In Emily’s hospital room the next morning, Emily was reading her book. James was watching her. He already knew the story that Emily was reading. He had heard it several times before from Gabriel.
A long time ago, in a time that man has forgotten, there was the Darkness. An entity so evil that people would flee at the mere mentioning of his name. The Darkness ruled over the world with a firm grip. He had thousands of followers. They were known as the Black Hand. They would strike fear into anyone just by walking by them. They were known by their emblem on their chests. A black hand. They would terrorize everyone wherever they went and left death and destruction.
The Darkness was dangerous and ruthless. All those who challenged him would never be heard from again. He ruled from his dark castle which was hidden well. No one followed him for fear of losing their lives. With the Darkness ruling over them, it would seem like there would be no hope for mankind.
But all of that changed with one girl. Her name was Seraphina. She had grown up unknowingly close to the dark castle. She had witnessed firsthand the death and destruction that the Darkness and the Black Hand caused and it made her sad. She swore that she would end the Darkness and free her people. It would take her years before she gathered an army of loyal followers of her own. With her followers, she began to fight back against the Black Hand.
In the years to follow, her followers grew in number while the Black Hand lost numbers and were defeated at every battle. Seraphina inspired others to believe that a better future was possible but only if they fought for it. With each victory her followers had, the Darkness grew weaker and weaker.
Seraphina had a left hand and a right hand. Her two most devoted followers. A man named Gabriel and another man named Victor. They were two of the first to follow her and advised her in all ways. As was expected, they both fell in love with her. Victor, believing that Seraphina was destined to be his, went to propose to her. To his shock and betrayal, he saw that he was too late for Gabriel had won the young woman’s heart. Betrayed, Victor went to the Darkness and pledged his loyalty to the Darkness.
With Victor’s betrayal, the Darkness grew stronger and many who had followed Seraphina was swayed to the Darkness out of loyalty to Victor and became the new Black Hand. With the new Black Hand, Seraphina’s followers were forced to retreat and the Darkness grew stronger with each victory.
Seraphina knew that the Darkness was only winning because of Victor’s betrayal. She knew that the best chance to defeat the Darkness was to defeat Victor. So the final battle began. Seraphina and her many followers against Victor and his Black Hand and the Darkness’s evil assortment of monsters. During the final battle, Seraphina and Gabriel were fighting Victor while the Darkness watched his servant fight the woman he once had loved and the man he once considered his brother. Gabriel and Seraphina overpowered Victor. As Gabriel held Victor at sword point, Seraphina went to fight the Darkness.
As Seraphina and the Darkness fought, their actions were felt all over the world. With each clang of their swords, lightning struck. With each step they took, thunder roared. They were evenly matched. Seraphina, knowing that she couldn’t keep the fight up, casted a spell. The spell was to seal the Darkness away completely so he could never threaten anyone ever again. As she casted her spell, the Black Hand scattered. The only one left was Victor. Victor, refusing to let his master lose, overtook Gabriel and ran towards Seraphina. With a thrust of his sword, he stabbed her through, making her lose her place in her spell.
With the spell not completed, the Darkness swore that he would one day return to finish that which he started before the spell sealed him away. Victor escaped into the night. The war had proven costly as both sides had lost many people. As Seraphina laid dying in Gabriel’s arms, she told him that with the threat that the Darkness had made, that one day, her heir would complete her great work and defeat the Darkness once and for all. With her prophecy, Seraphina died.
Gabriel knew that the threat was very real and so he left and went into hiding, waiting for the day that the heir would appear to complete the great work that Seraphina had begun.
Emily flipped through the next few pages. There wasn’t much on them. Only incantations and spells. She then reached the end of the book. The last few pages were blank. Emily closed her book. She looked at the cover of the book. So the S must have stood for Seraphina. Emily wondered who wrote the book. She doubt that it was Seraphina because there was no way that any of this was real. It was impossible. There was no such thing as magic. Sure the book had been written in several different languages that she couldn’t read one day and then be able to read the next but that could have been because of anything.
Emily laid back against her bed and looked up at the ceiling. Why did her mother want her to have this book? What was so important about knowing some story and a bunch of spells? She thought that with being able to read the book that she would understand why her mother wanted her to have it but now she had more questions about it.
Emily opened her book back up and reread the story. She was hoping that there was something that she had missed. She looked at the ending of the story. She hadn’t really paid much attention to it but she reread it anyways.
Victor, not wanting to risk that the heir would finish that which Seraphina had begun, ordered his Black Hands to spread out and to find any child that could be an heir. Each time they did, they would test the child and if they proved to be a possible heir, they were executed quickly. The Black Hands grew in numbers over the years. As the years went by, people started to forget the story of Seraphina until it was all but a distant memory and then forgotten completely.
Gabriel, not wanting, to risk the loss of anymore heirs, took one line into hiding and watched over the one line from a distance. The Black Hand searched for the one line as they hunted down the different heirs. Each time they got close, Gabriel would take them to a different location to hide.
Emily looked up from her book and closed the book. That still didn’t help her find out why her mother wanted her to have the book. She looked at the remaining pages. They only showed the different spells and incantations. None of it was in English and no matter how hard she tried, she wasn’t able to read the pages.
Emily closed the book. Did her mother practice magic? She shook her head. That was impossible. There was no way that her mother could have practiced magic. None of her relatives on her mother’s side ever told her about it. She herself never found any magical stuff belonging to her mom. She had looked at nearly everything her mother owned. This was just becoming more confusing to her.
James was watching her when he sensed something. Something that disturbed him greatly. He went out into the hallway and looked in both directions. He didn’t see anything that stood out. Just nurses and doctors working away. He shook his head. He was probably just a little paranoid about the Black Hand trying to find the chosen one. Especially since she didn’t have anyone in the hospital looking out for her that could be seen.
Emily looked towards the door of her room. She thought she had heard someone there. “Hello?” She called out. “Is someone there?” There was no reply. She shook her head. It was probably just her imagination after reading a book. She couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital. She really wanted to get home.
Agent Simmons looked up at the hospital from his car. He was all alone. His fellow agents had returned to Washington D.C. with a Black Hand disguised as him earlier that morning. He had insisted that they returned home after not finding any new leads on Emily’s disappearance and had simply brushed it off as a kidnapping gone wrong. His loyalty to the Black Hand came before his loyalties to his country. He wasn’t alone. There were three other men with him. They were Black Hands disguised as federal agents.
“Remember. We go in to get the kid and we walk out with her.” Agent Simmons told the other three Black Hands. “No one will suspect federal agents taking the child into protective custody.” They all got out of the car and started walking towards the hospital. No one really paying attention to them. Those who did were shown F.B.I. badges and just went on as if everything was normal.
Agent Simmons went up to the receptionist desk. The nurse there looked at him. “Agent Simmons.” She said. She had recognized him from the day before. “Here to check up on the kid who was missing?”
Agent Simmons nodded. “To check up on her and to take her into protective custody.” He answered. “Orders from D.C. My supervisor thinks that whoever kidnapped her might be connected to a child trafficking ring and will try to kidnap her again.” He took out a sheet of paper that glowed for a second before he showed it to her. “As you can see, it’s an order from D.C.”
The nurse looked at the sheet of paper. The spell showed her what Agent Simmons had said. She looked at Agent Simmons. “Emily wasn’t supposed to leave for another couple of days but who am I to argue with the F.B.I.”
Agent Simmons smiled. This was really too easy for him. He wondered if he would have managed to fool this nurse without a sheet of paper. She was so willing to help him. “And my boss insists that if anyone comes asking for her, to tell them that she was just moved to a safer location. That my name is not to be mentioned at all.” He told her.
The nurse nodded. “Of course Agent Simmons.” She said eagerly. She quickly looked away. Agent Simmons looked at his men and nodded. The four started to head for Emily’s room.
James sensed something dark heading towards Emily’s room. He stood up and went to the door. He looked back out into the hallway. There were four men in suits and long coats heading in his direction. James recognized the one as Agent Simmons. He didn’t recognize the other three. They must have been agents that had stayed in Carrollton the day before with the police. James frowned. Whatever the dark thing was that he was sensing seemed to be coming from the four men.
He looked at Emily. He couldn’t risk her getting attacked. He was about to turn himself visible and go see her to try to discourage the four men but before he could do that, he fell to the ground unconsciously and turned visible right outside of Emily’s room. He hit the ground at Agent Simmons’s feet. Agent Simmons looked down at him and smiled. “Sleep well boy.” He said. “And work harder at your invisibility spell.”