Out Of The Ashes

As Zanaria vanished the air around him shimmered. A layer of black dust danced around where he had been, distorting the swirling colors behind it. "What did you mean, he was brought back?" Anna asked after a moment.

"Zanaria is a warrior. I get the feeling he has been for a while. I think something is happening down there that caused him to wake up."

Anna stood with a sigh and smoothed down her shirt. "I wish I'd just wake up already." Isaac had nothing to add to that, and he wasn't sure if she wanted him too.

The dark smoky cloud caught his attention again, the refracting red light behind it casting odd lights over Anna's face. The cloud passed it, and everything seemed normal. It was floating in a black space, no lights at all.

Wait a second... Isaac stood and walked towards the darkness a little. Why was it dark over here? "Isaac?" Anna called. "Just... just stay there for a second." he told her, but he heard her run toward him anyway.

As he continued it got darker. It seemed like he was in a tunnel of dark, getting blacker as he went. "Isaac, I can't see." Anna whispered with a slightly shaking voice. "That's the point." he said. "There's no light. I want to see why."

"I don't." she rebuked. "And that's why I told you to stay back." She fell silent after that, all except for her footsteps that continued following him. However, Isaac had to admit, he couldn't see either. And it was starting to get to him. Not just the dark, but this feeling of dread.

So he did what he always did when he got scared, just by instinct. He reached for his fire. And there it was, burning bright, his hope, his safety. He could hardly believe the irony; it was the whole reason he was here.

"That's not entirely true." a males voice boomed. It was golden, somehow friendly. Like an old friend he hadn't talked to in a while. "Who said that?" Isaac yelled into the blackness.

"You hear it too?" Anna asked. Isaac looked back at where her voice had come from, no longer able to see her. "You mean that guy? sort of deep, happy?"

"No, not at all. The guy I hear is scary. He - " She stopped talking.

"Anna?" he called. "Anna!?" Isaac brought the fire to his hand and let its warm glow illuminate the dark. Standing where she used to have been was a light golden dust, just like the one Zanaria had disappeared in.

"I have returned her." the voice told him. "Who are you?" Isaac called again. There was no answer accept the echo of his own voice.

The fire started to grow in his hand. It grew and grew until it was the size of a basketball, and it still kept growing. Isaac stepped away; he wasn't doing that and didn't want to stick around to see what was happening.

It hovered in the air and continued growing. "Isaac, " the voice called. "It's time to wake up." the fire was now larger then him, and it started to move. Isaac went to take a step back but tripped.

The fire moved a little closer to him. "It's time to wake up."

The fire hovered over him. "Wake up."

It consumed him.

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Isaac's eyes shot open and he gasped. A sudden searing pain ate through his forehead. He was alone, the blue razor grass had carved several painful cuts all along his back.

He stood up shakily and inspected his surroundings. Not even Crex was flying over him, though all the bugs were gone. They're charred remains littered the ground.

As he took a step, a plume of ash came up to his face, reminding him of his first day here, when he woke up in the desert. Or, had it been? He still had those memories, of fighting a demon, the bugs all around and surrounded by the black copies. And all of it burning. Was that a dream?

The sky was different then normal, instead of just inky blackness, clouds now rotated above him reminiscent of a hurricane. The clouds were ebony and grey, and something deep inside of him was unsettled by it. He looked down, and found he was standing in what appeared to be a scorched crater, the blue grass poking up through the ash.  What happened here?

And then he saw a dark copy of Zanaria flying in the sky, some kind of runes glowing all over him.

"I have allot of catching up to do."

The End

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