|And Here I Thought They Were Just Clouds
Author: cdf320 PM
After the death of Lily's friend Alex, Lily starts seeing a strange boy standing outside Alex's house. As she struggles to cope with Alex's death and discover the identity of the stranger, Lily becomes involved in an ancient war she wanted no part in.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Supernatural - Chapters: 16 - Words: 30,048 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 06-26-11 - Published: 06-15-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2923771
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The school yard was her favorite place to be. Often times when she went for a walk in the evening she would end up there, regardless of whether she'd intended to go there or not. There was just something about it that was calming. Perhaps it was the location; the playground was centered between two wide playing fields, and it was the only place in the area where you could just go and immediately feel separated from everything. She was lying on her back, watching the thunderclouds pass over her head when the first raindrops began to fall.
Alex reluctantly got to her feet, remembering the last time she had been caught in a rainstorm. It hadn't been the most exciting experience, walking home with soggy tennis shoes, feeling her wet denim jeans dragging heavily on the ground. Besides, she had some chemistry homework to get to, and it wasn't going to do itself. A bright flash of lightning appeared in the sky before her as the rain began to fall harder, much harder than before. In a second, she was drenched clear through her clothing, and she shivered as a cold wind began to blow. She looked to the west, where the edge of the thunderclouds had been moments ago. Maybe I can wait it out, she thought, running to the covered play structure. She froze suddenly, as a roll of thunder swept through the playground and a distance voice cried out.
"I must be imagining things." Alex told herself, placing one hand against a bright blue metal pole for support. Through the gloom of the thunderstorm she glimpsed movement, a pale flicker of something in the rapidly growing darkness. She squinted into the rain for a moment before shaking her head and looking regretfully at the path home. It seemed so far away now, though it couldn't have been more than a few blocks. At least she was out of the rain for now. Something moved in the mist again, and Alex cried out as a flash of lightning, bright like white fire, shot down from the heavens and into the field below her.
Someone was standing there; she was sure of it now, having seen him clearly in the brief flash of lightning. There was a boy there, probably eighteen or nineteen, holding something long and shiny up to the sky. The first thought that tumbled through Alex's head was that he was in danger of being struck by lightning. No one just stood in the middle of a field with a long metal object during a thunderstorm unless they wanted to be struck, right?
She didn't even realize she was running towards him until her feet hit the cool grass and the boy turned to look at her with surprise. In the back of her mind, she realized that this was a stupid thing to do, but for god's sake he was trying to kill himself, and there was no way in hell she was just going to stand there and watch.
"Get out of here! Go!" The boy shouted, waving his hands wildly at her. Alex opened her mouth to respond and slipped on the wet grass below her feet. She fell into the boy before her and they rolled a few feet downhill before tumbling to a stop. Panting, Alex turned and faced the boy she thought she'd accidentally saved. He was drenched, as she was, and now covered in mud as well. Anger flashed in his bright green eyes, and he jumped to his feet as fast as he could, shoving Alex down in the process. 'Stay down. Whatever you do, stay down. Otherwise, you'll die."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Alex shouted through the thunderstorm. The boy raised the shiny silver pole into the air again, and Alex noticed that it resembled something like a silver spear with markings etched into the metal. Above her, the boy shouted something foreign into the sky and the lightning crashed down again, only several feet away. Alex screamed and jumped to her feet. Forget staying put, I'm going home!
"No!" The boy shouted from behind her. There came a sudden, loud roar, as if the thunder had come to life in the sky. Alex turned involuntarily, watching as the clouds began to churn in the sky. Masses of dark grew mist funneled into the field, and something dark moved within its midst. They boy brandished his spear in front of him, as if he were going to fight the mist. He's crazy! Alex thought, backing away. Absolutely insane! She started backwards, away from the boy, just as whatever was lurking in the mist made its appearance. A large, reptilian beast had emerged from the clouds. It had to have been at least twelve feet tall, twice as tall as the boy standing before it. It gave a hollow cry, something between a raptor's screech and an elephant's trumpet, and charged at the boy in front of it. Alex heard a distant screaming, not quite understanding that she was hearing her own cries. In front of her, the boy performed a magnificent back flip as the creature struck at him with sharp black claws that glittered even in the gloom of the thunderstorm. Alex might have even said they looked wet from this distance, and though it might have been the rain she had a feeling it was something more complicated than that.
Ahead of her, the boy fought the monster mercilessly, dodging the sweeping claws and striking at the monster with the long, silver spear. He moved faster than she'd seen anyone move, and the way he fought seemed like something out of a video game instead of something you'd see in real life, but there he was. With a fierce cry the boy struck out at the creature a final time and it cried out in agony. The boy flourished his spear behind his back and stuck down at the creature again. Alex covered her ears as an earth-shattering cry echoed throughout the clearing, and the monster fell to the ground with a heavy thump that she could feel even though she was at least one hundred meters away. Within seconds, the place where the monster lay was enveloped in clouds and the remains of the monster had disappeared.
The boy seemed to sigh and turned back to Alex slowly, though she could tell by the way he was standing that something was wrong. In fear, she turned away from him, planning to run home as fast as she could, curl up in bed with all her warm pillows and blankets and lock the doors. Maybe even some sleeping pills as well, just so she could get some sleep and stop seeing things. Clearly that explained what was happening here. Clouds didn't just come down from the sky and produce scary lizard creatures. No way. Clouds were friendly, happy things, like white cotton candy sitting harmlessly up in the sky. The clouds had never turned on her before this.
She heard the boy cry out something behind her and ignored him. There was no way she was turning back, not now. He was crazy. A gust of wind swept her already sopping hair into her face and it stuck there. She wiped her hand across her face, still running, and crashed into something impossibly hard before her.
There's no wall here, she thought weakly as she tried to pull herself into a standing position. Alex looked up, and with a shock she realized that she had not crashed into a wall, or a tree, or any other normal thing you would expect to crash into on an elementary school playground. Another reptilian creature stood above her, grinning down with bright, pupil-less blue eyes and shiny white teeth. It raised its claws before her, and as they came down across her shoulder she realized that they were coated in some sort of purple liquid that stung like fire when it touched her skin. She screamed out in pain, just as a flash of silver appeared before her. "I told you to stay put!" The boy called from above her. The monster cried out in pain as he struck it once, twice, three times. Alex struggled to get to her feet, but found that she could no longer move, and the pain in her shoulder was spreading like fire. She cried out again as the mist came down from the sky to claim the body of the monster the boy had killed.
"Stay with me!" The boy shouted, shaking her shoulder.
She wanted to tell him to stop, that every time it shook her body she felt fresh waves of pain, but the words would not form. The boy's shouts became muffled slightly, as Alex felt herself slip away into darkness.