The Sleeping City stood as still as it always did. For nearly three decades, the ruins-turned-city had held a silent vigil over the wilds around it. No one ventured near, and no one ventured out. In the day, the sun cast long shadows from its central towers, illuminating the people caught in the city’s strange thrall.
They had been sleeping for years, but nothing changed. The fruits and bread in their stores remained as fresh as the day the entire populace lay down to shut their eyes.
Time itself slept on while the rest of the world moved without it, so the rumor mill said.
The peak of the tower was less than ten feet away. If Elias were to look over his shoulder, he’d see a whole city splayed out around him, the buildings shorter and shorter the farther they got from the central tower, until the crumbling walls put a sudden halt to all buildings. What was once a proud ancient city had been in ruins for years before the current people swept across the land.
Starting several years ago, the city had made no more progress in its march through time. No bricks had fallen, even in precarious places. Scholars couldn’t approach to discern why, and even those immune to the sleep spell couldn’t find the true cause.
Elias was probably the most informed demigod on the continent when it came to time. Despite not being an Oracle himself, it fell to him to investigate the Sleeping City.
Eral whirled around with an amazed grin. “You woke them up! You broke the spell!”
Elias’ eyes were still alarmingly bright blue, and they were fixed on the small pixie. His flute was already stowed away in his jacket, and he grinned jovially. “Well, something like that, little buddy,” he admitted.
His hand reached out faster than even Eral, with all his fae swiftness, could see. It scooped him up into a fist while Elias leapt to his feet, and Eral coughed in surprise. “Hey! Asshole! What’s the big idea?!”
“Hmmm, well, there’s still a little more to do,” Elias replied, striding up the gentle slope of the roof. “But it’ll be easy for ya. Promise.”
Eral landed tentatively on one arm while Elias worked at the puzzle. “And why are you poking at the thing that knocked out an entire city for thirty years?”
Elias snickered. “My spellsong woke everyone up and it kinda shot the spell back at it,” he said. “Mom predicted that and that’s why she sent us. This thing’s got a headache now and we’re gonna hit it while it’s down.”
Elias plopped himself down to a seat on the stylized glass pattern of a flower petal and dug around one of the inner pockets of his jacket. While he searched, Eral turned to view the city around them. For a being so small, everything around them outsized him, but from up there the houses looked miniature.
“So what’re we-” he turned back to see that Elias had retrieved a worn reed flute from his jacket. The pixie rolled his eyes. “What are you doing with that? Is this really the time?”
Elias brushed a hand back through his flame red hair, a contrast to his brown skin. Once he was suitably mussed, he pointed the flute at Eral. “It is exactly the time, my friend. Believe me, I know time, it’s all mum ever talks about if anyone’s listening, y’know.”
Eral shot him a flat look and kicked at the flute. Elias, predicting the move, pulled the instrument away and snickered when the miss threw Eral off balance. “Fine. What’s the plan?”
“For now, Mageslayer,” Elias began with a smirk in his tone, “you just listen to the show. When I’m done, stuff can happen.”
Then, without more setup, Elias closed his eyes and started to play.
It was a slow tune at first, like he was testing out the sound of the instrument he’d had for years. Eral drifted in the air near the wandering bard’s head while he played, admittedly captivated by the husky sound of the flute. Even he could tell when magic was weaving into the notes, slowly and carefully.
Elias was about to work something huge from the top of that tower.
Soooo I got a surprise from @nightmares06 for Christmas! A scene from my Song of Awakening drawn by @dtv-art and I love this so much @o@ I’m this close to gluing my face to the screen to keep staring at it oh my God. Thank you so much for this, and here it is for the whole world to see!
Today was a quick one, because I decided to edit an older story and update it. Sometimes that’s not a quick process at all … today it worked. The story is A Song of Awakening, which I’ve already posted in its original form. Still counts!
Word Count: 2607
Elias rubbed his hands together, creating arcs of blue electricity between his fingers. With a flourish, he aimed his palms at the ancient glasswork roof, and struck the tower with lightning.
The roof tiles crumbled and Elias plummeted into the room below.
“Gods dammit, Elias!” Eral cried, his wings fluttering to life. He stuck close to the demigod as many shards of colorful glass fell with them. It would only take a few to slice him to ribbons, and for whatever reason (he highly doubted it was coincidence), the glass was avoiding Elias.