Shadows guardian of the.., p.1
Shadows (Guardian Of The realms Book 1), page 1
GUARDIAN OF THE REALMS BOOK 1
Copyright © 2017 David Gallie
All rights reserved.
That’s the question everyone keeps asking me. Why did I let my classmates die in such a horrible way? The only answer I’ve ever been able to give is because the tall, gaunt looking man in the fine black suit, told me to. He’s the guy standing over in the corner, silently watching me.
It’s been over a year now since that day. No matter how much I pleaded and tried, to tell the truth, no one was willing to listen. Instead, the judge decided it would be best for everyone if I was locked away until such times as my psychiatrist tells me I’m sane again.
Of course, being locked away means being relegated to this tiny cell in the basement of Madison Mills Lunatic Asylum, or the dungeon as me and the locals prefer to call it. My face is still numb thanks to the medication, but I can tell it’s wearing off because of the tingling sensation covering my face and arms.
I look over at the corner where the tall man stands, his dull eyes watching my every move.
‘Why did you let them do this to me?’ I ask.
For the longest time, he says nothing. Then he steps forward, his hands hanging by his sides and his head tilting slightly to the side.
‘The shadows beat me to it,’ he says, his voice as hollow as his eyes.
When I feel I can move my tongue again, I lick my lips. I lick them to remind myself that I can still feel. A droplet of drool drips to the tattered white nightdress I wear. It really could be doing with a wash, but it seems the staff of Madison Mills wasn’t exactly worried about their patient’s hygiene.
‘What shadows?’ I ask, noticing that he has taken another two steps towards me, closing the distance between us.
‘Didn’t you see them, on the walls?’ He asks, again cocking his head like a dog listening to its owner’s voice.
I shake my head, tiredness setting in. The small cell had been my home for over a year now. There wasn’t much to it. A cracked and dirty concrete floor, walls which had been painted mint green at one point and were now flaking in decay and a small metal cot with a mattress so thin that I can feel every spring poke against my back.
I have been told many times that I should be grateful for what I have. After all, I did kill fifteen of my own classmates. That’s what Roland and Melina tell me anyway. Roland likes to rough house me more than Melina, but of course, she happily turns a blind eye most times anyway.
‘The only thing I saw on the walls was the flames destroying the building,’ I have asked the tall man for his name many times but he refuses to tell me.
‘Then you were not paying attention,’ he says, his body stiffening at the sound of footsteps coming down the hallway.
I too feel my body tighten as the footsteps get louder and louder until they stop outside my cell door. There’s a screech as the metal shutter is pulled open and I can see Roland’s green eyes staring in at me.
‘Who are you talking to Lynk?’ Asks the burly Nurse.
‘Just myself,’ I say, locking my eyes with his. Daring him to come into my little slice of hell.
‘Fair enough, just keep it down, I’ll be back in an hour for your bathroom break,’ he says and there is another screech as he closes the shutter again.
I relax once again, and although I need to go to the bathroom now, I’m not so desperate that I couldn’t hold it for another hour.
‘You must start to pay attention Lynk,’ says Slendy.
‘To what? I can see you when no one else can. Everyone believes that I killed my classmates when I was actually trying to help them, thanks to you. I’m getting routinely drugged and zapped because I paid attention to you, and by the looks of it that isn’t going to change anytime soon,’ I say, bitterly.
I watch as the tall man shuffles uncomfortably. He looks like he wants to say something but thinks twice about it.
‘You were chosen at birth to be the guardian, you must honor that,’ he says, taking a step back as if I might suddenly get to my feet and swing for him.
I let out a sigh of frustration. I have no idea what he was talking about. The gaunt and creepy looking man had appeared to me on the day of my sixteenth birthday and had rarely left my side since then. There would be times when he would just vanish and return an hour or maybe even a day later. I always saw him, though.
‘Okay, I’ll bite. Since I don’t have anywhere else to go. What do you mean chosen at birth?’ I ask, not really expecting much of anything.
‘During your conception, your mother and father took part in a sacred ritual which gave you the ability to communicate with both the world of the living and the world of dead,’ he says after clearing his throat.
‘My parents died in a car crash when I was just five years old, how can I validate what you’re saying?’ I’m realizing that my need to pee is actually greater than I first thought.
‘You can start by trusting me. The more you do, the more you will learn,’ he says, sounding almost annoyed at me.
How dare I find it difficult to understand what a creepy looking slender man is trying to tell me? No matter how much I cast my mind back to the day of the fire, I can never see any shadows on the walls. Not the shadows he refers to anyway.
I stare down at the cracks on the floor. My cell is the only one in the ward that is closed off from the rest. I think the reason for that was because I’m the only female in the dungeon. Either that or I scared even the craziest of folk down here.
Once I finish tracing the cracks with my eyes, something that always helped me to focus for some strange reason, I look back up at Slendy. He’s still watching me.
‘Alright, I’ll trust you. It’s not like I’m going anywhere for the rest of my life anyway. Not if the judge has anything to do with it,’ I say, offering him a weak smile.
I’m starting to feel better now that the medication has almost worn off entirely. I can feel my arms and legs again and I decide to pace the room for a bit, this time counting the cracks.
Focus. It’s all about focus. k'12
‘A man will come to free you of this place. He will help you work,’ says Slendy and I can’t tell if he’s still watching me or not. I don’t care either way.
‘Work? I’m not a computer you know. I’m not something you can just switch on and expect to perform a function,’ I say, still pacing, as my bladder gets fuller.
‘You have a divine purpose Lynk. You may not fully understand it now, but in time you will know that you have a very specific purpose in this life,’ he says and this time, I stop and turn to face him.
His hollow eyes connect with mine. Unwavering. Unnerving. But I hold my own.
‘Fair enough, when will I meet this man?’ I ask, figuring it’s best to just play along until the next shock therapy session which could happen at the drop of a hat.
I’m surprised to find that only Roland is working the dungeon today. Melina must be off sick or something. As he produces a pair of handcuffs I clasp my hands in front of me and allow him to snap them onto my wrists. As always, he makes sure their extra tight but what he doesn’t know is that the biting pain reminds me that I’m still human.
Once the cuffs are secured, he motions for me to go first.
‘After you princess,’ he says, and I’m not sure if he’s mocking me or not.
I step out into the hallway which is long and narrow. I can see the other crazies staring out between the bars of their cells. They’re all much older than me. Their faces lined and haggard with years of being guests at the asyl
‘Okay, let’s go,’ says Roland, jabbing me in the shoulder with his finger and I start walking.
I feel the same way I always feel when I have to make the walk past the cells. Like a dead girl walking. My only solace is knowing that Slendy is right behind me, and a cursory glance over my shoulder told me so.
This elicits another jab from Roland who was starting to get annoyed with me. I figure it won’t take much more before I’m hauled to the shock room.
‘Remember princess, no funny business or its straight to the shock room for you,’ he says, chuckling to himself.
‘Okay,’ I say, fear rising in my belly as I eye the other patients.
A gnarled looking old man watches me with a piercing stare. His mouth seems to be in a perpetual sneer and I want to look away from him but I can’t. Something tells me I should know him, but I can’t put a name to his face.
‘The shadows are coming,’ he says, low at first but then he repeats it louder until Roland slaps the bars of the cell with his nightstick.
I have no idea what to make of his outburst, and to be honest, at the moment all I can think about is getting to the bathroom without wetting myself. We walk for about a minute before reaching the nurse’s station and then round the corner from that is two bathrooms reserved for the staff.
For reasons best known to Roland and his teammates, I’m the only crazy that isn’t allowed a bucket in my room. All the other cells have them. I guess I must be special after all.
This makes me smile as Roland grabs me by the shoulder and twists me around to face him. He still looks annoyed as he unlocks the cuffs. This makes me worry more as I rub at my wrists and push my way into the bathroom.
The bathroom is relatively small. There is a shower cubicle to the left of the door, which I get to use once in a blue moon. To my right is a sink with a mirror above it, but I rarely go near it. Something in the back of my mind tells me not to look in the mirror.
Instead, I walk to the only stall and sigh with relief as the pressure from my bladder is released. When Slendy first appeared I found it scary as all hell. I still find it a little unnerving as he glides through the stall door and stands before me.
‘Can’t I have some privacy please,’ I ask.
‘It’s my job to be with you every step of the journey,’ he says, and I sigh as I finish my business.
I’m about to head back out to the hallway where Roland is waiting when I stop at the sink, my head lowered so I can’t see my reflection. After a few moments of hesitation, I eventually look up.
The girl that stares back at me is petite, with long blonde hair and blue eyes. Her features are soft and pleasant. I don’t know if I’m classed as good looking or not, but my aunt always said I was a blonde bombshell, whatever that means.
All I could see was a girl with the last dregs of life slowly being wrung out of her. Then something catches my attention. Looking in the mirror I see the reflection of the stall door. What startled me was the wisp of black smoke which shoots across its surface before disappearing completely.
‘Did you see that?’ I ask Slendy.
‘Did I see what, Lynk?’
‘The black smoke across the stall door. It was there just a second ago,’ I say, turning to face the door but there was nothing there.
‘It wasn’t smoke,’ says Slendy, looking down at me with what I assumed was sympathy.
‘Well, what was it?’
‘A shadow. One that used to be human,’ he says.
I almost jump out of my skin when Roland knocks on the door.
‘Hurry up in there Lynk, your time is almost up,’ he shouts and I start to feel nervous again. The last thing I need was to be hauled to the shock room before bedtime.
I wash my hands at the sink, keeping my head lowered so I’m not looking in the mirror again, and use the small air blower to dry them, I head back out into the hallway and clasp my hands in front of my belly as before.
‘You really should stop talking to yourself Lynk, the docs will end up maxing you out on medication and you’ll spend the rest of your days as a drooling vegetable,’ says Roland as he puts the cuffs back on me.
‘Okay,’ I say and again I’m being lead back up the hallway towards my room.
Strangely enough, as we pass the cell where the old man had warned me about the shadows I notice that he is no longer there. He’s gone. I open my mouth to say something to Roland and think better of it.
He was one excuse away from zapping me and I didn’t want to give it to him. But still, something deep inside me was unsettled.
‘What happened to the guy in the cell?’ I ask, once I feel certain that Roland has wandered off to terrify someone else.
I watch as the tall, gaunt figure, adjusts his suit jacket. A suit that looks just too clean for him. But I watch him anyway and it strikes me that his mannerisms are the kind I would expect to see from a nervous child.
‘What guy?’ he asks eventually.
‘The guy in the cell. You know the guy that shouted at me the shadows were coming,’ I say.
‘He was a messenger. He has returned home now,’ he says.
Sighing, I sit down on the edge of my bunk. I can feel the springs poke through the tattered mattress. My mind feels tired and my body seems to ache all over.
‘Where is home for the messenger?’ I ask, staring down at the cracks on the floor once again.
‘Well he had come to warn you about the shadows so he would have been from Heaven,’ says Slendy, tilting his head in the weird dog-like way again, which might look cute to Mrs. Slendy, but it was annoying as hell to me.
‘So I just got a warning from heaven about Shadows that can move like smoke and what am I supposed to do it about them?’ I ask.
The tiredness was making me irritable.
‘As the guardian, it is your job to find out why they are here and deal with them accordingly,’ he says and I realize that I no longer want to talk for the rest of the night. k'12
I know I’m dreaming when I find myself standing in the middle of the bathroom. The reason I know is because the walls on both sides stretch on for as far as the eye can see. There are mirrors lining both walls which means no matter where I look I will see myself and that scares me.
So I concentrate on the path ahead, following the chessboard pattern of the floor as I aim for the exit which never seems to materialize. Then the screaming starts. Loud and wracked with pain. It starts with just one voice but then it’s followed by another and another until there are so many I feel like my ears are going to burst.
Following the screams comes another more terrifying noise. The sound of flames licking at the walls. My heart pounds in my chest as I look up and glance from side to side. I can see my reflection and I’m wearing my school uniform.
What lies beyond my reflection is something more horrifying. I can see thick orange and red flames rising up to engulf the building. The smoke emanating from the flames isn’t natural. It seems to dance in the air before breaking apart into strange shapes, some of which looked like people with arms and legs and a head.
It’s those shapes that start towards my reflection in the mirror. I freeze as I watch the smoke people wrap their arms around my reflection, smothering it and then dragging it away until all I can see is the flames.
‘You would be wise to leave us well alone,’ hisses a voice behind me and when I spin round to face who it belongs to my jaw drops in horror.
The constantly moving shape before me has arms, legs, and a head, but it was made entirely of smoke. The way it moves makes it look like it’s dancing to the screams filling the air around me. I try to take a step backward but I’m frozen to the spot.
‘What do you want from me?’ I ask.
‘We want you to leave us alone Lynk,’ it says, raising one of its smoky arms which transforms into a point at the end.
‘You’re just smoke, you can’t hurt me,’ I say, defiantly.
The creature laughs and it sounds like its coming from the very depths of hell. I watch as it draws back the arm with the point and then it slams into my chest.
Sweat drips from my brow when my eyes spring open and I sit bolt upright on my metal cot. My hands clutching at my chest. My heart is pounding in my ears as I wipe the sweat from my forehead.
My room was still brightly lit even though it’s either late evening or very early morning. The nurses never switch my light off. I don’t know why this is, maybe it’s just another form of torture for the crazy girl who killed her classmates.
I’m grateful for the light this time, though. For the briefest of moments, I think I’m alone in the room, and I get ready to rejoice at the thought that I might be sane again. But when my eyes focus I can see Slendy standing in the corner, watching over me.
‘Bad dream?’ He asks, doing the doggy head tilt thing.
‘You could say that. Got stabbed in the heart by a creature made of smoke,’ I say, laying back down on the cot.
‘That wasn’t smoke. It was a shadow,’ says Slendy, taking a step closer. He never seems to get too close, it’s as if my insanity is contagious and he doesn’t want to catch it.
‘Is this going to be a recurring thing? I mean am I going to keep seeing these creatures all the time?’ I ask.
‘Only until you figure out what you’re supposed to do with them,’ he says.
‘Well the one in my dream told me to leave them alone despite the fact I haven’t been near them yet,’ I say.
‘The answers will come, Lynk, I’m bound to help you, but I can’t tell you everything,’ he says.
‘Why not? It would make life a hell of a lot easier if I knew what I was supposed to do,’ I say.
by David Gallie have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes