|The Truth Lies in the Shadows
Author: Mandyla PM
A NaNoWriMo novel. Synopsis inside.Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 29 - Words: 82,109 - Favs: 4 - Updated: 04-12-13 - Published: 11-04-11 - id: 2967465
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Synopsis: From a young age, the people of Creighton have been taught to fear the Shadow Walkers, mysterious beings known only for stealing the souls of anyone unfortunate enough to cross their paths at night. Elle Addison, advisor to Creighton's spiritual leader, knows better than anyone the benefits of remaining within the walls of the city for protection. When her mother's body is found with the mark of the Shadow Walkers, the stress of her position begins to weigh heavy on her as she struggles to cope with her loss. Just as she reaches her breaking point, the spiritual leader from a distant city arrives, taking an uncommon interest in Elle. For the most part, Elle ignores this, but as the days wear on she becomes more and more suspicious. She can't help but feel as if he's hiding something. The man isn't who he says he is, but his true identity will lead Elle to question everything she has ever thought true about her home and even herself.
A breeze blew across the open school yard, bringing with it a wall of clouds across the sky. Gradually, the shadow made their way across the ground, casting the playground in the dim light of an impending storm.
The children on the playground looked up with little interest as they climbed the ladders and slid down the slides. There were few of them. Most of the children were gathered in a tight circle in the middle of the stretch of dirt between the playground and the school where the teacher watched the skies carefully from the window.
These children didn't look up, more interested in their game than anything going on around them. A small drawstring bag was being passed around the circle, each child reaching in and removing a small object when his or her turn came, being sure to keep it hidden in their fists. They chanted as one.
The sun is gone and the moon is here
Time to go and hide, my dear
Stay inside the house, don't wander about
For now is the time the Shadow Walkers come out.
When the bag made a full circle, it was cast aside, now empty. They all shared looks before they began chanting again, shaking their fists in rhythm to the words.
In the dark of the night, their magic travels far,
Blocking the light of the brightest star,
Their faces cloaked in shadow,
The only thing to see is their blue eyes glow.
At their last word, all the children opened their hands to reveal what they held. Each child held a small pebble of varying shades of blue and white. All except one. All eyes in the circle turned to the dark-haired boy who had a black pebble in his hand. He shrugged as if it made no difference to him and made his way to the center of the circle. The children on either side of him closed the gap so the circle was once again whole. The ring of children began to chant again.
You can't run and you can't hide
That's what you get for not staying inside
Three rings on your forehead are sure to be true
Unless the sun returns to save you.
Shrieks filled the air as the ring of children scattered, some running for the playground, others farther out away from the school in the other direction.
The boy smiled as he looked around for a moment, deciding where to chase. His eyes set on a girl with brown hair done up in braids and took off after her.
She glanced over her shoulder to see him catching up quickly and let out a playful squeal, increasing her pace to stay away from him. She reached the playground and wasted no time in climbing to the tallest tower of the wooden structure and looked down at him, not thinking he would follow since she could easily escape by the slide.
He didn't seem to notice this possibility and instead began climbing the ladder.
She turned and slid down the slide, giggling at the thought of the boy getting to the top and having no idea where she had gone. When she reached the bottom she jumped to her feet, prepared to run again, but the boy came from around the other side of the tower, catching her off guard.
He grabbed her in a hug and laughed. "Got you! Now you're a Shadow Walker too," he said.
She stuck her tongue out at him as she pushed him off.
Just then, the sky let out a rumble, low at first, but gradually growing louder. The children, who had been uninterested in what was going on above their heads, looked up.
A bell rang and the children started to move toward the school as a light rain began to fall.
"If you were really a Shadow Walker you never would have caught me. I was feeling sorry for you," the girl teased, ignoring the bell.
"That's what you always say. But a Shadow Walker would never get you 'cuz I'd be there to stop him," the boy said, puffing out his chest.
The girl giggled. "You'd be too much of a scaredy cat, Enne. I'd keep them from getting you," she said, beginning to skip off toward the school.
"Nu uh!" the boy said indignantly before reluctantly following after her. "Keele, wait up! I promise!"
"Promise what?" the girl said, turning to look at him.
"The Shadow Walkers will never get you, or I'll let May Evenson kiss me."
The girl giggled again. "Okay."
"Elle! Keen!" the teachers voice called from the door to the school as the rain began to fall harder. "Come here before you catch a cold!"
The two held hands as they ran across the open space, giggling the whole way.