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Dust and Light I

It was like walking through a suffocating, never-ending nightmare. Every step weighed heavy on my heart and soul, each beat of dread pounding louder in my chest. The oppressive darkness closed in around me, squeezing me tighter with each passing moment.

My escort, the stocky human guard, seemed to share my unease as he led me towards the throne room where my aunt, Queen Absinthya, awaited.

The sound of his heavy boots echoed off the damp stone walls, which carried the smell of mold and something more sinister – old blood, perhaps. The air was thick with a stifling humidity that clung to my skin like a clammy hand.

His gaze flicked to me, pity warring with fear in his deep brown eyes. Despite his attempts to mask it, I could see the unease in his face as he led me down the shadowy passageways. But I couldn’t blame him. He knew what fate awaited me in that throne room, a fate as certain as the musty smell of mildew clinging to these dungeon walls. I was resigned to my impending doom, even as fear gnawed at the edges of my resolve and threatened to consume me whole.

Breaking The Eternal is no easy feat. It’s painful, excruciating even. You might not even survive it. And even if you do, the energy drain could still claim your life.  The warning from the Goblin lingered in my mind, a grim echo of the dangerous task that lay ahead.

I couldn’t help but shiver at the thought. The prospect of facing such agony filled me with dread, threatening to fray the fragile threads of courage I clung to.

Yet, it wasn’t just the fear of physical pain that gripped me. It was the knowledge that I would never see my family, my friends again. It felt like abandoning a piece of my soul. Despite my attempts to summon courage from within, fear still gnawed at me relentlessly. Fear of death, fear of pain.

And then there were his words, still fresh in my mind, like daggers to my heart. Rohan’s harsh words cut deeper than any blade, leaving wounds that refused to heal. The memory of his scorn, his rejection, haunted me, a bitter reminder of the love that was never meant to be.

But even as I walked the dark corridors of the dungeon, my heart heavy with sorrow and my spirit weighed down by fear, a tiny spark flickered within me.  I have to be strong , I thought, clenching my fists. Not just for myself, but for everyone who believes in me. For in the end, it was not just my own fate that hung in the balance, but the fate of all those who depended on me.


I arrived next to the entrance of the grand throne hall. Along the way, the floor transitioned from worn, damp dark stone to a glossy sea of red marble, extending throughout the entirety of the palace. The human guard who had escorted me thus far handed me over to another and disappeared back into the labyrinthine corridors. The new guard who now aggressively gripped my arm was a towering figure, towering to an intimidating height. His imposing presence was only amplified by his muscular build, hidden beneath heavy, ominous armor that encased him from head to toe.

Gods, he looks like something out of a nightmare! 

His fingers dug into my skin, leaving angry red marks on my arm. I bit my lip to keep from flinching as he dragged me towards the massive entrance of the throne hall. My feet felt heavy and my heart raced as we got closer and closer to the imposing doors.

Each step he took was accompanied by a haunting creak of metal. Only a narrow slit in the helmet allowed me to catch a glimpse of the glowing red eyes peering out from inside. My blood run cold.

As we approached, the massive doors began to slowly swing open with a deep, echoing groan that seemed to resonate through my very bones.

 Stay strong, Aerin,  I silently urged myself, drawing upon the tattered shreds of courage that lingered within me.  No matter what happens, you must stay strong. 

The guard’s firm grip forced me forward, my body quivering with every step. Ahead lay the throne hall, a vision of opulence and extravagance that seemed to mock my lowly existence. The floor, a sea of crimson marble that appeared to bleed into eternity, stretched out before me. But it was the sinister details that truly chilled me to the bone: towering pillars adorned with grotesque carvings, tapestries depicting ancient battles, filled with shadowy figures and fierce dragons. This was not just elegance, but calculated malignance disguised as opulence.

High Fae lords and ladies flanked the lavish hall, allies of my aunt through bonds of greed and ambition. They watched me like spectators at a gruesome spectacle, their eyes tracing my every step. The males’ lascivious glances devoured my body, reminding me painfully of how exposed the scant fabric of my dress left me. The females whispered to one another, their laughter tinged with scorn and their looks filled with disdain.

I must not let them see my fear, I reminded myself as I forced my gaze forward, trying to block out their piercing eyes and mocking whispers.

At the far end of the hall, the throne loomed like a monstrous creature made of stone and dragon bones. It exuded an aura of power and authority that commanded respect and fear. The small, twisted bodies of horrifying fairies sat on every available surface – near the steps, behind the throne, even in the shadows. Their pointed teeth glinted in the dim light and their eyes blazed with undisguised hatred, sending a chill through my entire being. It was as if they were waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

Swallowing hard, I tried to steel myself against the fear that clawed at my insides. My aunt, Queen Absinthya, sat comfortably on her throne, adorned in a daring crimson gown that hugged her form like a second skin, its low neckline and daring slits leaving little to the imagination. Her silver hair was elegantly arranged, cascading in waves around her shoulders. Her cruel red eyes gleamed with sadistic joy as she observed my approach, her twisted smile promising nothing but pain.

“Look at Eryone’s bastard,” a voice hissed. Whispers floated through the air, carrying words laced with venom. “Let her rot,” one sneered. “Let her suffer,” another hissed. “Eryone’s daughter deserves no less.” Mocking, hateful words swirled around me, stirring the cauldron of fear and loneliness inside. Another hiss of voice wished death upon me, their words echoing the sentiment of those who despised my mother, Eryone.

I lifted my chin, trying to project a facade of defiance, but inside, I was crumbling, overwhelmed by a loneliness like I had never known before.

Beside Absinthya, on a smaller but equally imposing throne, sat Rohan. He was as apathetic as a cruel god’s statue, his cold, silver eyes avoiding mine as if I were a ghost, invisible and insignificant. His aloofness stung more than the sharpest blade, making the hall feel even more isolating.

The torches illuminating the chamber cast grotesque shadows that danced on the walls, as if mocking my loneliness.

The High Lord was the embodiment of glacial indifference. His short, rebellious black hair framed a face marked by a deep line of concentration. His eyes, usually a deep blue-gray as profound as the sea, were now almost silver, as if frozen in a state of eternal apathy.

I watched him, searching his face for any hint of feeling, but found only an infinite void. It was as if he were in another world, a world where I didn’t exist. I felt a pang of emptiness, a bitter realization that I was utterly insignificant to him.

Off to the side, a stone table with bizarre symbols engraved on its surface and ropes laid across it looked completely out of place. It did not belong in the regal setting of the hall, it seemed to have been placed there solely for some dark purpose.

Stay strong, Aerin. For yourself, for your mother, I coached myself silently, drawing a deep, shaky breath as I moved ever closer to the destiny that awaited me in this foreboding place.

2 Comments on “Dust and Light I”

    1. Oh my! Sorry for the delay in responding.😳
      Thanks!! 🥰 I imagine him with his hair like this:



      But sometimes he styles his hair and looks like a ‘superman’.😁

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