Friday, 21 October 2016

Swords, Sails + Scoundrels: A Big Creepy Dark

*cue sounds of celebrating a confetti mushroom clouds and pizza behind eaten*

Yes! I have relented and you are going to get the end of SS+S before December.

Aren't I nice?

Also, I couldn't wait that long either, so I decided to do it now.

Titles were hard to choose, now that I've done all the letters of the alphabet I considered just 'Climax' or 'Surprise Package' but it was suggested that I try ABCD all in the one title.


A Big Creepy Dark.

So I stuck with that as the title.

But now, enough talk. Onward to the climax and all.

The Dark-shrouded figure of my brother turned, beckoning me after him.

I had to do this.

“Marius, I will save you,” I whispered.

The fog swirled, hiding him from view, cold dread clenching my heart.

Everything was resting on me.

I had to be strong enough.

Stepping further into the Dark fog, I felt the tendrils curling around my legs, sliding up my back and across my shoulders.

A shiver of fear ran down my spine.

Could I really do this?


I had to.

There was no other way.

Forcing myself forward, I repeated the words under my breath.

There was no other way.

I had to do it alone.

My feet slipped on the damp sludge overing the ground, keeping me off balance and stumbling.

I couldn’t fall.

I couldn’t fail.

The Darkness grew heavier with each step forward, wrapping thickly around me, blurring my thoughts.

Was there really any hope?

I couldn’t see even the faintest Light in the heaving, throbbing, living Darkness.

Had there ever been hope?

Then ahead I saw the entrance.

A gaping wound in the earth, tendrils of Dark lapping at the edges. Whispering softly. Pulling me in.

To the Darkness beneath the ground.

At my back, the distant sun hovered on the horizon, a dim speck hidden behind brooding clouds.

It was as if all hope had disappeared.

My breath heaved, panic and fear choking out all thoughts.

Hope had disappeared.

Light had never existed anyway.

The Dark wrapped around me like a net.


I couldn’t escape.

Suddenly I was running. Running past the opening, throwing myself deep into the fog.

Running from everything.

Running from myself.

I tripped on a stone, falling forward onto my hands, fingers clenching tight in the thick moss that covered the stones. A tear dripped off my nose, seeping into the damp soil.

I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t make myself.

I let my head fall forward, my forehead touching against the stone.

It was over.

I couldn’t do it.

The stone groaned a little, shifting downward. I frowned, pushing myself up. Nudging the stone sideways I stopped short.

A trapdoor.

A window.

A trickle of hope slid through the fog in my mind, leaving a faint trail of Light.

The inklings of a plan started forming in my mind.

If I could just…I bit my lip, glancing around.

Jerking a vine from a drooping tree branch, I coiled it around on the ground beside me, turning my attention back to the old square of wood. Cracking my fingers into the narrow gap between the ground and the wood, I pushed, trying to heave it aside.

A narrow crack inched wider and I felt the hope welling. Then the back of my hand knocked against the vine, sending it slithering down the trapdoor into the ground.

“No!” My heart leapt into my mouth and I released my grip, jamming the tip of one finger before I could jerk my hands back.

The vine jerked to a stop, caught firmly in place.

Maybe I could use it still.

Clenching my teeth down over my tongue, I forced back the folds of despair writhing around me in the Darkness.

I had to keep going.

Wrapping the remaining end of the vine around a stone, I set it against the wood, pushing my weight on it.

It groaned as the trapdoor shifted downward a few centimeters.

Sitting upright again, I drew in a deep breath.

I could do it.

I just needed to reach the vine from inside, pull it open, and the sunset light would come in.

It had to work.

Straightening, I turned, blinking back the fear that hovered in the back of my throat. The fog seemed to part a little, a slight trail forming in the Darkness.

I had to follow it, no matter what lay beyond.

Clenching my hands into fists, I stepped forward. The path swirled, Darkness weaving with Darkness, adding layers of hopelessness to the trail.

I would stop Dark, it was all that mattered now.

The entrance was in view far too quickly. The Darkness was bending my mind, I had been certain I was further away before.

Surely it couldn’t have that much control over me?

I swallowed hard, pushing down the panic and dread that clogged my throat.

Closing my eyes for a moment, I stepped forward into the shrouds of Dark.

The Darkness clouded my thoughts, every step seeming sluggish as if I was wading through water. There was movement to my right. A figure. I reached out my fingers, brushing Marius’s arm.

He flinched back, turning his face away.

I would save him.

I would save everyone.

It was all up to me.

I had to.

It was all that mattered.

The Darkness grew wider, and I sensed, rather than saw in the dimness, that the cavern widened into the deep room I’d seen in my dreams.

My foot knocked against a chain hanging limping from the wall, links trailing across the stone floor. I reached out, feeling for the vine.

It had to be somewhere.

Something slapped against my cheek and I screamed, biting off the sound halfway through.

I needed to calm down, my plan would work.

I could do it.


Wrapping my fingers around the end of the vine that had touched me, I closed my eyes, listening hard for a sound.

A slow drip of water came distantly, echoing on the walls.

And then I heard a swirl of movement, like the rustle of bat’s wings.

From the Darkness, and even Darker figure stepped.

Dark himself.

My throat closed up. I couldn’t breathe.

What had I been thinking?

A throb of hopelessness swelled in my heart, so real and bitter than my knees buckled, almost sending me to the cold stones of the floor.

I had to be strong enough.

“You have come.”

Dark’s voice echoed through my mind, pounding inside my forehead. Every word repeating over and over.

I couldn’t block it out.

“You…you should stay back.” My voice came thin even though I tried to force it out confidently.

Dark tilted his head to one side. “She is less than I expected.”

Marius appeared, head bowed. He didn’t look at his Master.

“I can beat you,” I said, my tight throat choking over the words.

They hung false in the Darkness.

Even I couldn’t believe them.

“You have seen my power, yet you think to win this battle?” Dark’s voice sounded vaguely amused.

He stepped closer, the shrouding cloak swirling ominously.

Breathe. I had to breathe.

What had happened to hope?

“Don’t make me—” I couldn’t get out the rest of the words.

Dark chuckled softly, the hood low around his face.

Somewhere beneath where his Dark orbs of eyes.

Eyes that would capture the souls of any who looked into them.

He stepped forward again.

Do it! I screamed at myself, but my thoughts spun dizzyingly.

Doubt hammered against my forehead.


I could do it.

It was all that mattered.

I tugged the vine.


Shoving down the fear I pulled harder.

It had to work. The trapdoor would open.

“Is that your trick? Is that what I must be afraid of?” Dark laughed, the sound drowning all hope.

My fingers slipped from the cord and I stumbled backward into the wall, sobs choking in my throat.

“Please.” I didn’t know who I was talking to.

Someone. Anyone who would listen.

“Please. I can’t do this on my own. Help me. Help me please.”

I had failed.

And in that moment, I knew.

I never could have done it.

I was never going to be able to succeed on my own.

“Please.” It was nothing more than a whisper now.

But there was no one to hear.

Dark stepped forward until his feet were almost within arm’s reach, the cape of blackness streaming behind him. “You have failed. You were doomed from the very start. Surely you didn’t expect to be able to win.” He laughed.

I covered my ears with my hands, but the words seemed to come from my own mind.

And worse, they were true.

How could I have ever thought I could do it alone?

Yet, there hadn’t been any other way…Had there?

“I can’t do this on my own. I need strength. But I don’t have enough.” The words choked in my throat. “I can’t save anyone.”

Dark laughed again, the sound hissing in ever corner of my mind.

I could hear the voices of everyone I knew, their shouts, accusing me.

Blaming me.

“Help me, please.”

Dark stepped forward, his hand reaching for my chin. “Look into my eyes, girl…your only chance is with me now.”

I couldn’t move away, my back already pressed up against the wall.

My only chance was to join him now.

“I have found you. You shall be mine. Come with me, and I will show you the only chance you have left.”

The words seeped into my ears like poison.

I couldn’t block them out no matter how hard I tried.

“Please.” I felt my strength draining away. “Please, help me.”

“I have found shall be—”

The trapdoor fell open.

Light exploded through the small gap, flashing through the Darkness in a blinding trail, sending him reeling back with a scream.


The voice, ringing with power and indefinable greatness, flowed around me, blocking out the shrieks of the Dark, cowering in the corner.


My legs collapsed beneath me and I was on my knees. My breath jammed in my throat.

He was speaking to me.



My weak plea for help had been heard.

He had heard. And He had come.

For me.


A hand touched my forehead, cool and soothing, yet burning with a fire at the same moment. It formed a mark with a trailing fingertip, tracing a symbol onto my forehead. Like a battle standard.

I wasn’t Louise De Corlette, lady of Fea Sirih.

I wasn’t Louise Conwell of the Rift.

I wasn’t my own.

He had claimed me.

Chosen me.

I was His.

And finally, I was free.

Peace flowed into my heart as if a dam had been broken, letting the Light stream in.

I was His child.

I stood, not thinking about what I was doing, only hearing those words echoing through my mind.

I am His child.

Dark cowered in the corner,  anger and terror swirling in the Darkness around him. “You cannot win,” he croaked.

The words were lost beyond the hum through my veins.

I am His child.

“You never could have won this,” I said, the words slipping between my teeth before I had thought them. “You think you are all powerful.” I drew in a deep breath. “But you aren’t.”

Dark cowered back further.

“There is something far more powerful.”

I looked into his eyes and said one word.


I looked into the eyes of Dark himself.

And lived.

Not because of what I had done. But because of what Light had done for me.

It had never been about me.

I was His child.

And that was all that mattered.


*deep breath* Y'know. I feel slightly depressed coming to the end...I had so much fun with this story and everything and--nope. Not time for that yet. Still a little more to go.

Also, I have a mission for all of you.

In the comments, you should ask me alllll the questions that I need to answer. All the things you still want wrapping up. Just in case I've forgotten one.

Or two.

Or three.

You never know. I might have.

And I really really hope the climax was good. (To be honest I was so nervous while writing this and clicking 'publish/schedule' was the hardest thing ever, because I was worried it mightn't be good enough and it might let down your expectations. And...I've put a heap into this story and I couldn't bear if that happened. *hides*)

Fair Winds!

|| Jane Maree ||


  1. YAAAY, A post! A post! *rolls around happily* ...Wait-a-minute. The... End...? o-o Nonononono- Oh wait, not ending just yet? Yay! Okay so, *pulls out list of questions*

    What happens to Altin? Does he live? Does he get home? Scratch that, do they ALL get home? :P

    Does Marius get out of this okie dokie?

    *whispers* Will we get to see the duel between Leonora and Warin? :D

    1. *claps with you* Yay!!! But don't worry, it's not quite the end yet. :P

      Oh wow. Altin. I'd completely forgotten about making him alright. Good thing I got you all to ask me questions. xD

  2. Yay!!! You wrote more! Louise won! And we're almost done! You have pleased me so much that I will refrain from calling you Jane the Cruel in this comment. :D

    My questions are:
    What about Altin? Does he live? And how does he get back to his family?
    If Lenora and Captain Wielder had a fight who would win?
    How did Marius get caught by the dark? And what happens to him after Louise/Light set him free?
    What is Louise going to do now? She's hardly cut out to be a lady anymore.

    I think those are all for now though I may think about it and come back later with more.

    1. *takes a deep breath* I'm so so glad you liked it. Because I was legitimately terrified that it just wouldn't be good enough. *hides*

      Good questions! I'll admit that the last one has me thinking...hard. Because I currently have no clue. xD

  3. *gasps* I THOUGHT I COMMENTED ON THIS. (unless I did and you just haven't published it. I have the memory of a goldfish XD)

    This was EPICNESS Jane!!! LOVED it - I especially like the line about Louise looking at darkness and living *nods*.

    I want to know about what happens with Lenora and Wielder - do they fight? Who would win the fight?
    ALSO I'm kinda curious about what happens to Altin *nods*.

    ~ Savannah

    1. *jumps up and down excitedly* Yay!!! *is very excited that you loved it* That line idea came to me a few weeks back and I was rather excited to be able to use it. :)

      *grins* I really hope that scene is good enough. I would hate to let you all down now. It's going to be fun to write, I'll say. :P

  4. Wow.... Jane... This chapter... Is absolutely amazing. Jaw dropping. The message and the lesson is so good. I felt it really well....
    AMAZING! Ahh seriously so good. *loud clapping*
    -Angela |

    1. *is speechlessly happy for a very long time* Thankyouthankyouthankyousoverymuch. *tries not to squeal*

      I can't say how encouraging that comment was, Angela. *can't stop grinning*


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