Monday, September 12, 2011

Chapter one (part three)

I watched a show about JK Rowling last night.  I could see how her life experiences prepared her to be the perfect person to bring Harry Potter to life.  She brought back more than magic into the lives of those touched by his story.  She brought back imagination.  She made me remember the things I had forgotten about my own childhood and for that I will forever be grateful.

This is the continuation of Chapter One of my work in progress:  Elemental Origins.  (If you like it, I'd appreciate it if you would tell your friends about my blog.)

I shake my head slightly.  The word slips from my lips like a sigh, “Fae.”  It feels foreign on my tongue.

Luthais smiles broadly at me.  He takes my hand.  His skin is warm against mine and I feel a sudden spark of light inside my chest.  He brings my fingers to his lips slowly.  Every agonizing moment of anticipation makes my heart race.  I try to hide how much he makes my head feel as though I am in the treetops, but I hold my breath when his lips reach my fingers.

Electricity snakes up my arm and ricochets through my body.  I am trembling inside and out.  I take my fingers from his light touch and his eyes collide with mine.  I could get lost in the depths of the blue pools staring back at me.

“Come,” he says simply.  He walks ahead of me and pushes branches out of my way as we traverse the forest.
We walk for hours and the wind is chilling me under my skin.  I wrap my arms around my chest in a futile attempt to keep the warmth from escaping.

I am startled when he begins to sing.  His voice is pleasant and calms my nerves slightly.  I do not know what to expect from this counsel.  Are they the same as the leaders of my village?  I hope not.  Some of my worst memories involve the withered old men that look at me as though I am possessed by an evil spirit.  One even suggested that I was last year.  Somehow Mother managed to quiet the rumors, but only after I told her I would leave if the stares and words spoken softly whenever I passed didn’t stop.

We have been climbing steadily for hours, and I feel as though my knees will buckle if I take one more step.  I lean against a large trunk and my vision dims.  Not now.  It can’t happen now.  But it is and I am lost in the images that flash through my mind.

Luthais surrounded by carnivorous blackness.  I feel his sadness crawl up my throat and tears seep from my eyes.  It is not only him, though.  There are more.  I feel their souls and their cries for mercy.  Countless people surround him in this vast wasteland that eats the light until it is no more.  Is this hell?  Am I glimpsing the past or the future?

His thoughts find their way to my mind.  He is their leader and he blames himself for the ruin of his people even though I feel it is not entirely his fault.  I feel the vastness of the sky surrounding me, and I slide into the darkness.  The pit opens up to claim me, but before it can I hear a woman screaming.  Her voice is shrill and loud in my ears and I cover them to ease the pain of the sound.  Then I realize it is me, and I cry out louder, trying to find my real place again.

I have never fallen this deep into my visions, and I am thankful that at least I know it is not real.  I say a silent prayer of gratitude that I am not in that place.  I feel hands on my shoulders, shaking me.  He is bringing me back.  It is slow and just before I depart this land I see the blackness for what it is…nothing.

“Are you all right?” he asks softly.  His finger traces the line of a tear down my cheek.

I swallow a whimper and nod.  No one other than Mother has seen me during a spell.  What does he think of me now?

He smoothes my hair and pulls me toward the ground.  I rest against the rough bark and try to take small breaths.  This usually helps, but it isn’t now.

“What did you see?” he asks.  His eyes hold no judgment.

“Complete darkness.”  I look into his eyes and say, “And you.”

He cringes.  “I am sorry.  You have had to see that.”

“What do you mean?”

“You do not need to worry about it.”

“That doesn’t mean that I will not.  What was it?”

“Dark energy.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You are not meant to right now.  Maybe later…when I know what will be done with you.”

I frown, but I don’t know how to ask him what I really want to know.  Will I be with him?  Does he want me?
For one moment I remember Abram and I wonder if I will ever regret my decision.  I do not think so, but I can’t be sure.  Even though I don’t know what will become of me with these people, I feel a sense of hope that has never been there before.

I move to get up and Luthais reaches out to stop me.  “You need to rest.”

I do not argue.  His touch is so foreign but welcome.  I feel heat spread through my cheeks and I give him a small smile.  He moves across from me and leans on a nearby tree.  He looks so natural here but out of place at the same time.  I wonder what his life has been like.

“How old are you?” I ask when the question strikes me.

He laughs.  The sound is rich and vibrant and the trees seem to vibrate in time to the melody.  “Why would you ask me that?”

“I don’t know.  I just wondered.”

“What if I were to tell you I was older than your earth?”

I had never thought of the world as mine before and it feels wrong to think that way.  “Are you?”

He ducks his chin so I can’t see his eyes anymore and says, “Yes.”

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chapter One (continued)

I am in the clouds.  No.  Not in them, I feel as though I could reach out and touch them, but I realize I am on a cliff that overlooks a great valley below.
A low hiss rings out behind me.  I whirl around.  The golden man stands directly behind me.
He clamps his fingers around my arms and pulls me against him.  “Where did you come from?” he asks in a whisper.
I stare into his eyes.  Today they are the color of a cloudless sky, but a darkness looms in them.  My voice is barely audible when I answer him.  “I followed you.”
He narrows his eyes.  “Who are you?”
His eyes dart to my mouth and a feeling so warm it takes away the edge of cold around me spreads through my body.  Will he kiss me?
He inhales slowly and his eyes close for only a moment.  I do not like the look he holds when he opens them again.
“You must go back,” He says.  He looks around with worry on his face.  “You cannot be here.”
I shake my head.  “There is nothing for me there.”
He cocks his head to the side.  “What do you imagine awaits you here?”
I shrug.  It doesn’t matter as long as I am near him.
The light in this place is different.  Everything seems to glow from within…even him.  I search for courage and find a little.  “What is your name?”
His left eyebrow reaches for his hairline.  I want to run my fingers through his golden mane.  I want to feel his lips on mine.  I don’t ever want to leave him.  It would be unthinkable.
He doesn’t answer me right away, but eventually he says, “Luthais.”
His name feels like a sigh when I breathe the word.  The air is charged with a feeling I don’t know.  It reminds me of the volatility of a thunderstorm.  I try to step away from him, but he holds me steady.
He brings his face close to mine, hunching considerably to do so.  He searches my eyes for a long moment.  His voice sounds staggered.  “What are you, Emma?”
I am confused so I say the first thing that comes to me, “Only a girl.”
A wary smile spreads his lips.  “I think not.”
He pulls me into motion and suddenly fear creeps up my spine.  “Where are you taking me?”
He won’t answer.  Tension builds a wall between us and my skin tingles where his fingers rest on my skin.  We are high in the sky on the edge of a mountain.  I have only seen them from a distance and am amazed how the world looks up here.  Somehow I wonder if this is a different world entirely, but that is impossible.
I cover my eyes from the glare of everything around me.  I hadn’t noticed how much I was squinting under the shelter of his nearness, but now tears blur my vision.  I want to think they are because of the light, but I know better.  What have I done to upset him?  I can feel his conflict as if it were my own.
He stops suddenly and asks, “What is the matter?”
I try to be confident, but I can’t quite meet his gaze.  “The light is hurting my eyes.”  I don’t finish what is in my thoughts…and you are hurting my heart.  “What is this place?”
“I cannot tell you that.  I am supposed to take you home, but I…”  He comes closer.  His breath tickles my skin.  “Why did you follow me?”
“I wanted to talk to you.  I have seen you in the market.”
He looks confused.  “How is that possible?”
The answer seems obvious to me.  I shrug.
He wipes moisture from my cheeks.  “This is no place for you.”
His eyes widen and he shakes his head.  “I should not even consider it, but there is something different about you.”
I look at him shyly.  “Really?”
He doesn’t answer and we are walking again.  His fingers have loosened their grip on my arm but not by much.  Why does he hold on to me so tightly?  Why do I see fear in his eyes when he looks at me?
We are deep in the forest, once again.  The trees here touch the clouds.  Some of the trunks are bigger than my hut.  I suddenly wonder what my mother is doing.  Is she searching for me?  Will she send Abram to the forest to find me?  This isn’t the first time I have gone exploring, but he will not find me now.  I think maybe my mother will be happier without me.  I have been a burden since my father fell ill and died.  She has not been the same since then.  She has had men interested in her, but they will not court her because of me.
Luthais brings me to the edge of a stream.  He takes a flask from his jacket and dips it into the water.  He hands it to me before he takes a drink.  I am thirsty, but I save some for him.  His eyes are bright again and hope fills my lungs.
“I have made a decision.  I will take you to the council.”
I frown.  “What is that?”
He touches my cheek and I flinch even though I welcome the contact.  His fingers are charged with a sort of energy I can’t explain.  His voice is soft when he speaks.  “Don’t worry.  You will not be harmed.”
I honestly hadn’t considered that to be an option but now I worry about what will be done with me.  I had not thought beyond what I would do after I met this man.
“Where are we?” I ask.
He gazes down on me, a slight smile on his lips.  “Have you heard of the fae?”