Child and Ashen 1

They called him Heartblinder; Mindburner; Lifeblighter; Soulsearer; Winterbringer; and Spiritsnatcher. They called him The Twilight; they called him The Angel Who Has Fallen.
He just thought of himself with his true name.
Child turned to the full-length mirror, a slight frown creasing his perfect forehead. He tilted his head slightly, watching his long, midnight hair slide off his shoulder. He absently ran an icy hand down his glossy, sable hair, smiling slightly. Not so long ago, that hair had been a dull, wintry grey, but not the grey of age. A time after his creation, he had had a soft down-like head of purely white hair. Perhaps it had symbolised his young innocence. His ignorance, his naivety. Later, it had darkened to that dull grey, from the age of…oh, a decade? Ten years?
It had remained that way for six more years. When he had been sixteen, it had darkened again, to the shade of gunmetal. It had been then…then, that he had realised what a monstrosity he was slowly turning into. Then it had become this inky black, a reflection of the darkness that manifested itself within his icy heart…
Sighing, Child smoothed his abyss-black coat down his slender waist. Today was a special day.
‘Is my Lord Child ready for my Lord’s wedding?’
Child smiled briefly. He glanced to the far side of the room. Ashen was cowering in the corner, attempting to appear as small and insignificant as possible.
‘Are you anxious, Ashen?’ Child asked mildly, fingering the hilt of his sword.
Now Ashen looked as though he were shrinking in on himself. He knew how much raw power resided within his dark twin, and he did not dare to anger Child.
Child could blast Ashen’s mind to mental dust, if he so chose.
Master and slave looked exactly alike, except for one obvious detail. While Child clothed himself in nothing but black, and his hair was like the night itself, Ashen wore the opposite. His coat and clothes were purely white, as was his gleaming hair, sharply contrasting with the dull colours and shades the world was now built from. He was walking daylight. Now, he was the only real daylight that existed anymore. Child had chained this forsaken world to his will for millennia, and it would remain that way for all eternity.
Now, the hem of Ashen’s coat was frayed and filthy, and there was a long tear in his sleeve.
Child wandered to the window in the stone wall, gazing out at his kingdom. A world of literal darkness, a world of shadow, of despair, of terror and hatred. At night, the sky was as black as his sable hair. He had torn down the very stars and moon with his bare fingers, locking them away in the Hall of the Damned. At day, the sky was the same midnight black, and the sun was nothing but a searing white disc. It gave off so little light, so little heat. The land was covered in ice as glacial as his heart had become. The earth blazed with the fires of Hell, the fires of his divine madness.
The Abyssal City sprawled below his Obsidian Palace, a thousand twisted spires of black and silver stone. Plumes of crimson fire flared in the hundreds of windows. The streets were paved with the bones of the Defiance that Ashen – Child’s slave – had once commanded, and the windows were glass made with their oceans of blood. Humans did not dwell in those hellish structures. The Faeries did. The Faeries were human only in appearance. They had been created by the Ancestors to be slaves, grown from the Essences of humans that Death had taken. Now, they gladly served Child. They possessed a kind of power that could literally warp reality, and could overwhelm a human in a heartbeat. It was not magic; any fool knew that there was no such thing.
Child turned from the window, carefully folding his glossy black angel’s wings behind his back. He glanced at the mirror. Satisfied, he started for the door.
Ashen leaped up, and threw the dark door open before Child had time to ‘discipline’ him. That usually included the use of Child’s own Faery power. Snapping bones, boiling blood, flaming marrow. Not pleasant.
Child strode through the door, and didn’t wait for Ashen. Ashen quickly snatched up Child’s gauntlets from one of the spindly tables, and ran after Child, pulling the door shut behind him. When he caught up, Ashen nervously held out the gauntlets, like an offering to a god of destruction.
Perhaps it was.
Child absently picked on up, pulling it onto his icy hand. He held out his bare hand patiently. Patience was needed, for such foolish do-gooders, such as his twin. That fool had fought him for centuries, in the vain hope that the ‘forces of light’ would eventually triumph over the ‘forces of darkness’.
What idiocy.
This was no fairytale for little human children. This was the real world, and nothing could compare to reality…to the horrifying truth: that wickedness almost always crushed goodness into cosmic dust. There were no knights in shining armour; the maidens in distress might slash your throat open, and laugh as the light in your eyes faded. As Death pulled you from Life, into her glacial embrace.
This was reality.
Cursing, Child snatched the other gauntlet from Ashen’s trembling grip, shoving his hand into the warm, soft fabric.
The passage they were travelling down was built entirely from stone of the most absolute black. Strange crimson orbs hovered in the air at regular intervals, giving off a dim, bloody glow.
Ashen shivered as he passed by one, knowing all too well what powered those glowing spheres. Human Essences. An Essence was not a ‘soul’. ‘Souls’ existed only in those fairytales. An Essence anchored a person to reality, preventing them from slipping into…unreality.
If someone had their Essence torn out, then…they would be locked into this unreality, until the very fabric of time and space was unravelled. How many poor wretches were trapped in eternal, hellish anarchy just so these hallways might have a source of light.
I…hate you…
Child’s head jerked around, and he stared at Ashen. ‘What did you say?’ he hissed.
Ashen shrank back, feeling a cold sweat break out on his forehead. No! He hadn’t meant to think that. Even thoughts were perilous.
Child raised a gauntleted hand, palm-up.
‘Operor non exsisto stultus. Do not be a fool.’
Ashen gasped, cried out. An electrifying bolt of pure Faery energy lanced down his body, forcing him to his knees. Another blazing shock slammed him into the hard, black passage floor.
Child simply watched Ashen suffer. First it was a pitiful whimpering. It became cries. Screams that would have shaken the Obsidian Palace on its foundations, had it been any physical force.
And yet, no such thing as pity passed over Child’s expressionless face. Even though…this thrashing, screaming, convulsing boy before him was his twin. More. Literally a part of him.
Once, they had been one and a whole, a mind of light, and a mind of darkness, intertwined into a single entity. That had been their existence, until they had been torn apart.
An entire story. A story of wild, bitter struggles. Bloody, meaningless battles, fought with blade and fist and otherworldly power. Dark desires, irresistible temptations, mindless lust. Divine madness, unholy insanity.
After what seemed eons, Child ceased blasting Ashen’s mind and body with that excruciating agony.
Ashen simply lat there, whimpering like a five-year-old who had cut their thumb with the butter knife.
So weak. So easy to break, like a thousand thin china plates on a leaning shelf.
‘Get up,’ Child murmured softly. He rarely raised his voice, now, but that perilous quiet was enough to make the toughest man or woman weep.
Gazing through a pinkish haze, Ashen frantically hauled himself to unsteady feet. He sank against the smooth, obsidian wall.
Child smiled dully. Hot tears streamed down pale cheeks, from eyes heavily shadowed by despair, pain, and frequent mistreatment. But it was more than that, Child knew.
Muttering to himself, Child strode off, down the dim passage. The hem of his black coat swirled about his ankles, and his quick, light footsteps bounced oddly off the walls and curved ceiling.
Ashen stumbled after him, terrified that Child might decide to take punishment further.
At the end of the passage, there were two doors. One led left, and the other left. The left whispered open as Child turned toward it, and he vanished behind that dark wood.
Ashen broke into a run, ignoring his silently screaming body. He leaped through the doorway, just as the door swung shut. Scrubbing the cold sweat from his forehead again, Ashen sprinted after his dark twin.
Child did not wait for him, and continued. He could not dally, on such a special day as this.
There was another short corridor, which Child elegantly glided down, and the large, dark steel door at the end slid aside.
Child nearly ran inside, finally feeling excitement bubble up. After today, he would never again be alone in his cold bed at night; there would be someone to share his fears and joys with. Someone… who might be willing…to gift him with the son, or daughter, he so desperately desired.
Child’s dark eyes fervently flashed over the room, barely taking in the details.
Then he sighed. He shivered, and gasped. It felt as though his blood had caught fire. It boiled, it have blazed, like…like…
Like the sun he had infected, intoxicating with his dark touch.
The woman standing, trembling, in the centre of the small, round room there…
Stella, beautiful Stella…so kind…so understanding, so empathetic…
And capable of…forgiveness, surely? But how could she forgive him, this menace he had become?
Ever since he had been sixteen, millennia ago, he had loved her to the marrow. Her shining, coppery hair…her slender, graceful form…that everlasting elegance…
And her eyes. Seeing right through him, right to the heart. Seeing what he could truly be: not a killer, a liar, a cheater. She had seen what he really was, buried under all that darkness and hatred.
‘Stella!’ Child whispered. Forgetting everything, he flew forwards, kissing her full on the lips, drawing her as close to his body as possible. It caused his heart to sing, set his blood afire with pure ecstasy. Even though…his heart no longer thumped in his chest; it had not done so for thousands of years. Such a thrill, being so close to her once again.
Ashen smiled. He watched them without shame, or embarrassment.
Let Child have his moment of joy. It was going to be one of his last.
‘I’ll bring you down, my twin,’ Ashen whispered.

Child and Ashen 1


Joined September 2008

  • Artist

Artist's Description

This is a series of short spin-off stories about a series of books I’m writing. Many of the characters in my books will be mentioned in these short stories I’m writing. As my books focus very strongly on chracter development, both mental and physical changes, I’ll mainly be using them in their final ‘stages’.
Enjoy =)
If there’s anything you think I could change, feel free to suggest
(Not including grammar mistakes, please)

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