Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Last Kiss

The two dwarfen bodies fall to the ground; the electricity of the lighting that struck them down still in the air. Wer smiles satisfied and flies along the corridor to look for the last two dwarfs that ran this way a minute ago. The only thing she can hear is the distant noise of 4 feet running somewhere in the mine. Impossible to tell the direction. She turns round to tell the others about the girl in the sarcophagus. The battle seems over.
Chen still hangs from the ceiling looking at the slain bodies when Telfis and Mendez enter the room. Apart from the locusts that still attack every person in the room, all opponents seem dead. He turns to see Thesis and Durin enter the room through the fog. The look of relief can be seen on the fighter's faces when they realise there is no opponent left. Finally they can treat their wounds.
Telfis looks around the room. Seven beds, seven chairs and seven cupboards. Seven possibilities to hide gold. As he tries to open the first cupboard, the bird next to him changes into Wer.
"I've found the girl! She is in a chamber not far away."
Mendez looks up from the body he is examining "Is she ok?"
"Can't really tell, she is locked up in a kind of sarcophagus and is either dead or in a deep sleep!"

After a final look around for more dangers, the group follows Wer to the chamber. Entering the room, Telfis is immediately struck by the unearthly beauty of the slender figure laying motionless before him, enshrined in her crystalline prison. Looking at her it is hard to tell whether she is dead or simply unconscious, held by some evil spell.
He takes a dreamy step forward, overwhelmed; his mind engulfed in a silent contest of awe and sympathy alternately trying to sweep him away. Telfis' hand gingerly traces the surface of the young woman's pristine prison when, suddenly, a sharp tingling feeling, extending from his neck and creeping all the way down his spine, shakes him out of his reverie. His hand remains extended on the crystal surface, frozen, as he once again becomes aware of the room around him. Behind him, he knows his friends are crowding up, with varying degrees of impatience trying to get a look at the sarcophagus. Trap.
Telfis sharply raises his other arm to signal his friends to remain where they are.
"Its trapped. I don't know how but its big."
His friends can see the the adrenaline rush in Telfis' boyish grin. They can also see that he is terrified.
"I think this is a tricky one, it's probably better if I am the only one in the room while I have a look at it."
Telfis can see the objections working themselves through minds and facial expressions in all of his friends. Nearly simultaneously. The train of thought, as usual, travels a bit slower in Thesis and the dwarf. He knows they will be concerned. All but Wer, she will just be annoyed not to see what's happening.
Before anyone can voice their objections, Telfis says:
"Please. Trust me, it's the safest way. Just give me ten minutes to study it. If I can't find anything we think of something else."
Something in his voice, a rare kind of determination for the young rogue, gives his friends pause. Grudgingly, they grant his wish, and close the door from the outside.

The room once again silent, empty but for the dormant lady and himself, Telfis expertly takes stock of the situation. He cannot see any obvious traps. Stone and crystal are both completely featureless, cut and polished to smooth perfection. Telfis approaches the young lady. Once again, the feeling of danger makes the hair on his neck stand. He is sure there must be a trap; quite probably a terrible one.
His eyes closed, he lets his fingers glide over the contraption while his mind probes for any clues he might get from subtle irregularities, mechanical or other. Then he feels something. It is nothing but a vague threat, a lingering sense of dread. He knows he has found something. He probes on, but learns little. Telfis feels both terrified and exhilarated; he knows nothing about the trap but one thing: he is hopelessly outclassed.

Just as he considers to give up and tell his friends that he failed, something, in a vague yet final way, goes the mental equivalent of 'click' and instantly, with a sudden insight he is not sure is entirely his own, Telfis knows he has made a terrible mistake. He has triggered something which cannot be undone. Without moving, he slowly opens his eyes. His numb mind has no capacity to feel surprised that what he sees is no longer the room he knows to be in. Instead, he finds himself on a clearing in the oldest forrest he has ever seen. He looks around, amazed by the intensity of the colours surrounding him. Everything looks somehow more alive than life itself.
Lying in the shade of a tree he can see the familiar figure of the sleeping girl. Telfis approaches her slowly and cautiously when he notices the owl watching him intently from a branch above the girl. The eyes of the owl are of an incredibly deep green. And even though Telfis doesn't know much about forest creatures he can tell that this is no ordinary owl. Its, no, her eyes are too intense, too wise. For a moment he thinks he can see sadness in her unblinking eyes, but only for an instant. Telfis holds the gaze of the owl, and finally he understands. Suddenly he knows exactly where he is and he understands the mistake he made trying to disarm the trap. And somehow he also knows the enormity of the decision he must make under the serene gaze of the watchful owl.
This is his gift from the green Lady. To know the nature of his decision, and to make it in full knowledge of its consequences. He understands that this is all she can do. The rest is up to him.
Telfis hesitates for an instant, but he knows his decision has been made the second he understood. Slowly he walks over the soft and mossy grass, over to the sleeping figure. Gingerly, he kneels beside the girl and brushes aside a lock of her hair. He bends over, his face nearly touching the girl's. Telfis closes his eyes, he can feel the steady warmth of her breath on his face. He brings his lips to hers in a gentle kiss.

The girl slowly opens her eyes. She finds herself lying in an unadorned room, her clouded mind slowly gathering itself. She half-remembers the strangest of dreams. Slowly, uncertainly she looks around. Beside her, slumped backwards on his knees she finds a boy. He looks vaguely familiar. His face is very pale and his lips creased in a sad little smile.
The girl sends a probing thought, but there is no response. Whoever he was, the boy is clearly dead.

5 comments:

Mendez said...

No!

ScottW said...

Chen kneels beside the fallen Telfis, and gently closes the young man's eyelids.

He offers a silent prayer to the Gods for the safe passage of the his stalwart companion.

As Chen begins to stand, his nostrils detect the slightest hint of perfume, and his keen eyes notice the tiniest of lipstick smears on Telfis' lips.

He smiles as he realises that though Telfis has died, at least he died happy...

Mendez said...

'Lipstick'?
So it was rouge killed the rogue!
:)

Cynan said...

lol =)

Joebroesel said...

Nice one, Kirk :D