The Woods of Nyght - Abandoned Idea

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium


After waking from his first night without his father, Heran goes to bury the body he found. The problem: the body's gone.

Chapter 2 (v.1) - The Guide

Submitted: January 13, 2018

Reads: 10

Comments: 1

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Submitted: January 13, 2018

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I wake up shivering and alone, once again, wiping the salt from my eyes with my scarf, only regretting my decision due to the barf stains on it. I get up slowly, in case whatever killed the man here is lurking somewhere outside. Speaking of which, I bend down to see if I could perhaps bury the man before I leave this place. Wait, the body’s not there. Oh no, where’s the body? I back away slowly from the window, then turning to run out of the room with all my things when I bump into a figure outside the door. We both fall across the ground, rolling away from each other uncontrollably. Picking myself up quickly, I pull my father’s sword out and hold it up in front of me, hoping I never have to use it. “Who are you?” I shout to the dark figure, nudging the stranger with the tip. The person slaps the sword tip away, obviously not being intimidated by the weapon. “You know you shouldn’t point swords at ladies, right?” She says rhetorically, while uncovering the black hood from her face. The girl’s face is fairer than anything I’ve seen all my life, which isn’t saying much, since I’ve only seen the face of my dad and pigs.

Seeing the astonishment in my eyes, she sort of chuckles to herself and says, “Aw, I’m know I’m gorgeous and all, but you don’t have to stare at me like that. What’s your name, kid?” Trying to get words out of my mouth, I stutter something like “Egh…gur…ahh…Heran.”, then stumbling back to lean on a dead tree. The girl laughs again, amused by my hopeless efforts of covering up my dumbstruck love for her. “I can assume you’ve never seen a girl before, hmm? I can’t say I’ve seen a boy like you before, so I can understand your surprise. I’m Emilia, by the way. ” Emilia, wow! I never heard a name like that before, especially one so enchanting. Emilia goes to pick up my book, but I stop her with my sword. “What are you doing out here, Emilia? It’s not safe out here for a girl!” Looking at me with disgust she retorts and shouts “Relax, Ma, I’ve lived out here all my life! Why do you think I came out here help you bury that body in there?” I lower my sword with a skeptical gaze. “How did you know about the body in there?” raising my sword again, in case she lunges at me with a knife or something. Emelia just gazes back at me, making me think about what to do next. “The Darkness took those inside to their deaths. I thought you were a grave boy or something, coming to grab the bodies inside and bury them. So, I wanted to help.” Somewhat doubting her story, I keep my sword draw and move towards the mill, walking inside. “What do you mean bodies? I only saw one in there!” I say to her, pointing my head towards the room where I slept. Emelia kicks down the door across from us and beckons me towards the stairs behind it. She looks at me with a look of dread and whispers “Look up there, hero.”

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I walk up the stairs rather sheepishly, avoiding the numerous corpses lying on each step. Each body has a look of fear in their white, glazed eyes, with their jaws open and their arms gripping their chests. I thought seeing one corpse was bad enough, but this? No, I can’t hold it anymore. I rush past the startled Emilia and puck into a nearby cauldron, trying to keep the noise of my hurls down. As I go back to confront Emilia, I see she has a smirk strung across her blushing face. “What’s so funny about vomiting over death?” I yell, being offended by her joking demeanor. “Oh sorry, it’s not that. It’s the fact that I thought you were a grave-boy who was used to seeing bodies. Guess I was wrong though, huh?” She says, then chuckling as she goes up the stairs. “Come on, Heran, I need to show you something.”  “Oh, what is it this time, more dead people?” I snap to her, while tip-toeing over the body in front of me. Emilia doesn’t respond as she disappears in the dark room ahead of the stairs. Being hesitant on entering dark places, I take a small candlestick lying on the floor and light it with my flint. Looking for any signs of evil in the room, I wave my pitiful candlestick around like it’s a flaming sword, only for my efforts to blow it out. I hear thumping in front of me within the dark, and then Emilia’s face glows in front of me as she relights the candle. “This isn’t the time to go sheep on me, Heran.” She says with a serious undertone. Emilia then walks a few paces in front of me, stopping to light a lantern in the center of the room. “Before this place was ravaged by The Darkness, this mill served two purposes for us humans: Providing energy for refugees and hiding the Shroud’s weapons.” She says as she reveals a stash of swords underneath the floorboards. “From the look of your armor and scarf, I’d say you’re a Shroud-Son, correct? I guess your father didn’t tell you much, since you can hardly keep your breakfast in your gut when you see something dead.” Taken by surprise from her quick analysis of me, I nod my head with astonishment and grip my scarf like a teddy bear. She just analyzed my life in seconds! How am I supposed to compete with that? I ponder to myself, holding the edge of the purple scarf closer to my chest. “I only said you were probably a grave-boy because I’d thought you’d retaliate with a bunch of insults or something. I’ve come across many stuck-up thieves who’ve killed Shroud-Sons like you for that scarf you’re clinging. Speaking of which, what are you doing with that?”  Emilia says, obviously questioning my scarf habits.

By now, I have the scarf in my mouth and I'm gnawing on the ends of it. Embarrassed by her confrontation, I spit out the fabric and sigh, hanging my head down so I won’t see her laugh at me. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve gnawed on my scarf for relief whenever my dad yelled at me. Sometimes, my dad would yell so bad my scarf would be dripping with spit by the time he was through.”  I raise my head, expecting to see her giggle or smile, but instead, I see her with a solemn face staring back at me. Emilia sits herself next to me and sighs as well. “I shouldn’t have judged you so quickly, Heran. I was never harmed by my parents growing up, so I shouldn’t have assumed you weren’t either.” Noticing she was getting emotional, she shakes her head and stands up again, lending her hand to help me up. “As I was saying, this windmill served as a secret armory for the Shrouds of Nyght, before The Darkness found out. As a member of the Shrouds myself,” Emilia says as she uncovers a purple scarf from her cloak, “I know how to find these places.” By the pride in her eyes, I could see she was not bluffing on being a fellow Shroud-Son. I let out a little giggle, and then burst out laughing, which shutters the beams below me. “Wow! I thought my dad made that whole ‘Shroud-Son’ thing to make me go to sleep at night!” Emilia chuckles back, then reaches for a sword in the floor. “Well, I thought we were made up too until I saw your scarf. I wonder why they have to be purple, seeing how purple dye is hard to come by.” I remember the book I have and uncover it from my satchel and raise it proudly above me. “Behold the answers!” I yell confidently, feeling proud of myself until the floorboards fall beneath me. Emilia rushes over to where I’ve fallen, which is some room filled with more dust and cobwebs. Coughing out the pain I’ve experienced, I try to claw myself out of the mess I’ve made until I realize what I’m stuck in. All around me, I see nothing but bodies of humans and creatures alike, piled rather carelessly as if there was a massive battle. I’m speechless and paralyzed with fear, whispering Emilia in hopes of her finding me down here in this forgotten grave...

*Here lies the end of my original idea for The Woods of Nyght...*


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