Betrayal: Survivor

Day 1-829 words

There was rain. Beautiful, delicious rain. And marvellous darkness. It was all too perfect.

“Someone’s coming.”

Laila stood from her place on the log, scanning the area of the woods Zekai was referring to. She could smell it now too-human...and fear. Pure, unadulterated fear.

The woods suddenly gave way to a man peasant, panting and running blindly. Zekai caught him with a hand, jerking him roughly back to stop his movement. The human blinked, surprised and, noticing the trio of Falinn, yelped and turned on his heel, sprinting madly through the brush. Laila rolled her eyes, disappearing into a plume of shadows, and reappeared in front of the man, giving him a charming smile, letting her fangs slide over her bottom lip.

“Going somewhere?”

The human tried to turn again, finding Zekai in his way. Wirre appeared shortly afterwards, circling them all with her clear amber eyes fixed on the man. Laila crossed her arms, looking at the odd being with narrowed eyes.

“I don’t have to repeat my question, do I?”

The human shook his head, still breathing heavily. He was dressed in increasingly dull clothing, burlap of some form. It made him look like a sack of potatoes.

“I wuz running,” he started, clearly illiterate, “They came and stole evr’ything, the monsters! Killed ha’f our children and burned the vill’age to the groun’.”

Laila almost laughed at the anger in his eyes, wondering how such a weak creature could carry such an emotion.

“You abandoned your kind, then, didn’t you?”

The human looked guilty for a moment, but sneered.

“It wudn’t me race that di’ the crayme. It was yew lot! Yew scumbag monsta’s!”

Laila let her fangs extend further, smile dropping and yellow eyes flashing dangerously.

“Mind your language, dirt! We ‘scumbags’ don’t kill and abandon our own.”

The man fell silent, realizing again that he was at the mercy of the creatures.

“Bind him, Wirre,” Laila started, turning from the human, “We may be able to make some use of him.”

A scream rang out a few moments later, shrill and distorted with pain. Laila let her eyes return to their hostage, already prepared for the following sight. The human was collapsed on the ground, convulsing amid a growing pool of blood.

“Wirre!” she yelled, annoyed, not finding the young Falinn anywhere in sight.

This wasn’t the first time that she’d disobeyed orders and killed unnecessarily. It happened all too often.

Laila strode to the body, watching as it stilled. He wasn’t dead, the human. A Falinn bite meant total paralysis, but it was a slow, painful death. She considered letting the man suffer but, feeling oddly generous, slashed his neck with a dagger. He got lucky.

“He probably came from that settlement right by the forest.”

Laila turned at the sound of Zekai’s voice, nodding slightly.

“I’ll bet. I think we should take a look, see what Master’s been up to.”

Zekai murmured some sound of agreement, dissipating into shadow. Laila did the same, rushing through the trees in her unbridled, uncontained form. Darkness.

When they had arrived, in a day’s time, the settlement was a sorry sight. Laila circled about herself, taking her physical form. Zekai and Wirre were close behind, all as speechless as her.

Bodies lay strewn on the streets, thatch scattered and still smouldering. Each hut and house was reduced to debris, carts and stalls smashed in. Livestock and horses were dead in their pastures, breathing shallow, collapsing breaths, the mark of fangs clear in their flesh. Falinn.

The shadows lingering about the place were enough to give the species away, but a bite like that could be attributed to no other race. The falinn were a dangerous group of beasts, possessing both brute force and strategy.

And, for those that had to obey Master, no compassion.

“Kill them.”

Zekai and Wirre nodded at her orders, setting to work. The three had learned to stave off Master’s orders, but at a cost. Maintaining their own will meant suffering whatever Master chose to torture them with. Usually unbearable pain.

Laila went about the village, finishing off whatever living, paralyzed beings she could find. It wasn't that she usually went about cleaning up after the rest of her species and Master, but her odd spark of generosity hadn't chosen to fade as of yet. She almost pitied them, as unlikely as that seemed, pitied them for having to face her brothers and sisters.

She noticed a dog panting on its side and killed it off, eyes catching on something gleaming in the grass. A tiny bit of shadow lifted it to her palm, letting her inspect the round, smooth object.

It was a pearl, a perfect, black pearl gleaming with a sinister light. The kind only found on the Western coast of Lithilen. The kind that required powerful magic to harvest.

Laila stepped back into the street, waiting as her companions returned to her.

"We're going to the West coast, my friends."

The End

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