Dream Whispers

July 12, 2008 at 5:59 am (Fiction) (, , , , , )

Cayden crouched as he passed by the window, not wanting Brother John to catch sight of him as he prayed by candlelight. Brother John did have a tendency to focus on his prayers to the exclusion of the whole world, but Cayden did not want to be seen if he glanced up.

The open gardens seemed sinister in the darkness, those same gardens that were so comforting by the light of day. The voice in his dream, a whisper, somehow frantic, calling for help in a language he couldn’t understand seemed to cast a shadow over the familiar surroundings of the monastery.

Reaching the wall unseen he climbed over easily, and slipped down the hill on which the founding Abbot had seen fit to build his monastery, like a castle overlooking a valley of serfs. This ‘Castle of God’ as the current abbot called it watched over the souls of the flocks, and the bent backs of the younger brothers as they worked the fields, growing the food for the table and market.

Not far from the hill lay a low mound, not much more than the height of two men. the mound was so commonplace in the minds of the people that Cayden had barely noticed it in the four years he had been at the monastery.

He noticed it now however. The reason being that a light shone from the side of the mound and he was certain that he heard merry music, yet so softly did it play that it seemed to come on the wind from the far distance.

A soft, scented breeze ruffled the blond hair of his head. His father had always called him a changeling because of his fairness, so unlike that of the rest of his family. Although they said his grandmother had been in possession of hair like spun gold in her youth.

Under the tousled hair was a concerned expression, his face troubled by the voice in his dreams. He was now awake; he had placed his hand on a thorny branch, so he knew this for a fact. Yet the voice whispered still.

Taking a deep breath, then another, he stepped towards the glow.

‘Cayden,’ a woman’s voice came from the light. ‘You have come.’

He stopped as soon as he saw her face in the light of the lamp. It was hung over the stone lintel, where he was certain he had never seen a doorway before, but that wasn’t what gave him pause.

Her face was more beautiful than any he had ever seen, more beautiful than his imagination stretched, yet he could not guess at her age, she could have been anywhere between twelve summers or thirty, or many more. Her face was unlined and unmarked, yet there was a gravity in her gaze that seemed to make her older than anyone Cayden knew. Even the old Abbot that had passed the year before seemed carefree compared to this gaze.

Then a smile lit her face like a rising sun, she laughed and said, ‘Come, Cayden. Your people call to you.’ She held out her hand to him and gestured. Although his mind was a whirlwind he returned the smile and without hesitation he took her hand.

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5 Comments

  1. MrDeVil_909 said,

    Well, here we go. First post.

    I was initially going for something for younger readers, but Irish mythology is a bit difficult to make kid friendly so the emphasis is going more adult.

    I’m trying to make the language picturesque, but think it may be a little over-written, I don’t want to end up like Dan Brown 😉

    Let me have it.

  2. gazzan said,

    Not bad at all, MrDeVil. 🙂 The imagery is really good, and I had no trouble visualizing the scene. I like the way you use Cayden’s little sojourn to gradually describe the world, building it up as he moves further and further away from his starting point. It works well.

    However, I would’ve saved the fact that he was following the sidhe’s voices for the very end. Sure, the fact that he’s hearing voices is plenty of mystery on its own, but I think it would add more dramatic tension if the reader was gradually filled in as to why he’s breaking bounds, rather than stating it outright. It also fits well with the slow exposition you’re already using for the setting. Finally, perhaps you could use less commas for certain descriptions, combining descriptive elements into single clauses. For instance:

    “The voice in his dream, a whisper, somehow frantic, calling for help in a language he couldn’t understand, seemed to cast a shadow over the familiar surroundings of the monastery.”

    Might be better written as:

    “The frantic whisper in his dream (or “whispering voice in his dream”), calling for help in a language he couldn’t understand, seemed to cast a shadow over the familiar surroundings of the monastery.”

    However, as I said to Kensei, I’ve always been a fan of minimalist descriptions, so that may just be personal preference and writing style talking. 😛

    Now I’m keen to see what this mysterious lady has in store for Cadyn… Part 2 plz! 😀

  3. repline said,

    I really love it. I agree with Gazza, try and leave the “voice” to the end and to keep the suspense you build up. My first thoughts were, why is Cayden sneaking around? What is his motives? Keep me in suspense a little while longer.

    I love your descriptions of the monastary, and the “ending”-suspense is excellent.

  4. MrDeVil_909 said,

    Thanks for the comments guys, really helpful. Now I really need to get cracking on the next story.

  5. newevidence said,

    Very intriguing 🙂 I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

    Anyway, down to the nitty gritty. Overall, you have a good pace and well rounded piece. I feel as though you’re not sure when it comes to comma use, however, as you seem to forget it where it is appropriate and over use it where it is not. This only applies to the first few paragraphs as you seemed to get into the writing process and you move along.

    You definitely have the talent to bring a character to life, hold the reader’s attention and create a whole new world for us to peak in on. Well done 🙂

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