Stories From the Shadowlands

BOOK: Stories From the Shadowlands
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Copyright © 2014 by Sarah Fine

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the e-mail address below.

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Sarah Fine

[email protected]

More books from
Guards of the Shadowlands




CAPTIVE: A Guard's Tale from Malachi's Perspective

VIGILANTE: A Guard's Tale from Ana's Perspective


Dedication: For all my readers, with all my heart

A Note from Sarah:

When I first wrote Sanctum, I had no idea how deeply, and for how long, I would explore the Shadowlands. But over the past three years, this world has steadily grown and expanded (a little like the dark city) through Malachi’s journal entries, as well as extra scenes and short stories. Most of those have never been available to all my readers—until now.

This volume contains over two hundred pages of bonus material. I’ve arranged it in chronological order, so you’ll find extra scenes and a short story sandwiched between journal entries.

As you may know, I’ve been posting Malachi’s journal entries at
since December 2012. At this point there are about one hundred-seventy-five entries available in the archives. And all of those entries are contained in this volume, in one convenient place.

But there are entries that I haven’t posted on Tumblr. Online, Malachi’s entries end right before he leaves the dark city. In this volume, though, you’ll find thirty more entries from his time in the land of the living, following the timeline of
, the sequel to
. So many of you have wondered what on earth could have been going through Malachi’s head during the tumultuous events in that book—and now you can find out.

In addition to the three additional scenes from Sanctum, two from Malachi’s perspective and one from Ana’s, you’ll also find a fifty-page short story about Jim, the rebellious young Guard from
, that gives you a peek into a city only mentioned in that book—the Blinding City. It’s completely different from the dark city, the Countryside, and the Wasteland, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

And then there’s the final two scenes. DO NOT READ THESE FINAL SCENES UNTIL YOU’VE READ CHAOS. I mean it. They’ll spoil the ending of the series for you. But if you have already read Chaos, enjoy—they give you a glimpse into the future of the surviving characters.

Like I said, I never planned to create so much extra material outside of the three Guards of the Shadowlands novels. But I did it for one reason:
. I always thought of my series like I thought about Lela—an underdog. I didn’t anticipate the outpouring of excitement and affection for my characters. My readers have been fierce, vocal, and dedicated over the last few years. It’s made all the pieces of my heart and soul, the extra hours, and the emotion that I’ve put into these extras a pleasure, because I know you care about what happens to Lela, Malachi, Takeshi, Ana, and the other Guards.

So thank you. Without you, this volume of material wouldn’t exist.

Translated from Malachi’s Journal: In the Dark City

Day 1

Brick walls. A cot in the corner. No windows. The door is locked from the outside. I'm not sure how long I've been here. The one named Raphael brings me food. Nine meals ago, I began counting, but I don't know how many there were before that. Three meals ago, I asked for paper and pen. Two meals ago, he brought them. One meal ago, he appeared in this chamber with my food, saw me writing, and told me that I am ready to receive another visitor: a Guard named Philip. He said Philip is the Captain. He said Philip is MY Captain, that I am one of the Guards now. But I will never be one of them. I will stay sane, mark the time, and plan my escape. Starting now. This is Day 1.

Day 2

Philip has hair the color of muddy straw and a deep, slow way of speaking. The problem: I don't understand a word he's saying. He makes reassuring gestures, but there are knives strapped around his thighs and a baton at his belt. I tried to take both from him, but it turns out he's faster than the enormous Guards I took down before. I probably shouldn't have attacked him. It made him spill the soup he brought me, and it is now puddled on the floor. I am so hungry that I'm ready to lick what remains of it from the stones. I will never be strong enough to escape if I don't eat.

Day 3

Raphael brought me stale bread today. He said it would be easier to retrieve from the floor than soup. He can speak many languages, and we switched between a few of them before settling on Romani, which comforts me and makes me ache at the same time. Today, he told me Philip is American, and that I will have to learn English so I can follow his orders. I did not tell Raphael that I have no intention of following anyone's orders, but I wonder if somehow he knew. The way he looked at me was unnerving. For perhaps the hundredth time, I considered disabling him to get to his key, but as I was about to try, he said he'd be back when I was in a more "stable mood." Then he disappeared.

Day 4

Another Guard came to see me today. Takeshi is his name, and he brought Raphael to translate. Takeshi is from the Empire of Japan, but speaks several languages. We realized we both speak German. He wondered aloud how someone as scrawny as I am could manage to take down so many inhuman Guards at once. I took it as an invitation to show him. But as it turns out, Takeshi is even faster than Philip, and his baton extends to become a staff with which he happens to be devastatingly effective. Raphael healed my broken arm and suggested I refrain from attacking the other human Guards, as they are both capable of killing me before I land a blow. We'll see.

Day 5

I have not slept in days, and it is pointless to pretend any longer. I want to be strong, like Heshel told me to be, like Heshel was. I want these pages to reflect what I should be, but I know what they will really reflect is what I am. Weak. I cannot close my eyes without the nightmares closing in
, and I am awakened at night by my own screams and the memories of
—I have not been allowed out of this room. I have banged on the door until my hands are bruised and swollen. I have shouted until my voice is a shadow.
I want to die, but I am fairly sure I am already dead. I want to kill, but no one is giving me the satisfaction. I am certain I am losing my mind
. I need to control myself and figure out how to escape.

Day 6

Philip returned today, this time without weapons. It barely matters because I am so weak with hunger and sleeplessness that I have no strength to attack him. He brought Raphael to translate, and they taught me a few words in English. I crouched here in my corner and listened. I accepted the soup. I ate the bread. I said 'hello' and 'thank you'. Philip is the one with the authority to let me out of this room, but he only said that he will make sure I get enough to eat, and then he and Raphael left. I think the only way to get out of here is to go along with them. For now.

Day 7

Takeshi came to see me today. Philip has a serious sort of demeanor, but Takeshi is different. His smile is quick, and clearly his mind is, too. He spoke to me in German and taught me a few more words in English. He said he has been where I am, that he understands what I'm going through, but I don't see how he possibly could. Not unless his life was stripped from him bit by bit until there was nothing left. Not unless the person he loved best was killed right in front of him.
Not unless that person died because of him
. But I did not tell him that. I nodded my head like I was grateful. I want him and Philip to let me out of this room, and I will do whatever is necessary to make that happen.

Day 8

Philip said I could come out of my chamber. He stayed close to me, and brought a group of eight inhuman Guards with him as if he knew I wanted to escape. He escorted me down a set of steps and into a room full of weapons. Takeshi was waiting for us. They said I am a Guard, and when I am trained, I will patrol the streets of this place with them. They gave me a knife and said I must learn to use it. I was all right until they attacked me, and then I lost control of myself. I wanted to kill them both. I could not stop, so Philip did it for me with a knife in the back. I thought I was dying again, but Raphael made everything go black. And when I woke up just now, I was back in my chamber, and I have a new scar, and I am still here and still alive and still trapped.

Day 9

Raphael is some sort of doctor. He came to check on me today and brought me more bread. Nothing here tastes good, but it has been a very long time since I had anything that did.
We were near starving before they--
I dreamed of my mother last night, and I woke up hoarse, with an aching throat. My pillow is wet. I am so weak.
I miss her so much
. I wonder where she is, if she and my father and my brother are also trapped in a place like this. It's not right. They suffered so much. I must escape from here and find them. I have so much to atone for.

Day 10

There is something about Raphael
Raphael seems to know more than anyone else, though he is not a Guard himself. I asked him if he would tell me where my family is. He said it was a complicated question, and instead of answering, he escorted me out of my chamber and up to the tower of this Guard Station. When I saw where we are, in the midst of a dark, vast city,
I nearly fell to my knees in despair
I was surprised. I asked if my family is out there somewhere, and he told me to look carefully. That's when I saw it. There is a Countryside on the other side of the city wall. And I know. I know my family is there. That is where I will go when I escape.

Day 13

Today Raphael brought me some kind of fish that reeked of rot, and yet I ate it anyway, because my hunger was bone deep. Last night I dreamed of Heshel, telling me to endure.
He would be so disappointed if he could see me now
. He would tell me to do better. But here I am, sitting on the floor, shoving stale bread and half-rotten fish into my mouth
, near-starved, near-defeated, all pathetic
. I can't go on like this. I have to get out of this place. When they take me to the training room later, I will ask to eat with the other Guards instead of taking my meals in this chamber. Maybe, if I am allowed to see more of this Guard Station, I can figure out how to get out.

Day 20

The morning he died, Heshel told me I was meant to have a future. He could not have known how this would turn out.
I don't want this future I would rather be dead
. I have to find a way out of here.

Day 21

I am stronger every day, but sleep remains out of my reach. I asked Raphael if he could help me rest, take away the horror that flares in my head when I start to drift. He does it easily enough after my training sessions with the other Guards, which always end with one of us, usually me, being stabbed or knocked unconscious. He says my dreams have a purpose and he won't take them away. I attacked him and he disappeared. He left after I was unable to manage my anger.

I have been eating with the other Guards, who seem to relish the food even though most of it is spoiled. They are not human, and are not affected by this place in the same way I am. They treat Philip and Takeshi with a kind of careful respect. They treat me with no such respect, but they do not provoke me either, probably because they heard what happened at the Sanctum. And that anger is still inside me, burning me. None of this is right. I regret losing control that day.

Day 32

Raphael brings me to the tower every day now, and he even leaves me alone sometimes. I would live up here if they allowed me to. It reminds me of before, when I would take the stairs to the roof and my mother would send Heshel to fetch me, afraid I would catch a chill. Now Raphael comes for me, to lock me back in my chamber when he decides I have had enough time in the open air. I've been very good, training every day, eating every day, and sleep is coming easier. I think tomorrow I will ask Philip to allow me to run in the area around this Station. From here, I can see a possible path from the Station to the city wall. They would never allow me out of this building if they knew what I am planning, but perhaps they will if it is under the guise of training.

Day 45

Today, during my training run with Takeshi, I saw the strangest thing. A woman sitting at a corner, right next to the street, wearing a long, stained red cape and stroking what appeared to be a lumpy, fur-covered cushion. As we passed, she grabbed it, held it to her chest, and screeched at us for trying to step on her cat. At least, I think she was speaking to us. She never actually looked at us, only the cushion in her arms. And when I leaned closer, I could see the cushion had legs. But it had no head, and it was not moving. Takeshi said there are many things like that within this city, and that I will come to understand them with time. All I could think as he spoke to me was how eager I am to get out of here.

BOOK: Stories From the Shadowlands
4.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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