The world is painted a vicious black, the world is drowning in the cries of pain and rage, the world of the God’s soldiers is being bathed in blood. The ground beneath me is rough, hundreds of rocks and freezing snow cut into my flesh, my blood is at my feet the further I am dragged away from my home, the snow my family and I were playing in earlier is stained black with my blood. Kicking and screaming, the cries of pain and rage are my own, my voice is the one that mimics pure and utter agony.
“Shut her up!” A boot slams into the side of my face, the sound of bones breaking beneath the weight, but my body won’t heal itself. All my energy and power is focusing on my brother, I’m making sure he’s running towards the portal, the sound of his erratic breathing and the echoes of his shoes slamming against the ground put me at ease. He listened to my orders.
“There are four Winter children,” The sound of my breathing is pitiful, it’s a high pitched whistle, they’ve broken my ribs. Maybe one has punctured my lung, maybe that’s why I feel a fire inside of me, maybe that’s why breathing in and out doesn’t help me feel better. I try to speak but my jaw has been broken. “Why am I only seeing one?”
“My lord the boy we were following got away, this one here was already dying when we found her.” The person who kicked me shifts his feet beside my head, I’m staring at black boots, they got me right as I was coming back from trying to steal from the moon goddess. I was so close to tasting a fruit-bearing her power from the tree at the center of her land.“It seems the other two are out attempting to collect more power from the gods,” He clears his throat. “I think this one-”
“You think?!” The voice roars. “Is this child the successor of this vile clan?” He sneers the words out, a pair of bare feet come into view, the sound of a hand slapping onto a face sounds out. The boots step stagger to the side from the blow. “Your stupidity will get us killed!”
I’m being grabbed by the root of my hair and pulled up, I cry out in pain, the sight of orange cat-like eyes has me shrieking in rage. A laugh comes from the man before me, “So you know who I am, child of Lala and Icarus.”
The whistle of my breathing is louder, the rage inside of me stirs, I can’t help but clench my fists. None of my power will come out, everything in me is focusing on my older brother. I support him with the wind magic stolen from the goddess of air, a great portion of it I use to try and get a message to my other two siblings, my sister, and brother who are out trying to gain more strength. My older siblings have only secured one other form of magic aside from the one they have been born with.
This man raises a hand, orange light glows from his fingers and I kick out violently in an effort to stop his hand from coming close but someone is grabbing onto me. I cry out the second my jaw snaps back into place, gasping for air, and using my fixed mouth to spit in this man’s face. “You’ll be dead when my parents-”
“Your parents are dead, child.” He has a wide grin, one that reaches his ears and makes his eyes slant all scary. His words echo in my mind.
“You lie!” I scream. “You lie you bottom-feeding, Hendrix!” His fist slams into my face, so hard that my nose snaps from the pressure.
“That’s enough out of you!” His voice is a ferocious roar, he’s snapping his fingers and a girl appears to his right, she’s got those orange cat eyes like him. There’s a scar on her upper lip and an H tattooed beneath her right eye, it is tiny but bold. “Check her back, Emile.” He pulls a knife from the holster on his right hip, he’s still holding me up with his left hand. This Hendrix scum is strong. “If she’s got the Winter mountains tattooed onto her back with the triple moons above us tattooed above those mountains she is the successor of the clan.”
“It couldn’t be her, father.” The girl leaves my line of sight, the sound of her bare feet crushing fresh snow beneath her lets me know where she is. “This one looks as if she’s barely coming into adulthood, it has to be the oldest daughter, I’ve fought that girl in the centennial games of the gods. She won without ever using more than one type of magic.”
“There are rumors that Icarus and Lala marked their youngest child as the successor of the clan.” He sneers the words out. “Imagine that, the greatest clan among the soldiers of the gods being ruled by a child who hasn’t even proven themselves at the centennial games?” The girl’s hands are on the base of my neck, I can feel the point of the knife on my back, she cuts down. Digging into my skin and I force my teeth to bite down, the sound of teeth grinding together makes my ears ache.
She doesn’t stop until she is just above my ass. “Seems as if you are right, Father.” Her hands are cold, as she passes it from my left to my right shoulder blade, her fingertips slide down all the way to my hip. “She has different things tattooed beneath the mountains,” She traces over it. “She’s got thin lines-”
“It’s the amount of magic I’ve consumed from the gods,” I whisper the words out, I can feel my magic returning to me, the slow stitching of my skin and bones being put together sounds in my ears. “You have made a mistake invading my father’s land.” My healing is painfully slow, my power is still so far away from me. “You made a mistake by not calling your entire clan,”
There is a sliver of power that comes back to me, it’s the magic I was born with, vectors that cling to me. They take the shape of hands but even shift into spears, black hands that are visible only to me and to those who have been given access through me. I beg them to take form, beg them to kill for me, but my body is still focusing on healing my insides. I must be so broken beyond utter repair. The healing magic was stolen from the goddess’s life, it’s useful when it comes to healing others but when it comes to my own being it can only focus on one thing at a time.
When the moon goddess flung me down from her moon and back to this realm she made sure to break every bone in my body. I was still healing, the only bits of me healed were my arms and legs, my ribcage was nearly done but as I was trying to make my way to my brother they appeared. There were five of them kicking at me and shooting magic from their fingertips. I did what I am required as the successor of the clan. I made sure to ensure the well being of my people and then my siblings.
The people of the mountain, I had forgotten about them, the healing stops. I take my focus on feeling if they are still in these lands. I can feel the feet of the people in my town, not all but it is nearly half of them, I can feel their energy on my land. It’s quick, forcing my vectors to grow wider and longer. My vectors do their job perfectly, they gather up my people and are rushing them out of the town.
Even as I get some of them out of the town I close my eyes, moving quickly through the town once again to ensure that no one is still lingering here, this is my responsibility. I have a responsibility to protect the children brought from the human realm, those who proved themselves enough to be given the chance to live in the realm below the heavens.
They aren’t meant to face hardships in this realm, we are supposed to keep our quarrels for the centennial fights, but here I am. I open my eyes, seething with a diabolical rage, it’s begun to snow violently. I bare my teeth in a rising snarl at the leader of the Hendrix clan. That girl called him Father, then he must be Everst Hendrix. I stare into his orange eyes, they are like those of a cat, watching me with the stare of a predatory animal. I’ll show him who is the predator, my body is still broken, but the loud snapping of bones being put into place has me grinning madly.
“I will kill you all as the new head of the Winter-” Claws breakthrough chest bones, and dig into flesh, I gasp out in shock. My vectors are barely coming back, they sink into me but not to help me, they sink into me to cradle a dying body.
“You can’t do that if you’re already dead, Winter scum.” He gives me a savage smile, one full of fangs, I can’t forget his face. The defined eyebrows, the strong jawline, the thin lips, and the small nose on his face. His hands wrap around something inside me, they hold onto my insides so tightly that I cough, black blood splatters onto his face. He doesn’t even flinch. “I’ll hunt down those siblings of yours and I will bring them your miserable head.” His hands pulling out, the world fades, darkness has consumed everything.
“Aren’t you a pitiful sight, female.” Gasping is how I come to, opening my eyes that are blinded by the brightness of an enormous woman who stands above me. She is a giant who glows so bright it burns. I shut my eyes tightly, the sound of a giggle makes my stomach twist with sickness. “You may open them now, female.” I don’t trust her. This is the goddess who flung me down to my land, she broke my entire being, she crippled me for too long. “I’ve changed into a form that will not hurt your eyes, female.”
I open my eyes now, this time she is small, her skin is the color of the moon. Hair as white as snow and eyes a blue that is terrifying. She walks to a tree, one that glows a dazzling lavender and bears fruit the shape of a perfect circle, ripe pale blue fruit that I had my hands on but I couldn’t even take a bite before she caught me. She’s the first god I couldn’t run from in time, or even defend myself against, I had heard rumors that she showed no mercy to those who seek power.
“You are the first to even touch a fruit from this tree in over a millennium,” She puts her hand against the tree. “There have been many of your kind who have tried, but the first and last to take a fruit from this tree were a group of humans who had ascended to the heavens. It wasn’t one of the soldiers of the gods.” She speaks, I can taste my blood in my mouth, I can feel it sliding down my chest. “Those humans shared a single fruit, the four of them each took a bite to share the power. They asked to be sent back to the human realm now that they proved themselves to a god.”
She laughs, her laugh is the sound of bells, so beautiful and without ill will. “Your kind are brutes, tearing into my domain, violently stomping over my land and tearing fruit from the tree.” I can’t speak as tears fall from her eyes. “We gave you all the opportunity to take from us, to use that power to protect the heavens from demons, but since those days full of war have ended you all use our powers to govern over your land, to fight and to spill blood.” Her rage causes thunder to boom in the sky, and for rain to slowly begin falling.
“Those humans didn’t harm my land, nor did they tear the fruit of my life from this tree.” She smiles softly. “I sent them to their realm and ever since then I look over the children who gained a piece of my life-”
“I died.” My voice comes to me. “I died and now you are keeping me here to listen to some story?” I can’t help but cry out in anger. “Release my soul, you insufferable-”
“Silence!” Her voice booms not only around me but I feel it inside of me, pounding inside my head and shaking my bones. “Shut your mouth before I change my mind and let your soul die.” She snarls the words out, her teeth have shifted into canines meant to crush skulls. I keep my lips shut tight. “Those children have come to be my own, all of their own children have become mine, they pray to me and sing to me,” She stops herself.
“One of the daughters of an Alpha pair has died tonight,” She takes a single fruit. “I cannot stand to see them suffering the loss of a pup,” I stare at her wide-eyed. “I will give you a second chance at life, female.” She walks to me, the fruit in her hand, I try to move my hands. But my body doesn’t respond, I can’t even turn my head away from her.
“Why?” I whisper the word out, tears blur my vision. “Why are you giving me a second chance?” If my heart were still beating I know it would pound.
“You didn’t break into my land, female.” She is soft-spoken. “You did not stomp on my land with violence.” The tears fall. “You didn’t rip this fruit from the tree, you even offered a thank you to me.” Tears spill from her eyes tears the color of blue waters. “But the fruit from this tree does not offer power,” She says. “This is a tree that births the life of a wild side, it is a tree that brings you closer to the ground of the Earth, it is the fruit that gives you another half of a soul. You will gain a strength that is not magic, female, do you still want it?”
She holds out the fruit, her eyes that were once frightening are now glistening with love, she looks like a mother who is putting her child in the hands of another. “I will take any form of strength, goddess of the moon,” I whisper the words out. “If this fruit will give me another chance at avenging my parents and a chance to restore the name of my clan then I will take it.”
“Then take it, Female.” My hand moves now, I take the fruit in her hand, she is watching me as I bite into the fruit. There is no way to describe the taste of the fruit, the words meant to describe it are not of this world, the flow of the goddesses power blinds me. The world is fading away.
“I will give your child life, again.” Her voice echoes in my mind. There is a heat beginning to spread inside of me. “Do not cry, my children, you will get to hold your female in your arms again.” I can feel her leaving, but the world is still black, the faint sound of my heartbeat keeps me from crying out in fear that I am still dead.
Those orange eyes flash in the darkness, his claws are tearing into my chest again. Gasping in fear, I rise up, my hands clutch my chest tightly. There is no hole in my chest, no black blood spilling from me, tears fall. I don’t have the energy to sob. I continue to clutch my chest tightly, eyes wide as I gasp for air, “Die-” I cry out, this voice I can’t recognize, brown eyes come to me.
Brown eyes are wide with tears. “Mina?” I ask, once again my voice is small, it’s breathless. And then I’m gasping, my hand clutches my shirt and it feels like my body is being crushed. I can’t help but close my eyes, a frightening face flashes, orange feline eyes that are wicked. A savagely fearsome grin that’s full of fangs and sharp brows and thin lips are snarling at me. I scream in fear, I scream at the pain that is overtaking every bit of my being.
My body is burning, it burns so harshly that I feel like I am on fire, I tear at my clothes. Claws are digging into my flesh and those brown eyes are trying to stop me, they try to help, they try to hold me. Who’re brown eyes are these?