Other Under Shadow - An Apocalyptic Fic [chapter 80 added] Complete

Discussion in 'Fan Works' started by Skyloft-Farm, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. Skyloft-Farm

    Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager

    Premise:

    In a world shared by many races of beings, a war has erupted between the Dwarves and the creatures known as the Shadow People. The Dwarves, having driven the Shadow People from their ancestral home, forced the Shadow People to resort to violence, thus beginning The Elemental Wars. But the Shadow People overcame the Dwarven race and rose to the surface of the world, tired of living a life underground in the shadows. Their rage brought darkness upon the land, and their army moved in on the human race, angered by their alliance with the Dwarves. They took over cities rapidly, killing all who stood in their way, taking humans captive, and searching out those who escaped their grasp.

    The only hope left for humanity lies in a mythical valley where light still exists. But will the surviving humans reach this valley in time to restore light to their world once more?
    So, I'm working on a new fic currently, and while it's been a slow process, I thought I'd share it here, too (originally posting on Tumblr). This is my second fic here on the forum, but I figured since technically, the first fic is finished (just casually posting here) I'd put this one up too since it's the current WIP.

    Update: November 23, 2016

    I am also posting this on AO3 and my Tumblr. I mention this because there will be some extra chapters that I will be... unable... to post here. They will not add to the over all plot line, so you won't be missing anything. But, if you want to enjoy a couple extra mini chaps here and there, feel free to check out the stories post there.

    AO3 // Tumblr

    (**If the link through the Tumblr link (at the bottom of the page) brings you an error, it's because the special chapters haven't been added yet. If there's interest in those chapters, I can post updates here as to when they have been posted on Tumblr**)
     
      Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
    • Skyloft-Farm

      Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager


      Shane dribbled the ball passed Greg and passed it quickly to Jas. Jas darted across the lawn, her brows knit together in intense concentration as she weaved between her mother and father and shot the ball into the net.

      Shane cheered, pumping his fist in the air as Jas ran circles around them. Greg leaned against his thighs, panting.

      “Screw you, Shane,” he muttered between breaths.

      “I’m not the one that scored,” Shane said with a smirk. “It was your daughter.”

      “C’mon, Dad, you’re not even trying!” Jas whined, kicking the ball over to them.

      “I say we switch up the teams,” Jas’s mother said. “It’s not fair to put the two worst players together.”

      “Get good!” Shane teased, kicking the ball away from Jas and around them.

      “Yeah Shane,” Jas said, throwing her hands on her hips. “Me and Mom verse you and Dad!”

      “I don’t wanna be stuck with him,” Shane whined playfully.

      “Let’s do it,” Greg said, straightening and glaring at Shane. “If I’m going down, I’m bringing you with me.”

      Shane rolled his eyes and took his position in front of the net. He watched as Jas darted around her father with the ball, running right towards him. Shane grinned, preparing himself for the block as she neared. He watched the ball fly through the air and he dove across the net, blocking her shot.

      “No fair!” Jas yelled. “You’re bigger than the net!”

      “C’mon, Jas,” Shane taunted her, throwing the ball back into play. “I taught you better than that.”

      “You forgot one thing,” Jas said, stopping the ball with her knee. She picked it up with her hands and glared at him with a devilish smile. “You also taught me how to cheat.” Jas ran towards him with the ball in her hands, throwing herself into his gut. When his arms came down around her, she ducked quickly and tossed the ball around him and into the net. “GOAL!”

      “Cheater!” Shane yelled, grabbing her by her waist and flipping her upside down over his shoulder.

      “You always cheat, Shane!”

      “Never!”

      “Shane’s a cheating jerk,” Greg said as he made his way to them. “Never trust a guy like Shane.”

      Shane smirked as he put Jas back on the ground. “Don’t trust any guy,” he said, giving her a wink.

      Jas crossed her arm and stuck her nose in the air before hurrying towards the porch where Aunt Marnie appeared with a pitcher of lemonade.

      “Are you and Shane playing fairly?” Marnie asked Jas as Jas eagerly took a glass from her aunt.

      “Mom and Dad are just mad because they can’t keep up,” Jas said into her cup.

      “Thanks for teaching our kid good values,” Greg said to Shane, slapping his shoulder.

      “She needs some kind of skill, and neither of you are good at anything.”

      Greg shrugged and wrapped his arm around his wife.

      “Clock’s ticking,” Jess said with a sly smile. “Jas needs a friend.”

      “Shane’s gotta land himself a woman, first.” Greg laughed sharply. “Good luck with that.”

      Shane narrowed his eyes at them. “Jas is enough kid for me.”

      Jess laughed. “You’ve come a long way, I have to admit. I thought you were gonna piss yourself the first time you held her. Looked like you saw a ghost!”

      “Babies are way too tiny. And that soft pot on their head? What the hell’s with that?”

      “Typical bachelor.”

      Shane shrugged. “I’m surprised she’s made it this far. Figured you guys would have dropped her or lost her by now.”

      “Like you’d do any better,” Greg shot back at him.

      “I could handle it. She’s passed the baby stage now.”

      “Good to know,” Greg said, turning to Jess. “We can die now and leave her safely in his hands.”

      Jess rolled her eyes. “I still think Jas needs a friend.”

      “No friends,” Shane said. “No thank you.”

      “He’s just mad ‘cuz I landed the prettiest woman in the city.” Greg planted a kiss on her cheek and she giggled.

      “You two make me sick.”

      They watched as Jas excitedly recounted every sly move she made in their soccer game. The sky grew dim and Jas turned her gaze to the sky curiously. Not a cloud marked the sky to explain the dimness. She turned to the adults who talked casually amongst themselves, unaware of the strange occurrence.

      The world continued to grow darker around them until the adults finally turned their gazes in search for an explanation, but there was none. The sky darkened from a pale to midnight blue, and then to an eerie dark gray, as if shrouded in a dark mist, swallowing them whole.

      “Mom,” Jas said slowly. “What’s going on?”

      Marnie pulled Jas close to her. Shane and Greg exchanged unsure glances until they could hardly see each other in front of them. The world was suddenly silent except for their breathing and shuffling in the grass.

      “Inside,” Greg muttered. “Now.”

      The five of them hurried in the house, flicking lights on as they moved into the living room where breaking news flashed across the screen. The news reported flashed in and out amongst the unexplained static.

      “…war… Shadow People… here…. Shadow People… here…”

      The power in the house cut, engulfing them in the darkness once more.

      “What the…”

      They saw the golden dots, illuminated in the night, just outside the window, bobbing up and down the streets. First just two, and then four, and suddenly they were surrounded by golden pairs of eyes that they knew too well to be The Shadow People.

      “Get in the basement,” Greg barked to them.

      Shane felt his grip on his arm as Greg pulled him through the house. Greg shuffled through the darkness, throwing items aside as he searched through the dark rooms. Shane heard the familiar sound of a clip being shoved into place, secured with a satisfying click. Cool metal was in his palm. He wrapped his fingers around the gun, his heart racing. A hand gripped Shane’s wrist, and Shane could just barely make out Greg’s gaze in the dark.

      “Don’t puss out on me, man.”

      Shane shook his head, then cleared his throat. “C’mon.”

      He followed Greg through the house, listening to his footsteps, his only guide, until they made it outside and onto the street. The familiar eyes of The Shadow People were gone. Shane cupped his hands around the grip of the gun and cocked it, waiting.

      “Come out, come out, where ever you are,” Greg muttered, his low voice breaking the eerie silence of the unexplained night.

      After a moment, a shriek pierced their ears, followed by another scream and another. Shane and Greg stiffened and spun on their heels, searching for the sound. Lights began to dot the street. Flashlights and lanterns. People were running from their homes and disappearing into the woods around them. Gun shots fired and suddenly chaos erupted.

      “Fuck,” Shane muttered, stumbling backwards.

      “Let’s go,” Greg hissed to him, pulling his shoulder and spinning him around. They darted back to the street, around the house, and pulled the bulkhead open. A faint light illuminated the faces of Jess, Marnie, and Jas. Greg motioned frantically with his arm, encouraging them out of the basement.

      “Get into the woods,” he hissed to them.

      Jess pulled at Greg’s arm. “No. Not without you.”

      “Don’t argue with me, there’s no time. Run as far away as you can get.”

      “Daddy,” Jas cried softly. “What’s going on?”

      “Get them out of here,” Shane muttered as his eyes swept the yard. He squinted in the dark in an attempt to pick out flashlights from eyelights.

      “Now,” Greg growled.

      The wind blew gently and the trees rustled around them.

      “Come on, Jas,” Marnie said to her, pulling her arm. “We need to leave now.”

      “No,” she cried. “No!”

      The trees rustled loudly and two pairs of eyes peered from the branches. Shane threw his body against Jas, knocking her to the ground as Greg let two shots fire into the trees. The creatures shrieked and emerged from their hiding, rushing at the humans.

      Shane rolled over, keeping Jas behind his back, and raised his gun, but the eyes and the flashlight were out. He held his breath, waiting, listening. A thump and a grunt signaled that someone was knocked to the ground.

      “Run!” Greg’s voice shouted, his breath cut off in a muffled grunt.

      Shane scrambled to his feet, pulling Jas with him and pushing her towards the woods.

      “No, Shane,” Jas cried, clinging to him.

      Shane fumbled along the ground, picking up her dropped flashlight, and clicked it on, shining it in her face. Marnie appeared in the light, pulling Jas frantically towards her.

      Shane whipped around as another scream sounded, just yards away from him. He let the flashlight sweep across the yard until it fell on Jess struggling with one of the Shadow People, it’s hands clenched around her throat, cutting off her breath.

      Shane stumbled forward, but a snap stopped him dead in his tracks.

      “NO!”

      Shane watched as the body dropped to the ground, lifeless. The golden eyes met his.

      Shane’s shaking hands fumbled with the gun. Three shots went off, missing the creature completely as it approached him. Two more shots sounded near by, briefly lighting the world around them, just enough for Shane to see Greg fall to his knees.

      He scrambled through the darkness until he found Greg. His body shuttered in his arms. His breath gasped sickeningly. Shane swept the light across the yard once more, but they appeared to be alone. He let the light fall to Greg’s face. His gaze met Shane’s as he gasped, blood spilling from his lips.

      “No,” Shane muttered. “No!”

      “Jas,” Greg stuttered. “Please.”

      Greg went limp in his arms. Shane let the body fall to the ground and scrambled backwards. A light swept the yard and stopped over them. Marnie’s voice called to him, but he was frozen. Jas cries rang through his ears. Three sets of eyes showed themselves once more, moving quickly towards Marnie and Jas.

      Shane pulled himself away from Greg, searching for the gun that he dropped, and frantically got to his feet. He only had three shots left. He positioned the flashlight just under the gun, marking his targets, and he shot three times. The creatures shrieked and fell to the ground in a black blur. When the world was quiet once more, Shane let his light make another sweep, but Marnie and Jas were gone.

      The world was dark and silent once more. Shane stared into the trees, waiting for them to emerge, but they did not. Maybe they ran through the woods. He could meet them on the other side with the car and leave the city. His flashlight scanned the yard once more, pausing over the lifeless bodies, and he bit back a sob. He pulled himself away from the sight, hurrying into the dark house, fumbling until he made his way to the safe, the flashlight dimming as it started to die. He spun the dial and the door opened for him, revealing an array of handguns and ammo. He shoved the gun in his back pocket, grabbing another that was in a holster and threw it around his hips. He stuffed a back pack with all the ammo he could manage and threw it over his shoulder. He made his way to the front of the house and outside where his loyal car waited in the driveway.

      He threw the bag into the passenger seat of the ‘79 Trans Am and circled around and into the driver’s seat. He fumbled with the keys, shoving it into the ignition and the engine roared to life. For a moment, Shane felt at ease as he settled against the seat with a sigh.

      Golden eyes blinked at him in the darkness, startling him. He quickly flicked on the headlights and the Shadow People shrieked and ran quickly from the light, burning them. Shane threw the car into reverse until he was on the road, then shifted into gear, flying through the suburban neighborhood until he reached the main street.

      The city was quiet. Lifeless. The tires skidded as he turned the corner onto the main drag and accelerated down the road. They were just at the edge of the city, the trees the only barrier between the neighborhood and the river that separated the city from the rest of the world.

      As the edge of the city neared, Shane could see headlights lining the bridge as other victims tried to escape the city and, hopefully, the clutches of The Shadow People, causing a literal traffic jam. Cars pushed their way frantically through in a desperate attempt to escape, while other’s climbed out of their windows, leaving their vehicles behind in an attempt to get ahead and out of the city.

      Shane slowed as he neared the bank of the river and the edge of the forest. He pointed the headlights towards the trees and scrambled out of the car, calling for Jas and Marnie. He shuffled through dead leaves and mossy grass, searching the edge of the forest, the river, and the road. Something caught the light of the headlights, flashing in his eyes. On the ground, Shane recognized the familiar necklace that Jas wore, a gift from her parents. He picked it up carefully, turning it in his palm. They had made it through. Maybe they tried to leave the city, too.

      Shane sprinted back towards the car, threw it into gear, and sped down the road once more towards the bridge. There was no way he’d make it across, and it was the only way over the river and out of the city. But maybe he could find another way. He knew further down, there was a shallow area in the river. Maybe he could drive across there.

      He pressed harder on the gas, flying through the empty streets, passed the jammed bridge, and plunged into darkness once more, out of the safety of the other headlights. He couldn’t see anything on either side of them, so he focused on the world illuminated by his car until he found the area in the river he was searching for. He spun the wheel, careening into the river. The resistance of the water slowed the vehicle, but Shane pressed harder on the accelerator, encouraging the car through the water.

      “C'mon, baby,” he muttered as the car splashed through the water. He cringed as rocks and branches scraped at the metal. The bumper crunched in as the car met the banking on the other side. He threw the car into a higher gear and it bounded out of the river forcefully and up the hill. He raced across the field until it met with the highway and he cut the wheel, bringing the car skidding around in the opposite direction, back towards the bridge where he hoped to find Marnie and Jas.

      Traffic thickened chaotically as he approached as cars made their way out of the city, frantic. Shane weaved in and out, skidding off the road as he did so, his eyes searching the faces that ran down the road sans vehicle. He kept driving until traffic began to thin, cars disappearing in all directions into the darkness. People darted across the roads, waving their arms frantically, begging for a ride, a savior. Shane ignored the guilty twisting in his stomach as he continued his search. Before he knew it, he was alone on the road, a single set of headlights guiding his way, the dark city just a vast shadow behind him.

      He slowed and stopped the car, staring beyond the headlights into the darkness, his stomach twisting. He forced open the door, which had dented and warped, and stumbled into the darkness. He called for Jas and Marnie once more, his voice breaking as he held back a sob. He ran down the road, calling for them, but no one answered his cries.

      He circled in the street, staring into the dark void around him, hoping for a sign, but there was none. He made his way back to the car, staring at his feet. He kicked angrily at the back bumper of the car, shouting obscenities at nothing until he suddenly felt exhausted. He leaned against the car and stared up at the dark sky, watching as a dark haze swirled around him, as if it were all that blocked the sunlight from their world. A thick, dark, eerie haze.

      Vivid visions of Greg and Jess flashed through his mind. He forced his grip to loosen around the necklace that was still in his hand and choked back another sob. He had to find Jas and Marnie. He wouldn’t give up until he did.

      Shane shoved the necklace into his pocket and swung back into the driver seat. He threw the car into gear once more and sped down the dark road, going no where in particular, eager to get away from the memories of the lost city, eager to find Marnie and Jas before it was too late.

      Shane drove well into the night, and then into the morning, the only indicator of the changing times indicated by the clock in the Trans Am and a slight lightening of the dark grey sky when the sun tried to force its way through. Despite the lighter sky, their world was still unnaturally dark, but Shane’s eyes were slowly adjusting to their new life.

      He was long gone from the city now, and the highway was abandoned. He hadn’t come across another soul since he left the city. He was lost in a dark world, and his stomach growled with his growing hunger. Soon, he came upon an abandoned gas station. The door to the mini mart was closed, but unlocked. He invited himself inside, scouring it’s aisles for food. He crunched through an apple as he shoved food, matches, and other odds and ends into his bag. He returned to the Trans Am, waiting for him, and gassed it up, then peeled out into the road once more.

      He kept to the highway, driving aimlessly, lost in thought until the Trans Am started to sputter sickeningly. He watched as the needle on the speedometer dropped drastically, the car slowing until it came to a painful, grunting halt.

      “No,” he muttered, slamming his fists into the wheel. “No!"

      He turned the key in the ignition, begging the car to start, but to no avail. He cursed loudly into the darkness and stared out into the road, still illuminated by the headlights. With a heavy sigh, he grabbed as much as he could, shoving everything into his bag and swinging it over his shoulders. He climbed out of the car, secured the two guns on his body, and slammed the car door closed. He stared at the faded, scratched red car for a long time as reality began to set in, twisting his stomach into knots. He bit his lip as he realized he was alone, in the dark, and now stuck on foot, without the only bit of his life he had left - his beloved car. He clung to the idea of having it around with him, no matter what, and he struggled with the realization that he would now have to leave it behind.

      The headlights started to dim until he was surrounded in darkness once more, and his heart sank. He let his hand run over the hood of the car.

      "You gave it your best shot,” he muttered to the car. “Thanks for getting me out of there, at least."

      The world was silent. There were no crickets. No birds. No wind. Darkness lay ahead of him; an uncertain future. He let his hand drop to his side and walked down the road, away from the car, clicking on one of the flashlights he brought with him. He walked until he lost sight of the dark shape of the Trans Am, his heart shattering in his chest. He bit back a sob and pushed onward.

      "I’m coming Jas,” he said softly. “I’ll find you.”
       
      • Skyloft-Farm

        Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager


        “Suction.”

        The steady beeping of the heart monitor was a comforting sound - a constant reminder of the oath he took to save lives. And he was decent at it. Better than decent. He was good. Excellent. Outstanding. The words reflected on his many awards and certificates that hung in his office. He hated those things. It wasn’t him. He would have stuffed them into a drawer if the hospital had let him. But no - he had to show them off proudly, to assure his patients that he was more than qualified to have their lives in his hands. He was a humble man who only wanted to do good. To bring family members together once more, even for just a little longer, because it was what they deserved. It was what he deserved. Just one more moment…

        “Dr. Harvey.”

        He did not turn to the nurse. “Yes?”

        “There seems to be a problem,” the male voice said.

        He pinched his lips together. “What?”

        “The city…” The man hesitated. “The Shadow People are here.”

        Harvey felt his pulse race, but his steady hands continued to work, accustomed to working through panic and chaos.

        But this was not a panic he was accustomed to.

        The lights began to flicker and Harvey finally looked up from the body before him. The nurses murmured and looked to each other before turning to him for reassurance.

        “What’s happening out there?” Harvey asked, steadying his voice.

        The lights went out. The equipment went silent. Harvey froze, his hands still in the delicate, exposed body.

        “What’s happening?” He shouted, growing anxious.

        The male nurse spoke frantically on the phone. Harvey listened to the “uh-huh” and “mhms” as he withdrew his hands carefully.

        “We need to close him up,” Harvey instructed as the emergency lights came on. He turned to the heart monitor as it began to beep again, and then the pulse quickened.

        “He’s going into cardiac arrest,” another nurse said quickly.

        “Get me the paddles,” Harvey instructed.

        The emergency lights went out and the heart monitor ceased once more.

        “Charge!” Harvey rubbed the defibrillator pads together as he watched the heart stop. “Clear!” He pressed the device pads around the fragile heart and delivered the shock. He watched the heart carefully, but it did not continue it’s pulse.

        “Five hundred,” he demanded and repeated the process. “Clear!”

        “Doctor,” the nurse said, hanging up the phone. “We need to evacuate.”

        The heart began to pulse weakly. “Evacuate? Are you crazy? We have an open body here!” The heart stopped once more. “Shit,” he muttered. “Charge!”

        The nurse hesitated, looking to him and her coworker.

        “I said charge, dammit!”

        The device charged and the shock was sent, but the heart did not react.

        “Doctor…”

        “The Shadow People are here.”

        “Leave,” Harvey hissed. “Evacuate.”

        “Doctor…”

        “Call it.”

        “Time of death 16-23.”

        Harvey stared at the lifeless body in horror as the nurses began to hurry around him, leaving him along in the operating room. He finally started to recognize the screams throughout the hospital.

        He ripped his scrubs off of him and peered down the hall way. It was dark and deserted. He scrambled along the walls until he found the stairs, taking them down to the ground floor. In the lobby, a ground of Shadow People blocked the exits, their golden eyes tearing through the darkness. Bodies were scattered on the floor. The survivors were huddled in a corner, panicked and sobbing. Security stood before them, their guns drawn.

        “Stand down,” one of the officers shouted. A hiss of laughter echoed against the hospital walls as the Shadow People closed in.

        The officers fired, but the Shadow People scattered, moving quickly about the room, blending in with the darkness around them and sending the guards into a panicked frenzy. Bullets whizzed around the room and Harvey threw himself behind the front desk for protection. His eyes searched the contents behind the counter, pocketing a flashlight, the only blunt object he could find should he need to defend himself. Of course there wouldn’t be any better weapon in a hospital. If only he had his scalpel…

        He scrambled on his hands and knees, keeping low, across the room, quietly gathering the people around him as the room erupted into a war zone. He knew there was a vent against the far wall that would lead them outside.

        Harvey felt along the wall with his hands until he felt the grate of the vent, then kicked it open. He pushed people through the vent, one by one, hardly noticing when the room fell silent. The gunshots had stopped.

        Harvey looked over his shoulder as the last of the people crawled through the vent. He could no longer see the golden eyes or hear the commands of the officers. Had they all been killed?

        The golden eyes appeared in the darkness once more, creeping in behind him, their hissing laughter slithering through his ears and sending chills up his spine. Without thinking, he scrambled to his feet and threw himself towards them, bringing one down with him. The others closed in eagerly around him. Harvey rolled over, pulling the flashlight out of his pocket and swung it towards them. His fingers slipped, flicking on the switch and illuminating the room in a beam of light.

        The Shadow People immediately fled from the light, their haunting shrikes filling the room. Without hesitating, Harvey jumped to his feet, circling quickly with the light until he made it out the double doors.

        He stumbled backwards and sprinted across the parking lot, slowing as he gazed over the city. Homes and buildings were on fire. Cars were left abandoned in the middle of the street as people fled in a panic. Traffic on the bridge out of the city was unlike anything he had ever seen as everyone tired to leave at ounce. He could only imagine the chaos that was over there, people pushing each other out of the way in order to save themselves. He cringed.

        He hurried to his car, his head racing. This was beyond his capabilities. He could not save these people. His training was in medicine, not war. So many questions clouded his mind as he pulled out of the parking lot and flicked his headlights on. It was too dark for the time of day. Eerily dark. The sky was a dark grey haze. There were no stars, no clouds, no sun or moon. Just a purple grey sort of twilight darkness all around them.

        Harvey found himself drifting along empty streets. Where was he supposed to go? Home? There was nothing for him there. He couldn’t stay in the city. No one could. They would surely be killed. If he wanted a chance to survive, he had to leave the city like everyone else and escape.

        But he didn’t know what lay over the bridge. Was the rest of the world in the same chaos? And where would he go?

        An idea came to him. He knew of a place on the coast where his parents used to take him as a boy. A place with small air crafts. He could fly one of those, easy. No sweat. But would they still be there? Or would everyone else have taken to the skies the first chance they got?

        And what would he do once he got in a plane? He couldn’t fly forever. But he could fly somewhere else. Somewhere safe, if such a place existed. He believed there was. Maybe it was like the movies he saw. Maybe there would be some camp of survivors, protected by marines with dangerous weapons. They wouldn’t turn him away. He would be important to them. He could heal and save lives as they fought against the Shadow People. Maybe he would bump into those survivors on the way.

        It wasn’t a very good plan, but it was something - a destination. All he had to do was get out of the city. Going across the bridge was futile. He had to find another way.

        He spun the car around in the middle of the road and sped away from the bridge. He could hit the highway on the other side of the city, just passed the cemetery.

        He cringed at the thought of busting through the beautiful gates and tearing across the manicured lawns. And the stones… the souls…

        He prayed to Yoba silently as he neared the cemetery. Surely Yoba would forgive him for disturbing their peace. Desperate times, and all.

        He closed his eyes tightly as the car careened up the slope and through the gates, bouncing along the paved road until he reached the graves. He navigated around them as best as he could, weaving in and out of stones and down the long, winding path until he came out on the other side, busting through the fence once more.

        He peered into his rear view mirror as he spun the car around onto the highway, but it was too dark to see the destruction he had caused. He focused on the road ahead, orienting himself before pushing his little Ford to it’s max, speeding down the road and into the darkness.
         
        • CjBeats

          CjBeats Pangalactic Porcupine

          Ok I'm sold on the prologue. I can't read right now, but when I can just know you have yourself a reader ;)
           
            Skyloft-Farm likes this.
          • Minimanta

            Minimanta Spaceman Spiff

            Ohh, a fic about The Elemental War? I'm in. Dis gon' b gud! :D
             
              Skyloft-Farm likes this.
            • Skyloft-Farm

              Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager

              ahh thank you both, i sure hope it will be good! lol xD
               
                CjBeats likes this.
              • Skyloft-Farm

                Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager


                Abigail held the sword out before her, her arms steady as she adjusted her stance. She narrowed her eyes at her target before bounding forward, swinging her sword across the dummy. It swung around her from the tree branch it was tied to as Abigail spun around and brought her sword across it once more. The dummy fell from the tree, landing in a heap at her feet. She smiled in approval before hanging it on the branch once more.

                “I wish you would get rid of that thing,” Caroline mumbled as she tended to her garden. “You’re going to hurt yourself.”

                Abigail rolled her eyes. “Mom, I’ve been training with this sword for years. I know what I’m doing.”

                Caroline sighed. “I told your father it was a bad idea to get you into those self defense classes.”

                “Because it’s so terrible that I, a woman, learn how to defend myself?”

                Caroline narrowed her eyes at her daughter. “That’s not what I’m saying.”

                “Why do you have such a problem with what I like?”

                “I don’t,” Caroline snapped, turning back to her garden. “I just don’t know where you get it from.” Caroline got to her feet, dusted off her dress, and sighed. “I just wish we had some common interests,” she muttered. “I wish we were closer.”

                Abigail turned her gaze to her feet. “I wish you would just accept me for who I am,” she mumbled.

                “You’re my daughter, Abby,” Caroline said. “I love you no matter what.”

                Abigail crossed her arms but did not meet her mother’s gaze. Caroline wrapped her arms around her daughter, pulling her into a hug and kissed her head. Abigail hesitated, then wrapped her arms around her mother.

                “Is it heavy?” Caroline asked. “The sword?”

                Abigail shrugged. “It’s not too bad. You get used to it.”

                “Well, at least I don’t have to worry about my only daughter getting kidnapped. You could kick anyone’s ass with that thing.”

                Abigail smiled. “That’s the plan.”

                Pierre hurried out the back door of the house, his face white and his expression frantic.

                “We need to get out of here,” he said between breaths.

                “What are you talking about?” Caroline asked.

                “The Shadow People… They’re coming…”

                “The Shadow People?” Abigail echoed.

                “Pierre, what are you talking about? The army-”

                “There is no army, Caroline,” he hissed. “It’s all over the news.”

                Around them, the sky began to darken into unnatural shades of dark greys and purples. A dark haze shrouded them from the light of the sun.

                “Get into the car,” Pierre ordered his wife and daughter.

                “Dad-”

                Pierre pushed the two women towards the road. Abigail tripped over her own feet as she hesitated, turning back to grab her sword on the ground.

                “Where are we going?” Caroline shouted to him. “Are you crazy?”

                “We’re leaving the city,” Pierre said as they climbed into the car. He turned the key in the ignition and the car purred quietly to life.

                “We can’t leave with nothing,” Abigail started, but Caroline’s screams interrupted her. Through the windshield, she could see a pair of golden eyes.

                Panicked, Pierre stepped on the gas and the car lurched forward, knocking the creature to the ground.

                “Pierre,” Caroline started, peering into the darkness. “Headlights!”

                Pierre fumbled with the knob and the headlights turned on. At that moment, three more creatures were illuminated, shrieking and darting out of the way of the bright lights.

                The Shadow People were scattered around the city, just starting to close in on their victims. Pierre pressed harder on the gas, winding through the city, in and out of cars, their drivers stunned at the sudden darkness, not yet aware of the danger around them.

                “How did they get here so fast?” Pierre shouted. He blew through stop lights as he careened through the intersections, passed unsuspecting drivers. At the sixth intersection, they weren’t as lucky, blowing past the indicated stop light, into traffic, and hit by an oncoming vehicle. The car spun violently through the intersection before coming to a stop on the other side.

                Abigail groaned and forced her door open, stumbling outside. Traffic had stopped, but onlookers were not focused on the accident. Instead, their gazes were turned toward the mass of Shadow People approaching them menacingly.

                Caroline and Pierre were close behind, pulling themselves out of the wrecked car. Caroline was shouting at her husband, her voice cut short as Pierre threw himself against her, knocking her to the ground, just out of the way of a falling telephone pole.

                The Shadow People dispersed, wreaking havoc around them. Cars were flipped and over turned, being tossed in every direction. People screamed and scattered in an attempt to dodge their attacks, but the Shadow People were quicker, taking them out by the masses.

                Abigail watched in horror at the sight before her, still clutching her beloved sword in her hand. The weapon suddenly felt heavy as her legs shook under its weight. She watched the golden eyes as the shadows approached her. She raised her sword timidly, but all of her training was suddenly gone. Nothing had prepared her for an invasion of the Shadow People.

                Gun fire erupted, hitting one of the creatures, causing the others to scatter. Abigail turned to see her father, loyally protecting his wife, gun in hand. His eyes widened as he realized he hit his target, and a small smile split his face.

                “Dad!” Abigail hurried to her parents and Caroline pulled her daughter into her arms.

                “Never thought I’d have to use this,” Pierre muttered. “Always kept it in the store. You know, just in case.”

                “Pierre,” Caroline warned as her and Abigail backed away. The Shadow People were not finished with them, and they were angry.

                Pierre raised his gun once more. “Come and get it,” he muttered. He fired twice more, missing his targets. The Shadow People moved in quickly and Pierre disappeared in their dark, eerie shadows.

                “Pierre!” Caroline shouted. She pushed her daughter away, but Abigail was frozen, shaking. “Run!” Caroline yelled to her daughter.

                The Shadow People dispersed once more, their hissing laughter filling the air as Pierre dropped to the ground. Their shadowy figures darted about as more debris flew through the air. The swung their shadowy weapons toward them as Caroline dragged her daughter out of harm’s way. Abigail stumbled and fell, rolling over just as her mother dropped to her knees, her face frozen in twisted fear before she landed face first against the pavement.

                “No!” Abigail scrambled to her feet, taking her sword in hand, and straightened as the Shadow People closed in around her. Her heart raced erratically as her vision blurred, distorting her vision. She would fight the Shadow People or die trying.

                But she didn’t want to die. She wanted to live. She wanted her parents to live. She wanted her world back.

                Her stance wavered and a sob escaped her throat. This couldn’t be happening. It had to have been a dream.

                The Shadow People neared her quickly and Abigail spun on her heels, running through the streets. She knew she couldn’t out run them, so she darted between the buildings that lined the city’s roads, in and out of alleyways in a desperate attempt to throw them off her path. She wound her way through the city, through every dark corridor until she was back at home. For a moment, the Shadow People seemed to be gone.

                She took advantage of the moment of freedom to hurry back into the house, grabbing her car keys, a couple of daggers she hid in her room, and stuffed a bag full of batteries and flashlights. She darted back outside, just as the Shadow People made their way eagerly around the corner. She jumped into her little black car, shoved the key into the ignition, and slammed on the gas. The car shuttered for a moment before picking up speed, leaving the Shadow People in her dust.

                Her eyes darted over the city as she drove, her mind frantic. They were close to the bridge already; she could just leave the city and never return. It would be safe out there, wouldn’t it?

                The bridge was relatively clear of traffic. The city was just now becoming aware of the war at their doorsteps. Abigail could get out and leave before the creatures even realized. Before everyone in the city had the same idea she did.

                She pointed the car towards the bridge, flying through the city as people continued to run about frantic and panicked. She ignored their blurred faces as she passed them. The car flew over the hill and across the bridge as she weaved in and out of cars. Before she knew it, she was alone on the dark highway, the city shrinking behind her.

                She glanced in the rear view mirror before coming to a stop. She waited for her pulse to slow, and as she waited, she burst into tears. In a time of crisis, she ran. Instead of fighting off those creatures, she panicked and plotted her escape without regard to anyone else around her. And worst of all, her parents died trying to protect her. She wasn’t strong. She wasn’t brave. She was weak. And now she was alone.

                She punched the steering wheel and cursed loudly into the darkness. The sword lay quietly beside her on the passenger seat, waiting to defend, haunting her. She got out of the car, marched angrily around to the other side, pulling the door open and taking the sword in hand. Without hesitating, she spun around and tossed the sword into the nearby river. Her chest heaved as she watched the sword disappear forever in the darkness, then she fell to her knees and began to cry.
                 
                • CjBeats

                  CjBeats Pangalactic Porcupine

                  Jeez you tryin to break my heart with that Shane one? The flippin feels man. It was so so good.

                  Harvey the hero. He saved all the people. And is he gonna fly a plane? That'll be neato to see

                  I haven't read Abby yet because I'm about to leave for Church, but I'll read it when I get back. You're doing an amazing job so far. This is one of my favorite fics on the forums right now. Keep it up!
                   
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                  • Skyloft-Farm

                    Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager

                    I really wanted to start off with a bang ;) Right in the feels haha. But thank you! I've been trying really hard to keep true to their characters, like with Abbigail's section, which you'll see, maybe. Trying to keep them as realistic as I can without being biased, either (I'm not a particular Harvey fan. I don't dislike him, just indifferent to him, so I tried not to let that sway how I write him lol.)

                    I'm really glad you like it so much, though!! Thank you so so much!! xoxox
                     
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                    • CjBeats

                      CjBeats Pangalactic Porcupine

                      So Pierre and Caroline are dead? RIP step-parents. Jeez fam chill with these feels. I can't take all this. I'm imagining more peeps are gonna die, and I'm oh so hoping Abby doesn't. Ugh this is good. Like really good. But the feels man I'm tellin ya.
                       
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                      • Minimanta

                        Minimanta Spaceman Spiff

                        Oh no, Pierre and Caroline D:
                        This is going to be a heartbreaking fic, isn't it?

                        But it continues to be good! Very much looking forward to the next chapter :D
                         
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                        • Skyloft-Farm

                          Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager

                          Abigail seemed like the kind of person that would want to avenge her parents. She has the whole adventurous thing going.
                          but her 10 heart event shows a... more cautious side.
                          which I wanted to try to bring out in her.

                          Yes. People are going to die. You have been warned. :sneaky:
                           
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                          • CjBeats

                            CjBeats Pangalactic Porcupine

                            Fam just don't kill my waifu I beg of ya.
                            I think she will want to avenge her parents, but she won't exactly know how. She'll train and train and then one day she'll go and in the moment she'll have second thoughts and then she may back out.
                            Like how it happened in her 10 heart event


                            I'm so excited to see what you bring and what you do with this.
                             
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                            • Skyloft-Farm

                              Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager


                              The little green Camry puttered down the road as Leah turned onto the on ramp, merging carefully onto the highway towards Zuzu City. She winced as large, green signs directed her towards the city. She felt a pull in her chest, begging her to turn around. There was nothing for her in the city, not anymore. She wanted desperately to return to the cabin in the woods where she spent the last few weeks in seclusion, focusing on her sculptures and her art. She smiled in the rear view mirror at her creations in the back seat and sighed. That was the life she wanted. But it didn’t pay the bills.

                              She focused on the road ahead, lost in thought. There were plenty of galleries in the city. That was the one good thing about living there. Maybe she could showcase her art and sell a few pieces. If she could do that in the city, she could make it anywhere. And then she could have the life she wanted, living alone in a cabin in the woods, focusing on her art. Away from Kel.

                              Leah cringed. She was not looking forward to returning to Kel. He was angry enough that she left without him. She hadn’t even turned her phone on yet. When Kel wouldn’t stop calling and texting the first day, she turned it off for the rest of the time without regret. She’d probably have a ton of missed calls, angry voice messages. He’d probably accused her of cheating, too.

                              Leah sighed. It didn’t matter. She was determined to end it all once and for all. Her time away was just what she needed to unwind, think about her life, and gain the confidence she needed to finally leave the abusive relationship. But the closer she neared her exit, the less confident she felt. Kel would not react calmly if she just packed her bags and left. He wouldn’t let go without a fight. A long, exhausting, fight, that she would likely not be able to escape unless she left the city for good. The idea was too good, tempting her to pull across the median, turn around, and never look back. She glanced in the rear view mirror once more and bit the bottom corner of her lip. He would have no idea. She’d never have to see him again.

                              She felt her speed slow as her foot subconsciously lightened on the gas. She hesitated as she peered out the windshield at the darkening sky, turning to unusual shades of dark grey-purple as an eerie haze quickly blocked out the sunlight. Headlights flicked on quickly on the highway and then brake lights brightened as cars slowed, hesitant. Drivers and passengers pointed to the sky and leaned out their windows to get a better look at the surreal sky, unaware of the war unfolding before them.

                              Cars pulled to the side of the road as people continued to gawk at the sky. Leah continued on slowly, curiously, weaving through the cars as they stopped in the middle of the road or pulled over. She watched the sky in awe until she finally got to her exit. She took the exit, getting off the highway and onto the main road just outside of the city. But the road was unnaturally deserted. No traffic. Not a car, not a soul.

                              It was too dark to see, now, except for what her headlights illuminated. She drove down the road slowly, looking ahead towards the city. It was not illuminated like she had expected it to be. Dark, shadowy masses marked the tall buildings of the skyline. The city was as dark as the world around her. A shiver went up her spine; something was wrong.

                              Headlights started to near her. One first, speeding quickly towards her, followed by another, then another. The cars flew past her at speeds higher than any highway allowed them. They honked and waved to her frantically as they drove by.

                              “Turn around!” they shouted to her.

                              Leah let the car slow more as she peered through the darkness into the city. What was happening over there? She fumbled for her phone and turned it on. She tapped her fingers on the wheel impatiently as she waited for the phone to boot and the messages to flood in.

                              And they did. Old messages at first. Kel looking for her. Demanding she come home. Yelling that she would regret cheating on him.

                              And then recent messages followed. Warnings.

                              Leah’s hands shook as she played the most recent voice mail. She strained to hear through the static.

                              “Leah… The Shadow People… are you alive? The city… They’re coming… Don’t… back…. Don’t… Leah…”

                              The phone dropped from her hands. The message was left just a few minutes ago. The Shadow People were in the city, and people were escaping, running for their lives.

                              Leah saw another set of headlights, but these did not seem to move. Someone was stopped in the middle of the road. Leah hesitated; a trick? Or someone with answers? Someone who needed help?

                              She looked passed the car towards the city once more. Headlights started to dot the roads and cluster at the bridge as everyone desperately tried to escape the city.

                              Leah pulled up to the car. A girl with purple hair seemed to be heaving on the side of the road. Leah threw the car into park and hurried over to her.

                              “Are you okay?” she asked, her hand on the girl’s shoulder. She was sobbing. Her shoulders shuttered.

                              “I don’t know what to do,” the girl gasped between breaths.

                              “What happened?”

                              The girl met her gaze. “The Shadow People. They’re attacking the city. They killed my parents.” She sobbed loudly.

                              Leah pulled the girl into her, rubbing her back. She didn’t know how she could comfort this stranger, but she knew the girl couldn’t be alone. She was young, frightened, and running for her life like everyone else.

                              “We can’t stay here,” Leah muttered.

                              “I don’t know what to do,” the girl sobbed loudly. “I have no where to go. I’m all alone. I’m going to die.”

                              Leah put her hands on the girl’s shoulders and narrowed her eyes. “You’re not going to die. And you’re not alone. We can get through this. We can figure this out.”

                              The girl sniffed, quieting for a moment, then glared coldly at Leah. “I don’t even know you.”

                              “And I don’t know you,” Leah pointed out. “But it’s everyone for themselves, now. We’re at a war. I don’t think you should be worrying about what I would do, but what those creatures will do."

                              The girl hesitated as she considered this. She had already seen what they could do, the power they had.

                              “Did they attack you, too?” she asked.

                              Leah shook her head. “I was just coming home from vacation,” she said. “The world got dark… I got a call from my boyfriend telling me what happened… I don’t even know if he’s still alive.”

                              “Probably not,” the girl said glumly.

                              Leah swallowed, feeling guilty. A strange part of her felt relieved, and it sickened her. She cleared her throat and stood, pulling the girl to her feet.

                              “We can’t hang around here any longer,” Leah said, glancing towards the bridge in the distance. It was packed tightly with cars. People began to climb out of their windows, sprinting out into the road desperately. “The Shadow People will come after the escapees.”

                              “Where are we supposed to go?”

                              Leah hesitated. They could go back to the cabin. What were the chances that the Shadow People would search the wilderness for people? Or maybe that made it a prime target, searching for survivors in hiding. But it was out of the way. Way out of the way. It would be something, for now. A way to escape, a way to hide. Even if it was only temporary.

                              “I’ve got this cabin in the woods, far away from here,” Leah said. “That’s where I came from. We could go there, for now.”

                              The girl nodded sheepishly. “Okay.”

                              “We should take one car. Harder for them to track.”

                              The girl glanced at her car. “We can take yours.”

                              “All right,” Leah started. “Let’s get out of here.”

                              They climbed into the car, still running quietly. Leah threw it into drive and traced the main road back to the highway.

                              “I’m Leah, by the way.” She forced a smile.

                              She returned the smile. “Abigail.”
                               
                              • CjBeats

                                CjBeats Pangalactic Porcupine

                                Aww that was nice. Less feels here because A. I don't care about Kel, and B. No one died or ran for their lives. But this was a good chapter I liked it. The 2 adventurers teamin up, tis noice. But I just have one question that you probably won't answer in a while: WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH SHANE? Like seriously that first chapter was so good, and I just want to know what else is gonna happen. Also I'm seeing a pattern here. Are you doing like just from the eyes of the bacherlor(ette)s? Cause if so that's noice If not that's noice too I'm just wonderin. Can't wait for the next chapta!
                                 
                                • WATERTHOOOOOSSEE

                                  WATERTHOOOOOSSEE Phantasmal Quasar

                                  NoNONONONO NOT PIERRE AND CAROLINE! NOW MY WAIFU IS ORPHANED :notworthy:
                                   
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                                  • Skyloft-Farm

                                    Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager

                                    I have an oc)'farmer' I will introduce shortly. I started writing it in her pov but was thinking of back story too for everyone so was thinking of doing little prologues for each character before getting into the main story. So that's kind of what this is at the moment haha
                                     
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                                    • CjBeats

                                      CjBeats Pangalactic Porcupine

                                      Oooh nice. Ok. That'll be cool. When the story story actually starts is it still gonna be like through the eyes of one person or is it gonna switch to third?
                                       
                                      • Skyloft-Farm

                                        Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager

                                        I was thinking the oc that's how I started it anyway haha
                                         
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                                        • Skyloft-Farm

                                          Skyloft-Farm Void-Bound Voyager


                                          “Don’t let go!” Vincent cried. His small hands gripped the handle bars, turning his knuckles white.

                                          “I won’t let go,” Sam assured him as he pushed his little brother down the street on the two wheeled bike.

                                          “I can’t do it, Sam,” Vincent said. The bike wobbled under Sam’s hold.

                                          “Sure you can. Just sit still.”

                                          Vincent stiffened.

                                          “Pedal, dude, you gotta pedal.”

                                          “You said to sit still!” His feet began to pedal the bike forward.

                                          “You just need to practice balance.”

                                          “I want my training wheels back.”

                                          “Those are for babies,” Sam said.

                                          “I don’t wanna be a big kid!” Vincent shouted as the bike picked up more speed.

                                          “Watch where you’re going!” Sam reminded him. His voice was distant.

                                          “Sam? Sam!” Vincent looked over his shoulder at his brother standing alone on the street. “I did it!”

                                          Sam started running. Sprinting. “Slow down!”

                                          “I don’t know how!” The bike started to wobble as Vincent lost his balance. Frightened, he stopped pedaling and slammed the pedal backwards, lurching him to a stop and sending him falling to the ground.

                                          “Are you okay?” Sam asked as he hurried to his brother’s side.

                                          Vincent groaned and inspected his scraped elbow. “I’m never riding a bike again,” he grumbled.

                                          Sam smiled as he picked up the bike and walked his brother back to the house. “You’ll get it. It just takes practice.”

                                          “I don’t want to practice,” his little brother said. “I want my old bike back.”

                                          “Dad’s gonna make you learn when he gets back, you know.”

                                          Vincent crossed his arms. “That’s gonna be in forever,” he said.

                                          Sam pinched his lips together and shrugged. “He’ll be home soon.”

                                          Vincent ignored his brother, hurrying into the house and leaving Sam alone in the driveway. Sam moved the bike into the garage for the night before making his way into the house to help Vincent clean his scrape.

                                          “How’d he do?” Jodi asked her son when he came into the kitchen.

                                          Sam shrugged. “He says he’s never gonna ride a bike again.”

                                          Jodi smiled. “Go help him before he uses up all the bandages on that little scrape.”

                                          The phone rang as Sam made his way into the bathroom where Vincent was standing on a step stool, admiring his wound in the mirror. He already had three unnecessary bandages open on the counter, ready to be crisscrossed on his elbow.

                                          “You only need one,” Sam said, taking the elbow in his hand and wiping it down with a wet cloth.

                                          “More are better. I look cool with more.”

                                          Sam rolled his eyes and listened to his mother on the phone as he helped his brother.

                                          “What do you mean?… This can’t be… Are you sure?… Are you coming home?… Why?… What are we supposed to do?… Where are we supposed to go?… Kent… Kent, please come home…”

                                          Jodi hung up the phone. Sam’s heart raced, but he forced himself to remain calm as he finished bandaging his brother’s elbow.

                                          “There,” he said quietly. “All better.”

                                          Vincent hopped down from the stool and hurried into the kitchen where he stuck his nose in the fridge. “What’s for dinner?”

                                          Jodi was still standing by the phone, now hung up on the wall. She stared at the receiver, as if expecting another call. She cleared her throat as Sam made his way into the kitchen, his eyes hard on his mother.

                                          Jodi shook her head. “Nothing. We’re going away for a bit. Vincent, do you want to go on a trip?”

                                          Vincent scrunched his nose. “Where are we going?”

                                          Jodi hesitated. “We’re gonna go to the beach. How does that sound?”

                                          “But I’m hungry.”

                                          Jodi picked up her son. “Come on, we’re leaving. We’re going to the beach.” She turned to Sam, her expression hard. “Get your father’s…” she hesitated, her eyes frightened. “… things. In the safe.”

                                          The safe. His guns. Sam’s heart pounded in his chest.

                                          “Mom, what’s going on?”

                                          Jodi turned to Vincent and forced a smile. “We’re just gonna go to the beach, okay?” She narrowed her eyes at her oldest son. “The things. Please.”

                                          Sam hesitated before leaving his mother alone in the kitchen. He hurried up the stairs to his father’s office. His fingers fumbled with the dials on the safe until it clicked open, granting him permission to see its contents. Sam stared at the weapons; assault rifles, pistols, knives, and more ammo than he could imagine.

                                          He fumbled with the duffle bag, filling it with assorted knives. He selected a couple of hand guns and their appropriate bullets and packed them carefully in the bag. His eyes scanned the rifles. He never cared for his father’s collection, nor had he ever shot a gun before. Were the rifles necessary? He didn’t know. He had no clue what was going on, or what had his mother so upset. His hands shook as he reached for one of the larger weapons. He packed it in with the rest, selecting it’s ammunition, and zipped up the bag.

                                          His mother was at the car with Vincent when Sam made his way outside. She buckled her youngest son in the backseat carefully before grabbing the bag from Sam eagerly.

                                          “Will you tell me what’s going on?” Sam snarled at her.

                                          Jodi closed Vincent’s door and stared at her son over the hood of the car for a moment before fumbling in the bag. She grabbed one of the hand guns, slammed the magazine into place, and tucked it into her jeans.

                                          Sam stared at his mother, dumbfounded. He had never seen her touch the weapons in his life. He met her hard gaze.

                                          “We’re leaving the city,” she stated.

                                          “Why?”

                                          She grabbed another handgun, loaded it, and held it out to Sam. “We’re losing the war, Sam. The Shadow People have gained control, and they’re coming this way.”

                                          Sam stared blankly at the weapon in his mother’s hand. “What?”

                                          “Take it,” Jodi said, her voice hard. “If we get separated, you will need it.”

                                          “Separated?” Sam hesitated. “I’ve never shot a gun in my life.”

                                          “There’s a first time for everything.”

                                          “This isn’t happening…” Sam took the gun from his mother and looked to her for assurance.

                                          “I’ll show you what to do.”

                                          “Show me?” Sam stammered. “How do you know about guns?”

                                          “You think my husband goes off into war and he doesn’t teach his wife how to protect their family?”

                                          Sam shook his head in disbelief as he stared at the weapon.

                                          “Your father is going to meet us on the west coast,” she said to him as she opened the driver’s side door. “We need to get out before it’s too late.”

                                          Sam looked up and down the street before he climbed into the passenger seat. “What’s going to happen to the city?”

                                          Jodi shook her head. “I have a feeling we won’t want to be here to find out.” She turned back to Vincent and smiled. “Gonna be a long drive, kid,” she said to him as he stared out the window.

                                          “S’long as I don’t have to ride a bike,” he muttered.

                                          The engine came to life as Jodi started the car. They pulled out of the driveway and made their way through the city. It was still early in the afternoon and traffic was just starting to build as everyone left work for the day. They made their way casually to the bridge, leaving the city and making their way onto the highway.

                                          *****

                                          Sam drove them through the night and Jodi took over the next morning, stopping briefly at a small convenient store off the exit. They filled the car with food and water, a few medical supplies, flashlights, and anything else that looked useful to a few people on the run. Sam crunched on the potato chips in the car as they made their way back to the main road. The day drifted on with no sign of war, well into the afternoon.

                                          Sam drifted in and our of sleep as they drove, the music turning to static. He stretched and yawned as he felt the car slow. He looked to his mother, who peered through the windshield at the sky. He followed her gaze as a dark, purple-grey haze started to cover the sky and darken their world. Cars slowed and stopped around them as people gawked at the sky.

                                          “What the…” Sam muttered.

                                          “The Shadow People,” Jodi said simply. “They’re here.”
                                           
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