Fallowfell – Chapter 5

The Undead

Two weeks before Rune got shit-faced

 

 

It had Slept. For untold centuries, It had Slept. When It was last awake and alive, a man called Birger Jarl, one of the last Folk-Kings, had founded the city of Stockholm and was just about to conquer Finland.

 

 

When It was last awake, and alive, the valas and berserkers still walked the earth, and the magic of the Christian god was still weak. Wars abounded. It had fought bravely, and It had died bravely. It hadn’t however stayed dead. Its masters had raised It from the fallow ground, and It had served. In those long forgotten days It had a name, a string of consonants and vocals, which uttered correctly would have meant something. But as the ages passed It had slowly forgotten– forgotten Its name, forgotten Its identity, who It was. In the end it would not matter.Those very masters had commanded It. Commanded It to murder. To protect. To serve. But they had eventually died. Some from fighting. Some from magic. Some even from old age.

 

 

And so It had Slept. Occassionally It had Woken, Woken by the sound of strangle rumblings through the air, the unruly stirrings of the ground. In those fleeting moments It had felt a world changed; a world of metal-beasts, of towers reaching the sky, a world where the leylines had been distorted, suffocated in asphalt.

 

 

But something had Woken It now. Something from the outside. A voice. Calling.

 

 

Come.

 

 

It had moved slowly at first. Rising from the black throne. Knees popping, joints creaking. Its chest had hurt- the result of a dead heart beating once more. Then the blood, cold as ice, had started to flow again.
It struck the earthen wall with Its fist. It struck the wall again once more. And again. And again. There was a cracking sound, and part of the wall caved in. It widened the hole with Its hands and emerged, like a butterfly from a cocoon.

 

 

It cleared the dirt from Its naked body and looked up. The moon loomed pregnant, high in the sky.The moonlight casts Its surroundings in a white light.It stood on the top of a hill, in a meadow.Various kinds of birds were moving around in the meadow, unaware of the dangerous predator staring. On the periphery It could hear the sound of animals moving towards the meadow, curious as to what it is happening. It opens Its mouth and licks Its teeth with a blue tongue. Anticipation is etched in Its face.

 

 

***

 

It sits in the meadow, flush with energy. The birds are its appetizers, the snakes its entres, the racoon a light snack. But the bear… the bear is a full meal by itself.

 

 

 

Come. The voice booms through Its head once more. It thinks about resisting, but it never works. The pain is always excruciatingand eventually It will cave in. It knows this.

 

“Where art thou, Master?”, It intones in a emotionless voice to to the cloudless night-sky.

 

South. Follow the trail til you reach the gully.

 

With the command burning through Its mind It starts to walk through the meadow. The forest is oddly silent. No birds twittering, no chirps from crickets, not even the maggots dare move.

 

With each step through the forest, Its passage becomes more noticeable. A sheet of fog trails behind It, like a cape. As Its feet touches the leafs on the ground, they start to decay and turn into brown mush. Bright foxlights in every color imagineable start to appear around It, embedded in the surrounding trees.

 

It stops before a small body of water and looks down. Gray eyes set in a face neither young nor old looks back. A large bushy beard goes from ear to ear. There is a blue tint to Its skin. It tries to remember a time when It didn’t have a beard, didn’t have have blue skin-

 

Hurry. The word blots out every thought. There is an undercurrent to the voice. Impatient. It starts to run towards the gully.

 

***

 

After running down the trail for maybe fifteen minutes, it reaches the gully. A large metal-beast stands there. Come. It walks hesitantly to it. A… a door opens to the inside of the metal-beast. A voice rings out in the night. “Come in.”

 

It jumps inside. “Here.” Several vestments are thrown at It. Something that looks like a jerkin, but with a hood. Large breezy pants, like something a court-jester would wear. “Wear em. Can’t have you walking around naked now, can we?” The words are phrased like a question, but sounds like a command.

 

 

It obeys and dresses. “What is thy bidding master?” The person sitting in front of the metal-beast chuckles. “Master. I like the sound of that.” The Master does something, and the metal-beast roars. It starts to move, move downward. “Well to answer your question– there are a bunch of people that need to die. You are going to help me kill them.” Every syllable is uttered with a trembling voice, a voice filled with rage- It makes a note of this.

 

 

“I hear and understand, Master.” The Master simply nods. As the metal-beast rumbles down the slopes, It looks out through a clear pane. A korridor of black metal-trees, each one with a crown of branches, branches which have clear spheres hanging like fruit catches Its attention.  “Master?” “Yes?” “What are those….” It frowns, searching for a proper word. …”those shining orbs on the metal-trees?” “Ah you wouldn’t know, would you.” The Master pauses, as if to reconsider. “They’re called lampoles, they’re like braziers, but powered by electricity.” “Electricity?” ” A form of power stored by batteries.” “Batteries?” “Vessels, square in size usually, which holds power that people can access when they want.” “It sounds like magic.” The Master giggles this time.

 

 

“For some people it is magic.” The Master sighs.”There is so much you need to learn, if my revenge is to be successfull.” “I will strive to learn all Master.”

 

 

They drive in silence for some time.

 

 

The metal-beast grinds to an halt suddenly in front of a two-tiered building. The building is set at the beginning of a forest, and it is illuminated by that strange power, electricity. “Is this your home, Master?” “Yes. Now, come on, I don’t have all night.” The Master motions for It to move. They walk inside the building, the domicile and down in a room beneath the foundations.

 

 

The room is barren, white and empty, except for a coffin with chains. The Master points at the coffin. “Get in.” It stops. “Master, after so long in darkness…” The Master shrugs. “Sorry but this is the way it will be.” It stares at the Master and doesn’t move.

 

 

Get.In.The.Coffin. Now!

 

 

The command surges through Its mind, and It lies down in the coffin. “Please… Master… not the darkness…. not so soon…” Be quiet. It stops speaking. The Master raises a lid and entombs It, once more.

 

 

It tries to speak, to scream for help, but the words will not leave Its throat.

 

 

As It lies in the coffin, resigned to be alone with Its thoughts and only the darkness as a companion, It thinks of the lights, and how pretty they are.

Fallowfell - Chapter 4
Fallowfell - Chapter 6
About

Good morning. Or perhaps it is good evening, depending upon your location perpendicular to Greenwhich. My name is Sebastian. I like to write, run, and occassionally grab a beer. Not at the same time though.

Posted in Fallowfell
8 comments on “Fallowfell – Chapter 5
  1. Thaumaturgical_Support says:

    Great update.

    You might mention in your serial description that it’s a fantasy piece. It becomes apparent in the story quite rapidly, of course, but fans of fantasy might not start reading.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Thanks- and I’ve updated the genres. Question though; you didn’t think this POV was jarring? ‘Cause writing was a bitch. Second; I wonder about the labeling, I mean, Urban-Fantasy feels like the proper labeling, Fantasy makes me think more of GoT, Earthsea or Modesitt.

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Sorry not to write back a little faster. I was camping last weekend.

      > you didn’t think this POV was jarring?

      I guess, I thought it was intended to be jarring. Does that make any sense?

      When this sort of section shows up in a bound novel it’s generally a brief snippet at the start or end of a chapter that, early on in the novel at least, has little to do with the current narrative or established characters but works as a sort of foreshadowing to let the reader know things are boiling off-screen. So it does take one out of the story, but in an acceptable way.

      > Second; I wonder about the labeling, I mean, Urban-Fantasy
      > feels like the proper labeling, Fantasy makes me think more
      > of GoT, Earthsea or Modesitt.

      I said fantasy as a catch all. I figure urban-fantasy is fantasy in the same way a square is a rectangle; you can get more precise, but you’re not wrong if you don’t.

      From what I’ve read, this seems most like Young-Adult Fantasy. I can’t be entirely certain of that assessment because I don’t know what you intend to write.

      Young-adult novels almost always have a teenage main character who learns something about themselves, their capabilities, and place in the world over the course of the story. This is opposed to “middle readers” and adult fiction which have character development but tend to be more plot driven. Since YA is so character focused, it tends to be a bit more cross-genre.

      I wouldn’t have called it urban fantasy because the urban environment has not had a large influence on the story and its characters as yet. Again, that could easily change.

      On a side note, in my browser I don’t see newlines between different speakers some of the time. I checked it in chrome and firefox, I don’t have a copy of IE on this system.

  3. Lucie says:

    Re: POV

    I think that switching the POV of the narrative voice sentence to sentence is almost impossible… In the past, I have sometimes managed to swing a narrative POV shift by using a neutral paragraph to transition.

    In this case, I’d try to stick with the present tense… It’s so very primal and conveys such personality! Is there any reason why it couldn’t be: “It sits in the meadow, flush with energy. The birds are its appetizers, the snakes its entres, the racoon a light snack. But the bear… the bear is a full meal by itself.”

    Terrific awakening, by the way.

    I wonder if the servant becomes too modern / verbal, too quickly. E.G. What if its master notices his eyes wandering to the lights (electricity) and volunteers an explanation? I feel like I don’t want to lose the magic of the character you’ve created just yet…

  4. Sebastian says:

    Aaaaah it should have been present tense– embarassing mistake. Will have to fix that. I have changed the words regarding electricity. Rather than noticing light… how about seeing shining orbs?
    I want the servant to ask because Its curiosity will later serve a VERY important.. plot-thingy

  5. Lucie says:

    Orbs are an great alternative – especially from his “ancient” perspective.

    I think I’m reacting to his speaking more than anything. Have you considered using just his curious / inquiring glances and interior monologue to pose question – which would be easily readable by his Master? Just at first. I love the quiet of him. BUT please do as you see fit! You have a story to tell!

    🙂

  6. Eren Reverie says:

    Typo report:
    me kill me them – 2nd me is extra.
    It obeys and dress. – dress’s should be dresses.
    that needs to die – should be need, since the character is talking about a plurality of people. (Unless this is a dialect thing.)

    POV: I like seeing more than one character’s POV, personally. I thought this was an interesting chapter, and foreshadows many possible events ahead. It was also I retesting how you shifted from past to present tense – does that indicate that the second part of this chapter was chronologically concurrent with where we left off with Rune?

    Genre: I’d go with the more specific ‘urban fantasy,’ too. It let’s prospective readers know to expect technology as well as magic, and a fairly recognizabe modern day social structure.

  7. Sebastian says:

    I have fixed the typos. The POV-thing is even today something that worries me, but alas, I have decided that the Fallowfell books will be written from a first person perspective, with other perspectives, that of antagonists and allies supplementing the story.
    Heheh, you’re right on the foreshadowing….
    I had intended for the barrowman to drowse, yes.
    I have it as Urban-Fantasy here on StarterSerial, and I am about to change it to urban-fantasy on WebFic.

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