Rise, Rise – Chapter Three

She slowly turned back to the mirror.  Her heart raced, and her breath misted rapidly around her.  It was still there.  She quickly glanced back.  There was nothing near the sofa.  Looking back to the mirror, she let out a muffled squeak.  It had moved closer.  She couldn’t pull her eyes away from it this time.  It was all white, and roughly the shape of an average male.  All white, with no discernable features, except its face.  Bloody red eyes stared at her, above a gaping hole full of row upon row of jagged, stained teeth.  She stood, shaking with fear and the sudden cold.  It was slowly moving toward her.  Everything about its movement was unnatural.  It was jerky, and erratic.  But its eyes never once left hers.  She stood, paralyzed by fear and cold, as it slowly reached out toward her.

Xanthiilus fell slowly, looking to see where the flash of white could have gone.  He closed his eyes and let his mind wander.  His eyes snapped open, glowing a faint silver.  Pulling his sword free from its sheath, he landed silently on a window ledge and ducked inside.

Stepping down, he found himself in a bedroom face to face with a giant teddy bear.  It was sparsely furnished, but it had a cozy feeling.  He liked all the plants, but wondered a bit about the stuffed animals.  He walked carefully around the giant bear, and noticed a drastic temperature change.  It was very cold.

“You’d think they could at least afford…”  He stopped, his body tensing, and he held his sword at the ready.  His words had sounded extremely muffled and everything suddenly clicked inside his head.  It was a Soulthief.

He crept silently to the bedroom door, and found himself looking at the sofa in the living room.  He glanced quickly around and noticed two doors.  One obviously led into the empty kitchen.  The other door…  He looked closer and he finally saw the white figure melt into sight.  His eyes widened in surprise when he realized it almost had its hand around a woman’s throat.  She was staring straight into the mirror in front of her.  Mirrors were the only way Soulthieves could be seen by mortals, and the only way they could attack them.  Xanthiilus raised his sword and charged, mist curling around the blade.

The Soulthief suddenly spun around, its bloody eyes wide and gaping mouth pulsating.

“Sorry to interrupt your meal, but I hate to see a human devoured by an ugly bastard like yourself.”

The creature let out a terrifying scream that was visible in the cold.  It raced out in erratic waves that crashed into the furniture and walls in the room and shattered.  Xanthiilus gritted his teeth as the waves rushed toward him.  Grey mist flooded from his back, surrounding him like wings.  His eyes flared a bright silver, as he quickly lifted his sword, and the waves went around him, as if he was surrounded by an invisible bubble.  He ran forward and slashed down with his sword.  The Soulthief responded quickly, lifting up a white arm that quickly shifted into a crude blade.  It let out a cry of pain as Xan’s blade sunk a solid inch into its arm.  Like the rest of the undead, it didn’t bleed.

Xan quickly pulled his sword free, and spun around, leveling his sword so it would strike the Soulthief’s throat.  He felt himself suddenly slow, and frost was building up on his sword, obscuring some of the runes.  The Soulthief easily ducked below the slow moving sword and lunged at Xan.  It swiftly struck, the white blade slicing through the cold.  The Soulthief’s red eyes lit up faintly as its blade neared its target.  Xan struggled against the cold, trying to move, the white blade coming nearer to his throat.  Xanthiilus gritted his teeth and his eyes flared silver, the cold quickly letting go of him.  He lifted his sword swiftly; it was suddenly in the path of the crude blade, in time to parry the creature’s attack.  His silver feather met the white blade with such force that the Soulthief staggered backwards.  It let a strange hissing sound escape as it clutched the stump of what used to be an arm.  The arm lay on the floor, and was quickly melting into a pool of water.

“You creatures.  You always think you can beat me.”  Xan lifted his sword until the point rested on the white below the gaping hole of teeth.  The runes across the blade flared into life, washing the Southief in silver light.  With a flash of silver, he spun around and slowly sheathed his sword.  He looked at the Soulthief.  Its body had not yet caught onto the fact that it was without a head.  It slowly slumped to its knees, and knelt there, melting into a pool of water.

Xan walked over to the girl, the mist still trailing behind him.  She was facing the mirror, her face frozen in terror.  He knew she wouldn’t understand what had happened, and that she had seen very little of what had just taken place.  He knew that when he left, the creature would have seemed to have vanished to her.  He shook his head sadly and looked into the mirror.  There was a crack that ran jaggedly through the entire length.

He walked out of the bathroom, and back into the bedroom.  He climbed onto the window ledge and looked down onto the empty street below.  He rummaged through his cloak, but still found no cigarette.  With a sigh, he leapt from the ledge, his cloak streaming out behind him, a black flower.

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