In the dying whispers of the night into morning, Rhoslyn pranced like a cat through the castle walls. Her mind raced as she escaped into the darkness of the underground.
The underground of the castle was vast and windowless with accents of dark woods and sandy bricks seasoned by the sun. It held rooms of aged relics and ruins of past.
It was altogether lit dimly by torches, dancing from dusk to dawn. Rhoslyn found herself opening a great wooden door, scratched and marked by time. The room she was met with was intriguing and resplendent.
Paintings clothed the wall, showing tales of angels, animals and great fires. A range of tall and stout tables clattered the room, and on top of them were bottles, scrolls and even decorated mantles shaped like unicorn heads, crafted with rubies in its eyes.
Her fire-lit eyes played across the room, taking everything in. The awe. The history. The fascination.
Moments ticked away and she had read scrolls, books, felt fabrics and opened lamps. The more she explored the more she wanted to see.
In front of her, a painting stared at her. A woman with pale skin, a fair height, dark hair and her eyes scorn out with black paint. She found that odd and unsettling, not wanting to look at it. Yet she couldn't look away.
Was she a queen? She had the beauty of one, she thought. Her face was fierce and had the eyes of a cat, but still gorgeous.
Even her dress, that followed behind her like a shadow, was as black as midnight. The longer she looked it seemed the shadows around was looking too, and dancing with the fire.
Whoever this woman was, she was heinous. The atmosphere in the painting had illustrated a beauty, yes, but it also had the undertones of malevolence and destruction.
Like the silence of a black and purple midnight sky, it's beauty accompanied by a diamond moon and thousand shining flames, but even then it was vast and mysterious and unknown. Who could ever know what lurked up there... Something with a hunger for blood, a taste for mountains and oceans.
When night comes, the air becomes cold and bitter and silent. A contrast from the day, an unfriendly darkness that's inevitable.
This was how the painting made her feel, she had never seen herself as an artsy woman, but somehow it spoke to her in a thousand words...
The shadows continued their dancing around the walls, like children around a blazing campfire.
But then they started singing too. Whispering in her ear... "Bewitched! Bewitched!" They protested harshly, her skin began to crack up and goosebumps grew fast.
The stoney room around her suddenly felt shrunk and small. She panicked and forgot herself as the shadows hissed at her.
Rhoslyn's body span as fast as it would let her, and fought through the doors and halls of the underground, desperate to get away.
The further she got, the whispers began to hush and settle like a soft rain.
She found herself sweating profusely when she entered her chambers, breathless and confused. Whispering shadows... no, surely not. She was dreaming, she thought.
She pinched hard on her goosebumped skin, but still she saw the familiar four walls of her room. No, this couldn't be real. Her mind imagined it. That's what the physicians say, nothing is as wonderful as it used to be... though if it is, our mind has tricked us. They say our mind is stronger than we think.
But even then, when she believed that, all she could think of was the whispers in her ear. Like nightmares and shadows counselling her. "Bewitched! Bewitched!"
Rhoslyn could no longer take it, taking off her blood red hooded cape, and tucking herself into bed, she had enough of being awake.
The night sky of sleep lulled over her, and she found herself in the same underground's, the same whispers going over and over again. Only she couldn't escape.
All she could do now was look, no control over her dream body. The shadows were just like any mean or woman, but their voices where distorted and chilling. Hissing and roaring.
The torches shone on her, not a normal colour of fire. They shined a bright ardent red, making the room seem hellish.
"Rhoslyn, oh Rhoslyn!" They sang playfully. They reminded her of children, but not normal children. Children were sweet and kind and these shadows were dark and cruel.
"Swim Rhoslyn, Swim!"
She found herself furrowing her brows, somehow. Or was she? She didn't know, she was in a dream.
The words were strange to her, they made no sense. Then she remembered she was being hissed at by shadows on the wall. Do not entertain this dream, she told herself.
When she tried to move away from the walls, the ground below her felt uneasy. She averted her eyes to her feet, it was sinking in on itself. The ground was swallowing itself up like a deep sea monster. And soon it began to swallow her, she felt like she was dying. Betrayed by her own home, finding it hard to breathe she reminded herself "I am Rhoslyn Leona! And I will not be scared of a silly dream!" She roared, but still the ground swallowed her body, and her words with it.
Though she prevailed, her eyes opened onto a place similar to her home Leoborne, lavish and exotic, only it wasn't. It looked warmer, the peopled had a different colour of skin and wore vibrancy around their markets. She couldn't smell her dream, but the ambience almost hummed to her nose.
The sky above her was not the black abyss she saw back in her chambers, it was a happy, cheery blue. She could not feel the warmth, but like the smells, it almost sang to her. It was like a paradise, an escape. A place where she could lay down and enjoy wines and fruits and women. When she found the sun in the sky, her newfound smile had fell off her face like an apple from a tree.
It was just like any other sun, only it was bleeding. A harsh red colour washing the bright orange from its circular shape.
And suddenly the sky above went from a happy blue, to a faded red... A painful sky of blood, alongside the bleeding sun.
Although it was a dream, her heart felt it. She didn't know how, but Rhoslyn felt this day. Whether it was real or not, it felt like an end. Like a comeuppance of the era of living.
Even the sea, laid in front of the sun, looked like a crystal sheet of blood. She didn't know if this meant anything, but she wanted it to stop.
That's what she screamed, at the top of her lungs.
"STOP!" She was heard like a banshee, a terrifying scream. Rhoslyn turned to the people who were at the markets but it was empty. Seldom of any life or movement. Apart from the fires that raged in the fabrics of stalls and banners, the flames too were red and horrible.
Rotating back to where she was, she stared upon the red sun, and it stared back down at her like a sentient God.
"Please...." she begged, trying to reason with the God.
"I don't want to be here anymore." Rhoslyn found herself weeping to it.
The bleeding started to vanish, only she wasn't sure, it seemed to blacken like aged blood if anything.
The black washed over it like water, faster than the bleeding. The whole world around her began to shrivel and darken, shrink and die, stop and disappear. It was sad to watch.
The darkness flooded around her, swirling the last remaining parts of the land. And then it was just her.
"Bewitched! Bewitched!" Rhoslyn heard, the familiar taunting of the shadowsbegan to irritate her.
"Be..." They whispered now, only softer voices and more human. Rhoslyn turned her head waiting for the words. The anticipation killing her.
"Beware. Beware the Bewitched!"
Her eyes opened as wide as they could, a warning? She felt herself get scared at first, but she noted in her head it was only a dream. This was as real as an authors quill to paper, birthing a story. The physician was right, the mind is amazing, but it cannot see the future.
Soon after, she found the nightmare dissipating slowly...into a void of sleep.
She slept amazingly well after that, tired from her adventure perhaps.
But the dogs of Polaris howled all night.