Within the darkness of the night, I understood exactly what my father was talking about when he said that it was a time for those who could not control themselves, because even with his healing I could still feel my own powers beneath the surface. My body felt heavy beneath my own powers, and as the night came closer, my powers began to feel like chains, constricting around my throat. At that moment, I would have rather been with my mother because I could feel my own strength to stay back slipping slowly away.
Even my footfalls as I kept up to my father’s strides were becoming harder to manage. It felt like lead was strapped to the bottom of my shoes, thump, thump. Off in the distance, I barely heard the sound of a scream.
Suddenly I felt a major sense of hopelessness. At that moment, even I didn’t realize that I was standing at the edge of a pitch black sea, and that the tide was gradually washing away my foothold. It was despair unlike anything I could describe. Words and voices began to whisper in my ears. Taunting me, laughing at me and telling me that I ruined them. I blinked hard, trying to get rid of the voices. As I looked up into the sky, my heart began to beat uncontrollably.
White streaks of moonlight lit across the sky as a presence vibrated oddly through the night. I had a vision of someone at a temple. It was a man, his golden hair sparkled even in the darkness. He turned suddenly, his clothes a pure white color, a gentle smile on his face. However, the sleeves of his outfit were drenched in blood. He lifted a hand and even through the vision, it felt like he could touch my very soul with his presence.
That’s what he did. Touched the edges of my soul, and I felt unimaginable pain flood my senses.
My consciousness slipped away from me, taking me beyond reality and into a secondary world.
It was a beautiful place, beyond beautiful. It was serene, the skies were alight with all different hues, and it was as if twilight stayed forever, but it didn’t. Sooner than I thought, everything went dark. I could not see in front of my face while my eyes adjusted.
Little things were flying around the air, lighting a small area of the sky as they flew. They were like fireflies but they were bigger, prettier and a lot scarier. One came close enough to me that I could see that it had small sharp pointed teeth and a small nose like a snout.
I yelped and stepped back, tripping over something that didn’t exist. When I got up, though, I found that I had tripped over a small panther-like animal. It was as black as the skies; except its eyes, they were a translucent green, glowing in the dark. I stared, open-mouthed as it snorted and walked lithely away towards the unknown. The little bug things kept on flying around me, lighting the area around my feet. At least I was on the ground. One of the bugs flew ahead, then the rest followed leaving me alone in the greeting darkness.
“You shouldn’t have come.” A voice whispered seductively and roughly. The voice had a veil of fear behind it. I jumped at it.
Hell, I thought, this must be a dream. Let’s just go along with it and see where it takes me. Not like I’ll get hurt.
I turned slowly to look at the person I was dreaming of. He had hair as silver as moonlight, blue eyes that pierced the world with fierceness. His face as alight with the lights of the bugs, to my dreaming mind, his looks rivaled the gods. Despite myself I gasped. It was the same man I had seen all those years ago next to the cherry tree.
The man’s lips quirked up at the ends. He stepped forward his feet making no sound on the ground. When he was close enough for me to see with my adjusted eyes I noticed an odd peculiarity about his skin. Decorating his skin were black tattoo-ish marks, they looked like tribal markings. Swirls connecting to swirls, creations that looked like the moon and sun. These tattoos covered all of his body. Except for his face there was only one and it was by his left eye. Shaped like a serpent, it stood out the most. His patterns looked just like mine.
“It would be better if you had never come.” The man came closer still but I seemed to be unable to move. It was as if chains were constricting around my body and holding me in my place. I tried to struggle against these invisible chains, nothing worked though. They didn’t even budge.
This wasn’t a dream. It was a nightmare!
The man reached a hand forward and stroked my cheek with the back of his hand. It was as cold as ice. His eyes closed and my eyes widened as I watched a thin silver blade appear in his other hand. He didn’t even open his eyes as he brought his hand up that was holding the blade. It sparkled in invisible moonlight as the man held it just beneath my chin.
Even if the chains weren’t holding me, I froze on my own free will. The blade touched the base of my neck; I could feel the point drawing blood. I suppressed a scream for fear that it would be my untimely demise. Now matter what I did it wouldn’t have mattered for he thrust the blade through my neck. Piercing my jugular as if it were nothing more than any other piece of meat, his eyes opened and he smiled.
“Go back, Kei.”
I woke up screaming.
My father was beside me, his powers flowing through me trying to cage in my powers. But my mind was in chaos, I knocked him away, stumbling upright. I was unsteady on my feet, my wings suddenly on my back again, it ached. Everything ached.
Suddenly it seemed as if there was no one around me. Nothing.
The ground was wet. The lights were gone. I could hear nothing.
Everything had abandoned me. It was all gone. Everything.
But the pain was still there, hovering just beneath the surface, waiting for the slightest word, the merest thought to set it free. It crouched in wait like a predatory beast, ready to devour me at any moment.
A presence touched my ragged soul. I could feel its warmth, but at the same time, it frightened me. I knew who it was, whose soul it belonged to. It was that man again. The silver haired man from when I was sixteen. Terrified, I tried pulling my soul away. But he caught on to it and held tightly, his soul filled mine and then, something odd happened, his appearance changed. His hair changed color and his eyes turned silver. Zane stood in front of me, his soul was connected to mine.
Then it clicked. They were the same person. Zane was that silver haired man from when I was sixteen. Their souls were the same.
My consciousness returned and my eyes snapped open. I was standing within the shadows, far away from everyone else. Zane stood in the middle of the street, my father beside him. Slowly, I began to move forward. I began to realize that inside that dream like land, Zane had been worried for me. He had not cut me, but something that had been binding my soul there.
Zane regarded me suspiciously as I approached, his silver eyes reflecting the light of the moon. With his unattainable elegance, he looked both beautiful and dangerous. I couldn’t tell whether my heart began to beat faster in anticipation…or fear.
As I stepped out of the shadows, Zane held out a hand, and I placed my own in his, almost unconsciously.
His fingers curled over mine, and he drew me close, one hand lightly touching my cheek. I lay my head against his chest and closed my eyes, listening to his beating heart. He felt safe in this darkness and my powers calmed at his touch. Zane made a soft noise that sounded suspiciously like a sigh.
He was silent, before he pulled me away and rested his forehead against mine, saying nothing. Just being there beside me.
“Come on,” he murmured after a few moments, once my powers were finally calm. “Let’s go home.”
I knew that the darkness would find me, descend again like a monster from the deep, dragging me down. It could be at any time that I could be wrapped up in its shadowy tentacles. It would happen again as it always did, but not now. At this moment, it was completely calm.
Zane was like a beacon in the darkness. For this short moment, at least, I intended to bask in the warmth. I should feel afraid of that warmth but instead it just makes me think how right and safe it feels to have him beside me.
It makes me think how much I love him.
Wait… Oh, shit.