Forever Young

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  • Published: 22 Dec 2015
  • Updated: 27 Jul 2016
  • Status: Complete
Darla is most definitely not a human.

She's one of the Ashki, an immortal race who have lived alongside humans from the very beginning. But friendships don't survive that long, and her contacts with her fellow Ashkine people are practically non existent, humans just tiny little pieces in the jigsaw of time. And an old enemy is back, proposing changes to the way their society has run and developed, and destroying the Ashki in the process.

Now Darla must gather her friends together to save themselves and their souls. But after so many millennia, is time finally running out for the Ashki?


2. Wolves

The girl stood with stars in her eyes, and the moonlight danced on her silky hair. She was dressed all in black, which seemed to make her become one with the shadows on the walls. She was the night embodied - darkness, and the few flickering spots of light, struggling to break through before the sun would arise. It was, to us, no surprise that she loved the night, that time when the sun retires for a precious few hours, and only a select handful dare to roam the only half lit streets.


I watched as she pulled her hood down lower, to cover almost her entire face, and lifted a hand to tuck a stray strand of hair behind her right ear. A breeze shook the trees above her, and a leave fell down onto her hood. Irritated, she flicked her hood back and shook the leaf off, giving us just enough time to see her face.



Her hair fell down almost to her waist, and her ruby red lips seemed the only colour she could speak of. The sharpness of her nose reminded me of a hawk, and her eyes watched us, as she recognised who we were.



"Darla?" she whispered, voice crackly like she hadn't spoken in years. "Why are you out at this time. And, Adrien, what on earth happened to your hair?"


"Apparently, the Americans find this style 'edgy'. I thought it might be fun to try it out, see if it brings anyone closer. The U.S has some fine looking ladies."


"Adrien, that's disgusting." She turned towards me, eyes flicking over me, taking in the subtle differences I'd made to myself. In a rush, she ran to embrace me, her hair tickling my cheek. "I've missed you so much, Darla," she sobbed, holding my tightly.


"I've missed you too, Lara," I whispered, resisting the urge to cry myself. "It's been so long."


"Seven decades, if I remember correctly," she laughed, as we let go off each other, smiling daintily at Adrien, who was trying to look 'edgy' again by leaning against a graffitied wall. "As for you, Adrien, I thought you had been with Darla this time?"


"She left the U.S ninety years ago, Lara. Get your facts straight."


"Well, I assumed you left with her. You two were close when you went over there, I assumed you still were when you left."


"Well, we weren't. Surprise!"


"You two never tell me anything!" Lara whined.


"Well, neither of us have seen you in a while, to  be fair. I mean, if you had bothered to ask, or talk, or inform anyone where you were, you might have been informed. As it happens, you were not."


Adrien snorted. "What?" Lara and I asked in unison, turning our eyes on him.


A smile crept up his face, his green eyes illuminated. "I've missed you two." He joined us so we formed one line, me, Adrien, and Lara. We were almost complete, our little group of friends. There was just one little puzzle piece missing, and I prayed to all the gods I'd ever known that he was still alive.


"You're not alone," Lara said with a crooked little smile I could never forget. I could see tears starting to form in her eyes, and I smiled, almost laughing at the way she let her feelings appear suddenly, after so long hiding them. "Come here, both of you. I need a hug."


I laughed and Adrien rolled his eyes, but we both embraced her anyway, and I realised just how much I had missed two of my best friends. Thinking back to the wall in my house, I remembered the first three names I'd written there, in my finest handwriting. Adrien. He was purple. Lara was dark blue, and I remember thinking I'd plucked the colour straight from the sky. And then, Kaden. So bright, so cheerful, I'd written him in yellow, and it stood out as such a contrast to the names of my other friends. Of course, over the years the names had faded, and brighter, fresher names had been written in their place: Lucas, Wilhelmina, John, Alissa, Charles, Mary, James. But those first names, those three, they were in my heart more than any of the others combined.


And, then, I had two of them back here with me, Kaden possibly on his way soon, if he wasn't dead, too. The thought made a smile tug at the corners of my lips, and I found myself holding my friends closer than before, even when Adrien seemed to try and sneak away. "Can't we just all stay together?" I said, feeling tears pricking at my own eyes. "I've missed you guys."


"If we manage to survive long enough, yes."


We broke apart, Adrien and I frowning at Adrien. "What do you mean?"


"Well, forgive me if I'm wrong-" he gave us a look that clearly was trying to say that he was never wrong and he would never forgive us if we said otherwise "-but isn't Keda probably trying to kill us too? And the police are probably not too please with Darla either. Add that to the fact that this is almost a perfect fit to Adario's doomsday - immortals slaughtered in their thousands, one immortal gone rogue and turned against the community, few remaining, all receiving the same call to go to join friends, wherever they are - chances are, almost all of us are going to die."



Lara frowned, and turned to me, her eyes telling me everything I needed to know what to say. "But what about the rest of the doomsday scroll? Is that still, you know, the same? I mean, I haven't seen the news in the past few hours, but I imagine there could be a lot happening if what Adario said is true, and there would probably be sirens and wailing and we'd know, somehow, wouldn't we, if that was what was happening?" Neither of them said anything. "Wouldn't we?" I was sure that I probably sounded like a child, but I wasn't entirely sure if I actually cared.



"We might," Adrien said at last, his gaze flicking down to Lara and then up to me. "But we might not. The scroll only says that they would die, not that we would know in any way."


"Great. So we're all standing here, debating whether or not the end of the world is coming, and we don't even have a clue what we're going to do in the next two minutes."



"Pretty much, yeah." I could hear a bit of an accent slipping into his voice, the American drawl slicing holes in the European I was used to him speaking in. "It sounds fantastic."


"You're not taking this seriously, are you, Adrien?"


"Not very much, no. If we don't even know if there's any danger, there's not really much point in trying to do anything about it, is there? WE'll just create more danger."


"But you could at least take the issue at hand more seriously, don't you think? We need to do something soon, or the sun'll come up, people will see us, and I should probably tell you that the people in this village are really not the kinds of people who like bright blue hair. Just so you know."


"Well, I think it looks cool, and if anyone has an issue with that then they can see how much my middle finger cares about their opinions." I saw the flash of a smile jump over his face, as he turned away, clearly thinking he had just delivered some great speech that would leave the world in awe for years to come.


"Where are you going, blue head?" I shouted after him, as he was suddenly illuminated by a lamppost's light.


"I don't know," he said in a stupidly fake innocent voice. "How about somewhere that would make sense, like somewhere that's not a dark place in a stupid park in the middle of a village that has the opinions of a shit headed Donald Trump?"


"He's always shit headed," I heard Lara mutter under her breath.


"Would you like us to join you?" I asked, making my voice as sickly sweet as I could, knowing it would annoy him. "Or od you need some alone time?"


"You can join me if you want to," he said boredly. "But I can't promise I won't rant abou t some people's annoying ways of teasing, just to warn you."


By some people I assumed he meant me, but Lara laughed. "Consider us warned."


Adrien turned around, and I could see the faint smirk on his face that used to annoy me to no end when we were a lot younger, but that I forced myself to put up with for about a century before I moved back to Britain from America and left him there. "Then come on. I'm in the mood for shouting at nothing."

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