Ok so, I’m currently on the first draft, so obviously it has a lot of cleaning up to be done, but I was wondering what you guys think of this? The document currently has 15,058 words
anywho here you go
Little snippet of stuff
Bright lights filtered through my reluctant eyelids, coaxing them to open and take in in the new world. I loved this time in the morning. The times when I could play pretend, imagining a world where I could wake up to a loving family, a world where I am powerless and I am kind. I want that world, I crave that world, but I know it will never come. I am a d-mned soul, and not even the strongest dream can save me.
I had already cast last night’s nightmare into the back of my mind. In a world where every night is full of them, I learned the trick eventually. Besides, Kyra hadn’t left yet. I didn’t have to fear a real life repeat of them for a while now.
Opening my eyes at last, I sat up, swinging my legs off the cot as I did so. Utter darkness surrounded me, relieved only by the meagre light of the moon, shining through my window. In this pale darkness, the one they talk about before the dawn, my cell seemed like a different place. Darker, less forgiving than what I had made it to be. My little flower, the only colour in the room, was highlighted in shades of silver and black, all colours lost in this predawn darkness. The privy was hidden in a shadowy corner, while my wardrobe was a silvery box against the far wall, a Pandora’s box where I hid all my monsters. The room had an abandoned feel to it, as if I too, was no more than another piece of furniture. I’m not sure that I can argue.
I was reluctant to fall back asleep, only to be swamped afresh in past horrors. Instead, I poked around under the cot, searching for my candlestick and lighter. As the tiny flame spluttered to life, I paused a moment, watching it with a wondrous expression lighting my face. The light counteracted the moon’s sickly light, bringing an ounce of warmth to the room. The shadows would never disappear, not truly, but for now I had my light, and I could pretend it was all that was there.
Curling up over my thin blankets, I ignored the groanings of old wounds, plucking a tattered book from the small pile at the end of my bed. The thin pages were soft with the flicking of many hands, or rather the flickings of one, a hundred times over. I could recite this book word for word by now, but even still, it was an escape from my wretched mind. I opened the book, losing myself in the adventures inside, able to imagine, just for a moment, that I was as good and kind hearted as the heroes were. Jealous? Who, me?
Light eventually began to filter through the window; my warning. Climbing out of the cot once again, I changed out of my baggy pyjamas, and into boots, trousers and a large shirt. All items were black, and the boots were decorated with silver buckles. Kyra’s idea. She only ever let me wear black, and while I don’t mind the colour, what it represents is annoying, to say the least. I hate my magic. Kyra hates my magic. And yet, everything in my life is because of it.
As I did up the last buckle on my boots, my escort entered, heralding their arrival with a series of loud bangs as they trudged through each door. They hated this just as much as I did. I leaned against the bars, feigning nonchalance as they approached. Not a hint of breakfast was carried between them.
Aw, come on.
The guards paused at my cell, waiting for me to move. They were terrified of me, as per usual. I couldn’t care less. Let them fear me; they had good reason to. Grimacing, I backed away from the bars towards the back wall, before spinning and lacing my hands behind my back. Time to have a chat with Kyra.
The guards took their time unlocking my cell door. I could practically smell their fear. Come on guys; we’ve done this every day for fifteen years and you still can’t get used to it. Eventually, I heard a single pair of boots approach, and a pair of metal cuffs quickly clicked around my wrists. Too tight, as usual, but it’s not like I could complain. They were scared of me, and what I could do with barely a thought. Maybe I wouldn’t do it right now, but everyone knew I was capable.
I wallowed in thought as I was marched out of my cell and up towards the main part of the castle. What did Kyra want this time? Was she going to do a public reveal of her monster? Or was this just a ‘check up’ on me, which was code for Kyra wanting to rant to someone who couldn’t reveal her secrets. It wouldn’t be a surprise, no matter what she said. I would go along with it anyways.
The walk to Kyra’s receiving room was a long one, and not without things to look at. The damp, dreary tunnels down to her personal prison, where I resided, were long, twisting and cold. My breath fogged the air in front of me, and I smiled, reminded of the dragons in the story I had been reading just a few moments ago. My escort didn’t share my amusement, their faces tightening and their pace quickening.
Soon, we emerged into the main castle, and my senses were swamped by its grandeur. Bright light shone through the window, attacking my working eye and forcing me to squint so as not to be blinded. Rich, red carpets softened my every footfall, and hundreds of tapestries, telling the stories of my forefathers, hung proudly on each side of the long corridor. A wave of heat buffeted our little group as we emerged into this wonder of architecture, although of its source I had no idea of its location.
Servants balked at the sight of me as we passed, terrified that I would lash out and kill them all. I had no reason to; but still they feared me. Disgust flowed through my veins - not at them, but at myself. This ‘power’ had cursed me from the day I was born, alienating me and corrupting my soul until nothing was left. I was the Monster, and there was nothing anyone could do to change that. I kept my eyes locked in front of me, resisting the temptation to admire the beauty that surrounded me. I did not deserve to see such things, after all. Hatred tainted my heart, oozing through my veins. Why didn’t I just kill them all? Life would be so much easier if I did. I could live in this castle, bask in its heat and richness and fear for nothing. It was these thoughts that ensured that I should never be given the opportunity.
It was a long walk to Kyra’s receiving hall, one of three in the castle. She used this one purely for eating with family, and me. Technically I was family too, but no one viewed it that way, including me. The other two were larger and grander, used for receiving esteemed guests, holding feasts, ballroom dancing and the like. I had never been in them, as it wasn’t my place.
As we reached the receiving hall, One of my escorts knocked on the door, clutching his protective necklace in his other hand, as if afraid that I’d rip it off him. Like I could, with my hands bound behind my back like this. I wasn’t quite sure why he placed so much faith in it. According to Kyra’s rumour, even those d-mn necklaces couldn’t protect anyone against me. Kyra was the only person immune to me. Both of these things were lies, a fear tactic created by Kyra herself to help control her people. I didn’t like the lie, but I had no choice but to help uphold it.
The door opened moments later, revealing a sizable hall, not as long as the corridor but still more than ten times the length of my cell. Extravagant works of art hung on the walls, filling the room with colour, happiness and peace, such as the scenes they depicted. More of that lush carpet coated the floors, and at the end of the chamber was a huge table, coated in a creamy tablecloth and stacked high with food. My heart leapt as I spotted Axeil at the head of the table, casually tucking into a large plate of meat and toast. Kyra sat towards the other end of the table, but not at the head, leaving a gap for me to sit opposite her.
My escort looked like they wanted to stay, to protect Kyra from me, but she shooed them off as soon as my manacles were removed and I was pushed through the double doors. They slammed shut with an echoing thud behind me. Axeil barely looked up, studiously ignoring all presences in the room. I could feel him though, probing the edge of my mind, ready to take control if he only felt like it.
Rubbing my wrists, I cautiously approached my sister, still wondering what on earth she could want from me. I had never seen much outside of my trips from here to my cell, and it was surprising that she’d want me to join her war now, after all this time in the dark.
“Come on, sit!” Kyra called to me, waving impatiently. She had her own protective necklace around her neck, imbued with the life-force of one of the immune. Those necklaces were rarer than diamonds these days, as were the immune. No one would want to reveal it if they were, for the simple reason that it made them a target. After all, who wouldn’t kill; if for nothing more than protection from mages.
Kyra had spread around some nasty rumours about me, as she had explained a few years ago. According to her decree, not even the immune could escape my magic, and neither could protective necklaces. This was of course a lie; a scare tactic. The only ones who knew were Kyra herself and my brother, Axeil. Those guards who escorted me? Fearing for their lives the entire time. It was disgusting, but Kyra didn’t give a d-mn, and neither should I.
I hurried forwards and sat in the chair opposite her. Before me was a small plate, decorated with slivers of fruit and some berries. It was fancy, but nothing compared to the meal in front of Kyra. She could have it all, seemingly. Fresh fruit on one plate, meat on another, bread, butter and even some soup. Kyra would never eat it all, and all I could do was devour my scant pieces of fruit and watch her hungrily.
For all her impatience, Kyra certainly took joy in making me wait my turn. Fitting. I’m nothing more than her violent pet, after all. She picked at her food, obviously relishing in my wide, hungry gaze that watched her every move. Kyra was in her early thirties, thirty-two to be exact. Her braided hair hung well below her hips, and her eyes watched mine with a piercing gaze that only she could perfect. Eventually, I dragged my eyes away from her food, studying my gloved hands instead. I refused to glance at Axeil, knowing his own eyes would be seeking mine, hoping to find a weakness in the walls around my mind so he could take over and have some fun with me.
After a few minutes of this, Kyra gave up on taunting me, getting down to business.
“I’m leaving tomorrow.” She announced, setting her fork down with a clatter. I glanced up, confused. Kyra had barely been back a day. She couldn’t leave yet. Cold pricks of sweat spread over my back. She was my only protection from Axeil. She couldn’t leave yet. Despite my previous determination, I gave Axeil a fearful glance. His expression probably contained many signs of his happiness, but as usual I could not find them, knowing he was only through the sadistic glint in his forest coloured eyes.
Kyra noticed my fear, rolling her eyes.
“My god Storm, gather yourself together. You will be in Axeil’s care until I return, as usual. Remember what we’ve told you.”
I remembered. I was nothing more than their monster. Deserving of nothing. Everything I got was a gift I didn’t deserve, and every punishment was simply tax for my existence. Sighing, I closed my eyes, resting my head on the table. Kyra never called on me just to announce her leaving, there had to be something else.
“When I return, I expect you to be ready to make an appearance. It’s been fifteen years. Time to remind the Kingdom just what we can do.”
There it was. I lifted my head, studying Kyra with confused eyes. It was six months after my fifteenth birthday. Why now? Which country was giving her trouble? As if she could read my mind, Kyra elaborated.
“Missril has been getting feisty. Refusing to supply more warriors into my troops as they come of age. I think a couple examples from you should pull them back into line, don’t you?”
A fog clouded my mind. Oh, that wasn’t so bad. I assumed that by, ‘a couple examples’, Kyra meant that she wanted me to execute a few of them. As long as there weren’t any kids, I could do that. I tapped on the table, a code Kyra had made me learn so that I could communicate with her past my… difficulties, as she called them.
Tap, tap, tap, tap
Tap, drag, tap.
My tappings on the table would’ve seemed like idle fidgeting to many, but for Axeil and Kyra, both of whom kept a steady eye on my hand as it communicated, my question was simple. ‘Who?’ Kyra gave me a bright smile, but it never reached her eyes. A winter’s cold began spreading over my heart, as I realised she knew full well I wouldn’t like her next words.
“I want to make an impression on the people of Missril. One that they won’t be forgetting for a long while. So, I will gather about a hundred randomly selected kids, none of whom will be over the age of 18. You are to select one at random, bring them forwards, and execute them publicly. You will repeat this until all the kids I selected are dead.”
Stunned, I gazed into her eyes, searching desperately for a hint that she was joking.
Cold, green eyes stared into mine, not an ounce of humour brightening them.
“You know I don’t like doing this. They’ve left me no choice, so now it’s time to let you have some fun.” Kyra continued, shrugging.
I didn’t know what to think. I had never killed a child before. I didn’t want to kill a child. They were innocent. They had done nothing wrong. Why did they have to die? Of course, the reason was simple. Kyra wanted them to.
If I could speak I would scream at her, but it was no use. Instead, I expressed my displeasure in another, more expected way. Magic crept from my core, surprising me in my anger and striking at Kyra. Inky black darkness flowed from my skin, engulfing my sister. A small part in the back of my mind knew this was a useless effort, but I wanted to make my emotions known, either way. After a moment, the darkness returned to me, unable to find and extract my sister’s life force.
“Are you done with your little tantrum?” Kyra gazed at me intensely, as if I had offended her with my ability to have an opinion. I probably had.
Grumbling internally, I returned to my seat, fixing my expression in a sullen, dead eyed glare.
“It’s not like you haven’t done this before.” Kyra said, before eating another mouthful of her soup. She wasn’t wrong. I had executed people; many times before. Forty nine people I had killed, in total. The number was etched into my skull with burning hatred. Each one of them had been paralised in terror, frozen in place by Kyra for good measure. I had plucked out their lives with ease, each one adding to my reserves of energy.
However, all of those had been private executions. The only witnesses had been a few guards and Kyra. What she was asking of me now much much bigger. I was to publicly execute innocent children, in front of huge crowds. I wouldn’t do it.
The determination in my thoughts surprised me, but I clung onto it. I may be a heartless monster, but even I had limits. No matter what Kyra or Axeil did, I would not kill them. Not willingly anyway. I had to suppress a shudder as I remembered what Axeil could do. Kyra would get her way, one way or another. I was nothing more than the tool.
Kyra dusted off her hands, pulling me out of my thoughts. She pulled on the cord behind her, ringing a small bell outside the hall. It was time to go. Resigned to my fate at this point, I stood, turning to face the approaching escorts. Kyra’s magic pulsed around me, ready to trap me at any moment if I tried bolting.
I held my hands behind my back as the manacles were reattached, keeping my expression neutral despite the burning emotions inside of me. This was yet another skill I’d honed over the years, with great difficulty, needless to say. When you never speak, people learn to read you quite quickly. I refused to look back at Kyra or Axeil as we left the hall, keeping my eyes fixed in front of me.
Some of my anger must have leaked through my facial defenses, as the guards marched much more quickly on the way back. Or maybe they were just eager to be rid of me. Fair enough. The walk back to my cell felt much shorter than the walk up had, granted that I was no longer anticipating my sister’s announcement. Now, I simply mulled over what to do with myself.
As soon as Kyra left, Axeil would set to making my life an even greater misery once again. Until that point, I was determined to do my best to not think about it. This soon proved to be easier said than done.
As soon as I was back in my cell, I grabbed my book, trying to lose myself in the world of Gregory and his dragons. My efforts didn’t last long. The heavy fugue of dread weighed down on my every thought, allowing me to concentrate on only one thing; the future.
(TW - Panic attack and flashbacks)
Images swirled through my mind. I was being beaten, yelled at, tied up, drugged and worse all at once. There were moments where I almost forgot that none of that was real right now, but the knowledge that it soon would be simply plunged me back into the tornado of fear and panic. Swirling through it all was the certainty that this is what I deserved.
My breath quickened, and I knew, in my heart, that my emotions were spiralling out of control again. Curse you, Kyra. A vague corner of my mind watched calmly as the swirling of darkness, triggered by my emotions, grew ever larger and more violent, flowing erratically from my skin. Within moments, it was as if I had forgotten how to breath. I couldn’t move and I could barely see, paralysed by a toxic mix of panic and self loathing, and surrounded by the inky blackness of my magic.
Hours passed while I was stuck like this, until eventually, mercifully, sleep claimed me in her warm embrace.
A sharp pain in my ribs woke me. My eyes screwed up at the pain, at first, before flying open as another blow hit my spine. Arching my back to try and lessen the force of the blow, I scrambled to my feet, facing my attackers.
Two blank faces stared back at me, one brandishing a toothy grin, the other a stone cold glower. I looked around myself; the pieces were swiftly clicking together, I just didn’t want to admit it.
Surrounding me were four dark grey walls, originally a bright silver, but my magic, and blood, had blackened them over the years. The room was completely bare, as usual, with a narrow door at one end. There were no windows, and the air was dense with dust and fear. My fear, obviously.
The two people in front of me remained motionless for now. Axeil was probably waiting for me to make the first move, after all. Three people was the most he could completely take over at one time, but not without a lot of concentration. Even two people were a lot for the sole purpose of torturing me. What was he up to? And why so quickly? Axeil usually woke me before bringing me here, so he could watch my growing fear as I was marched down to his dungeon.
These thoughts were swiftly buried in the back of my mind as a long developed reaction to this situation kicked in. As my manacled hands were yanked above my head by some unknown leverage force, I was defenseless against the onslaught that was about to commence. Instead, I did my best to relax, waiting for the other people’s first moves. A sneaky tendril of my power wove it’s way under their clothes, killing the original hosts, leaving only Axeil as their puppeteer. A flood of new energy entered my system, carrying with it an oily coating of disgust. Fifty one now, dead because of me.
I smiled as the last spark of life left their eyes. At least now, they would not have to watch as the torture commenced. Maybe that was selfish of me, but maybe I couldn’t give a d-mn
Axeil knew what I had done, taking that as his cue to attack. The bodies, one male and one female, backed away from me. What’s going on? My eyes narrowed as I watched the pair, suspicion clouding my thoughts. My question was soon answered.
(This section has been removed as it is quite violent for the forums)
I woke back in my cell, unable to move. Axeil had succeeded in breaking my leg, as well as many other injuries coating my fragile body. Only my mind remained unharmed, as far as I could tell, although at that point I think it was a miracle that I hadn’t yet gone mad. Lying there, I concentrated on the simple act of breathing - even that hurt, and each breath was shallow and laboured.
After a few minutes of rest, I managed to open my eyes, surveying the area around me. A guard had been posted at my cell door, it seemed; probably there to make sure I didn’t die. How kind. The guard in question hastily turned to look at me when I stirred, fear shining in her eyes as she did so.
Seriously? I’m practically dead here lady. I blinked at her, remaining still in all other aspects.
When I finally mustered the energy to sit up, hissing in pain as I did so, I discovered the reason for the woman’s fear. My darkness had coated my body in a black, swirling cocoon; probably a defense mechanism of some sort. It always did this when I was hurt, and I had no control over it. More proof that my heartlessness was just another symptom of my true form as a monster. Normal mages had control over their damned powers. I sagged against the wall, unable to move any further.
As my mind explored each part of my body, assessing my injuries, I was surprised at how thorough Axeil had been this time. He must’ve been in a bad mood. (Mild gore) My left leg was definitely broken, with the knee twisted at a strange, and painful, angle. Some bandages had been hastily applied over large areas of my arms and legs, evidence of where Axeil had burned or skinned me, most likely. It hurt enough to be that. Bruises coated me from head to toe, and at least 20 wounds lined my torso. Both cuts and bruises were just layered over others, but the leg was what had surprised me. Since all but one doctor had refused to operate on me, I couldn’t be fixed if I had a bad break. The one doctor that would operate on me had died last year under suspicious circumstances.
My heart still ached from that. Her death had never really been investigated, and she had been the one woman to truly show me kindness. Hell, she was the one who cured me of my ‘chest problem’, after all. She saved my life, doing that, leaving me with nothing more than two neat scars where my breasts had originally been. Axeil had been furious, obviously, and I suspect he was responsible for her death.
Sparks of rage flew at the reminder, but I dampened them swiftly. There was no use mourning. Being sad wouldn’t bring her back. Besides, I had more to worry about right now.
Pain lanced through me at every shallow breath; and an unbuttoning of my shirt revealed that my ribs were coated in thick, purple and red marks, soon to turn into some nasty bruises. I couldn’t tell if they were broken or not, but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t like I could do anything about it.
In the back of my mind I wondered how long Axeil had held me. I had passed out a few times while in his chamber, and the times that I had been awake had stretched into eternities of pain. I couldn’t ask the guard, so I guessed only time would tell. Kyra usually left for about a week at a time, so her arrival would help me judge the time, either way.
The light from the window indicated that it was edging towards evening time, as the sun’s colour was a darker, more red hue. Not realising how much my efforts to sit up would drain me, I was surprised at the waves of exhaustion that engulfed me. A weak thought at the back of my mind reminded me that I needed to tend to my flower still. I’ll do it tomorrow. Steadying my breath, I lay back down, falling back to sleep in moments.
I was no longer in my cell. Jolted awake after being tossed against a wall, my eyes shot open with my mind confused and fearful. I was in a box, which was the only word I could find to describe it. A metre and a half long in every direction, the space was void of all light and shook around the place treacherously. Reminded of Axeil’s chamber, I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to pretend that the darkness was because of that, instead of the lack of windows.
Every bone in my body screamed in agony as I was bounced around in the tiny enclosure. I did my best to protect my ribs from further damage, but there was no escaping the pain. All I could do was keep my eyes screwed shut and hope against hope that the torment ended soon.
Outside the box, hundreds of sounds rang. The familiar clip-clop of hooves, and the less familiar chatter of relaxed voices, as well as a steady crunching, that could only be the terrain in which I was being transported over. My pain almost lessened slightly as my mind tried to absorb all these sounds, relishing in their newness.
In an attempt to further distract myself from the pain, my mind raced over what could be happening. The most likely cause was that Kyra was transporting me to Missril. This meant that I had spent longer than I thought in Axeil’s ‘care’, which I didn’t know how to feel about. Best not to think about it, I decided. There was no point remembering things that I would be forced to relive in my nightmares anyway.
It was hours before the box stopped, and of course, it didn’t do it without one last huge lurch, greater than any of the previous ones. I gasped at its suddenness, quickly realising that the previous, gentle noises had erupted into full on yelling and commanding orders. My sister’s voice ran above the rest, before falling silent suddenly.
I tensed, unsure. The screams of my muscles and injuries ignored, I concentrated on the sounds, trying to figure out what on earth was going on. The clash of metal on metal was jarring, and after a moment I gave in, clapping my hands over my ears in an attempt to block the dreaded noise out before I was overwhelmed by it. Stupid brain. Why must you be like this?
Eventually, the yells fell silent, as did the horrible clashing sounds. The only noises I could hear now were the gentle pads of feet on the undergrowth. It was obvious that the transport group had been attacked, but which side had won? My sister’s? Or this new party. And the more important question, which side was I rooting for?
I didn’t have a d-mn clue. I was the bystander here. I was the monster.
My thoughts froze along with the rest of me as something heavy connected with the side of my box. Suddenly more apprehensive than confused, I braced as far away from where the object had connected as I could. As the next blow landed, the hinge of the box cracked, and the side furthest away from me fell away.
Light shone through the new gap in my enclosure, and I screwed my eyes shut. As they adjusted, I opened them a crack, trying to see what was going on. A dark figure, silhouetted by the light, peered in at me. Because of the light, and how long my eyes were taking to adjust, I could barely tell their gender, nevermind what they looked like.
Before my eyes got that chance, the figure reached in, ignoring my attempts to shrink away from their hand. A rough cloth was shoved in my face. Surprised, I breathed in once, tasting a sharp, bitter tang on the cloth, and realising what was happening. Once was clearly enough, as already darkness was encroaching on my eyes. Ever silent, I stared at the figure in confusion as sleep’s warm arms embraced me once again.
This is the complete chapter one of one of my wips - bar a small section cus i don’t want to break any guidlines