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The Day Darkness Dawned – Part 4

Last part of my bits of this short story. 🙂

—–

To Rokam and Evony’s great dismay, the sun did not return in the morning either. Nor the next day, or the one after that. The skies remained as dark as they had ever been. At times, Rokam wondered if the darkness had actually increased since he had done his deed, but Evony always reassured him that it was merely his heart that showed his eyes a darker world than before.

The kingdom went into an uproar the morning the king was discovered dead. “Slaughtered by an unknown assassin” as they put it in the fliers that were tacked to every door.

The only change that occurred was that of the pale people, “the followers of the king” they called themselves. They wandered the streets as if a great illness had betaken them. Their eyes were tired; bodies weak, and as they attempted to carry on their daily duties, they only managed to grow more increasingly sick. After about four days, the streets were abandoned, making the kingdom out to be a ghost town of sorts. The life of the cities died, along with their king.

Due to their great illness the focus of the kingdom was, surprisingly, not on catching the murderer of their leader, but rather, replacing him with someone of equal power and leadership abilities. Many pale people wished to fill this part, but all of them had fallen ill and thus were rejected as good royalty, the concern for them dying from the illness they had all contracted being too great.

It was not until a month had gone by in this solemn lifestyle, that something rather profound had occurred to Rokam. At first Evony was hesitant to agree with his idea, unsure if it would cause more harm than it would help him, but she was soon very well with it, after having seen her husband’s eagerness to attempt it.

Therefore, they went to the castle and had a meeting with those who were presently judging who would be a good replacement for their leader. They too were people with pale hair and eyes, and they coughed and sneezed the entire time they spoke with Rokam and Evony for an illness was on them as well.

“How do we know-” The older man speaking coughed before continuing, “How do we know that this man won’t harm us? He is obviously one of the travelers from another land.” A coughing fit overtook the older man before he could continue.

A younger, less experienced looking, person sat beside him on a long table where ten or so people also sat. He finished the man’s thoughts for him with a scratchy voice that sounded as if his throat had been cut by knives, “He is right. He could be a threat to the entire kingdom! He could be mad! Why would we put him on the throne?”

Rokam nodded his understanding to the two men, “I know your concerns, good sirs, but I assure you I am neither a threat to this kingdom nor am I mad. You speak the truth, I have gone to the sunlit lands and I am not light skinned like you and your people are, but that does not make me an enemy of you-”

“How can we be sure?” the same white-bearded man spat.

Rokam thought for a moment, “If I were made king, I would not simply use my power for such pleasantries as attending balls or other such things which I shan’t list here. I would go to war for the kingdom which I ruled over; die for the people in it; defend them, whether rich or poor. I would strive to be a king worthy of my title. I may not be of royal lineage nor may I be from a castle or a class of great wealth. I am merely a simple citizen that wishes to fill the hole that has been created by the king’s passing and, hopefully, right a few wrongs which I have committed.”

Silence hung in the room for a moment as everyone at the table pondered Rokam’s words.

Evony shifted uncomfortably beside Rokam. She glanced at him and saw that he stood perfectly still. His eyes were fixed ahead, at the man which he knew would make the ultimate announcement.

After what must have been an hour of waiting while the men that sat at the table whispered amongst themselves, the white-bearded man that had originally spoke turned to Rokam. His eyes were dark and he held a scowl on his face as he announced their conclusion.

“Rokam, son of Rinian, we have all decided that, while we resent that you are a traveler, your examples of noble acts you would perform if you were appointed this high position were-” he coughed again. After a minute or so of coughing continuosly, the man finally caught his breath long enough to speak again, “Your noble deeds were indeed pleasing to us. Since we have seen nearly all the males in the kingdom and deducted that none of them are fit for the job due to illness or otherwise impure hearts, we have no alternative but to appoint you king post haste. Your coronation and crowning will be in exactly two hours.”
Rokam bowed low, “Thank you, Sirs. I will do my best to uphold the standards set for me and even far exceed them in hopes to prove to you that none of you have made the wrong decision.”

Rokam and Evony were then escorted out of the castle as the preparations for Rokam’s crowing began and the news was announced to all of the kingdom.

–•–•–•–•–

The sky was still black as Rokam began walking up the steps that would lead to his throne. Evony watched in the crowd, holding her breath and praying that the sun would return.

Many people kept their eyes glued on Rokam. Some of them held faces of disgust for their new king and his obvious rebellion against their old leader. Some were so sick they barely realized what they were watching. And some others yet, watched in awe of Rokam’s crowning for they liked that there was something different about this man. Something which they could not describe.

As Rokam walked up the steps he heard the crowd gasp each time he placed his foot on a new step. At first, he wasn’t entirely sure why they were doing this, but soon the answer was obvious. The sky began to sparkle with streams of sunshine. White clouds appeared and light leaked into the kingdom of darkness.

When the sun came out, some were awed, but others cried out in pain as the brightness blinded their eyes. For they had become far too accustomed to the darkness they lived in. The shouts of joy because of the sun’s return were mixed with cries and sobs for the loss of blackness.

Evony merely watched silently. A bright smile was spread across her lips. Rokam would be a good king.

–•–•–•–•–

I wish I could tell you that after Rokam was crowned there was a hundred of years of peace and then his heir took over the throne and there were a hundred more years of peace, but sadly, that is not at all what happened.

It is true that Rokam was a good king and he ruled with the just hand of a judge, but the gentle hand of a father. All who lived in the kingdom loved their king, for no one was as kind as he. And that was how he ruled for eight years, in a kingdom of peace and love.

Evony had their child not five months after he was crowned king and they were both joyous to find that the baby was a girl. They named her Clara and she was the jewel and crown of both the king and queen.

Sadly though, as I mentioned, there were not thousands of years of peace nor even hundreds or even fifty, but only a mere eight years was Rokam king. For on the anniversary of his coronation, a war broke out in the kingdom. The castle was attacked in the darkest hour of the night, when all but a few guards slept.

The enemy army made their way to Rokam and Evony’s bed chambers, murdering Evony as Rokam was forced to look on. They then captured the shattered king, who put up no resilience after having gone through the pain of watching his first love breath her last, and also took Clara, his eight year old daughter.

While in the prisons of the enemy camp, Rokam learned of his daughter’s capture and begged to make a deal with the leader of the camp. He traded his life for her release.

But the enemy was a breaker of many oaths, and he did not hold true to his word. Clara stayed captured, even after her father’s death and she remains a slave to the enemy’s leader even today, but she is still a light. The remaining gift that Rokam and Evony left to the world of Kochav.

As for Teshmar and what happened to the kingdom after it was overrun. The sun went black again with the crowning of a new king and light was once again forgotten. Only this time, the sun would not return to the kingdom until the end of Kochav, when light would return to all the world.

King Rokam, Queen Evony, and Princess Clara, though, were not forgotten. They remain in stories that are told to the little ones before they drift into sleep. The tale of how a simple commoner became the greatest king in all the history of Teshmar.

——

 

They Day Darkness Dawned – Part 3

This is around the time of the story where I started to get bored of my own storyline and thus my writing failed, as well as the character development. 😛

Anyways, here’s the next bit of my short story-ish series thingamajig:

—–

Rokam returned to his kingdom late into the night when only the cruelest of the pale people wandered the streets, committing their evil deeds. He entered the gates near silently. Beyond the click, clock, click, of the horse’s hooves, no noise could be heard.
 
Dismounting from his steed, Rokam led the horse into a nearby, stone barn where other animals, more white and pale than his, were housed. He unsaddled it and carefully put the various tack items into a small room inside the barn.
 
“Rokam, dear.”
 
Rokam jumped and his hand flew his side, where he would usually keep a sword, but he found that he had removed his weapon when he had arrived in the barn. But the gentle hand the touched his right shoulder caused him to relax. He let out a calm breath as he turned around.
 
“Evony,” he stated calmly as his eyes rested on the kind, blue eyes of a young girl, “What has you up at such an hour? You are putting yourself in danger, darling.” he placed a gentle kiss to her forehead once he had finished speaking.
 
“It is my father.” she whispered, her eyes falling to the ground as she spoke. “Rokam…” she said as her voice began to shake with held back tears, “He changed. His eyes are…they aren’t his. He…he got angry and…he prohibited me to see you again.” she looked up as the tears overflowed from her eyes.
 
Rokam frowned, “He prohibits you to see your own husband? What then does he plan to do with the child? He certainly does not expect you to raise him – or, perhaps, her – by yourself.”
 
“I am uncertain.” she whispered, “I merely hope you can sway his decision. I do not wish to be away from you.”
 
He nodded, “Perhaps I can speak to him now? I have nowhere that I must go presently so I can spend many hours kindly correcting his new restrictions on his daughter.”
 
Evony shook her head, “No, he is in bed and was rather frustrated when he decided to rest, best not to bother him tonight. And to note, he would then find that I have been out and he would be furious with me.”
 
Rokam sighed, “Tomorrow then…” he said, his eyes filled with sorrow.
 
She smiled softly, “Tomorrow.” a moment passed before she spoke again, “Did you learn of anything from your venture?”
 
His eyes grew dark, “Aye. I learned of how to return the sun. Though I cannot say that the solution is one I am at all fond of.”
 
“What is it?” she asked hopefully.
 
“I must kill the king. Luckily, he has no current descendants, but if he did it would be necessary for me to do away with them as well. We must not let his family’s reign as royalty continue and so, I’m assuming, we would also have to appoint a new king.”
 
“How do you suppose you shall go about doing such things?” she said, a frown crossing over her face.
 
Rokam shook his head, “I do not know as of now. I will work out how to get close enough to the king for an assassination tonight, I suppose.”
 
Evony sighed, “And what of the new king? Who is to say that they would not appoint an equally cruel king to replace the last?”
 
“I am unsure.” He said, “I…can only leave that up to Shaddaih.”
 
She looked up at him, her eyes twinkling a bit too brightly as she looked into his, “Be careful, Rokam.”
 
He smiled softly and wrapped his arms around her briefly before pulling away, “You should be going, lest your father finds out of your little escapade.”
 
She nodded and turned away. Her thin form vanished into the darkness.
  –•–•–•–•–
Rokam did not sleep that night nor the one after that. Many times he went to the house that he knew Evony and her family were staying in, but his knocks at the door were left unanswered. As the days passed, his heart grew heavy with the task he knew was at hand and the ever growing worry for his wife and child’s health.

Three days passed and Rokam stayed quite busy as he gathered information from various sources about the weakest parts of the castle security. After many hours of planning, and multiple surreptitious meetings in the darkness of the night, he had plotted the assassination of his king.

He sat in the darkness of his home one night while he ran through the plan in his mind again. No fire burned where it usually would. Instead, the fireplace contained no more than red ashes of a fire that once was. A mere candle lit the small, home enough so Rokam could see his own hands.

 sat on the table in the middle of the room, leaning on his elbows as he bent over an open scroll. His face wore a frown and his breath came out shallow and nearly silent. One of his hands was on the table, curled into a tight fist, as most peoples’s hands fist up when they are thinking deeply about things that could change their life and many others’s.

A soft knock came at the door, causing Rokam to look up from the scroll before him. He quickly curled the paper around the roller and tucked the scroll away on his bed, underneath the pillow.

He then grabbed a cloak that hung on the table’s chair and slipped it over his clothes, being sure to pull the hood over his head and cover his dark eyes and hair. He hesitated at the door.

A moment passed.

The knock came again, more urgent this time, but still gentle.

Rokam shook himself out of his paused state and opened the door. He felt his heart jump into his throat when he saw whom had knocked. After he took in a shallow breath to keep himself from rushing at the person, he quietly stepped aside, allowing his guest entrance into his home.  

The thin figure of a person walked inside the hut. The visitor’s feet made no sound as they walked along Rokam’s wood floor and stopped only after having reached the table. They turned to Rokam. Pure white hands reached up and removed the hood of the cloak that had shadowed everything, but their bright eyes.

Evony looked up at Rokam, who stood in front of her, tears glimmering in his eyes. Her own blue eyes held a deep sadness about them, almost as if a cloud of darkness rested upon her. A red bruise covered her right cheek and she had a small cut on her lip, both of which looked as if they were recently received.

Rokam reached his hand up and gently brushed it through her golden hair. 

“What happened?” He said, his voice nearly a whisper.

Evony took in a near silent breath before responding slowly. Her words came out small and her voice sounded minuscule in the open hut that contained little furniture.

“He – my father – was angry. I don’t know what originally got him ill-tempered but he was in a rather dangerous mood when I came from the market.”  she paused to draw another breath, “He and my mother were fighting – from what I can tell he wished for her to denounce her loyalty to Shaddaih and she refused – and he-”

“Did your father strike you?” Rokam growled, his voice coming out more menacing than he had intended. He held himself back, attempting to be gentle for Evony’s sake. He was certain she would not enjoy having him upset as well.

“No.” she whispered, shaking her head slightly, “He had a greater sense than to do that, I suppose. He, instead, said that if we did not change our allegence, we could not live in his house anymore. Therefore, he forced my mother and I out. We were making our way towards here when two men came and,” she paused for a moment, holding back a sob before continuing,  “One of them had a knife and he…killed my mother and took a gold bracelet from her wrist the other one tried to hurt me, but I kicked him and ran for what must have been fifteen minutes or so… Then, when I was exhausted, I came here.”  Her voice faded away as she finished her tale.

Rokam frowned and searched for words.

A few minutes passed where silence flooded the room. Evony’s explanation hung in the air, waiting to be responded to.

Finally, Rokam stepped away and placed a few pieces of wood in the fireplace. He took a match from the shelf that was above the fireplace and lit it, then threw it into the dark corner. A fire slowly grew on one piece of the kindling until all of it was aflame and the entire room was lit. He then set up a kettle with some water in it, to make tea after the water had been brought to boiling.
Once Rokam was done with this he turned to see that Evony sat on the bed, holding an open scroll in her hands as her eyes studied the page. Rokam sighed and sat down beside her.

“You should not be looking at that.” he said as he took the scroll from her, curled it up, and placed it beside him, “Best you do not know all that I plan to do. Ignorance will save you if everything does not work as anticipated.”

Evony nodded, “When?”

“When to what, my dear?” Rokam responded.

“When will you…” she motioned to the scroll beside him.

“Oh,” Rokam paused before answering, “Tomorrow. Once the street fires have been put out for the night.”

  –•–•–•–•–

Rokam walked down the dark streets. He could not see the ground which his feet touched. Therefore, he counted his steps to remember when to turn and where he was. He turned to the right once he had counted to thirty, into the street that he knew would lead to the most secluded castle entrance.

He heard water trickling bellow him as he crossed a bridge, his sense of sight still not assisting in his walk, though he began to see fires in the distance.

Slowly, as Rokam walked further, the road began to be scattered with the occasional fire, until there was a stream of them on the dirt road he walked on.
Now that he had more light he could see that he had walked around the castle and ended up on the other side of it. His back faced the ocean and he could hear the waves as they crashed against the rock on the shore. A large, stone wall stood before him, and he walked beside it for some time before he began to hear soft footsteps.

He paused. Pressing his back against the wall, he continued edging in the direction which he heard the footsteps. Once he could see the shadows of the guards on the ground, he pulled the hood of his cloak over his head.
He took in a deep breath. The entrance to the castle was directly beside him. He just had to get past the guards. His heart pounded hard in his chest and a terrible lump built in his throat. But there was a task at hand.

Something stronger, a longing to see the sun again, came over Rokam and if only for a moment, his fears and worries seemed small. Taking in another breath, he edged closer to the entrance and waited.

The guard turned on his heels and walked back around, passing the wall which Rokam was pressed against. The guard’s eyes barely caught the sight of a cloaked man and his hands reached to his sword. Though the weapon was not removed from its sheath before a hard object struck his head and he crumbled to the ground.

A second guard had seen it all and quickly unsheathed his sword. He hurriedly lunged at Rokam, but his blade was dodged. The second guard tumbled to the ground. Unconscious.

Rokam dropped the large rock he held on the ground. His hands reached up and he adjusted the hood of his cloak so that it overshadowed all but the small white that surrounded his dark eyes. Slipping his right hand into the sleeve of his left, he pulled out a dagger and concealed it with his cloak.

It didn’t take him long to make his way to the entrance of the castle. He quietly took a window off of its frame and sneaked inside. It was nearly as dark in the castle as it had been in the courtyard, only that the hallways were lined with small candles on the sides. The candles provided enough light so Rokam could see where he walked.

Now that he was inside, he attempted to remember the layout.

Right, right, left, right, left, left, Rokam kept track of how many turns he had made as he walked through the silent hallways. Few guards were on watch inside the building and those who were contented themselves by sleeping on chairs beside the doors. Their heavy breathing echoed throughout the halls.

Rokam walked faster as he passed another guard. He took another right turn. This was his last one before he came to the large doors that led into the king’s sleeping chambers.

The doors were made of pure gold that seemed black in the darkness of the castle. Two guards slept on either side of the door. Neither of them moved.
Rokam glanced at the guards, taking note of the swords strapped to their wastes. His eye caught some rope a few feet away. Quickly striding over to the well-crafted material, he picked it up then walked back to the guards.
Within a few moments, the guards had both arms and legs tied. And yet they still slept soundly.

Rokan shook his head slightly. They had been drunk before they passed into sleep no wonder. He sighed, considering that these men would probably not live another day after they were discovered to be the guards that had been on watch that night.

His sympathy was short lived though as his mind jumped back to the task that was placed before him. He lifted his hands and pressed against the large doors.

The doors groaned then opened slowly. With the sight of a large room, with fine furniture and advanced architecture, came a rotten sent. It smelt as though a body had been slain and left in the room to rot.

He grimaced at the odor and took a step back. Once he was accustomed to the smell, he took a few steps inside the room. Unlike the stone which lined the hallways, this room had carpeted floors, which masked the sound of his footsteps.

A large bed stood before him, with collumns that reached up and created a canopy above the mattress. The sheets, which appeared to have once been white, were stained with bits of brown and some red stains from what appeared to be wine. Though, the brightest of the stains could even be mistaken for blood.

He walked up to the bed. Laying on the mattress, with a thin white sheet covering him, slept a man. He had long, blond hair that was knotted and covered the pillow which his head rested on. His skin was pale and a short beard was beginning to grow on his face.  

Rokam paused beside the man. The shadow of a dagger appeared as he removed the weapon from his cloak.

The king was merely thirty years old; he had a full life to live. He had no sons or daughters. No wife. He would never know the feeling of love or the joy of being a father. Perhaps he was not as evil as his servants had described him to be. Maybe he was merely a lost soul, trying to find his way.

Rokam thought of all these things as he looked at the man whose life he was about to end. Was he doing the right thing? Should he be listening to a stranger he met only once? Who’s to say that her word was correct?

Yet  as he pondered the man’s loss of family and life, his mind drifted to his own family. His wife that waited for him. The small child that was growing. Whether the baby be boy or girl, he was a human life, and much loved by both mother and father.

Rokam’s jaw tightened. He had to finish this, if not for himself, for his child. So that he would grow up in a world with a sun. So that his son, or daughter, would be safe and not have to worry about leaving the house at night or announcing his faith.

His fingers tightened around the hilt of the dagger. The weapon was raised in the air, above the king’s body.  The tip of the blade shimmered as it caught the light of a candle.

He took in a deep breath. His knuckles turned white. Closing his eyes, he let an image of Evony play before him.

“Shaddaih, forgive me.” he whispered. His words floated into the silence of the night and faded away.

The dagger came down quickly. It pierced into the king’s chest. The sound of echoed in the room, shortly followed by a gasp from the king.

When Rokam opened his eyes, the man’s body lay limp before him. He slowly removed his hands from the dagger that protruded  from the man’s chest, and took a step away from the bed. His hands shook and air came in short, small gasps.
 
A moment passed as he composed himself. Once his breathing had returned to normal and the shaking in his hands had slightly subsided, he turned back to the large doors he had entered from. He walked towards them, but paused just before stepping out of the room.

His thoughts spun, as if a million voices spoke to him at once. He could still feel the his hands quivering with the thought of what he had just done.

A minute or so passed as he stood there, listening to the incoherent thoughts in his mind. So many emotions ran through him in that moment; anger at himself, pity for the king, sadness because of loss, joy that he had finished his job… But the one feeling that stood above them all was something Rokam would never forget. Guilt.

As Rokam began his walk back home, he looked up into the sky. Outside, walking on the deserted, dirt road that was far from the main part of the kingdom, he had expected to see something. A star. The moon. Anything.
But as he looked up, he felt his heart sink and a terrible pit in his stomach formed.

There were no stars. No moon. Not even the grey shade of clouds that hid some form of light behind them. It was pure darkness, as it had been for hundreds of years.

—–

-Bethany Faith

 

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The Day Darkness Dawned – Part 2

As promised, here is the next part in my short story:

——

Rokam swung his leg over the side of his midnight colored steed. The horse shifted uncomfortably with the new burden he bore, but after a moment, adjusted his hooves to stand firmly against the ground. His firm neck reaching out high in the stanse of a great warhorse. The dark shimmer of his well-groomed coat sparkled slightly in the sunless shadows as the crowed watched with judgemental interest.
Their glares could be felt on Rokam as he sat upon his horses. The color of his steed volunteered the information that he would be traveling to the sunlit lands, giving the people a strong contempt for this traveler even before he had gone to the feared territories.
 
With no reason to hide his true nature, Rokam allowed the hood of his cloak to hang lazy behind his back. His deep brown eyes were now visible, containing the same mystery as the colorless sky. The brown hair that waved just above his shoulders fluttered about his face as the cold breeze caressed him.
He turned his horse around to face the people watching. The broken breath of a sigh parted from his lips while he studied the crowd before him. His eyes met with that of a girl, she must have been in her late twenties by now, no more than one or two years younger than he.
 
She had long, blond hair that reached to just above her shoulder blades. It was quite visible, even from a distance, that her hair was soft and gentle, not like that of pale people’s white hair, which tangled and felt as wires to the hands. Though what was most noticeable about the girl was her bright, blue eyes that shimmered like diamonds. They were light colored eyes, but not the white ones that Rokam’s father had. It was these color eyes that were once considered to belong only to those of royal blood. Long before the sunless days, those with these eyes were treasured and looked up to as elders with overflowing wisdom.
 
She looked up at Rokam when their eyes met. Her hands rested gently on a small bump on her stomach as small tears began to make their way down her cheeks.
 
Rokam nodded courteously to her and turned his horse around, not spending time to search the crowd for his father. He gave his horse a firm kick, causing the animal to lunge forward into a face-paced trot. The horse picked up pace as it ran onward, slowly making its way far from the kingdom gates.
 
The crowd hissed and screamed cruel insults at him as he vanished into the thick darkness. But the girl simply watched. Her eyes strained to see Rokam for as long as was possible, but soon the shadows swallowed him and she looked down, her small sobs going unheard by the raging crowd.
 
  –•–•–•–•–
 
Rokam’s horse trotted over a stream softly. The hard hooves made splashes in the water that sprinkled the ground as they passed over it. Rokam looked up at the sky, studying the new shade it had become. It was still not the bright blue he had been told of, but it had began to turn a deep shade of purple.
 
To understand what Rokam saw as he traveled onward, you will have to had seen a sunrise. The colors shifted and the night seemed to slowly melt away as if the sun were coming out after a long nap. However, unlike an ordinary sunrise this one did not grow because the time of day changed, but rather, because Rokam continued traveling forward. Therefore, if he had paused his horse, the slowly rising color in the sky would have halted as well, since he no longer travelled closer to the lands containing sunlight.
 
Rokam though, did not care much to discover this, instead, as it grew more bright, he grew more anxious. Urging his horse onward with a few gentle kicks, he started off on a light canter, which soon turned into a fast gallop.
 
It took Rokam only a few moments before the sun was fully raised and shining brightly above him. He was forced to squint his eyes until they adjusted to the light, but he did not slow down. He rode faster as the warm light heated his back. Now he could see he was in a forest. Going onward, he hoped he would reach the end of this sea of trees soon.
 
Finally, his horse broke through the thick forest trees. It slowed to a halt, pausing so his rider could take in the clearing in woods.
The sky, now fully visible as it was not covered by the tree canopy, was a bright shade of blue, sprinkled with the rays of light the sun provided. Large, white clouds clumped together in small parts of the heavens, sometimes blocking the sun, but never for too long.
 
Rokam dismounted from his horse. He patted its neck as it stooped down and began to eat the green grass underneath its feet. He took the brown bag that was attached to the horse’s saddle and swung it on his shoulder.
 
“Stay here. I will be back.” he said, brushing his hand across the horse’s neck a final time before he turned to study where he stood.
 
He now stood at the beginning- or rather, the end – of a long, dirt road. It led towards where the sun was high in the sky, surrounding the earth in its warm light. The road led to a small hut, visible to Rokam’s eyes even though it was far from where he was. The distance between him and the building was too much for him to be able to conclude if it was either empty or or not. Nevertheless, Rokam decided he would walk towards it and take a closer look.
 
  –•–•–•–•–
 
When Rokam reached the hut, he was disappointed to find that it appeared to be rather old. The door was rotting and the stones where covered in various forms of moss. Though, the door appeared to have been locked. Rokam sighed and knocked on the wooden door, fully expecting no one to answer.

A few moments passed.
 
The old, metal doorknob wobbled as it was shoved open. An older woman with dark eyes and a cruel face stood in front of Rokam. She scowled at him. She wore a simple robe that reached to the ground, covering her body. Her hands were clenched into tight fists and she almost seemed to hiss when she spoke.
 
“What do you want?” she said.
 
Rokam bowed politely, “My lady, I am Rokam, son of Rinian from the Kingdom of Teshmar, and I have come to seek aid in a great crisis that has occurred in my land.” he gestured to the sky, “Our sun has vanished and, our sky, left without any light. It has been so for hundreds of years and I fear my people are growing ill in more ways than one.”
 
The woman looked Rokam up and down, her face contorted in obvious contempt, “What is it you expect me to do for you then, strange person?”
 
“I only ask that you point me towards anyone of the people in the sunlit lands that may be able to offer me their assistance. I would be greatly in debt to you if you did so.”
 
The woman opened her mouth to answer when a small child pushed past her legs and burst into the open. The little girl, who had bright red hair and kind, yet somehow frightened, eyes, proceeded to then cling to Rokam’s legs, sniffling on occasion as if she were holding back tears.
 
Rokam chuckled and bent down on one knee so he looked the little girl in her green eyes. He gently pushed away the strand of hand that covered her eyes, and smiled kindly.
 
“Hello, little one. What might your name be?” he asked kindly.
 
The girl looked at him with wide eyes. She shook her head once before throwing herself in his arms.
 
The woman scoffed and rolled her eyes, “She cannot hear you. And even if she could, her mother was crazy and so is she.”
 
Rokam frowned and stood up while carrying the child, allowing her to rest her head on his shoulder. “She does not seem to be so, merely frightened. Do you happen to know what may have frightened her?”
 
“I haven’t the faintest idea.” the woman brushed the topic away, “She is only three years of age; anything will frighten her. Now, if you would kindly give me back my granddaughter, I would be much more open to helping you.”
 
Rokam sighed and placed the young girl beside the woman, “Be good now and stay there.” he said before placing a kiss to her forehead and giving her a friendly smile. Then he stood up and faced the woman, “Who then, my lady, do you think could assist me in bringing the sun back to my people?”
 
The woman shoved the girl inside before answering to Rokam, “I can. Tell me more of when the sun left your people.”
 
“It came when our king was crowned hundreds of years ago. The old royal family had passed and were left with no descendent to the thrown and so a new one was appointed. The day of the coronation the sun turned black and the sky was left without a cloud nor a star. It has been so since.”
 
“And this king,” the woman asked, “he is still in the throne, or at least, his descendants?”
 
Rokam nodded, “Aye.”
 
The woman chuckled, “Your people must be blind to the ways the unseen realms work to not have concluded the most obvious cause of your unfortunate demise.”
 
“Oh?”
 
“Indeed.” the woman said, “The first king carried a curse, of sorts, that was placed upon your land when he was chosen to rule it. Most likely, he took an oath with a power beyond anything either him or you have. Thus the sun will remain lost to your homeland until the last descendant of his falls from the throne.”
 
Rokam looked shocked, “Are you suggesting that I, Rokam of Teshmar – a mere peasant,- should dare to threaten my king’s life?”
 
“No…” The lady snickered, “I am suggesting you murder him. Why merely threaten a life you intend to take? Whatever your choice, it does not matter to me, I have answered your question. Now be gone with you.”
 
“But why- you- I need an explain- ma’am!” Rokam stuttered as the door to the hut was shut on his face. He sighed and looked down, kicking the dirt on the ground and grumbling to himself.
 
——

-Bethany Faith

 
 

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The Day Darkness Dawned – Part 1

Hello! I’m actually posting a story today (yay!)

So this short story is actually a bunch of ideas all mashed into one. Something a friend gave me, the concept of writing a story about some minor characters I mention in a book I’m writing, and then various random things I’ve never gotten to write about (like sneaking into a castle. Can you imagine how sad it is to be a Fantasy writer that hadn’t gotten to write about sneaking into a castle yet?)

Anyways, I’ve been working on this story for a good…oh..maybe six months, and I finally just finished enough revision today to think it was sort of worth posting on my blog. However, it still is a bit rough in places and I have problems with showing not telling so, most likely, I’m gonna send it to a few people to tear apart so I can make it better… But since I haven’t posted a story on here in forever, I figured I could post it now.

It is a really long story though, at around eight thousand words it really could be expanded into a very short book rather quickly, so I’m going to post it in parts. These would be the first two scenes of the story and I’ll post the other two next Monday. And so on, until I run out of story to post.

So here you go. I hope you like it and thanks for reading!

—–

The crown gently lowered down to the king’s head. The gold was sparkling vividly in the sun as it rested upon him. Everybody held their breath in awe at the crowning of their new king and the start of a new family of royals.

The priest removed his hands from the breathtaking crown. Then, darkness fell. The once bright sky was now black; with none of its past sunlight to show.

This was no ordinary darkness. For not even the shadows that line the earth when midnight strikes can compare the thick sheet of darkness that now lurked in the kingdom. There was no moon. No stars were in the sky. No clouds could be seen. The sun was gone. Light had vanished.

It seemed as if a being had ripped the cover of sky and left only a black sea of hopelessness in its place.

Any sensible person would have started to panic at such utter darkness, for nothing is more frightful than when one cannot see one’s own hand though it is lifted to one’s eyes. All the people could hear was the sound of their neighbor’s breath. All they could feel was the hot bodies of the crowd pressing against them. All they could do was wait.

Everybody stood still. A minute passed. Soon, three minutes passed. After five minutes, the cry of a newborn that had been frightened by the darkness was heard amongst the crowd.. Fifteen minutes, and three children wailed in fright as their mothers desperately tried to calm them, humming their babies’ favorite lullabies to no avail.

Finally, a knight of the king lit a small match. Everybody gasped as their eyes followed the flicker of fire. The only remaining source of day.

The knight felt around until he found the stream of oil that was used to light the streets after nightfall. He touched the match to it. The flame ran down the long stream, shedding its faint glow on the street.

The children paused in their discomforted cries one by one as their eyes grew more accustomed to the darkness. The king stood from the throne he had been sitting on comfortably and spoke to the people.

“Stay calm, my citizens.” He said, his voice echoed the same as a speaker in a large stadium, “The light of the sun will return to us in a few days time. I am certain. Until then, we shall use firelight to continue on as we are all used to living. Just be certain, the sky will once again shine light before the end of the Spring.”

But the sun never did return.

Hours turned to days: days to turned to months. Years passed, generations of kings and queens from the royal family came and left. Elders had died and new ones had been appointed. Those who did not travel into the lands of sun began to have skin that resembled the shade of snow. Their children had far more pale skin-tones and their eyes became purely white.

The legends of a bright objects which hung in the sky became no more than bedtime stories. Fire was the only source of brightness. Those who traveled to the sun-filled land came back with legends of great light and frightened eyes; they were considered to be mad and became outcasts.

Travelers became unwelcome and visiting another land was thought to be an lunatic’s self-inflicted death sentence.

Eventually, it was not just the world that was dark, but also the hearts of the people.

The kingdom became corrupt. The kings were unjust and the people were cruel. Those who still held onto their faith from before the sun left – those who still believed in Shaddaih – were treated as slaves or criminals. Their faith considered a foolish belief. Their stories told to be no more than sorceror’s spells.

In this way, four hundred and seventy-two years passed. Darkness stayed. Light became no more than a whispered word. A silent hope. Or an unspoken dream in the heart of a chosen few.

–•–•–•–•–

The sound of a stream was faintly audible as Rokam walked down the main street of the kingdom, his feet clicking against the stone road. The echo came back to him and rang in his ears. Cold air brushed against his cheeks with fingers like an elderly widow’s deathly pale hands. He shivered and pulled the hood of his cloak over his face more. Unconsciously, he reached his right hand out to pull the sleeve over the bit of his skin that was still visible.

Two children played near one of the fires that lit the street. They threw a few pebbles into the flames and giggled with delight as the rocks popped and sizzled. It seemed as if they were entertaining themselves, until their parents came and pulled them away from the fire.

Rokam nodded his head politely to the father and mother as he passed by. The shadow that was cast on his face hid his dark, hazel eyes from the sight of the pale community, but from the stares he got, Rokam could tell that they knew. He did not pause for even a moment, but continued walking. Though tempted to rush along into the safety of his home, he went onward at an average pace, instead.

Think of something else. He tried to clear his mind as he felt the fears began to press against him. In an attempt to distract himself from the concerns that floated about, he searched for a better thoughts to dwell on. His scramble for lighter thinking occupations, though, proved useless and, instead, he found himself only pondering further worries. If they knew, would they ban me? What if they are right? Perhaps it is I who is in the wrong, not them. Or, perhaps, there is some way I can prove them to be wrong. Perhaps…perhaps.

Presently, he came to a large metal door that stuck out among a long row of stone houses, the arrival putting a temporary pause to his worried thoughts. He presented a small key from his cloak and unlocked the door. It squeaked and moaned as he shoved it open then strode inside, swiftly closing it behind him.

He entered into a small, old home. A fire burned in the fireplace, which was covered in moss and a few streams of water from the leak on the roof. A well-carved, wooden table sat in the middle of the room, along with four chairs. A small, wooden cot stood in the far right corner. The room smelled of freshly cut wood, or, perhaps, the streets after a good rain. It was a very comforting place, yet something seemed to be missing, leaving a sense of loneliness over the room.

Rokam walked over to the cot and settled down on it. He took off his shoes, letting out the slight sigh of a weary traveler after a long day. Then he removed his cloak, which revealed his wavy, black hair and kind, brown eyes. Though one could see sorrow, hurt, and mystery. The expressions of his face shown a soul which cannot be described by mere words, for his past, present, and future held such questionable greatness in them that he contained a heart of such emotions none can understand.

After hanging his sword on the wall, he took a few vegetables out of a bag on his table, picked up a bucket of water he had beside his bed, and proceeded to make himself a pot of soup.

When he was just settling down for dinner, a knock came at the door.

“The lock is not closed; you may enter as you please.” Rokam called to his visitor.

The door resumed its noises of disagreement as it were forced open once again.

A man whom stood as tall as Rokam strolled into the house. The visitor wore a dark cloak that shrouded his face in a shadow of ominious mystery, but Rokam recognized the man from the symbol that was etched into his sword, which was strapped firmly to his side.

Rokam smiled and stood up, bowing politely. “Good night, Father. Why have you payed me a visit this evening?”

His father glared at him behind the shadow of his cloak, “Are these rumors that have reached my ears of you planning a trip to the sunlit lands actually truth? Have you gone entirely mad?”

Rokam seemed startled and anger turned his cheeks slight red for a moment. Though he did not lash out in rage, instead he responded politely. “Are you not the one that fueled all my dreams of light, when I was a child? Did you not encourage me to follow my heart, Father? It was you who taught me the legends of the bright disk. It was you, Father, whom taught me of him.”

“I know what I taught you!” His father snapped impatiently, “That does not mean I wished for you to go into the lands of light and have yourself announced insane! They will cast you out, Rokam! Listen to me and do not go. Save yourself from the torments so many others have mindlessly put themselves through. It is a fool’s game to travel to an unknown land.”

“Then, I suppose, I shall be a fool.” Rokam said, his voice calm and even. Though he felt the fire of anger begin to flame inside him, he remained at ease.

His father began to pace, turning his back to Rokam as he grumbled,“Think of all that you will loose. Such confusion you shall create with your mindless escapade. You could loose your thoughts; go mad with the blinding light of the sun, or else, become distracted and act caged, like a wild animal. What of Evony? Your child? What would they think of having their husband and father be an outcast in society? The mere contemplation of such things is only for a lunatic to ponder!”

Rokam frowned, “Father, I am merely obeying your teaching. You have taught me to put all my trust in him; never to doubt him. Is it then not my place to discern whether or not Shaddaih is leading me to do what seems like an unwise act?”

“Do not speak to me of such things!” His father’s voice rose. He spun around hurriedly, causing his eyes to meet Rokam’s. The hood of his cloak slipped off his head and exposed the clear shades of his cold look. The white eyes Rokam had come to know far too well were unveiled.

“F-father…” Rokam stuttered, “Your eyes. What has become of them? Your bright, colorful eyes. They-they-”

“They left and so came new ones!” His father spat, “New eyes that bring a light of their own. Eyes that let me see when there is no light. Eyes that do not mind the darkness. My son, why do you not see through such wonders as what I see through? Why must you keep the same darkness in your stare? You have the eyes of evil.”

Rokam shook his head and backed away from the man, “It is not I who dons the look of evil. Those involved in the darkness of Shaddaih’s enemy are those with such eyes.. That which you consider wonder is not as such, Father, you have been lied to. The eyes cannot see in the darkness, they are the darkness.”

A deep-chested laugh rose from his father’s throat, but the sound was cut short as a small army of coughs came in to replace it. After recovering his breath, he spoke once again. “You are knave, my child, to believe in such legends. Cannot you see that we have all been deceived? We have all been fed the stories of this supposed ‘sun’ We have believed the lie of this ‘god’ It is he who is evil, not my light magic.”

“Then let me prove that you are right, Father. Let me go to the light-filled lands in peace and I will come with answers. If Shaddaih is who he says he is, I will return well and in better health than before; I will find like-minded people who will give me comfort. If it is your ‘light magic’ that is right I will come back deranged; I will find cruel and dark people and the sun will be my enemy. Not my friend. Let me go, and we will see who is right.”

“Oh, my son, how blind you are to the good that surrounds you. Never satisfied.” his father sighed, “But if it is true, that you must go, then go, but do not come to my house when your mind has left you and all the kingdom has deserted you. I wish not to share my bed with an outcast.”

His father turned away from Rokam and hurriedly left the hut. The door was shut roughly, blowing an ice cold gust of wind inside the solemn hut. He waited for a moment, staring at the open air where his father had stood not a moment before. His forehead crinkled in a slight frown of both anger and hurt.

—–

-Bethany Faith

 

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Where To Begin — Introduction

So, since I’m going to start posting once a week, I decided I’d begin my new idea of posting things that aren’t stories with a series on writing – shocking, I know. 😉 

I realized that sometimes people who are just starting writing aren’t entirely sure where to begin, because it can seem daunting. There’s all these voices telling you to outline, plot, develop, learn grammar, read books,  revise, rewrite, re-edit, reheat breakfast on high for 1-2 minutes…(Okay, so that last one isn’t relevant to writing really…) 

So all these things being thrown at once often times will confuse you. Which means you’ll either just start ignoring everything (even the good advice) and just start writing, but reach some brick walls you can’t get through because you’re writing blind, or you’ll give up then and there, because there’s just too much to do. 

The cool thing about writing though, id that it really isn’t that hard, but it isn’t easy either. Writing is (more or less) sort of like math. Not as in it has numbers and such (it’s nothing like math in that sense) but its one of those things that you might have trouble figuring out and then when you figure it out, you go “Ohhhhh” and feel sort of silly it took you so long to figure out. Has that ever happened to you in Math? Well, writing is sort of like that. Only that it doesn’t take that long to figure out if you know the basics. 

So that’s what I intend to give you. The basics. 

Writing is something that has lots of different parts and lots of different things to learn, but fictional writing is all built up on three, basic subjects.

Writing style.
Storyline.
Character Development.

And then there are sub-categories to each of those, which we will get to later. But that’s all you have to understand to start writing, isn’t that awesome? Once you grasp these three basic concepts you can start writing and as you advance further in your writing you’ll advance further into these three categories. Eventually, you’ll find writing super fun, super easy, and super understandable. 

So then I’m going to start posting a three part series that I’m going to call “Where To Begin” 

Now, there are plenty of books you can get on how to write (and I would suggest, if you find writing still hard to figure out that you look into reading a few of those), but this will sort of just be a crash-course in how to write fiction. Some of what I mention will be personal preference and some of it will be things that all writers do. I’ll tell you which is which as we go along. 

I’ll post the first part, “Your Writing Style” next Saturday and I’ll build up from there. 

I look forward to writing this and I hope you gain something from it. Thanks for reading!

-Bethany Faith

 

100 Theme Challenge: Day 17

So, since I skipped so many days of this, due to novel writing and character development and all that other crazy stuff us writers do to get novels finished before we die * cough * I mean…writing. 😉 I figured I’d post this on Saturday instead of waiting aaaaaaaall that time until Monday. 😀

One Moment

Never again would I be the same when I must carry around the scar of this moment. I would never forget the screaming and tears. They would change me forever. I would wear them in my heart; a badge that proves I have fought in wars. It would be like a ghost that whispers in my ears at night and haunts my every move; the memory of the sudden fight.

I knew this the instant it happened. I knew my life had changed and would never be the same. The moment I saw anger rising, I felt my world change.

 

100 Theme Challenge: Day 16

Theme: My Inspiration

Whispered Writings

It came like a flash of lightning. It was as silent as the cat that hunts in the night; unexpected and mysterious. As if it were a nightmare that caused my heart to beat faster, it woke me with a jolt.

Without much time to record my thought before it vanished into my forgotten memories, I rushed to where I could write. I Picked up my pen, a sword for a writer, and dipped it into the black liquid. Expertly, the sharp tip grazed against my white parchment.

The letters formed themselves. The ideas came without thinking. My inspiration whispered and the words were written.