Depth of the Rain is my first original novel. And,
it probably shows more than even I know. Upon a second
and "slight edit" of the entire thing in mid 2004, I see my "style"
into being from this... sloppy junior high school English class place
whence it began. I hated grammar, and I bet it shows.
the glimpse of a dream after having listened to The
Joshua Tree album, by U2. Instant explosion. Shadow came to
me on a cold winter's night as I sat by the window, watching the
And she would not shut up. My god, she would not be silent.
And I couldn't be more grateful. Her story was a major launching
point in a number of ways. Firstly, it gained me confidence that
yes, maybe I actually could write down these things that were going on
in my head. The rest of the reasons are probably too personal to
write... or they'd scare the hell out of people. Either
She's the ghost behind my eyes when I am not strong enough, and I could
never express how grateful I am to her grace, that has given my the
and strength to be myself.
means "the final edit", I imagine--but I refuse to change
the story in any way. The wording a little, yes. Some
language clean-ups (and no, I don't mean I'll be removing any curse
dammit), but it is what it is, and that's all it will ever be.
"out there" now, and I feel I have a responsibility to maintain it for
whoever decides to take a chance and read. I also feel, however,
that being what it is, it is the reader's job to accept it for what it
is, like it or not. Thank you for liking it. Thank you for
not. Thank you, most importantly, for taking the time to read
story, and thanks a million more times if you should happen to write to
me and tell me about your reactions. I love that, I really
I'm delighted to say many of my "fans" are less "fans" than they are
spirits and friends, so thank you for that, as well.
ranters, and I've done my share. But, in still
being a writer, I must never stop ranting. Don't block out the
Music is life. Tastes are different, granted, but... music is
Find it, listen to it, play it, love it, share it. And better
create it. The same goes for all arts--take from the pool of
meld it, create something, then place it back in the pool for others to
unite. I've come to far to lay back down.
Chapter 1 - "Come Through, Shadow."
Alarms... they are things to be hated... always interrupting a good
She stretched widely, then looked down on the floor to the poor,
you didn't deserve that." She said quietly, scooping it up and
it back on the night stand. It beeped again, but she quickly
it. "That, however, you do deserve."
dry school day. Rah and joy, she thought with great distaste. I'd
leeches attached to me... at once... all over my
body... while my wrists were being sawed open with paper... and blunt
she made the bed and smacked her pillows back on top of the
It wasn't going to be a fun day at all, but there was no such thing as
a fun day at school for someone like her. Someone so completely
of the "90's scene" with no real friends and a true knowledge of what
really did to people. Being the adamant fan of The Simpsons
that she was, she often spoke of setting off the independent thought
whenever a teacher walked by and stared, as they often did. Maybe
they didn't mean to, but they still stared. She thoroughly
staring back and dreamt of a day when the eyes that met hers weren't
when she could find someone... alive...
this morning was a school morning, sure enough, and that always meant a
dreary tiredness and a lack of everything. Lack of will, lack of
hunger, lack of attention, lack of thought. But never, not once,
lack of violent tendencies. She laughed quietly to herself as she
walked not very eagerly over to her closet. "Never been accused
being civil..." she murmured to herself.
opened the small closet door and stepped inside, closing it behind
Listening for anyone moving about, she effectively heard murmuring
the breakfast table downstairs. The chick and the guy were down
alright, talking and eating their fancy waffles. She loathed
fancy waffles, but she was satisfied that they were very busy not
attention to her. Turning to the side, she flipped the well
light switch and carefully parted the thick row of clothes.
old familiar feeling touched her, making her shiver happily and close
eyes for just a moment. It was like peering into a place that had
never been seen with human eyes before; magic and strange and
But she felt it every time. Never failing, a little tickle of magic
held her heart each time she turned to the back of the closet. It
was the only thing keeping her alive, keeping her sane. She fully
understood some of the school shooters of the past few years, and she'd
found herself feeling deeply for them. But she certainly didn't want to
wind up that way. Her tiny sacred space always seemed to call to
her and cleanse the built up anger lingering so close to the surface
it was about to pour out. She'd always hide away in the darkness
of the closet when the bad things happened...
feeling of being watched overtook her, and she spun around to the
Of course no one was there. The voices were still
But suddenly, like the dull tone of power lines when you're just close
enough to hear it if you really try, she heard far too clearly for her
single word sent shivers of fear up her spine, but somehow they didn't
seem to make it all the way to her mind. Something deep down
her, feeling dormant until now, simply smiled. No stupid
she thought. Perhaps destiny awaits after all.
wasn't sure, but it seemed like the air of the closet shifted slightly
into the room outside. Another shiver overcame her, but this one
was almost comfortable. Something was definitely going to
today, and she intended to dress for it.
warm sun had felt after an eternity of winter, the
heat was really getting to him. It was summer far too early for
liking, having to be the one to plant the more difficult crops by
The digging of just the morning alone had left his hands with tiny
scrapes, the acidic soil making it hard for him to stifle screaming at
times when he hit the worst parts. He didn't hate the work as
as he loathed his father asking if he'd like to do it for him.
he heard from the cottage, taking the pain away long enough to be
grateful for a break. He dropped the spade into the ground and
up almost fast enough to be knocked right back down by the wall of
then wiped his arm across his forehead and looked toward the girl
she called again, almost dancing toward him with a covered jug of
As she closed in quickly, he noticed that his little sister had been
with a new mint green dress, covered all over with tiny roses.
long, golden hair had been at one time during the morning curled
but now fell everywhere.
think Mum would've learned her lesson by now," he mused, holding
his dirt coated hand out to her.
glared at him in her still very girlish way, then thrust the bottom of
the jug into his hand. Jokingly, he hissed as though she'd hurt
He couldn't help but open it quickly and treat himself to large gulps
water. The coolness traveled speedily through his body as he sat
heavily on the ground to relax, even if just for a few minutes.
patted the earth next to him, inviting her to do the same.
she did smack against the ground, a cloud of dust took her dress.
"I knew you wouldn't be able to last a minute in that thing,
Evyn grinned widely and ducked a small smack from her, then began to
again. "How long until we eat?"
sudden crash of dishes to the floor made them both snap their heads in
the direction of the clamor. "Must be about ready." Taerlyn
said with a giggle.
have thought Mum would have learned her lesson with trying to do twenty
things at once, too." Evyn nodded toward the cottage, taking
drink. "I'll go get washed up. You find Dad and let's eat."
nodded in response and pushed herself up from her humble seat, running
off in another cloud of dust in her already well soiled
Evyn simply smiled and shook his head as he watched her go. She'd
never been much of the sweet little sister his mother had always
she was, even as she would curse while trying to scrub the stains out
all of her daughter's dresses. He was able to rise again without
the feeling of the sun pressing down so much, pulled the spade from the
ground, and walked toward the cottage.
flew across the lower field, sprinting over and around the budding
and toward the steep hill of the wheat fields. Images flashed
her mind of years ago and she closed her eyes to bring them
It was so clear in her head that it was as if she were living it again,
living all of the times when her brother had been young enough to play
pretend with her. They'd played soldiers all across the field,
sometimes taking one of her dolls as a hostage, and it would make her
fits and splatter him with mud. She opened her eyes and focused
on the present just in time to prevent herself from taking a spill
a feat her brother would have almost been proud of.
she cried, still dashing upwards. "Daddy, time to eat!"
she began to crest the hill, however, something didn't quite smell
For a moment, she didn't know what it was, but then her mind flashed to
the days of winter that seemed well gone. It was the smell of
she called, as she came to the top.
opened her mouth to call him again, but nothing came that time.
sight in front of her made her body numb. The far end of their
the field they had lived on all of their lives and many a generation
them, was ablaze. Though no wind was blowing, it was quite clear
that the fire was coming toward her and the cottage quickly.
she shouted, her voice trembling with fear. "Daddy!" she cried
panicking and running from side to side, calling and looking everywhere
for her father. As she started back toward the cottage to warn
mother, she stumbled over a rock she knew was never there before.
A mistake she'd come to regret for the rest of her life, she looked
her and discovered a runny, maroon heap with scraps of clothing hung
it here and there. She screamed the second she realized the
was her father's overalls, and again when she saw one of his
It had been separated from the hand and flung a few feet from the body.
and uncompromising horror seized her. She found herself pounding
down the hill and toward the cottage in a disconnected state of mind,
though her body were simply flowing with the air; her mind was
else, sleeping. She certainly felt as though she were asleep, as
if she'd simply fallen back into slumber after some nightmare had woken
her. Just as she had begun to truly enjoy her semi-conscious
she was immediately reconnected to the world by the violent shaking
done by her brother.
he was calling, shaking her from the shoulders. "Ter?
He raised his hand and lightly struck her cheek, at which she yelped
finally looked at him instead of past him.
here!" she blurted angrily, pushing herself away. As if a switch
had been thrown, the look of desperate horror completely filled her
again. "Where's Mum?" she almost screamed, shaking.
looked at her clearly for a moment, his eyes quieting her long enough
him to think. Calmly, slowly, he asked, "Where's Dad?" Only
as uttered the words did he notice the unnaturally red mud on the front
of her dress. He began to expect the worse.
shook her head as if she didn't want to tell him, but his patient big
eyes forced her to at least point a shivering finger at the hill--smoke
had begun to be very visible. She saw the flash of dull terror
with a horrible disappointment in his eyes, as though he'd just seen
entire future fall. "Where's Mum?" she moved her lips, but
came from her mouth. Regardless, she knew he'd seen her question,
if not actually heard it.
same, I think." He said very quietly and put a hand on her
unable to look toward their home.
he could even come close to grasping the hellish events that had
Taerlyn had broken away from him again and was running into the cottage
door. There was nothing he could do but run after her. From
the shrill scream she let out, he surmised she'd already seen exactly
he had; the blood splatters on the walls, and their mother's once
face completely gone, her body sliced apart, pieces of dishes spread
rushed back out the door and into his arms, sobbing wildly, trying to
but unable to do much more than cough out intense, agonizing
Evyn wrapped his arms around her tightly, trying hard not to let
give into the emotion and lose his line of thought. He had to
in control. It was hard, but he'd done it before when the old ox
had been poisoned from the bad rain. This was far worse, and he
that he was now the sole protector of his little sister. He had
think of something to do.
have to go into town." he said finally, his voice more still and
quiet than he expected it to be. "There might be an army ready to
attack." He nodded to himself, then led the shocked and silent
inside of the cottage, avoiding the pieces of their mother as best as
could, to help him pack a sling of food and supplies to make their way
into Tenteron. Her eyes were glossy, but she never made a sound,
only watched him pack and followed behind him when he was ready to
Taking her cold hand in his, covered with sweat, blood, and dirt, they
carefully stepped over the body with a shudder and started walking
stairs and took the corner quickly, racing through the
living room and into the kitchen. As she emerged from the
she noticed with only the smallest hint of a smile that neither parent
noticed her in the least. For the first time in a great many
since she was too young to be forced to go to the prison one called
she sat at the end of the table with a large smile on her face, ready
be fed whatever pre-prepared crap the mother figure had heated and spat
onto a plate.
for school, Lisa?" The father figure stumbled uninterested through his
newspaper, as he did every morning.
grinned widely, but suppressed her usual sarcastic comments for which
usually get that sickening "I don't get it but I know it's wrong" look
for. "As always." She said flatly. It seemed to
the demi-gods of the working world long enough to give her some
until two burned Pop Tarts on a cracked yellow plate from
were smacked in front of her.
quick, you're late." Her mother figure groaned in the work weary
voice only a working "mother" who loved cubicles more than family could
have spouted. Years of depression does weird things to people,
all, not to mention the vast Prozac pills. And, hell, whatever
she kept in that giant medicine cabinet of hers. Half of it was
a good morning to you too!" Lisa said cheerfully, jamming one corner of
the crispy, sugar laced bread in her mouth.
get smart." The mother figure responded. It was a dumbass'
way of admitting jealousy of intelligence.
what I go for school for." Lisa returned, a huge false smile
to find anything intelligent to say after years of being devoid of
the mother figure looked at the clock. "Time you got going.
indeed I must go." She said, somewhat overdramatically. She
lifted and took one more rancid bite of charred breakfast/dessert food
and swallowed it before the taste could completely find her
She walked to the back door and grabbed the black backpack on the coat
rack in the corner, swinging it over her shoulder. With a vicious
smile on her face, she walked back into the kitchen and stood there in
full view of the people droning there.
She said, watching their dead eyes glance at her. No waves, no
no emotions. Just the looks. And exactly as she had learned
to expect, neither parent had noticed what she'd been wearing.
hadn't even noticed she'd dyed her hair black with two dark blue
in front where she parted it. She'd come to the conclusion
between right then and her birth, that anything she felt was important
would be completely ignored by those people she was forced to live with
(on account no one would give her a job even when she looked
People need to be able to go on and on about bullshit, after all, and
was not one to talk about the same kind of bullshit most human beings
Her bullshit was usually humorous and violent.
somehow in her assurance that perhaps something really was going to
today, she walked out the door with a completely blank mind, walked a
toward school, turned, and began walking directly back. She
with great interest into the kitchen window of the house she'd just
and saw that the parental people had gotten on their necktie nooses,
to walk out the door. While she was absolutely certain that she
have stood in the driveway and been completely unnoticed even if they'd
plowed over her with their cars, she quickly crouched behind the
clicks... two more clicks... both cars grumbled and started, then
drove off in different directions. With a definite nod, she
in the back door, locked it behind her, and slipped out of the
crashing the useless wastes of paper inside to the floor.
within her was going completely insane, and she felt it strongly.
All of her life she'd been, to put it gently, very off. She'd
been a dark person, looking deeply into people here and there, always
along a dangerous line and getting away easily. She'd also been a
complete chameleon when she'd wanted to be, especially around her
one liked to be around her much; they'd always run off like a scared
from a wolf, a wolf being only one of the many animals of which she
close kindred. All of her life she'd held predatory instincts,
personal morals, and a lust for blood; not something that most people
deem "normal". She was convinced no one would ever know any of
things, since no one could come close enough or spend enough time
her to bother asking. While she was certainly not the most
person in school, she was never touched after she'd beaten the first
within and inch of his life. It was around that same time that
learned of her chameleon abilities, and had gotten away with it
free. Though her entire manner wreaked of "don't mess with me",
was more of her ability to blend in and out of situations that she
using. That is, until the very bad times started to occur.
No other child had ever talked to her, let alone looked at her,
Even in high school, great church of the raging hormones, no one had
her, and for that she was grateful. It may have been easy to beat
up a child as a child, but to tear one's arms off and beat them
as an adult was harder to carry on without consequence.
she made her way back up the steps, she recalled more reoccurring
of her life. She'd always heard a voice inside of her, more
when she listened to music. But always, always it had told her
same thing. "You are Shadow", it used to repeat sometimes when
was trying to sleep. It wasn't the voice that had
her at first, it was the naturalness that she felt when it spoke that
the shivers up her spine. Over the passing years, however, she'd
learned that she was simply different than the others--the main
being that she could still dream. She never dismissed the things
she constantly saw out of the corner of her eyes, and had come to
that everything, everywhere, was somehow connected with something else,
place else. Doorways everywhere, she used to say when
she snuck out of the house to walk at night. I do wish I had
to walk through right now...
to the top of the stairs, she stopped to look at herself in the full
mirror in the hall. Hey eyes slowly moved from top to bottom,
her thin 5'4" frame. She admired her brand new black, 80's style
high tops. She'd searched years for them and finally found some
the internet. The black laces laid neatly in a tight bow below
velcro strap she'd been delighted to play with for hours after she'd
received them in the mail. After all, who doesn't love velcro? God
internet, she thought with a smile.
the shoes, her eyes traveled up her Slash-tight black jeans; brand new
and feeling every inch of it, the stiffness almost unbearable. They
good, she mused, slowly following the lines up to her most
prized possession; her previously unworn black Guns N' Roses
that she'd bought off of E-bay only a month earlier, the beautiful
of crossed guns and roses laying on a yellow circle dripping
It had been a perfect fit, and looking at it now in the mirror, it
almost too good to be on her. Finally she brought her eyes to her
face, and almost fell right back down the stairs. From behind the
dark blue and black wisps of hair that tickled her cheeks, she saw
embers lighting her eyes. For just a moment, she thought she'd
what looked like tiny bursts of everything. A brilliant
of color, of a star. The thought was fixated in her mind and
let itself be put away. She continued to stare into the mirror
unable to free herself of her own gaze, transfixed on an orange glow
of her eyes; eyes which she had never seen before but woken up to
eyes, her eyes, ancient eyes, died from their orange to a brilliant
and her world was overcome with it. She tried to blink, to tear
gaze from the mirror, but her head would not obey. A voice was
whispering in her ear, but it was not the voice she had heard all of
life. It was a voice that reminded her of Star Wars for some
and it was crossing worlds and centuries and somehow letting her
"Step through, Shadow." Like the weeping of a little girl, the
passed her ears and was gone. The same instant in which the blue
glow went and left her staring blankly into the mirror at herself.
It was all she could make herself say. Her mind was a blur and
shook her head to clear it, but it only confused her further.
force tickled the back of her mind, and she decided to simply let it
her, as far away as it would allow her to escape. She felt
but in control, running on auto pilot but watching the whole thing from
the control room. The tickling force led her down the stairs,
her pick up her back pack, and go back up to her room. It had her
pour her useless books out, and gather bits and pieces of things
Socks, underwear, two pairs of black jeans, five randomly selected
from her "special shirts" drawer, various scraps of fabric she'd almost
forgotten about, and her small but treasured collection of four daggers
and one light but very sharp katana sword. She had them easily
from her parents by putting them in plain view.
tickle rushed her down the stairs and packed up all of the jerky (of
she wasn't all that fond but let the tickle lead her anyway) and
through a treasure trove of condensed and ready to eat food. She
didn't bother paying attention to what was being packed from the
cabinets, as she was certain it all tasted the same anyway. The
picked her up and lead her back upstairs into her room.
now what?" she asked no one in particular, but an answer came just the
same. The door to her closet slowly creaked, and as she looked at
it, she saw a soft blue glow emanating from the crack underneath.
Somehow she didn't feel at all surprised (although, sitting in the
room, she thought that she probably should). She looked around at
her room for a very long time. Walls, ceiling, floor, old torn
back to the closet, she grasped the knob. "No one to say good-bye
to." She joked, the feeling of being in a dream filling her
As she opened the door, the blue light poured out like a liquid,
the entire space in pure, splashing sky. The back wall of her
had completely disintegrated, leaving behind what she could only
with the vast star fields seen outside every window on what she used to
catch of Star Trek: The Next Generation while waiting for a
show. Nothing but stars behind the blue glow, just whispering,
galaxies of stars, all of them calling to her in her mind, "Come
a long moment, she stood there, far away but trapped right in front of
the starry expanse contained within her closet. Of all the
in the world that could happen to me... she thought, the voice in
head sounding dreamy and weak. Closing her eyes, she drew a slow
breath and stepped just inside the closet, feeling the empty air pull
She whispered on her breath. The word immediately came back to
filled with a thousand tiny celestial pings that sounded like one of
New Age orchestras she'd always cringed at. Now, however, the
filled her with a solid surety. It was as if the echoes were
waving wildly in front of her.
through, Shadow." She spoke to herself, in an echoless,
tone. With another deep breath, she closed her eyes and passed
the starry gateway...
far beyond the reaches of the stretch of land they
walking, dancing around in some alternate dimension where his parents
still alive and he was just dreaming. He'd almost convinced
of his illusion until he felt his work boot slosh in warm water.
Looking down, the dreamy image of laying in his room faded away into a
muddy puddle in the middle of a forgotten path.
a sigh, he reached down to wring the sides out and realized that he was
still holding Taerlyn's fragile hand. To his dismay, the dream
completely faded, the heat of the sun and shock of seeing his mother
hitting him hard. He just stood there, deep in the puddle,
a hand through his hair and wanting to punch something, hard.
to his little sister for some comfort, he saw a glaze over her eyes and
a distance about her. She wasn't so much as sweating, and it
him with another wave of helplessness. He released her hand and
back into the short grass to think, his foot still in the puddle,
all of the heavy bags he'd packed onto the ground.
want to go home." Taerlyn whispered just barely over the hot
Her tone was childish and afraid, but her face didn't show it.
face barely had color to it at all, yet alone hints of emotion.
too." Evyn said evenly, closing his eyes to hold back the
He thought of their only trip away from home, going into Tenteron with
their father to try and sell part of the farm. No one had wanted
it, of course; the land had been destroyed almost everywhere and
they'd owned would have been worth any money or trade at all.
wheat and ruined strawberries were all they could really harvest, but
mother always insisted, every ungodly dead year, to plant the bulbs and
see if the greens would come up. Of course they never did, but
kept trying. She was just so...
sudden thump and shake of the ground woke Evyn quickly. He sat
upright, looking toward the direction from which it had come. He
saw movement between a small grove of trees several yards away from the
path. As long as we don't move... he thought, ducking
under the grass carefully, feeling his heart racing. So long
we're quiet we-- and then his stunned eyes finally caught a hold of
Taerlyn, still standing in a silent trance, her dress making her stand
out in the grass like a drop of blood on new snow. He looked over
at the movement in the bushes to try and make sure she hadn't been
but the bush was gone. In fact, it was hidden behind a huge
coming right for them.
do absolutely nothing but be there, looking,
and absolutely amazed. Not only had she survived the doorway with
no obvious damage, but she'd landed, whole, in another world.
was different, and everything was so similar. So she stood
Just stood there on shivering legs, looking through brush to a scene
so resembled a movie that when she tried to relax, she was quite
to find herself standing up. Her head echoed with questions: Why
go to the bathroom? Why didn't I feel anything?
Why aren't I hungry? Why do I care?
her eyes cleared and her mind stopped twirling from its journey, she
made connections. She was watching a large monster, something
a man and a bulldog standing about eight feet tall, raising an ax above
the head of a little girl. Not a normal scene to be unfolding in
front of her, she was pretty sure. Just as she was beginning to
whether or not she should interfere, she found her own legs had decided
for her, running her out into the open. The ugly dog thing
and looked right at her, its jagged yellow teeth standing out quite
from the gray fur.
crap, came her first thought. She found that her long history
of thinking quickly stood right behind her, and she let it pass to the
front. "Hey ugly!" she called, completely unaware of what to do
hulking mass raised the ax higher above its head and turned its entire
body to face her. She saw with little reassurance that the thing
had no real armor. Straps of plain leather crossed its chest and
over its crotch, a leather cap with a small metal spike sat on top of
head, making its donkey-looking ears almost as prominent in her mind as
its teeth. The thing snarled and snorted like a bull and began to
walk the short distance between them.
gulped unconsciously. In desperation and complete and absolute
she cried, "Over there!" and pointed. Right after she'd opened
mouth, the only coherent thought she was capable of: Well,
was incredibly stupid.
an absolutely astounding feat of luck and cold, cruel fate, the beast
obviously not very bright. To her amused excitement, she saw the
creature stop, lower the ax, turn, and look behind itself. Her
dropped and she was transfixed. Had she been able, she certainly
would have rushed forward and stabbed the thing in the back, but there
was no way she could have moved then, deep breaths of laugher pleading
to let themselves from her lips.
body flung from the grass finally broke her out of her fascination, and
she saw a tall blond boy jump up and kick the thing in the leg.
monster didn't seem to so much as feel a touch, but it certainly did
him. As it raised its ax and began to turn, a large rock flung by
the newcomer ricocheted off of the leather cap, making a dull
Just as it seemed the beast hadn't felt that hit either, it roared and
collapsed on it's back, shaking the ground and flinging the ax within
of the newcomer's toes. She only stared at it, glad it hadn't
flung further. Still completely stunned, she was unable to show
emotion at that point in time or she probably would have screamed or
a long series of insane, giddy laughter.
looked at the newcomer with very wide eyes. He'd known that the
ugly!" hadn't come from his sister, but he wasn't prepared to find
quite so odd as he found himself staring at. Seeing her black
with roses around two things he couldn't identify on a field of blood
him very uneasy, and her hair made him ever more so. He watched
as the newcomer's amber-hazel eyes shifted from him to his sister and
then down at the ax sticking up from the ground in front of her.
To his amazement, he saw a smile light her face and shuddered.
She called almost cheerfully, looking back at him. She looked
at the girl, the girl who'd made not a move or a sound during the
event, and noticed the glossy look. She still seemed to be
off into space, into a small grove of trees, either completely unaware
or too afraid to move.
protective big brother instincts took over, and he quickly rushed to
between the odd newcomer and his sister, prepared to grab the ax from
feet if he had to. Still reeling with anger from the discovery of
his mother, the adrenaline pulsed readily. The newcomer didn't
aware of him, or perhaps simply wasn't interested. She was just
turning is a small, slow circle, looking from her feet to the horizon.
turned back to him somewhat suddenly and decided to do the best thing
could think of at that moment. She offered a hand and asked, "So,
stopped in his tracks and stared, completely amazed at the calmness she
showed. He opened his mouth to say something, anything, but
wanted to come out. The whole world had tuned completely inside
and up side down, and now he was stricken with an intense feeling of...
"I'm Evyn." He heard himself say.
newcomer grasped his cold hand. "I'm..." she paused and titled
head, then continued, "Shadow. And I'm really good with rocks."
the real ability to respond, the boy simply pointed at her shirt.
She looked down for a moment as if studying it, then looked back up at
him in a questioning way. "Guns N' Roses." She said, as if
it were a well known fact.
could only nod, still not understanding--and at the moment not really
either. He was rather lost, to say the least, and the shock and
just really made him want to drop to the ground right where he was,
into the fetal position, and sleep for a good few years.
you don't mind me asking," Shadow whispered, "What's up with her?" she
indicated Taerlyn with her eyes.
swallowed. Though the stranger had just saved his life (and
"good" enough), there was something about her... something he couldn't
quite put his finger on. Of course, he considered, an enemy was
a lot worse to make of her than a friend. "She's just a little...
numb." He answered, his voice shaking slightly.
guess I see that..." Shadow gazed at the young girl, her eyes so far
There was something so sad and disturbing about it, and the more she
the more she realized Evyn had a softer version of the same
Nothing to lose and nothing to live for, she met his stare and asked,
two in some sort of trouble?"
did you..." He began, but promptly shut his mouth. Friend or not,
he didn't think it wise to start discussing personal matters with
he just met. Most especially with someone so... odd.
looked at herself, as if for the first time. She realized how
evil she must have appeared. "Yes, I'm a freak in my world,
she heard herself saying.
that... a bad thing?" he stuttered.
looked up at him and appeared to think for several seconds before she
"Not a bit." Her gaze shifted to the staring blond girl for just
a second. "Well... I guess I better go."
you have anywhere to go?" Evyn asked, only curious. He
have fathomed her having a place in the entire world.
She answered honestly. She grasped his hand before he could say
have a chance to think to say anything, and shook it again. "Nice
meeting you, Evyn." She turned and started to walk down the path
in front of her. There was no point in standing around just
where to go, so she went where her heart told her to: "that-a-way".
stood stiffly, numbly, watching her. Instinct dictated that
were all bad people, just as their parents had taught them. But
couldn't deny something about the stranger that he found almost...
Safe, in a way. He bit his lip and pondered, finally deciding
if they were all going the same way anyway, they may as well travel
After all, she'd taken pretty good care of one monster, and there was
telling how many others were out there. He looked at Taerlyn,
a deep breath, and decided to take the chance.
Shadow." He called softly.
stopped and looked back at him, questioning eyes drilling him for only
an instant with suspicion. She answered just as softly as he had
called her, "Yes?"
gathered his various shoulder packs from the ground where he'd dropped
them as he talked. "We're going that direction. Maybe we
that's kind of you." She said honestly. "Where are you
looked up and pointed over the large hill that made the horizon on
the path followed. "Tenteron. It's not very far."
tilted her head and watched him gather all of his stuff, seeming to be
a bit overloaded with it. She walked over, glancing out of the
of her eye a nearly motionless girl. "I can manage a few of those
if you have trouble." She offered.
he was raised a boy of manners, Evyn was becoming incredibly tempted to
let someone else hold something to ease his shoulders. Before he
could decline, the stranger simply grabbed two of the water carriers
of his shoulder and threw them over her own. She was almost
sorry, as the combined water and backpack felt incredibly heavy with no
help from being in full sun, wearing all black.
didn't bother protesting. It seemed that he was already getting a
bit used to the newcomer, but reminded himself that she was still
dangerous. Looking hopelessly to Taerlyn, he took his sister's
A chill claimed his body as he felt hers in return, cold and limp, and
gently pulled her along.
a few steps toward the hill, Shadow cleared her throat softly. "I
really don't mean to force my way in but I will admit a curiosity of
situation..." She grinned slightly, a friendly but somewhat
considered answering her deeply. The rational part of him had
severely pressed back by his "what the hell, it's all over anyway"
and he felt he couldn't help but respond. "Our parents were just
killed... we're on our way to... find something to do..." he sighed,
at the path right in front of him.
make an indistinct sound of acknowledgment. "That sounds pretty
what are you doing here?" he returned simply, the question having
burned in his mind.
laughed very softly. "Honestly, I have no idea. I just kind
of arrived here from another world. But I already like this place
was rather stunned by her answer, and couldn't think of anything else
say. All three of them trudged onward restlessly for at least two
hours before finally cresting the hill... and the sight slightly below
and a mile ahead took their breaths away. Tenteron was encased in
vastly stretching walls of gleaming gray stone. With a glance
between Shadow and Evyn, they silently descended upon the city.