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Into the Dark (Prologue)
A low and silent fog slowly crept up the dark city streets, quietly enveloping the decaying buildings until only a faint shadow of a world past was visible. The cracks in the plaster moaned under ages of stress and the remains of the paint painfully peeled away, fading away into the voracious nothingness.
A young man walked slowly down the center of the street, holding his head low. The wind howled violently around him as it battered the broken city. The smooth folds of the man’s long, dark jacket silently danced along with the wind, and what little light permeated through the growing darkness shone off of a silver watch that dangled from the man’s waist. An intricate symbol was etched upon it, and a pattern of smaller, unknown symbols were carved, curving smoothly along the edge. Deeper in the fog, a raven cried out to the wasteland. The ghastly screech echoed through the alleyways and resonated off the cold concrete before it reached the young man.
He looked up momentarily, and his pale brown eyes grew wary. Instinctively, he reached for his watch with his right hand, and he wrapped its’ long chain around his middle and index fingers. The watch calmly nestled down into the groove between his index finger and thumb, and he rested his thumb on the spring catch that revealed the clock-face itself hiding inside. He tensed himself, his eyes slowly scanning every dark shadow that surrounded him. He muttered two simple words to himself, “That’s new.”
The shadows seemed to close in on him. One by one, the growing void advanced on him until the darkness stood flush against the young man. He closed his eyes, and held his watch up in front of his head.
A strange yet familiar silence lingered in the air. The fog was no longer visible, for the darkness was vicious in its rapacity. Suddenly, the air grew thick, and it seemed to pulsate with frightening ordinariness.
The young man winced, holding back his pain. His upper lip twitched briefly, but he quickly maintained control.
The darkness took advantage, and it began to pulsate once more, violently tearing away at its prison.
The young man wavered, his right hand shaking. He slowly shook his head from side to side, his black hair falling in front of his closed eyes.
Finally, with one last push, the darkness seemed to erupt in pure rage, and the young man heard a vicious shriek tear through the void. It burrowed into his temples, and forced its way into his brain. All the while, it cried, “Why?! You cannot escape us!”
His knees buckled, exploding from the intensity of the screaming voice. He fell to one knee, and he shielded his eyes with his left hand. The wind whipped about him, and the shadows seemed to brush against him as his heart began to pound out of control. The voice continued to scream incoherently, and the young man could hear it coming closer. Chilling shivers wormed their way down his spine, spurring the young man into a last desperate attempt. He recited the words that he knew so well, the words he had learned and cherished since that fateful night of separation.
Under shadows reign, I’m hidden
Out of body, out of mind, and
In my eyes, reflects the light that
Brings me to the land of knowing
The voice was now screaming in his ears, the noise deafening and deadly. He could feel its breath cold and stagnant on the crook of his neck. Beads of sweat began to form on his back. With a flick of his wrist, he opened the silver watch.
The world seemed to fall out from under him, and he found himself suspended within the void. He repeated the words again and again, and with each line, the screaming fell farther and farther away, until it retreated, waiting to be met again. Gradually, light began to pour through the darkness, and the young man found himself drowning in its magnificence.
At long last, the young man began to feel the familiar air invading his senses, the familiar sounds panging through his head. He opened his eyes, and he knew who he was again.