Fantasy Fiction Urban Fantasy

Lilah's heart raced as she darted through the dimly lit streets of Elron, the city that never truly slept. The ancient cobblestones echoed with every step she took, and the cold mist wrapped around her like a cloak. On every corner she passed tales of the past whispered.

I need to get out, she thought searching in the darkness for something, anything that could help her escape her would be attacker.

The echoing sounds of said attackers feet filled the air not to far away making her heart pound.

Amidst the labyrinth of alleyways, she paused, her breath visible in the chilly night air. "I think someone's watching me," she whispered to herself, her voice barely audible. It was a strange realization to have when she knew she was being chased but this was different, this was unearthly. The sensation was undeniable. Every shadow seemed to move, every gust of wind felt like a soft whisper against her ear. That's when she saw it.

From a distance, the silhouette of a man stood down the way, barely discernible in the misty night air. His eyes, however, glowed with an eerie blue light, piercing the darkness. Was he the watcher? Or just another lost soul in Elron?

The sound of footsteps behind her grew as the man lifted one hand in a come hither motion. The action drew her eye to the silver whispy band on his wrist. 

A Watcher. The thought froze her heart.

Kyle, her trusted friend from childhood, had warned her about the Watchers - ghostly apparitions said to haunt the city, looking for souls to claim. His tale was contrary to the others spinning tales of the Watcher's being saviors for humanity. She had laughed it off then, considering it just another of Kyle's tales. But now, doubt crept in.

She didn't have time to question what was truth as the distinctly feminine shout of her pursuer filled the air.

Without a second thought she spun the shadowed man. He turned from her beginning a jog that kept him just a hours width ahead of her. She wondered where he was taking her when she saw it, the place she had been looking for.  

The Apostles Library.

The ancient building was a legend amongst the street rats. Covered in old magic, the library was hard to find, never staying in the same spot for more then a hour of time. But if found it was a guaranteed space of safety.  

Forgetting about the whisp of a man beside her, Lilah quickened her pace, making her way to the old library. As she approached, the large wooden doors creaked open, revealing a ageless librarian with raven-black hair.

The doors slammed closed behind Lilah, a erie calm settling in the now quiet space.

"You felt it too?" She whispered, her eyes reflecting concern.

Lilah looked to her, trying to catch her breath. "The Watchers?"

Thw old lady beckoned her further inside, "Not just any watcher, dear. The Shadow King." She pause giving Lilah a minute to take in her words. When all she got was a blank stare in return she continued. " he is the oldest and most powerful of them all. He's taken an interest in you."

Lilah's eyes widened as she processed the words. "But why me? Aren't the Watchers just legend?"

A old hand motioned for her to sit, handing her a warm cup of tea. The library's interior, with its towering bookshelves and warm, glowing lanterns, provided a stark contrast to the city's cold exterior that Lilah didnt know could exhist. 

"Elron is old, and its foundations are built on legends, myths, and truths. The Shadow King is one such truth."

Lilah sipped the tea, feeling its warmth spread through her. "I'm a historian, or i used to be. Until today I would have told you you were wrong but now. I'm not so sure. Even if they were real, why would such an entity be interested in me?"

The old lady hobbled over to a stack of books nearby. Grabbing a large and ancient tome, she opened its pages yellowed with age. 

"Centuries ago, a pact was made between the rulers of our great city and the beings that control it. A symbiotic relationship was established and for years it was kept happily by both parties. But slowly the city turned on its agreement and pushed the beings out. Now only the watchers, the most powerful of them remain. Every few generations, the Shadow King seeks someone with a unique connection to the city's heart. He believes that by claiming them, he can gain control over Elron."

Lilah stopped the argument on the tip of her tounge as she thought back to her recent discoveries. After being cast from the historians guild for her controversial work on the citys true political history, something this tale ringed to close to her works to not be true, she was desperate to get off the streets and back into high standing. Using the vast networks of street rats she had begun to gain information on the possible location of a old and valuable city relic. It was that very relic that now hung from her neck that had gotten her in this precarious situation on the first place.

"The locket," she whispered as realizationdawned on her. "It is said to hold the essence of the city withing its heart. I found it. I think it resonated with me. When I touched it, I felt... connected."

The old lady nodded gravely. "That locket is the key. It chose you and now, you must navigate this dangerous dance with the Shadow King."

"But how?" Lilah's voice trembled with uncertainty.

A soft voice interrupted them. "By confronting him before he finds you again."

As the doors banged behind her, stopping the intrusion of her pursuer, Lilah realized that the game of cat and mouse had just begun. Elron's secrets were about to become her own, and the line between the watcher and the watched was blurring.

October 07, 2023 13:39

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Awen Kerr
21:27 Oct 18, 2023

Great vibes, and the opening lines grabbed by attention immediately. This feels like a chapter in a book rather than a short story, and I want to read more!


20:23 Nov 22, 2023

thank you so much!


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Luciano Cortese
22:52 Oct 14, 2023

I really like this, it’s very interesting and has a lot of good lore in it. I really want to know more about the shadow king.


20:24 Nov 22, 2023

I think i might write more in the future about him!


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