Night Watch

In a world tossed into eternal darkness, by unknown forces. Where fear has hold of every Man woman and child's heart, where monster do lie in the dark just waiting to prey on the unfortunate soul not weary enough of the darkness. There comes hope from the unlikeliest of people.

The sounds of children playing in street echoed through the dampened cobblestone street while the footsteps of adults dully pierced the darkened air. It was always dark, the dark day was all I knew, and the artificial light sources that hung above the cobblestone streets and ceilings of houses.  These artificial lights were made out of this mineral found deep underground in the mines that many humans had hid themselves in from the scourge that had plagued the surface. Even though the mines presented themselves as a safe alternate to living on the surface even there sometimes the darkness would creep. No one was truly safe, and it was a simple fact of life. All of us were afraid that it would be our turn to be taken in the shadows that dwell the darkness. These shadows disliked the light and usually never strayed to far near a light source but there was a time during the night that was called the witching hour. A certain time when the darkness overwhelmed the sources of light on the streets and the shadows consumed, killed, obliterated any life form still left on the streets. Sometimes men refugees flooded in from towns destroyed by the shadow; which was a truly frightening nightmare to imagine ever happening to you.

I myself was was truly afraid of that happening to my home; the city Osgourne, the city that I had lived in all my life. The city with the massive stone wall that protected it citizens from the horrors that awaited humanity on the other side of walls. I was confident that it would never happen though, for all of my life I had only ever seen 10 shadows lurking the streets before witching hour, and of those ten times the elite city guard had managed to overpower them with magic, and their own courage.  I admired them for their courage. Courage was not something I had, when I was young I was haunted by the noise of the shadow and to this day their incessant shrieking, the sound of them walking, scuttling, climbing, clawing through streets and walls of the Osgourne still haunt me. I did not know a good night’s sleep, and imagined for so many others of the same thing.  Despite my cowardice I joined the city guards although not being a elite I looked into the matters of crime, and general public safety. Thankfully I had never come into true danger on the job and my cowardice was not exposed to everyone.  Hell I was half afraid it it really came down to it if I really knew which side of the sword I should hold.  I hadn't seen the thing out of its scabbard since I was given the blade, and that was okay with me although I guess I should sharpen it at some point. As I continued to stroll down the cobblestone street my metal armour lightly scraped itself drawing the attention of the playful young children who were up until a moment ago were playing some game involving kicking a stone around. 

"Hi there mister Shaden do you have anything for us today?" One of the taller, bigger kids asked with a grin that spanned from one side of his face to the other, seeing this kids smile always made me smile. It was hard to believe a child could be so happy and carefree but one had to remember that was the strengths of being a child.

"Of course!" I said enthusiastically, “This took me a while to make but I think it's going to serve you all better than that hard stone over." From a small bag I handed the kids a small leather ball. The exploded with smiles as the one with the large grin rolled it on the ground to test it out.

"It works!" They shouted with glee, “Thank you mister Shaden!" 

"Don't worry about, it’s the most I could do since you lost your last ball down the sewers. Try not to let that happen with this one, it’s not easy finding leather ya know." I said knowing at that point there were already too involved in their game to care what I had to say.  I returned back to my route after spending a few minutes watching the kids play their game. Back when I started being a guard a few years back that specific group of kids had decided to make it into a game to annoy me as I walked down their street, but as time went on the game had become boring, and as much as I hated the annoyance it had become part of my routine and I started missing it.  So one day I decided to start playing with a favoured game of mine which is now one of theirs. In a way they had become part of my life acquaintances, or something that made this darkness a little more livable.  If it weren't for them I probably would have died from boredom walking the same route day after day, having trivial conversations with adults with the occasional chase through the alleyways to catch a thief.  However things were different, back in the guard hall I heard murmurs of one of the elite guard squads gone missing in the mines the day before hand, and that the higher ups may be placing a red alert order, which would definitely break this dusty old routine. Despite my current boredom this change was worrisome and I soon wish that I hadn't heard those things and I wish I hadn't wished for a change of routine.

"It should be nothing, maybe the elite squad got lost in the vast winding tunnels of the mine." I muttered to myself.

 

The End

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