I sat upon the edge of a blackened tor with my bare toes curled on the sharp rocks. Below stretched a fallow plain of black stone, craters dotting the expanse, each filled with a spark of ethereal light. The sparks danced upon the plain like will-o'-the-wisps trying to entice me from my mountain perch, but I stayed put. Shattered pieces of existence drifted despite the absence of wind. They hung like broken bits of mirror frozen in time, reflecting images beyond my sight. The fractals wove tired patterns through the infinite dark and rose toward the starless sky, revolving to show snatches of monochrome worlds. Some fizzled and dissolved without a sound as they were consumed by green-hued shadows.
Aside from the wisps below and the acrid green within those broken visions, the realm was utterly colorless.
"I'm dreaming," I whispered as I lifted an arm from its place on my lap to touch one of the passing fractals. Like a mirror fragment, the edge was deceptively sharp and it cut my fingertip. I withdrew and blinked at the single bead of black dribbled past my knuckle.
"Are you truly dreaming?"
I twisted to see a tall figure part the gathering darkness. I remembered him. The memory was hard to recall, as though I had to tug it toward me from a great distance and it fought my efforts with fierce determination. "You..." I said to the towering creature, flashes of a past dream fluttering about my consciousness like the beating of so many fragile butterfly wings. If I tried to catch the flashes, they would disintegrate beneath my touch.
The creature's eyes burned like dying suns.
"I've seen you...before." The flashes coalesced, and I knew I'd seen him before, in the strange delusion I had dreamt with the blue-eyed Darius and the turbid version of my living room.
"Have you, now?" He took a seat upon the crag at my side, kicking his booted feet into the cold air. I wanted to move but my body remained where it was, unflinching. Like a gargoyle carved upon the crown of the scorched tor, I remained in place.
The shadows swept outward from the creature's broad shoulders in a rippling cloak of untouched midnight. There were...things within the cloak, things undulating and chattering, forms only visible when a passing reflection of light blinked across the seemingly boundless mantel of darkness.
I looked away, unable to stomach the fear twisting knots in my gut.
The creature leaned back upon his palms, his smoldering stare fixed upon oblivion. I followed his gaze and felt the rippling cloak fall upon my shoulders as well. I couldn't see them, but I felt the clawed talons of the creature's minions waver upon my flesh, upon my heart. They whispered words I could not understand.
The titan shifted only to touch one of the fragments as I had moments before. The piece didn't cut his fingers. Instead, the vision within the looking glass grew cloudy with unfiltered light. The light grew in intensity until the fragment shot skyward, leaving behind a glittering trail of brilliant starlight. It was beautiful, but it disappeared in an instant and left me bereaved in a strange land with an even stranger monster.
"The Song is different," the titan confessed, as though I was supposed to comprehend what he meant. His words were laced with slow, tired lassitude. "It has been ever since he entered it."
"He?" I asked, not understanding what the monster meant.
Those unearthly eyes wavered, then blinked. Something in the distance struck the ground with a tremendous calamity, but the event went unseen in the sightless void. "You're a curious one, aren't you?"
Dazed, I nodded. Questions teemed and quaked beneath my skin—but I could not lend my voice to them. Speaking what few words I could was exhausting.
YOU ARE READING
Sara Gaspard swore she'd do anything to find those responsible for her sister's death, but teaming up with the Sin of Pride is more than she bargained for. ***** Desperate and dyi...