Greetings and salutations, faithful followers of this blog! And particularly this story in general! I’m Timothy Scott Purvis and you’ve found yourself on my blog site where I publish all of my former works and keep you all informed on all the new stuff I’m coming up with next! Right here, we have the next portion of my rough draft of Left of Midnight. I’m slowly churning these sections out and I hope to have it all finished by fall. I’m not sure exactly when yet though. Writing a book isn’t an exact science, after all. Hell, it took me two years of determined writing and rewriting to get my previous book Red Star Sheriff finished! But, in the end, it was worth the effort. And I’ll do the same for Left of Midnight. Hmm, I think I’ve already been spending nearly two years on this one too. Go figure.
Anyhow, thanks for reading, you all. I hope you’ll continue to come back for more as I engage on this venture of writing as much as I can! Not easy when you have a family and working full time in a warehouse. Not easy at all. But I enjoy it, garsh darnnit! Alright, on to it then!
IT WAS LATE July. He could feel it. Didn’t even need to look at a calendar to know that time was running faster now. Soon, it’d be August. And that very fact sat on Avery’s subconsciousness as a heavy weight on the chest. Something was going to happen. He wasn’t sure what just yet, but he sensed a crisis point was coming to a head.
Action would need to be taken soon.
But what action? What do I need to do?
“Why are you acting so agitated?”
Er’ra Zel’s voice brought him out of his thoughts. He looked to his left and looked at her sitting in the driver’s seat of the strange pill like craft. Technically, he supposed, she wasn’t really driving. It was all automated. Something that still had his head swirling in confusion. The interior of the little car was oval with two seats made of a blue velvet type material. There was a control panel before them running from one window to the other, curving around almost like a car panel back home. Yet, this console had a series of glass covered displays that he’d never seen before. Like tiny windows with projections of the strange symbols of a language he shouldn’t understand being broadcast behind them. All glowing in shades of a blue green and all of it indicating they were on their way towards the Odjemir Grand Chambers. A music hall of sorts where people once lived in buildings long abandoned though frequently visited by the denizens of Farediin.
The car zipped along in its transparent tube. Like a hamster tunnel running through the walls of the great cities transporting anyone with an urgent need to anywhere within the city borders (well, almost anywhere. Apparently, none of the tubes ran towards Urudii suburbs for some reason). And he felt like a hamster. Or even a gerbil, now that he thought about it. Running through its little tunnel and getting nowhere fast. He was missing something. He could feel it. He just wished he knew what that missing something was. Before it grew too late.
Er’ra Zel still watched him. Waiting. And he shook the stupor away. At least, for as long as he was able to manage as the cityscape below blazed by in a semi-blur and they entered yet another long section of volcanic stone as the tube car carried them towards their destination.
“It’s just that I feel like we’re running around in circles. Wasting time. I can’t shake this feeling deep within that we might already be too late.”
“Too late for what? Look, you wanted to see the grand chambers for yourself and we’re going there as you asked. But, Avery, you’re starting to worry me. You’ve been like this for the last week now.”
Avery leaned back into his too comfy seat and pursed his lips as he grumbled to himself and watched the stone zipping by. It was lit under a reddish light showing them the way. Not that it was necessary. The tubecar was going to go where it was going to go and there was no changing that until they arrived at their destination.
“I know. I know. I’m sorry. I wish I could explain it. I feel like we’re running out of time, though. That we should have already found it.”
“The… the crystal…”
He turned his gaze back towards her and furrowed his brow as he thought as hard as he ever had. Thought back to what Minke’ De’a had said to him nearly a month earlier. A month in which he’d been searching diligently for something he wasn’t quite certain of but knew it was still there all the same.
Er’ra Zel furrowed her brow now staring at him as if he’d lost his mind. “The what? Did you say… sill vet?”
Avery struggled with his own thoughts. “The conduit. The thing that Midnight most fears. Outside of the Aurite, of course.”
“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”
Avery turned back to look forward. “We’ll know it when we see it. It’s a crystal. A crystal that absorbs negative energies. I just don’t know where it is. But, something is telling me that we have to search the grand chambers. Somewhere in there must be something hidden. Maybe even what I’m looking for.”
“I know that the grand chambers used to be the main hub for our people thousands of years ago. I told you a little about it before. Maybe that’s what’s stuck in your mind.”
“Maybe. But if we don’t find it soon I fear that Nindemus wins his little insurrection and no amount of soldiers blockading his way in is going to stop him,” Avery frowned. “Honestly, I’m a little shocked he hasn’t managed to break through already. I have no idea what he’s waiting for.”
The reddish walls of the transit tunnel zoomed by as Er’ra Zel stared at the stone and dirt, the tunnel car thrumming under its own power. She quirked the corner of her lips and turned her gaze towards him.
“Maybe this Godhand of his told him to go back home and leave us all alone.”
Avery shook his head with a taut grin. “Right. I’m sure that’s likely to happen.”
Er’ra Zel was on the verge of speaking when Avery said, “Holy Christ…”
The tunnel car had come out of the stone tunnel cutting straight through the interior of the mountain and now they both had a spectacular view of the Odjemir Grand Chamber. The main city itself stood hundreds of feet beneath them as the car zoomed along the tunnel heading for the tram station. The glittering reflected light lit up the cab interior and Avery was stunned into silence.
“It used to be more elegant back in the days the people used this as the main governmental headquarters. Now, well, it’s seen better days.”
Avery turned his head slowly towards her, his mouth agape. “This is the Grand Chambers in, what, shambles? Jesus, if we had even a fraction of this where I’m from the streets would never be quiet.”
“Maybe so. But you’ve seen where most of our social transpire anymore. It’s just that, for some reason I can’t quite explain, the majority of our citizenry elected not to come here anymore. I’m trying to remember when exactly that was. It’s been quite some time, now that I think about it.”
Avery pursed his lips as the lift began its descent through a tube heading downwards through a collection of buildings. “And you guys never found that odd? That the major hub of civilized get togethers suddenly ceased to hold people’s attention?”
Er’ra Zel sighed. “It was well before I was born. So, I couldn’t say how the general reaction was. Nobody has ever felt the urge to share that particular bit of history with me.”
His eyes fell to the window panorama of a final look at the top of the city of Odjemir and he saw the auditorium at the center of it all. A massive bulge of a dome rising high above everything else, all of the buildings seeming to line the walls as the landscape flowed upwards and outwards in every direction away from that dome.
“What exactly is that in the center of the city?”
“What? The dome?”
The view vanished as the walls of the interior of the tunnel complex took over all observable space. He felt that soon they would be at their destinations. And something was telling him that the domed complex would be where they needed to go. He couldn’t quite put a finger on why that knowledge was, but he got the strong sense that it was true nonetheless.
“That’s the Odjemir Theatron. I learned that extravagant plays and concerts used to be held there. Back when this place lured everyone towards it with the festivities of grand opulence that was popular at the time. I haven’t been here in about twenty years, I don’t think. I remember thinking, it’s like a ruin.”
“Like the ruin of an ancient city…” Avery mused, his eyes squinting in the process as his thoughts raged in his mind. “The ruins of hidden history that people as a whole chose to forget.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m not sure. However, it’s kind of interesting that everybody would rather listen to the words of the so called Godhand than come here again, isn’t it?”
“Avery, I’m not following you.”
He nodded. “I’m not either. Listen, I think we need to get to that theatron. Maybe it’s nothing. But, it can’t be just a coincidence.”
“Any of it. I can’t explain it,” he said with a grumble as the tram slowed its forward momentum and they saw the offloading zone coming up in quick succession. It stopped and the door on Avery’s side of the cab slid open. He made to step out. “I’m flying by the seat of my pants here, Zel. Between Shōtō’s little display down in the park and the cities aligning themselves either with or against Shoenden, there’s something we’re all missing. And I think it’s buried itself in the past. At least, if good old Neti is any indication of that.”
“Who’s this now?” Er’ra Zel inquired with no lacking of confusion in her tone as she followed him out of the transit cab.
“Dreams and nightmares, Zel. Dreams and nightmares. And we’re running out of time to sort it all out. Come on. Do you remember the way to that theatron?”
“I think so.”
“Lead the way, then.”
And once more we reach the end of another exciting week of writing being offered up for your reading enjoyment! I do hope you’re enjoying the tale and I also hope you’ll be back next week for some more Left of Midnight. Don’t forget I’m sharing my old videos on Tuesdays and I still have my Story Time With Tim offerings on Friday. Those will become Poetry Time With Tim come fall, though. I’m running out of short stories, after all. However, I do have a few stories that keep getting rejected. So, you never know, those might be popping up on here sooner than later as well. Anyhow, I’ll read to you all again later and thanks again for your support!
~Timothy S Purvis
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