Part One: A Grave Beginning - Chapter One

Part One: A Grave Beginning - Chapter One

A Chapter by Lady
"

Lady Leon experiences a vivid and horrifying dream that describes both her painful past and motive for escape.

"

     

     They had been confined in the rickety carriage since early nightfall - mother and daughter. They were safe, Lady Leon thought while her little girl slept in her arms, at least for now.  She was tired of watching endless rows of pines blur past the tiny coach window, so she happily took comfort with the moon. As a witness to the evolution of its nature, she studied its gradual expansion and descent from the sky, admiring the way it illuminated their path, revealing every crook and wind as they coursed through the forest. 

     Occasionally a moving shadow would lure her attention. It was behind the smoky pines she often found them lingering, taunting her with what appeared to be pairs of glowing eyes. They were stalking her, trailing her carriage at a distance, waiting for the absolute moment to attack.

     Wolves, she thought while shivering. They must be wolves.

     Waves of constant paranoia clashed against her, gradually eroding away her wall of energy; she hadn't slept in days, resulting with blurred eyes and a throbbing headache. Allowing her eyes to close, she focused on the muffled sound of the carriage wheels as they quickly turned through the small rocks and snow. It calmed her, pulled her wandering mind away from the darkness, and within moments she was asleep.

     

     Lady Leon's slumberous expression contorted as a hammering echoed through her ears.  It wasn't long until Hewie and Jasper, the master's large German Shepherds, joined in with their alarming howls.  Her eyes opened, taking notice of the master himself as he climbed out of bed.

     From the top of the stairs with their child cradled in her arms, she watched as he gradually made his way down the dark, endless staircase with a tiny candle in hand.  Lady Leon followed his lead, concealing her figure within his shadow.

     A short distance ahead towered the grand entrance door, its wood surface glimmering in the elegance of warm, soft candlelight.  She watched as the master extended an arm, resting the palm of his hand against the wooden surface, feeling the unnerving vibrations.  After a brief moment he reached in his pocket for a rusty key, turned the lock and reached for the door handle.  With his face angled closely to the crevice of the door, he creaked it open, squinting out into the crisp, night air.

     Before them stood a boy no older than twenty, his figure dressed in tattered rags for a shirt, and pants that appeared to have been painted on with smudges of dirt. His wild, green eyes, which hid behind his tangled, auburn hair, seemed scarred with torment, while his thin torso quickly expanded and shrunk as he struggled to regain his spent energy.

     The boy parted his lips to speak, "Sir, the village! You must help us…" Exhaustion lingered on the ends of his words. "Everyone is dead."

      The air around them began to churn and howl. The boy lifted his hands and watched as they began to crack and shrivel. He let out a crazed scream just as his body too began to disintegrate, forming growing piles of ash on the ground.

     "Help me!" He cried, reaching out, his arms crumbling as he took a few steps forward; the man in return took a fearful step backwards.

     The boy's figure then completely dissolved, his remains swirling with the howling wind.         

     Master Leon waited not a moment longer. He hurried past the ashy cloud, his wife's hand locked tightly within his, and called out into the darkness.

     From a short distance ahead they could hear the sound of shifting cobble, and a clicking canter; out of the darkness emerged two black stallions and the silhouette of a driver that lead a carriage of the same shade.

     While the man guided his wife and child inside the carriage, another cry rang out from behind.  Lady Leon shot a glance back in response, discovering that their large manor was now deteriorating in flames.  She opened her mouth to let out a third gutting scream, while the coach driver raised his whip and slashed at the monstrous horses, sending them off and away.             

     Pressing the child close to her chest, the lady glanced fearfully out through the coach window, spotting her husband as he stood there in the distance.  She watched as his hand rose for a final goodbye before both he and the cindering mansion he stood before, began to crumble into ash and faded entirely away.

   

     Lady Leon woke to the sound of a piercing horse cry. She gazed out through the fogged pane, bracing herself with an arm as she felt the carriage jerk to a halt. Her eyes struggled to make out what was beyond the window, only darkness glared back. A pale face appeared before her, and then there was a hand that tapped gently yet quickly against the glass.

     “M'lady?” The driver questioned with a muffled voice.

     “Yes? Why have we stopped?” She shot back. The child began to cry.

     "Sorry for disturbing you, but I believe you had best take a look at this.”

    

 



© 2012 Lady


Author's Note

Lady
The first chapter to my novel, The Red Forest.
Your support, advice, critiques are much appreciated. Thank you.

My Review

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Featured Review

That was impossibly refreshing. It's been a long time since I've read something so abstract and really got into it. What happened here was so unexpected, it's amazing. So far, I haven't caught any problems with your grammar usage, making this seem very profesional. This chapter gives even more of a hint on what time period that we're in, and that's good. I suspect, if this isn't a fantasy land, it's in Europe?
I like how your chapters are fairly short. It's not a terrible thing, though it's not common. It's easier to read and reveiw it more accuratly, but when ou go to sell it, it might not be the wisest of ideas. However, I'm one to talk, mine are short as well.
I like it so far, hope you're having fun.
~Autumn

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I think I agree with the reviewer who suggested you take out the first segment. The story stands well enough without it. Other than that, I think this is fantastic. I love the mystery of not knowing what's out there. It certainly is an attention getter. Your descriptions of time, space, emotions, and etc. are super.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Waves of paranoia ... great visual. And just after that, it should "resulting in..." not resulting with.

I think the chapter can do without the very first part, the intro perhaps before one hour earlier. It doesn't reveal anything more to the reader. The chapter is strong enough without it.
Good descriptions and strong prose.


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very intriguing and fresh writing, almost like refreshing splash to the face of water. I just wish for a bit more characterization, a bit more idea of where this is going in the beginning.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

One and Two = One...

Comment...THe first had definition needing expansion but I wanted more and growth... THIS "Two" seems to lack connection... if a dream then when and where is She asleep? It lacks the pivotal of discovering being a dream by either the char, author, or I...

Many possibilities exist but I almost feel like NOT turning a page cause I'm lost, confused about what is AND isn't taking place.


Review: I understand the reason and the WHERE (only because of your note) you want to take it... but for me, you haven't yet brought it to THAT where you intended... and I'm not being harsh... really I'm not... its prolly just me.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The symbolism of the ashen child, and flames is beautiful yet haunting, creating a vivid image within the mind, as the flames alight the darkened sky you can feel the fear running electric currents through the piece as Lady Leon flees from the burning pain and nightmare of her warped memory. Very well done, keeping interests high and feeding the reader with goading information to tempt us to delve deeper into the plot-line, well led on from the beginning.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

intriguing ! i like it !:)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


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EMF
Wonderfully confusing. I do like work that makes me ask 'What the?' A little more detail would help. Because of the vivid nature of dreams it would add a bit more depth to create the scene in a little more precise a manner. Little hints. 'Smoke hung in the air.' that sort of thing. It just helps to sucker the reader in a little.
I don't know I would call this a chapter though. As with your chapter one, it has the feel of a chapter segment. Nothing wrong in either approach, but I have to agree with Autumnm that commercially agents and publishers will want a greater word count per chapter. In this environment it is perfect. But traders are funny devils.
All in all though, I'm looking forward to the next chapter. Surprising as I would normally stay a mile away from your style, but I'm enjoying it immensley.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

That was impossibly refreshing. It's been a long time since I've read something so abstract and really got into it. What happened here was so unexpected, it's amazing. So far, I haven't caught any problems with your grammar usage, making this seem very profesional. This chapter gives even more of a hint on what time period that we're in, and that's good. I suspect, if this isn't a fantasy land, it's in Europe?
I like how your chapters are fairly short. It's not a terrible thing, though it's not common. It's easier to read and reveiw it more accuratly, but when ou go to sell it, it might not be the wisest of ideas. However, I'm one to talk, mine are short as well.
I like it so far, hope you're having fun.
~Autumn

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on June 8, 2011
Last Updated on February 28, 2012
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Author

Lady
Lady

North Shore, New Zealand



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