The Damned

Lately Kana hasn't felt quite right. She's been drifting away from her small group of friends, she's fallen a sleep in English and for some reason the hottest guy in school has decided a girl from the bottom of the social order is the girl that he wants. What's strangest is that that guy doesn't date anyone outside his group of strangely attractive and talented friends. Strange things are happening to Kana that just keep getting stranger.

P.S. Thank you to IvebeenLOKIDyetagain for making this awesome cover!

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1. Prologue Echo's POV

Mistakes, we all make them. You’ve made them, and I‘ve definitely made them, the only difference between your mistakes and mine is that yours won’t affect all living things on earth and mine will, and still do.

I don’t even know when it all started, I couldn’t tell you what year or even how old I was. I never fit in, not with my parents, not with my brothers and not with humans. I dropped out of school in grade five, early even for people of that time. I worked on my family’s farm, doing the jobs the rest of them were too weak to do because for some reason I was abnormally strong.

After a while I couldn’t stand it anymore so I ran off into the woods. I ran for what felt like twenty miles and it very well could have been because I was always extraordinarily fit and could run long distances before needing to rest. When I finally couldn’t run any further I found myself in a clearing. It didn’t look anything out of the ordinary.  It had soft, light green grass, ringed with the dark brown bark of the trees that bordered the clearing. There were a few wild flowers dotting the clearing here and there. The leaves on the trees were green and alive, swaying slightly in the warm, gentle breeze that I could feel against my back. What was different about this clearing wasn’t how it looked, but how it felt. It had energy so different than any I felt before. It was nothing like the energy I felt when I was around humans and even back then before I knew what I was I knew that I was something other than human. 

From the day I found that clearing, the site of my biggest mistake, I started changing even more. My senses became keener, I was a better fighter, (I found this out when my father would get drunk and try to abuse my brothers and I) my physical appearance was changing too. My dark brown, lanky hair turned black and sleek. My muscles became more defined and toned. My pimple dotted face cleared up and my eyes became a brighter shade of blue than they ever were. I wasn’t scared, angry or even confused while almost everything about me was changing. The fact that I become more protective didn’t even register as different. I was more alert to everything going on, well, everything I deemed relevant. Like how many drinks it took before my father became violent or how many miles I was able to run without stopping. Things like how old I was or what year it was I didn’t find important.  For most people, all those changes would have been scary but not to me. I felt like it was suppose to happen, like it was fate or destiny.  There was only one day I was scared during my transformation, it was the day I completed it.

I was in the clearing with the strong, alluring energy, like I normally was after everything on the farm that needed to be done was done. It was a nice day; the sun was high in the sky, making it the hottest day that I had felt in a long time. The ground was very dry, we were in the middle of a heat wave and it had not rained for what seemed like a month but was probably only two weeks. I wasn’t feeling particularly well that day. My head was throbbing, I was nauseated and I was sore everywhere. I had been hoping that a trip to the clearing would make me feel better like it usually did, but it didn’t that day. It seemed to make everything much worse.

The next thing I remember is writhing on the ground, screaming in pain, throwing up blood. I thought that I was dying. It felt like someone had lit the inside of my skin on fire and I was ever so slowly burning to a crisp. Then, I felt the earth shake. At first I thought that I was just imagining things; that I was delusional from all the pain I was in.  But after throwing up once more, I felt the searing pain lessen to just a throb, but the earthquake just got worse. I tried getting up but failed.

After what felt like hours the ground stopped shaking. Not gradually like rain, but all at once. I jumped up and looked around. The clearing looked the same, there was no damage and I was beginning to wonder if I had imagined the whole thing when I saw a dull light coming from the center of the clearing; as if someone had trapped a ray of sunshine deep within the earth and it was trying to get out. Then, all at once the earth exploded from that spot and out came the strangest creature I had ever seen.

It was tall, almost as tall as the trees. It had ugly, writhing, mud brown skin. Its head was that of a lizards but was nowhere near its size. It had seven eyes. There was a deep gash in its forehead that was oozing bright orange blood. It didn’t have any hands, its arms simply ended in a very sharp claw that looked like a sword. Its legs looked like they belonged to an elephant that was dumped in mud.  Did I forget to mention that it was covered in fur? Well, it was, everywhere excluding his face was covered in light brown fur.

It fixed all seven of its entirely black eyes on me and growled so loud I thought that there was going to be another earthquake. It ran at me and I jumped out of its way and ducked its sword like arm. I looked around frantically for a weapon but couldn’t find one. I knew, deep in my gut that I needed to kill this thing before it killed me and everything else in its path.

It turned around and charged at me again, swinging its sword like arms wildly. Suddenly, I got an idea. When the giant hair ball was near me again, instead of jumping out of the way I jumped on its leg, my fingers clinging to its hair. The giant stopped running and started shaking its leg, trying to get me off. I held tight and ever so slowly made my way up to its torso, then its neck. 

“Hey! Dunce! I’m on your neck, why don’t you slap me off!” I yelled  at the giant and it did exactly that. It raised one of its long, sharp, sword like arms to swat me off its neck.  At the last second I scrambled back to its torso and the giants arm slashed at its neck; right through its neck actually. The giant’s body swayed for a second and dropped to the ground, on its back, thankfully not squishing me.

Just as I suspected, the giant wasn’t that smart. I got up and jumped off the giant’s body. And walked towards where the detached head landed. Once I got to the head though, it disappeared. Not a single trace of the orange blood that was just pouring from it was left. I whipped my head around and looked at the giant’s body. Well, I looked to where the giant’s body used to be. It wasn’t there either.

“Where’d it go?” I asked myself.

“It went back to where it came from.” A male voice answered and I spun to face the voice.  He had pale, glowing skin, white blonde hair, big, white eyes, and large, white wings. The purest white I had ever seen. He had a circle of light over his head and was wearing what looked like a white toga.

“A-are you an a-angel?” I stuttered.

“Yes, I am Echo. My name is Michael. That thing you just fought? It’s called a Lentistic Giant. They aren’t very wise, as you figured out. It came from a realm called Nia. The creatures from that realm have been trying for centuries to get here and thanks to you, now they can. Your blood opened the doorway and once one door way is opened they can pass through here whenever they like. Now that  they know how to get here and they will be able to appear travel anywhere they want on this continent. Now, it’s your responsibility to protect the humans from them.” He said, clearly disappointed.

“S-so, what? I’m cursed or something?” I asked, scared.

“No, you are Damned.” He said and disappeared. 

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