Day 11 – Darunsyam Part 2

Well I haven’t read it yet, but this is what I wanted yesterday’s to be like.

There’s a picture I need to upload (by Christopher Sands) that inspired me to write this drivel. It is a Fantasy in 10 parts. I’ve never written fantasy before. So bare with.

 

Word Count: 1403

 

Syme settled the bucket and brush down by the trough. He had finished scrubbing every last inch of the stables in preparation for tonight and his arms were aching. Syme was far from an ordinary Ethyrian. From before birth he had been labeled a curse. In Ethyrian customs having a family o f more than four meant years of bad fortunate and even death. It was why when his mother discovered she was pregnant for a third time that she tried to get rid of him. But it was too late and she was not strong enough to fight nature. Little more than three hours after his birth, his family left him by a tree in the forest and left him for dead.

 

Syme was picked up by Thearym, his gaffer, that same day and it was he who brought him up and kept him under his wing. But despite growing up in the circus, Syme had never been blessed with the skill of mastering magic. As an Ethyrian, this was highly unusual. The gaffer had tried for years to get him to even just produce light in the dark. But for Syme this proved an impossible task. He was therefore reduced to taking hours to do something that would take a normal Ethyrian a few minutes.

 

The door to the stables opened and let a slice of daylight flood in. Two Tamers were bringing in the elephants in for the show. Syam looked onward in admiration. The great beasts were always the kings of majesty. They walked in with gentle ease. Syme stroked the trunk of his favourite one as it passed and enjoyed a sliver of communication with it. The beast’s eyes seemed to twinkle with intelligence and gratitude as Syme scratched its trunk.

“Good boy,” Syme said, “Good luck for the show.”

“The gaffer’s looking for you, Syme,” one of the Tamers said to him.

Syme nodded and patted a quick goodbye to his elephant. The Tamers ignored him as he passed him. He was used to this though. His lack of magical talent meant that he was treated as a secondary being to the Tamers, the ones who could at remarkable simplicity move objects with their hands and breathe fire from their lungs.

Syme knocked on the gaffer’s caravan. It was nestled in a bed of nettles and weeds; old and rotten wooden boxes piled around it. It was a scrap yard for old shows and times now bygone. It was shadowed by a small copse of trees; barely more than ten or fifteen. Rust crept up the sides and there were several holes in it. It was tiny, but the gaffer still allowed Syme to share it with him on the condition that he always knocked.

“Come in,” the gaffer said from behind the door.

 

Syme opened the tiny door and the hinges creaked with old age. The gaffer was sitting in front of a fire that he’d created. The flames died a little as the gaffer turned to see that it was Syme knocking on the door.

“Sorry,” Syme apologized, seeing that he had distracted the gaffer.

“It’s my age… my magic isn’t quite as it used to be…”

“Yarith said that you wanted to see me?” Syme asked, settling down in his makeshift bed of blankets and cushions.

“Yes, yes I did,” the gaffer said, returning to concentrate on keeping the fire alive. He continued to stare at the fire, whispering under his breath. Syme didn’t question it, though he did wonder why he was lighting a fire. It couldn’t possibly be cold at this time of year. “I want you to be there tonight,” he continued, “I need you by my side.”

“I always am, gaffer.”

“It’s going to be a big night, I think. The biggest we’ve had in a few years with any luck…”

Every year their circus hosted the Festival of the Dead. The Tamers would show off their most spectacular of tricks in honour of the departing dead.

“Catch some sleep, Syme,” the gaffer instructed.

Syme obeyed and lay down on his pillow. It was too hot for his rags. He just lay facing away from the gaffer and listened to the crackling fire. Despite the celebrations and excitement that this time of year usually brought for everyone, Syme could never help but feel a little saddened. This was a time for family, for customs, for magic. Syme only had the gaffer and that was tentative at best. He would always remain his boss, no matter how many years they had spent together. From an early age he had Syme working for him and although the work was tough, Syme knew that anyone else would have just left him to starve. A single tear started to form in the corner of his eye but he wouldn’t dare let it escape.

 

****

 

The fireworks were a dazzling explosion of colour and light. The Tamers flew them right over the crowd, stripping them of their breath as they veered down on top of them, steering away at the last second and bursting them into a thousand tiny galaxies of light. They then brought in the elephants and proceeded in balancing on them, hovering objects just above their hands and making them dance in time to the fire and the music being played in the foreground.

The Festival of the Dead had begun. Syme was watching in awe alongside the gaffer in the front row. He saw them entice death with their magic and felt the chill in his heart as they enacted the spirits still trapped in this world being called to home by the Gate Keeper to the Land of the Dead. Though he had seen this every year for all his life, it never ceased to astonish him. The crowd’s breath may have been stolen, but for someone without magic in a world surrounded by it, this was beyond mesmerizing.

“Hold my hand, Syme, I feel a little uneasy,” the gaffer said. “The old man in me is awakening, I think.”

Syme took his hand and the gaffer smiled before returning his glance towards the show.

They were now gearing up to the climax. The Tamers were gathering around the centre of the stage. The audience was belittled to a silence as the Tamers began to breathe fire from their lungs. They painted beautiful scenes with the flames: they were artists with the air as their canvas. Beautiful, fiery mountains were created out of thin air; a great battle between the flames took place and suddenly there were sparks and explosions from all angles before complete darkness suddenly and instantaneously fell upon them all. After a few seconds a tiny ember in the centre of the stage began to grow into a single, solitary flame. Steadily it grew further, gathering in height and beauty. It began to spiral in on itself, carefully coiling over its own flames to create an internally inward flame.

There was a sudden scream from the back. Syme looked back and could see the horror in some of the faces in the crowd. He looked again at the flame and could now see what they saw, for in the very centre of the flame itself something unholy, something disgustingly perverse was starting to grow.

It was almost human; it had eyes, and a mouth. Its skin seemed to be flaking off. Its face was encrypted with horror. And slowly the fetus began to speak, “I am of the dead but I do not speak to the dead. I speak to the one who is to end it all. The harbinger of death and the bringer of doom for he is my master and come the end of the world he will be yours. Ethyris will fall. Darumsyam will rise and those who stand in his way will perish. A life will be taken each night til he rises for the land of the dead is now open and looking for the souls of those who still breathe….”

The crowd seemed enveloped in its own silence. Syme turned to the gaffer, hoping that he would have an answer to it all; hoping that it was just a part of the act… but the old man was as struck as the others and Syme slowly felt the man’s frail hand slip from his own and into the growing darkness….

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~ by S.G. Mark on October 18, 2011.

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