, so she did what she could think of to help. She got up and walked to up to Abby. Then she grabbed her friend’s cheeks and... stretched!
“Owie!” Cried Abby, shocked and confused at Sophie’s action.
Then Sophie let go and grinned widely at her.
“Smiwe!” she said, pulling her own cheeks and showing all her teeth.
Abby stared at her in bewilderment while rubbing her cheeks from the pain. Then she understood that Sophie wanted to help her feel better, so she smiled back.
Then both Sophie and Abby laughed while the wisp and the greyhound stared at the two laughing girls in confusion, not understanding what just happened.
Suddenly, the wisp felt something and it perked up in surprise. That feeling that it felt. It was so familiar. The wisp started to turn left and right, trying to pin point where that feeling was coming from. That feeling... it felt like its master.
Once the wisp could sense where the feeling was coming from, it immediately flew across the room and into the kitchen.
“Pwetty wight?!” Abby cried in surprise when the wisp zoomed out the room. “Whe you goin’?” She quickly got up and went chasing after the little fireball.
“Abby? Where are you going?” Called Jamie, noticing Abby running into the kitchen.
“Pwetty wight!” Abby called out to the wisp, disappearing into the kitchen.
“Abby! Wait!” Jamie called out as he ran after her.
When Abby ran into the kitchen, she spotted the wisp flying through the dog flap door. She quickly ran through the kitchen towards the back door in panic. Not wanting to lose the wisp, she opened the door without caring of the dangerous wind outside and ran out onto the lawn after the little flame.
“Abby!” Jamie shouted in shock when he saw Abby running out the door. He quickly ran after her in panic and worry. “Abby! Come back! It’s dangerous outside!”
Abby didn’t seem to hear Jamie calling after her due to the strong and loud winds. The only thing in her mind was the wisp. She felt that if she lost the wisp, she’ll lose something greater. She had to go after it, the only thing that linked her to her brother. If not, she might not get to see her brother again. That was what her fear were telling her.