Stones continued to fall from the ceiling, the air was thick with dust. Most people had gone inside, but Isaac had nowhere to hide. He ran, looking for some kind of cover, when he saw an arch. He didn't question what it was, he simply dove under it.

The rocks stopped falling after a couple of seconds, but the dust didn't settle for several minutes. As the haziness dissipated, he could start to make out more of what was around him.

He was under a bridge, strange plants poking up through the rough gravel. A paved path snaked under the bridge and around a bend, and people were starting to come back outside. That is, if where he was could truly be counted as outside.

As he climbed out, he found that there were people running to and fro, more than likely checking on their homes to make sure they were ok, or going to check on someone else they knew. But then, why is everyone running in the same direction?

Children ran next to their parents, some being picked up and carried only because the parents wanted to run and knew they would never keep up.

He ran off in the same direction as the crowd, half expecting an angry bull to come up behind him at any moment. The idea made him laugh at himself. I've been fighting demons with angels, a centaur and a mermaid, and for some reason a bull scares me. I really need to get my priorities straightened out.

The crowd thickened, and most stopped moving, so he had to elbow his way through them. The further he got, he started hearing faint words, spoken either too softly or too far away to be legible, but the relief still clear.

People in front of him turned around and started heading back the way they had come, obviously satisfied or relieved by something they saw.

Finally, he managed to break his way out of the see of other people. He stood in front of a large globe, nearly as large as a minivan, that kept changing colors. One minute it was a fiery red, the next a calming green, and then a brilliant white. Then it went pitch black, to blue, to brown, and back to red.

It was held in a swirling gold stand, four legs and several bands of gold wrapped around its middle. It ended in a golden dragons head, resting itself on the top of globe. Once he saw the head, he realized the entire stand had been made to look like a dragons body, legs and all.

There were very small black letters scratched on the gold, the only part that wasn't perfectly clean and shiny enough to be used as a mirror.

Curious, he walked closer. Soon there was hardly any space separating them, but he still had to lean in to read the tiny text. Starting at the front left leg, it read:

"The immortal balance disturbed, the land shall quake. They will pick their protectors carefully, as much is at stake. Darkness will devour all signs of life, and all of life shall succumb. Darkness cannot be killed, for the brighter the light the darker the shadows become.

"Wind, earth, water, light. All shall lose their fight. Fire and darkness plague the lands. Everything good, ripped apart by their hands. But through it all, there's still the chance of winning. Unleash the fire of the north star, and it will start a new beginning."

Isaac sat there, staring at the words. He read them over again. What in the world does that mean? "The immortal balance disturbed"? And what does it mean the darkness can't be killed?! And -

"Get that kid away from the Dragon Glass!" Someone shouted. Before Isaac could even look at who the person was, he lost his sense of sight. It was like he had his eyes tightly shut, or someone had blindfolded him. Then some sort of ropes grasped at his wrists, and he was pulled into the air.

He was dropped hard onto the ground, the world coming back into view. A crowd of angry people stood over him, black tendrils dancing around the woman nearest him. "Leave, and don't you dare ever come back." she seethed.

When Isaac didn't make a move to stand up, he felt himself being picked up off the ground by the shadows. It pulled him up to the woman, and she shoved her face right up to him. "Now!"

And the next moment, he was flying through the air so fast he couldn't breathe. Before he knew what was happening, he had been pushed through the entire length of the cave and flung out into the trees.

The End

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