When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are made of gold
When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood's run stale
I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you
But with the beast inside
There's nowhere we can hide
No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come
When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It's where my demons hide
It's where my demons hide
Don't get too close
It's dark inside
It's where my demons hide
It's where my demons hide
At the curtain's call
It's the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl
So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you've made
Don't wanna let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don't wanna hide the truth
They say it's what you make
I say it's up to fate
It's woven in my soul
I need to let you go
Your eyes, the shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can't escape this now
Unless you show me how...
My harsh battle cry seemed to startle her. I felt claws unsheathing underneath my gloves. I turned and looked at her under my hood. Her eyes were mesmerizing. I closed my own eyes and let out a hardly audible sigh. I felt an invisible wave of heat flash through my body. I felt myself being drawn to her, wanting.
Her eyes searched my face. What could I give her? What could I ever give her? I was...a demon. To go down the stairs, I had to take a step closer to her. I did it slowly, waiting for a reaction.
"I'll wait." She said ever so softly, before stumbling away.
I let out a harsh breath and ran down the stairs. I sank to my knees as the full moon shone upon my body. An utter cry of anguish escaped my throat, turning into a vicous roar of a bloodthirsty demon.
The first time I saw my sister was when she was learning to fight. With fire. I was invisible to her, hiding in the trees. She fought well. I heard a snap behind me, and whirled to see my father.
"She is going to be good." He said.
"The war isn't going well. The Sun Elves refuse to back down." He said quietly.
"I can help, father." I said.
"No, Zaeren. You're too young. You're capable, but..." A flicker of dark light came into his eyes.
I shuddered. That light appeared whenever he became shdy about me or my past. What secret was he keeping? I shrugged and turned to watch my sister again.
"What's her name?" I asked simply.
I admired her powerful spurts of flame. I had never possesed something like that. I used flame, but it wasn't my specialty, which was strange for a Moon Elf. I was relatively weak. My powers hadn't been found yet, as my father claimed.
"Your mother is pregnant with another child." Father said gravely.
I gasped softly.
"Why? Do you want someone else who is better than me?" I said angrily.
Father smirked and smacked my shoulder.
I clenched my jaw and turned away. I left him behind, ignoring his faint cursing.
I escaped into the woods, calling out for my best friend, Shenai. Although he was a Lith, we were very close. I wandered deeper into the woods, waiting for Shenai to come out.
"Zaeren?" I heard a voice behind me.
I turned to see Shenai, waiting for me. I grinned and came closer to him.
"Want to learn to fight with bows ad arrows today?" I asked.
He nodded eagerly, and we went off towards his camp.
Come nightfall, Shenai confessed his father wated him to go home. I accompanied him to his tent. I heard a gentle laughing from inside.
"Who's that?" I asked Shenai.
"Oh. That's my sister, Misty. Want to see her?" He replied.
I nodded and followed him inside. I saw a young Lith sitting in the corner, with long black hair, tail, and ears. Liths are human, but have wolf tails and ears. This young girl was very lively, laughing and playing. I smiled at her antics, thinking of Seera.
"Who's that, mommy?" Misty asked.
"I'm Zaeren." I said, bowing slightly.
It was rather odd for a Moon Elf ad a Lith to be friends, since the war started, but Shenai's mother agreed readily, having no one else; her husband had left to fight.
"I'm Misty!" She blurted out, and pounced on me.
I shrieked and fell backwards. Misty sat on top of my chest and giggled.
"Wanna wrestle, Zaeren?" She asked excitedly.
"Next time." I said quickly.
Even though Shenai's mother was okay with us visiting, my father would kill me if he ever saw me interactng with them like this. Especialy wrestling.
Misty frowned, then nodded.
"Next time." She bounded off my chest, and I scrambled to my feet.
I nodded at Shenai, then exited the tent.
I once again enetred the perpetual shadow of war.
I slunk slowly through the shadows, looking for an opening. I glanced behind me, waiting for an alarm cry to go up. Nothing stirred. I sighed gently. Father would kill me if he ever found out I was doing this. I had to go war. I had to defend my pride. The pride of Moon Elves. But then again, what kind of Moon Elf was I? I had no power over fire, and if I did at all, it was very weak.
I opened one of my clenched fists and let out a stream of magic. It was blacker than night, and darker than shadow. What was I? I closed my hand again and crawled forward.
Gradually, I began to hear yelling and the clash of weapons. I peered over a slight hill to see a small battalion on Moon Elves attacking a Lithian camp. My fingers trailed down to my sword, then froze.
My eyes widened as I recognized...my father? How could he be fighting? I cursed under my breath. He had sworn to the family that he wouldn't battle! I leapt down into the camp, unsheathing my sword. I whispered a battle cry to myself and swung at a Lith that was trying to pin an Elf. The tiny thing went flying at my blow, and I gaped.
What had I done? I glanced down at my sword. It was illuminated my black light. I swallowed hard and attacked another Lith. I came upon a third, having sent the second one flying. It stared up into my eyes pitifullly. I stopped short. The young Lith reminded me of Misty.
I shuddered and backed away.
"You!" I turned and saw father standing there, bloodied sword in hand, glaring at me. "You back down from a fight! You coward!" He spat.
I growled and backed into the shadows.
"Get back here, you..." his sentence was cut off abruptly.
I looked out of hiding, and through the smoke, bloodstain was all I saw. A group of Nobles had attacked! To my astonishment, they killed noth Elf and Lith. I charged forward, and slashed at the nearest body, not caring what it was.
"Zaeren!" I heard someone choke behind me.
Father was pinned to the ground my a Noble with red eyes and a white cloak. My body wouldn't move. I tried to attack, but I was glued to where I was.
And there, I watched firsthand the brutal death of my father. Afetr his cries of agony suddenly ended, I lifted my sword to strike, but was thrown back painfully by a terrible jolt of magic. My body was thrown against a tree, and everything went black.
I awoke in a small, cozy tent that smelled like wood. I flinched as I tried to sit up. My fingers probed my head, feeling for a bruise or lump. I let out a groan as I felt a slight rise on my scalp. Even barely touching it, it hurt.
"You awake?" I heard a female voice.
I turned to see a red-heaired dwarf. She smiled and patted my shoulder.
"Rest, boy. You'll be just fine."
I sunk back down against my pillow and eyed the dwarf carefully.
"A dwarf in an elven-lith war?" I asked finally.
She looked up, her eyes twinkling.
"I'm loyal to a few...certain elves." She said, amused.
"Your name?" I asked her.
"Are you a potion master?"
"Yes. What is your specialty?"
"Well..." I hesitated. "Not fire, if that's what you mean."
Tillie glanced at me slightly. "I would have suspected as much."
"Suspected what?" I sneered.
"The way your body and your magic reacts are abnormal for a Moon Elf."
I sighed and nodded.
"Uh...mind telling me what it is?" She asked, looking up from a table full of potions.
"Dark Magic." I said quickly.
Tillie sniffed and her gaze wandered away from me. "You know how to use it?" She asked gently.
With that, she abruptly exited the tent, leaving me exhausted and bewildered. Ilaid back and closed my eyes. Now that my father was dead, what could I do? What I should do was go back and protect my family. But for some reason, I felt I shouldn't. What I wanted to do was join this stupid army.
My eyes flew open. I had decided. I would track down and kill the Noble that had murdered my father. Like I cared for my father at all, but it was somehting to do.
I heard Tillie enter the tent again, a bit slower.
"Are you planning on joining in the war?" She asked.
I nodded without looking up.
"Type? What the heck is that supposed to mean?"
"The answer in Moon Elf."
"What do you think?"
"Um, magical abilities?"
"Dark Magic...I guess."
"Let's see...how many people did you wound badly or kill in the last battle?"
"Er...three, I think."
"Alright. I'll take it to the captain!"
The next day, Tillie announced that I was ready to leave bed. She escorted me to another tent, where she gave me a sword and armor. She then took me to a small group of soldiers, all Moon Elves. One of them, a tall, bulky guy, was issuing orders to scatter the Lithian camp that was a few miles east. I hung back, not really caring to join in. Tillie left quickly.
"Okay, men, let's go!" The tall Elf cried.
With that, we all stampeded after him, going over a few hills and over a gully. He led us across a small stream before putting a finger to his lips and quieting us. We spread out and slunk around the Lith camp. It was completely silent.
Suddenly, in a blast of light, an Elf near me transformed into a Lith. He drew a wicked-looking sword and slashed at me. Surprised and unprepared, I unsheathed my sword and blocked the hit in the nick of time. We struggled against each other while more and more Elves turned into Liths.
"Don't you dare attack me, Elf!" My attacker hissed. His ears flicked and flattened against his head.
I was slowly being backed away, cornered. Desperate, I chanted a short set of strange words that Shenai had taught me. He said it produced fear in your enemies.
The Lith staggered as I spoke, and fell to his knees.
"You'll...pay...." He mumbled, before staggering off.
I stared after his retreating form, not noticing the Lith creeping up behind me. I suddenly felt terrible pain in my calf. I staggered and turned to see a half-dead Lith swinging a sword at me legs. I fell against a nearby tree and hacked at the Lith. It fell dead, and I limped away from the battle.
"Ugh...and I wanted to fight Nobles..." I mumbled.
I found myself being forced farther and farther away, because the fight was moving closer. Almost all of the Elves I had been with had turned into Liths. With a shout, I heard the thunder of more Liths approaching. Probably the ones who were supposed to be in the camp.
I groaned as about fifty of them poured in on our tiny group. Before I knew it, they were all dead. I swallowed and edged my way farther away.
"Hey! Over there! Another one!"
"Great!" I grumbled.
Two Liths pounced on me, and I screeched as a dagger pierced my throat. But, before it got any deeper, I felt shadows enclosing their bodies, making them writh and scream. I stared in surprise. The dark magic was wrapping around their throats, clawing at their hearts. I turned away.
Finally, the screams stopped, and when I looked again, there was nothing but black smoke and blood. I swallowed and looked up. The rest of the Liths were slowly backing away, wide-eyed.
"Run! He's not in his true form!" I heard a voice.
They all bolted off, glancing back every now and then. I stared after them for a bit before tearing the dagger out of my neck and standing up carefully. I carefully healed my calf after inspecting myself. Heailing was an element of magic that my father had taught me. One of the few things that most Moon Elves could do that I could also do.
I staggered away from the direction of the camp, determined to make my own band of rebels. And do what I needed to do.
To be continued...