AIRLESS "Follow Me" (Chapter One)

AIRLESS "Follow Me" (Chapter One)

A Chapter by Christoph Poe

Chapter One: "Follow Me"

The next four years drove me into a satisfiable madness.

The dirty corners of a broken mirror framed me so well, but the crack in the glass that distorted just the tip of my forehead might have defined me more. Regardless, I bent myself across the wooden sink, and starred. Nothing appeared too highly different since I last glanced upon my weeping self.

My eyes caught the twitching of my thin lips as I worded, but did not speak: "I wish I looked more like you."

Her eyes would bat back at mine, but for only moments did I see my mother in a lost reflection. My mother would never appear as lifeless and drained as I was then. No, she would have been healthy. Yes, she would have been alive. Period.

I could have drowned myself in the thoughts of my destructive past all day, but recently had I developed a hobby to pass the time. (If hobby might have been the correct term to describe my actions.)

I found myself starring back in the mirror, but for different reasons. The muscles in my cheeks attempted to arouse the bags under my eyes, but even a large fake smile couldn't eliminate the sleepiness. It didn't matter.

I closed my eyes after the process, and moved on the to next step in my not-so-typical day. Down the hallway, I passed my sister. She paused. I chose not to.

"You are awake?" her voice shot.

The kitchen and dining room swept by in my parochial vision. With a squinted eye, I wondered why my sister chose to question me.

She followed, but not hardly. "Or I should say you're out of bed. And where did you get those clothes?"

A small lump in the back of my throat nudged me to speak, but it was pointless. The shock in Avelynn's voice seemed too unusual. Had she really not seen me wear this in the last two months?

She turned into the kitchen as if embarrassed. My lack of response agitated her. With a very recognizable, and typical sigh, my sister slumped her next words: "I suppose Krio bought them for you at some point."

He, Krio, my brother-in-law of one year and four months, was the direct culprit of my clothes, though they were hardly new. He purchased them on one single evening several months ago in hopes that I might leave my room. It rained a lot in those past few weeks--as if the rain really stopped me. When he sat them at the foot of my bed, if I spoke, I would have told him that: "I don't want them to get wet and ruined--take them back to the market."

Oddly, they might have been a tampering reason why I chose to leave. But not really. Most of the clothes in the market looked exactly the same, but different colors--odd and pastel hues of browns and yellows mostly. My sister loved red. Red clothes ran higher in price. As a result, she didn't have many, but I could agree the color fit her beautifully--in the most anti-beautiful ways.

Waiting for my sister to further speak, I stood between the gaping doorways of the kitchen and dining room--actually in the middle of the hallway. She cleaned the dishes. I normally cleaned the dishes, but I had forgotten that previous night.

As she rubbed the hardened guts of a brass pan, her white and fading-red gown jerked and twisted in response. Likewise, I waited for her to demand more out of me, or maybe, even possibly, yell at me for my forgetful mistake. (The anticipation did not really kill me though.)

It came to my attention that my forgetfulness had worsened in the last few months. He was an unworldly distraction, and seemed much too busy to really notice me. I zoned out and stared into a space obtained by only air. I knew he would be working today too. Slowly, I began to fall and lean against the frame of the kitchen door.

But my oblivious thoughts were killed the moment that pan struck the floor. TINK, TINK, TONK! Knowing my sister, dropping the pan might have been an intentional action to break me from my daze. My brow creased in aggravation as I turned to leave the room.

Avelyn stood behind me--in the hallway--a second body that appeared exactly like her. "You forgot to clean the dishes again," she said with a hand firmly placed against her plump hip. Avelyn had the remarkable gift to multiply her physical body for short periods of time. To my understanding, they were the exact same person, but in two or sometimes three different bodies. I bowed my head as she rambled on. "And you forgot to pick up your clothes in the bathroom as well." Her ponytail swished from one side of her neck to the other side. "You left it a disaster--"

I watched her belly bounce beneath a sloppy, loose gown. Her words began to fade. Tuning her out became an easy task within the last four years. She knew I'd never respond though. If I spoke my thoughts to contradict her though, her words might not have been so harsh. I'd never argue with her.

But her belly--her stomach, I noticed, bubbled out much further than I had seen before. As I walked away from her rant, and she followed, I even noticed a wobble in her steps.

"--you need to be more responsible," she finished. Another bang came and went from behind the wall of the living room, and in the kitchen, the other Avelyn continued to clean.

Ignoring her rant, I spoke: "Are you pregnant?"

"What?!"

A second voice, the same voice, echoed from within the kitchen: "What?!"

Then, a third Avelyn rose her voice from within a third room: "What?!"

GREAT! There were three of them.

The body from the kitchen stepped--no, she ran--into the living quarters as the third body pursued. I shot an embarrassed glare at all three of them as they circled me--same mind, but three bodies.

They spoke in a simultaneous echo: "Did you just say something?! Tell me if my ears have deceived me!" All three of them swished their bound ponytails, "but did you just ask me a question?!"

Their ganging questions seemed a bit overwhelming. I had overwhelmed myself by speaking. It never came easy, but I had no real reason why I chose this utter silence.

As I typically did, my vocal cords vibrated no more. Avelynn's feet--all six of them--became much more interesting. One of them had lost their shoes. Questions began to hurtle my mind, but unless I asked--which was highly unlikely--then I'd never come up with much more other than she was making her bed. (At least, I took my slippers off when I made my bed.) Which is yet another highly unlikely reason--because despite her obsession with cleanliness, the bed was hardly made but for special occasions.

Then, she answered my question: "I am not pregnant, Ayva."

Well, she looked very pregnant to me. All three faces turned a golden pink--maybe from embarrassment, but more-than-likely, it was anger.

The middle body--the one with no shoes--ran into the kitchen for further cleaning. Did she subconsciously do this? She wore those nasty house shoes before while she hovered over the kitchen sink.

The one to my far left continued on the subject: "I have no reason to be pregnant. It's impossible."

My head inclined; my lips just barely touched but kept far enough apart to breath, and my vision came to a hard and confusing focus--on the left Avelynn. Then, I shot the right one an equally glaring look.

My body language said enough. "I know it's strange. But believe me--I'm not pregnant."

So I began to feel that the pink painted across her cheeks were more from embarrassment. I had to forget it. I convinced myself the matter was none of my business on any level. As I walked away, I too felt a hint of redness brush across my cheeks, but I couldn't let it ruin my day. No, I actually had a day to look forward to now.

--

Just let me speak to him--maybe, will I possibly? I bit my lip. The electrical impulses in my brain pulsed like the heated wind brushing against the fields of golden grain. He worked in these fields. I'd see him, but would he see me? The muscles in my calfs tired easily up hill and my breathing became pointless as the outskirts of my crowded village sunk into the horizon behind me. It seemed so small at such a distance.

The shadows of the Kro Tree sheltered me from the harsh light of the suns. It's presence took my breath every time. Clouds of olive yellow leaves patched at the ends of meaty branches. I sat near the top--possibly a hundred feet above an unforgivable earth--in a nook of the splintered trunk. Patches of light shone through the holes in the trees crest, and the wind, the bipolar wind, shook the world surrounding me.

The rustling of the leaves eased me in careless ways. I leaned my head back as my thin hair lifted off my hot and sweaty neck--the air cooled me. My chest rose. My chest fell. It rose. And then it collapsed.

"Ayva?"

My teeth ground into one another, and following the death of such a relaxing moment, the rest of my muscles in my flimsy body tightened. He didn't know my name--he wasn't supposed to know my name--how the hell did he know my name? The last breath of fresh air to enter my lungs--I prayed--was plentiful of oxygen.

He spoke again: "Ayva? Are you here?"

The wind ceased to exist. Silence taunted the sweat across my brow as I gasped for air. Inhaling without making a single hollow sound nearly drowned me.

Crunches came and went as he stepped about blindly at the base of the tree. His presence likewise was blind to myself. I couldn't see him, and he couldn't see me.

He took his breaks in the shade of the tree--right at the bottom, he would sit on a bare root. He did not sit--he couldn't relax.

His words left me, and found himself: "You're loosing it, Ray."

So I knew his name. I could breathe now that his interests no longer followed me. Nothing could explain his reasoning for know my name. I hugged myself uncomfortably as my thoughts dug deeper. It didn't make sense. I didn't know him from anywhere other than here--in the fields--where he slaved away in sticky labor--for hardly a few coins. With my arms tightly bounded around my thin knees, I exhaled, the hot air lingering on my chin.

A shuffling came about the leaves--a new sort of shuffling that carried much lighter than Ray's. A voice followed: "Who were you speaking with?!"

The tension squeezed at my insides. The space around me became so large yet insignificant. Her voice was so familiar--it had been years upon years--four years as a matter of fact, since those devastating tones of a single hated person filled my ears. Expressionless, an empty void filled the concentration of my eyes. My breathing was effortless and unimportant to the balancing act of reality and fantasy within my subconscious. The air heated as the tiny streams of the suns lights beamed in straight lines around me--the wind ever so still. Their conversation continued to influence these blocked thoughts. Nothing pushed me to eavesdrop--I had no choice but to do so.

Ray spoke: "There's no one here."

The young woman spoke: "You called a name." Visioning a pair of plump lips, I squeezed my hands together.

Ray's voice became shrill as if a small child's would caught in an act of wrong doings: "I might have called a name. But she's not here."

I lipped with no sound: (italics) "I'm right here..."

Nothing followed either of our responses. Moments fluttered by like butterflies with torn wings. I--well, Ray--needed a reply from the woman before those struggling butterflies crashed. Please, I begged, don't say my name.

She asked: "Who's name?!"

"A-"

My nails buried into my palms. Where did this hesitation come from? My palms might have bleed. Why would he stop mid-syllable? I no longer cared about my physical pain, so he continued: "A-n-a," he sounded out slowly. "Her name was Ana."


My muscles eased.

My head rose.

I focused on the crest of the tree. It's motionless branches webbed across the skylight. A hidden force within me became whole, but it was unexplainable at all ends. Like the glittering web above me, everything seemed to resonate to a single center. My goal for self discovery began to grow, and somehow, Ray stood in the center.

The awkward moments fluttered by beneath me. I had not a clue where their conversation would lead.

The young woman hummed: "I can't have you running around on me. I must have reassurance."

The two of them went together--saw one another more regularly than I had previously thought. My arms wrapped around my chest as if I suddenly fell into a dark and cold place--lifeless. Any further intentions I had with him were now crushed.

And so he spoke her name: "Avariti, you have my promise. There is no one else I'd rather be with besides you."

Her name instantly jolted my memory. A gasp followed the discovery, and I no longer cared if I was heard. I gasped no differently.

...


© 2013 Christoph Poe


Author's Note

Christoph Poe
This is simply the opening of my first chapter from "Airless". I've changed a few things up from my original first chapter. My readers seemed to be confused on whether or not my main character is male or female. My main character IS a woman, and I am a man. Lol. I know writing this in first person was going to be a challenge, so my question to my readers is if she sounds more like a young woman now? Does this seem to keep you interests? If not, then tell me why. Tell me what I'm doing wrong. Lol.

Thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with me!

My Review

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Featured Review

I like your style of writing, this is nice but not quite as gripping as it maybe should be, though I realize it is just a small portion. To me, the lead acts and sounds like a man. Regardless if it is brother and sister, or sister and sister, it seems like nothing more than a sibling spat, it needs a little more drama or generate more questions to create interest. Why had her sister not seen the clothes before if they had been worn many times? Is not really intriguing. Who was that I heard moaning in your room at 2:00am last night? ...might be Just my opinion, but still I like your style. It does seem real to me.

"I don't want them to get wet and ruin--take them back to the market." Ruin should be ruined.



Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Christoph Poe

8 Years Ago

Thank you for looking at this! The question you've asked answers itself. Her sister purely doesn't p.. read more



Reviews

this is very nice, however i have to agree with jack when i started reading i thought the main character was a guy. love how you play the words, and they were a few spelling mistakes but i'm sure you may have noticed them. good work though

Posted 8 Years Ago


I noticed a few spelling mistakes, specifically in the first paragraph or two, you mean to say "stared" and "staring" when in fact you have written "starred" and "starring"; also, the word you are seeking is "peripheral" not "parochial" ;-) And you spell the sister's name differently a couple of times.

You know, I have so much respect for people who post their chapters on this site, because, let's face it, books do not get a whole hell of a lot of attention on here...believe me...I know. So I thank you so much for sharing this with us, Christoph.

While this is not a particular genre to which I find myself drawn, I can see you have spent a considerable amount of time on this work and I appreciate that so much. As a novelist, I know how important editing is, and it would appear you do as well. I write in the first person present tense and my main character is a man...so I fully understand the difficulties you have faced in getting the voice to sound authentic. Well done.

All in all, I think you've got a good start to an interesting story. Tighten some of the bolts and the damn thing just might run ;-)

Again, thank you so much for sharing this with us.

-kimmer

Posted 8 Years Ago


Excellent read! I dove into her skin within the first sentence! Love the characters. Especially the sister. I like the style of delivery, and manner of description. Very dark, very 'real' in a sense.

I'd love to see more of this. I'm curious to see how the story will end.



Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Christoph Poe

8 Years Ago

Thank you for checking this out! Considering this is a fantasy novel written in first-person, I've r.. read more
I like your style of writing, this is nice but not quite as gripping as it maybe should be, though I realize it is just a small portion. To me, the lead acts and sounds like a man. Regardless if it is brother and sister, or sister and sister, it seems like nothing more than a sibling spat, it needs a little more drama or generate more questions to create interest. Why had her sister not seen the clothes before if they had been worn many times? Is not really intriguing. Who was that I heard moaning in your room at 2:00am last night? ...might be Just my opinion, but still I like your style. It does seem real to me.

"I don't want them to get wet and ruin--take them back to the market." Ruin should be ruined.



Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Christoph Poe

8 Years Ago

Thank you for looking at this! The question you've asked answers itself. Her sister purely doesn't p.. read more
The build up to her is amazing, I'm so interested in getting to know her, she seems unique in a way but so many will be able to relate with her character as well. I really enjoyed this can't wait for more. Hit me up with a read request for the next chapter, cheers!

Posted 8 Years Ago


Christoph Poe

8 Years Ago

Thank you for giving this a look. I'm happy to hear you have enjoyed it. I'll definitely send out an.. read more
Oh, I cant wait to find out what happens next! I like how you have it I think it is interesting. great job!

Posted 8 Years Ago


Christoph Poe

8 Years Ago

Thank you for reading! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it. :)

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Added on January 27, 2013
Last Updated on March 23, 2013
Tags: Ayva, Ray, Garriy, powers, fantasy, first, person, abilities, water, air, lightening, gods, goddess, fairy, tale


Author

Christoph Poe
Christoph Poe

Tuscaloosa, AL



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