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ATOM: The Withered Bones of Hope – VI

The faery portal opened between the stone walls, carved in long forgotten scenes and symbols of old times.

Koshis’het turned his pale face in its direction. He sensed him before he even appeared, the strong, intoxicating scent of night. His blind eyes couldn’t see the gates opening, but the vibration of them doing so made him shiver.  So good. Letting out more darkness that they took. Allowing him to breathe with the world outside.

He knew Lorian was to come. He always awaited him both with anxiety and delight. All blind changelings were feeling his shadows like a caress, like a touch of the void. And only that mattered in an eternal night, where one felt the blooming power of the ancient gods pushing through every crevice of their body, every gap in their souls.

He was taking it from them, replacing it with familiar darkness.

Koshis’het approached him slowly. He didn’t need to bow or show obedience – he was high priest, touched by the sacred woods with holy blindness. But he bowed, sensing him, seeing him in his soul like a black silhouette made of shadows.

“Long time” Koshis’het smiled, his wide mouth showing sharp, very white teeth. His wings spread behind him, in changeling’s form of respect – white as snow, beaming with light in the dark chamber.

He saw in his soul how Lorian’s shadow smiled as well.

“I wouldn’t say long” Koshis’het heard a low voice. Voice of someone who will free him from the pressure of godly presence… very soon. “We are all bound by earthly needs. For me, it was a blink of an eye.”

“For me… an eternity” Koshis’het whispered, a silent sussuring sound.

He only heard Lorian chuckle lightly.

Shivering with anticipation of the lack of awful stones in his head, pressing his brain, he approached Lorian closer, and suddenly, his fingers touched his skin.

Koshis’het blind eyes opened with delight.

“I feel you. You are ready, so eager. They will fill you and go asleep again” he muttered. “Give me more of your night, and I will open the walls.”

He got addicted to it, to life-giving touch of night. Being drained all the time by ancient power was taking its toll. This… this was allowing him to think clearly again.

Lorian didn’t reply, didn’t seem to react, but after some tense moment, a veil of shadows entered Koshis’het’s body. Entered, spread… and pulled. Each of his nerves was touched by tempting, beautiful night and Koshis’het’s soul filled with pure joy, primal and as old as time.

“You always give less and less…” he had to complain though. But darkness slowly start to make home in his flesh and that will give him more time… and more strength. More patience. And more resilience.

“Perhaps because I take more. I need all my strength. But I am allowing you, because I know how… you need it.”

Koshis’het sighed with pleasure. He was filled already. Yes… it will be enough. As long as Lorian will be coming more often. As long as he will be gifting him with it. He will have power to keep walls closed and realms not touched.

He forgot how he was doing it without it.

“Come” he said, again smiling, white smile of a snow and blinding light and hellebore petals. “You can enter the chamber. The ancestors slowly move in my mind. In all our minds. Digging further.”

Lorian didn’t reply again, but Koshis’het felt his trembling dark aura, his perseverance, in face of what he was about to do. He felt his hunger and his pain. Delicious. Tasty like sweet and intoxicating liquor. The woods were right. Woods are always right. As their highest priest, he knew that all the time.

The doors to the holy chambers were never closed, they didn’t have to be. No one in their right minds would enter it, if they wanted to live. Even Koshis’het was there once, only once, but barely lived through this.

Lorian will go there, though and start to swallow. Will drink all and fill himself with energy of the eons and empty centuries. And it will hurt him. And Koshis’het will feel less pressure in his head. Gods’ words were cruel. And drilled so so deep.

But Lorian was aware of that, and only for that, Koshis’het was ready to celebrate him.


He felt the raw and coarse structure of the walls. The pores and swirls under his fingers seemed to dance and twist, like alive bark, like resin-filled flesh. But that it was, wasn’t it? The woods’ trap for the sleeping gods. The poisonous thorn dug deep into their minds, making them slumber… but not forever.

Lorian could feel too, the raw magic beating in the sacred chamber. Pure as winter night, it already was entering his skin, pushing under his nails, pressing on his eyes. When he was weaker, when he still didn’t drink enough, it was even worse for him, than the pain he felt every day and night. A nightmare he allowed in his life. There were moments he was sure he wouldn’t survive, when the gods’ blood and thoughts and soul particles were entering him like cruel splinters of fire.

The gods were made of flames and light. Opposite to the fae, who were made of night and winter frost. Their powers collided, their auras were enemies to each other. Like hunter and the prey.

The chamber was drowning in silence and Lorian could hear the cracking of the old wood, how the bark moves, how the branches crawl and squeeze the gods inside. How the old times talk to him through this ageless room. His shadows loved the green and black darkness of the holy chamber, a touch of pure power of the forest, which chose him and gave him crown. Which loved him. Which desired him.

Lorian slowly, very slowly started to release tendrils of darkness. The same ones he sent into Ain’asel to feel it. But now, it won’t be a delightful, sensual sensation that the first was giving him. It will be an agony.

He felt as Koshis’het starts to release the barriers that were keeping the walls sealed. Walls, in which the woods kept the gods, asleep, tangled in vines and branches. Their flesh long ago becoming one with the wood, so they could not be seen among the tangles, they became more leaf and bough that creatures from blood and bone.

The gods once were blood and bone. Golden blood. Black bone. Sunburnt.

Powerful beyond comprehension.

Lorian felt as his nightly tendrils reached through the bark and pierced through the wood, to go deeper, so deep, penetrating the prison of the gods in search for his painful fulfillment.

And he found them. Deeper than usually, eyes half lidded, bodies dripping with liquified sun and resin.

He pushed. Hard.

His shadows entered the mass which was godly flesh. He pushed them into their still beating hearts, into their minds.

And it hit him like a sunburst.

The power entered his body with a massive amount, and spread over it with a speed of a lighting. He felt as the gods try to scream, as they oppose him, but are too weak, too numbed… slowly aiming for nothingness.

The burning pain flooded him with choking heat, taking his nerves as a hostage and biting them with needles made of pure light.

He felt as if he started to melt inside, but this time, it was a thousand times more painful than outside the sacred chamber. Here, he was witnessing the full power of the ascended ones. Taking it all in like a toxin, allowing it to fill him with strength, taking away his mind and soul.

He couldn’t even scream. His lungs were on fire. His mouth was melting.

And he loved it. And he hated it. He loved it so much, when the pure power was attacking his senses, giving him itself on a plate. And he was absorbing it, hungrily. And he hated the pain, which blinded him on his own thoughts.

But… the gods were weaker each time he was doing it.

One day they will give him all.

And he will have them all inside. Not feeling pain anymore.

When the vessel arrives. When he gives his life and power on an altar of darkened feature, that will belong to the feykind.

His darkness was drinking the flames, his body absorbed the heat and he screamed inside. Allowing the gods to scream too.

Their mute unconscious scream inside his head, silencing his own.

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

  1. I apologize if I misunderstood. Is he taking the powers of the ancient gods and that’s why he feels so much pain? So they become weak?
    And will he sacrifice Tiyan and do the same?
    I missed your chapters! Glad you’re back! 🥰

    1. Yes, you understood well 🙂 The gods are about to awake and feed on fae souls – so Lorian plans to kill them, but now, until Tiyan is still not here, he weakens them as much as he can :>
      Yes, I at last can write again :> (Sweeney Todd voice)

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