Sunday, 27 June 2010

100 Theme Challenge: Playing The Melody

A short one again. But rather important back story for Dorian. Likely not to be revealed until fairly late in the finished story. I was planning on coupling this with a small description of the basic rules of the magic system. But I think I'm going to work on it a bit more. It would've explained that Mi is water, Ti is entropy, La is earth, and Ve is lightning. However, that's only under one of the arrangements I have yet to settle between.

#67. Playing The Melody

Dorian doesn't cry out when the roof collapses around him. He moved beyond fear a hour ago, about that long after the tremors started. He has no idea what his people did to anger the spirits so much.

All he knows is that they are going to die.

Unless I do something.

Following his sense of duty, Dorian struggles to the cliff, Agriope in hand.

This is what I trained for.

He ignores the back of his mind that complains he isn't fully trained. And this level of disaster is definitely not what he trained for. His job to be, that was now suddenly his job, was to prevent things ever getting this bad.

Dorian only has time for a couple of breaths when he makes it to the cliff. Even has his body pauses to catch up, his mind is moving on. Drawing up memories and lore. The tunes for placating the Sea, their father and provider. Protocol for addressing the spirits. How to plea for his people's lives. The trance-like state required to hear the true melody he must harmonise.

He closes his eyes, willing himself to hear the Tune. The heartbeat, breath, thoughts, life of the world. Rather than peaceful calm he'd heard in his training amongst the olive trees, he stumbles as the cacophony hits his ears.

The Tune is loud, discordant. The main combatants Mi and Ti. La crashes restlessly, torn between. Ve thunders above laughing.

Confident he has hold of the Tune, Dorian opens his eyes and begins to play.

He plays of the present, of the earth and sea at war. The earth hurting itself with every tremor, the sea smacking the island rather than cradling it.

Dorian plays about the past. The building of people, of cities and families.

The earth shakes again, and with a sickening lurch, the cliff drops two feet.

Dorian plays about the future. First of a rock swept bare, only surfacing at the low tide. Then of a green island, home to a loyal people. Who revere the spirits, make amends and spread the knowledge of how to.

The sea begins to rise. The swell stretches from horizon to horizon. And is getting closer.

Dorian plays about his people. Their joys, their fears, their humanity. The way they respect the spirits, their patron the sea. How they endure storms and despair, strengthened by it.

The storm above thunders, showing frozen images of the destruction. Buildings standing one flash, crumbled the next.

Dorian plays about himself. His family, his dedication, his hopes and dreams. That he does his duty, even sure his father and teacher are dead. Possibly even more.

The wave breaks, towering above the cliff. It begins to fall. The earth lurches, as if trying to escape by hiding underground.

Dorian plays about death. The death of himself, his family, his people, their land, its life, its future. The injustice of such a death. No fair warning. No chance at penance.

The Tune pauses. As if for breath. The wave hangs in the air. The ocean is still, but not calm. The earth unmoving but not solid.

A new tune is playing. Or a single part of the previous concert. Dorian stops playing, knowing exactly what is standing behind him. All around him. But always behind.

Penance? No. Death begins. But a deal can be made.

[+/-] show/hide story

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