The Forbidden Village

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Chapter 3

I wasn’t yet 18. My birthday was still a few weeks away. That was the only thing that I had ever gotten excited for. But this year, I have to say, was the most exciting. After all, I was turning 18.

Afterwards, I would have to move out to my apartment and settle down with a guy eventually. The thing was – I didn’t like any of the guys in town. They were all not my type, too childish. And after what happened to my last boyfriend, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take the risk again. The risk of letting someone in only to lose them, in the end, was too high a risk. There was something more that was bothering me, though. It might be just that I was paranoid or something, but I swear that in the two weeks leading up to my birthday I was being followed. Also, weird stuff started to happen in town, more bizarre stuff than usual.

Objects started disappearing, and the animals were starting to go crazy and react to nothing. Also, there would be random power outages, for no reason, and then the power would just come back on, on its own. No one in town knew what to make of it. It wasn’t “The Watch” for two reasons. First, they all died off years ago, and secondly from what is heard from the stories none of the stuff had happened before they came down to Earth.

Oh, did I forget to mention the fact that once they kidnapped someone, they teleported back to wherever they had come from? But that place was not on Earth – that I was a hundred percent sure about. Otherwise, we would have heard something about these creatures in the newspaper or something, right? However, none of this stuff could compare to what happened on my birthday. No one was expecting that, not by a long shot.

I woke up to no sounds and no power. There were no singing birds, no barking dogs, no cars driving around and no people talking. What was going on? I got up and searched the house for my family, but I couldn’t find anyone. I couldn’t even locate the dog. I walked outside, but there weren’t any cars on the road, well besides the ones that were parked on the street. I went back inside and quickly changed into some jeans shorts and a forest green V-neck t-shirt.

I went back out the front door, not bothering to lock it. I walk down the sidewalk to downtown with still no sign of anyone. Then I remembered that we had a cellar in our backyard, could they be hiding there? But what were they hiding from if they were down there? And why didn’t they take me with them? I turned around to head back home to check the cellar when I spotted someone in the center of the road walking towards me.

My gut told me to run, but I was curious. Something in the back of my mind started to nag at me. Something I had learned from the town’s old stories and some of my reading. I glanced up at the sky just as everything started to change color. The sky was a blood red. The reason why The Watch were never caught, was because this red sky came after they already arrived. Which would mean that they were already here?

I looked back to the figure that had been in the middle of the road, but I couldn’t see him anymore. Now I was starting to panic. I whipped my head around looking for that guy that had been walking down the middle of the road. Everything was bathed in a red light, so it was hard to distinguish individual objects from other objects. Then I felt a hand grip my shoulder.

My panic kicked up a notch, and my adrenaline kicked into high gear. I grabbed the hand and pulled. I flipped whoever it was over my shoulder and brought the person back down to the ground with a rather loud thud. Man, adrenaline can make you be able to do some crazy things. But I didn’t bother to look to see who or what it was that I had just flipped over, I just ran. I ran faster than I thought I would ever be able to run, probably because panic fueled my actions.

I just kept running, not daring to look back. For fear of seeing them chasing me. The Watch were after me, no doubt about it. And my family had just left me alone to be taken by them. I suddenly felt overwhelmingly sad. My family left me to die. I could feel my pace slowing, and my breathing was starting to become painful. I tripped to a stop, coughing and breathing hard as I tried to catch my breath.

I gripped my ribs and my stomach as pain throbbed from my core. I staggered around and looked at my surroundings. I was at the edge of town. But where was the mysterious thing that kept killing off everyone who got close to the edge of town? I didn’t understand what could hide so well but be so merciless. I turned to look behind me to see if I was being followed still. Sure enough not too far behind me was a group of maybe six soldiers, or at least that’s what they looked like, jogging towards me. I took a nervous step back.

Then I heard something approach me from behind. I felt the hairs on my neck stand up. Oh shit, I’m in big trouble now. I didn’t want to see what was behind me, but my curiosity was getting the better of me. As I stood shaking from fear and exhaustion, I slowly turned my head to the side. The thing came from the forest and padded onto the road until it was right behind me, so I couldn’t see it anymore. I would have to turn completely around if I wanted to see exactly what the creature was, which I wasn’t a hundred percent sure I wanted to see.

The soldiers stopped a couple of feet from where I was. But they weren’t looking at me anymore; they were watching the thing that was behind me. When the soldiers were this close, I could see exactly what they looked like. The stories had gotten it completely wrong. They didn’t look like Devils descendants at all, in fact, they looked pretty much human. Except that their features seemed to be more pointed or even angular, then that of humans. Also, the unmistakable long, pointed ears that popped out of the sides of their helmets.

Each helmet was decorated with intricate design, all of them were different and unique. All the soldiers were men and all of them I would have to say we’re very handsome. Although I don’t think that attractive covers what they looked like at all. Gorgeous would be a better word, but I still don’t know if it’s enough. They were all dressed in some fancy armor, with shields on one arm and a weapon in the other hand. Each weapon was different. I couldn’t name more than one of them because they looked so otherworldly, and old fashioned. Kind of like medieval weapons, except they radiated power. I could feel it coming off the weapons in waves. But the power wasn’t just coming from the weapons it seems to be radiating from the people too.

They weren’t the only things that radiated power, though. The creature that was still slowly and quietly approaching my back also radiated power. I felt like my heart was in my throat, choking me. I slowly turned around, taking extra time and care with each movement. I didn’t want to spook the creature especially since it would probably attack me if I provoked it in any way. When I completely turned around, with my back to the soldiers, all I could see was a black chest.

I craned my neck up to try to see the head of the creature, being careful not to meet its eyes. But the creature looked down at me and stared directly into my eyes. From what little I could see of the creature it appeared to be a giant lizard. Except that it had sharper features, literally and physically.

The giant lizard just kept staring at me as if it was waiting for me to do something. Its big eyes looked almost like cat’s eyes except for one huge difference, the color. Its eyes were red instead of the green that cat’s eyes normally were. Its shape was exquisite and striking, if not also scary.

The giant lizard bowed his head so that he was within touching distance. But on the lizard’s head were claw markings that were still bleeding. The sight of the bloody wound knocked me out of my trance, and for a second, I forgot that it was a giant lizard that could very easily eat me.

I quickly approached his head but then hesitated. I could feel the eyes of the soldiers on me, and I could feel their wariness about the lizard. But the lizard was in pain. I had to help him. I tentatively reached out to the lizard’s head and touched one of the wounds. The lizard growled and tensed up.

Something moved on its back catching my attention, and I turned my head to get a better look. My mouth dropped, the lizard had wings. You’d think that a giant lizard would freak me out, but it doesn’t. A giant lizard with wings now that freaks me out. I didn’t even understand my logic sometimes. Okay, so it wasn’t a giant lizard, then was it a dragon? Even in mythology dragons were rare, this was fantastic!

The dragon made a noise making me refocus on the present. My hand was still on its wound, and it was waiting, tensely. I concentrated like I did in practice and sure enough after a minute or two all of the wounds on the dragon’s head were gone. I still hadn’t mastered keeping my eyes open when I did heal someone, so I didn’t know exactly what my powers did when I worked on someone.

The dragon raised his head and howled, long and loud into the sky. Then the dragon looked back down at me. If a dragon could look serious, it just did. It made a low rumbling noise in the dragon’s throat and reached its head out towards me. I didn’t know what the dragon was doing so I just stood still. Hoping that he wasn’t going to kill me.

The dragon sniffed me up and down before it focused on my left arm. Suddenly the dragon burst into light. The streams of light circled my arm for a second before diving towards it. The streams of light entered my arm. At first, it only tickled my arm. But then the pain started. The pain began in the general area of where the light had entered my arm. Then the pain started spreading up and down my arm.

I wanted to scream, but it got stuck in my throat. The pain faded from certain areas, but it still continued to spread up my arm. It spread until it reached the back of my skull. It stopped, all of the pain just stopped. It happened so quickly that it was like a shock to my body. I dropped down to my hands and knees, panting with tears streaming down my face.

The soldiers still hadn’t approached, which I found a bit odd. But what had that light show, and all that pain, been for? I staggered unsteadily to my feet and looked down at my arm. I stared in awe and utter bewilderment at the intricate and beautiful tattoo. The tattoo climbed from my fingertips all the way up to my shoulder, and covered my entire shoulder as far as I could see. Okay, what was going on?

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