Curved black spirals 3
From the void of the sleepy mind comes the focus loss for daytime work, yet for abandoning the care to evaluate your deeds as either well or poorly done, you are quite redeemed.
A luck had it that one window side was south-east oriented hence the morn did touch their eyelids with caressing golden beams. Daybreak was successful and everyone rising the power of the rising sun to retune aura to natural repellent against mosquitoes. Not really mosquitoes though.
“My mind is bit empty now,” said 2 while yawning.
“Nevermind that,” 3 replied.
Intellectual daggers certainly not fitting the mood of the void, yet a pun did not hurt. A training pun to prepare the folk for stupider jokes to come through the course of the day. So was it written, such was the day.
Well, not really so as they packed they decided to examine one last time the drawers of the main room. They did find a dagger in a drawer. “I swear it wasn’t here before,” said 2. 1 Stepped in to examine the dagger and its nature. Sharp blade of black stone, serpent lining and a knot at the lowest part of the handle. “Let me try it.” He took it to see how it would feel. The moment he touched the knife… nothing much happened. After about ten seconds he started to feel the power of some sort, focused inward and rather calming. “Feels like an obsidian dagger, not that much possessed by itself, we should take it and see if it can cut through spectres,” he said.
“Maybe it will attract them?” asked 6.
“Not much of a reason that thing would find weapons against itself worth hunting,” said 1.
“Well it ain’t silver arsenal to slay vampires,” said 3.
“Who knows how far one can get with weapons to slay ethereal… can you even imagine how to use such? Say you pierce through spectral body and prevent it from advancing through certain area, then what? All you force is that they adapt and change the shape slightly. Hence we bind it to paper and put herbs on it,” claimed 2.
“Well we ain’t got garlics in store forever. We’ve got our packs not that full, so what we’ve got to do is get ready to improvise sooner or later,” 1 replied.
After the musings on strategy they lanced themselves towards the direction they estimated that 4 and 5 have taken the day before.
Falling into void would have been easy. Now getting stuck in perpetual discomfort was less so. What one can count on is that in a dull, time-stretching pain the virtues of theory sort-of vanish. So what was the night’s terror instilled upon 4 and 5? Nothing much they wouldn’t know, video-like reflection of their common fears, creepy creatures crawling around and eating… horrors similar to nightmares really.
New day dawned on them as they woke up. Hut was empty, both of them still bound to those chairs. “How did we dream? What had you to endure?” asked 5.
“I don’t know but all seemed like a challenge to just count on mind’s fortitude, let’s see if we can move, or break free somehow,” she replied.
They tried to move and to the extent of their surprise, chair did not put slightest hint of resistance any longer. “Examine the hut, or flee?” proposed 5.
“It still stands that this place might be the centre of the realm, yet it feels like venturing around would be a good idea,” said 4.
“Perhaps by studying the objects in here we might get some hints on the nature of this realm. Keen observation might give traces of hints on principles that are popular here… look at this,” 5 said as he leaned towards a mirror that had ruby flower at its upper frame. “ Care to see what moves behind your shoulder?” he said as he passed her the mirror.
“Oh sure… now look over there! What is that?” said she and 5 reached out to a small framed portrait. “Looks like a rabbit of some sort.”
“Let me see, oh, it’s a hare.”
“Might be a beloved pet… either that, or some announcer of portals to the wonderland.”
“Might as well have been a witch, this being a shape of an astral body.”
“Care to say who was first: The hare or witch?” said he in a certain way.
“Oh the age-old question. Hares are quick and small-sized, so...”
“You don’t know that for sure, ‘tis a rabbit lore that you cite.”
“Just to tease you a bit, say why would you start a thing like that. Maybe you think of sex too much and do it too little.”
“Just like you keep on buying too many things and earn too little money.”
“Shut up,” she laughed, yet a bit of awkwardness arouse in the air. It had a certain feel to it, woman and man alone together, talking sex.
“So… shall we rush outta hut for some hareoic deeds?” 5 proposed.
“Very well then, we take these with us. Consider them relics,” she replied.
“Please,” he opened and held the door for her.
“Thank you,” said she the lovelier way.
Like poet would have asked: How can you expect woman to hold you a bit if you can’t hold the door for her? Such was 5’s unspoken line of thoughts as they broke free to the garden.
As they walked a bit they reached a more open meadow-like part covered in haze. There they did spot an actual hare. “We’ve got to follow it now,” said 4.
“Sure… does it look like the one we carry?”
“Looks bit browner while the one on the picture is more grey shaded.”
“I trust it changes not much… maybe a complementary to the other one that over there would be.”
“Pairing the hares at all costs now feels a bit harerassing,” said she.
“Well who knows how much we’d learn about the good ol’ ways of the hare provided we’d be not afraid to ask.”
“Aren’t you going too far?”
“Sorry, I’ve got Carried away.”
They breathed in the wet taste of the mist and looked around. Shapes of trees were hanging in the distance. They kept on walking more attentively. Slowing down their pace, just as the hare did. Hopping here, waiting. Hopping more. More and more did they follow the hare barely aware of the meadow getting darker and darker, the gradual way.
Hare took them to a ring marked in the grass, by being stomped down. They entered the circle and the hare, almost in its centre let them approach to a distance of one spread leg.
They tried to observe the animal, but a shape in the middle caught their eyes first. It was attached to the ground and looked like a switch, or a strange jewel. They leaned down squatting to observe it. 4 touched the grass around, yet the switch itself she left alone.
“What do you suggest, dear hare?” asked 5.
They observed the animal, standing still. No response. Temptation bared the urge to do something with it. “Hare shouldn’t be the worst sign now, right?” asked 5. He snatched a herbal pouch out of his pocked and looked at 4 for a glance of silent approval. She nodded and he opened the pouch, pouring dried herbs on the switch.
They looked at each other. They looked at hare. It stayed idle.
“We wander around or we touch?” asked 4.
“In hare we trust,” replied 5. Eager with curiosity and young man’s hot blood he leaned and touched it with his right hand.
They stood and stepped slightly aside.
Hare turned gazing behind them.
“You have to pour your blood on it,” said a soft female voice.
They turned to see a young woman, with curly bright-to-ginger hair. Although being smallel than them, she wore a high wizardish hat. Bit squeezed but the top was aiming up high nonetheless.
“Um… hello. Who are you?” asked 5.
“I am a witch. I got imprisoned here such a long time ago I don’t even know how long have I been trapped here.”
“We are sorry for that. In case you are telling the truth. How did you get stuck in here?” 4 asked.
They observed her aura, face, tonality… she did seem a bit detached, yet everything felt that way in this realm. Her face wasn’t cold. She looked calm and sad. Pretty much how anyone would have been looking in her place if she was telling the truth.
“I agree with you that it would be wiser to not trust me at all. I’d like to tell you my story anyway,” she replied.
“Yes, we’re sorry for being a… bit perplexed around here. We would love to hear your story,” said 5 and 4 nodded the way empathic people would.
“Very well, would you mind sitting down while I talk?”
They sat on the grass and the hare jumped into young witches lap.
“I have been, like you, tempted to explore this ancient site. Manor’s yard and meadows around used to be of great importance for people of the old. I kept digging, digging in the ground all-around at places where my senses told me there was a likely treasure in remnants of some sort. I slept in a cavern with hares. I found few rings and dashed bracelets, few gemstones too. After few days I reached a site of stones, a ruin vibrant with magic. You know, good kind of magic usually dwells in such places, so I lost my guard and rush to examine them, to see if something was carved into stones, it was not so I touched them that I could connect and feel what they were about.”
She rendered herself silent, pet the hare and removed her hat. She put it to her left sideways and the hare hopped in to it.
“I let a dark shape reach me from behind and it got so close it was too late for me to defend myself properly.”
“Isn’t it strange that the energy of stones was not protective enough? Sounds like even stones might had been corrupted,” asked 4.
“Well it might have been a question of building relationships. It was also true I was collecting artefacts without giving much of a recompense to the place,” the witch said.
She turned sad, yet she had a trace of acceptance in her voice.
“The reason we risk imprisonment in this manor is simply the fact, that it is nothing but a stronghold to conquer. I asked hares, I asked spirits that lived thousands of years ago… we made a deal that we give it all, all that we ever held dear that we attempt to take hold of this place. Now, why did you come here?”
After a bit of perplexed gazing at each other, they talked about not being really sure what was the deal that 1 stroke with a mysterious man. So the witch nodded, compassionately, turning her gaze back at the switch.
Two hours have they been searching far and wide the base floor and all doors that seemed to have been opened by 4 and 5, and also those that remained untouched. One room was more of a golden blessed, shining brightly through southern window and having lots of yellow to golden objects such as old maps, compass on the table… books with golden lining in shelves. As they observed the opened compass it began spinning. “What the...” said 3 and the spinning ceased. They all leaned closer to it, without touching. Then it began again, accelerating. Now it was spinning furiously. It started to spark and produce heat. Newspaper underneath caught fire. Since none fancied to lose water, 1 snatched a blanket from sofa and suffocated the fire. “A prankster’s compass, where is the direction it wants to lead you? Who knows, who dares to follow?” said 3.
“It certainly did not discourage us to examine this room further,” proposed 2 as she reached to the bookshelf. She snatched a book and opened in right on that fire-extinguishing blanket. Geometric figures resembled high calculations of Ancient Egypt as well as practical complexity of pentacles from Solomon’s key, yet they seemed to have some austerity hovering above them.
For bright moment she saw red clouds around the scriptures, like a morning haze in the valley seen from the mountain tops.
“This feels evil,” she claimed.
“Are we going to process this room that our friends clearly did not even visit any further, or are we going to look for them?” proposed 6 nervously, annoyed.
They turned to leave, before crossing the door 2 saw a newspaper title stating 6 people died in abandoned cemetery.
As they returned to couloir a giant raven was blocking their path so that they couldn’t advance any deeper. They snatched out some weapons – sacred water from spring, obsidian dagger newly discovered, herbs and 3 lit a torch made of old cloth soaked in lamp oil. The raven did shriek turning its eyes to blazing red. Rushed towards them as if to take flight. They all stepped aside except 3 trying to face it with torch. 1 dodged sideways to slice it with the dagger and animal lost few feathers and released a tone of agony just before it crashed to the fiery torch. Feathers got set ablaze and it fled towards the entrance of the manor, leaving 3 tackled to the ground after the collision.
“Well, at least we aren’t facing anything sticky thus far,” claimed 3 as he rose, hiding the traces of pain. Torch was still lit so he picked it… thankfully the moist on the wooden floor prevented the place from catching fire.
What they expected while venturing further was a lurking of dark ones in daylight too. Especially as the couloirs where getting darker and darker. 3 led the group because of the torch being lit. They were passing the strange doors, the same 4 and 5 were when they had reached the painting. One door to the right felt particularly dark. “I wouldn’t want to go inside, yet it gives me a feeling that if we don’t, we might get ourselves a nasty evil behind our backs. What do we do?” 2 asked.
“Hmm… what gives us the certainty that the door ain’t a trap by itself?” mused 1.
“We can set it ablaze,” said 3.
“And who’s gonna breath the smoke out?” asked 6.
“Do we have any staff to poke into it?” 2 proposed.
They kept looking around yet the couloir was too narrow and empty.
“It is getting creepier and creepier in here. Less light will mean greater exposure to fear play and what dwells around will be deadlier,” said 2 with a resigned voice.
“Whatever then,” said 3 and kicked the door open. The door fell into the room as if its frame was rotten loose. Dust arosed and thick darkness devoured all the beams from the torch. They saw none but black void where the light lost itself halfway to having exposed anything. Not even any trace of shape, no furniture, nor floor.
“Now it does look like a trap,” noted 6.
“If we resign here we might as well be running out of options. We can’t enter the void, let us rather proceed deeper into the manor,” said 1.