Radiant Prism - The Goddess of Chaos and a World With You [Short]
Radiant Age, December 6, 1115
“Feodora Cicer! Get over here right now!”
My ear was tugged as I was pulled from outside into the kitchen.
“I didn’t do it, mom! Mom, I didn’t do it!”
I complained like the 8-year-old I was. The group of around 20 or so boys and girls all huddled around the door, enjoying my scolding. As I looked up at the scary orphanage mother, she continued her relentless scolding… despite the group laughing…
“That food was for everyone, not just you Feodora! Why do you cause so much trouble?!”
This morning, someone snuck into the kitchen and ate fresh vegetables for dinner. Me being one of the only vegetable eaters out of all the kids… I was blamed. The orphanage mother was so mad that I could see steam sparking from her ears.
She went on and on. All I wanted to do was cry, but… I held back my tears. That’s just what the mean boys and girls in the group wanted. At the time, the boys and girls were targeting me because I was a little different. Later that same day, I was walking by a group of girls.
“Get away from me, Banshee!”
One of them cried out, pushing me to the ground.
Banshee was just a nickname I earned… because of my night terrors when I slept. I would scream at night, and it would wake up the house. When I first arrived here in this orphanage, around the age of 6, they all felt bad for me… they even supported me….
But as time went on… they began to grow tired of me…
And eventually, they isolated me…
“Give it back!”
A new girl with pink hair was being bullied by that same group moments later. They were the worst of all the kids here. They tossed her toy around, keeping it from her. She looked like a dog, running about, chasing her things. It…made me angry looking at this scene. Her cheeks were bright red and her eyes a teary mess. That short pink hair of hers tangled as she fell to the ground constantly in a futile attempt to get her toy back.
“Leave her alone.”
Frustrated, I yelled at the group of bullies.
“Shut up, Banshee!”
The hot-headed one with dark hair walked up to me. She put her nose in my face and pushed my chest. It was then when I first brought it out…
“Stop calling me Banshee!”
My fist faded, and my body heated up. The blood in my body boiled, hotter than ever as I brought my fist back, and before she knew it, the world around us went black. It was like someone turned out the lights suddenly.
“Oh my gosh! Mother! Mother! Banshee hurt someone!”
The purple aura around my fist faded away, and what was left was the blood from her nose. In fear, the other two raced off. Annoyed, I turned to the pink-haired girl, and what struck me was…
…the fear in her eyes.
I tried to speak with her as I reached out my hand.
Before I could say anything else, the pink-haired girl ran…crying to the orphanage mother too. I watched her run from me... like I was... a monster.
It wasn’t long before the orphanage mother came out. She looked over at the knocked-out girl and assessed that I broke her nose. She would have to be sent to the nearby hospital… but I didn’t care.
As for my punishment?
“Tonight, you’ll sleep in the cellar. Learn from your actions, Feodora. We’ll find chores for you to do tomorrow.”
The cellar was cold, and all I had on was a long dress. It is in December; even at my age…I knew this was cruel. But instead of complaining, I rolled on the floor and got comfortable. I was tired, angry, and annoyed… I hoped tomorrow would be a better day.
I faded into the darkness of sleep…
“Hurry up and grab her.”
What woke me up wasn't the fear of the night terrors…but the voices of people. I caught the eyes of the two girls who were bullying me this morning. The one with the dark hair wasn't with them.
They wrapped a cloth over my head and forced me outside.
“What are you doing?!"
“We’re sick of you, Banshee!”
I could feel the ground under my feet change, from grass to dirt, and then to a rocky edge. My stomach dropped as I began to struggle.
“Let me go! I-I said, let me go!”
My body was suspended in the cold air for a bit… it was then I realized how much danger I actually was in. As I fell, my body hit the steep ground, and I started to roll. I barreled down a hill at speeds that frightened me. Finally, I hit a brush of small trees and came to a stop. I pulled the bag off my head and looked about the area.
“Where am I?”
It was dark and horribly cold. I found myself in the dark forest alone. Only in my nightgown with no shoes, I wandered aimlessly. My short red hair was dirty and full of cobwebs. Barefoot, my feet were covered in mud as I looked about the cold forest around me.
I cried out, but my tiny voice couldn’t reach too far. I panicked as I fell to the ground. My feet were cold…
I was only 8 years old. I’ve never been outside of the orphanage, so everything in the outside world was new… and it scared me.
Behind me… bushes shook violently. A growl from a bush nearby caused me to fall over. I brushed off the dirt in my eyes and watched the wolf-like creature emerge. Its body was silver, and its eyes were like fine gold. It looked rich but smelled like burnt wood.
“Is that a… beast?"
The mother would warn me that beasts roamed outside… so they didn’t allow us to go outside the orphanage gates.
It was a beast that roamed the world. The mother at the orphanage would keep us safe from them.
It lunged at me, catching hold of my arm. Its razor-sharp teeth latched on me causing me to scream in pain. Wildly, it swung my shoulder as if trying to separate my arm from my body. Eventually, it let go and tossed me to the side. Now on my backside, I rolled over and attempted to crawl away.
I tried to scream, but it was like I was trapped in a nightmare. I took to my feet, but the beast rushed after me. Before it could lunge at me, I heard it scream in pain. When I turned around to see what happened, a tall man with pure white hair and a large hatchet stood over it. The beast turned into a fine white powder of dust and vanished under his leg.
“She lives another day…”
His voice was cold and grim as it echoed through my ears. He approached as he towered over me like a building. In a dark ominous jacket and a skull mask, the man seemingly looked at me. I was shaken by his appearance.
“Are you afraid, little girl?”
I couldn’t speak as I gazed at death itself. With a large hatchet in his hand, he traced it along my cheek. I whimpered like a dog as my legs buckled, and I fell to the ground. As I clawed at the ground, I felt my own warm blood trickling from my arm.
“What are you doing out here, girl?”
He came closer to me and touched my cheek with his rugged hands.
“Has…someone left you here to die?”
I opened my mouth, but the fear took over. This was scarier than my dreams, so all I did was cry. I don’t know how long I cried either. The world was cold, and I’d never experienced anything outside of that isolated orphanage… And here I was, faced with all kinds of dangers that scared me. I rubbed my eyes, but they hurt from the dirt getting in them. This was the punishment for... being a monster.
I tried to speak but the hiccups broke up my words. Suddenly, a cold sensation, like ice on the skin, wrapped around me. When I opened my eyes, his large arms were around me, holding me in his embrace. Nothing about this man was warm… but for the first time I… wasn't scared anymore.
“We were made to be creatures who aren't wanted, young one…”
He held my shoulders as he faced me. The skull mask obstructed his face, but I could see warm blue eyes piercing me.
“You aren’t fit to live in this world. At this rate… you’ll die a young child.”
He brushed my hair, now a mess from the fall. He pulled the bangs out of my eyes. Even his fingers were like ice.
"Tell me, child… do you wish to die?"
My heart raced at the question. I shook my head from side to side. No matter how much I tried to speak, I was too frightened to.
Suddenly, he lifted me and walked with me in his cold arms.
I held on as we went darker into the forest together… As I looked up to the sky, the moon was bright and a pale blue, but the night was ice cold. The adrenaline faded as I closed my eyes...
Slowly, I drifted off to sleep to the rhythm of his footsteps...
Radiant Age, December 8, 1115
When I awoke, I was on a flatbed. The room was warm and the scary man was sitting beside me. He had his legs crossed as he watched me through his skull mask.
“How do you feel, child?”
I touched my arm that was pulled by the beast earlier. Like a miracle, it was completely healed.
I stated as I looked back at him. In his hand was a dark box.
“Before we proceed, could you do me a favor and open this box?”
I stared at it. It was unrealistically dark. When I touched it… the blood in my body began to rise. As if my blood was being attracted to this, parts of my body were going numb as I curled my hands around it. I put my hand on the top… but it wouldn’t budge.
“It’s not opening…”
He took it from me.
“One day you’ll be able to open it...”
From the side of my bed, he lifted a large blade. It was a silver katana that shined in the moonlight. The glamor of the blade made my eyes widen.
“I will have to teach you... how to survive in this world. One day... when I decide you are ready, you will wield this blade.”
It looked too big for me to hold. Instead of handing it to me, he set it next to my dresser. I gazed at it for a moment before his cold voice trickled in my ear.
“But for now, please meet me outside.”
He stood up, nearly towering close to the ceiling of the room. Slowly, he walked outside, leaving me in the bed alone. The room was dark, so I stood up and rushed outside alongside him.
He turned around and opened a bag next to him. There he tossed a pair of shoes my way. A small jacket and socks.
"Put these on. We're going to be out here for a while."
I did as I was told and faced the tall man once more. They were warm… and it made me smile a little.
Here we stood in a clearing. The moon was above us as we faced one another. It was the next night when he woke me up. I slept all through the day, into the night. And now was his time to show me… how to survive in this cold world.
“You child, are a vessel of the dark spectrum, just like me.”
Coldly, he spoke in drawn-out words. But they felt warm to me despite him being so firm.
“Yeah… I see.”
"We are cursed, you and I. We are born with the dark blood going through our veins.”
He took his hand and pulled off his skull mask. Underneath was a vile face with horrible scars around his eyes. It frightened me as I backed up slightly. As fast as he showed me, he covered it back up. I… was grateful for that.
“You… experience night terrors every time you sleep. I witnessed how horrible those night terrors are for you.”
I held my shoulders, trying to comfort myself. The cold wind blew at my feet and made my body shake. The man spoke up as he continued his lesson.
“You must learn to live with your curse if you wish to survive in this world.”
I held my shoulders all the tighter. If what he was saying was true…I’ll always be tormented by those creatures in my dreams. I faced him as I slowly approached.
“C-Can I… not be cured?”
I begged, but the only response I got was a shake of his cold head.
“Now, you must learn to defend yourself… and the night is your greatest ally, child.”
Suddenly, his body faded into the night, and it scared me. I was alone as I looked about, searching for him. The trees rustled around me… as snow began to fall.
“W-Where did you go?!”
I cried… afraid that he abandoned me, but then… an ice-cold hand placed itself on my shoulder. When I turned around, his tall body lingered over me.
“Mister… you’re back.”
He tightened his grip on me and with force, he tossed me to the ground. My face went into the cold dirt. It was… painful.
“W-Why did you do that?!”
I gripped the dirt into my nails as I got on my knees.
“Because you need to learn how to always be ready to defend yourself…”
He spoke as coldly as ever. Like ice trickling on my skin, I started shaking. It didn’t help that the snow was falling around us too. The ground was freezing and my body began to be affected by the elements. Frustrated, I lashed out.
“I… don’t know how to defend myself.”
I looked at the ground as if it would feed me the answers I needed. But as I sat there like a stone, my stomach was assaulted as he kicked me, causing me to roll over towards a nearby tree. The speed I tumbled at caused my skin to feel like it was burning. My body rolled like a ragdoll. Eventually, I came to a stop as my body hurt all over. I looked at the night sky as my body sat there on the cold dirt, sprawled out.
“I… was never taught how to defend myself. Everyone was too afraid of me to help me!”
I looked at the sky as the flakes of snow melted on my skin. My eyes were already watering from the pain. Now in the shadow of his tall body, I lay there hopelessly.
“Everyone will always be suspicious around you. You are a creature of the night, a dark vessel. You are the only one you can trust.”
He lifted his hand. What was there was the shine of that hatchet that saved me the other night. It reflected off the moon's light. In a way, it was beautiful as it threatened my life. The dread sank in and I was afraid like at the orphanage when I was being bullied. Everything got darker around me when suddenly, I emerged in another place. My eyes watched the area I was watching a play. The man brought down his hatchet, effectively destroying the tree where I was.
His cold blue eyes turned towards me. In shock, I felt my body and I was okay.
“How… what happened?”
I shakily asked.
“You wished to leave, to escape my assault… and your blood granted that.”
He walked over, leaned over me, and nodded.
“You showed me that you wished to live, even if only for a little longer, child.”
He reached out his hand to me. Those cold… lonely hands that took me and carried me the other day.
“And I will grant you the power to live… if even just a little bit longer.”
In the snowy field, we stood in… I reached out and took his hand in mine.
“What is your name child?”
“Feodora… Feodora Cicer.”
I heard a cold chuckle resonate from his lips, hidden under his death mask.
“You can address me as Maxwell.”
He pushed his hatchet into the ground, declaring his name with force.
He was colder than the snow but his words were blazing hot as they hit my ears.