The arrows plowed right through the light.
“Yes!” Lord Zarha shouted manically.
Katie watched as the arrows flew through her. It was as if she were a shadow or smoke, not really something that was solid. It gave her a strange sensation. Everywhere the arrows past through her tingled and tickled. The places the arrows past through shimmered as if she were part of the cloud she laid upon.
Katie looked up again. Richard was looking down. Brianna had her arm around his shoulders. He had been ready to jump. He would have, had Brianna not stopped him. She could almost see his wide eyes. The smile was gone.
In what Katie thought had to have been about ten minutes was really a matter of seconds. She smiled up at him. He was probably too far away from her to see the smile, but she didn’t care.
Laying atop the light was interesting. It felt like she was floating. Almost like sitting on a birch floating in the water.
“Get out of my way!” a shout came from below her. “I will kill her!”
Katie couldn’t see below her. The light was too bright too look through. As soon as the thought came to her head, the light became transparent. It still held her in the air, but she could see what was happening below. Only the edges of the light cloud showed her that something held her up. The edges glowed a bright white color.
Katie looked down.
Lord Zarha was looking up at her. He wasn’t very far below her, probably about twenty feet. She could see the madness in his eyes. His mouth moved without words. His hands were outstretched, pointing towards the light cloud and her.
Katie watched, ready for anything. A sudden thought came to her mind. She had created magic. Did that mean she was a witch?
A sudden shock of pain turned her vision white. She gasped as the pain drilled through her head. The magic was backfiring on her. The pain was incredible. It had to have been her magic, backfiring. She had a feeling it was the fireball that her light cloud had absorbed. The pain was part of the magic.
After a few moments, her vision came back. Sweat rolled off her cheeks and down her back as she panted. She turned her head to look down. It hurt to move.
Lord Zarha rose his hands again.
“Come down here, girly, and have a talk with me,” he sneered at her. From one hand came a blast of fire and from the hand came burst of water. They both shot at her with lightning speed.
Each of the attackers were absorbed into the cloud of light. It flashed bright red and blue then went back to its clear complexion. Lord Zarha had a sneer on his face.
“Your light won’t save you forever,” he shouted to her. This sent goosebumps up her arms.
He shot another flash of fire at her. It was once again absorbed by the cloud. He lowered his arms. Moments after the second attack hit her cloud, Katie’s vision went white with pain again. She held her breath as it past. After the pain was gone, she looked back down at Zarha.
“Quitting already, my Lord?” one of the soldiers asked. Suddenly he was consumed in flames. His scream only lasted ten seconds.
“Are you ready for this, dear?” he shouted to Katie.
Katie looked up. Richard appeared to be urging the griffin to go lower, but to no avail. Brianna was watching everything that was happening below her. Katie smiled, trying to reassure them.
She looked back again and gasped.
Lord Zarha was standing next to her. He was on her cloud of light.
“Did you miss me?” he asked her, a smile laying perfectly on his lips. He grabbed her arm in a tight grip. “Look into my eyes.”
Katie did as he said against her will. Her strength was gone. She couldn’t seem to be able to summon her magic. She couldn’t fight him off.
“Listen to my words,” he said in a flowing voice. “Kill the man with the sword.” Katie blinked. The words sounded like music to her. She couldn’t clear her mind. Something was making her body do what her mind didn’t want to do.
Katie twisted in his arm without wanting to. She glared up at Richard. They were coming closer. Or was she moving closer to them? She couldn’t tell.
“Let go of her!” Richard shouted. His sword was free. He stood in a crouch, ready to jump.
“Jump across, and you will fall,” the man said. Katie tried hard to open her mouth. What was wrong with her? She had to warn Richard, but an urge to shoot flames at him sat deep in her stomach.
“Release her!” Richard shouted, glaring at Zarha with outrage.
“Come and make me!” Lord Zarha taunted, laughing. “Or are you too afraid of falling?”
Richard took a step forward, but Brianna grabbed his arm.
“Why don’t you tell her?” Lord Zarha asked, smirking. “I can see into your mind and see what you truly think of her. Why is it that you have not told her?” Richard was silent, but breathing hard.
Katie focused hard against the urge to hurt Richard.
“But it wouldn’t be in my place to say such things. I just thought, since I am about to kill her, I thought you might want to tell her what you really think about her,” Lord Zarha said, grinning.
The urge was starting to fade away as Katie looked into Richard’s eyes. Could he feel the same about her as she felt for him?
“Ignore him, Richard,” Brianna whispered to him. Lord Zarha’s eyes turned to her.
“And you,” he said. “What secret do you hold away from your friends?”
“No!” Brianna shouted. “I don’t have any secrets against them!” A tear leaked out the edge of her eye.
Richard stepped in front of her.
“Leave her alone!” he screamed.
The bond that held Katie suddenly shattered.
“Richard! Don’t jump!” Katie managed.
“What?” he looked at her.
“Amazing,” Lord Zarha said, looking at her. “Most can’t break my spell.”
Katie was breathing hard. Here eyes burned as if she had been starring at the sun for hours. Her thoughts scattered in all directions. She felt dizzy and weak.
“Leave her alone,” Richard in a deadly quiet whisper.
“Why don’t we go to the ground?” Lord Zarha asked. Katie felt herself moving down at a quick speed. She feared to look down.
The fingers around her arm held tightly. They were painfully holding her upright. Had they not been there, Katie feared that she would have fallen off the cloud of light.
“Darling, how did you do that?” he asked her.
“What . . . are you talking about?” she asked in return.
“Ahh, I see. You are linked to the ring, are you not?” he said. “Since it was given to you, you would have grown attached to it. That means it would still work for you.” His other hand lightly touched the back of her neck. “Truly amazing.”
Katie was completely confused by what he just said.
“Maybe I should just kill you and be done with it,” he whispered into her ear. “Then I won’t have to worry about you again.”
“Please,” Katie pleaded. “Leave me alone.”
“Not so brave now, are you?” he mocked her. “Fine. I shall keep you as my pet. I’ll kill your friends so there is no possibility for them to bother me again.” He rose his free arm towards Richard and Brianna.
“No!” Katie screamed. Looking up, she could see that Richard was trying to reason with the griffin.
“What’s that?” Lord Zarha asked in her ear. “Do you care for him as well?” Katie gritted her teeth and remained silent. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of getting to her.
“You know, he cares for you more deeply than you think. He didn’t just rescue you because you are his friend. He had another reason to do so,” he mocked.
“I don’t care. Whatever you have to say is nothing I would ever care about!” Katie shouted, trying to clear her mind and let go of all emotions. Whatever that light cloud was, she knew she could summon something similar. She had to focus, just as she did to shatter that spell Zarha had put on her. But she was so weak. It had taken away a lot of her strength.
“Oh, but you do care, don’t you. Because you think that same way about him. You guys are too scared of being hated that you wouldn’t even reveal how you truly feel about each other.”
Katie ignored him. She was focusing again.
They reached the ground. As the cloud of light came into contact, it vanished. Katie’s feet touched the ground. Lord Zarha’s hand tightened on her arm. He dragged her forward with him.
“Now you can witness your friends’ deaths,” he said. Katie, again, ignored him. She would let him talk.
The thoughts were running through her head again. The thought of Richard being killed is what powered her being to move into action. She knew Lord Zarha would show no mercy. He would kill them.
No! She couldn’t allow her emotions to seep into her focus.
Thinking clearly once again, Katie knew what she wanted to happen. She found it strange at how easy it was for her to use her powers. There was no fancy incantation or hand movement. She simply thought and said what she wanted, and it became so.
Her first thought was for Zarha to drop dead. But that would be too easy. There had to be something that prevented that kind of stuff from happening. If only it were that easy.
No, she had to do something a bit different. Since Zarha knew how to use his powers, he had an advantage over her. She had no idea how to use her powers. But she knew that the powers worked to her will.
Forcing her will would be hard. There had to be something that made her want to use the powers. Right now, it was Richard and Brianna who would hang in the balance. It was up to Katie to save them.
“You will die,” she whispered to him.
“What’s that?” he asked, leaning forward, leering.
“You will die,” she repeated.
“I see. And how would you know that?” he was smiling. He appeared to be enjoying himself.
“Because I have seen it in my mind,” she said. This wiped the smile off his face, almost as if she had slapped him.
“Right,” he whispered. “You will learn things that hard way then.” He rose his free arm again.
The moment his arm rose, Katie’s mind filled with images. She knew what was going to happen. Now it really was going to happen, right in front of her.
Lord Zarha let out a scream of mortal pain. Looking away, Katie didn’t want to see what she had done. The fingers around her arm released her. The smell of burning flesh rippled through the air.
She had light his arm on fire. She couldn’t kill him with her powers, but she could hurt him.
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