When Night Falls

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Land of Dragons
Welcome to planet Aradia, a world bound by no rules. The environment is far different from our own. The weather is unpredictable, with the lack of technology, the inhabitants of this world rely on nothing other than their own instincts to get them through the day. Survival is key in a world where danger is always around the corner.

Yisenda is a young girl living in this world of danger. She has been put to the test many times while growing up, but nothing can prepare her for the absense of her parents. Not understanding what happened to them is worse than knowing if they were dead or alive. When night falls, her true test begins...

Submitted: November 06, 2016

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Submitted: November 03, 2016

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When Night Falls

In a world full of endless risks, the light was a constant sign of hope. Without it, darkness would forever rule over the lands, sending the globe into an eternal nightmare. When dusk approaches each day, right on schedule, the most dangerous ones with the fangs and glowing eyes come out to play. When the sun awoke every morning, the birds in the trees sang their song. By the middle of the day, when that ball of blazing energy was at its peak, little could be heard. It radiated its power down upon the world, causing the shadows to run from its heat. They hid behind trees, awaiting the help of the night. In this place of serenity, the only sounds were the running of water, and the scratching of leaves gently blowing against each other.

A young girl, no older than eight, sat in the wild grass. She didn't move, allowing the cool breeze to dry her damp hair. Her eyes were closed, her hands resting on her knees. Her fingers twitched ever so slightly. Wrapped around her body in a protective shield, was a long tail. It had a fork, like that of a snake's tongue. The magenta colour and light blue spots stood out among the plant life. The fact she could be spotted a mile away was dangerous and caused her trouble many times in the past.

Her breathing was short and quick as she recalled the events. The roar echoed in her mind, filled with frustration and rage. It struck fear into her shaking body. She remembered it so vividly. Her feet didn't make a sound on the soft ground. Where are they? The question repeated in her head. She couldn't stop, no matter how much she wanted to find out the answer. The world around her was void of colour. Darkness threatening to engulf her in the night. She kept running.

She could feel its presence in the sky, shadowing her every move. Her eyes drifted down to her empty hands. She was missing something, something else. She lifted her head, surveying the ground in search of it. There, she spotted it lying in the overgrown weeds. She reached out a small hand. She was almost upon the long wooden object when the creature finally landed. It shook the ground with its weight and let out a mighty roar. She squealed at the deafening sound, tripping over her own feet. She rolled through the dirt, picking up the object on her way. She leapt to her feet, her tail swishing from side to side. With the item in her possession, she jabbed its stone point into the leg of the beast. It howled in pain and snarled at her.

Where are they? She wasn't supposed to be alone. Where are they? The monster lunged at her, its jaw gaping open, revealing rows of long, sharp teeth. With no options left, she spun around and ran for the edge.  She jumped. Her sight immediately locked onto the water below. She was falling, and in those few moments, she was more afraid of the water than ending up a meal. Her eyes were tightly shut, embracing herself for impact. It was like a painful kick to the stomach when she hit the ocean below.

The girl jumped to her feet, unable to withstand reliving it. Memories of what happened moments ago still flashed through her head. With a quivering hand, she brushed a wet strand of pink hair from her face. A sweet voice pulled her from her thoughts. A girl, only two years younger, stood before her. She inched closer to the soaked child, not much older than her. Her gaze was fixated on the stranger, intrigued at what she was seeing. She stared directly into the window of the other girl’s soul, amazed at what she saw. Within her eyes, over the canvas of green, the splotches of colour radiated a power she didn’t believe she had.

"You alright?" the small girl asked. She lifted an arm to shield her eyes from the sun's rays. The murky green reflected her emotions, her concern written all over her soft features.

The pink haired girl frowned at the question. Am I alright? She stood for a moment, her hands gripping her tail. Her gaze drifted to the ground. The orbs within her eyes followed the movement. A few seconds passed, followed by a few more. Finally, she gave a simple nod, not able to find the words to say a small thank you. She didn't want to speak. She was ashamed of herself. It was only two words, yet she couldn't say them. Where are they? She shook her head at the return of the question, the question without an answer. She closed her eyes, a tear sliding its way down her cheek.

Her eyes flew open. Her arms stretched out as she struggled against the current. The harsh waves pulled her under for the eighth time. They threw her into the rocky cliff face. She tried to grab ahold of something, but before she could, she was back under the water. She fought to remain above the surface for what seemed like hours. She didn't know where the water was taking her, or if she would even be alive when she reached her destination. She released her spear, knowing if she kept holding it; it would reduce her chances of surviving. She resurfaced. It was hard to see anything in the light of the moon, but her eyes found their way to nearby land. That was her only chance. She had to get there.

She flailed her arms about in an attempt to swim but got nowhere. She could feel the tears streaming down her face. She screamed at the feeling of something slimy around her ankle. She thrashed her legs, not knowing what to do. It pulled her under the surface. Even though she couldn't see it, she knew it certainly wasn't seaweed. She could no longer keep herself above the water, all her energy drained from her body. Darkness consumed her in the end, no matter how hard she fought.

Her eyes opened, landing on the girl. Her brown hair draped over her shoulders and down her back. It was long and unkempt, but oddly beautiful in a wild way. It swayed with her every movement and constantly got in her eyes. What was her name again? Her gaze drifted to the sky in thought. Spi...Spira....lyn? The pink haired girl remembered her introducing herself, but couldn't recall what she said. When she had woken up, she didn't know how much time had passed, from the harsh waves of the water to the gentle brush of grass against her skin. In those moments, time didn't seem to matter much.

Her eyes drifted to the ground. My name is Yisenda, she thought. Her hands were gripping the hem of her saturated and torn clothes. She wanted to speak to the stranger, but she couldn't muster up any words no matter how much she wanted too. Thank you for saving me. She opened her mouth to say something. No sound came. She took a step back, unable to look at the innocent eyes that stared at her. She spun around on her heels, her gaze anywhere else but at the girl. She wanted to escape, hide somewhere, anywhere, and just hope no one would find her.

With next to no thought, she ran. There was no reasoning in why, and she knew it was against her better judgement. The rules of her parents echoed in her mind. Don't go into the forest. Don't talk to strangers. Don't go out after dark. The list went on, but she couldn't even remember half of it. She probably broke so many of those rules, and she wouldn't even know. She wiped away her tears with an arm, but they were quickly replaced by more.

She didn't know where she was going, or where she would end up. She lifted her eyes to the trees towering above her. The sun fought for its rays to shine through the branches. A few beams managed to penetrate the shield of trees and light her path. She stopped running. In the eerie silence, all she could hear was her heavy breathing and her heart as it sped in pace. She sat down on the ground with a feeling of defeat. She had no idea what to do. Her attention remained on the leaves above as they gently blew in the cool breeze. Her thoughts drifted back in time.

"This is a bad idea, Valentina," her father had said, his attention focused on her mother.  The two fought all the time, though their arguments were usually one-sided. Her mother dismissed his warning with a simple wave of her hand. That was her usual reaction. She just didn't care and went back to tying the vine in her hands around a sharp rock. She knotted it onto a branch and tightened it up. "It'll get her killed," He growled out, his tail swaying in aggravation. The sky darkened at his words. Clouds of darkness blocked out the setting sun. His anger transferred to the weather, stirring up harsh winds.

Yisenda curled her tail around her shaking body. Valentina finally stood from the ground and looked in his direction. "Now, now, don't get like that," she replied, making her way over to their daughter. "It'll be good for her, Eleutherius." She grabbed Yisenda by the arm and pulled her to her feet. She yelped in shock and tried to pull away. She looked into her mother's pale pink eyes. She didn't listen to the start of the argument, but she knew her father was right. He always was.

Yisenda blinked, the flashes subsiding again. She tore her eyes away from the treetops, and turned her head at the sound of footsteps, her gaze finding Spiralyn. The young girl sat beside her without saying a word. The two remained silent for a moment, neither willing to speak. Yisenda twisted a lock of her wet hair around her finger. Her eyes stared forward, concentrating on a butterfly. It was beautiful. The black swirls on its blue wings seemed to glow in the dim light. The red spots in the centre of each swirl popped out, a warning to predators.

In the world they lived in, there weren't many things as harmless and beautiful as a butterfly. She watched it fly around, before landing on a large, open flower. It stayed in place for a moment, unsuspecting of its fate. The butterfly walked closer to the teeth in the centre, a little too close. In one quick movement, the plant snapped shut, trapping the insect under a cage of pointed teeth where it would die in a pool of acid.

Yisenda flinched, looking away from the helpless creature. Minutes later, she heard a noise. Her head turned in the direction she previously came from. Emerging from the shrubbery was a woman, a woman she recognised as Spiralyn's mother. Her gentle eyes were a mix of mossy green and brown. When the sun hit her face, it appeared lighter in colour. Her eyes reflected her strong will and calm personality, something her daughter inherited.

The woman looked up at the trees, the last ounce of light, disappearing. The wind stirred, sending her a message. "It's going to rain," she said, taking her daughter by the hand. She held out her other hand to Yisenda. "We must get going, but when the sky clears up, we can search for your family." Despite what she said to the young girl, she knew they likely wouldn't achieve anything in their search. They could have been anywhere, and Yisenda had told her nothing of the situation.

Yisenda lifted her head at the woman's words. She took her hand and stood from the ground. She didn't hold much hope in finding her family. She already knew the possibilities were slim. For all she knew, they could have been dead. It was either that or they simply didn't want to be found. In her years of hide-and-seek, one thing was for certain, if they didn't want to be found, they wouldn't be found. She held onto the woman's hand, keeping close to her.

She tightened her grip. She turned her head away. "Thank you," her voice was quiet and timid. She faced the woman, finally feeling ready to open up to the people who saved her life. They exited the forest. Her gaze drifted up to the clouds. She still had a little hope, that they were out there, somewhere, looking for her. Her eyes dropped to the ground.

"It'll be good for her," the words of her mother repeated in her head. She didn't think being left alone in the forest was 'good for her'. Why did they do that? Little droplets landed on the dirt, creating dark circles, but it wasn't the rain. With the back of her hand, she wiped away her tears and looked up. "My name is Yisenda," she said, looking directly at the woman next to her, glad she wasn't alone anymore. She gave a small half-hearted smile, knowing that the worst has yet to come.  In their world, she will only learn further, to expect the unexpected.

There is one thing she knows for certain, when night falls, the citizens of Aradia are the prey, but in the near future, that will all change. She will become the very thing that holds the planet together when chaos strikes. Unknowingly, she has a power that no one else has all held within her tail…




© Copyright 2017 ShadaStorm120. All rights reserved.

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