This is my second time to join in Carrie’s Collaboration challenges. It really is a different way of writing. You have no control over what has happened, or how the characters have developed. What you get is what you’ve got. All you can do is move the story forward, add in some of your own bits whilst leaving it open enough for others to be able to do the same.
Nicole Pyles is well known for her whopper finalies, and I look forward to reading how she ends this.
If you are just learning about this for the first time, I recommend you read Parts 1-3 of the story:
Part 1 – For What It’s Worth
Part 2 – Bridges Burned
Part 3 – By Gavril Mikhailovich
And now for the second last chapter of our story:
Part 4 Collaboration Challenge – The Half-Ling Escape
Anika was shivering so badly her jaw seered with pain and with clenched shoulders she ran through the woods. Running would warm her, and she needed to get as far away as possible. The faster she moved the clearer her head felt. She felt alive, her vision brighter, and the muscles in her legs moved her forward effortlessly as if she’d run a marathon a hundred times before.
She was alone now, truly alone. No Xav to watch over her, no security camera preventing her from a moment of privacy. She felt invigorated by the thought, and yet she felt afraid. Afraid of what could happen if she found herself in a sticky situation again.
It had happened again, and she suspected this time many innocent lives had been lost. She couldn’t even save Xav had she tried. It just didn’t work that way. Outnumbered and surrounded by police, all guns were on her. What could she do. As an intense fear for her life took over, all the men around her started collapsing. Before the last gun smashed onto the concrete, she had leapt off the bridge, plunging into the icy river, and she swam, and then she ran, and she kept running using the energy she had acquired to find someplace safe. She hoped no one had died this time.
She needed to get her hands on that amulet. It was the key to stop all this, she knew it. She just wasn’t sure how it was all going to happen. If Jasper had the fake, this was bad news. It meant the real amulet was still out there and she needed to get it fast, especially now that whatever kept the Vamprye seperate from the human world no longer seemed to exist.
Only Jasper knew the truth about her, or so she hoped, and she suspected this was only because he himself was just like her, and if Xav actually survived, he would possibly now know too. But Jasper had his own agenda, this she knew in her gut, his heart was that of steel. She suspected it was a result of being backed into a corner too many times, too many years of living with a Vamprye mother who was a bitter resentful woman, but luckily for the world, she only took it out on her son, and was thus able to live in the human world without raising suspicion.
Anika had heard a story from her father about another, one like her, an angry boy, whose Vamprye mother was bitter and abusive, the boy grew up and became a member of an underground gang no one had heard of. She suspected Jasper had heard about her the same way she had heard about him. Vampyres had their connections, and weren’t exactly forthcoming about them either.
Regardless, he found her, and he told her straight what she was, he even knew what she had done. He claimed others knew about her too. No one other than her parents knew the truth about her, or so she thought, and at the time with her future looking so bright, she would do anything to keep her secrets safe.
Jasper offered her protection, he also offered hope. The amulet was the hope. It may have seemed like any other old artifact to the musuem when it anonamously turned up on its doorstep one morning and happened to be valued in the millions had it gone to auction, but it was so much more than that. It had a power, a special power to keep humans safe. Safe from half-lings like her and Jasper that sucked energy from humans only when their fear and adrenaline was activated in life threatening situations, and of course, safe from the Vamprye. It acted as a shield of sorts, but was it enough to keep all Vamprye seperate from the world of humans permanently? Anika had more questions than answers. She did learn from Jasper however that it needed to be activated properly to work. Jasper claimed to know how, and so for the greater good of the world, she entrusted Jasper with the task.
Now that the Vamprye had been freed from the barrier that seperated them from humans, and somehow she was responsible, Anika knew now more than ever, the world needed protecting. She needed a plan.
It had been exactly two weeks since Anika had been broken out of prison. Not much had happened in that time. She had been reunited with Razors Edge, although she still hadn’t heard if Xav had made it or not. No one mentioned anything about the Vamprye or strange sightings of horrible creatures that seem to drain energy and freeze time, not even the news. Everyone seemed to eye her suspiciously, and they kept their distance, cautious in case she had ratted them out whilst imprisoned. Anika didn’t really care. A plan had slowly been formulating in her mind.
She wondered why she and Xav were the only ones to see the Vamprye that day on the bridge. She knew what they were capable of, and hoped they would not come back, though deep down, she knew it was just wishful thinking. The gateway between the world of Vamprye and humans had been opened somehow.
Anika had known about the Vamprye from a young age, her father being one himself, but little more was said about them beyond what they were capable of, and how those who chose to live peacefully amongst humans coped. Perhaps her father could tell her more, but she was too afraid to show up at home, or call as she knew the police would be monitoring her parents in case she attempted to contact them. She would need to be careful, the plan had to be perfect.
As the first rays of sun entered the morning sky, Anika set out in an old Ford pick up truck, her hands wrapped tightly around the steering wheel.