Shadows of Darkened Time

In a world of Shadows, Alexander and Suzan find themselves on a quest to stop what this world has become. Through their journey they will stop at nothing to see the end of this, but first they must solve three riddles and learn the deeper meaning of the Song of the Corrupt. Approximate word count: just over 4,600 words.

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2. Chapter 1

"I call upon thee;

Oh! Shadows of Darkened Time,

Send to me what once was mine:

Send to me the Shadow's key.

I call upon thee;

Oh! Help me with this vile climb!

Give to me a friendly sign:

Give to me fate's company.

I call upon thee;

For I seek the serpent's head

Seeking soul's own harmony.

Inside I'm bloodshed and dead;

In this world: I am at sea.

Here I stand: life on thin thread."

 

Falling, shooting stars flew over the night sky, as she ran her fingers down her child's back singing the Song of the Corrupt. It was a story that man had made to invest in hope everlasting since the Evil One's arrival. She looked down in her pool of tears that formed every night in desperation of one day she could finally come to meet her love. In truth, the reflection of her face in the tears only mocked her that he was no longer there for her.

Sobbing quietly with the moon overhead to keep her son asleep, she sang the song one more time, before falling into the place where nightmares haunted her only to intensify the pain. There was nowhere to escape the pain. The Shadows had wrought out every last happy thought. Though her son, Alexander, still remained untouched by their clutches, for only until experiencing pain itself would the nightmares begin and rot his mind.

Her heart raced violently until she woke up at dawn's first gleam. The nightmares of night had passed, but day would still yield its own blow. Though the Shadows had yet to come face to face with this old ranch house, their grip on the world was strong. Years went on like this, and the young boy’s mother, Felicity, who once held delicately her son in her arms, saw now a young man well acquainted with the Song of the Corrupt.

"Where is the Shadow's Key, mother?" asked Alexander, while he was flipping through the notes he had taken from any source you could imagine.

Felicity gave a sigh from her worn face. "It's just a song." She stopped and choked, "It doesn't have a meaning."

Alexander stopped searching for another clue through his notes and closed the book, laying it on the table. Looking up at his mother meeting her tear stained eyes, he said, "Then why would the song be made if it was pointless? Don't you think someone, somewhere, might have had the answer to the problems?"

"No!" she returned, harshly jerking the other way, "You're just like your father, thinking you need to do something when you don't! And then..."  She started crying for the first time in years, "He never looks back to see the tears being shed because it's already too late."

"You don't know that," Alexander tried.

With tears still falling down, Felicity walked over to a small desk and pulled out a small letter inside a drawer. She began to read, "...It is with my utter sorrow to declare Gerard C. Lance was found lying on the field Killed In Action."  She looked Alexander back in the eye, but kept silent.

"I have to do this." Alexander replied firmly, and then went on through his notes, "The Shadow's Key, it has to be in Oblítus. It's the first town that the Shadows overwhelmed and claimed as their own and it's the only town they renamed. As the song says, 'Give to me what once was mine.' I have to do this; I just have to try."

Felicity then stopped looking into her son's fiery eyes, and tried to give a smile, "You really are like your father. Here," She said, handing him a tattered backpack which had a small survival knife, a map, and water filters. "You'll need these. They were your father's before he left, but he would want you to have them."

She looked up to her son and quietly added with a kiss, "Just make me a promise: do come back?"

Alexander strapped the backpack over his shoulders and then nodded, "Only if I can."

With those four words, he walked out the door looking back over his shoulder. He knew she was heartbroken, but there was nothing more he could do. He couldn't do anything for her by staying with her; they both knew that. But guilt and fear followed his footsteps as he headed to Oblítus. For now he had come to experience only more emotions that the Shadows could use against him.

The ground beneath him seemed to weigh him down the more he had travelled further from home. Though in determination, there was no turning back. All the clues were thoroughly in place and now all that was needed was a step of faith in search of the Shadow's Key.

 

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