Nik Fenian - Sorcerer

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Vision of the Future

Vision of the Future

“Are you coming to the moment
When you know your heart can break?”

Enrique Iglesias – Don’t Turn Off the Lights
Corrine held my hand tightly after dad disappeared with Jenni in his arms. The cat-woman had been shot, and he had to get her back to the hotel so he could heal her. I knew he didn’t like leaving Corrine and me alone during carnival in an alternate dimension, but I thought we could take care of ourselves.

We started walking toward the hotel and I noticed that Corrine had her other hand inside her jacket, lingering near the gun she carried. She glanced down at me. “Can you blink both of us back to the hotel or anywhere close to it?”

“No,” I said softly, staying as close as I could to her so that I wasn’t swept away by the crowd. “I can only do myself, and then only as far as I can see. You can’t do a gateway?”

I was disappointed when she shook her head. “Not yet.” Her eyes scanned the crowd as if looking for enemies, and I found myself wondering if we really would be safe, just the two of us. “If something happens to me I want you to get back to your dad, okay Nik? You have to promise me that you will get back to the hotel.”

Like hell, I thought, but of course I didn’t say it aloud. “No,” I said firmly. “I’m not leaving you.”

Before either of us could do or say anything else, a tall blond man was standing directly in front of Corrine, holding her wrist so she couldn’t grab her gun. “That’s nice to know,” the stranger said, putting his other hand on my shoulder without taking his eyes off my stepmother.

Half a second later he swayed on his feet, but didn’t let go. “Nice try,” he said with a sneer. “But not good enough.”

I couldn’t just stand there. I knew that if Corrine thought I was out of trouble, she’d be better able to defend herself. I blinked, and suddenly I was standing behind the stranger. I could hear a strange howling noise as I pulled the knife dad had given me from my boot. The howling came closer as I crouched and drove my knife into the guy’s leg, hoping I’d aimed right for the artery Eliza had told me about. Blood flowed freely, telling me that if I hadn’t gotten the artery, I was at least close. His leg collapsed under him and he fell to one knee. At the same time, Corrine broke free from the man’s hold on her arm and danced a few feet away.

Something was flying through the air, shadow figures diving for the man’s head. I dove to the ground to get out of their way, and they went after him like a group of birds trying to drive away a predator. Then suddenly they were gone, all but one who was going after Corrine.

I started to get up to help her, but the guy grabbed my shirt and it was all I could do not to fall on top of him when he collapsed to the ground. There were cuts all over his head and chest as if the creatures that had attacked him had driven their claws deep into his flesh.

An image filled my mind, one that could only be of the future.

A young woman stood on the edge of a rooftop, her strawberry blonde hair whipping wildly around her beautiful face as she held on to the shirt of a man who looked so much like me that it had to be me, a grown up me. “You have to go, Nik!” she yelled to be heard over the screaming.

There were others on the roof with us, hundreds of others. We were in the midst of a battle, and we were the only ones not fighting, us and the man lying unconscious at our feet.

“I won’t leave you!” the man who was me yelled back.

“You have to!” she argued, shaking him. “You have to save him, he’s our only hope!”

I could see from the look on my face that the older me knew she was right. He pulled her close and kissed her fiercely before bending to pick up the man they had been standing over. For a moment I thought I knew the man, but it was hard to tell. There was blood on his face, and he was unconscious.

A moment later the older me was standing on a roof two hundred feet away, and I was next to him, looking back at the roof where war was raging. Together we watched as the girl shifted from human to something less than that, and more. She stood nearly seven feet tall, with strawberry blonde hair all over her muscular body. Her face looked more like a wolf than a woman, but even from this distance we could see her beautiful brown eyes.

She turned to enter the fray but before she could do any more than swipe at one of her enemies a bolt of lightning struck from the hands of a tall man with shock white hair. She fell backward, away from the building and downward, plunging toward the ground twenty stories away.

“No!” the man beside me screamed.

I screamed too, knowing that we had left her to die.

Suddenly I was back in my own body, kneeling over the stranger who had released my shirt and was now lying on the ground, staring up at Corrine, who was kneeling on his other side. He was trying to talk, and the air stirred around him when she healed him enough to let him have his say.

“They’ll kill him,” he whispered painfully as he reached for her.

“Why?” she demanded angrily.

“To change—” his voice broke with a hoarse cough. “To change the future.”

I could feel Corrine’s eyes on me, but I couldn’t look at her, couldn’t get past that moment sometime in the future when I left the woman I loved to die.

“What would his death change?” she challenged.

“Everything,” he whispered. “She wouldn't love—” Suddenly a spot on his chest was glowing with a green fire. He screamed as the flames grew, consuming him.

Corrine grabbed my hand and pulled me away from the raging fire. I couldn’t get my feet under me at first, but after a moment we were both running through streets that were now deserted. She put her gun away as we ran.

“Nik,” she said impatiently. Dimly I realized that she’d said my name before. “Nik honey, talk to me.  Are you alright?” She still had a hold of my hand, and now she shook it to get my attention.

“Yeah.” I looked up at her but I didn’t really see her. I could only see the face of the woman I’d left to die. I tried not to believe what the man had shown me. I wouldn’t leave someone I loved like that like that, not ever, no matter what, no matter how important saving anyone else would be.

There and then, on that deserted street in a universe that was not my own, I made a vow, one much more important to me than the geasa I’d made in order to use magic like my father. I vowed that I would protect the woman I would someday love with my life, no matter what the future would bring us.
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