Nov 02

Untitled story #2 chapter 1 nanowrimo draft

A/N: This story is     v       e         r          y          experimental. That's the only reason I'm writing it. I have no idea how it's going to turn out. I'd tell you what I'm experimenting with but then placebo could happen and ruin everything. Feedback would be wonderful though, since that's how I measure the experiment. Science. As a nanowrimo draft, this piece favors quantity over quality. 

It isn’t often that a story can effectively start at the very beginning of one’s life. Dragging on from the second one comes out of the womb until they finally reach the maturity to begin their hero’s journey is wasted time. Their experiences in their childhood shapes them, but it is better left as backstory. 

I woke up with no backstory. Not that I could remember, anyways. There wasn’t a single memory from beforehand. I was a blank slate and rather overwhelmed. It was like I had just suddenly come to existence as a teenager or young adult, standing upright in a large stone room all alone. Moss was crawling in from the beyond the rotted wood door and saplings were sprouting up from cracks in the floor. The only lighting came from the holes in the ceiling, where moonlight filtered through. It was hard to tell, but the floor had a design of the sun sprawled across it, and I was right in the center. 

That is my beginning. That is my first memory. 

I decided to leave the room and wandered through huge halls looking just as abandoned. They displayed beautiful artifacts like statues, paintings, armor, weapons. All had the same sun insignia that had been on the floor. Many seemed to depict some sort of figure, a god or goddess maybe. The objects certainly made them seem worshipped. 

I walked out of the ruined building and looked back. It was even more overtaken on the outside. The structure would have been beautiful at one point. I wondered what had happened to it. Who had put so much work into something and then abandoned it?

The ruins and I were at the peak of a tall mountain. Across from us was another mountain, so close they almost joined at the base. At the peak of that one was a similar building, but it was perfectly polished and taken care of, and instead of a stone sun at its top there was a crescent moon. A strange deep fog that seemed to snuff out any light floated around it. 

Surrounding the two mountains and spreading far art was a huge city. There wasn’t any light coming from it, but the amount of noise gave it away. I could hear it even from up there. Laughing, cheering, and music. 

I heard a twig snap behind me, but before I could do anything a creature tackled me from behind. I slammed into the ground and screamed. It was heavy, and had claws digging into my back. Its growl was less of a noise and more of a feeling. Fear. 

“Woah, woah!” A man’s voice called from ahead of me. “Let’s not kill them yet.”

The beast stopped growling and retracted its claws. The only thing I could see was a pair of boots walking towards me. It stopped right in front, so close I could feel the weight on a few hairs. “Hey kid. Who are you?” 

I breathed deeply, trying to ignore the wounds in my back. “I-I don’t know.” 

The boot slammed into my face, sending my head spinning. I could barely hear his voice. “Try again.” 

“I...I’m telling the truth,” I gasped. “I just woke up in those ruins, I don’t have any memories.” 

The beast crawled off, and the man yanked me to my feet. The moon symbol from the building on the other mountain was painted on his forehead in black. He stared me in the face. “What are you doing at the temple of the sun?” 

I winced. “I don’t know that, either.” 

The man studied me closely. “Well, whoever you are, we always treat all intruders the same. Doesn’t matter if you tell us or not. Nightchild, let’s get back to the city.”

I heard the creature step around into my view. It was a horse, seemingly woven out of the fog I could see around the tower across from us. It didn’t make any sense. Horses didn’t have claws or growl. 

The man picked me up and slung me over the horse on my chest. The second I was in contact with the woven fog, I could feel the claws tearing at me again. I gasped and struggled to breath. The growling started again. The horse grew whips that wrapped around me, latching me to its back and causing even more pain.

“What is this?” The man asked sternly. “Are you trying to play possum? Quiet up or I’ll put you in real pain.”

The horse started to trot. I bit back the pain and tried to focus on figuring something out. Anything. All I could see was the ground, covered sparsely with strange vegetation. There certainly wasn't any normal grsnork. I tried to lift my head up to see something else but couldn’t. I could feel us going downhill. He was taking me to the city. 

There was the sound of multiple people running towards us. The horse stopped. 

“Unnamed1!” A new voice said. “We saw the flash of light. Are you ok?”

The man who had kicked me nodded. “Took me and my soul a moment to recover, but I’m alright. Found this outsider coming out of the temple, probably activated a trap trying to get the sword. Claims amnesia, but could be lying.” 

“A lack of memories doesn’t make a difference,” the other man said. “But if they truly do have amnesia, maybe they will be easier for Night to control.” 

Everyone started going downhill again. Unnamed1 continued talking. “Just imagine if this had happened last year. For a second, I thought Day had formed a year late.” 

“Day wouldn’t have lasted a second against us last year,” A woman up ahead said. “Everyone was gathered around the temple just in case it somehow revived. We’re lucky this is just a kid, Day would have crushed you alone.” 

“Hey, maybe not,” untitled1 said, sounding a little offended. “At the least when and if my body died my soul would tear Day to shreds.” 

“You forget that unnamed2 was there when Night defeated Day,” The other man said. “If she says you would lose against Day, she knows it.” 

None of this conversation was making any sense to me. The noises from the city slowly got louder. Then we seemed to be in the middle of it. 

Eventually we stopped, and unnamed2 spoke. “Captain unnamed3, we investigated the flash from the temple of the sun. This outsider set off a trap inside.” 

“Thank the moon,” A deep voice said. “Day coming at this point would be unexpected. Night would not be pleased. Let me get a good look at this newcomer.” 

The horse released me and multiple hands dragged me off and forced me to my feet. I was mostly grateful the pain was gone. I breathed deeply and looked around. I was in a throne room. Everyone I could see had the ink moon on their forehead and some sort of woven animal by their side. They all looked the same age. The man on the throne and the source of the deep voice had a lion sitting by his side. 

The Captain walked down the throne steps and leaned towards me, tipping up my chin so he could stare into my eyes. “You are definitely younger than our usual recruit, but we don’t want you to be able to escape. Maybe that one mutt would enjoy your company.” 

I narrowed my eyes at him. Recruit? How would being recruited make me unable to escape? 

Unnamed3 smirked and then stood up straight. His voice boomed so loud it made me flinch. “Guess what, brothers and sisters? We have a new recruit. I can’t think of a better night to offer up a new member to our master than on the 1001st anniversary of our great victory. We’ll be going up to the temple of the moon right now, if any of you want to watch.” He started walking, and I was forced to follow by the people holding me. A large crowd of humans and creatures followed. The lion padded along right next to the captain.

We slowly made our way to the temple up a carved out path. I was trying to go as slowly as possible, but the people around me wouldn’t stop shoving me forward whenever I stopped. There was a firm grip on both of my arms at all times. I craned my neck to look around. It was too dark to see any good escape options. 

I was dragged to the top of the mountain. In front of us sat the temple of the moon, polished and well kept. Twisting arks of darkness rose around it, making it even darker. I had a horrible feeling about it. 

Unnamed3 swing open the large double doors using a key from around his neck. I started trying to resist moving forward more forcibly but got a kick to the back that made me stumble forward. It was no good. 

The moment we got near enough to the dark mist, I collapsed, screaming. It hurt even more than the horse had. I was being completely torn through. My head felt like it should have been ripped from my neck. The pain made me feel like I was being shredded. 

Unnamed3’s voice sounded like it was far away. “Peculiar. I’ve never seen the moon ink hurt someone before. There is an obvious connection to Day here. Moving someone like that to our side is even more important. Let’s hurry.”

I felt myself being dragged across the ground. I hazily opened my eyes and tried to lift my head. There wasn’t as much moon ink inside the temple, but it still hurt. At the center of the room was a fountain of deep purple water. It was like the fog from around and inside the temple, but in a more liquid form. 

I was dragged towards the fountain and tossed on the floor. The ceiling was obscured by a spinning whirlpool of mist. Everything filling the room looked like it was originating from that point.

I tried to sit up but couldn’t get that far. Unnamed3 dipped his hand into the fountain. It came out dripping. “Dearest Night, we offer up to you this new soul.” His eyes suddenly became a solid expanse of faintly glowing purple. The pupils, irisis, and whites were gone. The mark on his forehead and the liquid on his hand started glowing the same color as well. 

I started to scoot back. It didn’t matter how crippling this area felt, I had to get away. The hands were grabbing me again, and I could barely manage a weak struggle against them. 

Unnamed3 stepped towards me. “May it become your warrior for the rest of time itself.” He reached a dripping finger towards my forehead.

I gritted my teeth and tried to turn away, only to find hands holding my head in place as well. I could faintly start to feel a searing pain as the hand got closer. Then a drop fell onto my forehead. It hurt so much I couldn't even scream. I could feel it drilling a hole through my skull. I was about to black out when suddenly there was a blinding light and the feeling vanished. Everyone holding me dropped me, and screaming filled the room. My eyes slowly adjusted to the light. It was me. I was glowing. Everyone was avoiding the light and pushing themselves against the darkest areas they could find. They looked like they were in pain. 

I shakily got to my feet. I had no idea what was going on but I had to get out. Moon ink suddenly lashed out at me from above. I flinched, but it seemed to evaporate on contact with the light I was making. In return, the radius of my glow shrunk a little. That was not a good sign. I booked it towards the open doors, but ink hurried in to block the exit. I stopped and tried to get rid of it, but realized my light wouldn’t last that long. I was stuck, and I could hear the people in the room recovering. 

A boy with the moon mark on his forehead dashed in front of me. I thought he was there to fight me, but he dove his hands into the ink and stared to split it apart, his arms shaking with effort. He made a slit just barely wide enough for me to go through and held it there. “Go!” He gasped. 

I ran past him, my light fading significantly as I slipped through the hole. It even stung a little. I was left with the faintest glow around the surface of my skin.

Running downhill was difficult, and I slipped and started to roll down. I fell off a steep side and into a bush, slamming down on my back and knocking the breath out of me. For a moment I considered hiding there, but then realized my light would give me away. I slowly got up and tried to take a step forward, but only managed a small limp. I was scratched and bleeding everywhere. I looked down. I had managed to slide my way down two thirds of the mountain, but still had a good ways to go, and then I had seemingly miles of city to go through, but I wasn’t going to get anywhere fast. I looked up. The moon ink was starting to drift down the mountain in waves like it was spreading out to find me, and people were starting to search. It was hopeless. 

“Hey!”

I yelped and almost fell down the rest of the mountain, but a hand grabbed me and pulled me back. I glanced back and noticed it was the boy who had let me out of the temple. I calmed down the slightest bit. 

“I told you to go!” He said, letting go of my arm. “It’s time to run!” 

I was trying not to stare, but his face was eye catching. Three scars ran straight across it, like some huge beast had raked its claws all the way across his face. It made the rest of his features beyond the tattoo almost indistinguishable. 

He sighed. “Yeah, I know it looks bad. I’m just glad I’m not blind. Seriously, let’s go!”

I looked away. “I-I can’t...” I gestured at my legs and feet. 

He frowned. “Can you heal?” 

“Heal?” I asked. As the thought psnorked, my body absorbed the light around me and filled in the scratches. The pain turned to a warm feeling and then faded. Without my light I couldn’t see, but at least I could hide better. 

“There,” the boy said. “Don’t worry, I can see in the dark. Follow me.” 

I could barely make out his form moving but followed. At first we moved at a fast pace, but after a while I realized he had been slowing down and getting more sluggish. He finally stopped, breathing hard. “Hang on, I gotta... I’ll explain later.” He just stood there for a while, concentrating at nothing. Eventually a fog woven dog came slinking towards us. It didn’t look as threatening as the other beasts I’d seen. This wasn’t a wild, battle-scarred wolf. It looked like a loyal, gentle helping hand from a farm. Despite its gentle build and breed, the dog still had the same glowing, glaring, permanently narrowed eyes as the other strange creatures I had seen. It also did not want to be there. Its feet dragged across the ground like it was resisting an invisible leash being tugged. Then it spotted me, and hurried over, suddenly eager.

“Alright,” the boy said, sounding much stronger. “We’re almost to my hideout. Come on.” 

The dog seemed very intent to follow. The boy turned while he walked and pointed sternly at it. “No, you mutt. Now you stay. Go no further.”

The dog growled at him but advanced towards me. I took a step back. That noise was unnatural and almost made me feel weak. The boy grumbled and then kicked the dog, but gasped and doubled over like he had taken the hit. The dog yelped as well and flew into a bush. 

The boy staggered and then stared running. “Come on! We have to lose me.” 

For a moment I didn’t follow, completely confused by what he had just said. Then the bush rustled and filled with growling. I turned and ran. Only then did I realize the glow around my body from before was starting to return.

The boy suddenly darted to the left and picked up one of many scattered rocks with a grunt. It looked much too larger to lift at all, but once he held it above the ground I could see it had been hollowed out. Removing it uncovered a hole in the ground. “Hop down!” He said. “And keep running until the hall ends.” 

I went down, and the height of the fall made me land a little awkwardly. I recovered and kept running. The boy put the stone back, blocking out the little moonlight there had been before and leaving me with the dim shining around the surface of my skin. I could hear him running behind me. 

The hall emptied into a room and I stopped, breathing hard. A couple tools lied in one corner. Many tunnels branched out from the room. 

The boy walked past me to the other side of the room and sat down on the stone floor, breathing even harder than I was. He shielded his eyes. “Ack. Your light is coming back already.” 

I hesitantly sat down and watched him. “Does it... hurt you?” 

He frowned. “You really don’t have any memories, do you?” 

I shook my head. 

“Well, it’s not all bad,” He said with a shrug. “You know how to talk and walk and other common skills such as that.” 

“And that horses don’t have claws,” I said.

He squinted. “That’s random but ok.” He looked me up and down. “I have a lot to explain, don't I?”

I nodded and pulled my legs up to my chest. “I am very confused.” 

“Do you know about Night and Day at least?” 

I shook my head. Nothing. 

He sighed. “I don’t even know where to begin.” 

It seemed pretty obvious to me. “The beginning.” 

He hesitated. “It’s a long story, but ok.” He looked at the ground. “This world has three plains of existence. We reside in the Bridge, a reality that connects with the two others, Dayrealm and Nightrealm. This realm is like a pendalum, sometimes more in tune with Dayrealm, and sometimes nearer to Nightrealm. Does that much make sense?” 

I nodded. Such a concept would have never occurred to me before, but it felt natural and obvious now that I heard it. 

“Within Dayrealm ruled the deity Day, and in Nightrealm rules Night. Night was greedy and wanted the bridge to be in tune with his realm all the time, so every thousand years when he had enough energy he would cross over and try to claim it. Day would come and fight him back in an attempt to keep the bridge in balance between the two.” 

I watched and listened to him closely. The difference between the past and present tenses were almost blinding. “What happened?”

He looked at the ground. “1001 years ago, Night crossed over to claim the Bridge like it had for all of history. But that time, Night whispered to people in the nighttime, when the bridge is closest and communication is easiest. Night promised them immortality and power if they helped deadest Day and let Night claim the bridge. Night and Day were always perfectly matched. Having humans on Night’s side tipped the scales. As far as we knew Day had been killed. Last year on the 1000th, when they are at their strongest, Night crossed over while Day was nowhere to be seen. Not a hint of light anywhere.” 

I looked down at my glowing hands. “But I...” 

He nodded. “You came from the Sun temple, the same place Day used to cross over at, in a flash of light, 1 year after Day didn’t show up, on the exact date of the year.” 

I folded my arms around myself. “Who am I?” 

He shrugged. “I have many theories but none I can prove. But you have Day’s symbol on your forehead, just like how we all have Night’s.” 

My hand shot up to my forehead, but I couldn’t feel anything different up there. I had never seen myself. I would have no idea if there was a mark there. “So... I’m a Daychild?” 

He squinted. “You don’t even know what that term means.” 

“But I’ve heard it used,” I said. “And as far as I know, you are a Nightchild.” 

“No I’m not!” He snapped. 

I shrunk back a little. “S-sorry.” 

He took a deep breath. “No no, I’m sorry. It’s just a sensitive subject.” He folded his arms. “That dog we left up there is a nightchild. It... it used to be my soul.” 

My eyes widened. “All of the animals I've seen are human souls?”

He nodded a little. “Night has the power to make our souls immortal, but not our bodies. So we get separated. We’re still linked, though. If we travel too far away from our soul we can die. We feel each others pain.” He closed his eyes. “Getting this tattoo on your forehead is a mystic spell for giving your soul to Night. When Night owns your soul, it can control it. That’s why it’s called a nightchild. And since you’re still connected to your soul, Night has a bit of control over you, too.” 

I stared at him, feeling awful. “Why would anyone give away their soul?” 

“Immortality,” he said. “We don’t age or get sick. Our bodies can perish from injuries or accidents, but nobody seems to care about that. We also have night vision, and we’re on the winning side of a war. Life is good here. Others starve and die while we celebrate and serve.” 

“That still sounds horrible,” I said.

He nodded. “I was forced. Outsiders who sneak into our territory are too. You’re the first person to escape it.” 

“Thanks to you,” I said. 

“Hey, I’m not the one who killed captain unamedsomething.”
I covered my mouth. "I killed him?"
“Well, you evaporated his body when you shined so bright. You also disintegrated his soul, but it will put itself back together eventually.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I didn’t mean to.”
He looked at me. “Don’t. He was the evilest guy around. I’m glad he’s gone.”
I blinked a couple times and looked back at the ground. “Why did you help me?”
He shrugged. “I’ve always been waiting for a sign of hope from the temple of the sun. I hate this life I’ve been forced to have. You could end it all! Bring the Bridge back to balance. I can tell you’re here for a reason.” He looked me in the eyes firmly. “You’re going to save the world, and I’m going to do everything I can to help you. I don’t care if being around you hurts or if I have to fight for the will to take every step forward.”
I leaned back a little. “You’re determined.”
“Seriously so,” He said, still not breaking eye contact. “I need to know that you aren’t going to back away from this fight. You’re the only hope any of us have.”
I hesitated. “I don’t know anything.”
“You’ll learn,” He said. He pointed down a tunnel. “That leads outside the city, and then we’ll be in the lost woods. We’ll go from there to where Night’s territory ends, and the cycle of the sun and moon are still the same. There’s a lot of people fighting against Night out there. They can help you. There might even be someone who can restore your memories.”
I stared down the tunnel. I wanted to leave this place that hurt so much. Having this boy as a guide out was my best bet. And maybe he was right. Maybe this was my purpose. “Alright.”
“Great.” He stood up. “I’m Luno, by the way. I’m guessing you don’t know your name?”
I stood up and shook my head.
“I’ll call you Sun, then,” Luno said. “Because that’s where you came from. Let’s go-” He wavered on his feet a little. “And please follow a little behind me. I’m not sure how much closer to you I can get.” He started walking. I waited until he was at the very edge of my light, then followed.
About the Author: Pomp
Warning: Bound to suddenly start talking about Lego, cartoons, cats, fandoms, books, Europe, minerals, chemistry, the unfair way red-heads are treated, and Potatoes. 
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