Lightbound

by gigaherz

As the ground beneath the building rumbled, the man looked at his dead children. He gave them a caress and a last kiss, turned around and walked away.  As he crossed the threshold to the balcony, he sprinted and jumped over the railing. As he fell, he turned round and prepared to hit the pile of hay that was just in the right spot for when the time came. His whole house had been designed knowing sooner or later he would be found. He just did not expect it to happen so soon. He had hoped his children would have time to grow up, leave his mistakes behind, and live unknowing of the blood they carried.

At least he could keep living knowing they never had to suffer for it. Their deaths were quick and painless, he made sure of it. He hopped on the horse and got it into a gallop. He turned around and saw the shadows surrounding the place, he knew he couldn’t wait any longer, so he cut himself in his left hand and drew a rune on his right palm with the dripping blood. As he pressed both palms together and said the right words, a sudden brightness flashed behind him. He knew better than to turn around, and he hoped he was far enough to survive the blast. But the blast didn’t reach him as strongly as he expected. He looked at his palms and saw the blood gone from the rune and the wound, and the skin surrounding them was all pale and numb.  It had all been weaker than he expected.

The man was aware of the limits of such an enchantment, and he had carefully placed runes all over the ground, walls and roof of the house. He had painted them all with his own blood, and infused them with his own heat. Over the years, he had drawn layer over layer of those runes, giving the enchantment more power every time. If he had had ten years more, the explosion would have been strong enough to obliterate everything in a hundred meters, and kill all living things within a kilometer of the house. That was how much had to be sacrificed to make sure the darkness was completely banished. But he hadn’t had those ten years; he had lived in that house for four years. That was also how old his children were, and how long ago his wife had died.

After the explosion, he could still feel the darkness lurking around. He had been found, and everything he used to have had been destroyed, and his trap had been too weak. The darkness would recover and follow him, and he would have to keep fighting. He was the last of the righteous, the last guardian of the light. The world depended on his survival, and there was no one alive who could help him. So he would run. He had rested for four years, and it would have to be long enough.

The darkness was alive, cunning and tireless, and it would not stop at anything to find him, and destroy him. And then the world would truly be doomed. He had to survive, fight and find others who had the gift, and teach them the way. But the darkness knew that, and it would also try to find the gifted, and would try to destroy them before he enlightened them.

As he rode away, the man hoped it wasn’t already too late.

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