Guardians of the Universe Book One: Origins

April 17, 2009
CHAPTER ONE





Richard Shade ducked lower into the tall grass, eyeing the buck. He held his bow tightly in his left hand, not taking his eyes off of the deer. After another moment, Richard slowly used two fingers to pull an arrow out of his quiver. He quickly aimed his arrow at the buck and paused. He was about to fire the arrow when a black blur sped into the clearing and hit the deer, sending it into a rhododendron bush on the other side. Richard just stared at where the deer had been, dazed and confused. What was that thing? he wondered. His curiosity got the better of him; he had to see what that thing was. He put the arrow back in his quiver and walked over to the gigantic rhododendron bush, which was shaking slightly. He took a deep breath. He meant to kill the creature. Richard saw a long black tail stick out of the bush, and he quickly drew an arrow. He aimed the arrow upward to where the creature’s chest should be, and fired. He heard a yelp come from inside the bush, and the rhododendrons shook faster. The pained whines quickly turned to growls, and the creature stepped into the moonlight. Richard’s breathing quickened when he saw it, and he instinctively put a hand over his nose. The creature smelled like a rotting corpse. It looked like a wolf, but it was much bigger. Its fur was long and black, and when it looked at Richard, its eyes were menacing and filled with hatred. Blood was dripping from the black wolf’s muzzle, and it looked at him hungrily. Its head suddenly jerked over to where Richard’s arrow was stuck in its chest, and its teeth came down on it. Inch by inch, the wolf began to pull the arrow out. Richard was too afraid to move; he just watched as the black wolf kept pulling one of his arrows out of its chest, one hand on the hilt of his sword. After the bloody arrow hit the ground, Richard barely had enough time to bring his sword out before the monster wolf leaped at his throat. He quickly guarded the attack and counterattacked by slamming the side of his blade into the wolf’s face. The wolf hit the ground hard and rolled over. But before it had a chance to get up, Richard ran up to it and stabbed his sword into its back. The wolf let out a long howl of pain. Without warning, the wolf became a black blur again, Richard’s sword still in its back. Richard spun around and looked all over the clearing, but to no avail. The wolf was nowhere to be seen. He suddenly heard something behind him, and he whirled around, his bow at the ready. There was nothing there. He sighed and put another one of his arrows back. Right after that, the black blur returned, coming from his left side. The sheer weight of the wolf brought him to the ground, his bow flying from his hand. The horrid creature became visible again, feasting on his left shoulder. Richard instantly brought out his dagger and drove it into the black wolf’s skull. But that didn’t hurt it at all; it just kept eating Richard’s left shoulder viciously. He cried out in pain as the beast bit deeper into his shoulder. A second later, the wolf bit into the hunter’s chest, causing him to instinctively slam his fist into the beast’s face. That didn’t hurt it either; it just kept tearing at his flesh. Out of pure desperation, Richard clamped his teeth onto the wolf’s right ear....and bit it right off! The pitch black wolf instantly sprang up from Richard’s chest, whining in pain. It became a black blur once again and sped away, as quick as lightning. Richard made sure it was really gone, then dropped down onto the ground, crimson blood running down his shirt. He spit out a globule of the wolf’s blood, then looked at it, openmouthed. The blood was now bubbling, and smoke was rising from it. “What the hell?” he whispered. He forced himself to get up to find something to stop the bleeding. He quickly tore off large parts of his shirt and attached them to his wounds. His eyes drifted over to his bow, and he smiled grimly. Now I only have one weapon. he thought to himself, and went to retrieve it.



Nathan Shade eagerly leaped over the fence in front of his house, hungry for dinner. He entered the house and saw a coyote sprinting up to him. When it came close, Nathan bent down and stroked its fur. “Hey, Manx! Where’s Richard? Show me where Richard is!” he said playfully. Manx barked once, wagged his tail excitedly, and sniffed the air. In a second, he had Richard’s scent, and was sprinting again, with Nathan following close behind. They went through hedges, thorns, and bushes before Manx finally stopped. Nathan picked a few thorns from his skin and looked around. They were in Fangirne forest, the one place he always avoided. There were dreadful tales about monsters who roamed this forest every night, some killing intruders just for the fun of it. There were even tales of trees that sprang up from their roots and MOVED. People called them the tree folk. There was even tales of ghosts wandering the forest each night. But these were no ordinary ghosts. Some say that if you saw one that looked exactly like you, it would predict a quick death. But Richard didn’t believe any of the stories. He claimed they were myths, not facts. He also thought that his point was proven because all of the stories Nathan told him were from Felix Astrell, the “crazy” old man living on the outskirts of Fangirne forest. Nathan didn’t think Felix was crazy; he and Felix were very good friends. Nathan was torn from his thoughts when he heard Manx snarl ferociously. A moment later, he saw Richard walking up the path towards him and Manx. Manx ran forward towards Richard, maddened beyond reason. But before he could get any closer, Nathan grabbed Manx’s neck and jerked him backward. He brought the coyote’s leash out and attached it to his collar. As he dragged Manx to a pine tree, he couldn’t help but think why this was happening. Why would Manx do this? He’s known Richard for six years! He wrapped the leash around the tree three times, then tied it into a tight knot. He made completely sure that the knot was tight and secure and then walked over to his brother. Manx tried to run at Richard again, but the leash choked him and sent him back to the pine tree. “Why is Manx doing this? He’s known you since you were twelve!” Richard worriedly ran a hand through his red hair and looked at the dark gray coyote, who was now barking furiously at him, saliva flying through the air. “I don’t know. He’s always loved me. This just seems....wrong. Manx would never act like this, especially towards me.” Then Nathan turned his attention to Richard’s wounds, and he nodded to them. “What did that?” he asked. Richard looked at his wounds briefly, then looked back at his brother. “Some kind of wolf. It was big and black, and it smelled like....well, it smelled like something just DIED! It also moved as fast as lightning!” Nathan stared back at him, eyes wide and fearful. “What is it, Nathan? What’s wrong?” “Are you sure that’s what you saw?” Nathan asked. “Yes, I’m sure! Come on, tell me what’s bothering you!” After a moment, Nathan swallowed hard, and he became even more afraid. “This creature is only in stories. In those stories, this creature is called the Devil Wolf. This is the only creature that I thought wasn’t real, until now.” “Devil Wolf? Sounds like one of Felix’s made-up creatures.” “He doesn’t make them up! They’re real!” Nathan spat furiously. “If you say so.” Richard muttered, unconvinced. He was about to take a step forward when he suddenly clutched his left shoulder in pain and looked at his brother with watery eyes. His knees buckled, but before he could hit the ground, his brother caught him and was carrying him away. Richard’s breathing quickly turned to pained gasps, and his skin was pale white. “Where are we going?” he whispered weakly. “To Felix’s house; he’ll make you better. We’re really close, Richard!” A few minutes later, Felix’s cabin came into sight. But before they could get any closer, Richard suddenly hung limply in Nathan’s arms, and the night closed in.















CHAPTER TWO




He was sprinting through a field of corn, running for his life. The wolf was back, and it had his scent. He could almost smell the black wolf, which smelled like a rotting corpse. He didn’t have any weapons left; he had to improvise. Richard tripped over a large rock and rolled into the marshlands. As he brought himself back up, he heard the black wolf howl. It was long and mournful; it had finally lost his scent. But he realized in fright that the wolf might be calling either one, or all, of its pack. Then the wolf would have help in finding him. Richard was about to flee when he heard the water splash behind him, and something growled. He instantly dove for the rock he tripped over and snatched it from the ground. He rolled onto his back, ready to throw the rock. The 18-year-old looked around, not believing what he was seeing. The wolf wasn’t there. He watched the ripples move across the water with confusion and brought himself to his feet. He was about to move on when an unseen force slammed into his back, sending him face first into the water. He smelled the pungent smell of death on top of him; the wolf had found him again. It was keeping him from getting out of the water, and he quickly realized that the wolf was trying to drown him. It was working. Richard flailed his body wildly, trying to shake the wolf off. A second later, he felt the left side of his body rip apart, and he used a great deal of his energy to shake the wolf off and leap out of the water. He landed on the grass and took a couple seconds to regain his energy. He examined his wound and swore loudly. The left side of his body was torn to shreds, and he was losing a massive amount of blood. It was only seconds before he would die. Suddenly, he saw an entire pack of black wolves leap out of the foliage and stalk towards him, looking at him hungrily. Richard gripped the wet grass tightly, hoping to die before the wolves got to him. He didn’t want the wolves to eat him while he was still alive....it would be terrifying. But his hope quickly faded as the lead wolf rushed towards him, teeth bared and tail stiff. He loosened his grip on the grass and closed his eyes, his heart pounding. I didn’t want to die like this. The lead wolf sunk its teeth into Richard’s stomach, and he gasped in pain. As the rest of the wolves bit out his entrails, Richard looked up at the sky and anticipated his death. Suddenly, Richard’s eyes closed, and he was still.



Rick Shade put his weapons on the kitchen table and dropped the dead buck next to them. Before he opened the tarp, he looked at Amy’s door. After a moment, he decided to enter her room and wake her up. It was already nine o’ clock. He opened the door and saw his wife laying on their bed, her beautiful features illuminated by the moonlight. Rick paused, then walked up to the bed and shook her gently. Amy stirred, and a few seconds later she opened her eyes. When she saw him, she smiled sweetly and pushed herself up. But her smile quickly faded when she saw Rick’s worried face. “What’s wrong?” Rick sighed and stood up. “Nathan and Richard are gone. Nathan usually visits Felix, but Richard never does. I didn’t know they would be gone this long. We have to find out what’s happened to them.” Amy instantly got up from the bed and said, “I’ll get ready.” Rick walked out of the room to equip his weapons again, while Amy was getting dressed. Five minutes later, Amy walked out of her room with a Sabre attached to her belt. Without a word, they walked out of their house, heading for Felix’s shack.



Nathan looked at Felix’s pond, eyes full of concern. Richard lay in a spare bed in Felix’s shack, sleeping fitfully. Felix had done all he could. All they could do now was wait and hope for the best. Nathan thought of Manx again, tied to a pine tree. He had thought before to bring Manx here, but he had quickly dismissed the thought. Manx would smell Richard and rush at him again. Nathan couldn’t take that chance. He heard the shack door open, and he saw Felix walking towards him.





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davis28 said...
Apr. 30, 2009 at 2:52 am
dan, i love the storie! keep the good work up bro! i miss and love you lots! love always your sister
 
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