The night was unleashed, and it seemed as if ink had spilled across the sky, with only tiny specs of light desperately shining through. Traces of the bright sun were slowly vanishing, engulfed by the darkness. Daren looked up and saw the shy pale moon creeping across the clouds as if spying him. The moon was bright enough for him to see as he walked down the shadowed path. The cool night air had hit his face suddenly, and his sweat on his face slowly dried. Dark shapes moved all around him as he quickly glanced around, only to find it a mere shadow.
The leaves and twigs crunched against Daren's boot as he continued down the dark path. No animals what so ever seemed to stir in the forest, and he found that disturbing. The night was too quiet; the only thing making a sound was his shallow breathing and the crunch against his boot.
Daren dragged his kill down the path, leaving a long blood trail. He knew that was dangerous, because other animals could smell it and attack or it might lead others towards him. But he didn't seem to care. Let them come thought Daren. He sighed and looked at the beautiful dark sky. The night had relaxed him, and he felt very content in the darkness. Nothing seemed to bother him.
The fire was now visible through the thick trees and Daren followed the dancing flames. He had reached the grounds and looked around. He threw the kill on the ground.
"Eat, I am not hungry," said Daren. He slowly closed his powerful bat-like wings and sat down. One by one, others like him glided down from the trees and landed next to him. Daren could only see their bright glowing eyes in the darkness that seemed to dance around him.
"Why do you not eat, Daren?" asked a low smooth voice. Daren looked up at the pair of fierce yellow eyes and sighed.
"Because I am not hungry and I do not wish to eat," replied Daren with a dangerous tone. The pair of yellow eyes stepped into the light of the fire and revealed the familiar thin face.
"Something is bothering you, I can feel it," said Blaine as he sat next to Daren. Speckles of blood splashed on the floor next to their feet as the rest feasted.
"'Tis nothing. Do not trouble yourself with my problems. Go eat, you need your energy," Daren gestured for Blaine to go to the kill. Blaine shook his head and walked over towards the kill. Daren looked away and at the sky. He felt strange somehow, like he didn't belong here. A feeling has been killing him inside for as long as he could remember. He felt so…empty.
"Daren, why do you look at the night sky like that?" asked Sabra. Daren snapped out of his trance and looked at her. Her eyes stared at him in the darkness like red floating orbs. Slowly, she stepped into the light, revealing her long black hair falling against her body like a dark waterfall.
"What do you mean, Sabra?" asked Daren. Sabra looked at him impatiently and narrowed her eyes.
"Why do you act as if it is your lover, always staring at it and ignoring the rest of us? Why do you look at the sky with adoring eyes and a dreamy expression on your face?" said Sabra.
"You talk nonsense," said Daren, shaking his head.
"He looks at it that way because he has no other lover," said Blaine, wiping blood from his face. Daren suddenly got up and lunged at him, knocking him against a tree so fast no one knew what had happened. Daren growled and stared at Blaine with blazing blue eyes.
"Why I look at the sky is none of your business," hissed Daren. Daren slowly released Blaine and pushed him to the ground.
Daren walked through the pairs of glowing eyes and sat back down. He spread his dark wings and took off into the night, soaring past the trees and looking at the starry sky.
Kasia glided down and landed on the green grass with a thud. She fluttered her white-feathered wings and then closed them, feeling the soft feathers brush against her back. She grabbed the bundle of herbs and ran into her little house. Her grandmother was busy crushing tree bark when Kasia came in. Kasia could smell the familiar spicy smell filling the room. Kasia set the herbs on the table and walked over to her grandmother.
"Grandmother, what are you making?" asked Kasia. She spotted the many ingredients on the table.
"Aline is about to give birth, I am making something to ease the pain," replied Kasia's grandmother quickly. "Bring me those herbs."
Kasia grabbed the herbs and handed them to her grandmother.
"Aline is about your age, Kasia. It is about time you find someone," said her grandmother casually. Kasia rolled her eyes and stretched her magnificent wings.
"I am going, tell Aline I wish her and the baby well," Kasia quickly walked out the door and glided off into the forest, looking up at the bright sun and clear blue sky.
Daren splashed his face with the cool water from the river and sighed. He had been coming here for as long as he could remember. This had been his favorite spot to be alone, to think. It had always calmed him.
Daren rested in the shade from the bright sun, his pale skin feeling burned. He closed his black wings and looked around. He could only hear the sound of the rushing water and birds chirping far away. Daren closed his eyes and remembered Sabra's words.
Why do you look at the sky with adoring eyes and a dreamy expression on your face?
Daren did not know why. Her words had disturbed him, for he didn't know he looked like that at the sky. No one else had seemed to notice, so Daren didn't care. Now that someone did, Daren started to feel confused.
Why do I feel like this? What's wrong with me?Thought Daren. Daren shook his head as if trying to remove his thoughts. The heat of the sun was making Daren feel uncomfortable, and he needed to sleep. He could feel his smooth white skin burning and his body sweating under his black clothing.
Daren got up and stretched his bat-like black wings and took off, avoiding the sun and ducking under trees, with Sabra's words still echoing in his mind.
Kasia shielded her eyes from the bright sun as she looked at the blue sky. She was sitting on a giant rock beside the rushing river, watching it flow and disappear in the distance. The sparkling water rushed against her bare feet, feeling the coolness of the water splash against it. A silver fox crept up on Kasia, watching her carefully as she got closer to her. Kasia felt the presence of the fox and turned around to reveal the silver fox behind her.
"Hello, Jesak," said Kasia warmly. The fox jumped on her lap and looked at her.
"Kasia, is something troubling you?" asked Jesak. Kasia sighed and shook her head.
"I don't know, Jesak," replied Kasia softly.
"Don't worry, child," said Jesak. "You will find the cause of your unhappiness." Kasia looked away and at the river.
"Sometimes I feel strange, like something is not right," said Kasia. She looked into Jesak's gold eyes and gleaming silver fur.
"It is the Night Walker, Kasia. It has a strange effect on you sometimes. It effects everything," said Jesak.
Kasia remembered when she was little and hadn't grown her wings yet, the time when the Night Walker came out and attacked, destroying her village and her parents. She could remember the same awful feeling she got every time she looked at it, like a huge glacier swelling in her chest, making her feel so cold and alone. The Night Walker would strike fear into everything, how it grows out of the ground and walks across the lands, how the blood of its victims would drip out of every single pore on its body. Kasia shivered from the image in her mind.
"Does this mean it will come out again soon?" asked Kasia.
"No creature knows when the Night Walker will come out again. We can only hope it won't in our lifetimes," Jesak leaped out of Kasia's lap and walked into the darkness of the woods.
Kasia took off, soaring in the air. She looked back at the sparkling river, imagining it flowing with blood.
"Daren, where are you going?" asked Blaine. Daren stopped and folded his wings and turned around. The light of the sun was caught in Blaine's gold eyes, making them seem like jewels.
"That doesn't concern you," said Daren quickly.
"Let me come with you, you need company sometimes."
Daren sighed and thought. "Alright, but just today. I guess I do need company."
Blaine stretched his bat-like wings and took off, leaving Daren behind. Daren stretched his wings out and followed Blaine.
"Where were you going?" asked Blaine.
"I am going to go see Maytrens," replied Daren. Blaine looked at Daren as if he were demented.
"Maytrens? The outcast? Why?" exclaimed Blaine. Daren acted as if he didn't hear Blaine and continued gliding across the lands.
"You can't see him! He's insane! The some say he is possessed by the NightWalker!" shouted Blaine. Again Daren did not reply but kept on flying. Blaine growled and shook his head from Daren's stubbornness.
They had reached the large snow top covered mountain where Maytrens lived. Blaine hesitated, then landed on the mountain. They had landed in thick woods. Old trees covered in moss surrounded them like a veil. Not a single ray of sunlight shined through the trees.
Daren and Blaine stood in the woods, listening to the eerie silence surrounding them.
"It's too quiet; I do not believe anything would live here," said Blaine quietly. Daren looked around for any signs of life, anything that might lead him to Maytrens
"Look! A dead bird!" exclaimed Blaine. Daren whipped around and at the ground where Blaine was pointing. A decayed bird laid on the slimy ground, its wings outstretched. Black holes where visible where its eyes used to be. A large gash covered the middle of the bird, as if it was eaten.
"Who would eat a mere bird?" asked Blaine. Daren looked around him.
"Maytrens! I come to seek answers! Are you close by?" shouted Daren. They listened to Daren's echo as it slowly faded away. Suddenly, thousands of dark creatures appeared all around them, slowly appearing behind trees or through thick branches. Red dots glowed in the darkness like spots of blood.
"You seek someone called Maytrens?" hissed a strange cracking voice. Daren looked at the creatures surrounding him, trying to find the one who spoke.
"Yes, do you know where I might find him?" asked Daren. Blaine quickly whipped around at the dark creatures.
"The one,the one Maytrens! You seek that one!" roared the straining voice. "He can be found up north, a lost soul with battered wings! AN OUTCAST! The voice rose to a cackling laughter, followed by the roar of the other creatures. The laughing echoed in Daren's mind, slowly driving him mad.
"What are you?" asked Blaine. The laughter stopped abruptly and the red eyes moved all around.
"We are the things that hunt blood! Be careful, the next time we meet will be your last…"Thousands of red eyes slowly disappeared into the darkness, leaving Blaine and Daren alone.
"What kind of creatures were those things?" asked Blaine quietly. Daren stretched his wings and rose above the ground.
"Whatever it was, it said to go north, and that's where we are going," said Daren quickly. Then, Daren glided away and out of Blaine's sight.
"Daren! Wait!" yelled Blaine. Blaine took one last look into the darkness, and then flew up beside Daren, the thing's strangled voice still in his mind.
Part 2 is coming soon!