The acid smell of burnt flesh still rings in my memory. The smell and pain felt as of another body not mine, as I stood overlooking the plains of ascension the book a pile on the pedestal while my flesh crinkled and charred black like burning paper.
I was unworthy. Unworthy to read the Chronicles of Legois, the quest was a complete disaster. Months of journey, loss of trusted friends and warriors the ascension was over and I had been discarded by the very thing I sort above all.
Stepping down from the pedestal, I felt the silence of every worn down soul the few who made it inches from deep despair. My hands where proof that the book was indeed alive and also of my failure.
The book chose who was worthy of its knowledge, the trials to reach the book where a test of a seekers heart. It had read mine and I failed.
Simon approached me, wet bandage in hand. No words where exchanged in our little party of 9 as we made the solemn walk down to camp at the Base of the tower. The night was spent in silence as well, the crackle of the wet logs the distant animal calls on the plains where the only sounds all night.
A thick cloak of despair hung on the camp all night till morning. The captain sat aside from us, staring at the hastily wrapped hands I had tried my best to salvage, the pain will surely only come after the shock wears off.
We had lost too much. Too many good souls to reach this worthless ascension plain.
Gritting my teeth at the memory of how we sacrificed the 11th man, Gregg to leave the catacombs leading to the plains.
The captain knew Gregg from childhood, his weary figure cloaked in despair only made me realise the hero’s journey is never worth all its peril when you are not one of the chosen
Inspired by Friday Fictioneers: 14th April, 2016.