She crossed a barren, shattered landscape, stepping warily across the cracked earth. Looking around her the young elf woman saw nothing, not a tree, not s single sign of life. The wind caressed her flushed skin, blowing her long red hair about her face. It irritated her as it kept getting into her eyes, making her notice that solitary lock of blonde that started just above her temple. For some reason that blonde lock made her think it had some significance but what that was she could not recall. She called out, knowing that the attempt was futile but still too stubborn to not try, “Hello! Is anyone here? Can anyone here me?” As she expected no response came, nothing but the continuous wailing of the wind in her ears. The sun shone a pale, unnatural white overhead as she trudged along wondering where on earth she was.
A soft whisper came to her then, indistinct yet different from the moan of the wind. She couldn’t make it out save that it sounded like a man’s voice, deep and confident. Looking around herself again she still saw nothing, only the barren landscape for miles and miles. The young woman frowned, wondering if she was going mad in this place. Again it came, clearer than before yet still very faint, “Faith, come to me.” “Where are you?” she asked, “I see nothing here.”
Before the next thought crossed her mind a form coalesced in front of her, taking a human like shape. “Faith, I am here. Come to me,” it said, looking at her though she could not see if it had eyes or not. She slowly approached the apparition, feeling her will draining as she got closer to it. All of her senses screamed for her to turn and run but she could not resist its pull.
The creature began to take form, its features shaping to that of a human man who seemed familiar to her though she had never seen his face before. “Who are you?” she asked. It only smiled at her in reply, standing where it had first appeared. Stopping several feet from it she wondered where she had seen this man before. “I am that which preceded you,” he smiled again, revealing a flawless set of teeth, “I need your help, Faith. I need you to return to the world.” “What do you mean?” she asked, “What do you want with me?”
He only smiled again, “You look just like your mother did.” Her shock at his words reflected on her face while she studied him, “You’re...no you can’t be him.” “I am, Faith,” he said, “I knew that your mother was carrying you and your sister but I never learned until after my death that you were mine too.” “No…you can’t be,” she said in disbelief. “I am, Faith. Say it. Say my name and help me,” he implored her, a fervent gleam showing in his eyes, “I know what you are, my daughter. I know you have the power to bring me back like you did your mother. Do it and I will give you that which you crave, I will be your father.”
She backed away from him, “No. I won’t do it. I won’t release your evil into the world again. I won’t let you hurt more people like you did before.” “How do you know what evils I have supposedly done? Tell me who accused me of evil. Your mother?” he laughed a deep, eerie laugh, “I only gave her that which she was craving from her lover.” “You lie!” she screamed, “You manipulated her to get what you wanted from her and caused her to lose someone she loved.”
A feral grin came over his face then, “But she gained so much more from it. She had two daughters whom she has given up everything for to include her own happiness. I gave her that and I can give you so much more.” Taking a step toward her the creature reached out, “Come to me, daughter. I will give you everything you ever needed and so much more. You have the power to bring me back and I will repay you with everything you have ever wanted.” She stepped back again, “No! I will not let you use me like you did my mother. My sister and I made her happier then anything else.”
“Very well then,” he said, his form shifting into something out of a nightmare, “If you will not give me what I want I will take it.” The creature leapt at her, knocking her to the ground as it dugs its claws into her flesh, seeping her life force from her. She screamed out, flailing at him as he overtook her. His fangs bared as he laughed at her, pinning her to the cracked earth, “You are mine and you always will be.” Sinking down he bit into her neck, drinking her life’s blood as it gushed into his mouth.
“Faith, Faith, wake up. You’re having a dream,” Javier said as he shook her slightly. Flailing against him she screamed out, “Get off of me, monster!! I will not let you free.” Javier held her down, easily overpowering her, “Faith, it’s me, wake up.” Blinking her eyes rapidly as she came out of her dream she realized where she was. Javier was holding her firmly down on the bed as he looked at her. “You were having a nightmare, Faith. It’s alright. It’s over now,” he said soothingly as she relaxed a little. Taking her in his arms Javier held her close to his chest, comforting her, “What happened?” She nuzzled her face into his chest, “I dreamt about my father. He tried to use me to bring himself back to life.”
Looking around her room Faith wished that her sister was here but Hope had spent the night with her boyfriend. She shivered slightly despite feeling her body pressed closely to Javier’s under the comforter on her bed. Something about her dream unsettled her more then she could explain. She barely understood the power she possessed to channel those who had left this life so that they could speak through her. On more then one occasion she had been overtaken by a wayward spirit trying to contact a loved one who still lived though they usually did her no harm. It frightened her beyond reason that she could be used as such and her dream raised her fears even more. Her father had been an evil man in every sense from the stories her mother had told her and Hope. If he could use her to reenter the world and come back to life she knew she may lose herself and become something dark and evil too.
Closing her eyes hesitantly Faith rested against Javier, taking slow controlled breaths to calm down. Images flitted across her closed eyes, indistinct yet known to her subconscious mind. Whimpering slightly she fought to fend them off, pulling from her memory of better things to wash away the fear she felt welling in her mind. Javier’s steady breathing indicated that he had already drifted back to sleep while she still lay on his chest, afraid to surrender to her fatigue. In the end she was overtaken by it, falling into a deep, untroubled slumber while only registering subconsciously the faintest of whispers in the dark.
Never meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.