Across the Barrier, fantasy, On-going Stories, World Weavers

Across the Barrier Chapter Three

‘I don’t like you.’ Luna’s Father’s voice was deep and gravelly.

He was also tiny. Considering moments ago, he had an eye the size of a whole roundabout.

‘Nice to meet you too, sir?’

Metior frowns at me and turns away to the old lady mermaid elf and the large dark skinned man.

For his tiny frame, he had a lot of white hair puffing around his head like fried wire. Thin frame under a baggy dress like garment covered with dozens of pockets in different sizes.

We were inside what looked like a church, but instead of pews, there was large scientific looking equipment.

He walks towards the front of the building beckoning the misfit group we were to follow him.

At the front where an altar could have been was a round door on the floor. The door opens upwards but there is no ladder or secret passageway but a misty portal sparkling.

He jumps in without a word and the others follow. I stand there pondering what I have gotten myself. If being dead was really that bad for this hallucination was getting out of hand.

A knobbly hand pops out of the portal, making it transparent, and I could see the other side of it. There was an ordinary home with a table, chairs, carpets, a fridge and a regular looking kitchen stove, not a fire pit or run by water or glowing electricity.

The hand grabs my leg and pulls before I could hop into the portal.

In seconds I’m in a familiar world. I was in the dining room beside an open kitchen. The side of a staircase rose in front of the dining area, its side wall covered in paintings and photographs.

The large man was tinkering in the kitchen with the old lady helping out.

I found myself sitting on the floor under the dining table on top of a worn carpet looking at the wobbly knees of Luna’s father sitting on a dining chair.

‘If you would like to remain there and be fed scraps, I would be glad to do so.’

I crawl out from under the table, he points at the seat beside him.

‘Your name, boy?’ He picks up a tablet and begins scrolling through it.

‘I’m Ben Hart, Sir.’

‘Yes, I see that, a college graduate with a degree in business. No pursuit in life, I see.’

He was not exactly wrong; I had never really gotten to choose my life’s purpose. Simply followed my parent’s orders.

‘Dabbled in being a pilot. The irony. How long have you known Luna?’ his voice drops into a whisper at the point he mentions her name.

‘For nearly five years, we had been friends at work.’

‘Luna would never have worked in a corporate company, it would have bored her.’ He admonishes.

Which was right, she found it utterly dull and had begun a little trade on the side of her own creating jewellery from scraps. Hoping to quit from a large company that she thought only cared about profits.

‘She was, eventually creating an online Jewellery shop.’ I say, he nods his head but as he opens his mouth a girl’s voice interrupts him.

‘Well hello Metior, Darya, Kai and stranger; Good morning!’

The girl was Luna’s age, but she had a wild look to her while Luna looked docile and sweet.

I stand to introduce myself, ‘Hi, I’m Ben Hart.’ I stick my hand out, and she laughs. She pats my hand and walks past me to the kitchen.

Hello Ben, I’m Kera. You don’t look like from another world. What could Metior want with you?’

She plugs in the water kettle and begins heating up water. Takes out a cup from a cabinet and wiggles a mug my way. I nod my head.

‘Thank you, I never thought I would get to drink coffee again.’

Kera shuts the cabinet and gives me a shocked face, ‘Coffee? What’s coffee?’

I look at Metior, and he shakes his head, ignoring the situation and continues to read from his tablet more about my life or me with Luna, I’m unsure.

Kera laughs, ‘Just kidding, I’ve been to three or four worlds now. I am always glad to come home for some coffee. They don’t seem to have it anywhere there. Which is crazy, I know.’

‘Worlds?’

She squints at me then at Metior.

‘He is from across the Barrier, nowhere else.’ he mumbles.

Her eyes go round, ‘I see why he needs the coffee. If I died, I would need ten cups.’

She quickly mixes the instant coffee for both of us and sits beside me, passing me a cup.

‘Well, what was being dead like?’ She gets comfortable with her elbow on the table with her chin cupped in her hand.

‘Nothing. Just emptiness.’ She nods her head, ‘Sounds deep.’

‘Sort of, cause I could see deep see fishes on the other side of this glass barrier. That’s where I saw Darya as a mermaid elf.’

She laughs out loud, ‘Darya! How come he got to see you in your original form? So jealous, right now!’

Darya slams a wooden spoon on the pan, ‘you will see it one day little Kera, do not worry.’ Darya seemed to be making scrambled eggs while Kai was tossing some sausages in the air. For a mermaid elf and a giant, they were quite comfortable in the kitchen.

Kera shrugs admittedly, ‘I’m sure we will, I just can’t wait to go to Metior though.’ She sips her cup, missing the glance Darya sends to Kai and Metior whose eyes stopped for a second scanning the tablet.

Kera gets up and heads to the kitchen to grab something lost in thought.

Kera looks ordinary, long curly dark brown hair with almond sharp light brown eyes on an oval, round face with a button-like nose and small plump lips. She returns from the kitchen with a slice of brownie.

‘Would you like some? Got to live in the moment, you never know when they’ll suck you through a portal and into a world with nothing but cold raw rabbit meat from a hunt.’

That was a little specific.

Kera chuckles, enjoying my awkward discomfort.

‘Just kidding, but it could happen. It happened to Misty.’

A groan comes from the staircase. Large male feet appear slowly going down the steps. He was lanky, dressed in a crumpled white t-shirt and black pants.

‘Hello, Misty, how was your sleep?’ Kera asks sweetly.

The boy enters the dining room space with messy black hair streaked with silver. He had bright ocean green eyes that now stared daggers at Kera.

‘When will you stop calling me that?’ He growls.

He looked exhausted, he had stubble that could be days old and dark shadows under his eyes. His clothes looked slept in and dirty like he hasn’t changed in days.

‘Ben Hart, Mr Grouchy over there is Lucian also known to me as Misty. He’s a partner in crime of a sort.’

‘More experienced than you, but you act like a know it all.’ Lucian passes by without a glance my way to the kitchen and makes himself a cup of coffee.

‘I like being better.’ Kera says smugly sipping her own.

‘Still can’t transform though.’ Lucian smirks.

Kera rolls her eyes, ‘I’ve been to more places than you.’

‘Enough.’ Interrupts Metior, just as Darya and Kia place breakfast on the table.

Lucian slips into the seat opposite me next to Metior while Darya and Kia take up the remaining two places.

I realise that in this world Darya and Kai seem unable to read my mind. I smile for the first time feeling comforted.

We can all hear your thoughts. That was Kera in my head.

We’re just being polite and try to ignore it.

Try imagining a barrier of a sort covering your thoughts.

Like a bubble around you.

In my head, she sounds kinder and gentler, less loud, a little like Luna.

I create an impenetrable wall surrounding my mind, like the barrier I had fallen through.

Can you hear me now? 

There’s no answer.

‘Let us eat,’ began Metior.

Kera smiles at me, making Lucian frown a little.

‘We shall reunite Luna with Ben today. Once together, I shall finally bring you to Metior City. It is time you learn your prophecy’s.’

Kera glances at Lucian, I could sense something between them. An understanding.

Luna, we’re coming.

Standard
Across the Barrier, On-going Stories, Short Story

Across the Barrier Chapter Two

I burst out of the surface of the water. At my first gulp of air, I swallow a little water as a wave crashes on top of me. I propel myself back to the surface, but a hand grabs my ankle.

Dragging me through the murky water, the bubbles blurring my vision.

When it finally let’s go, I’m left floating in bubble residue.

Relax little one, or you’ll put yourself back to eternal sleep.  

I try to speak, but all I do is gargle salty water. I hear the mermaid elf’s chimes. She is laughing, but as the bubbles clear I see a naked old woman in her place.

I cover my eyes immediately and immediately hear the chimes, the naked old lady is the one laughing.

It is I, the one you call mermaid elf. I’ve transformed myself into my human form. Ack, I can still feel all my aching bones and muscles in the water.

I peek through my fingers, and the old lady wiggles her fingers my way. I notice she has the same catfish whiskers as the mermaid elf.

Comforts me to feel them. I do not like being in my human form. Bad history.  

How is she talking to me?

 In your head, of course, come on, let’s go up to the surface here. Earlier you would have been smashed against the rocks.

I look around, but I see no way we were anywhere near land. It was endless water on all sides. Returning back to the older lady whiskers to find she’s gone.

A hand grabs my shoulder from above and lifts me up through the water.

I break through the surface and get lifted through the air by a large dark skinned man. He holds me above his head, inspecting me.

‘I don’t see what is so special of this human boy. He is thin and fragile and looks like a seahorse. I could crush him into dust right now.’ The man squeezes my shoulder tightly, sure to leave a bruise or worse dislocate my shoulder, rendering me unable to swim. Bravo.

“Whoa, I only look small because you are enormous! Not fair to judge, don’t you think?’ I try to wiggle out of his grip, although looking down below me there is nothing but water.

Then I notice the man is standing on a transparent step that leads to a large round door the size of a cruise ship. It’s camouflaged against the sunset sky. We were surrounded by endless ocean at all corners except for a little island towards the east, not far away.

‘No point looking in that direction little Kampos, we are not going there, we are going in here.’ He carries me as he enters through the invincible doorway water lapping against his large log-like legs.

I am enormous and don’t you forget. If you hurt my mate, you are crushed into sand.

‘My love, stop scaring the boy. We need his help, try to be nice.’ The older lady had disappeared but is back, and this time she was dressed. Thankfully.

She is wrapped in a loose sheer white gown dusted with crystals that look like salt.

‘It’s not salt, it’s Stardust.’ The older lady pats her dress pleased with it.

‘It’s quite lovely; the Metiri women like to create them when the Astercentrum bursts. It leaves behind Stardust.’

I must be losing my mind. What the old lady was saying made no sense, and the fact I am dangling under the hold of a giant man as he walks through a crowded street in the middle of the ocean inside some kind of floating invincible city.

I think I died the second time, and I’m floating through the glass barrier lost forever.

All this had to be inspired by Luna, she did have an otherworldly look. Especially her glowing white hair and grey eyes that sometimes look silver. That makes sense. She always did inspire me. This city, not so realistic.

‘You are not dead little Kampos, you are in Metior, city of the fallen stars.’ The big man grins at me proudly like I should know what he was talking about.

The older woman pats my foot that is dangling dangerously close to her face.

Does that count as a danger to his mate?

They were somehow able to read my mind, the older lady moves a step away, and the man lifts me higher.

There was an advantage of being carried. Not like a baby mind you, more like a rat caught by the exterminator.

Metior City looks like the Egyptian and the Atlantean’s made babies and left them abandoned in the middle of the Ocean.

Everyone here was long but nimble and robust. Some had elongated ears like elf’s, just like the older woman. There were dark and light skinned folks with a few who had a mix of green and gold. Or maybe that was all makeup?

All the people look busy but happy. All protected under the invincible dome. Wouldn’t it be nice if Luna and I lived here? Get a little house on the edge far from other folks just enjoying the view of the ocean and sunset.

The man holding me starts chuckling.

I quickly erase it all and focus on my surroundings. Until I figure out what is happening. I’m supposed to be dead, but now I’m here. If this is a second chance to be with Luna. I will figure out a way to fly if I have too. I mean if this place exists. Surely I can fly.

The streets are clean; you could see the water streaming under the glass floors like jets of electricity.  There is another stream that intermingles with the water in its own current. It has a golden glow, like an endless stream of light. It’s intercrossing, a double network of energy. That must be what made the city work.

Some vehicles float inches from the ground, the golden light zigzagging across the top of the vehicles glass window, forming symbols like a code.

It’s all crazy, and it gets crazier.

We enter a large garden, and in the centre, I could see a large well where all the streams of light are flowing from.

Hooded figures surround the well chanting in a deep, haunting tune. Past the garden, we walk by buildings made of large crystal shards floating upwards in a cone-like formation.

The base looks like a massive fire was burning below the transparent floor. The entire base could fit four to five cars side by side.

As we move closer, I peek down and I see under the glass floor is a giant eye looking straight up at me. The pupil looking like a black hole. Symbols flash across its pupils and disappear. It follows us as we walk by it.

‘What is that?’ I point backwards, trying to look back over my shoulders.

‘That is Metior, Luna’s father.’

What?!

Second chances come with a price.

Standard
fantasy, On-going Stories, Short Story

Across the Barrier Chapter One

It was too early. There is barely any light going through the parting in the curtain. The clock reads seven in the morning, and my girl still had time in that dream of hers.

Above her head, floating like a marshmallow cloud is a dream. She is dreaming of me. The house where we would live, close to some trees near the bottom of a mountain. My office full of paperwork right beside hers which is full of colours made up of drawings of the characters she dreams of. It was all a future waiting to happen.

Except it wasn’t.

Her silver-white hair splayed around her head like the moons glow on her pillow. Her nose is as cute as a button and lips meant for me to kiss for a lifetime.

But it isn’t.

Luna Gold was my girl. To the world, she was simply another girl in the crowd, but to me, she was everything. She was my future home, the mother of my children, the beautiful angel to walk down the aisle into my supposed life.

Forever.

But here I am, looking through what seems like a thick ocean wall of dark glass. I don’t know what this barrier is, but there were creatures on the other side.

There were long ones and short ones, ugly and beautiful beings swimming and floating around. My favourite I would say would be the silver finned fairy-like fish. It had a tiny body like a little elf, with long elongated ears; eyes like a cat but it changed colour sometimes like a mood ring.

It had a flat nose like a catfish with the whiskers too. It had a bottom body of a fish. It was pretty much like a mermaid elf with a flat face. It likes to smile at me through the glass, and it would watch Luna with me.  I want to think she understands how I feel; Luna was a whole world away, and I couldn’t touch her or say a word.

A farewell.

I lean against the glass barrier, an ocean between Luna and I. We were meant to have a life together. Our first child would be named Juan and if it was a girl, Uno. She hated those names. I thought it was clever.

I slam my fist against the glass.

Being dead sucked.

She is waking up, as her everyday routine, she groans and moans, tosses and turns. Her body and mind were waking up before the alarm would ring.

She wants to stay in the dream longer. I don’t disagree with her, we were kissing pretty heatedly. I would stay in the dream too if I could.

Even better, be there to actually kiss her.

The alarm rings and she snoozes it. Again, then again, until she has to rush out of bed, hit her toe on the corner of her cabinet and finally wake up due to the pain. Her first few words of the day were curses. She was amazing. Adorable.

I, of course, look away when she gets undressed and slip into the shower. I am no peeping Tom. So stop looking or imagining. Luna’s my girl.

I start to move away from the glass wall to give her space, but I’m stuck. Then I feel my body sinking in through the glass until with a pop I’m fully inside. The world is frozen.

I see the mermaid elf smile at me for a second. I wasn’t sure if it was a menacing smile, considering I may be about to die my second death stuck inside the thick glass barrier.

My vision begins to warp into a kaleidoscope of the mermaid elf’s face with Luna in the shower and the dark world behind me with other drifting souls. The colours begin to warp much faster, sliding into smaller pieces becoming unrecognisable images into a mirage of colours. While my body feels like it’s being dunked in and out of frigid ice water.

My body shivers, goose bumps form all over my body, and I could hear the chattering of my teeth but sound like hammers slamming at the same time to my ears. My vision moving fast but my body feels sluggish.

I could feel myself moving, but I could not see where I am going. Everything is white. There were plenty of scary creatures across the barrier now that I think about it. The eel-like creature with red scales and red eyes, sharp ebony teeth that look poisonous.

What about the creature that looks like an ugly mass of hair with twelve human-like eyes. I had called it ugly to its face, not sure if they could actually hear me through the glass. It could strangle me with its hair-like tentacles, but I feel nothing but cold pour down my back like liquid metal enveloping me.

My vision suddenly sharpens, the white is gone and replaced with murky water. I’m floating in front of the barrier; creatures swim past, ignoring me. No sign of the one I called ugly. Thankfully. I’d just crossed through the glass barrier, other spirits a blur through the thick glass I had been encased in.

I’m floating in water with the odd little fish creatures, am I on the bottom of the ocean floor?

I notice the mermaid elf is now meters away, she is watching me. She points towards the direction where I had seen Luna through the glass. I could no longer see Luna, it was an endless open ocean.

I tried to speak to the mermaid elf, but there were only black bubbles coming out of my mouth. The mermaid elf laughs at me, it sounded like sharp piercing chimes to my ears.

She points again towards where Luna’s life had been projected. She swims towards the direction she had directed, and I follow.

We enter a current; I could not swim against it if I tried. The mermaid elf chimes as she rides the current. Her scales creating a sort of haunting tune.

I try to look behind me, but I no longer see the glass barrier. Looking forward, I see memories of life itself as it unfolds. It was like a lifestream. The current a tunnel.

I could see different people’s lives, little children dressed in rags as they play on dirty streets while a band practises right behind them. An old lady carrying a basket of food on top of her head as she crosses the road.

The stream changes again but it was in the artic. A polar bear so thin it looks like a ghost was walking alone in the vast emptiness of clean white snow. The lifestream shifts to a pretty little girl sitting on a bed. She is dressed all pretty like she was going to a birthday party but a sleazy old man enters the room, and if one were not looking, they would have missed the tear that slides down the girl’s cheek.

The lifestream shifts and then I see my family, they were at home sitting around the table eating. I realise I barely contacted them. A deep pang of regret twinges in my chest.

Flashes of different peoples life flash in the lifestream, but one meant more than anything.

Then I see the light.

The beginning of a second chance in life in the unlikeliest form.

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fantasy, Novel, On-going Stories, The Faceless Queen, World Weavers

The Faceless Queen XI

Aurora struggles against the black mass tightening around her waist. She begins to chant under her breathe but the old man sends a thin slithering mass of the mist over her lips.

It was not Aurora he was looking for. It was Kera. I quickly unwind the strands of my ring and release the Leukos strands into the air. They were of light perhaps against this darkness they too could be used. The Leukos are automatically drawn towards the black mass.

As their light meets the mist’s darkness, it begins to sizzle and burn at the edges like paper. The old man roars and nearly drops Aurora.

The Leukos strands begin to multiply creating holes through the dark cloud and bodies begin to drop through it to the floor.

Dark tendril begins to wrap around my waist, but at contact with my skin, it begins to burn away too.

The old man becomes furious, his body shaking you could hear his bones rattle. He drops Aurora without care, but she falls slowly like a feather.

The old man begins to collect what is left of his black mist sucking it into himself. His eyes fill up with blackness.

He glares at Aurora at the same time he begins to create a doorway in the middle of the air.

“I will be back Weaver.” He walks immediately through his portal and is gone.

My Leukos return slowly back to be reforming back into my ring.

I move towards Aurora but she waves me off.  “I am fine. The Leukos is a nice touch by the way.” She smiles at me weakly, but she was proud.

“I had to try something.” A hint of a blush creep up my neck, I hide it as I move to Kera and the girl.

Both are fine and had slept through it all. I touch Kera’s forehead gently and slowly I feel her face slipping off mine, I follow it’s energy enter me and through the cord that we weaved last night. Her face fades back to its proper place.

Aurora comes to my side. “He’s after her you know. She is the weaver.”

“Who was he and what is a weaver?” I ask as Kera’s eyes begin to flicker open.

“He lives in-between spaces, said to have been exiled there by the Gods. Somehow, he’s found a way to enter our world-”

“Woah, what happened in here?”Kera sits up and looks around the room. I follow and see multiple bodies lying in puddles of black water. Just as my room door opens and a crowd of people walk in.

Joaquin amongst them goes straight to Aurora who pats his comfortingly on the chest. “I’m fine Joaquin. Alessa saved me.” His face crumples with guilt, “I’m sorry,” he begins but she simply covers his mouth with her hand.

“No apologies boy, she did it for Kera not me. I know you would have done the same for me.” At these words, Kera looks at me confused.

“What happened exactly? I just remember blacking out.” She slides off the bed and stands next to me.

I grab her hand and squeeze it gently. “I’m glad you are back.”

I turn back to the crowd as a little girl groggily rises on up on her short legs.

“Father?” Then I see King Ubel push against the crowd. He rushes towards the little girl and lifts his daughter into his arms. A sight I never thought I would see.

There had been no news of his daughter’s existence.

Aurora smiles at the sight, “His daughter has been missing before you were born. Hopefully with her around change will come to Uvelin.”

Similar scenes occur throughout the room as some families are reunited.

It gets even more crowded as the Evergreen emissaries enter with their Head Priest who looks straight at me and Kera.

“I apologise to all, the enemy had broken through the islands barrier but I see we have new guests coming home. Please follow your emissaries and they will provide anything you need. We shall commence our meeting in due time.”

The crowd dwindles away as the Head priest walks our way.

He bows as he greets me, “Your Highness, we apologise to have your sanctuary be punctured by so much negative energies. I will have it cleansed. Perhaps if you all could follow me?”

He turns and walks away without waiting for our replies. Young acolytes enter with bowed heads as we leave.

He pauses as I catch up to walk at his side while Aurora, Joaquin and Kera follow behind.

“The girl who still sleeps, will she still be needed?” He begins to walk again.

“No, she may return to her family.”

“I’m afraid that would not be possible. She has been touched by the dark, and we will need to examine her.” I turn to him, “she has been infected?”

He nods his head. “Her soul has been replaced with a minion. We will see what we can do. Kera would have been infected too but your little light friends the Leukos seemed extra protective of her.”

“How do you know?”

“I was not there, but I can see it for it has past. As I entered that room, I have seen the past echoes of the energies movements like memories.”

“So you’re like a psychic.” Kera comments.

The head priest laughs, “In a way, yes like the psychics in your world I suppose is as close as it gets.”

Kera’s eyes widen, but before she could say anything, he waves it off. “People from other worlds vibrate at a different level.”

He brings us into a small chamber.

He turns and beckons us to sit on the available chairs.

“I’ve told you that I can see the past, people’s energies echo through time. Most don’t see it but there are some like I who are given this gift. Then there are those who can see the paths that come in the future.

Many lines are moving towards the future, and one remains constant in the battle we will soon enough face and it is Kera.”

All eyes turn to her.

“Kera your story is unfolding.”

 

 

The Faceless Queen will be on hold, future adventures to come but for now, we move towards other characters to widen the world a little bit more. 

Standard
fantasy, Novel, On-going Stories, The Faceless Queen, World Weavers

The Faceless Queen X

I had not killed her, but the pull was stronger. Whatever had happened had sucked us into a vortex of each other’s minds and memories. I could feel and hear her like she was right next to me even though she was in the separate room. She admitted to feeling the same connection. Constantly asking questions of the faces she sees. Hardest of all was Flora.

I walk into the main room as two of my men enter. They held a young girl who is obviously frightened. Kera looks at me with a confused look.

“I thought you have accepted you?” She said it like it was so easy.

“I can’t meet the other rulers as I am. They will judge me incompetent, and I don’t need Eydollon to hear about it.”

Strangely, as I looked at the girl, I felt no pull at all. I craved Kera’s energy.

“Kera you need to leave,” I say this as I fight the pull that grows stronger.

“No, I won’t let you do this to yourself anymore. I know you hate it and every time you do it you despise yourself even more. Your father should have loved you as you are!” She blocks my way as I head to the girl.

“Kera please, you don’t understand. Whatever happened to us last night has made my powers erratic and extremely bonded with you. I may kill you.” I brush past her but it was all I had to do with the touch of our skin, she falls to the ground faceless.

The girl begins to scream and fight against the guards hold.

My stepmother bursts into the room with Joaquin as I go on my knees to help Kera, but her face stares up at me empty.

My stepmother mumbles a few words under her breath and the girl stops screaming and faints. She points at the bed, and the guards lay her there.

“We come to pick you up only to find magic blasting through the air.”

Kera lay on the ground as if she were sleeping. Her chest rose and fell. She is alive, and no girl before have lived after.

“Go to the meeting, I will stay with her to find out how this is happening.”

Joaquin takes my arm into his, “She will solve this little mystery. For now, it’s time you met the other leaders of Eludemare.”

As I step out of the room, I want to go back to Kera, something didn’t feel right.

Halfway down the hall, I stop.

“Don’t you feel it?” I turn to Joaquin who tilts his head like he is listening to something.

“Something is disturbing the Evergreen.”

“We have to go back.”

Joaquin pulls me back to him away from my room.

“She’s just a girl, are you risking your kingdom’s place for her?”

It felt like a slap to my face. “My Kingdom is my priority, I’m sure the other rulers can wait for a few more minutes.”

I push past him and quickly head back to my room. As I enter, I catch sight of a massive black tar-like liquid floating in the air, and an old wrinkly crooked man stood over my stepmother controlling it.

While Kera lay asleep next to the other girl, who was still out cold, both oblivious to the nightmare that floated nearby.

Screams came from the dark mass, wretched faces stretched against it trying to claw their way out. Joaquin quickly steps in front of me, but the old man did not notice us at all.

“Hello again Aurora, it has been many years since my eyes fell upon such beauty.”

“Leave, you are not welcome here.”Aurora stands up stiffly moving away from the bed.

“Oh but aren’t all the little powerful rulers here to discuss what I created?” The dark cloud slowly moves around the old man and Aurora like it was alive. Tendrils stretching out towards Kera, and the girl like it was curious.

“Leave her alone old man.”  I push past Joaquin and face the old man.

“Ah, the faceless queen what a pleasure to meet you! I see you’ve just donned a new face. Quite pretty indeed.”

“What do you want?” I demand.

“Aurora! Your little apprentice is quite rude and boring.” He says looking offended as he wraps the mist around Aurora’s waist lifting her up in the air.

Aurora looks down at Joaquin, “Get out of here. Warn the others.” Joaquin hesitates but obeys, leaving immediately.

The old man only cackles. “Dumpling boy won’t make it! Come now Aurora, as much time as I have, I rather be gone from this place. Gives me quite the itch. Tell me, where did you learn the weaver’s magic? I sensed it here.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”

Standard
fantasy, On-going Stories, The Faceless Queen, World Weavers

The Faceless Queen IX

A room away I could hear her crying. The sky must have felt her heart aching and had broken open, shedding gallons of tears into the Evergreen. The droplets slid down the crystals like they were tears streaming down her cheeks.

I groan rising off the bed, I go to the hot spring farther away from Kera.

I’ve sent out my men to find a willing sacrifice for a face, a high price in return would be given. A part of me hopes they find no one while the other fears if they don’t I would see my fathers ghost haunt me in the meeting with the other leaders.

Another voice whispers with Kera’s face in my mirror’s reflection. I shudder at the thought; Flora was a friend that once haunted my reflection. Months with her face looking back at me. The whispers in the hallways of the castle echoed with judgment, fear and worst of all, pity.

The doors of the hot spring open. It’s Kera with puffy eyes lost in her head.

I rise from the hot springs to go making her notice me. She stumbles backwards tripping over her nightgown.

“I’m sorry, I’ll go I thought you were asleep.”

“It’s fine, I am done.” I climb down the Hot spring steps fully naked. She turns her back to me.

“I’m sorry.” She mumbles.

“Sorry?” A little of the fury that wiped my face away earlier in the day unfurls inside me.

“As you say I am like the king of Uvelin, I’m sure I should steal your face this moment as punishment.”

I see her wince.

“You’re not like him. I’m just…” Kera begins to sob fighting it.

“I am a monster, there is nothing to be sorry for.” I move towards her slowly.

“I never hid it from you.”

She turns and hugs me. “I’m really sorry.”

She gazes up at me, and I could feel my power hungry to wipe her face away. To make it mine.

I struggle to free myself from her, but she holds me tighter.

“Let me go, I don’t want to hurt you.” But she won’t let go.

“I know you won’t do it.” She pleads.

A blaze spreads through my body enveloping both of us.

Something in my core begins to thread with hers like a gentle pulling and intertwining. Our souls were interweaving into something I have never done before.

I try to fight it afraid I’m killing her. I struggle fighting harder, but the more I pushed, the heavier the hold.

The fire burns out of our body making the whole hot spring room even more humid. The fire reflects upon the crystals in the trees making it look like it too was on fire.

Flashes of our memories intermingle in my mind.  Kera could see my childhood memories with Flora, my mother and father and my stepmother. While I could see her own, sitting on the floor crying in a corner with wires coming out of her ears.

A final tug and we both sink to the floor crying.

“Am I dead?” she looks around blinking plenty.

Relief spreads through me, I hadn’t killed her but what had happened?

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fantasy, On-going Stories, Short Story, The Faceless Queen, World Weavers

The Faceless Queen VIII

I was raised to be oblivious of the world around me. It was easier to bend me to the will of my father and his court. I had spent my youth playing dress up with beautiful gowns and hiding in my room in self-pity.

Now I sit in the Evergreen Library and I feel foolish.

Eydollon has a massive library bigger than the whole of the Evergreen compound but I had never thought to explore it further than Eydollon’s history and laws. I was conforming myself to past beliefs.

Here the books about the other parts of Eludemare are beyond that I could believe. Kera beside me is as astounded.

“Holy Moly there’s such thing as shapeshifters here. There’s this Cateline that’s rumoured to have turned a fox into a shapeshifter. How cool is that?!”

I roll my eyes. Ever since she had begun reading the books along with me she had lowered her guard down and exposed she was not from Eydollon for I had been to every part of my kingdom and her accent and way of speaking was not from any part. However, the way she read about the rest of Eludemare she seemed unaware of its existence as much as I.

Oddest of all, she had the ability to read the texts of all the different languages although never being to the places.

“Kera, where are you from?” she freezes and looks up to me uncertain what to say.

She sighs, “Here.”

“I’ve read about dragons, shapeshifters, Jinn’s, floating cities, reincarnated Gods what can’t you possibly say that could shock me further than that. I already know you are not from Eydollon.” I slam the book I’m reading shut on the table in frustration.

“I don’t know if I can tell you. One thing I will say though is, I’m here to help you somehow.”

“I’ve seen in your mind you are from another world.”

“Since we’re being honest and prying into each other’s faces, I hope I wasn’t sent here to be sacrificed to be your next face. It’s not that pretty anyway.” Kera rises to walk away but I pull her towards me.

She tries to fight, eyes growing round and frightened. I was growing tired of her rebelliousness and fear.

I grab her shoulders tightly and look deep into her eyes like the other girls she’s seen me take their faces. I could feel her shaking but she defies herself from uttering a sound.

“I made you my servant because I could not take something you are unwilling to give. Have I not proven I would not hurt you. Why must you make it so hard to become a friend?”

“You want to be friends? Would you be friends with the King of Ubel after finding out he turned his court into the Skotos?” I let her go like I was burnt. She saw me equal to that of King Ubel.

She immediately begins to apologize but I throw her out of the library with a brush of my hand slamming the library doors shut at her face.

I could feel my inner fire burning out of my skin and the face of the latest girl burning off at the edges.

I was a monster but not like the King of Uvelin that I knew.

My old true senses returning slowly, my ordinary human senses burning away.

How could I have been so blind to think someone could be my friend.

A hand grabs my arm and I try to shake it off but it holds firm tightly.

If i did not stop the fire I would be faceless to the rulers tomorrow. I could not find a willing sacrifice in time.

“Don’t fight it.” It was the voice of the man her stepmother had brought to introduce me.

“Let go of me. You don’t understand!”

“I do, I was abandoned in the streets of Uvelin to become an odd faceless boy child serving a provincial lord. He used my powers to feed him an endless supply of dumplings.”

“Dumplings?” The fire inside me snuffs out, wisps of it flicker out the tips of my fingers and hair.

The man chuckles letting my arm go. “Long story short, I had been caught on the street creating a dumpling out of thin air. I was hungry.”

I couldn’t help imagine a scrawny little boy with dumplings before him only to be disturbed by men to take him to the provincial lord.

“I wasn’t that scrawny, I was only caught because I had gotten greedy and hadn’t been careful. I usually eat in the safety of an abandoned church cellar.” As he says this I could see it in my mind from his perspective. He was sharing his memories with me.

“We can do that? Share memories?” I ask creating a barrier in my mind.

“Yes, only in our true form. No need to build a wall against me, I would not pry if not invited.”

“But I could see into Kera’s dreams without her permission.”

“She is not like us. We mustn’t share our gifts with others. They may take advantage of it.”

“Kera is different.”

“I know.”

The man sits down in Kera’s seat and beckons me to sit down.

I look around and the world around me feels different, I could not help feeling relieved to have my senses undiluted but I could not stop seeing my father’s judging and disapproving eyes.

I look back at the man and I notice he looks different. He was naked but for bright orange flames flickering around the edges with darker swirls across his body covering the important sections.

I could feel a flush rise up to my face if I had one.

“What you see is my true form as I see you since we have met. although right now you seem to be a little pinkish like you were blushing.”

“What are we?” ignoring his comment.

“You know the answer to that, your stepmother has shared our people to you. Well, half of our true people. We were born in human form, encased. While they are in their true form entirely.”

“You’ve met them?” I sit in disbelief.

“I have travelled around Eludemare, looking for others like us. There are many, taking many different forms of work to use their unique abilities. You are the only other person with a similar ability to create from our energies.  Most of our kind have simple abilities and are kind and humble while there are those who are angry and hunger for more power. We are no different from human folk in terms of greed.”

“I meant the true versions of the Shinkami, you have met them?”

He nods, “I met one in my travels, he was quite arrogant but he says no human or half Shinkami can enter their domain. I have yet to try.”

The library grows quiet. I look at the clock and see that time had moved on quickly. It was time to go back to my quarters.

“I think I better get back to check on Kera.”

The man stands and holds his arm out. “I’ll walk you.”

“I’m Joaquin by the way.” He says as I hook my arm with his.

The library doors open.

“People call me the Faceless one back home.” Joaquin chuckles, “Your real name?”

“I’m Alessa.”

Kera stands at the door looking forlorn as she looks up her face turns to amazement.

I look through her eyes and I too am speechless.

We look formidable.

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