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Ok… so Fletcher wants me to write down everything that happened to me over a span of last year… So here we go. I’ll start from when I first met my worst enemy, though I didn’t know he’d become my rival then…
“Shadows are always there. Whether you see it or not. They have life, too. You can control that. You’re a Shadower,” Jason whispered in my ear as he took my hand. Supposedly, he was a new kid at Newton High, so the counselor told me to show him around. He had dark looks; bleach-blond hair that was spiked, an angular face that looked to be shadowed all the time, deep blue-black eyes, and was really, really tall (at least 6 feet; I’m only 5’ 6”) (He looked a lot like Billy Idol).
“And what’s that?” I asked sweetly, pulling my hand back. “A Shadower? I just told you, they can bring shadows to life.” “Isn’t that a little…. Abnormal?” “There are many things that you don’t know about,” he explained. “Uh… huh. So why are you telling me this?” I asked, playing dumb. “Because,” whispered Jason in a silky voice, almost like a snake, “ there will be a war between us and our rivals. They call themselves…Theans.” He said the last sentence with a smirk. “Oh… but why?” “Well, for a reason that starts any other war: we’re going to take over and the world will be run by us with our faithful shadow servants. We will control everyone and everything with their shadows.” At this, Jason laughed a bitter, cruel laugh that sent shivers down my spine.
“How do you make shadows come to life?”
“We have our own dark magic source: the moon.”
An icy shiver wiggled down my back and I awoke, sweat beading my forehead. Gasping, I got out of bed, put on some shorts, and ran outside, thinking it all a dream. I breathed deeply, my eyes blinking rapidly and hard. But everything around me still seemed to shiver. I could sense it so strongly, I could nearly see it; Life was what shivered around me, dark life.
I ran inside the house, my eyes widened then shut as I could still nearly-see the Life calling to me to free it. A pressure entered my chest. If I released it, I knew I’d send the shadows free, but I didn’t, I’d burst. I held it in like girl holding her breath, and I stepped outside. Suddenly, the sun slipped out from behind the clouds to greet me. I looked up, shading my eyes, wanting the sun to cradle me in its warm tendrils of light.
I reached with my heart that was the only thing moving, the rest were fighting the urge to release the pressure. My heart reached out towards the sun to let me have a calm moment, an instant of clear-headedness so I may not let go of this deadly pressure. Instantly, my head cleared, my eyes that had been seeing double suddenly focus, and most importantly, I could breathe. Easily, fluently; the language of breathing was back into my body; the pressure was gone.
After about 5 minutes of this easy breathing, the air felt like it thickened, I tried to run, but the thick air seemed to hold me back, I moved like it was all slo-mo. Like time itself was slowing. Of course, this was not so; it was only what happened when a man… (cough, Jason, cough, Shadower, cough) uses the absent moon’s magic.
In a swirl of black mist that twirled and disappeared like a snake, Jason appeared, followed instantaneously by another boy.
“Stay away from her! The Shadows have claimed her already!” snarled Jason.
The new boy had peanut-butter blond hair that stuck up naturally. His blue eyes pierced into mine and he said, “Dear, friend…” but was cut off my Jason roaring, “I’m not friend! You all are traitors to the great Shadower Lord!” “Dear friend,” the new boy said, not caring about the way Jason glared at him with fire in his eyes, “I see that she does not belong to anyone. She has the ability to spring shadows from their chains and call upon the sun to do her bidding. She is neutral.” “Then the Shadow Lord shall take her and make her fully a Shadower.”
“It was dangerous to tell her all of Shadowers. Unwise. Now she knows your secrets. What would happen if she chooses to be one of the Theans?” “Don’t try to act as if this were some sort of treaty or anything… She is fully the Shadow Lord’s and no one shall touch her until she is one of us.”
“I’m afraid,” the new boy said, quite calmly, “that I will have to make that incredibly difficult for you.”
He said this as he pulled out a gleaming black bow and arrow and shot Jason with deadly accuracy into his heart. Jason screamed, his hand over where the arrow lay buried, pulled it out and laid his hand over the gash bleeding thick, black blood. “I’m not dead,” moaned Jason before falling onto his knees, then falling forth, face to the ground.
Instantly, his body sank into the driveway; only then did I feel an urge to scream. It was brutal, and I looked, terrified at the new boy. He thrust down the bow and arrow, spitting on the ground where Jason had lay seconds before. “It’s a Shadower arrow; carved from their own condemned trees and bathed in their own poison. It kills Theans, but not Shadowers. Most likely that Jason will be back. He was strong, much more talented than others his age.”
“Y-Y-You are?” I stammered at the boy, who was tugging off the black leather glove that protected his Thean skin from turning to ash on the Shadowan-carved bow and arrow.
“Ah. Forgive me. In the heat of this.. er… finding, I forgot to introduce myself.” He bent near, kissed my left cheek, then my hand, “I am Ari. Short for Aristotle which means greatest of all, derived from ‘aristos totallis.’”
“Um…” I hadn’t fully understood what he just said.
“But enough about me, more about you.” He put a hand on my shoulder and stood an arm’s length away.
“Ok… well, I’m Cora, but my full name is Cora Emerson Oakley, so you can choose to call me Emerson if you’d like,” I tried to make my name sound long and important like Ari had.
“So… now that we have one opponent out of the way for a little while, let us o meet your fellow Theans. Shall we?” he asked, putting out his hand.
I took it, and his warm hand grasped it firmly, with no emotion.
“I am to be your guard, and you will be useful to us, but tell no one the full. It will only put them in danger since they do not hold both powers.”
I could only nod along, and even that was difficult because he strode quickly with his long legs.
He took me to a secret little cottage where, tapping in a code, he led me through the door that was actually a tunnel. The outside, it seemed a cottage, but the inside was actually a tunnel. We walked carefully deeper and deeper until we came to a stop in front of a door.
I only heard Ari’s voice as he said, “Alright. Remember, I am to be your guard, Matilda will give you full rules on that later, you must respect the High Chief Thean and as I am part of the Council, perhaps I will not always be around, and the most important rule is to always wear the Thean symbol, for you get a surplus power in case you are caught under the moon with a Shadower. Perhaps,” he looked thoughtful, “you can use your own Shadower magic against Shadowers and/or combine. I shall let you meet the Thean Chief after you are properly attired by Matilda.
Smartly, he opened the door and we strode into a what seemed to be the exact same cottage, but I saw it was more elaborately decorated. The tall, willowy man sitting in the armchair by the cozy fire, I guessed was the Thean Chief since he was the only one in a chair.
A plump lady that looked at least 35 came to me and led me away to the one bedroom in the house. There, she told me in a sing-song voice, “You must be Cora. Or shall I call you Emerson?” “Doesn’t matter, “I said, surprised. “Well, Cora, we’ve been waiting for you for almost 15 years now. Ever since you were born, we knew. The sun told us so,” she teased, winking. “To business, then?” she asked briskly. “Um… didum… hm… well first of all, I’ll have to get your gloves. Like the ones you probably saw Ari wearing. Yes, yes. Now which one… Ah. This black leather one should do fine for you,” she said, all around me like a mother hen clucking away.