1w, 6dThe Phoenix Rising Club
It was starting to get cold out, and I was starting to run low on memories to reminisce about. I decided that it was time to head home. As I started to get up to start my walk home, I caught a glace of a shadow slipping behind a tree. It was definitely not human, but I couldn't make out any details. I thought nothing of it, and continued on my way. As I continued on my walk, I started catching more and more "shadows", for lack of a better description. I just knew my eyes were playing tricks on me, and I cursed myself for reading a mass amount of horror stories for the past week. Even though they were not real, I couldn't help but become frightened by them. I started to pick up my pace slowly, then gradually faster. By the time I reached my house, I swear I was running so fast that Rainbow Dash would've been jealous. I quickly entered, slammed the door shut, and locked the gateway between me and the cold, creepy night. I'm not sure Luna would have really liked her night to be talked about like that, but the truth sometimes hurts, and I'm not one to lie much. In order to calm my nerves, of course, I started reading. Not just any book, though. There was one genre of book I wanted to try out today that I haven't read before.
I walked past my bookshelf and kneeled down to pick up the plastic bag, heavy and full with books of varying genres. I brought the bag over to the bookshelf, placing the bag down with care just far enough away from me and the bookshelf. I started to grab the books inside and organize them into the many book-stuffed shelves that stood before me. Since there were already so many books, I had to start removing the ones I had already read and placed them into a pile all their own. Later, I would plan on storing them away, but for now, I leave them as is. I start sorting based on genre, then author, then important term, achieving maximum organization. As soon as all desired books are found new homes on my shelf, I reached into the bag to find the one book I've been saving to read tonight. Not an adventure, horror, or any other genre. This is one genre that I am surprised I'm even going to read.
A sappy, trashy, romance novel.
I KNOW, right? Not saying that they're bad or anything, just that I never would've thought I would ever find myself reading one. I've always been kinda into more adventurous stories, especially if there is some romance involved. I couldn't ever imagine myself reading a story based solely on romance; I feel that there needs to be something else happening. Thanks to this show and the multiple fanfics online, I've started taking a liking to them. Today was the day that I moved away from the romantic pony fanfics and into the romantic novels written about my own kind. With the book in my possession, I moved into my bedroom, placing the book onto my bed. I then moved into the nearby bathroom, cleaned myself up, and almost had a heart attack when I turned around to return to my bedroom.
Standing in the doorway to my room, was yet another shadow.
I swear, I might have had a minor heart attack right then and there. If I did, I never knew it. I was so shocked about this, this thing, standing in my doorway. I couldn't call it a shadow anymore, that would be lying. As far as I could tell, this was no shadow. This was a being all it's own, though what it looked like, I could not describe very well. To me, it almost seemed like a pitch-black mist, taking no definite shape, but kept loosely together. As I was trying to document as much of this as possible into my brain, the thing just evaporated into thin air. I stood there, staring right where it had been seconds before. I couldn't think of any explanation, and I couldn't think in general. I decided to just go to bed, read my book, fall asleep, and worry about it tomorrow. I clambered into bed, pulled the sheets over my legs, and lit a candle to enjoy my reading. I always preferred reading by candlelight instead of a lamp. It seems to create a better atmosphere. The atmosphere, however, couldn't have felt worse.
The whole room felt as if a thousand dark presences had entered, tensing up my entire body and causing the exact opposite of relaxation. With this sudden shift of atmosphere, I couldn't even force myself into the book, and had to stop after the second page. Feeling cheated out, I decided to skip directly to sleeping the night away. For an entire half hour, I sat, listening to all the sounds inside my house. There were none. That spooked me worse of all, as there was always a slight creaking noise every now and then that the house gave off. This night, the house had suddenly decided to change its natural ways, and gave off no sound. Now, the house felt strangely eerie, forcing me to throw the blanket over my head. It reminded me of the time I would always do that as a youngling, but I hadn't felt the need to do that since I had been 16. This night changed everything, and I had never felt so creeped out in my life.
Suddenly, a combination of a bright flash and thundering boom caused my heart to race a little. Just my luck, I thought. First this whole house goes abnormally silent on me, now a storm? How am I ever going to get sleep now? As if answering my question, a howling wind started picking up just outside my window. I guess Mother Nature didn't plan on me getting sleep tonight, with all this noise she's making. I didn't think too much about it, and instead tried to read my novel. Nature then tried to one-up on me once again, forcing my bedroom window open with its winter wind and blowing out my candle in the process. Cursing Mother Nature for her competitive spirit, I rose myself from my bed to shut the window. As soon as my foot touched the ground, the horrid atmosphere returned, after I had forgotten it had even existed. Every step to the window sent a shiver up my spine, but the wind wasn't causing any of it. After what felt like an eternity, I was finally at the window. Before I closed it, I wanted to take a look at nature in action. As I looked out, I almost gasped in surprise. There was not a single cloud in the whole sky.
Stunned, I wondered if I was going insane, imagining storms that somehow happen in the middle of winter with no clouds around. I shifted my gaze downward to see if there were any signs of a storm down below. I just saw more evidence to prove I was going insane. There, standing on the side walk, had to be at least 5 more "shadows". I was getting the feeling that, although I could not see any sort of face or eyes, their attention was focused on me and me alone. It was too much, and I backed out of the window immediately. I slammed the window shut, and started turning around to dive right back under the covers. I didn't get that far. As soon as I had turned 180 degrees back to my bed, a blunt object was slammed against my skull. I fell to the floor in a heap I blacked out...
As I started coming to, I could feel a slight breeze, and I could tell I was outside. The next thing I noticed was that I was being dragged off somewhere. In the distance, I could see the cul de sac I lived, and it was slowly losing size as I was dragged further along. I tried craning my neck around to see what was dragging me from my home, but to no avail. Whatever it was, it continued to drag me by my shirt collar, quietly grunting the entire time. Eventually, the dragging stopped, only for my head to slam against the ground. On impulse, I attempted to get up and run. I didn't even get as far as adjusting my hands before they turned immobile, along with my feet. I glanced at my hands and feet, expecting hands, grasping at them. I saw no hands, ropes, anything. Just this immense black that seemed to surround both my feet and hands. If I didn't know better, it almost looked as if it was unico-
"Hey, human! Can you understand me?"
I scanned about, searching for the source of the voice. After a few moments, and a sore neck, I found the source of the voice calling to me. Immediately after finding it, I wished I hadn't.
The voice was coming from yet another "shadow", with multiple others clustered around it. My lungs seemed to collapse upon themselves, and I felt as if I couldn't breathe. Although I was still frightened by these beings, the sound of them didn't seem threatening, and my body relaxed a little, allowing me to think to an extent. I still couldn't believe that this thing, which didn't even look solid, had just dragged me far from my house, maybe even being responsible for knocking me out. Realizing this, I felt my head where I had been hit. I couldn't feel a thing, no swelling, blood, nothing. Before I could even begin to think of how that could be possible, the shadow spoke again.
"Human, I will not ask again. Can you understand me?!"
As I continued to recover my senses, I was able to choke out a small, "Yes."
The shadow showed no emotion, but continued to speak. "It seems we will have to ask you to aid us in your own kidnapping, I'm afraid. Your weight is past our capacity of strength, and we cannot continue to carry or drag you anymore. I will ask you to follow us and to not try anything funny. Do you understand?"
I thought it humorous to have to aid in my own kidnapping, but I felt I had no other choice. I nodded my head. No words were spoken in response, but the shadows seemed to start moving in one direction. As I followed, I started running situations into my head, most of them ending up with my death or imprisonment. I felt tremendously helpless as I continued walking towards what could be my doom. Eventually, the group came to a clearing. Inside, scattered about, were a mass amount of shadows, with numbers maybe close to a hundred. I didn't really feel like focusing on the sheer numbers, so I decided to try and examine the clearing itself. The whole place seemed to be just recently cleared out, and many of the stumps were not removed from the ground, as if the clearing of the ground had been rushed. That wasn't what caught my attention at the moment. On the ground, throughout the whole clearing, were lines and symbols of sorts. Not knowing what these could possibly mean, I do know that it meant one thing for me: I had just been captured by a cult of sorts,and I was most likely a sacrifice to their god or something.
I started to sweat at the thought. One of the shadows must've noticed my nervousness, and approached me. "Please, sir, we do not offer harm and do not wish for you to be frightened. I didn't enjoy the thought of having to take you from your home, let alone having you knocked out, but it was felt that it was necessary in order to cause the least amount of trouble. I am unable to explain everything that is going to happen here at the moment, but once we are finished, I plan on telling you everything."
This voice had a sense of deep caring, but still spoke with a high-and-mighty tone, and I assumed that moment that this might be the leader. Something about the tone of voice made me want to trust it, but I just couldn't find the heart to. They DID kidnap me, after all.
"Please follow me, so we can get you situated for the ritual."
That scared me to a whole new level, and I almost started trembling as I felt a few more beads of sweat roll down my brow. Immediately seeing this, the presumed leader quickly changed her tone.
"Oh, please dont be so scared! Nothing will happen, I promise. This will be absolutely pain-free, so you have nothing to worry about at all! That is, if pain is what you are worried about."
Strangely, the shadows seemed like they cared about me overall. That's usually not a factor for any sort of kidnappers, and thoroughly surprised me, to say the least. I started calming down and followed this shadow to the center of the clearing. As we did so, I started noticing some of the shadows moving as well, starting to moving towards the circle I was located in. Some of which took places inside the circle, near the strange symbols, and others just outside the edges of the ritual grounds. It seemed that the ritual was close to taking place, causing my nervousness to return. It wasn't as extreme as when I had first stepped in the clearing, and I prevented my nervousness from revealing itself to the outside world.
We had finally reached the center of the circle, the one point where all the lines eventually met. Before I could even start to ask what I should be doing, I felt my feet swept out from under me, and prepared for impact with the ground. Of course, I never did. I was floating in midair, not even a foot above the ground. I couldn't feel anything that could be lifting me up, only this weird tingling feeling all over my body. That's when I realized that this was the same exact thing as what happened when I tried to run. I was being held here by some unknown force, and it seemed that I would stay that way. As I floated, a shadow came forward, and spoke with the same voice as the leader's.
"Please, just try to lie still. Any sort of movement might cause a loss in concentration, and if any of us lose our concentration, the results could be disastrous. Are you ready to start?"
That last sentence surprised me. They were obviously the ones in control, and knew what they were doing here. Yet, they were asking ME if I was ready. Honestly, I dont think I was ready for any of this to occur, but I didn't think I could ever get more ready. I turned to them and said, "Well, I dont think I'll be going anywhere like this. As for being ready, I'm not really sure why you're asking me, since I have no idea what's about to happen. I really should be the one asking YOU that question!" As I finished, the shadow gave no response to emotion, until I heard what sounded like a stifled laugh. With that, the shadow started shimmering, the mists slowly condensing together as a shape started to form. I wasn't very surprised that the shadow wasn't a true form, as I don't think that a gas being had the ability to do everything it had done to me so far.
Once the shape finished forming, and the shimmering dispersed, I realized that I was no closer to discovering what my kidnappers really were. It's entire body was covered, head to toe (unless it had none, I couldn't tell), by a black cloak. A large hood was placed over what I presumed to be the head, not letting enough light into it to see any details of whatever inside. The only conclusion I could make was based on it's size. It was much smaller than I expected, guessing it didn't even reach 5 feet in height. How something so small could have dragged me from my home, I had no idea. Before I started to think of some ways how it could be possible, the creature spoke.
"Brothers and sisters, the first step to our goal is almost completed! Camoran is finally in our possession, and our ritual almost prepared. All that is left to do is to send him back with us, so he may fight for our cause and achieve our ultimate goal!"
I suddenly stopped paying attention to the speech, and more at a detail of the speech. They knew EXACTLY who I was! I dont really think I have any friends who were shorter than 5 feet, nor did I know anyone who was. As I pondered how my name had somehow been know to my captors, the leader continued with it's speech.
"I ask of you, every single one of you, to place your strongest effort into ensuring that this ritual is a success. If either of you fails to put forth your strongest effort, it could cause results that you would rather wish not happen. "
As the speech continued, more and more of the shadows began shimmering and took forms of their own. Almost every single one looked exactly the same, only because they wore the same cloaks as their leader and no parts of their body could be seen. Every other pony seemed to be much smaller than the leader even, maybe around 3-4 feet tall. I DEFINITELY didn't have any friends THAT short, so I guessed I would have to wait and see. While everyone kept changing back into their true forms, the leader's speech was coming to a close:
"Now, Children of the Shadows, prepare yourselves, start channeling your magic, and aid in the fulfillment of our Order!"
Everyone cheered, besides me, as I lie here confused as ever. I couldn't really understand what most of the speech was supposed to be about. The only thing I got out of it was a name, and it wasn't so different as what I was already calling them. As soon as all cheering was finished, the bodies seemed to lower themselves closer to the ground. Soon after, their bodies began to start glowing, faintly at first, then much more clearly, surrounding themselves with an all to familiar black field. Once everyone else had begun the ritual, the leader walked towards me and spoke.
"Remember, dont try to move, and this will all be over as quickly as possible, okay?"
I could only nod, still enveloped by whatever held me still. As soon as it noticed my nod, the leader also lowered itself, and a dark glow began forming. This glow darkened much faster, and became much darker with time. Every time I looked, it seemed as if I was staring into a black hole that threatened to engulf me whole. Luckily, I was held tight and would not move in case that started to happen. Something did start happening though. All around the clearing, the symbols I had noticed earlier started to glow the same color as everything else here, but they did something else than glow. They started raising themselves out of the ground. As my lungs slowly shrunk as all of my breath left me, the symbols continued rising out of the ground, one by one, and floating over to where I lay. They floated until the stood in front of me, floating no higher than I. As soon as the last one reached me, the shapes started spinning around me. It started slowly, like a carousel, but sped up faster and faster, until my eyes couldn't keep up anymore. I was forced to stare straight ahead in order to not sicken myself from the spinning symbols. As they spun faster and faster, I noticed that they started forming an image.
The image was of a human, but it wasn't for long. It eventually collapsed into what looked like a large, black blob. the blob started swirling, compacting, stretching, almost as if it was made of clay. Eventually, the blob stopped and began taking shape. Soon after, the blob was starting to look of a familiar form, but I never did get to see if it was being molded into what I believed it was. Instead, the darnedest thing happened.
My cell phone started ringing, quite loudly, inside my left pocket. It was the pocket closest to the huge black mass that had gotten this whole ritual going; the leader.
Almost immediately, every trace of black dispersed from its body, and a annoyed voice came from its direction.
"Can you please stop all of that noise, wherever it is coming from?! Otherwise, you will cause some of us to lose-"
As soon as the mistake was noticed, it was far too late. The symbols, which had started spinning so quickly that they seemed like a blur to the eyes, shot out from the middle, knocking anything in their way into the air. They stopped right at the treeline, and continued spinning at the same rate as before. By now, everyone had lost their concentration and watched in horror as the events unfolded. The symbols spun faster and faster, and began rising up into the air. At the speed the symbols were spinning, a tornado-like gust of wind had begun forming, threatening to blow everyone away. I was still being held against my will, so I wasn't so worried myself. I started worrying as soon as I noticed what was happening above me. All of the dispersed black, smoke-like substance that had surrounded everyone was collecting into one large cloud of pure blackness high above me, thanks to the howling winds the still-spinning symbols were creating. I wasn't the only one who noticed the same cloud. Everyone else did too, and reacted out of pure fear scattering into one direction: away. The only one that stayed was their leader, who had stayed behind and tried to free me from whatever was binding me here. I was really hoping it would be a fast job, as the symbols had started shooting purple lightning-like bolts into the dark mass that has started to grow exponentially. I truly hoped that I was dreaming this whole scenario, but this just felt all to real. Looking back, I noticed that my lone captor had given up on freeing me. Instead, over the roaring of the wind, it spoke to me.
"Quick! Give me something of yours!"
I stared, dumbfounded. "What?! Why?"
A quick response was given. "In case this accident DOESN'T kill you, we can find you!"
Couldn't argue with that. "Reach into my pocket! Take what ever you can grab!"
It immediately dug into my pockets, and pulled out my phone. It wasn't using hands, but its mouth, as far as I could tell. One question kept gnawing at me though.
"Wait, one last thing! Who are you?"
"Oh, me? I'm-"
That was the last word I heard at the time. All this time, the cloud hanging above us both had kept draining energy from the symbols by way of the purple "lightning". The amount of energy the cloud was picking up was too much for it, and had to get rid of it somehow. If it received the energy by lightning, why not release it by lightning? And that is just what it did. Suddenly, the once somewhat calm clearing became the sight for the weirdest lightning storm I had ever seen. Seeing that its luck was being pushed by staying too long, the lone captor began to rush off, stopped itself, turned around, and gave me one last look before escaping into the forest. I almost felt betrayed, but I had never fully trusted them from the beginning. I mean, they DID kid-
My thought never got farther, as my brain was then flooded with signals from all over my body, explaining that everything in my body was being stricken with a bolt of lightning, forcing me into complete shock and blinding me with the light being expelled. Everything was burning with the force of 1,000 suns (or so it felt), and my brain felt as if it was overloading and about to permanently shut down. Luckily, the burning sensation disappeared, only to be replaced with the feeling of falling at great speed. I opened my eyes, hoping I was just feeling things. I really wished I could hope for something that WAS happening, instead of being proved wrong all of the time. Once open, my eyes betrayed my hopes and showed me that I was high, very high. I was still above a forest, but I was falling way to fast to even hope to survive. As I was nearing my end, I said my last prayer to Celestia, and awaited my fate, eyes shut so I didn't see it coming. After many sounds of snapping, cracking, breaking, and enough pain to last me a life-time, everything was finally quiet. I slightly opened my eyes, and saw trees everywhere, but I had no care for that now. I wanted some rest. So, in the middle of the forest, with no protection whatsoever, I had the best sleep I think I've ever had.