The room smelled wet and dusty. The scent of it seemed to cling mercilessly to his nostrils; the walls of his room were close and seemed to be getting closer with each day. Or was it just his imagination?
With a stroke of his wrist, the pen in his hand made a clean and beautiful line on the piece of parchment in front of him. Thunder clapped in the sky, and he, in turn, clapped his hands to his ears. Startled, he dropped his pen, and it clattered to the ground.
Eory kept his hands firmly planted on his ears as another crack of thunder split the air. He was frozen in fear, paralyzed by thunder as he always was whenever there was a storm. After that small moment of forever had passed, he stood up shakily from where he had been lying on his belly. He left his pen where it lay.
Everytime thunder split the air, he jumped in fear. It caused his heart to thud faster, his mind to fog up with fear, and his joints to tense up. The only way to avoid such stress was to sleep through the storm, so he headed toward the sofa in the middle of the room. His toe collided with an article of clothing lying on the floor. He didn’t care to pick it up, and so he didn’t. Eory stepped over it, and his foot crunched down on a piece of paper.
Eory raised an eyebrow. It was one of his many drawings of a wrinkled woman that lay scattered about the room.
Time seemed to stop for a moment as Eory gazed at the drawing, and it seemed to gaze right back at him. In a moment, thunder rang again, and he quickly dashed to the sofa, crawled under his blanket, and went to sleep.
When he woke up, he pulled a book from his bookshelf on the left side of the room, and then lowered himself to a sitting position on top of one of many articles of clothing littering the room. He began reading.
It was a fairy folk tale about a young warrior on a quest to save his beloved. He could relate as he, too, was a fairy, and…
Eory's heart thudded as his eyes lingered upon a particularly beautiful passage.
He took the hand of his beloved; a thin, elegant, and dainty thing, and then pressed his lips against hers.
And to him, no woman as beautiful as she existed. Her skin was as soft as silk and white as a dove’s breast. Her eyes seemed to glow as brightly as the sun itself, and her red hair was as smooth as the petal of a rose and was the same, luscious shade.
The fairy’s eyes brimmed with tears as he read. He was captivated by that passage and how it captured such a beautiful moment—a moment that he, himself, wanted to experience.
But Eory snapped the book closed in a moment and tossed it aside, knowing that he would most likely never be able to experience such a wonderful thing.
He stared ahead listlessly for a moment—lost in his own thoughts.
He wondered what it might feel like to be kissed.
The fairy stepped on and over the dozens of articles of clothing and pictures covering the floor, ignoring it.
From his mahogany dresser on the right side of the room, he pulled out a piece of parchment and placed it on the desk next to the dresser. He dragged out the chair scooted up to his desk and sat down in it.
It was morning, and in the morning, his schedule dictated that he solve the mathematical equations his caretaker had written for him when she had last come.
But his wrist seemed stuck.
It didn’t want to write down anything to do with numbers.
Sweat poured down his forehead. He knew he would get into trouble if he didn’t have the math problems solved by the time his caretaker arrived, even if the punishment received was just a strict word or two of getting his work done on time.
But he just didn’t want to do it. His wrist disobeyed him.
He rested his head on his desk, instead, and his mind drifted to pleasant memories as it tended to do when he was troubled. A gentle smile spread across his face.
Eory’s mind led him right into the strangling arms of his older brother, Gershom.
He remembered his older brother being tall and strong; fearless and kind. A good teacher, a protector, and an all around wonderful person.
But something intruded upon this peaceful reverie, cutting it short. His gaze drifted to a piece of parchment on the floor next to his chair. He looked at that paper every day—it had words on it that he was forced to write every day, after all.
You are not your family, Eory.
Your family was evil at its root and you are good.
You know that you are good, but now you must prove it if you wish to be free.
The fairy drummed his fingers on the desk and glowered.
Since it was the only noise in the room other than the pattering rain overhead, it was an almost deafening sound.
Eory picked up the parchment and ripped it down the middle.
Eory lost track of the time as his teeth sunk into his arm and little droplets of blood escaped from where they had. He was now sitting on the sofa, finding that trying to solve math problems was intolerable today, for whatever reason.
Drip, drip, drip.
He looked at his arm confusedly. It shouldn’t be that loud of a noise.
Drip, drip, drip.
The sound bloomed bigger and bigger in his mind until it was the only thing he could concentrate on. It seemed to echo loudly and without mercy. It was suffocatingly close, just like that wet, dusty smell clinging to his nose, and those walls that seemed unbearably near to him.
Drip, drip, drip.
Sweat dripped down his forehead. He wondered what this sound was that was invading his privacy.
He sat up on the sofa, his eyes frantically scanning the dirty room for the deafening sound. He stopped scanning when his gaze fixed upon a hole in the roof.
It was leaking rainwater.
He felt sheepish at how frightened he had been of something as harmless as rainwater. He was going to find a way to plug it up, but he stopped when his imagination ran away with him as it tended to.
He stared at the water unblinkingly for moments with his mouth agape.
Drip, drip, drip. Pitter, patter, pitter, patter…
Thunder crashed in the distance, and when it did, his surroundings flickered from his dusty, close room to an open-aired utopia. The ceiling had become a limitless, black sky, the walls had become an open and sandy beach, and the smell of the dusty room had been replaced with the fresh smell of greens wet with water. The moon and stars were reflected like beautiful sapphires in the clear and glassy sea. The pleasing sound of water-on-water blessed his ears, and the sand beneath his feet felt rough, but warm and comforting. The iridescent water in front of him beckoned him to it.
He dipped his hands in, shivering at how cold it felt. He had read books about the ocean, but it was not the same as experiencing it for himself. He had the vocabulary to describe it, at least, because vocabulary was all he had.
Cold, wet, shining, and somehow… Soft, but if I fell into it from a height, it would be hard. If it were warm, it would be like a warm blanket. He thought to himself in a daze.
There was a sound in his ears that annoyed him greatly which was mixing in with the pitter patter of rain. He blinked rapidly, and, each time he did, his surroundings shifted from that of the beautiful beach, to the messy and unfortunate state of his room.
The sound of crackling fire overpowered the sound of rain as the door to his room was revealed in a shower of green, fiery magic. The beach was gone. He was back in his room.
In walked Kori, his caretaker, who looked at his disgrace of a room and turned her nose up. “This room is disgusting! I’ve never seen it like this before!”
The boy—no, the man—said with a miserable look on his face, “it’s raining.”
Kori looked around his room with her long, pointed waif ears twitching in annoyance.
She was truly stunned at the room's state of affairs. From the beginning, her rules with her charge were very firm and plain; one of them was picking his room up and keeping it spotless. He had adhered to the rule obsessively and abnormally from the young age of six which she had imposed it at. To see it like this was extremely bizarre.
“Yes, it’s raining, but why is your room like this?” Kori asked.
The young man was silent in response to his caretaker’s question, which was not abnormal for him, but it was when she asked him a direct question. He was staring at the rain dripping from the ceiling with his mouth agape and looked for all the world like he was addled in the head and amused by the simplest things.