Fantasy, Writing

A Gift from the Soule

It doesn’t seem like it’s October already. I ended up moving and having so much come up I didn’t write very much. *coughatallcough*

In any case, now things are settling down, I feel the muse bugging me to write again. Ideas have begun to swirl about and I feel the anticipation and excitement of writing. Or at least, that’s how it feels to me. In any case, I won’t be doing a word prompt today, but just the writing exercise of writing and writing for about a page or two. Writing is a much needed break from chickens, gardening, cleaning, moving, schooling, and a host of who knows what I’ve been doing, most of which I’ve forgotten already.

 

 

Staring into the darkness of night, he couldn’t help but feel it had changed. The welcoming folds of night had abandoned him. What had once been his playground, his domain, was empty. It had felt like he had belonged matched only by other predators of the night. Now, as he stood just inside the city limits, he was unsure. Emotions had once been a thing of the past, but now they rushed up threatening to overwhelm him. It was back in the courts when he had last reigned his emotions in putting up his aristocratic mask for all to see, controlled, calm, calculating, stoic.

 

He was so unused to this when it bubbled up he was incredibly distracted with it. His senses telling him what was going on became muddled and useless. Or else, he would have heard him approach.

 

“Wilhelm.” The decidedly male voice broke the almost silence of night. “Master.”

 

He turned around to face his shadow. The other eager waited for any sign his master was approving. His muscles seemed to tremble like a hound ready to be loosed upon the foxes.

 

Even this seemed, changed. His fight with the witch had done more than he had expected. Her range of power had grown since he had last fought her a century ago.

 

“Maxwell of Derlington.” He took a breath. His shadow visibly shivered at the sound of his voice. It was his gift, as all Old Ones had though they differed based on what seemed to be their upbringing. The gift of the thrall was his. If one didn’t know better, they would assume Maxwell was in love with him. “How has my Shadow been doing?” He asked putting his hands behind him in his favored courtly pose.

 

“While you were away, I kept threats away and your cattle fed.” Max’s voice had become breathy. His black hair fell into his face unable to stay behind his ear as he held his bow. Only when his master motioned for him to be at ease did he straighten. “There was only one stray vampire that had infringed on your territory, but he was easily subdued.”

 

Wilhelm turned strolling forward prompting his shadow to take several quick steps to fall into pace beside but behind him. “Good. It would not have been good to lose my territory while I fought the bigger threat.” His heart beat harshly as he remembered the desperate battle of wills. The Witch tried forcing his hand. In the end, it hadn’t mattered. She was, in a way, more broken than before.

 

“And….How did it go, Master?” Max hesitated to ask not wanting to annoy the man. When he answered, his eyebrows went up his mouth dropping open.

 

“Well enough, Shadow. Well enough.”

 

Max couldn’t help but be worried. When he had first approached, he had thought the rushing of blood had been prey. That the scent had been from another. It was from his master. He could hear the blood rushing through his veins without assistance. He could hear the breath in his lungs. He could even hear thee changes in his breath  and pace as they talked. The way only humans did. Was this some sort of test? Was his master trying to teach him in some way? What could it mean? More than these things, he had answered him straight forward and without demeaning him.

 

“Master?” He ventured unsure of this new behavior from the other.

 

“Hm?” Wilhelm turned eyebrows raising as he considered the man.

 

“What happened?” His hand moved as if to reach forward and comfort his master, but he dropped it back at his side.

 

“Not here, Maxwell. We must arrive at the manor. No need to look so alarmed. All is well.” The master vampire continued on the path to his home, but the closer he got. The more he worried the change the witch had made was permanent. Her spell was new to him. Maxwell was more learned even than him. Perhaps, he could assist in finding the spell to find how to counter it. But they would have to work behind closed doors. Should a rival hear of his weakness, there would be no hope.

 

When they arrived at the manor, the place was deserted besides the stray cat who had become too attached to Maxwell. If he would stop feeding it, they wouldn’t have this problem. The shadow was a bleeding heart though.

 

The master vampire led the way to the lower studies where he usually stayed to read, or pass the time away. Keeping pace behind him, Maxwell silently followed hoping for any treat or tips the master could pass on. It was unusual a master tolerated shadows or kept one. THe Old Ones tended to be more reclusive than almost all others. As the world passed by, they could handle it less. For some, it was the noise. For others, it was the rapidly changing culture. Technology twisting lives for better or worse.

 

As soon as the study door was closed, Maxwell turned to his master waiting to hear him speak of what had happened.

 

“Maxwell…” Wilhelm lowered himself into a chair without his usual grace. The journey had strangely tired him. “When I fought her. She…used a spell of sorts.”

 

The other’s breath fell from him. If this was all it was, it would be simple to fix.

 

“I didn’t recognize it.” He scrubbed his face trying to take the fatigue away. “You will have to search the books so we may dispel it.” Without another word, his shadow shot forward as only a vampire could and began to search the tomes. His collection was extensive, as he had taken it from every witch he had killed.

 

His shadow asked question after question until Wilhelm had become to annoyed. WHen his master had retreated to the fake window pane, he began his search through the older tomes. His finger came to rest on a spell from ages ago. One he had thought long passed.

 

“Master.” He turned on his heel looking up to see the longing in the man’s face. “I think…I found what you are looking for.” His master didn’t turn to face him but stared into the duplicated sky with clouds passing on the panes. Maxwell stood quiet for a moment. His eyes dropped to the page reading.

 

‘Once the vampire is subdued, the spell is cast. If it holds true, his gift will be taken. His might turned out. His soule once more restored.’

 

“I believe…she made you human.” He looked up from the book to find emotion twisting his master’s face. One he didn’t immediately recognize. One he had seen on cattle before as they walked knowingly to the slaughter. When they knew death had come at last.

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Fantasy, Writing, Writing Prompts

Alspring

  • Word count: 800
  • Genre: Suspense/fantasy
  • Character: A god
  • Material: A whistle
  • Sentence: “We can repair this.”
  • Bonus: Your story involves a damsel in distress.

 

“We can repair this.” The god said standing in front of the woman still curled up in the arms of the statue. Her brilliant red hair spilled over the marble arm almost touching the ground. Humans always such strange creatures to him. She lie there as if the world wasn’t suffering. Like the world wasn’t on the verge of collapse because of his twin brother.

Her blue eyes stared up into the statue’s eyes like a long lost lover.

“You look so much more handsome as a statue.” She started off saying. His face twisted. He wasn’t used to mortals speaking to him like this. “I wonder why artists always carve your face like this. It doesn’t really look like you.”

He folded his arms across his chest. Pressing his lips together, he glanced at the statue then the woman. “We don’t have a lot of options.” He ignored the insults. “If you will not do anything, I will leave you to wraith wandering the halls.” This got her attention, but he was already turned around walking away. He heard her fall from the statue assumably chasing after him. His ear perked hearing her stumble in her haste.

“I’m sorry. I…I’m just scared. I’ve never had to do this or anything like this.” She slowed to keep pace with him in a quick walk. The god was much taller than her so his pace was faster. Even among mortals, she was short. “What do we need to do?” She asked looking up into his face.

While he didn’t look handsome by human standards, he had a certain appeal. His grey eyes were hard set and determined. He had strong features but his face was thinner. His hair roam about like fire having a life of its own. He didn’t have such red hair as her, his being more strawberry blonde, very light strawberry blonde.

Biting her lip, she managed to catch his eye, but he appeared less than pleased.

“Do not expect me to react like your mortal counterparts.” His voice had dropped from the soothing musical lightness to a darker tone promising of unpleasant things. She stared at him shocked. “You will get nothing from me. I at first thought you might be the one I needed to save to help bring the world back to order. The prophecies even said I’d find the one we needed here, but you.” He stopped walking to face her. “Are not who we need. You only think of your simple mortal needs. Cowering. Insulting men. Do you think I can not see your thoughts? I am no mortal. I know.” His grey eyes turned into storms making her draw back. “You are safe for now, Mortal, but you are no longer requested to join the Hunt.” He spun around growling sounding like thunder. The woman stood behind him shocked but didn’t follow. How could he had thought she of all people was the one to bring order to Life and Death?  

He left the broken temple feeling less than stellar. His mission here today had failed. The only reason he had left his home was to find her. Well, not her from inside the temple reeking of manipulation and ego, but the one that was supposed to be the balance. He dropped himself on a broken column staring at the ground. His mother would be disappointed were he to return with nothing.

The stars like a scale hanging in the sky. A balance between the sun and the moon, to Life and Death. She will be the hands to hold each side like a bridge between the beginning and the end. Mortals climb from one hand and across her back to the other. While the brothers judge whether mortal men shall pass from the plate.

It had been the final words spoken to him and his twin before she too had passed from this finite world. She had spoken of it too, but he had remembered too late. His brother took her to his realm beyond. Their mother said she would stay with him for a time then his brother for a time. That hadn’t bothered him. It was the time to come. When she said Death would reign.

The war broke out and his people started dying. The woman his mother spoke of was to stop Life from bringing in those not suppose to be there, but also stop Death from taking those not ready. A mediator between the two.

A noise brought his eyes from the ground. When he saw the creature chasing one of his people, he couldn’t just sit idle. He jumped from his place running after them. They were heading for the river. THe creature probably aimed to drown the mortal. He leapt in front of it brandishing his spear. Light burst from the tip making the creature screeched falling backward tripping over its own massive tail. Lowering the spear, he turned to the woman cowering in the nook of an oak.

“No need to fear.” He soothed. When she looked up, he tilted his head. Her grey eyes looked so much like his own. “Woman. Whence have you come?” He asked. She held her knees to her chest letting her brown hair fall in front of her hiding her. “If you wish me to leave, I shall, but…I don’t bring and harm with me.”

She took a handkerchief from her dress pocket wiping her nose. “Ah…It’s…It’s not that.” Her alto drifted out from behind her curtain of hair. “I just…” He could hear her take a deep breath. “Need a minute.” The god stood waiting patient.

When she lifted her head, she met his eyes not with defiance, like he’d seen in some, or lust. In her eyes, he could see how broken she was. There wasn’t a hint of arrogance within her. “Woman…” He said again but more softly. “Where have you come from?” Now he was more concerned for her than curious. The look in her eye spoke more for her than her silence.

“I don’t know. All I remember is…it was dark.” Her head turned trying to hide what might be seen. Things she didn’t want him to know, but she didn’t know why. “I…I know…” She tried to gauge how much she could tell him. When he dropped into a crouch in front of her, she managed to see into his face. “I…didn’t like it at all.” She whispered now that he was so close. His eyebrows drew together compassion in his eyes. “It hurt…” Her lips curled down. All at once, she was in his arms sobbing.

From Life’s arms, a damsel is brought. Piece by piece will the bridge between Life and Death be wrought.

He knelt holding her wondering at the events playing out this day. His mother had been right. Not that he doubted, but she had been right. “Come. We will go to my home. It is neither dark, or painful there.” Scooping her up, he straightened.

She couldn’t help but be worried about this. What other choice did she have? If she asked to go, she could feel he would let her, but that creature that had chased her was still out there. She ended up nodding. Shortly after he started walking, exhaustion overtook her. Her eyes gradually closed leaving her sleeping in his arms.

 

When she awoke next, she was lying in a meadow. Where they had just come from had the crisp air of autumn. Here, there was the warmth of spring. She could see the man, or god who had saved her wandering around, but she couldn’t tell what he was doing. Standing up, she brushed off her dress and straightened it out.

“Where are we?” She called out.

He turned letting go of a branch he had been holding. A smile stole across his face. “My home. Alspring.”

 

Fantasy, Writing, Writing Prompts

Souless

  • Word count: 300
  • Genre: Drama
  • Character: A soulless man
  • Material: A wooden cross
  • Sentence: “Aren’t you afraid?”
  • Bonus: The story takes place two-hundred years from now.
  • Tod Lydon TrembleMae Jordon Beaulieu

 

 

“Aren’t you afraid?” The woman almost lowered the wooden cross, but kept her grip tight as she held the symbol in front of her. Tod just shrugged his shoulders. She wasn’t going to budge and they both knew it.

 

“I haven’t been afraid of death for a long time.” He let out his breath almost wishing she would just go through with it. Staring into her eyes, he could see her hesitance. He was too human in appearance and demeanor. THere likely was no way she would kill him. Especially in times like these where society had slowly taken a turn for the worse.

 

“I don’t care if you are or aren’t.” She tried sounding brave her own faltering voice belaying that.

 

“Then why did you ask?” He tilted his head almost imitating perfectly. After so many years, he couldn’t remember how to exactly do it. When she didn’t answer, he took a breath and sat down in his chair again. He didn’t have any plans, indeed he could never die, so none of this mattered. “The time you waste is your own.” He reached out toying with the chisel he had been using just moments before. When she lowered the cross, he lifted an eye brow.

 

“You…don’t seem like the others.” She whispered. Had this been anyone else, she would be dead right now. The Souless ones didn’t forgive mistakes like this. Just because one appeared to be different didn’t mean they were. She would swear she saw something else in his eyes no one else had. Well, none of the Souless that is.

 

“Your death shall not be on my hand nor will I be accountable for your blood when you make this mistake with someone who has the intent to try and consume your soule.” Like vampires the Souless were obsessed with taking what they didn’t have. The main difference was what they consume. When their eyes met, the Souless had the ability to eat the human’s soule if contact was made long enough and the Souless skilled. Most of the time, they had to be close enough to touch.

 

Mae slipped the cross into its loop on her pants. “I haven’t made it a habit to kill harmless people or anyone who…wasn’t aggressive.” The words didn’t sound quite right, but she supposed it would describe it well enough. Tod couldn’t help but reconsider her.

 

“I could just be smart and cause you to lower your guard so I could eat your soule.” When she laughed, he frowned in a purely human way.

 

“If you were, you’d be dead. Souless have tried it before. You aren’t that smart if you did try it.” She leaned a shoulder against the wood column. After a moment, she dared to ask. “Why…or…” She paused hesitating a moment. “How are you different than your…kind?” Her arms folded on her chest.

 

“I don’t know.” He answered honestly. “Perhaps, it’s the long contained remorse for having killed so many in my youth as Souless unable to stop myself from eating any and everyone I could get close to. Maybe, it’s because I ate my whole family unable to stop myself. Or maybe…I don’t know.” He shook his head. “When the Souless first appeared, I remember the pure chaos.”

 

Mae’s eyes widened as he listened. What he talked about happened over two hundred years. She’d never met a Souless from the beginning. What did happen once the Souless lost their craving? She didn’t even know they could after time went on. Her teammates would have never believed her if she said she had a conversation with one of these beasts. No one had met one that could or would actually hold a conversation.

 

“After a while, I found I could fight the urge easier. I wandered farther and farther from humans because I didn’t want anyone else to die. Not that it worked. I still killed too many. Still ate so many.” He shook his head eyes dropping to the cross. Mae couldn’t believe it. A souless that actually wanted her to kill it. Just that fact made her shake her head at him.

 

Pushing off the wall, she turned heading back up the stairs that would take her to the city street. She hesitated as her foot stopped on the first step. “If…” She began but stopped. It would be insanely stupid no matter his amount of control, I mean he did just admit he couldn’t control it all the time. “Perhaps. If…You are feeling conversational. Perhaps, we can talk again. I’d,” She glanced over shoulder. His head was hanging as someone who had lost the courage to pull the trigger. She couldn’t assist in something like that. “I wouldn’t mind listening.” Turning, she ascended the stairs with the intent on hunting more, but she would remember this. This was the exception to the rule all Souless were vicious monsters, but it did prove they could become somewhat human again. That there might be a way to restore their humanity someday.

 

 

This one was really fun to write so I didn’t really stay within the word count limit. I might continue this one at some point. Paranormal, or dark fantasy seems easy for me to write.

 

Writing, Writing Prompts

100 Word Writing Prompt 2

In 100 words or less, write a story that includes the following: a nudist, a souvenir, an old photo album.

 

Sitting on the beach bum crusted in sand, he flipped through the old photo album. It was just pictures of himself with his ex. They had come to this beach. He had changed his lifestyle for her. People had laughed when he said he was a nudist. They said it was just because she was naked. But…He loved her. Passionately. Beyond sex. The souvenir he had bought her, a small music box, played its song for the millionth time. She had left him. Dropping the album to the sand, he stood stepping into the waves for the final time.

Writing

100 word writing prompt

In 100 words or less, write a story that includes the following: a paranormal investigator, an old pocket knife, and a can of beans.

 

Yesterday, everyone was here in the house he was investigating. The next day, all that was left was an old pocket knife in a drawer in the front room, and a can of beans in the pantry. Some furniture was still here, covered and dusty. He scanned the knife and can, but there was only an inscription on the knife. The activity from before had disappeared. The family from before gone. He wondered if it had been a vision since he’d walked in the door. Had he arrived yesterday, or had he just walked in?

 

 

 

I find the shorter writing prompts harder than longer ones. It is a good exercise as I cut a lot of excess words out and find the real story.

Writing, Writing Prompts

More Writing Prompts

This one happens to be a rather short one.

Write a complete story in only one sentence about a packet of seeds.

It was all that was left, as it dropped it’s last seeds into the packet; the only thing left of his life with her.

 

That was so short, I decided to do more than one here.

What happens when a webcomic artist starts seeing mythical creatures everywhere.

 

He had always assumed it was because he hadn’t been out in a while. Fantasy and myth had always interested him, but he had thought the interest was because it was cool or such. Myth and legend drew him in like no other stories did. His mind would fill with images of flying horses and giant reptiles breathing fire. That was what had pushed him to start the webcomic. It was centered on a select few who had been chosen by the gods and such. It seemed cliche, but he loved it. He had tried less conventional ideas but they never interested him, and because of that never got continued. It was his fantasy comic he worked on the most.

Strange thing that. He had just taken the story where ever he thought it should go, but had his thoughts somehow been altered? In the story, the select few had been attacked, originally for drama, but the last one standing ended up hiding among humans. He forgot who he was. This panel had been what had startled him. He felt stupid writing like this because it felt so much like he was drawing and writing about himself. He feared someone would come along and mock him. Still, he couldn’t stop. Whenever he tried to take the story some other direction, add in new characters, it never felt right.

As he stood outside in the rain, he felt he should go to the hospital. He didn’t feel ill. His head didn’t hurt. Nausea hadn’t crept up on him. His chest didn’t hurt. No. Nothing quite so dramatic. It was the little people with wings dancing on the railing of his balcony. He shouldn’t be able to see that. They looked like they were laughing and using the decorative posts like a slide. An urge to draw this into his comic felt almost overwhelming. The people flew up sitting on the top railing. He was barely paying attention to them, so it took a moment for him to realize. They weren’t sliding back down.

His eyes dropped to one. Words formed into his mind. The sensation of them watching him settled on his mind.

So, what are you going to do?

He was so startled by the clarity of the soft feminine voice, he stumbled backwards. His breath hitched. One of the people flew up the rain breaking into droplets around her.

You know. Don’t you?

He didn’t say anything. What was he supposed to say to that?

I was wondering how long it would take. 

He wasn’t certain what she meant by that. Five of the people flew to his hand each taking a finger drawing him forward. His mind felt like it was going a thousand miles per hour. They drew his hand forward. No. This wasn’t real. The people stopped staring up at him.

Do you really believe that? 

He opened his mouth to say he did, but stopped. This seemed to make them happy letting them lead him forward again. Adrenaline was pumping into his body, but he couldn’t exactly figure out why. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. He didn’t know why he had been worried before. Stepping up to the railing, he watched them drop his hand on the cold, wet metal. They flew up dancing in patterns around him. Their little voices chanted. The words were impossible to get out of his head. He stepped up on the bottom rail. His body felt so light. He didn’t…know if he could think well.

Come on. You know. We are just on the other side. Everything you know to be true. 

Something dropped in his stomach, but he still swung his legs over the railing letting himself sit on the top. The cold rain drenched his clothes. Little trails of water racing down his face, and arms falling around him. The little people were right. The humans weren’t where he belonged. He had drawn the creatures because he had once seen them. The story he had written was exactly what had happened.

Setting his heels onto the bottom rail, he straightened. The little people, what he knew were fairies, called to him. They beckoned him forward. A small something in the back of his mind twisted around fighting, but it didn’t seem important. Taking a deep breath, he felt the hole that had always been there. The one telling him he didn’t belong. These people wanted him. He would be back with those who wanted him. Finally, someone would want him.

His eyes closed as his hands released the railing. The wind flew around him thrilled his mind. For a moment, he felt lighter than ever. He felt suspended in air. Zero weight gave way to the sensation of falling. A scream shocked his mind into reality as the ground rushed up to meet him. A distant voice, a light weight on his head.

The last one has been killed. We need to return to let them know. His friends couldn’t save him. Such a pity. 

The little people flew off quickly as humans rushed over trying to keep the man alive. People shouted at each other about what they had seen. Police would arrive soon. Medics to try and revive him. But it would all be forgotten, except by those who had tried to save him. The ones who had tried to grab his clothes to pull him back. The one who screamed knowing he would die. The others had finally won.

fan fiction, Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt – Skyrim fanfiction

I would appreciate it if you call me Peyton, you will hate me in the end.

I don’t take the moral path. I don’t believe in the ethics of normal people. Your beliefs are not my own. All my life, I have fought against the traditions of my ancestors. Polite. Mannerly. Moral upstanding citizens of the world. In this time period, they are meaningless. My family members are just another part of the species that share a similar blood structure. The people that came before me. Nothing but dust.

So many get offended when I talk about the dead like that. They gasp putting a hand over their mouth unsure how to react as they’ve never found another with my…ideals. I don’t care about the lives that lived before me. They may have had a hand in my existence but that is where it stops. There is nothing more they mean to me. Dust is what we all shall be. Dust is what you shall be.

It’s not like I have particular beliefs about death and dying. I wasn’t traumatized as a kid. Or. Not that I remember. No. My parents were caring, loving people. Each trying their best to instill in me a love for honor and tradition. Like all other children, I had tried to follow my parents.

It wasn’t until I was older when I suppose I faltered.”

“I was walking home from school when I heard a groan from the woods by the path. At first, I was unsure but I was curious. After I’d gone off the path, both figuratively and literally, I saw…a man.” His face lit up with wonder. “His arm raised like the arm of God. Sword sparkling in the sun. He brought it down again and again. Blood splattering the bushes, trees and ground. The man hit the other with such force it sprayed blood even the distance to me. I remember because I had speckles of red on my skin.” The awe from a second ago tempered with reverence. “The man didn’t even bother to clean up the mess. He just lowered the sword watching the man twitch and writhe on the ground not yet dead. The coldness of his face. In his eyes.” His eyebrows twitched up millimeter by millimeter. “I didn’t realize you could be anything but good, moral and ethical. At that moment, I saw what you could aspire to become. This…god among men. He was a true god. Not this figurative thing people talked about. No. He was

“I didn’t realize you could be anything but good, moral and ethical. At that moment, I saw what you could aspire to become. This…god among men. He was a true god. Not this figurative thing people talked about. No. He was truly…truly something else.” He breathed. “I don’t know what happened in that moment, but I couldn’t get the image out of my head. Him standing there like an avenging god uncaring for the life of another. Blood soaked sprayed all over him. His lips turned in a curl of pleasure. The ice he had for eyes. How calm he looked. Not the fear I saw on everyone else’s face when they talked about the frightening. No. This man knew no fear. He was the beast they feared.” His head slunk back against the wall. “I think that was the moment. I wanted to be like him. I wanted people to fear me like they did him. I wanted to bathe in the power drenching me.” A small laugh escaped his nostrils. “I didn’t want to be this fake god they spoke of trying to make me fear. No. He was what I aspired to be.” His eyes closed looking for once to be calm and peaceful. “I couldn’t get the image out of my head.”

It took a moment before Peyton continued talking. The man had captured my attention completely at this point. This man with the confidence to speak like this. I never would talk about the taboo and evil this way. He did it so naturally. I was thoroughly convinced he meant every word he said. Peyton interrupted my thoughts drawing me back into his story.

“I don’t think he saw me. When I think about that moment that changed my life so thoroughly. I don’t think he really saw me.” He turned his head to cast those cold eyes on me. “When I got home, I constructed the best effigy of him I could make at the age of twelve. I hid it in my wardrobe. And soon. I began to add things to this makeshift shrine. I began to draw him more and more always in red.” Shifting in his position against the wall, he drew a knee up to rest his arm on.

“I knew after a while it wasn’t enough. Not enough. Not nearly enough. He was demanding in his presence in my mind. He needed…He needed something so much more than crude drawings, wax and prayers.” He grew distant like I was no longer sitting in front of him. It was times like this I forgot to continue writing. “My family had a cat. It was old. I didn’t think anyone would notice when it didn’t come home.” He took a deep sighing breath. His shoulders relaxed their tension. The euphoria that took over his face sent chills down my spine. “I picked the cat up one evening before it got dark. It purred in my arms relaxed and unaware of the danger it was in. That alone made the act so thrilling. With my pocket knife my father had given me for my twelfth birthday, I held the cat down and stabbed it. I was scared at first but feeling the warmth. It was so absurdly warm. I hadn’t expected it. The cat tried to get away fighting with everything it was worth but I had it by the neck. Pinned unable to move. I stabbed it again. Then again. The glee that followed would dominate my mind from then on. I tore the cat apart throwing the blood everywhere laughing with as one in a drugged state. The carcass in my hand limp and heavier than I had really anticipated. It was tiring. I set the cat down and like my father had taught me. I skinned it. I took the skull wrapped it in the fur and tossed the body away beneath a tree. I was quite the macabre scene I’m sure, but no one was home and the ground took the blood from my shoes. I washed up after I got home having set the skull and skin to dry in a place no one ever went where it would be safe until I could retrieve it.”

He leaned against the wall again his remembrance having excited him. “I did that night what I had never done before. I’d never had the sensation before, but the memory of the cat’s pain. The whole…thing. I found a fire in my loins as had never happened before. It was only with that memory and myself did I find relief. The memory served as material for a long time afterwards.” He took a large breath letting it out all at once before continuing. “After the skin and skull were dry, I set it in my shrine. Many more would be added to it over the course of the year. Some small some larger. I even found the skull of a human at one point. I became paranoid, however. My parents seemed to be aware of what was going on in some form and I knew what I was doing was…wrong to them and so many other and knew I shouldn’t ever let it be seen. I moved my shrine to a small luggage bag taking it to the place I first saw my god in all his glory.” He was watching me now as if trying to gauge how I was taking all this information, but it was just because I had stopped writing.

“From that point on, I would take anything I had blood, bone, skin and sacrificed it to him there. I even began killing things on his shrine in dedication to him. I would pray for him to send me more victims. I asked him to teach me how to do more. I needed more. I couldn’t …couldn’t get enough.” He was breathless again with a vague look in his eyes. I had long noticed his arousal but I wouldn’t mention anything of the sort. Not when I knew what type of person he was and with everything he was saying. “It took me by surprise when one day I had killed a dog on the stone I had set up in front of his shrine. I pinned it with steel camping stakes. It whined gloriously. Beautifully while I killed it taking so much pleasure in its continued pain. I’m not sure when the man had come up, but I suppose he had been watching the entire time. Only when he got closer did I realize, he…” His eyes teared up and his voice broke. “He was my god. The one I had worshiped for years now. There he stood. His sword in hand. His cold eyes on my flesh. If he struck me down then, I would have reveled in the joy it brought me. No, he looked at what I had done.” He choked on his emotion. “No. I had pleased him. He was. He was so happy at what he saw. I had done something he was proud of.” It took another minute for him to recover.

“My god then showed me the way, the path and everything that came with it. He taught me how to slaughter the weak, the helpless and make it hidden. He taught me so much more than I could have ever learned on my own. It wasn’t until I was older did I realize I was his apprentice and our craft was of blood. He took me places I had never been. He brought such…peace and joy to my life.”

My pen paused as a question drifted up. Peyton seemed to sense the question waiting for me to ask. “So…you left home with him? Didn’t you ever think…” I didn’t finish. I didn’t have to.

“No. I left with him without a word to my family. I didn’t care. They were nothing to me and to my god. He had chosen me and called me to a greater work than they could have ever realized. They didn’t know. Nor would they.” He stopped a smile twitching his lips. “Or at least, not for a while.” I found myself frowning as I wrote this down as well. Peyton continued once again.

“It wasn’t until I was sixteen that he first introduced to me a new way. He showed me how to scare others with my craft. How to cut so the blood sprayed in a pattern that terrified normal people.” His hand made a cutting motion in the air. “Then.” He smiled readily. “He gave me a sword of my own. That night we went slaughtering like men and women go caroling. From door to door. From place to place. All. Any. He had taught me well enough no one could stand against us.”

My eyebrows drew together. “If you were both, so good at it, how did you get caught?” I asked looking up into the killer’s eyes.

“I wanted to be.” His smile faded becoming softer.

“You…Wanted to be?” I asked searching his face.

“My god died a few years back ascending into the heavens with a fury of fire. As was his request.” He looked sad, if a man like him could ever be. “But I only let myself be ‘captured’ for one reason and only one.” He looked back at me. “It’s time I took an apprentice.” Cold rushed through my veins. I swallowed hard looking back at him. “The Dark Brotherhood awaits.”

 

 

 

 

(Part 1 of the Apprentice Fan Fiction)

Writing

6

What makes them crave it? What makes them go insane? What takes their humanity and only leaves a shattered box? Is it the taste? Or does some sort of chemical reaction happen that changes them? That’s what I found out.” He grinned wide at a young woman. His hands reached out grabbing her shoulders. “I’ve found it!” A sort of glee formed in his eyes. She watched him unsure of why he was acting so strangely. “I want to take you back there.” She frowned as he stared at her unblinking. He wanted her to be like him. Whatever he was now. Her foot slid back as she tried to pull away but his grip was too strong. He grinned at her. His eyes wide. “Come with me.” It didn’t sound like he was asking her. She stared unable to pull away. Her mind panicked throwing ideas around searching for anything to get her away. The penetrating stare shifted to the right. She followed his gaze to see a strange man crouching to her left.

 

The man’s clothing was dirty as if he had crawled along the ground. Even his hands and face was covered in a blackish grime. When her eyes lifted to his, they held nothing. He held a blank expression as if looking through her eyes unfocused yet focused on her. His lips were twisted up and frozen in a permanent smile much like the man holding her. The man that had been her boss.

 

“You…You seek the 6?” He stuttered. “The 6? 6? 6? 6? 6? 6?” His head cocked to the side as he shambled forward using hands, feet and knees. It would have been funny had the situation been different. Her boss let her go turning to frown at the man. Whatever that had taken him seemed to dissipate.

 

“Get away from here. This is none of your business.” His hands motioned for the man to leave but he crouched there grinning at him as if unaware of what those motions meant. He had the innocent expression of a puppy, but the malevolence of a serial killer. The woman crept backwards while her boss was preoccupied. She disappeared passed the doorway they had been standing in. Her boss didn’t appear aware of where she had gone or even concerned by her departure. Shifting backwards, the man disappeared down the stairwell as silently as he had arrived. Which was a feat considering how he was walking, backwards staring eyes locked on the boss. The shine off his white teeth the last to fade into the darkness.

 

The police chief walked into the historic inn holding his clipboard. It had notes on the case along with ghastly pictures of things he’d rather not think about. He had first objected but his daughter was as strong willed as he was. She insisted on joining him even if it was one of the most dangerous cases he’d been on.

 

For the past few months, random people were found jabbering on about something called ‘the 6’. Whatever it was, it had a different effect on each person. They had traced each person’s travels to this location. More people talked about the ‘6’ here than elsewhere but he was no closer to finding out what it was then when he started. A noise pulled his attention from his notes. A man was crawling in a crouch down the stairs in an ambling slow fall. Yet, he caught himself each time. It was startling to watch. As soon as the man had reached the bottom of the stairs, safely surprisingly, he laid straight before rolling against the wall and grinning into the wood. The police chief stood watching him expecting something more from the crazed man, but he did nothing more. He turned to someone coming to down the opposite stair.

 

“Dad.” His daughter Amber came down the stairs. She didn’t smile at him, but her eyes brightened at the sight of him. Her hair was bright red like her mother. Her eyes deep blue. She was strong in form like a dancer, but not willowing. Her arm was curled around her own clipboard. “There was a man up there that talked about the 6.”

 

He opened his mouth to speak, but the crawling man shot from the corner bolting to his daughter. He tackled her into the stairs laying on her nose to nose staring into her eyes. “You have the 6? You have 6?” He tilted his head. Running over, the chief went to grab the man’s shoulder but his daughter already shoved him off. He dropped into his crouch knuckles on the rug. “You said 6. You talk about the 6. You have the 6?” He dodged any attempted to grab him like a boxer. “You said 6!” He shouted startling everyone. Standing up, he faced her then the police chief. “Liar for miar. Liar in the box like a fox.” He turned on his heel marching to his corner to fall on his face on the floor.

 

The police chief went over to his daughter slowly to not provoke the man any further. Reaching out, he took her hand and pulled her to her feet. “I don’t understand…” She murmured. “In any case,” She spoke in a near whisper. “I don’t think we should mention it around other people unless…well, we want that sort of reaction. Now that we are closer to an answer, where more people are like this, I think it’s better we don’t speak about it around people at all. THere’s no telling if someone might have a worse reaction than he did.” His daughter turned to pick up her clipboard, but the chief watched the man. He couldn’t explain it but he knew the man was somehow very aware of them despite looking at the wall.

 

“I think we gave them a glance at our hand.” She looked up at her father brows drawn in confusion.

 

“Our hand?” She asked, but her dad didn’t answer only walked to the doors. What hand they had given away was a bit lost on her. Was it the fact they knew about ‘6’ or that they were police? Her lips pressed together.

 

“Come on. Let’s get out of here. I don’t like this place. It feels wrong.” Coming from the police chief, his daughter knew something was amiss. It wasn’t like him to be unnerved by anything. She knew he wasn’t sharing all the information with her, but part of her was glad. From what she had seen. What lied within this mystery was a gory mess meant only for horror stories. Nevertheless, she needed to continue. She was the only one that had her father’s back in this. No one else believed anything about it.

 

She sat on the steps with her knees drawn up to her chest her arms wrapped around them. What had her boss been thinking? That strange look in his eyes gave her the creeps. It was almost like he wanted something from her, but what was it? He had looked crazed, driven mad. His words…Had he really found it? Why would he actually use it? He of everyone should know what it does. He’d been studying it longer than anyone.

 

Her eyes pulled off of the pavement to an older man and a young woman walking from the inn towards their car. It was nicer than anything they had here, which labelled them as travellers. If they travelled here, they could only be looking for it. No one ever travelled here for any other reason. Everyone seemed addicted. Her world revolved around this stupid thing and she didn’t even know what it was. Her boss had given her hints, tips, and bits of information. Enough to keep her following him, but not enough to figure it out. He strung her along all this time with promises of fame, money, glory, or anything she might want. She hadn’t been in it for that, but more…to maybe fix this. She had studied biology and chemistry for a long time. There was never any indication it would help, but after her mother. After what happened to her mother, she had vowed to find out what ‘6’ was. Ten years later she still had no idea. She had found her boss, Damen, but he didn’t lead her anywhere but in circles.

 

She looked back at the man and woman. They were looking around for something and looking at clipboards. Whatever they were doing, it was so unusual someone was following them down the street. He was one of the shamblers. More animal than human. They weren’t the ones to really be worried about. Not that she had found. They were erratic, unpredictable, and sometimes terrifying, but mostly harmless. Unless, they thought you had ‘6’. Why was it called ‘6’ anyway? Sighing, she stood up heading down the street rubbing her arms. With her boss gone berserk, she only had the little bit of money left to find a way back home. There was nothing left for her here. Her goal unsuccessful. So close. She thought she had almost solved it. Her mother would remain where she was it seemed.

 

The town was small, but it had a surprising amount of people. Most had been seeking 6, but had become trapped here. Much like she was now. She had been told the town was like a black hole. No one escaped. No one left but in a bag.

 

There were four types of people she had found here so far, not that she had spent much time here or around them. Shamblers, as people called them. The semi-insane, semi-sane people that were barely coherent. The Bliss. People blissfully ignorant of everyone. Ones who seek but haven’t found. Unknowing of what terrible fates remain for them. Then, the amply named Teddies. The ones driven to the point of violence. They no longer care what violent, or manipulative  measures it takes to get more 6. No matter the games to play or who hurts. Her boss apparently became a Teddy. She didn’t want to stay to find out what she might become. 6 was like alcohol in a sense. There were different reactions to it as well. The fourth she had an idea of was what she called the Pawn. People unaware of their actions but performed complex tasks. If asked what they were doing, they usually had no idea. Pawn went about purposefully, which suggested someone controlling them. Which also suggest maybe a fifth type? The Mastermind?

 

Even with the amount of people here. She found the town in disrepair. Since she had some education, she hoped someone might want her services. Maybe with medical or constructing? After taking the 6, most people seemed to be incapable of comprehending anything, much less repair or maintenance. She walked up to a man who looked in charge.

 

“E-Excuse me?” She held herself, strangely cold. “I was hoping you could help me?”

 

“I don’t have 6.” He stated without looking at her. “Leave me. I need to finish.”

 

She watched him for a moment before turning. A hand clamped on her shoulder. Pain thrashed from her shoulder down her arm. Looking up, she stared at the man holding her shoulder. He wasn’t even aware he was doing it. “Please let go!” She cried trying to get his hand off. His grip was impossibly strong. “I didn’t…I didn’t do anything.” Her eyes flicked around but no one was watching or doing anything. “Help!” She cried out louder, but no one moved. Panic welled up within her. Her eyes darted from person to person. They all acted as if it were a normal day. “Help!” She yelled again  flailing out as the man dragged her into the building. He was still talking. Still looking at papers. While she bit, clawed, and fought for freedom.

Writing

The Hero Who Saves (snippet)

Prologue

 

The world had become so desperate; people everywhere were begging for food, money, water, or warmth. People could be heard praying loudly to their individual gods for reprieve. Their dirty, unwashed faces with no hope for the future looking just to survive one more day. No one had anything more to give. The more fortunate  looked down, away, anywhere there wasn’t a dirt streaked face with sorrowful eyes staring back at them. They feared they too could easily become one of the Forgotten. Travelers and the fortunate venture up the Hall of the Forgotten just as desperate to keep their fragile hold on their lives. The long corridor with bridges passing over head leading all who entered  up into the capital city, Vhuhmere, a place for you and me. As its name implies, the city was founded with the hope the country would stay for the people. However, this time had long since passed.

 

The path up into the city wasn’t steep but the angle gradually took it’s toll on those who walked through to the upper side of the city. The sandstone walls rose high above the people. As they climbed the hill, the walls seemed to fall back welcoming those with more into a place of comforts, as long as they ignored everyone and everything they passed on the way up. The greyed stone arches above their head gave at least a little comfort from the hot prairie sun beating down on them all.

 

The upper city was where those who could afford more lived. The ‘upper class’ literally looming over the impoverished people. The Forgotten only needed help getting back on their feet. Instead, they sat, lay, and wandered the Walkway. Others looked the other way as the forgotten were spit on, hit, kicked, and beaten into the dust. Those of noble society had even found it fun to dump refuse and muck down into the ‘Hall of the Forgotten’ in between the bridges onto the downtrodden. All of this, ignored by the Heroes Order.

 

Nearly at the end of the Hall, a woman knelt in her dull brown, ripped dress holding up a small child barely into her toddler years wrapped in a dirty, discarded cloth. She lifted the babe at anyone who passed.

“Please!” She begged. “Take my baby! Please!” She sobbed tears rolling down her cheeks. Everyone walked by pretending to be interested in something else. No one risked adding to their already tenuous hold on life. The woman bowed her head into her arm to cover her eyes crying into her soot stained sleeve. Her arm held close the only thing left in the world that mattered to her. She had lost everything. There was so little food even for her; she had lost her milk and had nothing left for her baby. She hoped, prayed, begged for someone who would take her. For her baby’s own sake. Maybe she might live a better life or she might actually live.

A soft hand touched her shoulder. It was gentle almost not there. Looking up with red, swollen eyes, she stared at a beautiful noblewoman in her vibrant powder blue dress. Her brown hair was pinned back with silver in a bun, curls dangling from it. The corner of her blue eyes dotted with gems, as per fashion. The mother didn’t know how to respond. Rarely did anyone in the Hall, especially nobles, stop for anyone,. No one had stopped for a child, or anything, that she could ever remember.

The noblewoman didn’t say anything understanding this was hard enough on the young mother. Instead, she lifted the babe onto her hip. The little girl gazed wide eyed at the woman unsure what to make of everything. Her red brown hair in messy curling waves. Her impossibly green eyes gazing into the noble’s face. Lifting her tiny fist, she put her knuckles in her mouth sucking on them. It had been her only comfort when her mother couldn’t give her suckle.

Smiling down at her, the noblewoman soothed her. “You will be alright, Little One.” Tiny hands clutching at her dress to hang on. The mother focused her attention solely on her not wanting her baby to go, but also not able to keep her. Her sobbing started back up causing her breath to hitch.

“Take heart, Woman.” She spoke a voice as soft as the clothing she wore.Her jeweled eyes turned back. “Your babe will be well taken care of, well educated, and well loved. You have done well raising her.” She dropped to a knee momentarily in front of the mother touching her shoulder once again. “You have done your best up to this point. It is hard knowing what is best for your children, but you have made the right decision. Take comfort. Your babe will do more than anyone will ever imagine.” The mother nodded unsure how to respond to such a statement as this. Her emotions which had been tremulous were calmed. Taking out a paper, the noblewoman scrawled in elegant script handing it to the mother. It simply told her where she could go to find a specific place where they served food. She would ensure she got what she needed there.

Not wanting to draw the attention of the guard, she pulled back checking to see if any paid them any attention. Standing back up and straightening her clothes, the noblewoman turned once again staring straight ahead. Not able to look into any other eyes. Not able to give them anything. It wouldn’t solve the problem. The Order would still end up with all of it. And she would be without any means to assist them any longer. She made donations where she could. There were several soup kitchens, shelters, and safe places because she ordered them built. It still wasn’t enough. The Hall was still overpopulated with more adding to it daily.  She promised she would change this. All of this would end. By the babe on her hip.

 

Halle ran through the corridor darting around a guard to a hidden closet. Her emerald green dress made so much noise. She tried to keep it out of the way, but the layers of cloth made it difficult. Pushing inside to the back, she crouched with her arms over her head waiting. Her breath came in heavy pants. She hoped of all things her breathing wouldn’t be the thing to give her away. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath trying to calm her rapidly beating heart. Her breathing stopped as footsteps drew near. Tightening her eyes shut, she wrapped her arms around her tighter trying to use magic. If she had just been able to understand her lessons this wouldn’t be happening.

The sound of a bell drew her head up. An intricate circle blossomed in front of her glowing turquoise. Her body stopped responding. The circle sent out blue strings wobbly and unsure, but there. They wrapped around her making difficult, if not impossible without magic, to move.

“Got you!” The little boy chanted pointing a pudgy finger at her. He laughed dropping his hand the circle falling with it. Halle felt the binding fall off of her. “You’re the easiest to find.” He taunted as he rushed off to get the others his half cape fluttering behind him.

Halle pulled herself up and out of the closet frowning. She had tried. The game needed her to use magic to conceal herself but she couldn’t ever do any. It was as if she didn’t belong in this world of magic. Sniffing, she wiped a tear from her cheek. A heavy hand dropped on her head.

She looked up with giant green eyes the hand sliding off the back of her head. The soldier who stood guard in the hallway pushed up the oval metal plate covering his face. His scarred but handsome face looking down at her. He was an older man, but one she knew from around the castle. He had become somewhat of a friend to her when the other children didn’t want to have anything to do with her. It was enough that she knew she wasn’t of noble birth like the others. It had been worse since the other children had found out.

“Don’t worry, Miss Halle.” He whispered. He wasn’t supposed to move or speak, though they all did it. For Halle. “When your magic comes in, I’m sure it will be as beautiful as you are.” The little girl grinned at him nodding with a thank you before rushing off. She made a mental note to pick some flowers from the courtyard for him. The soldier smiled putting the metal plate back in front of his face. His eyes trailing after her as she ran off. It was hard for him to stand by when she was picked on. Halle was like them. Normal. Down to earth. Caring and compassionate. Not like the other noble children who took whatever they could grab not caring who got hurt.

 

That evening the children stood in a loose line. Five of them grinning at each other. Only, Halle was nervous as she smiled back, even if they didn’t look at her. They were all so happy for their Naming Ceremony. Of course, each of them had displayed magic at some point. Halle had yet to show any potential. Was this the day she was kicked out of the Heroes’ Academy and told she couldn’t study here anymore? Shaking her head to get the thoughts out, she looked up at the men and women in cloaks striding across the room.

 

Tapestries depicting Heroes of old adorned the walls with gold and silver tassels on the bottoms. Though they held still, the images seemed to move as they told the stories of long forgotten men and women who had once saved them all. New candles stood flickering their light from the walls into the small circular room. The stone of the walls, and floor made the room uncomfortably cold, but added an otherworldly feel to everything. That might have been one of the reasons Halle felt so nervous. She felt out of place here in this world of magic and splendor. Like she was meant to be something or someone else.

The parents beamed down at them so proud as they took their places. Her mother looked back as kind as always though Halle hadn’t done any magic. How could she get her Name if she didn’t even know her magic?

The adults stood waiting around a small circular dais just big enough for one person. They left enough room for movement around the raised platform, but close enough to be a part of the Ceremony. Another woman in robes the color of milk came in from the door behind everyone at the back of the room. While the other adults were dressed in simple robes according to what type of Hero they were, this woman had iridescent swirling designs on the edges of her robes. The cloth opened in front revealing the cotton tunic underneath. It was nothing like the poor of the city wore. Even from a distance one could see its quality. She was also the only one wearing jewelry. A large jewel rest on her chest shining the way a well polished stone does. To Halle, this woman looked like the type to preen and strut. The type that would be severe. The type that would screech to everyone Halle’s lack of magic. The other children eagerly watched the elderly lady make her way slowly towards everyone.

“Come on…” One of the boys groaned under his breath. “I want to get my Name!” He complained. Halle was tempted to say something, but with her nerves twisting around her throat she doubted she could speak. Her hands opened and closed over and over as she tried to calm herself. The elder looked their way smiling, except when she looked at the boy who spoke. She raised an eyebrow at him, making the boy freeze, before continuing her long journey to the dais.

“You have come here.” The elder spoke loud and clear despite her age. “Expecting your Name. The Name defining who you and what you are and…” She paused for effect looking around. “Most importantly giving your magic true breath.” The children shifted around eagerly. Except Halle. “This is a difficult process for many. Not everyone wishes to go through with it. Some find the ember of magic with them dies with the ceremony.” A few gulped. Of course, it wasn’t exactly true, but the children didn’t know that. “But those special ones who have their magic grow, expand , transform inside them.” She smiled at them as she made a grand gesture. “They will be the true Heroes.”

Halle felt her stomach drop. She didn’t even have an ember of magic. There had been no gentle burning. No cooling. No…whatever words they used to describe it. Tears formed in her eyes as she tried to stay posture perfect in front of her mother preparing for when the elder told her she had no magic. That there had been a mistake.

“Trevor.” A little boy to the very left of her walked over and stepped up onto the dias trembling. The elder set a hand on his head closing her eyes. He stared at her for a moment before he too closed his eyes. There was a brief moment of warmth before his body wouldn’t move any more. He felt cold. So cold.

‘Trevor! Trevor! Where are you!?’

He wanted to lift his head to see who it was calling him. In the bottom of his stomach, he knew. He would forever remember that voice. The way it sounded that night. That horrible night his father died. Snow drifted around him obscuring his vision. Turning around, he tried finding him.

‘DAD!’ He screamed his small fists clenched. His whole body shivered violently. He couldn’t move. Everything was so…cold. Closing his eyes, he wrapped his arms around himself tighter tucking his head down. He wanted to cry, but the tears had long passed. He wasn’t sure how long he sat underneath the tree. His mind felt so muddled. Something brushed his cheek. Warmth flooded his body as he was lifted from the ground. Trevor wanted to scream at his dad to go back home, to run as fast as he could, but his mouth wouldn’t work. The sound of his father’s scream snapped his eyes open.

He breathed heavily for a moment looking around him. His eyes stopping on the elder before him.

 

She paused for a moment longer. “Artaxiad.” Her hand pulled back letting the boy look up better. Glancing around, he focused on his mother. She was staring at him. Smiling at him. He looked down at himself his eyes widening.

Wind rushed from beneath him glowing white. His body shone brighter and brighter until it matched the wind around him. Within the next second, it disappeared. Trevor Artaxiad stood breathing hard a shocked look on his face. His previously dirty blonde hair had turned an incandescent white blonde. He turned around to the other children grinning. His hands constantly had a white flame surrounding them. He lifted them as if to show everyone what had happened, even if it was clear. The memory that had played became a distant memory as he rushing toward his mother.

Trevor’s mother stepped from around the dais with him. They walked off to the side where they could watch but be out of the way. She knelt to give him a hug talking quietly to not interrupt the other Namings.

The elder once more turned to the group of now four children. “Emilie.” A young girl skipped up grinning at her. Looking down at her, the woman put a hand on her head. Their eyes closed almost at the same time.

 

A familiar sense of fear jumped into her throat. The wind whipped through her hair as her heart beat so hard she thought she would break. Her wide eyes searched for anywhere she could hide. The laughter behind her dropped her stomach further down and her heart into her throat. Tears burned her eyes. Her body hurt from the adrenaline pulsing through her veins. She needed to get away! If only her legs were strong enough. If only she were older. If only things were different. They were getting louder. Her feet pounded the forest floor as she looked for anything. Anything! She spotted a swampy pond. A rotting log. Shifting that way, she ran over crawling inside the hollow log clamping her hands over her mouth as bugs scurried around her. Even still, she kept herself in place, silent as the footsteps ran passed. The voices so loud in her ears. Her eyes closed tighter. Her bottom lip trembled as she begged for no one to find her. The next thing she heard opened her eyes.

 

“Temujiin.” The elder removed her hand once more.  Emilie looked up at the elder woman. Within those eyes, the memory faded to the background once more. She took a deep breath trying to calm herself down.

Looking down at her hands, she flexing them. Her magic wasn’t as dramatic as Trevor’s had been. It was less visible. Strength seemed to course through her. Lifting her head, she felt the ground shake for a second. A smirk popped up on her face. Somehow, this had been exactly what she had hoped for without knowing it was what she wanted. The girl spun around running for her parents who drew her close before heading over to where Trevor was standing with his mother. Her parents held her whispering about how impressed they were.

Halle frowned staring and watching. Sadness overwhelmed her as she stood. She didn’t know it would be like this. She should have stayed hidden. Her eyes remained forward as each child was called forward and named. Each of them had magic. Each of them had been given a Name. Her place was at the end. Probably because she hadn’t displayed magic. They didn’t want to ruin the Naming Ceremony for everyone else when she didn’t get her Name. Her mother even stood there watching her with sad eyes. She knew she wouldn’t get her Name.

“Halle?” She turned her head blinking at the elder who was beckoning her over. Slowly with lead feet, she trod over. Her eyes didn’t close as she felt the weight of the woman’s hand on her head. She didn’t expect anything. This was the moment she had been dreading. They would tell her to leave. Her mother would be so disappointed. After all, her mother had some of the strongest magic in Ivesa. When the woman didn’t speak, she looked up. The woman was watching her. Slowly, she let her eyes close.

Halle wanted to look up out of the blackness that instantly surrounded her. Within her mind, strange memories flit about. A man slamming the door. A woman sobbing. She didn’t stop sobbing. She wouldn’t stop sobbing! It grew louder and louder in her ears. Her hands snapped up to cover them, but it didn’t help. It was so loud she didn’t hear anything. The wailing turned into a howling wind. A scorching heat. A scream welled up from within her exploding out of her without a sound. Everything. She could feel everything.  The energy pulsing around her. She felt like nothing. Her body curled before something solid hit her square in the back. The heavy weight pushed her over, crushing her to the floor. Pain grew as the weight pressed her against the floor. Halle cried out for her mother but no sound came out. She wanted to run. Hide! Anything to stop the pain from consuming her. *Megei’liet*

 

“Halle!…Halle!” She heard a voice calling her. It was hard to pull herself out of…whatever dark place she had fallen into. When she managed to open her eyes, she saw her mother kneeling over her. She was crying like her birth mother had done. Why was she crying? Why was she making everyone cry?

“Oh, thank the gods!” Her mother pulled her into a tight hug. “You scared me, My Dear One.” Halle blinked rubbing her eyes with her free hand.

“What..?” She pulled back enough to look around at the scorched room. The curtains which had been strung on the walls with beautiful paintings and weaving now lay in tatters on the stone floor. The carved white wood dias now lay black starting from where Halle had been. Everyone who had come in with her stood out in the hallway looking in with wide eyes and soot-stained faces. All the beautiful tapestries and paintings that had been on the walls lay crumbled on the floor. Smoke curled at the ceiling taking on an ethereal feel by the light in the center swung slowly in a circle. “What happened?” She breathed. Her mother smiled a wobbly sort of smile.

“Your magic came to life.”

Writing, Writing Prompts

Could Be Worse

One Could Do Worse

 

In this infinite world of beauty and luxury, one could certainly do worse than this. Dancers spun around spinning turning about their gowns flairing. The orchestra played their waltz. Bored party goers sat on the side lines watching the people come and go. A giant chandelier hung from the ceiling lighting the room with swirls of crystal white. Tuxedos finely fitted to the men strutting about. Dresses embedded with jewels. Yes. One could do worse.

Her eyes shifted to the man in the corner near hidden. His face white and sullen showed a lack of affection for parties such as this. He was going to turn this party topsy-turvy. And it was going to be a blast. All she had to do was wait for the signal. It was hard waiting. The people drifting had absolutely no idea of the events about to unfold. It was so hard waiting.

Lifting her head, she watched the man glide to the dance floor like a poltergeist. A flutter started in her stomach. It was like kismet, fate, destiny. Whatever you wished to call it. He was hers. She stood graceful as a supernatural being could be. Floating to the dance floor, she held out her ashen hand the man taking it.

Everyone watched as the two moved in perfect sync. Each step timed with each other. Every movement liquid. It had gone silent apart from their steps rhythmic in their clicks.

No one was quite sure what to do about them. They couldn’t ask them to leave. It could lead to war. They couldn’t have them crashing their parties, but what were they to do? Eyes flicked about nervously, unsure of what was to transpire. The two remain staring into each other’s eyes. A small barest hint of a twitch at the corner of his lips.

“You look beautiful tonight, My Queen.” His deep baritone rumbled washing excitement over her features.

“Thank you, My King.” She didn’t hide her expressions nearly as well as he did, nor did she try to. Her smile was brighter than the lights shining about them.

A nefarious smile crept across his face.

“They’re staring, My Liege.” She whispered a coy smile on her lips, a blush on her pale cheeks.

“One can not resist staring at the brightest star in the night sky, Meine Perle.” He kept them dancing and turning though the music had long since stopped.

They didn’t continue for long. There were things to do. He held her hand high with his as he turned to lead her from the dance floor. Black seeped from the windows. People screamed panicking.

She looked from him to the table he led her to. Foods of various sort scattered on the table in ornate patterns. People scrambled about behind her running from the black. Picking up a food, she returned her eyes to him lifting to her lips the soft delicatessen.