{{ 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.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
AcanthaDante would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

War of Shadows: the darkness within

By AcanthaDante All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Fantasy

The Boy in the Ward

July 31st, 1772
The day a certain boy came to the care of the Order of Paladia, a group dedicated to protecting humanity from the horrors that lurked in their collective shadow.

Well, he was more like dragged in really, by a senior hunter named Guillaume Tremaine. He had a mark on his cheek, suggesting the man had struck him.

I looked over the boy, he was with dark hair tied back with a mid-blue ribbon, sharp brown eyes, and dressed in a rather smart-looking blue suit, suggesting he’d been raised with wealth, and was clearly in a state of shock.

“What is this Guillaume?” I asked.

“The vampire we were sent after had this kid with her, he seems to think that she was his mother.”

“She was my mother you murderer!” He growled, earning another backhand from Guillaume.

“She was a monster, and monsters cannot have children!” he barked. "And if I didn't kill her, who knows how many would be consumed by her bloodlust!"

“Guillaume! I will not have you treating a child like this in front of me! Now let him go!” I said, not backing down from the man's gaze, it was something I always had, when I was dealing with children, I just found this urge in me to protect them.

“Fine, get him assessed and a file written up so we can do something about him until then!” he growled at me, releasing the child and leaving the room.

I sighed, Guilaume was an ambitious man, of that I had no doubt, but the way he handled those he perceived as in the way of said ambitions was always far too harsh, all I could do was let out a pained sigh and turn towards the boy. He was certainly handsome, somewhere between five and seven from the look of him, with long dark hair tied back with a mid-blue ribbon and brown eyes that didn't seem to hold the innocence that they should have, I couldn't help but feel bad for him, he seemed to have gone through too much already.

"What's your name?"

He was silent as I took out a salve for the bruise Guillaume had given him on the way.

"I suppose I should introduce myself first huh? My name is Sofia Renaldo, I'm one of the nurses here."

"... Damian, Damian Blake."

"Damian, I'm sorry for Guillaume, he's got his heart in the right place, he cares about people, but he's also rather cold." I said, applying the salve to his cheek before cleaning my hands in the water bowl near my desk. "Come, sit, I need to ask you a few questions so we can take some notes."

"All right."
He was surprisingly eloquent for a boy his age. He gave his birthday, that he was six, soon to be seven, and was very patient when I assessed his health. He was in very good shape.
However, after I tucked him in to try and get him to rest, he started crying out in his sleep, waking up with tears in his eyes. From what he had said in his dreams, I realised the problem.
"You watched the whole thing didn't you? What Guillaume did."

Unable to speak, he just nodded, which made my heart break, even though I knew vampires to do horrible things, even when you least expected it, that was something that made me angry. No child deserved to see it, and from what I could tell, he had developed a geuine bond with the woman.

"I'll make sure that Guillaume is reprimanded for not taking you into account, don't you worry." I said, it wouldn't take long to write this report up and send it to the head of Guillaume's squad. He was right that the dead couldn't bring life into the world, but the fact that the child watched the vampire perish at such a tender age was against our rules within the Order. Our job was to protect, not destroy the mental health of the next generation.

For two weeks, he wouldn't leave my side, beyond perhaps sleeping in one of the beds in the hospital wings while I worked. "Mama says the only strangers I am allowed to trust are people who help the sick and policemen unless she or Papa introduce me." he said, though it didn't explain why he was staying with me specifically, but I didn't mind, I found myself rather protective of him.

At the end of those two weeks, a man with a striking resemblance to him arrived, dressed in finery complete with a cane.

"Oh my." Tears welled in the man's eyes as he approached the bed, "My son, I finally found you."

Damian looked bewildered, but with nothing more than a sad smile, he reached out to show the ring on his finger. The boy, eyes wide, pulled out a medallion from under his shirt. The crests were a match.

"I'm sorry, I let your mother down and darkness took advantage of that. They turned her and in her madness she took you with them when you were but a boy, I'm so glad you're safe."

Damian looked as if he wasn't sure what he wanted to say.

"My apologies sir, but I think that your wife is well and truly gone, if it is indeed the woman Damian here called Mother, he was killed before his very eyes." I told him.

The man looked shocked, "When it was explained to me vampires were real, I braced myself for this, but for it to happen with my son watching... that is too cruel," he said, before looking to the boy, "My son, you're a good boy at heart, so I'll give you a choice, you can come home with me, and we can rebuild what was lost, or you can stay here, to learn how to be strong as these brave men and women are, and defend women and children from such horrors when you become a man."

Damian's mouth opened and closed several times, as if something was going through his mind and he didn't know what to say. After a long while, he eventually spoke, "If that is what Papa wants me to do, then I shall stay and grow strong to protect people."

I smiled, such a sweet answer.

"Such a good child you are, I promise, we will never lose touch again, I'll write often and visit whenever work allows." he said, before giving a bow to me, "Miss, I thank you for looking after my son in the light of what has happened. I hear he has been difficult in recent weeks, but hopefully he'll come around."

"Oh he was more of a trouble for anyone but the nurses," I said with a bit of a nervous chuckle, "I just hope he could join the other children soon, I'm sure some new friends will be a great help."

"Indeed, make friends son, learn hard, and I'm sure you'll have a great future ahead."

"All right Papa."

It would be another week, and a lot of socialisation, before Damian Blake left our ward, ready to take the long, arduous road to becoming a huntsman. I was on shift the day that he was told he was going to his own room, turning to face me he gave a smile, "Thank you for everything Nurse Sofia, I promise to visit!" before heading out the door.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Hali McGowan: when will the third book be done? I am absolutely hooked. I red the first two books within less than a week. I'm itching for the third one. The plotline is absolutely wonderful. I've never been much for sci-fi ish books. but you've got me hooked on this series

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...

dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...

Jade Niday: This book has a really great plot. The author really makes you feel connected to the main character. There are twist around every corner you never see coming.. Great read for sure and I can't wait to see what happens next.

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.

OpheliaJones: This story took a different kind of spin on the "normal girl lives with definitely not normal guy" plot. The plot points of Frey's father, Liam's family, and Frey's view of Liam's world were good to read. She did not fall in love with him in the first couple weeks. Their lives were not smooth in ...

Catherine Kopf: Wow! This was a really great story. I really enjoy reading fantasy, so it didn't take long for me to become invested in the book and its characters like Jacob. I really liked your writing style, and it seemed to flow very well. The descriptions that you used for your world were also created n...

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

More Recommendations

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 ...

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...

ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...

Laraine Smith: Your story is both sweet and beautiful! You are a true artist! Keep up the great work! I also love the picture that you chose for your book! :)

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

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!

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.