Friday, October 31, 2008

Halls of Words (Friday Fiction)

This week's FF is hosted by Lynda @ On the write track click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's note: I thought I'd given up on jumbled thoughts, but this was my second possible idea for NaNo and I figured twisting it into a FF might keep me from changing my mind on which idea to write....there is a lot missing from it, but enjoy!

Light spilled out from the tiny capsule in the center of the domed temple. The steady, quiet pattering of fingers on a keyboard filtered through the air and down the hallway.

Delani tip-toed quietly all the way to the doorway, where she stood, uncertain, listening to the perfect rhythm. The images of the storms in her dreams returned and she shivered.

The typing halted for a fraction of a second.

“Be that you, student?” Brina’s lilting voice carried a hint of iron, tinged with annoyance.

Delani swallowed the memory, offering a curtsy out of habit. “Yes, mistress. I mean, Milady.”

“Well?” The typing slowed, as if to urge her forward.

She inched through the doorway and ran lightly to the capsule.
The white, egg-shaped bubble swiveled around and purple eyes zeroed in on the dressing-robed figure.

“I-I had a dream.” She faltered, staring down at the cool, marble tiles.

“A dream?” The steady clicking resumed. “Sit.”

Delani quickly dropped to her knees and curled up on the floor beside the capsule. “Yes…may I…or am I…”

“You’re not exactly interrupting.” Brina yawned. “Perhaps if you keep talking, I’ll stay awake for the remainder of this shift.”

“Oh.” There was silence for a moment and Delani felt her eyelids growing heavy. There were so many places to start, she wasn’t sure where to begin. “Well…”

“Don’t fall asleep.” Brina’s foot dangled out of the capsule and nudged her gently. “Unless you want me writing your future.”

The thought startled her more awake from before and Delani quickly shook her head. “N-no. I don’t. I’m sorry.”

“Sorry? You should be sleeping.”

“I know…it’s just I-”

“Had a dream. I know.” The typing slowed and almost stopped, but when Delani looked up she saw that Brina had removed the blue stone from the holder and was now getting to her feet.

“Your shift’s not over yet!” Panic overtook her tiny face. “I didn’t mean to-”

Brina took the blue stone and pressed it to her forehead. It flared, then glowed brightly, steadily, as she stood up, extending a hand to her student. “Come along.”

“Aren’t you supposed to-”

“With the stone, I do not have to sit and type out my thoughts, they are now transferred directly through a mindlink. You should know that. You’re a second year dreamer.” Brina chuckled. “And I know well enough, when you interrupt me it can only be something of grave importance. For once, I wouldn’t mind something trivial, as you seem to think of yourself as such, when you are so much more.” She sighed. “Can we go now?”

“Y-yes.” Delani scrambled to her feet, accepting the hand. She was little surprised when the hand turned into a warm around her cold shoulders.

“You shouldn’t be out this time of night. You’ll catch your death of cold, or succumb to the night air.”

“Which is worse?”

“You don’t want me to answer that.” Brina dropped her arm to lift the edge of her cloak and drape it over Delani’s shoulder. “Am I going to hear of this dream tonight, or are you planning to keep it to yourself while waiting for the most opportune moment.”

Her head shook quickly. “Oh no. I do not want to keep this dream. I wish I could give it-”

Brina’s hand clapped over her mouth. “Hush!” The eyebrows arched in disapproval. “You know fairly well wishing is not a practice to be taken lightly. Take it back.”

Delani grimaced. “I didn’t even finish it.”

“Then you’ll have no trouble retracting it.”

“Fine. I, being of sound mind, retract this half–wish nearly spoken.”

A blast of frozen air blew through the hallway and this time, Brina shivered. “Ach.” She murmured. “Do not wish for anything again, lest you have permissions about you, student.”

Delani hung her head, her eyes begging to close again. “Yes, teacher.” She mumbled.

“Don’t fall asleep.” Brina warned, pinching her shoulder. “The dream…I need to know the dream!”

“It was storm clouds.” Delani yawned. It was getting harder to stay awake. “Lots of them.”

“Coming from where?” An urgency slipped into Brina’s voice. “From where, child?” She froze in mid-step, turning to kneel in front of her. “Delani? Speak to me!”

“From the west…I think.” Her eyes began to close without her permission. “And there’s an army coming…that’s why it’s so cold. I’m cold, teacher. Very cold. My fingers, my toes.”

“Shhh! It’s okay.” Brina soothed. “You won’t be cold anymore. I promise…anything else?”

“Bad wrong.” Delani whispered. “Very bad wrong.” Her body went limp and began to glow.

Brina closed her eyes, murmuring the words for a peaceful sleep. She stood, swooping the girl up in her arms, and continuing down the hall. But instead of turning towards the student halls, she headed for the inner chambers of her fellow muses.

“Brina!” Achley’s horrified look said more than her gasp. “The child!”

“She had another dream and came looking for me.”

“Another one?” Jetta slid out from her chair on the dressing table and crossed the room, to pull the blankets pack from the bed. “Here…put her here. It’s cold out, all of a sudden.”

“Thank you. She’s heavier than she looks.” Brina set her down, carefully. “She dreamt storms and an army.”

“Haveron’s army?” Achley progressed from a pale pink to a shade of pure white. “No!”

“She didn’t verify what army…the dream…whoever sent it to her, or dreamed it for her, they burrowed in deep enough of a connection to put her to sleep straight away.”

“How do you know?” Jetta tucked the covers around Delani’s chin, feathering a hand across her forehead.

“She was still talking when she fell asleep.”

Achley now turned from white to gray. Her darkness was seeping through. “This is serious.” She murmured.

“I know.” Brina eased onto the bed, feeling the weight of the stone weighing her down. I’ve been writing all night, but it is as if the ancient’s knowledge is weakening beneath us. We need to do more.”

“And what more can we do?” Jetta murmured. “What can we do without revealing who we are, true muses of creativity and words and the enemies of this wretched Haveron?”

“He knows even less about us than we know of him.” Brina forced herself to hold her head straight. “I will keep uploading through the stones and the mindlink, but we must gather the students together and ready them in case-”

“In case of what?” Achley’s gray tint began to glow about her, causing the light to fade considerably. “If it is to prepare them for their deaths, that alone is more cruel than I am. Haveron will not touch this temple. Not if I have my way with him. But it worries me that I may be the only one left afterwards.”

Chimes began to ring out in the halls and the three sisters rose as one. “The bells.” Jetta whispered.

“The alarm.” Brina corrected.

“The hour.” Achley moaned, her hand went to her head. “He is coming. He’s coming. We must go.”

Copyright 2008 S. Harricharan


The Surrendered Scribe said...

Things were missing? I thought this was really well done. I wish you the best with NaNo, you are so disciplined with this, I just know you will create something great!