He stood over an empty well, wide as a hole left by a fallen star. The wind around him howled, tearing his scarves off and stinging his exposed skin with hundreds of cold teeth. The air was carrying the scent of fallen leaves and decaying moss. He was looking into the well, pulled by gravity of its depth; hungry like a monster’s maw.

And around – not even a tiny petal of snow. The world was composed of wind and grass, battered and trampled by unknown forces. Grayed under eternal night, lighted only by the moon, which now was small and insignificant, beaming with almost non-existent light.

“Tiyan…”

His heart was beating faster. He knew that voice., The voice he learnt to love. The voice that always carried a solace for him, even in the worst of times.

Noyd.

And she was calling him from the well.

“Noyd!” his mouth didn’t open, he heard his scream in his head only. He tried, but his voice was choking in his throat, pushed again into his lungs. In panic, he touched his mouth and with a terror he found out that they are sealed – with vine, thin and hard as stone. He didn’t feel pain, but the utter horror of it – and Noyd, his Noyd being trapped in this dark well, made him nauseous with fear.

“Tiyan… help me…”

“Noyd!” his head was ringing with a scream. He dared to look inside the well again, but seeing nothing. The forest around him started to whisper in his place, like wanting to support him in his struggles, help him to tell her that he comes for her.

Noyd… I am almost there… Noyd… I am here… the low murmur of leaves under the endless night mocked him. Mocked Noyd.

But he was not going there. He wasn’t almost there. He wouldn’t dare to come down, into shadowed depths. He was still a coward, a self-centered fool, who cared only for himself. He hated himself. But he couldn’t force himself to take risks. Even now, after all what he went through, he was too afraid to go down, as every good man would do.

I am coming, Noyd… take my hand… I will save you…

He wanted to scream to the trees, so they shut up. So they didn’t promise what he couldn’t do. Noyd’s voice was less and less frequent, until it silenced again. Tiyan started to pull the vine that bound his lips, until he felt pain. But the vine was closing more, crawling more into his mouth, he knew it would go straight into his lungs, if he tried further.

He felt heavy stones just in his chest, just like when he found his parents killed. It was his fault. Again, he brings pain and death, letting all who ever loved him down.

The wind had to stop, because he didn’t hear its wailing anymore. The nature stopped moving… no, it stopped living. The grass under his feet suddenly had snow on it, and the white started to slowly fall from the sky, cowering his jacket with a delicate down made of snowflakes.

And then… he felt a presence behind him.

Dark, and dangerous. But at the same time… love-inducing. Tempting. A silent, crawling pleasure pushed into his mind and under his skin, making him shiver from an unknown and unwanted feeling.

Tiyan stood like petrified, realizing he can’t move, he can’t turn back. Feeling as someone – or something – leans over him and presses to his back. He saw with utter shock, as darkness amassed around him, pure shadows, like made from clear night.

“Such a loss of effort… such a loss of tears…” he heard a seductive voice, deep like a distant storm. “She would be lost, even if you tried… why to risk this precious, young, vital life for a lost cause…”

Tiyan only groaned, trying to toss in place, but he was trapped. Trapped between the dark presence behind him and shadows dancing before him. The shadows caressed his skin with deliberate strokes, which he immediately hated.

Do you like it? Do you crave for more?

“You possess such a gift…” continued the voice, sultry and delicious. “It would be a pity if you offered it for another life, even most loved. Your power is untainted by good, untouched by light. Let it grow in you… let it bloom in you, spreading your soul in most pleasant places…”

Tiyan felt as if someone’s chin supported itself on his arm. A strong scent of violets engulfed him. The pressure intensified, he felt as the person behind him melted into his back. And Tiyan, slowly, began to melt into him too.

He only managed to utter a moan, through the sewn mouth. A silent laughter was heard from behind, which set his mind aflame. He wanted to hear it once again, even if only for a second, a moment. His mind swirled. And Noyd… she was there, waiting for him. Yet he couldn’t force himself to break that spell. He wanted it to keep exploring him.

“Remember where your home is. Not in the human world anymore. You are a treasure, a treat which I will love to taste.”

Tiyan’s eyes opened wide and he realized he burned again. His flames, which were never harming him, now scorched the leaves around him, in a fierce and wild heat. He felt his body rigid and tense. He wanted to tame the flames, but they became even wilder. Qhal observed him from his place under the canopy of spring, taking it all in with a curious and intrigued gaze. It dawned somehow on Tiyan, that Qhal knows perfectly what power he has… and how to use it. Knew all, maybe even sensed his embarrassment.

Noyd.

Noyd…

Curse it.

Qhal smiled at him, a strange gleam in his eyes. Like he knew, or like he didn’t know at all.

Tiyan’s head hit the forest floor. The flames slowly subdued, too slowly. The leaves rang over him, silently expressing their disapproval for his outburst.

What was that? And why he surrendered so easily? Like his mind shut off, leaving only empty need. Like the dark presence behind him knew exactly what he wants and played on him like on a harp.

This was a dream. Only a dream. In dream… all is unreal.

He would never surrender to anyone, ever, not to shadows that wanted to own his soul.

But something told him, that dreams can very well slip into reality, in Ain’asel.

He would save Noyd. He would always try to save Noyd, even in fear, even in the face of danger. This was a lie, a cruel lie, which he shouldn’t believe in. He was not a coward. He was better than that.

He had to believe in it.

Or he will be lost.

Yet… the pure darkness still lingered on his skin, tempting and dangerous, like a night it emerged from…

2 Replies to “ATOM: At the Border of Madness – V”

  1. Noyd! ^^ But I imagined he was dreaming. The shadow was Lorian, correct? Is he controlling Tiyan’s mind? Now I’m wondering if he can ever leave this place and if he does, he probably won’t be the same again.
    Did you post on the 3rd? I’m just seeing it now. o_O I think that when I saw the titles in the headlines, I confused them with the previous one and thought I had read them.

    1. Yes, Lorian entered his mind during sleep.
      He won’t ever be the same after Lorian. I plan a small corruption arc :> It will change him forever – but Noyd waits for him, even if he makes mistakes.
      Yes, it was posted 3rd. My titles are very similar haha, when they are in same chapter. Only numbers differ them.

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