G.o.T. Campfire - House Arryn
Born out of darkness into the light
It is you who decides fate.
What is the world you live in? Where is your future? Who are your friends and allies and which of those might be foes?
Do you turn your back and leave the darkness behind you in order to face the light or do you avoid the light and dedicate yourself to the dark side of your life?
The choice is yours.
This is your campfire! Do what you must.
angeldarkness & rydog3457
Make your own decisions and lead the story in the direction you and your members decide on.
We will not stand in your way. We shall not reveal your words until the last day.
You have until May 25th to add what you need.
On this last day, May 25th, try to make the closing post, as in finish the story - tie up loose ends - get it done!
But, keep in mind, the rating is set at 13+!
Good luck, my Warriors!
| "Maybe we should go back. "|
"Come on, Kyle. Are you scared of the dark or something?"
"No, not of the dark. Just what's hiding in it."
The sun had set, eloping with dusk, and now night had come calling. Each step into the deepening blackness was latent danger, but whether it would manifest as nocturnal beasts, poisonous thorns, or an endless crevasse, the Woods had not yet decided. But the brother and sister, maneuvering through the brush, pushed on—pushed on in the sense that the sister needed to keep pushing her brother forward.
"We're hiding in the dark. I'm sure whatever you're afraid of is afraid of you, too."
"Sure, Chloe. As much as I love stumbling around the forest, I want to know how to get back home."
"Oh, shoot," she sighed, halting. "I thought you were bringing the breadcrumbs."
"Funny, but mom and dad won't think so when they get back and see we aren't home. And that's the last thing dad needs right now," Kyle said, removing forget-me-not seeds from his shirt.
"You worry about them more than you do about yourself."
"Well, I guess I do have more to be thankful for," Kyle noted. "They did give me all the good genes after all. Being born five minutes early gets you those kinds of perks."
Like Fred and Velma—the former being Chloe; the latter, Kyle—they moved intrigued and uncouth, respectively.
Kyle stopped, "What are we doing out here, anyway?"
"Jayne Van Wylen told me about an awesome bonfire pit out here, where random people will usually sit around and sing songs."
"Wow! And I thought we were going to see something stupid! Golly, I sure would've missed out," Kyle said, at once turning around and walking back.
"Come on! It's not too much farther," Chloe pleaded, grabbing her brother's shoulder.
The canopy swayed in the breeze, and shriveled leaves scuttled across the detritus as if the dying breath of a god had been exhaled. Both of the twins shivered and looked to the west. The sun was absent, yet light flickered over a hill twenty yards away.
"See? There it is," Chloe asserted. "Let's go check it out. We'll only stay for a little bit."
As the approached, the light from the flames grew brighter, but the night around them became darker. They slowed their ascension up the hill as they heard voices sing in unison.
Chloe nudged Kyle, shaking her head and raising her shoulders, "What are they saying?"
Her brother did not reply. He grabbed a tree root and pulled himself up high enough to see over the peak. One man stood next to a giant stone slab with his arms raised towards the sky. Kyle ducked back down and faced his sister.
"There's just one guy down there, no one else. Look."
Chloe and Kyle poked their heads up. On the stone slab rested a wooden structure, burning. The twins searched for others on the outskirts of the clearing, but could not identify another person. Charred wood collapsed releasing a pungent smell into the air with a burst of white ash. The chanting had lost its rhythm—a cacophony of voices, not singing, but yelling, screaming, groaning, all erupting from the man beside the fire.
Kyle squinted, making out a blackened frame within the inferno. Long and wiry, it spanned the length of the slab. The man reached into the flames and from them withdrew a dark orb, breaking several horizontal bars that caged it, which thereafter crumbled into dust. The man thrust the object above his head, and his legion of voices cried out, "The heart that shall not burn!"
"Holy... This isn't a bonfire pit. It's some sort of sacrificial pyre," Kyle whispered. "Let's go! We have to leave!"
The man began to speak in tongues, and an aura enveloped the heart he clutched. Chloe watched the fire closely. A piece of the black, wiry frame fell from the pyre. Attached to the end was scorched flesh—nothing left but fingers on bone. Chloe screamed, and the voices vanished as if the man had swallowed them. Kyle's neck stiffened, his body forcing him to not look towards the man, and yet he did.
His eyes met with empty sockets where eyes should have been. The figure of the man fell limp, loosened from an invisible puppeteer's strings. His feet raised off the ground, and his body levitated. Chloe and Kyle were fixed into the ground, petrified by fear and wonder. The aura surrounding the heart separated, splitting to enter both of their bodies. The man shrieked and flew towards them. The twins embraced each other, staring death in the face, and vanished.
|Chloe's heart pounded so loud in her ears she was pretty sure she'd never hear anything other than the erratic drum-drum-drum ever again. Well, other than the echo of the piercing scream that still filled her mind and the eerie screech that had come from the freaky evil guy's mouth when he flew at them. She shivered. She'd never heard anything so . . . so . . . well, freaky, in all her life. And to be fair, she loved horror movies and had heard her fair share of horrific sounds. |
But those sounds had been human. This one definitely hadn't been. No, it had been more like the sound of a million voices all screaming at the same time, each voice layered on top of the other to create something out of a Steven King novel.
So much for singing songs 'round a bonfire. She was going to kill Jayne when she saw her in history class tomorrow.
If she wasn't already dead, of course.
She felt her breath quicken as the thought and panic took hold simultaneously.
Forcing her lungs to pull in a long breath, she realized she was surrounded by blackness. Not darkness, like when all the lights were out, but blackness so complete it made her wonder if light had ever existed here, wherever here was. She blinked several times, just in case her eyes were actually closed, but nothing changed. It was almost like she sat within a black hole or spacial void.
What the heck?
Blindly, she reached for Kyle. A second ago, she'd had her arms wrapped tight around him, and now . . . Now she could feel nothing. Not even a stirring of air as she swept her arms in a large arc around herself. Come to think of it, she couldn't even tell if she was standing, sitting, or laying down.
Her heart dropped. Had that freaky old voodo guy done something to her? Was she . . . dead? And what about Kyle?
She closed her eyes tight--and found herself wrapped tight in the circle of his arms, just like she had been before the black enveloped her. With a frown, she looked up from where she was planted against his chest to find him looking around, eyes wide and fearful. All around them, the world was gray.
Okay, not the world per say, since there was nothing but a vast expanse of gray, but still.
Great, just great. With her eyes open, she saw black, and with them closed, she saw gray. Things were going from weird to downright spooky far faster than she liked.
Chloe tightened her hold on the only substantial thing there was--her brother. "What the freak happened?"
Kyle shook his head, but didn't look down at her. She watched as his eyes narrowed. "Hey, do you see that?" he asked, nodding to the left.
Chloe followed his line of sight, but there was nothing there. "See what?"
He frowned. "I don't know, it's like a trail in the air or something. It glows."
She shook her head to tell him he was crazy as a loon, and as she did, something blue flashed to the right in her peripheral vision. Turning her head completely, she saw what he was talking about. "Is it glowing blue?"
"No. It's green." Kyle looked down at her for the first time. "And it's not there," he told her with a touch of impatience, "it's there."
Chloe turned her head, once again to the left, but no matter how she strained, there was nothing but gray and more gray.
Before she could tell him he was losing it, he disentangled himself from her. "Wait here, sis."
She reached out to stop him, to tell him they should stick together until they figured out what was going on, but it was already too late. He took one step to the left and vanished.
|"Is it glowing blue?" The question fresh as before, wonder |
"What? You just asked me. I said it was green."
Was this death? Neither eternal paradise nor intolerable suffering, but simply the wheel of time rotating back to its origin, the replacing of the stylus onto the outermost groove, the domino queue reset by the Architect after the Fall… the edict to listen his sister’s same inquisition ad infinitum? But there were no ghosts of forlorn elders and spirits of lost children asking with different intent, “Are we there yet?” No souls permeated through the final wall, past the membrane of life, into the ever-expanding chamber of the deceased—Death allowing all to enter and none to exit—osmosis across the gradient into a cell that would never lyse. No souls to be seen hanging like stars in the night, only the emerald shimmer of the aether, reflecting off Chloe’s cheeks.
"I never asked you that before," noting the juxtaposition of rigid blackness along the leeward side of Kyle and the azure radiance, appearing as a surrogate breeze, in the stagnant, unmoving abyss.
“Yes, you did. I heard you.” Kyle ran his hand through his hair, turning to face the void. What is this place…?
"Okay," Chloe waving him off. "Whatever. I'm gonna see what happens."
Kyle examined the green trail, the only one according to him: "I think these..."
Chloe had stepped away onto her pathway, no longer able to hear Kyle—a blessing of sorts. A rush of senses and feeling filled her, shook her: a breathlessness, an uneasiness, love, hate, vendetta, serenity, the first kiss and the last goodbye, the weeping widow and her reluctantly dried eye…. She had never felt such raw emotion, vivid memories of events not experienced, of times not seen.
Were they mortal neurotransmitters lodged in the synaptic gap—destinies not yet allocated and fates not yet filed away, inscribed in stone—pulses along a thinking providential cortex? Could she and Kyle be on the brain, the unconscious mind of God, hibernating between select salvations or mass extinctions? In either case, the small quotient is saved and the remainder burned away. She wondered if it would be more comforting if God had instead slumbered during these periods of death, rejecting the ancient god who murders through love and loves to hate. Let a sleeping god lie; religions are sure to help. Axon to dendrite and clogged synaptic gap: she had returned.
"... time," Kyle finishing his statement, turning again to his sister. "You think so?"
"Say that again. I only heard, 'I think these time,'" Chloe answered. "And I don't know what the hell that's even supposed to mean."
"Wait, did you walk into the blue… stuff?"
"Yeah, and I wound up here with you again,” Chloe realizing that she had not been standing, only floating in the creeping emptiness, exceeding any and all human classifications and understandings of darkness.
"I think these things are, like… I don’t know… I heard you repeat your question, and you only heard the beginning and end of what I was saying… So, maybe they’re passageways between dimensions.”
“You think these are time portals?”
“Space portals, too, I guess. They brought us back here, and here has to be somewhere, doesn't it,” Kyle looking down, now recognizing as well the lack of solid ground. “Well… Maybe not.”
“So, the green goes into the past, and the blue leads into the future?"
"Yeah, but then that means I can’t go to the future, and you can’t go to the past.”
“Well, this is how we got here,” Chloe said, grabbing Kyle’s hand. “Let’s go together.”
They moved into the light, and the void became emptier.
|Being twins makes you feel like you're together, even when you're not. That's why Chloe still felt her brother's hand in hers, but when she looked to her right he wasn't there.|
She took a deep breath and tried to make sense of what she saw in front of her. She was in a dark hallway with several closed doors on either side. As she ascended the hallway, she was drawn to open a door. She opened the door to a filthy, smelly, vermin invested apartment that looked like it should have been condemned, and probably was. Dimly lit by a single burning candle, she navigated her way to the bedroom, where she thought she heard a noise, when she saw her brother, Kyle, pacing. She was thankful she found him, but she soon realized he was different. He was sickly thin, trembling and sweating profusely.
"Kyle, what's wrong? What happened?"
He didn't acknowledge her presence, so Chloe reached out to touch his arm, but where flesh and bone should have been she felt only air, as if he were a mere echo of the past. It made her shiver.
Kyle collapsed against the dingy old mattress that was the room's only furnishing and pulled out a cell phone. He dialed, put it on speaker phone, and threw it on the bed. He then crawled into the bathroom while the phone rang loudly and retrieved a bag from underneath the sink. Still on his hands and knees, he made his way back to the bed and dumped the contents of the bag next to the still ringing cell phone.
Chloe was shocked to see the heroin filled needles that tumbled out.
Unable to comprehend what was happening, she watched as Kyle picked up the one needle that was filled to the max. The voice mail picked up and a cheery voice filled the room, "Hi! This is Chloe. You know what to do!"
Speechless and horrified, unable to do anything, she watched her brother, the other half of herself, overdose...
She blinked and found herself back in the hallway of doors, each one standing open. They all lead to the same apartment, different scene but same grim ending. Kyle calling her, not getting an answer, and then him dying.
There had to be a way she could prevent that from happening.
Is this why Kyle couldn't see the blue light? she wondered. And why didn't I answer when he called?
|Kyle barely managed to catch Chloe as she stumbled backward, reentering the bleak gray nothingness that surrounded them. When she'd disappeared less than a second ago, her eyes had held determination and excitement, but now . . . now she looked up at him with tears streaking down her cheeks, her gaze full of horror. |
"You were so upset, and I didn't answer. I should have answered," her voice was soft and pain stricken. "Why didn't I answer? What could have kept me? And then you--you--oh God, Kyle, why?"
Kyle frowned and hugged her tight. What the heck had happened to her in there? His sister wasn't the crying type. When she was five, she'd told him, "Unless somebody dies, there's nothing to cry about." And that was how she lived her life. She was his rock, the logic to combat his emotion, his constant and unflappable companion. But she was crying now, sobbing against his chest, asking him why, over and over again. And he had no idea how to help her.
"What is it, sis?" he asked while stroking hair away from her face. "What happened?"
Chloe looked up at him again, but instead of meeting his gaze like he hoped, her eyes were glazed with tears and looking through him, like she was watching something only she could see. "I'm sorry, Kyle. I'm so sorry. I didn't know."
"Didn't know what, Chloe?"
"It was his heart. It wasn't strong enough. You knew he would die, but I didn't listen. I didn't believe. I thought--the doctor's said there was time but there wasn't. Oh, Kyle. It's all my fault."
Kyle's heart stuttered in his chest, her words cutting deep. Just the day before he'd overheard his mom and dad talking in the study about what his doctor had told him regarding his heart condition. "It's getting worse, Samantha, but he has hope I have time to wait for a donor. With my rare blood type, it's a long shot, but it's a shot."
And Kyle shared his father's blood type. One of the few who did. He was the perfect donor.
"First Daddy, and now you," she sobbed, her voice becoming hysterical.
Kyle didn't need to hear anymore. This future he could change. He knew what he had to do. He would save his sister the pain of losing them both. He had to.
|Moonlight percolated through Kyle's woven lattice shades onto the window sill, appearing as a pale crescent, a slice of hope in the thickening darkness. The wall clock situated above his door hadn't functioned in years, obsolete, motionless—stern faced, arms crossed, Father Time judging him. Kyle had seen the future, watched as the trajectory of the arrow of time began to dip below the apple on his head. And the Man on the Moon with eyes chatoyant, cast his gaze down, peeking beneath window shades, searching for life—life that would evanesce all too soon.|
He rose from his chair, fingers grasping an object from his desk. It dangled from his hand, like a pendulum swaying to a stop. Kyle knew he could go back, but to what time? Before his father discovered the disease? Before the ritual and the heart that would not burn? The past is set in stone, but the future can be changed. Was the clock still watching? He could not do it here. Not with witnesses. Only singular suffering, then... fading solace. As he stepped toward the door, moonlight reflected off the silver item, cutting the clock in half.
"Goodnight, Moon," he whispered, closing the door behind him. "Goodbye, time..."
Kyle flicked the bathroom light on, the tub filled with ice. He set the knife onto the counter, next to a pen and sheet of paper arranged beside the sink. It was a slate onto which he could explain the love for his father, the visions, the loss, the heartbreak, the depression, and the decay: Take my heart, and I will be with you always. Take my heart, and my soul will follow. Goodbye, I love you. Kyle blotted the final period, holding the pen against the paper as if to symbolize to himself that this is it, this is the end.
He removed his clothes and slipped into the bathtub, note and blade in-hand. The future was his sister's; the past was his. He belonged with it. There would be no messenger sent to save him: his sister could only move forward, and he prayed that she would. The silent prayer had passed, and with a slice of the blade, so had he.
Melting ice and pooling blood washed over the note, crumbled in Kyle's dying reflex to clutch to life.
|...Something didn't feel right. Chloe felt a pull toward her brother. She needed to see him. Where was he? He needed her. She needed to find him fast. He was in some kind of trouble. Lord, please, take me to him.|
Chloe prayed she could get to the house where she had left him just hours before to get some rest. They both decided it was best to get some much needed rest before trying to figure out all this crazy stuff that had been happening.
Had Kyle just agreed to make Chloe happy? Oh, lord, I hope not. Why do I feel so sick? What is happening?
Chloe ran all the way home and burst into the house, yelling for him, "Kyle! Kyle, where are you?"
No answer. She took the stairs two at a time, desperate to get to him. He was close. She could feel him--barely.
She slammed into his bedroom door and scanned the room. Nothing.
Her gaze lit on the bathroom door, and her stomach sank. He was in there.
Slowly, she opened the bathroom door. "No! Kyle, no!"
Chloe stumbled over to the tub where he was submersed in ice, and checked for a pulse. It was thready, barely there. His chest failed to rise and fall. Tears falling, she pulled out her cell phone and dialed 9-1-1, though somewhere deep inside, she knew she was already too late.
|Nothing felt real to Chloe anymore. The feeling of wrongness she'd experienced three days before had been nothing compared to the emptiness that now permeated every molecule of her being. She couldn't think straight, couldn't sleep or eat, and worst of all, she couldn't feel. She hadn't cried since the paramedic's dark eyes had confirmed her worst fears. |
Kyle was gone. And there was nothing she could do to bring him back.
If only she'd never dragged Kyle out to that darn bonfire. If only they'd turned around and run away. Something she'd thought was so cool, the ability to move through time and space, had become the single worst thing that had ever happened to her. One bad decision had destroyed her family forever.
She'd visited the site of the bonfire out in the woods several times in the past few days, at first because she didn't know where else to go, and then because she thought maybe, just maybe, she'd catch the old man there and find a way to make him fix everything. She slept there the second night, hoping she'd wake in the morning to find it all just a horrible nightmare. Instead, she'd awoke to find green grass growing where the charred circle had been when she'd fallen asleep.
"Chloe," her father's soft voice pulled her from her thoughts as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "It's time for the viewing, sweetheart."
Chloe sighed. The last time she'd see her brother before they cremated his remains.
Pain, sharp and sickening, threatened to double her over right there in the waiting area of the funeral home. She didn't want to see him again, but at the same time, she couldn't make herself walk away. If only life were like the movies and Kyle would somehow be alive when they walked into the morgue.
Chloe let her dad lead her toward the large door at the end of the hall, more empty than ever before. The next few minutes passed by in a blur as they uncovered her twin's body and she watched her mom fall on him, clutching her child like she could somehow anchor him to the world of the living, even though they all knew it was far too late for that.
Her dad led her mom out of the room, leaving Chloe and Kyle alone for the first time since she'd found him in a tub of ice.
"Why, Kyle?" she whispered, her voice harsh to her own ears.
She pulled the smudged note he'd been holding out of her purse, but like every other time she'd tried to read it, there was nothing but pools of dried ink. "I wish I knew what happened. I wish I could read this."
Maybe if she went to the future, she could find some sort of technology that could make sense of the garbled mess. Maybe. If nothing else, it was worth a shot.
A shiver trickled down her spine and she spun around to find herself face to face with an old man, his eyes so dark that the pupils and iris's blended together. Another shiver wracked through her and goosebumps rose on her flesh. His likeness to the evil from the bonfire was uncanny.
"It's time for you to go. The body must be cremated now."
Chloe nodded once, though the last thing she wanted to do was allow her brother's body to be burned up in the hot furnace. But there was nothing she could do about it. It was what it was.
"Goodbye, Kyle. My heart goes with you, and someday, my soul will follow. I love you."
It wasn't until the door had closed behind her that she realized she no longer held the crumpled up note. She turned back and turned the doorknob, but it didn't budge. Frowning, she knocked on the stained wood, but no one answered. Panic ripped through her. The note. She had to have the note. It was her only link to him now. Using her fists, she banged on the door and yelled to be let in, but even minutes later, the door remained closed.
"Chloe?" her dad's worried voice came from behind her. "What's going on, sweetie?"
Finally, tears pooled in her eyes. "The note, Daddy. I lost the note. I need it."
Her dad's blue eyes softened and he shook his head. "Come on, Chloe. It's time for us to go."
"Enough now. There's no note, sweetheart. He did what he did and it's done."
And in that second, Chloe realized that the old man's likeness wasn't just uncanny. It was absolute, and in her grief, she'd failed to realize the two were one and the same.
|The woods were dark and menacing, but exposed... open to curious wanderers, to lost children, to Hansel and Gretel. The funeral parlor was locked and bolted, safe among vigilant, yet silent corpses, comforted by the warmth of crematorium flames. Valves opened, propane streamed, spark ignitor clicked: time to shove Hansel into the oven.|
The man arranged Kyle's cadaver into the cremation chamber, the inferno roaring for sustenance, Death already sated with life. He looked at the crumbled note, Kyle's last will, and tossed it in alongside the body.
Fire burned away the note. Fire burned away the skin, the muscle, the love, the memories, the humanity, Kyle... leaving only ashes and his heart, unscathed.
|Chloe refused to believe this was the last time she would be with her brother. She didn't say anything out loud to anyone, but she could still feel her brother's presence she knew he was still alive somehow...she had to trust in herself and what she felt, but what did she need to do next to save her brother and prove she wasn't crazy?|