Leaving The Darkness

Leaving The Darkness

A Story by DarkRainbowPie

I wrote this piece for the John West fantasy competition. The theme was 'A Wild Adventure'.. it might not be very 'wild', but I tried! I hope you enjoy this boy's journey from darkness to joy.


I was raised in a dark place; a place of shadows and death. A place where crows roamed the skies, soaring overhead, watching us all like prey... and prey we were. Humans had lived in the Valley of Feathers for centuries, along with the crows, but over time things began to change. The river that separated our part of the valley from the crows’ had run dry; all life had been stripped from it. Our people simply began living off the vegetation alone, but the crows were blood thirsty… we knew we were next.

   As a child my mother would always tell me this one tale. It was about a place that existed between the sky and the sea; a place where the horizon wasn’t just the mingling of two blues but so much more. It was a place where you could live a peaceful life; a life that ended in a ‘happily ever after.’ This fairytale was told to me every night from my mother’s lips, softly into my ear, and I’m pretty sure it’s what kept us going. It gave us something almost non-existent in that hell; hope.

   Every morning I woke in the hope that my mother’s fairytale had become reality overnight, and every morning I was disappointed. It would hurt me; chip away at my fragile innocence, but all I had to do is look over at my mother and see her smile and I felt no pain. I’d rarely see my father; he had to spend each day gathering food like the rest of the men in the valley. He was basically living my future, the one I would reach on the 5,844th day of my life… the one I didn’t want.

   Time passed on and, as it did, my childhood grew closer to its end, but mother kept me in high spirits. She’d tell me I’d always be a child in her eyes, and that was good enough for me. It sounds ridiculous, but I didn’t want to become an adult there. I didn’t want to enter the longest chapter of my life in a place where it could end up being the shortest. As long as there was someone else to tell me I was still a child I could live my life believing I’d never turned the page to the ending.

   123 days to go and the cold harsh reality of my home place came knocking on my door. I learnt that life is not permanent, and neither is joy. You see, sometimes, it is the undeserving who die. It is the wicked who come out the other end, it is the crows who decide who keeps breathing, and it was on that day that my mother’s heart stopped beating. Her eyes stopped seeing, her skin lost its warmth, and I lost hope. I had to get away from this place. I knew it meant leaving my father, but I couldn’t stay. I had to try and be happy… for her.

   I had 122 days to find joy. I tried to explain things to my father but he didn’t understand, and I didn’t expect him to; he had just lost his wife and now his son was packing his bags to go on what seemed like a suicidal excursion. Despite this, he wished me good luck, told me he loved me, and we said our goodbyes. I walked out our front door that night with tears in my eyes; not because I was leaving my father but because he was leaving me. I knew, somehow, that I was not the only one about to embark on a journey of some sort that night. I had chosen to find joy, and so had father; but unlike me, he knew where he was going. He was going to be with mother.

   It was hard, but I had to try not to think about my parents. There was nothing I could do, all that was left for me was this journey of my own, and I had to be wary; ready for anything. The crows were watching. I couldn’t see them, but I knew they were everywhere. They blended in to the night sky, the darkness was their ally. I walked along through the valley, heading north. Why? I had no idea. What was my plan? Apart from leaving the Valley of Feathers, I had none. I had decided if I got that far, I was doing well. I kept walking and suddenly it wasn’t looking like there’d be any need for further planning. I could hear them now, their clamorous wings getting closer and closer… and then I heard silence.

   Instinct had taken over, adrenaline pumped through my veins. I began to run. All thoughts vanished for a while; my senses seemed to shut down. I heard nothing, felt nothing, smelt nothing; I looked ahead, and continued to run for my life. Trees seemed to sprout up out of thin air. They blocked my path so skilfully… almost as though they were alive. I had no idea as to how far the crows were behind me, I didn’t dare look anywhere but ahead. They had to be close though; they had to catch me soon. I was just waiting now for a long yellow beak to clamp down on one of my legs, to snap my bones in two, to render me paralyzed; to end my life… and then within seconds, there was nothing but white. The crows had won.

   I regained consciousness, but I was afraid to open my eyes. Where was I? Was I dead or alive? Had the crows won in the end after all? There was only one way to find out. I slowly tried to lift my eyelids, but it hurt. I tried again… still painful. What was happening?! I took a deep breath and tried one last time… There was light. I saw the sun, the clouds, the blue of the sky; I saw grass, green grass, and flowers of every colour imaginable. I thought this was it, my final resting place, but I looked around me and came to a different conclusion, for there it was… there was the valley; and here I was… outside it.

   How long had I been here? It could have been hours, days… even weeks. I was still a child, but how long had I left? This place was beautiful, but I couldn’t stay here forever. I needed to keep moving. Looking around, there seemed to be an endless number of paths to take, an infinite amount of choices, but suddenly, I had made up my mind.

   I got up and ran, only this time, I was not running away from something, I was running to it. My journey had come to an end, I had found my source of joy; I had found the sea. Down the hill I went, through the grass; past where it met the stones, past where they met the sand, past where the sand met the waves… now to the horizon. I had left darkness; time to reach day 5,844… time to live my happily ever after.

© 2013 DarkRainbowPie

Author's Note

All feedback is greatly appreciated, thank you! :)

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I just absolutely loved this and the way you skillfully painted this in my mind. xo FLB

Posted 3 Years Ago

A very well presented story. 'a place where the horizon wasn’t just the mingling of two blues' for me is a stunning line. Real quality.

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


5 Years Ago

Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
I always enjoy reading a well written story and the end here was a good one. I'm surprised there aren't more reviews for this. Good job.

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


5 Years Ago

Thank you very much for such positive feedback! Greatly appreciated, glad you enjoyed :)

5 Years Ago

You're welcome.

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3 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on November 19, 2013
Last Updated on November 19, 2013
Tags: bright, adventure, dark, light, evil, good, family, mother, father, son, boy, crows, forest, valley, feathers, horizon, sea, paradise, sanctuary, heaven, hell



Dublin, Ireland

Hey there, guys. My name's Annie, I'm 18, from Ireland. All there is to really know about me is that I am a MASSIVE nerd (...would like to wager that I actually do live and breathe science at .. more..


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