Well, I dug this little gem up on my hard drive, a story I was writing about a world called Rubicon that refl- you know what? Read and find out. Well, read chapter three, the prologue is a bit vague.
The Black Apple-Tree
Chapter 1: Chance Meetings
A lone man stood in a forest clearing. Night had spread its grip over the horizon, pitch black shadows carried away along surrounding wind, yet light seemed to permeate every crevice, a dull flickering flame that came from nowhere.
The man was hunched over a small rock shaped like a chess piece, but the harder one tried to make out what it was, the more blurred it became. It appeared to blur like putty, like it was every different shap at once. The man had ruffled, windswept black hair that fell over his carelessly handsome face, with piercing, ocean blue eyes. A thick yet tattered and torn cape of darkest black was draped over his shoulders and he wore a simple tunic and pants that gave off a vaguely Italian feel.
"Back again, Lenzo?" A figure strode into the clearing, his left arm hunched as if in a sling. Over his face was a mask made of dark ivy leaves, who's roots seemed to grow from out of his head. Skin could be made out, but only just barely. Long sweeping robes of a black-green rimmed with gold flowed around him, and he gave a very elegant impression. Beyond two tiny slits between the ivy leaves, two gleaming eyes of gold beamed, shivering with intellect and precision.
Lenzo stood up and smiled, holding the mysterious rock in his hands. "I couldn't seem to keep away. Perhaps it's your wining personality."
The Ivy-Masked figure threw his head back and chuckled. "Yes, I can see why my multiple attempts to kill you would have endeared you to me."
Lenzo smiled faintly again. "So, exactly how do things fare with you, Renge?"
Renge gave a theatrical sigh. "Life as usual within the Rubicon."
Lenzo turned around to walk off into the dark, but with a shimmering blur of leaves, Renge stepped out of the thin air in front of him. "The Cabél Wings, Lenzo."
Lenzo grinned. "What, you think I came all this way to give you my cape?"
Renge shrugged. "I only hope."
Lenzo laughed as he stepped back, his image shimmering like a two dimensional reflection. His figure folded in on itself like a piece of paper, crumpling backwards and dissolving into impossible angels and faded shapes As his image burst backwards and vanished, his last grin seeming to echo in the space he had so recently occupied.
"So close yet so far, mate." His voice whispered in the air.
Renge sighed once again. "Again with all the running..."
Another figure appeared out from behind, her image unfolding out of the air like a blossoming flower. She wore a simple dress of black satin and emerald colored hems, with long, pure white hair. Over her face was a simple mask of oak wood, rough and smelling of the deepest parts of the forest, blank but for a single slit on the left eye for seeing.
Renge spat on the ground. "Stealing inspiration in a world of imagination. Poetic, is it not, Caspia?
Caspia tossed her long, snow colored hair over her shoulder, smiling behind her mask. "You hold grudges far too long, Renge. Anyways, don't you think you should have warned him about all those Implacable Hounds you were complaining about earlier? If I recall, they're in the same place he just left for." Her ice blue eyes grinned with warm laughter.
Renge chuckled. "What? And give the sly bastard such an unfair advantage?"
Caspia smiled. "Right. Well, I've got some business to attend to. Later"
With a twist, her image flickered like a hologram and crumpled backwards like a piece of old newspaper, folding into space and falling into nothingness.
As Caspia departed, Renge's gaze became more narrow and serious. With a flourish, he snapped his fingers. Another figure burst out of the air, vibrating violently into existence without the grace of Caspia and Lenzo.
"My lord?" The strange creature asked, draped in ragged dark green robes with antlers arcing from his head and, most unnerving of all, had no face, simply a blank stretch of skin.
Renge's eyes brimmed with uncertainty, and what could be made of his mouth was curved into a frown. "What are the coordinates for the Implacable Hounds?"
"Nine, seven, fourteen, grouped around a school near the Impacted Tower."
Renge swore loudly. "This can't be accident." He looked up mournfully.
The strange creature looked up uncertainly. "Lord, why didn't you tell Lenzo or Caspia more about this? This problem seems from my eyes, metaphorically speaking of course,-" It broke off and gestured at its blank face.
"-To be troubling. Aspects from the Rubicon shouldn't influence the Real World, save a few rogue entities like Lenzo."
Renge spoke again, his cold voice cutting through the night air. "And they would tell me not to act. Without conclusive evidence, the Seat would simply ban me from leaving through the Tower to investigate. Best remain in secrecy for now...."
The hunched creature bowed. "Of course."
"You are dismissed."
With a shaking intake of breath, the creature burst backwards, folding into thin air.
Renge gazed around the night sky, then shook the sleeve of his robe into a more comfortable position. "All this mystery will be the death of me."
He shook his head, and slowly faded, unfolding and shattering, like a broken reflection in a pond.