Chapter 1- Many Sorrows

Chapter 1- Many Sorrows

A Chapter by Starr Brooks

The freezing wind swirled outside in strong effervescing torrents, brushing against the sturdy, white walls. Still, the chill could not be kept outside, but instead leaked in through the unseen cracks and crannies of Avalon’s window.

She sat, perched on the edge of her bed in the cold, dark silence, staring out the window at the stark moon and stars that twinkled peacefully far above her. The stars and moon always danced for her, and sparkled to life when she called on them. Often she called on them these days, searching for answers, for hope, for anything to console her empty heart. All these months had passed and still the pain had not subsided, still no peace had come.

Shivering, Avalon tried to push away the eternal lifeless chill she felt, just as another wrecking gust shoved past, sending the walls into a fit of creaks and groans. Unable to console herself, Avalon let her mind fall back in time, to when she fell into despair, even now she could not get back up. Truthfully she was too tired to fight it and the memories flooded in like the crashing, crushing waves of the frothing seas.


--


The night was warm and musty, with a pleasant breeze. The smells and sounds were just as nice, filled with beautiful diversity and happiness that was contagious. Light, soft music lilted through the air, filling up the atmosphere just to pause and then pour out another life giving string of notes.

Avalon and Falseph were walking down Main, the street that ran alongside the gurgling Crisalic river and straight through the heart of Sceptica. Many humans and Magics meandered throughout the brightly lit shops and restaurants that lined the other side of Main, the sound of their merry voices echoing off the stormy water gave the bustle a homely and cozy feeling.

“You know,” Falseph breathed, lifting his head towards the sky and inhaling deeply. His silver hair ruffled lightly in the breeze and the lights making his eyes twinkle just like little stars. “I never get tired of Main, it’s never the same but, it is always perfect. Especially with you.”

He winked mockingly, causing Avalon to laugh lightly and sock him in the stomach, he groaned and put on a pouty face. Avalon rolled her eyes dramatically and then, turning to the river as she always did, studied the world she saw in the waters.

The waterway was glistening and reflecting the joyous mood of Main, while bubbling along on it’s endless journey to the sea. Little boats, all painted fiery reds and sunshine yellows and dusk purples, floated along, flowing at a lazy pace with the current. Haplessly she had walked this road a thousand times, stared at this river a thousand times, basked in the elation that always clung to the streets. In truth, it never grew old.

“You know,” she murmured, watching as a few children scrambled through the crowd, squealing and giggling as they went. Such peace, such joy. “I never get tired of living, not when everyday feels like this. Like tomorrow is a million miles away, like the sun rises and falls just to give us day and night, like we live just to marvel at the beauties we see and hear and feel around us.”

She looked to Falseph, who was nodding and had this expression she couldn’t quite place drooling over his smile. Almost like… sorrow? It disappeared a moment later as he grabbed her hand and tugged her along, grinning wildly.

“Come on there’s something I want to show you,” he exclaimed, his throaty voice filled with childish delight.

He pulled Avalon down the road for what seemed like ages, refusing to let her stop at her favorite dessert carts and shops, or the bridge that sprawled over the Crisalic. Finally he yanked her into a small shop, filled with sour smelling soaps and perfumes. Confusion waved over her.

“You brought me all this way to look at soap?” she demanded, cursing under her breath. Falseph knew she hated soap shops, the hatred stemmed from a very unfortunate incident involving drug laced body wash and a b*****d of a boy she once knew. Not a fond memory, for her anyways.

Falseph only laughed for far too long, only stopping when she started stomping out.

“No, no,” he said, grabbing her arm and trying in vain to stifle his laughter. “No, just follow me.”

Begrudgingly she followed, although she insisted on pinching her nose to keep from getting a headache, and keeping a watchful eye on the demonic soaps. After a quick chat with the pretty Magic soap shop owner, he led her up a flight of steep stairs and then another and another, climbing up to the top of the tall, stone building that was at least six stories high. Emerging on the roof, Avalon was met by the perfectly clear, twinkling sky, filled up with beautiful stars and a full moon. Immediately her breath got lost in her throat as she took in the awe inspiring view.

“Falseph,” she gasped, staring everywhere, trying to memorize the sight. Slowly a new sound grow, low and high at once and the most magnificent thing she had ever heard, a song. The stars were moving, flitting across the sky like little dancers.

“The stars are singing,” she whispered, almost afraid to speak, for fear it might scare away the music. For a moment she tore her eyes away from the sky, to find Falseph looking only at her, most specifically her hand, which was glowing brightly. On her wrist, etched, in what looked like white starlight, was a symbol. A shining crescent moon, surrounded by dancing stars and two little glowing words, shining just below.

Fallen star.

Before she could comprehend what this meant, Falseph was standing before her, pushing her backwards harshly. Suddenly the back of her feet hit the small raised edge of the roof before she could blink, she tipped.

A scream escaped her lips as she fell backwards, over the edge into open air, only you be stopped suddenly by Falseph’s hand gripping her shirt.

“Wha-what are you doing?” she stammered, grasping desperately and him but unable to reach him, unable to understand.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered mournfully, his eyes icing over like death and his face turning into one she did not recognize. “I am only doing what must be done. They made me promise. Good bye my little fallen star.”

He let her go, and she fell, disappearing into the shadows of the soap shop. The stars still sang, the melody growing as she dropped, down, down, down. The air whipped past vigorously, ripping at her clothes and hair until…

Black swallowed everything.

---

Dawn blinked in Avalon’s eyes, the faint purple sky swirling and swimming above her as she grasped consciousness. The soap shop yawned into black being a few moments later, bringing back the reality of what happened and a skull splitting headache.

With a groan, Avalon attempted to sit but a debilitating pain shot down her spine causing her to cry out. Just as fast as it came the pain was gone, as if whisked away by the slowly rising sun. As she stood, her head pounded so hard she could hear it and see her heartbeat in her eyes.

Slowly she realized what had happened, grimmly she reckoned that she should be dead, killed by Falseph, someone she thought she could trust. After inspection she came to the conclusion that she fell at least five stories onto hard ground, Falseph had known the height of the building. He had brought her here, dragged her to the roof, made her feel like she was on top of the world, and then attempted to throw her into the pits of hell.

None of it made sense, why did he want her dead? Who wanted were the “they” he spoke of? What was that thing on her hand?

Quickly she glanced down and there, now in black, were those words.

Fallen star.

After a moments contemplation, Avalon surrendered trying to figure out what it meant, instead turning towards her home.

Head still spinning and aching terribly, Avalon limped off down the shadowy alley behind the buildings of Main, trying to stay silent as she walked. As her vision pulsed and blurred, her feet slipped on the rocky dirt path, causing her to stumble and stagger stupidly. Her mind felt like it was floating, wanting to sleep and slumber forever, to rid itself of the horrible pain. Avalon felt herself shaking and gasping but she did not feel attached to it, it felt like a faint far away tug. Still she stumbled on, into the quiet streets of her neighborhood, with its neat houses all in a row. The houses she knew so well slipped and fogged about, as she struggled to remain conscious and moving towards her home.

Her door blurred in and out of view, like lightning illuminated it and then sent it plunging back into darkness. She felt her hand reach for the handle and fumble trying to focus long enough to turn it. When is did turn, Avalon practically fell into the house, as the door flew open. She staggered forward trying to remain upright.

In her pulsing, construed vision red spattered in front of her, as the room came into focus and moved as she tumbled into her home. Desperately she blinked, trying to rid herself of the scarlet splotch invading her eyesight... but the redness was not a vision. Rather it was a large, long streak of blood on the marble floor. Avalon’s heart sank in her chest as she realised something was terribly, terribly wrong.

No.

No no no.

Suddenly her vision was sharp and clear and the scene that came into view was more gruesome and unholy than anything she had ever seen before. It was a sight she could never unsee, never put out of focus, never escape.

There laying lifeless on the floor in a puddle of crimson was her mother, her beautiful face torn and unrecognizable and her body marred unto nothingness. Bile rose in Avalon’s throat and she nearly vomited then and there, but with a push she replaced her horror with utter emptiness.

“Mother,” she whispered, through flooding tears, the skull splitting headache pounding away in her head becoming even worse. “No-nh.”

Her words were lost, as she noticed another smear of blood mere feet away, leading down the hallway leading out of the entryway. She stepped around the corner only to find her father, laying just like her mother, dead, eyes wide and empty, appearance unrecognizable, and surrounded by a massive puddle of blood.

Her hands shook, and her legs quaked violently threatening to give way. Tears welled up and poured down her face.

Without hesitation, Avalon ran to her father, grabbing at his cold face. His blood coated her hands like thick oil.

"Father," she cried, touching his cheek, his hair, his hands. There was no life left in him, no hope that he might survive. With a sob, she squeezed his hand and rested her head on his chest, still weeping uncontrollably.

"Come back to me," she whispered. There was no response.

“No, no, no,” was all she could say, unable to process the situation.

First Falseph tried to kill her and now her parents were dead, but what about--

In a rush, Avalon left her dead mother and father and sprinted down the hallway and pushed open the door to her brothers’ room. She was met only by empty silence and a blood bath. Selick was pinned up against the wall, feet dangling, a long sword through his heart. Scarlet pooled below his feet, soaking into the wall and dripping down onto the floor. Below him, face down on the ground in that pool of blood was Nobia, cuts running down his little arms and a stab wound in his back.

Everything in Avalon shattered into shards and she fell to her knees, weeping brutally and burying her face in her hands.

“No,” she kept saying, over and over, trying to make it untrue. She should have saved them, she should have known to protect them. All too quickly she was swallowed up inside herself, rocking back and forth and sobbing with no intent on ever stopping. Her hands found cold metal and she felt a tiny, distant poke in her chest, by her own heart. She would end herself, to be with them, to not suffer alone without them and live with the guilt of her inability to save them.

Somewhere far away hands grabbed her arms, ripping the metal from her hands, and dragged her away from the horror, but she did not see them or feel anything. The wind was but a distant whisper, their harsh words but a silent cry drowned out by the screaming in her mind, hollow, desperate, hopeless screams.

Screams uttered by her own mouth, she realized.

It was not true, her family was not dead, she was not alone. It could not be true.

Silence emptied her out and she sealed herself up in the darkness of her mind and forgot about the world and her lose and what she had seen. The blood stained images faded because they were not real, nothing was real, she was not real.

Avalon Thayer Dillix was no one. Not anymore.


--

Avalon’s new room came back into focus, still bathed in moonlight and filled with the quiet song of the stars, all too peaceful for the unrest in her heart. Tears dripped down her face and shimmer and reflecting the stars, before hitting the floor with an echoing splash. It has been more than three months since that day and still her heart has not mended, still her eyes cannot forget, her mind cannot let go.

She wasn’t sure she could ever let go or if she even should.

With an exasperated sob, Avalon stood from her bed, wiped the tears from her cheeks, crept to the door of her bedroom, and meandered out into the shadow filled halls of the castle of Demyadi.
Sleep does not come to people like her, only emptiness, and sometimes fear or sorrow. Not rest, never rest.
All she could do was try and forget.



© 2017 Starr Brooks



My Review

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Featured Review

I enjoyed this piece and it left me wanting to hear what happens next. I hope the story will continue.

Critically: a few missing prepositions, one typo and a couple of sentences could do with rework.

Also think about context of certain words - Example: MOM. it is a modern NA word and would work in an urban/steampunk fantasy, but wouldn't be the right word to use in a 'medieval' sorcery fantasy. Mother may be more formal but transcends time and geography.

But as an avid fantasy reader - please keep going... details are less important than creativity!

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

OH MY GOD!!! This chapter was soooo intense filled with so many twists I did not see coming!!! Every line made me desperate to read the next. I couldn't get to it fast enough. You have me hooked on this! I can NOT wait to see what happens to Avalon. Loved every second of it :)
The only thing is you have a few very small grammatical errors laced throughout the chapter.
"... threatening the stability the smooth..." I think you meant "of the smooth."
"... trying in vein..." I think you meant "trying in vain."
Those were just a couple but like I said, I'm now hooked on your book and can't wait to read next chapter so please hurry and add some more or I might literally die of suspense. Again, loved it. :) :)

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Starr Brooks

1 Week Ago

Thank you! I worked really hard on this and it's great to hear that you enjoyed it! :)
About .. read more
Tashida

1 Week Ago

Don't we all? lol I have that very same problem. You are very welcome. I can tell you worked hard on.. read more
Tashida

1 Week Ago

And I hope you have a wonderful week as well :)
Very nice first chapter. Looking forward to seeing how this story turns out.

Posted 1 Week Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Big tick on the re-work :)
I look forward to seeing where this will go.


Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a great opening chapter you have hers, you're descriptions are very vivid and pleasant to the eye. The character names show you have a great use of imagination. The story was really well structured and was easy to follow.

The only thing which I saw was the following.
“No, no, no,” was all she could saw, unable to process the situation.

I think its meant to say "No, no, no,' was all she could say, to process the situation.

Other than that this piece was well put together, sentences were just right (not too long or short) and your dialogue skills were spot on.

Kudos to you

Mark.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is an amazing first chapter, full of mystery and promises for the story to come. It's very compelling and well-done. I enjoy your descriptions, and will be reading more : )

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I enjoyed this piece and it left me wanting to hear what happens next. I hope the story will continue.

Critically: a few missing prepositions, one typo and a couple of sentences could do with rework.

Also think about context of certain words - Example: MOM. it is a modern NA word and would work in an urban/steampunk fantasy, but wouldn't be the right word to use in a 'medieval' sorcery fantasy. Mother may be more formal but transcends time and geography.

But as an avid fantasy reader - please keep going... details are less important than creativity!

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I did enjoy the opening chapter. You put a lot in the short chapter. Made me wish to know more. The story line was tempting. You create hard places and sad situations in the chapter. I hope to read more. Thank you for sharing the amazing tale.
Coyote

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The first bit took a turn I so did not see coming! I loved it very good!

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 22, 2016
Last Updated on January 12, 2017


Author

Starr Brooks
Starr Brooks

About
Hello! I'm an amateur writer and I feel like maybe somebody, besides me, might enjoy my silly stories. I only write because I think it's fun and I'm not terrible at it. I hope you enjoy reading my ta.. more..

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