An Elixir Of Zemblanity

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.0|Beginning.

.PROLOGUE.

.Finding a way through the dark.

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"Everyone is a moon and has a dark side, which he never shows to anybody."

-Mark Twain

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Have you ever thought of people whom you once believed to be faultless, distinctive, and divine turn into monsters with imposter faces: trying to hoax you? Or even worse, can you picture yourself staying quiet even after knowing this pretext?

Have you ever dared to explore that one unreachable, dark area of your intellect? You must have tried at least once, right? To know yourself more properly; to know more about the extent of those hideous and dark deeds you are capable of?

Have you ever dared to look into the mirror for hours and stare at your flaws, and never accept them- only to overvalue those imperfections over the satisfactory?

Have you ever tried to look for the positive light in the darkness of pessimism- only to be greeted by a series of false wishes all capturing you in the field of hopes which you can never content yourself with?

Have you ever tried to wake up from a sleep which is so hard to get out of- only to acknowledge something far greater waiting for you beyond it? Or can you stop the anger from flowing when you realise its impossible?

These questions can go on and on; never heading over a conclusion where its endless cycle of nightmares will discontinue. And if you think this is happening and you are the victim, reconsider yourself, for all of this is your mind's play where you are the prey for its amusement.

Or, maybe it's the logic that is playing with you.

That night, the sky was lavishly adorned by the full moon which covered more than half of the sky. All the stars seemed to be absent, and the heavens hovering over were completely starless with only the moon that was visible among the different hues. Yet, even without the stars, it somehow managed to look just as good, even if not better. Something about it was rather strange since it's not every day that you get to see the moon nearer than usual, but the people living nearby seemed rather uninterested.

The sky looked as if it was melting due to the different shades of hues such as blues and purples mingling among themselves, behind the large, gorgeous moon. Down and down, it flowed like a gentle cascade until it reached the waves of a sea crashing on the rocks which guarded the sandy banks of New Cliffhill Town where the water reflected the gorgeous night sky in an elusive manner before ultimately being shattered by sea foam only to be reflected again and so on.

An eternal scream of silence lingered between these waves and the beach which was rarely broken by the calming sound of the sea crashing nearby; no one except a tall black rose with a stem filled with thorns and soon-to-blossom buds was the only thing blooming crookedly between the rocks which formed a kind of frontier to the sand which lied far behind it. It was occasionally drowned by the sea which came by quite often, but was soon back to its normal beauty within minutes.

Above it stood a bridge whose railings faced the sky and the beautiful beach underlying it. The road beside it seemed filthy, gross and rather uneven, making it look as if maintenance had not been provided since long. Accompanied by streetlights which barely functioned and insisted on flickering the whole evening, the bridge seemed quite out of order. It began from an illuminating section in the town and lead to a place which was always vacant.

The subway station.

As the darkness flowed by, and those flickering lights continued their exercise, a dark silhouette emerged out of the subway in baggy clothes which looked worn, and a cap which seemed a bit too large for his head. He walked briskly, as if in the mood to reach home quicker than usual. His face reflected exhaustion; with his auburn hair falling right over those stinging, shinning green eyes of his. His petite and lanky figure made it look as if he was still in his teenage years which was the most accurate thing ever.

The boy squinted his eyes smaller to get a better view of what his watch read, as the darkness he was climbing out of was making it quite difficult to see anything in general. After five minutes of cursing and trying to find a better light source, he finally got his answer. And he didn't seem so pleased.

He sighed for the hundredth time that day, as his lips spoke in a voice of irritation, "3:50 am? Geez, I surely don't get paid enough for this!"

His rather loud voice seemed to send a quiver down the silent surroundings near him, where somehow the noise made by the waves seemed to vanish.

The boy faced downwards before making his way towards his home. His mind was filled with thoughts about what his sister would say when he would tell her about the time he returned home that night. And that scared him. She was not really a scary person or anything, just that sometimes her reaction can frighten the crap out of you.

He sighed again and this time looked towards his left where the moon and the sky greeted him. At first, he didn't seem to react that much, the only thing that stuck him was how beautiful it was, when all abruptly something changed. His face now bore a look of worry and he seemed be lost in his own world for a second, when he erupted in laughter.

"Staying up this late at night is clearly making me lose my head. I should find a different part-time because guarding a subway which is barely used on a night shift is definitely having some effect on me."

He smiled as he looked down again before continuing his journey back home, as he thought of something. After minutes of smiling uncontrollably, he finally spoke:

"When the night sky is clear,

And the moon is near,

The monsters shall walk the earth of this town

For it is forever cursed by god:

And anyone who tries to stop them from ending humanity,

And bringing insanity shall-"

He paused again, and looked at the moon once more. Something about it was definitely weird. It's not natural, you know. However stunning it might look, it looked so suspicious.....it gave off the feeling that something wrong was about to happen. Yet, the beauty of it seemed so.....real yet fake at the time. There definitely lied something way deeper than what you could've imagined behind it. Something really dark and mischievous. Something that was scaring him really badly.

"S-shall die" he finally continued after extended silence, "As if any of that shit can ever be real."

He continued walking, this time avoiding the sky over him. He was in no mood to look into something that was written when people lived in caves. It was just a coincidence, nothing more. This old prophecy can never be real.

I mean, how much of an ancient rhyme talking about something deadly walking the earth and ending humanity- could you believe?

But even after that, he was still creeped out by what was happening. And the more he tried to console himself, the more scared he felt. And this went on until the brisk walk turned into a run. There was no denying it though that something was definitely odd about that night. Something really odd. Though he couldn't describe it, he could feel it.

He shut his eyes forcefully, denied looking anywhere near him as he ran at top speed. He was scared. He really was. After such a long time, he felt scared about something. Something really wrong was about to happen, and for some reason, he could not understand why. He once thought that he would never feel more frightened than the time he was sentenced to juvenile, but he has been proven wrong yet again. Whatever you may say, at the end of the day, he's just a fifteen year old boy. What more can you expect from him?

He finally stopped as at a point to catch his breath, as he wheezed on one side. The poor boy had a terrible condition of asthma, which doubled with the running and the cold weather that night. When he finally calmed down a bit, he started digging into his pocket for an inhaler, and immediately shoved it into his mouth. Five puffs. The tightness in his chest gradually loosened as he pulled it out of his mouth. It was still a bit hard to breathe, but he decided to co-operate until he reached home.

Next he had risen to his feet properly, and was walking once again (this time he avoided running no matter how alarmed he was). He forced a smile on his face as he remarked to himself, "I would either die from my lungs puncturing themselves or from an imaginary beast mentioned in an old, prophecy rhyme. And of course, I know which one sounds more probable."

But then, he stopped again. This time, it wasn't because he was choking, nor because he had noticed something odd with the moon or any of the previous reasons which had brought him to a halt before. This time it was a very queer one that did.

A cold breeze smashed against his face while he stared off in perplexity. The breeze continued for a long time, and at that point of instance, it almost seemed endless.

In front of him stood a lady; she was leaning against the railings while facing the moon as her long hair drifted along the direction of the passing wind. Her face was ghostly white, and her lips glossier than anything he had ever seen. Though he had not seen her complete face yet, he could tell that she was strikingly gorgeous.

There was......something about her that was so intriguing. Her ghostly appearance along with her black robe like dress- made her look like a wandering maiden who lost her way to heaven. Though he was not much of a poetic person, and literature barely ever made sense to him, the followed line strangely did. And weirdly, he could not help but feel an unexplainable sense of pity for her as he made his way up to her.

Even if that was a terrible decision.

He slowly walked towards her and looked at her white face which was completely transfixed at the glistening moon which shone brightly on the other side of him.

He observed her more carefully this time. She was dressed in a black dress which looked rather dirty, and there were a few rips and tears in it: which mentioned that she had been struggling getting something right a few moments back. Yet, her face looked completely fine, as if nothing had happened at all. In fact, now that he was looking at her more closely, he realised that she was so much more gorgeous up close. Her beauty never seemed to fade away, which was bothering him.

She was just like the moon that appeared that night. Strikingly gorgeous, yet strange.

After spending some more time awkwardly gazing her, he finally realised that she did not even seem to notice him who was standing beside her this whole time. She still stood their without moving a muscle, her face completely still and emotionless as she stared at the odd moon that

But at the end of the day, what was this strange lady doing here in the first place? It's not as if there is a very low crime rate in his town, or that there aren't any wild animals in the surrounding forests either. The waves of the nearby ocean are infamous for high tides, which is why tourist attractions aren't aloud.

Then what was she doing here?

There could only be one answer. She was lost. I mean, what more could the reason be for which an unknown bizarre lady decided to stand on an isolated bridge no one took? Though the reason sounds hellishly ridiculous, it seemed to be in harmony with the auburn headed boy, and that made the pity he had for her double by a thousand. He was not usually this idiotic either. But that night was different. He decided to help her, no matter how much his brain took that as a very, very stupid thing to do.

"Umm....excuse me but like, are you lost or something? Ugh-oh umm.....I'm Clove Martins, eh- ugh...umm....well- if you were wondering..." He was at a fail for words this time.

He stood there still after the awkward conversation he just had, and since no reply followed him this time, he was really starting to regret what he had just said. He had no idea what was happening or anything in general, the only reason still keeping him here was the queer lady's beauty and the same thought of mercy that now had a stranglehold around him ever since he had started to observe her even more.

When he failed to receive a proper reply, he finally decided to interrupt whatever she was busy doing. Though hesitantly, he forward his fingers towards her shoulder, trying his best not appear as if he's having some wrong intentions. When his fingers finally touched the skin being exposed through a rip on her, he immediately pulled them away. He had never imagined that this maiden would have such ice-cold skin, which felt like if almost frozen.

The boy looked at the lady who finally realised of his existence, turned to him with a rather emotionless look and stared back at him. He noticed her fingers going up and caressing the area where he touched in a rather strange manner, which made it seem as if she had not been touched by anyone, anywhere since a long time. And of course, that was very, very strange.

But then, when he looked up at her, he felt......even more mesmerized than he had ever felt in his entire life. Her eyes- the more he stared at them, the farther he felt from satisfaction. Her frosty gaze was terribly beautiful, the different shades of grey intermingled with each other reflecting a truly frozen sight which froze him in one place: yet they looked distinctively blank; even though those were some of the most beautiful he had seen. They were the strangest pair of eyes he had ever seen: with such beauty present on a face that refused to give any expression altogether; he wondered how much prettier and of course- less creepy- she would have had looked if she was smiling, or even frowning.

Despite all red flags and things that could happen at that moment, his eyes were indulged in appreciating her face, his brain tried to understand why he felt sympathy towards a person he didn't even know.

And just like that some more moments passed by: with him feeling even more attracted towards her; and his sympathy growing for her.

A cold wind swirled across them while both stared at each other. As soon as it hit Clove, both he and his senses snapped to reality and now, he felt less unsure and more confident- more like how he is every other day- and walked towards her to ask what her reason was.

Carefully avoiding her blank and beautiful (yet creepy) gaze, he asked, "Excuse me Ma'am, what brings you here in the dead of the night? Are you perhaps lost?"

The woman once more stared at him, this time faintly smiled in a crooked manner and shook her head sidewise unevenly before slowly making her way towards the darkness he had once emerged out of. She moved in quite a stiff manner, as if it's been long since she had a proper walk, while clutching something in her left hand in a way as if it was something special. He looked more closely to realise that it was in fact a flute. The way she carried it made it look like if her life contingent on it.

He stared behind him until the woman- whom he had tried to impress really badly- herself became nothing more but a silhouette. He was of course still shocked because of her smile: which would probably take a while to recover from.

As soon as she was completely out of the frame and Clove could no longer see her, he turned around and started to walk back home with a strange feeling still left in his guts. You know, the feeling that you get when you've encountered something potentially dangerous and somehow managed to escape it? Well he didn't think much of what happened and walked back home quietly- which was a long way from here. He tried to remember her pretty face again, but then he realised he couldn't remember it.

He paused for the fourth time that night. He closed his eyes, and did everything in his power to remember her face, yet, nothing came. The more he tried to retain information, the more she became dizzy, and soon she was completely out of his mind.

He could not remember her at all. He looked down, on the grubby road, subsequently wondering what had happened, but strangely, he could not remember her at all.

The only reminiscence still left were her long hair and a black tattered and muddy dress which he never properly got a look at because of her magnificent face which kept him busy the entire time. But now that he thought about it, he could vaguely remember seeing that dress somewhere- though he had no idea where. He started walking again. Though he did not feel so comfortable anymore, he knew he had to reach home.

Almost half an hour later, he reached his home when all suddenly it hit him.

She wore a Dead's Gown.

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