Hey guys! Yeah, took forever again, but it was fuuuuuuuuuunn :D
It might be a little confusing, though, so I thought I better tell y'all that it keeps jumping back and forth in time. Pay attention to what it says because that helps :P
I hope you like it! I'll try to be working on more soon xD
"Kallista! KAL! Listen to me! Listen to your dreams!"
Kallista shook, and she was soaked in sweat. She turned over in her bed, moaning. Her eyes were closed, but her brow furrowed and her eyes moved beneath the lids.
"I know it's hard, I'm sorry. I'm not supposed to use it like this, but just see me! You're my last chance." Kallista shook her head, growled in her sleep and focused. In her dreams, an image appeared, blurry, like she was looking through milky glass.
It was Skyril, and she was looking back and forth like she was worried she would be discovered. There was blood on one side of her head, and strings of purple and black hair stuck to it. One of her arms was held in a makeshift sling made from some kind of sash. There was something clutched in the other, something at the end of a chain around her neck, but Kallista couldn't see what it was.
"KAL! Thank you! Listen, you have to prepare!" Her green eyes were wide, serious and afraid. "Call everyone! Let them know someone- no something is coming! I can't say its name. Now that it knows it, everything here knows it, and they'll find me if I utter it. But tell Israel that the legend of the silver bracelet is true! He has something about it in his library! I read it once, and that's how I know. And Kal, tell Israel first, ok? Find the book, read it, figure out what to do! You guys can do it, I know it!
"Kal, I have to go. I don't know if I'll see you again." Tears appeared in her eyes. "Just make sure the world is safe, ok. You and everybody were always really good at that. Don't tell anyone, but you guys are much better at saving all of humanity than I am."
Kallista shook her head, barely finding the strength to speak in this dream state, "No..., Sky."
"It's ok, Kal... Just, save the world once more, ok? Save it for me! I really have to go." She looked behind her quickly like she'd heard something. "I'll be fine, ok, just stay strong and be ready! ...Goodbye."
Kallista sat up in bed, breathing hard. Her eyes were wide.
"You're name," said she, "is Nightmare."
"Nightmare..." The little girl rolled the name around. She nodded slightly, "Fitting, I think." Her voice was sweet, childlike, and innocent again. Still, Skyril could detect a coldness in that voice that chilled her to the bones.
"Yes, your name is Nightmare. How long have you been locked away, really? A thousand years, maybe? I read somewhere about you and your powers. Honestly, I wasn't so certain about the truth of what I was reading, but I think I believe it somewhat more now."
The little girl's head turned to the side. "I don't know how long I was in the Purple World, but I was not 'locked'. Nothing can keep me trapped."
Skyril's eyebrow rose, but she decided against getting into an argument with the Nightmare him--her---itself.
"Well," she said, "I don't suppose since you've gotten the information you wanted, that you'd be willing to release me, huh?"
"Release? Nay, I wouldn't dream of it! I've so many little horrible adventures planned for you, you know. It's going to be so much fun!"
The child clapped her hands together, a grin playing at the sides of her mouth.
"Oh, yes," Skyril said under her breath, "I can only imagine how fun that will be..."
There was a scream and suddenly a pounding on his door. Israel blinked, waking up. "What on earth?" His hand reached for his shotgun before he recognized Kallista's voice yelling on the other side of the door. He stood up, still picking up a knife out of precaution. Who knew why Kal was yelling. It might be a spider or it might be a pack of vampires trying to get in.
He slid back the locks on his door, attempting to only crack it open a fraction to peak out at Kal. That didn't work out. She, rather determined, shoved it open, grabbed Israel's shirt, and yelled, "We have to read some books or the world will be destroyed! We have to go to your library now!" She started pulling him behind her while up and down the hall, lights started coming on as people awoke and poked their heads out of their doors.
"Kal, Kal, Kal! What is going on?" Israel shouted, stopping in his tracks and making her stumble slightly. "Israel we have to go now! Come on!" She grabbed his arm, trying to pull him along again, but she didn't get more than a few feet.
"First, you have to tell me what's going on," he said.
Kallista looked back and forth down the hallway as the viewers continued watching. "What?" Some of them blinked and went back into their rooms, but most stayed where they were. Kallista let go of Israel and looked around at everyone. Skyril had said to tell Israel first. She smiled and her eyelids dropped halfway as she looked back at him again. "Come on, my sweet! I was trying to get us in private without.. making it seem like we were... up to anything." Her eyebrows went up and down in quick succession, and she giggled.
Israel's eyes widened, "What the-"
"I know it was a little extreme, but... I couldn't wait any longer, my little boo-goo-doobie-doo!" She reached up and pinched his cheeks.
Snickers went up and down the hallway, and someone yelled, "How sweet, Israel! Or should we call you, 'boo-goo' now?"
More laughter ensued. Israel turned on them, his startling green eyes narrowed to slits.
The doors shut immediately.
Skyril was running. She was still in the city, but this was a different part. She wasn't really sure how she got here, for she had been talking to the Nightmare child a moment ago. She wasn't actually thinking about that much, though. For some reason, running seemed to make perfect sense to her at that moment. She leaped, landing on the next rooftop and kept going. She heard something behind her, jumped again over an alley twenty feet below, and craned her neck.
There was something chasing her, but she couldn't see what it was. She knew it was catching up, though. She could feel it behind her. She screamed as something with claws grabbed her left arm and yanked, breaking the bone and tearing it backwards. She turned, tears in her eyes, to see some kind of enormous bird with a serrated beak and giant talons. She tried to use magic to take the monster's sight- at least to confuse it, but it didn't work.
This was one of those creatures that fed on magic. The bird's crimson wings flapped harder, pulling Skyril from the ground by her broken arm. She screamed in agony, using her good arm to snatch a small dagger from her belt. It whipped back and forth, and sent the missile into the birds chest. The creature screeched, letting go, as purple blood dyed its feathers black.
"Wait, what? You had a dream about Skyril?"
Israel and Kallista were in the library, having gotten there after Kal told Israel she would explain once they got there. The library was usually empty at this hour so they weren't particularly careful about being hushed.
"No! Skyril sent a message to me in my sleep! She's in danger! There's something... I don't know what- a villain of some sort- trapping her and hurting her. Her arm Isreal! It was broken! And there was blood and I couldn't talk and I couldn't do anything! But she told me to tell you that there was some myth about a bracelet with purple amethysts, and it's real! And there's a book somewhere in this library about it! She couldn't say what it was because there was something after her, but I don't know what that was either. So we need to read these books! Now! The fate of the world- and more importantly, Skyril- depend on it! She said to gather everyone! Where are those secret ninjas I heard you were hiding in the basement?"
Israel spoke dryly as his hand went to his forehead in aggravation, "There are no secret ninjas. This is seventh time someone has asked about them! Who keeps spreading these rumors? When I get my hands around his neck, I'm just gonna shake it until he feels so discombobulated, he can't even stand without collapsing!"
In the corner, Nights Raven slid down in her seat, hiding behind her book.
"Wait," Kal said, "you mean the ninjas aren't real?" Her eyes were wide, shocked.
Raven coughed, drawing their attention to her for the first time. "Hey, so, book about purple amethysts? I know that one, and if Sky wasn't mistaken, than we're in big trouble."
Skyril was standing in a dark forest. The trees were gnarled and dingy, reaching out with claws to catch and devour strays. It was night, and the sky could only be seen above due the enormous full moon glowing brightly, friendly. Skyril was breathing heavily, again, not knowing how she came to be here but not thinking strange of it. She was afraid. She could feel the terror worming around inside her, making her body shake and her bones brittle. Her left arm was hanging limply by her side, and the pain was fresh and pulsing. When adrenaline had been pouring through her, she didn't feel it as much. Now, it was terrible.
She groaned, beads of sweat on her forehead. She reach down with her good hand as gently as she could and untied the knot of the purple sash around her waist. No matter how careful she was, every movement throbbed and sent another wave of pain through her. She looped the sash around her neck, turning it into a makeshift sling to keep her broken arm out of the way. She'd always hated having broken bones.
She leaned for a moment against the nearest tree, trying to catch her breath. Her eyes fluttered for a moment, and she realized she was tired, really tired.
But then she heard something that woke her up again. There was a howl, not like a cat or a bird, but much more like a dog. She looked up, the enormous moon stared down at her, and it wasn't so very friendly now. There were werewolves in this forest. Another howl, definitely closer. Skyril stared running, having no idea where she was going besides away. More howls, more than one monster was in this dreadful forest. They must smell the blood, and sweat.
She saw a stream through the trees and ran for it, splashing into the waters in hopes of covering her scent. She trudged through it, having a tough time trudging through waist-deep, murky water. Something nipped at her leg, but she ignored it, probably a fish. Then she saw something big in the waters ahead of her. It looked like a log, but she knew better. The crocodile was just waiting for his midnight snack to walk into his jaws. She froze, looking back, hearing tree limbs cracking and more howls. Still, she'd rather face that on land rather than the monster of the bog. She splashed out of the water, avoiding the snap of those terrible jaws and, dripping wet started running again.
How was she going to escape werewolves in their own territory? She heard them behind her, galloping towards her. She screamed, jumping to the side as she sensed one leap and kept running. Skyril was out of breath, and tiring quickly. Then she saw an opening in the forest and a building rising above it in the distance.
The city! She was close. She could make it. She prayed she could make it.
Israel and Kallista read from the middle of the book- Legends of Your Darkest Dreams- Raven had brought to them.
"According to myth, the Nightmare could change forms with a thought. Sometimes the beast would be a male, female, a child, or the elderly, but that's not all. The Nightmare's adept magic included changing form to anything, even the wind, although it's favorite form was taken from the appearances of its victims, particularly children."
They turned the page, skimming down until they found something useful.
"The Nightmare was trapped approximately A.D. 1100 by exactly as many mages. The legend says that its prison was made special and in secret over about one hundred years. The prison was in the form of something beautiful- a silver bracelet in-hewed with purple amethysts and powerful, yet unknown, magic to keep the bracelet from ever being destroyed or releasing the beast. They made this bracelet in this form because the Nightmare, especially fond of personal charms and trinkets, would keep them to taunt any remaining relations or friends of the victims.
With this in mind, the mages asked for a volunteer to be the Nightmare's final adversary. Someone who would wear the bracelet until it became so important to her that the Nightmare would savor in taking it; however, no one stepped forward for three years until a young girl, who finally understood what the sorcerers were planning, agreed to be their sacrifice.
The mages assembled and trapped the Nightmare and the child, according to plan. The Nightmare took her, devoured her humanity, stole the bracelet, and was trapped because of it. There are many myths that this child had done what she did out of love for the mages around her. She couldn't bare to see them suffer any longer by its torments, and with her last breath, she thanked the Nightmare for what it had done to her because she was so happy she could save her friends and family."
Another few pages flipped over as Israel ran his finger down them, scanning for useful information. He paused again on one section.
"There was one fatal error the mages didn't see, however, and that was that one of the mages had been turned by the Nightmare. Fortunately, the bracelet had been taken and hidden and soon lost to those few who knew the whereabouts when the grand mage of the time had them executed before killing himself.
It is said that the sorcerer with the secret to the Nightmare's release passed it down through the generations to his children and their children's children, and that somewhere today, there are still those- those few- who know how to release this terrible monster.
Fortunately, despite many attempts at discovering the whereabouts of the purple amethyst bracelet, no one has found it. Well, that is to say, no one has found it and had both the power, and the knowledge to release it.
At least not yet."
Why must there always be fields between cities and forests? Skyril huffed in irritation, running as fast as she could through that empty space. The werewolves were pounding behind her, growling and woofing and generally having enormous fun hunting their delightfully fretful prey. If only the situations were reversed, Skyril thought.
Something heavy hit her in the back, and she went down, rolling and getting up again before the second fastest werewolf caught her. She was almost there. So many buildings and alleys to get lost in and to lose the monsters behind.
With her last burst of energy she ran with everything she had, but it wasn't fast enough. Nothing was faster than a werewolf on the hunt, and she'd only lasted this long because she was so far ahead of them in the beginning. Claws raked across her jacket, and she sent thanks above to Ghastly for making her clothes so strong.
Buildings! She turned down the first alley, losing the closest werewolves with the sudden change of direction. She went left, heading deeper into the heart of the city, but just when she thought she might survive after all, something landed on her from above.
The werewolves knew how to climb stairs. Or maybe they just went up the side of the building. Fangs gnawed down on her shoulder. They didn't pierce the clothing, but the pain was still awful. She screamed when the heavy man-dog hybrid leaned on her broken arm and bit the side of her neck. She grabbed at her belt and swung the first thing she found. A finger knife that didn't get past the werewolf's hide.
Skyril squirmed, tearing herself from its grip, but losing her jacket in the process. She grabbed a hefty dagger from her belt with her good hand and stabbed twice then ran, leaving the weapon behind. The howls were terrible, especially when the other werewolves smelled the blood and found their fallen comrade.
Tears sprang into Skyril's eyes as she kept running. They were tears of pain, fright, and disgust, all mixed into one. She shook her head, trying to keep herself from losing it. She needed to focus. What was she going to do? What could she do? She needed to catch her breath. She couldn't run any longer. She slammed against a door and got in, running upstairs and collapsing in a mass in the corner of a bedroom. Then she heaved and fell on the bed, curling up and taking breaths. She felt hot blood on the side of her face and almost started crying again.
She needed to do something. What could she do? She had to warn everyone, had to tell them what was coming. She sat up, pulling out her phone and turning it on. Typical, she thought, no service in the world of the Nightmare.
The werewolves howled in the distance. Skyril had to tell her friends now, or she might never get the chance. She sprung up and reached into her shirt, pulling out the chain with the charm on the end. It was simple, nothing elegant. A circle with a purple orb in the middle. She realized the Nightmare would take this from her when it was done with her. Skyril didn't want that to happen. With new determination, she decided it was time she used it for better or worse.
She would warn them what was coming.
Israel fell back in a chair, his hand on his head. He was thinking, trying to figure out how to proceed. There was an actual person, or rather thing, that was the reason for all nightmares? How was that even possible? He almost laughed at the ridiculous thought that everyone in the world might have the same nightmare and just not know it.
Raven nudged Kallista and whispered, "What's he doing?" They were standing a few feet away from where Israel was sitting. He was sprawled in an armchair, with one hand propping up his head and the other slapped upon his forehead. Raven and Kallista stood beside each other, arms crossed, and expressions serious.
"He's.., well, he's... thinking."
"Ah," Raven nodded slightly and went back to her serious stance. Then she leaned back a moment later, "Does he do this often?" Kallista shrugged.
"So he gets in that position whenever he thinks?"
"I wonder if it helps. I tend to just think all the time." Kallista stifled a giggle.
"Maybe it helps to sit like that. We should save all our thinking for later." Raven nodded again, serious.
"Yeah, then we can save all our energy for when we sit the right way." Kal slapped her hand over her mouth, really trying not to laugh as Israel continued sitting their, not moving in the slightest.
How could you defeat a nightmare? Israel wondered about that. He doubted the whole, "realize your dreaming and start doing whatever you want," thing. He'd tried that. It didn't work.
Wait, the book had said something about the Nightmare's "adept" magic, which must mean it was a person some time in the past. So if it was a person, that must mean it could be killed.
Kallista, disguising it as a slight shift in position, poked Raven in the side. Raven looked at Kal, her expression saying everything, "So you want to get into battle with me, huh?" Kallista wiggled her eyebrows, which was her version of, "Come and have a go if you think your hard enough."
So if the nightmare could be killed, then all you had to do was have a lot of guns, and hopefully, grenades. The only problem was finding it. How could he find some monster that could change form into anything? Even the wind?
The best thing to do, Israel decided, was to find out where it was most recently. Skyril was chasing after Ominous Ebony. He'd discovered that last night due to his contacts getting the information for him. Ominous was most recently seen in Dublin. So that's where Skyril would go.
Raven and Kallista were having a dreadfully hard time not falling into full out laughter. They were poking each others. Secretly. Like ninjas. They were ninjas pokers. Raven couldn't contain her giggle when she thought about that.
Then Israel stood up, and immediately, Kallista and Raven went back to their arm-crossed-side-by-side-serious-expression stance. They looked at him, their expressions totally focused, determined.
"Alright," he said, "I've thought about it and-"
Kallista and Raven burst out laughing hysterically before falling onto the floor in giddyness.
Israel stared at them for a moment, "I finally understand how Skulduggery thought of his companions as four years olds."