Pain Before Darkness

November 23, 2010

I woke up. Hey, I woke up! Being able to wake up is always a good sign.

I was on a blood stained mattress. It was night. I could smell a campfire. But I hurt so bad, I couldn’t move. Well I probably could move, I just didn’t want to. I did manage to open my eyes and at least Ethan wasn’t laying next to be this time.

Hannah must have seen me twitching, for she rushed over at once. “Jack, Jack. You’re awake!”

“At least I can do something.”

“Right now you don’t have to do anything, but rest.” Her gentle hand rested on my shoulder as she warmed me with her smile.

“Are you sure?” I groaned. “When is the ritual? How long was I out?”

“Relax, handsome. We still have one night.”

“That might not be a good thing.” After healing myself, I tried to sit up but fell back as a lancing pain tore through me. “Man, they messed me up.”

“A sword did pass through your body, dude.” Ethan said. He was standing between us and the fire which caused his body to be bathed in shadow.

Looking around, I said, “where’s Kimberly and Ellis?”

“Ellis is collecting wood and Kim is keeping an eye on our prisoner.” Ethan offered.

Struggling to move, sent another pain lancing through me. “Are you sure that’s safe? Help me get over to that loser.” Agony roared through me as the two of them helped me to my feet. Each step brought another lancing pain in my lower back, but with their assistance, I was able to make it over to our prisoner.

“So you got a name, Bucky?”

“Not that I’ll tell you,” he hissed. His hood had been drawn back reveling a vampire pale face and dark sunken eyes.

“Okay, then Bucky it is. So what can you tell me about this ritual you scumbags are doing?”

“Are you serious. I’m not telling you a thing. I’m a Xemmoni, we thrive on pain, so do your worst.”

Rubbing my chin for a moment made me realize I needed a good shave. “Before we go there, tell me which side of the Darcarre fence you are on.”

He spit a bloody glob in my direction, but it failed to make contact. “There’s only one side. Those that have aliened with the Dark Alliance. All other Darcarre are traitors who will be exterminated shortly.”

“And it is this Alliance that is heading to Chimney Rock them?”

“Oh course. All the others are doing is hiding in their caves dreading the day we come for them.”

I nodded. “You seem pretty sure of yourself.” He started to say something, but I cut him off. “Since you are so sure, why not tell us what will happen if this ritual is completed?”

He laughed. “Gladly, since the few of you have no way of stopping it. Tomorrow, shortly before midnight, a darkness that occurs only once every twenty years will rise between the Chimney Rock pillars and when it does, and after we perform our ritual, a darkness will sweep the land. From this force there will be no escape. Not only will all your pathetic humans be reduced to cattle, but all the other races of Xemmoni will be forced to bow before us. Hope will be gone and Darkness will claim the Earth.”

“Well if that’s all, why are we even bothering,” Ethan joked.

I was less amused. “Indeed. Thanks Bucky, that was all I needed to know. Come on people. I have a few assignments for each of you.”

“Wait,” the Darcarre cried out. “You aren’t still attempting to go up against us. Set me free and I’ll help make things easier on you.”

“Oh don’t worry you already have.” I said with a smile, which only grew as a look of fear spread of the Darcarre’s face.


What to find out how all the action started? Grab a copy of Jack’s first book here!!!

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