“No, Xavy. Just get on Hornbeck, Xavy,” she begged in earnest. Xavier shook his head. Something in him was calling to the corner of the room, where again a startling sound escaped.
This time, Xavier thought, it sounded like a growl of some kind. Closing his eyes, he projected himself into the darkness, something he’d never done. When he opened his eyes in his astral form, he still couldn’t see anything. Closing his eyes again, he focused on seeing in the dark, willing himself the ability and he was pleased to open his eyes to the vision of a magnificent beast, chained in three collars, one for each of its heads. He shook his head, carefully walking around the sleeping giant. The wings were at least twice as long as Xavier was tall and they were tucked up inside. The tail, just one, was long with spines sticking out but the heads were all sound asleep, each facing a different direction.
Just as he was about to walk around the creature he realized was a dragon, he blinked and fell back into his body, jerked by an angry Arya, who had him by both shoulders, shaking him furiously. Her power prickled at his skin as her terror grew.
“XAVY! Where are you?! Come back!” She whisper yelled. Her panic reverberated through his body and without hesitation, he embraced her in a tight hug, using his power to soothe her at once.
“It’s okay, Ya. Just a dragon,” he whispered into her ear, still holding her. “I think we’re where we meant to be, we just… we just ended up in the wrong part.” As her shaking and power eased, he released her. Looking into his sister’s deep green eyes, he pulled her flaming red hair out of her face and smiled. “Don’t worry, I think we can figure this out.”
“Where did you go?” She finally whispered, calm.
“I’m sorry, Ya. I forgot you’ve never seen me project before. I was just trying to figure out what made that noise.” He laughed softly, patting Hornbeck’s neck. “You’ll never believe it! There’s a dragon here! With three heads!” Instead of excitement, Arya’s face paled as her knowledge of mythology came to her mind.
The darkness was so unyielding the Twins could not see their own fingers in front of their faces, let alone each other. Their breathing turned ragged and their heartbeats became deafening drums in their ears as the silence overwhelmed them. Arya began to panic, flashing back to her captivity at the hands of her vindictive brother Baan, where she had nearly lost her mind in the darkness. Persephone began to pace underneath her, increasing Arya’s anxiety. Xavier sensed her and whispered to himself as a small orb began to fill with light in his hands. He moved them apart, growing the orb before he threw it high above them.
Although the light helped ease Arya’s fears, it was entirely unhelpful with illuminating their surroundings. Nothing was visible to them, even the ground seemed black beneath their feet.
“Where are we?” Arya’s voice quivered as she whispered to her brother. “This can’t be Hell, right? Like, this… this isn’t it?” Xavier shrugged before hopping down from Hornbeck, his hippogriff. Arya followed as Xavier lead Hornbeck and the orb through the abyss.
“I don’t think so… I… I don’t know… I think…” Xavier stammered, his own terror nearly impossible for him to fight. The Twins had fled the Academy of the Night, in fear that their Headmistress was a spy for their psychopathic elder sister, the Vampire Queen. Their intention to teleport to Hell had found them in this pitch black void.
“We should go, Xavy!” Arya whispered in a pleading voice. Just then, they heard a rumble in the distance. Arya grasped Persephone’s reins tightly and turned her pegasus to face the sound. Nothing but a sheet of impenetrable darkness as far as she could see. A strange screech made Arya jump and Persephone pinned her ears back, the fear shared between the two palpable. Xavier sensed the two needed calming so he led his hippogriff over and placed his hand on the winged horse. As an Arcane Void, he had the power to dampen magic or emotions and while his basic spell casting was far from easy, his touch alone was powerful enough to calm both the horse and the girl.
“We’ll leave in a minute, Ya. I just want to see what’s here.”
Stay tuned for more Sneak Peeks!