Light emanated from her soul, how he knew he’d never be able to explain to someone who couldn’t see it. Now he was lying upon the ground, the shock of seeing his own grave had made him pass out once more, he realized. And, he was still there. He wasn’t home, or in the stadium, or in the tour bus having dreamed it up. No, he was here. What did that truly mean? Her hand reached out to him as he gazed up into the source of the purest light in this place. He was met with a pair of swirling blue green eyes, and a gentle smile. Auburn curls adorned her head, as the light sparkled and danced around her eyes. Her slender body was evident, though she was dressed almost like a gypsy with a blend of colorful scarves and loose clothing. A ball chain from which an amulet shaped like the moon with a star at the tip swung in front of his eyes from around her neck as he took her hand. He couldn’t help but redden slightly as he realized he was still in his concert gear. She helped Nick up and immediately he took off the gear to be left in a shirt and pants, still from the show but better than the plastic space gear.
“Hello, you look…different.” The tone was soft, soothing, and calm. She looked somewhat confused by his appearance. “Are you alright?”
With a shrug Nick brushed the dry grass off of him. “Where…am I?”
“Where are you? What do you mean? You’re in the great tombs of Fylgiar. This is the place where we bury the great ones, who were meant for more, lost before their time was to come…”
“And…what about this one?” He pointed to the grave bearing his name and birth date. Perhaps it was coincidence. Or better, all a dream still. A very involved dream.
He saw her shoulders sag, the weight of the world had suddenly appeared upon her slender shoulders. “Oh, you mean Nickolas…he, he was supposed to be so much. He was, a companion when we were both very young. He died and no one ever discovered the cause.”
How would he tell her? That that was his name, but that he wasn’t from here? He had to say it sometime, for how else could he get back home? If it was in fact real. He wanted to go back. Back to the fame and music he loved so much. As much as he wished to believe this was all a delusion, a fantasy, even a coma induced dream state, he knew it wasn’t. Deep down something within every fiber of Nick’s being was confirming that somehow this was all as real as the home he knew.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“It is fine, I don’t remember him much, and we were very little.”
“Look, so where is…Flybar?”
“Fylgiar” She gave him a knowing look. One he couldn’t read. If the ones who knew her well had been there, they would say it was one of contained emotion, held back to reveal nothing. Her hands idly played with the talisman around her neck. A chill filled the air. Something was wrong. And she knew what had to be done if she was right. For as it seemed, everything was aligning the way it should be. The way it should have when this all had started to go wrong in what seemed like centuries before. It had not been that long ago, but so much had changed, so much had gone to darkness, that it felt to be so.
“Fylgiar then. Sorry I ain’t from here and I ain’t got a clue of where to go or any of that shit.” He replied dryly, his hands hurriedly adjusted his shirt and such like he just realized at that moment he was a disastrous sight to behold.
“Fylgiar” She waved her hands around in an encompassing motion. She mumbled something incoherently as she placed them back together. Her eyes brightened as she separated them to reveal a shimmering orb within her now joined palms, which cradled it. It slowly spun within her hands, growing slightly with size so Nick could see the detail within. There were settlements, creatures his eyes never beheld before, all who lived in Fylgiar, in communities, countries upon it.
“This is what Fylgiar is. All of this is Fylgiar. We are a proud world, even if now lost in shadow.”
“So…all of this…”
It was then the howls seeped into their senses. Howls that pierced your soul with the haunting savageness and destruction you could feel from just one note. Her eyes skipped over worriedly. There was no time, for surely they had sensed them by now. She grabbed Nick’s hand. “Come on.”
“Wait, what is going on here!?”
“We can save all questions till later. Otherwise you’ll just end up dying again.”
The look of confusion sprung forth upon his youthful pretty face. A face that had garnered him the attention of millions of girls. Here however, it meant nothing. “Die again? What the hell is going on!”
The howls grew closer in range; the pain entered their ears as the pitch grew ever higher, ever more fierce in nature. The suns finally set as the light of the crescent moon rose above them. The amulet began to brighten with the light of the lunar glow. Nick glanced around confused, scared, though he would never admit it. He was lost with the only person to rely on is a girl he never met before in a place he never knew existed. All he wanted was the screams, stalking fans, teenyboppers, and managers who he thought he would do anything if it meant getting away from them. How often had he wished for an escape from all of it even though it was a life he loved? A thought had finally clicked within his rattled mind, did this have anything to do with his “oddities” had he come over the years to hide out of shame and fear? How many times had he wished for answers for why him, what it all meant? Had both come true within one cruel, swift, confusing stroke? To rip him from all he knew? He was panicking, he knew or he would be trying to ponder ways out of the mess, not reasons to explain it all.
Still, the saying “be careful what you wish for” had become the biggest understatement in the world to Nick Carter.
He felt a tug on his arm, it forced him to come hurtling back to the new reality his life had become. The girl’s eyes met his as the cries crept upon them. She grit her teeth at the fact she was unable to shake him from his lost reverie for so long. Time had been wasted and now they would be forced to fight. This was not the scenario she wanted when this had all come down upon her without any true warning. Her hand kept grip on the other’s arm as her other hand grasped her necklace tightly. Prayers were whispered from baited breaths for the strength needed. Strength to come from those not with her now.
The creatures had come from the shadows, slinked along the trees like parasites, fed like vultures. They left behind a trail of death that reminded him of acid. Any living thing it touched would reek of death and decayed within moments before his very eyes. All creatures had fled at a moment of the howl. Yet one poor faye had been caught within its twisted embrace. The faye had grown dark, its sparking pink eyes had gone blood red as it snarled and craved death. Wings that had been like beaded diamond lace within the light shriveled and resembled dead leaves drenched with mud. Its once pretty skin -which this one had been pale green-, grew murky as if born of a swamp rather than the spring like its true nature. Not only would it kill, it would mutate at will. This was how the world was being lost the darkness, death, and shadow. For the powers grew stronger with ever claimed creature.
As the years had gone by from the very first attack, it had never been so bold. Only now as it grew more powerful, more assured from its master, it boldly faced the few strong ones left with its craving to snuff out the light born within life itself. Never before had it approached this grave, it had always been one of the save havens. A holy place blessed by the spirit of the young one, most had thought when escaping the Cyhyraeth.
When it approached the two within the graveyard of lost heroes before them, they stood strong. Nick broke the silence first. “What the fuck?!”
“I ain’t crazy; of course my ass is staying back!”
The fiery haired one stared down the beings before her. They were almost mist but hidden within was the face of horror. Wolves snarling and decaying yet never dead. They had been trapped between this world and the sea beyond. Possessed with a spirit far more powerful they knew no gentleness as real wolves would. All they knew was their power and what it was after. She had been forced to face them before, but as they grew, her power began to lessen with each encounter. The thought always troubled her even in times like this. The star upon her talisman shone, casting a pale blue shimmering barrier between them in the creatures. She had no idea how long it would hold.
Her gaze met the dead stare of the Cyhyraeth. “What brings you; you know you cannot claim me.”
The voice that emerged was to Nick like nails on a chalkboard mixed with the growls and moans of a savage dog. It was hard to describe and grated against his inner being. The urge to vomit as an instinctual reaction to the voice alone came immediately. “We do not seek you girl. We want the one between this land and the sea. He is like us.”
“You are mistaken, he is very much alive and not between this and the eternal journey.” Her prayers began to take on a voice, fiercer, prouder than the natural tone of hers. Nick gazed up as he felt an energy build within. “Go before I force you myself.”
“You have grown weaker.”
“And yet still strong enough to keep you from trying anything or I’d be dead by now. He is not yours to claim so leave before I destroy you!”
Swiftly the mists dissolved with another piecing howl to haunt their souls. She shivered as the forever crescent moon shone more brightly above, the clouds finally began to scatter some. Nick stared at her. “What the hell was that about?”
“Since you’re not from here, you wouldn’t have a clue would you? But not now, somewhere safe. We need to go. They’ll be back soon.”
“And who the hell are you?”
She sighed, he had to be impatient. It would be like that for her wouldn’t it? Nothing ever came easy. “I know who you are. My name is Tawny, Tawny Everilda. Right now, you can consider me…” She paused; her tongue ran over her lips thoughtfully. “A friend. If that suits you.”
Nick just gave the smirk that made so many melt. Yet again, here it did nothing. “After that shit, works for me. But I want to know-”
“I know this is confusing-”
“You have no idea.”
“But I cannot answer right now, or I may not even know. We’re not safe.”
“What a shocker.” He was cynical, impatient, frustrating. She had never been one for patience. She wished for her former companions, that would help her now more than anything. For now, they were lost however.
Tawny’s gaze skipped around warily. For now all was calm again. The only sign of the scene before was the dark faerie that had been changed was feasting upon a blue jay near a tombstone, and the dead plants that had been touched by the Cyhyraeth. All was peaceful as it could be in those times. She remembered a time where all was bright, happier than it was now. Before the one had come to change time, before the young one who‘s grave they stood at, was lost. Once, there was true peace. But such thoughts were for a later time.
“We need to go. Follow me.”