DARK AS NIGHT #2
A Day Without A Night
by JT Adeline
A SECRET REVEALED
Born of a Goddess and a mortal,
These sisters will be deemed the Sisters of the Realm.
One as bright as the sun,
One the flame of the horizon,
And one as dark as midnight.
They are the only magical beings who can open and close the gateway at will
To grant access to those who are deserving,
And banish those who are not.
A CASTLE BREACHED
A magical castle unable to be penetrated by any other magical being, until Merlin finds himself bound to his very own kitchen chair in his very own dungeon.
A CHALLENGE TO FACE
The Sorceress Kya has found a way to make an indestructible army. Can the Triplet Gustavo brothers, Maya Stewart and their new friends stop her and save Merlin?
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Dust and dirt kicked up in the fading light as Rune Gustavo entered the cave four miles from his home in Pyatt Township in the center of Minnesota. He ran his fingers along the sides of the roughly carved walls, willing a star orb into his other hand. Just over a month ago, he and his identical brothers, along with their best friend, Maya Stewart, had received powers from a prophecy written well before any of them had even been born. They had been chosen to stop immortality for over five hundred, rogue, nightwalker vampires who were going insane and infecting others. It felt good to save mankind.
He stepped into the doorway at the center of the cave and smiled, remembering he made this new doorway. This was where their first fight had begun with an evil sorceress who was helping the rogue vampires. The sorceress, Kya, had quickly discovered she was no match to any of their powers and was now being held by their grandfather, Merlin the Wizard, in some magical realm.
Still testing out the parameters of his power, Rune willed the orb in his upturned hand to grow larger and was pleased when it illuminated far into the cavernous space. Why was he here? What was he here to find? Turning in a circle Rune sent out feelers to make sure there wasn’t a threat hiding somewhere within the cave, something that he had been able to do for as long as he could remember. He could still feel the pull he had felt when he flew overhead only a half hour before. Only now, it felt more like a tethered connection not wanting to let loose and he believed he had no other choice but to find out why.
Rune turned more slowly when his orb illuminated the cave art they had all made when they were ten. He recognized the spot where Maya had fallen and cut open her chin, and smiled when he saw the space where he hid food in case they ever were trapped inside. Finishing his circle, he stopped when he saw broken furniture spewed across the cave floor, and something glimmering in the light his orb made mere inches from a broken tabletop along the far wall.
The crunching under his shoes was loud in the silence as he made his way to whatever he had seen. He lowered the orb to see broken glass, and what appeared to be crushed ceramic. It was spread across the floor in varying sizes and colors as if others had done the same as him, grinding the glass into the earthen floor. The pull was stronger now, making it feel as if the cave floor was pulsating under his feet. He stepped over a broken table leg and the remains of a chair, until he found what might have been shining under the light of his orb.
Crouching down Rune picked up what appeared to be a washer on a long, broken silver chain. He rolled the washer between his fingers noticing a difference. It had been made flat like the new jewelry Maya bought with inspirational words stamped on it, and in its center was what appeared to be a flattened piece of copper with something imprinted there.
“Hey, Rune? You go to Transylvania for those Oreos or what? The love of your life is here.”
Rune snickered, continuing to roll the washer between his fingers, shaking his head, and listening to his oldest brother, Rove’s telepathic message. Rune and his brothers were identical—triplets—and the last of the Gustavo vampires who were directly related to Dracula. Being vampires, they were able to communicate with each other telepathically, as long as they weren’t more than ten miles away from each other. They could also tap into another vampire’s thoughts, if the other wasn’t blocking.
Running his fingers across the dirt, Rune realized the pull had stopped. But why? He looked at the compressed washer in his hand. Was this what he was meant to find? What was so special about an inexpensive necklace? Not having an answer, he stood, sticking the necklace into the front pocket of his jeans.
“Rune! Where the heck are you?”
“I’m coming,” Rune answered silently, lifting the orb to see more of the area. “Don’t get your undies in a bunch.” He slowly walked back to the entrance, sweeping his orb from left to right. Nothing else stood out or called to him, nothing made him feel as if he needed to stay. He extinguished the orb and repositioned his backpack, filled with Merlin and Dracula’s favorite cookies, his mind wandering. If he was meant to find the necklace, what was its significance? If it had magical properties, wouldn’t it have sparked or glowed when he had touched it? He shook his head, placing his hands on his hips while stepping out into the evening sun. The rays touching his exposed skin still felt warm and comforting. Being early June, he was grateful it wasn’t blistering hot. One never knew what the weather would do in Minnesota.
Taking a deep breath, Rune shot from the ground, pushing off with his feet and drawing his arms tight against his sides. He let the adrenaline pulsate through his body as he shot past the trunks of trees, and their treetops. He skimmed his fingers along the tallest branches and their soft green leaves. He flew over the dense forest, traveling in a circle making a wide arc before heading towards home.
Rune and his brothers were Daywalker vampires. Over time, vampires had evolved to make a new breed that could walk the day and the night, eat food, appear human, and have a life span as long as any human being could. Dracula and the vampires who walked only the night were Nightwalker vampires. Nightwalkers had more power, much like how superheroes were portrayed, their eye color was black making it appear as if their pupils had overtaken their eyes, and they were immortal. Until recently, nightwalkers were still only able to survive on blood, but since Dracula and his followers had helped in fighting the rogue vampires, the Sorceress of the Sun gave only them the ability to eat food and enjoy sunlight once again.
Rune loved to be in the open air and flying, as if nothing else in the world mattered. He very rarely had the opportunity to spend time alone, being a triplet, and wanted to relish in the silence, to only do what he wanted, even if it was for only ten minutes more. But he had taken too much time already and needed to get home to where his family and friends celebrated the triplet Gustavo brothers’ graduation, and now Teagan was there. Rune smiled recalling Rove’s message of her arrival and stopped, hovering above the treetops looking to where his home sat a quarter of a mile ahead. Being a vampire he was able to see for miles, hear things from miles away and feel more pain that not only belonged to him, but his brothers as well.
He brought his home into focus, looking between all who gathered there. He watched as his mom laughed at something his Uncle Radek was saying, then his dad as he came up behind his wife and encircled his arms around her waist.
Then, there she was. All five feet to his six walking between the tables with her friends, Posh and Diego. Her copper hair was cut short, spiking out in every direction, to show off a strong jaw and high cheekbones. He couldn’t help but notice the blue jean Capris she wore, folded up below her knees with blingy jewels on the back pockets. Her blue canvas tennis shoes matched her button down blue shirt that was knotted in front, to show off a pierced belly button. When he saw her smile, his mouth went dry, and when she turned just slightly he could see her amber eyes making his heart beat faster.
Teagan was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, and he couldn’t speak a coherent sentence when she was around. He knew his cheeks grew red when she looked anywhere in his direction. Whenever she spoke, he just wanted to melt into every word she said with her musical Irish lilt. And when she threatened to beat the crap out of him or his brothers whenever they did anything annoying, he wanted to wrap her up in his arms and never let go. Rune sighed, taking one last long look at Teagan before leaving the branches behind to fly once more. How could he have Teagan for a girlfriend? If he couldn’t speak around her, how was he supposed to ask her out?
* * * *
Teagan Finnegan weaved her way around the tables set up in the Gustavo backyard, nodding at those who greeted her as she passed. She hadn’t wanted to come, though she liked Maya and the Gustavo boys just fine, especially Rune. He was cute and sweet and he made her laugh, but... she didn’t feel as if she belonged. They had powers she could only dream about, something she would never have. She dragged her feet for as long as she could, until Posh and Diego had literally grabbed her from the house they were currently staying at. They had landed ten minutes ago.
“Relax, Teagan,” Vlad said telepathically. “You look as if you want to chomp down on someone’s neck and feast.”
Teagan looked over at Vlad’s smiling face and sneered. He was sitting at a table with Radek and Francesca, a mound of food in front of him. Even sitting one could tell he was an intimidating man. Six foot four, a muscular body and raven black hair that hung straight past his shoulders. He wasn’t called ‘Vlad the Impaler’ for nothing, and no other undead vampire was stronger than he was.
“Maybe it will be your neck I feast on,” she answered silently, as she smiled sweetly and gave a curtsy.
“And only you can get away with saying something like that,” Posh said from next to her as Vlad laughed.
Teagan winced. When you lived and traveled with a number of vampires, your thoughts were their thoughts unless you put up blocks to only speak with one or certain ones. It wasn’t difficult to do, once you learned how to do it. It just took a certain amount of concentration, something Teagan was usually without.
“He’s much more relaxed since meeting his grandsons,” Teagan answered aloud. She followed Posh to the food table, picking up a paper plate and popping a purple grape into her mouth. “He has more of a reason to live out his life now.”
Posh turned, looking down to face her. Her long single braid draped over one shoulder, a shocked expression on her beautiful face, “You gave him a reason to live out his life, Teagan. He loves you as if you were his own.”
Teagan grabbed a ham sandwich and a handful of chips, dropping them on her plate alongside the grapes. “I’m nobody special, Posh. I didn’t ask to be his favorite any more than being parentless.” She abruptly left the table, not wanting to get into the discussion of her parents and how much she missed them.
“Posh was only trying to calm your nerves, Teagan,” Vlad said in her mind as she made her way to his table. She placed her plate on the end and stood beside the one who gave her a home and a family. Vlad reached over, placing a strong hand on top of her small one. She looked over into his black pleading eyes as she stuffed a chip into her mouth, shaking her head slightly.
“I’ll go and apologize,” she said with a huff. “But don’t expect me to hug her.”
Vlad patted her hand before she picked up her plate and walked to the other end of the table to join Posh. She took a moment to look in his direction and stick her tongue out. Sometimes Dracula could be so annoying.
“When you are done eating, go and find the boys and Maya,” Vlad said, laughing. “And stop being a brat. Don’t make me ground you.”
“Sure thing, Master.”Teagan gave Vlad a more sincere smile just before putting a block on her thoughts. Everything had been fine until they had come here to help the Gustavos. Now, Vlad seemed to have some sort of plan where she was concerned, wanting her to hang with kids her own age instead of the adults. Maybe she liked hanging with the adults. They didn’t seem to do stupid things. Well, not usually.