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.”

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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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