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.


5. Chapter 4

"Where are we even headed?" inquired Alexander, while Suzan dragged him down along a path that had been overgrown by weeds and vines which leeched out in a maze of arcs. The ground had been nearly covered in the fog that secreted and oozed out of the hourglass. Going deeper only yielded a darker fog from above, though.

"Well, can your map do any better?" she teased him, still moving on arm in arm.

"Yeah it can actually; I just think we should sit down and think for a moment before wandering around aimlessly where the Shadows are most prevalent."

"And so what do you propose we do?"

The two were drawn near to a small crevice in between a large tree that stood just across the road. Walking in between the walls of wood that were naturally from the roots of the tree, they sat down. Taking out the map and unfurling the map out on the ground, Alexander looked very closely at the map and placed the hourglass in the center of the map.

Suzan yawned out loud and intentionally stretched her arms above her head, arching her back dramatically. Raising his eyes with his face still down at the map, Alexander caught Suzan red handed. "I'm sorry," he went on tauntingly, "Is there something better you'd rather be doing now?"

"Yeah," she affirmed and went on playfully, "Anything would be better than staring at a map."

"It's called strategizing."

"Well goodness, I don't know how you do it all day." Suzan said.  She was now upside down with her legs wrapped around on a broad branch above. Her flowing hair conveniently fell over Alexander's eyes.

"The next thing that I have in my notes is that the Shadow's Key, or hourglass if you want to say otherwise, will guide our feet and be a light for our map. Though, the fog doesn't designate a route to take at all on the map. It just keeps me from seeing it."

"Well does it say you need a map?"

"Not necessarily, it's just..." Alexander stopped and looked at the hourglass. A thin line of the fog was drifting down the path they were walking on just on before they took a short break. He licked his index finger and held it in the air. "There's no wind..." he murmured to himself quietly.

"There's no what?"

"No wind!" He then burst out.

Suzan flipped back onto the ground and ran her fingers through her hair, letting it fall behind her. "What's it even matter?"

"Look at the thicker line; it all comes back to the hourglass. And it stays as low as the ground, a literal guide for our feet!"

A big grin showed on both of their faces, and they started off down the road following the oozing trail. Suzan then bragged with her chin in the air, "I told you I was right, so much for your trusty map."

"Just," Alexander stopped and said, "Just lucky guessing."

The dark haze eventually became thicker and thicker. Holding hands tight and firmly, they now could only see just feet in front of them. The noise of rustling leaves and sight of red beads off in the distance now haunted them in large numbers. Suzan then pondered to herself, "A Shadow always strikes. What are they waiting for?"

Thud! The couple came to hit a large broad door with an old symbol cast on it. It was blood. Looking over at each other in almost frozen fear, they walked through the door to a room that was crudely lit by the torches on the wall. There He sat.


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