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Tag: bring_magdala_back_please

A Song for Bygone Days
A Song for Bygone Days
For Andulhaven
POV: Alexander

It had been too long. It had been hours since the battle with the mimic, and Alexander was exhausted. It had been almost two days since he’d slept, but there was absolutely no way he was sleeping now. Not down here. Even with Cosmo’s illusionary moving platform and shields, and Nephith’s watchfulness, he couldn’t feel safe.

Every tiny noise startled his ears, every subtle shadow caught his eye. He knew his lack of sleep was making him paranoid, but he couldn’t help it. With every centimeter they traveled downward, they were another centimeter closer to where she could be waiting for him. And there was still no sign of Ehrindel save for the scrap of his clothes they’d found.

He just wished the others would listen to him and turn back already. Maybe Ehrindel was dead and they were only headed towards a similar fate. Was it worth it to risk all of their lives just to save someone who was potentially already dead?

Maybe the others know Ehrindel better than I do. I haven’t spent much time with him. But how do we know that he wasn’t on the demon’s side all along?

Alexander’s eyes fluttered closed as he became lost in thought. The sound of a rock tumbling, loosened by the moving platform, jolted him back into full consciousness.

I can’t sleep. I can’t. Not here.

He busied himself with watching Cosmo, who was trying to get his dragon to smell the piece of Ehrindel’s clothing. The small creature was not cooperating, which caused a mixture of fear and haughty satisfaction to rise within Alexander. If Cosmo couldn’t train the dragon to listen to him, it could lead to a disaster that might affect the entire group. But then...at least Alexander would have been right in thinking they should have killed it before it hatched, and he wouldn’t have to feel so bad for trying.

Cosmo gave up and put his dragon away, presumably to bed. He then turned to Alexander, who looked away, not wanting to start a conversation. When he stole a glance at Cosmo again, he noticed the bard had turned his back on him. Relaxing, Alexander began to
think of ways to keep himself awake.

Listen to a song for bygone days…

It took Alexander a few moments of panicking to realize that the voice was coming from Cosmo. He was...singing?

A wave of drowsiness fell over him, and he nearly passed out right then and there.

Cosmo’s singing isn’t helping. He tried to shake himself awake.

Hear the treasured tales shared by friends. Hopefulness will brighten future days. Lest the memories of old times fade.

He gritted his teeth. The song was making him sleepy. Frustration sparked in his cloudy mind as he opened his mouth to ask the bard to stop.

And the coming snow will softly fall, softly as the snow of bygone days.

He couldn’t even get the words out before he’d closed his eyes, slumping forward as his body finally gave in. He realized that Cosmo was trying to put him to sleep, but no matter how much he fought it, he was slowly losing control of his body. His heart pounded for a moment as he tried to move his unresponsive limbs, and then he lost consciousness.
________________________________________________________

“Come back to visit me, my little raven?”

Alexander jolted awake into a world of swirling blues and blacks. He couldn’t move.

“What took you so long? I’ve been waiting…”

There she was, towering over him, her face contorted with a twisted grin that sported sharp fangs. Her horns twisted like tree branches towards the back of her head. He opened his mouth to cry out, but he was entirely frozen, as mute as he was immobile.

Four dark figures fluttered towards her. Two landed, one on each of her shoulders. Even though they looked entirely different, Alexander recognized them as Mi and Fa, transformed into the shape of ravens. They started at him with beady red eyes as Do and Re hovered closer to him, carrying something in between their claws. It didn’t take him long to realize that the object in their talons was the hand mirror he had purchased at the auction about a week
ago.

He struggled to move, but he could only watch as the mirror was lowered in front of his face. He couldn’t even close his eyes.

“Oh, Alexander. Look what you’ve become.”

He was met with the face of a boy who was screaming for help, mouth opened wide as he cried out. Dark feathers fell from his hair as he thrashed about, obscuring the view of his black skin and crimson eyes. Alexander stared at the image of himself, further numbed with repulsion for the boy who barely looked enough like him to be recognizable. If this mirror was supposed to send people to Hell, it must have failed because he was already there.

Alexander!”

He poured every ounce of strength into breaking out of whatever was holding him still, but it wasn’t working.

Alexander!

Anything to get away from this voice…

Alexander, dear—”

Gasping in a breath that allowed his chest to expand, he fell to his hands and knees on something soft. Grass.

“—you must listen to me, really…”

Magdala?

Alexander didn’t dare look up to see if it was really her, for fear of being deceived.

“How long were you intending to stay awake? You really must get some sleep dear, this isn’t healthy for you…”

He heard rustling, as if she were walking through the grass towards him.

“If you don’t sleep, you’ll only get weaker, Alexander. You must be strong if you want to be able to fight this.”

A woman knelt down in front of him. With hesitation, he met her warm gaze. It was Magdala.

“You must be strong so you can protect your friends, too. Being so tired might make you reckless, dear.”

Magdala?” Now that he could speak again, Alexander’s voice rang with a child-like quiver. “I… I…”

She embraced him, and though he flinched at first, he soon relaxed into the hug, and then shuddered under the weight of his tiredness and bottled-up emotions. Magdala rubbed his back while he wept, finally feeling like he could safely release the trauma that had built up inside of him over the past few days.

“You must stay safe, dear,” Magdala whispered. “I will meet you soon. But I need you to be careful until I arrive. Stay well rested, can you promise me that?”

He couldn’t, but he nodded his head anyway, thankful for the encouragement.

After he’d calmed down, he felt a wave of exhaustion crash over him. Darkness crept at the edge of his vision. He didn’t fight it.

“Get some rest, dear. I will protect you tonight.”

Alexander sank into the warm grass, and it covered him like a blanket. Falling into a deep, dreamless sleep, he did not wake through the rest of the night.

END




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