Chapter One

Chapter One

A Chapter by Surrealstorm

Ashlyn felt like someone had been watching her all day. Her skin prickled and her neck felt hot and sticky from sweat. She’d tried to put it off as nerves, exams did start that day and she just knew that she was going to forget her lines in theatre class. She always did. But this was something more, something deeper. Every time she looked behind she expected to see menacing eyes looking out from bushes. It was strange but she felt as if someone was out to get her.  


She rubbed her hand on her jeans for the fiftieth time, noting how they left dark blue spots on her light denim. She was just being silly, she told herself firmly. Her step-mother always told her she had too much of an imagination and she needed to get serious. How was she ever going to get a good job if she was day dreaming all the time? That was why her theatre class was extracurricular instead of part of her major. If her stepmother even knew she was taking it she would have her funding pulled immediately. 


As she sat on the wooden bench outside of campus she began to whisper her lines to herself, trying to ingrain them in her mind. It wasn’t as if there was that many people around to listen, most people were either still in morning exams or had rushed away from campus as quickly as possible. She began,


“That I did love the Moor to live ... with him,

My downright violence and storm of fortunes

May trumpet to the world: my heart's subdued

Even to the…D****t”


Her mind went blank. No matter how hard she tried she just couldn’t remember the rest of the lines. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the play; she picked the lines herself. She just never could remember them. She rubbed her temples. At least she had another couple hours before she had to worry about that exam. 


“HEY Ashlyn!” 


Ashlyn snapped her head up at the sound of her name and smiled. Tonia, her best friend, was sprinting out of the building to where she was sitting. In her hand was clenched a piece of paper that she was waving like a flag as she rushed over. 


“I DID IT!” Tonia squealed. “I aced the Trig test! Who’d have thought? Me, ace a math test! “ She let out another high pitched sound before pulling Ashlyn off the bench and into a back breaking hug. Ashlyn couldn’t help but smile.


“Congratulations! I knew you could do it.” 


That was a lie but she wasn’t going to tell her friend that. Out of all the people she’d ever met Tonia was one of the worst people at math she’d ever known. To get that A in Trig Tonia spent everyday in tutoring for two hours and studied like crazy. Ashlyn had always thought that the tutoring was just to get close to Jared Turner, one of the hottest guys on campus who was strangely good at math. Apparently, some tutoring actually had happened during those sessions. 


“I know, its soooo GREAT!” Tonia’s bubbly personality normally cheered Ashlyn up but for some reason the churning in her stomach would not ease. It was as if her stomach was a giant cauldron where three ugly witches were mixing a potion of explosive proportions. She swallowed deeply and Tonia must have noticed her unease. 


“What’s the matter Ash? Is it the theatre class?” 


Rubbing her hand through her hair she nodded. “I just can’t seem to get the lines down. It’s like I have some mental block. I don’t know, maybe I just need to get something to eat.” Even as she said it her stomach clenched in protest. Her stomach obviously didn’t like the idea of food. 


“I know, how about we get some take-out Chinese and you can practice on me before your exam.” 


“Sure. I could definitely use the practice.” 


“Then it’s settled.” Tonia held out her elbow like a gentleman and Ashlyn looped hers through. As they walked away from the school towards their apartment they heard someone shouting for them to wait up. They turned to see Jared Turner running towards them. 


“Tonia!” Once he got to them he stopped but he was breathing hard. He took a second to catch his wind before he said, “Professor Quinton asked me to find you. He said something about a mistake and that he needed to talk to you immediately.” 


“A mistake? Are you sure?” Tonia’s voice quivered and disappointment fell over her face like a shadow.


“Yeah, I’ll walk you there if you want.” Jared’s handsome face held signs of sympathy and he reached out to touch her shoulder. 


“Okay, I guess I’ll meet you at the apartment Ash.” 


“Are you sure you don’t want me to go with you?” Ashlyn didn’t know why but something about going back to the apartment alone sent chills down her spine. 


“No, it’s okay. Just order the Chinese and make sure they give us extra rice this time. I’ll be there soon.” She started walking back to the school with Jared’s arm around her protectively. Ashlyn stared after them for a few minutes, contemplating going with them anyway. Then she straightened her back and started back towards her apartment. 


The apartment that Ashlyn and Tonia shared together wasn’t that far away, just a few blocks from the university, but it felt like hours as she jumped at every sound. 


“Now really, this is ridiculous.” She muttered. She quickened her step and breathed a sigh of relief when she got to the steps of her apartment. They were on the ground floor, something she had always preferred. 


Ashlyn jammed her key into the lock and turned it, hearing the soft click as the tumbler turned. Glad to be home she shut the door behind her and leaned against it. Her heart was pounding as if she’d run a marathon. Then she started to laugh. Not just laughter, but hysterical laughter. Tears came to her eyes she was laughing so hard. 


Pulling herself together she said, “It was nothing, just my imagination.” She often spoke to herself when she was alone; it was a habit that her stepmother had hated. She said it made her sound crazy. Ashlyn didn’t care how she sounded at that moment. She was just glad to be home. 


Grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge she quickly unscrewed the cap and took a big swig. Then she froze. Something wasn’t right, the water tasted…funny. She held it out, her hands shaking. The water was a red. She dropped it; the plastic bottle bounced once splashing red liquid all over the white tile. The liquid seemed to spread over the floor until there was more red then white. She felt like she was going to be sick.


It was then as she stood staring at the mess she’d made on the floor that she heard a sound behind her. She jerked towards the sound to see a man sitting on her sofa; no sitting wasn’t the right word. Lounging was more accurate. He was lounging on her sofa; his feet propped up and crossed at the ankles. Her sofa was barely big enough for one person to lie down on and even then it always looked awkward. This man looked as if he was sitting comfortably on a satin throne. 


Ashlyn opened her mouth to do the only logical thing she could think of. Scream. But when she opened her mouth it was as if someone hit the mute button on a remote. Her voice was completely frozen. 


When he spoke his voice was smooth and cultured. It was the voice of a serpent, captivating. “Now that’s the way a woman should be.” He uncrossed his legs and stood. “Silent.” 


He walked towards her slowly and she felt as if it was not just her voice that was frozen. Her whole body felt like it was glued to the spot and no matter how much she wanted to move it, not a single muscle would budge. Standing there she examined the man coming towards her, drinking in every detail like a parched woman in front of a waterfall. 


He was beautiful. His hair was white like the whitest sands of Santorini, gleaming in the dull light of her cheap apartment. It flowed down his shoulders to land between his shoulder blades. Every hair looked perfect and so soft that she yearned to feel it against her skin. His cheekbones were high and strong, yet somehow delicate, drawing her eyes towards ears that were ever so slightly pointed. If there was a flaw that she could see it was his eyes. They were mismatched, one was a deep blue, so dark that it was almost black and the other a green the color of grass before the summer heat turns it brown. They were startling in a face of such perfection and though different, they somehow seemed to make him even more alluring. 


While she was staring he had crossed the room to stand directly in front of her. He smiled then, a small quirking of the lips of that made his face look cruel


“Do you like what you see?” 


She shook her head, her cheeks hot with embarrassment. As if some sort of spell had been broken she stepped back from him and put her hands in front of her. She kept them high, by her face. When she was younger her dad made her take a defense course and she remembered that if she kept her hands high she could get a shot in on his face if he rushed her. That was about all she remembered from the course, it didn’t seem very important at the time. At that moment she wished she’d paid closer attention. 


“Don’t come near me, I’ll hurt you!” Her voice was barely a squeak and sounded scared even to her own ears.  


He chuckled as if she’d just said a funny joke. “You won’t hurt me.”


She tried a different tactic, “You just wait, my friend will be back any second!” She looked at the door as if willing Tonia to explode through it to her rescue. 


He stepped closer, forcing Ashlyn back against the wall. She kept her hands up though she felt silly doing it. “I don’t think your friend will be coming back anytime soon.” 


On impulse, Ashlyn struck out with one hand aiming for his nose. His hand shot up so fast that it was a blur as it caught her wrist. She tried with her other hand with the same result. She felt panic bite at her throat as she struggled to get away. Tears pricked her eyes as what he’d said fully registered. 


“Go ahead and kill me then, just like you did her.” Her voice cracked and a tear streaked down her cheek. She lifted a knee to his stomach but he only laughed and moved his body away. 


“You’ve always looked so pretty when you cry.” Putting her hands on the wall above her head he leaned in and kissed one of her tears. She turned her face away from his but she could still feel his breath, hot against her cheek. “However, no one is going to die today.”


“What?” If she’d heard that right then Tonia was still alive. She felt hope stir in her breast. “What do you want then?”


“I want you to come with me and be my queen. If you come with me then your friend won’t be hurt. On that I swear.” 


“Why me? What’s so special about me?” The words feel odd in her mouth, as if her tongue could barely form the words. 


One of his hands reached out to stroke her cheek. His skin was so warm against hers and before she thought about what she was doing she leaned into him. 


“You’ve always been special.” His voice was soft as velvet. Her body felt heavy and her eyes began to flutter shut. “My own little Snow white, waiting to be awakened by her prince.”


She didn’t think she’d heard him right; his words were muffled as if her ears weren’t working right. The colors of the room were starting to blur together. All she could see clearly were two multicolored eyes staring fixedly at her own. She felt him let go of her hands and shake her shoulders. 


Everything was starting to go black around her and she felt her body sway. If it weren’t for his hands on her she probably would have fallen to the floor. The only time she’d ever felt that way before was when she’d had too much to drink. She thought about the water and how funny it tasted. She closed her eyes preparing to pass out when she heard his voice close against her cheek.  


“Say yes, Ashlyn.” His words trickled over her like water in a creek bed over stones. Smooth and lyrical she felt her whole body respond. She wanted to say yes to him, if only to hear his voice speaking so beautifully. “Say yes and be with me.” 


She whispered a muffled ‘yes’, feeling his hand stroke her hair. His touch felt so good, as if just his skin against her was drugging her senses. As she began to drift she heard him speak, but the words were like nothing she’d ever heard before. They reminded her of dark midnight shivers and deep forbidden pools. Cool metal touched her hand but she didn’t have the strength to look at it. By the time his arms wrapped around her she’d fallen into an empty sleep without thought, emotion and memory.



© 2010 Surrealstorm


Author's Note

Surrealstorm
this is the revised first chapter of the Goblin King! Enjoy!

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Reviews

Wow! I really wish you'd finished this. It so spell binding.

Posted 9 Years Ago


Fascinating! I look forward to reading more.

Posted 12 Years Ago



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Added on August 9, 2010
Last Updated on August 9, 2010


Author

Surrealstorm
Surrealstorm

Fredericksburg, VA



About
NOTICE: The name ASHLAN has been changed to ASHLYNN In the Story "The Secrets of the Goblin King" due to the amount of complaints I have had on other sites regarding it. Thank you! HI I've nev.. more..

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chapter 1 chapter 1

A Chapter by Surrealstorm