creatures of the chasm - Chapter 1

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creatures of the chasm

by seepran

Libraries: Fantasy, OriginalFiction

Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)

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Help given with good intentions goes awry, and Ulrin finds himself somewhere darker he could have ever imagined. Trials of Aquella piece for Ulrin, Trellia as the guide dragon. 1210 words, aq271 aq283

                "...and that's why it's called a butterfly!" A bright female voice echoed against the underwater cliffs and rocky walls. A smile rose to Ulrin's lips as he threw his head up and shook his head. The Giant male lowered his head again to his side and the Phin Singer's eyes met his. She was considerably smaller than Ulrin, but she did not let such a minor detail to be a hindrance for guidance. Trellia was clearly proud of her facts, but the other wasn't that impressed.

                "And have you actually seen one?" The male inquired, raising his brow slyly. The sapphire Singer dropped her jaw overdramatically to show her disapproval of such comment.

                "And how do facts have anything to do with seeing one?" She spit back at him in a snarky, yet light tone with a following snort. The male did not grant her a reply as he lifted his head with a smile; and for the first time in hours he became aware of his surroundings. All of that joy and bliss he felt only moments earlier bled from his face and body to the water around them. All of a sudden he felt his skin, cold against his muscles underneath - freezing.

                "Why are we here?" His words came out flat, emotionless. Yet, there was an echo of his voice in the walls - screaming, wailing, begging to get out. Trellia lifted her eyes to him, only to see Ulrin motionless - petrified. His stare fixed into the darkness of the chasm's crevasses, unflinching. The Singer swallowed, trying to keep a sudden feeling of dread down.

                "H-hey, calm down", she desperately tried to mend the situation and tried to place her front fins on the Giant's shoulder. The slightest brush made the large Aqrion flinch and forcefully hit himself against the chasms' wall as he tried to get away from Trellia. The piece in the Phin Singer's throat kept swelling up as she saw Ulrin's deep red eyes in the darkness, as if they were glowing. Dark purple swirls surrounded his neck, face and shoulders as he ominously lowered his head. Trellia knew what those swirls meant, but to her surprise, she felt nothing. No, they weren't for her - they were for him. But they wouldn't help him. They never did. Ulrin dashed towards the female, but stopped right at her face. For a passing moment he gritted his teeth.

                "You got us both killed!" The Giant's voice boomed through the narrowing crack on the ocean's rocky floor. It felt like it was falling on him. From the corners of his eyes he could see pitch black shapes crawling downwards on the cold grey walls. The Singer held her chest.

                "I was only trying to help you!" She couldn't help herself and screamed at his face. She ever only wanted to help and he would never accept it. Tears strayed from the corners of her eyes, glowing in bright shades of cyan and mint green. Ulrin pulled his head back as she pinched her eyes shut. She thought she could help him by bringing him to the thing he fears the most. While, yes, her intentions might have been good, the execution was more than poor. There was one thing she did not realize - it wasn't just chasms themselves he feared.

 

It was the thing that lived within them.

 

                Trellia inhaled and opened her mouth to address her intentions. Instead, she suddenly felt the world spin and found herself upside down on the chasm's floor. She watched as a flipped image of Ulrin swam farther away, deeper into the darkness. She quickly turned herself over and called for him, to no avail. On the other fin, she did not know if she actually heard her, or something else entirely on top of or within her voice.

 

                The walls of the chasm crawled closer to his sides as he swam forward. His fins and tail scraped the stone with every move as he only tried to swim faster. The walls kept closing in on him no matter how fast he swam. The cleft tried to swallow him alive. It had no end upwards - only darkness as far as he could see. A sound emanated from behind him, painting all the surfaces around his body with its sharp screech. It used his name. It wanted him dead. The whole thing felt like a loop, a hallway for a purgatory without an end - until it did.

                Ulrin slammed his whole body against a vertical stone wall next to him to stop his momentum. He stared at a dead end, a path so narrow he could not fit through with large, uneven stones blocking the way further down. He turned around, but there was nowhere to go. A straight wall of fog stood firmly where he had come from. A large creature without shape approached him through, and it... sang a song. Like a siren, its voice melodic with a harmony, cradling twisted undertones, discords and dissonance underneath its polished shell. As its distance shrunk its shapeless being began to form, sending sparks of lightning on the walls and all around it. It came closer, and its monochrome hide sprouted from the thick mist. Its body long and shiny, at the same time slimy and greasy, the creature slithered forward. Its humongous head dropped from the darkness above and as it lifted it from the floor to face the Aqrion, its dozens of duotone eyes opened wide and the hundreds of split jaws bared their teeth. Ulrin could feel his heart and lungs, struggling to keep up, ready to give in. He pinched his eyes shut as the jaws around him closed with a sound he did not recognize.

 

                Ulrin threw open his eyes as he felt a gentle touch on his muzzle. Bright blue eyes stared back at him with a worried look. A line of tears framed their lower lid, sparkling like expensive jewelry. It was Trellia, holding his head up. She let out a relieved sigh. She clearly struggled to come up with something to say, starting something, but abruptly ending it. A concerned smile rose to her lips as she gathered her thoughts again.

                "How do you feel?" She asked, sincerely, with her voice trembling. Ulrin's head was still spinning. Everything was hurting. He could taste iron in his mouth and throat, and its smell filled his whole head.

                "It... hurts to breathe", he finally blurted out. The Singer's smile widened, but its sad undertone did not diminish.

                "It will pass", Trellia said softly, taking her front fins off of the Giant's face and jaw. Ulrin's head dipped slightly as his muscles began working again to hold it up. He looked around him - he was bleeding, but not just from scratches around his body. He was bleeding from the vents on the sides of his neck, as well as his nostrils and mouth.

                "Let's get you up", the sapphire Singer said, guiding Ulrin's gaze up. Light flooded into his eyes and onto the retinae, making him squint and blink profusely. Indeed, there was light above. A saddened, desperate frown framed his face.

                "I'm an idiot, aren’t I?"

                "No you're not. Come on."

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