Guardians

The last Guardian has been killed.
The forest is dying.
The Tree of Life will prosper no longer.
This is the beginning of the end of the world.

Or so they thought...

**This is my entry for the Unexpected Adventure competition! Hope you like it!**

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2. Chapter One

I'm just normal.

I've always been normal.

Just the background. Just the cheerleader. The narrator. Clearing the way for Cassidy.

Cassidy, on the other hand, knows she's different. She's felt that way since she's been born, knew there was something out there that was waiting for her to discover it.

 

It was a Friday night when they approached her.

We were coming home from acting class. Well, Cassidy was. Like I said, I just come along for moral support. And because it's my job to tell the world Cassidy Greyson's story.

It was dark, and it was late. Three shapes appeared in the hazy mist just outside the streetlight.

Cassidy sensed them coming.

I didn't see a thing. But Cassidy's always been like that. Aware.

She's a brown belt in karate. Been taking classes since she was five. Her parents knew she'd have to face them some day.

She knocked the first one down. I stuck to the shadows, trying to make sure they didn't see me. It wasn't me they wanted. It was Cassidy.

"Wait.." A cold, slimy voice rasped out. The voice sent chills up my spine. "We bring a message."

Cassidy opened her eyes. This surprised her. She figured that they wanted to fight. Forest animals always wanted to fight. It was in their nature. "And your message is..?"

The creature she had knocked down slowly and cautiously stood up, motioning to the other two to follow. "The Tree of Life is dying."

"Excuse me?"

"The Tree of Life is dying," the thing repeated, a hint of a smirk tugging at its lips. I got the impression it didn't really care about the life of a tree.

"The Tree of Life," Cassidy breathed. I glanced at her. She'd never spoken of it, but it was obvious she'd heard of it.

"The last Guardian is dead. There is nothing to protect it."

"But..." Cassidy hesitated. I saw her glance at me, and then when I met her gaze, she glanced away. But it didn't matter if I knew. She knew I wouldn't tell anyone. Who could I tell?

Cassidy was the only one who...spoke to me.

"My father was the last Guardian." Cassidy said in a rush. I remember her father. Always seemed to have a serene smile on his face. Left three years ago.

That was when I first met Cassidy.

"Of course," the creature explained. "By blood, you would be the Guardian. But you are not."

Cassidy had to be the Guardian. That was what felt off in her life. That was what she promised to herself, let herself hope at night. She couldn't bear to let herself think she wasn't. She couldn't bear to be normal.

"Yes. Yes I am. I have to be." Cassidy looked and sounded as if she was trying to convince herself.

"Well then. The test." The thing let out a harsh laugh, one that expressed dark mirth. At another's expense.

He grabbed Cassidy's arm.

Cassidy shrieked.

The street light went out.

The thing cackled maliciously again. He mumbled a few words and cut Cassidy's arm. Blood spilled over onto the street. She screamed again.

People would wonder about the blood later: tomorrow, maybe, but they wouldn't be too worried. Things like that happened all the time in the city.

Suddenly, a shining light shattered the darkness. At first I thought it was the police, breaking us up, and I prepared to disappear, but then I realized it came from Cassidy's arm. The skin began to grow together.

It was a disturbing yet fascinating display.

I felt a niggling at the back of my mind; a sense of deja vu, as if I'd experienced this many moons ago, but I could not remember.

"So it is right," the creature muttered, sounding vaguely surprised. "Then we shall go."

"Go--where?" Cassidy was still recovering from the shock, the sharp pain.

"Why, to save the forest, of course."

He pulled a charm out of his pocket. The two silent shapes pulled out charms as well. They joined the charms in the middle, creating another spectacular burst of light. "Cassidy Greyson." It spoke loudly, it's voice echoing in the empty street. "Prepare yourself."

It wrapped it's icy fingers around Cassidy's arm again, and yanked her toward it. I knew what was happening. Before they could depart and leave me alone, I latched my own hand onto Cassidy's other arm and was pulled, along with her.

We were drawn into a rush of swirling green and black and grey: a tornado of sorts, rushing winds, weightless feeling, flying sensation.

And then we touched ground.

 

This isn't my story. I'm just the narrator.

Cassidy is the special one. She's the one they're looking for.

I'm nothing special.

I'm just normal.

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