Time taken to write – 3 or so hours. A storybook sat there lying across the windowsill, it's pages turning one by one as the wind slowly ruffled his hair and played with his scarf. Turning his eyes westward, he gazed upon the rocks that littered the sky like lifeless diamonds, silently floating above his home with the weight of a thousand armies. Sighing a nervous breath of relief, he carefully made his way down from the silent hilltop, walking the empty corridors made of streets and alleyways that echoed of busier times. Making a sharp left within the shadows, he soon descended into the catacombs of what was once solid ground, now nothing more but precariously suspended rubble strung amongst the twisted metal. Jumping now from shadow to shadow, he halted as a light suddenly shot through the gap of his next leap, illuminating with horrifying clarity the the space he had been within a moment before. Taking no chances, he retreated further into the shadows and let what was left of the tattered path take him up into the skeleton of a house, it's walls dry and deteriorated like dried out flesh. Taking a moment to orient himself again, he found a small perch upon what remained of the rafters that let him take note of the seekers harsh light, and where it was headed. Making sure to leave not a clue that he still existed, he took to leaping from shadow to shadow again, dancing across the rooftops like a silent nighttime spirit. Soon, he was greeted by other performers, their wisps of shadow soon joining him in this nighttime parade, all of them making their way to what could only be considered as home. Upon landing at the door step, he held open the door with a courteous bow as his fellow spirits settled upon the ground and made their way inside, giving him many a smile and good greetings. Checking for not only lights but any stray wisps as well, he carefully closed the door and let his mask hang among the shadows with others, all tension leaving his body as the safety of this sanctuary surrounded him. Making room in his chest for the air he needed, he soon headed down the hallway into the lounge, where the other performers greeted him as a merry band. Drinks were shared and words soon flew though the air, telling of both good times and bad, of tragedy and triumph. Getting upon what could possibly be called a stage, he chimed a glass and waited for the calm to return before speaking. “My friends, my family, my glorious companions, I'm glad to say that this moment has arisen once again. For so long we've been forced to stay as silent as the wind, and as calm as the shadows, but now again we can gather together as one and preform feats of wonder within the the night. It truly makes me happy to see you all again.” “Quit grandstanding already Mikal, your flair for the dramatic is already giving me a headache,” one of the performers quipped, holding their head as if to pretend another word would knock it out of place. Laughing with the others, Mikal spread his arms wide, and with a smile crowed, “But does a show such as this not require a bit of flair, a bit of grand introduction before splendors of our talent fill the air with glee?” “Aye, but you need not leave it all to yourself Mikal, as many of us would love to have a word or two before we kick off this fantastic show of shadows,” another responded, her eyes alight with the glee of anticipation. “Then speak your words, because in this one night of many, it is a time in which the air is free and open to all of our joyous sounds!” Grinning from ear to ear as he stepped down into the clamoring applause, Mikal soon made his way into a more open corner of friends, waving as he neared. “Glad to see you're still as exuberant as ever Mikal,” Veon quipped, giving a fist-bump and a hug to Mikal as soon as he was within range. “It helped to have an exuberant audience tonight,” he admitted modestly, rubbing the back of his head, “it really has been so long since I saw you all last though. How have you all been?” Shrugging a bit, Reilm stated, “I managed to break a few obscure wires, so the seekers will probably be off my back for a few weeks until they find and get them repaired. In the meantime though, I'll be taking a break from running to rest out of sight, which will hopefully be long enough for them to forget about continuing their pursuit.” “Awesome to hear girl!” Veon chirped, giving her a highfive, “Honestly those fuckers have been getting a bit too close to my hiding place for comfort, so I was wondering if I could stay with one of you guys until they pass over.” “Not it!” Reilm and Mikal both quipped at the same time, leaving only Eina to stutter in surprise at her new room mate. “Aw come on guys, you know he attracts attention like foxes attract bloodhounds.” She whined, trying to plead with either of them. “Do not.” “Do too. After all, why did they start looking around your area in the first place?” Veon stuttered and stammered for a moment before looking a bit sheepish and saying, “I just happened to leave a bit of shadow string back at one of my favorite sewing spots. I didn't think that they would take notice of it so quickly.” “You see what I mean?” she said, angrily waving a hand towards him. “I do Eina, which is why it's probably best if he stay at your place for a bit before hanging out with me. Knowing you, he won't be able to drop a single hair without you hounding him for it,” Mikal said with a smile as he ruffled her hair. Pouting with a huff, Eina said nothing more. “Hey,” Veon said in disagreement, “I'm not that messy.” “Maybe not, but with the seekers checking out my path back home, and Reilm still being chased, I'd rather you stay with her until things settle down for either of us. We can decide on something else from there.” Nodding her head, Reilm stated, “If worse comes to worse, you could always just sleep a few of those days away. “Fiiiiiine,” Veon moaned, as if the thought of spending a few days with Eina was gonna make him keel over from boredom. Laughing, the four of them talked for a bit longer before the chatter of the room died down again and the show started. People soon took to the air with string and shadow, leaping amongst the rafters of this hollow building as if they were spirits dancing on thin air, with some of them even doing so. Soon the main performance was upon them all, and Mikal joined the cast up on ''stage'' to help preform the feat of the night. Taking careful control of the stings in his hands, Mikal helped hold aloft the main actor as they went from upright as a human on a rafter, to upside-down like a bat, soon taking a chilling stroll across thin air to another rafter on the far side of the room. Never once were any strings seen and never once did any of the cast lose their cool, pulling of a mystifying act of magic as the main actor danced, sang, and even leaped upon thin air while crossing the room. At the end of it all, the roaring round of applause the cast received filled their hearts with joy and their eyes with mirth as they took their bows. With the main act come and gone, and time itself soon to run short, everyone said their goodbyes and wished each other a wondrous evening before picking back up their masks from the shadows and fleeing into the sunless night. After setting the last of the necessary measures, Mikal picked up his mask and abandoned the building to its fate as the thousand stitches across it's structure dissipated with a tug of his hand. Not caring for what happened to it, he lept back into the shadows amongst the rooftops, a silent spirit wandering though the night alone. Making he is way back to that dried out house, he noticed a new little crack into the catacombs below, and dived into their shadows, soon jumping across caves and chasms to eventually get back to that fluttering book on the windowsill of a broken hillside house. Edit: Please feel free to give me feedback on this first and probably only draft, as I only spellchecked it before posting.