Comment: This is a personal exercise on the theme of Light.

From the highest balcony of the third tower, Hayden watched the uniform and everlasting horizon that belonged to the Veil. By looking at this plain and cloudless sky, dyed by the color of the dawn without having a beginning or a end, it was difficult to imagine that the city of Cinaed floated in reality in the center of a cocoon made of this material called the Veil.

Nobody remembers what lies beyond it, much less its creator. The only thing the citizens of Cinaed know is that it exists since the Treshold, the moment when the city was built to provide a higher level of existence for men. Nothing exists beyond Cinaed.

They know nothing of the night, the hunger or the wrath of the elements. Every citizen is given a task which is determined by their profile throughout their existence. The only reward for their work is to be able to enjoy the light of the Veil, this light that bathes the city and preserves them from hunger, pain but also from the Heart... and its shadow.

Hayden knows it better than anyone since he's one of the city's seven Aodhes. seven Aodhes for seven towers. He was the one who stopped the Cycle, symbolized by the sundial of the first tower which doesn't show any hour since there's no sunbeam to cast a shadow on it. He's the master of this tower and his role is to ensure that the others Aodhes fulfill their duty so that the Cycle never resumes and the Heart is always fed.

But he has also forgotten the reasons behind the existence of the Veil and the City. Centuries passed by but his immortal flesh didn't fixed the memories. Hayden continues his watchman role diligently, even at the cost of his own existence meaning. While watching the horizon, he wondered if it was actually a good or a bad thing. He didn't know if he should fight against this state or if it was better to let himself go until he becomes one with Cinaed.

He heard the door opened and closed behind him. He went today to the third tower after a disturbing and evasive report from the Aodhe Cahal about the convicts under his charge.

Violating the law in Cinaed amounted to be send in the depths of the city, its Heart, no matter how serious the crime accomplished was. In the Heart, the shadow reigns supreme and absorbs all life which meet its contact in order to supply the Veil. Without the convicts or the sacrifices, the Veil can't exist.

Therefore Hayden couldn't overlook such a problem even if he was unaware of its nature because the report held many strange inaccuracies. Such errors from his fellow surprised him so he had decided to ask for explanations even if he was unsure of his visit relevance.

-Aodhe Cahal, I expected yo...

His sentence trailed off as he turned round. The person, if it really was one, wasn't the Aodhe Cahal. Wrapped in rags, the figure, probably a woman by her corpulence, was more like an animal than a human in her behavior. Her skin was blackened from the inside by a strange substance and her face was hidden by a hood worn by time and trials.

Barely holding up, she stopped moving forward when he turned. During this period of time, only horror could beat a path to Hayden before the creature rushed towards him while shouting an inhuman grunt. Stuck on the balcony, his only option to escape was to pass by his attacker.

After this split second thought, he also rushed to grab this opportunity. However, his attempt to escape petered when the creature stretched out her arm, picking along the way his stomach with a surprising strength. The pain cut short the breath of the Aodhe for a moment.