Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/campfires/item_id/1161209-OtherTwilight
Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Novel · Action/Adventure · #1161209
Fragile web breaks between this world and the other...

Do you believe in faeries,
taloned horns and silky wings?
Of eyes that watch the moon by night,
and all unearthly things?

Do you believe in faeries,
with long fingers snatch and snare,
those quiet chuckles in the night-
believe in this nightmare...

*Note2*This is between the worlds of the unearthly (faeries, goblins, selkies, specters, pixies, gnomes, changelings, elves, etc.) and humans. *if you have other ideas of other creatures, please email me or middlerhime@writing.com. Then we'll look into it!*
*Note2* Teenage characters preferred
*Note2* No explicit sex scenes
*Note2* Try not to kill off characters, or email us and them before you do so
*Note2* Try and involve other participants, we would like to keep the story flowing!
*Note2* Feel free to add OTHER characters with good reason and description (please, not too many!)

~The Characters~

[Locksley] Shea, Xaphan

[Socorro] Renna

[NatureFreak In Hawaii!☺] Sylvia, Mayson Allara

[Zoojie] to be announced...

[Storyteller has recovered!] Mermaidia

[Moon Watcher] Drefath-ihunarnivo

[Francy Dee] to be announced...

[Fantasy Fan] to be announced...

Shea glanced at her sister, Dulcina and pointed at the tiny promontory in the distance, “That’s the one,” Shea whispered in her sister’s ear. Dulcina’s large blue eyes widened as she saw how small it was, it could easily be covered with her thumb.

“You plan on swimming that far, little sister?” Dulcina asked surprised and somewhat worried, “Why not try one of the other cliffs, like that one?” She pointed to a larger and easy to reach peninsula. Shea shook out her curly dark brown hair and gazed lovingly at the far out mountain with the deepest violet eyes any selkie is known to have.

“No, I have made my decision, and it’s that mountain I must conquer. Besides, I’ll have someone join me, like Kailen,” Shea said stubbornly. Dulcina shrugged, Kailen would take good care of Shea, and he was seen as Shea’s soon-to-be companion. He would watch her well.

“Alright then,” Dulcina sighed, “When do you plan on leaving?”

“At the low tide tonight, now don’t worry Dulcina, I’m the best swimmer on this island!” Shea laughed at Dulcina’s concern, “Anyway, we should be getting back to shore, I can smell the fish already!” Dulcina laughed at Shea’s carelessness and she slowly formed into a sleek, coal black seal. Shea was already swimming back to shore, her silver seal body skimming the waves.

That night, Shea hurried onto the sand, waiting for the moon to call in the tide. Her body tingled with excitement, and she felt a pull from the promontory, calling her to it. Then she felt a sharp tug at her arm.

“Shea! Why didn’t you tell me about your midnight escapade? I don’t want you to get lost!” And there was Kailen. He was tall, lean, toned, and tan. Male perfection as selkies saw it. He had the curliest black hair and eyes that shown gold. Shea crossed her arms angrily.

“Kailen, I’m delighted you came to watch me go, you’ll be a great witness to the village, but I have to do this one on my own! Really, it calls to me, Kailen,” He shook his head.

“Not without me, your sister told me about what you planned to do, and I plan to be right next to you when you reach that bluff,” And Shea sighed, she knew she couldn’t persuade his stubborn head.

She slowly formed into a seal, the moon reflecting its shiny kiss against her back. Kailen formed into his creamy white seal body, and the two dived into the water.

Shea felt the mountain drawing her in, and Kailen had kept his promise. He was there beside through the whole thing, though he did slow her down by a bit. Closer and closer they drew toward the sea mountain, going to the surface a couple of times for air and a quick glance. Now it was only a palm away, and then nearly as big as an arms length. Swimming, swimming, swimming… Then suddenly, Shea felt everything fade away...
The sky was dirty. It always was at this time of night. For some reason, the smog seemed to rise up and circle in dirty blotches around the moon, the tiny neighboring stars hardly relief from the dark burn of the city.

Renna licked her lips. The air was heavy, and felt bloated and warm against her skin, already damp from the long day stocking the shelves at the commercial deli. Being a small girl, the manager had glanced at her askance once she recieved her application to be a evening-stocker, silently appraising the almost non-existant muscle beneath her plain grey t-shirt. Marta had even offered the girl a bagging position, but she'd refused.

Renna didn't much like people, and she needed a job. Better to stack cans the way SHE wanted, rather than have to make nice conversation with some old couple with fifteen cats and funny odor.

She glanced at the digital watch stretched over her wrist. Nearly closing. Glancing around and seeing no one, she walked over to the frozen section. Opening the door, she stuck her entire head and shoulders in, breathing in the deep scent of manufactured ice and cardboard.

Closing her eyes, a tiny smile flickered as a brief candle over her lips. Then she froze. She felt icy fingers, smooth and long, glide down the side of her face and over her cheek. Her eyes flashed open, and she jerked back, knocking her head against the glass door. Her breath came short.

A pale, inhumanly bright face smirked back at her. Jagged ice sharp cheekbones held eyes the color of frosted tin, and its? his? smooth lips were neatly upturned.

"Tell me," he whispered, voice strange and dark and heart-rending. "Fey little human, have you ever wished to see the sea?"

Renna felt as though she was on auto-pilot. Her movements were as slow and jerky as a robot doll. "No," she finally mumbled, her voice and mind muddled and cloudy. "I hate to swim," And with an almost silent click, she let go of the glass and the door swung shut.

And when Marta came to find her and tell her that her shift was over, she would see the girl staring with a misty expression into the bags of frozen vegetables.
Shea screamed as she saw a huge moving thing, there was no name to describe it, coming at her. It had a weird light coming out from it, and it snarled at her as if telling her to get aside. Shea looked around, this was not the mountain she had been swimming to, in fact there was no water anywhere. Giant mushrooms and metallic mountains filled the gray landscape. There was no grass, and the air smelled and tasted awful. Where was she?

"Hey you!" yelled a voice from the giant moving thing, "Get out of the street!" And Shea noticed where she was, and hurried away from the thing. The streets were infested with living things that resembled her, but had golden and different colored hair, and eyes that shone of blue and brown. It was a beautiful sight, and Shea flushed as she thought about her dull brown hair and large, violet eyes. This was not the island, and these things were surely not selkies. Where was she?

Shea walked down the busy streets, being pushed and shoved by rough men and anxious women. As she walked, she noticed an older man lounged outside an entrance to one of the artificial mountains, and he held out a hand, "Hello girlie, do you have any money to spare a poor old man?" Shea stared at him oddly and looked around, people just walked on by.

"What?" She asked the man, "What money?"

The old man chuckled and stood up, "A sweet thing like you should know what I'm talking about," Shea backed away slowly, she didnt know where this was going, and was far too inexperienced with human behavior to ignore him and go away.

"Leave me alone, I dont know where I am...goodbye," With this unsure statement, she started to look around again, surely the man would leave her alone now that she commanded it.

Then she felt a human hand on her arm, "Hey, cutie, just give me the money ya got, and no harm done. I'll even forget your bad attitude," The old man was still there! Shea stared at him alarmed, as if she was a captured animal.

"Hey! leave that girl alone!" A short girl came up and grabbed Shea's other arm, "I'm helping you," She whispered to her and pulled her away from the man.

"Who do you think you are, some tough chick? I'm talking to her politely," The old man licked his lips and glared at the other girl. The girl shook her head and mumbled something to herself, then very unexpectantly, punched the man in the face.

"Lets go!" She said quickly as she pulled Shea away from the man, who had let go of her willingly. That blow would cause a bruise, if not a black eye. Shea felt relief, pure relief.
A Non-Existent User
"What were you doing?" asked the other girl. Her head barely came up to Shea's chin, the golden-blonde hair curled in neat spirals down her torso.

"I-I don't know. I was-" Shea stopped herself short. She couldn't reveal to a human her true self. It could be disastrous! "I was traveling to my aunt's home when I became lost. I seem to be missing my guide, though."

The other girl looked at Shea inquisitively. "A guide you say. Oh dear, where are my manners? My name is Sylvia. As for that man, he has no use for your money. All he does is buy liquor."

"Liquor..." she had heard that before. No matter. "I'm Ashley," she lied. As far as she knew, someone with the name Shea and violet eyes would be very suspicious where she was - wherever that would be."

"So, Ashley, do you mind coming to my place?"

"Oh, I'm not so sure."

Sylvia looked at her with sad eyes, saying, "Oh, please, you're the only friend I have right now. It won't cost you a single penny."

What was a penny? "Okay." Sylvia's face brightened. "But only on one condition."

"Okay, anything!"

"We need to find my guide. Without him, I am utterly lost."

Sylvia thought about the offer for a bit, but in the end, she answered, "Sure, where should we look first."

"Ummm," Shea had no idea where to look. She saw a group of the giant moving things heading toward a sun of some sort. "That way," she said, pointing in the direction of the sun."

"Okay, Ashley, there's something I need to tell you. The direction you pointed is very dangerous. Not many who enter that region exit. Are you sure you want to go that way?"

"Yes. C'mon! Let's go before night!
Sylvia first had to take a stop at her small, dark, and dirty apartment. Shea was very confused by the idea of entering a "mountain" as she saw it, and when they entered 143B, she felt trapped and betrayed by Sylvia.

"You're going to kill me, aren't you?" Shea asked tensely, as she leaned against the door, "Please, just get it over with,"

Sylvia stared at Shea, and didn't know what to say. Then she laughed confusedly, "Ashley, I don't have a clue about what your talking about! I would never harm you, and I stopped that man, remember? Now I need to change really quick, do you need to borrow some clothes? Those look a bit...worn," In fact, Shea's clothes were in tatters, and were so outworldly that Shea agreed to Sylvia's idea.

As Shea peeled off her selkie traditional outfit, she felt like she was taking away the only thing she would ever have that would be from her island. Tears fell onto the intricate fabric and she wiped them away quickly. "No tears, must stand strong, for Dulcina, and Kailen," As she put on the baggy, somewhat dirty pants of Sylvia's, she felt different and sick. But she continued to dress and zipped up the navy blue hoodie she was given.

After she and Sylvia had dressed and eaten a bit of food, to Shea's disgust, they hurried out the door and into the big city. If Shea thought the city was crowded during the day, she was mistaken. The night was flooded with filthy bodies and people just out to have drinks and a good time. Sylvia pushed through, Shea in tow.

As Sylvia entered the wet, concrete parking lot where her junk car was. "I have to unlock the car from the inside, 'kay?" Sylvia said as she opened the loose door. Shea stared at the deep-tinted windows and remembered the moving light-flashing thing. She whirled around and started walking away.

"Hey! What are you doing? The car's over here!" Sylvia said and ran over to her. God, Sylvia thought, I never knew making friends would be so hard!

"I can't go in that thing," Shea replied plainly, and continued to walk.

"Alright, alright! Let me just lock it, and we'll walk around to look for this 'guide' of yours," Sylvia hurried back to the car, while the impatient Shea waited.

Finally, they were back on the street, and they could smell the excitement the night had that made day so jealous. "I know a place where most people go, your friend might be there," And they walked into a building that had different colored 'suns' and other attention-grabbing effects. Shea just kept with Sylvia.

However, as she was walking by all the chic couples and grungy late-night workers, she felt someone grab her from behind and covered her mouth, as Sylvia, clueless, kept walking.
Renna felt sick, tired, and numb- that strange lurching sensation one would get after standing in the snow bare-foot and feverish. The kind of feeling that makes one crave pineapple, so that its acidic graces, never tasting as one would imagine it to, could pull a person back from those gaping gray areas of life.

But now, Renna was not buying a pineapple. She had allowed her feet to swish past full-time manager Marta into the crumbled-sidewalk city night. She followed her tread past the oriental foods store, across from the comic-book palace, through the busy intersection and lazy late-night drivers.

All the way to a cruddy little hole-in-the-wall rennovated club and cafe. The black painted building looked more shabby than sheik, and the neon lights and signs near the doors and windows were as hundreds of tiny magenta lime cerulean suns.

The man at the door with the too-close crew cut and beefily menacing persona gave her one glance, never even asking for an id, just holding one palm up for admission.

Automatically, Renna panicked, though it was a slow, sort of sleepy panic. There was a sound, then, a cross between an odd sort of slithering noise and a crash. The man at the door swiveled his gaze in its direction, and Renna allowed herself to slip unobtrusively past him.

The room was surprisingly full, and the flighty, jarring msic made not only the floor boud, but her blood and nerves. A strobe-light illuminated one corner, and the way it caught the flashes of movement in flashing time made Renna both want to join and to get way. A few regular searchlights panned over the crowd, landing for a brief second on Renna, before passin to her right. She blinked, and decided to walk over to the cafe, more of a bar, really, though with less drinks.

She paid for a tiny plastic cup of fruit, more than she would have expectedina place like this, and poked through its contents with a plastic fork she had to ask for. No pineapple. Half-heartedly she speared a papaya.

Scanning the dance floor, her eyes were caught by a jerky moving couple about 20 feet away. The girl had medium dusky brown hair and surprisingly wide almost purple eyes. The man was not tall, though not as short as the girl whose arm he clutched, almost possessive, almost too tightly. Another hand rested on her collar-bone, and in the dim light she thought she saw him squeeze, hard.

His head bent down to whisper something inaudible into her ear, and the girl became limp. Farther off in the crowd, an absolutely tiny blonde with the longest curly hair Renna had ever seen frantically began pushing her way back through the crowd, her arms trying to shove others aside. Her mouth was in a silent "o" and her eyes were wide.

Then, just as Renna was about to sigh over the thought of a jealous love-triangle, the man turned his head and gave her an unmistakeable wink. His hair was blue-silver, and the harsh planes of his face made Renna's breath catch, and her hand clumsily set the fruit down, spilling the thick syrup. From the frozen section-

Renna stood, cold, her eyes deliberatly locked onto the man? creature? He stepped a little ways from the girl, though his hand still encircled her arm, which he squeezed again. The girl whimpered.

With a sardonic bow in Renna's direction, he viciously tugged the girl after him.

Renna caught a glimpse of the blonde in the crowd, her face more a picture of anger than fear, now. Her body was used nearly as a miniature battering ram, honest-to-god pummelling into thsose who happened to be in her path.

The person holding the brown-haired girl gave a wickedly knowing glance in her direction, though not stopping.

"Wait," Renna called, voice almost a whisper compared to the bass system. "Stop!"

A Non-Existent User
Sylvia barged through a herd of couples that were in her way. She had to save Ashley. A voice seemed to come to her telling her to stop, but she dismissed it. Someone's arm caught around her shoulder resulting in a face full of apple juice for both of them. She saw the man squeeze harder around Ashley's neck. She was almost there!

Renna had to do something. That monster-man was a dangerous being, and she couln not let that little girl kill herself in such a way. There was only one thing she could do to save her: Stop her in her tracks. She ran toward the commotion, leaving behind a spilt cup of fruit.

Shea knew she had only seconds to live. Black dots swam before her eyes, and she felt like she was swimming 1,000 leagues under the sea. She heard voices both behind her and in front. Her vision blurred. She was going to die.

The changling gripped tighter. He was completing his task. The selkie was giving up. He laughed to himself, thinking of his next assignment, when a body flew right past him. His grip loosened, and the selkie sled to the floor. Something hit him hard on the side, and he fell down right next to the selkie.

Renna forced herself to stop. The little girl had managed to run right into the man holding the girl. She gasped as both fell down onto the ground. No one else in the entire room seemed to notice as the small girl crawled over to the larger girl. She stood and stared, tears beginning to well up inside her.

Shea began to regain consciousness, barely. She saw Sylvia crawl over to her. She could see no sign of the monster in front of her, but stayed still just in case.

When Sylvia finally reached her, Shea noticed her breath was rhaspy. It looked as though Sylvia was going to collapse. Shea had the same feeling. Sylvia leaned over to her ear and whispered this:

"I know you're a selkie. I'm an elf."

With that, both fainted.
A Non-Existent User
Slvia awoke in a small room. A sudden movement, a shadow, moved quickly away from her. Slyvia sat up slowly her head spinning, the light jabbing her eyes like needles. A dark shape sat in the corner, miserably shaking its head.

Trying to clear herself of the headache, Slyvia gently pushed the sleeping selkie next to her. Her eyes never left the shape.
"Ashley, wake up." She ordered, whispering, the figure in the corner watching silently unnerved her. Slowly, Shea's eyes opened.

"What..." Shea croaked, her throat bruised and sore from the unnatural pressure it had been under. She rubbed it gingerly.
Slyvia didn't say anything, but nodded in the direction of the figure in the corner.
Still sitting, watching.

There was no furniture of any description in the room, and the walls were painted an odd shade of grey, like storm clouds on a previously sunny day. Ominous, forboding, deadly.

The shadow moved towards them slowly, and proved itself to be a girl, a few years older than Shea.
"I saw you." Renna whispered, shaking her head.
"Shouldn't touch." Her voice croaked, breaking with the pressure of not bursting into tears. "Shouldn't KNOW!" She screamed.
Mermaidia pranced through the street, drooling over the displays in shop windows and attracting more than a few glances of admiration.

"Wow, this lamp is SO cute! It's just too bad there's no electricity underwater..."

"I'll bet I'd look great with this bracelet!"

"Ooh, this beret is a good creation, from a human!"

"I wish I could hug ths teddy bear at night..."

But she kept her hand firmly clamped over her Prada bag, as if afraid her money would simply jump out of her bag.

As she admired a beautiful dress and copied it so she could make an exact copy when she got home, she noticed flashing lights in the distance, on the surface of the sea. She frowned. That was unusual - the barrier dividing the nine different worlds wouldn't break just like that. Something had to be afoot.

She decided to go investigate. And perhaps make some money as well.

She pounced on a creature - a gnome, by the look of him, and smilingly asked him, "Hello, sir. Are you plaaning on staying here, sightseeing, or are you just passing through?"

"Is it your business?" he asked.

"Of course!" she said sweetly. "If you plan on staying here, I can help you find a satisfactory place to live for only a hundred and fifty dollars. If you're travelling, I'll be your tour guide - a hundred dollars per person, with a thirty percent off discount on souvenirs. If you're just passing through...do you want to buy a map?"

As the gnome tried to escape her clutches, she bent closer to him and whispered, "Why is the barrier broken?" she asked.

"Malevolent presence." he muttered, "It broke last night, and right now people from all nine worlds are coming in. Selkies, angels, elves, faeries, griffins..."

"Thank you, sir." Mermaidia suddenly resumed her former tone. That'll be forty cents, please." she handed him a map.

The gnome handed her a coin, and disappeared into the crowd. Mermaidia however, stood where she was, thinking. Bringing the worlds together was wrong - it would result in mayhem and chaos and probably many deaths. Not only that, but breaking the barrier would require massive ammounts of energy. Something she did not have at her disposal. Well, perhaps she would start looking for a new home, on some other world. The world of the dead apparently had many rivers.

As she started for her boutique/tea shop/tourist shop/bookstore/antique store, she noticed a shadowy figure moving through the streets, towards a few of the unearthly. The elf and selkie (at least that was what Mermaidia thought they were) had collapsed. If this was the malevolent presence...

Without thinking, she followed the figure.
Drefath-ihunarnivo, also known as Drefath, flew aimlessly in the night sky. He was tired of being treated in a puerile way a t the lair, so he flew off to "get some fresh air". He was a teen-aged wind dragon, a sleek black body raised it's speed and maneuverability, and an icy breath of compressed wind is a powerful weapon when comes to a fight. However, as he flew he didn't notice the pair of eyes tracking onto him. Those eyes belonged to an elven hunter. A dragon hunter.

Drefath was about to turn back to the lair when he felt a sharp pain in his right wing. He turned his head to see an arrow piercing into his skin. Roaring with pain and anger he turned to meet his challenger, but was only met with a swarm of arrows slicing through his body. Drefath new this would be the end and flew away so they would have a harder time finding his body. As he flew with arrows tracing his path he saw a portal open before him. Without thinking Drefath entered and his eyesight went black.

When his eyes opened he was in the air flying, dragons can fly even if they are unconscious. Drefath regained control of his body and looked around. He was above a forest, it seemed to be night and for a second he thought that he would feel the pain of another bunch of arrows in his skin until he looked up to see that there was only one moon.

Drefath panicked, "Where am I? Where is the other moon?" He looked around for a place to land and saw a light in a clearing a head. He decided to stop there for the night and tend to his arrow wounds.

So he flew towards it faster than he thought he would but was decimated at the sight below. Little pink skins on two legs and some armored monster that was about 3 times the size of the pink skins inhabited this “lair”. Drefath looked desperately for a place to land and rest his aching wings. As he looked he saw two figures, standing out in the crowd to his sharp eye. Human? No elf. Who is the other person? Drefath put that to the back of his thoughts and flew back into the forest and crashed into the trees, for his wings couldn't hold anymore.

"I will worry about this later" Drefath thought to himself and went straight to sleep.

Xaphan flicked up his thumb from his clenched fist, emitting a small flame that replaced what was a thumb. He lightly placed it against the large billboard that stood beside him. He could hear the plastic and cardboard screaming out in terror as he laid his thumb upon it. Snickering, he watched as the billboard was engulfed with flame.

"Sucks for them," He said, and walked casually away. Fire demons were known for mischief, just a little better than the pixies. Chaos should be expected after such an important 'wall' was destroyed between his world and this. He ran his rough, tan skin through his dark, burnished, red hair. Ever since he heard the news, he came over to see if Humans were really all that they were cracked up to be.

So far, he saw nothing special about them.

He lost his friend, Fuerety, as they came over, but he knew that Fuerety would know where he was. All fire demons had that sense of where certain beings, including other creatures than themselves, were. Life was so much easier knowing if someone was going to sneak up behind and kill you.

As he watched humans gazing with a horrified look upon the burning billboard, he continued on his expedition. He always had a smug smirk on his face, and that always meant he was looking for something to play with.

Suddenly he tripped over a body that lay to the side of the primitive streets. "God damn it! Watch where you’re going, punk!" And he saw an unusual man lying there, unconscious. No, cross that, it was no man, a selkie perhaps? The young selkie groaned and woke up instantly in terror.

"Where am I? Where's Shea? Did you take her? I will kill you, I swear I will!" The young selkie got up and held out a fist. Xaphan smirked. This was exactly the kind of victim he wanted.

"I don't have her, but I know where she is. Why don't we join up and look for her?" The poor selkie looked at him with distrust, then knowing he had nothing to lose, nodded.
A Non-Existent User
"So, let me get this straight. You are a selkie from another dimesional place where thousands upon thousands of your type live. And you are an elf from a dimension with dragons and other sorts, and you appeared here about 50 years ago when the barriers between these otherly worlds started to deteriorate."

"Well, it looks as though you're a fast learner."

Renna stared at Sylvia. She turned over to Ashley, who they had figured out was Shea. Now that she looked closer, she noticed the wiolet eyes under the brown hair. Her hands had a sort of webbed look like she was used to swimming.

Suddenly, Shea leaned over to Sylvia and asked, "Look over there! Isn't that a sea creature from Creanna?"

"Yes!" Sylvia replied, "Others are being transported here! Soon the demons and dragons and other foul sorts will be appearing! Also, according to my calculations of this planet, only a certain amount of beings can be held here without the..."

Renna could listen no longer. Through all her life she had been taught martians weren't real. Now, she wouldn't be surprised if she saw the earth split and reveal little creatures underneath the ground. This was crazy. And Creanna! Where was this place? "I need some sleep," she quietly whispered to herself.

"We can't let Renna tell any others what is going on! It could end up in a-"

"Shh!" Sylvia stopped her talking. A giant shadow passed over them. Shea felt something warm on her arm, blood. She looked at the other girl and saw her mouth the word 'dragon'.

"Excuse me." Shea nearly had a heart attack. She whipped around and saw an otherworldly creature standing right behind her. They had to be more careful. Next time it could be a demon!

"I am called Mermadia and I can help you if you are lost. Maps cost 40 cents plus tax, and feel free to let me show you a home." She leaned in closer and started whispering. "Malevolent presence is creating a break in the barriers. The farthest worlds are beginning to let loose. That spells certain death for these humans."

"Thank you," Sylvia replied. "We were worried something like that would happen."

Mermadia suddenly grew a puzzled look. "Wasn't there another? A taller girl?"

"Yeah, she's right..." Shea couldn't see Renna. "Oh dear, this is not good."

Sylvia groaned, saying, "Come on! We can't let her talk to the authorities around here!"

Shea was getting up when she saw a shadow. She could sense an evil presence. She was about to warn Sylvia when bright lights exploded in her eyes. Her last thought was "Not again!"
A Non-Existent User
Seven rivers flowed through the barren landscape, shadowed by the presence of the massive castle. Barriers broken, the D’eath family stood at the parapet of this massive structure, looking over the rivers as they ran, telling the story of each Selkie, Dragon, Elf, Gnome, Griffon and Human.

A cacophony of screams echoed throughout, but the D’eath family had no interest in their pleas. Where the rivers met in their deadened kingdom, the family watched one particular shadow of a memory flicker. One, single, girl.

A walking skeleton approached the family, and bowed. Its hard bones rattled as it lowered itself to its masters. It had no mouth, no lips, no skin. It lacked all humanoid devises to speak, but the D’eaths’ knew. Soon the barrier would be destroyed. Unless…

Their black eyes looked back into the river, and into the world of the girl.

Renna ran through the streets, as fast as she could. She couldn’t handle the information these… ‘otherworlders’ were throwing at her. Dragons, Selkies, Elves? Not possible. She was dreaming.
Martians were myths, fairytales. These were real fairytales. Tall tales.
She stopped for a split second, and shook her head. Her thoughts were muddled, she needed to get everything straight.

“This is not good. Not. Good.” Sylvia clenched her fists, ready to take on anyone twice her size if it meant that they would save Renna, and themselves.
“I don’t think…she’ll say anything.” Shea said between gasps for air. Sylvia was a fast runner, but Shea wasn’t used to land. Water was her forte.
“Maybe not, but we can’t take…” Sylvia jumped over a fallen dustbin, “That chance.”
Mermadia had followed them part of the way, but her grip on the prada bag had loosened. She had stayed behind, watching the streets for any others lost between worlds.

Shea suddenly had her thoughts flick to her home, her family, and her friends. How long would the barrier hold them, and what would happen to them?

The D’eath’s returned to their post at the castle’s parapet. Their soulless eyes were to the mixture of stories that would eventually lead to the centre, where the rivers met. Where Renna sat, hiding, head in hands, trying to work out what exactly was going on.

The D’eath’s, as one, smiled.
Mermaidia turned away from her two companions as they neared the beach. She looked around to make sure no humans were watching and leaped into the waves with barely a ripple. Living underwater was a nessecity, but she knew that for humans, it was fatal. They might think she was trying to drown herself.

Her legs melded together into a pale pink fishes' tail and she made directly for an opening in the barrier.

Several - what was the word? - cans were in the sand, and Mermaidia shook her head, moonlight-colored hair floating around her face. Humans! It wasn't surprising they died so quickly, the way they destroyed their home. THat was the reason she was saving her money and getting so many jobs; she was saving money to buy the ocean. And when she had enough, she would rid it of all pollution and spend the rest of her days in the ocean, making sure no annoying humans came over and no factories would dump their trash into the water.

As she swam, she noticed a selkie and a fire demon. This surprised her. How could the fire demon breathe? There was something malicious in his aura. Malicious, but not evil. Perhaps he could help her, with both her money problem (she had decided to stay on earth for the time being) and the malevolent presence problem.

"My name's Mermaidia." she quickly glided over to them and smilied at the pair. "Do you need help?"

Mermaidia? Xaphan looked at the mermaid. Mermaidia was the name of the underwater world, which was completely occupied by Mermaids and fish.

"That's not a real name." he said. "What is your name?"

"Mermaidia." Mermaidia insisted. It was true that it wasn't her real name, but she had learned the trouble of giving out your real name; to control someone, one only needed the name, image and substance of the thing they wished to control.

The demon sighed. "Fine." he said. "I'm Xaphan. Would you like to come with us? We're looking for his charge."

Mermaidia looked over the selkie. There was nothing dangerous about him, but she could tell that he had just been in another world.

"Fine." she said. "I can tell that you're not too familiar with this place, so I'll be your guide. A hundred dollars each, please."
Drefath awaked from his slumber. He expected to find his mother peering down on him, but was only met with the sight of the pink skin lair. Drefath quickly remembered what had happened to him and twisted his head to see the huge gash on his right wing.

"I wont be able to fly now." He thought to himself with great frustration. "Maybe I can call for help..." He thought once again of the elves and shook his head "Maybe not... but there is nothing much I can do." He concentrated hard about a mass number of people and living organisms. It was Drefath's fist time attempting to call onto someone he didn't even know telepathically.

"Worth a shot" He thought to himself and started the distress call.

"I am injured and need help now. Please I need help my wing is hurt badly and I am very lost." Drefath pleaded to the air. "Please respond... I am in the forest just outside the pink skin lair. Please help!" Drefath cried out with his mind. Now all of the living organisms with the knowledge of dragons should be able to hear Drefath.
Without anything to do but wait, Drefath turned his head to his wound and started tending to it. Now and then some very strange animals would come to taunt him. Then Drefath will attempt to catch one for food but always failed by the pain in his wing. Drefath was sure he would starve to death soon. Yet his thoughts were mostly on the idea of the dimentions opening and forming into one... his parents had once told him that the elders of the lair have to keep the dimentions safe. But since the dimentions are forming now it could only mean one thing, the elders have kept it safe for centuries now yet it is almost here.
Xaphan shook his head at the deal, "One hundred bucks? What the hell are you talking about?" Mermaidia blushed at his use of language.

"I'm talking about money, if you need help finding your 'charge' or whatever," She had changed back into a body more suitable for land. He stared at her like she was crazy.

Then the selkie jumped up, "You know where Shea is? Tell me mermaid!" He sounded very protective until after he spoke, then he returned to his gloomy state.

The name rang a bell, "Wait, you mean that other selkie, Shea? Are we talking about the same Shea?" She looked interestedly at the selkie; she did have to admit he was much for looks.

"Yes, she is a selkie, and I need to bring her home. This place isn't safe for our kind, she is used to the open air and the smell of the sea," Mermaidia could relate to his sadness, she too missed her home.

"Well, they aren't that far from here, and I guess you two won't have to pay the money just yet. They are moving quickly, so we better hurry," Xaphan sighed, he wasn't getting what he wanted out of this deal, but he was part of it nonetheless.

The two water creatures were rather slow runners, and several a time, Xaphan would have to stop and wait for them. "God, we'll never meet them if you two can't catch up!" Mermaidia glared at Xaphan and they continued to hurry.

As they came through a deep forest, which Mermaidia swore Shea and Sylvia had gone through, they stumbled upon a clearing.

"May I ask what that thing is?" the selkie asked pointing to a large, burgundy scaly creature in the middle of the clearing. It looked like it was sleeping peacefully, until right after the selkie noticed its appearance.

“I am a ‘he’, ‘it’ is a word used for inanimate objects like rocks and wood, I am Drefath-ihunarnivo, but you may call me Drefath,” The large object drew up and spread its large wings. He looked like he was beaten up or something with his right wing, which looked deeply cut.

“Damn, a talking dragon, this is too weird,” Xaphan murmured surprised as he stared intimidated at the huge beast.

“Actually, I’m using a sort of thought-speak language. But you can still here me as clearly, maybe even clearer,” The dragon glanced at the selkie.

“I see I wasn’t dreaming when I noticed the barriers were destroyed, seeing a selkie, mermaid, and a fire demon here. You look lost, can I help you?” Drefath was very good at getting to the point, and this was a relief to the three.

“Yes, we are in search of a selkie named Shea, we could probably use you to help us find her. Will you join us?” Mermaidia asked anxiously, she sounded very unsure in her question. Dragons were known to be pretty ferocious beasts, and she didn’t like the idea of being around one.

“Of course I will, in fact I’ll fly above to help the search go faster. I hate to say this, but would any of you need a ride?” Mermaidia blushed and nodded; she knew she was slowing the group down.

“We’ll let’s go then, we don’t have time for fine chit-chat, which seems to be all this dragon does. C’mon then!” Xaphan said annoyed, and Mermaidia carefully climbed onto the gentle dragon’s back, ascending quickly. Xaphan hurried off with the selkie right behind him, the thought of adventure enticing him.
The world is gray. Renna thought dumbly as she crouched in the shadow of a towering deadwood. The sky seemed to exude a sense of the void, the gray being not tempermental clouds but actual slate-shadowed sky. The dust rose in small gray clouds when Renna moved. A taste of gray hung in the back of her throat, causing her to cough.

After her brief hacking, she heard nearly silent footfalls, and then the light touch of a long hand over the part of her hair, tracing the scalp until the beginning of the nape of her neck.

Her blood and skin screamed ice, and her eyes, exposed so long to gray, seemed to burn at the brilliance of the dangerously-familiar stranger and his tin-colored eyes and pale-fine hair.

"Why do you hide yourself within this gray dust?" he asked, his face all angles and jagged sharpness.

With a long-fingered hand he drew her up with inhuman strength, and she felt her stubborn strength from her world, difficult to recall in this place of fearful fluidity, melt from her bones, and she was as weak as a new burst moth.

She had no way of knowing that a young dragon, burdened with a rider when his wing was already torn, would be at that exact moment careening wildly before painfully plummeting to a decisive halt little less than a mile away. And that a decidedly beautiful, though predator-like mermaid (when it came to sales) would be the only one able to help him- relying on abilities she was not sure she had.

Or that a reckless fire demon and a selkie companion, nearer still than the dragon and mermaid, would venture in a strangely thick white fog, and the fire demon would find himself being attacked the usually gentle-eyed selkie, whose power was greater than the demon would have ever supposed. And that his own power waned in this thickening mist curling about him.

Or even that across the clearing, within view of the girl were an elf and another selkie, both with eyes wide as they watched the terrifying stranger accost their lost companion. Or that even as they were watching this, a hand reeking of sickly-sweet softness reached out to curl cracking bone fingers around the neck of the selkie, and another slowly peeling hand roughly catching and entangling itself in the elf's hair.

Renna felt- strange, brittle almost, like frost-encrusted glass. The stranger gripped her hand not unkindly, though his smile was that of a hunter. Eyes glazing in the force of his glamour, she managed to scrape out one word at which the stranger's smile stretched wider as he led her away.

A Non-Existent User
It was nighttime. Nobody moved in the city; even the night clubs were empty. One could almost see ghosts from the past parade through the streets. It was as if from a dream.

That is what Mayson Allara thought as he opened the door to his house. His parents were fast asleep, along with his two younger sisters, and he just needed a little fresh air. Mayson saw the ghost figures and thought that it might be a lttle too late to be up. That is, until he saw that the "ghosts" were actual beings.

Marching through the silent city, an army of hundreds - no, thousands! - of figures paraded through the streets, each carrying a torch of silver fire that never wavered nor flickered. It was just there.

Mayson turned to escape into his house before the specters noticed him, but it was too late. A red light flashed right beside him (he could feel the immense power of the magic) and locked the door.

Not good.

He whipped around and saw a ten foot monster charge at him with a weapon he had never seen before. It was similar to a fether with a very big quill. The three armed thing twisted the quill and a blue arrow flew out.

Scared for his life, Mayson did not see the giant whole appear right next to him, emitting a young female selkie. Seeing only the aromana (which is what the weapon is called), Mayson failed to notice this selkie hold up a candle with a blue flame.

Now, if anyone had seen this from a second story window, they probably would have thought this was some kind of ritual: Mayson standing still while an aromana shot at him with a "person" holding a blue candle standing by him.

However, split seconds before Mayson lost his life, the aromana swerved toward the candle and buried itself into the wick. Mayson watched in awe as the goblin who shot it at him inflated like a balloon and blew up, dark blood splattering everywhere.

Mayson turned to the lady standing on his right. Her bright blue - no, violet! - eyes seemed to melt right into his heart.

"What do you want?" Mayson asked, stupified.

The selkie replied, "I'm Dulcina. I'm looking for Shea and Kailen."
A Non-Existent User
The D’eaths once again looked out over their domain. They were vampires, of sorts. Descended from their night-living brethren, they had moved on to learn about the tears in space, allowing these creatures to mix.

They had lived alone on this planet for many years, slowly losing all concept of personality. They killed uncaring of consequences, meddled with the very fabric of existence to allow for their own ideas, their own consequences, to become key.

One was different. As the D’eath family looked out, their son stared into nothingness. He ignored the rifts in time, ignored the sadistic smiles on his families faces. His eyes were hollows, no emotion allowed to show. He was restrained by his siblings, his parents, his life.

He had enough. He felt, cared for that poor girl. Renna. She had a name. He was just another of the D’eath’s. No name, just a description. Death.

They were death. Each and every one of them. Bringing around pain and loss, just for power. No, they were worse than death himself. They were ruthless, meaningless creatures. Death had reason.

He had reason. Death D’eath was name, by himself, as he jumped through the rift. Hope, protection, reason. He was the downfall of his beings, his race.

As he felt himself lost in a sea of blackness, one thing comforted him. The screams of disgust and hatred that his family had aimed towards him.
“Don’t waste your breath!” he screamed, words unfamiliar on his unused tongue.
“I’m changing my destiny!” he laughed, words ringing through the air. He was going to help Renna. He was going to help the selkies. He had reason. He had hope.

He closed his eyes, and vanished into the rift.
Mermaidia was perched carefully on Drefath's back, looking down at the city. It shone beneath her like a network of fairy lights.

Presently they neared the barrier, and her dragon companion flew through. "Now..." Mermaidia jumped off his back and looked at the gaping hole between the barrier and twisted images she could make out through the gash. Just then, something came leaping out - and collided with her. Hard.
Dreafth saw the figure coming fom the barrier and tried to dodge it but was too slow because of his injury and the mermaid was struck. As she fell Drefath felt a new wait on his back.

"Damn who are you on my back!" Drefath roared with his mind and folded his wings as the thought of the mermaid came back. He stalled out and divied towards the falling body.

Xaphan was clutching on as tightly as he can as Drefath manuevered through the air. All the time he was trying to get a glimps of who this new stranger, also clutching to Drefath's neck, was. He couldnt make out the figure so lit a fire in his palm to get some light but was interupted by a jerk as Drefath changed the angle of his body to dive faster.

Drefath dived faster than before and flew right under her falling body and was somehow able to catch her. As he was about to sigh with releif his wound gave a sharp pain and refused to move. Franticly Drefath tried to balance with his 1 working wing but failed. As his body free falled from the sky he caught saw the other figure clutching onto his neck for dear life.
"Who are you?" channeled his thoughts and felt the hard ground meet his body.
Shea and Sylvia continued to search for their once companion, Renna. Sylvia couldn't help but be quite disgusted. A human might spoil everything, she might tell her society about the idea of a broken barrier between the two worlds of humans and others. And what then? Then chaos will surge through the cities, humans will search to kill her and Shea and maybe other innocents. Then a war will be created out of the confusion and fear.

She also was worried about Shea. Shea looked rather tired and empty for the past day of traveling, and all they could do was move on. They had lost Mermaidia along the way, but they knew they had to continue without her. Shea hoped they would meet up with her soon. But Renna held the scales, if she just said a couple words, then the balance would be destroyed.

Shea suddenly heard a loud sound, as if a cannon had hit the ground. She flinched from the thick noise and looked around nervously. It sounded nearby, but not too close for her to see where it was coming from. Sylvia sniffed the air, and shook her head. “Everything is going so wrong,” She murmured as she looked over at Shea, “A dragon has fallen into this world,” Shea’s eyes widened.

“A dragon?” Shea murmured oddly, “We must turn back, Sylvia,” as if she knew something very terrible was to happen next.

Sylvia looked at her puzzled, “Why? We have to find Renna, remember?” Shea shook her head quickly.

“No, I have a feeling. I can’t tell the future, but I can sense something really wrong is going to happen if we don’t get there on time,” Shea said, “Where did the dragon fall?”

Sylvia pointed in the direction of the thud, and Shea grabbed her hand, “I’d be long dead without you, Sylvia. Now, please trust me as I trusted you,” Sylvia looked unsure, but seeing those vibrant, determined violet eyes embodied her.

“Yes, Let’s go,” Sylvia spoke bravely, and they hurried through the thick leaved forest, both afraid of what they might find.
Renna felt as though time had crept into a tiny burrow to sleep forever, and that every moment would stretch into the beyond. A part of her was still afraid, though it was numb and her head felt filled with fog. She turned her eyes, which felt jeweled and liquid, to her captor? guide?

"Where are we going?" Her voice came out thick and muffled, and she frowned, slowly. She should sound beautiful, shouldn't she? He turned his head, his inhuman eyes sharp with supressed laughter.

"To a lovely palce, little human, where you will dance among its pillars and melt with your heart's desire, of course." His voice was curious and melodic, bright amidst the cloudiness within her head.

"Mmmm," Renna replied slowly. "That- sounds nice."

And the stranger only smiled, turning his strange chiseled face away.

Suddenly he stopped, pulling Renna to a quick halt beside him. His frost-eyes narrowed, and made the girl drop to her knees. Crouching himself, he seemed every inch the predator, or the one being hunted.

Renna heard a rush of something swiftly brushing the trees, and her misted thoughts could hardly register it before she saw an unfamiliar face seem to almost appear from the thick underbrush.
It was a- man? He seemed both happy and sad to see her. Renna opened her mouth to ask him why, when there was a sudden sharp pain in her arm.

She glanced down at the lovely emerald green thorn portruding from it, and the warm flow of the bright blood slithering down her bicep. She began to think, Hmm, well that's odd- when there was a deeper pain and all was dark.
A Non-Existent User
Mayson walked slowly with Dulcina, taking in the past few hours. Nothing made sense, nothing at all. After the strange three-armed beast blew up (he still had blood on his clothes), the selkie unlocked the door with a strange phrase and he had headed up the stairs. However, in the strange blast, his whole family had died a painless death, still seeming to sleep in their death beds.

Now they were on their way to the city. There's nothing left for me here, he thought. Why not just head off with them? Whether he had made the right choice or not, he did not know, but both seemed to enjoy each others company.

"So, where did you come from?"

Dulcina walked still straight, not acknowledging his presence but answering, "The planet we call Secrino, or Land of the Selkies. Now, I have no idea where I am."

"Oh!" Mayson exclaimed. "Haven't you ever heard of the planet with the most life? The planet where all important things happen? Where we have the one religion and he saved us? Earth!"

Dulcina fumbled over the word. "Earth, what an odd name! I have never heard of such before...What does it mean?"

"It means the ground," Mayson stammered. What did it mean?

Dulcina sighed. "Oh Ulgra, at least we know where we're going. I mean, they have to be somewhere in that-" She stopped at the look on Mayson's face. "This is the only big city, right?"

Mayson thought hard of what to tell her. The truth or a lie? "Yeah, this is the only big city on the planet. They would have to be there."

Cringing, the human walked casually with the selkie, unsure of what to say when they reached the city and could not find them. "Oh, they must have left," or "Maybe they went to a different planet". Either way did not look very good.

The sun was just rising, and Dulcina took great notice in the colors of the sky and the sun itself. It did not seem to effect her very much. They continued walking in utter silence.
Faces... faces.. They swam over Renna like an anxious and prickling tide. A girl with purple eyes, a stranger with coppered hair, another-could it be mermaid? and an even more fantastical creature that only the dreamers could recall as a dragon. And more, even yet more.

But they were tempered in a pale wash, as though a photograph bleeding colors into a tub of bleach. And when she opened her eyes, they faded entirely, running back behind her skull like shadow patterned water.

She had been moved.

She sat up on her elbows and licked her lips, her throat tasting stale and salty. The ground was restlessly damp, on either side of her tiny rivulets flowed. It was strange, she sat up further- and counted seven of them.

It was so still, but for the quiet tumbling of the water at her sides. A pool before her must have been the source of these tiny streams.

Except.. there was this strange pressured feeling as though she was not alone, and turning her head, she saw the stranger she glimpsed just a moment before- the thorn. Her head was clearing, and with the dissipiation of the clouds, her anger returned. He was definitely not human.

"Who the hell are you? And what happened to..to-"
She didn't know anyone's name- or even what SPECIES half these people were.

But watching the stranger, she almost wanted to steal those words back. His face was already spilling with self-doubt and regret, and he stood a good ways from her. He was no threat.

"I imagine the Locksmith has left in order to bring here those required for the breaking," he stated quietly, his accent strange.

"That, that THING is the Locksmith? That's his NAME?"

He was quiet for a moment. "It is his title. Names are not given- easily- in this place. Too much can be won or lost through a name. I trust you have not given your own?"

Renna considered, surprised at what little haze remained, "Ah, no, I don't think so. Does that mean you won't say your own name?"

With a tiny smile, he answered, "See, I am in no danger there. If ever I had a name, it is long forgotten and unused. What I am, rather than what I am called, is of more concern." With a strange solemnity, as though the name was centuries and millenia old, he pronounced, "D'eath."

Renna couldn't help but feel a rush of misgiving at the gut-familiarity of the word, but fought it off as superstition. She worked the muscles of her face to remain smooth and uninterested, and searched for something, anything to respond with.

"You said, the Locksmith would bring back "the others".. do you mean-"

The D'eath closed his eyes briefly, before answering, "The different peoples, the different worlds. You know of these. He will return with all of them. The neccessary walls will between them will be destroyed." His voice was flat with certainty. "All doors open before him, all locks are broken. He is but the slave, and his masters are infinitely more powerful."

Renna knew what was next. She didn't have to guess, it was as though she stood upon the precipice and the sun had just risen, all the shadows were given definition, and she could mouth what he would answer to her obvious question. She would ask it anyway, her voice unfeeling and dull- such is as the story would have it. "And who are the masters?"

There was no silence before his whispered answer. "The D'eaths."

And Renna nodded, how could she not have known?
A Non-Existent User
"Well, you see, there are nine different 'dimensions' or planets in this certain fabric of space. All of which are held together through a complicated web of-how would you say it-thoughts and life itself. To even think of breaking this web is a crime in and of itself.

"Mermadia, also called Creanna by some where the merpeople live; Selinkia, where my type, the Selkies live; Vertaana, where the elves and dragons reside; Ferchan, home of the mischievous fire demons, and pixies; Gehanna, spectres and changlings and all other sorts of foul creatures; Gyanimo, the placement of the little gnomes and griffons; and Eervrta of the angels and faeries."

Mayson looked at Dulcina inquisitively, asking, "Well, that's only seven. What about the other two?"

"Well, you're living in one of them, as you call it 'Earth'."

"Well, that's eight. You said there were nine."

The selkie sighed and looked anxiously around. She spoke silently, "The last dimensional planet is home to the D'eaths, or so they are called. No one knows the true name of it, so they call their fortress the D'eath fortress, their soldiers the D'eath army, even they themselves, all nine of them.

"Each of them think and act as one. They all just are, nothing to it. They are the ones that cause pain and death, disease and suffering, to everywhere in this large capacity in the web."

"Remind me to thank them," Mayson dryly stated.

"Don't worry, if you do meet them, you will be thanking them to kill you." That sent visible shudders up the boy's spine and neck. "So, in a sense...I already reminded you.

"Now, in the city, if you would call it that, of the D'eaths, seven rivers flow. Each of them are named after a planet: Mermadia, Selinkia, Vertaana, Ferchan, Gehanna, Gyanimo, and Eervrta. Since they have no need to speak of their own planet since none but they and skeletons live there, they are not represented."

"But what about Earth?" Mayson interrupted.

Dulcina glared at Mayson, but her gaze quickly softened. "Just be patient and I will get there. In fact, I am right at that point.

"Each of the rivers contain the lost souls of those the D'eaths." Her voice was growing louder and noticeably more fiery. "These ever-flowing rivers join up in one pool, the Pool of the Ground."

"Earth means ground!" Mayson blurted excitedly.

"Exactly. According to this portrait of symbolism, Earth is where the planets are supplied upon. Whatever happens here happens to all of us. If there is a war here, there's a war everywhere else. Famine here, famine there. See my point?" Mayson nodded, beginning to understand.

Now Dulcina's voice was beginning to get raspy and malicious, and much louder. "Legend says that one day, a tumult would happen and the worlds would break. In the Pool of the Ground, a single figure would be seen. Only she could in the end save the world.

"However, one of the nine D'eaths would break apart from his family bondage and try to help this figure in the pool. The end of the prophesy was and still is uncertain, but most think this D'eath, the youngest representing the planet Earth, would end up destroying the earth."

"Well, that's sure pleasant! I wish i cou-"

He stopped from terror. Dulcina's face was being encrusted over in a filmy white substance. He backed away, frightened. In a couple of seconds, it had encased her.

Mayson thought her dead, but she moved, making no sound as the web-like strings slid smoothly over her body. She was a body without a life, a mere slave to this encasement.

She left as darkness fell.
Shea hurried through the forest, hoping she wasn't losing too much time. Sylvia was right behind her, making sure Shea wouldn't get harmed if the sound had been coming from some dark source. They hurried on this way for a mile, until they heard a bunch of squabbling.

"Alright, this is a HUGE problem! We got a dragon lying on the forest floor, completely out, not to mention me, who nearly died after being thrown so far. Now we're still in the middle of nowhere, no one knows where we are...Oh, this is an issue," Shea heard a panicked Mermaidia yelling at the rest of her group. She was quickly interrupted.

"I'm sure those two would know where we are," A rough voice spoke out, one that Shea did not recognize. She knew, however, that whoever that was speaking felt the presence of her and Sylvia. She motioned to Sylvia to get out into the clearing so the others could see them.

"Shea! You're here! I'm bringing you straight home, no more of this messing around on this dimension!" Kailen ran toward Shea, throwing his arms around her and moving away every so often to look at her face. Shea noticed how much she had missed his cheery demeanor, but she also knew she had to stay.

"I can't go back now, Kailen. I have to save Renna, she's one of my friends," Kailen gave her a quizzical look, "Look, I'll explain it later. Now whos this man?" Shea turned to look at Xaphan, who was playing with his ignited thumb.

Xaphan looked up and nodded at her, "I was with your boyfriend," He said casually.

Shea rolled her eyes and turned to Mermaidia, "And a dragon? What is going on? We can't have everyone along, it will take too long to find Renna otherwise,"

Mermaidia shrugged and looked at the un-conscious dragon, "They're just as stuck as we are in this world," She looked compassionately at him, "We need to find a way for us all to return to our old lives,"

Xaphan laughed and turned to Mermaidia, "And how the hell do you plan on doing that? Last I checked, you cared more about money than anything else," Shea glared at Xaphan, she had an idea she wasn't going to like this character.

"Look, we have to stop fighting and get to the point. We have one priority now, only one. We need to find Renna before the D'eaths get to her first. If we get that far, we may be able to think about you all going home," Sylvia spoke from out of the blue. Shea gave an encouraging smile.

"She's right," Shea said confidently, "Now, if you all are going to join us," She looked at Xaphan specifically, "We better get going. Otherwise, you will travel alone,"

Xaphan smirked at Shea's indication, "I assure you, little selkie, I would be more entertained watching how this plays out rather than hanging in the city. Let's go find this Renna,"

"Wait, what about Drefath?" Mermaidia asked worriedly, he was still quite out, though his eyelids were fluttering slightly.

"We'll leave at sunrise, right now, everyone rest up and get something to eat," Shea announced loudly, then the group slowly dispersed, looking for food and decent shelter.

Renna wanted to run. Bile rose in her throat and her skin felt chilled and feverish at once. What had she fallen into?

She tried to stand, but her legs were still weak, from the thorn, or the strange fog. Whatever it was, she was stuck between the tiny trickles of miniature rivers, the soft earth damp beneath her.

The stranger, D'eath, turned his face to the west, his expression changing, becoming, if possible, more mournful and heavy with regret.

"They're coming now. All of them."

"What do you mean?" Renna choked out, her voice low in the grayness. "How could, one from every world--"

"It's you!" at that he turned, wearily, hand pushing his hair back. Worn, defeated. Which terrified her even more. "I don't know what you did, or how you did it, but somehow you, you humans are enough to pull the fabric together. Bring it all to one place, and then," his hand fell, and his voice was but a whisper "destroy it,"

"But we won't! I won't" Renna cried out, eyes wide in the shadows "They're my friends! I--I hardly even knew such worlds existed. I would never do anything to--"

"Don't you get it? Haven't you seen?" He was close to her now, his look, haunted "The Locksmith, pulling them out of their worlds, that's just the beginning. That was nothing,"

He stepped away, and let one hand lie just above one of the streams. It hovered there, as though a force was pushing from below, not allowing him to touch. "They will take you again, and you will destroy the barriers. You will crush these worlds to dust and they will make you glad to do it,"

His voice was darkly quiet as he continued "So long--for millenia we have been kept from this goal. My family," he spat the word out, as though a curse. "And now, with the worlds and stars and universes aligned just so, fallen into place just right--we stand on the eve of complete annihilation," he smiled a strange, bitter smile at her "you will lead it, as I will watch, and all of your--friends, and anything any of you have ever known, will die,"

There was the quick patter, heavy thud, and rush of footsteps, and Renna knew it with a hollowness in her chest as the strange sound of many creatures approaching.

"No, please, no!" escaped her lips, as the group burst into the clearing.

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