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The WeatherMaker - Prince of Light By Lady Lilium Characters: 5133

Updated: 2018-07-11 12:03

'I'll tell you another time' he mumbled.

That night, the two returned to the room they shared together. Valery said that she wasn't tired, and so she and Cam sat on the bed, facing each other as they talked late into the night.

'Do you like ghost stories?' Valery asked him.

Cam raised his head.

'I…' he began, 'I don't…know.'

'Have you never read any? There must have been some in the many books you've read.'

'Yes' Cam answered reluctantly, avoiding her gaze as he sat before her on the sheets with his legs crossed. 'But there aren't that many.'

'Do you know any good scary stories?'

'Not that I remember.'

Valery smiled.

Behind her, her handmaiden Plum was moving about the room silently, tidying around them. Valery reached over to the bedside table, taking a burning oil lamp and holding it before her.

'I know a good story' she said. 'Would you like to hear it?'

Cam's heart skipped a little in his chest, and he suddenly felt a little nervous.

The handmaiden had finished her tidying. She exited the room, leaving Cam and Valery alone.

'Alright' Cam said to Valery. 'Tell me your story.'

Valery grinned wider.

'It is a story' Valery began, 'of a man. I forget his name. Let's call him Sam.'

Cam leant forwards, watching the light from the candle Valery held beneath her, the shadows flickering on her face.

'One night, Sam woke up deep in a forest. The first thing he knew, was hearing a tapping sound. It sounded as if it were coming from inside his head. But he ignored it, and rose to his feet. He had been lying on the cold and damp earth. The forest around him was dark and eerie. He could hear the creatures in the night calling in the distance. But it did not frighten him, and so, he set his path, and made his way forwards through the dark forest.'

Outside their window, the rain began to patter on the glass. Cam spared one glance towards the falling rain, before returning his attention back to Valery.

'Sam fought his way through bogs and thorns and the overgrown wilds in the dead of night, guided by only the tiniest rays of moonlight that shone through the thin veil of the clouds above' Valery said. 'At last, he came across something. In a clearing upon a rock, there was a woman, kneeling and picking flowers. Sam slowed, standing on the edge of the clearing he watched her, uttering a single word. Sister?' Valery smiled. 'The woman hearing the voice looked up. Upon sight of him, she dropped the basket of flowers she carried, hand going to her mouth in shock. She turned and ra

n away; Sam reached a hand towards her. Stop! He cried. But she would not listen. He ran after her, but she was a considerable distance away from him, and she would not stop. She ran over a rope bridge, and Sam without hesitation made to run after her, but halfway across the bridge the rope snapped, and Sam fell into the darkness below him.' As Valery spoke, she held the lantern in both hands before her, cupping the glass gently as the light from the candle danced. 'By the time Sam crawled up the cliff and out of the pit hours later, the woman was long gone, and night was falling again.' Valery paused then, perhaps thinking about the next part of the story. 'He walked for the entire night, until the sun rose, and he found a small village surrounded by mist in the middle of the dark woods. He approached it, thinking perhaps that the woman he had seen might be there. How he longed to see her. But when he stepped between the houses, he found a mob of people waiting for him, and the woman he had been chasing watching from a distance.' Valery sighed. 'They attacked him, driving a spear through his heart and striking him over the back of the head, knocking him unconscious. And when he came too, he found himself in another place entirely unpleasant. He was no longer in the village, but in a graveyard, and not a decent one. Bodies were piled up, and the dead were left where they lay, without being buried. Sam sat up, looking down at himself. He had been stabbed through the heart, yet he was still moving. He had been knocked unconscious, yet he felt no pain, and that tapping, that tapping in his head was happening again, though he didn't know what it was. Sam stood up, looking around. It was a ghastly place he had found himself. But as it had been last time he woke, he made his way forwards, to see what he could find.'

'Did he remember?' Cam spoke up suddenly. 'How he got there, and what happened before he got there?'

'No' Valery shook her head. 'He had no memory.'

Cam bowed his head, falling silent again. He waited for Valery to continue the story.

'He wandered to and fro about the place' Valery went on, 'and here he found many great tombs. Slabs of large square stones sticking up from the earth, many of them were tilted or cracked or damaged in some way. He wandered onwards, descending into a valley, where more of these stones stood. And then he found her.'

'His sister?' Cam voiced.

'No' Valery said. 'Not his sister, but the rotting corpse of the princess, his wife.'

Cam swallowed the lump in his throat.

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