The Shadows | A writing prompt tale
Dangerous. I’m Dangerous.
That is one of the three things I learned as I woke up from what I hoped was a nightmare.
The second thing I learned was the woman who dropped from the ceiling is named Zillah, Keeper of the Shadows. One mean woman.
The third thing I learned, well, I still don’t know if I understand it, but it has to do with my family – my family history.
And this is why I am here, on a boat, sailing out to an island that isn’t supposed to be inhabited. I have to travel to an old woman on an island to hear about my family history. They herded me into an armored truck for a couple hours until they herded me onto a boat off the western shore of Lake Michigan. I am told we are sailing to Garden Island.
“What if somebody sees us?” I asked Marshall, who was sitting across from me, as one of their “soldiers” drove the boat.
Marshall glanced over at me and then back ahead of us, “They won’t.”
“Why?” I spat back over the wind funneling around us.
He glared at me, “There is an enchantment over the boat.”
Something else I learned is that Marshall does NOT like me. I was blindfolded the whole “walk” through the facility until we go into the vehicle to take us wher we are now. I asked why. He said they don’t know if they can trust me yet.
Trust me? Who is the one blindfolding a teenage girl? Who are the ones who have kept this secret from me? Granted I kept it from my parents, but Mom and Theo knew I had magic and didn’t tell me they knew, so I think I win that one.
When we reached the island, I was escorted off the boat by armed men, but once I was on the shore they stopped, turned around, and re-boarded the boat.
“Hey! Where are you going?” I hollered.
Marshall replied from the boat, “We can’t go any further. She doesn’t approve of us, but she is waiting for you. Just follow the trail to her cottage.”
I turned around to see a small trail in the midst of green shrubbery. “Great. My biggest fear is being in a slasher film in the middle of the woods is coming true.”
I moved forward and followed the trail into the island. It looked normal at first until I came across something I didn’t even know existed – a unicorn. I froze. The white mare was nibbling at the ground, her mane dangling slightly over her face as a single, beautiful horn rose out of her forehead. She must have felt my presence, because she looked up as she continued to chew the grass. I don’t know what was pushing me forward, but I took a few steps toward her. She just stared at me.
When I got close enough I reached my hand out so she could smell it. She didn’t even hesitate as she took a few steps toward me, allowing me to pet her head. I let out a small laugh as I tried to take in the fact I was petting a UNICORN!
“So you are back with us,” an old, cracking voice stated behind me.
I jumped and turned toward the voice ready to find an object to hurl at whatever just spoke, but I froze as I saw the oldest woman I had ever seen. Her skin was white as snow, but cracking and leathery. Her hair was gray and muddled on top of her head. Her clothing was ragged and musty looking, hanging off her delicate, skin and bone body. She looked like death, but her eyes were bright and alive.
“Are you the old woman I am supposed to be talking to about my family history?” I asked fearfully.
“Yes,” she replied, “I am Zofia, Priestess of the Shadows.”
“What do you know about my family?” my voice trembled with each word.
Her eyes pierced mine and I felt as if she was inside my head, “You’ll wish you never asked me that…”