“In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood, like a hundred golden urns pouring out the sun.” -Madeline Miller, “The Song Of Achilles.”


Message to Readers

Ugh, I’m tired but I tried with this kind of a lot? So, I do hope you enjoy.

This Is Where You Exit Scene

June 17, 2019

“I’m sick of all these prophecies Rivin,” Adoni said and she slowed her strokes on the dragons head to look at him. “I’m just waiting for you to disappear.”

Rivin laid a hand on the dragon’s snout, its breath was starting to slow now. Getting lethargic and tired like the gold that still oozed from its wound. He refused to look at Adoni out of fear that he might cry if he did. “I don’t think you’re supposed to say stuff like that,”  he said softly, “it may anger some of the older gods.”

“Let them be angry. They’re not the ones being told they have an expiry date.” Adoni seethed beside him and now seeing that she was no longer able to be talked to, Rivin was content to just sit and watch and feel. Soak up all these worldly experiences.

The dragon’s tail curled tight around where they were both sat on the grass and the moonlight glancing off its scales cut across the arc of Adoni’s cheek. Her sword lay unattended by the trunk of a tree, gold glinting on it like poison. A beat thundered in Rivin’s ears and he couldn’t tell if it was the breath of the forest or the fading heartbeat of the beast. 

Adoni did not need to listen for such a thing  to know the dragon was dead. “She’s gone,” she said, “can you paint her?”

“I’ve already got the colours picked out,” he smiled and she managed some semblance of one in return.

“Adoni, I don’t think you should lay on the floor like that,” Rivin said, trying to choose between a shade of brown and another, slightly darker shade of brown.

“Why? Are you worried about my wellbeing?” She grinned but sat down on the stool beside him.

Rivin frowned slightly and slid a finger across the wet floor of the bathhouse .“More like you can’t be looking soggy for the crowds later on.”

She sulked at him whilst he painted. There wasn’t a shade of gold rich enough for the dragon’s blood but he pressed on. He had just finished painting Adoni’s face, made tender by some sort of detached and silvery grief, when a steward hollered for him to get cleaned up.

“No, leave the paint,” they ordered, “the public loves an artsy type.” Rivin did not think that the people of Aurelion would agree with the smear of blue across his forehead but he acquiesced.

Adoni, being difficult, stopped getting ready and stood with her hands on her hips in front of the painted wall in the bathhouse. “You haven’t added yourself in.”

“That’s because I haven’t finished anything yet.” Rivin replied and with a quick clap from a harried steward Adoni was jerked back into action. Rivin made sure to fix her cloak so that it wasn’t inside out.

There was a beat sounding in Rivin’s ears again but this time he was sure that it was his own heart because his vision pulsed ever so slightly at the edges in time with it. He wiped his sweaty palms discreetly on Adoni’s back and one of the handlers glared at him but then quickly changed their mind when their pity welled back up again.

“It’s okay,” Rivin said softly, “I’m only disappearing as to make sure that none of yous do. I mean, what else are ForeTolds good for?” His smile was sickly sweet upon his face and it was like scraping dried syrup off of skin when he relaxed his mouth again.

A hurried apology from the handler and a warranted look of confusion from Adoni before they were up at that damned podium for the third time this month. Rivin leaned experimentally over the microphone. “Hello.” He announced and the cheers from the crowd would have garnered noise complaints had it not been for the fact that there wasn’t a single soul nestled at home to be annoyed by the din.

Adoni ran a soothing hand down his back before she began with the long monotony and procedure that these public encounters always entailed. He happened about 5 minutes in.

He was a solid mass of black shadow that blocked out the sky and made Rivin wish for a sweeter sounding fate. Adoni rolled her eyes as if this was normal, because it was for her, but her posture was stiff and her hand ghosted over her sheathed blade. Rivin found his own fingers wandering towards his sword.

The crowd was silent and so Rivin looked towards this shadow and said “Hello.”

“Hello,” shadow-mass replied. “I am going to swallow up everyone standing here.”

“All by yourself? That’s quite the task.”

“I am made of many different pieces.” Shadow-mass said and just then black droplets started falling from the sky only to coalesce themselves into the twisted creation of some depraved god.

Everything was still until Adoni punched one in the face.

People scrambled and got selfish in their terror.. Rivin gripped his sword with two hands and started slashing wildly. Whenever he caught a solid shadow it squelched underneath his blade before loosing all solidity and seeping into the ground like the earth had never been thirstier. People screamed wildly  and all Rivin could think within his pulsing brain and heart was “Oh, so this is where it happens.”

Adoni was going to be left to fight the Big Bad all on her lonesome just because some second rate villain got lucky with the prophecy lottery.

“Would you-“ Rivin shouted to the sky, “-consider stopping this chaos if I hand myself over?”

Adoni shook her head and gripped his arms when all the twisted creatures stopped for a moment around him but he pulled away like a pessimist from some too bright dream and stared his end in the face.

Like all prophecy children must do at some point.

Oh how she ached when she stared at the painted wall and realized how no successor of hers would ever know what Rivin looked like.

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  • Wicked!

    Ahh pots shit this is so good. I really wish I had the time to read your novel rn but ugh.

    4 months ago
  • Upsidownpenguin

    Looks great! I did notice some grammar errors in the middle though. The piece's clarity has strengthened a lot. Well done, Pots!

    over 1 year ago