This is the opening of the dark fantasy story that’s been bubbling up recently.
“You deny your fault?” The voice rumbled, thunder and star-power making the ground under his feet tremble.
Drevyd folded his arms and snorted. “Of course not. I deny that I did wrong under the Greater Law, not that I broke the Lesser Law.”
Wrath like storm clouds flowed around him. He’d hit a sore point and he knew it. “You, of all beings, dare invoke the Greater Law?” Drevyd’s sire roared.
“I dare because the Greater Law’s demands supersede even your will, Sire.”
Ice-laden wind smashed into him, hurling him back, ripping at his limbs. Drevyd felt himself screaming as lightning struck, burning. Roaring drowned out all sounds, even his own voice. For an instant he felt hot wetness on his back, then nothing but cold. He tumbled, falling, twisting, hurtling past the wall separating the world of the greater spirits from that of Man. Color faded, sound faded, silence so profound as to be pain surrounded him. Formless nothing, the grey of unformed Chaos, surrounded him as he plummeted.
Thud. Something stopped his fall. Drevyd lay still, breathing. Chaos power stung his bare skin. He tried to move his arms and legs. They responded, after a fashion. He gathered himself and extended his wings. Nothing. He felt lighter. Too light. “No. No!” Somehow he twisted, freeing one arm, and reached back, feeling for the pinions on his back. Nothing.
Drevyd sagged onto the ground, if that’s what it was. Chaos swirled around him, burning, stinging. “So be it. I deny the Lesser Law.” He took a deep breath, ignoring the pain. “Do you hear me? I deny the Lesser Law! Only the Greater Law binds me!” He collapsed again, eyes closed, and let unknowing fill his mind.
Nikola forced herself to push on. The cave narrowed, wet, stones cold and gritty under her hands. The cave walls closed in, she heard them close beside her head in the tiny passageway. She saw nothing save blackness. Her skirt kept trying to catch under her, slipping out of her belt. She wiped one hand on her apron and tucked both apron and skirt under the leather once more. Rough stone above her snagged her scarf, threatening to catch her hair as well. She hated small spaces, hated dirt and wet. She crawled on. The air grew colder. Hands numb, knees aching, she crept ahead through deep darkness.
After forever, she realized that she could see again, at least a little. Grey stone gleamed with water sheen, damp and chill. Nikola moved faster. Numb hands and knees did not obey easily, and she slid, landing on her face and chest. “Ow.” The tiny passageway grew, enough so she could straighten up almost, then stand if she bent at the waist. A warm breeze taunted her, pulling her on. Flower smells replaced dank wetness and the metallic smell of the cave. She straightened up, back and hands aching as if she’d spent the day bent over a laundry tub, doing servants’ work.
“Oh!” A land stretched out before her, rich and green, as lush as her father’s estates in a good summer. Clouds hid the sun, and mist turned the distance silver. “That must be the garden.” A tan stone manor house with a reddish-brown roof and two stone chimneys sat on the crest of a hill, surrounded by a pattern of color-dotted green.
(C) 2021 Alma T. C. Boykin All Rights Reserved