For those of you who have been waiting patiently, here is chapter 1. Just a warning, it is a bit of a read so if you don’t have much time at the moment then I would bookmark it and read it later, or just read it in bits as you can. And if anyone sees anything misspelled or any grammatical errors, let me know. I’ll be happy to fix them. Thanks!
This story is written with only adults in mind. While not all chapters will contain content that is not suitable for children I strongly advise to be careful when reading this. This should go without saying but any and all writings on this blog are under copyright by law and belong to only to me. No one has any permission to copy or distribute the text on this belong without my sole permission. You do however have my permission to reblog this if you want. All characters in this story are fictional and do not portray anyone. The table of contents will be listed before each post in case you want to go back to a previous chapter. The end of the chapter will be updated with a link to the next chapter when it is posted
The breeze floated through the branches on the trees and the clouds slowly made their way across the sky. The sun was nearly all the way down. The countryside was beautiful this time of year. Winter was past and spring was beginning to show. Birds were singing their songs and rabbits sniffing the air. Over the past few years it seemed as though the wildlife had been declining.
The sound of a hammer hitting an anvil off in the distance told the story of a man that was shaping a shoe for a farmer’s horse. The sound of a sign creaking in the wind told the story of a woman that owned an inn. The sound of the wheels of a wagon slowly creeping their way down a road told the story of a merchant just traveling through. But the sound of a boy running along a path taken many times from the woods to his house, told a far better story than those other sounds.
“Father! Father! I finally caught something!” Rakkel yelled as he came running into the house. He slung the rope from over his shoulder onto the table. It carried three rabbits this time. Not much, but at least I didn’t come home empty handed like usual, he thought as he put the rabbits on the table for his father to see. Months had gone by where all he had in his traps were nothing. It had been three months since his last catch. Damn bastards are getting smart to avoid my traps.
“Let me see them”, said his father, Jaiss. He examined them and smiled at his son. “Well boy, you have learned well. These will make a fine meal tonight. Go and get your sister and tell her that dinner will be ready in an hour.”
“Yes father.” Rakkel ran to where he normally found his sister, talking with her friends down by the river.
Rakkel just reached his fifteenth name day a few months past. He was very tall at six feet and strong for his age. Although he didn’t understand it, he was ok with the way he was. He had black hair that went to his shoulders and blue eyes that were nothing like anyone had ever seen before that seemed to glow in the dark at times. He loved his small village. The smell of fresh country air, the sound of the river running ever so gently through the land and the sounds of animals throughout the village were far better than what he had heard of the cities. There was always a great feeling of being alone that seemed better than being around a lot of strangers.
As he approached the river he stopped short, far enough where he couldn’t be seen. He was staring at Belrisa Calaeish. She was so beautiful and he hoped to marry her someday. She was soon to reach her fifteenth name day. She had light brown hair that fell just below her shoulders, light blue eyes that looked just right when the sun was shining off them. She stood four inches and five feet tall, the tallest among her friends. She never acted like she liked him the same way that he liked her, although he knew that it would be possible. She always hinted at it by doing small things. She smiled at him during small village parties and such. He dreamed of the day that she would acknowledge him further and let him know her true feelings for him.
Rakkel continued to walk down to the river slowly trying to be quiet so he could try to hear what they were talking about. As he stepped on a twig, one of the girls looked over towards him and they all went silent. “And what do you want?” demanded Assosia. She was a few years older than Rakkel. She had a temper like no other, and a face that went along with it. Her nose was broken from falling out of a tree, so it was said. Everyone said that it must have come from a fight with a horse, though she never admitted to that. He did not know why the others even wanted to be her friend. Perhaps she was different around them than she was around everyone else.
“Chandara, father said that dinner will be done within the hour if you care to eat.” Rakkel said, trying not to think about Assosia’s anger at him for interrupting their conversation. “We are going to have rabbit and some stew.”
“I’ll be home shortly then,” replied Chandara. Chandara was Rakkel’s sister. She was a very nice girl and she had many friends. She was seventeen and stood at a height of only two inches and five feet. Her reddish blonde hair ran to the middle of her back just like her mother and had green eyes that everyone loved. She always liked to eat as well, which showed from her plump belly that never seemed to go down. Rakkel was always looking out for her. He would be devastated if anything happened to her; maybe not as much if anything happened to Belrisa, but Chandara was family and he wasn’t about to let anything happen to his family if he could help it.
Rakkel turned to Belrisa before he took off. “I guess that you will be attending the spring festival this weekend?”
Belrisa looked up at him and smiled that sweet smile of hers. “Yes I will be. Maybe I might have someone to dance with this year that doesn’t trip over his feet.” The other girls giggled and she just sat there looking at him with that smile.
He knew Assosia had something to say, she always said some rude comment to everything he said. Just let her keep her thoughts to herself today, Rakkel thought for an instant. Before she had anything out of her mouth Rakkel spoke. “I’ll be looking forward to it. I’ll just let you know I’ve been practicing,” Rakkel lied. He smiled at her and seen out of the corner of his eye that Assosia was starting to open her mouth and took off before she had anything out. I hope she chokes on it.
Before going back home, Rakkel decided to make a stop at Nesam’s house. Nesam Jh’televen was a friend of Rakkel. They have been friends for as long as he could remember. He was of an age of sixteen and a height of six inches and five feet. He had short dark brown hair and brown eyes. He was very thin and always looked as though he never ate. By comparison to Rakkel, you would think he was weak, but his strength was almost the same. Working on the farm always did that to someone.
Nesam was different than Rakkel though. He was always getting into trouble for one thing or another. Rakkel always seemed to be dragged into these schemes and ideas that went through Nesam’s head. For all the trouble they had gotten into, Nesam has always been beside him taking as much of the blame as possible. Everyone knew Nesam as the troublemaker. If it wasn’t for Nesam, Rakkel wouldn’t get into as much trouble as he seemed to get in, always going on adventures that seemed dangerous and strange. Rakkel was always helping him when the times came.
Rakkel slowed to a walk to enjoy the surroundings. He sometimes liked to take a look around the village to take in all of its beauties. He thought that it was the perfect village to live in. There weren’t too many people here like in the cities, although he would like to visit the cities one day, with all the shops, the big houses and manors, the huge inns, and not to forget, the noble houses and the castles. He’s only just seen pictures and read about them. Every once and awhile he’ll get word from travelers or merchants that pass through. That wasn’t enough for him. His parents always said that it was too dangerous out there for him. That he might get hurt or worse. Knowing Nesam though, he figured that it’d be him that would drag both of them out of this village on some wild adventure. One day he would be the one to tell these stories that he always heard; him and Nesam.
He looked down at the forest that surrounded the mountains. Sometimes he felt more at home when he was out there setting his traps than he did in his village. There was something about being surrounded by the wilderness and trees that made him feel free. The sound of the river and birds and the sight of the animals made him feel more at ease than the sound of the blacksmith shop and people moving through the streets doing their daily work.
“Stop daydreaming and help me with this.” Nesam was dragging what looked like a strange wolf by a rope tied to its hind legs.
Something felt strange in the pit of Rakkel’s stomach about seeing this dead wolf, as though suddenly he felt like he wanted to vomit. This is not the time to be sick, Rakkel thought as he approached Nesam. “What is that?” Rakkel questioned. He looked at it with a worried look on his face wondering what Nesam was doing with such a thing.
“It’s a beast,” Nesam said calmly. How could he say it so calm? The thing could have killed him! “It was trying to kill my father’s sheep so I had to get it before it got them.” Nesam smiled at Rakkel. “What do you want to do with it?”
“Get rid of it!” Rakkel yelled. “How did you even get to it without it attacking you first?”
Nesam smiled at Rakkel and talked in a low voice. “I snuck up on him silently so he couldn’t hear me.” Then Nesam’s voice started getting louder. “Then I jumped on him before he realized I was there and suffocated him. It was quite a fight but in the end, well, you see who won,” Nesam finished with a laugh as he kept dragging the beast. He was always taking chances. He didn’t seem to be afraid of anything.
As they were pulling this beast up towards Nesam’s house, they threw it behind the shed in the back yard and it landed with a loud thump. “There, that should be good enough for now.” Nesam was looking towards the house. Who knows what was in his mind for what he was going to do with the beast later.
I would take the thing and throw it in the river. Trying to get Nesam to change his mind was as hard as convincing a cow that it wasn’t a cow. It was something that not very many people had a great skill at doing.
Nesam turned around and looked at Rakkel with a grin. Rakkel immediately knew this was trouble. Whenever Nesam looked at him like this, he knew that Nesam was up to something. Rakkel had no idea what crazy adventure Nesam was thinking of at the moment. Whatever it was, Rakkel was sure that it would lead to no good.
“You know Rakkel, I was thinking about those mountains that are deep in the woods.”
“No!” Rakkel yelled without hesitation. I like to be in the woods, but sometimes those mountains just scare me. He wasn’t about to let Nesam know that though. “This time I mean it Nesam. We are not going to go into those mountains. We have no idea what is even in there! What if we get caught? We’d be in serious, just no Nesam, and I mean it this time.”
“Come on Rakkel. What about those times we’ve talked about what we might find in those mountains?” Rakkel and Nesam would sit down in the fields sometimes and just dream about going on an adventure into the mountains. They would always dream about finding great things and coming back heroes. Rakkel would just dream about it and leave it at that. He didn’t want to make it a reality. After seeing Nesam with that beast he was wondering if there were more of them in there, deeper in the woods. He couldn’t imagine what was hiding in those woods either. He didn’t even want to think about it. “Maybe there is gold or something. We wouldn’t have to stay here anymore! We could go anywhere we wanted to. Just think about it Rakkel, there’d be enough gold to split between us and buy our way out of this stupid village.”
“This village is not stupid!” Rakkel cut in. He didn’t want to leave this village for years yet. He wanted to but he knew that this wasn’t the right time yet. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew, he just knew that somehow Nesam would bully his way through and get Rakkel to go with him. This time he was going to try to hold it off as long as possible, and hopefully it wouldn’t happen. “We have plenty of things here. We have it made here Nesam! Just think about it. There’s the river and the fields. You hear what those merchants have to say about the cities. About all those beggars and how dirty the cities are.” It was true. The merchants would always talk about how beggars would come up to their wagons and beg for goods. They would also say that the streets were horrible. The shops looked like they haven’t been cleaned in ages. Rakkel wasn’t ready to leave this place quite yet. He knew that he just wanted to live a peaceful life until he was ready to do a little traveling. And right now he just didn’t feel like doing any traveling.
“That’s only certain parts of the cities Rakkel. Remember all the marvelous stories they tell about the noble’s houses and the castles and the big inns! We could visit those places. Never mind the cities. You just have to think about it. It’ll only be a couple of days and that’s it.” A couple of days always turned out to be twice as long and Rakkel knew that he would not be on good terms with his father if he was to be gone for too long on some adventure that was probably not worth it.
Burn you and your bloody gold. Go alone and be done with it. I just want to stay here and dance with Belrisa at the festival. That’s what he was thinking and that’s what he wanted to say. Nesam would not listen to him no matter though. “With that beast you were dragging when I arrived, there might be more out there. I’m not ready to die and I’m sure that you’re not ready either. Let’s wait until we know that it’s safe,” Rakkel said with a worried look on his face. He seen Nesam’s face turn worried for a second then back to serious again. At least he thought he did. Rakkel was sure that this time he had won. He was sure that he did.
“I’ve killed one already. They aren’t as tough as they seem.” Nesam said in his defense.
“What would you do if a hundred surrounded you? You surely can’t sneak up on them then, can you?” I wouldn’t be surprised if you tried. Rakkel already knew that he had wasted enough time on this conversation and should be headed home, but right now he felt as though he were winning a battle.
“Maybe you’re right and maybe you’re not. You are right about me not ready to die yet though. The festival is coming soon. We’ll have time to think about it between now and then. If we go, it’ll be after. Just think about it. You’re good in the woods and you seem to see everything. With me and you, we’ll be safe. Trust me.”
Damn him and his words, Rakkel thought as he tried to think of something to say. Just as he was about to say something, he heard Nesam’s mother yelling for him.
“Well, will you just think about it at least? I have to go eat now or they won’t even let me have the scraps. You know how it is. I’ll see you tomorrow if you care to drop by.” With this said Nesam and Rakkel said their goodbyes and both turned their own ways.
As Rakkel was headed home, he noticed that it wasn’t near as late as he thought it was. He had a bit of time to spare before supper would be ready. He decided he would head down to the river to see if Belrisa was there. He would sometimes see her sitting on the bank by herself watching the water run by. I wonder what she thinks about when she’s sitting there. Perhaps today he could muster up enough courage to ask her.
As he approached the river there was no one in sight. There was one tree that stood at this part of the river alone. He often times thought about that tree and how it seemed to resemble him. He always felt as though he did not belong here and he belonged elsewhere. Perhaps the tree felt like it did not belong with other trees as well.
Dirt turned into sand beneath his feet as he made his way to the river bank. He looked at the other side wondering if he would ever walk there. It was a large river and spanned at least a quarter of a mile at this section. As he was looking at the other side of the bank, his eyes made their way up towards the trees then farther up towards the mountains. He has always felt something strange about those mountains, but wasn’t quite sure what it was.
Just as he was deep in thought Belrisa startled him. “What are you thinking about?” He already knew it was her when she started speaking. He didn’t even need to look to see it was her.
“I was looking at the mountains. Don’t you ever wonder why the snow never melts at the top?” He couldn’t think of what he wanted to say to her. “What did you come back here for?”
“I forgot my hat by the tree. I thought that if I didn’t come back for it, then someone else would take it.” He knew she had lied because there was no hat lying on the ground when he had arrived.
He glanced back at her and noticed she was holding it in her hands. “I see that you have found it.”
“I find it often that I see you sitting here thinking when something is wrong. What has Nesam brought you into doing this time?”
I wish she wouldn’t do that. Rakkel thought to himself. She always knew when something was up. I think it’s about time to find another spot to do my thinking. “Nothing that he will win at. He’s been trying to get me to travel to those mountains for years. Now he’s more adamant about it than anything. On top of that he killed some sort of strange wolf today. The thing was hideous. Its fur was black as night and its eyes seemed to be glowing light green, even after it was dead.” That was one thing Rakkel never brought up to Nesam.
“Your eyes seem to glow blue when I look at them. I don’t find anything hideous about that. The world is changing.” Something about that made him feel strange. He never had any problems seeing at night and Nesam used to always say something about his eyes before he was used to them. “I hope your right about your dancing. I’m looking forward to it.” Belrisa was already walking away when Rakkel turned around.
I guess it is past time to return home for supper. Rakkel got up and began walking home. On his way home he took his time to enjoy being alone. He thought a little about the mountains although he knew he didn’t want to go. One day he would go on a long adventure alone. He was looking forward to that day. Sometimes he would think about it. His skill to hunt was always getting better and as long as there was wildlife, he would always have something to eat. He never imagined going on an adventure to the cities though. He always thought of going somewhere far away, away from all the people to live by himself with nothing but the animals and the trees.
As Rakkel walked through the door he smelled the food right away. He was glad that it was almost time to eat. His stomach was feeling empty and he needed something in it. The rabbit would taste wonderful after months of eating salted beef, bread, cheese, and stew with almost no taste.
“Rakkel, is that you?” His mother, Lydra, was setting the table like usual for dinner. “You need to go wash up and get ready for dinner. It’ll be ready in a few minutes”
“Yes mother.” Rakkel hurried to go wash up and came into the kitchen. Everyone else was waiting for him.
“Did you go over to Nesam’s house?” His father asked him.
“Yeah, he killed a wolf that tried to kill his father’s sheep,” Rakkel said. More like a beast. He thought but wouldn’t dare say anything. His father wouldn’t let him go over there anymore with some strange creatures lurking about.
“It’s a good thing he got the wolf and didn’t get hurt himself. I find it strange for a wolf to be so close to the town. You be careful when you’re over there. The last thing I need is to have you come home without a limb or a heartbeat.” After that was said, everyone ate in silence and finished up the food.
“Remember that it’s almost spring now. The fields need to be plowed and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done tomorrow to get ready.” His father said as he was helping clear off the table.
“Can it wait till after the festival though? Please?” Rakkel begged.
“If you promise that it’ll get done I guess it can wait. Just don’t forget about it though. You know if everything doesn’t get done on time then the crops aren’t ready by the time it starts to get cold.” He always made sure everything was planted at the right time so they would have food for the winter.
That night as he went to bed, it was hard to get to sleep. Once he was asleep though, he wished he would have stayed awake. He dreamed of those beasts attacking his town. He tried to wake up, but couldn’t do it. He was standing in front of his house as the beasts came charging in by what seemed like the thousands. They were killing everyone. Once they reached his house they ran right past him like he wasn’t even there. He wanted to run into his house to warn his family, but he couldn’t move.
After all the beasts were gone he was walking towards the forest below the mountains. He didn’t want to go. It seemed as though something was making him go. He had no control over his body. His way through the forest seemed to go fast and the mountains were on him before he knew it.
When he arrived to the base of the mountains, he took a left turn where the path had a fork in it and went along a winding path. At the end of the path there was a cave. Inside the cave there stood a beast. All he could see of the beast was its eyes. They were glowing bright blue in the darkness of the cave. Out from behind the beast farther inside the cave a bright light shown through the darkness. Save us. Save us. Save us. Rakkel heard in his mind. He looked around wondering what was going on. Nothing made sense to him. The light was getting closer.
Save us or you shall DIE! The voice boomed in his head. You shall die with the rest of us. DIE! DIE! DIE! Was the voice coming from the beast? Rakkel wasn’t sure. The light was getting closer. He looked behind him but the path was gone. Nothing but a wall was there now, a solid rock wall.
Wake up! He told himself, but nothing happened. He pinched himself and felt pain as though he were awake.
But you are awake, came the voice again. The light was getting closer.
“Who are you and what do you want with me?” Rakkel asked in frustration. The light was getting closer.
You must help us now or we will all die. DIE! DIE! DIE! The voice boomed in his head. The light was getting closer.
I’m not ready to die and I’m not helping anyone! Rakkel screamed in his mind. The light was getting closer.
Then if that is your answer, you shall DIE! Before that last word left his mind, the beast was already in the air lunging towards his throat. The light was consuming the darkness…
…and Rakkel woke up in a sweat as he looked around his room terrified. Straight ahead on the wall where a mirror hung, two blue eyes glowed brightly staring at him. DIE! DIE! DIE! boomed the voice in his head.