A small cry escaped from the bundle sitting outside the door of the local orphanage. Drowned out by the thunder ripping through the sky, its wails for help and fear went unheard by everyone. Everyone, but a passing stranger. Wrapped in clothes you couldn’t tell the babe from a bundle of bread someone left outside from lunch. The stranger bent down to move the cloth from the face of the child and looked upon the face of a small girl. Her pleas grew silent as she reached for the draped stranger as if she immediately felt safe. And for good reason; this passerby was no ordinary mortal; they hunted for creatures and humans with abilities that surpassed most human capabilities. They protected them and trained them to benefit others from their abilities and even with some disagreements, most were now helping others in their turn. The cloak fell from the shoulders of the man who reached for the infant. His white hair pronounced against the darkness and brokenness from all around them. The child was silent as she clung to the cloak of the man, who clutched the child as if someone were threatening to take her away. He walked briskly down from the steps of the orphanage and entered the forest in one area where the vines and brambles hid from view. The trail was silent and no sound was made. Not even the heavenly thunder could be heard with as crisp with clarity. The lightning was bright and lit the hidden path in front of the man. The path first narrowed then expanded and revealed a clearing with a couple small cabins. A variety of people came out from these cabins hearing the footsteps of the man. She slowed her pace to a walk as she went to meet a young teenage boy.
“Who is she?” the boy asked in wonder as he moved to see the face of the small child.
“I have no idea. I found her crying on the steps of the orphanage.” Came the reply in a quiet voice. The boy looked once more at the face of the child then closed his eyes, his left hand hovering over her head. The child let out a whimper as the boy’s eyes flashed open.
“She has no gift! Why is she here?” He called out, as mummers went through the crowd of younger children. Never before had the man come back with a child so young and without any abilities. One little girl around the age of ten came forward and touched the child’s cheek.
“ShenAnima, I thought you said no child, except those with abilities, can come here. Even still, she is too little for a gift. She wouldn’t be able to control it.” The young girl did a motion to hold the infant who seemed to have calmed down from the intrusion of her mind.
“That I did say, Allura, but this child is different.”
“How?” The boy from before cut in before ShenAnima could continue. “She doesn’t have any abilities. Maybe your senses are wrong!” ShenAnima gave him a look as he passed the child into Allura's arms.
“True, I did not sense any abilities within this young one, but there is something strange about her. Her memories are gone and she has no claim to this life. Yet take a look at her; what do you notice?” The other children came forward to look closely. The children could only see her face and hair. One child in the group created a ball of light so they could better see the infant in the dim lighting. The baby's hair was a light brown, almost blonde with golden streaks running through it. The girl's face was delicate, like a china doll, but it was her eyes that captivated the audience. They seemed to switch colors every second, merging and swirling in her iris, never stopping to settle on just one, moving from color to color.
“Her eyes are changing!” one smaller six-year-old exclaimed in surprise, captivated.
“That was not all I found. It was like the child was drawing me to her. Like she knew me and what I was.” The little infant closed her eyes and finally fell into a slumber. “So I decided to bring her here and raise her. I believe that she has something to tell us.” With that, ShenAnima guided Allura to her own room to put the baby to bed. The figure of the teenage boy remained, however. He watched as the other children tramped after the baby and whispered everything they would teach her. He watched the small child take his place as the most important figure here. She would pay; he muttered in his mind. I will make sure she does.
“Katie! Katie! Come out from hiding! This isn’t funny!” ShenAnima cried out as he searched frantically for the small child. ‘She couldn’t have traveled far, could she?’ ShenAnima thought to himself as he worried over the lingering thought. He would have to find the child before she got too far away. ShenAnima walked over to where Katie was known to escape when things got too noisy, the sandbox that one of the other kids made for her, but with no luck. Allura came out from the cabin she and Katie shared with a worried look on her face. Starting to walk over and see what luck the sixteen-year-old had, ShenAnima ended up trodding upon the figure of Katie's most beloved stuffed toy, a griffin who goes by the name of Edera. Never in a million years would Katie leave Edera behind on one of her adventures. The thought came with a sickening blast, Katie could have been kidnapped or, worse, captured! ShenAnima bent to pick up the discarded creature and clasped it to his chest as he fell to his knees, his head pounding with a force he barely recognized. It was a new power, being unleashed, but full of pain and fear. Allura ran over to ShenAnima, grasping at his arm.
“ShenAnima! What’s wrong? Is that… Oh my god! Katie left Edera, here. Where could she be?” Allura could hardly breathe through all the worry clogging in her throat. Her voice was tight and small as she held onto ShenAnima. He then got up with a firm resolve, fighting back waves of emotion and power, as he started to run for the woods, tracing the connection from where it originated.
“I think I’ve found her. Hurry, Allura! She’s in trouble!” With that the two ran as fast as they could, leaving Edera all alone beside the empty sandbox, golden eyes staring after them.
Chapter 2: Edera
Katie felt her headache with the pain of hearing all the voices in her head. They called to her, some viciously, some with comfort. Finally, she could hold on no longer and raised her head, her colored eyes flashing until they settled on a golden hue which had never colored her eyes before.
Katie unlocks her gift... and she may not be the only one that was kidnapped by Faeries.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
A small child with gleaming hair sat in her make-believe kingdom on the sandy shores of Sandbox Land. With her Queen Edera at her side, she would defend her land from the evil ants who tried to crawl within it. She moved yet another one of the invaders when suddenly, feet came into view. Looking up she found a smiling little girl watching her. She seemed not much older than herself and soon they struck up a new game.
“My name is Lillian, what’s yours?” the girl asked in a melodious voice that drew you in and could keep you captive if she so wished it.
“My name’s Katie. I’m a big girl, six years old!” Katie replied with a smile on her face. She was completely taken in by this new girl. “Do you live near here? I’ve never seen you here before. Are you new?” She questioned with a slightly babyish lisp added to every ‘s’ sound. The girl laughed drawing Katie further under her charming spell.
“Sort of, I’ve lived here a long time. ShenAnima wouldn’t like me talking to you. He doesn’t like me or my family.” She stated sadly, drawing from Katie's innate compassion, she added, “I don’t have anyone to play with like you do. I have only big kids who would rather play without me. They are my family.” Katie's rainbow, shifting eyes filled with deep compassion and clouded over as she fell further under the spell of Lillian’s.
“I want to be your friend! We could play together every day!”
“Forever? Everyday? Won’t ShenAnima miss you?” Katie shook her head, her eyes burning a bright green now as she fell completely under the spell.
“Forever! I promise!”
Lillian started to give up the act of the little kid and said in a somewhat more dangerous voice, though Katie couldn’t hear the undertone shift. “Come with me then! I want you to meet my family. They would love for you to stay with us, forever. We can sing and dance and play forever, with nobody to tell us what to do!” Katie got up and followed the girl into the woods, leaving her forgotten kingdom and fallen Queen. Ants started to come back into the walls of the destroyed castle. The more deceiving and evil enemy had taken the King.
Katie ran through the woods at a startling pace for a child, as if carried by the wind, Lillian running just ahead; gasping in awe as she finally came to a clearing, filled with people in marvelous clothes, dresses and suits, enough to fill any queen’s dreams. She watched as everyone gave her smiles and hugs, falling further into the trap. After being led to a table full of food, sugary and sweet, she glanced above to the face of a tall man. His beard seemed to trail down like a waterfall until it reached his belly.
“Go ahead and eat, Katie. After you have had enough you can play and sing and dance.” Katie looked up into his warm, comforting face, but it felt fake to her. It seemed to glimmer before her very eyes. The green glow faded from her eyes as she fell partially out of the spell. Thinking of something to say, Katie uttered the first thing that came to mind,
“But where is supper? Don’t we eat that first? Then dessert?” The man seemed shocked, then quickly covered it up with a smooth lie.
“This is supper, dear. We eat sugary things that ShenAnima would never have let you. We don’t care for stupid veggies and fruit. All we like is chocolate and candy.” Katie's eyes grew less green, showing more and more clearly what was going on. She saw a flash of something bonelike and evil beneath the thin veil of a kind old man. Tears sprang to her eyes as she sobbed out the first thing she could think of,
“I don’t like chocolate or candy!” The veil was torn as the spell vanished. Before, where kind, majestic people once stood, now were monsters unlike those you see in movies. Their pale skin was tight as if there was no muscle beneath it, showing every bone with frightening clarity. Eyes vanished into solid black holes that seemed to search your soul, as mouths with spiders crawling out opened to reveal sharp teeth that could cut an arm full off. They were tall and stood as if they were hunched, their arms longer than legs. Some jumped on branches of nearby trees or boulders. But the main thing Katie noticed, was that they were all around her, like a pack of wolves. The one who stood where the kind man had once, grabbed the child by the arms, lifting her so she was face to face with the monster. She screamed and squirmed trying to get free from the evil beast, but sadly, couldn’t even come close to matching its strength. Her screams came again as he hardened his grasp on her, his voice now coming out with a dark, evil tone as spiders crawled on his face.
“It’s all because couldn't stay under, my darling. Now you will stay forever like you promised. But without the fun and games. You will belong to us forever and never be free from what you see.” He laughed a mean, cruel sound that came out partially as a hiss, his black lips offsetting the white of his teeth. "It's been ever so long since we last had a child with changing eyes. The last one left us and you will replace him now."
“I want to go home!” Katie yelled at the creatures with sobs overtaking her small frame. “I want ShenAnima!” Katie screamed out again as she was hit by the laughing beasts, their cries of mockery filling the air which once held marvelous music. Katie hunched over on the ground, her head feeling like it was splitting in two. She screamed in pain as the creatures watched unsure of what to do. They didn’t understand what was happening to their newly acquired pet. Softly a voice entered the head of Katie breathing soft whispers of comfort. Hear me, child, I will not hurt you. It has been so long since I have last spoken to you. You are hurting. Let me help you. The voice was now magnified by a chorus of many voices, unleash us! Let us free and we will claim what is ours!
Katie felt her headache with the pain of hearing all the voices in her head. They called to her, some viciously, some with comfort. Finally, she could hold on no longer and raised her head, her colored eyes flashing until they settled on a golden hue which had never colored her eyes before. She stood and seemed to command attention as she raised her hands on instinct, pulling from inside she summoned an army from within. An army made of creatures that were not part of this world, or any world actually. People who seemed entirely made of plants flashed into this reality, attacking those in the trees with help from a magnificent green dragon who eliminated those trying to flee. Black dogs ripped at the throats of those remaining standing, yet not to the point of death, for these creatures could not die. But Katie only noticed one thing as feathers surrounded her, drawing her close to a warm body. Tingling with a warm comforting emotion, she looked up into the face of Edera. Her griffin. Alive and real. With a sudden pull, the creatures Katie summoned disappeared back to where they’d come from, yet she could still hear the echoes of their cries. Katie collapsed to her knees, the soft ground rising up to meet her as her eyes fluttered shut. Her ears echoed with what Edera had said, It's been so long since I have last spoken to you…" She barely felt herself being picked up and carried home by a tall man and a young girl who could barely believe the carnage that was left around her.
This story is unlikely to be updated again after this chapter. Unless - of course - people would like to see more. I do have the story outline still, but no more chapters are written, so if you would like to see more, please leave a comment and I may consider it. Otherwise, I shall assume that it will be discontinued.