The Otherworlds (From the Archives)

Fyerik groaned, holding her head in her hands as she threw up into the bucket again.

“Do I really have to try again?” she groaned, sipping the fruit tea that Hyacken had put next to her bedside table.

Hyacken nodded, eyes sad. This wouldn’t be the first time she had seen a Seer struggle to get past the pain of the Otherworlds, to the glimpses of the future.

Fyerik sighed, taking another sip of tea. The easier futures were always easier to see, the ones that were a few minutes or a few hours in the future. She could see those dancing around her vision, like an overlay of possibility on reality.

But the far future, months and years ahead, had too much possibility. It was still hidden by the Otherworlds, the creatures that allowed Fyerik to glimpse through time into each possibility that might play out. And they did not like to be disturbed by a human trying to piece into the far future.

And especially not a human who was asking about the Cataclysm.

“I’ll try again,” Fyerik said, “then I need to stop.”

“There is no time-” Hyacken replied. She frowned at Fyerik, her wrinkles deepening as she did so.

Fyerik stared back, stony cold face. Age did not scare her, and neither did the City’s Witchdom herself.

“You want me alive,” Fyerik said, “don’t you?”

She tried to keep a lid on her anger, but she could feel it seeping out in her words. The whole thing was unfair, everyone knew the Cataclysm was going to happen. It had been written for hundreds of years that it was going to happen, that the moons would collide and rain down rock and death upon the world below.

But that wasn’t good enough for good old King Yenat. He wanted to be immortal, and the Cataclysm put a small dent in that.

“Fine,” Hyacken said, “but one hour only. Yenat doesn’t want delays.”

Yenat this. Yenat that. Fyerik could swear that one of the required traits of a Witchdom was to swear an oath of kissing-the-kings-ass.

Which was half the reason why the Kingdom was failing. The other half being the impending Cataclysm derailing everyone’s focus from, y’know, day to day existence.

“Thanks,” Fyerik replied, sitting up. She hummed under her breath, her way of focussing her mind just enough until she slipped into the Otherworld-

Fyerik stood in a room that was stained with a deep blue oil. It ran down the sides of the room like sludge, crawling towards her feet.

“Hi there,” Fyerik said.

Out of the sludge, figures began to appear. They rose up out of the floor, the blue sludge like substance taking on a barely humanoid form, complete with arms and legs. Five of them this time, Fyerik really must have pissed them off.

Finally, a head shape appeared on the top of each of the bodies, in which a long black slit appeared.

“You come into our place again,” the slits said in unison, combining to a booming voice that rattled Fyerik’s skull, “again and again.”

“Look,” Fyerik said, “I’m not happy about this as much as you are.”

“So refuse,” they replied.

“Kind of can’t do that,” Fyerik said, raising her arms up. The scars were still visible from the last time she had refused Yenat’s request. They had killed her and then got a necromancer to raise her from the dead.

“So refuse,” they replied.

“I just get killed and brough back alive again” Fyerik said, “you know how painful that is?”

The slits widened and then closed again. As if they were thinking.

“That’s new,” Fyerik muttered.

She tried to take a step forward.

Pain lanced through her body, almost throwing her out of the Otherworlds’ realm. She screamed, forcing herself to stay focused, stay here, with the Otherworlds. She needed answers, so that this hell could stop.

“You cannot see this future,” the figures said, “because it is your own.”

“Mine?” Fyerik said, “I’m looking for Yenat’s future. I need to see if he surivives the Cataclysm.”

The figures hummed at Fyerik. The noise became unbearable, forcing Fyerik to her knees.

“We will show your our reason,” The Otherworlds said in unison.

A flash of light.

Fyerik forced her eyes to open. She had to see this, this was her first breakthrough in months-

In front of her was a throne, the throne of the Kingdom of Caystleli. The throne Fyerik had thrown herself in front of numerous times when she had not found an answer to Yenet’s problem.

But instead of Yenet, it was Fyerik herself who sat on the throne. At her feet lay Yenet’s bloodied body.

And she wore the crown.

“His future,” the Otherworlds said, “is your future.”

Fyerik screamed as noise filled her ears. The humming became louder, and louder, and louder until she thought she could feel her brain explode-

Fyerik threw up violently into the bucket at her feet, what little bile was left in her stomach.

“So,” Hyacken asked, “what did you see?”

Fyerik wiped her mouth. The vision of her sitting on the throne was still burning fresh in her mind. The Otherworlds hadn’t been refusing her the knowledge, they had been protecting her. One should never, ever, know their own future.

Who knew what would happen if they did.

“Nothing,” Fyerik replied, spitting into the bucket, “there was nothing.”

Featured Image by Alice Hampson on Unsplash

First Posted in 2020.

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