Cythera Summer Chron Challenge

  • Challenge:
    Write a chronicle about your character one year after Dark Mirror ends.

    -Should be at least five hundred words (not that I'll be counting)
    -Can assume any ending (sad, happy, strange, etc.) you wish for Dark Mirror
    -Must contain a mention of Grapper

  • Posting here because I'm breaking your rules. I don't have a full chronicle and I don't have a Grapper. I also don't have an editor.

    The sun had been up, far longer than I had, but I didn’t care. I could hear the others outside preparing for the midday meal, but they didn’t need me. I wouldn’t be missed.

    I rotated the empty bottle I was holding and watched the glass distort the little rays of light peeking through the walls of the wooden shack. I suppose I should be thankful I got a shack instead of a tent, and I was definitely grateful for the bed. Not everyone had gotten one. The Kingdom of Ernheim had not been prepared for a sudden influx of refugees. Then again, the people of Merindor had not been prepared to lose their city.

    How many months had it been? Ten, eleven, I couldn’t remember. Long enough for temporary solutions to start looking permanent. To his credit, the King had been awfully generous, but as time goes on, generosity and patience wear on even the best of men.

    The door creaked as it swung open. I didn’t have to look to recognize the booted footfalls of my visitor.

    “It’s a door. You’re supposed to knock,” I snapped at him.

    “If you cared, you’d get a lock,” Delthoras replied.

    “I can’t afford a lock.” I set the bottle down on the floor. It toppled over and rolled underneath the bed, coming to rest with a clink as it found the others I had left.

    Delthoras was clearing away a place to sit on my makeshift table, the only other furnishing in the room. He put more care in handling my clothes and meager possessions than I had. When he finished, he settled down and looked over.

    “You’ve got something in your beard,” he said.

    I ran my fingers through and encountered something sticky. Without looking, I wiped my hand clean on the bedsheets.

    “It’s a pleasant day outside. Bit warm for autumn.”

    I glared at him. “When did you become so bright and cheery?”

    His expression softened and it took him a moment to reply. “When I convinced myself to let go.”

    I snorted. “I have let go.”

    “You left her a note practically begging her to come after you.”

    “I left her a broken necklace and a crude star chart. Even if she finds them, she can’t read.”

    He tilted his head in that annoying way he used to do when I was about to stumble into a lecture. “Then why are you still here?” he asked.

    “Same as you. I have nowhere else to go.”

    Delthoras shook his head. “I may not know my destination, but every day is a journey.”

    I rolled onto my side. “You’re acting way too philosophical for this early in the morning.”

    He rose to his feet. “Just because I acknowledge she left me doesn’t mean the pain has gone away. I choose to go out there and help because I know if I stayed huddled in bed, nothing will ever change.” He paused, holding the door open halfway. “Besides, all the cute girls are out there, not in here.”

    Now I wished I hadn’t dropped the bottle so I’d have something to throw at him.

    The door closed harder than he likely intended, but it wasn’t the best hinge. I tuned out the footsteps outside and lay on my back, looking for patterns in the ceiling.

    “He still in there?”

    Oh great. I recognized that voice.

    I missed Delthoras’s reply, but it didn’t matter. My door banged open again and Elysia strode in, stopping in the center of my floor. Her black hair had grown out, now reaching her shoulders. She still wore her blue Knight’s cape, though the color was muted from all the dirt.

    “Are you planning on lying around all day?” she asked.

    I knew better than to lash out at her. After all, she was the one who ensured I got a shack instead of a bundle of hay outdoors. It was easier to justify in the aftermath of my battle with Icel, but the glamor of that wore off months ago, and I had hardly done anything to improve my self-image. Even now, my silence spoke for itself.

    She took a deep breath. I knew she was trying to be patient with me, more than she had a right to be. I only avoided her because I felt guilty for always letting her down.

    “Tiernan, this has to stop,” she said. “I need you out there. The King is growing impatient, we don’t have enough shelter for winter, the people are split on where to resettle. It doesn’t help that Maritus’s proposals are stirring up discontent between our people and the locals.”

    “And how would I help with any of that?”

    “You’d help by not stabbing me in the back!” She paused so she could calm down. “I thought all the Knights were behind me, what few were left. But after Myron turned… How can they not see Maritus is feeding them lies?”

    “Lock him up?”

    “I don’t have the authority.”

    “You’re in command of the Knights.”

    “Protectors of the people, not tyrants.” Elysia clenched her fist. “Besides, we’re on foreign soil.”

    “You’re playing their game with one hand bound behind your back.”

    “That’s why I need your help. Whatever else you may be–” she gestured around the messy room. “You’re not greedy for power. I can trust you will do what you say.”

    “That is, if I can get you to commit to anything,” she added under her breath.

    “I’ve been in the middle of power struggles before,” I said. “I don’t really want to jump headfirst into another.”

    She stared at me in silence. Despite her expressionless mask, I knew she was disappointed.

    “That is your choice to make,” she said. “But you can’t stay like this forever.”

    “Sorry.” Empty apologies were all I had left to offer.

    “Hildegard was looking for you. She’s hoping you didn’t forget.”

    “Oh. Right.” Today was the day Samael would’ve turned eighteen, if he had still been alive. His actual gravesite was too far for her mother to permit her to visit, so I had suggested we substitute one of the local hilltops instead. “I’ll take her, don’t worry.”

    “Great, he listens to the ten-year-old,” she muttered.

    “I can stay here if you’d prefer…?”

    Elysia opened the door. “You’ve got five minutes. Any longer and I send her in with a bucket of cold water.”

  • Well that was depressing :(

  • Sorry, I know you all were expecting a Grapper. :(

  • I wasn't expecting a Grapper (though if someone else decides to participate and include Grapper, I will be delightedly surprised ^_^). I really liked reading this scene. It was sad, but it was relatable. I like how it doesn't sugarcoat depression, but shows how utterly helpless it feels. And how well-meaning people try to help, but only end up making you feel guilty and continuing the depression spiral. Very well done! I hope that some day you will finish this chapter (even this chronicle?) so I can find out what happens to Tiernan! Thank you for writing this!

  • @Troyen

    Indeed, the lack of Grapper is truly depressing though it is well-done otherwise.

    It also inspired my own entry.

  • Well, so far you're winning by default as you're the only one to actually post a full chron!

  • @Troyen said in Cythera Summer Chron Challenge:

    Well, so far you're winning by default as you're the only one to actually post a full chron!

    "By default! My favorite way to win!"

    In any case, I'm skeptical that you've actually read it--there was one line I thought would draw a standing ovation from you and yet no comment about it at all.

  • @Selax You had a missed opportunity for a Gandalf quote in place of the "Flee, you idiots!" line. ;)

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