Within Her, The Silver Hall

  • Nevenna Hlervu clambered down the craggy stairs to the beach below. Her salvaged chainmail rang a clumsy-sounding song in the evening where no other sounds came to compete. Her feet found the wet sand, carefully stepping by the guidance of an amulet's glimmering, until she stopped at a shipwreck, and there she knelt.

    With reverent caution, Nevenna took into her hands two moonstones of smooth and transparent surface and shifting colour. Each of them she contemplated, and each of them she tossed in cupped hands, so that one might be chosen by fate, and that one Nevenna picked and the other pocketed.

    Into the moonstone she gazed.

    Thunder rolled in the sky. Legs extended into shallow water, where a beach was aglow in the night. Drifting in came the tide, and swallowed Nevenna to the thigh.

    Far overhead there were great discs, spinning plates upon wobbling pillars of stone. The thunder emanated from them as huge ceramic grated on rock. Beyond the discs, the stars, moving in their celestial patterns over the course of an eternal night.

    You have no vision. You cannot see. You are yet blind. Your eye, your eye.

    Nevenna found her sight recoil back. She was dazed, dumbstruck.

    The spinning discs' wobbles grew erratic. Nevenna's head grew dizzy.

    A terrible creaking pierced her ears, and the discs began to fall, flung by unknown forces down into many pieces, shards hailing upon Nevenna's head.

    She stared up, into the onpour. All was striking white. It was as if she was lifted into the air, into a dark night, where the stars had vanished.

    There was a veil, and Nevenna parted its sides with one hand.

    She broke through. Below her was a rich world, lit in silver, and around her she felt a cool and soothing cloak. Through it, the hands of her mother embraced her shoulders.

    The edge of a shadow began its creep over the world. As it slowly raced along the vast surface, its presence seemed to approach Nevenna in her void perch. Its sight stung her eyes with frost, and she clenched them shut in pain.

    You cannot see. Your vision is a false one. All you know are lies. And soon, you will die.

    Like a frightened child, Nevenna found herself turning away, sobbing for but a moment when her fear turned to bedazzlement at the image of a great white sphere. The moon shone in her face, and her tears fell as silver pins, disappearing into the void between them and the world. Nevenna felt her face. Her fingers pulled away with faint drops of pale blood.

    The moon came closer. Its terrific mass nearly reached her when Nevenna stretched out her arms, swiping her bloodied hand against its surface, and she turned to escape its weight, but from behind her was a gentle push, and through the void she began to fall.

    . cannot you You your vision You cannot you are Your vision you are blind Give me your eyes


    Nevenna's eyes were shut and full of tears. She could feel the cold emptiness rushing past her.


    Trembling in freefall, Nevenna struggled against some force to raise her arms to her face to wipe away her tears, which trailed upward to arise and fix themselves in the heavens.

    She looked on, down at the upcoming world. There was a cold, white plane amidst the varied lands, and one tiny glint.

    I will.

    Nevenna's spirit fastened, and her arms came to her sides. She looked on with determination, unblinking through the cutting air, the choking clouds, the pitch of night,
    but then she shrieked.

    A mirror lie in the sand at her feet; Nevenna saw herself on the moonlit beach.

    It was coming up fast.

    She was crashing.

    And in a moment

    Every part of her was broken asunder. Everywhere she flew. All the pieces, all the fragments, every part was new.

    Nevenna's eye was fixed on the moonstone, but her body locked in place. In its depths there was the mirror, silver-framed, and in that was some confounding light. It guided the woman's eyes away with its too-bright shining, forcing her gaze to left or right, though never blinding. A vision within a vision.

    Before long, Nevenna saw there was not one mirror, but many, encircling her at every angle. They each reflected one another, creating a spiral of uninterpretable chaos. Nevenna was tempted to fear. Instead, she found wonder.

    In no direction, Nevenna receded from the mirror chamber, pulling her soaked limbs out of the water.

    The moonstone showed nothing further but a curious shimmering. Her trembling subsided; Nevenna looked up at the moon past the shipwreck, clutching the stone in one hand in anticipation of the next.