For @Shutsumon’s prompt “The things that lurk in corners,” though I think it’s going to be part of a 2-parter. Addergoole Year Nine, more Ceinwen and Thornburn.
While they don’t have a landing page yet, the Ceinwen/Thornburn story goes:
And now Dark Corners:
When Professor Pelletier saw Ceinwen’s collar, she pursed her lips and asked one question: “Who?”
Ceinwen, who liked the Sciences Prrofessor, even if she was a little scary, gulped and answered: “Thornburn.”
That made the Professor frown in a strange way, and discarded answers flitted across her expression before she settled on a thoughtful “Well, it could be worse.”
Thinking of his friends, and the nasty things the one of them, Curry, had whispered, thinking of the electricity that had jolted her as she left her room Saturday night, Ceinwen couldn’t help but agree. Still, she was glad to have the professor confirm it. “I don’t like it,” she said anyway, because she didn’t.
“Neither do I, but you’ll do all right with him. Just shine your light on his dark moments, and you should be okay.”
“My light?” It wasn’t the strangest thing the Professor had said, but it ranked up there. And her knowing, pensive smile didn’t help much.
“You have a light that shines on the things that lurk in dark corners, Ceinwen. Aelgifu has something similar, but she was rather busy in her time here. Use it well, and it should see you, and all of us, through the rough times.”
She had no idea what the Professor was talking about; it sounded religious, which startled her a bit. Nobody here seemed the least bit faithful, for any definition of faith she’d ever encountered. She forgot about it, just trying to get through the day, trying not to think about Thornburn, foiled at every step by the collar he’d sealed around her neck.
The things that lurk in corners. That sounded like him, like his friends, like nasty Curry with the creepy look in his eyes. It sounded like most of the upperclassmen around here, truth be told. Creepy little monsters, waiting to jump out and bite when you least expected it.
The Professor’s words were still in the back of Ceinwen’s mind when she went to sleep that night, naked against the soft jersey of Thornburn’s pyjamas. Shine your light on his dark moments. What was that supposed to mean? So far, her captor had been dispassionate, cool, and collected. He acted as if owning another person was completely normal; of course, so did large portions of the school. But he hadn’t been mean, or violent, or angry. She hadn’t seen any darkness at all.
She drifted off to sleep, pondering what Pelletier had said. Darkness. The things lurking in the corners. What was she supposed to do, go around with a flashlight, poking it in dark places?
Dark places. The room around her came to vivid life in her dreamscape – taller, narrower, full of shadows. Everything locked away in chests and boxes, like the box Thornburn had put half of her stuff into. Everything covered with spiderwebs and dust. And in the corner…
No. She didn’t want to go there. She was his, awake; she didn’t want to be his in her dreams, too. She fled, finding that the door didn’t hold her, here.
Corners, everywhere. Bits of color and shining light, yes, but dark gritty corners, everywhere, tiny creatures skittering about. Like a basement, just like a basement. She flailed, heart pounding, reaching for the light switch.
White, shining trails of light poured out of her, twisting in spirals like a ribbon, drilling into the corners, illuminating everything, wrapping it all in streamers of golden brilliance. In one corner, a black waif of a shadow reached for the light, grabbed it, and stood, stretching, becoming a specter of sunlight herself. In another, the shadow and the person split, the shadow slipping further into the corner, the person (un-recognizable, just a silhouette of a thin boy) standing tall.
Shine your light on the things that lurk in corners.
She twisted, turning her light back homewards, pulled by the bond he’d imposed on her, pulled by the dark corners in her captor’s dreams.
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