Sunlight. Your boat docks on the beach of Emysis. All around you is sunlight, beaches and waves. The sea is splendidly blue and little waves hit the edge of the light brown sand. Above you, the sky is a beautiful opal. Little strands of clouds drift lazily through the ether and seagulls fly leisurely above you, going to nowhere.There are palm trees dotting the shoreline, and in the distance a great temple looms ahead of you. Its silhouette is large, with curves and slants making up the larger portion of the shapes. This temple, Bahniska, had the same name as the surrounding town. It was here that the priests and monks of Emysis spent their whole lives in the temple. Living, praying, teaching and writing. The town of Bahniska was the only town ever set up on Emysis, with a tight knit community who lived off the flora and fauna around them. Emysis was once said to be a beautiful place and then this all came to a halt when everyone vanished. The only trace left of the Emysians was the ruins of their houses. Their houses were more inland, nearer to the temple and as the folk here used to believe, would provide protection from evil that would one day purge them all. 

After trekking for four hours, you knew you would have to rest somewhere. You are standing in a forest. Old trees covered in mosses jut their roots out of the dirt and various flowers and shrubs line the ground. Above you, the sky starts to turn into a pinkish hue. Beautiful ombre colours swirl in the sky above you and a cool breeze brought in by the sea brushes your face. The breeze is a calm and gentle one and calms the fears that trouble your mind. You survey the area around you once more. You look straight ahead of you and your eyes sense movement ahead of you. A fleeting shadow. 

Your heart pounds as you remember the rumors and ghost stories passed down through merchants and pirates about the animals, no--things, these “things” that now inhabited the island following the vanish of the Emysians. These Things were not animals. The Things fell from the heavens unto Emysis and in 3076, aliens falling from the sky onto a planet, was not something new. There are currently over 100 alien species living amongst the humans but no-one has ever come into contact with the beings of Emysis. Goosebumps raise on the back of your legs and arms and a shiver runs up your spine as you sense something behind you. Your head snaps back and you see it. Standing not far from you is a long limbed creature. Its arms graze the soft earth beneath its grotesquely shaped body and its large meaty head twitches as it looks around. It turns and walks in the opposite direction, dragging its long limbs behind. It doesn’t see you and thanking the gods for this you know you cannot stop for the night.

After walking for only god knows how long, you stumble across the ruins of Bahniska. They were hauntingly beautiful. Crumbling stone structures spilled onto paved streets. It was now almost twilight and the sun was going to set. Stars had started to make their appearance in the night and were twinkling with excitement at what was to come. Looking up, the temple looms in the distance. It was the only standing structure amongst the ruins and it is here that you will enter and search for The Amulet of Arixithal. Arixithal is said to be the leader of the Things and a ferocious beast that would toy with the minds of whoever came in search of her amulet. As a pirate, this amulet would sell gorgeously on the black market. Arixithal’s amulet was sort of a ghost tale. Whoever dared to venture off in search of her amulet never returned, many assumed they had just been lost at sea and forgot about them. Before setting foot on Emysis, you were not worried about getting dragged into the darkness by some unknown alien goddess, but after having encountered that Thing in the forest, you do not know what to believe anymore. You fish your cutlass, a gun and a torch out of your bags and head up the mountain towards the temple.

Pushing the door to the temple open, you see darkness. Lighting your torch, you raise it up to the darkness and see carefully constructed walls carved from marble. You are standing in a long corridor, dotted with doors and torches attached to the walls. Your footsteps echo off the walls as you slowly make your way into uncharted territory. You did not expect to be as scared as you are. Your heart thumps ferociously in your chest as you make your way forward into the inky shadows. You shine the light into the doorways and see statues of deities, books and papers shoved into corners. The deities stare back at you, their smiles, which would have reassured the Emysians of good fortune, looked eerie and threatening amongst the harsh shadows cast on them by your torch. Quickening your footsteps you make your way deeper into the temple, failing to notice the shadow that slowly closes in on you. 

You continue to walk forward, torch held high in one hand, the other on your cutlass. You make it to an ornately decorated door. Raising your torch up to inspect the inscriptions, you realize that this language is Platistian. A language widely used by islands in the East, Platistian was difficult to learn, but once learnt made learning any other language easier. You read the inscriptions over once more and once you are sure, whisper the password towards the door. A crack is heard as the door slowly rolls open. Inside the room, more books and deities and sculptures surround the vast majority of the space. In the centre of the room, the amulet lies. Large and green and glittering in the pale moonlight. You begin to walk towards the amulet, but realize that it can’t be this easy. As you ponder what you should do when a loud clank is heard behind you. Your heart drops to the floor and you whirl around to see a creature breathing heavily and staring right at you. You are trying to make out what exactly this thing is when it starts clamoring towards you. 

Without worrying about the consequences of retrieving the amulet, you run towards the amulet, with the Thing hot on your heels. “What a clumsy creature,” you silently scold it as you hear crashes and bangs from behind you as the creature knocks over books and sculptures. Grabbing the amulet you shove it into your shirt and running towards the Thing you slash at it with your cutlass and make for the door you had just entered. A painful howl like a child’s ruptures from within its great mass. Without looking behind, this scream slowly evolves into….laughter? The laughter is even more fear inducing. High pitched and deranged, you immediately know this laughter belongs to neither human nor animal nor alien. Everything slowly falls into place now. This is Arixithal. It was Arixithal in the forest too. Arixithal of the Demons.

 You run as if your life depends on it, which it definitely does. Arixithal’s grunts sound closer with every passing second and you just wished you hadn’t come to this god-forsaken island. You turn around and see Arixithal’s face even closer now. Tongue lolling out and large, crazy beady eyes lock with yours. Limbs long and thick jointed, almost like a feline, but more grotesque. The Things and Arixithal are one. They never were different. The folklore got it all wrong. Arixithal has immense power because she is a demon, a fallen angel. “God I wished she had stayed in hell” you silently mumble to yourself amid heavy heaves of air. You look up and see the door to the temple--so close, you might actually make it.

Just as you are within a meter of the door Arixithal lands on your back and pushes you to the ground. Her tongue lolls out her large mouth, which seems to stretch across her entire face. Her limbs press your arms to your side and her body lays on yours, squeezing the air out of your already burning lungs. You try to reach for your cutlass but to avail, she’s too heavy. In a final attempt at life, you please, “Please, please, anything, anything, what do you want? Please just let me live.” Arixithal stays still, as if she can understand everything you just said. You are blinded by a sudden flash of light.

Looking up, Arixithal is gone. In her place, a woman with dark hair and dark eyes stares at you. She smiles at you. “Anything, you say.” Taken aback, you stagger back and grip for the nearest wall. You cower away in fear of this demon. Demons are capable of anything. You do not know how you did not figure this out earlier. This was how the Emysians went missing. Arixithal was probably a wandering sailor and they took her in. Under the cover of nightfall, she would transform into her true form and one by one, kill the Emysians off and absorb their souls. Demons were not one to mess with. Arixithal was dangerous. 

“You’re absolutely right,” the woman coos. “I am dangerous, but I am willing to strike a deal with you to spare your life,” she says with another smile. 

“You can read minds?” you ask sheepishly, your voice shaking.

“Yes and quit calling me Arixithal, that’s not my name, just some play-name made up by incolent sailors. My real name is Vicsemetra.”

You nod furiously and she continues talking. “I will go with you to the neighboring island of Margiot. There, you will drop me off without mentioning what I truly am and you will live. The amulet is yours to keep, but remember if you speak of my true form, I will hunt you down and kill you.”

The woman stares at you. Her black eyes bore holes into your soul. You want to live, leaving this thing on an island full of people was mass murder. But this amulet would sell well on the underground market. Making up your mind, you shake Vicsemetra’s hand and head out the temple, her dark presence following behind you. You lead the way down the hill and through the ruins of Bahniska. Looking up, dawn is slowly breaking. On the beach, you board your boat, secure the amulet while Vicsemetra climbs in behind you. You row towards Margiot as quickly as possible. Margiot is a fishing island and the inhabitants are known to be welcoming. Knots of guilt form in your stomach but you know you must do this if you want to live. 

The shores of Margiot are covered by beautiful blue sand and white rocks. People in fishing boats are preparing to head out as you dock on their ports. You help Vicsemetra out and she is greeted by an elder who smiles warmly at the both of you. You explain to the elder, the rehearsed lie, that Vicsemetra is a friend of yours who is escaping a violent family. The elder nods sympathetically and you feel the need to throw-up. A child runs on the shoreline towards Vicsemetra. He grabs onto her hand and tugs at it gently, his eyes bright and hopeful. Vicsemtra looks back at you with a sick smile and puts a finger to her lips. To speak or to die you think. 

"Just say it," you silently reminded yourself. You knew you'd regret it if you didn't. Rowing away from Margiot, your heart clenches painfully in your chest. 

June 27, 2020 03:54

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Kelechi Nwokoma
20:36 Jun 27, 2020

WOW. Annandi, this story is great! I envy your descriptions greatly. This world you created for me to be in is so incredible! I'm wondering why this story isn't loaded with likes and comments yet, haha. Seeing as you're new to the reedsy community, I encourage you to keep writing. You have the potential. I look forward to reading more from you :D


A.d Bunni
17:39 Jun 29, 2020

oh my gosh,, thank you so much!! i will definitely continue writing !! :)


Kelechi Nwokoma
01:20 Jun 30, 2020

You're welcome. Also reach out to other authors on reedsy, read their stories, comment on it, and ask them to read yours, too. It's really awesome and I feel it deserves more likes and comments.


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