They were pulling at her hair and clothes, trying to get a good hold on her. She swung her sword wildly, her legs moving as fast as she could make them. The glow on her wrist was intensifying; she had to be close. One of them grabbed her by her arm and lifted her up. She scratched at its talon and felt one of her nails snap.
It let out a startled squawk as her sword hit home and it let her go. She landed on her hands and knees. She pushed herself to her feet and started running. Her arm had claw marks but still the glow grew brighter, unhampered by the blood. Another one’s teeth clamped down on her shoulder. She brought the sword back and it nearly spilt its head in two.
She pulled its lifeless body off of her and pushed it aside. They were circling her, already two had fallen and others were wounded; she was dangerous and now they feared her. Her fingers went to her shoulder as she stumbled forward; there was a tooth embedded in her arm. She saw the mirror as she attempted to pull the tooth from her where it was firmly stuck.
Her flesh protested as blood made her hands slick. Shaking the daze from her eyes she stumbled closer to the mirror. She was losing too much blood, and the edges of her vision were becoming black. Her breath came in painful gasps and she couldn’t hold onto the sword. It slipped from her grasp as she fell through the mirror.
On the other side she felt the cold concrete on her face. She pushed herself up on shaky arms, as she tried to focus. She collapsed forward but was able to roll herself onto her back. At first she thought it was snowing but then she realized it was too dark to be snow. She put her hand up and brought it back to her face. Ash, it was ash.
Reaching over again she went to pull the tooth from her shoulder only to find that it was gone. She was exhausted but the injury seemed to be gone. Her arm black and only a single light at the center burned a perfect blue. Raven was here.
Sitting up she slowly got to her feet. On shaky legs she walked down a road, it was an old road of the past. There were old ruins and buildings that seemed to have been marked by fire. The closer she got to the town, the more it smelled like sulfur and smoke. She ignored how it hurt her lungs as she moved further into the ruins.
“Raven!” She called hoarsely.
It was a ghost town; there was no one there as far as she could tell. She came to a slightly larger area; there was a scorched area in the center. On the top there was a sign sitting crooked on a post with a different larger metal sign underneath. The metal was rusted and old but Penelope could just make out the name, Devil’s Hallow.
What a pleasant name she thought to herself. The large metal block was scorched and rusted, but there were marks that could identify places in town. She reached up and tried to brush some of the rust aside. There was a building with a plus sign in it. The hospital she imagined.
She looked up what she imagined was the main street when the ground began to shake. She stumbled back as a great beast flew out from the ground and shot up into the air like a bullet. It opened its great wings and fire began to rain down on the city. Covering her head she ran towards the closest building that was mostly still intact.
She pressed her back to the wall just beside the entrance as she tried to catch her breath and steady her heart. She closed her eyes a moment and rested her head against the back wall. She could hear the fire as it struck the pavement and fizzled, trying to catch flame. This place truly was fit for the devil, the fire and the ruins.
Opening her eyes she began to move deeper into the building, they seemed to be safe from the fire. She glanced back once at the door to see the ash and fire coming down like rain. The building had once been a school and it was obvious that something ugly had happened there. There were drawings on the walls depicting children hunting and eating their teachers. Children with jagged teeth and eyes as red as blood.
There was a child’s laugh, high pitched and innocent behind her. She turned back sharply but there was no one there. She glanced down at her wrist but it was still humming away at a constant blue. Obviously it was only meant to get her to the right realm; the rest was up to her. She rounded a corner and stopped short at the rows of faceless teachers. They all had rules sharpened to a point and they seemed to be frozen.
Penelope moved closer, they were definitely breathing through their mouths; likely because they had no noses and their eyes were sown shut. Only large pouting mouths and black hair twisted up in old style bun. Frowning she had a very uncomfortable feeling about them. She was bout the turn back when she heard footsteps on the other side of the women.
Turning back around she just made out someone passing by on a further hallway and she called out, “Who is there?”
There was a moment’s silence, no footsteps, so Penelope yelled, “Raven!”
A hesitate footstep and then running as the shape appeared on the other side of the hall from her, “Who are you?”
“Raven?” she said moving to the side trying to see the woman who had answered, “Is that you?”
“Penelope?” Her voice quivered as they caught sight of one another.
“Yes,” she said almost breathlessly, “I thought I would never find you.”
It was her sister, though her hair was braided over her shoulder and face covered in ash. Her clothes were worn and dirty, something Penelope remembered Raven abhorred. Penelope took a step forward as Raven put her hand out.
“Stop, they will kill you if you touch them,” Raven said quickly, her hand still up; “We will have to go around.”
“No,” Penelope said, looking at them as they stood like a maze before her, “I will not let you from my sight again.”
“They will kill you and you will be sent back to your home realm,” Raven said, “Is waiting a moment longer worth losing me again?”
Penelope considered her words, “You have changed in these few months.”
“A lot has happened in these few months,” Raven admitted, a dark shadow crossed her face, “Enough of that, we must find another way around.”
“Stay there and I will come to you,” Penelope said, and was just about to turn around when she saw a man sneaking up behind Raven, “behind you.”
Raven saw him just in time and she began to run; both the man and Raven were quickly out of her view. Penelope looked at the women, with their sown shut eyes and their weapons. She closed her eyes a second; she just needed to get by them without touching them. Before she could hesitate any longer she slowly walked into the row of women.
They shuddered as she walked by, some moving in jerky movements. She pulled her head back as one brought a sharpened rule just past her nose. She held still for a few moments before she continued on. She heard a scream and her elbow just narrowly caught one of the women’s arms. She swung it around as Penelope dropped down and began to crawl towards freedom.
Her weapon like ruler sliced across another’s neck, spraying them all with blood. They all lost it as they started slicing at the blood and catching each other. Once she was through the other side she pushed herself up and began to run, glancing back only to see a pool of blood expanding as the teacher’s fell.
“Raven!” She yelled and the hysteria was clear in her voice as she ran towards her sister.
Chapter 8: http://wp.me/P3LyhT-1C