Here comes part 15 of the Black Medallion series. If you are new you can catch up with the links below (sections are individually listed in their respective sections).
In the Company of Shadows
They exchanged a glance with the crash from below. They were exhausted, sick without sleep. Forever on the run with the creatures nipping at their heels the entire time. Only to realize what this had become. They were herded, like cattle. They were kept moving to this point, this confrontation.
“You can’t run forever.” The monsignor’s voice boomed through the building. “Give yourselves up. We can free you of the burden.” The crunch of sand and gravel could be heard as the Monsignor paced outside the building they were holed up in. “You are out of options,” he said. “Jillian, you know there is no where else for the two of you to go. See reason.”
“We can’t just give up,” she said. “Can’t we walk one more time?”
Tisdan’s body felt raw, his nerves aflame. “I don’t think I can do it, not without a week in a bed first.”
Jillian glanced down. The ring on her left hand had caught her attention. It had been a gift from her father long ago, an amber crystal that shone with a light glow when she thought of him. “It’s me,” she said. “You have to leave me.”
Time slipped away from him. He had stepped outside of himself and now looked down at Jillian and his body still in the room. As he drifted higher the entire building came into focus. Every room that the beasts had broken through, and then the space where they might find solace.
“Leave me.” She repeated, unaware of his vision. “They’ve been finding us through me.” Tears cut a trail through the grime on her cheeks. “You stand a better chance without me weighing you down anyway.”
“We can still get out of this,” he said. He slid the rings off her fingers, and dropped them at their feet. “But we can’t stay with any of this.”
Through darkness, they followed the wall into a room deeper inside the building and a stairway that lead to an upper floor. He took her hand pulling her behind him. Nothing was said. Outside a room in the center of the hallway, he looked back for anything that followed them. They were there, a presence he couldn’t escape from.
The room had suffered through time and neglect like the rest of the building. Crumbled walls and broken furniture were all that remained. Useless and broken, their purpose lost to the past. They stopped in the center of the room, hidden behind a wall of debris. The amulet was in his hand glowing blue. He held her left hand in his right hand, his eyes looking off in the distance.
There was no tingle, no feeling at all. For all she could tell they were still sitting on the floor with no change around them. ”What did you do?” she asked.
“Hope,” he said. A smile played at the corners of his mouth. “We might have a chance still. They were tracking us by your rings.”
“Yeah,” she said. “My father… He must have marked them. They were all I had left.”
“They have been chasing your rings all this time. They can’t sense the amulet. They can’t sense me.“
Something scraped the floor at the top of the stairs, the only sound they had heard for some time. His hand on her shoulder kept her down, close to him. Tisdan nodded toward the doorway with a finger to his lips.
They both jumped a little when the door to the room beside them had been broken through. And again when the room across from them had been torn into. The creatures weren’t subtle. Clawing and growling they searched the rooms all through the floor.
But their room, Jillian realized too late, they hadn’t closed the door. The creature came into the room, sniffing the air. It walked through the room, right past them without any recognition. With a last sniff of the air it left the room and moved on to the next.
“What just happened?” she whispered.
“I’m not sure how or why,” he said. “But the amulet responds to my needs. We became one with the shadows. Nothing can find us right now.”
They sat in silence, after the wolfen left their floor. The sky grew dark outside the window of the room they were in. Tisdan’s muscles had grown cramped and sore from the time sitting on the floor. They refused to move or make any sound. It was only after a number of hours, well into the night that they finally felt safe to move. They had fallen asleep in each others arms. They stretched and shook life back into numb muscles.
He put the amulet back into his sash before leaving the room to explore the damage to the rooms around them. The rooms that had closed doors had them torn from their hinges. The creature was thorough. It left nothing unturned in the rooms in its search for them.
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