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Shadows Of War

Shadows Of War

Lisa Thompson

Update: 2022-06-06

Chapter 1

  • Abey shuffled through her paperwork on her desk. No sleep last night, she wasn’t looking forward to work today. Another nightmare, kept her eyes open, her heart thumping hard in her chest. She'd been there before, lost in her thoughts the phone startled her. “Hello?” she said putting the phone on her right shoulder, going through the mess on her desk. “You coming tonight?” Gabriela asked. Abey forgot about the Coven meeting tonight, she didn’t want to disappoint anyone, but she didn’t want to use the remaining energy she had to call on the Goddess. “Um yeah that, I didn’t sleep that well last night. I don’t think I'm going,” she said shifting the phone onto her other shoulder. “Wait, you're not going because of your nightmares? I thought you were going to talk to the elders about it?” Gabriela pressed on. “Besides Daniel will be there.” she giggled into the phone. Abey rolled her eyes, Daniel was the last thing on her mind right now. “I know, and I don’t think they'd want to hear what I had to say. The dreams, well they're dreams.” Abey said rubbing her temple. “Look you're going tonight whether I have to drag you in kicking and screaming. I know Daniel always looks forward to you being there,” she said her voice trailing off. “Um, well my dream last night warned me if I went there would be many people getting hurt. I know it's probably a dream but I don’t want to put anyone in that type of situation.” Abey said. “Look I 9gotta go, meet me for lunch at Mac's okay?” “Alright later.” Abey put the phone on the receiver. SShe needed to get out of the house, but she was afraid her dreams would follow her everywhere. She wanted a little peace at night but knew the Elders from the Coven would say they are just night terrors. Grabbing her keys, she headed to the school. Abey had one paper to turn in, and it was late. Getting into her car, she felt watched. Scanning the area, no one walked on the sidewalk or watched her for that matter. “Come on Abey, this is crazy,” she said shaking her head. Grabbing her bag, she headed inside. “Abey,” Daniel said walking towards her. She half-smiled, “hey Daniel. You go to school here?” she said pointing at the school. He half-smiled back, “oh, no.” he said shaking his head, “I was looking for you.” “Oh?” she said almost wanting to run into the building to hide from her embarrassment. The sunlight caught his green eyes just right, he almost looked like an Angel. “Yeah, I heard you were having some crazy dreams and wanted to urge you onto coming to the meeting tonight. I'll sit by you if you want,” he said taking her hand. The heat on her neck rose, she wanted to tell him she loved him. He moved his fingers around her palm. “My dreams are just dreams,” she said pulling her hand away from his. “They; re really stupid. I can't make it tonight sorry,” she said rushing into the building. Abey went into the Counselors office, Betty the receptionist walked over, “did you bring in your paperwork?” she kind of whispered behind Abey's back. “Yeah, sorry my parents must have forgotten to send this in before school started.” she blushed under the papers. BBetty grabbed the papers and walked back to her desk to grab her oversized glasses. She glanced down at the paperwork, “one sec,” she said thumbing through the paper. “It says here that you're Native American, but on this one it says white. Well? Which is it?” she said with a scowling look on her face. “The second page didn't allow me to put what I am. It had a choice of white, black, or, Asian.” Abey crossed her arms. “That offended me,” she said before turning her back to the woman, she walked out without looking back. Adjusting to a new city, Abey, felt forced to live among the regular people that hated hers. She felt her father betrayed his tribe by falling in love with Molly, her mother and then conceiving her. After she was born, they were kicked out and forced to live among the more modernized people. Every summer before school started Abey and her family went back to the Tribe for the summer. Slowly her family was being accepted back into the Tribe. She longed for the day they'd ask them to move back. Abey met Gabriela in second grade. She'd just started at the same school. Gabriela was Italian and cast out of the friend circle, the two became best friends shortly after that. When they were older, Gabriela found a small group of women that practice healing medicine, something Abey always wanted to learn how to do. The girls formed the ground they called “Coven.” Soon after, word got out and more and more joined. They learned how to heal wounds and broken hearts. Abey and Gabriela tried hard to get the group to try and learn spells to defend themselves if something were to happen. TThe Elders said it was too dangerous. Shaking her head, she realized she was sitting in her car, in the school parking lot. For some reason the Coven wouldn't leave her head, she thought maybe Daniel had something to do with that. Driving to her candle shop in the middle of town, she felt someone there again. Locking her car doors, she scanned the parking lot, no one seemed out of place. Goosebumps trailed down her arms. Shaking off the feeling, she quickly walked to her shop. Gabriela was waiting near the front door, shivering from the cold. “About time you got here, what took you so long.” she managed to say before walking into the warm building. “I don’t know, I went to school to give them my paperwork, and zoned out for almost an hour thinking about the Coven,” Abey said shrugging her shoulders. “Why would you space about the Coven?” Gabriela said messing with the temperature in the room. “Maybe someone is reminding me of the Coven as a helper and that you guys have my back,” Abey said shrugging her shoulders. “I might come tonight, but I need to lay down for a few, I have a killer headache.” “Alright, go for it. I got the store,” she said getting the register ready for sales. Abey laid down on the bed they had in the back room. She often suffered from headaches that made it hard to be awake, a migraine. Closing her eyes, the energy around her circled her until she drifted off to sleep. “Abey, Abey, open your eyes.” Whispers filled her ears. Opening her eyes, she realize she wasn’t in the shop, but somewhere else. Standing up, she remembered this place but didn’t know it. Looking around, a man walked closer to her. HHe wore a dark hood, but she could see his face. More of them appeared, this time the hoods covered their faces. “Abey, welcome.” he said motioning his arms around her surroundings, “I am Dremis, keeper of this world. Usually.” his laughter danced through the air. “Where, where am I?” Abey said looking around, the other hooded men moved closer to her. “You are where you belong, or soon will be.” he mocked her. “If you go to the Coven about us, this will not be the only thing I can do.” he chattered his teeth together, trying to scare her. “Oh? Yeah really? This is just a dream, a nightmare I'll awake.” she snapped at him. “When the portal is opened, and if you've talked about us, there will be death and destruction. I promise you this.” he half smiled, pulling his hood over his face, he backed up. The world faded, Abey jerked her eyes open. Quickly glancing around, she was laying in the bed in the shop. “Gabriela?” she called sitting up. Gabriela glanced in the back, “you okay?” she said with a puzzled look on her face. “Yeah, I had one of those dreams, this time a real warning. “ she said rubbing her neck. “Wa- a warning? Why kind?” Gabriela walked towards her. “One that if I talk to the Coven about my dreams, there is going to be death and destruction. Something we won't be able to handle with basic magic.” Abey said standing up. “Look go to the Coven tonight, but don't tell them about my dreams or anything. We have to keep this in whispers,” she warned, grabbing her bag. ““I'm, I'm going to leave for a few days, I need to visit my Tribe to see what this is about,” she said closing the door before her friend could say anything. Driving to the tribe would take a couple of days, she wanted her parents to know what she was doing, but she didn’t want them to tell her no she couldn’t go. She needed their help more than anything. If Dremis was telling the truth then, this was already way too far out of hand. Pulling onto the highway, this part would be quick, the back roads she would have to take to get there would take the time of two moons. Turning on the radio, nothing played that she could sing along to. She wanted her best friend with her but knew someone had to stay and make sure the shop made the rent. The moon and the stars lit her way through the dark parts of the highway, she knew it was getting late. She decided to continue the drive tomorrow when the sun came up. She would drive the rest of the way without sleep, but tonight she needed it. “Checking in?” the lady at the desk asked as she walked in. “Yes,” Abey said pulling out her credit card. The lady handed her a key, she walked to her room. Closing the door behind her, she scanned the room. “Nice,” she said putting her jacket down on the chair. Laying down on the bed, she was exhausted. She couldn’t wait to get back on the road, but she wanted a good night's sleep. Closing her eyes she drifted off to sleep for about an hour before pounding on her door startled her awake. “Um who is it,” she called through the door, the darkness made it hard to see who it was. ““Daniel, open the door Abey, you're in danger,” he said. She opened the door, the rain hammered the ground, “What are you talking about?” she said confused. “If you are having dreams where someone is threatening your life then you're in danger. Tell me about these dreams,” he said pushing past her. He wanted to help her, he was scared but knew she needed him now. Jerking her eyes opened, she was still safe, and alone in her hotel room. Something about her dream made her want Daniel to come and help her, but she knew the warning she received would be enforced, she would lose a lot of people if she wasn't careful. Turning on the TV, she wanted to leave right then and there, but she'd only slept for an hour and her body ached for more sleep. Turning to her side, she closed her eyes again, this time she slept through most of the night. Abey grabbed her bag, and checked out, and headed back towards the highway. Grabbing something from McDonald's. “Take exit 315, then bear right.” the GPS instructed. Driving all day and into the next was tiring, she wanted to pull over, but she kept going. Driving down a long stretch of darkness, a sign, “Hollows Way 10 miles.” “Thank God,” she said turning the radio up. It'd be another half an hour of driving. Then a small hike up to the peak. Slowing the car down to a stop, she locked her car before wandering up the hidden path into the opening that led to her Tribe. She felt at peace walking through the entangled branches, carefully stepping over a branch, she caught her hand on a sharp piece of tree, ripping a good size cut into her hand. “Ow,” she whined looking at her hand. ““Great, now I know I'm crazy.” Walking through the last patch of woods before she could see a small pattern of smoke, she was getting closer. “Little Dove?” Light Stick said coming into the clearing. “Grandpa!” Abey exclaimed, running into his arms. Light Stick was a warrior in his time, he was big and bulky, every woman in the camp wanted his protection. “I've missed this place, so many times!” “Are you here on a good visit or a bad one?” he asked curiously, walking with her towards the camp. “You know the Tribe is going to be excited to see you, and how beautiful you are,” he said squeezing her closer to him. “Um, well I need help. I've had these dreams about this man Dremis, he threatens my family and friends in my dreams if I seek help to rid him,” she said stopping in her tracks. “You know among the Native Americans, they have a legend or something to that affect where Dremis is mentioned. We shall seek our Elders tonight. You dance with us by the fire. Your totem will come to you with the answers you seek. It will guide you in this misguided and dark path.” he spoke as if he were talking for someone else. “Dremis is afraid he will lose you, he wants you to come willingly yes?” “Yeah, how did you know that?” Abey knew the question was dumb, but she wanted answers. “Your soul is very troubled Little Dove, tonight we dance. The Elders will help guide you to find your totem and your answers,” he said pushing her down on a log near the fire that barely had a flame. TThe Tribe greeted her with gifts, as well as an outfit she should wear during the dance. No one stayed more than a few minutes, Abey watched as the Chief and his family walked into the middle of the village, they sat near the fire just across from her. Closing her eyes, she knew Dremis warned her about talking about him or them, but she wanted to rid of him and his threats. “Little Dove, are you rested enough for tonight?” Light Stick asked sitting next to her. “Um I think so, I just want to find out how to rid of my problem. I am afraid he might hurt everyone I love to gain what he wants,” she said with a sad face. “Sometimes those that are taken away from you, become your spiritual mentors, sometimes they need to cleanse their souls before they come back to you. But truly no one ever leaves you,” he said half smiling at her. “The Chief is going to do a prayer tonight, as we dance. You are to sit here and watch the flames, close your eyes, and await the voice of your totem.” “What if it does not come?” she asked almost biting the end of her words. “When you are ready to receive your answers, your calling will be heard. They will come to aid you, I promise Little Dove.” Closing her eyes, she knew he was right. She would just have to cast out doubt and realize magic is in her blood, and when she was ready her totem would come and help her figure out of this mess. The air-cooled down, the sun started to set. It was a peaceful night, the Chief watched Abey closely. “It is time,” he said standing up, his daughters joining him. Abey stood next to Light Stick, the others joined him around the fire. ““Tonight, we bring forth one of our own, to help find her way. Her soul has been trapped in the forbidden place, we must free it!” he chanted over and over until more joined in the circle. “Close your eyes, and sit and relax.” Light Stick said pushing her down on the log. “Let yourself go, you will find your way back once we start,” he said whispering to her, as the rest danced and chanting in another language. Closing her eyes, she let her body sway to the beat of the drum. The warmth from the fire encircled her, dancing through her ears. For a moment she felt at peace like nothing could harm her. Breathing in the fresh air, she opened her eyes. A dagger at her throat, screams of people dying surrounded her. Quickly glancing around, her grandfather was held by one of the 'hooded.' “I told you, speak of us, and death will follow,” Dremis whispered in her ear. Closing her eyes, she had to make a move, she had to save her Grandfather. He was her last chance, he was her only family. “Ah-ah I wouldn't try that if I were you. You see my seers told me you'd try and be brave to prevent me from killing Light Stick.” his hot breath sent shivers down her back. “What are you talking about? I came here to get away from you, I wanted a good night's sleep,” she growled, wanting him to spare her grandfather. “Now, why lie about why you're here. We know you wanted to find your totem so you think you could find a way to get out of what I have planned for you,” he said laughing. “So heed this as my warning.” his grip tightened around Abey's arm. The man holding her Grandfather stabbed him with a blade. HHe cried out in pain, as the man let him fall to the ground. Abey cried out in pain, she struggled to get free of Dremis, but he held on to her. “Let me go!” she growled trying to overpower him. “I'm starting to enjoy watching you suffer. Might have to mess up a couple more times before I come for you.” he let her go after that. Abey struggled to her feet, she fell near her grandfather. “Grandpa, please no,” she said tears rolling down her face. “I'm sorry.” He opened his eyes, touching her face. “Don't worry Little Dove where I'm going, I can protect you better. This was supposed to happen,” he whispered. “Go East until you cannot, there you will find your Totem. Dremis will play tricks.” he died shortly after that. “No! Please, no!” she cried into his stomach. Dremis knelt, he wanted her to attack him. He wanted her to give herself over to him. “Pity, he could have helped you.” Dremis teased her. “Glad at least one of my problems is out of the way. You ready to come home now?” he taunted. Abey turned and charged him, he grabbed her by the neck. “Careful Sweetie I'd hate to bruise you,” he said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. “I'm going to kill you!” she growled, trying to claw at his face. “Not today, and I'd be careful on the threats, your best friend will be next if you decide to disobey me again,” he said pushing her away. “We're always watching, now that I know how to summon you, maybe I'll punish you, there for a while,” he said before disappearing. Abey looked down at her Grandfather. The Chief wandered close by. “This is a bad omen, you must leave. You are plagued by Shadows, scat, scat.” he hissed at her. “But my Grandfather?” she whined. “Take this,” he said pulling Light Stick's necklace from his neck. He'll protect you as long as you wear this. Do not come here for aid. Go East as he says, you will find peace.” he said waving his hand across the sky. “When the sky bleeds red, you must battle Little Dove.” he pushed her away from the fire. She walked down to her car, looking down at the small globe that her Grandfather used to talk about. It was Native American legend that a place called the in-between existed only if magic was interrupted or used for evil. Many feared it would plague their village, they cast out the ones born on certain holidays. He said when his globe glowed red, a war would cast. Many deaths, many new beginnings.”