The people of Marchini had been under attack for months. The dark wraiths traveled like mist under doors, no matter how well stuffed with rags, and sucked the souls from dreamers. Instead of waking, the dreamers would be found in a comatose state, their bodies looking shrunken as if they had been mummified. People tried to stay awake as long as they could, but the human body needs sleep, and sooner or later they’d drift off.
The wraiths struck only at night as if daylight would harm them, much like vampires; but as more succumbed to their dark ministrations, they became bolder. Those still intact didn’t think it could get worse, but when the wraiths started coming when it was light, their terror intensified. You see the wraiths were able to consume light and color from the world. It was fast becoming dark and colorless. What would happen when the light was gone?
Hern and Garnie didn’t want to find out. They noticed that the wraiths always headed in the same direction after their attacks. They determined to follow the wraiths. A mile out of town, along a branch of the river, they found a dark castle that had never been there before. They decided to sneak close by using the river. As they approached they saw the flow went under the castle and crept along until they were under the massive structure. A stone stairway started at the river’s edge and led inside, where no gates or doors stopped them. They made their way quietly, listening for any sound.
Soon they heard it, the dull churning of a monstrous engine above them. It got louder the closer they got. Peeking around a corner they saw a dark shiny gigantic space ship. The wraiths swirled around it and entered ducts that opened as they approached. Hern and Garnie looked at each other and both wondered how on earth they could stop something this unfamiliar and powerful.
As the Gods would have it, they didn’t need to, as the throbbing intensified and fire blasted out from around the base of the vertical oblong ship. It was taking off! They ran back down the staircase to avoid being burned and jumped in the water. They swam back down the river, out from under the building, then waited. The top of the castle opened and the ship roared up and away into the sky. They watched it until it was out of sight, heading somewhere away from Earth. As it disappeared, color began to seep back into the world.
Sadje is the host of What do you see?