"Illusion" Preview 1:

It is late at night. The rain had not stopped from the late morning. Mia, holding onto my arm, begs me not to go out.
        "Please Jason, don't go out! Something bad is going to happen! I know it is!"
        I don't resist Mia clutching onto my arm, but the fact was I had to see McCread. But it wasn't just that... I guess it was what McCread said to me earlier today. His words were useless, but powerful, and I couldn't get my mind of those words. "Don't worry, Mia. Everything will be fine."
        "But I've never been wrong about things like this! You know that! And it's not just me; it's Mr McCread as well! He knew something was going to happen, and it is! Please, just don't go! Stay here!"
        "I'm sorry," I reply, "but I have to."
        "Why do you have to? Because it's your destiny?"
        "Because I have to," I yell at Mia with frustration. That was the first time I ever yelled at her.
        Suddenly, Mia stops pulling my arms, and gradually loosens her grip. She slowly closes her eyes and hangs her head, tears dripping down her pretty face like rain. After that, she just stays silent... No words, no sounds, no moving; a statue created out of sorrow.
I turn around, not wanting to look back at the heartbreaking sight. And I don't.

        Walking out of the house, I head off down the dirt trail to the edge of the village. Suddenly, a quivering sensation draws down along my spine. A vicious glow radiates the opposite side of the village. As I turn around, I notice a dark figure within the energy field. Whoever it is, they are indeed powerful. The figure gradually becomes closer, but suddenly, it begins to release energy, destroying things as it passes them. And it speaks:
        "Where are you? I know you are here," it yells, continuing to destroy homes, stands, and people.
I was worried about Mia. I quickly ran back to the house before the monster could destroy it and possibly Mia. I arrive there, breaking the front door and search for Mia. "Mia," I yell. "Mia, where are you?"
        "James! Help me!"
        I run towards the voice and find Mia curled up and her arms and legs crossed, hiding inside her room. "Mia, are you okay?"
        "Yes, but what's happening?" I help her up onto her feet. "What's going on?"
        "No clue," I respond, grabbing her hand and rushing out of the house. But it was too late.

The glow was more vibrant than before, and the figure was just outside our house. It was actually a demon. Turning around, it yells in fury, "There you are!" Mia screams in terror, and I clutch her head to my chest, trying to protect her.
        "What do want from us," I question the demon.
        The demon hesitates for a second, but then exposes her fangs and utters the words, "Your power..." She then shoots a stream of some kind of powerful energy (unlike that of the magical arts), causing me to let go of Mia and crumble to the floor, screaming in pain. An open delta enables the flow of a red river from my wounds. The demon then grabs Mia and says, "Go to the Falkner Caverns. I will be waiting there to talk to you. You will be able to get your cute friend back, alive and unharmed." With that, the demon spreads her wings and swiftly flies off to the mountains. I had lost the one person that meant anything to me. Mia was my only true friend; my only family... my only lover.
        With the anger and frustration, and also the pain, I roar louder than I have ever before, realising the tension and fury that has been bestowed upon me. I feel an energy far surpassing anything that I had ever witnessed or experienced. This power - this energy within me - surges through my body. And I hear a voice inside my head. It whispers, "Release..." With that word being whispered into my mind, I stood up uncontrollably and released all my pain and feelings with a blinding, deafening, destructive explosion of pure power and energy. After the blast, the power I feel decreases rapidly, and I feel it no more. With my body and mind in pain, I close my eyes and rest just outside Mia's house, lying in a pool of maroon.

I wasn't sure how long I had been sleeping for. Actually, I think I might have been unconscious for some time, with the amount of blood I lost. I can hardly stand up, but when I do, I look around, only to find a few buildings left and the whole village silent. There were hundreds of corpses, and massive amounts of debris and rubble, and blood stains on some of the remaining buildings. I wonder what had happened, and I assume the worst - did I do this?
        I must have spent hours just wandering aimlessly around what's left of the village. I can't remember much of what happened before I woke up, as it hurts to even think. With nowhere to go and no one by my side, there was nothing else for me except to find Mia.

* Illusion and all of its contents (c) Bryn Smyth