My first post!!!! ~~ The Flame Within ~~ Please read I would greatly appreciate it!!
Posted May 24th, 2012 by Tygerblossum
in Thimblewick, flying around with Tobias the ghostly talking mink just behind an airship three clouds to the left.
Hi everyone who clicked on this post!! This is the first story I have posted on kidpub, and I would LOVE for you to leave CC, since this is the first time I have EVER shown this story to ANYONE. I greatly trust you with the it. Please - if you can - leave CC, it would be greatly appreciated!!!
The night wept for the fallen. But the man had no reason to mourn. He was a man on a mission. Tonight was the night.
Silence was the only sound that met his ears. The rain fell lifelessly from the shadow of clouds above him. The sky was a dark shade of grey, almost black, softened with the rolling clouds. Far off in the distance, over the churning dishwater sea, a single finger of lightning fell from the heavens. But no sound followed. Only the continuous thump of his heart.
Invisible fingers played with his jacket, slowly tugging at the thin, tattered material. He watched through uncaring eyes as the storm tore at the dull brass buttons that hung limply on his threadbare jacket. His only refuge, his only escape from the dark breath of the night.
The wind continued its tempest, until the man finally gave up, and watched it fly lifelessly out over the cliff, buffeted like a rag doll before settling on the jagged rocks below. He kept his eyes trained on the jacket. The teeth of the waves slowly edged towards it. Stained yellow lips of froth glided across the rocks: like a stray cat amusing itself with chess pieces strewn helplessly to the floor. The jacket, tugging away from the waves in protest, slipped free of the rock it was hooked on and slowly drifted out towards the horizon, like a lonely smudge in the ashen scene.
His view scooped along the waves, his hawk-like eyes examining the bleak forces of nature. He glanced back. Something small had caught his eye, and soon a second glance would prove he was seeing things. But he was wrong.
Slowly but surely, a small bead of light emerged from the tumbling waves. It resembled a firefly, and a small smile played on his lips. It was the only light he had seen in days. The only light other than fire. Other. He thought miserably. It was a welcome change.
The mysterious man rubbed his eyes. Surely it wasn’t – no it was. The small firefly was expanding. It was now the size of a glistening coin, fresh out of the mint. It grew; its flowing edges seemingly spreading across the pallid grey waves. And if he looked closely, just ever so slightly, he could see a pale hand in the soft emitted glow.
His heart skipped two beats. A small wooden boat, stripped of its paint and skeletal like, edged towards the jagged rocks. The orb of light, now close enough to see a pale figure seated behind it, seemed to spread over the grey scene as if the water was devouring it. Much like a paper as it tries to absorb as much of the drop of ink as it can. The waves seemed to scramble over the top of each other like greedy rats, longing to take a piece of colour back for keepsake.
A small figure could now be made out. A man, seemingly in his forties, with a body much like a greyhound’s; skin taut over his ribcage as if in fear it might fall off. Small goosebumps had risen over his chest like an endless pattern of braile. His face was unshaven; scraggly and dog-like, alternating lengths of stubble stretched over his sharp cheekbones. Heavy black bags hung under his eyes, red claws reached for his pupils. But the thing most alluring about this man was that in his lap, a sodden, terrified toddler clung to her brother with saucer eyes. And as they reached the jagged graveyard of rocks, a rope ladder was slipped down to him from the cliff above.
A grateful expression snapped over his face. He urged the two toddlers onto the rope, and the boy climbed forward with wobbly limbs. The girl had her chubby arms wrapped around his match-stick legs in an iron grip. And with a sigh of defeat, he scaled the cliff with the toddler still locked around his leg.
The man finally struggled to the top of the swaying ladder, and just before hauling himself up and over the crumbling lip of the cliff, he dropped his gaze to the rocks below. His face instantly snapped to a milky white mask, seemingly luminous in the soft glow of the lantern that was now locked tight in his grasp. Below him, the shattered remains of the little timber boat floated like driftwood on the swirling black waves, which drew back and expanded its foamy lip in a wicked smile.
The lantern dropped without warning. It seemed to float down to the water, hovering like a feather dropped from a malting bird. It hit the dishwater sea with the tiniest splash, and the droplets lit up in the dying light, like diamonds in a timeless chandelier.
It sunk slowly, seeming to be sucked under the glassy wall like a drop of water on an old paper photograph; trapped forever in the unreachable world below.
For a few seconds the image stained the man’s eyes like the water had stained the photograph. But then it was gone. The last drop of light had evaporated into the inky tendrils of the sea.
The man watching the scene sighed. Now, the only pure light he had seen in days had vanished. But he wasn’t here for the light. Well, partly, he was. But this sudden chain of events had snapped him back into his original train of though. He was on a mission.
The man, over his brief attack of panic, slowly urged the toddlers forward, marching them through the shadows of the toppled spires belonging to the scorched skeleton of the jail. The girl, younger than the boy, walked forward with no objection. But the boy was smarter than that. He approached with tentative steps; with caution.
Poor boy. He already has a hint for what he is in for. The man at the top of the hill sighed, his eyes trained on the boy the other man led up the hill. He glanced over his shoulder, and the scene from last night rushed up to meet him.
A smouldering jail sat glumly in the dark presence of the night. Soot covered bricks piled with charred planks and debris lay on the faint ember glow of the curling strips of ash. Toppled spires and melted chunks of glass and metal were draped over the sepia grass; singed footprints were imprinted in an endless path across the lifeless ground. Hazy trails of smoke danced around him, suffocating him. His eyes were lined with tears, his throat like sandpaper. A faint crackle could still be heard, the spitting remains of the fire chanting a soothing lullaby to the churning waves. Men scampered over the cinders dragging bricks and clearing the buried concrete ground.
Reality rushed back as the man in front of him cleared his throat.
The stranger made a curt nod to his master, and tried to nudge the toddlers forward from the spot they had dug their feet into. The man stared hard at the two of them, surveying every small detail with a criticizing eye. The little girl was first to step forward, the man’s shy smile reflected in her shiny, terror-filled eyes. The boy followed, caution in his step as he nervously glanced at his little sister, who was now swinging off the man’s legs in delight.
“These are the two?” The man’s gruff voice cut into the stiff air like a knife.
The stranger hesitated, unable to piece his words into a sentence that the harsh man couldn’t disapprove of. He was used to his type; snatching your words and picking at them like a vulture at flesh. The man he was trying to impress made a sound between a cough, choke and a snort; As if informing the stranger that he hadn’t got all day.
He finally settled for the least irritating sentence he could.
“Yes. I grabbed them from the orphanage at 10:00 pm. Their parents died in a fire yesterday. The girl is spoken to hold some bizarre powers.” The stranger nodded towards the girl weaving in-between the man’s legs in a figure eight fashion, followed closely by her brother. As she grasped his bony leg to do another loop in her endless trail, he caught a glimpse of what the unkempt man was motioning too. Her left hand was blackened, singed and peeling from the licks of the fire.
“So only the girl posses the powers?” He asked curiously, hoping the young boy would have magic running through his veins too.
The stranger who brought the toddlers admitted the truth reluctantly.
“Yes. The boy has had a thorough testing, and nothing shows up.” The man glanced at the girl, who was now holding flickers of fire on her singed fingertips, casting dancing shadows on her brother’s awestruck face. A tingling sensation pulled at the edge of his lips, and for what seemed the first time, he smiled a curt smile of admiration.
“Is she going to spend her life in the centre? I mean, she couldn’t really survive out there.” The stranger asked, motioning across the sea to the unseen world beyond while his eyes were still trained on the toddler, intrigued by the girl’s attraction to the glowing flames. The man swung his head towards the sea, sighed, and then back to the smouldering gaol, which was sitting hollow in its new black coat; the same coat that dusted the girl’s fingertips.
The man reluctantly admitted what he knew was right.
“Yes. The girl will stay here. I’m sure we will recruit more of her kind. He brother can stay here and work for me. He will learn well.” The stranger, as keen for this fate as his master was, shuffled nervously on his feet, swaying and grasping his elbows.
The man, standing impatiently, shot him a glance that told the stranger he didn’t have all day. A shrill whistle echoed through his teeth, and two bulky, black-clad men emerged from the shadows behind him, seeming to step out of thin air. The stranger jumped back with a start, his mouth hanging open limply as if it was unhinged from his jaw. Realisation slapped him in the face and he snapped his gaping mouth shut, puzzling over how they could have stood there for the whole conversation and not moved a muscle; like hungry gargoyles silently eyeing their prey, emitting noiseless breaths locking their muscles in a statue-like stance.
The two buff, mysterious men pulled the siblings apart, turning them and dragging them away from each other. The minute they left each other’s sight the protests began.
The man watched as the men lead the toddlers in different directions, the boy tossing and turning, clawing at the man’s stiff uniform in a desperate attempt to get away from their icy hands and reunite with his sister, and the girl screaming out between sobs, her body convulsing, longing for her brother’s grasp.
The thin, dishevelled stranger leaned over and whispered in his master’s ear, his voice trimmed with uncertainty. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
His companion nodded his head with a blank stare.
“Yes. We have to. It’s our only choice.” And he stared at the two disappearing children, being lead into two different treacherous lives, and listened to the whispers of regret that swirled through his head.
Thankyou so much for reading!! I hope you liked it!! I will be posting more soon!
Oh, and I almost forgot! Although you probably can't think of any at this point in the story (cause it's only the prologue!) I would love it if you could think of a title for this story :D
Thanks again for reading! :D
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