Ghosts from the past
Moonlight filtered through the dense canopy of trees high above, seeking in vain to caress the form of the strange disturbance, a seeming gust of wind, as it rushed through the thick undergrowth that seemed ever-present in the woods.
Litter stirred, shrubs quivered and all sorts of small animals entered a skittering flight in it's wake, as the strange phenomena reached a rocky hillock where several smaller stones surrounded a large flat boulder, overlooking a grand valley and ending in a steep moonlit crag. It began it's ascent, bouncing on the stones it seemed and as it did so, a ghostly outline started to appear and reveal the true nature of the apparition. The outline slowly grew arms and legs, surrounded by a faint nimbus of light that also seemed to vain and dissipate. Even in it's frantic haste the ghost moved with an undeniable grace as it sprung from stone to stone.
By the time it reached the precipice and skidded to a stop, it became fully visible, a young elf in once exquisite clothes that lay in tattered pieces over his body, torn during his rush through the thick vegetation. That aside he seemed unharmed, apart from one bad looking bruise over his brow from which blood stemmed. Long locks of blue hair stuck together with dirt, framing his gentle features and a pair of green eyes that displayed a primal fear.
Those same eyes widened even more in terror as he realized that there is no easy way down from where he stood. He spun around swiftly, like a hunted animal expecting the hunter to pounce, and gasped for air.
The forest turned eerily silent then, as if it expected something terrible to happen, but nothing emerged from the darkness.
An owl's hoot sounded from far down in the valley, and the elf turned nervously, kneeling down and panting in exhaustion, as his eyes wandered over to the forest below.
The wilderness in the valley seemed ancient and untouched, a sight that not so long ago would have incited from him a gasp of awe, but now the terrified look in his eyes barely changed. Except for...
As the clouds moved, the moonlight revealed the stocky parapet walls of an old building on the ridge in front. It could barely be seen otherwise, with all the trees surrounding it. A faint light flickered on one of its sides, scarcely more than the light of the stars above.
Yet it was enough to give him hope, and cleared his mind so that he could try to reflect. But just as his thoughts reached out with questions to his memories, a thick mist rose in his mind and all he could gather were distant emotions.
Sorrow reached for his heart then, but he just couldn't remember why... It crept in his mind nonetheless, a feeling that nothing is as it should be. Tears rolled down his cheeks involuntarily, coupled with a feeling of hopelessness. He felt alone and lost.
Shaking his head defiantly, he eagerly searched his mind for any point of sureness in this chaos, anything that could guide him through, before it all crumbled beneath his feet. And it finally came from a recess of his mind, a protective wall against all that could wound him so. Anger.
He stood as quickly as he could manage, his face a mask of rage, instinctively turning with the intent to run back the way he came and have revenge, if nothing else, to serve justice to the one that did this to him.
A gentle gale rose from the chasm however, one that moved the canopy overhead and framed him in moonlight. For a moment he stopped and looked up to the moon, greeting yet another emotion, this time paired with pictures of a life lost. Dance, mirth, joy. Love.
His mask shattered, and he was a child once more. Nothing remained now, but an eternal sadness.
A loud growl from close behind roused him then, and he spun with widened eyes: the predator seemed to have arrived. A large wolf, its fangs bared stood well within a leaps distance, ready to pounce and growling menacingly.
The young elf found his gaze locked with the beast's, unable to look elsewhere and with every moment it sapped his remaining strength and made his knees tremble. He managed to take a few unsure steps back, nearly falling over as he reached the edge. All the while the beast advanced slowly, never releasing his eyes. It was it's territory, where he could do nothing else but obey the laws. He never choose to be here now, yet it is here where it will end. How could he hope to stand against this beast? Why should he even try?
The wind rose again, this time more forcefully, sending the trees swaying around the crag. The shadow his form cast became visible over the stone, and the sight somehow perked his curiosity enough to lower his gaze at it.
In that instant, a strange calmness washed over him, born from recognition. He knew this shadow.
It was his, yet not his. It was all that was before, and all that could be.
would never flee.
He sprung forward with a snarl, determined to take on the beast with bare hands... or would have sprung, but his over-strained muscles no longer obeyed and he only managed a short step. His supporting leg skidded backwards over the ledge, and he landed with his face on the stone, the air crushed from his chest.
The world started to whirl around him, as he tumbled over the ledge down the steep moonlit slope.
What followed him down was no wolf, but the first drops of the light rain that just started to fall.