Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Shattered Oracle - III - As Oracles are Wont to Do - Page 9


As Oracles are Wont to Do

- Page Nine -

The young woman lifted a finger-less, leather-gloved hand up to her face and placed her index finger on her cheek. She still stood bow-legged on the balls of her feet to accentuate her almost-juvenile dismissiveness. "Yes-" She feigned introspection for a moment and then lunged forward a few steps. "That is what they like to do. Being all mystical and stuff." She lifted both of her arms up and moved them in waves to emphasize her last few words. She pursed her thin lips into a round shape as if she would begin to make an "Ooooo!" sound, yet remained silent.

Hildger reached out with one of his large hands and grasped the young woman directly by the head. His blackened and calloused fingers seemed to seize the woman's entire skull with a single palm. The mighty hand seemed to dwarf out all of the young woman's features. The back of his hands were covered in a few leather belt-straps he most likely used in holding his forging equipment. His fingers clasped down tighter, with the woman's brown and blond hair sticking up jaggedly between each. Her voice rang out beneath his hand but was muffled heavily. He gave her a push, backward, causing her to land on the side of the bed.

"If you really must know. I was projecting. I felt homesick." Maenthrai closed her eyes and turned away from the two for a moment. She let her arm fall to the wooden top of the table. Her fingers splayed out over the wood, flexing and moving around like tendrils. She clasped her fingers downward, feeling the wood give in under her fingernails as she idly began to scratch at it. She could feel the rage burning up from within her. Her energies were slowly coming back from the exhaustion her earlier astral projection had caused. The rage wasn't directed at her saviors, nor at the presence, she felt while she was in the astral world; the rage was directed — completely — at herself.

"You sent your spirit back to that accursed place?" Hildger's eyes grew wide and he let his hand fall away from the young woman's face limply. He further let his shoulders slump forward and he took two thunderous steps toward Maenthrai at her desk. "You told all of us how dangerous that place is. That the thaekkuz witch still lives there and stalks you and your brother. I remember Thaellon explaining to us just how murderous that witch is." He took a laborious and wheezing breath before he let a tiny question escape his lips. "Why?"

Maenthrai lost control over her rage. She felt her fingers clench tightly at the wood of the desk. The wood itself screamed under the assault of her nails, splaying up ancient splinters and weathered lacquer. Once her fingers were clenched, she hit the table hard, causing it to jump a few inches from the floor. A gust of wind blew in through the open balcony doors and tore several books from a nearby shelf. Each of the books went flying to the floor at the other end of the room. With the bang and supernatural events, both the large man and young woman jumped. Hildger's eyes went wide for a moment, while the young woman lifted her arms to shield her face.

Once the outburst had ceased, the young woman lowered her arms. Her earlier youthful behavior had dropped to a look of concern. She took a step backward and clutched at the fabric of Maenthrai's bed-covers while half-standing against the bed. 

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