The Illuminated

Fantasy story, not finished.

I couldn‘t hear anything aside from the ringing in my ears. Well, to tell you the truth, I didn‘t know I couldn‘t hear anything, as at that moment in time I felt as if the world was silent. There was equally no sign of life, nothing to make a seemingly pure eighteen year old girl scared whilst walking back home at past midnight, all alone, in the witching hour. Or so it would seem to anyone else in my position. I could feel eyes burning into the back of my skull. Someone was watching me, but who? There was no one around. I was on my way home from yet another music concert and I was yet again walking around in a darkened city, as I always did after a gig. I’d always been perfectly safe. I’d never had this feeling before.

Catch a taxi back!” my mother had told me before I left the house in my fishnet tights and my beloved red Doc Martens, freshly bought with my own hard-earned money,

“I’ll pay for it!”

“Mom, there‘s no need!”

“Alright love, just make sure to ring when you’re on your way back and be careful… And if someone were to attack you, hit him where it hurts!”

I’d laughed at the time, I couldn’t help but think her as a sexist to assume it would be a man to attack me, which was typical of my mother who thought those of the male species were “scum” and “heartbreakers” and all the negative words she’d called them in the time I’d been her daughter. However, I’d agreed. I’d had my fair share of heartaches and heartbreaks, which is all a woman needs to think about when she’s about to be mugged by a man who has most likely hurt emotionally, and probably even physically, another woman. It would give a certain energy boost to any woman, to say the least.I’d replied, “I’ve walked back from the city centre late at night plenty of times! Plus, I want you to save your money for the holiday you’re saving up for.” She’d looked at me in surprise and a mixed look of delight. I knew what she was thinking, she was delighted that I was finally learning to become independent in the financial aspect of life, which, let’s face it, is a great deal in the current recession. I could see the look of relief overwhelm over her face.she had continued.

The truth was, I was regretting at this moment in time not taking her money and not catching a taxi home and not doing as my good mother had suggested I do. I’d heard about situations like this in movies and books and I’d always thought to myself, “How on earth can someone sense if they’re being watched?” and at the time I’d have always thought it was just something they used to make a plot in a story move, to make it sound more thrilling and appeal to it’s audience. I’d never have believed it if I hadn’t felt it for myself. I felt paranoid, and I could feel the sweat on the back of my neck when the cool wind blew, and it was cold. My heart was pounding so fast I thought it may as well have exploded out of my rib cage. I sneakily took a peek over my shoulder to see if I could see any form of life watching me, following me or even anyone I could use as a suspect. There was no one. If I still couldn’t feel eyes burning into my head, I’d have sighed with relief, but the feeling of being watched was still there even though there was no one around. My pace quickened and I looked at my watch. I’d be home in twenty minutes, possibly fifteen if my pounding heart continued to make me walk quickly enough.

It was at that moment that my body froze. There was a someone standing not too far in front of me, his eyes staring straight at me. At the time, I hadn’t questioned how he had gotten there so quickly without me seeing him, as I was in shock. I wasn’t able to see his face properly as he was wearing his hood up, but I could see his illuminated eyes glowing in the darkness, staring. I had no idea what was going on… “Am I dreaming?“ I thought, “Had I been somehow killed without realising and this was what Death looked like?” That idea seemed most probable as he looked like your typical Grim Reaper, only without the deadly scythe. I wanted to run, run far away from this thing what was standing in front of me… But curiosity had captured me, and so had fear. I was paralyzed, scared to make any form of movement or even breathe in fear that this being would retaliate and attack me if I tried to do anything. It too, stood stationary.

The creature didn’t look real, it looked as though it didn’t belong here and not just in this quiet street in London, but anywhere in this God forsaken world. A huge gust of wind came by, the creature’s midnight black cape rose and moved in harmony with the wind. This isn’t a dream, I thought. This thing is real.

It was then at that exact moment that the creature moved. I felt my heart stop. He raised his arms out to the Heavens, as though he was about to shout to God, and inhaled the night air in as though he was a wolf identifying it’s prey. I had no idea what he was doing, and I didn’t want to know. It let out a loud satisfied sigh as he breathed the air back out into the night air. My mind was telling me to run, but my body disagreed and stood there in wonder and shock.

It was then that the creature spoke.

“I’ve finally found you” it said in a voice that could make even the bravest soldier tremble.

“What?” was all I managed to say, my voice croaking with fear.

The creature laughed, baring a set of sharp, vile looking teeth. It was not a humorous laugh that would make a person smile. This was an evil laugh, and I certainly wasn’t smiling.

“You knew this day would come.” It said.

“I… I don’t understand.” I answered, hoping it would tell me more. My curiosity was slowly overcoming my fear.

“The Fallen will roam the earth no more. God will smite you all.” It said matter-of-factly.

Suddenly, there was a screeching sound coming up from behind me, which sounded like a car speeding. I turned to identify the car. A black BMW had parked close to me and the creature and someone had gotten out and was walking towards us. Oh God no, I’m going to be kidnapped. I felt sick with worry. I couldn’t see what the person looked like due to the darkness, but the silhouette seemed to be that of a normal human being. I hoped it was a normal human being.

“Get in the car.” the silhouette shouted.

Confusion overwhelmed me. I can’t get into a stranger’s car!

“.. What, why?”

“I said, get in the car… now!” he commanded. I was worried what he might do if I didn’t, so I did as I was told and got into the backseat of the shiny black BMW, still confused as to what was going on, and not feeling at all safe.

I gazed out of the car window to watch the creature and the human being. The human looked as though he was shouting at the creature. Why isn’t he afraid of it? I couldn’t help but wonder why this person wasn’t scared and shocked at what he was seemingly shouting at. I scrolled the car window down a tiny bit so I could hear what he was saying.

“Go and tell your people that they won’t get their hands on this girl.” I heard the man say.

“We will get her eventually, dog, it will soon be time.”

“I’m aware of this, but please, wait for when that time comes.” The silhouette said peacefully.

The creature suddenly stared at me, intensely. Does it know I’m listening? I thought to myself, sweat suddenly pricking at my brow. However, the creature simply gave me a small nod and then, unexpectedly disappeared into the night air, leaving behind a trail of fog. I stared in amazement, not knowing how to take all of it in. I immediately, however, became fearful of the man, the human, which is ironic considering the creature I had just witnessed. My mother’s words of advice suddenly pried at my thoughts, “Never make contact with strangers, especially at night!”, “Never, ever get into a stranger’s car!”, but she never mentioned what to do if you’ve just been confronted by some kind of monster, did she? Do you flee or do you stay? Do you trust a stranger who just saved your life, or do you fear them equally?

Suddenly, I wasn’t alone in the car. The man that had seemingly saved my life was now sitting in the driver’s seat, even though I had just been watching him stand no where near the car. At first, I was bewildered at how he’d gotten there so fast, but chose not to question it, and instead to question what I was going to do next. Should I stay and ask questions, or should I get out and run? I was too busy asking myself questions in my mind to notice he was watching me through the rear-view mirror. Suddenly, all the questions in my mind ceased when I noticed his eyes. His piercing forest- green eyes seemed to reflect some unknown source of light. He was staring at me intensely, as if he was trying to put a name to a face.

“It is you after all.” He claimed after a few moments of examination.

“What’s going on?” was my only response.

“You don’t need to know. Not yet, anyway”

“But I want to know. What was that thing? Who are you? What were you talking about with that thing? Why were yo-”

“That’s enough!” He proclaimed. “I wish I could answer your endless list of questions, but it is not the right time or place.”

I sat there not knowing how to respond, worried he would become violent if I pursued to question him, but still eager to gain answers. There was a moments silence until I gathered the confidence to talk again.

“If you’re going to refuse to answer my questions, then please would you have the decency to take me home?” I asked, worried about how he would answer, not knowing what kind of person he was and what he was capable of.

I saw him grin in the rear-view mirror. A smile that took my breathe away, yet only for a second.

“As you wish.” was his only answer.

So there I sat, a vulnerable teenager in the backseat of a stranger’s car. We drove at a very high speed in silence, meaning I ended up home in a matter of minutes. There was one vital question on my mind at that point: How did he know where I lived? Confused, for the infinitive number of times that night, I sat still waiting for him to say something. He remained silent, making it clear he wanted me to get out of the car and that he wouldn’t respond to anything that I would ask.

“Thank you for bringing me home” I said as I got ready to leave, my voice trembling.

“You’ll find out answers to your questions soon enough, Serena. I assure you.”

I paused for a second, wishing he wouldn’t say things to make me more confused than I already was.

“I hope so… Goodbye.” With that, I quickly left the black BMW, and left behind my only source of answers. I turned back to see him, but alas, he was already gone. I unlocked the front door and went inside, finding my mother standing there with a concerned look on her face, phone in hand. Oh no, I suddenly remembered, I forgot to call her on my way back! With that, I shut the door behind me and prepared myself for the obvious lecture. However, I wasn’t listening to anything she was saying to me, as my mind was far too occupied.

I lay in bed that night, feeling unsatisfied. So many questions, but so little answers. I did not know the man’s name, who he was, or what had happened earlier on that night. What I did know, however, was that I would soon find out, and I didn’t know how to feel about that.

The End

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