Emily has become midnight but she must now appease the rulers of the four realms of Midnight. Starting with the lady of Sorrow who has another daunting task for Emily.
Emily's Midnight: The Weeping Monks
By Liam S.
Emily's eyes fluttered open. She was lying on a plush bed in a dimly lit room with one large window. She brushed at the spot where she was awoken by a talon clawing lightly at her. "Lady Emily, please you must hurry" Said a raspy voice beside her. Emily turned to see a crow with beady white eyes staring at her urgently. It had been only a few hours since Midnight had left, Since she had cut out her heart so he could pass on. Emily yawned and climbed out of bed. She walked over to her ebony black mirror and peered into it. She saw a young woman of sixteen smirking back at her. She had the same blue eyes, The same long black hair and the same fair skin with carmen coloured cheeks. She wore a long black night gown that flowed past her knees and ended just above her ankles. Emily spun around and walked over to a beautiful mahogany wardrobe. She threw the doors open and tilted her head. After some thinking she put on some long black jeans and a white t-shirt underneath a black hoodie. Emily didn't feel like dressing to fancy today, it was her realm after all. She slipped into her white running shoes and opened her curtains. Bright moonlight shone through and onto her face. Emily sighed and looked out at the courtyard of the catherdral. An open, square ground with stone floors and a dark crystal fountain of a large crow with red water spilling out of it's beak.
"Emily, if you will follow me please" The crow rasped again. Emily sighed again and followed the crow out into the long hallway. The hall was lit by candles all along the walls. Portraits hung in some places depicting scenes such as a magnificent castle or a burnt twisted tree. One portrait was of a woman with a large beaky nose and small beady black eyes. Emily followed the crow down the hall listening to it tell her about how wonderful she was in the first task. "you were quite brave Lady Emily" The crow smiled at her. They stopped at a door to the left and the crow nodded at emily. Emily stepped into the room with was square and spacious. There were bookshelves all along the far wall which were all full of dusty tomes. to the right was a rounded part of the room where many windows covered the wall, allowing the moonlight to seep in. Below the windows was a magnificent piano. The piano was in very good condition and was a shiny black color. A large full moon had been etched into the top. "This is your study emily" The crow rasped in her ear. Emily looked around at all the books and wondered just hoe many there were. She walked over to the beautiful piano and brushed her hand along the smooth etching. Emily sat down on the bench and looked at the keys. They were white like any other piano but an image of a crow was on each of them. Emily began to play a hauntingly beautiful melody. She let her emotion pour out into the song and finished gracefully. The crow cawed in approval and flew infront of a map that was hung on the wall. He motioned for emily to come see and she did so. the map was entitled 'Emily's Midnight' The map showed a small central mass with' Central Realm' scribbled above it. Surrounding the central realm were four larger realms.
The smallest besides the central realm was called 'The Realm of Sorrows' which was to the south of the central realm. Before she could really examine the others, the crow tapped on her shoudler. "You are the supreme ruler of all five realms, four of which are ruled by a Lord or a Lady." Emily nodded and peered at the map. "As midnight it is your job to not only create the crows, but to please the rulers of the four realms and keep them in line." Emily followed the crow to the window and looked outside to the a large dark forest. "Having just become the new midnight you will need to travel to all four realms and appease their rulers in order to gain their favor." The crow flew away and brought back a small black music box. "This is how you will travel between them, The first is the realm of Sorrows, home to the weeping monks" Emily frowned, a little confused. "What are the weeping monks?" The crow cawed and pulled out a moldy black book and dropped in Emily's lap. The book flipped itself open to a page titled 'The weeping monks of Sorrow' Emily began to read aloud. "The Weeping monks is a brotherhood that was established by Peter the miserable in the first moon. The monks believe that tears can purify their spirits forever and cried into vials and drank them. The people of Sorrow have a special stone sewn into their throats wich contains their souls. The monks believe that by drinking their tears, they are purifying their stones and thus allowing them to be forgiven. Peter died of the great plague in the waxing of the first moon and his body is said to be kept inside the abbey where the monks, instead of drink their tears, pour them over their founder's body." Emily shuddered and tried to imagine monks crying to little vials and pouring them over a corpse.
"that sounds awful!" she cried. The crow chuckled. "yes, but you must respect their customs and religion." Emily nodded and looked at the music box. It was only a simple black box made of wood, no etchings or carvings, just a black wooden box. "Are you ready?" the crow asked. "The Lady of Sorrow will explain your task, i will go with you but i cannot enter the city" Emily frowned and nodded. She was used to performing horrible tasks by now and she expected this one to be similar to the rest. She opened the music box which began to play a beautiful lullaby that was both sad and peaceful. Soon, her stomach seemed to twist and she felt as though she was being pulled into the box. The melody grew louder until it was screaming in her ears. The study faded away and Emily could see only darkness, the melodt still blaring in her ears. Soon the tune stopped and emily lay on the ground, the box sitting closed beside her. She stood up and picked up the box and a satchel that was also beside her. She stood on the top of a hill in the middle of a large grassy field. The moon was bright and she could see clearly as though it were day. The grass was dark and long, the field stretched on for many miles and became a small forest of dark trees. Beyond the forest were the walls of a small city and to the east of the city, atop of a large hill was a smaller edifice Emily assumed was the abbey. The crow landed on Emily's shoulder and whispered in her ear. "Welcome to the realm of sorrows, Emily". The crow shuffled his talons and flapped his wings a little. Emily felt a slight bbreeze blow across her face. She heard sorrowful moans and cries which seemed to be carried by the wind. "This is the hill of the suicides, where those mortals that throw thier lives away are trapped forever. their cries are carried in the wind all over the realm." Emily shivered and began to descend the hill, trying to get away from the place as soon as possible.
After what felt like an hour or two she reached the edge of the wood. "Trod carefully Emily, this wood changes people" Emily gulped and walked into the woods pushing branches out of her way. She walked carefully for a little while and saw two paths. On the one going right she could she a little boy in a torn white gown staring at her from hollow eyes. The boy giggled and ran off down the path. Emily closed her eyes and started to walk right. She could hear his laughter echo and soon she was running forwards. his laughter grew louder and louder until she reached a small clearing where one large and burnt three stood in the center. Emily gasped and shut her eyes, fearing what she saw. She opened them and fell to her knees. Hanging from the tree were hundreds of people all laughing and pointing at her. "this isn't real Emily, just turn around now" The crow whispered to her. Emily shook her head and pointed at one woman who was hanging from the highest branch. The woman was Emily's mother. A sob escaped Emily's mouth and she shook her head and shut her eyes tight. The crow pulled on her sweater. "Emily, this forest was created to make people go insane! it isn't real"But Emily only brushed him off. The crow cawed louder and flew to the tree and began to cut all the corpses down. Once the tree was free of the dead it began to crumble and so did the bodies. The crow nipped at Emily's ear affectionately. "C'mon, it's over now" Emily stood up weakly and saw that there was no more tree, no more dead. She turned and ran back to the two paths and took the left one. She closed her eyes and ran, following the crow's directions. she could still hear the boy's laughter wich turned into sobs. Soon she collapsed at the edge of the woods, having run through it. After she had rested she stood up and saw the dead boy in the woods behind her.
"Why're you leaving me here? take me with you , please!" Emily frowned and shook her head. "Please! i'm scared, the trees whisper things to me, terrible things." Emily brushed away some tears and took a step forward. The crow flew infront of her and cawed in her face. "Emily don't! it's a trick, that boy was never real" Emily stopped and frowned again. The boy was crying. "You're going to listen to that bird? how can you trust him, he might be a part of the forest!" The crow rolled it's eyes and pushed Emily back. "Don't you see he's trying to trick you? he cannot leave the forest, he will kill you Emily" Emily turned away from the boy and began to walk away. The boy's screams peirced the air.Emily looked back and saw him turn to dust in the wind. "What did i tell you Emily" Emily frowned. "It seemed so real though" The crow nodded and began to travel with Emily towards the city. "Many have been decieved by those woods, going insane, i reckon Many are still there" Emily shivered and continued towards the city gates. As she approached them, the gates opened to reveal a narrow street lined with stone buildings. The crow nodded at Emily. "Well, you will find the lady waiting for you at her palace atop of the hill" Emily kissed the crow's head and stepped into the city. The gates closed behind her and she continued along the street. The buildings were small and looked dirty, Light could be seen in the windows and sometimes the shadows of people talking. A woman passed her on the street and bowed to her. "Welcome Lady Emily, to the city of Tears" The woman wore an elegant black dress with a hoop skirt and an Emerald petty coat with gold buttons and lace. on her throat was an ugly grey stone that shone with a faint white light. People continued to pass emily each with an ugly stone on their throats. Emily walked up a long stone staircase wich led to the doors the palace. The exterior of palace was made of polished ivory and was very simple in design. It was a large rectanguglar building with large shutterd windows and two massive colummns supported the small balcony on the second level. Black rose bushes surrounded the palace and vines crawled up the colummns. The doors were large and made of black granite.
The doors creaked open and a short, stocky old man emerged. He wore a white dress shirt and a black vest and a dark red tie. his black dress pants were pressed and cleaned. His face was round and wrinkled like a rasin. His green eyes were dull and did not shine in the light. Emily noticed that his grey stone was duller than some of the younger citizens. The man bowed and escorted Emily inside. "Greetings lady Emily, and Welcome to the fine city of Tears" The old man spoke in a dull monotone voice. "M'lady will see you in the grand hall" he pointed to a door infront of them. Emily thanked the man and looked around. The inside looked the same as the outside only without the rosebushes. Torches lined the walls where paintings of miserable people with beaky noses hung. Emily walked inside the grand hall and the door closed behind her. The hall was large and dim. The walls were a dark red and the floor was made of dark wood. In the center of the room was a large table with a black table cloth and silver plates and goblets. At the far end of the hall was a large black throne with red cushions and sitting on the throne was a tall woman wearing a beautiful flowing silver dress and a twisted black tiara. Her face was very pale and her lips were thin and pointed in a wide grin. Her nose was large and beaky, her dark eyes were small and beady. She stood and curtsied when she saw Emily. "Ah, Welcome Lady Midnight, i've been expecting you" she spoke in a lyrical voice. "I am Sylvia, Lady of Sorrow"