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Gunshot Wounds & Broken Hearts

17 Feb

So, I finished chapter one of this book yesterday. Despite the name it actually has very few guns, and the ones it does have are old 1800’s-like rifles. Anyways, here’s chapter one. Hope you enjoy. 😀

—–

“Mikhail!” I sat up in my bed quickly. My hands were shaking and beads of sweat dripped down my forehead and wet my dark black hair. My heart pounded quickly in my chest, as if I had been running while I slept. My teary eyes darted back and forth and I looked around my room. I slowly calmed myself, as I realized it had been a dream and I was safe, for now.

Small rays of sun came in through the window beside me and danced on my wrinkled bed sheets. I breathed deeply and closed my eyes as I tried to keep my hands still and slow my heart rate. I had seen it again. Everything. This dream, this man, this man’s life. When I shut my eyes I would see his face and when I slept at night I would see his death. I kept my eyes shut as I let the dream play before my me once again.

There was the the tapping of my feet against stones as I walked through a long hallway that seemed to never end. I passed multiple prison cells on either side of me. All of them empty. I stopped at one cell to read a plaque, my heart sank at what I read.

“Terminated.”

I said the word out loud. I seemed to know what they had terminated, or who. I turned and continued walking down the hallway, passing more cells. I reached one to my right, the door was open, leading into a cold, dark, cell. I stood in the doorway and looked inside. A man lay in the right back corner of the cell curled up in a ball. He was clearly shaking and bruises and cuts covered his pale form. I walked over to him and knelt beside him. He looked up at me through sad, stone grey eyes.

“I’m sorry, Mikhail.” I said to him as I wiped a tear from his bruised face. He seemed to speak through his eyes, he told me it was okay. He said it wasn’t my fault. But how could it not be? I knew he was lying to me. I am the reason he was there, I was the reason he was going to be terminated. I felt my heart break as I looked into his forgiving, eyes. I reached for his hand that rested on his knee’s. I held his hand in mine, silently conveying my love for him. Suddenly two guards came and grabbed the man up roughly. They didn’t seem to notice I was there. They dragged his near lifeless body out of the cell. I seemed to float after them, my feet no longer clanking against the ground as I followed.

They took the man into a dark courtyard and stood him up against a stone wall. One of the guards stood a few feet away from him and aimed a rifle at his body. The two guards that had been supporting him forced him to stand by himself and walked away.

My eyes stayed on the half-dead man, I couldn’t drop my gaze, I couldn’t run to him and stop the bullet, I could watch. That’s all I could do, that’s all I had ever done. There was a loud gunshot and I saw the blood begin to form on the man’s chest, he looked at me one more time, sorrow and love in his grey eyes. Than he closed them and sank slowly to the ground.

I shot my eyes open and gasped. I had failed in calming myself down, in fact I had made my heart worse.
This dream had plagued me for weeks, it had woken me up every morning to the same panic attack. I still had small drops of tears in my eyes from the first time I had woken. I reached for the glass of water that rested on the table beside my bed. My shaking hands made it hard for me bring the glass to my lips and tilt it gently without spilling the liquid over myself. I placed the glass back on the table, the clank reminding me of the gunshot and causing me to jump.

A tear escaped my eye as the face of the man flashed before me when I blinked. I knew I had to do something. I may not know who this man is, I may not know where he is, but I keep dreaming of him. And I love him.

So I jumped out of my bed and hurriedly slipped on a silk, lime green, dress. Than I walked over to my mirror where some of my favorite emerald studded high heels sat below it. I slipped on my shoes, after brushing the knots out of my long black hair. I stopped to look at myself in the mirror. My deep blue eyes starred back at me with anguish and confusion. The curls of my hair reached down to my waist and some curls rested on my shoulders. The magnificent bead design that twirled on the torso of my dress glimmered in the morning sunlight that spilled through my window almost seeming to light up my pale skin. My long sleeves covered up the bruises I had on my arms from the nights I had woken up and hurt myself from the fall to the floor.

I looked at this girl in the mirror, this figure that was about to risk her life, for a dream. A man in a dream. A man in a dream that, for all she knew, could’ve been dead by now. This girl was a brave, kind-hearted star. But me, I was just a figure, a heartless shell of what I had once been. Closed off to this world, and anybody in it who may have needed my help.

I turned around not being able to stand the memories that ran through my mind. I had once been in the sky, once been shining, spreading light on the creatures below. Now, I lived on the ground, simply another creature. A child of the stars Polaris and Vega, who had fallen from the sky years ago and been lost to the celestial world. I had been in great sorrow at their passing and had decided to live amongst the land-dwellers. My star features now only being brought out in the darkest hours of night, when my pale skin would glow a white hue with the power of my forefathers. But I am ashamed of myself. I gave up, locked myself in this house, on the edge of a cliff, away from all civilizations and any friends. I once was Venustas the great star, but now I am simply Vanessa. A twenty-two year old girl that lives alone and has dreams of men she has never known.

I turned to my bed and knelt down beside the table that I had placed my water on. I opened a drawer that was in the middle of the table and pulled out a dagger. The scabbard in which I kept the weapon was designed in a celestial pattern. The silver of the scabbard caught the early morning light and reflected it in my eyes. I pulled out the dagger to make sure it was in good condition. The hilt of the dagger was studded with diamonds and the blade was a bright silver. I could see the sharpness on the edges of my dagger. I placed the dagger back in it’s sheath and attached it to the brown belt I had on my waist.

Than I reached into the drawer again and pulled out a small brown pouch For the next fifteen minutes I was busy going about my small room and gathering things I needed for my journey. I put a small bottle of water, some coins, a strip of white cloth incase of injury, a small sewing kit, and a light blue cordial in the pouch. I than pulled the strings closed and wrapped them around my right wrist. I walked outside of my bedroom into my quaint kitchen. I grabbed a bottle of jam and a few pieces of toast and placed them on a hand towel. Than I tied the towel around the food and placed it in my brown pouch. After I was done packing I stopped to take a look around my two room house I had spent the last hundred years in.

I was leaving, possibly forever. This cottage had served me well. It had completed it’s purpose. It had kept me dry on rainy days, warm during harsh winters, cool during summers, and safe from the beasts that would howl at the night sky. It had been my only friend, it seemed. It had seen me weep the nights I wished for beings to comfort me and laugh when I would remember an old time when I was younger that had brought me joy. It had served as my prison cell when I was lonely and a quite corner the times I needed peace. It was a good cottage and it had been my only possession since I came to live amongst mortals. Now, I was leaving. I would go and not think of the cottage the nights I spent in the dark forests searching for the man in my dreams.

I sighed and walked over to my door I paused and starred at it for a few minutes, the battle as to whether to leave or not raging in my mind. I placed my hand on the doorknob and turned it. I opened the door slowly at first, still unsure of what I was doing. I finally got up the courage and quickly opened the door, the sunlight flooding into my eyes. I squinted for a few seconds before adjusting to the sudden brightness. I walked through the door, feeling my shoes sink into the soft dirt. I left my door open as I began walking down the hill, not knowing where I was going, or when I would stop.
—–

I had been traveling for hours now and I reached the edge of a forest. I stopped a few feet away and looked at the many trees that would insure pitch darkness in the late hours of night. The sun hung high in the afternoon sky and the birds still chirped as if it were their first song, but the forest seemed dark even in this setting. I couldn’t help but wonder what creatures lived in such a forest, beasts, flesh eating beasts. I sighed and gathered up the last of my courage than walked into the dark forest.

The scenery seemed to change immediately after I had walked a couple of feet into the forest. I heard no more birds, the sunlight barely made it through the tree canopy, and with every step I made there was a loud crackle of dead leaves. I continued to walk deeper into the forest, comforting myself with the fact that it was day and no beasts came out during day, but what would I do at night?

I would certainly have to sleep sometime if not for fatigue for a dream. Because it is said a star’s dream is never a dream. Star’s are not of this mortal world and do not age nor truly sleep, though they do dream. Once I had come to live amongst the land-dwellers I had become accustomed to resting during the night. Though, my dreams still came to me as if I were a star. They came during the cover of night and filled my mind with images of this man and when I woke up I could close my eyes and view the dream once again. This ability is given to stars since no stars have the dreams that humans do. We do not dream of what we want nor what we fear, we dream of things that have passed, will pass, and are passing. Our dreams come from a greater power. If a star dreams they must discover the meaning of the dream and they must use it as it was sent to them to use. Though, I indeed had been dreaming this dream for a week now I had not searched for an answer until today. I had thought perhaps my forefathers power of dreams had left me because of my betrayal. So today I go in search for the man in my dream, I shall chase after my dream. I shall depend on my dreams to guide me.

There was a low grumble and two green eyes appeared to the right of me. I gasped and jumped, pulling out my dagger by impulse. Another pair of eyes showed up ahead of me and a snarl came from the left of me as another pair appeared. My heart pounded in my ears as I looked into the eyes of these beasts that hid in the shadows. Another growl came, followed by a small bark. I grasped by dagger tightly in my hand, the glittering jewels on the edge of the hilt catching the small light that came in through the day. Suddenly all three eyes pounced out of the forest and covered my body with their gray fur. I thrashed against them and covered my face with my left hand, using my right to cut them with my dagger. One of the beasts jumped on my chest and I fell backwards, hitting my head on a rock. My head suddenly pounded and I could feel the blood trickle down my forehead as I began to drift into unconsciousness. My eyes fluttering closed.

I heard the sound of a sword being drawn and the yelp of a wolf as it pierced through his body. The other two beasts jumped off my body, their claws bearing into my right arm, which no longer had a long sleeve covering it. I heard one of them growl than yelp loudly. The cracking of leaves reached my ears as their feet padded against the ground, running away from me. I was barely hanging into consciousness as I heard then scurry off. I suddenly felt a gentle hand on my forehead and another hand held mine.

“Ma’am?” came the whisper from above me. I attempted to form words in my sub-conscious state, but only managed a small moan. The hands I felt on my forehead and hand removed, leaving me missing the small amount of warmth they provided. Than I felt arms wrap around me and carefully lift me off the ground, my body pressed against the strangers chest as he carried me through the forest. I rested my head on his chest and succumbed to the sleeping world that called me.

—–

The crackle of a fire was the first sound to reach my ears as I slowly regained consciousness. I could feel the warmth radiating on my body as I lay beside the fire. There was soft grass beneath my hands. I slowly blinked my eyes open, my head pounded to the beat of my heart and the world I woke up to went in circles for a few seconds after I opened my eyes. I let my head settle before sitting up on the soft ground, only to be greeted by another dizzy spell that bound me to the ground again. My eyes floated to the tree canopy that covered the large round figure of the moon.

“Take it easy there.” came the voice that I had heard before I was lifted off the ground. I sat up slowly this time and looked at the man that sat on the other side of the fire, cleaning his sword with a red rag. He had bright blond hair and black eyes. He looked at me with a small smile on his face, that of a child when he has made a new friend. “How you feeling?” he said friendlily.

“Not, unconscious.” I said sheepishly, not sure what the etiquette was for meeting strangers amongst the land-dwellers, but amongst the stars you usually start my stating your name.

He laughed heartily, causing me to jump from the sudden noise, “Well, I can see that. What is a pretty lady such as yourself doing out in the woods?” I shrugged, feigning shyness. “Okay,” he said, drawing out the word, “Well, my name is Cocidius and I am of the Oniro tribe.” he said, than looked at me expectantly.

Oniro? What’s Oniro? I wondered. I must’ve been staring back at him for awhile because his sudden, “Miss, are you okay?” woke me from my daze. I blinked my eyes and snapped back into reality. I looked into his eyes and saw the same stone grey hue I had seen in Mikhail’s. I gasped unconsciously and he looked back at me quizzically.

“What’s the Oniro’s?” I asked not removing my eyes from his as I studied their grey coloring, that seemed to be stronger than the deep black that they were colored.

“It’s not what it’s who.” he told me as he stopped cleaning his sword and placed the red rag in his pocket, the red cloth sticking out of his right pant pocket. “We’re a race of beings. Have you never heard of us?” I shook my head and finally removed my gaze from his eyes and diverted them to the bright fire.

“Who are your people?” I asked, my voice unconsciously lowering as my thoughts drifted off to my dream.

“We are the Orniro’s, translated as dream in common tongue.” I looked back up at him, the breath caught in my throat. Is it possible that I had found the origin of my dreams this easily? “Our forefathers came across the world from the Eastern mountains.”

“Why did they leave the mountains if they had dwelled there comfortably?” I asked.

“Their land was invaded, by Dragon’s that had moved into the mountains when their land had been invaded by the black dwarves and they had been attacked, until they were forced to evacuate. My people fled to the forest and dwelled here, upon the beasts, cast out and forgotten by the other races of our world.”

“What makes you…not human?” I asked.

“We are the creators of dreams, or of the dreams of the stars.” I looked at him as he spoke my heart racing, I was discovering a race not even the stars had known of. “We have an ability, to give a star a dream. We can show the star a time in the past, present, or future. If we are in danger we can send a dream to a star, and hope that help will come.”

“Do you use these powers for personal gain?” I prodded, I wanted to know everything, suddenly I was more consumed in asking Cocidius questions than being weary of him.

“Some do, these are outcasts. They are not of my tribe, I do not call them my brethren. The most of us, though, use our powers only in time of great need. It is said in this need, our dreams will go to the star that was created for you. It is said, help will come.” he paused than raised his eyebrow at me, “How than are you so intrigued by my people? I do not believe any young stranger has ever questioned me so about my people. Not that I do not oblige to your interrogation.”

I was so consumed in thought his question was almost ignored, I thought for a second before answering, “Is one of your people missing, perhaps?”

His eyes widened and he stood up, sliding his sword into his scabbard. He threw a bowl of water on the fire and grabbed my wrist and yanked me off the ground all in one swift motion.

“Ow.” I complained from the sudden movement. My head swam as he dragged me along, through the forest. His firm grip tightened around my wrist and caused it to throb as he pulled me along.

He dragged me in this way for about an hour before stopping. The sound of clanking metal rang in my ears as my world finally stopped spinning. I had lost track of how many times I had wanted to throw up on our way to wherever it was we were. So when he finally removed my wrist I fell to the ground and landed on my knee’s as I vomited on the once green grass. I didn’t know how long I kept throwing up, it seemed like forever until I stopped. Now I just dry heaved, a small panic attack threatening to overtake me. As I began to take deep breaths through my nose I heard Cocidius speaking with another man.

“Who is this?!” the other man yelled, clearly upset at my presence. Though I didn’t care at the moment. I was busy trying to keep myself from passing out.

“I rescued her in the forest.” Cocidius was cut off my the angry rant of the other man.

“You know we cannot have mortals see us! What are we to do now? We can’t erase her memory! And with everything going on you bring a mortal into my presence! Have you lost your head man?!” he scolded, as another wave of nausea hit me and I threw up once again. “Good Stars, Cocidius. What have you done to the woman? She is clearly unwell. What would she be doing in the forest?” the man said, only now taking into account my weakening state.

“That is what I brought her here for, sir.” Cocidius replied submissively, “She knows of our lost soldier. Could she be a spy of the Darkness?”

I began to heave louder as I heard Cocidius’ concern. I was most certainly not a spy and I definitely did not wish to be confused as one. I felt the tears build up in my eyes as my breathing grew harder and harder. My hands shook once again and black dots appeared in my vision and slowly began to cover up the green grass.

“Did you tell her anything?” I began to sink to the ground. I nearly landed on my vomit before I felt strong arms grasp me and scoop me up and off the ground. My vision was now completely covered by the black dots now and I could hardly breath, “She should rest. I doubt she is a spy, Cocidius, though I will make sure to watch her tent.” the chest I rested on vibrated as the man spoke, telling me that he was the one carrying me.

“Yes, sir.” was the last thing I heard as I drifted into unconsciousness once again.

—–

My senses slowly came back to me as I began to wake. The first sense to greet me was the sense of feel, my head pounded painfully and my stomach seemed to be on a boat, thankfully it was empty due to my recent ordeal. I was lying on a soft mattress and covered by a blanket from what felt like my feet to my chest, leaving my arms and head exposed. I could still hear the clanking of metal in the background and the rough sound of men laughing. I couldn’t make out the loud jokes, though I knew a few of the men were less than sober. I opened my eyes cautiously when I heard the sound of someone walking into the tent I was in.

It was a couple of seconds before my surroundings began to focus. I sat up hesitantly, careful not to move to much as not to upset my stomach more. I was in a large tent that looked as if it were made from mountain lion skin. The bed I sat on was placed at the back of the tent. A rug covered the grassy ground and a table sat beside me with a glass of pink liquid. The man that had entered stood at the opening of the tent, his form almost silhouetted against the grey light from outside. He had short brown hair and hazel eyes, with the same grey hue as Mikhail’s. I looked at him shyly as many questions rushed through my mind.

The man was the first to speak, “Ma’am.” he nodded a small bow, “Cocidius tells me that you know of a sensitive issue of ours.” I simply looked at him quietly, I couldn’t find words. I suppose the ‘sensitive issue’ he referred to was that of Mikhail being held hostage in a castle. That would certainly call for such an occasion as sending a dream to me.

“I must ask you some questions, Miss.” the man stated confidently as I continued to look up at him with my expressive blue eyes, “I will need you to answer them.” I stayed silent, his words almost inaudible in my busy mind. “Ma’am?” I knocked myself out of my daze to answer his questions.

“Yes, sir. But may I ask a question of my own?” I said courteously, putting on the strongest smile I could make in my current state.

“I suppose.” he responded plainly.

“What is your name?”

He chuckled a bit, apparently he expected my question to be of more interesting nature, “You may call me Brennus.” he responded, a smile lit up on his face, “Now that I have answered your question, will you answer one of mine?” I nodded and he stated his question, “How is it you know of our lost soldier?”

I shrugged and looked at the ground, “I…” words left me as I attempted to describe the dreams I have had, “I saw him…in a dream, at least, I think it was him.” I closed my eyes and recalled the image of Mikhail, “He has black hair and kind grey eyes and his name is Mikhail.” I opened my eyes and resumed my staring contest with the ground.

“How is this so? You are a mortal, are you not?” Brennus questioned.

I sighed and gathered my strength, than looked up at Brennus. Shock appeared on his face as he saw my brightly lit up sky blue eyes. My skin glowed a bright white, barely visible in the grey light of day. The whole image of me at this moment would’ve have seemed almost surreal to anybody whom had never seen a star before. I had gone from a weak and frail state to a majestic and regal creature in a matter of moments. Suddenly, as quickly as it had began, I returned back to my normal state. My eyes once again a dark blue and my skin no longer glowing.

“Will you excuse me for a moment? Your things are on the table beside you along with a glass of healing water. It is an old recipe passed down from our elders.” Brennus said hurriedly, than rushed out of my tent.

I sighed and looked at my brown pouch, dagger, and belt that sat on the table. I put on my dagger and belt and reached for the glass of pink liquid that stood beside my things. I drank the sweet tasting glass and placed it back gently on the table. I grew sleepy after a few moments of waiting for Brennus to return and laid back down on my bed, covering myself with my sheets. Than drifted off into an uneasy sleep.

—–

Bethany Faith

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