The rider in the storm

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Night. The darkest hour. When all hope disappears. Thunder is rumbling, the wind is howling madly. The grass on the hills is bending under the power of the storm. Rain is falling hard on the ground, plundering the earth. A dark shadow is moving. A horse is running, a rider on its back. Running as fast as it can, as if its life depended on it. Running as quick as the wind. He rides, never looking back, hoping they are okay. Praying to reach them in time. The world seems against him; as if the gods were mad at him. As if they had unleashed Hell on Earth. Droplets of water, as cold and hard as ice hits him in the face, rendering him unable to see more than a few meters in front of him.

Lightning strikes, once, twice, giving shape to the shadow of a ghost. A ghost from the past that is catching up on him. He knows he should run away but he can’t. He has to cope with that growing unease growing inside him. They need him! He has to get there at all cost! He has to make it, his steed knows it also. The mighty stallion gains speed, outrunning the heavy gusts of wind. Its mane buzzing frantically as it gains more speed, sparks forming around its legs. Getting bigger and more frequent with each new step. Suddenly it lights up in a thunderous boom, thousands of tiny lighting bolts coming out of its mane and its tail, covering its entire body. It gains even more speed, running so fast it outruns even the heavenly flashes. Cutting through the mad rain, leaving a burnt trail behind it. He runs an impossible race. A race for his friends. A race against time, against himself. A race against death…


Here is a text I wrote some time ago, a scene from one of my stories that I have had in mind for some time.

The Celestial Rift

Long ago, when the skies were still young and the earth was vast and wild, they reigned over everything that was.

The Sun, bright and powerful, was the king of Day, bringing warmth and power to all.

The Moon, softly glowing and graceful, was queen of the Night and mother in the dark sky.

Each of them was the ruler of an endless kingdom; they followed each other, dancing a never-ending dance.

But the Sun, even in his infinite brilliance and power, was jealous of the Moon and her soft beauty.

He saw the charming radiance of his nocturnal counterpart as an unequalled perfection, more beautiful than his own.

He therefore devised a plan to gain supremacy over the Moon. For days and nights he tirelessly worked to breathe life to a new creation.

On the fourth day he finished and on the fifth night he finally revealed his creation to the Moon.

As soon as the last lights of day vanished he released thousands upon thousands of shining jewels into the aether.

“I have named them Stars”, he said to the Moon as she curiously watched him unveil his work. “A gift for you my Lady.”

The Lady of the Night revelled in this newfound beauty and found herself unable to look away for a long moment.

Finally she praised the Sun for his marvellous work, enthralled by its magnificence.

“How shall I ever repay you for this infinite kindness my Lord?”, she finally asked.

The Sun replied it was a gift and therefore there was no need for repayment but the Moon insisted and the Sun replied he would think about it.

By the second day after his work had been completed the Sun returned to the Moon.

“There is no need for you to repay me other than with the joy I saw in you at the sight of my creation…”, the Sun said.

“But,” he continued as the Moon was about to protest once more, “if so is your wish then here is what I offer…”.

The Sun asked the Moon with giving ‘substance’ to the aether, a task he knew impossible, even for him.

Giving ‘substance’ to a void of substance so vast and dark was something unthinkable…

But the Moon in her excitement at the idea of being able to repay her counterpart, agreed with no reserve.

For many days and nights the Moon lay pensive, under the newly created shining dome that filled the sky, trying to solve the Sun’s unsolvable puzzle.

Finally, after what seemed like and eternity to her, she realized the only way to do it would be to use all her power.

It was a dangerous task, even for her, an astral being, but she was willing to try to repay the Sun’s kindness.

The Sun watched all of this with a fierce fire burning inside of him.

The Moon, once her task was decided, set on to complete it, just as the Sun, she tirelessly worked but for many more days and nights.

Her brilliance was even more beautiful and graceful as she worked hard on her task and the Sun couldn’t help but being captivated by it.

Finally her own creation was ready and she waited the following night to unveil it to the Sun.

The Sun, of course, had watched all of it and he knew the Moon had put all her heart and her soul into her work.

Her genuine will to repay him stirred a wave of remorse inside him as she was about to unveil her creation.

But it was too late, the Moon offered him the gift and the Sun had to accept it.

He opened it, releasing the newly created ‘substance’ into the aether and for a moment he thought she had succeeded.

He stared into the endless sky, amazed by the ocean of shimmering beauty that was spreading between the stars and filling the void.

The Sun almost wished that it didn’t stop and that it completed itself.

Unfortunately the magic didn’t last, it was not powerful enough, and the spell broke.

The ocean fell apart and faded into the void, leaving only a feeling of emptiness inside the Sun’s heart.

He turned to his nightly counterpart to comfort her, unable to withstand the wave of sadness he knew would fill her whole being but it was too late.

The tears had already rolled on the Lady of the Night’s ivory skin and she was pointing an accusatory finger at him.

“You set an impossible task for me,” she said in a voice as cold as ice, “you knew it was impossible and yet you still asked this of me.”

“My heart and soul went in this gift for you and yet you cannot be contempt… Your wish cannot be fulfilled…”

“I will remember this ’til eternity, the shame, the anger and the emptiness will never leave me…”

“Living with this knowledge will now be your burden, your curse… For I curse you to know the pain I feel!”, the Moon said before vanishing.

The Sun, for the first time since he could remember, felt something far greater than physical pain and far more real than excitement: regret.

He tried to help her but it was too late, the Lady of the Night was gone, her brilliance had faded away, her power was gone and her heart was empty.

Never did he see her smile or her pale grace tenderly wrap around the world again, the nights had gone dark and cold with only his creation to light them.

He could feel the regret, the anger and the bitterness that were slowly eating at her heart and consuming her but was cursed to be unable to help.

Another eternity seemed to pass as he waited, looking at the lost Lady who was now unable to shine her peace on the world and longing for her return.

She was but a lost child, wandering the sky without a purpose or a goal… longing for her lost radiance…

But it would never returned, it could never return. He had made sure of that he had thought up the task he would give her.

Nothing would ever be the same again. But what was all this power and brilliance if he couldn’t share it with her? His heart wanted to break a million times.

The Moon was consumed but her emptiness and her regret, slowly her heart turned dark with thoughts of revenge.

Making the Sun know and regret what he had done wasn’t enough anymore, she had lost it all. He also had to feel it…

She thought of many ways to get revenge but in her immense knowledge she knew of no solution… None she could use now at least…

Her despair was growing and she thought it was all lost, however the demon race offered her a pact.

Her brilliance and power restored in exchange for her blessing.

Blinded by pain and the prospect of revenge the Moon gave way to her hatred.

The demons taught her a powerful but complicated spell and helped her use it to restore her power.

She thought of having been betrayed once more when, once the spell done, nothing had changed.

But her power was indeed restored and slowly she felt her aura become more brilliant once more.

It grew and grew, brighter and brighter, lighting the heavens and the earth in a light even more brilliant than that of the Sun.

Too late however the Moon realized her mistake, her aura had become crimson red and her once brilliant and pure blue glow had transformed into a blood-red light.

Too late she realized that the demon race was planning to use the spell to do the unthinkable.

The Sun rushed to her help, using all his power to free her from the spell but the harm had been done.

“The harm you have done me, nothing can ever repair it, nothing can ever heal the wound inside my heart…”

“But I forgive you for now I understand how foolish one can be when blinded by temptation…”

“It is too late for me my friend… No longer can I share your burden, no longer will the world know my love for it…”

“But you know. Atone for your sin by remembering my legacy…”

The spell the demons had created was too powerful to be fought and the Moon could barely resist it.

The Sun could only watch with despair as the queen of the Night let herself be consumed by it.

“It is the only way…”, he heard her whisper as she faded away into the void, leaving behind her only a large scar in the heavens.

A scar of dust glowing in a soft blue light.


Okay, this is something that I’ve been thinking about for a few days now and that I’ve spent the whole evening writing.

I’m really inspired by this story and I think that I managed to get the story-telling right and the character quite right too.

It is still far from finished/perfect, -though I’m a bit proud of myself, it’s not so bad for a first draft is it?- and will need some rework but I wanted to share it immediately with you guys.

Hope you enjoy! ;)

 

Death is but a transition

“Does the people wish to hear the last words of the criminal?!” Asked the head judge as he stepped on the wooden platform where the man was chained.

Many hands shot up as he asked this question, more than three-quarters of the crowd cheered to manifest their wish to hear his final pleadings to the judges and to the sky to let him live, while the other part of the crowd just wanted to see the execution and the monster, that was still breathing, die before their eyes. None of them were particularly excited by the idea of someone dying before their eyes but he was different, he had been such a pain in their life in his foolish quest to destroy everything. Now he was being punished for his countless crimes and they wanted to see him pay. The soul lance was almost ready and in a few minutes he would his existence would have vanished from this world and they would be at peace again.

“Very well, criminal, you may speak one last time…” Said the middle-aged man who had been presiding over his trial, scratching his long bear at the same time.

The executioners walked to the chained prisoner and proceeded to unbound his mouth before taking a step back to let everyone see him as he spoke. He had short brown hair and a short, well-trimmed beard. His eyes were of a surprising color, in-between pale blue and grey, as he lifted his head to look at the crowd that had gathered before him. He stared at them for a long moment during which everyone held their breath in anticipation before he spoke. His voice was deep and calm as he started to pronounce his last words.

“I am Ascendi, I am the prince and today I am to be executed like a vulgar criminal, here are my words to you. Death is but a transition, life may be taken away from me, I may be reduced to ashes, my soul may leave my body, but do you think that it will stop me? I am Ascendi and I will make this continent crumble, I will make your houses and you palaces, your cities and you countries, turn to rubble under my foot. This will no stop me, nothing will stop me. Death is but a transition…” As his words echoed around the wide square no other sound could be heard, all held their breaths either in shock, fear or anticipation.

The judge gave the order and the executioners took the veil off the large spear that had been levitating over the wooden platform, it started glowing brighter as the put their palms out towards it and started chanting in the ancient language. A few seconds passed, during which they were the only ones who dared speak, then slowly the air started blurring around the length of the lance and red flames appeared, quickly growing and turning to orange, then yellow and finally pure white.

The intensity of the heat and the light that emanated from the flames could be felt all the way to the back of the crowd, people could barely keep their eyes open. The executioners’ chant started getting louder and louder to finally reach its peak as they gave the final words. They both took a step back and the soul lance slowly started getting closer to the man in chains, he stared at the sacred weapon with pride until it reached the center of its chest.

Then it stopped moving but kept getting brighter. The man closed his eyes and opened his mouth, letting out all his rage into a single but powerful cry. It lasted for a number of long seconds, only his voice could be heard now as he was completely engulfed by the light. Then, suddenly, there was an even brighter flash of light that encompassed the whole square. As quickly as it had come the light had vanished, along with the echoes of the criminal’s voice.

When the crowd opened their eyes the only thing that could be seen were the chains that bound him earlier, nothing of the man remained, he had completely vanished and the spear had found it place back in the center of the wooden platform. It was once more covered with the veil by the executioner before the judge walked to the crowd.

“The criminal has been executed!” He exclaimed before turning around and leaving the platform as cheers erupted from the crowd.