Essence and Luckas Meet Again: Part 1

Shadows of the Forgotten

I decided I’m still feeling nostalgic and I love Ess and Luke’s first encounters the most, probably because my friend and I, before we became such good friends and openly shared our ideas, didn’t realize how much on the same mind set we both were. The story came together for these characters and blossomed in such a way that I had ruined my friend’s initial plans for Luckas. Not that, that is a bad thing, as you will learn. So I will just start from the beginning and split it up in parts to make it easier on the reader. Enjoy! I may make side notes here and there since there things out of context here and also please advise links are for music purposes to add depth to the scenes. ^.^ Also be advised this is written in a text based Role Play style and not a conventional novel. Thank you.

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(City of Newhaven, Castle)

Ess’s deep red curls bounced lightly, tickling her skin as she turned at the sound of a male voice. Her violet orbs were dim for a moment before flashing brightly, brows narrowing at the figure as she inspected the man. His voice sent a chilling sensation down her spine. Not one that she was afraid of, but one that carried a grudging emotion;of what or why she wasn’t sure. Taking in his dark eyes and hair, she pushed aside the heavy door, letting it slam shut behind her as she stepped forward and paused.

It was as if a switched flipped inside her brain, his face triggered a vision that came and went in an instant. Deep within her dreams his raven strands outlined a familiar violet glow, similar to hers. She saw him staring close enough to feel his breath tickling her forehead. Ess remembered him whispering to her, “Don’t worry, now… I won’t hurt you. This might be unpleasant, but it won’t hurt.”

Her expression was displeased and of slight confusion, melting away as easily as it had taken over. Her ‘Professional’ persona began taking charge. Smiling provocatively, she slid her cloak over her shoulders revealing a soot black gown, tightly laced along her hour glass curves. Her lips curved into a sultry smile, her fingers twirling and twisting along her curls absently. She glanced around coyly.

“I’m here with you, good sir.” She teased, her voice soft and almost enchanting. She shrugged, her brow twitching as she thought to herself and answered, “Well, I was just talking to the Guard Captain…so I was invited.”

Essence waited for him to speak, her mind trying to pinpoint the memory.
“Do I know you?” She giggled innocently. “Or perhaps I’ve entertained you before?”
She easily kept up her flirtatious manner as if she were already in disguise. She knew her memory was not just from forgotten dreams, but something more. She got the impression he had a similar confusion and decided to use it to discover more information. Ess winked at the man as she spoke.

“Course if I had entertained you, I think you would remember….The name is Essence.” Dragging out the last syllable of her name she waited for his name in return.

Luckas blinked a few times looking at the woman; his dark eyes examining her figure and registering gestures, mannerisms, trying to find something, anything, that told him who this person was and why he couldn’t remember when they’ve met, but he didn’t find it. It would have had to be a brief encounter maybe… It was puzzling, and unnerving, that was a rare feeling for Luke and he wasn’t sure if he liked it.

As she walked closer and began speaking with him he started to feel slightly nervous. She thought she knew him too. If she remembered knowing him… How was that possible? He shifted uncomfortably, trying to hide his confusion and smile as he usually did, but for the first time in as long as he could remember… He found it difficult to mask his feelings; he was forced to take a moment before he managed to open a smile and replied. “Miss… Essence, is it? I definitely would not pass on any opportunity of being entertained, however, if you had entertained me, I would certainly remember, but perhaps you would not remember me.” He stated, now fixing his eyes on the woman’s violet gaze, and feeling a small chill as if he had done the same thing at some point in the past. “I’m Luckas, by the way. I’m… A visitor, you might say. Like a friendly ghost. I roam the halls in search for people to scare or amuse.” He tilted his head to the side, his grin widening a bit. “Say… You do look awfully familiar for some reason. You’ve been living in the city long?”

“ESSSsss.. Is acceptable Luckas….I have been here some time now..”Tilting her head she continued smiling, but it was in a comforting way. “You act like you haunt this castle..or this land.” She rolled her eyes, quieting almost to a whisper and leaned forward as if to approach Luckas to finish her thought, “But I think it is you, who is haunted.”

Her expression went blank, as if she saw through Lukas, another vision taking place of the castle hall.

{About 5 years ago in Newhaven}

The silence of the night was shattered by a horrid scream. The man who had been motionless on the ground had stood up, with his back still leaned to the wall, and was screaming at the top of his lungs as if he was in absolute agony. The screaming didn’t last very long though, as the man began to smash the back of his head onto the wall, forcefully and repeatedly.

Finally, with the sickening sound of a crack, he stopped, sliding back down to the floor, leaving a bloody trail on the stone of the wall behind him; a blank, lifeless, stare in his open eyes.

Essence simply watched the scene in surprise and utter confusion. She could not understand why someone would do that to themselves. She stood, as if to go to the man where he lay dead and bleeding, as she recognized his face. Her lips took on a sick smile as she knew he was no one to miss, no one worth remembering. She turned back towards the street, peeking around each corner for any sign of movement. Ess knew not to stay where she was and needed to get home quickly.

{Present Moment}

Ess blinked lifelessly, staring at the man before her…Luckas. She had been like a statue, pale and unmoving. Her fingers had been still wrapped around a curl, as she came to life it was still stuck causing herself to tug on her Golden Blond strands…? Ess hadn’t realized what she had just done, but she unintentionally changed before this man’s eyes.

Ess indeed was blond now, but in addition she appeared more petite, almost breakable, shorter in height. Her lips were thin, her skin actually had pigment spotted in freckles; yet her eyes remained a shade of purple. The only other color was a thin silver line, encompassing the iris.

“Was it this face you remember.” Her thin lips broke into a sly smile. “I remember you, who visits my dreams.”

Luckas chuckled slightly when Ess implied he was the haunted one, but his smile shut and he took a few steps back when her face suddenly changed before his eyes. Black eyes flashed red as they widened in shock; he remembered her now, but how was it possible that she remembered him?

[Flashback – Newhaven, about 5 years ago]

“Don’t fight it. It’s useless.” The boy said in a soft, almost kind, tone. Luckas grinned, wiping a bit of blood that had dripped from his nose as he faced the petrified figure of a man. This man wasn’t on the boy’s plans, but he seemed like the perfect prey, so why not? The idiot had tried to pick a fight with him, for no reason other than he had thought him weak; he let the man throw a punch, but now he would see which one of them was truly weak. Luke’s eyes were already beginning to spark at a reddish glow as he faced the poor soul; scum of the worst kind, that’s what he was. “I know what goes through that feeble mind of yours.” He said, his voice in a soft, mocking, tone. “You were thinking: ‘Oh, a scrawny looking kid like this, on this part of town, at this late hour… Easy prey, I’ll have my fun with him’.” He snickered. “Little did you know that the scrawny kid was listening to your footsteps and thinking the exact same thing: Easy prey. Silly, silly you. And so the hunter becomes the hunted.” Luckas taunted. “I bet you don’t feel like such a big man now, huh?”

Carefully, Luckas looked around the dark alley; not the most secluded place, but it would have to do. In this part of the city, no one would have much courage to check for the source of any screaming. Plus, the street was mostly empty at the moment. Looking back to his ‘companion’, Luke smiled cheerfully at him. “I know what you’re wondering right now: ‘Is he going to kill me now? Am I going to die?’ Well, my friend… No, and yes. I’m not going to kill you, but be sure you are going to die. If you’re lucky you’ll die tonight, but I doubt it.” At this point he started to go through to the man’s pockets. “Money… Cigarettes, those things can kill you, you know?… Hum… Nothing much. I’m surprise you still have money on you. Well, you ain’t gonna need it now.” He said tossing the man’s money pouch to into a dark corner; someone would probably find it in the morning. “Now, if you were a tad bit more interesting I might play with you further, but I’m growing bored of making threats and stuff… So, nighty night, dear anonymous idiot. It’s been a real pleasure.”

Shortly after saying that Luckas placed his hand over the man’s eyes, his own eyes lighting up in red. Within seconds the man began to shiver and fell to his knees, free from Luckas’ command to stand motionless, but no longer able to support his own weight; hell in its purest form coming to life inside his mind. His eyes had widened in terror as he slipped further down onto the ground.

“Huh, you’re not much of a screamer, are you?” Luckas asked absently, rubbing his eyes as he felt exhaustion beginning to set in, a side-effect he was more than used to by now. “Well, at least you’re not completely a pathetic coward.” He crouched down in front of the man and stared deep into his eyes. “I wish I could see what you see…” He whispered softly, a childish smile playing on his lips. “I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve been called ‘mad’, ‘crazy’, and similar things, a couple of times in my life. You probably think you’re mad right now. The secret, what they don’t want you to know, is: This is what sanity truly feels like. It’s my gift, from me to you. Too bad you’ll only have a short time to live it.”

~~~~~~

Luke was simply staring at the eyes of his ‘victim’, he never got tired of that terrorized look. All the while he thought his brother was the lucky one; he could see what his victims saw, Luke could only wonder what terrible secrets those people kept. In a way, maybe that was good. Unlike Matthew, Luckas still had some control over his actions, but he wasn’t sure if he would have that same control if he actually got to see the full extent of their suffering. He’d probably lose whatever control he had left. The first hours never changed; they simply sat with that look on their faces, if they lived through that… Well, that’s when it got interesting. Luke didn’t think this guy would make it that far though; didn’t seem like he had that much fight in him.

Suddenly, he thought he heard something and stood up straight, turning to see a woman standing near the exit of the alley. “Hold still, please.” He commanded, before walking closer. Once standing in front of her, he smiled. “Well, well… Who do we have here?” He asked, pulling the woman’s hood back to get a better look at her face. The color of her eyes was odd, and made it clear that she had some Enlightened ability. “Don’t worry, now… I won’t hurt you. This might be unpleasant, but it won’t hurt.” As he said that, his eyes began to glow in the same violet tone as hers and he saw several moments of her life as if he had lived them. Mere moments later, he broke eye contact with the woman and rubbed his eyes; he was worn out from attacking the idiot, who was still sitting there trapped in his own mind. “Well, I have to say, you have a pretty interesting set of memories… Wow.” Luke stated casually with a grin. “Tell you what, I’m going to give you something for the trouble, that idiot won”t need it.” He said, walking to the back of the alley and picking up the purse he had tossed aside.

He walked back to the woman and put the purse in her hand, closing her fist around it. “Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to make you forget you ever walked into this alley and everything you’ve seen here. You will only remember walking straight home. I’m sure you understand that I can’t afford having you tell anyone about this; I’d hate to end up in a dark cell so early in my life.”

With that, his eyes glowed violet again. As he focused on the woman’s most recent memories, the images began to blur and fade. Once he had gone over them all, he stepped away rubbing his temples. He had pushed himself a little further than he should have, he needed to find some place to sleep and fast. He walked past the woman muttering. “Go home.” As he did so. He didn’t even bother to look back and see if she was actually leaving or not.

[Reality – Newhaven, present time]

Luke remembered her now… She had caught him in the act, a long time ago when he was still free. The young man was feeling shivers down his spine as it all came back to him; a mix of terror and excitement burning a hole in his insides. He was so much younger then, careless, he pushed himself too far and his ability failed him. He stared blankly at the, now blonde, woman that stood in front of him. Her more recent memories that night were of a man, who she called ‘Dean’, and who called himself a ‘Knight’, but was probably neither.

Luckas had paid the man a visit a few days later, but hadn’t bothered to even waste his energy on that piece of scum; he simply had the man do something so horrible that the terror of it alone drove him over the edge. He slit his own throat. Luke heard it was quite a shocking sight for his young fiancee to find as she visited the next morning; after all no one could ever understand what had caused a healthy young man to suddenly castrate himself and commit suicide. If only that woman knew what kind of life she would’ve had… She probably wouldn’t have been so distraught.

The shock beginning to subside, Luckas continued to look into the woman’s eyes as they glowed in the poorly lit hallway, thinking that perhaps she was right and she was the ghost after all… He was the haunted one. The irony was too much for the young man to bear and he suddenly broke out in laughter. Laughing louder and louder by the minute, Luke leaned his back against the stone wall and slid onto the floor, laughing hysterically and occasionally choking as he tried to stop for air. It took a bit of time for him to finally be able to speak, looking up at Ess with a slightly psychotic smile on his face, still coughing slightly from his fit of laughter. “Oh, I remember you now!” he exclaimed. “I remember it all!” He chuckled. “You are truly memorable, Ess! I, on the other hand… I’m not used to being remembered. It’s rather flattering to hear I’ve appeared in your dreams, I have to say.” He said, getting back on his feet. “You’re not mad at me for that, now are you? I think we both learned to be more careful that night.”

Ess quirked a brow as Luckas fell into a fit of laughter. She thought the irony was quite amusing as well as she bit down on her lip to try not to join him in his hysterics. Her facade melted away, back to her dark red curls and doll like features, the ugly scar looked almost painted beneath her left eye as it stood out so against her pale skin. She couldn’t help it and suddenly burst into her own fit of giggles. Luckas’s laughter became temporarily contagious, giving a slight ache in her chest.

Bits of images flashed before her eyes, the memory flooding her mind:

Feeling the stranger’s mind beside her own, they watched as she re-lived her father impaled to a wall; jumping through a mix of tortured moments as a child when nameless faces tried to break her time and time again. Ess saw flashes of the men she bedded since she arrived in Newhaven, in an embarrassing amount of detail. A sickening wave washed over her as she saw herself in her mirror, her features blurring a midst a constant change, never repeating. There is no telling for sure, how many faces she has taken on. She rarely copies other women, but takes lips and hair from one girl, mixing with the skin of another.

Feeling a bit awkward now, she approached Luke, lightly slapping at his left cheek. “That’s for the degrading emotions you dragged out of me…For that I am not so happy with you. In the future, if you so desire to know what is going on in my head, please just ask.” She sighed relaxing a bit. “I don’t recall everything, mind you, but you left me with a distinct feeling of being invaded…violated. I assume from the bits of memories you know my secrets, so I would then expect you to understand my request.”

She stepped back a bit and winked, “You may be cute, but I don’t like a complete stranger hanging out in my dreams, thank you very much.” She extended her hand in a formal greeting. “Please, not to sound cocky, but understand you are the only other person out of two that know what I really look like and my secret. I would appreciate discretion.” Her lush lips parted, her tongue inattentively slipping over them, “It could hurt my…business.”

She thought about one of her customers, “Tim,” from earlier that night and rolled her eyes at the thought of him knowing her true identity. Twins help her, she would never be left alone. Such a nieve puppy that one is. Ess didn’t feel he was dangerous, but perhaps a bit obsessed.

“Ow.” Luke whined as the woman slapped his face, a snicker escaping soon after. “In my defense, you were not supposed to remember the violation.” He stated. “That was the point, you know? Can’t possibly be the worst thing someone’s ever done to you, now can it?” He asked, raising an eyebrow. “Don’t worry though, I have no intention of telling anyone any secrets, but I’m sure you understand why I did it, we’re not all that different you and I… Or so it seems.” He said stepping closer to the woman and examining her as if he could see under her skin. “A creature of habits, not proud of what you do, but knows no other ways, had little rules and codes to make it seem like it’s not so bad, not get into too much trouble, not get hurt… Like me in a way. You change your face, I erase mine. Much like you, I protect my business.”

He pulled back, and tilted his head in a curious gesture. “I wonder though, do you still do what you do because you accept your place in the world or because you’re afraid of what greater thing you might be destined to? I think that, despite your obvious skills in this line of work of yours, that you waste your ability by fulfilling the fantasies of rich fools. Why not fulfill your own instead? Or have you been broken to such an extent that you simply have none left?” He closed his eyes and breathed in slowly as if he had caught the scent of something in the air, then opened them and flashed his usual psychotic smile. “Tell me, are you planning on ever being as strong as you can be or was I wrong to let you live that night?” He motioned as if to reach for her face, but stopped halfway through. “Are you just another disappointment, or can you actually see…” He mumbled, softly, as if speaking to himself, not saying what he expected her to see exactly.

Finally he lowered his hand and pulled away some more, chuckling as if he had snapped out of trance suddenly. Leaning back against the wall and giving a little shrug he added: “You told me to ask… Those are my questions.”

Crossing her arms casually, Ess leaned back, placing some weight on her left hip. She stared at Luckas for a moment before she answered, smiling with a respectful nod.

“Thank you. I hope you realize, I did not attempt to pursue this idea of you even if I thought I would succeed. Nor did I speak to anyone about our encounter and the skum that ….died unpleasantly. Nice touch by the way. I’m impressed at your gift.”

Taking a deep breath she thought carefully at his observation. “I suppose…we are much alike. I know if I had your gift, I would proceed down a similar path. We both pretend and put up a front, not letting others inside how we truly feel and in your case you have the advantage. We appreciate truth yet we lie to ourselves. We mean well yet are hypocrites.”

Unfolding her arms she leaned in close, her curls almost touching his chest and whispered, “Why would you have killed me? Do you really see me as such a waste? Perhaps you need to justify your own existence, judging others?” Ess chuckled, her fingertips tapping along her thigh in thought.

“I may not have discovered all the answers to the questions you lay before me, but I can tell you this. I am no coward and I have not given up on life. I am still here and have done what is needed to survive…” She drifted in thought, still staring up into Luke’s eyes. “Maybe I have given up on people and that is why I continue to ‘pretend.’ Perhaps I have not found others worth my trust and friendship…or I am still figuring all that out.”

Ess leaned into him, placing her hand against his chest. “Tell me if I am lying.” She dared, knowing she spoke truthfully. “I work to better myself in my studies, in books on anything I can get my hands on. I search for a teacher or teachers of many kinds of talents, and I keep personal goals always in my thoughts. I admit we all can be weak, but our will can make us strong.”

Luckas grabbed the woman’s hand and slowly pulled it away from his chest, holding back a wince caused by the pain on the wounded area. Releasing her, he replied. “I feel no need to justify my existence, the fact that I exist is not my responsibility, nor was it my choice, so why should I justify it? And we all judge others, I’m being judged for my words right now, aren’t I? The question however, isn’t why I would kill you, the question is: Why not?” He chuckled. “Back then, the fact that you were there would have been more than enough, yet I didn’t. Funny, huh?”

Luckas scratched at his chest absently, the touch had been enough to remind him of the itchy bandages, and sighed. “And do you appreciate the truth? You have to know something to truly appreciate it, no? How well do you suppose you know yourself? No, I don’t think you are weak, or a waste, I do however believe you are so used to pretending that one of these days you might just believe your own illusions. See, almost everything we do is with the simple goal of not getting hurt, physically or emotionally, doesn’t matter. If a memory is to painful to bear our minds will block it out, if admitting to a particular truth is too painful we will lie to spare ourselves that pain as well… eventually it reaches a point when everything around us is built around those lies, and we lose ourselves. So tell me: Is not feeling pain worth living an illusion?” He shrugged. “Those things you seek: Knowledge, companionship, trust… They are all illusions as well in a way. The truths written in books are proven wrong and then other books are written, and then proven wrong, and so on. As for trust and friendship…” He chuckled. “Well, no one truly trusts anyone, not completely. Not really. At most people like to pretend they trust, but give them one little reason to suspect another and they will immediately find a thousand more… And then there goes the trust. If something can be shattered so easily, what is point of having it in the first place?”

Luke sighed softly. “See… I’ve gone through enough minds to know that, while mommies and daddies out there like to say otherwise, people are pretty much the same. There are rare people I’ve met who have proved themselves to be truly unique in one way or another… And while you are unique, Essence, you try so hard to be like everyone else that it just makes me wonder what’s the point.” He shook his head. “Suppose I’m just naive that way: I have hope that there is something other than mediocrity hidden out there somewhere. Though I may never know for sure.”

Essence smiled sweetly, relaxing more as she listened to Luckas. Agreeing with much he had said, she nodded here and there as he spoke. She remained silent, politely absorbing his words. She thought about how he carried much wisdom from his journeys thus far in life, and she felt it a relief to have someone on a similar level to converse with. They both knew they had more in life to learn and discover and perhaps admit to themselves. Even the sad and depressing she felt was not worse than no feelings at all. She did realize before he spoke, that she has denied herself much throughout the years, but she slowly was changing that. Ess knew she was soon to discover another path, taking her into the exciting unknown.

In reference to Luke’s words on trust, she did not agree completely, but that did not matter. She did however dwell on his final observation of herself: “ And while you are unique, Essence, you try so hard to be like everyone else that it just makes me wonder what’s the point.”

Essence wasn’t sure if she fully understood that perception. She did know she wanted to be accepted, but she did not have many friends. She did not conform or deny herself in general in order to be accepted, so she therefore was alone. Perhaps she was hiding from the world. Maybe she did not wish to relieve the cruel injustices of her childhood, and therefore tried to act like it never existed. Yet, she knew that wasn’t the case. Maybe she just never found closure, and she needed to discover what that would be to take the next step forward in her life.

After what seemed like an eternity of silence, she realized he was still staring at her, as if waiting for a response. Ess dipped her head in a sign of respect, and her true smile shone through. “You have an ‘Old Soul’ Luckas. You intrigue me and I hope to have the pleasure of more of these encounters with you.” Ess’s violet iris’s dimmed in their glow, a mischievous grin taking over her expression. It was not quite clear what she was thinking, but it was not menacing towards Luckas.

“So, if you had my gift, what would you do with it?”

Luckas was slightly surprised at the words Ess spoke to him. No one had ever considered him… An ‘Old Soul’, whatever that meant. People usually saw him as a misbehaved kid, only creepier. He wasn’t sure about what that told him about her, maybe she was even more messed up than him, and while messed up people usually bored him… Something about this woman was appealing to him on some level. Not just appealing as attractive women usually were, but in the level of something familiar, which for him was simply the oddest thing.
She asked him what he would do if he had her gift. Luckas flinched at the question, it was almost as if she knew… But then there was no way she could know that, no one knew, only the Healer. Forcing a smile, not to show his confusion, he shrugged. “That’s an interesting question. Perhaps I would do the same things I do now, perhaps I would do something else entirely.” He snickered. “That… That is an answer I still plan on obtaining one day.”

Then he sighed, realizing that a considerable amount time had passed as they stood in the hall. “Are you waiting on someone, still?” He asked. “Seems like they might have forgotten you, although I’m not sure how that’s possible.” He joked.

Ess glanced up and down the hallway, considering his answer to her question. She gave a tired shrug, “Suppose I was. Wouldn’t be the first time….I’m sure something came up.” Remembering her dagger she cursed to herself but thought it would be an excuse to come back here tomorrow if she didn’t run into the Guard Captain sooner.

Ess had the feeling Luckas wasn’t giving her the entire truth when he answered her, but she wasn’t one to nit pick. She understood him some what, as much as she tried to understand herself…Which was still confusing at times, so she felt they were on a similar level. It was if he was dancing around an idea in his head that he wasn’t sure he should give away just yet. His amusement gave her the impression it may be entertaining.

“Well…I don’t think I remember how to get out of this drafty Castle…” Her expression genuinly confused for a moment as she looked back towards Luckas.

“When you figure it out Luckas, let me know. Perhaps it will interest me to…entertain your idea…” A giggle escaped her lips, her chest rising and falling in a hypnotizing manner. “Or maybe we’ll kill each other one day…I’d rather keep you around though, you seem useful.” Her left eye winking at him, the scar giving the flirt a chilling allure.

Turning she picked the wrong way to exit the hallway, as she knew not what kept the man from killing her that night, years ago. It intrigued her that he would mention his pull to not kill her, but why if he cared not? Keeping the question to herself she stopped and cursed yet again.

“Can you point me in the right direction out of this tomb?” She growled, a bit disgruntled.

Luckas opened a delighted grin at her mention of him being useful to her, he observed the way she flirted, oh so subtly, while she spoke and wondered if she even controlled these gestures of if they had become so natural that she barely noticed them anymore. It was a front similar to his, only dangerous in a different way. Might even be a little more dangerous than his, thinking about it. “Well… Maybe we’re mutually useful. I did enjoy myself last time I took care of one of your misbehaved ‘friends’, what was his name? Dean? No, it was Anthony, actually, but you called him Dean. Poor bastard.” Luke said absently. “I wouldn’t mind taking care of another, if it’s ever the case. Although, I expect you to be more careful nowadays.”

Following that statement he began walking towards the nearest way out. “I’ll lead you out.” He stated. “You still live in the same address, right?” He asked with a chuckle. Of course he didn’t plan on following her home, but he still enjoyed implying that he knew where she lived.

Ess began following Luckas, tilting her head in a curious gesture at his mention of Dean as she remembered:

Rubbing her wrist, she knew bruises were already forming. Course it could of been worse. Dean, as she had called the “knight,” was a classic smooth talker who decided he wanted things a little too rough for Ess’s liking. It had taken several blows to Dean’s throat for him to back away, the wind escaping him. He had been still alive when she left, and she managed to make off with his coin purse. It was quite the profit, considering she was only with him about half an hour. Ess left as quickly as she could, knowing there were dire consequences for robbing and assaulting a knight, if that’s who he really was.

“Ahh….so you were responsible for his distraught….wife? Was it?” Ess couldn’t keep the devilish smile from her lips. She had heard through the grapevine about the man’s tragic suicide. It all came neatly together, most conveniently. As they continued on, she wondered what made her so special enough to basically inconvenience himself?

“So…why do I remember some things anyways? Shouldn’t you kill me for that?” She scoffed.
“Or do you find you actually feel something other than discust for a complete stranger?” She didn’t wait for the answer, as she figured it was a rhetorical question. Ess had a similar experience before, she had almost forgotten about some days.

“Don’t think I owe you anything for that now.”

Luckas led the woman to the castle gates before answering her. “I don’t do favors.” He stated simply. “And my reasons are for me to know and you to try and find out if you have the time and patience. Besides, we’re not completely strangers, now are we Ess? I think I came to know you quite well, on some level, you might even know me. Only time will tell if I’ll have have to kill you for that, but I’d rather enjoy it for now, while it lasts.” Giving a playful wink, he turned around and began to walk back, looking for a place to settle down and sleep for a few hours, hopefully.

~~~~

To Be Continued…

(Luckas’ creation is not my own, and is credited to my friend Camila, aka. BlackBird.  Essence is my own creation, and neither characters are to be used without either of our consents.)

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Commissioned Drawing of Essence

 

Essence-skt-s Essence-2

All Artistic Credit goes to Adele Lorienne! Please visit her amazing work on http://www.meadowhaven.net 

I can not express enough my satisfaction and excitement with how she brought my Character to life. I’m feeling a bit Nostalgic so I will post here my very first Character post with Essence I did on Shadows of the Forgotten.

A forlorn howl haunted the starry sky as the lustrous moon rose slightly over the lower city. Essence gave a tiny smirk at the
sound, her fingers quickly lacing up her bodice. She closed her violet orbs, breathing deeply as she listened to the call echo
through the streets. Opening her eyes she watched one of her regulars step into his boots and make his way out the door. Ess
quitely followed the man she liked to call “Timid”, or Tim as she never used her customer’s real names. It was all part of the the
Illusion sometimes. That, and not all her entertainment was something to be mentioned in public. Most of these were high class
gentlemen who either came to Ess for an escape from their lives temporarily, or sometimes just a pretty face to hang on their arm
for the night. Ess wasn’t mindless and did know how to carry on meaningful conversations, which made her interesting and worth
the top dollar she charged for her services. This strategy of having a low amount of high paying patrons, gave her more free time
while making quite the profit. An additional perk is knowing your customer is not diseased and their history, also in return makes Ess more valuable.

Ess paused in the doorway, looking after Tim as he turned back towards her.

“Ess, why won’t you just run away with me? I could take care of you.” He promised.

Essence gave a short laugh, shaking her head. “For a few reasons, darlin’. One, I don’t get romantically involved with customers..
or anyone for that matter…Two…” She winked. “My other customers would be so heartbroken.”

Tim took a step forward, as if about to argue as she gave her next reason. Her stare got serious, violet eyes
glowing brighter than before as her soft voice took on a bitter edge.

“Three…You don’t even know who I am or what I really look like.”

Tim lowered his head, as if ashamed. “I won’t give up,” he whispered. With that he spun on his heels and disappeared into the
night.

‘Maybe it’s time for Mr. Timid to find another “girlfriend”‘, Ess thought. Absently, her hand wiped at her runny nose. Feeling
a bit woozy, she took out a small mirror and looked into the reflection of a total stranger. Yes she saw her eyes, but she
had the darker skin of someone who worked the fields all day, with streaks of straight, golden hair. Glancing at her finger she
gave an annoyed growl at the blood. She stared for a long time into her purple irises ignoring the cold of winter, her breath
fogging up her tiny mirror. When she wiped it clear, her pale skin had returned, the ugly scar that seemed to extend her left eye,
along with her long burgandy curls.

“And they say blonds have all the fun..” Ess pulled out a handkerchief and began blotting her nose until she no longer bled.
Looking up at the moon, her eyes glistened in it’s reflection. Again, the howl came except closer this time. Placing the
handkerchief underneath her bodice, she pursed her lush lips together. Escaping her was an unexpected high piercing whistle
that extended for about fifteen seconds. After a moment she could hear the burdened breathing of a creature running full speed,
paws dancing silently across the snow.

The sound paused as a grey-silver lined wolf stepped out into the moonlight. Her blue eyes sparkled like saphires where she
presumed to sit her hind against the snow. Hanging from her mouth, looked like the remains of a rat of some sorts.

“Is the menu of the city getting you down again girl?” Ess laughed.

The wolf whined for a moment, gulping down the rest of her dinner and barked.

Ess squatted down extending her hand towards the wolf. “Tala, come.”She commanded. “I promise tomorrow, if the weather permits, we
shall go visit the forest. ….”She sighed as the wolf padded towards her. “I kinda miss it too..”

Tala began to cover Ess’s face in kisses, as her arms clutched almost desperatly at the wolf in an embrace. Her fur was warm,
un-naturally soft for a wild animal, so much that Ess wished she had a blanket made of it.. She belted out a random chuckle at
herself, knowing she wouldn’t make a pelt out of Tala for anything.

She stood up, turning sideways to let the wolf into her home as she followed Tala inside. Adding another log to her fire, Ess
cleaned herself up with lavender scented water, dabbing a little on Tala for fun. The wolf gave an exasperate huff and lyed down
beside the fire.

“What? You don’t want to smell puuurty?” Ess teased.

Tala seemed to ignore her as Ess clasped her velvet cape around her hour-glass form.
“No time for a nap now Tala dear…Momma needs to find a new teacher.” she mused.

Tala groaned as she arched her back in a long stretch. Ess tended to bring Tala with her everywhere she went, even if she didn’t
want her to go along, as Tala is a very independent and intelligent creature. One that Ess has had by her side for over eight years,
after she arrived some time ago in Newhaven. Tala did what she wanted and went where she pleased.

‘Almost fifteen years now since Blackpond.’ She remembered to herself, shuddering at the memory.

Ess inattentively twiddled her fingers along the hilt of a dagger, spinning it between her fingertips to bring it home beside
her pale skin, adjusting her laces tighter to her bodice. She was thinking of visiting the tavern again, perhaps she would run
into someone who wouldn’t mind teaching her a few more things with a sword. Until she felt confident with that weapon, she
wouldn’t dare to attempt to carry it by her side. That kind of illusion may just get her into too much trouble.

Essence would go as herself tonight, since she is not looking for any more work this evening. Besides, her bleeds were coming
more frequent and she couldn’t afford to be confined to a bed again. Swift and soundless her foot steps fell, extinquishing
all candles around her home so that only the dying fire’s coals gave some direction. Swinging the front door open, Tala
instantly rushed forward, almost knocking Ess off her feet.

“Really, Tala?” she scoffed. “I thought you didn’t want to go?”

Tala ignored Ess as she locked up, continuing forward, her nose casually sniffing the ground here and there. The wolf paused,
her head snapping to attention, ears perked high only to flatten back. Ess stepped beside Tala and cocked her head curiously
at her friend. As if the wolf forgot what she was focusing on, her ears fluffed back to alert and began leading Ess further
into town, the scent of blood growing stronger as they moved closer to the tavern.

Meet the Pack…

~~~~A glimpse into the future…Shadows of the Forgotten~~~~

The crimson sun had set, stripping all rays of light from out of the sky. Any inkling of the moon or stars remained smothered beneath the weighted blanket of despair. A thick, brown fog clung to the treetops, dispersing at it’s leisure across the moss covered ground. The air was stale and humid, causing a constant tickle in Life’s lungs. The putrid scent of death rotting from the inside out, was carried on an infectious breeze as if to infest every living creature with it’s malicious disease. The winds lead the way, beckoning her children to follow, the true messengers of Lady Death herself. Despite the eerie silence, their haunting presence could not be ignored and was indeed a screaming reminder that the darkness was far from desolate.

A familiar, mournful song started some miles away, fading in and out across the winds like a teasing whisper. The howls, at first, were lonely and pleading. They went on in translated sobs of grief that were soon answered by a stronger pair of vocals, their call soothing and reassuring. The howls appeared to bounce off the trees as more of the night’s voices answered, this time not as distant, echoing in a curious, intricate pattern. Soon enough the winds were screaming in protest, angry snarls and growls piercing through the static of howls, alerting any creatures in the proximity to the immeasurable force by the countless voices that threatened the shadows.

The horses began stamping and snorting nervously as an eerie silence fell upon the air. The forest shivered against the winds, the presence of fear creeping along the dirt as some of the horses reared up and whinnied, turning about to sprint away from the open treeline. Normally when wolves howled, it sounded lonely and mournful: A pained soul screaming for release. Yet, when the echo of growls  reached the ears of those lost souls guarding their leader in what could have been blind or misdirected faith, the spitting and snapping had already made it within the nearby shadows and it was too late. The screams of men barely begun, cut short by hungry teeth soaking the earth in blood, sweat and tears and then another warning call was sung: A promise of a bloody reckoning.

Dozens of multicolored eyes materialized only for mere seconds before fading back into darkness. The abyss appeared to open up and part for two even blacker figures; a wispful, mist-like outline of what the imagination only visited in nightmares. Gradually as they continued forward, eyes adjusted to the wolves, amber and golden eyes burned to reflect flames. Again came the distant cries, answering the call of their brothers and sisters and again, into what mimicked drowning in their deafening spell.

They were coming..

Seduction…

“Seduction isn’t making someone do what they do not want to do. It is enticing someone into what they secretly want to do already.” Essence’s gaze didn’t deter from the mirror as she painted the last bit of color upon her lips. She pressed them tightly to blend the red and blue into a dull purple, somewhat to match her violet orbs. After a few moments of teasing her auburn curls, her emotionless gaze focused on the delicate scar that trailed from beneath her left eye and down her cheek. As her stare lingered within, the silver lining that encompassed her pupils began to swirl against the glow, causing purple mist to flash. At first it seemed like nothing changed. A small smile hinted at the woman’s success, her fingers scaling the smooth and now flawless skin of her own face. The scar was gone. 

“Sounds..like that is pretty complicated.” A voice echoed from behind the Biombo; a decorative dressing screen Ess had personally painted black with pink cherry blossoms raining down towards the earth. The young girl, who couldn’t have been more than fifteen, peeked out from behind her cover, a distrustful look crossing her features. “How do you even know what someone secretly wants, if it’s such a secret?”

Ess sighed, letting her eyes close and releasing the mirage so that the ugly scar across her cheek reappeared to it’s proper place. Slightly annoyed, she turned with a sudden burst of energy, opening her eyes as her fingers snapped out to grab the younger girl roughly by the arm and pull her into view. “You don’t need to read minds in order to see what is in the eyes. If that’s too confusing for you, then you start with body language. Are they standing facing you, wanting your attention? Are they close enough to feel the teasing of their body heat? Do they take that extra step to reach out to you? Sometimes they aren’t even that bold. Sometimes…” Ess’ lips parted in a pitying smile, casually straightening the girl’s gown and shaking her head at her ponytail, snapping the threads so blond hair cascaded down past the girl’s shoulders. “Sometimes they smile, but if you look into their eyes you can see the cold and the darkness, all warning signs. But then, some look terrified and yet the excitement is clear as day, beaming behind those same eyes.

“I’m not pretty enough, like you..” The girl said finally, her grey eyes absorbing Ess quietly.

“You don’t need to be pretty in this line of work..and it’s debatable if pleasant features are really a curse more so than a blessing. Consider yourself lucky you were able to hold onto your..virtue for so long. I was merely eight years old when they stole my spirit.” Ess sighed, placing a comforting hand upon the girl’s shoulder. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”

“Sorry?” The girl gawked, a bit confused.

“You’re actually quite beautiful and you’ve attracted the eye of Hector. Even if you were to soak your face in acid, he’s seen something in you that  he deems special compared to the other girls and I think that is why they…waited..so long..” Ess’ gaze shifted uncomfortably and she twitched at a heavy knock at her bedroom door, quickly pushing the girl forward and bowing her head obediently as the door opened. “Don’t look into his eyes..” Ess quickly whispered, seconds before the girl was escorted out the door. The girl tried to ask Ess why she shouldn’t look into the man’s eyes but Derek was waiting by the door, his cold stare watching Essence carefully, a sudden, snide, sneer parting his lips.

“Hurry up, Reina…don’t make me clip those wings, we clear Birdie?” He scoffed, slamming the door behind the girl as she passed through.

Reina. Was that the girl’s name? Ess hadn’t bothered to ask this time. She hadn’t bothered to know a single thing about this girl. Their time together was not nearly enough for Ess to warn her or to give much advise on how to survive. Part of her wasn’t even sure if ‘Reina’ was better off going out with a fight especially after the last time she tried to interfere. What a disastrous mess that had turned out to be. Still, Derek gave Ess the task of preparing those girls for the inevitable and it sickened her to the core. It was as if the man enjoyed the pain it would cause Essence, so she hid her emotions. She couldn’t escape and she couldn’t do much to help Reina with her fate except to release her pain from the present moment. Reina would either fade away without a care or she would survive only to relive it in her nightmares.

Derek was slow these days and was usually easily distracted by Ess’ painted smile; that same smile that she had decorated on Reina. Lucky for her she knew the key ingredient would be most beneficial in subduing the young girl’s pain. Ess only heard the screams for a few moments before the dreaded silence came, her own mind growing numb as a single thought passed of her only friend who lived in the other side of Blackpond.

‘Jakey…I pray you never find out…’

 

~~~~

Note: Just a random bit that could be a flashback for Essence to Shadows of the Forgotten..

Shadows

My Friend Camila took the next step in the short story, ‘Ghosts’. Enjoy!

Blackbird's Nest

My friend Sarah said I could sic Luckas on this lady from her story, so I have… Sort of. *smirks*

This post in a response to her story: Ghosts

==================================

“Why did you stop?” The woman questioned. “We were just getting to the good part.” Her tone was soft, nearly sweet, sickening sweet. “Are you afraid of what comes next?”

Green specks of light slowly faded into absolute black, Luckas closed his eyes for a moment while the visions of her past faded from his sight. At first ignoring the woman’s questioning he stood from his seat, dipping his hand into his pocket and quickly swallowing the contents of a vial kept within. “I need a small break, I’m not the kid I used to be it seems.” He muttered finally, leaning against the open window and taking a long glance at the white specs that added to the fluffy…

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My Soul That Never Sleeps

My Soul That Never Sleeps

You’ve haunted my dreams, a distant time ago….

Lurking beneath faint realms of my mind…

A familiar chill reminds me of your soul..

A detached despair, surging down my spine…

Speak to me, I ache to hear your voice..

My lips know your name..

Calling to you in fear..

Afraid to let you go..

Afraid to have you near..

Surrender to me…Surrender inside my head..

Your smile is contagious..

A darkness beneath the light..

One of pain  we harbor in shadow…

Still, those red eyes deceive..

Beaming within to kindle my soul..

My lips know your name..

Calling to you in fear..

Afraid to let you go..

Afraid to have you near..

Surrender to me…Surrender inside my head..

A lullaby to soothe my spirit…

A soul that never sleeps

I wish you would hold me close

Like you do in our dreams..

Our only haven for reality…

My lips know your name..

Calling to you in fear..

Afraid to let you go..

Afraid to have you near..

Surrender to me…Surrender inside my head..

We’re brave enough to stand alone..

Choices taken  to endure it all..

Like when we danced in the rain..

Or the night you almost died..

Even when  we’re so far away..

My tears echoed when I cried

Your lips know my name..

Calling  to me in fear..

Afraid to let me go..

Afraid to have me near..

Surrender to me…Surrender into my arms…

~Essence- Shadows of the Forgotten~

An original song/poem intended for my character.

Spring Storm…

Taken from my original works…

Snuff-Slipknot For Musical Inspiration.

“Luckas…” Ess breathed, opening a solemn stare, her orbs focused intently upon the flames before her. Tilting her head she rested her chin upon her hand, propping herself up from where she laid upon the grass, her free hand absently sifting through the soft blades basking in their gentle touch.

“Luuuuckaaas….” She whispered softly, Tala lifting her head to glance at Ess curiously, the only other movement around her perimeter. A sudden chill crept up Ess’ spine, sending warm shivers along every inch of her skin. Her eyes flickered in their violet incandescence, catching the light from the fire before blinking as a drop of water fell from the sky and hit her lashes. A powerful silence fell upon the wind; she couldn’t even hear the panting of Tala or her pups anymore. All of it seemed…distant. Even the crickets.

Ess let her stare travel towards the dark clouds above, a sudden rumble of the heavens deafening her ears causing an excited smile to curl her lips. Slowly she sat up, leaning back against the log beside the fire, several more specks of rain gaining in speed to disperse sparingly across her bare arms. Running her fingers through her loose curls, the air grew cooler in the stickiness of humidity, the smell of wet soil filling her nostrils seconds before the sky opened up and cried down upon her in an unrelenting force.

Essence giggled, slightly startled by a loud crackling and snapping of thunder, the air lighting up in a white haze. Her eyes darted side to side, another clap of thunder and a collision of clouds came together in sheer blackness, and an invisible fog  seemed to lift off the ground. All she could hear were the rumbles above and a river roaring in her ears; her body soaked in seconds.

Again came the shivers, her eyes slowly rolling  up in her head as they closed and the biggest smile opened her lips. An unmistakable fit of laughter shook her shoulders, adding a weight to cause her to almost double over. A blink of an eye was all it took for her to be squinting through the downpour, sloppily pushing her sagging curls off her forehead. A surge of energy ached in her belly and into every vein, jumping to her feet and staring up into the sky. The darkness irradiated to a soft tone, the clouds swirling like wisps of smoke. Essence stretched out her fingers, twirling gradually in place and leaping left and right to kick and splash in the massive puddles; a flicker of innocence that commanded everything else to static. A moment of peace.

Then, just as quickly it came, the rain slowed to the clouds breaking and a hint of crimson light from the setting sun teased her eyes from beneath those shadows. For a moment, she forgot she was alone and when she looked around, the crickets crept their way back around her. Ess sighed contently, her focus on the fading thunder as it rolled west towards BlackPond. Her eyes found their way back to the fire, smoke trailing upwards from scorched coals drowning from nature’s tears. Tala had not budged herself, several layers of fur dripping water in slow motion  to the ponds below. “Life should be about dancing in the rain and not waiting for the storm to pass…” Ess whispered, the gentle breeze coming to a standstill as the rain drained off the leaves, which led her to notice a few patches of blue  lilacs scattered beneath the Oak. Ess stepped before the massive tree, kneeling down in front of  the spot Luckas usually occupied, fingers gently tracing the bark. Lost in thought she sighed, leaning against the Oak, hugging her knees to her chest as she let herself drift off into that place between dreams and reality.

~Shadows of the Forgotten~

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