Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Brothers Tuerl & The Staffs of Zeus - 22

Chapter 22-Vivid Veracity
Once again, Irgen found himself in the same cold dark, and bleak castle, except this time he knew he was dreaming, and yet the dream was so vivid, so alive.  It felt like it was actually happening, like it was real.  Once again he felt his hair stand on end as he looked at the dark figure before him.  He felt not only like he was frozen in place, but also as if his very body was stiffening.  Like he himself was freezing.
He watched horrified as the wiry man before him slowly raised a grim and deformed hand.  It reached for the dark helm on his head.  As he lowered the sinister helm, it seemed that it regained a shimmer to it.  Now Irgen could see how far the helm extended above the actual head.  It had eight distinct points protruding from the large helm, with three in front and back and two on the sides.
Irgen took in the details of the helm for a few moments and finally mustered all the courage he possessed and lifted his gaze to look at the now uncovered face of the man before him.  Long, greasy black hair descended from the terrifying face.  A pale white, yet extraordinarily dark face stared at Irgen sizing him up.  A long hooked nose jutted out of the already demented face.  The two small slits for eyes coincided with his small ears which could barely be seen through the thick mat of hair which covered the back of his head.  As he looked at him, a slow, icy hiss whipped out of the man’s mouth biting into Irgen’s very flesh.
“Why have you come?”  Irgen was silent.  He was not just frozen by fear now, but by indecision.  He did not know why he was there; let alone how he came to be there.  He stood silent, waiting, hoping the question was meant for someone else, but then he felt words come of their own accord out of his mouth.
“You know why I am here, I have come to find-Him.”  His voice sounded harsh and yet its firmness brought warmth to his body, releasing him from the icy chains which held him bound.  The man looked at Irgen for a moment before nodding and turning towards the door.  The icy voice came back.
“You’ll wait here, won’t you?  I’ll bring Him back.”  The door swung shut, and footsteps resounded on the stairs outside again as the man descended the steps towards the great host outside.  When he left, Irgen surveyed himself, and found that he was arrayed in bright, shimmering red armor.  A mighty and bright, naked sword lay at his side.  Irgen thought with slight trepidation that it must be dangerous there without a sheath, but the thought was driven from his mind as he looked at his now gargantuan body.
He clenched one of his mighty hands and felt the raw strength run through it.  He thought he must be abnormally strong to not have noticed the armor before this moment.  But as his hands clenched he felt the metal armor on his palm.  He was astonished to feel that the armor he was wearing seemed to flow like water around his body.  It was not stiff and inflexible as he had imagined the armor to be, but instead was agile and seemed to flow with his very movements, and more than that it was light as a feather.  It seemed as though he was not wearing it at all, but that it was part of him.
Awe overcame him as he knew that this was his own body, and yet it was not his.  He lifted his other hand in front of him to admire his muscular form, and found in his hand a beautiful red staff.  It too was light and yet harder than steel.  A large white stone shone in the pommel of the staff.  Irgen grinned as his courage grew, and a firm resolve developed in his body; he was ready and waiting for whoever would come into the room with the other creepy man.
Suddenly he heard a pair of footsteps on the staircase outside.  He leaned on his staff confidently as the footsteps halted before the door.  The door swung open to reveal the same wiry man as before.  He stepped inside and said, “Here he is, is he much different?”  The man cackled horrendously as he stepped aside revealing a familiar man to Irgen.  Irgen’s jaw dropped with shock in realization of who it was.  The man’s black armor shined and shimmered in the light emitted from the window.
“You wished to speak with me?”  The familiar voice seemed to cut Irgen to the core.  He stared in disbelief at the man.
“No!” he thought to himself, “NO! It cannot be… NO!!!”
“Irgen wake up.”  Irgen’s eyes flew open and found the pale blue sky smiling invitingly down upon him.  He sat up and found that he was still on the cobblestone pathway, right where he had collapsed.  He looked around and found Helen, Alex and a whole throng of people crowded around him.  Suddenly he heard a voice behind him.
“About time you woke up.”  He flipped around quickly and found himself staring directly at the grinning face of his brother, Idus.  His face seemed to have lost some of its former strength and glory.  His cheeks were not quite sunken into his bony skull, but Idus appeared to have lost something in his brief period of unconsciousness.  His face was not as full as it once was.  To Irgen it appeared as though it hurt his brother to smile, but just the same, he was overjoyed to have Idus back.
“I should say the same for you.”  He said promptly as he too flashed a smile.  His brother offered him his hand and pulled him up.  The crowd of people around him were all beaming at him with the same picturesque smile, but perhaps the most remarkable to Irgen, were those of his mother, his brother, and… Helen.

They turned around and began walking toward the castle.  As they neared the entrance the horrifying dream flashed back into Irgen’s mind, with all of its vivid veracity.  It was then that Irgen determined that if he ever revealed the dream to anyone, he would conceal the petrifying identity of the other man in the dream, referring to him just as he had in the dream, as Him, and Him alone.

Chapter 21                  Chapter 23

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