Seibrums emerald eyes lingered heavily on the river in the near distance, filled with the curiosity and urgency that mottled in him. Tearing his gaze away, he turned to Cyrus1 , cocking a childish grin, Hey, lets go down there.
The younger elf turned his head to Seibrum, sitting next to him on the rough stone steps outside their quaint, little house, meeting green eyes with green eyes. He blinked momentarily before a skeptical expression grew on his face, edged with worry, But Seiby...the rivers not allowed.
Seibrum pushed him playfully, So? And dont call me Seiby.
Cyrus eyed him ruefully, What? Are you too old for it now? he let his gaze shift to a little in front of him, his thin hands neatly clasped, elbows resting on his knees, were only three years apart, you know.
The older elf watched him still, the soft, comforting smile he often wore on his face, I know. But Im not a little kid anymore.
Cyrus arched his back enough to puff out his small chest, his arms going to his sides as he pouted, Neither am I!
Seibrum grinned, a mischievous glint in his dark eyes. He leaned closer to his brother and chided in a low voice, Why dont you prove it?
With that, he pushed himself off the steps, racing down the dirt road, his feet pounding into it with every running step. Cyrus watched him with a furrowed brow at first. But...the river was off limits to children. It was dangerous in the parts the river flowed strong, threatening to sweep away anyone who dared enter it, like a raging animal, hungry for another victim. And in other parts, where much of it was dried up, there were sharp, jagged rocks, covering the valley of land next to the river with a mouthful of ready, waiting teeth. If you fell on those rocks, it was likely youd never be getting up.
But Cyruss childish pride nagged at him. He hated being called a little kid. Especially by his brother. The two always got along so well, best friends before brothers, and looked identical too. Both had the same green hair, undecided whether it was jungle green or hunter green, or perhaps the two mixed together. It fell in the same style, large chunk of hair that fell over their ears and slight bangs, the rest in piecey locks and silky to the touch. Their eyes were each their own, but the exact same color, a sparkling emerald green, like a prized gem. The slenderness and faint green tint in their skin ran in the family, granted to their parents, grandparents, sister, and most likely anyone else with their blood flowing through their veins.
Seibrum was going down to the river, with him or not, and Cyrus knew that is Seibrum returned alone, he would be chided more, endlessly teased about being afraid and a child.
He got to his feet hurriedly and raced after his brother.
The day was a little nippy, cool winds breezing gently around them, but the sun still shone, high and bright in the cloudy, blue sky, warming you only if you found the right place to stand. There were many shadows over the town today.
Seibrum was a good deal taller than Cyrus, his height in his legs, and reached the river fairly quickly. Soon after, Cyrus came running up, his small chest heaving with heavy breaths. He glanced at Seibrum, breathing too heavy to speak, then glanced around them.
They were at the rocks. A little cliff rose behind them that theyd had to climb down to reach the low area where the river ran. A short line of tuff grass lined the top of the cliff, blocking their view of the town above along with the wall of earth and rocks that made up the cliff. At this area, the river was more like a creek, a small trickle, barely two feet wide, the water running down the center of the sea of rocks. Farther up the river, it would grow and join other trickles, and the land would get lower till all it was was a raging current of powerful water, rushing past faster then the wind.
All around them was rocks. They were like any other rocks: many different sizes, types, and textures, but over the thousands of years, the water had eroded them to be sharp as daggers, most as smooth as metal. There were various rocks that were rounded instead of sharp, but they were more off to the side, closer to the earth walls.
Seibrum smiled at his brother, his hands on his slender waist, So. You did decide to come.
But Cyrus wasnt looking at him. His dark eyes wandered the bare river bed. Something... he didnt like it. A subtle chill ran up his back, and he shivered, his brow furrowed.
If he listened hard enough to the wind whistling around him, it sounded out his name. Almost.... he darted his eyes towards the shadows. So many shadows... And he felt another chill.
Seiby...lets go home now. Cmon, youve had your fun, the younger spoke in a soft, shaky voice, I dont like it here...
Seibrum dropped his arms exasperatedly, turning a little, Will you stop being such a wimp? Everythings fine.
The elder began gazing around, checking out all their surroundings, and Cyrus continued to feel uneasy. There was a feeling in his stomach, tight and uncomfortable and never leaving. A wispy breeze blew slowly over his neck, his arms, nipping at him, prickling his skin a little. He shuddered again.
Seibrum barely noticed the effect the dried river was putting on his brother, surveying his surroundings with a smile. My, but this would be a fun place to play! So many games they could think of... Spying a few large, round rocks, he thought delightedly, why, we could bring Tristelle down here, and she could be the queen, and I could be the king, and little Cyrus could be the prince! Those rocks could be our thrones--
He cut his thoughts off as he caught a glimpse of Cyrus out of the corner of his eye. Furrowing his brow a little, Seibrum turned fully to his brother.
Cyrus was standing a little ways away, his thin body tense and stiff, frozen completely in place. His eyes, huge and frightened, stared towards a little ways off from both of them. The elf was barely breathing, his breath choked in horror in his throat. Seibrum stared at his brother confusedly more before shifting his gaze to where Cyrus stared.
Just some sharp rocks, just like the rest of the river bed around them. He looked at Cyrus again, his face skeptical and troubled, Cyrus...what is it...?
Cyrus jumped slightly at the sound of Seibrums voice, breaking through the ice-like silence that froze upon the world, the air around them. He turned to his older brother, shaking faintly, his eyes still wide with fear, Seibrum...dont you see it?
Seibrum looked again. What in the world was Cyrus talking about? There was absolutely nothing there but rocks and dirt. No animals, no light trickles of the creek, just large, white rocks. See what??
Cyrus almost couldnt bear to look at the rocks again. He felt a nauseated feeling grow in his stomach once more as his eyes fell upon the blood-stained rocks. It was fresh, dark red and moist in the cold sun. He could smell its thick odor, rancid and foul, clinging to the air. The blood swelled over the rocks, dripping slowly off some, splatters of it on rocks farther away. What...what on earth had that blood come from...?!
Cyrus jerked his head back to his brother again, his eyes huge. Why wasnt Seibrum seeing this?? Seibrum stared at Cyrus with a confused, almost angry expression, frustrated that his brother was ignoring him.
But Cyrus couldnt answer. What could he tell Seibrum to make--
He stopped, his gaze shifting back to the rocks. It was gone. All the blood was...gone. Now all that was there was large, white rocks and dirt. But...
Cyrus, for Gods sake, what is it?! Seibrum was now before him, grabbing one of his arms roughly to turn the younger to look at him, his brow furrowed. Cyrus stared at him, then glanced back at the rocks. Clean and white as ever. It had just been there though! Had he been seeing things...?
I...I saw... he stammered, his voice as shaky as a windblown leaf, there was...
Seibrums intense gaze didnt waver, What did you see...?
The younger elf stared at the bare rocks longer, his gaze slowly lidding. Maybe he had just been seeing things...Seibrum was sure to laugh at him if he told him hed seen blood on those rocks, but now it was mysteriously gone. But the nagging, worried feeling in his stomach didnt leave. Swallowing largely, he looked back at his brother, Please, Seibrum...lets leave...
Seibrum opened his mouth to reply, but a sudden movement caught both their attention. The two jerked their heads up, looking towards the woods that bordered the clearing next to the river.
A man was coming towards them. He walked in almost a swagger, his right leg badly limping. From a distance, it was hard to make out much besides a large straw hat covering his head, and the shaggy shawl-like coat he wore, tan as deer hide and trailing below his elbows, past his stomach a little in a V-shape.
The two boys just stared as he got closer and closer, and Cyrus felt fear clouding around him, the knot in his stomach growing tighter and tighter. Something...something wasnt right.
Seibrum gazed at the man curiously, intrigued. His clothing was much different from that of their village, and he looked weary and bedraggled. Where had he come from, to look such a way?
The man was now coming closer, and although his eyes hid under the large hat, they could see the worn lines of his skin, his nose thin and pointed, his lips thin and cracked from exposure to the sun and lack of moisture. His skin was odd- it was dark. He was clearly human, but he was much different from all the humans in Seibrum and Cyruss village. His skin was a much darker tan than the creamy pale, flesh color theyd seen on most humans. Whether it was dark like that originally, or if itd been baked to that color from the hot sun, they couldnt tell.
He saw them--hed seen them from all the way in the woods--and moved to carefully climb down the earth cliff that caged the river, hopping down silently to the level where they stood, careful of his leg, and he began walking--limping--closer to the boys.
Afternoon, gentlemen, the man spoke in a quiet, low voice, raspy and husky at the same time, but very calm over all. Seibrum felt struck by it, staring at the man as he tipped the large, straw hat to them. His face was so hard to see...
Afternoon! quipped Seibrum, welcoming and friendly, his dark eyes twinkling with curiosity, an excited smile on his thin lips. Cyrus could only stare at the man, the knot in his stomach firm and heavy, subtly weighing on him. Slowly, he reached over and almost frightenedly took Seibrums hand, his eyes wary and remaining on the newcomer. His brother glanced at him at the touch, but pulled his eyes again back to the man.
A soft, calm smile remarked on the mans cracked lips as he moved down to wearily settle on one of the large, round rocks, resting a hand on his seemingly aching back. After settling himself, he spoke again in that same dry voice, So, youre elves, are you?
Cyrus felt a flash of fear and discomfort strike him at this, but kept his mouth shut, the only sign of his uneasiness in the tightening his grip on his brothers hand.
Seibrum ignored this and nodded a little, Yes, we are.
The man nodded, the slow smile still on his face, And you come from the village over yonder?
Seibrum nodded again, noticing that the man had a slight, unfamiliar accent, Yeah, just a little ways in.
Cyrus got the feeling again, sensing that maybe Seibrum shouldnt tell the man all this. But why? What didnt he like about this man?
Seibrum...I think we should go home... he said in a very soft, shaky voice, tugging on the elders sleeve. Though his voice was quiet, the mans attention was brought to Cyrus as he spoke, his eyes still hidden under the hat. Cyrus flinched slightly, fear growing in him at being noticed, but he didnt let go of his brothers hand.
Seibrum glanced at Cyrus, feeling a tinge of annoyance. Theyd just gotten here and were talking with an interesting man, and he wanted to leave? No way! He pulled his hand aggravatedly away from Cyrus, placing it on his slender waist and frowning slightly, No, Cy, well go home later.
A chuckle came slowly from the man, amused and soft, and he raised a old, lined hand to motion them over, the tan coat raising with his arm, Come, sit by me, elf children.
Something screamed at Cyrus, screamed alerts and warnings at him not to go, not to let Seibrum go, but he let out a startled gasp as Seibrum took his hand again, roughly yanking him along across the glistening, knife-like rocks, over to the round rocks where the man sat, a happy smile on the older elfs face. He sat down carefully on a large rock across from the man, the stone cold through his clothing from the lack of sunshine. Making Cyrus sit down on the rock next to his, he turned back to the man, his face full of wonder.
The man still didnt show his face, the hat and shadows too low, but they could still see his smile, almost too eerily calm, too soft. Cyrus didnt like it; Seibrum wondered what the man was smiling about. He just sat there on that rock, his long legs bent, leaning over his knees a little with his arms, stooped over slightly. He didnt say much for awhile, and then he spoke, Dont you boys know that rivers are a dangerous place to play?
Seibrum blinked a little, worrying that this man might tell his parents. Boy, he would be in so much trouble if--
I wont tell your parents, the man assured him in that calm, dry voice. Seibrum blinked again, thinking briefly how odd it was that the man knew he was worrying about his parents. But he felt relieved with the reassurance and nodded a little, smiling softly, Thanks.
His attention was brought back to his brother as Cyrus murmured in a quiet, almost fear-filled voice, Seibrum...please...
Feeling his patience wearing down, he snapped a little, Cyrus, shut up! We arent going home yet, so just shut up!
Cyrus stared at him, emerald eyes huge, looking no different from how he would if Seibrum had slapped him across the face. Shaking faintly, he felt his voice caught in his throat, his eyes slowly shifting into a very hurt expression. Seibrum rarely yelled at him like that, and when he did, he meant business.
The older elf tried to ignore the intense hurt hovering over his brothers face, glancing away frustratedly and muttering, Were just not going home yet, okay?
Cyrus didnt respond. He could only stare at Seibrum, knowing if he said okay, Seibrum would hold him to it and not let him leave. But if he protested, Seibrum would just get angrier. He kept silent, his face still heavy with worry and fright.
Would you boys like to hear a story?
Both of their attention was brought back to the man as he spoke. He hadnt moved, hadnt raised his voice, just sat, offering them a tale like a gift.
Seibrums eyes lit up, nodding excitedly, Oh, yes, please!
Cyrus didnt say anything still, his brow knitted in a frown.
The man was quiet a while longer before he spoke, There is a land... very far away from here, much farther than you both would have ever heard of. This land was created on a circle of magic.
Seibrum stared at him,the mans voice luring him further into the story. Something about it...whether it was the topic or the way the man was telling it, he couldnt take his eyes away, completely intrigued.
The people of this land all had extrodinary powers, because of the magic they were born from. The people lived in...moderate peace with each other. There were no extreme conflicts, and for the most part, the people were happy, the man paused, a thin smile on his lips, there was a law that they would use no magic for evil, for bad things. It was strictly forbidden and anyone caught using evil magic was killed.
Seibrum winced slightly, his eyes never leaving the man.
The man went on, Now, you realize what hypocrisy that is, dont you? They were telling the people Evil is forbidden, dont commit it and then going and committing evil themselves.
The older elf swallowed largely, nodding. He wasnt sure he knew what all that was or meant, especially the hypocrisy part, but he didnt question anything the man said.
Cyrus stared at the man also, his expression growingly disturbed. Where was the man going with this?
But... the man paused again, his voice calm and dry as ever, you were only sentenced to death if you were caught. And some of the people were much too careful. They formed a society. It was underground--that means hidden away and unknown-- and it was comprised of the most intelligent and crafty people in the village. They didnt plan anything, no, but simply felt secure and comfortable in a place where they could do what they pleased with themselves and their magic: get drunk, get into fights, have orgies, dance vulgarly, and create art and music of the darkness they felt at home in.
Seibrum shivered slightly, his only knowledge of the things the man listed as bad, or to be warned of. His curiosity was purged further, his gaze locked soully.
But...it could not last forever. Its far too predictable to tell you they were found out, but that is what happened. A government troupe of the pure magic society stumbled upon one of the dark magics... meetings. Immediately, a civil war broke out. The two sides fought viciously against each other, but the darker side was much smaller. As much as they retaliated with their magic, victory for their side was hopeless. Only but a few were dead by the end of it. A woman who was called Mythalia, who had fought for the dark magics side, lie badly wounded among the fallen and gored bodies of her companions on the last day. She beckoned to a man of the pure magic, implored him to stay with her in her last hours. The mans name was Toures. He obliged to her wishes and stayed by her side, holding her hand. The two talked for hours and hours as Mythalia grew weaker and weaker. They talked about everything: the two different sides, the war, their own thoughts on everything. Both held more respect for each other and each others sides by the end of their talk. And Mythalia held no hatred for Toures, as many of the dark magic did for the pure magic, because of the kindness he had shone her in her dying hours. While Mythalia was breathing her last breaths, Toures decided he would heal her, which was also against the law. They decided they would talk to everyone together, and try to get everything worked out to start over. But the General caught sight of the light energy from Toures healing and became enraged to see a pure magic healing a dark magic. He took his sword, a white sword of light, and while Toures was unsuspecting and helping Mythalia up, holding her weak body against his, the General speared his sword through both of them in one shot and suspended their gored bodies in the air for all to see as an example, a warning to breaking the laws.
Both the boys stared horrifiedly at the man, their green eyes huge. Cyrus trembled slightly, his stomach knotted in fear.
The man went on, his voice very soft, But an interesting thing happened then. As the pure magic side stared up at the bodies of Mythalia and Toures, the blood of the two began to fall on the people. It fell harder and harder, like thick, red rain, and as it hit the people, they began to change. Their faces grew long, and their teeth grew sharp and jagged. Their hair grew messy and greasy, and short, coarse hair projections sprouted all over their body. Their bones began to change too, twisting, elonging, distorting in their bodies to rip some of their skin. They fell forward on their hands and feet and soon, they were nothing more than dumb, savage beasts. And when they moved... his voice lowered to an eerie hush, when they moved, they moved like spiders, crawling, skittering over the ground like large arachnids. Because theyd lost all their magic and intelligence, the once pure magic side had turned into greedy, hate-filled, selfish monsters. Thinking of only themselves and their selfish desires, the beasts devoured each other, slaughtering and eating any others they could. They tore down the bodies of Mythalia and Toures and devoured them too. In the end, all that was left was a field of blood, gore, and bodies. Some say--
The man was cut off by Cyrus. The younger elf sat, his eyes refusing to look at the man, his whole body shaking violently. He had a disturbed, petrified expression frozen on his face, and his brother blinked, his trance on the man breaking as he cocked an eyebrow confused, jerking slowly to Cyrus.
Seibrum...please. Lets go home....I wanna go home.... Cyrus repeated shakily, staring down his fearful eyes.
Seibrum stared at Cyrus, his brow furrowed confusedly, his mind still trying to tear away from the spell the story had put him under, his fascination. The man hadnt even finished the story yet! How could... how could Cyrus even think of interrupting it to be annoying and whiny?? His anger building up, he suddenly contorted his face, snapping furiously, Cyrus!!? No! Im sick of hearing you whine! Were not going home yet, so just shut up!! by now, Cyrus had brought his eyes up to Seibrums, shockedly and hurtly, but Seibrum went on, if you dont shut up, Im gonna smack you one, so just knock it off!! You hear??
The silence that hung in the air was heavy and shaken. None of them spoke for time, Seibrum still gazing angrily at his brother, Cyrus staring back at him with wide eyes. The man was quiet also, his smile faded, his face still hiding underneath the large rimmed hat. After a moment, he spoke in a soft, calm voice, Is he bothering you, elf child?
Seibrum jerked his head around to the man, furrowing his brow again, Huh?
The man continued, Do you want him to be hurt? Do you want him to die?
Seibrum stared at the man, then briefly examined his angry feelings towards his brother. Cyrus was so annoying! Ever since hed been born, nothing had been the same. Seibrum hadnt been the baby of the family anymore. He was now the pushed-aside, aggravating, ignored middle child. Things would be better off without the little brat!
Yes! the older exclaimed, turning his head to narrow his eyes at Cyrus, who could only stare back at him with the same frozen, shocked, hurt expression.
Seibrum didnt know what hit him. Almost immediately after his response left his lips, a large hand grabbed ahold of his armt o lift him and basically fling him away, roughly, onto the jagged, sharp rocks. Pain shot through Seibrums body and he let a loud cry of pain escape him. He could feel the sharp points driven into him, and he knew he was bleeding badly. Moaning in agony, he attempted weakly to sit up, but a noise suddenly stopped him, froze his blood.
Cyrus was screaming. His screams ripped through the air, loud and high-pitched. They were filled with fear and terror, such as Seibrum had never heard before, and the older desperately pulled himself up, crying in pain as he did so.
As soon as he could see, he froze, his eyes widening in horror, his whole draining of blood. The man...he was now on top of Cyrus, one arm pinning the small elf down, the weight of his body holding the rest of Cyrus down. The hat had fallen off as soon as hed lept forward, and a long cascade of greasy, curly black hair blew over his shoulders, all the way down his back. And Cyrus kept screaming in utter fear.
But suddenly...the screams changed. They jetted into a strained wail of absolute pain, and from Cyruss wide open mouth came a thick upheaval of bright red blood, splattering over his face and neck. His face...oh gods, his skin was completely pale, almost white, and his eyes were so wide, they were nearly hollowed out. Seibrum frantically shot his eyes to find the source of the blood and the scream, to see the mans other hand gripped around the handle of a knife, which was driven into his brothers gut. Seibrum choked, beginning to breath in rapid gasps, panickedly, as Cyruss screams of pain rang in his ears. Get up!! Get up, you moron!! he shrieked at himself in his head. But he couldnt move. He seemed frozen in one spot, frozen to watch the horrific scene.
Then, in a swift movement, the man, still holding the knife deeply into Cyrus, drew it upwards, raggedly cutting through the boys tiny stomach. Cyrus half sobbed, half shrieked, his eyes shutting quickly, his voice ringing through the empty river bed.
Help him!! Save him!!! Seibrum sobbed at himself, his emerald eyes petrified and huge, trying with every ounce of willpower and strength in him to move, but it was hopeless. Finding the tiny remainders of his voice, he choked out, Cy...Cy... his choke mangled into a painful, terrified scream, CYRUS!!!
The man brought the knife out of his brother, seeping with blood up to the hilt, only to bring it back down again into Cyruss arm, ripping through the once tender and soft skin, the blood spurting and gushing from every cut the man made. Gore and bits of torn organs heaped from the large, jagged wound in Cyruss stomach. The younger elfs screams were growing weaker and weaker as the man continued to stab and slice at him, tearing his flesh apart and ripping up the meat underneath. His face and his hair was so stained with blood and gore, the dark streams of it soaked around him, the white rocks he lay limply on top of splattered and soaked with blood.
Cyruss voice as beginning to die, along with the rest of him. Seibrum sobbed and screamed more at himself, but he couldnt move still. Move!!! Move, God damnit!! He raised his eyes once more to see Cyrus being stabbed repeatedly and brutally, the young elf sobbing and screaming weakly in pain every time it was driven into him. The man finally brought the blood-soaked knife up, and brought it down with lightening speed down into the center of Cyruss throat. A choke came from the young elf, and nothing more than a wet, sucking sound, as the passage to his air and voice had been severed. Blood shot out of his pale lips once more to join the rest, streaming out of it and down his chin like vomit. The man twisted the knife more, grinding at the bones and veins in Cyruss neck, the blood bubbling over with torn pieces of his veins and throat. More chokes came from Cyruss blood stained lips, his eyes shot wide open and frozen, staring in horror at nothing but the grey blue sky above. The choking ceased.
Seibrum shook so violently he nearly fell over. His emerald eyes were wide in horror and disbelief, and now, he felt he really couldnt move. A thick nausea built up in his stomach as the foul stench of blood and gore began to fill and cling to the air. But Cyrus didnt move, and neither did the man. But Seibrum didnt look at the man. He couldnt think. He couldnt breathe. The air felt like a suffocating cloud, and his thoughts raced too fast and too distant to make sense of. Cyrus...
Sudden shouts and hollers shattered the grotesque silence that once filled the air, and Seibrum barely realized they came from a bit behind him, from above, in the village. The man heard them too and brought the knife slowly out of Cyruss throat, getting to his feet. Seibrum didnt even look at him as he stooped to pick up his hat, placing it atop his greasy hair, then scrambled away in such movements as no human could make, fast and skittering and almost animal-like.
And he was gone. The river bed was empty except for Seibrum and a corpse of blood and gore that once was his brother. Despite the loud voices from the village fast approaching, a silence hung over the river bed, shaky and empty and hollow. Still shaking violently, Seibrum stared at Cyrus, not breathing, no sane thoughts passing through his head. Cyrus didnt move. Slowly, more slowly and strainedly than hed ever moved before, Seibrum moved up, getting to his feet, his whole body trembling. As he moved to walk forward, his legs gave in, and he fell forward onto his knees. The rocks scaped along his knees, the skin breaking and blood soaking through his pants. His wide eyes still remained on Cyrus, oblivious to the pain, and he basically crawled forward, trembling and aching till he reached his brothers body.
Cyruss eyes had fallen, closed, and thank the Gods for it. Half of one of his small, pointed ears was gone; a large gash seeped blood from his cheek; his whole stomach was gutted open; and there were hundreds of other bleeding wounds covering his whole body. His clothes were completely shredded up, barely hanging from his thin frame, and those that were were stained bright red.
The minutes passed like hours, and the silence and stillness of it all was driving Seibrum insane. Why didnt Cyrus move??
Seibrum jerked his head up as villagers began to crowd into the river bed, dozens of them pouring in. They stopped, the sound of their feet echoing off the rocks. What a sight to walk down into. Seibrum just sat there next to what appeared to be a body, completely cut up and bloody. Many gasped in horror, putting hands over their mouths in shock, a couple getting sick quietly behind the others.
Seibrum stared at them with wide eyes, his thoughts racing. What were they here for?? What were they going to do to Cyrus? Moving sluggishly, he pulled himself closer to Cyrus, lifting the young elfs feeble body into his arms, the blood running onto Seibrum now and heavily, seeping into his clothes and covering his hands.
A villager, an elderly man, recognized the elves and with a horrified tone, he called out, Seibrum...what is the meaning of this...?
Seibrums eyes darted wildly from villager to villager. They...what was he talking about?? But he knew the man talking to him and called out in a weak, child-like voice, shaking, Herrumus-san...please, can you help Cyrus...I think hes badly hurt....
The silence from the crowd of villagers was stricken. They looked on him with terrified, confused eyes, some sad, some suspicious. Herrumuss brow furrowed painfully, and his voice volume dropped, Seibrum...Cyrus is dead.
Cyrus is dead.
The words passed through Seibrum and hit him like a rock at the same time. Cyrus is dead. Cyrus is dead. Cyrus is dead.
Seibrum looked down at the limp body in his arms. There was blood everywhere. Everywhere . He felt sick to his stomach, able to see Cyruss muscle and bones under the thick blood, the skin torn away in so many places. The cuts so deep. But...dead?
Cyrus is dead.
Get away from that boy!
Bringing his blood covered hands up, he covered his ears, beginning to shake violently, No...no...Cyrus is not dead... Cyrus is alive...not dead...
His voice sounded crazy and hysterical to him, but he didnt care. He felt crazy right now. Staggering away from the corpse of his brother, his own clothes so soaked with blood they stuck to his slender figure, he pulled his knees up to his chest, his bloody hands still over his ears, He is not dead...Cyrus isnt dead...not dead...hes not dead...
Boy! Stop babbling and look at him! Your brother is dead!
Seibrum, being told to look at Cyrus, quickly shut his emerald eyes, to tightly it hurt, his voice rising in panic, No...no!
Look at him!
Look at him!
NO!! he screamed, the tears now coming and pouring down his cheeks, no, you cant make me!!
A hand grabbed his shoulder to yank him up, and he quickly opened his eyes, wildly jerking around. Like a wild animal, he jerked furiously away with a loud scream, DONT TOUCH ME!!!
But in opening his eyes, they fell upon Cyrus. He lie there, blood-covered and frail, his eyes closed peacefully. He looked...dead. And it began to set in. Sobbing so hard his cheeks were completely wet, Seibrum weakly pulled himself over to the body.
Youre...dead, Cyrus... he choked out through sobs in a glass-like voice. Gently, he touched the soft cheek with two fingers. Cold. Already. Unable to sob enough, he collapsed next to the body of his brother, Cyrus...Cyrus...take me with you...can you? I...bet you can...So, take me with you... All right?
You did it, didnt you, boy?
Seibrum slowly lifted his head to gaze at the villagers, Wha...?
They gazed at him fearfully, hatefully, nervously. You did this, didnt you?
He stared at them through huge, tear-filled eyes, N-no...I... I didnt mean to...
Why, boy?! Why did you kill your brother?
You...you killed him?
Why did you kill your brother?
Seibrums whole body shook, the hot, searing tears streaming down his cheeks. He could barely see or feel or hear anything but the sobs of his mother, and their accusations.
His mothers cries incessantly beat into his skull, never letting up, her voice weak and filled with pained despair, Oh gods...theres so much blood... and she sobbed more.
Shaking so violently it almost felt like a seizure, his voice so pitiful, No...it...it wasnt my fault!
His mother snapped her head around to glare hatefully at her older son, Oh please! she spat, the tears staining her beautiful, still youthful face, you did this! You did this to my son, and you know it!!
Seibrum shook harder. No... he almost whispered, flashes of holding his brothers weak, bloody body in his arms appearing in his head, no...I didnt mean to...
Incoherently, his father murmured, Why did you kill your brother?
Why did you kill him?
He could feel the hatred, the anger, the fury from his parents. He could hear their thoughts, the names they called him their heads.
I never want to see you again... came the rasped statement from his mother.
No!! she shouted, never touch me again!!
I think its best... his father murmured, if you go to live with your grandparents...
Seibrum began to sob more, You dont want me....
Of course we dont!! You killed my son---
I think, his father interrupted his mother, its best if...you go to live with your grandparents.
I...it wasnt my fault!! the boy exclaimed painfully.
Why...why... his mother wailed, rocking the gore-covered boy like he was a doll. A lifeless doll. Perhaps thats all Cyrus was now.
Seibrum stared at the house in front of him. Would he be loved here? Or hated, like at home?
Kareku. Hed heard of it before, but this was his first time ever seeing the place. This was where his grandparents lived. It was the capital of Kareku. Many miles from the this house was the wonderfully huge palace of the Emperor, Kesu.
Suddenly, a boy ran up to him. It was a human boy, who looked slightly younger than Seibrum, with thick brown hair and large blue eyes. He seemed so full of life and excitement, and for a brief moment, Seibrum envied him.
Hey, the boy said, clearly out of breath from running, are you...an elf? You are, arent you?
Seibrum blinked, gazing at the boy. The village he came from was almost half-elf populated, so it was never something anyone asked. Hai, I am... he answered warily.
The boys eyes glittered, Wow...thats so cool!! Ive never met an elf before!
And still, all Seibrum could do was stare. This human boy had never met an elf before? Were there none but his grandparents in this village?
Im Kaju, the boy smiled warmly, holding out his hand, who are you?
Seibrum watched Kaju warily. Was it...a joke? A trick? But there was so much sincerity in the humans eyes. Maybe...Seibrum thought slowly, I can start over here. Maybe I can have friends again, people who dont know what Ive done.
Seibrum smiled then, a merry, cheerful smile that he would later adopt to use constantly the rest of his life. Im Seibrum, he told Kaju, shaking his hand with a grin, its nice to meet you.
1 pronounced Kie-rus, not sigh-rus.