The Drawer

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“Let me out!” I’m screaming at the door, shaking it open.

There’s no response, but I refuse to let up. “Daniel, I swear to god, if you don’t let me out now, you’re going to be beheaded.”

“What, again? And no, you need to recuperate, and I don’t trust you wandering the castle by yourself.”

“I feel fine!” I object.

“Cat.” Daniel’s voice was tired. “Your head was cut off.”

“Don’t remind me,” I warn him. “I still want revenge for your sloppy stitching.”

“Please Cat, it’s only for one more day. You’re still unwell, just lie down. Your brain has been through a lot.”

“Fine.” I hear him walk away from the door, and I throw myself onto the bed in a rage. “Fuck!” I scream into a pillow. I am such a teenager, I think to myself. I hate it.

At some point, I must’ve fallen asleep. It’s strange…it’s more peaceful falling asleep here than in Reality somehow. Dreaming in the dream…someone should make that the title of a song. Or a book. Either way, I wake up under the covers of Daniel’s bed. It’s warm and it smells like him, like the candles on his desk.

From the bed, I can see it in the corner of the room. Not much care has gone into making it. I wonder why Daniel doesn’t get splinters. Maybe he does, but he doesn’t show it. I wish I could do that.

I get out, and I realise my clothes have been changed. The fabric is so smooth it feels like water on my skin, and in a moment, I’m lost in the sensation.

Then my mind snaps back to the present, and I’m wondering who the hell changed my clothes. It’s only a couple of seconds of considering the potential culprits before I decide that I really do not want to know.

So I push away the uneasy thoughts of Daniel or some stranger taking off my clothes while I slept, and tread towards the desk. It’s like my desk in Reality; completely cluttered with objects. A stack of papers are pushed into a discreet corner, in a language I can’t really discern. The candles have gone out, but the sweet, warm smell of the wax remains.

What catches my eye are the books. Books are everywhere, and some are even in English. One of them reads Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with a ornamental knife stuck in as a bookmark. I smile at the thought of Daniel reading this to his goddaughter. It feels like the sort of thing he’d do.

There are cups stacked up in a tower, almost reaching the ceiling. God, Daniel’s worse than me when it comes to cleaning. The cups are dainty and pretty, and yet I know that he would’ve just thrown the cups onto the tower, higher and higher.

Then I check the top drawer and I find the pictures.

It is done in black ink on a browning piece of parchment. This is no doodle, this has been done with care and love. It seems like it’s Kaya herself who is staring back at me, with her scars and haunting eyes.

There are more. Ray is there, drawn in one of the trees she climbs. A young woman, though not as young as me, stares out at me with dead eyes, her face lined with sadness, almost as prominent as her tattoos. I recognise another woman, another girl I saw die, long ago. She grins tauntingly, as if she knows what hell I went through to find what had happened. I suppose in the end, it was worth it. If only a slight bit.

Then I find me. It’s been drawn from behind, but only I have a birthmark and five red letters on my left hand. When I pick the drawing up, a key falls to my feet. I just stare at it for a moment, before picking it up and trying it in the bottom drawer.

It fits perfectly. But I’m reluctant to see what’s inside. What could be so horrible that it would need to be locked? Do I want to know what Daniel needs to hide? I shake my head. I don’t want Daniel to join the number of enemies in Delirium, anyone but Daniel. And yet, there’s a tiny voice in the back of my head reminding me that it would be just as dangerous to not know Daniel’s motives.

So I look.

Another drawing. Just a single drawing.

Daniel’s arms are around me, his face glowing with a serenity I haven’t really seen before in life. And I’m happy. I see myself and I know that I am truly happy in this picture, as if this were where I belonged in this world. This drawing of me has a cheeky but shy look on her face, and she rests comfortably against Daniel.

I close the drawer immediately, my head screaming out, What is going on?! Something has happened. I don’t know what, but I know deep down that something important has happened to me.

Then I see a reflection in the window, and I spin around with a snarl on my lips and my knife at the ready. “Who are you?” I growl.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Object

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Silence of the Cat

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Here’s the challenge link . And now, here’s another tale of a mad Cat.

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It was hot and stuffy upon awakening. My skin was sticky, and I could smell something foul. When I try to move, my arms push against something scratchy and strong, which prevents me from extending my limbs. Encased in darkness and unable to move my arms or legs, I roll over onto my side. When I roll over once more though, I feel the earth slip out from beneath me, and I’m falling to the ground.

It hurts, and I can’t breathe for a moment. I’m lying on my stomach, and I realise there’s a small, cold object pressed against my mouth. I take it between my teeth and yank it down. Cool air rushes through the bag, and I take a huge gulp of it, before dragging the zipper lower. Eventually, my hand can wiggle up and grab it and pull it down all by myself. When I have enough space to do so, I lift my head out of the bag.

I’m not the only corpse here. An old man is decomposing in a dark corner, while in two bags next to me, the forms of two unknown people I’m assuming are human lie.

My last memories come back. I had died, again. It was fairly quick this time, and no one had slit my throat. There’s a bump on the head from where the metal bar struck.

I wonder if this is where they put the bodies. It’s hard to tell; in this prison, there’s rotting flesh in the living cells as well as the dead. Either way, they had no idea of what they locked up in here. Cat Madigan, undead warrior. In a way.

I look around in the dark, feeling around for objects and praying that my hand does not touch a bone or a rotting corpse. It’s some time before I return to my body bag, where I find the metal bar which put me there. It’s strange that they would put the weapon used to murder me in the same bag as my body, but then I hear footsteps, and I don’t bother questioning my good fortune.

I’ve hidden in a corner, and when the door opens, I’m concealed behind it. One of the monsters comes in, grunting as he pulls in a couple of human sized bags. To my amazement, he doesn’t see me, as I crouch behind the massive door. Clutching the weapon used to kill me, I decide to get my revenge.

He doesn’t live long enough to turn around. I strike him again and again, till I’m satisfied. Then I realise that the door would probably have been left open anyway. This is a room of corpses, and corpses don’t rise from the dead.

I slip out the door, leaving the monster with his victims, and I remember the words of Kaya. I keep in the darkness, the shadows are my friend as I navigate the gloomy prison. The only ones who see me are the prisoners. Their empty eyes stare out at me, but they won’t tell on me. I’m one of them, in a way.

Finally, I reach a place where I am certain Daniel will go. In this prison, there is a wall, which has been broken and melted, and has refused to be repaired. This is where the freak escaped, and where they realised their biggest mistake.

I’m not surprised when two guards come out of their shadows, one shoving his sword under my neck. I shiver at the sensation, and close my eyes, waiting for the sword to bite at my throat, piercing the skin.

But Daniel’s sword gets him first.

The other raises his sword at me and swings it down. I fling myself out of it’s way, and I snatch the little dagger Daniel throws to me. I cannot fight, I am useless at swords. But…

I dodge his blows one by one, and once I’m behind him, I rise the dagger.

I’m very good at cheating.

Even though I have little use for it, I pick up his sword before running out after Daniel, treading on his bloody body. I leap off the edge of the building, landing on a thick, leathery hide. It smells of sulphur and smoke, but it’s warm, and it makes me tired.

Then we fly.

Atlys and Sylverlace

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SPOILER ALERT, FUTURE PLOTLINE AHEAD.

“No.”

“But the Weekly Challenge-”

“I know what it said.”

“It said, pick one of the characters that inhabit your brain.”

“That does not mean you specifically Daniel!”

“But-”

“Fuck off.”

“Fine…”

Here’s the Weekly Challenge, if any of you would care to have a shot at it: Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters That Haunt You

Yes, you can see why I laughed when I saw this challenge. How many characters do I have in my brain? Millions most likely. Lots and lots of people just waiting to get out. Daniel’s already left his cage.

However, I don’t want to talk Delirium or its Delusions today. I’d rather talk about a character in my story. Actually, I’ll talk about two characters.

The first is already an adult. I’m going to make her nearing her 30s. Her name is Mhyrandah Atlys, and she is on a quest to win her throne from her incompetent cousin. The Atlyses are an old family, centuries old, and they’re a very proud family, which is understandable, for they are the monarchs of the kingdom. But they are also a very wise family, they recorded the stories of old, events from the past, along with ideas about religion, science, even technology. The Atlyses are what brought civilisation back on track, after an event known as The Blast came about, killing about ninety percent of the population of the Earth. A lot of the knowledge of the Earth was destroyed, but the Atlyses managed to help humanity recover, with them as leaders.

As an Atlys, Mhyrandah knows many things about the history of humanity, including The Blast. She even has dreams of humanity in the past. She’s very weary about religion, seeing it as something which suffocates you and tries to control you, and her cousin Alexiyos uses religion and the belief that women cannot rule as his justification for claiming the throne. It’s her knowledge of the past that drives her, she knows that women can rule, and that she is a more worthy ruler than Alexiyos. She’s quite witty, and a quick thinker.

But despite her intelligence, Mhyrandah doesn’t understand people very well. She’s very used to having things her way, and compromising with people she’s not close to is difficult for her. She leaves negotiating to her companion, Isybelle, who is a skilled politician in her own right. She clashes with people easily without Isybelle to intercept. As well as being unable to compromise, Mhyrandah dislikes it when people make her look like a fool. She intensely hates criticism and she hates anyone who thinks wrong of her.

Which brings us to Character Two.

Mhyrandah marries in the story, and she has two stepchildren. Of a sorts. They’re illegitimate children, but she chooses to have one legitimised, just in case she doesn’t provide the kingdom with an heir.

That child is not the one I’m going to talk about.

It’s his sister.

Kassya Sylver, also known by her “bastard name”, Sylverlace, is the illegitimate daughter of Jharron Huntyr. She’s the opposite of Mhyrandah, she doesn’t mind religion, though that is probably because her religion and that of Mhyrandah’s people are completely different, and she is willing to negotiate with people. Unless, she doesn’t like them. And Mhyrandah’s stubbornness and self absorbed nature rubs Kassya the wrong way.

She understands people a lot better than Mhyrandah does, and when Mhyrandah becomes Queen, Kassya begins to study the politics of the court, and she begins to earn a name for herself. With help from her father, she is soon allowed to learn from the Atlys Files, paying particular attention to philosophy. Her new education and natural curiosity leads her to question the logic behind Mhyrandah’s policies, which of course, leads her to butt heads with Mhyrandah.

Kassya has flaws too though. She has a strong reckless streak, and though a lot of it is motivated by self preservation, she has moments where she acts out of carelessness and mischievous. It’s particularly noticeable at the beginning of the story, though it becomes more concealed later. This is what brings Mhyrandah to initially dislike her, though she puts up with her, until Kassya begins to disagree with Mhyrandah’s actions and she goes full blown evil-stepmother on her. She has her own type of stubbornness, like Mhyrandah, though the difference is that Mhyrandah is adamant about having her way, while Kassya has strict ideas about what is right or wrong.

I find that these two characters are very similar, despite their interactions with eachother. Mhyrandah and Kassya are both eager to learn, and are strong people, who refuse to back down from a challenge. They also want recognition for themselves, though in different ways; Mhyrandah wants to be Queen and Kassya wants to be legitimised, not so she can inherit the throne, but so she is acknowledged as her father’s daughter. They’re also strong speakers, though Mhyrandah can deal better with planned speeches and Kassya is able to hold herself in an argument.

The main differences, I think, between the two is that Kassya is far more resilient than Mhyrandah, and Mhyrandah has far more power than Kassya. Which leads to Kassya irritating Mhyrandah, Mhyrandah ‘punishing’ Kassya, Kassya criticising Mhyrandah and Mhyrandah getting angry and ‘punishing’ her again.

And the cycle continues.

The story is only folding out in my head at the moment, so this explanation is not as clear as I would like it to be. But here are two of the characters in my head, Mhyrandah Atlys and Kassya Sylver.

Suck on that, Daniel.

Obviously, there are far more characters than Mhyrandah and Kassya, but I’ll save those for another time. And no, the plot line where Mhyrandah takes the throne will not be the whole focus of the story. The main plot line is a whole lot darker…>:)

Anyway, time to go to school, just came back from therapy which was so desperately needed.

Love Mad Cat.