Chapter 1- The Outcast

Chapter 1- The Outcast

A Chapter by Kathleen
"

Alicia is cast out of her family and to her bewilderment sent to a place that specializes in spiritual awakening. An old friend of hers is there and he unexpectedly reveals a big secret.

"

The horse-drawn carriage mutedly clip-clopped on the earthen path, gradually loosing speed as it approached its destination.  It pulled up next to the large and square building, made entirely out of dark wood, an odd sight considering that most structures were made out of stone.  The carriage stopped next to a row of large stone pillars holding up the slate roof of the building, startling its passenger out of her impassive state.  The girl lazily opened one eye and it focused on the empty seat cushion across from her.  Anxiety pulsed through her and a second later both celery green eyes were open and fully alert.  She glanced to her right and a pair of steely eyes stared right back at her.  The slender, golden-haired girl jumped and sprung up from the carriage seat.  The door swung open and Alicia saw the man with the unfriendly eyes reappear.  Oh, it’s just the man that I sat across from today.  She was still wary of the man, but she felt safe enough to step out of the carriage and into the late evening sun.   

    

“Alicia!  You’re here!” a voice shouted.

 

Who was that? Royden?  No, it couldn’t be him. He would never leave Rockford for this place.  Nevertheless, her heart began to beat faster and she turned around wildly trying to locate the boy who was calling her name.

 

“Alicia!”

 

She looked to the left and in complete incredulity said, “Royden?  Is that you?  What are you doing here?”

 

Instead of answering, Royden closed the gap between them and put his arms around Alicia.  The girl briefly looked surprised, but she recovered and returned the hug.  The embrace ended and Alicia looked at her friend with a look of kindness, but also one of bewilderment.

 

“I don’t normally act like this, do I?”  Royden asked, reading the expression right off her face.

 

“No, you don’t.”  Alicia chuckled.  She looked closer at her friend.  He’d grown a couple inches since she had last seen him, his face had thinned out a bit, his hair was still bright blond, but his normally joking golden- specked blue eyes were duller.  “What’s happened to you?  Is it this place?” she asked quietly.

 

“No, no, this is place is fine.  It’s actually been kind of nice here.  The normal bustle of court life is gone and you are left to dwell in your own mind out here.  It’s been these last couple months…”  Royden paused and put his hand through his ear- length hair.  He continued, “Well, you know, now that I’m seventeen I’m a big part of court affairs.  I’ve been learning a lot about how my father rules his kingdom and all the stuff that comes with his position.”

 

“Yeah, I know what you mean.  There’s a lot of stuff to learn and take in,” Alicia nodded sympathetically.  She really didn’t have a clue about his problems.  Her parents didn’t include her in any of the court affairs; she was merely their daughter.  She just sat, looking pretty, at meal times and for family portraits.  And now she was apparently on permanent leave from the castle.  

 

Someone cleared their throat.  Alicia spun around and realized it was the man with scary eyes.  What was he still doing here?

 

“Good evening, Lyulf,” greeted Royden politely.

 

The man nodded back at him.

 

“Lyulf doesn’t speak very often.  It’s part of The Code here,” whispered Royden to Alicia.

 

He continued more loudly, “I think he wants us to go inside.  It’s dangerous out here after dusk.  Let me get your bags for you.”

 

Royden climbed into the carriage and reappeared moments later with Alicia’s baggage.  Side by side, they walked up the cobblestone path to the edifice.  They passed under the large arched doorway, centered in the middle of the wall, and entered a silent, empty passageway softly lit by sconces.  There were several other corridors branching off from the passageway all with lit sconces of their own adorning the walls.  Followed by Alicia, Royden turned into the second one on the right.  The silent pattering of their feet on the wood floors filled the silence. 

 

“Is it always this quiet?”  Alicia asked.  This place was the polar opposite of Glenavon Castle, her boisterous home.

 

“It is,” he affirmed.  “There aren’t very many people here.  Counting us, there are about 30 or so people who live here.  But there are only two of us; the rest of the people here are completely dedicated to The Code.”

 

Alicia was bursting with questions to ask her friend about the strange place, especially about this Code, but Royden stopped walking and said, “This is my room,” pointing at a door on the right.  “And this is your room,” he said as he pushed the wooden door opposite his room inward. 

 

The room was constructed in the same manner as the rest of the building; it was a small square white room with a wooden framed bed and a matching bedside table with a taper on it.  Royden placed Alicia’s two bags on the bed and sat down in front of them.  Then, he looked at the taper on the table, whispered a few words and it lit.  Alicia noticed the small candle light up immediately and looked at Royden with questioning and slightly alarmed eyes.  Royden looked at her, but said nothing.  Alicia stood frozen.  It was her who finally broke the silence, “Did you do that?”

 

“I did,” he answered solemnly, looking deeply into her eyes.  “You’ll find that there is a lot you don’t know about in this world, Alicia.”  He ran his fingers through his hair and continued, “Before you arrived, I decided I would be completely truthful.  I wanted you to know from the very beginning about my powers.”

 

“I see.”  Alicia answered succinctly. 

 

“Magic isn’t bad, Alicia.  It’s just the stories we were told as kids.  Magic is here to make life easier for everyone.  Only a small number of people can use it and it is to everyone’s advantage that it’s put to good use.  I have decided that I’m going to learn to use magic to the best of my abilities and use it for the benefit of everyone,” Royden said.

 

“But it can still be used for evil, can’t it?” she countered.

 

“That’s true, but what about weapons.  They are used for evil.  And they are also used for good.  Is the goblet half empty or is it half full?”

 

“Okay, I see your point.  But why is it so important that I know about the existence of magic?  I’d rather not know about it,” Alicia replied.  She was already at her wits end at being thrown out of her home and being sent to this strange place with these strange people who practiced a weird religion.  Now all she needed was to know that there was magic and her friend was able to use it.

 

“Are you sure you want to hear all this tonight?” Royden asked her kindly.

 

“You’ve already told me this much so far, there is no reason to hold back more information,” she replied tiredly.

 

“Good answer, because time is of the essence.”

 

            Just as she was starting to wonder if this was the same guy she had danced with at his seventeenth birthday gala, Royden said, “You have the ability to use magic, Alicia, a very strong ability.”




© 2010 Kathleen



Author's Note

Kathleen
Over these last couple months, I've cleared away the useless events and gotten to the real story. This is the first chapter of Kingdom of Lies. Please let me know what you think. Be completely honest; I'm open to harsh critiques. I'd like to hear your opinion of this chapter. Also, can you point out some bad sentences you see...I always end up writing a few confusing ones :D

Thanks :)

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"startling its passenger out of her impassive state. The girl lazily opened one eye and it focused on the empty seat cushion across from her."

I just got the feeling that she was startled and then lazily opened one eye doesn't exactly fit together. Something more laid back like "broke its passenger out of her impassive state" might be better....Odds are I'm wrong though Lol.

“No, no, this is place is fine."

I think you mean “No, no, this place is fine.

Really, really interested in this. I like how the characters flow and all the small insider hints.

Posted 6 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I liked it a lot and I cannot wait for u to post more :)

Posted 10 Months Ago


Little things first... In the first sentence, "horse-drawn carriage mutedly clip-clopped", the carriage itself wouldn't clip-clop. Something like 'the hooves of the horses pulling a carriage'. Having her lazily open one eye doesn't seem very natural, opening just one eye actually is a conscious effort. Laziness doesn't follow if she was startled out of her impassive state. Disturbed, disrupted, something else would work better.
"a look of kindness, but also one of bewilderment." would denote two separate expressions, but she's only got one face. A look of kindness, THEN bewilderment, or else a look of kindness containing traces of, or mixed with, bewilderment.
Royden having to guess that Lyulf wants them to go inside seemed out of place. Royden isn't new there, even if Lyulf doesn't speak (or rarely does), by then I'd think he is able to pick up on non-verbal cues and expressions. That could establish Alicia's need for him as a translator, adding to her need for him.
I like that you're holding off on explaining the Code, as well as why exactly she was sent away. It's a good curiosity. However, she also mentions the 'weird religion' which denotes that she already has an opinion about it, so it felt like we should know something about it already too. Her carriage ride at the beginning would be a good place to add it, and it would expedite the world-building. If that's all she knows about this place, then she ought to be a bit nervous about the weird religion. What's weird about it? Is there a god, gods, do they worship one obscure god? What reputation does it have with outsiders? What expectations has she got, going in? Let her share them with us, and more than likely get surprised as she does.
"what about weapons." is a question.
All that aside, it's off to a good start. It's well-written (take the fact that I could be so nit-picky as a compliment), and as a result is one of the easier reads I've found on here.

Posted 1 Year Ago


I like this "code" idea, and the dialogue is ok but it seems too quick. I think Alicia would be much more curious about Lyulf. "celery green eyes" is terrible, I know it's hard to avoid cliched descriptions but this one doesn't work.

Also this "The horse-drawn carriage mutedly clip-clopped", the carriage wouldn't clip-clop, the horses might. maybe

The horses pulling the carriage made a muffled clip-clop sound on the earthen path that slowed in tempo as they slowed approaching their destination.

Posted 3 Years Ago


You already have all the mistakes I would catch mentioned. And somethings I wouldn't have noticed or thought of in the other comments. But I am very excited for this book. I love the cliffhanger at the end. This is a great start to the story. Thanks for posting!

Em

Posted 3 Years Ago


This chapter is quite good but the ordering is quite confusing because of the number of chapters labeled chapter one in the list. Which is the the real first chapter? I chose to read this one because of the title being most interesting to me

Posted 3 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I read the first chapter and loved it. Here is what I thought.

1. In the very first sentence "The horse-drawn carriage mutedly clip-clopped on the earthen path, gradually loosing speed as it approached..." I think you mean to say "losing" not "loosing" ;)

2. I was pleased right from the start that the princess had friends! That set me up at a basic level of comfort before getting into the story. (e.g. I think to myself "Oh she has friends! This will be a pleasant reading experience")

3. I eat up stories with creative methods of magic and appreciated right away the inclusion of the timeless battle of good and evil and the powers of choice!

4. I found this bit of dialogue redundant (yes it may be nit-picky but it disrupted the flow of my reading so I had to mention it.

“You’ve already told me this much so far..."

I think it should be one or the other. "this much" or "so far".

In conclusion, I got the tingles at the end of chapter one!!! I enjoyed the story telling so far and I look forward to reading the rest :D

-Tim


Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like this, but it seems a little lacking to some extent with regards to character descriptions. I dunno how exactly to put it.Maybe something about how the characters dress, as it could reveal more about the characters' personalities. Eg. Royden wearing robes of some sort and Alicia wearing some kind of armour-corset? go nuts!
I do like how the whole thing flows, with regards to character interactions, and it does have a nice fantastical touch to it what with the magic.

Posted 4 Years Ago


"startling its passenger out of her impassive state. The girl lazily opened one eye and it focused on the empty seat cushion across from her."

I just got the feeling that she was startled and then lazily opened one eye doesn't exactly fit together. Something more laid back like "broke its passenger out of her impassive state" might be better....Odds are I'm wrong though Lol.

“No, no, this is place is fine."

I think you mean “No, no, this place is fine.

Really, really interested in this. I like how the characters flow and all the small insider hints.

Posted 6 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on June 12, 2010
Last Updated on June 16, 2010
Tags: magic, kingdom, prince, princess, romance, fantasy, adventure, castle, fiction


Author

Kathleen
Kathleen

About
I know its shocking, but I love to read and write in my spare time. Well, what can I say about me other than that...For starters, I enjoy playing golf and tennis for my high school (Varsity for bo.. more..

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