This is a little unusual, here is part one of this weeks story. Part two coming soon! 518 words right now, a lot more to come.
The big-top was the largest tent on the field, it was not circular like the traditional tents Peter thought of. It looked organic, the walls bellowed and shrank like the tent was taking breath. It had the effect of making the corridors seem very thin, with the walls brushing Alek’s shoulders, or very wide.
The interior was a labyrinthine series of corridors that either turned into rooms or branched, either into yet more corridors or a small room. Most were occupied with creatures undertaking tasks, some tasks he recognized, like the application of makeup and others he had no clue over. The denizens of each room likewise amazed him with a stream of different shapes, sizes, genders and non-genders.
Peter paused passing one room, a creature made of shadows paced backwards and forwards in a room filled with tiny mechanical gadgets and what Peter would normally have thought of as books, but in his mind the word tomes seemed to apply. As he paced he created light with a motion of each hand. Sometimes a ball, sometimes a flame, once Peter thought he saw a skull blossom into green light that danced briefly and fell back to shadow.
The light creation was as hypnotic as the creature; sometimes it seemed substantial, sometimes ethereal. The greater the light, paradoxically the more solid the shadow creature was. Yet in that moment of dimness, where only a faint oil light cast a baleful yellow glow, before he could cast another light, the shadows around him danced. Reaching for him, stretching forward as the light ebbed.
Peter shuddered with sudden unease, though he couldn’t look away. Alek realised he was no longer followed and turned back, he hurried over and glanced in the room, closing his eyes quickly. He pulled Peter away easily though Peter’s muscles fought to keep him still.
“Come, we go.” Alek said softly as they were a few metres away from the room. Peter could move himself again. He realised he was cold, and felt stiff. Alek tugged his arm, and started away, Peter followed after a brief look back at the room.
“Who was that, in the room?” Peter asked as he trotted to catch up.
“She’s an organiser, we have a few, and they arrange…things.” Alek said. Peter breathed deeply for a few moments, attempting to reign in his running thoughts. It almost worked but he still felt cold, his thoughts disorganised, fleeing around his head.
“What is her name, what was she?” He managed, Alek turned, he sighed gently. He slowed down and Peter caught up. Alek looked down at him as they walked.
“In short, she is Grensol, a shadow creature.” Peter carried on looking up at him as he turned away, as though that statement had answered everything.
“I don’t understand,” murmured Peter, “why the lights if they are made of shadow?” He was finding it easier to think now, the coldness fading as he walked.
“Ay. Questions. Enough now, yes. She is shadow, the shadow wants her back, Grensol can never be in the dark. Enough now, nearly there.”
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