Lightlined — Part 3

Hi, Everyone-who-reads-this,

Finally, the THIRD PART is here! I am tardy, a lot, I know, but I hope it would be worth it. I’ve translated a piece of what I planned and realized it works on its own. Also, you get the read sooner this way. I hope you enjoy it.

Don’t forget to like, comment and share!

And, as always, happy reading!

Sincerely,
Mary Matshine

P.S. Make sure to read first two parts before this one. 😉


 

moon

By Bill Williams on Unsplash.

 

3.

The morning was brighter than previous ones. Dante was sure he could see more nooks and crannies of his cell.
He heard Gargon’s swift steps in front of the thick door, then, the locks rattled, as always. Dante was patiently waiting to hear that last screech of a metal hinge leaving its groove for another higher and probably cleaner one. Soon, Gargon came in.

„It’s been two days.“

„You must be hungry,“ said Gargon and handed him a plate full of monochromatic food.

Dante ate it in a few moist breaths.

Gargon sat by his side the entire time. Watching.

„How do I become like you?“ Dante said after putting the plate on the rough stone floor. He was careful not to make that awful sound of metal hitting masonry. It bothered him even more than the shriek the wood gave away while trying to keep its metal lover close.

„A zverhano? Interesting. Are you sure?“

„It gives me the best chance to escape. Right?“

„Sure. Although, it does have the worst consequences…“

„Consequences? Like when Raksas attacked the Eastern Lands, lost, and now he can’t maintain proper allegiance amongst his men and the people?“

„I like how you summed that up. You could make a good teacher one day, or, a writer even!“ Gargon smiled. A sound came out. It was a half-laugh half a sound of a turtle mating. High-pitched and short.

„What you’ve described, however true — those are indeed consequences for Raksas’s actions — it doesn’t fit into this particular context. Remember, now, consequences are different for every single person, and, they also depend on the situation. But, when it comes to Magika, this differs in a sense that the consequences themselves are the same, but how a person reacts to them is not. You may enjoy being hungry all the time, or, snapping bones may be a sound that comforts you; I know demons who like that…“

Gargon looked at his friend carefully, coldly, as if trying to discern how impactful his little speech was.

Dante’s eyebrows raised. His lips pursed a bit which caused his jaw to clench. But what Gargon couldn’t see, and what Dante was certain his friend could clearly hear, was his quick, uncertain heartbeat.

„That sounds scary.“

„Well, the books don’t mention that, now, do they? Each creation has a consequence. For example, if you are an earth one you tend to be hungry quite often. Food can satisfy you to a certain degree, but, to you, nothing can do it like faeces.“

Dante frowned, his nose pulling back.

„Sounds awful. But, I don’t think it tastes much worse than what I eat every day… Go on. What else?“

„It’s stinky being an earth one. And when you are a water one, you are often thirsty, and thirst is best quenched by…“

„Pee?“ said Dante.

„Actually, no. Only fresh spring water, not the one they themselves purify for townsfolk.“

„What about fire ones?“

„Well, the good thing is, fire can’t harm you, but, you are unbearably hot most of the time. Fire ones, hence, tend to be exhibitionists.“

Dante grinned. Imagining naked bodies always made him feel like grinning, it was weird, but he liked it.

„But,“ Gargon continued unaware of his friend’s quirky state. „No one suffers like a zverhano. The consequence is double fold. Primarily, you are completely aware that your body is changing. Each bone in your body brakes and then heals, the skin stretches and shrinks, you grow feathers, or more hair, depends; and, oh, your head! I remember my first time. I was sure Death was coming in the form of a spell gone wrong, which is often the worst of forms Death can present herself. Alas, I survived. Still remember that pain, though. Judging from your expression, you don’t want me to speak more of this. I won’t.“

Dante’s eyes were like two bulges ready to jump out of their socket and live a life of their own. His forehead was sprinkled with tiny beads of sweat. He wiped them off quickly once Gargon paused and Dante became aware of the wetness.

„Second thing is the good part of becoming what I am. Choosing an animal, and doing it not out of like or love but out of usefulness, is the most important thing when it comes to this creation. When I transform I can fly, and I can see in the infrared spectrum — you remember what that is?“

Dante was thinking for a while. He knew what it was, but he wanted to recall the entire lesson. Of course, that was too much to expect so he was satisfied to remember the person who discovered infrared, how he did it and what it meant for Magika. This included a guy named Bill, few filters and the sunlight.

After Dante said what Gargon wished to hear, he asked him what could he do if he decided to become a cantrip.

„Ah, yes. My pretty cousin. Those birds are very rare in the wild. But, I could manage to get a hold of one…“

„We need it?“

„Yes. And, also“ said Gargon grabbing one of the books and waving it as much as its weight allowed „someone should write new books!“

Dante giggled softly.

„Why do we need the actual animal?“

„Well, you must eat it, of course.“

Dante’s eyes were, once more, thinking about a vacation and a better life out there, in the big world. The eyebrows joined them, squirming and closing down.

„It’s not that bad, for you. Imagine the poor people who wish to become a dog or a horse!“

„What else do I have to do?“

„There is a whole ritual once you’ve created yourself. I won’t bore you with the details. Think about this, practice. I’ll be here tomorrow or the day after to see what you’ve decided.“

Taking the empty plate off the floor, Gargon left.

Dante was unsure. It was one thing to kill a butterfly, but eating a helpless creature that is alive!… He wasn’t sure he’d be able to do that.

Although, he needs to do it only once, and then, well, he could forget about it.

 

The Pull

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            She looked around quickly to see if anything was missing. There was a dark bulge on the floor which wasn’t in the room before, and she couldn’t recognize it, but for now, she let it be. It was too dark to see anyway.
            Her eye caught a book, it was sticking out of its usual place on the shelf. Shit. Behind the book, there was a small pouch. She sighed in relief. He didn’t take the runes. The pouch was heavy in her hand, and, after removing it from its place, she saw that there was something in that little dark corner behind the purposefully narrow book, but the shadow was too thick. She had to check the rest of her small bedroom, anyway.
            Suddenly, she felt a sharp pull somewhere on her spine. What the… Her hand reflexively reached that spot, but that movement caused another one. She steadied herself, and it ceased.
            The large wooden box was sitting under the desk. Inside were candles, different sticks, bones, bundles of different herbs, and a leather-bound book. Everything moved around one at a time, changing places, as she checked if he took something. But it was all there.
            Only the altar was left. A small table with circles and triangles drawn on it with a black marker. I never thought it would really work. She crouched. Two candles and a metal bowl were lying on the floor. Blood and wax mixing. The black bulge too close now, hard not to look at. Swiftly, she stood up and immediately cramped up, ready for the pull. Nothing happened.
            Tired and hungry, she decided to grab something to eat from the kitchen.
            She stopped by the mirror. With the corner of her eye, she could see into it. But something was very wrong. Her mind was sending her short panic impulses even before she realized. Slowly turning her head towards the glass, she gasped, silently.
            There was one thing missing.
            Her entire body.
           And behind, where her reflection should be, she saw thin purple and black shadows stretching downward, she felt the pulling, the pain. And down, down, she went.