chapter 1 of metalark
The town of Greentree is actually a rather dead town. The trees that were once green are now dead and rotting. They creaked and moaned as the wind howls through there aged branches. The town itself is dull and dusty. The buildings sway in the wind and their paint has chipped off. The wind blows up small dust storms in the streets. Nothing seems living, and the town looks more like a ghost town. Yet in this ugly, old town, two morsels walk the streets side by side.
The two are quite an odd pair to be together. But they are, and they are walking through the most unlikely of a town that they would ever be in. Several towns folk watched from out of their dusty windows at the strangers. Strangers are rare in these parts and most people stay inside for fear of being caught up in trouble.
As the two come to an alley way, the man with a black leather trench coat comes to a halt. He stays looking ahead, not moving a muscle. The other one stops and turns around, her blood red hair whips around in her sudden movement. She looks at him and he sees that her eyes are asking if this is the place.
“Yes,” he said in a quiet voice, “this is the place.” his head turns to the dark alley way. A cat can be heard in the distance as it meows in search of food. After taking a deep breath, they turn down the alley.
It wasn't a long walk to the end of the alley. In fact it took them no time at all. But the darkness made it hard to see and they were constantly running into things. The red haired girl kept close to the man the entire way. He did admit that it was spooky where they were. But now they were at the end and only a door to their left remained to have to go through. “I'm not sure whats really in there so be prepared.” he warned her. She replied with a nod of her head.
The door was very old, and had already fallen apart some. The door groaned in protest as he pushed it aside. Immediately, a waft of aged odors of rot blown into the two's faces and they stumbled back a step. The girl's hand came up to her mouth. Soon they got used to the stench, and they entered the small room. The room was lighted by a small gas lamp in the center of the floor. The walls were lined with shelves of old books and jars. One of the shelves were broken and shards of glass covered the floor. A small creaking noise came from one of the corners of the room and the man stopped. He slowly reached inside of his coat and wrapped his hand around the hilt of a throwing knife. “Whose there?” he spoke to the darkness.
“Only a lonely old man that wishes to speak to you.” a voice said. Slowly a figure started to emerge from the shadows. When he stood before them he asked, “would you be the one who goes by the name of Raven?”
“Yes” replied Raven, the old man was squinting at him through dirty spectacles. “And you are?” He did not recognize the man. His back was crooked and he leaned on a twisted old cane. His hair was unwashed and matted with filth, much like his beard. The original color of the hair appeared to be a rather dirty blond.
“Ah, my name does not matter,” a certain sorrow hung in his voice, “I am just an old man.” The blood red haired girl adjusted her stance, her leg was becoming tired. The old man's eyes shot to her in defense, but soon calmed. “Is this the dear Lady Star?” he inquired, his eyes wondered on her beauty. He quickly added, “I've been wanting to see you for a long time now, and my, your are very pretty.”
The old man was right. She was very beautiful. Her face was radiate, and she was thin. Her hair reached her shoulder blades, and it flowed in the wind. Her breasts were rather large too, and her legs long. Many men were captivated by her beauty. The black clothes she wore just added to her seductiveness as you could see her dark gray panties through the split in her short skirt. Her legs bore stockings that went past her knees. She had a very slender and delicate body and her movements were very graceful. Her eyes were a rare green color and they seemed to be able to see a persons soul. But Raven didn't like the way the old man was looking at her. He didn't like the way he looked at any of them.
Before the old man could blink, Raven had pulled out a knife from under his coat and pointed it at the man's throat. “Enough!” Raven said harshly through clenched teeth. He wanted to leave this man's presence. He didn't like any of it. “Why do you want us? And, lets hope you have a hefty amount of gold with you!” As he said those last words, he pricked the mans throat with the tip of his knife. A small crimson drop of blood trickled from the spot.
“S-s-sorry...” the man stammered, “T-there is a...lady known by the name of Lark in the Eastern Woods.” he gulped, eying the knife.
“I want you to...um...kill her...” his eyes wondered to the floor. Raven removed the knife from his neck and put it back in his coat. The old man stepped back and rubbed his throat.
“Why,” Raven asked, the name seemed familiar, “do you want her dead?” Lady Star was looking at an old jar, when she stopped and tilted her head to listen.
“Sorry...but I...don't want to say...” his head lowered even farther.
“This is gonna cost you, how much you got?” he demanded. The old man reached behind him and through a large purse of gold at him. The bag was simple enough, leather with a raw-hide string tying it closed. Raven shook it and heard the clinking of coins.
“That’s half, the other half will be on your return. Is that okay?”
Raven knew he could ask for the entire amount but didn't want overstep his boundaries. “Yes it is, anything else I should know?” He liked to get all the information he could get. It made for a safer job, if you could call these jobs safe...
“Um, don't listen to her song.”
“She sings a song that uses some sort of magic to captivate men. She then sacrifices them to keep her power after she has sex with them. I hear the process is painful.” he turned and slowly seeped back into the darkness in the corner.
Raven and Star left, the bag of gold in his hand. He knew he heard the name of Lark before, and now he remembered. Star's face was serious and she looked straight ahead as she walked on. Ravened remembered lark...oh he remembered...
They walked the through the forest in the middle of the night. He and Star knew what was coming. They prepared for this battle for a long time. A twig snapped in the distance, and was fallowed by the soft padding of footprints on the moss. A giant oak tree was in front of them. Its trunk was so large, that twenty men could just barely reach around it. The tree was sacred for the Nightwalker and the life of all beings. They were here to protect it. Lark wanted to destroy it.
“I see you came.” a voice spoke from the brush, “I was expecting you.” Then, a woman walked out in front of them and smiled. She wore clothes that were really revealing. Two red straps came down from her collar and covered her nipples. They then connect on her back, and continued down past her hips. The strap went past her butt and around front to a golden, diamond shape buckle that covered up her privates and connected again to the strap on her back. On here legs she had fish net stockings. Much like Lady Star, she too was very seductive and beautiful. Her hair was a fiery red and in her hand she held a spike-tipped whip.
“Lady* Lark,” Raven said. He looked at Star. “Meet Starkiller!” With that, he held out his hand to Star on his left. She grinned devilishly and started to glow. Her arm started to bend and mold like liquid metal. Her hair started to mold into her arm and it turned into a blade. The rest of her body fallowed. The Lady Lark watched with much interest as Star transformed.
In Raven's hand was now a scythe. Lark grinned. She was beginning to like this “Raven” fellow. She thought he was quite handsome and liked his style. His hair was simple and brown, his eyes the color of the lake she grew up on...a deep icy blue. His black trench coat wavered in the breeze, and she could see eight throwing knives beneath it. On his legs he had an eight-shot hand-held crossbow. Her grin grew larger. “I like you.” she said.
Raven gave out a sigh. They just left the town of Greentree and were heading towards the Eastern Woods. He knew the way. They had to pass through the Eastern woods, then, at the heart of the forest, there would be a cave. That is where she lived. Where Lark preforms these “sacrifices”.
“Star?” he inquired. She looked at him with eyes telling him to continue with what he wanted to say. “Um, do you like having your...power?”
For several seconds she didn't answer. She hung her head and stared at her feet as they walked before looking up. While she nodded, Raven saw what she really meant. Her eyes told him “No”. Raven let out another sigh. She had done this for him...Accepting her power to turn into a scythe just to save him.
They continued along the beaten path for some hours. The dead leaves crackling underneath their footsteps. They were not far off from Lark's cave. As they walked, Raven listened to the birds singing their song. They reminded him of “The Song of the Lark”. The captivating song that Lady Lark sings. That's how she got her name...Lark. He heard Lark's song once before...
*The “Lady” in front of their names shows that they are a witch. Like Lady Lark, Lady Star, or Starkiller in weapon form, are both witches. To become a Witch, you must first sacrifice something. In order for Lady Lark to have become a witch, she sacrifices her virginity and the human soul. Unlike Lady Star, she must keep sacrificing this to keep her powers.
Both Raven and Star knew that they must not let Lark sing her song. While Star was immune to its powers because she was both a witch and a woman, but Raven was not. Raven charged her with all his might, Starkiller in his hand. He was going to try to end this as quick as possible. His heart was racing, the moss under his feet was soft, and his target was near.
Lark saw his attack coming before he even started charging. She smiled, and leaped into the air. He slashed at her, but she was to far. Lark let loose with her whip and drew it back. Raven bounced off the oak tree and aimed at Lark. Her whip suddenly wrapped around Starkiller's handle, and the spike at the tip sunk into his hand. He gave out a cry of pain.
Raven tried to pull himself free, but the spikes sunk deeper into his hand, ripping the flesh. He looked at Lark, fury in his eyes. “I'm not giving up!”he shouted at her.
She replied with smile, “Oh? Well then,” She pulled Raven closer, “I like your determination, maybe I should just sing a song for you?” She continued to pull him closer.
“Never!” he yelled and tried to strike her down, the spike tore through his hand, and the scythe flown through the air. Lark simply stepped to the side and Starkiller flew into the night behind them. Lark gave out a laugh that sent a chill down Raven's spine.
“You'll be mine whether you like it or not!” and with a snap of the wrist. The whip wrapped around Raven, binding his arms to his side. He could not move, and he desperately tried to get free. She pulled him all the way to her, and she delicately put her hand on his chin. She whispers into his ear, “Do you love me?”
The rope tightened on his chest and it became hard for him to breath. She sunk her finger nails into his chin, drawing blood. “But I love you.” she quietly said to him in a shy fashion. His words had hurt her deeply for she was speaking the truth. She sighed and kissed him softly on the cheek. She opened her mouth to sing...
“No one touches him!” A voice yelled behind Lark. She turned around to see Star.
They eyed each other narrowly for almost a minute before Star gave out a mighty yell and picked up sharp stick from the ground, which she thrust into Lady Lark's stomach. The whip fell to the ground and blood spurted from Lark's mouth. She grabbed the stick and pulled it out, recoiling several steps.
“This....this is....this is not the....not the end!” she sputtered, blood coming out of her mouth every time she spoke. Gripping the wound in her stomach, she whispered unknown words under her breath, and vanished.
The words echoed in Raven's mind, “But I love you.”...
“She was right.” Raven thought to himself, “that was not the end.”
They stopped walking. No birds sounded anymore. Star looked at the sky and then at the trees. When she looked at Raven, her eyes told him what he did not want to. Raven glanced ahead of him. Just a little way down the trail, he could see a small, rocky hill. An old bark door hung on it and the sound of humming could barely be heard. Raven recognized the song as “The Song of the Lark.