On 12th February 2012 earth was threatened of a major meteor attack. Pluto had broken down, the spare parts rocketing towards earth, leaving the humans' only hours. The astrologists monitoring the attack knew weeks before, they had recorded and documented the entire astrological event - but failed to warn anyone. They prepared, raiding drug stores and supermarkets, building bunkers and surviving...
Tall, emerald trees loomed above, the sky hidden beneath grey clouds. Ora Bela was standing still, listening to the wind and waiting for her prey. The earth was trembling beneath her, the beats of her heart in rhythm with the consistent pattering of paws against the soil. The air still smelt of rain and pine, Ora’s clothes were damp, her skin cold. The pattering quickened and Ora darted forwards grabbing fur and bone in her long fingers. There were squeals and gurgles interrupting the silence. Ora kept her eyes closed; only when the animal was dead did she look at it. Pity and revulsion stabbed at her. She threw the rabbit into her bag and continued walking.
Ora didn’t know the beginning, only that she awoke in the forest, surrounded by strangers, who were making a tribe, beginning a life out here in the forest. She couldn’t remember a life or anything from before her wake, her body ached and every breath she took was painful. Where she had awaked, tents of white canvas plotted themselves within a twenty yard radius of her. Men and women were busying themselves around her, as if she was not there; until Azrael, had come to lie next to her. Azrael was old and wrinkly, his face kind. He had told her that they had been reborn into this world, that he had called Silvanus Forest. He had explained that they were building a life here, hunting and surviving together as a tribe. We were to live together. That was almost four hundred years ago.
Ora wanted to return to the camp, her sack was full of rabbits and the smell of their blood was sickening. She hated the hunt; she understood the necessity and need for food, but the blood always disgusted her. The forest was silent again, the earth was still. Ora marvelled at the vastness of the forest, enjoying the quiet and freedom of being out here where no one could see her or her see them. She tucked her auburn hair behind her ears and flattened the creases in her shirt. There was a thud, and the sound of twigs snapping. She turned around quickly to see a man standing metres away from her.
His hair was golden, his eyes black. He leant confidently against a tree observing Ora with the most evidently revolted expression. Before Ora could blink he was gone, running through the trees slow enough for Ora to catch his trail. He ducked and dived between the long branches that swooped over their paths. Ora’s heart was racing, his eyes had left her yet she still felt the burn, the hatred they held within them. She planted her feet into the soft soil and jumped, landing metres in front of him.
“Stop!” Ora bellowed.
He stopped gracefully; hardly shocked at all that she had caught him. Her hands were raised and she narrowed her eyes at his bemused expression. He wore a long black coat that billowed around him in the wind. As he stepped forward the air in Ora’s lungs evaporated. He turned his nose up at her as she dropped her hands.
“What are you doing here?” she demanded. She kept her distance from him, his eyes insulted her. Dark orbs that flitted disgustedly around her face.
“What right do you have to ask?” his voice was loud and authoritive. Ora glared angrily at him, having never been spoken to so rudely. He stared back at her waiting. For a moment she was wordless, what right did she have? Azrael had the authority here.
“Silvanus Forest is our territory. You must leave” Ora imagined Azrael saying it; however she added a little more anger to the order.
“Must I? I don’t think so girl, you have no right to order me to do anything” he laughed incredulously.
Ora took a step backwards; she did not think herself strong enough to fight him. She was – again wordless. What should she do? Beg him to leave? She wanted no conflict in her forest. She glared across at his amused expression
“You must leave” she repeated but he laughed again. She could feel hot anger running through her veins and wanted nothing more that to break his jeering jaw. She imagined it for a moment, and then snapped herself back.
“We are not going anywhere” he explained politely. He looked around the forest, the beautiful green trees and mossy ground.
“We?” Ora choked.
“Yes...” he said delicately “we.” He did not elaborate.
The ground was trembling, his footsteps becoming louder and louder. Ora let her mouth fall into a satisfied smirk; she did not have to argue with this man anymore. Coby was coming. Ora noticed that he seemed to understand her satisfaction; he watched the opening of the trees where Coby exploded with a roar. Coby was large, his dark hair and eyes standing out from his pale skin. He wore an open shirt, revealing his muscular chest. He roared again, and birds scattered from their nests. The man acted as if nothing had happened, he watched calmly as Coby stood towering over him, his chest heaving.
“Get away from her” he snarled. Ora hated it when Coby tried to protect her. If she had to, she would have fought him. She rolled her eyes and separated her feet. If she knew Coby, this man would be in pieces within seconds. Coby was the greatest of their warriors; he was their protector - Proud and fierce.
The man laughed a cruel laugh and Coby’s eyes narrowed at him.
“Are you her protector, young one...” the man advanced on Coby and stole a glance at Ora, who scowled.
“Proudly” retorted Coby
“And would you die for her?” the man growled suddenly circling Coby.
“No!” Ora gasped. She was shocked more with herself; never would she have said what she thought so quickly. Stupidly she covered her mouth with her hand. The man smirked at her. His dark eyes analyzed her face.
“Ora go back!” Coby ordered, Ora felt like a child. Coby’s eyes melted in hers and she could feel his persuasion trying to make her move. She stayed routed to the spot.
“No!” she defied him and stepped forward, hissing.
“Ora?” the man whispered, but before he could finish his sentence the atmosphere changed. The sky became black and Ora temporally lost her sight. She blinked and found Coby’s arm, the muscle flexed and flicked outwards instantly catching the side of her face. She gasped and then heard a low laugh.
“Ora?” she could hear Coby in the darkness “Ora, I'm sorry”
“Be quiet Coby” Ora needed to concentrate, the darkness engulfed her. No light reflected from anything. She knew perfectly where she was and could still smell the rain and pine. So why darkness?
“Coby...Coby the cub” the laugh became louder.
“Corbin!” a deeper, older voice growled. The darkness receded and the light swept through the trees. Corbin had looked round to see an older man, taller and to Ora’s astonishment Corbin bowed his golden head almost touching the grass. The man that entered ignored Corbin and watched Ora and Coby; he had silver hair and a lined face. His eyes were small slits either side of his face, Ora could see flecks of red within them. His hair was jet black and slick with grease. She shuddered, having never feared any one before.
“Hades I-“Corbin began, his voice layered with respect. Ora watched as Coby straightened, the muscles in his neck pulsing. Hade’s eyes scanned Ora from head to toe. She could feel footsteps on the ground, Hades had not yet spoken. This situation unsettled Ora; she had never met anyone outside her family or tribe for more than 300 years. These people unnerved her, frightened her. Corbin continued to stare at Coby, ready to pounce.
“You must leave at once, Silvanus Forest is ours” Coby spoke loudly and full of authority. His eyes never left Corbin, who smiled sickeningly.
“This one was about to remove me herself” Corbin pointed at Ora as if she were something obscene. She kept her eyes straight and her shoulders square. She was ready to attack him. The anger building in her too thick and deep she could hardly breathe. She was judging her distance, thinking of where to attack him first. She licked her teeth and grinned at him, hoping to taunt him. Corbin only returned the smile. Ora could see Coby twitching for the fight next to her, his anticipation coming off him in waves.
Hades sniffed hard “Is that so? It is our intention to reside here” his voice was low, but echoed over the air and sent a shiver down Ora’s spine. The breeze had quickened the trees swaying gently above them. Their position was perfect for a battle, flat but unmistakably hard, rocks protruded from the ground and hidden trunks lay covered in moss.
Ora could feel the protest of their residence burning inside her; Corbin looked as though he could read her mind. He smiled wickedly.
Coby exploded “you must leave at once, Silvanus Forest is ours”
“Is that all you can say?” Corbin asked mockingly. He glanced at Ora and then back at Coby who snarled. Hades expression never changed. Ora could feel the tension increasing. Coby would attack soon; she was surprised he had not yet. The footsteps in the ground stopped, and there was a thud to their left. Only Coby looked. Ora smiled back at Corbin sympathetically for the first time, it was full of relief. He eyed her cautiously still looking at her as if she were some disgusting animal.
“Peace” Azrael asked calmly, walking into the centre of the circle, his hands held high.
“Azrael” Hades spat the word and Ora’s heart started to splutter.
“Hades, my old friend, have you come to reconcile?” Azrael’s kind tone was not returned
“Don’t be ridiculous” Hades snarled and Coby growled in return. Azrael lifted his hands and again, said
“Peace” His eyes met Ora’s and they sparkled.
Hades snorted loudly, turning his back on Azrael. “We are going to reside here, Azrael.” He explained harshly. Corbin smiled again at Ora, who was shocked anyone would speak to him that way.
“Silvanus Forest is ours” Coby repeated again.
Corbin turned on the spot, leaping to stare into Coby’s eyes. Their faces millimetres apart he whispered “not anymore it isn’t”
Coby growled and grabbed Corbin by his shoulders throwing him into a tree. The snap of the trunk echoed over the wind. Ora leapt forward along with Coby waited for the retaliation. Corbin stood casually, unmarked. He smirked, “is that all you’ve got Cub?”
“Fight back and you’ll find out, coward” Coby replied quickly flashing his large teeth. Corbin smiled again, that smile both weakened and angered Ora wordless. She hissed again, thinking it the only thing to do. Azrael had returned to the centre.
“We want no fighting” he eyed Coby and in Arabic whispered “stop please”
Hades and Corbin laughed bitterly, taunting them. Ora could feel her head spinning she could not believe her very normal day could suddenly threaten her tribes life. Corbin’s golden hair tussled in the gentle breeze, his teeth wide and white. Now that she was closer to him she noticed the subtle beauty in his features, however disgusting a being he was, she could not deny it. Hades was his opposite, unattractive in every respect, bent at the top of the spine, he cowered and cackled like a vulture.
“Oh I would love to fight you, Cub” Corbin admitted, pleading. His eyes wide and waiting.
“We want Peace, Hades please” Azrael begged, and Ora felt a pang of sympathy for him, seeing the good in everything after everything he had lost.
“Peace?” Hades growled, his bottom lip slipped and salvia fell down his yellow teeth. Ora shuddered, she felt Corbin watch her frowning. “Enough with your peace. If Corbin wins this dual, we shall leave”
Corbin had met Ora’s eyes, black orbs against her yellow eyes that sparkled. From fear and shock her eyes widened and her lips parted. Corbin continued to look at her.
“Corbin?” Azrael suddenly looked worried, Hades frowned
“Corbin Senka” Corbin spoke the words delicately. His nostrils flared as if Ora smelt horrible.
Azrael’s eyes widened and he looked from Ora to Senka for a moment.
“The dark shadow” he whispered, fear dripping from each syllable. He looked at Ora and spoke louder to Hades and Corbin.
“This – this is my d-daughter. Ora Bela” Hades let out something like a gasp. Corbin’s features never changed, he looked Ora up and down and turned his attention to Azrael.
“The Golden Light” Hades said, greedily.
Ora was missing something that much was clear. She understood the difference in both Corbin and Her own name. But what difference did it make now? Corbin was threatening to kill their most valued warrior and she was more than convinced he could do it. Despite his delicate frame.
“Her name does not befit her” Corbin muttered loudly, Coby growled and step forward.
Corbin braced himself for the fight, but there was a flash and darkness engulfed them once more. Like the sun setting within a second. Ora stood, insulted, hurt and white hot angry. She tore through the brush, prowling the area until she felt what she thought was him; her fists collided hard with bark, repeatedly punching it until there was a crunch. The sun emerged beneath the darkness and the remains of a tree lay before her. She was alone, and panting. Waiting for her anger and fear to subside.