PART TWELVE: THE ENDLESS NIGHT
Oracle Tabitha took several rapid, shallow breaths as the anxiety of the state of affairs of Mialand chaotically escalated. Her Protector, Dolphus, and the rest of the pack took turns trying to calm her down but their efforts proved futile even as the thick, pitch black snow steadily poured from the sky. Before long, smog began to appear that swiftly enveloped the country, adversely affecting visibility.
Furthermore, Mialand’s citizens were technologically impaired as every technological device they possessed suddenly went dark. They remained with nothing but static behind their screens that persisted even when their owners tried unplugging or shutting down their devices. Residents remained unaware about the extent of the damage that had erupted outside their homes with no way of reaching their closest friends and family to ease their anxieties on their safety.
Communications within and without Mialand were hindered entirely with only secure channels reserved by the security agencies and emergency lines working at all. Several hours into the night, the residents of Mialand could hear nothing but the sound of the harsh winds blowing outside their homes and the sound of the frightened animals in their keeps which only served to increase the dread they already felt.
Reports from the security agencies working in tandem to contain the adverse effects brought on by the enactment of the dark curse poured in steadily with only Dolphus and his pack capable of receiving the news and issuing further orders as required. It appeared some kind of barrier had enveloped the entire country that disallowed travel inside and outside Mialand.
Tabitha felt her sanity continually ebb away as the situation worsened; bearing the weight of the collective trepidation experienced by Mialand, adversely affecting her own mental and physical state. She began to tremble uncontrollably as if convulsing and her eyes twitched, her body freezing up entirely after a while despite Dolphus throwing several layers on her to keep Tabitha warm. Her incapacitation would soon affect Dolphus and he was suddenly unable to experience anything of his own volition, entrapped by the Protector’s Bond he shared with Tabitha. The rest of the pack knew it was only a matter of time before they too succumbed to the fear that had paralyzed their Alpha and his fated partner and they began to pray and plead for someone; anyone to come save them and Mialand.
The Oracle pack’s silent and desperate pleas were echoed a thousand-fold in every man, woman and child in the country, holed up in their individual homes or to an unfortunate minority- within institutions under lockdown, holding onto each other and praying for an end to their torment. With no news streaming in to reassure them that though they were suffering, they were still united in spirit, their present circumstances seemed all the more desperate and they all continued to despair and wonder if the Creator had abandoned them or was perhaps punishing them for their all sins.
The unforgiving conditions of Mialand persisted with the unusual crescent moon remaining visible in the sky. There were panicked reports of unidentified monstrous creatures moving in the smog or below the ground causing tremors and landfalls (although there was no evidence to substantiate the claims that the tremors and landfalls were caused by the invisible monsters). What could be ascertained as having truly happened was the death of several livestock numbering in the thousands as well as the death of indigenous wildlife and various plant species that had been exposed to the pitch-black snow and other harsh conditions such as the harsh winds.
In each case of death of wildlife, the animals’ bodies were grotesquely disfigured and moved together in groups of ten, falling in a pattern similar to the crescent moon that lingered in the sky. The most common animal deaths attributed to the curse were crows and ravens that would suddenly unperch themselves from trees, recreate the waning crescent moon shape in the sky and then fall lifelessly onto the ground in that same shape. The situation was replicated endlessly into the night so much that the Security Agencies stopped reporting it altogether as it became redundant.
Slowly but surely, the Oracle’s pack succumbed to the same panic that had incapacitated Tabitha and Dolphus. Soon, only the youngest member of the pack, Zev, remained although he felt the psychic pull of the collective madness drawing him nearer to insanity. He frightfully held onto the receiver as the constant stream of reports from the Security Agencies flooded in and though he tried his best to issue further instructions as required, he was soon incoherent, paralyzed by the fear that had slowly pulled him under.
The static behind the screens suddenly cleared and technological devices suddenly went online although the terrified witch folk could not use them as they intended to contact their family and friends. They were instead subjected to staring at their screens in horror as an announcer urged them to hang in there just a second longer as “everything” would be made clear to them. The announcer’s pronouncement was succeeded by a documentary header in bold letters titled, “Unmasking the Masquerade” The name of the documentary was no doubt in reference to the Fischer clan’s magical attribute which was illusion magic.
The documentary was a long feature exposing the alleged atrocities of the Fischer clan; the ruling family of the witch nation for centuries ending with an interview with the curse’s progenitor herself, Empress Weylyn better known by her sobriquet, the Red Veiled Empress. The Empress explained that the cause of the country’s misery was as a direct effect of the Royal Family’s wicked deeds and no relief would come to witch-folk until the Fischers were made to pay for their sin of causing the Haldorson clan to be hunted to near extinction all in the name of gaining power.
“We quite literally have all night to ensure that the illusionists that have ensnared witch-folk for centuries with the lies receive their just desserts and then I, the true heiress to Mialand’s throne, shall finally take my seat upon the Royal Throne as was destined,” declared the Empress an evil smirk spreading across her face easily, visible even under the dark lighting of the recording studio.
The peoples of Mialand were far too frightened to ruminate over the Empress’ declaration. Empress Weylyn took a pause before clarifying her previous statement, “Oh, by claiming that we quite literally have all night, I mean that the curse suffered by the citizens of Mialand is Temporal in that time within Mialand has essentially frozen. Mialand is currently in the midst of the enactment of the Spell of Endless Night,”
The implications of the Empress’ pronouncement were catastrophic as only one caster known to the Magical world had the power to enact the spell of Endless night; namely, the most powerful fairy in existence, the Mayve. Tabitha suddenly snapped out of her reverie and stared blankly at the phone Zev held in his hands.
“Impossible!” she stated shaking her head vehemently rejecting the premise that the Red Veiled Empress had the power of the Mayve and yet her gaze did not avert from the screen and the time displayed on the phone did not change for several moments and all the clocks Tabitha checked within the residence did not move. Tabitha’s eyes widened in horror as she processed that information.
“Now, as your rightful ruler, I shall ensure fair and judicious treatment of all my subjects. Those who oppose me shall be met with a similar fate as the Fischers who shall receive their due justice today,” declared Empress Weylyn.
Following the Empress’ latest declaration, Zev’s receiver suddenly went haywire with several simultaneous reports of Blood Wood Trees breaking out of many forested areas, some breaking out of other trees, numbering in the hundreds if not thousands. Out of the trees emerged several mysterious, hooded individuals in blood-red colored robes succeeded by the emergence of blood golems.
Security Agencies engaged the blood golems immediately they began to appear from the trees and though there was a persistent barrage of fire directed at the golems, the monsters proved impervious to their attacks and several security personnel were lost in mire of battling them. Furthermore, blood-red mites also emerged from the trees that attacked Security Agents in droves making containing the threat of the blood golems that much harder.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Shall the Red Veiled Empress’ follow through with her threats against the Royal Family of Mialand or is there hope for the Fischer clan yet? Stay tuned to find out! Links to previous parts are linked below. Enjoy!