A Veiled Calling

2nd Cycle/452nd Hour/112 Hybrid-Era

Follow the bells, they’re ringing proudly, across the sea of shattered hills. They will guide you. Stand beside we and saturate the dulls of an ever shifting eternity.

I heard it in my dreams. A solon voice beckoning for me to heed its gentle call, leading me ever deeper into the beyond. I could hear it even as a woke; it tickled at my mind and lingered. Teasing. Ringing.

A distant ringing.

I turned over in my cot, my heated sheets rolling off of my form and falling to the cold stone floor. The chilling breeze that followed shocked me awake, sending shivers through my body and causing me to sit up rapidly in search for a layer of protection against the frigid air but as I leaned over and reached forward there was nothing there. The sheet was gone – as if passed into the nether. And yet persisted the ringing.

I pushed myself upright, pressing my back against the wall, and peered out toward the darkness of my quaint dorm. My hand flew to my ear, tapping at the button to activate my hearing aids; there came a shrill electronic screech followed by quiet – the distant humming air filtration units, the rhythmic thumping of subwoofers across the way. But no ringing.

I shifted and pulled my legs out and over the edge of the cot, my feet pressing down on warmed synthetic cotton; my sheets had been there the whole time. I must have missed them…

Cautiously I reached down and pulled the sheets over my bare legs and tucked the ends underneath my thighs. I spent moments sitting still in the darkness, my eyes searching the void for something, anything, that might have been the ringing I had heard. Eventually I lifted my arm and pounded at the underside of the bed above me.

A low grumble followed my actions. Some shifting and a murmur. I pounded again.

“Gebblen,” a hushed cry.

More shifting and this time his low mumble, “what?”

“I-I heard something. Bells – did you hear bells?” My voice frantic.

“No,” he sat up in his bed and for a moment I only heard ambient noise. I quickly reached over to my bedside and switched on the hand lamp laying there. The warm yellow light burst throughout the room and shocked my eyes. I waited for them to adjust and sat frozen. Searching.

“I don’t see anything, Mel. And no bells – just that fraggin’ club,” He grumbled and turned over in his bed once more.

I remained still for a few more moments, my eyes tearing over every object in the room. Our clustered desks. Trophies on the wall. Jackets hanging on hooks mounted on the closed door. Gebblen’s recent contraption scattered, wires and bolts, in the middle of the floor.

I sighed and laid back down. I left the hand lamp on and closed my eyes. It was probably nothing. I had just had a weird dream and was freaking out. My damaged ears were playing tricks on me. It was nothing.

It was nothing. I pulled my sheets over my thin form again and reached a hand up to click off my hearing aids. All sound left me. The humming. The thumping. But the ringing came back.

My eyes flew open and  I turned my head, scanning the room. Nothing had changed. All was still. I shifted again and placed my feet on the floor before standing and turning to look at Gebblen on his top bunk. He rolled over, his tired brown eyes resting on me and his thin lips mouthing: he wanted me to turn the light off and stop spazzing out. He couldn’t hear it.

I switched on my aids again, “…probably just hearing something from above.” He rolled over in his cot and curled up for slumber, “maybe you should get your aids checked out. There’re no bells. Just turn them off.”

He couldn’t hear it…

I turned off my aids and the ringing came back to me. Why? Why could I hear it. The rest of the world was silent but the chiming wouldn’t stop. I turned my back to him and faced the door. I stepped away from the bed, making my way across and avoiding the mess on the floor. The cold of my bare feet against the freezing stone sent chills up my legs and through my body. I wrapped my arms around myself and let curiosity drive me. And with every passing step the bells grew ever louder.

I passed through the door and into the hall, slowly following the sound toward the light of the Doctor’s study. A wispy haze crept through the air toward me His back was facing the open door and his long grey braid danced following his movements to and fro as he worked. A bright ebbing green haloed his slender, hunched form; a myriad of burning incense, flickering tablets, and loose codexes strewn about on every surface.

“Doctor,” I switched on my aids once more and stood in the door frame, “what’re you working on?”

“Meliana,” his head shot around, his braid flailing, and he motioned for me. “Come, come. Quickly.” His hazy blue eyes held wonder, his face alight with a smile. “Tell me what you see. Tell me what you feel.” I approached cautiously and as I drew closer to see I laid my eyes on a shining rock,  an Abanin Cystal unlike any I had seen before. This one was green, unlike its amber kin, and its surface shifted in the Doctor’s hands.

“Come on then,” he took my hands and force the crystal into my palms. It was incredibly warm, “it’s completely safe.” With that he reached over to his desk and took an incense, waving it under my nose. I was breathing it before I recognized what was happening, lost in the allure of the living ore. I could feel something pulling at, at my mind, not unlike the voice I had heard in my slumber. A weightless feeling came over me; I could feel sensation leaving me as the world blurred in my peripherals, only the the shifting light inside the crystal remaining clear. And then bells in the distance.

~~~~~

Daily Prompt: Vanish (12\5\16)

Word of the Day: campanology (12\5\16)

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