Light and Shadow
A Shadowborn Fanfic
A Shadowborn Fanfic
Weighted and heavy, Lila struck against the cord binding her wrist in the semi-darkness. It was cold and drafty, filling the chamber with all of her dark thoughts and reflections. She grasped her wrist, but found only air. Confused, she stared at her unbound hand and felt it jolt into the wall behind her, binding it too to the wall.
_____Her breathing quickened as she stared around her, looking for an invisible enemy. Fire erupted to her right, then left, until the chambers of the room lit up the foyer to reveal brown boots laced in blue, the hem of a dress, and blue sapphire eyes darting to Lila's crumpled form, resting her fury on her silver fur headdress. An army of minions coated in shadows hovered just behind the witch as her eyes darkened.
_____"Who the devil are you?"
_____Lila circled back to Sophie and lashed out, sending the werewolf back, sputtering and grunting. The others circled around them, moving in tandem, licking their teeth and sucking in the cold air of the snowy landscape with a heinous laugh. Cackling.
_____"I wouldn't be laughing with what I did to your friend." Lila threw her head to the side. "He's still trying to untangle himself from the tree, and I haven't even transformed yet! That is some serious ... what do you wolves call it? Tail kicking? Wolves are so --"
_____Lila ducked as the werewolf launched at her, its enormous form eclipsing the foggy noon sun. She steadied herself in front of her sister and was seized in surprise as a brown figure bolted out and slammed the werewolf into his friend. It looked like a bear.
_____"You talk too much, girl," Flynt grunted, shaking off the snow from his fur coat. Lila smiled but felt a pang of jealousy. Flynt made it look so easy to fight as a werewolf, and she was still learning. Lila heard a whine and found Sophie with her hand bleeding profusely. Flynt moved beside her quickly, observing the wound and shaking his head. He looked to Lila in horror.
_____Lila did a quick step and the werewolf fell to the ground, but nicked her in the face. She growled and felt the power of vengeance build inside her, filling her with rage. The pressure built in her brain and she felt her bones moving, the ache in her chest, hips and joints; the hair growing all around her as her clothes shred....
_____"No time for that now!" Flynt said, grabbing a fist full of Lila's fur and throwing her out of the way before the werewolves attacked her. They came at Flynt instead and he took the beating, throwing them off eventually, forcing the two enemies to circle again.
_____"Flynt, the Sapphire Witch sends her blessings!"
_____"Your pack is next on her list!"
_____The enemies attacked again, but Flynt fought one off and slammed him into the tree trunk, knocking him unconscious. The next one rushed at him, but a silver werewolf came bounding in recklessly, standing her ground. Flynt's eyes grew horrified.
_____The silver werewolf was sent careening into a nearby boulder; she glanced off of it and slid in the snow, blood tinging her mouth, but with a smile. The smirk didn't leave her face as the enemy werewolf sat dumbfounded, staring at her. But she was used to the stares by now.
_____"What..." he began, then added tepidly, "...who are you?"
_____But for Lila, she needed no introduction...
_____Lila looked over the witch's shoulder and was impressed to see a chamber pot talking to her, with eyes imbedded in the lid and a bronze spoon for a tongue. An enchantment. Or an illusion. But, still, it talked.
_____"I'm more confused that you're a talking toilet," Lila laughed. She felt a cord wrap tightly around her neck and squeeze hard, choking her. Her fingers went numb, the cold pressed around her, and the darkness swallowed her vision. Then it stopped, the cords slackened, or maybe they were never present, and the blue eyes of the witch were closely watching her, throwing back the plait of her long blonde hair.
_____"One thing I hate more than a werewolf..." she said quietly, "is one who takes the form willingly to become a Silver. To put oneself through horrendous shame and tortuous transformations for its own enjoyment."
_____"Come closer and you'll know what it's really like," Lila choked out the last word as she felt her throat tighten. "Real peachy turning from a werewolf to a human naked. Do you know what it's like to wake up in the snow completely exposed? A bit nipply, witch."
_____"How dare you!"
_____Lila looked to the witch's left this time to find a lantern cast in blue fire with red eyes and an orange grimace. It blew dark smoke in her direction.
_____"What? Isn't that who she is?" Lila threw her head in its direction. "Unless the toilet taught you how to talk!"
_____"Imbecile!" It barked. "She is not a mere witch you besmirch with tarnished lips! She is Her Divine Empress Zyphira Anne Vallera .... or, more affectionately among her servants, among her peoples, and among savages even like yourself, The --"
_____"-- Sapphire Witch."
_____"Why is she called that?"
_____Flynt said nothing, looking out as the sun made its descent behind the dense fog growing quietly around the log cabin, raising its dark jowls to swallow it up. He went back to wiping the bowl clean and placed it in the cupboard. He watched Lila cover her face in her hands, pausing.
_____"I know how you feel."
_____"How? How could you possibly?"
_____Flynt glanced over the sparse fields of trees with the underbrush covered in snow. "More than you know."
_____"I've gotten myself into this situation, we will get ourselves out, simple as that," Lila growled, throwing another dish into the sink. "There's no use complicating it with your pack."
_____"We are all in this together, Lila."
_____Flynt and Lila stopped, hearing Sophie from the other room cough quietly before it grew into a hacking fit, then died abruptly. Lila looked at Flynt.
_____"I will get the medicine to heal the infection. Right now."
_____"Wait a week. A week and we can gather the supplies to make one."
_____Lila scoffed at him.
_____"Tuh! Supplies! Make some! Like any of us know what we're doing."
_____Lila grabbed the coat off the hangar and banged out of the house into the darkened covered snow. Flynt was not far behind as the door hinges creaked and banged the door in an echo.
_____"Lila," Flynt's voice rose in a heavy gruffness. "Come back. Sophie needs your help."
_____"I am helping her," Lila said, trying to sound as confidant and nonchalant about it. "I'll be back."
_____"I'm taking a walk," the Silver said, placing the hood over her head as she made her descent down the mountain, feeling the power and energy of an animal as she raced down further and further...
_____Lila worked against the invisible shackles restraining her again and was surprised to feel the strike of a whip on her face, leaving behind a dark gash. Despite her small angelic face, Zyphira's eyes hardened, drawing herself up to a rigid stature with the whip coiled back in her hand.
_____"I hate whips," she admitted with little pittance. "My preference being a bow and arrow, but to use good weapons on petty Silvers is a waste on cheap entertainment."
_____The hovering servants all guffawed and scorned behind her, like the barks of wild coyotes at a feast. Lila remembered well the sounds and feelings of it. Their pettiness struck a nerve and she began lashing out, throwing both wrists off the walls temporarily until they were knocked back.
_____"Useless," Zyphira mumbled. "But if I were a werewolf, knowing where I was going, I would fight until the very end, until my teeth grew dull and my nails bloodied. Until the moment of death had reached me."
_____Lila's heart beat grew fast, wishing she could feed her brain the hunger she felt to know more. Before she could do anything, say anything, admit why she was here, her head was forced into the wall over and over again until she blacked out.
_____The warm humid air funneled into the hole and was sucked into darkness. Lila opened her eyes to taste the salty edge of it through the tiniest peephole. She widened both eyes and thrashed against the confines holding her. She was small, very small, as was the compartment she was in: a wooden circular box.
_____Where was she? What was she going to do?
_____But, more importantly, why was this happening?
_____Her insides squirmed.
_____"Your pack is next on her list!"
_____It seemed obvious now: the witch was after Flynt and the pack. Not just his pack, she would assume, but every werewolf existing. But why and what for? What did they do wrong? And why did she hate them so much?
_____"Ten nautical miles till land."
_____"Are we prepared?"
_____Lila listened close to the peephole, a pirate and his captain. She was on a ship, destined to land. Where?
_____"The gold will be at the ready, then."
_____"I hope for your sake it is," the captain hissed. "Werewolves shouldn't be this much trouble; but slaves are a commodity in Hadeena."
_____The captain and shipmate left. Lila wrapped her feet around her until they were underneath her. She stayed in silence without any want to escape; seeping in the light that came through the hole and letting the guilt come upon her. How could she have been so foolish? Leaving everyone behind as if she alone could save Sophie? How would they find her now?
_____But, even now, she held onto hope, even if it wasn't what she wanted to hear or believe in. There was something in her that compelled her against her barriers, against the coldness and the bonds holding her; to break apart; to sunder.
_____But now she will descend into the shadows on a ship, sailing out unto a distant enigma. Alone. Now she will learn subservience to people too cruel and uncaring to her. But she will not beg. She will not relent.
_____She will overcome.
_____She will demand retribution.