THE LEGEND OF THE CHOSEN ONE:
BOOK I: HOPE WITHIN
written by Aelyva
Chapter 1: The Chosen One
Yesterday seems like a dream no more
Frozen memories laughing
They don't let me find the truth.
'Journey through the dark' - Blind Guardian
Cursed name. Fear.
Destruction and death.
Hated name. Rage.
Sinner and killer.
Silent name. Pain.
Ravaged and tortured.
We have not forgotten the name.
- Excerpt from the Book of Kiranla -
He was still sleeping.
But she sensed a change. A sort of recklessness. He even started to move. During all those years she had watched over him, he had never move, too much in a deep sleep he was. But now, for some reason, she could feel a difference in his aura.
He was awakening.
It could only mean one thing. She appeared, or would soon.
About bloody time, was the first thought that traveled her mind. But as she thought about it, she wasn’t so sure anymore it was a good idea. He would probably sense her, and then who could know what might happen. It could start all over again.
But there was nothing she could do to prevent it. She could only watch. Watch until the time to show herself would come.
It was okay. She located them all. She would make sure she was worthy and then, they would be reunited.
Sensing he would soon completely wake up, she gathering her stuff and made sure he would notice the food when he woke up. After sleeping for so long, he would be hungry. He’d probably be disoriented too, and for a moment, she hesitated to leave. She wanted to be there to help him. But she couldn’t. Besides, she wasn’t really worried about him. He was strong enough to handle it.
Without a look back, she erased all traces of her presence and left. A lone tear fell down her cheek, but sadness was useless. Their roads would cross again.
But when their path would meet once more, the dark clouds will cover the sky once again and it might be the last time they would meet.
17 years later…
May 17, 2002. Montreal, Canada. Earth.
The sun shone bright in the sky on this beautiful Friday. The leaves started growing in the trees once again, announcing the summer’s upcoming. The students felt excited, and the teachers grew impatient with them as the end of the school year approached. The number of students receiving detention had increased since the beginning of May, and it only grew higher as June approached.
At lunch, many students at Dawson High School decided to eat outside, purposely ignoring the fact that it was forbidden to eat on the school’s yards. Among those students, Allison Collins opted for this option instead of eating in the noisy cafeteria, and was now enjoying the feel of the hot rays caressing her face. It helped her relax and forget about the chemistry exam she had this afternoon. She needed a good grade to not fail the class. Not that failing would bother her personally, but she wanted her grandmother to be proud. Failing wouldn’t make her proud.
Hearing her name, Allison lazily opened one eye to find that her best friend Marian was knelt before her, grinning. Her short brown hair caressed her cheek and her blue eyes – cerulean as her boyfriend poetically described them – gleamed. Comfort was all Marian looked for in cloths, and it explained why all she wore were ample pants and today was no exception.
Simple, cheerful and direct. That was how everyone saw Marian. But Allison knew there were more to Marian than the shell she surrounded herself with. Just like only Marian knew the secrets Allison hid from the rest of her friends. It probably was the reason why they became such close friends. They understood each other on levels no one else had.
Marian frowned at her friend’s neutral tone. “Aren’t you excited about tonight?”
“What’s happening tonight?”
Marian rolled her eyes in exasperation. “Your birthday party, Al! It’s your birthday today, remember?” She let out a long, suffering sigh. “We’ve been planning this party for weeks. Don’t tell me you forgot!”
Allison smiled. “Of course not. I guess I was thinking too much about my chemistry exam.”
Marian waved her hand. “Forget that! It’s not important. Your party is. You know who’s gonna be there?” she asked, her dark eyes shinning.
“Rick Sanders!” they declared simultaneously.
Allison grinned. “I can’t believe he agreed to come. Think he’ll ask me to dance?”
“Of course he’ll ask. Why else would he come?” Marian said, grinning back.
Allison had a crush on Rick for two months, but never mustered up the nerve to ask him out. She had no idea how he felt towards her, and she didn’t want to risk being rejected. She took a deep breath and concentrated on her best friend, rejecting the dark thoughts as soon as they entered her mind. Today was, after all, her birthday, and she wanted to think positively.
“So, what did you buy me this year?”
“Forget it. You managed to get it out of me last year, but it won’t happen again!”
Her smile grew as she forgot about all her problems. Marian always cheered her up, no matter what was bothering her, her exams being the current case. Marian had been the first friend she made when Allison first arrived in Montreal, five years ago. At the beginning, she had trouble adjusting and making friends. It was quite a change from Key West, Florida to the French speaking majority of Montreal.
One day, she had been accused of spraying graffiti on the school wall. Twelve years old Marian had been the only one brave enough to point out the real guilty party, a rebellious teenager feared by everyone in the same grade. By doing so, she saved Allison from detention, or even suspension. Unhappy, the teenager – Edouard was his name – set as his new goal to terrorize the two girls that dared to humiliate him and so, a new friendship formed between the two girls who paired up against Edouard and his friends.
Allison glanced to her left where the same Edouard, now seventeen, joked with his friends. His black hair was now bleached and his wardrobe only seemed to be composed of black cloths. He hadn’t changed much and still bothered the two friends when the occasion presented itself, but less often than before and less nastier too. Was he maturing? They could only hope…
Allison glanced back at her friend, who had been talking while she had been lost in her thoughts, and Marian seemed to be waiting for an answer.
Marian sighed, annoyed. “You weren’t listening!”
Allison smiled apologetically. “Sorry. I was just remembering how we became friends, thanks to Edouard.”
Marian grimaced. “Thanks for reminding me. I guess we should grateful to him for that.”
“Grateful to whom for what?” a voice asked from above them.
Both girls glanced up and groaned. Edouard stood in front of them, smirking. He had the annoying habit of always showing up when people were talking about him.
“Yes, I know you should be honored that I am granting you with my illustrious presence,” he said, winking.
Marian rolled her eyes. “Whatever. What do you want?”
“Charming as always,” he muttered, glaring at Marian. “I just came to confirm my presence at your birthday party,” he declared, moving his eyes toward Allison.
Allison frowned. “I don’t remember inviting you…”
“I’m hurt you forgot to invite me, but I’ll forgive you. Besides, a party is never complete if I’m not there. So see you tonight!”
He was gone with a wink before Allison could open her mouth and answer back. Typical of Edouard to invite himself not caring if he was welcome or not.
“What a pain,” Marian stated with a sigh.
Allison could only agree.
The party had started two hours ago, and teenagers having fun completely crowded Marian’s small house. For the occasion, Allison wore a nice but simple red tank top and black pants, her long blond hair falling freely on her back. Happy that all her friends could come, she was willing to overlook the appearance of some unwanted people.
At that thought, she glanced at Edouard who was flirting with two of her friends who attended a different school. She had to admit that he wasn’t behaving that badly…compared to some other parties where she witnessed him at his worst, something she wasn’t in any hurry to see again. It seems he hadn’t come to cause trouble.
She touched the necklace she wore, her birthday present from Marian. A small delicate gold chain, with a small dove pendant, hanging between her collar bones. Marian always knew exactly what to buy Allison. She, on the other hand, always had to visit every shopping mall in the city before finding the right gift, which she’d have to do next month for Marian’s birthday.
The sacrifices one must make for in the name of friendship!
Her best friend was currently dancing on a ballad with Steve, her on-and-off boyfriend. Allison had stopped counting the number of times they had broken up and gotten back together. She’d never understand how Marian could continue with such an unstable relationship. Of course, Allison wasn’t an expert in relationships. Her first boyfriend had only dated her to get closer to Marian, and she broke up with her second after only three weeks, when she discovered he was going out with two other girls at the same time.
With a sigh, Allison returned to the party, a faster song now replacing the previous slower one. She searched for Rick in the crowd. She had seen him arriving with one of his friends earlier, but hadn’t found the courage to say ‘hi’. And that bothered her. She wasn’t usually shy around people, so why now? Because she liked him?
He was really cute with his sandy blond hair that always seemed to fall in his eyes. He also was a nice guy, with a great sense of humor. She had no problem talking to him at the beginning of high school when they had a few classes together. Though at that time, she didn’t have a crush on him…
Groaning, Allison took a deep breath. She was seventeen now, almost an adult. She was going to go talk to him. About the latest defeat of the Montreal Canadians in the NHL final series or about the weather, it didn’t matter, but she was going to go talk to him. Nodding to herself, she entered in the kitchen, having decided to start her search there. She had just noticed he wasn’t there when she felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning around, she tried not to gasp as she saw none other than Rick.
“Hey. I just realized that I haven’t wished you a happy birthday yet,” he said, winking at her. “A dance to get your forgiveness?”
Allison tried to control the frantic beating of her heart. Rick just asked me to dance! Rick just asked me to dance, with him!
“S-sure, I’d love to,” she answered, trying not to sound too enthusiastic.
Gently reaching for her hand, Rick led her toward Marian’s living room where people were dancing to the rhythm of an old rock ballad. He brought her closer to him, and they began to move slowly among the other couples.
Over Rick’s shoulder, Allison could see her best friend giving her a mischievous smile, her thumbs up. Allison repressed a smile, and then forgot everything around, just concentrating on how great it felt to have Rick’s arms around her. She happily sighed, and rested her head on his shoulder. If he had asked her to dance, it had to mean he liked her, at least a little. Maybe she could ask him to go see a movie tomorrow afternoon. She knew he was a fan of science fiction, just like her. There was a new movie on screens. The public had acclaimed ‘Wars in the Stars’ and she had wanted to see since it was released.
She chewed her lower lip. She’d ask him…if she ever found the courage to. She frowned. He ended up asking her to dance when she had gathered all her courage to ask him. She should be able to gather it again.
The song ended too soon in Allison’s opinion. She could have kept dancing all night with Rick. Reluctantly, she moved away from Rick’s embrace and looked up at him. Another song had already started, but both of them remained unmoving. Taking a deep breath, she summoned all the courage inside her and opened her mouth to ask him…
“Would you like something to drink?” Rick suddenly asked her, not noticing that she was about to speak.
Allison sighed in relief, then kicked herself mentally. She had been so close! But at least, he hadn’t said something along the lines of ‘well that was fun, but I gotta go’. She would simply ask him later. “Sure. Whatever you can find is fine.”
Rick smiled. “Got it. I’ll be right back.”
Allison moved away from the dancing couples to lean on the wall, lost in her thoughts. She was replaying the dance in her head when she realized someone was standing in front of her.
Allison groaned and crossed her arms. “What do you want?”
Edouard gave her an odd look. “You seem pretty chummy with Sanders.”
“And why do you care?”
With a shrug, Edouard moved next to her, his side against the wall. “I’m just surprised.”
She turned to face him. When they were 12, they had been of the same height, but now he was a head taller than she was so she had to raise her head to look him in the eyes and that annoyed her for some unknown reason. “And why are you surprised?”
A smile appeared on the corner of his lips. “I just thought you had better taste than that.”
Allison frowned and kept her eyes on him. He was acting weird, weirder than usual that is. Edouard teased her, annoyed her, made her angry, but he certainly did not do small talk with her about her ‘tastes’. She narrowed her eyes. He didn’t seem drunk, but then again, she never saw him drunk. So she opted for the direct way. “Are you drunk?”
For a moment, Edouard remained unmoving, but then he started to laugh.
The malicious gleam in his eyes told Allison that he was laughing at her. She controlled the urge to slap him and just waited for him to stop laughing. “It’s a serious question.”
Edouard smiled, but he answered. “No, I’m not, though I don’t see why you asked.”
“You weren’t acting like your usual annoying self, and you never talk about my or Marian’s taste in guys.” Allison smirked. “If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you’re jealous.”
Edouard glared at her and, for an instant, something in his eyes made Allison scared he would hit her, but his arms remained at his sides. She did take a small step back, however. Just in case. She had never seen Edouard hit a girl before, she honestly didn’t believe he would do it, but she wasn’t taking any chances.
Finally, after a long moment of silence, he turned his back to her. “Don’t be ridiculous,” he spit out before walking away.
Allison sighed. Sometimes she forgot who Edouard was. He always got into fights and had a bad temper. He never showed this side of him with her or Marian even when, at 12, it had been clear he hated both of them, but it was still there, hidden inside. Allison then realized that they didn’t know much about him. She knew his mother was a French-Canadian and his father left them three years ago, but besides that, his life remained a mystery to her.
Was there some deep secret hidden behind all that rebellion and violence?
The moon shone brightly in the dark sky and a few stars were visible. There never were many stars in the polluted sky of Montreal. If you wanted to see them, you had to leave the urban region.
Allison checked her watch. 3:30 am. The party had ended an hour ago, but before going back home, she had made a stop at the cemetery, to visit her parents’ tombstones.
Her birthday wasn’t just a day to celebrate, but also one of mourning, since her parents had died on her birthday, five years ago. During the first two years, it had been difficult to celebrate on a day her parents left this world, but she had learnt to live with it, and now, it had become a sort of ritual to visit them after her birthday party. It was still hard to have fun when her parents were six feet under the ground though. It always would be.
There were so many things about her life she wanted them to be a part of. So many times she had wished they were here to see this or that. This year, they wouldn’t be there to see her graduate from high school.
With a sigh, she quickened her pace. She lived in a peaceful neighborhood, but it was still pretty late, and her grandmother wouldn’t be able to sleep until she knew Allison had made it safely home.
Overprotective grandmothers weren’t always easy to deal with.
Allison smiled at the thought of her grandmother, Rose. At the death of her parents, she immediately made arrangements for Allison to come live with her here, in Montreal. She hadn’t been thrilled at first. She didn’t know her grandmother very well and didn’t want to leave Key West. During the first few months, she had been rebellious, never listened her grandmother and only went to school when she felt like it, which hadn’t been very often.
Allison sighed and stopped walking to look up at the moon. Thankfully, her attitude changed and the more she got to know her grandmother, the more she liked her. She had asked Rose why she hadn’t seen her often as a kid, and her grandmother simply replied that she never approved of her daughter’s choice for a husband, without giving specifics. Allison had never mentioned it again, despite her curiosity. It was not a subject Rose liked to discuss, so she dropped it.
A smile curved on her lips as those thoughts went away, replaced by thoughts of Rick. After her strange conversation with Edouard, he had come back with her drink and she had found the guts to ask him out to see a movie, and he accepted. She had to restrain herself from dancing in joy. They had talked about science fiction for the rest of the evening.
She started to walk again. The streets were completely deserted, only cars passing by rapidly every once in awhile disturbed the silence. She shivered as a soft wind started to rise. The nights in May were still a bit cold, and she was still in her small red tank top, without a long-sleeved shirt. She hurried her pace; the last thing she wanted was catching a cold.
She turned a corner and passed in front of the closed stores. A few more streets and she would be home. She was tired and only wanted to curl under her covers, sleep, and have nice dreams about Rick.
As she glanced around, Allison noticed a shadow leaning on a wall, a few feet in front of her. She hesitated, but kept walking. Hearing her, the shadow moved from the wall and advanced deliberately slowly toward her. Allison fought the urge to turn and run away. She wasn’t completely defenseless for she had been learning Karate since she was 7, something her father had insisted on, but she wasn’t in the mood to fight. She hadn’t learn Karate so she could defend herself, but for the same reasons others joined soccer or hockey clubs.
She simply hoped the shadow didn’t carry any guns.
You’re watching too many movies. People walking around with guns are a rare thing in Montreal…
But as he got closer, Allison noticed that his eyes, gleaming in the dark, were yellow. No one has yellow eyes! That’s impossible! Contact lenses never looked so real… She took a step back. She regretted not having run.
He stopped walking, but Allison still couldn’t see his features because of the dark. She could only see his yellow eyes, watching her as if she was his prey.
Maybe that was exactly what she was.
Neither of them moved or made a sound for a moment, but then he spoke. “So I found you at last.”
His voice, low and rasp, sent shivers down her spine. “Y-you were looking for me?”
He laughed. “Yesss.” He took a step forward and Allison could now see his face. She bit back a scream. His face was a dark red shade, making his eyes brighter. His hair was dark gray, but not the kind of gray old people had. It looked…natural gray. His nose was long and the shape made her think of a pig’s nose. She would find it funny if she wasn’t so scared.
“What the hell are you?” Allison shouted, her voice sounding calmer than she felt.
He laughed again, but answered her. “I am Ubel, an Hobgoblin from Leven.”
Hobgoblin? Leven? She took a few steps back. This guy was nuts.
“And I need your blood, Chosen One, to free my master,” Ubel continued.
Allison blinked. Had he just called her ‘Chosen One’? What was he talking about?
“You must be mistaken. I’m not a chosen one, and I’m certainly not going to give you blood. If you want blood, go to a Hema-Quebec center or something…”
Ubel stared at her and smirked. “You mean you don’t know? Ha, she doesn’t know! Well, that’ll make my mission a lot easier.”
He moved his right arm and Allison noticed for the first time that he was holding an axe. And there she was worried he was carrying a gun!
In a jump, he stood in front of her and swung his axe, targeting her neck. Allison threw herself to the left, barely in time, and rolled on the street, away from him. She rapidly jumped back on her feet and took a defensive stand, but he had already reached her and moved his axe again to hit, grunting in expectation.
Allison jumped back and frantically wondered what to do. Running away was not an option because she wasn’t going to turn her back on him. He would probably throw his axe right on it. But she certainly couldn’t keep up much longer against him. She kicked his side, but it didn’t seem to hurt him at all. She raised her fits protectively near her face, gulping. Better to die fighting, then dying running away, she supposed.
And try to survive as long as possible.
As suddenly as he attacked, Ubel stopped. He stepped back and leaned his axe against his shoulder. “Just a little of your blood and I’ll let you live,” he said, his yellow eyes staring directly into hers.
Allison frowned, and didn’t relax from her stand. “I don’t think I trust you. You were trying to kill me a minute ago. What tells me you won’t kill me anyway?”
“I don’t really want to kill you. I never liked killing pretty girls. Besides, you don’t seem to know anything about Leven, so you wouldn’t be a treat to my master anyway,” Ubel answered in a shrug. He shifted his axe on his other shoulder, grinning at her. “Just a little blood in that bottle, then I’m gone,” he added. He showed her the little bottle that had been in his pocket a moment earlier. He threw the bottle in the air, caught it in a shift movement, his yellow eyes still unmoving from her face.
Allison hesitated. She stared back at him and shivered. She didn’t trust him. Everything about him screamed ‘bad guy’. He could easily kill her, but he offered her a way to remain alive. Could she trust his word? No way. Did she want to take the chance to stay alive? Hell yeah. She was too young to die. She should just grab the chance he was giving her...even if it turned out to be a trick. She didn’t know what ‘Leven’ was and she didn’t really care. For all she knew, it could be an imaginary world, created by that guy in his head. All she knew was that she didn’t want to die. “Just a little blood and you won’t kill me?”
Ubel nodded and offered her a smile that showed numerous yellowish pointed teeth. “That’s right, girlie.”
Allison took a deep breath. “Fine, I’ll do it. But don’t call me girlie.” Ubel gave her a nod and handed her the bottle and a small knife. She looked at him. She didn’t like his smile at all, but she didn’t have much of a choice. She looked at the knife, uneasy. I can’t believe I’m doing this. How am I going to explain the cut to granny?
She shook her head and placed the knife on her wrist, aware of Ubel’s eyes on her, observing her every move. Please don’t let me regret this… She took a deep breath, and…
Written: July 01, 2002
Last Modified: November 01, 2004