No TitansGrave this week, this story was bouncing around in my skull and had to be told.
The little girl is my current D&D 5th edition character, Muse, as a child.
The candlelight filled the room with a softly, pulsing glow. A breeze blew in from somewhere, dancing over the little girl’s skin with warm caresses. She smiled and closed her eyes, head tilted slightly as she listened to a song that only she could hear.
He had told her it was the Weave singing to her, that it was the key to power and potential. He had told her that the golden liquid he gave her would make it easier for her to hear the song. The liquid had burned on its way down, causing her to cry out in pain. He had merely given her a disgusted look and left the girl alone in here.
The tingling in her fingers began to intensify and she brought them up in front of her face as she opened her eyes. Sparks of light danced around her fingertips and she started batting at them, giggling softly as she did so. The sparks flew and danced, darting around her head, playing in her hair. They began to multiply and swarm around her, flashing towards her eyes, racing towards her face.
The giggles became wordless sounds of fear, the breeze turned icy cold and the candles began to flicker and lash out. The song of the Weave became discordant, a thousand voices laughing at her. The walls of the room began flexing, beating in time to her rapid heartbeat. The sparks of light coalesced into a gigantic head, two uncaring eyes stared at the scared little girl, pools of infinite darkness that saw into her soul.
The lips stretched taut, revealing a set of razor sharp fangs, as the mouth opened in silent laughter. It continued opening, far further than it should, as the head began to rush forwards, straight for the little girl’s tear-streaked face.
She screamed and bolted upright, sweat covering her small body. Her tail lashed angrily against the wooden bed, thumping a counterpoint rhythm to her hammering heartbeat. Her eyes darted around the cramped confines of the wagon’s interior, taking in the strange shelves and chests, nothing at all like the single wooden box she was used to at the foot of her mat.
The door at the end of her bed opened, spilling the warm glow of firelight into the interior.
“Ssssh, what is it, little one? The dream again?” The man who entered was of average height and build, sandy blonde hair tied back with a leather thong. His crystal blue eyes, sparkling constantly with good natured humour, caught her solid silver ones. “It’s going to be okay.” He approached her warily. “It’s me, Marvolo. Do you remember me?”
The little girl nodded, remembering the man’s face as if from a dream. She brushed a strand of purple hair from her eyes and nodded again.
“You have been watching me.” Her voice was calm, quiet, oddly powerful. “Why?” Her question caught him off guard, his eyes widening slightly in surprise.
“I was told to. You know how he is. We must all do as he says. He told me to make sure you get all of it out of your system.” Marvolo sat on the edge of her bed. “You’re safe here, little one. Not even he can get you at the minute. Would you like to see why?”
She nodded and he stood, motioning for her to do the same. As she did so, he noticed how thin she was, the bones in her arms and legs prominent against the tight skin. She shivered as her bare feet hit the cold wood of the floor.
“I could carry you if you would like.” He offered.
“No. I can do it. It’s just the floor. It won’t hurt me.” She met his eyes defiantly. He supressed a laugh and gestured for her to precede him out of the door. She paused in the threshold and slipped her boots on.
The night was cool against her skin, a soft breeze began playing with her hair as she walked slowly out of the wagon she had been confined to for what felt like months. She began to shiver violently as a wave of heat swept through her body and she fell to her knees, retching.
Her stomach muscles ached from over exertion and she felt Marvolo’s presence behind her as he waited patiently for the nausea to pass.
“Am I sick?” She asked, standing slowly and turning to face him a few minutes later.
“No, little one. Not sick. Your body is used to something that made it feel good and it wants more. He told us you weren’t allowed any more so your body is struggling to cope.” He stopped as he realised the child wasn’t listening to him. He turned and looked at the magical dome around the wagon that had caught her attention.
“That’s why he can’t get you.” He bent and picked a stone from the floor. “Here, throw this at it.” She turned to look at him, her eyes wide with wonder and did as he said. The stone bounced from the dome with a quiet thud. “Nothing can get in there until the spell wears off. Nothing that wasn’t in there when it was cast, anyway. Does that make you feel safer?” She looked at him again and nodded dumbly. “Good. Now come on, my little Muse, I have a play to finish and you should sleep.” He paused as a thought occurred to him. “If you are good, I will teach you this spell. Would you like that?”
Her mouth moved as she muttered an answer and he crouched to hear her better. She swallowed and met his eyes.
“Yes. I would. I don’t want to be scared ever again. I want to feel safe every time I sleep.”