The Spirit of the Night Chapter 2 (Formerly Devil Child) name change to fit the fixed plot
|“I have important news for all of you to hear!” An old man yelled from atop a podium.
His name was Elder Tyto, head of the Guardsmen Alliance.
“You have not been hunted because you are ‘no-mags’ but because you are animal spirits in new forms.”
Talking and worried whispers echoed around the room. I was shocked.
“Settle down children, settle down. This may be news to you but the hero exams are to test your strengths and for you to find out what your animal spirit is.”
The crowd of kids stared at him, filled with anticipation. Some looked about ready to pop.
“The first part will be in the morning for the morning spirits and second for the night spirits. The trials begin…”
The gavel went up and came down like it was in slow motion. I was nervous, excited, and felt like I was gonna throw up.
“NOW!” The gavel cracked down.
I raced to the desks and was met by a test that wasn’t at all what I expected. It was one question.
“What are you afraid of? (No need to elaborate)” that’s what it said.
I was confused. I tried to look inside myself to answer the question. What was I afraid of?
After an hour and a half, Elder Tyto walked down the aisle next to me. Looked down at my paper and said,
“No worries little one. You will be able to answer it soon enough. Go get started on the rest of the Day Spirit Trails.”
I stood up and walked out the back door and was greeted by a pillow smacking me in the face.
“Strike 1.” Said a familiar voice.
“Yeah, Pecks it’s me.” She said standing over top me. She winked at me. Even while smacking people in the face with pillows she could still get me every time. I don’t think she needed a pillow if I was being honest.
“What’re you doing?”
“Testing reflexes. I was identified already.”
“Wait what?!” I was trying to hide my jealousy but i don’t think I did a great job.
“Yeah I know right! Someone tried to hit me with a pillow and I just turned invisible! I’m a Chameleon!”
“Wow! That’s great!”
The trial, in retrospective, shouldn’t have been so tough for me but I was trying too hard and that’s when after a minute of “Tail Swipers” I was to sit over on the “Night Spirit’s Wall” which was the loser kids who hadn’t been identified yet.
I watched kids do some pretty amazing things to get identified, like Deck who trucked a kid and a gold shimmering ram floated above him. But, I wasn’t gonna admit how cool it was. I wasn’t surprised either.
We all went home after that and waited for the night trails.
I got myself hyped up and stepped outside. I walked over to the arena where the night trials were going to take place.
I stepped inside and Elder Tyto grabbed me.
“I sensed you coming.”
“I feel it. You are ready.”
The confusion was overwhelming.
“Put him in against the Honey Badger,” Tyto yelled to a boy.
He nodded and took off.
“What’s going on?”
“You’re going into the ring.”
My vasovagal syncope started to kick in and I blacked out.
I woke up shortly after, or so I’m told and stood up embarrassed.
“I’ll do it,” I said with more confidence than I thought, that it surprised me.
I stepped into the ring.
Across from me was a guy the size of a bear. Cheers erupted from around me and I realized that the whole village was there. Hundreds of eyes watched me as I put my fists up and got ready to fight. The man came in so fast I didn’t even see him. He had me on the ground in two seconds and was punching me repeatedly across the face. I felt like I was dying. The team of medics was about to rush out but Tyto stopped them.
I was in a constant state of blacked out to awake and right back again to blacked out.
He nodded at me. I tried to fight back but the man put his knees on my arms.
That’s when I spotted Amare in the crowd. She was sitting next to Deck. She didn’t even look at me.
Amare hugged him and I was furious. Had she forgotten about yesterday? That set me over the edge.
The crowd had stopped cheering, the punching stopped as a scream of terrifying rage bellowed out from my throat. It didn’t sound human, but everyone knew it had come from my mouth. Amare looked at me astonished. I grabbed the man’s hands and lifted him off me. I grabbed his shirt and threw him to the ground. Then with a final blow, I punched him in the stomach so hard he rolled over threw-up, and then peed his pants. I screamed again but a roar came out instead of a mangled scream, I then slammed my left foot into the ground, and left a crater in the ground.
I walked out of the arena furious, everyone’s eyes following me.
* * *
“How’d you find me?” I yelled.
“You kinda left a trail of mini-craters… so yeah.”
“Go away! You know what you did!”
“No, I don’t! I want to talk.”
I ripped the cabin door off its hinges and threw it across the street.
I stalked back into my room and just stood there. I had felt like crying. My eyes felt hot.
Amare appeared in front of me. I screamed a little. She pushed me to sit on my bed and then lay her head on my lap and said,
“Do you love me?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Okay, then can you tell me why you’re mad at me?”
“I saw you hugging Deck.”
“Oh. You mean cause he just got promoted to ‘Heavy Lifter’ at his company.”
“Huh.” I flushed a bright pink.
“You’re so cute.”
We just sat there together looking out the window, I played with her hair until she fell asleep then I tucked her into bed and went outside to grab the door.
I picked it up and walked it back over to the house, put it in the frame, and closed it behind me. I sat at the kitchen table and nibbled on the now stale crackers. The funny thing was I wasn’t tired. I just stayed like that until,
The barely stable door slowly opened and Pugna stepped in.
He was crying. Tears dripped onto the floor.
“Pugna! What’s wrong?”
“I was identified.”
“I’m a rat.”
“That’s… that’s not that bad.”
“It’s TERRIBLE!” Sobs wracked his ribs. “They’re naturally evil!”
“But you don’t have to be evil. You control who you are!”
“What if I betray the village? What if I betray you?”
“You’ll never betray me. I know you. You’re an amazing human being and-”
“It’s okay. I’ll just go to bed. Maybe I feel better in the morning.”
“Sounds like a good idea.”
“Good night, Pecks.”
“Good night Pugna.”
He didn’t even acknowledge Amare he just lay down and fell asleep on the top bunk. I snuggled up next to Amare and twirled a curl of her hair around my finger and fell asleep to the whispers of the wind.
The door closed as I had opened my eyes. I looked around and a piece of flittering paper caught my eye. I groggily got up.
“Mmmm. Come back here Tuna. It’s only like five in the morning.”
I stole a look at the paper. I only saw ‘From Pugna’. I wish I would’ve read more. Maybe I could’ve caught him. But instead, I just lay there with Amare until she got up. I tried to get up to but she tucked me back under the covers and kissed my forehead.
“You need to rest. That was a lot of energy you used last night in the arena.”
“Sure, Buttercup whatever you say.”
I liked sleeping during the day it always felt kind of normal. Then I knew for sure it was. At least for me, being a night spirit and all that.
Amare walked out to the living room.
“Aah! You startled me Elder Tyto.”
“Miss Dies I believe it is earlier than seven. You should not be here.”
“I um…” She flushed a bright pink “He’s resting.”
“We’ll see about that.” He snapped his fingers and the two guards tried grabbing Amare but she just turned invisible and ran into my bedroom. I was still awake but my ears and head were hurting so I didn’t want to get up.
“Tuna you gotta get up.”
“Tuna, honey, you gotta get UP!”
“Knock, knock.” Elder Tyto said from behind the closed bedroom door.
“Why is he here?” I said groaning.
“I- I don’t know but we gotta go.”
I stood up and tugged on a maroon shirt. I climbed up on the window and hopped down to the ground quietly. Amare hopped down next and we slowly snuck around the backside of the neighbor’s house.
“He almost got me, Tuna.”
“He had his guards try to grab me.”
I saw her sunken eyes and nervous expression. I grabbed her and gave her a big hug.
“You’re gonna be okay. Okay?”
“Yeah, I will.”
She brushed the hair from my eyes and then fell asleep. I swooped her legs up into my arms and carried her. Dodging people and sneaking behind houses.
Screams echoed through my brain as a crowd of people started closing in on us. I took a step back but they were gaining, I took off as fast as I could. Then like magic, a giant, glowing, creature I couldn’t identify floated over my head and I got a sudden burst of speed. I tore away from the hungry crowd. I smashed a hole through the gate and ran out into the wilderness that I had vowed to never go into again.
The Ranger Forest.
I just kept running. I looked down at Amare she kept rustling around but her eyes seemed to be less tired than before. I was able to navigate the rocky terrain pretty well. But I remembered I was headed towards my homeland so I veered off the path and into the brush. I didn’t stop running until I reached a cave. I had to lay Amare on the ground and began to cry. I cried and cried until she woke up.
“Why do you call me Tuna?” I asked, looking through the forest.
“Because when you first arrived here I was the first one to find you.”
“Yeah. I dragged you in the gate.”
“So you saved my life.”
“I guess. But, after you woke up all you would talk about, was how your name was Tuna and not Peculiari.”
“I- I don’t even like tuna,” I said confused but laughing.
“Why do you call me Buttercup?”
“We’re not going anywhere anytime soon.”
She lay down in my lap like the night before. I took a deep breath.
“Six years ago I lived peacefully in Ranger City with Mother and Father and we had this dragon goddess we had to pray to. She was the god of love and daytime. Her name was Buttercup. She was very beautiful, well at least she was beautiful as far as I know, I only saw statues of her but for some reason, I always called her Amare so that’s why I call you Buttercup.”
“I wish.” She scoffed.
“It was something I can see it in your eyes.”
“I’m not beautiful.”
“Thanks.” She said coldly.
“You’re EXTREMELY hot.”
“Oh my god Tuna!” She said smiling and pushed my chest playfully. “Why are you like this?”
“Can we stay like this forever?”
“I wish. But probably not. So just… shh enjoy this moment.”
I twiddled with the curls of her hair and just sat there.
“We have to get set up for the night.” i said after a while.
“Ok,” she said, standing up. “I’ll check the cave.”
“I’ll get some leaves and wood.”
“See you in a bit.”
I walked off into the brush. The crinkle of leaves on my bare feet was a sensation I had never felt before then. I stood in front of a pine tree. I waited for a second and then took a deep breath in and then out.
I swung my hand across the tree and it cut clean in half. I picked up the downed tree and walked back to the cave.
“Amare why are you out here?”
“The Pegasus Rangers.”