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Emptiness

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What would it take for things to be quiet?...
Fan Fiction:
Emptiness
Snowy Forest
Author 50px-RainIcon.png
Genre Action
Perspective 1st Person
Narrator Cry
Fan-made Characters Cry
Crow

Description: Two brothers, completely alone. Surviving by your own means is hard. Especially when there are those that are after your life.
These events take 3 years before the dates on the character's profiles.


Emptiness


Chapter 1: Quiet Like the Snow...


It was quiet...too quiet. There was little wind, the only sound was that of the snow, falling towards the ground at whatever speed it was going. As the flakes hit the snow on the ground, they ceased to exist, becoming one with the ground. In time they would melt and flow deep into the ground, giving life to the vegetation that it had once smothered during the times of cold. But that time was still far away...

The sounds of wolves scurrying in the distance brought me back from my dreamy state. I couldn't sleep; it was too cold, the hard floor of this cave was uncomfortable, the random noises of the night annoyed me and most of all, we could be attacked at, literally, ANY minute. Beside me my brother stirred, as a cold, soft gust of air rushed towards us and howled it’s soft, cold, haunting howl. He was a good kid, immature for his age. However, he was bright, funny and confident. He lacked self control, always doing things before planning them out. He was shorter than me by a few inches, and much smaller in build, rather scrawny even. If people looked at us at a first glance, they’d hardly believe we were twins.

As for me, I was slightly below average in build. But I was strong, I trained my body regularly and was prepared at a moment’s noticed to take up arms. I blamed out lack of food for our health. It had been three years since we had a decent "proper" meal. Most of the time, we were just scavenging from the towns we visited or begging. At one point, we were invited into a family to live in. The Troia family was their name. They had twin girls, maybe a year or two younger than us, they were kinda cute. But life there was peaceful for only a week or so. THEY had followed us. The beasts of darkness and their minions, the Grimm. The Troia family didn't know what hit them, and in the confusion, we had escaped. We were selfish and left them to die, I will never forget that, but at the same time, I didn't feel guilt. I lived solely to protect my brother, not anyone else's life. I was such a selfish fool...

They had first come after us 3 years ago, I didn't know why. Our father was a Hunter, but he too had fallen during the attack. Since then, we'd been on the run. Our parents had not survived and we did not have any relatives to call upon. Every month or so, they caught up with us, and we were forced to take a stand and fight. We planned all our defenses, the attacks happen between 23-38 days after the previous, so we had ample time to prepare, but life during those 15 days of anxiety were hell. The battles were long, and tedious. Most of the time, we boxed ourselves into a cave, much like the one we were in now, and tried to force them to take us one one at a time.

But this time would be different: I, myself, would take care of them. My brother had fallen ill the last few days, and it had been my job to take care of him. Because, if I didn't, who else would? That meant double duty for me, and seeing how I already did twice as much work as him, it meant that I was not in the mood to be messed with...Or at least, I wanted to think that. I had a soft heart, I cared for the things that were close to me. I was the kind of person to kill whoever or whatever harmed my loved ones and then vomit in disgust at what I had did. I wasn't fit to defend anyone because I always let harm come to myself in the process. If only I was stronger...
No...I know I can be stronger, I know I can be better than what I am now. I just have to prove it to myself.

As the pitter-patter of footsteps got closer, I stood up. Shivering from the cold, I took off my jacket and covered my brother with it, he needed it more than I would. I picked up the katana lying down on my left hand side. It was an old piece of junk, I had traded it in for a few good pieces of lumber at the last town we were at. But at least it got the job done. It was a good weight for someone of my size, with a slightly lower than average build. It’s material was light and cheap, not like the heavy "real" swords, so it was easy to swing, quick and agile. And then, I heard the wolves for the third time. They were close. Very close. I took up the katana in my left hand and braced myself for the -40°C outside...

CryEmblem
CryEmblem
CryEmblem


Chapter 2: I Know I This Isn't Much, But...


As I stepped out of the cave, the falling white flakes of cold stung my skin and blinded my eyes so that I had to tense my muscles and squint my eyes. Directly ahead was the first black shadow, I could barely make out a white, mask-like face through the falling snow. They were called "Beowolves", one of the creatures of legend known as the Grimm. This one was leaner than most, but longer. More like actual wolves than that of the dreaded Grimm. Either side of the cave were thick forests, and ahead the trees spread thinner, perfect for an assault by the black scum, but even better for trapping them. The clearing to fight was only small, and their large bodies restricted a gang up. The forest was too thick for them to fight in, without injuring themselves. Therefore, they could only go forward. After a few seconds of staring at the face grim evil, a distant howl sounded. The eyes of the black beast glows yellow, and it the markings on it's face glowed a dark red as it too, stood up on it's hind legs, and let out a low howl.

As the howl moved through the cold freezing air, the sounds of barking and scurrying sounded through the forest and more Beowolves came slowly marching from inner forest. They prowled as if stalking a very slow prey, their spine like back plates scraping against a tree trunk now and then. Those who had not known the mayhem these creatures were capable of leaving would thought about running, but that was no use. The Beowolves were fast, and could catch up to a running human within a matter of seconds. It was no use to hide either, they had sharp noises. It was best to simply hold your ground and try to force them back. Normally, we'd have barricaded ourselves in a cave or crevice and spear the Beowolves if they came too close, but this time was different. This time, I had to do things myself, and it was too difficult to work a defensive by oneself. So, hit and run offensive would be the best way to go.

After a while's delay, the first one lunged. I blinked, shook myself from my intense thought and dived to the side. As the Beowolf stood up and aimed itself at the cave entrance, I unsheathed the katana at my hip and slashed at the back of it's legs. It let out a growling yelp as the blade cut through it's thick fur and sprayed it's vile blood along the snow. It slowed it down, but the cut just wasn't deep enough. Their fur was strong, as was the skin, bone and flesh that it covered. The blade barely cut through, and only caused damage as it had slashed at a vital tendon. It was nowhere near enough to stop it. As it turned back it's body and snapped at my face, it kicked it in the chest and pushed it down onto the ground. It let out a strangled snarl as my boot made contact with it's neck. Holding my sword above my head, I let out a yell as I plunged it into the beasts open mouth. It didn't go in very easily. The blade jerked as it hit the Beowolves fangs, only just breaking through, even the roof of the mouth was hard. Instead of going through it's head like I had planned, the blade was redirected and plunged into its throat instead. Not as effective, but at least a lot bloodier. As I ripped out the blade, the Beowolf let out a strangled howl as dark, globs of blood spurted from it's mouth. There was no remorse from my heart, neither was there sorrow for their fallen comrade among the other black shadows. Their eyes emotionless and cold, glaring at the swordsman in front of them. They charged, this time a group of five, this time using tactics by attacking from more than 2 directions. But, it wasn't enough for them to stop me.

The one on the right was the next to lunge. As it came towards me, I jumped towards it, slashing at it's face and rolling away. It let out a howl as my blade made contact with its cheek, and peeking back, the saw the two halves of its left cheek, bloodied and flapping in the air. It cringed as it licked at it's dreadful, raw wound. I didn't see what it did next. The one directly in front charged next, and the first one on the left seconds behind it. Ducking, a slashed upwards, cutting the belly of one of them as it jumped over and dodged the other by rolling forwards. I doubled back as the Beowolf turned around, just in time to see a blade zooming towards it's neck. It didn't cut through completely, leaving over half of the neck intact, but that was more than enough, the ground spraying thin with it's blood as it fell.

I continued to dance in and out of the Beowolves' onslaught. Whenever I saw an opening, I slashed, and every few slashes one more threat would fall. By this time, the brunt of the pack had caught up. Actually, it was a small attack today, I estimated only a few dozen in total, the usual attacks maybe double. As they group bunched themselves together for a group attack, I retreated to near the cave entrances. I had sustained some injuries, a few scrapes and bruises from the ground, a dozen or so slashes from claws and a bite mark to the shoulder, not enough for me to go down just yet.

A sudden change in the wind made my blood freeze. The air froze and the snow started to sting and burn. If it wasn't for the few clothes I had on, I knew I’d be black with frostbite already. The flash blizzard was definitely not in my favor. The Beowolves were adapted to many harsh environments, and below freezing cold was one of them. My arms and legs shook as the cold crept through my body, my back started to ache and my body felt like it would be blown away from the gale force wind. I cursed under my breath as I turned and ran towards the mouth of the cave, seeking shelter. Not surprisingly, the creatures followed me, though slowly as they too were not entirely effected by the weather At least that was the one advantage from the blizzard, it slowed them down, even if only slightly. I had done what I could. It wasn't much, but I had slowed them down as much as I could. But once again, I was placing me and my brother’s lives in danger. It would be better if it was just me, he doesn't deserve to die just yet. As for me, I really don’t care. I think I've said already, but I live only to make sure he survives. Fuck everybody else.

I pulled myself through the cave entrance just as the freezing flakes of snow turned to shards of hard ice. The tiny rocks on my cave floor felt hot as they made contact with my freezing skin, if I had stayed out any longer, my arms would have frozen solid.

I tried to catch my breath so I could prepare to fend off the monsters, any minute now they would peek through the cave mouth and I would cut off the head of any that did. I stood up and leaned against the wall. The cold had stung my eyes and I could barely see a thing, my arms had cuts but the blood and skin had already frozen. I couldn't bare the cold on anymore. I ripped my jacket which I had placed on top of my brothers sleeping bag and immediately flung it on. Warmth filled my back as the soft fur coat smothered my skin. The jackets had been stolen from a wealthy man which we had noticed at the market a few towns back. They were just the right size for us and were a surprisingly easy pick. As the old codger bent down to examine the Vale Farm Apples, we had swiped them from him without him even noticing. My brother and I had to stifle laughs as the man was so oblivious that he continued to walk around for a few short moments without noticing the change in weight on his arm. He never caught us.

Time seemed to slow down, it felt like it had been an hour since I had collapsed inside the cave again, when in reality, it had probably been only a few seconds. I let out a breathe of air, to get rid of the cold in my lungs and watched it turned evaporate into mist. I coughed as the freezing air once again stung my lungs and my beside me, my brother stirred...

CryEmblem
CryEmblem
CryEmblem


Chapter 3: I Know I Could be Better

"Cry, is that you? What are you doing?" He asked, drowsily.

"Yeah, it’s me. It's nothing, go back to sleep, I can handle this myself.' I assured him. Before I realized what I had said, I knew what I said would make him panic. As soon as "I can handle this" had came out of my mouth, he jumped up with a ghostly expression on his face.

"What, it’s happening already? Why didn't you tell me!?" He yelled.

"Crow, calm down. You need to rest, you’re sick remember?"

"That’s no excuse, I'm in this mess just the same as you. We both need to take responsibility"

I sighed, it was no used arguing with him. He was as adamant as he was immature, a common personality in kids these days…Ironic actually, that I no longer had the resolve to call mySELF a "kid", even though I really was one. I guess the harsh, cold sense of responsibility carries a much greater burned than I realized…But no, this time I would take control. If Crow had tried to move too much, he would fall even more sick after this was done. This time, I will force him to stay down. Even if he just watches me, it's better than him exerting himself.

As he fumbled with his sleeping bag and tried to stand up, I rushed forward and gently pushed him down, placing my knee on his chest so that he wouldn't be able to move.

"Brother! What are you doing? Let me go!" He managed to cough up. His fever has getting worse, it was hurting his throat just to talk.

"No you idiot, stay down! You’re not fighting this time, you’re unwell. Just...stay out of my way this time, please!" I yelled, immediately regretting my choice of tone.

Crow's eyes seemed to glow as his whole body shook. I had accidentally provoked him, he did not appreciate being called names. A lesson I had learned from watching him "deal" with other people. Usually, I’d take a step back and try to calm him down, but this time I needed to be assertive...

"Get OFF me-"

"Shut up!" I yelled, shoving my hand in front of his mouth, preventing him from saying another word, "You are sick. You need to rest." I said, taking a short pause between each word.

Crow uttered angry muttered screams as his main air source was blocked off and I felt the wetness from his noise reach my hand. He didn't seem convinced. Fortunately, I had one more weapon…one that I really did not want to use. And best of all, Crow was completely vulnerable to it. With all my heart, I thought of all the sorrow, all the pain and all the hardships we’d been through and absorbed it all into my heart. After a few seconds, I managed to well up a few, weak tears… Crow stopped shaking as the salty wetness splashed on his cheek.

“Brodda...” Crow mumbled, my hand still covering his mouth. His eyes grew wider and his eyes started to water.

“Crow...You need to listening to me. If you fight with me, you will only get hurt more. So please, just stay down and relax. Just this one time, please. It’s for your own good...”

A short silence followed, even the blizzard seemed mute. Crow nodded, slowly and silently.

I slowly let my hand off of his mouth, and let him breathe as normal. Getting to my feet, I picked up my katana, unsheathed and stained with vile, frozen Grimm blood. Crow slowly crept back into his sleeping bag, and covered the bottom of his face with the extra blanket I had swiped just for him. With only his eyes showing, it looked as if he was only 8 years old. Smiling, I gave him a nod of approval, then turned and wiped the crocodile tears from my eyes, grimacing as I did. I hated crying...even though it was my hidden talent.

As I dragged myself to the cave entrance, I noticed a sudden change in the wind. Instead of a ghastly blizzard, it was now just a haunting chill. This sudden feeling was definitely not normal. It made the air drier than it already was and taste like dust that had been left to collect for over a year. Even though it was way below freezing, I could feel hot sweat starting to well. As I peaked outside, I immediately noticed 3 things. The first was the mess I made of the Beowolves before, starting to shatter and evaporate into a black smoke like substance. The second was that the Beowolves chasing me before had suddenly disappeared, gone without a trace. And the third, and most disturbing, that within the Beo-smoke was a single creature, another Beowolf but not like the normal ones that we had experienced. This one had significantly less bone-like plates on its face, and none on it’s shoulders. Instead, it had much thicker and stiffer hairs pointing backwards, almost like spikes. Maybe they were spikes. Its face was much more like a normal wolves, long and streamlined, although it’s oversized fangs were also noticeable. As for its body shape, it wasn't nearly as bulky as normal Beowolves, but twice as tall and long. It looked much more like a normal wolf, if you consider being bipedal "normal".

At first I was scared, unable to think. A mysterious creature had suddenly appeared out of nowhere at the same location the beasts I was supposed to fight were, wrapped in black smoke from the bodies of dead supernatural creatures. I was unsure whether this creature was friend or foe, though judging from what I had experienced with others of its like, it probably wasn't. I don’t know how long after I had seen the creature that I had first thought of it as a possible ally, maybe it had killed or chased the other Beowolves off. I started to relax, the fear lifting from my heart. How naive I was…

As if reading my thoughts, and planning to strike when my guard was down, the creature howled and rush forward with terrifying speed. It was much faster than the regular Beowolves. I didn't even know what hit me. As soon as I saw it rushing towards me, my heart skipped about 5 beats and my joints froze in place. The next moment was painless. I felt the beasts hot claws slam my body, I felt my ribs break, my shoulder dislocate and my consciousness leaving. I didn't know where it had flung me, probably only a few meters. I didn't know how much air time I had gotten. Science would have said maybe a few seconds, but to me it felt much much longer. As I hit the soft ground, the coldness from the snow filled my body once more. I could barely move, my fingers were stiff and my body had been abused to much to exert force without damage itself. As for the condition of my spine, well, I could no longer feel it.

I watched helplessly and motionlessly as the Neo-Beowolf treaded towards me, slowly as if teasing my shattered sense of time. I could barely think, I tried to force my brain to send to fear, anger, resentment, ANYTHING. But yet, I felt nothing. It was as if I was observing someone else life from another time and space, unable to control anything that was happening. I felt the hot, sweet breath of the creature as it sniffed my "corpse". I wasn't to vomit in disgust from it's foul, putrid air, but of course, I couldn't. Satisfied that it had done enough damage to me, it turned around and kicked snow on me, completely covering my whole body, only leaving my right eye unsubmerged. I wasn't sure if leaving my eye was on purpose or not, it probably wasn't considering that it thought I was dead. I might as well be though. Finished with it's burial job, the creature silently trudged away. Only now did I bother to notice where I was. I was barely 15 meters away from the cave where I we were hiding, and now that thing was going to go and finished off my brother. My thoughts were almost emotionless, my brain’s emotional sector must have shut off for something because I couldn't feel a god damn thing. And then, my thoughts turned to my brother. Lying there, motionless, probably fast asleep already. I couldn't even imagine the what his reaction would be as the beast came crashing through the cave mouth and squeezed the life out of him. In his half delusional state, he might even thing it was me. After all I had down for us two, it had come to this. Me watching helplessly as I watched my brother being crushed to pulp, not even able to feel anger toward the killer. And my brother, not even knowing what was going on, completely defenseless. I cursed the life use two were born into, I cursed the Beowolves for hunting us down, most of all I cursed myself for not being a better person. In the end, I realized we were in this situation because of me. I had been naive, reluctant...weak.

"If only...I could be better" the words popped into my head and for the second time today, I felt tears stream from my eyes as warmth slowly starting drifting back into my body...

CryEmblem
CryEmblem
CryEmblem

Chapter 4:I Don't Think I Deserve It

Coming soon...


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