Chapter One

Chapter One

A Chapter by Jennifer

CHAPTER ONE



It was happening again. Tears flooded my vision. A wall of pain slammed against my temple. I grasped the nearest sturdy object, and steadied myself as wave after wave of nausea slammed against me. My chest constricted. My breathing shallow and unsteady.

Tears flooded down my face. I crumbled to my knees and dug my fingers into my ebony hair, pulling it in a desperate attempt to release the pressure building inside my skull.

I didn’t need to see them to know they were there; I felt their blackness sweeping over me. The chill of their touch sent shivers down my spine and my breath billowed before me in silver puffs of air.

Whatever they were, they had been haunting me for years, always there, just beyond the edge of my vision. Mostly, they did not overwhelm me as they did now, and I thanked the gods I was alone. If the Queen ever found out, she’d brand me a Witch, and cast me from the Summer Courts.

One of the dark figures emerged from the group. Its fingers stretched forth and a searing pain erupted in my shoulder blade. To keep from crying, I gritted my teeth, but the pain swept down my arm, and burned into my flesh as the figure’s voice resonated in my skull.

“Young one, soon, your life will be threatened.”

I couldn’t breathe. I struggled for even just the smallest relief of air, my lungs screaming.

“Sister, she rejects us.” Another figure spoke.

“She is not to blame. There is poison in her blood. It blocks her from receiving us.” The figures spoke as if I was not before them, writhing in complete agony. The pain in my arm had subsided into a low throbbing but the intense pain behind my eyes still remained.

The figures circled me but I was blinded by the tears that filled my eyes. I laid my hand on the cool floor, begging silently for them to depart.Then, as quickly as it had begun, the pain faded. I took a quick gasp of air, coughing a bit as I did so. My body shook with relief as I slowly lifted myself from the floor. I staggered to the mirror and flinched at my reflection. My eyes. They were a deep hue of red. Not just the pupils either. I had no pupils. Just a never-ending red.

I closed my eyes, taking a few shaky breaths. When I opened them again, I sighed in relief. They had returned their normal shade of emerald green. My hair was a different story. I frowned as I slowly fingered the newest strand that had been blanched white from the encounter.

The strands were becoming more difficult to hide. I wore a headscarf during my normal housework but was I to do should I be expected to serve at the Summer Ball in two days time? My headscarf would not be allowed! A shiver of panic ran down my spine as I thought of how the Queen would possibly react.

No one in the Summer Court had silver hair. As a matter of fact, no one in the Summer court had exceptionally pale or dark hair. It was a sea of mahogany browns, fiery reds, and slightly off blonde hair. Ever since I was a child, I had been teased mercilessly because of my abnormal appearance. Not just my hair. I was by far the fairest servant at court. No matter the length of time I spend beneath the sun, my skin never seemed to darken. I cannot remember a time when the sun burnt my skin as it had many of the other servants.

Perhaps that was why the Queen had taken such an interest in me. I was considered one of her favorites. She prided herself in having an abnormality such as myself in her court. She flaunted me, parading me in front of the visiting Royalty from the other Summer Courts. It was not the sort of attention that I wanted. But i had little choice in the matter. Queen Syimoria was a vain woman, quick to anger. She’d had a cook banished from court simply because the poor woman had spilled a spot of soup on one of her precious gowns.

A sharp knock of the door pulled me from my thoughts. I scrambled for my headscarf, quickly wrapping it around the damning winter locks that would betray me should they be seen. Another loud bang on the wooden door alerted me to the fact that the person demanding entrance was growing impatient. The door was locked. Fingers shaking silently, I slid the key into the keyhole. The lock clicked and I had to step back quickly as the door was flung open.

“Thalion?” I gasped, both in shock and surprise.

Thalion simply smirked at my reaction, strolling into my room as if he owned it. Tall with broad shoulders, Thalion was the illegitimate son to the Queen. Even without the promise of succession, the Queen often doted on him. Only women could ascend the Summer Throne. If the Queen failed to provide a female offspring, she would be forced to choose a successor outside her own bloodline. It was a rare thing for a Summer Queen to not have at least one female successor. It was often seen as a trait of weakness.

“Eve, you’re looking paler than usual,” Thalion remarked, his brow creasing, “Are you well?”

Thalion was the one person among the Summer Court that I trusted beyond measure. He had no love for The Queen and would never betray my confidence. He was also the only one I had dared reveal my secret to. He’d proven to be a loyal friend as I had not been found out as of yet. I couldn’t help but wonder why he chose to associate with a person such as myself. I was of very poor social standing and had no wealth to speak of. Perhaps it was because he knew what it was to feel alone in the world.

I suddenly came to the realization that he was still standing before me, arms crossed over his chest. He was awaiting my answer. I bit down on my bottom lip. How would he handle the latest development of whatever afflicted me? Knowing he would not back down, I sighed in defeat. He closed and locked the door once again, slowly approaching me.

I undid my headscarf, allowing my hair to flow freely. He hissed, uttering a quiet curse word beneath his breath as his dark eyes landed on the newest icy strand. He reached a sun-kissed hand forward, running it through his fingers. His lips tilted downward as he appeared deep in thought. My heart skipped a beat as panic began rising to the surface. What would he say? What would he do? Would he decided that I’d progressed too far? Would you think me a freak?

Finally, after agonizing seconds, his eyes met mine. There was no judgment in their depths; only a concern for my safety. I released a breath of air that I hadn’t realized I’d been holding as the strand dropped from between his fingers. He ran his fingers through his own auburn locks.

“Thalion, what am I going to do? If the Queen sees this…?” I motioned towards my ever lightening hair.

“I won’t let that happen. You know I’ll always protect you.”

I couldn’t help the way my lips tilted up at the sincerity of his words. He was right of course. I knew he would always been there, no matter the struggles we faced. Ever since I could remember, Thalion was there. My champion of sorts. To someone who didn’t know Thalion’s own dark secret, it would seem the two of us were more than friends. But, alas, I was not his type. He preferred a more masculine shape than the one I had. Of course, nothing could ever come of it. It was forbidden for two men to engage in any activity that could not be done in public. He would be banished, or worse, marked as a traitor and put to death.

Another sharp knock at the door caught both of our attentions. He cursed beneath his breath again, quickly tossing me my headscarf. My hands shook as I hurried to cover my hair. The knocking at the door became more insistent. When the last strand was covered, Thalion approached the door. It swung open, revealing the stunned face of Aleria, the Queen’s personal handmaiden. Her eyes widened, flickering back and forth between me and Thalion. Her cheeks turned a deep shade of purple. I fought the urge to roll my eyes. I knew what she was thinking. What else could a male and female be doing behind a locked door?

“Your daily medicine, Eve.” She stammered, shakily handing me a vial of green liquid.

I accepted it hastily. She curtsied to Thalion and darted away. The door was once again shut, lock clicking into place. I stared down at the vile in my hand, shuddering at the thought of drinking it once again. The Queen had been forcing this liquid down my throat since the wee age of four. The taste was horrendous.

Thalion’s eyes zeroed in on the vile, an eyebrow lifting slightly, “How long has the Queen been serving you that?”

My brows pinched together questioningly, “I’ve been drinking it since I was a child. Why do you ask?”

He shrugged, “No particular reason.”

I shook my head slightly, wondering what on earth was going through his head. I forced the liquid into my mouth, swallowing it before my tongue could recognize the bitter taste. It burned its way down my throat. I coughed violently as the burning increased in intensity. It was a normal reaction; one I always had whenever I drank the vile substance.

The burning, however, refused to fade as normal. Before I could register exactly what was happening, I found myself forced to my knees. A fire raged in the pit of my stomach, as if I’d swallowed hot coals. The pain was overwhelming and quickly spread. I found myself writhing on the floor as my body burned.

Thalion was there, kneeling at my side. He pinned my arms down, shouting my name. His voice was like an echo, far off and in the distance. Everything seemed to be fading. They were there again; the haunting figures from before. Only, they were no longer hidden in darkness. They were women. Three beautiful women with silver hair and hauntingly green eyes that matched mine. Their faces showed no distress with my current state. In fact, they seemed to glow with pure excitement.

“She is ready.” They whispered, their voices in unison.

I couldn’t comprehend what their words meant. The pain slowly faded until I was able to focus on Thalion again. Sweat dripped from my body, my breathing shallow and labored. As I pulled myself from the floor, Thalion wrapped an arm around my shaking body. I rested against him, forehead pressed against the warmth of his chest. He stroked the back of head.

“What is wrong with me?” I spoke finally, voice cracking slightly.

“I wish I had an answer for that question.” He replied, his voice sounding strangely hollow, “I do know one thing. No more of that liquid will ever touch your lips again.”

“The Queen will grow suspicious.”

He lifted my head up, forcing me to meet his gaze. “Do not forget. She has a weakness for you. She will believe what ever you choose to tell her.”

Despite the dire circumstances I found myself in, I couldn’t help but smile. Perhaps everything would work out in the end. Perhaps I would be safe.
2



© 2017 Jennifer



Author's Note

Jennifer
It's a rough draft. Thanks for reading!

My Review

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Featured Review

I'm a great enthusiast for an action start, and you've sure given us one here.
However, the repetition and wordiness holds it back. One example of repetition is the use of the phrase 'Tears flooded' in both the first and second paragraph. Another spot which needs attention in the opening, is 'pain slammed against my temple' and 'nausea slammed against me'.
Since this is a first draft you may be expecting to reword some of these issues when come that moment of truth we all face after we've completed our delightful endings. :-)
Every novel has its implicit promise by the author to answer some question for the reader. You've made it simple and straightforward in this story by presenting the question in the first sentence. 'It was happening again.' Your readers are expecting you to show them what 'It' is. That's a darn good way of locking in the reader's interest. Does 'It' have a name? If you don't answer that question in the opening, 'It' will hang around in the reader's mind for the entire story. Of course, you can show them bits and pieces of it as the story unfolds. But it's important that you do let the story unfold. Don't tell them about it in some info dump. Not even in a Perry Mason type denouement at the end.


Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I'm a great enthusiast for an action start, and you've sure given us one here.
However, the repetition and wordiness holds it back. One example of repetition is the use of the phrase 'Tears flooded' in both the first and second paragraph. Another spot which needs attention in the opening, is 'pain slammed against my temple' and 'nausea slammed against me'.
Since this is a first draft you may be expecting to reword some of these issues when come that moment of truth we all face after we've completed our delightful endings. :-)
Every novel has its implicit promise by the author to answer some question for the reader. You've made it simple and straightforward in this story by presenting the question in the first sentence. 'It was happening again.' Your readers are expecting you to show them what 'It' is. That's a darn good way of locking in the reader's interest. Does 'It' have a name? If you don't answer that question in the opening, 'It' will hang around in the reader's mind for the entire story. Of course, you can show them bits and pieces of it as the story unfolds. But it's important that you do let the story unfold. Don't tell them about it in some info dump. Not even in a Perry Mason type denouement at the end.


Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It's very well-written, I would read this if it were a novel. I'm glad you've posted it here on the site. A smashing beginning. I'm quite intrigued. Also giving you 100 out of 100. ;)

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

So far so good! You've put in a lot of effort into this piece and it's paying off! The beginning totally hooked me and I'm going to read the second chapter soon! I like Eve's character and it's only the first chap! Please have more Eve! :)
The ending left the reader at a question, will she be safe?
Keep it up!

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great pace from the beginning. I love things which are dark and it will always grab my attention.
It had me begging for questions to be answered - Who are these creatures/things, why is the girl running from them/did she upset them/howlong have they been after her....
Then I find out the figures were '3 women' with haunting green eyes - the way in which you described them was short, yes BUT also quite impacting for the reader to visualise. What I though would have been good to add was what they were wearing..ie - long gowns...etc - just a suggestion.

A great piece nonetheless which kept my attention throughout. I look forward to more.

By the way, good grammar too.

Mark.

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Mr.Writer

8 Months Ago

Woah! Hey Mark! Was looking at the writing section, found this and was about to review,
Oh my gosh. I love the details that this story provides. I thought that this was good enough to be a final draft it is so well written! I score it a perfect 100 out of 100! Bravo, Jennifer! Keep up the good work. I can't wait for Chapter Two! What's going to happen...

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jennifer

8 Months Ago

That means so much to me. You have no idea! This comment made my day. Thank you so much!

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Added on March 30, 2017
Last Updated on March 30, 2017


Author

Jennifer
Jennifer

Carrollton , MS



About
Hello! I'm twenty six years old. I have a part time job and a hyper four year old. more..

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