A selection from my work in progress series “The Wars of Vedam”
Around the camp the fire was dismal, only the embers creaked in the darkness — but up above was magnificent. Somber velvet and navy skies stretched across the gaping atmosphere, revealing stars that shimmered like diamonds. No moons accented the sky, only the array of galactic blues, purples, and greens, displaying the valleys of space beyond Tuame and beyond Vedam.
The memories from today felt like dreams on replay, filling up my thoughts and sending shivers up and down my limbs. While the sky appeared so soothing, I knew that it saw more than just our little campsite in the middle of nowhere, somewhere behind us was a collection of Regime officials waiting to find us and turn us into the Queen.
I worried for Hera. Last night, she had been so quiet, so calculated. I had never seen her like that before. Her every movement was intentional and swift, as if anticipating a Regime official to strike her at any moment. Her eyes gleamed under the moonlight, streaking gold and red –scarlet aureate– as if the sun had consumed her. As the older sister, I was always the leader and the decision maker, despite my passivity. But over the last several hours, Hera had proven that she wasn’t exactly the little sister at all. I knew she could lead us through this, but could we follow her into the unknown?
In my dreams, I saw the tests again and I saw the golden blood spattered on the windows and walls. Dem Loun’s galaxy eyes saw everything. Those hooded figures from my dreams and nightmares haunted me but when I turned around they were no longer there. I could hear all of the screams echoing and repeating through the halls and the rooms. I even saw the party afterwards where we knew the officials would come for us, but this time they caught us and they pulled blood from our veins and torn our tendons and poked our spines with needles thicker than bone.
I hated those dreams and I knew they wouldn’t leave. But instead of being premonitions of the future, they were remnants of the past. I didn’t know which was better, but at least now I knew if was over for a little while.
Now the only thing that glittered were the stars. The deep velvets of night faded into an abundance of oranges and deep blood reds as the sun rose from the southeast, stretching its rays to the edges of the night and encompassing the stars with golden and pink strands of light. The warmth from the sun was quickly increasing with every moment, reviving my muscles and thawing my body of the tension and fear from last night.
“Seraudd, are you awake?”
I sat up and my eyes adjusted to see Addin’s blurry figure at the edge of my sleeping case. “What’s up?” I managed, my voice still groggy from restless sleep.
“We need breakfast and…” he looked around before he lowered his voice. “I have no idea how to do that.”
I snickered. “I’m gonna keep saying it–“
“I know, I know, elite Lenalei are completely useless.” Addin laughed and we started toward the smoking fire.