tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Crystal Rainbow Ch. 01

The Crystal Rainbow Ch. 01

byNyasia©

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"Truth, like beauty, survives and thrives in the light of day.

Lies live in the darkness, moldering and corrupting all they touch."

- A Fool's Book of Wisdom

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Chapter One -- Truth

Cliché though it may be, it was a dark and stormy night that Erik ran away from his mother's home. He knew that if he stayed the man that visited his mother would convince her to send him away to the mental institution. And, that was something he vowed he would never allow.

Although a genius, he was still only a boy of nine years and he had lived a sheltered life. Having a mother that truly belonged in a mental institution and an absent father had not prepared Erik for the reality of life outside his mother's attic. The few times he snuck out of the house and visited the town, he found the people there to be savage and cruel. He knew he wore the face of a monster, but Erik also knew that within his chest beat the heart of a human being.

"Why can no one see who I am? Is there no one who can see me? Shall I always be a monstrous being forced to hide behind a mask?"

The boy's impassioned words went unanswered by the tempest that raged about him. Erik placed his hand to his face and held his mask in place as the ferocity of the wind threatened to whip it from his face.

'And,' thought the boy, 'that would never do.'

The tree roots seemed to tangle with his feet purposefully attempting to trip him and the branches clutched and clawed at his clothing.

'If I do not get inside my clothing will soon be in tatters. I need to find someplace out of the storm, someplace safe.'

As if in answer to his silent plea, Erik caught sight of a small flickering light in the distance. Not seeing that he really had any other choice, the boy directed his faltering feet towards it.

'Please? If there is a God, please help me. I have never asked for anything from you before, but if you are there, please help me now. I am just a boy.'

A blue-white streak of lightning flashed down from the heavens, illuminating the stick-thin child, which scrambled through the forest. Too tall for his nine years, too thin with too pale skin, his face reflexively turned up to gape at the bolt streaking across the heavens. Another flash glistened off the water, which beaded on the surface of the porcelain face he wore as a mask. While the slender body quite obviously belonged to a boy, the face he wore was that of a beautiful girl. If someone had taken the time for a closer inspection, they would have discovered that the boy's face was a mask. In actuality, he used the face of a large porcelain doll to mask his features. The sides of the face carefully rounded to remove any sharp edges and five delicate holes pierced the eyes, nostrils and mouth for obvious reasons.

Thunder boomed about the boy and brought him out of his stupor. He once again began his journey towards the light. Another crash of lightning followed by the boom of thunder startled the boy with its closeness and he tripped on a tree root. He fell forward with a cry. He twisted as he fell, hitting his head on the trunk of the tree to whom the roots belonged. The next flash of lightning revealed the crumpled form of the boy lying still beneath the tree.

And the rain continued to pelt the still form.

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Helen hurried through the forest. Her anger escalated with each splash of rain upon her already drenched cloak. She had known that a storm was brewing, but her responsibilities required certain things of her. However, she hoped she would be able to finish her work and return home before the rain began. She had underestimated the time she needed and now, found herself very annoyed at finding herself caught in the torrent, which now soaked her to the bone.

"Of all the stupid things! After all these years I would think I would be able to judge the proper time, I need to perform the ritual! But, no! I just had to have that one last cup of tea and then that extra biscuit! I must be getting soft in the head ...."

The woman ranted as she walked, pausing to wipe an errant rivulet of water that ran into her eye. Lightning sparked across the sky and fate intervened as the woman's eyes caught sight of the still form sprawled atop the gnarled roots of the old oak.

"Merde! Now what?"

She bent and turned over the still form.

"Mon Dieu! What on earth is a child doing out here on a night like this? A child wearing a mask? Hmmm .... Well, there is no such thing as coincidence, so now fate reveals why I must walk in this god-forsaken weather. Well, I see no way around this and no help in sight." She paused and shook the limp form. "Boy! Wake up! Boy?"

She groaned, as her ministrations received no response.

"Damnez-le! Very well, Helen. Stop cursing and get busy. He needs help not your swearing."

The woman gently lifted the boy into her arms, marveling at the lightness of his frame. She hoisted him over her shoulder and resumed her trek through the woods muttering curses as she walked.

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Warmth and a wonderfully comfortable softness were the first sensations Erik noticed as his mind slowly made its way back into the world of the living.

"A bed? How did I get into a bed? I was walking through the woods ...."

The next sensation, which registered in his consciousness, was a throbbing in the back of his head. He moaned softly.

"Well, it is about time, young master. I thought you might decide to sleep through the entire day."

A pleasant female voice sounded to Erik's side and his head turned towards the sound causing the throbbing to increase and the world to spin.

"Now, now! Not so quickly! You have quite a nasty lump on the back of your head. You may wish to reconsider the next time you decide to take a stroll through the woods in the dark during a storm. Either that or carry a lantern with you. Heads are not made to meet trees in such a manner."

The voice sounded agreeable and amused. Erik found himself enjoying listening to the person speak, but as he began to relax, he suddenly realized he could feel the touch of air on his face. At this realization, he cried out and raised his hands to cover himself. The voice chuckled.

"Oh, really, young master, you must calm yourself. I see no reason why we must hide from one another. If you would just open your eyes ... do it slowly ... yes, you see? Helen is not the famous Helen of Troy. I have not a face that would launch a thousand ships, but one that would sink them. No. Young master, you have no need to wear that horribly heavy thing. You must rest and recover your strength. Are you hungry, boy?"

Erik slowly opened his eyes and looked into a pair of pale blue eyes, which seemed surrounded by a mass of wrinkled flesh. He blinked and watched as an opening appeared in her face with a mouthful of crooked teeth. He slowly brought his hands up and rubbed his eyes. He studied the face of the woman with the beautiful voice. She was old, ancient. Her face was round and appeared so wrinkled that the folds of flesh hid even her eyebrows from view. Her nose was wide and flat, the tip hung almost touching her upper lip.

"Who are you?" The boy tentatively inquired.

The place that Erik assumed was the woman's mouth seemed to lift into a smile.

"I am Madame Helen and this is my home. I found you lying in the woods. Your head seems to have done battle with a tree root and I believe you lost, but you are awake now and will soon be good as new. All right now. Enough questions from you for now, young master. I have two questions for you. Are you hungry is the first and the second is, what is your name?"

The boy settled back into the pillows and a small smile began to grace his lips.

"Firstly, oui, Madame. I am very hungry. Secondly, my name is Erik."

The woman's smile grew larger.

"Very good, Erik. Here is what I believe we should do. I shall bring you a bowl of soup, which I recommend you eat. Then, you shall sleep again. I believe that by tomorrow morning you shall be well enough for us to decide what to do next. Is this plan acceptable to you?"

The boy nodded shyly and smiled.

"Oui, Madame. Merci. That plan sounds wonderful."

"Good! I do believe that fortune smiled upon us last night. And, from the looks of you, I would say that it was high time that it did. Now, soup and then sleep. Tomorrow, we talk."

The boy carefully nodded, wincing at the pain in the back of his head. He raised his hand to his face and quickly glanced at the old woman shuffling across the room.

'Am I truly awake? She gazes upon my hideous face as if there were nothing wrong with it. Her face is not that bad and yet, she compares it to mine. I wonder if she ....'

His thoughts abruptly end as the woman places a tray containing a bowl of soup, a hunk of bread with butter and a steaming mug of tea on his lap.

"Enough thinking, Erik. Eat. Plenty of time for serious thoughts tomorrow. For now, eat!"

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Author's Note

Welcome to my first work of fiction submitted to Literotica!

Hope you like this story. It has been a long time in finding its way from my mind through my fingers and on into words. Please join me on this journey and I promise to make it as interesting as I can. While parts of this story contain explicit material, this story is not about sex, so as in life, the sexual interludes are interspersed throughout the story.

Please read, vote and review! Your comments are very important to me.

Fondest wishes,

--ny

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