Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by brunettewanderer


She was floating, flying, and falling. She felt weightless and the world around her flipped like pages through her fingers. Sometimes it beckoned. Other times it screamed. It was blinding light and all-encompassing darkness, entirely both at the same time. She could not formulate the words to describe it. She was completely found, yet lost in a foreign abyss. The fibers in her body seemed to mold and reshape with each passing second, rewriting her anatomy. She felt no breeze with her descent. Nothing to ensure that she would not splatter at the bottom of the rehlam. Even so, the burning of her unleashed spirit told her there was no reason for fear. 

This was not the first time. 

She did not flicker like a candle, but with the wraith of a wildfire. She demanded an absolute from the universe that could not be found. She expanded and collapsed in waves of death and rebirth, all the while screaming in profound silence only to be met by a reverberating void. 


The voice cut through the barren scape, a single drop rippling in a raging sea. It was salvation in the depths, a thread of continuity, present but intangible in her current state. She strained to grab hold of it, but it fell through her fingers like ash. 

She was drowning. The pressure threatened to cripple her bones. They ached as she spiraled downwards, sinking out of phase and form. Her lungs begged for air. Her muscles struggled to stir the tar consuming her. Her mind was all that seemed to remain. 


She was burning. Her blood ignited like lit oil and her veins were tinder, eagerly accepting the flame through her agony. The fire ripped her in every direction. She could not flail, petrified in the coffin that was her body as she fermented in her own turmoil. 


She breathed in the voice calling to her from the shadows. Her sanity drank it deeply. It lifted her from the chasm and doused the fervent blaze. She was again weightless, but the tumbling ceased. The splintered shards of her being merged as the sound of pooling rapids graced her ears. 

The dampness of the fine grass blades greeted her next, kissing the once wounded flesh. The wind brushed her face, coaxing her hair against her cheek and calling her to wake. 

Her soul settled into her body, anchoring her safely to this haven. Her hands stretched into the soft earth beneath them as her eyes fluttered open, beholding the source of her deliverance. 

Fathomless sage orbs stared back at her. The sunlight fell to emphasize the sharpness of his features. The figure focused into view in contrast to the obscured blues of the above sky. 

His lap cradled her head, the velvet pressing into her hair. His lips tugged into a soft smile. He lifted a hand to brush her hair from her face. His thumb settled at the center of her forehead drawing lazy circles. 

“There she is.” His voice exemplified tenderness and fell on her like soft rain. She inhaled the faint scent of pine and lavender and smiled back at him. 

“Feall.” She expended the air that settled in her lungs on his name. It acted as prayer and a praise. The syllables fell off her tongue effortlessly, happily tangling with the breeze. 

“How was your journey?”

Faelyn rolled her shoulders. The tension continued to leave her tissues. She last remembered drifting to sleep and only recalled waking in the grove. She searched her mind for the time that elapsed in between, but found nothing. 

“I don’t know.” She confessed. “It’s always blank.”

Feall shifted his gaze to the waterfalls and pools across from them. “I suppose I should be able to foresee the answer to that question after all this time.” 

Rays of light reflected off the cuffs that adorned his elongated ears, metal engraved with intricate designs of knots and symbols that were unfamiliar to her. The cuff that littered Faelyn’s own ear paled in comparison, with only a dull and flat surface. She lifted off his lap and pulled her knees to her chest. Feall lay his hand across her back. 

“You’re troubled.” He stated as Faelyn attempted to make herself smaller. 

He let out a low chuckle before standing. His hand reached out for hers. She stood with him and followed the pace he set through the grass. She noted how his long, dark hair crept down his back in elaborate entwined braids and swayed with each step.

Her steps crunched the vegetation underneath. She watched as Feall appeared to glide over the ground, his stature taller and more imposing than her own. He belonged among the wood, meshing perfectly with the surroundings. He emulated royalty and power. Anyone that lay view on him would see it, and Faelyn was no exception. Each time they met, she marveled in it. She imagined that this must be what all elves looked like, full of the poise and grace of a weeping willow. An echo of their closeness to nature. 

They paused over an expanse of open field. Snapdragons danced with each current of wind. Feall inhaled, closing his eyes and taking in the scene before shifting to her. 

“What do these flowers do, Faelyn?” He inquired. 

“They grow.” 

“What else?” He pushed. “Do they strain for light? Reap the soil below them for nutrients? Guzzle the water from a fresh storm? Do they recede in the cold?”

She shifted her weight. “Yes, they do all of those.” She felt easily overshadowed by his presence.

“Wildflowers do not merely grow, darling. Growing is a combination of all that I have said. To minimize their actions to solely growing is to lessen all they withstand in order to bloom like this.” He opened his arms wide. “These were all once seeds, which have persisted through to give us such a magnificent site. You too will endure and eventually bloom. You may denounce it as simply growing, but you must think about the complexities before you, just as those which exist for these wildflowers.”

She beamed. “Thank you for that.”

He turned to her and lifted his hand to her cheek. He traced his index finger along the outline of her ear. He peered at the pointed tip which marked her heritage. They were not as dramatic as his own, a token to his pure lineage as opposed to the half-elf that froze under his touch. 

He felt the heat under his hand before the blushed rushed to the surface of her skin. It embarrassed her when he lingered like this on her features, perhaps because she hid them so often. Without them, she easily passed as human. He pondered how she balanced the line in her own world, the persecution she may face due to those very ears and their nature. He watched her confide in him less as the years passed and she realized the implications her kind faced. He elected not to pry on the topic. If he acted as a place for her to forget such crimes, he dared not take that from her. Not with so much still left to chance. He lifted his head to the towerlike mountains which extended above the clouds. The structures encircled the grove and seemed to loom back at him. 

“Let us go.” He twirled to return to the pools. Faelyn followed on his heels. Before the water came back to her view, darkness enveloped her again. 

Faelyn typically woke after their meetings. She sighed and outstretched her arm. She imagined each finger as a flowing stem of a flower, filled with life and a vigor. 

She reached into the midst of her core. She narrowed in on her hand, imagining the minute light being pulled from the surrounding air. She envisioned it repeatedly. Her breath picked up pace and a bead of sweat collected at her temple. She sat up in the cot and steadied her wrist with her other hand. She grimaced as she drew additional energy from her insides, searching for a form of strength that remained so abstract to her. 

Light blinked at her fingertip. 

Her eyebrows lifted in surprise. She forced down her excitement in favor of keeping her focus. Faelyn came to her knees. The springs in the pathetic excuse of a mattress nipped at her joints and creaked at the movement. 

The glow faded and rekindled. She experimented with her breathing in hopes of establishing a pattern between the two, that she might better comprehend these gifts. Her tendons flexed and the force her body quaked with became apparent. The light mimicked her own pulsations as she shook. It weighed down her hand and gravity pulled her against the sheets. With her face scrunched in the linens, she called the space around her to dim. The glimmer from the small window in the corner receded and her light grew. It sat between her fingers. She twisted her wrist and the light beaded down her palm. The molten substance did not singe her. 

It faded instantly. The twilight returned and no evidence of her action remained. The light that was once concentrated in her hand dispersed throughout the room. 

She threw her hands to her sides in frustration.

Jagged rays of crackling blue arced from her palms. They snaked along the fabric, leaving blackened trails behind them. They delved into the cot, tracing down its legs where they scattered across the wooden floor. They weaved and snapped the floorboards. 

The sound of the fractures rang in the stillness of the night and the insult slowed time. Faelyn’s heart pounded against her ribcage seeking refuge she could not give it. Her pulse demanded attention as it throbbed in her ears. Her stomach heaved and the contents within it curdled. Dread coiled around her spine and jolted her nerves. 

The window was too small and the front door was so far. There was no telling if she would run into another patron in the hall. She would only be able to grab one possession before she fled. Perhaps no one heard the cracking, all in a deep sleep from mountainous amounts of ale and wine. She could stay. Collect her belongings. Devise a plan. 

 The blue bolts hastened their assault up the worn wallpaper encasing the room. 

There was no time. 

She flew to her feet, dodging the charred flooring beneath. She grabbed her quiver and bow and used her free hand to rip open the door. Additional flakes of blue began to engulf it. The noise cultivated in a symphony of percussion with no conductor. It was volatile and perverse. She was unsure if the ringing in her ears was from it or her own panic swallowing her. 

Her thighs howled with each desperate stride. She pleaded for the leash on her abilities to tighten, to have some semblance of control. The hallway taunted her. She was running in place, unable to reach the banister that would guide her to the front door. The deafening sound that thundered in her room reverberated in her bones. She was trapped. 

Trapped with no way out and�"

Suddenly, she was plummeting down the stairs. The world around her spinning in the chaotic descent. At the bottom, she registered the sounds of opening doors above. Fellow inn tenants waking to investigate the calamity she created. 

She had seconds, minutes if she was lucky. 

She leapt through the front door. Her bare feet struggled on the cobblestone streets and she would have to apply salve in the morning. The quiver and bow, slung across her back, rhythmically struck her now soaking skin. 

She continued until the inn faded, both in sight and sound, finally breaking into a brisk walk. 

She had two objectives: find somewhere to hide for the remaining night, and procure a new pair of shoes.

© 2022 brunettewanderer

Author's Note

How do you feel about the pacing?
What would your response be if you read this first chapter in a book store? What grabs you? What bores you?
Does it make you want to continue?
What do you think of Faelyn?

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Added on February 4, 2022
Last Updated on February 4, 2022
Tags: half-elf, elf, high fantasy, magic, fantasy world, kingdoms, fantasy, elves