Charles paused, on his hunt through the woods, waiting for his prey. His bow was slung at his side, and his arrows were ready to be fired. He was the best marksman in his village, and today was no exception. He had taken at least fifteen deer, making all of his companions return to give the meat and hide. He had heard a monster was hidden in these woods, and he wanted that next.
He began walking, and heard a branch breaking from a few yards away. He pulled out his bow, plucked its quiver, and readied it to fire in under two seconds. The wooden bow had seen some days, but stayed as sturdy as the day Charles had made it. It was a good thing he had been careful, for he almost took the heart of an innocent boy.
"Orion," He said. "What are you doing?"
"I am here to help, sir." Orion replied, an eager smile upon his otherwise average face. His hair was chestnut-brown and scraggly, to Charles' straight red hair. Orion's darker skin contrasted with the pearlish white of Charles'. "My father wished for me to learn the ways of the bow."
"Today is not a good day, Orion." Charles replied. He saw the disappointment on his face immediately, and conceded. "But if you truly wish to learn, you may come along." His face shown in gratitude as soon as this was said. He bowed, as a sign of respect.
They walked forward, until they reached what they called the Lions Den. The grey wall opened into a dark crevice, of which Charles and Orion were forced to climb. Orion went first, with Charles keeping an eye on him, should he was a skilled climber, even for a youngling of no more than seven years old.
Charles felt bad for the little child, for his father is absent for almost all hours drowning in the drink, as well as having a past mother. He has no siblings, and his friends were, for the most part, nonexistent. Orion even had a disability, one where he cannot see any color at all. It was a genetic mutation, the town doctor said.
As they reached the top, Orion backed up in fear. As Charles reached the summit, he could see why. The beast was sitting in its normal spot, where it was always seen. It was large, larger than three of their buildings combined, at least half as thick, and as red as the demon it is. Its tail was long, with a pointed end, with multiple thorns. It had wings, above its tiny arms, made of leather and fur, spread out like that of a bats. It had a head with multiple thorns on it, with a snout stretching out like that of a wolf's. The legs were thick, and made of large scales, that lead into feet like that of a lizard, only with thorns instead of pads.
Its eyes opened, and Orion backed in fear more. Charles draws his bow once again, and brings an arrow to the wood. It was a different arrow, that made of silver, which would kill monsters similar to this dragon. He fires, but misses as the dragon swats the arrow away. It stands, angry, and prepares to kill Charles. Orion charges ahead, facing his fear, and leaps onto the dragon's foot. It loses focus, and stumbles. The boy is left exposed, as Charles aims another arrow. He plans to shoot only the dragon, but Orion climbs to its chest in an instant, as though to fight it like that.
The arrow surges forward, and Charles wishes it to stop in its tracks, but it is too late. Orion was struck in his spine, with the arrow crossing through his body and into the dragon's, in a single motion. Charles attempted to revive the child, when he had confirmed the dragon is dead. It was too late, for the child had died already. Charles did not weep, for he knew the child was now at peace. Charles climbed down the mountain, to tell the villagers the child had been killed by the beast.
It was hours later when Orion woke. His eyes had changed from the normal green, to their new bright yellow, like a reptile's or an amphibian's. The dragon had sent blood into the child as a last act of the peace it wished for. The child stood, and roared with the intensity of the beast who had saved him.
Harriet awoke in a den, a wolves den to be exact. She found the others dead at her feet, but she remained alive and well. She stood, uneasy at first, but safe all the way. Her blonde hair bounced as she took a step forward, and her darker colored foot created agony and fear when it stepped onto a body. She took another step, and remembered her journey there.
It had been a year after the boy Orion had died, and Charles had made it a goal to teach every child to survive every year on the anniversary of the Innocent One's demise. That was what they called Orion after he was killed by the beast. Since then, monsters were hunted down by specially trained hunters, with newly advanced equipment. Crossbows replaced bows, swords replaced clubs, and slowly they moved into the modern era.
Harriet and her friends were a few of the ones trained by Charles, though nobody thought it was right. He was taking innocent children into his hands, and the town knew that Charles had left Orion's body only for fear of the beast.
Harriet moved, fear instilled in her eyes as the bodies of her young friends littered the floor. She felt a scratch on her shoulder, but she hoped she would be okay. Charles couldn't be too far away, she thought; he wouldn't leave them all like he had left Orion. Little did she know that Charles was a coward, and had abandoned them long before.
Her group was headed to defeat a horde of werewolves, with the sharpshooter Charles at their side. Harriet had a sword, wishing to fight them up close, believing bows to be weak. At eight, she had been ready to fight more than any of the others, and yet she was the most scared.
She grabbed her sword, and came upon the monsters that they were told to kill. They were large, as large as the horses possibly, but they were covered in more fur. They had snouts like that of a regular wolf, but slightly longer, to contain all of their marvelous teeth. They seemed to have no end, the pearly daggers in the night, and Harriet knew that they could destroy her in a single bite. These were the werewolves of the night. Legend had it that they could only come out on a moon, but Harriet knew that they could change at will. How she knew it, she did not know.
Charles had led them into the cave, intending to teach them to fight the beasts, but failing miserably. Once he realized that all the children had been taken, all he did was kill the monsters himself. He succeeded, but at the cost of fifteen young children.
Harriet saw that the monsters were dead, and panicked. If Charles had done it, he intended to use them as bait, but if some of the children did it, they intended to leave them behind. Harriet felt the scratch on her shoulder start to ooze, but it was not normal blood: this blood was blue. It was then that she realized it was a bite, not a scratch. The monsters knew their fate, and chose to help her while Charles would have let her die. As the hairs rose on her skin, she understood now that she was a beast.
She turned, as the beast, and saw another of her kind. It was much taller, of course, but was in essence, the same as her. Her black fur, her heavy weight, her bright red eyes, and most of all, her long yellow teeth. The other werewolf, like Harriet, stood on its hind legs, with its hands outstretched as a claw.
The other came to Harriet, and made a noise similar to a sniff. Apparently, the beast disliked what it smelled, and swatted at Harriet. As a new instinct, Harriet blocked the attack with her own claw, and swiped back at it. The werewolf opened its mouth, and attempted to bite, but Harriet blocked that as well. As a final move, the Beast charged into Harriet, knocking her back. A part of Harriet snapped, and mauled the wolf to pieces; when she was finished, the only thing resembling the werewolf was a single tooth, a bicuspid.
Harriet shrunk back down, and grabbed the tooth, and placed it into her pocket, as she saw the woods off of the cliff. She could see the village, but knew Charles would kill her on sight. Instead, she ventured west, away from the town, and everything she had ever known.
Luke stepped off of the walkway with his brother, Max. They were intending to leave to play a game at night, hide and go seek, but their parents forbade it. There was one thing they refused since the slaughter of Harriet's group, and that was the night. As soon as the afternoon had hit, they were to return, so that nothing may harm them. They were loving parents after all, and though they may be strict, they did everything to make sure their kids remained safe.
Luke was first to count, and began at one. He counted until a hundred, while Max went to hide. He heard a noise, and with his young legs, he moved towards cover. When, however, he saw it to be Charles, he realized he was safe. Charles had told the town that every accident that happened was for a reason. The town had called him a loon, and he turned to the drink to satisfy his hunger for love. He became the town drunk, and Luke knew that he would not be able to tell anyone. Charles came over to Luke, however, and began speaking in his slurred voice.
"What are you doing out here, young one?" He asked. The white-haired boy raised his shoulders, as though to say "None of your business", but didn't say it out of kindness. He may have been nine, but that made him no less knowing of his place. Charles may have been a drunk, but that didn't mean he deserved less respect.
"I'm playing with my brother." He replied, confidence ebbing throughout his body.
"Well you shouldn't be out tonight. The monsters hate those that come out on Innocent Eve" Innocent Eve was a mock holiday, in honor of the children that died a year before, as a sign of respect. Charles attempted to make it a celebration, but the monsters made it a death-day. Every Innocent Eve, they threatened to take anyone who stepped into their territory. Should they live, well... They would not live.
"I will take my chances, drunk." Luke replied. None cared for Charles anymore, and there seemed to be no end to his drunkenness and stupidity. He slapped the boy, and berated him.
"How dare you!" He slurred. "Where is your brother, so I may hit him as well?!"
"We have to find him." Luke cried. "That's how the game works."
Charles drew his bow, and aimed ahead of Luke, and told him to find Max. He had drawn it to shoot the monsters he knew were out there. Word had it that Vampires had taken control of a nearby wooded city, and that was surely going to be where Max had hidden.
Luke moved forward, crouching to stay hidden, as Charles stumbled behind him. Luke couldn't believe he had been caught, much less by the one man every person in town hated. He moved, and after many minutes, they came upon a fence. It was wooden, but raised up higher than a nearby tree. Luke crawled in, fearful because of the unknown territory. Charles followed, regaining his sobriety for the moment.
As they reached the center of town, Luke saw a horrifying sight. The monsters, at first glance appeared human, but had an evil aura about them. Their teeth were rows upon rows of yellowed daggers,, while their claws were the same, only longer. Their eyes shone pure red, and their skin was as dry and pale as a bone. They wore robes, with hoods to cover their dark hair, but it didn't hide much on their face. Evil flashed on them like light from the fire, but that was not what instilled fear in Luke.
On a spit, in the center of the ring of monsters, was Luke's younger brother Max. His brown hair was singed off, and his skin burned to crisps, but Luke could never forget his brother. Max was dead, and there was nothing they could do about it. When the monsters burn their prey, they release their soul, while if they had just bit them, the victims would simply become one of them.
Charles aimed his bow, and fired. The monsters vanished, but appeared again to kill Charles. They were willing to let the boy live, but Charles had angered them. Luke ran to the spit, while Charles fired randomly at the Vampires. Fear only inhabited Luke, but Charles had determination. As Luke reached the spit, however, an unknown assailant attacked him in his spot, sinking its teeth into his dry white skinned neck. As Charles saw this, he attacked more furiously, grabbing a torch and burning the monsters alive, but it was too late. Luke had passed, and once again, it was Charles' fault.
The monsters were dead, and Charles had left, when Luke stood once again. He felt confident this time, even though he knew what surged through him now. He opened his mouth, and in an act he would never forget, drank his brother's blood.
Andrea raised her bow in anger, as the elves around her raised theirs. They had faced discrimination for too long, and the humans needed to know who was free. They charged, as their leader commanded them to enter the village. Men came out of the village, attempting to make peace, which struck Andrea as odd. She had never assumed that humans could make peace, but at twelve years old, this was her second human spotting. The first had been a man who called himself Charles, and he seemed to be disoriented. These men seemed peaceful, harmless really.
Charles had been shamed once again, and been forced out of the home he once loved. No family would allow him near their children, for it seemed when he had contact with a child, they were doomed. Orion, Harriet and her group, and the brothers Luke and Max were all examples of what he had done. He attempted to clear his name by making slaves of the nearby elven people, but to no avail. He may have been strong in words once, but not anymore.
Andrea realized that Charles had been a fraud for the humans as she saw the innocent men, but it was too late. The elves had already broken in, and ready to slaughter the ones they believed hated them. Andrea attempted to stop them, and even started to convince the elves of their mistake, but nobody would believe her. They all had a blood lust on their minds, and once an elf has one, they cannot get rid of it. Andrea was the exception in this case. She moved back, but still could not escape the swarm of elves.
They were all humanlike in build, all beautiful in their own rights. They were short, about five feet, five inches to the average humans six-foot, but thinner, making them very light and nimble. Andrea alone can almost float with weightlessness, and the others used that to an advantage. Some were able to jump over the humans' tall fences easily, and others took more energy. They wore the clothes fabricated by nature, making them green and thin. She wore a cloak made of a eucalyptus tree, with a bow made of pure bamboo and natural cotton. Her bright blue eyes were able to see in the dark, making her a useful ally, while her long interchangeably colored hair made her a beautiful distraction. Like the others, her eyes were almond-shaped, and her ears were very pointed at the tip.
As they entered the town, she saw Charles at the cannons, readying them to fire. He was alone, and Andrea realized she could take him out with a shot from her bow, if she was steady enough. She aimed, knowing a single shot could take away their supposed leader, and give the elves a reason to back off. She was too late with her shot, for Charles had made his.
The cannonball centered into the crowd of her friends, and she almost didn't make it away in time. She ducked, and moved towards a wooden building. If she could kill Charles, she could save hundreds of lives in danger. She made her way up the building, her climbing skills like that of a monkey, or a bug. As she reached the top, she saw two men aiming bows with fire arrows on them. She used the bow like a staff, and beat them off of the roof. The fire took the building, and Andrea felt guilt for what she might have done to innocent lives inside.
She plucked her bow, and aimed for Charles' head, but lost focus when she heard an explosion. She looked down in surprise, to see that they had rolled barrels of gunpowder into the streets, and the fire arrows were meant to light them. She tried to go down to save the elven people, but it was too late. Charles and his men had lit a fire at the end of the street, burning those that remained, slicing the heads off of the ones who wouldn't die.
Andrea ran on top of the roofs, to reach Charles on his. She strung an arrow with rope, fired above his head, and used the rope to swing to him. She climbed up the rope to find herself at his back. He turned, and the scars of fist fights and beatings over the past years were highlighted on his face. His once red hair was now white, like one of the children he had lost. His features were angrier now, as though pain brought that with him.
"You little monster!" He said, swinging a club at Andrea. It hit her bow, knocking it out of her hand. She stammered, but remained balanced. "You killed the children!" She had no idea what he was talking about. He had clearly gone insane, she thought. She was mute, so could not say this to him. He swung his club again, and attempted to hit Andrea, but missed completely. She ducked, and swung her leg, knocking him off of his feet. She picked up his club, and started to beat him, but he forced his hand up, and used his magic to throw it in the air.
Charles, in the three years since the slaughter with the Vampires, had learned magic, in an attempt to make himself a greater warrior, so that he would still have use. He knew almost every trick in the book, more than some of the elves, and was able to do more than he hoped. He then surged his pale, white right hand at Andrea, forcing her back. She was thrown far, at least three miles, and as she traveled, Charles resumed killing the people of the elven race.
Much later, Andrea awoke, unknowing she is one of the last of her kind.