Chapter 1A Chapter by SharedRealities
The story begins.
An Unfolding of Love
J. M. Gershom
As many great stories begin, it was a very long time ago, in a distant land unknown as the one in which we live in now. The story we shall tell begins with a young girl. Her name was Reaceau.
As a child, she was always curious and would often go out on adventures by herself to see the surrounding countryside and woods. She heard stories from the town folk that the woods were enchanted. This made her even more curious.
Her adventures sometimes got her in trouble because she wouldn’t tell her parents, Duke Oliver and Duchess Amelia. They would usually have to send out a few soldiers to find her. She always had the last laugh though, because when the soldiers finally came back to the estate, they would see her playing with her father’s dogs. Her parents always thought her odd, but they loved her very much. They felt blessed to be given this child by the priesthood, for they were barren due to a past plague as with others within the realm.
During the time of her eighth summer, Reaceau had started to pay close attention to the rumors she heard from adults and older children. She would listen secretly, for she knew if she got caught, she would be punished. She was very intelligent for her age and would come up with clever plans to be able to hear the news that went around.
Sheila, one of Reaceau’s playmates, was the daughter of King Leopold The Just. All though Sheila was a princess, she didn’t want Reaceau to call her that because they were friends. They spent a lot of time together since Duke Oliver was the nephew of the King. So when there were any parties and special events, Reaceau would, unknowingly, convince Sheila to ask the King for permission to let her friend stay at the castle. The King didn’t mind because for some reason he liked the little girl too.
She packed her satchel with things she would need and stayed with Sheila in her bedroom, since the two girls were not permitted to go into the party room. Reaceau had remembered that the party didn’t even start till eleven o’clock, and knew that their curfew was ten. She would count to two hundred after the clock struck eleven, then climb downstairs to listen. She was aware, that if she got caught, she might never be able to go to Sheila’s again, so she would have to be cunning.
“Oh, Reaceau, I cannot wait till we become of age to go to parties! But we are only Eights, and I envy the Twelves! The Twelves get to go to the grown-up parties, and this will be their first one, tonight! They dress in pretty gowns and suits and dance, and drink, and have fun! Don’t you wish we could go parties, too?” Sheila asked as she combed her long, dark red hair. Reaceau wished her hair was as straight and flowing as Sheila’s.
Sheila smiled. “ You’re correct, as usual,” she laughed.
“What about the time you said Lady McDray…” the girl with the low voice began.
“That was real and you know it!” Quint exclaimed. “ And we’re telling ya, there really, really is a monster in the woods!”
Reaceau’s heart began to race. Maybe she could go and find the monster, capture it, and Prince Brenton would love her. Yes, he may have been a Thirteen when she was only an Eight, but there was still a chance it could work.
She entered the forest and headed towards where the land became swampy. She remembered hearing that earlier. If she were quiet enough, the monster would come out. Even the sound of the snapping of a twig could run him off. “Strange behavior,” she thought.
Sweat started to form on her forehead, and she began to quiver. Nervous, the rustling sounds of nearby bushes made her worry. What if the monster was a titanic beast, with sharp fangs that could rip her to shreds? What if it had strong claws that could tear her in half? She had no more time to ponder these things, because the bushes started to shake more violently. The hole formed in the ground underneath the bushes, sucking them down into the dark abyss. A monstrous creature rose from the hole and growled a long, deep snarl.
“Avadi Meszer!” she projected. As soon as she had finished, she felt tired and took a deep breath. The creature charged towards her. She hardened her glare into its eyes. The beast froze mid-stride and its eyes glowed, just as Sheila’s had, and fell to the ground. She carefully studied it. The beast had two large horns, teeth sharper than razor blades, and a long tail that felt scratchy. She raised her knife and chopped off the end of the monster’s tail. She smiled triumphantly. She felt victorious, but quickly grew weak from the encounter. Slowly, she took the tip of its tail and shoved it into her satchel with her other belongings.
Unknown to Reaceau, as she placed the tail into the bottom of her bag, the High Priest, Benigmas, was nearby. He had seen everything and was dumb struck, but quickly recovered when he saw the beast move towards Reaceau. This time she reacted in a way that was most natural. She screamed.
Benigmas darted in front of her. Before this weakened evil creature could recover, he reached out his arms. The tips of his index fingers and thumbs touched the same digits of the opposite hand, forming a diamond. With a thunderous cry, he roared, “Devotae Morge!”
A radiant plume of translucent red light formed in the diamond formed by Benigmas’s outstretched arms and hands.
The beast now rushed the two humans and was about to leap upon them when Benigmas cried out, “Voltus Firoma!” A beam of deep red light shot through the air and struck the monster dead and turned it into a smoldering mass of burnt flesh.
Reaceau winched at the smell of the charred carcass. Then she embraced the High Priest like a small child embracing a parent.
With a serious tone, Benigmas shook his head and replied, “Well then, young lady. Why don’t you come with me?”
As Reaceau nodded her head, she asked, “What of the creature, the monster?”
Benigmas glanced back at the lifeless form, while smoke still rose from it. “The ground will take back what it born. Now, come child, much needs to be done!”
Reaceau was still weak from the encounter, but felt strength from the High Priest. As they walked down the moon lit path, she had no idea how her life was about to change.
© 2011 SharedRealities
New Fusion City
AboutThis is a shared space for a collaborative effort by J.M. Gershom and CompellingComposer. We hope to both be able to enjoy the responses from readers from our endeavour and possibly...endeavours... more..