Floating In Darkness

This dark, water-like fluid has seemingly swallowed the world around me. I float in it, trying to keep both my strength and my sanity. At times most of my body is safely above it, at others I can barely keep my face above. It can only be described as exhausting. Like a battle everyday to maintain a sense of self. The sky provides no clues as to my whereabouts. Even the stars themselves do not show anymore. A spell like no other, or perhaps a disease? Both mind and spirit are assailed by unknown forces seeking to break the walls that protect them.

In the farthest distance a single speck of light. A remainder of the hope that once flourished. Perhaps it could offer an escape someday. In the meantime I continue to float here. The body numbs at times, as if giving up during short moments. After countless days of this I begin to hear a voice. Could it be the very void calling for my demise? Or maybe the voice of a friend trying to reach out? If the possibility exists then I should take it. Where to begin though? A swim in any direction seems pointless and the voice is too faint to make a distinction. My very will seemed to falter against the odds before me. This strange darkness that surrounded me robbed me of everything I might have had. I can’t even remember things from my own past.

That voice still echoed. A scream that conveyed the hope that I could escape this predicament. With it a memory reached my mind. I am a mage of the highest order in a court I do not recognize. A small wave moved me. Something was changing, the light brightened. Then, in a moment’s notice, I heard it more clearly. “Dad, wake up!”, my son, my son was calling to me. A loud rumble began to crack away the darkness. The fluid that entrapped me drained away. Memories of a life lived flooded back with great force.

I could still not move but I was conscious once again. Another mage was chanting a spell, while three soldiers closed in on me. They had not noticed that my mind was free. Slowly I prepared a counter spell. A magic so powerful it blows them away, and protects my son. The might of the magic was rarely seen, but I, Athuriel would not be taken lightly anymore. My dear Ethan, I will protect you no matter what.

Freedom has such a sweet taste. I remember it all now. We have been at war with the neighboring kingdom for almost a decade now. Their most recent attempt at conquering ours was to use the foulest of spells to corrupt our minds. It almost succeeded, if it were not for our strong family ties. Ethan was close to me as I looked out one of the windows. We were near the top of one of the tallest towers in the castle. King Gallard had ordered me here to perform a counterspell but I was ambushed before I could reach my destination. According to Ethan I was frozen by the spell for mere moments, but within the illusion it felt like years had passed. As soon as I reached the top I lifted my hands to the sky and chanted the counterspell. Within minutes many of the soldiers that had become incapacitated rose to fight. Their renewed will and determination was no match for the invaders and drove them away.

When I returned to the courtroom the king greeted me with much enthusiasm. He mentioned how I was in high spirits. I told him that it was because of my son, and how great it was to see him beside me. To this he said, “But Athuriel, your son has been gone for more than a year.” Another flood of memories reached my mind again. When I looked back the little boy that had accompanied me had vanished. It was incredibly painful to realize, but much like before I had learned to live with the pain. Perhaps this is why that darkness felt like it lasted so long. I will see you again someday, Ethan.


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