Friday, 7 October 2016

Swords, Sails + Scoundrels: A Yearning Yawner

I cannot believe you guys.

No one - not even one person - voted for option one.

And that was the one option that had actually originally been part of the story before I decided it was going on for too long and cut if off. So that 500 words sitting around in the document is now gonna have to sit there forever unused.

But that's the fun part of having it as a choose-your-own-adventure-thing and I just have to go with whatever you decide. So I don't actually mind all that much.

So basically, King's-Healer Kindness got most votes for option three. Dastardly dreams strike again.

And then I realised we're closer to the end than originally planned. But I don't think we're quite close enough to finish off next week. I'll have to see when we get there. My guesstimate is at least two more. Not entirely sure though.


And yes, I do realise that the title on the picture is actually the wrong way around. *headdesk* But I literally only just saw and I couldn't be bothered to make a new picture.

I steeled myself, facing the thought that battered for attention. I needed to dream again.

As soon as I had the thought a ripple of fear shivered up my spine.

I couldn’t do it.

I wasn’t strong enough.

But Altin had saved my life, I couldn’t just let him die while I had the power to save him.

My breath jerked in my throat, and I squeezed my eyes shut. A hand touched against my forearm, and I looked up into Elva’s anxious eyes.

“Is something wrong?”

I couldn’t do it. “I—it’s—” burying my face in my hands, I gave up.

How could a fifteen year old girl do anything against something like Dark?

How could anyone?

“You have more battles coming,” Elva murmured, sitting down beside me. “I see. You remember what I said first we met?”

She paused, waiting, but I couldn’t answer. With a faint sigh, she continued. “Brains are better. Swords, age, size. They no matter, as long as you use brain first and find only way out.”

I didn’t want to look up, didn’t want to see her earnest face filling with disappointment.

She didn’t understand.

“Friends matter. To have friends, you must have brain. You need brain to choose the friends that can help in battle.” Elva didn’t seem to care that I wasn't responding. “Warin is good friend. So is Mister Quest, and Leonora-girl. But they no can help you now.”

Frustration bubbled in my chest, raising my head I glared at the healer. “What are you trying to say? Just give up?”

Elva looked at me steadily, eyes reproaching. I closed my eyes again, the anger fizzing down as quickly as it had come.

“I’m sorry,” I breathed.

I had to do it.

I needed to dream.

Surely there had to be some other way to find out.

A knot twisted in my stomach, and I knew.

It was always like this, from the very beginning. I had to come. I was the only one who could fix this thing.

They were all counting on me.

“Please, I…” taking a deep breath, I forced the words out. “I need something that will make me fall asleep.”

Elva pulled back slightly, her dark brows twisting into a concerned frown. For a moment I thought she would protest, ask questions I wouldn’t be able to answer.

Questions I didn’t even know the answer of.

The healer paused and then nodded, rising and stepping toward the door, beckoning me after her.

I pushed up from the floor, following through into the corridor. Elva stood by a half open door, nodding for me to enter first.

I slipped through, stopping a few paces into the dim room, curtains drawn over the window, only a sliver of sunlight trickling through across the low bed.

Altin lay, a silent form, barely breathing. Warin was slumped, fast asleep, on a chair in the corner. Elva stepped in behind me, moving softly to a table of bandages and healer’s ointments.

I couldn’t take my eyes from Altin. He was so still.

What if I was too late already?

Elva pressed three grey leaves into my hand. “If you are certain you wish to do this, these will do what you want.” She pushed me into the only spare chair.

I curled my fingers around the herb.

I couldn’t make myself do it.

The King’s Healer bent over Altin, fingers adjusting the bandage with light touches.

I had to do it.

Pushing the dried leaves into my mouth, I chewed slowly, eyes fixed on Altin’s limp hand trailing over the side of the bed.

My vision blurred, and I couldn’t breathe.

No going back now. Thoughts flew away and I slipped into unconsciousness.

Almost immediately I began to dream.


Marius crouches in the darkness, struggling and twisting against the iron shackles that hold him to the cold stone wall. The steady dripping of water is the only other sound.

Then a slow, cold laugh chuckles its way out from the darkness, coming from every direction at the same time. Echoes bounce off the walls, multiplying the sound thousands of time louder than it started.

A man steps forward, hood shadowing his face, shrouded in fabric darkness. “Your struggles are pointless,” his hoarse whisper slips from beneath the shadow of the hood. “Give in, and I can make it all go away.”

A clawing hand emerges from the swirling folds of the cloak, moving slowly toward Marius.

“Give in…just give it all up…hope has no place here…”

Marius’s body shudders and an echoing hiss fills the darkness as a glimmer of Light trickles from him, doused at last by growing Darkness.

The hand touches his chin, raising it so Marius must stare into the dark, shadowed face. With a moan of despair slipping between cracked lips, his body goes limp.

The laugh echoes again, filling the Dark with its evil triumph.

Suddenly Marius changes, his skin becoming darker, hair growing blacker, longer and scruffier. Until it is Gypsy Boy.

Blood – dark, red blood – smears his side and the stones behind.

Standing beside the dark cloaked man is Marius, wrapped in the same Darkness as his Master, a scorning leer twisting is lips.

A trail of Dark curls up from the wound in Altin’s side, brushing against his slumped head, sliding around the back of his neck like a serpent.

“Yes, good…” Dark murmurs the words softly. “He is drawing deeper, closer. She will come soon. She knows she must.”

A fresh swirl of Darkness pushes toward Altin, dancing around him in a whirl of pain. He stirs, tensing against it.

“She will come, and we will be ready to receive her.” Dark steps closer to Gypsy Boy, watching the Darkness moving in still further. “And you, Marius, you will be the one to bring her. You will lead her here. She will join us.”

And Marius hesitates.

For a mere flashing moment, he hesitates.

But then he replies, “I will bring her down.”


Voices. They pulled me from the dream. Wrenching me into reality once more.

Warin lent over me, eyes wide. “Louise, what did you do?”

I felt the floor pressed against my back, cool and calming.

“I sorry, Captain, I should not have let her.” Elva said from behind. “It my fault.”

Warin glanced up and then back at me. “What did you do?” he repeated.

My breath came back to me in a gasp, thoughts pounding against each other in a confusion. And then from the jumble I knew one thing.

“Warin. We need to go sailing.”

“Sailing?” He gaped. “What do you mean sailing?

“On the Rift.” I pushed into a sitting position. “We’re going sailing on the Rift.”

Warin was speechless for a moment. “But…where to?”

“An island.”

He looked bewildered. “What?”

I met his gaze. “We’re going to save Marius.”


҉

1. Warin stopped, mouth half open. “You know the crew aren’t going to like doing this, don’t you?”

2. Warin blinked and clapped his hands together. “Right then. It’s about time by now.”

3. “Captain!” A crewman dashed into the room. “Some’uns outside making a terrible row ‘bout something.”

҉

So there we are. I'll admit that the options are a little odd, basically because I had no clue what to make them. Hopefully they'll do though.

Why do the endings of these things always sneak up on me so?

Anyways, hope you enjoyed it.

Fair Winds!

|| Jane Maree ||

12 comments:

  1. ACK I just can't get over how Warin (somehow) became my favorite character XD. HOW DID HE DO THAT?!

    TWO! I vote for option two. Let's do this thing. *nodnod*.

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Haha, that's really cool to know! xD

      Yes! I do rather like that one too. :P

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  2. I have a feeling there may be some useful causes of disturbances around. Let's go Option 3.

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    Replies
    1. *grins* Oh yes. Disturbances...hehehe... :D

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  3. Replies
    1. Hmm, well, they all must have been reasonably okay if you had trouble deciding! :)

      Delete
  4. Three! Three! Three! *desperately hopes it's Leonora and Eumin* xD

    Ooh and quick question: Will you be doing another story after this one, or will you be taking a break? :)

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    Replies
    1. Yeees. :)

      And I honestly don't actually know. I might be, but we'll have to see. I haven't really thought about it yet. :)

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  5. Replies
    1. I actually guessed that's what most people would go. Let's get thing thing over with already. :P

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  6. Both bots want 3. I'll vote for option 1.

    I like the story. But I can't help thinking of the Star Wars Emperor when Dark is around.

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    Replies
    1. Heh, honestly I do too. I keep almost slipping into full-emperor-mode and only just stopping myself. xD

      Delete

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