WIP: The Fear Within – Part 2/3

Tiyan was slowly chewing the meat he stripped from the boar and cooked into a stew, while observing the door to his parents’ room. His sister was tucked into the warm furs, sitting by the firelight, with eyes half closed, drifting into sleep. The doctor came, bandaged her wounds and left, allowing the family to settle after what happened with the dog. An hour ago Tiyan saw by the window, how Gravir cleans the courtyard from the body, and shovels the fresh snow, to clear the blood.

During his hunts, Tiyan killed many animals. But this… this was a touch of magic. Evil magic, which boiled the sanity out the dog’s head. It was as terrifying as sad.

His parents were quarreling behind the closed door. He felt that the subject was him. They quarreled only when he was the subject. Something tempted him to just go there and eavesdrop, but Lessa would see and grandmother Saya too. Besides, he had enough honor to not to.

And he was afraid of what he could hear.

“We should open the window” he heard a silent voice.

Tiyan looked at his grandmother. She was old, older than war. She was an oldest person living in Vennklan Valley and he could bet that even in neighboring villages. Sometimes she was seeing things no one did aside from her. Gravir thought it’s caused by her age. Tiyan thought that Saya was touched by magic too.

“Gra, it’s too cold” he just said, but was curious why she suggested that. He didn’t have to wait long.

“The little fairies want to warm their wings” was the enigmatic answer.

“I doubt they would care about the cold,” said Tiyan, eating another bite of meat. “They are servants of Kilyans. They are used to it.”

“Not these” Saya smiled lightly. “These are sent by the cat.”

The cat.

Always the cat. He was present in many stories and visions that Saya’s enchanted mind was creating. The cat that is sending the fairies. The cat that stole the moon. The cat that one day eats the sun and drinks its light. Tiyan always wanted to ask who is the cat and how he connects with magic that swallows the land, but somehow, he knew that Saya doesn’t have an answer for that.

Gravir raised his voice behind the door and Tiyan quickly swallowed the morsel, soundfully, to not hear why he was so angry. Possibly – because of him, as always. But he really didn’t want to hear.

“Gra, tell us a story” murmured Lessa from her furs. “And I don’t want the fairies to enter. They are mean.”

Tiyan almost shushed her, but realized that it was something they both needed. Something to calm nerves after the ordeal and silence the quarreling parents.

“What kind of story would you like?” Saya closed her eyes.

“Something only you remember” peeped Lessa and hid even deeper into the furs.

“Something that is both true and not true” fired Tiyan. Legends. They held wisdom of the older days and the possibility of any part of them being real, was making them twice as thrilling.

“Then… I will tell you about the damned ones” Saya opened her eyes and started to tell the tale, bathing the room in the unlight of the old times.

“The fae stood out of the moon and stars, created by the the One. They were beautiful like the sun and mysterious like the night. Seelie, whom we call saru, loved the world and everything that lived on it, but Unseelie, known to us as kilyans, were cruel and they liked to look at the suffering of smaller and bigger creatures. The One was unhappy that they lived together, so he tore one of his seven hands and blood fell on kilyans, the black blood of the god. From that moment they were forced to live outside of the land of shee, in forests and mountains, far from civilization. What One did, was not to the liking of Manus, the father of the gods. But he couldn’t force the One to sew his leg again up to his body, so he created a different kingdom for Unseelie, behind the mountains and the forest which they inhabited. Then the Courts were born, the Seelie Court, where everything smelled of flowers and the sun was shining, and the Unseelie Court, which hid in the eternal darkness. Then people came to Avras, and saru took them under their protection, knowing that kilyans will want to destroy them. For many years, the protection of the saru allowed people to prosper and be happy and wealthy. Saru walked with people, like the bright messengers of the gods who were sent to give and never to take. But the One didn’t like it. He didn’t create people and scrutinized them, so he took the saru from human land. Suddenly they disappeared, and then kilyans, fae of black hearts and immeasurable cruelty, attacked the land of people for the first time.”

Tiyan heard the story many times. But he listened to it now, like a prelude to something he didn’t fully understand.

“Kilyans killed almost everyone, but a small group of people survived, and kilyans didn’t hear about them, nor knew about them; their village grew and the kingdom of people began to revive again. Kilyans, busy with their affairs and court intrigues, didn’t care about them, didn’t even know they exist. As long as the king didn’t start sending settlers deep into the mountains, oblivious to the danger. Kilyans had been busy developing their own lands and once they reached the peaks of their success, they remembered their neighbors and the ones who survived. Then the Great War came. The Kilyans, filled with pride, decided to conquer the humans and enslave their lands.”

The grandmother’s eyes blinked with an unusual glint.

“But those who know the fae know too, that they don’t do anything without reason. Good reason. Reason, who we can’t embrace.”

That was new. Saya behaved differently too, her hand reached to blankets she had on her lap and taking them off, she slowly approached the window. Lessa and Tiyan observed her like they were enchanted, until she opened it with fast movement and inhaled deeply the freezing air. The snow entered the room, swirling like in dance.

Tiyan jumped to her, taking her back from the window, Lessa squealed, feeling cold.

It all happened in less than three seconds, but it allowed Tiyan to look into Saya’s eyes. They were cold and blind, like her pupils and irises changed into ice.

“I don’t want the fairies to enter” murmured Lessa, but the windows were closed and no one came inside.

And grandmother’s eyes again were blue and tired. But Tiyan knew what he saw. The magic started to spread more violently and he was the one that brought it to this home.

Sneak peek: Obvious

Tiyan’s gaze wandered to his unwilling companion.

Mias looked like he does not care for the freezing cold, his pale skin seemed to swallow it and tame. He hated him, yes, but he couldn’t admire his calm composure and endurance, while his own legs bent with tiredness and his eyes were held open only by the promise of danger.

“Does your kind has it in its blue blood? This stubborness?” he caught himself asking, before he bit his tongue. He regreted he didn’t.

Mias’ perfect features weren’t stained even by the slightest annoyance. Like Tiyan was a mere moth, which he could silence so easily that it wasn’t even neccesary.

“Does your kind always ask questions, for which it knows the answers?” he looked at him, his dark eyes fed on the night, black ponds among the wilderness.

“Well… yes. Actually yes. All kind of questions. That way we learn.”

“You learn from the obvious? If yes, color me surprised.”

Tiyan  narrowed his brows. The fae were unpredictable and he had enough on the ball already. The ball – this hell which he had to endure – was the answer on a question he would never ask. But it was too tempting.

“You do like to pin needles into the flesh, don’t you?” his mouth spoke before he could form anything more intelligent.

Mias chuckled. Laughter similar to wind dancing between leaves, a forgotten voice of the trees.

“I do not need to pin them. You pin them yourself. And ask me to twist in the wound.”

Mias Art – by Elaine

Common, sweetest Mias ever, I look at him and can’t but smile! :3 Perfect! Done by Elaine.

WIP – Chapter 1.1 The Fear Within – Rewrite

I came up with better first chapter.

I will write further to present you something more… alive.

—-

He tossed the wood into the burning fire. It was freezing in the main hall. Whole house was shaking in the clutches of ice and snow.

Tiyan lifted the dead boar and put it cautiously on the table. It was heavy and untouched by magic – a rare thing in Vennklan Valley. The animal will probably allow them to fill their stomachs for four days. Then he will have to go on another hunt, as the only hunter in the family.

He slowly started to pull the gloves off, trying to warm up fingers, which got numb from the pressure of frozen material. Turning to the fire, he stretched his hands towards it, giving out a sigh of relief.

Another day won. And another meal he got without seeing odd things. The woods were filled with misshapen creatures, sometimes people were missing, and returning – white haired, with dead gazes, almost frozen – but still breathing, like puppets held together by unknown and terrifying force.

Magic. Tiyan spit into the fire, like this gesture could protect him from the spells and mirages that were filling the woods and abandoned villages, sometimes too close to feel safe. His father always told him that Vennklan Valley is still normal enough to live. It was only partially true. The animals were getting wild and running away, so they couldn’t hunt for dinner. Or they were getting closer, mushrooms growing straight from their skin, maws filled with blood, and eyes blind – or at opposite; seeing too much. It wasn’t normal enough to live. It was not scary enough to not leave and settle closer to big cities.

Traitor cities. Fae vassals.

King Marnsul Dal, the ruler of shee, awarded the loyal cities – and the puppet human king – for their bent necks. While smaller villages, which fought longest in the great war, which opposed, not wanting to part with the summer and spring, with freedom and joy – were thrown into dark ages fast and efficiently. Fae knew no mercy over conquered lands.

And people who went too close to Kilyan lands, never returned. Eaten by the magical overgrowth of the shee kingdom. No one knew what could happen with them, if they were killed – or worse. Kilyans could seem kind and amiable like honey, in their ironic way of being, but their calculated ruthlessness was something all humans living in Avras knew all too well – and tried to avoid, if given.

The fae were creatures of old days and old darkness. They possessed skills beyond human comprehension and their hearts were filled with black knowledge and night from the eve of time. People could even disappear from the face of the earth, for them. Fae didn’t need such a far-reaching plan, they didn’t need conquest. They could destroy them so easily. What were their plans then? Why to keep them alive – under their boot, but still keeping their lives? That was something that Tiyan’s mind didn’t embrace.

Magic.

The young hunter’s thoughts immediately ran to the mark he had on the left shoulder. A strange animal, whose tail was coiled around its neck, like strangling it, but the face of the creature, almost human-like, looked barely pained. More cheerful but in a dark way. It was a disturbing image, which looked like a tattoo, but Tiyan never remembered getting it. It just appeared one night, and when he was awake, the mark was there. Tiyan never allowed himself to drink so much to lose consciousness, so he was sure that no one did that to him, when he was after alcohol. What was it then?

He still looked at it with a mix of curiosity and fear, when the mirrors’ reflection was showing it to him, either while he was shaving or washing. It was an odd presence, disturbing one. A sign from whatever demons or gods.

And everytime he looked at it, a faint memory was worming into his mind. A memory he didn’t want. A memory he shouldn’t even remember.

Shadow. Eyes like black holes. A smile within the storm clouds. A raven carrying him through bloodstained plains.

Tiyan shook his head and decided to skin the boar before it started to stink. Or stink worse than it already did.

When he took off the warm jacket and started to prepare knives, he heard a scream from the courtyard. Tiyan wouldn’t be a successful hunter, if his reactions weren’t fast – he took the biggest skinning knife and ran – as he recognized this voice. His sister, Lessa. He spotted her before, when he was entering the house, she was playing with the big guarding dog, who was the best defense against the wild animals this house had and loved them all to death. His mind already started to write fast scenarios, which proved to be true.

Tiyan appeared in the courtyard in a moment, just to see how the furious and maddened dog aims for his sister’s throat. She tried to defend, but was shocked and most of all, was only seven years old.

His father was there too, in his hand – a huge hammer, his expression furious and fearsome. The dog had no chance. Tiyan though, was closer already – but he had only a skinning knife, a skinning knife against an enormous dog, which weighted twice as much as him.

He had to act, quickly. So he did the first thing his inner voice told to do.

Tiyan reached with his hand, slowly, his senses suddenly sharper, like on the hunt.

His lips formed a word, silent, almost too silent for anyone to hear, more even a furious animal.

“Raf.”

It all lasted only three seconds. In one, the dog still tried to bite the girl, in second, he looked at Tiyan. In third, petrified. Like a beast carved in stone.

“Raf,” the hunter said again, the dog’s name. He suddenly felt what runs through the big canine’s head. Pain, confusion, fear. He didn’t want to attack Lessa, something forced him to. Like an aggressive spirit entered his body, controlling him, ordering him to bite till blood, drink the warm liquid and relish on it. The dog was terrified, almost begging Tiyan to stop all of this. The feelings rushed through Tiyan, like a tsunami, like an avalanche, leaving him empty and afraid, cold and lost. He felt blood filling his throat, blood that was not his, or his sister’s. His eyes widened in terror and rage, pushed into his veins and mouth by a bubbling spell.

But this confusion lasted only a few seconds, as well. The dog turned its big head to Lessa, baring its teeth… and then, he fell, violently sent on the ground by the blow of the hammer of Tiyan’s father.

His sister screamed. She was screaming seeing Raf lying dead on her, pinning her with his weight to the ground.

“Tiyan,” Gravir said, glaring at him. His skin was covered with sweat and bloody saliva. He looked like an old god of war who descended from stormy heaven to punish the guilty.

The young hunter looked at him, his gaze absent. His confusion, his mind still feeling the pain of the dog, the dog who was always a good companion, a good guardian, who killed so many beasts, to protect this house. To protect his humans.

“Never do it again. I will manage,” Gravir growled.

Tiyan nodded, like in a trance.

It frightened his father, it terrified even Lessa. It happened again. This… curse. It crawled into him, embraced him with its dark tendrils, and now, he was affected, poisoned. He was like those mushroom-skinned beasts in the woods, tainted – a pariah. But he was also sure that Gravir would not be on time. Raf would kill Lessa, if he didn’t use this darkened malediction. That, though, wasn’t making it less terrifying.

Tiyan looked as Gravir took Lessa in his arms to carry her inside. Their grandmother was gazing from the window, not even afraid, her face bore an odd and quite unsettling expression. His mother stood next to her, putting hands to her mouth, in utter horror. They both were too far to see the attack, but not far enough to see Gravir’s anger and dead body of the dog.

And Raf laying on the wet ground, was a sign of changing times. The magical blight was spreading, and it entered his soul, to pollute it with filth. Tiyan closed his eyes and exhaled.

And followed his family.

The snow was falling, thick cocoon of silence. The tiny white petals mixed with the blood and covered the courtyard ground, burying the dead animal under hushed plaid of shadowed brightness.

Possible rewrite

Ohkay… I was more focused on my other novel, and due to working like a madman with a box, I managed to grow as a writer. Therefore, I will possibly rewrite everything after prologue. Prologue was rewritten hundreds of time and took the form of a pleasant surprise – I really like it. But later starts my main concern.

I want to put more life into this novel. I will probably sit over it and write. Write. And write. More charm, more soul, more everything! Ha.

Sneak peek: Escape

“Surely you know what you are doing?”

“Yes” Darriah narrowed her brows and looked at Tiyan with stern gaze, which could kill a battalion of fae warriors. “No. But better do anything than sit here and wait for your master, don’t you think?”

Actually, Tiyan doubted it’s better. It was worse. Definitely worse. It was like animal biting its own leg off, to run from the clutch. But in this case, the limb can be easily sewn to a body again and used as a bat to kick you in the head with it. Hard. With magical enhancement and an additional theatre of shadows.

Not that he lost hope. But he weighted the possibilities.

And it turned that they had little chance to survive in the forest, in which the fae spun their enchantment. If they even manage to run from the castle. It was not cowardice, it was common sense.

“You are afraid” Darriah started to pack her scarce belongings. “You are scared that you will make him furious and he will grow you a second head. But honestly, everything is better than working as a slave in the palace filled with enemies. Stop pleasing them, Tiyan. Act.”

Mias – by Rinn

I got a beautiful design for Mias [ main fae character ] today <3

I proudly present how my fairy man looks like, courtesy of Rinnuah:

Well

Mias: You can trust me. I am embodiment of good will. If you serve me well, you will bask in my glory and your cup will be always full. I treat my humans humanely.

Also Mias: … but if you serve me bad, your blood will be cursed till tenth generation. If you will be able even to get that far.

Dazzled by Words: Updates

I have been dazzled by so many ideas but half of them probably will land into the trash bin. Too many of them to fill one book. At the other hand, who said I can’t write second part *chimes ethereally*.

Thank yous go to Rinn and Agnieszka who help me with editing this cursed WIP. The enchantment of words and spelling is one of the hardest, but as an actual fae, I will make it! Soon I will toss here fixed Prologue, with new plot additions, because I had some enlightment and want to make it look more… whole, idk?

Wish me luck mortal friends! I have been writing whole day to feed your hunger for letters!

*laughs and disappears in flurry of leaves*

 

WIP: The Fear Within 1.2

Their evenings at home always belonged to tale-telling. The family was sitting together, Tiyan’s father, Gravir, talked about the old battles and recalled the soldier’s life; grandmother was telling stories of the old forgotten kingdoms, which were long ago crushed by time; and Tiyo told horrible stories to make Masilla’s hair bristle on her copper head.

However; today, no one wanted to tell any story. Father holed up with Tiyan’s mother in the marital bedroom, but they all heard their raised voices. Grandmother Saya looked at her grandson with an inscrutable face. Masilla sat by the fireplace, still shaking with fear and pain.

‘Tiyo…’

It was Masilla’s voice. She was sitting like a heap of unhappiness, with her eyes still red from intense weeping.

Tiyan got up and walked closer to hug her. Masilla seemed to flow through his arms. She was small, even for the age of six. A fragile, delicate girl.

Grandmother Saya finally spoke, her voice was hoarse from smoking herb; old and absent.

‘The magic of the fae …’

‘Granny, not now,’ Tiyan knew what would happen next. Grandmother will drown in the legends that usually made them shake their knees as they enjoyed listening to it, but nobody needed it now.

Not nobody. Masilla shook her head “I want to hear it, Tiyo, I want a story.”

Saya, smiling to her, began to speak as if she didn’t see her grandchildren, and her son didn’t argue with his wife in the next room.

‘The fae stood out of the moon and stars, created by Cat with Seven Paws. They were beautiful as the sun and mysterious like the night. Seelie, whom we call saru, loved the world and everything that lived on it, but Unseelie, known to us as kilyans, were cruel and they liked to look at the suffering of smaller and bigger creatures. The Cat was unhappy that they lived together, so he tore his seventh paw and blood fell on kilyans, the black blood of the god. From that moment they were forced to live outside of the land of shee, in forests and mountains, far from civilization. What Cat did, was not to the liking of Manus, the father of the gods. But he couldn’t force the Cat to sew his leg again up to his body, so he created a different kingdom for Unseelie, behind the mountains and the forest which they inhabited. Then the Courts were born, the Seelie Court, where everything smelled of flowers and the sun was shining, and the Unseelie Court, which hid in the eternal darkness. Then people came to Avras, and saru took them under their protection, knowing that kilyans will want to destroy them. For many years, the protection of the saru allowed people to prosper and be happy and wealthy. Saru walked with people, like the bright messengers of the gods who were sent to give and never to take. But Cat didn’t like it. He didn’t create people and scrutinize them, so he took the saru from human land. Suddenly they disappeared, and then kilyans, fae of black hearts and immeasurable cruelty, attacked the land of people for the first time.’

Grandmother sighed like if she remembered the events herself. Although Tiyan had heard this story many times, he listened as if hypnotized, just like Masilla.

‘Kilyans killed almost everyone, but a small group of people survived, and kilyans didn’t hear about them, nor knew about them; their village grew and the kingdom of people began to revive again. Kilyans, busy with their affairs and court intrigues, didn’t care about them, didn’t even know they exist. As long as the king didn’t start sending settlers deep into the mountains, oblivious to the danger. Kilyans had been busy developing their own lands and once they reached the peaks of their success, they remembered their neighbors and the ones who survived. Then the Great War came.”

There were tears in Saya’s eyes. Tiyan didn’t know, whether because of the horrors of the war she survived or because of the story itself. Where were the saru? What happened to them? Did the Cat really sent them into nothingness?

Tiyan heard his mother crying. Carefully, to avoid hurting Masilla’s wounds, he stood up and walked to the door separating them from his parent’s bedroom.

It was not nice to eavesdrop, but Tiyan didn’t care. Not after what happened to Mina.

‘The boy is marked!’ his father said. ‘Sooner or later, they will come for him anyway! Do you think I will fight the damned shee? Do you think I cannot remember what they did to my father?!’

Something new. Tiyo did not know grandfather Ramas, but he didn’t know that he was killed by the fae, either.

‘But he is the last, Gravir. It will break my heart’ mother’s voice was stern but Tiyan felt tears in it.

‘They will come, they will enchant our house and take him with them, it would be better for him to go away now, maybe he will save his skin.’

And ours. The boy almost heard his father’s words, heavy with unspoken fear,

Tiyo didn’t listen any more. Father wanted to send him away. If this is true and the fae will come for him, maybe it will be better for him if he really went away. He knew that he would have to do it, even before he found magic in himself. He felt that the fae looked after him.

The black cloud, black eyes, darkness, storm.

Saya narrowed her eyes in the warm lamp light, dozing off. Tiyan didn’t dare to leave the house. However, he was already seventeen, he was a hunter, he knew how to survive in wilderness. If he puts Granny, father, mother, and Masilla in danger… did he have a choice?

He approached Masilla again. The girl also dozed off, a tale, one of the less terrible, that Tiyo thought was beautiful, lulled her to sleep. Tiyo tucked her tightly in the blankets, as the enchanted winter had not ceased since the invasion of kilyans. Tiyan was wearing a jacket, thick and full of goose down. His shoes were heavy and adapted to walking in deep snow. The evening was cold, it sucked every span of warmth from his bones. However, he was attracted by a relatively warm bed. He looked again at the sleeping women and went to his room.

Will you have the courage to leave, Tiyo Markon?

———–

 

Tiyan couldn’t sleep, he was tormented by the thought of leaving his house, the only stable thing he ever knew. The magic that had grown in him after the war had intensified and now the boy had moments when the whole world seemed to dance before his eyes, he saw things that weren’t or maybe were real. In one case or another, he was cursed, touched. In small towns like this, there was no place for magical creatures. Even if one was a son of a respected clan leader.

He had to leave.

Tiyan knew his presence could cause the worst. Citizens could kill him. Here the hatred for the fae who killed half the male population of the city was enormous. He felt their eyes on him, full of doubts and rejection. Soon they will turn into dislike and later into hostility. Magic manifested in him at strange times, in inappropriate places.

He tried to remember the time of the last battle with shee. He only remembered the fire, the screams, the clang of metal and the hiss of the sun and moon spears the fae wielded. And eyes that looked at him. Not with hatred, but with interest and amusement. However, those black eyes of the unknown fae were present whenever magic appeared in him. The shadow was in sight but never when he looked at it.

He was not afraid of the town’s inhabitants as much as this dark shadow. He didn’t tell anyone about it. He couldn’t say that the fae were watching his every move, or at least watching him when magic worked.

Tiyan tumbled down on the bed until the first o’clock swayed him, sending him into a restless sleep.

Tiyan began to kick his legs, hitting his bed and tossing his blankets as if he was running somewhere. His dream took his consciousness to a different place.

His dream materialized him near a forest palace. Created from the dark crystal, it seemed almost unreal. The forest surrounded him, speaking to him in an unfamiliar language. The trees seemed to sing a song from which he felt goosebumps. It was full of longing, pain and nostalgia as if the boughs were crying for long-gone times. Tiyan stretched his hands before his eyes and didn’t recognize them. They were transparent, shimmering like crystals the palace was made of, reflecting sunbeams like diamonds. His body was light as if he was made of smoke or the glow of the setting sun, the dawn full of insufferable beauty.

In his dream he did not feel fear, he relished over his new form. He didn’t remember who he was, but he knew he was not part of this world, and this form had been offered to him to see the palace and hear its song.

In front of the palace’s crystal gate, creatures with pointy ears moved, airy, as if woven from cobwebs, from summer gossamer. They didn’t look at him as if he wasn’t there. Most of them wore green and blue. He couldn’t see the weapon or feel enmity, but he could feel the darkness everywhere, even if the sun was at its zenith. He floated in the dark light and primal splendor of the palace and its inhabitants.

Then, as the song of the trees rocked him like in a child’s cradle, he heard a voice. It was young and brought to mind the sound of the stream on a cold winter’s day.

‘Tiyo…how long will I wait for my faithful servant?’

Normally, Tiyan would have to slap anyone who would call him his servant. But the voice hated opposition, even if it seemed to belong to someone much younger than him. It was the voice of the ruler.

‘I have a right to you, and the seed has sprouted up. Magic is tormenting you, isn’t it? How much easier would it be to take off the shackles and go to a place where it’s natural to cast an enchantment, to enforce your will. Where you’ll be safe. The pain must be unbearable, my innocent winter child. It’s sweet to see your suffering, but my grace is boundless.’

Tiyan wanted to answer, but he couldn’t speak, like his mouth were sewn up.

‘Soon, I will send for you, and you will not be able to refuse.’

Tiyo suddenly felt that his real body is coming back, and the creatures in front of him started to look at him, their gazes dark, expressions cold and undeciphered. He didn’t belong to this place, not in this body. But did he belong anywhere?

He woke up sweated in his dug-up bed. He sat down, the wet linen sticking to his skin. He was defiled, cursed. The fae will never give him peace, whoever he was. He hid his face in his clasped hands.

He didn’t fall sleep again this night.