ROE - M1P1 - Chapter 1

ROE - M1P1 - Chapter 1

A Chapter by AarsalM

MEMORY 1 - PART 1



Chapter 1


Countless Years Earlier

“Oi son, where do ya think ye’re goin? Stop messin’ around and help me harvest this hay.” My father yelled at me as I was playing on the farm, “Ye should know by now that if ye want to eat and drink clean water, then ya gotta do ye’re share of the work.”

“But Pa, I’m only 7 years old, can’t you ask big brother instead?” I whined, I didn’t want to work and was eager to look for a way out.

“Don’ give me tha’, hes doin his own work and ye’ve gat ta do yeres too. Now come an’ help me cut this hay.”

My Father was not one to listen to excuses, so accepting defeat, I started towards him with a disappointed look on my face. On my way across the farm, I looked around and studied my surroundings. It was a hot summer day, without a cloud in sight; it seemed that this year also showed promise of drought. The farm itself was a few acres large, but only a quarter of the entire field had plants ready to be harvested. The other areas of the farm were but dried up ground and littered by dead leaves and plants. It almost seemed as if someone was angry at us, for what reason I had no idea, but for the past two years, the rains were becoming less and less frequent. More and more of the farm was drying up, and the food we ate was rationed again and again. Of course it wasn’t just us, in fact just the other day the Fran family had to move areas and sell their farm. It had completely dried up, not even a spec of life was growing. Every day I worried that we too would someday have to do the same.

After a full days work, the entire family was gathered in the small two room house we all lived in, eating dinner. At the head of the table was my father, a tall burly man, he had a small moustache and a beard stubble that refused to disappear. Soon he would lose all of the hair on his head and would be left only with the specs of brown on his face. He was wearing typical farming clothing; a ripped and dirtied pant and shirt and a brown, relatively clean, jacket on top. Next to him sat my mother; while she was not the most beautiful woman on the planet, she wasn’t the ugliest either. With a soft and round face, she too was dressed in dirty and ripped clothing but yet she still had the air of a well respected woman. Sitting next to her was the oldest of my three siblings, my sister. She was 17 years old, and though none of us knew where she got it, she was quite beautiful. Her hair was long and flowing, and every time she smiled it was as if warmth was thrown into the room. Her clothing was not as dirty as my mother’s, as both of my parents believed that she was a blessing and that if they did not take care of her then they would be punished. She also had an air of a respectful woman, but I knew that she wasn’t as strict as my mother and was fun to be around. Sitting next to me was my older brother; he was a good 15 years old and he was my role model. He had a hard, but handsome, face and his brown hair was cut short. He was also strong and well built. He would always help me when I was in need and would play with me much more than anyone else. Out of everyone in the family, he was the one I respected the most, though my sister was a very close second.

“So Albert, how did’ it ge today?” My father asked my older brother.

“It went well father, Fred told me that if I continue at the pace I’m at now, then soon I’ll be promoted and my pay would be raised.” My brother replied, he worked at the nearby town’s butchery, and was the pride of my father.

“Atta boy, just what we’d expect from ya, now lookit here son, look at ya brother workin so hard te help us, now we expect ye te also work just as hard, and then ye too will earn my pride.” My Father looked me down, making sure I understood everything he was saying.

I was listening with awe, if I had ever really wanted something in life it would have to have been earning my father’s pride. I would happily die if it would make my father proud.

“Now now, come father, he’s not even ten yet! Let the boy enjoy himself some more before he takes on the burden of running this family.” My sister chuckled, while giving me a friendly smile.

“Ye should know best Annabeth, we need al’ te help we can right now, what with the conditions o te weather. This year too seems to be quite unforgivin.”

Though I might have been young, I had an interest in my surroundings. Unlike other kids, I was not intrigued by toys or games but rather in experimenting and trying new things. I was also quite attentive for my age, the others might not have realized it yet, but I knew perfectly well the situation we were all forced in. If this year too ended up as a drought then things would get dangerous for us, the thought of us having to sell our farm and move away was too painful to even think about.

Dinner was finished and I was hurried to bed while the others had their daily talk in the living room. I had always wanted to join in and listen, but even Anna told me that I was too young and that I should quickly go to sleep. The one time I had tried to listen in, I was caught by my mother and punished.

Before I fell asleep, I thought to myself; I thought about how my role on the farm was going to change, about the comings signs of another drought, but most of all, I thought to myself that my life right now was satisfactory, I didn’t want anything to change, and I wanted my sister, my brother, and my parents to stay with me forever.

Little did I know how wrong my way of thinking was, or how cruel fate was going to be in just a few weeks.


* * * * *

A month had gone by, and the time for the main harvest of the year was approaching. However, looking at the entire month, there had only been one night of rain, and it was almost certain by now that the harvest this year would go to an almost complete waste.

My father’s mood was changing along with the bad harvest; he was now making me work to a point at which I had already collapsed due to exhaustion twice. My father was determined to plant more seeds, and to use most of our clean water to water the plants, rather than for us to drink. However, it seemed that the only person in the family who was being underfed was me, as both my parents needed to be healthy and fit to work, and my sister was once again treated as a blessing. My brother had started to work longer, and so he usually ate his meals over at the butcher's place.

I was able to do work a normal seven year old could never have. Though I might have been small, I was a quick learner and was confident in my strength. My hair was dark black, short and unkempt. If I had let it grow it would have flown down behind me, but my sister gave me a rough haircut every other week.

Though I was reaching my limit, I showed not a sign of it to anyone, but my sister seemed to be catching on. After my second collapse she pleaded to my father to give me a break; however both of my parents were dead-set on making me work as hard as I could.

The time was approaching for us to pay our yearly tax to The Kingdom. The Kingdom was the city that owned all of the farms and the towns in the area. It consisted of a royal lineage and the current king was beyond what one could call cruel. He ruled the land with an iron fist and for an example of his cruelty was the death of the Regren Farm. Supposedly they did not have enough money to pay the taxes, and so the king burned the farm, took the women, and hung the men on posts for public display. This was a message to everyone else that not paying taxes was a crime punishable by death.

The worst news however, was that the king seemed dead set on increasing the taxes by more and more every year and with the drought that was currently taking place, I wondered to myself how we were going to make it through this time. I dismissed the thought quickly though, we always made it through and so this year wouldn’t be any different.

It was one night however, when I realized that things weren’t going to be the same and that they might change for the worse. My family was having its daily meeting again, but this time I was determined to listen in. The reason being so was that while my parents, sister and I were having dinner, my brother had barged into the house and demanded that the meeting take place right that instant. Confused, but realizing that this was important my father quickly ushered me to sleep and the four of them locked the door to the living room. My brother had never looked so angry and frustrated before, this was something new and it scared me. Listening in now, I could hear my brother’s angry voice easily carrying through the door.

“Things are getting much worse father! The townsfolk are worried about the taxes, and the drought is hitting harder than ever. The entire town is in panic and everyone is doing everything they can to raise up money.”

“Quiet down dear, now tell us, what can really be the matter to cause you to act so unlike yourself?” My mother used her usual calm yet superior tone, she surely didn’t like the fact that my brother was being rude and was talking louder then her.

“Don’t you get it mother? Everyone in the town is doing EVERYTHING they can to raise as much money as possible!” My brother’s voice did not lower, and if anything it was even louder than it was before.

“You can’t mean…” My sister said with a panic stricken look.

“Yes sis, it seemed the old man thought that just his son would be enough to run the place, he fired all the hired help he had. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he also didn’t pay us for our last two weeks of work!” My brother’s voice started calm, but near the end he was close to exploding in fury.

Both of my parents were shocked, their mouths were hanging open and their faces showed a mixture of fear and worry. If not for the seriousness of the situation, I would have laughed at their reactions.

“Ye’re tellen me, that he didn’ even pay ya the last two weeks o work?” My father asked with disbelief.

“No Father, but that’s not even the worst of it, I just heard that the tax collectors are coming tomorrow night! They seem to be in a rush so they’re coming two weeks earlier than planned."

At this news my mother seemed to faint and both my sister and father were lost in shock.

“What are we te do?” My father asked no one in particular.

It was then that my brother leaned in to my father and quickly whispered something in his ear. My father’s reaction to this whisper, whatever it was, was first anger, but then a look of realization. He nodded to my brother, and told my sister that she should get some sleep. At first my sister complained, but my father was firm in his decision and my sister started towards the door. I realized too late that she was heading right towards me and as I tried to turn back and run to my room she opened the door and saw me. She closed the door behind her and gave me a knowing smile; it was then that I ran towards her, tears running down my face.

“Sis, were all gonna be okay right? Big brother was so mad…”

“Don’t worry, everything is going to be fine, me, you, brother, and both Father and Mother will always be together, no matter what...”

* * * * *


Even with my sister encouraging me, I had my doubts deep inside, and I waited anxiously for the tax soldiers to come. Of course the king himself didn’t come to collect the taxes, instead he sent out his troops and soldiers. He already gives them the order to “do as necessary” should the taxes not be able to be paid. So far we hadn’t had any trouble with them, but they always looked so mean and tough whenever they came. Mother and Father strictly forbade me from going anywhere near the soldiers, but I had peeked a few times, and had nightmares for a week every time I saw them. The soldiers were dressed in a royal blue suit, they all had short swords at their sides and their helmets covered their entire face, but yet they seemed to emit a red glow from where their eyes should have been. The soldiers always brought with them fear and anxiety, the whole atmosphere seemed to change with them just being there.

It was the morning of the next day, and the entire family was taking a break. However, regardless of how much I looked, I couldn’t find big brother and when I asked my parents they said he was gone to the town on important business. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the image of my brother secretly whispering to my father out of my mind. Something seemed off, different from normal, but I just shrugged the feeling away as me being paranoid and continued with my secret activities.

I mentioned it before, but I wasn’t like other kids of my age. My mind worked differently and rather then playing with toys, I would experiment and try to learn something new. It all started two years ago, when I first saw the soldiers. They froze me with fear, but yet regardless of that, whenever I looked at the swords attached to their waists my body just stiffened and I had to hold myself back from rushing inside. Since then I had carved myself my own makeshift sword and had chosen a tree in the nearby woods to practice swinging. From then on, whenever I had free time, I would always go and smack the tree some more, doing this made me develop muscles no other seven year old would have.

I made my way to the forest and stood staring at the tree I had beat for two years. It was one of the larger trees in the forest, but yet its trunk looked as if it had been smashed by a carriage. Though at the start my swings were weak and had no aim, after practicing repetitively, my strikes gained in power and accuracy. The sword that had started off as a chunk of wood too heavy for my small body to properly use was now nothing less then an extension of my hand. It was a part of me.

I looked down at the makeshift blade; it had gone through brutal treatment these past two years and looked as if it could break any second. I’m going to need to carve a new one tomorrow, I thought to myself as I started back towards the house. I hadn’t realized how late it had gotten, dusk was fast approaching. I picked up the pace, and before I knew it, I was running full speed. The feeling was back, something wasn’t right, I had no idea what it was, but something wasn’t normal. This time I couldn’t shake the feeling off.

As soon as I reached the house, I heard the neighing of a horse. Surprised, I turned around and saw a carriage pulled by two horses moving up the road. The only place this road led to was this farm: the carriage was coming here.

I quickly ran inside the house, and closed the door behind me.

“What time do you think it is? Where were you?!” My mother shrieked at me.

“I wa-“

“Never mind, ge’ inside the other rem now son.” My father said as he looked outside the window. He must have noticed the carriage.

“But I-“

“No buts! Get inside the other room and wait with you’re sister!” Mother sounded angry, this too was not normal.

Accepting defeat, I headed inside the room and my mother closed the door behind me. Inside, my sister was sitting on a chair waiting patiently. She showed no sign of anything unusual, but yet I still couldn’t shake the feeling I had.

“Sis, don’t you think something feels… different about today?” I quietly asked her.

“Hmm, something different you say? No, I can’t say I do. What makes you feel that way?” Her voice sounded just like always: bright and happy.

“Well… We seem to be short on the taxes this year don’t we?”

My sister looked surprised, she probably hadn't known that I knew of the situation we were in. “Don’t worry about that, Mother and Father told me that they had a solution.”

“A solution? What is i-“

I was cut off from the loud sound of the front door opening. I quickly ran to the door in the room and put my ear against it. I could hear heavy footsteps on the wooden floor, there were two of them. It was then that a gruff voice said-

“You know why we’re here, so hurry up and show us what ya got.”

“O-of cours, h-here it is.” My father’s voice sounded nervous, though he always got nervous whenever the soldiers came, it was never this bad.

There was sound of some ruffling and then of coins jingling with each other. By this time my sister was also sitting next to me listening.

“Is this it? This isn’t even close to half the amount you need!”

“Hold on, it says here that you have… other ways of payment?” The voice this time was new, probably the second soldier, I thought.

“D-do we r-r-r-eally hav no ch-choice?” My father’s voice was even more nervous then before.

“Do you think we’d lie to you? This is nowhere near enough! Now, where is she?” It was the first voice again.

“Sh-she’s i-in the r-r-r-room…”

At what my father said, I quickly turned to look at my sister, and her face was slowly beginning to change from relaxed and curious, to fear. The heavy footsteps were getting closer to us, until they eventually stopped in front of the door. There was silence for a few seconds, thinking the danger had passed I spoke: “I wonder what tha-“

The door was yanked open, and both my sister and I fell to the floor. From my view on the ground I watched as my sister was grabbed by one of the soldiers from the hair, and forced to stand. It was then that she screamed. The scream was the loudest and most horrifying thing I had heard in my entire life. The soldier holding her just laughed and pulled her over to the other room. She didn't stop screaming.

I finally pulled myself off the ground and started after the soldier. When I got to the room the sight that met me was of my sister being dragged towards the door screaming all the way and both the soldiers laughing their hideous laugh. My parents were standing quietly in a corner with their faces to the ground.

“Mother, Father! How could you! Why, why are you doing such a thing! Tell them to stop, please, oh please tell them to stop! PLEASE FATHER, STOP THIS!” My sister’s cries were deafening.

Both of my parents weren’t even looking at her, they were refusing to make eye contact. It was at about this time that it all ticked together. The harvest this year was horrible because of the drought, my brother was fired and wasn’t paid, we surely didn’t have enough money to pay the taxes this year. Mother and Father said they had a solution? Of course, the only thing that would be able to save us from this dire situation. The only thing any family could sell for money whenever they wanted… Their children.

When realization struck me, the first thing that came to my mind was disbelief. Surely there was no way Father would allow such a thing to happen, right? I thought to myself, I mean we all treat sis like a precious jewel, there’s no way Father would just abandon her…

I rushed to my father and grabbed his shirt.

“Father! Surely this is some sort of mistake, I mean, there’s no way you would sell Anna right? Father, why are you so quiet? Say something Father! Say something! FATHER!”
My cries echoed throughout the small room, it seemed that my sister had stopped screaming and the soldiers had stopped laughing.

“What do you know abou’ it?!” My father yelled in a fit of rage, he grabbed me by the neck and threw me down to the ground. “W-we have te do this! This is te live! If we don’ do this, you’ll also die! Why don’ you understan’ that?!”

There was no way, it wasn’t a mistake? Father was actually selling sis? No, no, no, no, no, NO ! That’s a lie! A lie! But…, even father admitted it. Was this even Father? Was this the man I had respected so much? Was this the man I would have happily died for? No… this was someone else, this wasn’t the Father I knew.

My mind had gone blank, all rational thinking had stopped. The only thing left was rage. Anger erupted, it overtook every thing else and was the superior force in my mind. Something smooth and sharp had been poking my hand; I knew what it was without even looking. Fury raging through me, I got up and charged at my father, screaming. Before I knew it, my head was on his chest and as I looked up I noted the surprise and shock quickly forming on his face. He was just staring at me, with a blank look.

I took a few steps back, and looked at my hands. They were soaked in a dark crimson. My father stumbled, until he fell back down against the wall, with a knife impaled inside his chest.

He was dead.

A pool of red was forming underneath his body, and I looked from the knife, to his face, to my hands. There was no way; this is all just a dream. A very, very bad dream. I’ll wake up tomorrow and everything will be normal, Mother, Sister, Big Brother, and Father will all be there, smiling and laughing at me for having such a crazy dream. This wasn’t real, it couldn’t be…

Rough hands grabbed me from behind and I was carried off the ground, the soldier brought me outside to the carriage that was waiting there, he opening the back door and threw me inside. He closed the door as soon as I got in and the only thing left was darkness…




© 2013 AarsalM



Author's Note

AarsalM
One big thing I need to say here, is that I wrote this 2-3 years ago. I've edited it multiple times since then, but it still has an older writing style. I'll rewrite it in the future, but for now, I'm working on adding new chapters.

Thanks for reading!

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Featured Review

My father looked me down...my father looked down at me...

Now now, father....Now, now father...

already give the order....already gave the order.

I have no tears for his father nor his mother. For reasons my parents we're the same regarding how they treated me. You have cought my attention as I begin to read the next chapter, but for now I will hold off and come back with a new pair of eyes.


I should note that this chapter was not a smooth read and I pointed out only the serious errors.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

AarsalM

5 Years Ago

This chapter is actually a merger between two, when I first wrote it, this was split into two chapte.. read more



Reviews

My father looked me down...my father looked down at me...

Now now, father....Now, now father...

already give the order....already gave the order.

I have no tears for his father nor his mother. For reasons my parents we're the same regarding how they treated me. You have cought my attention as I begin to read the next chapter, but for now I will hold off and come back with a new pair of eyes.


I should note that this chapter was not a smooth read and I pointed out only the serious errors.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

AarsalM

5 Years Ago

This chapter is actually a merger between two, when I first wrote it, this was split into two chapte.. read more

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

225 Views
1 Review
Rating
Added on June 14, 2012
Last Updated on May 25, 2013
Tags: boy, medevil, fantasy, sword, training, young, death


Author

AarsalM
AarsalM

Windsor, Ontario, Canada



About
17 years old, bit of a gamer, like reading fiction novels, currently reading ice and fire, amazing series btw. more..

Writing