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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A new short story i have been working on, a man named Matthew finally works the courage to ask out the girl of his dreams, but before he can she is nearly killed. Not before he saves her with a new mysterious ability that has awakened. Please let me know what you think!


Matthew was walking quickly as he made his way down the block towards the café. He kept stopping to check himself in the glass windows of the other shops, becoming more nervous with every step. He kept getting glances from passersby, some with small smiles at seeing a man walking with a dozen flowers in hand. He was on his way to see Kelly, the girl who worked at the café as they had become friends over time, but Matt had fallen for her the first time he had seen her. He had taken many trips hoping she was working, random at first just find her working. But he had managed to start several conversations which sparked something between them as his oddly visits became weekly, and his weekly visits becoming every day or so just to see her. Today was the day he was going to ask her out for the first time, trying to look his best, and hoping she would accept.

Matthew looked at his watch, almost five thirty, the end of Kelly’s shift and just a couple blocks to go. He wanted to time it perfectly, to greet her just as she stepped out so she wouldn’t be burdened with any customers, and be carefree from being off from work. With his positive, albeit nervous, mood he took the beautiful day in, the blue sky, the stone buildings and skyscrapers that surrounded him, even enjoying the sounds of the city from the sound of a thousand nearby pedestrians to the road crew performing construction the next block down. He snapped out of his day dream as his phone went off in his pocket, taking it out looking at the caller he answered it:

“Hey, Grandma”

“Matthew, where have you been? No calls, no dinner plans, is everything ok?”

He smiled in spite of his worried grandmother.

“Yes Grandma, I’m okay and I’m sorry I haven’t called, I’ve just been a bit……preoccupied”

“No calls I was concerned, but no stops for dinner, now that made me afraid” she chuckled.

He barely managed to hear her as he passed by the road construction crew, along with an angry driver honking his horn at the crew to let him around them. An argument starting to rise between the men as the noise calmed down and their voices rising.

“I’m sorry Grandma” he managed. “I have been meaning to stop over I’ve just been kind of busy lately is all”

“Find a girl did you?” he could tell by her voice she was smiling.

“Of sorts, we’ve been getting to know each other and I think it’s time to ask her out which I’m planning on doing shortly actually” he smiled at the prospect.

“Oh Matthew, I’m so happy for you! Well I’ll let you get to it then. I best get to meet this girl or else!” they both laughed.

“Ok grandma, Love you”

“Love you too Matty”

Closing the phone he replaced into his pocket, realizing how grateful he was for his grandmother. Raising him since he was a child, Matthew’s grandmother was the most important person in his life. His parents had died when he was four and his grandmother had taken him in, her husband having passed away only a year before, and found joy in raising Matthew.

Now standing near the café entrance he glanced at his watch, five thirty. Peering through the window he glimpsed Kelly at the counter, her smile even at a distance warmed his heart, his heart beating faster at the site of her. He noticed her walking away from the register getting ready to hang up her apron. He shied away from the window, trying to hang out of view from the entrance but close enough that he could surprise her when she left. Any second he thought, she would walk out and he’d have chance to ask her out. But he waited several minutes and Kelly never left the store, glancing at his watch several times, but she had yet to come out. He was beginning to wonder what he should do when suddenly the door to the café opened and slammed shut behind him. He turned around to see her storming off, on the verge of tears”


“What do you want?!” she snapped before she even turned around to see who was asking for her.

She turned to see Matt standing there, a bouquet of flours in hand.

“Oh, I’m so sorry Matt, I think you need to stay away from me right now” she said as she turned around to continue to cross the street.

“Kelly, wait! What ha-“

He was cut off by the sound of tires squealing, Matt looked to see the car come speeding down the street after furiously waiting behind the construction. Matt looked in horror as he realized the reckless driver was speeding down the street, cursing at the construction guys, paying no attention to Kelly who he was speeding towards. But Kelley didn’t react fast enough, Matt realized as he ran towards, his free arm outstretched towards her. He wanted nothing more than to save her.

It wasn’t the sound crushing metal, or Kelly’s screams, that caught everyone’s attention. It was the blurred orb that surrounded Kelly that everyone stared at, as she sat inside unharmed. Matt realizing something, that he felt something within himself he had never felt before. He felt it wearing away as his hand dropped, as the orb surrounding Kelly began to fade. He felt that he had done something, but what he did not know, and that fact scared him. But not nearly as much as the realization that just everyone, but Kelly too, was staring at him as if afraid of him. In his fear and confusion, he dropped the flowers, and ran.


* * *

Matt scrambled for his keys as he reached his apartment door, his thoughts still racing about what had happened, how Kelly had looked at him. What had he done? How had he done it? He had so many questions and no answers. Matt entered his apartment, throwing his keys on his walk in table as he shut and locked the door behind him. Running his hands through his hair he let out a deep sigh of frustration.  What was he going to do?

“I suggest you start by taking a seat” said a voice from across the room.

Matt jumped back in shock at the fact that someone was in his house, but how? He thought in his panic, the doors had been locked, no sign of a break in.

“What do you want?! Who are you and what are you doing in my apartment?”

The man who spoke wore a suit, an all tan suit with a tan undershirt that had the first button undone. Hands folded behind his back, he turned around to face Matt. He was a Tall man, broad in the shoulders who was bald, clean shaven and had dark olive skin.

“Please, Matt, take a seat being alarmed will only put yourself in danger”

“W-what are you talking about?” he stammered as he had his back against the wall.

“It’s not so much about what you did, so much as what has taken place. Now, if you sit down, breath and just relax, I promise you to have answers. It will only be up to you what you do with them.”

Matt began to regain his composure, he stood up straight taking a deep breath, leading himself over to his recliner. He sat with his head in his hands, ready to listen.

“So who are you, and what is it that has happened, and why are you here?”

“Well, Matthew, my name is Semel and we both know you did something quite….extraordinary, out on the street just now.”

“But ho-“

“You did it with realizing you could” his tone rising over Matt’s. “That is because you have had your awakening. Have you heard of sorcerers? Druids? Alchemists even?”

Matt nodded in acknowledgement, remaining silent.

“They are our ancestors, some flaunting their ability, sorcerers, others keeping to themselves exploring their abilities, druids. But true breakthroughs came with the ‘alchemists’ as they truly began to tinker with the power we possess.”

“But what is this ‘power’? How are able to-“

“There is not much time, the short explanation for our ability is we are in tune with everything around us, we can change and shape things as we see fit, such as the orb you made. It was not that you created some magical substance, but rather you condensed air into a solid wall, so strong it stopped a car from hitting the girl you so desired to save. Now that we have that out of the way, you must come with me, you and everyone you know are not safe so long as you stay here.”

“But why? I may not control it but if it’s just starting I could teach myself to harness it, couldn’t I?”

Semel shook his head, “No, without proper training you emotions would rule your abilities, in anger you might kill someone in a way you would completely not expect, and the longer you have your abilities the more powerful you become. Do you really think you could survive an incident when you are left hoping your powers work? Would society be ok with you among them so freely if they knew what you possessed, of what you are capable of?”

Matthew ran his hands through his hair again, his sigh feeling the silence as he contemplated.

“I will only offer once, now is the time to accept my offer Matthew. You will learn to harness your abilities, learn more of who you are and our history.”

Matt was speechless, his parents? But how could Semel know of his parents? He had to know, he needed to know about them, did they have these abilities? He was afraid, but was more afraid of never having the answers to the questions he had been asking himself his whole life.

“I will go with you, but I have one question.”

Semel looked at him inquisitively.

“Will I ever be able to see Kelly again?”

Semel looked at him, Matt realizing for the first time how piercing the man’s gaze could be. “In time, when you have mastered yourself and are safe for her to be around, then we will talk about such things. Semel offered Matt his hand, and just as soon as his hand had reached Semel's, Matt could swear he saw lightning striking his apartment, as all manner of light blurred past him, and was captured by it.

* * *


Matthew had woken up in a well-lit chamber, sitting up as he began rubbing his face. Where was he? Was it all a dream? His question was answered as he looked up to see the lights, small orbs with a warm glow that lit the room. He began to look around in awe as he realized he was in a marble chamber, filled with finery he had not seen before. “Where am I?” he said to no one in particular, as he stood in wonder.

“You are in the last home of the artificers” spoke a voice from behind. Matthew jumped at the sudden voice behind him. “Allow me to welcome you, newly awakened. My name is Lir.” Matthew turned to see a man standing behind him, clean shaven with short blonde hair. He had handsome face, keeping his hands in his pockets of his sleek dark suit and ocean blue collared undershirt.

“N-nice to meet you Lir, name’s Matthew” he stammered.

“Well Matthew, now that the pleasantries are over with, I’d like you to follow me”

Matthew followed Lir through the massive oak door of his chamber, gawking at tapestries and marble columns as they went. This place was a winder to him, enchanting him with beauty. He had no idea where he was but at that moment; he didn’t think it was so bad.

“What is this place?” Matthew asked in awe.

“This place? Its ancient really, been our home for as long as I can remember. Much has been seen from here, a lot of watching. Too much if you ask me.”

“Watching?’ what do you mean? Is this some kind of grand watch tower?” Matthew could hardly believe this was a watch tower. Especially since he began to notice the lack of windows through the grand halls.

“I’d tell you but I truly do not think you would believe me. Semel will explain all in good time, or I should say he will have me explain in god time. He is one for entrances, but not one of explaining things. Ahh here we are, everyone is dying to meet you” Lir said enthusiastically.

 Continuing on their way Lir opened large wooden doors with brass handles that dwarfed the one to Matthews’ chamber. Peering in he saw several dozen people sitting at the longest table he had ever seen, alive with chatter and laughter, and at its head sat Semel.Matthew had taken his seat at the corner of the table, next to Semels head seat. He looked around seeing everyone glancing toward him, the newly awakened. What did that truly mean? He realized his was still in the dark about a lot of things and made a mental note to approach Semel later.

Semel rose from his seat tapping his glass with his fork, acquiring everyone’s attention as the last of the voices died away.

“Today we celebrate our guest and his awakening, as we welcome into our abode, as a brother among family, as a friend among friends. Let us raise our glasses in praise as we cherish our own. To Matthew!”

“To Matthew!” they chimed.

Everyone took their seats after the toast, the rumbling of conversations filling the room, Matthew taking his own between Semel and Lir. He was still could not believe what was happening, abilities, a secret grand….castle? He wasn’t even sure what this place was but it still held his attention. It made him think of a large museum, except people lived in it.

Matthew began studying the people around him, Semel and Lir in conversation with those around them. But he noticed a hooded figure dressed in all black at the far end of the hall, passing through the corridor. He could sense a cold air about him, something made very uneasy about the figure but he couldn’t understand how he knew that. Just before leaving the hall the figure snapped his head towards Matthew, locking eyes with him. The blood drained from his face as he held the figures gaze, he couldn’t see his eyes but he knew he looked into them, into something cold and dark.

“Matthew?” he heard a voice. He came to his senses as he realized that Lir had been talking to him.

“Are you alright? What’s wrong?”

He glanced back where he had seen the figure but no one was there. “I-I saw a hooded figure, all in black” he stumbled

Semel glanced over his shoulder at mention if the hooded figure, Lir catching his glance. Both looked over in the direction of Matthew’s concerned look but they saw no one at the end of the chamber, but Matthew caught them glance at each other with concern.

“You have nothing to worry about Matthew” Lir turned back to Matthew, placing his hand on his shoulder to reassure him.

Matthew opened up more over the night, sharing some conversation with Semel, but mostly with Lir. He met many more of the people in the room as Lir had gone around introducing him to the others, greeting them shyly but growing more accustomed to them. Especially becoming friendlier as the one man, Bacchus, had convinced him to try some wine. He had laughed the rest of the night, finally forgetting the wounds of being away from home, away from his grandmother, and most of all away from Kelly.

* * *

It had been several weeks since Matthew had start staying at the palace, training each day since his first night staying. He had started his training with a woman named Grace, she had started his training by trying to connect with plants. This was not what he had expected, sitting for hours trying to commune with flowers or small plants she would bring with her. Sometimes he hadn’t been sure if here meditating, trying to connect with them, or just falling asleep. But they had started him on these exercises so he couldn’t accidentally harm anything. Those trainings didn’t spark his interest until the end of the first week when he finally had started feeling the essence of the small flower in front of him, seeing it in his mind’s eye as he gained control over it. When he opened his eyes the one tiny flower was now a massive trunk that grew so quickly it had taken even Grace by surprise as it engulfed the entire wall of the room, its vines spreading to the ceiling.

His trainings had then progressed to sitting with Lir, improving again only faster as he sat with full control over a ball of water that spun as it hovered over its glass. He was beginning to pick up more, not just what he concentrated on. He felt that when he didn’t concentrate so hard he was able to see more, able to feel more of what was around him. He could direct the water as he wished, turning from a ball to flowing stream flowing through the room. He felt he had done enough and returned the water to the glass. Although a little hastily as some of it splashed around the glass, while the majority of it landed back into the glass.

“Well, done Matthew, well done!” Lir beamed with pride. “You’re making such progress! I told you you’d get it, never had a doubt.”

Matthew couldn’t be happier with himself, becoming more confident with his abilities and, overall, more confident in himself. He had actually come to enjoy the lessons as his abilities progressed, as he began to become more in tune with the world around him. The odd thing he felt was that he had no control over the palace, only the finery or the furniture, the things not particularly a part of the palace. He had learned that long ago Semel had worked with Kluto long ago to make sure the building would be safe for any, even newly awakened, as the powers of an artificer could not affect the palace.

“Come Matthew, let us take a break in the hall, maybe Amoris will be there, I hear she has quite the interest in you” he winked.

Matthew half smiled at the prospect, someone interest in him was incredulous. Bu his mind only wandered to Kelly. He saddened at the thought, of being here still away from his grandmother and Kelly. He had to know, would he be able to return?

“Whats wrong?” Lir asked, reading the emotion on his face.

“Lir, when will I be able to make my visit home? I feel more powerful and am much more in control now...”

“It is not up to me Matthew, but I will speak to Semel on the matter now let-“

“But what of the answers I was promised? Such as where are we? Why are there no windows in this place? What is our history? I’m sorry Lir but these questions have been on my mind for some time, and I can’t go on without knowing more, and honestly I trust you more with these questions than Grace or even Semel. Will you tell me?”

Lir looked at Matthew with a small amount of pity, almost angry at the barrage of sudden questions, but he realized he could not be angry with him. He had grown fond of him these past weeks, and could understand how upset he was. Lir shut the chamber’s large oak door, checking first to make sure no one was in the hallway before doing so. Sitting down in the chair across from Matthew he rubbed his face, thinking of where to start as Matthew eyed him with curiosity.

“Semel wanted me to tell you when the time was right, so I guess the time is right.” He sighed. “I’m guessing that he mentioned druids and sorcerers?”

Matthew nodded.

“Well they were the first, albeit a bit darker than Semel would like you to believe. Our kind has been around for much longer than you think, but truth be told the origins we don’t actually know, but we know the druids weren’t he first. But they were the first to exploit our abilities, to learn to harvest them. They were feared for their abilities, but that was only the action from the few. Those dark druids that are referred to became gluttons of power, testing their abilities on those that crossed them. Tossing their rituals and ways behind them, listening to no one but themselves. While the others became at one with the world around them, helping plants to grow, helping nature to flourish.” This made Matthew remember the lessons with Grace, but he shook himself from the thought and continued listening. 

“The sorcerers were the same ordeal, but much more powerful and destructive. Fire was a major tool in the medieval era, it was no different with sorcerers. One sorcerer was able to slaughter hundreds, one of the reasons bows and crossbows became more widespread. We can’t stop what we don’t know is coming. There are those of us that existed before these times, some of us even here have existed long before the first druid. Tales of our feats still exist, albeit exaggerated a bit, but stories none the less. Semel and I are of the oldest here, brothers in fact, that have upheld this place since we constructed it.”

Matthew stared in awe as, he realized, they must be a few thousand years old!

“From your look I would guess you’re in shock of my age, when you learn further control over your abilities you will learn to make yourself ageless, how to heal your wounds, to even prevent death.”

Matthew could barely grasp what Lir was telling him, he had only just come to terms that he can manipulate matter, but to learn it is within his ability to be near immortal? It amazed him but at the same time, terrified him. He had his questions still, about the palace, but he held his tongue waiting for Lir to continue.

“Now as for this place, Its-” Lir was cutoff as the large oak door burst open, a small man peered from behind the door, panting, as his eyes fixed on Lir.

“What is it Mercurio?” Lir raised an eyebrow at the man.

“Pardon my intrusion master Lir, but Semel requests your presence immediately, an urgent matter has arisen.” He stated with fear in his voice.

“Matthew stay here, don’t go anywhere” Lir said quickly before hastily leaving the room, Mercurio on his heels as the oak door shut behind them.

Matthew was worried, since his stay at the palace he had not seen any signs of danger or concern. Whatever it was he knew it had to be something serious, but what could make men with such power so worried? This peaked Matthews interest more than anything, he couldn’t sit in this room waiting around if someone was in danger. What if he could help? He was starting to gain control over his abilities, he may not be as powerful as them but he couldn’t sit still at the thought of someone in trouble.

Matthew made up his mind and crossed the room, placing his hand on the knob to the large oak door to the chamber. Opening it slowly he peered into hall, peering down both ends to check for anyone that might see him, to his relief the hall was empty. He shut the door as quietly as he could and checked the halls one last time, but as he peered down the end he noticed it, the cloaked figure making its way down the hall. He felt the same dark feeling he felt his first night, when he had seen the figure in the dining hall. This couldn’t be a coincidence, he thought, seeing this figure again as trouble arises.

Fighting the dark essence he felt, and the fear that rose with it, he continued down the hall after the figure. Pausing at the corner, he peeked around to check for anyone signs of him, but no one was in sight. He continued on, but caught sight of him rounding another corner, but as he approached there was again no sign of the figure down the corridor. Matthew began to wonder if he was being toyed with, but as the tough tame up he had to jump back around the corner as a few people left a room down the hall, but to his luck they went the opposite direction in a hurry. Assuming their haste had to do with the trouble stirring he waited until they rounded down another corridor and were out if sight until he continued. He followed the figure once again, again catching glimpses and following, certain he was being toyed with. But what Matthew didn’t understand was why? Was he being lead somewhere? Maybe leading far away enough from the others to be far from their safety. Either way he couldn.t know for sure until he caught up to the figure.

Turn after turn, with glimpses of the figure, he followed the corridor until he came to a chamber he had not seen before. Less than a chamber it was more of a grand hall he thought, caught in the moment of taking the room in. But what caught his eye in particular was not the ancient artifacts that lay about the room on their stands and in the cases, it was the massive blank wall that stood out in the vast marble chamber. He walked to the wall, in wonder and out of curiosity, something about it catching his attention, but he couldn’t understand why. He figured it was the sheer fact of a massive blank wall in a massive room of artifacts is why, but he felt that there was more to it than he could see.

The he felt it, the icy cold presence he knew belonged to the hooded figure. He was frozen in place with the feeling, couldn’t move as he was nearly paralyzed with fear. But he remembered someone could be in trouble, he couldn’t let this figure control him. Slowly his confidence came back and as it did so did the control over his body, as he slowly turned to face the figure. There standing behind him, in a dark robe with the hood covering his face, was the man he had been chasing. The figure raised his head to meet Matthews look with his own, but he eyes were black, his pupils disks of glowing white.

“What is it you want, creature?” Matthew managed.

With a small cackle the figure replied “So high you sit, on this mountain of fools. Creature I am not, I am one of them, those that deceive you. You are blind, you do not see what is before you.” Matthew was confused by this, deceiving him? One of them? He didn’t know what he meat, and he hated it.

“Do not believe your eyes, or your ears, as they would keep you here away from your world. Turn you to their ways as they see fit, keeping your mind blind to the truth of their ways. Open your mind, and you will find the door to leave this place.” With the last of his words the figured faded, his cloak turning to dust that blew away, diminishing in the space of the hall. As he disappeared, he realized he saw Semel storming toward him, Mercurio at his heals.

“I thought you were told to stay PUT!” Semel bellowed. As he came closer the rage more apparent as Matthew noticed his face red, a vein pulsing on his forehead.

“But I-“

“But WHAT? You were told not to leave the room, and somehow I find you here!”

Lir stared at him, his fury obvious through his gaze, his anger scaring Mercurio into silence. Matthew didn’t understand the anger, he was only trying to help, why was that such an issue? Then he saw it, it was only a second, Lir glanced at the wall behind him with a hint of fear touching his face. But why? Matthew didn’t have much time to think on it as Semel turned his fury back to him.

Before Semel could continue berating him Lir turned from a different corridor, hurrying to approach Semel and Matthew before Semel did anything irrational.

“Semel, do not yell at him, it was my error I told the boy to come along thinking he could help. We got separated as he likes to stare at things he hasn’t seen before and before I realized it he was no longer behind me.” Lir shot Matthew a look, the message clear, to keep his mouth shut. He didn’t hesitate to do so.

Semel looked at Lir, his gaze still smoldering “Take him then, see that he does not roam again, or it’s on you Lir” he said with a tone of finality.

“Yes, Semel, I will make sure to keep a better eye on him.” He said as he eyed Matthew.

* * *

He figured it out, he had went on with trainings playing along, finally realizing what the cryptic message of the cloaked figure had been. Lir had reprimanded him for leaving his quarters that night, but wasn’t punished, not that they could as he was an equal, training but an equal none the less.  Over the last week he had trained harder than before, knowing how well his abilities would aid him. It was through this new aggression with his training that he understood what the man had said.

He waited until everyone was asleep before sneaking out of his room, trying to remember his way through the corridors, back to the hall he had been in that night. Open your mind, and you will find the door to leave this place, he hadn’t stopped thinking about those words. He wanted nothing more than to leave this place, he was being lied to and he knew it. He saw reluctance when Lir would tell him he would get to go home soon, but it was a flawless lie from Semel.  He could almost believe he would get to see everyone again each time Semel told him, but he knew it was not true.

But the true understanding came the night when Lir gave in and explained more to Matthew. It was a few days after the incident, Lir was proud of Matthew’s progress and could see he was homesick. Lir divulged into his curiosity once again, but only after a bottle of wine that Bacchus had delivered early that evening, the man was always drinking and thought everyone else should too. Lir had had a bit too much and had said more than he meant to, telling Matthew the final key to understanding everything.

“You remind me of him and that is why I favor you so. You look like him, and even have his curious personality.” He smiled at the fact.

“Remind you of who, Master Lir?” not knowing who he started talking about.

“My brother, Siris. Once when we were young, and had not yet seen so many centuries, he was a good person. We discovered our abilities, he was the last to awaken, and began using them. At first we were foolish and took things when we wanted them. He was the innocent one, who believed we should help people not use our powers against them. A true druid of his time.” he smiled as he finished his glass of wine.

“What happened to him?”

“He grew more powerful than Semel and myself. Semel started to fear him little by little, I tried to reassure that he was still our brother, but Semel grew jealous of the forests he would grow, of the cities he would build. Thousands worshipped us as ‘gods’ HA. If only they knew the truth, which contrary to popular belief Semel built that city in a day. But they only loved him for so long, until they grew unhappy. But the followers Siris had would follow him to the end, they loved nature, loved to use their powers to help. Semel grew jealous, he built a city in a day and was unloved, Siris grew a trees and was praised. “He began to pour himself another glass, spilling most of the wine as he overfilled his glass, stopping too late.

“So before long Semel’s anger grew too great. He confronted Siris, his jealousy fueling his rage. I knew about the confrontation only too late, as when I arrived Semel had already gone too far…”

“What happened?” Matthew couldn’t let the story end there.

Lir looked around, his movements becoming sluggish, look away from his glass and back to Matthew he continued his story. “Semel banished Siris, im not sure how he did it.”

“What do you meam banished? He never allowed him back home?”

“What we, in our time, have learned is there is a dark place where the essence of living things go. We call it the Underrealm. Human kind has different stories of Hell, of the afterlife, well this is it. It is where the essenceof a life goes; or as you may know them, ghosts.” He sipped his glass again. He concentrated on it as he set it down, and Matthew realized the wine was swirling around the glass by itself.

“So Semel banished him to the Underrealm, chaining him there with its dark energies. Till this day I do not know how he managed that, that one event still defies what we know about our abilities. I miss him dearly…” he began to trail off.

Snapping back awake he continued “But this was not the end of Siris, centuries later he managed to escape the under realm. He had come back cloaked in black, with eyes as white discs.”

Matthew froze at the description. Was it really Siris he had been seeing?

“This time though he had minions, leviathans made of stone and flesh. They fought, but in the end they were no match for us. I was there this time as Semel, for a second time, ripped a hole to the Underrealm, banishing Siris and his leviathans. Except this time Semel used his lightning as the hole shut. My guess is he somehow closed of the Underrealm for good, but he seems to put all of that behind him so easily.” Lir had a somber look on his face, a mix of longing and sadness.

Nearly dozing off at the table Lir had stumbled back to his room after that, not before downing his final glass. It left Matthew with a lot to think about. It wasn’t long before Michael began to wonder things, and then began to place them together. He solved the first puzzle that night, and after today’s training he understood everything.

After a few missed turns he finally trekked his way back to the great hall. This time he no longer stared at the artifacts in the room, he cared only for the blank wall before him. Standing still he closed his eyes as he allowed his abilities to take over. He let his mind search the room, to recognize all that was around him. There it was, in his mind’s eye, before him, was a large glowing space on the wall before him. This was no regular portion of the marble wall, it was separate; it was a doorway.

With the training he had been through he accessed it with ease, he could take hold of it with his ability. He could feel it as he opened the door, the section of the wall began to move. It slid open as he pushed, his concentration never breaking, as sweat began collect on his brow. The thick slab of marble opened, icy wind filling the chamber. After the door was fully open, Matthew opened his eyes as he stepped carefully to the opening, peering out as he did.

“Step away, Matthew” came a voice. Matthew turned around in surprise as behind him stood both Lir and Semel, adorned in a cape and ceremonial armor he had not seen them in before.

Lir stepped forth, “Matthew, we do not wish you harm but your place is here, among us, not among the meager humans.”

Matthew heard the sincerity in his voice, but also saw the seriousness in Semel’s eyes. Matthew stepped back, planning his escape, and as he did he felt a rumble of the mountain around him. He turned to see the stones from the mountain side enclosing each other, forming a wall amongst the open space. Semel was not going to let him leave without a fight, and Matthew would give it to him.

Matthew spent most of his life being nervous, afraid to act, but he grew in confidence in his time at the palace. His fists clenching as he prepared himself, but there was still something he had to know.

“Why keep me here? I have control, you said I could leave when I have control!” he was furious now, all he wanted was to go home.

“Because Matthew,” Semel approached now “We have secluded ourselves for centuries, the humans are fools who worshipped us long ago, until they learn they don’t need you. We are trying to save you from being an outcast!” his voice seemed to shake the room.

“I’d rather remain hidden amongst them than spend my life in this tomb! You hide yourself away, living in the glory from your days as the gods of old. Each of you hiding yourself behind your pride, you are all shadows of what you once were!” Matthew realized he was standing up for himself, voicing how he felt, no more stumbling, no more nervousness, and he reveled in it.

“You ungrateful little bastard!” boomed Semel “You are treated equal here! Out there you will be ridiculed and hunted, with no need of you they will fear you and despise you! If they know of you they will hunt us down, and we do not wish to fight the world!”

Matthew calmed himself, but keeping his anger intact. “Then you are selfish cowards” he said calmly.

Semel’s eyes widened in fury, he had given him everything. Training, a new home, a new family and it was all squandered on this ungrateful heathen. If he would not stay, then leave he shall. Semel turned immediately, grabbing the man behind. Before the man could react Semel broke his neck, throwing him to the floor. Falling to his knees beside the man, Semel began chanting an ancient language hovering his hands over the man’s corpse.

Matthew became concerned realizing that even Lir was confused, he realized that Lir had never seen what the man was about to do. He had to stop whatever he was doing, he held his hand allowing a sphere of solid air to together before throwing, full force, at Semel. Before it reached him a dark, swirling vortex ripped open the air above the corpse swallowing the sphere leaving Semel unharmed. The air in the room began drawing everything into the vortex, engulfing whole all that fell into it. Most of those in the room managed to hold their ground, one girl taken by surprise had been sucked into the void, her screams reverberating from within.

Lir could not let this go on any longer, glancing at Matthew, with what seemed to be pride, he turned his attention toward Semel. Launching himself on his crazed brother, each throwing blows backed by their abilities as each shattering blow yielded shockwave that shook the room. The fight slowly drawing them closer to the void before them. Most of the others had managed to escape, the remaining had been overwhelmed by the force of the gateway, losing themselves as they were drawn in.

Matthew felt the ground shake as he realized with Semels attention elsewhere he no longer maintained the rock wall, as it began crumbling, causing a rockslide down the mountain. Matthew glanced at his freedom, and then turned back to Lir.

“GO!” Shouted his mentor as he wrestled his brother on the edges of the abyss. He could escape now, and return finally to his old life. But he could not leave Lir to chance falling into the void. He turned to run back to help Lir, but he had seen the movement of his former pupil, and sent a shockwave that Matthew tried to withstand, the sheer force of it expelling him from the palace. Matthew managed to regain himself midair, as he did he watched the rockslide caused the palace crash in upon his self. He managed to control himself, never having caused himself to fly before, speeding back to the site of the palace. But the effect of the palace still held even in rubble, he could not use his abilities against the stone. Realizing he wouldnnever be able to move the remains of the fallen palace, he nodded his respect to Lir and turned to head home.

He saw a great many mountain peaks all with valleys beyond them. He realized they were on the highest peak, that the palace was built inside of the mountain. He smiled as he now realized the lack of windows, and now he knew he was right. He willed the air about him to carry himself to the sky, floating through the clouds until they began to gather around them. It was here that flew among them, letting them calm his mind as he lost himself in their embrace.

* * *

“It’s ok” he heard a faint voice, he couldn’t be sure who it was but it sound like, Kelly?

“Everything is ok” he started to wake up, opening his eyes at the sound of the soft voice.

“You’re awake! He’s awake!” the girl yelled.

His eyes final began to focus in the bright light, taking in his surroundings. As he became more aware Matthew realized he was in a hospital bed, a bandage around his head, and a portion of his body in casts. He looked around to see machines next to him and there, in a chair next to his bad, was Kelly. In that moment he forgot about where he was or what he had seen, relief washed over him at the sight of her. Until he turned toward her, then he cringed as he felt a sharp pain at his side.

“Oh Matthew! You have to be careful, it’s only been a few days since the accident.”

Accident? He thought, what accident? The last thing he remembered was the sensation of flying, of finally discovering the way from the mountain palace he was being held at. How did he get back here? What accident? He saved Kelly from that car months ago, hadn’t he? Matthew looked up to see his grandmother enter the room, his heart filling with joy at seeing the two people he missed most.

“Matthew! Oh I’m glad you awake, we’ve been so worried about you” she hugged him tight enough to cause him to grunt in pain, but he didn’t care he was happy to finally see his grandmother again.

“What happened? What accident? Where is Lir, is he alright?” Kelly and his grandmother exchanged concerned looks.

“Sweety, who is Lir?” his grandmother asked. Had it all been a dream? It couldn’t be he was held for weeks, hadn’t he?

“You were hit by that Matthew, you saved me. You’ve been in a coma all this time, and it’s all my fault, if I was just paying attention…” she trailed off as tears began to fill her eyes.

“What do you mean I was hit by that car? I used my abilities to protect you, I’ve been gone for weeks training them. I’m an artificer, I was held in an ancient palace.”

Kelly looked worried now, “Matthew you pushed me out of the way of that angry driver, I managed some scrapes and bruises but you took the impact. The doctor said you have a concussion that could cause some instabilities until it’s healed. I feel so horrible over this Matthew, but I’m going to make it up to you and help you get back on your felt” she squeezed his hand.

“If it means you’re going to be around I should jump in front of cars more often he smiled. She laughed while managing a smile.

“His favorite soup is chicken noodle, just not too hot or he’ll just eat it and burn his tongue” his grandmother added. “I think I manage chicken noodle for the man who saved my life” she smiled as she looked into his eyes.

“You better keep up with those flowers, or you’ll have to deal with me” his grandmother chuckled

“I think she likes you more than she likes me” he laughed. “But I guess you guys are right, I must have had some vivid dreams while I was out, but it felt so real is all.”

“That’s alright” added Kelly “you’ll have plenty of time to catch up while I help you do the work we got for you from your classes. Your ancient philosophies class was it? Seemed like a bit of stiff, he’s the only one that gave you work to do, everyone else said they will supply work for you next week and wish you a speedy recovery.”

“It’s my Ancient Cultures class, and yea Professor Somniatis can be quite the….character.”

A nurse walked into the room checking the machines, checking her watch as she watch the timers.

“Nurse?” Kelly asked “Now that he’s awake how long until he gets to go home?”

She eyed the monitors, watching his heart rate and vital signs. “I’d say one more night’s rest and he’d be all set to go home in the morning if he is feeling up to it.” She jotted some notes down on her clipboard, placing it at the end of his bed.

Kelly lit up at the sound of him being out in the morning, she was so gkad he was going to be ok she could barely believe it.

“This will help him sleep in the meantime.” She said as she injected a needle into his intravenous drip.

“Ok Matty” his grandmother said “We are gonna let you get some rest”, she glanced at Kelly, who nodded her understanding that it was time to leave.

“I’ll be back for you tomorrow” she said, kissing him on the chick, his grandmother smiling at the sentiment. As everyone prepared to leave the room he felt the powerful sleep overcome him. The room started to swim as his eyes became heavier. The nurse had already left as his grandmother and Kelly followed. As he closed his eyes he heard the door open, managing one last glance he saw it was Kelly coming back for her bag that she left on the chair. As he turned to leave he could swear she waved her arm, as if commanding the door to shut. He thought he must be dreaming and drifted off as he let deep sleep take him away.

Submitted: February 05, 2014

© Copyright 2020 Rizzo7890. All rights reserved.

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