Valhalla - 1

It was a warm, balmy night. The wind had just started picking up from a light draft to that high-pitched howl that only you can hear. He stood at the edge of the cliff, looking down into the abyss, contemplating that first step towards the quick embrace of eternal darkness.
He'd had enough. He'd done too much.
He could neither sleep at night, nor would his body allow him to stay awake.
His nightmares had crawled out of his sleep and into a sleepless hallucination of reality.
He wanted no more.

It needed to end.

The past four years had been one big war, from the barbaric tribes invading his homeland from up north, to the mysterious scarred scavengers from the wastelands beyond. Ever since his mine workers had started digging at the foothills of the Grey Hills, it had been one misfortune after another. At first, he'd thought that it was just the alignment of the stars. Why, he'd thanked their stars and the four Gods when they'd unearthed the immense crystal rock underneath a landfall of rocks and rubble. It now sat atop the Central Hall at the heart of his hometown.
That was when it started.

That evening flashed before his eyes as if it happened just a few moons back. He had been resting atop his favourite lookout point - a small overhanging piece of land on which stood a massive lone cypress tree - a sole sentry to the town. A few grey clouds in the sky silhouetted against a waxing moon spoke of a warm night ahead. He'd laid his head against the tree and sat there, staring at the vast, empty sky, the murmur of the townfolk sitting down to dinner not-so-far beneath him. Somewhere in the distance, a solitary seagull called out for the last time before landing his wings down for the night. He looked left and out to the Central Hall, admiring the crystal that had become the crown jewel of his clan. How brilliant it looked in the moonlight!
Maybe a little too brilliant, he thought. The moon is at a wax, not enough light for anything to shine as brightly as it was.
Maybe he was mistaken.
Maybe it was the lack of a sound night of sleep.

He looked back up at the sky, settling back against his seat, ready to just drift off to sleep when he heard something that send a chill down his spine and jolted him back to reality.
It was no wolf howl, neither was it the hiss of a viper. It wasn't even the scream of a drunk ravaging some woman unlucky enough to be caught unawares in a dark alley. That was all known and familiar.
This. This was different. It was closer, much closer. Too close even.
The whisper came with the wind, spoke a silent word in his ear, a shivering breath of syllables put together,

He stood up straight, palms sweaty, clenched against his dagger.

All he saw were clouds.


divsi said...

WHOA! This is a brilliant piece of fiction!

Shaunak Mukherjee said...

It'll be an ongoing piece! Keep track :D
Read the other part of the role-play here: