Thursday, December 23, 2010

Part 5

The branches of low trees slapped against her face as she ran and pulled at her long heavy skirt slowing her down. But Kallista didn't care. She moved through the heavy foliage recklessly completely forgetting her training. Here and there sunlight penetrated through the canopied roof of the forest, highlighting those areas with a glow. It was beautiful and serene.  But she saw none of this in her hast. She stopped to catch her breath and looked in every direction; straining her eyes hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious person. But she saw nothing. The forest was still. As she stood there she tried to quiet her raging thoughts. Whoever she saw could not have been her sister  who had been dead for several years now. Yet there was something strange about that person. She had to find out who it was!
Slightly exasperated with herself she looked around finally aware she had left her comrades behind.
"Feeling a little silly, now?" A voice called out from up in the trees.
She looked and saw Darkane sitting there in one of the trees, listening to her green and blue headphones.
"You know I was in the middle of a really good fight." Darkane continued, not looking at her.
Kallista smiled to herself at Darkane's annoyed tone.
"I'm sorry." She said quietly. "Did Israel send you?"
"Nobody sent me! And Israel is to busy doing something important other then chasing little girls who can't control themselves and run into the forest!"
Kallista understood the tone in her friend's voice.
"I'm sorry I worried you, Darkane."
"I wasn't worried!" Darkane replied as she leapt gracefully from the tree. She landed lightly on the ground a little ways from Kallista. She gave the slightly taller girl a sideways glance. "You coming? What was so important that you came out here by yourself, anyways?"
"It was nothing." Kallista replied shaking her head slightly. "Go one ahead. I'll be right behind you."
Darkane shrugged her slight shoulders. "Suit yourself!" She called as she began to walk back towards the town.
Kallista hesitated. She could still feel that echo of energy that had penetrated her soul before she had entered the forest.  She forced herself to be still for a moment longer. With every breath she could feel herself returning to normal.  Now with her wits back about her, she knelt on the ground amidst all the colorful fallen leaves. She carefully placed her hand on the cold ground and felt the magic swelling within her. She released it into the earth and it danced through the earth rapidly, sending her images and sensations of life all around her. From the small forest critters to the foxes who played among the tree, she could see life everywhere. Except for one place. She stood up abruptly, a frown replacing the smile, and looked in the direction of it's source. Something undead where there! In that moment a large gray cloud swept over the sun, covering the light from the earth below. She shivered apprehensively. Then an unearthly scream pierced the air, resounding in the forest. It's agony pierced through Kallista's soul.  As she ran towards the source she could hear a moaning that rose in intensity to another scream. She reached a clearing in time to see Dusk standing before Bridget with her whip in his hand. He was smiling at Bridget, who to Kallista's horror was pinned in a trap.
Kallista felt as if her breath was knocked out of her again. The wicked looking device resembled a bear trap, only bigger. From where she stood she could sense a tainted magic over the steel trap; a poison. It had snapped over the left side of Bridget's body, ripping into her flesh along the leg, waist and arm. The top part of the jaws threatened to tear into her slender throat. Blood was oozing from the wounds, but Bridget still managed to glare defiantly at Dusk.
"You are the one who is pathetic, Dusk!" She spat at him, stifling a groan of agony. "You know you couldn't fight me on your own! Like a coward, you had to use a trap and your army to stop me. Just one vampire!"
His mouth twisted in rage and he raised up Bridget's own whip to use against her. Then Kallista was there.  She raised her hand and caught the whip as it started it's decent. She held on to it and refused to let go as he tried to pull it from her grasp. Defiantly she stared at him.
"YOU!" He thundered.
Through a veil of seething anger she could see recognition in his eyes as he glared at her. But she paid this no mind as she stood between him and Bridget.
"Hang in there, Bridget." She said between clenched teeth. The burning pain of the whip was intensifying. She didn't know how she was going to save both Bridget and herself.
"Use your magic, Girl!" Bridget snapped in between gasping in pain. "It's the only way to get us both out!"
But Kallista hesitated.
Dusk looked around in disbelief then looked back at her and smiled. "You came alone? How good of you."
He began to pull tighter, drawing her nearer as she screamed in protest and pain.
Then out of nowhere, a huge dead tree came at him like a missile, seeking to pin him to the earth. Dusk let go of the whip and dodged the tree in the last moment, at the same time Kallista was blown backwards by a wind.  Someone raced by and grabbed her before she fell to the ground. She looked up and Necros stood in front of her facing Dusk and what was left of his army. Lillivale sat her down carefully and went to stand by Necros.
From every part of the forest her friends appeared, some holding weapons, some gathering fire with magic, and some doing both. They surrounded Dusk and his remaining army.
"Who said she was alone?"
Dusk cursed and muttered angrily. "This army wasn't even meant for you!"
"What was that, sweetheart?" Necros cocked his ear to Dusk. "I Didn't hear you!"
Dusk eyes burned with rage.
"I've had enough of this." He growled and turned to his few remaining followers. "What are you waiting for? Attack!"
At once the vampires did as their master commanded and attack.
Kallista turned to see Israel and Evangeline trying to free Bridget while the rest of them fought the vampires.
"Necros!" Israel called. "We need your help!"
Necros nodded and swept the five vampires he had been fighting, over to Leo and Lillivale.
"Now make sure you two share." He teased as he ran over to Israel.
Leo and Lillivale looked at each other for a moment.
"Dibs on those three!" Leo grinned and called forth electricity in his hands.
"We could call dibs?" Lillivale questioned, momentarily bemused.
"Oooooooh! Look at the pretty lights!" Leo taunted the vampires as Lillivale went on to do some damage on his own.. The vampires watched cautiously, entranced by the sparks Leo was making. Then Leo sent the bolts into them, killing them easily.
Using magic, Evangaline, Israel, and Necros carefully pried the metal trap from Bridget's body while the rest finished off the remaining vampires.
Kallista got to her feet unsteadily and spied her friend, Darkane a few feet away, fighting.
 Darkane's two curved Japanese knives whipped around swiftly killing one vampire and turned to do the same to it's companion.
 In one fluid motion, Kallista pulled the two thin knives that had been hidden in her sleeves and joined Darkane in her fight against three vampires. Ignoring her bleeding hand she went after the last vampire with a vengeance; happy to have something to take out her anger on. It seemed to fuel her strength and she beat the vampire easily.
All was quiet in the clearing of the forest as the friends paused realizing there were no more vampires. Necros had gathered Bridget up and was preparing to take her to Kenspeckle's.
He looked at Kallista who stood wearily with her hair hanging in her face and a bloody hand.
"You should get that fixed right way." He said quietly and then added. "Never do that again."
She bowed her head as he walked away, knowing what he meant. Then a gust of wind blew her hair back and Kallista knew he had gone using his power to get Bridget the medical help she needed.
She didn't look up when she heard someone else approached. A hand reached carefully for hers. Israel looked at her hand for a moment before speaking.
"It looks bad, but nothing that Kenspeckle can't handle." He told her. He pulled out a cloth from his pocket and tied it over her hand.
The others came closer and looked at her with unreadable expressions. But Kallista knew what they where thinking.
"Running into a forest by yourself with vampires running amuck is never a good idea." Nicolette spoke up for the rest of them.
"Yeah. we know your tough, but to try and take all of them on your own is ludicrous." Sarthacus added with a slight smile.
"You are such a greedy guts!" Darkane burst out. "You were going to take them all on your own? And leave none for us?"
"No you silly girl!" Florence said. "Sarthacus was just kidding about that. Wasn't he?"
"Something else called you into the forest." Israel guessed as he gazed searchingly at her. "But you don't wish to tell, do you?"
"No." Was all she said. She looked everywhere but at them.
Israel sighed.
"Alright then." He began. "We need to go and get your hand looked at by Kenspeckle."
As she left with the others, she realized she had never found the mysterious person. On hindsight she looked back once more, but saw nothing.