Broken from Reality

I always wondered what it would be like to experience a dream on the same scale that we lived our tedious lives: Now however, I wish I never had the thought as I'm now trapped within, broken free of my Earth bound body and stuck in this 'other' world that mere humans should never want to be in. I am broken in mind, body and soul... I am...broken from reality...

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6. Journey Start: A New Name for a New You

   "Hey brother?" came the quiet and somewhat withdrawn voice of Feher as he rolled out from beneath the arms of his brother's grasp. Noir made a queer noise that sounded somewhere between a moan and a grumble, a sign that he was listening but not wanting to open his eyes.

   "What is it now, oh brother of mine?" he whispered with closed eyes and emotionlessness upon his sleeping face. "Did you have another dream?"

   "No... I'm..curious as to what you think of our new master?" Feher whispered back with no emotion as he moved a loose hair from his brother's face. "Why do you think he's being so nice to us?"

   "Hmm, probably cause he's going to 'ave us do some really bad things," Noir opened one eye to look upon his brother as he slowly began to give up on sleeping. "This nice guy act probably won't last for long, enjoy it whilst ye can, brother of mine." He rolled over and sat up in the bed, stretching his arms over his head as he let out a long yawn. "Now, how about you and I go see if we can find the bloody pantry in this huge place?" His twin sprang from the bed and latched onto Noir's side and with an approving smile of innocent mischief the two of them moved out into the hall.

**********

   I awoke with a start as I heard the sound of lightly pounding footsteps in the hall outside. I quickly found my shoes and vest and replaced them onto my body as I made for the door, a sword now in hand as I had imagined having had one by my bedside (I was really getting used to this world by my whim idea). Opening my door with the utmost stealth I glided out into the hall and just as stealthily closed my door and looked about the hall. Down one end of the hall I could see not a thing out of place, however upon beginning to scan the opposite side of the hall I managed to catch two shadows dissapearing around a corner from the edges of my vision. I quietly managed to dash after the two unknown shadows that had invaded my house, rounding the corner I saw them heading towards the main atrium to which I followed close behind.

   "Hmm, I wonder where the kitchen is?" I heard one of the shadows finally speak, the voice was unmistakable as that of Noir's. So it was Noir and Feher I was following, I began to think of how fun it would be to just follow them until the thought popped into my head as to how better it would be if I intercepted them en route. I managed to skirt around them and move through one of the great halls which connected to the dinning room and by there scoot into the kitchen not just but a few moments before the twins found the place.

   "Ah.. Mason, you're..here?" Stammered Noir in surprise. Feher made a quiet squeak of surprise and tried to hide behind his sibling. I just laughed and then managed to recollect myself before inviting them into the space from the doorway.

   "You know you two should really be quieter," I mused as they moved into the kitchen, "I heard your footsteps in the hall and followed you to the atrium where I then managed to beat you here." I dropped my smile for a brief moment as I politely disciplined them. "If you were hungry, all you had to do was to wake me and ask, I don't appreciate you snooping around the manor without me... I wouldn't want you two getting hurt after all..."

   "We're sorry," Feher mumbled from behind Noir as he emerged cautiously from his shadow with a beaten look on his face. "Go ahead, punish us as you see fit..."

   "Punish you? For What?"

   "We upset you, didn't we?" Noir grimaced as he tried to keep his brother behind him as if expecting me to throw something at them to or start hitting them with something. "Go on then, punish us but, do to me more since it was me who suggested that we do this."

   I moved slowly over to them as the two of them cringed in fear as I approached, not knowing what was to come. Noir's body tensed up quickly as I laid a hand on his shoulder and in a sudden jerk, tore his ragged shirt from his body, exposing all the bruises and scars on his body. His poor body was covered in black bruises that had yet to heal and cuts and scars from abuses and battles of long ago. I felt him stiffen even further as I examined him closely.

   "You poor little devils," I whispered, lightly touching one of his fresher bruises, "Who could treat children with such disdain and hatred?" Noir just looked me over with a confused expression of both genuine bewilderment and exasperated sadness. "I won't punish you guys, never like that." I slung my vest off of myself and put it on him to cover up for a bit. "After breakfast, I'll find you boys new clothes while you wash up, I don't want back talk, just do it, okay?"

   Tossing his ragged shirt at him I moved over to and lit the stove, "Now, what shall we have for breakfast?" I asked with a polite smile.

********************

   "Hmm, how about this one?" I asked as I presented a pair of hunting boots of light tan and then a pair of military styled boots. "Being boots will making hiking easier for long distances, and besides, they'll last longer than your well and dead excuse for footwear."

   "Feher, which one you want?" Noir asked as he carefully examined the two pairs of different footwear. "I think these would be better for you, their color suits you anyway." Feher looked at the boots and as suggested by his brother he took the hunting boots and tried them on.

   "They feel nice but..." he moved around a bit in them, "They're heavier than my shoes and I can't really feel the ground anymore..." He looked perplexed as he continued to walk about, testing the boots that clung to his feet.

   "That's cause they're new, Feher" Noir answered as he slipped on the military looking boots. Tying the bootlaces tight he began to walk around, stomping and jumping every so often. "They're very nice though...You sure we can have them?"

   "Positive, same with those pants you're wearing," I smiled as I stood up and opened a different closet. "Now, we have to find you both proper shirts and cloaks for travel." Noir had chosen a pair of somewhat baggy pants that carried many pockets on them for storage, he kind of resembled a pirate to me. Feher on the other hand had chosen a simple pair of greyish-white trousers to wear with only the standard two pockets, a very basic pair of pants. 

   "Hey, can I keep the vest? I found a nice shirt to wear if you don't mind," Noir called as he emerged wearing a crimson undershirt that was reminiscent of the buttoned downs I always wore. "I personally think I look nice," Noir continued to which Feher emerged from behind wearing a duelist's shirt with frilly plumage in some places that was of a lovely cream.

   "It does look nice brother," Feher hugged his brother from behind, "The colors suit you very nicely, makes you seem like a prince of some royalty."

   "You look nice too, brother," Noir smiled as he then slung a leather breast plate or chest protector over him and secured it in place. "Sorry, I just to know you'll be safe is all, but you still look nice, Feher."

   "Alright guys, you're all dressed now, all we need is your new cloaks for traveling," I cut into their moment as I knew we had to hurry. "Come now, choose from any of these cloaks on this rack." I watched in curiosity as the twins skimmed about the rack, searching for something that would appeal to them. Eventually after some time had indeed passes they emerged from the rack, Feher was hidden within a cloak of white and Ivory fibers carefully intertwined together; Noir had chosen a black cloak with deep dark crimson threads intertwined giving off a faded ebony color with silver edging upon it.

   "So, what do you think?" the twins called in unison, giving off that creepy echoing voice they created when speaking at the same time. I looked them over carefully before answering with a genuine smile.

   "They both suit you and I think I've your new names figured out," I smiled, "Noir, your new name shall be Ebony, and Feher, You shall be called Ivory."

   "What's wrong with our given names?" Feher began to tear up.

   "Nothing, these names will be used to hid your true identities from others, especially the towns folk, in other cases feel free to use your given ones," I walked over and patted him on the shoulder, "I meant nothing by it, only for security reasons is all, so you guys no longer have to hide in my pockets as guns."

   "Makes sense," Noir smirked as he bowed before me, "Ebony and Ivory it shall be then," He stood up and moved towards the the door, "Let's go, we've an adventure to start." I smiled and presented the two boys with short swords, to be specific, a sized down version of a rapier with fine handles for easy grip and hardened steel to ensure the blades would not break so easily.

   "I'll teach you to fight with these if you'd like, we'll have plenty of time to learn I think," I smiled as they each took one and hitched it to their sides, much to our pleasure the cloaks hid the swords very nicely. I quickly stole another vest from my room and then took my overcoat and with a few other treasures packed away I rejoined my hooded friends and together we headed out of the Ivory Palace and back to the harbor where the paddle steamer awaited us.

********************

   "Well, hello children," called the voice of the village bazaar keeper as he welcomed us into the open market that was really nothing more than a series of open faced stands with vendors standing behind them with assorted items of varying consumption in each one. At first I just stood aside and watched to see how Noir and Feher would react given their new identities and the new clothes and proper bathing they had acquired left them almost unrecognizable as the dirty little devils the town was after. "So, what's your two names?" he asked.

   "I'm Ebony, and this one here is Ivory," Noir answered with a pleasant manner, "we're new and we've been invited to go on a journey with this fine young man." Noir's finger pointed at me as he finished with a smile.

   "Ah, the young master is going hunting again?" the Bazaar keeper smiled, "Well carry on then boys but do be careful, after all, the woods is not the most friendly place anymore..." I nodded in acknowledgement and then waited till he was out of earshot until I turned to my two companions.

   "See? No one recognizes you two now," I smiled and pulled them along as we went to shop for some supplies, the amethyst ring on my finger burning bright as we edged closer to the edge of town. Finally we finished shopping and then placing all of our things into the rucksack we brought along (which Feher volunteered to carry) we headed out to the edge of town.

   "This idea of yours really panned out," Noir smirked as he caught up to me as I took off, following the ray of light that had reemerged from the ring. "Thanks for all of this, really."

   "No problem my dear friend," I smiled half aware of what I was doing, "besides, makes moving through certain area a lot less of a hassle." 

   "Oh I see how it is then," he snickered, "You're an opportunist you are,don't deny it." 

   "I'm not denying anything, now let's go, the sun's already halfway done with this day and we aren't even close to where I was last time," I grunted as I picked up pace while climbing a steep embankment. The twins hurried up the embankment after me only to come tumbling down the other side, landing near where I was waiting. "Nice rolling there you two, now, are you two alright?"

   "Yeah, I'm fine," Noir replied, "How about you, eh Feher?"

   "I'm.. fine, all is good and well," he tried to take a step but soon fell back to his knees. 

   "Feher!" Noir's voice knocked an octave higher, "Let me see..." He tried to wriggle the boot that he brother has clinging to free but ofcourse he protested fiercely. "Dammit Feher! Stop being so stubborn and let me see!"

   "I'm fine!" he grimaced slightly.

   "Bullocks you're fine! Look at ye, can't even stand up right and ye say yer fine..." Noir became crude in tongue as he lost his composure over his brother. I pushed the two apart gently and knelt beside the one with the pale ivory and porcelain skin.

   "Feher, listen to your brother," I whispered as I began to soothe him, "Either we can do this the nice and easy way... Or I can force you take it off, which would ye prefer in this situation?" Begrudgingly, the porcelain child laid on the soft grass and let his darker brother carefully undo the boot laces which came undone a bit too easily for either of our likings.

   "So, ye didn't tie yer laces tight enough then," Noir noted as he examined the foot carefully, trying to not cause anymore pain than there already was. "See what's it gotten you? Hurt, good and proper to."

   "Looks like a minor twist is all," I smiled as I unpacked the rucksack, "We'll have to camp out here for a bit is all until it's better." I began to set about pitching the shelter much to the amazement of the twins. "I've been hunting with my father before and he also liked to camp out alot." I answered to alleviate their adherent confusion and wonder.

   Took me an hour to pitch the tent by myself which I didn't mind since Noir was caring for Feher and all (and telling him off for his 'stubborn induced stupidity'). However, once it was finished, we carried him inside and lay him on one of the three small collapsible cots that was also in the rucksack. We then decided to cook dinner early, which resulted in a stew of beef and cabbage that kept us warm and full for a while and then, as the sun went down we decided who would take turns watching over the place while the others slept; Noir got first draw.

   "Hey, Mason?" called a tired Feher from across the tent shelter. I got out of my cot and went over to him. 

   "What is it little one?" I whispered lightly as I too was a bit drowsy at this point.

   "I owe you thanks for being so kind to us," he whispered, "And I owe you an apology for having delayed us further in your journey." I patted him on the shoulder and returned to my cot, but not before whispering that he owed me nothing.

   "I've all the time in the world so I don't mind," I remember thinking to myself as I tried to catch some sleep for I knew that soon, he'd be coming in to wake me though.. if I slept, would he be able to wake me? Or, does this world cease to exist when I awake? This question would again play itself on my mind I knew for many more times to come, if only there was a way of knowing what lay ahead....

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