21 June 2011

Old books and scrolls talk about monsters that used to haunt castles and terrified the locals for fun. Those monsters were never seen during the daylight but the damage they caused when darkness broke...

A child's story

785 BC. Shadow monsters terrorized the kingdom of Nouvre. The locals gathered every Thursday night to discuss new plans of keeping their people and the king’s castle safe. The king always attended the meetings together with his wife, sons and daughters. Everyone was present from blacksmith to baker, from priest to soothsayer, everyone…except for those incapable.

The king’s youngest daughter never attended the meetings and never showed her face beyond the walls of her chamber. Some say she locked herself years ago but others believed the king himself locked her in due to her instable personality. She was indeed different from the rest. A "cursed girl" people called her. She never agreed with the rest. When a person calls the whole world insane, what to make of it than that the person herself is insane? One against the whole world could not be and to think that she took the side of the monsters destroying the kingdom, trying to convince others that the monsters were harmless…Nobody sympathized with her, not even the king. He often said she was from the unfortunate side of the family.

‘I try to convince my people that we need to take measures then you come and spoil everything with your unbelievably insane ideas!’ Were the last words he had spoken to her before the door between them was locked for eternity.

She never left her chamber, she never showed her face although she had an extraordinary large balcony covered with colorful flowers and blooming roses who seemed to take care of themselves. She received her food through a small window made in the locked door. Her mother had ordered for that window to be made so that she could see her daughter’s face. Her daughter never gave her that pleasure and covered her face whenever the food arrived. No one ever talked to her, no one actually knew how she looked like as she had been just a child when she was isolated from the world outside. But they knew she was alive as a shadow was always seen haunting the chamber and they knew she still protected the monsters as she sent several letters to the king asking him to put an end to the meetings.
But the king's daughter did come out of her chamber and that always happened on Thursday night, during the meetings. You could see the window and a figure sneaking through it into the colorful balcony. You could spot her golden hair shining under the full moon and the wind blowing over her red cheeks. Her hands would rest on the balcony edge and her chin would be lift up high as if waiting for something. If you were patient enough you would soon understand what she was waiting for.

A shadow, like a bat, you think you saw it but you can't see it anymore. Something moved around the castle, around the trees, the princess took few steps back and there it was. A giant shadow stood before her with giant bat wings and the body of a bull. Was he going to attack? Why wasn't she screaming. She stood there and a moment later spread her arms towards the beast.

A giant claw was seen reaching the soft hands of the princess. Or were they hands? Was it a beast? Now it looked like a man, the wings shrunk and disappeared, the huge head turned into a human's beautiful face, the buffalo legs turned into a man's powerful legs, the beast was a beast no longer but a man with angelic features, a prince fit for a princess. The princess went inside her chamber and the man followed.

Nine months have passed and the princess seemed to grow sicker and sicker. She barely ate her food and her shadow was hardly seen walking around the chambers, no more letters were send to the king but on every Thursday night you could still spot the shadow entering her chamber and leaving before the meetings ended.

On one rainy day the castle was surrounded by a baby's cries. The king ordered his men to find out where the cries came from and soon they realized it was coming from the locked chamber. They managed to break the lock and when they entered they found the princess laying in bed and a monster flying out of the balcony with a baby in his arms. They shot with arrows and threw spears but it was too late. The monster had fled. The king saw his daughter for the first time in years and all he did was raise his sword.

The monster reached the forests in no time and entered the one and only place he knew was safe, a cave hidden deep into the wildness.

The baby wasn't crying. He was looking at the monster instead. An old woman suddenly appreaded before the monster.

 'A baby?'

'My son.'

 He gave the old woman the baby and flew back for his loved princess. He never returned.

The old woman looked at the baby and smiled softly.

'Be proud child, you're the first of your kind.'

20 June 2011

Chapter 1 Saved by the shadows

She noticed they were following her for some time now. They were always so obvious in those suits covering shoulders as broad as doors. She needed to get rid of them and she needed to do it as fast as possible. As soon as she saw the metro sign she hurried her steps. She took the stairs down hoping she would face a crowd that might hide her for a while.

'She's heading the subway.' Said one of the agents surprised of the girl's sudden move.

'You think she's in on us?'

'Maybe. I told you not to wear a black suit.'

'Everybody wears a black suit these days. Maybe she's in a hurry or something.'

'God dammit, she's running through the crowd, come on!´

She thought of taking the subway for a moment but then she realized it might be better to follow the passage, find an abandoned street and get rid of them there.

The two agents were pushing their way through the crowd. If they would lose track of the girl who knew what their boss might do to them now.

She kept on running until she reached an alley that ended up in a high fence. It was around five o'clock in the evening but for a November night it was dark and freezing. The wind blew in her face as she stood still before the fence. She didn't feel the cold temperature. They said it was because she was special. She didn't want to be special and live a life like this one.

She heard footsteps approaching like an echo in the lonely street. There was no escape. They were coming closer.

She looked up at the black clear sky as if praying to it. She slowly raised her arms as if she wanted to catch the stars. It was such a beautiful night, such a beautiful sky. She felt her feet raise above the ground until her toes touched only the air. She felt her body being lifted up, the sky and the stars getting closer. She was going straight up in the sky feeling freedom and power. She saw the moon as if it was approaching her.

She ended up on the roof of a close by building. The city was filled with high buildings. That's the reason she liked it so much. She found a spot from where she could still see the alley. Two men stood next to each other looking up, searching for her.

 'Where the hell did she go?' asked the agent in the black suit.

'What do you think, stupid?'

 'She could be anywhere now.'

 'Really?' answered the agent sarcastically. 'Did you mother make you that smart? Come on! We gotta report it to the boss.'

She saw them leave and grew scared instead of relieved. They might send a helicopter now. They knew her location and they would find her soon. No more flying tonight. She had to hide somewhere and stay there for the night. Yes, hide would be the best thing to do.

The girl found a door that lead to the lower floors of the building and opened it. She found herself in a dark smoked hall and wondered if that was normal. She had never understood the human behavior but a smoked building was something that she didn't happen on very often.

'Help! Hurry up! Help!'

She heard a woman cry. As the girl walked further the smoke was accompanied by light, beautiful orange bright light.

 'Over here help!'

The girl realized this was a fire and people's skin burned when in contact with it. She hurried to the place she heard the screaming.

A woman stood before a small window looking down and shouting. She held a dog in her arms and stared at the window. She was surrounded by fire and crying hysterically. The girl saw her but the woman didn't as there was too much smoke and flames for a human eye to see through it.

Before she knew it the girl saw two men in strange suits, firemen they called them, reach the woman and break the window. The woman and her dog jumped out of it and the girl wasn't sure if they too could fly.

The firemen jumped as well.

The girl quickly hurried towards the window and looked down. There were police cars, ambulances and fire trucks everywhere. The woman and her dog were surrounded by people while the firemen just stood up from what seemed a giant pillow. She would have wanted to jump down on that pillow as well but it would be wrong to do that just for her own amusement. She decided to look at the other floors and see what she might come across.

Everywhere she looked there were burning objects and doors. She looked down every time she found a window and checked if any other people jumped on the fluffy pillow. There was a bold man in his underwear who had also jumped and two children together with another woman. She saw more firemen enter the building but hadn't seen them come out or jump out yet.

 On the fifth floor something happened. The whole building shook and she heard a lot of glass break and more fire taking over. She looked down again and saw three firemen come out. Two were holding the third. They were pointing at the building while the rest was running around using water to put the fire down. Strange thought the girl, that only three men came out while four had entered.

The forth floor had a hole in it. It seemed that it´s floor collapsed on the third. The girl looked down the hole and saw something under a pile of bricks. She hurried towards it and examined it. It was a small piece of cloth. A cloth the same color as the strange suits that the firemen wore. She started unwrapping her discovery brick for brick. More cloth was revealed and she realized it must have been the fourth fireman. She found blood, a lot of blood on the bricks but at least the fire wasn´t near this area.

She was shocked to find the fireman indeed but he looked crushed and dead. Or was he still alive? Maybe he was still alive. Someone had to look at him, someone had to take care of him. The ambulance was in front of the building but they were busy with so many other people and...he looked very hurt. She needed to take care of him now.

The girl lifted the man up with such little effort as if he was a doll. She couldn´t fly out of here like that, she needed a stronger shield and that shield was about to be revealed.  Her body started growing, one, twice, nine times her normal size. Her face expanded and her head grew horns. Her body became muscled and her feet changed into hooves. Her back grew wings that expanded five meters each. She looked up and flew as if there was nothing above her but the air. Her wings protected the man from any broken brick or fire they went through. The girl broke through the building and entered the sky.

19 June 2011

The hospital closest to the fire was in chaos. Wounded people were everywhere along with their cries and desperation. The doctors and nurses were doing the best they could to help everyone, save as many as they could. A girl hurried in the hospital supporting a wounded fireman. It looked strange, a girl as small as she looked like to be able to sustain a man twice her body weight.

'Help!' she cried out. 'You must help him now, he's dyeing!'

She was in the centre of attention and many ran to rescue the fireman that looked indeed more dead than alive. He was covered in blood and burns. They took him in a hurry as the girl watched.

'Can I go with him?' she asked one of the nurses.

'Are you related to him?' said the nurse in a hurry not looking at the girl's face once.

'No, but I'm the one that found him like that.'

'Then you should wait for the police. You might help them with their investigation.'

'All right.' She said but wasn't planning to stick around. It was easy to get out with all the chaos around. She didn't want to look at the others, at the blood and hear the cries and the pain. She hurried out and went back to the burning building. It was no longer bright with fire, now it was grey, smoky and dead. What a horrible scene it was, she thought. What a horrible smell!' She needed to get out of here, she didn't like to be in this place. And so the streets of the crowded city were the best to comfort her.

She walked in the less crowded area's as the night girls were already out for sale and the junkies were wondering around in search for their obsessions. There was sorrow in these people's faces too but much different then the one she had witnessed at the hospital. His face as she saved him. She felt someone hit her shoulder.

'Hey watch out freak!' shouted a man. Now she realized she stood in the middle of the road not moving, just thinking about...him. Was he going to survive? Or perhaps he was dead already? That thought made her shiver. He was so beautiful he didn't deserve to die, not at his age. Was he dead? That question kept on playing in her mind and the only answer was to go back.

The hospital was restless this evening. There had been a few deaths and many wounded. The waiting rooms were filled with families and friends some already in pure grief and others still hoping for good news.

She searched every room using the shadows as her best ally. She saw many rooms with lights turned off but she was sure he had to be in a lit room. She climbed the walls and the balconies floor by floor, searching and observing each person she saw from the window view. Some things she didn't want to see so she quickly moved along, other things made her stay a moment or two as if watching a dramatic movie scene. She liked hospitals and she had been around before. She liked how people became something different, so much different then when they walked on the streets or sat at cafes. They were more alive here, they laughed and cried more often and it made her feel compassion for them. Sometimes on the news they were so cruel, destroying and killing their own kind but here they were sweet and soft with one another. She stopped when she realized she was watching his room. It wasn't difficult to realize it was his, there were three firemen in the room. She tried to read their lips. One of them said something like 'I can't believe it's him.' The others shook their heads. 'How?' the other continued and fear overtook her. Now they were going to ask questions, what if they'd know it was something that took him away? What if they'd realize it was her? Impossible they couldn't find out. Humans didn't know she existed...at least most of them. Don't worry, she said to herself. Stay calm. Her attention turned on the man laying in bed. He was still alive otherwise they wouldn't have brought him in a room like this one. Was he in pain? Was he going to be scared for life? She sat on the edge of the balcony watching his friends and watching the bed.