-Heir to the demon
He awoke to a realm etched in the infinite darkness. A loud, buzzing sound tormented his ears until it was unbearable. His body was frozen and unresponsive. A demonic voice spoke to him as if carrying the voices of a hundred different souls in unison. Drake shook his head, his eyes were feverishly wide now. The sharp prick of thorns poked his face and body, constricting tighter with every second. Ahead of him was a single spectrum of light, resembling a tunnel out of his reach.
“Forget everything…” the voice said.
“Where- where am I?” he mumbled.
His life flashed before his eyes. He saw Lyn and Anna’s faces smiling brightly. Anna, who had the hair of a phoenix and a smile like the warmest sunshine ran into his arms in a white wedding dress. She faded from his memory shortly after.
“No more what you were,” the voice growled. “Memories, thoughts, emotions. All, belong to us now…”
Lyn stood before him in a short, pink nightgown. She lowered the straps from her shoulders and waited for him on their bed. Her emerald eyes sparkled with delight. The buzzing intensified, Drake yelped in pain. He felt as if his head would pop at any given moment. Beads of blood bled from the wounds and vines covering his body. Lyn’s face began to wither away from his head. He focused on her face, her body, anything he could. It was successful, for the moment…
“No, no, please. Not Lyn, anyone but her…” he pleaded. “Get out of my head!”
Lyn’s image drifted away like a speck of sand in the wind. Drake could barely remember anything. He clung to the only thing he had left.
He grunted in pain, in place of tears, he cried blood. “Drake! My name is Drake!”
One by one, his memories were slowly and painfully siphoned away. The mystical and lavish lands of Greece and the Aegean Sea. Tickets he held for a Broadway show he couldn’t remember. A forgotten date down a Paris street at dusk with a woman that heavily resembled Lyn. The cheery face of a smiling child with black hair and red cheeks begging for a piggyback ride. He didn’t have the faintest idea of anything in a world full of familiar faces. Drake drowned in sorrow.
Finally, he succumbed to the pain and tormenting droning in his head. His torturer presented a final image of Lyn to him. “Lyn, baby, is that you? Lyn? You can’t take her away!” he boomed. “You will… not have me!”
“We already do…”
“Witch, how much longer will this take?” Anna asked impatiently.
“Soon he will be nothing,” Aspasia quipped.
Anna rolled her eyes. She heard a pounding against the two bay doors. They exploded inwards sending fragments of stone and wood into the church. In its doorway stood Lyn, holding her bow. Her face was dark with anger. She turned to see Drake ensnared in the man-eating vines, unconscious and emaciated. She gasped and pulled back the bow’s string, brilliant light formed into an arrow shining like a star.
“You’re gonna pay for this,” she said.
Lyn released an arrow that darted towards Aspasia’s head. She moved her head, as the arrow sliced a strand of her hair, plunging into the wall behind Drake. The arrow with its awesome power incinerated the vile veins that trapped Drake into oblivion. He fell from the ceiling, crashing into the ground. Aspasia with the gesture of an arm conjured more of the man-eating veins that erupted from the ground. She directed the first vine at Lyn, shattering the ground in her place.
Coming at Aspasia full speed Lyn readied for the next wave of vines. As they hurled themselves at her, she sliced them with her bow and obliterated others with her arrows of light. Lyn quickly recovered, now just a few feet away from Aspasia. Before she could deliver a fatal blow Anna intervened with a flurry of her swords.
“Get out of my way!” Lyn gritted.
Anna had a smirk. “You’re too late.”
Lyn shrilled as she somersaulted away from a brutal slash of Anna’s swords. Anna was relentless with her attacks, carving the stone walls and floors in her effort to butcher Lyn. Their weapons clashed, pushing against each other. Aspasia broke the tie with a massive, tentacle-like vine from the ground that slammed down between Anna and Lyn. Lyn used the opportunity to nock an arrow, having anticipated Anna’s brash moves. She had analyzed and memorized her and Aspasia’s attacks patterns in just a few minutes.
Vine, six o’clock…
She stopped and pivoted to destroy the incoming vine from behind. As she expected, Anna came forth with an overhead swing. The bow glowed another celestial light, pulsing inside Lyn’s palms.
Do you want me to-? Well alright…
Meeting Anna head-on, Lyn clashed once more, severing Anna’s broadswords in two, slicing through to her gut. Anna fell forward, keeping a hand to her bleeding abdomen. Blood spewed forth, painting the floor red. “There’s- there’s no way…” she flustered. “You cheated… You bitch…”
Lyn scoffed. Now only one enemy remained. She fixated an arrow on Aspasia’s head. The witch stood in silence, her face was blank. “Even if you kill me, you won’t save him,” she said. “You love him don’t you?”
“You’re lying…” Lyn retorted. Her arms shook from holding back the arrow. Blood dripped from her hands.
“Why don’t we make a deal?” Aspasia mused.
Aspasia extended a hand. Her smile was sick and twisted. Lyn glanced at Drake lying on the floor, bleeding to death and barely breathing. Reluctantly, she lowered her bow and its vibrant glow grew dim. “What’s the deal?”
The witch snickered. “When the time comes, you will simply take my place. Warith Alshaytan…”
Lyn approached her and slowly raised her hand before pulling it back. “How can I trust anything you’re saying?”
“Well after seeing you and your abilities…” Aspasia paused, “I’ve changed my mind. Make no mistake. All you’re doing is buying him time. You must decide quickly…”
Lyn gulped and closed her eyes. Nothing ventured… Nothing gained…
She opened her eyes and shook the witch’s hand. Aspasia beamed. A single vine emerged, holding a blue rose. The likes of Lyn had never seen. Aspasia coated her blood on a single thorn and offered the rose to Lyn. “He needs the blood of one like him and the blood of a familiar. You are his familiar are you not?”
Lyn nodded. She pricked her finger as the witch did and stumbled over to Drake. She was exhausted and hadn’t realized how much the fight had taken from her. But the true price had not been paid yet…
“You know everything comes with a price,” Aspasia remarked.
“No price is too great for him,” Lyn replied, not looking back.
She dropped the blood from the rose into Drake’s mouth. His body remained idle, had the witch tricked her after all. Lyn reached for her bow, expecting retribution for her deceit. Instead, Drake’s body jumped to life. His coughs were loud and hoarse and he gasped for air. Drake blinked as Lyn’s face began to form.
“Lyn?” he asked.
He reached for her face, Lyn rested his hand on her dirtied cheeks. Her voice broke and she sniffed. “Welcome back-”
She dove into his powerful arms and chest and balled, soaking Drake in tears. He held her as tightly as he could as she cried and cried. Drake sat up, he lifted her chin with a finger. “Lyn, I can feel it coming. It’s almost time to sleep again,” he said drearily. His eyes grew heavier and heavier. “Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared-”
Drake drifted to his fated slumber. Lyn knew it was inevitable. She placed a kiss on his forehead. “And when you wake up, I’ll be here my love.”
Rays of sunlight peeked through the church’s ruined ceiling and walls. Lyn realized dawn had signified its approach. The witch was nowhere to be found along with Anna’s body which she had likely taken with her. A small breeze blew through the church with the peaceful chirp of birds awakening from their nests. She looked outside past the village at the rows of colorful trees lining the dirt road, shedding their summer leaves for fall. Another gust of wind blew the many red, orange, and yellow leaves into the church, one floating into her hand. Lyn squeezed it in her palm without crushing it and closed her eyes. The cool autumn air hit her face, flapping her green dress and hair. She looked at the leaf in her hand.
This one never changed colors. It’s still green…