Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Game of Lies

The Liar was getting bored. He didn't know who had come up with this brilliant idea of recruiting more Liars, but when he found out, he was going to strangle him. He had gone through fifteen people today, and it was five more minutes until the end of his shift. Those fifteen people had either been blatantly obnoxious, cracking very bad jokes or very, very bad liars.

But the Liar was very good at his job, and he made every one of them think they were going to be chosen.

Last one, the Liar sighed to himself, crossing another name off his clipboard. He read the last name there. "Come in, Visere," he called.

No one entered, and for a second the Liar thought 'Visere' had grown tired of waiting and gone home, which suited everyone perfectly well. But then, slowly, the door opened, and a boy peeked inside. He was barely into adolescence - probably ten years old or so - with a head of untidy brown hair. But the Liar was immediately drawn to his eyes, which were a steady, unwavering green.

"Come in," the Liar repeated, motioning to the chair facing him.

Visere darted in and sat himself down very gingerly on the chair, looking not at all comfortable. His gaze was locked firmly onto the Liar.

Confident, thought the Liar, scribbling the word down. Though the boy was giving some opposite signals... Either confident, or frightened out of his wits, he added. "Well, Visere," said the Liar with a smile, "so you want to join the Diplomats."

There was a brief silence. The boy was taking his time, and he knew it. The Liar crossed out the last phrase he had written on the sheet of paper. The kid wasn't frightened. He was supremely confident. He was just acting.

"I do want to join the Diplomats," Visere said, in a fairly neutral tone. His voice didn't waver. "But I don't just want to. I will join."

The Liar's eyes narrowed. "How old are you?"

"Ten. Which is why I'm suitable."

Yes. Start training from a young age. The Liar made a note on his clipboard, then looked back up. "What if I told you there was hard work involved? It's not all fun and games."

Visere shrugged. "I know that."

Actually, thought the Liar, you have no idea. He grinned to himself. "What if I told you we're not serving the King?"

Visere's eyes widened. He realized his mistake a second too late. "Who are you serving, then?"

"The Queen."

"She's dead."

The Liar raised a patronising eyebrow. "I know that." He waited for a response, but the boy didn't speak. "Well then, Visere, what if I told you that we're not actually serving the Queen?"

"Who are you serving, then?"

The Liar allowed a smirk to play on his face. "The King."

Visere's face coloured. He made a move to stand up, but thought better of it at the last moment. "Two can play at this game," he hissed. "What if I told you I was an orphan?"

Good, thought the Liar, but not good enough. "Truth."

"What if I said my parents were killed in the almost-rebellion?"

Too easy. "Truth."

Visere's eyes narrowed. "What if I told you that my dream is to assassinate the King?"

The Liar's smirk turned into a grin. "Well then, my protege, we'd better hope that's a lie."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Into Darkness [Silm|Feanor]

He knew he had died before he was dead, which was quite a strange notion. He had seen the horrified looks on his sons’ faces, had felt his strength leave him. He had known the exact moment when his heart stopped beating and when his body crumbled into ash, to be blown about by the wind.

And he had known the exact moment when he understood that Morgoth would never be defeated by the Noldor. The curse that had escaped from his lips was filled with all the hatred and anger from the depths of his heart.

And then he was gone.

Curufinwë Fëanáro stood on a raised platform, surveying the long line of dead Souls. The line was straight, leading directly into large chamber. That was, he knew, where Mandos resided. That was where they were all going.

And that was where he was not going to go.

He would not go there for the Vala to tell him of his mistakes. He will not go there to receive punishment for the deeds he had committed. He would not go there to be told that he was wrong, and his life had been wasted, and everything he had done was for nothing.

And he would not be treated like a child.

Looking around, Fëanáro saw red walls, red floors and red ceilings. He saw the lanterns that bathed everything in an eerie glow. He saw the red light encompass all that was not yet crimson and turn them into statues of blood. He knew Mandos was taunting him. He was not going to fall for it.

Ignoring the flight of stairs leading down to the dead, Fëanáro turned and exited through a corridor behind him. It was flanked by the same repulsive red lanterns and seemed to stretch on for eternity.

All he could see was blood. Blood of his father, blood of his kin, blood of the Elves who had followed him from Tírion that he had selfishly left to die.

Fëanáro gave a cry of fury and struck one of the lanterns on the wall, stifling the flames of the candle. It was satisfying to see that the redness of the corridor had dimmed, if only slightly. He kept walking, blowing out the fire as he went and leaving a trail of darkness.

One by one the lanterns went out, until Fëanáro suddenly stopped in his tracks. A dead end. One lantern yet remained undimmed, its light flickering like a desperate flame of life. He pushed on the wall that blocked his path, snarling with rage, and yet it remained there, resolute.

Cursing hopelessly, he turned around to go back the way he came.

Only to find a long passageway of darkness.