A night past, Rafael was still trying to come to grips with the situation. Helios was alive, the beast was dead, and he could hear the sound of celebration from a distance. He didn’t know what to do with Helios. If anyone as much as caught a whiff of treachery, his would be the first head under the axe.
So shaken was Rafael that he did not notice The Shadow enter the chambers and stand next to him. It was only when he heard the clearing of the throat that he looked up.
“I see you are upset”, she said in a petulant voice.
“You know what happened sister… Nothing’s hidden from you”, Rafael replied to his formless sister.
“Of course… Just this once I thought you were up to something promising. I am so used to being disappointed by you that it’s become boring”, her figure swam past the room towards the window.
“Look out the window Brother”, she continued. “Do you see what I see?”
Rafael walked to the window. The dawn was breaking, it was quiet and as far as he could tell, there was no living soul except himself and his sister – if she qualified.
His sister was condemned to the shadows by Helios’ Master during one of their meditation sessions. No one knows to this day what had transpired. Rafael was also there. Master’s scream disrupted the silence. His sister was laughing like a lunatic.
I have seen it now, what are you going to do about it? She challenged the Master.
No one had ever seen the Master so furious.
I can’t kill you for I honor any trace of Royal blood that might have had the misfortune of flowing through your veins! But I shall condemn you to the Shadows and in the Shadows you shall remain, never noticed, oft ignored. The Master roared.
Helios tried to speak but Master raised his hand to stop him. That was the last time Rafael saw his sister in flesh and blood. She was just a shadow now, ignored by everyone except him.
“I don’t see anything sister, except that it will be morning soon and we have to do something about our caged nemesis” he replied.
The Shadow closed in on Rafael making him step back till he was pushed to the wall.
She whispered in his ear “Five… nay six men from the south, seven from the east and twelve on the main entrance of the dungeon… and Shira, leading them. Don’t look at me like that Brother. Why of course, you should know who you are dealing with. That man you have bound in chains and kept in your little hideout is Helios, and Helios is by no means a man to be taken lightly. Shira would be knocking… nay pounding… nay breaking the main door tomorrow around dusk if Helios doesn’t return by then on his own.”
“H… How?” Rafael could not speak out of shock.
“How do I know?” The shadow asked threateningly.
“N.. No… How d..does Shh…”
“Shira Know? She is Helios’ daughter, that’s how.”
She waited as a terrified Rafael dashed to the window like a deer stuck in a lion’s den.
“I have a plan”, The Shadow spoke again. “You either live in glory at the end of it or you die, but there is no middle path.” Seeing Rafael was still distracted she flew by the window and shouted in his ear, “Are you listening to me?”
“Wh..What plan?” Rafael fell on the ground.
“Go to Helios in an hour. Unshackle him. Challenge him to a duel”.
“That’s your plan?” Rafael looked at his sister’s shadow incredulously.
“Do as I say. I will come to your rescue when the time is right.” She said, deep in thoughts. “It’s now or never”.
“But I don’t think you can do anything in a duel of men. You are but a shadow after all”.
“Don’t you argue with me brother, and don’t you ever say I can do nothing. If it was so I’d be a harmless mortal like you. Now off you go, build some strength. Drink some of those juices of yours to keep you alive till a few of Helios’ blows”.
The Shadow receded leaving Rafael catching his breath and stilling his pounding heart as he reached for a vial and drank from it.
Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting before you… Helios Part 4!
I found a way of closing this behemoth story (by my tiny standards at least) that I set out telling a couple of weeks ago. This is the biggest saga I have ever written… My first, so not even close to the P of perfection… but a very good exercise…
I welcome concrit… Anything that shows scope of improvement. For example, I’d like to know if there was a way to reduce the length of this post without compromising on the content or the intent? I reduced quite a bit myself (yes, paragraphs!), but I am sure there is a lot more that could have been done. And any other feedback is welcome too!
I have used an Inspiration Monday Prompt for this one – “Look out the Window”.
I was supposed to conclude this story with the last to last week’s prompts. But I have a lot of lazy bones that prevent me from concluding any of my awesome plans as planned. But better late than never!
I will finish this very soon! May the force be with me! 🙂