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.