Chapter One: Obsidian

Chapter One: Obsidian

A Chapter by Tsukin Archangel
"

Meet Calum and Marc. Calum's on his way to Ward 1 and Marc is waiting to recieve him. Warning: Strong Language, Mild sexual themes

"

Chapter One: Obsidian

       

                Tick-tock. Tick-tock. 

            The clock by the side of Calum’s bed counted off the seconds until sunrise. He was eighteen. Whatever. He was the firstborn of the fifth family of the Collective. Big whoop. He was going to be shipped off to Ward 1 in the morning. Could be worse. His breathing was steady and his heart was calm but he couldn’t for the life of him go to sleep. F**k. He breathed in slowly. Why wouldn’t his damn eyes just close? He glanced to his left. Three-thirty a.m it read in bright indigo digits. He groaned softly and rested his forearm on his forehead. I really need a smoke. He sighed as his fingers twitched at the thought.

            Ah, d****t. He tossed the covers to the side and got out of his bed. Water. Water. Water. Water. He tiptoed lightly across the room mindful of his twin brother snoring above him. Like a rock. He snorted softly. At least someone could get some sleep.

            Calum yawned as he closed the door and stretched, his plain white tee riding up and exposing the trail of hair on his stomach. The plaid boxers he’d worn to bed had ridden down and wrinkled in the night. Thirsty. He shuffled his way to the kitchen, back hunched slightly, his muscles and legs stiff from lack of use. Like a f****n’ geezer. He sighed and opened a cupboard before taking out a glass, not bothering to see whose it was, and turning on the tap.

            He stood there for a few seconds waiting for it to fill and tapping his foot impatiently on the ground. His eyes half lidded and mouth set in a bored line.

 Finally it reached the halfway point and he turned it off, bringing it to his lips and drinking. He brought the cup down and noticed the bright pink flower on its surface. Sandy’s.

            Calum yawned again and shook his head, trying to wake himself up and set the now empty glass down in the sink. Feel a little better. He shrugged to himself and padded his way back to his room. Eh, whatever.

            The door squeaked when he closed it and he winced at the sound.

            “Calum?” A voice much like his own mumbled.

            Calum scratched the back of his head. “S**t.”

            Jason sat up, and it was like looking at a black haired clean shaven mirror. His brother’s hair was ruffled and naturally a little wavier than his own, but he kept it straight and longer. His earring stood out in the moonlight. Jason rolled his eyes. “You didn’t wake me up you know.”

            Calum sighed and made his way over to their shared bunk bed and climbed into his own. “Cool.” He mumbled.

            “Are you okay?”

            “Couldn’t sleep.”

            “But are you okay? Are you ready? You know you don’t have to go. I could-- ”

            “No!” Calum said, louder than he intended, a sudden surge of emotion clenching at his heart and catching even himself off guard. Jason fell silent. Calum sighed and cleared his throat, eyes locked on the underside of his brother’s bed. “No, you’re not going.” He ran a hand down his face and huffed out a breath. “Look, you have a life here. I don’t, I’ve always been your shadow, only having friends because I was your brother.” His voice was little more than a murmur. Bored sounding and slightly drawling, a bit of the accent associated with Ward 4 on his tongue. For whatever reason it wasn’t as heavy as the rest of his families. “And I didn’t care. I never have Jay.”

            “That’s not true.”

            “It is. And no one will miss me.”

            “Yes they would. I would. Sandy would. Mom and Dad would. You-- my friends would.”

            “Not as much as you though.”

            Jason fell silent again. “But I’m the oldest,” he finally whispered and Calum could hear the bed shift as he moved above him.

            “Only by two minutes.”

            “It should be me.”

            “No,” Calum mumbled, glancing at the clock again. Four a.m it read. “It’s me. Now go to sleep.”

            Maybe I will too.

            He looked out the window,  a red wooden chair stood alone on the porch. Slowly aging. Fading away. Edges growing rough with wind and rain. Just like him. Calum closed his eyes.

 


-Tower of God-


    Morning came too soon. 

            Saying goodbye’s a b***h.

            Calum ran a hand through his hair.

            Man, this sucks.

            He hadn’t been ready for the doom and gloom atmosphere that seemed to be over everyone in the house when he’d woken up. God stop crying.

            He’d been prepared to leave, to go to this new foreign place for years, but now that it was actually happening, he found he just wasn’t prepared for the tears. The melancholy. The regret and longing he could see on his families faces.

            Jason moved forward first, face set in an uncharacteristically grim line and pulling him into a hug. He slipped something in his pocket and when he pulled back Calum looked at him quizzically.

            “Don’t look now,” Jason said when he saw him reaching into his jacket pocket, “it’s something to keep you occupied,” he scratched his head, “I put some of your favs on it already, don’t want you to get too bored out there.”

            Calum’s hand wrapped around the player and he nodded. He felt the round disk and ear-buds. He had nothing to say, the action alone spoke volumes, Calum knew how much Jason prized the thing. He’d saved up a years salary at the local pizzeria to buy it.

            Sandy was next, coming up and thrusting the flower cup in his hand. He raised an eyebrow.

            “It’s got your cooties now,” The twelve year old said, crossing her arms and scuffing her shoes on the ground. “Besides… I don’t want you to forget me.”

            Calum sighed and bent down on a knee to be eye level with her. “I’ll see you in a year, stop being so dramatic,” he mumbled.

            Sandy’s eyes watered and she suddenly hugged him. Calum grunted in surprise. “That’s a long time,” She sniffed.

            “It’ll fly by.”

            “It’s only a day.”

            “Better than nothing, now stop crying,” he grumbled. “you’re staining my jacket.”

            Sandy huffed and let go. “Fine loser, shove your little sister aside, see if I care.”

            His dad was the last one to approach him and he did nothing but pat him on the shoulder. They held eye contact for a moment before he nodded and let go. Calum knew he’d be with him every step of the way. That’s how the Collective worked after all.

            “It’s time to go,” his mother’s voice resonated from by the car, sounding distant yet close all the same. The echo of nine other voices residing in it.

            “Well that’s my cue.” Calum turned and grabbed his bags, wrapping the cup in his inside coat pocket.

            “Cya.”

 

           

-Tower of God-

 

            F**k.

My.

Life.

This is such a drag.

Calum Dodri sighed and leaned back further in his seat, a hand moving up to scratch at his cheek which was smooth and freshly shaven just for the occasion. He made a face. S**t. That felt weird to him, he sighed again and turned to face the window. His apathetic hazel eyes drooped with boredom. He couldn't bring himself to pay attention to his surroundings. It had been the same for miles anyway. He pulled his leather jacket closer to his body. Whatever. His knee bounced against the floor and he took another shaky breath from the cigarette lodged precariously between his lips. The smoke was a calming balm on his frayed nerves. Ha. He snorted. Drag.

He was a freaking riot.

Calum shifted upwards and adjusted the seatbelt against his neck, moving it until it lay adjacent to his shoulder. His eyes locked on his reflection in the side-view mirror and he groaned at the angry red line he saw plastered against his pale throat. Great. He turned his head slightly and rubbed at it, trying to make it disappear, but quickly gave up. That only made it worse. He sighed and slumped in his seat.

Whatever.

He took another borderline clumsy drag from his cigarette, the end glowing a fiery red. It was almost down to the butt. D****t. Soon he wouldn’t even have that to occupy his time.

“Goodness Calum,” his mother slapped his knee, her crimson nails standing out startlingly bright against all the hues of gray and black around them. Her voice retained a haunting echoey quality. A sound like the echoes of a unified church mantra -- but it was fainter than normal, her tie to the Collective -- the uniformed mind that ruled over Ward 4 -- weakening the further out of its sphere of influence they drove. Not for a second did she break eye contact with the road -- if you could even call it that. All it was really, was a pathway strewn with rocks -- dull, bland, and the color of obsidian -- that wouldn’t pierce through your tires at any given moment. It was by no means a smoother ride. “Stop fidgeting.”

 Calum grunted and slouched further down into his seat as they bumped along the stone trail.

“And crack a window.”

 He blew out a smoke ring.

“Calum -- for the -- my " ,” she made a frustrated noise, before finally glancing over at her son and snatching the dying cigarette -- that he’d been busily tilting up and down with his bottom lip -- out of his mouth. “Give me that,” she rolled down her window furiously and tossed it out.

“Hey,” he deadpanned, sitting up, his shaggy brunette locks looking even more ruffled than usual.

His mother huffed, before sending him a pointed look. “My god you’re insufferable.”

Calum sighed. “I wasn’t down with that,” he drawled out, stifling a yawn and bringing his legs up against his chest, unruly brown hair curtaining his knee. He didn't really understand how he'd managed to fit all of his eighteen year-old body on the seat. He already took up most of the room without trying to cram his lower half onto it. He supposed it was a just one of those things. 

Whatever.

Go with the flow.                                         

“Put your feet down -- you’re going to stain the cushions.”

Calum replied by kicking off his shoes, and wiggling his toes. “Much better,” he mumbled.

His mother groaned. “I can’t see out that window.”

“No one cares. No one’s coming this way,”  he turned a little more in his seat, angling as far away from the light as he could while still wearing a seat-belt, “you’d be insane to.”

Calum’s mother sighed. “Not this again. You know it was fair, any one of the Five's firstborns could’ve been chosen. The lottery was indiscriminate. The Collective does not play into things like human preference or rivalry, this was decided long before you were born.”

He scrunched his nose. “I know ma’, whatever,” he murmured, turning his back fully and waving a hand noncommittally through the air. “sleeping remember?”

An exasperated breath escaped the older woman’s lips and she nodded, fingers tapping agitatedly against the steering wheel. “Fine, fine, go to sleep,” She tilted her rearview mirror slightly to look at him, “I’ll wake you up when we get there.”

“Peachy.” A pause. Calum reached into his jacket feeling around for his cigarette case and flipped it open. He ran his finger along its cold lining looking to see if there was a dose of that smoky heaven left. Bingo. One more. Jackpot. “I’m gonna light another cig.”

“No.”

“F**k.”

“Watch your language.”

He shrugged and closed the case; removing his hand from his pocket. and closing his eyes “Whatever.”




-Tower of God-




Marc looked up at the ceiling -- domed and high -- painted over with a beautifully haunting mural. The people were smooth and perfect on its surface, their smiling faces and frolicking bodies full of joy. Yet there was something dark to all of it. Sad. Mournful almost. As if through the perfection, the painstaking time and sweat put into making it -- the painting lost something. 

It's life.

It was too utopian, too impossible to achieve and through that dream of ultimate perfection it lost the very meaning of what it truly was to be human. It lost that fire. That freedom that came from doing something bad. From disobeying your parents, being a rebel, or saving a life that would otherwise be forgotten.

 Shadows licked the edges of its plaster. Shades give it its true color, he thought as he took a drag from the cigarette in his mouth. How true that was. Marc couldn’t think of a single person outside his Ward that didn’t want to kill him. Actually, he could hardly think of anyone outside of his room that didn’t want the same thing. The tentative peace between the Wards only remained because they feared his power. The treaty be damned. Those men and women would pounce on him the moment they felt he was no longer a threat. They’d get their children back. 

He lifted it away from his lips slowly -- lazily -- with the arrogance of a man who had all the time in the world. Which he did -- being Ward 1’s Warden.

He shifted in his bed, eyes like molten amber half lidded and sly. There was an air of cockiness around him, a surety to his moves that came from years of people thinking him greater than they. Larger than life. Godly.  His free hand ran down his chest to scratch an itch on his exposed stomach.

He puckered his lips, perfect pink and full, into an “o” and blew out. Smoke hazed the room. Marc shifted in his bed and placed his arm under his head, damp hair like liquid gold tickling his fingers. The bed sheets pooled around his middle -- starkly white against his lightly bronzed skin. He turned to face the mirror. His reflection and another stared back at him.

Today’s the big day ain’t it boss. He looked away from the mocking red-eyed man.  Ah come on, don’t be like that. He felt the bed shift and the man in the mirror grinned down at him maliciously. Gonna let me have some fun today? Make the introductions. Give that Ward 4 f****r a proper welcome? You know that’d be swell.

Marc took another drag from his cigarette, and blew it out in red-eyed man's face. He grimaced.

“You’re annoying,” Marc drawled -- tone disgusted and condescending. He looked like he needed to wash a bad taste out of his mouth. The chords in his neck tensed and his lips pursed like he was going to spit. Marc sighed and closed his eyes. The two simple words cut through the air like a knife, full of venom and obvious distaste, “shut up,” he muttered low and raspy. His tone brokered no argument.

Fine, fine b***h, I know when I’m not wanted. The bed shifted again.I’ll see ya’ later ya’ little c**t.

Marc sighed and reached blindly for the ashtray, snuffing out the cigarette before it burned his fingers and rolled onto his side. He lay like that, tense and agitated. He wondered if he’d taken anyone to bed the night before.

A finger trailed up his spine. So he had. He couldn’t remember who for the life of him; his head throbbed slightly in testament to that fact. No doubt she was some desperate lady though. Someone who thought having sex with him would grant her immortality or some other brand of ridiculous blessing. “My lord,” her voice was sickly sweet and reverential. “who were you talking to?” Breath ghosted against his ear, so close he could feel its slight dampness.

He turned and flashed her a quick smile, one that never reached his eyes. “No one important.” His voice was frank and direct, Now stop asking questions, was the unspoken command.

“I see,” her hands stilled on his sides, her breasts pressing against his chest. She tossed her hair over her shoulder. “I heard that the Ward 4 brat just turned eighteen.” Her lips trailed his collarbone and her hand began moving again, this time falling south.

Marc hummed in agreement and tilted his head to the side, giving her access to his neck. “Yeah, what about it?”

“When’s he coming?”

Marc closed his eyes, he could feel the new additions to his sphere of influence even from here. Two of them. The prisoner and his escort.

“About an hour.”

She nipped at his ear. “Well that’s plenty of time isn’t it?”

            He smirked and rolled them over, pinning her arms above her head. She gasped in surprise.          

“Definitely.”                  

 

 



© 2014 Tsukin Archangel


Author's Note

Tsukin Archangel
So that's chapter 1!!! You've now met Calum and Marc. Hope you enjoyed it :O ANYWAY!!! Now it's feedback time. Tell me what you think! I'm really excited to delve deeper into this world of mine. Also I may or may not write a prologue I'm not sure yet though. Thoughts on that welcome :o

Omg the edits i feel like every person who reads this is getting abetter experience LOL! Thank you everyone for the feedback so far, it's helping me round out this chapter even better!

My Review

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Reviews

As I don't really have any constructive criticism to add, I'll just say this; I love it! I'm eager to find out where this is headed. Will be reading the next part asap!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

Oh sweet lol that makes me feel good FINALLY!! THIS CHAPTER IS PROBABLY FULLY COMPLETE!
So from the look of it you posted chapter 1 before the prologue and you had a lot of fun doing it. Now it makes chapter 1 look like it needs to be fleshed out more because it is so much shorter and the prologue has more going on.

I agree that both guys smoking is a minor issue. It almost throws me off of who is who or that there is some kind of competition about who is more important in the story.

I like how Calum is so blah about everything and it makes me question his mother. I know it should be a teenage guy thing but she seems to accept that her son is going off to Ward 1 and not to grieve at all. After the prologue its apparent that many would view this as a bad thing, so it makes me want to learn more about this collective and its sphere of influence.

Again, the attention you put into the little details is great! I am right there in the story and picturing this world of yours. That is a great talent to have.

"An exasperated breath escaped the older woman’s lips and she nodded, fingers tapping agitatedly against the steering wheel." - This was my favorite line!

Send me a read request when you edit chapter 1 (saw you comment from the forum) so I can keep up with your work!

Keep it up and Happy Writing!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

THANKS! And yeahhhhh. I did write chapter 1 and two for that matter b4 the prologue cause at the tim.. read more
Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

THIS CHAPTER HAS BEEN UPDATED!!! Let me know if you think it's got enough :o
I'm amazed. Your writing skills are great! I like the detailed descriptions alot. I will totally read the following chapters :)

Posted 10 Years Ago


Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

Thanks!!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it :3 I'll definitely be reading some more of yours as well :3
~GOLD Review~

I was going to leave it to JA, but I guess he didn't get the part about not saying you're going to review someone until you actually go to, you know, review someone. ;-P

Alright, so praise this high is probably the last thing any of us needs, lol, but I swear I can't freaking believe you're only 18. You've got some serious talent. Having only read the first chapter, I'll throw out a couple of cautions that I noticed, but keep in mind that they may well be based on my extremely limited grasp on what you've got going throughout the entirety of this thing (based on only a single chapter).

First off, your descriptions are mesmerizing, but there were several places were the POV character's descriptions seemed to depict someone as a POV character would appraise a third party, like when you said Marc's eyes were sly (the same for Calum at some point). It could be taken one of two ways by a reader, either to confuse them and make them wonder who's being described, or two make it come across as though the POV character is vain.

The other thing I noticed was that the whole piece seemed a bit dry, like both of the characters had the exact same wit, which seemed unlikely. They also both seemed to smoke cigarettes in the same manner. You may be going somewhere with that, like we find out they're twins or something, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

Overall, this is a great bit of writing. Your pacing is spot on, and I loved how seamlessly Marc becomes a god among men in the reader's mind. It was very well done.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Arutha

10 Years Ago

Actually, the more I think about it, I'm probably overthinking that altogether. I had a guy tell me .. read more
Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

Ah! Yeah whoops I mis-understood that. Thanks lol I'll try to figure out another way to phrase that .. read more
Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

Ah lol. Well yeah. again if I can find another way to convey that same emotion then I'll totally cha.. read more
This is pretty good.

For the moment, I'm favoring Marc more so than Calum, only because you're so much MORE descriptive with him than the previous. I don't even mean that you gave me his eye color, hair color, so on and so forth, but the descriptive emotion you placed behind Marc's actions drew me in more than Calum's.

But perhaps thats what you meant to do. Maybe I'm supposed to view Calum as some casually indifferent teen until he blooms into something more profound in later chapters. I don't know.

With that being said, I'm truly enjoying the general storyline that seems to be brewing. I want to know more about 'The Wards' and definitely learn more about the "red-eyed man".

Great Start!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

Thanks! And yeah, Marc is definitely supposed to appear more... emotional than Calum, Calum's an ind.. read more
This is pretty strong stuff. Your narrative is very good, though you might want to put a bit more thought into your descriptions, they seem like they're just coming out because they sound good but not necessarily because that is what you mean to say. As one example, when the ruler of a Ward says he has a lot of time. The ruler of anything does NOT tend to have a lot of time. Also, calling a road both rocky AND obsidian seems like something that would puncture the hell out of your tires.

I'm guessing you are a fairly young writer. Maybe 18 or 19? I'm only guessing that because you write your young protagonists very well. I get two things out of this.

1) This work screams "huge hit YA series." That's not a bad thing at all. Check out Veronica Roth's blog on that. She has some great points about YA being no easier to write than any other sort of fiction, and I believe she is correct. Telling a great story isn't easy in any genre.

2) If you are indeed that young, you have talent with a capital T. That being said... no one is going to buy one chapter, and you really shouldn't be showing your work this early. It will give you that sense of appreciation for your work and that is deadly to your chances of finishing this piece. And you should finish it, you've really got something.

Now get back to work!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

THANKS FOR TEH FEEDBACK!!! But actually in terms of that first description I meant exactly what I wr.. read more
A strong opening chapter. I like the set-up of the location. I like the places and the situations in the story. I like the Tower of God. A lot of possibilities for the story. A well written and entertaining opening chapter.
Coyote

Posted 10 Years Ago


Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

Sweet! Thank you! Yeah this has been like a week of planning and editing trying to get my world full.. read more
Coyote Poetry

10 Years Ago

Send the read request. I will tried to read a fast as I can.
Tsukin Archangel

10 Years Ago

for sure!! :3 glad you liked it, I'll prob have chap 2 up in a few days

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Added on January 11, 2014
Last Updated on January 21, 2014
Tags: sci-fi, fantasy, dark, psychics, what is reality, edgey, cigarettes, lust, seduction, sensuality, insanity, apathy, youth


Author

Tsukin Archangel
Tsukin Archangel

Palmdale, CA



About
Hmm let's see~ I'm 20 (wow I've had this account for a long time) I'm a poet I'm a story writer A singer An amateur Voice actor An anime enthusiast An avid gamer 100% Unadulterrated Me! I wri.. more..

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