Two Paths Diverged
It would be hard to say what would have come of her had she taken the other road, the easy path of turning a blind eye to the horrors around her. It would be hard to say because that road was no longer visible to her. She had travelled the path she currently strode for so long that her old life was behind her. She had seen so many things that opened her eyes to the world and there would be no turning back. That girl she once was no longer existed. That path she did not take was overcome by the fog.
The girl continued to walk, step by step, her old boots coming apart, the soles no longer fully covering her heel. She no longer winced as the pain hit her. She no longer felt it. Perhaps a pinch here and there but nothing she could not handle. People stared at her as she walked past, but she paid them no mind. She was the huntress of the night, choosing to fight the evil from the shadows while her other half fought in the light.
She thought of her twin. Telrea had chosen the path of the light. “The easy road,” Tavia thought. The chances they may meet again were slim. Though they fought on the same side, their powers clashed and for them to be in each other’s presence for long could mean disaster to them both and anyone nearby.
Telrea saw the beauty of the world, dealing with those who were harmed in the night battles, what they called a sinister void. Tavia created the work for Telrea, careful to not leave bystanders, but one could never control the evil spirits that surrounded them. They played their own games. The sun burned Tavia’s skin and she had long since left that behind as well. She was shadow, she was darkness, she was void. She was nothing but whispers.
She would not think of Telrea. She had work to do tonight. She could feel the earth rumbling beneath her, the shrieking sounds of the nightmare bats overhead. It was time. She drew her sword, forged from the scales of the nightmare dragons only those of the shadow clan would ever see. “This is it,” she said quietly to herself.
The vines twisted around her as she made her way through the trees into the land of shadows. It continued to grow darker and more distorted. Her eyes were used to the darkness by now, and she saw perfectly. It was not the darkness that frightened her but the images it made come to life. The shadows attacked with accuracy, pulling her down to the ground as her feet were swept out from beneath her. She hid her face from the blows, all the while tightening her grip on her sword, listening for the voice she knew would come.
When she heard it, she froze, not out of fear but for stillness to understand its movements. The figure moved around her as she waited patiently for the right moment, a moment perhaps that would not come. The figure finally appeared in front of her. “I have been waiting a long time to capture you, night huntress.”
Tavia said nothing but waited still.
“No words to say to the Nightmare King? We have gone at it for years now, and all has still lead to this. You will still be mine.”
Her heart pounded refusing to hear the gloat in the Nightmare King’s voice. “So you say, Nightmare King. What you do not know is that even though I chose this path on my own, I do not fight alone. Those of the light fight on the other side of the shadows alongside with me. What you do not understand is that there can be no shadow without light.”
Tavia thrust her sword into the Nightmare King, and he laughed. “This sword will do you no good, night huntress. It is forged from my dragons, nightmare dragons. It will not harm me.”
“No,” Tavia answered. “But the light infused inside it will.”
The sword began to glow a bright gold and within seconds, the Nightmare King shattered before her. Although she had taken this path of shadows instead of the path of light, she knew only she would be capable of defeating the Nightmare King. Telrea would always be a part of her, they were twins, destined to fulfill this mission. But Tavia could not return home to her. That place no longer opened for her now that the Nightmare King was gone. She was trapped in the world of shadows, her duty completed, and only the sword to remind her that another world existed at all.