White Raven is a story set within the world of The Shadows, and it takes place while the Shadows are returning. I hope you guys like it, also check below the story for the Teaser Trailer for The Shadows The Return Has Begun (book 1) of The Shadows Saga.
By Alouy Martinez
Edited by Tiffany Fowlkes
The wind wilted like a solid object through the trees, as if desperately searching for a way out. The moon concealed itself behind the clouds as each drop of rain struck the ground with an enthralling vibrato. The dead leaves beneath Ophelia’s bare feet, crunched between her toes. Her black dress tangled between her legs, as the rain poured down on her. Her raven black hair stuck to her skin like black tendrils down her spine. Her breath was running short, and slowly she had to propel herself on each tree to continue running.
She could hear them getting closer, the sound of their footsteps resonated like hive of wasps above her head. The crunching of every dead leaf and branch snapped louder and louder as they kept getting closer. Her face was covered in soot and pieces of her dress kept tearing off as she kept hitting every branch. This was not the way she planned to die, but she knew it was going to happen either way, but it didn’t mean she was going to let them win so easily.
She continued to run as fast as she could, but her energy was running out. She couldn’t understand why, this had never had happen to her. She was a Nightshade and Immortal forgiven sakes, why was she losing her energy so easily. Nightshades were known for connecting themselves to the elements, for that same reason humans tend to called them pixies and Tinker Bell, but she was far from being a cute character on a Disney movie. Her immortality was beyond human’s imagination, and she kept on running she could feel her tattoos burning through her skin, swirling through her body like lava. If anyone could’ve seen her right then, they would’ve astonished themselves as her tattoos changed from tribal symbols to a million butterflies flying down her spine.
“Ophelia you don’t have to run,” one of them shouted, “we would not hurt you, let’s us talk.” It was a man who had spoken, about thirty years old by the sound of his voice. Ophelia could sense his heart, each throbbing beat pulsating with fear. He was no immortal as far as Ophelia could tell, there was no essence to his immortality, but he was not human either. There was a rawness of arrogance and superiority in his voice, and that could’ve only meant he was a demon of pride, a children of Azaziel, one of the first seven demons ever born and the creation…No… the mistake of the Gods.
A few feet from where Ophelia was running, a sudden blob of purple mist erupted through the ground, forming a body of a young man. Ophelia had little time to react, but as the boy reached to grab her, she twisted her hand and a strand of gold light detached from her skin, and curled around the guy’s neck. Her tattoo detracted back to her skin, once the boy’s neck snapped and his body drop to the ground. Ophelia continued to run as her tattoos kept burning with adrenaline with each breath she took. She needed to find a way out, to distract them enough for her to escape them. But there were too many of them, and like the boy who had tried to capture her, she knew there were more of them willing to do the same.
There were humans surrounding her too, she could sense them, but she wasn’t afraid of them. No human can kill an immortal. Immortals can only die by their own hand, or by the hand of another immortal. And that’s what Ophelia worried about as a white wolf jumped on her and pulled her to the ground. The wolf’s canines flashed above her head, as it began to change form. Slowly each bone snapped to form the face of young girl. She didn’t fully changed, she allowed her transformation to remained between human and wolf, her nose retracted against her face, as her claws dug deeply into Ophelia’s skin.
The smell of Glitter quickly overpowered the air, as Ophelia’s golden blood spurred from her skin, and gradually turned into a glitter like substance. This was the Immortal’s precious ecstasy, the drug that infused many immortals into hysteria for a single drop of blood. For centuries, Nightshades had been hunted, and killed just for their precious blood, the essence of their light, of their tattoos.
“Yummy,” the wolf girl snarled gazing at the blood, “They say that drinking directly from the blood before it turns to glitter is an experience all immortals should go through. I guessed I just found my first time.” The girl neared her mouth to where the blood was gradually transforming, as Ophelia struggled to get herself free, when suddenly the wolf girl was sent flying across the air.
Quickly, Ophelia gathered herself and stood up, but once she was standing a man grabbed her by the shoulder. “Sorry about that sweetheart, my pets are not that well trained.” Ophelia recognized his voice from earlier, a voice that definitely fit his body, which was muscular and twice Ophelia’s size. She had seen him before, and if Ophelia was correct his name was Cain. His hands were rough against her skin, too, rough that it prevented her wounds from heeling.
“What do you want?” Ophelia snarled between her teeth.
“You know what we want, sweetheart. Tell us where the Shadows are going to receive their powers.”
Ophelia laughed, not because it was funny, but because no matter what any daemon or Immortal could do that was something she would never tell. The Shadows were too important and vital to protect. Over two thousand years ago, the gods broke the number one rule of the Heavenly Laws.
No Immortal under any circumstance shall be allowed to conceive a child with a mortal. If indeed such actions should occur, the offspring and human shall be put to death immediately and the Immortal will be sentenced to an eternity of absolute and utter desolation in purgatory.
This law however, never seemed to matter to the gods. Humans have always been toys to Immortals, and the gods always used them for their entertainment, for their lust and desires. Yet, one night seven women escaped the walls of the deities, seven women who brought the first seven deadly sins into this world, the first seven demons known to mankind.
- Belphegar, the demon of sloth
- Matmel, the demon of avarice
- Asmodeous, the demon of lust
- Abraxaous, the demon of wrath
- Beelzebub, the demon of gluttony
- Leviathan, the demon of envy
- Azaziel, the demon of pride.
The gods did everything to try to stop them, but how could you kill something that was never meant to be born? Soon the demons realized what their fathers were trying to do. So they did what every species in danger of extinction would do. They reproduced, and slowly there were thousand, millions, until they couldn’t be counted for. By then, the gods were being summoned back to the heavens for their final judgment. They had broken the rules, and only one fate lay upon their hands.
They had other plans under their wings however, as they introduced the Shadows into the world. At first, nobody truly understood what they were, but they carried a strong presence upon their powers, and the gods believe they were their salvation. But lie after lie, the Shadows learn the truth. The genesis of their creation, and once again the gods were betrayed by their own children as the Shadows along with the angels captured each god into their fold.
Nobody truly understands how the story unraveled at the end, only those who were born during that time truly know the truth. All Ophelia was told to know is that they were important, and that on their eve of their demise a prophecy was written across the skies. A prophecy that marked the return of the Shadows, but this time destiny wouldn’t control them.
“Are you deaf sweetheart?” Cain clasped his hand tighter into Ophelia’s shoulder. She could feel every bone starting to ache as the pressure of the demon’s strength begun to take hold of her body.
“I do not know anything. The Shadows are none of my business.”
“Do you think you can fool me?” Cain clenched his yellow teeth, “we’ve been following your group for the past two weeks. The Akita as well as any other Immortal out there knows that the prophecy is about to unravel. So tell me where are the Shadows going to receive their powers?”
Ophelia shivered at the name of the Akita. She didn’t know how the demon had identified her as part of their fold. Her task was to blend in and find out more about what the demons as well as other Immortals—who believed the Shadows return was the end of us all—were planning to do. Nobody was supposed to know who she was.
Ophelia was an Akita soldier, who along with other immortals from witches to werewolves were trained to protect the Immortals, but in secrecy the return of the Shadows. The Akita is one of the third branches of power that makes up the High Council, the sort twisted democracy of the Immortals world. The Akita serves as the defense branch of the immortal system, along with the White Ones, the branch that regulates Immortal and mortal relations, and the Higher Key the branch that enforces and carries out the Heavenly Laws.
Ophelia, who lay within the hands of the demon, knew the mission had gone wrong, but she never thought they knew they were Akita soldiers. Her group had been clean, but trust was something that ran short when it came to power, but as she tried to reason with the demon that she didn’t know where the Shadows were going to return. She almost felt the temptation of revealing all she knew.
“She’s not gonna tell you anything,” the wolf girl said, who now stood on her full human skin which was completely naked and covered with soot and mud as the rain slithered across her body. “We should just kill her? My pack would definitely love some Glitter right now, and this one seems really delicious.” Ophelia tried to retract herself as the wolf girl tried to touch her tattoos, which transform into a snake and slither down her back.
“Get your filthy paws away from me, traitor!”
“Traitor,” the wolf girl laughed sarcastically, “its call survival honey.”
Ophelia was about to say something, when Cain pulled her against his body, and screamed, “Enough! I don’t have time for you blabbering mouths. Now either you tell us where the Shadows will regain their powers, or he dies.”
Ophelia watched as within each drop of rain a dark mist of red vapor immerge and within it two figures constructed themselves. A man with a small goatee, and short spiky brown hair appeared with a boy within his grasp. Ophelia’s heart completely shattered as she saw the boy’s face.
“No she screamed! No please I will tell you anything, just don’t do anything to him.”
“Ophelia! Stop it’s not worth it. Let them kill me.” The boy said as he struggled to get free.
Ophelia ignored him, and looked at the demon holding her. “Please, he is my brother. Let him go.” She begged with golden tears tracing her cheekbones. Her tattoos were shinning brighter than ever, swirling like a million wasps throughout her body. They coiled around her neck, and transformed into a golden raven. Her brother recognized it the moment he saw it. It had been the symbol of their family’s crest, symbol that communicated the trust and relationship they had toward one other. It was a message of unity and respect.
The boy remembered the time when he and Ophelia were hunting with their dad, and in one of the branches of the vast woods that surrounded them a mysterious white raven cried above their heads. Ophelia had been fascinated by such creature, never in her life had she seen a white raven let along did she know that they existed. Their father explained it was an albino raven, a mutation of genetics as humans called it, but to Immortals, a white animal represents a sign of change, especially ravens.
Quickly, the memory faded as Ophelia’s little brother saw the raven detach from her neck, yet keeping the light attach to her skin. He allowed himself to do the same, his tattoo copying that of her sisters and smacking the demons that held them captive as the raven flew from their skins.
It didn’t harm them. It only made them disoriented as the light smashed on their faces, burning part of their complexion. The wolf girl quickly reacted, and threw herself over Ophelia’s body, allowing her claws to tear Ophelia’s back with one swift.
Her brother watched as the amount of golden blood dispersed into the air slowly turning into glitter. Ophelia’s screams resonated through his ears as the pain ate her alive. Her spine begun to heal the moment the wolf girl attacked her, but she knew it wouldn’t heal that quickly.
She looked at her brother, who through tears tried to reach for her, but the demon holding him earlier pulled him back and sent him flying against one of the trees.
“Like to play hard I see,” Cain said as the wolf girl pinned her down. “Now for the last time, unless you want to see your little brother turn to glittering dust, tell us where the Shadows are going to receive their powers?”
Her brother gazed at her, as the demon that had sent him flying dragged towards them. “Don’t do it, our lives don’t matter to theirs. You know that Ophelia, Dad would be proud and so will Mom. The Shadows will reign once more, and our lives will be remembered.”
Ophelia wanted to believe him, but she had lost her parents for the same reason she was going to lose her bother and she couldn’t let it happen. “You promise you will let him go?”
Cain nodded, “yes both of you in fact.”
“No Ophelia! Please don’t do it!”
Tears plunged her vision, “Sorry little brother, but I can’t let you die like this.”
“You’re making a mistake they…”
“Shut him up,” Cain ordered, and the boy’s screams die down. Ophelia watched as the demon held his brother by the throat, pulling him from the ground, which made her close her eyes, and take a deep breath.
“We don’t know where they will regain their powers, but we know they’re flying to Paris. In fact, they should be there by now.”
“We already know that, our men are already there, ready to strike” Cain almost scream, finding her words useless. “What we want to know is where in the world are their powers returning?”
Ophelia felt scared, she didn’t know, she truly didn’t know. The Akita never revealed that information to her, or at least she didn’t remember. She scattered her thoughts trying to find something, anything that could save her brother and her, but Cain had enough. He was losing time. The girl was useless to him.
“Kill him,” he ordered the demon holding her brother, who with a swift motion thrust his hand through the boy’s chest and ripped his heart out. Ophelia screamed as her brother’s heart shined one last time and turn into glitter, and the tattoos of his body die down. He was gone. Everything that mattered to her was gone and it all happened too quickly that she didn’t notice when Cain said, “Kill them both.”
She felt a sudden pain down her throat as the wolf girl bit her on the neck, devouring her blood, and killing her slowly. She tried to fight her, but her back was too messed up to even move. Yet, as she felt her life faded away a sudden quiver shuddered through her body as well as the wolf girl, and every other immortal across the world, and for one second, the world grew silent, the stars disappeared, and destiny broke once more.
Ophelia couldn’t help but smile, as she felt the Shadows return, and as her eyes closed and her lights went out. She could hear Cain screaming and then the wolf girl snapped her back, and in one last memory. She saw a white raven flying across the sky.