The Immortal's Oblivion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: June 12, 2019

Reads: 65

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Submitted: June 12, 2019

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The Immortal’s Oblivion

Chapter 1

 

The large tree leaves on the mountain next to the city of Samino danced around violently as the wind and rain threatened to tear them off their branches.  Most people were inside; hoping the thundering would stop.  Someone was not.  A figure; clad in black, raced through the thick bushes as if he was fleeing from something truly terrifying. 

In the flashes of moonlight, a large, green reptilian creature with six spidery legs pursued the man, gazing intently with its bulging, hypnotic yellow eyes.  This creature was a horrific sight as it dragged its own body like a worm with its legs pushing it along the forest floor.  They ran like crazed beasts in an ages old game of cat and mouse.  In his rush, the man spied a cliff ahead of him, and without many options left, he looked around for something that might save his life.  Beyond the foliage was an old tree on the edge of a cliff, with a few branches overhanging the steep decline.  He ran for it and reached up to snag one of the limbs.  With trained flexibility, he grabbed it and used his own weight to catapult himself up into the tree.  The creature hadn’t noticed the edge as it raced toward its prey.  When its massive eyes detected it, it tumbled over its own legs trying to stop.  With a loud, screeching cry, it fell into the darkness beyond the ridge. 

The shadowed man snickered; his obvious triumph amused him.  However, victory wasn’t his.  An ear-piecing crack shattered the silence, and he glanced at the lower part of the old tree to see splinters shooting off it.  Without hesitation, he slipped off his branch and started climbing.  The tree groaned, shifted, and trapped his arm between its branches.  The trunk gave way to his weight, and he struggled against the cage that kept hold of him.  He wrenched his arm free, but the tree that was falling made no promise to release him. 

***

 “GET OUT OF THERE!!!” 

Odizel rushed up the stairs to his younger sister’s room in a panic.  “Kiria!  Are you alright?!  What happened?” 

Kiria was sitting up in her bed and breathing heavily.  Her pillow was halfway off her bed, and her blanket was a crumpled heap on the floor.  Her short, blonde hair was a mess from the tossing and turning throughout the night, and the black, longest part of her inverted bob knotted around her face, the peaks of her ears separating the color in her hair.

She looked up wide-eyed and her expression softened, focusing on her elder brother.  With quick, shaky fingers, she tried to clean up by finger combing her eyebrow length bangs, revealing her sky-blue eyes that were still recovering from the fear and panic she felt only moments earlier.  “He was being chased!  He was trapped in a tree, and the tree fell off a cliff.  He fell off a cliff!” she struggled to say through deep breaths.  While she was still trying to regain a more suitable composure, her words were not so lucky and came out a confusing jumbled mess.  Embarrassed from crying out in her sleep, she wrapped her arms around herself.  ‘It felt so familiar.  And warm.’ 

“Another dream,” Odizel sighed, “It’s so strange; your dreams are getting more frequent.” 

“Yeah,” she answered, recalling every scene peppering her childhood dreams and each night the past week.  Her mind left her body to be an audience to sights she could know nothing about, yet they were still oddly familiar, and some even comforting.  When she woke up her whole body felt strangely warm. 

Odizel glanced at his watch and grabbed the door as he turned to leave.  “We’ll talk later.  I have work, and you have to get to your class.”  With that, he left Kiria’s room to get himself ready for work, leaving her to do the same. 

The dance school Kiria attended was only fifteen minutes away, but she practiced hourly on weekday mornings and she was gifted in the art.  Odizel thought it was best for her to engage in physical activity to start the day, so he kept her in the class, recognizing her love for it.  She smiled at the thoughtfulness of her elder brother, knowing he tried to hide it with practical excuses.

Kiria groggily crawled out of bed and opened her closet doors.  She slipped into her chestnut brown, knee high pleated skirt, and pulled on the pale blue tank top that went with it.  It was plain, but easy to move in, so all the students wore it. 

She opened her window curtains to check the weather and saw the glass pelted with rain; it was a downpour beyond the white pane.  She sighed and marched straight back to her closet, this time grabbing her long dark green coat.  The clothing company Psy-Chic made most of her current clothes; a young brand with a quality unlike any other.  Living up against the Brimeika Mountains, the weather was unpredictable at times, so most of her clothes were suited for one inconvenience or another, her coat being of the waterproof line.  She put it on as she went downstairs. 

In the kitchen, she saw her brother eating toast haphazardly and had his hands busy with putting papers in a suitcase. 

It looked like he just barely finished combing his hair.  However, to be honest, Kiria always thought it looked unfinished, as he purposely let his hair hang over the black leather eyepatch covering his right eye. 

Briefly assessing her clothes, Odizel guessed that the weather hadn’t let up since he last checked. 

As president of his family’s company, it was normal for him to be in a suit every day.  But at the moment, his suit and hair were the only things he had in order, with his crimson tie hanging over his shoulder instead of being tied around his neck professionally.  Kiria glanced at his hand.  “What’s that?” she asked, pointing to a garment that she could only describe as a glove, just missing most of the qualities of one. 

“My newest invention.”  Odizel lifted his hand and smiled.  “It’s something hunters would find useful.  Maybe even sailors, too.  This fabric conducts electricity like metal does, and it also protects you from the shock.”  He lit up with every word as he pointed to his middle and forefinger ‘caps’.  Kiria nodded, trying her best to understand the different, complicated aspects her brother was eagerly showing her; as he was rarely visibly excited about anything, however, all the technical talk was going over her head. 

“It, ideally, has the capability for non-lethal attacks.  If one would prefer to stun the target instead.  They would just feel a sting, and a bit of heat.” 

Heat.  She found her hand rising to her heart where she had felt it.  Amidst her head bobbing in acknowledgement, her eyes jumped to the flaming red calendar just behind Odizel.  The calendar on the wall displayed a beautiful painting of a phoenix.  The flames that originated on it swirled around it in an intense dance of raw energy.  Her insides jumped at the sight of the flames, making her breath hitch in her throat for a moment, and a longing to move as freely swelled within.  Her eyes landed on the square with today’s date, Odizel’s scribble all over it.  ‘He’s probably going to pitch this invention.’  She smirked at the childlike behaviour that Odizel displayed as his voice dripped with enthusiasm. 

 “Kiria, are you listening?” 

She snapped her attention back to Odizel and suddenly felt very sheepish.  “Sorry.” 

He slumped in disappointment and returned to his briefcase, his composure regained.  “It’s okay. I know it’s not your field of study,” he said as he shut the formal box, and slid the parallel locks to seal it. 

Kiria nodded knowingly and started to the front door, when the stoic man’s brown eye froze her in her step.  “I’m leaving now,” she said meekly. 

“Without breakfast?”  He handed his second piece of toast to her.  “Breakfast is important.” 

She gave him a carefree smile, awkwardly plucking it from his fingers.  Since Kiria’s parents were ‘missing in action’, Odizel acted as her guardian since half way through middle school.  After she graduated, he still looked out for her, even going as far as keeping her in the group dance lessons.  She stuffed the jelly-covered toast in her mouth, took her shoe bag from its wall hook to left of the door, and departed through it. 

They lived just three blocks from the studio and two from Odizel’s office.  Short enough to walk to almost anywhere downtown, where most of the shopping outlets, restaurants and general entertainment facilities were.  Rainy days were the only days she wished that they had a car.  ‘Maybe I should ask Odizel for a bus pass,’ she pondered as she hurried away from the house, and hopped over the growing puddles on the path to the street. 

Skipping under the canopy attached to the multi-way bridge, she slid her feet forward in rhythm, pausing for traffic to pass and allow her across.  During the year, they closed off this intersection and set up a floor for a festival.  Kiria inhaled memories of dancing and festival foods.  The dances of her school were said to originate in the elvish culture, which had long since died out.  There were snippets of a great war in the world history books, but they give no other information.  No details.  No ‘who started it’, not even why it happened.  Many of the history books were moved to the fantasy areas of local libraries because of the fantastical creatures and magic mentioned therein.  Because of that, there was no clear history for the last thousand years until a few centuries ago. 

She stepped back into the rain on the other side of the intersections canopy where she ducked under various umbrellas at the dining establishments.  There were coffee shops and outlet stores along both sides of the street, many of the shop owners she knew from frequenting their stores.  “Good morning, Kiria,” a coffee shop owner called in a gravelly voice.  Kiria smiled at the old man, and ducked under the entrance umbrella. 

“Morning.”  She walked into the small shop and the coffee saturated air greeted her nose.  The owner’s hand raced along the deep brown counter, leaving its path dust free.  “Going to school today too, huh?  That’s brave.” 

Kiria arched an eyebrow.  “Why is that?”  She stepped up to him, being careful not to dirty the clean counter. 

With a shake of his head, he smiled.  “That’s right.  I keep forgetting that you and your brother don’t watch the news,” he looked her in the eyes, making her squirm under his aged gaze.  “There’s a rockslide warning.  Some unusual activity on the mountain and some small boulders have come down.  Considering where your dance school is, I don’t think it’s very safe there.” 

“Hm,” she tapped a finger to her chin.  “That’s strange.  It’s uncommon for it to happen this close to the city.” 

The old man pressed his elbow onto the counter, deep in thought.  “Yes.  It could be the local wildlife causing a stir.  Maybe the beasts have finally had enough of the fence keeping the land back.” 

Kiria tried to hold back a laugh, but failed.  “I’m sorry,” she said, quickly catching herself.  “The animals aren’t aggressive.  You remember when I started dancing, right?” 

A soft chuckle, sounding more like a broken hiccup escaped his lips.  “I’ll always remember that.  You pulled that poor kitten right through the fence.” 

“And I had that cat for years.  Nicest girl you’d ever meet.  Probably would’ve been happy to keep you company.”  A suggestive grin crossed her face, earning a dismissive wave from the man. 

“Yeah, yeah.  As I recall, she wasn’t too happy from the pulling. Maybe you’re right,” he conceded as he looked through the rain at the strip mall across the street, as if his faded green eyes could see the mountain through the busy city. 

The clock on the deep yellow wall behind him chimed for eight a.m.  Kiria gasped and turned to the open doorway.  “I’m late,” she started in a rush, “If anything happens, I’ll go straight home.  Thanks for telling me about the warning,” she called back. 

The wind had picked up since she went into the shop, pulling at her coat.  She held the front closed and ran to the connected side street.  The street didn’t have much on it, just a few back alley stores, then it turned back into the city at the end of the block.  As she walked through the fog, the tan, shingled roof of her familiar dance studio came into view.

The city of Samino was right next to the rocky range that spanned the continent, and the forest that ran down the mountain was a knife that cut into the city.  The greenery was a delightful contrast to the surrounding urban buildings, and her dance studio looked quaint, tucked into the trees as it was.  A fence buried in the mountain forest had small boulders resting up against it, as a precaution for rockslides.  With the fog setting the atmosphere, it looked like the foliage was swallowing the school and the other two buildings that hugged the base of the mountain.  The lush trees and undergrowth invaded the city, with many of its trees hovering over the structures and climbing vines covered the walls closest to the mountain.  While the trees towered over the downtown area, they did not shield it from the rain.

Kiria’s gaze followed the tree line up to the peak of the mountain.  No matter how many times she caught herself staring, she found it hard to deny that there seemed to be more to the mountain than what she saw.  ‘Something feels off,’ she thought as her heart beat as fast as the rain that poured around her.  ‘There won’t be any rockslides here.  The forest and fences protect us from that,’ she mentally reminded herself. 

Shaking off her daze, she rushed down the street to the beautifully decorated double glass doors, keeping her shoe bag out of the rain as much as possible.

Passing through the doors, a calming blanket fell over her.  She drank in the air and then went on to getting ready.  Slipping out of her wet coat and then hanging it on the rack, she then laced up her shoes on the long bench and went to the ballroom.  There was a lot of space in the circular room, and the walls were lined with mirrors on either side of the single elegant window at the back of the room, which was framed with intricate gold trim. 

The office door was just before the ballroom, between it and the front entrance, with simple windows viewing the rooms on either side of it.  Her teacher was out today and they had a substitute who usually stayed in the office.  She knew none of the traditional dance steps of Pandigo, so Kiria didn’t mind her staying there.  Still, Kiria walked through the door to the grand room. 

Kiria loved to dance, and she loved learning new things about the art, although, none of the other four girls who took lessons shared such a strong passion.  She kept to herself as she walked in, passing the other girls to practice by the window.  The pane revealed a portrait of trees calming from the heavy rain that had just bathed Brimeika’s peaks. 

While solo practice was fine, she couldn’t help but feel that, sometimes, a partner was needed.  ‘They’re all so beautiful.  If only the elves were still around.  They were truly genius,’ she thought.  Her diligent practice over the years bestowed grace upon her movements, making every motion flow into the next.  Kiria took the proper position, based on the books that were here and instruction of the regular teacher that wasn’t in.  Looking at her reflection, she could fine-tune her posture.  She took a deep breath, going into her ‘zone’ and forgot everyone else. 

The room melted into a sea of colors and shapes, and a harmonic soothing tune filled every crevasse of her mind.  Imagining a faceless partner mirroring her posture, she paused momentarily, and began a dance filled with charm and elegance. 

Her sudden break into dance spurred some of her classmates to dance, and others to look around awkwardly. 

A sound outside the window barely caught Kiria’s attention.  A few pebbles rolled into the glass pane, pulling her towards it to investigate.  Her eyes scanned the greenery beyond the fence.  A shadow soared above, faster than she could detect.

Not a moment later, a loud crash shattered the silence, peeling the ceiling open right above Kiria.  Wet shingles wood and dirt fell in and bounced on the floor all around.  The wall of windows in front of her exploded inward, spraying glass shards into the room, her, and spearing the tan hardwood floor.  She let out a shriek as she flew from the once crystal like pane, shielding herself with bloody arms, and tumbled onto the floor beneath her.  The monstrous jaws of the studio floor broke open under the weight of the entire tree that assaulted the humble establishment, and a chunk of the ceiling landed on her foot as the splinters from beneath stabbed into her ankle.  With a raw scream of pain, Kiria glanced back at her entrapped foot, her breathing matching the rhythm of her racing heart. 

Her crimson life flowed from her ankle, and warm tears spilled from her eyes.  She looked up at the other dancers through her dizzying vision, seeing they were just picking themselves up. “Help,” she croaked, fear in her eyes.  Her arms trembled as she leaned on them, desperately holding herself up.  She felt moments away from fainting.  One of the other girls came forward and carefully pulled at the embedded splinters in her leg, drawing numerous screams from Kiria.  The pain was enough to keep her conscious, and she mentally begged for it to end.

“I need some help,” the girl, Baetrice, stated to the others.  Her ‘take charge’ personality, and the urgency of her tone, shook the others from their initial shock.  Together, the group lifted the beam off her foot, and revealed its mangled form.  Kiria paled at the sight.  With her bones pushing at her skin from the inside and the immense pain, she wanted to be sick.

 “Where is the substitute?!” one girl cried, tearing herself away to look into the office window.  Finally, Kiria’s foot was free from the rest of the floor and another girl pressed her hands onto Kiria’s ankle to stop the bleeding.  Kiria screamed again, and thrashed from the pain, slamming her fist into the hardwood floor. 

‘Such pain.’

Kiria froze.  Her insides erupted in a near crippling inferno, but her skin prickled in a series of goosebumps.  Suddenly, the room felt very warm and very small.  Her blue eyes darted from person to person, recognizing their confusion.  She wanted to ask if anyone else heard the taunting voice, when her head filled with a snicker. 

“Probably has her headphones in.  I’ll go get her.”  Baetrice hurried out of the ballroom and into the small office. 

As she listened to the strange, sharp voice, she stared at the catastrophe that was once her beloved dance studio.  There were splinters and mirror shards scattered across the floor, it was destruction from wall to wall. 

‘Getting warmer.’ 

She grabbed the nearest arm and pulled herself closer.  “Do you hear that?” she whispered.

“Um, what?”  Kiria’s urgency made a deathly silence fill the room.

Through the gaping hole in the ceiling, leaves and rain filtered into the room, from the tree.  However, something else caught her eye.  A few steps from where she had been standing, partially hidden–or protected–among the branches; was a black mound covered in twigs and leaves. 

The inner flame cooled at once, and the snickering faded out, leaving her mind eerily quiet. 

One girl followed Kiria’s gaze, and a series of murmurs erupted from them. 

“Do you see that?” 

“What is it?” 

“Guys, I just saw it move!” 

‘Strange.  I don’t feel anything.’  The throbbing of her ankle was distant, allowing her to share in the curiosity of the others.  The black mound twitched then slumped to the side.  Something about this tree and its cage like branches seemed familiar; that it delivered a black heap also concerned her.  It was almost big enough to be a person.  ‘Wait…’ Kiria thought.  “That is a person!” Kiria declared in a worried panic. 

“It’s what?” 

Kiria fought her way out of arms and attempted to drag herself over, when her ankle stung, nailing her to the floor.  “I have to get over there,” she pleaded as tears pricked her eyes.  As much as her body begged her to stop, she told herself that this was more important, though she didn’t know why.  Some part of her compelled her forward, leaving a trail of blood into the thick of the debris. 

“Kiria, stop!”  The girls got in front of her, gently trying to stop her, so as not to make her injuries worse. 

“But-” 

The girls grabbed her arms and lifted, grunting under Kiria’s weight.  She bit her bottom lip in pain, so as not to encourage the girls to bring her elsewhere. 

This person was a young man that looked not much older than she did.  Once she was on the floor, she tried to turn him over, but he was too heavy for her, and her strength was nearly gone.  She heaved from the exhaustion and strain.  With the four of them, they were able to roll him over, and she put her head over his chest.  With her eyes closed, she listened for his heartbeat.  “He’s alive,” she murmured.  Her blue eyes scanned around his body and it was glaringly obvious that he wasn’t fine.  His loose turtleneck shirt was torn open at his side and she could see that a large chunk of flesh was missing. 

His blood was mixing with the growing puddle of water from the rain that poured in through the hole.  His black hair, like the sky on a moonless night, though mostly short, hung in his face.  She thought it was odd from the front because in the middle at his hair part there were two locks of hair reaching his chin. 

“I wonder who he is.” 

“I’ll go tell Baetrice about this.”  Another girl left. 

While his shirts collar half covered it, the color in his already pale face was draining slowly.  ‘Whatever did this must’ve been strong.’  The bell sleeves of his shirt soaked up his blood and were sticking to his body, much like the rest of his shirt that was tucked into his pants. 

Kiria looked at his face and was quick to notice the man’s ears.  Her worried and panicked thoughts came to a screeching halt.  They weren’t human ears; they were pointed, with his left ear pierced.  The piercing had a ball hanging from a short chain: the balls pattern divided into fourths, with black opposite from black and white from white.  Kiria’s mind was working so hard that she was barely in tune with the world around her, as if nothing else mattered, not even the stinging ache of her ankle. 

Except this warmth.

‘Could he really be an elf?  Is it even possible?’  She thought the elves on Pandigo were extinct.  They were supposed to be extinct after the war. 

From what she could tell from the history books, his build differed slightly from slender ones of the extinct race, but who knows how much of that was accurate?  Was this boy really an elf?  Where did he come from? 

A wave of dizziness hit her head making her wobble from the metaphorical impact, and the substitute teacher burst in with Baetrice in a panic, snapping Kiria back to reality and the time sensitive state this man was in.  She had no idea what took them so long to come out, but now that they were here, “What do we do with him?” she asked in earnest.  Like a string had been cut, nothing was left to keep her upright, making her bow over the man, and her eyes fluttered, making the room tilt out of control.

Baetrice stepped forward.  “Come on.  Let’s get them out of there.”  The other girls moved as well, and the substitute retreated to the office to call the hospital. 

With a heave, Baetrice and another girl picked Kiria up, while another two picked up the man.  The girls helped Kiria and the man to the foyer where they waited for the ambulance.  Two of them stayed in the foyer with them, Baetrice with the first aid kit wrapping Kiria’s ankle. 

Kiria stole a glance over to the man as the other girls put him on the bench next to her while she pondered about his wound.  ‘What did that?’ she thought.  At that moment, she realized that this person was in her dreams the past few weeks, and that he really had been attacked by that creature.  ‘He must have been bitten!’  A lost look crossed her face and the world around her darkened into gray ambiguity.

Sirens forced her from her painless sleep and the door flew open as four men in blue jackets came rushing in.  At first, Kiria didn’t know what was happening, but the throbbing in her leg and Baetrice sitting next to her reminded her of everything.  The doctors looked around the room and when they looked at her, the one with the yellow stripe on his jacket opened his mouth to speak.  The red on the bench caught his eye and, like a magnet, his eyes shot to the man’s side.  He turned to the others saying, “Get the stretcher!  Now!” and he approached Kiria as the other three left.  “What happened?” 

Kiria looked down in embarrassment.  She knew she didn’t know what to tell him.  Her dream from the night before was blending into the day and no one would believe that.

“We don’t really know.  A tree landed on the roof, and when it broke open, he came through,” Baetrice gestured to the man in black. 

“So, nothing on how he got that wound?”  The three shook their heads.  The other men returned and propped up the stretcher.  “Okay boys, we’ll have to be extra careful.  We don’t know what caused this.”  Kiria inched away as the four men surrounded him.  With two on either side, they each grabbed a limb and quickly, but carefully, put him on the stretcher, making sure to support his head.  The three other men wheeled him outside after strapping him into the bed and the paramedic turned back to Kiria.  He knelt in front of her and picked up her broken foot, making her wince in pain as he poked around her ankle.  Her eyes popped as she could barely recognize her own foot as it had swelled so much within the bandages. 

“Looks like you broke and fractured a lot of the bones, all the way up to the leg.” 

One of the other paramedics rushed in.  “Sir, we have him in the ambulance but we can’t stabilize him.  We’ve cleaned up his wound as best we could but there seems to be some type of bacteria infecting the tissue.  It’s keeping his blood from clotting.” 

With a swift movement, the paramedic tending to Kiria scooped her up and brought her to the ambulance.  She wasn’t even seated yet before the vehicle took off so the paramedic put her in a wheelchair strapped to the wall, and he fastened her in.  Then he and another busied themselves with trying to help the black-haired man; they grabbed a pair of scissors and cut open his shirt.

Looking between the two men, Kiria could see that the skin around the open wound was a slight purple color.  “What is this?” she heard a paramedic mutter in alarm.  Her heart beat faster as her worry grew. 

The moment the ambulance came to a stop, the two paramedics wheeled the man away faster than she could think.  The paramedic that was in the passenger seat wheeled Kiria in, while the driver stayed in his seat.  A group of doctors rushed into the now mostly vacant vehicle and they left again with the siren on. 

She first had her foot x-rayed on the third floor, and then they got to work in realigning her bones and putting the cast on.  It took several hours, but she remained worried about the unknown man.  She hopped down the hall, not sure how her crutches worked, but soon got the hang of it.  “My armpits are getting sore…” she whined to herself. 

“What is your name?” a nurse asked her. 

Kiria shook herself out of her thoughts and turned to the older woman.  She held a clipboard and was ready with her pen. 

“Kiria Ninota.” 

“Do you have an emergency contact?” 

Kiria lowered her gaze.  “Odizel Ninota.” 

The nurse showed a look of surprise when hearing his name.  Kiria knew how big a name her brother’s was.  In addition, she had to ask him for help now.  ‘I hate causing trouble for him.’ 

Before the nurse could leave, Kiria called back to her.  “Where is the man who came with me?” 

The nurse tapped her chin in thought.  Since he had no name, it was hard to know about whom she was talking.  “If you’re talking about the man with the hole in his side, then I think he’s still in the emergency care ward.”  The nurse looked over Kiria’s anxious disposition and grinned to herself.  “If you want to see him, there is a viewing room just down the hall.”  Kiria’s face lit up and made her way there as quickly as she could. 

She stopped in front of a door labelled ‘Viewing Room’ and opened the glass barricade.  Peeking through the gap, she noticed two people in the room. ‘Probably students.’  She noisily hopped over with her crutches around the windowed wall and peered into the room.

She couldn’t hear anything inside, but she could see that they stripped the man inside of his clothing, and replaced them with a thin sheet covering his lower half. Kiria would have blushed from the sight, but the unnatural purple on his waist was a big cause for concern. 

One doctor whipped his hand out, and another put a needle into the waiting appendage.  He jabbed the point in and emptied its contents into the black-haired man’s left arm.  With the supposed medication injected, the doctor replaced his needle with a large white patch. 

Kiria recognized the symbol embossed on the white patch.  The star with patterned wings on either side is the logo of her brother’s company.

“Sometimes I forget how amazing my brother is.” 

“Miss Ninota,” the nurse from earlier poked her head in, “Your brother is here.” 

Kiria nodded, and just as she turned to leave, a raw scream yanked both hers and the nurses eyes to the window to see the man upright and fighting off the doctors who tried to hold him down.  The look in his eyes was mad confusion.  One doctor, with a needle in hand, placed a firm hand on the black-haired man’s shoulder and Kiria could clearly see him struggling to push him down.  The black-haired man’s enraged gaze shot to the poor doctor, and he pushed the doctor into the nearest wall. 

Kiria gasped for air as she roasted from within, and she desperately rushed out as fast as she could with her crutches.  Tunnel vision took over and sweat bathed her face.  This fire burned her very core.  Through her choked breathing, she followed the screaming down one flight of stairs, and pushed open the door to the emergency. 

“Kiria?” she could barely hear her brother say over the angry roar of the mystery man. 

After noticing her, many of the doctors tried to stop her as she advanced on him.  She could feel anxiety grow within her as the fire grew the closer she got to him.  Once she had reached him, she slammed her palm against the man’s chest and pushed.  “Calm down!” she commanded with an authority that wasn’t her own, and the man fell back unconscious. 

She slumped against her crutches and heaved, suddenly tired, and very cold.  She turned to the door to find her brother standing there in stunned silence.  She wobbled as she stepped forward and Odizel rushed in, keeping her upright.  “Who is that man?  Did he hurt you?”  An accusatory tone laced his voice as he gestured to the sleeping man with his face. 

“No.” 

“What’s wrong?  You don’t look so good.” 

“Hmmm.” 

 ‘You’re right.  Something does seem wrong.’ 

***

Kiria woke up to the sound of Odizel’s computer.  She looked around, noting she was at home in her room.  She sat up and saw that her crutches were on the floor in front of her bed.  She looked down at her hand.  ‘The last thing I remember was pushing that man.’  She made a gentle fist.  ‘He was really warm.  Unusually warm, actually.’  She bent over, grabbed her crutches, and made her way to the door. 

“Did you stay home because of me?” she asked Odizel upon reaching his office. 

He only looked away from his computer for a second then continued clattering away on his keyboard.  “Not entirely.  I’m still working.  I am also staying in contact with the hospital about your ‘friend’” 

Kiria arched an eyebrow and hobbled over to view his screen.  On one of the two monitors was his company software; she had no idea how to read any of it, the other was an open email, with a message and a series of pictures.  It broke her heart to see all the pictures of the man strapped to a bed, bolted to the floor.  Among the photo series was a profile shot of his head. 

“Why did they strap him up?” she asked in a whisper. 

Odizel snorted.  “I’m surprised you’re even asking that.  You saw how he acted when he woke up.  But…”  He shifted his gaze to his sister again.  “How did you put him to sleep again?  The doctors hadn’t put any sedatives in him yet and you come in and, with a touch, he goes to sleep again.” 

Kiria scratched her head in thought.  “I don’t know.  When I saw him scream, I couldn’t help feeling that I needed to do something.”  She shook her head.  “How is he now?” 

Odizel leaned back in his chair and sighed.  “They want to keep him longer than the three days healing of the graph patch for observation.  They did some blood work on him and his blood seems odd to them.  They mentioned something about it having qualities of human and something else.” 

‘I wonder if you can test the blood of an elf.  They went extinct before we got the technology to test that stuff.’ 

“Looks like you won’t be dancing for a while.  I’m sorry, Kiria.” 

“Hm?”  Kiria looked up in surprise.  The fact hadn’t even crossed her mind yet.  She smiled at him.  “I’ll go back to the hospital every day to get the shots, so don’t worry.  And the walking will help me build up my strength again.” 

Odizel smirked at her.  “You won’t be going without me.  If you don’t want to walk, I can use the company car for this.” 

Shaking her head, she flashed a grin at her brother.  “The quicker I heal, the sooner I’ll be able to dance again.” 

“Right.  It’s good to be optimistic.” 

“You make it sound like you’re not,” she said as she left to her room.  Placing her crutches against her bed frame, she climbed back into bed and put up her feet.  She let out a groan of discomfort as she relaxed.  “Maybe I can go see that guy tomorrow.” 

***

Kiria winced as the needle poked into her leg.  “Well done, Kiria.”  The nurse bagged the needle and disposed of it. 

Both she and Odizel slowly made their way to the front desk and Odizel began filling out her paperwork.  “You know, I am old enough to do it myself.” 

Odizel shook his head.  “It’s okay. I don’t mind.” 

“If you say so.”  Kiria lazily gazed around and, with a last glance at her brother, she crept away. 

She asked around and found the room in which the black-haired man was.  As soon she entered the room, the now familiar warmth filled her.  She paused and took a deep breath, feeling comforted by the subtle temperature difference.  Kiria grabbed a nearby chair and pulled it up to the bed.  She sighed as she sat down on it, grateful to rest her leg. 

Not a moment later, the man opened his eyes, and the first thing that Kiria noticed was that the irises of his eyes were as black as charcoal.  She was so surprised by this that she failed to register that open eyes meant awake. 

“Who are you?” he asked with a slight smile.  She sputtered out her name and attempted to get her thoughts back in order.  He chuckled and looked around the room, then down his body at his wrists and ankles.  His face darkened and his voice dropped to a growl.  “Where am I?  And, why am I bound?” 

“It’s okay,” she started, drawing his attention away from the restraints.  “You’re in a hospital.  And those,” she pointed to the straps, “are there because the doctors are afraid you’ll attack them again.” 

“Attack?”  He looked puzzled as Kiria nodded.  “When did I-” 

“Yesterday.  You woke up screaming and you were throwing people around.”  He looked down in thought and he wore a sad look.  “What’s your name?” she asked him. 

Surprised by her sudden question, he gave her a smile even brighter than the last.  “Falken.”


© Copyright 2019 S. D. Siren. All rights reserved.

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