MysticWren

Tale of Forgotten Tale

Something felt different… rough.

I could just faintly hear someone yelling. Yelling my name.

My eyes slowly flirt open only to slam shut as bright light flooded my vision. I twist my head and emit a faint moan but found that my cheek scratched something.

How did I end up on the floor?

“Hey? Hey. HEY!”

My eyes immediately snap open as a pair of large hands grab me and I found myself being lifted up and tossed onto my bed with extreme force. I couldn’t help prevent the breath that burst out of me in a whoosh.

“Wake up!” says my father as he crossed the room to my window in a few quick strides. “Did you not feel that?”

I try to work my mouth. “Feel… what?” I say in a harsh whisper.

“The earth! It shook so fiercely I thought the whole house would come down on my head.” He turns his head from the window to look at me. “I am not surprised to find you deaf to it.”

I straighten myself around and sit up. My head is screaming at me, and the light is very bright. I feel groggy and sluggish.

As I try to take in the room, I could see the aftermath of the event. My dresser and shelves have been turned. Many of my possessions now rest on the floor.

My father turned from the window. “Get dressed. We need to check for damage. I will take care of the house, grounds, and livestock. You need to go check the crops and fences.” With that he pivoted and quickly departed my room.

For a moment I just stare at the doorway where my father disappeared.

“Now!”

With a quick yelp I hop off the bed, throw off my night clothes and quickly pull on my work attire.

Dashing out of my room, down the steps, and out the side door I head for the fields. It’s as good a place to start as any.

Weeding through the tall grass I approached the outer fence. This makeshift barrier was put up by my father before I was born. It consists of stretches of wooden planks and cobblestone walls. It does the job of keeping most of the livestock in and identifying the boundary of our land.

As I walked along the fence it seems to have survived pretty much intact. Once in a while I put a board back, or roll a stone into place. During all of these I had to endure the roll and complaints of my stomach for having missed our breakfast.

About half way around is when I come across something new. A cave just outside the fence. Well, it’s more of a sinkhole in the side of a small hill.

I hop the fence and approached the cave’s entrance. Everything seems quiet, but the cave itself is dreadfully dark. Almost as if the daylight did not wish to touch it. I peer inside, but I can see nothing beyond the first few feet.

“Hello?” I call out. Not sure why I did that, nor why I would think anyone would be in there, but I fail to grasp any other corse of action.

Quickly I hop back over the fence and run for the house. Once inside I grab some matches and the lantern. I’m running out the door when I remembered I should check the lantern for fuel. I put everything on the ground, pop open the oil chamber, see that there is sufficient fuel, close it back up, grab everything, and up and away I ran back to the cave.

As I approach the cave my eagerness is starting to fall away. I’m excited yet anxiety is growing. I put the lantern down and fall to my knees all while staring at the cave entrance. Slowly I tear my eyes away and focus on the lantern. I open the glass door, strike a match, and carefully light the wick.

The lantern blooms to life.

Picking myself up I grab the lantern and approach the cave’s entrance. Just on the cusp of the cave I stop, lift the lantern and gaze into the darkness.

The light from the lantern barely illuminates the opening. The darkness stares back. It feels like its pulsing and swirling around in the cave. An almost icky blackness. Standing this close I feel tingly. My nerves are on edge.

With a deep breath I step in.

Nothing.

With a sign of relief I continue further into the cave. After several steps even the nervous tingling sensation fades and I have regained my composure and confidence.

I find that the lantern is only able to light a few feet in front of me, but I continue on. I’ve been traveling for several minutes in what appears to be a slightly downward angle. I presume there have been a few twists and turns since and when I turn to look back, I could no longer see the entrance.

Father is going to kill me. Though the thought is only fleeting since I can muster no concern over it.

As I walk on the walls show signs of prior habitation. Markings, symbols, cut aways all mar the surface of the walls.

Still I press on. In what feels like hours, but surely has only been minutes, I come to see a light further down the cave. It seems strange in that it radiates a bluish hue.

As I get closer I can see that the bluish hue is a strange reflection of the light from my lantern off of a pool of water. Next to the pool sits a stone pedestal adorned in more strange markings. Atop that pedestal sits a large leatherbound tome. The edges of its pages are yellow, and the cover is cracked and faded with extreme age.

I hesitate to even touch it. It seems like it would just explode into dust at the slightest provocation. Still, it would have been a waste to come all this way, skip my chores, to only turn around and get out of there. Though maybe that would be a smart idea…

Stepping forward I stretch out my hand and touch the book. It feels… rough, but sturdy. I put down my lantern, and proceed to pry open the latch and open the book. To my delight it opens easily as if well tended and oiled.

The pages have some form of writing all over them. I can’t read these strange symbols.

Wait.

The symbols are… twisting… reshaping into words. Words I can read.

I quickly fan through the pages until I come to the last one with writing on it. Here the words seem to be writing themselves as if the book is still being written by a ghost.

As the letters mold into something I can understand, something puzzles me.

something puzzles me.

These words…

These words...

Are my own!
Guinevere Wren Hildebrand