Hello and welcome to Fiction Friday. Every Friday I will post some of my writing. If you missed the last chapter, check it out here.
Here is this Friday’s:
Her arms and legs glided through the water, as if her and it were one. Her fingertips touched the wall and she flipped, turning and heading in the opposite direction. The familiar ache of her lungs relaxed her, allowing her mind to be empty as her body worked. Her head turned for air as her arms circled above her head, ready to butterfly down the lane. It was her favorite stroke because it allowed her to swim like a mermaid, like she belonged in the water, was born to be in it.
After a couple more laps she decided to head to shore. It was about midday, few clouds in the sky, a tender breeze caressing the water. She heard what sounded like a fog horn and looked around, confused. This was a lake.
She chalked it up to being tired and swam a little faster towards shore. She heard the sound again and spun completely around, nothing in sight. Hmm, she wondered just what that noise was. She peered around the lake but saw no source of the sound.
Unexpectedly a wave came at her, and then another, higher and higher. Her limbs flailed, trying to stay above water, but she couldn’t. Quickly the wave overtook her and she went under. Her muscles cramped up as she fought to get to the surface. Anxiety and panic pumped blood through her veins as she kicked, her legs throbbing. It seemed like her fingertips almost touched the surface, but it was more like caressing the underside. Something yanked on her ankle, once, twice quickly before she could even react, and then it started to drag her down.
She came to slowly, sopping wet, and coughing violently. She couldn’t move and couldn’t see, and what she heard she couldn’t understand. Her body ached like she’d just been swimming. She inhaled deeply, dank earth and metal but she couldn’t tell what kind. A slow approaching thud gave rise to the beings in front of her, causing the noise in the room to double. As the thudding got closer, the noise died down to a focused chant.
Her ears wriggled as she strained to hear more and wondered for a moment if she was bound and blindfolded or they had dulled her senses somehow, because everything she was experiencing was just so…bland.No detail. That question was soon answered. She felt some cloth slip from her eyes. Hesitantly, she peeked through her eyelashes, which adjusted quickly due to the low light in the room. She was in a very large room with tiny diamond shaped sconces on the walls that were very far from where she sat. The floor had large cobblestones in varying tones of grays with larger white cobblestones scattered in what seemed like a pattern.
The figure stopped about five feet from her, dressed similarly to the ones that had taken her. The gray wasn’t quite the same though. The figures gray shimmered, as if it had crystals or glass somehow inlaid or sewn in, or maybe the thread was made from a certain material with this iridescent element. The chair she sat in wasn’t low but she had to crane her neck to fully take in the sight in front of her. It eerily swayed from side to side. It moved to lift its arms to lower its hood. When it fell to its shoulders, she screamed.
“How in the hell did this happen?” Hildebrand Darragh roared, spinning around, looking at the 31 people who were responsible for running on shifts.
His eyes met scared, nervous faces. The last time the alarm was raised these guys weren’t even alive yet. Training for something doesn’t mean you’re necessarily prepared for it, and by the looks on their faces only experience would restore the confidence in their training and knowledge.
Hildebrand sighed and rubbed his face, groggy from lack of sleep. He shook his head and went over to a sink to splash some water on his face. They needed him to be on point, not dragging ass. Discreetly he went over to a wall and pressed a tiny light in. A panel slid back revealing various circles that showed the activity in the other rooms in the dome. He observed that nearly all the students were panic-stricken, some pacing in circles and floating around. To his relief he saw that everyone was in the right room.
As quickly as everyone had moved, it still took time to accumulate here. Normally they wouldn’t all gather but one of their own had been taken and there was no telling what other places had been compromised. Better to gather themselves than be spread out and picked off. He turned around and examined the dome ceiling which was so big it could’ve been a second sky. The walls were lined mostly with doors that led to various hidden places all over the grounds. The Doors move and change location as well as opening method. Location may be repeated but the opening method was always different. Always. It was the nature of The Doors.
“Alright listen up. Everyone gather in your shifts and write down every-”
A deep groan echoed through the room, drowning out Hildebrand. He turned to see multiple Doors opening, through them twelve individuals walked, six male and six female. They moved to what appeared to be the front of the dome where a semi-circle table sat and arranged themselves accordingly. Twelve bodies sat down in unison, which Hildebrand noticed made the Shift Runners fidget nervously. Truth be told they creeped him out as well. The last time all of the Valdoobal had gathered they’d been at war. That was damn near half a century ago. He took up a position near the table and prepared himself. After all, the last thing anyone wanted was the Valdoobal kerking out, pillaging the village.