Izzy stopped in a field with tall grass and a large pond. She zipped open her purse and pulled out her phone. Then she paused, thought better of it, and pulled out her compact and her makeup kit. “Ugh,” she muttered to herself. “My makeup looks horrible!” she exclaimed, examining herself in the tiny mirror. She touched up her eyeliner and applied more lipstick, than flipped open her phone and texted her best friend from her vamp coven, Elizabeth.
Heyy Lizzy! On my way 2 da coven. C u soon!
Almost immediatey, she got a response.
YESS! K we’ll be here waitn...<3
She grinned and closed her phone. She put everything back in her purse, pulled out a granola bar, and sat down. Chewing on the granola bar, she looked around. It was..um...she squinted up at the sun. Ah. Around 2:30pm. Then she snorted. Wow. It would’ve been so much easier to just check your phone... Then she thought about it. Maybe it was just instinct. She was part vampire after all. Maybe getting closer to the coven sharpened her nature skills, and made her less inclined to use technology. She laughed again. Umm...no. Probably not likely. She chuckled, and picked up her purse. Putting the finished granola bar wrapper in the side pocket of her purse, she broke into a run. It was getting dark as she came to a forest again. She entered a clearing and then froze when she heard a sudden noise coming from a bush on the edge of the clearing. She dropped into a defensive crouch and threw her purse up into a tree. She reached into her boot and pulled out a dagger. “Alright, come out come out wherever you are...” she muttered. “Whatever you are...”
When I opened my eyes, I wasn’t where I had been planning to go. Instead of being in front of a circle of witches, I was surrounded by a forest of dead trees. “What the....” I looked around. As far as the eye could see, (and I have advanced sight) there were only these sad looking dead trees. No people. No animals. No living thing. Except me. “Hello?” I peered around trees, and looked up into the branches. “You won’t find anybody.” I whipped around. A guy about my age (in human years) stood in front of me, his bright blue eyes sparkling in constrast to his dark skin. “They have fled.” He turned to look at the devastated and creepy landscape. There was sadness in his eyes. “Why did they leave?” I asked. “It must have been beautiful before all this happened. Why is it like this?” I gestured towards the tree behind me. His eyes filled with anger. “This was a beautiful place once.” He paused, his eyes narrowing. “Then they came. The demons.”
Chills traveled down my spine. “They prowl the forest searching for any sign of life, burning the plant-life and attacking any being that lives, breathes or poses a threat to them.” I was horrified. Demons were ugly beasts that looked like rogue dogs with red eyes and long saber-like fangs. “B-but....all the demons had been exterminated! I led the army agaisnt them!” The saddened look crept back into his eyes. “A sorcerer that had betrayed his kin came and reincarnated the defeated demons. They rose from the battlefield seeking revenge, and now they have come here.” I ran my fingers through my hair and paced the small clearing we were in. “I’ve fought these beasts before. I was almost killed.” I turned to him. “How many of them are there?” He looked at his hands. “Around three hundred, and they are spread across forests that are inhabited by every living thing that ever hurt them. As we speak, they are headed for the elves, your pack, the witches and the vampires. You must hurry, Genevieve.” I blinked. “How do you know all of this? How do you know who I am? Who are you?” He stared back at me, his serene blue eyes reading my questioning silvery-green ones. “It is not for me to answer your questions, and it is not yet time for you to find out. But remember, we will meet again. I will be watching over you.” He had started to fade. “Wait, no!” I grabbed for his hand, but mine passed right through. “Don’t leave me here alone! I don’t even know where I am!” I cried out to him. Now he was just a faint glow. His voice echoed....
I will be watching over you.
Echo awoke with a start and sat up abruptly. Slowing her breathing, she peered into the dark of her sleeping quarters. The curtains blew in the gentle breeze, and by the light of the moon shining through the window, she could make out a shape standing at the foot of her bed. She gasped, jumping up and grabbing her dagger from her nightstand. “Who are you and why are you here?” she yelled at the figure. “Show yourself!” A startled elf stumbled into the light. “M-m-my apologies, your m-majesty,” he stuttered. “But there are two mortals at the gates who are demanding to see you and princess Lycaera. They used your mortal names too, my lady.” Echo put the dagger in its sheath and put in on her waist. She had fallen asleep fully dressed so that was not an issue. “Thank you Tahlfera.” she said, letting her hair down and brushing it out with her fingers. He nodded and left. She pulled on her black riding boots and ran out to the balcony. She swung easily over the edge and ran to the gate. There stood Derek and Darren looking extremely disheveled yet defiant at the same time. They were arguing heatedly with the guard at the gate, but as she approached, the guard bowed deeply. “Your Majesty.” She nodded at him. “Thank you Dreymus. You may go now.” He looked hesitant. “But my lady....” She shot him a firm glare. “Dreymus, I am perfectly capable of taking care of this. Please go. I shall call you back to your post once we depart to my quarters.” He nodded. “Yes, your majesty.” He broke into a run and disappeared into the palace.
She turned to Derek and Darren. “What...how did you...why...?” She whispered, tears beginning to fall down her cheeks. Derek stepped forwards and hugged her. “I promise we’ll explain, but we should go somewhere where nobody can hear.” She nodded, wiping her eyes. Darren spoke up from where he was standing. “Where is Genevieve?”
Echo choked back a sob. “I don’t know!” She burst out. “She went to go see the pack but she was going to go see the witches too, and she said she wasn’t sure of where she was going, and, and....I don’t know where she is and I’m getting worried!” she sobbed into Derek’s shoulder. Then she stepped back and wiped her eyes. “I must stay strong for my people and for G’s people too.” Derek gently brushed a lock of hair from her face and leaned in..... "Ahem." Darren was staring at them. “Sorry, but you can have your make-out session after we find Genevieve.” Echo stepped away from Derek. “You’re right. Come up to my room.” The brothers followed her up into the palace, Echo ignoring the confused looks from the servants that were mopping the tile in the throne room. She sped up the staircase, and reached the door of her room just as Derek and Darren were still panting down the hall. She laughed to herself and opened the door...
to find a vicious, drooling demon.
Darren and Derek were panting up the stairs when Derek froze. "Do you hear that?" he whispered to his brother. Darren strained his ears towards the top of the stairway. A faint growling could be heard, along with the noise of things whistling through the air and grunts and snarls. Derek blanched. "Echo!" he sprinted up the stairs but Darren caught his ankle just in time. "Derek! Stop-no-I-said-STOP!" he whispered fiercely. Derek's face, twisted with anxiety, turned to look at his brother. "We have to help! She'll be hurt...or worse!" He struggled against the grip Darren maintained on his ankle. Darren gave a sharp tug, and Derek turned around. Darren looked into his eyes. "Listen to me, Derek. Bursting in there would only make matters worse. Remember, she's an elf. She can fight and defeat that thing better than we could even try and escape it. If we tried to rescue her, she would have to rescue us." He loosened his grip warily. Derek sighed and nodded. Darren got up. "But we can help."
Derek jumped up, determination on his face. Darren pulled a pocket knife out of his pocket and stepped off the stairs into the hallway. The snarls were jerky now, and as they peeked through the door they saw why. The dog-like beast was tied to the bed by it's back legs and a collar on it's neck. It growled at the boys as they came in. Derek looked at Darren. "What is it?" Suddenly a voice sounded behind him. "It's a demon spirit trapped in a dog's body." Echo stepped out from the bathroom, wiping blood from the corner of her mouth with a washcloth. She gave the demon a dirty look. "It ruined my boots. This is personal," she joked humorlessly. Derek gaped at her. "You just got attacked, and you're worried about your boots?!?" She laughed. "This is normal. Playtime. Seriously, I get worse." She walked over to the bed, and pulling out a vial, muttered an incantation. The demon's red eyes went blank, and it let out a faint yelp before collapsing. Echo opened it's mouth with undisguised disgust and forced the pink contents of the vial in it's mouth. Wiping her hands on her pants, she grimaced. "I don't like killing things, even painlessly. Even though that one deserved it." She pointed at the body. It rippled and vanished in a pink flash of blinding light. She turned and put her hands on her hips as she surveyed the room. "It really trashed this place." She turned to the twins. "Close your eyes and imagine that this place isn't destroyed." They did it, and when they opened their eyes, it was back to normal. Echo smiled. "There," she said, sitting down on the for poster bed. "Now, we have important things to discuss. You must be tired. Hold on." She pointed at the floor, staring intently at the wooden floor. The boys watched in amazement as two trees split out of the floor. Those split into four, which split into eight. Then they bent, and the leaves formed seats. The remaining branches grew into an intricately designed back. The boys were stunned. Echo snorted impatiently. "Are you just going to stand there, or are you going to sit down?" Darren sat, pulling Derek down with him. "So what actually happened?" Echo ran her fingers through her hair. "She said she had things to do and was leaving Farawyn and I in charge of the two kingdoms, mine and hers', because we were the closest to her." Darren tensed. "Who's Farawyn?" Echo looked at him. "Calm down, jealous boy. Farawyn is like her brother. She likes him the same way you love Derek." He sat back, visibly relieved. Then frown lines creased his face. "Let's hurry." Echo nodded. "We should check the pack borders. I must go with you or they will think you are trespassers. They know me as a friend." Darren stood up. "Let's go."
A sharp noise sounded behind her in the bushes, making Izzy jump. She tensed, and waited expectantly for a demon to launch itself at her. Her knuckles were white where she gripped the dagger. Her fingers tightened around the engraved hilt. "Let's go...." she stared a the place where she heard the rustling. "Bring it on." The bush screamed an unearthly scream....and everything exploded into light.
Darren felt as if every tree glared at him with each step they took closer to the gate. He looked back at the palace he had just left, his eyes travelling up the tower to the what he knew was G's room. He sighed, then shook his head. "You're going to get her, idiot! Worrying about her isn't going to get you any closer," he muttered. Echo stopped at the gate and turned to face the two brothers. "Okay, I need you guys to hug me." Derek looked at Darren, then back at Echo. "Both of us?" Echo sighed exasperatedly. "I can't magically move us to the pack is we're not in physical contact. Now, if the interrogation is over, can we get going?" Derek and Darren quickly grabbed each of Echo's arms. Echo closed her eyes. "You two might want to close your eyes too. This might get rough." The boys shut their eyes and gripped her hands for dear life. Then the world began to spin.
"Ugh!" I stomped my foot. Great. So I was there alone. Just peachy. I walked around one of the dead trees. So I was alone in an unknown forest, surrounded by dead trees, an unseen vicious demons. Yay. A clump of trees nearby rustled and my blood froze. Oh crap. I reached into my boot and pulled out a dagger. Sub-consiously, I thought about how Izzy, Echo and I all kept our daggers in our boots. Ha. I fixed my gaze on the trees. Nothing. I stepped a bit closer and picked up a rock. I chucked it at the trees. "C'mon out, you disgusting creature!" A shout came out from the trees, in a voice that was awfully familiar. "AUUUGGH!!!" An elvish boot stepped out of the trees, followed by a strikingly familiar person. "YOU BROKE MY NAIL!" cried Echo, stepping around a hole. I was astounded. "What the...?" Echo smiled grimly. We followed you. I thought you were going to the wolves so I tried to go to them, but I guess I tracked you instead, and now we're here." I raised my eyebrows. "We?" And then they stepped out. "G!" He ran to me and hugged me. I hugged him back and then stepped out of his arms. "Wait." I turned back to Echo, and then I just let go.
"WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING!!! WHY DID YOU LET THEM COME?!?!? AND HOW THE FREAKING HELL DID THEY FIND YOU?!?"
Echo took a deep breath and put her hands on her hips. "Answer to question one, I wasn't. Two, they wouldn't and could NOT be left behind with Farawyn. And three, hell, I'd like to know that too." She glared at the boys.