Forced from his seat of comfort as the elected monarch of the Seraphim, by a council of traitors, Laufidus is driven to flee from a warring kingdom. Overrun by rebels, betrayed by his council, and the air hazed with blood and fire, he knows that something must be done. But a greater threat is approaching, armies governed by the crawler and his generals, and created by an evil long since thought destroyed. Alone and in danger Laufidus must make a dangerous decision. To free the Hybrid child.
We see what we want, and we reach for what we cannot have. This story is not one of romance and adventure, or horror and suspense. It has no fixed point or blurred ending. It is merely what our story was. A collection of thoughts and feelings and quests and endings. Indescribably awe inspiring to those who did not live it. A legend in the making. A classic to those who will read it in the many years to come. I won’t try to pen this tale as a biography, as gospel truth, for many who read this will think it but a fable. But it was real for me. For US. Those that lived through it, who… died, for the cause. As I read over the unfinished manuscripts that came before this, I realize that there are hundreds of things I wished I had said. Thousands of things that had been meant, but not perceived. In those moments I almost stopped writing in grief. I wanted to stop writing. But I persisted and wrote ‘till my fingers bled and the haunted faces and what-ifs faded. But never disappeared. I want to say I wrote this for me, or for the Seraphim in general, to stop us from making the same mistakes twice.
I did not.
It was for him I wrote until I could write no more amidst the trembling cramped bones pulled tight over old fingers. Someone I thought infuriatingly arrogant, painfully intelligent, embarrassingly attractive, and beneath the cold veil, kind and loyal and brave. I hated him, loved him, feared him, and trusted him.
Soon I will fade myself.
It may be in my sleep, having drunk a poison that would still my heart painlessly. It may be on a battlefield with blood pounding, rushing in a frenzy through my veins. I may even fade trapped within the ever tangled web of the Void. I do not fear that moment, not like I once had. Not anymore.
I will not bow to those who took him.
These moments linger, fragmented and slight against the bleached papers filled with scrawls I can barely understand myself. The words that were created by the ghosts slipping between the cracks of my memories, hanging only by a splinter of a thread. This story contains his view as well, just so much as my own. Furtively stolen facsimiles of memories written on cheap parchment with stolen ink. Mementoes and thoughts and feelings and sanity spinning like silk through the cracks of a wounded mind. All engraved in ink on a page. All that I have left of him. All that he was. He is the hero no one will know, the legend that no one will speak, the fly in honey, the spider’s web. And this… this is my statue, my object of adulation. My gift to him.
That he may never see it is of no concern to me.
That it is here for him to see, means everything to me.
O.F.A- Odalisk Flu Adieu
Amongst the dim shadows and within the light spilling from the dark sky above, a finger bleached white in the gleam traced the words softly. The book sat swaddled heavily in dark robes, edges tattered with age and pages stained yellow and brittle beneath ages of enthusiastic and irreverent hands. Blood splattering, drink overflowing from merry cups as the people danced in the joy a saved world could bring… A soft noise cut through the otherwise silent night, a huff of air, a humoured breath. The figure moved with old grace, the air and shadows following them as they pressed the book’s cover against the solid surface of a desk. Its ancient pages spread open to the cool air of the night. In this war of love and hate, of comforting darkness and cruel light, to give my heart to you was my fate, to give my life for the world was my plight. The delicate lace curtains that covered the balcony swirled in the wind, and a spiralling haze of gossamer white flakes danced through the open doors, speckling the figure’s hair with a shimmering layer of ice. They walked over to a large shelf of books, each as old and crumpled as the one now abandoned on the desk, and pulled out a slim black leather bound journal. Journal 5. Pulling a pen from the folds of their robes, Whether you read these words or leave them stranded forever in the shadows, and opening the journal to a page creased with dog ears and stained with drink, tears and blood, they read the line that stood apart from each other word. We will meet again. With the scratch of pen against paper they walked out into the moon’s light and into the snow filled sky. The robes fell from broad shoulders, baring pale cold risen flesh and darker leather against the fragile skin. The sky lit with purple and pink nebular and glimmering with stars caught their eyes and they grinned.
Somewhere else, trekking across the parched and scorched earth of the Haven Desert, a man clad in white fought against the sharp glasslike gusts of sandy wind. Tightening his makeshift cowl and pressing the end against his mouth, he hunched and continue against the harsh beams of the sun. Stumbling to his knees he raised a flask to split and bleeding lips for a hungry mouthful of water. With a shift of the sand beneath him, he was cast down from the rolling dune and fell, stunned, at the base of what he had been looking for, the unearthed marvel, the ruins of the desert. They were right, he could have said. But nothing fell from his lips, for all words had dried up in his dying lungs.
Within the lush spiralling forest of trees standing so close to each other they touched, were the soft patters of many feet. Three figures ducked and weaved through the unwieldy terrain, the jungle’s humidity beading against their skin as they ran. A crackling roar sounded behind them, a thundering of paws hitting the ground in stuttering lopes and a shadow cast itself upon their backs. One person, a boy with wild, feral eyes and mud splattered hair, looked back over his shoulder. His eyes widened sharply. Another of the group whistled, a sharp noise that pieced the air a startled all the birds from the trees. The creature that chased them was massive, covered in thick glossy grey fur with jagged black stripes. Seven large beady eyes with red sclera and yellow irises a wide damp black snout and thin leathery grey lips pulled back to reveal sharp yellow teeth. Its breath was damp and foul upon the back of the smallest group member. It opened its snarled, gaping jaws and lunged for its prey. The three people became seven, then ten, then twenty, then a hundred, the youngest dropped to his stomach and the creature continued, momentum pressing it onwards. The soft part of its mouth and the inside of its throat split against the sharpened obstacle hoisted by the masses. The people cheered. The monster gurgled, blood splashing from its mouth, breath slowing into heaving rasps. The earthshaking thud as it hit the ground could not mask the howling cheers of the men and women surrounding it.
At the base of a legend, a construct unlike any other, a colossus of blackened crystal that rose higher than the skies limits, a woman walked on bloody feet. The crystallised ground around her thrummed like a string pulled too taunt and struck. The spire loomed above her, terrifying amongst the forest of gems that engulfed it, and the barren deadlands that surrounded that. Old magic, ancient wisdom, power above all that could be caught and tamed. This was where legends were born, and where the scalding tears fell as they died. She walked to where the leviathan’s door once laid, now long since sealed, waiting for the time in which it would be used once again. “Please.” Her voice was nothing more than a cracked whisper. Raw and harsh and filled with sorrow. “Please.” She begged, tearing at the unhealed wounds and bleeding, bleeding, bleeding, not physically, but still the wounds festered. The tower did not respond, perhaps it was not listening, perhaps it could no longer speak to her, perhaps it had exhausted all words. It listened instead, heard the sound of skin tearing and screams and pleads, the loud sharp crack of gunfire and silence. However it sat and offered no sound or word, offered no comfort, neither trying to stop the events that unfolded before it or assisting in the matters. It was a construct, a tower of knowledge, known to all as the Rosa Spire.
It is the behemoth of the Gods.
And the Soul of the People.