Smoke, blood flashes of crimson scatter across the rough ground, bloating the land with stains of red. Loud screams fill the air like banshees' wails followed by a screeching silence.
Darkness swirls like dancing serpents across the ground climbing my body. The serpent's coil around my neck wrapping themselves tightly around my throat, choking the very life from me.
The dancing darkness fills my eyes blinding me to the light. Screams fill the air once more. And that red liquid begins to pour from festered wounds.
Gaping holes of pain and darkness spewing more of the venom that consumes the land. My pale hands stained red with lifeblood from friend and foe alike. I have become what I fear most.
The last thing I feel is the cold lifeless steel of my childhood friends dagger piecing into my heart.
“Aaron!” screaming out into nothing as I catch my breath. Jolting up from my bed covered in a cold sweat dripping down from the small of my back.
A single ray of sun peaks through the brownstone window of the chamber that’s been my room for the past five years. Wiping the sweat from my brow I rise out of bed to face the morning light.
It's been quite a while since I had that dream.
That haunting dream that robed me of a restful sleep more times than I could count Pushing the dark memories to the back of my tired mind I dress myself.
“A good begging can oft lead to a better end” saying my master's favorite phase out loud under my breath.
I've lost count of the many pieces of wisdom my master left me over the time we spent together.
Donning a simple plain lien shirt, dark slacks and of course my pride a pure white overcoat that billowed down all the way to my ankles.
A bit too big master always said I'd grow into it but honestly, I prefer it this way.
Slouching myself over to the mirror and basin placed at the edge of the room I take a good look into the mirror.
“Hmm I'm going to need a shave” with painstaking effort taking a scalpel from my side I exterminate those pesky furs that ruin the landscape of my face.
“Better much better” one must take pride in one's appearance to be taken seriously after all. Another of my master favorite sayings.
Though looking at the small pale man standing in the mirror before me I had a hard time believing anyone would take me seriously.
Even after twenty-three years I still look like a child playing dress up. Letting out a huge sigh I spot a shadow creeping across the room.
“Well, well you clean up quite nice little Maggy” A tall man in dark robes stands in the doorway leading into my room.
His face adorned with dark purple lipstick that made his lips form a permeant pout. Gold eyeliner outlined his pale green eyes.
I could hear the jingle from his many brass and gold earrings catching the small breeze through the open window.
“Chymes what do you want.
” Scowling at the butchering of my name I proceed to the window to open the drapes allowing the desert breeze to fully fill the room sending Chymes earrings into a frenzy of sound.
“Oh, don’t be so harsh Maggy I just wanted to check in on you. The dean said you've been skipping class again. And we just can't have that now.
” Chymes steps forward arms outstretch pining for an embrace.
“now come embrace me darling and tell me all that ales you” To which I responded by swiftly dodging to left and rushing past him into the open door.
“Don't touch me please. You can tell the dean I'm fine. I just don’t see the point in taking classes in things I've already mastered.”
“It's not about that Maggy we all know how far you’ve come. It's about keeping up appearances darling. As the deans favorite your supposed to act as the star pupil.
A golden example of extemporary excellence that our academy represents. As the dean would put it.” Chymes couldn’t hid the sarcasm in his voice at the mention of the dean's words.
“You and me both know stuff like that isn't important I'm perfectly content to stand in the back and out of the limelight.
I'm not interested in being someone's prized pet” Letting out as much malice as I could muster to drive my point home. Chymes just rest his head into his hands looking sideways towards me.
“You’ll never change will you Maggy dear. Just like your master both set in your ways. Oh well darling I've done what I was sent here to do.”
“Good bye Chymes” And with that he began to leave the room only hesitating at the doorway for just a moment.
“You know Magnus there are other people in the world you can let in. Don't be so afraid or else you end up all alone. There are worst things than being popular honey.”
“Take care Chymes” without facing him just staring out into the courtyard. I could hear the sound of bells as he took his leave.
Out of everyone here he's probably the one I understand the least. A gust of wind brings me out of my thoughts Ruffling my white overcoat. The wind always seems to bring me a sense of comfort.
In this place that never changes the wind always has a new tale to tell each morning. Some days it’s a blistering sending students papers scattering to join the wind.
Other times it’s a gentle reminder coasting along carrying sweet secrets to those that will listen.
“Time to go no point in wasting” I say outload to no one in particular. Passing down the long corridors in the dorm building I've called home I remark on the ingenuity of the campus.
This place was built late into the Fourth century a testament to man's tenacity and blatant disrespect for nature. The “Academy in The Sand” as the people have dubbed it.
A place of medicine one where the best doctors and researchers come from around the world braving the terrible desert. It's funny that a desert know for death holds such a strong place of life.
Honestly this place is amazing yet every day the same, the same classes, the same lessons, and the same experiments.
“Master where are you now? Are you even save?” Saying those things as I walk through the courtyard. Letting my words get carried by the wind in some small hope that they reach her.
The desert flowers dotting the courtyard surround the fountain in the middle presenting a splash of color to the yellow sand.
Usually id spend most of my day in this courtyard watching the flowers and remarking on the people running about. It was a Quiet place of comfort where one could get lost in the breeze.
Unbeknownst to me I wouldn’t visit this courtyard for quite a while.
“MAGGY, MAGGY” Chymes voice piercing into my meditation.
He was running forward I could tell something was wrong his normal composed face was twisted with concern and his eyes held a hint of fear.
“What's wrong Chymes? Catch your breath and calm down”
“Maggy dear you need to come to the front entrance now” I could tell by the look on his face this wasn't the time for question.
“Ok but give me the details as we walk.” Taking off with Chymes in tow we both hurry to the entrance of the academy.
A large metal gate a materiel that was rare in these parts set an imposing figure to all that would enter.
“It's not possible Chymes master made sure to eradicate any trace of the disease.
There's just no way could there be?” Chymes just stared back at my nodding to the crowed of people gathering near the entrance.
“See for yourself dear.” With those words we push past the onlookers shoving past people in the way as we got closer, that creeping panic began to rise from the back of my head.
It can't be its won't be, this is just some misunderstanding. It has to be. I was wrong once again my past caught up to me.
Finally pushing past the other we could see her an old woman cursing and swinging wildly out at anyone who would get close. I could see the telltale signs.
Blacked twisted veins crawling across her skins like serpents. Her eyes turn entirely black and her mouth covered in froth from being sent into a rage.
I could see splotches of crimson splayed across her tattered clothes.
“Stay back everyone stay back now.” Chymes yell to the guards trying to approach her his voice taking on an authority I've never seen.
“Maggy dear be honest is this the disease your master told us about”
“It can't be no I can tell that it is. Dammit not again I won't allow this dammed disease to claim any more lives.” Pushing the cold feeling to the back of my heart.
That feeling wasn’t important now. Closing my eyes, I focus on what my master taught me. Just breath center oneself and you can't me moved.
Opening my eyes, I only could see another patient another person that needed help. Without a second thought I rush forward toward the old woman dogging a left hook getting to her backside.
“Sorry but I need you to sleep.” And with a swift strike to the temple the old woman collapses towards the ground. Catching her just people, she hits the sand I whisper another apology.
This can't happen not again that cold feeling pushing back up. Forcing it down I look towards Chymes breathless and confused.