Out of Time

Rhein's white-knuckled hands gripped the book that bound his soul. He pushed himself to his feet. Where had the land-god sent him? He stood on a great road blacker than midnight, yet softer than stone. Flameless lanterns hung from poles over head. The strangely featureless buildings were like none he had ever seen.

He followed the white stripe in the middle of the road. A slash of movement to the right caught his eye. He stopped, staring into the shadows. He squinted and wished the god had sent Gavrill with him. The elf's keen eyes would have peeled away the darkness with no difficulty.

"Who goes?" he asked.

No response. Rhein walked into the night.

He emerged into a cobblestone square. Glass covered buildings rose taler than trees around the edges and reflected the noise of hundreds speaking. Rhein staggered back against a glass wall. What sort of madness was this? His eyes widened when a woman, dressed in trousers and a knitted sweater in a rainbow of colors, skipped up to him.

"Hi! You missed the LARP session by a couple hours, but you're welcome to join the conga line!" Her voice held such high pitched sweetness he couldn't determine her age. Her honeyed hair couldn't quite cover the mechanism growing from her ear and extending in front of her lips. His breath caught at the pair of cat ears swiveling on top of her head.

"Are you a demon?" he asked.

"I'm a nekomata," she said with a giggle. "Come on, we need to find you a place!" She reached for his hand.

Rhein felt his heartbeat in his ears. He couldn't remember a time when he had ever been so lost. Running back to the darkness seemed like the logical answer. Yet if he did, would the land-god ever return him to his home? He gripped his book tighter and extended his hand.

She tugged him forward with enthusiasm. People--creatures?-- danced around them. Hands on the hips of the person in front of them, they raised their arms with a cheer for the demon girl to pull him further along.

Finally she stopped. Rhein bumped into her, but she just smiled at him. "End of the line!" she sing-songed. "Now tuck that book away, grabs the hips of the guy in front of you and let's conga!"

Rhein studied his book, easily a foot tall and a hand thick, before shifting his gaze back to her.

The girl pursed her lips. "Give me your name and I can place it in concierge." She grabbed the edge of the book.

"No," he said. He could feel her hands felt like hot brands. He jerked back out of her grasp. "You shall never have my soul!"

Her jaw dropped in surprise and the world melted away. Rhein landed hard on his back in a field. He sat up and glared at the land-god who stood nearby. "Never again."

The land-god just smiled.

Wordage: book, remember

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word count: 500

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I could really visualize poor Rhein as the fish out of water, time-jumper and maybe even world-jumper.


Copyright © 2012 The Word Wood.