When I said no more Xanga other than once per week of course I ment AFTER i've recovered lol :P
Pretty impressive self control huh?
But no this is just a quick post that I can feel comfortable leaving for a while I hope, plus it's a story which is finished so I may aswell get it posted since thats the quick bit.
This is another of @LKJSlain 's Writing prompts, which are awesome and fun and you should go do one!
You must use all three pictures
The key words, "ice" "Blizzard" "fascination" "obscure" "devious" and "sanity"
The color is "teal"
And the sound is "a pack of HOWLING wolves"
The jagged clouds where high in the darkening sky tinged with gold turning to a bloody red at the black horizon, everything was moving in fast forward as if the air was boiling. High above the clouds a light of such intensity it felt like it could burn through your soul glimmered and danced always just out of sight.
Serena’s body writhed in the small cot a sheen of sweat covered her while her lips moved silently. Paulo sat nervously watching her from across the room, at only seventeen and raised entirely in the monastery he was unused to the presence of women especially not young girls like Serena.
Suddenly and violently her back arched and the thin covers slid aside exposing her almost luminous white waist, Paulo got up instantly and drew the covers back over her gently placing his hand on her stomach and pressing until her muscles relaxed, she sighed and turned to the wall curling into a ball around his hand. He could see her shoulder blades now as she covers had been pulled around her front and as she shook and continued to mutter he watched with fascination as they seemed to flex and be pulled backwards in a way unlike anything he’d seen before.
As a cold dawn broke Serena woke slowly, the visions of last night fading as this world once again came into focus, she smiled as she felt the warmth of Paulos hand the purity of this boy flowed to her through it and made every fibre of her being tingle with hope.
She turned and looked at him sitting over her, upright head bowed fast asleep, in her mind the thoughts were clear they glowed and sparkled far beyond the ability of her body to express.
“Night has gone, another turn…what passing treasures we seek in this light?”
Paulo came-to with a start and looked down on her with a tired smile.
“You are always so rested despite the turmoil with which you sleep”
“Only this, within light and calm…weeping with beauty”
“Come Serena we must eat, there are many who still need your touch”
Serena rose from the cot, she was tall and athletic clothed only in simple white cotton undergarments which against her skin looked cream yellow. Paulo quickly brought her a robe, it was heavy good quality wool the best one the monastery had and jet black. She opened her arms out like a child waiting to be dressed and Paulo draped it over her, gently helping each arm into the sleeves and folding the hood over her pale blonde hair that was tinged with red gold at the ends.
“All of this…everything, everything” She giggled and smiled with all the warmth of summer.
Paulo couldn’t help but smile with her though as was so often the case he couldn’t follow her meaning, he finished tying up her belt and led her to the door.
She walked carefully following him her cold hands gripping tightly on his as they descended the stone spiral from the tower at the base they met the master monk, Giovanni.
“Is she well my boy?”
“Yes father her sleep is disturbed but she seems not to notice, I think she is stronger than any of us”
“Yes you wonder and yes I am, I am, no more fear I am, I am..I” Paulo turned and held his finger gently to her lips.
“It’s okay Serena” then turning to Giovanni “She still seems not to be able to control her thoughts well”
Serena lent past Paulo and drew her finger slowly down Giovanni’s face watching as the wrinkles deformed around the pressure, her grey eyes locked with his and poured within him.
A moment passed and the old monk coughed suddenly covering his head with his hood and turning away. “Hmm…take her to eat we will start soon” His voice sounded broken and he quickly hurried off down the passage.
Paulo looked at her for a moment and then led her on towards the hall.
The centre of the monastery was a large vaulted hall with a simple alter at one end and the entrance doors at the other, within the large orange stone room there were two long tables with benches either side, he took her to one of the tables and once she was sitting left to recover breakfast.
Serena tilted her head backwards and stared at the ceiling, streams of thin golden light crept across the stones slowly flowing towards the alter where shadows and echoes of light and vibration coated the walls in a complex matrix of layers.
“Obscure, never knowing but hoped for faith that leads on paths and ways all so different all so temporary, beauty from not knowing.”
She let her hand slide over the rough wood of the table all of it’s time washed over her both past and potential future. She smiled and threw her head back laughing until the hall rang with the sound.
Paulo came rushing back in, two bowls and a plate in his hands.
“Serena! They will question your sanity, please”
“No not fear, never been a reason…everything, even me” She smiled at him again.
Paulo placed the food on the table and lifted her hood back over her head, sitting next to her all he could see was her mouth and nose peeking from below the black hood so white in contrast as to make her look like a statue, a slight smile still curled the corner of her mouth as she examined the steaming porridge.
They ate in silence as other monks slowly came and went.
Finally once they had finished Giovanni came back and with Paulo’s help lead Serena towards the alter, heavy curtains were drawn across the small alcove where it stood and she was seated by it.
Presently the other monks opened the doors and a small precession of local villagers entered the hall with heads bowed in silent reverence, the doors were quickly closed behind them against the cold wind that howled outside.
Within the curtains Serena shuffles nervously looking up at Paulo for reassurance like a child eager to play with a new toy, Paulo smiles back at her and presses his finger to his lips.
Eventually Giovanni leads the first villager within the curtains, he is a strong looking man who stands straight and broad but his eyes look tired and despite the cold within the hall a slight sweat covers his brow.
His right arm is loosely bandaged with linen which has clearly soaked up much blood for at least two or three days.
Once his wounds are unwrapped it’s obvious his arm is rotting. Paulo forces himself not to choke at the smell, but Serena beams once she sees it almost jumping from her seat she approaches the man looking at him as if he were her father.
The man though respectful looks at her with caution and fear, looking around at Giovanni and Paulo for reassurance, they smile back at him with calmness despite the fear they both feel.
Serena takes the mans arm without hesitation and holding it gently with both hands closes her eyes for a moment, within she feels a rush of light pain burns through her back and shoulders, though unseen by those around her due to the robe for a moment her heels lift from the ground leaving nothing but the tips of her toes touching the cold stone and then as she settles she breathes out over the mans arm.
As her breath passes over the jagged and torn flesh it folds back into place, the puss and blood recede and the scars fade. The mans eyes go wide as he watches his arm be healed and feels the creeping sickness fade within him, his heart begins to beat regularly and strongly and a deep glowing joy seems to flow into him from his head.
Serena lets his arm go and giggles as she does a small twirl before Paulo catches her and returns her to her seat.
Giovanni quickly leads the man from the curtains whispering blessings into his ear.
Soon another villager is lead in this time a young girl her face marked with worry and her eyes locked on the ceiling as she mutters prayers.
As soon as Serena sees her she rushes over weeping and laughing with unashamed joy, dropping to her knees she presses her head tightly to the girls stomach clasping her arms round her legs.
The girl shocked by the suddenness of Serena’s movements gasps and tries to back away until Paulo places his hand on her shoulder.
“Fear not” he looks into her tearful eyes with reassurance and confidence.
Serena looks up while still pressing her self as hard as she can into the girl, her eyes are streaming with tears her face shining with a smile.
“Pouring in so much, so much! Mother, wondrous mother” Turning her face forwards she once again turns within and after a moment breathes into the girls stomach.
The girl who had felt ill and while hoping hadn’t know for sure was also weeping and when she felt the breath it was as if she could feel every part of her own body as it wrapped it’s self around the tiny new life within her, as this sensation engulfed her she collapsed around Serena and the two wept with joy for a few moments until Paulo gestured to another monk to lead her out.
Serena returned to her chair grinning her arms and legs never at rest.
The rest of the day went similarly with everyone who came leaving healed in one way or another until finally the hall was empty and Paulo helped Serena out from behind the curtains she was still as filled with joy as ever, but her body was spent and she stumbled down the two or three steps that lead to the alter.
Paulo took her in his arms and carried her towards the stairs.
“If she wakes make sure to give her something to eat my boy”
“I will father”
Back in her room Paulo rested her gently back onto the cot, she stirred her eyes slowly opening. “Air, let me the air, the space vast everything poured into form”
“You want air?...you are too tired to go out side, I’ll take you to the window”
He carried her to the stone alcove that surrounded the window and leaning over her unlatched and pushed it open, he then slid himself in beneath her as they pressed onto the inner window ledge.
Outside the day was fading the dark clouds turning teal high in the sky it looked like a blizzard was coming and the wind was bitterly cold as it whistled past the window.
Serena rested her head against Paulos chest and stared into the coming darkness her face held in innocent grief.
Below a rider approaches draped in black riding slowly over the broken icy ground up towards the monastery.
That night passes quietly as Paulo watches over Serena and she once again tosses and turns all night. By the morning the blizzard has struck and the already cold monastery now rattles and creaks as ice forms around it like a shell.
Down in the hall the stranger sits in a corner watching from beneath his wide brim.
“Who is that father?” Paulo asks in a hushed voice
“I don’t know my son, he arrived late last night, says he’s a traveller…keep her away from him, you hear me boy?...keep her hidden!” Giovanni looks at him with hard scared eyes as he speaks.
The days passes slowly, no matter where Paulo takes Serena he feels as if he’s being watched, she is quiet and calm barely speaking much until the evening starts to draw in, then she begins to act nervously speaking endlessly trying to reach something that Paulo can never fully understand.
Suddenly the hall echoes with a loud crash as the door is thrown open and a figure collapses in. It’s a man weak from the cold and caked in snow the wind and blizzard follow him in and swirl around the high arches making candles and torches gutter.
Outside there is nothing but darkness and cold and the monks hurry to close the doors and bar them. The man carries a child who hangs limply in his arms wrapped in ragged layers the child is all but dead.
Serena breaks away from Paulo and runs through the hall her hood blowing back and off her head her eyes almost glowing white grey in the dull light. The stranger rises from his seat and watches intently as she reaches the man and his child.
For a moment there is no movement just the low muttering of the man as he prays over his dieing child, then Serena who has been standing eyes closed head lowered over the Childs body raises her arm high into the air and grasps something unseen drawing it down to the childs head and tracing a line from his crown to the belly button, then she breathes and the air flows from her far longer than one breath could hold eventually a vague light drains from her breath and the child stirs.
Paulo who had been standing close to her after catching up rests his hands on her shoulders feeling her shoulder blades twitching under the robe.
“Is he cured?” he asks leaning into her ear.
“Was almost beyond, had to give my time…well timed, don’t miss me” As she spoke she looked back and up at him a smile exposing her teeth, she then topples backwards into his arms.
Paulo once again covers her with the hood and carries her off towards the stairs, they reached the room and Paulo pushes the door open with his back but as he turns into the room he is struck hard in the side and sent tumbling into the corner while Serena is grabbed from his arms.
The stranger stood by the door which he kicks closed Serena hanging limply in his grasp.
“So this little monastery really does contain a witch!”
“No! please she’s not a witch! She heals people” Paulo protested rising to his knees.
“She heals a few perhaps, but what of the thousands dieing everyday from famine and disease cause by just such witches spreading their unholy black magic through out the land”
The man flings Serena at her cot and lights a torch near the door.
“My boy you do not know what these creatures are capable of, I’ve seen entire towns burnt to the ground, women, children all dead their souls taken to the fires of hell by these devious beasts”
“Please, please do not harm her…she is so innocent, please I beg you”
“She’s not even human boy! Look!” he pulls the robes from Serena exposing her white body as it lies limply against the wall.
“She has clearly brought herself back from the dead, she is even cold to the touch!”
Paulo springs from the ground and throws himself at the man, but the man is quick and much stronger and turns the boy away sending him stumbling into the opposite corner.
“She really has you under her spell doesn’t she?...heh did she promise you pleasure boy? Or perhaps the spoils once she’s done laying waste to this region”
Paulo grits his teeth looking up at the man with fire in his eyes.
“If you touch her I’ll kill you!”
The man smirks
“Really?...you mean like this”
With a smooth turn the man draws his short sword and plunges it into Serenas heart, as he dose her eyes spring open and Paulo cries out in pain.
But no blood comes from the wound and Serena with a calm expression on her face rises from the cot to stand before the man.
“OH my god!!...you..I”
Serena takes the blade with both hands and draws it from her chest holding it before her on both palms.
“Not in this form, not in this way…soon in the way it must”
The man shocked staggers backwards and falls against the door, Paulo takes this opportunity to snatch the sword and turns it on the man.
Just as the point is pressing sharply into his throat Serena’s voice cuts through the room.
“NO!...you can’t, unimaginable impact…marked, stained…please Paulo never fear only everything…please”
Paulo tears in his eyes arm shaking and taught turns to look at her.
She is unharmed and her eyes pour peace into his heart, he drops the sword and backs away from the man who stares with terror at Serena, for a moment there is silence then he grabs his sword and runs from the room risking the blizzard and quickly leaving the monastery.
The following days passed slowly, Serena spends most of them asleep and the times she is awake she spends with Paulo, while Giovanni paces and stares out of the windows at the cold landscape around them and the distant horizon.
Eventually what they all (save for Serena) dreaded arrived, five riders and a small black carriage with barred windows. They arrived at dusk on a cold and still night the sound of howling wolves carrying over the cold hills.
Paulo wept as they lead Serena out into the darkness she looked back past the large black leather clad figures and smiled.
“I’ll see you later Paulo”
Giovanni held the boy as he shook and tears streamed down his face, the other monks stood silently praying and followed the men from the inquisition outside where they helped Serena into the carriage closing and locking the door behind her.
“Forgives us” Giovanni said into the cold night sky as the men turned and rode away down from the monastery.
In a blank cell Serena sits head lowered on a simple wooden stool it’s been days since she was in the monastery and her time has run out, within she feels different her humanity is falling from her like dust from a statue, her memories of Paulo, the joy in the faces of those she healed, all the strange and temporary sensations of life.
She stands and drops the tattered black robe from her shoulders, runs her hands through her hair letting it fall to her neck, she then unties the cloth covering her breasts letting it fall at her feet. Looking down she studies her human body and then loosens her simple loin cloth, it also falls and she stretches her arms out wide before wrapping them around her and kneeling with her head bowed.
Her back is tensed and her shoulder blades force against the translucent skin.
She breathes one last time and then the dark room is a wash with light as her back tears open, for a moment she is suspended a limp folded human form hanging from a pure burning golden light that arks in all directions sending out waves of intricate patterned sparks and then the light combines, plunges through the ceiling and is gone.
Behind the still, cold body of a young girl is left, pale skin, dark hair and brown eyes.
In the monastery Paulo sitting at prayer feels a warmth run through him and a smile lights up his face, confused he searches his mind and somewhere within he finds her again.