The silence slammed into Lli as he threw the massive doors open. He gasped from the sudden change. Almost as if the air pressure had been taken away. The palace had never been this empty.
The wind didn’t even make a sound. The Palace of Silence had been given its name for a reason.
Casting all thoughts of the palace aside, Lli sprinted forward. She had to be here. She had to.
Lli felt tears welling up in his eyes as he ran, and he cursed at himself. Why had he let this happen? Angrily shutting his eyes, he ran through the halls he had memorized years ago. Tapestries moved as he rushed past them, but he didn’t spare them a glance. Besides, he knew every picture by heart. The time he had spent staring at them with Sria— Gods, he had to find her.
Lli reached the staircase and ran up it three steps at a time. Sria would be either in her mother’s room or her own. Both were upstairs. Gripping the stone railing, he practically pulled himself up the stairs. Urging himself to go faster, he found renewed strength.
Which room to go to first? Sria’s was closer, so Lli turned towards it. He had already run out of time.
The customary guards were gone. It seemed as if the castle had been stripped of life. Running past the empty sentry posts, he shoved the doors open and finally came to a stop.
On the floor was the confirmation of Lli’s worst fear. A pool of blood in the middle of the room made his heart run cold. No, no. Not Sria.
If she was dead… Curse the gods for letting this happen! Maybe it wasn’t Sria’s blood. He had to hope.
Turning around, Lli pressed through the silence, panting for breath.
The memories of his childhood whispered treacherously in his ear, each one flashing through his tear-filled vision.
Coming to the palace, meeting the king. Meeting Sria. Playing in the gardens, running past the mountain streams. Sria laughing, head thrown back joyfully, her blonde hair falling just past the middle of her back. All the memories ran together, a collage of time used up.
He had to save her.
Past the balcony, one turn left. Another flight of stairs, narrower this time. The windows along this hallway were all open, letting the rain flood in. The wet floor threatened to make him fall. Silent rain was wrong. Without the tap of each drop on the ground, the rain seemed colder than usual. A cruel reminder of how everything he knew was falling. Falling into a million pieces.
Then Lli saw the blood on the floor. Drops spattered the tile here, mixing with the rain.
The tears in his eyes tried again to flood out, but he held them in. He had to keep hoping while he could.
The door to the queen’s chambers was hanging wide open. Lli ran through and felt himself shatter.
In the center of the room lay two bodies. Rain wet their clothes, pulling them tight against their skin. Blood dyed their white dresses red.
He collapsed on the floor, and every tear he had held back forced its way out.
He was too late.
Reaching toward the two bodies, he pulled to him his only friend. As he felt the wet skin of her neck and looked at her limp body, he felt every part of himself fade away. He had done this.
Looking at the dead queen, he wept for the only woman he had called mother.
Gods, no… No….
His sobs were silent, his tears invisible in the rain. But his sorrow was the only thing alive in the palace. He had failed them. In the silence and the cold, Lli wept. His emotions bled away as he knelt there, Sria’s head cradled in his hands. His tears ceased, and the life inside him seemed to whither.
Lli felt something else. Someone was watching him. Looking behind himself, he saw a figure standing in the doorway. A silhouette of a man.
The man who had killed Sria.
Lli stood, letting Sria’s head slide off his lap. The man was holding a weapon of some kind, but he couldn’t tell what. Lli only had his short knife.
The figure leaped forward, slamming his weapon into Lli’s head before he could react. Lli dropped to the floor, conscious and in pain. The attacker stood above him, holding what Lli could now see was a metal bar.
The man raised it above his head, preparing to bring it down on Lli. For only a moment, Lli felt for the energy he had felt earlier. It was as unresponsive as ever.
The man brought his weapon down.
Reflexively, Lli brought his hands up to defend himself. As the bar touched his hands, time froze.
The energy flared to life, rushing up Lli’s arms and into his hands. His hands heated up rapidly, almost hurting. No. He would not be the one to die.
Time resumed in a flash of white light.
The heat doubled in intensity, and Lli forgot everything in the single moment of agony. When he regained control of his mind and body, he knew something was different, wrong somehow. He looked up to see the attacker face-down on the floor. On the carpet by the doorway, bent nearly in half, lay the metal bar.
Lli felt his hands. The pain was gone
With a groan, the man tried to get up.
Sound. In the Palace of Silence.
Lli stood. The blood rushed from his head, and he staggered forward. He fell to his knees again, holding his aching head. When his hand came away, his skin was red with blood. His head throbbed with pain.
What had he done?
The attacker managed to sit up. He spoke in a whisper.
“H-How did you do that?”
Lli was still surprised to hear sound. Had he broken the magic of the palace? Lli crawled to where the bar lay and picked it up. Feeling the cold metal in his hands made the weapon more real to him, rooting him in the reality he was living.
Lli gripped it stronger, standing slowly. Then, looking at the murderer, he raised it. The man looked up, and Lli saw fear in his eyes.
Lli looked down at the man, raised the metal bar higher, and—
Lli slumped to the floor, the metal bar clanging on the mosaic floor. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t kill, even with the pain throbbing in his chest, he couldn’t kill.
Walking over to Sria’s body, he reached for her hand.
Kneeling there, Lli sobbed.
And the rain poured down outside.
“Why…? How…” The stranger tried to speak, mumbling the beginnings of his questions.
Lli didn’t know what questions the man was asking, but one answer fit them all.
“I don’t know.”
Dimly, Lli heard the man sit up and crawl away. Lli let him leave. He wanted nothing to do with him.
He had failed.
Author Notes: This... Isn't really a story. it's part of a story I wanted to write, but in the planning, I couldn't get past his scene. The background is simple.
Lli as a young boy, lives as a servant at the Palace of Silence, the castle with a spell preventing any sound. His parents die in an accident, leaving him alone, and he then grows up with the princess Sria as his best friend. The king supports him, and the queen loves him like a son.
As he comes of age, he learns that there might be more to his parent's death than he ever knew. Before he leaves to find those answers, the king tells him not to go--that disaster is already on its way. Lli leaves anyway, hoping to hurry back.
Delays slow him down on his way, and when he reaches the destination, he learns it was all a hoax, meant to take him from the royal family.
He rushes pack to the palace. This scene, then happens.
This isn't a well planned story yet, just a very general outline. There are many problems with it such as, why did he need to be away when the assassination happens? Why would Lli even think for a moment that there was more to his parent's deaths? (they WERE servants, after all...)
The biggest one was: What happens afterwards? If everything he loves is gone, how can anything resolve. Simply put, I thing if I wrote a full story, Sria would not die and the queen would not die....
Weeelllll, I just thought I'd post this.