Chapter 38

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The Veil's ancient magic was tangible and terrifying. It could be sensed, felt, heard, smelt, tasted. It was perfection. It was chaos. There was no escaping it.

The world sparkled and shimmered, swaying and dancing, never static, never still. It was like moving through a song or a piece of music; a dream-like confusion of soft sounds and enchanting melodies, offering the tranquillity of sleep, then the eerie haunting of a nightmare.

Time both stopped and rushed by. Time was fleeting, flying swiftly. And yet it tarried, every moment to be savoured. It was in a hurry, but wouldn't be hurried. One breath felt like an eternity and a gasp.

Layers of scent filled the air of the boundary between worlds, if air was what the space it occupied was filled with. There were earthy notes, reminiscent of the forest floor after a thunderstorm. Rain-drenched leaves and bark, damp soil, and wet blossom. Mixed with these was a variety of wood-smoke, each type of burning wood clear and distinct. There was apple, pine, ash and so many more. There were other aromas also: the smell of the sea, the sickly-sweet smell of decomposition, the perfume of crushed herbs from a healer's bowl, the heady scent of ale brewing...

The very nature of the place settled on the tongue. It tasted of salt and of sweetness, of burst berries and decay. It was honey-water and vinegary wine. It was heavy like stale bread or barley cakes, but light as sea spray. Cloying like ashes, but as refreshing as snow melt bursting the banks of a spring after the frosts of winter. Each element was noticeable; earth, air, fire and water, each with their own unique taste. Each phase of life was present: life, death and rebirth, and they could all be tasted on the tongue.

Movement was restricted, yet encouraged. It was like flowing through shadow and shade, a rainbow, a violent storm. The feeling of falling through air, splashing through water, drowning in tears, being struck by lightening, torn by brambles, wrapped in soft furs, stung by nettles, held in a tender was all this at once, and more besides.

Darkness and light, in all that had ever been, in the past, present and future, was to be found in The Veil, where it both tormented the visitor and soothed their troubled hearts. It was magical. It was mundane. Hot and cold to the touch. Fire and ice. Summer and winter. Night and day. Sun and Moon. Joy and pain. Love and loss. Soft and hard. It was hunger and thirst. It was satisfaction and contentment. Everything was impossibly old. Everything was surprisingly new.

It was everything good and everything bad. Everything you wanted and everything you feared. It was everything living and everything dead, mixed together, in some primeval cauldron from where everything came at the start and returned to at the end.

Travelling through The Veil only lasted for a moment and yet that the journey lasted a lifetime. It was everything and nothing, all at once. Trivial and infinite, all in the one heartbeat.


Thanks for taking the time to read this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, please consider voting for it. So this chapter is very different to all the chapters that have come before. What do you think to The Veil? I think it sounds like a very confusing, contradictory place... and I can't help but wonder what the effect of travelling through it will be on Eleri...Any ideas? For those following my Facebook updates, you will notice the teaser I posted a few days ago has been included in this chapter... All comments and votes are greatly appreciated. Chapters for "Oathbreaker" will be posted every weekday, so please add the story to your library / reading list so you don't miss the next one, or like my page on Facebook for updates:

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