A bit of ambience to enhance the reading.
I awake in a dark, incredibly misty forest. Arien’s eerie brilliance breaks through the dense canopy of the forest, alighting patches in a bloody hue.
As I push myself up from the mossy ground, I discover I am dressed in my night clothes, and my feet are bare. I wrap my arms around myself, rubbing my skin through the silken fabric, attempting to warm myself as my breath is visible in the frigid night air.
My mind races as I have no recollection of how I wound up here. My gaze moves to and fro, scanning the forest for anyone.
I jump and turn towards the familiar snapping of a twig underfoot, hopeful it is one of my guards, searching for me in the night.
“Mister Parata, Miss Gavriila?! Is that you?” I call out, the desperation and fear evident as my voice shakes. There is no reply.
I bring my right hand over my brow, shielding my eyes from Arien’s light as I try to see whom was behind me. As my vision adjusts, my eyes widen. Peeking out from behind a large oak is a short figure, features obscured by the mist, except for two silver orbs, orbs which seem to shine with impossible light.
I do not know when my feet began to move of their own accord, but as I prepared to run from the figure I found my feet having already taken the initiative. My mind barely registered as rocks and twigs embedded themselves in my delicate soles, blood pouring from the wounds as I ran. Running was the only action my mind gave a damn about.
I know not how long I ran, but it was long enough for my mind to calm a smidgen and take notice that there was no sound of chase behind me. Hesitantly I looked over my shoulder as I continued to run. I could see nothing giving chase, nor did I see the silvery orbs hiding amongst the trees. I released a long sigh of relief as I came to a stop, leaning forward with my hands atop my knees. My chest heaved as my lungs craved the oxygen they were depraved of during the pseudo chase.
And then I felt them, small hands press against my back and push me forward with a rough push. I tumbled, face and body scraping against a thorn bush that tore through my silk, finally coming to land with my face in the moss. I breathed deeply, my face still buried in the moss as I heard footsteps come closer, likely the steps of my assaulter. I did not want to turn over, but I felt my body forcefully rolled onto it’s back by those same hands.
“It is cute that you thought you could escape me.” I heard myself say, except my lips never moved. My fear gave way to confusion as I opened my eyes, desperate to discover what was going on. And I wish I never had.
Perched atop me, delicate arms holding them aloft, was me. But not me. The body before me was sickly thin, like the olive skin was draped across the skeleton and nothing else. I was amazed the arms and legs could even hold it aloft. This must have been the creature I saw before, as in place of my gunmetal grey orbs was those silvery orbs of unnatural origin.
“What… What are you?” I desperately inquired, my gaze drawn to those eyes.
“I am you… Or more correctly I am what you could be were you not so pitifully weak.” The thing uttered, it’s right hand moving to cup my chin “But soon my dear Vicannia, it will be you who are a fraction of me. Soon you will be but a shadow of Iuku.”
My breath caught as it revealed it’s name. Iuku leaned down towards my face, even as I could feel thorny vines erupt from the ground, digging into my wrists and ankles, ensuring I could not move or resist. Iuku’s face was but inches from mine now, her hand keeping my head from moving “Don’t resist my sweet little Vicannia. This is what you wanted after all. You wanted to be strong. I am merely giving you what you asked for.” Iuku whispered before their lips met mine.
Yet this was no kiss. Longer Iuku’s lips were pressed against mine, the weaker I began to feel. And as our eyes were so close, I noticed the strangest thing. Iuku’s eyes were beginning to fade, replaced by natural looking eyes. Though it was only as I noticed the gray surrounding the pupils did I realize what was happening.
All of Iuku’s body was beginning to fill out, the skin stretching as muscles and flesh filled in beneath. I knew what was happening yet I could do nothing but weep as my body was stolen away from myself, and I was reduced to skins and bones… A fragment.
Iuku released me soon after from the embrace, rising to stand over me. The body that had once been mine loomed there, looking over itself appreciatively.
“Oh don’t fret dear. I will be sure to use this body far better than you ever did. Though it is time for you to sleep now.” Iuku uttered, their hand waving over me.
“Sleep tight now my dear, sweet, little Vicannia.” Iuku offered in farewell as they turned away from me, even as the vines pulled me under the moss. Tears still streamed from my orbs as I realized what I had brought upon myself.
And the last thing I saw before darkness consumed my vision was Iuku disappearing into the mist of the forest.
And she woke up, having no recollection of the dream. Though I did, and I await the day that dream becomes a reality.