Serena's about to learn a lesson in why you don't sneak out of your house in the middle of the night...
The Madison boys had told her that the lights that came from the forest at night were from ghosts and gouls playing games. She knew that couldn't be true. Could it? After all, no one really knew what the lights were, and no seemed to care. The adults and teenagers didn't even seem to be able to see it, like the kids, but no one had had the guts to check it out. Until she got in that fight with Kyle Madison. She wanted to prove to him that it wasn't ghosts. She didn't know what it was, but it couldn't be ghosts. Right? Ghosts didn't exist! She was sure of it!
Finally, she could see the bright light. It was an errie red, that sent chills down her spine, and made her pause. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea... Shaking her head, and thinking of that smug look that Kyle would get when he found out she chickened out, gave her the strength to go on. She clutched her camera close, and walk towards the clearing.
The field was bathed in the ruby light... it was like the same light that came out of the room her dad developed his pictures in... Her brown eyes searched the field, but there was no sign of any other type of life. Then, she saw it. The source of the light was a large stone... a gem. It was dark red in color, and as she stared at it in a trance-like state, she felt a rush of emotions wash over her.
Passion, anger, love, fear, happiness, saddness, and many more that her young mind couldn't even begin to describe. The emotions mixed together, and caused her head to swim in confusion. She dropped her camera, and hit her knees, whimpering. It was starting to hurt.
She covered her face with her hands, pressing against her eyes... she shook her head, and once the pain subsided, she moved her hands, picked up her camera, and looked up...
She gasped at the sight she saw. Creatures... creatures stood in the field. Some sitting, others standing, a few even laying on the ground. They all wore elegant looking clothes, and all looked like they were out of a fairy tale. Maybe from one of the books that her mother was always reading.
Some were short, others tall, some were pudgy, and others thin. Some had white dove like wings, others had the wings of raven, or a butterfly. A few had tails instead, and others strange markings... all were magnificent in their own way.
All wore different clothes, dresses, suits, skirts, shirts, boots, leather sandals... they were all beautiful, and she couldn't tear her eyes off of them.
They seemed oblivious to her, and she was fine with that. As beautiful as some were, others were
frightening.... dark in dress, and pale in complexion, with weapons, and they're clothes in tears... She gulped, and remembered why she was here. She got her camera ready, and took a picture of them all.
The flash from the camera, caused them all to look at her.... She froze.. if they really were ghosts... would they hurt her? Could a ghost hurt a living breathing being? She scooted back on the ground, away from them. A few began to walk towards her, causing her to cry out in fear, and jump to her feet. She turned, and dashed through the woods, hoping to reach her home before they could catch her.
She ran through the forest as fast as her short legs would take her... through bushes, over roots... branches and other plants scratched her, and ripped at her clothes, but her fear of being caught overwhelmed any pain caused. Something snagged at her leg... She fell to the ground, the feeling of something squishy under her, something soaked through her clothes caught her attention. She had landed in mud.
The sound of twigs breaking caused her to look up. A creature came out of the shadows, and into the red light that seemed to be reaching out for her. Her eyes widened as the being came closer....
It's frightening freatures far more horrible than the ones of the winged creatures from before.
It's skin was a sickly green, purple eyes glowed beneath greasy grey hair...purple horns twisted from just above the creature bushy eyebrows, clawed hands were coated in blood, and a arrow-tiped tail whipped around behind the thing menicingly. It's clothes ragged and stained with blood, dirt, and some strange purple substance, that glittered in the ruby colored light.
Two more creatures, looking almost exactly like the first, came out of the forest from her right and left. As the first creature took a step closer to her, and her heart pounded, the sound echoed in her head, as she sat up, and scooted back on the ground, using her legs to kick at the ground. All thoughts were turned to running... but where to?
If she went to the right, that creature would get her, the other would get her if she went left. If she turned tail and ran, the other creatures from the field would get her, and running forward, well, who knew what these things would do to her....
The creatures walked closer to her... one, the first one, grabbed her by the collar of her shirt, and pulled her up. He held her above his head, the side of his mouth coming up in a smirk. A low growl came from all three creatures, and she screamed in fear. She dug her fingers into the creatures wrist, and kicked her legs, in a failing attempted to get away.
"Let her go." A deep masculine voice said. Before she knew what was happening, she was on the ground. Warm blood splattered against her face, and clothes. She opened her eyes nervously, and saw one of the creatures from the field. It's large black bat-like wings folded at it's back, as he used a sword, to slaughter the others... The creatures fell to the ground in agony and pain, as he sliced through them with his curved sword, it's blade glistening a deadly red in the light, as blood dripped from it.
The last one fell, and the male turned to her. He wiped the sword off on the one clean spot of the monster's shirt, before he gracefully, and with great skill slid the sword back into it's sheath. His dark red eyes stared at her, as he stood to his full height.
She looked him over... he was tall, with a slender, yet muscular form, long black hair fell to his waist, and his clothing was like that of an victorian-era noble man, other than the sword he strapped the belt he wore loosely around his waist, his boots were like the ones Robin Hood always wore in pictures... He was amazing... handsome, and dark.... But for once, the dark didn't scare her. She felt calm around him, safe.
"Callisto! What have you done?" A femine voice said. A petite female dressed in white ran up the male. Her long blonde hair cascading down her back in waves. Her long flowing dress swished around her ankles, as she pointed at the male, Callisto. Her elegant white wings folded at her back, as she turned her blue-eyed glare on him.
Callisto glared back at the female, and motioned to the little girl.
The winged girl paused, her eyes traveling to the little girl's lithe form. She knelt, and smiled warmly at the child. "Are you okay?" She asked, reaching out to the little girl.
This woman was calming as well. She looked like an angel. Her bright blue eyes shining brightly, as the red light started to fade away, leaving only darkness and small rays of silver moon light that found it's way through the canopy of trees.
The 'angel' reached out to help the girl up, but the little girl pulled away. "I won't hurt you." She said in a calm, serene voice.
The little girl finally felt her legs regain their strength, and stood on her own. She looked at the Angel, and then at Callisto. She moved cautiously around the angel, the two winged beings never taking their eyes off of her. As soon as she had room, she ran straight to Callisto, grasped his right leg, and held tight. Her face buried in his side, she started to cry, her whole body shaking uncontrolablly.
The angel stood, a hurt look in her deep sapphire eyes. Why would a child run into the arms of the cold and dettached Callisto, rather than to her? She thought it over, her eyes running over the scenery. Three demonic creatures lay slaughtered on the ground. Then it hit her.
Callisto had saved the child, so of course the child would feel safer with him. "We need to take her back through the barrier, quick......"
Callisto nodded his head, and picked up the little girl, who's arms instantly wrapped around his neck, and her legs locked at her ankles, behind his back under his wings. Her face was buried in the crook of his neck, as he stood there awkwardly.
He didn't like physical contact with others of his own kind, let alone a human girl. Yet here he was, holding her in his arms. He felt strangely close to this child, and it wasn't just physical, it was spiritual. Like he was tied down to her, in some way. That was why he had offered to come after her. "Xiao-
Xing. The others must be waiting for our return." He said, his voice void of emotion.
Xiao-Xing, the angel, nodded her head in agreement, and let him lead the way back to the field. She stopped when she noticed the camera sitting on the ground.. the little girl must have dropped it... Picking it up, Xiao-Xing inspected the grey camera for a moment, before running to catch up with Callisto and the little girl.
They walked through the woods, and at some point on the way, the girl fell asleep, in Callisto's arms. As they came back to the clearing, where only a few remained. Most having returned home, since the morning would be upon them soon.
Once in the clearing, Callisto manuvered the girl, so that he held her princess-style, with one arm around her shoulders, and the other under her knees. One of her arms was laying across her stomach, and the other hung limply, it bouncing with each step that Callisto made.
Xiao-Xing walked with him, to where the Elders stood, awaiting them. She fiddled nervously with the camera in her hands, and bit down on the bottom of her lip. Callisto didn't seem nervous, but then again, the man never was... he was always in such control of his emotions, Xiao-Xing guessed that just came with the territory of being what he was.
Callisto knelt in front of the Elders, and bowed his head. He held the girl in front of himself, but kept his tight grip on her, so that they couldn't take her from him.
The Elders studied the girl, before one stepped forward. That Elder pulled the hood of their cloak down, and smiled at the human and the red-eyed male. "The human will have to be returned to her world." He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a silver pocket watch, he slipped it into the front pouch of her overralls, before standing and leaving.
"You will do this, Callisto."
Another said, before they all left.
The little girl woke up the next morning, hearing her mother's voice. "....And I just don't know where she could have gone." It was really faint, and it sounded like her mother was crying.
"Maybe she went to her grandfathers?" Came the voice of
Mrs. Madison. Then, the sound of a door closing...
The little girl, looked around. She was laying in the Madison boy's tree house... when had she gotten here?
And how? She looked around, had she dreamed it all? Not possible. Her clothes were covered with dried mud, and the blood that had been splattered onto her clothes had taken a dark inky red, like a scab.
She stood up, shakily, and dusted off her clothes, pausing when she felt something in the front pocket of her overralls, taking it out, her eyes widened. A silver pocket watch was in her hand, it had garnets and sapphires weaving an interkit design on the outter part of it.
Pressing the button on the top, she opened it, and began to play a soft, calming melody. Like a music box's song. The notes were so sweet sounding, and reminded her of a faery playing it's flute, or something...
Who had left this for her? Had been that man? what was his name... C.... 'C' something.. Ca.... She couldn't remember. It didn't matter, she knew he had given this to her.
HOW she knew, she wasn't sure. It could have been the angel who had left it for her, but somehow, she just knew it was the man.
Closing the watch, and putting it in one of her pockets, she walked over to the hole in the floor of the tree house. She slowly, climbed out of the tree house, and down to the ground.
"Serena?" Came a young male voice, as she got to the ground.
The little girl, Serena turned around, it was Jason Madison, the youngest of his brothers, and the sweetest. She smiled at him, "Hi."
"What happened to you?" He asked, running up to her. Jason was the same age as she was, his bright blue eyes shining with worry and curiousity. After all, it wasn't every day that your best friend went missing, and you found her in your own back yard, covered mud, and leaves, and other things from the forest.
"I..." Serena paused, what was she supposed to say? Her mind went back to her camera, she had gotten the picture! She KNEW what happened at night. Her camera held the proof of it too! She could show
everyone! .... Where was her camera?
Serena searched through her pockets, but all she found was some lint, and the watch. "My camera is gone..." She pouted, and stomped her foot. "I lost it!"
"What?" Just as Jason said that, Serena's mother, and Mrs. Madison came out of the house.
"Serena!" Serena's mother shouted, before stumbling off the back porch, and through the yard. She hit her knees and wrapped her arms around her daughter, pulling the girl into a hug, "Where have you been!? I was so worried about you!"
Serena managed to pry herself away from her mother's grasp, "I... I went into the forest, I couldn't sleep and wanted to go for a walk.." She looked down, feeling bad about lying, but if she told her mother what had really happened, she'd never hear the end of it. "I got lost, and got scared. I managed to find my way here, but I didn't want to wake anyone up, so I just slept in the tree house... I lost my camera." She looked up at her mother, with tears in her eyes. She threw her arms around her mother, and began to cry herself, thinking about the night before, when those things had attacked her.
But her tears soon subsided, as the thought of the man with the red eyes came back to her. She smiled, and let her mother pick her up. As her mother walked back towards the house, Serena thought about the man and how he had saved, and how she hoped to see him again, soon.