Chapter 1:

Chapter One - Trapped

The Guardian: An Unfortunate Wish

The world seems so perfect. People are laughing and enjoying their lives but when you don't have anything to live for and you are hopelessly clinging to your wishes the world seems so empty. Every person in this world has moments where they feel hopeless. In these times, we cry. We start to think about the past and the mistakes we made. If only we could erase those mistakes. But unfortunately, we can't. It is a burden which we have to carry.Bookmark here

I, myself felt that way many times. Sometimes I thought it would be easier to die than to live. I am no good for this world or for mankind. I can't even do one thing right. I have always been a burden for the people I love. Why do people sacrifice themselves for others but around the next corner we will heartlessly kill each other? It does not make any sense to me. Sometimes we think too much and other times we don't think at all. This whole process of thinking is a mystery itself and that is what makes us vulnerable. The thoughts about our feelings and actions can kill a life but also save a life. Bookmark here

The only difference is that it is easier for us to kill but difficult to save a life. Some humans even think the world only belongs to them and other humans are the pawns of their chess game. They can play with their lives as they like. This proves that the main threat to humans is themselves. Bookmark here

“What is happening?” I shouted out loud. Bookmark here

They were everywhere. Creatures I had never seen before. Monsters who looked a lot like humans but with sharp teeth and long, black hair. Some had Bookmark here

blood-stained eyes and others did not have any eyes. They had long, thin claws instead of nails and were crouching and crawling on all four in the darkness. Attacking us like beasts. There was no way out. They closed up all the gates. We were trapped. Bookmark here

“What should I do? I can't just watch them fighting for their lives?!” I screamed panicked.Bookmark here

I needed to help them. But what could I possibly do? They were trained. They had skills and weapons I could only dream of. I had only this pocket knife that grandfather had given me. My hands were shaking. I was losing control over my body. I could not even move a muscle. If one of these creatures decided to attack me I was going to die for sure. But it did not seem that these creatures were interested in me at all. Each member of the group was fighting amazingly, especially Reiker. He was one tough guy. Three of these creatures had gathered around him but he still seemed so focused and calm. A fourth one sneaked up behind him and it looked like Reiker did not notice it. He was too busy handling the three in front of him. I had to help him. The others were distracted by their own fights. I took one step but stopped. I knew I could not reach him in time so I did what I could do best besides running.Bookmark here

“Reiker!” I screamed from the top of my lungs. My voice was a bit shaky at the beginning but I got a hold of myself. Bookmark here

“Behind you! There is another one behind you!” I shouted. Bookmark here

He looked at me and smiled. He heard me. At first, I felt a relief but then was anxious. How was he going to fight against four of them? I took another step and stopped in my tracks again. Reiker turned around so he could face the fourth one who sneaked up on him. He was challenging it and was not showing any fear. He hardened his grip around his baton and the creature prepared itself for the attack too. The other three creatures watched the two carefully like I was. The creature shrieked and jumped off the ground. Reiker avoided it by stepping aside instantly. Then he swung his baton swiftly to hit the back of the head of the creature who was still in mid-air. The cracking sound of the skull breaking was loud and echoed through the arena. Despite standing on the other side of the hall, I could clearly hear it. The creature made a weird noise and fell on the other three. Watching this horrendous scene, the other three dropped the dead body of their own kind and fled. The creature’s body flinched as it hit the ground. It was still alive but not for too long. I could see a liquid coming out of his head. It was blood. At that moment, I realized that they seemed to have feelings. They were scared after seeing their own kind dying. I looked at Reiker to check if he was alright. He smiled at me to confirm it but suddenly started running towards me. The smile on his face changed to a frightened expression. Bookmark here

“Run! Ari, run!” he shouted. Why should I run? The others were still fighting and it is not like I could run anywhere safe. We were locked up in this arena. I shook my head in confusion. Bookmark here

“What are you doing? For God's sake, run!” he kept shouting. I could see he was getting angry but why and to where should I run? He was only a few feet away from me but he did not stop running.Bookmark here

When he finally reached me, he pushed me aside with all his strength. While I was falling, I not only saw him but also seven or eight of these creatures on the wall, crawling towards us. I fell on my back. The back of my head hit the ground. I felt a sharp pain and the next thing I remembered was that it got dark around me. Bookmark here

My eyes felt heavy. Did I pass out? I felt dizzy and my sight was blurred. I rolled on one side to see Reiker. At first, I just saw a big black pile of something I could not make out but after some time I could see Reiker beneath those creatures. They were on top of him. I tried to stand up to see properly but what I saw was terrifying. He was lying on the ground and the creatures above him were biting and tearing him to pieces. There were seven of them. I could not see Reiker's face and neither could I hear anything from him. His baton was lying next to me. Bookmark here

My eyes filled with tears and I dropped to my knees. My whole body was trembling. I buried my face in my hands. I could not believe my eyes. I knew I could not save him and it was my foolishness he got into this situation. I felt useless. I had always been useless but I would never give up and I was not going to start now. I grabbed the baton and stood up. I was furious and needed to calm down and clear my head. I remembered the words of grandfather. I had to stay in motion and doing nothing was not going to help me. I started walking towards Reiker with my shaking legs. My steps were heavy. I was scared but I had to help him. I owed him. He saved my life.Bookmark here

“Get away from him you monsters! Let go of him!” I was shouting and screaming trying to lure them away from him and it was working. Some of them stopped and turned their heads towards me. Blood was dripping off their fangs. I was getting more and more distraught. The adrenaline was kicking in.Bookmark here

“Come and get me you scum!” I did not even know if they were understanding me. They started to climb off Reiker. I noticed the pool of blood beneath him and I could hear his faint breathing. He was alive but he had lost an awful lot of blood. We had to aid him immediately or he was going to die. I prepared myself for the fight. Now all of the creatures started to move towards me. Their blood-stained eyes fixated on me. I was their next prey.Bookmark here

“Need help?” someone asked me. I looked to my right side and saw Benjamin. I nodded slowly, pressing my lips together trying not to cry.Bookmark here

“I can help too.” I turned my head again and saw Edwin. I tried to smile but I think it came out more like a cry. Bookmark here

I looked around to see where the others were. Ray was still trying to open the gate and Jasmine was eliminating every one of these creatures that tried to disturb him. Daiyn and Gagan joined our group. You could see that everybody was hurt but not as bad as Reiker. They probably hated me right now because I was the reason he was so badly injured. Bookmark here

“Are you alright?” Daiyn asked me. He was waiting for my answer. I lowered my head and looked at the baton in my hand. It was colored in blood.Bookmark here

“Yes, I'm fine,” I murmured.Bookmark here

“Ok. We have to get out of here as quick as possible. Edwin, Benjamin, and I are going to distract these creatures. Gagan and you are going to carry Reiker to the point where Ray and Jasmine are. It will hopefully be open by then. If not, try to stop the bleeding. Understood?” Daiyn asked all of us after explaining what we were going to do next. Bookmark here

I was still looking at Reiker’s baton in my trembling hand. Gagan grabbed me by my shoulders and shook me hard. I raised my head to see her face only centimeters apart from mine. Bookmark here

“Snap out of it! He is going to be alright! This is not the time to be sad and thinking about it is a waste of time. We cannot afford to make any mistakes right now. I need your help. So, are you ready?” she shouted at me. Bookmark here

She had tears in her eyes but she still seemed calm. She was right. I was being pathetic. Bookmark here

“Yeah. Let's do it,” I said nodding. Bookmark here

Everybody got ready. Daiyn, Benjamin, and Edwin started fighting those creatures and cleared the way for us. I realized they were only incapacitating them and not killing them. We hurried over to Reiker and reached him without any hindrance. I looked at his face to see if he was conscious. My heart skipped a beat when I saw that his face was full of blood and scratches. Especially his left eye was in a horrible condition. No, it was not in a horrible condition. It was gone. His eye socket was empty. After seeing his eye, I frantically started checking the rest of his body to see if he was somewhere else as badly hurt. His upper body seemed fine but where his right lower limb of the leg should be, there was nothing. Gagan noticed it too. Bookmark here

“We have to aid his leg right now or he is going to lose too much blood,” Gagan said but her voice cracked at the end.Bookmark here

She knelt down to support his head. I took off my jacket and tied it around his knee. I could see his kneecap and started to feel sick. It was such a revolting picture. Bookmark here

“Are you finished? I don't think that the three can hold them away from us any longer,” Gagan said grabbing Reiker's arm. I nodded and grabbed his other arm. Bookmark here

We were slowly carrying him towards the gate. Every now and then I checked on his right leg. When Daiyn saw us carrying Reiker, he and the others rushed over to protect us from each side. The creatures were following us but kept their distance. Bookmark here

Ray was still trying to open the gate. Jasmine did not have much to do because the creatures were gathering around us. Was it possible that these creatures were intelligent? It seemed as Reiker was their prey. They wanted the wounded and helpless one. Jasmine came to help us carry Reiker. Her face turned white after seeing what was left of his right leg. It was easier now to carry him after Jasmine joined us. We were able to move faster and we finally reached Ray. Bookmark here

“How is he doing?” he asked looking at me. I lowered my head and swallowed hard. Bookmark here

“He lost a lot of blood,” I said averting my eyes from his. Bookmark here

“Then we have to hurry and get out of here. Benjamin. Edwin. Come and help me lift up this gate,” he replied confidently. Both ran over to him and knelt down and grabbed the gate at each end. Bookmark here

“Is it open?” they asked simultaneously. Ray looked at both of them. Bookmark here

“Yeah. We only have to open it manually. I couldn't get it to open mechanically and we don't have any time left to try it,” he explained calmly. Bookmark here

They managed to lift up the gate halfway. I crawled through the gap. I could not see much. It was too dark. All I could tell was that I was in a hallway. Jasmine came after me to help me to get Reiker on our side. Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Ray came through the gate to check if there were some of these creatures hiding in the dark behind the gate. With the help of Gagan and Daiyn, we managed to get Reiker on our side. Benjamin and Edwin followed us and closed the gate again. It was suspicious that the creatures stopped attacking and following us. They were just watching us through the holes in the gate how we were fleeing and did not even try to stop us. Nor did they try to open the gate. It seemed like they had lost interest in us.Bookmark here

“We have to keep moving before these monsters change their mind and come after us. Benjamin help me carry Reiker. Ray try to find an exit in this hell of a building,” Daiyn ordered.Bookmark here

Ray was already walking before Daiyn even started to talk. We all followed him. At the end of the hallway, we found a small room that looked like a supply room. There were some dusty benches and shelves. The light that was coming from one of the windows gave me hope that we actually could get out of here. Bookmark here

I walked over to the shelves to see what was on them. Gagan and Jasmine were aiding Reiker. I knew I could not bear to see his wounds and I would be in their way anyway. Bookmark here

Benjamin and Edwin positioned themselves at each of the entrances of the room for our security. It was really quiet. Nobody was saying anything except Daiyn and Ray. I could hear how they were going over our options and chances to get out of here. The shelves looked really old and there was nothing important on them, only a few rusted cans of fruit and blank papers. I walked towards the window and looked outside. The windows were boarded up with wooden planks but I could still see outside as they had holes in them. I saw the desert we walked through to come to this nightmare of a place. Bookmark here

I started to move along the wall next to the window and realized I still had the baton in my hand. I stopped. I thought about this incident and that I had to live with it for the rest of my life. I had to live with this memory of someone getting hurt because of me.Bookmark here

A sharp pain interrupted my train of thoughts. At first, I could not figure out from where the pain was coming from. I looked down and saw that something was holding me very tight. I was breathing heavily. I gasped for air. Bookmark here

When I saw the faces of Gagan and Jasmine I knew something was wrong because they had the same expression on their faces as Reiker did when he told me to run. I turned my head to see what was causing this dreadful pain. What I saw was another one of these creatures. I saw black hair next to my face. Razor-sharp teeth were buried into my right shoulder. Its green eyes met mine.Bookmark here

My blood was dripping down on the ground. The pain was excruciating. I was paralyzed. I tried to shake it off but my muscles were not doing what my brain was telling them to do. Bookmark here

My vision was getting darker. I knew that any moment I would pass out. I saw blurred visions of everybody running towards me except Gagan. She was staying with Reiker. I understood why. He was still more seriously wounded than I was. Bookmark here

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They were getting their weapons ready to fight but it was not necessary. The creature released its grip and its bite. It let go of me. I did not have the energy left to stand. I was falling to the ground. Before I could hit it the cold floor, everything went dark around me and I thought about how the hell I got here and why would my father be in such a place. Father, where were you?Bookmark here

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