The Golden Heart Anomalies
All character credits go to their original creators
I jumped up, screaming. Frantically, I looked around at my surroundings, then heaved a sigh. Thank goodness--none of it was real. Just your ordinary dream.
I sat against the tree bark, the forest filled with nighttime sounds. Frogs croacking, crickets chirping, the scurries of the nighttime creatures prowling for food, the slow whistle of the wind blowing against the trees. A beautiful star skyline visible between the canopies of the trees, the flickers of fireflies flying around, the silhouette of your occasional nocturnal animal. My companions lying around, some still snoring, some stirring. My fault, probably; with my screaming fits.
I shut my eyes and tried to drown my past dream out, and just pay attention to my surroundings.
"Rose, yo, what's wrong with you?"
A voice jolted me out my meditation.
I sat up, then narrowed my eyes. "Nothing, Danz, none of your concern. My apologies for waking you but please go back to sleep."
"What?" my brother said. He was in fox form, his bushy tail swaying, his head tilted and his eyes sparking with mischeif. "Have another desperately horrorific dream that you simply cannot handle, and the trauma of it keeps you awake, lacking you your precious beauty sleep, turning you into the pitiful old witch you are this day in age?"
I snarled. "Yeah--and this one was having a life with you around, oh wait, that's reality."
My brother got on his feet and shook his head. "Tsk tsk, Rose, inevitable to never accept her current lifestyle! Anyway, I'm sure we'd be happy if you shut up, get over it, and go back into your deep slumber." He turned around and trotted off.
I groaned and rolled my eyes. That was my brother, Danzyle, for you. He was 11, three years younger than I, and nonetheless a little pest. But annoying as he was, I was always the one who was often the main protection factor over him. He was my little brother, either way.
I slid to the ground and rolled over, trying to snuggle into the deep earth and go back to sleep. But the nightmare I'd just had was still fresh in memory, clawing at every fragment of my being, throwing options of sleep out the window. And nono, it wasn't about Danzyle destroying my life.
I kept imaging a tall, dark man, filled with beauty yet a cold ugliness concealed. His eyes, wide and dark, a horrorfic yet generally innocent-looking smile clouding my mind. The screams of a young woman as she falls at the hands of him. A small boy staring up at me, tears running down his face, without even verbalizing, with only the look in his wide eyes, seems to ask: "What now? What shall become of us?"
And I can't answer.
I rolled onto my back and stared up at the stars, beyond the canopies. I heaved a sigh. Must I be the one to hold this life? So many other options, I thought, of even being normal. But one look at me, and I'm far from normal. I'll never be normal. My past, my future, my present. My family, my companions, my acts. My mind, my inspirations, my being, my life. I guess you can say I'm an anomaly.
And I'll always be one.
I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew, the sun was blinding in my face and singing filled the forest.
I moaned and sat up.
OF course. Like usual. Nightwing, turning over a fresh turkey over a campfire while simultaneously twirling around and singing.
And we all can reuniteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
And hold paws while we figghtttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
No matter what we do
We'll always break through
"Nightwing, is it some sort of deadly weakness of yours to calm down and shut up...?" asked Lunifer.
The cat stopped. "Well, excuse me, sir, for feeling quite joyous this morning! This glorious day has opened up my heart and caused me to wish to siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing."
"Well, we must have year-round glorious days, then," snorted Aerin. "Where's your off button?"
"Shut up," hissed Night, "or I'll throw this turkey into the fire and you can eat twigs!"
Hawk walked over to the turkey, grabbed it, squeezed it, then said, "There; it's cooked. Now everyone shut the heck up and eat."
I put my head in my hands. "Guys, guys, PLEASE. Can't we calm down? We are a team--we should not be spending our time bickering!"
Years ago, Danzyle's and my parents died, leaving both of us orphaned, alone, and entirely struggling for our lives. Every where we went, we were an outcast, no one wanting us, scowling at our presence and enjoying slapping us in the faces with the head of a broom. The reason of this, neither of us truly know, but most probably due to this special...something we both had. Powers, I suppose you can call them. My brother had the power to shape-shift into any animal he wished, as long as the animal wasn't extinct during the time of his birth--apparently--and was an actual creature (he did long for a dragon, however!). Along with this, he had speed like none other. It was astonishing, I will say.
Now...me? Well, other than my bright eyes, nimble hands, tall stature and long cloak that collected around my ankles, which in itself would deem me as "strange", I had the power of being able to create energy with only my bare hands, and use it to either send it surging at someone or to deflect an attack. Not to mention, with each un-focused step, I could send cracks through the ground, often creating mini-tremors, or even uplifitng any bystander slightly into the air. And I couldn't necessarily control this, either.
In any cause, we were hated, laughed at, spat at. Running from village to village we were never accepted. In any place. And few times, we were even chased from places, by stereotypical mobs (the usual: pitchforks, torches, pots and pans, some even guns), wanted for dead. I guess that's life as a "weirdo." We were anomalies and would never fit in any place.
Except, amongst ourselves.
You see, at one point, we slowly began meeting other folks. They, too, had a special...something about them, leaving them hated and on the run. At first, we were all wary of each other, and even hid/fought a bit at first. Then, realizing we had no other place, we slowly grew together, forming a pact to stay together and forever.
We STILL never gave up on our dreams of becoming accepted someplace. One day, however, we found a village actually endangered; a hideous villian never released his reign on them, attacking innocent villagers and even threatening their children. Something inside of us clicked, and we immediately went to fighting him. Doing our best to use our powers. Of course, we ultimately failed, but we did scare the fellow to the point where he ran off, and from what we know he'd never returned.
One would think the villagers would show a bit of compassionship after that, but of course, they grew fearful as well, and chased us off. But it didn't matter to us. We were used to it, and weren't expecting an act of kindness anyway--or anything in return for that matter.
But we did enjoy helping.
So anywhere we went and saw trouble, we would step in. And by each fight, we began to master our powers more. And learned to swiftly dodge the insults of the just-saved citizens. We hardly cared anyway; we weren't looking to be accepted anymore anyway.
At some point, one villager, who indeed did not try to kill us, said softly to us, "You've got hearts of gold, children. Keep it up."
I remember, somehow, when I was little, I used to sneak into my mother's room and explore. One time, I was in her closet, and saw a long, velvet cloak. Inscripted on the side, were the words: Golden Hearts.
At that point, my mother scooped me up, and I covered my face, afraid I would get in trouble for snooping. Instead, she laughed, and brushed the hair of my eyes. "I see you've found my old cloak. Oh yes, Roselyn, there will come a time when you will start to walk your own path, become who you truly are, take the gifts you were blessed with and use them the way they were meant to be. It will be difficult, I can tell you that, but if you are in the right place and doing what you are meant to do, you will get through it. It might be a bit hard for you to understand this now, but when you are older, it will come to you."
She set me down, took the cloak off the hanger, and wrapped it around my shoulders. "You will see one day, dear. A Golden Heart--you may be."
Somehow, it came to me that we should name ourselves The Golden Hearts...and since, of course, we were anomaly children--The Golden Heart Anomalies.
We all agreed the name would fit.
Well--that was how we came to be.
And often, I wonder if this IS actually what Mother was talking about. Are we where we are supposed to be? If not--what more is there to come...?
And would I ever find out?
Nightwing turned up his nose. "Fine, then! If you don't like my wonderful singing, you don't have to listen to it. Now, I'm starved!"
Azur, who had managed to remain sleeping throughout all this, raised his head and asked in a droopy, heavily glitched voice, "Oh, is it breakfast time already?"
"Yep, Grandpa," Lucinda replied, strolling past him. "I'll have part of the leg, if I may."
Hawk nodded, tore off a piece, and threw it to her. Lucinda sunk her claws into the fresh meat. I noticed her stiffening up a bit, and the next thing I knew, the meat disappeared into a cloud of smoke; all that was left was a scrap of burnt meat and what remained of the bone.
She flattened her ears, "Um...my bad," and tried eating. Lunifer cracked up laughing, and Flaming piped: "Way to go, Destrucinda." (should have thought of a better teasename - Author)
I shot him a look. Lucinda was quiet for a moment, and then her eyes flashed red. A sharp growl tore from her; her claws glowed and her pelt caught fire. Nilashika screamed.
Immediately, I jumped into action, leaping between the two and holding my hands out. "Lucinda, calm yourself! Flaming, mind yourself! Now can't we all just have a peaceful breakfast?"
I huffed, feeling exhaustion in the first few moments of the morning. My cheeks were hot, and my vision tightened around the edges. I didn't need to lose it right now. I wasn't in a stable state of mind.
Lucinda's fire went out, and she hung her head. "I'm sorry, Roselyn." Flaming grunted, and stuffed his snout in his meat.
Danzyle started snickering, and I rolled my eyes, falling back into the earth and running my hand through my hair. Why must I have such intolerable comrades?
"You okay, Rose?" asked Frost.
"I'm fine," I lied, shutting my eyes.
When I opened them, Hawk, a bit of concern in his face, handed me a wing. I lifted my hand and shook my head. I knew it was healthy to eat breakfast, but I wasn't up for it at the moment. Last night's dream still clawed at memory, and no matter what, the weight still sunk me down.
I didn't want to open my eyes. I didn't want to engage with my fellow Anomalies. I just wanted to sink into this earth, forgetting eve---
A high-pitched scream jolted me up. Nika, eyes wide, lifted her paw and pointed throughout the clearing. "THERE'S A--" but a loud engine roar cut her off, followed by a deep growl. The trees swayed viciously, a huge gush of wind pushing me back.
My friends exclaimed in wonder. Suddenly, something large and dark lowered itself into the ground about a mile away from us. From here, I could see it perfectly: It had stubby legs, a long, narrow snout--almost like a crocodile, a hunched back with giant spikes, a tail coiling around its legs, which had to be twice its length, wings half its side spread out above it, a long neck stretched out in front of it with deep red lines, dark red claws, and purely white eyes.
As if it instantly knew we were there, it lifted its head, let out a huge, screechy roar, and darted in our direction.
"GOLDEN HEARTS, STAND YOUR GROUND!" I called, sinking my feet into the earth and staring at the beast. As usual, my companions spread out into their proper formation, a long V shape with me at the front, and Hawk/Ruby a little behind me, with Frost, Aerin, Lucinda, and Lunifer a bit spread out behind them, etc.
The beast narrowed its pupiless eyes and snapped its jaws.
I lifted my head and yelled, "ATTACK!"
Lunifer and Ruby were the first to move. Luni lifted his hands up, his eyes dilating. He reached down and seemed to be grabbing....nothing. The beast roared, swung its head around, and fell on its belly. Ruby bellowed out a roar herself, jumping on the creature and yanking its left leg. It screamed in pain, raising its head and snapping at her arm. She hissed, jumping away in the nick of time.
I lifted my hands, the entire world disappearing into a field of light, feeling the energy boiling through me and then shooting out my hands. I could never master this, and it took every fiber of my being to do this, so I let out a scream as everything I'd held on to at that moment shot out of me. I opened my eyes, to see the creature burnt and now crying. It stood up, shaky on its feet, and collected Lunifer it its jaws. He screamed.
Frost raised into the air on a pillar of ice, her eyes and hands glowing as the monsters feet disappeared into a small glacier.
Cassie, as usual, stood watching, her eyes piercing through anyone who looked her way, her cloak wrapped around her being. She hardly fought during battles such as this, just watch. She hardly even spoke, or attempted to make any interaction with us.
Something flew in the air, and whacked Frost far away. I jumped up, grabbing it, only to fall straight on my face. That despicable tail.......
Felix and Ivana cried, "Frost!"
Azur ran to the creature. "Just wondering, what do you think of my hair?" He leaned his head down and shook it, and the creature screeched. Azur laughed, only to get snapped and thrown by the beast's claws.
Lucinda, lowering her head, snarled, and leaped upon the creature. She winced as she landed right ontop a spike, but glowed. The creature burst into flames, screaming and releasing Lunifer.
"YOU HAD TO LIGHT HIM WHILE I WAS STILL IN HIS MOUTH?" he screamed.
"S-Sorry!" called Lucinda, jumping off the monster.
That was my cue. I shut my eyes and lifted my hands again, sending one more surge of energy. When I opened my eyes, the thing was motionless.
I panted, falling to my knees. "Is everyone okay?"
Luni lied on the ground, his leg stained with dark, black blood. "I'll live, as usual."
"Frost! Can you hear me? Where are you?" Felix cried, flying up into the air and looking in all directions. Ivana followed.
"AZUR?" cried Aerin.
"Calm, Felix, I live," a small voice said. We looked to see a stumbling girl appear from the trees. Ivana flew down and pulled her into an embrace, and Felix lowered his head, heaving a relieved sigh.
<will cont later>
<should have made the fight more detailed/interesting sorry 3X>