Fiction logo

Whatever Tomorrow Brings

we have hope

By Kelli Sheckler-AmsdenPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 9 min read
12
Whatever Tomorrow Brings
Photo by Noah Grossenbacher on Unsplash

It was half past 4, with little time left before daybreak.

Alone, hungry, and exhausted, Laurel was driven to keep going. The sun would rise in a few hours, and she would be unable to complete the task her grandfather had started years before.

She was the sole survivor, she, and a little stray dog they called “Stay,” Her entire village were killed following an invasion of creatures from the other side, called the Unbound.

By Krishh on Unsplash

As she made her way through the dark, towards the commotion, she became sad, hesitant to leave her home, the only place she had ever known. Everything was gone now, her family, her friends, her home. gone. Destroyed in the battle.

Reminiscing as she said her goodbyes. A flood of emotions came over her as she remembered when they would all sit around the campfire telling stories. Laurel listened intently, when her grandfather told his wild tales of creatures he called the unbound, and when they first entered our world. He described how they were capable of moving in and out of other dimensions at will, ravaging and taking over societies, killing anyone that didn't surrender. No one was able to oppose them. Now, she understood those moments were not just stories, but lessons.

By Joris Voeten on Unsplash

Her grandfather was part of a secret army. He, along with some of the country’s strongest, and smartest, became trained killers. They were sworn to secrecy, trained to hunt, interrogate and destroy the unbound, freeing the people from their rule.

During an encounter with them as a young man, he lost his legs, while saving his brother.

His brother was considered an untouchable. He was protected at all costs, responsible for designing weapons of war and traveling devices. He had created a locket that could pierce the portal connecting the dimensions, and doing so, would destroy the passage and any creature attached to that dimension. He became a target and the unbound traveled through many dimensions to find him.

By Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

Until now, the locket was only a myth.

By Tengyart on Unsplash

After attacking a town, they would make them battle with other towns for food and water, ultimately causing the people to turn on one another instead of standing together and fighting back. No one came or went, without the knowledge and permission of the leader of the unbound. He was called Megal. Meaning great, grand, abnormally large.” he was vicious and vile.

Her grandfather told her, before he died, that he had hidden the locket in plain sight, at the well in the center of the town. She would need it now, to survive. He told her that placing the locket into the housing portion of the stone wall next to the portal, was the only way to defeat them. In her heart, she vowed that everyone of them would pay. She kissed her grandfather gently on his forehead, grabbed the dog and left everything she had ever loved behind.

By Ales Krivec on Unsplash

Making her way to the hill that surrounded the town, she caught a glimpse of one of the creatures as it crossed the courtyard. It was massive! It was winged with horns just above its brow. Its nails and teeth were long and sharp. She watched in horror as they mercilessly and savagely attacked the people, she heard them growling and taunting, snarling and grunting. She cried listening to the screams of the ones who were too weary to fight any longer, never to forget the sounds of tearing flesh. She could smell the stench-of death, it was all around her. It filled her nostrils, sticking to her throat, it tasted coppery and tingly in her mouth. And she fought back the urge to throw up.

She knew that her only chance for survival was retrieving the locket at the well and placing it into the stone wall near the portal. She knew from the stories of her grandfather, that when the locket was returned to the wall, the portal would be destroyed. The unbound would be unable to survive the power that the locket would unleash.

She was looking for a way to get to the well unseen, when Stay, the small dog ran towards one of the creatures, growling and barking. She called out for her to come back, but it was too late. As the dog drew the attention of the creature surrounding the well, Laurel crept through the grass and nearly made it to the well, when someone called her name. “Laurel, Laurel, please help.” She stayed low to the ground and made her way towards the voice. It was the owner of the mercantile, he was in very bad shape.

Looking as if he had been eaten from the inside out, she cringed. “I am sorry, I don’t know what I could do to help you, I am not a Dr.” He took her hand in his, placing a key in her palm, he gurgled. “This will get you into the safe at my shop, it contains a "special" cream, rubbing it on your skin will keep the creatures from seeing or smelling you. It may give you enough time to escape.” Crying, she hugged the man, and hurried to his shop. As she made her way to the back of his shop, she could see it was full of the creatures, eating food off the shelves. Fighting and wrestling one another.

They were so occupied; they didn’t notice her. As she was turning the key of the safe, the door slammed open. The scariest voice she had ever heard snarling and spitting screamed, “I can smell you!” He spewed. She made herself as small as she could. He jumped onto the safe and growled, “I know you are here; what trick are you using to hide from me?” Having just enough time to slather the cream on before he got to her. As he bent down over her, he slammed the safe into the wall. Stay, the little stray dog, came to her rescue again, biting and barking at the massive creatures’ feet, so quick, he couldn’t catch her. He became angrier and threw a chair at the dog, sending her flying out of the office. Laurel, being invisible now in every way, ran out of the door, grabbing the dog as she went by.

The creature was right behind her, sniffing loudly in the air, following the scent of the dog, limp and motionless in her arms. Laurel began to cover the dog with the cream as she ran back to the well, to retrieve the locket. The massive beast began to yell out for all the creatures, “find her!” She scurried around the well searching for the locket, dodging in and out of their legs, around their feet and over ravaged bodies.

Laurel noticed the shop owner pointing in the direction the well, and as her eyes began to follow the direction of his finger, the beast ripped his arm off and threw it in her direction. She let out a slight gasp, which gave her position away. She leapt out of the way and hit her head on the stone wall of the well, wanting to cry, the small dog began to lick her face. She felt calm and resolved in the same instance.

Her top became entangled on a portion of the wall, and as she reached around to free herself, she noticed that it was the locket. She turned around to dislodge it and realized that the creature was, unknowingly standing directly over her. He smelled of death and dirt. Drool ran off his mouth onto the ground in front of her. She pulled the knife her mother had given her for hunting and plunged it deeply into the groin of the beast. As it fell to the ground, she grabbed the locket and in one swift slash, proceeded to take the head of the beast.

By Anis Rahman on Unsplash

All the tears, fears, sadness and loss were now pouring out of her body in anger and revenge. Covered in the blood of the beast, she was no longer shielded from their sight.

They yelled and screamed in horror at the death of their leader and began to charge Laurel. She put the dog over her shoulder and began to run, faster than she had ever run before. The creatures were big, but slow, which worked to her benefit.

Laurel crested the hill, nearing the portal. Pausing for a moment to look one last time before leaving all she knew behind. Turning to run again, she felt a piercing pain in her back, knocking her to the ground. The dog began to nip and bark at her, but Laurel could not move, she had been shot by an arrow. As the unbound got closer, she yelled at the dog to run away, it wouldn’t. Stay began to cough, sputter and gag, shaking violently. Fearful it too had been hit by the arrow, while hanging over her shoulder, all she could do was cry. Stay was groaning and yelping, she heard sounds of tearing flesh. Sure she was about to join her family in death, she closed her eyes.

A bright green light penetrated her eyelids, she had to look. All around her was the warmest, most beautiful light and what appeared to be dandelion seeds floating in the air.

By Melissa Askew on Unsplash

She noticed a shadow approaching, her blocking the light for a moment. Still unable to see clearly, she heard a voice she recognized. Rubbing her eyes to clear her vision, his face became clearer.

By Niels Smeets on Unsplash

“Grand uncle!?” (her grandfather’s brother) Laurel cried, “it’s you, how did you, where did you come from?” He knelt down to Laurel to help her stand, he rubbed a cream over her wound, and it was gone. She stared at him in disbelief, she noticed there was a small bunch of fur scattered on the ground by his feet. “Granduncle, where is Stay, where did the creatures go, how did you get here?”

He walked quietly to the portal wall, retrieved the locket, and placed it in her hands. He said. “I was unable to tell anyone that I was in disguise. Sworn to secrecy, I knew it was impossible to stop the leader on my own. I needed help to take back my form to secure the locket in the wall. I needed you, and the knife your mother entrusted to you.”

Laurel looked at him in disbelief, " it was only a hunting knife.” she said. He smiled softly at her," oh dear Laurel, you were too young for us to tell you everything, and we didn’t know your strengths and courage until it today. You survived to save everyone else.”

She cried and screamed, “save everyone? Everyone is dead!”

He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He took her hand in his, as she held the locket and said, “the unbound have been bound, the dead have been freed. Let go of the past, and you will be whole.”

By Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash

The wind began to blow and the seeds she had seen earlier floated around her making shapes and falling back to the ground. He sprinkled a powder over the seeds, and it began to rain.

As the rain stopped, the bright green light reappeared. Laurel covered her eyes, when she opened them again, the portal and the wall separating town from town imprisoning people for years, was gone.

By Sonali Deo on Unsplash

The town was completely destroyed.

They saved who could be saved, they buried and celebrated their dead. Vowing to make a better tomorrow.

By Tom Wheatley on Unsplash

It was going to be a hard journey, but with determination and hope, they concluded, the pain and loss wasn’t all bad. They once again had the ability and power, to repair, forgive and grow as a society in control their own destiny.

And isn’t that what we all desire?

Adventure
12

About the Creator

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Telling stories my heart needs to tell <3 life is a journey, not a competition

If you like what you read, feel free to leave a tip, I would love some feedback

Find me on twitter @kelli7958958

or facebook

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.