Story Twenty Three – A Strange Lord

I hope Aaron knows what he’s doing… I don’t see a death in here at all…
WAIT, wait…
No, false alarm, she lived. What the hell, man?

I didn’t know what to expect when god asked for my presence. I knew that I wasn’t prepared to be his prisoner. I couldn’t see anything, but I could feel the metal bands cutting into my wrists. The guards pushed me along the corridor at the end of their spears. They weren’t bladed, at the end of the shafts were faceted gems. Heat from the crystals radiated into my shoulder. Though I knew they were weapons, they brought a comfort. The energies soothed the bruise given to me by the priest the day before.

The building had been glorious. It was massive, even when viewed next to the four plateau cities encircling it. From the sky, from the golden air ship I had only heard described in stories, the jutting structure looked less like architecture. The spires weren’t ornate. They were gray, with small doors and cables spaced at uneven intervals. There was a slight tilt to every part. I assumed the ship was leaning, but I continued to watch. We circled around on our path to the large landing area facing the south city, my own home’s antecedent neighbor. As we moved, I could see no change in the monolith home of our lord. It was imperfect.

The Chancellor smiled through green coated lips. Her hands crossed my face and my vision was obscured by a conjured blind. She led me from the vehicle and across the platform. Her touch was gentle. She showed me a respect I had never felt.

I was then betrayed as she handed me over to the invisible guards. The eclipsed the light, the only visual input I could find through the cloth covering my face, to a point that was too high to be a priest or any other of my kind. They were not rough, they did not injure my body or spirit through harsh moves or unkind words. But they simply were not her. I wanted to stay with the Chancellor. I wanted to see her speak to me again, watch the symbols and markings carve into my sight and thrill in the exhilaration of understanding.

I found many things strange once inside. The first was the apparent lack of doors. Though my sight was impeded, my sense of time and motion were functioning perfectly. We never stopped through the long halls, twisting and turning our journey down into the underbelly of what my people had been told was heaven. I never heard the familiar sound of an automatic door or the beeping of an authentication panel. This place was one long track of tunnels.

The light was almost white. The difference was so very difficult to observe at first. But even behind the blindfold, my mind caught the deception and told it’s ocular servants to revolt. The pain started low but as we went deeper and deeper into the sanctuary of the high lord, it became a subversive fire behind my eyelids. I focused on it, not the pain, but the strange hue that caused it. As I blinked, blankets of red and blue coated the choked view I was allowed. The material covering me was pure, almost a glowing silver and devoid of anything chromatic. I decided that the problem was stemming from an almost undetectable trace of violet light. As a botanist, a field focused solely on the understanding, growing and cultivation of third tier creatures, light was a prevalent study topic. Spectrums were important to my work and beyond that, they interested me personally.

We came to a halt. Our steps echoed far more than they had. It was a large, hollow, empty room in which they had brought me to rest. My breath caught again, as it had when I stood before the woman of fire, but more abrupt. There were no staggered breaths. There was no warning, only a complete lack of air. My insides melted away, leaving organs of magma and pain. I tried to fall to my knees but a hand of cold comfort gripped my entire back. My body slumped against it, but I remained off the floor.

The cloth on my face grew warm as well, from where the heat came was a mystery. It vaporized before my eyes.It was then that I was able to see. I saw it. I saw what it had originally wanted me to see. A small boy, younger than I was at the time, standing with his hands behind his back as if hiding a secret. He was regal and beautiful and bore a resemblance to the Chancellor, only, I had the feeling that the order was reversed. His orange eyes glistened and crackled with what it couldn’t quite keep from me. I wanted to talk to this boy. It was a form I found encouraging. He was like my brother, whom I hadn’t seen since he’d been sent to the East City for his training as a soldier. There was an innate understanding in me. The words didn’t have to appear, though they were flying by quicker than before. This was god.

I blinked and the engaging figure that welcomed me changed to the frightening reality. Had my breath been active, it would have stopped again. It was so different, no longer male or female but a horrible thing beyond such simple definitions. Through five blazing eyes, it stared down upon me. I could see a head perched atop a long, curving neck. That tentacle, which spawned waving and sharply tipped tendrils, was founded upon three different bodies. A standing man-shaped form held its arms open. Where its hands should have been, a simple head with a single eye sat atop each wrist. At the elbows was a continuation into creatures I had never seen. As if the forearms were necks themselves, the bodies belonged to the heads. They were horizontal, crawling beast shapes with large, heavily muscled limbs. Each leg ended without fingers, but with hard crescent shaped horns. It was covered in a hide of undulating reflection and darkness. At times, and in certain areas, it appeared invisible. As the skin changed, certain places became prismatic, using the soft purple light and cutting it into a specialized palette of lilac and rose. There were no clothes and it was apparent that the creature had no modesty. I saw more than two sets of what I could only guess were meant for reproduction. Beyond the familiar, there were tentacles and flowers and oddities which turned my stomach at a single sight.

The main mouth opened, unleashing an army of slithering finger-like appendages. A light flashed. It seared into me, in the place where the Chancellor had brought her sword on my pain. The burning ceased and I came to life once more. Through my coughing fit I was able to turn and see the guards, creatures of flowing, ever changing clouds and shadow. What I had taken for weapons were the instrument allowing me to stand against gravity and my own legs’ weakness. A bolt of light was surrounding and cradling me.

God moved, every leg functioning in coordination. It slid across the black, void-like floor. The neck curled in on itself. It brought its pinnacle face and all the eyes to gaze upon me. The symbols it sent had color and light and sound. It had a voice. My mind hurt. There was too much thought and power behind each small ray of imagination being forced to me. The burning returned but even it wasn’t enough to distract me from the dizzying mind presenting itself.

You are the fifth to have seen me, Jeiveive. You are the Fifth Chancellor.

I fainted.


About Aaron Shively

I have been working as a freelance writer and artist for the last decade. In that time, I've done everything from ghostwriting to toy design and everything in between. I am currently working on a novel series called 'Myth' which has held my attention for the past sixteen years. I have spent my time developing the world, character and story and am now ready to funnel all the preliminary material into the manuscript of the first installment, 'of Men and Monsters' Bookmark & Share

Posted on 05/23/2011, in Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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