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7/16/2008 12:43:23   

Chase into Darkness

The hunter was ready. For days, weeks even, she had chased her prey across the seven continents, this delicate dance nearly costing her life. Now, at last, it would be over. Finally, she would meet him- the man who had led her in the elegant dance for so many long nights. It had been such a lengthy chase, longer than any she had seen before. They had chased each other across the lands, learning much along the way, never actually seeing the other’s face. She had worked so hard, for such a long time- yet what she had learned stuck in her mind, creating doubt. She wondered, as she waited, what she would do when she met him.

He was ready. He had caught up to her, finally, the woman who had been his target for nigh on months. Everywhere he went, signs of her passage had been there, as he hunted her from place to place, she remaining forever a step ahead of him. Sometimes, he had been unsure who was the hunter and who was the hunted. Now, tonight, they would meet for the first, and probably last, time. Despite what he had learned, she was still what she was. It did not make a difference, he told himself. It was still his sworn duty to kill her.

It was time. She fell from her perch, landing on silken wings of silence. Ebony hair twisted in the wind, framing her pale, delicate features with darkest shadow. Her eyes were deep pools of ocean blue- as clear and strong as a starry night. The vampire had come.

Now. He touched his gun once for luck, the handle gleaming silver in the night. Firm resolve showing clearly in his auburn eyes, he stepped into the pale moonlight. The fading shadows accentuated his tanned skin, and he tucked a stray wisp of brunette hair behind his ear. The slayer was here.

Almost before he stepped into the light, she could feel him there, waiting, hovering on the edge of blackest night. Then he entered, and her eyes widened. He was beautiful, breathtakingly so. She had not expected that. Yet it did not change anything. Her right hand caressed the hilt of the sword at her side as she took a step forward. “You are Gethin.” It was not a question.

He nodded once, ever so slightly. “You are Senka.” She was beautiful, much more beautiful than he had expected. But nothing had changed. She was a vampire, he was a slayer. That was all there would ever be.
Then his eyes found hers, and little shivers of shock ran through his body. In her eyes, he saw himself reflected- a hunter, a creature of the night, destined to be alone forever. Almost unwillingly, he took a step forward.

Her blade hung forgotten at her side. Who knew, when the moment finally came, that she could not bring herself to kill him? “You…you’re Gethin,” she said, as if trying to convince herself of something. She stepped forward again, one long, pale hand reaching out to touch his shoulder. Yet he did not move, did not back away, and when she pulled him close, when her lips touched his, he responded by slipping his arms around her.

He had known what was coming. He should have turned, should have ran. But- it felt so right, holding her close like this. Yes, she was a vampire, but there was no malice in her kiss, no hidden threat to run from. And so he kissed her back, let her run her slender hands through his dark brown hair, held her slim frame close as if protecting her.

After what seemed like forever, she released him, stepping back slowly. His brown eyes found her blue ones, and he held her gaze for a long moment. Then, turning, he disappeared into the night. The vampire stood in the moonlit clearing with something almost like remorse in her azure eyes. Then she vanished, a shadow on the wind.

They had entered the dance again, that delicate balance between hunter and hunted. This time, the stakes were higher, the danger greater. Yes, they were creatures of the night, destined to lives of solitude and danger. But sometimes, even the forsaken needed companions.

< Message edited by jerenda -- 8/5/2010 15:41:16 >
AQ DF  Post #: 1
7/16/2008 12:49:01   


He was ancient.

An old man, wrinkled beyond belief, standing in a shadowed kitchen, cackling madly to himself as he folded laundry with the air of one conducting a great orchestra.

“Ze vindov, she iz broken,
And ze vain iz coming in,
Ahn if I do not vix zit,
Ah’ll be zoaking to vy skin-

“Get out of mah house, kid!” he screams, a pair of faded blue pants hitting me full in the face. I pull it away, watching in rapt fascination as he bears down on me, screeching at me in that unearthly accent of his. Two fangs flash at me from beneath stormy green eyes and I run from the room, my squeals of delighted laughter lost in his mad thunderings of doom.

He was powerful.

The man was standing over a cauldron, wild black hair thrown back in laughter, purple smoke shrouding his black robes in an otherworldly haze. Bottle after bottle went sailing into the cauldron, causing the smoke to spark and flash different colors. An awed shriek gives away my position, and a green bottle shatters over my head.

“Haw mahny timez haz ah teld yohu to ztay avay!” he roars, his heavy accent garbling his words, punctuating my hasty retreat with pots, pans, and various magical implements that happen to be nearby.

And now, he was dead.

I stand over the coffin, hardly able to believe what I am seeing. His bushy, black wing eyebrows seem perpetually about to jump off his face, and the maniacal smile is still glued to his lips. I have to stop myself from leaping back in the fear that he will spy me and jump from the cedar to tackle me to the ground, howling something insane about his potions.

My hand moves up to stroke the two triangular scars he left on my neck- a last wish, requested and granted. My eyes have already started to change, and they flash once as I turn to leave. The image of the hunter is burned into my mind- permanently, I think. Two tiny fangs show themselves as I smile, the door clattering shut behind me. I have a legacy to fulfill.

< Message edited by jerenda -- 8/5/2010 15:41:19 >
AQ DF  Post #: 2
7/16/2008 12:53:35   


It must have been a dream.

I awoke suddenly, shaking from a half-forgotten nightmare. My window was open, and the cool breeze sent shivers down my spine as I glanced around my room, adrenaline causing my heart to jump around erratically. The looming shadows formed by my bed, the dresser, and the closet caused my mind to see monsters everywhere I looked. I could hardly breathe for the fear.

Then he came. The angel.

I never saw him come, but in the space between one moment and the next he was there, tawny gold hair rustling in the breeze. His liquid emerald eyes trapped me in their gaze as he sat astride my window, and I found myself holding my breath. Slowly he rose, dropped from his perch like a falling star, and smiled- a move that caused my heart to stop momentarily. With a sinuous grace, he walked toward me, the moonlight reflecting off his ivory skin so that he glowed like an evening star.

It must have been a dream.

The angel sat down on my bed, and my sapphire eyes widened. Up close he was even more beautiful- if that was possible. I found myself wondering how such a being could be real. Surely it was just some fragment of imagination, worked loose and falling into my sleeping mind. I raised one hand, moving it toward his perfect face ever so slowly. Half an inch before I touched him, I hesitated. What if he wasn’t really there? What if- and then he caught my hand himself, touching my limp fingers to his cheek. I sat, paralyzed by awe in the middle of my bed.

His cheek was cold, like frozen ice.

He came closer, and the aroma of crushed grass mixed with pine rose up to greet me. This…this can’t be happening... I thought, and continued to think as he slipped his arms around me. My heart, already misbehaving, began jumping around like an insane thing- and then it stopped completely as he pressed his cold lips to my neck.

It must have been a dream.

< Message edited by jerenda -- 8/5/2010 15:41:23 >
AQ DF  Post #: 3
7/28/2008 13:34:13   


I am lying flat on my back in darkness. I can’t move, can’t even breathe, but strangely this does not alarm me. I try to rise, try to move my hand- only to discover that I have no hand. All I have left is a mind, confused and chaotic. Nothing makes sense, nothing works, and everything I ever knew is gone. After what seems like decades, my thoughts arrange themselves in some sort of coherent order, a few words rising to the top as most important.

Where am I? Then, almost as if my thoughts have turned into arrows and pierced the suffocating darkness, sound reaches my ears. The voices are vaguely familiar, but I can’t place them… it is a man and a woman, that much I can tell.

“Is she dead?” the man’s voice asks, deep and comforting. What an odd question… who starts off a conversation with ‘is she dead’?

“I- I don’t know… I found her here this morning-” the woman’s voice cracks. I can hear her trying to keep back tears, breath shuddering in her throat. Ah, she has the same problem. Who’s dead?

A great thump, as if a lot of weight had suddenly landed on the ground, causes the floorboards to groan in dismay. Floorboards… there are floorboards! For some reason, the realization delights my befuddled mind. More creaking sounds, then pressure on my chest- and warmth, so hot it is almost unbearable. It is then that I realize my skin is ice-cold…

Wait- I have a chest? Yes, yes, I do! Suddenly I can feel it, and my legs, and my arms- I have a body! I want to leap into the air and shout for joy- drat. My body- now that I have it- feels like lead.

Well, that was lame, I think. Before I can test the limits of my strength, however, my attention is drawn away by the man. By the creaking, I assume he is standing up.

“There’s no pulse, Rosalie. She feels frozen solid. I’m afraid she’s dead.” Whoa there buddy. Are you talking about me? Huh? Because I am NOT dead! You hear me? I’m not dead! …At least, not yet. There is no answer. Fine, be that way. I’ll spend my time on more important matters, like finding out my name. I would have stuck my tongue out at him, if I had been able to see where he was and if my tongue wasn’t stuck to the roof of my mouth.

“No… no, this can’t be happening. Isn’t there something you can do?” the woman cries, half disbelieving, the wracking sobs growing louder.

“I’m sorry Rosalie, but Kurai is no longer in this world. There’s nothing anyone can do for her.” Kurai? Is that… me? Kurai… The name seems to fit, belong to me somehow. As I take the name upon me, imprinting it into my being and making it my own, a slew of memories unlock, flowing into my darkened mind like so many brilliant butterflies-


The word echoes into my mind, soft and alluring, too quiet for me to tell if it is a man or a woman. A gentle hand keeps back the memories, soft but unbreakable as iron.

Your eyes, the voice says. Confusion fills my mind. Open them. I cannot disobey. Slowly, powerfully, I bend my will to the task, like Superman struggling against Kryptonite. It seems to take ages, for the darkness is impossibly heavy, and I am impossibly weak. Suddenly, something seems to give, and my eyes flash open.

And then I know. My beautiful sapphire eyes, so bright with life before, have turned the deep endless color of the ocean. Memories crash down on me, no longer restrained by the helping hand. Last night- my open window- an angel- pain- burning, I was burning!- and then my eyes clear and I see the doctor’s stunned expression.

“What—How—” he gasps. From my position on the floor I regard him coolly. A nice-looking man, under other conditions, he has short curly brown hair and deep brown eyes. His voice is just the sort to calm unruly patients- reassuring and beautiful, even to my disillusioned ears.

An idea sparks in my mind. “I am not what I once was,” I intone, choosing my words carefully to see his response. It is perfect- he stumbles backwards, mouth open like a goldfish. My voice has changed as well- instead of the wavering half-matured voice of a teenager, I hear a silvery sweet tone. Melodious, I think. My voice is melodious.

Good, very good,
the voice murmurs in my mind, sending a flood of pleasure through me. Now- get up.

Uh… yeah, about that…

Don’t argue, just do it.
There is a hint of exasperation in those dulcet tones, and I swallow my objection.

Alright, fine. I begin the struggle, lifting first a hand, then an arm. I must have looked the strangest sight, rising from the floor, staggering as I caught the bedpost to pull myself up. Like Frankenstein… Imagination sparked by this image, I let out a deep groan as I rise from my coffin, parting the swirling mists with a word-

“Kurai?” The woman breaks through my mental picture, her face the picture of a concerned mother. I look at her, confused, trying to place the image. Long red hair curls down her shoulders, framing a narrow, delicately crafted face. Though clearly an older woman, she still retains a fully curved figure and the strength she once had is apparent in the stubborn set of her jaw. Something about the way she holds herself makes me think of a ballerina… and a flash of memory strikes me.

I am being held on her lap, looking at photos. “Look Kurai, here’s a picture from one of my shows. I was the princess. You’ll be a ballerina too, dear. Already you know how to spin.” I giggle, cuddling in close to the woman as she holds me tight. “You’ll be wonderful, even better than me.”

The woman… she’s my mother.
I blink at her, baffled. None of this is making any sense. Why don’t I feel anything towards her? Instead, there’s a gaping hole inside of me where my emotions used to be. What’s going on? I think, unwittingly directing the question towards the voice.

“Kurai… it means dark. Did you know that when you named her?” I look past my mother and the doctor to see the owner of the voice leaning casually against the doorframe, and my jaw drops. He is… stunning. The exact copy of my childhood “knight in shining armor”- so handsome it hurts to look at him. Sandy blond hair falls casually over sea-green eyes, and a gentle face smiles at me, showing just a hint of icy steel underneath.

My mother glares, stands in front of him, and generally looks outraged like any good mother would be upon finding a stranger in her daughter’s bedroom. He ignores her spluttered protests and demands to know who he is, focusing over her shoulder on me. Brushing her aside like an annoying gnat, he comes to stand in front of me, a smile curving his lips.

“Beautiful… simply beautiful. Do you like your eyes? I did that. And your hair… perfect. Blond simply doesn’t fit you, not with that face.” His words slip into my mind like honey, intoxicating me with their beauty. If my voice was now melodious, his was heavenly. There was nothing on earth to match it.

He is holding a strand of my hair now, in those strong, supple fingers, bringing it to his lips and kissing it gently. I tear my eyes away from his face to look at my hair- and realize it is now ebony. Somehow it doesn't seem to matter, though before my hair was one of my greatest vanities. He releases it, the long strands swaying gently down to the middle of my back, and captures my hand within his. I look back into his eyes, those enchanting sea-green eyes, and know there is no escape. Slowly, keeping me his willing prisoner within those eyes, he backs up, leading me to the door.

My mother steps in front of us. I can tell she is furious by the sound alone. “Who do you think you are, and where are you going with my daughter?” Her voice is harsh and shrill with fear and anger.

He pauses and looks at her, perfectly composed. “The one you called Kurai is dead. This girl is no longer your daughter. Do not worry for her. She will learn much under me. Now step aside.” He accompanies the words with a flash of light, and my mother pulls back with a shriek of pain.

He pulls me past her, leading me out into the hall. I follow, knowing the truth of his words. This is my new life. I don’t look back when my mother cries out to me. It is better this way- the pain would only hurt worse if she thought I wanted to stay. Still, her cries echo in my mind, haunting me even as I step outside the door.

“Kurai! Kurai, come back! Kurrrraiiii!”

< Message edited by jerenda -- 8/5/2010 15:41:26 >
AQ DF  Post #: 4
12/23/2008 17:51:46   

Budding Writer, Budding Fangs

So. Chaos. Death. Doom. Destruction. Burn and fire, blast and boil, flames and rot and fear. Let it all burn, burn until there’s nothing left but ashes. Let death hover on every windowsill, every failed relationship, every incompatible lover destined to meet. Let it all blacken and fade. Let it turn to dust, be blown away be the wind of despair. The wind of change. Perhaps, when the world is born anew of fire and pain and suffering, perhaps there will be peace.

There’s a book called Cold Tom. Tom could see what’s bothering me, or he could if he were real. I’m tied down, bound by my only love. My very gift that brings me joy is my undoing. The strings that bind us all together have fastened on me. Perhaps Tom is right when he believes they are bad. Perhaps our links to other people, the means by which we control others and drive them to do our will, are inherently evil and of themselves.

And perhaps I’ll die tomorrow.

Dusk put down her pencil and sighed, stretching like a cat with relief. Another potential disaster, averted by the mighty pencil. Disasters 0; Pencil 3. That last line hadn't come out exactly the way she wanted- she meant it to be sarcastic, but instead it sounded morbid and angry. Ah well. At least it distracted me.

She gave a sharp-toothed smile to the girl to her right, gratified to see uncertainty and a touch of fear in the silvery-blue eyes. Her own eyes had faded to their normal olive green, startling and unexpected against her alabaster skin. A stray lock of thick, curling black hair traced a path down high, prominent cheekbones and almost brushed her full lips before her hand flashed upward, stifling its newfound freedom back into its bun.

Eyes still locked on the other’s, she let her hand rest on the edge of the desk, it’s long-fingered elegance on display for all the world to see. Dusk could hear the girl’s heartbeat speeding up as her expression of terror intensified along with Dusk’s evil grin… and then she looked abruptly away, breaking into laughter. Dusk followed, mimicking the silvery tones exactly, watching the girl with unveiled wonder.

Yet another encounter navigated successfully… and I think I actually understood that one. Today is going pretty good, Dusk thought, relieved. Not only was the female incredibly annoying when she wanted to be, but she was the most random drama queen ever. In all the schools Dusk had seen- and there had been many- there had never been anyone quite like Skyler. As near as Dusk could interpret it, that little experience was an exercise in acting. Yes, acting. Apparently, being threatened by a bloodthirsty vampire was a game to her.

Dusk turned her attention to math, attempting to make the glaringly obvious systems of Cranmer’s rule fascinating enough to block out the female’s next ploy for attention. As her insistent cries of “Dusk! Dusk!” grew in strength, Dusk’s ability to interpret what she was thinking only made matters worse. From Skyler’s point of view, Dusk was being terribly rude to ignore her. “I’ve got to focus, Skyler, I need to know how this works,” she lied, pretending to pay close attention to the insipid lecture being given.

“Yeah right, Dusk, you know how to do this better then Mr. Keath does.”

Music… I need music… As Long As You’re Mine, Dusk whispered, drawing the sound file from her memory and hitting play. Perhaps it was her heritage, or simple taste, but the intense love songs favored by most human females had the effect of driving away distractions and calming her. Finally able to relax, Dusk sank into half-trance, her hands moving with liquid grace over the paper, filling it with math of their own free ill.

Across the room, a curly-haired boy glanced up at the unnaturally beautiful girl. He saw in an instant’s flash the unfocused quality of her eyes, and the way her hands moved still, filling the paper in front of her with undoubtedly flawless math. A hundred other slight observations collided in his head, combining to form a larger picture.

Corol-mith; the new night. High speed and intellect, low strength and self-control. Quick temper, reads minds, strong thirst for knowledge, withstands sunlight and crosses, dislikes salt, silver, and blessed items, especially holy water. Identifying trait: lack of true sleep. Enters trance state instead, from which is easily awakened. Can still function on ‘autopilot’ in half-trance.

I’m dealing with a young Corol-mith, perhaps fifty at the oldest, and though she can read minds she has not killed me yet. That means she either does not know how to control that ability, hasn’t bothered to look, or simply doesn’t care.
To him, the last possibility was the most frightening- a boy of his age and training was supposed to be more than a match for her kind, at that level of ability at least, and if she didn’t even care that he was there meant she was so far above him it was pointless to even try.

“Jacob! Can you do problem thirteen?” The boy turned away from Dusk, paying attention to the girl next to him. The girl, however, wasn’t looking at her paper. She was glancing from him to Dusk and back again. “Jacob… you’ve got a crush on Dusk!”

Jacob’s mouth dropped open. “What? That’s so ridiculous!” A crush? On her kind? As if. She’d kill me in a moment.

“You’re always staring at her. I don’t know… I think you’d look cute together.” Jacob just stared at the girl as if she was an idiot- which, to his mind, she was behaving as if she was.

“This is so pointless. Give me your math, I’ll help you.”

Brrring! A babble of noise exploded within the classroom as everybody vacated the premises instantly, emptying the room in a matter of seconds. Dusk and Jacob lingered, Dusk waiting for Skyler, Jacob determined to finish that one last problem before leaving.

As the girls left they passed close by Jacob’s desk, and he heard Dusk talking in her soft, dulcet voice that was the birthright of all of her kin.

“Yes, I’m doing something in the science buildings until four, but I’ll be in the library by four-thirty. We can meet there…”

Their voices faded away into the babble of the crowd, and Jacob finally dared to look up. The science buildings… it’s a date then. Finally, a chance to test my skills.

Dusk strode out of the science classroom right on time, at four precisely. She had left her backpack somewhere, so now she walked unhampered by the extra weight. Jacob, waiting around the corner, had to look away and remind himself what she was. Oh, she was beautiful, and without the backpack… her very stride was enchanting. Then again, it was supposed to be. Man, I feel like a stalker, he thought, and then he was out of time to think.

She rounded the corner, gliding rather than walking, and Jacob stepped into her path. She very nearly ran into him, but fell back at the last moment, looking at him with confusion. “Um, hi. Jacob, right? Fancy meeting you here…” She was unnerved, he could tell.

“Hello Dusk,” he said, smiling casually. “I was wondering- could we talk?” He was careful to keep the fear out of his voice. He had to get her to let down her guard.

She hesitated- scared, as any sane person would be. “Well, okay… what about?”

He turned the direction she had been heading, motioning for her to walk and talk at the same time. They’re more comfortable moving… definitely not the sit-still variety. Now I just need an ice-breaker… “What did you think of that book we’re reading in English?”

That was not the question she had been expecting. She fumbled for words for a moment, apprehensive. “Twelfth Night? I’ve read it before- but I like it. Shakespeare’s one of my favorite writers.”

“Yes, the way he plays with his meter to create effect is fascinating.” Sure, he sounded like a nerd, but he couldn’t afford to worry about his image as well as everything else. She replied- he didn’t know what she said, but only that her apprehension had gone. In her mind, it was perfectly normal to want to discuss Shakespeare. Then came the moment- he pulled out a water bottle and broke the seal. He had to do so in front of her, to prove that it hadn’t been tampered with. He brought the bottle to his lips, but didn’t drink. Instead, he looked at her and offered it to her first.

To her, it was a nice gesture. Kind, and considerate. The water was clean, and as he hadn’t drunk from it yet, she smiled. “Oh, thanks Jacob.” Dusk tilted her head back and let it ‘waterfall’ into her mouth, so that she wouldn’t contaminate it. He was grateful of the gesture, but in a moment she wasn’t going to be caring about giving him her germs.

She swallowed and handed it back, and for a moment he was disappointed. He stashed the bottle and said something semi-intelligent about Twelfth Night, forming the words of his good-bye in his mind even as he spoke. If she wasn’t one, he was going to feel like a major idiot in a moment... and then she stopped.

A flicker of uncertainty crossed her face, then a spasm of pain. She crumpled to the floor, clutching her sides in obvious pain. Agonized olive green eyes met impassive brown ones, and Jacob smiled slightly.

“What… what is this?” she gasped, breathing heavily.

“Holy water. Want some more?” He brought out the container again, and she flinched away. “For any human it would have no effect. It would be just like normal water. But you’re not human… are you?” He crouched down beside her, uncapping it. “Well, are you?”

She sat up with an effort, one hand still clinging to her side as if to hold herself together. “You win. I’m a vampire.” Her words came quickly, rushed and gasping at the same time. “But is that any reason to… to do this to me? Do you even understand what you’ve done?”

Jacob’s smile grew sadistic. “You feel like you’re burning up inside- mostly in your stomach, but your lungs are affected too. It’s hard to breathe, and you are certain you must be choking to death. Yes, Dusk, I know exactly what you’re going through. If it makes any difference, I wouldn’t have if there had been another way. But you happen to be very dangerous, and I need to take you down. Look inside my mind- I know you can.”

Beads of sweat formed on her brow, and her entire lithe frame shuddered. She glanced up into his eyes, meeting them with pain and anguish. Despite his training, despite all of his loathing for her kind, he almost felt pity. Perhaps she saw that in his expression, for she took hold of his hand.

“Why, Jacob? I would never hurt you… never.” She drew him closer, a tragic heroine suffering for her love. Tenderly, gently, she encircled him with her arms, dazing him with her embrace. He was almost completely under her spell, but she couldn’t wait to finish the enchantment. Her eyes slanted to black, and she bent her head to his neck. She needed blood and now.

A dagger buried itself in her heart, and she fell back. At least he wasn’t smiling anymore- he looked shocked. Probably more at himself then at her- no doubt he had always though himself perfectly capable of resisting a vampire’s charms. But it was too late for him- seduction was the last thing on her list now. She dragged the dagger from her chest, gasping as the blood stained her shirt crimson red.

“You know, I really don’t appreciate that.” Dusk climbed to her feet, leaning against the wall. Jacob shook the shock off, forcing his mind to function properly, and rose into a fighting stance.

“That’s alright- I’m not fond of going on dates with people who want to kill me.” Jacob made the first move, pulling another dagger from his jeans and driving it towards her. She blocked skillfully and pushed back, using the wall’s unyielding strength to fuel her shove.

“What is it with you and weapons of mass destruction? Do you bring these things to school in your pockets?”

I'm not really sure what to do past here... I'm not exactly looking forward to writing my own death scene, and the muse has left me for this piece anyways. I shall work on it later, or perhaps sooner, if I get more inspiration.

< Message edited by jerenda -- 8/5/2010 15:41:29 >
AQ DF  Post #: 5
2/8/2009 15:12:06   

Part 1

A thousand tiny grains of sand scuttled across the floor, jostling for position like children. The tiled floor seemed alive with the creatures, swirling and writhing as one alive. Jasmine stood in the center of the chaotic whirlwind, hardly noticing the tiny grains that swept over her bare feet. She was staring, transfixed, at the focal point of all this energy.

A radiant miniature sun glowed in the center of her kitchen, about a foot or so above the floor. It was to this all the sand was flowing, and as each grain entered a smaller, more vivid circle of light each piece flew straight up and was absorbed. Jasmine was unable to look away- it gleamed with an unearthly intensity, and the pain it caused her was bittersweet. Too dangerous to get close to, too beautiful to run from.

The entire day had begun oddly, so far as it could be called a day. She had snapped alert at the unearthly hour of five in the morning, awoken by a sound she couldn’t remember hearing. She lay absolutely still in bed, hardly daring to look. And after almost a full minute, the something breathed.

She more or less fell out of her bed, landing in a crouch and already growling… at the air.

She sighed. I was so sure I heard it… She replayed it in her mind, the deep, harsh rattle of something drawing in a labored breath, and was certain again that it had been there. But whatever it was, it wasn’t there now, and hadn’t been there for several mornings.

She stood up, stabilizing herself on her bed, and sighed again. Yes another morning spent jumping at shadows. But now that she was awake and hyped on nerves, she knew she’d find it impossible to go back to sleep.

Jasmine slipped out of her bedroom, the latch clicking shut behind her. She glimpsed herself in the hall mirror and stopped dead. Yes, there she was, long golden hair mussed from sleep, blue eyes sharp and sleepy at the same time- but really.

“Pink pajamas? Jerenda, what were you thinking? Since when do we even own pink pajamas? And the unicorns- oh, it’s too much.”

Distracted, she didn’t notice the banging from downstairs, but she did see the shadowy steps light up as if on fire. Jasmine sprinted down the steps, ready to hit something, or at least get a good look at it, and whirled around a corner. “I’m not imagining things this time- there’s really something there, I’m sure of it!” Her feet hit tiled floor, and the cold shock of it slowed her down just enough for the grains of sand she was stepping on to move. She slipped and fell, hard.

And then she saw it. The sun, that is. Slowly, hesitantly, she brushed off the specks of sand that had clung to her and rose, unable to look away.

So here she was, completely mesmerized by this alien thing, and entirely unwilling to do anything about it. Probably unable, too, if she had bothered to try. And in the back of her head something else was stirring…

Hey, no fair getting up earl- ooooh. What’s that?

Jasmine blinked, the spell broken. “What?”

Jerenda didn’t wait for her to recover. Can I touch it?

“Wha- no- Jerenda, don’t!” Now that the spell had been broken, Jasmine realized that her sense of danger had been screaming loudly for some time now. It was too late to stop Jerenda, though. Against her will her right hand darted out and plunged into the sphere of light and fire.

A blaze of light exploded from the orb, enveloping Jasmine’s body and most of the kitchen besides. When it was gone, the kitchen was entirely empty save for a neat arrangement of sand in the center of the kitchen.

We have your daughter, it said. Both of her.

< Message edited by jerenda -- 8/5/2010 15:41:32 >
AQ DF  Post #: 6
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