Dawn of Destiny

Af Louise Risom Jensen

Lately, Maddox hadn’t quite been himself. He was to participate in The Underwater games, a game where the player had been chosen in advance. For every 50 years that passed, a new Underwater Game began between villages. It was said that the oldest son of any family was the one doomed to play a role in this dangerous game. Being the oldest, you were to meet up with all the other chosen ones from your village, at a big battlefield, where the first test began. Survive these excruciating minutes of pure war between the players, and you were guaranteed a spot in the final game, becoming one of the chosen 5’s. After that, only fate could play you the lucky or unlucky card.

During his partcipation in The Underwater Games, where only one could win, one could lose; he experienced something utterly magnificent under the water’s surface. He saw an enormous power source form beneath him, a black hole opened and everything went too bright for his human eyes to see. In the span of a second he got pulled down there, he didn’t know by what, or by whom, but he couldn’t reach the surface in time to inhale a new chance of survival. When he got under the holes opening, it closed immediately, and everything went black. So did his mind as the last breath of air left him, and he came to inhale water. Blue seductive light appeared, and sirens voices were played in the echo deep water. Then it happened… His soul was ripped from his physical self, appearing above him as a white godly version of himself. It was dragged up by the arms, so it was floating straight in the water, and so was his physical lifeless body. Now, body and soul was facing each other, and the power source appeared once again, pushing body and soul into each other faster than lightning, creating the inhumanly bright light once more, just as his soul found the way inside his body again. Right in that moment, the big hole formed above him again, and his eyes shut open, as the power source pushed him through the water and up to the surface, faster than anyone could ever dream of swimming. He flew up the water and inhaled the first breath of his new life. He didn’t know what had happened, or how it had happened, but he had no time to wonder about it now, because with his sudden in normally good eyes, he caught a glimpse of all participants standing on the shore, and he knew what that meant, he had lost. If he swam in there, he would get killed as his punishment. He angrily forced his fist through the water as a scream left him, he knew his mother couldn’t see him, but she could hear him, and she did. His mother faced the sea a second later with a worried expression, running towards it, but Maddox’s brothers were there a minute later to stop her. She fell down on her knees in the edge of the water, crying as he’d never seen her do before. She buried her head in her hands, and his brothers sat down at each of her sides, surrounding her, showing all the comfort they could, with just as tear filled eyes.

Maddox didn’t know what had happened to him underneath that water, but he knew it meant he was made for something far more special. Someone, something had given him a second chance in life, and he would take advantage of that.

Maddox had never felt like yelling to get anyone’s attention this badly before. Never had being forced to remain silent been that painful, but he could not swim back, ever… He therefore took the long swim around the shore, to crawl up the hill where him and his brothers used to cliff dive from, to make his way through The Black Jungle. He couldn’t bear the thought of leaving his family behind with them thinking he was dead, that he had drowned in the cold water, suffered… He had to see them one last time.

The night had cast a black carpet over Maddox’s village, and the stars were now the only thing slightly lighting up the earth, just enough to make him able to find his way through to his home. When he caught a glimpse of his house, he felt like jumping up the bushes he was hiding in, to run towards it with a speed like never before, but he held his ground. He spotted a few of the guardians, and his heart caught in his chest, hammering uncontrollable against it. Only when they were gone, did he jump up the bushes aiming at his house. He reached the window and jumped inside. In there, he met his 2 brothers as he knew he had jumped in their bedroom window. They looked up at him with wide eyes, and tears filled them quickly after. “Maddox?!” they both yelled while running towards him to give him the hug of his life. He held them tightly as he felt his eyes watering as well “But how…” they both said in unison, but Maddox had no time to explain. As happy as he was to see his brothers again, he had to get out of there soon. All he said was “shh, there’s no time for explaining” and just when he finished off his sentence, he saw his mother stand in the doorframe with tears streaming down her cheeks, soaking them. “Maddox…” she said with a croaked voice, and dropped everything she had in her hands to embrace her child. “How can you be alive?” she said with a new-found happiness glowing from her. “I have no time to explain, I need to get out of here immediately, if they find out I’m here, they’re going to kill me and you all know it”. “You’re leaving us? But you can’t…” the youngest brother said. “I have to, I can’t stay” Maddox replied, and before the last word had left his lips, the door got kicked open and 2 awfully muscled men came in. “I swear I heard him” one of them said, and Maddox quickly recognized that voice; the king’s son, Torin. From the moment they’d first met, Maddox had gotten bad vibes about him, and true enough, Torin had been everything Maddox expected him to be; a liar and a traitor.                                                                                     Torin caught a glimpse of Maddox and quickly yelled “hey! stay where you are!” and got into motion. His huge body moved from one point to another in the matter of a second, and Maddox had to get out of there immediately. “No!” his mum screamed, and got in his way, only to get pushed down on the floor, and that’s where Maddox stopped himself from jumping out of the window. He got down and pushed his brothers into hiding, and got into motion himself. He ran towards Torin and grabbed him by his stomach. They both flew backwards, and Torin hit the floor hard, banked his head down in the hard concrete, but it didn’t stop him, not the slightest. He pushed Maddox off him straight away and planted a fist right in the left side of his yaw, cracking bone. A sharp pain instantly hit him, but that didn’t stop Maddox either. He hit him back with a power twice as hard, not just cracking his jawbone as well, but sending his head back with such a force his body followed and he ended up hitting the wall so hard, he passed out. Maddox looked surprised down in his hands, and didn’t understand where those obvious powers had come from, but before he could speculate about it further, he felt a foot kick him hard in the curve of his back, making him fall backwards with a scream. Straight after the guy was planted in his face, grabbing the hem of his shirt and lifting him up, only to kick Maddox’s legs off the ground one more time, sending him straight down to the floor. This time only with the guys fist in his stomach making him fall down faster, hitting the ground so hard, breathing became an impossible dream. As the guy was about to strike once more, Maddox’s youngest brother came flying out of his hiding to attack him, though without luck. But it was enough to make Maddox able to catch his breath again, and when he saw the man hit his brother, he was on him a second after, with more furry banked in his expression than ever. He grabbed his shirt with both his hands and pushed him up the wall so hard; it left cracks in the concrete. He grabbed him by his neck and flew him over his shoulders to then bang him down in the floor, with more power than 100 men put together. It knocked him out as well, and Maddox was panting and sweating when he looked at his mum. “I don’t know what’s happening to me, but in the water I somehow got pulled down in this huge whole, and after that everything went black. But I died in there mum… I died, and this is who came up to the surface again. I’m not who I used to be anymore. I need to get out of here” did he manage to say in between heavy breaths. “I had to see you one last time, I love you all so much”, that was the last thing he said before vanishing out the door and headed for The Black Jungle once again. He heard his mum yell for him in the background, but he couldn’t turn around now, if he looked back now, he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to continue. But one thing was sure; the expression on his mums face would haunt him for the rest of eternity.

 

Chapter 1; Dark Beginnings

Maddox awoke with a jolt as he heard harsh animal growls fill his ears, coming from a group of men getting closer. He didn’t have to think twice to know it was guardians from his village, whom were set out to find him. He quickly rose from the ground to make his way further into the woods, remaining unseen to his now enemies. How was his family doing? Where they save, unhurt? He couldn’t bear the thought about them getting hurt, rather die himself than just letting anyone near his family with wicked intentions. He loved them so much, and now they were gone, forever. No matter what there was no turning back now, and he knew it. The thought made him want to give up the fight already, get down on his knees, head facing the sky and spreading his arms out wide screaming “I am here, come and get me!” making them able to figure out his exact location. As warriors, guardians, they were trained to locate enemies on long distances. On a distance a little too close, a heavy breath was all it took for them to be able to calculate your exact spot. After that they would set into motion catching you faster than lightening, moving soundless forward, giving you no chance what so ever, that much he knew, and that knowledge was his only weapon right now. He had just found out recently that his hands now were a great weapon as well. In the water, the power source must have remained inside him, giving him godly strength. There was no other explanation for this. This was not possible; he was a human for the God’s sake! He signed and realised a short moment later, that all dreams of ever being anything human again were further out of reach, than any of his many earlier unrealistic dreams. He growled low in his throat and bit down his teeth, as he removed the big jungle leafs out of his way. One, two he sped up, removing several leafs in seconds, making his way through the labyrinth of plants like it was nothing. Absolute rage filled him, and his vision got blurry, red, along with his pulse rising. He pictured the plants and trees as his enemies, the whole jungle now forming a battlefield for his eyes. Time to explore my powers he thought darkly, as he fisted his hands and leapt into motion. His body moved inhumanly fast, making it seem like he was flying over the ground, and making the fallen leafs whirl around him, like exotic waves forming a shield, and then he met his first enemy. “Bam, crack” and he had broken the muscled mans jaw, arm and leg. Just like that he fell lifeless to the ground. Pease of cake, Maddox thought as he found his next target. He planted a rock hard fist in the guys stomach, making him bend over immediately, and straight away Maddox forced his knee up in the guys chin. The power of the kick was so strong, that it lifted his whole body off the ground and backwards. Two down, ten to go and with that he went on with his heartless killing, taking one down, then another, until the jungle was free of any living beings. Now, the only thing that caught Maddox’s eyes was death and destruction, lying on the ground in the form of dead male bodies. Decorates the boring jungle ground so nicely, he thought with a wicked grin. That grin quickly vanished, as he fought to control his breath again, and get his normal vision back. All he saw at the moment was red, an absolute horror vision, making it all that much worse. Only when he had shaken his head, gotten his breathing under control and his head was cleared of anything unusual, did he take another look around. His breath caught in his lungs as he looked at his surroundings. All he saw was trees lying on the ground instead of standing up, with marks in them that no regular hand could have caused. He looked down at his hands in horror, and studied them for any unnatural signs, but there was nothing to see. The ground beneath the many trees was beyond uneven, a true sign of a tough battle. Maddox slowly walked backwards until his back hit a big tree, no… Not a tree he realised. He quickly turned around and saw Torin behind him, holding up a huge dagger, ready to strife. Before the dagger could find its target, Maddox had turned his back at him, running as fast as he was able to away from him, while he heard Torin scream “he is here guys!”. Torin began chasing him, but he would learn. Maddox wasn’t human anymore, and therefore had the speed of a 100 men put together, no human could ever dream of catching him. He was out of their sight in the matter of seconds. “Torin stop, no one is able to move that fast” one of the men said “something’s not right here; he’s changed, chasing him will do no good”. “Yeah we’ll never catch him like this, we should stop” another one said. “We’re out to kill him, well being alone in this wood will kill him eventually Torin“. “I don’t care I want him dead! I want his miserable face served on a platter! I’ll continue with or without you”, and with that said, he disappeared in between the trees. His men were left behind wondering whether they should follow him or not.                                                                                                           They all realised their surroundings a second after and took a look around. “Wait a minute…” one of them said. “This is all Maddox’s work; look at these marks in the trees”. “That’s impossible, it can’t be him” another one said. They all got quiet a moment later as one of the men came with a torn piece of Maddox’s shirt. “This was hanging on a branch on one of the fallen trees” he said “it’s indeed Maddox’s work”. They looked at each other and nodded, obviously clear of the sudden situation, and they followed the path Torin had taken into the jungle once again.     

Maddox felt as if he had been running for an eternity, sweat was glistening on his face, reflecting the sunlight proudly peeking from the treetops. He took one look around and then finally, he stopped. His pulse was hard and fast, and he couldn’t quite catch his breath. How long had he been running for? He didn’t know. All he knew was that he needed to get out of this jungle and somewhere more save, soon, very soon. Right now, he was a weak animal trapped in a labyrinth, the weakness caused by his lack of camouflage. He was haunted, chased, and it wouldn’t be long until they found him once again. Not even his location could he point out properly. He was absolutely 100 percent lost, in a jungle so big, that his intentions about coming home one day, was thoroughly washed away, along with his humanity. A big rush of despair exploded inside Maddox in the same moment that the first water drop fell from the sky. One drop became many, and soon it was pouring. Thin and innocent they mixed with the salty and thick tears now streaming down his cheeks, creating a whole new substance of sadness. With a now streaming river of tears running down his cheeks, he gave up. He fell to the ground and buried his face in his hands. Earth, a place he no longer belonged to. When the last tear had left him, he was left with nothing more than emptiness. All his emotions simply cried out, following the tears and leaving his body. The rain had soaked his clothes, and he was colder than he had ever been. When all the quantities of hope he had stored in his head had left him, he heard the answer to his prayers… Torin and the rest of the guardians were here, to end his miserable life. Maddox got grabbed in the arms and pulled up by two giant men. When he was too emotionally weak to lift his face, he got pushed up a tree so hard, that his head flew up and got knocked into a branch. All air instantly left his lungs; he only prayed the air wouldn’t return.                                                                                                                 “Finally got a little sensible huh?” he said to his men, and Torin was inches away from Maddox’s face in seconds. The darkness of the night along with the rain continually pouring from the sky, gave him an aura of pure evil. In his eyes you could see how nothing but hatred was banked in there. Screaming he said; “You thought you could outrun us huh?! Well guess what, you are no longer in wonderland. Here in real life, I win and you lose, like always”, with that he planted a rock hard fist right in Maddox’ stomach. It caused him to bend over and yet again desperately gasp for air. “Come on ladies” Torin said, and waved a hand at the guardians, who quickly followed him with Maddox helpless in their arms.

Chapter 2; Gate to freedom (Foretaste)

Maddox had been tied to a giant pole for hours. His hands, his upper body and his feet were tied with robes dipped in a poisoned plant, making it intolerable to relax for a single bit. He was tied so tightly, that a normal blood flow was not a possibility.                                                               He looked up in the sky, and closed his eyes trying to get a blissful moment, possibly his last. The sun was placed so high and proudly in the sky, shining right on him, filling him up with warmth. Torin’s face blocked the peaceful view a short moment later, and Maddox growled low in his throat. “What a surprise. Yet again your ugly face ruins my day, like I’m sure a face like that does to anyone” he said with a cocky smile. If this was to be his last moment, he would sure enjoy every bit of it. “Brave of you to be showing off an attitude here in the last minutes of your life” Torin replied, and then he gave Maddox that famous rock hard fist of his, though this time it was placed right in his eye. Maddox’ face got swept to the side, and pain exploded from the spot, but he didn’t show any signs of weakness as he faced him once again. “You will learn” Torin said, “when I’m holding up my father’s sword, ready to take your head”, and then he walked away. Father… The king he knew.

There was a crowd lined up in the form of a half-circle in front of him. People he knew, people he had talked to, people he had lived with, all had come to watch him die. Talk about friends he thought to himself with a humourless laugh. He took one more look up in the sky, but this time he didn’t spot the sun as the first thing, no he saw something, or rather someone far more eye-catching sitting in the highest tree. Could it be… Was it… No, that was not a possibility. He shook his head and cleared his thoughts, though he couldn’t help himself but to look again. An angel? He thought with wide eyes, and just as fast as the thought had entered his head, it got replaced with another one. An exquisite and siren seductive female voice appeared in his head saying; “Release your demon, Maddox”… “My demon?” he whispered out loud, and that was all it took for him to welcome this new idea of an explanation to what he might be. Could I be a demon? He thought darkly.

Continued…