Chapter XXVI: The Power Within (5/18)Mature

Will ran faster than he had ever run before into the wilderness, too afraid to look back, barely able to see ahead by the tears and stars in his eyes. His thighs throbbed with pain but he kept going. He'd done as Mother had told him, he'd run, he hadn't looked back. He didn't know where Mother or Father were, but they weren't with him. They weren't there to help, they were gone, they were -

A scream sounded in the distance, a terrified, little girl. Will stopped suddenly, looking around at the dark shadows amongst the trees, able to see no path, nothing to direct him to the village, or back home. He was lost, but he knew the scream.

'Carmen!' he screeched, sending night birds from their nests, flapping fearfully into the sky. 'Karn'el!' There was no reply, from his brother or his sister. 'Where are you?' Blood pounded in his veins to the rhythm of his frantic heart.

'Willow!' came her voice from far away, he turned and concentrated his gaze. Coming closer through the darkness was his sister, running in her cotton nightgown, the lace hem torn and trailing behind her, tangling around her tiny legs. She kept calling his name in terror, and when Will looked further into the distance, he saw three men swathed in black, the reddened symbol of the Evil Eye painted on their face masks. His muscles seized up with fear, but he reached out for his sister's hand, grabbed hold and ran with her into the forest. 

She was barely able to keep up with him, he felt her stumbling, her little fingers almost losing contact with him, but he locked onto her wrist so tightly that he knew it would bruise. She began calling for her brother, and somewhere he called back, but Will couldn't stop. He could feel them behind, hollering, their swords bouncing at their hips. 

Suddenly, somebody jumped from a tree above, landing in front of them and knocking Will to his feet. They lunged for him, and he kicked out his feet, flailing around. Carmen had fallen down beside him, tears streaming down her freckled face, she tried to hide herself behind a nearby tree, watching him.

'Carmen! RUN!' Will screamed, swiping at her as if to scare her off. The man on top of him, his face revealed, saw Carmen.

'Get the girl!' he ordered to the men approaching. 'Get her!'

'GO! NOW! Find Karn'el!' Will continued to order, Carmen trembled in fear, confused at her brother's aggression. 'CARMEN!' Whimpering, she turned and ran off into the trees, and Will directed his attention to fighting the man off. They struggled, but the man was too strong, gripping Will around the neck and lifting his shoulders off the ground.

'Where is she? Where is the girl?' he barked. Will stared at the face of his attacker, his hair dark like night and his eyes madly wide.

'Get. OFF!' Will yelled, groping for something around him to fight with. His hand locked around a rock and he threw it at the man's face. Blood splattered out, a gash down the man's cheek,  the blood dripped and fell into Will's mouth, it tasted acidic, burning and nearly making him gag. With his opportunity, he tried to push the man aside as he clutched his cheek, but as Will scrambled away, the man grabbed his ankle and pulled him back, kneeling over him with rage brimming in his eyes. Will saw that his left eye was tattooed with artistic patterns, and the lines began to shine from black to red, he closed his eye and agony struck Will's limbs like a thousand blades, paralysing him and dizzying him with pain. He screamed, unable to fight back as the man's hand went across his eyes, submerging him in darkness, and hissed in a strange language,


Will screamed once more as he felt his nerves being ripped apart, becoming lost in the encroaching darkness...

The End

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