There was only the sound of the wind, howling endlessly day and night, from long ago. What was once a busy town of rich miners during the Gold Rush was now a ghost town of rotting buildings, barren fields, and wind. Oh how the wind howls in that valley as if filled with wolves hungry for prey in the darkness…
All was darkness. No light penetrated the eyes of the young boy as he lay face down on the cold stone floor. His breath came in violent bursts from his chest; he tried vainly to rise and could not. Panting he pushed with all his might against the floor and lifted his shoulders a few inches. All he remembered was pain, searing agony that penetrated his very existence. He had no idea what caused the pain, only that he felt the pain in his soul and longed for an end to it. He struggled to rise again. This time he was able to roll onto his back and sit up. Memories of the pain still fresh, his very nerves still tingled as he sat. He closed his eyes and fought with his mind to stop the pain completely, to just brush it aside. It was no use the pain was still there, overwhelming him. What was happening to him?
He opened his eyes again slowly, trying to maintain control and not give in to the pain. Something was different, there was light around him, a soft glow from behind him. He could not see the source, but could see that his own body made a shadow before him. He took strength from the change and coerced his body to do his will. He stood. He felt weak, but forced himself to stand steady. Time passed. He had no way to measure how long. Isaac turned his body around toward the light. His head was still looking down. Slowly, through the pain he raised his head. It seemed like eternity passed him by as his face climbed toward the sky. The light became brighter and his eyes came into focus. He realized what he was looking at, the moon…
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” the scream tore through his lips. His mouth opened wider that he thought was possible. Pain exploded, beginning in his feet and climbing his legs. More pain that he could imagine, worse than before, and then all went dark…
All was still. First he felt the softness of the blanket he was wrapped in, and then he heard soft voices in his room.
“Will he be all right?” the anxious voice of his mother asked in the darkness.
“He’ll be fine, woman. He is just starting early,” his father’s deep voice answered. It seemed to be his father, yet the words sounded strange as if formed by a different mouth.
“He won’t remember this in the morning. We may have to send him on his next birthday instead of waiting till next year.”
“No! We can’t. I don’t want him to go.” His mother’s voice rose as she spoke.
“We have no choice and neither does he, foolish woman. We cannot deny him the only help available. Besides the Council will make him go if we try to keep him here. Surely they already know what happened here tonight. Their spies are everywhere; they know everything.”
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J Kendal has been creative all his life. He has expressed that creativity in many ways including writing, drawing, painting, and music. He lives In Illinois, USA, has a wife named Kelly and a red heeler named Dain Ironfoot. He loves reading and sailing.
J Kendall has written many short stories including Where the Darkness Dwells, Whatever happened to Seth and The Chronicles of Overworld. Two children’s works that are nearly completed are KA and the Dragon and MUB (Monster Under the Bed.) Most of his writing is in the fantasy genre. He has two novel length works in process right now. He has also written several comic strips including Pigmail-Leon, Snowman’s Life and Pirates of Santa Louisa.