Chapter One: Detention
The rain poured against the window of the detention hall sadly, sending a vibe of despair and boredom floating throughout the room. The room was bright, but the walls were dreary and painted dark brown. Ben Gunn sighed sadly, his breath hitting against the window making it fog up more. He looked out the window which was pointless, as he couldn't see anything. He looked around at the other five trouble makers, sitting slumped, tapping pencils or texting under the table. He turned back to the window and sighed again. This was his fourth time in detention in the last four weeks. He could faintly see a reflection of himself in the window now. Ben's dark brownish blonde hair sat on his head calmly, moving with him as he moved, his hazel brown eyes gleaming under the light of the florescent light rods hanging from the roof. He placed his soft high-cheek boned face on his hand, resting his elbow on the table. The clock on the wall, high over the teacher's desk ticked every second, reminding Ben of what people outside of school were doing. He turned back staring out the window, and the teacher screamed at him.
"Turn around Ben", Ms Neuroman's voice was strong, fierce and strict.
Ben swung around in his seat and replied, "Sorry miss."
Everyone around him laughed. It was obvious he was scared of the woman. Ben quickly went red and swiftly buried his head into his bag and stayed there for a minute. He looked around at the contents in his old black bag, the saddest thing he could have done. He saw his phone in a small pocket on the side and grabbed it, turned it on. The small black phone vibrated loudly. Ben cursed under his breath, retracting his head from his bag, hitting it on the table. The table knocked loudly against the radiator. A girl named Melissa sniggered from across the room, sitting on her own. Ben glared at her. She was the most anti-social person he knew; well they were all on their own, sitting on thick, uncomfortable plastic chairs. But she had to be the most gothic anti-social person ever, dressed in black with black lipstick and black nail polish. He sighed as Melissa gave him the finger while blowing a bubble out of chewing gum. He sat up straight, receiving a glare from the demonic detention teacher. Ben's phone turned on and he looked at it.
There was one unread text message, displayed in black writing on the screen. He quickly read it.
'Hey, Are you nearly ready?!? C’mon, Like I've been waiting here for the last hour!'
It said it was received at twenty to four, which was fifteen minutes ago. Ben stared, still looking at his phone, smiled a grin, and then turned to the window once again. He could still see nothing, but still it took his mind off things. The clock ticked again, the stupid thing. Ben glanced at it, and saw it was five minutes to four. He smiled happily. Five more minutes and he was gone. He was gone from school. The weekend was ahead of him. Then it was just another week until the glorious, fun filled summer holidays. He sighed happily, the very first time that evening. Then the bell rung and he was up and out of his seat, faster than anyone else. Ben had to be first to leave. He always was. Things were looking like they were going to get better.
The black wooden door to the detention hall creaked loudly as Ben opened it. Ms Neuroman's head shot to straight to him and she stood up. The woman was skinny and tall. She had dark black hair that looked so much like granite that it glimmered so brightly. She must have been about thirty years old. She made her way over to him. Ben wondered, when she walked towards him, had she a boyfriend? It was weird, and soon he pushed the thoughts from his head. It wasn’t weird; it was gross, the demonic detention teacher having a boyfriend? He tried not to laugh.
Ben sighed and stopped in his stride, one foot inside the room, the other out. He spun on his heels and looked at the woman warily. She crossed her arms and tapped her foot on the ground, checking her watch.
"Ben," She smiled happily, but Ben saw through it as he knew it was either sarcastic or fake. There was no way she would be happy to see him, "Come here for a minute, would you?"
He nodded and stomped towards her carefully, not too quickly, not too slowly. He came to a halt and stared at her as if she had three heads. He just stood there doing nothing, looking at her while the other four students left the room. Melissa was last to leave, of course she was. She wanted to know what had gained Ben an extra few minutes with the demonic Ms Neuroman. When Melissa had and all left, Ms Neuroman picked up a piece of paper off the thick, beech wood desk. Ms Neuroman held it In front of Ben, breathing slowly.
“What is it?” he asked, almost certain he knew what it was.
“Oh, I think you know” The demonic teacher smiled.
Ben knew he had to be careful. He shot his eyes to the ground and made a face, something he would do if he were thinking. He looked at her, shaking his head, “I don’t, honest.”
Mrs Neuroman sighed and told him he could leave, and he did just that, speeding away down the hall.
Upon arrival at his old, faded, red locker, Ben saw Flair. Flair was Ben’s best friend and had been for the last six years. Ben smiled across at him and opened his locker. He threw a couple of books in it and shut it again, with a slight slam. Flair laughed his laughter cheery and thick. It was recognisable from miles away. Ben crossed the divide to where his friend stood.
Flair was the same age as Ben- thirteen- but looked way older. He was tall and broad- already a good build for his age- strong and older looking compared to other teenagers their age. He had jet black, smooth hair and he was wearing the school uniform. The uniform consisted of yellow and red and looked horrible on every student that walked the halls. The look on Flair’s pale face was cheery, like he knew he was going to be in mischief. Of course he was. Flair Sagitouras could never go five seconds without being told off. Well, on the occasion, ten seconds. It was a surprise Flair wasn’t on detention every week. But then again, the teachers like him too much. Even if he does, on the occasion disrupt their classes numerous times. He quickly took a deep breath, readied himself and spoke in a deep English accent, “which way today Guv’? Maybe Through the park?” He said jokingly. It was a terrible English accent. Like one of those old policemen in the rubbish comedy sketches on television they had both seen thousands of times, laughing and making fun of them.
Ben nodded in agreement and spun around just in time to see Ms Neuroman walk out the front door, looking furious.
“Let’s go.” He said quickly. They left through the front doors of William Brook high. There were three fields of grass surrounding the school and a tarmac pathway leading up along the closet field to the school gates, which then lead to a road. If you followed the road for about five minutes you would come to the park, a shortcut up to Ben’s house. The rain had stopped and it had given way to a weak sun just brightening up the grey sky. Far off in the distance, a rainbow had appeared.
The pair headed for the park, walking as slowly as possible as it was Friday evening. The worst thing to do on a Friday evening was to get home and change and sit around doing nothing for the rest of the day- oh and parents. They were the worst. Parents just nagged and nagged them to get up and do something from them or get out of the house for a while, get fresh air.
Ben and Flair crossed the road and came to a small, black gate. The gate was iron and about knee height. Ben hopped gracefully over it and landed in a standing position, but, Flair on the other hand, opened it and walked through. Ben rolled his eyes playfully and gestured to the old giant tree in the middle of the park.
Ben, being who he was, was never patient. He had to get everything right the first time, a bit of a perfectionist. He also had to be the first do anything. So he had started to sprint towards the tree in the centre of the park, not caring to look around him. Birds dropped and flew in parallel, chirping their songs of happiness and joy. Ben sprinted hard and fast towards the tree, not paying attention as per usual. He suddenly glanced up and saw a man dressed in a black suit striding swiftly towards the tree. He turned his head slightly to the side and shouted, “Hey, Quickly! Look we’ve got to get there first!” He tossed his bag off his shoulder onto the wet grass and took off into a sprint.
Flair blinked and started to reply, “Ben, wait! N…”- Flair was cut off when he was sent flying through the air, landing heavily against an old rotted wooden bench.
Chapter two: Magic
Ben gazed back in surprise, wondering how Flair had been thrown five feet through the air. He froze to the spot, not being able to move. This wasn’t normal. He knew that for certain. He just stared at Flair, sitting slumped against the bench, unconscious maybe. Ben stood there, sheepishly and stupidly. Then the man in the dark suit started walking towards him. Ben saw the man, maybe ten feet away and he panicked, spinning around, then slipped over his own feet- fell onto the moist green grass. The man in the dark suit approached him slowly, smiling to himself. He was just over Ben now and peered down at him. Ben looked at the man curiously, focusing on his abstract features.
Ben stared at the man’s misshapen face, scared and burnt. He wore a long black cloak that seemed to flow like blood through veins. It took Ben a minute to realise that it was actually flowing with shadowy veins. Under the cloak the man wore a tight black uniform. A star was printed on his chest in a circle, coloured shiny gold. It was barely see able against the black, but if you looked closely, it could be seen very clear. His dark blue eyes bore down on Ben like a deep, deep sea ready to collapse from the sky on Ben, crushing him to a pulp. The man turned to looked at Flair-still unmoving and now, unconscious- then he grinned evilly. The man turned back and looked down at Ben as if he were a piece of scum. The man in the black suit started laughing. Clicking his fingers, the man caught a flame which erupted into a fireball. A fireball! Ben gasped, closed his eyes and hoped-he just hoped- that some random passer-by would come and see the man and stop him. Ben could feel the heat of the fireball radiating onto his skin and he squirmed in the wet grass beneath him.
With his eyes closed, it came flooding back to him. From years ago, pictures of him in the local youth club taking karate lessons, other young boys and girls were learning the ancient martial art of self-defence too.
Then, without thinking his legs shot straight out and smashed into the man in black’s knees. The man crumpled up and fell, his knees buckling under the force of Ben’s kick. As the man fell, the fireball fell and burnt a black mark into the grass, which was soaking wet, before it extinguished. Small black smoke rose from the ground and the smell of charred grass was horrible. Ben sniffed, and then coughed, choking. Adrenaline rushed through him when he saw the man moving. Ben rolled over sharply, propelling himself onto his knees. He crawled quickly away from the man, looking for Flair. His vision slightly blurred when he twisted his head to the right and left, up and down, looking for the black haired teen. Ben couldn’t see him anywhere.
The man was up now again and he was running towards Ben. He looked angry and Ben was quite sure he wasn’t going to hold back the source of the anger when he caught Ben. Luckily, the man in the black suit slipped on the wet grass trying to get across to Ben. He landed heavily onto the wet grass with a slimy, wet squelch! Ben couldn’t help but laughing. He didn’t want to laugh, but it was like the fear was taking over his body, making him do stuff he wouldn’t have done in a million years, otherwise. The man was groaning and holding his back, so Ben took this to his advantage.
He jumped up and ran onto the gravel footpath and over to the bench where Flair had been flung through the air to. When he got there he saw the faint traces of blood against the dark brown. Soon, he looked onto the sandy coloured gravel mixed with darker stones. Ben then distinguished that there was a trail of blood leading over to the grass where he was a minute ago. He looked around, desperate to try and find Flair. His head spun, a dizziness seeping in through his head, past his skull and then into his brain. He stumbled and nearly fell, just managing to grab onto the bench before he fell onto the rock hard ground. Steadying himself, Ben looked for the man again, who was in the procedure of getting up. Ben sat down, ignoring the fact that he could be dead in a few minutes if the man in black got his hands on him.
The sun was high in the sky now, radiating bright rays of beautiful yellow sunshine. The sun gleamed down and glowed onto Ben hair’s making it glow a faint gold. He smiled, and then got up. He felt better, the dizziness gone. Then something unbelievable happened. A flare shot past his head -with such speed that it would be like a rocket flying past- heading straight towards the man who was now up on his feet almost certainly looking for Flair. The flare, electric blue, whizzed through the air. If the man in black hadn’t glanced to his left, the flare would have hit him in the side of the hip. The man dodged it just in time, throwing himself forward onto the ground quickly and uncleaning. His shoulder hit the ground first and it snapped with a sharp crack!
Ben winced then turned around, looking around the deserted park. He had his hunch that the flare had been created and launched by Flair. But that was crazy, wasn’t it? He shot the thought from his head like a bullet from a barrel of a gun. Then he saw him. Flair! Flair was running from a bush on the side of the park another flare flickering into his hand. Blood dripped down the side of his head from a huge gash just over his eye, going vertically upwards, through his eyebrow and straight up to his scalp. His running never faltered and he soon shot another electric blue flare from his hand aiming it at the man, lying on the ground.
The man looked up and his eyes shot of his head-not literally- in alarm. Shadows shot from both of his hands and he disappeared. The man reappeared up beside the giant oak tree in the centre of the park. Fire burst from one of his hands in a tendril, spinning uncontrollably towards Flair, who in turn, dodged them with a roll. His other arm was hanging loosely down by his side.
Flair landed a few feet from where he was standing and he sent another blue flare at his adversary. It hit him right on the centre of his chest, burning a hole through the gold pentacle star on the man’s uniform. It continued and then burned onto his skin, blood bursting through his chest, splattering onto the ground like scarlet red rain.
Flair grinned satisfied. “How’d do you like that ShadowRook?” Flair’s gaze slowly crept to Ben. “Get out of here! Quickly! JUST GO!” He shouted the orders.
Ben was frozen in fear again, shocked at what he just saw; the man’s chest bursting open, blood pumping out of his chest. He shook his head. All colour left his face, draining away to leave it pure white but still it looked sallow. He was like a ghost, a sallow ghost. Ben couldn’t help but smile at the thought, even if it was a half-hearted one. All the adrenaline had faded, and now he was just standing there, watching although he wasn’t quite sure of what was happening anymore.
The man was staggered, trying to conjure shadows, fire or something he could defend himself with. But instead, he just collapsed against the tree, blood dripping onto the bark. If you looked close enough, you could see the man’s innards. Ben turned away and immediately got sick, spewing up all over the grass.
Flair ran over to Ben, intending to help him to the bench. Ben pushed his hand away and staggered over by himself. He collapsed down on the bench. He was always one for adventure, but he never quite imagined himself being thrown into a dangerous murderous one like this. He put his hand against his head where it throbbed with a blinding headache. He was going to get sick again, soon.
Flair watched anxiously as another man in a dark uniform with a pentacle on the chest appeared out from behind the tree. Shadows as they were known as. An organisation set on destroying the world for whatever gain they seem fit. This man, the man who had just appeared, he was ShadowZuke. And he was trouble. Flair watched as he crossed to the man known as ShadowRook.
“Zuke…” He rasped, obviously intending to ask for help. ShadowZuke raised his arms, grabbed Rook’s neck and in a swift, fatal movement he ended ShadowRook’s life with brutal force. “The Shadow Organisation does not pity weakness, they only mercy it.” He said darkly.
ShadowRook fell to the ground, his innards splashing out onto the wet, sopping grass. The remainder of his body was set alit by Zuke with a flick of his hand. First; it was just a small fire which then gave way to a huge infernal blaze. The dead body charred and soon turned to ash. The fire died out and Zuke turned to Flair, grinning darkly, deadly shadows flowing from both of his hands.
Chapter 3: The Shadow’s Rage
ShadowZuke fired the shadows directly towards Flair. His sleek black hair and crooked nose were plain and unscarred. It was usual to find scars or burns on Shadows faces. It was part of the initiation test; to fight and scar or hurt another warrior. Zuke had an unshaven face, a beard growing on his cheeks.
Flair conjured two flares in either hand and smashed them together, clapping his hands, sending just one hot fiery beam at the deadly shadows coming his way. Smoke bellowed up into a thick hazy fog, blocking the view of each opponent. Flair looked over towards the bench and Ben wasn’t there. He made a break for the gate and then caught a glimpse of his friend, lying on the ground getting sick.
Flair bee lined across and threw himself onto his knees shaking Ben. “Hey, are you alright. Are you OK?” he shouted.
Ben rolled over onto his side and looked at Flair. “I think so. Are You?” He asked, indicating towards the deep cut running up Flair’s forehead.
Flair shrugged casually. “It’ll probably leave a scar.”
Ben got up, instantly regretting it. He got sick again. Why, why get sick? He thought to himself. He looked across at Flair and opened his mouth to say something but shut it as the man came running out of the smoke, a sword in his a hand. A sword!
Flair jumped up quickly, and sent two flares straight at Zuke, who slashed them away with his sword. Flair sent another flying and then pulled Ben up sharply, grasping his wrist and shouting ‘leave’, before dashing straight towards ShadowZuke. Two more flares launched themselves from his hands and this time he was close enough to deposit another set of flares into Zuke’s side.
The man in black stumbled backwards, falling onto the ground. He collapsed heavily though, and his sword clanged onto the ground, Zuke’s grip faltering, and then going altogether. The sword landed a good ten feet away.
Flair retrieved it and carefully let flares slide down the side of the shining blade, gleaming in the sunlight. It ate away at the metallic blade burning holes through it and melting it in places. It soon heated so much it set on fire, turning pure white. Flair casually tossed the sword aside; letting it land on the rain soaked grass, causing it to sizzle and hiss as it doused like a lit match.
Ben still hadn’t moved like he was instructed. He was standing there, not frozen, but intent on seeing what happens. He was intrigued -mesmerised almost- at the display of magic. Flair looked at him again to say something, then, another man appeared. Just in time too, as Zuke was back on his feet, his eyes glowing blood red as blood trickled down his side where he was shot with the two flares.
The new man wore a light blue checked flannel shirt over a faded pink t-shirt. Faded denim jeans that looked way too tight, ripped at the knees and black shoes. Shoulder length grey wispy hair drifted across his face in the wind. The man was buff and he looked old, though he probably wasn’t. He was maybe middle aged.
He took light, long strides over to where Flair stood, and threw his arms in front of the teen. Some sort of blue energy sparked off his hands, then into a ball of hot energy. The man sent it flying towards Zuke. And it was the biggest mistake ever.
Catching the ball of energy, Zuke smashed shadows into the blue energy and redirected the whole thing back towards the man.
The man didn’t stand a chance. The attack was too powerful and he was hit straight in the chest, sent flying backwards, blood squirting from his chest rapidly. He landed heavily a metre away thumping onto the ground, hard. He moaned softly.
ShadowZuke disappeared in a flurry of dark shadows, pulling him away.
Flair screamed and suddenly he was rushing forward, until he got to the point where the man lay, injured and bleeding freely. The grotesque image was unimaginable. No mind would ever imagine the darkness of it. The heart, hanging half from the chest was still pumping. Blood poured from the chest onto the grass, the smell horrific. The man’s blue shirt was now drenched red, flowing all over his other clothes. The middle aged man was now gasping for air, his lungs filling with the dark scarlet fluid.
Flair dived onto the ground, screaming. “Master,” he screamed again. Flair shook the man, his hands getting covered in blood. “C’mon,” He muttered, “Speak! SPEAK!”
Flair threw himself onto the ground, pounding his fists as hard as he could. Ben decided to not do anything. He was shell shocked. He could do nothing, really. Do nothing but just sit there, more helpless than he ever thought himself capable. He was scared. What if they came back? He thought.
Flair threw a flare onto the ground and it ignited immediately, roaring into a big fire. He grasped the man under the arms and dragged him into the flare. It shifted into four different colours: Blue, Green, Red and Yellow, then turned multi-coloured. The flare died down and extinguished, and as it did so, so did the man.
Flair clicked his fingers and dropped another flare onto the ground. It roared into a bigger flame, then a fire. It was just plain blue, the colour the flares had been fighting ShadowZuke with. Flair looked at Ben, then towards the flare. “Well, then. Are you coming?” he smiled half-heartedly. Not his usual humour either.
Ben nodded, and returned the smile. “Thought you’d never ask…” He said shakily.