Scira

"You've killed Gape."
That sentence is the turning point of this romantic, intense fantasy-novel, about a hulave-girl named Elise Morrison. What is a hulave, you may ask? Well.. It's the term for a human slave.
In 2051 the vampires invaded the earth. This story takes place 450 years after.

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3. Two

 

After getting out of the hulave-center, Nathaniel handed me an old-fashioned GPs, which could only show you the way to your destination, but not tell you what amount off food you would need to not get sick on the trip, couldn’t order food for you and couldn’t get a satellite to form a laser-path directly to your destination: it was just a little screen with a map on it, telling you were to turn and how fast you would arrive. Pretty useless if you ask me. 

He had also released me from my handcuffs, which had made two red rings around my thin wrists, given me a waist-long, blue denim jacket and a pair of knee-long, brown leather-boots, which were messing up my bare feet, but complimented my black leggings and long cranberry tank-top. 

 

“Now,” said Nathaniel, after we’d past the dark, metal main-gates of the hulave-center and could now see a big sign dangling from a pair of picket-ended poles, saying BICAZ’ HULAVE-CENTER. The gates were entwined with the black chain-linked fence surrounding the hulave-center, which gave the whole place a depressing touch. 

Not that that the hulave-center itself wouldn’t have done that, with it’s few windows and dark-cement walls, but the fence made the whole place seem like a prison containing lunatic criminals. But then, what if it contained lunatic criminals? 

The image of the heavy metal doors in the dim hallway had haunted me right since I’d first seen them. Maybe lunatic criminals were behind them? Who knew?

I got out of my frightened haze and looked up at Nathaniel, who had just said something I hadn’t comprehended.

“Hmm?” I muttered, giving him a confused look.

“Show the way please. We don’t have eternity.” He casted me a stiff smile, looking offended by my lack of interest in him.

I turned on the GPs, coded in our destination--or at least the town where Keith was, because I didn’t know his exact location, just which town he was in--and looked up at Nathaniel.

“Where is the car we are using to get there?” 

He grinned. “There is no car,” He tried unsuccessfully to hold back a chuckle. “If we drove, it would look too odd. They are going to say that you escaped. Not that you managed to steal a car. A hulave, such as yourself, wouldn’t be able to do that.”

He had a point. But when why did I have him on tow. Were they going to say, that I had taken a vacessor hostage or something? 

I asked him about it and he burst out laughing. Very amusing, I thought.

“As I have already told you: we can’t just let you go. You would just run off.” His features got a bit more serious, but not much, just a bit. 

“We have gotten one of our imprisoned Magic-elves to cast a spell. If anyone notice me by your side, they will forget it, the instant I’m out of their sight.” I looked up at him in disbelief. “Is that the ones behind those creepy metal doors?” 

“No of course not. We run a hulave-center, not an elven-jail.” the amusement had now completely vanished from his face. “The ones behind those doors are far more dangerous than Magic-elves.” 

They had to be very dangerous, then. 

Magic-elves were the vampires’ enemy number one. They were the only ones who could force the vampires to go back to Damra, the dimension meant for all evil creatures to live.

Including Magic-elves, there are three kinds of elves: Nature-elves, Magic-elves and Soul-elves. 

The Nature-elves can transform into any animal they want to, but not for long. Only a couple of hours at the time, because it completely drains them from their energy. They can also make plant’s grow really fast and heal dead soil. 

The Magic-elves can do magic and compel people.

Some rumors had started to spread in the beginning of the vampires’ invasion; people had said that vampires could compel people, which the hulaves back then discovered that they couldn’t short after being captured, because even though they refused to do the things the vampires demanded them to, they didn’t compel them to do it, so it was extremely obvious that they couldn’t master the act compulsion. 

The Soul-elves are the ones who leads the human souls to Scira, or to the next spiritual stage. While here, on Earth, they were helping the humans find peace after being killed too early or too violently. 

They can also transform into spiritual form. Which is really handy, because by that, their enemies can’t capture them.

“What are they, then?” I snapped. 

I really wanted to know. I didn’t know why. I just did.

“That is none of your concern.” Nathaniel looked impatient. 

“Can we start moving now? As I have already said: we don’t have eternity.” 

I rolled my eyes and then a strange thought hit me: “What about when a vampire sees me? Isn’t it going to capture me or something?” 

“We are people too you know. And yes, if a vampire is seeing you, he will try to capture you. But I will stop him.” 

I gaped. “How? You are only a processor.” 

“Maybe. But I’m a strong one,” he answered proudly.

“And after I’ve stopped him from capturing you, he will forget the whole thing, because he won’t remember seeing either of us. We made the elf cast a spell on you, too.” 

“Why would a magic-elf help you in the first place?” I had thought about that too; why would a magic-elf help the vampires?

“No matter what side you are on, you don’t like a murderer.” He simply replied.

“Okay. One last question,” I said noticing his impatient look. “Are we trying to stay away from the cities, or not?” I gestured toward the GPs, to tell that I had to know. 

“We have to try to avoid being seen, so yes, we are trying to stay away from the cities.” 

“Okay.” I typed the last combinations and pressed BEGIN.

“This way,” I said while pointing in the direction of a developing forest, around 300 meters south. 

 

When I lay the first foot on the muddy forest soil, I sensed something. I didn’t know exactly what, but it felt a little bit like someone was watching me.

I quickly looked up at Nathaniel; no. It definitely wasn’t him. His gaze was anywhere else than on me. At the moment it was on a rarrow, in the form of a gray sparrow. It was sitting on an outstretched branch, singing. 

It was someone else. Someone I couldn’t see. A Soul-elf? No. I’d heard, that you couldn’t feel when they were looking at you, but then who could be looking at me?

Maybe I was just paranoid because I was afraid of the dark, which were lurking only a couple of feet’s away, existing because of the tall, closed planted beeches. 

Dark meant vampires. And vampires meant danger. I didn’t like being in danger. I pushed the feeling aside and decided to ask Nathaniel some more questions. 

“So. How was your sister?” He’s guard attitude vanished at the word ‘sister'. 

“Hmm? What do you mean?”

“How was she? Was she sweet? Selfless? A Bit--”

“She was perfect. More perfect than you can even imagine.” He finally looked down at me. “She was like an angel. She was good to everyone. Even the ones who were cruel to her.” He looked father down. “You actually look a little bit like her, you know.” then he took a piece of my hair in his hand. “Though, she had better ends.” He gave me an almost sweet smile. “I wish I could see her again, just one more time. I wish--” His gaze felt to the ground in a grim way. “I wish I could be together with her again. You know, in heaven, or whatever is next. But that is impossible now.” A bit of rage turned up in his harmonic voice. “She made sure of that.”

He let go of my hair and studied my face. “Why do I feel like I can talk to you about this stuff? You are just a silly slave.” 

“Maybe I’m not as silly as you may thought before?” I asked with a hint of hope in my voice. 

“Maybe you are still to be saved.” I added while thinking of Keith. The way he had changed was unbelievable. God I hated his vaster, Esther. It was because of her, that I was even on this trip. It was because of her, that I had to betray him.

“Can’t we just agree on, that vampires suck?” 

A light chuckle met my question.“Let’s do that.”

 

When we had walked for about seven hours, the dimness of the forest was slowly developing into an intense darkness that made the tiny hairs on my arms and the back of my neck raise. I shuddered. Not only because of my fear of the darkness, but also because of the silent effect the close trees provided. 

I saw something out of the conner of my eyes. Something big. Moving silently from behind one tree to another. I increased my speed, trying to reach Nathaniel who was ten steps ahead of me. He walked with steady steps, not caring about my distance. He surly didn’t think we, hulaves, were to any use. He seemed to think that no matter how big our distance were, he would be able to catch me without even shedding one drop of sweat. 

I reached him the second a big lynx appeared from behind a big maple tree. I jerked behind Nathaniel, grasping his left arm into a tight hug. He groaned and I could just skimp an annoyed expression on his shadow filled face. 

“What are you doing?” He hissed while trying to break free of my grasp.

I looked at the spot the lynx had appeared from; it was gone. Vanished, like it had never even been there. Maybe I was going mad? Many hulaves did, so it was possible, wasn’t it? When I thought about it, I hadn’t gotten any food since the last meal at the eating-floor in the hulave-center. No wonder if I were hallucinating.

But the lynx had just seemed so real and clear. It had almost looked like it was casting its own light, its black pointy ears were nicely placed on top of its soft pattered main, its eyes had radiated with a golding spark of light, almost like they had been on fire and its big coat of sandy fur had almost made me want to ran toward it and hug it, playing with its short black ended tail.

“Nothing,” I said, letting go of Nathaniel’s strong, leather-jacket covered arm. “I just thought I saw a vampire.”

He warily skimmed our surroundings with such an ease, it made me jealous of the brilliant sight he had gained when he became a vacessor. Not that it outmeasured the bad parts of being what he was, but in this situation a brilliant sight would have been quiet useful.

 

A day after we had left the hulave-center, we reached a small town, which could not contain more than a few thousand people. It looked abandoned too. Only a man in a black, warned out knee-length coat were present. He was carrying a big bag of blood, probably for his vaster, who must have been injured since he needed blood during the day. 

I was hungry as hell and asked if we could go somewhere to get something to eat. 

“Sure,” said Nathaniel while steering me toward the nearest café. “lunch's on me”

I casted him a look that said “very funny mister comedian”, which caused him to raise up his hands in surrender. 

A warm breeze met my skin when Nathaniel opened the door and entered the small café. I groaned when the sensation faded after the door shut. I rolled my eyes, grabbed the small messing handle and stepped inside. My mouth immediately watered; a rich smell of chicken and mashed potatoes, filled the warm-lighted room, together with a rich, pleasing odor of fresh coffee. That was really what I needed right now, after walking in the forest for about twenty hours, without breaks. 

There were only seven small tables inside the little cafe and only one of them were occupied by a thin hulave girl, who had dared to get some food while her vaster was a sleep. Maybe it was because it was the middle of the day. 

A slim hulave-waitress came rushing toward us, when she saw us. 

“Hello, what can I--” her deep-brown eyes lit up. “Aren’t you that hulave, who escaped?” she reached for an alarm in the pocket of her short skirt. 

Nathaniel grasped her dark wrist. “No, she isn’t.” His eyes was lit up in a threatening way and even though his gaze was on her eyes, I couldn’t help a little shiver. She clearly felt threatened by this too. She tugged a stain of black hair behind a brown ear and forced a smile on her face. “You can’t stay here for long. Hurry to eat, but then you have to leave.”

Nathaniel seemed satisfied with the result and flashed her a flirtatious smile. “Thank you”

She showed us to a table in the back of the café, reached down in her skirt for a screen to write our order on and asked: “What would you like to eat?” 

Nathaniel looked at me, waiting for an answer. I looked at a big flatscreen installed into the wall, where the menu was written. 

“I would like the chicken breast, a large cup of plain coffee and some mashed potatoes, thank you.” I was a little overwhelmed by the way I could just order what I wanted, but I don’t think It showed. 

“The same for me,” Nathaniel simply said and waved the waitress away. I rolled my eyes and studied the café further. The floor was covered with red linoleum and looked really cheap. The whole room was lit up by a dangling chandelier, made out of old steel. And not so far from where Nathaniel and I sat, there was a small, dark mahogany-bar, where a slim, blond vacessor-girl, with a shirt on that almost seemed like a second layer of skin, stood. She winked at me when I looked in her direction, clearly oblivious about that I was supposed to we a fleeing hulave. After that, she continued checking out her electric-raspberry-polished nails with her bright jade eyes, which were marked with a heavy lager of purple eyeliner. 

When I looked back at Nathaniel, I observed that he were studying the bar as well, just with another expression on his face. Where mine had just been regular curiosity, his was more like wonder. 

When he realized I was staring at him, he explained, “I was just wondering about, how little our world has changed over the last 500 years.” He grinned when he saw my frown. “You wouldn’t understand. When I was about nine, my father always showed me a dozen of video’s from the twenty-first century. He thought of it as our last glorious time,” his look rose to the ceiling, I don’t know why. “you know the humans.”

I nodded and he continued, “After the year of 2051, you know when the vampires invaded the Earth, the inventions pretty much came to a halt. The vampires have never cared for making new things. They just like to own them.” 

He smiled at the waitress when she brought us our coffee, “They only invented things such as the slave cards, to make their own lives easier. Non of them really cares about making. Just taking.” He got a reflective look in his emerald eyes while taking a sip of his damping coffee.

When the waitress brought us our food, My stomach screamed with agony just by the sight of the juicy chicken breast with mashed potatoes on the side. 

I looked at Nathaniel waiting for him to give me permission to eat. That was what I had taught to. Nathaniel grinned while nodding, giving me my permission.

I grabbed the little rusty fork laying by the side of my plate and ate. Ate as if my life depended on it. After having eaten all the potatoes, I attacked the chicken breast with my knife, not caring what Nathaniel must have thought of me in that moment. 

After I was done, Nathaniel flashed me a dashing smile. “More?”

I looked at him wide eyed, mused a bit about why he would offer me more, then nodding, not really caring.

 

“So,” said Nathaniel, half an hour after we’d left the café and forest has begun to develop around us. “now that you have asked me all of those questions, isn’t it just fair, that I get some answers?” a devil-may-care smirk turned up on his perfect face. 

“I guess,” I replied. “what do you want to know?” He padded his chin with a finger, in a thoughtful way. "Do you have anyone you wish you could have saved?" 

That one stung. Everybody. I decided just to mention Denise. 

"Not a brother or a sister?" astonishment filled his features. "or your mother. Or your father, even?" I just shock my head. I couldn't get myself to say it. It just hurt too much. "I've never even meet my father. He just didn't care enough, I guess." 

A tiny glimpse of pity turned up. "Maybe he just didn't know? Didn't your mother tell you anything about him?" 

"I don't think so." 

He raised an eyebrow. "Why?" 

A lump filled my throat. "She died when I was one." 

"The vampires killed her?" 

I sighted, "Yeah, they did." 

"Many female hulaves die that way. They don't want to give up their babies. Not that I can blame them. Those Chulave-centers are awful. but you know that." 

I nodded. I was glad that he didn't want any details about my motherless childhood. 

"Other things you want to know?" 

He shock his head, so a lock of hair fell down in front of his eyes.

"I've gotten the answers I wanted," he replied, tucking it back behind a ear, then added. "for now." I rewarded his comment with a small smile—the first one he had gotten on this trip so far.

 

After an hour, we were completely surrounded by tall, orange-leaved trees. 

My legs began to ache: I hadn't slept in over twenty-four hours and we had walked nonstop, only with a short stop at the Café. my thin legs couldn't handle it. If they didn't get some real rest soon, I didn't think they would ever work again.

"Wait," I yelled. 

Nathaniel was twenty yards ahead of me. 

"I can't go on this way," I continued, "we have to stop."

Nathaniel came to a halt, waiting for me to reach him.

"I sometimes pity hulaves, such as yourself. You have no strength. No power. You're use--" 

I had reached him and he could now clearly sense my agony. He sighted. running a hand through his silky black hair.

"Okay, here's what we do: we walk until the sun sets. by then, we should have reached the mountains you talked about." 

I had told him earlier, that if we were on the right track, we would reach a large chain of mountains at nightfall.

"When we arrive, I should be able to find a tomb or something--" 

As I took another step, I twisted my ankle. "Ouch!" I exclaimed while falling to the root filled, dirty ground. Nathaniel looked down at me. "stop wimping and get to your feet."  I could clearly see that he had to really concentrate to keep up that silly guard-act. Again, just as at the hulave-center, his eyes revealed his true feelings; he wanted to help me. He wanted to make my pain go away. 

I tried, without luck, to get back on my feet. I gritted my teeth, trying to hold back a wince.

"It's strained." He nodded toward my ankle. "You can't walk on that tonight." He thought a little. "Hop up." now he gestured for me to climb on his back. 

No way. I wasn't going to do that. I wasn't some kind of helpless child. 

As if he had heard my thoughts, Nathaniel explained, "we can't stop here. at least one vampire is out looking for you. We can't camp here in the middle of the forest. We would be too noticeable. We have to get to the mountains." I sighed and climbed his back, which were kept warm by a soft, brown leather jacket. "Go," I demanded. "The sun is setting in a couple of hours."

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