The Mark: Chapter 3

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III
Teddy woke up in a dark place startled; he was lying on a hard stone ground, a big sword lying a few yards away. Through the stone grass poked up in small yellow tufts around various places. The stone was stained with reddish blotches and it was as cold as ice.
Teddy jumped up instinctively grabbing his sword and then cutting through the overlaying fog in large backwards strides. He came to stop slowly as a large stone crumbled and Teddy found himself overlooking a deep cavern stretching for miles down, or so he thought by the nonexistent sound of rock hitting ground.
A hiss comes from his side and he raises the blade in a perfect arc his muscles flexing at the command and driving the sword home for a clean swipe at the snake. He missed the mark by a fraction letting the sword swing forward scraping the rock and sending sparks flying. For a brief moment the darkness let up as the sparks cleared a path in it and a snake tail and slim figure appeared but then the sparks extinguished and it was dark again. Teddy flexed his arms loosening and tightening around the hilt of the sword.
He moved forward slowly, testily swinging his sword in arc after arc but encountering nothing. At a certain part the ground sloped down into thick steps and the mist thickened around Teddy turning any lights he found into fireflies.
Soon he reached a narrow path with a steep incline out each side too steep to climb back up. He kept on the path carefully tossing pebbles in front of him to know where the edge was. And then he fell.
His foot catches onto the metal of his blade and Teddy sprawls forward into the unknown caverns of the cliff only to be jerked by a hand.
Teddy is pulled up and laid on the edge so his legs from knee down dangle off the edge. He stares up into deep blue eyes and gives a start, but then begins to move his gaze over the rest of the body.
She wore a thin light pink and blue dress, like the beginning of a sunset, but it was torn and ripped in places giving the notion it has been through a lot.
A leather belt is secured around her holding a sword holder and around the side of her Teddy boot is the hilt of a dagger stick out. Although Teddy cannot remember who she is, her presence is familiar and he feels like she is a friend.
Pulling himself up teddy gets a better look at his surroundings. The fog before that had swathed everything has disappeared and he finds himself near the middle of a bridge like rock forming a path between to mountain peaks, each holding a fortress of some sort.
The edges of the rock are smooth and clean cut; no jagged edges or bumps, but the large craters everywhere give the impression this wasn’t man made but something in between.
Teddy looks down and is met with no end still to the canyon but without the fog it looks much more deadly giving off an eerie green glow that seems to reach inside of you.
Teddy is falling again and is caught by the girl just as his feet lift of the ground. Using the sword to steady himself he slowly stands up yet again.
Ahead of the other side of the bridge a woman stands, her bright blue hair sparking up and flowing in erratic fluid strands giving the impression her head is being electrocuted. Her eyes hold so much power teddy’s breath is taken away as he stares into them and they stare into him.
Teddy is so taken back by the woman he doesn’t notice the dragon swoop by him until he is pushed to the side by the girl.
“Are you actually going to help me or did I bring you here for nothing? My master better be right about you or I will personally throw you down into the canyon!” She snarled like a beast and Teddy leaped back, sword in hand, unsure of what to do.
He watched her duck as the dragon flew behind her, talons slashing the air where he head was. Instinct kicked in and Teddy was running full speed for the flying black and red blur not even hesitating before diving straight into it and leaving a gaping hole in its side with his sword.
But the dragon quickly realized Teddy was also a threat and took off after him. Sprinting wasn’t fast enough as the dragon flew straight into him throwing all but off the side of the bridge.
The dragon had circled back to rip at the girl’s throat but she dodges it by pushing herself back and takes a slide down her side and across her front. Her sword now lying a few feet away leaves her with no protection and she just lies there paralyzed by pain, her blood slowly pooling around her.
Teddy, crouched only yards from her, runs over diving to avoid the dragon and pushes her away. He takes a hit on his side but the wound is small. Getting up to charge he quickly falls, the pain in his leg too much for him to stand on it. He knows this is it when the dragon swoops over him and he grits his teeth. Just he feels the hot breath of it over him the dragon leaps back up, a knife in the side. Teddy looks over to see the girl, sitting up and no knife in boot.
The realization he may live fuels him and he leaps up running full speed from the dragon that swoops off the bridge and down under it. As Teddy suspects he hears the dragon flying from under the bridge to the side Teddy is on. And then without sparing a second he leaps off the stone path as the ground from under him explodes.
Hot scales burn through his clothes and threaten to disintegrate his skin too but he keeps his grip. Underneath him the dragon is realizing what hit him and is pulling swan dives in an attempt to free Teddy of the monster but to no avail. Climbing closer to the neck he sees the girl, lying almost dead in the distance, and realizes it is too late for her and she knows it. Taking all his strength Teddy stabs the monster in the neck and begins his fall downwards, moving his body in the wind to reach the girl.
He overshoots the ground and end up dragging himself and the girl into the abyss. Just as they approach the clouds hiding what’s under she pulls him close and lays a jade stone in his palm, her eyes showing her struggle between life and death. Just as they hit the clouds she yells something her voice piercing him like a blade an waking him up.
Gasping for air he turns over on his bed and hears something drop from his hand. He needs to breath but he can’t, he’s choking and coughing until he sees a film of black begin to take over his vision, and he utters a single word.
Angel





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