Free Fiction: Advent 2010 – Day Three
(I’m a little late on this one. Sorry for the wait! I’ll try to get Day Four out later today as well!)
Advent 2010: Day Three
Title: Veil Over Sunrise
From: World of Egaea (WIP)
Word Count: 645
Kyran trembled, huddling close to the base of the tree he had called home for the winter. Yes, there were other places he could hide, other places he could take shelter that would be more inviting, but this tree was far from the borders of the Maith settlements while also being a safe distance from the menacing mountains of Rigora. The small copse was a rare find, and its boughs protected him from the worst of the wind as it swept through the plains between the mountains and the forest of Stoyrm to the south-east.
He had been out in the chill for so long now that he should have died from exposure. Surely any Maith subjected to the freezing cold for so many cycles of the moons would never have survived, but that was the terrifying heart of the matter: he was no longer Maith. The damned sorcerer in the western mountains had tortured and killed him more times than he could count, bringing him back to life with a magic so dark and sinister that his spirit had finally accepted part of that blackness inside.
Even now that Doran was gone, defeated by the united forces of the Maith, the venomous magic didn’t leave Kyran, and that fact made what scarce blood he still had in his system turn to ice in his veins. He shuddered, pressing his face to the bark of the trunk, squeezing his eyes shut against the view of the snowy landscape through the tree limbs and his long black hair.
He no longer hungered and thirsted as he once had, and the burning of his veins was beginning to pain him more than the biting cold ever could. He needed to feed, needed to find some living creature with the blood his twisted body and soul now craved. Doran had called him his greatest creation, his son, and even now, as the sky lightened with dawn and the clouds were set ablaze in fiery pinks and oranges, a tinge of magic in the back of Kyran’s mind made everything around him seem darker.
Kyran couldn’t be trusted around the beasts of the wild, much less the Maith he had once called kin. He would have been more than happy to roam the wilds on the far side of the mountains but for a single problem. The Maith believed Doran was gone for good, killed in the raids of Rigora, but Kyran knew better.
Doran lived. Kyran knew it somewhere deep inside where the magic still thrummed, sustaining him in the harsh elements year after year. He could see it in the way the sky seemed to darken with an approaching threat, even amid the beauty of the sunrise. He could feel it in the earth beneath him, as if the pulse of the world had quickened in an effort to heal a wound that was being savagely reopened.
He couldn’t let the Maith be taken off guard. He had to warn them, and then somehow find a way to eliminate himself. Doran had used him once to bring his home kingdom of Surnia to its knees. He wouldn’t let history repeat itself.
He had to return to civilization, and as he stared into the golden hues of the sunrise, he knew exactly where to go. With the help of the renowned healers of Tira, he would discover the weakness that would finally send his soul to Great Sea, never to return again. He would give his warning, and then finally perish.
That thought sent a shiver of hope through him. This solstice, instead of wishing for a renewal of life like the Maith, he would wish for death. For Kyran, nothing in the world held more appeal.