My Fruits Work – Prologue

I’m sorry for being away for so long, (if anyone indeed cares) but the novel I’m working on is taking up all of my time. It is my very first novel size project and I find that I’m doing so many mistakes but it is, nonetheless, a learning experience!

I’m going on a conference in Stockholm in April where I’ll have my first five pages evaluated and I’ve entered part of the introductory chapter to a contest, so I only think it’s fair that you atleast get to read the prologue of my fruits work.

Enjoy!


 

Prologue

Across the field of golden wheat, a woman walked a path separating the land of her neighbour from her own. Her heart was heavy as she lumbered towards the end of the meadow and at the edge of the forest. She stared into the woods where no light reached, where the trees grew dense and the branches curled into each other. And for a moment, she stood there, listening, hesitating. She heard voices calling in the distance, from the glades to the east and the rapids to the west, and even back at the village to the south.

“Johan… Johan!” They called.

She quirked her mouth, knowing that their calls were in vain for she knew there could be only one place her boy had headed. How many times hadn’t she told Johan to avoid these woods? Too many, and that may be why he’d felt enticed to go there. A flash of guilt washed over her, making her groan from the possibility that it was her own fault her son was gone. But she soon straightened her back and stared into the blackness, steeling herself for what she might face. 

She swallowed and stepped into the woods.

The further she went, the darker it became, until the light at her back utterly vanished and there was only her and the forest. If she hadn’t known that she was but a few paces in, she might have assumed she was miles away from the meadow. Now a fair distance inside, as far as she was comfortable going, she drew breath and called for her son. But her voice came out weakly, and she tried again, and again, each time louder than the next.

But there was no telling how far her voice would travel in the densely grown woods and after a while, with no response, she perked her ears and listened. Then, she heard a twig break, leaves rustling, and she froze as whatever was out there, came closer. Cold sweat trickled down her back and she glanced behind and considered running away. But she was already determined to face what was out there, and she stayed her ground.

With her hands trembling, and a scream ready to be shout, she only managed a small whimper as a boy emerged from the leaves. She fell backwards, her heart racing, and the boy, never acknowledging her, walked passed without stopping. She stared wide-eyed as the boy disappeared once more into the darkness, and as she collected herself, she whispered. “Johan?”

Then she stood, and hurried after him, catching him in her arms. It was her boy, wasn’t it? But his body, it was stiff and his eyes were wide and vacant. As she clung to him, his body slowly became limp and warmth returned to his gaze.

“Mama?”

*

The streets were empty as she and her husband hugged the wall of their house, seeing but a few faint lights from windows further down the road. Scanning the street for any movement, she corrected her grasp on her boy that slept in her arms and then looked at her husband. He nodded and they hurried out of sight. There was no road where they were heading, none that had been used in ages, for the path was one that only desperate people took. 

“Are you sure this is for the best?” Her husband said, now a fair distance from the village.

“It’s the only way,” she said, looking at the boy who slept soundly. “I won’t let it have him, not now, not ever.”

Her husband nodded softly and placed his arm around her. They walked leisurely down the path until they came upon rubble of bricks and mouldy wood. They walked around it and treaded as quietly as they could. She saw her husband glance nervously round the ruins of the ancient town which normal people avoided. She stopped at a tower that stood tall with the full moon partly covered behind it.   

Her husband tried to enter first but she stood in his way.

“They’ll only listen to me,” she said.

He gave a worried look. “Let me at least carry him up the stairs.”
She smiled and kissed him on the mouth and headed into the tower before he had time to protest. The tower smelt musky with age and each step creaked dangerously as she ascended alone to the top. She took every step with care, feeling the wood before putting her whole weight on it. On the top, the moon shone through the glassless window that peered over the landscape. A box rested near the window and she laid her boy softly beside it. She closed her eyes and whispered. “Jerros, Farie; Jerros Farie,” repeatedly.

After a while, a presence was known to her and she listened.

She chose her words carefully as her lips moved but her voice was silent, and then, she rose; carrying her son back down the tower where her husband waited.

It was the crack of dawn and she handed the boy back to him.

She did not return with them.


© Christopher Stamfors

Book of Legacy: Prologue

I just want to say thank you so much for the followers that I have, and to everyone that have either liked or simply viewed one of my post. They all count, and provide some validity to what I do.

The original purpose of this blog was to showcase the progress that I have made with my book, but as it turns out, it is not easy to post something that you feel you can do better, especially on something that you really care about and have spend a lot of time making.

And despite my reservations, I want to post the prologue of my story so that you may get an idea of what the book will be about. I appreciate any comments that you may have, whether it is about the story, or just my general writing style.

The wind chills through her cotton cloths as she traverse the road on the hill. The stone plates that was laid out hundreds of years ago has crumbled and parts of the road has disappeared. As the path becomes more narrow, parts of the plate breaks under her weight and her body leans over the edge. She reaches desperately for something to hold when a man grabs her by the wrist and pulls her back into the fold. Terrified, and breathing intensely, she looks at her saviour. She smiles, thankful for his intervention, but her smile soon disappears when she sees the emptiness of his eyes, eyes of a man that has travled too far and seen too much. Feelings that she is all too familiar with.

As they continue to ascend, loud noise start to erupt that echoes through the hill. She breaks from the crowed and looks nervously to the front of the caravan a few hundred meters above. A crack of smile forms along her face as she sees people weaving. They have reach the top safely. It will take many hours before she will arrive, and many days before the rest is, she thinks as she watches the snake like line created by hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Ominously, the horizon is covered in a strong orange light, with a thick blackness from the smoke the fire creates. The destruction is unimaginable and it’s getting closer. Images of her town, her whole world burning away floods her mind as a tear falls from her eye.

Even in the cold northern climate she can still feel a faint warmth in the air from the westward wind. Her lips tremble. Realising that she is torturing herself she swallows her emotions deep inside and looks away; letting them out now would break her and this is neither the time nor the place to show weakness, she thinks as her people watch her when they pass by. 

The tall grass touches her bare ankles and she cannot resist to stroke the soft green weed as this will be the last patch of green that they, and anyone else will ever see again. She shivers at the though of what would have become of them, hadn’t her brother stepped up as he did.

At the top of the hill the leaders of the different clans gather, discussing the next course of action. Only a decade ago she would not have imagined her people united as they are now. But disaster has a way of putting things into perspective and erode old grievances.

At the cliff below she watches as shattered families prepare their meals and rest for the journey ahead. She raises an eyebrow seeing a blue eyed woman together with a man of red eyed descent, a union that was blasphemous not that long ago. Even though the old society is all but broken, she doesn’t fail to notice such contradiction.

To her left she hears a small child asking his father. “How much longer will we be walking?”

“As long as we need to son.”

“But where are we going?”

The father pauses for a few seconds and then says. “Do you remember back home when we were going to grandmother’s, but we were delayed because of the wind?”

“Yes?”

“…and then the ship had mechanical problems and we had to land in a different city but the day turned out well anyway?”

The child nods. 

“Well this is kind of like that, something unexpected happened and now we have to make the best of things.”

Another man grunts a few meters away from the family and says. “Except there is no turning back.” Taken by the intensity of the man’s yellow eyes, she cannot but stare as it reminds her of the fiery destruction happening in the background. Realising that she finds beauty in something so awful she looks away.

She sighs heavily and looks towards her brother who is sitting alone at the top of the hill. Even the clan leaders avoids him. The feats he accomplished seemed god like, and fear rests in things people don’t understand. Shameful to admit it, she can feel it as well.

They say it is a gift only one in a million of their people are granted, though her brother sees it as anything but a gift. The clan leaders looks at her and nods in her brother’s direction. She swallows her fears and walks towards him, knowing that he alone holds the burden of their entire existence. Such responsibility would drive lesser men into madness. He glances at her as she approaches. “You don’t have to come up here,” he says, clenching his hands around his knees, as if in pain.

She doesn’t say anything and kneels down next to him, putting her hand on his shoulder. He grunts loudly as she touches him and his eyes starts to glow red, almost burning. She takes a tight grip around his body, holding his arms together with all her might. She knows his pain is internal because she feels the same way, but somehow his anger, sadness and anxiety is manifested. His body is tense but he doesn’t try to break free. Slowly he relaxes. As she feels tears fall on her head she releases her embrace and looks at him as the glow slowly fades. She’d like to believe that what she does helps, but she also knows that her brother is strong.  

She puts her hands on his face and presses her forehead against his. “We will get through this, brother. Together we will survive, and create a new future for our people.” He nods and stares into the distance with newly found determination. On the far side of the hill a purple glow illuminates the horizon, a presage for the toxic world that awaits them. She whispers to herself. “…Avos help us.”