Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Shadow Among Men, Pt. 1

A Shadow Among Men, Pt. 1: Seeds of Sedition


I absently adjust the three rings on my right hand, lingering on the one enclosing my thumb.  I refocus my attention to the table where eight of the region’s most powerful people surround me.  Our discussion halted ten minutes ago and fell into a violent tirade of icy and accusatory stares.  No words are needed when a look will say everything.


I clear my throat.  “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s please move forward.  We’re not getting anything done this way.”

An uncomfortable shifting in seats catches like a brush fire.  I see the strain in their eyes.  We’re trying to come to an understanding over something that feels impossible.


Friday, June 14, 2013

For Better or Worse, Pt. 2

For Better or Worse, Pt. 2: Vareth Ahnur

Opening the door to my chamber, I find it completely picked clean of my possessions, no sign of my living here for the last sixteen years.  I realize that the attendants have simply moved my things into my new quarters, but I feel an unusual layer of conflicting thoughts.  I’m sad to be leaving these chambers when I should be relieved.  I should be elated to be moving into my new higher status, having been selected to become and ul’Ahnur.  The sudden pang of sadness confuses me.  Staying here means eventually being terminated.

But leaving here means facing an unknown that I’ve never technically considered.  I honestly have never thought about what would happen if I ever did get chosen.  It was not something I could make happen by studying, hoping, praying harder.  The drawing is complete chance.  I’ve never considered what it would mean to be an ul’Ahnur.  Where will I go?  What will I have to do?  A tidal wave of questions threaten to overwhelm me as I stand in my empty bed chamber, feeling as hollow and useless as the room itself.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

For Better or Worse, Pt. 1

For Better or Worse, Pt. 1: The Drawing Room

My eyes sealed tightly, I barely breathe as the hush fills the room with an uncomfortable stillness.  The drawing feels too long, longer than the other three I’ve attended as a pupil.  No one speaks.  I can hear no movement.  Did I miss it?  Have they already announced the chosen, my anxiety causing me not to hear it?  Images flash through my mind of the three drawings which ended in being passed over by younger pupils.  Doubt overtakes my hope and I accidentally exhale too loudly.  Head bowed, I crack my eyelids to find my hands clenched tightly around wads of my dress.  I glance around the assembly to make sure I didn’t disrupt the ceremony.  I see the crowd of attendants murmuring between one another.  Are they staring straight at me?  Are they pointing out my visible paranoia?