A Prelude to the Blind and the Beautiful

Written in response to: Write about two people whose dreams are somehow connected. ... view prompt

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Fantasy Coming of Age

It was all she ever wanted. To be able to control the elements and aid her people. It was what drove them both into the madness of war. But who could have warned them back then. Before they knew the truth...


Jingling of bells was all that was heard down the empty stone hallway of the emperor's palace. A place of solitude and learning. Only interrupted by the chiming of the children who play occasionally amongst these halls.


"Mikala," A young boy called out. Running from his room at the sound of the bells that were placed along a young woman's sash. They were western folk dressed in attire of the Rikian tradition. Those who hailed from Naroch. The capital of the known world.


"You have to see what Kaygen gave me for my birthday!" The boy yelled out.


Mikala turned around and smiled at the young man holding to a wooden box in his hands as he stumbled along gingerly towards her. He was one of her favorites among the chosen children that lived in this dormitory.


"What has the rascal offered you now?" She wondered as he stood before her with a crooked smile.


"It's a crackerjack box." He exclaimed with glee.


"And what is that supposed to be."


A little disappointed he held it up to her for inspection.


"He told me that it was for someone who is exceptional at everything."


To her it seemed like a regular box. Nothing out of the ordinary. Wooden paned with a simple sun symbol etched into its top.


"Watch, watch, see." He proclaimed as he pressed upon a hidden panel button. The box whirred and she could hear the turning of gears within the clockwork machination.


Slowly it opened up from the center. Turning the sun symbol into a crescent moon then from there into a half moon which split open the box to display it's secret contents within.


"They are riddles, and Kaygen said if I can solve them that I would be one of the greatest wizards of all. And I can join you, and the others to protect you from danger."


Mikala bit her lip. She knew what Kaygen was training him for, but he knew little of its consequences. But he looked up at her with such respect as he reached within the box.


A tubular device was drawn out. Within a small beetle was pacing back and forth. On either end was a corresponding symbols of various languages. All for the name of the lunar beetle. Baracs.


"I don't get it, Mikala. It looks like a bunch of garblie goop. But I want to be a crackerjack so bad."


He pleaded with big puppy eyes. She knew she could not resist him for long. The two them shared the same fate and carried on the same dream. To serve empire as sorceress and magician. It was why they were chosen by the God-Emperor himself.


The two of them brought box into Mikala's chambers and placed it upon her large bed. There they began working on each of the individual puzzles. They were cleverly designed. And each was a depiction of some sort of poison. The Baracs bite was deadly and when they opened it, they knew only that they had to draw it's venom.


From there they was lampras root, deathly holly and blood berries. All with there corresponding container etched with the name of root, leaf, berry, and beetle that the poison was drawn from.


"I think we have it all," He said as he turned over the box. "Nothing left. I don't get it."


"He said this was for you am I right?" She asked started to draw a connection to all the poisons.


"Well, Briar if you really wish to crack the code, and be a true jack of all trades. You should know the answer to this." She said as pointed to the underside of the lid of the box. Upon the panel was a jumble of symbol's in the Rikian alphabet. But space enough for an answer to be spelled out.


"Hmm," He thought as he looked to all the poisons they had harvested. Beetle milked, holly crushed, root boiled and berries mushed. "They are all super deadly poisons."


"Yes and you know how much Kaygen enjoys those."


He nodded. Then slowly it dawned on him.


"The anti venom. It's..." He grabbed the box and quickly began to spell out his answer upon the lid as he did so. A Briar's Rose. The bottom slid open revealing a hidden compartment once again. In it was a simple scroll rolled neatly and sealed with a waxen emblem of the house of Oris. Their house.


"It is with uptmost pride," Briar began as he read out the scroll. "That I bestow upon thee the gift of graduation of your first year of studies. It has been a great opportunity to meet such a bright hopeful student. One whom, would certainly not ask for aid in cracking these puzzles."


Briar gulped at that and Mikala snickered at him.


"Their lies but one final test. And that is of taste my young man. So please share this vile concoction with someone you hold dear. And you should know what to do last. After this you may or may not, join me for a drink. For young boy, you will be a true guardian. One of thee best if I should dare to admit it.


Now live or die by your own hand.


Kaygen."


Mikala shook her head playfully at Briar.


"Nope, not going to happen..."


"Aw, please Mikala. You heard it yourself. Kaygen will promote me if only I have you drink just a sip of it."


"I will not be you or Kaygen's little experiment. He has enough subjects in dungeon's below. Test it on one of them." She jumped to the other side of the bed as Briar brought the vial of mixed poisons to bear.


"One sip. I swear, I won't let anything happen to you. Cross my heart and hope to die."


"That's what I'm afraid of." Mikala admitted as she continued to avoid the vial be offered to her. "I'll only play your game if you promise me one thing Briar."


She suddenly calmly looked at him with cold seriousness that oft put the young man.


"Of course, anything you ask of me." He then crossed his heart.


"Good, I want you to promise never to forget me."


"Ha! That's it. Of course I won't forget you Mikala. Your my bestest best friend in all of the empire."


She smiled at him and calmly took the vial from his grasp and downed the poisons. The effects were almost immediate. She felt he throat swell up and her face burn as if though it was on fire. The contractions of her heart beat oddly as she made to lie down.


Briar helped her of course as the blood began to drain from her face. Suddenly the room was very cold to Mikala despite the burning within her body. The poison soon would reach her nervous system and paralyze her and her heart. And she would cease to breathe.


But a reddish light burned brightly from her chest where Briar had laid his palms. His eyes were closed and his long brown hair parted as if brought up by an unknown wind. It look as though he were underwater. From her dress tendrils of greenish ooze slipped free from her body and when it came into contact with the light shining from Briar's hands it turned the garish red to a bright yellow which shown the like the sun upon her.


Then she passed out.


When she awoke she stood before a great mountain. Her body covered in fur from head to toe and it was beyond freezing. She tucked away at her body and turned in place trying to get her bearings.


"Hello!?" She called out into the icy storm raging around her. The mountain before her the only sign of life beyond sheets of snow. "Briar?"


There was no answer. But the chimes at her side ringing loudly in the wind.


She trudged through the banks of snow reaching out to trunk of evergreen trees for balance as she fought against the harsh winds towards the mountain side. A light shone in the distance. A yellowish glow.


"Briar?" She yelled out once more.


"Mikala?" He answered back from the far off distance. "Where are we?"


"I'm not sure." She said as she tried to get her bearings. It was not like anyplace she had visited so far as she knew.


Within his hands, Briar held to a vial of antivenom. Glowing golden against the blueish gray of the blizzard blowing briskly around them.


"Do you think this is part of the test?" He asked, not quite confidant in the assumption. Kaygen was a practical man, not taken into using teleportation magic or the like.


"Well he always had an odd sense of humour, but I don't think he would send us out into the middle of nowhere." She yelled out to him just so he could hear. "We should probably find some cover."


The two of them holding to each other for balance. Made to continue their climb to the mountain. Along one side their happen to be a cave.


"What happened?" She asked as he produced a magical fire imp to warm them within the cave. It danced around and played alongside Briar trying to get his attention but he was puzzled himself looking distantly to the entrance of the cave.


"I don't know, I drew out the poison got very light headed and when I brought up my hands to see if I'd done it. I saw you in the distance."


"Well I'm not sure what to do now." Mikala admitted. "Other than wait out this storm."


It was odd. Something about this was so oddly familiar to her, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it.


Briar stood up suddenly catching sound of something outside the cave.


"I think I hear someone calling for me." Briar said a bit concerned but at the same time hopeful. "Maybe there's a search party looking for us."


"I don't know, Briar." But before she could warn him he picked up his coat and beckoned the imp to follow him out of the cave.


Grunting to herself, she groaned and followed after them.


She had to bring her arm to her face to block out the icy pang of snow brushing sharply against her skin and eyes. She could barely make out the imp in the distance before it too snuffed out.


"Briar wait!" She yelled out and suddenly she realized why all this seemed so familiar. It was a recurring nightmare of hers. "NO BRIAR COME BACK!" She yelled in panic, but it was too late.


A spear of sunlight crashed through the skies opening up the heavens like a spear. Rainfall replaced snowfall and before her was Briar. In her arms.


But she felt something wet drip down her hands and along her arms. She looked down in horror as she held to a knife. One which she didn't recalling drawing from it's sheathe at her side. It was deeply embedded into Briar's stomach. But he held to her tightly still.


He muttered something as she let him fall down as she crashed to her knees with him. Tears rolling down her face. This isn't real. This isn't real.


"This isn't real is it?" Briar asked mimicking her thought as he breathed his ragged breathes against her face.


"No, Briar it's a nightmare. I don't know why I keep having it."


Briar looked into her eyes and smiled softly.


"It's not so bad..." He muttered once more before going limp in her arms.


He awoke first upon the bed. His mind muddled as he tried to make sense of where he was once more. In his hands was an empty vial. But he thought it had held antivenom but a moment ago. Did he drink it, he wondered.


Mikala woke with a scream, but he held tightly to her quickly.


"Mikala, Mikala we're awake. You were right it was just a dream."


Mikala with tears straining down her eyes grabbed tightly to Briar. "Your alive, thank the Gods."


"Lord Oris wouldn't be so happy with that." He warned her.


"I don't care. It felt so real."


"I know." He agreed as he looked at her. "But why would you ever want to hurt me?" He asked.


"I don't know. It is a dream I've been having all the time. Every other fortnight I awake as a beautiful day shines down on me. And all of sudden you are in my arms with blood on my hands. Then I awake again in my bed."


"It is weird. I have had a similar dream."


"Really?"


"Well other than you stabbing. I keep dreaming of a storm and I'm lost. Only to her your bells leading me to freedom. Then I wake happy to be drawn out of the fog."


"Maybe Lord Oris would know what this means."


She nodded.


"At least now you can go to Kaygen. I'm sure he'll be happy to see you." Briar would not be her guardian, she thought. She would keep him as far away as possible. She never wanted the dream to ever come true.


"Um, okay... Are you going to be alright?" He asked.


"Ya I'll be fine. Now go. I should rest. You did poison me after all."


"It was only for a little bit. You were afraid I couldn't cure you?" He asked a bit ashamed.


"Of course, you barely made it out of it yourself last time I saw you try this on a mouse."


"Well, you were wrong." He stuck out his tongue her. "I can cure anyone and anything! You wait and see. I'll be the best guardian wizard there ever was."


She wouldn't be surprised.


Briar after all was now a certified crackerjack.


She just hoped it wouldn't get to his head.

September 28, 2021 09:52

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2 comments

Chub Chub
18:17 Sep 04, 2022

Many grammatical errors, but very cool original idea for puzzle and characters.

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Keya Jadav
01:55 Nov 27, 2021

This is incredible! releasing the perfect fantasy-adventure vibe. Everything is so well described, deliberately playing like a film in the back of my mind. I could see this as a bigger piece travelling through the origin and future. I think this could be executed as a bestseller book :) Great story Zion!

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