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[complete] God Never Spoke - 1994

[complete] God Never Spoke - 1994

Postby Freddy Bishop » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:54 pm

The gale that blows through Azkaban island is bitter and cold, a vindictive wind that bites his eyes, strips through his jacket like gauze, and knifes all the way down to his bones. No one ever warned him how could it would be, and he suspects that was on purpose.

London barely sustains the winter. In the morning, all that's left of the snow is a thin layer that melts away with the sun. But here it encases the island in a blinding drifts, smothers out life, flows over the rocks and cliffs in frozen waterfalls of teeth. The plants here are stunted, misshapen shrubs with branches caged in ice.

Overhead, an anemic sun hangs in a sky of gray against interminable gray, and beneath it the carriage trundles along the narrow road to the prison. The boy sits alone and without possessions save for a box of draughts sitting on his lap. With nothing else to hang on to, his fingers curl rightly around game box. It’s cheap and old, the edges worn and held together by tape, and it makes a poor talisman against the dark.

With each passing minute they draw closer to their destination, and the tower grows higher into the sky, splitting the heavens in half. Tall and mythic, a black monolith stabbing towards a single black cloud overhead. It's almost cartoonish--its own personal rain cloud of misery. The building's angles all look wrong, like an optical illusion come to life. And though it is shaped in a strange, triangular configuration, the wrongness of it seems to go deeper than that in a way the boy can’t describe.

Shadows drift across its stone facade--soaring and twisting through the air with their dark shrouds trailing behind them. At a distance, it’s almost beautiful. A ballet of tenebrous medusa. As one of the dementors slides into a slotted window, a corona of ice crystallizes in its wake.

His eyes are drawn upwards again, and it’s like chilled fingers have wrapped around his heart, and his pulse races with some dim, animal panic. The cloud above the tower is not a cloud at all--it’s a swarm. Countless dementors all focused on this one single point, the same way a mass of spiders looks like a dark, fuzzy blot, but at the slightest touch can swarm out into thousands of little nightmares

The carriage rolls to a stop and one of the guards jumps out and yanks open the door for him. Before him, a fresh sheet of snow blankets the path to the prison. All around it, the plants curve away at sharp angles as if trying to escape.

Clutching the game box to his chest, he steps out of the carriage and into the snow. Under his shoes, its crystalline shell crunches like the bones of fragile creatures.

---

Inside, the cold is only marginally better and every sound echoes down the hollow stone halls. None of the guards say more than a handful of words to the boy, but their eyes track his passing, and he knows the laughter that creeps around the halls must be about him.

Didja see the Bishop boy over there? He’s got that murdery look already. Just give it a few years, he’ll probably end up here too. Let's hope he's not like his old man. Bloody fucking screamers, right? God, they're the worst.

It had been his decision to come here alone. He didn’t want to take Phoebe somewhere dangerous without seeing it first, and he hated his foster mother. All his life, his parents had never raised a hand against him, had never turned magic against him. So the memories of pain exploding across his cheek, of his own utter helplessness, were enough to boil murder in his heart.

He’d tell his father when he saw him. Everything would be--not alright. Nothing would ever be alright again, but they would be better. Eventually.

A heavy metal door leads into the visitation room and it slams shut behind him. It’s a small, sickly green room with a single metal table and chairs bolted to the ground. A matching metal door stands on the opposite side. The boy sets the game box down on the middle of the table and sets up the board while he waits. Dark pieces for his father, light ones for himself.

Back home, before everything changed, his father had told him that draughts was more of a kids’ game. The better you got at it, the more the game ended in draws until one day there’d be no winning and no losing, just an eternity of draws all the time. One day he promised he’d teach him how to play chess instead. That was a real game with real strategy. But it turned out there hadn’t been time for it. It turned out there wasn’t time for anything.

The board is all set when the opposite door opens and the sounds of tortured souls drift in. Hopeless sobs and the cries of the bereaved mixed with screams so wild with terror they barely sound human. And a fraction of a second after those wails, their echoes follow like hell's own echo chamber.

It’s from this cacophony that father emerges like some nightmare apparition. The prison scrubs hang off his wasted body and he’s shackled with heavy chains that rattle with every step. His lips are cracked and pale and splotches of razor burn cover his face and neck. Dark shadows have carved into the lines of his face, ringed crescents under his eyes, and his cheeks have hollowed so much that his cheekbones jut sharply into his skin. But more than anything else, it’s the look in his eyes that he doesn’t recognize, and for the first time in his life his father terrifies him.

There’s a strange power in his dirt and his degradation, one that’s almost elemental. The man who sits in the chair across from him seems less like his father and more like a force of nature. Everything that everyone had ever told the boy about him and his crimes, everything he didn’t believe--all of it suddenly seems possible from this nightmare visage before him. In that instant he knows. He’s never bringing Phoebe here.

His father’s eyes flick over him like he doesn’t understand what he’s seeing. His eyes have always been lopsided, but it’s more pronounced now in a way that approaches madness. Wordlessly, his shackled hands creep towards him across the table, and the chains follow like a serpents, clattering across the surface until finally they clink taut.

This close, he can see the red sores forming on his father’s wrists and the dirt that rims beneath each of his fingernails like something that’s clawed its way out of the earth. Calloused and deeply lined hands. Hands that held his bike by the handlebars as he raced next to him back when summer days were carefree. Hands that picked him up off the ground, healed his skinned knees, and ruffled his hair while he called him tough because he didn’t cry.

Tentatively, the boy reaches across the table and rests his hand in his father’s, and they close around him, welcoming him home again. When his father speaks, it’s in a stark whisper and his throat’s an open sore.

With three words, all his misgivings vanish.

An important family member

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User avatar
Hogwarts
Hufflepuff
Class of 1999-2006
AGE
16
BIRTHDAY
16/ 7/1988
BLOOD STATUS
Pureblood
MAGIC STATUS
n/a
HEIGHT
6'1"
POSTS
2097
PLAYER | twufoo

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