083 Chapel Days · Scene 1
carus, a ringed world with a greater and lesser moon known as the Eyes of Icarus. Its face was not fully barren, but the razing inflicted upon it marking the end of each human age left it scarred and hostile. That damage was inflicted by the weapons of massive, silver ovoids in the sky that were in truth ancient mechanized and decrepit cities long since overgrown by nature. Why they still functioned at all were due to the efforts the powerful beings sealed within them known as the Poltergeists, the last vestiges of the creators of the cities; the Foreigners. The Poltergeists were not all that different from the races of mankind, drawing the source of magic power, Nectar, from what was simply called Ambrosia to power their technology like ancient man. They were also scientists of sorts, having created at the beginning of the latest age, biological monsters who could infect and mutate any life form into a monster. Of those humans who were infected, those saved by the Light of the Saint Cardinal, unifier of the Sister Goddess and Father Icarus, were known as Sa·B·ers. Possessed of the strength of Foreigner beasts but still retaining their humanity, Sa·B·ers were tasked with keeping the world safe from the legacies of the Foreigners. After the momentary appearance of a tree of Light known as the Lucifalz that covered the sky, the lives of Sa·B·ers became more difficult as the Light became a thing associated with the dark god of the Foreigners, Lucifalz, from which the trees of Light that sprang up around the world drew their name. This meant that the Cardinal Church lost the influence it needed to keep the world at peace and that Sa·B·ers who were saved by Light became more distrusted than ever before. Those who could control Light would become known as Children of Her Light, and were believed destined to face the Foreigners’ dark god upon its advent. But in a world where peace was lost and war was brewing as mankind sought the technologies of past ages to strengthen themselves alongside the rapid development of an age of magic lead steam industry, it seemed unlikely that any would be ready for the dark god who was the namesake of the trees of Light that appeared across the land. But it was as much an age of adventure as it was turmoil and perhaps from those seeking adventure one would rise.
… for this particular story however, the rising of an adventure was a far less heroic tale. This story is about a maid, a Sa·B·er, some fifteen springs of age between adventures. She was known as the Chainmaid, or Chain for short, due to the suit of chainmail she wore from her jawline to the soles of her feet as though it were own skin.
Early Autumn ~ Morning, Clear and breezy
Early Autumn ~ Morning, Clear and breezy
Long brown hair and long messy bangs hid the light and fair skinned face of the maid who cradled her pillow with a serene smile on her face. Mumbling incoherent nonsense, she was watched through the tiny room’s window by birds on the sill who joined the stained-glass figure in the arched top pain. The bubbling and hissing of water and steam carried through pipes that adorned the room drowned out any outside noise, but not the knocking on the door. The maid in the bed ignored it and rolled over growing more tangled in her sheets. With no answer, the nun who knocked peered in and apologized for her intrusion.
“Excuse me Miss Chain, I was just checking on you before I went off to work this morning.”
The nun, a girl of some ten springs named Finch, had a boyish voice, light skin, and short red hair that made her blue eyes stand out. As a girl of only ten springs she was afforded the rank of Daughter and her habit, from which she excluded the coif and veil, was little more than a navy hued dress from the top of the bust down to where it ended just below the top of her thighs. White was added to the outfit from the mid-thigh stockings she wore and the top and long sleeves of the dress. She appeared a model Daughter of the Cardinal Church which was in stark contrast to Chain, still asleep in the bed, who Finch had come to check on. Grabbing her elbows, as she walked in, Finch looked down on Chain with a worried expression on her face.
“It’s been a five day and you still haven’t woken up… …Hm?”
The incoherent sleep talk rising up from the bed caught Finch’s attention and she walked around the bed to see Chain’s smiling face which brought a smile to her own.
“Miss Chain! You really are just asleep now! Thank goodness! …Maybe I can wake you up then.”
Reaching down, Finch gently nudged Chain’s shoulder. Chain’s face crumbled up and she rolled over mumbling irritably. A tiny gasp of surprise went along with Finch’s matching expression, but she quickly exchanged it for a more determined one.
“Miss Chain, it’s well past time you got up. Everyone’s been worried about you so get up and show them that you’re okay.”
Reaching across the bed, Finch placed both hands on Chain’s back and tried to rock her awake. It seemed to work as after a moment of rocking Chain’s voice rose up from the covers. That was itself a problem though, as Chain’s head was on the pillow she hugged and not under the covers. Yet her voice came from somewhere down near her stomach.
“Mmm~… Why is everything rocking?”
The question was followed up by a very tiny, fully naked, version of Chain, no taller than twice the length of Chain’s thumb, pulling herself up onto Chain’s side. She rubbed at her sleep sealed eyes before sleepily opening the massive and round sea gem green orbs. Though curtained with sleep, the eyes of the tiny Chain, a spirit who had become both a part of Chain and Chain herself named Drop, could tell the current environment was not where they expected to wake up. Propping herself up on her arms she looked around and tried to figure out her location.
“Mmm… Where are we?”
“Good morning, Drop.”
Offering Drop a greeting, Finch gave the tiny Chain something to focus on. Turning her eyes upward onto the young nun, Drop visibly relaxed even more than being half asleep implied she should be able to.
“This one of us sees, we are with the church girl. Then perhaps we are safe enough to return to sleep. We seemed to be sleeping on something most soft under the hard chainmail exterior of our larger self.”
Turning around to dive back into the mattress, Drop revealed that from her waist down she did not have human, or classical icaran, legs, but rather a fish tail the same hue as her eyes. Finch was already aware of the spirit’s water affiliation and was not bothered in the least by Drop’s appearance, rather she was bothered by her intention to return to sleep and reached out a hand to physically match her verbal request.
“Wait! You’ve already been asleep for half a tenday, it’s about time you woke up.”
“Half a tenday⁈”
Popping back up a lot more alert, Drop turned her massive eyes on Finch incredulously.
“To think we could sleep for so long. Is it perhaps because of the comfort provided by this soft surface?”
Finch’s arms fell to her sides and she smiled exasperatedly as Drop’s eyes traced back down to the mattress.
“I don’t think that’s it. From what I heard you two fought a big monster with Maye and the others and passed out from the effort afterward. Even then, I think a bed that would make you sleep for five days would have to be cursed.”
“What⁈ This is a bed⁈”
Suddenly swimming up into the air, Drop looked around excitedly at where Chain lay slowly mummifying herself in the covers.
“It must be! That is a headboard according to our memories and that is a footboard! Our larger self is hugging what surely is a pillow and is currently cocooned in what must be sheets! Then the soft thing… is a mattress!”
An air of defeat settled onto Finch as she watched Drop zip about the bed excitedly studying its parts.
“She latched onto it being a bed and ignored the part about the monster and curse…”
Though her commentary expressed her exasperation quite easily, curiosity overrode her defeated demeanor and she looked at Drop confused.
“Wait, you’ve never seen a bed before?”
“Not this part of us, no. It is quite exciting though! Our memories do not attest at all for how wonderful it is! Perhaps it is because there are no memories since the spring of using one.”
“What? You haven’t slept in a bed since spring?”
“That is what our memories tell us, and it seems a crime against us to be deprived this experience. I must make sure to experience it fully!”
“Wait. … And she’s already asleep, isn’t she?”
Finch’s second attempt to stop Drop from returning to the bed failed far more than the first. Though she reached for her again, it seemed that the burst of energy she displayed discovering the bed was more than she was ready for and Drop easily fell asleep again.
Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater