The Nyght Mare

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium

A continuation to the Night story, started by DipperDots and continued by me. As Flynn and Amelia are forced to wander though the Realm of Nyght by a couple of brigands, Flynn reflects on how much
better this world is than his own while at the same time wondering if he and his friend will make it out of this situation with their lives.

Previous two stories: Lost in the Woods of Nyght: The Realm of Nyght:

Submitted: February 10, 2018

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Submitted: February 10, 2018



Flynn stumbled along, persuaded forward by the point of a knife. The nameless thug prodding him forward had taken his sword, leaving him without weapon to defend himself. He was sure that the only reason the two brigands had not killed Amelia and himself was because they needed Flynn to interpret the map and lead them to the harp. Their captors did not strike Flynn as the brightest men; he doubted they were even able to read their own names. 

There was, however, one issue with the thugs’ plan, one that was leading Flynn and Amelia closer to death with each step: Flynn had no idea where he was going. The map that he was following had stopped making sense the moment they had stepped into this foreign world. Something was very wrong about it, as if the landmarks had been drawn by a blind man trying to express them based on the way they made him feel. Or perhaps the proportions were off, or it wasn’t perfectly to scale, or it was based off of some sort of complicated grid system. Whatever it was, it had clearly not been drawn out according to any cartographic standard that he was aware of. The more he looked at it, trying to divine any meaning from it, the less it made sense. 

There were a number of lines written in the margin of the map which appeared to be a set of directions, but these were as indecipherable as the map itself. It was written in a language he had never seen before in a script that was completely foreign to him. He was beginning to think that the crazy old man he had gotten the map from had been just that: a crazy old man. Then again, the map had led them this far. For all the good that did them. 

Yet Flynn continued on, looking at the map every so often as if checking that he was on the right track. If he showed even a hint of being lost, his value to the thugs would be gone and he had no doubt that his life would be cut short. As long as he was useful, he would live. 

Despite the threat that he was facing, Flynn couldn’t help but marvel at the strange new land around him. It wasn’t just the enormity of it all, or the strange glow hovering over every surface. The very laws of nature seemed to act differently, however subtly. Flynn felt lighter, almost as if a weak force was trying to pull him upward, only barely overcome by gravity. And when he brushed against one of the towering trees, it seemed to quiver or pulse. The trees, the ground, even the air itself felt malleable, as if, given the means, one could manipulate their surroundings. An energy seemed to linger on the air. Then again, Flynn could be exaggerating his experiences; his dad had always told him that he could make canyons from cracks. 

One thing he knew he wasn’t imagining, however, was how pristine this world was. He could see no flaw, no out of place branch, no rotting logs or decaying animals. Everything was exactly the way it was supposed to be. In fact, if even one tree was in a different spot, Flynn was sure it would ruin the effect. 

This immaculate realm was all the more impressive when compared with the world they had just left. Very little about that place was pristine, if, indeed, anything was. Flynn’s world was one of corruption, one of decay. Everything, from the old zephyr-mills which powered the cities of old, to the town dwellings, to the very water itself had suffered from the Dwellers’ corruption. Nothing was safe from the decay, not even the people. There were few uncorrupted souls left. If Flynn had not found a friend in Amelia, he doubted he would have been able to continue. 

“Oi, whatchu doing, day dreaming?” came the gruff voice of one of his captors, the one with the knife at his back. With a start, Flynn realized he hadn’t looked at the map for several minutes. Hurriedly, he buried his nose in the meaningless parchment, but the man was not convinced. “How can you’ve been leading us inna right direction if you haven’t even been looking at the map?”

Flynn cleared his throat, although that didn’t help with the dryness. So much for this guy being unintelligent. “I just, uh, know it so well,” Flynn said. “I’ve looked at it so much that I’ve practically memorized it.” 

“Oh yeah?” he said. “Then how much farther we gotta go? We already been walking for hours.” 

If forty-five minutes is considered hours now, then yeah, Flynn thought. Then again, in this realm, anything was possible. “Oh, uh, we’re getting, er, closer, for sure,” Flynn stammered. 

“You know what I think, Ghar?” the man said to his companion. 

“Wassat?” the one called Ghar said. 

“I think this little runt ain’t got no idea where the hell we’re going. Hell, he might be leading us into a trap.”

“What? No, I’d never—” But before he could finish, he was shoved to the ground. He heard a squeal and a grunt from Amelia as she was tossed down next to him. 

Quickly, Flynn rolled over onto his back, flicking his scarf out of his face, and got his first good look at the thugs. It was not a pleasant sight. The men had cuts and scabs covering their gray, pallid skin, which they had tried to cover with what looked like tree sap mixed with soil. Their eyes were bulging and bloodshot, the irises of which were a murky yellow. Flynn recognized the symptoms of corruption that came only from drinking the polluted water. These two were still in the early stages; given enough time, they would turn into little more than rabid animals, much like the other creatures which were altered by the Dweller’s War. The larger of the two was baring a set of blackened teeth and holding Flynn’s sword over Amelia and himself.

“If you can’t read that map, then you ain’t no use to us no more,” he said with a nasty grin. He raised the sword above his head, a crazed gleam in his eyes. Flynn wanted to shut his eyes, but if his dad had taught him anything, it was to never turn away from an oncoming threat. 

But before the sword began its downward arc, another surprise arrived in the form of what looked like a long, crystalline spear. It flew soundlessly over Flynn and Amelia’s heads, aimed directly at the man holding the sword. But instead of piercing him, it stopped inches from his chest and hovered motionless for the length of a heartbeat. The man stared, bewildered, at the weapon as if attempting to understand why it was there. Then there was a flash of light which forced Flynn to avert his gaze. When he looked back, the spear was gone and both brigands were on the ground, apparently unconscious. 

For a moment Flynn just sat there, uncomprehending. Just moments ago they had been facing unquestionable death, and now their would-be murderers were lying on the ground. Could they really be that lucky?

But then Flynn’s logic began to return to him. If the thugs had been struck down, that meant someone—or something—had to do the striking. Slowly, Flynn turned around to look at their savior. 

Legs; slender, smooth, and a bright, velvety gold. His eyes followed the four legs upward and took in the rest of the creature. Like everything else in this realm, the beast was massive, standing perhaps eight feet off the ground. It reminded Flynn strongly of a horse, except that its head was more lean and pointed, and it didn’t seem to have any eyes. 

Sitting astride this otherworldly mare was a humanoid being with long limbs, broad shoulders, and an angular, symmetrical face. It had light brown skin and a silver beard which sparkled in the light. The being was clad in a simple fur tunic and bore an impressive twelve-foot longbow, another spear-length arrow already nocked to the string. He was at least twice as tall as an average adult, so he towered above the two sixteen-year-olds. A small whimper came from Amelia to his left. 

“I cannot stand Impures,” the being said in a low but musical voice. “I will forever rue the day when the first Insurgent crossed over into your world. That’s when this whole mess began.”

Flynn opened his mouth to speak, closed it, opened it again, made an odd squeaking noise, cleared his throat, then finally managed to say, “Insurgent?”

The being nodded. “Yes, those of my kind who thought it wise to break the rules and invade your world, bringing along all our magiks. I believe your kind call them the Divided Dwellers.”

Flynn looked at Amelia, who stared back, her mouth slightly ajar. 

“And now I must ask you, human,” the being said, raising the bow, “why have you come to the Realm of Nyght?”

© Copyright 2019 J. R. Merrick. All rights reserved.

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