Chapter 34

Someone was shaking me. I blinked my eyes open. Slate stood above me, his eyes were clouded with worry.

“Alecia, are you alright?” He continued to shake me.

“I am for now. If you keep shaking me, I might throw up on you.” He stopped and took a step back. Clover stood off to the side, biting her lip.

“What happened,” Akira asked.

“I am not quite sure. Everything just went dark. The shadow stood above me. It was telling me it would kill everyone.”

Akira looked worried, “I must have missed something. It shouldn't be able to do that. Maybe we were wrong.” He looked off into the forest. I turned back to Slate and let out a gasp.

“Did I do that,” I asked, glancing at his arms. They were covered in cuts. He looked at his arms in surprise.

“Yeah, I forgot about those. You were fighting, trying to get away, not hurt me. That shadow has you pretty spooked huh?” I nodded. He sat beside me, pulling my body closer to his. I sighed and rested my head on his shoulder. Everything was so messed up.

“Wait a minute, how much do you remember?”

I blinked thinking back, “I think I remember everything.” He pulled me closer.

“I will check. Let's see, What animal am I, how did we meet, and what did you call me? Oh, and how did you figure out I was lying when you first lost your memory?”

“A dog. You are orange with black stripes and a white stomach and paws. We met when I was eight, I was lost and you returned me to my family. I named you Tiger. I knew you were lying because you called me Mirabella.”

He nodded, appearing satisfied. Slate continued to talk, but something caught my attention. Black started to pool around the edge of the trees. Red eyes glared back at me. I stood up.

“Akira said he was wrong about the shadow, correct?”

“Yes. What are you doing Alecia?” I ignored him. Instead, I chased after the retreating shadow. I heard my name being called out, but I ignored it, all that mattered was that shadow. That shadow was causing me to hurt my friends, and to worry them.

“Naughty, Naughty. Your poor friends will be worried.” The shadow smiled, showing of yellow teeth. “And they should be. You made a fatal mistake. Now I will have control.” The shadow lunged at me. I pulled back, narrowly missing the sharp claws. I returned the attack, trying to kick the shadow. To my surprise, I went right through it.

The shadow let out a shrill laugh. I fell on the ground. Maybe if I can't hurt it, it cant hurt me. The shadow swirled around me, dissolving into gray. It appeared a moment later, on my other side. I gasped and tried to move. I couldn't do it fast enough. Claws dug into my skin, knocking me into the ground. I hissed in pain as the cuts throbbed.

“You are wrong. I can hurt you just fine.” I glared at the shadow. Standing up on shaky feet, I watched it as the shadow continued to move around me. If I couldn't hurt it, how was I supposed to win?

The shadow moved close enough to whisper in my ear, “You can't win. That is the point.” I stabbed the shadow through the heart with a branch I had picked up from the ground. It didn't even faze the monster.

I jumped back as the shadow went in for another attack. It moved closer again.

“I will give you a hint. The only way to defeat me is to take your animal form, but I have seen what yours is. It is too weak to hurt even a fly. Just like you.” I watched the shadow as it danced around the field.

So I had to turn into my demon animal. Which is what Slate was worried about. He said it would make the shadow take over. Plus, I didn't know how to change. I didn't even know what my animal was. What was I going to do?

“Chickening out? So you are getting smart. Your animal is weaker than a fly. And I bet your don't even know how to change.” The shadow smiled and swirled closer to where I stood. I resisted the urge to step back. I closed my eyes, despite everything in my body screaming at me not to do so.

Images of all the animals I had ever seen went through my mind. The dog I had befriended, the cat I had confused as a boy, birds, foxes, racoons, none of them seemed right. My fingers started to go numb, along with my legs. I heard a menacing hiss from the shadows.

Keeping my eyes closed, I concentrated on the numbness spreading throughout my body. Every inch caused the strange feeling to go faster.

“Good, now I can take control,” the shadow laughed darkly.

“Alecia, No!” I could hear Slate and Clover running up, followed by Akira and Bane. They stood around me, waiting for something to happen, and something did. The shadow brushed up against me, trying to get in. It felt as if slime was trying to enter through my pores.

“Finally, I will have complete control!” Someone took a step forwards. I couldn't tell who it was. Darkness surrounded me, I was consumed by pain. A scream escaped my throat, and I fell to the ground.

Another step towards me. “Alecia, are you alright?” It was Clover. Even through the pain I could tell who it was.

“We will kill her first,” I heard a voice whisper. Much closer now than ever before. It echoed throughout my head. I stood up. While I was expecting two legs, four landed on the ground, balancing me.

“Clover, get back. It might not be her.” It was Akira.

“We will save him for last. He will be the toughest to hurt.” I opened my eyes and turned towards Clover.

The End

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