Eyes closed, Mit knew what was coming. All he could do was wait. His gut made the same wrenching sensation it always did. The waiting caused it. The dread. Knowing that it was coming but the not knowing when. He could feel his stomach twisting and wriggling like a snake inside of him. And then suddenly it stopped. In the place of the wrenching and wriggling he could feel something else. A slight burning. And heat. Definitely heat. It felt like there was a small fire starting to kindle inside of him. The kindling felt small and distant, but he knew it would grow before the end.
As Mit knelt on the hard, stone floor, he shuffled a little, trying to push his knees down into the cold ground, hoping that, just for a change, it would make a slight difference in the outcome. An invisible cement, maybe, fixing himself to the spot, weighing him down. The invisible cement had never made a difference before, but it didn't stop him trying each time. His hands had become warm and sweaty, due to them being clasped together in front of him. The embers in his pit were growing steadily. Soon they would be burning his insides trying to escape him.
The growing heat comforted him somewhat. He wasn't really sure why it comforted him. Maybe it was taking his mind away from the situation or maybe it was just warming his body whilst the floor was attempting to cool it. What he was sure of however, was that the fire always ignited after the dread arrived in his gut. Fighting it back, he had guessed. The flames were growing further now, he could feel it rising out his stomach and burning its way up towards his throat. Then, just in front of him, there was a slow, slurred movement, like something was being dragged across the floor. And then the same noise again. And again. It was louder and closer each time he heard it.
He wouldn't open his eyes, not now. His body started to feel warm. Too warm, in fact.
Heavy, tired breathing became clear above him. He could feel the draught it caused as the person moved down, closer to his face. He had always wondered if he could feel the fire alive inside of him. He presumed not, as never, in all the times this had happened, had a word been spoken about it. He was in front of him now, so soon it would be over, he knew. The smell of dried fruits and rich bloody meats, aswell as the stench of what was undoubtedly glass upon glass of wine, leaked out with each fatigued breath he made, like poisonous fumes seeking to intoxicate him.
The fire began to expand, burning its way up Mit's throat and coming to lay upon his tongue and fill his mouth, ready to spill over the edge like lava from a volcano. With his eyes closed tightly and his mouth even tighter, Mit waited, kneeling quietly.
Now face to face with the foul-smelling man, he knew what was about to happen. The room around them both was almost silent. It was always silent, but now it was more noticeable than ever, with the only noise being the crackle of the flames he could hear inside himself.
He knelt, waiting. The invisible cement hopefully ready to do its job this time. He felt the fire starting to overpower him, his body was becoming hotter and the fire becoming stronger with each passing second, almost building itself up... And then it struck. A single strike to the right side of his head, harder than any of the strikes before, hit him cleanly. The lava that had settled in his mouth fell back down his throat in an instant. His body had been lifted from the floor entirely and slung across the room; the cement completely failing him once again. And the glorious blaze that had grown in the pit of his stomach had died out and become nothing but dusty ash.
Mit hit the cold, stone floor some metres away from where he had originally knelt, and he had hit it hard. It took him a moment to regain himself, the strike had been like none of the ones before; though it would have been impossible to tell, as he had made no sound. Never would he give them the satisfaction of knowing how much it hurt him by screaming in pain. The strikes seemed to be delivered with more force each time he was subject to them. Almost as if the man was getting a pleasure from doing it; the man felt nothing but detest for him with each day that went by, this he was certain of, so he would not be surprised if it got a thrill out of it.
He laid for a moment or so, before finally deciding to open his eyes. His left eye opened without problem, however his right eye refused to. Presumably the strike had been too hard on it. Around the chamber sunlight streamed in through the open doors and the two balcony-like openings near the doors that looked out of the hall to the world outside. A gentle breeze entered the hall with the afternoon sun. The hall was gigantic, made of stone and rock. Dull and cold and lifeless mostly.
Mounted in places on the walls were paintings, weapons and armors of old. Paintings of glorious battles and of the previous emperors and their families. Swords and axes and spears and more, all smithed using the toughest iron and the most elegant steel gleamed magnificently in their stands. The wonderous suits of the sturdiest armor each adorned with a symbol of the golden flame somewhere on their bodies.
Rising all the way to the high ceiling above, the walls of the hall, and even the ceiling itself, were all engraved and sculpted with many a sight and story in their stonework: the great dragons breathing their fiery breaths, grand tiger-dogs leaving trails ablaze in their stead, legendary sun moths beating their massive wings to create firestorms and phoenixes and firebirds burning their way across the skies. The stonework telling the stories of old. The stories that had fascinated him from a young age, and often, when the foul-smelliing man was not around, he would like to come here and look at them for hours at a time.
In the centre of the hall was a large fire pit, which was not lit right now, but when the night came it would be. When the giant firepit was alight, its flickering flames would cause shadows to form amongst the ridges and engravings on the walls, dancing with each flicker. That was when Mit liked the hall the most. At the head of the room, and just in front of where Mit had knelt earlier, was a throne. A magnificent throne crafted from the most exquisite of materials: the ivory of mammoth-pig and armored elephant tusks, with decorations of majestic scales and teeth from the ancient dragons and finished with guardian lion furs slung over the seats to protect the throne's owner from the cold stone seat underneath.
With his one eye, he managed to watch the old man drag himself back to his throne. The man's torso was so rotund that you could easily mistake it for a boulder without a second thought. And he was extremely tall. But over the years Mit had learnt that almost anything was much taller than himself - his mother had appreciated his small size, but his father was ashamed by it; Mit was a small boy for his age.
The head of the old man was the place of birth for white locks of shoulder length hair; and that same white hair grew from his chin, down into a long beard which was tied with what was once an elegant and neat knot. Now the hair was nothing but a drab, untidy tangled mess and the beard was ragged and patchy - patchy with the bits of food that had fallen into it and the wine that had been spilled down it - and its knot was crumpled and twisted. It was obvious that any care the man had for his appearance was long gone, and judging by the size of the gut, the care had been replaced by an unhealthy love of food and drink.
Mit had always promised himself that he was never going to end up in a state like this man.
The robes he wore were black, to match his soul, Mit had often thought, with gold and white stitching here and there around the cuffs and neck. Patterns depicting the motif of a golden fire were sewn into the back of the clothes, and there was a thick leather belt with a buckle crafted from bronze wrapped around the enormous waist, holding everything together. His outfit was oversized and lengthy, falling down and gathering at the end, almost covering the monstrous, dirty, flat rock-like protusions that poked out of the bottom, which somewhat resembled feet. The robes were made from some of the finest pelts and silks, but you would not be able to tell, as the food and drink he had grown to love so dearly had tarnished and stained it everywhere.
As the oversized man made it to his throne, he picked up a magnificent circlet of undoubtedly pure gold and situated it onto the drab tangled mess of white locks on his head. The circlet was decorated with brilliant blood red rubies all along its front, which shone and sparkled in the sunlight.
As Mit laid recovering, and the mess of a man lazily retook his seat and crown, a drumming-like noise erupted in the hall around him. And he knew exactly what it was. Above the throne there was a large overhang which was covered with a nest of assorted large leaves: and that was were the beast stirred. The beast's long thick arms were coated in a fine, deep red hair and they were beating against its broad chest, which was also covered with the same red hair. The chest was broad, but yet as round as its master's. The fists of the beast were as wide as Mit was tall, and it could grab Mit in one hand without a problem, he often thought. Its legs were short and quite stumpy, but yet even they managed to reflect the power it had by holding the great ape up.
Its face was wild - wild with a frenzy that Mit had come to fear over the many years. He was well aware just how alike the man and the beast were, both in their unpredictability and in their unmatched strength. But the face of beast was what instilled fear the most.
The beast owned a pair of small, beady eyes, and they were the type of eyes that stared. Shiny black pearls sitting amongst a sea of red. It didn't matter what was happening or what the beast was looking at, they would always stare. Over the years, Mit had hated looking at those eyes with a passion, and sometimes, on a night, he could have sworn that he saw them glinting in the darkness at the foot of his bed.
Below the beast's eyes was something as equally horrifying: a huge smiling mouth - but it wasn't an ordinary smile, it was a grin. He had seen nothing like this grin before and was certain he would never again. It was a grin of sharp teeth, every one sitting zipped together in unison with another. The grin would only ever cease to exist when the beast roared or ate, and neither of those were good on the eyes. The most interesting part of the beast was, however, its eyebrows: a metre or more in length, the eyebrows consisted not a hair, but of fierce flames. They burned intensely and were certainly a sight to behold, starting out a vivid yellow colour before turning a deep orangey-red the further they grew.
The ape's chest beating happened after every one of the incidents that involved Mit being punished. He had grown to assume that the beast, much like its master, relished the beatings and beat its chest in triumphant victory or a display of power. Either way, he had learnt to ignore the ugly, crazed ape and its obnoxious behaviour by now.
Just further to the side of the man's throne another creature lay.
This was not a creature Mit feared or hated, however. It was a dog, a tiger-dog in fact, enormous and built, exactly like the carvings on the hall's walls depicted them to be. Its head was almost the same size as Mit's entire standing, with the tiger-dog's height in full easily double Mit's height. The fur was a marvelous red, not dissimilar to the blood red rubies on the man's circlet, with thick, jagged black stripes marking it occassionally. Starting on the tiger-dog's head and growing down its neck, it owned a mane and tail of the smoothest cream, with similar cream fur sticking out near its paws almost like oversized spurs. Mit would often run his fingers through the canine's fur, if he could ever steal a chance.
The tiger-dog sat, unquestioning, unwavering, near its master's throne, ready to answer any call. Mit had liked the tiger-dog all his life. Deep down he knew it was loyal only to the man whom he hated, but it had never once shown an attitude towards him like the red ape did. He looked at the tiger-dog for a while and how it was patiently guarding its master, before finally managed to drag his body off of the ground and up to stand.
His right eye was still refusing to open its eyelid. The area around the eye was swollen already, he realised, as he stroked it with his hand. All down the left side of his body ached too, mostly near his ribcage, presumably from landing on it roughly. But it was nothing when compared with his face. It felt like all the fire and lava that built up inside him had escaped and severely burnt him. He knew it was not the case, but it didn't make the painful feeling any different. The old, fat man had gone back to gorging on his food again, a platter of meats and delicacies to the left and a fountain of wine along with an incredibly oversized goblet to the right. Watching this, Mit realised just how much he despised him.
That moment the fire inside his stomach reignited. It would not reach the same level of ferocity as before, he knew that.
He stood and watched the greedy, rotund man sat on his throne of ornate carved ivory, dressed in his expensive clothes, and stuffing his plump aging face with all manner of food and drink. And he felt nothing but contempt and hatred. This contempt and hatred was not born out of the regular beatings he received from him and neither was it from the names and insults he would get thrown at him on a daily basis.
Those, he realised, were nothing in comparison.
The contempt and hatred he felt was born out the fact that he, the man, had murdered Mit's mother. As the old man sat there everyday, living its disgusting life, it was unaware that Mit knew this secret. But it soon would. Mit felt determined, by not only the fire that scorched his insides, but also the love for his mother, that he would make him pay for what he had done.
Mit headed towards the open door, to leave the room and the sight of the man he hated. His left side ached terribly upon walking, causing him almost to stagger his way there.
He neared the two Infernus guards posted at the entrance to the hall, they were suited with the usual charcoal-coloured steel armour that all the palace guards wore, and armed with sleek longswords resting in the sheathes on their waist. The Infernus guards were the protectors of the man on the throne, along with the black-skinned, horned hellhounds at their sides. The guards never took any notice of Mit, so he always returned the feeling and ignored them back.
As he neared the doors, just about to pass the two Infernus, he heard a voice bellowing down from the head of the room.
"Mitsunari!" He yelled. Mit turned ever so slightly, to half face the source of the voice. "You will be a well-behaved little cretin and close that door on your way out, won't you." It was not a question. A goblet full to the brim with the dark purple liquid reached his mouth, he took a mouthful of the wine and gulped it down and finished with a vile belch that echoed off the stoney walls, before he slowly said, "I do not wish to see or hear of you for the rest of the day. Am I clear? Now get out of my sight, boy."
At these words, Mit felt the flames rage in his pit, shoot up his throat and overflow his mouth in seconds, and wielding an intense fiery breath like the great dragons on the walls, he had the nerve to whisper, "With pleasure, Father."
Re: Burning Blood
At first I was startled when I saw this.
Not only due to size of these paragraphs, but also by how beautifully descriptive this was. The first part confused me slightly, to be honest. Once I saw fire being mentioned I instantly thought of a fire Pokémon, but then as I read the title - it was obviously referring to blood, am I right?
The motif of this story seems to be fire as well, so, I'm certainly intrigued.
That you're good at writing and flowing description has been established at this point, like I said, I was pleasantly surprised by how detailed you were at certain parts, especially as you used Mit's personal thoughts as another way of adding more depth to those scenes. And you certainly have me curious about Mit's whole situation. Why exactly did his father kill his mother and why the hell does he treat his own son like a slave? Is he an alcoholic? Well, I'm sure you already have answers to that. :p
Also, in what period of time does this story take place? :O
The mentions of throne and goblet make me think of a castle so 'when' are we exactly?
Overall, I found this to be a really good start. My only and biggest nitpick would be, as I said so at the very start, size of your paragraphs which might intimidate some readers. I suggest you separate them in multiple, shorter paragraphs (if you wish) so it's easier to read and digest everything. But yeah, this was really good. Looking forward to seeing more! :)
Re: Burning Blood
Thanks! I was incredibly worried about posting it, to be honest (but GaMa forced me >_<). I'm glad that you enjoyed it xD
I apologise for the size of the paragraphs. I had no idea they were that big when I was typing it up (they seemed smaller in wordpad). I'll go ahead and space them out some more so they are less intimidating.
Yeah, it's not really a "modern day" setting.
Edit: OK, spacing out done. Hopefully it's easier on the eyes now :)
Re: Burning Blood
I really like this story, Zeb!
I can't wait to find out more about the setting but this initial taster has really got me keen for more! Please update this as soon as you're able!