Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Reven: Dark Dreams
The quiet, pale boy marched up onto the farm house's low porch and stomped his boots more or less clean on the rough mat before slipping inside the house. Everything was dark within, but elven eyes did not need much light. The farm house was still and slightly dusty, as it had been on that night, so many years ago. Wren had died last year, and he was alone in maintaining the farm. Chrysanthemum would not come into his life for another couple of years.
The farmhouse's main floor had but two rooms, one divided between hearth and sitting room for those days when summer's heat forced a retreat into shade, and a sizeable pantry. As Reven entered, he heard something moving about in the pantry. Jars of preserves clinked together, and a familiar lullaby echoed eerily from the door.
Wait... something is wrong here. When did this happen?
Reven crept over to the pantry door, a large kitchen knife nearly lost in the long fingers of his hand. He threw open the door and crouched, waiting for whatever intruder waited therein to react.
Jan stood there, a loaf of bread and several jars of preserves and butter balanced in her arms. She was as Reven remembered her, a kind looking woman of Cormyrian descent with brown-blond hair and hazel eyes. She was as she had been when he was very young, before he could really speak. She wore her blue dress, the one she had later been buried in.
Jan smiled at Reven, and handed him her armload of items. It only seemed natural that he would take them. She led him out of the small pantry, and to the table by the hearth where she prepared meals. She set to work then, making open faced sandwiches with pickled meats on heavy barley bread.
Reven stood by and watched her work, his mouth trying to form words that would not come.
She is dead. This did not happen...
"Poor lost little chick, always asking why... you've been out beyond your nest, but you still can't fly." It was a line from an old nursery rhyme, only Jan's voice strangely made it mocking now. There was something queer about her voice... like another was speaking behind it.
"I do not understand... who are you?"
Jan smiled at Reven, that kind smile he remembered from his very earliest years. Only now she looked older, moment by moment. Her middle age came and went, and her brown-blond hair turned to white. The eyes staring back at him though, were like his own. Black eyes, staring out with a predatory quality from the wrinkled, smile-creased face.
She came toward him, and Reven backed away. The wall that should have met his back did not, for it was as if the house was torn in half. He backed out of its shattered shell (he had not noticed any damage before) and onto a high cliff on which the house had never rested. It was as if the farm land had fallen away, and dark forests had reached up from the subterranean depths to mock the memory of his childhood home.
"Don't fly from me, little chick... Come to mother."
She smelled now, as she had when he found her that day she did not wake. That old person smell that he had come to associate with death, complete now in its hold on her body. He still had the kitchen knife in hand, and so he swung it at a wide arc to ward her away as he backed toward the cliff.
The aged face was slashed by the knife, but its blade broke upon something beneath. Plump lips of blood red smiled from the torn away section of the old woman's face, and smooth cheeks of alabaster stood flawless and unscathed by his assault. She moved into the space created by his swing of the now broken knife, and embraced him. Yet in that embrace was pain. Her fingers, talons poking from under the old woman's fingernails, were raking down his back and leaving bloody streaks.
"Hatch from your egg, little chick, and fly."
Reven screamed as something dark spilled from his wounds. Shadow stirred under the surface of his skin, and became black feathers that trailed behind him the thing wearing his first foster mother's skin pushed him off the edge of the cliff. The pale elfin boy fell into darkness, blood and feathers trailing behind him. The rough croaking caws of ravens followed him into the dark forest.
Reven's dark eyes shone with un-shed tears as he came out of his reverie, waking in the small camp he sometimes shared with Ravynn near Numos' tower. For a moment he did not breathe, and then he let out a long, strangled cough. His back hurt, and for a moment he thought he saw black feathers littering the grass all around him. But they faded away as the sun's light dawned across the small clearing, mist and dream-stuff chased away into the forest's gloom.
4/25/2013, 11:42 am
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