This is a story I wrote based on a dream I had a while back. Kristiene is me, Aelen is a boy I met in said dream... Aniya wasnt there, though we were looking for her... and in the real dream, we first tried to escape through a portal under a bed in a spare room (which didnt work)
I think we ended up in his house after we escaped, and the ending (at kristienes house) is purely fiction. (on a side note, the name the man gives the tree "alumnar malaceia" was made up by me, i can remember what he said, but it was something similar sounding.)
The Purgatory Tree
by: Kylie Harrell
“Are you sure about this?” he groaned as Kristiene pulled on his hand.
“Yes.” She replied as she led him up the steps of the old, stately house. “I haven’t seen her in such a long time…I just want to make sure that she’s okay.” She smiled back at him.
“Fine.” Said Aelenial crossly. He was clearly nervous; his arms were crossed and he kept glancing back, as if he felt someone watching them. Kristiene knocked and no one answered. She tried again using the antique doorknocker. Still, no one opened the door. Aelen shrugged, “Looks like there’s no one home.” He turned, “let’s go.”
“No…” Kristiene said uncertainly as she turned to Aelen. “We really should check on her.” Just then, a small click was heard. She turned; the door was partially ajar.
“Did you open it?” the young man asked. Kristiene shook her head as she pushed the door open. The twilight filtered in the open doorway, casting light upon the dusty floorboards. “I have a bad feeling about this…” Aelen sighed, brushing a stray brown hair from his face. The pair walked down the short corridor that led to the grand room.
The large room was bathed in pale light. Some of the rafters had fallen in. there would be no real need for lighting here. The room was bare except for some sunbleached, ghostly tapestries that eerily fluttered in the light breeze.
“We shouldn’t be here.” Said Aelen in a quiet voice.
“Nonsense.” A husky voice replied. An elderly woman was standing in the hallway. She was swathed in a dust colored shawl, her hair was frazzled.
“Aniya!” Kristiene shouted gleefully, running to the old woman, with arms open wide. “How have you been? I was so worried when you didn’t answer the door.” The old woman looked inquisitively at Kristiene.
“You knocked?” she asked as Aelen stepped up.
“Yes, didn’t you hear us?” he asked. The old woman looked confused and glanced back at her room. “Oh… of course I heard you.” She said beckoning them to her quarters. “I just thought it must have been another beam…” she looked lost.
“Aniya?” Kristiene said, laying a hand on the woman’s shoulder. The old lady snapped back to reality as her eyes came to rest on Aelenial. Kristiene glanced back towards him. He was standing stock still in the doorway of the dark room.
“Come here young man.” Said Aniya squinting. “Let me see you…” Aelen stepped forward nervously. “I don’t bite.” She said to him, “I ‘aint got no teeth!” she laughed hoarsely. She pulled his face down to eye level. “They said you’d have green eyes…”she stated, Aelen looked horrified.
“It’s a trap!” he shouted. Something was horribly wrong. The shadows of the room grew darker. The elderly woman was standing, staring at him… only then did he notice that her eyes were black as sloes… no light… only empty black pits. He grabbed towards Kristiene’s’ arm, “Let’s go! I told you something wasn’t right!” Kristiene didn’t resist or reply. She just kept staring into the darkness. As his hand touched her arm, she fell. Kristiene had fainted.
“Oh crap.” Aelen shouted aloud. He tried to drag her with him, but her weight was too much to bear. “Dang it Kristiene.” He whispered to her pale form. A figure stepped out from the shadows.“What a pity. I never took you for the sympathetic type.” He was dressed in monks’ robes; a hood shadowed his face. Aelen rose from his knees.
“You.” He said quietly.
“Yes it is I.” The figure stated, resting a hand on the old woman’s shoulder. “Lady Aniya” he whispered, “you must be very tired.” The woman nodded. “Oh, but you are already asleep.” He told her as he led her to the dusty old bed. She lay down; “This is all but a dream Aniya.” With those words, she glanced at Kristiene, who was stirring slightly. He thought to himself, “Please hurry… I can’t leave you behind.” More figures stepped out of the shadows, and a crowd walked in through the door. They were surrounded.
A pair of arms grabbed Aelen from behind, and then another. He struggled briefly. The cloaked figure stepped towards Kristiene. With a movement, a flick of his wrist, her body rose to the standing position. Two more figures grasped her arms and held her there. Her eyes fluttered open, “Who are you?” she whispered, a furrow upon her brow.
“Better that you ask who HE is.” Stated the figure as he pointed toward Aelen. Kristiene looked confused.
“Don’t listen to him!” Aelen shouted, trying to break free from his captors. The more he struggled, the tighter their grip became.
“What?” the figure asked, “Have you not told her of your past?” he looked to Kristiene and brushed a long blonde hair from her face, “Or will she be just like the rest.”
Kristiene didn’t understand… what others? Who was this person, and how did he know Aelenial? His touch was as cold as ice. The robed figure glared at Aelen, and said in a voice riddled with loathing, “shall we tell her then?” Aelen looked miserable. Kristiene gave him a questioning look.
“Perhaps we shall show her instead.” He pressed an icy palm to Kristiene’s forehead. Images swam past, a bonfire, frenzied dancing in the harsh moonlight. A figure held a bundle, carrying it towards the flames, a backward glance, a wicked smile… before the small bundle was cast in. a woman in chains screamed and called out…crying. The figure stepped towards her… embraced her. She calmed… and as she smiled up at him, he slit her throat. The blood poured into a large stone basin. The woman’s’ eyes were open wide as she felt her life force rushing from her, as she grasped for the mans’ hand. He pulled away, laughing. He removed his hood and shook his chestnut hair free, his green eyes taking on an eerie cast in the firelight. It was Aelenial.
As the vision faded, Kristiene’s eyes filled with tears. “It’s lies…all lies…” Aelen sobbed. “Kristiene…” Then he was silent.
“Why so quiet?” the figure laughed, “reminiscing on lost memories? You thought you could hide from me… but I’ll never forget. Because of your petty mistake I will destroy you… and your world.” The figures began crowding out of the room, following their leader who had walked out the door. Kristiene and Aelenial too, were forced to file into the grand room. Someone had locked the front door. There would be no escape.
The leader stood in the center of the room, all of his shadowy followers in a ring around him. And like some deranged sermon, it began. A faint humming spread through the room.
“Today,” the figure began, “will be a day to end all others.” Aelen stared at the figure intently. Kristiene watched the scene in horror. “I call upon Alumar Malaceia!” the room went quiet. Aelen gasped slightly, “The Purgatory Tree.”
The color had drained from his face; he had stopped struggling altogether. The figure made a gesture with his hands upraised. A large tree grew out of the floor; its roots snaking along the ground… its branches withered and black. It grew to an immense size, straight through the ceiling. The figure turned and summoned a man holding a silver colored dagger. He grasped it and raised it in the air. “With this dagger of iron, I absolve thee!” then with no warning, he plunged it deep within the trunk of the tree. The tree quaked as she drew the weapon downward, making a large open wound.
Instead of sap or wood… the tree was made of flesh, and a sick dark blood dripped from the cut. Another figure appeared, it too was holding something. The cover was removed to reveal a baby. It was like no child Kristiene had ever seen before. Rope-like veins covered its sickly, yellow hued skin. Its purple swollen eyes shifted and blinked lazily. Upon its left eye was a scar, like an upside down cross.
It was presented to the leader. He was going to put it inside the tree! The figure raised the half-dead thing above his head, as he did so, a brown haired figure raced towards him. Aelen had gotten free! He grasped the figure’s hood and shouted “Not this time brother!” the hood fell to reveal a face Kristiene recognized… for it was a mirror image of Aelen. Aelen had a twin. The crowd began to charge, and Kristiene realized that she too was free. Aelenial charged through the crowd and grabbed Kristiene’s hand. He was running towards the locked door! She shouted to him, “We’re trapped! It’s locked!” just as they slipped through the mirror.
Kristiene awoke. She stared wide-eyed at the ceiling as she caught her breath. It had all been a dream? She sat up, and walked to her dressing table. She ran her fingers across her mirror’s fractured surface… if it was only a dream… how was there a bloody handprint INSIDE the mirror’s surface?
“Krist!” came a voice from downstairs, her mother’s. “You’re going to be late for school!” School! She had almost forgot! She rushed to get dressed and grabbed her backpack. Her mom met her on the stairs.
“Your friend Allen is waiting outside.” Kristiene stopped in her tracks.
“Mom? I don’t know anyone named Allen…”
“Are you sure?” her mom looked slightly puzzled. “Hmmm… maybe he said something else.” She shrugged, “either way he’s pretty cute!” she laughed as she walked away. Kristiene ran downstairs and opened the front door cautiously… he had short brown hair… and hazel eyes… but she was sure. It was Aelen.
Also, if anyone has any Idea what the heck the purgatory tree was, please do tell. "Aelen" (the name I made for him) didnt really explain it to me.