• Chapter I

    The sky was dim in the early morning, with the moon waning its way behind the dark hills. The large city stood in its center between the mountain ranges, seemingly impregnable. With the sun slowly rising, the members of the large city were already beginning to awake to the new day. Bakers were already cooking in their bakeries and the sweet smell of pastries came billowing out of the windows. Many people filled the early morning streets, and lights everywhere began to flicker out.

    As the sun reached a low peak on the mountaintop, the view of the city became clearer than the stream, which ran beside it. Every building from the smallest to the largest came into view. As the city became clearer, the sun washed the darkness away in a smooth event, as the moon finally became shrouded off in the mists. Back below in the city, the morning bells were already ringing and the chimes echoed off into every district in the city.

    In one of the oldest areas of the city was the only house where the chimes could not reach. An older, forgotten house, which had been there since the Kingdom was first created, sat in complete silence while every other house groaned with the morning noise. People were often afraid of the house, hearing that many of the humans who went near it died of fright, and they did not go near it. The house had often been called cursed, and the superstitions had almost been made law. For many years, the only person said to come from the house was a ghastly creature that resembled a man, and he would only appear on certain occasions. Whether the stories were true or not, no eye contact ever met the house, even when the man who people thought to be a creature had not been seen for weeks, not one person had been brave enough to enter.

    Rumors were only rumors though, no one could prove a creature existed or not. The eerie quiet of the house had seemed to be eternal, but that morning it would be disturbed. Slowly but surely, the chimes had penetrated the house and rang softly into the thin walls. As the sound got louder, there was grunt in the upstairs room. Beating down into the house like a hammer on the nail, the chimes moved into the room and created more grunting. Moments passed, then the sound slowly faded away into nothing, leaving a solitary figure groaning and grunting in the new light of the day.

    Vayne awoke with a sudden feeling of hatred within him, sensing the already fleeting darkness. He sat in bed and yawned for a moment before looking at his dreary room. Scattered goods were about the floor; broken time pieces with spilled sand and shattered mirrors were of the most abundance, but he could also see that fitted in with the sparkling goods were metallic weapons wrapped in wooden splinters long forgotten. Vayne’s eyes moved from one broken treasure to the next, and he groaned while he put his hand to his head. His hand darted away instantaneously, and he glanced down at the bare flesh. No blood or agonizing wounds blemished his head, yet he felt a horrible pounding on his skull, which could not be ignored.

    Dragging himself out of his confused and comatose state, he stood and stretched his body slightly, feeling several pops of his spine. The sound was almost arousing to Vayne, as he demonstrated with a small smile on the corner of his mouth. It easily dispersed itself, and he once again found his mood brooding over past events. How long have I slept this time? He pondered as he encompassed the room with his eyes once more. And what event has plagued this room? His eyes met with a small crack in the window to his left. Upon examining further, he noticed a makeshift barrier that was made out of roughened wood with rusty nails attached upon it. With a quick pull on one of the many offending planks of wood, the window was released from its captor, and sunlight poured warmly into the room.

    The sunlight made Vayne draw back for a moment while he tried to find the right word in his mind to describe the sudden strange feeling that had just recently dawned on him. He concluded it to be nothing important and approached the open window to gaze upon the town. Swaying his torso over the windowsill, he was able to see down the battered cobblestone street where the house he resided in had always been. The houses have not changed; I must have woken myself up this time. Vayne thought discreetly as he noticed movement on the far end of the street. There he spied some small children laughing and running as a pompous looking official chased them in the opposite direction, cursing with every loud step he made. Vayne could not help but release a small chuckle from his tired lungs; he hadn’t been amused since before the sleep. The people haven’t changed at all either.

    After peering into the outside world, Vayne turned back to his distraught bedroom. It was a dark and dreary sight at first, at least until he moved aside from the sunlight hitting his back. As the light flooded in, broken pieces everywhere began to reflect the light around him and send auroras forming in every direction of the room. He puzzled slightly on whether to take the spectacle as beautiful or merely as a foreboding message of doom, as he often got. Shrugging after his insightful moment, he walked gracefully to an area where the mirror pieces had fallen and remained tightly compact, so he could glance at his new appearance.

    As the light dimmed around his eyes, he saw clearly the ghastly appearance of his being. White reflected off of his skin as if he had been carved from the finest porcelain in the world. His body was long and resembled what many old storybooks referred as “elves”, with fine features crafted into his face and light shades of brown on the rest of his body. With eyes tracing his body in the mirror pieces, they went from his feet and up to his face. Surprise washed over his expression to realize that he was actually better looking than he had been before the sleep.

    Before that time his eyes had been sunken in due to the vast majority of lost sleep. Not only with that, but the fuchsia color in his eyes had become a new and bright hue, which had been lost due to a lack of enjoyment in his life. It was as if the sleep had healed him completely, which he had hoped for. Sighing lightly he slumped back onto his bed and absorbed himself back into his mood of detest.

    Hatred consumed his heart and was quickly able to drag it back within his soul. The peace he felt after a long sleep was the only peace he could allow his being to feel. As a puppet of fate, he could do nothing but sink to its lowest trap, the trap of an apathetic life. Feelings escaped his being, yet he always enjoyed learning from his victims. Shaking his fears away he laid his body back to rest on his faded bedspread.

    The sleep has been cruel to me. Vayne thought while slowly slipping into his madness that he had awaken with. Lunacy was abundant within him, and he had been one of the only ones in all of history to make it one of his strongest skills. Although spontaneous, there was usually a reason which made him act, and that is why his craziness was a fatal trait indeed. Already he allowed his mind to track back to the time before the sleep. Judging from the glimpse of the moon he had outside, he had been discouraged to realize it had only been six weeks since that moment. Although to him it had seemed to be an era that had passed, he knew that it should have been longer.

    “Why must time be so cruel?” his hollow voice said with a ringing tone. A haunting whistle followed through his mouth, dispersing into the gloomy air about him. The sleep was supposed to be his escape, but now this atrocity had left him stranded with the homely population of the city. Stonewalls and concrete hearts were trapped there in that miserable town, and Vayne was infuriated that he had not fulfilled his lifelong dream to escape it.

    Pending on his thoughts was a growing feeling of despair in his heart, but he allowed them no further intrusion than just to acknowledge the feeling. Rising from his battered bed, he took a careful advance towards his black furnished wardrobe. With his anger subsiding, his eyes trailed the broken down the catastrophic war-zone, which was his room. Aside from the broken glass and other items, the room appeared to be in the same condition as six weeks before. The iron frame around his black sheepskin mattress still stood in perfect alignment with his wardrobe. His eyes darted around and they found the black oak wardrobe where he was heading. It still stood above his height, dwarfing the other furniture with its six-foot height. A gargoyle perched on the edge loomed over and stared down with its burning eyes into Vayne’s. As he glanced at it, he let out a small muse in his ghastly voice, “You seem to resemble exactly how I feel right now.”

    On the left of the wardrobe sat a mahogany desk, which was clear of all clutter. Placed gracefully on the desk was a glass vase with a single black rose drooping in its clutches. Vayne wondered how long it had survived before he his long absence, but once again didn’t linger on his thoughts. A smile pursed through his gentle lips as he became more aware of his familiar surroundings. Nostalgia filled his mind to the brim, but he wouldn’t let it sink in. To feel that was weak, and he refused to give any leeway to what he was already occupied with.

    Reaching one of his long hands into one of the wardrobe drawers he pulled out one of his many silk shirts. He glanced down and smirked as he noticed he had pulled out a red shirt with frilled in the center of the torso on the front and had extra long sleeves to make a billowing look. It gleamed eerily in the darkness that surrounded the room, and Vayne was instantly amused again.

    Caressing the buttons on the shirt delicately, he pushed them out of their binding prisons so as to place it on himself. A bit of movement caught his eye on the shirt as a small black spider crawled silently onto his hand. Stopping all other movement, Vayne moved his face close to the small insect so he could admire it. “You seem to have made a home here as well… You and I are definitely no different from one another.” Said his whistling feminine voice. The spider stopped his trek on Vayne’s arm and trembled it’s body as if to acknowledge Vayne as a greater power than itself. Vayne smirked again and placed his hand on the wall gently. Not forsaking the new freedom given to it, the creature took a new course and moved happily onto the wall, scaling upward in an unwavering pattern.

    After the small intrusion on his bodily dressing, he resumed the task with newly found vigor. Moments passed until Vayne finally emerged from the dark corner where he was getting dressed. As he entered the light, which bounced around his room, his clothes immediately became a glittery river that drenched his body. The shirt he wore sent a wave of crimson through the room while the ruffles upon it moved in a silent wind. On his legs an indigo glow was being emitted from a black pair of pants. The pants themselves moved with every breath Vayne took, creating one of the most graceful fits a pair of pants could give. In fact, the pants themselves took a strange characteristic that many couldn’t see; they could protect where all other pants failed.

    Although without armor, Vayne was more than protected. He insisted on having pants that were handcrafted from the finest black spider web the world had seen. These spiders were the rarest on the earth, and with each stitch of their godlike web an armory of wards were placed. No wound or puncture could get through, not even with the strongest axe. Through all of his adventures, they had indeed become his favorite, not to mention most non-fatal, pair of all time.

    As he thought about his pants, he reminded himself on how disgusted he was with
    people who were so single-minded. The “normal” ones, as they would call themselves. Vayne was amused by their strange behaviors and reactions, but no matter how they amused him, he always would loathe them. They were moronic and were always monotonous with their actions. Simplistic and lacking depth, he felt no emotion towards any of them. From the sickest and oldest man to the purest babe that was placed upon the land, he hated every single one of them.

    After standing perfectly in place and pondering on his hatred once more, he pulled himself delicately out of his thoughts and moved towards the simple black door, which separated his world from the outside one. Although there was more to his house than his gloomy room, he felt no safer in the lower areas than if he were in a bar crowded full of those people that he despised so much. Dwindling more off of his hatred, he glanced at the door with a gleam in his eyes. This was the threshold to the outside, where he had not ventured in the longest time. He lowered his hand slowly to the knob and began to twist, bringing his mind straight back to the despair which he had felt when he awoke. With a mighty swing, he let the door break free of its closed state and prepared his eyes for what lay ahead.