Shadowfall

It's the year 2013 and Mother Nature has decided that she is tired of the humans mistreating her Earth. She takes all the polution and bad energy and throws it back at the humans. Some humans are not able to take the energy and they die. Some become... different. They change into something else. Some gain powers. Some become dark. Many people take out on their own, but other survivors ban together. A small group of survivors ban together in an attempt to fix the Earth. Can they fix this Hell they have been brought into...?

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10. Chapter Nine: A Peek Into the Past

Lyllina’s POV:

 

            “Lina, will you take me to the park?” My little sister Lily asked me happily, grabbing at the bottom of my shirt.

            I smiled down at her before running my hands through her black hair. “Yeah, sure. Let me just grab my shoes, kiddo.” She smiled up at me and nodded.

            I grabbed my shoes stopping to look at my crystal blue walls with the little clouds. It had been like this since I was Lily’s age. I grabbed my house key off my oak desk, shoving the chair out the way. I snatched a jacket off the hook behind the door, glancing in the mirror at myself. I pushed my blonde hair back behind my ears. I sighed zipping up my red sweat jacket. It made my skin look super pale. My blue eyes looked almost as blue as the walls. I sighed and shook my head. I had a bad feeling. Like something was going to happen. The air just felt oddly heavy.

            I walked back down the stairs grabbing another jacket for Lily. I threw it to her and smiled. She smiled back pulling her arms through the sleeves. Once she finished she reached up and took my hand, pulling me along toward the park. The park looked the same as always, old and wooden, not necessarily safe. She ran over to the swings happily, dropping my hand. I followed her along swinging with her until she got bored. She ran over yelling something about me being “It!” I chased her around the park, around the slides and the trees. I finally caught her while she was climbing the ladder. I caught her up in my arms tossing her in the air before placing her down.

            “Now you’re it!” I said running away. She caught me just before I had time to slide down. She shoved me and we both slid down and fell off the slide. We were laughing when I noticed the time. “Time to go home, Lily.”

            “Aw!” She whined.

            “We can come back tomorrow,” I assured her.

            “Yay!” She shouted throwing up her hands.

            I laughed and took her hand, pulling her in the direction of our house. I felt my stomach knot up at a sudden whooshing sound that ran through the air. I felt the breeze pick up and our hair whipped out around us. Lily stopped and let out a scream, pointing in front of us. A deformed black thing with red eyes growled from the bushes before it jumped in our path and ran off. I picked up Lily in my arms and ran back toward the village. I gasped as we reached the village. Fire was cracking burning hot, radiating onto my skin. The flames reached up high, seeming to caress the pink sky, the sun just at the tip of the burning trees. I held her tightly as I made a run for the trees, ducking quickly behind an old thick oak tree. I covered Lily’s ears when the screams began. I tried to hold myself together through all the insanity.

            What the hell was happening?

            The molecules in the air almost seemed to vibrate, making it cloudy. I could actually see the air currents moving past all the people as each of them started dropping like flies. All of a sudden, a creature stepped out of the trees before us. My mind was slightly fuzzy from the fumes of whatever was changing in the air. I tried to clutch onto Lily, only to feel her ripped from my arms. I struggled, throwing out my numb arms, my vision faltering for a second. I saw a small white-ish blue color leave Lily’s body and knew it was her spirit. Her limp body dropped to the ground. As I stood, feeling stronger than ever, a new feeling of power coursing through my veins, I stared right into the face of the creature. I don’t know where my mind had conjured up the name, but my mind was screaming at me. This is a tracker! Get out of there! Instead of backing down like my mind said, I stood in a defensive crouch, an instinct I had never known taking over. A fierce and loud growl tumbled from my lips, sending a small light of alarm to flash in my eyes.

            I could feel a change happening within me. My body was buzzing with the power I couldn’t control, that I had no idea what I was or what I was doing, for that matter. I felt my mind go blank as I attacked.

 

I felt warmth across my cheek. That is what must have made me wake up. The familiarity of that warmth. It flooded me, caressing my soul and spirit, making me have control over myself again. It was Lily. There was no doubt about that.

            I felt the warmth down my arm and saw Lily’s spirit wrap slowly around my arm, twisting itself on like a bracelet.  I smiled at the warmth from it. It made me feel strong and steady. It helped me keep my eyes open. I sighed and stared down at my sister’s body. It was lifeless but she looked so peaceful. Like she was asleep…

            I choked back a sob, feeling the warmth turn to a burning. No tears, not now, not ever. Keep strong, Lyllina! You need to find others! Her voice sounded so much wiser. Why was that? I let the echo of her fill me before I peeked around. No movement from the bodies from the village. I wasn’t leaving my sisters body here.

            “But, there’s no one. They’re all dead.”

            And that is what you will be if you don’t find other survivors! Come on, Lyllina, you’re stronger than that! You can’t give in that easily. Her voice said urgently in the back of my head.

            I gave a small nod. “Alright, I’ll try, Lily. But… what about you?” I said kneeling down beside her body. It was still, no movement. I tried to keep the tears from filling my eyes again. “I can’t leave you here! What if those things come back?!”

            Sister, take a deep breath and calm down. I’m here, not there. She said, as the warmth brushed my cheek. I sighed and leaned into it, closing my eyes. She was my sister… I couldn’t just… Lina!

            My eyes popped open as more creatures stepped from the trees. Hundreds of them. My mind registered it as something called the Army. I jumped up, sending her spirit into a frenzy that sounded like a million bees. I started scaling the tree in front of me, which was weird. I had never been this good at climbing. I gasped and almost fell backward when I saw my hands. Where flesh and meat had been was now that hand of a skeleton. I ground my teeth together and began to climb faster. Act now, questions later.

            But, climbing was still somehow as easy as breathing.

            Inhale, exhale.

            Right hand, left hand, hop.

            And suddenly I was at the top of the tree.

            And Lily was still at the bottom….

            Leave it. I’m here, don’t forget. Don’t let go, Lina…

            I nodded, “I won’t.” I hopped from the tree, into the branch of another tree. I watched the Shadows as I retreated toward another spot, leaving my home behind. But when I came back to the realization that I’d never see the village again, I stopped. I turned and ran back toward the village staying high in the trees. That’s when I saw him. A masculine figure, standing on the rooftop of the village’s meeting hall, watching the fires die down below him. I hopped out of the tree and ran toward the meeting hall, clawing the wall, easily finding my way to the top without stairs. I could get used to this, I thought with a smirk. I walked closer, smiling at him. “Oh my god, I thought I was the only one who-“ my voice cut off when he turned around.

            His eyes had made breathe catch in my throat, losing all words. They were filled with such sorrow that my heart gave a small squeeze in my chest. Or maybe the beauty of him caused that. I shook my head as I took him in. Black hair, blue eyes. One eye was slightly lighter than the other. He was battered and bruised, scratches and cuts running all along him. His clothes were ripped and he was clutching a bow in his hands with a sheath of arrows strapped to his back. The front of him was drenched in blood.

          “It’s not my blood,” he whispered brokenly, staring down in front of him at the destruction. “It’s not mine…”

            “Who’s is it?” I said stepping over to his side.

            “I don’t know.” He said looking down at his hands. “I didn’t see their face. I couldn’t help her.”

            “Her? The person who died? Did you kill them?”

            He looked down at me, his eyes wide. “Kill them-no! It was one of those things!” He said grabbing my shoulders and giving me a light shake. My brain hurt. “No, I didn’t see who it was.” He said dropping his arms.

            Whoever this was, they had totally lost their mind…

            “Who couldn’t you help?” I asked, taking a deep breathe.

            “Amy. My sister.”

            Amy? There was only one Amy in the village. It couldn’t be….

            I lifted my sleeve, grabbing his chin and pulling his face toward me. I carefully whipped the blood off his face, gasping. It was him! He was the best warrior in the village. I couldn’t recall his name at the moment though…

            “Call me Vaann.” He said staring down at me. “And you’re Lyllina, right?”

            “Y-yes…” I said taking a small step black.

            “Sorry that I never talked to you before. I would have, if I knew what was going to happen.” He said bringing his eyes back to the village. He took a step toward the edge. One more step and he was dead. He smiled over at me, moving his foot forward. I grabbed his arm, yanking him back.

            “What the hell! You’re going to fall!” I shouted. “Are you trying to kill yourself?!”

            “Actually,” he said staring down into my eyes with a sad smile. “I am.”

            “What?!” I shouted. My voice had raised a few octaves, turning into a squeak that resembled wind chimes. “No! I won’t let you!”

            “Why not?” He said yanking his arm away. “You don’t know me! It’s what I want… it’s what I need…” he said looking down again.

            I shook my head again. “No, I don’t know you. And if you kill yourself, then I still won’t know you! Survivors need to stick together.” I said reaching my hand out to him. “I know it’ll never be enough, but if we stick together, it could.” I felt my heart sting, realizing just how true my words were.

            He stared at me for a second before stepped toward me. I froze, thinking he was going to attack. Instead, I found his arms wound around me. I just stood there. Why was he hugging me?!

           He stepped back and smiled a bit, but it was a cocky smile. The sadness was still there, hidden behind a mask, but it was still easy to see. “Fine, I won’t. But trust me; if you annoy me, I’m prepared.”

            I shook my head. “Shut up. You’re a very bipolar being.”

            “Yeah, no. Just wasn’t thinking before. But my brain is all better.” He said running his hand threw his hair.

            I blushed looking down. I couldn’t get attached. There was no way.

            You can’t get attached. Lily’s echoed in my head.

 

 

VAANN’S POV:

 

            “Sweetie, take Zack and Amy to the park, please.” My mom said, pulling the covers to her chin as she shivered violently. Dad was sleeping away beside her.

            There was a sickness running through the village, almost impossible not to catch. Zack had brought it home and then Amy and me. In treating us, my parents caught it. Now it was our job to take care of them. And so far we were doing a damn good job. At least, I thought we were.

            “I’ll go hunting too,” I said walking over to the door, grabbing up my quiver and slipping it over my shoulder so it dangled across my chest to hold my arrows. I picked up my bow in my hands. It was like an extension of my arm.

            “Be careful. I feel an odd feeling in the air tonight.” Mother said, her voice fading as sleep took over.

            “I will,” I whispered as I leaned over to kiss her forehead. I looked back over my shoulder to Amy and Zack. “Ready to go?” They just nodded at me. Amy took my hand following beside me. Zack walked next to us, looking like he was on edge. “What’s wrong, Zack?”

            “Huh?” He said looking up at me. “Oh, um… well, Mom is right. I feel like something bad is going to happen.”

            “If something does happen, just run home. You aren’t that far. If something happens, I will be right behind you and I’ll protect you.” I said, placing a hand on his shoulder. Then I looked to Amy. “Both of you. alright? Now shut up and stop worrying!” I stopped where I was, seeing the park come into view just ahead of us. I saw a girl from the village and her little sister playing on the swings. What were their names? Damn, I couldn’t remember. “Well, go have fun. I’ll see you guys soon.”

            “Okay, bye!” They both yelled as they ran off to go play. I watched them for a second before turning on my heels and walking off toward the forest. The part of the forest that was filled with wildlife. Years of practice in hunting and training really helped. Especially to track animals. Killing them was the easy part. Now finding them, that could be the problem. Well, unless you were me, that is.

            I hopped into a tree, sitting in wait. Hopefully some game would run by and I could just shoot ‘em. But after ten minutes, I knew it was go for it or nothing. I jumped down with a sigh and began to scan my surroundings. Something was moving in the bushes. I brought an arrow from my quiver and raised my bow, attaching my arrow, allowing it to take me over. It became part of who I was. Easy as breathing.

            Pull back.

            Aim.

            And fire.

            The arrow disappeared into the bush and the movement stopped. But there was no call from pain from the animal and no animal staggering out or falling over. Suddenly, the arrow came flying back at me! I jumped back just before it hit me. It landed just in front of my foot. I gaped down at it for a second before grabbing it and pulling it back into the proper spot in my bow, aiming for the bush.

            “Come out!” I yelled. Whoever it was was defiantly good with a bow. The bushes rustled with movement, but what emerged from the bushes defiantly was not another archer. It wasn’t human either. I aimed again. If this thing was dangerous, then I could be too. Just wait. “What the hell are you?” I asked out loud.

            It let out a small gargle and a growl before it charged me. I shot at it, sending it pinned to a tree. It writhed in pain for a second before black liquid began to drip down behind it. Blood? I couldn’t tell. And then it suddenly disappeared. I sighed relaxing my stance. What the hell was that thing? I saw the sun was starting to set and I was still animal-less. I sighed and started toward home. Another night without dinner because I couldn’t keep my damn focus! As I got closer to the village, I realized how….quiet it was. When I broke through the trees, I saw fires and people lying around, lifeless on the ground.

            What the hell? Did Zack leave the oven on again?

            Despite my easy going and sarcastic mind, I felt my feet bring me to a run. My nerves were on end. Was my family okay? What happened? Why were they all dead? Did that thing have something to do with it? Was there more? Was anyone else alive? From the looks of it, no. I pushed all my questions aside and focused my feet to move as fast as my body would allow. I nearly crashed into the rubble of my own house. I stared at the mess in shock. I didn’t have to go inside to realize that no one inside the house could have survived.

            “Amy?! Zack?! Where are you guys?!” I yelled pushing passed the rubble, looking in. There was nothing. I was gasping for air by the time I turned and ran for the park. My brain was running a mile a minute as screamed out for my brother and sister. I felt the pain in my heart at realizing I had lost my parents. If they were gone, I had no one. Without them, there was no reason to live! But the park was empty. I almost crumbled under the pressure of my heavy limbs. This wasn’t right. Why weren’t they here? Why weren’t they home? They knew where I hunted… maybe….

            Before the thought had even occurred to me, I was running again. I was standing soon in the same spot as I was before. But this time, I was staring at my siblings. Zack was knelt down beside Amy, panicking and screaming. Tears were rushing down his face. Amy was on the ground, convulsions rushing through her body. I ran over and knelt on the opposite side of my brother. He looked up at me for a second before looking like he was going to be sick. I didn’t know what to do, to be totally honest. I’d never dealt with someone having a seizure. But this seizure wasn’t natural, that was for sure. Her eyes were rolled in the back of her head, her back arched off the ground. She seemed to glow a slight yellow color, just barely visible. This was something else…

            And suddenly, she went limp.

            Zack and I held our breathe until she coughed and sat up looking uber confused. “Wh-where are we? We need to leave!” She yelled jumping up, fear plain in her eyes.

           “Amy,” I said gripping her wrist, pulling her into a hug. “You’re okay. You’re both okay.” I pulled Zack closer. “I’m sorry I wasn’t here.”

            “It’s okay, but look, we need-“

            “Amy, were you having a vision?” Zack asked out of the blue.

            “A what?” I asked.

            “A vision. You couldn’t sense it? It was hurting her!”

            “Yes,” she interrupted. “It was a vision and we need to leave. Now.”

            “What was it of?” I snapped.

            “Nothing, we have no time!” She said pulling on my arm. “Please!”

            I sighed and stood. “Alright, let’s go.” I picked her up in my arms, taking Zack’s hand and pulling him along. Where would we go? The village was our home. We had nowhere else. But all of a sudden, the wind picked up and the sky got cloudy. Both the kids started freaking out. I felt my head start to spin as the sweet stickiness of the air flooded me. I felt my mind go fuzzy and my vision crapped out. I put Amy down and let go of Zack, rubbing at my eyes. “I can’t see!” I yelled.

            “Give us your hands, we’ll guide you!” Amy said urgently.

            I let my hands slowly go out searchingly, feeling two small hands take a hold of mine. I let them blindly lead me forward. “You guys better not let me walk off a cliff.” I heard them chuckle a bit and smiled. After about fifteen minutes of me being blind, I felt them yank me to a stop and gasp. I could feel my hair standing on end. “What is it?” I blinked a few times and my vision returned. They didn’t need to answer my question.

            Before me stood at least ten of the creatures I had fought before. I gasped and fumbled to reach for my bow and arrows on my back. They hit me before I knew what had happened. I was lying on the ground, cringing in pain. They were staring at the kids.

            “Zack, Amy! Go!” I yelled rolling onto my knees pulling my knives from my belt and severing the head off of one of the creatures. They registered in my mind as Shadows, from something called the Army. The one leading the group was a Tracker. Weird how all this knowledge was suddenly with me. I felt newer, bigger, better. And especially, faster. I was thinking so much, running through all this new stuff that I didn’t see them all descend on me. I saw the kids run, and let my instinct take over. I knew there was too many. I broke free from the Shadows and made a run for it in the opposite direction. They needed to follow me. I was back in the village, running over dead bodies, avoiding fires and Shadows that were wandering around.

            I hopped onto the roof of the church nearby and began to hop from the rooftops, hiding when needed. Once I knew I lost them, I began to hop toward the market. It was the building that was closest to the woods. I scrambled down the side of the wall, making my way through the trees. I couldn’t yell. It would attract unwanted attention. That would have been bad right about now. My mind was still racing with this new Knowledge. We had been attacked by the Mother, as in Mother Nature. She had sprayed toxins out to the world in an attempted to ruin human kind. Some had been mutated. But how did I know all of this? Was I mutated as well? With the speed I was running at, I could easily tell my answer.

            Yes, I had been mutated.

            I came to a halt. They wouldn’t have come out this far. They aren’t fast enough. I thought to myself. I had ran over 70 miles and I wasn’t tired. I could deal with this… but losing my siblings. That was too much. I would have passed them. I turned back and began to run the perimeter of the Village, failing in my mission to find them. I couldn’t even sense their presence either. Where had they gone? I’d lost them.

            They’re dead….

            My mind unconsciously began to drag me back to the village avoiding all the shadows and bringing me right to a building I recognized with ease. The meeting hall. It was right next door to the training center that I was at almost every day. I was going to kill myself, I realized as I climbed the steps and walked inside. The dead greeted me with somber faces. I started up the steps toward the roof. If I didn’t have the kids, I had nothing. If I was the only survivor, I was nothing.

            I stared down at the ground below me. It was a big drop. One more step and it was done. It was all over from here. I froze as I felt a strong power wafting in the air toward me.

            “Oh my god, I thought I was the only one who-“ she cut off with a gasp as I turned around to look at her. The girl from the park was standing there, but her eyes were a light yellow. I noticed her hair was going from a strange transparent color to her original blond color. She too, had been mutated. She stared at me, taking me in.

            “It’s not my blood,” came from my mouth when I didn’t order it too. Blood? What blood? My voice sounded oddly different. “It’s not mine…” I whispered again as I turned to stare down again.

            “Who’s is it?” She said taking a step closer.

            “I don’t know. I didn’t see their face.” I said glancing down at my hands. They were covered in blood. As I observed myself, I was covered in blood almost from head to toe. Funny, I hadn’t remembered any blood. The next words were my own. “I couldn’t help her.”

           “Her? The person who died? Did you kill them?” She asked obviously filled with as much confusion as I was.

            “Kill them-no! It was one of those things!” I said grabbing her shoulders so hard I made her shake a bit. I was so out of it now. “No, I didn’t see who it was.” I said dropping my arms in defeat.

            She took a deep breath to steady herself. “Who couldn’t you help?”

            “Amy. My sister.” I replied.

            I watched as she stared at me. She was from my village, she knew me. One of those know-the-faces-can’t-place-the-name things. And suddenly, her name popped into my mind. “Call me Vaann,” I told her. “And you’re Lyllina, right?”

            “Y-yes…” She said taking a cautious step backwards.

            “Sorry that I never talked to you before. I would have, if I knew what was going to happen.” I said bringing my eyes back to the village. I took a step toward the edge. One more step and it was over. I smiled over at her, inching my foot forward. She grabbed at my arm, yanking me back.

            “What the hell! You’re going to fall! Are you trying to kill yourself?!”

            “Actually,” I said slowly. “I am.” I gave her a light smile, staring back down at the ground.

            “What? No! I won’t let you!” Her voice raised a few octaves as she yelled, her voice sounding very musical, making my lips twitch into a smile.

            “Why not?” I said yanking my arm away. “You don’t know me! It’s what I want… it’s what I need…” I stared down. I just wanted to get this over with.

            I saw her shake her head. “No, I don’t know you. And if you kill yourself, then I still won’t know you! Survivors need to stick together.” She reached her hand out slowly as if not to offend or scare me. I must have seemed pretty insane. “I know it’ll never be enough, but if we stick together, it could.” I felt my heart sting, realizing just how true her words were. It would never be enough, no matter what I felt for her.

            What did I feel for her…?

            I stared at her for a second before stepping away from the side and toward her. I wrapped my arms around her, folding her in my embrace. She could and did help so much. Zack and Amy wouldn’t want me to kill myself just because they weren’t here. They would want me to fix this, wouldn’t they? I stepped back and smiled a cocky smile. “Fine, I won’t. But trust me; if you annoy me, I’m prepared.”

            She shook her head. “Shut up. You’re a very bipolar being.”

            “Yeah, no. Just wasn’t thinking before. But my brain is all better.” I said running my hand through my hair.

            I saw her blush a bit as she looked down. I felt my heart contract a bit but kept my smile on my face, showing no reaction, showing no other emotion.

            I couldn’t, not in this dying world.

            I couldn’t get too attached.

 

 

 

 

 

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