He woke up at the touch of the Brother, and shook off the last fingers of sleep. He performed the first Ritual, his fingers shaking slightly as they met and danced over each other. His dark skin was a little pale with the months of training in the dark monastery.
You must login to vote
His actions betrayed him, but he hoped nonetheless that the Brother didn’t notice. It was the day of the Ascendance, and Jonas was certain that he would fail. These thoughts made gentle ripples on the surface of his meditation, disrupting the Silence. The Silence was essential to Ascendance, but Jonas wasn’t concerned while he meditated.
When he was done, he followed the broad, anonymous Brother down the twisting corridors. After a route that must have repeated itself five times, Jonas reached a dark room with candles lighting it. Knowing the procedure, he sat down and crossed his legs.
Doubt clouded over him as he sat there, knowing well that he might not reach Ascendance. Eventually, when the nervousness made a pit in his stomach, another Brother entered- wait, this was an Elder, with the yellow trimmings around the edge of his robe and a necklace to denote rank within the Elder caste.
“Speak your doubts. Begin when you are done,” commanded the Elder.
“I doubt that I might succeed in my duties to the people, and that I might attain the rank meant me by the All-God.” Standard. In his mind, he doubted that he would even be able to doubt his other duties. As he finished, he began the hand rituals, began meditation, and drew the Silence to him. It blanketed him and made him warm like a quilt inside.
This was the most important part. He looked into the Silence, and he told it what to do. If it listened, it would be the most important day of his life. He would be branded with the All-God’s mark, and live a life of posterity and Silent pleasure. If he failed . . .
He commanded the Silence to light the candle. Nothing. He told it to LIGHT THE CANDLE. Nothing. He groaned inwardly, and tried again and again. Nothing at all. It seemed that he was doomed.
He drew himself out of the meditation, and he felt the calming touch of the Silence leave him. Knowing he was going to be more emotional once he left his trance didn’t help, and panic swelled in his soul. He cried out, physically this time, and struggled to get up. His legs failed him, and he slipped. The Elder placed a strong bony hand on him and picked him up.
“I saw no effect, and am thusly forced to tell you that the All-God has denied you to be his servant. However, the gift remains and may be misused if you change alliances. For your own good, Child, follow me outside to the Edifice of Recycling, where your essence may fuel the Brothers to come.” His tone was cold, but his eyes showed pity.
Jonas panicked but obeyed, knowing his duty to the whole was more important than his duty to himself.
As he stepped outside, he saw that a few trees were ablaze. They raged. His panic drove him further, and he felt the Silence grasp him as his body collapsed. The trees roared in response.
* * *
When he awoke, Jonas heard, “Recycling will not be necessary.
"Congratulations, Brother Jonas, on your command of the Silence, and welcome to the Brotherhood.” The word “Brother” struck his ears, and Jonas felt the unrestricted power surge in him. “The Brother status is of course only until you have gained mastery of the Silence, and who knows how far you can go?” The Elder clapped him on his back, his eyes twinkling and his white hair disarrayed. “I was worried, but you pulled through. All-God, did you ever. May the Silence serve you.”
The man turned away, and Jonas managed, “Th - the Silence guide you and protect you Elder,” as he exited.