The Cycle

One task. Reach the shrine. But it isn't as easy as it sounds.
One shot- may possibly become a full story at a later date.


3. Memory


Usually the memories drew him into a different setting, but this memory took place in the Temple of Bones. But it looked incredibly different. The skulls in the ceiling were gone. Lauren wondered if the skulls were the skulls from the past lives. Now there was a disturbing thought… the tombstones on the floors were gone too. And the wall… there were no mirrors.

    That was all the observation he had time to make before a wave of overwhelming panic swept over him. He felt everything life one had felt. She had woken up in a strange building, with no memory, no clue who she was or even where she was. With her eyes, he looked around. He knew she was searching for a way out. She felt her way along the wall, but it was solid. She screamed, and pounded on the walls, to no avail. He felt her terror, her desperation, and knew why she had never shared this memory with any of the lives. Life one had always seemed calm and collected, but here she was desperate and terrified. She hadn’t had the knowledge of past lives to help her. She was completely alone.

    He watched as she made a fist, preparing to punch the wall. He could feel her tensing, ready to bring it forwards, when a voice spoke from behind them.

    “I wouldn’t recommend that.”

    They spun, eyes wide. Lauren felt Life 1’s shock and fear as she spoke.

    “Who are you?”
    The figure before them was shrouded in darkness. All she could see were his eyes, which seem to glow in the darkness. He wore an outfit of dark fabric, and his shoes clicked lightly on the ground as he stepped forwards. No matter how close he came, his eyes stayed in darkness. He didn’t answer.

    “I said who are you!” Life 1 said weakly. She backed up, and Lauren felt them hit the wall. It was hard to focus on the scene through 1’s terror, but he did his best. She was showing him this memory for a reason. He just had to figure out what the reason was.

    “Show a little more respect, girl.” The figure’s voice was resonant and deep and most definitely male. “After all, I am the one who put you here.”

    “You… put me here?” There was anger in the corner of 1’s mind now. “You trapped me in this place and you want me to respect you?”

    “Well yes,” the figure replied casually. “After all… I do hold your life in my hands.”

    “What… what do you mean?”

    The figure snapped his fingers. The sound echoed around the room. As it faded, 1 gasped. Lauren felt what she felt- the air rushing from their lungs like they’d been punched. She dropped to her knees, eyes wide. Terror swept through her.

    “You see? I can immobilize you without even touching you. So if I were you, I’d be a little more respectful.”

    He’s going to kill me, 1’s voice whispered softly. I don’t even know who I am, and he’s going to kill me!

    “Now don’t be so afraid,” the figure said disapprovingly. “I won’t kill you now. Why would I kill my champion?”

    “What do you mean your champion?” 1 protested.

    “I have a task for you,” the figure said calmly. “A very simple one. Outside of this temple, you will find a village. Beyond that there is a mountain, and a cave. That cave leads to a series of tunnels, which lead to a hidden shrine. You must make it to the shrine, and enter it. Inside the shrine is a pool of sacred water. Bathe in the water, and the cycle will be broken.”

    “What do you mean?! What cycle?!”

    “Should you fail and die, your next life will be reborn here. You will be contained in a mirror. Until the cycle ends or…” the figure sounded like he was smiling. “Until you crumble.”

    “Crumble?” 1’s breath was returning, but she couldn’t bring herself to rise.

    “No building is permanent. Eventually, the temple will crumble. And if that happens, your soul will be lost. Unless you wish to be cast into oblivion, you will serve as my champion.”

    “I don’t want to be your champion!” 1 protested. “And nothing you’re saying is making sense. Next life? Cycle? I… I don’t understand!”

    “Best get going,” the figure smirked. “And try not to die.” He snapped his fingers again, and Lauren felt 1 brace herself. But this time a door appeared in the side of the room.

    “Good luck, my champion,” the figure said calmly. “Do not fail me.” He vanished in a ripple of smoke, and 1 stood shakily. She ran towards the door, and opened it to blinding sunlight.

    The next memories were a series of rapid images. Lauren saw the village, and the tunnels. Life 1 had made it pretty far, but in the tunnels she was ambushed by a creature that moved in a dark blur. He felt the pain of death that she had experienced, and the world went black.

    Then something strange happened. He saw the temple of bones, but now he saw it from inside the mirror. It made him dizzy looking out. A skull had been added to ceiling. On the floor, the first tombstone had appeared. And lying on it was a dark haired girl, groaning and sitting up. Life 2. Then the vision rippled, and vanished.

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