Introduction, Undone

Introduction, Undone

A Chapter by Gbannersauce

The intro to my first book on writers cafe! I hope you enjoy and put your two-cents in about the book!









The Traveling Bookman


A novel by Danielle Baker








Introduction, Undone







My eyes felt hot as I stared back at the town engulfed in a blaze. I was sitting on Roggers Hill looking down at the villager’s bodies wandering when they were going to get up and run for it. I could see the baker and the flower shop keeper lying near the old library; the pawn broker down the street from us and his daughter were lying across from them and my friends Clent and Brandon were next to them a few feet down. The whole town looked ravaged and decapitated. I stood there waiting for minutes, watching more and more things in the village burn to ash from the fire, but they never moved from where they were. I looked up at the sky from where I was sitting. The other army’s airships were flying over the town. The insignia on the larboard side of the ship was clear that they’d come from the Frieor air base a couple thousand miles from here and they looked to be running from our armies airships behind them.

A small grumble left my mouth without my consent.

“This atrocious war, and for what? More dead soldiers and more towns becoming ravaged just like this one, that’s what.” I said to myself in a low hiss. “More families to be lost from mere arrogance, the king really is getting ruthless.” I continued.

When I was younger my father used to give me lessons on what was happening in our country. He said it was important for me to learn and understand if things were to suddenly change for us. He told me stories of how the good king was growing ill and that his heir was a stubborn and ignorant ruler who wanted the crown out of greed. Of course things did change for us once the good king fell and his heir, Prince Stalin, took control of the thrown. He started fights with neighboring countries and plunged the nation into war within months of his coronation. Soldiers were forced into the army and towns ran penniless from war funds. The king created machines made from iron and copper and used them as guns. Factories were put up all over the area and pollution also ran its course as more and more machines were built. Families and good people died because of his mistakes and that always stirred something awful in my father’s face when thinking of it. “Much like my family I guess.”

It was just my father and I these days. My mother passed away almost five years ago, and we’ve adapted to survive with ourselves since. My father did the outdoor cleaning while I did the interior and went to school. Some weeks he would leave for work and I’d be in charge of everything but we learned to make do in order to keep the house work to a minimum.


 Moments later I could feel something cold land on my cheek. Then I felt it again on my forehead. I looked up from where it was coming from and felt multiple drops of rain start to fall from the smoke filled clouds. Soon after the fire grew too weak to spread anymore and slowly began to die off. I looked back at the town; I’d lost sight of my father while I was running through the panic. He’d told me to meet him back at the house just before he ran off into the town to help. I stood up from the rock I’d been sitting on. I patted the rain from my scruffy black hair and shook my lean build awake. It was amazing, to me, how quickly a teenage boys body could go so numb. A few minutes, after wiggling around a bit, I started down the hill. I climbed down the rocks and cautiously began to wander into what was left of the town.

Homes were reduced to nothing but blackened wood boards mixed with mud and gravel. Ash was falling along with the rain, and pieces were falling onto the villagers who still hadn’t moved since I’d last seen them. I got close to one and turned it over to examine it. It was my buddy Clent. We’d been best friends for years and not just this morning we were playing tag with some of the other boys in the town. I looked at his emotionless eyes, rolled back in their sockets. I bent down and pressed my head to his chest. It was cold and wet from the rain and completely motionless. Tears started swelling up in my eyes and slowly began sliding down my cheek. I lifted my head up sniffling back a bawl in the process. I moved my hand over his face to close his eye lids and stood back up on my feet, my head sulking towards the ground. Without words I began to check everyone else around the village, not yet coming to grips with what, I knew, was the truth; Clent, and everyone I knew in the town, were dead.

However there was still one person I hadn’t counted for. My father. He should’ve been in the town with the others since that’s where he ran. Was it possible that he could’ve escaped the fire? Our house is a ways further from the town so it’s a possibility that he could’ve gone back and escaped into the mountains. The thought swelled itself in my mind and I turned to run towards my house. Passing over debris and dead bodies that I’d checked earlier, I ran through underpasses, destroyed yards and many other secret passages that I knew could lead me there faster. I didn’t stop for anything. Not even the bodies that, from the corner of my eye, looked to be moving. I just had to get to the house and find him, make sure he was okay.

When I stopped at the front fence of the house to catch my breath I noticed that the house was still standing. Its wood was charcoal black and slowly chipping away, but still had all of its structure intact. Two of the windows were smashed in and through them I could see that some of the inner parts of the house had been burned in the fire. The front door was cracked but it still looked as if it worked just the same so I walked up the front steps and opened it. Some smoke that had still been in the house escaped from the door as I stepped in. The burned wall paper in the living room was peeling; the furniture and decor had been rampaged, broken and flipped. Through to the kitchen I saw the stove in pieces with gas and oil leaking from it. I went around the corner and up the spiral staircase witch lead to the different corridors. I looked in each room but saw nothing of my father. The rooms all looked searched and pillaged though and it struck a tense feeling in my mind as to whom might’ve done all of the damage. After all, the fire wouldn’t have been able to flip furniture or break down doors. I finally came to my father’s bedroom at the end of the second hall. The door was the only one that had been shut. The cracks of someone trying to bust it in were still noticeable but it clung to me as to why they’d go to such efforts after spending the time to break it down in the first place.

I opened the door and found the room completely in ashes. Paintings were torn and thrown across the wall, the bed was split in two and then flipped over, drawers from the dressers were pulled out and riffled through in the middle of the room, and everything had been specifically burned and turned to ash. I walked in trying not to step on glass. My father was now here to be seen. He hadn’t been anywhere in the house, nor the town. “Did that mean he really did escape to the mountains?” I thought aloud. I coughed a few times from the smoke still surrounding the house and went to open the window beside my father’s bed. I looked into our backyard and noticed a strange man. He was wearing a long and dirty brown overcoat and with two large messenger bags on either side of him. He appeared to be kneeling over a weird figure. I shot out of the bedrooms and made my way back to the first floor and towards the back gate before he could look up.

When I busted outside the man looked up from the black figure. His face was expressionless yet I could tell he wasn’t looking for trouble. His eyes were stern and brown colored. He looked older and taller from the front than he did from the window. In fact, he even had grey showing in his messy brown hair. I’d almost guess that he was somewhere around 65. He was a tall and postured man for his age though, strong build and defiantly smart. I could tell by the size of his forehead. Large, but not large enough to be dumb. I associated his type with people who’d get drafted into the king’s army.

“If that was the case he’d have to have been part of the air raid. That means he’s partly to blame for the death of this town!” I thought. I took out the switch in my back pocket my father had given to me as a present and held it pointing towards the man. “What’s your business here sir?” I hollered to him in a stern tone. He didn’t reply; he just sat there looking me over like some exhibition. “I asked you what your business was sir! Are you from the military? Just who are you and what are you doing at the back of this house?” I said in the same tone. I fretted to think that this man could be from the army for a moment after looking over his clothes. He looked too much like a hermit passerby for that yet his appearance, other than clothing, shouts nothing but military. Again he didn’t reply. He soon turned his head back to the figure and pulled a piece of paper from the satchel on his left side. His stared at it for a bit of time and casually placed it back into his bag. I was getting frustrated from being ignored. I took some steps toward the man still pointing my switch at him. He looked back up towards me. I stepped closer and closer till the blade was near inches from his cheek. “I know you won’t use that on me boy.” He spoke in a loud and ghastly voice, pushing my shoulder back with little or no force. I stumbled back from the shock but quickly regained my balance. “Y-you just try me sir! I’m not afraid of using my switch no how!”

“I didn’t say that you were afraid boy. You thought of that part in your head. You should listen to what people say more often.” He replied. “Also, “my switch no how” is bad grammar. You should work on your English more often too. It could help you in the future.” He lunged towards me and quickly grabbed hold of one of my arm that had hold of the switch. My grip loosened and I began thrashing my arm to get loose. However, his grip was much more solid than mine and before I knew it my arm had given out and gotten tired. I grunted at him and spat at his shoe in anger. “You crusty old windbag! Where are you from? I bet you’re from the military! Here to ravage our small town into a hideout or maybe you just wanted someone to pick on!” I shouted at him. “And my grammar is fine thank you.” I stated in a more firm but settle tone. This time he didn’t reply. He just stared at the figure with a hard look on his face, still having a tight grip on my arm. He gave a ghastly sigh, almost in disapointment.

I looked down at the figure with him and wondered what it could be. It was in the shape of a human but hardly could be called human anymore. It was a red and black charcoal color and it smelled of something awful. Just looking at it made me want to be sick. Maybe it was some rogue agent or some commander from the other army’s airbases. This old guy is probably here to stash him, I thought. After all, no one would suspect him being here in this now devastated area. I was settled on that thought but before I could discard it to anything in my mind I was jerked by my arm that the old man had been holding for some time. He pulled my arm, and me with it, away from the backyard and down towards the bridge that went across the River Sabrina. I hadn’t been to the river in a long time and it’d started to look dingy and polluted from the new factories. The bridge was weathered and old but still stable enough to stand on. He tugged me half way across the bridge and turned me facing towards the north side of the river. “Take a long and hard look boy. Cause it’ll be something you’ll be getting used to soon enough.” He said with disdain.  I’d hardly listened to him though what with my mind shattering into pieces from what I saw.

There in the middle of the river was one of the Kings airships.

I remember from one of my dad’s lessons that caught my interest. The airship was one of the king’s newest inventions and it was made as a ship that could soar through the air as if it were sailing. The copper and metal exterior surrounded the ship like a shell and held the engine blocks in the rear. The king had 7 fleets of these and as each fleet number grew closer to one, the airship would be bigger, stronger and much faster. I’d heard that some of the king’s airships were about the size of a cathedral. I’d never seen one so close what with the military using them in the air all of the time. Looking by the size and insignia on the side, this would’ve been in the kings 6th fleet. The sixth fleet was said to be used by the king as a passerby ship, but powered by large and armed soliders, ready to jump at anytime. They were equipped with high powered cannons and sharp shooters from each window.

I continued examining the large vessel. Its 2 long orange wings, which would power as the sails, that would usually span near 11 to 15 yards in length, had been twisted and tattered from the impact and what looked to be the ships haul was smashed in with all of the windows on the starboard side. It was smoking badly and it was obvious that it’d crashed not too long ago. The metal shield had bad puncture wounds where copper had blown open from air pressure and water from the river had flowed off its course and into the vessel.

“It’s a pretty bad crash” I thought. “It’s a shame that such a beautiful machine would be wasted in such a barbaric thing as war. The right side had smashed into the side of the cliff and the radiator blew and caught fire.” I explained to him. That word rustled in my mind for awhile. Fire, fire, the town had been on fire not too long ago as well. Then it occurred to me. I looked back at the man. “Is this what started the fire in the town?” I asked peacefully. He silently shook his head.

“Wrong boy; the air raid did that. This was what kept it going so long though. And the men that were in this vessel, where do you suppose they’d be now?” He inquired to me. I thought about it for a moment. They could be dead I suppose, but they couldn’t be in the airship still, after all, the top latch was wide open and there were mud tracks going up the hill towards my father’s house. “My father’s house!” I thought aloud suddenly. The strange man looked over at me. Then he loosened his grip on my hand a little. “Correct.  The soldiers didn’t crash here by accident. They came here for a purpose, and a very dark one at that. And now I’ve got to tell you why, but first we’ll tend to your father.”

“My father?” I thought to myself. What did he have to do with my father? And what did he mean by “the soldiers didn’t crash by accident”? It looked pretty accidental to me. Why would they destroy their own airship only to leave it and raid a small dead-beat town like this? It didn’t add up and the thought swelled in my mind before I pushed it aside. I didn’t have time to think hard at the moment. This man knew where my father was. I wasn’t about to start him off on a new question that I’d hopefully find later. So I shot him a quick nod and he let go of my arm. He started walking back towards the house with me tailing right behind him. We went back across the pathway and into the backyard where he stopped in front of the figure. “The figure?” I thought. “Why’s he stopped in front of that figure when my father is out there somewhere needing he-“ my thoughts became quiet. My brain had finally connected the two.

The figure was my father...

My eyes widened as he crouched down over the body and took out a large blanket from his bag, as well as a propper sized malet. He laid the blanket down and began to beat the figure into a large pile of ash. After putting the malet away, he gathered the pile of ashes with his gloved hands and placed them in the center of the large blanket, being kind not to drop any pieces in the process.

I stood there watching this man carrying my father’s ashes; unable to bring myself to step in. I just spectated powerlessly. I felt like I wanted to be sick. I never knew you could feel so small, so quickly. Everything had happened in an instant, and now, here I was, having a hard time sorting out what would happen to me now. Where would I live? How would I survive? I’d strayed from the subject until now, but something told me that I was in the midst of what the philosiphers called a “turning point”.


Once the ashes were all gathered into another large pile he rolled up the blanket and started walking back through the house and into the town with it dangling in his hands. I stood in awe as he walked away with not a word or expression on his face. My mind was clouded over by instant sadness, grief and mourning, but soon turned to anger and confusion. I turned and ran to follow him. Once I was behind him I slowed down to a pace, and then a walk until my stride matched his. He didn’t turn his head to look at me or make the slightest reaction; even though it was obvious he’d seen me coming. He just kept walking in silence with the bag of ashes still in his hand. We walked side by side through the rubble in the town, not saying anything to each other. All of the airships had gone away from the area and there was a feeling of awkward silence over the scene. He stopped in his tracks and turned his wide build toward me. “I know this must be a lot for you to take in so quickly.” He said awkwardly. “Maybe it’ll help you if you give yourself a pattern to think on while we walk.” He continued. I gave him a bemused face and he lifted his free hand to the back of his neck. You could tell he wasn’t used to soothing bad situations over. “You know, a pattern. Maybe you could count to three in your head and then repeat the two. Then tap your stomach to the same rhythm or something along those lines.” He could tell I wasn’t following. Then he slowly placed the bag on the ground and demonstrated. He tapped his right index finger to his nose and counted aloud. “One, two, four, five, seven, eight.” He continued. “Did you find the pattern?” I nodded and tried the same thing. I held out my left wrist and began placing small agitated taps with my right index finger. “One, three, two, three, three, three, four, three.” I counted aloud. He nodded with confirmation. “Now just count in your head and continue walking. We can’t waste time here.” He said. He turned from me and continued walking. Forgetting that I was expected to follow, I started walking again too and came up beside him, tapping on my wrist in the same way I did earlier.

We walked through the front gates of the town and started towards the trail that led into the forest. It dawned on me that this would probably be the last time I would see Ridgewhick. I would be on the road from this day fourth; with only this man and my father’s ashes to lead me. It also dawned on me that this wasn’t my fault. It was the king’s judgment that led me to this situation, and I could physically feel the need for vengeance boiling in the lowest pits of my stomach. It was a weird feeling, almost power stricking. I continued walking and tapping normally, but the feeling never left me through the entire time we walked.  

© 2012 Gbannersauce

My Review

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Well done first chapter. At the very end - phiysicly and vengece - typos. Great description and dialogue. I'm really curious about the father's secret. I was thinking as I began reading it was a girl narrator, but it was a boy, right? I guess I just assumed girl author, girl narrator. Anyway, good writing. Keep it up.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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Added on May 24, 2012
Last Updated on May 25, 2012
Tags: adventure, steampunk, steam, punk, war, book, travel, The Traveling Bookman, Danielle Baker, bannersauce



North , TX

Hi, I'm Dani, I read, write, laugh, and I sometimes squeak. I hope you enjoy whatever I have to give you and any help is gladly accepted and most deffinitely welcomed with open hugs. Some stuff to .. more..

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