This story is by Jackson J Debruzzi and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
Darkness is a void unknown. Everlasting depths, free-falling into a never-ending abyss for what seems an eternity. A giant roar can be heard rolling through the mountain peaks and throughout mountain valleys. My eyes are open. My ears can hear the thunder. My mind is alerted. My mentor, the wisest wizard, the man with a heart so pure, like gentle waves upon a beautiful plain, filled with flowers of numerous varieties. Grillend, my greatest friend has fallen to the darkness, and all I can hope for is that the glowing light, brighter than any star, will reside at the bottom of his fall. He gave my life meaning, he would always say, “Marcus, your last name is a symbol for the brightest wonder in the sky, the moon, and it means that no matter how much evil has taken hold of this world, you will always be there, among the black darkness, fighting for all the good peoples of this very realm, and that is why you are my pupil, but most of all my friend”. I fall to my knees, engorged with melancholy, the agony, my heart feeds for vengeance. I pull my sword from its sheath, it is soaked in a dry, blackish blood from the previous fight, the fight that took the wizard’s life. The sword must be cleansed before the final battle, the battle that will decide my fate, my ultimate destiny. Within my proximity, I can hear the shifting sound of dirt and in an instant, I arise to my guarding stance. I yell, “who wanders near me, for whatever does, may meet the edge of my sword”!
“You would even slay your old companion, and partner”? The voice is female, but it couldn’t be her. My mind starts to fill with flashbacks of a more beautiful time, when bad things weren’t as frequent. I shall begin my inquisition. I shout “what is your name woman”!
“My name is Feria” she replied slowly. Feria? I thought she had fallen in combat some twenty years ago, my love still lives! My face starts to blush, and a smile slowly summons upon my face, a rarity in these times. I look her in the eyes as she walks towards me and I look to question her.
“You felt it too, didn’t you”? I asked.
“Yes…”, she responded. She then paused for a while, and in her silence tears began to roll down from her eyes, resembling a broken river. Suddenly, a disturbing feeling starts to take hold of me, and her face starts to slowly dissipate as my eyes gradually, but forcefully, come to a complete darkness. I then start experiencing the sensation as if I am flying, amongst the highest clouds, right beside the eldest of the drakes and angels. But, it seems that is not reality, for when I look down it is a pitch darkness, darker then charcoal. I begin to fall, void of any control, my wings have vanished. Fear slithers around in my head, it possesses me. In a panic, I yell for my former mentor.
“Grillend, help me………!” My voice, echoes in all directions, but it is sadly distorted. For hours, I hear nothing, for there is complete silence, where even white noise cannot be heard.
“Please, let it end”? I am tired, I want to be done with it all, the battles, good versus evil, all of it. Finally, a soft voice slips through the darkness and even though all the attempts at speech have been futile, I can hear it clearly.
“Oh Marcus, your acts were acts of righteousness, and none of it will be forgotten, for they have impacted this world in so many ways that you do not yet comprehend”, Grillend responded with a heavenly tone.
“Wizard! I can hear you again, I am relieved, it is a gift to hear your voice for at least one last time”! I responded with a thunderous, but jovial way.
“Grillend, what is happening to me”?
“You have passed on, my good friend, from our old world to the next and I have been waiting for what seems years for your arrival”, Grillend explained. My heart experiences a gut wrenching like feeling, but as if a knife has swiftly pierced through it. I must know where this venture takes me.
“When will this end Grillend? I want to be freed from this hell”! I asked in anger.
“Marcus, it is not a hell, but a path all must take after death, and you will see the light very soon, tell me, do you see it”? He questioned. Just as he asked, a light does appear and the conversion from fear to happiness begins. As I get closer, these images appear, upon the light, that begin to show me all of my quests, all of my failures, but most of all, it was the story of my life, presented right there in front of me. Every possible emotion that can be felt enters me, then leaves, and is then replaced by another. Grillend was right, I have helped so many people, I have saved so much. As the images come to the end and at that moment, I know I am ready to continue my journey. As my body is gently absorbed by the pure light, I hear Grillend’s faint voice come through once again.
“Welcome to the next plane of existence Marcus Moon, there is so much more before you”………