It began on a Message board in 1998. I was Moderating a Writing Forum, and AnnOnimous (Carly Robb), posted the beginning of a story she had gotten in a dream. I added a little bit, since she said she was stuck, and then she added more, and it went back and forth that way. We registered the characters in the story as posters on the Message board, and then we let the characters loose...
By Carly Robb and James Clair Lewis
What follows is what developed over a three month period, until the Message board crashed. The Admin was able to get the board up again, just long enough for us to make copies. We exchanged our edits, and it's hard to say who wrote what at this point.
You will probably notice influences from the Highlander series, Anne McCaffery's Pern, and Roger Zelazny's Amber. It's just for fun, and you might enjoy puzzling out the Metaphysical and Pagan references...
DeadsponcellingTara remembered the first time she found herself here, where exactly "here" was she didn't know; all she knew was that when she fell asleep she went through the mirror and found herself amidst others who were deadsponcelling. To survive she had to do it too.
From that time 10 years ago she found herself there at least once a week. It was calling her again, as she fell asleep she could hear the cries of the other sponcellors through the mirror. As she got up she looked at herself on the bed, resting, as she went. This time just as all the others, there was the icy chill as she passed through the reflective surface of her antique full-length mirror. Once through she was greeted by Shadowdeath, her dragon. She checked for her sword, just to make sure.
The first time she came here she didn't have it (initiation for the Deadsponcellors she supposed.) Gracefully she mounted Shadowdeath and urged him on. This was where the sponcelling began, in the distance she could see the others guiding their dragons in the graceful aerial dance which comprised some of deadsponcelling. The other part wasn't as beautiful on the level of vision, but it was pure beauty for the sponcellors, as she neared the others Tara readied her sword, very rarely do sponcellors sponcel their own kind, but you never know. That's the first thing she learned, never trust another sponcellor.
Now she thought back on her day, wondering what she was looking for; her car wasn't working quite right, and she couldn't figure out why, so she looked around herself. Many people were on the surface of the land running madly to avoid the sponcellors, but to no avail.
There, that man. His hair was held back by a bandanna, his clothes and hands were permanently grimy from handling parts; she could tell just from looking at him that he had the knowledge that she needed. Instinctively Shadowdeath dove. Tara swung her sword and disemboweled the unfortunate greaseball, as Shadowdeath landed, she jumped down from his back decapitated her prey and broke open his skull. She silently thanked him for his knowledge as she consumed his brain.
The next morning, she awoke early, went down to her garage, and set to work. In no time at all the car was in perfect running condition, and she had plenty of time to clean up, and get ready for work.
During her drive to work she realized how much it seemed that the deadsponcelling seemed more... intense was the best word she could find, the more she did it. Despite having brushed her teeth (several times that morning because of this) she felt she could still taste the mechanics brain, and she still had the cool crisp smell of the dragon in her nostrils.
"This is getting strange, she thought, "I've never still felt everything afterwards, is it supposed to be like this? I wish I knew other people who went through this, I have questions that I can't answer on my own." Suddenly something swooped just above her car. She didn't actually see it, but the shadow looked suspiciously like that of a dragon.
All day long at work, Tara thought about these things. Then after work she decided to do some shopping. There was an evening gown that she had seen in a store that she just had to have.
She was trying it out in a mirror to see how it looked on her, and was pleased that it flattered her figure just as she had thought it would, when suddenly the mirror changed. On the other side was another woman in black leather with an unsheathed sword approaching her determinedly, and with menace.
Tara bolted from the dressing room, paid for the dress, and hurried to the parking garage. She got to her car, and saw the dark haired woman running towards her, sword in hand.
She tried her car door, just her luck, she had locked her keys inside, she could see them in the ignition. "What the hell?", she thought, "I always figured that the sponcelled were generic people brought about by the sponcellor's subconscious. Who the hell is this? What am I going to do?" She started to run the only way she could, up, through the garage, avoiding cars at all costs. "Why don't any of the drivers pick me up? Can't they see my life's in danger?" Up... finally she reached the roof of the garage. "What now?" She was frantic, contemplating the jump, she knew that a prekilled victim had no knowledge yield. She had nothing to defend herself with, her sword was a dreamtime thing. She stood there on the edge of the garage, pondering her next move.
Just as the woman reached the top of the parking garage, a dragon landed on the roof. A man clad as a Chinese warrior jumped off its back, and engaged the woman in combat. He deftly thrust into her heart, and then took her head, which he put into a sack.
"Tara, I am Sepheroth Daath. You should take her sword," and holding up the sack, "I've got what I want." Then he mounted his dragon, and flew off, disappearing into a lenticular cloud.
She sat down with a thump on the cement ground. "What the hell just happened?" It took her a while to get back up and take the man's advice. She found the sword, but no sign of a corpse anywhere, not even any blood. "I must be going crazy," she thought, "That couldn't have just happened. Now where did I park my car?" After finding it, she remembered why she had ended up on the roof of the garage. "I hope someone's got a wire coat hanger, so I don't have to call a locksmith... I can get in with a coat hanger in under 20 seconds most of the time." So she concealed the sword under her car hoping no one would see it, and went looking for someone with a coat hanger.
"I really need to go home and take a nap, today's just been really odd.". the first thing she did when she got home, was to turn all of the mirrors to face the wall. In the bathroom, she covered the mirror with a beach towel. Tara didn't know if this would help, but it made her feel safer. Who were they... she wanted... no, she needed to know. Why was the woman chasing her, and who was the man on the dragon, and why did he save her? She had a feeling they were sponcellors, but she had never seen them before, and she had never seen anyone leave a mirror before. In fact, she had never seen a mirror at all while sponcelling. What the hell was going on? She held the dead woman's sword, she knew it was real, it had to have happened. She put the sword between the wall and the bed so it would be in reach just in case, and she tried to take a nap.
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