Merlin - 16 Eye of the Storm
In the waking dawn, the light waits. Oblique to a tired morning and craven skies, a ceiling of rolling firmaments and tolling rains passes overhead with a breaking between the lands to the east, just enough for a creature to slip beneath the overcast.
Weak and weary quietly they slip into a cabin on a hilltop many leagues from the sacramental battle lodge, with an insatiably despoiled half-respite Nickolas. The breadth of the phoenix’ shoulders two wide to enter the doorway, Ana pushes it outside, tears a handful of grass, and holds it to its beak, demurely it tastes with hesitance and a subtle closing clasping and she enters after them, into a dilapidated cottage of silkworm lines and shadow.
Merlin ignites a candle to read the disorderly dockets and parchments he had swiped from the demon in the nightshade keep. By twisting the wicks as each one catches light, each spouts as if the flame was waiting to escape, the fire quickly consuming the air. Troy kneels and drops his bag with much added relief; Nickolas sluggishly sits as Ana clears an open place of dusty blankets of cobwebs from the area, with Merlin at the other side of the one room cabin, making notes into a very small black book, translating what he gleans in text of his own language. With an appearance of powerful concern, he reads as if looking for a specific point of reference.
Troy: “How does he light those candles?”
Ana sits and begins to get comfortable next to and slightly behind Nickolas and begins to preen and coddle his hair and garb. Whence Troy had asked her, she edged out and put both hands to the sides of a candle on the low table before her, though the top of the candle melts slightly it ignites.
Ana: “You try,” she said. She blows out the candle and sets back into the gathering of old calico quilt blankets and pillows.
Nothing but the candle shaking, as Troy toys with the process, knocking o'er the candle with a rough skill, as his palm reaches against the candle. He looks to Merlin, writing in his small black book, and the book disappears so quickly that he could not discern if he had seen it at all, and Merlin's fingers seem to stretch. He takes another paper, but watches Nickolas foray.
Ana: “This could aid his arrow shot.” she touted.
Merlin: “Yes.” he said not looking up from his papers.
The old house has a collection of books in a dusk ridden wall in the solitary room, putting the parchment into his satchel the strap breaks. He continues to peruse the small library amassed by the previous residents of the countryside domicile, with the thoughts in his mind as loud as the secrets contained in each of the mysterious dustily unkempt and weathered tomes.
Ana: “You should rest.”
Merlin: “I will at the dawn.”
Ana: “Very well, but if you retire we're on the stroll.”
Merlin: “And carry everyone to town?”
Merlin pushes aside the books on the upper shelf and reaches into a niche as wide as the book he pulls from the recession, a grey faded volume with flaking gold embossed label, erstwhile the clerical possession of a wealthy owner, heretofore a discolored remnant of a gossamer spell book.
Ana: “What did you find?”
Merlin: “White Lore…A Light in the Shadow…I'd say that our host studied the craft of the arts.”
Nick: “let us hope that he's dead,”
Troy: “and gone.”
Merlin: “No means give cause in surviving another quandary so soon.”
Phoenix: “Squawk…, screech”
A dark night becomes sullenly cold and eerily dense as the wind lightly knocks the shutters against the panes and lattice. Nickolas looks to Ana sharing an approximate gaze to burgeoning affection; adoration begins to grow between them, broken by Ana looking out of the window unto a new scene.
Ana: “Merlin, you should see the brewing storm.”
Merlin: “I've seen one.”
Troy: “You really should see this one.”
Merlin pauses then walks and turns to look out from the window for what is the cause that accelerates the storm. He exacts a look of harrowed age and lost wisdom, staring with an ancient darkness and silence in his eyes. Each moment of oversight shorter than the last, each thought passing unfettered, he stares unwavering unabashedly, looking out over the cobble stones of the walk from the old abode. They all sit in the house watching the sun strive through the clouds, as the dim light presses the opened draped curtains gathered to the sides of the windows in the dark room, within deciphered moments a dark thunderous wall as tall as mountain summits encroaches, full of lightning and dark stoic rain, an evil dismal and dark barrier.
It rains through the longest day and the water wall comes near, rolling thunder, pouring rain, flashing light across the sky, the shutters flap and the trees sway, and in the valley, a cyclone brews until completion where it arduously ravages any earthly spoils approaching the abandoned hostel where they rest wary and vagabonded.
“A perfect storm,” said Merlin, after giving a sign of acknowledgement. “I will fix that…you fix this.” He tosses the rucksack to Ana; Merlin opens the rickety door of poor construction and little upkeep and turns to Nickolas asking him to join him saying, “Care to battle the rain of the gods?”
As Nickolas sits contemplating formatively, Merlin throws his overcoat to the empty pillowed chair for one, dashes out into the rain and Nickolas wasting no time rushes to join him. Running down into the path, they slip into the overcast storm and dancing trees, cold water falling on the ground and torn leaves flying, even in the arrant cracks of lighting and the echoing sky vast they move barely noticed amongst the clamor, advancing through summative hail. They are as small dark figurines, running through the soaked meadow in the distant pasture to the base of the storm from the lightning gods hurling bolts of white fire from hence anon.
The abysmal water wall has become a bleak stoic slanted slated sky of blood and thunder, their fates vaulted they are taken from the ground by the circling gale, lifted into the tumultuous furor. Soon a light begins to glow from the inner realm of the violently vehement whirlwind storm, the fire within rises to the top, the whole spinning cloud's fervor luminous like a fountain of light. The fierce beacon in the vacuous spiral storm’s center shines bright three times, fading between each burst causing absolution in the storm. In latent flare, one brighter than the next as the light descends, shaking and blasting the water from the turmoil of the storm and lightning rage, when the failing light reaches the sparse bottom, the funnel cloud bursts apart, the vaunted stamina of the storm revoked.