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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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Book Review – The Unseen by Luke Alistar

You can find “The Unseen” by Luke Alistar on Lulu and Amazon.

Set in early America (Pennsylvania in 1849, if you want exacts) this book gripped my attention from the start. It opens up in an asylum for mentally ill people, where a seventeen year-old girl named Lucy Satin has grown up. Labeled an outcast for claiming to see phantoms, or ghosts. 

Within the first few chapters, I am told of the cruelty that the patients suffer at the asylum and am given a glimpse into the haunted mind of Lucy. The character quickly won my heart and I was routing for her survival and triumph until the last page. 

Alistar does an outstanding job of playing the heart strings of the reader, instantly inciting both pity and love for little, helpless Lucy. 

Like watching the aftershocks of an earthquake, the author shows us the affects that various traumatic experiences have on the girl, and how they have altered her maturity and mental state. From beginning to end, Lucy remains a disconcerting mystery. The character is easily loved and pitied, but her past is still questionable and so is her judgement. This weaves together to make a nicely-paced story that I found to be an enjoyable read. 

Negative Content:

The book contained two scenes where rape was mentioned, though not in such blunt words. The description did not go into unnecessary and squirm-worthy details, though the obvious message could definitely prove as reason to keep this book away from younger readers. 

I, personally, felt that the first scene where sexual assault was mentioned was not disconcerting or nightmare-inducing. Alistar wrote it tactfully and was able to make his point without causing discomfort. However, the second scene crept a little bit too close to the edge of my comfort zone for me, and I would have preferred had he maybe skipped over it a bit more. 

On a similar note, as you can imagine, there are a few scenes where Lucy is undressed due to bathing, cold, simply shredded clothes, etc. Her physical features when nude are not mentioned to us though, which keeps such scenes acceptable and appropriate.

Also, in one scene, an older character attempts to explain the motive behind the mens’ actions towards Lucy. Once again, he doesn’t go into details, but does mention sex and the world’s unsatisfiable hunger for it, like money.

Various characters let a few curse words slip, usually referring to another person or themselves in anger or frustration. Because of this the words ‘ass’ and ‘damn’ are used  multiple times and the term ‘bastard’ is used once. Lucy is also referred to as a ‘whore’ on several occasions, and commonly called a ‘witch’ along with comments about burning her.

Having been raised in a military town though, I didn’t feel the use of such words distracted much from the story. The context they were used in wasn’t horrible and didn’t pose a stumbling block for me. If you’re really uncomfortable with profanity in any sense, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book to you though. 

Positive Content: 

While this book doesn’t exactly paint images of rainbows and fluffy kittens, it is sprinkled with pictures of positive morals and uplifting messages.

From start to finish the book shows examples of sacrifice, loyalty, friendship, and perseverance. Lucy herself shows great bravery and courage by pressing forward, regardless of when things grew too dark for her to bear, with the intention to keep a promise she made to a friend before his passing.

Though many people treat her cruelly, the girl also meets two other people who are willing to stay with her. One of them, a phantom, shows loyalty by staying by her side, even though he feels helpless and another character plays the role of a temporary mentor, making quite a few points about her situation in the short time he spends with her. 

In the asylum, where people have proven to be cruel, we are told a few kind folks in that dark place that have shown care towards Lucy and given her hope. They display examples of helping someone even when you, yourself, need help. 

Conclusion: 
 
All in all, I thought this book was exceptional. It made me cry. It made me smile. It made me ponder. It left me torn between true and false. It was…awesome (to be honest, really, it was.) 

I love books that make me think and expect me to catch up on implications to understand the story. This seemed like one such book. The writing style was uniquely simple yet good and captivating. There were a few typographical errors, but nothing great enough to really distract from the story. 

The book left an interesting question to wonder over. 

If you saw Lucy, would you pass her by, or would you offer a caring hand to the girl who has no one?

It’s certainly something to ponder when I’ve spent a day in Lucy’s shoes, reading through the pages of her trials and misfortune. 

Though the theme (or themes) of the book could be interpreted in so many ways, I felt it cried out for people who had gone through what Lucy had; who had been in her situation. Who understood her pain. It gave a heart to the heartless, who wouldn’t want to comfort a person in that situation. 

Luke Alistar definitely pulls together this dark theme and shows us a world beyond our comfort zone, taking us into a mind we wouldn’t want to tread in. He delicately weaves together a storyline that could have easily slipped into a turn for the worst and makes it pass with flying colors.

In the end, I’d recommend this book to anybody searching for an intriguing read. I would warn younger readers away from it, or anybody with a sensitive stomach for things such as rape, profanity, or torture. It isn’t really for the faint of heart, and it’s a dark story to take in, but the moral lessons and food-for-thought are worth it.

-Bethany Faith

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in Book Reviews, Books, Historical Fiction

 

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Why Do You Write ‘Dark’ Stories?

I write dark stories. I’m sure there are darker tales out there, but when I really let my heart write, my stories are sad. If I were telling them vocally, they’d be sure to draw a few tears and make a few hearts wince. And because of this, I’ve been asked more than once why I write like this. 

I seem so happy to people. So care free. Almost ignorant, if they don’t know me that well. But then in the next instant, I’m writing dark Fantasy which, in rare cases, doesn’t actually have a mention of God, but rather, just strong, Christian morals. 

Consequently, I say I write dark because I want to reach a particular audience. People who would read dark stories, maybe people like me. Or maybe people not so much like me. Just an audience who wouldn’t pick up a book if it said rainbows and kittens, but would eat up a book that said death and depression. This doesn’t, however, mean that my stories are going to be all dark. 

See, it’s often hard to remember that, even in the darkest of nights, as Christians, we always have a light. A hope. A Savior. The light shines brightest when the nights are darkest; and hope is strongest when situations are hopeless. 

It’s as though we have a diamond which shines its own light. Sometimes it is out in pure daylight, where sun is surrounding it. And, though the diamond still shimmers and shines brightly, it seems to blend in with the other sources of shimmering light. Soon enough, it almost blends in with the surroundings, and it seems average. Then we can get distracted by the other lights and loose focus of that little diamond. 

Take that same diamond shining light though and put it in a dark room, where no sunlight shows. It’s a lot easier to focus on the jewel when it’s in the dark room, where it is the only hope to cling to. You can then choose easily. Do you want to drown in the darkness, or cling to the light? 

That’s why I write dark. Because the depression, the struggles, the sadness, everything hurtful, can help focus on the Hope, the Strength, the Savior, everything good. And a lot of the world is struggling; Christians and non-Christians alike. However, show that the pain can and does have light in it and it suddenly isn’t so painful. In fact, you’re thankful for it. 

-Bethany Faith

 

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New Year’s Announcement!

What Lurks In The Forest is published!

Yep, I have officially published the sequel to my last work “What Lurks In The Forest” and you can find it on Amazon, here.

It took about three or so months to finish this book, but it was extremely fun to write it, especially since it was a sequel. Writing the second book in a series, is a lot different than writing the first, because you feel like you already know your characters so you write the dialogue with a lot more confidence than you did before. 

I will have a page up for the book as soon as possible, where I will post a bit more information about it, and a short summary of the storyline…but not any spoilers. 😉 

For now though, please feel free to read up about it on the Amazon page, where there is a short summary of it, and you can see the amazing book cover made by RSSharkey. She also did the interior design of the book, which you should be able to see a sample of, as soon as the “Look Inside” feature has been put up. 

Happy New Year!

-Bethany Faith

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Announcements

 

Demon Slayer

This is the introduction to chapter one of a series I intend to write sometime in the future. So far, the title is still a work in progress (it’s really basic right now, so I’m thinking of changing it to something a bit more mysterious later on) 

Anyways, here is the intro I wrote for the book earlier today. To clarify, it’s written in a journal entry sort of format (which is relevant to the storyline, yes) and I figured I might as well share it with you guys. This is a long overdue post anyways. 😉 

—–

January 1st – 2:34am – Another Nightmare

Wiping the sweat from my brow, I grip the sword tighter. My knuckles are turning white, I can feel their loss of color, but I ignore it. I hold on more firmly.

The items I carry weigh down on me. Two items in my hands and one bag on my back. They pull me down with each moment I stand, but I ignore them. I stay strong.

can hear their screams. The putrid smell of their breath covers my nose and fills my mind. They distract me from the mission at hand. They prevent me from completing my tasks.

Their sirens surround me. I swing my arm at one of them, but it only falls limply to my side. 

My legs grow weak as the enemy grows stronger. I open my mouth and let out the strangled yell as my determination to fight slowly caves.

Slowly, I hear a whisper reach beyond their screams and stretch its life towards me.
I call out to it in a weak voice, “Who am I?” I plead as I feel myself begin to fall into a dark hole of my enemy’s torments.

The whisper answers me with the sweetness of its serenity, “You are a demon slayer.” 

Then I awake. My nightmare melts away from my sweat-soaked skin, and I stare into the darkness of the night. The clock blinks twelve, mentioning another power outage. Everything is silent as I sit up on my bed, though I am still tangled in my sheets. My deep breathing is the only noise I can hear.

This was the first dream I have had in five years, and I am uncertain if more will come. 

—–

-Bethany Faith 

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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

 

New Themes & Other Such Surprises

Hello!

So, if you haven’t noticed, my blog is undergoing a sort of  dusting. I’m cleaning it up a bit and trying to connect it to a bunch of websites.

The main reason for this being that I just recently created a Twitter and a Tumblr account:

My Twitter
My Tumblr

And I needed to connect them to my blog so that y’all could keep updated about what I’m posting, without having to go to multiple websites.

Also, my blog needed a bit of cleaning. 😉 So I decided to spruce it up some and update a few outdated posts. 

Therefore, be not alarmed by all the new things that are popping out at you. It’s just me, tinkering with stuff. 😀

-Bethany Faith

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Announcements

 

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