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Everywhere I looked was dark. Nothing visible or tangible in sight. Shouldn’t I be scared? No, I’m not scared. I’ve been through this every day for the past year. Nothing special. Except maybe the handsome guy walking toward me through the darkness. One look and my breath was stuck in my throat. I should be used to that too but he looked just so delicious in his black shirt and dark blue jeans. His black hair was disheveled and that just made him look dangerously sexy.
As he walked toward me, my surroundings started to take shape. By the time he was less than a foot in front of me, I saw that I was in a beautiful room that looked like it was made for a gothic princess.
“Dan, I’m so glad to see you,” I said and smiled up at him.
“I’m always here, love.” His hand reached up to touch my cheek gently. “But we must meet soon. Your power is becoming greater and there will be those that want to find you.” His voice was like satin against my skin. Practically made me melt.
“You say that every time I dream. I know I’m a witch but I don’t understand what I can do.” He looked serious. Since I first met him, on the night of my 17th birthday last year, he would say, “Your power is becoming greater…” But also, he would be more intimate with me. Like touching my cheek. But I was fine with that.
And then the day after my birthday, I found that he wasn’t only in my dreams. He was with me in my head, always, and started talking to me while I was conscious. Those made me think I probably made him up. It had kind of freaked me out but then now I can’t imagine him not being in my head now.
“I know you don’t understand your magic, but I will help you,” he said.
Dan suddenly leaned down and kissed my cheek. “Meet me at my castle. When u wake up I’ll tell you the directions.” He smiled down at me. And then he disappeared. After a few moments, I thought over the last year since I met him.
Dan, to me, felt like a guardian angel.
“But please be quick my love. There is someone that wishes to take you away from me. When we meet I will tell you all you need to know.”
Suddenly everything around me changed. I was out in a forest surrounded by giant trees. It was so very dark I could barely so what was in front of me. Then a sound came from behind me, and a deep voice that sent chills down my spine.
“I’m coming to get you Cathay.” There was an evil laugh, and then feet were quickly crunching twigs as I ran. Hurry Cathay! Run!
“Cathay, hurry and wake up chéri (darling),” I heard my mom’s voice, piercing through my fabulous dream.
Being abruptly woken in the middle of the most awesome dream ever is probably the worst way to start a day. But of course, since when do you ever get to know what happens at the end of a dream? Never. Most people wouldn’t think running for your life was a good dream. I am so not most people. Already the sun is blaring at my eyes and the alarm clock on my nightstand is beeping with an annoying, ear-splitting noise. The bright red colors say 8:13 A.M., though in my mind it says 6:00 A.M.
I kicked the blankets on top of me onto the floor and slid out of bed to stretch my sleep ridden muscles. As I blinked my eyes rapidly to get the sleep out, I hear my mom call from downstairs telling me that it’s time to get dressed and eat. Just thinking about my mom’s cooking is like thinking about a pig farm. She tries, but her food never looks, or tastes, edible. Now my eyes have finally let me see crystal clear and the first thing I notice is the giant red circle on June 20, which happens to be today.
“Eeeek! Finally summer break!” I exclaim loudly. I’m dancing around my room in excitement I didn’t notice my sister walk into the room.
“Could you be any louder?” she says while rubbing her eyes. “I think the entire galaxy can hear your shrill screaming.” I glared at her. Casey could be such a pain. “You should be glad some Martians haven’t invaded earth and destroyed it just from your maddening screaming,” she mumbled on her way out of my room.
That’s Casey for you. The infuriating little brat that she is. She’s 14 years old though so I guess she has some rights to be infuriating. But I’m 17. That gives me some rights to get back at her.
A few minutes later, I’m running down the stairs to the kitchen. Before I get to the kitchen, I check out my outfit. Let’s see... black skinny jeans with studded belt and chains hanging from the belt loops. Black and white tee with little, silver studs set in a flowing design. Gray colored dragon pendant on a silver chain laid delicately on my neck. Yeah, my outfit has now passed inspection.
I played with the pendant around my neck a bit. I’d always loved this pendant since it made me feel safe. I rarely ever take it off. I’d bought it a few months ago as a gift to me.
Coming out of my thoughts, I entered the kitchen and held my breath.
“Hey Mom.” I smiled. My mom was a petite little woman but she looked great. You could barely tell she had two kids with how beautiful she looked.
“Fille de bonjour (good morning daughter). Did you sleep well last night and have bons rêves (good dreams)? ” she asked me in a merry voice. She loves to speak in French all the time but tries hard to speak English just for me and my sister. We understand her but when she goes into a rage, her French goes wild with it.
“Last night I had the same wonderful dream,” I said while taking a seat at the table. “I was somewhere in a forest at night this time. But I was being chased by something. It wanted something from me so I ran.”
Casey looked at me like I was insane. “You call that a wonderful dream? I really don’t want to know what a nightmare would be then.”
“Yeah, Whatever you say Case.” I rolled my eyes at her and downed a glass of orange juice. “OK I’m going to hang out with my friends today since we are finally out from school.”
“Sure thing sweetie,” my mom said.
After I grabbed my purse and keys, I hopped into my silver Volvo and headed out of the driveway.
Do you remember the directions I gave you, love? I heard Dan whisper in my head.
Yes, I answered. An hour after driving out of the town area, the roads started winding and trees became more abundant all around us. The sun shined down on the 50-60 feet tall trees and their large fan like leaves. It was all so wonderful to look at.
Hurry Cathay. I’ll be waiting for you at the highest tower.
Less than another hour later, my car was climbing up a long path. As I looked out through the trees, I saw glimpses of the amazing castle and gasped. It was an amazing Victorian building made for a king. My eyes then immediately searched for that tower. And there it was.
I pulled up to the castle gates and stared at the place. It was beyond magnificent. It was a castle of old time that looked dark and magical. But mostly dark. Even with the sun shining on it. It had that mysterious supernatural feeling. Not like a haunted feeling. Just a creature-of-the-night kind.
I exclaimed as I jumped out of the car, “Dark lovers of the night your blood princess has arrived!”
Immediately I ran for the tower. I wanted to see Dan very badly. Then came the flashes. I saw a room with dark red painted walls, giant queen bed with purple and black sheets and blankets, mahogany dresser that took up almost one entire wall. And a door I believed led to the bathroom I was guessing would look as gothic as the room.
I stopped in my running and tried to shake the images out of my head. I wasn’t too worried since I had already dreamed of that room every night when I saw Dan. The stairwell up to the tower wound in a spiral. When I reached the top, there was a black wood door. As I stepped inside, I sighed. It looked exactly like I had just seen it in my head. Everything was there. I shook my head some more, exasperated.
I really must be going crazy.
I walked out onto the balcony, through the glass doors.
“You made it,” a familiar deep voice called. I turned around and in the doorway stood Dan, the guy of my dreams, literally. I walked to him slowly till our faces were only a few inches apart, then gave him the tightest hug ever.
“I can’t believe you’re real. I really thought I might be going crazy or something but here you are.” Then I looked at him and frowned. His expression was a grave one as he looked down at me.
“Are you wearing a κακός δράκος (wicked dragon)?” his voice was serious now.
I gazed at him and wondered what he was talking about. He must have read my mind because he answered. “It is an object in the shape of a dragon.”
Then I thought of my necklace and showed it to him and explained where I’d gotten it. “This object has been blocking your powers. You grow in strength each day but can’t tap into the power.” He tangled his finger on the chain and took it off. Suddenly I heard screams of pain pierce my ears. After a quick assessment, I found that it was me who was screaming. Everywhere in my body it felt like fire was in my veins, burning everything in its path and sharp shards of ice were stabbing at every inch of my skin.
Then the pain stopped. I looked up at saw Dan with a look of surprise and worry on his face. Then I looked down at my neck and saw the necklace back in place.
“Cathay, are you alright?” concern dripping in his every word.
“I…I don’t know,” it was barely a whisper. Dan’s hand was on my back and pushing me into the room, away from the balcony.
“That was an enormous amount of magic you just released. Others will be coming soon, drawn to the power.”
“Others are creatures that feed off magic. They are the lowest creatures in Falon. Remember the dream of the little witch?” He explained while pushing through the room to the stair case.
From what I remember of my dreams, Falon is a dimension parallel to ours where instead of humans, there are creatures that we believe are myths like vampires, werewolves, zombies, valkyries, faeries, etc… Dan had showed me a dream of a girl that was attacked by little furry creatures that looked like mini wolves.
They all exist in that plane but sometimes sneak into ours through portals. Dan was one of them. He is a lampire. Something akin to a vampire except he feeds off energy, not blood, and can stand in the sun with he feeds a lot. Dan had told me this when we first met. And he would tell stories about Falon when I needed help getting to sleep. Then, when I did fall asleep, Dan would show me dreams of Falon. It looked somewhat like earth did but more magical because so many different creatures were scattered on the land and in the sky.
“So what are we doing now? Are the Others coming here to eat me?” I laughed at the thought which was kind of funny. But at the look at Dan’s face, I immediately stopped laughing and continued walking down the steps.
OK so little tiny creatures were coming to the castle to eat me. I should be scared right? Yeah, I’m sure I should be. But how can I be scared at the moment? Dan’s hand on my back was sending fire down my spine. Not like that crazy fire from when I took the pendant off. More like a warm heat that makes me want to melt. It was very distracting.
We reached the bottom a few minutes later. We kept walking till we came up to a large door. As we went through the door, I gasped at the room around me. I seemed to be gasping a lot today. But at the look at all the medieval weapons covering the wall, you would be gasping too. Every inch had some kind of weapon on it. Dan went to the right wall and pulled off two thin swords.
“So are we going to fight these creatures or something? Because, I’m sure you know I can’t fight anything. I’ve never even squashed a spider before.” My eyes were looking at the swords while I talked. It looked like a very lethal sword that could slice through rock.
“It can slice through rock.” Dan said, surprising me. Then I remembered that he was always in my head.
Then I wondered, “How are you in my mind? You told me what lampires were but you never told me they could read minds.
“We can’t read minds Cathay. But your power was strong enough to give me that power,” He said.
“OK. And also, why did you never come and see me? I never knew where you were till now but you always knew where I was.” I looked at him curiously.
“I have been trapped here for a year. I couldn’t get out of this castle because I was cursed by a witch to stay under a shield that surrounds this castle.”
“You say that in the past tense. What broke the curse?” I asked
“You did Cathay.” He looked at me with grateful eyes. “When your magic was released, it countered the witch’s curse and lifted the shield.”
“Why would a witch curse you to this castle? Did you do something to her?”
“I tried to steal a ring from her.” He walked out of the room with the sword in his hand all the way to the entrance of the castle.
I followed him. “But why would you steal something from her?”
“It was a κακός δράκος (wicked dragon). I was planning on giving it to you so no Falon creatures could find you, except me.”
I stopped in my tracks and stared at him. Dan would went through this curse to help me? That was the sweetest thing ever. “But then why didn’t you tell me to come here earlier? You had an entire year to get me here and get you out.”
“But then you wouldn’t have the knowledge you have now. You know those stories I told you to help you sleep? They were to help you be ready for what is to come. Just like now. Now you are ready to take on the Falon creatures.”
It was all so confusing, but there was one thing I did want to know. “Why are you helping me? I just an average witch right? So why help?”
He waited a moment, thinking of what to say. Then said, “There is a principle in Falon. It is called the soulmate principle. It is where two people are born for each other. It took a while but I found you. Cathay, you are my soulmate.”
At the moment, I was shocked by his words. But there was no need to say anything because Dan leaned his head down and kissed me. ME. It lasted a minute and I was lost in the fireworks from the kiss.
But the ground started rumbling and we broke the kiss. Dan grabbed my arm and pulled me outside and my body went into shock. Dozens of Others were rapidly running toward the castle.
“Cathay, remember how to fight off Others?” He asked as he looked back to me.
“Stab at their forehead.”
Then they were on us. Two of the little wolves pounced into the air to attack Dan but he already had his sword up and slashed at each of them in one swipe. I didn’t get to see if he killed the little devils because one was running at me. It pounced into the air just like the two that attacked Dan but I was ready and slashed at it. Yellow ooze flowed out of the wolf and smelled of sulfur but I paid no attention. Immediately I stabbed the thin sword into the thing’s forehead. Then it turned to ash.
Behind me I heard a screech that seemed abnormal for a human voice. I turned and saw another creature coming at me already in the air. I whipped the sword up and stabbed it in the air. Before the little thing turned to dust though, it used its giant claws and slashed at my arm. I yelped in pain and clutched my arm.
One look around and I could see that Dan had taken out another wolf. But there were still another six to go.
Three had pounced onto Dan and were clawing at him mercilessly. In panic, I tried to pull the things off Dan but they would let go of him. I looked around, wondering how I could help. Then I thought of the pendant. If I took the pendant off, would my magic kill the little wolves? Well, it didn’t hurt to try.
My hands came up to clutch at the necklace and lifted it above my head. I thought I would be ready for the instant pain. But I wasn’t.
The fire-ice pain had me hugging myself and breathing hard. Everywhere hurt just like in the room. But the pain lasted only a few seconds. Suddenly Dan’s hands were putting the necklace back over my neck and the pain vanished.
“Are you OK Cathay?” He scanned my entire body which made me blush. When he saw that it was only my arm that got hurt, he leaned down and kissed me again.
“Is that what I’ll have to fight if I can’t control my powers?”
“Don’t worry Cathay. I’ll always be with you to help.” He smiled then and I smiled with him.