And the Future is Nigh

Known colloquially as the "Realm of Dreams", Emea is a mysterious place accessed primarily beyond the realm of consciousness as the mortal body sleeps in Idalos. The mind travels far at night and Emea's not without its unique risks and dangers, though Jesine's vigilance keeps mortals mostly safe.

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And the Future is Nigh

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:28 am

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35 Saun 716

The front gate grew further and further away as the dream took a troubled turn. The hedging in the garden reached up towards the heavens, higher and higher until it was twice the man's height, with sharp edges and corners veering off in different directions. Trapped in the maze, Malcolm turned back to go the way he had come, only to find there was no turning back and that the archway he had stepped through was now n more than a green wall.
Malcolm thought he heard the noble woman called out to him and turned about trying to gauge from which direction the sound of her voice had carried. "Elyna!" He called, answered by the haunting echo of his own worried bellow.
Faced with the maze, Malcolm reached out with his right hand to touch the wall, having recalled a tip from a story he had once read, or perhaps it had been shared with him by a friend or past teacher. Put your right hand on the wall and follow it until you find the maze exit, just remember not to lift your hand. The knight did just as he had recalled and followed the right wall of the maze, careful of where he stepped.

Five and then ten minutes seemed to pass and before he knew it, he caught a glimpse of the tail end of a midnight-blue dress disappearing around the bend. Malcolm lifted his hand away from the wall and raced after the woman, donning a satisfied little grin. "Elyna!" He called as he rounded the bend and came to a brisk halt, faced with a scene he hadn't expected to find. The noble woman was only half dressed, arms clutched firmly by the hands of Yoreth Balckwater as the two stood engaged in a deep, seductive kiss.
Malcolm felt his heart sink and backed away from the pair quietly before spinning to race in the other direction, bare feet propelling him forwards at an alarming speed, right into another dead end. He slammed into the hedging and tried to fight his way though but was trapped by a stone wall he hadn't noticed buried within until now. With a deep sigh he closed his eyes and stood still for a moment, he knew which way he didn't want to go, and so, he had only one direction left to take.
There was music, not like the music from the ballroom in House Andaris, but something familiar and upbeat, music they had played in the Salty Grape the night Malcolm had met Vanessa. Confused, he carried on, a light knot forming in the centre of his brow. At the end of the path he could see the statue of a woman, though as he moved closer, he realised it was not a statue at all but his lover stood wrapped in a sheet with her back to him, her long dark hair loose, just as he liked it. Malcolm smiled, the warm gesture faltering as a large pair of hands snaked across the woman's lower back and as his gaze was lifted to head height, his son Marcus smirked back at him. Elyna turned, her cheek pressed to the man's bare chest, the right side of her mouth turned up in a slow, menacing smile.
"No," Malcolm shook his head and turned away so quickly that the world seemed to flip and throw him from floor to ceiling, back into the maze. Weary, the man's every step was cautious now, frightened of what he might find around every corner.

How long would the night wear on, he wondered as an age seemed to pass, and was there any end to this maze? The man's feet were sore now and he had lost all sense of direction and track of time. Tired, he turned against the hedging and folded his armed across the wall to rest his head. A gentle hand found his right shoulder and when he turned about to see who it was, Elyna stood before him, the skin under her eyes red from crying, tear tracks still wet upon flushed cheeks; she looked as if she had been searching, breathless from running to catch up to him. "Elyna," he mouthed, silenced quickly with a kiss, a kiss to calm his inner turmoil.
The noble woman drew back slowly and turned her head, her free hand lifted to caress the face of the familiar stranger from the wedding, the man with the fiery red hair and piercing blue eyes. As she leaned in to kiss the other, Malcolm separated the two of them, stepping in between them to shove Vakhanor back. "No!" He hissed. "She's mine!"
"And mine," Marcus called from the end of the passageway.
"And mine," Yoreth echoed.
"No," Malcolm's nostrils burned as tears welled in his eyes. "She loves me," he turned to pin Elyna with an angry and somewhat hopeless glare. "You love me," his hands shook as a single tear fell from his left eye.
"And me, and me, and me," the voices mocked him quietly.
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And the Future is Nigh

Postby Elyna » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:19 pm

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Having left the party behind, Elyna turned to explore the maze following the jagged path through the thick grown hedges. Skirts lifted, so that she could jog and then run as she heard Malcolm’s shout in the distance. Turning a corner she found the walls were lit with torches. Bright burning flames stretching up to the sky. She smelt the sea on the breeze and frowned, bare feet slowing on the slick grass. In the hedge was a wooden door, with candle light beyond. The woman pressed her fingertips to the metal catch before she lifted it and pushed. The door swung open with ease at her touch and she ducked inside.
Yoreth stood up from the bed, brows raised in surprise to see her and the door slipped out of her hand. In the ballroom that night he’d been furious, raging and determined to embarrass her. But now all of his earlier anger vanished, as though the scene had never happened.
“What are you doing here?” Confusion was fast replaced with an easy grin, “I didn’t think I’d see you until tomorrow?”
“I didn’t think I’d see you,” she admitted, cautious. The man crossed the distance between them, reaching up to run deft fingers through her hair. Some had been pinned up and with a defiant tug he pulled one of the hair pins free and let the dark locks tumble down the back of her neck.
“There,” he ran the pin between his thumb and fingers, “now you are perfect.”
Elyna reached up, touching the soft strands in a cautious gesture. It was what he’d said, but he’d said it in the gardens and not one his ship. The woman pressed a hand to his chest and he paused. She shook her head.
Amused he folded arms across his chest as she turned on her heel and fled the room and the rocking motion of the small schooner he had called home for so long. Expecting to return to the maze once more, Elyna stumbled up the wooden step. Skirts tangled between her knees as she fell against them. Hands balanced on the wall for support until they were collected and she was helped back to her feet.
Marcus tilted his head to the side, “are you alright? I should have said about the step – it’s just so dark,” he gestured to the dim-lit corridor of the Salty Grape. Behind him, she knew, was the room he’d rented. The room she’d used herself to dress for Zvezdana’s wedding. The room he’d tried to kill her in.
Hands snatched back before another breath could fall between them and she turned and fled. Malcolm had called for her. He was still out there somewhere. Where was the maze? How had the tavern got caught up in its walls? Determined to seek out the Mortalborn Son she regretted only the fact that she missed the opportunity to stab the sailor in the gut as she raced back down the stairs and through the door to the tavern.
It wasn’t the tavern. Vakh stood on the other side of the door. Fist raised as though he’d been knocking against it. The echo of his hand hitting the wood reverberated in her ears and she swayed. He was drowning and he needed help. Blue eyes drunk with despair and she wanted to reach for him. The Skyrider owed the man a debt of life that she could never repay, “Vakh,” she curled her fingers around his arm, “please forgive me.” She gulped in a breath and ducked under his arm. Leaving the house behind the woman, raced over the familiar turf of her home and up to the tree she’d used so often for target practise. She had to get back to the maze!
Beyond the tree the ground fell sharply into darkness and the last line of forestry before the docks. Sure enough as she ducked beneath the first branches, the woman knew that she was back. How long had she been gone? She peered around the first corner before twisting, straining to hear anything in the still night. Stars shone in a cloudless sky and it was still too warm. Where was he?! He had to be here somewhere? Frustrated the woman set off running once more, feeling that somehow she was running out of time.
It was then that the light appeared ahead. Malcolm stood facing a woman. A shadow at his back. It wasn’t light, it was the subtle glow of starlight kissing long blonde locks. Fists clenched and skirts forgotten, Elyna ran forward. The Captain was distraught and Vanessa, younger than Elyna had ever seen her, turned and smiled at the Skyrider as she advanced.
The young woman didn’t slow her steps however, pushing past Malcolm she pounced and found an easy target of the blonde, jumping her and pinning her to the ground regardless of any attempt to stop her. As a fighter she was known for her calm, careful decisions in the heat of battle. Even now, looking down into the face of her enemy the woman stilled. Vanessa wasn’t a fighter, she was an unarmed woman and disgusted with herself, Elyna rolled off and away without lifting her hand in further violence. Climbing back to her feet with weary limbs. The Skyrider turned to face Malcolm. He looked…distraught. As he had the day she had knocked on his door and he’d fallen to his knees at her feet. The young woman pulled her shoulders back, but a sigh escaped her as she studied him, weary.
“I love you,” she lifted her hands from her sides, hopeless. There was little she could do to prove her affection and he never seemed to believe her. The world dimmed behind him as it always did and faded into the distance. Loosing focus and leaving the man in sharp relief.
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And the Future is Nigh

Postby Malcolm » Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:51 pm

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I love you, words used like foreign currency, readily offered as trade but seldom accepted. The truth was, Malcolm believed Elyna did love him, only her love was a flame, fragile and flickering in a lantern on a ship lost at sea, while like a distant lighthouse beyond the rocky shore his devotion burned bright, difficult to sway or bend. Ships came and went, but the lighthouse remained loyal to its purpose.
His arms went around Elyna and the maze disappeared, as too did the tears and furrowed brows, features etched with concern now rather than confusion. They stood near the docks, the man was sporting a small cut on his right thigh that bled out onto his trousers, while Elyna was standing with a hawk perched on one hand while a letter held in the other. "I'm to be married," her confession turned the tide, waves crashing against the shore at his back.
The sun had been warm but now hid behind clouds. We had fun, the words lined up on his tongue, ready to fall, but were instead swallowed down. "No," Malcolm shook his head. "You can't get married, I don't want to lose you, I don't want to give you up." He took the letter from her hand and tore it in two and two again, dividing it into little pieces to be carried away by the wind. He took her hand in his and looked her in the eye. "I'm in love with you."
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And the Future is Nigh

Postby Elyna » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:35 am

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Elyna never knew what to expect from Malcolm when they were like this. Sparks flying in all directions, volatile and dangerous. One moment could call for calm the next for war. The fire could steadily build and explode or turn into sweet passion and forgiveness. Something, somewhere between them was rocky ground and crossing into it was dangerous for them both. He closed the distance between them though and strong arms wrapped around her. The maze faded and she turned to study the hawk on her wrist. In a single blink she knew where she was and more importantly, exactly when. Of all days this was one of the worst and a day she’d had no intention of revisiting or repeating. Yet here it all was, ships swaying on a gentle tide. Sunshine spilling through gathering clouds. Gulls circled in the distance and screamed and she looked back to Malcolm and prepared for the worst.
“I’m to be married,” the words came without provocation and it was the truth. The morning was a blur and she couldn’t think beyond the current moment. Speaking the words aloud had made them real and Malcolm had backed away as though she’d struck him with a blow to the face. Wounded he’d recoiled and he’d ended their affair. Her carefully harbored adoration had been crushed and the flame snuffed out. Left to burn within her skin. No longer something to be protected and cultivate but something dangerous and painful. Love for the Mortalborn had turned to self-loathing. He'd thrown a rope down into the pit of her despair where she'd spent so many arcs dwelling. He had helped her climb to the top and just when her fingers brushed the surface and reached the sunlight, he had cut the rope and dropped her back again.
The expected words didn’t fall but the woman remained motionless. We had fun; that's what he’d said. The parchment was pulled from fingers that held it in a death grip and it was torn up and scattered to the wind and sea and sky. I’m in love with you. Elyna had wanted him to say those words so badly, that now she was dreaming them? What if he had…she wouldn’t have gone back to Burhan. Could she have stopped him going to Krome? How long would they have lived together sneaking around under the cover of the city till his wife died?
Her gaze dropped to their hands before she searched his expression, mystified. Limbs turned to lead and her hand fell from his fingers, “but that’s not what you said,” she protested. The woman turned, lifting her hand so that the Hawk could flex healed wings. He screeched as he took off and flapped up into the sky vanishing to a speck before the Skyrider turned back to the Mortalborn. They had stood at a cross-roads that day on the docks and the mans reaction to her arranged marriage had sent them down a particular path. The woman couldn't help but wonder, what if everything had been different? Things between them would have been simpler and with less pain.
The young woman stepped forward and pressed her palm gently to his face. The stubble of his jaw was rough beneath her softer skin. She lent forward, rose onto her toes and brushed lips gently over his cheek. "I'm sorry I hurt you," she said again. It was becoming a familiar phrase, "I miss you, Malcolm. I miss you so much."
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And the Future is Nigh

Postby Malcolm » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:43 am

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Malcolm tipped his head to press a kiss to the woman's palm before drawing her close in a warm embrace, his nose touched to her's. "I miss you too," he admitted, coaxed from his dream into a more lucid state by her honesty. For a long time he stood like this, just holding her, happy to be so near and yet... He knew it was all a dream, that he just had to open his eyes and it would all be gone.
"I made a mistake," the knight stepped backwards, running his hands down over the length of Elyna's arms to take her hands and look her in the eye. "I left you there, they took you because I was not there to protect you. I could have returned, and yet I stayed. Elyna I was so angry with you," his brow knotted and his gaze was lowered. "For kissing that man... That stranger. I don't know how to tell you because I have never had to deal with something like this before." Malcolm closed his eyes and saw the kiss again, the one she had shared with the guest from there wedding. "Elyna you can't do that anymore," he scolded. "You're mine!"
Perhaps they were right, all of the people who had worked so hard to poison her against him, maybe he was jealous, possessive, and controlling. He knew these things weren't love, they were a sickness, where each act of defiance on her behalf was another shot of ice injected into his veins. "You're mine!" He snapped, snatching at the woman's jaw. "And I will not be made the fool again!"

Dream or nightmare? Bitterness, regret, and frustration waged war with his conscious mind. Exhaustion making it difficult for him to keep his eyes open in the waking world. What had gotten into him? He had never done anything like this before, but then it was safe to say that Malcolm had never experienced a love like this. A sickness.
He bowed his head against his hands and ruffled his oily hair with burly fingers, the bed sheet clinging to his middle, his chest cold and sweaty. I have to write to her, he reminded himself. "I promised I would write to her..." His anger had been harboured long enough. It was time to break the chains and let go of everything that was holding him back from being the best partner he could be for her. I'm better than this, stronger than this, Malcolm convinced himself before trying to get back to sleep.
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And the Future is Nigh

Postby Elyna » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:29 am

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Wrapped up in his arms, Elyna pressed against the man and buried her face against his chest. The dream didn’t carry the same sensations of reality. The touch around her shoulders was light and didn’t offer the same feeling of safety and security. It was all that he could give though and she would happily accept it. Gripping his shirt with white knuckles and determined to hold him tight, reluctant to let him go or the dream to fade. It wasn’t their happiest moment, but it was better than his absence.
Content to stay Elyna watched his expression as he withdrew and then the guilt struck her. He knew about the kiss? He knew about Vakhanor? Her lips parted in dismay and regret made her eyes burn. She swallowed the tears though, because they wouldn’t change what had passed. He was jealous? The Skyrider was astounded and even as he spoke, words growing faster and more urgent, panic set her heart racing. The nagging seeds of doubt that Yoreth had sown took root in the soil and started to sprout. Jealous, he’d never been jealous – but really she felt nothing but remorse for her transgression. How could she even apologise? It was something that should never have happened.
Rough fingers closed around her jaw and she had too many memories of being grabbed in the same way by his son. Her throat closed and eyes turned dark with panic, the colour drained from her face as she held perfectly still. The words were lost to her, as though he spoke another language for all the sense they made to her racing mind. Reduced to instinct she waited for her moment to strike pulling herself from her grip and retreating like a wounded cat, with a hiss as she glared at him. Fists clenched the woman watched him from a safer distance, eyes narrowed in fury.
“You don’t get to do that Malcolm! You have no right! I am my OWN. I am MINE!” The calm was shattered and the sky split with lightning as she faced him, struggling to resist the urge to launch at the man. “Stay away Malcolm, stay on the other side of the world for the rest of your life if you like. You never, you never – never do that again!” Her voice cracked in the struggle and the flashes of light were followed by an immediate torrent of rain. A storm from a clear day, raging without warning. Malcolm faded into Marcus and Elyna wasn't prepared to face the man again. She spun on her heel and fled.
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And the Future is Nigh

Postby Faith » Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:36 pm

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Peer Reviewed: Rewards!

Malcolm

Points!:
Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/ 5
Structure: 5/ 5

Knowledge:
As much as you want to, you can't go back.
Even in dreams, Elyna loves you
Elyna: sorry she hurt you
Elyna: is her own person, and doesn't like it when you grab her jaw.

Loot: NA
Fame:NA


Elyna

Points!:
Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/ 5
Structure: 5/ 5

Knowledge:
No matter how you'd like to, you can't hide the past
Even in dreams, Malcolm loves you
Malcolm: believes he shouldn't have left
Malcolm: saw the kiss with Vakhanor

Loot:NA
Fame:NA


Overview:
General comments. Wow, what an intense thread filled with emotion and imagery. It was absolutely fascinating seeing how the two of you were having the same dream, but it was like they were totally different too. Awesome writing - love it!
Story From the beginning, this thread was an utterly compelling story. Loved it, loved reviewing it!
Structure All good no issues.
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