Chapter 1: Up In Smoke

Chapter 1: Up In Smoke

A Chapter by Willow's Sky

"...I feel like there’s something missing here…Something that can save us from this place. And I want to, no…I NEED to find the answer. I know that I won’t be satisfied with my life until we find it.”


Eldama - A vast stretch of greenery and woodlands, occupied by a colorful selection of useful herbs, unique wildlife, and the occasional deep, swift river. Upon arriving in this strange world, we were all separated in this dangerous forest. Some quickly met their peril among the various flowers, many of which are covered in tiny hairs lanced with a deadly poison. Others were slowly devoured by the tiny sardine-like fish dwelling in the rivers, mauled by oversized wolves, or strangled by thick mobile vines. 

Those of us who survived quickly adapted to the harsh environment here. We learned which fruits to pick, what animals could be safety hunted, even what trees were safe to climb in the event of danger. Nothing here can truly be trusted. The world changes day by day, but so do we.

It has been one month since we were stranded here. Out of the 20 estimated to have come here, only 6 remain. We have successfully made ourselves a shelter safe in the thick branches of a short but sturdy tree. We learned how to sift the river water for dangerous fish, and how to boil it to get rid of any contaminants. Our weapons are a vast mix of crude but effective spears, bow and arrows, and even small hard rocks sharpened into fine knives.

Despite the relative safety, we are not satisfied with our lives. Though we all know we did not come from here, none of us can remember our previous lives. Most of the forest remains a mystery. Nobody knows if we really are alone or if civilization is right around the corner. Death is eminent, but we have come too far to simply surrender.

We decided to hold the very second meeting we have ever had to decide what to do.

So here we are " sitting around a makeshift fire pit on some large stones. We can’t stay outside safely at night, so we decided to start it in the early evening instead. The small fire flickers gently, tossing bright embers into the cold, still air.

Serith Hunt, our undisputed leader, is quietly circling the group with his eyes. Most of us duck slightly to avoid those piercing green eyes, myself included. We do not want to challenge him " we would have probably died weeks ago without his strong, passionate authority. Nevertheless, I still fear him. There is something him that seems far too disturbed for my liking.

Sabine is one of the few brave enough to meet his eyes, but somehow this doesn’t surprise me. Bright red, surely dyed hair lies neatly above his dark eyes, pale skin providing a harsh contrast. Somehow he has completely avoided the light tan the rest of us have earned from many hours in the sun. He meets Serith in a emotionless stare, dropping his gaze back to the flames when our blond leader moves on.

Irene is a different breed entirely. Short but heavily muscled, she impatiently pokes at the embers with a long stick ignoring Serith completely. Her dark tan skin and brown eyes give her a fitting jungle look. I made the mistake of fueling her short temper once already, and I was quickly convinced to never do it again.

Kayla Mildren is a kind, dark skinned girl with a heart of gold. Her apparent knowledge of medical herbs and their uses has been a welcome asset to the group. Her black hair is braided loosely, adorned with tiny tropical flowers. She sits quietly, ducking her head low when Serith’s gaze sweeps to her with an embarrassed blush.

Last but definitely not least is the gorgeous Laura Sage. Her luscious blonde locks, highlighted and perfectly straight, are pulled back into a neat ponytail. Despite starting out nearly as pale as Sabine, her radiant skin now glows a very light tan. Best of all are her eyes " a rare shimmering gold. I can’t help but frown slightly as her perfect gaze is stuck on Serith, clearly checking him out. Yeah, it stinks…the girl I love is in love with someone who is completely oblivious. Welcome to my life.

Oh, I guess I missed someone. I’m Trace Kingsley. Like the others here, I know nothing about my past. We were left here with only our names, each other, and each of us have a small trinket. We are all very careful to keep them safe, as we believe they may hold important clues to our pasts. I don’t know what Sabine’s is, but I do know that Serith has a green pendant hung on a chord around his neck, Irene has a colorful bracelet woven out of lengths of yarn, Laura has a beautiful ring, Kayla has a small pin, and I have a small gold locket I keep on a makeshift string around my neck. Upon opening it, I found that there was a tiny clock head nestled inside, but I have no way of taking it out or changing the time without breaking the glass, which I would rather not do.

Having finished his round, Serith sat up straight and began.

“Now that everyone is here, we can start. I know many of us are curious about what might be out here. None of us want to sit here and wait for death. I think we may be able to find some answers somewhere out there " about where we are, WHO we are. But this forest is all we know, and I doubt this is the worst this place can throw at us. So I think we should all vote. Who thinks we should explore more of this place?”

Irene and Serith both raised their hands, while Sabine gave a stiff nod.

“Then the rest of you think we should stay here I assume?” Serith addressed us. Kayla and I both nodded. He turned to Laura who shrugged. “We have everything we need here " food, shelter…family. I might not know what happened in my past, or what else this world has to offer…but I’m happy here.”

Serith nodded in agreement, returning his gaze to the flame in silence before speaking again.

“I can’t promise that we will find anything… Heck, we may all die the moment we set out. But I feel like there’s something missing here… something that we don’t know that we should. Something that can save us from this place. And I want to, no…I NEED to find the answer. I know that I won’t be satisfied with my life until we find it.”

We found ourselves staring blankly into the dying embers, watching them flicker out one by one until we were left in darkness.

© 2010 Willow's Sky

Author's Note

Willow's Sky
I like to point out that the lateness of this chapter was due to our internet being down and that (for once) it was not my fault...other than that, enjoy! And as always, let me know what you think!

My Review

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The way you write is very smooth, and while Trace is something of a stiff narrator, his own personality still shines through, so I'll give you points for that. ^^ I like the varied descriptions of everyone, and learning what everyone looks like...except Trace. But I'm sure that's on the way. The description of the scenery was nice, as well; it set the tone for the story and highlighted the darkness of the strange world they're in.

The prologue is what pulled me in, so I can't wait to read when it all connects! Please, write more!

Posted 4 Years Ago

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Added on July 31, 2010
Last Updated on July 31, 2010
Tags: fantasy, strange land, reincarnation, life, death, spiritual, Embers Of Time, Trace Kingsley, Serith Hunt


Willow's Sky
Willow's Sky

Hello! I'm Willow's Sky (or WS). I joined this site after a LONG long time searching for somewhere to post my original stories. Most of the sites I looked at were either not very active, or just had a.. more..