Cloud meets Elric
Cloud by SophieSeraph ; Elric by Michael Moorcock; Text by Yom-Tsiur
I am Cloud. I am a young sorceress. My age is precisely 17 years, 364 days and 22 hours. In a few minutes, I will be 18, and I am very excited! Here I am, sitting in my bedroom, waiting for midnight. I have many reasons to be happy… party tomorrow… my Dad will help me getting a driver license. But there´s something missing.
As I told, Sorcery is my main gift. And sometimes it´s hard to be a teenager and a sorceress. The girls of my age often ask me if I am like Sailor Moon. The boys often say “what? Soccer? Cool! There are not many people who have interest in these things. My birthday starts in less than 2 hours, and I would love to do something really different in terms of witchcraft… but what…?
Ahhh, I always wanted to visit a mystic city, like The Dreaming Cities. I hope I can learn how to do it as I grow older… WAIT! I have an idea! Perhaps it´s a foolish idea, but imagine if it works!
I jump from my bed and take my Witch garments in the closet. I must agree that I am a fancy witch. I put my enormous black bow hair clip, arranging my abundant red hair in a ponytail. I think it combines with my blue chemise, with a darker blue-violet bow tie. My purple gathered skirt with three layers of lace, decorated with diamond shapes in light magenta completes the outfit. “I am dressed for Sorcery!” I thought, looking for my medium heel shoes.
I sit in my bed again and start to sing a spell. I am also equipped with magic cards, crystals and star pendants. I close my eyes and sing magic words from the Book of The Witches. Oh! I wanted so much to visit The Dreaming Cities!!! The intention grows as I feel my energy gathering. Well! As it is a Dreaming stuff… let´s lay down and sleep! And, if I have a dream, I will be prepared!
I get myself comfortable in my bed, but I decide not to wear shoes: I have been in the beauty parlor last afternoon, and the edges of my toenails are aching. Anyway, I don´t want to damage my precious red polish, especially chosen to be in the party. This super deep statement was the last… before falling asleep.
I still don´t know if it worked. But I am in a different place. The full moon allows me to see the nature around me, despite the night. It seems to be the top of a hill, and down there, there´s a huge place, an enormous amount of buildings, pyramids, domes… a vastness of different kinds of houses. Everything was shiny blue, surrounded by a gigantic stone wall. It worked!!! YAY! Let´s go down and visit the City!
As I come closer, I discover that there´s nobody outside the walls. I stretch my sight for miles and miles, and I see nobody. I walk towards a metal gate, as big as the rest of the vision. Oh, finally! I see a person standing in front of the gate. Seems to be a woman, thin and long haired, wearing a different armor… oh no! It´s a man.
“Greetings, Milady”, he says, bowing his head in a very polite tone. “I am Elric of Melniboné.”
Immediately, my mind started to blow all kinds of thoughts, making me worry and feel afraid. I am a girl, alone in this empty place with a man! And he is armed with a sword!!!
“I told I am ELRIC. Not Conan The Barbarian.” He smiled. “You are safe with me, Young Lady”.
Did he say that he´s Elric, the Emperor of the Elven Kingdom of Melniboné? That´s too much for me! But he looks weird enough to be such an authority. White haired, albino (let´s say, SUPER albino, her skin is the color of dry bones!), with a pair of red eyes, like the eyes of a white rabbit. His armor is made of dark blue metal, carrying a heavy black scary sword.
“N-n-nice to meet you, Your Majesty” I stuttered, shy. “I am Cloud”. Then I realized that I was barefoot in front of an emperor.
“Enchanted, Lady Cloud. What brings you here, in these closed gates?”
“I was looking for The Dreaming City. Is it here?”
“No!” he laughed and crossed his arms. “You are in the gates of the most famous hard-to-find city of all! Tanelorn!”
My heart started to beat fast. Tanelorn is a legendary city, the destiny of many wizards and warriors. The books describe it as a fascinating place, as well as a dangerous one. As the white man seems to be kind, I decide to call him simply by his name.
“Please tell me, Elric, why isn´t here anyone to receive the visit of an emperor? I mean, you are a very important person!”
“I am travelling alone, Lady Cloud. Nobody knows that I´m here. And I prefer to be free and travel as a common man. I am stopped here since yesterday. I don´t manage to push this metal gate alone.”
“Maybe I can help you.” I said, although I know that I am not physically strong. “But what´s behind this gate?”
“Who´s The Guardian?”
“I cannot say for sure. It can be an angel, or a monster.”
“Oh Great!” I said, “Do you really need to enter there? Even with the risk of trouble?”
“Certainly. It´s my pathway to return home. I am waiting someone to arrive and help me.” He smiled again.
I feel a strong emotion invading my heart. This is a potentially dangerous situation. But the presence of this famous sorcerer near me is something amazing. I am afraid to fight a monster or whatever lies behind that door. I am not a fighter, I am only a conjurer of spells and tricks with cards. Why did I say so strongly that I wanted to visit a mystical city? Elric broke the silence again:
“How old are you, young lady?”
“I´ll be Eighteen tomorrow.”
“Do you feel happy with your birthday?”
“Yes, but I miss more realization as a witch. Sometimes I find myself only as a child, playing games and imitating a magician. Sometimes it makes me sad, Elric. I really wanted to see more signs of The Universe, I dream to do great things with Magic, but it seems so hard!
“Don´t be so anxious, Cloud. I can see that you have a pure soul and a lovely heart. This is the key to achieve the superior Magic Power. You are a very special person.” Elric´s eyes suddenly became warm and gentle.
“How do you know it, Mr. Melniboné?”
“My sword, Stormbringer, doesn´t allow impure souls to come closer to me.” He kept serious.
“My turn to ask how old you are…”
“I am 54. But I have been wandering for one thousand years. Time doesn´t run here.”
“I can see it. You seem to be in your early thirties. Elric, I can help you push the gate, but how can we fight a monster, if we had to?”
“Every monster carries an enigma. When you decipher it, it´s not a monster anymore. It´s not enough if you punch it, cut it, burn it. You must discover how to demystify it. Then it simply disappears or removes itself of your way. Yes, maybe we need to struggle a little. What weapons do you have, Cloud?”
“Can we consider that playing cards, crystal pendants, small flasks with magic potions and a diamond star are valid weapons?” I smiled, in a tone of joke. Elric sighed.
“You need a sword.” Elric grabs a stick from a small tree near the gate. He draw his Stormbringer, then leans the stick against the sword. And my scared eyes start to stare at the transformation. The stick become incandescent like braze, and gradually turns into a smaller version of Elric´s sword.
“What…” I say astonished.
“Dear Lady, this is your birthday gift. The Emperor of Melniboné is proud to give you The Cloudflitter Sword.” His face was euphoric and severe. I kneeled down solemnly, with my heart beating up to my mouth.
“Majesty! I am surprised and honored!”
“Now take a deep breath!” His voice was full of authority. “And point your sword towards the gate…. NOW!!!”
The runes of the two swords became a bunch of flames. It was a blinding light, capable to remove the gate from it´s place, making it possible for us to enter.
“Elric, if you already had the power, why didn´t you enter by yourself?”
“It´s your soul who gives strength to your sword. Now silence! We are still fighting!” He sounded like the voice of a general.
After we use a flaming light to enter, we realized that there was also fire inside the stone walls. I feel scared when I look ahead and see… what else? A dragon! I honestly want to turn back and run! But Elric keeps shouting orders.
“Hit the flames back with your sword! Jump ahead!!! Let´s advance against it!!!”
The heat is intense. I am jumping flames who float in the air like butterflies. I am afraid to burn my bare feet, but each jump is a lucky movement. The Cloudflitter sword seems to make me float above the weird balls of fire. I can´t don´t see the shape of the dragon, only a silhouette behind a mess of fire and smoke. Sometimes it looks like a tennis game, throwing back the fire to its owner. Elric advances in front of me, and I defend his back. I discovered that he also needed me because his back is vulnerable.
An enormous noise is the result of Elric´s sword hitting the head of the dragon. The fire ceases. And, finally, I can see it, like a green lizard, 10 feet tall, now overthrown on the ground. More and more into weird stuff, I witness the creature speak! I am definitely getting crazy!
“If you kill me, the key to the Portal dies with me.”
“Tell me where is the key, and I promise to let you live” Said Elric. I am terrified with so much violence.
“You already lost, you presumptuous Elfic man. You would need a pure soul to open the Portal. And I see two carriers of black swords! Two murderers! There´s no exit for you both. If you kill me, this environment will become tedious for you… eternally!” The dragon smiles in a sense of mockery. Elric immobilizes him, sword against his head.
“Only a pure soul can walk in the territory of the heart. You both are lost, assassins!” The dragon mocks.
“Cloud! Put your feet against the chest of the creature. Now!”
I start to walk towards the creature. The fear disappears. The dragon looks straight to my eyes, his expression is fierce. I step on the chest of the creature without any anger or euphoria. I feel calm and full of compassion for that ugly thing below me.
“What did you say, dragon?” Elric asks…
The creature starts to glaze in a very strong yellow light. The light grows and surrounds us completely. We don´t see the city anymore, we cannot feel the ground.
“It´s The Portal! We are about to return home!” Elric smiles.
“Already? But I did not visit the City…”
“You already got what you have been searching here!”
“And what is honor?”
“It´s your love for yourself!”
Elric bends towards me and kisses my forehead.
“If I had a daughter, I wanted her to be like you. Now go and live a great life! Farewell Lady Cloud!”
The light becomes intense. I cannot see Elric anymore. I see nothing. As it´s irritating my eyes, I close them.
It is Seven AM. I wake up in my bed, still dressed as a witch, and my clothes don´t have even a wrinkle. I congratulate myself for my imagination! What a capability to invent illusions!! Meeting Elric of Melnibone!! I am such a foolish dreamer girl! I am so stupid!!
As I repeat “stupid stupid stupid” I punched the bed sheet several times. Then my hand hits something hard, different. What´s it?
Tears jump from my eyes while my face blushes of surprise. Besides me, on the white bed sheet, I see a small black sword, perfectly crafted in fine metal, wrapped with a perfect leather sleeve.