The Guild – Chapter 1 – Kaitlyn

Here’s a story my friend and I have started writing! Keep up with the fun!!

 

It’s past noon. I’ve been wandering around this campus for hours. When did silver hair become a trend? Students run around this place like ants, either oblivious or careless. A dozen have already gone missing, but life goes on. University is expensive, or so I hear.

The alcove outside the Library offers shelter from the brisk October winds. Just enough to light a much needed cigarette. I’d hoped this mission would be quick, simple. There are too many people. Too many potential targets. I need to narrow it down somehow.

The doors swing open, missing me by inches. I glare at the young man as he steps out, the mop of long curly brown hair dances in the breeze. He pushes the hair out of his face and freezes when he notices me. Most people ignore me. My odd red hair hardly sticks out in a place like this. He doesn’t turn away.

“What?” I snap, uncomfortable with the attention.

He glances at the death stick as I inhale. “You’re not allowed to smoke here, gorgeous.” He smirks, gesturing to the obnoxious sign above my head.

As I stare back at him, I sense a strange aura about him. This is no ordinary student. I narrow my eyes, and my lip curls up in one corner, “My mistake.” The cigarette burns rapidly, apparently out of nowhere. The ashes are carried on the wind into the young man’s face.

He flinches and holds his breath as the smoke passes. One eyebrow cocks as he eyes my now empty hand. He seems torn, but finally turns and mutters, “Sorry… I have to go.”

I watch the gentle curls bounce as he hops down the steps and walks away. He glances over his shoulder twice, before turning a corner out of sight. An interesting development.

“You should follow him.” A voice whispers in my ear. My hair shifts and a little nose with long whiskers pokes out.

“Don’t have to tell me twice.” I snicker, skipping down the steps after him.

The strange boy goes to the Student Centre, and sits with an asian boy, and a blonde girl. The blonde appears to be upset, but the boys are relatively light-hearted. I buy a coffee, and sit at a small table by a window, halfway across the large room. In the sea of colourful hair and backpacks, it’s almost impossible to pick out an individual. His aura, unique as it is, draws my gaze without fail.

The trio spends over an hour in the lunchroom, chatting and whatnot. It’s incredibly boring. I scroll through social media on my phone to pass the time, until finally they get up to leave. They cross the campus to a nearby dorm building. At the point, the brunette seems annoyed. I keep my distance, so I can’t hear their conversation. The sun inches toward the horizon when they finally emerge, at least six bags carried between them.

With the added baggage, they amble across the nearly deserted parking lot. They cut through a tunnel between buildings. I hang back, wary of the lack of hiding places. I’m starting to think following them is a waste of time, until I hear a scream.

“Finally.” I smile as I take off for the mouth of the tunnel. The group are almost out the other side, but they’re not alone. The blonde, kicking and screaming, is confined within the rib-cage of a thin, fleshy monstrosity. A second one looms beside it as the two boys scramble back.

“That’s quite enough of that horrible noise.” A melodic male voice echoes down the tunnel. I duck into a shadow just before the man steps into the light of the lamp above the group. The girl’s screams cut off, and she grasps at her throat with panic, eyes bulging. Can’t say I disagree with that spell.

“Who are you?!” The brunette demands. He’s braver than he looks.

“Me?” The silver-blonde man grins, and brushes imaginary dirt from his light grey suit. “I’m Logan, your new best friend.” His silver eyes fall on the Asian boy, who’s fallen to the ground in shock. “I’m sorry, he won’t be needing you.”

I dash across the cobblestone path as the man raises his arm. The beast without a prisoner lifts its long, pointed arm and stabs down at the hapless youth. The rat on my shoulder slides down my arm, into my hand, where it transforms into a sword. The creature screeches, a horrid sound, as it’s arm rolls away and black liquid oozes from the stump left behind.

It seems like all three students hold their breath as I stand upright. I keep my eyes on the silver-haired man, the one I’ve been looking for. A wicked grin spreads across his perfectly angular face. His long, thin arms spread out almost as though for a hug.

“Kat,” He cooes, “I’ve missed you.” I glare at him. He pouts, “Now, don’t look at me like that. I thought we were friends?”

“That was before you started kidnapping people.” I spit.

He chuckles and folds his hands behind his back, “Kidnap? That’s such a harsh word… I prefer to think of it as rehoming.”

I glance at the girl trapped in the bony cage. With a precise swing, I slice through the base of right half the ribs. The girl tumbles onto the ground with a silent yelp. The asian boy scrambles out from behind me to the girl’s side, helping her sit up.

He looks to Logan, confused, “Wait… You mean you’re the one responsible for the missing students?” Logan shrugs innocently.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” The brunette steps up beside me.

“What are you still doing here?” I hiss at him. “Run, while you still can.”

He looks at me like I’ve got three heads, until recognition passes his expression. “Hey, you’re the girl from the library! Look, you may have a sword, but I can’t let you fight alone. Kaede, get Caroline out of here.”

“No way man, I’m not leaving you here with that freak!” The other boy snaps.

Brunette grumbles, “Fine, just… Stay back then.”

I roll my eyes, “This is not the time to play hero.” I don’t wait for his response. Instead I lunge at the creature missing an arm. I slice off a leg, the head, and then cut the torso in half just to be sure. The other one lumbers up behind me, missing half its ribcage. I spin the blade and stab backwards under my right arm. It groans and stumbles away, taking the sword with it.

“Kat, it’s not like you to hold back. What are you waiting for?” Logan grins, “Light them up. Light them all up.”

“Shut up.” I snap. I duck under the giant creature’s swing and grab the handle of my sword. I twist the blade, still in the thing’s gut, and rip it wide open. The thing crumples into a pile of black goo and pale green flesh.

“Hey, gorgeous! Look out!” The voice catches my attention. I spin on my heel just in time to see the business end of the reformed monster’s pointy arm inches away from me.

I’m hit with a blunt impact, first on my chest, and then on my back, knocking the breath right out of me. I gasp. Suddenly I’m looking at the concrete ceiling. Above me, two sets of running shoes scurry back. The pressure on my chest lifts and I’m confronted with a set of bright hazel eyes.

“Are you alright?” He asks, breathless.

Movement behind the curtain of long brown hair catches my eye. I hook my leg around one of his and swipe at his elbow. He grunts in surprise as he tumbles to the left and rolls away. The tip of the thing’s arm pierces the left side of my stomach. I grit my teeth.

“Fine. Have it your way.” I growl. With my teeth, I pull the velcro strap on my right glove and bite the edge of each finger until it slides off. I grab the fleshy arm with my bare palm. The creature yelps and retreats several steps. It claws at its arrm as flames crawl up its flesh, slowly devouring it.

The brunette gawks, eyes falling from my hands to the flow of red from my gut. “Hey, be careful, you’re bleeding!” He scrambles to his feet.

“Thanks, I hadn’t noticed.” I grumble. I kick my legs in the air, using the momentum to flip onto my feet. I spot Logan manipulating the broken body of the second monster back together. “Logan, I’ve had enough of your shit. You can either come quietly, or you can come dead.” Sparks dance at my fingertips.

The suave young man twists his lips into a pout, “I’m afraid I don’t like either of those options. Here’s my counter offer.” He gestures, and the repaired creature lumbers at the brunette boy. At the same time, he turns and takes off out of sight.

“Crap.” I cuss, “Rhoan, follow him.” The sword, forgotten on the ground, shifts into a fox and bolts out of the tunnel. I pull off my left glove and notice the boy fending off the slow attacks of the beast with a kitchen knife. I’m not even sure where he got it from.

Focusing energy between my hands, I form a small ball of hungry fire, and lob it at the fleshy thing. It lands square on its back and spreads in an instant. Soon, we’re left with no more than two large piles of ash. I let out a heavy sigh of relief.

“Oh my god… Oh. My. God! What was that? Who was that? Who is she?!” A female voice rambles at hyperspeed. I roll my eyes.

“Calm down, Car. It’s fine, look, Andrei’s handling it.” The other boy assures her. I turn slowly, glaring at the pair. Are they serious?

“You three need to leave. Now. Get somewhere safe and lay low. He may create more of those things and come back.” I hold my stomach with one hand, warm liquid seeping between my fingers. With the other, I crouch down to collect my gloves.

“We can’t leave you here.” The one called Andrei insists, “You’re bleeding!”

“Yes we can! We don’t even know her!” The girl shrieks.

“Again, thank you for the update.” I roll my eyes and shoot the girl a cold look, “You’re welcome for the rescue. I only got stabbed for you.”

“Andrei is right, we can’t.” The other boy nods. I think his name is Kaede? “Look, Car, this is all super crazy, I know, but it’s just like a video game!” His face lights up. Yea, he’s totally going to get himself killed. “It’s so freaking awesome!” The girl punches him in the arm and he winces.

My view of the bizarre couple is blocked when Andrei kneels beside me. He hands me the gloves I was reaching for, “Look, we’re taking you with us. You’re in no condition to go after that guy alone.”

I study his face; strong jaw, slightly small nose, a shadow of stubble across his face. Piercing brown eyes with a hint of a yellow ring, wide as they can be. “You’re not going to take ‘no’ for an answer, are you?”

“Fine, then I’m calling a cab.” The girl huffs, as she digs for her cellphone.

I sit, ungracefully, and lean back on my right arm. Closing my eyes, I focus first on steady breathing. Then, I imagine the fibers of my flesh weaving back together. I know it’s working when the pain intensifies. Breath in, and out…

“Back there… Did that fire come from you?” Andrei whispers. I peek at him with one eye. He glances over his shoulder at his friends, who are occupied with baggage issues. He looks down at my hand over the wound and his brows raise, “Are you… using magic?!”

I frown, “Are you just figuring that out now? After all that? You used magic too. Don’t play dumb with me.”

“Dumb? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He turns his face away, “Magic isn’t real… I don’t know what you saw.”

“The cab will be here in ten minutes! Get over here you two!” The girl yells from the other end of the tunnel.

I barely glance in her direction. “If you really believe that, why did you ask?”

He doesn’t respond for a moment, before glancing over his shoulder. “Come on, I’ll help you up.”

I scoff and shake my head. He slides one arm around my waist and carefully lifts me until I’m standing. The world is a little topsy-turvy, but I can manage. The hole is still closing, but the bleeding seems to have stopped. I put the gloves back on and flex my hands until they’re comfortable again.

The strange boy watches me like a hawk as we meander down towards the other two, and hovers by the door when I slide in behind the passenger seat. The girl takes the front, after they stuff all her crap in the trunk. Andrei scoots in the middle of the backseat, and Kaede sits behind the driver, giving directions. I lay my head back on the seat when the car starts moving.

I may have lost more blood than I thought…

 

By Krystyna Yates

Kiki's Tales

    It’s past noon. I’ve been wandering around this campus for hours. When did silver hair become a trend? Students run around this place like ants, either oblivious or careless. A dozen have already gone missing, but life goes on. University is expensive, or so I hear.

    The alcove outside the Library offers shelter from the brisk October winds. Just enough to light a much needed cigarette. I’d hoped this mission would be quick, simple. There are too many people. Too many potential targets. I need to narrow it down somehow.

    The doors swing open, missing me by inches. I glare at the young man as he steps out, the mop of long curly brown hair dances in the breeze. He pushes the hair out of his face and freezes when he notices me. Most people ignore me. My odd red hair hardly sticks out…

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