Chapter three - gasp
The moons were eerie that evening. Something about them said that something was happening. The moons were clever like that. This realm was flat. Actually flat. The moons acted as a type of shield that went around the entire planet. You see each realm is one or more planets. This realm is just the one (the moons don’t count). So you can always tell if something is happening to the shield by the brightness of the moons. If they’re dull then it’s fine, if they are bright then something is wrong.
That evening the moons had a metallic glow to them, something was happening. Not everyone knew this but they would find out soon enough.
Emery sat next to Aisling opposite me, the campfire in the middle lit up Aisling’s auburn hair. Alec was on Aisling’s right with Elena and Alejandro next to him. Alec was staring incoherently at the fire obviously fantasising about something, the way his eyes had a touch of longing to them I could tell. Elena was drawing on a piece of thick sketching paper while Alejandro chatted up some girl that I had never paid much attention to.
I did nothing. Just watched my friends do their own thing. I joined Alec, staring into the fire strangely helped me to calm my mind after a hard day of working. Two more days and we would be working with Lord Hunter. At least it was a lesson I didn’t have to do much work in.
My mind began to drift to a time long ago. I was fifteen years of age and working as a slave. Arabella and myself were in a place like this, surrounded by hills and a fire to warm our aching feet. I asked Arabella about her life before the attack. She didn’t tell me anything though. I told her about my life before I was old enough to work as a doctor’s slave. Then as the night grew old she told me a passionate tail that had me so engrossed that when I fell asleep half way through, I dreamed about it.
The dream was beautiful: filled with distorted colours and fuzzy figures. I saw the two main characters clear-as-crystal though. They stood entwined in one-another’s arms, the blurred background disappearing as they lips drifted closer. This had not been part of the story but it was pleasing me as my subconscious now replaced those two characters with myself and Alec. As our lips met, my hands slid down his collar-bone and undid the buttons that were already halfway open. I could almost feel his hands splaying across my back as he moaned in delight.
“Electra, are you alive?” Alec’s amused voice broke through my unbelievable fantasy. I realised why I could feel his hands on my back, they were placed gently in the middle.
“Sorry, I was miles away,” I replied but when I saw his expression I added, “What’s wrong?” Alec’s hazel eyes were troubled and a crease was between his brows.
“Arabella’s here to see you. She said it was urgent.”
At that point I noticed Arabella standing next to Alec. Her face looked just as troubled as Alec’s (not that others could tell but I knew from experience). I stood carefully, Alec’s hand falling to his side leaving a tingling sensation where it had been.
“Follow me, Electra.” Arabella ordered, her voice low and oddly chilling. I did as I was told even though my entire body was numb. I could feel that something was very wrong. My curiosity was getting the better of me.
“Something’s wrong, the moons are too bright. What is it?” I demanded when we were far enough out of earshot from the camp. Arabella kept up her pace but answered.
“Iliana says that there is someone trying to get through. She doesn’t think that they’re bad but we’re not 100 percent.”
“What role do I play in this?”
“You’ll see. They’re not alive so we were wondering if they were friends of yours.”
They’d reached the palace and I gasped in shock. The moons were more pronounced here so I could clearly see their brightness. I didn’t like it one bit, it felt wrong. On the right hand side of the palace’s main entrance stood a well with Iliana leaning precariously over it. I walked up to her but, even though she could hear me, she didn’t look up.
“Look at the water and tell me if you are in acquaintance with these creatures.” Iliana instructed in a clipped tone. I had never heard Hades or any of the other Gods, for that matter, talk about Iliana being panicked. It was slightly unnerving.
I did as I was bid and leaned over the well, staring into the murky water below. A group of people around the same age as Arabella and myself stood in a huddle with confused and slightly annoyed expressions. I didn’t know these people, or creatures as they were rightly called by Arabella and Iliana. They both could tell that the group were not human but they were not 100 percent what they were as Arabella had said.
I knew what they were. They came from the realm, Vamron. A dark and cold realm that fed on the lives of other living things (excluding plants). I saw the way that they moved and the way that their bodies curved in a primitive way. I knew that their pale, deceptive beauty was just a coy until they could get you alone and suck you dry.
You know them as Vampires, I have no name for them but the realm that they came from. I see them differently to the way that you do. They are not monsters, a lot of them have been trying to find ways of calming their blood-lust but nothing has worked immensely. These were not people originally from Vamron though, they had a stronger way of holding themselves meaning that they had been made into vampires. I had never fully understood how that had happened but it happened all the same.
“Do you know them?” Arabella asked impatiently. I shook my head letting my open mind fill with their images and then told her what they were with my thoughts, I didn’t trust my voice. Vampires very rarely left Vamron so when they did it was for a good reason. And them looking peed off sent a menacing shiver along my spine.
“Oh. Maybe we should meet them at the entrance and see what they want. I’ll go, if they try to hurt me I can put the shield back up where as no one else can. Shall I go now while you alert the others, Arabella?” Iliana said her voice very low in volume, even for her.
Arabella was giving me peculiar look as she replied, “Yes. Go now.” I could see how she was feeling, confused and very out of place. A gave her a questioning look but she was staring at the water. I sighed and turned my back to the well, perching on it with my legs crossed at the ankle.
The sky above was a shimmering chrome, turquoise, peach and magenta. All of the colours took on a metallic look, making me even more concerned. In the Underworld I had been taught about most of the different realms. In a disturbing way I missed the cold, dark and mysterious dungeon that had become my home over the very long years that I had lived there. I missed it’s unearthliness and creeping darkness that gave me a comforting nudge into an even darker and more peaceful abyss.
I was shocked when Hunter, Aonie, Edward, Dartemis and Helena all came running up the valley and were greeted by Arabella who speedily explained and reassured them about the situation. Aonie smiled at me pleasantly, a smile which I returned. A deep joy tugged at the edge my thoughts coming from most of the group, it seemed that we had been right about the Shape shifter. They had all been down in the camp talking to some of the volunteers like they did every night.
A sense of something that shouldn’t be here passed over us and we shivered in unison. Iliana had opened the shield and the Vampires were coming in. But it didn’t feel wrong, just not right. The others were all nervous but I had seen the look on Arabella’s face when she’d heard about the Vampires, it was a sickly pleased look.
The Vampires were ascending the valley now, coming up to meet us. I could feel there annoyance at Iliana’s slow pace, they kept behind her out of courtesy. I moved to the front of our small group. I was probably the only one who knew how to deal with Vampires. Arabella moved gingerly to my side with Hunter trailing next to her but positioning himself protectively in front of her.
Iliana emerged at the top of the hill and moved aside politely. The group of Vampires quickly assembled next to her and faced us full-on in a war-like line. The three in the middle of the line were only a metre apart from us. I felt Arabella flinch as she regarded the obvious leader.
His shimmering golden hair, the colour of fool’s gold, was tied back into a ponytail on the nape of his long, snow-white neck. His glacier green eyes were streaked by gold that had come from leadership. He wore a loose t-shirt, a deep teal and khaki combats that looked ironed too stiffly. Most of the males in the line wore t-shirts and combats but they were all a rainbow of colours. He had menacingly curving eyes that thinned out into feminine points that just made him look even more vicious. Even in the dark I could make out the delicate spirals and intricately licking flames that were the symbol of Vampires and represented Witch-fire.
“My name is Tristan. My coven and myself mean you no harm, we came here to help. We come from a realm that was killed by the shadow moon centuries ago,” The leader started but was cut off by Arabella mumbling “Join the club”. He shot her an annoyed look but left it. His voice sounded young and filled with depth. He didn’t look like he had depth but he did look young, only the same age as us.
“We would like to join you in battle against those monsters, we would like to get at back at them for killing our families. You see we narrowly escaped them, only just. When we went back to our houses there was no one left except their corpses and in some cases not even that. Do you see why we would like to join?” This was the girl on Tristan’s left, she a soft and caring voice like bells, one that could rip you to shreds like the teeth that it whistled past.
Arabella wasn’t breathing, she was staring opened mouthed up and down the line. I could feel her fear, a fear to hope that ebbed through her whole body and captivated her whirling thoughts.
“It can’t be,” Hunter whispered. Then added, “ they’re dead!”
“That’s why I don’t want to hope.” She mumbled in reply.
Tristan took a hesitant step forward and locked eyes with Arabella. A felt the shudder rock her body.
“I had two sisters. Isabella was the youngest at not even a year old. Then there was Arie who was only six. When me and Robin,” Tristan indicated the boy on his right, “ went back to our house we didn’t find any bodies. Our mother hadn’t been home and neither had our father … but our sisters had been.” As he finished with a note of utter sadness Arabella convulsed forward, a soft hiccup of sobs escaping her.
I could feel the soft pulses of realisation ebbing off her in waves. The boy who was called Robin, who had the same hair and eyes as Tristan (they were obviously brothers) and wore only black, stared at Arabella in shock. I tapped into his emotions and was overcome by a sickening sense of déjà vu.
This was getting way too creepy. What was going on here?
Arabella straightened up her face deathly pale and her gold eyes unreadable.
“How did you survive?” She asked in a voice that was somewhere between a cry and angry. I couldn’t pick up a thing from her, she was too messed up (ha).
“Actually I’m not sure.”
“What’s your last name?”
“Why do you want to know that?” Shot the boy who was called Robin.
“Because I think you might be my brothers.”