Welcome to Part 7! So funny thing, this part was written about three weeks ago, somehow it took this long just to post it. Nonetheless here it is! This takes place over three turns from 7-9 and things actually happen instead of going up and down a tower. Which also means there are actually pictures, though most of them come at the end. I thought of posting the pictures throughout the story but I figured they would spoil what would happen a few paragraphs later so decided just to shove them into the spots where they are relevant…besides this first picture. So enjoy!
“There’s the brown sun, we just need two more!” Timmy exclaimed rushing past the bookshelves to a desk with an image of a sun branded into its surface.
“The first is always the easiest,” Cadexin stated with a pessimistic tone as he floated into the space between the maze of bookshelves.
Timmy ran his fingers over the sun and gently placed his hand on top its surface. With a flash of light, a silver disk with a black sun imprinted on it appeared beneath his hand. Gripping it lightly Timmy stared at its mirrored surface, “what do I do with it Cadexin?”
“Keep it until we have the next two…I’m impressed boy that you figured it out without me telling you…or you just got lucky.” Cadexin floated past Timmy towards an opening between the rows of shelves. “It appears we only have one choice, come along boy.”
Looking around, Timmy saw that several of the shelves had collapsed against one another, piles of books filling in the cracks between as the few walls in the maze held everything together. Timmy nervously rubbed his arms as he looked back the way they had come. The path they had previously travelled was now doused in dim darkness in its windy path. Gulping nervously he turned and quickly caught up to Cadexin who had created a soft orange glow around his form. The rays of orange barely penetrating around the tight path they now travelled, a gigantic bookcase made a roof above them, the books beneath creating an uneven walking surface.
“Keep up boy, we mustn’t waste time, there is no speaking of when the nightmares may choose to come here in search of us.”
“I’m trying Cadexin…it’s just these books are so hard to walk on.” Timmy said with a heated expression his frustration growing as he nearly tripped on a book that disintegrated beneath his weight. Another book’s spine brittle from age turned to ash as he took another step nearly causing him to lose his footing again. “Surely you could cast more light so I could see where I step?” Timmy asked as the smell of dust and a strange musk mixed with ink wafted into the air from each book crumbling beneath him.
“Sadly I cannot, and even if I could I believe it best that we not make our presence known,” Cadexin said floating between two pillars of wood splintered and cracked to create a tiny entrance along the path.
Coming to the small gap between the wood Timmy got on his knees and slowly crawled beneath it. He grimaced in disgust at the feeling of ash and dust caking onto his fingers. He stood as soon as possible and quickly shook his hands, immediately regretting his actions. He closed his eyes as the dust flew into them and up his nose forcing a sneeze out of him. A moment later a cloud of smoke floated around Timmy as he crawled after Cadexin gagging up any dust that had lodged itself in his throat.
“Cadexin why couldn’t we stay back with Roshtein…that huge kelp forest when we went down to the portal, it looked amazing.” Timmy said finally catching his breath as he crawled out of the small space into another opening. Looking around he could tell it was a space for studying with some chairs knocked about in the corners however the tables were gone from the center instead a rotting bookcase laid flat with piles of book filling its space.
“Because this is where our first door shall be, as predicted by the brown key the best bet is the brown door, even though the blue door was our first goal initially.”
“So what happens now? Where is the door?”
“Somewhere here, as soon as we find a brown moon we shall cast a spell to switch the pages within me to show the brown door as the first door. Afterwards we just find the brown sun and then Roshtein teleports us back.” Cadexin stated with a tired tone, floating over the bookcase towards another tight opening filled with rotting books, “As I mentioned before we even got here.”
“Sorry Cadexin, it’s just I forget the reason why we are here and why I’m covered in dust.” Timmy said with a sigh and followed the book with slumped shoulders. Bending low to the ground, he followed Cadexin trying desperately to wipe away dust that floats up into his eyes with his shirt, having given up with his arms that were now caked in ash.
The monotony of crawling through ash and dust began to gnaw at Timmy’s senses, his forehead covered in beads of sweat that fell to the floor and immediately dried out of existence. The inky smell filling every breath he took his eyes began to blur as his breathing became ragged.
“Come along boy I can see another opening just up ahead and it looks like it might be the moon!” Cadexin exclaimed excitedly.
“Wait, Cadexin don’t speed up…wait!” Timmy whispered weakly, his vision blurring to black as he watched Cadexin float away the area around him becoming dark.
“Hey big brother!”
“Ariel?” Timmy said his vision clearing to a flowery meadow all around with his young sister standing before him, her smile as bright as ever. “How are you here?” Timmy said his eyes looking around at the bright yellow flowers and green grass, “how am I here? I should be in that library…”
“Library? You’re so silly big brother! We aren’t at the library yet!” Ariel laughed.
Looking back at his sister, Timmy could see she had a seatbelt on and the window by her had trees flashing by. “Dad?” Timmy gasped looked towards the driver’s seat to see a black distorted shape seeming to ooze over the seat and cover the steering wheel. “Mom?” Timmy said nervously looking over to the passenger seat to see a similar black ooze that turned towards him. A thick trunk of ooze formed out of its shape towards him that reformed itself before his eyes to show a middle-aged woman. The ooze slid off the face from the cheeks, nose, and ears. The mouth moved in a distorted way causing the face to shift after the mouth as if it was the central point. “Yes dear?” It asked with a mellow, gurgled tone.
“I…uh” Timmy asked his eyes wide in shock.
“Good…” It spoke again, the mouth starting to reform in the center of the oozed trunk with the other features of the face falling off, “no questions…” The mouth quickly swirled in a circle and reshaped with a pair of eyes opening on either side to scrutinize Timmy, “be a good boy, and wait there until we arrive.”
“Timmy! Wake up! They’re coming here!”
“But…where are we going?” Timmy whispered.
“That’s a dumb question Timmy, were going to the library!” Ariel cried with excitement.
The ooze turned towards the girl with a hated glare, her nose reshaping to a point as her eyes looked down its length.
“You’re coming to the ancient library…aren’t you?” Timmy asked.
The ooze turned back to him the same hated glare showing on its face as its form reeled back into the mass that sat at the front of the car, “stupid boy you were better off not talking!”
Timmy froze up as a tendril struck through the back of the passenger seat and flew for his heart. A shock of light blinded him at the same moment as he desperately shielded his eyes to see the tendril melting away along with the rest of the car all around him.
“Good your back!” Cadexin exclaimed as he gently waved the cover of his book over Timmy’s face.
Timmy slowly rubbed his eyes and looked at Cadexin confused, “what happened?”
Cadexin abruptly stopped flapping his cover and floated to the other side of Timmy, “This happened.” He stated, hovering above an outstretched hand from beneath the books its remains nothing more than white bone. “A scholar killed by a nightmare that had ended this place, its fragments left behind infected the body which in turn tried to infect you.”
“Wow…thanks for saving me Cadexin.”
“I did hardly any work, you spotted the weirdness of the hallucination and found your own way out I only helped shield you from the monstrosity. Now then we must keep moving, it is possible that the remnant called for its previous owner.” Cadexin said floating past Timmy, “best that we aren’t here.”
“Okay…and thanks for cooling me off that helped,” Timmy stated resuming his crawl after Cadexin.
“Remember it Timmy, you are only two people who have received such treatment, my creator and now you. However do not take it as a sign of friendship, only that I need you alive.”
“Of course,” Timmy smiled. He stopped for a brief moment and looked back at the bones.
“We will meet again big brother, don’t worry!”
“What is it boy? You stopped.”
“Sorry!” Timmy said, as he quickly resumed his crawling and ended up in another opening. The space appeared to have been graced by limited damage due to the pillar that stood at the center serving its purpose of helping hold the once grand library up. Upon the pillar was a hanging mirror in the shape of a moon.
“A simple find, take it boy while I prepare the spell that you must cast.”
Timmy nodded in understanding and walked up to the mirror. Sighing at his disheveled appearance and grime covering face, he placed his hand on the surface and a moment later, a silver disk with a black moon etched in its surface appeared in his hand.
“Come over here boy, you must cast this spell so that we can get the last piece and be rid of this place.”
Turning around Timmy could see Cadexin opened on a table that appeared undamaged except for the huge chunked ripped out of its top from a falling wooden beam. Walking over to the book he looked down to see the eight doors in their expected order except now the first door -a blue door- and the last door -a brown door- were lit up. “What do I have to do Cadexin?”
“Like many of the other spells you just simply have to place your hand and focus. In this case you want to focus on the warmth of the two lights and their intermixing against the two palms of your hands.”
“Alright,” Timmy said taking a deep breath and placed his hands onto both pictures of the lit doors. He could feel the warmth coming off the pictures a reassuring feeling from this cold, dreary, ink-filled place. Closing his eyes Timmy was immediately washed over by the warmth that flowed from two directions. Smiling in the comfort, he pulled his hands together in this strange dream bringing the waves of warmth together, which became a soothing heat that ended all too abruptly.
“Well done Timmy, you executed the spell like a natural.”
“Thanks…” Timmy said a bit short of breath and still heated over by the surge of power that had gone through his body, which still tingled in his arms.
Slamming himself shot Cadexin began to float off pass the pillar to a side route that went along the wall of the library, which appeared to be mostly intact, “Come along boy one last step and we will have our first goal! I can already feel the tingle of the sun now.”
“Sure thing Cadexin,” Timmy said as he followed the book and breathed happily at the sight of the path that did not require him to bend and crawl his way along. Timmy gently gripped the two silver disks in his pocket, his excitement starting to grow at the thought of finally seeing one of these ‘doors’. Several twists came into their paths as Cadexin sped along and the excitement kept Timmy just a step behind.
Turning once more Cadexin came into a room that seemed to have once been a private study and was now open with the ceiling ripped apart by a collapsing stoned pillar. “It is here…I can sense it,” Cadexin stated as he slowly turned in the room looking for an object branded by the sun.
Shuffling into the room Timmy looked up the hole to the darkness high above of a roof that could not be seen past other holes that went through floors above. “How big is this place anyways?”
“Far bigger then you can imagine now start searching and stop gawking at the scenery!”
“Right…”Timmy said looking around while he rubbed his neck when his eyes spotted a black marking beneath a pile of papers. Kneeling down he brushed the papers aside and started to follow the line until eventually revealing a sun imprinted on a large faded-red rug that was now stained a sickly gray. Placing his hand at the center of the sun a silver disk appeared in his hand with a flash.
“Good searching, boy.” Cadexin said floating by Timmy who pulled out the other two disks from his pockets. “Hold them all together and close your eyes, they will reshape themselves through your guidance.”
Nodding in understanding, Timmy cupped his hands around the three disks and closed his eyes. A serenity of a once clean prosperous library filled with aspiring students and knowledgeable professors flashed in his vision before he returned to the sight of the disks now reformed into a single brown disk with the imprint of a simple door. “Wow…” Timmy said speechlessly and looked up at Cadexin who nodded in understanding.
“An amazing feeling I’ve had it described to me once, now then stand up and hold out the disk.”
With the disk in hand Timmy stood and watched in awe as the room around vanished away to be replaced by a small circular room with a door that stood in the center. The room itself was void of anything else and the walls themselves stood plain. Only the door at the center seemed relevant with its ornate carved frame of spirals and perfect symmetry.
“Open the door Timmy, the portal back to Roshtein is beyond.”
– As always critiques, suggestions, and questions are all welcomed either through the comments below, Twitter, Facebook, or my email at firstname.lastname@example.org (I might respond slow due to Magicite I’ll try to avoid that from happening though).