Bruno slowly awoke, finding himself laying on a soft bedroll inside a cave dimly lit by a fire, his foot covered in bandages and rested atop a stone. The sweet smell of incense filled the air as twin columns of misty smoke rose from a pair of candles. A young girl dressed in a white cloak paced about. After a short time, she turned to look at Bruno.
“Oh, you’re awake!” she removed her hood, revealing long, flowing silvery hair and purple gemstone eyes glimmering in the dim light. Bruno lay there, his eyes widened in a sense of awe, both at the fact that he was still alive and at the girl’s beauty. “The shadow creatures attacked. I hoped I could have intervened sooner.”
When Bruno regained the rest of his senses, he recognized the white cloak. There was no mistaking it. “You’re the girl I bumped into hours earlier. You dropped an amulet back there.”
The maiden reached around her neck noticing its absence. Indeed. The amulet was gone. Bruno caught a quick glimpse of concern, but she hid it right away maintaining her calm demeanor. “Do you have it with you?”
Bruno’s face grew to sudden shock as he recalled the moments before he blacked out. “Wait, my sister last had it. Where is she?! Is she still alive!”
The maiden gently placed her hand on Bruno’s burning hot forehead to soothe him. “Relax. You got a fever from the shadow creature. You said your sister had the amulet. What happened to her?”
Bruno’s face drooped to a sullen look. “I was hoping you might have known something. She was kidnapped by some creepy, tall boy in a mask. He just vanished with her in front of my eyes.” The girl placed her finger to her lip and gasped. Then, he sat up with an invigorated sense of anger. “How could I be so stupid?! My mom told me to never go outside the walls, and I took my sister out there anyway. Now she’s gone because of me!”
“This is not your fault,” she said softly yet worriedly. “It’s mine. I should never have come here. The masked boy you speak of was looking for me. My name is Eveline, and I am the Prodigy of Light.”
Bruno did not really find it all that surprising. Her odd garments. Her soft-spoken voice. She was definitely from some far away land he didn’t know about. He had so many questions. Who was she? Why did she come here? But that could wait as there were other pressing matters. “I need to see my mom. I want her to know that I’m okay.”
“I’ll take you back in the morning. You need to rest. You won’t make it far in your current condition with all these shadow creatures roaming about.”
The boy tried to stand up, but he couldn’t. His leg was still numb from the shadow creature bite. Eveline soothed him to sleep with a soft, easing melody, a bit like how Mom used to sing.
As Bruno dozed off, stressful thoughts rushed through his head like a great deluge. Those grotesque monsters that chased him. The masked boy that took his sister. He could not stop having nightmares about them.