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    dots Submission Name: Storms of the past (10 Chapters)dots

    Author: ForestShadow325
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    Words: 21784
    Class/Type: Story/Death
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    dotsStorms of the past (10 Chapters)dots

    Storms of the Past

    By: Mickel Bowers

    Chapter 1: Found

    As Sarah was about to leave school, she saw her friend Jed walking out the door of the class in front of her. She had known Jed since first grade and this is there first year of high school together. "Jed” she cried, as he closed the door behind him .He turned to talk to her. "Oh, your still here, I'm glad." He said. As they were walking Jed's younger sister Mary jumped up onto his back, "Jed how was the first day?" she asked with a smile n her face. "It was just fine." He said laughing. But as they walked away together, Sarah felt a feeling she hadn't felt before, loneliness.

    "What's wrong with me?" she wondered. "Why is it that Jed didn't walk with me like every other day?" she asked herself. "Did I do something wrong, is it something I said?" she wondered sadly. She looked up and realized that she was already in her own neighborhood. She went down to the last house of the first row of houses. "1394 east Knight's road, this must be it." She said to herself, looking at the address paper in her hand. She went up to the door and knocked, but there was no answer. She opened her bag and pulled out a small silver key, put it in the door, and unlocked it. She opened the door and looked around. It was exactly like the company said it would be. There was the sofa, loveseat, reclining chair and table in the living room. The kitchen table, the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher were in the kitchen. The bathtub, shower, sink, and toilet were in the bathroom. And the bed, dresser, end table, and chest of drawers were in the bedroom. "This is my new home." She thought happily.

    She found the telephone in the living room next to the TV and the phone book in her purse in the kitchen. She looked up her mother's number from the phone book and dialed the number. After it rang a few times someone picked up. "Hello?" said the voice from the other end of the receiver. "Mom, this is Sarah, I found my new house and I finished the paper work at the school.
    I got my classes too; they put me in the same ones here as I had there." She said laughing. "Oh honey that's great, I'm so proud of you finally being able to take care of yourself." Her mom said cheerfully. "Mom I'm not helpless you know, I've always been able to take care of myself. I remember taking care of you as well if you remember right." She told her mom playfully. "I know dear, but you know I'm always going to worry about you right?" Her mother said sweetly. "Yeah, I know, and I wouldn't have it any other way." She commented warmly. "Well I have to go now mom, I still have to unpack and everything." She said. "Ok dear, ill talk to you later goodbye." Her mom told her as she hung up the phone. Sarah sighed; she looked around and saw her boxes against the wall in the hallway. "I really have to unpack now." She told herself glumly as she dragged herself over to the boxes.

    After Sarah finished unpacking her bedroom, she started on the kitchen. She had already bought pots and pans and silverware from a discount store down the road from her house.
    She had also bought a tablecloth, some rugs, a few towels, and some bathroom products like soap and toothpaste. She had cleaning supplies under the sink, and she had a broom, dustpan, mop, and bucket in the closet in the kitchen. She went to the refrigerator and opened the door. She stared glumly at the inside of it. She had forgotten to buy food while at the store. "How could I be so stupid” she screamed at herself. She glumly pulled herself to the door and put her shoes back on. She went out the door and locked it behind her. As she was walking down the street she saw a little kid sitting on the ground crying. She walked over to him and sat next to him. "What's wrong?" she asked the little girl. She looked up into Sarah's eyes and stared at her. "I lost my mommy and I can't find her” she cried, "I'm afraid she left without me” the little girl cried harder then ever.

    Sarah was stunned; she didn't think that would happen. "I'm sure your mommy is around here looking for you right now." She told the little girl, ruffling her hair. "How about I go look for you?" she asked merrily. "Would you really do that for me?" she looked up into Sarah's eyes with astonishment. Sarah nodded and walked away into the crowd. Sarah looked around the market for the girl's mother, but couldn't find anyone who seemed to be looking for a lost child. "Maybe she doesn't know the little girl is missing yet." She said softly to herself. But just as she had given up hope on finding the girl's mother, she heard a stressed voice crying out. "Abigail, Abigail, Abigail where are you “Sarah cut threw the crowd to find a middle aged looking women with a stressed face frantically searching for her daughter. "Miss, Miss, Miss, I think I found your daughter." She told the stressed mother. The mother turned to her with a shocked face, "really?" she asked, "you found my baby?" she looked at Sarah with hopeful eyes. Sarah nodded and told the mother to follow her. As she led the mother back to the child, she realized how late it was. She led the mother back to the frightened child, who happily ran to her mother. "Thank you very much miss." The mother told Sarah. "Not at all, I didn't want to leave you two alone." She told the mother. She looked at her watch and gasped. It was already 8 P.M. "I have to go, goodbye." She told the little girl. She ran to the supermarket and bought her needed groceries. Then she hurried home to her house and cooked her some dinner.

    As Sarah was eating her dinner, she turned on the television and turned onto the weather channel. She looked at the five-day forecast, and saw that it was going to rain for the next three days, and be cold for the two days after that. Sarah sighed as she saw this. She had planned to explore the areas around her home and her school. Maybe go to a café or maybe go see a movie if there was anything she liked playing. But now that she saw the weather wasn't going to be very nice, it changed her plans totally. She thought about it for a little while and decided to see if there was a library or a museum she could go see. "Maybe if I can pass the time the days will go by quicker then normal." She thought to herself. "Oh well, I guess ill just have to bear with it. Sarah wasn't a very inside person. She loved being outside under the clouds and the trees, the sky's; it was always so beautiful. So when she was forced to stay inside on rainy days, she always either slept or read books to pass the time. It was always boring when she had to stay inside for the rain.

    After the week was over and it was Saturday, it had finally finished raining and she was able to go outside. "It feels so good to be outside after being inside all week." She thought happily. "I'm going to go explore today, who knows maybe I will find something interesting. So that whole day all she did was exploring the areas around her house and school. She found 2 movie theatres, a cinema six, another supermarket, and a library. She loved the scenery that she found while walking around the city. It was a pretty big town really. It had all kinds of interesting places to go and things to see. She went to the movies and to the library, then to the grocery to buy a drink. She went ahead and walked the long way home. As she was walking she noticed something strange off to her right, a slight rustling in the bushes, and a low growl.
    She began to feel exposed and scared out in the open of the sidewalk, she walk down into the undergrowth and trees. She heard a whistle and a thump, and then the rustling stopped. She felt something sticky beside her and lifted her hand. It was covered in blood she jumped up, horrified, and set the bushes to rustling again. She heard another whistle, felt a sharp pain in her side, and then she blacked out.

    When she came to the first thing she noticed was that she was outside somewhere. She smelled the fresh outdoor scent and heard the wind blowing threw the window by her head. She tried to sit up, but when the sharp pain from her side kicked in, she decided to lie back down. She looked around her to see if she could tell where she was, but since it was already dark, she couldn't tell. She couldn't remember anything. Not even her name. She saw a ladder leading to the floor below her, and a shadow moving around down there as well. She pulled the blanket tighter around her and tried to be quiet, but when the rough blanket rubbed across her hurt side, she cried out softly. She looked back to the shadow to see it had stopped moving. Then she saw the ladder shake a bit as someone started to climb up it. When she saw that there was no use fighting it she just waited for the person to come up. The person coming up the ladder was not who she expected. She had thought a big man with a hatchet or someone scary coming to hurt her. But it was actually a young girl dressed in a robe with the smell of herbs all over her. She had a pot in her arms and was trying to climb up without spilling it. When she got all the way up she came and kneeled next to her. "Your finally awake are you?" she smiled. "Do you know who you are?" she asked. "No, I don't remember anything." Sarah told the girl. "Well that's a bit of a problem, how about we give you a temporary name?" she said. "How about Tawny?" Sarah thought about it for a minute, and then smiled. "I like that name, Tawny." The girl smiled, "Well Tawny, I'm Diamond." She told Tawny, "and now I need to check that wound of yours." She reached a couple fingers into the blanket and pulled it away slowly. Then she lifted up Tawny's shirt to reveal a bloody gash on Tawny's left size. She put two fingers into the pot she was carrying and rubbed it on Tawny's side. It stung like crazy and Tawny sucked air sharply, but let Diamond run it into the wound. Then Diamond gave her some tea to help her sleep. "Don't worry about anything Tawny, your fine here. We found you." She said sweetly, and then walked out as Tawny fell asleep.

    Chapter 2: New life

    As the days went by with the same routine every day, Tawny slowly regained her strength. Most of the time she was sleeping. But every few hours Diamond would come to see her to clean her wound or to give her medicine to take that would make her sleep. After a while Tawny became increasingly restless, and Diamond could see the wound had healed enough to let Tawny move around. So one day when Tawny was aimlessly drifting in her mind while staring at the ceiling, Diamond had a suggestion. "Why don't I show you around the village?" She said. "I know you want to go outside and do something but we can't do much, understood?" she said, while giving Tawny a playful look. "Ok I promise I won't push myself. Just get me out of here for a little while." So after a few minutes of helping Tawny don't the ladder, they were standing in the doorway of the house. It was then that Tawny realized something strange. Diamond had ears and a tail. But it wasn't just Diamond that had them, it was everyone. Although some had variations of them, everyone had ears and a tail. Tawny was astounded at the discovery, she had never heard of humans with ears and tails. But she let it fall to the back of her head. She was just glad to be out of the house.

    She walked around for a bit with the help of Diamond lending her arm. She found a nice shady tree and sat down while Diamond pulled out a picnic basket and made lunch. "Diamond, who is that that keeps following us," Tawny asked, pointing to the bush behind her. "What, there's no one… Saylu come out of there." There was a slight rustle as a little girl crawled out of the bushes, keeping her eyes on Tawny as she inched her way around to Diamond. Tawny was amazed at how pretty the young girl was, she looked just like Diamond. "This is my younger sister, Saylu." She said, "Saylu say hi to Tawny, this is the one that grandma found in the woods and had the men bring her back.”

    Tawny smiled and extended her hand to shake Saylu's, but Saylu just slipped behind Diamond like she was afraid to be touched. "What's wrong?" Tawny asked laughing, "Come on I don't bite." But Saylu just stayed behind her sister's back. "Saylu, don't be rude, shake Tawny's hand, she's just trying to be nice." Diamond told her sister and pulled her from behind her back. "Just a second Diamond, I might have just the thing to help." Tawny reached into her back pocket and pulled out a piece of candy. She looked at it, hoping that Saylu would like it.
    "Here Saylu, this is a sweet from where I am from." Tawny said, handing Saylu the candy. Saylu hesitantly reached out and took the candy from Tawny's hand, and licked it. Her face lit up as though she had found something wonderful. "I think she likes it." Tawny whispered to Diamond, as Saylu ate the candy happily. Then Saylu got up and rushed to Tawny, hugging her. "Sister " she cried. “I’m not your sister silly." She told Saylu laughing, "Your sister is over there." She said, pointing at Diamond. But Saylu just hugged Tawny tighter; as though she were about to lose something she loved so much. "You are my sister too now." Saylu whispered.

    The next day, Saylu came to see Tawny while she was still in the house, but this time she brought a piece of honeycomb with her. “My big sister says that she will take you out by the lake today, she wants to show you the water and the shrine next to the lake" Saylu told Tawny as she sat and ate the honeycomb, wishing she could have more. "I love the water, I would love to go out there, will you be with us?" She asked Saylu as she watched a butterfly float threw the hut. "No, I have some work to do today. I have to run errands for grandma." She told Tawny glumly. "But I'll try to come next time you guys go out to the lake and we can play in the water." She added merrily. About an hour later, Saylu said goodbye to Tawny and left to go to her grandma's house leaving Tawny all by herself. Tawny slowly got up and walked to the door, allowing her to see outside and feel the breeze. She sat down, leaning against the frame of the door, watching the clouds roll by. She heard a slight noise as a few children came up to her with wonder filled eyes. "Hi there, and who might you be?" Tawny asked in a cheery voice, making it to where the kids weren't scared, as Saylu had been. "I am Jonan and this is Frilly and Dawson." The biggest child said, pointing to a sweet girl on his left and a solemn looking boy to his right. "We wanted to meet you yesterday but out mother's had chores for us to do." Said Frilly, smiling with a happy look on her face. Dawson just came closer and smelled Tawny's hair. Tawny looked at him and smiled, "What's wrong, are you too shy to talk." She asked him playfully. The little boy looked away and walked back to his friends. "Jonan, where are you?" said a mother's voice from the top of the hill. "We have to go now." Said Jonan sadly. "We'll try to come back another time, goodbye." He yelled over his shoulder as he ran to the hilltop.

    A few hours later Diamond showed up and asked Tawny how her wounds were. Tawny brushed her hand against her side and said they were just fine. "Good, would you like to take a special trip with me?" she asked Tawny with a brief smile that Tawny almost missed.
    "Sure," Tawny said, smiling back at her, "I'd love too." So diamond pulled a stuck out from a wall and gave it to Tawny. "Here use this," she said, "it will help you balance yourself." But as Tawny leaned her weight on it, it cracked down the middle. "Oh no, I guess we wont be able to use it." Diamond said, "Oh well, it'll be ok, ill help you to balance." So they walked out of the house and down the road leading to the water. Tawny felt bad for having Diamond help her all the time. "I'm sorry for being such a burden. I can walk on my own; you should save your strength." She told Diamond, but Diamond simply smiled. "Don't underestimate us, we girls are strong." She said laughing. But Tawny just sighed and looked over her shoulder at the water, then looked down at Diamonds tail. It was hanging from her waist like a belt. "I wonder if it’s real…"she asked herself. She reached down and stroked the tail and curled it up. Tawny saw Diamonds ears shoot up, the she blushed with what seemed like pleasure and her ears went down. Then she suddenly pushed Tawny away, and Tawny tripped and fell into the grass.

    Diamond looked at her hands and then gasped, "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to." But then she became stern, "Serves you right though, stroking a girls tail so suddenly." But all Tawny did was smile and laugh. "I guess you were right when you said that girls here are strong." But Diamond just blushed and leaned over to help Tawny up. But it wasn't Diamonds hand that she grabbed to get up. It was a man's hand. But she hadn't met this man before. "Don't be so ruff on the new comers ok Diamond, I'm sure Tawny didn't know about our tails or our ears and was just curious if they were real or not." He said smiling. "How'd you know what I was thinking?" Tawny asked. "Its not really that hard, most new comers are often curious. But it's usually not Diamond's tail that gets touched it's usually her grandma's or my wife's." he said laughing. "This was Diamond's first time having her tail stroked." He told Tawny. "But I think she liked it a lot" he added in a whisper.

    Tawny and the man laughed at that and Diamond got bright red. "What's so funny" She asked, pulling on the hem of her dress. "Is it that funny that I reacted the way I did." She asked eyes brimming with tears. But Tawny just got up and stumbled over to Diamond, and hugged her. "There's nothing funny about it, it’s funny that I thought it was fake." "FAKE” Diamond yelled grabbing her tail. "It's not fake," she said while absentmindedly stroking her tail. “I know I know don't worry," Tawny said rubbing Diamonds back, "I like your tail, it’s all cuddly and soft" Tawny said smiling. Then Tawny reached out and stroked Diamonds tail again. This time her ears went up, then down, but she didn't push Tawny away.
    The man was walking away by now. "Hey, what's your name” Tawny yelled after him. The man turned around and yelled back "Call me Boswin”

    That night when Tawny and Diamond got back to the house, she laid down Tawny's bed and made it while Tawny talked to Jonan and his friends from before. But while Tawny was sitting there talking, another person walked up. "Do you know if my granddaughter is inside there?" she asked, pointing towards the house. "If you’re talking about Diamond she's inside, just a second." Tawny told the lady. "Diamond, come out here for a minute." She called into the house. A few seconds later Diamond came out of the door. "Grandma” Diamond said excitedly, "What are you doing here?" "Diamond, its time you moved out of my house," the woman said slowly, "I think you are old enough to have your own house now." Diamond looked heartbroken. "But grandma, what about you, wont you be all alone if I leave?" she cried. "Diamond, you are getting to be old enough to live on your own, staying at my house is just holding you back dear." The woman said kindly. "But grandma-" "ENOUGH “the grandmothers said sternly. "You will not hold yourself back on my account." She looked around, and saw Tawny leaning up against the fence a few feet away.

    "Why don't you live with Tawny?" at the mention of her name Tawny looked over. Diamond looked at Tawny, and smiled, "Does this mean u want me to live with Tawny instead of you grandma?" She said, looking up at her grandma. "Yes, that's right, I think you should stay with Tawny instead of me, if it is ok with Tawny that is." The woman told Diamond. Diamond looked over at Tawny with pleading eyes that seemed to beg for her to say ok. Tawny looked over and smiled, "Of course she can stay with me." She said, "I wouldn't have it any other way. Quite frankly I would have been sad if she went anywhere else." She said still smiling as Diamond rushed over and hugged her "Thank you. Thank you so much Tawny." Diamond cried. Tawny patted her friend on the back and told her it was fine. "By the way, my name is Destiny." The old woman said to Tawny, holding out her hand. "Very nice to meet you, I'm Tawny, but you already know that." Tawny told her, shaking her hand. This was the beginning of a bond between Tawny and Diamond that would mature for a very long time.

    Chapter 3: Moving On

    The next day after the argument between Diamond and her grandmother, Tawny and Diamond went to go get all of Diamond's boxes from her old house. It wasn't a very long walk but it was hard uphill. The house was at the top of the highest hill in the entire village. Diamond went up to the door and knocked, calling out to her grandma. "Grandma, I'm here for my stuff “she yelled threw the door. "The door is open “Destiny yelled to her granddaughter from the kitchen. Diamond walked into the house and told her grandma that she was just going to go upstairs to her room and go get her stuff. Diamond led Tawny up the stairs to the second floor landing and went to the second door to the left. She opened the door, "This is my room." She told Tawny smiling brightly. Tawny walked into the room and looked around at the sight before her. There were windows all over the room. She was going to be sad to leave this here. She turned to her friend who was in tears on the floor. She was astonished at how fast Diamond had gone from being happy and strong to totally destroyed and desperate. Tawny went over and put her arms around her friend as Diamond's body racked with sobs. "I don't want to leave," she cried, "I don't want to." "It'll be ok Diamond, just you wait and see." Tawny said trying to comfort her friend. She hugged Diamond close and held her while her friend cried. After a while her friends crying calmed down enough to let her talk. "I'm ok now," she said leaning against Tawny, "thank you for being my friend."

    Tawny smiled and hugged Diamond. "I'll always be here for you." after Diamond had calmed down a little bit more they started packing all of her things. When they had finished, Tawny went to the town and called for Boswin, Jonan and his friends, and Saylu. As all seven of them pushed, pulled, and shoved the boxes from Diamond’s old house to her and Tawny's new one. After everything had been moved in, Tawny gave everyone a glass of water and sent them back to their houses. Then she went back into the house to help Diamond unpack all of her things. When they finished with the kitchen, Diamond went and started on the living room while Tawny went to the bedroom. She set herself to unpacking all the cloths and bags first. After marveling at all of Diamond's beautiful cloths, she moved on to the pictures and the figurines. She was on the last box when she pulled out what seemed to be an important picture. It had what looked like a younger Diamond and there were two people around her. One was a beautiful woman that looked just like Diamond. Tawny figured that it was Diamond's mother and the handsome man was her father.

    Her mother had the same eyes and tail as Diamond, but it was her father who had the ears and muscle, even though Diamond's figure was slight just like her mother's. Tawny turned the picture over to look at the back and what she saw astonished her. It proved her thoughts to be correct. Diamond, Mother, and Father. She wondered why Diamond never had shown this picture to her, for it must be special. Tawny was about to go ask but then she noticed something on Diamonds left leg. It was a scar. "Oh my." Tawny said softly to herself. It looked as thought the scar went form Diamond's left thigh to just above her knee. "Wonder how this happened." Thought Tawny as she studied the photograph.
    She put the picture back on the box and finished unpacking the rest of what had to be done. She put figurines, books, pictures, and antiques on the shelves and on the walls. After all that had been finished she returned to the living room. Diamond was slouched over a box almost sleeping. Tawny smiled and walked over to her. "Hey, come on the bed is made, lets go to sleep, we can always finish in the morning." she told Diamond softly and helped her friend to the bedroom. She undressed Diamond and herself and got them into their night cloths. Then she helped Diamond lie down in the bed.

    She crawled in on the other side and she listened to Diamond sleep softly. She was drifting off to sleep herself when Tawny remembered something. She turned over to hold Diamond, and she slid her hand under Diamond's nightshirt to her left thigh. Sure enough, there was the scar, perfectly smooth. It seemed that it had been a long time since it had been inflicted. As she absentmindedly slid her hand up and down Diamond's leg feeling the scar, Diamond began to squirm, although from pleasure or annoyance Tawny didn't know. She turned back over and before she knew it she was asleep as well. That night Tawny had dreams of darkness and despair. She felt as though someone was holding her to where she could not move. When she tried to talk her voice would not come out. Tawny felt a pressure come over her and then saw two eyes. Someone whispered something in Tawny's ear and she felt the presence slowly fade as she woke up. Tawny awoke with a jump to see Diamond leaning over her with a worried look on her face. "Tawny “she cried ass Tawny sat up, "oh Tawny I was so worried about you “she hugged Tawny close and seemed to almost cry with relief, but Tawny told Diamond it was ok.

    She sat up and let Tawny sit up properly. "I'll go make some tea for you." she told Tawny smiling. "Ok, thank you." Tawny told her. As Tawny heard Diamond leave to go make tea, she stood up and stretched, remembering that they still had work to do. She got up and went into the living room, sighing as she saw that there were still so many boxes to unpack. After having tea with Diamond to make her and Diamond feel better, she started on the boxes with Diamond's help. She had got threw half of the boxes when Diamond suggested that they take a brake. Tawny went to the window and opened the blinds on it to look out. It was already noon. She waited patiently while Diamond fixed the lunch for them both, then she ate and talked to Diamond for a little while before starting back on the boxes. She and Diamond worked all threw the afternoon and finally, about seven thirty that night they finished. Diamond was sitting on the sofa in the living room looking tired but fine, accept when Tawny went up behind her neck muscles seemed to be twitching in pain, but Diamond didn't seem to look like she felt it. But Tawny knew that it must hurt to have that kind of neck cramp.

    She went and patted Diamond's shoulder and told her good job, but as she patted Diamond winced, just barely noticeable but Tawny still caught it. "Diamond, do me a favor." she told Diamond as she went back into the kitchen to get some warm water, "take off your shirt and lay down on the floor please." Tawny smiled when she returned with the water to see that Diamond had listened to her and had taken off her shirt and lied down. She went and sat next to her friend on the floor and slowly and softly Tawny rubbed a warm rag on Diamond's back, then she began to massage the cramped muscles in Diamonds body. She heard Diamond sigh with relief and pleasure a few times and, when she looked behind her, she could see Diamond's tail wagging slowly as her pain was being taken away. Tawny got rid of all the cramps in Diamond's neck first and then got the ones out of her back so Diamond could relax. Then she combed diamond's beautiful long hair. She was about to suggest to Diamond, who was laying on Tawny's lap, to go for a walk or maybe a swim at the lake, just something to get out of the house.

    But Diamond was asleep on Tawny's lap. Thankfully she was leaning against the door, so she was outside kind of. She could smell the trees and flowers and could hear the kids in town and the animals playing. She could see the sky and the woods and could feel the wonderful breeze. She could smell their was going to be rain that night. She was thinking of Diamond's picture in her room, of how Diamond had moved on and didn't let her past hinder her future. She couldn't think of not having her mother or father around, but Diamond seemed to just move on and forget it. Tawny looked down at Diamond sleeping in her lap and smiled, stroking her hair. She had it so hard but it seemed she held everything in. Tawny knew she would have to find a way to help her friend let it out, or else it would destroy Diamond eventually. She knew this, but for the moment she let Diamond be happy sleeping on her lap as she watched the clouds roll by threw the sky, following the birds and listening to their happy chirps. "I'll make sure that you will be truly happy one day." she said softly to herself, absentmindedly stroking Diamond's hair. "I promise I really will, I'm always going to help you if I can." the Tawny let herself dose off in the sunshine.

    Chapter 4: Awakened Powers

    When Tawny woke up from her nap, she realized it was already morning again. She yawned and stretched, then went inside to use the bathroom. As she passed threw the house, she realized that Diamond wasn’t home. “She must have gone to the market while I was asleep.” she told herself sleepily. She took this time alone to take a shower and clean up a bit. She got dressed and walked to the door and stretched in the sun. “Wow, it’s nice out today.” she said smiling. “Yeh, it is.” Said Destiny, startling Tawny who didn’t know she was standing there. “Do you know where Diamond went Grandma?” she asked after her little jump. “Yes, she went to the market to get some supplies for dinner.” Destiny said to Tawny laughing. “Ok, thanks,” Tawny told Destiny as she started walking towards the forest, “I think I’ll go to find some herbs.”

    “Wonder what Diamond will make for dinner.” Tawny asked herself as she wandered around the woods looking for some herbs for Diamond to use for dinner and healing. She was just about to head back with the herbs she had gathered when she thought she heard someone talked to someone else. She stopped and listened some more and then she heard it again. It was the voice of a women talking to what seemed another women, only younger. Tawny moved as quietly as she could to a group of small trees near the two women to try to hear what they were talking about. But what she heard made her almost faint.

    “When is he supposed to arrive Claridel?” the first woman asks the second girl. “He should be here very soon Salinda; he told me that he would take care of that devilish girl before the sunset.” Tawny was puzzled by this. “Girl….,” She thought “what girl are they talking about, I hope Diamond is alright.” she said softly to herself still paying attention to what the girls were saying. They continued talking for several minutes, and then they began to get ready to leave. Tawny saw this as her cue to leave as well… but as she began to leave, the girl called Claridel called Salinda over. “Make sure Diamond is in position to be taken or everything will be for nothing.” she told her. But Salinda just laughed and said “Don’t worry yourself about that Claridel, I have already taken care of that.” then she walked off into the woods. Claridel stood for a second pondering something, then decided to leave as well. Tawny was just horrified at what she just heard and felt sick. She HAD to get back to town to stop whatever was about to happen to Diamond.

    Tawny dropped everything she was carrying and took off running towards town. She went the fastest way she knew. She cut strait threw the most dangerous part of the forest, the Tiger’s Den. Most people never went there because of the Great Cat that was said to live their. But right then Tawny wasn’t thinking of anything but getting back to town as fast as she could, even if it meant she had to put her life at stake. She tore threw the brambles and threw the ivy; everything that happened went by like a blur.

    Then all of a sudden there was a loud noise and she was on the ground with an unusual weight on top of her. She looked around but all was dark. Tawny couldn’t see anything. She felt her despair cloud around her, her fear of something happening to Diamond grip her body to wear she could not move. She closed her eyes and remembered her dream. She opened her eyes to see two large eyes staring at her, she heard a noise being whispered into her ears, but today she wasn’t asleep, she couldn’t wake up this time.

    She looked at the eyes to see they were slits, just like the ones from her dreams. She heard the strange noise in her ear suddenly become clearer. It was a voice! She could understand it. "What are you doing here?" it was asking "This is my Domain, why are you intruding on my peace?" Tawny just looked up into the eyes and realized where she was. She had run into the Tiger's Den!

    "I-I-I-I'm sorry; I was just trying to get to town as fast as I could." She stammered to the great beast on top of her. The beast looked shocked at this. "You can hear and understand me?" he gasped. "Yes, I can u-understand you." she said. The tiger turned around and walked a bit then came back, "And you can talk to me in my language?" Language? Tawny was puzzled at this. She had not realized that she had been speaking another language. "I'm not speaking another language am I?" she asked the beast. "Yes, you are speaking another language; you speak the language of the Great Cats, the Tribal language of my people." Tawny had not been taught this language, nor had she ever been able to understand animals before this.

    Tawny was scared, but suddenly an idea popped into her mind. "You wouldn't mind doing me a favor…..w-w-would you?" She stammered to the Tiger in front of her. "Favor, what kind of a favor would this be?" He asked her. She thought a moment on how to phrase the idea inside of her head. "Well, I need to get to town before sunset, because a friend of mine is in trouble, and I think something bad might happen to her if I don't make it in time. So I was wondering if you could give me a ride, since it is sort of your fault I won’t make it on my own." The tiger seemed to take this last bit into consideration, and after a moment he turned to her. "I will help you if you can answer this question." he told her. Tawny thought a minute on the situation, the about Diamonds situation. "Alright I’ll do it." she told him.

    The tiger looked surprised, as though he had thought she wouldn't do it. He thought a minute, and then turned to her again. "Why it is that no one else has the power to understand my people." he asked tawny. Tawny was horrified at the question, because she did not even know how SHE was able to talk to the Great Cat. But she knew she had to say something, so she gave it a shot. "Because although they may be part animal, the people here in this world are not part cat." she said, hoping with all her might for it to be the right answer. The tiger looked startled beyond belief; he had not thought she knew the correct answer to his question. "This….this is the correct answer. And since I have made a deal with you, I must keep my end of the bargain."

    Tawny was completely astounded that her simple minded guess had proved to be right. She got a hold of herself and realized that time was running out. She ran over and climbed onto the back of the Tiger and held on tight. “By the way, from now on call me Skyshin.” The Tiger told her as they began the run back to town.
    Tawny was surprised he had a name, but it didn’t matter at the time, “Ok I will remember.” she said. They plowed threw the undergrowth, bolting threw the woods as fast as they could to make it threw to the town before sunset. Over logs, around trees and holes, threw bushes and plants, just zooming over the ground. When they reached the edge of the tree line, the sun was already getting closer to setting; they were running out of time.

    “We need to find her, and fast,” Tawny told Skyshin as they hurried into the town. “She has to be around here somewhere.” They tore into the town and Skyshin jumped onto the nearest building for a better view. But when the people saw him, they screamed and ran away. “I guess the locals aren’t used to seeing we Great Cats anymore.” said Skyshin as he maneuvered around the town center, carefully avoiding the people as they ran by. “This would be a lot easier if I knew what she smelled like, because then I could follow her scent.” Skyshin commented to Tawny as he jumped onto another building. Tawny thought a minute, then ripped a piece of her dress off. “Here try this, it might be a bit stale, but she slept with her head on here last night.” Skyshin sniffed the cloth for a minute, and then bolted in the opposite direction they had been going.

    Skyshin bounded over a wall and into a run down building. “She was here for a while, the scent is strong here.” Skyshin told Tawny as e paused to catch the scent again. Tawny looked around at the building around her. It wasn’t much; it seemed to have been abandoned. The walls were in good shape and everything was fine, the only thing was the windows and the doors were falling apart. “I wonder why they abandoned this place.” Tawny thought to herself. “Tawny, hold on, I found the scent again.” Skyshin told her. Tawny pulled herself closer to his back and held on tighter as the bounded back outside into the dim light. Tawny realized they were running out of time, and they needed to find her soon, or it might be too late.

    Skyshin bounded down the road and leaped up onto the building in front of them. Tawny looked into the yard on the other side of the building, and was horrified at what she saw. Down in the yard was a ring of torches surrounding a circle of sand. In the sand was Diamond, laying face up on top of a table. She was tied down with chains by her feet and hands, but there was also a rope around her neck to keep her from moving her head around too much. There were five people crowded around her. There were two people Tawny didn’t recognize, the two women from the woods, and a man.
    The man must have been the one that the women were talking about earlier. In his hands was a large, serrated dagger, and a bowl. Behind all of this was an alter with candles lit around it. “This….this is a sacrificial ceremony…..” Skyshin told Tawny.

    Sacrifice…. Tawny thought to herself. But why Diamond. Tawny did not have long to ponder this, for as she began to think, the man got up and walked over to Diamond with the dagger. He put a ceramic bowl under the slot behind Diamond’s neck, and then put both hands over her. One was turned upside down palm up above Diamond‘s neck, but Tawny could not see this hand very well. But she could see the hand with the blade, which glistened in the fading daylight. The man was chanting something that Tawny could not hear. But she knew she had to do something. But as she began to think of a plan, Skyshin flipped her off his back into the clearing the people were in. the two people that Tawny had not known got up and ran over to her. They brought her into the torch light and held her down so that she did not disturb the ceremony. She still could not see the man’s hands very well, but she watched in horror as he brought the blade down, fast and sharp. She saw blood flash on the blade and saw it begin to drip into the bowl….

    Tawny felt as though she couldn’t have moved even if the 2 hooded figures weren’t holding her down. She couldn’t breath, she couldn’t think, she couldn’t feel anything. Dead…….Diamond is dead….. She thought to herself. “No!” She screamed as loud as she could. She felt her heart shatter as the man turned and she saw Diamond’s bloody neck. She felt as though her mind just break into pieces. Then all of a sudden her skin seemed t burn, as if it were on fire. “Ah!” She cried as the pain became worse. She felt her skin burn, her back seemed to shift. Her tailbone suddenly exploded with pain. She felt her skull seem to crack. The people around her were horrified at the sight of her. They couldn’t believe it.

    Tawny’s muscles seemed to contract on there own, forcing her into a crouch. Then her back exploded with a sudden pain, and then it stopped. She felt the shirt on her back rip apart as something thrust from her back into the air. She felt sharp claw like pieces of small bone replace her fingernails, although they looked the same. She felt another wave of pain from her head, then her eyesight faded. Suddenly it came back, almost twice as better then before. She could see them perfectly fine even though it was dark. She could see the women, the man, and the two others. She felt a wave of pain resonate from her thighs and lower back, then a light, long piece of shining white bone came from her back as her tailbone became longer. It then was covered by skin and muscles and nerves, then the tip formed a blade like weapon that sheathed itself like a cat’s claw, while the rest just became covered in light fur.

    Her wings that had formed a few seconds earlier were already covered in feathers. She staggered over to the large pool of water next to the fountain in the left side of the clearing. She was astonished at what she looked like. Before now, she had always had brown hair, light blue eyes with a small mark like a hollowed out triangle on her head. She was skinny and had a slight figure, but was strong and fast. She had been very flexible and had great balance. Now she had a light white color of hair, with bright gold slits for eyes that resembled cat eyes.

    She had bright white wings and a white furred blade tail. Her skin had become a bit lighter as well. Her muscles and nerves had become stronger; she had better senses as well. She could hear the labored breathing of the 5 people. See the cold sweat that had broken out on their faces, smell the blood on the dagger and in the bowl. She could taste the rain that would arrive later that night on the wind. She felt the muscles twitch in anger, no more then that, hatred at the people who had murdered Diamond. She could also feel new strength and power resonating within her. She had become something of myth. She looked around her to get a good look at her surroundings. She saw the only exit, and walked over to it so that none of the people could escape.

    The people looked at each other, then the man stepped in front of them. “Even though she may have become different, there is still only one of her, against we five trained assassins, and I don’t think she has a chance. She has only just awakened her powers, I don’t think she can control them yet” he said out loud to everyone with a smug look on her face. Tawny had thought the same thing a moment before, but she would not let them just escape her after killing Diamond. She felt a new wave of pain threw her arms; she looked at her palms and saw that two figures had been burned into her hand. Then all of a sudden she lost control of her body.

    It was like someone was controlling her. She heard a voice inside her head, “Just let me handle this, you do not yet know your powers.” it told her, so she had no choice. She stopped fighting and let her body move on its own. Her body moved into a position, facing sideways form the people. Her head turned and glared at them. Her arm came up and pointed her palm at them with her finger curled as if holding a ball. Then she felt an energy course threw her body, threw her arm, and into her palm where a ball of blue-white energy was forming. It finished forming and then her body smiled at them. She felt her lips purse, then they said a word… “Die...” they said, and her hand thrust forward uncurling her fingers as the ball of energy shot out towards the people.

    The ball hit the man in the middle who had been holding the dagger straight in the chest. When it hit the energy ball exploded in a bright light and threw everyone in different directions. The dagger flew up in the air and spun down to land sticking out of the dirt by her feet. “Pathetic….” her body said. As she looked around the clearing. She felt her legs begin to move as she walked over to the alter of the table. She wanted to cry out to Diamond, to wish her alive again. To just hold Diamond’s body and cry. But as she got closer she saw the man, dead next to the alter. She looked at him and saw something on his arm. It had been the hand she could not see, the one that had been over Diamond’s throat.

    She saw it had a long gash on it, as though it had been cut. “No….” she said softly. The gash was clean and it was recent. She ran over and looked at Diamond’s body. She had been fine. She looked at Diamond’s throat, it was covered in blood. She felt it, predicting to feel a cut or gash…..but there was none….Diamond was perfectly fine. Tawny put her ear to Diamonds chest, and she heard her heart beating. It had not been Diamond’s blood…it was the man’s….she had thought that the man had cut Diamond’s throat, but the man had cut his wrist. Then she saw Diamond’s eyes begin to open a bit…she was shocked into silence. She saw Diamond’s hand move a bit, only to be caught by the chain. She felt her body break the chains and cut the rope around Diamond’s neck. Then she passed out as she saw Diamond sit up.

    Chapter 5: Tawny’s Secret

    When she came to, Tawny was back in her home. She saw that she was in the same room as when she first got to the village. Her head was pounding and her skin was cold, as though she had just climbed out of an ice bath. She tried to sit but when she did she felt her hear spin, and laid back down. She looked around and saw Diamond haying by the wall. Tawny smiled when she saw Diamond. She saw that Diamond was fine. She had cleaned the blood from her throat. “I’m glad you’re ok.” Tawny said softly, then she fell back asleep.

    When she woke up again, Tawny was still in the same room, but there was a cool rag on her forehead and it was almost night outside. She heard someone in the kitchen, and heard whoever it was humming softly as they worked. Tawny liked that sound, it made her relax. She heard footsteps coming up the stairs and into the room. She closed her eyes, because the light from the hall light made her headache worse. She opened one eye a little bit to see who it was. She was Diamond in a beautiful dress, kneeling next to her with a worried look in her eyes, but there was also a bit of happiness in them too. Happy? Why would Diamond be happy when I’m in this condition?

    But Tawny brushed the matter aside. Diamond got up and closed the door and sat down by Tawny’s head and softly put it on her lap and combed threw her beautiful white hair. Tawny was a bit puzzled by this. Whit hair? Hadn’t she always had brown hair? Then Diamond moved the blanket aside so she could clean Tawny’s body with the rag and water she had brought from the kitchen. Tawny again was astonished at her body.

    Her muscles were lean and strong, but her figure was still slight, so her muscles did not show much. Her fingernails were hard and sharp like claws, but were also sheathed like a cat’s claw. She saw feathers underneath her and realized she had been lying on her own wings. Wings? When had she ever had wings? She also saw a furry tail that came from her too. “What’s wrong with my body?” She thought to herself. She couldn’t remember any time when she had been anything but a normal girl.

    Then it all came back to her. The transformation, the ceremony, all of it. All of her powers that had awakened were from her love for Diamond. She sat bolt upright as soon as she remembered what had happened. Diamond was so startled she flew backwards in shock.
    Then her eyes grew wide as she saw Tawny’s body and eyes. She had known about Tawny’s hair, but she hadn’t seen the wings and tail, the skin color had become lighter too. Tawny’s ears were pointed like an elf’s ears might be.

    “Tawny……is...Is that you..?” she stammered softly. Tawny stood up and looked at herself. “Yes, it’s me…although I don’t know what happened to me.” Diamond got up and ran over to Tawny and hugged her tight. “Tawny, oh Tawny you are so beautiful. I was worried when I saw your hair that something was wrong with you, but you are just fine.” Diamond cried out happily. Tawny blushed and asked where her cloths were.

    Diamond ran back to the kitchen where she had been folding cloths and brought Tawny a beautiful skirt with a lovely shirt to match it. Tawny looked at the cloths and smiled, but Diamond had a troubled look on her face. “What’s wrong Diamond?” Tawny asked her friend as she poked a whole in the skirt for her tail to slide threw. “Well,” Diamond started, “I think the tail is fine, but how are you going to hide the wings?” Tawny thought about this for a minute. It was fine to have a tail when with people who also had a tail, but wings were another thing. She thought for another minute then had an idea. She pulled up her shirt and tucked her wings around her body and then pulled the shirt over them.

    “Perfect.” Diamond told her with a smile, “You just look so beautiful with those cute ears and your tail.” Tawny thanked her and they both walked downstairs into the kitchen. Diamond went to fix dinner while Tawny went and sat down next to the door and leaned against the frame of it. She saw the rain had come, just as she knew it would. She looked into a puddle and into the golden slits of her own eyes. “So this is the new me huh…” she told herself softly. She was still thinking about her new appearance when she heard someone coming down the road. She stood and looked to see a girl she had never met before.

    “Diamond, we have a guest.” Tawny yelled into the house as she walked in with the girl. “Really, who is it?” Diamond asked her threw the hallway. “I’m not sure, but I think you would know her, she seems about our age.’’ Tawny replied as she passed to get some water. Diamond put the pot of tea on the fire and cleaned her hand. Tawny walked back into the living room with water for their guest while Diamond followed her. Tawny gave the glass to their glass, who thanked her. Diamond walked into the room and smiled as she saw their guest.

    “Tormaline, it’s so nice to see you after such a long time,” Diamond said as she gave her old friend a hug, “why didn’t you write or call? I missed u so much.” Tawny heard the kettle go off so she got up and went into the kitchen. She went over and pulled the kettle from the fire and poured some glasses for everyone. She was walking back down the hall when she heard Tormaline talking in a hushed voice to Diamond. She stopped and listened to what they were talking about.

    “Diamond, I know what happened last night, don’t try to lie to me. I heard about you being kidnapped and something about Skyshin bringing someone to save you. Then there was a giant explosion,” Tormaline was saying, “there were 5 bodies found, 3 men, and 2 women.” She took a sip of water to clear her throat. She heard Diamond get up and walk over to the window. “But what does this have to do with Tawny?” she asked nervously, as though she knew what her friend was about to say, but hoping she was wrong. Tormaline got up and walked over to her friend at the window. “I believe it was Tawny who made the explosion and killed those people.”

    Tawny was shocked, how she had known what happened if no one had been around was a mystery. Then she remembered that after she had passed out, she had slept for 2 days. She wondered if someone had seen her between her being awake and asleep. She heard Diamond sigh, then go sit back down. “I was afraid of that. I didn’t know if you had guessed it yet.” she said, “But I swear that it was unintentional!” She added hurriedly. Tormaline patted her friends shoulder in reassurance. “Diamond, its ok, I’m fully aware that tawny didn’t know what she was doing. I am here to help you and Tawny.” she said softly, then she sat down again. Tawny felt the air cool in the conversation and figured the talk was over. She walked back into the room and smiled at Tormaline, who gave a small grin in return. She gave her the tea, then she gave a glass to Diamond. Tawny brought the tray back to the kitchen then came to sit down by the two girls.

    “So Tormaline, where are you from?” Tawny asked to start a conversation. Tormaline laughed, “Please, no formalities, call me Sandy. I’m from here, but I left about 2 years ago to venture around and see something outside of this village.” Tawny thought about that for a second, about how she had come to this place. No one had known how she had got here, but no one really seemed to care. As if reading her mind, Tormaline glanced at her.
    “Where are you from Tawny?” She asked with a smile. Diamond turned to her friend and explained how Tawny had lost her memories when she came here. “I really wish I could answer you, but I don’t even know myself.” Tawny replied gloomily.

    Later that night diamond said goodbye to her friend and locked the house up. She shut the drapes and ran over to Tawny and hugged her. “Tawny I’m sorry, I thought she had known that you couldn’t remember, but she didn’t.” Tawny rubbed her friend’s back, hugging her back to comfort her, as well as herself. “It’s ok Diamond, it’s not your fault.” she said as she took of her shirt and spread her new wings. She stretched the stiff muscles and began to clean her white hair in the water next to her. Diamond just sat by her and smiled at her, thinking of how beautiful she looked.

    After tawny had finished her bath, she washed her wings in a little bit of water and combed through them so they could dry. She and Diamond were sitting in the living room talking and watching the fireflies close to the skylight where they could see the moon. All of a sudden there was a series of loud knocks on the door. Tawny jumped up and ran to the bed room as Diamond readjusted the room. “Who is it?” she heard Diamond ask as she hurriedly pulled on a shirt to cover her wings. “Diamond open the door, this is your grandmother.” Tawny gasped, would she be able to keep her secret from Destiny?

    “Grandmother!” Diamond said loudly as she unlocked the door to let her grandmother in, “What are you doing here this time of night?” Destiny came in and closed the blinds and shades. She looked around and told Diamond to lock the door. “Grandma, what is it?” Diamond asked as she bolted the door shut. Her grandmother sat down and looked at Diamond. “Diamond, where’s Tawny, I need to talk to her about something.” Tawny’s heart stopped; did Destiny somehow know what happened already? She couldn’t think of any way that she could have found out? “Probably sleeping, why do you need her grandma, it seems like you’re kind of tense.” Diamond said as she went to fix some tea. “Don’t lie to me, this is serious Diamond, now where is Tawny.” Tawny just wanted to disappear right then…. “All right, I’ll go get her.” Diamond said, seeing that her grandma’s visit wasn’t just to say hi. Diamond walked down the hall to the bedroom, where she found Tawny leaning against the wall. “Tawny, I know you heard that, but you know we can trust grandma….right?” she asked, hugging Tawny. “Your right, I’m just being silly.” Tawny said absent mindedly, “come on, let’s go see what she has to say.” Tawny took a deep breath and walked into the living room.

    When Destiny saw Tawny, she didn’t know what to think. Tawny had almost completely changed. Her brown hair had turned white, her pink nails turned into short white claws. She had pointed ears and a white furred tail as well. Her skin had become a lighter shade, and her top and bottom eye teeth had sharpened into fangs. But the most shocking thing about her was her eyes. Her normally frantic, wide brown eyes had become calm, soothing light blue-gold slit. Tawny stood in front of Destiny and asked if she could show her one more thing. “Of course my child, anything.” Destiny said absentmindedly as she looked at Tawny’s new body. She watched as Tawny turned around and took of her shirt. Destiny’s eyes grew wide at the sight she found. Coming out of Tawny’s back…. were a set of bold white wings.

    “Tawny….” Destiny stammered, “What…what happened to you?” She seemed to have never seen something like what Tawny was going threw. “The only people that I have ever seen that resemble you are the ArchAngels!” This shocked Tawny, but she was a bit curious. “Destiny, what are the ArchAngels?” Tawny asked politely as she folded her wings and sat down across from Destiny. Destiny was silent for a while, as though pondering weather or not to tell her what they were. Then she sighed, “Well Tawny, I guess you have a right to know since your now one of them. Diamond do me a favor and fetch some tea dear, it’s going to be a long night.”

    Chapter 6: The Meeting

    Tawny yawned and stretched her muscles in the morning sunlight next to the lake. “Last night was one of the longest nights I have ever had.” said Tawny with a smile. She had been up talking to Destiny, and trying to understand what she was telling Tawny, till six that morning. Diamond laughed as Tawny stretched her sore muscles, “Tawny, you were asleep most of the time, how was it long for you?

    Diamond looked so beautiful in the morning light. Behind her was a beautiful sunrise, the water on her body glistening from the reflection of the morning light. “Well I am supposed to be an Archangel you know, so it’s a big change, I don’t know what I was before I got here, and don’t understand my body as it is.” Tawny was still looking at her reflection when something popped out of a bush behind her and pushed her into the water. Tawny coughed water and turned around. On the bank where she had just been, was Saylu. “I got you big sister!” Saylu said with a smile

    Diamond practically fell over laughing as she looked at Tawny’s cloths. They were totally soaked and her wings were sagging a bit. “Saylu,” Tawny said laughing, “I’m gona get you for this!” she said as she ran out of the water and chased after Saylu, who was already running away. Tawny stopped in a clearing to find she was already back towards the house. Diamond followed her out into the clearing, still giggling when she saw Tawny was still wet. “Oh be quiet,” Tawny said playfully to Diamond as she lightly pushed her arm, “Next time we go to the lake ill be sure to push you in too.” Tawny said and laughed along with diamond. She looked around for Saylu, but she was nowhere to be found. “Saylu!” Tawny yelled into the woods around her, “Ugh, I’m gona get her for this I swear.” she said as she sat and dried her wings carefully. She dabbed at her wings for a little while with a small towel she had brought, then looked up to find Tawny looking in another direction.

    Tawny got up to see what her friend was looking at. She walked behind Diamond to see the road better. “Wow....” Diamond said as they watched a huge number of people marching in the distance, “I’ve never seen this many people in a line before.” Tawny was intrigued by the men, like something told her it was different, but she thought nothing of it.

    Tawny saw a small puddle next to diamond and slowly dipped her hands into it. She took a hand full of water and tossed it at Diamond. Diamond screamed as the cold morning water dripped onto her back and neck. “Tawny!” Diamond whined as she tried to reach the cold water on her back, “It’s so cold.” Tawny just laughed and patted her friend on the shoulder. “Come on Diamond we’d better go find Saylu before she gets into trouble.

    Diamond and Tawny ran threw the woods, Tawny’s wings dry and under her dry cloths. They had stopped at the house to get some so Tawny could go into town if they had to. “Saylu!” They cried together, but no answer. “Where could she have run off to?” Diamond asked as they stopped for a quick rest.
    “I don’t know but we have to find her, its almost dark now.” Tawny said as she drank some water. They started running towards the house and stopped in their tracks. They hadn’t realized that the men marching had gotten closer. Diamond held onto Tawny’s arm for what seemed like comfort, “Tawny, I don’t like this.” she said. Tawny could feel her shaking a bit as thought she were worried that they would hurt them. “I don’t like them either Diamond, I have a bad feeling that something is about to happen because of them.” She said, holding her friends arm.

    They were now more worried then ever to find Saylu, because they knew she would most likely run into trouble, or worse, those men. They searched everywhere they thought she would have gone. Their house, to Destiny’s, the market, the lake. But she wasn’t anywhere they looked. “Tawny, something is wrong, why can’t we find her?” Diamond asked in a scared voice. “Don’t worry Diamond we’ll find her.” Tawny said, encouraging her friend, and herself. They ran and ran trying desperately to find Saylu before the sun went down. Suddenly they heard a big crash, and a scream. They ran towards the sound, stopping suddenly at an abandoned clearing. There was a partially collapsed house, and Tawny Guessed Saylu had fallen into it.

    When Diamond saw the house she fell to her knees. Tears ran down her cheeks as she stared at the destroyed house as Tawny walked over to look around the house. Tawny walked around to the front door, which seemed to have collapsed. She saw the reason the house had collapsed was because the main support beam had rotted away. She looked around the rubble and discovered a piece of cloth just like the one Saylu had been wearing that morning. Tawny quickly hid it so that Diamond would not see it. She stood up and looked around at the house. It seemed to have been deserted long before now. She rapped her tail around the main beam and pulled. It held tight. She leaned out over the ruble to get a better look at what had happened inside the house. She saw that the inside of the house had rotted as well. The floor had given way in the middle of what looked like the living room. She leaned back out into the clearing and went over to Diamond.

    “Let’s go take a look, ok Diamond?” Tawny said to her friend. Diamond stood up and wiped her away her tears, “ok let’s go see if she’s in there.” Diamond got up and went to the house and stood over the wood. Tawny came over and put her arm around Diamond, “You might want to back up a bit, I don’t know how much I can control this.” Diamond walked back away from the house with Tawny and sat down.
    Tawny turned and faced the house after she made sure that Diamond as a safe distance away. She calmed herself and focused on her mind. She made herself aware of everything around her, as she began to gather her energy. She focused the flow of energy like she had felt the day she had become this new archangel. She focused the energy into the palm of her hand like her body had that day, and then pushed hard. The energy ball went flying into the house and exploded on impact. When the dust had cleared, Tawny saw that she had blown a hole big enough to get into the house. “Let’s go Diamond, we have to get Saylu.”

    Tawny and Diamond walked back to the house and looked. They could now get into the house, but they couldn’t see how deep the hole was. “Tawny,” Diamond said, “try making a tiny version of that ball thing you just did, and drop it in here.” Tawny nodded and walked up to the hole and held her hand palm down. She focused on her energy and when she saw the ball begin to form, she pushed lightly, and the ball floated into the hole. They saw that it was roughly about thirty feet deep. Tawny looked at Diamond. “I can get us down but you’re gona have to let my carry you. Tawny saw Diamond blush as she moved closer so that Tawny could carry her down. “Hold on tight.” Tawny told her as she began to climb down.

    Tawny rapped her long tail around the main beam and lowered them into the hole, they were just getting to the end of her tail length when the main beam snapped and they began to fall down the hole. “Hold on!” Tawny yelled to Diamond as she dug her sharp nails into the rock wall. Diamond grabbed Tawny’s neck and held on for dear life. Tawny let out a sigh, “That was pretty close, lets keep going though.” She began to scale down the wall and kept going till she was at the bottom.

    She let Diamond off her neck as she dropped down onto the floor of the hole. While Diamond was looking around for her little sister, Tawny looked to see if anything had happened to her nails. She was amazed to see that they were perfectly fine. A little dirty but not scratched or broken. “Tawny, come over here quick.” Diamond yelled behind her. Tawny turned around and walked over to her friend. She found Diamond in the corner of a small room-like cave on the other side of the tunnel. She was holding Saylu on her lap and rubbing her sister’s head. Tawny went over to them and kneeled next to them. “Is she ok?” she asked her friend. “Yah,” Diamond said softly, “she’s just sleeping.” Ok let’s get her out of here before it gets too dark for you guys to see.”

    Tawny scaled back up the wall with Diamond on her back holding onto Saylu with her tail. She climbed about twenty five feet then stopped. “What’s wrong Tawny?” Diamond asked when Tawny didn’t start moving again. Tawny wasn’t listening though; she was concentrating on something she heard right above them. Boom, boom, boom. The imperial army was almost on top of them. She stayed in the hole for a little while longer until she had heard the footsteps fade away. She controlled her fear and continued to climb. She pushed her tail over the top of the hole and softly put Saylu on the ground. Then she wrapped her tail around the doorframe that had gotten jammed between the wall and a big tree trunk. She pulled herself to the edge of the hole then let Diamond off of her back. She then pulled herself up to see that there had been a line of trees knocked down.

    “Let’s hurry and get back Diamond, I don’t like this.” Tawny said as they left the house. “Tawny if we don’t make it back soon, what’s gona happen?” Saylu asked while half asleep on Tawny’s back. Tawny stopped and put Saylu on the ground, then turned to Diamond. “Diamond, I need you to take Saylu back to the village, I’m gona go ahead of you to see if I can help.” Diamond looked a bit worried, but she nodded in acceptance. Tawny walked a bit backwards then jumped into the air. She thrust her wings down and flew high into the air back towards the village. Tawny knew she had to get back soon or something bad would happen.

    Chapter 7: Exposed

    Tawny flew as fast as she could. She could see the trail of destruction left through the forest, along with a cloud of dust in the distance. She hurried to get to the town before the army did, but it seemed she wasn’t going to make it. She pumped her wings to gain as much speed as she could. She was just about to pass into the midst of the army when she heard something familiar. “Tawny, I want to show me something, will you allow me to control your body again?” the voice echoed inside of her head.

    Tawny thought for a moment, then decided that if the voice’s owner knew she was doing something very important, it wouldn’t want to show her something stupid. “Ok, but please make it quick, I have to make it back to town quickly.” She told the voice. “Very well, just relax and pay attention.” It echoed, then her body began to act on its own.

    Her wings pumped hard as she slowed down and began to gain altitude. Tawny wanted to take back control of her body and just hurry over the army, but she allowed the voice’s owner to continue to show her whatever it is she was supposed to be learning to do. Her body went higher and higher until finally it stopped and hovered. “Now, I want you to pay attention to how I control this part Tawny, it’s very important.” The voice said. Tawny focused on the energies that were being circulated throughout her body. She figured it would go back to her palms, but instead it went to her wings.
    They began to glow and then burst into a white energy that made them five times as big, with searing heat coming from them. “Hold on tawny, this may be a bit rough since it’s your first time.”

    Tawny’s wings folded close to her body and she plummeted from the sky. She began to gain speed as she dived towards the earth. She felt her body tighten up and accelerate towards the ground. She watched as the sky and ground were becoming increasingly bigger. She saw her body make a small adjustment and twist itself right before she broke threw the clouds. The whiteness of the soft, wet clouds left her with clear vision of the scene below her. She was directly overhead of the back part of the army.

    She watched as her body screamed with rage and she flared her wings, sending a wave of fire and flames across the army. She swept past the burning army, gaining a bit of altitude, then she was horrified at what she saw. The people she had just burned were only a very small portion of the entire army itself. "Tawny," the voice whispered in her head, "The move we just used can be used a different way, but your body cannot take the other way right now." Tawny thought about this for a minute. "What’s the other way?" Tawny asked curious. "Tawny I will tell you but you must promise never to use it unless it’s a dire emergency." Tawny thought for a moment then agreed. "When you are in the air, instead of focusing the energy into your wings, you must make the energy go to your fist, then just punch the ground while pushing the energy out of your hand." the voice told her, "But I must warn you, if you miss the timing it could kill you." the voice whispered as it faded.

    Tawny suddenly was able to control her body again, and sped off towards the village. She flew as fast as she could to make up for the lost time. She kept thinking of what had just happened. She had burned at least two hundred people to death back there, but it seemed that there were many thousands of people. She flew over to the edge of the forest where she had met the Great Cat, Skyshin. She saw that the army had already reached the village and the village elders, including Diamonds grandma, had gathered. She slowed down and landed in the edge of the woods where she had hidden some emergency cloths in case she had to hide her wings quickly.

    She changed hurriedly and walked to the middle of camp. Tawny walked up to the elders and heard what they were saying, even though she could have heard from the back of the crowd. "What do you want with our village, we have nothing worth any value out of any of us." the elder named Forora was saying. Forora was one of the oldest and wisest people in the whole village, not to mention beautiful for her age. Her beautiful blue tinted skin was enhanced by her silky brown hair. She had deep blue piercing eyes that seemed to read your thoughts by looking you in the eye. Her cane was detailed with a snake rapped around a branch of olive, as she was the Peacekeeper of the village.

    The next elder that spoke up against the army was old Gudrin. He might have been the oldest of the entire village, but his fiery youth spent in the wars of past had given him a flaming mouth and a temper to match. “There are no reasons for you to come here,” he spat at them, holding the hilt of his long split axe, engraved with the Wing of Avo, the sign of the Village Elder. “Now leave!” the soldiers looked as though they were trying very hard to hold their tempers, and were doing a good job. “Gudrin, stop this insolence at once!” Another elder spoke up, “We have guests in our village and all you do is treat them as trash.” It was Din, the soft-hearted kind old elder from another land. She had come here from a ship that had crashed to the south, but luckily she sustained no injuries. Only she had the same problem that Tawny had, she could not remember anything past that day.

    Din walked to the front to stand amongst her fellow elders. “You will have to excuse Gudrin; he just gets a bit hot when he sees soldiers, the old war and all.” She told the soldiers who were directly in front of her. “Now then,” Din continued, leaning on her cane which was engraved with the Twin Blades of the Village Guard. “You have a reason to be here I presume?” The soldiers looked at one another then stood back at attention. “The Imperial army has come to take this land for King Sadrin, peacefully or by force.” The soldier on the left told the elders in a voice loud enough to let everyone hear. The elders did not look surprised. “Oh dear, what shall we do about this little predicament. I don’t think we can give you this village, for the sole reason that this is the only place we have to live. And you can’t have an empire without subjects.” The soldiers looked thoughtful for a moment, then turned and left without another word.

    Tawny looked at the elders who were talking amongst themselves. She just watched as they started to talk in a hushed tone. She was about to walk away when Forora came up to her. At first Tawny thought that Forora was looking at someone behind her, but when she went to move out of her way, Forora put her hand on Tawny’s arm and softly pulled on it to tell her to follow. Tawny let Forora pull her into the center of the elders’ circle while she thought about why she was being pulled over. She looked up at the faces of Din, Forora, Gudrin, and Destiny. Tawny was astonished of how young they looked even in there great ages. She could also feel the power coming from them. They were the last of their kind. Gudrin’s hard, tough Earth elemental powers, Din’s warm fire, Destiny’s cooling water, and Forora’s soft wind.

    Tawny was in the middle of the descendants of the great four clans. Tawny felt like she could literally see the powers that coursed threw them. She saw din raise her cane, and watched as the flames rose into it. She looked around and saw that the other elders had done the same. Gudrin’s axe held high with its rock splitting edge glistening, Forora’s staff with the winds of the lands twirling around it. Destiny raised her hand which had the ring of Avo, engraved with the symbol of power, the Water Tear. The waters of the world were held inside of the ring. All four elemental weapons had been charged and readied, but the question that Tawny was afraid to answer, was what was about to happen.

    Tawny looked around at the people who stood motionless, surrounding them like a group of ants around new prey. She saw a few of them begin to move towards the back, then in the middle and at last the front. Tawny eyes grew wide as she saw what shocked her the most. Diamond had finally made it back to camp and was looking horrified at her grandmother, who was about to kill her friend. Tawny was about to cry, she didn’t want Diamond to have to watch what was about to happen. “You know what you must do Tawny, it’s the only way to make it out of this alive.”
    A voice whispered in her head. “But you told me it would kill me, if I didn’t get the timing right.” She thought back to the voice. It was quiet for a few seconds, then answered her. “Tawny, I said it would kill you if you power dived into it, if you do it on the ground, the worst it will do is break your hand.” Tawny thought about that for a moment, then decided it was the only logical answer.

    Tawny lowered her head as she began to cry, the tears running down her cheeks, because she knew what she must do. There was no other way out of this situation but that. It would ruin her in the village, and maybe the rest of her life, but she knew it was the only way. She looked up with tears in her eyes, “I’m sorry Diamond, this is the only way.” Diamond started to tear up as she realized what Tawny was about to do. “Tawny wait, we can think of another way!” Diamond shouted as Tawny lowered her head once more. Tawny balled her hand into a fist, and began to concentrate on moving the energy into her hand. She saw it ball up into a fist, then into a little ball inside of her hand. She raised her arm, and said goodbye to diamond. “No!” Diamond screamed as Tawny punched the ground as hard as she could, pushing all the energy she had out as her hand came in contact with the ground, creating a huge explosion that blew the elders away in different directions.

    When the dust cleared, Tawny stood up straight as everyone began to stare at her. When she had used her energy to create the explosion that saved her life, it also forced her body to jolt, tearing her shirt into tatters and allowing her new form to show. Tawny’s claws were unsheathed, her wings out in the open. Her tail blade had come unsheathed as well, and her eyes were focused and glistening. Her long white hair was blowing in the wind, while her body shone in the late evening sun. She walked up to Diamond and stared into her eyes. Diamond was crying, for she knew that Tawny’s secret was out, and that her friend was about to leave her. Diamond couldn’t seem to find a single word. Tawny kissed Diamond on the cheek, and softly whispered goodbye to her in her ear. Tawny felt a small pull on what was left of her sleeve. She looked down and saw Saylu. She ruffled Saylu’s hair and gave her a hug. She walked back into the clearing, bunched her muscles, and leaped into the air, beating her wings to fly away into the night.

    Chapter 8: A New Day

    Tawny flew and flew until she couldn’t take it anymore. She landed in a small field surrounded by forest on one side, and on the other a small lake. She lay down in the grass and cried. She had left everything she loved and cared about back in the village. She thought of Diamond, and Saylu, how sad they looked when she left. She turned onto her side and curled into a ball. “Why,” she asked the wind, “Why did this have to happen to me.” Tawny felt as thought she were alone in the world. She had nothing and no one. She was still in the ball when she heard a noise. She focused a little of her energy into the palm of her hand and held it up. She looked around in the dim light, listening for the slightest sound. Crack! She heard a twig snap on her left and she spun around to see who it was.

    She looked to see a girl who was around her age. She was amazed to see someone so beautiful. The girl’s skin was a pale color just like Tawny’s. Her soft blue eyes were so calming. Tawny was mesmerized by her. She had stopped crying and was on her feet now. She had not remembered doing anything, but she was already in front of the girl. Tawny watched the girl, whose black hair rivaled her own white, put her arm around Tawny’s body and pulled her into a hug. Tawny felt a warmth flow her body, she had never felt so good. Tawny hugged the girl back, enveloping herself in the warmth the girl put out.

    Tawny was hugging the girl when she realized exactly who it was. “Are you the person who has been talking to me, telling me how to use my powers?” Tawny whispered to the girl. The girl looked Tawny in the eyes and smiled, “Yes Tawny, I am that person. My name is Moon.” Tawny was amazed at such a sweet name, but then realized why she had been called that. The girl’s eyes were the shapes of moons. “There is something I’ve been looking forward to tell you, it’s about your name.” Moon said excitedly, “I know that you don’t know your real name, and that Tawny is just a name that Diamond came up with to not have to tell you your true name.” Tawny was puzzled by this. She knew that she didn’t know her real name but she didn’t think diamond would name her just to not have to tell her real name.

    Tawny sat on the ground to think for a little bit. Moon walked around for a minute then came and sat in front of her. Tawny was frustrated because she couldn’t think of any other reason for Diamond to not tell her own name. “How do you know so much about me?” she asked the girl, “And why do u know so much about my powers?” Moon smiled at her and got up. Tawny started thinking again, and sat for a while longer. Then Moon came and sat behind Tawny and ran her fingers threw Tawny’s white hair as she started telling Tawny things.

    “Tawny, your real name is Lunar, and I know a lot about you because I have been watching you.” She said softly, “You see Lunar; I’m the same as you. I am one of the last few ArchAngels.” Lunar was amazed at this. She had been told she was the last ArchAngels. Moon looked her in the eyes. “Lunar, I want to show you something.” She told Lunar, “I don’t think you’re going to like it but I need to show you.” She got up and helped Lunar to her feet. Lunar wondered what it was the girl wanted to show her. Thee two of them walked for what seemed like hours. But as they came to a ridge, Moon stopped. Out before them was a valley, but not just a normal valley. “Lunar, this is called Black Valley. This was my home and another village’s home before the village you just came from destroyed it.”

    Lunar looked out across Black Valley. She could tell why it was called that but it didn’t seem possible. The entire valley was black from fires. Lunar looked at the dead valley, disgusted at what people could do. Moon looked at Lunar, “I know this is hard to believe that people like your village could do this, but come with me and I’ll show you proof.” Moon grabbed Lunar’s hand and pulled her to a small spot that stood above the rest of the section of the valley. On the small section of land cleared, was a stone. On the stone were four symbols. Moon looked at Lunar as she started to tear up. “This is proof.” She told Lunar. “Your village marked this valley after they destroyed it.” Lunar just kept staring at the stone. On it were the markings of the village elders, he Olive Branch, the Twin Blades, the Wing of Avo, and the Water Tear.

    Lunar sat down and cried, but Moon wasn’t finished yet. “Lunar you have to get your two friends before it’s too late.” She said, “They will kill them since they were close to you.” Lunar stopped crying, she couldn’t believe what Moon had just told her. “Lunar, you must go now; they will kill them, and we don’t know if it will be now or later.” Lunar, stood up. She was scared for Diamond and Saylu. She looked over at Black Valley, imagining the village elders and members tearing the village to the ground, killing the people for now reason. She turned and told Moon to wait back in the field were she had first landed. She looked up at the sky, bunched her muscles, and jumped. She pumped her wings hard, heading back to the village to save to the people she loved.

    She flew through the night and finally got back to the village at dawn. She quietly landed in the middle of town. There was no point in going to the woods to get some cloths; the village already knew what she was. She just walked quietly threw the village to her old house. She looked in the house to find the lights off. She cut the locks off with her nail; slowly opening the door. She closed it behind her and crept to the bedroom. She looked in to see a person in the bed with a smaller person with them. Lunar focused a tiny light in her palm and pushed it out till it was over the bed. In the bed was Diamond and Saylu. Lunar was relieved nothing had happened, but as she was about to wake them and leave, there was a bunch of noise outside.

    Lunar quickly hid herself from view. She did not want to be seen in the house since her great exit earlier. She watched as they came through the door and into the house. A bunch of people that seemed to want to do something to Diamond and Saylu. They came into the bedroom and surrounded the bed. Lunar knew what she was going to have to do in order to get them out of here alive. She began to focus her energies into two places. The first place was her fist for the Focus Punch, and the second was a small force field to protect Diamond and Saylu. After the barrier was up she came out from under the bed.

    Lunar stood up and the crowd turned towards her, a look of shock in their eyes. She looked at the people for a second. The shocked eyes of the townsfolk, including Boswin and Jonan’s mother stared back at her. They all ran as Lunar bared her fangs and showed the gathered ball of energy. Lunar threw the ball after them, making it explode a few feet behind them. She walked out and followed them into the street. The elders were now assembled in front of them, armed with their elemental weapons and ready. Lunar focused on the image of Moon, asking for help as she did that. “Lunar, would you like me to show you how to really fight?” Lunar was a bit confused, wasn’t Moon back at the field? “Sure,” Lunar told Moon, “Go ahead I’ll watch.” Lunar hadn’t even had enough time to back up before a flaming blast of energy split her and the elders apart.

    Lunar jumped back as the flames stopped. Where she was, was Moon. She was dressed very different from what she was earlier. She was dressed with a black shirt and pants, with a long black scarf around her neck. Her wings were hidden, but her bladed tail lashed from side to side. She stood still as the elders regained themselves. Gudrin stepped forward, his axe at the ready. “Come now, do you really think that a little girl like her can beat us?” He laughed. Moon put her hands together and slowly pulled them apart while focusing in between them, but she put a bit of flare in it. She also focused on little tendrils of electricity coming out of the ball, making it look as thought it were made of pure lightning. She held it above her head and threw it at Gudrin.

    Gudrin swung his axe and met the ball with it. He pushed hard towards the sky and sent the ball flying upwards. He was about to run at Moon, but she wasn’t there. Lunar watched as Moon, who had jumped above Gudrin when he met the energy with his axe, catch the ball and send it back at him. Gudrin looked above him just as the ball hit him in the chest, blowing him away. Moon landed in front of Lunar and stopped. “Ok Lunar, it’s your turn.” Moon went and sat down on a rock behind Lunar. Lunar looked up to see that Din had already stepped forward to be her opponent. Lunar stood tall and walked forward. She stood straight and glared at Din. Lunar felt the hatred and anger flow through her along with her energy as Din charged her attack. Din pulled as much fire into her staff she could, then shot it at Lunar. Lunar waited until the blast was right in front of her and simply put a small bit of energy in her hand and pushed the blast to the side. Lunar smirked as she saw Din’s eyes grow wide with fear. “My turn.” She said.

    Lunar charged a small ball of energy and embedded a bit of Din’s fire in it and threw it hard at Din. Din stood straight as the ball flew towards her. But at the last second, Destiny threw a tendril of water and doused the flames as they reached Din. Lunar looked at Destiny and saw her hands were long tendrils of water. She bunched her muscles and jumped into the air charging some energy as she did so. She put both hands over her head, arching her back for more power. She formed the Darkness energy as she floated silently through the air. She straightened her back and threw her arms forward, making the ball shoot with unimaginable speed at Destiny, hitting her in the face before she could even react. She slouched a bit, waiting for someone to do something. Din had regrouped with Forora and the two had been pooling their energies together into a child about Lunar’s age while Lunar fought with Destiny.

    Din’s fire was now rapping itself around Forora’s wind and the flames strengthened along with the wind currents around the child. The kid took a few steps towards Lunar and stood tall and strong, challenging Lunar to fight with her. Lunar stepped up to accept her challenge.
    “I don’t know who you are, but I hope you’re ready, because I’m not going to hold back.” Lunar told her with a glare. The kid bit her tongue then stepped forward and let her twin powers flow around her body, showing Lunar that she was ready. “Before we start, tell me your name.” Lunar told the child as she began to release a small portion of her power. The kid smiled, “My name,” she laughed, “My name is Eclipse.”

    Lunar felt something change within her when she heard the Eclipse’s name. She suddenly felt enraged at Eclipse, but she didn’t know why. She used that anger to make her dark powers explode around her into what seemed to be black smoke coming from her body as Eclipse did the same, except using Din’s fire and Forora’s wind instead of Dark energy. The two of them glared at each other for a bit, and then Eclipse made her move. Eclipse jumped into the air and gathered the fire and wind around her into her fist and slammed it into Lunar’s waiting hand. Lunar grabbed her hand and pulled and gathered her own energy into her other hand, pushing it into Eclipse’s stomach. When Lunar’s energy made contact with Eclipse’s body, the body burst into flames, then disappeared. Lunar looked up and saw Eclipse barreling down in a torrent of flames at her. She quickly jumped to the side as the flames scorched the ground where she had been and Eclipse slammed into the ground, creating a crater, and then jumped back into the air.

    Lunar saw Eclipse charging another blast while she jumped off of the ground. Lunar took the chance and formed a shadow form of herself and hid it in the darkness as she threw an energy ball at Eclipse. Eclipse snatched the ball out of thin air and pooled it into the other ball she had made. Lunar quickly forced a ball of energy to form in her hand. Lunar threw the ball at Eclipse at the same time as Eclipse threw hers at Lunar. The balls impacted one another in mid air and it was a battle of the highest power to see which ball of energy would go through the other. Lunar sent tendrils of darkness energy into her ball as Eclipse put tendrils of wind and fire into hers. It would seem it was a tie until Eclipse made a crucial mistake.

    As Eclipse was sending tendrils of fire and wind into her ball, one of the tendrils slipped into the darkness ball of Lunar’s massive energy. This gave Lunar double the energy and her ball easily blew straight through Eclipse’s energy. Eclipse smirked as the massive dark energy ball flew towards her. All of a sudden, just before the darkness engulfed Eclipse, huge black wings came out of her back and rapped around in front of her like a shield.
    The dark ball exploded on impact with Eclipse’s wing shield. Lunar thought she had won until she watched the dust clear. In the cloud of dusk she saw Eclipse smiling. Her wings had absorbed the impact of the attack. “What are you?” Lunar asked defiantly. Eclipse threw her head back and laughed. “You haven’t even noticed it yet,” She said, “I am a Demon Child.” Lunar had read about Demonic Children in one of Destiny’s old books. They have no elemental powers of their own, but they can absorb and use the elements of others. They have jet black wings used to absorb impacts that would normally give them immense damage. Lunar could only think of one way to beat her.

    Lunar breathed hard a little to make it seem like she had lost a great deal of energy to the last attack. While she did this she circled herself in black smoke, making her actions invisible to Eclipse. Eclipse rushed her while she did this, seeing through the plan. Lunar let her grab onto her and hold her in one place. Eclipse laughed and held Lunar tight. “It seems that I have won Lunar.” She said softly, “I thought you would be a bit more then this even though you did just awaken.” Eclipse brought her tail around to let Lunar see the blade on it. “Goodbye Lunar, it was fun while it lasted.” Eclipse smiled as she whispered the words in Lunar’s ear, bringing the blade away from Lunar’s neck. Lunar smirked, “I enjoyed it too.”

    Eclipse sneered at this remark and brought the tail blade back across Lunar’s neck, slitting it open. Eclipse let go of Lunar’s lifeless body, smiling her demented smile. She watched Lunar’s body, unmoving and dead. Or so she thought. All of a sudden Lunar’s body exploded into a black cloud of smoke. Eclipse looked around for what had made it happen, and then felt a sharp, splitting pain in her chest. She looked down to see Lunar’s serrated tail blade sticking through her. Lunar smirked at Eclipse as she pulled her tail out, leaving a large jagged hole in Eclipse’s chest. “You were right,” Lunar whispered to Eclipse as she began to die, “It was fun while it lasted.” Lunar pushed Eclipse onto the ground and walked back to Moon. She was done for now.

    Chapter 9: Midnight Blood

    Moon, Lunar, Diamond, and Saylu all stood in the center of the town clearing, and the Demon Child lay on the ground. The townspeople had begun to come out of their homes to see what had become of the fighters, but were now horrified at what they saw. They looked around the field; at the battlegrounds, at the bodies, and then finally at Lunar and Moon. Moon went to step up to speak to them, but Lunar put her hand up, telling Moon to just leave them alone. Lunar thought about what this would do to the village now that there were no elders to guide them. All of a sudden there was a rustling in the woods beside them, and Gudrin stepped out of the branched and shrubs. Moon began to charge another attack, but Gudrin just held up his hand. “I yield,” He said, “I have been beaten, I accept this, but let me lead my village, for they have no one else capable of doing so besides Dim and Forora, since you killed Destiny.” Lunar thought about this for a moment. Moon calmed down a bit while Lunar thought about what to do with Gudrin. “All right, we will allow you to lead your village, but we must be allowed to come back to get necessary previsions when we need them.” Gudrin looked like he was going to deny the offer but thought again. “Ok, it’s a deal.” He told them.

    Lunar told Moon to help Diamond and Saylu and wait for her over by the edge of the woods. She walked back over to Gudrin and the villagers and asked if she could speak with him. He called Din and Forora over to him and turned with Lunar to talk with them. “Look,” Lunar started uncomfortably, “I don’t have anything against any of you three, it was only Destiny. I just wanted to ask before this thing ended if we had any hard feelings, because we mean you three and the village no harm. We don’t want to fight with you; we would rather just leave everything the way it was and live here like we did before.” Gudrin turned to Din and Forora to consult them on the matter. Lunar looked over at Moon and spoke to her through her mind. “Moon, I’m seeing if we can stay here with the village instead of just leaving and living nowhere, I mean we do have Diamond and Saylu to take with us and we can’t always carry them.” Moon turned her head towards Lunar and looked at her. “I don’t like the idea Lunar, but I think you’re right, it would be better for the group if we just stayed here. It’s not like we have anything to worry about since it was just Destiny that had something against us.” Moon looked away as Gudrin and the other Elders turned back to Lunar. “Lunar,” Gudrin spoke up, “We see nothing wrong with you staying here, as it was only Destiny who forced us to fight with you.”

    Lunar thanked Gudrin and the Elders and walked back over to her three friends. Moon looked over at her as she checked Saylu for injuries. “So, can we stay here or do we have to make a village of our own.” Lunar laughed at Moon’s sarcastic remark, “No, its ok, we don’t have to do that. They told us it was fine to stay here, since it was, as I said before, only Destiny who hated us.” Diamond looked up and saw Lunar over by Moon. She still seemed to be unable to believe what Lunar had just did. Diamond worked her way over to Lunar and stopped in front of her. “Tawny, is this really what you have become?” She asked Lunar, looking like she was about to cry. Lunar looked at her and stood up in front of her. “Diamond, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this but my name isn’t Tawny, its Lunar.” Diamond looked at Lunar silently for a minute. “That’s…..that’s not what I meant Taw- I mean Lunar,” she said stressing Lunar’s name, “how could you….” She continued, beginning to cry, “how could you…..how could you kill my grandmother…..and little Frilly too……” Diamond couldn’t take it any more, she ran away from Lunar, Leaving the group behind. Moon went to go after her but Lunar grabbed her arm. “I’ll go do it, it is my fault.” Lunar told moon. Moon looked at Lunar for a moment and then nodded, silently telling her to go after Diamond.

    Lunar turned and raced off into the woods after Diamond and hurried to catch her. She ran as fast as she could to find Diamond, but it seemed she had just disappeared. Lunar thought about what Diamond had said before she ran off. “What did she mean what I’ve become?” She wondered to herself. She ran threw the trees following Diamond’s trail. She followed her for what seemed like hours until she finally caught up at the edge of the lake. Lunar was confused to why Diamond had run here. She walked over to her friend and stood next to her. “Diamond, I don’t want to make you upset, but why did you go here of all places?” Lunar asked Diamond while she looked out across the water. Diamond looked up at Lunar for a minute, then stood up. “I came here because this is where I found you while you were unconscious and bleeding.” Diamond said softly, “I came her because this reminds me of before you changed.”

    Lunar looked at Diamond for a minute, trying to understand what she said. “Diamond what do you mean that I changed?” She asked, “I haven’t changed at all, I’ll always be here for you.” Diamond looked up at Lunar with tears in her eyes. “Lunar, you don’t understand. Its not you being here that I’m worried about, I just don’t want you to get used to killing!” Diamond said as she began to cry, “I know this is a war, but…..but it doesn’t mean that you have to keep killing…”

    Lunar finally understood what made Diamond so scared. Lunar put her arms around Diamond and let her cry. Diamond held Lunar tightly, as thought she could keep her friend from changing any more. “Diamond,” Lunar began softly, “I promise I won’t kill anyone if I can find a different way. But when people like Eclipse come along, I don’t really have a choice. I can either kill them or get killed.” Diamond looked up at Lunar and smiled. “Do you really promise?” Lunar nodded and smiled.

    Diamond hugged Lunar and then started to walk back with her. Lunar brought up the rear as she let Diamond lead the way back to town. Lunar walked and walked, admiring the way that Diamond moved easily through the undergrowth. Diamond passed through the final set of trees and appeared in the clearing where Saylu and Moon were still waiting. Lunar came out of the woods right behind her and went over and thanked Moon for watching Saylu while she went after Diamond.

    Lunar walked back to the Elders and asked where they would stay. Gudrin asked Forora to handle it while he and Din cleaned up the clearing. Forora nodded and walked over to Lunar and Moon. Forora looked around and told Lunar that if she wanted to they could stay back at the house she and Diamond had lived in for now. “Thank you, we will be more then happy to help around if you need it.” Lunar told Forora while she began to walk towards her old home. Diamond walked behind her so that she wouldn’t have to go in first. Lunar could understand why Diamond and Saylu wouldn’t want to go back into the house. Lunar walked into the house and looked around. The furniture had been thrown around when the villagers all ran out of the house, but nothing seemed to be broken. The house seemed to be fine for living in.

    Diamond went to the back room to put Saylu to bed while Lunar helped Moon figure out the layout of the home. After Saylu was asleep, Diamond came back into the living room to sit and talk with Moon and Lunar. “So, this is where you lived before you met me huh?” Moon commented as she looked around the room. Lunar looked around, admiring things she had taken for granted before. “Yeh, this is it.” She said as she opened the drapes a little bit, “hey, want to see something cool?” Lunar got up and walked over to the wall and pulled on a small cable. When she pulled on it, a large portion of the ceiling moved to the side, revealing a large glass panel on the ceiling, which allowed Lunar, Diamond, and anyone else who wanted to look out to see the moon and stars in the sky. Moon gasped as she looked out the beautiful moon roof that Lunar had opened. “Wow,” She said softly, “You have everything don’t you.”

    Lunar went over to the kitchen and asked Diamond where Moon was going to sleep. Diamond thought for a minute then laughed. “In the loft of course,” She said softly, “Where else CAN she sleep?” Lunar nodded and went to get Moon to show her where she would sleep. Moon followed Lunar up the ladder and into the loft. “Where is this?” She asked Lunar when she sat down and began to set up Moon’s bed. “This is the loft where I was when I first got here. Diamond used to use it for the people who had to stay here because they were injured,” Lunar explained, “This overlooks my room so I’ll be right down there if you need me.”

    Lunar was asleep in her bed when she felt something soft brush her legs, like fur from a small animal. First she just thought that it was Saylu, coming in by habit of sleeping with her sister, but then she remembered that Saylu was in Diamond’s room with her sister. Puzzled she sleepily remover the covers, astonished to find Moon curled up beside her. She prodded Moon softly with her tail, “What are you doing?” She asked softly, nudging Moon again. Moon slowly turned over and looked at Lunar. “I’m sorry,” She said softly, “It’s just that I’ve always been alone since my village was burned to the ground, I didn’t want to sleep by myself while surrounded by people.” Lunar thought for a minute about what Moon had said, then realized that she was lonely, not to mention that she was probably scared of being in the hostile village. Lunar reached over and gave Moon a hug, pulling her close to Lunar’s body while she pulled the covers back over the two of them. “Its ok, you can sleep with me tonight. Ill be right here with you.” Lunar was just about to fall asleep then she felt Moon move beside her, then she felt someone kiss her lips, almost too soft for her to notice, then she felt Moon shift back and snuggle against her.

    Lunar woke up the next morning to find that she was alone in the bed. She got up to put some cloths on so that she could go outside, but found that all her cloths were gone. Lunar got out of the bed and wrapped her wings around her body to cover herself up, then walked through the house to find Diamond. Lunar found her in the kitchen doing the morning dishes. Lunar went over to Diamond and put her arms around her in a loving like hug. “Oh Diamond, where could my cloths be?” She asked teasingly, “I can’t seem to find them.”

    Diamond blushed then told Lunar that she had put the cloths out to wash, and had sent Saylu to the village to get Lunar some new cloths, “Seeing that you don’t need to hide your new body anymore, I told her to pick up some nice cloths.” Lunar laughed, “But Diamond what am I supposed to wear until Saylu gets back, there isn’t even a towel around.” Diamond turned around and blushed even more when she saw Lunar’s body, “W-well I don’t know, just go find something, if nothing else, just rap your body in a sheet.” Lunar laughed at Diamond’s red face and then walked back into the bedroom and wrapped herself in the sheet like a loincloth. She came out to see that Diamond had finished cleaning in the kitchen and had sat down with a cup of tea by the window to watch the children playing outside.

    She went over and plopped on Diamonds lap, making Diamond gasp and almost drop her tea. “Lunar, what are you doing? I can’t be comfortable like this.” Diamond complained while laughing. Lunar laughed and got up to sit across from her. “So when are my new cloths going to be here Diamond? I need something decent to wear outside you know.” Lunar said, “I can’t go walking around to help people in a sheet you know.” Diamond choked on the tea she had been drinking and laughed. “Lunar, be patient, I sent Saylu before you woke up so she should be on her way back now.” As Diamond said this, Saylu burst through the door with a big smile on her face. “I’m home! I got big sister some really nice cloths too.” Saylu went over to Lunar and sat on her lap. “See what I bought you? It took me all morning, because Diamond told me to find something that would look nice with your new body.”

    Lunar looked at the new cloths that Saylu had pulled out of a bag. They were absolutely stunning. There was a pair of pants that felt like silk that had a couple loose strings on the side of them as a bit of flare. Then there was a shirt that matched the pants, except the strings were on the shoulders and wrists. All of the cloths and undergarments that Saylu bought were beautiful, but what Tawny truly loved was the robe that she picked out. The Robe was a brilliant white, that had a bit of gold trim in some places. The sleeves were short, but there were pieces of cloth that hung like trailing water from the elbows. The waist had a web of silk strings that formed an X where her waist would be. The bottom of it was in three parts. The first of the three was in the front, it was a sash-like piece that was separate from the two other pieces. The second and third were the same, just on the left and right legs. Lunar loved the robe because of the fact that it was silky smooth, it was light and airy, and because there was no back to it, it stayed on her neck because there was a sting to tie behind her neck, so she could easily use her wings.

    Diamond looked at it and nodded in approval. “I think that these cloths will suit you very well Lunar, why not go try them on so that Saylu can see her hard work?” Lunar smiled, she knew Diamond wanted to see just as bad as Saylu, maybe even more. “Ok, but I'm going to need some help, you need to come with me.” Diamond gasped and looked around as Moon came back in carrying a bow and quiver of arrows. “Moon can help you, besides; she has to change cloths anyway.” Diamond said quickly. Moon looked up at the mention of her name. “What about me?” she asked, then she noticed Lunar’s new cloths on the table, “Oh, they’re so nice, I want to wear something like that. Maybe I’ll go next week and get some.” Moon started to go into the bedroom, and Lunar knew she couldn’t put the cloths on by herself so she grabbed the cloths and went in behind Moon. Lunar walked in to find Moon already stripping. Lunar took off her shirt, then her pants and shoes, then everything else she had on. Moon turned to look at her while she was stripped and smiled. Lunar went over to the bedside table where she had put her new cloths in a neat pile, but as she got to the side of the bed, Moon tripped her and pushed her onto the bed.

    Lunar tried to sit up, but Moon crawled on top of her. Lunar squirmed and wiggled to get around to the side to sit up as Moon started to tickle her, but she couldn’t move. “Moon, please….please stop, I can’t take it.” She said between laughing fits. Moon smiled and stopped, lying down on top of Lunar’s body. Lunar felt Moon’s skin against hers; it was soft and hot, as if she had just gotten out of a bath. Lunar looked up into Moon’s eyes to see two soft blue eyes staring into hers. “What are you doing?” She whispered, then Moon kissed her full on the lips. Lunar’s eyes flew wide, then closed as she kissed back. Then, as though she had realized what she was doing, she threw Moon off of her; accidentally making her head hit the wall. Moon crumpled to the floor, unconscious. Lunar hurried over to her to see the back of her head bleeding. The blood was dark, like a midnight sky. “Like midnight blood…” Lunar whispered as she kissed Moon on her head, healing her wound. She put Moon in her bed, put on her cloths, and left.

    Chapter 10: The Imperial Army

    Lunar went back to the kitchen and washed her hands, thinking of what had just happened. She was still thinking of it when Diamond came up to her. “What happened to Moon, wasn’t she right behind you?” she asked, “I thought she was helping you with your cloths?” Lunar looked around, uncomfortable lying to Diamond. “She said she was tired, so I told her to just go lay down for a bit.” Diamond looked as though she didn’t believe Lunar for a moment, then just shrugged. “I got a letter just a second ago.” Diamond said excitedly, “It said that Tormaline will be back today.” She looked at Lunar closely, then pulled her by the arm saying. “Come into the light I can’t see very well.” Lunar let Diamond pull her into the living room and look at her cloths.

    Diamond gasped as she saw just how beautiful the cloths were. “Oh my, Lunar you look beautiful.” Saylu came into the room and her eyes grew wide. She ran over and hugged Lunar, “My sister is so pretty.” She said smiling, “I want to look just like you when I get older.” Lunar laughed, it was hard to believe that someone looking like her existed, but then she remembered Moon, and the smile on her face disappeared. Just as Diamond was about to ask her something, there was a nock at the door. Diamond looked at Lunar with a questioning expression on her face, and then went to the door. She opened it and screamed with glee.

    “Tormaline!” She screamed and hugged her friend close, “I thought you said you weren’t going to be here until later tonight?” Tormaline laughed, looking at Diamond. “I couldn’t wait, so I just left this morning.” When Tormaline looked around she saw Saylu, then she saw Lunar. Tormaline gasped as she saw Lunar’s cloths and body. “Tawny, what happened to you?” She asked, although Lunar knew she already had found out about her body and was only acting surprised. “It’s Lunar, not Tawny.” Diamond told her friend. Lunar looked at Diamond, wondering what she was about to ask her a second ago, but forgot about it when Tormaline came up to her and stared into her eyes. “Lunar, I like that name. Lunar, do you think you could take me into town later?” Tormaline asked Lunar, still staring into her eyes. Diamond ran over to them and got in front of Tormaline. “She’s not available later; we are going out to the lake.” Diamond said quickly, “So you and Saylu will have to go together.” Lunar couldn’t understand why Diamond was so defensive.

    Tormaline looked at Diamond and turned away to go into the kitchen. Lunar touched Diamond’s shoulder, but Diamond just walked off into her bedroom. All that day Lunar sat against the doorframe near the front of the house, listening to the breeze and sounds of nature, and telling Saylu stories. Moon eventually woke up, but it was apparent she didn’t remember what happened. “Thank god.” Lunar sighed, thankful that it hadn’t messed with their friendship.

    Noon came and Lunar stood up to go to the kitchen, but as she did Saylu ran up to her. “Take me for a ride, please big sister?” She said, staring at Lunar with her wavy hazel eyes. Lunar thought about where they might go, then realized that she hadn’t been to see Skyshin since the incident with the ceremony. “Would you like to see someone who helped me save your sister?” Lunar asked, turning back to Saylu. Saylu’s eyes grew wide, “Can I?” Lunar laughed, “Of course. Why don’t we go right after Lunch ok?” Saylu nodded and ran back into the kitchen, only to return with a tray of food, enough for both of them.

    When they were finished eating, Lunar put Saylu on her back and took off from the front of the house. Lunar flew over the woods and over the lake, then circled high above the town. Saylu clutched the shirt on Lunar’s back and held on tight. Lunar realized that this was Saylu’s first time flying with her. “Poor thing,” Thought Lunar with a smile, “I hope she gets used to it.” Lunar slowed down a bit so that Saylu wouldn’t be so scared. “Well time to go down, don’t want to scare her too much.” Lunar thought as she began to descend to the ground in the middle of the town’s clearing, which was in the middle of all of the bustling people and shops.

    Lunar touched down softly as they reached the ground.

    (((The rest of the book is quite simple. Lunar and Saylu meet Skyshin in the Tiger's Den area of the forest. They hear loud noices in the distance and run to the edge of the woods overlooking the fields, lake, and mountains to the north and see the Imperial Army returning to try and take their land by forece. that is the end of book 1)))

    Submitted on 2009-09-05 23:02:08     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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