The Dark Age Chronicles: The Fall of Night.

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The Hunt

Eyla ran. The trees moved past her in a blur. Tears spilled over her cheeks as the memories of Titan’s death and his dying words echoed in her mind. She sniffed back the tears and set her face. The grief of his passing made it hard to breathe. And she needed to be clear headed for what she was about to do. Titan would not remain un-avenged. Branches of trees whipped her face and legs as she crashed through them. But the small pains of their lashes only served as an incentive as she followed the trail that the creature had left. Then she realized that the trail was gradually fading away.

“No!” she yelled as she stopped; the last of the trail had vanished. She stood staring at the small disturbance of leaves on the ground. She walked a few steps in one direction but found no welcome start up. She returned to the end of the trail. She clenched her hands in frustration.

“No!’ she yelled again, “This cannot happen! Titan!” she slumped to the ground. Her rage was ebbing away. She looked at her hands. They were covered in Titan’s blood. She clenched her jaw and forced her rage to build again. She had to find the creature that killed Titan. She had to! She got up. Then she remembered that when she had seen the creature it was clothed in yellow light. “That means that it was magical!” she exclaimed out loud, “Ha!” she summoned her rage and the world exploded into blue light. She looked around. There was nothing, and then she pounced on a bush. There was a faint glow of yellow in its leaves. She looked up and saw another shade of yellow further on. “Well my magical killer, here I come,” she whispered and dashed off following the faint trail of light.

She raced along the trail leading her in great circles. Whatever the creature was, it was not stupid. It had wandered about in various directions so as to throw anything off its trail. Eyla grinned; it did not expect that its hunter would be following the trail of its magical essence. She dashed through the underbrush of the forest; thirst and hunger were distant to her mind. All she was concerned about was this hunt and the kill that she was going to make. The trail was getting brighter; the yellow essence of the creature was more frequently seen and was more in a straight line. Apparently the creature thought that it had made enough side trails to throw anyone off.

Eyla set her jaw; that was a bad mistake on the creature’s part. And it was going to die for it. Now she could hear noises; the movement of bushes, the rustling of leaves. It was no longer being careful. She crouched over low till the bushes were over her head. She was almost flat out. Then she began to crawl. The thick carpet of leaves muffled her approach. She could see the vast teeming life of the forest floor all in their glowing blue, but her berserker eyes only desired to rest upon the yellow of that creature. Then quite suddenly the bush ended and it stood in a clearing.

Eyla’s chest felt as though it was being crushed. Her fingers gripped the dirt. Hey eyes died down and the forest sprang back into its normal colours. Eyla took in the creature. It was taller than an average man, with shoulder length black hair. Suddenly Titan’s dying face came back to her. She bent her head, swallowed her tears and forced herself to look at the creature. She had to know its structure before she could attack. It seemed to be looking for something. It was naked, but it had no genitals. Its buttocks were just a smooth sheet of skin. Titan’s last breath sounded in her ears. She bent her head again, then snapped it back up and pushed out the image out of her head. The creature was white skinned, too white to be normal. Suddenly it dropped and plunged its hand into the ground. The earth shook and burst open under the force of the blow. Eyla fell flat on her stomach in shock. The creature pulled out a small wriggling animal from the forest floor. The animal was squeaking in horror and protest. The creature lifted it up and the long tube-like thing hanging from its face coiled up like a snake. Then the tube darted forward and plunged into the chest of the animal. The animal screamed and Eyla saw the tube recoil gently as the creature sucked the animal’s blood into itself. Eyla felt sick. Bile burned her throat. She wanted to get up and run away. The horror of this creature seemed too much.

Then Titan came back to her. Tears rolled upon her again. She hardened herself. This creature must die. She leapt forward and landed a few feet away from the creature. It looked at her, its tube still buried in the animal’s chest. Eyla rose slowly and pulled her fishing knife out of her tunic belt. The creature turned to face her, snapped the tube out of the animal and tossed it into the trees behind. Eyla heard the animal squealing as it flew. Her rage deepened. The creature’s mouth coiled back to the front and hissed loud and shrill. Eyla stood still. She extended her hand and held the blade away from her, and then she crouched touching her fingertips to the ground in front of her. The creature looked her up and down. Then suddenly metal began to grow out of it. Eyla hid her surprise. The metal passed through the creature’s skin and formed armour over it. Then it raised its hand and a long blade slid out of its palm. It gripped the blade and placed it in front of itself. Eyla swallowed her fear. She loosened her rage, and to her eyes the world burst into blue, and the creature in front of her; into yellow. The creature looked at her then attacked.

It was upon her before she knew what was happening. She instinctively raised her knife hand to protect herself. The blade of the creature bore down on her, but the blade of her knife passed through it, as if it was not there. Both Eyla and the creature stared at the two blades intertwined, the Eyla grinned and leapt up, throwing the creature back from her.

“Even your armour is magic,” she said, “I do not think you can throw your magic, so it’s a one on one situation really. Your weapons and armour cannot protect you now.” She rushed to the creature then dived sideways. Only a streak of leaves flying in her wake showed where she was. The creature spun around seeming confused. She moved around it and slashed at its back with her knife. A hiss of pain echoed in the forest and the creature arched its back. It bent over and seemed to be crouching. She moved to slash it again, when it suddenly rose up and its blade met her leg. She screamed as the blade ate through the skin. She dropped heavily to the floor.

The wound was big and it opened wide. The creature dove toward her and she leapt back. The pain stabbed her leg. She dropped heavily to the floor again. The creature rose up slowly and from its other palm, another blade grew.

“Damn,” Eyla muttered. The creature came at her again; she dived to the side as the blades came down. Then she dove across the forest floor and landed next to its armored leg. She stabbed her knife deep into the leg. The creature hissed again and kicked her. She sailed low over the leaves and slammed into a tree. Her ribs felt as though they were broken. The creature did not even pull the knife from its leg. It just came after her. She could not move very well. She rolled half heartedly to the side but the blades still nipped her shoulder. She groaned. Her breath was cut short as the creature kicked her in the face, sending her skidding across the floor once more. Leaves tangled in her hair and dirt flew into her eyes. It ran to her and stepped on her hurt leg. She screamed as the pain numbed all her senses. It drove a sword into her arm pinning her down. She could not breathe. Her cries died out.

The creature knelt over her, one knee pressed into her stomach. She half rose in agony. The second blade struck though her shoulder. She had no more strength for screaming. The pain was blinding. The forest returned to its normal hues. She could feel her own blood, wet and warm on her skin. The face of the creature loomed over her. The metal sank back into its face and the long tube coiled out. Her eyes opened in horror. Then the tube shot forward.

She felt her chest explode. She pulled in ragged breath, and the tube wriggled into her. Then she felt her entire body convulse. Her insides were being ripped out. The agony was nothing like she ever felt. Her fingers clawed the dirt frantically as her vision dimmed. The world sank into blackness. Then suddenly she began to realize that she was feeling no pain. The world around her began to whiten. Soon she was in a place of blinding whiteness, but she found that she could bear the startling glow.

“Oh Great One!” she cried out.

“Yes,” a deep resonant Voice answered. She stopped, her tears caught in her throat. “You called me?” the Voice asked.

“Am I dead?” she asked.

“On the verge of death,” the Voice answered back. Eyla bent her head, then she jerked it back up; she was standing!

“What is going on?” she exclaimed.

“You are dying, that means the spirit leaves the body,” the Voice said.

“You mean this is my spirit?”Eyla asked.

“Yes,” the Voice affirmed, “Are you ready to die Eyla?”

“No,” she admitted.

“Why not?” the Voice asked again.

“I am dying on the path of revenge. I should have gone with Titan. And I…I have not been praying lately,” she replied.

“I know,” the Voice said, “I miss hearing your voice.” The Voice sounded sad and a bit hurt.

Eyla looked around, “Who are you?”

“The Great One; did you not call for me?” the Voice said.

Eyla bent her head again, “Does this mean I go the Bad Place?”

“No,” the Voice grew more royal sounding, “I am not done with you yet. When your task in Cysia is done then we shall meet again.”

Eyla felt a hand touch her forehead and she raised her head to find herself looking at the creature. The pain slammed into her again. But she felt renewed. She opened her mouth, screamed and pushed up with all her might. The creature looked surprised as it fell back, it tube and swords tearing out of her. She sucked in air and leapt forward yanking the knife out of the creature’s leg. The creature flung away but she grabbed its hand and spun it around. The world burst into blue and she plunged the knife through the armor into its chest. She stumbled into it and pushed it to the ground. Then she climbed on it and began to punch it in the face. Armor cracked under her blows and blood spurted out. The world then seemed to go into a blur and she didn’t know how to stop.

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