Myth – Of Men and Monsters – Part 2 – Chapter 1 – Scene 1

Thought you guys might enjoy this. It’s an excerpt of what I’m working on right now.

Light filtered through her closed eyelids, washing the darkness in a warm ruddy pink. She held still as long as she could. A lingering sleepy thought crept through her slowly waking mind, convincing her that if she gave the others no reason to notice, she’d be left alone.

She had not slept well.

Sofitaniel’s dreams were not what they once were. There were wondrous worlds in her mind during the days before the convoluted in-between age she was dealing with. Worlds where she could bring herself anything and enjoy life a little. Fantasy gave her a reprieve from the serious harshness her parents thought necessary to place on a child. She would wake up refreshed, able to handle the chores and lessons. Her dreams then were of the Priestess school in Byohar, the Spiril Towers. She’d heard stories and, like in all girls, they sparked an imaginative exploration. Without much information Sofi had been walking through the halls for years before the Priestesses actually came calling for her. She couldn’t believe it, even with their beautifully crafted dresses and measured way of speaking directed right at her, in her own home. It was quite literally a dream come true. Since then, since gaining a key to her future and crossing the mountain pass and bridge into Byohar, her nightly excursions into the recesses of creativity weren’t as structured. She could no longer dream of where she was. She was there. With no new set avenue, they mutated. Now they were strange and oddly varied. She didn’t have the steadiness of dreaming the same thing over and over. It wasn’t in her nature to enjoy the bombardment of new ideas and images; she liked the comfort of developing a relationship with what her mind had shown her. Monotony was soothing. It was in complete juxtaposition with her schedule at the Tower Schools. The expectations placed on her by the professors and priestesses was immense, overwhelming at times. And now she had the added weight of the nightmares attacking her formerly peaceful rests. That man, in her dreams, the one with the eyes and the voice and the blood pouring from every surface on his body, he was a part of the only consistency, he and the war. Neither were things she welcomed.

She knew it was late morning. As the fog of sleep wore off, she became painfully aware she had slept through a good part of one of the few precious free-days she was granted. It was difficult to keep her body from taking advantage of the extra time not stolen by classes or training. The nightmares, strange voyages through blood and violence she never knew she never wanted to see, kept their own rhythm. They ran in a loop of complete terror, blades and fires and that single winged man above the smoke and death, then came the frightful moments of surfacing in a darkened, disorienting reality. It was exhausting. Sleep became its own entity. It was hungry, greedy and it felt jilted. Such force was in sleep’s actions that It forced Sofi to rely on the promptness of her roommates.

Descillia was the youngest by a few years and always woke before the others. She was a loud, boisterous girl who took joy in rousing her friends to the new day. So much so for the Southern Tower Hall dormitories where she had originally been assigned that they first requested, then demanded she be transferred. Though a lovely little thing with as big of a heart as one could possibly fit in her tiny frame, she didn’t have many friends. She found her place, no one in the Eastern Tower Hall basement was well liked. They liked each other on most occasions. It usually worked. The eldest was set in charge of the room, given responsibilities to keep order and watch over the other girls. Sofi didn’t want it but by virtue of her age, she was the leader of the outcasts called the ‘leftovers’. It wasn’t a cruel name. They felt it was very descriptive. When the rest of the dormitories had been assigned to the new spiriling girls, based on studies and background, there were bound to be some stragglers who simply didn’t fit. Any trouble-maker or annoyance too great for the assimilated students to handle came to them. They had enough room to take anyone, the basement was larger than a normal hall floor and held fewer than a tenth of what it could. There were fifteen of them, the leftovers, fifteen girls with animosity at being ripped from slumber by a bounding bundle of adorable chaos. It took a while and a few discussions between Descillia and Sofi before the younger kept her jumping to her own bed.

There were no energetic leaps that morning.

Sofi turned, barely feeling the cool, thin sheets. Short, wide windows perched atop the walls let a flood of sunlight through the soft floating dust that never seemed to leave the air. Through the clouds of ethereal amber, she saw that Desci’s bed was immaculate. The sheets were laid flat. The corners were folded in the special way Sofi’s mother had taught her, the way Sofi had left them every day, remaking it in the way Desci simply didn’t have the patience to but always wanted.

Sofi slid out from under her blanket. She saw the others. They sat at the large table in the center of the room. They weren’t eating their breakfast, bowls of neglected soup that had once been at least semi solid. Whispers and hushing gave their discussion away. Sofi walked around them, mostly unnoticed, but she couldn’t see Desci in the ranks. A stray glance from Til, a remarkably quiet and withdrawn creature closer to Sofi’s age than any of the others, brought the question from mind into atmosphere.

“Where is Descillia?”

A sniffle was the initial reply. Til was crying. Long dark hair and thick eyelashes kept it hidden but a new surge of sadness and worry took the subterfuge away. She flicked her eyes to the others, now silent. A wall of nervous faces watched them. Sofi strained as Til’s words came slowly, under the duress of a necessity she didn’t want to acknowledge.

“We didn’t want to wake you…”


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 06/11/2011, in Myth, of Men and Monsters, Projects and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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