Just so you know, the setting is in an olden-day era, kind of like ancient Greece around Troy setting. That's why the names are either Greek, Roman, or Greek-based words. Or words I made up. Mostly made up. Hope you like my random story anyway! It's kind of dramatic, but not too bad I hope.
And the Divine are kind of like the ancient gods, like the Greek, Egyptian, or Roman ones.
Raindrops splattered the dull front window of the house. The small valley village who was tortured by floods every year wasn't surprised. In the land of endless rain, it was always raining, obviously. Sunlight was rare and cherished. Tetra watched as lightning struck the top of The Thunder Mountain. It cracked like a whip, trailing molten fire behind it as it pulled away. A few seconds later, it struck the same spot again.
"Tetra? Where are you?"
The small, fair-haired girl whirled around to pick up her basket of eggs and dashed into the kitchen where her mother stood with her hands on her hips. Her two younger twin sisters, Heila and Hiera, waited eagerly on the couch to watch the scolding. But Deror, the youngest of the four, peeked out from behind his room door. He didn't want to watch his sister get punished, but he didn't want her to feel alone. Tetra shot him a small smile before returning her attention to her mother.
"Tetra, where were you? All I asked was that you would gather a few eggs from the henhouse, and it takes you half an hour! What could you be doing for the other twenty minutes?" questioned her mother, and Tetra swallowed.
"I was...I was..." she stuttered, but Heila cut in gleefully.
"She was probably staring at Thunder Mountain again, like she always does. It's dumb, and the other kids think she's weird," threw in Heila unnecessarily. The other children in the village thought Tetra was a bit odd, but she was never lacking in friends. Heira decided to join the conversation.
"Yeah, just the other day my friend Bollinia was talking about her, and she was saying how strange it was that Tetra was always watching the mountain. Even the teacher thought it was funny," she giggled, and Tetra opened her mouth to protest, but it was too late. The lies and exaggerations were eaten up. The next thing she knew, Tetra was being dragged off to her room, tears streaking down her small face.
"You had better stop slacking on your chores, young lady, and I don't even want you looking in the direction of that mountain or you had better pray on your knees to the Divine that I don't beat you within an inch of your life!" growled her mother, slamming the door loudly. Tetra wiped her dark eyes and settled onto her bed, the thin mattress creaking under her. She didn't understand why her mother had gotten so upset. Her face lifted towards the mountain range, but Thunder Mountain was out of sight. Tetra could still hear something, though, and it frightened her terribly.
Tetra walked along the village path, her small feet patting the soft brown stone gently. It was lightly drizzling, and her pale gold hair caught droplets of water, but it was generally good weather. She had heard several villagers discussing it earlier.
"Wonderful weather we're having," one of them had mentioned. The woman standing with him had laughed cheerfully, her pockets full of shopping money and her arms full of new cloth.
"It's marvelous, I was so hoping that it wouldn't flood this month, I needed to grow those pigs up a bit, and killing them this early in the year would have been a shame. I could keep them in the second floor, you know, with the family, but what would the neighbors think of me?" sang the woman, haggling for another piece of cloth at the same time. Then the man grew too bold.
"I guess Satstraso must be feeling merciful today," he said, but the woman looked extremely nervous then and slapped his shoulder. He quieted, blushing pink to his ears. She then snatched his arm and pulled away towards her house, checking for any eavesdroppers worriedly. Tetra had hurried away before she could get scolded by another adult.
Satstraso? She pondered over the name. She had heard it somewhere before, but she didn't quite know where. Trotting home with the armful of corn she had purchased from the merchant with a few copper coins, she rushed to the cottage find her mother.
Dumping the carrots uncerimoniously on her countertop, she ran through the sitting room to find her mother at the table, counting inventory. She was quite blunt; seven year olds don't have much depth anyway.
"Mama, what's a Satstraso?"
The effect was immediate and unpredictable. A sharp blow struck her face, and Tetra was pushed to the floor. Stunned and squinting from the sting that was spreading over her cheek, she stared up at her furious mother.
"I never want to hear that word come out of your mouth ever again," she hissed, and Tetra felt her eyes tear up. Shocked at her mother's display of violence and confused at the lack of answers, she fled through the open door. She heard her mother shouting something behind her, but she cared little.
She ran until she couldn't run anymore. Gasping and sobbing, she collapsed at a large rock, cuddling into herself. The light drizzle had taken up an intensity to match her hurt and was blowing rivers of water from every direction. Lightning exploded above her somewhere, and she screamed, covering her head. When nothing happened, she looked up cautiously. Her dark eyes widened.
She was huddled at the base of Thunder Mountain. Lightning struck again, and it was louder than anything she had ever heard. Looking back, she saw the village far away, people running and calling. She turned her attention back to the mountain and looked up. She could almost hear a voice, the shrill cry of a mountain cat maybe. It was very loud, and it sounded similar. She frowned at the implication of the sound; the wolf called passion, the coyote cried grief, the eagle shouted joy, and the mountain cat screamed pain. Casting one more glance behind her, she started up the mountain.
The grass was thick, and the trees were thicker. Bushes blocked her path, their thorns snagging on the skin of her legs while the vines of the trees captured her arms. Once she caught sight of a snake, her breath catching in her throat, but it only glanced at her and slid away. Ignoring the fear, she continued up the mountain where the wildcat screamed at her. Gritting her teeth, she pushed herself up the steep ground.
It was a long and hard path, especially for a child. Tetra's intense curiosity and her will to escape the prison of the village gave her the endurance to push past the vines and carefully untangle the throrns from her sore legs. Whenever she grew weary, the cry would bring her to her feet to keep going. She wished she had her little black pony, Jeyda, with her, but it was too late to go back. She was almost to the top, besides.
Stopping at a nearby stream, she wetted her hands and cleaned the trickles of blood from her legs. Taking a handful of water, she nearly lifted it to her face, but stopped in time to see a bolt of lightning cast a gold shimmer across the water. This was Divine Water, the water of eternal sleep. Horrified, she let it drop and closed her eyes, afraid to look around her. When she managed to crack her eyelids open, the sight that had been hidden by the darkness and by her sleepy mind became clear.
All around the river, on all sides, lay decomposing bodies. The stench that had been disguised when she focused on the water suddenly rushed at her, hitting her with dizzying force. Gasping and gagging, she closed her eyes again and started to back away, holding her mouth and nose in her small hands. The worst part was the faces; they were so relaxed and content, she knew they were either sleeping or had been sleeping while they died. Their bodies had just rotted away, eating themselves from the inside.
Turning to go back down the hill, she suddenly heard the scream again, and its call was more powerful than the thought of the safe village. Pivoting slowly to face the horrors that lay strewn around her, she tried to ignore them. The cries were closer than ever before, and she distinctly heard the shrill note of pain in them.
Hiking up the last bit of mountain wearily, she didn't care if it was just the wind. All she wanted to do anymore was just find out what was up there and then, having satisfyed her curiosity, go back home to her upset mother and father. Her father would be home by now, anyway. She forced herself to pass the bodies and pushed back a thick curtain of vines. What she saw was certainly not nothing. Her eyes grew round and her heart nearly stopped beating.
There, spread-eagle on the rocky tip of the cliff, was the prettiest boy she had ever seen in her entire life. His hair was set in lovely, elegant curls, and were as black as night, and feather-light freckles dusted his buttoned nose and cheeks. He was slender, with his long legs stretched out and his long arms pulled to the sides. His eyes were large, but she couldn't see what color they were, for they were clenched shut. Her eyes lowered to his arms and legs, which she noticed were chained tightly to the solid rock, the heavy metal winding all around his body. Every muscle was completely flexed, and he was straining forward with his chest thrust out towards the sky, as if to break free. She wondered if he was the one screaming on the mountain.
She tiptoed forward shyly, and although he didn't look up, she could hear his breathing sharpen. His eyes clenched tighter, and she stopped, wondering. As she came even closer, she could see a pool of white surrounding his form. Moving as slowly as she could, she inched forward, her face full of amazement. As she came within several feet of him, she gasped quietly.
There, exploding from his shoulderblades, stretched two enormous white wings. They spanned about fourteen feet from tip to tip, and the feathers, although lying in an enormous pool of mud, were sparkling white. Tetra stopped breathing when she realized she was in the presence of a Divine.
When he didn't move, she walked towards him again. When she came within a few feet of him, his eyebrows furrowed, and his breathing grew ragged. He actually opened his mouth because he was breathing so hard. Panting, he strained away from her. Held captive by the chains, it had little effect.
Tetra knelt next to him, not wanting to frighten him but needing to touch him to confirm that this wasn't a dream...or a nightmare. The boy was surreal, with his perfect face and powerful wings, but the weather indicated otherwise. She reached out slowly, and he didn't appear to be moving anymore; the irregular breathing had stopped, and Tetra gained the impression that he was holding his breath.
Stetching her small finger, she watched him quiver, every feather and every muscle trembling. Slowly, she stroked the smallest feather as gently as she possibly could. His eyes shot open at the contact, and he seemed to relax. Her dark eyes met another set of stunning blue-gray. She sat motionless as he stared at her.
Then, her hair started rising. Her skin began to tingle, and she pulled away fearfully, but it didn't go away. Terrified that she had been poisoned, she looked at his face, but he wasn't watching her. He seemed focused on the stormy sky. Suddenly, his eyes met hers, and she was surprised at the ferocity that brimmed beneath the cold gray.
Opening then closing his mouth, he expelled air forcefully, causing an extremely shrill and earsplitting whistle that sent her instinctively stumbling backwards for cover. Suddenly, as she looked up from the bushes with her fingers over her ears, she saw a vivid streak of lightning speed down with ground-breaking force and strike the beautiful boy directly in the chest. The thunder that roared almost immediately after had her screaming, and his shrieks of pain had her sobbing. The electricity forced him to strech every limb, every bone, to the breaking point. With his body completely flexed, his screech died out to a silent groan, his mouth open wide and his eyes shut again. Tetra breathed with shuddering gasps and wiped her tears with the palm of her hand. He quieted again, and relaxed against the rocks.
Tetra was tempted to run down the mountain and never come back again, yet she knew that every time she saw lightning, or heard thunder, she would replay this scene over and over again in her mind. There was no chance of her being able to help him, since she couldn't even touch him for long. Suddenly, an idea struck her and she raced away.
He lay on the rocks, groaning softly. The lightning was coming, he could feel it.Pulling hard, even though he knew it was pointless, let him unleash some of his frustration and pain. Stretching his arm against the metal, he reached for the key, but couldn't even touch it. It was at least three feet away, and nailed into the ground with Divine unbreakable metal. The lightning was getting closer, anyway, and he had better brace himself mentally and physically for the pain. The anticipation was worse than the actual pain, though not by much. Sighing, he clenched his eyes shut.
A crack brought him to his senses...not that he ever lost them, it was impossible to sleep through getting struck by lightning every three or four minutes. But a twig cracked, something he hadn't heard often in over three hundred years. 'Please...not here...not now...' Just because he was tied to a rock being struck by lightning on the hour didn't mean that a dead body rotting nearby would pass unnoticed...and it was a child, besides.
He heard the tiny footsteps come closer, and he shivered. The lightning was coming, but as long as the child didn't come any closer...
His hopes failed him as he heard it come even closer. He strained away, begging the lightning to strike him while the thing was still far enough to be out of reach, but of course it waited. The little thing crept closer.
When a tiny finger touched his glorious wings, he opened his eyes, outraged. But when his eyes met the innocent dark eyes of a little girl, his anger melted away to a tiny twinge of regret that the child wouldn't last another ten seconds. His hair raised to meet the lightning, and he could see the fear in her eyes as she pulled back, her accusing gaze too much for him. He cast his eyes skyward. 'Goddamn you.'
With a shrieking whistle, he pressed her back enough to be out of range of the strike of pure energy. His pleasure at his success was short-lived, though, and a torturous paralyzing pressure burned his muscles as he arched his back and screamed, shame burning at his heart for causing the girl such a traumatizing vision, and wishing he had the endurance to surpress himself.
When he saw her again, her eyes were streaming tears, and he was blinking his own away from pain and misery. Oh, heaven, she was so young. He wasn't surprised at all to see her dash away, and relief flooded him. At least he wouldn't have to see her again.
He tilted his head back, feeling a little depressed. It wasn't often he recieved visitors.
But when he heard her footsteps again, he looked up, stunned. Why was she coming back? Oh yes, several people had come to see what was on the mountain many times, and few made it past the river. But the few of them that had seen him had also seen his hopeless situation and his terrible plight, and had left very quickly. They had probably also warned the other villagers, because he hadn't seen another person in over two hundred years.
Looking up, he saw the girl cupping her hands together. Confused and worried that the dreadful lightning would come back, he struggled against the chains out of habit. But now she didn't hesitate. She marched right up to him and held her hands out to his face. Puzzled, he opened his mouth to question her, but didn't get a chance. Her small, grubby hands poured him a mouthful of sweet water.
Ookay...Tetra's going back to the river also means she braved the dead people again, so good for her. And the water is sweet because he probably hasn't had water for the three hundred years he was chained. The eternity water has no effect on the Divine, just to make that clear. And because people don't tend to read these, I will specify. THE ETERNITY WATER HAS NO EFFECT ON THE DIVINE!!!!!!! Seriously, I've had to do that several times with other stories.