Counting Corvids Chapter Two

Chapter Two: “Home Sweet Home”

 

There is darkness all around, except for a glimmer of silvery moonlight shining on the grassy slope to the eerie shadow of a circle made of stone inside are three people stood waiting. In the distance quiet waves but an echoing wind howling louder and louder, the three figures struggle to stay balanced in the darkness.

Everything stops, a blazing violet light encircles and traps the stone circle, the three figures are clear for a moment, and the light grows brighter and denser until nothing is visible with in it. The light stops, and the figures lay motionless on the ground.

*

A young woman bolts upright in her bed, at the window stands a crow, watching her quietly before it cawed, in surprise the woman whips her head around in time to see it explode in a ball of fire. In seconds she was no longer alone in the room, still shaking as her parents rushed in, in a panic. The young lady, Willow, finds no answer, even once she has prepared herself for the day. Not quite sure on a solution she resolves to do a little exploring to distract her, not knowing just how true those words were.

*

The area around her seemed nothing like the promises her parents had made. This was in no way a good or remotely trendy neighbourhood. On the surface, everything was bleak and miserable. In fact everything here seemed desperate, buildings and people alike whether it was for love or money was indistinguishable.

The local park lacked in so many ways, everything was left to its own devices, pathways, grasses, fences. Walking alone here, seemed ever so slightly other worldly, that was until Willow felt impact in her shoulder, a girl had run into her and sent her flying, the girl carried on running, her pursuers closely behind her.

Willow jumped up confused, baffled and curious rubbing her shoulder; she followed in pursuit of the girl who had managed to get herself a little trapped.

Willow without thinking tried to help, pulling one of the girls pursuers attention away. Willow couldn’t believe her eyes at the towering man who looked more like boulders in shape then human, the girl had started to try to fight back. Not quiet sure if she had done it on purpose or by accident, Willow had started blasting this creature with ball after ball of fire.

After a few attempts Willow succeeded as the thing burst into the exact same flames as the crow on her window sill, that very morning, but this time it was accompanied by an agonizing scream from the beast.

The girl and the remaining thing turned to face her, the thing disappeared into thin air as the girl stood staring at Willow.

“Hey how did you…? I mean… what are…? I mean… Hi, I’m Madison but most people call me Madi,” Madi extended her hand but Willow stared at it, “I have to go” she stammered before turning on her heels. “Wait! Wait who are you? You saved my life.”

“Willow” she through over her shoulder as she carried on walking, Madi caught up with her. “Can I at least get you a coffee to thank you, something or anything?”

Willow stopped “Only if you can tell me what just happened.” Reluctantly Madi agreed as she led Willow into a small dingy diner, sitting in a booth next to the furthest corner window.

“That thing what was it?”

“It was a Quake”

“A what?” Madi stared at Willow stunned for a moment.

“A Quake is a demon,” she studied Willows face as she spoke. “A Quake demon, is a low level demon, up to around five of them in an area are low risk threats, any more then that and they have the potential to cause some serious damage.”
“Oh, right, I see so why were they chasing you?”

“I am a Delicai, a good being, a good witch in theory, I make mistakes, I accidently caught their attention and well, that is how we got here.”

“Right I see how do you know all this stuff?”

“It’s a family thing, I’m guessing by your reaction that was your first vanquish.”

“First what? Yes, I guess it was.”

“So erm, what are you?”

“To be honest I’m not really sure, mum once said I was an Elemental, well that our heritage was, I am not so sure.”

“It makes sense, I can’t get a reading from you, good or evil. Elemental’s are essentially in no-mans-land that way.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well Elemental’s reside in purgatory for an eternity, which is the case until the ever-so-mysterious chosen one finally materializes and makes an alliance in either good or evil.”

“How cheerful” Willow’s words spoke, remaining as neutral an expression as she could manage.

“I wouldn’t worry too much it’s not your responsibility to make the alliance is it? After all, you seem to be just coming into your powers.”

Willow smiled politely across at Madi who patted her on the arm, Willows body tensed with a sharp intake of breath. Her eyes unfocused, in her mind she could see another Quake demon crashing through the Window. Willows eyes snapped open.

“I thought you were just a flame elemental but it looks like you just had a premonition, oh… wait your first? Does that mean you’re an earth one too?”

“We have to go”

“Wait why?”

Willow didn’t have time to answer, the Quake demon came crashing through the window throwing the shattered glass everywhere, and moments later Madi soared through the air hitting the back wall as Willow scrambled out of its path.

Once more with evert effort she could muster she set to work on igniting the demon repeatedly until it was consumed in fire chasing after Willow who lead it out into the empty parking lot before it finally exploded sending her flying towards a hedge. As Madi reappeared searching for Willow in the hedges among the chaos. “Wow that was some explosion huh Willow” Willow murmured from the hedge before dragging herself from the branches.

 

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