People dressed in black entered a small house. The sliding door continued to stay open and they took off their shoes before entering. They bowed to a woman sitting in the corner of a large room. Then turned to a picture of a young man. He was no more than 25. Each person spoke to the picture of the man. Telling him how much he had changed their lives or how much they loved him. Some left flowers that began to pillow the standing frame. The young man smiled brightly in the photo. It was if he was truly happy.
The people in the room either cried or were silent. All except one. Leaning against the wall next to the woman, Lucas tapped his fingers against his crossed arms. His patience was growing thin. This was the last shadow on his list. Once he guided it, he could return home. Back to her.
Lucas had started his list early this morning. Mainly, because he was worried about Raven. He had gotten all the other shadows with no problem. However…the final shadow on his list usually took the longest to collect. The Shadow King cared for the beings of his realm. He truly did, but a human was now in his world. Of course, his concern would be toward her. If she were to set foot out of the castle without him, then….
His body flinched just thinking about the horrors of his realm. What they would do to Raven if she was ever found. If they were to discover that she was there…If he found out…!
A vague image appeared in Lucas’s mind. A man holding a frightened Raven. His chilling smile taunting Lucas’s thoughts. With a deep breath, Lucas cleared his mind.
“Perhaps…I am overreacting. Tomi and Tyra are there to protect her,” he thought to himself. “But my worries…I cannot lay them to rest. Raven…please, wait for me.”
Tomi showed Raven every corner of the castle. From the biggest door to the smallest painting, Raven remained curious. Lucas’s world was truly unique. The architecture was out of this world –literally– but she still yearned to see the lands beyond the castle. However, she was aware of the danger and waited for the Shadow King’s return.
“Lucas,” she wondered pensively, “what are you doing now? I hope he doesn’t blame himself for what happened.”
“Miss Raven?” Tomi called.
“Yes?” she answered, returning to reality.
“Master has returned.”
Raven felt the corners of her lips curl. The servant then escorted her to Lucas’s chamber where he was currently changing. Raven blushed a little at the thought of seeing his bare chest. She wondered if Lucas had a heartbeat. Did he even have a heart? Could she hear it? Was it faint? Or…was it dead?
All these questions rushed through her mind. They were soon answered upon approaching the chamber door. Tomi knocked and waited for his master to answer.
“Come in,” he replied.
Raven’s breath came to a halt as Tomi opened the door. The girl peered over his shoulder and saw Lucas dressed in normal clothes. She didn’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved. The clothes instantly reminded her of home— blue jeans, a gray shirt, and sneakers. The only difference was the black jewel that was settled on Lucas’s forehead.