Working in conjunction to Inktober I decided I am going to create a story based on the prompts of Inktober, along with the artwork, creating some cohesion of my pieces as well as a tale for you all to read (^_^)
Make sure to check out the other chapters to come — one posting every day of October 2017.
And click here to check out the speed art of the image here!
Chapter 2: Divided
In the center of the town square stood a crowd of people; some cowering, some shouting in rage. Others gathered their items with speed, attempting to remove them self from the situation, fear ever present in their eyes. While others prepared their preferred weapons, anger gleaming sharp in their eyes, some with intellect and some with aggressive nature.
But against what… that I cannot make clear.
Shuffling around the crowd, I huffed as people pushed me back, not letting me through.
Curse my damn height limit… I thought as I looked for leverage to get up high.
After dropping Lelisa off at Barns I had run on foot, not thinking to climb back up as he had called after me, wanting to know what was going on.
I had ignored him, as my focus had been on the second explosion that filled the air, and the scent of burning as a bright fire took up what seems to be, and I can confirm center square.
The statue... I thought with realization as I caught glimpse of the fallen, unidentifiable figure melting under the pressure of the angry red flames that encased it.
I broke through the crowd to see a familiar figure, though where I have seen her from, I do not know.
But everything about her seems all too familiar.
From the way, her white hair hung over her form, long and rural. From the way that her torn and tattered clothes hung, with chains around her wrists and ankles. and the way her blood red eyes piercing my soul and others who she looked to make you pause in your step.
But where have I seen it from? I thought urgently as a fireball went over my head, having erupted from the shadows that surrounded her from, covering and protecting her from those who attacked her from afar and absorbing those who came too close.
Well, now I know where the fire and explosion had come from.
I heard a scream. Looking over I watched in horror as a child fell to the mercy of the shadows.
Think later, protect now.
Unsheathing my sword I looked for an opening, quickly.
The shadows seemed to attack anything that came head-on, so maybe taking it from the side? Or above?
I got ready to move when the familiar voice of Ms. Knowings ripped through the air with disbelief
There is a chord struck in the air. A tight one, full of tension.
Everyone stopped moving.
Those who attempted to fight, and those who attempted to run.
All registering the familiar name that brought with it memories and stories of horror.
No… impossible… I thought, but my mind had already designated the name to the person. It's hard not to with her image being so prevalent in society to remind people of the division she had caused, to remind people of what hatred bread and the pain it inflicted on others.
How had I not recognized her immediately?! I thought wildly, and then I saw it.
Ever so slowly, her lips turned up slowly.
It seems like a small thing, a smile. Something people do every other day whether in greeting or happiness.
But this smile is different.
This smile is the trademark of the psychotic witch. The witch that brought down even the strongest of men in a matter of seconds.
It is a smile that fitted the final piece of the puzzle, the reason why I couldn't recognize her without it. The smile we familiarised her name with, more than that of the rest of her appearance. The smile that defined her image, so strong that replicating it with the feeling of terror it bought is not impossible.
There is no mistaking it.
This is the evil witch, Safina. The destructor of our peaceful town. The divider of the good. The conquer through hate. The devil in disguise, and the previous downfall of our city.
A witch who should have been defeated in prophecy.
But yet… here she is.
Standing before the fallen hero's statue as if she had never left, seeming to have never aged.
“But-But the prophecy…” Someone cried in the background.
“It had been fulfilled!”
“So how is she here?!”
“She is supposed to be long gone!"
As they continued to speak, I watched as the smile tightened, almost like a pressure tank. Slowly and slowly it got tighter and tighter, holding back whatever wanted to get unleashed within. And soon it shall burst, becoming too tight.
No one else seems to take notice.
Her hand raised.
“Stop!” I screamed, loud enough to break through and reach the witch.
The scene paused once again. Eye came to me, including that of the witches. Her smile came with it, softening slightly as she took in my stance.
“Oh,” she said simply, taking a step forward. The tension in the air tightening.
Her eyes met mine. The shadows behind her shuffled almost... playfully.
Something is wrong... I thought to myself as I felt a layer grow over my mind, making it difficult to think straight.
“A… hero?” she continued, saying the word with such hatred the air vibrated. It took all I have within me to not wince.
I feel foggy, in the mind....
“And such a... Familiar stance.” She took another step forward.
I held my stance tighter, sword out in front of me, ready to block and protect.
Shake it off... shake it off....
“You couldn't be…” she said with such interest and wondering in her blood red eyes.
“No… your just an ordinary human,” she mused.
She took another step forward.
“Swift!” A familiar voice called out.
His heavy footsteps came towards me. Not turning I focused on the witch, but she did not give me the same courtesy.
Instead, she turned to glance over at him.
The fogginess... it stopped increasing?
Her eyes held a gleam of interest. Ever so slightly I attempted to hide his body as he came to a stand behind me, breathing heavily. He probably ran from the other side of the city, where his home is.
“Another one? No… not human. A magician?” The witch continued to muse, more to herself.
"How... interesting... yes.. interesting"
“Safina…” Barnes muttered knowingly, as always.
If there is someone with a strong memory, not needing any guidance from others, it is Barnes.
He pulled to a strong stance beside me as his familiar yellow magic sprung around his fists.
“What do you want?” I asked, calm and collected, not letting my gaze leave her.
Turning her eyes on me, her smile widened.
“Why, my child,” She said, taking another step forward “Simply to... help”
“Help?” Ms. Knowings said, bitterly, “like you have tried to help all those years ago?”
She said nothing for a moment, simply looking from burning gaze to another before she returned to Ms. Knowings.
Is it my mind playing tricks or did her eyes just flash? I thought as she started to talk.
“Now how did I do that?” She questioned, of so innocently as she twisted her head to the side.
Ms. Knowings did not need to pause to answer, it came almost immediately as if it was pulled out of her.
Something is not right…
“You burnt half our city, left us to waste!” She shouted accusingly.
The witch took a step towards her.
“And do you remember why I had done that?”
“You did- ahh…” Ms. Knowing said almost… hesitatingly?
“I what?” The witch edged.
“You were building a better civilization…” Ms. Knowings said as her tone taking an abrupt 360 turn to affection.
What? I thought sharply, as I looked over to her.
Upon her face is a loving look, of awe and wonder as a day dreamers smile rested upon her lips.
What is going on?
“A better civilization?” Mr. Huntingdon suddenly said, speaking up “What better civilization? People died under your rule!”
The witch's eyes turned to him.
The fog in my mind deepened as I saw a flash of her red pupils.
No… that cannot be a trick of the mind. She is doing something. Something bad.
"and now let's see you 'heroes' stop this town from being divided."
I need to stop it.
“I shall reclaim this town once again,” she said, arms out towards the city with a look of pride and love in her eyes, “and it shall fall under my wing forever more with no so-called ‘heroes’ to get in the way.”
But what exactly do I stop?
I broke free from Barnes' hold as she continued to scream, her powerlifting through the air shaking the ground.
“Let this land break and let its base fall!” She called as a beginning crack formed in the ground.
No…. I thought before I lifted my sword, the fog in my mind clearing with my urgency to help.
I can't let it hold me back. I must help them! I must help the others!
“Not if I have anything to say about it!” I called, running forward without thinking clearly, the fog in my mind not removing.
My senses and natural instinct overtook, alert by both the attack coming my way and the infection the fog bought, and I did the only thing it can.
Adrenaline surged through my body as I reached to strike out.
But I am pushed back before I can.
Not by the shadows or her magic, but by a familiar streak of magic.