Rotting Alive by Noct | World Anvil

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild
Fri 17th Jul 2020 05:52

Rotting Alive

by Noct

The flowers were beautiful. It was a fact that immediately became apparent to me, standing on this rock that overlooked what seemed like the world's bounty of land before us. Bellamy was absorbed entirely in the reading of his map, as a child in a story of heroism, lost somewhere between reality and fantasy. No doubt, his visions of heroic quests to come kept his mind wandering the cosmos, absentmindedly deciding the course of fate. All this was visible, especially on his faceplate, the eye sockets ever so slightly shifting to assume the shape of a smiling man's eyes. My mind was still enthralled by this strange duo of flowers, purple and white heath, isolated by the rock face if this piece of paradise.
In my mind, Tymbren had always been a land blessed, its inhabitants kind, thus I always compared my experiences to what I came to call home for a short time. With our journey grounded to a halt, our aloof thoughts were once more brought to focus by the voice of a travelling mistress. "Hello? Warriors, please, I need your help." Said the mistress as she approached us from behind, her voice filled with concern and determination both, her form that of a woman of quite comfortable wealth. A human most... Humane. As if an artist abruptly finished his painting, a new one being hastily painted over it, my expression shifted to match that of the Dream-maker, or at least attempted to, as my facial muscles lack any strength or virtue compared to his. We approached the mistress ourselves, now two parties meeting in the middle.
"Ho, young lady. What troubles you?" Is what Bellamy said. Hear not the tales spoken of his manner of speech, for it is certainly most heroic indeed. I quietly traced the Dream-maker, awaiting the answer of the mistress. "My good men, I am named Garnet. I live in a small estate down the valley here, towards the south. I have come upon a treatment for my ailing father, yet I was attacked by wild animals on the way home. My horse fell and my guards were eaten alive by the beasts, now I have no one left to protect me on my way home. Would you be so kind as to escort me? I will pay you handsomely once we are safely returned." A quest! One most honourable and on such an auspicious day! No wonder the tale of Bellamy, the hero of humanity, would grow most glorious through this act of greatness! Bellamy looked at me, concern in his eyes, a silent conversation of mind and soul taking place between. What would have taken millenia, was resolved in a few seconds and with a simple nod, my answer clear to my companion. With what must have been the grace of a deity most brave, a star shining brightly and blinding the rest with the radiance of its valour no doubt, Bellamy spoke his answer! "Uhm. Okay. We'll take you home." WHAT A HERO! my thoughts stunned briefly from the magnificence of his words, I smiled and proudly prepared to defend this mistress with my life!
The trek was... Uninteresting, to say the least. Whatever beasts had attacked the lady before never showed to continue their hunt, nor did we take more than a few hours to reach our destination. And the estate was... Little more than a farm house. With suspicions of soon-to-come treason entering our minds, Bellamy and I exchanged a knowing stare, preparing to defend not the mistress, but ourselves, if need be. Before we were able to enter the farmhouse, the mistress fell to her knees, tears flooding her face with the might of the greatest of storms, her voice cracking and revealing the truth. "Forgive me heroes! I am no wealthy woman, nor am I an owner of an estate. I am but a humble farmer, living with my bedridden father in this quiet piece of land. I fell to no ill on my way here, and I have no reward for you. Please, the only thing I wish is to see my father recover!" With her mind receding to a childlike state, the mistress cried, already mourning the passing of her still living father. With a sigh that could shake the foundations of the little farmhouse, had it not been for his dense faceplate, Bellamy headed for the interior of the farmhouse before he was stopped by the mistress who, in a sudden burst of reason, warned him. "I-I know not what ails him, nor if it is contagious! Be careful heroes!" With these words in mind, I had to step in and take over. "Dream-maker." My tone serious and full of insight. "Let me see what the problem is." Bellamy was, understandably, worried for my health. He placed his steely hands on my shoulders, his iron grip giving me nightmares for the years to come. "If you feel like it is beyond you, then come out. Don't do anything too risky." His voice echoed inside my head as I gave him a reassuring nod, before leaving this act of the story and entering the next. It was somewhat difficult to explain... I do not know what being ill feels like. I can compare it to fatigue through what I have been told, but I have not experienced it, at least, not that I remember.
Stepping into the farmhouse, the smell was rancid, the famished form of an old man lay before me on a small bed. My steps brought me closer to him, my knees touched the floor below, his pain-filled voice barely traveling through the air and reaching me. "Garnet... Is that you?" I was given pause. It had never occurred to me before... But this man was slowly dying before me. No, no it was not the illness plaguing him. It was the curse of flesh bestowed upon all mortals. He was ever so slowly decaying, rotting alive before my very eyes. Becoming aware of this fact reminded me of the depths of the world, a brief memory of a primal fear I had long since forgotten. This will, one day, be me. This will, one day, be Bellamy. This will, one day, be everything. It must not be this way. I matched the gray colored scene of fear and death with a grim tone, my words slow and clear, my intentions laid bare before the old, dying man. "I can give you health. I can give you chance. I can give you time. Most importantly, I give you choice." A long pause followed. What came after shocked me back to my feet, a voice full of heroic determination to match the heavens. "You can give me health but not life. You can give me chance but not fight. You can give me time but no future. You can give me choice... So give me death."
I walked outside, breathing heavily, still shaken by the moment I bore witness to. A man with a spirit so powerful, he would deny everything to have his own way. I had always aspired to be like this, someone to deny everything and everyone if it meant being true to myself. The worried voice of my friend and sobbing of the mistress brought me back to my senses. I weighed my options, the possible outcomes, the burden of sin... "I am afraid it's too late, mistress. Your father has embraced death and awaits the endless, dreamless sleep." The agony of the mistress made itself known to the cosmos through her screams. Her hands grasped at my cloak, her knees bruised on the ground, her face filled with desperation. Despite it all, I resumed reciting what had transpired. "Your father asked me to reveal to you the location of a small stash of silver he kept under his bed. I wish I could have done more. I am sorry." My final words towards the mistress before I departed. I know not what Bellamy said to her before he followed. On the way back to our rock, the one overlooking paradise, I observed more of the flowers from before. Purple and White Heath. What a horrible, ugly sight.
Bellamy stared at me, his eyes piercing through my chest and into my sinful heart. "You lost a belt pouch. Didn't it have some-... Oh." yes, Bellamy. This man had no hidden stash until I made one up. I lied, I made myself a sinner most depraved to grant this man his wishes for he deserved it, his worth would demand even more yet this was all my depraved self could offer. Such a disgusting creature is Noct, of no virtue or ability. With silence being our companion, my mind wandered to a faint sound, one coming from deep inside me. I chased after it, and to my horror I realized it was laughter. This voice in my head laughed, and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughedand laughed and laughed and laughed... It nearly drove me mad, I think I can still hear it. I know now why it laughs. It knows that is fleeting existence I have created for myself is also fleeting... It is also...
*Rotting Alive*