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ATOM: The Withered Bones of Hope – I

This happens before NSFW Leira/Lorian story I wrote. She still has more confused feelings.

Leira felt conflicted by merely looking at Mina.

Her thoughts swirled around what happened in the ballroom. As Lorian’s personal servant, she had access to all gatherings, in case her lord needed her. And she was definitely ready for all what happened, even without knowing Lorian’s plans. A human girl on fae ball was as peculiar as a bird invited on the meeting of the wild cats. Leira waited until something cruel happens.

But now, the girl was forced to stay forever in fey realm. With such willing heart, with such joy from tasting the core fruit, Mina won’t be able to leave Ain’asel even freed by Lorian himself.

She ate that apple too, long long ago, all slaves with servant status had to do it. She ate it willingly, without spell or magic working on her mind. She preferred agreeing on it, rather than being forced by enchantment, she preferred being sober, not dazed and lost. She still remembered the texture of the flesh, the thick blood, which tasted like a summer dream. She didn’t regret it. After all, the human world is lost now. She wouldn’t have any places to go anymore, no friends, no family, no lovers…

Here, she was safer than she would be in the deep snow, waiting until a decaying beast devoured her in its eternal hunger.

Mina almost flew through her arms, when Leira supported her, taking her to the room from which she came. Leira felt bad for her, for the spell that drilled her mind with long and insistent tendrils. But she knew Lorian always had a reason. She knew him long enough. She was almost afraid oif the fact that she knew him but also didn’t know him at all. What did that say about Nymre, who knew him less than Leira?

Of course, the reason could be boredom. But… she felt it’s not the case. Mina was not a toy. If she was, why feed her a core apple? Toys lived very short and never were fed with blood.

Mina moaned, when she tripped and almost pulled Leira with herself.

Her big brown child’s eyes, hazy and lost, landed on Leira’s face.

She was so young. Leira rarely has seen young fey children, as most of them were growing up far from Dal’coler. But each human child she saw in the fae palace was reminding her how cruel this place was. Mina’s young face, her small form, everything screamed of not belonging here. But Lorian either way needed her and will do as he pleases with her.

Fae never felt sentiments, never considered anyone too young. They lived for thousands of years, and every human was just a falling star passing the vast sky for them.

And humans were nothing more than a flesh from which they sculpted an enchanted prison of souls.

Mina stumbled again.

Leira’s graps tighter, allowing the girl to lean on her more. Mina hanged on her dress and pulled, she supported her head on her side. Her thick brown hair scattered around her head like a halo.

“Come” she decided to speak, to just break the silence and took her over the steep stairs, leading to a columned corridor. Here, the spellbound atmosphere was lighter, muted like in the ballroom. Here, was the room of this girl.

Leira still felt undeciphered, raw emotion under her heart. The sight of Mina was both wrong and strangely pure in its morbid way. Bloodied hands, and dress, empty eyes and an innocent face. Long gone emotions ran through her.

She would hate Lorian for involving Mina into it. If her hatred for him had a place in which she could fit another dose of it. She hated him, for trapping her, her mind and heart. For making her lose her humanity, slowly… gradually. And most of all, for all she felt for him, which wasn’t hatred, on the contrary. She loved to hate him and hated to want him. And she felt vile, helping this small girl to climb over the stairs. She felt vile, feeling what she felt for the one who enchanted Mina.

Leira wanted to hate more. But maybe it was not possible, because instead of not having more place for hatred – she stopped hating so much. Hate was changed into strong desire and will to become more in this palace, to never look with fear into eyes of the faeries.

If Mina ever knew how humans can change here… maybe she will change as well. Or die, if she won’t.

The girl’s room was spatial, but not enormous. The High Fae chambers were much bigger. But it had a typical design of High Fae interior – stained glass scenes, which the fey were fond of, sculptures – obscure and grotesque in their stunning and dangerous beauty… and above it all, it held the sense of something hiding behind your back, that stayed with you, even after all those years.

Perhaps there were things behind her back. After all, magic drifted in these rooms, and passages, filling them with disturbing presence.

Leira layed Mina on the bed. The girl sighed and immediately curled in the fetal position. Leira felt that leaving her in a bloodstained dress was cruel, but disrobing her and leaving her in nothing – she wasn’t given fresh clothes – seemed somehow wrong for Leira.

Leira was born a human. Human who knew that small not important things can grow into horrors.

Mina instinctively captured the hand of Leira, and Leira quickly withdrew it.

This girl is lost already. And you will live here for hundreds of years. Disattached from all that was making you who you were before.

Leira, through the mist, remembered her homeland. South of Avras. Large woods and murmuring rivers. A sad and empty – yet wealthy – life of a daughter of a sad and empty – and very rich – landowner. She had someone who was important to her, in another life. But she couldn’t remember his face anymore.

Not that it was relevant, he died. Died, buried deep under the snow of her memory.

She was better here, even if among darkness and shadows, where she had protection, as long as she was useful. And she learned how to be useful and needed.

If Lorian finds her boring, like Alnam predicted, she will be lost… but time passed and nothing changed. Lorian looked at her with the same attentive interest, which she started to feel in her bones and veins. A threat stayed a threat. A dull pain in chest, but nothing more. Even if her nightmares proved otherwise, quickly forgotten, when the day was starting.

She learned how to be more than a human.

Or less.

She stared at the Mina peacefully falling asleep. So peacefully. Her hands and half of face hidden under a smooth and light sheets. Leira, slowly, withdrew and just as slowly, noisessly, left the room, allowing the stained glass figures gaze morbidly as she slept – and strange sculptures to lean over her, looking just into her face.

Eyes set on her closed ones.

Open mouth, like suprised by her innocence.

Outstretched hands, frozen in time, wanting her soul, but never being able to steal it.

2 Comments on “ATOM: The Withered Bones of Hope – I”

    1. I plan something which won’t trap her forever 😉 Magic is a nasty but also complicated thing.
      But Lorian wants also keep Tiyan in place, so Mina must not be able to leave – that’s why she was fed with the apple. Even if he arrives – if Tiyan realizes what power he has, he could just take her and leave and Lorian can’t allow that.

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