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LavaStory: The Inner Asylum
The Inner Asylum
by Lava Del'Vortel, edited by Scipio

"I never deserved that existence; once part of my creator, now only a pathetic being; a stray wolf unable to exist without a stab of grief piercing both my soul and my heart. Is this what you wanted to create? M'lady, cruel mistress, you should have predicted that things would end like this."

* * * * *

From the day I was born I always believed in fairy tales, magic and fate. I was sure that I would be someone special. No, actually even then I already was someone like that - a cheerful girl, naive, but always smiling. I use to gaze at the stars, wonder at flowers and mumble tunes I heard from the tavern window while lying in bed.

One night I lost my parents. They were taken from me, ripped to death by dire wolves. It was I who found their bodies - dismembered, with fear engraved on their faces and without even a residual spark of life in their eyes. I cried day and night. I didn't know what to do. I tried to talk with all of the gods I had known. I still wanted to be that cheerful girl without any doubts, worries and grief - the one who just wanted to live her life for all eternity.

That girl didn't die then. Not yet.

The one who took care of me was a friend of my mother's. She was harsh but I liked her. Who else I could trust? She was the one who recognized the potential in me. She started to teach me arcane arts - magic, alchemy, the reading of symbols which appear around us. It was the beginning of the path I chose to walk.

She changed one day, I don't know why. Maybe it was a long process, but I realized that she was different on the day of my seventeenth birthday. She smiled no more, she was like a hollow shard. Her eyes were like dead and cold sapphires.

She flew into a rage when I accidentally found a page from her journal. I didn't learn anything from the journal since I hadn't read a single word on the sheet. Yet she became brutally furious, binding me with a black rope so tight that I wasn't able to make a single move. Then she shouted, told me that she had been wrong, that I had no potential.

It was another blow that really hurt. Not a visible one - it was more like a symbolic wound that appeared.

When she left I escaped through the window. I used some of the Art I had learned and I burned the rope. I cried all the way to the forest, dark and deep. Brown and yellow danced as my feet ploughed through the woodland's lake of leaves. I just wanted to trap myself in the forest. I never wanted to go home again.

After reaching a clearing deep inside the forest I sat under a weeping willow. We cried together for five days and nights.

It took me almost a year to build a tower and master my skills. I heard that my mother's friend had died. I learnt that from the wind who talked with me every evening. I didn't cry then. While I was sitting under the willow I had made an oath: I would never cry again. I decided to become strong, but I couldn't forget everything that had happened. It was too difficult, too important.

One day, when I was eighteen, I met someone - a boy. He was younger than I, only sixteen, but there was something charming in his smile, something I couldn't resist. By the end of the first week of my lonely life in the forest I had started dreaming about meeting someone like me. That's why I let him kiss me.

It was my first time... I took off his shirt; his chest was strong. I traced the lines of his muscles, kissed his neck. He did the same. I felt his still soft and young beard on my skin. He took off my clothing, then removed his trousers. Our bodies were bathed in the moonlight. I kissed his chest, tasted salty flesh. His skin had the scent of cinnamon and moss. We enjoyed ourselves that night.

He decided to stay for a few days. We talked a lot. During the last day he told me something I didn't expect - he thought there was something dark within me.

I was angry and I didn't want to see him again. I had to turn his body into a stone statue. How could he say that about me? It was unforgivable. I couldn't let him go to hurt me again. No one will do that any more.

Every night I talked to the statue. He was right... I became someone different. I wanted to stay cheerful but there was no way back. It was too late for that, and had been since the day I entered the forest.

Those thoughts returned to me every night. I couldn't stand it any more. I wanted everything to end.

There was nothing else to be done. I started to prepare the ritual. I separated myself from my dreams. After that, I didn't dream ever again.

When the ritual had been completed a corpse appeared on the ground. It looked like a hooded man with dark skin and long hair. He was beautiful but I couldn't look at him. It was too strange to face the manifestation of my own dreams. I took his body and entered the cave near my tower, then walked for an hour until at last I reached the crystal chamber. There I left the body of the Dream. I hoped that the crystals would cage him. I hit the ceiling with a spell. The rocks collapsed and imprisoned Dream inside the cave.

Days later I decided to leave the forest. I settled far away in a place unreachable for other creatures. It was something like a hidden garden, a chamber I created between Existence and the Netherworld. With the Dream I lost all my wishes, painful memories, daydreams and nightmares.

* * * * *

"You wanted to get rid of me. I feel pity for you, m'lady. I am part of you, but still I can't understand. You forgot all the names, even your own. There were no names in this story of yours. You are a poor creature," said the hooded man. When he finished, violet plants around the garden whispered.

"What else I could do? I was afraid. Now I dream no more. I don't have to suffer," I replied. It was the truth, I knew that. Telling my story to the Dream wasn't difficult. No, he was the one who took the most hurtful memories.

"Are you happy with everything you did? Are you happy that you killed your mother's friend? You don't even remember it. That is one of the sad memories you got rid of. You succeeded, you left me, but you became nothing more than mud, a mere representation of being." His words made me feel strange. He was right, but why didn't I feel any pain?

Now I wasn't a girl any more. I was a monster. My body changed - I looked more like something between spider and humanoid. I had turned into a chimera, a wild beast. It was hard for me to feel anything without a Dream inside me.

The decision came to me: "I want you to become a part of me again," I said, barely believing I had brought myself to utter those words.

"Yes. It should end here, today." After those words had been articulated, everything around me suddenly trembled.

* * * * *

I was standing again in the clearing, once more an eighteen-year-old girl. I was able to kiss the boy, to feel his breath on my breast, to taste him, feel the scent of the cinnamon. I felt him inside me, we were able to enjoy each other again. After that we didn't go to the tower. We sat under the weeping willow, gazed at the embers of the bonfire and talked.

"You have found the part of you that you were missing that day. I mean the day you killed me," said the boy. I blushed. How could I have killed him then? He had done nothing wrong.

"You were missing your Dream, I think. It was before the ritual took place, but you know, I think you lost it during the run through the forest. On the way to this clearing." I didn't answer, I just hugged him.

It was good to dream again. I know that during this dream I died, but that's fine. It's what I really desired.

I'm glad that Dream returned; glad that I learned how to find my own asylum.

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