Arrow Branded Chapter 3

I awoke to the sun glaring down at me. I covered my face with the blanket. Soleil had explained the situation to Xavier and his friend, who I learned was named Rumour, last night.

“Why‘re you hidin’, kid?” Rumour asked. I removed the blanket from over my face and sat up groggily.

“The sun’s too bright.” I complained as I rubbed my eyes. He nodded in agreement.

“Your name’s Lake, right?” he asked. I nodded. “What kind of a name is Lake?” Rumour said, squinting at the sun.

“What kind of a name is Rumour?” I shot back.

“Touché.”

“Hey, Soleil,” I said, “Can I stay a little before going back? I don’t want to go.” I peeked out of the large tent. The extra sleeping bag I borrowed had been placed right by the entrance.

Soleil sighed. “You can stay for breakfast, but then you leave, Lake.” She put on a black hoodie on over her tank top as she spoke. I nodded.

That’s the first time I noticed that the two boys were wearing matching pajamas. Well, they had different bottoms, but they were both wearing similar black t shirts; one with the word best, and one with the word friends, printed on the front in pink. I thought they were very cute matching friendship shirts.

The four of us began to pack up the tent and walk up to the the large blue house about two hundred metres away. I noticed a face peek through a window on the ground floor.

We got up to the door and Xavier knocked. The door opened a crack and a tall woman stuck her nose through.

“Who is it?” she asked, her voice was silvery and pleasant to hear.

“It’s us; Xavier, Soleil, and Rumour.” Xavier responded.

“And who’s that?”

Everyone looked at me. All the attention was slightly overwhelming.

“My name is Lake Caelan Ruiz,” I said nervously. Soleil explained the situation and the woman let us in. Once we were in,  Xavier lent me some of his clothes. His clothes were the ones that fit. I went to the bathroom and changed out of my borrowed pajamas into my borrowed clothes.

I came out in a navy blue button up and black jeans. Soleil, Rumor, and Xavier had also changed into regular clothes.

They invited me over to the table. I sat next to Xavier and the woman put a plate with toast and eggs in front of me. I thanked her and began to eat my food. I suddenly realized that I didn’t know her name.

“What’s your name?” I asked politely.

“I’m Quinn Anderson,” she replied with a smile. I nodded. Then, I remembered something.

“Oh, yeah. I wanted to ask you something,” I said, turning to Rumor. “Last night I saw your eyes. Your real eyes.” I waited for a response. He just looked at me with a mildly confused expression. Soleil looked nervous. She began to speak.

“Lake, I told you; it was nothing. Probably the light reflecting off of–”

“No, I know what I saw,” I insisted. Then I looked at Rumor, who looked like he was trying to solve the question of life. “Your eyes were white. And glowing!” Rumor looked shocked.

“I-I don’t know what you mean,” he stuttered when he had found his voice again.

“Oh, please!” I exclaimed.

“Lake–” Soleil was interrupted by someone pounding in the door. We were all quiet for a while. The knock came again, more persistent this time. Quinn stood up and walked over to the door. She muttered something about how no one ever visits. Soleil tied her dark curly hair back with an elastic band she had on her wrist. When Quinn opened the door a man burst through, slamming the door behind him.

“Where’s the knife?” he panted.

“The what?” Xavier said, he squinted in confusion. The man walked over slowly.

“The Forebearer’s Blade. Do you know where it is?”

“N-no, I-”

“Think, boy!”

“Hey, don’t yell at him,” Quinn interjected. “I don’t trust you, whoever you are. Nobody’s known about that dagger for several centuries. Why would you come around looking for it now?” Quinn crossed her arms. The man looked at her as if she had just slapped him. Then his face contorted in a look of anger.

“I need that knife!” He lunged at Quinn. she dodged his attack and kicked him in the back of the knee. The man fell on a coffee table, destroying the table.

“Guys,” she yelled to us. “Get to the door!”

Xavier and Rumour were outside and Soleil was halfway to the door, but I was frozen. Soleil looked back at me and sighed. The man was already beginning to recover, we didn’t have much time. She ran back, grabbed my arm, and dragged me towards to door.

When we got out the four of us began to run towards the forest. We heard a loud crash behind us. I turned to see Quinn burst out the front door, wrestling with a wolf-like creature. In that moment my brain couldn’t process what I was looking at.

“I have to help,” Rumour said. He ran towards  them. I was shocked that nobody tried to stop him, until I saw what happened. His form shimmered, slowly becoming more animal-like as he neared the fight. By the time he reached the two fighting on the front lawn he had become a creature I had never seen before. He looked almost like a small dragon, but more like a shadow. He tackled the wolf creature. Quinn stood up and brushed herself off. Rumour wrestled the other creature, rolling over bushes and tearing up grass. His eyes glowed bright white and I finally understood. He bared his teeth and like an angry dog, revealing three rows of razor sharp fangs.

The other creature reared up on its hind legs. It snarled at Rumour. Rumour crouched low like an animal stalking its prey. He leaped at the wolf, landing on top of it. I suddenly saw Quinn crouching behind a bush, an arrow notched in the bow in her hand. She aimed it at the fight. I assumed she was trying to find the perfect position so that she could hit the wolf creature and not Rumour.

I heard an animal cry out and saw that Rumour had managed to bite the wolf’s leg. When he pulled back, I saw blood drip from his jaws and bite marks on the other creature’s leg. Rumour pounced on the wolf and pinned it to the grass. He looked up at Quinn as if signaling for her to shoot. She shot an arrow at the two and it lodged itself in the wolf creature’s side. The wolf shrieked and squirmed. Then it dissolved into black smoke. Rumour turned back to us. He walked over to Xavier and stopped in front of him.

“Rumour, are you okay?” Xavier asked the creature in front of him. Rumour’s form shimmered and he turned back into a boy. His eyes still glowed.

“Rumour?” Soleil said as she stepped towards him. I noticed a dark red stain on the front of his ripped shirt.

“He’s injured,” I said.

“I’ll be fine. It’s not that bad,” Rumour said with a pained smile. His glowing eyes flickered. He blinked and the light was gone. His eyes were back to their regular grey.

“Don’t lie to me, Rumour. You’re my friend,” said Xavier. He gave Rumour a look.

“Seriously, I’m fine,” Rumour insisted.

“No, you’re not.” Quinn approached. “We can’t stay here. Someone is looking for the Forebearer’s Blade and some of the creatures are helping them.”

“What is the Forebearer’s Blade anyways?” Xavier asked.

“It’s not important. You need a warlock to heal Rumour, you’ll have to ask them when you get there,” Quinn said, digging around in her jacket’s large pockets. She pulled out some gauze and elastic bandages. “Until then, use this. As for the warlock, here’s a map to his house.” Quinn handed Soleil a piece of paper. “His name is Dash Hawthorne.”

“Wait. Why are you giving this to me? Where are you going?” Soleil asked.

“I have to find the Forebearer’s Blade. I need you to go to the kingdom and warn them,” Quinn replied. Xavier seemed uneager to go to the castle and I wondered why. I didn’t ask. Soleil gave Quinn a pleading look. Quinn gave Soleil a hug.

“I’ll see you guys as soon as possible,” she said once she let go of Soleil. Everyone gave her hugs and kisses. Xavier embraced her as if it were his last desperate attempt at not letting her leave. He released her after some gentle encouragement from his sister. Quinn even gave me a hug. I thanked her for feeding and caring for me in the short time I was in her house.

“Well, we have to go our own ways, before more creatures attack,” Rumour said.

“Yeah, and you need  to fix that,” Quinn said, motioning to Rumour’s injury. He laughed, then winced.

“Sorry. Well, I’ll see you later,” Quinn said. She ran off in the direction of Lil’ Angel’s Orphanage. I turned back to the other three.

“Can somebody please explain what the heck just happened? What was that? It just turned into smoke. Whowhatare you?” I said all of this without breathing. They stared at me for a second.

“I’m a Night Demon,” Rumour said calmly. I gave him a look. “Look, before you say anything; demons aren’t what people say they are.”

“We’ll explain on the way. We have to find this Dash Hawthorne,” Xavier said. “C’mon.”

The three of them walked off into the forest. I stood in shock for a few seconds, then ran after them.