The Shadows Chapter 16

Returning Home

By Keith Adams

Glenn sat on a rock by the seashore, idly watching the tide crash against the rock he was on, washing over him, then receding again. Glenn ignored the sand that was attaching itself to him. He inhaled the water, and his internal filters removed the salt. Glenn's clothing was off on a higher rock, as Glenn didn't want to get it wet.

Glenn wondered what was the point of it all. Cyrus was avenged with his defeat of Magus. The Mystics were no longer a threat, as they sat on their islands, bickering among themselves. Magus himself had returned to his own era, to carry out his futile search until the end of time, for all Glenn knew. But Glenn knew that Magus would not give up searching, as the wizard was more obsessive than even himself. Magus would continue on and on, no matter what the price. There were no battles left for him to fight - peace was established, but peace required soldiers to find different lives. Glenn couldn't. He could not subject himself to just working, just existing. But he had too. Glenn knew what he had to do; he had to return to the cursed woods, south of where he was now. The world would keep turning, order would be established. All he had to do know was to wait for death in his underground home. And why not? He had paid his dues, he had his fun. Now it was time for Frogs and men to return to the buisness of living.

A powerful wave washed over Glenn, knocking him off his rock. Glenn was just buying for time - he decided to him up; to the tall rock that he had put his clothing and towel on. Grabbing hold of the rock, Glenn inched up the spire, grabbing each hold he could find with his clamming hands, and pulled himself, inch by inch, to the top. He grabbed his white towel and dried himself off, but he did not feel dry. He never felt dry. Sighing, he put on his attire, a plain brown vest and green pants, grabbed his black leather belt and tied it around his waist, and slung his sheated sword over his back. Glenn leaped unto the top of the rocky cliffs which overlooked the beach. Glenn knew the road was only a few miles away, and he hadn't talked to another human, for he still thought of himself as such, in months.

Glenn hiked along the grassy hills for several hours before reaching a stone road around sunset. Glenn began walking along the road, to the south. he would eventually encounter the Northern tip of the cursed woods, where the road turned to the east.

It was twillight when he first saw the signs of a large fire. Even from a distance, he heard music coming from the location of the fire. As he approached, the moon shed it's light on a circle of wagons surrounding the fire, casting their shadows over the road. Glenn did not wish to intrude, as he had seen how some humans reacted to his nature. He peered into the circle, seeing people clad in torn clothes dance around the fires to a lively tune he had never heard before;

The Shadows claimed my home;

The Shadows claimed my dear wife;

The Shadows claimed my neighbor friend;

The Shadows claimed my only son;

But when the Shadows came to claim me;

But when the Shadows screamed;


No One Survives the Shadows!

No One Survives the Shadows!


The Shadows didn't claim me;

For I was already gone


But when the Shadows came to me;

But when the Shadows screamed;


No One Escapes the Shadows!

No One Survives the Shadows!


The Shadows didn't catch me;

For I Had already hid!


Various people; young, old, male, female; danced to this tune around the fire, relishing every moment of life. The player of the song continued, essentially repeating the same verses on his violin. The musician was an older man, with graying hair. To be honest, Glenn acknowledged the people were very likely insane. They appeared to be insanely happy, and drunk as well. Glenn did not bother trying to enter their encampment, and headed south, soon arriving at the woods.

The Cursed Woods were Frog's home. He had heard that Lucca once saw a Nu in the forest, but he ignored the sighting - he could handle a Nu or two. Frog ignored the primal beauty of the woods in the morning, the dew on the trees and grass; the animals arising from where they slumbered.

Frog soon found his stumb, and climbed the vine ladder down. To his suprise, he found a torch already lit.

"Suprised, Glenn?" asked a dark, mysterious voice from the other side of the room. Into the light stepped out a black robed fire. Shadows danced on his robe and on his darkly mettalic face.

"Who are you?" asked Glenn. This person looked like no human or Mystic he had ever seen.

"You are joking surely? I am a Shadow, Glenn; I roam across the world, destroying the infestation of Guardia onto this continent. I am eternal - death is just the beggining of a new life. I go where I am sent by the High Shadow, who ensures the black wind howls at the appropriate moment. I am a God; I am Immortal; I am Eternal; I am a Shadow, and you are mine," the robed figure answered. Suddenly, balls of fire shot form the figures hands, white hot. Glenn quickly dodged the balls of fire, unsheated his sword from his back, and leaped at the figure.

As Glenn leaped at the Shadow, a black mist surrounded the Shadow. Glenn choked as he entered the mist, but pressed on. Suddenly, a force hit his side and sent him flying into a large, round, blue ball. It wasn't a ball - it was a Nu. Glenn looked and reliazed the room was full of Nu's as a blue fist sent him into a dreamless slumber.


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