The first gargoyle

The first gargoyle

A Chapter by RachelReaper

Gargoyle story #1

   Wind swept over the cold grounds of MoonRock palace, whistling through the crevices in the stone and emphasizing the abandonment of the lonely kingdom. Hundreds of gargoyles frozen in thought, dance, or pose were lined along the enormous gray pillars, castle roof, adorned the outside, or were in the dressed down hallway. They eerily looked at nothing and saw everything.   

   The entire palace was composed of gray stone (like the gargoyles themselves) and was built miles away from civilization in the woods of Romania over a thousand years previous where The Witches had gathered.

   One gargoyle seemed especially grand compared to the rest. On a throne in the center of the largest room in the palace was a large (seven foot tall) stone she-dragon with three cobra heads; one had her tongue flicked out to taste the air.

   Her wings were detailed with designs of rippling water and ivy; her scales each individually carved and beautiful. She sat with a posture of calmness, of tranquility. She would be patient.

   The half moon reached its highest point in the night sky for the second time that October, and the light illuminated the lonesome world of rock. Gargoyles were bathed in the half moon's light as it crawled its way across the floor to sweep over the throne room with the royal gargoyle perched on her intricate chair.

   After a half month of waiting, Tranquility's wings unfolded and creaked as she raised them high. The reign of the half moon's gargoyles had begun again.

 

Romania, 1,457 years ago

   "Frah-ost! Haven't you finished yet, you've been working on that scale all morning." Chrisinthia said as she came into the room to check on the youngest member of her witch coven, Frost, who was still working on the same same stone scale for their grandest new spell to awaken the gargoyle.  

   "But the scales keep breaking! And this isn't the only scale I've been working on all morning, it's the eighth. I've broken seven already." Frost said hopelessly and her short auburn curls fell into her face.

   Frost went to pick up another designing pick by the fireplace and carved into the scale while Chrisinthia watched Frost to see how she was breaking them. Frost dug into the scale too hard and it crumbled in half.

   Frost sighed. "What am I doing wrong?" She asked.

   "Well, to start," Lea came strutting into the living room from the kitchen and flipped her blonde hair to one side, "You're not using the right pick and you're pressing much too hard." She answered for Chrisinthia.

   How does she do that? Chrisinthia wondered, part amazed and part exasperated with her long time childhood friend. Lea always seemed to appear out of nowhere and each time made an entrance with just the right amount of drama and flair. And as Lea bent to help Frost choose the right carving pick, Chrisinthia thought something that hadn't occurred to her in a long time, Frost is still so young.

   Frost had only been admitted into Chrisinthia's coven a year ago and was thirteen now. It was a life changing fate for a girl like Frost, who hadn't grown up in a house of witches and had narrowly escaped being burned at the stake in her hometown in Brittan after she was declared a "demon" for her incredible talent in telekinesis. Needless to say, telekinesis was her only strong suit.

   But it is my job to change that. Chrisinthia thought. Chrisinthia was head witch and that made Frost her responsibility. On an impulse, Chrisinthia said, "Frost, its time you were part of your first spell Casting, with us. Tonight. Does that sound alright?" Chrisinthia asked, but since she was witch coven leader, she would see to it that it happened. 

   Frost's rosy cheeks turned even pinker when she blushed, "I don't, I mean-" and Lea arched a thin eyebrow at Chrisinthia.

   "It's your place to decide what Frost should do, but she still doesn't know the difference between a sunrise and sunset spell. The dead-awakened half moon spell we have planned for tonight...well, you know her skill level as well as I do. Are you sure she can perform up to the Casting's expectations?" Lea asked.

   Still talking as though Frost were not in the room, "Frost is not going to take a leading role in the spell, that is our job, of course. But I think that it would be good practice for her to at play a minor role in her first Casting with us tonight." Chrisinthia said. Lea still looked skeptical, but shrugged indifferently and went back to helping Frost carve into the scales correctly. Frost, on the other hand, looked even more nervous and that made her clumsier than before. She broke three more scales with untrained hands until she finally got one right with Lea's guidance.

   Chrisinthia was in the upstairs study (the main gathering room for practicing spells, reading, and lessons, but was also used as a storage room for different herbs and candles) with Meg and Peg, practicing their parts for the Casting. Meg and Peg were two witch-born sisters that looked almost exactly alike, with the exception of Peg being one year older than Meg. They both had slight figures, with pin straight inky black hair that formed into a widow's peak on their forehead. This, added with their piercing blue eyes that could cut through souls, they really did look their part in society as witches.

   Chrisinthia, who had just cracked open an old spellbook titled, Phases of the Moon that was translated from Latin to Romanian, was the eldest witch in their coven at twenty four. But her heart shaped face surrounded by dark brunette ringlets and amber eyes seemed timeless, like she had been at the same age for a very long time and had seen things not many other people her age had.

   She had perfected her own lead in the spell, learning her lines along with what candles to burn during the half moon for the effect she wanted.

   Meg raised her slim hands into the air and some of the black fabric from her dress fell down to expose her pale arms. "And to the half moon we pledge. To do the will and be the keepers of-" She was cut off by Frost, who had come running up the rickety, wooden stairs to the study, exclaiming, "Chrisinthia, Chrisinthia look! I finally got one right!"

   Frost's cheeks were flushed and she was out of breath from running so fast when she showed Chrisinthia the stone scale she had finally made right.

   "Thanks to my help." Lea said and swept into the room. Her rich, purple dress swished around her ankles to stand in the middle of the room.  

   Chrisinthia turned the scale over in her hands and had to admire the craftswitchship of it, the design of ivy had been carved wonderfully.

   Meg looked annoyed that her part in the spell had been interrupted and went to picking at some sage leaves on the second story window pane, muttering to herself. Peg was a much better sport, going over to Frost to congratulate her and to give her a "welcome to the coven" kind of pat on the back.

   "You really did a good job with this, I'm impressed, Frost." Chrisinthia praised vibrantly, proud of her apprenticing witch and Frost beamed.

   "And about that spell?" Lea asked expectantly.

   "It wouldn't hurt you to practice." Chrisinthia heard Peg say, but she didn't think Lea heard.

   Chrisinthia drew her eyes from the scale to look at Lea, "Yes, Frost will be participating in our dead-awakened half moon spell to complete the ritual on one of our experimental gargoyles." Chrisinthia paused, "And I will be teaching her what to perform."

    The others had various levels of skepticism; Meg shook her head and said, "Every role in this spell is crucial, Chrisinthia, you know that. Even a minor role like the one you are allowing Frost to play will have a big impact and since she is still such an inadequate witch..." Meg trailed off and the study was filled with a heavy tension like dense humidity.

   Frost's eyes misted and she hung her head when she ran from the room in tears. "Frost! Frost, wait!"Lea called after her and ran to follow Frost to her room down the hall, but by the sound of it Frost had locked her door.

   Chrisinthia rounded on Meg, "Meg, how could you be so inconsiderate to my apprentice? Need I remind you how you were when you started out your apprenticeship as a witch? You couldn't make a sleeping potion to save yourself! So do not think for a moment I will tolerate your irrational rudeness and let it interfere with our coven's work again, do I make myself clear?" Chrisinthia demanded while Peg stood awkwardly in the corner, not sure what to do about her unruly younger sister.

   All Chrisinthia got was a glare from Meg, who tried to retreat from the study, but Chrisinthia reached into the well of her willpower to create a force field over the door so Meg could not pass through.

   Meg turned to look at Chrisinthia in disbelief, but what she saw would have scared anyone.

   Chrisinthia's hair had risen in the air to form a halo around her head and her eyes turned black with anger. "I said, Is. That. Clear?" Her voice crackled with a power only a very trained witch could possess. Chrisinthia was neutral tempered by nature, but when something upset her she could be very dangerous.

   "Yes, I heard you." Meg said with only a trace of the bitterness she'd had before, and Chrisinthia lowered the force field so Meg could walk through, but once Meg was outside the door, she said, "but what I can't understand is why you would let someone as terrible a witch as Frost take part in such an important Cast." And with that she made the door slam shut behind her without touching it.

   Chrisinthia heard Peg sigh from across the room and walk to stand beside her.

   "I'm so sorry about Meg," Peg said apologetically, "I just don't know how to handle her... I suppose that makes me a failure at being an older sister." Chrisinthia felt sympathy for Peg, who was the opposite of her sister's personality.

   While Meg could be loud, arrogant, impulsive and uncouth at times, Peg was an observer and had a way with manners that Meg could take some advice from.

   "I don't expect you to control your sister, Peg, your both almost grown women. It's Meg's responsibility as an adult and as a witch to be able to keep herself under control and be able to work under pressure with other witches and not cause a catastrophe each time. But that's something she's going to have to figure out herself and it may take time for her to learn that, although, maybe it wouldn't hurt if she picked up some common courtesies from you..." Chrisinthia said with a smile and Peg laughed.

   "I'll try to keep that in mind." Peg said.

   "Good. I'm going to go see Frost and find out from Lea if she's calmed herself enough to practice." Chrisinthia said and turned to leave.

   When she got to the doorway, Peg shyly called, "Oh, and Chrisinthia?"

   Chrisinthia turned. "Yes?" She inquired.

   "When you see Frost, tell her I'm sorry, that Meg and I are both sorry." Peg said.

   "I will." Chrisinthia promised and went to find Frost before her entire coven had an emotional meltdown.

  

 

       



© 2012 RachelReaper


Author's Note

RachelReaper
Any comment is appreciated :)

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Reviews

Very nice! Good description. I could visualize the scenes well. It was a good introduction to the characters, too.

I like it. It is easy to read and has good flow.

I found your book on the Book Reviews group.

Posted 6 Years Ago


RachelReaper

6 Years Ago

oh, thank you! I'll check out some of your writing, too!
I really enjoy this read, you bring so much life to your characters... and bring the story to life through your characters.
some pts:)
'They both had slight figures, with pin(-)straight inky black hair forming widow's peaks on their forehead(s).'

'Frost's eyes misted and she hung her head. She ran from the room in tears.
"Frost! Frost, wait!"
Lea ran down the hall after her, but when she reached the girl's room, Frost had locked the door.'

'...do I make myself clear?"
Peg stood awkwardly in the corner.' (sharpen sententences to make the images stronger when we know information already, such as who is speaking and how. Focuss on the main idea or 'picture' you want the sentence to communicate. e.g. you can definetly say 'not sure what to do about her unruly younger sister,' but the image feels less immediate because it seems to be cramming.
If a sentence is too crowded, we tend to unconsciously hit skim-reading mode, or focus on the words without taking in the images. We need to know Peg's reaction : embarrassment (her personality). We have an opinion of Meg because of what she has just said and how she behaves. We've been told their relationship already...
Subtlty's a good tactic coz it keeps your reader thinking they're not being told what to think. Entirely up to you of course, this is a marvellous chapter:)

Posted 6 Years Ago


great start to a sure to be gripping story love it:)

Posted 6 Years Ago


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I really like the beginning to this book! It's very enchanting and captivating! My only critique would be your sentence structure. I think you know what to say, it's just the way you place it seems a bit off, for example the phrase: "her scales each individually carved and beautiful" would sound better if it was said "each of her scales were individually carved and beautiful." The same would go for a lot of other sentences. Apart from that it's very enticing and I'm really excited for the next chapter :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


RachelReaper

6 Years Ago

Thank you, I will go back and fix the sentences... eventually.
really good beginning. The character introductions are really good and I like how they all have their destinct [not sure if i spelled that rightO.O] personalities:) looking forward to reading more!

Posted 6 Years Ago


I think this is a great beginning for a novel. Its a little lengthy though. Try to cut down on unnecessary details. I think you could delete "eerily" from the first paragraph. It just doesn't sit right. Good job overall though.

Posted 6 Years Ago



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Added on June 28, 2012
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RachelReaper
RachelReaper

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Hey!!!!! My name is Rachel, and my unofficial last name is Reaper. I am 14 years old. Blood and kisses to all who review my work, I appreciate it so much and couldn't express to you how much it means .. more..

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