The Darkness

An Exclusive Short Story From The Alderash Series
by Tanya L. Harris

31 Days of Halloween - Oct 25 - The Darkness

Today on “31 Days of Halloween” I’m honored to bring you an exclusive short story from Tanya L. Harris, author of the Alderash series. That means you’re getting a peek into the history of Alderash that isn’t available anywhere else.

Over To Our Guest
Tanya L. Harris

Hello Wonderful people of the page! As you may or may not know I write high fantasy with a twist of urban. Some have categorized my series as portal fantasy, but I like to think of it as reality colliding with fantasy. One of the awesome things about writing fantasy is my only limitations are my own imagination.

Fall is in the air and that means this is the time of year when the veil between our worlds becomes thin enough to let the spooky, creepy legends through. Scary, horror stories don’t usually jive with the traditional idea of fantasy unless you go to the dark-side.

I am excited to share with you a dark fantasy short story that has been written exclusively for Timothy Bateson’s 31 days of Halloween. What you are about to read is the dark, ghastly story of what the steward of the Darkness endured when and after being vanquished almost a thousand years ago. The following is what transpired to set the steward ablaze and start the beginning of the end of Alderash.  

The Darkness

The memory of that moment, the moment my life was taken as part of the punishment. I remember the piercing pain of the sword penetrating my back and then my heart. Shock moves me to stumble and fall to my knees as I turn to see my betrayer. It can’t be, no not him. I remember the day he died in my arms, his essence seeped into me giving me his power. I call out to him, but only blood coughs from my mouth. As my last breath leaves me, I see a single tear trickle down my brothers face.

This is one of many torments the gods have deemed fit to rule my current existence. Although it’s the least painful physically, the emotional anguish is overwhelming each time, as if I am experiencing it for the first time, each time it happens. Another one of the games of the gods, to remind me of all the pain, but never allow me to become desensitized.

“AHHHH.” I scream from the agony of the excruciating sensation of burning blades slowly etching into my skin. Each movement designed to carve the names of every live I took and each atrocity I committed in the gods’ eyes. The misery last for what feels like hours. My throat is hoarse from the screams. Sweat and tears soak my face as the thousands of lacerations drip, saturating the dirt floor.

Despite the gods’ incisive desire to witness my continuous suffering by the same torments, I feel this activity has gotten a bit stale. There were many atrocities done by my hand. Many lives snuffed out and many destroyed, left to live a life of constant torment. The pain may feel new every time, but I have counted and timed the cuts. This knowledge gives me some ability to condition my body and mind for the worst abrasions. I have yet to learn to master my screams. When I have tried, I know I hear laughter.

Keeping track of the time in here has been near impossible, but I found a way. These torments have been going on for several centuries, seven if I have counted correct. Over seven hundred years of reliving the same agonizing terror daily. There are moments, when a sliver of hope seeps in, that it’s over. Such as now, as minutes of silence tick by, the pain beginning to subside. The wounds slowly scabbing over reducing the oozing flow.

A strange sensation jolts me from my mind. A table materialized out of no-where beneath me. This is an interesting turn of events. Looking around, there is nothing else out of place. The cave is the same endless rock with no opening, except now with this large table. A metal clanging draws my attention to the far end of the table nearest my feet. Manacles are floating about six inches in the air. Before I can react, they slam down around my ankles. An invisible force slams into my chest, pushing me back. As my head snaps against the wood, iron rings strap around my wrists. Pulling on them only cuts into my skin, burning it.

It seems the gods are bored with their old methods as well.

Nye.” A cold voice whispers in my head.

That one word drives a strange terror through my body. They have not spoken to me since the night I arrived.

“It is time for you to witness, your end.”

A pull on my stomach indicates a magical vision is about to start. In front of me a green meadow materializes. In the field are flowers of every color peppered throughout the tall green grass. I know this field. My siblings and I would come here and play as children. Laughter draws me around to see a young female walking away from me through the field, her hands splayed out gently caressing the grass. Her brunette hair with thick maroon streaks dancing in the sun light as it lays down her back. Her gentle sun-kissed skin glowing brilliantly against the aqua-blue dress. She turns toward the direction she had come allowing me to see her facial features. Her face is rounder than most elven, yet full of life and power. She is curvier as well, her breast snug in the dress, showing just enough to want to see more. Her smile is pure and genuine, very unelven. She is exquisite. She swivels her head to my directions, power rippling from her as she meets my eyes. Excitement fills me as I stare into her eyes. By the gods her eyes are violet! She is an elemental of highest order.

Another enters the scene, a tall male wearing a tailored suite of white. Based on his build I would assume he was a royal warrior, maybe her protector. But if she is royalty of what lineage. Surely not Loflin. No, this elven is no Loflin, not with human blood in her. The female laughs again and runs to the man. A curious sensation builds in my chest as I see them embrace. She puts her hand to his face to draw his lips to hers. On her forearm resides the insignia of the Spirit element. She will control all the magic in the realms, she will control the Veil.

No, no. This can’t be happening. She is destined for me. The Oracles told me that the one with that symbol would be mine. Her power would give me the ultimate rule over all the realms. She should not be kissing him. She is designed for me! Her powers should be mine!

“NO.” I yell as the wind picks up, blessing their union.

As if he hears me, the male pulls away from her and looks at me, a smirk upon his face. His eyes swirling with gold flakes. The eyes of a god.

The cave comes crashing back to me and the table vanishes, dropping me to the floor. Forcing myself to a sitting position I feel wetness on my face. Angerly I wipe the tears away. My anger and hatred for the gods festering like an infected wound left to rot. It will feed my resolve. That vision is proof that my powers are not extinguished. Visions can not be forced on another, there must be energy there to sustain it. They have made a grave mistake in giving me stronger more resilient resolve of escaping this nightmare.

The gods thrusted me into the existence of torment as punishment for trying to take what is theirs. Trying to control the beast of their design. I believe they hope this torment will give me pause, will be my redemption. No, my course was set thousands of years ago, I am the rightful ruler of Alderash, I deserve all the power the Veil holds. When it is time, I will enact my vengeance against those who condemned me to this place with my death. I will destroy the entire family. When I am finished there will not be a Loflin alive to oppose me.

I was deemed the Darkness, destroyer of realms. It is time that I return to the realms of the living to claim my throne, to claim Alderash. If I cannot have it, I will watch it all burn.

Thanks for Reading

I hope you’ve enjoyed this exclusive insight into the world of Alderash. If you’re interested in reading more, check out Tanya’s links below, and discover how the world develops.

If you read any of the books, or would just like to share your thoughts on the story above, feel free to leave a review in the comments.

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About Tanya L. Harris

Tanya L. Harris - Author

My name is Tanya L Harris and I love building new and brilliant fantasy worlds while keeping these fantasy worlds anchored in the real world. It’s a touch of urban to hold the epicness together!

In the daytime I am a 9-5 accountant. At night I am a stealth flying writer who crafts mind boggling plot twists that will keep you guessing at every turn! When I am not writing I am hitting the slopes or the waves (lake waves, sadly am land-locked, no beaches), coaching lacrosse and traveling with my husband and two daughters to parts unknown (to us).

My greatest inspirations for writing come from reading and traveling. I use my travels to create images of places that will fit within my worlds. The glorious architecture of the Cathedral at the Prague Castle, the town hall in Munich, Germany and the beautifully designed interior of the Neuschwanstein Castle in Fuson, Germany are the inspirations for the Citadel in my series of Alderash. Some of the most serene places I have visited have put me into a mindset to create some of my best work. Sitting next to a lake in the middle of a mountain valley or lounging by the ocean with its gentle roar. I have taken some not so lovely places, such as the super max prison in Colorado and made them places of torment and torture.

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Who Else Is Dropping In?

31 Days of Halloween - Coming This October

“31 Days of Halloween” is a collaborative effort, and I really couldn’t put out 31 posts in 31 days without help.

While I’ve personally filled many of the slots for the event, I also have some amazing guest posts, from some wonderful folks.

Want to see what else is happening?

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