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Arabel James

United States

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Umbra

July 5, 2015

All day, you have worked to build up your wall. A safe place, you tell yourself, for your family to live, at least for one night. The wall is tall, built of solid grey stone, mortared together by your own two hands. Refuge and shelter lie behind it. Safe from everything imaginable--except the inevitable.

Tonight, as the moon shifts directly above the city, the Umbra Hora, the Shadow Hour, shall begin. As soon as the Shadow touches the wall that you labored all day to complete, it disappears. No trace of evidence that a wall had ever been bulit remains, no piece of dried mortar, no fragment of broken stone. The Shadow takes all that it wants. Should fortune smile upon you, your family will come out unscathed. But no matter how strong your wall is, the Shadow will take it.

You can hear it already, the high scream of the Shadow, combined with the terrified sobs of your infant daughter and, maybe worst of all, your seven-year-old son shouting, "You told me it wouldn't come tonight! You lied to me!"

You look, shaken out of your terrible reverie, at the city around you. Families huddle behind walls of their own, comforting their children as the sun begins to set. Umbra is high on a mountain. Closest to the sky, but farthest from the ground, and in that, farthest from escape. If you can make it down the mountain by sunset, before Umbra Hora, you and your family will be safe. But never has anyone crossed the threshold of Umbra before. And should you fail, you risk not only your own life, but the lives of your children. Sighing, you walk back behind your wall where your son waits to ask you a question.

"Is it gonna come tonight?"

You make a decision. "No. Tonight we are safe."

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1 Comment
  • Jeremy Houle

    nice. does the Umbra scan the city like in the beginning of Halo 4 of does it look around and take what it wants? lol thanks.


    about 2 years ago