Kahasai

United States

I'm 17
I like to dream

Homeschooled
Maybe a fool

Trampolinist
and classical guitarist

Archer
Let us barter

Mountain girl
I like burl

River otter
Viking daughter

Wolfdog owner
Forest roamer

I'm no fighter
But I am a writer

Wraiths of the Moon: Chapter 19

March 23, 2019

FREE WRITING

2
[Links to blurb and previous chapters are in the footnotes.]

Vanessa woke to Leefa’s screech. It was a loud, piercing shriek right in her ear. She bolted upright, a blanket sliding off her shoulders. She still sat in the same cushioned chair, in the same flowery room. Leefa still perched on her shoulder, feathers fluffed.

Ren stood by the door, the red halo surrounding his body. In one hand, he held a knife so long it was like a mini sword. When did he get that?

Otherwise, the room was empty.

“What’s going on?” she asked, words slurred together and she kicked away the blanket. “Where’s Alger and Bree?”

“They’re guarding the other entry.”

“Other … ?” The most amount of time she’d spent in the room had been spent sleeping. They were in a sitting room at the moment, a wide room with a large table and plenty of cushioned chairs. Through an open doorway, she saw a smaller, but equally lavish room with a mini table and chairs.

My castle is so small compared to here, she thought.

From outside, there were a few thumps and a short scream.

Ren stepped to the side of the door, waiting. Vanessa felt glued to her seat, watching the scene unfurl before her.
The door burst open and a pair of lumbering figures appeared. Before they had taken more than two steps, Ren had cut down one and a few breaths later, had taken down the other. They fell to the ground with a thump!

Vanessa gaped at the thick, dark red blood pooling from their throats.

The door was open.

“Alger, Bree!” Ren said, wiping the majority of the blood on one of the corpse’s clothing.

The two witches appeared. Alger wore the bird-like mask and a leather overcoat. Glass eyes reflected the lamplight.

Bree hurried over to Vanessa. “You okay?” she asked.

Slowly, Vanessa nodded, though her stomach was a roiling mess. Stiffly, she stood and followed the others outside, barely avoiding the blood soaking into the carpet.

The outside hall was well lit. Symbols glowed lit up their path as they went. Their footsteps echoed in the hall--except for Ren’s steps, of course. His red glow didn’t seem to bother either Alger or Bree.

More than once, they passed fallen guards, their throats cut, eyes staring blankly out into the world. Statues were silent sentinels. Tapestries hung, as if dark prophecies, over the halls, the red warrior on the blackened road seeming to watch Vanessa as she passed.

Though she was still thoroughly lost, Ren seemed to know exactly where to go, his red halo a guiding light.

A breath of air was the only warning she had before a creature reached out and snatched her arm, holding it tightly. The creature--an angel with oval eyes and a furred body--pulled her toward him, twisting her arm behind her. She cried out and stomped the angel’s foot, with one giant movement smashing the back of her head into the angel’s nose. The angel’s grip loosened as he cursed. Leefa turned and screeched, disappearing. The angel let go of her with more curses.

Heat rolled past her, singing her hair. The angel screamed.

Vanessa stumbled away, running behind Alger and Bree. A symbol hovered in front of Bree, something Vanessa thought read fire.

Smoke flowed from the angel’s open mouth and nose. Leefa swooped around him, attacking with a ferocity that didn’t seem should’ve belonged to such a small creature.

More figures emerged from the darkness. Angels and witches, eyes and tattoos glowing in the faint light. Red tinted their skins from Ren’s glow.

It wasn’t until the arrows of flame soared past her head did she realize that Ren was holding a bow, flames roiling over his hands and next to his cheek. Though his eyes weren’t consumed by the crimson, they still glowed that color.
Screams filled the air.

“Let’s go,” Ren said, the flames disappearing from his hands as he turned and hurried down the steps.

Vanessa hurried after him, pausing only demand of Alger, “What in the world did Ren just do?”

Alger’s face was a tad paler than usual. “I don’t know--I’m just glad he’s on our side.”

Their steps echoed through the seemingly empty palace. Once in a while, Ren would disappear into shadows then reappear, still glowing. Leefa fluttered between he and Vanessa, occasionally resting on Vanessa’s shoulder.

Down flight after flight of stairs, which was the only thing Vanessa remembered of their journey up the Cathedral. The stairs.

They reached the bottom floor. Vanessa gasped with relief, legs burning.
Ren held out a hand, halting their movement.

A large hall spread out before them, perfectly empty, and not quite perfectly lit. Many of the symbols glowed just enough to show there was a symbol there. Darkness was thick.

A symbol flared. Wind brushed Vanessa’s face.

Instinct made her look up.

A winged angel dropped down on her, slamming her into the ground. Fingers pulled at her neck. She screamed and punched the creature. He flew up, giving her enough time to roll away and into Alger’s feet. The witch helped her up as arrows of flame lit the ceiling and pierced the angel’s pale skin.

Alger grunted as someone grabbed him and pushed him to the ground. Bree was beside the staircase wrestling a burly man, feet sliding over the polished floor.

Vanessa stared wildly around, gaze darting to the witch battling Alger, the angel dealing with Ren in a showcase of sparks and flames. Leefa was fluttering around, attacking one person then another without pause.

The angel swooped down on dragonfly wings and sliced at Ren. Ren jumped and grabbed the arm, twisting the knife out of the angel’s grasp and kicked it away.

Vanessa lunged for the knife and snatched it up. Heat scorched her skin and she jumped back as flames sparked on the floor. She turned toward the burly man, who seemed human but was easily evading Bree’s spells.

Cautiously, she crept up the stairs, grunts and yelps filling her ears. Feet sliding on stone.

When she was above the man, she stepped onto the rail of the stairs and dropped down onto him, knife reaching out. It cut into his shoulder beneath the collarbone. His scream bounced off the walls and pierced her ears as he bucked and threw her off. She hit the floor with a gasp, rolling and feeling bruises and burns appear as she rolled. She came to a stop, gasping, trying to find air. Her lungs weren’t working--nothing was working.

Through the leather of the pouch, warm moonlight pulsed.

Air rushed into her lungs. She gasped and coughed, wheezed and hacked.

Hands knocked her back to the ground and someone with dreadlocked hair and a goatee appeared above her. In a quick movement, he snatched the pouch from her neck. He yanked.

Her head jerked up then back as the leather knot slid over her hair and free of her body. Her head slammed back down with a thump!

Pain exploded across the back of her head and into her eyes. For a moment, she couldn’t focus. The world was blurry. Sounds were blurry.

The moonlight!

She struggled upright, trying to focus on the chaos. The other three were still fighting. The burly man was slumped on the ground, blood oozing from his chest, his head at an awkward angle. Bree’s hands were moving in a blur, orange symbols appearing and disappearing in front of her. Alger was busy with a willowy woman, twisting her over his back to slam her into the ground.

The dreadlocked man was heading toward the doors.

Some amount of fire pushed past the fear and anxiety. No you don’t!

Vanessa pushed herself to her feet and stumbled after the dreadlocked man. A moment later, Leefa had swooped in front of her and screeched.

The dreadlocked man broke into the run.

Vanessa gritted her teeth and took off after him, legs battling her skirts.

The door was pushed open and the man was outside. Fresh air rushed into her face, bringing a chill down her back. Leefa went out of sight and a moment later, Vanessa was outside on a cobblestone path, the stench of burning parts still lingering in the air.

Street lamps lit up with symbols as the man passed, one of his hands clenched into a fist.

Buildings rose around her as she ran. The man twisted around shops and through alleyways.

You can’t get the moonlight!

Her lungs burned. Everything burned.

The man cut into another alley. She followed, swerving around a white-robed person who stepped in front of her, and continued running. Her breath was loud in her ears. Shadows were thick and heavy around her. Passing scents of rotten meat tempted her to gag.

The buildings opened up so that the stars shone down. The man’s dark figure was clear cut as he darted across a bridge, pausing to stare down the boats.

Leefa swooped from the night. Her talons raked across his face.

Shrieks filled the air.

Vanessa barreled into the man, punching and kicking alongside the miniature owl. Her hands grasped the leather pouch and yanked.

For a moment, the pouch opened, spilling silver light onto the man’s goatee and Leefa’s bloody talons. Silky warmth brushed her skin for the barest of moments before her hand tightened and she backed away from the man.
Then she stumbled and hit something--or someone.

“I’ll take that,” said a voice, and the pouch was torn from her grasp. She spun. A familiar, thin man in a white robe stood behind her--the Sun Priest.

Trying to keep her voice steady, heart pounding in her ears, she said, “That doesn’t belong to you. Give it back.”

The Sun Priest only shook his head. “I’m sorry, Lady Lunara.” He held up the pouch, dangling it, tantalizing in front of her.

Vanessa lunged.

Light flared in front of her and she slammed into a wall. The air shimmered in front of her as she staggered back, one side of her face throbbing. A symbol glowed in front of the Sun Priest, revealing the outlines of a shield. As Vanessa tried to edge around it, the shield moved with her.

The priest held up the pouch. “I’m sorry, but you can’t have this. I do this for the sake of the world. Now, return to the Cathedral with me and we shall find Lady Dusk and this will all be over at long last.”

From behind the priest’s outstretched fist, something small swooped down and snatched the pouch.

Leefa flew up into the air, the pouch clenched in her small talons.

Vanessa let out a cheer, grinning.

A hawk emerged from the darkness. Before Vanessa could so much as gasp, it punched into Leefa. With one quick motion, the hawk pulled the pouch from Leefa’s grasp and turned away, soon disappearing again.

Leefa’s little wings were no match.

Vanessa’s elation vanished. “No,” she whispered. Slowly, bubbles of anger rose up to the surface.
The priest’s face was stretched in surprise for a long moment.

Behind them, the dreadlocked man coughed. “In following days, I’d expect to be praying, my friends. The new God of the Moon won’t be forgiving to his enemies.”

Slowly, she turned to face him, anger still bubbling upward. “You--” a growl grew in her throat. Something desperate and broken. “You bastard.

He shrugged, then winced. Blood dripped down his face and neck. His shirt was torn and also bloody. “Money is money, and I want to be on the side of the winners.”

“Who is your employer?” the Sun Priest asked, resentment and frustration fighting for attention on his thin face.

The dreadlocked man sneered. “I’m not tellin’.”

Vanessa stepped forward. “Is it Jek?” she demanded. “Or is it Delera?”

The man blinked in surprise.

Words of hatred were at the tip at her tongue when the cold struck, familiar and deep.

The shadows began to move.

Vanessa gritted her teeth and stepped into the single circle of light from a lamp post, her muscles shaking in an effort to not budge.

The ashen moon was a crescent in the sky, accompanied by stars. Leefa’s dark outline fluttered down and onto Vanessa’s shoulder, a comforting warmth in the cold.

Pinpoints of silver light appeared in the shadows. Eyes, fingers.

It was a blur of movement; it took only a second. Then the Sun Priest was bleeding on the bridge, gasping and choking up blood. A moment later, the man with the goatee was jerking and spasming.

Silver eyes turned on Vanessa.

She forced herself to meet their gaze, their shifting shadows. “I don’t have it,” she said. “Jek has it.”
Words, then. Spindly, hissing words. “Your fault.”

“No. Not mine.” Sweat slithered down her spine. “Someone else’s. The moonlight isn’t here.”
Wind brushed over her face, cooling her hot forehead.

“Your fault. Where is my love?”

“Not here! Can’t you see? It left with the hawk!” She gestured to the sky, hands visibly shaking. The wraiths had surrounded her, a circle of darkness, giving her nowhere to go.

“Lady Dawn. Your fault.”

She gritted her teeth. “No, it’s not. I’ve only been alive nineteen years. It. Isn’t. My. Fault.”
Silver eyes stared at her. They didn’t move closer. They didn’t move at all.

Then came the subtle sound of air rushing over feathers.

Vanessa dared to glance up and was greeted with a welcome sight.

Kistal’s dark hair swirled around her face pale face and bright eyes, her equally dark clothing billowing about legs. Her large wings cast shadows that were dark even within the shadows of the night. With ease, she landed within the circle the wraiths had created.

“Kistal!” Vanessa stepped toward the demon, then stopped as the wraiths moved. “A hawk is taking the moonlight to Jek.”
“I know. The hawk escaped me.”

A wraith shivered and a single eye blinked.

Vanessa took a tentative step toward Kistal. The wraiths stretched out toward her, toward the edge of her little patch of light.

“They are very ready to tear your throat out as they did to our friends here, so I wouldn’t do that,” Kistal said. “Alger and his girlfriend should be along soon, so just be patient.”

“His girlfriend? Bree?”

Kistal sighed. “No, I was talking about Ren.”

One pair of silver eyes turned toward Kistal. Fear trickled down Vanessa’s limbs as the wraith’s shadows writhed.

“Vanessa!” The call came from a few streets down. Leefa flapped her wings and lifted into the air to screech a response before settling again onto Vanessa’s shoulder.

“Having fun in the great city of Iryna?” Kistal asked, wings shifting so that they were folded on her back.

“I thought it’d be a bit more welcoming.” In a vain effort to calm her nerves, she brushed Leefa’s soft feathers. “No, I thought I’d least not need to be worried about being captured, at least by the Suns.” Her hand froze on Leefa’s head. “You knew how to return the moonlight all along. Why didn’t you just tell me?” Why didn’t you tell me we have to die?

Kistal let out a long, weary sigh. Her strangely pale skin was red in a few places, still recovering from being burned. The bags beneath her eyes were dark.

The wraiths shivered. “My love, my lost one …”

A light appeared down the street. Cobblestone and dirty wooden buildings flickered under the red glow, then orange.
Ren, Alger, and Bree appeared. Alger pushed ahead, hands tapping out symbols in the air. Symbols on the bridge lit up orange, sending light bouncing off the water.

The wraiths shivered and shrank, disappearing into the crevices of the bridge rail.

“Kistal! Good, you’re here,” Alger said, lines around his eyes tight and grim. “Vanessa, are you okay?”

“I’m fine. The moonlight’s gone.”

Alger cursed.

Stars reflected down on the mini river that roared beneath the bridge. Ren’s halo faded away.

Muscles no longer able to hold her up, Vanessa collapsed to her knees, wincing at the pain of the impact. The stone was rough beneath her fingertips, firm and understandable. Little symbols glowed all around her, staving off the shadows where the wraiths hid, their silver eyes watching from afar.

“How are we going to get the moonlight back?” she asked.

One by one, she felt eyes turn on her.

She looked up and met their stares. “What?”

“I thought you’d be hesitant to be in possession of the moonlight, knowing what it will cost you,” Alger said, narrow face tilted. “Since you, Kistal, and the moonlight together means you’ll be easier to sacrifice.”

“Well …” She gripped her arms, nails biting into her skin. “It can’t be in Jek’s possession.”

“Or Delera’s,” Kistal said. “They know we’ll go after the moonlight. They’re prepared for us.”

“I know this isn’t the most important thing right now,” Bree said. She leaned against the rail, ignoring the silver eyes that peered up at her. “But I do feel the need for some explaining. You, demon--who are you?”

Kistal tutted. “Alger, you never told your girlfriend about me? I’m disappointed in you.”

The expression on Alger’s was a priceless mix of surprise and an unusual amount of red in his skin. “She’s not--”

“For your safety, I’d recommend you don’t finish that sentence,” Kistal interrupted. “Ladies don’t like being told what they are not. Bree, I met Alger when he was a wee little one playing in the mud. I am, essentially, his eccentric aunt.”

Bree’s gaze had shifted Alger. “Eccentric aunt?” Her words were soft and grim. “He may have mentioned you.”

Kistal’s light-hearted attitude fell away. “Children, I know it’s hard, but we don’t have time to be getting emotional over past grievances. We need to get the moonlight back.”

“Can you just fly after the hawk that took it?” Vanessa asked, fingers curled in her dress.

“I already did that. The child knows the city better and I and lost me in one of the buildings. We can assume it’s reached Jek and Delera by now.”

Vanessa frowned. “Jek and Delera?”

Kistal shook her head. “Ren, you didn’t keep her updated?” Speaking quickly, Kistal summarized what had happened between Jek and Delera.

“So … if they get us, they’ll figure out who becomes the new god, kill the other, then proceed to sacrifice us?” Vanessa asked, feeling a tad bit numb.

“Seems like it.”

Her thoughts began to fire. An idea. “If one kills the other, that’s easier than dealing with the two of them.”

“I see where you’re going with that, but we can assume they’d be holding us in a secure position where we can’t escape and it’ll be of no use anyways.”

“Maybe. Unless we can surprise them with our own allies.” Ideas were swarming her brain. They had to get the moonlight back.

“They have their own allies.” Kistal stopped and tapped her lips. “But I like where you’re going with that.”

 
So sorry for the late chapter! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Chapter 18    
    ​Chapter 17    ​ 
    Chapter 16      
    ​Chapter 15    ​​   
    Chapter 14        
    Chapter 13         
    Chapter 12          
    Chapter 11           
    Chapter 10            
    Chapter 9             
    Chapter 8              
    Chapter 7              
    Chapter 6                
    Chapter 5                
    Chapter 4              
    Chapter 3              
    Chapter 2              
    Chapter 1              
        Blurb           

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  • March 23, 2019 - 12:56pm (Now Viewing)

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6 Comments
  • CreativeAngel

    i can't believe it's been so long. I wondered where all the old writers went. I went through my followers. I still remember your comments. This is quite sad and I don't know if I want to continue on here. I might not hear back from you, but enjoy your life. Please do publish this book, I'd buy it at all costs :) <3


    8 months ago
  • CreativeAngel

    NO NO EVERYONE IS LEAVING AND I ONLY HAVE TWO MORE YEARS


    8 months ago
  • _________

    Oh I hope you don't mean you have to leave! :(


    over 1 year ago
  • paperbird

    i saw in my notifications that you replied on my goodbye piece, but my goodbye piece was taken down so i wasn’t able to see your response. can you tell me here whether or not write the world threatened to or actually said they were going to delete your account? thanks


    over 1 year ago
  • Kahasai

    Thank you! I'm definitely seriously considering publishing this, but it's up to how many people buy it for it to become a bestseller ;)

    Thank you so much for reading! I'll try to publish the last five/six chapters on here, but I'm not supposed to be using my account anymore.

    Thank you!


    over 1 year ago
  • _________

    Yay! I was wondering when this would be up; luvin' this story a ton <3 :DDD Hope you consider publishing it as a book sometime (like best-seller) :DD


    over 1 year ago