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This is basically a thread I started to put my short stories in. Though they aren't technically competed fiction, I promise to only post them once they are completely finished. :shifty: Some stories are based in Warhammer Fantasy Battle or 40,000, such as the next one I will post, a Lustrian, dungeon/Temple RPG-ish job. While others, like this one, are completely independant. This is a drama-ish social experiment about unfair predujice, inspired by the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. I originally intended this to be a festure length story, but lost heart when I realized some of the plot I had planned was cliche, unoriginal and I realized I could do much better. So without further ado, The Dreamer. (first person perspective.)
I welcome constructive critism and comments in general. Thanks in advance!
Also, could I join the "Authors Group"? is there a requirement? EDIT: Never mind...
The man was unhappy. His emotion plainly showed on his face, What it was that had caused his displeasure I couldn’t tell, In all rights he should be happy, he seemed very wealthy judging by his clothes, bright emeralds and rubies were displayed in his earrings rings and other jewellery and he rode a fine black stallion that looked to be of Southern origin.
The man’s brow furrowed as he muttered something to himself that in all rightness I should have been able to hear, but I never could in these dreams. I could not hear or smell; nor touch or taste; that was the way it had always been, ever since I could remember. I could not make myself heard nor make myself noticed in any way. I could only see. I remembered that someone had once told me:
“Seeing is not the same as believing.”
How I had come to rely on that saying over the years, I tried to remember more but could not, the mental numbness that came with such dreams was all encompassing. Blocking out memories, the past; the future; lives, faces, all thought blocked out by some invisible barrier. Leaving just me, my sight; and the now.
Something grabbed my attention, like a shadow in the corner of my eye. I glanced up at the trees, I had not noticed them before, my attention having been focused on the man. I had seen their like before, though I could not recall the names of them. The man was talking to another man, a younger one with mail and a sword. A warrior? A mercenary? My thoughts raced as I cursed my self for not paying more attention. I had a purpose here, I must observe and remember, ‘observe and remember’ I reminded myself silently.
I should have been able to read his lips but my concentration had been broken. The conversation was now over, whatever issue they had been discussing had obviously been resolved as the man in armour stepped away from the first man, turned and shouted an order, this time I caught the message on his lips.
“Ready your horses! We are leaving.” There was a host of them, thirty, maybe forty men, all armed save for the errand-boys.
They turned to go and rode straight through me as if I were a ghost, an insubstantial spirit. It was unnerving, but I worried about it not, for the moment had come, the unifying factor in all my dreams of late, the moment I had hoped would not come, but which nagged at me and mocked me and challenged me to not believe in it. I waited and after a second there was an arrow embedded in the chest of one of the men. The others watched in shock as he fell from his horse, his arms flailing wildly, the force of the impact caused him to exhale and droplets of blood sprayed from his mouth. Time seemed to slow as I watched him fall backwards onto the grass, his shoulders absorbing most of the damage from the fall, but strong shoulders had not saved him from the arrow I gazed at the man on the ground, it hit me, it was as if I had run headlong into a wall. Hardly beleiving what I saw. I stared at that man, leaking blood and breathing his last. I stared at his face. My face.
I awoke in my room, breathing heavily. I sat up in my bed and looked around, as my vision cleared, -it was always blurry after I had been “dreaming”- I noticed the light of the candles glinting of the stone blocks that made up the four walls of my room, bathing me in their yellow-orange glow. I realised that I was sweating profusely, causing the candle light to shine off of me. My blankets clung to the inside of my legs as I sat. My robe stuck to my back and my white-blonde hair to my forehead and neck. I raised my hand to wipe some sweat off my face, it was then that I noticed the extensive bruising running down my forearm, a stunning display of purples, yellows and blacks that contrasted against the pale skin of my arm.
I turned my head to survey the bed head. It was ornately carved, made for someone much higher in station than me, I saw a dint in the polished and stained wood, gleaming in the soft light. I had probably knocked my arm on the wood while thrashing about in my “dream”, but the bruising was well formed and might have already started to heal by the look of it, I had obviously been here some time. I looked at the shutters on the window and saw daylight seeping in through the cracks. I felt my chin with my good arm and noticed I had grown a beard, not long but at least enough for two days. So I had been here for two days. Suddenly I was ravenous. I glanced about my room and spotted some bread and cheese on a platter, along with a cup of water. The bread was stale and the cheese hard but I wolfed them down anyway.
I got up from my bed and placed my feet on the floor rug, it depicted a woman in armour, holding a lance. I stood up and my blankets fell to the floor. I resolved to go to the monastery kitchens and see if I could get something to eat. I opened the chest of drawers to the left of my bed and got out a change of clothes, a brown vest and white shirt that didn’t match my trousers, but I didn’t really care anyway. By now the feeling of shock had subsided and I opened the shutters on my window. Sunlight streamed into my room and a chance breeze blew the candles out. I squinted untill my eyes became used to the brightness and then proceeded to make my bed. I pulled on my boots, glanced around to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything and left.
My brisk walk down the hallway brought me down some stairs and through the courtyard that the window in my room overlooked. I saw that a trader had set up shop in one of the empty stalls in my absence. I recognized some of the townsfolk who were haggling over something with a monk. One of the men in the group of townsfolk, Kando, by name, gave me a curt nod. I found myself nodding back. It was not surprising that there were townsfolk in the courtyard of the monastery. In truth, Reeddown keep had stopped being a true monastery many years ago when the lord of the nearby district of Bidden wood had grown angry at the murder of his son. The lord, Canderin Oakenmere, had blamed the head monk of the time for allowing his son to die when in the care of the Reeddown folk. Cander had roused his guard and they had marched on the town of Reeddown below the monastery. The whole issue was solved when the Duke himself had issued a royal decree that Lord Oakenmere was to end his occupation of the town and siege of the monastery itself, but not before the monastery had accepted people from the town who had come in advance of Oakenmere’s guard, abandoning their homes in the town. Ever since then the townsfolk and those dwelling in the monastery had come and gone as they pleased between the town and keep. The monks had been slow to adapt to this, having been part of a cloistered order. But by now it was the way things were since even the oldest man in the region, at a grand age of eighty-seven, could remember.
Realising I had been dawdling, I hurried past the courtyard and down through a sheltered door in the courtyard wall that led to the kitchens. Immediately the scent of the food overpowered me. There was Honey and pancakes, Sausages sizzling on a hot plate of metal over a fire, and several different kinds of herbs which were being used, along with bread crumbs, to stuff a pig that was sitting on a bench. The pig had not been cooked yet and was probably for dinner, as due to the slow cooking ovens, it had to start cooking hours in advance. I saw several assistant cooks struggling to lift a huge pot of stew that had been brewing over at the far end of the kitchen. They hurried past me carrying that pot and headed into to the courtyard in the general direction of the great hall. Probably lunch for the senior monks, I surmised as I caught a whiff of lamb and onions.
I made my way to the back of the kitchens where the stew had been, trying not to get in anyone’s way and spotted the head cook, Rose, sitting on a high chair from where she could survey all that was going on. She smiled when she saw me, and turned, still sitting, to greet me with a wave. A kind woman in her middle age. She was overweight, though not overly so, and the way the corners of her eyes crinkled when she smiled was endearing, she made people feel relaxed and at home. I had known her for as long as I had been here at the monastery, and that was all my life It was to her that I had been entrusted to when only a small toddler of two, she hadn’t been the head cook then, having been promoted to the position when I was eleven. I remember when I had joked with her that she had been given the job simply because of her adeptness at bossing other people around. At that she had chided me gently, and bade me have another blueberry muffin. My favourite.
‘Come here you, why have you been away? You haven’t come to visit me for three days.’
Three days, so it had been that long. ‘I’ve been a bit sick, a fever took me, but I’m better now.’ I lied. I had no wish to recall to the dream, It had been no different from any of the others I had had recently they were all the same now. My mind shuddered away from the thought. ‘ Has anything happened that I missed?’
‘Nothing out of the ordinary, really, though I missed you. ‘And look!’ She exclaimed, folding up the recipe paper she had been toying with and stepping down from the chair. ‘You’ve wasted away to nothing! We can’t have you becoming skin and bones, whatever would brother Lomas say?’ She hustled me over to a table in the corner of a room leading off of the main kitchen ‘No worry, eat this, it’ll put some meat on your bones’ I saw a large bowl of vegetables and tomatoes on the table, along with some salted beef, chicken, and a cup with some foul-smelling water in it.
I felt guilty about lying to Rose, but I had no wish to involve her in my troubles and the food smelled good, so I ate. While I was in the middle of finishing off half of a chicken wing and a slice of tomato Rose came and sat down on the opposite side of the small table. I stopped eating, my hunger having been satiated anyway. She noticed that I had not touched the water and commented. ‘That’s got ground redleaf in it.’ Redleaf was a herb used for restoring strength to one who hasn’t drank or ate for a while. I looked at her and then back at the cup, and then decided that the cup was the wiser option. I wrinkled my nose but picked it up and drank, the taste was surprisingly sweet and soon I found myself gulping the liquid down with gusto. Rose noticed my relish and quickly took the cup from me. ‘Best not to have too much, wouldn’t want to get an addiction now would we? Especially at such a young age.’ I shook my head in reply, still savouring the taste in my mouth.
Rose fixed me with a level gaze. The very same look that had terrified me when I was young, if I had stolen a pie or muffin or upset the horses, I was delivered to her, a she simply looked at me with that look and asked me what I had done, and I would tell her.
Then she would tell me not to do it again, and I wouldn’t. It was that selfsame look she fixed me with now. Rose sighed, I could see that something was troubling her. ‘Have you been dreaming again?’
‘Yes.’ I replied looking down at my feet. I wanted to shrink into a ball but couldn’t. I felt terribly guilty, she had asked me not to do it anymore. When she had discovered me for the first time, lying in my bed, “dreaming”. She had waited there, until I had woken up, then she had sat me down, and explained to me what it was, “dreaming” as I called it, was one of the magics, those arts forbidden since any could remember. ‘Such things are hereditary, they come with bloodlines, though not all in a family may have the skill for it.’ She had told me. ‘It is a dirty thing, there are those that say it corrupts one’s soul, makes the person less that a human being, into something twisted by its own power over others. Don’t be like those conjurers and wizards and seers.’ She had continued. ‘Don’t be like them, I tried my best to raise you in a good way, to be kind and generous and strong of spirit. Don’t betray me by doing this.’ She had left with the promise that I would never again attempt to do it, to “dream”. And yet here I was sitting at the table in the back of the stables, wallowing in shame not because I had practised a magic, but because I had done it when she had asked me not to. She fixed me with a horrible look as if I had struck her, and uttered one word. ‘Why?’ But I had no answer for her, only my silence. Abruptly she changed the subject, noticing the bruise poking out the top of my sleeve, and bade me go to the keep healer. I found myself running through the kitchens, knocking aside an assistant chef who dropped whatever meal he had been carrying. But I didn’t care, I kept running.
Really good, I enjoyed it. The style and form were particlary enjoyable. :yes: I'm interested to know more about this monk....
Pretty good. Long though...
I felt that some parts of the story were cluttered with unimportant descriptions, such as the protagonist's bedroom. A person doesn't look around at every detail in his own bedroom when he knows it from top to bottom already! ^_^
Also, I felt the bit where he suddenly felt hungry slightly unconvincing, but nevertheless, such a story would require great effort.
Result: *Bling* ^_^
I eagrley await more stories to devour.