Fantasy Character Castle Chronicles n.1
March 25, 2022 at 9:30 pm #149351
There wasn’t a chance of him making it through a dark, enclosed room ever again.
And he was bordering panic thinking about it, he couldn’t come up with a contingency for it. There wasn’t any controlling the situation or coming up with a plan. He just. couldn’t.
It was all just a haze of pain, numb and breaking into his marrow. It was like both his mind and his mouth had been gagged; he couldn’t think about it, and he couldn’t talk about it but he couldn’t forget it. It was bleeding through his brain.
Suddenly Alessio felt Nithel pull back a little. Anxiety hit through him like needles, irrationally. He knew he wasn’t there. Don’t leave me, don’t leav-! His friend didn’t let go of him, Alessio swallowed back the nausea of emotions, hoping to reassure himself. He was so ashamed of being so dependent, so weak.
‘You’re not a person.’
He wouldn’t meet Nithel’s gaze, but his friend bent down until Alessio had to look up. There were tears in his friend’s eyes, Alessio couldn’t fully grasp it. So many words filled Nithel’s eyes, words too deep for expression in any spoken language. More pain and more love than he’d ever experienced directed at him.
“You are loved,” If words could be spoken through eyes, they wouldn’t have conveyed anything close to all Nithel said.
It was more than Alessio could take.
More tears fought to spill over. Even before that his vision was blurry, distorted. Another hit of terror jarring his body. Just was all he could do just to stay half-conscious. There was too much, all at once.
Pain. That he was so familiar with, that he could never numb entirely.
And almost a glimmer of real hope, that he’d never experienced before and couldn’t even process. It was so foreign it hurt even more than the fear. But…
‘I’ll protect you,’ He had said, calmly, ‘don’t be scar-‘
“And you are not alone.”
He stared at Nithel a long time, trying to divorce his past from reality, trying to believe his friend. He needed to believe Nithel, he needed there to be some hope. Everything was cutting through all at once, it was impossible to feel anything. He couldn’t think of a single good thing to say so his mind clicked back to what was practical.
Alessio needed to find a way out of here, if he didn’t get out of here, they’d both be trapped and eventually die in this castle’s sadistic little playhouse. The first thing that needed to happen was he needed to get out of…of this room, it still smelled acidic. It was just too vivid.
After a second, Alessio tried to say something to Nithel. He knew he was grateful for everything his friend had done for him and he knew it was hurting Nithel to see him like this. He wanted so much to be ok so Nithel wouldn’t be so hurt.
“I can’t look at this room but we need to find a door!” He blurted involuntarily. He’d meant to say thank you but his brain was still begging for help and neither words were physically possible for him to express. “—I mean…”
Please get me out of this place. “I’m sorry I’m being so useles—not useful…”
Useless. He was aware that was a word that had been used against him so many times. It was crippling to realize how easily he used it against himself now. Maybe the words were a part of him now, fractures in his soul. He was so furious with himself for not being able to actually say what he meant, because every word was so traumatic it didn’t mean the same anymore and he just couldn’t translate it back to what other people heard.
“Just…need air…” Alessio managed, terrified he was going to pass out if they didn’t find an opening or a light soon.
😭😭😭 *why am I writing this I want my baby to stop hurtinggg*
To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.March 26, 2022 at 11:23 am #149356
“Just…need air…” Alessio whispered, wilting again.
Nithel’s jaw set, though it hurt, and he nodded. He put his arm around Alessio, under the youth’s arms. He stared at Alessio’s lowered head, and ached from the pain aching in this youth. He had to resist the urge to kiss him, and looked around the room. It would probably be easier to put Alessio over his back, but it would probably hurt Alessio’s pride too much. But was that a bad thing? I need my pride smarted. What pride? What do I have to be proud of? Nithel gave the boy a light squeeze and scanned the room again.
It was dark. And against convention, it had not become easier to see in the room, but harder. The boulders making up the walls were dark, too. There could be an opening and he didn’t even see it. Nithel began to feel along the walls, still holding Alessio up, holding him tight.
The cold wet stones made him shiver as he kept running his hand along them, or kicked at the lowest stones. Nithel whispered, “I have a son, Alessio. His name is Domnik.” Nithel’s chest ached, memories and pain racing through him. “He is thirteen, now.” Even though Alessio might not be listening, he went on. “I lost him.”
Nithel squeezed his eyes shut, and fisted the hand testing stones. “I always told him to stay close, in battle. In camp.” It wasn’t safe. No where was safe. “To keep his back to me as much as possible.” Nithel remembered how much he’d punched that tree. Rage and fear. Much like Alessio had the wall. Nithel’s knuckles were still covered with cracked scabs from it. “I got into the heat of it, and…” The fear of dying, and Dom being left in that Sheol. Nithel can see the man’s face, hear the shouting, feel his blade sinking into the other man. I killed him. I’ve killed so many.
“When I turned, Dom was gone. I searched for days, after the battle.” Burying the dead. “I wanted to find him… but I didn’t.” Not among the dead, or the wounded, lying around that had no chance of being saved. “We didn’t find him.” He must be in Aden. “The Adenites took prisoners.” Nithel’s forehead wrinkled, and he hit the stones harder. *images* “They took him. Or Dom’s dead. From people I’ve seen-” The father’s voice cracked and his throat closed. “I almost hope he’s dead.” He whacked the next rock harder, and there was a sound. Like two giant whet-stones grinding against each other.
Nithel straightened, re-situating his hold on Alessio, but most assuredly not setting him down.
He searched for a change in the stones, anything. He thought he saw a darker divot up higher, just barely. Nithel swallowed, glanced to Alessio’s dark hood, and back up. It was a rectangle, just big enough to shimmy through. Likely a tunnel. Nithel wouldn’t have a problem, except getting up there. But… If Alessio felt closed-in in this space, that one might not be an option. And what if it closed? What if there was no end? Or the walls started closing in? “Alessio.” Nithel kissed the top of Alessio’s head, softly enough for most to miss it, then shook him the slightest bit.
Nithel jerked his bruised chin toward the new hole. “Alessio.” Look. Do you see it? “Will you do it? I can keep looking. If we refuse to go, something else might happen.”
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.April 9, 2022 at 7:04 pm #149700
Alessio felt Nithel nod, and he was trying to pay attention everything was turning numb. He didn’t want to feel anything anymore, he didn’t want to have to think.
Fear not…for I have created…
He couldn’t remember the words, not in order at least. Just in fragments, like broken thoughts or phrases. It was a stupid thing to fixate on, but it was one thing he could almost handle. It was routine, and the closest thing to safe he could remember.
After a second, Alessio felt himself squeezed gently. He let himself sink into that warmth, he just wanted to comply. It was stupid, he was sure it was stupid to expect anyone to save him, to just somehow take care of everything. He couldn’t afford to be useless and leave things to someone else..?
He was just working up the willpower to just attempt to function again when Nithel spoke.
“I have a son, Alessio.” It came softly, almost imperceptibly through the numb wall of his brain shutting off any sensation that could touch his emotions. But he heard. Vaguely, he gave up his pathetic struggling for a fix to listen
“His name is Domnik.” Nithel said, his voice an edge away from breaking. “He is thirteen, now.
“I lost him.”
The words fell into the silence like a void.
Alessio had felt helpless in a lot of different ways, but never quite like this. He’s never known someone well enough to feel this way for them. Or…loved someone like this. All the twisted, sick mistakes he experienced in the plastered label of love came swirling back but he just listened.
“I always told him to stay close, in battle. In camp.” No one can ever protect you even if they try. No one ever saves you…
What was it like for someone to actually try to protect you? Did it make you feel better, or worse, when it inevitably happens?
Trying to believe he actually meant to keep Alessio safe in some distorted logic, somewhere under it all. He’d never forget the first year of being kidnapped, trying so hard to convince himself that this was something misguided, not truly evil. It wasn’t hard, just agonizingly painful, trying to pretend a lie in the face of reality.
Everything was sick and hazy, then Alessio realized Nithel was still speaking. For a couple seconds he couldn’t make out the words, he just listened because the sound of his voice made Alessio feel safer.
“When I turned, Dom was gone. I searched for days, after the battle.” It was registering. It just wasn’t sinking in. Alessio wasn’t sure anymore whether this was real or just a crazy fever dream. Normally, he wouldn’t have been able to imagine Nithel in battle, but everything was so wrong he could see almost anything.
“I wanted to find him…but I didn’t.” The words came slowly, softly. “We didn’t find him.”
Pause. Nithel must’ve searched forever.
“The Adenites took prisoners.”
Alessio swallowed hard. He was intimately acquainted with what happens to prisoners. Thirteen. No one deserved to live through that. No one deserved to wonder if someone they loved was going through that at this very moment. Wondering if you weren’t just failing them then but every moment you couldn’t come to their rescue…
“They took him. Or Dom’s dead. From people I’ve seen-“ His voice barely came through, then. “I almost hope he’s dead.”
‘But you believe he’s still alive.’ Nithel used the present tense describing his son. Without that, Alessio knew how hard it was to give up on even the most remote, intangible hope.
All his emotions seemed stunned into the familiar dim sensation that could only process the logical side. He was trying to force his mind to feel, to come up with something consoling, to have something to say. His friend always knew how to make Alessio feel safer…
“Alessio.” Nithel said gently, bring him back to awareness. He touched the top of Alessio’s head or…Alessio’s eyes widened slightly, realizing he couldn’t be shook and pet on the head at the same time. So he concluded he had just hallucinated the warm sensation because no one would ever kiss him paternally. He felt chagrinned to have even imagined that, but still looked up at his friend, trying very hard to focus all his attention away from the dark, enclosed room.
“Alessio.” Nithel said again, motioning with his head to something ahead. Alessio really didn’t want to glance around but he made an attempt to comply. “Will you do it?”
It took Alessio a second to notice the crevice in the wall but anything Nithel said after that blanked out. Just a simple, small black box opening into the dark almost like some child’s hiding cubby. A near hysteric laugh escaped Alessio.
“That’s a joke, right?” He said before he could take it back, not directing it so much at Nithel as at what seemed like the most sick, sadistic phenomenon called life. Everything was always conspiring against him, it was just laughable.
But the next instant it was just hateful, nothing else.
“Fine.” He spat under his breath at the Castle. He closed his eyes, sucking in a calming breath.
They had to live.
Nithel had to live.
Hot sparks flutter through his fingers. Before he could talk himself out of it, Alessio vaulted the crevice, squeezing his eyes shut the whole time and climbing by touch. He could break in the middle of it easy and he knew it, so he scrambled up at a dangerously breakneck speed, cursing loudly every time he nearly slipped, which was quite frequently.
‘FearnotforIhavecreatedyou,fearnotforIhavecreatedyou…’ The moment his burst of furious determination flickers out he’s going to panic, but if he just fixates on…
It’s dark and it’s literally spiraling in circles as he crawls forward. He made the mistake of opening his eyes and even though he knows he’s hallucinating he flinches with another involuntary oath. Frantically, Alessio tried to remember the tune of the song Mayra had sung, he didn’t know why that came to mind he just needed something right now to push him forward. It just wasn’t coming back, he couldn’t remember any of it.
“N-nithel?!” If he heard his friend’s voice behind him maybe he could make it, the farthest he’d thought this through was he’d be forced to keep going once he got in. It had occurred to him that might not be physically possible for him but he’d intentionally drowned the thought out because he *needed* to do this to survive…
@kimlikesart (sry I’m late again…😕❤️)
To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.April 10, 2022 at 10:01 am #149712
Alessio’s head bobbed up to look at the hole. He was quiet for just a moment when he let out a laugh. The laugh of a madman. He shook his head and gave a false grin, hate sparked in his eyes as he looked at Nithel. “That’s a joke, right?”
Nithel’s chest burned with pain, and the light in his eyes went away. He set his jaw, already trying to work up excuses for Alessio.
“Fine.” Alessio spat, shaking off Nithel’s arm. He was up on the wall, climbing like a veritable monkey, sparks flickering on his hands. He was gone. Inside the hole. He’d left Nithel.
Nithel’s stomach tightened, and doubts assail him. The image he’d had of the two of them helping each other up to the crevice vanished. Nithel’s mind continued trying to form an excuse for the boy, and though there were many, none took away the sting. Nithel wouldn’t let the tears that had fallen, just minutes before, touch his eyes.
Nithel tries to breathe, then feels along the large stones for a handhold. He’s just started scaling when he hears Alessio cry out. The sound echoed back.
Nithel swallowed hard and his heart raced. He worked steadily, but with urgency, imagining falling and how much longer it would take to reach Alessio. Several moments passed before Nithel groaned and got a hand over the ledge. He dragged his chest up. The walls brushed both his shoulders and touched his raised head when he was on his chest. Sweat lines his hair, and though he wouldn’t relish the tight space, that wasn’t where his mind was.
He thought he saw a flicker of light. But it was far ahead.
@this-is-not-an-alien (You’re fine!)
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.April 20, 2022 at 8:10 pm #150043
Alessio glanced back, for the first time realizing Nithel wasn’t right behind him. That hadn’t even occurred to him. Alessio left him.
You’re not good for anything except running away. You really are just a coward.
He just didn’t want to hold Nithel back, Nithel wouldn’t have gone in without Alessio.
But you would.
It was an accident, he just wanted to get it over with. He still wanted to get it over with, he couldn’t breathe here. Don’t have anything funny or clever to say now? The sick voice in his head kept getting louder. Trying to block it out with logic. If he crawled back now…he wouldn’t be able to, the moment he left the cave it’s over he won’t be physically capable of climbing in again. If he gets to close to an opening, that’s it. The moment he goes back it’s over.
This wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t get so attached to anyone who acts nice. You don’t love anyone you’re just dependent!
Alessio glares at the pitch black floor, shaking hard, wishing for the world he could murder that part of him that was toxic with all the bitterness, cunning and survival instincts imprinted on his soul. But he couldn’t say he hadn’t encouraged this fissure of identity in himself; that voice was the persona he’d projected to avoid capture or torture, or both.
He tried to breathe, to focus on shoving down that voice, but he started hyperventilating and cursing himself for it.
Just calm down just…breathe…it’s ok, just breathe—
Minutes, hours, it’s all the same to him. He bit his lip until there was metallic blood sticking to his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut. If I see an exit I won’t be able to go back in. Don’t think about it don’t think about don’t think…
Alessio swallowed. He kept digging his wrists into the rough floors and it hurt but if he didn’t inflict some pain on himself he’d get crazier. Mistakes were punished, always.
It wasn’t physically possible to inch backwards in the cramped space, so his only options were to wait or keep moving. He was going to wait, no matter how long it took. But he wasn’t sure how to function beyond that.
To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.April 20, 2022 at 11:32 pm #150050
Nithel scooches onward, sweat slides into his eyes and burns. His sword keeps scraping along the sidewall, and he tries to move it to his back, where it just slides along the bottom stones a bit. He tries to get to Alessio, whom he assumes has stopped, still looking ahead.
His heart feels like it’s split apart, his lungs refusing to take in air. He thinks about where he is, some cursed castle, crawling through a dark tunnel leading perhaps to nowhere. With a troubled youth. Perhaps never to see his wife again. He sees her face, in his mind, her dark laughing eyes. He can remember the joy they had, how deeply she trusted him, and he her. The war. The blood. The fact his hands had had the blood of not newborn life on them, but the blood of death. People he had slain. People he had been created to save. He wanted to shout as loud as possible, and growl to the heavens which he almost believed had forsaken him. To where he almost doubted his first life’s existence. To where if he had to keep struggling, he asked the Star Breather why He didn’t just let him die years ago. Why He let Nithel come to know the people he loved, serve them, marry Avigail, father them… If only to end like this. If only to watch them be destroyed, and take part in their destruction-
Nithel bowed his head into his fists and wept again. his shoulders trembling against the walls. “I’ve failed, I’ve failed so badly, Giver of Life. Oh, Holy One…” He bites his thumb’s knuckle, groaning inside, and not caring Alessio might hear Nithel muttering to Him. Let Alessio hear. Let the whole world hear. “Even the language You gave me I start to forget.” He sucked in a long breath. Feeling forsaken, as he had often before. But in this darkness… it almost seemed so. He would have wanted, he wanted to die now, but his duty was to live, if only for his family.
If he’d reached out and made one more scooch, he would’ve touched Alessio’s foot.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Kimmi.
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
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