This week there were several prompts that would fit my flash story for the Wednesday Briefer's group. Each week those participating pick one of the prompts, or more, and write a 500-1k word flash story or chapter. I had to pick from a variety of 4 photos, as well as several line/word prompts. I choose the photo prompt below. The image itself sort of embodied Tek's spirit through the whole story to me. I hope you enjoy this latest installment of Orphic Revelations.
"Did you dream?"
I nodded. All the knowledge of my past cycles had combined into one startling moment of realization at what I had to do.
We were facing Cronus, Titan of Time. I'd expected him in this last cycle. Defeating time ... a trick wouldn't save us, not like when I'd forced Oceanus to follow me as I flew on the back of Tek's eagle into a desert, depriving him of his salt water until his powers weakened enough to kill him.
Iapetus controlled the lifespan of humans. He must have been the one who snipped the lives of my family short. It hadn't been their time, not truly, or my dreams would not have tried to warn me even before my powers came into being. Tek could handle him as a wemic because he wasn't a human then.
But Cronus was coming into his power in a matter of days. We had to be in the lowlands before then.
Tek's lion came through the wall; 'd grown used to his shadow travels. "Can you take me with you through the shadows?"
Tek nodded. "It is the quickest way to get down the mountain." His lion had been rubbing against me but when Tek began to glow, his powers called to the proud beast. My eyes burned and I covered them as the white hot light flared.
"Come, Nysion." Tek held out his hand. I took it, swinging onto the low back of his lion half. My hands settled onto his waist and I leaned my head against his back. "Ready?"
I hoped I was. We walked into the shadows and my stomach clenched. The world faded and blurred. I closed my eyes. I could feel the warm fuzzy body moving between my legs as the lion's lithe body paced onward steadily.
Each night we snuggled under the stars, Tek's lion curled up on the other side of the fire. For the first time since my coming of age my dreams were of the future I wished for, not my pasts.
Before they reached the city Tek stopped. He left the lion in the shadows, instructing him to stay close but out of human sight.
"No one will recognize us now." I had filled out over the winter and my hair had grown. I no longer scurried or meekly lowered my eyes like a slave. The high collar of my fine linen shirt covered my scars. Tek was a large man, but without his lion, no one would recognize him as the wemic.
Midnight would see Cronus coming into his power. We walked into the city amid of the dawn influx of travelers. Listening to gossip, we heard the news that Iapetus was hosting a party that the empire's elite had traveled weeks to attend.
My powers were focused in dreams and my words. If I were to have a chance to counter him, I had to figure out how to beat time to stop Cronus.
The day passed too quickly. Dusk fell over the city as we crept closer to the blazing lanterns marking the family compound. The wealthiest attendees arrived on palanquin, others walked. We snuck in with a large party, Tek's power of using the shadows covering us until we could hide.
My dreams had shown humanity's dire fate if Cronus gained power. I watched him whisper his way through the hall. The firelight gleamed on his oiled skin as he spoke unctuously in every ear. He would work his way into the graces of the Emperor through these nobles. His poisoned tongue would drip venomous words. The plague of war would march across the earth, stealing the time that men should spend on virtuous lives.
Cronus had worried men would follow me, even as a slave. `I eschewed power; wanting only a simple life with Tek and then find peace free of our mortal bodies. If this was our last incarnation I didn't want to leave it yet. But could I travel the path of power and live?
The moment came before I even realized it was upon us. The moon crested at the apex of its journey, visible in sky above.
"Together in the end, no matter what." I nodded, my mouth too dry to speak.
I could not fail.
Voices in the hall began to distort.
Pulsing green light filled the room and time began to still. Light flashed as Tek joined with his lion and then leapt at Iapetus, taking him back into the shadow to complete his purpose.
Mine was Cronus. More people began to fall under Cronus' spell.
"You're too late, Nysion." Cronus spread his arms wide. "You are powerless against me."
I gathered my courage. "It is never too late. I won't let you destroy this world!"
"Your hubris led you to believe I was broken but I am stronger than you could ever dream." I wouldn't fail. "Your time ends now, in this cycle."
He laughed derisively. "You do not rule time. I do!"
"But not this moment." In the infinitesimal sliver between conscious and unconscious thought dreams ruled.
My power imbued my words with bell-like clarity.
"Wake and see truth. Focus not on the dreams that hold false promise." Cronus screamed impotently as my magic swept his influence from their minds.
The sigils on my neck burned. "Dream of a world where gods walk not among men; of a world where the powers that once held reign over mankind crumbles into obscurity." I burned with each word. My voice faded as men began to dream us free from the Titan's tyranny.
Tek leapt to me, his lion once again a separate entity. It licked its bloody muzzle, rushing Cronus and taking him screaming into the shadow. I collapsed into Tek's arms, my voice gone.
My power was gone and his lion had left him. We were men once again, facing life as mortals without power.
We were together, just as I had dreamed.
I hope you enjoyed this last chapter of Orphic Revelations. It was hard to end, but I hope I satisfied all the elements of the story for everyone. I hope you take the time to let me know what you think, but then head over to more of the other briefer's and check out their great flash stories.
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