The Celoisa Temple

Five young adults called....five open seats of study at the hidden Celoisia Temple. Five mystical journeys that will be fulfilled. Join us for another chapter! Written by alistair, TheSpecter, and ciorstian_eileionoir!

Chapter 4

Bronya - Inescapable

The laughing voices faded with a blast of cold air as the doors swung open into the freedom of a cloudy winter day. If…freedom was the right word for it. Perhaps it was simply another cold prison. It was all the same; why should I care.


Brian accosted me from behind, asking if I wanted to hang out with Reed and Kallie. If only. I shot him back a tired and irritated look and said I best be getting home. He shrugged his shoulders and headed off to go waste the rest of his evening.


There was lonely, comfortable, familiar silence as I drove home, except for the slosh of the tires through the icy water and the howl of the wind. 


The house came into sight, and I parked with a halt in the driveway. Climbing the few steps to the door, I jammed the key into the lock and eventually it opened.


The scent of bread hit me. The lights were mostly off, as usual, and I headed to my room to throw my school books away for the night. Why bother studying. 


My mother was in the kitchen. I glanced around the corner at her thin, tired frame bent over the oven. Shreds of blonde hair dripped messily from her low ponytail. She sighed, and I could almost sense the frailty and despair that seemed to pervade her thoughts. I shrunk back and turned to go.


“Bronya”, I heard her call out. I waited a few seconds and then made my way into the room.


“I’m here.” I replied softly, but without much feeling.


“Your father called a few minutes ago. He said he wanted you to head over when you got home.”


“Right.” I stared off at the distance, trying the quell whatever it was that I was feeling again. I stood for a minute, as though wrestling in my thoughts. But there was no real battle, because there was only one way it could end.


I headed off again for the door, and let it swing shut behind me. The car was still warm, but full, thick flakes of snow were now falling through the air. I arrived at the building, and as I got out, they floated down onto my soft brown hair and eyelashes. The sky was darker now, and the shadows fell like a blanket.


Inside I walked to the waiting room and then made my way to the back. The stiff, grey edges of walls and file cabinets stood as lifeless as ever. Like this small warehouse and set of empty offices would ever be anything else. I listened, but as usual I could hear nothing. Time seemed to drag on, but I was not inclined to head down yet. I hung up my coat and settled into a chair to read over some papers lying on the side of the table.


The front door opened and shut with a bang. I hurried to the desk.


“Can I help you?”


“Bronya?” The man glanced about the room and then stared straight back at me with clear, firm eyes. His clothes were windswept, and his frame seemed attentive, ready to run.


“That’s me.” I replied bluntly, trying not to admit the fear that was starting to rise in me. 


“This is for you.” He pushed a letter forwards on the desk, and immediately turned for the door. He gave a quick nod, his eyes still gazing intently back, and then pushed his way out into the chill night.


I stared at the door, then the envelope, trying to make sense of this - no one ever came here to talk to me - yet…my mind didn’t seem to care whether it was something to figure out.


I picked up the letter and slit it open. 


The ticking clock seemed to pound faster as I slowly read the words. A strange hollow dread seemed to fill me, my thoughts were becoming jumbled. I couldn’t understand this; I felt twisted and panicked and breathless.


I closed the letter and put my hand to my head. The fog cleared. I tried to calm down, but I couldn’t get past what I felt…I just stared at the words. But not for long.


I heard the footsteps, or something, and shoved the letter into my pocket in a rush. In came my father, his stance strong and his face set in a firm, confident air.


“Bronya, there you are. Come downstairs, I have something you can help me with." His voice commanded action but almost sounded more…agreeable than usual. I made my way over and we headed into the dim hallway.


“Best change into something more practical.”


“Right.”


He handed me some of the old clothes from the shelf in the storage room and waited outside while I put them on. With lingering foreboding, I slipped the envelope inside the folds of my soft, black sweater, leaving it there in the dark corner of the shelf. 


I kept worrying that he should find it or sense its presence somehow, or that it should inexplicably vanish or have some strange influence. But several hours later I found it exactly where it was, and I was relieved, though I did not dare open it again until I was alone in my own bed that night.


In the chilling winter darkness, with the light of a faded flashlight, I re-read those fateful words that seemed to both mock me, and yet clasp onto me in a way that would not be severed. It was like it had seen a glimpse of my soul, maybe further than I knew…yet what did I know? Was this the answer? Or was this another prison? 


Oh, nothing ever changed! It was all inescapable; why was it always me? This…this destiny…this terrible foe of mine would never let go, would it. My eyes ran over the letters again; what could I do? The more I thought the more I couldn’t decide. It stared at me, pressuring me; I wanted to cry! Or maybe I was? Confusion and anxiety poured through me…like I was out of control, like I was watched, like I was chained…


I curled up in a ball, pulled the warm blankets over my head, and thrust the letter under my pillow. 


No…there was no real battle; there was never a choice.

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