What do you get when you put a depressed me alone in a room on a Friday evening with a bottle of wine and some Celtic music? These two chapters took about an hour to write, from start to finish, with no rewrites or major edits. I should mention that I’m not a native speaker so I was quite surprised when I started writing this in English instead of Estonian. I had to fix my many spelling errors in the morning, when sober again. I don’t know if I’ll continue the story or not so I’m posting the beginning here.
The song that inspired me was Omnos by Eluveitie, whom I had never heard of before.
In the silence of the night a glowing white doorway opened in midair. There were no passersbys who could have noticed the silent, mysterious glow appearing between two bushes in Central Park. Two figures stumbled out of the portal, collapsing on the frozen ground and the portal sizzled and shut behind them.
“That was Hell?”, said Nicci between heavy breaths. Her voice was quiet and shaky. Daniel managed to get himself upright and offered her his hand.
“Well, as our history tells it, some religious fellows got themselves trapped in there around the year 450 and managed to survive for a week before finding their way back and spreading the tale as a religious experience. Somehow the notion stuck and evolved over time.” said Daniel in a controlled tone.
The couple was moving now, making their way between branches. It was the end of November. To a curious bystander they would have looked like any normal sophomore couple, walking in the park to get some privacy from the busy city life. In reality, however, they were anything but.
If looked closely, they both had subtle differences from someone their age. Daniel, being well built and dark-haired, had a barely noticeable scar running down his left cheek. Dark long hair almost reached his deep green eyes. If he so chose he could easily have gone into modeling and made a ton of money.
Nicci was an inch shorter than he, but she too had a subtle edge to her posture. Her movements had a certain elegance to them and on another time she would have glided, not walked the snowy path. Long black curls, stray from their usual position around her face, were whipping around in the cold breeze. Despite the cold weather she wore only a T-shirt and a pair of old rugged blue jeans. They reached the main road leading out of the park and stopped.
“I think we better get to Trish’es,” said Daniel, “we can figure out our next move once we’ve had some rest.”
Nicci made a noise for agreement and they made their way towards the subway station.
A short while later, on the spot where they had first appeared, a second portal came into existence. Unlike the first one, this portal emanated blackness and menace. Three dark figures came out of it and sniffed the air as one. As the portal disappeared with a low thud, the figures started lurking forwards in unison. They had plans for their enemies. The kind of plans that got people killed.
Nicci wasn’t happy. Not happy at all. She threw an accusing glance at her companion. He purposefully ignored her. As if it wasn’t enough for him to be so chivalrous and to offer her his coat (not that she wasn’t glad to get away from the cold) but he had also insisted that she allowed him to hold the protective wards surrounding them. She had enough energy left to do that herself, thank you very much, but no, Daniel had to be the gallant one. He always had been.
They were getting out of the subway and heading towards Trish’es apartment building. After their little adventure in the Hell dimension they needed her help badly. Nicci suspected Thrish to be around thirty, but she had a timeless quality around her so no-one could be quite certain. In addition to being Nicci’s oldest and closest friend, she was also an experienced spellslinger and knew a lot more about magic than Nicci. Her loft was heavily fortified against magical attacks and therefore perfect for their place of sanctuary, to get some rest and food and by the Moon, a hot shower.
It was five in the morning and Trish wasn’t very thankful to be waken up so early. Nevertheless, she tried not to show it as much as she could and that meant only a few mumbled comments about manners and possible future punishments, involving bad breath for a month and green hair even longer. When Nicci mentioned that she had nothing against green hair and even thought to dye hers that one time, she got an exaggerated sigh and Thrish vanished into the small kitchen to get them something to eat.
Trish’es loft was on the second floor of an old industrial building in a not so nice neighborhood. When asked, she said that the place had a good vibe and she liked it here and besides, she could defend herself against muggers well enough. It was true that while worn and plain on the outside, the place was comfortable and cozy on the inside.
She was still muttering silently as she prepared a pot of herbal tea - always a necessity during the visits - and fetched some bread. Daniel and Nicci both used the time to crash on the sofa, exhausted. It had been a long day and a even longer night.
“So kids, had a little tea party again?” called Trish sarcastically.
“Tea party? We were almost blasted to bits, you crazy old woman!” exclaimed Daniel and although the words were rough, he said them with a kind of affection towards her.
“Bits, you say? And yet you are still in one piece enough to disturb my dreams about strawberry dumplings,” came a reply and the woman appeared, carrying some cups, a pot of tea and sandwiches. Daniel grabbed some food and was suddenly too busy to retort.
She grew steadily serious when Nicci explained her their situation.
“You can stay for a while, of course. The spare room is empty and you can rest there. We’ll think of something in the mor…evening.”
They finished their tea and Daniel dragged himself to the spare room. Nicci had a bit more resolve and decided that she needed the shower more than sleep. Just as she had finished undressing and stepped beneath the steaming streams of hot water, the bathroom light shattered. There was a loud banging noise from the direction of the front door. Someone was trying to broke through the protective barriers around Thrish’es home.
They had been found and even with all three of them together the odds were not in their favor.
To be continued?