Chapter 17 - AcceptanceA Chapter by Nataliya Maize
Broken injured bodies littered the grounds. Their eyes tracing each with an awestruck of horror and disbelief; and in the midst of the madness...
Chapter 17 - Acceptance
It was only moments before Keira and Narinor heard the piercing cries and tortured screams of heavily armored guardsmen flung into the night’s sky. Only seconds before they realized the entire camp in one foul swoop of the beast’s fury had been nearly devoured.
Broken injured bodies littered the grounds. Their eyes tracing each with an awestruck of horror and disbelief; and in the midst of the madness stood Demetri, his hand held out gripping the base of his wand. The pulsating light of his crystal beating like the flame of a flickering ember as he anticipated the black, darkened mass of the creature approaching. Keira and Narinor watched in bewilderment as the creature’s large, massive, cloud-like body swallowed the night; blackening the sky of the stars and the moon above them.
“Demetri!” Keira cried out. She couldn’t understand why he would be standing there; awaiting the approach of a creature he knew he would have no power over. Narinor gripped his wand, preparing himself for battle.
“No! Don’t!” Demetri cried out. “Don’t come any closer!” Demetri held out his hand in warning, his fiery, flame-colored eyes staring at the both of them in a hardened gaze. Narinor released his wand. “Get Rozlend while I still have a chance to hold it off!” Demetri demanded.
Narinor turned immediately, his feet nearly taking flight as he raced for the entrance of the dueling tent. But Keira remained, her legs stiffened, and her eyes glued upon Demetri’s face. Afraid to close her eyes, she wondered if he too would be lost forever like the soulless bodies of the men that surrounded her delicate feet.
“I’ll be okay.” Demetri comforted her. “Now go... please.” He insisted. Keira hesitated, her glare remaining upon him in a look of questioning. “Go!” He cried out. “There’s not much time!”
Keira swallowed her hesitation and left immediately, her feet racing towards the tent after Narinor, her heart fluttering like the wings of a butterfly. Stopping for a moment she glanced over the corner of her shoulder, her long ebony-colored hair whipping against her face. In the distance she watched as Demetri threw out his wand, and with a sudden stream of brilliant bright light shooting from it’s tip, a solid rope of flame lit ablaze. The stream lashed out like a whip into the night’s sky, piercing a hole into the cloud-like mass as it approached. Keira could hear the whaling bellows of the beast pierce the silence of the night with a screech of agonizing pain. She could see as the creature rapidly zipped in and out of position, circling Demetri like prey as he eagerly strived to keep focus of the creature. A sudden wave of blackened smoke swirled and surrounded him in an oncoming wave as the creature tightened its grip. Only the flickers of Demetri’s flame lit aglow in the darkness, as he desperately attempted to escape the shade’s grasp.
Keira forced herself to look away, pushed herself to stretch her legs further towards the tent. But when she had finally reached its hold it was obvious she was too late. Rozlend was aware of the creature’s presence. His still, quite, frame stood motionless in the midst of the tent; a statue with the painful look of a face lost in thought. There was a heavy silence that fell upon them and as Keira looked around the surroundings of the tent she realized there were several more Wielders with them then there had been before. Their solemn faces filled the tent; frozen in a blanket of unwilling acceptance. A stretched look of chagrin spread across the width of their faces.
“What are you doing?” Keira asked, her eyes studying the expression upon her brother’s face. She could feel the weight of her breath weigh heavily against her chest as she desperately attempted to catch it.
“They only thing I must do.” Rozlend replied grimly, his glare avoiding the pleading look of question upon Keira’s face as he brushed past her and left the enclosure of the tent.
There was an awkward stillness upon those that remained and a silence that seemed near unbreakable. Then suddenly one by one the remaining Wielders left the tent. Their grim faces filing past Keira with a look of expression that betrayed their emotions. Syl, Bangor, and Narinor followed behind them. It was obvious that they too knew that in spite of what their leader had decided they could not change his final decision. They would follow it regardless.
“What’s going on? Keira asked, her hand gripping upon Narinor’s arm pleadingly. “Narinor?”.
Narinor looked down towards the ground, a guilt filled expression stretched across the width of his face. “He’s going to try and fend off the creature.” He replied plainly.
“What?! That thing could kill him!” She shouted.
Narinor nodded. “It’s a possibility.” He agreed. “And if things go badly...” He paused for a moment. “He’s going to sacrifice himself... to save us... and to save you.” Narinor glanced into Keira’s eyes; the obvious look of guilt barely contained behind his hard chiseled face. Keira felt it as well, like a deep empty hole punched through the mid of her chest, a whole that couldn’t be filled enough to rid her of it’s void.
“No.” She whispered in disbelief. “No!”
“He wants us to take you as far towards the borders of the tunnels as possible.” He continued.
“No!” Keira cried out. “I won’t go! I won’t let him kill himself! Not for me!” She shook her head, and rushed towards the entrance of the tent. Her gaze centered upon Rozlend’s back. “I won’t let you do this!” She yelled.
Rozlend stopped and turned around slowly. A hint of disbelief and disapproval spread across his face as he chuckled to himself. “You don’t get it... do you?” He answered. “There is... no... other... way Keira.” He spoke slowly. “This is the only way I know how to save you.”
“No. Not for me.” Keira replied. “There has to be some other way!” She demanded running to his side.
“There is no other way!” Rozlend urged, shaking her shoulders gently.
“Rozlend if you go out there... it’s suicide!” She cried pushing him away.
“It doesn’t matter!” Rozlend demanded. “We have to protect the Keeper at all costs. I... have to protect you!”
“I’m more to you than just a Keeper Rozlend!” Keira cried. “I’m your sister!” Her eyes shifted back and forth studying the expression upon his face. “Don’t do this... don’t... don’t leave me alone. Not now. Not when I need you most... please.” She pleaded.
“She’s right Rozlend.” Narinor interrupted in agreement. “What if the plan back fires?” He continued. “What if it takes control of you? We’ll all be dead by the end of the night no matter how far we run.”
“Either way we’re dead.” Rozlend replied as he turned to walk away. “But we still have to at least try.”
“And what about Thomas? What about what he told us?!” Keira yelled. “What about the prophecy?! The two of us need to survive in order to win this. Whatever battle is that’s coming... I can’t do this alone!” She shook her head in thought. “I won’t.”
“Keira...,” Rozlend replied returning to her side. “I’m less likely to survive out there if that Shade grabs hold of one of you and attacks me. Let alone if it takes control of all of you.” He spoke, eyeing the crowd behind her. “You have to go.” He nodded. “I have to do this... alone.”
“Umm... not to sound insensitive...,” Interrupted Bangor. “But we don’t have much time guys!” His eyes positioned upon Demetri in the distance, the bright fiery flames of his wand still visible within the dark bellowing smoke of the Shade. “We need to make a decision.” He continued.
“I’m sorry Keira. But it’s the only way I know to buy you a chance for survival.” Rozlend continued. “It’s the only choice we’ve got. Don’t make me regret it.”
Keira pulled her gaze away from Rozlend and took a step back. She could feel the sudden rush of rage course through her veins. Feel the fear envelope as it ran through her and she glanced down at trembling hands.
“Keira?” Rozlend questioned.
Her breath began to grow heavy and quicken. Her arms tremble as she threw them across the stretch of her chest and held them tightly.
“Keira!” He shouted for her response.
She shot a gaze back to him in a look of pure irritation and disbelief.
“Are you with me?” He asked with a face full of concern.
She didn’t like it. She didn’t like the idea of her brother risking life... for her. She didn’t like the idea of losing the only blood sibling she had ever known because of what she had become and what she was becoming. She wanted to help, wanted to feel useful, but she was helpless; her powers untrained and their limits unknown.
She looked deeper into her brother’s eyes, remembering his request and the promise she’d made to him in the tunnels.
“Are you with me?” He asked again with a single eyebrow cocked in a moment of question.
And as unwilling as the Wielders had been earlier, she answered him, hoping that he would be wrong. That she wouldn’t need to leave him behind after all; alone to fend off a creature while she ran into the night, knowing that he would have no chance of taking it on alone.
“Yes.” She replied unwillingly. “I’m with you.” The reply stun the tip of her tongue like a bee sting. Keira could feel the rage of irritation and fear grow heavily inside her, burning like a wildfire deep within the cavity of her chest. Her fingers twitched to the flutter of an unforgiving anxiety. She gripped the sides of her head, wrapping her fingers through several locks of hair as a wave of heat flashed at the base of her skull. She closed her eyes tightly, attempting to squeeze off the emotions before they could consume her.
Her mind rambling uncontrollably as she found herself unable to keep from questioning. Would this be it? Would this be the last she’d see her brother alive? The only living blood sibling she had? Would all that would remain be the memories of their latest arguments and qwhirls? Keira shook her head gently. Rozlend glared at her.
And like the pierce of an unfavorable and undeniable truth, Keira nodded in acceptance. She would follow her brother’s orders. She would run to save herself, to save the Wielders, and maybe... to save him.
Rozlend studied her face; his amber eyes piercing through her as she gazed back into his own, confirming her decision with a simple nod, her expression never changing from the engulfed look of resentment that filled her. Her teeth clenched tightly, her eyes hardened in a look of utter displeasure.
Yet she knew that he was right. This would be the only way for them to escape the creature, the only chance they would have to survive the creature’s wraith.
© 2010 Nataliya Maize
Dreamscape: The Gatekeeper Chronicles
Moreno Valley, CA
About- When we were young, and life was different - Check out my websites: My Twitter: http://twitter.com/NMaize A.N.A. Twitter: http://twitter.com/anaw.. more..