Lightening flashed across my vision. I realised my eyes were open and seeing grey space void of any characteristics, however the ground held a massive image of a lotus flower in full bloom on dark, formless, waters. The waters ran on like an endless pond.
"This place." I found my voice.
"You should realise what it is by now." A deep voice boomed into my ears.
A black figure approached me from the other side of the lotus flower.
He was wearing black robes that covered his body from his neck to just below his knees, revealing his sturdy legs in black leather rider pants and feet in heavy black metal boots, clinking across the ground towards me. His face was hidden beneath his hood. I frowned when I saw a silver-white canary bird perched on his shoulder.
The bird flew towards me and perched on my lap. I realised I had been sitting on the ground with my legs crossed.
"Ooh, like, so cool that you have a manly ego. Like, I'm so chuffed to be your spellbook. I've been wanting to chat with you. Like, you're so sexy when you're with your man and all." The bird coyly chatted away with a melodic and effeminate voice.
"You're my spellbook?"
"I'm Marilyn." The bird introduced herself.
I peered at her feathered face of silver-glass beady eyes, cute glass beak with a dainty mole to the right side of it. Her body was roundish with frilly sleek feathers that fluffed out every time she moved. The thought of a fluffy white feather boa came to my mind.
"You're a bird." I raised my brows.
I cursed at the high-pitched squawk she released that pained my ears.
"Like, to call me a bird is so rude. I'm your spellbook." She huffed, casting her head to one side.
She flew back to the Black Rider's shoulder who had been silently watching our introductions.
I frowned at the Black Rider's lack of image. Why didn't he have a face?
Upon answering my question, his image shimmered and changed without moving. I gasped when I saw the truth of it and a tacky looking one at that.
"How's that?" He smirked with an image of my mouth.
It was like I was staring in a mirror. His black hair was floppy over his expressionless brows. I screwed up my nose at his tacky attire where his rider pants were split into tight boxer shorts and leggings tucked into the black boots.
"What the hell are you wearing?" I pointed at his strange, shimmering black tunic with dirty-silver Sacred Word and other unworldly symbols running across the surface and long sleeves.
His hood was replaced with a ridiculously high collar that covered the back of his neck. The tunic was unbuttoned around his chest, so a collar choker could be seen with a symbol of a black five pointed star dangling at the end against his chest.
"Clothes." He smugly answered back. "Should I go naked?"
"Please don't! It's bad enough I'm topless." I glanced about my own naked chest.
"Why do you look like me?" I asked.
He paused before responding with, "We are the Black Rider."
"Ooh, that's, like so mysterious." Marilyn fluttered excitedly about his shoulder, shedding feathers about the air.
She flew off his shoulder and landed on mine. "You and I need to, like connect and what not."
"Seriously, why are all magical things canaries?" I groaned, thinking of Dionysus and those Ambry Birds back at the mansion.
Marilyn nipped my nick. I apologised. She rubbed her head against my sore spot to make it better and added on that she expected me to take care of her.
The air became charged and excited with lightening that struck the ground towards us. I felt my body locked in place as bolts of approaching lighting were reflected in my eyes.
"Hang on, Sweetie. Embrace the pain." She chimed into my ears.
I screamed at the searing, ripping pain I felt all over my body when lightening struck my form and Marilyn's. Our images were torn apart and reformed to merge as one image in our mind's eye. The pain suddenly stopped. When I came to, I was facing the Black Rider who was holding a glowing white lotus flower (in full bloom) in one hand.
"Our Hana." He stated.
My eyes widened when one petal slipped off the lotus's floral disc and fell to the ground. Its light went out and became black.
"This petal died because of a corruption in your heart that you need to fix."
"Protect our Hana." His voice was sober and held a deadly tone. "Should our Hana continue to break, Famine will no longer be a name but a destroying force throughout Sol."
I gulped at his firm stare and tone of warning upon his next words.
"We are Sol's gods who will destroy if Sol asks for it." He pointed a finger at my nose.
"Oh Love, don't you worry, I'll keep close eye on his sweet body and, like, that godly power." Marilyn giggled.
The flower disappeared from his hand. Eventually his image, Marilyn's and the lotus space faded out of my mind.
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