Legends of Azaria: Catalyst
Chapter 1I was in the middle of one of the crazy dreams I seem to have every night, when my bed started to shake, and screams made their way into my subconscious. My eyes snapped open when I smelled smoke. Great fingers of fire made orange shadows dance on my walls. The house I had lived in since infancy was burning.
“Zephyra!” a voice called. It was the voice of Seda, the closest thing I’ve ever had to a mother. I sprung out of bed and sprinted out of the room, jumping at the sensation of smoldering wood against my feet. Out in the hallway, I looked around desperately, and seemingly out of nowhere, a hand grabbed my wrist. My head snapped in that direction, it was Seda.
“Zephyra! Come this way!” Seda said again. She went upstairs. I ran after her, and it was a race against the flames. We ran to the ladder that led to the roof. She motioned for me to climb it, she followed me. On the roof my breath stopped. The thick forests that had once surrounded me so completely were reduced to miles upon miles of ash.
“Shadows,” Seda explained vaguely. A crash came from downstairs, Seda gasped. “Go!” she shouted, looking at me, “Now!”
“Not without you!” I turned, sensing something to my right; a dark figure loomed over me, hooded, so its face was indistinguishable. It reached over and grabbed Seda.
“GO!” she shrieked. With a horrible noise, it held her up and ripped her in half. She crumbled into dust and disappeared. That’s when my mind started to comprehend what was happening. Rage, hotter than the inferno around me, filled every inch of my body. I was about to launch myself at it when its hood came down. What was under it was so hideous that my blood froze. Its eyes were blacker than night. No pupils. No iris. No white. Just black.
Its screech sent out sound waves so strong you could feel them. Its breath was rancid. Its teeth were like decaying knives. A black wrinkled hand, with long evil fingers reached out to grab me. I stepped backwards, and off the roof. A split second of horror ran through me before my wings snapped open, but it was too late, the beast was already on me. Sharp claws broke through the skin on my arms; a stinging pain attacked my nerves.
I screamed. It rang out like a bell, breaking in agony. Talons raked down my arms. Finally, I fell from its grasp. I also fell from consciousness. The impact with the ground brought more pain, though it felt like I was floating down like a feather. Down. Down. Down.