Cloaked in Night (From the Archives)

“You have it?”

The whisper came out of the alleyway. Recheal stopped in the street, checking around her. No one else had noticed it. They were too busy with their lives, heads down, focusing on the place they were going to instead of the route they took.

“Prove yourself,” Recheal said, stepping to the edge of the street. She could see the shadows move slightly, as they always did with a Shaide, splitting into another world to allow a creature to slide through.

People always thoughts Shaides were dark creatures, which was completely wrong. They were creatures of change, sheer randomness, which meant that light could not interact with them the way it would do with creatures from this world.

The Shaide coalesced, the dark shadow lightening to a light grey colour. Features began to appear in the shadow, a mouth, a nose, a humanoid based body. This time the Shaide had taken on the body of a human, broad shouldered, muscular chest and square hips. 

“I am who you look for,” the Shaide said holding their hand out. Even the Shaide’s fingers seemed human, long slender joints that flexed in a claw-like fashion.

So strange, humans.

“Good,” Recheal said, digging the diamond out of her pocket. It would start a war, if anyone found out about this payment.

She plopped it into the Shaide’s hand.

“Now tell me,” Recheal asked, “where is he?”

The Shaide chuckled, curling its fingers around the small diamond in the palm of its hand.

“He is where you think not to look,” the Shaide replied, “cloaks himself in friendship in the way you cloak yourself with the Night. You and he will meet, and battle, and one shall survive.”

Recheal swallowed.

“Soon,” the Shaide chuckled, “very soon indeed. Blood will be spilt. Yours and his. Only one will take the Crown.”

“Will it be me?” Recheal asked.

“You’ll have to find out for yourself,” the Shaide replied.

First posted in 2019. || Image Credit: Photo by Alice Hampson on Unsplash

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