Flash Fiction: Serenity
The tiredness washed over her so quickly she barely felt her energy and resistance ebb away. Being carried off to some far away shores without her. Her eyelids drooped creating a blanket over her red eyes and she gave in. The rise and fall of her chest slowing into a steady rhythm as she succumbed wholly to sleep and let it take her. And take her it did. It had been a while but she couldn’t fight it any longer, her tired body broken, fatigue slowly eating away at her during the past 72 hours.
The dreams had started up again and Serenity knew it was coming. Her time, her destiny, no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t stop it. The preparations had been thorough and the leaders had given them all the tools and knowledge available at their disposal. The vast hall of the centuries old library locked away underground accessed through only dimly lit tunnels running parallel to the city’s sewers. She had gotten lost at first, many times, taking the wrong turn but she figured it out just like she did with the Rubik’s cube she had gotten for her 10th birthday. She had been really proud of herself and so too were her parents. They had known back then what this would mean to her, knew her destiny, her powers, who she was. But she was grateful they hid it and allowed her a normal childhood because God knows nothing would ever be normal again once her 17th birthday came.
The one thing she couldn’t of been prepared for though was the ferocity of the dreams. Of course she knew they weren’t real. They were visions of times gone, of those who had been before her. Showing her, teaching her, but she was never totally aware of the gripping fear that would come with each one. Serenity felt their pain and anguish, her heart racing in time with every petrified shadowling that had become before her. She so desperately wanted to learn from them but the terror was all she could feel as she relived all of their last moments in her dreams and she too felt like she would perish along with them and never wake up. This being the reason since she had forced her body to stay awake since the last harrowing dream.
Jacobi found her there in halls curled up with her latest reading assignment on her lap being kept company by her ebony curls as they fell from her head as she slept. In matter of weeks she wouldn’t need sleep anymore, none of them would and in a way he envied them so much. The chosen ones. The shadowlings, whilst he was stuck here as a learner. To guide them and show to be, how to act, what they must do and more importantly how to stay concealed as they fight the forces in the shadows. It was the way it was, the way it always had been. That’s the thing with destiny thought Jacobi defining and definite and absolutely not to be changed or fought against. But he would do that for her. He would break all the rules to keep her from this life, to take Serenity far, far away. Away from the danger, the pain, the loneliness and ultimately death. Because they all die. In the end it’s inevitable. Some last longer, some morph and take their place within the leadership, but most, most fade out of existence with their legacy living on in those chosen to carry on in their place.
Serenity knew she was screaming out loud, her lungs burning from running with Charisty on her journey. Serenity knew she was heading towards her death but was powerless to stop the events unfolding before her eyes like those that have unfolded before Charisty. Charisty was still young, just 25 in human years, but far outlived many of her shadowling predecessors. She was a fighter, a warrior, a force to be reckoned with hair as red and as wild as she was. Hair that flasing in the breaks of the shadows as Charisty screamed her last scream as her opponent defeated her. Look, Serenity she implored to herself. Look at how she attacks, take in the mistakes, focus, learn. She noticed the screaming stopped, well from her own mouth anyway and the scene in front of her slowed to allow her to analyse every part of the momentous battle that claimed Charisty and her companions. The calm washed through Serenity and she knew. At that moment she got it, all of her training, the books and scripts of shadowlings past and those yet to bear the mark of their destiny, and it all made sense. The vision dissipated into the wind and Serenity had her first peaceful nights sleep in months.
Crammon found Jacobi staring at his charge. The leadership all knew of his attraction to Serenity and despite it not being hard to see what the calm and collected yet headstrong learner saw in his charge, they also knew that their union was decided upon a thousand years before either one of them came into existence. Both born to humans selected by the leadership, familiars they were called, who nurtured the future of the shadowling race. The only way they could survive since the curse many lifetimes ago. They had found a way around it, and worked hard to keep them safe until they were of age to join their destiny. But Jacobi and Serenity were different. The fates has aligned and chosen them. Chosen to stand together, to fight, to heal this broken and damaged race and help them eradicate the darkness forever.
What no one took into account though was how painfully shy he was and how introverted she was. Destiny needed to work it’s magic soon Crammon thought if any of them were going to be restored to what they once were. He turned on his heel and nodded his head to take him back to panel to rejoin the leadership and inform them of situation. Destiny was going to need a helping hand he thought and he might just have the hand that could help.