|The Darkwater Chronicles 2: Servants of the Night
Author: TyranicFish PM
About a month after the events in book one, Alex Walker finds herself in the middle of a greater conflict between forces so far beyond her, and she's not sure if she wants any of them to win. With cryptic warnings from a voice in her head, and nothing more than a sorcerer and a shape shifter to help her survive, she must protect one thing; the book that started this whole mess.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 17 - Words: 28,468 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 03-07-13 - Published: 02-05-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3098535
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Notes: This is the second installment of The Darkwater Chronicles, just in case the "2" didn't tip many people off to that. Reading the first one may help your understanding of this one. Just sayin. Enjoy.
Chapter 1: Now It Begins
I remember it like it was yesterday. Edmund and Nathaniel both trying to do...something terrible. Something beyond terrible. Not sure what. They didn't really want to tell me all about it. If I were a bad guy, telling the good guy my plan wouldn't be on my agenda.
Dad bought the whole "kids playing baseball in the graveyard" excuse me and mom agreed on when he asked me to explain the damage to the study and the crypt. Edmund's corpse David helped me put in a sack, I may have puked, he may have passed out. But we got it done.
Oh and me and David are now sort of...well, boyfriend and girlfriend. It's pretty great. We kiss and hold hands and all that fun shit. We've been together a month now. That entire thing was a month ago, it's hard to believe. Like I said, I remember it like it was yesterday. The glass shoved in my side, the...sort of power I used to lash out at the illustrious Lord Darkwater, all of it.
The voice hasn't bothered me since. It's been silent. Silent as this lake right here. Me and dad are fishing again. I'd taken a liking to it, but only a small liking. It's quiet and the fish don't bite often enough for me to be woken up from my nap. Dad said it was never about catching anything, more about the peace of the lake. I'd ask why we don't just sit there with no fishing rods, but now when I imagine it without them, it sounds boring and pointless.
Dad begins to snore. It's a lazy Sunday, as they say...I think. Do they say that? Doesn't matter. I'm glad to have a moment to sit and relax. Between school work and nightmarish thoughts on what's coming next, I need my down time.
I look to my right. The Arcanum is sitting in my bag beside me here on the dock. The ambient noise and the light fog and gray skies make the rumbling power from it all the more eerie. I try to ignore it. It's time for me to relax. I can't leave it alone, I feel like that would be bad. Especially since my guidance counsellor is probably still around.
So I'm in a no win situation here. Either I leave it and unwittingly unleash another horror to possibly attack the town, maybe the world, or I keep it with me, and suffer with that terrible feeling of it wanting to destroy me or...or something.
I vote option number two, obviously. I stare at the water. It's calming. Calming up until I start to see things. Hah, I think I'm over seeing freaky things that go bump in the night.
Suddenly, things do start to appear. In the water. Rounded things floating closer and closer to the dock, the fog thickening around them. I should just stop thinking. The rounded things, I think they're rocks, I'd say they're about...a hundred yards from me. It's a fair guess. Maybe two hundred. How long is a yard?
Fuck it. They start to rise. They rise higher and higher until the point when they start to show themselves. All of themselves. What looks like hair dangles from the rounded tops over wrinkled faces without eyes to fill the sockets. Fuck. My heart starts to race. I turn to my dad. He's still asleep. I look at the skulls – yeah, they're skulls – and they've risen higher. Bodies dangle from them, bones covered by what little withered clothes and skin remain and they start to march.
I let go of a breath. I didn't think I was holding onto my breath, but hey, you learn something new every day. Every second. Jesus. I don't know what to do. I could bolt, but then what? What about dad? Can he see them too? Should I wake him up to find out?
...Wake him up. Wake him up you complete dip-shit. I reach over to him and try my best to shake him awake, but nothing. Nothing, he doesn't budge. I shake harder. His head lolls and his hat falls off, but still out like a light. Incredible. I look back at the walking remains. Looking at them makes me want to be sick.
Their skin looks like it's sponged up with water, if that makes any sense. It's torn in some places, and...Yeah, they're getting closer. They all have their eyeless gaze set on one thing. It isn't me. That's at least a nice change. Though not much nicer. They're all staring at my bag. The Arcanum.
I get up from my chair and grab it, and – holy shit! A skeletal hand leaps out of the water and grips it harder than any living hand might. Fuck that's creepy! I pull as hard as I can but somehow, even without muscles, the hand is winning. I'm not one for giving up though. So it pulls me in with the bag. The sudden change from cool to cold and damp is sudden and not at all subtle.
Now I'm wrestling with a skeleton underwater. I closed my eyes instinctively. Good thing, too. If they'd been open I think something akin to pickle water would sting the living shit out of them. Suddenly more skinny fingers grab at me. I scream, which, as anyone can imagine, is a terrible thing to do when you're underwater. Idiot. They pull me out of the water and – God, what the fuck? They're just caressing my face like I'm some priceless vase they just bought from an antique store!
The bag is still in my hands, wet as hell. The only thing I can think to do is scream. I do it. I scream loud and high. It's enough to break the time space barrier between me and my dad. He wakes up and...suddenly everything's normal again. The hands are gone, the fog is back to being minimal at best and...I'm sitting in the shallow end of the lake with my book bag soaked to the bone, looking like an idiot.
"What the-" he asks in his graceful wake-up stride. He looks down at me in the water. "...Decided to take a swim, did you?"
"...I caught a big one," I say. I think that's the safest answer.
"With your bag?"
"...Yes." I climb to my feet and back onto the dock. "I think it's time to go home," I tell dad plainly.
"That's fair." Yeah you're damn right it's fair. "I'll make you some hot chocolate when we get back." My reward for taking on a bunch of random ass skeletons in a lake. The universe is just.
When we get home I head straight to take a shower. Mom appears in front of me as I leave my bedroom with a change of clothes in hand. She looks me up and down, her face bloody and flesh mostly eaten away and...
She's back to normal. Black hair, brown eyes, pale skin. Just like before. I shake my head violently. Can't shake that image. "What happened to you?" she asks, with a normal, living mouth.
"Um," I stammer, "just fell into a lake."
She waves her hands a bit, asking for more.
"...That's as specific as I'd like to be," I tell her. She shrugs.
"I'm cooking meatloaf for dinner, is that okay?" she asks. Suddenly her eyes start to bleed and her skin starts to burst. I can't...I...
"Yeah yeah, great," I rush past her as fast as possible. I have to find a way to block that image out. Entirely. Completely. Just...obliterate it. I think it's time to see a shrink. Then again...No, I think it's time to see a shrink. How expensive are they? Last time I checked they were over the top expensive. Pay through the nose and the ass expensive.
It was like this during my birthday party too. Sort of just waded through it, I didn't want to frighten my parents and my two only other guests. Hannah and David are the only people at school that I know. Everyone else is kind of...dull. It may be because none of them can shape shift or wield magic. Well, none that I know. But I already found two, it's not so crazy to think that I might find more. By the way, I'm 17 now.
As the water starts to run down my skin the image of those skeletal thugs reenters my mind. They were after the Arcanum. Everyone seems very interested in that book. Suddenly, a familiar voice laughs in the back of my mind. A chill runs up my spine. Now it begins.