This is a story I am currently working on. For now...here is a preview piece (that is also the beginning). Enjoy!
The night was quite chilly. Tabitha did not notice, even though she was in beggar's rags. She was too frightened to take notice of the cold. She glanced behind her in fear. The stories she heard were true.
Suddenly, Tabitha bumped into a man in a black overcoat with a black top hat and wearing dark grey trousers.
She did not observe his clothing at the time, as she backed away, or tried to. The man had a hold of her shoulders.
"I say, steady on there, Miss!" stated the gentleman, but Tabitha hardly heard him.
She kicked the man in the shins, making him let go of her. Tabitha heard shouting behind her but she kept running. Ducking into a side-alley, Tabitha stopped as she reached a dead end. A shadow loomed over the nine-year-old girl. Turning around, gasping in short but heavy breaths, Tabitha fainted from fright, believing her persuer had caught up with her at last.
(if people like this and want more, please tell me here.)
As to what they were to do now, that was still a matter left undisclosed. They were kids, orphans, children of the streets, no adults to help guide them, no others to know of the tragedy they have just faced. If anything was learnt in this world, it was that one had to fend for oneself. Sammy sniffled and stood up, brushing his eyes though they were dry. He looked over at the dead body once more.
"What' are we ta do?" he asked, both to himself and to Tabitha.
Tabitha hesitated, not at all sure what they were to do. She opened her mouth to speak words of comfort but found the words she was stating were harsh and not intentional.
"We had better get out of here," were the words she had spoken.
In her mind, Tabitha knew the honourable thing to say was that they should bury the body, but she was too far gone in shock and grief to utter those words. Sammy sharply glimpsed at Tabitha, his eyes held a note of shocked horror. But, he resolutely nodded his head slowly, trying to gather his own thoughts in order to get his body to function.
He could have stated that they could not leave The Illustrator's body like that, but he knew better not to argue with a person he thought was smarter then himself. He trusted Tabitha's judgement blindly, almost as blindly as he trusted The Illustrator. Despite knowing in his own mind that some of The Illustrator's teachings contradicted themselves.
"Learn! That is what you are here to do! I spend my time helping you children think of better things then what your own schools would teach," The Illustrator had stated one evening.
A boy in the back piped up, "Sir? What's school?"
"A thing you are better without," had been the reply of The Illustrator to the lad. "Whereas, my dream of a better world is nearly complete. There would be no more smog, no more disease.... a happier world for all."
The words of The Illustrator had echoed through Sammy's brain, the words of a man now dead, his dream of his world no longer able to become a reality.
The child's thoughts were interrupted as a menacing shadow cascaded over the two unaware children.
Tabitha felt an eerie presence and turned, fear gripping her chest while she fearfully gripped her moon crescent necklace.
Within the half-light of the tunnel, Tabitha could hear the scraping of most likely claws or something. Her pursuer had found Tabitha at last.
There was a low and animalistic growl from the thing that had been stalking Tabitha, a glint of something metal in the flickering glow of the fading light from the candles. Sammy was now aware of the presence too; he stood up and turned around, gulping lightly.
Tabitha started to move to the side, the shadow followed her movements.... a sardonic and animalistic laugh that chilled Tabitha right to her bones.
Suddenly, the shadow turned as Sammy started to move toward it, planning to face the unknown menace face-on.
A seething hiss was heard coming from the shadow, it moved forward and Sammy moved back, gulping once more. Sammy continued back as the shadow stalked forward, almost in the dimly lit room when the candles suddenly snuffed out.
Tabitha had backed up against the wall, frightened, not just for her sake but for Sammy's as well.
The heavy breathing of the shadow echoed throughout the chamber, Tabitha could not tell in the darkness wether it was coming for her or Sammy.
In the darkness, Sammy continued to back away until he tripped over something behind him and fell. The thing he tripped over was The Illustrator's dead body. The only source of light left was the very dim glow from The Illustrator's candle.
Before he could gather the nerve to move, Sammy heard something come towards him.
"Tabitha? Is that you?" whispered out Sammy, lifting the lantern with the candle.
It wasn't Tabitha. Sammy uttered a cry of horror and dropped the lantern, the light going out as the shadowy form leapt at him!
Tabitha had heard Sammy's scream; she cowered in fear, pressing herself against the wall.
The thought had occurred in her mind to go see if Sammy was okay, but in her frightened state, Tabitha was unable to move.
Tabitha finally managed to crawl against the wall, knowing full well that after the shadow had dealt with Sammy, it would go for her.
Tabitha was very scared, moving around the room in the dark, she had no idea where the shadow was anymore.
Trying not to think too much, Tabitha continued slowly until she found no more wall to crawl with, she must have made it to the entrance of the tunnel, the only way out of the darkened cavern.
Slowly turning around, Tabitha started to run, willing her legs to get moving.
She heard behind her a scuffling noise. The shadow must have heard Tabitha running for a bellow erupted from the figure in the darkened cavern that echoed around.
Tabitha kept running forward, not looking back. She could barely make out the opening of the crevice ahead that led into the sewers. She was almost there to freedom. But she knew she should not be glad yet, for she could hear the shadow's growling and grunting behind her, it was close behind Tabitha already.
Tabitha was almost at the opening, the sounds of the shadow behind her very close that she could sense it.
Squeezing through the crack, Tabitha felt something grab a hold of the left sleeve of her long singlet.
Uttering a scream as she felt nails dig into the soft flesh of her shoulder, Tabitha wrenched free by lurching forward as she came out from the crevice.
The fabric of her singlet got torn, slight droplets of blood running free down her arm.
Tabitha hardly noticed this, nor did she acknowledge that she fell over onto the grime-covered floor of the underground sewer system.
Tabitha knew the shadow would come for her; it would come for her like it had come for Sammy and other orphans that were reported as missing, the bodies that were found that is.
Standing up slowly, Tabitha clutched at her moon-shaped necklace, the iron points digging into the skin of her palm.
She began running, not at all sure where she would go, her shoulder starting to throb, the blood dripping slowly down her fingertips until mere specks hit the ground, lost in the grime-covered floor.
Tabitha kept running, the only instinct in her panic-stricken head that her body could obey: 'Run and hope it won't catch you.'
Chapter 7: The Desolate Orphan
Tabitha had made it to upper London, somehow she had escaped the sewers below her.
Crawling out from the crude hole that led to the sewers, Tabitha found herself in a darkened alleyway. It was day, but the fog and smoke was thick and overcast the sun.
Feeling disoriented, Tabitha crawled out onto the bleak cobble stoned ground, ignoring the dirt and dust that had scraped upon her already dirty long singlet.
Holding her sore arm from where the shadow had dug its nails into her, Tabitha winced in earnest.
Getting onto her knees, Tabitha felt tears stain her dust-covered cheeks as she boldly made the effort to stand up.
Swaying slightly as she stood upright, Tabitha glanced around at her surroundings, hoping of finding a place to rest. Or at most to flee to lest the shadow may come back for her.
Tabitha knew it would, it had followed her to the sewers, didn't it?
Not answering her own question in her mind, Tabitha felt the tears slide off her chin and collapse to the ground, leaving a small wet patch upon the ground that was never washed.
Tabitha did not see anyplace for her to go to, no place to hide. The alleyway itself led to a dead end, the only way out was forward to the streets of London or back down into the sewers from the large pipeline that she had just come from.
Gripping her sore arm and trying to ignore the pain, Tabitha urged herself to step forward.
Tabitha managed to step forward, but the step was a slow one, her strength having been drained from her frantic fleeing of the shadow in the sewers.
That and with the blood she had lost, Tabitha only managed to step forward before she gave up. Sure, the streets of London were mere feet away, but to her mind's eye, a mere foot seemed like miles to Tabitha. If she was stronger, if she was more refreshed, if she was not injured and if she was not exhausted from starvation and energy, Tabitha may have made it.
But, it was not to be. Tabitha had taken her step forward, her last step. It was just one meaningless effort for Tabitha despite the odds against her. But, that step was just one too many for Tabitha.
With a weak sigh escaping her mouth, Tabitha fell down onto the cobble-stoned alleyway, her body hitting the rocky pavement.
Tabitha lay motionless, unaware of the world around her, unaware that she had passed out and equally unaware of the looming shadow that had come up from behind her, bathing her frail form in darkness.
The faint smell of flowers was in the air. The intoxicating aroma filled Tabitha's head with a picture in her mind.
She was in a field of wildflowers, her face was clean and her hair was a silky sheen, as it seemed to shine in the sunlight. Tabitha was wearing a clean dress with lace frills at the bottom, a pearl ribbon tied around the upper waist area of her body.
She was sitting in a sideways position, her legs pulled up but to the side of her. Her dress seemed to flow in that direction, a small portion of white socks showing despite the long dress. Tabitha was also wearing some bright yellow shoes; the ones that kids would wear when they were going on outings. It took Tabitha a second for her to realize she was still a kid, an orphan sure, but still a small child in an adult-driven world.
Sighing almost without noticing, Tabitha was propping herself up with her left arm, her other hand idly fondling the grass, allowing the soft blades to be swept through her delicate fingers.
'Am I dead?' Tabitha heard a voice ask in a hushed whisper on the gentle breeze.
It took her a moment, but Tabitha finally realized the voice was her own.
'Or have I just gone to Heaven?' her voice asked again, echoing around herself in the field of flowers.
Tabitha could sense the fragrances of the flowers evaporate and her mind became clear as the scene washed away from her mind.
She opened her eyes and glanced around. Her eyes needed to adjust into focus for a second but Tabitha knew she was back in London because of the noise from the main street was nearby.
Glancing around, Tabitha saw she was in a different alleyway then the one she had collapsed in. There was a piece of cloth stretched out on the ground that had most likely seen better days.
Tabitha slowly stood up onto her feet and gazed around. The alleyway led off into the shadows, one of the many openings to the back streets that were homes to some of the more wretched folks of London.
There was nobody around but Tabitha knew that somebody had carried her, maybe the shadow itself. But, the question was, why?
The Urban Rivals team is made by lovers of all kind of Collectibles Cards Games and Trading Cards Games like: Magic the Gathering, Dominion, Vampire, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, Wakfu TCG, Assassin Creed Recollection, Shadow Era, Kard Kombat and Might & Magic Duel of Champions.