“For millennia we’ve kept to ourselves, answering a summons now and then to correct assumptions of us. The advancement of the human mortals however took us by complete surprise. Still, it was to be expected, not all races stay stagnant forever. Those that do usually pass on into time for another to take its place. We manage the living, if that means striking fear into them then so be it.”
“What is our task for today.”
“Listen. This isn’t all just conjuring and manipulating. Sometimes it involves patience, and discipline, to listen to the alone and provide comfort that they can not feel. ‘Darkness my old friend’ isn’t just a saying to us. We are also the hidden counselors, many would be thankful for us.” The old smith said as he reached into the void, bringing out some writhing shadows.
“Balance is harsh, sometimes evil must flourish at times. For instance, people constantly bemoan the weather, always cloudy, rainy, what have you. If however it was nice and sunny every day, plants will not thrive at all. Look at your deserts, that will give you a good indication of constant sunlight.” With that he brought down a hammer, striking the form. “A little bit of rain never hurt anyone really.”
A few more strikes of the hammer and the form had become inert. Satisfied with his work he cast the thing into the shadow flame. “Just like what had happened now, death, is the birth of creation. something must be lost to gain something. Equivalence exchange is the name of the game.”
“Today, you will listen to your former mortals, Shadows know every secret, every fear. With this, we help where we can, when we can. This also helps our killing techniques, when to strike.” With that he took a pair of tongs, bringing out a chunk of metal. “When everything goes right, the metals will part from any impurities, and the mortal feels drained but satisfied.” Suddenly he plunged the chunk in a cooling solution, a steam cloud erupted blocking the view. “However, with a harsh chill, they break and crack, never to be worked on again for the value is lost forever.”
Once the steam cleared away, he reached back into the coolant bringing out pieces of rocky shards. “If we work these over, any works will be brittle, the temper shock too damaging. This ore is now useless to us.” with that he cast it back into the abyss. “head to your room, and uncover the mirror. It is your mirror to the mortals, listen well, and back away when done. You do not want to leave the mirror uncovered for too long. Eventually the Light will kill you the more you learn.”
The mirror was a curiosity, one I hadn’t the time to dwell on. Now though, apparently was the time to use it. I grasp the cloth, and gently tug, to my surprise there was a woman curled around a pillow, staring forlornly at her device. taking a step closer, it becomes clear, she had been crying. Slowly she began to speak, it is doubtful she even knew she was talking. Her eyes were kind of vacant, empty. It was kind of disturbing, however, the more she told of her current situation, the more lively she became.
There was something wrong though, it was becoming unbearable just looking at her. I persevered though, determined to listen as the Smith said.
It was an unbearable 20 minutes before she dozed off, and yet she was satisfied. With haste I covered the mirror, sliding down the wall in exhaustion. The candle light glaring at me, I barely had enough energy to put it out, welcoming the sweet darkness.
“It is tough isn’t it. And you are luck to last 20 minutes. You will find yourself withering away at this rate.” says the darkness near the door.
“Why does it hurt. She is happy now, so why was it hard to listen.”
“That, is the Light, the Spark of Life returning to her. She probably won’t be back any time soon, your care seen to that.” the darkness seemed to contemplate the mirror. “She might not be back at all in the near future with how much spark she had. You have a gift little shadow, know your limits though.”
with that it picked me up, placing me on the bed provided. “Rest now, your lessons resume later.” With that I fall into deep sleep.
No idea what this story is. Just flowing words so far, setting the pace I suppose. This is part 2 of the shadow series, an extra if you will, for the Storytime posts.