I watched for something, anything. Nothing. Before my eyes left the flames, a black smoke seeped and slithered through a pinhole in the heart of the fire. Red sparks sluggishly trickled down like rain. The vapors thinned. I stared with unblinking eyes as the remaining vapors framed a Manari's jaws and slanted eyes. The jaws snapped at my face. A strange sense of calm held me strong. The form dissipated and I held my gaze.
Heavy, trudging steps were growing louder. I turned my face toward the sound. My breath caught in my throat. My hand searched for something to defend myself with, finding the dagger. Clouds of smoke crept in the space between me and the mass.
It was pure black in the smog, crouched on what might have been all fours. Wings stood as pointed peaks on its back. I could see its sides moving as it breathed. It began to creep forward, only stopping when it was poised to give chase. The tips of its wings pointed themselves at me like spears, and then they slowly unfolded and spread wide.
Two feral sparks of vermilion orange ignited where eyes should have been.
"It's not over." I whispered.
Number Of Pages: 332
Published: 28th March 2006
Publisher: TO EXCEL/KALEIDOSCOPE SOF
Dimensions (cm): 22.91 x 15.19 x 1.88
Weight (kg): 0.49