by SJ Longtaile
The shadows are released and the hunt begins.
The cursed witch had an accomplice; another magic user capable of conducting lightening. Titania was livid, not only had they managed to escape, but she’d been forced to watch them go. The shadows calling to their trapped brethren, they refused to follow her orders until their kin were free.
“Your majesty, it’s not safe here,” the captain of her personal guard attempted to usher her back towards the carriage.
“Do not concern yourself with me!” she snarled at him,”Your only priority is to catch the witch and his compatriot. Gather all your men and go!”
He looked uncertain, torn between his duty of protecting his queen and following her commands, he cast a glance to the shadows at her feet, even less certain of what to make of them. As he stared at the black, writhing mass trapped in the ice and the wisps reaching for it, a strange look came over his expression. His eyes glazed over her, his face slackened, he was rendered silent and still for a brief moment. Then, as if waking from a dream, he startled back to awareness, finally looking back up to his queen, loyal resolve on his face as he bowed quickly then scurried off to carry out her orders, all as if he'd forgotten about the shadows, or not seen them at all.
Titania sighed, relief at being rid of him. Then, in her mind, she urged the shadows, free your brethren, quickly. The sooner we capture that witch and his companion, the sooner you may feast.
That got the shadows going, swirling in a frenzy about her and within the confines of the ice, excited at the promise of a feast. They writhed and squirmed, straining against the icy cage; pushing, pushing, until finally, the ice began to crack.
“Yes, yes, come now,” she encouraged them under her breath as she knelt down at the base of the ice spire, her silken skirts pooling about her like molten silver,”Catch the witch, and you may feast on him to your blackened hearts’ content.”
The shadows hissed and squealed. Then, with one great burst, they broke through the ice, shattering it like glass.
Titania smiled, a cold cruel thing it was. “Now,” she purred,”Let’s catch ourselves a witch.”
The shadows reared up in a black mass, squealing with glee as they enveloped her and then dispersed into thin air, leaving black tendrils in their wake.
The hunt was on.