Hey, guys! So I took a short break from "In Love and War", (don't worry, the next chapter will be out soon) and typed up this short story that's been bouncing around in my head for awhile. It is fantasy related, not Skyrim related, so if not allowed simply tell me and I will have no problem taking it down. I hope you enjoy!
Talos Guide You!
“The sky is beautiful,” she told me, her head leaning gently against my shoulder.
“Yeah,” I responded, my voice just as gentle as her own. “The sunsets are the most beautiful from here. I took me years of exploring to figure that out.”
“Is that why you asked to meet here?” She turned her head just slightly so her lavender colored eyes peered up at mine.
I smiled faintly, shyly, a bad habit I had when talking to her. “I guess that’s part of the reason. I wanted you to see it before it was gone. It didn’t seem very fitting to spend our last moments together in the crowded streets of Dunmar.”
She giggled. It was a noise that sent flutters into my chest in only the best way. “It didn’t have to be Dunmar,” she started, a tease in her voice. “It could have been Jannah or Bestel.”
The corner of my mouth tugged upwards into a very slight smirk. “The point is, I’d rather spend my last few hours with you in solitude. Somewhere I don’t have to hear pointless chatter and I can focus on what’s important.”
“Me?” She asked, her voice in a purr. I looked back at the sunset. The burn in my cheeks told me I was blushing. That wasn’t new. Still, I didn’t need to answer her. She knew. We both knew. She giggled again in the sweetest way as she continued, “I’m glad you chose here. I like being alone with you too.”
I stole a glance as she shifted her head back towards the sun, nuzzling against me gently. My smile remained, but I no longer felt the usual happiness that made me jitter. The reality of our situation was hard hitting, and though she was hiding it well, I knew she was just as sad as I. We had maybe an hour left before the end came. One hour before we would never see each other again. That hour was not nearly enough time to say all the things I wanted to say, and yet I found myself sitting in silence. What kind of cruel paradox was that?
If we were to be seen by anyone wandering the cliffsides, we would be considered an odd pair. That wasn’t a concern of mine, however. Everyone else in Evervale would be in the cities drinking, partying, making jokes about the government: the usual things you do when the world is ending. I was a Bludgemont- a hulking, grey-skinned monster that was just human enough to have a vote in society- and she was a Karisote- probably the most beautiful, godlike being to ever grace the world. Historically, our races didn’t get along too well, for obvious reasons, but no one ever listened to history anyway.
“Remember when we met?” She asked suddenly, almost as if our thoughts had been synchronized. I nodded, finally looking over at her again. She sat up, smiling widely. “How long ago was that?”
“We’re coming up on three years now,” I told her, humming contently. “I’ve kept track of the time.”
That seemed to amuse her. “Is that so? I bet you don’t remember how we- “
“It was in your camp,” I started, cutting her off as I tried to woo her with my confidence. “I sunk past your defenses that, might I say, were elementary at best.” She puffed out her cheeks at my insult, but allowed me to continue. “I hadn’t eaten in days, maybe a week? I didn’t have any money to buy anything either so I resorted to looting.”
“You weren’t very good at sneaking. It might have been dark, but Bludgemonts can’t hide in snow,” she giggled, pulling her legs close to her body and crossing them at the ankle.
I chuckled a little. “True, but I was a life or death situation. I didn’t much have a choice.” I turned to face her fully, looking down at her and copying her sitting position. “You found me stealing from your reserves, but you didn’t kill me. You tried talking to me. That was my first clue you were new to Evervale.”
She huffed trying to appear annoyed, but I could tell it was an act. “What if I was just being kind?”
“Everyone kills Bludgemonts,” I responded, shaking my head with a smile. “Besides, your first words to me were, ‘Hi! Are you lost?’” My impression was nearly spot on, causing her to whine in embarrassment.
“I don’t want to hear it,” she grumbled, hesitantly smiling, “because you responded with, ‘Uh, no. I’m stealing your stuff.’ I might be bad at first impressions but so are you.” She laughed lightly, looking away as she ran her fingers through her auburn colored hair.
I chuckled again. “Fair enough.” I smiled softly as I continued. “Regardless, you ended up giving me some food and a place to stay. One thing led to another and here we are.”
“’One thing led to another’ is a lame way to sum up our life experiences, Tybalt,” she cooed. I looked at her, ready to apologize before I saw the amusement in her eyes. I hummed as she said, “Surely I’ve meant more to you than that.”
“Yeah,” I hesitated only a moment. “You do.” This time, it was her that looked away, the pink tint dusting her soft cheeks as the last rays of the sun peeked over the distant horizon. She was an angel. It wasn’t just visible either. It was in the way she spoke and laughed, and in the small kindnesses she performed. It wasn’t just a show put on to entertain me, either. She was like this with everyone she met. I was just fortunate enough to be a part of her daily life.
After a few moments of silence, she looked down at her pouch, rummaging through the contents. “I nearly forgot, I have something for you. It’s an… end of the times present.” She laughed, very weakly, as she pulled a small glass marble from her bag. I raised a bow as she held out her hand, motioning me to take it. “It won’t bite.”
My stubby fingers carefully picked up the marble, turning it this way and that so I could examine it. “What is it?” I asked.
“A memory orb,” she smiled brightly, holding her hands behind her back like a child waiting to be praised. “I bought it when we first found out Evervale was ending. I wanted to save it for the perfect memory, but… I want you to have it.”
I looked at her, my expression one of shock and amazement. “You know how priceless these are?”
She nodded in return. “They’ll be worth nothing after tonight.” She smiled sadly. “At least, for the moment, you can save whatever memory you want.” I started to protest, but she quickly leaned forward, shifting to her knees to get closer. “You just hold the orb in your hand and when you’re ready, you crush it. It only lasts ten seconds or so, so you have to make sure you use it at the right time.”
Her gentle hands wrapped themselves over mine, a kind gesture that I didn’t take lightly. I carefully place my other, much larger hand over both of hers, a warm smile on my face. She looked up at me with an equally kind gaze. “Thank you, Cashmere,” I muttered, forcing myself to break eye contact.
She slowly removed her hands from mine, nodding. “You’re welcome.” She paused, turning herself back to face the sunset and dangling her legs off the cliff face again. “Thank you for making my time here in Evervale memorable.” There was a certain sadness to her tone that I had never heard before. It physically pained me to hear her speak.
As I started to respond, the sounds of distant booming caught our attentions. We looked towards Dunmar, the city a little way beyond the cliffs. Bright flashes of color lit up the sky in large, sparkling balls. “Fireworks,” I muttered, rubbing my neck. “It won’t be long now.” As my gaze shifted back to Cashmere, I noticed her eyes were brighter than normal. They brimmed with tears that threatened to fall at any moment. Before I knew what I was doing, my hand went around her shoulders, pulling the Karisote as close to me as possible. “Are you scared?” I asked in a gentle tone. “It won’t hurt. It’s just like waking up.”
She shook her head with a smile. “I know it won’t. I’m not scared of that,” she whispered in response. Her small body laid against mine. I felt every muscle in her back move as she made herself comfortable on my chest. She took my free hand, setting it in her lap and made herself busy playing with my fingers and tracing the lines in my palm. “No, I’m not scared of dying… I’m scared of not seeing you again.”
I took a deep breath. It trembled more than I wanted it too, but at least she knew she wasn’t alone in her fears. Her head tilted back to look up at me, while I found myself staring back down at her. “We’ll see each other again,” I tried to reassure her, though my voice wavered in an embarrassing way.
She licked her lips, contemplating on asking me something. I brushed the stray strands of hair from her face with the backside of my hand, still rolling that marble between my fingers. She finally muttered, “What’s your name?”
The question caught me off guard, confusing me for a moment. “You know my name, Cash.” I chuckled sadly, tilting my head.
“No, not your Bludgemont name.” She stared up at me with those usually so lively eyes not filled with nothing but defeat. “I want your name- your real name.”
I couldn’t help myself from shaking. Seeing her so weak and broken was a sight I never asked for. I closed my hand trapping both of hers inside. “Kasey Arber,” I responded, trying to steady my voice.
She smiled weakly. “Kasey,” she repeated. My name never sounded to beautiful. She wiggled a hand free from my grasp, reaching up and petting my cheek. “My name is Anna Nicholas. It’s a shame we waited this long to tell each other.” She giggled softly.
I nodded, leaning into her touch ever so slightly. “Y-yeah…” My voice broke again, causing me to frown in discontent. She looked away from me, her attentions back on the fireworks. It wouldn’t be long, I reminded myself. This was the only time I had left with her. As my hand rolled around the memory orb, I had an idea: a small gesture but the only thing I could think to do. I gently took her hand from my cheek, placing it in my own with the orb between us. “Crush it,” I muttered, giving a reassuring smile. “I want us both to remember this.”
Curiously, the Karisote sat up, pressing her hand against mine. Her eyes rested on our hands as a loud crack filled the air. Pulsing white light filtered from the cracks between our hands, letting me know the orb was recording our memory. I took a deep breath before boldly leaning forward. I was never bold, and certainly not fearless, but perhaps with the end of the world moments away, I could allow myself to be careless. My lips found hers easily, as if it were expected and fated to happen. I felt her lean in as well, her small body going as weak as mine felt at the contact. It was the most beautiful and pure feeling I had ever experienced. I was embarrassed I hadn’t thought of it before.
The light between our palms faded, but we lingered in the kiss for a few moments more. She was the one to break away, her face a warm pink in color. She huffed softly, a cute squeak in her breathing. I chuckled, almost forgetting why I became so carefree to begin with. I started to speak but the world became a deadly silent before I had the chance. The sun, moon, and sky ceased to exist. Cashmere and I both looked up, the same feeling of dread knotting our stomachs. I looked back at her, seeing the tears finally begin to drip down her cheeks. “H-hey,” I called over, catching her attention. “Look at me. I want my last visions of Evermore to be of you.”
She smiled through her tears, shaking her head. “You’re an idiot,” she whispered, extending her hand to me. I pressed my palm against hers, watching as our fingers fit perfectly between each other. “This isn’t over, right?”
“No,” I told her, squeezing her hand. “We’ll find each other again.”
The trees and grass shriveled around us, turning to ash before completely disappearing. I felt the stones around us rumble as well, shattering to smaller and smaller pieces. Still, I looked at her, admiring her beautiful sad smile. “I love you,” she told me, the words echoing in the emptiness around us.
I opened my mouth to speak, but the darkness consumed her before the words could leave my lips. I choked on the words in my throat, whimpering as my body was torn away. I was left in the dark with absolute nothingness for only a few moments. Then, I saw the white lettered words on a black backdrop: “Evervale is no longer available. Thanks for playing!”
My hands reached to my head in the darkness and I pulled a helmet-like device from my head. My vision was cloudy a few moments before it adjusted to the lowlight surroundings I found myself in. I set the helmet on the messy table in front of me, leaning up in my chair to ensure I didn’t drop it on the ground. It was both a control and sensory device, so it was pricey, much priceyer than I could afford to replace. As I set it down, my body began adjusting to the real world again. The discomfort in my foot let me know it was asleep. My stomach growled, reminding me that while Evervale food was delicious, it wasn’t enough to replace my meals. I felt water drip from my chin as well, which I traced back to my cheek and finally my eye. I had been crying.
I pushed my chair back away from the table, leaning further forward as I gripped my head in my hands. She was gone before I had a chance to say it back. That hurt. I felt cheated. The game hadn’t given me enough time, I tried to argue with myself as if years with her hadn’t been enough. It was my own fault I had waited until the last minute. I knew it, but it didn’t change anything. She was gone, and I was powerless to bring her back.
My phone buzzed on the table beside the helmet, lighting up the screen in a soft white. I forced myself to pick it up. It was a message from a friend: a real-world friend. “We’re grabbing drinks. Wanna come? We’ll be by at 7.” I looked at the time, which was thirty minutes until.
I reasoned I could mope about or try to forget. I chose the ladder. “I’ll be ready. Door’s open.” I set the phone down and forced myself to my feet. I needed to shower, mostly to clear my thoughts. I took a deep breath as I grabbed some clothes from a pile on the floor, the pile that smelled less than the others, and headed into the bathroom.
Maybe it was for the best. With the game over, I could focus on other things, like girls I actually had a chance with. Cashmere was better than I deserved. She probably had friends outside of the game too. They probably told her she could do better than some random in a fantasy game who wrote poetry for a living. They were probably right. Still, it did nothing to make me feel better.
Another buzz on my phone caught my attention as I undressed. I unlocked it, checking the notifications. I could do nothing but stare at the screen for several moments, my chest nearly failing to contain my beating heart.
“Ana Nicholas sent you a Friend Request.”
This is sick! In the most admirable way possible, of course. Good job on this one, truly well done. This is simply an outstandingly amazing piece of literature.
Oh I could only dream to possess a snippet of your huge amounts of creativity.
Thank you, Cannon!!! That means a lot! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! ^_^
Thank you for giving me something to enjoy. And not just any something. More like some-awesomeness-thing :P
Talos be with ye
My pleasure, Cannon. I aim to please. ^//////^
This is amazing Kendrix!
Thanks, Curse! ^_^ As always, I appreciate your feedback!
That was sweet, kudos on such a nice story
Hehe. Thank You! I'm glad you liked it!
I'm so glad I gave this short story a proper read, Kendrix. I promise I will get to In Love and War shortly, but if this is any indication of what to expect, I'm certainly excited. Reading this literally sent shivers down my whole body and I'm still a little shaken up right now. The amount of emotion that such a short story created within me is hard to describe. It's a feeling of nostalgia and sorrow, in a good way. It's such a "relatable" story because halfway through, I started thinking about Sword Art Online. Yes, I'm prattling about that show again, but I'd highly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet. A lot of people hate that show, but I'd say that's mainly due to the Fairy Dance arc onwards. The first arc, to me, was an absolute masterpiece because similar to this story, it caused such intense emotions to brew within me. It would be selfish of me to request more of this, but a part of me really wants more. However, even if this is the end of this story, I think it would be for the best. It already left such a strong impression on me and sometimes more is not always better. Though I yearn for more, ultimately I'm satisfied with how it ended. Thanks for writing such an amazing piece, I really need to start on the others now.
You still haven't watched Ordinal Scale, have you? (σˋ▽ˊ)σ