Part 1- The Vicar of the South
“And how was your family’s get together?”
Two characters stand at the edge of a tower overlooking the amber hue emitting from the small town below. The town would soon outglow the stars above.
“Overzealous as usual?” the tenor voice continues. The speaker is a young man, no definite features can be made out in the shadows- aside from the fact that he is taller in stature and hints well-toned arms.
“Always.” The second speaker has the frame and the voice of a young woman. “They believe that if they tone it down our family won’t be seen as perfect or glamorous. Which of course is true- I mean, I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
The young woman takes a step forward. Her masked face and wavy hair now catch the amber light, revealing her expression. She is smiling, somewhat humored, exposing her remark as what it is, sarcastic.
“Yes, running off during the night and getting into all sorts of shenanigans with a gentleman you hardly know is very normal and socially acceptable.” The young man also steps forward, his face too, is masked, as if the two are planning a sort of romantic vendetta. He stretches his arms behind his back and over his head, yawning. “Well did you at least get to see that young man you’re so fond of?”
“Hm? Fond of? What are you going on about Ain?” The young woman brings her thoughts to the events of the prior evening, “Yes, I suppose he was there...”
“Look at Preston go. He’s quite popular, you said he is your doctor? Cousin?” A tall and lanky girl leans over her petite and blond cousin who is seated in a wheelchair.
The two girls observe the couple dancing across the thriving hall. A celebration takes place. What they are celebrating, the blond girl can’t remember. She is positive none of the guests can either, but they do know that the Desmond manor is the place to be during these enchanted evenings. No one can stay away, not even Eloise.
“He’s not my doctor, Cecilia. He is my doctor’s assistant.” Eloise corrects politely, blinking her violet-blue eyes in her cousin’s direction.
Across the room, the young man they speak of nods courteously at what his dance partner is saying. His profile is sharper than a child’s but softer than that of a man. The same can be said of his facial features. His skin is shy of being a proper tan, and his hair is a dark blond color. He is not the most attractive young man in the room, nor the richest, but he’s friendly and approachable.
Preston attends all the events at Desmond manor, but he almost lives at the manor himself. He’s not here as a guest, he’s here because of Eloise.
“Specifics, such trivial matters Eloise! The point is that you get to see him every day.” Cecilia crosses her freckled arms across her chest, her satin gown puckering at her waist.
“Yes, but I can’t really ask him to dance can I?” Her younger cousin’s gaze drops to the arms of her wheelchair. Her straight thin hair curtains her delicate face.
“Eloise!” Cecilia’s green eyes bulge in response to her cousin’s blunt sense of humor.
“But you can! That’s my point!” the blond girl encourages. “That’s why I say you should ask him to dance.” The song playing in the hall fades to an end, and Eloise lowers her voice accordingly.
Cecilia shakes her head, her red curls bouncing along the side of her freckled face. She too lowers her voice, not as low as a whisper, but a breathy mutter. “Never. Have you been paying attention? Watch that girl now.”
Across the room Preston’s dance partner thanks him for the dance and Preston returns the gesture. It is fairly obvious to anyone else but the young man that she wishes for him to ask for another dance, but he doesn’t. He is obliging enough to converse with her momentarily.
“Yes, he’s done dancing with her,” Eloise observes.
“But watch his manner with her.”
“He’s polite? He is a genuinely kind person. I doubt he is deceiving her in any way.”
“Exactly!” Cecilia exclaims and her cousin is confused. “There is no doubt in my mind that Preston is being genuine with this girl... as he was with the last girl he danced with... and the girl before- Preston is charming, but he is too nice. He has little romantic interest in any of the girls here. He ought to just go home.”
Eloise grins in disbelief, “I thought you wanted to dance with him!”
Cecilia shakes her head again, pointing her perfect nose in the air, “I do, but Preston is not the sort of man you dance with. He’s the sort of man you fall in love with and I am not ready for that commitment.”
Her cousin stifles a laugh, “You’re crazy Cecilia. At least he thinks of you as a proper lady.”
Cecilia looks down at her cousin arching her eyebrow and Eloise happily elaborates.
“I’m certain he doesn’t think of me as anything other than a patient- or his attending’s patient anyway,” she explains. “More likely, the chances are that he resents me for having to babysit me so late at these events.”
Cecilia rolls her eyes, “Right, I’m sure heloathescoming to these exclusive parties where girls endlessly throw themselves at him. What a burden, a true martyr we have here.”
Eloise snorts and laughs in surprise.
“Besides, your parents wouldn’t let you marry a doctor- let alone his assistant,” Cecilia adds, being well versed in their family history. Their family’s lineage had been carefully hand picked and cultivated.
“What?When did I say anything about marriage?” her cousin exclaims a bit embarrassed. “I only wish to dance with him.”
“Wait- youdidn’ttalk to him?” Ain thrashes against a door until it ultimately gives in.
They enter briskly into the crumbling building, their eyes quickly scanning their battered surroundings. The partners are welcomed by the familiar stench of burning plastic.
“Not really, no.” His partner places her hand on a rough support beam that hasn’t done its job in a long time. A pulse of Light gives her the location of everything in the room. “It’s alright, I promise you that he doesn’t see me in that light. Truth be told, he doesn’t see me inany light.”
She lifts her hand from the wooden beam. Fluttering over her palm is a pale yellow glowing dial that orbits around fine interwoven markings. These markings are similar to those masking her face.
“Electra,” Ain calls out to his partner, “you’re kidding me right?”
His own hand at his side begins to spin a glowing dial as well. His dial is a color closer to gold. He prepares to break down a second door.
“Ain, I know for a fact that he doesn’t see me in that light.” Electra approaches from behind him with caution, keeping an eye out behind them as well.
Ain rams the door down, but is immediately butted in the gut by a large dark animal. This creature is a creature of the night. A creature made of the darkness that looms in the vast nighttime skies above us, beneath us, and inside us.
Electra sends a number of Light disks at the monster. The burning scent of the creature is nauseating, but the blond girl had adjusted to the smell long ago. She jumps around the monstrous shadow strategically as it charges at her. The creature hissing sharply each time it is hit with a Light disk. The sounds the Creature of Darkness emits are chilling, the two heroes feel the vibrations in their bones.
The monster has the bodybuild of a bear. It is twice the height of the two heroes when on all fours. It has no clear features, it is a large shifting mass that smells strongly of burning. The smell is sharp, stinging, and muscle clenching.
“No, I would say youdon’tknow for a fact-” Ain has recovered from the hit. He holds his arm out, flexing his fingers and spinning a larger Light dial in front of him. He readies himself, keeping the monster in between him and Electra. “On account that you did not even try.”
Across from him, Electra continues to throw small Light disks at the creature with her right hand. With one motion, she spins a larger dial with her left. The markings are different than those of Ain’s, it being a different spell, but her dial is similar in size, nearly as tall as herself.
A Propelling spell. It works in the same way a slingshot does, sending the creature flying into her partner’s disk. A Sealing dial, that will seal the monster away and return it to the darkness from which it came.
“Trust me, I know,” she mumbles halfheartedly. This practice had become second nature to the masked partners, their minds remain focused on the topic of Electra’s daytime social life, while they carry on with the exercise. “Anyway, since when is your life so uneventful that you have no choice but to be interested in mine?”
Ain speaks little about his own daytime activities but he is always interested in everyone else’s. As a result, Ain knows about everything going on in town.
She glides the larger disk in between her and the creature. Swiftly bringing her right hand to the center, it glows brighter. She draws the middle of the circle towards herself tenderly, inhales and releases, slingshotting the creature into Ain’s disk. It disappears, sealing itself and the monster away in a flicker of golden light.
“My apologies, but some of us go home to a colorless and laborious life,” Ain informs her with a cheeky grin. “Not everyone’s life is as sensational as yours, let me live vicariously through you.”
“Right,” Electra leans against the door frame and watches her partner lead the way out of the building, “I forgot you were common folk.” She winks and he rolls his eyes in return.
Despite this, her thoughts linger on his words.Some of us. Us. The Vicars of Light.
The number of masked heroes blessed with powers of Light to fight the Creatures of Darkness that terrorize the night. Some go back home to average lives. Electra goes back home to life as an invalid.