WHAT AM I?: Nephilim WHAT AM I?: Nephilim
A teen boy gets killed, but trades his soul for another chance. He changes. A girl notices the new boy with silver eyes.
Chapter 9: Clueless

Chapter 9: Clueless

A Chapter by Andrew M. Davis
"

This is chapter 9. It takes you back into Sarah's perspective to get a little more of a glimpse as to the events on Earth and how Sarah is coming to handle them.

"

Sarah woke amongst the scattered wreckage of the shattered boat. Pieces of the broken craft lay everywhere, but Sarah felt peculiarly untouched. She stood up slowly, careful not to accidentally harm herself in the process with all the nearby shrapnel. She gazed down at herself to see that not only was she dry, but completely unharmed like she had thought, despite a few bruises here and there. Though, pieces of her clothing were covered in caked on sand, signifying that, at one point, she had been soaked.

Jules was nowhere to be seen, which worried her. If she could not find Jules nearby, then that could only mean that she was either dead in the water, or had somehow stupidly decided to wander off. Then again, she could have been so dilapidated that wandering off sounded like a good idea; either one of them could have a serious concussion, or any number of other countless and nameless injuries to their bodies, especially internally.

The horrors had destroyed the boat. Sarah and Jules were lucky to have made it to the island at all with how fast those things could move, or maybe there was another reason that they had survived, or maybe it was just she herself who had survived. It wasn’t something that Sarah wanted to think about.

            An early morning fog was rolling across the blue waters and neighboring areas, leaving Sarah almost blind to whatever perils could be lurking on the Island, and making her need to find Jules that much more pressing and difficult. It was cold too. With no protection from the chilly atmosphere, hypothermia was a very probable affliction she would be facing. Knowing this, she decided that her best course of action would be to move further inland, away from the deathly freeze of the ocean.

Luckily she was at least dry, but that also meant that she had probably been knocked out for many hours, which could have easily given Jules a chance to wander alone for a significant amount of time. She should be worried about the amount of time she may have spent unconscious, about the repercussions it could mean for her, but the more pressing matter was Jules’ location. Her only choice was to believe Jules was wandering around somewhere; she couldn’t bring herself to even think that Jules could be dead somewhere in the oceans depths, or worse: the creature’s bellies.

            She turned her attention to the boat, which was entirely wrecked, though somehow the engine was still running, but just barely. It was making odd grinding noises, sputtering occasionally as it used up the last of the leaking fuel in its tank. Sarah approached it and began to sift through the wreckage, staying far away from the motor while looking for anything that could be worth salvaging.

 She found two compartments next to the flickering radar panel. The first compartment had been smashed open already. Its remnants were miniscule at best. The only things that could possibly help her were a cracked plastic bottle of matches, a flashlight and a screwdriver, though she doubted the screwdriver would be useful anymore so she left it there. The second compartment was surprisingly intact, but also locked. She tried to pry it open, but had no luck.

“Ugh, come on!” She exclaimed to nothing in particular. “Fine. You being intact does not really matter at this point. The entire boat is wrecked.” Her foot shot out, kicking out at the plastic case and shattering it beneath her heel.

            There was a bag inside, just the usual side bag most people wore around school to carry their books. Inside it was the unusual book Jules had frequently been carrying around, which meant that Jules either purposely left it behind or she had been too confused to think about her needs when she had woken up, or other factors she had yet to think of. Sarah picked up the bag and opened it, skimming through the indecipherable pages; she lacked the skills to translate it. She hoped she could maybe find some side notes that would explain at least where she was, maybe a map or diagram of the island.

After many turned pages Sarah was able to find some notes written in English, folded and tucked into the central seam of the book. Most of the notes were either irrelevant or did not make any sense in the current circumstance, but one thing in particular stuck out. It was a word map to a location on what Sarah assumed to be this Island. Closing the book, she stuck it back into the satchel and rummaged through it to see if she could find any other useful items. A flare gun, a sharp, sheathed bowie knife, and a small medical kit were the only other things inside, each of them in workable condition. It was odd how everything in the compartments, even the broken one, remained dry even though the boat had crashed into the ocean.

            Sarah jumped and gasped as the engine revved at random, pulling her from her thoughts. Grunting under her breath, she shrugged off the chills it had given her and began to leave the wreckage of the boat and find her way first to, and then along, the path that had been depicted in the notes. There was not much else to follow, and Sarah did not want to risk going off course for fear of getting lost and being unable to find her way back. This was her safest course of action. With any luck, Jules would already have the path described in her notes memorized, and that is where Sarah would find her, either somewhere along the path or at the end where her destination would be.

The directions had not been particularly clear. Jules most likely assumed that they would be traveling together and did not write them in much detail. She would not have needed too, but they at least gave enough insight to give her a general idea of what landmarks she should be looking for. The only problem was that she had to be extra observant. If she failed to notice a landmark, or mistook another similar cropping of moss, for example, she could doom herself to wander this Island with no idea how to find her way back. Especially since there was no telling how large this Island truly was.

            At this point she was only able to slowly circle the Island as she searched for the entrance the notes had depicted. The landmark she was looking for was a large overhanging tree, and, seeing as all the trees seemed to be sticking straight up to the sky, missing this landmark would mean she would have to be blind, which she was not.

Sarah could see for at least a mile along the beachfront, at least it felt like a mile. With an unhindered view, she would be able to pinpoint the overhanging tree easily, though not for long. The fog was beginning to rise and expand over more than just the inch above the ground that it had been at the wreckage of the speed boat. It had already begun to rise above her ankles. The fine sand beneath her feet was melding around her shoes with every step she took and quickly falling back into place as she lifted them again. The sands ability to reform into a flat nothingness knocked out her ability to track Jules if she had traveled this way. It left no trace of a footprint.

The most annoying part about walking through the sand was that some would be kicked up each time she took a step and get stuck in her shoes. It happened every time without fail. After multiple annoying times of having to empty out the sand, she decided it would be easier to just hold them instead, but only while she walked in the sand. As dangerous as it was now that she could no longer clearly see the ground, she doubted that the boats wreckage could have washed up this far away from the original site, so she did not worry too much about cutting her feet, at least not yet.

            Sarah was hoping the tree was not too far away, because, if she stayed out in the open much longer, the fog would not be her only worry. The fog continued to rise above her hips and became even more dense as it did so, severely impairing her view of the ground. Deciding that it would be safer, she put her shoes back on, she would bear the annoyance of the sand in her shoes if it meant that she would not accidentally hurt herself by stepping on something sharp and harming herself, especially with no knowledge of how long she could be on the Island.

            The fog was odd. The only fog that she had ever encountered rolled around in a huge mass and covered everything at once, but this fog came in intervals, starting with her feet and then slowly rising like a tide. What would cause fog to act like this? She thought to herself as it rose above her head.

There was no significant difference between her breathing outside of the fog than within, not an immediate one at least, but, at any rate, it was definitively colder. Just as the fog covered her eyes she glimpsed the overhanging tree, no more than a quarter mile in front of her.

“Oh, thank goodness,” she exclaimed, exasperated. “I would have missed that if this dumb fog had risen any sooner.”

            She arrived at the tree and observed all she could in the blindness of the fog. The tree was actually a weeping willow, easily setting itself apart from the other palm trees that densely littered the rest of the forested area. The hanging branches of the willow were highly unusual; they were the color of tears, epitomizing the idea of a weeping willow.  Pulling out the book once more, Sarah filed through it until she found the notes. Skimming down the pages, she returned to the parts explaining the path that she should take. If someone could see through the fog they would see Sarah awkwardly holding the book close to her face, slowly raising it up and down in an attempt to read the blurred words on the note page.

The next landmark she was supposed to look for was a stone outcropping in the shape of a bird’s talon. She stared into the forest. It was dark, ominous and covered in fog, and gave her an eerie feeling. How she was going to find the landmark in such conditions was unknown to her, but she had no other choice but to continue forward through the trees and hope that she would not be lost to the depths of the forest. At the far reaches of her vision, which was not very far at all, due to the fog, she saw something that looked mildly humanoid. Her vision was largely distorted. She could easily just be seeing an unusually shaped rock or tree.

“JULES,” Sarah called out, hoping her assumption of it being an actual person was correct, seeing as it was unlikely that anyone other than Jules would be on the Island. The image did not respond. “JULES,” she called out again. The image swayed back and forth with the subtle shifting of the fog, while Sarah attempted to make out a more tangible shape. The form slowly dissipated the more she stared at it. Holes gradually formed in its humanoid appendages and it faded away until there was nothing left.

            Sarah could not understand why, but for some reason it gave her shivers. After all, it could not have been anything harmful, could it have? Just a trick of the light playing with her head through the fog. That is all it was.

Sarah glanced up at the sky. The sun was barely visible through the mist, only slight rays managed to break through the menagerie of hanging white. The sun was clearly high enough that the fog should have dissipated by now, yet, even so, it showed no signs of an eventual dispersal. Everything about this Island was weird, Jules’ disappearance, the dry contents of the boat supplies when everything clearly should have been soaked through, the fog, the willow, the figure. Maybe she was just becoming a conspiracy theorist, but nothing was making sense; nothing was adding up or becoming any clearer. All Sarah knew about this place was that it confused her, and the way that it confused her scared her.

The fact that she was scared made her jumpy, and she did not like being jumpy, no one did. Being a cheerleader, she was used to the hard things like tough decisions, precision, and focus, but she could not focus; she did not know which choices were available for her to pick, and, worst of all, she was completely oblivious to what she needed to do.

            Sarah’s foot caught on something stuck in the ground, causing her to trip and fall flat on her face. “Point proven,” she thought to herself, scraping her tongue with her fingers in an attempt to remove the dirt from it. Her attempt was futile. The bitter taste of the dirt affected her before she was able to remove it from her mouth. Deciding to grin and bear it, she spit a few times on the ground and was left with the unpleasant taste of wet dirt and grime inside her mouth. There was one upside to this most recent ordeal. As Sarah looked back to see what she had tripped over, she realized it had been the talon rock. It was not abnormally large, nor was it unusual compared to the rest of the things she had seen thus far.

She hoped that it would not be the most mundane thing she would see, because, in comparison to what she sees on a daily basis back home, even the taloned rock is extraordinarily abnormal. That is unless Korbin becomes part of the picture; Sarah never could figure him out entirely, she understood that he was passive, is passive. There would be no believing the fact of his disappearance automatically means that he is dead. She understood that he was contemplative, but he always seemed to be hiding something. He always had some other trick up his sleeve. That is something she truly did not understand.

            She pushed her thoughts and confusion about Korbin aside and turned her attention back to the notes. The notes explained an even more unusual landmark. This time Sarah would need to be exceptionally careful, specifically because the next destination was a pit, and, from what she could tell, it would be both deep and wide. This seemed to be the only landmark as of yet with any explanation, or, more so, a warning. Jules’ notes marked it as treacherous, it said:

            “Although I do not fully understand why, the Priscine Pit is explained as one of four locations on the Island that is marked as treacherous. Though each location seems to be hazardous, the Priscine Pit is counted as number three of four, which I would guess is an order to imply which is more dangerous. In concordance with The Everglades, and then followed by The Ethereal Grotto. Another translation could potentially call the Grotto the Den of Shades, instead.  Each of these preceding the Priscine Pit in regards to their level of danger, though no description says what lies in wait within; this may be because either no one has survived any encounter within or around these locations, or that the dangers themselves are not actually there and the ancient people who first stumbled upon Gayadra were spooked by something unknown, if it is at all possible to assume that one could simply stumble upon the Island. But there is no record of any kind of civilization attempted on the Island, a quick and thorough scouting operation is inferred due to the map, but no other information has solid parameters to implicate an attempt to live here, but that does not mean much. I am aware of many powers in this world that remain to be far beyond my full comprehension.

Lastly, there is The Gate. This is used with the description Ignotis, the Latin word for Unknown. I do not understand the meaning behind this order, as all the places seem to be marked as both hazardous and unknown, at least to a point. It may be that The Gate is unknown in its entirety, whereas the others hold some, although bleak, descriptions; the book does not describe any known location for The Gate. That could indicate a great many things, which I will not deem to go into detail about here. They do not hold importance to my need on Gayadra once I reach it, but, apart from that, it is still important to note that, even though The Gate is unknown, it does not mean that its place in the ranking is deserved. It may very well be the most dangerous, or not dangerous at all, but there is no way to tell whether or not that is true.” 

            “The Priscine Pit may be the only one that is needed to be encountered in order to reach the destination I have in mind when I go to Gayadra. That being said, there is neither a need to go into it, nor one to get close. So far as I am aware, it is simply a place that I may use to mark as a pass by location to get to the ultimate destination. Through all of this, I intend to bring Sarah with me. I am in need of her for the final trial. There must be two, any more or less and there will be no gain. It is my hope that she trusts me and does not simply make it seem like she does for an aim of her own, because, if she does not, then this entire plan will fall to pieces, a series of pieces that will be impossible to put back together. They will become an unsolvable puzzle and, in turn, the world would soon fail. These creatures could destroy the world quite easily without being subdued by one of the few powers that has yet to emerge from this ever so secretive world. I do not know where to find the others, or who they could even be, and time is not so kind as to allow me to sift through the billions of people to find them. So I must forge a savior on my own, or this world will be doomed to the same fate as the last. I just hope it will be enough.”

“The first time the Llahtare and Leviathans emerged thousands of years ago, their slumber was disrupted by some power hungry warmonger. They destroyed all but two families of no more than six persons in that time of the civilization. I have no desire to make it seem like I know very little about what is happening in the world right now. Truthfully, I know quite a bit, maybe even more than I should, namely that the creatures will destroy everything if they are left unchecked. If this phenomenon happens as it did last time, according to this very well hidden history, then the water will not be the only place infested with these creatures, and, this time around, there are many, many more Llahtare than there were before. There is little reason for me to believe that you ever will, but in the slim chance that you do, Sarah, if you are reading this. Please. Trust me. There is a purpose to this madness I have involved you with, however vague it may seem now.”

            There was nothing within those notes that was vague. Jules meant for Sarah to read them, and knew that she would, even though she had clearly written that she did not think that she ever would. She knew. Somehow she knew that eventually she would stumble across the unintelligible book and the translated notes within and be drawn to them with an uncanny desire to understand them. The question still stood, how did Jules know so much about these creatures and this Island. The book was descriptive about the Island, as Jules’ notes had shown, but it does not seem to say where it is, and it definitely did not describe the Llahtare. The book Jules had toted around in school did, but that book was definitively different. The cover had been a vivid blue, whereas this one was a venomous black, crusty, and engraved with odd, uncanny symbols. The book currently held in Sarah’s hand was older than the other by an insurmountable amount of years.

            The explanation of all of these things would be a question that could be asked when Jules was found, and, this time, Sarah would not be so generous as to let her avoid her questions. Jules owed it to her. Sarah was here on this unknown Island called Gayadra, alone, trying to find her way through some unidentified forest, which apparently held more dangers within it than she initially realized. Her ignorance, at the very least, had made her feel safe, and now her fear would make her even more susceptible to the dangers that loomed all around her.

            There was a brighter side to this, to Sarah’s relief, the fog was finally beginning to lift. The relief did not last for long as Sarah quickly came to the realization that, without the cover of the fog, however chilly it had been, that she would be visible to everything. Any creature could watch and stalk her without her ever knowing it. Her scent would no longer be masked by the frosty moisture of the fog, and any creature that would usually stay within the close confines of its home, would be on the prowl. Everything around Sarah would now be willing to roam free, and the dangers here were utterly unknown, making her presence out in the open that much more treacherous.

            It did not take long for Sarah to realize that the forest of palm trees had shifted into tropical trees, whose branches and vines flushed out in every direction and shrouded the path ahead. She had no better line of sight than she did when she was shrouded by the fog.

            Sighing in annoyance, Sarah continued her trek forward, hoping that the direction she chose to travel in was the correct one. There was no telling which she was meant to go from the talon rock. She only knew that she was meant to find the Priscine Pit, but had no path or direction to get there.

In her annoyance, Sarah tried to imagine what the perspective would look like if she was prey to some animal high up in the trees. She believed that it would somehow give her comfort in the deceitful and confusing forest. Why she thought so was just yet another of the mounting and unanswerable questions swimming within her head.

A vivid image suddenly formed in Sarah’s mind. She was looking through the eyes of some animal perching on a tree branch somewhere above her and staring down at her frightened form. Its vision focused down on its paws. They were large and furry, the color of the purest white. Its claws were retracted somewhere within them, but only for a moment. The claws slid out and gouged deep holes into the trees thick, dark brown branch. The beast raised its great muzzle, pointing it towards the sky and swayed back and forth, finding the scent of its quarry. Its target lay motionless with a blank stare directly beneath it, the perfect catch. It crept along the branch as stealthily as possible, careful to make no sounds that would give away its position. It slowly descended the tree branch by branch, using the extended branches of other trees to silently make its way closer to its prey. Once it descended low enough, placing itself right above, it made ready to pounce by crouching slightly forward and lifting up its rear in preparation to leap full force onto its weak and unsuspecting prey.

            Sarah came out of her trance and ducked reflexively. She had just imagined that, hadn’t she? She thought to herself as a huge gust of wind rushed by above her, followed by a low and angry growl that was accompanied by vibrations on the ground in front of her. Sarah rose to see a white panther rolling head over heels twice before finding its footing once more. Sarah stared in disbelief as the panther’s body shuddered and shook in annoyance, beginning a full sprint in her direction. The emotion of fear rapidly took priority over the thrall of her confusion.

The panther bore down on her within seconds, but ground to a halt merely ten feet away, grinding its paws into the ground with a sudden look of fear in its own eyes. The panther released a low growl from within its jaws, revealing a jagged row of sharp, blanchey white teeth. A shadowy figure that had not yet been visible when the panther first attacked appeared between Sarah and the panther with a form that was shaky and dark, and shimmered in the light of the few rays of sun that filtered in through the forest canopy. The individual parts of its body were breaking and reforming as the light grasped longingly for its limbs. Sarah was taken aback by its sudden appearance, and even more so by the reality that the thing before her had to be real, the panther would not have cared to stop so abruptly had it not been sincerely spooked by the shadows appearance.

“Run,” its voice was feminine, high and reverberant, almost like it was underwater, but completely clear and beautiful. “Run,” it repeated. “I cannot remain in the light for long.”

            Sarah did not hesitate after the second warning. She sprinted in the opposite direction, completely unfamiliar with her surroundings or where she was going. Getting lost was her greatest fear, and it had just become her most likely option. She careened head long through the forest. At this point there may be nothing left to run from if that shadow was able to stop the panther. But Sarah’s body was refusing to slow down. No matter how hard she tried, her limbs refused to comply with her minds signals to stop.

“Stop,” the calm, clear voice intoned beside her. Sarah turned her head to see the shadow swiftly gliding at her side, easily keeping pace. “Stop,” it said even more calmly, Sarah could feel control begin to return to her muscles, but her pace remained unhindered.  “Stop,” the calm voice was constant, yet it had a sense of urgency to it.

            A sense of control washed over her limbs, giving her access to her own movements once more. Her muscles felt sore and numb, but Sarah somehow found the strength to slow down. The shadow slowed down with her. Sarah stopped and fell to her knees on the ground, panting and gagging as the shadow moved in front of her, not giving her any chance to rest.

“Look beyond me,” the shadow commanded.

The shadow definitely used very unusual phrasing so far, but Sarah complied. Not five feet behind the shadow was a pit. The pit was at least forty feet in diameter, and deeper than Sarah was able to see at the angle she looked down it while keeled over on the ground. Sarah turned her attention away from the pit for a short while, found the strength to stand and asked the shadow a question.

“Why did you save me? If it can even be considered that. You were the one who took control of my body, were you not?”

            “I was.” the shadow said.

            “Why?” Sarah asked.

            “You would not have gotten here,” the shadow gestured towards the pit “had I not.”

            “And here is?” Sarah asked confused and annoyed.

            “The Priscine Pit. Your destination.”

            “My destination? How would you know I was coming here? Do you know Jules?”

            “I am unknown to that name,” the shadow said, ignoring the first two questions.

            “Do you even know your own name?”

            “I am a Shade,” it paused, “I have never been called by my name. Were I to be, I would not be currently in your midst. I would be little more than a memory.”

            “Meaning?” Sarah asked, again confused.

“If one was to call me by my name, I would be forced to comply with one wish, and then I would fade away into the thralls of oblivion.” This shade had showed no emotion all the while it was talking, although its melodic voice almost made up for the monotony of its speech. The best so far that it had shown was slight pauses between its words, which somehow conveyed more emotion through the shade than any real emotion would have been able too. Emotion for it seemed to work more in the aspect of the other person feeling it rather than the shade itself communicating its emotion through its words. The shade was able to take control of a person’s body, maybe it used a similar ability to convey the emotion that it lacked in its words, because Sarah understood how the shade felt to a point, which would be difficult without some form of emotion.

“And how is it that you exist?” Sarah asked, removing herself from her own thoughts, her questions had yet to be given many actual answers.

“I exist to be existing. Should there be any other purpose for my kind?”

            “Have you not already shown another purpose by bringing me here?” Sarah felt smart by her deduction. The shade did not respond to her question, but instead continued to be elusive, ruining Sarah’s initial belief that her question had been smart. Sarah tried to think of a question that was more direct. “How is it that I saw through that panther’s eyes?” Sarah asked. Her question was not necessarily direct, or even on the subject, but the shade had ignored her previous questions in reference to itself, so maybe a new topic would shed more light.

“You see through the eyes of those who resonate with your gift, child.”

So the shade understood how Sarah was able to accomplish such a feat that would allow her to see through the eyes of another, now to ask a question that would entice the shade to explain to her what that gift was.

“What do you mean by gift?”

            “You are capable of great things.” The shade said, not answering aptly to Sarah’s desire.

            “Can you show me?” Sarah asked.

            “No.” Its voice was lighter with this response.

            “Is there someone who can?”

            “There may be one. But he is not a man whose company you would favor. He is misguided. He is trapped here.”

            “Where is here?”

            “Gayadra.” Those were the final words the shade spoke before disappearing like a wisp of smoke and fading into nothingness. Sarah hoped that she would not cross the path of the man whom the shade had spoken of. He did not sound like the sort of person that was worth meeting.

            “I am going to call you Shadey. Even though I hope to never see you again.” Then again, Sarah did owe the Shade a small sense of gratitude. It seemed to have saved her without any kind of personal gain for doing so, but Sarah was not an expert on how shades usually act, seeing as this was her first encounter with one ever.

            There was a subtle light breaking through the dense forest canopy. The vibrant green illuminated the surrounding forest. It was almost exactly like Sarah had seen in movies when they try and depict a forest scene and it comes out so clear and beautiful. But there was nothing about this forest scene that was natural. As she glanced around, she came to the realization that the only place where it was truly as vibrant as the forest’s illusion seemed to depict was directly around the area encompassed by the pit. Most likely trying to give off an inclination of safety, and, had she not read Jules’ notes, she may have believed it too. The Shade spoke of The Pit as a destination, like this was where she was supposed to be. There was little reason to believe otherwise.

Making her way to the edge of the pit, she leaned over to see if there was anything visible inside. Surprisingly she was able to see all the way to the bottom. There was a path that ran along the edge, spiraling down into its depths. It looked treacherous. There were undoubtedly unseen dangers that ran all along the path, but everything seemed so tame. Sarah got the feeling that this was truly the way she was meant to go, even though Jules’ notes had described it to be unnecessary. Sarah knew, somehow, that this was the way to finding her. Jules had never intended for Sarah to be alone on the island. Maybe if they were together this path truly would be unnecessary, but that just was not the case. So she set foot onto the rocky path and slowly began to make her descent, setting aside her fear of what may lie inside and sincerely hoped that this decision was the right one.




© 2016 Andrew M. Davis



Author's Note

Andrew M. Davis
Hope you enjoy! This is the link to my wattpad account - If you get to this point, if you could, go here, create an account if you don't have one already and give me a few extra views and votes! It'll help me out a lot and I'll appreciate it so much! https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/75264681-genesis

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Added on July 12, 2016
Last Updated on July 12, 2016
Tags: New, Genesis, Epic-fantasy, High-fantasy, Superhero, hero, power, villain, battle, fantasy, science-fiction


Author

Andrew M. Davis
Andrew M. Davis

Roseville, MN



About
My name is Andrew Davis. I am an avid writer who spends most of his time writing in the realm of Sci-fi/Fantasy. I have written two novels with the overarching title of Genesis. The first one is self-.. more..

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