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What Hides In Their Heart – Poll Results!

Hello again!

So, it is the beginning of June and I have now returned with the results for the poll (which is now closed!) It turns out what I’m going to start my third book with is…

Introducing a new character!

Which is probably gonna be even more fun for me than you guys, since I love new characters. And, quite frankly, this new character is possibly one of my favorites.

Also, just because I would like to torture you guys until I get this book published… I shall tell you a little bit about this new character…and then you won’t hear from her on my blog again until the book is finished. 😉

Short summary of what I know so far:

Her name is Ancantha, which I believe means fire…or flames. Something in Hebrew; I seem to have lost the notes on her name. So I can’t tell you the exacts there. My apologies.

She is from the lands past Shamayim (if you’ve been paying attention to the series this far, you’ll know what that is. If not then just ignore that) and Gavin is going to be the first one of the three to meet her.

Oh, yes, and she’s a girl. In case you haven’t already noticed. 😛

And that is all. I now have writing to get to, seeing as I have given myself only two months to write, edit, revise, proofread, format, and publish a book. So I shall be busy, busy, busy with this series from now on…or else I’ll have to do a dreadful thing and…move my deadline back.

On that note, I might have a small sneak peek or two coming up for this book (and possibly my novel) just in case y’all are curious. And I’ll try to get some short stories up soon. I think I have notes on a mini-series I was daydreaming up the other day…somewhere. I’ll have to go digging.

Okay, now I’m really done. I think that’s all. 😀

-Bethany Faith

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What Hides In Their Hearts vs. Writer’s Block

Hello, yee reader of this post!

In case you haven’t heard, I have two books published (look for information on the first book I published “What Lies In The Dark” on the “published works” page, if this is news to you) which just so happen to be part of a four to five five book series that I am writing titled, Trials of Three.

Consequently, I am writing the series as I publish it. This means that the time between when books come out depends on how long it takes me to plot, write, revise, redo, rewrite, and polish the book. Last year, my two books were released within relatively close range of eachother at about only a five month time span in-between the two releases. That is a very short time span to write books, given the amount of things that have to be done to self-publish a short novella.

In that respect, I intend for the third book to be released sometime late July or early August this year. I realize that’s a larger amount of time in-between books than before, and before you go a’wondering if the longer wait can be blamed on lack of interest in the series, I shall explain it to you.

First of all, I haven’t lost interest in my series. So that small handful of people that are eagerly awaiting the next book (you know who you are) be concerned not. I have a plan. This is what happened:

I wanted to start work on the third book (which you now know has been dubbed “What Hides In Their Hearts”) immediately after I published the second, but I found myself in a bit of a writer’s rut. So I took a stepped back away from it for a bit to reassess my plot, characters, world, etc. and instead started work on the second draft of my novel.

However, my “short” hiatus has gone on for quite awhile (four months, really) and I need to get working on writing it or else my poor beta readers are going to be sorely rushed to do line edits. On that note, I could start writing today only that I’m still stuck on just one aspect of the book.

Where to start.

This book is planned to have a lot of material and, unlike my novel which has proven to always have a good starting point, I could present any number of things in the first chapter. All of them give the reader equally important information, which can all be given at any time in the book.

Now, what does this have to do with you, you ask?

Well, I need your help to get me out of this little pickle of a writer’s block, or else I might never start writing it, and that would just be a shame. Gavin, Brian, and Emuna still have a long way to go before their journey is over. Thus I have concocted an age-old way to solve disagreements.

* insert drumroll here *

A majority vote! Also known as a poll. Which you’ll find pleasantly located at the bottom of this post…somewhere. Once I get to putting it up. You can’t miss it… I hope. I dunno. I have to tinker with WordPress some.

Anyways, on this vote, there are basically four options to what you want to be contained in the first chapter of the book. You could either; find out what happened to Terminus, bring in a new main character, learn more about one of the main character’s past, or be shown more of the powers that Emuna and Brian have.

Of course, I realize those options are extremely vague. So if you want a bit more back story (assuming you know at least a little bit about the books here) here are a few short explanations of the poll options:

Find out what happened to Terminus: This one is kind of pretty self explanatory. Terminus was swallowed by a powerful form of Luze earlier on in book two, and I never explained entirely what occurred to him. This scenario would give you a glimpse into what, exactly, happened. Do note though that this option is not promising that I’m bringing Terminus back, merely that I am clarifying the technicalities behind his disappearance.

Bring in a new main character: Pretty simple, I guess. I intend to present a new main character early on in the book to add to character conflict and story morals. Also…said character is just awesome.

Learn more about one of the main character’s past: If you haven’t guessed, this book is slightly a bit more focused on the psychological aspects of my main characters. Due to that, I will be presenting a lot of new information about their past and some of the situations they have all gone through to make them who they are. Choosing this options means that I will have one of the characters ‘open up’ within the first chapter of the book. Note that if you choose this option I am going to put up another poll, asking which character you would like to hear about most. Depending on your choice, I may or may not use that as the character that talks about their past in the first chapter.

Be shown more of the powers that Emuna and Brian have: So, you’ve all seen a little bit of what luze can do, but I’ve been keeping it pretty vague as to exactly what extent of strength these two characters have in their whimsical powers. In this book, I will touch a little bit more on that (and a little more in the next book, too). Choosing this option will ensue that you will get to learn some more about luze within the first chapter.

Just in case you’re wondering, this poll will be opened until the end-ish of May/whenever I feel like I’ve gotten enough votes and choose to close it. There’s really no officially set date, but the sooner I’ve gotten a lot of votes the better. 😀

Well, I guess that’s pretty much it. So, help me out a bit, and vote on the poll, please? We can’t let writer’s block win this battle!

-Bethany Faith

P.S. Just for the record, this post ended up being way longer than I intended. Sorry about the lack of short, easy, readability there, folks.

 

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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 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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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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100 Theme Challenge: Day 10

Theme: Judgement

Judgement

Seeking justice in a court,
Seeking judgement from the law,
Searching for the payment,
For debts not payed,
Lives not meant to be taken.

Searching for solace in a room,
Searching for hope in an empty life,
Hoping they will be fair,
To those who took your dear,
Little girl from your arms.

Praying for retribution,
Praying for revenge in the court,
Hoping the jury will find,
Him guilty and worthy,
Of the darkest of all judgements.

 
 

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100 Theme Challenge: Day 9

Theme: Running Away

The Monster

A monster. It stared up at me through large, brown eyes. Fur covered its face and two canine teeth stuck out of its mouth. The pure white teeth stained with bright, red liquid. Tears welled in its eyes and made them glossy. It stared at me for a moment before the first droplet slipped from its eyes, ran down a strand of fur and fell down. The tear dropped into the water, rippling my own reflection.

I was the monster.

Shocked at my realization, I scrambled from the place where I kneeled at the pond’s edge. Quickly standing on two legs, though my appearance would suggest I should be walking on four.

I looked around for a moment at the serene forest. Everything was calm and peaceful as if it were all meant to be there. But me.

Then I turned into the thickest part of the forest where the darkest beasts stayed and I ran.

 

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