Horror and Thriller Fiction posted April 2, 2019 Chapters:  ...8 9 -10- 

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Healing by friendly hosts

A chapter in the book Breach


by Candace Nola

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

The journey through a world made of nightmares continues for our lone survivor. Desperate to get home.
When my eyes finally opened again, it was not clear if I was alive or dead. I was floating in a crystal chamber carved from black stone, a blanket of yellow moss spread over me. All around me I saw black crystal rock formations jutting up from the cavern floor and down from the ceiling, glistening from within like a fire burned deep in its core. I tried to sit or stand but realized I could not. I was suspended in a fluid of some sort that held me in place. Immediately, I panicked and began to struggle, but the fluid only flowed and rippled languidly with my movements.

After a fruitless struggle, my panic subsided and I looked around again and saw the Jack and Jill's peering at me from the walls of the chamber. Slowly I realized that I was indeed still alive. Then I noticed that I could feel no pain; my body should have been in agony. My left arm had been nearly severed, my face had been battered and scraped on hard rocks. My torso had been clawed by the shadow demon as it pinned me to the ground. I marveled at this. "Where am I?" I said to my fly friends, not expecting an answer.

Almost immediately a calmness spread through my mind. I felt tranquil and serene floating there in the chamber. "Where am I?," I asked again. I spoke softly, almost reverently, and instantly the word "Safe", flashed in my mind. I looked around the cavern but saw no one but the Jack and Jill's sitting serenely above me. "How did I get here?", I asked. Again, an image flashed, robed figures with shimmering arms and hands lifting me from the ground, bloodied and bruised. Other images followed, walking through the volcanic terrain, slender figures holding me gently between them, the cavern entrance, the black sky, the flies following.

"You saved me? Brought me here?" I asked these questions slowly, like I was marveling at something. "Yes", was spoken into my mind once again. Followed by that feeling of calmness and comfort. "Safe, Rest now" entered my thought stream. "How are you doing this? Why can't I hear you speaking? What are you ?" I felt calm, but my confused mind fired these questions off, anxiously needing to know. "Safe, Rest now, all will be explained." A sudden wave of exhaustion spread through my body like a warm blanket and I succumbed.

Time passed as I floated in the chamber. During moments of clarity, I recalled being fed a warm liquid, sipping cool water, recalled the moss blanket being removed and replaced. The entire time, I drifted in a sea of clouds, warmed by the sun, and at peace with myself. The only darkness I saw was when I opened my eyes.

I could not tell how long I floated there, drifting in and out of consciousness. When I opened my eyes next, the flies were there, keeping watch. Looking around slowly, my eyes adjusted to the darkness. "Hello?", my weak voice echoed in the silence. "You are awake," flashed in my head. "How long have I been here?", I asked. "Two moons," came the reply. "Two moons? I don't know what that means." "12 of your days," was the immediate response.

The voice spoke in my head again, "You have been healing in a life chamber. You were badly wounded when we found you. One of your companions found us. Jack Flies, I believe you call them." I could feel the humor that accompanied this sentence. " I didn't know what else to call them." I said sheepishly. The being laughed inside my head, a tinkling sound like crystal wind chimes on a breezy day. " They are very fond of Jack and Jill now", it replied.

"Why can't I see you?" I asked. "We did not want to frighten you further," came the simple response. "Perhaps you are ready to see one of us now?" A small tinge of fear crept up my spine and before it could settle there, calmness replaced it. "No need to be afraid. You are safe." The voice was serene, reassuring. As I began nodding my ascent, a light began to glow in the cavern. Just a small glow to the left of my chamber as if a low spotlight came on. I turned my head towards it, not knowing what to expect.

A figure stepped into the light, in a golden cloak, very tall with very delicate hands, that reached up to its hood and removed it. It revealed a very tall neck that flowed into an oblong shape. The head seemed to droop off of the tall thin neck, like a spoon that had been bent backwards. It was silver, almost luminescent. Wide almond shaped eyes, gazed intently at me, identical pools of gray ringed by silver lashes. Silver hair coated the head and hung down nearly hiding the long neck. A small hole sat in the center of its face, I assumed it was the nose. And the mouth, I paused, looking closer. There was not a mouth that I could see. I stared at the being for long moments. Calmly, I held its gaze, although I knew that my calmness was from the being controlling my emotions.

"How many of you are there?" I asked. "We are many," it replied, lifting one long thin arm and pointing to the far side of the cavern. There under a softly glowing light, stood more of them. As one, they lifted their hoods, their bobbing heads all gazing at me. Each one was identical to the next, in every way, right down to the length of the silver hair. Each stood very tall, with those oblong bobbing spoon heads all turned towards me. Their movement was fluid, like the shimmering liquid that encased me. Hands and fingers appeared as needed, then flowed back into the silver slivers of arms. I knew how freaked out I would be, if the being next to me was not manipulating my emotions. The word "Safe" appeared in my mind, slowly flashing several times.

"Stop that", I said and the flashing word disappeared. "I'm not afraid, you can let go now." I told the one closest to me. Bobbing at me, it complied and my emotions came back in a rush. I did feel some fear, but mostly confusion, and shock. The beings were clearly very different from humans but not scary, rather they seemed wondrous, almost magical somehow. In my mind, I pictured them like the magical elves or fairies of my childhood stories. I heard the melodious tinkling of wind chimes in my head and knew I had amused them.

"Not exactly like your fairies but close enough", it bobbed at me while this thought popped in my head. "How can I hear you in my mind? How is that possible?" The answer came quickly, " telepathic images". It showed me pictures of what it meant and my jaw dropped open. "Are you reading my mind?", I asked it. The being bobbed again, " it is more like reading the pictures in your mind that allow us to communicate with you."

"Can you speak? Out loud, I mean, like me?" I stared at the beings across from me, again the tinkling in my mind. The answer flashed in my head, "yes, but it would cause you great pain. Our vocals are meant as a defense, not as communication." I contemplated that for a moment, confused, but then images of exploding glass and rock entered my mind, blood pouring from the eyes and ears of the monsters that ran from it. "Oh, I see, so no talking then. Got it."

The being bobbed closer, head drooping low over my face, it's gray eyes were intense. "You do not need to speak at all, your thoughts are enough." My mouth opened in a silent "O" as my eyebrows raised and I thought for a long moment. Then, concentrating, I pictured my injuries from the shadow demon and then pictured the moss blanket and the chamber of liquid, trying to ask how they healed me. Images of the chamber of silver fluid appeared in my mind. As the beings placed me gently inside, it rippled and began covering my extremeties on its own. I gasped out loud, suddenly making the connection. The life chamber, the silver blood, the fluid that sustained them. This is why the silver rocks were formed around the dead animals.

The being bobbed closed by, eyes shining bright in the gloom. "Yes, that is how." Images of the weird silver rocks throughout the forest appeared in my head. The animals that I thought were dead, were actually being healed, suspended in their own life force, their blood. The being bobbed again, warm glow spread through my body, it felt like I was laying in a sunbeam. It was pleased. "Correct, little one, we live and we die, but death is not forever here, the blood suspends us, heals us and reveals us anew."

"Anew", gave me pause. "Are they revealed as the same or are they changed? Would I be changed? Was I mutating? Was I turning to a creature from the..." thoughts swirled in my head. The calmness flooded me again. "Calm, little one, you are safe. You are not changing, but you are connected to us now. This is why you can hear us in your mind and how we can hear you. With part of our life force now sustaining you, you carry that ability now."

I frowned. I tried to imagine my next question but grew frustrated and spoke instead. "So, I can read minds now? Everyone's? Human? Monster? Everything?" I began to panic again, and calmness flooded me. "Stop that!" I told it, my brows furrowed in concentration. "I'm just...just processing. Thinking about things, just leave me be for a moment." The being stepped away, quietly observing. I thought for long moments. I was mildly freaked out, but who wouldn't be? Mind reading? telepathic imagery? This could turn out okay, couldn't it? It could help me survive here and in the grander scheme of things, it was a small price to pay for being alive. I gave an awkward suspended shrug, feeling the liquid silver ripple around me and turned my gaze back to the being, accepting this outcome as graciously as I could.

Looking towards my hosts again, I called forth a smile and tried to relax. I thought of expressing gratitude, of thanking them and felt the warm sensation spread throughout my body again. They were pleased. The one to my left, stepped closer, peering at me. I could sense the smile or humor it was feeling, but a sense of excitement was there too. "What ?" I asked it curiously. An image of the Jack and Jill's flooded my mind, buzzing and gesturing and my confused expression. Understanding dawned on me and I looked over at the small group of flies with wide eyes. I grinned at them, suddenly overjoyed.

Immediately, my mind was flooded with their feelings. I felt their concern and relief that I was okay. I thanked them verbally and mentally, thrilled I could communicate with them. My faithful friends had been looking out for me all this time. A Jill stepped closer and hovered down to my arm, her tiny hand settled on my flesh and joy, relief, concern and compassion flooded my mind. It felt like a hug from my mother, and I wept.

Book of the Month contest entry

This is the next part of Breach. A shortened piece of chapter ten, after the demon attack.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by jgrace at FanArtReview.com

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