Far to the southwest of Greece past the Sea of Crete there lay a land covered in sand. A land where the blazing sun made way for a chilling moon. In 442 BC there was a pair of children who wandered its deserts in search of a home. The elder brother, Setka, took the lead. He wouldn’t let any harm come to his younger sister Aneksi. So kind and gentle, she was not suited for the harsh life they were burdened with. From the moment the two were born they were cursed. Forever followed by ghastly apparitions. Had they remained in their oasis home they would’ve been killed. Even so, while they fled for a safer home they were being pursued by the unknown…
“I’m tired Setka…” Aneksi groans. Her feet exhausted from the long walk.
“Just a little longer Aneksi…we need to find shelter before we can rest.” Setka says trying to appear strong for his sister. Masking his own exhaustion as best he could.
“Okay Setka…” Aneksi replies. Having absolute faith in her brother she follows him loyally.
“Don’t worry…everything will be fine. You’ll see.”
“Okay.” After several minutes of silence she begins again. “Setka.”
“I think I see something.”
“There.” Aneksi says as she points on the horizon.
“I don’t see anything.”
“It’s a beautiful tower Setka.”
“Are you okay?” Setka says with concern. “Maybe I pushed you too hard…”
“I’m fine.” She says shaking her head no. “I’m sure somethings there.”
“Ane…” Setka says exasperated.
“Please believe me Setka.” She pleads.
Setka didn’t entirely believe his sisters words but he didn’t want to see her sad face. “Okay Aneksi. We’ll check it out.”
“Thank you Setka.” She says cheerfully hugging her brother.
“Lead the way Ane but don’t go too far ahead.”
“Okay Setka.” She responds.
“Please Isis keep us safe for just a little while longer.” Setka prays to himself silently moments before Aneksi collapses to the ground. “Ane!” He exclaims running to his sister’s aid.
“Setka…thirsty…” Aneksi says weakly.
“I’m sorry Ane…” Setka says defeated. “We lost everything already…”
“It’s okay brother…” Aneksi says with a smile.
“Damnit!” Setka shouts. Unwilling to give up on his sister, he picks her up, and puts her on his back. She was heavy but he would work through it for her sake. “Just stay awake Ane. We’ll get to that place you saw.” Using all the strength he can muster he continues the journey.
“I see it…I see the spirit…” Aneksi warns weakly.
“You’re just seeing things Ane.” Setka says with a confident smile to hide the fear within. Gradually increasing his walking pace to escape what he knew was coming.
Since they were born they were followed by ghastly apparitions. Neither of them knew how they were always followed. But the apparitions would find them without fail. And when it did… “It” wasn’t far behind. A creature that had pursued them their entire lives leaving a trail of death and ruin in its wake. Neither knew what it was or where it came from. All they knew was it wanted them dead and wouldn’t stop until it succeeded. No matter how far they ran…no matter where they ran…it always found them. Setka didn’t want to believe that it was fast approaching but he could feel the insane pressure it always gave off. The foreboding and all-consuming feeling. Its attacks were always at night but to attack during the day while they are at their weakest…this was the worst possible timing…Now even the sun couldn’t protect them from it…
“Ane, do you still see…that tower?” Setka asks but gets no response. “Please, stay with me Ane.” Setka pleads. The ground begins to shake causing him to trip. “Nononononono!” Setka rambles to himself repeatedly. Racing to his feet he begins to run as fast as he can.
Deep below the sand the creature pursued Setka and Aneksi. A massive network on razor toothed tentacles that extended to unknown ends. Each connected to a hidden mass none have seen. Its tentacles burrowed underground silently yet their presence were felt as if it were before their very eyes. The creature had no need to even cause the ground to shake. The very fact it did was a sign it was toying with them; taunting them. It wanted them to know it was coming. To know how helpless they’d be to stop it. It had been a long chase but it was time to end it. The Creature let out a single sound from its unhallowed maw. The shockwave it let out was unbelievably soft and gentle. The sand barely rippled at its presence. But the moment it reached Setka he fell face first to the ground paralyzed. Setka could only lay motionless as the ground began to fade below him. Slowly slipping deeper and deeper into a sandy grave.
“I’m sorry Ane…” Setka thought to himself. He didn’t have the energy to speak let alone fight against the sinking sands any longer. His vision begins to blur when he sees a tower reaching high into the sky. Its walls made of a pristine and shining crystal. “The tower…no…just a cruel mirage…” He thinks to himself. Closing his eyes briefly he opens them to see the apparition that had stalked him most of his life. The red hued winged lizard sat on the edge of the sandpit observing him and Aneksi. Despite being smaller then he was its presence was always a harbinger of the Creature.
“VVVVOOOOHHHHNNKKK!” The red apparition screeches before flying into the air. Soaring towards Setka. It swoops down, grabs Aneksi with its talons, and flies her out of the pit.
“Ane-” Setka begins. He tries to call for Aneksi but a rush of sand enters his mouth. He reaches out for his sister as the sand covers his head completely.
“VVVVOOOOHHHHNNKKK!” The red apparition screeches once more. Soaring high into the sky before dive bombing into the sand. The strength of its descent and its wings it easily pierces through the sand like a bullet. Grabbing Setka with its talons, it forces its way out of the sand. Dropping Setka next to Aneksi, it turns and leers back at the sand pit.
Freed of his sandy tomb, Setka begins coughing up sand. The process painful, there were sprinkles of blood mixed in with the sand. When he’s finally able to breathe he takes a moment to rest. “Aneksi!” Setka says as he rushes to his sister’s side. Listening for her breath, he’s relieved to find her alive. Setka glances back at the red apparition. It may have saved them but he doubted it was for their own benefit. It probably wanted them for itself. Putting Aneksi on his back once more he runs to the tower without looking back.
Setka could hear the screech of the red apparition as the ground shook below them. The Creature didn’t take kindly to its interference and now hungered for it. But it didn’t matter to Setka, all that mattered to him was saving Aneksi. It didn’t matter if the tower was just a mirage. The further from the Creature he was the better. Closer and closer he approached the tower. The shining spire was oddly intimidating. Like the home of god he didn’t belong anywhere near. Soon the sound of the red apparitions screech becomes faint as all Setka can hear is the sound of a choir. It was a comforting sound that grew louder as he reached the doors of the tower.